A/N: This is a sequel to the one-shot titled 'Of Motility and Backup Methods' so it will make a lot more sense if you read that one first. I expect to have more one-shots in this AU series, so if there's a scene you'd like to see feel free to share. If I can make it fit, I'll try to work it in.
I know updates to my stories are long overdue, so for that I apologize. I was getting ready to move from Asia back to the U.S. last month, and real life got kind of crazy. Then there's the reverse culture shock that comes with it – I've been living in Seoul for several years but am now visiting family in my very small hometown in Alabama. The day after I arrived, I looked out the window and there were about fifteen wild turkeys by the river. For a minute, I seriously thought the jet lag was causing me to hallucinate! :P
Regarding updates – I'm planning to spend the next few days writing and editing, so expect to see updates on all stories soon. Thanks for reading!
Clark sped into Watchtower and looked around. "Chloe?" When she didn't answer, he used his x-ray vision to make a sweep of the rooms above. He sighed, wondering where else to look for her. He'd already been to the Talon apartment and the Clocktower, and his texts to both Chloe and Oliver that morning had gone unanswered.
Lois had been driving him crazy for weeks because she thought Chloe was avoiding her. He'd tried to tell her that perhaps Chloe and Oliver just wanted some privacy in their new relationship, but Lois was insistent that something else was going on. And now that she knew about his powers, she expected him to help her snoop into her cousin's life, something he just wasn't comfortable with. The last time he'd been impatient and gone looking for Chloe, he'd found Oliver feeding her breakfast in bed sans clothing. The image still felt like it was burned into his brain, and he was definitely in no hurry to repeat that invasion of their privacy.
Clark walked over to the bank of computer monitors in the center of the room and began to look around, hoping to find something to indicate what Chloe might be working on or where she might be. Then he saw her appointment calendar pulled up on one of the monitors. He hesitated for a moment, again feeling like he was invading her privacy, before he decided to take a look at her appointments for the week.
His brows drew together when he saw that she had an appointment with Dr. Emil for that afternoon; and according to her calendar, it was her third appointment? There was also a notation for an ultrasound appointment followed by a note in Chloe's familiar shorthand abbreviations. Clark's heart sped up as he realized that Chloe's note said the ultrasound was to determine a growth rate. Chloe was sick, and he didn't know anything about it.
It took only moments to reach Metropolis General, and he immediately focused his hearing as he listened for Chloe's heartbeat. He found it quickly, and the steady rhythm was reassuring as he followed it down the hall and up to the floor where Emil's offices were located. He stood still and listened for their voices, surprised to hear Oliver's voice first.
"God, Chloe, that's… I don't know what to say." Oliver's tone was soft as he spoke. "It's bigger than I thought it would be."
"And growing rapidly," he heard Emil say. "Chloe, how have you been feeling lately? Are you still suffering the nausea you reported at your last visit?"
"Yes, but it has improved. For a few weeks I felt sick on and off all day, but now it's usually just a couple of hours in the morning, or sometimes as a result of sudden movements."
Clark stopped listening, swallowing hard as he backed up. He sat down heavily in a chair against the wall and waited for Chloe and Oliver to emerge from Emil's office. How could he not have realized that Chloe was sick? She obviously had some sort of growth, and according to Emil it was growing rapidly. Could it be cancer resulting from her latent meteor infection? Who knew how the meteor rocks affected people on a long term basis? And how was he going to tell Lois? His mind was spinning with question after question, and suddenly he felt the burn of tears behind his eyelids as he considered that this could be something life threatening. He of all people knew how fragile human life was. Aside from his mother, Chloe was the one person who had been by his side the longest. And despite their problems over the past year, he couldn't imagine his life without her friendship.
When he heard the door open, he looked up to see Chloe and Oliver walking out with Dr. Emil. Chloe looked over at him, clearly surprised to see him there. "Clark? What are you doing here?"
Clark took a few steps forward and swept Chloe into a tight hug. "I'm so sorry, Chloe."
"Oh my God, what's wrong? Is it Lois?" Chloe's voice rose as she tried to push him back to look at him.
Clark stepped back, but kept his hands on her shoulders as he looked down at her. "Lois is fine, Chloe. I'm worried about you."
Chloe's eyes widened. "You know? How did you find out? Does Lois know?"
Clark shook his head. "I just heard Emil talking to you. But Lois knows something is wrong because you've been avoiding her. Why wouldn't you tell us?" He hugged her again, and Chloe grunted.
"Geez, Clark, you're going to squish me. And I have a passenger now who makes herself known with sudden bouts of nausea."
Oliver stepped forward quickly as Clark pulled back. "She's really not kidding about the nausea, man. She's thrown up on me twice in the last couple of weeks."
Clark reluctantly released Chloe, brows knit in confusion as he watched Oliver help Chloe sit. He handed her a bottle, and Chloe quickly took several sips. Oliver rubbed her back. "Better?"
Chloe sighed in with relief as she took a longer sip. "Yeah, but this stuff is still repulsive."
Oliver smirked at her. "Just admit that my herbal tea mixture is the only thing that helps your morning sickness."
Chloe rolled her eyes at him. "Fine, your stinky, healthy tea is a miracle cure, and I have no doubt that this baby will be every bit the health nut that her father is, considering that she apparently likes your stinky herbs and all the vegetables you've been feeding me lately. Happy now?"
Oliver leaned forward and kissed her forehead. "You have no idea how happy," he said quietly.
Clark felt like the air had been sucked out of the room as he put the pieces together. "You're pregnant?"
Chloe looked up at him, clearly confused. "I thought you knew. Isn't that why you were hugging me?"
"I thought you were dying or something," Clark admitted sheepishly. "I saw your calendar at Watchtower about your appointment today, and measuring the growth, and I was worried… and then I heard Emil say it was growing quickly, I mean, what else was I supposed to think?"
"You were snooping, Clark! Did Lois put you up to this?" Now she sounded annoyed as she crossed her arms and raised her brows at him.
"Uhm, not exactly," he hedged. He looked at Oliver, a hint of pleading in his expression.
"Chloe, we were planning to tell them this week anyway, so there's no reason to get upset about it. That'll just make you feel sick again, and you'll probably end up hurling all over Clark's shoes." He glanced down at Clark's nondescript black loafers and grimaced. "Which might actually be an improvement, but that's not really the point."
Chloe sighed. "No, you're right. I'm veering into mood swing territory again." She looked back at Clark. "Don't say anything to Lois yet, okay? We'll come out to the farm tomorrow for dinner, and I'll tell Lois then."
Clark fought the urge to cringe as he thought about having to lie and tell Lois he still had no idea what was going on with Chloe. "Couldn't you come tonight?"
Chloe rolled her eyes. "She's covering the political rally for Mayor Whitmore tonight, remember? Besides, you wouldn't have to worry about lying to her if you hadn't been snooping in the first place, so suck it up and tell her that I'll see her tomorrow, okay?"
Clark nodded, a resigned expression on his face. "Yeah, okay." He was quiet for a moment. "So, everything is ok, right? You and the baby?"
Her expression softened as she reached for Oliver's hand and looked back at Clark. "Everything's perfect. We heard the baby's heartbeat again today, and we have the ultrasound picture. Do you want to see it?"
He nodded eagerly and reached for the picture that Chloe offered him. As he looked at the black and white photo and saw the little shape that Oliver pointed out as the baby, he felt a sense of amazement. Chloe was going to be a mom, and right now there was a baby growing inside her. He tilted his head slightly, listening – and there, beneath the familiar and steady rhythm of Chloe's heartbeat, was another, much faster rhythmic beating.
Clark looked at Chloe again, and she smiled knowingly at him. "You can hear her, can't you?"
He cleared his throat, suddenly feeling a little emotional. "Yeah, I can. So it's a girl?"
"It's actually too early to tell, but I just have this feeling about it, you know?" She smiled softly, her eyes suspiciously bright for a moment. "Of course, Ollie thinks it will be a boy."
"Actually, I'm starting to like the idea of another bossy little blonde in my life," Oliver said with a smirk.
Chloe arched one brow in amusement. "Careful, Mr. Queen." Oliver grinned at her, brushing his hand over her hair affectionately.
Somehow, this moment felt even more intimate than when he'd walked in on them having breakfast in bed, and Clark suddenly felt like he was intruding. "I should get back to work. I'm really happy for you Chloe, and I'm glad that everything's okay. I'll see you tomorrow." He handed the ultrasound photo back to her, squeezing her hand briefly before turning to leave. He felt considerably lighter as he stepped into the elevator. Chloe was fine, and apparently she and Oliver were okay with this new direction in their relationship. Now if he could just figure out a way to avoid Lois for the next thirty or so hours.
"Well it's about damn time!" Lois glared at Chloe before hugging her.
"Lois, don't be so dramatic. You act like you haven't seen me in months."
"It feels like months. And don't tell me nothing's going on, because I know something is up. You're in and out of the apartment so fast these days, I'd swear you were The Blur."
Oliver shook his head in amusement as he followed the two women into the kitchen. Clark stood up from the table, looking relieved. "I'm impressed, Clark. You held out against Lois, after all."
Lois shot a glare at Clark as she and Chloe sat down. "And he is currently on my shit list for that very reason. The only thing he would tell me is that you were both fine and you'd be coming for dinner tonight to share some news. So come on, out with it."
Clark busied himself with getting drinks for everyone, and Chloe and Oliver glanced at each other. Oliver nodded encouragingly.
Before Chloe could speak, Lois interrupted her. "You're engaged, right? That's the big secret?"
"Whoa, Lois, back up. Why would you think we're engaged?" Chloe looked a little stunned at the very idea.
"Well, what else could it be? You've been staying with Ollie practically 24/7 lately, you only come home to raid your closet, and then you were being all secretive. So, I'm the maid-of-honor, right?"
Chloe held up a hand. "Lois, I'm not engaged, alright? So clear your mind of all the wedding plans you've been making and just listen for a minute." Chloe took a breath, let it out slowly, and said, "I'm pregnant."
"Pregnant?" Lois stared at Chloe and Oliver across the table in shock.
Chloe glanced at Oliver, who winked at her and squeezed her hand. "I know it's kind of a shock, but yeah. I'll be in my second trimester starting next week."
"How the hell is it possible for you to be pregnant? I mean, the only person I know who is more OCD about birth control than me is you. You had a flow chart, for God's sake!"
Oliver snorted in amusement. "Seriously, Chloe? You had a birth control flow chart?" The idea that Chloe might have been using Watchtower's database to track her fertility cycle and birth control methods painted quite the picture in his head, and he failed to contain his laughter.
Chloe shot her cousin an evil look. "It wasn't a flow chart Lois – I was just trying to keep track of everything when I was sick and changing my prescriptions. Clearly, I was wasting my time though."
"It's my fault," Oliver said with a smirk. "I'm no Kryptonian, but apparently I do have super sperm."
Clark choked, spitting iced tea onto the table, and Chloe groaned. "You are never going to let me forget that rant, are you?"
"Where's the fun in that? You ok there, Boyscout?" Oliver reached over and pounded Clark on the back.
"Holy crap, you're really pregnant? I mean, I noticed that you had gained a little weight, mostly in your boobs, but…" Lois' voice trailed off as she tried to wrap her brain around her cousin's announcement.
"And now that you know, shopping is the first thing on our agenda. None of my shirts fit right these days," Chloe complained.
"Something you will never hear me complain about," Oliver commented with a playful leer.
Lois turned to Clark, smacking him on the shoulder. "I can't believe you've known about this for a whole day."
"Lois, I wanted to be the one to tell you, not Clark. And if you hadn't asked him to snoop around for you, you'd have found out first," Chloe reasoned.
Lois stood up suddenly and threw her arms around Chloe. "God, Chloe… my baby cousin is having a baby."
"Kind of crazy, right?" Chloe sniffed a little, hugging Lois tightly.
Lois leaned back and grinned. "Crazy in the most awesome way ever! I'm going to be an aunt."
Chloe glanced at Oliver. "Actually, we were kind of hoping you'd both agree to be godparents."
Lois was the one to sniff now. "Like you even had to ask."
"Clark?" Chloe's eyes were hopeful as she turned to her oldest friend.
Clark stood and walked around the table to put his arms around both Lois and Chloe. "I'd be honored."
When Chloe pulled back, Clark said with a grin, "I can hear her again."
Lois put her hand against Chloe's stomach. "It's a girl?"
Chloe shrugged. "We don't actually know that for sure, but I sort of have a feeling about it, and I think so. We can find out in 6-8 weeks."
Lois pouted a little. "I can barely feel anything yet, and Clark can hear her. That's not fair."
Oliver cleared his throat and held up a DVD. "Actually, we have two ultrasounds right here if you want to take a look."
Lois snatched the DVD before Clark could even blink. "Fastest man alive, my ass," she remarked smugly as she headed for the living room with Chloe.
Clark shook his head, grinning. "I'm sensing a very interesting 6-7 months in our future."
"Just be thankful you missed Chloe's caffeine withdrawal because trust me when I say it wasn't pretty," Oliver quipped before turning serious. "Thanks for agreeing to be the baby's godfather. I know it means more to Chloe than she can even say."
"I'm the one who's honored," Clark admitted. "I know you and I have had our differences, but I only want what's best for Chloe. Even if I didn't always go about it the right way, that's all I've ever wanted for her."
"That's all I want, too – I hope you know that." Oliver held out his hand, and Clark shook it.
"Ready to face Hurricane Sullivan-Lane?" Oliver cocked his head toward the living room. The sound of the baby's heartbeat came through the speakers loud and clear and Oliver grinned proudly.
Clark nodded, smiling as he followed Oliver into the other room. Lois and Chloe were completely focused on the TV as Chloe explained that the baby was almost five inches long now and weighed about five ounces. Oliver sat next to Chloe and leaned in to press a kiss to her temple. She reached out to him, winding her fingers through his as she and Lois talked about the baby. He sat back, content to just listen as Clark joined the conversation. It still amazed him that this tiny part of both of them was growing inside Chloe's body, and a fierce wave of protectiveness rolled through him. He had a family now – Chloe and the baby, even Lois and Clark – they were his family. And it was the best feeling in the world.