Anniversary Gift
By Thomas Mc

Author's Note: This little vignette is a Lois and Clark / Charmed crossover. The L&C episode "Brutal Youth" brought out a serious problem for Lois and Clark's future together when it was discovered that Clark aged very slowly, if at all, and was likely to have a life span of centuries or more. The series Charmed gave me an idea for the solution to this particular hurdle. Then I read the crossover story "Lil' Bro" by Teri and I just had to include the relationship between Jimmy Olsen and Page Mathews from that story into the mix. Though this story is not an official sequel to Teri's story I have assumed her story to be part of the history/background for my story. If you haven't read Teri's story I would highly recommend it. It can be found at www . fanfiction . net s/1621883/1/Lil_Bro (remove blanks) and is well worth reading.

Clark stood alone beside the grave and gazed sadly at the stone marker. The focus of his eyes came to rest on the second of the two dates carved into the cold stone. It was one year ago today. Clark sighed deeply as a single tear slid down his cheek. A whole year since the last time he had held her in his arms; a whole year since the last time he had kissed her lips; a whole year since the last time he had stared into those beautiful brown eyes; a whole year since the last time he had last run his fingers through her silky silver hair. God how he missed her!

Though nearly eighty years old, Clark still looked like he was not yet thirty. He thought back to that last day. At seventy-eight Lois had still been as driven as ever. Though they had both been retired from the Daily Planet for ten years, she had still managed to find herself embroiled in stories involving bad guys and corruption on a nearly weekly basis. Usually it would involve the defeat of the bad guys, often with Superman's help, and another exclusive story by the now freelance reporting team of Lane and Kent. The story would almost always end up being sold to the Daily Planet where it usually would appear on the front page.

As a result she still sometimes found herself 'dangling over the jaws of death' to be saved by Superman. But it had not been one of her dangerous investigations that had finally got her. It had happened just a few days after their fiftieth anniversary and it had been a simple walk to the local grocery on a cold windy day while Clark had been dealing with a sinking cruise ship in the Caribbean that had been her downfall. She had slipped on an icy patch of sidewalk and cracked her skull. Death had been nearly instantaneous.

Clark's attention was drawn from the grey headstone by the appearance of twin columns of sparkling gyrating fireflies. Then the fireflies coalesced into two oddly mismatched figures. One was a young very pretty woman that appeared to be no more than about twenty years old. The other was a grey haired older man that looked to be about fifty (he was actually sixty nine). Clark had known them both for a very long time and knew them to both be the same age and married almost as long as he and Lois had been.

Clark quietly greeted the two of them with a barely perceptible nod. "Jimmy . . . Page."

Though he now went by 'James Olsen', Clark still thought of him as 'Jimmy'. A few of his closest friends still called him 'Jimmy', which he didn't mind at all, but woe be unto any young Planet employee that dared to refer to him by that name.

"I thought we'd find you here." James Olsen, current Editor and Chief of the Daily Planet, softly remarked as he returned Clark's nod with a sympathetic nod of his own. Then the three of them all turned their gaze to the polished grey headstone. No one could appreciate the problems that Clark and Lois had faced in their later years better than Jimmy and Page with the exception of Page's half sister Pipper and her husband Leo.

After another few quiet moments of respect Page remarked quietly. "She was a great reporter and a great lady."

"That she was." Agreed James Olsen with a sigh as he took hold of Page's hand and interlocked his fingers with hers. He knew only too well that one day his lovely half-whitelighter wife and his full whitelighter brother-in-law, Leo, would both have to face a similar situation as Clark now faced.

For the next few minutes the three long time friends stood silently side by side with heads bowed in respect before the grave of Lois Lane-Kent, friend, wife, colleague and mother to Clark's five children.

Their quiet contemplation was broken by the appearance of another column of fireflies on the other side of the grave from them which then formed into the shape of an ordinary looking middle aged, dark haired man. Clark looked over at the familiar sight of the guardian angel that had watched over him and Lois for most of their lives. Clark reminded himself that, like Page and Leo, they referred to themselves as whitelighters though it was still difficult for him to think of Mike by that term.

"Hello Mike. It's been a while." He greeted the new arrival with a nod and a half smile.

"Hello Clark." Mike responded.

"What brings you to me today?" Clark asked. "If it's to console me then don't waste your time." He continued sadly. Though he knew it was not in Mike's control, he still harbored a tiny hint of resentment that Mike had not done something to prevent her death.

"No." Mike replied. "I'm here to tell you that I am no longer assigned to your family as your whitelighter."

All three looked at Mike in surprise. Once a whitelighter was assigned to an individual, or in this case a family, that was rarely changed unless there was a serious problem. Clark felt a twinge of guilt as he thought that it must be the result of the lingering resentment that he still felt.

"Why?" Page blurted out the question, a bit disturbed by this development. She knew how upsetting such a change could be for a whitelighter. She had known Mike for several years and could think of no reason why Clark's family would be taken away from his care.

Mike smiled at her, apparently unruffled. "Because, a brand new whitelighter has been assigned to Clark and his family." Mike's eyes sparkled with amusement and his smile got even wider as two more clouds of fireflies began to appear beside him. There was something a little less polished, even a hint of uncertainty, about the movement of the sparkling column closest to Mike as the two columns began to take shape. Mike continued speaking. "The powers that be felt that this new whitelighter might be a bit more to your liking."

The fireflies coalesced and there stood Leo . . . And between Leo and Mike stood Lois, looking just as she had the day Clark had married her. Jimmy, Page and Clark stood frozen in surprise for a moment then Lois broke into a dazzling smile. "Clark!" she cried out and launched herself across the grave and into Clark's arms.

For a moment Clark stood there stunned in disbelief. Then his arms tightened around the woman that meant everything to him and he had thought forever lost to him. He buried his face in her hair, as she buried her face against his chest. Clark mumbled her name with a half sob. After a few seconds Clark lifted his head and asked in a choked voice as she looked up into his eyes. "Is this real? Am I dreaming?"

Lois smiled as she responded. "If this is a dream then I never want to wake up." She gazed lovingly into Clark's eyes a moment longer then turned her head to look inquiringly over at Mike. Hesitantly, because she feared the answer, she asked the question uppermost in her mind. "I thought that whitelighters were not allowed to have contact with people from their previous life." She paused, a little afraid that they might take her away from Clark again. ". . . not that I'm complaining, mind you."

Clark looked at Lois in surprise then looked over at Mike with a hint of dread. Had he gotten her back just to lose her again? "You can't take her away from me now that I have her back."

Mike shook his head. "No, Clark. You and Lois are true soul mates. The two of you belong together. Not even the powers that be would try to keep the two of you apart. As soon as Lois became a whitelighter, it was destined that she would be assigned to you." Mike gave them another smile. "Even if we had tried to keep you two apart you would have eventually found each other again. Simple destiny would have seen to that."

Leo now spoke up, smiling as big as Mike. "My best to the both of you and Piper and I both hope you will both visit us at home soon." Then Leo and Mike disappeared in a flurry of swirling fireflies.

Lois and Clark looked at each other in surprised delight then, heedless of the other two people still present they kissed, a long lingering lover's kiss that should have raised the surrounding temperature by several degrees. Then after a long moment they separated and gazed longingly into each other's eyes.

There was a long low whistle. "Now that is my idea of a happy ending." James Olsen remarked as he put his arm around Page's shoulders.

"I would call it a happy beginning." Page countered as she put her arm around her own husband's waist. "Come on my love. Let's give them a little privacy." She grinned up at James. "And I suddenly have a strong desire to be alone with you." They both disappeared in another flurry of fireflies.

Lois looked deep into Clark's shimmering eyes. "Take me home, Flyboy."

Clark glanced around to be sure that they were unobserved then stepped back from Lois. His form blurred momentarily into a miniature tornado then he stood there in the familiar blue, red and yellow spandex.

Lois smiled. "I will never get tired of seeing you do that."

Clark took Lois in his arms and rose up into the air. When they were only about forty feet above the ground they suddenly shimmered into a cloud of fireflies then disappeared. The next instant they both appeared in their old bedroom and Clark glanced around in surprise. Lois grinned shyly at his surprise and shrugged. "I got impatient."

The End

Disclaimer: This story is based on the television series "Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman." And "Charmed" The recognizable characters and settings in this story are the property of D.C. Comics, Warner Bros., December 3rd Productions, or Spelling Television Inc. and Paramount Pictures as well as anyone else with a legal right to them, and I have no claim on them whatsoever. I am only borrowing them temporarily and will return them more or less unscathed. No infringement on copyrights is intended. This story is presented merely for the enjoyment of fans.