Night Sky, Bright Star

By Nicole Sullivan <>

Rated: PG

Submitted: March, 2005

Summary: Ten-year-olds Lois and Clark live in two very different worlds, and one night, at bedtime, they have similar experiences that show why they are so different, and how those differences brought them together.


Smallville, Kansas

December 17th, 1976

*"Night sky, bright star

Looking out over

Where you are.

Love shines so bright

Lighting even the darkest nights."*

Martha Kent finished, her voice a singing whisper.

"You wrote that for me?" Clark asked.

Martha smiled at her son, who had come to her ten years ago so mysteriously. This boy who was so mysteriously and lovingly special.

"Honey, we go through this almost every night. I wrote it for you—"

"—so I will always know that my parents… my biological parents, I mean…are always looking down on me. Looking out for me. So I will always know that I am not alone. That I have them. And you and dad, of course."

"Exactly," Martha said, soothingly. "Now stop star-gazing and climb into bed. It's past your bedtime."

Clark Kent obeyed his mother happily. He could have stayed staring out at the beautiful sky that overlooked the snowy field outside his window forever. But he loved bedtime. Seeing his loving parents, hearing his mother's beautiful heartfelt poem that was just for him. Bedtime was incredibly special. Some of his favorite memories were from bedtime.

"Mom, do you think I'll ever be like other kids?" he asked, kind of sadly.

As happy as this time of day made him and as warm and loved as he felt in that moment, that worry that was always on his mind reared its little head, as it did almost every night.

"I like that you're different. You're special and extraordinary."

"I don't want to be extraordinary. I just want to be normal. Ordinary," he said, laying his head down and gazing sleepily up at his mother.

"I know, honey… just remember, all the ways you're different are part of what makes you YOU. Part of what makes me love you so much. Being SO special has given you certain experiences in life. And every experience will shape the person you will become someday… they will guide you to discover how you are supposed to use your special… gifts.

"You really think so? You think that being different could be a good thing someday?" he asked, hopefully.

"Of course. It's a good thing now. You just don't realize it yet. You'll find where you belong in the world. And your father and I will always love and support you. When you find that place, your gifts will be a part of that, and will be something you accept and try to use for… well, for something. For whatever you decide."

"I love you, mom. When dad gets back, tell him I said I love him and goodnight," he said, smiling.

"I love you too and I will tell him," she said, bending down to kiss his forehead. "And remember, night sky, bright star."

"Night sky, bright star," he repeated, as he drifted into a soft, dreamy wonderland.



December 17th, 1976

"Sky! Star!" Lucy Lane shouted excitedly.

Ten-year-old Lois Lane rolled her eyes at her little sister. Ever since her vocabulary started to really grow, she just pointed at everything and shouted things out. Everyone thought it was so cute. But everyone was not her roommate.

"Yeah yeah, sky, star. Good, good," Lois said as she carefully reviewed her math worksheet before bed.

Everything seemed to be correct… but after an embarrassing moment in class last week— in which she got four problems on a pop quiz wrong due to miscalculation because she went so quickly in an effort to finish first—she was not taking any chances. Her homework had to be absolutely perfect from this point on.

Her little hands worked quickly, re-calculating and erasing and clarifying, but her eyes were growing tired.

"Lucy, get in bed, okay? I'll tuck you in in just a—"

The sound of her bedroom door opening caused Lois to look in its direction and see her father. Lois's mouth fell open slightly. Neither of her parents came to tuck her or her little sister in anymore. At first it made her hate bedtime. It was a time of day that made her realize how much she was missing in life. She tried hard to ignore it, though, and not let it affect her. The fact that she sometimes did not speak to her parents after dinnertime was a thought that stayed safely in the back of her mind.

"Dad? What are you, I mean… why are you…" she trailed off.

"Daddy!" Lucy shouted. "Sky, star!" she said, pointing out the window.

"Yes, Lucy, good," Sam Lane said, lacking enough excitement to pass as genuine, as far as Lois was concerned. "Lois, your mother told me about your quiz the other day in math. I was not pleased."

"I know, daddy. I've been working really hard since then so I won't make the same—"

"Lois, do you want to be average?"

"What?" she asked, not taking her eyes off her father as she walked toward her bed. He seemed so out of place in her room. And especially at bedtime. Especially at a time that was associated, for most children anyway, with care and love and good parenting.

"Average. I mean, you're undoubtedly better than many of your classmates at math and other things… I know you are," he said, which made Lois smile. Praise from her parents always made her smile. "But… there are undoubtedly students in your class who are better than you at those things too. That makes you average. Normal. Ordinary. I think you have it in you to be extraordinary, Lois. You have to work at it and apply yourself. You have to go the distance. Be first. Be the best. Do whatever you have to do to get there. Don't let anyone stand in your way. Just see where you end up. You might be surprised. You could be a doctor like me or a lawyer—"

"—or a ballet dancer. I really love those classes that I—"

"Lois, if you want to be the best, you have to use your mind, not your, your FEET. Dancing is fun, sure. Focus on bigger things, though. Right now, focus on math. And try to be number one. Not just in math. But in everything. I know you're only in fifth grade, but hear me: if you take that attitude now, it'll affect the rest of your life. You'll be someone I'll be so proud of. Someone I'll look at and say, 'that's my girl'," he said.

Lois fought back tears. How she wanted him to be proud of her now, regardless of her errors in math and the fact that she wasn't yet number one in anything. How she wanted him to say she was a wonderful dancer—after attending a recital of course—and say that she had wonderful grades, and notice and applaud that her teachers always commented that she was such a vivacious presence in the classroom and had real potential and would go places in life because she was funny and smart and sweet. How she just wished he could look at her and SEE her… now. Not later. Be proud… now.

Not later.

When he left the room, she took a deep, quivering breath and looked at her sister, who walked timidly to her bed and put a hand on her shoulder. When Lois met Lucy's innocent, blue-eyed gaze, her little sister smiled and said, "sky, star," like it was a magical secret between the two of them.

"Yeah, that's right. Do you know something, Lucy? You can wish on stars," Lois said, feeling a little better talking to her sister just now.

"You can?" her sister said wondrously.

"Sure. You go 'star light, star bright, the first star I see tonight, wish I may, wish I might, have this wish I wish tonight'."

"I wish… for Rainbow Bright!" Lucy said excitedly.

"No, no… that's not the point…" Lois trailed off, looking at her sister. "I mean, you have to close your eyes and make your wish. And then, who knows?" Lois finished, shrugging.

While Lucy's eyes were closed, Lois gazed out the window by her bed longingly. "I wish to become the best. Number one. And see just where that takes me…"



December 17th, 2006

"Can you believe she's already seven?" Clark Kent asked his wife. "She gets phone calls, does homework, makes jokes…"

"I know," Lois said, perched on his lap. "Seems like only yesterday she was in diapers and we were worrying about burping her and sending her into flight or something."

They laughed quietly, looking into each other's eyes.

"I can't sleep," little Clara Kent said, walking out of her bedroom and into theirs.

"I think I might have something that could help you, little lady," Clark said, smiling down at Clara. "I was just talking to my mom today," Clark said to Lois, "and I remembered something she wrote for me. A long time ago. It always helped me sleep," he finished, gently helping Lois off his lap. He was especially gentle with her these days, as she was three months along with their second child. A boy. He took one of Clara's outreached hands.

"This I want to hear," Lois said, taking Clara's other outstretched hand and walking with her back into her bedroom.

"I'll bet it's wonderful, if Grandma wrote it," Clara said. She yawned.

Lois and Clark knew—she wasn't having trouble sleeping. She just wanted to spend a little more time with them. She was the sweetest child in the whole world, and they'd both stake their reputations on that one.

She climbed into bed and pulled her quilt up to her chin and looked at her parents out of eyes as dark and deep as her mother's. Her dark hair fell onto her pillow, framing her face, which had the same olive complexion as her father. She crinkled her nose, which she always did when she was tired—the same nose as her father's. She smiled up at her parents—her smile could light up a room, which was why Clark thought it was a smile just like her mother's—but it was also a perfect, thousand-kilowatt grin, which made Lois say that she had her father's smile…

She was theirs… a result of two lives coming together and a product of the ultimate love.

*"Night sky, bright star

Looking out over

Where you are.

Love shines so bright

Lighting even the darkest nights."*

Clark, holding Lois's hand, recited the poem he knew so well, to his daughter now, looking deeply into her beautiful eyes.

"Mm, I like that," Clara said, turning her head and closing her eyes. "Say it again," she murmured sleepily.

"You are just like your mother," he said, shaking his head. "Orders, orders."

"Hey," Lois said.

Clark winked at her. Nothing beat moments like this. Nothing in the world.

"Okay. Once more," Clark said.

*"Night sky, bright star

Looking out over

Where you are.

Love shines so bright

Lighting even the darkest nights."*

Lois felt something when he said those words… something deep down. A sense that she could not put into words. Something like deja vu, but… not exactly. Just… a feeling…

"Thank you, daddy. Thank you, mommy. I'll sleep better now," Clara said, turning onto her side and curling into a ball. She was ready to go to dreamland for the night.

After kissing her forehead, Lois and Clark walked out of their daughter's room and back into theirs.

Once Lois was back on his lap, his arms around her, she looked deep into his eyes.

"That was beautiful, Clark. Your mom wrote that for you?"

"Yeah. When she first explained about my heritage, I was too young to understand where my real parents were. It was her way of telling me that they were looking over me and that no matter what I wouldn't ever be alone. How that poem soothed me ever night at bedtime. It was like a blanket for me," he said.

"I can't get over how two people who grew up so differently could end up together," Lois said.

"Well, I'm just glad my road led me to you," he said.

"I guess if we didn't' take exactly the roads we took, we might have actually missed… this," Lois said, looking around tearfully.

"Honey, you get so emotional these days," Clark said, wiping a tear from her cheek. "I love you so much," he said, his voice deeper than usual.

"I love you more than you'll ever know," Lois said. "I can't tell you how happy I am that my road led me to you," she said, smiling.

They kissed softly and sweetly, still feeling the emotions that had bound them together so long ago as strongly as ever. Clark picked his wife up and carried her to their bed, laying her down, still kissing her. After turning off all the lights in the house, it was dark. A dark night.

But they could see each other still, in the darkness. They had the light of the stars outside… and the love inside.