Disclaimer: DC Comics/Warner Brothers owns these characters. No profit is being made from this story. This is strictly for my own amusement.

Author's Notes: Well, here we are at the final chapter. I'm thrilled I was able to finish this story. I hope you enjoyed Clark's journey of redemption as much as I liked writing it. Ok, I have a lot of ground to cover, so here we go! In this final chapter, Lois and Clark finally go out on their true first date, Kara is introduced to the League, Bruce returns, and later, Clark has questions that need answers. Thanks, everyone! :D

~o~o~

Chapter 20: Always Be Around

The Kent farm, a few days later:

Lois pulled up in front of the old farmhouse, exited her car, shaded her eyes and looked out over the stalks of high corn. She couldn't help remembering coming there that first day meeting Clark, and everything that had happened to them in the past month. It felt as if her entire life had begun on that day.

Walking up the stairs, the door opened, and Jonathan greeted her. "Hi, Lois, thank you for coming so quickly. Come in, come in," he said and welcomed her inside.

"How are you Mr. Kent?" She asked, worried about him.

"Well, it's a slow process, with all the medications and following doctor's orders, but Martha keeps me on my toes."

Lois chuckled. "I'm sure she does." Frowning, she followed him into the living room. "Mr. Kent, you had me curious with your phone call last night."

"Sorry for sounding very cryptic, it's just …" He hesitated.

Lois sat down on the sofa. "I can see you're worried about something."

"Yes, yes I am. Did Clark tell you about me? I mean that I witnessed a murder, but I never told the police who he was or that I could identify the person responsible."

"Yes, he did, and you truly have nothing to worry about."

"That's just it, I am worried. The police called me last night."

Lois did not like where this was going. "They did, but why?"

"Well, they asked me one final question before they could close the case."

Lois was worried now. "And what question was that?"

"Well, the victim was a life-long criminal, a menace to the community, so the fact that he was killed was something they didn't want to pursue. They made the assumption that it was a vigilante who had done it, and that's when they brought up … Superman. They wanted to know if the assailant looked like him."

"Oh no, I see now why you were upset and why you didn't want to talk about this over the phone."

"I lied to them again, Lois. I told them that I never saw his face, which they accepted as the truth."

"So, it's over?"

"Yes, it's over. The case is now closed."

Lois was so relieved. "You did the right thing, Mr. Kent." She took his hand. "Clark's past won't haunt us or him again."

He squeezed her hand. "I know and it makes me very happy."

"Me too, Mr. Kent." Lois stood up but suddenly she was dizzy. She touched her forehead. Jonathan held her steady. "That was odd."

"Have you eaten this morning? It's almost Noon."

"I rarely eat breakfast, but I'm alright."

"You should eat something. Martha made some cinnamon rolls this morning. Take a few with you."

"OH, cinnamon rolls? Thank you, I think I will." She kissed him on the cheek. "Thank you Mr. Kent and I'll see you later and thanks for these." She held up the rolls.

Jonathan waved goodbye. "Drive careful, Lois!"

~o~o~

Lois' car, halfway to Metropolis:

"Martha is one hell of a cook. These are delicious," Lois mumbled and took a few bites. Once entering the freeway, she dialed Clark on her hands-free device.

"Clark, hey where are you?"

"Hi, Lois. I'm headed to Watchtower to introduce Kara to the League this morning."

"That's great. I'm sure she'll fit right in." She paused. "Clark, I have good news."

"I could use it. What is it?"

"I talked to Jonathan this morning. The police called him last night. They asked him about Superman possibly being involved in that open murder case."

"I can't believe they would think that Superman would never kill anyone."

"That's true, Clark. Jonathan told them once again that he never saw the perpetrator's face, so the case is officially closed."

"That's fantastic news, Lois. Thank you for telling me. I'll see you tonight. Be ready!"

"I'll be ready. Bye, Clark. I love you."

"I love you too."

~o~o~

Watchtower, a few minutes later:

High over the skies of Metropolis, Kara, Clark and Conner were headed to Watchtower for Kara's introduction. Bruce would return but only for a few hours. Everyone else would be there.

Kara was nervous about meeting the League members. She liked her costume. The silver 'S' and black tee-shirt and mini-shirt were meticulous. Her knee-high black boots accentuated her long and lean body, but as she glanced at Clark's red and blue and Conner's 'S' shield, she felt out of place.

"Guys, slow down for a minute. I'm not accustomed to flying this much."

"Sorry, Kara," Clark said. Conner and Clark came over to her. "Are you worried about something? Are you nervous?" She didn't answer him. "Well, you shouldn't be right Conner?"

"Yeah, he's right. Everyone will welcome you with open arms. You'll see."

"It's not that, it just this costume. I've always liked it, but it's not the colors I arrived in. Lex changed it."

Clark put his arm around her. "We'll get you the 'red and blue' costume, but it will take a few days."

"I know. I'm guessing I'm Ok with silver and black for now."

Clark touched his chest directly over his heart. "It's what's in here that matters not the costume."

"You're right, Clark." She took a deep breath. "Let's do this," Kara said and held out her arms. "Catch me if you can."

"Hey, she tricked us. Wow, she's fast," Conner said and took off after her.

Smiling, Clark was right behind him.

Minutes later, they landed at Watchtower. The elevator opened, and they entered the monitoring center then everyone walked over to them.

Bruce was the first to speak. "Well, well, well, remind me not to get on your bad side, Clark. I wouldn't have much of a chance. I mean, with the three of you." He made a joke.

"I'm laughing inside, but you make an excellent point, Batman. Everyone, you know Conner, but you haven't met Kara Zor-El. She's my cousin. Please welcome her as 'Supergirl."

Bruce held out his hand. "Welcome to Watchtower, Supergirl."

She chuckled. "Batman? Thank you," Kara smiled at him.

Wally was stunned. She was lovely. "Welcome, Kara. Can I call you that?"

"Of course, and you are?"

"Wally, but I'm known as 'The Flash."

She chuckled. "It's nice to meet you."

"I'm Cyborg," Victor said and shook her hand. "Welcome to the League."

"Thank you, Cyborg."

"I'm Carter, or Hawkman," Carter introduced himself. Then he introduced Shiera, his fiancé.

Everyone gasped. "You're engaged? When did this happen?" Clark asked the obvious question.

"Last night," Shiera responded with a smile.

"Congratulations!" Clark said and shook his hand then he kissed Shiera on the cheek. "I'm so happy for you both."

"Thanks, Clark," Carter said and raised his eyebrow.

"What's that look?" Clark asked, and everyone else was giving him a look. He sighed. "I know what you're thinking."

"Well, if you know what we're thinking, so what's the plan?" Bruce asked with quirk to his lips.

"Clark, what are they talking about?" Kara was utterly confused.

He sighed again. "Lois."

"Oh, I see," Kara said with a smile then she touched his arm. "Life is way too short, Clark. Please don't waste time." She paused. "You love her, and after what I witnessed the other night, she loves you too, very much."

Closing his eyes for a moment, he resigned himself to the inevitable. When she smiled, he felt it, when she looked into his eyes, he could see himself through her eyes, and he would never tire of that feeling. It was a miracle that she had taken him back, forgiven him and accepted him, even with all of the mistakes he had made.

"Clark?" Kara asked.

"Oh, I'm sorry, what did you say?"

Bruce rolled his eyes but couldn't help but smile. "Hey, everyone, pictures!" He pulled out about fifty pictures of his beautiful daughter.

"Oh, my, she's beautiful," Kara said. "What's her name?"

"Helena," Bruce replied. "She has her Mother's eyes, thank goodness."

Clark was suddenly stunned by the depth of his feelings. That spark that had burst forth at the hospital was now a full-blown desire. He shook his head, leaned down and looked at the baby pictures. "She's lovely and would you look at all that hair."

Kara watched her cousin with a thoughtful expression. She didn't want to intrude on his thoughts, but she knew what he was thinking. She just knew.

Suddenly, police alarms went off on the monitors and everyone got to work.

~o~o~

Later that evening, Lois' apartment:

"Coming!" Lois hollered, and after checking herself in the mirror, she went to open the door.

"Good evening," Clark said and handed her a dozen red roses.

"Thanks, Clark, they're lovely." She leaned up on her tiptoes and kissed his cheek.

Clark was in a strange and thoughtful mood. "Lois?" He asked and followed her into the kitchen and watched her put the flowers in a vase.

She sensed he wanted to talk. "Is something wrong? How did it go this morning at Watchtower?"

"It went Ok, but …" He hesitated. They'd never talked about kids before.

"But what?" She asked a bit distracted as she put the flowers on the dining room table, stepped back and admired the beautiful arrangement. Sighing, she took a whiff of the lovely fragrance.

He touched her arm. "Lois?"

She turned to him and frowned. "What is it, Clark?"

Heart pounding, he didn't know where to begin. "Ummm … are you hungry?"

Lois sighed. He needed to talk; she could see it clearly. "We have a few minutes. Let's sit down for a second."

Clark took a deep breath and followed her into the living room. "Now, tell me what's on your mind." She sat down then watched him fidget. She took his hand. "Sit down Clark."

He sat down, but he couldn't look at her, then he found the courage and turned to her. "Lois, how do you feel about … having kids?"

Lois was surprised, but thoughtful. "Well, our lives are a bit hectic. Kids would be hard to fit in, at least right now."

"Oh, I see, well …" He hesitated.

"What brought this on?"

"Well, Batman brought in photographs of his newborn daughter, and she's beautiful."

"All babies are beautiful, Clark. This feeling will pass in time."

"I don't think it will pass. It's just that my life, before I met you, was a complete mess. But now, I have no doubts about you and me becoming parents."

"That's very sweet, but as I said, I don't have the time to have a baby."

"Of course, I understand." He glanced at his watch. "We have ten minutes to make our reservation."

She touched his arm. "Are you upset? I wanted this night to be memorable for us, being our first date and all."

He stood up and pulled her to him. He didn't want to ruin their evening. He kissed her sweetly then pulled back. "No, I'm not upset. Did I tell you how beautiful you look tonight?" Her outfit was not lost on him. Her low-neck black dress stirred his desire, her long hair was pulled to the side and hung over her shoulder, and her perfume was stirring his insides.

"No, you haven't." She smiled and put her arms around him. "I'm waiting."

"Why don't I show you instead?" He asked and then he kissed her again, long, slow and deep.

~o~o~

Fifteen minutes later, they barely made it to the restaurant in time. After taking their seats, they browsed the menu for a few minutes.

"Everything looks and sounds so good, but I have no idea what I want." Lois loved Italian, and the decision was difficult. "I haven't eaten since this morning."

Clark was shocked. "Lois, you need to eat. Did you have lunch?"

"No, Perry gave me an assignment just before lunch, and I didn't have the time to eat." She shrugged her shoulders, unconcerned.

He shook his head at her. "I see I need to watch after you more often. You could make yourself sick by not eating. You need three meals a day!"

She chuckled. "I suppose I do," she smiled at him. "I'll be right back. Order something for me. It doesn't matter what it is. I'll eat anything."

"Ok, I order for you," Clark said and smiled in return.

Lois stood up, and there it was again. She was dizzy. "Oh dear," she muttered.

"Lois!" Clark was immediately at her side and helped her to sit back down. "What just happened?"

Lois raised her eyes to his face. She knew what it was. She just knew. "Clark, I … I'm really hungry."

He frowned. Something was not right. The waiter came over just then and took their orders.

"Lois, tell me what happened. I've never known you to be sick or feel faint. You're healthy as a horse!"

"Clark, I just haven't eaten. That's all it is," she replied and took a sip of water then she proceeded to eat some bread and butter. "I'm feeling better already."

Still frowning, he said, "Ok, but if you feel faint again, I'm taking you home."

"Clark, I just need to eat." And right on cue, the food arrived. Lois proceeded to eat her food with gusto.

"Slow down, Lois, you'll choke."

She didn't answer him but chewed her food. Her plate was clean fifteen minutes later.

He shook his head at her. "Dessert!?" Clark asked, smiling.

"What do you think?" She replied and wiped her mouth with a napkin. "How about chocolate, lots and lots of chocolate? This cake right here looks so good." She pointed to a three-layer piece of cake.

"Waiter!?" Clark called the waiter. "The lady will have the chocolate cake and ice cream for me. Thank you."

Minutes later, he watched her dive into her cake. "Good?"

"Umm, it's delicious," she managed to answer him between bites.

Clark was getting nervous. A small velvet box in his back pocket was speaking to him.

After the plates were removed and Lois was sipping her coffee, he had a question to ask her. He got down on one knee, pulled the box from his pocket and opened it.

"Clark!?" Lois was stunned as she put her hand over her mouth. They had an audience.

"Lois Lane, I adore you. I've never wanted anything as much as I want you to be my wife. When I look at you, I see our future together." He paused. "Marry me?"

"Oh, Clark …. Yes, yes, I'll marry you!" Her eyes were bright.

He put the ring on her finger, pulled her to her feet and kissed her, tasting chocolate cake and coffee.

Lois kissed him back for a minute. "Are you sure about this?"

"Oh yeah, I'm very sure."

She smiled. "Me too."

He hugged her close then applause and laughter came into their hearing. Clark awkwardly paid the bill, and they headed to the exit, both a bit embarrassed by their affectionate display. Feeling bold, Clark couldn't help but hold her ring hand up and take a bow.

"Oh you!" She smacked his arm, but she had to smile at him.

Once onto the street, he quickly looked around, and he didn't see anyone. Twirling, he picked her up and leaped into the sky. He was so happy and excited. The woman of his dreams had just agreed to marry him.

Lois held on for dear life. "Clark, slow down!"

He had gotten a bit carried away. "Sorry," he said and smiled. They leveled off then he smoothed her hair away from her face and kissed her over and over. After a minute, their foreheads touching, he asked, "Happy?"

"Very!" She managed to say. Her throat had closed up and her eyes stun.

"Me too." Smiling at the look on her face, he lifted higher and higher into the sky.

They drifted above the clouds for a little while longer, and then he brought them back to her apartment.

Once inside, Lois asked, "Can you stay for a while?"

He listened to the outside world, and it was a quiet night. He raised her ring hand to his lips and kissed it reverently. "Lois, I …" His eyes were bright.

She touched his cheek. "I know. It's Ok, come with me." She took his hand and headed to her bedroom.

They slowly undressed, climbed into bed and lay face to face, happy just to stare and touch each other's faces and stroke each other's hair for a bit.

He had to say it. "Thank you for loving me and accepting my proposal."

"I love you, Clark. I knew your heart was pure and true, so I gave you a chance."

Sighing he whispered, "Well, my big head finally got it."

"Yeah, you got it, and you got the girl. You did fantastic Smallville." She smiled at him then pulled him closer. "Real good," she whispered and then they were kissing a bit desperately.

Clark had a few things to say first. He pulled back after a minute and stroked her hair. "Lois, you are the one treasure in my life. I couldn't … I couldn't bear to lose you." He knew she would balk at his next words, but he was truly worried about her. "Let me take care of you for a change. You've saved me multiple times. Now it's my turn."

He knew her too well. She balked but only a little. "Clark, now, you can't watch over me night and day." She didn't want to talk about this now. "Besides, I am not a child in need of watchful eyes and much needed advice. Accept that I'm responsible for my own fate, just as you are."

"I know that, Lois, but …" He couldn't finish because she was kissing him senseless.

Clark responded without hesitation. He suddenly rolled her to her back and whispered in her ear. "Just let me be your lover and your protector. That's all I ask."

Reaching up to pull his hard body closer, she smiled at him and gave in. She stroked his hair. "My gallant prince," she agreed.

"Is that a yes?" He asked as his kisses made their way to her chest.

Her back arched waiting for him. "Oh, yes, now shut up and continue … that's an order."

"As you wish, my lady." With that, he took an aching nipple into his mouth and proceeded to make her scream with pleasure.

He made her scream several times that night.

~o~o~

Epilogue: One year later:

The Kent farm:

After the christening of their three-month old son, the entire Kent family was gathered together at the farm for a small repast.

The entire League was also there, including Bruce, his wife and of course their daughter Helena who had just turned a year old a few months ago. The Wayne's had graciously consented to be the godparents and Lois and Clark could not have been more pleased.

The ladies were there including Shiera, Kara, Martha and Silena, along with the men, including Conner, Jonathan and most of the League were hovering around little Clark, Jr. He was the image of his Father, with dark hair, blue green eyes, and a sweet disposition.

"I still can't believe it. You must have a sixth sense about these things," Clark commented to his friend.

"No, I don't. It was wishful thinking of my part. You two are going to be incredible parents. I have no doubt in my mind about that."

"I hope you're right." He was thoughtful for a minute.

"What are you thinking?" Bruce asked.

"Well, Lois and I had a conversation about kids and how we couldn't possibly fit them into our busy lives. As I recall, she wasn't even sure about having kids at all."

"And now?" Bruce knew what was coming.

He shook his head. "She wants another one."

Bruce refrained from laughing out loud. "I'm not surprised at all."

"Not to change the subject, but I'm sorry I haven't been around at Watchtower lately. Clark, Jr. is pretty demanding, and Lois well, she's chomping at the bit to get back to work."

"No problem, Clark. Your son comes first. And besides, Kara and Conner are coming along just fine."

"That does ease my mind." He paused. "Are you sure about adding a new team of teenagers? I know Conner won't be getting much older than he is now, but he is a natural leader. I'm still not too keen on your idea."

"If it doesn't work out, we'll disband them, problem solved."

"That's not going to work. They'll bond, become friends, and …"

Bruce stroked his chin. "You have a point."

"I couldn't imagine us working together, being friends and then have to end it. It's not fair to them."

"I see, well we'll work something out, but I still want to do this. It's not as if we're getting any 'older' or anything." Bruce smirked after that comment.

"Not at all." Clark smiled as he watched his wife. Lois sent him a look. "I'll be right back."

He walked over to her. "Lois, honey, what is it? How's CJ?"

"He's fine, Clark. Could you hold him for a minute? My head is splitting, and I'm feeling a bit dizzy."

Shocked and wide-eyed, he watched as Lois headed into the bathroom. He listened as she proceeded to empty her stomach.

Head bowed, Clark shook his head then he couldn't help but smile at his beautiful son who smiled at him at that very moment.

The end!

~o~o~

Song inspiration: I Believe in You and Me, Whitney Houston.

A/N: HAHA! That was fun. You know, I've never written Lois as a baby-making machine, but I love that idea. Making babies is fun! *HEEE* I would love to continue this. We'll see. I hope you enjoyed it. Please leave a comment on this final chapter. I would appreciate it. Please readers, a few minutes to read, a moment to comment!? Thank you! :D