By Becky Lewis (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Summary: How will Lois and Clark ever have a child? And just where did that baby come from anyway? A story that picks up from the series finale, "Family Hour."
Because of vacation, I didn't get to watch "Family Hour" until June 28th, long after everyone else had seen it! I had this idea the next night, wrote it on my lunch hour Monday, went over it that evening, and quickly sent it off before I lost my nerve -- like I did with the many other fanfics I've written <g>. I'd appreciate any comments/feedback. And oh yes, the usual disclaimers apply, and asterisks denote emphasis.
"I suppose *nothing* should surprise me with Superman for a son-in-law, but -- a two-hour gestation period?"
As few other remarks would have, that one succeeded in distracting Lois from the infant in her arms: "Mother! You...you remember?"
"We both do, princess," Dr. Lane told her. "It just sort of came back to us earlier...on the terrace. I think maybe our subconscious minds decided it wasn't an unpleasant thing to know after all."
"Or maybe it was just realizing, finally, that you need to keep your unpleasant memories too, to build, to grow, and to learn. Don't worry, I think that lesson is way beyond our friend Mensa," Ellen Lane said. "But enough about that: Lois, Clark, the baby?"
Clark unfolded the note he still held and passed it to his mother-in-law. "He just *appeared*. Out of nowhere. With this note. We don't understand it either..."
A new voice, coming from the kitchen, broke the ensuing silence: "Well, not out of nowhere, exactly..."
"H.G. Wells!" Four voices exclaimed in an almost- perfect chorus, while Ellen and Sam continued to look puzzled.
"H.G. Wells, the writer? But aren't you dead?" Sam asked.
"That's exactly what I thought too, Sam, but it turns out..."
Lois cut across Jonathan's explanation with, "But that's a long story -- well, *several* long stories -- and we'd like an explanation, now, about this baby. Is he *really* ours?"
"He is, Lois, or rather, he will be, in the future, the not-too-distant future, in fact. But things just seemed so discouraged and gloomy around here, I thought maybe you needed a little glimpse of the future to give you some hope. You will figure out a way to make this work."
Lois cradled the baby closer to her and took a step back toward Clark, unconsciously looking for his protection: "You're going to take him back, then?"
"I'm afraid I have to. I don't want to get on the bad side of Lois Lane when she wakes up to find her son missing, although if she -- I mean *you* do wake up before I get back, I hope you'll remember tonight, and have a little patience with me. Anyway, it won't be that long before you see him again, Miss Lane, I promise, and you do need more than a bassinet in the house when he does come. Babies take a lot of preparation -- don't they?" He appealed to Martha and Ellen, who exchanged knowing smiles.
"Not long -- you promise?" Lois asked Wells, reluctantly shifting the infant into his arms.
"I promise, Miss Lane," he said, turning back toward the kitchen.
"Wait! Can we ask...that is, before, when you talked about Superman's descendants, did you mean that word literally, as in blood descendants, or..." Clark trailed off, unable to finish his question.
"You -- of all people -- should know how literally to take that word, Mr. Kent..." And Wells was gone. *
I'm glad it's Saturday, Lois thought, staring at the coffee maker and trying to make it yield up its product *faster.* Clark's still asleep, after disappearing three times in the night to *swoosh*, and even Martha and Jonathan aren't up.
"Good morning, princess. Did you sleep at all?"
"Not much, Daddy," Lois greeted her father. "Coffee?"
"Please. Oh good morning, Martha," he added, as Martha, dressed and trying to look cheerful, pushed her way through the door. "You might as well both hear this right now. I stayed up all night, going over those Star Labs results again. Your mother helped me check and double-check some things, and it just doesn't look possible. There were a few numbers I questioned initially, but they don't seem to make any difference."
"Honey, there are other ways around this," Martha told Lois, putting her hands on Lois' shoulders. "And I really don't think tears are going to improve the flavor of that coffee."
"Sorry," Lois said, dragging the back of her hand across her eyes. "It's going to be an awful fight with that adoption woman. But just let me get a little chocolate into my system, and I'll take her on!"
"Um, Lois, there's one other alternative you might consider," Sam Lane said, trying to look anywhere but at his daughter. "The -- *problem* -- is with Clark, not you. You might consider, um, artificial insemination. There are some very good donor banks."
"ME? Have a child that isn't Clark's? No way!" Tears gone, Lois stared at her father, in full tornado mode.
"But it's not a bad idea, honey, not at all." Lois whirled to see Clark standing behind her.
"And just how long have you been there?"
"He just -- appeared -- when he said that. And I guess he heard the whole thing from upstairs. This is still going to take some getting used to!" Sam told her.
"Lois, listen to me. This would work. It eliminates the adoption problems, we still go through the entire pregnancy together, the only difference is, someone else donates the sperm. I'll be the baby's father in every *real* sense of the word."
"But Clark, I don't like the thought of actually carrying a baby, not knowing who the "donor" is..."
A cough from Martha interrupted them and reminded them they were still under the watchful eyes of two of their four parents. "Actually, I have an idea about that. Sam, you don't have to use a donor bank, do you, if you have a someone in mind you'd like to use?"
"Of course the sperm can come from a known donor...Martha, are you suggesting...?"
"Well, why not?" she looked defiantly around the room. "Men lots older than Jonathan father children all the time. Our fertility problems were mine, not his, and it would...would keep it all in the family, after all."
Martha held her breath, watching the other three get used to the idea. "I don't think...I know I wouldn't mind it then, but do you think he'll go for it?" Lois asked.
"*I'll* talk him into it, don't worry," Martha told them, with a glint in her eye both Clark and Lois knew only too well.
"In fact, if that's the route we take, I could clean up the lab and handle everything myself," Sam offered. "There'd be no records at all, as far as your friends would know -- Lucy too -- the child would be Clark's, and if he ends up looking like Jonathan, that wouldn't surprise anyone, they'd just say he takes after his grandpa."
Martha and Sam exchanged triumphant glances, broke into laughter, then quickly departed to talk to their own spouses.
"Do you think H.G. Wells knows the answer we figured out, or only that we managed, somehow, to get pregnant?" Clark mused, sliding his arms around Lois' waist and pulling her to him.
"Clark, are you sure you're going to be okay with this?" Lois asked, twisting around to look into his eyes.
"Lois, listen to me. All my life, I wanted to fit in. That included having a wife and family. But I've also always known that actually fathering children here on Earth was a long shot. And my Dad used to remind me of that whenever I'd start dreaming too hard. Deep down I knew all that, but I wanted it so much for us, I closed my eyes and let both of us hope too hard for a miracle. But this ... this is the best possible substitute I could hope for. You, me, a family. Being a father is what you do every day of your child's life, not being there for conception. And knowing that the baby will come from my father, the best man that I know...that feels great, really great."
Lois smiled up at him. "*May* come from your father. If your mother can convince him."
"That," Clark said, "I am *not* worried about."
Martha opened the door to Lois & Clark's guest bedroom and peeked around the corner: "Jonathan? You awake?"
"Martha? You're up and dressed...what time is it?"
"It's about nine, actually, but I know for a fact you didn't fall back to sleep until almost dawn."
"Because you didn't fall back to sleep at all."
"Exactly." Martha smiled at him. "Lois and Sam and I, and then Clark too, have been talking. We've got a really great idea to get the kids a baby. It'll be a cinch."
Jonathan paused in the act of hunting for his robe prior to heading to the shower: "I know that look, and I know that tone. Martha, you're up to something."
"Me?" Martha kept her eyes on the sheets, straightening them and making the bed as she talked.
"Yes, you. Come on, out with it. Have you figured out some scientific loophole that both Star Labs and Sam missed?"
"Not a scientific loophole, dear," Martha said. She sat on the edge of the bed and patted the space beside her. "Come over here and sit down."
Jonathan walked to the bed and stood looking at her, robe forgotten. "Come on, out with it."
"Well, you see...Sam had the original idea. I just refined it, made it better."
"I'm waiting," her husband said, folding his arms across his chest. It was a pose that would have looked familiar to many Superman watchers, but a resemblance that had never occurred to any of the Kents or Lanes.
"Well," said Martha, then deciding to just plunge on: "Sam thought of artificial insemination. And I thought that *you* would be the perfect donor."
"Me! Father my own grandchild! Absolutely not!" Jonathan glared at her, his pose more Superman-like than ever.
"*Not* father, Jonathan. You're a donor. That's all. Clark will be the baby's father. In just the same way that you're Clark's father," Martha said. "Jonathan, you should have seen their faces. Sam and Clark were saying this would beat the adoption problems, plus it would be Lois' baby, and Lois said she didn't want to have a stranger's baby, and when I suggested this, they looked so happy. So relieved. This is something you can do for them, Jonathan, that no one else can. Something *really* important."
The Superman resemblance was gone as Jonathan stood lost in thought. Martha knew better than to pressure him while he was thinking, so she sat holding her breath, waiting. Waiting. Until finally...
"Just answer one question for me, Martha. After all these years, is it still bothering you that...? Because it doesn't bother me, not at all. We couldn't have had a finer son than Clark if we'd given birth to a dozen ourselves."
"Honestly, Jonathan? Not most of the time. But once in a while, I think about how many generations of Kents have lived in Smallville, and I feel bad. It's most important that this is for Lois and Clark. But, in a way, it is a little bit for us, too, and for your parents and your grandparents," she told him.
Jonathan swiftly pulled Martha up off the bed and into a tight hug. "That's my girl, always truthful -- except when it comes to just where that baby did come from, and I *don't* mean the one in the kitchen last night."
Looking into his eyes, Martha knew the answer to her question but she asked anyway: "You'll do it then?"
"Yes, Martha, I'll do it, for Lois and Clark, for you, and for all of us..."
Nine months later...
"Chief, look the sign says adult friends of new parents, visiting hours 7-8 p.m. We can't go in there until this evening." Jimmy looked visibly relieved.
"Jimmy! We aren't just *friends.* We're family. And family can visit anytime, as long as the new parents says it's okay. I'm just going to tell that nurse to tell Lois and Clark that Uncle Perry and his son, Cousin Jimmy, are here. They'll pass us on through."
"Chief, are you sure that's the right thing to do?"
"Positive, Jimmy," Perry said, taking Jimmy firmly by the arm and heading for the nurses' station with a Southern grin on his face.
Clark hung up the phone and beamed once more at Lois, looking very tired but extremely happy, and at the tiny bundle beside her. "Uncle Perry and Cousin Jimmy are on their way up."
"Leave it to Perry to charm his way past the nurses," Lois smiled back at him. "But it's going to be a little crowded in here, isn't it, with four grandparents *and* Uncle Perry and Cousin Jimmy."
Martha tucked her arm through Jonathan's; this particular grandfather still looked more than a little dazed by his dual role as grandfather and "donor," a role known only to the six of them. They hadn't even considered keeping Ellen out of it this time. "I think we could all stand a walk and maybe a cup of coffee, don't you?" she told the other three. "Let Perry and Jimmy have a little time alone with C.J. and his parents."
"Tell Perry the Jerome is after him and not after Clark," she added over her shoulder, herding the group of grandparents out the door. "He'll probably buy it."
Lois and Clark had only a few minutes to savor the quiet and smile at C.J. before two heads popped around the corner of the door.
"Is it okay to come in? Really? Are you sure?" Jimmy asked. "I mean, he's kind of tiny, we could come back later."
"Later as in when, when he graduates from college?" Lois asked him. "Come on, come in, he's been waiting to meet you."
Jimmy edged into the room, but it was Perry who stood reluctantly in the doorway: "I didn't remember that they were so tiny..."
"Come on, Chief, we only have to look...right? Just look?" he said hopefully.
"Sure, Jimmy, we'll wait until he's at least a month old before we teach you all about diapers and ask you to babysit," Clark told their young friend, clapping him on the back.
"Yeah. A month. Right. A month," Jimmy, paler than before, decided to change the subject by leaning over to get a good look at C.J. "Hey, you know what? He looks just like his grandfather! Come see, Chief!"
Perry slid forward and leaned over to make his own assessment, and while Lois and Clark exchanged startled glances over the two bent heads, said: "You're absolutely right Jimmy! He's the spitting image of Sam!"