By Lori McElhaney (LoriMcE@aol.com)
Summary: Very pregnant, but unwilling to settle for "safe," second-rate story assignments, Lois bargains with Clark for just one more "hot" story before taking a leave of absence. Neither guesses it will bring them face to face with their deadliest enemy. A sequel to the fanfic "For Better or Worse."
Author's Note: Although this story can be read separately, This is a "semi-sequel" to "For Better or Worse", a Krypton Club fanfiction from June, also available in AOL L&C Reading Room, [Rhen's note: and soon to be in the FTP archive] in that these events happen after the events in that story.
The Daily Planet bustled with its usual activity. Except for one member of the newsroom. Lois stared pensively at the words on her computer screen. Mayor Appoints New Parks Commissioner … she sighed - not exactly front page news. She rubbed her swollen stomach, "Baby, you'd better get here soon or you'll be born in a nice room with padded walls," she murmured.
Perry and Clark didn't want her charging into her usual stories this late in her pregnancy. They thought she hadn't noticed the whispered meetings, the stories Clark just "happened" to run into. It had gotten worse lately. She almost never got out of the newsroom. They were just going to have to get over it. She didn't know why they worried so much, she'd cut back, become more cautious. This baby was their miracle — hers and Clark's. She wouldn't jeopardize this baby for the world. But she felt she was losing her edge … needed some excitement in her life … needed to feel she was making a difference. She didn't have to be falling off buildings or out of airplanes to do that. "I am still Lois Lane - reporter, as well as Lois Kent -wife and soon-to be mother, she thought. I've just got to make Clark and Perry understand that. I need my partner, now more than ever."
Just then gentle hands rested on her shoulders and warm lips caressed her neck. "I'm back," Clark said, "How's everybody doing?" He patted her stomach.
"The baby's fine, but I'm going nuts stuck here, Clark - please tell me you've got something "hot" we can work on together. Partners - Lane & Kent - do these words ring any bells?" Lois answered.
Clark nervously tugged on his tie - "Honey … "
"Don't honey me, Clark, you know you've never been a good liar." Lois interrupted.
"Nothing's confirmed yet, Lois besides we agreed -"
"You agreed, Perry agreed, - credit me with a little common sense, Clark - I know my limits."
"Yeah, right," Clark muttered under his breath, running his hand through his hair.
"I didn't need superhearing to hear that, Clark," Lois retorted. "I'll make you a deal, Clark, one last story - TOGETHER- and I'll start my leave of absence - no moaning, no complaining. Martha and I will just relax and get ready for our new arrival."
"Well, that's too good a deal to pass up," Clark grinned. "Lois Lane, hottest investigative reporter at the Planet, JUST relaxing. Are you sure you won't find Nazi War Criminals hiding out in Wayne's barn?" Clark laughed.
"Don't start with me, Kent," Lois admonished.
"Well forgive me if I get a little paranoid when you mention relaxing," Clark said. "Let's see, remember when we took a three-day weekend and went up to the lake -"
"Clark, it's not my fault those smugglers were using the cabin across the lake as a base of operations." Clark continued, "Or the day we "relaxed" on the beach, when you made the citizen's arrest - "
"Clark, I saw that face on "Metropolis Most Wanted" - "
Clark looked at Lois and gave in. "OK, OK, Lois, you win. I'll tell Perry we'll work on this story together. But after this one's over, you'll go to Smallville, stay with my parents. Right?"
"Right," Lois replied eagerly. "What've you got so far?"
"One of Perry's reliable sources may have a lead on the missiles that were stolen from the military base last week. There's been some recent activity in the warehouse district. The official word is that they're doing some urban revitalization, but some of the crews they've been hiring to do the work have some unsavory backgrounds. This one warehouse in particular, has been left in almost total disrepair on the outside. But when I scanned it with my x-ray vision earlier, the inside has banks of computer equipment and several rooms that I can't scan - they must be lead lined. I've talked to the police, but they don't have enough evidence to legally search the building. Having lead lined rooms and computer equipment isn't against the law. The corporation that holds the title to the building is a dead end. I have Jimmy doing some research on it, but it looks like the real owners are buried beneath layers of shell corporations. I've set up a meet with one of the construction workers tonight. Maybe I'll have more to tell you after that."
"I'm going with you tonight, Clark." Lois protested.
"Oh, no. " Clark said. "This is what I mean, there's no telling if this guy is trustworthy at all. It could be a trap. I can't protect you if I can't see what's around. The fact that they bothered to lead line the rooms could mean they prepared for Superman. Once I have the meeting, I'll come home and we'll plan our next move."
Lois waited at home and watched the hours tick by. Clark should have been home by now, she thought, looking out the window anxiously. She paced, unable to shake her feelings of uneasiness, of danger. She made a few quick phone calls and then she set her shoulders and left the house to find him. Lois cut the headlights on her Jeep as she approached the seemingly abandoned warehouse. Parking the jeep, she crept as lightly as her condition allowed around the back of the warehouse, looking for an entrance. The moon illuminated the area, shadows dancing as the clouds passed in front of it. She could hear no voices inside and decided to try the door on the side of the building. It opened easily, surprising her. Well, she thought, I'll just take a quick look around. I've got to make sure Clark's okay. She had taken only a few steps inside when the room flooded with light.
"I knew you'd come, Lois," a voice said. "Didn't I tell you, Kent?"
Lois blinked as the bright lights blinded her briefly. "Who's there?" she demanded.
A man with a strangely familiar face stepped in front of her. "Don't you remember this body, Lois? You could have shared this life with me."
" Lex!" Lois gasped.
" Yes, my dear, you didn't think I'd give up so easily, did you? Asabi had made all the preparations, this body houses my spirit now. I've been waiting, biding my time. And now I can destroy Superman, and have you, too."
"Where's Clark?" Lois asked.
"Clark, Clark … Over there, but don't go too close dear," Lex gestured to his left.
Clark obviously in pain, was visible through a clear glass panel.
Lois started towards Clark.
"Lois, no - stop," Clark gasped.
Suddenly Lois felt pain throughout her body, and the baby began to kick.
Lex pulled Lois back away from the cell that imprisoned Clark. "I warned you, my dear. You see, he's merely incapacitated at the moment but with each click on this dial, his exposure increases. It appears you are carrying his superbrat. Now you can appreciate the slow, agonizing death he's going to experience." Lex's cold, ruthless eyes burned into hers from his new face.
Lex slowly turned to face Clark. "How does it feel, Superman, to know that Lois will be mine, and your child will be raised as my own. Just think, my own superman, only using those wonderful powers for my will, not this goody-two shoes, boy scout goodness. You could have had the world, Superman, and you threw it away."
"It will never happen, Lex." Lois said through gritted teeth. "I'll never stay with you."
"Oh yes you will my dear, refuse to cooperate with me and I'll just lock you away and take superbrat with me anyway. You'll never see him again. Maybe I'll torture Mr or Mrs Kent. You'll cooperate all right, you'll be VERY cooperative, if you know what I mean."
He looked at Clark and then at Lois. "Let's test my theory. Lois, kiss me," Lex demanded.
Lois slapped his face. Lex just smirked … and turned the dial on the console in front of him two notches to the right. Clark fell writhing to the floor. Lex turned to Lois and raised one eyebrow. "Well, Lois, what's it going to be? "
Lois thought, "Clark forgive me … I've got to buy some time to get us out of this mess." She walked up to Lex and kissed him.
"Very good, Lois." Lex turned the dial back down. "We don't want to finish him off too soon, do we?"
Clark closed his eyes and tried to concentrate past the pain. "Think!" he commanded himself. "I've got to help Lois, got to get out of here." He had been caught off guard, thinking that if they were expecting Superman, Clark would be underestimated and could quietly neutralize any threat. However, he hadn't counted on Lex Luthor. Although the face was different, as soon as the supposed informant had looked up at him and said, "the war continues," he'd realized Lex Luthor had managed to cheat death again. Everyone who was close to him was in terrible danger. Then Lex had sprung his trap, and the kryptonite had begun its deadly assault. He had prayed that Lois wouldn't come alone - he'd known, as Lex had known, that she would come to look for him. Fearing that Lois would be affected by the Kryptonite because of the baby, he had tried to reach her mentally, to warn her. But he had failed … the kryptonite had sapped that ability also. He looked through the glass at her and tried to send his love and strength toward her.
Perry looked at the clock and swore. He picked up the phone and dialed Lois's number for the third time. The same message greeted him again. He knew something was wrong. Lois had called over an hour ago, asking if Clark had checked in with the warehouse information. He hadn't been able to get in touch with her since. Clark could have been off on an emergency, but he knew his spitfire reporter had gone and gotten herself into trouble. Well, I'll just have to nose around that warehouse myself, he thought. Lois and Clark aren't the only people around here who can do some investigating.
Perry drove his car into an alley about three blocks from the warehouse. He was dressed all in black, and carried a small flashlight. He located the warehouse from the address in Clark's notes, and was about to approach it, when he noticed Lois's Jeep. Well, I guess that answers my question, he frowned. He got Lois's cell phone out of her car and dialed the police. He spoke to one of the officers on duty. "I think I've got a situation with one of my reporters here in the warehouse district… Not suspicious my ***,… not missing unless gone for 24 hrs … what do I pay taxes for anyway?" Perry turned off the phone with a jab of his finger. He looked at the warehouse, it was brightly lit up on one end, but the back of the building was dark.. "I'll start there, in the back, and see if I can find Lois." he murmured to himself.
Perry jimmied open one of the back windows with his pocket knife and slipped inside the warehouse. He put his hand over the end of his flashlight and turned it on. The muted glow from the flashlight illuminated boxes, crates and electronic parts. He saw a door on the left wall and moved toward it. He pressed his ear to the door and strained to hear any noises. He heard voices, but they seemed faint as if coming from a distance. He decided to open the door a crack and peek out into the hall. This hall was dark also and seemed deserted. The voices seemed to be coming from the end of the hall to his right. He crept slowly down the hall checking the doors on either side as he went. The voices were definitely coming from behind this door, Perry realized. He listened quietly for a moment and gasped as he realized who the voices belonged to. "Lex Luthor, I'd thought we'd seen the last of him," he thought. "Got to get help," and started to turn to leave when he heard Lois pleading with Lex and realized that Clark was imprisoned, too. "It doesn't sound like I've got too much time. I've got to try to do something now," he decided.
Perry looked around the warehouse. There was a ladder in the corner attached to the wall - it seemed to go to a catwalk that spanned the length of the warehouse. He cautiously climbed up and looked down at the scene playing out below him. Maybe he could distract Luthor long enough for Lois to free Clark. He climbed back down and went back to the storeroom he had first entered. While he called the police again, he played his flashlight around the room. He spotted a medium sized gray block. It was heavy and he realized it must be the lead that Luthor had used to line the kryptonite cell. Perry picked it up and carried it down the hall. Sweating with effort, he climbed back up and inched along the catwalk until he was above Lex.
He could hear sirens in the distance, when suddenly Lex grabbed Lois by the arm, saying, "Tell pretty-boy goodnight, Lois. It looks like we'll have to make an early exit." He jammed the dial on the console all the way to the right and Clark screamed in agony.
"NO!" Lois shouted.
Perry took aim and threw the lead block at Luthor. It hit him on the head, and he fell to the ground. Lois wretched away from him and turned the dial off. She looked up, saw Perry, and smiled with relief. "Come down, Chief and help me get Clark out of there before the police come," she asked.
Perry climbed down and dragged Clark out of the cell. He was barely conscious, his breathing labored, but he was alive.
"Thank you, Perry … I … don't know … how to thank you," Lois said though tears.
Perry placed his hand on her shoulder, "Hey, The Planet can't be losing its best reporting team, can it, pumpkin?"
Clark stirred, and looked up at Lois, "Lois, are you all right?"
"I'm fine, Clark, can you sit up? The police will be here any minute."
Clark looked up at Perry, just noticing him. "Perry, what are you doing here?"
"Clark, Perry just saved you life - he hit Lex over the head with a lead block. He dragged you out of the cell for me." Lois touched his face lovingly. She searched his face with worried eyes, seeing how weak he was. She couldn't imagine how he had withstood the kryptonite assault. The taste of the pain she had experienced still lingered in her mind. She caressed his face, his arms, reassuring herself that he was here with her, safe.
"Thanks, Chief," Clark said weakly and struggled to get up. "Perry, - I … "
"It's OK, son, you don't have to say anymore. This all isn't exactly breaking news to me. You've got to remember I was an investigative reporter when you were still trying to figure out how to walk. How long did you think you were going to put one over on me, huh?" Lois and Clark looked at each other, not knowing what to say.
"Enough said, let's get you guys home. I'll handle the police." He looked over at Lex's prone figure. "I don't think Luthor's going anywhere soon."
Clark leaned heavily on Perry and Lois as they walked out to the car. "I'll call to check on you later, when I've finished giving my statement to the police," Perry promised. "If they need anything from you, they can get it tomorrow." Perry walked back into the warehouse.
Lois watched as Lex was loaded into an ambulance. Clark seeing her gaze, took her hand and gently said, "Let's go home, Lois. Nothing more can hurt us tonight. I want to call my parents and warn them to be careful, just in case Lex had a back up plan that involved them."
Clark looked at the city, as Lois drove home. "I don't want to leave Metropolis," he thought angrily. "My family doesn't deserve to live in fear. If only Lex was dead …" he rubbed his eyes wearily. No, he wasn't going to let his hatred for Lex turn him inside out. "Together, Lois and I will figure something out."
Clark was feeling much stronger by the time they reached home. Although far from "super", he walked steadily into the house and sat on the couch. He reached for the phone and called home. Martha and Jonathan were upset, but promised they'd be careful.
Clark smiled at Lois as she brought him a cup of his favorite tea. "Thanks, sweetheart, but I should be waiting on you."
"Clark, I'm pregnant, not an invalid. You've been through a lot tonight. You need to rest."
I'm sorry you had to go through all that, Lois. I guess I was overconfident. I figured they'd try spring any trap on Superman, not Clark."
Lois leaned forward and brushed her lips against his in a soft kiss. "But you were right, Clark. They did spring the trap on Superman, my love. Anyone but Lex and it would have been okay. Lois frowned, "What are we going to do, Clark? Lex was seriously hurt, but once he recovers, he'll hound us forever. Even if he's in jail, he can tell anyone about you."
"I know, Lois. I've always been afraid of this happening. If it just affected me, it would be one thing. But this affects everyone close to me … You, Perry, Jimmy, my parents, our child." They sat in silence, clinging to each other.
The phone rang, and Lois answered. "It's Perry," she told Clark. She listened, and smiled. "Well," Clark said, "What did he say?"
"Lex is still unconscious, Clark. The doctor's don't believe that he will recover; when the block hit his head there was a lot of brain damage. They are going to keep him in the hospital for now, but will move him to a nursing home if his condition doesn't improve."
"Perry also said that the copy for this story had better be on his desk by 10:00 am. Then he's got us tickets on the 11:00 plane to Smallville. He said you've got a long weekend to get me settled in at your parents." She smiled at Clark. " I guess I got my big story, huh?" Lois leaned tiredly on Clark's broad shoulders. She looked up into his eyes, "We've got some breathing room, with Lex's condition. I can't help but hope this is the end, Clark. Lex Luthor has threatened us for the last time."
Clark claimed Lois' lips in a long kiss. She lovingly looked up at Clark, "I love you, Clark. Come on, let's go to bed. We can write this up in the morning."
Clark looked down at Lois sleeping in his arms. He placed his hand on her abdomen, feeling the baby move at his touch. "I'll keep you safe," he whispered. He'd never felt more vulnerable, as when he saw Lois doubling over in pain from the kryptonite. This child was going to be his greatest joy, yet also his greatest worry. If the baby inherited his superpowers, it was going to be hard for them to hide it in Metropolis. At least in Smallville, on the farm, he could practice and get used to his powers away from prying eyes. Hopefully, this baby would get his powers gradually, like he had. They would have some time to work things out. Lois' old neighbor, Star, had offered to baby-sit while he and Lois were working. He had been wary at first, but after he and Lois had talked about it, he had decided it would be all right. She was an unusual person, but had a loving heart. Also, if the baby started showing any superpowers early, she wouldn't be alarmed by it. Clark smiled at a thought … Instead of, "Lois, Clark, the baby took his first steps today , it would be - Lois, Clark, the baby flew around the room today, isn't that wonderful?" Clark gave Lois a gentle kiss on the forehead and fell asleep.
As Lois and Clark stepped off the elevator, Perry greeted them - "Where's the copy on that story ?"
Lois waved her laptop in Perry's direction -"It's all right here, Perry, we finished it this morning."
"Great," Perry responded, "Download those files, and we'll get started formatting the headlines for the next edition." Perry spoke to Clark, "While Lois is doing that, come into my office for a minute." Perry closed the door to his office and motioned for Clark to sit down. "I want you to know, Clark, that you don't have to worry about … you know what I mean. Lois is like a daughter to me, and nothing has made me happier than to see her happy. The two of you belong together, and I'm glad the two of you finally realized that."
Clark cleared his throat, "Thanks, Perry." He absently looked out into the newsroom. "This paper, this life with Lois … it's who I really am. The other … thing … is just something I can do …" He paused, "Last night reminded me of how vulnerable the people closest to me are. If this … other thing … got out - you would all be targets for every criminal. I can't protect everyone … be everywhere …"
Perry walked around his desk and sat on the corner, "Look, son, even an old news hound like myself knows when to shout news from the rooftops and when to just look away. Metropolis needs you, Lois needs you, and the Planet needs Lane & Kent. The secret is safe with me. We don't need to talk about it again."
Perry stood up, "Are you all packed for Smallville? Here are your tickets for the 11:00 flight."
Clark stood up and took the tickets from Perry. "Yeah, we're all packed. I'm glad that Lois agreed to spend her leave of absence with my parents. I know my mom will take good care of her. And maybe I won't have to worry about her getting into trouble. But I'm not holding my breath - with my luck the next criminal mastermind is planning to use Smallville for something - and I'm sure Lois will be right there."
Perry laughed, "Take care, Clark. I don't want to see you in Metropolis until Wednesday. You got that? You need to rest too, you look more worn out than Elvis after a long tour."
Clark smiled, "I will, see you next week, Perry. And thanks … for everything."
Clark left Perry's office and stopped by Lois' desk. "Ready to go?" he asked Lois. "I guess so, the stories are turned in." She looked over Clark's shoulder at Perry, "Is everything … okay?" she asked in a low voice.
He smiled, "Yeah, I think so. We'll talk later, at home. I've got the tickets, the suitcases are here, let's tell everyone good-bye and get to the airport." Lois went over to Perry and hugged him, "Bye Perry, see you soon."
"You just take care of yourself, Honey. We'll all miss you," Perry said.
"Where's Jimmy?" Clark asked, looking around the newsroom.
"Out on assignment, he's supposed to be getting me some pictures of the warehouse to go with your story." Perry replied.
Lois and Clark left the newsroom and went to the airport. As Clark parked the car, Lois complained, "The flight to Smallville is going to seem really long after our trips together."
"I love any excuse to sit next to you, Lois," Clark replied with a kiss.
Lois melted under his loving eyes. "I'm sorry I've been so cranky lately. I guess I'm just anxious for all this (she indicated her stomach) to be over, and yet I'm a little scared, too. I don't do pain very well, Clark."
"I won't leave you for a second, Lois. If you want to change your mind and go to Smallville Hospital, it's fine by me. You know I'd prefer it. Having the baby at home with the midwife - "
Lois looked at Clark, "I know for a fact you've delivered at least three babies as Superman, why are you so nervous now?"
Clark leaned closer to Lois and said, "Those women were not the love of my life delivering my child. It's just different. I'm different, this birth could be dangerous for you . The doctor you've been seeing here in Metropolis hasn't detected anything unusual, it's probably safe for you to have the baby in the hospital without them suspecting anything."
Lois lifted Clark's hand entwined with hers and kissed it. "After last night, I'm not willing to take that chance, Clark. This baby is a miracle, Clark. We can't risk any link between him and Superman. What excuse could we give for them not doing the usual blood tests? We've been over this and over this, Clark. Our only hope for a normal life is to be extra careful. After the birth, we'll take a blood sample to StarLabs for testing. If they don't find anything out of the ordinary, then we'll know it's okay to take the baby to a regular doctor. The midwife your mom recommended is great. I know with all your help, I'll get through this. Just don't expect me to suffer in silence."
"I love you, Lois," Clark whispered. He pulled her closer and they kissed. As always, the taste and scent of Lois captivated Clark. He lovingly explored her mouth and neck. Someone carrying their luggage into the terminal bumped into the car. Lois looked at her watch, "Clark we'd better go in, we'll miss our flight." Clark grinned, " You're always distracting me, Lois."
Clark and Lois both rested on the flight to Kansas. Martha and Jonathan greeted them at the airport with hugs and kisses. "I've been so worried about you both," Martha said. "Let's get you home."
Back at the farm Martha, Jonathan, Lois and Clark relaxed on the porch as Clark told the Kents about the events of last night. "I can't believe Lex survived again, Clark," Martha exclaimed.
"Me either, Mom, at least for now he's out of commission. But if he recovers, our lives will never be the same. You might have to leave Smallville, your friends … "
"Clark, don't do this to yourself. Your father and I understood the risks when you first put on the Suit. Lois understood the risks when she married you. We'll all pull together and survive that too, if it happens. Don't let "what if's" rule your life. Let's focus on today, and the good things to come." Martha smiled, "I can't wait to get the nursery finished. Lois, I got some material for curtains in town today. Come in and see if you like it. I can get started tomorrow."
Lois protested, "Martha, don't go to so much trouble."
"It's no trouble, dear. That's what grandparents are for … we spoil the grand-kids rotten, then give them back to their parents. After we look at the material, I've got some double chocolate brownies that I made yesterday. We can talk about all the fun we'll have in the next few weeks, without the men interrupting."
Jonathan said, "Hey, I thought you took the rest of those to the church this morning." "I did," Martha smiled, "But I kept a couple back for Lois. After last night, I thought she might need a chocolate fix." Lois and Martha went inside to look at the nursery, while Clark and Jonathan remained on the porch.
Jonathan smiled at Clark, "I don't think I've ever seen Martha so excited. She's been making plans and baby shopping ever since you mentioned bringing Lois here."
Clark looked at his father, a serious expression on his face, "I think Lois is scared, Dad. I don't know how to help her … I guess I'm a little scared, too."
"Well, son, I never had to go through this with your mother, but I think the best you can do is just be there for her. Let her hold on to you, use your strength, I know I relied on your mother that way when I was hurt. I know she was scared, too, but she was there for me."
"Thanks, Dad, talking about it really helps." Clark replied. He looked out across the landscape, scanning the sky. "Dad, do you see those clouds, it looks like we're in for a storm. I wish I could fly up there and see how bad it is, but my superpowers are still not completely back. I was exposed to a concentrated dose of kryptonite this time, it looks like it will be awhile before I can fly. I keep trying, but all my powers are just - gone. It's never been like this before. Usually when the kryptonite is shielded, I recover quickly. Luthor must have done something different."
"Well, give it some time, son. If it lingers, maybe the scientists at StarLabs can suggest something. If your powers are gone for good, Metropolis survived without Superman before. You'll still have the Planet, still have Lois and the baby. We don't love you for what you can do, and neither does Lois. Let's go inside and check the news reports. Maybe they'll have some news on the storm," Jonathan suggested.
Later that night, Lois and Clark lay in bed listening to the rain beat down on the roof. "Some storm," Lois jumped as thunder clapped in the sky.
"Yeah, my dad checked in with Wayne before the phone lines went out. The road leading to the farm is flooded." Clark sighed in frustration, "I wish I could help. I know there's going to be accidents in a storm this severe."
"Clark," Lois voice was gentle, "You can't do it all. I'm going to be selfish and be glad you're all mine tonight. Besides, your wife needs a back rub, my back's been aching all night. I'm not used to sitting so long in one place, ever since I got off the plane my back's been hurting right here." Lois pointed to her lower back.
Clark fought to keep his voice level, "Lois, why didn't you mention this earlier?"
"I don't know, I guess I thought it would go away. Come on, Clark, rub my back."
Clark absently rubbed Lois' lower back and thought to himself, "Please, please, let this just be a backache, and not labor." He remembered from birthing classes that labor sometimes starts out as a backache. "It's three week early," he tried to reassure himself.
Lois stretched and said, "Hmm, you've got magic hands, Clark." She reached behind her and drew Clark down for a long kiss. She looked at him and said, "Why so serious, Clark?"
"Nothing, Lois, let's get some sleep." Clark held Lois in his arms, but although she fell asleep, the stress of the past days finally catching up to her, she shifted restlessly in his arms. Finally, a few hours later, she woke up with a start - "Clark!" she whispered urgently. "I … had … a … pain … "
He looked out the window at the storm that still raged outside and sighed, "What is it with us and rain?" He smiled reassuringly down at Lois, "Well, I guess we're going to have to do this together, sweetheart. There's no way for anyone to get here tonight. Let's see how far apart the pains are and then I'll wake up Mom and Dad."
Lois looked up at Clark, her eyes wide and unsure, "Clark …"
Clark enfolded her in his strong arms and said, "I'm here, Lois, I'm not going to let anything happen to you. Just hold on to me." He held her and stroked her back, murmuring reassurances. Just then Lois stiffened and Clark looked over at the bedside clock. "About 10 minutes apart, he remarked. He laid Lois back on the pillows, and told her, "I'll be right back, I'm going to wake my parents." He kissed her gently and quickly walked down the hall to his parents' room. "Mom, Dad," he knocked on the door.
Martha sat up groggily, "What is it, Clark?"
"It's time," Clark said quietly, "Lois is in labor."
Mother and son looked at each other across the room. "I've got to get back to Lois," Clark said. "Can you bring the things the midwife said to have ready?"
Martha and Jonathan got out of bed. Jonathan went downstairs, while Martha stopped and put her arms around Clark. She hugged him tightly, "Everything will be fine, Clark. You can do this, Lois can do this."
"Mom, what if something goes wrong, I can't get her to the hospital like we planned. With my superpowers still gone, and the storm …"
"Clark Jerome Kent, the last thing Lois needs right now are your doubts. Let's concentrate on our love for Lois and the baby. We'll bring this baby into the world."
Martha watched Clark go down the hallway back to Lois. She silently closed her eyes, whispering a small prayer. Then she followed Clark into his room.
The morning sun shone brightly in the clear sky. Both storms, the ones that had raged both outside and inside the farmhouse had passed. Clark, sitting in the rocking chair, looked over at Lois sleeping in his bed. There were dark circles under her eyes, and her hair was sticking out in every direction, but to Clark she had never looked more beautiful. He looked down at the tiny bundle in his arms. His son … emotions washed over him as the baby looked up trustingly at him. He was perfect, with his mother's nose and his father's chin. "Jonathan Jor-El Kent, I'm your Dad," he said softly. "I love you, son."