Author's Notes:Though the first 3 chapters will take place near the end of season 4 (Clark's graduation, I believe) the story itself is set roughly around the season 9 and 10 time period, though very AU. It is mainly a Clark/Lois story, with Chloe/Oliver plus Tess/Emil later on. This story came from a video I made a while ago, therefore, in the first several chapters you may notice material I don't own, such as bits of dialogue or parts of a scene, which belong to "Smallville" and its respective owners. The video was nearly 16 minutes long and covered most of chapter 1 through to 5, however, I have heavily shortened it down into a "preview" version for those who are interested. The link is in my profile. It covers a fair bit of this chapter, and snippets of what's to come. Because of this, I will be uploading the next chapter in only a few days.
Warning: This story contains mature themes and related subjects regarding teenage pregnancy, child abandonment, emotional distress, and health complications. Just so you know. And therefore, this story is not for children. Also, there may be the occasional spoiler, though more for earlier episodes than recent ones. I will do my best to keep this realistic, and in character, so if you notice something that seems off or needs work, please let me know. The same goes for any typos or inconsistencies you may notice.
~ A Baby With Brown Eyes ~
Martha and Jonathan exchanged worried glances and looked towards their son, as they stood in the kitchen while he sat at the table nearby. It was a Saturday afternoon and Clark Kent had not said a word or sentence beyond "good morning" and a few mumbled responses throughout the early hours of the day. His parents had no idea what was weighing on his mind, because they had decided to give him space.
Their teenage son had made it obvious that he wasn't feeling very talkative, anyway.
It was strange how events of over a year ago had a way of returning through memories, and bringing back confusions or worries a person once had. The event Clark re-pondered was somewhat of an unsolved mystery, which concerned him deeply. The event dated back months before he'd first met Lois Lane in a cornfield.
The incident with the cave was fresh in his mind, as Clark stared at the empty glass in his hand. He moved the glass around as though it still contained the water it had an hour ago, which had swirled around within the transparent container with slow movement. His gaze was fixated on the dry glass, and was unaware of his parents silent worrying.
As far as anyone else knew, he had vanished for three months only to suddenly show up as Kal-El instead of Clark Kent. One side of a whole person. He had flown through the skies high above, gone after a strangely important crystal, and did things Clark wouldn't or couldn't have otherwise done. Martha had saved him with the black kryptonite, and from then onwards the three months prior became a blur. But even that wasn't the whole truth. For a year since it had happened, Clark always felt guilty for not saying anything or for pushing it aside every time the memories tried to worry him again.
And the undeniable truth in his own mind was always there, lurking on the edge of his conscious.
The sound of the glass touching the wooden table caught his parent's attention. Clark suddenly rose from his seat and stated he was going to do his chores. As he walked to the door, Martha glanced down to see the glass sitting in front of her where it had not been a few seconds ago. She had been so focused on her son that it become another moment where Martha forgot he had super-powers at all, and wasn't just another teenage boy.
'What's going on with Clark today?' Jonathan asked, as he crouched onto the floor to begin fixing the kitchen sink.
He would have done it at sunrise, but since he didn't want to be busy in case Clark needed to talk. If he was outside doing chores, then Jonathan could take the time to do his own tasks, and that meant once again battling with the kitchen sink.
'I don't know.' Martha replied. 'Graduation is only a few weeks away. Maybe it has something to do with that?' She looked down at her husband when he removed one of the pipes to inspect it. 'It was only last night that we were talking about his future. He was so undecided.'
'Clark's probably just thinking about his options, Martha.' Jonathan sighed, as he replaced the pipe with a new one and stood to face her. 'I wouldn't worry about Clark.'
'I wish it were that easy.' Martha rolled her eyes.
Meanwhile, Clark walked into the barn and lifted bags of grain for the cows. He carried several outside with little effort and dumped them onto the ground. Clark wasn't in the mood to do chores, but they had to be done and were a good enough distraction for his haunted mind.
His efforts weren't necessary, however, as another distraction came up the driveway. Clark looked in the direction of the sound and saw the Sheriff's car driving towards him. He waited as Sheriff Adams got out of the vehicle and gave him a stern glare, which had Clark wondering what he'd done to anger her so intensely. Two more police cars arrived behind hers and Clark was beginning to worry.
Why were the police showing up in such a way during the middle of the day? It was almost as though they were there to arrest someone.
Adams ignored Clark for the moment and walked right passed him to the front door, where she knocked loudly. A short moment later, Martha answered the door with Jonathan standing by her side. They each looked as surprised as Clark did, though he could tell they were also wondering if he'd done anything recently to have captured the attention of the local police.
'Mrs Kent.' Adams nodded in greeting. 'I need to speak with your son.' She disregarded the fact that Clark was standing right there, wondering what was going on. She was handling the situation officially and it only added further tension to the situation.
'He's here, but what's this about?' Jonathan asked while Clark stepped over to join them.
'You've got a responsibility, Mr Kent.' Adams focused on Clark. 'And you need to face who you really are.'
As his parents tried their best to conceal their alarm, Clark put every effort into looking simply confused.
'What are you talking about, Sheriff?' He asked in a tone Clark hoped didn't sound too rude or disrespectful.
'I'm here to escort you to Metropolis Hospital right now.' Adam informed him. 'This is not negotiable, Mr Kent.'
Martha and Jonathan both turned around to stare at Clark, trying to work out what was going on and if there was something important their son had neglected to tell them about. Clark avoided their gazes, and instead looked at the floor as though it would give him the answers.
'Why?' Clark asked in a low, genuinely confused tone. 'I'm fine.'
Adam watched him for a moment, but did not elaborate. 'If you're at all a decent human being, you'll come with us now.' She added. 'Your parents too. I'll explain when we get there. Be warned, Mr Kent - I've been given permission to use force if I need to.' Adams stared at him in anticipation of his response.
None of the three Kents were sure of how to respond to those words and the unexpected appearance of the police. Weighing his options, Clark knew he would have to do as the Sheriff instructed. After glancing at his parents for confirmation, he moved to follow her back to the car. He glanced over his shoulder and saw his parents heading for the truck with deeply worried and shocked expressions. He knew how they felt, yet worse, because he was the one being called upon.
'Get in, Mr Kent.' Adams said firmly. 'I haven't got all day.'
Clark opened the police car door and sat in the back seat. Shutting the door sounded louder than it normally would to him, not because of the force he used, but due to his heightened senses. Clark was focused on everything, trying to locate a possible threat or a reason for what was happening.
Not a single word was spoken during the entire road journey from the Kent farm in Smallville to Metropolis General Hospital.
Clark was so distracted, he didn't even notice the car had moved an inch until it came to a halt outside the hospital. Looking at the building through the window of the car, Clark felt nervous all over again. He got out and spotted his parent's truck out of the corner of his eye, as he followed Adams into the hospital. It was all a whirl of motion to him, and his feet seemed to be on auto-pilot to follow Adams around, whereas his mind lost grasp of what was going on.
Bumping his boot into the reception desk just hard enough to cause a crack on the surface, Clark was abruptly aware of everything again, and was determined to find out what was going on. Adams seemed to think he was capable of doing that on his own, because despite her official efforts to get him there, she'd moved to the side to speak with a doctor once they were in the hospital. Clark was tempted to eavesdrop when the conversation looked important, but the receptionist's words caught his attention.
'Can I help you?' The kind-faced lady asked him.
'I don't know. I...' Clark inhaled and knew he had to get answers. 'I'm Clark Kent. The police said I had to come here?'
'Clark Kent?' A frown creased her expression, as though his name was a bad omen. 'Right. I'll check.' She said and typed at the computer.
Each second wore on Clark's patience, until a new and familiar voice joined the sounds around him of beeping machines, walking footsteps, and opening/closing doors.
'I will get that interview!' Lois informed a guy nearby, who looked keen to get rid of her. 'So I'll be back.' She narrowed her eyes and turned to march off, only to pause at the sight of Clark standing a few feet away.
'Smallville?' Lois approached him. 'What are you doing here?'
'Me? What about you?' Clark didn't want to admit he had no idea why he was there.
'I was visiting a college guy. I'm writing an article for the Daily Planet.' Lois informed him, which had him surprised. Even Lois seemed to doubt her own words, as though it was hard for her to believe as well.
'The baby admitted is healthy, Mr Kent.' The receptionist cut off any reply Clark had been about to give Lois. 'You can go see him now.'
'Baby?' Lois soon fell silent and wore the same stunned expression as Clark's parents, who had just joined the group.
'Yeah, that's right.' Adam confirmed as she stepped towards them. 'Turns out he's your son, Mr Kent.' She said to Clark.
'What?' Jonathan gasped. 'There must be some sort of mistake.'
'No mistake, Mr Kent.' Adam frowned at Jonathan. 'Guess you're a granddaddy now.'
'That's crazy!' Clark declared.
He could not think of any possible way for it to be true and was as convinced as his father that the hospital and police had made a mistake. And a big one too, because Clark was only seventeen and had no children. He didn't even have a girlfriend! Unable to remain standing, Clark sank into the nearest waiting room chair and shook his head, convinced something wasn't right about the whole situation.
'Are you calling me a liar, Mr Kent?' Adam glared at him as she leaned closer to his face with an intimidating expression.
'The baby's in room 205.' The receptionist added to Clark even if he hadn't asked for the details.
Clark rose and headed in the direction of the room. It wasn't because he believed them, but it was a safe enough direction to head in to clear his mind before he figured out what was really going on. He should have known that while they all let him be, Lois did not.
'Wait!' She chased after him and stood across his path. 'Is that really...?' Lois glanced behind him and he turned to follow her gaze.
He had passed room 205 without even noticing, at least until she'd pointed it out. Ignoring Lois, Clark slowly approached the room and looked into the room through the viewing window, seeing a nurse holding a crying baby concealed by the cloth it was wrapped with.
'I don't have a son.' Clark said in a low tone as he stared at the baby from a distance.
How could anyone think he was the possible father of the child? His mind listed reasons that felt more like excuses driven by denial, and deep down he knew he would mentally do anything to avoid considering the situation. He recalled those missing three months in the sense it was over a year ago. The baby was of near-perfect age to make him worry.
What if he had done something to cause this? He didn't remember, so it was a possibility, right?
'Clark, is any of this possible?' Jonathan asked.
Lois stepped back and now felt as though she was intruding. Clark barley noticed either of them as he continued to stare through the glass at the bundle in the nurse's arms.
'Maybe.' Was all Clark could reply with.
'Your actions have consequences, Clark.' Jonathan frowned. 'Didn't your mother and I ever teach you that?' His tone raised and Clark turned instantly to face him, feeling guilty for something that was either untrue or he'd forgotten.
'Yes!' Clark insisted. 'I'm-' He went to apologise, but his father was too shocked and angry to reason with right now.
'But there's no time for excuses, Clark.' Jonathan told him.
He had nothing else to say to his father, so Clark looked away.
He wasn't sure who, but someone nudged him towards the door and his feet shifted to auto-pilot again. Within seconds, his father had brushed passed him and Clark joined his side. The nurse looked at Clark and seemed to know he was the one to hand the crying baby to, because she did exactly that.
'Hi.' Jonathan said in a numb voice, though no one knew if he was talking to the nurse or the baby. He glanced at the baby for a brief second and turned to march out of the room with the intention of tracking down a doctor or police officer who could give them more information.
Lois and Martha were too shocked to move as they watched Clark adjust the position of the baby. Once in his arms, the infant stopped crying and looked up at his supposed father. Clark looked down at those warm, brown eyes and felt a difference shift through him. A protective nature that felt like a sort of energy filled his entire being, and it was because of the baby he held silently in his arms. Clark felt to be in a trance, and in the moment all that mattered to him was the six-month-old child. There are others talking in the background around him, but Clark couldn't make out anything.
His focus was only on the baby boy in his arms.
His large brown eyes were stunning, really. Clark stared at them, thinking that because the child – if he was his son – hadn't inherited his own eye colour then the brown ones must have come from the unknown mother. Such eyes of warmth and wonder were the sort that should provoke some sort of memory or snapshot of a woman with the same eyes.
Except, Clark saw nothing other than what was right in front of him.
'You just have to sign the forms, Mr Kent.' A voice snapped Clark from his moment and brought him back to reality. The voice belonged to a dark man, who Clark instantly knew to be from the Metropolis Police Department.
'Then your son can have a real home, with his father.' Adam added.
Clark didn't remember her re-joining them and wished she would go away. Lois seemed to have left as well, muttering something about it being a family matter, and she hadn't wanted to be intrusive.
'You folks are all that little boy's got now.' The sheriff's face softened as she looked at Clark and his parents.
'Where's the mother?' Jonathan asked while Clark struggled to not feel too overwhelmed.
'We have no idea.' Adams did not look pleased. 'She ran off before we could get her name.'
'Well, what happened?' Martha pressed. Her question was directed at the Sheriff, but her gaze rested solely on Clark and the little bundle in his arms.
'The girl just showed up claiming she had an emergency.' Adams recalled what she had been told. 'The doctors wasted no time and took the offered baby. Apparently there was no time before or after to get the girl's name...once the baby was taken away, she basically disappeared. She left nothing behind, other than a few papers.'
'What kind of mother would abandon their baby at a hospital?' Lois asked from the doorway. Her curiosity had overridden her shock and sense of consideration towards what she herself had deemed to be a private family matter.
'Beats me.' Adam said. 'Don't you have some-place else to be, Miss Lane?'
Lois opened her mouth to argue against the not-so-subtle "suggestion" to leave the Kents to their own problems, but instead she glanced at Clark for a few seconds and forced her gaze away. She turned and left without another word. The lingering doctors and the last of the police did the same, giving the Kents privacy to comprehend their new, unexpected situation.
'Wow.' Clark swallowed as he looked at the baby again, who stared back at him with those big, brown eyes. 'I mean, so he really is...he's my son?'
Such a phrase still seemed impossible to him.
Clark had thought of being a father one day and part of him had been pained because he'd had no idea if – being an alien and all – he could ever even have children. Evidentially, if any of this situation was true, it was more than possible that such a theory had been proven capable.
'Wait, what am I going to do now?' The shock was fading, replaced only with worry and uncertainty. 'With school and...' Clark trailed off when the baby began to cry.
His mind reeled at the sound. He glanced helplessly at his parents, and Clark could see by their expressions that they weren't handling it much better than he was.
'How could this have happened?' Jonathan demanded to know, talking over the quieting sounds of the baby. 'If it's even real. Surely someone made a mistake?'
'Can't this wait until we get home?' Martha insisted, but her husband wasn't listening and her son was still unsure about what to say.
'Are you absolutely sure you don't remember anything?' Jonathan narrowed his eyes at Clark, hoping to pressure an answer out of his teenage son.
While Clark said nothing, the slight wince and suddenly evasive gaze only served to worry his parents further.
'Mr Kent?' A young nurse smiled at Clark and held her arms out for the baby. 'We need to take him for one last check-up.' She told them. 'You can sign the custody transfer forms and the release papers while you wait.'
Clark reluctantly handed back his supposed son and headed for the reception desk outside the room. As shocked and uncertain as he was, Clark couldn't help picturing Evan and remembering how the boy wished Clark had been his real father. He recalled looking after Evan as a baby and protecting the boy as he rapidly grew. At that point, Clark didn't really care if this different baby was really his son or not, because either way the boy need him.
If what the Sheriff said was true, then Clark and his parents were really all the baby had left.
And that was good enough for Clark.
He signed his signature on the release and custody forms offered to him by the receptionist, while trying to ignore the whispered sounds of his parents arguing in the background. It was only when he moved out of the way of a few doctors that he stood closer to them and was able to make out what they were discussing.
'Well, we came in the truck while Clark had driven with the police.' Martha sighed. 'How are we going to get the baby home? There's only so much room in the truck. I suppose Clark could always run-' She stopped talking abruptly when the pair noticed Lois, who was in hearing range.
She'd come from a nearby room; Clark suspected she'd gotten the interview she'd wanted from the college guy. She froze when she saw them standing there, but had nothing to say. The receptionist got Clark's attention by waving her arm, while she cradled the desk phone between her cheek and shoulder. She too had overheard the conversation.
'You will require the proper equipment in order to put the baby in a car.' She cautioned with a stern expression. 'We cannot release him to you otherwise. It's policy, and the law.'
The Kents looked at each other, not sure what to do at first, but tried to come up with a plan. It was Lois who was the most help, as she stepped forward with a reluctant expression on her face and spoke in a nervous tone.
'I can do it.' Lois offered. 'I've got a car and I'm sure we can find some place in Metropolis that sells whatever equipment you need, right?'
'Thank you, Lois.' Martha smiled.
It was an unspoken agreement, but both of the boys knew they would be waiting at the hospital while the girls went into the city to get the equipment. They each sighed and watched Martha follow Lois towards the door.
Clark glanced sideways at his father and saw the anger mixed with confused shock. He decided not to risk talking to him right now, so Clark moved to sit on a waiting room chair. He mused to himself about what had happened in the past hour or so, which had already changed his life rather dramatically.
What exactly happened in those nine days before Jor-El had properly taken him?
Why would a mother abandon her own baby at six-months-old to his father, who she'd apparently only known less than two weeks?
If she knew who the baby's father was, why hadn't she contacted Clark earlier? What was she so afraid of that led to these desperate circumstances?
Or... No, Clark liked to believe in people and therefore he did not imagine the possibility that anyone he may have known intimately would ever have been the sort of person to just ditch her own child.
Two hours passed by before Martha and Lois returned.
Jonathan and Clark looked upwards from the dull floor, in their side-by-side waiting chairs. They assumed things had gone well with the shopping trip because the girls were calm and content. Well, as much as they could be, considering the situation.
'Here you are, Mr Kent.' The nurse smiled as she brought the baby back to him.
Clark automatically moved to take the infant and looked down at the baby in the blanket, noticing he only had the blanket and a nappy to keep him warm.
'Good luck.' The nurse smiled sympathetically, watching as the Kents and Lois turned to leave the hospital.
'Yeah, they're going to need it.' Lois commented dryly. 'What?' She asked when Clark glared at her response.
Clark held the baby closer as they left the building. The city of Metropolis surrounded them with noisy traffic, busy people, and the general reality of the world that existed outside of their situation.
He saw his parents heading towards their truck, which made him feel oddly alone even when he wasn't. Sighing, Clark turned to follow Lois to the car-park where she was getting a seat-like thing out of the trunk of her car. He frowned at it, as it looked more like a bed than a seat, but trusted it was what they needed.
'You know how to set one of these up, right?' Lois looked uncertainly at him. 'Because I sure of a hell don't.'
'Not really.' Clark admitted and went to hand the baby to her, but Lois backed away quicker than he thought she'd been capable of.
'No way, Smallville.' Lois stared at the baby, then grabbed the seat to shove it into the back seat of her car. 'I'll make this thing work, as long as I don't have to hold the crying-machine.'
'You're scared of a baby, Lois?' Clark tried not to smile.
'No.' Lois re-emerged to give him a glare of her own. 'I just don't want to have to deal with the screaming, okay? Trust me, I don't cope well with kids and they don't seem to have a lot of love for me either.'
Clark had nothing to say, so he merely stood nearby to watch Lois painfully set up the area in the back seat for the baby.
Once she was done, nearly half an hour later, Lois looked very impressed with herself and stepped back. Clark cautiously approached it, though he thought the seat looked proper enough. He placed the gurgling baby inside it and strapped him in. Shutting the car door, Clark moved to the passenger seat in front and waited for Lois to start the engine.
Neither said a word to each other for most of the journey.
Clark was annoyed that Lois seemed to drive at a pace barely considered as moving, because she was paranoid about something happening to the baby while she was the one driving. He was often distracted by looking into the rear-view mirror every few minutes to check on the baby. It annoyed Lois, though she kept biting her tongue to make sure she didn't say anything.
It was something that, when it involved Lois Lane, was always better in theory.
'Can't you drive a little faster?' Clark complained.
'Can't you stop looking in the mirror every five seconds? He's not just going to vanish into thin air!' Lois retorted and did not adjust her speed.
'I know.' Clark leaned back in his seat and looked away from the mirror. 'I just wanted to make sure he's comfortable.'
'Oh come on, Smallville. You can't lie to me.' Lois said. 'Admit it, you're freaking out right now. I know I would be. I mean, you just found out that some chick you slept with a year ago got pregnant and now shows up out of the blue to pass all the responsibility and expenses of your son to you. That's enough to rattle any guy.' She sighed. 'But hey, it's your fault for not using protection.'
'I don't remember what happened, Lois.' Clark frowned in his own defence. 'It may not even be true. It's a bit harsh, don't you think, to just assume those things?' He looked towards the window and wondered if what she'd said was true.
Had he been that stupid and careless? Was this entire situation really his fault?
'Yeah, how is it possible? I didn't peg you for the drinking and dugs type, nor the accidentally-fathering-a-child type either.' Lois doubted her own theory and was further confused. 'Unless someone tricked you. With how trusting you are, I think that's more likely.'
'I don't want to talk about this.' Clark insisted. 'Can't you go a little faster? It'll be sundown before we get there.'
Lois inhaled sharply and pressed her foot on the accelerator, increasing the speed just enough to be in range with the speed limit. It was only because she couldn't stand sitting in the car any longer with Clark and their unexpected company in the back seat.
'Happy?' She huffed with defeat.
Clark said nothing. He glanced towards the mirror again, seeing the baby was still there and didn't appear to be upset or uncomfortable, even though Clark couldn't see the infant's face.
Impossibly, the drive seemed to feel even slower.
~ E ~
As expected, due to Lois' determination to drive as slow as possible while still moving forward, Jonathan and Martha were already at the farm when the others arrived. The expression on Clark's face gave them all the information they needed to know about why the group hadn't shown up sooner.
Clark got out of the car as quick as he could. He was eager to get away from Lois and her verbal complaining, which had started as soon as they'd reached Smallville. He carefully lifted the baby from the back seat and moved away from the car. Standing by the fence, Clark looked distracted and remained otherwise silent.
After a very short moment of consideration, he turned and headed into the house, completely forgetting to thank Lois for her help. Martha did it for him, while Jonathan also walked away from the group. Jonathan headed towards one of the fields, deciding to go for a walk to cool down and clear his head a little. He wasn't gone long and came back to help the girls unload the stuff they'd bought from the car.
They took the clothes, equipment, and groceries into the house where Clark and the baby were nowhere to be found.
'Do we really need all of this?' Jonathan asked his wife, as he peered into some of the bags filled with nappies and clothes.
'It's just a few essentials to tide us over until we figure out what's going on and...if it's real.' Martha sighed.
She sorted through a the boxes, trying to work out where to store the baby bottles and formula. They heard a sound towards the living room, and were relieved to see Clark there. He had a baby basket sitting on the coffee table – the blankets and the slumbering baby boy were inside. He sat on the couch across from the basket, just sitting there and staring at the baby.
'Uh, well...I better be going.' Lois said from the doorway. 'I've got a deadline and this article won't write itself.' She said as an excuse, though her words were true.
'Thanks again, Lois.' Martha smiled at her and watched the girl quickly leave.
Turning her attention back to Clark, she glanced at Jonathan and knew he also wasn't sure how to proceed from there. Deciding to make the first move, Martha left Jonathan in the kitchen and approached her teenage son.
'Clark?' Martha asked as she sat beside him, a fact he didn't notice right away. 'What happened? Is this at all possible?'
Clark remained silent.
He thought again upon those nine days; the short, but highly significant lapse in his memory. The only thing he knew for certain was that he had been somewhere other than Smallville, and under the influence of red Kryptonite. Doing the math, Clark knew there was only a slim chance the his baby wasn't his son. The boy would have been conceived during those nine days, assuming he hadn't been born premature or overdue. Clark doesn't tell his parents any of this. He was worried about how they might react and judge him, but also unsure of his own memories - or lack thereof.
'It probably happened during those three months.' Clark sighed and leaned forward to stare at the floor, unable to look at his parents or the baby any longer. 'Before I showed up in the field as Kal-El.' He added more information. 'I don't remember what happened.'
Clark stood suddenly when the baby woke and started crying.
He had already decided to take care of the baby for now, at least until they knew the truth. Clark knew the baby had been fed already, because the nurse had told him. He also wasn't very restless, as the hospital had provided plenty of quiet time. Unsure what else to do, Clark carried the baby up to his bedroom and placed the infant carefully on his bed. Super-speeding back downstairs for the basket, Clark then placed the baby inside it and made sure he looked comfortable. Martha had offered to help, but Clark turned her down.
He was determined that taking care of the baby was his duty, and if it was his son then he should be taking responsibility for his mistakes and the consequence of them.
For the rest of the afternoon, Clark remained upstairs in his room with the baby, not allowing the infant out of his sight for even a second.
He failed to acknowledge the darkness outside beyond turning on a desk lamp where he sat and did his homework, all while keeping the baby in his general line of sight. Clark had even re-arranged the furniture in his entire room so no matter what he did, he could see the bed where the baby slept in his basket.
There was a knock at the door, which nearly caught Clark off-guard as he had forgotten a home and world still existed outside of his bedroom. His mother stood there in the doorway of his bedroom and looked worried.
'Clark? You need to eat something.' Martha encouraged. 'Dinner is on the table. Please, come downstairs and join us?'
Clark, feeling bored in his room, nodded his head in agreement and told her he'd be downstairs soon. He rose from his desk chair and looked towards a large box in one corner. Super-speeding, a few minutes later a fully-formed baby cot fully equipped with blankets, was in place of a clothes hamper beside the bed.
'Come on, little guy.' Clark lifted the awakened baby out of the basket and snatched a bigger blanket from a bag nearby.
Holding the baby protectively with the blanket draped over his arm and his jeans pockets stuffed with items, Clark made his way downstairs. He placed the baby on the couch for a mere second so he could spread out the thick, red blanket on the floor with a few age-appropriate toys spread around within reach of small hands.
Placing the baby on the blanket, Clark exhaled and leaned back.
Turning, he walked towards the table and sat down to eat his dinner with his parents. Just like when he had been in the car with Lois, Clark glanced towards the baby every few minutes to check on him. The infant lay there in his fresh nappy, additionally dressed all in blue with his T-shirt, socks, and hat. The toy that held the baby's highest fascination was a white and red rocket-ship. He kept putting into his mouth or turning it around in his tiny hands, while he gurgled to himself in baby-talk.
'Clark?' Martha caught his attention. 'I know you're doing the right thing here by taking care of the baby, but you also need to consider the possibility that he may not be yours.'
'Maybe the girl made a mistake, son.' Jonathan added. 'I mean, you were in the cave wall the entire time.'
Clark, distracted by the baby, didn't have time to pool his features before he exposed his guilty expression and stared down at his half-eaten plate of food. Glancing up, he saw their expressions of suspicion and quickly stood from his seat. His mind whirled for any excuse to leave the room to compose himself.
'I uh, left something in my room.' Clark lied and headed for the stairs. 'And I'm going to bed.' He added, though he intended to take the baby upstairs with him.
Halfway up, he heard them call his name and paused.
'What's going on with you?' Jonathan asked and glanced at Martha. 'I mean, Clark...you owe us some sort of explanation, son.'
Clark sighed and turned around to face them. He knew it was stupid to hide because either way he'd have to tell them eventually. Now they were determined to get answers even if he refused to give them. With a tired expression of defeat, Clark moved down a few steps and sat down with a sigh.
'I lied when I said I didn't remember anything.' He confessed and looked away, ashamed.
'You do remember?' Martha stared, hoping her son was not the sort of person to suspect he may be a father and do nothing about it. She prayed Clark only meant he knew a little more about those three months, and was relieved to know she was right.
'Sort of.' Clark added. 'I believe that baby is mine.' He looked towards the living room, his tone certain even if inside he really wasn't sure if he hoped he was right or not.
In a short time, he'd already become rather attached to the baby, but was he really prepared for the long-term responsibility of being a father to the child? He knew it was so much more involved than changing a few nappies and feeding him from a bottle every day. They were talking about raising a person from infancy, to a child, and then a teenager. It scared Clark. He felt the baby deserved the best and he had no idea how to be a father, or if he would be a very good one.
'Clark?' Jonathan pressed in a serious tone. 'Tell us what you know about this, son.'
'I remember the light in the cave.' Clark lowered his gaze and spoke in a guilty tone while he verbalised his fractured memories. 'I remember waking up on a road at night. I almost got hit by a car. I remember seeing doctors and police officers, but most of it's still a blur.' He sighed and stared at his entwined hands. 'I was in another city, though I don't remember where. It was about a week after whatever happened in the cave.'
'A week?' Martha gasped. 'But you were gone for three months, Clark!'
'What else do you remember?' Jonathan encouraged.
'It's all jumbled and blurry, I don't...I don't really know what happened.' Clark shook his head. 'There was a girl. And...I was on-I mean, I don't know how it happened, but there was red Kryptonite.' He confessed, recalling a tiny bit more as he spoke it aloud. 'From then, there are nine days I think I blacked out. I don't remember any of it.' Clark swallowed and didn't dare to look at his parents, feeling he had deeply let them down.
'Jor-El must have found me. Two months later I woke up in the field as Kal-El.' Clark bit his lip and felt his emotions flooding him as he forced himself to see his parent's disappointed faces.
He felt their disappointment in him was worse than any amount of anger they could have directed at him.
'That's all I remember.' He whispered and got up from where he'd been sitting on the steps. Clark headed to the kitchen for a glass of water, if only to fill the silence with more than his parent's staring.
With his statement that he had lied to them and was convinced the baby was his, along with the story he had just told them, Jonathan looked furious and headed up the stairs where they heard a door shut.
Martha soon followed, leaving Clark alone in the kitchen.
Trying to be productive, Clark attempted to evade his hurt feelings by cleaning up after dinner. The baby temporarily forgotten, he sat at the kitchen counter with his back to the stairs. His elbows rested on the smooth surface and he placed his hands against his face. Clark didn't know if his parents were ever going to talk to him again or if they were mad and hated him for what he'd done and gotten himself into. But no one was more disappointed with Clark than himself.
How could he have let something like this happen?
Red Kryptonite never really made him do anything he didn't want to, it just took away his reasoning when he did something he wanted, but probably shouldn't. Clark never thought that sleeping with a girl he barely knew and getting her pregnant was really something he was capable of, without or without the ruby-coloured rock.
He heard footsteps on the stairs and paused his thread of thought. He could tell by the volume of the shoes that it was his mother, and Clark knew he had to say something, but was afraid to.
'Is dad still upset?' Clark voiced. He had felt braver by the fact that she was still behind him, but Martha was moving to face him and her gaze alone sapped his emotional strength.
'What do you think?' She asked. Her tone was full of disbelief and disappointment.
It only made him feel worse.
'How about you?' Clark continued, hoping that maybe one of this parents would at least hear him out or not judge him too harshly for his mistake.
Even if it was a really big one.
'I'm upset.' Martha moved into his direct line of sight and Clark found himself hanging to her every word. 'But more than that I'm disappointed.' She added.
'I was on red Kryptonite, mum.' Clark defended himself even though he knew it didn't excuse what he had done or how it happened.
Martha was quiet for a moment while she watched him. Clark felt a tear escape his eye when he looked away, unable to see the hurt in her own eyes any longer.
'You're an amazing young man, Clark.' Martha said. 'You make life and death decisions every day. Then you turn around an-and you do this. Why did you do it?' Her own voice was close to breaking as she asked that question he had no answer for.
Clark tried to give her something, even an apology, but his throat seemed to have stopped working coherently.
'I just expected you to use better judgement.'
Clark glanced over as his mother turned and walked away again, probably to return to her husband and see how he was coping. Clark looked downwards and swallowed, feeling horribly guilty and ashamed about his actions, even if he couldn't even remember them.
A cry filled the silence, reminding Clark of his sole duty.
He got up walked to the living room to look down at the tired baby. He didn't blame the boy for existing, because Clark knew it wasn't the baby's fault. He was a miracle, yet a product of bad judgement and mistakes. But he was only a baby and how Clark felt about him had not changed. Besides, there was still a chance the child was not Clark's son, even if he had a strong instinct that the he was the father of the six-month-old baby with deep brown eyes.
Author's Notes: Thank you for reading, and any feedback you have to offer would be greatly appreciated.