Rated PG Submitted September 22, 1997
Summary: Clark comes home after a busy night as Superman and reflects on his role as father and husband to his daughter, Leia, and Lois.
It had been a long night and Clark was just so glad to be home. He stripped off the S costume and had a shower. Entering the bedroom he saw his beautiful wife fast asleep. He knew she wouldn't mind if he woke her up but she needed sleep too. With their schedules and Leia's, every day was a long day. It seemed like time alone, or as a family, was getting more scarce and precious.
He brushed her cheek with a gentle finger and bent down to kiss her tenderly on the lips. Clark walked next door to see Leia . The moonlight came through the blinds and lit the area where her small head lay on the pillow. He stood in the doorway a moment. It always choked him up a little when he saw his daughter who was a miracle in every sense of the word. His little princess. Walking into the room he knelt down by her bedside. Her covers had twisted off and he pulled them up covering her tiny body.
"You are so little, so precious", he thought. He recalled their trip to the park last week where she tried to get him to let her ride the roller coaster. She was so clever for a five year old but she failed to twist daddy into saying yes that day. They settled on the merry go round. He remembered her delighted face as the horses went up and down. "Look Daddy! I'm riding the horse - isn't she pretty?" she had said to him. At that time, the only thing he could think of was that he would do, or give, anything to keep her that happy and safe forever .
Just being called Daddy was a dream come true for Clark. He wished with all his heart that he could be there more for her but he had cut back as much as possible on his Superman duties. He cherished the small moments, her goodnight kisses (which he missed more and more), her hugs in the morning and the welcoming smile when she saw him come home. There was nothing like having those little arms wrapped around his neck.
He reached out to brush his finger tips against the side of her face in a gentle caress. Clark bent to kiss her goodnight. He went back to the bedroom and sat in the rocking chair in the corner and watched Lois sleep as memories of what he had just gone through came flooding back. What an evening! Floods, fires, shootings, bombs … so much destruction and violence. He leaned down and rested his forearms on his knees and covered his eyes with his hands in a gesture of despair.
Then he felt a hand on his shoulder, he looked up and Lois was there. Concern for him was evident as she knelt down in front of him. "Honey, what's wrong?"
Clark shook his head, looked up and away before responding. "Lois… it was just one of those nights and it just got to me. I see violence, and destruction on a daily basis and sometimes it just makes me wonder about man's inhumanity to man. I am only one man and I can only do so much even if I am Superman. The world needs *more*. " A heavy sigh escaped him then he rubbed his forehead with his hand in frustration.
Lois brought her hands up to hold his face as she replied. "Listen to me, honey. You have always wanted to make the world perfect and safe for everyone, save everyone… you can't do that. You know that and that hurts you. You have such a giving heart and to cause anyone to suffer even unintentionally by *not* being there eats at you. Clark, the world is a better place, a safer place because of you. People are alive today because of *you*. That is the bottom line."
He looked a her tenderly. "You're right. I know you love hearing that," he said as Lois grinned at him. "But you know from when you were UltraWoman it is hard to ignore suffering of others." Clark paused. "It is so nice to be able to talk to someone about what I do instead of talking to pigs until Mom and Dad wake up. Have I told you lately how much I love you, Mrs. Kent?"
Lois nibbled at her lip as if she really had to think hard about it. "Weelllllll, it has been at least 6 hours and 12 minutes," she smiled at him.
Clark laughed "That long? I love you sweetheart. " He reached to pull her closer for a gentle kiss, then he just held her close with his head resting on her shoulder. Just holding Lois recharged his spirit and gave him strength to face another day.
"Mmmmm, that feels so good. I missed you tonight honey. Leia was sorry she couldn't say goodnight to Daddy," Lois said against his neck.
"I'm sorry too. I missed you both . I went into her room when I returned and kissed her goodnight. Lois ?"
"Yes, Clark?" she asked drowsily using his shoulder for a pillow.
Hesitantly, Clark softly voiced his biggest worry. "I worry that I am shortchanging you and Leia. It seems that I miss so much of our daily life. I don't want her, or you, to think you come second in my life… you two give me the strength and love to face another day."
"Oh, honey … we understand and love you too," she said and raised her head, turning to kiss him softly. Then she yawned.
"Come on, sleepyhead, let's get you to bed."
Clark gathered her into his arms and placed her on the bed. He joined her just in time to see her eyes close and drift into sleep in his arms. As Clark gazed at the woman he loved, his wife, these words came back to him.
I like to feel your name on my lips I like the sound of your sweet gentle kiss I like the way your fingers run through my hair The way your scent lingers even when you're not here
I like the way your eyes dance when you laugh How you enjoy your two hour baths How you convinced me to dance in the rain With everyone watching like we were insane
I love the way you love me Strong and wild Slow and easy Heart and soul So completely
I like the innocent way that you cry at sappy old movies You've seen hundreds of times
I love the way you love me
He whispered the last line to Lois just before he drifted off to sleep.
Note: Most of the words at the end are from "I love the way you love me" by John Michael Montgomery