By Beth Freeman (Beth012400@aol.com)
Completed: September 14, 1996
Summary: After five long years, Clark returns from New Krypton with a most unexpected surprise for Lois. An extrapolation of the episode "Big Girls Don't Fly."
This idea popped into my head due to a combination of things, not the least of which was a bad case of LCWS. I got the idea right after BGDF, but didn't get around to actually writing it until September. Then the story got lost in the mountain of things on my hard drive, so it has only recently been rediscovered. <G> This was not what I wanted to see on the show, but I thought it would make an interesting fanfic, and based on some similar stories I've read, so did others. A big thank-you and a hug goes out to my friend Tanya Diede for reading this for me and helping me with the title. I hope you like the one I finally chose. Please send all comments, good or bad, to Beth012400@aol.com. I love feedback!
"Mom? Dad?" Clark called into the empty house. He shifted the sleeping child in his arms as he walked through his childhood home. He had already been to Metropolis and found both his and Lois' apartments leased to someone else. Not knowing where else to go, he headed to Smallville, hoping that his parents would know where his Lois was.
"Mom? Dad?" he called again into the darkness. A figure walked slowly through the doorway in front of him.
Lois ran up to him to embrace him. As she slipped her arms around his neck, she felt the bundle he carried with him move. Unable to see in the dark kitchen of the old farmhouse, she flipped the light switch on the wall next to her. Soft light flooded the room, and the child woke.
"Daddy, are we there yet?" she asked sleepily.
He kissed the top of her head and answered, "Yes, baby, we're here. We're home." Shifting the little girl in his arms again so that she faced Lois, he said, "Sweetie, this is Lois."
The little girl's face broke into a smile that mirrored her father's. "Hi, Lois," she said shyly.
"Lois, this is my daughter, Marie."
Lois looked at the little girl in awe. Marie looked to be about four years old, with shiny black hair and big brown eyes that matched Clark's perfectly. She was the most beautiful little girl Lois had ever seen.
Marie yawned and snuggled up closer to her father, her eyes slowly closing despite her valiant attempts to keep them open. "Come on, sweetie," Clark said. "Let's get you to bed." Lois followed Clark upstairs as he laid Marie in his old bed and tucked her in. Then kissing her on the forehead, he said, "Goodnight, baby."
"Goodnight, Daddy," was her sleepy reply.
"Lois, I think we need to talk."
Looking down at Marie, she said, "Oh yeah, we definitely need to talk." She started to turn and walk out of the room, but seeing the look on Clark's face made her hesitate. It was that same look he had when she told him she knew he was Superman. He was afraid, afraid that she was mad, afraid that she wouldn't understand. She looked up at him and smiled slightly, then reached out and took his hand. That was all the reassurance he needed. Relief washed over his face as they tiptoed out of the bedroom.
"She's really beautiful, Clark," Lois said softly when they walked into the living room and sat down on the couch together.
"Isn't she? You know, I think she is the only thing that kept me going these five years." He stopped for a minute, a faraway look in his eyes. "Five years… " Then he looked up at Lois. "Honey, I am so sorry. I didn't know…"
"I know, Clark. I know…" Tears streamed down her face as she reached out and took his hands in hers. Slowly, she leaned over and kissed him. They kissed for a long time, finding themselves again after five long years. When they finally parted, Lois leaned her head against Clark's chest as he gently stroked her hair.
"Lois, I know what this must look like, with Marie and all, but its really not what you probably think it is."
"Clark, I don't know what happened while you were away, but I do know that I trust you. I always have and I always will. But," she added, looking up at him, "I would like to know what did happen."
Sighing, Clark began speaking. "When I got to New Krypton, things were a mess. What Ching and Zara said about me being the only one that could help was true, but not in the way I thought. The only way that the House of Elders could ensure that Nor would never marry Zara and come into power was if there was an heir between the houses of El and Ra, meaning that Zara and I would have to have child together." Clark paused, feeling Lois tense slightly in his arms. He placed his hand under her chin and lifted her face so he could see it. She was crying a little, but he mostly noticed the sad look in her eyes. It was the same look she had when she found out he had married the clone of her. He wiped away a tear with his thumb and said, "I didn't sleep with her, Lois."
"But, but how…"
"Well, apparently, even though the nobles are married at birth, not many of them are too happy with their mates. But there must be heirs to the various houses, and they must come from the unions of certain houses. So, being the 'pragmatic' people they are, they came up with a way around the whole intimacy thing." He paused again and smiled. "It's kind of hard to explain, but basically, it's the equivalent of our fertility clinics." He stopped and started laughing softly at Lois' expression. "You seem surprised."
"Yeah, I guess I am a little. I mean, I guess you never think about other planets having that kind of thing," she answered, starting to giggle a little herself as the relief of knowing that Clark was still her 'patient' fiancee washed over her.
Clark grew serious again. "Lois, I planned to leave as soon as the baby was born. Nor's people were beginning to turn against him, and he was losing power quickly. As soon as the baby was born, he would no longer have any control over the House of El, and I would be free to leave. I had even talked to the House of Elders about my departure. It seemed like everything was going right. In a few days, the new heir to the House of El would be born, my marriage to Zara would be annulled, and she would be married to the person I chose to raise my child, which was Ching. But things didn't exactly turn out as planned." He sighed, then looked at Lois. "Lois, I don't want you to think that I didn't want her. It was just so hard…"
"Clark," she said, stroking his face softly, "what are you talking about?"
"Zara had twins. A boy and a girl. We had counted on the boy, he was to be the new ruler, but Marie was a surprise to say the least. And her birth was the reason I couldn't return for four more years. See, Nor had no hold on the new ruler. Even if he killed the baby and Ching, Zara would rule the house." Seeing Lois' confused look, he added, "I know, the whole system is kind of complicated. But if he had a son, then that son could be married to Marie and he would gain half the ruling power of the house until his son was of age. So we had to hide her. Zara took Rom-El, the little boy, as her only child. Nothing was ever said about Marie. It was as if she was never born. After our marriage was annulled, I pretended to leave the planet. Really, I went into hiding with the baby girl, waiting until it was safe to return to Earth with her. I always planned to come back as soon as I could. I even gave her an Earth name, Marie."
"And don't think I didn't notice that it's MY middle name you gave her, Mr. Kent," Lois giggled, leaning up to kiss Clark before letting him continue.
"Well, her birth seemed to disrupt the whole swing of things. I guess it just seemed appropriate," he kidded her, pretending to be hurt when she playfully slapped him on the arm. "Anyway, somehow Nor found out about Marie and about our false departure from New Krypton. We weren't able to leave until he was finally killed in a rebellion. I don't know many of the details. As soon as I found out, Marie and I left."
Lois reached out and stroked Clark's face. "Was it hard to leave Rom?"
Clark stared at the opposite wall for a moment, lost in thought. "I never saw him. Ching was there when the kids were born. I stayed outside. Zara didn't want me to see him and become attached, because she knew that I couldn't stay on New Krypton. He was born first. When Zara gave birth to Marie, she wouldn't hold her. She already knew the dangers in keeping her. Ching carried her out to me and told me to hide her. The next day I left." He finally looked back at Lois. "But yes, it was one of the hardest things I ever had to do. To know that you have a child that you will never be able to be close to, that you may never be able to see. I know it was hard for Zara to give Marie up, but she knew that there was just too much of a risk to keep her there." He reached out and guided a stray piece of Lois' hair back into place. "I do have a connection to him, though. He was named Rom after me. You know, sort of the Kryptonian version of Jerome. And I know that Ching will be a good father to him. He'll be safe and happy on New Krypton."
Lois leaned her head against Clark's chest again. "It feels so good to have your arms around me again. I missed you so much."
"Lois, I went back to Metropolis before I came here. Both our apartments are leased to other people. Where have you been living? And where are Mom and Dad?"
"Your parents went away for a few days. They went to that cabin they have on the lake. And I've been living here, with them."
"It was just too hard after you left to stay in Metropolis. I took an extended vacation, and came out here. It just became sort of permanent. I still write a column for the Planet, and I've been working at the local paper, too. I guess I just sort of took a break until you came back."
"Well, I'm back now, and I am never leaving you again. Lois, I know things are different now, with Marie and all, and I understand if you've changed your mind, but I still want to marry you."
"Clark, I love you. And I still want to marry you too."
They leaned to each other and kissed again, only stopping when they heard a sound on the stairs. Looking up, they saw Marie creeping into the living room. She looked relieved when she found Clark and ran to him. "Daddy, I heard something."
"What did you hear, sweetie."
The sound drifted in from the open windows and Marie jumped into her father's lap, terrified. Lois looked at her, still confused as to what had scared her. But Clark started laughing as he hugged Marie close to him. "Marie, that was a cow. You're grandparents have a lot of them, but they won't hurt you. In the morning, I will take you out and show you everything, okay."
"Okay, Daddy. It sure does sound different here, doesn't it."
"Yes, baby, it sure does."
Marie looked up a Lois. "Are you going to be my mother?"
Lois laughed softly, then took the little girl's hand and said, "Yes, I guess I am."
Marie smiled and hugged Lois. Then she yawned again. Clark reached out and stroked her hair. "Go back to sleep, Mar. You are going to need lots of strength for when you meet your grandparents tomorrow." As Marie curled up to his chest, Clark held his arm out for Lois to join them. Together, the three fell asleep, and Clark knew he finally had the family he had always dreamed of.
One final note: The show has never mentioned Lois' middle name, but my grandmother is Lois Marie, so I went with that. Hope you enjoyed it!