A/N: Sorry it's taken me so long to update this. I've been off of school for at least a month, and apparently school is my "juice" for writing. So, luckily for you, school started back up on Monday! Anyway, I've been sitting on this chapter for awhile, debating on whether or not I wanted to post it before the next big dramatic "upheaval" that's coming, which it IS coming. But, I wanted them to have a moment of contentment before the drama. I haven't written the next chapter, but I know people are getting anxious for this chapter. Enjoy!
For the first time in weeks, Lois woke up before Clark. He was still sound to sleep, an arm thrown over his eyes to block them from the light, and the other arm tucked under her head. She had had a hard time staying asleep. Her legs kept falling asleep due to poor circulation. Finally, Clark had gotten frustrated with her and forced her to lie on her side, tucking a pillow between her knees.
She had rested her cheek against his chest, and with his arm as a pillow, tucked around her shoulders, she had slept comfortably on her side. It had been a stressful week. Clark had resumed patrol at night and sometimes even during the day and they had gone to D.C. She had had to cover for him with Cat twice. Lois had grown more and more irritable with Cat, particularly after she had told her off. She'd insisted on hounding Clark, and every time Lois saw her idiotic face, she wanted to punch her. Otherwise, all was well in Metropolis. The people were extremely happy that Superman had returned. Headlines blared his return, and Clark was happy to return to the limelight.
Meanwhile, Lois and Clark's relationship had gotten infinitely better now that they weren't fighting or even spending 24 hours a day with each other. She was able to tolerate his hovering and constant need to take care of her. She spent most of her free time with Chloe, Hal and Jennifer, who had turned out to be a very good friend.
However, she couldn't shake the feeling that she was being watched. Maybe it was her mind playing tricks on her, but a few times throughout the week, she'd been sure that she heard footsteps fall in step behind her as she was walking to work or to the market. When she'd turned around, there had been no one there. Clark had probably convinced the League that she needed a constant tail, and didn't want her to know.
Now, it was Saturday and she had her first real sonogram with Emil. Chloe, Oliver and Bobby were coming over and they were all going over to Watchtower. Then, the plan was to do lunch and shopping. Oliver and Clark had bitched about it constantly since she and Chloe had made the plans, but they needed their brawn. She usually tried to hold on to the last vestiges of sleep, and this morning was the same. She could spend her entire life lying next to Clark Kent, feeling his heat warm her skin.
His arm dropped from his eyes, and he glanced down to see her staring up at him.
"Hey you." He squeezed her round the shoulders, and she stretched.
"Are you ready for today?" She wriggled from his grasp and he laughed.
"Sure am. Want some breakfast?" He swung his legs over the side of the bed, his hands hitting the ceiling as he stretched.
"Waffles?" She said eagerly, and he nodded.
"Go on. You shower. I'll start." He strode, naked, into the kitchen, and Lois disappeared into the bathroom.
When she emerged from her shower, clean and some of her new clothes on, she sat at the table. He was completely clothed and finishing up the waffles, arranging them artfully on a plate. He sat them in front of her, along with a protein shake and an Ensure, which she wrinkled her nose at.
"Lois…" He started, but she shook her head.
"There's no need, Clark. I'll drink it." She downed it quickly, holding her breath.
Just as she was finishing breakfast, there was a light knock on the door. Clark opened the door, and the Queen family stood on the other side of the door. Oliver had Bobby strapped to his chest in a sling, a sheepish grin on his face. Chloe was almost vibrating with excitement. She bounded into the apartment, a grin on her face.
"Are you guys ready?" She asked, and Oliver rolled his eyes.
"Yep." Lois stood, her belly bumping into the table slightly. "But, it's not like we're going to be surprised or anything. We already know what we're having."
"What?" Chloe asked, shocked. "When did you find out?" Her mouth turned downed in disappointment.
"You didn't tell her?" Lois turned to Clark, an accusing look on her face. Clark paled and she sighed.
"I'm sorry, Chlo. Clark was supposed to tell you. We went to the Fortress after our week away. After Emil discovered that I was invulnerable, we thought it best to see Jor-El, and he told us." She said apologetically.
"It's ok." A lot of the wind had gone out of Chloe's sails, but she managed to keep a smile on her face. "What's the verdict?"
"We're having twins. A boy and a girl." Lois grinned, and Chloe squealed in excitement.
"That's so awesome! Oh my gosh!" She wrapped her arms around her cousin, and Lois nodded.
"Should we get going, guys? You wouldn't want to miss your appointment." Oliver said uncomfortably. For some reason, Oliver always seemed out of place anywhere outside of the office or Watchtower.
They headed out. It was unseasonably warm for the beginning of April, so they had all left their jackets at home. It always amused Lois how she and Clark dressed alike. Her color palette had become akin to his standard yellow, blue and red. She was wearing a maternity jean skirt and blue top. Clark was the mirror opposite of her in jeans, work boots and a red tee.
The four of them arrived at Watchtower, and Emil ushered her into the examination room. Clark was hot on her heels, and she hopped up onto the table.
"Could you roll your shirt up and skirt down a little, Lois? I just need access to your belly." Emil said sheepishly. She nodded, doing as he asked. Clark stood by her head, brushing her hair off of her forehead. She grinned up at him, and he kissed her on the tip of her nose.
She watched as Emil squirted some blue gel on her stomach, and she almost jumped out of her skin.
"Sorry, I should've warned you it'd be a little cold." Emil said, smiling. He pressed the wand into the gel, running it across her skin. The screen lit up, a mass of black and shades of gray.
"Ok, let's see what we have." Emil said, gazing intently at the screen. He moved the wand a little lower, and stopped. "Alright, here's a baby. See, you can see the little feet?" He gestured to the screen. The soles of two little feet were clearly visible, and Lois grinned. Emil moved the wand again.
"Here are their heads. And, there's your boy." He looked at them, and Clark was smiling from ear to ear.
"It looks like he's sucking his thumb." Lois said, pointing at the screen.
"You're right. He is." Emil said, smiling.
Lois watched as her son sucked his thumb. She glanced at Clark, who was grinning from ear to ear. She was suddenly struck by the feeling that this was the happiest they had been in months. For some reason, it felt precarious. Like they were balancing on the edge of a sword. On one side was happiness, and at any moment, someone could come along, and push them into the abyss.
After looking at their girl, and making sure everything else was fine, Emil wiped the gel off of her skin, and she pulled her shirt back down.
"Now, it's nothing to be concerned about, but I wanted to let you know that it appears that your pregnancy is progressing a little more rapidly than a regular pregnancy." Emil said bracingly.
"What does that mean?" Lois asked, paling.
"It just means that Jor-El was right. If I didn't know anything about you, and just had to guess how far along you are by your size and the size of the babies, I would guess you're about sixteen weeks, but we both know you're only fourteen weeks. If things keep progressing like this, I'd say you'd be due late August, early September instead of mid September." He patted her gently on her shoulder.
"You're sure you're not worried?" Clark asked him, chewing his bottom lip.
"Not in the slightest. The babies are healthy, Lois is healthy, there is nothing to worry about." He smiled at both of them. "Call me to set up your appointment for next month."
Out in the bright sunshine, any fears that Lois had felt inside abated. Clark threaded his fingers through hers and Bobby cooed happily, kicking his feet happily against Oliver's abdomen. Ollie glanced down at his son and smiled. For a moment, Clark saw Ollie's smile reflected on Bobby's face, and he wondered if he would ever look at his children and see himself staring back at him.
They went to several different stores, and by the time five o'clock rolled around, Lois had had enough of breast pumps, sheets, onesies, bra pads, car seats and diaper genies. They stumbled into a small bar and grill, sliding into a booth in the back.
They ordered, and as the food arrived, Oliver broached the topic he had been skirting around all afternoon.
"So, have you guys thought of moving into a new place?" He asked nonchalantly, cutting into his steak.
"What?" Lois asked, shocked. "We just moved in to the new place a little bit ago."
"Well, when the babies are old enough to have their own rooms, you're going to be out of an office. Then where will you work when you're at home?" Chloe said. "The only reason we ask is because we can help. Oliver owns several properties that he'd be willing to sell you. Right Ollie?"
Oliver nodded, and Lois felt a surge of outrage. This was just so typical of her cousin, always trying to plan her life for her.
"Actually, I've already thought of that." Clark said, sheepishly, glancing at Lois. "I wanted to wait until the babies were born, but I guess now's a good of time as any." He reached into his pocket, and pulled out a single brass key. He set it on the table with a click, and Lois looked from him then back to the key.
"Mrs. Worthington-from next door-her kids put her in assisted living last week. I saw her son Joe coming out of her apartment, and we started talking about how nervous he was about selling it in this market. I offered to take it off his hands for almost next to nothing. We just have to hire a contractor in order to combine them." He shrugged, and Lois's mouth fell open.
Lois, Chloe and Oliver all stared at the key, which was glinting in the light.
"You bought it already?" Lois asked offhandedly.
"Yeah, but look-I can sell it if you don't want to combine them." Clark said quickly. "We can always move, if that's what you want. I just know that you like our place, and I do too, so I thought it would be a good idea." He was babbling now. He reached for the key, but Lois put her hand on top of his.
"No. I love it. It's a good idea. I'm just a little surprised that you thought of it and bought it already." She laughed.
"Why is it so surprising?" He asked, spearing his chicken and resuming to eat, suddenly aware that he was famished.
"I don't know." She shrugged. "You're just normally not so unpredictable. I kind of like it." She rested her hand on his thigh, and he swallowed his food, glancing at her sideways.
Chloe glanced away, and Oliver cleared his throat. "Well, I know a great contractor." He said, as his wife lifted their sniffling son from his seat, holding him against her chest. "I'll give you his number."
"Thanks, Oliver." Lois said gratefully.
Dinner ended, as almost every meal out with the Queens did, in Clark and Oliver arguing over the bill, with Ollie winning out. Chloe and Oliver decided to call a car, and offered to take them home, but they refused. It had gotten dark while they were in the restaurant, and the streetlights had come on. A perfect night for walking.
It was unseasonably warm for April, and they had left their jackets behind when they had left the apartment that morning. A warm breeze ruffled Lois's hair and swirled around her bare legs. He draped an arm around her shoulder, and she snaked hers around his waist.
"It's so beautiful out. I can't believe it's almost summer." She said with a sigh.
He nodded, sweeping her hair off of her shoulders, and allowing it to cascade down her back. "I feel bad for you."
"Why?" She laughed, and he shrugged.
"Because you'll be nine months pregnant during the dog days of summer."
"I hadn't thought of that." She was quiet for a few minutes. "I wanted to say-I think you did a good thing in getting that other apartment. It'll be nice having a bigger place."
"I think the twins will appreciate having their own rooms when they get older. The last thing we need is two fifteen year olds fighting over which side of the room is theirs." He laughed, but Lois shuddered.
"They aren't even born yet, and you're imagining them as fifteen!" She squealed.
"I'm sure it'll be here before we know it." He said and she grimaced. They continued to walk, watching several people emerge from condo buildings, dog leashes wrapped around their forearms.
Lois ran a hand up the back of his shirt, allowing the warmth of his skin to radiate down her arm.
"Do you think we should start on the apartment right away?"
"We don't have to." He shook his head. "It's not like we'll need it right away. It'll be easier to have the twins in our room for the first few months, then in the same room until they're about two or so, just so we can keep our eyes on them." He grinned and she laughed.
"Of course, since their both Kents, they'll need two sets of eyes on them at all times."
"Hey!" He dropped his hand from her shoulder, tickling her under her arm. She giggled.
"You know I'm right!"
Clark stopped, a serious expression on his face. "It's not the Kent side I'm worried about."
"Hey!" She said indignantly, putting a hand on her hip.
"That's not what I mean. I meant-I'm more worried about the El in them, than the Lane or the Kent." He said, chewing his lip in worry.
She sighed. She knew this topic would come up eventually, she just didn't expect it so soon. "They're only Els if you want them to be. You aren't an El, you're a Kent. Superman is an El. If they want to be Els when they're older, than they can be, but if they want to stay Kents, they can do that too. They can do whatever they want."
He nodded, reaching for her hand. Whenever he was around her, he found it hard not to touch her. He could feel the pulse of her heart beat through his skin and it comforted him.
"Have you thought of names at all yet?" He asked her after a moment of silence.
She flushed, but nodded.
"And?" He poked her in her hardened belly, and she shied away from him. They had arrived at their apartment building. He pulled her into the doorway, wrapping his arms around her shoulders.
"I think I know what their names are." She said quietly, and he stilled, waiting for her to continue. "
Lois shook her head. "I don't know, this may sound dumb, but they just came to me. It's like they named themselves."
"Ok, so what are they?" He asked apprehensively.
"Ella Lara and Jonathan Jerome." She said to Clark's feet, a blush coloring her cheeks and neck.
Clark was silent for a long time until finally, Lois glanced up at his face. His green eyes were glassy with unshed tears, and a smile played across his lips.
"Dad would be so happy, Lo. I just wish he were here." He hooked his arms under her armpits, and hauled her up against him, burying his face in her neck.
"Mom would be too."
He pressed his lips to hers, but pulled away when the door to their apartment building opened. They stepped aside for the family that lived on the floor below them.
"Come on. Let's go up." Lois grabbed his hand and tugged him into the building.
"Alright." Clark glanced up at the streetlight outside of their building, the warm yellow light pooling on the darkening pavement, and he couldn't help but feel that this feeling of contentment was fleeting.