By Erin Klingler <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Submitted January 1999
Summary: Lois and Clark celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary surrounded by their loving — and huge — brood.
I pulled this partially finished fanfic from my hard drive only a week after finishing my big one, 'What it Means to Love You'. I hadn't planned on getting to this one so soon, but after the countless waking moments I spent on my other story, I found myself going through withdrawal as I sat around twiddling my thumbs after it was finished. So, I decided the best thing to do was get to work on another fanfic as soon as possible. It made me realize that writing these stories is really a labor of love for me. All the characters of our favorite show have so many layers that it makes them so much fun for me to write about and explore. ;)
This story takes place when Lois and Clark celebrate their fiftieth wedding anniversary with their children and grandchildren. The song used in this story, 'Through the Years', is by Kenny Rogers and is one of my very favorites. After listening to the lyrics, I realized how beautifully it fit in with the image I have of Lois and Clark's love for each other.
Anyway, I hope you enjoy it! :) As always, comments are greatly appreciated.
"Wow!" Lois exclaimed the instant she walked into the recreation hall on the arm of her long-time husband, partner, and best friend, Clark Kent.
The room had been decorated to the hilt with multi-colored balloons, twisted streamers, and a long, glittery banner that read 'Happy 50th Anniversary, Lois and Clark!'
"It looks great, doesn't it?" Clark answered, looking around at every detail with a broad smile on his face. "The kids really went all out."
In addition to the decorations that had first caught her eye, Lois noticed that the special other little touches around the room really contributed to the atmosphere and the significance of the occasion. There were candles and huge flower centerpieces adorning the dozen or so tables set up around the room, leaving a large circular dance area in the middle of them all. Then along the far wall of the room, a long rectangular table had been set up and was loaded with dishes and trays containing casseroles, salads and desserts. Most of the desserts, Lois' trained eye noticed, were chocolate.
She smiled. Her family knew her so well.
Feeling touched by the obvious effort that had been put into this celebration, she tightened her grip on Clark's arm and smiled up at him tenderly.
Looking at him, it never ceased to amaze her how very handsome he still was, despite his almost eighty years. As Doctor Klein had accurately predicted, Clark had aged much more slowly than Lois had because of his molecular structure. His dark hair was peppered with gray, but it only succeeded in making him look distinguished instead of old.
Not that Lois looked her age, either, though, with her still-on-the-slender-side figure which was the result of years of taking care of herself by working out and eating right. And although the skin around her eyes and mouth were wrinkled, they were mostly the kinds of wrinkles one gets from years of smiling. They were a testament to that of someone who had lived a long and very happy and full life.
But despite it all, Clark was still the one who managed to look considerably younger. Many people often didn't believe him when he admitted to being almost eighty, and rightfully so. Their responses were always the same: "You're kidding! You don't look a day over fifty!"
It had been hard for Lois, at first, because when she'd turned fifty, Clark still looked like he was in his thirties. But they'd had many conversations about it, many of them tearful, and after a while, Lois had quit worrying about it. She knew Clark loved her with all his heart and soul, and he always would.
As if feeling her gaze, Clark turned to her. His eyes twinkled as he looked down at her, his smile reaching all the way into his warm, chocolate-brown eyes. He winked at her, and with that simple gesture, he was able to tell her without words just how much he loved her.
That was the way it had been between them throughout all fifty years of their marriage. A smile, a simple touch, a glance in each other's direction through a crowd of people…they had all been ways they'd been able to communicate their deep love for each other in so many unspoken ways throughout their lives.
Lois let out a happy, contented sigh. Marrying Clark had been the best thing she'd ever done. He was a wonderful, loving husband and a caring, devoted father, and she found himself loving him more each day of their lives.
As they walked further into the room, a familiar voice called out to them. "Mom! Dad!"
They looked over in the direction from which the voice had come, and Lois, in delight, saw their oldest son, Jordan was hurrying toward them. Anybody looking at him would only need a second to see how much he looked like his father.
He was about the same height as his dad, maybe an inch or so taller, and he had the same thick, dark, wavy hair, strong jaw, and warm brown eyes that crinkled when he smiled. But his looks were only the beginning of the similarities. Jordan's easygoing, gentle and caring personality mirrored that of his dad's almost exactly, and the many similar mannerisms they shared, from the confident, purposeful strides to the identical expressions that crossed their faces whenever they heard some distant cry for help made Lois wonder if she'd really had a part in Jordan's genetic make up. He seemed so much like his father that he may as well have been cloned instead of a result of their combined genes.
But Lois didn't mind. She loved Jordan deeply, and was so proud of the way he'd turned out and was leading his life. He was a sincere, loving and thoughtful person that treated everybody he met so kindly. It touched her deeply to know that, together, she and Clark had raised their eldest son in such a way that he'd turned out to be such a fine young man.
Lois smiled to herself. She was sure, too, that his sweet, beautiful wife of twenty-two years and his four teenaged children appreciated the job they'd done in raising him.
As she thought about it, though, she realized she was equally as proud of *all* her children.
Jordan, whose name they'd chosen to honor Clark's Kryptonian father, was their oldest child. He and his wife lived in one of the suburbs of Metropolis, so she and Clark felt blessed that they were able to see them often, and watch their four teenaged boys grow into handsome, responsible young men.
Then there was Jon, who was their second oldest child. He'd been named after his grandfather, Jonathan Kent. It seemed to be fate, too, that their son shared his name with his grandfather since Jonathan Sr. and Jon Jr. had been so close. It had been sad for everyone when Martha and Jonathan had died of old age within a few years of each other many years ago. But they'd spent many wonderful years with their four grandchildren and had made many wonderful memories for them, causing them to live on in their everyone's minds, especially Jon's. He still spoke of them often, and he loved sharing the stories about his grandparents with his *own* children, Braden and Justin, who were seven and four respectively.
Their third child was their first daughter, Laura, who'd been named after Clark's Kryptonian mother. Because she was her daughter, Lois found herself relating more to her than she did to her two older boys. She was especially proud of the fact that Laura had insisted on putting herself through college and getting her degree in biology. Then, soon after her graduation, she'd married her high school sweetheart. Now, years later, she was a well-known and respected biologist, working alongside her husband, who was also a scientist. It amazed Lois to see that, despite Laura and her husband's busy careers, they still found time to raise their three children, thirteen year old Chad, nine year old Amanda, and four year old Matthew.
And last, but not least, there was Jessica. Of all of Lois and Clark's four children, Jessica held the most special place in Lois' heart. Jessica, like her siblings, looked more like her father than her mother, but other than that, she was all Lois. She had her mother's fiery, excitable disposition and, much to Clark's concern, her mother's nose for trouble.
On more occasions than Clark would've liked, he'd had to rely on his superhearing and superspeed to bail young Jessica out of trouble, whether she was climbing up on high counters to get at hidden treats in cupboards, or going boldly and fearlessly into places or situations where she had no business being in her early teen years. Clark couldn't help feeling relieved when his youngest daughter finally started getting her superpowers in her mid-teens like her other siblings had, since it meant he didn't have to worry about her quite so much.
As it turned out, Jessica, like her mother, had a talent for investigation and decided to make a career out of it by becoming an investigator for the FBI. A short time later she met Kevin, who'd been attending a nearby university, and they fell in love and were married soon thereafter.
Having Jessica move away, get married and start a family of her own had been tough on Lois. She missed having her youngest, spirited daughter around to re-energize her spirit. It was true that her sons and their wives and children lived close to Metropolis and came to visit them often, as did Laura and family. But it just wasn't the same for Lois. She missed Jessica.
Lois sighed wistfully. It was too bad that Jessica hadn't been able to join them today. She'd just had a baby a couple of weeks ago, and Lois knew her daughter had her hands full with the newest member of her family, not to mention the other two young children she had.
Jordan's voice brought Lois out of her reverie. She looked up to see that her son's smile had broadened even further as he reached them, and he gave them each a big hug.
"Happy anniversary, Mom and Dad! Everyone's here already, except for Jon and his family, so your timing is perfect." He winked at his mom, then smiled conspiratorially at his dad. "We're all just happy that you were able to drag mom here after all."
Clark grinned. "Well, it did take a lot of prodding and convincing."
Jordan smiled back. "Some things never change. Mom's never liked people making a big deal of her birthdays or anniversaries. But this time," he turned to his mom. "This is one special occasion that we absolutely *refuse* to let you worm your way out of."
"I noticed that," Lois replied, reaching out to give Jordan's arm a squeeze. "This time Clark wouldn't take 'no' for an answer." She turned to smile at her husband.
Clark slipped his arm around Lois' waist and pulled her close. "Jordan, it's terrific of you and everyone else to go to all this trouble for us."
A new voice joined their conversation. "Trouble? What trouble?"
They looked up to see that a stylish, dark-haired, slender woman in her late forties had joined them. "It was the least we could do to celebrate your fiftieth anniversary!" She flashed a brilliant smile very much like that of her mother's, then wrapped her arms around Lois and hugged her lovingly. "Hi, Mom."
Lois gasped in pleased surprise and returned her daughter's hug excitedly before pulling back to beam at her. "Laura! I can't believe it! You came! Jordan said you weren't going to be able make it."
Laura laughed happily. "Then he did his job of keeping my attendance a surprise." She threw a teasing glance at her older brother, who was still standing next to her, then she turned back to her parents. "Also, we have another surprise for you. With her new baby, it was a little tricky to get her here, but Jessica said there was no way she would miss this. She's around here somewhere…" She turned to scan the room.
Lois' heart leapt. "Jessica's here, too?" she asked incredulously. "But she just had her baby two weeks ago! She shouldn't be traveling…"
Laura turned back to her mother and laughed. "I know, I know. I told her the same thing, but of course she didn't listen. She's got her mother's stubborn streak." Laura winked at her.
Lois could barely contain her excitement as her eyes quickly scanned the room. Finally, a familiar dark-haired, energetic woman in her late thirties with sparkling dark eyes and an unmistakable aura of confidence caught her eye. She felt Clark's arm tighten on hers, and she looked up to see that he'd spotted her in almost the same exact instant. Lois could tell that he was as thrilled to see her as she was.
"Jess!" Clark called out across the room, his deep, strong voice sounding very unlike that of a man in his late seventies.
Jessica turned toward them instantly, then let out a happy squeal when she spotted them and immediately hurried over to their little group. "Mom! Dad!" she exclaimed loudly, enveloping them in an excited hug. "Oh, it's so good to see you guys! I can't tell you how much I've missed you!"
"And whose fault is that?" Lois scolded playfully. "We're not the ones who moved so far away."
Jessica sighed wistfully. "I know. Sometimes it's really tough to live so far away." But then she brightened and leaned in to give Lois another hug. "But I'm here now, and that's what matters."
"So where's that beautiful new granddaughter of mine?" Lois asked eagerly. "I'm sure the pictures of her that you emailed me don't do her justice."
Jessica laughed. "They don't. But you'll have to wait a few minutes to see her because Kevin's got her. She started getting fussy a little while ago, so he took her. She seems to calm down better for him than she does for me."
"That's not surprising, I guess, since you're so much like me," Lois told her. "All of you kids settled down better for your father than for me, so it's only fair that you see what it's like, too." She grinned.
"Gee, thanks a lot, Mom." Jessica made a face at her. "Is this one of those 'I hope your kids are just like you' things?"
Lois nodded. "Exactly."
Everyone laughed. Before anyone could respond, though, the sound of loud, overzealous young voices reached their ears, immediately followed by what sounded like a herd of stampeding elephants. In the next instant, Clark was rammed from behind and his legs encircled by the arms of the arriving young children.
"Grandpa!" Braden and Justin, Jon's four and seven-year-old sons exclaimed excitedly.
Clark laughed and withdrew his arm from around Lois' waist so he could use both his hands to peel his grandson's arms from around his leg. "Hey, Braden and Justin!" he exclaimed happily, taking a child in each of his arms and lifting them up almost effortlessly. He gave them a big hug and set them down again. "Where's your mom and dad? Did you come without them?"
The young boys immediately recognized the teasing twinkle in their grandpa's eyes and giggled. "Grandpa," they sing-songed in unison. "We can't go places by ourselves! You know that."
"Well, I'm not so sure about that," Clark teased. "You're getting so grown up that I thought maybe your mom and dad let you come by yourself."
Suddenly Jon's voice interrupted them. "Dad, don't you dare go putting ideas into their heads. They're hard enough to keep track of as it is."
Clark looked up to see Jon approaching with a smile, his sons' coats tucked under one arm and a beautifully wrapped gift along with a casserole dish covered with aluminum foil in the other.
Clark laughed at his son's comments and moved forward to take the kids' coats from him. "Jon, that little bit of conversation wasn't meant for your ears," he told him lightly, looking down at his two grandsons and winking broadly at them.
Jon grinned. "Well, Dad, after all these years you should've learned by now that if you don't want us to hear something, you need to make sure we're not nearby." He tugged at his earlobe in the silent family gesture for super hearing.
A minute later, Jon's wife Katie appeared. "Mom, Dad, happy anniversary!" she exclaimed, giving her mother and father-in-law warm hugs. Afterward, she turned to her husband. "Do I want to know what you overheard your father say, Jon?"
"Probably not," Jon told her with a grin.
She laughed. "Good. Then I won't ask."
As they stood together, everyone took advantage of the rare occasion of being together at the same place and time by hugging each other in greeting and talking and laughing loudly. After several minutes of catching up with each other, Jordan spoke up, interrupting everyone's conversations.
"Come on, Mom and Dad. Let's get you to sit down at your table. We don't want to wear you guys out before the party really gets going."
Lois smiled gratefully as they were quickly escorted to their "table of honor", as the kids were calling it, and were seated. As much as Lois hated to admit it, she was really starting to feel her age lately. She got tired much more quickly and her trademark ability to just "jump right into things" with passion and enthusiasm seemed to be rapidly becoming a thing of the past. It was simply a case of 'the body is weak but the spirit is willing'. It was hard for her to accept that, especially since she could remember how it felt to be able to run around and do things whenever she wanted. But, knowing there wasn't anything she could do about it, she leaned back in her chair and sighed.
Clark heard and turned to her. The expression on her face told him volumes. Through the years, he'd learned to interpret every little sigh and shrug, and, along with her moods and body language, he'd always been able to tell what his wife was thinking and feeling.
He leaned closer to her and put his hand on her knee, giving it an understanding squeeze. "Lois, is everything okay?"
Looking up into his eyes so full of love and concern, she immediately felt better. "Yeah, Clark, I'm fine. Just wishing I was still thirty, I guess."
He returned her smile. "I know. But if you were, just think about all the things you would have missed out on. And we wouldn't be able to look back on a long, wonderful life that we've spent together."
Lois nodded. "Like our children…"
"And *their* children, and their husbands and wives," Clark continued for her. "We have a lot to be thankful for."
Lois turned back to Clark and met his intense, yet loving gaze. "You're right. We do have a lot to be thankful for, and I know that. I guess there's a price — and a reward — for everything. If we'd stayed as young as we'd like to forever, we wouldn't have been able to see all the hard work we put into raising our children pay off this way. And we couldn't look back on all the things we've shared for the past fifty years, could we?"
Clark shook his head slowly. "No, we couldn't." He lifted his hand to place it on her cheek in his familiar gesture of love. "And I wouldn't pass those years up for anything."
Lois smiled. "Neither would I."
Suddenly Clark's expression changed, though, and a look that Lois had grown to know so well over the years appeared on his face. "What is it, Clark?"
Clark listened carefully for a minute, then looked over at the next table and caught Jon's eye. He could tell from his son's expression that he'd heard it, too.
"Clark?" Lois asked again.
Clark turned his attention back to Lois. "It sounds like there's a burglary at a jewelry store close by." He turned to his son for confirmation, and Jon nodded.
At almost the exact same time, though, they shook their heads at each other and said, "The police can take care of it." Then, realizing they'd just said the exact same thing at the same time, they both started to chuckle.
"The police can take care of what, Daddy?" Justin asked, suddenly appearing at his father's side. He draped himself over his father's knee and looked up at him questioningly.
Justin's smile returned and he shook his head at his young son. "Nothing, Justin. Now…where is that brother of yours?"
Lois drifted off from their conversation and turned back to Clark. "So are you really going to let the police handle this?" she asked, her tone reflecting her concern.
Clark smiled reassuringly at her and took her hand. "Lois, you know the rules," he stated matter of factly. "When we're all together, it's important that 'you-know-who' lets the police take care of things for a while so that we can all have some family time."
Lois smiled back at him. It was nice to know that their 'cease and desist' order was still in effect during important family celebrations.
Jordan and Jon had taken after their father in using their superpowers to help others whenever they could, even donning similar red and blue suits to help conceal their identities as Clark did. Laura and Jessica had the same powers as their older brothers, but they'd decided to take a much less public approach with their uses, tending to help people when the situations were such that they wouldn't be seen using their powers by anyone. Instead, they focused more of their attention on raising their children and living the lives they were used to living.
It made Lois feel good to know that their families were so important to them. Growing up, their family had always been very close, and Lois knew that it was due, in large part, to the fact that Clark and the kids had superpowers. Since they could only turn to each other whenever they needed to talk about anything 'super', they found themselves relying on each other and turning to each other for help or advice.
So when everybody started moving away to go to college or getting married, it had been hard for them because they'd been so close. So whenever everybody was able to get together, they made sure to enforce their rule about not rushing off at every distant cry for help. It had taken Clark and their children a bit of discipline to stick with their rule at first, since they were so used to responding to cries for help. But they'd all agreed that it was important to do so in order for them to spend time together as a family.
Two young children suddenly ran past, giggling and teasing each other, which brought Lois out of her thoughts. She watched as Clark's arms darted out, his reflexes still lightning-quick, and he grabbed the second culprit before she was out of reach. The seven-year-old girl with long, blondish-brown curls let out a delighted squealed as she was swept up into the familiar arms of her grandfather.
As soon as she was pulled into his lap, she quickly turned toward him and beamed, her pink cheeks dimpling from the effort. "Grandpa, I was just tryin' to get Nathan for sayin' I was just a dumb ol' girl."
Lois smiled and leaned in to give her granddaughter a quick hug. "Emily, you are *not* a 'dumb old girl'," she insisted. "Your cousin just loves to tease you because he likes having pretty girls chase him."
"Oh, is that why?" Emily responded with a giggle. "Well, then I'll just have to play hard to catch."
Lois laughed. "Hard to *get*."
"Oh, yeah. That's what I meant," the young girl quickly amended.
The cousin she'd been chasing suddenly materialized beside them, apparently deciding it was safe to approach since Emily was in their grandfather's arms.
"Hi, Grandpa!" Nathan exclaimed cheerfully.
Clark turned to Jessica's eight-year-old boy. "Nathan, it's not nice to call your cousin a dumb girl," he reminded him lightly. "That's not a nice thing to call anybody."
"I'm sorry, Grandpa. And I'm sorry, Em. I promise I won't do it again." Nathan's face took on an appropriately guilty look. Clark would've felt a little bad at scolding his grandson if Nathan's expression hadn't been so obviously practiced. He'd become a master of tormenting his four-year-old sister and his young cousins whenever he got together with them, so he had his remorseful act down solid.
A few seconds later, Nathan's guilty countenance evolved into an eager, happy one. "Hey, Grandpa, did you bring us a treat?"
Clark laughed. "Of course I did." He shifted Emily onto his knee so he could reach into the inside pocket of his suit jacket. As he did, he watched the two eager faces before him, so wide-eyed and innocent. This was exactly what he'd longed for when he'd was a young man traveling the globe: a wife, kids, grandkids. And his dreams had all begun to come true the minute he'd met Lois. From the first time he saw her, his life had started to become everything he'd ever wanted it to be.
When he felt the crinkly plastic against his fingers, he grasped the items and pulled them from his pocket. "Ta da!" he sang, holding the suckers up ceremoniously.
Nathan and Emily's eyes grew even wider, if that was possible, and big smiles spread across their faces.
"Suckers!" both children cried in unison.
Clark held one out to each of them, and immediately Lois thwapped him lightly on the arm. "Clark, what are you doing?" she scolded. "You're going to spoil their dinners!"
He heard Lois' indignant tone and looked up, his warm, happy eyes meeting her disapproving, stubborn ones. 'Some things never change,' he thought with a smile. She knew as well as he did that he couldn't resist giving any of their grandchildren special treats, regardless of whether or not it might ruin an upcoming meal.
With a quick wink that clearly meant 'don't blame me, I can't help myself', Clark saw Lois' disapproving look dissipate, and she softened. She almost always caved when he got that look. He'd had many years to perfect it.
Emily slid from Clark's knee and joined Nathan in bouncing around on the floor at their grandfather's feet, clamoring loudly for him to help them take the wrappers off the suckers. After he did and handed the treats to Nathan and Emily, they both thanked him loudly and then hurried off to make noise and trouble elsewhere.
Lois laughed softly and shook her head. Their boundless energy and enthusiasm was so contagious that she almost felt as if she could take off and run with them. That was probably what she loved most about all her grandchildren. They recharged her spirits and uplifted her, especially during those times when she needed it the most.
Clark's gaze followed Emily and Nathan's retreat for a moment, then he turned back to Lois and their eyes met. Instantly, they knew they'd been thinking the exact same thing about their energetic grandchildren.
'It's funny how we're able to do that,' Lois surmised silently. 'We could be at opposite ends of a room, but when we look over at each other, we seem to know exactly what the other is thinking or feeling. It's probably the result of spending so many years together, and knowing each other better than we know anybody else.'
Jordan's voice over a microphone filled the room, and Lois and Clark looked up to see that he was standing on the raised steps at the front of the room trying to get everyone's attention.
"Since our guests of honor have arrived," he called out, his eyes twinkling as he met Lois and Clark's gazes from across the room, "we'd like to start our program. If everyone can find their seats, we can get started."
A rush of activity followed his instructions as children were gathered up and quieted and everyone headed for their seats. When everyone was seated and looking up at Jordan expectantly, he began speaking again.
"I'm sure everyone is as excited as I am that we're all able to be together to celebrate this special occasion with Mom and Dad, or Grandma and Grandpa, as they're called by some here." He smiled at everyone seated around the room. Then he grew more thoughtful as he continued. "I also need to say that I feel especially grateful that such an occasion could bring us all together since we so rarely get the chance to be in the same place at the same time anymore."
His comments were followed by a vigorous nodding of heads and broad smiles from everyone in the room. Clark reached out for Lois' hand and gave it a gentle squeeze. She looked over at him and squeezed his hand back, and they traded loving smiles.
"Now, I know how hard it is to keep our young children seated for any length of time," Jordan continued with a grin. "So I promise I'll do my best to keep my comments brief. But by the same token, I want to make sure Mom and Dad get the credit they deserve for something as special as a fiftieth wedding anniversary. So, I'd like to start by sharing a few things I remember most about growing up."
He met his parents' eyes and smiled. "I guess the first thing that comes to my mind when I think about growing up is the way Mom and Dad were with us. Mom was the firm, serious one while Dad was the relaxed, easygoing one. Because of that, we'd learned at an early age that if any of us kids wanted to do something that was kind of questionable or generally against the rules, like staying out past curfew or going on an overnight trip with friends, we should ask Dad about it. If we asked Mom first, the answer would usually be no. So then if we'd go to Dad and ask, he'd always ask, 'What did your mom say?' If we admitted that she'd said no, he'd always stick behind Mom's answer. But if we went to Dad *first*, we could usually plead our case to him and tell him why the occasion was so important to us. Then, more often than not, if it was a reasonable request, Dad would say he'd talk with Mom about it. And then when he *would*, he was usually able to convince her to let us do whatever it was that we'd asked to do."
He looked directly at Lois and winked. "I don't think you ever caught on to that, Mom," he chuckled. "We always knew Dad was the softie, so it was easier to get permission to bend the rules if we asked *him*."
Everyone laughed, and Lois responded by smiling good-naturedly. Although Jordan obviously didn't realize it, she'd caught on to that almost from the start. But she'd never said anything because she knew Clark was a good father, and that he'd never put their children in harm's way. So if he'd felt like it was okay to let the children bend the rules a bit in certain circumstances, she generally go along with him.
Sure, she'd pitched the occasional fit to show that she wasn't too happy about it-exactly as she'd done a few minutes ago when he'd given Emily and Nathan the suckers. But the bottom line was, she trusted Clark and his good judgment, often more times than she trusted her own.
"Anyway," Jordan continued. "Another thing I remember the very most is how close we all were, and still are. Mom and Dad taught us the importance of family, and of sticking together. They taught us that a family is the most precious gift we could have. So, as I look at my own beautiful family seated here, I'm thankful that Mom and Dad were able to teach us what was important in life. I'm sure the rest of you feel the same way about your own families."
It was quiet in the room for a minute. "So, anyway, Mom…Dad…" He turned to smile at them. "Jon, Laura, Jessica and I have a little something for you. We pulled a favorite song of yours out of your music collection that we thought would be perfectly suited for his occasion, and we'd like for you two to lead us off with a dance."
He turned to his oldest son Kyle, and nodded. Kyle then pressed a button on the CD player, and instantly the opening strains of a familiar song filled the room. Recognizing the song immediately, Lois turned to Clark and they smiled. It was their song.
Clark rose from his chair and smiled down at her as he reached his hand out invitingly. She eagerly slipped her hand into her husband's and let him guide her to her feet and then into the open area of the room for their dance.
Clark slid his arm around her waist and took her right hand in his left, and Lois sighed contentedly. She knew that she'd never grow tired of being in the arms of the man she'd loved for so many years, and would continue to love for the rest of her life.
As they swayed to the gentle, romantic melody, Lois closed her eyes and laid her head against Clark's chest, content to listen to the opening words of the song accompanied by the rhythmic, steady sound of the beating of husband's heart.
*I can't remember when you weren't there
When I didn't care for anyone but you
I swear we've been through everything there is
Can't imagine anything we've missed
Can't imagine anything the two of us can't do*
The memories of their days at the Daily Planet filled Lois' mind, and she couldn't help remembering the day she'd walked into Perry's office and seen Clark sitting across from Perry's desk. She hadn't realized it at the time, but she'd just crossed paths with her soulmate.
>From that day forward, Clark had always been there for her. They'd been through everything together, from bombs and vengeful escaped convicts to innumerable kidnappers, bombers and crime organizations. If the years had taught them anything, it was that they could get through anything together.
Lois listened dreamily as the song continued.
*Through the years
You've never let me down
You've turned my life around
The sweetest days I've found I found with you
Through the years
I've never been afraid
I've loved the life we've made
And I'm so glad I've stayed
Right here with you
Through the years*
Lois felt Clark's breath on her cheek as he moved his face closer to hers, and, even after all these years, it caused her skin to tingle and her heart to race. The love they had for each other was stronger now than it had ever been, and, knowing that, it made Lois wonder why she'd ever struggled over the decision to marry Clark in the first place.
Thinking back to the time when he'd had asked her to marry him, she remembered what a tough time it had been for her. Not only did she have to adjust to new discovery that Clark was Superman, but she'd also had to deal with the cemented-since-childhood anxieties she'd had about marriage. But through it all, Clark had remained strong, and had never let her down by giving up on her. And because of that, Lois had been able to move forward in their relationship, never once looking back on things or regretting her decision. The words of the song made her realize how much her life had changed since she'd met him. The best years of her life had been the ones she'd spent with Clark, and she knew she wouldn't trade them for anything.
The music softened, and Clark rubbed his hand lightly over the small of Lois' back. He loved the way she felt in his arms, with her head tucked so perfectly underneath his chin and nestled against the base of his throat. It was almost as if they'd been made for each other.
Closing his eyes, he smiled against her hair. These were the moments that made his life so perfect. They made all the hardships and trials worthwhile to spend a moment of eternity in each other's arms. As he listened to the lyrics, he was amazed at how much they continued to affect him every single time he heard the song. They seemed to fit their feelings for each other perfectly, and the way they felt about the years they'd spent together was echoed in almost every line of the song.
*I can't remember what I used to do
Who I trusted
Whom I listened to before
I swear you've taught me everything I know
Can't imagine needing someone so
But through the years it seems to me
I need you more and more*
As the song continued, the world around Clark seemed to disappear, and at that very moment, the woman in his arms and the music that filled his ears were all that existed for him. Everything seemed so right when they were together, and he couldn't remember what he used to do before they were together. She was everything to him. He'd learned over the years that he needed her, that he was incomplete without her. She was part of him, of his soul, of every fiber of his being. He couldn't picture life without her.
*Through the years
Through all the good and bad
I know how much we had
I've always been so glad to be with you
Through the years
It's better every day
You've kissed my tears away
As long as it's okay
I'll stay with you
Through the years*
The words of the song caused the strong memories of the good and bad times they'd had in their life to come flooding to the forefront of Clark's mind. With a smile, he remembered the births of each of their children, and how special each had been. He could also remember the joy he and Lois had shared in the raising of their children. Each and every milestone in their children's lives had been a cause for celebration, whether it was that first unassisted bicycle ride or their graduation from high school.
But not every moment in their lives had been good. He remembered how Lois had struggled to come to terms with their different rates of aging, and how, through her tears, he'd had to reassure her that he was going to love her no matter how old they got or how differently they aged. He also remembered the times before they were married when he and Lois had had to say goodbye when he left for New Krypton, not knowing if they'd ever see each other again. Or there was the time when he'd almost died from a Kryptonian virus. Each time they'd come across such a trial in their lives, it had been tough, sometimes almost impossible to deal with. But their struggles had only succeeded in making their love for each other stronger than ever.
The chorus swelled, and he pulled back to smile at Lois, noticing that her eyes were moist with tears. He could tell she'd been thinking and feeling so many of the same things that he had. That's what had made the song so special for them. It was a summary of their life and love for each other. They gazed into each other's eyes, holding each other and moving slowly to the music as the last part of the song played through the speakers.
*Through the years
When everything went wrong
Together we were strong
I know that I belong right here with you
Through the years
I never had a doubt
We'd always work things out
I've learned what life's about
By loving you
Through the years*
*Through the years
You've never let me down
You turned my life around
The sweetest days I've found I found with you
Through the years
It's better every day
You've kissed my tears away
As long as it's okay
I'll stay with you
Through the years*
As the final strains of the music faded into silence, Lois and Clark gazed at each other for a long moment. Then Clark leaned down and touched his lips to hers softly. Lois closed her eyes, enjoying the feel of his lips on hers.
As their kiss deepened, Clark's kiss was able to tell her without words how much he loved her, and how much the past fifty years had meant to him. It also held a promise of many wonderful years still to come.
When their kiss ended, Lois looked up into her Clark's warm brown eyes. "These past fifty years have been wonderful, haven't they?"
He smiled tenderly and nodded. "They definitely have."
Before they could leave the dance floor, Jordan stepped back up to the microphone and announced that everyone was invited to join in dancing to the next song.
Another of Lois and Clark's favorite slow songs began to play, and Clark's arm tightened around Lois' waist. "Are you up for another dance, honey?"
"You bet. It's been ages since we've danced like this."
Clark took her into his arms again and they began moving gently to the music. The small dance area filled up quickly as their children and their spouses joined them on the dance floor.
As she and Clark danced, Lois glanced at the couples around them and realized what a lucky woman she was to have all of her children and grandchildren with them on this special occasion. She couldn't have asked for a better anniversary gift.
Glancing to her left, she saw that Jordan, looking very dashing and handsome in his sports jacket and tie, was dancing with his wife a few feet away. They were talking and laughing with each other as they swayed to the music, and it was obvious how much in love they still were with each other all their years of marriage. Then, without warning, Jordan twirled his wife around and then dipped her, causing her to shriek from surprise and delight. Jordan laughed, too, then lifted her back up.
Lois smiled. Jordan had always been their romantic one.
Clark turned Lois suddenly to avoid Nathan as he ran past them, now being chased by another of his cousins.
Clark looked up at Lois and chuckled. "He never quits, does he?"
Lois shook her head. "It doesn't look that way."
As Clark gathered Lois back in his arms, Lois noticed that Jon and his very pregnant wife had joined them on the dance floor. She watched as Jon whispered something in his wife's ear, making her laugh. Then Jon's hand moved from the small of his wife's back and around to her bulging stomach, caressing their unborn child gently. Katie looked down at her husband's hand and covered it with her own before looking back up into Jon's eyes. Then they leaned toward each other and shared a tender, loving kiss.
A sudden commotion at the edge of the dance floor made Lois turn to see that Laura's thirteen-year-old son, Chad, had suddenly appeared next to his mom and dad as they were dancing. They were both shocked to see that he was carrying his precocious four-year-old brother, whose face was nearly completely covered in chocolate icing.
"Mom, Matthew was over at the food table helping himself to one of the cakes," Lois and Clark overhead Chad say.
Laura groaned, but her husband was doing his best to suppress his smile at his son's appearance. Laura, obviously not seeing the humor in the situation, took her chocolate-covered child from his older brother, doing her best to keep him at arm's length so as not to get her own dress dirty.
As she left the dance floor, she began to scold him. "Matthew, how many times do I have to tell you not to get into the desserts…"
Clark laughed loudly and turned back to Lois. "Like grandmother, like grandson."
Lois thumped Clark on his shoulder as she shook her head and laughed. "I'm glad to know I was able to pass *something* along to my grandkids."
She watched Laura as she shepherded Matthew over to the food table and grabbed a handful of napkins to clean up his face. As she did, Lois noticed that her older grandchildren were sitting at the tables as they talked and laughed with each other while the younger grandkids ran around and played nearby. The fact that the younger grandchildren were all dressed up-the girls in dressy dresses and the boys in dress slacks and button-up shirts, with an occasional corner of a shirttail hanging out-didn't seem to stop them from running around and chasing each other, and laughing like old friends.
She smiled as she spotted Jessica's four-year-old daughter, Megan. Megan looked absolutely adorable in her frilly pink dress with her long blond hair pulled up into a ponytail and then curled into soft ringlets. She was concentrating intensely on walking slowly and steadily as she carefully carried a clear plastic cup of brightly colored punch to a table to sit with her cousins. Lois laughed when she noticed that Megan had her tongue sticking out of her mouth slightly as further evidence of the extent of her concentration.
Lois nudged Clark and then nodded in Megan's direction. Clark looked over at his granddaughter and grinned.
"Don't you wish you had a camera right now?" he whispered to Lois.
She nodded. "It would be an adorable picture."
A minute later, Clark leaned forward and whispered in her ear, "Look at Laura and Kevin."
Clark maneuvered them into a better position for Lois to see, and what Lois saw caused tears to spring into her eyes.
Kevin had apparently talked Jessica into dancing with him (she'd never been too fond of dancing), and together they held their newborn baby daughter between them as they moved slowly to the music. They seemed entranced by the tiny infant as they looked down at her with loving smiles. Very gently they reached out to touch her soft skin and smooth back her short dark hair. Then Kevin and Jessica looked back up at each other and kissed softly.
Lois looked back up and Clark and was surprised to see tears in his eyes, too. Apparently he'd been as touched as she was by the simple sight of their youngest daughter snuggling with their newest baby.
Pulling her gaze away from Clark's she looked around the room at all her children and grandchildren. Every single act of love and kindness she'd seen from her family that day had filled her with such warmth and pride that her heart swelled. She was so proud of how all their children had turned out. They were all kind, thoughtful, and caring people who stood behind their morals and values and had become influences in the lives of those around them. Seeing them as they now were, it made Lois feel good to know that all the hard work she and Clark had put into trying to raise them right had clearly paid off.
She remembered how Tempus and H.G. Wells had said she and Clark's descendants would be the ones to create Utopia, the perfect future spoken of by the time travelers. It was humbling to think that she and Clark could possibly have such a large part in the creation of Utopia just by the way they'd raised their children.
Looking around at her loved ones, she realized what a perfect life she had. She figured she had to be just about the luckiest person in the world. Clark squeezed her hand gently, bringing her attention back to him. Again he seemed to read her thoughts.
"I'd say we're *both* lucky to have such a wonderful life," he told her sincerely. "We have four wonderful children and twelve terrific grandchildren. We're happy and healthy, and there seems to be no end to our good fortune in sight. And then, if all that wasn't enough, I'm standing here after fifty incredible years, holding the woman that I love in my arms."
Lois released his hand so that she could wrap both arms around his waist. Then she smiled up into the warm brown eyes that had captivated her through the years. "And I'm holding the man that *I* love in *my* arms," she told him.
Clark returned his wife's smile and then moved toward her slowly, almost imperceptibly. When their lips were just a breath away, he smiled gently and whispered, "I doubt things could possibly get any better."
Lois closed her eyes and lost herself in the eternal depths of his kiss. 'Maybe not,' she answered silently. 'But I can hardly wait to find out.'