By Kat Picson (Kat5107@aol.com or firstname.lastname@example.org)
Submitted December 11, 1997
Summary: A newly married Lois and Clark consider parenthood when a surprise visitor shows up at the Planet.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: This story was originally written before the 4th season began. It has been revised since its original distribution for the SuperFoLCs newsletter and AOL's reading room to fit the continuity of the episodes up to Brutal Youth.
Lois Lane and her husband Clark Kent were at the Daily Planet early Friday morning. Perry and the other editors were at a convention in Gotham City and wouldn't be arriving until that afternoon, and someone had to open up the office and do all the editor things. Lois had volunteered for the job, and Clark reluctantly went along with it.
"Lois, can I just say one more time that you are a workaholic?" Clark said as he turned on the television monitors and flipped the switch that controlled the scrolling message board that displayed the stock market all day.
"Yes, you may," Lois said, sitting on the edge of her desk, talking on the phone. "And thank you for the compliment," she added with a smile.
Clark shook his head in disbelief at his headstrong wife. They had only been married a few months and it was obvious who would wear the pants in this relationship. Although Lois had legally taken the Kent name, "Lois Lane" was the name that appeared on every front-page story that she penned, alone or with Clark.
Clark glanced at the clock. It read 6:21. "People should start drifting in around eight," he reminded himself out loud. "So we'll be alone for another hour and a half … " He sauntered over to Lois, who was already sitting at her desk, typing away. Clark came up behind her and lifted her out of her chair, her fingers still suspended over the keyboard.
"Clark … !" Lois was taken by surprise.
He kissed her passionately, and wanted to do more, but the elevator bell dinged, and the door slid open. Lois leapt out of Clark's arms, straightening her skirt with a sheepish smile on her face, and Clark cleared his throat and smoothed his hand over the back of his head. He turned to look at who the culprit was.
It was a girl. Her hair fell down in dark curls down her back, and she was wearing a black leather jacket and jeans. She looked confused and scared, as if she didn't know whether she was in the right place. Immediately she spotted Lois and Clark, who had regained their composure.
"Can I help you?" Clark asked, approaching.
The girl looked at him suspiciously, then said guardedly, "I'm looking for Lois Lane."
"I'm Lois Lane." Lois stood up from her desk. The girl was about her height, with the same slender build. "This is my husband, Clark Kent. And you are … ?"
The girl heaved a big breath. "I'm Lisa. I need your help."
"Lisa? Why did you look for me?" Lois asked.
"Because I'm all alone in Metropolis, I don't have any money, and you're the only person that I know that can help me." Her voice shook, but this was one thing Lisa seemed confident about.
"I don't even know you, do I?" Lois searched her face for any sign of familiarity, and found none, but Lois had a strange feeling that she knew her somehow.
"Not exactly." Lisa took another big breath, and glancing at Clark, said, "My full name is Lisa Harlowe Lane. I'm your sister."
"My WHAT?" Lois exclaimed, stunned. "The only sister I have is Lucy, and she's away at school."
"No, you don't understand. I'm your half-sister. Dr. Sam Lane is my father. He and my mother … were together, a long time ago. But my birth certificate says it; I have the proof." She reached for her leather backpack.
"We believe you," Clark said, putting out a hand to stop her. "Let's sit down and talk about this."
They moved to Lois' desk, and Clark pulled up two chairs. Lois seemed to be in shock. It was very possible that Lisa was telling the truth, since the word "womanizer" was practically an understatement when it came to describing Lois' father.
"Start from the beginning, Lisa," Lois said.
"Well, I was born in Metropolis, but after I was born my mother — Naomi Harlowe — moved us to Denver with my grandparents. They pretty much raised me, because my mother was a doctor, too. Anyway, when I was ten she just got up and moved to New York, but this time she was married, and her husband hated me. So I just stayed with Nana and Grampy. I decided to move to Metropolis when my grandparents died two weeks ago, but this morning when I got off the train, someone stole my purse. All I have left is forty dollars that I had in my pocket. And I looked up your name in the phone book, but you were unlisted. Then I saw The Daily Planet and I saw your article. I came straight here and hoped you were the same Lois Lane."
"How did you know that you were even related to Lois?" Clark asked. "I mean, I'm sure that there are dozens of people in Metropolis named Lane."
"Naomi told me," Lisa told Clark. "She told me Sam had two daughters. Their names were Lois and Lucy, and they lived in Metropolis."
"Where is Naomi?" Lois asked. "Why aren't you living with her?"
"I don't know where she is," Lisa said, shrugging. "She was in New York, but I don't have her number."
"Do you have a place to stay for tonight?" Lois asked. Lisa shook her head no. "Well, it's final. Clark and I have a guest room; you can stay there."
"Only if I'm not imposing," Lisa insisted.
"Definitely not," Clark interjected. "You're staying with us. You won't be safe on the streets of Metropolis. You did the right thing by coming to the Planet."
Lisa smiled, comforted by the fact that this couple had taken her in so easily. It was plain to see why they had been so attracted to each other: Clark, with his strong build and gentle nature, and Lois with her slender body and tenacious spirit. Lisa had only met them ten minutes ago, and she saw that they were good people who were very much in love.
The silence was interrupted by the phone ringing. Lois frowned, wondering who could be calling so early. She reached for the telephone.
"Daily Planet, Lois Lane speaking."
"Lois, well thank God this old geezer picked the right person to put in charge! I trust everything is going A-OK? How are you and Clark doing over there? Where the Sam Hill is everyone?" Perry's Southern drawl came through loud and clear, although it seemed like he was on a cellular phone.
"Perry! Good morning! Where are you?"
"To tell you the truth, I'm in the company limo coming back from the airport. I left on an earlier flight this morning. No new tricks at that convention that this old dog doesn't already know. I'll be there in twenty minutes or so."
"Tell him I said hi," Clark said, poking Lois in the gut.
Lois shoved him away playfully. "All right, Perry," she said. "See ya." She hung up.
"You didn't tell him I said hi," Clark said, pretending to pout.
"Well, you can tell him yourself," Lois said, picking up her purse and walking to the elevator. "He'll be here soon." She pressed the button on the elevator. "I, for one, am dying for a chocolate cream donut and a mocha." She paused and looked at Lisa. "Want to join me?"
Lisa's eyes lit up. "Sure!" She bounced up out of her chair and followed Lois into the elevator.
"Latte for you, honey?" Lois called as the doors slid closed.
"Yes, please!" Clark called back.
Clark finished preparing the newsroom and started watching LNN, and before he knew it, reporters, photographers, and editors were scurrying around the Daily Planet city room. Perry arrived, screaming and throwing a tantrum as usual.
"Here's your latte, Clark," Lisa said, handing him a cup and a paper bag. "And Lois got you a couple of donuts, too."
Lois was talking with Jimmy, who had just received a present from Lois — a cappuccino and a banana cream donut. "Okay, Jimmy," Lois said, walking away.
She turned to Clark. "Listen, I just talked with Jimmy and Perry, and they said I could take off early. I'm going to take Lisa around the city."
"OK," Clark said, surprised. Lois never gave up a day at the office to bum around … even with him!
"You think you can handle things around here?" she asked as she picked up her purse.
Clark gave her a fake expression of shock. "ME? Not be able to handle things?"
Lois made a face, but then pulled Clark into her arms, kissing him on the cheek. "Okay, I'll see you at home. I'm taking the car."
Lois pulled the keys out of Clark's blazer pocket as she broke from the hug. It was done so smoothly that even Clark had to laugh. "Bye, honey."
Lois and Lisa disappeared into the sea of people clambering for the elevator.
Jimmy came up alongside Clark. "So Lois has a new sister, huh?"
Clark smiled as he sat down at his computer. "I guess so. But there's something bugging me about her. She came to Metropolis when she knows her mother is in New York. She doesn't know a soul in Metropolis, but she looks up Lois. She could have just as easily gone to New York and looked up her mother."
"Maybe she doesn't want to be with her mother?" Jimmy suggested. "Maybe the stepfather is a drunken lush who verbally abuses her?"
"Jimmy, you've watched too much General Hospital," Clark teased. But he was serious as he began typing on the keyboard. "But I'm willing to bet that Naomi Harlowe is right underneath our noses." He began by doing a search of the medical records of the hospitals in Metropolis, from fifteen to nineteen years ago. He didn't know Lisa's exact age, and he knew that looks could be deceiving, so he had to do a huge search.
"That's going to take a while, CK," Jimmy said. "Meanwhile, here's the file the Chief wanted you to take a look at. *I* have an important assignment covering the opening of the Kazoo Museum on Tenth Street." Jimmy rolled his eyes. "It seems to be a slow news day," he explained.
"Fun, fun, fun!" Clark said sarcastically. He turned back to his computer.
"Later, CK!" Jimmy picked up his motorcycle helmet and headed for the elevators.
Lois and Lisa went to the Museum of Art, the Metropolis City Zoo, and had lunch at Gabby's Deli.
"You and Clark are really happy, huh?" Lisa asked as they strolled in the park after their meal.
Lois was taken aback by the statement. It was out of the blue, but it was true Clark was all Lois could talk about. "Well … yes we are. We just got married two months ago, and we took two weeks off for our honeymoon. It was really great. I never take that much time off work at one time."
"Really?" Lisa asked in awe. "You must be a workaholic. My grandmother used to say that I was, too. I used to work at the corner ice cream store every school night to save up money to visit my mom. And now I got it all taken away from me," she added, referring to her mugger.
"So, why are you in Metropolis?" Lois asked at last. The question had been weighing on her mind all day — she hadn't missed the loopholes in Lisa's story as Clark thought she had. If Lisa had wanted to visit her mother, then why was she in Metropolis?
"To tell you the truth, Lois … " Lisa drifted off. She wanted so much to tell Lois everything, and Lois sensed it. But all she said was, "I wanted to meet you and Lucy. I never had real flesh and blood around growing up. Did I tell you Naomi was adopted?" Lois shook her head. "Yeah, so my grandparents weren't my real grandparents. I was going to go straight to New York after this. But the truth is, I don't exactly know where they are. I have a feeling that they don't want me to find them."
Lois truly felt sorry for her new sister, and put her arm around her. Since Lucy was always away at school and her parents were off on a safari somewhere, she never really had a chance to be affectionate with any family.
"Are you and Clark planning to have a kid, Lois?" Lisa asked.
Lois was again taken aback by Lisa's bold questions. But she knew they were just out of curiosity. "Um, we've discussed it. But not yet." That wasn't exactly true. They hadn't discussed the subject of children since they had been married. Lois began wondering about it again.
"I can tell you would be great parents. You hardly know me, and you're already taking me in and making me feel so welcome. Thank you, Lois."
"You're welcome, Lisa." They walked back to Lois' Jeep parked near the street, and Lois drove back to their townhouse.
"Chief!" Jimmy jogged down into Perry White's office with a camera around his neck, a manila folder in one hand, and his helmet in the other. "I got those pictures from the museum for you."
"Jimmy!" Clark called. "Come here and look at this. I need an objective opinion."
"Is there such thing as an objective opinion, CK?" Jimmy asked, smiling.
"This is what I came up with about Lisa Harlowe Lane. She's fourteen, she was born in Metropolis County Hospital, and her father is listed as Sam Lane. But, that's not the interesting part. She said she lived in Denver, but I couldn't find any school records or anything about her or her so-called grandparents. So, I looked for her mother, Naomi Harlowe … much harder to find because she's married now. But I found records of Naomi and Lisa living in San Francisco, and it seems as if they were living there the whole time."
"So the grandparents story is a hoax?"
"Looks like it."
"Maybe you should find out why she left San Francisco."
"Well, I'm going to check police records to see if there's missing persons file on Lisa Harlowe Lane. Then, if there isn't any, I'm going to check on Naomi Harlowe. It's been hard finding her, like I said."
"Why don't you look for records of a marriage license?" Jimmy suggested.
"Good idea, Jimmy, thanks."
"Meanwhile, I'm going to lunch. Want a sandwich from Subway?"
"Get me a footlong club with everything on it. Oh, and a bag of chips, a large soda, and three cookies."
"CK, sometimes I wonder where you put it all," Jimmy said, playfully punching Clark in the stomach. It was unusually firm, he thought.
All of a sudden, Clark jumped up out of his seat, and ran to the stairs, adjusting his tie, mumbling an excuse about "getting Lois' dry cleaning before the place closed."
"He always does that," Jimmy muttered to himself. "I don't know how Lois puts up with it."
Clark came home, exhausted from flying to Malaysia to save a factory full of workers from a chemical fire. There had been over a hundred workers, and not a single one had been killed. Clark was relieved, but tired.
"Hi, honey, I'm home," Clark said, walking in the front door.
Lisa appeared in the kitchen entry wearing Clark's apron. "Hi, Clark. I'm teaching Lois how to bake chicken."
Lois appeared behind Lisa. "I know, Clark, don't say a thing. But it's actually turning out pretty good."
Clark was so tired, he couldn't even make a joke about Lois' cooking. He plopped down on their new couch and stretched out.
Lois sat down next to him. "I heard about Malaysia on the news," Lois whispered in his ear. "You tired?"
"Understatement," Clark said. "I'm definitely exhausted."
"Did you write up a statement from Superman for the paper?" Lois asked, suddenly all business.
"Of course. I had to stop by the Planet and collect the sandwich Jimmy got for me."
"Does that mean you're not going to try our chicken?"
"Of course! I have to try it before you do, or you might get food poisoning," Clark commented sarcastically, getting up.
"Ha, ha," Lois said just as sarcastically. The oven timer began ringing, and Lois immediately went over and switched off the timer and pulled the tray out of the oven with oven mitts. Lisa was at the mixer, making mashed potatoes.
"Lisa, how'd you learn to cook at such a young age?" Clark asked pointedly.
Lisa shrugged. "My grandmother, I guess. And I watched a lot of Julia Child."
Lois looked at Clark with a questioning glance, and he answered with another glance that meant, "We'll talk about it later." Lois went back to her cooking.
"This is delicious," Clark said, practically shoveling food into his mouth. "Lisa, are you sure you didn't help Lois at all with the chicken?"
Lisa beamed proudly. "Nope, I just told her what to do, and she stuck it in the oven and everything. You can't really mess up on chicken," she added.
"If you put Lois in the kitchen you can."
The threesome finished their meal with apple pie from the bakery. "Is it okay if I watch TV?" Lisa asked, motioning to the living room.
"Sure," Lois said. "We'll be upstairs. Clark's just going to update me on what happened at work."
"Okay," Lisa said blankly from the living room, already mesmerized by the television.
The townhouse was a three-bedroom, two bath — much too large for Lois' taste, but they both loved it. The master bedroom was for Lois and Clark, of course; the smallest bedroom next to theirs was used as an den and office for all their files and a computer (the closet was used for Lois' extensive wardrobe), and the bedroom downstairs was used as a guest room in case the Kents or the Lanes stopped in town. Clark began changing out of his suit and tie and began dressing into jeans and a flannel shirt.
"So anything interesting happen at work?" Lois asked, flopping down on the bed.
"Not really. Jimmy went to cover the opening of the Kazoo Museum, and like I said, I spent most of the afternoon in Malaysia."
"What did you do all morning?"
Clark finished buttoning his shirt and sat down next to Lois. "I was working on that story about the mayor, but there's something else I was working on, too. I researched Lisa."
"You did WHAT?! WHY?" Lois exclaimed, aghast. "She's only a teenager, barely eighteen, what harm could she possibly do to us?"
Clark lowered his voice to a whisper so Lisa wouldn't hear. "Lois, you've already got that part wrong. She's only FOURTEEN, and her records all come from San Francisco, not Denver. And, there's no record of grandparents living anywhere in the United States, as far as I know, although I haven't searched obituaries yet. Have you even considered that she's lying to you?"
"What?" Lois leaned back on the pillows, a look of confusion spreading over her face. "I don't believe it. She's only fourteen? What was she doing traveling across the country by herself?"
Clark shrugged. "You got me."
Lois stood up. "Well, maybe I should find out," she said, heading out the bedroom door.
Clark grabbed her arm. "No, wait, Lois. You have to remember that's a teenager you're dealing with out there. A possible runaway. You have to approach her without aggression, or she might run away from us, too. And who knows what could happen to her out there?"
Lois thought for a moment, then sat back down. She looked at her husband. "I don't know what to do, Clark. I've never dealt with a teenager before. I wasn't even there for Lucy — I was already off chasing that Pulitzer by the time she was fourteen."
"Well, Lisa obviously looks up to you," Clark said. "She hangs on to your every word."
Lois looked down, embarrassed. "I never thought of myself as the big sister type."
"I think Lisa looks up to you as more of the mother type."
Lois took a long, hard look at Clark. "So you think I should talk to her?"
"It's your call."
Lois heaved a big sigh. "Remind me to never have teenagers," Lois said as she walked down the stairs.
"Are you sure about that?" Clark teased.
"Positive!" Lois yelled back.
Lisa was slouched on the sofa, watching The Simpsons. She was laughing hysterically but suddenly became quiet when she saw Lois' somber face.
"Oh, sorry, am I being too loud?"
Lois sat down next to her. "No, no. Lisa, we have to talk."
Lisa looked confused. "About what?"
"About how you lied to Clark and me about living in Denver." Lois was trying not to be aggressive, but the words slipped out.
Lisa looked down, ashamed. "You know."
"Lisa, we're investigative reporters, we're not stupid."
Lisa looked angry. "I never said you were!"
"Look, I'm sorry about that last remark. But why don't you tell me the story. The WHOLE story this time, please."
"You have to promise me that you're not going to send me back with THEM."
"With who? Now, look, Lisa, you know I can't promise you that."
"Then I'm not spilling."
"Now I know what it's like to deal with someone as stubborn as me," Lois muttered.
"Lisa, just tell me the story. After I know what's happening, I'll see what I can do. Fair enough?" Lois stuck out her hand.
Lisa thought about it for a second, then accepted Lois' hand. "Deal." She paused, then started her story. "See, Naomi got married when I was four. And so we moved from Metropolis to San Francisco with Harry. Then my mom divorced Harry, and married William, who was okay. He had two kids who stayed over during the weekends. But that only lasted until I was ten or eleven. Then she married Rob. He's the worst one. He's messy, he makes me cook for him, and I know he cheats on Naomi. I've seen him with his girlfriends. I feel sorry for his kids, Bobby and Monica. They're only two and five.
"When I woke up in the middle of the night one time to get a glass of water, Rob and Naomi were talking, and they said they were going to send me to the Pickadilly School for Girls."
"That's about twenty miles from here," Lois interrupted.
"Yeah. That's when I started planning to run away. Rob said two kids was enough, and that I was already entering high school, I could take care of myself."
Lois began to feel sorry for Lisa, feeling at the same time like she was in the middle of an After-School Special.
"So anyway, I took the train to Metropolis, and some lady was there holding up a sign with my name on it. But I didn't want to go to that damn school. I knew that my real father was from Metropolis, but he wasn't listed in the book. But I knew that you were a famous reporter."
"Lisa, what did you think we were going to do, keep you here forever?" Lois asked gently.
"I don't want to stay at the Pickadilly School for Girls. And I hate living with Naomi, too. Rob's a jerk. I thought maybe I could live with my dad."
"What's wrong with the Pickadilly School for Girls?" Lois asked, knowing that it had a very good reputation, was well-liked by its students, and was very expensive.
Lisa shrugged. "Nothing. I just wanted to see if I could live with my dad."
Lois sighed. "There's something you have to know about our dad. He's definitely not the fatherly type. I don't think he ever will be. He's just not mature enough that way."
"But how do you know?"
"Lisa, I lived with him until I was almost a teenager. He never took care of his responsibilities, he's a womanizer, and did I forget to say he's immature? You're better off at the School for Girls if you really hate home that much."
"But what if I just stay here with you and Clark? It's the next best thing."
Lois sighed again. This was going to be hard. She had only known Lisa for fifteen hours, and she already felt attached. Lois Lane usually was not like this. She never got attached to people. It must be Clark's friendly farmboy mentality rubbing off on her, she thought to herself. Darn Clark!
"You can't live with Clark and me. First of all, you're under your mother's custody. Second of all, Clark and I are not rich. We're not sure if we're ready for our own children yet, let alone someone else's."
"But I promise to be good and stay out of your way," Lisa insisted. "I get good grades in school, and I take care of myself enough as it is."
"Listen, Lisa. I'll tell you what: if you stay at the School for Girls, Clark and I'll visit you every couple of weeks. And you can come stay with us during vacations if you like, but you can't live here full time."
Lisa looked disappointed, but she nodded. "I figured you and Clark were too good to be true." She looked up at Lois. "Your kids, if you ever have any, are gonna be real lucky."
"Scoot on out to bed," Lois said, pulling her off the couch, pretending to ignore the last comment. "It's already ten."
"I usually don't get to bed until eleven," Lisa protested, but she yawned and walked toward the guest room. She had had a long day.
Clark walked down the stairs to Lois and put his arms around her. "Good job, Mrs. Kent," he said, pulling her close. "I think you've taken a giant step toward getting ready for motherhood." They walked up the stairs together.
"Maybe. But I just realized how hard this parenting thing could get. I don't know if we're ready for it."
"There's no rush, Lois."
The two got ready for bed, and the moment Lois' head hit the pillow she was out like a light. Clark smiled as he put his arms around her and pulled the blanket closer. It still amazed him how wonderful he felt holding her all night like that. He breathed in the wonderful smell of the soap that lingered around her, and fell asleep.
A sound awakened Clark. He glanced at the digital clock next to the bed; it read 2:33. He put on a robe and looked out the window. A petite figure wearing a leather jacket walked quickly and quietly down the street.
Lisa knew she was doing the right thing. Lois and Clark didn't want her; she would just have to deal with being alone. That wasn't so bad; Lois had said she was alone most of her adult life until Clark came along. Maybe Lisa would follow in her older sister's footsteps. She was about to turn the street corner when she heard a whoosh and came face to face with … Superman.
"It's pretty late for young girls like you to be out," he said, floating gently to the ground.
"Oh." Lisa was taken by surprise. "You're Superman, aren't you? I've heard about you. Well, see, I was just going to my friend's house for a sleepover. My mom said I could walk there; it's only around this corner."
"What's the address? I'll walk you there," Superman challenged.
"Oh, uh, 438 Hyperion."
"This IS Hyperion, and if I'm not mistaken, 438 is the home of the Kents."
"How do you know?"
"Mr. and Mrs. Kent are close, personal friends of mine."
"Wow, really? Okay, you caught me. I'm staying with them."
"So why are you out lurking in the middle of the night?"
"I'm running away. Lois and Clark don't want me."
"That doesn't sound like them. What made you think that?"
Lisa felt ridiculous standing out in the cold street talking to this man wearing blue tights, but she did it anyway. He had a friendly, appealing character to him that seemed very familiar to her. "They're kicking me out. I wanted to live with them and they want me to go to this stupid girls' school. They're just like my parents."
Superman smiled, looking as if he wanted to laugh at the last remark. "Lois and Clark are just trying to help. And trust me, I've known them for a long time. If anyone knows what it's like to be alone and misunderstood, it's those two. Come on, let me walk you back."
Superman's red cape billowed in the night air. He knocked on the door, hoping Lois wouldn't wake up screaming and yelling and slip up when she saw him in the Suit.
"Who's there?" Lois called sleepily from behind the door.
Superman cleared his voice. "Ahem, Mrs. Kent? Lois? It's Superman."
"Superman?" Lisa and Superman heard the various clicks and pops of the several locks Lois had insisted upon installing.
"Lisa! What are you doing with Superman?" Lois took Lisa's hand and pulled her inside.
"It seems your young guest decided to take a midnight walk, and I realized I should probably escort her home, seeing as this is Metropolis and all, and anything could happen."
"Well, thank you, Superman," Lois said, closing the door hastily.
The next moment Clark came bounding down the stairs, putting his glasses on. "Who was at the door, honey?" He seemed to be struggling to wake up.
"I'm sorry for waking you guys up, Lois," Lisa said. "I just didn't want to impose anymore on you two."
"There's no turning back now. You had better be glad tomorrow is Saturday and our day off. We're going to call your mother and see what we can do about this situation. Now, get to bed. And if you try and sneak off again, I know for a fact that Superman will bring you right back."
"All right," Lisa said, defeated.
The next morning, Clark let Lois sleep in while he made breakfast. Lisa wandered into the kitchen at nine and ate the French toast Clark had prepared. When Clark went to check on Lois, he found her already showered, dressed, and perfumed with the telephone in one hand and pen in the other.
"Where are you going? I just made breakfast." Clark watched as Lois jotted down chicken scratchings on the pad by the bed and finally hung up.
"WE are going to the Pickadilly School for Girls. I just talked to their headmistress. It seems that Naomi Harlowe-Wilson flew in from San Jose as soon as she found out Lisa was missing."
"Are we bringing Lisa?"
"Of course," Lois said, picking up her purse. "Did you make breakfast?"
"Great, can you fix it to go? You can drive and Lisa and I will eat."
"Why, thank you Lois. Did you even think of me and my breakfast?"
Lois gave Clark her "Yeah, right" look. "I know you, Clark Kent. And if I know you, you've already eaten your HALF of the French toast and left the other half for Lisa and me."
Clark laughed, only because Lois knew him so well. He dressed in jeans and a denim shirt while Lois told Lisa to get ready.
They set off for the school, which was about a half-hour drive from town. Lisa moaned miserably when she saw a blond woman of about forty standing in front of the gate.
"Lisa sweetums!" the woman said. As soon as Lisa got out of the car, Naomi draped her arms around her. "Why in the world did you do such a thing?"
Lois and Clark inspected the woman they knew had to be Naomi. She had platinum-bleached hair that was hairsprayed into perfection and wore a bright electric-blue suit and cat's eye sunglasses. Lois took one look and was scared of the imposing woman.
"Naomi, I'm fine. Lois and Clark took care of me."
Naomi finally noticed Lois and Clark, standing awkwardly by the Jeep. "So you two are the ones who hid my baby."
"Mrs. Wilson —" Clark started.
"Naomi," she corrected.
"Naomi," Clark began again, "We did everything we could to get Lisa back to where she belonged. But you have to understand that she put up a very good front."
"It wasn't their fault, Naomi," Lisa confirmed. "I lied to them, and I went to them in the first place. They thought I was already eighteen."
"My little Lisa sweetums as an eighteen-year-old? Well, no matter. We're getting you home and safe. If you don't like Pickadilly, then you'll just have to come home and go to the School of Performing Arts. Nothing is too good for my baby," she told Lois and Clark. "But Rob is going to kill me once he finds out we're paying all this money and you pulled a stunt like this … "
"Naomi, if I may interrupt," Lois said as politely as she could. "Lisa has been through a lot. She says she doesn't want to return California. She promised to stay at Pickadilly. Clark and I will keep an eye on her."
Naomi looked at the two of them suspiciously, then her expression changed. "I suppose you two did take care of my little Lisa sweetums. Do you like them, Lisa?" Lisa nodded. "Okay. Well, you can stay here in Metropolis. But if I hear you're making trouble around here, or if I get a call from the headmistress at Pickadilly, you're coming home with me."
"All right, Naomi," Lisa agreed. Lois and Clark felt they had done their job, and after shaking hands with Naomi and speaking briefly with the headmistress and a Metropolis police officer, they went home.
They drove home in relative silence until Lois said, "Clark, do you really think I'd make a good mother?"
"I'd say that was a pretty successful practice run," Clark said.
"Yes, but that's one for one. This got me thinking: When you deal with a child, that's every day, twenty-four hours a day. Don't you think I could make some huge mistakes? Screw up the child forever? Put him or her in therapy for disturbing the peace by screaming 'I had a terrible childhood because of my terrible mother' at his or her college campus?"
"Whoa, whoa, whoa, Lois," Clark said, suppressing a chuckle. "Where did that come from? I didn't even give you coffee this morning." He made sure Lois was relaxed and smiling before he continued. "First of all, we will BOTH make mistakes. That's a given, and it's OK. And the reason there are two of us involved with having and raising a child is because we're there to look out for each other, and to be the best parents we can possibly be." He pulled the Jeep into the driveway and turned off the engine.
"I guess I'm scared, you know?"
"We've been through this, Lois. And last I remember, I was the one who was scared." He was referring to the time that he thought he might resemble Jimmy Olsen's absentee father. Clark began getting out of the car, and Lois followed.
"That doesn't stop me from being scared," Lois retorted. "And I kind of … already want … a baby." Lois bumped into Clark as he stopped in his tracks.
He turned around. "Honey, are you serious?"
Lois smiled, embarrassed. "Well, yeah. Having Lisa around really brought out the maternal instincts in me … something I never knew I had."
Clark opened the door to the house, and smiled mischievously. "Then what are we waiting for, Mrs. Kent? I think we should start on that project RIGHT AWAY."
Lois smiled back as she hopped into his arms. "I think you're right, Mr. Kent." They entered their bedroom, laughing and giggling … and soon those sounds turned into the sounds of two people in love … creating another being, in the name of love.
Original version published in AOL Reading Room 8/96.
Revised for SuperFoLCs, 8/21/96
Revised for Fanfic Archive, 12/11/97