By Jana Lippe (Jana.Lippe@huntcol.edu)
Summary: Lois gives in to her emotional side when she thinks she and Clark won't be able to have children.
Author's notes: This is my very first fanfic — forgive me if I have taken a few liberties with the characters here. I was inspired one afternoon at work and decided to explore a very emotional side to Lois, one that we rarely see to this extent. I could never write a story without the romance element, so I did dip my toes into the gutter a little bit —they are a little dusty now and then! Email any comments to Jana.Lippe@huntcol.edu
"Mommy, look at me!" Lois smiled warmly at the four- year-old blonde-haired angel on the playground swingset who was demonstrating her newly learned feat of pumping her legs, causing her swing to rise high into the air. The little girl beamed proudly at her latest accomplishment as her golden braids flew out behind her.
"I go high too, Jamie!" In the swing adjacent to the little girl, a solid-looking three-year-old boy was trying hard to keep his swing going high like his sister, but had not yet mastered the art of "pumping". An enchanted laugh softly escaped Lois' lips as she rose from the playground bench nearby and walked over to the swingset. She helped the young boy settle securely into his swing and gave him a firm but gentle push. He giggled with delight and soon found himself rising as high as his sister.
"Isn't this fun, Josh?" she cried happily, her face flush with excitement.
"Jamie, Joshua! Time to go home!" a female voice across the playground broke the spell. The children reluctantly allowed their feet to drag on the ground, slowing up their swings until at last they were able to safely hop down. Jamie grabbed her brother's hand, and together they scampered over to a young woman pushing a baby stroller on the opposite side of the playground. Lois stood still, watching, as the metal chains of the empty swings banged against the metal poles of the swingsets. A sensation of intense heartache ripped through her soul as she watched the children walk away with their mother. Every clank of the chains plunged a dagger of desire and need directly into the depths of her soul. Lois bit back the tears that were stinging her eyes. With a heavy heart, she walked slowly across the playground and trudged toward home.
"Lois? Are you home?" Clark's voice drifted upstairs and into the bedroom. Lois was lying on their bed, curled into a ball as sobs engulfed her body. Her eyes opened at the inviting sound of her husband's voice.
"Clark," she whispered weakly. Lois made a feeble attempt to rise from the bed, but immediately gave up, dropping back onto the bed in despair. She drew her knees to her chest and screwed her eyes shut. **I'm a wreck** she thought miserably. **How can I face him like this? I'm just a pitiful mess. What do I have to cry about? I have a beautiful home, a fulfilling career, and a wonderful husband who loves me with all his heart. Get it together, Lois!** she chastised herself.
"Lois?" Before Lois had time to compose herself, Clark was standing in the doorway of their bedroom. Lois slowly opened her eyes and lifted her tear-stained face to meet his eyes. He gazed down at her, his face filled with love and concern. Just looking at him was enough to tear Lois' heart to pieces. She lay on the bed, curled into the fetal position but for her head which was raised just enough to stare at her husband.
"Clark?" she whispered tearfully. Before she could utter another word, the tears began spilling down her cheeks. Superspeed brought Clark immediately to her side. He wrapped his muscular arms around his wife's tender body, cradling her gently and securely as she sobbed. This time, she let the tears come, refusing to keep her emotions bottled up inside any longer. Always before she had kept these intense feelings to herself, trying to keep her pain a secret from the world. She had it in her mind that if the world knew the secret desires of Lois Lane, her public image as a headstrong, no-nonsense reporter would be shattered. But Clark's handsome face, his tender touch, his loving embrace, brought every feeling, every want, every need, and every desire scrambling to the surface and pouring out in her tears. Clark did not ask Lois why she was crying, for at that moment it did not matter. All that mattered to him was that the woman he loved more than anything was in pain, and he was needed to comfort her.
Lois buried her face in Clark's soft neck and wrapped her arms around him as she cried. He softly caressed the small of her back, letting her know that he was there to be her support and to comfort her every need. He lowered his face to her hair, breathing in the intoxicating scent of her shampoo.
"I love you, Lois. No matter what it is, remember that I love you with all of my heart, and I will be here for you, and you alone — now and always," he whispered softly in her ear. Lois spoke no words, she just let the tears fall. She suddenly had an intense need and desire to be as physically close to him as possible. She needed the comfort and security of his undying love. Her fingers trembled as they undid the buttons on his shirt, exposing a ribbon of bare flesh. She slid her left hand inside his open shirt, hungrily exploring with her palm his expansive chest. She opened his shirt further, pressing her cheek to his solid muscles. The rhythmic, quickening thumping of his heart attempted to soothe the recesses of her heart, but instead succeeded only in coaxing further tears from her damaged soul. Her heart had never been so completely devastated, not even when Clark had left for New Krypton. At that time, she thought that his departure was the most intense thing she would ever experience, but her current heartbreak seemed far worse.
The couple lay on their bed for many long moments just like that — Lois sobbing, curled against her husband's chest, and Clark holding her securely, whispering words of love and support, all the while wondering what could be causing such a sudden, intense outpouring of emotion. It was not the Lois he knew, and it worried him that perhaps some kind of terrible tragedy had occurred.
At long last, Lois' sobs subsided and she placed a tender kiss in the center of Clark's naked chest, which was wet and salty with her tears. She did not stop there, however. She drank in the warmth of his skin, raining a trail of hot kisses up the middle of his chest, winding around the back of his neck, up behind his ear, and at last across his cheek, coming home to find his sweet lips. He responded eagerly but tenderly, ending the kiss before Lois was ready to let go of the comfort she sought and found in his taste. Her eyes snapped open, and locked directly into his, separated only by centimeters. The pain and despair contained in her eyes entered Clark's soul with a vengeance. He did not know the underlying cause of her misery, but because they were the truest of soul mates, her pain became his in one simple moment. A single tear escaped and slid down his cheek. An amused smile broke through Lois' tears.
"What are you crying for, Kent?" she managed to say with a half-hearted giggle. She softly brushed away his tear with a delicate kiss.
"Lois, if I kiss away all of your tears, we'll be here forever." he said quietly with a hint of a mischievous smile. She smiled warmly as she snuggled into his embrace, resting her head on the firm muscles of his shoulder as she looked up into his eyes.
"That wouldn't be so bad, now would it?" she asked innocently. Clark answered her with a soft brush of his lips upon hers which quickly intensified, allowing her to simply melt into his arms as they exchanged a passionate kiss. He reluctantly broke the kiss, softly nuzzling her cheek with his lips.
"Now," he began as he lightly traced her jawline with his fingertips, "do you want to tell me what this is all about?" Lois' smiled faded as the painful emotions swelled within her once again. She closed her eyes and inhaled deeply. **For a moment, for one perfect moment I was able to forget all the anguish and just be with my husband** she thought mournfully. She slid herself up to a sitting position next to Clark and laced her fingers through his. She took a deep breath and stared into his deep brown eyes. Before she could say a word, Clark brushed away a tear that had already escaped down her cheek. She smiled appreciatively and kissed him lightly on the cheek.
"I love you," she whispered faintly.
"Lois, please … I can't bear to see you in so much pain. It's tearing me apart! I know something is upsetting you. I am your husband. When something is upsetting you, it is upsetting me. Please, let me help you. Whatever it is, no matter how big or small, we can work through it together." Clark pleaded.
"I love you, too," Lois whimpered. "It's because of that love that my heart has slowly been breaking." Clark looked at her, puzzled. "Clark, we have been married for five years. Five wonderful years filled with the greatest love I have ever known, could ever know. This marriage has been overflowing with happiness to an extreme that I never thought was possible. It is more beautiful and magical than I could ever have imagined. H.G. Wells was right … we are most definitely blessed to have found one another. We are the truest of soul mates." Lois reached up and tenderly stroked Clark's cheek.
"But Clark, the last year for me has also been filled with heartache and despair. Your unconditional, genuine love for me has overshadowed that pain every single day. At least, I thought it did. Today, when I was in the park, I suddenly realized that your gentleness, your kindness, your goodness, your genuine love and honesty, everything that I have come to love and cherish about you has been slowly eating away at my heart. Your love has been at the very root of my pain, as well as a comforting presence." Lois carefully opened Clark's palm and lovingly placed a tender kiss in the center. Clark cupped her face in his palm and gently stroked her cheek.
"Lois, I just don't understand. You have to tell me. What has happened? What did I do to cause you so much pain?" he asked. The suspense was quietly tearing him apart. Lois closed her eyes and shook her head.
"My love, you did nothing wrong. It's just … just … just something that life handed to us, that's all. Or rather, something life did *not* hand to us. Clark …" Lois enfolded Clark's hand in both of hers and clasped them to her chest, looking deeply and desperately into his eyes. "Clark, I want a child." Her voice wavered slightly as her eyes overflowed with tears. Clark's heart did a backflip as he pulled Lois close to him. He had been so worried that she was thinking that their marriage was crumbling.
"Lois, you had me so frightened." He managed to say. She smiled seductively.
"I never knew Superman could be scared," she said, tossing him a flirtatious smile. She moved towards him, but Clark shook his head, unwilling to let her steer their conversation in a different direction until they had dealt with the sensitive issue at hand.
"Lois, why didn't you tell me you were hurting? When we decided to start our family last year, I didn't realize that it meant so much to you," he said seriously. Lois' smile faded. For one instant, she had been able to laugh away the pain, but Clark was snapping her back to reality. Lois snuggled into the heart of Clark's embrace and sighed.
"I never knew I could want something that I thought was within my reach so badly and then have it flutter just out of my grasp. This is somehow worse than watching you leave for New Krypton, if that is even possible. At least then we made the decision to face our own heartbreak for the greater good. This time, however, we are not even being given the choice. Oh Clark, I never thought it could be like this," she cried. Clark looked perplexed.
"What do you mean?" he asked. Lois settled into the crook of Clark's arm and intertwined her fingers with those of his other hand.
"I had such an unhappy childhood. I grew up in a home where neither parent seemed to care whether my sister and I were around or not. I felt so deeply that our family existed only because you're `supposed' to get married and have kids, so that's what my parents did. I swore to myself that it would never happen to me — I would never inflict that kind of feeling of self-worthlessness on a child. My solution was to never get married and to never have children. But — things change." Lois said. "You are the man I never thought I would meet. I *never* thought I would meet someone I could trust and love so openly and completely as I do you." she smiled. Clark beamed and met her lips in a kiss that burned with passion.
"Clark … do you … do you think that we will ever have a child? I mean … maybe we *can't*. After all, you're not *from* Earth. It *is* possible that we just aren't compatible." Lois suggested. Clark sighed and pressed his lips together. Lois laughed.
"Uh-oh, I'm getting The Look," she said lightheartedly. She loved that sexy look of his, though it usually only crossed his face when he was annoyed or frustrated. She had seen it a thousand times from Clark, when she got excited about a dangerous angle to a story. She had seen it a thousand times from Superman, annoyed at criminals who tried to defeat him as if he was a human. Clark, however, chose to ignore her comment.
"Lois, remember when we spoke to Dr. Klein about this? He said that we are perfectly compatible, and that we have the same chance of conceiving as any two humans." Clark reminded her.
"Clark, the poor man was still adjusting to the shock of the news that you are Superman — do you really think he was thinking clearly?" she laughed. Clark threw his head back with a chuckle at the memory. Dr. Klein had been totally flustered when they revealed The Secret to him, in hopes that he would be a source of information and support in their quest to have a child, given their unusual circumstances. His laughter faded into a sigh accompanied by a smile of concern toward his wife.
"Lois, we can go back to Dr. Klein and talk to him further if you like. Or we can go to your doctor and see what she has to say." Clark suggested. Before Lois had a chance to respond, he broke into a elated grin. "Honey, I'm so happy that having a family means so much to you. When I first fell in love with you, I was afraid that I would never be a father. I didn't think that it was something you particularly wanted. Whenever we talked about it, you just acted like it was fine if it happened, but fine if it didn't." Lois sighed contentedly at Clark's comment.
"I never thought it would be so important to me either," she admitted. "My career has always been my number one priority. But that has changed. It changed the day I married you." Clark couldn't resist leaning in for a kiss. "Clark, in the course of our marriage, my priorities have changed. *I've* changed. But still … sometimes I question whether we *should* have a family. I mean, maybe the fact that I haven't been able to get pregnant is fate's way of telling me that I'm not supposed to be a mother … but there is no doubt in my mind that you were born to be a father, and since we both *know* we were born to be together …" Lois kissed the tip of Clark's nose affectionately. **I love it when she babbles on like that** he thought.
"Lois, you'll be a *wonderful* mother!" exclaimed Clark. "A child needs love more than anything else, and I know no one who has more love in her heart ready to share than you!"
"I suppose you're right," yawned Lois. "I'll call Dr. Mason first thing in the morning." Her eyelids were beginning to droop. She cuddled up against Clark and rested her head and one hand on his chest, softly caressing his firm muscles. "I love you, Clark. I love you so much … so much." she said sleepily as she lost the battle to sleep. Clark smiled and lightly traced the lines of her hand with his fingertips as her breathing became deep and even. He settled back into his pillow with the woman he loved tucked securely in his loving embrace. Despite the fact that they were both still fully dressed (well, for the most part), Clark slowly drifted off to dreamland as his own breathing slowed and their heartbeats became one.
"I'm sorry, Mrs. Kent, but these test results — " Dr. Mason sighed as she leafed through the manila folder full of papers that lay open on her desk. Lois leaned forward in her chair, gripping Clark's hand.
"What? What!" Lois demanded. After all the tests she had been subjected to, her nerves were shot and she was desperate to find out the results. Clark put his arm around her and pulled her close. Dr. Mason lifted her eyes to meet the anxious young couple who sat nervously on the other side of her desk.
"Mrs. Kent … It's really quite simple. We ran a number of tests, and … well … your chances of conceiving a child are quite slim … about 15%. Even if you do conceive, there is still a 90% chance that you will not carry the child to term. There is always a chance, of course, but I don't want to give you false hope. I'm sorry." Dr. Mason's words bit into Lois' heart like a dagger. Her heart quickened and she struggled to catch her breath.
"Oh, Clark!" Lois buried her face in Clark's tender embrace. "Just hold me," she whispered tearfully.
"I'll hold you forever …" his whisper was barely audible as he enfolded his wife in his arms.
"Take me home," she whispered faintly. Clark helped her up and headed towards the door.
"Please, Mr. Kent, don't hesitate to call if you have any questions. And keep your options open, there is always adoption." Dr. Mason's final words were lost as the door closed behind the devastated young couple.
Clark stretched his long, athletic legs so that his feet were resting on the coffee table in front of him as he sat on the couch, comforting Lois. He cradled her tender body with his powerful arms as she rested her delicate cheek upon his chest. Clark stroked her exposed cheek gently with his right hand as his left arm wrapped firmly around her, supporting her shivering back. Sobs shook her tender frame as tears streamed down her face. It was all Clark could do to keep from dissolving into tears himself, for he couldn't bear to see the one person he loved more than life itself in such agony. His heart was slowly ripping apart inside, for his own hopes and dreams, the dreams they had shared for the future had been shattered that afternoon. He yearned for a child as much as Lois did, if not more, but at that moment, his pain did not matter. **Lois needs my unrelenting strength and support right now, and it doesn't matter how I am feeling — I'm going to be there for *her*, she needs me** Clark thought, as he buried his face in the intoxicating scent of her hair.
"Clark …" Lois whispered, as she slowly rose to a sitting position. She sat cross-legged on the couch to face her husband and clasped both of her hands around his. Clark forced himself to lay eyes on her tearstained face. "Thank you," she said quietly as she met his gaze. "Thank you for being so strong for both of us. I know you are hurting too. I know how much you want a family. You were counting on me to provide that family, but I let you down, I …"
"Lois. You have *not* let me down." Clark interrupted. "This is *not* your fault — don't ever think that. It just happened. We will get through it. We've overcome greater obstacles together, and we'll overcome this one. We have each other, and that's all that matters right now," he told her. There was no way he would let her take the blame in an uncontrollable situation. A smile broke through Lois' tears.
"I love you, Kent. You always know the perfect thing to say to make me feel better," she said, rewarding him with a kiss so sweet, so tender, so filled with love, that they both refused to let it end too quickly. Their lips slowly separated and Clark began kissing away her fallen tears. A hint of a smile played across Lois' lips as she remembered Clark's earlier comment. "Guess we'll be here forever," she whispered. Clark couldn't restrain himself. He was addicted to the sweet taste of her skin.
"I don't mind," he murmured between kisses. She tilted her head up, allowing him to cover her neck with his luscious lips. It was inevitable that just as Lois was beginning to find a level of comfort and security, the phone rang. Clark moaned disappointedly and managed to pry his lips from Lois' neck as he reluctantly picked up the receiver.
"Hello?" he said bluntly.
"Clark! Thank Elvis you're there! I need you and Lois to report to the Metropolis Orphanage right away. There's a breaking story — three of the children have been abducted and I need you two on it, pronto!" Perry's words rushed at Clark. **The orphanage?** thought Clark apprehensively. **Just what Lois needs right now. Seeing all those children will only be a painful reminder that we may never have a child.**
"Uh, Chief, isn't there someone else you can send …" Clark began.
"You're not going to let me down now are you, Clark? You're the only two available for this kind of story. Now get down there!" Perry barked. Clark heard the click of the phone and slowly lowered the receiver. He sighed and glanced over at Lois who was sitting straight up, looking at his face expectantly.
"Well? What is it, Clark?" she asked impatiently. Clark lightly traced Lois' jawline.
"Perry wants us down at the orphanage for a story. Some of the kids have been … abducted." He reluctantly told her. Lois inhaled deeply, taking in the information. **The orphanage** she thought **How can I look at all those little faces at a time like this? It will only remind me of my heartbreak …** Clark looked at Lois' panic-stricken face and shook his head.
"Forget it. You don't need to go through that right now. I'll cover the story. You stay here and I'll be back as soon as I can. Will you be okay by yourself? I hate to leave you at all, but at least one of us needs to go or Perry will throw a fit." he told her. Lois shook her head.
"Nope, I'm going with you," she said firmly as the no- nonsense reporter in her took over.
"Oh, Lois …" Clark began.
"No! Maybe it *is* what I need. Let's go." Lois sprinted to the bathroom to wash all traces of tears from her face, grabbed her jacket and her bag, and was halfway out the front door before Clark could even move.
"Talk about *Superspeed*," he muttered as he followed her down the front steps.
"This is the room that one of the kidnapped children was sleeping in when he was abducted." Mrs. Appleby, the housemother of the orphanage's second floor opened a door for the two reporters. The door swung open to reveal a large yellow-painted bedroom. Lois was immediately enchanted. The wall on the left was lined with four white wooden cribs. The wall on the right was lined with three toddler-sized beds. The wall opposite the door was home to a large bay window that allowed plenty of early-evening sunshine to flood through the sparkling glass. Lois left Clark to ask the questions of Mrs. Appleby as she wandered over to the cribs in an emotional daze. She slid her fingers along the railing of the first crib as she peered inside. A little gasp unconsciously escaped her as she laid eyes on nothing more than some rumpled sheets and blankets. No baby.
"That's Christopher's bed," Mrs. Appleby noted sadly. "His mother is in the process of getting her parental rights restored." Lois moved on to the next crib. She drew in her breath as her eyes rested on the tiny bundle that lay in the crib, nestled in a soft yellow receiving blanket. Mrs. Appleby stepped over next to Lois. "We've been calling her Rachel. Isn't she beautiful?" she said quietly. Lois nodded silently. Entranced by the sight of the tiny infant, she stood spellbound as her hand reached down to softly stroke the silky fine hair on the baby's precious head. The little one stirred a bit and began making adorable little sucking noises with her tiny mouth as she slept on, as if she was dreaming of working on a bottle.
"Ohh …" breathed Lois. Clark couldn't help but smile. It was not difficult to tell that the tiny infant had totally and completely captured Lois' heart. **Just as she captured mine — .love at first sight** he thought affectionately.
"She just arrived yesterday and will probably be adopted in no time." Mrs. Appleby explained. "She was found in the elevator at Metropolis General Hospital. Poor little thing," the woman clucked. "She's only a few weeks old, and perfectly healthy. I can't imagine why anyone could just leave her like that." Lois was unable to respond to a word Mrs. Appleby was saying. Her entire mind, heart, and soul was focused on the tiny infant sleeping before her.
"Lois …" she was suddenly aware of Clark's presence behind her. He wrapped his arms around her waist as they gazed down at the sleeping child. Words did not need to be spoken. Their hearts spoke to one another and without a verbal exchange, each knew what the other wanted, and what they needed to do.
"Mrs. Appleby … what exactly does an adoption entail? I mean … what do we need to do?" Clark asked gingerly, carefully turning Lois to face him and searching her eyes for confirmation. His own eyes twinkled with happiness as he saw in hers the sparkle that had been missing for so long. They beamed at one another as their hearts filled with a renewed happiness. Mrs. Appleby was grinning at the couple like a Cheshire Cat.
"You mean *you* two? You want to adopt Rachel?" she asked excitedly. Lois slid her delicate hands around Clark's neck and kissed him brightly before turning towards the housemother.
"There is nothing in this world we want more." she said with a happy note of joy. Mrs. Appleby clapped her hands together.
"Come on down to Mr. Reed's office and we'll see about everything!" she said happily, already leading the way down the hall. Lois squeezed Clark's hand and flashed him a brilliant smile. He beamed as he put his arm around her, and together they followed Mrs. Appleby downstairs.
Lois leaned on Mr. Reed's desk and with the flourish of her pen, signed her name next to Clark's. With a triumphant smile, she threw down the pen and squeezed Clark's hand. Their shared excitement electrified the air as they grinned happily at one another. Mr. Reed looked across his desk at the delighted young couple and smiled.
"I think that should do it," he said as he looked their file over. "This document places the baby in your care. First thing Monday morning we'll get started with the official adoption proceedings." He glanced towards the doorway and smiled. "There's just one more thing to take care of …"
Lois and Clark twisted in their seats to follow Mr. Reed's gaze. Their curious faces dissolved into ecstatic smiles as their eyes lit on the sight of Mrs. Appleby. She was standing proudly in the doorway with a tiny bundle in her arms. In one fluid motion they rushed toward her, eager to accept their new roles as parents to the small infant. Clark gently eased the baby from Mrs. Appleby and placed her into Lois' open arms. A sigh of pure bliss escaped Lois' lips as she embraced the sleeping child.
"Oh, Clark," she said tearfully, lifting her joyful eyes to meet his gaze. "Our prayers have been answered." He moved towards his new family and enfolded them in his embrace, bursting with love and pride.
"I'll never let you go. You're my family now," he said quietly as tears of joy sprung to his eyes. Lois turned and tilted her face upward to receive a kiss from the man she loved.
Clark opened the passenger door of the car and grinned as Lois emerged. She threw her arms around him and planted a short, sweet, but fervent kiss on his tender lips. She ducked her head excitedly and nearly dove inside the car to retrieve the car seat with their new daughter tucked inside. Clark placed his arm around Lois' shoulders as they made the journey up the steps of their townhouse for the first time as a family. Clark unlocked the door and with a mischievous grin turned and scooped Lois, baby and all, into his powerful arms.
"Clark!" she shrieked in surprise, grasping the car seat and holding it protectively against her chest. Without a word, but instead a proud smile, he carried his wife and daughter across the threshold and into their home. Clark gently set Lois on the couch, who carefully placed the car seat on the coffee table in front of her before turning to face her husband. "Clark! I can't believe you did that!" she said with accusing laughter. Clark just looked down at the baby, admiring her beauty with a father's unconditional love as he sat down next to Lois.
"I just wanted to give my family a proper welcome," he said, placing his arm protectively around Lois' shoulders. She snuggled close to him as they leaned forward and together admired the baby, *their* baby, who by some miracle, was still sleeping peacefully. "Let's put our sleeping beauty to bed," Clark whispered. Lois nodded and painstakingly lifted the infant from her car seat and carried her upstairs with Clark at her side. Together they entered the room across from their bedroom that last weekend they had turned into a beautiful nursery.
Lois gently laid Rachel on the changing table and unsnapped her tiny yellow sleeper and "onesie" undershirt. Clark handed her a diaper and leaned against the wall, watching as his wife, who had in the past always proclaimed herself to have no child-rearing skills, prove herself wrong. **All those evenings spent baby-sitting Lucy's son must be paying off** Clark thought. Lois glanced up at her husband who was watching her with an amused look on his face.
"Don't worry, Kent, you'll get plenty of chance to practice this, too!" she whispered loudly as she snugly fastened the tapes on the diaper. Rachel yawned as Lois snapped up the sleeper.
"Looks like she's waking up," Clark observed as Rachel began to cry. Lois' eyes widened and a look of terror suddenly crossed her face. Clark calmly picked up the baby and placed her in Lois' arms. Rachel continued to wail, emitting that helpless newborn cry as her muscles tightened and she arched her back. Lois became flustered and tried to comfort the tiny infant as best she could, not exactly sure what to do. **Joey never cried like this** Lois thought, forgetting that she had not begun sitting for Joey until he was nearly six months old, very different from the newborn she had in her arms.
"She's probably hungry, Lois," Clark offered. "I'll go fix her a bottle." He super-sped down to the kitchen and returned in a flash with a bottle of formula. During his brief absence, Lois had settled herself in the beautiful oak rocking chair that Jonathan had made for Martha when Clark was a baby, and was already rocking back and forth, softly crooning a tune to Rachel in an attempt to soothe her cries. She looked up when Clark appeared in the doorway with a fresh bottle in his hand.
"My hero!" Lois said with a grateful smile, settling Rachel in the crook of her arm as Clark warmed up the bottle with his heat vision and gently shook it to rid it of any "hot spots". Clark gently nudged the bottle into Rachel's waiting mouth, and immediately her cries of hunger were replaced with satisfied sucking sounds as her hunger pangs were alleviated. Clark kneeled next to the rocking chair as he held the bottle and found himself mesmerized by the infant in his wife's arms.
"Oh, Clark," Lois breathed. "I can't believe that she's ours. A week ago my world came crashing down when I thought I would never be a mother, and now …" a tear slipped down her cheek as her happy emotions took over. Clark gently brushed the tear away and lovingly caressed his wife's soft cheek.
"You are so beautiful. I am so blessed to have you in my life." He said. "I thank the Lord every day that I wake up next to you. And now … He has brought this little one into our lives as well." Lois smiled through her tears of joy.
"Well," she said, looking down at the baby, "she is ours. Rachel Elena Kent," she declared, trying out the name they had chosen for their daughter. "I think it's perfect." They both loved the name that she had been given at the orphanage, and had settled on Elena for her middle name because it sounded close to "Lane", so the baby would have part of Lois' family name as well. Clark's lips tenderly brushed the "sweet spot" on Lois' neck.
"It's absolutely perfect." He whispered in her ear. Lois kissed Clark's cheek and brought the baby to her shoulder, carefully patting her back. Clark rocked back on his heels for a better view of his wife and child. An amused smiled played across his lips as he savored the sight.
"What are you grinning at, Kent?" Lois laughed accusingly. Clark sighed contentedly. "It just amazes me how much you've changed," he said. "Seven years ago, it would have been nearly impossible for me to imagine this scene." he lamented.
"I know," she sighed happily. "I never thought that motherhood would become such a high priority in my life. But now that it's a reality, it's just … wonderful." Lois cradled the now-sleepy Rachel and began to rock her gently. Clark reached over to the dresser and opened the oak music box that Perry had given them the day before. A familiar melody drifted throughout the room. Lois smiled and hummed along for a moment before picking up the tune with her lilting voice. She lovingly crooned the words as she gazed adoringly at the angel in her arms. Lullaby, and good night With pink roses bedlight With lilies o'erspread Is my baby's sweet head Lay you down, now, and rest, May your slumber be blessed Lay you down, now, and rest, May your slumber be blessed Lullaby, and good night, You're your mother's delight Shining angels bedside My darling abide Soft and warm is your bed, Close your eyes and rest your head Soft and warm is your bed, Close your eyes and rest your head Sleepy head, close your eyes Mother's right here beside you I'll protect you from harm And you will wake in my arms Guardian angels are near So sleep on with no fear Guardian angels are near So sleep on with no fear
A few moments of silence passed as the new parents just admired their sleeping infant. At long last, Lois smiled and rose from the rocking chair, placing the half-empty bottle on the changing table. She caught Clark's eye and motioned toward the bassinet they had carefully placed in the center of the room. Clark moved a few stuffed animals out of the way, allowing Lois to gently place Rachel on her back. Her eyes fluttered briefly but before long her soft breathing became deep and even.
Clark quietly scooted the rocking chair next to the bassinet as Lois stood transfixed, staring down at her baby. He took a seat and quietly pulled Lois into his lap. She cuddled in close, resting her head on his shoulder as they gazed down at their little miracle. Clark's hand reached out and tenderly stroked the silky tendrils of dark brown hair that covered Rachel's head. It was such a beautiful contrast to the milky white smoothness of her newborn skin. Clark was breathtaken by her tiny button nose and the rosebud lips that parted slightly as she slept. Her long, thin little fingers extended from the cuffs of her sleeper, enticing her new parents to stroke them. Lois gave in to temptation — she just couldn't resist reaching out and placing her fingertip in a soft little palm. Five tiny fingers curved around Lois' finger and held fast. Tears streamed down Lois' cheeks as she lovingly stroked the silky baby fingers. At long last, she gently broke the baby's grasp and settled back into her husband's arms with a contented sigh. Lois slowly leaned back until her lips were nearly touching Clark's ear.
"Let's take a hint from our girl and go to bed," she whispered seductively. Clark grinned and rose from the chair with his wife in his arms.
"Mommy, look at me!" Lois looked up from the computer that she balanced on her knees as she sat on the rustic park bench and turned her attention back to the nearby swingset. Her dark-haired angel was pumping her legs furiously as she sailed high above the heads of the children who were digging happily in the sandbox.
Lois smiled proudly as she quickly put her work away and walked over to her daughter. Rachel's curly brown tresses flew out behind her as she rose higher and higher.
"I'm flying, like daddy!" she cried with delight. Lois flashed her a stern look. "Sorry, Mommy!" Rachel whispered loudly as she flew past her mother. She knew how important it was to keep The Secret, but being only three, sometimes she would forget.
"Come on, honey, it's time to go home." Lois softly caught the swing and lowered her daughter to the ground before walking towards the perimeter of the swing area and retrieving her bag. She turned and held out her hand, smiling proudly as her daughter hopped off the swing and skipped towards her. Hand in hand, they sauntered home.
"That girl of ours is one sweet cookie," Clark laughed as he entered the master bedroom, wearing nothing but Lois' favorite pair of his silk boxers and a silky robe that hung loosely about his shoulders, revealing a large, luscious portion of his broad chest. Lois was doing some late night work on a story as she sat in bed with her computer on her lap, already in her nightie and ready for sleep. She smiled at Clark as she stretched her fingers and tried to stifle a yawn.
"What sweet thing did she do now?" she asked as she closed her computer and slid it under the bed. Clark stood still for a moment and just smiled warmly as he leaned against the doorjamb.
"She's sleeping," he said simply. "I just peeked in at her and she just looks like the little angel that she is," he said affectionately. Lois was quiet for a few seconds as she gazed up at the man who clearly enjoyed every minute of fatherhood, just as she always knew he would.
"Let's go have a look at our angel together," she whispered impulsively. Clark extended his hand and helped Lois to her feet. Arms intertwined, they strolled into the hallway together and slowly and silently widened the crack in Rachel's bedroom door. "Oh, Clark … look at her." Lois sighed contentedly as she drank in the sight of their sleeping daughter.
"I know," Clark whispered. They deepened their embrace as they stared down together at their little miracle, both of them bursting with love and pride. Rachel lay snuggled in her white framed toddler bed with the Winnie the Pooh sheets and blankets tucked securely around her little body. A small stuffed Pooh was firmly tucked in the crook of one arm as she lay sprawled on her back, one cheek softly nestled on her pillow. Lois tilted her head and looked up at her husband with admiration.
"Our little girl," she said softly. Clark responded with a light brush of his lips to hers. She began to deepen the kiss, but instead he gently broke away, slowly lifting his head as his superhearing picked up a new sound, one that caused his heart to skip a beat. **Is it possible? Am I hearing correctly?** he wondered. Lois searched his face, noticing the odd expression that played across his features. She could tell that his superhearing was tuned into something, but instead of an expression of concern toward someone calling for help, Lois noticed a hint of secret excitement as well.
"What is it?" she asked, her voice filling with concern. His lips formed into a half-smile as he glanced around Rachel's room dazedly before guiding Lois back into their bedroom. He seated her on the edge of their bed, while he remained standing. Lois stared up at him, as confusion and concern filled her eyes. Clark continued to listen intently, slowly but surely drawing his gaze down to connect with Lois' eyes which were quickly filling with anxiety. Clark dropped down on the bed next to her and gathered her into his arms. Lois' emotions soared, unsure what Clark's next words would be.
"Honey, I …" Clark broke off with a smile. **I don't want to give her false hope if I am wrong, but … it *has* to be true! What else could it be?** he thought, abruptly standing back up again, causing his robe to slip to the floor.
"Clark! *What is it?*" Lois demanded. She leapt to her feet and faced Clark, resting her hands on his taut bare shoulders as she stared directly into his eyes. Clark's expression suddenly transformed from a dazed half-smile into a grin of excitement and joy as he encircled Lois' waist with his hands.
"Honey, I don't know how to tell you this, but … I think we are finally going to be giving Rachel a little sister or brother." he said excitedly, hardly believing his own words. Lois' heart quickened as her knees melted.
Clark caught her in a solid, loving embrace, leaving a soft kiss behind her ear. He lowered her onto the bed and couldn't resist capturing her lips in race of passion and desire, never once releasing his hold on her. Her slender hands moved down the smooth muscles of his back. Their return trip sent charges of electricity down his spine as she deepened their kiss. Her palms massaged his tight shoulder muscles, ending at his throat as she reluctantly broke the kiss that left them both breathless and full of hunger. He looked directly into her eyes which were quickly spilling over with tears of disbelief and excitement.
"Just now, while we were in Rachel's room, I heard a new sound. I heard …" a soft sigh of pleasure escaped Clark's lips as he settled down next to her. "I heard the tiniest heartbeat I have ever heard. I heard it coming from within the woman I love … an echo of her own heartbeat." Lois just stared, transfixed, into Clark's eyes. **Is he saying that I'm good to be true! **Lois' heart was racing. **Is it really possible that we're going to have a child together?** she thought excitedly.
She did not even realize that she was holding her breath until she finally gasped for air. Clark couldn't help but chuckle at the expression on his wife's face … a combination of complete surprise, excitement, joy, fear, and relief. He watched intently as her face melted into a smile of pure delight. "Are you sure?" she whispered, trying to contain her excitement. Clark propped himself up on one elbow and did a quick x-ray of Lois' midsection. He lifted his eyes with a mischievous smile of confirmation. An elated grin suddenly burst into bloom on Lois' face as she threw her arms around her husband's neck.
… of *this* story!