By Juliana Nozue <email@example.com>
Submitted July 2000
Summary: Against medical advice, Lois becomes pregnant, and she and Clark look forward to the birth of their daughters.
I've written this story two years ago. I must confess I didn't want to e-mail it because I do believe it has too many flaws. But… I don't know… It also has great parts, so… here it goes! I would *love* feedback — it doesn't matter whether it's good or bad, okay?:)
Archive Warning: This story is a deathfic. ***
Lois was confused like she had never been before: she was feeling guilty, sad, frustrated and amazingly unhappy at the same time. She always thought that to be Clark's wife was more than enough (besides being a brilliant journalist, of course ), but now she was realizing that she needed more, they needed more. It didn't mean, though, that they weren't happy, in fact, Lois couldn't remember being so happy before: Clark was astounding and she loved him more than life itself, a world without this gorgeous and lovely man was an unbearable idea to her. And Lois also knew that she was a lucky woman because Clark felt the same way about her, she could tell this by the passionate way they always made love, by the way he looked and touched her — it was so tender! After marriage, she confirmed what they both took so much to admit to each other: they were perfect together; there was love, passion, desire, friendship and respect in their almost-one-year marriage.
However, things had changed in the past couple of days: after knowing that was impossible for them to have kids, Lois was feeling empty, lost and even with Clark's support, she couldn't help but feel these hurtful feelings.
And now there she was, rolling in bed, not knowing exactly what to do.
"Clark, are you awake?"
He answered immediately by kissing her forehead and gently placing his right hand on her stomach.
"I was thinking about us," she continued.
"What do you mean, honey?"
"You know, I'm confused. Clark…I'm so scared."
And then he understood what she was talking about: the tears in her eyes almost made him melt.
"Sweet, you have nothing to be afraid of: we still have each other and after all, that's all that matters. I love you Lois, and nothing, absolutely nothing can change what I feel for you. Besides, when you feel ready we can adopt a baby."
She kept looking at him, touched by his words and yet confused.
"I know, darling, and I love you, too. It's just that…"
He hugged her tightly, never letting his beloved wife go, trying desperately to comfort the woman whose tears were breaking his so-called "heart of steel".
"Clark, when I was a little girl, my family was a completely mess: mom was always drunk, dad was never at home and my sister barely talked to me; I grew up alone depending only on myself to succeed, trying not to fail; I built walls around me and I swore to myself that I would never let anybody hurt me again the way my family did. So, I lived all by myself: no lovers, no friends, no family. My job was my only company. I think that's why I became such a good reporter…But since the day I met you everything changed, 'cause I learnt how to share my problems, my doubts and, most of all, I learnt how to love. And to be your wife is like a dream: every day that I wake up and you are by my side, with your arms around me, I feel a kind of happiness that I thought I would never do — it's a feeling which makes you smile for no apparent reason. I wanted so much to give you something back, Clark…"
And then she could no longer hold the tears: she was sobbing like a child.
"Lois, you didn't hear what I've just said, did you? I love you! And since the day you first told me that you loved me too, you made me the happiest man on Earth, I couldn't ask for more! Yes, I adore children and I do want to raise a family with you, but these things take some time. We will find a way, Lois, trust me."
The silence filled the room and the couple remained there, in bed, holding each other, while a million thoughts danced in their heads. ***
"Excuse me, Perry, can I talk to you for a minute?"
The editor in chief nodded friendly and Lois entered the room, obviously worried about something.
"I was thinking if I could take the day off, I mean, I've already written my story and there isn't a lot to do around here today, so, I'm sure Clark can take care of everything while I'm out; besides…"
"Hey, hey, hold on, Lois! You can go, that's okay! You're just asking for a day off, it's not a crime or something!"
She smiled relieved.
"Well, thank you. Ah…Can I ask you one more favor?"
"Could you not tell my husband that I asked you for a day off? I mean, could you tell him that I went on an assignment, 'cause I'll buy him a present and I want it to be a surprise."
"Are you two okay?"
"If you say so… Don't worry, I won't tell Clark anything."
"Thanks again, Perry."
And then she quickly left the room. Perry knew his reporter very well and that's why he could tell that she was hiding something: he had seen those eyes before — there was mystery in them.
"I hope she's fine," he murmured to himself.
In less than ten minutes Lois was in her Cherokee, driving towards S.T.A.R Labs — she needed to talk to Dr. Klein herself. ***
Clark entered the newsroom and immediately noticed that Lois wasn't there.
The young boy crossed the room carrying tons of photos.
"Finally, CK! Perry has been looking for you all morning! Where have you been?"
"Oh… I was… I was… Where's Lois?"
Clark couldn't tell Jimmy that he was stopping a train in Italy.
"Well, I'm not sure but I think Perry asked her to check some information he received from a source and as you weren't here… she went alone. I don't know, why don't you ask him?"
"Good idea, Jimmy."
Seconds later, Clark was doing the same question he had done to Jimmy before: he was obviously overreacting, after all, she was a journalist and she needed to do her job with or without him. But he also knew that Lois was too obstinate and was always in trouble because of that. And after their conversation last night, he could tell that she was feeling vulnerable.
"Well, son, a friend of mine told me that a senator is accepting money to reject any government's project, so I asked Lois to talk to him and get something that can confirm what he is saying. Why are you so worried about that? Besides, where have you been?"
"I'm sorry, chief: I had some problems to solve, it was an emergency."
"But everything is fine now, isn't it?"
"Yeah, it wasn't a big deal. Thanks for asking."
Clark was almost out of the room when Perry stopped him with his voice.
"Don't worry son, she'll be right back."
And when Clark left the room, Perry continued his phrase:
"At least, I hope so." ***
At the end of the day, about 6 o'clock, Lois was back, with a huge smile on her face. Immediately, Clark ran to his wife.
"Lois, where were you? I mean, Perry told me you were talking to a source, but why didn't you call me?"
Clark was visibly nervous, however, Lois was as calm as a person can be.
"Sweetheart, as you said, I was working! You have nothing to worry about."
And then she kissed him: a long and tender kiss.
"Anyway, I missed your lips!" she said happily.
Now Clark was relieved: seeing that grin was all he needed to feel great again.
They both went to their desks: there wasn't much to do, but they stayed at The Daily Planet until 8 o'clock, trying to keep themselves busy.
"Lois, what did you discover about the senator?"
"What Perry 's friend told you about the senator that is accepting money to refuse the government's projects?"
Lois didn't know what he was talking about, but it probably was Perry 's excuse for her absence.
"Oh…He said he couldn't prove what he was saying, so…I told him I couldn't write the story."
"Maybe we should investigate…"
"No! I mean, I think he was lying."
"If that's what you think…"
"Yes, this is reporter instinct and besides…"
Then she rose from her chair and started to walk towards his desk, putting a sensual tone on her voice.
"… I have some plans for us tonight. Are you ready to go home, Mr. Kent?"
"Do I have a choice?"
They smiled for a long time before crossing the room, hand in hand, stopping only for brief kisses. ***
Twenty minutes later, Lois and Clark got home. The kisses were becoming deeper, she could no longer control her hands and he had no intention to stop her.
"Wait, wait — she said, breathless — I want tonight to be special"
"Lois, it is special. I'll make love to you." — he answered lovingly.
"You know what I mean, farm boy! Go upstairs, and wait for me — you won't regret it!"
She left the living room, still looking at him and he felt his body burn. It was amazing the way she excited him: her eyes, her well built body, her smile and even her ideas were the kind of thing he couldn't resist.
He went to their bedroom, not knowing exactly what to expect, but knowing that this would be a memorable night. ***
Lost in his own thoughts, he took some time to notice that his wife was already in the bedroom, sat by his side and seductively running her fingers through his hair. It sent shivers down his spine.
"Sorry for keeping you waiting."
He turned slowly to face the most beautiful woman in the universe and, for a moment, he was speechless.
"Clark! CLARK! Are you listening to me?"
He wanted so badly to say that she was outstanding in that navy blue negligee which covered only the essential parts. But he remained in silence for what seemed centuries, just realizing how lucky he was.
When he finally spoke, the words couldn't be sweeter.
"Oh… Sorry. I guess I've lost myself in your eyes — it happens very often. You look… great! And even though we are married, it still amazes me the fact that this dazzling woman is actually… my wife!"
Jumping onto his lap with her arms around his neck and smiling a shy smile, Lois teased him.
"Well, maybe you need something to remind you of this."
And then she kissed him, with so much hungry and love that it surprised the both.
During that magical night, the couple forgot all their problems and frustrations; they just made love, feeling the security and the warmth of each other. ***
The next morning found Lois and Clark entwined in bed, still feeling all the madness and passion of the previous night.
"Good morning, honey!" she spoke.
Without opening his eyes, he gently placed a kiss on her lips before answering "Good morning, sweetheart. Did you sleep well? Because I had wonderful dreams."
Noticing the boyish smile on his face, she couldn't resist but laugh, too.
"Thanks for asking. I think I had some incredible dreams, too…" and whispering in his ear, she completed "By the way, you were in all of them."
He was about to hold that irresistible woman and love her all morning, when she suddenly got up and hurried to the bathroom yelling "I really wanted to stay in bed and whisper some other things in your ear, but it's almost 9 and I'm sure Perry won't accept another stupid excuse. I'll take a shower and I'll be ready in fifteen minutes, okay?"
Not hearing his answer, she left the bathroom, already wrapped on a towel, and looked at her husband who was still in bed, giggling.
"What are you laughing at, Kent?"
He hesitated for a moment before answering her.
"Oh… Nothing. I was just imagining what you'd whisper in my ear if we'd stayed in bed."
She tried not to laugh, but she failed.
And they could no longer hold the desire that was burning inside of them. Perry would have to wait. ***
A month later…
"Lois, are you feeling better? 'Cause you still look a bit pale. Maybe you should stay in bed today."
Clark was desperately trying to convince his wife not to go to work since she had been through a tough week: she wasn't eating nor drinking properly and morning sickness had become a routine for her! This was absolutely new to Clark, 'cause he had never seen her ill before.
"Clark, how many times do I have to say that I am fine!? Gee!" she was really yelling at him, but when she noticed his worried face, she lowered her voice, placed her hand on his chest and gently spoke. "Honey, I'll be okay… really. I think I'm just stressed." Seeing that he was not changing his mind, she continued. "Look, today is Friday: at the weekend I promise I'll stay in bed until I recover myself from this stomach 'flu. Do we have a deal?"
How could he resist those lovely brown eyes? They smiled and headed to the door. She had won again.
They entered the newsroom, hand in hand; Clark went to his desk and Lois stopped at the coffee machine. While pouring herself some coffee, Lois started to feel dizzy and a few seconds later, all the room was involved by a fog.
She couldn't recognize whose voice was that and suddenly, her legs and arms became weak, making her drop the cup of coffee and faint.
"Hey, CK!! Come here quickly!"
Almost flying, Clark ran towards a desperate Jimmy, followed by other Daily Planet employees.
"What happened?" Although the answer was a bit obvious ("she had fainted"), this was the only question Clark could formulate in that moment.
"I don't know CK, I was just passing by and when I greeted her, she…"
Ignoring Jimmy's answer, he picked her up, noticing that his hands were trembling, and said only a few words before entering the elevator.
"I… I will… I'll fly her to the hospital."
Confused, Jimmy still managed to ask one last question
"You will fly her? What do you mean?"
But he couldn't obtain an answer: Clark was already gone. ***
Flying above the city, Superman wasn't sure about what to do. He certainly had to take her to the hospital, but, on the other hand, he was afraid to do so. What if she had a serious disease? What if there was no cure for it? What would he do without her? The mere thought made him shiver. And he was getting even more worried, because she seemed to be really unconscious.
* What am I waiting for? I need a doctor. *
He shook his head and tried to assure himself that she was going to be fine. She had to.
At The Metropolis General Hospital, already in Clark's clothes, he was in the waiting room, so frightened by his own reflections that he didn't notice when the doctor approached him.
"Mr. Kent?" The doctor tried for the third time.
"Oh, I'm sorry. I was thinking about… Where's Lois? Is she okay?" He finally replied.
"Mrs. Kent is fine, now. Can I talk to you in my office?"
Relieved and intrigued at the same time by the doctor's answer, he followed him. When they were finally alone, the doctor gestured for Clark to sit down and started to explain.
"I believe I haven't introduced myself yet: I'm Dr. Peterson."
After a short handshake, he continued.
"As I said before, your wife is doing just fine right now, but I also have another good new for you, Mr. Kent."
Anxiously, Clark nodded for him to continue.
"Well, congratulations: your wife is pregnant!" He finished with a large smile on his face.
Clark couldn't believe what he was hearing. * She… She was… pregnant. Did he just said that? But how? Dr. Klein said there was no way. And now… *
"Mr. Kent, are you alright? Do you want some water?"
* My God, Lois Lane is pregnant. I'll be… I'll be a father. * And this last thought hit him like a hammer.
"Mr. Kent? Have you heard me?" The doctor was getting impatient.
Like when you wake up from a dream, Clark answered a bit groggy.
"I told you your wife will be a mother. Did you hear this part?"
* She will be… a mother. My son's mother. We will have a baby, we will have a baby… *
"WE WILL HAVE A BABY!!!" This time Clark did scream.
The doctor couldn't help but laugh at that sweet image of a new father and for a few seconds he thought about his past, when his wife told him she was pregnant. He could understand what Clark was feeling.
"Calm down, Mr. Kent! It will take a few months until you can hold your baby."
The two men shared a friendly hug, one that only fathers could understand the meaning.
When Clark finally spoke, he was absolutely breathless.
"Where… Where is Lois? I really have to see her."
"Follow me." ***
Clark gently opened the door, not wanting to wake Lois up.
* How beautiful she looks. It's just like an angel. *
* ' Twas late December the news came
And I got so excited, I cried all day
And you were such a lovely, precious sight
When I saw our baby in your eyes*
* It was like falling deep in love
I heard the angels cry above
I felt a blessing straight from God
The day that you gave me a son*
* I called 'bout everyone I knew
Just think, I'll be father 'cause of you
There's no greater love than what you gave
A brand new baby on the way*
* Oh such tears of joy, I've never known
I can't remember
It's like a song, I've never heard
I've never sung, but know the words *
He went next to her bed and tenderly stroked her hair, wanting to feel her closer.
* God, how much I need this woman. *
And then she slowly opened her eyes to see the most loving face in the world.
"Hi." Her voice was soft, almost a whisper, but it was all he needed to start crying.
"Hey! Why are you crying? Aren't you glad I'm fine?… I am fine, aren't I?" The sweetness in her eyes quickly changed to concern.
Wiping his tears, Clark felt an urgent need to assure her she was extremely fine.
"Yeah! Don't worry."
And then he placed a soft kiss on her lips; it probably wasn't the most passionate kiss they had exchanged lately, but in that moment, it meant a lot to them.
"So what are you crying for?"
He looked for the right words to tell her the news, a word that could express what he was feeling and what they would feel in the next nine months, but he couldn't find — it was impossible. So, he simply popped what was claiming to be said.
"Lois, you are… pregnant!"
* Oh, this was good, Kent! As soft as a bomb! *
She, on the other hand, didn't have a clue of what he was thinking, because what he had just said was too astonishing.
"You mean pregnant, pregnant?" She asked hesitantly.
He simply nodded. Tears were overflowing, making a strange combination with his big proud smile.
She thought for a few moments, not sure of what to say. But then she finally realized the meaning of his words and happily spoke "Well, then you should be laughing instead of crying, Clark."
By saying this, she hugged him and the kiss they shared then was much more hot, full of passion, happiness and love.
"My dear family." was all he could and managed to murmur in her ear when they finally broke the kiss. ***
When she finally slept, Clark stood up, ready to leave the room, and for the first time he noticed that she looked too weak and tired — even for someone that had been having morning sickness. So, he went towards Dr. Peterson's office.
"Excuse me, doctor."
"Oh, please come in Mr. Kent, I was waiting for you. Sit down. Are you calmer now?"
Clark smiled, embarrassed.
"Don't be ashamed! Every new father I know reacts the way you did before, it's completely understandable, after all, it's a big change in your life style, isn't it?"
They both laughed at the comment. However, Clark was worried, too — he wasn't used to see Lois weak the way he had seen a moment before; so, he no longer held the question.
"Ah, doctor, I don't know if it does make sense, but I think my wife is so… pale. Shouldn't she be taking some vitamins or anything like that?"
The expression in Dr. Peterson's face rapidly became more serious and Clark could feel that, this time, the news wasn't so good: he started to sweat.
"Well, I was going to point this out right now. I don't want to worry you, Lois is really fine, maybe just a little tired, she should slow down in the next months. But, anyway, I asked for some tests when she got here and I must admit that the first results are a bit… How can I say this?" While the doctor was searching for the right words, Clark felt a lump grows in his throat. "… unusual! That's it!" The doctor spoke, successfully. "Here, I want you to take a look at this."
And then he showed Clark one of Lois' tests, trying to explain to him the meaning of each number.
"As you can see, Mr. Kent, Lois' body is going through a lot of changes, too quickly, because I must say that she is only one month pregnant. And by seeing this numbers, we conclude that the most annoying fact is that something or someone is taking nutrition from the mother. I don't know yet the source of this problem, I'll need some more tests, but I'm afraid that the baby is causing this, although I don't know why."
Clark didn't know what to say: he was as confused as the doctor was, and to make things worse, he was hearing that the woman he loved was in danger.
"What can we do?" was all he could think of to say.
"Well, not much. As I already said, we'll need some more tests to prove my theory. For now, you should take her home and make her feel comfortable, feeding her every time she asks for. And then, on Monday, you can bring her for us to do some specific tests."
Clark nodded sadly in agreement.
"C'mon, put a smile on your face: we'll solve this and sooner than you can imagine you will be holding your child."
The doctor patted Clark's back and left the room. The 'man of steel' was crying. ***
"Yes, chief, I'm sure she is okay now… Of course you'll be the godfather, in fact, it'll be an honor for us… I'll try to make her rest this weekend, but you know, we are talking about Lois Lane… I'll let her know that you called and on Monday you'll be able to congratulate her yourself, or maybe you and Jimmy could make us a visit: we'd love to!… Yeah, I understand… See you all on Monday, then… Thanks, Perry, bye."
As Clark was hanging up the cellular phone, the thought about losing Lois came back to his mind: he haven't told Perry the bad news, only the good ones; and for a moment it felt so right to hear the word 'congratulations' — he had dreamed about this since the first minute he saw Lois. So, why was this happening to them? Why couldn't things be easy for him? Why?
He needed to share these horrible thoughts with someone and, obviously, he couldn't worry Lois. So he dialed the familiar number of his parents.
"Mom, it's me… Yeah, I'm fine and I also have some news for you and dad: you'd better sit down."
And then he told them everything: how happy he was about Lois' pregnancy and how scared he was about what the doctor had told him a moment before. Actually, he was sorry about telling his parents the news by phone: he wanted to be there to see their cheerful faces — 'cause he knew how Jonathan and Martha loved kids — and he also wanted to be there to receive a big bear hug, that one that seems to say: 'everything will be okay.' He could fly to Smallville in less than a minute, but he didn't want to leave Lois in a hospital, alone, even for just a few moments. On that account, he was glad by only hearing his mother and father's voice.
"Listen to me carefully, son," Martha started "I knew hundreds of happy couples, but none of them can be compared to you and Lois. And do you want to know why?" she asked, but didn't wait for an answer. "Because you two have faced all kinds of adversities and have never given up on each other. I've said it once and I'll repeat it now: you will find a way, both of you will."
Jonathan took part in the conversation.
"Your mother is right, son — the problems have never stopped you before and they won't now."
A bit more relieved, Clark took a deep breath before speaking "Thanks, mom and dad, I'm already feeling better, I think that it was too much for a day, even for Superman."
"Do you want us to go to Metropolis? Your father and I can take the next flight."
"I would appreciate that, really."
"Well, then it's done: we'll probably be there by night."
"Thanks again, mom. Now I think I will check on Lois. See you two later."
He was almost hanging up the phone when Martha spoke. "By the way, you made me the happiest mother in the world."
And Jonathan added, "Yeah, Clark, we can't wait to have a grandchild, it's like a dream coming true."
"Yes, dad, it sure is… Bye."
The last words of his father echoed in Clark's head while he was making his way to Lois' room, a bit calmer, but yet confused.
* A dream coming true. * ***
Clark entered Lois' room for the second time on that day, however, this time, he found her awake, with those big brown eyes of hers. The sight of his wife sitting on the bed and smiling at him, made him forget those awful thoughts about losing her.
* She's fine, all you have to do is look at her to see that: she's incredibly beautiful. *
In fact, Lois was really pallid, but all Clark could see was "the woman of his dreams who was finally carrying his son."
"Hey, are you going to come here and give me a kiss or do you intend to spend the rest of the day at the door, just looking at me?" she asked playfully.
"Oh, no. My plans are much better than that : I think I'll hold you and kiss you for the rest of my life, Mrs. Kent."
She began to laugh while he made his way to her bed and started to kiss her neck tenderly, exploring with his tongue each curve he could find which made her moan in pleasure. They could have gone further if Dr. Peterson hadn't interrupted them.
"Excuse me, should I come back later?" he said, trying to sound casual.
Clark turned his head to face the doctor who was obviously surprised by the scene; Lois lowered her head, trying to hide herself between the sheets.
"Uh… No. I mean, of course you can come in now." Clark managed to say.
Seeing how embarrassed the couple was, the doctor couldn't help but laugh.
"That's okay, guys. I'm not your parents."
This time, the three of them, could no longer hold the laughter.
A few minutes later, however, the doctor had to interrupt, again, another "happy moment".
"Well, but I do have something to tell you."
Lois and Clark immediately turned their attention to Dr. Peterson.
"Lois, I already talked to your husband and we agreed that as soon as you feel ready to, you can go home: there's no reason to keep you here, but I do insist that you must take some rest and also these vitamins." As he showed Clark the prescription, the man continued his lecture. "You seem to be working a lot, maybe you should give yourself a break: it's time to save some of this energy for the baby and…"
"Wait… wait a minute!"
Lois was getting really nervous with all that "take care of yourself" talk, so she couldn't hold her thoughts anymore.
"What about that thing the doctors always say? Something like: 'pregnancy is not a disease'."
Peterson felt a little uncomfortable with her question, not knowing if he should or should not tell her about the tests' first results; sensing the doctor's doubts, Clark interfered.
"Honey, what Dr. Peterson means is that you've been working so much that you even forgot to eat and sleep properly. And now that you are carrying a baby, you need to respect your body's limits."
She was about to protest Clark's words, when the doctor spoke again.
"Your husband is absolutely right. As far as I can see, your body has been claiming for some good rest and you seem to be ignoring this; as a result, you are a bit weak now, needing some extra vitamins. Even if you weren't pregnant, I would recommend some rest for you, Mrs. Kent."
Under the circumstances, she could only make a promise.
"Okay, enough! I'm feeling like a monster here: I'll do what you two are asking me to, after all, I do care about my baby's health. It's just that I don't feel that tired."
Clark pulled her closer, feeling how hard it was for her to admit she was wrong.
"It's alright, sweetheart; everything is going to be just fine."
She nodded in agreement.
"C'mon, Clark, let's give the mother some time to rest before she goes home." the doctor interrupted, and then motioned to Clark to leave the room with him.
"Try to sleep, okay? I'll be right back to take you home. I love you."
And then he kissed her good bye.
When the door closed behind him, she whispered 'I love you, too' knowing he could hear her. ***
Once outside the room, the two men were finally able to talk about Lois.
"I don't know if we did the right thing: I don't like hiding the facts from my patients, even if it's just a theory."
"I know Dr. Peterson, and I really appreciate your discretion, 'cause I want to find the right words to tell her about those tests; besides, why worry her now, that she's so fragile, when all we have is uncertainties."
"You've got a point, Mr. Kent. But you must talk to her soon, since it's really essential for her to know the importance of saving energy — at least until we find out what's happening to her."
"Yes, sure. The right moment will come this weekend, don't worry."
"See you on Monday, then. And, hey: don't let this spoil your happiness — having a baby is a God's gift."
And while the doctor's was walking away, Clark remained there, at the room's door, feeling blessed and cursed at the same time. ***
"Clark, I have a feeling that I still can walk by myself: you don't have to carry me!"
"I know that, Lois, but you've been all day at the hospital — you must be tired. Besides, I love to have you in my arms." he said with a boyish smile on his face. And she could not resist the strongest man on Earth (speaking literally) saying to her those lovely things. So, she bent her head and kissed her dearly husband.
"Have I ever said that I love you, Lois Lane?" he spoke, still between her lips.
"Not in the last… ten seconds."
And they both laughed as he carried her to their bedroom. ***
It was almost 9 p.m. when Clark heard the door bell. So, he gently got off the bed, trying not to wake Lois up, who was soundly asleep. When he reached the door, was happily greeted by his parents.
"Hi, son!" they said in unison.
"Mom, Dad, thank God you two are finally here!"
Hearing Clark's last comment, Martha popped a question which had been worrying her since she had last spoken with him.
"Why, son? Is everything alright with Lois?"
"Your mother and I want to see her."
Clark grabbed his parents' luggage and while they were making their way to the living room's couch, he explained to them that Lois was okay, but they couldn't talk to her because she had had a tough day and on account of that, was already sleeping .
"Of course we understand, son. It's just that Jonathan and I were so excited with the news that we forgot she had been at the hospital today."
"Yeah, son. I guess I overreacted. But you have to forgive us: the idea of having a little boy…"
"Or a little girl…" Martha interfered.
"It's just incredible."
By this time, Clark was already sat on the couch, listening to the happiness of his folks.
"Please, you have nothing to apologize for. I'm sure Lois will be as pleased as I am, seeing how much you two care about us."
They all smiled, feeling closer to each other more than ever. But a few moments later, Martha broke the spell by asking about Lois' tests.
"What can I tell you, mom? I and Dr. Peterson don't know much about that, we just have some unproved theories."
"Well, I'm not sure of what I am about to say, but…"
Clark and Jonathan waited for Martha to finish her statement apprehensively.
"Have you ever thought that maybe you two are not compatible?"
"Mom, we are compatible. I'm pretty sure of this." Clark answered, feeling insulted by his mother's last words.
"I am not talking about your relationship with Lois — I do know how much you love her and I am also aware that she would do anything for you, too. My point is: maybe your Kryptonian genes can't match perfectly with hers."
"I'm… I'm sorry, mom. I didn't mean to be rude; it's just that I've been under a lot of pressure lately."
Seeing how helpless her "little boy" looked, Martha couldn't help but give him a hug, gently rubbing his back. Clark felt completely secure, in a kind of a way that only happened when he was in Lois' arms. That was when he decided to reveal his deepest thoughts.
"I was trying to ignore this fact. I mean, all my life as Clark Kent is an attempt to look and act like a normal human being; and sometimes, I play the role so well that I forget I'm not an ordinary guy. I forget that even when I'm not wearing the costume I'm Superman. I think I can't stand the idea of being the main cause of Lois' disease; " You could see his eyes shining with unshed tears when he faced Jonathan and Martha to finish his sentence. "I can't lose her."
Martha held him a little closer, sensing that her husband could handle the situation this time.
"Son, you have to believe that none of this is your fault: you can't control everything. Besides, as far as I know, it's needed two people to conceive a child." This last comment made all of them laugh, relieved. When Jonathan recovered himself from his own attempt at a joke, he continued. "What you must do now is concentrate your efforts on solving this problem and talk to Lois about your doubts and fears. She has the right to know what's happening to her."
"Yeah, Dad, you are right. I'll talk to her tomorrow."
The Kents remained in the living room, talking about the old times, when Clark was just Martha's "little boy". ***
"Good morning, sleeping beauty."
It was almost 10 am and although Clark was fully dressed and shaved, Lois was still in bed, yawning.
"Good morning, Clark! "And when she noticed that he had called her sleeping beauty, she panicked. "Oh, my God! What time is it? It must be really late because you are already dressed. How could I sleep that much? This has never happened to me before, I always sleep only six hours. When I was in high-school, I've never needed an alarm clock, because I always knew the time I should wake up. And after I started working at The Daily Planet I…"
Clark had to give her a hot and deep kiss: it was the most efficient way to make her stop babbling.
"Well, I think that's a good way to start the day." she spoke breathlessly when their lips parted.
He was grinning at the sight of that lovely woman: she was so smart and yet so naive. That was one of her best qualities — she was paradoxical.
"So, what are you having for breakfast?… And, oh, by the way, my parents are here. Do you want to see them?"
Clark noticed Lois' puzzled face and realized that he hadn't told her yet that he had already broken the news to some people.
"I forgot to tell you that." He paused for a moment, not knowing how she was going to react. "well, I spoke to mom and dad while you were at the hospital and…"
"Clark, are you trying to tell me that they know about the baby yet?" she asked hesitantly.
"I'm sorry, Lois. I was so excited." He wasn't ready to tell her that he had called his parents because he was worried about her health. "I couldn't help it. Perry and Jimmy, got very happy for us, too, and they… Lois? Are you listening to me?"
She started pacing around the bedroom and he could tell by her face that she was, at least, upset.
"Clark, I can't believe you told them!"
"It was supposed to be a secret?" he asked innocently, yet knowing what she was trying to say.
"Of course not, but… Oh, never mind!"
She rushed to the bathroom and Clark followed her.
"Look, Lois, I know you wanted to be there to tell them the news yourself… I'm sorry."
She then stopped combing her hair to face her husband: anyone could see how guilty he was feeling and because of that, in that moment, she understood that she was blaming him for have gotten too happy when he found out he was going to be a father.
Lois softened her voice.
"No, Clark, I'm the one who should be saying I'm sorry. I'm acting like a spoiled child."
He stepped closer to her and put his arms around her waist.
"Next time, you tell everybody… Do we have a deal?"
"N-e-x-t t-i-m-e?" She said, smiling at him.
"Yes. Why not? I do believe in big families, don't you?" And then he started kissing her neck, enjoying the sweet taste of her soft skin.
"I think you are trying to persuade me…"
"Am I managing?"
Breakfast was forgotten for a moment. ***
"What I hate most is the morning sickness. Sometimes I feel bad before even thinking about food!"
Lois was in the living room, talking to Clark's parents and being pampered by them.
"I'm sure it will get better, honey. You know, the doctors always say that it lasts only during the first months."
"WHAT?!" Lois practically screamed " You've said months? Plural? I can't handle this for that long, Martha."
"Oh, you sure can."
Clark entered the room, carrying Lois' breakfast — a glass of milk, doughnuts, bread, toast, jam, butter, orange juice, cereal, apples and pears, cheese, all settled on a tray. He gave her a quick kiss and while putting the tray on the table, continued speaking.
"You are the strongest woman I have ever met: not even Superman can keep you away from what you want, I don't think a baby can."
Lois was about to explain to him how annoying a morning sickness could be, but in this exact moment, she noticed the real 'banquet' Clark had prepared.
"Honey, don't you think there are some cups missing? I mean, what about your parents?"
"Oh, no, Lois, Martha and I have already had breakfast. Clark himself cooked for us while you were sleeping."
"So… I suppose that all this food… Clark, I'm not an elephant!" Lois said, with an horrified look on her face.
"Of course you are not!"
"Then why are you bringing me food enough to feed a hundred people?!"
Clark couldn't help but laugh.
"Lois, I just want to make sure that you are going to take care of yourself." he replied, with pleading eyes. "Besides, you are eating for two now."
And then he placed his hand on her belly, gently caressing his unborn child. That was it! She couldn't resist his charm.
"OK… But I won't eat everything! Maybe just some juice…"
"Whatever you say, darling." he answered, kindly. Years of partnership and the marriage had thought him that this was the best way to end a quarrel with Lois Lane.
As soon as Lois started drinking her juice, Martha felt comfortable to speak again.
"Look, son, I and your father are leaving. We just wanted to check on Lois and congratulate you two. You see, we can't leave the farm for too long — those men don't know how to feed a chicken if your father's not there!"
"But Martha, you arrived last night! Please, stay a bit longer."
Martha reached for Lois' hand and gave it a gentle squeeze.
"We'd love to, sweetheart, but we really have to go. We still want to visit a friend here in Metropolis who has just lost his wife. I promise I'll be back in a week or so, after all, I will miss my grandson."
Jonathan looked at her a bit confused, but nodded in agreement.
"Well, mom, if you've already made up your mind… At least let me fly you two back to Smallville." Clark then turned his attention to Lois as if he were looking for her approval.
"Clark! You can go: I'll be just fine… Don't worry!"
"Lois, are you sure?"
"Oh, please, Clark! Is it going to be this way for nine months?"
"Well, no. It's just that…"
He was going to tell her, but something stopped him, warning that it wasn't the right moment yet.
"Oh, nothing. Just be careful, OK?"
"Don't you trust me, partner?"
They both exchange a serious look before bursting into laughter.
"C'mon, mom, let's grab your bags." he finally spoke, still laughing.
When the three of them were upstairs and Lois was out of earshot, Clark no longer held his question.
"Mom, who is this friend that you and dad are planning to visit?"
"Good question, son, 'cause I don't know this friend either. Not to mention the fact that my employees in the farm are really well trained," said an even more confused Jonathan.
"OK, enough you two! I just wanted to give the couple some privacy to talk, Jonathan!" and turning her attention to Clark, she continued "And you must take this opportunity to clarify the situation. Remember what we talked last night: Lois has the right to know what's happening to her."
Clark felt the sadness coming back to his heart and mind, as if he had been awakened from a good dream.
"It won't be easy, Clark, I and your mother know that. But it will probably be better if you talk to her yourself, considering that this is really personal."
"However, if you do feel that you want us to do it for you…"
"No, you two are right. I have to talk to her myself." And already in Superman's clothes, he demanded "Let's go!" ***
"I hope your daddy has a good excuse for being so late!… … Oh God, what am I doing? I'm talking to my stomach!?"
Lois was starting to get impatient: Clark wouldn't take two hours to fly his parents to Smallville.
"Maybe he found another job for Superman on the way home." she said sarcastically. "So, it's just you and me, ba… Oh, no! I'm talking to my stomach again! What's happening to me? Well, maybe this is better than talking to the fish, after all…"
She would have continued to think out loud, but just then the phone rang. Lois picked up the receiver.
It was her mother.
"Mom, what a surprise…" she said almost sadly. It didn't mean, though, that she didn't love her mother — even after offering her a not-so-good childhood, Ellen Lane was really special to Lois (it was her mother, for Pete's sake!). But, let's face it: Ellen did know how to drive someone crazy.
"Mom… Mom… MOM! Would you listen to me, please?… Thanks. I have some news for you and dad… Well, I suppose it's good news, at least Clark and I… Why am I using the word 'suppose'? Well, because I don't know if you like the idea of being a grandmother."
* That was good, Lois. Now your mother is going to have a heart attack .*
"Mom? Are you listening to me yet?"
"MOM…! Yes, it means I'm pregnant. A month pregnant, to be more specific… I didn't tell you before because I just found out yesterday…! Yes, we are very happy. What about you and dad? Are you coming to see me…? South Africa! Does dad have business there…? Wow! I think that his research must be really complicated then… No, it's OK, I'll be fine. Just try to be here as soon as possible — I want you to visit us before I give birth… Take care of yourself, too. And don't forget to tell dad the news… No, mom, I didn't mean that, I know you're not crazy — it's just that You might forget and… OK, mom. Never mind… Yes, we love you, too… Bye."
Lois was exhausted! Talking to her mother was more difficult than teaching two monkeys how to dance together!
After a deep sigh, she found herself feeling hungry again.
* How can I feel hungry?! It does not make any sense: I've just eaten tons of food! *
She didn't want to admit it at first, but the truth was that she had eaten everything Clark had offered her before.
* Well, that was two hours ago… Besides, I'm nervous because Clark isn't home yet… And all that conversation with my mother… Yes. These are probably the reasons why I'm starving! *
Satisfied with her own excuses, she hurried to the kitchen, intending to pick up an apple from the fridge. But suddenly she felt like falling down, and within a few seconds, she was on the kitchen floor, unconscious. ***
"Lois! Sweetheart, can you hear me?"
She didn't know what had happened, but somehow, she was feeling pretty safe.
"Lois, talk to me, please!"
Oh, that was why she was feeling so secure: she was in her husband's arms. The strangest thing was that no matter how hard she tried, she couldn't open her eyes, nor answer him.
Clark was already heading to the door to take her to the hospital, when he heard her mumble something.
He went back to the couch, with Lois lying helplessly in his arms.
"Lois, are you listening to me?"
She wanted so badly to say to him that she was fine and that with him by her side everything seemed just perfect. But she found herself voiceless.
Clark held her closer, feeling a desperate urge to keep her in his arms.
And then, as soon as it had came, the dizziness went away. And Lois felt herself able to speak again.
"Oh, my God, Clark!" ***
"So, you're saying that you were going towards the kitchen, after talking to your mother, and then suddenly… fainted?"
"You see: that's why I should have taken you to the hospital!"
Lois was in bed, trying to explain to her husband what had happened while he was out helping an airplane to land ( as he already had said ), although Lois herself couldn't remember very well the facts.
"I swear to you that I am fine! I got up from the couch too quickly, t-h-a-t's a-l-l!"
Clark, who was pacing in front of their bed, stopped abruptly. An awkward silence filled the room. He sensed that the time had come. He couldn't avoid it anymore.
Lois, on the other hand, did notice his reluctance in telling her something. Call it reporter instinct!
"Okay! Out with it, Clark! What is worrying you so much?"
And before Clark had a chance to even open his mouth, she added:
"And don't try to convince me that you are worried just because I… fainted a couple of hours ago. The last time I saw this look on your face, you were trying to tell me that you are Superman."
Had the circumstances been otherwise, Clark would have laughed — she knew him so well… But, then, he was desperately trying to find the right words to tell her bad news.
His mother's words echoed through his head.
* She has the right to know what is happening to her. *
Clark sat on the bed, next to her, and gently entwined their fingers.
"Clark, you're freaking me out!"
He faced her for the first time. Uncertainty in his eyes.
"I want you to know that you and the baby are doing just fine now. But…"
She could swear that anyone was able to hear her heartbeats — even if the person was in China!
"Dr. Peterson found something strange on your first tests: it seems that you are weaker than you should be because…" Clark assumed that if he said what he had to in a hurry, it would be easier. "there's something or… someone taking nutrition from you."
"Well, it doesn't mean anything, does it?… What I'm trying to say is I've been working a lot these days, so… it's perfectly normal, right?"
Oh, God! How he hated this! Seeing how nervous and frightened she was, all he wanted was to tell her that she was right, that everything was absolutely fine. But he couldn't do this. He owed her the truth.
"Honey, I don't think the doctor found it normal. He was really astonished by the results, as if it was something really unusual. It's just a theory but he thinks that the baby is doing this to you and considering I'm Kryptonian…"
Clark was ready for any kind of reaction: screams, nonsense excuses (as she had done a few moments ago), anger. But nothing had prepared him for that. She was crying. And it wasn't an ordinary cry: the tears were coming with such a frequency that in less than ten seconds it was hard to recognize her.
Clark couldn't describe how he was feeling. It felt like… dying. He would rather facing tons of kryptonite to seeing Lois so miserable.
"It's so unfair… How come? I should have told you… I should have told you, Clark…"
He wasn't paying much attention to what she was saying until those last words came out of her mouth.
He leaned closer to her, gently stroking her hair.
"You should've told me what, honey? Is there anything I don't know yet?"
Clark was sure that she was probably just babbling, but he asked anyway.
However, when he popped the question, he saw her expression change from despair to guilty, and knew immediately that something was wrong.
"What is it Lois? Did you know about Dr. Peterson's theories yet?"
* That's ridiculous, Clark. How could she possibly know about them! *
Lois felt the moment to talk to Clark had come, too. In fact, when she first planned that, she was intending not to say to him a word, but fate certainly wasn't something she could count on.
"Clark, I love you. I know that what I did was wrong, but…"
"Lois, what are you talking about? You are not making any sense!!"
He was incredibly confused.
"Okay… okay." she was trying to regain her self-control. "I'll tell you everything… from the very beginning, but I want you to just listen to me."
Clark nodded, although he didn't have a clue of what he was about to hear.
And wiping her tears, she spoke.
"When you told we weren't able to have kids, I felt like my whole world was falling apart. I've never pictured myself as mother — and you know that — but you also know that since the day I met you, or at least since we got married, something changed inside me and I started daydreaming about how wonderful it would be having a baby of yours… a little piece of this greatest love we share…"
"Clark, you promised…"
"Okay… go on."
"So, the idea of not being able to conceive this child was absolutely… unbearable to me. It was as if my love wasn't pure and good enough to create a new life with you. That's when the idea of talking to Dr. Klein myself came up. I went to S.T.A.R Labs last month, right after that night we talked about how I was feeling, remember?" She didn't wait for an answer, though. "I wasn't sure of what I was going to say to Dr. Klein. I mean, how can a journalist ask about Superman's infertility problems?" Lois lowered her head, ashamed of something she hadn't told Clark yet. " I should have known I couldn't handle that, though… I was so… vulnerable… and I wanted him to help me…"
Clark got up from the bed, running his fingers impatiently through his hair 'cause he knew what was coming.
"I told him, Clark!! I told him that you're Superman!! You have to forgive me…"
Actually, Clark wasn't hearing anymore what she was saying. His head was turning upside down, thousands of thoughts appearing at the same time: Lois… His parents… Dr. Klein… He really believed that he was going to explode!
"How could you, Lois!! You didn't have the right to decide this for me! This is MY LIFE!"
He was yelling, and didn't even noticed that he was yelling at her, 'cause all he wanted was to yell at someone to get rid of that confusion on his mind.
By this time, Lois was already on her feet, too, trying to match his tone.
"Well, I thought that I was part of your life! That's what marriage is!"
She knew that what she had done was terribly wrong, but in that moment she was hurt by Clark's words and couldn't think very well.
He threw his hands in the air.
"Great! I didn't know that marriage equals to no personal life at all. I don't even have the right to decide who should know about the biggest secret of my life, right?"
She found a billion words to finish her sentence, but suddenly it felt like having a frog in her throat.
"Am I what, Lois?! Could you at least admit that you are wrong?"
"Well if you didn't listen to me, I've already said that I want you to forgive me…! I'm sorry, Clark!"
She was starting to lower her voice, and so was he.
"Do you want to know what I don't understand?" Without waiting for an answer he continued. "You've been under pressure before — you were kidnapped, the most wanted criminals in America showed you the weirdest guns — but you've never said a word."
That disappointed look on his face was breaking her heart. Anger was certainly better than that.
"My question is: why, Lois? Why?"
She sat on the bed again and gasped for some air.
"I told you I wanted him to help me… to help us!"
Clark was more confused than mad at her. What was she talking about?
"It's needless to say that Dr. Klein almost passed out when I told him the truth. The poor man got speechless for more than an hour… You should have seen his face…"
Lois tried a weak smile, but seeing that Clark wasn't in the mood, she continued.
"But the main point is: when I asked him about… us, he said that the problem wasn't the fact that Superman couldn't impregnate an earth woman. The problem was she couldn't carry the baby without…" She was sweating.
Clark approached her. He was afraid of what she was going to say this time, 'cause something was telling him that it was even worse than the other "good" news.
"Lois, please. What is it? The mother couldn't carry the baby without what?"
"Without getting harmed!" she answered through tears.
"Oh, my God! Oh, m-y G-o-d! OH, MY GOD!"
He was in panic.
"Clark, please calm down! You're frightening me!"
"Calm down? Are you asking me to calm down?" Then he put a sarcastic tone on his voice. "Let me see if I understood everything: you went to Dr. Klein, you told him my secret identity, you said you wanted to get pregnant even knowing that it can hurt you and didn't ask my opinion about none of this! But that's OK, you know. You're right: I have no reason to be upset!"
Clark threw his body on the bed, running nervously his fingers through his hair, as he had done moments before.
"I had to tell him about who you truly were, so that he could help us. I'll need a doctor during this pregnancy, too, and it's pretty obvious that it can't be anyone! Please, Clark, try to be reasonable!"
A bit calmer, Clark looked at her — in his eyes Lois saw anger, frustration, fear and also love.
"When Dr. Klein mentioned you could be harmed by this baby, what exactly did he say?"
* That's it, Lois. No more secrets. * she thought
"He said I could die, Clark."
She spoke in such a low voice that only a man with superhearing could hear.
This time Clark stayed quiet. He didn't even move a finger.
"Say something!" she screamed.
He got up from the bed without facing her and went downstairs. Lois followed him a few moments later, absolutely amazed by his reaction and yet afraid of what she was going to find in the living room.
Clark was sitting on the couch, with his head between his hands, crying as a "little boy". As soon as Lois met her husband, she couldn't help but feel extremely awful for being the one who had put him through this.
* Oh, Clark, I love you so much. You have to forgive me, I didn't mean to hurt you. Please, stop crying! Kill me, but please don't cry. *
She sat on the sofa next to him and let her hand caress his back. Lois had to gather all her strength not to hug and kiss him — he seemed so helpless!
"Clark, talk to me!" her voice was almost a prayer.
"What do you want me to say, Lois?!!" he yelled at her, before getting up from the couch, still avoiding her eyes.
"I want you to tell me what you're thinking!"
He smiled ironically.
That sarcastic smile made Lois forget the "little boy" crying, defenseless. All she could see was an incredibly stubborn man.
"Oh, no, you wouldn't want to know what is going on in my head…!"
"Try me!" she replied with the very same ironic smile.
"Well, you lied to me! You betrayed me, Lois! You endangered your life without caring about the ones who love you! You acted like a horrible… selfish… woman!! "
"Oh, Mr. Perfect, I'm sorry! You've never lied to me, have you? You've never kept any secrets from me, right?"
She was losing her temper, and so was he.
"You will never forgive me for that, will you? But you know what? At least I did what I did to protect the ones I loved, protect is the key word."
"And I did what I did because I wanted a baby! A child to whom I could look at and say ' oh, it has his father's dimples and also that irresistible smile which makes anyone melt.' I wanted to be the mother of your kids, Clark — that special woman…
* Don't you know how special you are to me, Lois? *
"… I wanted someone to look at me the way you do at Martha. I wanted…"
And she was no more able to finish her sentence, because of the tears that were literally 'washing' her face.
Clark stopped himself at that sight: her words were so sincere. What was he doing? Yes, she had made a mistake, but only because she loved him!
Holding these thoughts, he went towards her and softly hugged the only woman he had ever loved. Although Lois was still crying, he could feel her relaxing in his arms, like a frightened baby girl who had just found her daddy.
* How can I love you so much that hurts, Lois! *
They kept holding each other for what seemed an eternity until Clark finally spoke.
"I want you to know that I've heard every single word you've said, and, believe me, I would do anything to be an ordinary guy, I'd give anything to have a baby with you. But I can't let you jeopardize your life like that, Lois. You have to understand: these feelings I have for you are much more than just love — you're my wife, my best friend, my partner. You already are that special person, Lois. And I can't live without you! I just can't…"
He released his arms and raised her face so he could look at those amazing big brown eyes which were all red then.
"I love you and I need you in my life. Please, let's go to Dr. Klein and see if he can…" he paused for a moment and felt his heart broke when he finally finished the sentence. "…do an abortion."
Lois smiled a sad smile and lightly traced the lines of his face with her fingers, as if she had never seen that sweet gorgeous man. And then she peacefully answered, "How can you put the words love and abortion in the same sentence, Clark? This baby is a blessing." She placed her and also his hand on her belly, before continuing "I've yearned… We've yearned for it for a long time. I love you, too and that's why I know you will understand when I tell you that I'm keeping this baby!"
Clark lowered his head, in disbelief.
* She is so headstrong! *
But Lois carried on.
"Listen to me, Clark, and listen carefully: right after you went to New Krypton I got desperate at the newsroom, because I wanted you back! I decided that I wasn't able to let you go anymore! That's when your father told me the wisest thing I have ever heard — 'a love that risks nothing, is worth nothing'. And he was right, Clark! You yourself said something like this when Tim and Amber Lake caught us, remember?"
Yes, he definitely remembered that.
"So… we'll have this baby and it'll be as healthy and perfect as a child can be, because our love is the most perfect feeling I have ever experienced."
He lifted his tear-stained face to meet her eyes, and even though there were tears in them, too, Clark could see that sparkle which only appeared when she was excited about a story or when he kissed her.
"What about you, Lois? Who guarantees that you will be okay as well? What if…"
She silenced him by placing her index finger over his mouth.
"I'll be fine. I promise." she murmured.
He really wanted to say she was crazy, that they couldn't take that risk. But she seemed so happy… And he couldn't deny the fact that he himself was amazingly happy: Lois Lane, the woman of his dreams, was pregnant! They were finally going to be a family!
Seeing a smile growing on his face, Lois smiled back at him and Clark felt an incredible urge to caress her. So, he slowly unbuttoned her blouse and when it revealed the softest skin he had ever seen, he ran his fingers from her stomach, up to her neck, stopping tenderly to touch her breasts. Lois closed her eyes and felt her body shiver at the mere touch of his large hands on her. He then removed her blouse which fell on the floor, followed quickly by his tie, her jeans, his trousers, her bra… ***
An hour later, Lois and Clark were still on the couch, lying entwined. She was resting her head on his bare chest while her hand was gently caressing it.
"Mmmm…?" she replied, without looking at him
"Why didn't you tell me about the baby? Don't you trust me?"
She noticed that he wasn't mad at her anymore: he was hurt. Lois knew, better than anyone else, how awful it feels when you find out that the person you love most kept a secret from you.
She lifted her head to study his expression: yes, he was disappointed and hurt, but there was also love and concern in his attractive brown eyes. That almost made her melt.
"I trust you with my life…! And I guess I've already proved it a lot, haven't I?"
They laughed at her comment.
"Would you let me do it if I had told you?" she asked matter of factly.
"Of course not, Lois. Your well-being is the most important thing for me."
"That's why I didn't tell you!" she answered triumphantly.
"But I'm your husband, Lois. It's not right what you did!"
She lowered her head, ashamed, and it was all Clark needed to forget everything: he couldn't resist seeing her sad… So, he cupped her face in his hands.
"Look at me, Lois."
"I love you. Having you as my wife is all I ask for to be happy. But I can't blame you for what you did: I want a baby as much as you do. It's just that…" he paused, searching for the right words. "I don't want to lose you, Lois!"
"You won't lose me! I'm right here and I'll be forever by your side, no matter what happens!"
"Yes, but you said that Dr. Klein…"
"The baby is worth the risk, Clark! I've endangered my life a thousand times before because of my job. Why can't we take the risk this time?"
He couldn't find an answer for that, so he just nodded and kissed her forehead. Actually, he wasn't as sure about her health as she was, but there was nothing he could do: she was extremely right — they were always risking their lives for their jobs ( especially him! ). Besides, their relationship had reached a point from where they couldn't turn back anymore — they both knew a baby would have to come sooner or later. It's obvious that if he could have chosen, he would rather adopting a child to risking Lois' life. However, she had already made up her mind and he had to admit that a baby whose flesh and blood matched his own was a thrilling thing.
So, as they remained there, in each other's arms, Clark mumbled a little prayer.
And so did Lois.
* Love wandered inside
Stronger than you
Stronger than I
And now that it has begun
We cannot turn back
We can only turn into one*
* I won't ever be too far away to feel you
And I won't hesitate at all
Whenever you call
And I'll always remember
The part of you so tender
I'll be the one to catch your fall
Whenever you call*
* And I'm truly inspired
Finding my soul
There in your eyes
Have opened my heart
And lifted me inside
By showing me yourself
* And I will breathe for you each day
Comfort you through all the pain
Gently kiss your fears away
You can turn to me and cry
Always understand that I
Give you all I am inside * ***
"Lois, did you understand what I told you about 'saving energy'?"
Lois and Clark were at the Daily Planet's elevator, ready for another day at work after a peaceful — well, as peaceful as it could have been — weekend.
"Clark, did you understand what I told you about 'stop worrying'?"
And before he could respond her the elevator door opened and she exited it, waiting for Clark to join her a few steps later.
Jimmy approached the couple with a broad smile crossing his face.
"Lois! CK! Congratulations!"
And then the young boy gave them a friendly hug. Lois remained a bit confused for some time until she remembered that Clark had already told Jimmy and Perry she was expecting a baby.
* I'm still mad at him because of that. However… considering what I've done… That's nothing… *
"Yes, Jimmy we are very happy, too, but can you release my arm, please?"
Jimmy was really squeezing Lois' arm.
"Oh, I'm sorry Lois, it's just so nice the idea of being an … uncle!"
Lois gave him a weird look.
"I mean, I feel like I'm part of your family, after all, I've known you two for quite a long time and CK is like a brother to me…"
"Slow down, Jimmy!" Clark patted his friend's back. "You're sounding like Lois when she is babbling!"
The two men laughed loudly at Clark's statement, while Lois remained staring at them with her arms folded and shooting them an 'if-looks-could-kill' glare — although she herself was laughing inwardly as well.
"Okay, very funny you two… C'mon, Clark, let's see what Perry has for us today!"
And while the best reporter team in Metropolis went towards Perry's office, Jimmy stayed in the middle of the newsroom, laughing. ***
"Can we come in?"
"Great shades of Elvis, Lois! What are you doing here?"
And as soon as Clark entered Perry's office, he continued. "Kent, I thought you were going to keep your wife at home!"
"You do know Lois, Chief: nothing can stay between her and her job!" Clark answered, smiling.
"Well, then… Come here, sweetheart. I want to hug you and my… grandson… or granddaughter!" Perry said, with open arms.
Lois gave him the very same weird look she had given to Jimmy a few moments before. In both cases, it didn't mean, though, that she wasn't happy for being so loved. It was just amazing how Perry and Jimmy were feeling comfortable with the unborn child.
"I mean, you are like a daughter to me, Lois. And since I was the one who teamed you up, I feel as if I were…"
"Part of our family!" Lois and Clark answered in unison.
"Of course, you are, Perry!" Lois added before giving her editor in chief the hug he was waiting for.
"And I still want to be the godfather!"
"As I said before, Chief, it'll be an honor for us! Right, Lois?"
"Yes… sure!" she replied, hesitantly, not knowing exactly what that 'before' meant.
Regaining his I-am-the-most-important-editor-in-chief-in-this- damn-city look, Perry sat on his desk and changed the subject.
He wasn't good at showing his feelings.
"Alright, kids, if you two feel up to the task — especially you, Lois," he added, looking at her as if he were her father "I have a story which I would like to see my best reporters working at."
"I have never been better in my entire life. What do you have for us, chief?"
Clark opened his mouth to protest (* she was already in danger, why risk her life even more? *) but she ignored his worried look and so did Perry. So he gave up.
"Well, as you two must have heard, there's a new club in Metropolis — The Sunset — and I've just received information from a reliable source that there's something really strange going on there…"
"And that would be…?" Lois said, expecting for Perry to confirm the 'big story' she was already imagining that it was.
"Four businessmen whose jobs included leading gangs in Metropolis were brutally killed after watching a show in that place. Coincidence? Our source doesn't think so. It's up to you to prove this."
"Well, Perry, we'll need some more information than that to start our investigation."
"Of course, Clark: I just wanted to mention something about your new assignment. Jimmy has all the details, including a precise description of each man who was murdered. So, if there's no more questions I strongly suggest you two to… GO!"
"Sure, chief! Let's go, Clark!" And then broadening her smile she completed "I can feel a Pulitzer coming to my… I mean, our hands!"
Perry remained in his office, with his legs on the table, enjoying the idea of having Lois and Clark as reporters and, most of all, as friends.
* God bless them! * ***
Lois and Clark spent the rest of the morning working at the story Perry had handed to them, but they hadn't succeeded in finding anything that could connect The Sunset with the murders.
"Maybe it's just a coincidence!" Clark threw his hands on his lap, sighing deeply. He was tired of getting nowhere with that amount of papers all over his desk. On the other hand, he did notice that Lois hasn't even heard him, since she was really concentrated on her computer screen, typing frenetically.
Even from his desk, Clark could see how excited she was about this story, after all, she was Lois Lane — the woman who loved challenges! And for a brief moment Clark allowed himself to contemplate her: she really looked attractive when she was absorbed by her job; it remembered him the day he had first seen her — there was an incredible energy in those eyes, there was… passion! Yes, she was absolutely in love with her job! And even though she was incredibly sexy, it was this passion that had caught his attention at first sight. And now, almost five years later, there she was, with the very same passion in her eyes. But, fortunately, things were a bit different, 'cause that gorgeous woman opened her heart for him to enter and, after what seemed an eternity, she became his beloved wife and also the one who was dearly carrying his child, not minding on threatening her own life to give birth to their baby. This last thought brought him back to reality. He glanced at his watch: it was almost midday. Where did the time go?
Clark rose from his chair and went towards Lois' desk, standing still behind her chair. When he realized she wasn't noticing him, he rested his hands on her shoulders, gently rubbing them. Almost immediately, she turned around to meet his lovely eyes staring at her. Clark spoke first.
"Have you found anything on those reports Jimmy's handed to you?"
"I'm afraid I haven't, but I'm crossing some information on my computer. How about you, partner?"
"Well, I've found nothing so far. Those articles and advertisements about the club only give us a superficial look; in none of those papers Jimmy gave me there's anything about the victims or The Sunset's owner."
"Yeah, I know. But I'll work on this a bit longer and maybe I'll be able to come up with something."
"Uh… Lois, I think it's time for lunch."
She wasn't looking at him anymore — her attention was now directed to her computer screen.
"Okay. So… I suppose you could bring me a sandwich… and some coffee, too… Alright?"
When he didn't answer, she turned her attention to him again and noticed the concern in his eyes.
"What is it, Clark?!" she asked almost angrily.
He knelt beside her, taking her hands in his.
"Lois, you know that since you're pregnant — and specially considering your pregnancy — you can't eat just anything. You need some healthy food! Besides… We have an appointment with Dr. Peterson, remember? You have to do the other tests he mentioned! Do you think I forgot that your life is at risk? I can't stop thinking about this, we have to go to the hospital, someone needs to find something to protect you from getting harmed during this pregnancy…" Clark was visibly nervous.
"Sweetheart, calm down! Gee!" Lois took a deep breath "You're making me feel dizzy!"
Seeing that Clark had understood her words as if they had been spoken literally, Lois immediately explained herself.
"I mean, figuratively speaking…"
Clark relaxed and then she released one of her hands from his to caress his cheek.
"Honey, you have to try to stay calm. I'm fine! I just don't feel like eating more than a sandwich right now. And about Dr. Peterson's appointment, I thought you had agreed with me yesterday: what can he do? He won't be able to understand what's happening to me, anyway."
"Well, then I'll take you to Dr. Klein! You said yourself he was going to be your doctor. I want to hear what he has to tell me about this pregnancy."
"I've already told you Clark. Do you think the poor man knows much more than we do?" and then lowering her voice, she continued "Nobody has ever given birth to a Kryptonian child!"
Clark gave her a surprised look and she rolled her eyes before answering.
"At least not here, on Earth."
But Clark had took his decision.
"I'm taking you, anyway, Lois! Furthermore, I myself haven't seen Dr. Klein for a month, maybe Superman needs a check-up, too."
She exhaled defeatedly.
"Okay, you win. Let's eat something and then we can go and see Dr. Klein."
Lois knew that Superman was extremely fine and Clark was only trying to convince her, but she didn't argue anymore 'cause she herself had some questions to ask Dr. Klein, considering that at the day she spoke to him, the only thing she had listened to was the words 'yes, Ms Lane, you can get pregnant'. All the risks the man mentioned got lost somewhere between his mouth and her ears.
The couple headed to the elevator, wishing with all their hearts for the best to happen. ***
"Dr. Klein, do you mind if I come in?"
The scientist was obviously busy, making notes while observing something in his microscope. But as soon as he heard Lois' voice, he turned his attention to her, greeting the journalist with a friendly smile.
"Oh, of course not, Ms. Lane! I was just…" he gestured towards his notes "You know, studying the physiology of a new kind of bacteria — these small ones do know how to reproduce themselves."
"They sure do! And speaking of reproduction…" she interrupted him before he started a whole lecture about 'the amazing world of bacteria'.
"Oh, yes!" Dr. Klein answered anxiously, as if he had just remembered their previous conversation about the subject "Are you… I mean, do you…"
"Yes, Dr. Klein, I'm pregnant!"
The man placed his both hands on his head, showing that he was extremely desperate.
"I warned you Ms. Lane! It wasn't an option! This pregnancy is like jumping from a plane without a parachute!"
Just then, he noticed Clark who had entered the lab in the middle of his sentence.
"Clark, I thought you said you were going to wait outside!" Lois whispered in her husband left ear.
"I heard him screaming — I assumed you were in trouble," he whispered back, and then facing a terrified Dr. Klein, Clark found the words — and also the courage — to ask about Lois condition "Please, Dr. Klein, I need you to tell me everything that is happening to my wife. Which risks are you talking about?"
The scientist sat back on his chair from where he had got up when Lois told him she was pregnant. Taking a deep breath and avoiding Lois and Clark's eyes, the old man spoke guiltily.
"It wasn't my fault, Supe… I mean, Clark!"
"It's okay, Dr. Klein. I know that Lois told you about my … other self."
"Oh." And it was all the scientist could say for what seemed an eternity.
Sitting on a chair next to Dr. Klein and gesturing for Lois to do the same, Clark asked one more time the question he wasn't certain he'd like to know the answer.
"Dr. Klein, how much dangerous is this pregnancy, anyway? I have to know!"
Clark felt his heart beat faster as he was slowly pronouncing those words — he was sure that this was the most painful and scary question he had ever made in his entire troubled life; yet he had to ask it.
Lois, although had an idea of what she was about to hear, was feeling so scared as Clark; after all, she cherished her life, especially this one she shared with Clark. The young woman instinctively placed her hands on her stomach as if to protect her little infant from her uncertainty.
"You have to understand Lois' body doesn't work like yours and because of that she wasn't and isn't ready to carry a… super baby."
Neither Lois nor Clark have ever seen Dr. Klein speaking so quietly — he was always spontaneous and funny, even during the rough times. And the fact he looked worried and lost, searching for the right words, alarmed them even more.
"I can't tell you the details — I'm afraid no one can — but one of the things I can assure you is that it won't be easy."
The man was speaking the obvious and that was driving Lois crazy. So, she decided to make things a bit more 'interesting'.
"Dr. Klein, why don't you show Clark the final results of those tests you've run on him? It may explain some of the things you're just talking about."
"Yes, right! Just a minute!"
And while the man was impatiently looking for the papers in his cupboard, Clark was agonizing on that lab chair — he didn't want to see again those stupid statistics he had seen a month ago when Dr. Klein had told him that he and Lois weren't compatible. All he wanted to do was to tell the scientist those encouraging words he had exchanged with Lois during the weekend; tell him, for example, that Lois had gone through a lot and because of that, she was going to make it once more.
Sensing her husband's agony, Lois reached for his hand, softly squeezing it when their fingers finally locked. Her eyes searched his, sending him all the love in the universe, in hopes that it would help him… and her.
The embrace was broken when Dr. Klein placed himself between them, a folder in his hands.
"This last test shows exactly how your body works — all the energy you use on your daily activities comes from the sun, or at least, most of it does; and thanks to this 'original' source of energy, you don't depend on food to survive. However, this is the very same source of all the problems Lois will have to face".
"I don't understand, Dr. Klein."
The confusion on Clark's face was clearly then.
"I am assuming that since this baby isn't able to receive the sunlight directly, it'll try to obtain energy to develop itself exclusively from the mother which can drain Lois… completely."
"But Clark didn't develop his powers until he was a teenager!"
It was Lois' turn to be confused.
"Yeah, I know that, Ms. Lane. But as I told you the other day,"
* And I didn't hear it…* Lois added silently.
"it doesn't mean, though, that Superman or… Clark — I am not comfortable with this… thing, yet." Dr. Klein shook his head in disbelief before continuing. "Anyway, what I'm trying to say is that although he didn't develop his powers until he was a teenager, he was already Superman, with all his needs. In other words, he has always needed the sunlight."
The bald man took a deep breath and lowered his eyes once more.
"And even knowing that everything I've said is just speculation, if I were in your shoes, I wouldn't give destiny a chance to prove this theory right."
Clark sighed heavily, trying to absorb all the information Dr. Klein was giving to him — it was like a nightmare! But it was Lois who found the words to carry on the conversation.
"You're right, Dr. Klein. I mean, I went to the doctor last Friday and he did find something strange in my tests: he said that the baby is probably taking nutrition from my body, much more than the ordinary babies do. He even asked me to start saving energy."
"What can we do to stop it, Dr. Klein?" Clark interrupted desperately.
"Wow! I mean, I knew this could happen, but now that is actually happening, I… I don't know what to say!"
Lois and Clark waited anxiously for Dr. Klein to come up with something as they knew he would. He had to.
"Okay, I'll ask Lois to stay here this afternoon so I can run some tests on her myself. I'll also ask you, Clark, to bring me these tests that show the facts Lois mentioned. And then I'll be able to give you two some conclusive answers."
Clark nodded affirmatively, but Lois didn't seem to agree with him.
"Oh, I don't think I can do this today, Dr. Klein. You see, Clark and I have a story we're working on and…"
"Lois," Clark interrupted her. "The Sunset case can wait. This is far more important than that!"
Lois reflected for a moment and then nodded, too. Of course she knew her baby's health and, consequently hers too, was more important than any story — she had learnt a long time ago that there would always be good stories — but what she wasn't ready to admit was the fact that she was scared to death and because of that was trying to avoid any kind of bad news.
"I'll go home to grab your tests, then. Will you be okay while I'm out?"
"Yes, sure. Afterwards, you can go back to The Planet to finish our investigation and to tell Perry that he can't count on me today."
The hurt in Lois' voice was evident and Clark knew how hard it was for her to give up on a story — she loved The Daily Planet and her busy life there.
He wanted so much to ease her pain…
"Honey, I want to stay here. I'll tell Perry that I can't work today, either."
"Clark, that's not a good idea." Dr. Klein intervened. "I'll need some privacy to run these tests and also some quiet time. I'll have to borrow some equipment from other labs, too; so, it'll probably take the rest of the day: I don't want anybody rushing me!" Seeing that Clark wasn't convinced yet, he added "She'll be fine. I'll take good care of her."
Clark glanced at Lois who smiled reassuringly.
"Alright! But remember that if you have any problem, Dr. Klein, all you have to do is call me and I'll be here in a second."
"I do believe you can get here that fast."
The three of them laughed at Dr. Klein's statement. It was nice to have someone else to trust in, the couple thought simultaneously. ***
"I hope he's fine." Lois muttered to herself. Clark hadn't been able to pick her up at S.T.A.R Labs by the end of the day, so she drove home all by herself, knowing that Superman probably kept him busy again. Sometimes, this other 'job' of his really bothered her!
She glanced at her watch again: 9 p.m..
* What is he doing, anyway? *
Her concern and curiosity led her to the TV set. As soon as she turned it on, Lois saw her husband on the news: Superman was helping on a fire at the Metropolis Shopping Mall. She felt relieved and sad at the same time. Relieved because Clark was fine and sad because he wouldn't be home as soon as she wanted him to. She thought about going to the shopping center to cover the story for The Planet, but her body refused this idea: it had been a tiring afternoon — all those needles and machines, not to mention Dr. Klein's babble!
Lois sighed deeply and rested her head on the couch's arm — in less than five minutes the woman fell asleep. ***
Superman stepped inside his house through the window and quickly changed into Clark's clothes. Inevitably, almost at the same time, he noticed his lovely wife sleeping peacefully on the sofa — he had never seen such an adorable picture! She looked so fragile and yet so strong in that white nightgown… And in that moment, like in many others he had spent by her side, Clark did feel that he would never get tired of that impetuous woman — she would always be the only one that his mind and body would accept.
Smiling to himself, he turned off the TV, knowing that Lois had probably stayed up waiting for him to come home. That's when he remembered to glance at his watch: 1 p.m.! The fire had consumed the whole night! The thoughts of all those people screaming for help and the images of other ones running desperately came to his mind in a flash, saddening him again. There were so many men and women he couldn't help…
He had already learnt he couldn't protect everyone all the time, but the idea of not being able to help someone who needed him was still painful.
Approaching the couch, Clark knelt in front of Lois and tenderly caressed her cheek — this one he had to protect.
His hand left her face to rest ever-so-gently on her stomach.
* My baby, my sweet baby, I swear to protect you as well. *
Clark wanted to wake her up and tell her all his promises and doubts as well as hear hers — the ones he knew she was keeping from him. He also wanted to know what had happened at the S.T.A.R Labs after he dropped by to deliver Lois' tests: had Dr. Klein found some way to end the risks of that pregnancy? Was Lois okay?
However, he didn't dare to wake her up — she seemed to be needing that rest.
By taking this decision, Clark carried Lois to their bedroom, leaving behind just an empty and dark living room. ***
Lois stretched and yawned on the bed, feeling absolutely relaxed, and when she opened up her eyes she found the reason why: Clark was sleeping by her side, with his strong arms around her waist.
She started trailing kisses playfully from his bare chest up to his jaw, until her mouth finally captured his tender lips which received hers passionately.
Several moments later, Lois broke the kiss.
"Hmmm… Did you miss me that much or were you dreaming about someone else?"
Clark smiled, not fully awake.
"Of course I missed you! And you know you are the only one I dream of."
Lois felt flattered and their lips met again for a sweet brief kiss.
"So, what time did you finally get home yesterday?" she asked, changing the subject.
"About one o'clock." Clark took a deep breath before continuing " The fire was really terrible."
"Are you okay?"
It was so good to know she cared about him.
"Yes, honey, I'm fine… How about you?"
"Well, if you're asking me about my appointment with Dr. Klein, all I can say is that it was really exhausting — he did all the tests you can possibly imagine! However, he will only be able to give us the answers we want to by the end of the week; he said something about being 'too complex' for him to analyze the results in a couple of days."
Clark kissed her forehead, worried.
"But are you feeling okay now?"
"Yes. Some sleep cures anything, my love," she replied, smiling, while exiting the bed.
Lois grabbed her robe which was hanging on a chair nearby and, putting it on, she demanded "You'd better fix me breakfast while I'm in the shower, 'cause I and your precious baby are starving!". And turning to face her husband again who was wearing a satisfied smile, she added "And we're not finished yet, partner — I want to know everything you've found out about The Sunset case."
And while she was making her way to the bathroom, Clark remained in bed, admiring the perfect curves of that body which, right now, was carrying, as Lois had said, his precious baby. ***
Once in her Cherokee, driving towards The Daily Planet, Lois started acting as a reporter again, forgetting for a while her personal problems — which, in fact, was getting harder each day.
"This is really frustrating, Clark. I wish we had found something unusual about the club in those papers, 'cause then we would know where to start…You know what? I'm starting to think that this source Perry told us about isn't so reliable, after all."
Clark wasn't really paying attention to what she was talking about — his eyes were focused on the view outside window and his mind was miles away. He was thinking about Lois, of course — he didn't want to face the fact that her life was in danger nor that he might lose her; and, actually, when he was in her arms, it was pretty easy since her smile and that amazing sparkle in her eyes made him forget anything. But, sometimes, these kind of thoughts appeared all of a sudden and, as she wasn't holding him, it got really difficult to put up with them.
"Earth to Clark! Honey, are you listening to me?" Lois waved her right hand in front of Clark's eyes to get his attention. He grabbed her hand and kissed the back of it, softly.
"Huh… I'm sorry, Lois. What have you just said?"
"Oh, nothing. I was just complaining about our bad luck on The Sunset case… What were you thinking of?"
"Uh… I guess I was thinking exactly the same thing."
Lois knew her husband was lying to her. Moreover, she knew he was probably worrying about her condition again. But she accepted his answer as if it was the truth, 'cause Lois knew that if she asked about his real thoughts, she would have to carry on a conversation in which she would have to talk about her own fears; and that was something she wasn't ready to discuss yet.
"Well, then I believe you will get happy when I tell you about my plan."
"Do you have a 'plan'?" he asked incredulously.
Lois smiled and focused her attention on the road ahead.
"I always do, honey." *** At the Daily Planet…
"Okay, George. I definitely owe you one! Thanks again!… Bye!"
And replacing the receiver on the telephone, Lois clapped her hands before exclaiming "I've got it!"
Clark encircled his arms around his wife and kissed the top of her head.
"What have you got?"
"The clue we were looking for!"
He placed a chair near her desk waiting for an explanation.
"I was talking to George — he's a bartender who I met a long time ago, before we were even partners- and he said that there's a way for me to enter in this club to check what happens in the wings, because they are looking for a singer. And as George knows The Sunset's bartender, he said that he could recommend me for the job. I asked him to do so, after all, it's not my first time — I do have some experience as singer in night clubs."
"Lois, I don't think this is a good idea: who guarantees you'll be safe? I can't let you do that — especially now. Besides, nobody knows anything about this club! It would be better if I could go instead of you."
"Now, Clark, listen to me. Number one, I think they are looking for a woman who sings, so you can't take my place; number two, the fact that nobody knows anything about the club is precisely the reason why I'm going there; and at last, you will guarantee my safety, since I want you to be there in the crowd, as if you were just an ordinary guy looking for some fun after a busy day at work; besides, this way we will be able to know what happens inside and outside the club."
"Okay, we'll talk about it over dinner, tonight."
"I don't think we have this option, Clark. George informed me that if he could get me the job, they would want me for a presentation tonight. You know, the owners of this kind of place usually trust on the bartenders to hire singers, since they always seem to choose someone with good appearance — if you know what I mean — not really minding about the singer's voice. All they want is to please the men in the audience with some good- looking girl."
Clark lowered his head and ran his fingers through his hair. "I can't stop you, can I?"
She reached for his hand. "Clark, this all we have. Besides, I can't just sit around and wait for Dr. Klein's answer — I have to go on with my life."
He faced her again and, unexpectedly, found unshed tears in her eyes.
"At least, my job is something I can control, Clark. I need to feel that there's still something in my life that I'm able to fix."
He rested his forehead on hers, with his eyes closed — she was right, it wasn't just a story, it was the reassurance they were looking for in their lives.
"C'mon, Lois. Let's talk to Perry, so we can wait for George to call and tell us that it's all settled."
She smiled at him and thanked God for giving her a soul mate. ***
Already in his tux, Clark was waiting for Lois in the living room. Obviously, George had got her the job. Perry thought twice before giving Lois and Clark his approval: he hadn't said so, but Clark knew he didn't like knowing his reporters were risking their lives — especially if these reporters were his closest friends. But at last, Perry gave them an OK sign and wished good luck.
Glancing at his watch Clark felt a bit more impatient: 9 p.m..
* Now, what is she doing? Trying out all her dresses? *
Just then he heard her coming downstairs — he had those footsteps memorized. Clark could also smell her sweet perfume and was sure that he was able to guess which one was and where she had splashed it.
He rose from the couch and turned to see her coming towards him. Clark held his breath until she finally approached him and squeezed his hand very lightly at first, and then stronger when she noticed he was looking like he had seen something from another planet.
* Which actually shouldn't surprise him at all, since he is the one from another planet. * Lois added silently, smiling at this thought.
Letting out the breath he was holding, Clark blinked twice before answering her squeeze.
"Oh, my God, honey! You look breathtaking! I mean… You are always beautiful, no matter what you're wearing but…Wow!" He emphasized his words with the glow in his eyes.
Lois really looked gorgeous wearing a floor-length black dress which showed her shoulders seductively. The tight-fitting garment opened from the waist to the floor on its right side to reveal Lois' amazing legs. As she wasn't wearing lots of make-up — just lipstick and a little bit of eye shadow — it was possible to contemplate her face as well as her body. Ruby earrings completed the look.
"Well… Thank you, Mr. Kent. You don't look so bad yourself! Except for this…" She wiggled his bow tie, straightening it. "Now, you're as handsome as a super man can be."
Lois smiled at him and almost passed out when he smiled back at her: he had no idea how charming that smile of his was!
"I love you, Clark."
Those words were spoken with such a spontaneity, that he felt his heart ache for her.
"I love you, too, Lois." And placing his hand on her stomach, he whispered in her ear "I love you both." ***
Clark was sitting at a table near the stage. He had scanned the area for any possible hints, but he had come up empty handed. So, he was just drinking a glass of wine while waiting for Lois' performance.
* I hope Lois' luck is better than mine, today.*
That's a when a middle-aged man, wearing a nice black suit, approached Clark. He was also holding a glass of wine on his right hand.
"May I sit down?"
Clark returned the man's questioning look, but finally nodded.
"Thank you, Mr…"
"Ah… Rhodes… Robert Rhodes."
Clark cursed himself for his uncertainty while mentioning that made up name. But then he remembered that he and Lois hadn't thought about this 'little detail' — they had spent most of the afternoon waiting for George to call and then trying to convince Perry to let them go.
Fortunately, the stranger seemed to ignore Clark's reluctance.
"Pleased to meet you, Mr. Rhodes." The man sat down. "I'm Mark Spencer."
* Now, why does this name sound so familiar to me? *
They exchanged a brief, yet not rude, handshake.
"I'm sorry, but… Do I know you?"
Clark couldn't keep this question anymore.
"Oh, no, Mr. Rhodes, I don't think so."
"So… Do you know me?"
This man held a permanent smile on his face — that one which makes you believe and doubt someone at the same time.
"Well, then why…"
"Am I sitting here?"
Clark simply nodded.
"Well, I've never been here before, actually I don't know anybody at this place. It was my friend Tim who suggested me this club, saying it was the right place to relax and forget your business problems: pretty singers, good food and nice people. So far I haven't seen any of this, but… Well, here I am, trying to meet some 'nice people'…" He paused before continuing "Do you feel up to some small talk or…"
"No, it's okay. I was just… drinking." Clark gestured towards his half-emptied glass.
They talked for quite some time and Clark became aware that Mark Spencer owned the famous restaurants called "Spencer's" — there were at least four of them in Metropolis, and the man already had plans for New York and Los Angeles.
However, even knowing that the restaurant's renowned name was probably the reason why Mark's name sounded so familiar to him, Clark still couldn't stop thinking that he had heard that name before, somewhere else.
He was about to ask Mark a few more questions in order to get rid of that odd feeling, when an old guy, who was standing on the stage, interrupted their conversation.
"Ladies and gentlemen, I would like to introduce you the gorgeous woman who will sing for us tonight. Please, welcome Sarah Benton!"
Lois stepped onto the stage and Clark could do nothing else but stare at her. Obviously, the other men were as impressed as he was, since the only thing audible, in that moment, was Lois' melodious voice.
* When I am lost
You shine a light for me and set me free
When I am low
You wash away my tears
And take me through*
* The loneliness and emptiness
Through the darkest night
Somehow I survive
Through it all*
* When you tell me I'm the only one you need
Sweet and tenderly
And your love
Breaks away the clouds surrounding me
All I have I want to give to thee*
*If I should fall
Your love is strong enough to lift me up
If I'm afraid
You chase away my fears
And take me to*
* A brighter place
Beyond the rain
And I feel alright
Because you're by my side
Through it all*
*When you tell me I'm the only one you need
Sweet and tenderly
And you love
Breaks away the clouds surrounding me
All I have I want to give to thee *
When Lois' eyes finally spotted her husband in the room, the music's lyric made sense to her. They exchanged smiles, like they had done at home a few hours ago, and an amazingly pleasurable feeling filled both hearts. It was a mixture of love, passion and happiness — the feeling of belonging to each other.
* You take me through
The loneliness and the emptiness
And I feel alright
'Cause you're by my side*
* Through it all
You tell me I'm the only one you need
Sweet and tenderly
And your love
Just breaks away the clouds surrounding me
And baby all I have I want to give to thee*
*Want to give you all of my love
Now and forever my love
All I have I want to give to thee *
As the last accords of the music were playing, the audience stood up and cheered her: they were absolutely in love with the woman who had just sung! However, that woman only had eyes for one man: Clark Kent. She glanced at him one last time and then left the stage.
"Wow!!! Who's that girl?! Do you know if she often comes here? I mean…" Just then Mark noticed that 'Robert' wasn't listen to him at all. He figured out all by himself that the man was probably thinking about 'Sarah'.
"She sure makes quite an impression, uh?" Mark asked, with an evil grin on his face.
"What?… Oh, yes, she's… really pretty." Clark finally answered, absentmindedly.
He had heard most of Mark's words, but, at first, Clark found himself unable to answer his comments, 'cause his heart was beating too fast for him to speak. He wasn't very comfortable with the idea of all those men staring at his wife, either. However, as soon as she looked at him before leaving the stage, proud replaced the jealousy he had started feeling.
"I guess I'd better be going, Robert — I have a meeting tomorrow morning which I don't want to miss." The man patted Clark on the back and then started leaving. "Thanks for the company."
"Ah… Mr. Spencer…"
"Mark, please." He corrected Clark.
"Sorry, Mark. It's just that I feel like I've heard your name somewhere else besides the restaurants' merchandising. Do you run any other kind of business?"
"Nope, I only deal with food."
And with that, he was gone. ***
Lois heard a knock on her dressing room's door.
"Come in!" she answered without taking her eyes off of the mirror.
"Do you need some help, Ms. Benton?"
"Clark!" she exclaimed as soon as she recognized his voice.
They hugged each other as if they had been apart for a long time.
"Are you OK, honey?" Clark asked when he finally released his arms from her.
She didn't answer him, though. She decided, instead, to put her arms around his neck and give him a kiss with all the passion she had mentioned in the song, moments ago.
"Well, I'll assume you're okay, then." Clark spoke, breathless.
Lois smiled at him one more time and cupped his face in her hands. He was about to give her another kiss, but, all of a sudden, a horrified expression replaced the happy one.
"Clark, we've got to get out of here!" she exclaimed.
"What are you talking about, Lois?"
"While I was getting ready for my performance, I heard two men and a woman talking about their next victim! I think they are going to kill somebody else tonight, Clark! C'mon, let's see if we can find the murderers outside!"
"Wait a minute, Lois!" he gently held her left arm to prevent her from leaving "We can't walk on the streets looking for a murderer at 11 p.m.! Besides, we don't even know who we are looking for!"
Lois sat on a chair nearby. "Yeah… You're right. But what are we going to do, then?"
"Uh… I don't know, Lois. What did you hear exactly?"
"Well, I've already told you the essential part. They were in the adjacent room and when they started speaking a bit louder, I could hear one of the men saying that their next victim had finally arrived. Then a woman mumbled something to another man and they left seconds later."
"Did you see them leaving?"
"I opened my door just in time to see the woman's back: she's tall and has blonde hair. But that doesn't help a lot, does it? I mean, I don't think she's the one who'll kill the person they were talking about. She'll probably leave it to one of the men."
Lois sighed deeply, looking really tired, and Clark made a mental note to get her some rest as soon as they got home.
"What about you, Clark? Did you find any clues?"
He shook his head. "I scanned the area when I got here, but I couldn't find anything unusual about this place. And I didn't see anybody uncommon, either — most of the people are simple workers. Except for that guy who was sitting with me — Mark Spencer. He's…"
"Wait!" she interrupted him "That man was Mark Spencer?"
"Yes. The one who owns those restaurants called…"
"Spencer's." she completed "I know that. But he is also the one who went to the court six months ago because there were rumors that he was leading a gang on the west side of Metropolis. The police let him go, after all, since they found themselves unable to prove those 'speculations'. "
"That's it! I knew there was another reason why that name sounded so familiar to me!"
"Clark, what did Perry tell us about the other victims?" she asked, although she already knew the answer.
"Well, he said they were all businessmen and…"
"Were also known for leading gangs in Metropolis!" she added quickly.
"Oh, my God, Lois! Spencer is the next victim!" he exclaimed.
Without saying a word, they exited the dressing room and, within three minutes, were outside the club.
"I… think… Mark has… already… left!" Lois spoke breathlessly when she noticed how dark and empty the streets were.
"Are you alright?"
"Yes… sure. Especially when you consider that I've just run through a crowded club wearing this dress and these shoes!"
Clark was about to ask Lois to let him take her home when he heard a scream.
"What is it, Clark?" Lois knew 'that look' of his too well.
"I've… just heard… a scream," he replied slowly, trying to listen to something else while speaking. "It's coming from somewhere near that building!" And then he showed her the edifice — it was just a few blocks away.
"Then… GO!!" she replied firmly.
Spinning into his familiar red and blue costume, Clark turned to face his wife one last time.
"Lois, please go back into the club! You'll probably be safer there than here, in the street. I'll be back as soon as I can!"
She hadn't sounded too convincing, though.
"Clark, you're wasting time! Just… GO!"
Reluctantly, he flew towards the building.
She waited a few moments and went after him. ***
Once in front of the building, it didn't take Superman much time to find out who was calling for help: two guys, both wearing black suits and old-fashioned hats, were ready to shoot at Mark Spencer.
Grabbing their guns and tying them before they could even notice his presence, Superman was now standing still in front of the supposed murderers, arms crossed.
"May I ask you what were you two planning to do?"
And without waiting for the obvious answer, Clark turned his attention to Spencer who was sitting on the pavement, gasping for some air.
"Are you okay, Mr. Spencer?" he asked, while helping the man to get up.
"Well… Yes! Thank you, Superman." he replied, already standing on his feet.
Returning his attention to the men who were securely tied, Clark put a furious tone in his voice.
"Okay, guys. It's time to talk: I want to know who asked you to kill Mr. Spencer."
"Nobody did," they replied reluctantly almost at the same time.
"Well, then I suppose you two are confessing that this is all your fault and you are the only ones who should go to jail." said a female's voice. It was Lois, who had finally reached her husband.
Clark gave her a surprised look and she returned it with an innocent smile while waiting for the murders to speak.
* She never listens to me!*
"What are you doing here? Aren't you… the singer?" interrupted Mark who was looking really confused.
"Yes and… no. I was the one who sang in the club a few hours ago, if that's what you mean. But my name's Lois Lane, I'm …"
"The Daily Planet's investigative reporter." Mark added before she could end her statement. "Lane & Kent… Was your partner…?"
"There too?" Lois and Superman exchanged a brief smile. "Yes, he was. Actually, I think you've met him."
"Robert Rhodes?!" The man was amazed.
It didn't take Lois much time to realize that this was probably the name Clark had taken as his while he was in the club.
"Exactly," she answered firmly.
Clark looked at Lois and they exchanged another private smile.
* She's so brilliant! God, how I love her! *
"Did you and your partner know that these men were trying to kill me? 'Cause I know I didn't!"
"No, Mr. Spencer. We were investigating this place because it seems to be connected to other murders. We can explain it to you later, 'cause right now," she fixed her eyes on the ones who were tied, "I want to hear some answers."
"We are not talking," replied the taller one.
Superman approached them.
"So, that's it: while you are going to jail to spend the rest of your life there, there is someone else who is as guilty as you are and yet will live free as a bird."
Lois and Clark waited anxiously for them to reply. They knew the murderers were thinking about what Superman had said.
"Okay, we will tell you," the taller one spoke again. "It's Mindy Church. She wants us to kill the men who lead the gangs in Metropolis, so she can recreate Intergang. But she's not in the club anymore, right now she's probably at the Metropolis International Airport, taking a plane to somewhere in Europe. She said she would be back in three months, after everything was settled."
"Superman, go after her! I'll call the cops. You can meet us at the police station."
Mark Spencer, on the other hand, sensing that he was going to be in trouble, started to leave. But Lois grabbed him by the arm before he could even take the first step.
"You're coming too, Mr. Spencer."
Convinced, Superman flew again, this time, towards the airport. ***
It was almost 5 a.m. when the police finally let Lois and Clark go home. It had been the a tiring night for everyone.
Superman had arrived at the airport just in time to meet Mindy leaving on an airplane to France. Saying that she still had a few questions to answer in Metropolis before she could travel around the world, Clark had led her to the police station where he'd met Lois, Mark Spencer and the two men — Paul and James (the taller one).
Once they were all there, Lois and Clark, as well as the police, had discovered the whole truth: yes, Mindy Church was trying to recreate Intergang, for the second time since her husband's death, by killing gang leaders. However, this time, she had used The Sunset as a 'bait' to attract the ones she wanted Paul and James to kill.
Obviously, Mindy had done her best to deny all these facts, but the two men — and especially James — had proved every word they had said by showing the police, for instance, tapes in which she talked about how she would lead Intergang. They had also showed the police papers that contained her plans to break into S.T.A.R Labs and steal the kryptonite, since she already knew that Superman would stand in her way — she hadn't thought, tough, that he would figure everything out so soon.
Paul and James had told the police every single detail about Mindy Church, after all, they had nothing to lose. Mark Spencer had finally gone to jail, too, because James had all the evidence that Mark was a gang leader.
Lois had also cooperated by telling the policemen about the conversation she had listened previously.
So, several hours later, Lois and Clark were finally on their way home. Lois was so tired that she let Clark drive them home.
"Clark, don't you think we should drop by at The Daily Planet to write our story before going home?" Lois asked and then yawned.
"I don't know, sweetheart. Maybe we should do it later — we need to get some sleep, especially you."
She took a deep breath.
"Honey, I know that. But I would feel better if I could write the story and take the day off. Besides, I want The Planet to be the first newspaper to report this story. I mean, we worked so hard on it and…" Another yawn interrupted her statement before she could finish it.
"Lois, it might take some hours for us to gather everything we have about this case. Are you sure you can do it? We could at least drop by at home to eat something, take a bath and change our clothes."
"No way. I want to do all these things after knowing that I've done my job. Believe me, I won't be able to relax without writing this story first. Let's do it while we still have some energy to do so."
"Okay. If you really want to… Let's go!"
Of course Clark was extremely worried about Lois — all he wanted to do was to take her home so she could eat and sleep. But he didn't insist on that anymore, 'cause he knew his Lois wouldn't sleep at peace knowing that she had a story to write. So, he decided that maybe letting her write her story first was the best choice.
They arrived at The Daily Planet at 5: 30 p.m. Lois poured herself some coffee and Clark brought her some doughnuts. There were just a few employees at the newsroom, neither Perry nor Jimmy were there. So, the couple decided to write their story in the Conference Room where they could have some privacy.
It was almost 7 a.m. when Perry arrived at The Daily Planet. He caught his breath when he saw Lois and Clark asleep in the Conference Room with scattered papers around them on the table. Lois' laptop was still on.
Perry did notice Lois and Clark's unusual costumes, too.
"Great Shades of Elvis! What are you two doing here?"
Perry's loud voice woke up Clark almost immediately.
"Uh… Sorry, Chief. We really shouldn't sleep while working." He glanced at Lois and smiled inwardly when he noticed that she was still asleep.
"No, Clark, that's not what I meant. I want to know…"
"What are all these papers about?" Clark interrupted him. "Why are we wearing these clothes?"
"Well… YES!" Perry answered anxiously.
"You'd better sit down, Chief. It's a long story."
Clark told Perry everything which had happened at The Sunset as well as what had happened at the police station. When he finished the story, Perry was amazed.
"So, they were all arrested: Mindy, Paul, James and Mark. I think that this time Intergang is over!"
"Well, what can I say? You two did a terrific job, as always. Now, I don't want to see you and Lois around here until tomorrow — go home and get yourselves some rest."
"You don't have to say it twice, Perry. And since Lois and I have already written the whole story we are leaving right now, okay?" Clark handed Perry the diskette which contained the story.
"Thank you, son. Now, wake up your wife and go! I want you to take good care of her and my godson… or goddaughter."
Perry left the Conference Room, screaming "Jimmy! Jimmy! I need some photos! Where's this kid?"
Clark smiled and shook his head before going towards Lois. She was sitting on the chair and her head was lying on the table, buried in her folded arms — definitely an uncomfortable position.
He gently rubbed her back while calling her name. However, this didn't work, since she was really asleep. So, he simply took her in his arms and carried her out of the Conference Room. Jimmy and a few employees watched them leave with a quizzical look on their faces, wanting to ask Clark what was happening. But Clark placed his index finger on his lips and whispered "Shhhhh…". ***
Lois opened up her eyes and immediately noticed that she was at home, in her bed.
* How did I get here? *
She realized she wasn't wearing her black dress anymore either, just a comfortable old T-shirt. Clark wasn't by her side but he was certainly at home, she concluded, because Lois could smell something wonderful baking in the oven.
* Well, Clark probably brought me home. I guess I was really tired then, 'cause I don't remember that. I don't even remember if I gave Perry the story I was writing when I fell asleep. I hope Clark did that.*
Starving, she went downstairs and found her husband in the kitchen, setting the table while talking on the cordless phone.
* I married the most gorgeous man in the Universe and he can also cook! I must be really lucky. *
"Oh, she's here, mom." he replied on the phone, grinning at her. "We're going to have lunch, I'll call you later… I love you, too. Bye."
He quickly put the phone on the kitchen table and went to kiss her. She wrapped her arms around his neck and gave him a passionate kiss.
"I love you, Clark," she said against his mouth.
"I love you, too, Lois." he answered with an adorable glow in his eyes and started to bend his head to give her another kiss. But Lois interrupted him.
"Is there anything burning?"
"Oh, my God, the meat is in the oven!" he exclaimed.
Clark ran towards the stove and, luckily, the meat wasn't burnt yet.
Lois smiled at him.
"I'll take a shower, Clark. Is it okay with you?"
"Yeah, sure. Take your time." he answered absentmindedly while placing the meat on the table.
Fifteen minutes later Lois was back in the kitchen wearing shorts, a T-shirt and a towel on her head.
"It smells delicious!" she said while sitting on the chair Clark had pulled for her.
"It is delicious, honey. Believe me." Clark sat down, too.
"So," she began to speak while carving the meat, "was it your mother on the phone?"
"Oh, yes. She wanted to know how you were doing. She got surprised when I answered the phone since I shouldn't be at home on a Wednesday morning, but then I told her about last night." He paused and stared at his plate. "I also told her about the weekend's events and our appointment with Dr. Klein. She's worried." He took a deep breath before adding "And so am I."
Lois felt an uncomfortable feeling when Clark mentioned the weekend. It had been a difficult one. She didn't want to talk about Martha and Clark's worries either. So, she changed the subject.
"Did you give Perry the story we were writing?"
"Yeah," he replied as if he hadn't noticed what she was trying to do. "He got very happy. I think we will see our names on the front page tomorrow… Oh, by the way, your father called us last night — he left a message for you on our answering machine. He seems to be excited with the idea of being a grandfather."
"Maybe he can do the right thing this time," she remarked with a sad look on her face. "I mean, I want my baby to be loved by every single member of our families. I don't want him or her to feel alone the way I did when I was growing up."
Clark reached for her hand across the table.
"This child will be as loved as a child can be, I promise."
She smiled at him and involuntarily yawned.
"Well, Mrs. Kent, I think it's time for you to take another nap."
"I can't deny the fact that I'm tired, although this is really embarrassing since I slept all morning."
"Remember you're sleeping for two," he commented, smiling innocently at her.
"Ha, ha, ha. Very funny." she said sarcastically.
"Now go to bed, Lois. I meant it when I said you were sleeping for two — a pregnant woman shouldn't do what you did last night. It was pretty tiring."
"Okay, okay. I'll go to bed. But there's something I want you to do."
"I want you to join me in bed. I can't sleep alone anymore, especially when I remember how safe and loved I feel when I'm in your arms," she asked with pleading eyes.
He stared at her eyes for a long time, smiling. She was incredibly beautiful — inside and out.
"Do you have any idea how much I love you?" he whispered, still smiling at her.
* I love his smile. *
"Well, I do. But do you mind showing me again how much you love me, upstairs?"
Her hot big brown eyes were absolutely irresistible.
"Not at all," he answered as he scooped her up and carried her to the bedroom. ***
Hugging her, Clark still could feel her uneven breathing after their lovemaking. Her fragile body pressed against his, her soft hands gently caressing his pectoral muscles, her long shapely legs entwined with his… It all felt so good.
Clark took a deep breath and smiled to himself — he was a happy man.
"Thank you." she whispered, brushing a kiss across his chest.
"For what?" he replied, still mesmerized by his own thoughts.
She lifted her head and stroked his hair, amused. He was so handsome…
"For making me so happy." she answered as if she could have read his previous thoughts. And then she placed her head on his chest again, snuggling closer this time.
"I'm just trying to give you some of the happiness you've brought into my life. You're all I've ever wanted, my sweetest dream come true."
* How come he always knows the right things to say to make me feel special? *
He felt hot tears running across his bare chest.
She faced him again, teary eyes and a bright smile making a delightful combination.
"Promise you'll never leave me."
"Just do it," he interrupted her.
His tender urgent gaze made it impossible for her to say anything else but "I won't."
They just held each other for the rest of the day, still unable to voice their fears. ***
On Friday at S.T.A.R Labs…
"Well, Mr. Kent, Ms. Lane," Dr. Klein started. "I had a whole week to decide which is the best solution to this problem of yours, and after studying Ms. Lane's test results for the hundredth time, I think I'm finally ready to express what I think you should do."
"So?" Lois squeezed Clark's hand, showing all her nervousness.
"Luckily, you are a healthy woman — you have no major diseases and you're in great shape. This will make things easier. However, it's inevitable that sooner or later you will start to feel that your strength is leaving your body. I thought, at first, that I should keep you in bed for eight months, saving as much energy as possible. But, unfortunately, this would be useless, since the human body doesn't work as a safe where you can deposit your coins until you need them. Our body is always wasting energy. It's true, though, that someone who spends a whole day doing nothing but sleeping loses much less energy than someone like you who is always trying to catch a bandit. By the way, I loved knowing that Mindy Church is finally behind bars."
Lois and Clark smiled appreciatively at him.
"Anyway, what I was trying to say is that every time you waste energy, you can compensate this lost by eating. So, making you stay in bed won't help you at all. "
Lois sighed, relieved. She couldn't even think about leaving The Planet. Clark, on the other hand, wasn't convinced yet — Lois was too spunky to stay out of trouble for eight months.
Focusing his attention on Clark, Dr. Klein continued.
"That's why I think Lois should keep on with her old habits such as working at The Daily Planet, jogging, reading, going out for dinner… or whatever she usually does. But," he emphasized this last word by widening his eyes, "she'll have to compensate for this energy she is wasting by eating a lot. And when I say a lot, I mean it. Because I also want to save some energy for the next months. She must eat high fat food since this kind of comestibles has lots of calories. I'm not talking about nutritionally worthless snack foods, though — I don't want her to have a coronary heart disease or something like that. I'm talking about having a good meal, not skipping breakfast, eating fruit, vegetables, cereals. That kind of thing the doctors always recommend. Although, in this case, they are really indispensable — it can even mean the difference between life and death."
Clark's heart seemed to skip a beat at the mention of that last word.
"I'll also ask Ms. Lane to obey her body's necessities. I mean, anytime she feels tired, she must sleep; when she's hungry, she must eat. We are always ignoring our 'body's requests' by saying we can sleep later or eat a sandwich instead of lunch, aren't we?"
Clark looked at Lois accusingly. She pretended she hadn't seen that and simply nodded, answering Dr. Klein's rhetorical question.
"But, as I said before, Ms. Lane, you no longer have this option. If you neglect your needs, I won't be responsible for the consequences."
Dr. Klein grabbed two bottles and handed them to her.
"These are your prenatal vitamins — I myself prepared them. Read the labels I put on them in order to know when and how to take them." He blew out a sigh. "That's it, for now. Any questions?"
"No, I… I think we understood, didn't we?" Clark glanced at Lois.
"Then I see you next Friday, Ms Lane. And, by the way, I want you to come here every Friday, at this very same time — around five o'clock. It's important to check your blood pressure and weigh you," he demanded promptly.
Neither of them had never seen Dr. Klein speak so clearly. It made them feel secure.
"Thank you, Dr. Klein." Clark said "We know you didn't have to do this: you're a scientist who probably has lots of things to worry about. Thanks for being such a good friend."
"Hey, I'm Superman's doctor and since he is a good friend of yours… I'm doing nothing but my job." Dr. Klein teased, smiling at them.
"Don't worry, Ms. Lane. I have colleagues who are excellent gynecologists and I myself did some practice before becoming a scientist — you didn't know that, did you?"
"No, I didn't," Lois said, shaking her head negatively.
"Well, but I did. I gave up because they said I didn't know how to tell someone bad news without hurting their feelings." he paused for a moment. "Anyway, I assure you I'll do my best to take care of you."
"Thank you, Dr. Klein."
And her smile said it all. ***
At The Daily Planet. Lois is three months and a half pregnant.
"Jimmy!" Lois yelled "I need those photographs now."
Noticing that Jimmy was nowhere to be seen, Lois sat on her desk and blew out a sigh. She was really upset. It wasn't just the fact she couldn't find the photos to go on with her story that was bothering her, though. She was just too sensitive, lately. Anything could upset her: she had yelled at Clark once because he had put his socks into her drawer. The poor man had spent the whole day saying 'I'm sorry', she remembered, full of remorse.
"Lois, honey, are you okay?" Perry asked, placing a friendly hand on her shoulder.
"Yes, Perry, I guess so. I just need the photos Jimmy took earlier today." she answered, bringing one hand up to massage her temples.
"Why don't you ask Clark to look for Jimmy? "
"Because… Because… He… is out! I asked him to buy me some more ice cream."
* Well, at least, I do hope he brings me some from Japan. Although I don't think he will find the time to do so — that earthquake didn't seem to be an easy thing to deal with. *
"Alright, Lois. Then why don't you just give me the story you wrote? I'll find Jimmy later. You don't have to worry, I'm sure the photos he took are good — he's a competent kid."
"Okay. It's time for me to go anyway," she replied, gathering her things. "I must be at the doctor's at five."
"Do you want someone to drive you there? I can call Alice and…"
"No, no, Perry, it's fine. I do know how to drive. Bye."
"Bye, honey. Have a nice weekend," Perry said as the elevator door closed. ***
"Lois! Sweetheart, are you home?"
Clark entered their house carrying the chocolate ice cream he knew Lois would want to have after dinner. He hated not being able to be with her when she went to Dr. Klein. But he couldn't ignore all those cries for help — that earthquake had affected too many lives.
He placed the ice cream on the kitchen table and went upstairs calling her name.
When he entered their bedroom she was getting dressed while humming an unknown melody.
* I suppose it means she's alright. What a relief! *
"Oh, hi, honey!" She finished putting on her short sleeved white dress and wrapped her arms around his neck. He quickly hugged her, enjoying the sweet smell of her perfume combined with the amazing sensation of finally being in the arms of the woman he loved.
"Are you okay?" she said, already facing him.
"Yes, my love, I am. And you two?" he asked, rubbing her belly. The love in his eyes made her smile.
"We're fine but… I have some news for you."
* Oh God, please let her be okay. *
"What is it, Lois?" His heart was beating so fast that he couldn't even hear what he was saying.
"We'd better sit down." She gestured towards the bed, still smiling at him.
"I went to Dr. Klein today," she began, "and he did an ultra- sound."
"And?" His hands were shaking. Lois did notice that and as strange as it seemed, he thought, she was… enjoying it.
"And he told me terrific news! I mean, he doesn't think so, but I assure you I'm fine and so are they. Besides I know I can…"
"Wait a minute!" he interrupted her "They? Did you say 'and so are they'? What do you mean?"
"It means my babies are doing just fine. Clark… I'm expecting twins." She smiled slowly, waiting for his reaction.
A thousand emotions swept over him at once: happiness, love, passion and… concern. Her life was more endangered than ever; after all, two Kryptonian children could endanger her life much more than just one.
"Two babies? You are having two children instead of one?"
"Yes!" she said, grinning from ear to ear. "Isn't that great? God, I've never thought motherhood could make me so happy. But it sure can, Clark, 'cause I'm so … happy! I mean ,there are two lives growing inside of me, two lives we've created together. Now, it's two miracles! Well, two expensive miracles, so to speak. I mean, can you imagine how many diapers we'll have to buy? Oh, but that doesn't matter at all — I'm sure they are worth the money. And I …" she suddenly stopped babbling . There was something wrong with this picture, she concluded. Clark hadn't hugged and kissed her, he wasn't even smiling! In fact, he looked a bit…sad.
"Clark? Clark, are you listening to me?" she asked seriously.
"Oh, yes… Yes, honey, I am."
There was something in his eyes, but it definitely wasn't happiness, she thought.
"You aren't happy, are you? What is it, Clark? Don't you want a big family anymore? Don't you love me anymore?"
The uncertainty in her eyes was tearing him apart. He couldn't let her think, even for a second, that he didn't love her.
"Of course I love you, Lois. I can't believe you don't know that for sure yet." He wiped one lonely tear which was crossing her lovely face. "Can't you feel you mean everything to me?"
"Then why aren't you happy?" Her voice was almost a whisper.
"I am happy."
"You don't look like a happy man."
He hesitated for a moment before telling her the truth.
"Well, I'm… I'm worried about you, Lois. You're carrying two babies who have Kryptonian traits. Did you realize that things are going to be much more complicated now?"
She smiled sarcastically, wiping one last tear and getting up from the bed.
"So, it's that 'overprotective thing' again, isn't it? Gee, Clark! Can't you stop doing this? I mean, here I am, telling you we'll have two babies, two precious small ones, and all you can think of is 'how complicated things are going to get'? I may be emotional and all, but… I don't know. The things you've said… It looks like our babies are nothing but a big problem."
"Lois, you know that's not true. I always dreamed about being a father: when I first moved to Metropolis all I wanted was to meet someone, settle down and raise a family. And if I said those things it's only because I love you and care about you and my baby … I mean, babies. This isn't an ordinary pregnancy, and you know that," he snapped back, rising from the bed, too.
"You see, that's the problem: you are always reminding me that this is an uncommon pregnancy. Do you have any idea how annoying this is?" she said, already fighting back tears. "You treat me like I'm an invalid instead of a pregnant woman."
"What do you mean?"
"Well, when our baby… babies," she corrected herself, "first kicked, for example, you didn't ask me how it felt, all you wanted to know was if I was in pain!"
"But you were!" he said, exasperated.
"Dr. Klein had already warned us that it might be a bit more painful than it usually is! You acted as if I were dying, Clark! Do you remember? You didn't even take the time to feel the kicks, 'cause you literally flew towards the bathroom to get a painkiller as soon as I told you they were kicking!"
Oh, God, he certainly remembered that night. He had got desperate when he saw Lois in pain. No, she wasn't screaming nor crying, but she was definitely in pain — she was sweating and having trouble breathing. But he had a lot of good memories about that night, too — it had been the first time he had actually felt his baby was real. He had felt so proud and happy and in love with her. Maybe he should have told her those things, he finally concluded before speaking again.
"Lois, I'm sorry. I didn't know what to do. I mean, I was happy because my baby was finally making its presence known, but on the other hand, I was feeling guilty because the reason of my happiness was causing you pain. Can't you understand it's not easy for me?!"
Lois could have dropped that discussion — he had already admitted he was wrong. But for some unknown reason she was still mad at him for being so overprotective.
"Well, it's not a piece of cake for me, either, Clark. Did you realize how many times you ask me if I'm okay? Not to mention the trivial questions such as 'have you eaten?', ' have you slept?', 'have you taken your vitamins?', 'how long have you been working yet?'. You spend your nights and days telling me things like that. I'm sick of it! You don't want to know whether it's a boy or a girl nor if I chose names for them yet, 'cause everything that matters to you is to know if that 'crazy irresponsible woman' hasn't done anything wrong again."
She always knew the right things to say to make him mad at her! Deep inside Clark knew he should sit down and let her talk for hours without getting angry with her, because of those 'hormonally induced mood swings' his mother had told him about. But, somehow, her sarcastic tone made it impossible.
"It's not like I can trust you, is it? I mean, some time ago you decided you should get pregnant even knowing it would endanger your life. And guess what? You didn't ask me what I thought about this." Clark let that slip out without really thinking, then cringed when he saw the look on Lois' face.
"We've already discussed this! How can you take issues we have agreed upon and just…" She sighed deeply and combed her fingers through her hair "You know what? I'll take a walk in the park — I want to get some air."
She turned around and went downstairs, not as fast as she wanted to because of her condition, but yet fast enough to leave the house before he could formulate a reply. ***
Later… In Kansas
"How could you let her go?" Martha asked, while handing her son another glass of milk.
Clark had flown to Smallville a few moments after Lois' departure in order to solve his problem — luckily, his parents were also two terrific friends.
"I don't know, mom. I suddenly found myself unable to stop her. She was so mad at me and… I was so mad at her! I can't believe she thinks I don't care about my child… children." Clark shook his head. "I need to get used to this idea."
"Listen, son." Martha sat at the kitchen table. "Aren't you happy about Lois having twins?"
"Of course I am, mom. It's so incredible that I can hardly believe it's true. I mean, now it's a bigger part of us growing inside her. I've never felt so fulfilled in my whole life, mom."
And for the first time, the idea of having two babies in a row was finally hitting Clark. Like Lois had said before, it was two miracles. Two precious miracles.
"Did you tell her that, Clark ?" his father questioned, speaking for the first time since his son's arrival.
"All these sweet things you are telling us right now — how much these news have made you happy, for example."
"She already knows that, dad!"
"Does she?" Martha asked but didn't wait for an answer, though "Look, Clark, I'm not saying it's wrong to worry about her — Lois is in danger and being her husband, you're doing the right thing when you take good care of her. Especially when we all know how truly dangerous this whole pregnancy is. But, Clark, when you look at her, what do you see? A dying woman?"
Clark shook his head negatively in response and Martha went on.
"No, son, I bet this isn't what you see. 'Cause what you see is a beautiful spirited mother-to-be. Yes, she is in trouble, she is fragile, you can even say she's sick! But above all this, she's pregnant, Clark; and it means she needs you to assure her all the time that you love her and the babies."
"What are you trying to say, mom? I love them and I tell her that every single day!"
"Yes, I'm sure you do, Clark. And I'm sure you mean it, too. But what about your attitudes? You have to show her that you love your family not only by being concerned about them. You need to treat her the way you used to." And softening her voice, Martha added, "She is already going through a lot of changes, son, that's why she needs to feel that something remains untouched."
As always, his mother was right. Clark had to admit that since Dr. Klein had told him Lois needed to respect her limits, he had been acting as if she were a breakable china doll.
Clark lowered his head, ashamed.
"We know it's difficult, son," Jonathan said. "'Cause you want to protect her from everything bad the world has to offer. And although that's noble, we all know it's impossible as well."
"Just be there for her, Clark. I'm sure that is enough," Martha interjected.
"You two are so right. Thank you. I guess I needed to hear all that." Clark hugged his parents, thanking the Lord above he had such great parents.
"Now go and find her, Clark," Martha demanded, releasing herself from his arms "She must be needing you."
With that, Clark spun into Superman's costume and dashed out the window.
"Oh, Jonathan," Martha whispered, enchanted "Can you believe that? We'll have two grandsons!"
"Or two granddaughters…" Jonathan replied.
"Or a granddaughter and a grandson," she said, laughing.
"I only hope they can work things out."
"I'm sure they can. They love each other and that's all you need to do the right thing."
Jonathan hugged his wife, kissing the top of her head. And, hand in hand, they headed to their bedroom. ***
Meanwhile, Lois was in the very same park where Clark had proposed to her for the first time. And also where she had proposed to him. Yeah, that park had a special meaning for them, she thought.
Trying not to think about Clark anymore, Lois stared at the sky: it was already filled with lots of bright stars and a huge silvered moon in its center. That beautiful scenario only made her miss him more, though.
* Clark Kent, how do you do this to me? How can I love and hate you so much at the same time? *
But then she corrected herself: she didn't hate him. She had never hated him. Not even during the times when she was mad at him. She couldn't hate those lovely eyes, that sweet and yet masculine voice of his, those firm lips, his great mind and his even greater heart. She loved him. No matter what, she would always love that man whose babies she was carrying now. Babies… Lois gently caressed her protuberant belly. She didn't understand how she could love so much two small people whose faces she hadn't even seen yet. But she did. She would live or die if one of them so much asked her to. Death… She had faced it a few times. Okay, many times. It never really scared her, though, after all, she was a bold woman — or at least she liked to think she was. But sometimes, death had really scared her — especially when she hadn't been its aim. Funny thing, she thought. When Clark was the one in danger — those were the times when the idea of dying had really frightened her, she concluded. How could she live without him? How could she wake up, every morning, without facing him? No, that was impossible. Maybe that was the reason why she was a bit frightened now. Okay, she wasn't just a bit frightened, she was really scared. What if she couldn't carry Kryptonian babies? What if she… died? Then she would have to leave Clark and her babies.
Suddenly feeling terrified by her thoughts, Lois hurried home. She hurried to the only place on Earth where there was no fear, no sadness and no unpleasant memories. Now she had understood what Clark was going through: there was nothing worse than seeing someone you love in danger. And he loved her. And he loved those lives growing inside her just as much. She could feel that when he kissed her, when they made love, when they were working together and even when they were arguing, 'cause he had never lost that glow in his eyes. And she thought, she could even put up with his 'overprotective way', after all, his concern, as annoying as it was, also made her feel very special.
* We only care about the ones we love. *
Oh, boy! She had been so stupid! She had said he didn't care for their babies!
* Must be my hormones! *
Would he forgive her? Well, she was going to find out very soon, 'cause she was already on her way home. ***
Lois stepped inside their house. The door was unlocked.
* He's home. *
"Clark!… Clark!" she yelled while heading to their bedroom "I'm home… Listen, I'm sorry about the way I acted. I didn't mean to say those things."
She opened the bedroom door. Nobody.
* Great! The world needed 'the man of steel' again. *
Lois took off her shoes and threw herself on the bed, feeling too tired to do anything else. But as she did that, she noticed there was a bundle under her. Sitting on the bed, she saw it was a big white box wrapped in red lace. There were a white single rose and a note which read 'I love you' attached to it, too.
* Oh, Clark. *
Gently placing the rose and the note aside, she opened the box: there were two identical baby clothes in it. Tears in her eyes, Lois ran her fingers across the soft fabric. Perry, Jimmy, Martha, her parents — they had all given her baby clothes, even she herself had already done some shopping. But those clothes were special, 'cause it was the first time Clark had actually bought something for the babies. It meant so much to her. It meant he was finally treating her like a pregnant woman. He hadn't bought tea or medicine. Just baby clothes. Two lovely white ones.
"I didn't know which color you liked most but…"
Turning around, Lois saw her dear husband leaning against the door frame, hands in his pockets. And despite the smile on his face, she could see that hurt and confused look on it as well.
"They are beautiful," she said, opening her arms for him to hug her.
It was all he needed to melt in her arms.
"Oh, Lois… Love of my life… I'm so sorry… I need to tell you that…"
"No, Clark." she said, already facing him "I don't want you to tell me anything. I understand you. I was wrong, I…"
"No, no, no, Lois, let me talk." he asked, cupping her face in his large hands. "I need to."
Lois smiled nervously and, turning her head, she kissed his right hand.
"Then tell me. I'm listening." she whispered.
Clark stood up and started pacing in front of her "I don't even know where to start, though…"
A few moments later, he took a deep breath and stared at her "Well, I love you. I love you and I love my babies — the three of you are the best thing that has ever happened to me; and I think I'll never be able to find the right words to say how happy you've made me today. I mean, when the doctor told me you were pregnant I thought 'God, this is it, I can't be happier than that.' But you know what? I was tremendously wrong, and you were the one who proved me that tonight by telling me you're expecting twins."
Clark knelt in front of her and caressed her belly, adoration in his teary eyes. Lois was laughing and crying at the same time, experiencing an overwhelming feeling.
"I think I did overreact. But, Lois, I've never meant to hurt you by doing so. It's just that to be an overprotective person is the only way I can find to deal with my huge fears of… losing you."
Now he was actually crying — tears falling unbidden and trickling down his cheeks.
"Do you understand I can't imagine myself living without you? Do you know how unbearable it is to me to see you in pain? Even when you're not crying or screaming, I can't take it. 'Cause I want you to be happy all the time, I want to protect you from anything that may cause your smile to fade away. I want you to live forever, Lois, so I can know for sure I'll see your adorable smile every single day of my life. I…"
Clark didn't continue to speak because of the tears. He just buried his face in her lap, sobbing.
Lois gently stroked his hair, amazed by his sincere words and desperately wanting to comfort him. She felt as if her heart would burst: how could she love him so much? How could he love her so much? It was the most remarkable feeling she had ever felt in her entire life — to love someone and to be loved by him just as much.
"Oh, Clark, I love you, too. And I do understand, sweetheart. I'm sorry for being so silly — I know you love your family, I feel it, you don't need to tell me. And you know what?" She hesitated for a moment, "I'm scared, too."
That last statement caught Clark off guard: had she said she was scared? As obvious as it was, Clark had never thought that Lois might be as scared as he was. And maybe even more, considering she was the one whose life was in danger. She had hidden her fears so well that he had really believed she wasn't terrified. How silly he had been!
Lifting his head so he could see her face, Clark wiped a couple of tears which were crossing her face.
"I think… I think I didn't want to admit that I was scared; after all, I am the one who decided to have these babies in the first place, right? But I am, Clark — I don't remember being so scared in my whole life. And I guess it's because the idea of leaving you and my children is more than frightening — it's unimaginable. I mean, I can't let myself imagine that I may not be able to feel your arms around me anymore nor that I may not be able to… actually… see my babies. I just can't …"
Clark got up and sat by her side on the bed, embracing that frightened little girl in his arms.
"It's okay, honey… It's okay to be afraid… I'm here for you… I'll always be…"
Lois went limp in his arms — that hug was all she needed to feel safe again.
And they stayed this way for a long time — his tears meeting hers, his fears matching hers. It was as if they had become one single person, acting and thinking alike.
Several moments later, Lois let go of Clark so she could face him again — although there were tears in his eyes, he had never looked more endearing to her.
"Clark, can I ask you one more question?"
He simply nodded while carefully studying her face, trying to understand how it could be so perfect.
"Do you still find me attractive… at all?" she asked, uncertainty in her voice.
Clark smiled at her and let his hand caress her cheek — how vulnerable she could be… and how sweet it could be.
"I mean, I know I'm fatter and I know all those tight-fitting dresses just don't fit me anymore, because every single part of my body is changing and I probably doesn't look good in these loose-fitting ones, too. But, on the other hand, I know that no matter what I'm wearing, I can't hide my enormous belly which is getting bigger and bigger each day and since it's twins… Oh, God, I'm babbling, aren't I?" she smiled nervously.
Clark was still smiling at her, unable to do anything else, 'cause he was marveled at how someone so gorgeous was able to be so unsure about that.
"Oh, Clark, please, say something!" She was desperate — the idea that her body wasn't able to turn him on anymore was absolutely horrifying. Okay, he had said he loved her — and she had believed him! — but that didn't mean he found her attractive… did it?
He had every intention of saying that she would always look amazingly beautiful to him, that she did look beautiful wearing loose-fitting dresses which made evident her adorable 'not-so- huge yet' belly. But his body was on fire for her and he knew that words couldn't express that. So, he kissed her. And when their tongues entwined intimately he felt her wanting more. That was when he reluctantly broke the kiss.
"Lois…" he wanted to speak, but failed when she started to brush her lips across his neck.
"What?" Lois' voice was practically a whisper.
"We… we…" Oh, God, it was impossible to speak clearly when that magnificently, breathtakingly beautiful and desirable woman was already on top of him, nipping his ear. But he had to try. "We… have… to… talk." Clark's quickened breathing wasn't helping at all, though.
"Hmmm…? Oh, yeah… talk. Talk to me, Clark — I love the sound of your voice." she replied while unbuttoning his shirt and kissing the skin it was being revealed by it.
He tried to say something again but surprised himself with a small moan of pleasure as she nibbled his nipples. So he simply leaned back and breathed deeply, taking in every one of her touches.
But when she moved her hands towards his trousers, Clark gathered all his strength and stopped her by holding her hands firmly.
"Lois, we can't," he finally said, breathless.
She looked at him, frustration and confusion all over her face.
"What?… Why? The way you kissed me… I thought you wanted to… you know."
"I do. I mean, my body and my heart do, but my mind knows we can't."
Lois regained her previous sitting position and so did Clark.
"It's because I'm pregnant, isn't it?"
"Yes! I mean, no. Yes and no."
"Clark, I'm not understanding. The answer to my question can't be yes and no."
"Look, Lois," he said, struggling to regain self-control "only God knows how hard it is for me to stop now, I mean, I would rather stopping an asteroid to stopping myself now, 'cause you've never looked more desirable than you do right now and it's been a long time…"
"Yeah, Clark, you're right: it's been almost a month. I can't take it anymore, I love you and I miss your body…"
Clark had to take a deep breath in order to continue speaking rationally while Lois looked so appealing.
"I know, honey, and I do miss yours, too — I've taken so many cold showers that I may actually have a cold…"
Lois and Clark smiled a coy smile.
"But you're pregnant and… it may… harm the babies."
Oh, the 'overprotective stuff ' again. However, she didn't get angry with him this time, not only because now she understood him, but also because he looked so afraid of making her mad that it made Lois ache with love for him.
"Oh, Clark, here I am, thinking that you just don't find me attractive anymore and all this time it was just a… silly fear." Lois smiled sweetly at him, letting her hands stroke his hair and face. "We've done it before whilst I was pregnant, Clark."
"Yeah, I know, but the babies are getting bigger and…"
"I've talked to Dr. Klein, honey, " she interrupted him, "and he said sex wouldn't harm them. He said that as long as we both want to… It's okay."
"Really?" he asked, desire and uncertainty in his eyes.
"Really," she answered while lowering herself on top of him again.
And as Lois kissed him, she felt his involuntary response and smiled inwardly — how easily she could turn him on!
Clark then slid up his hands to undo the zipper of her dress and as he did that, he allowed himself to caress her sensitive skin, gently running his fingers down her spine. And Lois felt a tingle go through her when he finally let her know that she was as desired as a woman can be. ***
Several hours later, Lois had already fallen asleep, feeling safe and loved. Clark, on the other hand, was still awake, watching her sleep, drinking in every detail of her face — he didn't think that he would ever tire looking at her.
As he closed his eyes, Lois' slow and steady heartbeat filled the room, reassuring him that she was there. He could also hear another two tiny heartbeats: they were much faster and more erratic than Lois'. My babies' heartbeats, he thought. And that new sound made him proud and, most of all, it made him incredibly happy.
Minutes later, while holding his family, Clark fell asleep, too. ***
The next morning found Clark in the kitchen, preparing breakfast while Lois was still in bed. He had gotten up early and found some beautiful flowers from all over the world for a centerpiece. He had also flown to France to buy her some bread.
As he was setting the table, in the dining room, Lois came up behind him and put her arms around his waist.
"Good morning, my favorite cook!"
He turned around to face her.
"Good morning, my love. Ready to eat?"
"Not yet — where's my kiss?"
Clark smiled and then gave her the kiss she had asked for, taking great care to explore her mouth with his tongue as he did so.
"Wow!" she exclaimed, breathless, when they finally broke the kiss "You do know how to kiss!"
"What can I say? I learnt from the best," he replied with a mischievous smile on his face.
Lois smiled back at him and sat at the table.
"I'm starving!… Oh, Clark, what a lovely centerpiece!" she said, as soon as she noticed the colorful flowers on the table. "Let me guess: you didn't buy it in Metropolis, did you?"
"As a matter of fact… no. But we'll talk about it later, now it's time to eat, mamma," he replied, while sitting by her side.
"Mamma…" she echoed seriously, while pouring herself some milk "It's such a small word and yet it means so much. I mean, these children will depend on us for a long time. "
"Lois, you will the best mother in the world." he said, knowing exactly what she was thinking about.
"How do you know that? I can't even change diapers… What if they hate me?"
"Honey, first of all, they won't hate you. I mean, you will be their mother! And mother equals to unconditional love. Moreover, I know you will be a terrific mother just because you love them. Believe me, Lois, they won't ask for anything but your love."
Eyes moistened with tears, Lois kissed him so softly and tenderly that their lips barely touched.
"Thank you," she whispered, against his mouth. "I needed to hear that."
He was about to kiss her again, but just then, Lois grimaced.
"I'm fine. It's just… ouch!"
Now it was obvious that she was in pain.
"Lois, what's happening?" Clark couldn't hide his nervousness.
"The babies. They are…" Lois stopped again when another pain hit her. "Kicking."
Noticing that she had already started to sweat, Clark began to get up to grab a cloth and the medicine Dr. Klein had prescribed, but she held his hand firmly.
"Stay… with me" her breathing was ragged "It'll… be over… soon."
As much as he wanted to give her something to ease that pain, he couldn't say 'no' to her when she looked so helpless. Besides, it seemed that he was what she was needing in that moment to ease her pain.
"It's okay, sweetheart." he murmured "I'm here. I'm right here. I'm not going anywhere. Just try to breathe, okay?"
She nodded, unable to say a word.
Minutes later, she was still in pain, although it seemed that she could breathe a lot better.
"Can you feel?" she asked, placing his hand on her stomach "That's our… babies… showing us that they are very much… alive."
Clark could feel the kicks and for a moment, for a brief moment, he forgot the medicine, Dr. Klein and all those painful thoughts that sometimes haunted him at night and just focused on those amazing movements. Life. Lives growing inside the body of his beloved wife. Lives they had created together, as Lois had once said.
When tears started to trickle down his cheeks, Clark quickly wiped them and faced her.
"Are you okay?"
Lois simply nodded again, smiling at the sweet image of her husband who was obviously as fascinated as she was — that sparkle in his eyes was all she needed to see to know that.
"Why don't you lay down on the couch?" he suggested, gesturing towards the sofa.
"I need to tell you something first."
"Okay, but you…"
"I'm fine, Clark. It's over." she reassured him. "I do need to tell you something, though."
Seeing his worried expression, she quickly added "Don't worry — it's good news. Unless you don't like baby girls at all. "
"Lois, what are you talking about? What do you…" And then it hit him. "You mean you… know the babies' sex?"
"Well, Dr. Klein let it slip out: he got so embarrassed 'cause as I hadn't asked him about it, he thought that I didn't want to know yet but…"
"We are having two baby girls?" he interjected, excitement all over his face.
"I think so!"
This was all he needed to hear to scoop her up, laughing and crying at the same time. Lois tightened her arms around his neck, surprised by his reaction and yet thrilled by it.
"Well, I suppose you aren't disappointed then." she said, giggling.
"Disappointed?" he asked, kissing the tip of her nose. "How can I possibly be disappointed? You're telling me we're having two little princesses!"
He looked so happy and excited that she couldn't help but laugh.
"So, you're not mad about not having a baby boy?" she asked, teasing him.
"Look, Lois," he began "you know that, in my heart, it doesn't matter if it's a boy or a girl, as long as they are healthy. But I must admit, though, that the idea of having two little girls, who are probably going to look just as amazingly beautiful as their mother, is… fabulous! It's much more than words can ever say!"
"I love you, Clark. I love…"
Lois' words were cut off as Clark's mouth fastened on hers.
"I love you, too, my queen!" he replied as the kiss parted.
"Queen?" she asked, confused and flattered at the same time.
"Well, you're the one who is giving me two princesses, right?"
"Right," she confirmed with a silly smile on her face.
Still holding her in his arms, Clark led them to the couch.
"So," he started while sitting down with Lois on his lap "are you really okay?"
"What about you girls?" he asked soothingly, patting her stomach. Lois smiled, pleased. "I hope you're okay as well, 'cause mom and dad love you very much and…"
"Ouch!" Lois exclaimed, interrupting him.
Clark immediately looked up to face her.
"What is it, honey?"
"They have… just… kicked. But I'm okay now — it was just a couple of kicks." she said while taking a deep breath.
"I wish it wasn't this way…" Clark mourned and lowered his head.
"Clark, look at me."
And when he did, she took his face in her hands.
"It's okay. I mean, it hurts sometimes, but it's getting easier for me to bear, 'cause every time they are kicking I try not to think about the pain. Instead of it, I think about them and it helps a lot. You helped me a lot — much more than any medicine could ever do — by standing by my side."
"Okay. I'll try to remember that," he replied. He didn't sound too convincing, but Lois decided not to push, 'cause she knew that no matter what she said, it would always be difficult on him.
"So, when are we going to visit your parents again?" she questioned, changing the subject.
"Well, I went there yesterday… while you were… out." Clark stiffened.
"Oh, I see. It looks like somebody else helped you to understand my feelings, huh?" she said, smiling at him, knowing that Martha was a wise woman.
"Yeah, I think so," he replied, a little bit ashamed.
"Did you tell them the news?"
"Yeah. I hope you don't mind."
"No. It's okay. How did your parents react?"
"Well, you know them: mom and dad are crazy about kids, so … Once they found out they would have two grandchildren, they got as happy as humanly possible. Mom said she would start knitting some more baby clothes and dad, well… you should have seen his face — he was so proud."
Yeah, she could imagine how happy they must have got. Martha and Jonathan would be terrific grandparents.
"Dad said he would like to drop by to see you this weekend, but," he continued, tightening his arms around her, "mom thought that we might need some time alone."
"Martha is a very wise woman." she remarked with a sly smile on her face and then started to bend her head to kiss him. The doorbell interrupted them, though. Lois reluctantly pulled away and whispered in his ear "It seems we'll have to wait until tonight."
And with that she got up and went towards the door, yelling "I'm coming."
When she opened the door, she saw her sister, standing still, with open arms.
"How's my nephew?"
"Lucy!" Lois greeted her before giving her sister hug. "I didn't know you were in Metropolis! Come in!"
Lois shut the door behind them and Clark approached the two women.
"Hi, Lucy. It's so nice to see you again."
"Thanks, Clark," she answered shaking his hand. "It's really nice to see you, too, dad."
They all laughed at that lovely statement.
"C'mon sis, let's have a seat," Lois said while heading to the couch.
Once they were all sat, Lucy began.
"So, you didn't answer my question, Lois: how's my nephew?"
"In fact, Lucy, it's niece."
"Nieces," Clark corrected her.
"You're kidding, right? I mean, mom told me…"
"She doesn't know yet," Lois explained. "Clark and I found out yesterday."
"Oh, my God! That's so… I don't know… GREAT!"
Smiling, Lucy hugged her sister, gently stroking her hair.
"Congratulations, Lois. And you, Clark…" She continued, hugging him as well "You must be very proud. I mean, two babies …" And then turning her attention back to Lois, she asked, concerned, "It's only two, right? You're not having three or four …"
"No, no, Lucy, I think two babies are enough," Lois answered, widening eyes.
"Although I would love having four 'little Lois'," Clark interjected, giggling.
Lois poked him playfully in the arm and he pretended it hurt. Lucy laughed at that loving scene.
"Boy, you do love her, don't you?" she asked, amused.
"Yes, I do," Clark answered seriously, staring at Lois who felt as if she were melting.
Hesitantly, Lois focused on her sister again, grabbing her hand.
"What about you, Lucy? What are you doing here in Metropolis?" Lois wrinkled her forehead in consternation "Are you alright? I mean, you aren't in trouble, are you? Because I see you haven't brought any luggage. Did somebody steal it? I'm always telling you to be careful, Lucy — this city is getting more dangerous each day. And you…"
"Lois…" Lucy tried to talk to her, but Lois was in over-drive and she wasn't listening to her sister protesting. Clark chuckled.
"Lucy, you really shouldn't travel all by yourself. I mean, you're too young for such a thing. I'm sure mom and dad don't know anything about it, 'cause they…"
"Lois…" she tried again. "LOIS!"
"What?" she asked, confused.
"Oh, sorry." Lois smiled shyly.
"Tell me, Clark, what do you do when she starts babbling like that?"
"Lucy!" Lois replied indignantly.
"Well, sometimes this works." And then Clark kissed her and Lois immediately leaned forward, deepening their kiss.
Several moments later, Lucy had to clear her throat to get their attention again.
Lois and Clark finally broke their kiss.
"As you can see," Clark said, while gasping for some air "it does work most of the time."
Lois looked at him and couldn't help but smile.
"I'm sure it does, Clark. But I don't think I can do that."
"No one can, Lucy. This is something that only a super guy can do. Isn't it, Clark?" she asked innocently.
Clark smiled, too and hugged her closer.
"So, are you going to answer my question?" Lois said, glancing at her sister while absentmindedly entwining her fingers with her husband's.
"Well, if you allow me so… I think I am."
"Thanks. Well, first of all, I'm not in trouble nor has my luggage been stolen, and I think I'm old enough to travel all by myself, Ms. Lane. It's just that an old friend of mine, Carol, invited me to stay with her a couple of days here, in Metropolis, 'cause she has just broken up with her fiancee — she's really depressed, you know. I arrived yesterday and then I thought it would be nice to drop by and see how you were doing. I'm sorry I didn't call you — I've lost your phone number. "
"This is it?" Lois asked, as if she hadn't believed Lucy.
"No, Lois, I forgot to mention that there's a guy who's trying to kill me."
"Really?" Lois said, desperate.
"No! I'm kidding! Gee, Lois, calm down! Everything is just fine. Give me some credit, okay?"
"Oh, I'm sorry, Lucy! I think it's my hormones."
Clark kissed the top of her head and remarked playfully, "No, honey, hormones or not, I think that's just who you are."
Lucy laughed and Lois' resolve to reprimand her husband melted when she saw his eyes shining and his smile broadening. He was so adorable!
"Well, I hope you love me anyway — hormones or not," she said smiling tenderly at him.
"You know I do," he replied, his eyes shining even brighter now.
"Then say it," she asked, teasing him the way she knew he couldn't resist.
"Lois Lane Kent, I love you anyway — hormones or not," he repeated her previous words, playfully. And then, as an afterthought, he added seriously, gazing at her, "I've always loved you and I always will."
Her mouth captured his, showing him that she had the same feelings for him. When their lips parted, Lois rested her head on Clark's chest, enjoying that overwhelming closeness. Clark gently tucked her hair behind her ear before placing his hand on her stomach.
Lucy was amazed and happy, incredibly happy. Amazed because she couldn't understand how two people could be so in love as she knew Lois and Clark were. And happy because her sister, who used to be so lonely, had finally found someone to spend the rest of her life with. Someone who truly loved her and certainly would be forever by her side.
"I see that the four of you are incredibly fine." Lucy finally spoke. "So, I'd better go."
Lois lifted her head, sensing that Lucy must have gotten a little bit embarrassed.
"Oh, Lucy, please, stay with us today. Clark and I would love having you for lunch. Besides, it's been such long time since I last saw you…"
"I don't know, Lois. Carol needs my support right now and you and Clark seem to be needing some time alone."
"No, Lucy," Clark interjected, "it's okay. Really. We would love having some company for lunch. Especially if it's you — Lois misses her 'little sister' very much. And I will finally be able to know you better."
"Well," she started, glancing at those four pleading eyes. "I think lunch is okay, then. But only if Lois is not cooking."
They all laughed at Lucy's request.
"I promise I won't cook if you tell mom that I'm expecting twins," Lois said, smiling knowingly at her sister.
"That's not fair! You know she'll babble for hours!" Lucy protested.
"Well, you have no choice, sis. Do we have a deal?"
"Yeah," she said, defeated.
"Okay, ladies," Clark intervened "But what about we finish breakfast first?"
"Sounds great to me!" Lois exclaimed while getting up and heading to the table, followed by her husband and sister. ***
Later that night
Clark took a quick shower and joined his asleep wife in bed, carefully wrapping his arms around her. It had been a tiring day. Lucy had introduced Lois to Carol and the three of them had had lunch together and went shopping. Unfortunately, Clark hadn't been able to spend the day with them because of Superman — there had been so many major and small disasters that that was the first time he had been able to see his wife since breakfast.
She seemed to be sleeping peacefully, he could only hope that she was fine. Those baby's kicks were starting to worry him. Especially because Dr. Klein had said that things would get even worse when Lois' body was more fragile.
Instinctively, Clark tightened his arms around her and brushed his lips against her cheek. She is fine, he repeated to himself. She had to be. ***
"Lois, are you sure you want to go?" Clark yelled to his wife who was in the bathroom while he was straightening his tie, in their bedroom.
Lois and Clark had spent all Sunday together watching movies on TV, kissing, talking about them and the babies and enjoying each other's company. Luckily, Superman had been called only a few times.
At the end of the day, Lois suggested that they should go out. Clark wasn't sure yet that this was a good idea, 'cause although the rest had done her some good, he still thought that sleeping was the best choice, after all, she had to work the next day. Okay, she didn't have to, but Clark knew she would want to.
"Yes, honey, I'm sure. Besides, I don't remember feeling so good in my entire life. I want to celebrate!" she said, finally exiting the bathroom.
Clark immediately looked at her, mesmerized by the movement of her silk garment as she made her way towards him. Lois was wearing a short loose-fitting burgundy dress and a pair of black high-heeled shoes.
"Dear God, how come you get more beautiful each day!?" he said, obviously impressed.
"Well," she started, blushing a little at the frank admiration in his eyes. "I think that the secret is to be in love with the most handsome man in the Universe."
And then she slowly approached him, taking her time to admire how such a simple outfit — a black suit and a white shirt — could look so good on someone. And yet it did, because Clark looked stunning wearing it.
"Burgundy is definitely your color," he whispered when she stood only inches away.
She brushed a stray lock of hair out of his eyes before saying seductively, "I know."
And then she walked away towards the bedroom door. "Now, c'mon, let's have dinner."
But he grabbed her by the arm, gently pushing her against him.
"What, Kent?" she said, giggling. "We'll have plenty of time for that later."
"Well, I hope so, but that's not the point right now. I want to give you something before we go."
Lois watched him with a curious look on her face as he opened the closet and retrieved a squared black velvety box from it.
"Here," he spoke, handing her the box. "I wanted to give you this next week as our one year anniversary present, but… well, I'll buy something else, 'cause I want you to wear this tonight."
Without taking her eyes off him, she carefully opened the box.
"Oh, my God, Clark! It's so…" her voice trailed off when she saw the delicate diamond necklace. "Beautiful!"
Clark was hypnotized by the twinkle in her eyes. If I'm not careful, he thought, I can actually be blinded by it.
"Come here, honey," he requested, picking up the necklace and positioning her in front of the mirror. "Let me see how it looks on you."
Clark fastened Lois' necklace, took a deep breath and smiled into the mirror. "I don't think I have ever seen such a beautiful sight."
Lois turned around and wrapped her arms around his waist. The unshed tears in her eyes making them glitter even brighter than the diamonds on her necklace.
"Thank you. Thank you for the gift, thank you for loving me so much, thank you for being my husband… thank you for being who you are — the most remarkable man I have ever met."
"You're welcome, Mrs. Kent," he replied tenderly before pulling her closer to kiss her the way he had wanted to since she had exited the bathroom — deeply and passionately, feeling each part of her body tremble slightly as he did so. ***
"Are you ready to order now?" the waiter asked politely.
Clark sat across from Lois at the small table they'd reserved for dinner. Simon's Restaurant was a nice place to have a pleasurable meal — it had exquisite dishes as well as simple ones, good music and a charming dance floor on its center.
"I think I'll have sole with garlic and cream sauce, rice and a mixed salad," Lois replied and handed the waiter the menu.
"And you, sir?"
"I'll have a peppered fillet steak with fresh vegetables and rice," Clark answered and handed the man the menu as well.
"Would you like something to drink?"
"Still mineral water for me, please," Lois said promptly.
Clark hesitated a bit.
"Uh… I think I'll have some mineral water, too."
Lois looked at him carefully and then smiled.
"Honey, that's really cute, but you're not pregnant — you can have some wine."
Clark smiled shyly.
"Bring him a glass of Chardonnay, please," she asked the waiter who was also smiling at the happy couple.
"We'll order it later. Thank you," Clark replied and the waiter nodded in agreement before leaving.
"So… How are you feeling?" he questioned, reaching for Lois' hand across the table. The babies had kicked while they were driving towards the restaurant and although she had convinced him to take her to Simon's anyway, Clark was still worried about her. He couldn't help.
"Sweetheart, please, stop worrying!" she said, trying her best convincing smile. "We've spent a wonderful day together and I want to spend an even more wonderful night with you as well. But that won't be possible if you keep asking me things like that." Lois softly squeezed his hand. "Those kicks are routine for me, Clark — they happen at home, at work or anywhere else I might be. Luckily, as unexpectedly as they start, they stop. When they take a little longer, I have the medicine Dr. Klein prescribed and they stop. It's not pleasurable, but I can live with that for more five months and a half."
Clark stared at that amazing woman who always knew how to make everything alright. The strength he could see in her eyes was indescribable.
"I love you, Lois. I'm sorry, okay? I keep telling you that I'll stop doing this but…"
"It's alright." She placed two fingers over his mouth and he kissed them tenderly. "I love you, too."
The moment was scattered by the waiter who was bringing them their food.
"We'd better eat," she finally said, smiling sheepishly at him.
Over dinner, Lois and Clark talked about old times — their first date, their first kiss, their marriage (the real one), their honeymoon — and also about the future. The babies were going to be a big adjustment in their lives — nothing would remain the way it was.
"Okay. I want names," Lois said as she finished her salad.
"What do you mean 'names'?" he asked before sipping the wine.
"Well, babies need names, Clark."
"Yeah… they sure do," he said thoughtfully.
"What about… Julia?" Lois suggested. "I've always liked this name. It's so… I don't know… sweet."
He pondered her words for a moment, biting his lower lip.
"Yes!" Clark finally said, smiling appreciatively "It's a really good name — Julia Kent."
"It sounds great, doesn't it?" Lois asked, suddenly overwhelmed by a mixture of emotions. "I mean, we're finally going to be a family — The Kents. "
A single tear started to trickle down her cheek and Clark quickly wiped it, cupping her face in his hand as he did so.
"Yes, my love. It sounds incredibly great. Especially when we consider all the obstacles we've overcome together — it's almost too good to be true."
"Well," she started, guiding Clark's hand down to her heart and holding it there, "but it is. And we still have to find another name."
"Certainly. Which other one do you like? "
"No way, Mr.!" she said playfully. "It's your turn."
"Well, in fact, there's a name which makes my heart skip a beat every time I hear it. It's a really wonderful name, you know."
"So?" she asked, burning with curiosity.
"So what?" he questioned jokingly.
"Oh, Clark, stop it!" she said impatiently "Tell me the name!"
He smiled at her, admiring each perfect feature of her luminous face.
"Lois," he declared solemnly, staring at her eyes as if they held the most precious secret of the world.
"Pardon?" she asked, confused.
"That's the name — Lois. I can't think of any other name as splendid as this one."
She smiled sweetly at him and placed their now entwined fingers on the table before answering him.
"Nice try, Mr. Kent. But I'm not kidding."
"Neither am I!" he replied, faking innocence.
"Oh, c'mon, Clark!"
"It's a beautiful name!" he insisted.
Lois crossed her arms and shot him her best 'I'm-serious' glare.
"Okay. I give up! How about… Liz?"
"Too short," she replied immediately.
"Meredith?" He tried again.
"Lois!" he exclaimed, exasperated.
"I'm sorry, Clark, but it has to be really special, something like…"
"Claire!" he interrupted her quickly, knowing he had found the perfect name he was looking for.
"Yes! That's it — Claire Kent!" she repeated animatedly "Julia and Claire Kent!"
Lois and Clark smiled at each other and just then she noticed an incredibly melodious song playing.
"Do you want to dance?" she asked.
"I would love to," he answered, unable to resist the sparkle in her eyes.
They headed to the dance floor and as soon as Lois wrapped her arms around Clark's neck and he wrapped his around her waist, they started swaying slowly back and forth to soft music playing on the restaurant.
* For all those times you stood by me
For all the truth that you made me see
For all the joy you brought to my life
For all the wrong that you made right
For every dream you made come true
For all the love I found in you
I'll be forever thankful baby
You're the one who held me up
Never let me fall
You're the one who saw me through
through it all*
* You were my strength when I was weak
You were my voice when I couldn't speak
You were my eyes when I couldn't see
You saw the best there was in me
Lifted me up when I couldn't reach
You gave me faith 'coz you believed
I'm everything I am
Because you loved me*
* You gave me wings and made me fly
You touched my hand I could touch the sky
I lost my faith, you gave it back to me
You said no star was out of reach
You stood by me and I stood tall
I had your love I had it all
I'm grateful for each day you gave me
Maybe I don't know that much
But I know this much is true
I was blessed because I was loved by you*
Resting his head atop hers, Clark breathed in the smell of her shampoo while feeling the sweet effects that her nearness had on his body. It was amazing, he concluded.
* You were always there for me
The tender wind that carried me
a light in the dark shining your love
into my life
You've been my inspiration
Through the lies you were the truth
My world is a better place because of you *
Lois didn't think she could get enough of that — their hips moving together, his chest rising and falling as he breathed slowly, his large hands on the small of her back…
Reluctantly, she pulled from his embrace so they could look at each other. Lois could see an endless passion in his eyes, burning as intensely as the one she was sure he could see in her own eyes.
Clark was the first one who gave into the temptation, finally pressing his hot and humid lips against hers.
The song ended but their kiss went on for what seemed forever. ***
Five months later, in the morning, Lois and Clark's bedroom…
It was then almost nine months into Lois' pregnancy. So far, things had progressed rather normally.Well, at least, almost all Dr. Klein's predictions about her pregnancy had come true. Lois was too weak and because of that, she had to take leave of absence from work. One of the most difficult things she had ever done, she had confessed to Clark. But there was nothing she could do about it — the babies' kicks which once were just 'annoying', had become really painful experiences. When they happened, Lois could barely breath. Besides, she soon found out that standing for long periods of time was almost impossible. Sitting down over her bulging stomach was another problem. So, the only reasonable solution was to stay at home, eating (a lot!) and sleeping.
Clark's parents were staying at a hotel in Metropolis, so they could look after her when their son was working. And she really needed someone to take care of her then. Lois was getting paler and paler each day and even simple activities such as preparing herself some tea made her feel tired.
Lois' parents were also in Metropolis and it had been really difficult to explain to them why Lois, who seemed to be so forceless and pallid, wasn't in a hospital. Finally, Lois had convinced them by saying she didn't like hospitals and would feel extremely uncomfortable there. Sam knew there was something wrong with his 'little girl', though, after all, he was a doctor. But he also knew her better than to push, so he decided he would play the fool for her.
"Do you want some juice for breakfast?" Clark asked Lois while getting up from the bed.
"I'm not hungry," she replied with a sleepy voice.
"Oh, c'mon, honey. You know you have to eat."
"But Dr. Klein said I should eat as long as I'm hungry, which I'm not!" she protested.
"But he also said you mustn't skip breakfast," he tried to explain soothingly, kneeling down beside her and patting her belly.
Lois closed her eyes and blew out a sigh, showing him how tired she was.
"You didn't sleep well, did you?" he asked, although he already knew the answer — Lois had tossed and turned a good part of the night, trying to find a comfortable position to fall asleep.
"No," she said, without opening her eyes.
"Then I'll bring you breakfast so you can go back to sleep," he decided while heading to the bedroom door.
"Clark!" she called out and within a second he was by her side again.
"I love you," she said gazing lovingly at him.
"I love you, too, Lois. I love you more than anything."
And then he bent down to kiss her. A sweet kiss.
"Now go and bring my breakfast!" she demanded, trying to fake a serious tone.
"Yes, madam!" he answered, playing along with her while heading downstairs.
Lois stayed in bed for more five minutes, trying to get some sleep whilst waiting for breakfast. But somehow she couldn't sleep. So, Lois slowly, very slowly, got up from the bed, put on her robe and exited the bedroom. She wanted to go to the kitchen where her husband was, but the stairs were too many for a pregnant woman and she was still too tired because of her lack of sleep.
Walking along the corridor, Lois stopped herself in front of their house's spare bedroom. She and Clark had decorated it as the nursery a few months ago. Her eyes spotted the two small white cribs in the corner of the room. There were lots of rattles and teddy bears inside of them already. Turning on the dim light, she finally entered the nursery. There were small toys spread all over the room. It was all so perfect, she thought — the changing tables, the cute pictures on the walls, the adorable white and pink strollers and the flowered wallpaper.
Lois could already picture herself sat on the pale pink rocking chair, telling her babies bedtime stories while listening to some soft music playing on the radio nearby. It was going to be wonderful…
* So this is who I am,
And this is all I know,
And I must choose to live,
For all that I can give,
The spark that makes the power grow*
* And I will stand for my dream if I can,
Symbol of my faith in who I am,
But you are my only,
And I must follow on the road that
And I won't let my heart control
But you are my only
And we don't say goodbye,
We don't say goodbye
And I know what I've got to be*
I make my journey through eternity
I keep the memory of you and
* Fulfill your destiny,
Is there within the child,
My storm will never end,
My fate is on the wind,
The king of hearts, the joker's wild,
But we don't say goodbye,
We don't say goodbye
I'll make them all remember me*
* 'Cos I have found a dream that must
Every ounce of me must see it through,
But you are my only
I'm sorry I don't have a role for love
Hand over my heart I'll find my way
I will make them give to me*
There is a vision and a fire in me
I keep the memory of you and
And we don't say goodbye
We don't say goodbye
With all my love for you
And what else we may do
We don't say goodbye *
Looking around, she saw a picture of her and Clark on a silver frame next to two music boxes — they had taken that picture when she was six months pregnant, she remembered. Lois was standing and Clark was knelt in front of her, his head resting on her very swollen stomach. They were both smiling and anyone could see how happy they were then.
All of a sudden, she started to cry.
"This room is really beautiful, isn't it? We did a great job."
Clark's voice intruded into her thoughts and she slowly turned around to see him standing still behind her. Without thinking twice, Lois threw herself into his arms.
"Clark, I don't want to die! I want to see Julia and Claire here, in this room. I want to…" her voice trailed off as she started sobbing.
"You won't die, Lois. You'll give birth and then you'll come home with me carrying our precious babies in your arms," he reassured her "They will wake us up at 2 a.m., night after night, and we won't be able to go back to sleep until we feed the two of them!… And yet, it will be the best time of our lives!"
She smiled against his chest as he continued talking. "We'll change lots of diapers together, Lois, and we'll play with Julia and Claire on those cribs over there, day after day."
Gradually, she stopped crying and looked up at him — tears were streaming down his face as well.
"Where's my breakfast?" she said, smiling through tears.
"It's in our bedroom," he answered, returning the smile and walking towards their bedroom with her. ***
"Mom, Dad! Good morning!" Clark greeted his parents as they entered the house that morning.
"Good morning, son!" Martha replied "How are you doing?"
Clark closed the door behind them and led his parents to the couch.
"I think I'm… okay," he finally answered depressingly while sitting down.
Jonathan sat by his side. "How is she, son?"
"She's sleeping now, dad. It was a tough night."
"What's the matter, honey?" Martha asked, sitting by his son's side, too.
"Nothing… and everything at the same time, mom. I mean, I know I have to be strong for her now and I'm really trying to. But sometimes…" Clark slightly shook his head "Sometimes it's so hard! A few moments ago, we were in the babies' bedroom and… and she said she didn't want to die. It is such an ordinary fear, right? I mean, every single pregnant woman must say the same thing next to the due date. But, on the other hand, we all know the huge meaning of this statement in this case. We all know she actually may die… What am I going to do, mom? I can't lose this woman. I can't."
Martha looked at her son very carefully. What could she possibly say to ease his pain? What were the right words?
And then she hugged him. It was the right thing to do, 'cause she knew that since she couldn't answer his question, there were no words to make him feel better in that moment. ***
Lois and Clark's bedroom, at 6 p.m., that day
"Oh, God!… It… finally… stopped!" Lois struggled at her words, pausing to take deep breaths.
Clark hugged her closer, gently stroking her wet hair. The babies had been kicking for almost half an hour.
"They are really fiery today!" she continued.
"Yeah, I know — mom and dad told me you took lots of those pills Dr. Klein prescribed."
"I sure did. Especially after my parent's 'short' visit," she confirmed, smiling weakly, and then changed the subject "How was your day at The Planet?"
Clark shifted uncomfortably. "No big stories."
Lois looked up at him — she knew he didn't want her to miss her job and because of that, was always saying those untrue three words — 'no big stories'.
* There will always be a big story, Clark, after all, we live in Metropolis *
"So, you've been going to work for months without me and yet 'no big stories'?" she challenged him.
"I think… so," he answered reluctantly.
"Well, I suppose then that the article which I read earlier today, on the Daily Planet's front page, wasn't written by you. It's so strange, though, because Martha and I did see your name there. It was something like 'Scandal at The White House, by Clark Kent'. But I think we were hallucinating, right?" she said sarcastically.
Clark lowered his head, ashamed. But she quickly tipped his chin up with one finger, forcing him to meet her gaze.
"Honey, I'm glad to know you're doing a great job! I'm really proud of you! I've learnt a long time ago that we are a team — Lane & Kent. It means that when you succeed, I succeed, too. I love you unconditionally, Clark, you have no reason to lie to me."
He raised his head and smiled at her — she was so amazingly beautiful…
"I miss my partner. "
She smiled back at him.
"I know. I miss mine, too."
Suddenly, she felt her eyelids falling shut.
"Boy, I do need a back rub!" she declared.
Promptly, Clark started massaging her back. Lois felt the tension pour out of her knotted muscles as his strong fingers dug into them.
"Did you talk to Dr. Klein?" she asked as he kept rubbing her back soothingly.
"Yes. He said it's all settled."
"What do you mean?"
"Well, he already has talked to two ob/gyn — Dr. Alex and Dr. Thomas — who work at The Metropolis General Hospital. These doctors said you can deliver the babies there 'cause they'll take care of everything- we'll have the third floor exclusively for us, nobody else will be there except for them, Dr. Klein and a couple of nurses."
She became tense.
"Did he tell them about… you know… Superman?"
"No. These people agreed to just help on a very special delivery. Dr. Klein assured me that they are trustworthy, though," he answered quietly.
When Lois didn't comment his last statement, he dared to ask "Honey, is there anything bothering you?"
"It's just that… well… you know…" She trailed off, seemingly at a loss for words. "I don't do pain very well and it'll be a natural childbirth, right?"
"Well, Dr. Klein said that a c-section is too risky, Lois. Although he thinks you are a bit weak to try a natural birth, we'll have to take the risk anyway, because he said you wouldn't make through a surgery — something about these babies having Kryptonian traits."
"Wow…" she said unenthusiastically.
"You can do it, Lois. You're the bravest woman I have ever met," he reassured her firmly "I'll be there, honey and we'll do it, together."
"What if you hear a cry for help?"
"I believe the world will have to survive without Superman for a few hours." ***
Four weeks later …
Lois was two weeks late. On account of that, Clark had decided to stay at home with her to make sure she would be okay. After all, she could barely move and spent most of the time in bed.
Clark was really worried about her. Not just because she was late, but mainly because she did look worn out. He was starting to think that she didn't have strength enough to go through labor.
Lying there, nestled in each other's arms, Clark thought back to when he had first met her.
* "Don't fall for me, Farm Boy — I don't have time for it." *
Oh, but it was too late, because he had already fallen in love with that woman who tried to hide her true feelings from everyone by being 'Top Banana'.
* "And let's get something straight. I did not work my buns off to become an investigative reporter from the Daily Planet just to babysit some hack from Nowheresville. And one other thing. You are not working with me, you are working for me. You are lowman, I am top banana. And that's how I like it. Comprende?"
"You like to be on top, got it," he had said playfully.
"Don't push me Kent! You are way out of your league," she had warned him. *
It took him a very long time to prove to her that she could trust him.
* "Lois, what have we got going on tomorrow?"
"Now, there, you're using that word again, Clark. There is you, there is I. There is no we," she had told him, exasperated.
"Not yet." he had answered confidently.
"How long can you hold your breath?" she had challenged him.
"A very long time…" he had muttered to himself, knowing that she couldn't understand that yet. *
But, finally, he proved to her that he was a reliable man. That was when they become partners.
* "Get sales on the phone. Tell 'em I want t.v. spots, radio spots, skywriting. Let Metropolis know that Lane and Kent are the greatest writing team since, ah, Woodward and Bernstein, and they can read about it in the Daily Planet!" *
The only problem then was to show Lois that he could be her partner in her life, too. And that had been really difficult, especially because he had wanted her to love him as Clark.
* "When I thought about losing my job at the Daily Planet, saying goodbye to Perry and Jimmy and everyone, I realized something. I realized that I could lose all that and still go on. I realized that there was really only one thing that I didn't want to live without… and that was you. Seeing you every day, working with you, just being with you."
"Well that's why you should come and be my partner!"
"No, Lois, listen to me. I'm not talking about partnership. I'm talking about us. I have been in love with you for a long time. You had to have known."
"I mean I, I knew. I mean, I guess I knew that you liked me or that were attracted to me. Oh, Clark, I'm sorry, I just don't feel that way about you… romantically. You're my best friend, and the only partner I could ever stand to work with. I admire you, and respect you, and I do love you…as a friend," she had said, obviously embarrassed by his revelation.
"What about Luthor? Do you love him?" he had asked, trying to hide his pain.
"I don't know. I mean, I have feelings for him. I haven't said yes yet. And I won't until I talk it over with someone else."
"I think you know who. If you see him, will you tell him I'm looking for him?"
"Yeah," he had said sadly.*
* "Superman, is there any hope for us? You and me? I'm so completely in love with you, I can't do anything else without knowing," she had asked hopefully.
"Lois, I do care for you. But there are things about me that you don't know, that you may never know."
"But it doesn't matter. I know you. I don't mean you the celebrity or you the superhero. If you had no powers at all, if you were just an ordinary man, living an ordinary life, I would love you just the same. Can't you believe that?"
"I wish I could, Lois. But, under the circumstances, I don't see how I can." *
Clark held his wife closer. Those were unpleasant memories. He wished he could forget them. But he couldn't, because it was part of the story. Their story.
* "Lois, I don't really know how to say this, but why did you come back to me tonight, to the factory? I mean, you were running back into an atomic explosion."
"I know. It doesn't make too much sense, does it? I guess I just couldn't leave you there."
"You slammed the door in my face last night," he had said, a bit frustrated.
"That was a mistake."
"Don't let it happen again."
"I guess we'll, um, just have to see how things go, won't we?" she had said hesitantly.
"Fortunately, there are no doors here tonight," he had replied hopefully.
Oh, yes. That was certainly a much more pleasant memory — their first kiss. Well, he had kissed her before, but then they weren't dating.
Clark focused his attention on the rain outside the window. It was rainy night. A rainy night like the one when he had told Lois he was Superman. No, he hadn't told her. She had figured it out.
* "Sometimes you think you're immortal. You start to think the people around you are too. It just takes a second to realize how wrong you are. About everything… I guess what I'm trying to say, Lois, is… I almost lost you. And I feel… ashamed."
"Ashamed?" she had said, surprised "Why?"
"I kept pushing you away, even when I promised I'd stop. If you had died, without ever knowing why… I'd never be able to forgive myself. Because I love you… Sit…" he had prompted eagerly.
But just then it had started raining.
"C'mon, give me a break!" he had exclaimed, staring at the sky.
"You wanna go back?" she had said, giggling.
"If the Earth opened up at my feet, I wouldn't move until I'd said this: Lois, will you marry me?" he had replied firmly, showing her an engagement ring.
"Who's asking? Clark or Superman?" she had asked while removing his wet glasses from his surprised face. *
These thoughts made Clark smile at his sleeping wife — she certainly was the most unpredictable woman he had ever met.
* "You know, if somebody had asked me three days ago who the one person in the world admired most was, I'd have said you. But, without really knowing what that meant. Without understanding that the hardest thing about being you is all the things you can't do. All the cries for help that you can't answer. How that quietly tears you apart. It never stops you. And after living a little of that myself, I realized something. Something that I never thought was possible."
"What?" he had asked, confused.
"I love you more. More than I ever have and more than I ever thought I could love anyone. And so, I wanna ask…Will you marry me?" she had said lovingly, showing him the very same engagement ring.
"Who's asking? Lois or Ultrawoman?" he had asked playfully, caressing the side of her face with his thumb.
"Who's answering? Clark or Superman?" she had played along with him, kissing the palm of his hand which was pressed against her face.
"I'm answering," he had said resolutely.
"I'm waiting," she had remarked nervously.
The kiss they had shared that night still made Clark shiver slightly — it had been so sweet and so meaningful.
Since that night, they had started planning their wedding. Unfortunately, it took them a long time to finally 'tie the knot' — voodoo, time travels, clones, amnesia and… New Krypton, they all stood in their way.
* "I will be here, waiting for you, Clark. And if you can return, you will," she had said firmly.
"You have so much faith in me."
"Oh, well, that's all I have. I think that's what's keeping me standing here, 'cos when I let myself imagine that tomorrow without you, I start to shake," she had told him, fighting back the tears which were in her eyes.
"I never got a chance to wear my wedding ring. I was hoping that you could keep it for me." Lois had asked him, while handing him the ring that was attached to a necklace then.
"I will keep this as safe as I keep my love for you. Lois, I have loved you from the beginning."
"And I'll love you 'til the end."
"In my heart, I am your husband."
"And I'm your wife."
Once more, Clark tightened his arms around her. He could barely believe that she had finally become his beloved wife.
* "Lois, I have loved you from the moment I saw you. I love your humor, your passion, and the way you just dive right in, even when you shouldn't. Because you refuse to just watch the world, you demand that it be a better place, and because of you it is. And today I want to give you as much of the world as I can. So I give you my heart, my soul, our future."
"Clark, you're my best friend. Until I met you I never had a best friend. And falling in love with you has been so easy, I don't know why I fought it so long. You have such gentle grace, and such quiet strength, and mostly such incredible kindness. I've never known anyone with as pure a heart. And so today I give you my love, and my honor, and our life together." *
He was brought back to the present when he heard Lois' soft voice calling him.
"I'm sorry, honey. You okay?"
"Clark, you're crying!?" she said, gingerly wiping his tears.
"Yeah… I guess… I guess I was," he answered, feeling a bit embarrassed because he hadn't noticed the hot tears that had started rolling down his cheeks during his daydream.
"Why?" she whispered softly.
"I was thinking about our past."
"And that makes you sad?" Lois questioned, confused, after all, despite the bad memories, they had several happy moments to remember.
"No, Lois. Absolutely not," he replied, kissing her forehead. "'Cause even when we weren't… together, I was happy. Just because you were there, in my life. Just because you existed."
She smiled sweetly at him and smoothly stroked his hair.
"I love you, my farm boy!"
"I love you, too, my big-city girl."
She kissed him slowly, tasting their passion on his firm lips while enjoying his sweet caresses.
"Clark, make love to me," she pleaded breathlessly as the kiss disengaged.
"Clark, I don't want to listen about Dr. Klein's theories now. All want is to make love to you. Is that too much to ask for?"
Her eyes. When Clark looked into those eyes he couldn't deny her anything. On the other side, Dr. Klein had strongly demanded that Lois should save as much energy as possible during the last months.
Seeing his reluctance, she added firmly, "I have strength enough to make love to the only man I've ever loved… Clark, I need you. Please, don't let me down."
He was quiet for a moment as he carefully studied her face — was she afraid of something?
"You know what?" he whispered, tucking her silky hair behind her ear. "I'm crazy… I'm crazy about you, Lois Lane."
"You are?" she whispered back, trailing openmouthed kisses across his bare chest.
"Yes, I am," he said huskily, forgetting his self-consciousness and permitting himself to enjoy her touches.
Later, the intensity of her passion hinted at a desperation that frightened him. He wondered if there was something she wasn't telling him. ***
About 2.30 a.m., Lois started to feel a bit uncomfortable. She wasn't sure what it was. All she knew was that no matter what, she couldn't sleep. Clark, on the other hand, was soundly asleep. She smiled at him — it had been a great night.
Carefully, Lois reached for a piece of paper and a pen which were lying on her night stand. Turning on the table's reading lamp, she began to write. ***
Almost three hours later, Lois woke up again and this time, she did know what was bothering her. It was a sharp pain stabbing at her abdomen. At first, she thought it was a kick, but almost immediately she rejected that idea, 'cause she had never felt a pain like that.
Lois grabbed at her stomach and tried to stifle a moan, not wanting to wake up Clark. She prayed for that pain to go away. It didn't, though. She groaned a little and sat up in bed. He woke up.
"Lois?! What is it? What are you feeling?" he asked in a concerned voice, placing his hands on her shoulders.
She tried to talk, but somehow, she couldn't.
"Are they kicking?" he tried to guess.
Lois took a deep breath before speaking "I don't think so, Clark. It doesn't feel like the babies are kicking. It is much more … painful."
"Okay… Okay…" he said to anyone in particular, as if he were trying to keep himself calm. "Just don't stop breathing, sweetheart. Remember what Dr. Klein said: breathe slowly. I'm sure whatever it is, it will be over soon."
A few moments later, he felt her relax and knew that she wasn't in pain anymore.
"Is it over?" he asked cautiously.
"Yes, but… Clark, I don't know what's just happened."
He got up from the bed and kneeled in front of her, gently rubbing her knees.
"Are you okay now?"
She simply nodded.
"Do you think it was a…"
"Contraction?" she finished his sentence, still unable to believe in her own words.
"I just don't know. I mean, it felt like that."
"You know, some people say that sex induces labor."
She smiled shyly.
"Then I think they are right."
They remained in silence for quite some time until he spoke again.
"Lois, you should go back to sleep. If you are in labor, it'll take some time before you give birth. Let's time these contractions and see how far along we are."
He glanced at the alarm clock — 6.23 a.m.
"C'mon, lay down," he said, pulling the sheets for her.
Tucking the blankets around her tightly, he kissed her forehead.
"Sleep well. I'll make myself some coffee."
"Clark!" she called him as he reached the their bedroom doorway.
"Yes?" he answered, turning around.
"It's actually happening, isn't it?" she said with a broad smile. "We'll have a baby!"
He walked towards her slowly, taking his time to appreciate her gorgeous smile.
"Two babies," he reminded her as he brushed his lips against hers. "Now, go back to sleep."
Clark closed the door behind him and leaned against it.
"Everything's going to be just fine. We'll have our babies … our dear ones," he muttered to himself. ***
Lois and Clark spent the rest of the day timing her contractions. They were half an hour apart now. Clark had called Dr. Klein and he had said that Clark could take her to the hospital anytime she wanted to, 'cause he and the doctors were already waiting for them at the Metropolis General Hospital.
Clark was in the kitchen, fixing dinner when he heard Lois' scream. In less than a second he was in the bedroom holding her hand.
"Another one, honey?" he asked.
She was going to answer him but just then she felt a sharp pain course through her and automatically curled herself into a tight ball, trying to ward off the pain. It grew stronger, and Lois let out an involuntary moan as she clutched at her stomach.
Clark glanced at his watch — 8.18 p.m.. She had had a contraction about twenty minutes ago.
He tried to speak with her one more time, but as she didn't answer him, Clark scooped her up.
"That's it, Lois! I'm taking you to the hospital right now!"
"Oh, my God!" she screamed as he was making his way downstairs "My water's broken!"
Clark felt a warm gush of water trickle down his arms as he reached the door.
"It's okay, Lois. Keep breathing, sweetheart. We'll be at the hospital in less than ten minutes."
Clark looked at her face carefully as he was gently setting her down on the Cherokee's back seat — she was so frightened and in so much pain.
"Don't worry, honey, you're doing just fine," he said, leaning forward and softly kissing her forehead. As he did so, Clark felt her relax and smiled inwardly. ***
An hour later, Lois was in a room at the hospital with Clark by her side. Dr. Thomas and Dr. Alex had already introduced themselves — they seem to be really nice, Lois had said.
"Clark… have you called… our parents… yet?" Lois asked, still a bit out of breath because of her last contraction.
"Yes, honey. I have also called Perry and Jimmy."
"Clark, what if they start asking questions? Things like 'why is this floor so empty' or 'what's Dr. Klein doing here'. You know how my parents are and… and… Jimmy and Perry are reporters!" Lois was in panic.
"Lois, stop worrying, okay?!" he said, lovingly squeezing her hand "I'll say we asked for some privacy since we are well-known journalists. And they probably won't see Dr. Klein, because we have two doctors, three nurses and an anesthesiologist to whom they can talk. But if they do see him, I'll tell them Dr. Klein is a great friend who came to see you."
She smiled nervously.
"See?" he said softly while brushing a stray lock of hair out of her eyes "I've got a plan."
"You are wonderful," she remarked with a proud smile.
"I may be. But right now, there's only one person in this room who is truly wonderful and incredibly brave. And it's you, Lois."
"Oh, Clark, you're so… OW!" she cried loudly and grabbed his hand.
"Did I hear a scream?"
A tall grey-haired man with green eyes and a moustache entered the room. Dr. Thomas.
"Oh, you sure did, doctor. Lois is having a contraction," Clark answered him and turned his attention to his wife who was obviously in pain.
The doctor approached her.
"Lois? Can you hear me?"
She nodded, unable to say a word.
"Fine. Listen, dear, I want you to breath like this 'hee-hee-hee- hoooo'. I know it's not easy, but you have to try. Believe me, it'll help you. Okay?"
"Okay," she said when the pain finally subsided.
"And you," he added looking up at Clark, "must remind her of that the next time she has a contraction."
"I will," Clark replied firmly.
"I'm thirsty!" Lois complained.
"I'm sorry, Lois, but you can't drink anything," the doctor responded. "I'll ask the nurse to bring you some ice chips to moisten your lips, though. I'll be right back."
The man turned in front of the room door and said "By the way, Dr. Klein told me there are a few people in the waiting room who are relatives. Can they come in?"
Clark glanced at Lois and she nodded in agreement.
"Yes," he finally replied.
"Okay. But just one relative at a time — I don't want the beautiful mom to get tired." Dr. Thomas said, half-smiling sweetly at Lois, before closing the door. ***
3 hours later…
Lois was absolutely exhausted. Clark had fed her ice chips, encouraged her, rubbed her back, talked to her, listened to her, read to her and held her hand. Martha, Jonathan, Sam, Ellen, Perry, Alice and Jimmy had already talked to her, too, in an attempt to cheer her up. But now she wasn't talking to anyone anymore. Her eyes were closed, her fists were clenched, her jaw was set and she was sweating heavily.
Clark felt her squeeze his hand again.
"I'm here, darling. I'm here." he whispered as she clutched his hand for dear life. "Breathe, Lois — 'hee-hee-hee-hoooo' — and it'll be over soon. I promise. "
When he saw she wasn't even trying to breathe correctly, he Demanded, "C'mon, Lois. You can do it! Breathe with me — 'hee- hee-hee-hoooo'!"
"I can't!" she yelled between quick breaths.
Clark was desperately struggling to keep his emotions in check but it was getting harder and harder.
"Lois! Lois!" he persistently called her. "Look at me!"
She did, opening her eyes for the first time in hours.
"We're stronger when we are together, remember?" and then he added softly "C'mon, sweetheart, breathe with me — 'hee-hee-hee- hoooo'."
She did and he felt relieved that at least, she was willing to try.
A few moments later the contraction was over. Lois relaxed a bit and laid back on her pillow, taking a couple of slow, deep breaths to return her breathing to normal.
Clark gently caressed her cheek, feeling more in love with her then than ever.
"You did it, my little tornado! You did it!"
"We did it!" she whispered, smiling weakly at him.
A couple of minutes later, Clark saw her start to tense up again and knew that another contraction was coming.
"Okay, Lois. It's okay. Let's breathe together one more time, right?"
She nodded and tried to breath with him, but as the contraction started to come full force, she forgot everything and let out a long moan. Clark felt as if someone was pulling his heart out of his chest.
* It can't be that painful * he thought.
Just then Dr. Thomas and Dr. Alex entered the room followed by two nurses.
"How's my favorite mom doing, huh?" Dr. Thomas said, gently patting her stomach. "I will do a quick test and then we'll see if we can deliver these two little ones, okay?"
Meanwhile, Dr. Alex was speaking with Clark and asking him to meet Dr. Klein outside the room.
Clark tenderly kissed Lois' forehead and whispered in her ear "I'm going to go to the bathroom, honey, but I'll be right back. The doctors are here, you have nothing to worry about."
She just nodded as she tried to breathe.
And then he left. ***
Once outside the room, Clark met Dr. Klein who was standing still in the hall. After a quick handshake, the man spoke. "How is she doing, Clark?"
"I don't know, Dr. Klein. I've never seen her like that. You see, Lois is an amazing woman. She is the strongest person I've ever met and yet she looks incredibly afraid," Clark replied solemnly.
"I understand," Dr. Klein said, patting Clark's back.
They stayed quiet for a few moments, each one thinking about the day's events.
"I have to tell you something, though," Dr. Klein's voice was almost a whisper.
Judging by his concerned expression Clark could tell it wasn't good news.
"What is it?" he queried, almost afraid of the answer.
"I've just analyzed the blood samples I took from Lois when she got here."
"And?" Clark motioned for him to continue, seeing that the scientist seemed reluctant.
Dr. Klein took a deep breath and looked at Clark — it's going to be more difficult than I thought, he concluded sadly.
"I won't lie to you, Clark. Lois is amazingly weak — these contractions she's been having since this morning are consuming too much energy too quickly. I'm not sure she has strength enough to deliver the babies."
Clark couldn't believe what he was hearing, it couldn't be true. Lois couldn't be in danger.
"What are we going to do?" he asked, trying to hide his nervousness.
"Actually, we'll have to make a choice. If we do a c-section, we'll certainly lose her, but we'll probably save the children. Or we can keep on trying the natural birth, but then we may loose Lois and the babies."
"You can't ask me to choose between my wife and my daughters!" Clark cried out loud. He knew it wasn't Dr. Klein's fault, but he didn't know what to do 'cause he couldn't blame anyone else for that but his own fate.
"Calm down, Clark!" Dr. Klein demanded "You have to be strong for her now! Your family depends on you!"
"It's easy for you to say that! You're not the one whose wife and children are dying, are you?" Clark shot back without thinking.
"No, Clark, I'm not! But I do care for Lois and those infants! I just want you to stay calm, so you can make the right decision," Dr. Klein pleaded softly. He knew Clark didn't mean his words to be rude and he did know how much he loved Lois.
Clark lowered his head and ran his fingers through his hair, nervously.
"I'm sorry, Dr. Klein. I'm really sorry. It's just that…"
"Please, you have nothing to apologize for," Dr. Klein cut in. "I can only imagine what you are going through."
"Can I talk to my parents?" Clark asked.
"Of course you can. But you must hurry — time is a very important thing right now." ***
"What do you think I should do, mom?"
Martha stared at her son before answering him. She had to think carefully because she knew her response was really important to him.
"Listen, Clark. This is a huge decision that will affect lots of lives, especially Lois'. That's why I think you should talk to her."
"But she can barely talk, mom!" Clark started to protest. "Lois is in labor, I have no right to ask her to make this kind of decision now!"
"Clark, you're right — Lois already has lots of things to worry about," Jonathan interjected "However, you can't do this all by yourself. Your mother is right — we're also talking about her life. I know you do love Lois and that's exactly why you'll give her a chance to choose, too."
Clark sighed deeply.
"Okay." he said desolately "I'll go talk to her. Thanks, mom and dad."
As soon as Clark left the waiting room, Martha hugged Jonathan, letting the tears that had been threatening for quite some time to spill wearily down her cheeks.
"They'll be fine, Martha. I know they will," Jonathan spoke as he hugged her closer. ***
"Clark!" Lois exclaimed, gasping out between sharp breaths, as soon as her husband stepped into the delivery room. "Why… did you take… so long?"
"I'm sorry, my love. I'm really sorry," Clark said, holding her hand in his " I'm here, now. How are you doing?"
She was about to answer him when she felt a contraction coming. Lois squeezed Clark's hand as hard as she could and tears fell freely down her cheeks as the contraction grew even stronger.
"Oh, please, let me push! PLEASE!" she begged the doctors and then looked at Clark "Clark, tell them I need to push! I can't wait any longer!"
Clark glanced at the doctors, confused — what was she talking about? Almost immediately, Dr. Alex raised his eyebrows, as if he were trying to say something. And then Clark understood — Dr. Klein had probably talked to them about Lois' condition and because of that, they had asked her not to push yet.
Looking back at Lois, Clark told her, "You're doing great, Lois! Just look at me and we'll breathe together."
As they did so, the pain subsided a little, and Lois spoke Angrily, "I want to push! Why can't I push?"
Clark swallowed hard — he had to tell her.
"Honey, Dr. Klein thinks you don't have strength enough to push. He said that if you do so, you and the babies may die. And the doctors can't do a c-section, 'cause even though they'll probably save our children, you'll certainly die." Clark said the words in a rush, so he wouldn't start crying.
Lois thought for a few seconds while trying to control her ragged breathing.
"Let's push!" she demanded firmly.
"This way we'll all have a chance — the babies and me," she interrupted him abruptly, searching for the reassurance she needed in his eyes.
Clark gently kissed her on the lips and rested his forehead on hers. He knew she had just made the toughest decision of her life and he had to support her.
"Let her push!" he told the doctors himself.
Dr. Thomas promptly asked Lois to raise her knees so that her feet would be flat on the bed. As she slowly did so, he lifted the bottom of her gown up and placed a hand on each of her knees.
"Okay, Lois," Dr. Thomas said soothingly. "The contractions are a minute apart and you're fully dilated. It means that the next time you have a contraction you can start pushing. Are you ready?"
"Yes," she whispered as she felt a contraction coming. ***
Ninety minutes later…
"C'mon, Lois! Just one more good push! We're almost there, honey!" Clark asked her fervently.
Lois tried to push as hard as she could, but failed miserably — she was just too tired. It seemed as if she had been pushing for ages. Clark noticed that her hands were trembling and she had started crying softly.
Lowering his head, so he could whisper in her ear, Clark spoke quietly "Listen to me, honey — I know you're tired, I know you feel like giving up, but you can't! You're a fighter, Lois, and it's time to fight for your life and our babies'!"
"I can see a baby's head, Lois," Dr. Thomas added reassuringly. "It will be over soon, I promise."
Taking a couple of deep breaths, Lois gritted her teeth and pushed one more time.
"Good, Lois! Very good, sweetheart!" Clark encouraged her. "Keep pushing!"
A few seconds later, Lois let her head fall back on the pillow, trying to slow down her labored breathing.
"Oh, God!" she gasped through her tears. "I can't do this!"
Clark took a damp rag and washed her face. "Yes, you can, Lois! I know you can do whatever you want! Can't you see how brave you are? Think of everything you've done to get 'til here — you can't give up now. You're almost there!"
Lois kept shaking head adamantly while telling him through clenched teeth "I can't… I can't… It hurts too much…"
"C'mon, Lois. One more good push! You have to try!" Dr. Thomas told her.
But she wasn't listening to any of them anymore. She was starting to feel dizzy and because of that they all seemed to be miles away from her.
Clark noticed that she was definitely giving up — her eyes were shut tightly and she was shaking her head in resignation while tears were constantly trickling down her cheeks.
"The fetal monitor indicates the babies are starting to go into distress. You have to push now, Lois!" Dr. Alex warned her and then glanced nervously at Dr. Thomas.
Clark knew in that moment that he had to do something, otherwise he might lose his family.
"Lois! Lois, please open your eyes! I need you to listen to me!" Clark called her forcefully, squeezing her hand.
She slowly opened her eyes and looked at him.
* I love you so much, Clark. *
"Lois, this is it — it's your last chance. You've got to push, honey. Just one more good push and Julia and Claire will be in your arms!"
"Clark," she whispered, breathing in on a sob, "you have to forgive me — I didn't mean to kill our babies. I thought I could do it, but I can't. I'm not so strong."
What was she talking about? Was she saying goodbye?
"No, no, no, Lois. Keep looking at me!" he demanded as she started to close her eyes again "Don't you want to hold our daughters? Don't you want to give them a chance to hold you as well?"
She nodded tiredly.
"Then you must look inside yourself now to find the woman who fought everything and everyone to marry me!" Clark spoke vigorously despite the tears in his eyes "You're a bold woman, Lois Lane! Let our children know that! Push, Lois! Push!"
She had never seen so much strength and love in Clark's eyes. Yes, she could tell he was frightened, 'cause his voice was shaking unmistakably. But there he was, asking her to believe in herself. And she knew in that moment that she couldn't let him down.
Closing her eyes, Lois focused her thoughts on the man she loved and on the children who were on their way. It was all she needed to push one more time.
So, ignoring her aching muscles, she drew on all of the strength she had left inside of her and pushed until she almost passed out.
Just then, Lois was greeted by a baby's cry followed by Dr. Thomas' excited voice.
"Here she is! Our first little girl!"
Breathing heavily, Lois let her head fall back on the pillow while laughing and crying at the same time.
"My love, Julia is here! Julia is here! You did it! She's here!" Clark exclaimed through happy tears and then leaned forward to kiss passionately his brave wife on the lips.
A few moments later, Clark gently cut the cord and just then noticed that his hands were shaking violently.
"How… How… How is she?" Lois finally managed to say.
"She's gorgeous, Lois. She's perfect!" Clark answered, glancing at the baby who was in the nurse's arms, wrapped in a pink towel and being examined carefully by Dr. Alex.
Lois smiled wearily at Clark but then her expression changed abruptly.
"Clark, I need to push again!"
"Then go ahead, Lois! Push! I'm right here!" Clark spoke encouragingly, grabbing her hand to emphasize his words.
This time, she didn't have to push so hard. As Lois slightly pushed, she heard her baby girl crying. It was finally over, she thought, laying back on her pillow.
"And here's the second one, mom!" Dr. Thomas spoke excitedly.
Lois was crying openly then and barely heard when Clark talked to her.
"Thank you, Lois! Thank you! They are all here now! Claire is just as perfect as her sister! They are all gorgeous just like their brave mother!"
He kissed her again before cutting the cord as the doctor asked him to do.
"I heard some babies crying!" Dr. Klein exclaimed cheerfully as he entered the delivery room.
Clark smiled happily as the bald man approached his wife's bed.
"Are two babies enough or do you want to deliver someone else?" he asked playfully.
"No… I do think it's enough, Dr. Klein," Lois answered, smiling as well.
"Well, then I think it's time for you to rest. You've just done something scientifically impossible, Lois. Your husband was right — you're truly amazing!"
Lois glanced at Clark, who still had tears in his beautiful eyes, and smiled a smile which spoke more than words ever could. He was so proud of her!
"I want to hold them!" Lois asked, looking back at Dr. Klein.
"Please!" she cut in.
Dr. Klein was no more immune than any other man to Lois' charm.
"Okay. But just for a few minutes. You must rest!"
Almost immediately, Clark gently picked up the two baby girls and placed them on Lois' stomach.
"Oh, my God!" she whispered softly "They are so incredibly alike!"
"And they are also incredibly healthy." Dr. Alex added "Congratulations, Lois. Your daughters are just perfect!"
"Yeah, Lois. You sure did a wonderful job. I've never seen someone so courageous," Dr. Thomas said. "Congratulations!"
"Well, thank you. But it was my husband who encouraged me. I would have never done this without his help," And, turning her attention to Clark, who seemed to be transfixed by the babies in her arms, she murmured quietly. "Thank you, Clark. You're my hero."
"No, today I'm not. The only hero in this room is the woman who didn't give in — you."
And then he gently kissed her forehead, showing her how much her efforts had meant to him.
They were interrupted by a tiny little cooing sound. Both Lois and Clark looked down at their daughters, mesmerized.
"I'm sorry. Was mom ignoring her babies?" Lois spoke sweetly with the two infants who were securely cradled in her arms "I love you two just as much as I love your daddy. Did you know that it means that I love you more than anything else in the world?"
Lois' voice trailed off as she felt close to tears again.
"You know what, Julia and Claire?" Clark started. "You two are the luckiest girls in the world, just because Lois Lane Kent is your mother — she is the most incredible woman your daddy has ever met."
And then Clark slowly bent down to give his wife a sweet and tender kiss, tasting her salty tears as he did so.
The moment was scattered by Dr. Klein's voice.
"Clark, I do believe there are some people in the waiting room who would love to hear the news."
As Clark reluctantly broke the kiss, Dr. Klein finished his statement. "Why don't you go break the news? I'm sure Lois would appreciate some rest right now."
"He's right, honey." Lois added "Our parents and friends must be worried by now and I need some sleep, too. You can go, I'll be fine."
He tenderly kissed her cheek and looking downwards at his newborn babies, he whispered softly, "Daddy will be right back."
Lois was sure she had never seen such an adorable sight — Clark was going to be the best father in the world.
And with that, he left the room. ***
As Clark entered the waiting room, Ellen rushed over him.
"How's my daughter?! Martha said her life was at risk. I want to see her! How are the babies? I heard babies crying. I want to see the babies! Clark! Say something!" she asked nervously, babbling just like her daughter used to do when she was apprehensive.
Clark's pleasant expression gave him away, though, 'cause Sam didn't wait for his response. Instead of it, he immediately hugged Clark, exclaiming, "I'm a grandfather!"
Martha looked at his son doubtfully and when he nodded affirmatively, she hugged a worried Jonathan while crying happy tears.
"Is it really true, CK?" Jimmy queried, approaching his co- worker.
"Yes, Jimmy, it's true. Lois, Julia and Claire are doing just fine. I'm finally a father!" he said, broadening his proud smile.
Perry too approached Clark.
"Well, what can I say, son? You and that headstrong reporter are simply the best! Congratulations!" he spoke tenderly, hugging Clark as well.
"Thanks, Perry. Lois and our babies are the greatest gift of all!" Clark answered, unable to hide his pride.
"Can we see them?" Alice asked shyly.
"Yeah! Can we see them?" everybody echoed, almost at the same time.
"Well, you can all see Julia and Claire through the nursery window — I'm sure they are there by now. Lois is sleeping, though — she had a pretty rough delivery. You can see her later."
"Then, let's go! I want to see my grandchildren!" Ellen demanded excitedly.
As everybody else headed to the nursery, Jonathan and Martha stepped closer to their son, hugging him for the first time since he had told them the good news.
"I'm so happy, son!" Martha spoke tearfully.
"It's wonderful, Clark!" Jonathan added.
"I know, mom and dad. I myself can't believe it yet!" Clark said happily. "Lois and I are a family now." ***
In the morning…
Lois opened her eyes and stared at the ceiling — it was all so quiet. Looking around, she noticed she wasn't in the delivery room anymore but she surely wasn't at home either — the walls were too white and there was an IV slowly dripping a fluid into her body. The hospital. Yeah, she was still at the hospital.
Glancing at her bedside, Lois saw what she believed was the most priceless picture in the world: Clark was sleeping on an uncomfortable chair, his head loosely tilted to the left as he slowly inhaled and exhaled. She wanted so desperately to hear his voice again, but she didn't dare to wake him up — he was sleeping so peacefully… She could even say he was smiling.
Lois stared at him for a long time as if she were trying to memorize his perfect face, his strong arms, his large chest and… his amazing eyes.
"Lois." Clark opened his eyes to find his wife smiling at him. "How are you feeling, honey?"
"I'm fine. That is, despite the fact I'm aching all over." Her voice was hardly audible, but it was all the reassurance Clark was looking for — she was alive.
He took her hand and kissed it. "Well, considering you delivered two babies last night…"
"Last night?" she questioned, startled "What time is it?"
"Nine o'clock," he answered casually.
"Geez! I guess I was pretty tired, then."
"I guess so. But who wouldn't be?"
They smiled joyfully, after all, they had every reason to be happy — Lois and the babies were okay, were alive.
"Where are my daughters? Can I breast-feed them?" she asked hopefully.
"They are in the nursery being pampered by our parents and friends as well as by the nurses. Did you know they are the most beautiful girls I've ever seen?" Clark remarked proudly.
Lois couldn't help but laugh. "I think you're saying this just because they are your 'little princesses'.
"No, I'm not." He tried to reply seriously, stifling his smile.
"You didn't answer my second question, Mr. Can I breast-feed them?"
He became serious. "I will have to ask Dr. Klein about it, darling."
"Then go ahead," she demanded, gesturing towards the bedroom door.
A few moments later, Clark returned to Lois' room followed by a young nurse who was rolling the baby cart ahead of her with Julia and Claire lying in it.
"C'mon, Julia." Clark said, gently picking up the small baby "Mom wants to see you."
As he placed Julia in her mother's waiting arms, Lois started to cry softly.
"Hello, dear," she whispered, stroking the baby's dark hair. "I've missed you so very much."
Lois glanced at Clark and he knew she wanted him to answer her previous question.
"He has okayed it," he told her merrily.
Lois smiled at her husband and as the nurse left the room, she started unbuttoning her gown and carefully placed the baby at her breast to feed.
Clark sat on the chair nearby, holding Claire and admiring how radiant his wife looked then. Julia's rosebud lips were fiercely sucking Lois' nipple while her tiny hand was delicately placed above it.
Sensing that Clark was staring at her, Lois looked up and smiled sweetly.
"What is it, Kent? Didn't you eat breakfast?" she teased him.
"I love you, Lois. I thought I couldn't love you more than I did, but I can. Because today, I know I love you more than ever," Clark said, smiling back at her.
"I think it's fair," she stated with her eyes sparkling "Because every time I look into your eyes, I love you more."
Moments later, Lois started feeding Claire and Clark remained still, lovingly gazing at his wife, while holding Julia.
"Oh, Clark…" Lois sighed "I'm the happiest woman in the world. Our daughters are gorgeous."
"I told you so," he replied innocently.
"They look like you." she remarked, her voice totally overcome with emotion.
"No, they look like us."
"They are so alike!" she continued. "I don't know who's who yet."
"Yes, you do," Clark stated firmly.
Lois glanced at Claire, who was still in her arms, and then at Julia, cradled in her father's powerful arms.
"Yeah. You're right — I do," she said with a satisfied smile. "Call it maternal instinct, though."
Clark smiled at her and just then, the door opened as Perry walked in, carrying a bunch of flowers, followed by Alice, Martha, Jonathan, Ellen, Sam and Jimmy.
"Can we come in, mom?" he asked politely. ***
Lois and Clark spent the rest of the day with their relatives. As the evening came, most of them went home, though. Only Jonathan and Martha remained in the waiting room despite Clark's protests.
It was almost midnight when Dr. Klein approached Clark at the hospital's cafeteria.
"Hi, Dr. Klein," Clark greeted him with a broad smile "Listen, I would like to thank you. Lois and I will never forget what you did for us. I'm sure Julia and Claire are just as thankful. By the way, have you seen them yet? They are so… incredibly pretty and…"
"May I sit down?" Dr. Klein interrupted him, gesturing towards the chair next to Clark. The man didn't seem as happy as he should be, after all, Julia and Claire were okay and, unbelievably, so was Lois… Wasn't she?
"Sure," Clark replied fearfully.
Dr. Klein sat down and ordered a cup of coffee. As he started sipping it, Clark noticed that the scientist's hand was trembling slightly. He was also avoiding Clark's questioning eyes. There was something wrong.
"What is it, Dr. Klein?"
The older man swallowed twice, but didn't answer.
"Is there anything wrong with the babies? Isn't Lois alright?"
"Tell me, please!" Clark demanded impatiently "I know you're trying to tell me something. It isn't good news, is it?"
"No, it's not," Dr. Klein finally replied solemnly.
This time it was Clark who had to swallow twice before speaking "And what is it?"
Dr. Klein looked at him — it was still hard to believe that Superman, the man of steel, could be so easily frightened where Lois was concerned. He must really love her.
"Clark, I want you to understand that I can't explain yet why Lois is alive. I mean, her chances of surviving were quite slim… about 10%."
"But she survived." Clark reminded him.
"Yeah! It's a miracle, don't you think?" Dr. Klein said, bewildered. "And your babies… They are absolutely perfect and healthy…"
"But?" Clark probed.
Dr. Klein sighed deeply and lowered his head.
"But she is dying, Clark. Unfortunately, Lois doesn't have much time left."
"What do you… How… Why … "
Try as he might, Clark couldn't formulate a question — his heart was aching unbearably and it felt like there was something burning inside of him. It was the most agonizing feeling he had ever experienced. And yet, he couldn't believe he was actually feeling it, 'cause Lois couldn't be dying — he had seen her a couple of hours ago and she had said she was okay… She looked okay! In fact, Clark couldn't remember seeing her so gorgeous before — her eyes were sparkling, her smile was more radiant than ever and her voice… Oh, God! Her voice was so full of life and passion. Dr. Klein was wrong. Yeah, he was wrong. He was wrong before, why couldn't he be wrong this time, right?
"I mean, her body is giving up," Dr. Klein continued "It's not her, it's her body which is refusing to live. I've run some tests on her this afternoon and… well, they are pretty conclusive: Lois isn't absorbing anything anymore. I've tried to pump some vitamins into her body, I've tried to give her some food, but nothing worked. She threw up all her lunch and… dinner, don't you remember?"
Oh, yes. That was true — Lois hadn't eaten anything all day. But no — Dr. Klein was wrong. His Lois was just too tired to eat.
"I won't stop trying, Clark. But I don't want to give you false hope — I do believe she has no chance and…" Dr. Klein stopped talking abruptly — Clark wasn't listening to him, he was just staring at his cold cup of coffee, motionless.
"Clark," he called him. "Clark!"
He looked at Dr. Klein, but the scientist found himself unable to describe Clark's face. It was as if he weren't feeling anything… or too much.
"You must be really proud of her, though," Dr. Klein spoke sorrowfully "She was really brave."
Was?… What was he saying?
"You're damn right — Lois is brave!" Clark yelled at Dr. Klein, getting up from his chair and almost breaking it as he did so. "You don't know what you're talking about! My wife isn't dying! Did you listen to me? SHE IS NOT DYING!"
Dr. Klein chose not to say anything, after all, there was absolutely nothing he could say to calm Clark down. The man was losing his wife, a wonderful woman who had fought bravely to give birth to their children. Two beautiful little girls, Dr. Klein thought.
As silence filled the room, Clark felt completely empty inside. Empty — that was what life was going to be without her. Dear God, it was true! How could it be? He had just heard her laugh, he had just held her in his arms. What good were super powers, when they couldn't save the person he loved most?
It was all his fault, he thought bitterly. He had done this to her. His damn super powers were killing her. If he weren't Kryptonian, she would live. Why did he dare to fall in love with her? It was all so extremely painful.
Suddenly, he started to get weak in the knees and sank to the floor, crying. He cried for all he had had, he cried for all he had and, mainly, he cried for all he would never have.
"How long?" Clark finally managed to say, through tears.
"I don't know." Dr. Klein whispered softly "I mean, how long can the human body survive without food?" ***
Clark slowly opened the door — he didn't want to wake her up, he just wanted to be next to her, hold her hand and watch her sleep as he had done many times before.
Sitting on a chair next to her bed, he reached for her hand — it was so soft. A single lonely tear trickled down his cheek and it almost burnt his skin as it did so. Clark quickly wiped it away — he shouldn't cry, he had to be strong for her now. However, for some unknown reason, he couldn't stop crying. As a result, his tears quickly moistened the white sheet which was covering her.
Her sweet voice caught his attention.
"Hi, honey. I'm sorry, I didn't mean to wake you up — go back to sleep, it's late," he whispered back, smiling weakly and pretending he wasn't crying.
She didn't smile, though. And as Clark looked into her eyes, he knew that, somehow, she knew it.
"Clark," she called him again.
"I'm here, Lois." he squeezed her hand lightly.
"Shhhh." He placed his finger over her mouth "Don't talk — you must rest."
"I need to talk to you."
The urgency in her voice made him cry even more and he cursed himself inside for being so weak. "Then talk — I'm listening."
Lois stared at him — he was so handsome. How was she going to live without him? But the truth was: she wasn't going to live anymore.
"Do you remember when I told you I was afraid of dying?"
He nodded sadly.
"Well, I'm not anymore," she continued firmly. "Because I've just realized I had everything a person can ask for to be happy. Don't feel sorry for me, nor for yourself, 'cause we were happy, Clark."
As she gently stroked his cheek, he placed his hand over hers and shook his head — it couldn't be true.
"Don't you remember what H.G. Wells told us once? 'There's many people who travel alone through their whole lives and envy what we have together.' I may not have lived a hundred years, but I lived long enough to love and to be loved by a wonderful man. Do you realize how lucky I am? There are lots of people who live a hundred years, but never find a true love and…"
"Lois," he cut in desperately "You can't leave me alone — Julia and Claire need you, I need you!"
Julia and Claire, Lois thought sadly. She would never be able to see them growing up, she would never play with them, they would never call her 'mom'. It was so unfair…
"Answer me one question, Lois," he begged her "How am I supposed to live without you?"
The despair and the pain in his eyes were the saddest thing she had ever seen. She wished so hard she could live for him.
"You promised me, Lois — you said you would never leave me, you said you'd be fine."
"You won't live without me, Clark. I will always be in your heart, won't I?"
Once more, he nodded sadly.
"So, every time you miss me, all you have to do is close your eyes and I'll be there." She swallowed. "You've got Julia and Claire — look at them and you'll be looking at me."
And for the first time since he had entered the room, Clark saw her crying. And as strange as it seemed, he thought, despite the tears in her eyes, he could see that blinding sparkle which was all Lois'.
Led by her dazzling beauty, Clark embraced Lois in his arms, gently rocking her back and forth.
"You have to forgive me, Lois… I… I'm sorry for causing you so much pain. I shouldn't have impregnated you… I shouldn't have been so selfish…"
Lois stiffened — did he really think that? Did he really think…
"Clark," she said, releasing herself from his arms so she could look at his face "Promise me one thing?"
"Anything you want to, my love," he replied, stroking her silky hair.
"You will never, never blame yourself for none of this — my babies were worth my life, you were worth it. I would have given anything to see your face when you held our babies in your arms — it was priceless! And my life just began the day I met you — everything that happened 'til then was meaningless. So, please, don't ever say you caused me pain — it's so untrue!"
Oh, God, she was so beautiful, so incredibly wonderful.
"I love you, Lois," he remarked, cupping her pale face in his hands "I will always love you and you alone. Do you know that, don't you?"
"Yes, I do," she replied through bitter tears. "And I love you, too, with all my heart. We share our souls, Clark, and nothing can tear us apart, not even death." ***
A couple of days later, Lois Lane Kent died. It had been a peaceful death, but that hadn't soothed Clark's pain — he had cried steadily, hour after hour; he had mourned; he had screamed; he had even refused himself to believe that Lois was dead. And although Martha and Jonathan had been glad because he hadn't kept his feelings bottled up inside, they had also been afraid of losing their son as well — anyone could see Clark's huge agony and it seemed as if it were slowly eating away at his heart. His grief and sorrow seem to be endless, Perry had said.
And his parents knew the worst was yet to come, 'cause they still had to bury Lois. Martha didn't know if her son could make it, after all, he hadn't even been able to go home since Lois's death — he was staying at the hospital since then.
"Honey, Dr. Klein said you have to go home today — you can't stay here forever," Martha said, approaching her son, who was staring blankly into space, in the waiting room.
"Home?" he asked sadly. "Where's my home now, mom?"
Martha felt as if her heart were being broken pieces — her little boy was in pain and there was nothing she could do about it.
"You can go to Kansas — your dad and I can help you to take care of Julia and Claire," she offered, stroking his hair gently.
Clark took off his glasses and rubbed his eyes.
* What am I going to do, Lois? I must take care of our daughters, but I don't know how. I can't do it without you. Tell me how to do it, Lois. Tell me.*
Tears spilled out of his eyes as he thought about her again.
"They are so lonely in that nursery, Clark. They miss you," Martha added.
His mother was probably right — he had barely seen his babies during those miserable days. Oh, God, what was he doing? He had already lost Lois and now he was ignoring the strongest bond between them.
"I'm going home now, mom," he said fiercely.
"Okay. Then your father and I will rearrange your bedroom so you can put the cribs there and…"
"No, mom," he cut in "I'm going home. Lois would want our children to stay with me, in our house."
"I'm glad you finally realized that, son, but…" Martha trailed off — how was she going to say that? "The funeral is today afternoon, so… maybe you should go home after the ceremony."
Funeral. How could he possibly bury Lois when she was so alive in his memories? He could still hear her laughing, smell her perfume and feel her soft lips pressed against his. Sighing deeply, Clark decided he didn't want to see her lying lifelessly in a casket — he wanted to remember Lois as the bright journalist and the lovely wife she had been.
"I'm not going, mom."
"Where to, honey? she queried, confused.
"The funeral. I… I guess I can't see Lois being buried."
He started crying again — the words he had just spoken were too bitter.
Martha held him in her arms, whispering soothing words, in hopes that they could find the way into his shattered heart. ***
Later that day, Clark finally got home. As he slowly turned the doorknob, he almost regretted going home so soon — everything in that place reminded him of Lois, after all, it was the house he had bought to live with her, it was the house where they were supposed to grow old together.
A gracious tiny cooing sound brought Clark back to reality — Claire had woken up.
"It's okay, honey — we're at home." he whispered softly, rolling the two strollers ahead of him and finally entering the house.
Clark looked around — the couch, the t.v. set, the dining table.
* How am I going to live here? This isn't my house — it's our house. *
Wandering around the house, Clark quickly found himself staring at a picture on the wall — a wedding picture. Absentmindedly, he ran his finger over Lois' happy face — the glass was so cold…
* I would give anything to touch you again, to see your beautiful eyes shine the way they did when we took this picture. *
An incredibly unbearable wave of pain washed over him as he realized he would never touch nor see her again.
"I can't… I can't do this…" Clark said out loud, trying desperately to get away from that pain. "I need you here, Lois. Please, help me! Help me once more to understand how I am supposed to live without you… 'Cause I don't understand anymore… I don't!"
He knelt in front of the picture, his body shaking violently as he started sobbing.
"Help me, Lois!" he pleaded one more time "Are you listening to me? Help me!"
Just then, the babies started crying full force. They had probably started crying because of Clark's loud voice, but maybe, just maybe, those cries were the help he was fervently asking for.
Approaching the strollers, Clark gently took Julia and Claire in his shaky arms, whispering words of genuine love. Almost immediately, they both stopped crying and fell asleep again.
Marvelling at how much he meant to those lovely little girls, Clark kept staring at them for a long time. Oh, God, he had been so wrong! Lois was right there, in his arms — he could touch and see her anytime he wanted to, 'cause Julia and Claire were the most blatant proof of Lois' strong feelings for him. As Clark went upstairs and tenderly placed his babies in their respective cribs, he noticed how much 'his princesses' looked like Lois — their silky black hair, their delicately features, the milky white smoothness of their newborn skin… It was all so incredible.
Turning off the dim light, Clark left the babies' bedroom. As he walked along the corridor, he could still hear Julia and Claire's slow breathing. And that steady sound eased his pain more than any soothing words ever could.
Lost in his thoughts, Clark didn't even notice he was already inside his bedroom. His bedroom. Yeah, that large bedroom belonged only to him now.
He sat on the bed and as he slowly lay on his back, he could actually smell her — her intoxicating perfume was all over the room. A tear trickled down his cheek, quickly followed by many other ones — he wanted so much to talk to her just one more time… hear her wise words… The babies. Maybe seeing the flicker of Lois in them would somehow comfort him again.
As he resolutely stood up, his eyes spotted a blue envelope which read simply 'Clark' lying on the night stand. Intrigued, he picked up the envelope and opened it. There was a letter inside it and as he unfolded the paper, he immediately recognized Lois' neat handwriting. He read the letter out loud:
For some unknown reason, I feel that, today, we made love for the last time. It was remarkable, as always. I wish I could tell you every single emotion I feel when you touch my body, when you whisper in my ear or even when you just look at me. But I can't, my love, 'cause words will never be able to describe the magic sensation of being loved by the most powerful man on Earth. No, I'm not talking about super hearing nor heat vision. I'm talking about your real superpowers — your gentleness, your kindness and your capacity to love people despite their faults.
You are an amazing man, Clark Kent; the most fascinating person I have ever met. That's why sometimes I ask myself: why me? Why did you choose me to be your wife? I have so many flaws… Maybe it's because of that power of yours that I mentioned previously — you love people despite their faults — but I want to believe that you love me so much, the way I know you do, because you can feel how much I love you. I love you, Clark. I love you more than my life itself. I love you now and forever. Please, don't forget this. Don't forget to tell Julia and Claire how much their parents loved each other; don't forget to tell them I loved them. Teach these girls how to be just as wonderful as you are, teach them that love is the most important thing in the world.
I'm at peace, Clark, 'cause I know you'll be that kind of father that I used to dream of when I was a child. Moreover, I know you will love our babies just as much as you love me and because of that will take good care of them.
It's funny — I'm not afraid of dying anymore. My greatest fear, right now, is not to be able to see Julia and Claire's faces, is not to be able to feed them. I say a prayer every single night to Whomever is listening to me — I ask Him to let me live long enough to see my little babies. That's all I ask for. A few months ago, I was afraid of losing you, too. But tonight, I realized for the hundredth time that I will never lose you, because you are part of me and wherever I go, you will be by my side. I can only hope you feel the same way about me, 'cause I don't want you to suffer. Please, don't cry when you remember me. Smile, honey. Smile, because I want to make you happy forever — even after my death.
This is all such a cliche, isn't it? But I guess that something becomes a cliche when it's an unquestionable truth. And that's exactly what my words are — the simple truth.
Clark, don't ever stop believing in yourself — you taught me that.
Lois Lane Kent
Unshed tears in his eyes, Clark pressed the letter against his chest as if he were trying to make it part of his body. His heart was aching. Aching with love for that impressive woman who would always be his wife.
He needed to voice his feelings, he needed to be close to her again and say how much he would always love her. He needed to see her one last time. He needed to say goodbye. ***
"… and Lois will never be forgotten, not just because she was a phenomenal journalist, but also because she was the best friend a person could ask for. I'll miss her greatly, just as much as…"
Perry's speech was abruptly interrupted as a man entered the local parlor where Lois' funeral was being held. Clark Kent.
Noticing that their son was carrying Claire and Julia, Martha and Jonathan rushed over him and held their hands out to Clark. He numbly placed the babies in his parents' arms and started walking towards Lois' casket. The room was crowded and paradoxically silent.
A few moments later, Clark finally found himself staring at his wife's corpse — she was surrounded by millions of flowers, her face was pale and chalky and her hair was lying limp around the silk pillow. An angel. She looked like an angel, he thought.
Bending down, Clark pressed his lips against hers and although they were amazingly cold, a warm feeling overtook him. A single tear trickled down his cheek and fell on Lois' face. Clark gently wiped it away and, regardless of his bewildered audience, he started talking to her. "Oh, my love… my everything… I love you so much… Our daughters are missing you so much… They are even prettier, Lois… Can you see them?… Will you take care of us? Please tell me you're okay… Tell me you're happy wherever you are…" He carefully stroked her cheek before continuing. "I've read your letter… and I came here to answer your questions and assure you that I'll do everything you asked me to… I didn't want to come, you know… 'Cause it's so hard to see you this way… so quiet… Do you remember when you babbled for hours?" He smiled weakly. "I loved it … I loved you all … I loved your endless qualities as well as your few flaws … I would give anything … anything … to have you here … But I know I can't … so … I will be strong for you … I will love and cherish 'our princesses' … You'll be proud of me … I promise …"
The young man started sobbing uncontrollably and as Perry hugged him, Clark cried on his friend's shoulder, minute after minute.
Lucy too hugged her mother and father, mourning her sister's death. Martha clutched Claire even tighter and Jonathan put his arm around his wife while carefully holding Julia. The Daily Planet's employees were there, too. Most of them had known Lois for a long time. Jimmy was one of them, for example. The boy was quietly crying and being comforted by Alice and his father — Jack Olsen. Dr. Klein, Dr. Alex and Dr. Thomas had come, too.
Several moments later, Clark regained his self-control and asked Perry if he could say a few words. Obviously, his editor-in-chief nodded in agreement and Clark began to speak again; this time, though, facing a grieving audience.
"Today, I'm burying a huge part of me. The best part of me — my wife, my partner and my best friend. Unfortunately, none of you will ever know how much she meant to me. I could say she meant my world, I could say she was the only woman I have ever loved, I could say she was my soulmate. Yet it wouldn't be enough, 'cause Lois meant much more than that to me. She was an exceptional, passionate journalist. She taught me all I know. While doing her job, she helped lots of people and saved lots of lives. Metropolis is losing today its best citizen. However, it's not Lois Lane who I'm really missing. Although I admired and loved my brilliant partner, it's Lois Lane Kent who I'll miss forever. My wife was incredibly wonderful. She was gorgeous, funny, bold, loyal and because of that, easy to love.
She is dead. But it doesn't mean she's not with me — I finally understood that. Lois is everywhere I go, 'cause she's within my heart.
I'll keep on living. I'll do it for her. I'll do it for our great love. I'll live for our precious daughters — Julia and Claire Kent."
Clark swallowed once. Twice. Three times. He wouldn't cry anymore — he would smile for her.
"I love you, Lois," he declared, gazing lovingly at her motionless body. "For now and forever." ***
Three years later …
A three-year-old child came running across the park towards her father's open arms. Her ebony braids flew out behind her as she ran even faster. Claire was wearing a lovely floral jumper and holding in her small hands her half-emptied bottle.
"Hey, sweetheart!" Clark replied with a warm smile and sat his daughter on his lap. "What do you want?"
Claire promptly showed her father an elderly man who was selling colorful balloons in the park. Clark couldn't help but notice that his daughter's big brown eyes were shining just like her mother's used to do. And as he was buying two red balloons, he knew he would never be able to deny those children anything, because Claire and Julia had Lois' bright eyes.
"Here it is, honey," Clark said, handing one of the balloons to Claire.
"Thank you, daddy."
And then she pressed her delicate lips against her father's cheek. Clark almost melted away.
"Now, where's your sister?"
Claire's eyes quickly spotted her sister who was playing in the sand.
"Jul! Jul!" she called out.
The little girl too came running towards her father and sister. She was dressed just like Claire and they were so alike that, sometimes, even their grandparents couldn't tell the difference between them. And they also looked a lot like Lois. Not just physically but also mentally — they were lovely, friendly, fearless, and incredibly stubborn.
"C'mon, baby. I was looking for you!" Clark greeted his daughter and sat her on his lap, too.
"Me notta baby!" Julia replied indignantly.
Clark couldn't help but laugh.
"Okay. I'm sorry, Jul. I just wanted to give you this."
He handed Julia a red balloon which she happily held in her soft tiny hand.
"I love you, daddy!" she exclaimed sincerely.
Clark smiled tenderly and stroked her hair.
"Daddy loves you, too, honey."
"I love you, too, daddy!" Claire intervened, a bit jealous.
"Oh, my God!" Clark exclaimed, faking surprise. "Everyone loves daddy!"
The two girls giggled sweetly as Clark started tickling them.
"Now go! Don't you want to play anymore?"
"YES!" the two girls shouted joyfully and went towards the sandbox.
Clark watched them playing for some time before unfolding his newspaper. The Daily Planet's editorial Perry had written that day was a bit different. It wasn't about the government nor the politicians. It was about a very special journalist who had died exactly three years ago. As Clark read the lines, he couldn't help but miss her. However, thinking about Lois wasn't painful anymore. In fact, Clark used to smile every time he remembered her.
He had moved on. He had raised Julia and Claire, he still worked for the Daily Planet and had just won his second Pulitzer. The first one he had won a month after Lois' death. Actually, they had won — he and Lois. That year, the Pulitzer committee finally gave Lois and Clark the prize, for The Sunset article. Clark had cried a lot that night, despite his promise.
Absentmindedly, his index finger caressed Lois' picture on the paper.
"I love you," he whispered softly while closing his eyes.
All of a sudden, Clark felt Lois touching his hand which was resting on the paper. He quickly opened his eyes — it was Julia.
"Mommy?!" she queried, gesturing towards the paper.
Clark had always shown Julia and Claire pictures of Lois, so the two girls were pretty familiar with their mom. Claire always kissed her mother's silver-framed picture before going to bed and Julia used to sleep holding an old teddy bear that Clark had won for Lois when they had first visited Smallville.
"Yes, sweetheart, that's mommy," Clark replied contentedly.
"She's beautiful," Claire added as she approached the rest of her family.
"Just like you two," Clark remarked proudly.
"Where is mommy, daddy?" Julia asked, tilting her head graciously.
"She's right here, my love. Right here," he answered, softly tapping her chest with his hand.
Tears poured down his cheeks, but thankfully, he thought, those were tears of joy.
*Every night in my dreams
I see you, I feel you,
That is how I know you go on*
*For across the distance
And spaces between us
You have come to show you go on*
* Near, far, wherever you are
I believe that the heart does go on
Once more you open the door
And you're here in my heart
And my heart will go on and on*
* Love can touch us one time
And last for a lifetime
And never let go till we're one*
* Love was when I loved you
One true time I hold to
In my life we'll always go on*
* Near, far, wherever you are
I believe that the heart does go on
Once more you open the door
And you're here in my heart
And my heart will go on and on*
* You're here, there's nothing I fear,
And I know that my heart will go on
We'll stay forever this way
You are safe in my heart
And my heart will go on and on *
"The day that you gave me a son", by Babyface
"Whenever you call", by Mariah Carey
"Music Box", by Mariah Carey
"Because you loved me", by Celine Dion
"Immortality", by Celine Dion
"My heart will go on", by Celine Dion
Lois, Clark, Jimmy, Perry, Alice, Klein, Ellen, Sam, Jonathan, Martha do not belong to me; all rights are held by DC Comics and Warner Brothers.