"I have you now, you Sith dog!"

"Prepare to die, Jedi scum!"

The humming got louder, followed by the clatter of plastic on plastic. "I'm going to kill Richard," Lois growled, stabbing at her laptop keyboard. She had let the kids watch the Star Wars movies, but he had to go and buy them the damn lightsaber toys. And not the cheap little plastic ones, oh no. Not Richard. He had to get them the ones that lit up and produced a realistic sound effect when you swished them through the air. Hence the ominous hum coming from her living room.

Muttered threats, more clattering, lots of lightsaber humming noises, and the occasional yelp of indignation became the background music for Lois' latest article. She didn't bother to get up; that was the normal soundtrack for eight-year-old twins at play.

A few moments later, she heard a much louder clatter, followed by a clunk, a thud, and a wail of pain. "You're dead!" Jason yelled. "I killed the Sith lord Darth Kalanus! Yay!"

Lois stopped typing and turned to listen. Clark was suddenly at her side, drawn from his perusal of the paper by Kala's crying. "Don't," Lois whispered urgently, and he stared at her. "She's okay."

Clark gave her an incredulous look, just as Kala howled, "Mommeeeeee! Jason cut my head off with a lightsaber!"

"Impossible. Dead things don't scream that loudly," Lois called back, her voice sounding almost bored. More quietly, she told Clark, "If she was really hurt, she wouldn't be able to do her fire-engine-siren impression. Trust me. She's mostly mad that he beat her for once."

"Shouldn't we do something?" Clark murmured. After two years, he was beginning to gain more confidence in his parenting skills, but every ounce of his fatherly instincts clearly felt he should be in there comforting his crying daughter.

"If we do, they'll just drag us into it and fight over who was right and who was wrong," Lois said knowingly. Her mother had warned her not to interfere overmuch in sibling squabbles, unless someone was truly hurt or it got on her nerves. It was good for the kids to learn how to work things out themselves, without constantly running to a parent for comfort – or condemnation of the offending sibling.

Clark shifted his weight, still worried, but he knew Lois was more of an authority on the subject than he was. She had a sister, after all, and he'd been an only child in more ways than one.

Kala had sniffled a few times and then gone quiet when she realized she wouldn't get any sympathy. Jason was still dancing around, by the random thumping noises from the living room, and chanting, "I cut off your head! I killed you dead!" He was clearly elated by his victory…

…right up until the moment when Lois and Clark heard a much louder thwack, followed by a shrill squeal from Jason. Lois bolted to her feet and down the stairs, making it to the living room before Clark, catching Kala with the lightsaber upraised for another blow as Jason rolled on the ground, clutching his stomach. "Enough!" Lois snapped, plucking the toy out of her daughter's hands. She grabbed the other one off the floor as well, muttering under her breath, "Knock it off now before I take these back to your Daddy Richard and shove them someplace that'll make Lana really unhappy with me."

"Lois," Clark whispered, even as he knelt beside Jason. A quick glimpse with x-ray vision showed that the boy was all right, if in pain. "He's okay." Kala looked at him, looked at her mother's expression, and started sniffling again.

"No crocodile tears from you, young lady," Lois said. "Go to your room."

Sobbing now, Kala fled, and Jason started to whimper. "You too," Lois told him, which stopped the tears instantly. "You should both have known better than to fight like that. I'm disappointed in you both."

Jason clambered to his feet with a murmured, "Yes, Mommy," and trudged off to his room. That left Clark looking at Lois bemusedly.

Softly, she whispered, "Five minutes from now they'll sneak into one bedroom, cry a little bit over how mean Mommy is, and then make up. If I tried to punish one and not the other, they'd get hysterical and fight even more."