The Quest

By Chris Mulder and Pam Jernigan

Rated PG-13

Submitted October 1999

Summary: While babysitting, Ellen gave it away. Lois and Clark *need* it, so they go on a search for it … and you'll never guess what "it" is. ;-)

This is what happens when two fanfic writers are best friends and spend way too much time on the phone together…

By Chris Mulder and Pam Jernigan <> and <>


Lois and Clark pulled up in front of their brownstone with thankful sighs. It had been quite a day and they were looking forward to spending some "quality" time together tonight. Their son had gotten the second in a series of health department ordained vaccinations at his recent well-baby check- up and had been fussy for the past couple of days. Not only had Lois and Clark been short on sleep because of it, but they hadn't had any opportunity for the kind of close, intensely physical, and deeply satisfying, contact they both craved and enjoyed together. By some unspoken agreement, however, they'd each come to the same conclusion—that tonight was going to be the night their brief period of enforced celibacy would end!

They mounted the stairs in record time, anxious to thank Lois's mother for babysitting, and then to eject her from the premises as politely, albeit as expeditiously, as possible. Of course Ellen wasn't going to make it easy for them. Oh, no! It was almost, Lois thought with exasperation, as if Ellen somehow knew just how badly her daughter and son-in-law wanted to be alone.

Gradually they eased her towards the door, with Ellen talking the whole time about how good the baby had been, what he'd eaten and how often he'd smiled or napped or filled his diaper. "He was just a perfect angel, Lois."

"Yes, Mother."

"Much better than Lucy was as that age, let me tell you."

"Some other time, please, Mother."

"Not that I would ever tell Lucy that, though."

"Of course not, Mother."

"And she did grow out of it … eventually."

"Yes, Mother." … "No, Mother." …

I don't care, Mother. … I want to rip the clothes off my husband and have my way with him, Mother. … Please leave, Mother. …

"What did you say, Lois, dear?"

Oh, God, had she actually said that out loud? "Nothing, Mother. I'm just tired. Thanks again for babysitting. Goodnight."

"Goodnight, Lois. Goodnight, Clark."

Good, Lois thought, she's leaving … she's almost out the door … she's over the threshold … she's … she's … she's coming back!

"Oh, and one more thing. Some people came by today, collecting stuff for a charity auction. I gave them that hideous thing from your bedside table, Lois. God know what you'd want with it—it didn't go with your room's decor at all. I never could understand why you've kept it all this time, even if it was a wedding present. Heaven knows, I had to hide some of the stuff your father and I got when we got married. Some of it was perfectly horri—"

It suddenly dawned on Ellen that her two listeners weren't saying anything. In fact, they looked as if they'd been shot, stuffed and mounted, standing there, staring at her with their mouths hanging open like that. "What!" she exclaimed.

Lois jerked out of her trance. "But that was—! I mean, Clark and—!" Words failed her. "We *need* that!"


"How could she do that?" Lois exclaimed for the fiftieth time.

"I don't know, honey," her long-suffering husband replied, his attention on the road ahead.

"What are we going to do if we can't find it?"

Well, not much tonight, that's for sure, Clark muttered to himself, morosely. Out loud he said, however, "We'll find it, don't worry."

"I'll try not to, but … How could she do that?"

Clark sighed, and shook his head. "I don't know, honey. Check the map for me, will you," he asked, in a praiseworthy attempt to distract her. "We must be getting close."

He was right. A couple more turns and they pulled up in front of the east side Goodworks Resale Shop. This was the fourth such place they'd visited that evening. Things would have been easier if Ellen could remember just who'd she'd so blissfully donated their belongings to. As it was, they'd already visited the resale stores for the Salvation Platoon, the Veterans of Wars To End All Wars, and the Ladies Oversees Aid Society. They were running out of options.

Once again they came away disappointed. A pickup had been made in their neighborhood that day, apparently, but not from their house, and so the object they were searching for remained elusively hidden. They thanked the helpful, but curious, lady behind the counter and turned to leave, but she called them back to make a suggestion. It seemed that the Coates Orphanage was having a White Elephant Sale and Spaghetti Dinner in their auditorium that evening. Maybe what they were looking for was there.

Lois and Clark looked at each other, thanked the woman once again, and set off to the other side of town.

"Thank goodness your parents could take care of the baby for us on such short notice, Clark. Maybe we should clone them and replace my parents with the clones."

Clark looked over where Lois sat, slumped dejectedly in her seat, watching the darkened streets as they drove to their next destination.

"Now, Lois … honey, you know you don't really mean that."

She had to think about it a minute.

"No, I guess I don't. But this is just about the last straw, Clark. Mother has been after me about that thing ever since she first laid eyes on it the night of our anniversary party. Remember? The downstairs bathroom and the one in the hall upstairs were all full, and so she used the one off our bedroom. That's when she spotted it, and she's harped on it ever since. It didn't matter that I'd told her it was a present from a dear friend. Nothing mattered, except that it didn't match the curtains! Parents!"

She lapsed into silence once more, and Clark returned his full attention to his driving. Ellen could be exasperating, that's for sure, but he'd never before entertained the notion that she was actively malevolent. Of course, she couldn't have known the purpose of the object she'd so blithely given away to a total stranger, but one did have to wonder sometimes if she wasn't karmically bad news.

What they were searching for wasn't at Coates, either, nor could anyone remember whether or not it had ever been there. The staff and kids of the orphanage remembered Lois and Clark, however, and their friendship with Superman, and so it wasn't easy to break away. The only things they got out of the visit were a few messages for the Man of Steel, a lead about a charity auction at St. Theresa's and a small spaghetti-stained handprint on Lois's second best pair of white slacks.

The Mother Superior at St. Theresa's couldn't help them much, but one of the women who was helping to clean up the school hall volunteered that she thought she'd seen something resembling their lost item, but she couldn't say who might have bought it. Clark thanked the women for their help and then put his arm around Lois to guide her back out to the car.

Once outside Lois began to sniffle, so Clark put both arms around her and pulled her into a hug. "It will be all right, sweetie. I'll talk to Dr. Klein tomorrow about getting a replacement, and this time we'll keep it hidden from your mother and only bring it out when we need it."

Lois held on to him tightly, feeling very sorry for herself, and Clark. "Tell him to make it something *tasteful* this time."

Clark had to grin at the tone in her voice and the scowl on her face. "I'll be sure and mention it," he assured her.

"How could she *do* this? I always knew she hated it, but I didn't think she'd do anything like this! I mean, I couldn't explain it to her—what was I going to say? 'Mother, we need to have a tiny bit of Kryptonite around so that Clark can make love to me without hurting me?' I could just see her face if I said that!" She sighed, running out of rant. "I just wanted this night to be special."

"Well, it was special … in our own unique way," Clark told her.

She looked up at him, a quizzical expression on her face.

"Sure, Lois. We got to spend time together that didn't involve chasing after dangerous criminals, and without any calls for you-know-who. The baby got to be with his grandparents, and they with him. And," he added mischievously, "I wouldn't have missed the expression on Sister Cecilia's face just now for anything."

Lois had to giggle at that, and now that she thought about it, they'd gotten several strange looks tonight. "Me either. I guess it is a weird thing for two people to be running all over town looking for."

He tightened his hold on her briefly, and kissed her forehead. "Come on, let's go home."


They walked hand in hand to the car. Clark held the door for Lois, then leant down to kiss her before closing it. She watched him walk around to the driver's side and thought about how much she loved him, so naturally she had to show him, kissing him as soon as he'd gotten in the seat. They clasped hands again, and kissed one more time, before Clark started the engine and turned the car towards home.

About two blocks from the church, they had to wait at a light. Lois was looking idly out the window, not really paying much attention to what was there but, just as the light changed, she jerked upright in the seat and yelled for Clark to stop the car. He pulled over obediently enough and tried to figure out what had so excited her. Looking in the direction of her pointing finger, he finally understood.

Thirty minutes later they were backing out of the cafe, thanking their benefactors once again, with smiles and handshakes all around, the proud re-possessors of their lost object. Lois was clutching it to her breast, as if afraid someone was going to wrest it from her, although Clark would have felt sorry for anyone who would have tried to take anything away from Lois that she didn't want them to have.

Safely back in the car, Lois held up the tacky glass and plastic cylinder ecstatically. Clark couldn't help but grin in admiration of her sheer tenacity and gall. "You were wonderful, Lois! The story you told them was amazing."

The retro-60's cafe hadn't wanted to let go of their new decoration and Lois, with Clark occasionally chiming in, had had to do some fast talking.

"You weren't so bad yourself," she said, graciously including him in the ranks of the chosen.

"Thank you, ma'am, but I think it was the fact that you were able to identify it so completely, right down to that dent on one side, that convinced them it was really ours to begin with."

Lois touched that dent softly with one fingertip, fondly remembering a particular night of passion when she'd accidentally knocked it from its usual place on the nightstand. "Well, this thing is a piece of Kent family history, now. We couldn't let anything happen to it."

"You're absolutely right, Mrs. Kent." He took her hand and kissed it, looking longingly at her. "So, what do you say we take it home and …"

She picked up on his train of thought with ease. "Try it out? Just to make sure it's still working properly, you mean? I'm all yours."

Clark wasted no time starting the car and getting them home. Once there, Lois replaced their hard-won prize on the nightstand, plugged it in, and turned it on. A faint green glow illuminated an otherwise dark room, where the only sounds were those of clothing hastily removed, mixed with sighs, giggles and throaty murmurs, and an occasional plop from the direction of the bedside table, as the little Kryptonite lava lamp (courtesy of Dr. Klein's magic shop of accessories for super-heroes) did it's job.


September 1999

[Author's note: back in 2nd or 3rd season, there was a heated debate about whether or not Clark would be able to make love to Lois without, um, damaging her. One of the theories was that they should keep a tiny sliver of Kryptonite around so that Clark would be "powered down" enough to make things safe. Chris & Pam were chatting about this bit of history, and this story was born…]