A/N: This is a slight AU to SR; the rest will sort itself out as you read. I hope you find it somewhat entertaining.
A New Day
Sweat prickled along Lois Lane's hairline. The drops that formed rolled down her temples as her hazel eyes squinted shut in pain. Another sharp excruciating sensation rolled through her body; her hands trembled in anticipation for it to cease.
The suffering woman was genuinely terrified that she was going to die. Right here, in the hospital. Oddly, Lois found it somewhat amusing in what could be her final hours, that despite all the incredible predicaments and near-death experiences she had encountered in her journalistic career, this is how her life would end. Superman would never have been able to rescue her.
Her clammy palm tightly clasped the hand of the man who sat next to her. His brow furrowed with worry and apprehension. Since she had known him, he was her sense of calm amidst stormy seas, a solid foundation and level headed through the short time they had known each other. It alarmed Lois to see him so visibly powerless to help her.
The only thing the strong and handsome man beside her was capable of was keeping his fingers intertwined with hers in consolation.
She knew this journey was one that only could be made by her alone, but that piece of knowledge did not make her circumstances more tolerable. It only compounded the strong feeling of isolation she felt at that moment.
The oxygen saturation monitor near the bed began to sound. An indication her levels were below 90% and what the respiratory therapist had instructed as an acceptable level. Her sats needed to improve.
"Lois, honey…you have to breathe, please."
"I know" she gasped. "I'm tired, that's all."
"But still, just breathe deeply…okay?" His eyes filled with alarm searched hers.
"I'm sick of hearing that" she huffed. Her eyes clamped shut again as another wave of pain rocked through her body. "I just want this to be over" she whimpered.
After the blood pressure cuff automatically inflated, the monitor's alarm began to ring again. "180 over 100…it's too high Lois" Dr. Braverman warned. "We need to get you into the OR."
"NO!" She barked. It had taken a last reserve of energy left to scream. "I'm not having surgery. I know about the patient's bill of rights, I have the right to refuse."
The older physician threw her hands up. "Alright, but your pressure's been steadily increasing…I hope this child comes soon."
"You think this is fun for me?" she panted. "I want this kid out of me more than you do doc."
The entire delivery was terrifying, it was something Lois had never done before, in fact, no one had. Considering who had fathered her child, Lois was somewhat terrified. She had no idea how strong her baby would be and if she was going to die in the process.
Whether or not she survived, it sure as hell felt like she was going to die. Carol Burnett was right, pulling your bottom lip over your head would feel better than this...it's like I'm trying to pass a watermelon.
Richard White is what it would say on the birth certificate. It was the best option and the most logical. He was after all, the baby's surrogate father. Herself excluded, no one including Richard was aware of the fact that he had not fathered the child. Except now, was not exactly the moment to divulge that particularly crucial detail.
As the days dwindled to her delivery coupled with her rapidly expanding abdomen, Lois had paced the floors of the living room late in the evening with anxiety and unrelenting trepidation. The thought of a cesarean was incredibly concerning. If the baby's skin was impervious to needles…Lois's immediate betrayal to her fiancé and the identity of the actual child's father would become crystal clear. It weighed heavily not only on her mind, but her conscience as well.
The unconditional love, loyalty and unwavering support from her fiancé had repeatedly induced temporary paralysis of her vocal cords each time she attempted to share with him the horrid truth, he was not their baby's father…at least, not on a biological level.
Another squeeze of reassurance from Richard's hand belayed her imposing thoughts.
"You're almost there Lois, just a bit more to go until you're at ten centimeters…then you can push."
Her head flopped back against the damp pillow. Her bloodshot eyes closed in relief at her fiancé's update.
"I can push?"
Both weary individuals turned to face the doctor and sat expectantly; awaiting her approval. The OBGYN nodded. "You're at ten now. Push away." The nurse in the room smiled as the physician spoke.
Lois looked at Richard with distress. "I'm so tired. I don't know if I can do this." Now she understood her mother's repeated comments on how difficult childbirth had been. This was by far, the most difficult thing she had ever done.
"You have to. He's coming." Richard squeezed her hand tightly and kissed her forehead. The other hand stroked the damp hair from her face. His stomach began to flutter and flip repeatedly. He was going to be a father.
A Dad. This was really happening.
"Sonofa…" she huffed as her eyes clamped shut. Lois began to push with every reserve of energy that remained.
Her hot hand grasped Richard's as he looked toward the seasoned physician with mixed anticipation, anxiety and eagerness. He was going to be a father and was terrified. Dear God, am I crazy? I have no idea how to be a Dad.
The earnest man prayed in silence to the Almighty as his fiancé labored for hours. Richard asked for guidance to raise their son with compassion, love and the ability to guide their child with a strong moral compass.
"I hope I'm half the father my Dad was." He stated to Lois who had become beyond exhausted.
"Richard," she gasped "Of course you will. Now shut up, and let me concentrate enough to push. I'm so tired." Her eyes fluttered closed in fatigue. "I don't know if I have anything left."
"Lois, our Son's almost here…we're parents!" Richard looked up at the clock in the room that read five minutes past midnight. It was a new day.
The exhausted woman grunted with determination and shortly after, an infant's ear piercing scream broke the labored breathing of his parents; his warm skin met with the cold air for the first time.
"It's a boy." Exclaimed Dr. Braverman. "And he's beautiful. Ten fingers, ten toes. Before we do the apgar, Richard, if you'll cut the cord…" the physician instructed.
Rebecca, the OB RN spoke. "Dad, hold your son." She wiped off the excess fluid from the child's skin and handed the stunned man his tiny baby. "Show Mom what an amazing boy you two have." She beamed.
An enormous smile of satisfaction melted across Lois's face. Her hands swept back the sweaty hair from her forehead as her eyes remained fixed on the physician. She did not want to blink or miss a moment for the first glimpse of her incredible miracle. He was here. "It's after midnight." She breathed.
"Lois, he's amazing." Richard whispered. "You did it…sweetie, you're a Mom."
"A mom" she blissfully echoed as her newborn son was placed in her arms. "Good morning beautiful boy." She cooed. "Hi." Lois whispered as she cradled her newborn son as he yawned. "I'm your Mom and this guy is your Daddy."
Richard's fingertips brushed across the top of the newborn's head as he kissed his fiancé.
"Hey son. Welcome. We love you," he murmured.
Their son's eyes opened for the first time and stared in their general direction, attempting to focus in the new world and bright lights that surrounded the infant.
"His eyes, they're so blue." The new father marveled. "I've never seen anything like them. Must be someone on your side."
"Must be." Lois stated. She swallowed a wave of nausea, it was not from childbirth.
The new father beamed with pride and joy. "It's a new day Lois, we're parents…what are we going to name him?"
"I know we talked about Jonathon, but…" her voice trailed as she looked into the infant's eyes. It was wrong; he didn't look like a Jonathon.
"But he doesn't look like a Jonathon." Richard completed her sentence.
"No. What about Jason Kyle? After your father."
Her fiancé nodded in agreement.
"I love you Lois, we're a family. How amazing is that?"
In the dark and quiet hospital room, Lois sighed. The blanket-covered form of her fiancé shifted on the rollaway bed. The room was absent of light except a thin sliver of pale light that splayed across the blanket of her bed. Her eyes followed the beam to a gap in the blinds.
Despite the incredible joy of the moment, Lois could not ignore the pang in her stomach she felt earlier as the unearthly blue eyes of her son looked into hers for the first time. If only the man who had passed on that particular trait had known she was pregnant, perhaps things would have been different. Perhaps he would have never left.
Lois always had an unquenchable thirst for the simple knowledge of what happened to him and his abrupt departure from her life but she had never felt it as acutely as now. Every fiber of her body ached to feel his arms around her, to hear his deep soothing voice. What would he have said to her in the delivery room when he saw his son? One thing was certain; his eyes would have danced like sunlight across water if he had seen their child.
Growing weary, she turned her head toward the figure across the room that rose and fell in cadence with heavy breathing; and indication that snoring would surely follow. Richard was asleep.
"Oh Richard," she whispered. "How am I ever going to tell you everything?" Tears began to sting in her eyes as they formed. "You're wonderful…I don't deserve you."
She retrieved a cup from the tray and sipped the tepid water. Her attention returned to the window, she softly slid out of bed and padded across the linoleum floor in her non-skid hospital issued socks. Her hands quietly parted the blinds and looked into the inky black sky that was peppered with stars. The lonely woman's breath formed a cloud of condensation into a haze on the cold glass, obscuring her vision of the night sky.
Lois retreated to bed and rested her head on the pillow toward the window. "Today's a new day Kal-El. I wish you had been here." She whispered incredibly low. Lois swallowed. "We have a son."
Her profession to the moon and sky above had hopefully struck the ears of her lost lover, the father of her child.
"I miss you."
Lois's eyes fluttered as exhaustion overtook her. She slipped away into the darkness. At last, she was asleep.