Reluctant Congratulations

By Aislinn Carter <>

Rated PG

Submitted March 5, 2008

Summary: Two people from Lois and Clark's past keep tabs on the couple's relationship...and find their own way to happiness. Takes place from "Ultrawoman" to post-series.

A probably highly unlikely little twist, but I like it. This is totally canon with Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman, right down to the baby in the series finale. As far as I'm concerned, in this story and in the finale in general, that baby was Lois and Clark's biological child, a gift from Zara and Ching who realized they may not be biologically compatible until Lois' body acclimated itself to Clark's. Using their superior medical technology, and a little bit of DNA they had stored of Clark and Lois, they made a baby, Zara carried it, and they sent it on its way to Earth. That's my theory and I'm sticking to it, unless I change my mind.

Lois and Clark belong to whoever owns them at this point...I sure don't. I wish I owned Dean Cain, though. He's super hot.


Chapter I: To Strive...

Cat Grant idly flipped through the pages of the previous day's edition of the Daily Planet. Even though it had been years since she worked at the Planet and lived in Metropolis, she still liked to keep abreast of the news there. She liked to read the articles written by her former friends and co-workers. Sometimes she would get a little wistful about it, but most of the time she laughed.

The articles that made her laugh the most were about Lois Lane, and there were usually quite a few every week. For some reason, Lois had more of a knack than ever for getting herself into trouble...usually needing rescue from Superman.

"Like she doesn't do that on purpose," Cat muttered as she flipped through the city section. For once though, Lois wasn't on the front page. Her byline was, well, her byline with Clark was. Cat shook her head in disbelief. After three years, those two were still partners. She didn't know Lois had it in her. She wondered if, after all this time, Clark had managed to break into Fort Lois. Lord knew he'd thrown more longing gazes at that woman than Cat had ever seen on a man's face in her lifetime.

She glanced with disinterest over a follow-up article on the recent Ultrawoman spectacle. "Seen one superhero, seen 'em all," she said softly. She squinted at the picture of Ultrawoman. It was a good picture, credited to James Olsen, she noticed with a raised eyebrow. Very good picture, actually. Funny, but Ultrawoman looked familiar...Cat shrugged. Oh, well. She wasn't likely to ever see her. She had been in Metropolis and Cat was in L.A. Plus, Ultrawoman claimed she had to leave. "Leave for where, anyway?" Cat wondered aloud.

She sipped her coffee and glanced at her clock. Well, she still had twenty minutes before she needed to leave for work. Her work at the Los Angeles Chronicle fulfilled her in ways the Daily Planet hadn't. Sure, being a gossip columnist had been fun, but as she got older, she found herself wanting to change her image into something more respectable...well, incrementally, at least. The Chronicle had afforded her the opportunity to reinvent herself. While the destruction of the Planet had been devastating, it had allowed her to put her old life behind her and become someone she'd never had the nerve to become.

Maybe Lois had rubbed off on her more than either of them had thought.

She flipped past the obits and was about to turn past the wedding announcements when a picture caught her eye which made her splutter her coffee all over the table. "No way!" she gasped, mopping up the coffee, unable to take her eyes from the photo.

It was one of the publicity photos from the 'Hottest Team in Town' campaign the chief had pushed. Clark Kent, as hot as ever, she thought, standing with his arms crossed and a little smirk on his face. Lois Lane was leaning against him, also with her arms crossed, with an even bigger smirk. Cat had to grudgingly admit the genius behind the campaign. Sales had skyrocketed, windows across town had been plastered with photos of the team, and Lois and Clark had become the Daily Planet's crown jewel. Few reporters ever built up notoriety the way they had. Cat could count on her hand the number of reporters she remembered by name.

Clearly, they had taken their partnership beyond the professional. The photo was under the engagements heading.

Cat picked up the article, brushing off a smear of coffee. "'The Daily Planet is pleased to announce the recent engagement of its top reporting team, Clark Jerome Kent and Lois Joanne Lane. Kent, 29, was raised in Smallville, Kansas, and is the son of Jonathan and Martha Kent. He is a graduate of Midwestern State University, and traveled extensively before his employment with the Daily Planet, where he has since won a Kerth Award. Lane, 28, was raised in Metropolis, New Troy, and is the daughter of Dr. Samuel and Ellen Parker Lane. She is a graduate of New Troy State University, has been a reporter for the planet since her graduation, and has three Kerth Awards to her name. The pair met three years ago when Kent began his employment at the Planet. They were partnered shortly thereafter, and have been dating for approximately nine months. No wedding date had been set at this time. We, at the Daily Planet, would like to extend our sincerest congratulations to Lois and Clark. As far as we're concerned, it's about time!' Unbelievable," Cat said as she continued to stare at the picture. "I literally cannot believe it."

She glanced at her clock again. It was eight-thirty in the morning, which meant it was after eleven in Metropolis. She tapped a finger on the counter, contemplating the wisdom of making such a phone call. "It's worth it," she said, and picked up her phone.

She dialed a number, and was connected to the central switchboard. After the bomb and subsequent renovation, everyone's extensions had been changed due to the new computer and phone systems. Cat had never bothered to get anyone's new extension, largely because she hadn't spoken to anyone at the Daily Planet in two years.

"Good morning, Daily Planet, how may I connect you?"

"Yes, good morning. I'd like to be connected to Lois Lane."

"One moment please."

Cat heard a faint click, then the tone signifying that Lois' phone was ringing. On the fourth ring, she picked up. "Lois Lane."

Cat opened her mouth to speak, but nothing came out.

"Lois Lane. Hello. Anyone there?"

Cat finally found her voice. "Sooooo, Lois. Interesting article in the Planet this morning."

"Who is this?" she asked suspiciously.

Cat rolled her eyes. "It's Cat. Cat Grant. Catherine Grant. The society columnist at the Planet for three years. Your occasional arch rival, your--"

"Okay, Cat, all you had to do was say your name. So, to what do I owe this very out of the blue phone call?"

"I read your engagement announcement in the Planet."

"Oh, is that out today? That was fast. Perry doesn't waste any time, I guess."

"He's probably busting at the seams with pride," Cat said sarcastically. "Probably thought he'd never get you married off. Must've been one hell of a dowry."

There was a moment of silence. "Did you call just to insult me?"

Cat's eyes opened wide. "I expected you to retaliate."

"Let's just say I've gone soft," Lois said wryly.

"So how'd he do it? How'd Clark finally get you to let your guard down? That man was crazy about you from day one, you know, as much as I hate to admit it."

Cat could almost hear the smile in Lois' voice. "He wore me down, I guess. There's only so much looking into those eyes you can do before you fall for the man behind them."

"Guess you finally got over that Superman obsession,"

Lois hesitated. "Let's just say I've found my real Superman."

Now Cat hesitated. "I wanted to say congratulations. I'm terribly jealous, but this is how it should be. You and Clark are perfect for each other. I know you'll be very happy."

"Thank you, Cat." Lois sounded genuinely pleased. "That's very nice of you. Maybe you can make it to the wedding."

Cat laughed. "That would be difficult. I have a fella here who needs me to stick around. But thanks for the offer."

"Well, I'll send you an invite anyway. You're still at the Chronicle?"


"Well, I hope your 'fella' is as good to you as Clark is to me."

Cat's gaze wandered over to her infant son, asleep in his carrier, ready for her to pick up and bring to the Chronicle daycare center. Her reason for reinventing herself, as it were. She smiled softly. "He's better."

"Well, I wish you luck. Thank you for calling, Cat. Clark will be glad to hear you did."

"Give him my regards, and everyone else, as well. Take care, Lois."

"You, too."

Cat hung up the phone and stood up. She checked her appearance in the mirror, and then picked up her purse, diaper bag, and her baby. He squirmed a bit, but she kissed his little forehead and murmured a loving 'shushhh', and he settled down. She smiled.

She was right. Much better


Chapter II: To Seek...

Dan Scardino liked to keep tabs on Lois Lane. Not because he was obsessing, or being stalkerish, or any of that, but because he had genuinely cared about her. And he surmised that he had reasons to be concerned. Her name appeared on the front page of not only the Daily Planet, but other papers around the country in connection with incidents that she really shouldn't be getting involved in.

"So much for Kent taking care of her," Dan muttered bitterly as picked up a recent edition of the Daily Planet. Although, he didn't know if Lois and Kent were even still together. True, she'd broken things off with him in order to pursue things with Clark, but what did that really mean, anyway? What with Kent's disappearing acts and inconsideration for Lois, Dan doubted they had lasted very long. Even if, by all accounts, they were still partners.

Dan had been out of the country on and off since he and Lois had split. He had heard something about Lex Luthor while he was in Europe, but he had yet to find out the whole story, and he wondered if Lois had been involved at all. She had confided in him once about her near marriage to the dead billionaire. He'd meant to contact her and see if she was all right, but then the New Kryptonian crisis had thrown the entire government into disarray, and even his job had been affected by it. Now, it was October, and well over a year had gone by since he'd seen or talked to Lois.

So he'd picked up the first issue of the Daily Planet he could find. Knowing Lois, she was front page news again.

He stared at the paper in shock. Utter...complete...horrifying shock.

There was a headline on the front page about a grisly multiple murder case in upstate New Troy. Then, on the bottom of the page, was a headline for a story on page A-5. The headline read "Planet Reporting Team Finally Wed!" by James Olsen.

The small picture next to the headline was of Lois and...and Kent.

"She married him?" Dan exploded. He ripped open the paper, finding page A-5, and found a larger picture of Lois and Clark, evidently a publicity shot. Her hair was short -- "she cut her hair off?" he shouted -- and Kent looked a little more Urban than Farmboy, but there they were. Happy. In love. Married!!!

Dan read the article, his mouth dropping open as the details of the couple's long and tumultuous engagement were revealed. Clones, formerly dead ex-fiancee's escaping from prison, New Kryptonians, evil psychiatrists...the reporter writing the article was telling the tale with gusto, that was for sure. If it weren't in one of the most respected newspapers in the country -- in the world -- then Dan would have had a hard time believing that any of this was fact, even though he had seen the reports on the New Kryptonians himself.

The article went on to tell about the wedding, after it was postponed once again by Myrtle Beach, 'The Wedding Destroyer'. "'After so many false starts," Dan read aloud to himself, "the couple opted for a private ceremony at an undisclosed location. Surrounded by close family and friends, the star reporting team for the Daily Planet finally exchanged vows, and were pronounced man and wife. This reporter had the privilege of witnessing this occasion, and I can say I have seen no happier couple than Lois Lane and Clark Kent. We'll miss them while they're on their honeymoon, but we, at the Daily Planet, want to offer our greatest congratulations to Lois and Clark. We wish them a lifetime of happiness.'" Dan put down the paper, his lips curled in disgust. Then he noticed a picture at the bottom he had missed.

It was Lois and Clark, in full wedding regalia. They were somewhere tropical, against a sunset, and Lois was the vision of the perfect bride. And Kent looked okay, too, Dan thought grudgingly. They were looking at each other, and he could see so much love in their faces that he was temped not to feel bitter anymore.

Well...maybe for a little while longer.

So, he chewed over it over for a few weeks. He had a lot to do, anyway. He was being transferred -- permanently -- to the Los Angeles field office. He had packing, last minute details about his house, a going away party he was being forced to attend. Finally, on the last night before his move, he decided to suck it up and make the call.

He punched in Lois' number. He knew it was a long shot, but he figured he'd try.

An unfamiliar voice answered the phone, and he asked for Lois.

"Oh, I'm sorry," the woman said. "That must have been the previous tenant. I just moved in a few days ago."

" you know the forwarding number?"

"Well, as a matter of fact, my landlord is here with me right now. Hold on." There were a few moments of muffled conversation, then a new voice, slightly accented -- Middle Eastern? -- came on the line.

"Yes? Can I help you?"

"I hope so, sir. I'm looking for Lois Lane. I'm an old friend of hers."

"Miss Lane got married and moved out. She lives in her husband's apartment now."

"Do you have Mr. Kent's phone number, by any chance?"

"No, but you can try the Daily Planet. I'm sure they have it."

Dan looked at the clock. It was after six. "I'll try. Thank you for your help."

He called the Daily Planet. No one answered at the city desk, so he asked the operator to be connected to Lois or Clark, and was informed they were gone for the evening, and that he could speak to the editor if he wanted to. Dan asked to be transferred, exasperated, thinking that maybe this was too much trouble to go through.

"Perry White."

"Mr. White, hello. I don't know if you remember me. My name is Daniel Scardino, I'm an agent with the DEA--"

"Sure, I remember you," Perry White said cautiously. "What can I do for you, Agent Scardino?"

"Well, I was wondering if you could give me Lois' phone number. I called her old apartment, but she doesn't live there anymore, and I wanted to--"

"Now, listen son," Perry interrupted. "I normally make it a point to stay out of my reporters' personal lives, but Lois and Clark just got married a few weeks ago, and they just moved into their own house, and basically they're happier than the King at Graceland, so I'm gonna tell you real politely, don't bother Lois. She's happy, and that's all that matters. I've never seen two people more meant for each other than Lois and Clark."

"Well, that's why I wanted to call her," Dan said. "I saw her wedding announcement, and I wanted to offer my congratulations. Mr. White, I'm not trying to start trouble. I just want to tell her I'm happy for her."

Perry hesitated. "Well, all right, but if she asks, you didn't get this number from me." He rattled off a number, and Dan copied it down. He thanked the editor, and they said their good-byes.

Dan dialed the number. "Please don't let Kent pick up," he muttered.


Inwardly, he groaned. "Hi, can I speak to Lois, please?"

"I'm sorry, she's unavailable right now. May I ask who is calling?"

Dan hesitated. "This is Dan Scardino. Is this Clark?"

There was a moment of silence. "What do you want, Scardino?" Clark bit out.

"Listen, chill out, pal. I saw your wedding announcement, and I was calling to say congratulations."

"Oh, I'm sure you were." Clark said sarcastically. "I'm sure you also have the number of a good divorce attorney handy, don't you?"

"Listen, Kent, I didn't call to start trouble. I really wanted to say my congratulations. If this means anything to you, as long as Lois is happy, I'm happy for you both. That's all I called to say. Really."

Clark was quiet for a moment. "Well, I appreciate it."

Dan hesitated. "She is happy, right?"

Clark seemed to understand. "Yes, she is. She's very happy. She's just napping right now. We were out buying wallpaper all afternoon."

Dan smirked. "I can't imagine Lois doing something that domestic."

Clark laughed. "Well, she still can't cook."

"That's almost comforting." Dan smiled. "Please tell her I said congratulations. I hope you two will have a wonderful life together."

"Thank you. Is there a number she can call you back at?"

"Actually, no. I'm moving to Los Angeles tomorrow, and it's probably best that she doesn't call me back. Just relay the message, please."

"I will. And thank you, Dan. I realize how difficult this may have been for you. If the positions were reversed..." Clark hesitated. "Well, I wouldn't be this pleasant."

"You never know, you are kind of a Boy Scout," Dan said wryly. "And I wondered, how slow of a news day was it that your wedding announcement was front page news?"

" was in connection with The Wedding Destroyer."

"Or it could just be that the two of you are your editor's pets."

"Oh, I wouldn't say that..."

Dan laughed. "No, I guess you wouldn't. Well, I'd better run. You take care, Clark"

"You, too."

Dan hung up the phone. He sighed. Well, that was that.

He picked up his next assignment. After he got settled in at his new apartment, and the L.A. office, he was to go see a reporter at the Los Angeles Chronicle about a recent story she had written involving a drug underlord in Costa Rica. Chances were this reporter might need some protection, and the DEA was assigning him to assist in her investigation. "Catherine Grant," he murmured, as he read her profile. "Hopefully you'll be less trouble than the last female reporter I ran into."


Chapter III: To Find...and Not to Yield

Cat sipped carefully at her morning cup of coffee. Her husband had made it too hot, yet again, but she had gotten used to that. She filed through the morning papers they subscribed to: The Los Angeles Chronicle, the Washington Post, the New York Times, and the Daily Planet. Pretty soon, Cat was going to start getting the online subscriptions. The only thing all these papers were good for was the puppy, Oscar, to train on. Or for her son, Dylan, who had just turned four and was coloring all over everything.

Cat decided to look through the Daily Planet first. Even after all these years, and all her articles for the Chronicle, the Daily Planet still held a special place in her heart.

There was a byline on the front page by James Olsen and someone called Tessa Stacks, that was interesting. Good to see that Jimmy had finally evolved from copy boy. Well, Cat mused, it had been several years. There wasn't much in the way of interesting news through the rest of the paper, though. Metropolis seemed pretty quiet, this week. Not even any Lane and Kent exclusives. She realized she hadn't seen any of those in a while.

She stopped when a picture of Lois and Clark caught her eye. Then she grinned.

"Honey! Honey, come here."

She waited impatiently while she waited for her husband to come out of the bathroom. He came out holding Dylan, who was recently bathed and squirming to be let down.


"Come here, look at this."

He set Dylan down, who tore across the kitchen to the living room where his toys were, and came to look over her shoulder. He smiled. "I'll be damned," he said softly.

"'The Daily Planet is happy to announce the arrival of its newest member, Lara Isabella Kent, born on June 7th, 1999, weighing seven pounds, six ounces. Lara joins her mommy and daddy, Clark Kent and Lois Lane Kent, and her adopted brother C.J., two years old.'" Cat put down the paper. "I didn't know they already adopted a kid."

"I didn't either. Well, neither of us has spoken to them in years, and if he's two..." her husband smiled. "Well, we were plenty busy around that time."

"You were busy...chasing me. I can see how you were distracted."

"Sure, act the hard bitten newswoman. You know you wanted me."

"I know I still do," she smirked.

He stared down at the picture of the happy couple, Lois holding a tiny baby in her arms and Clark carrying a grinning toddler...who looked oddly like him, for an adopted son. Kind of like Lois, too. He wondered what the story was behind that. "Well, I'm happy for them," he said. "If they're half as happy as we are, then they're lucky."

Cat rolled her eyes. "Knowing her luck, they're just as happy as we are. Did I ever tell you, I was once so jealous that Lois had three sexy men after her, that I decided Clark Kent and Superman were the same person and were screwing with her head, and Lex Luthor was a diabolical psychopath."

He raised an eyebrow. " were right about that."


He laughed. "Clark Kent as Superman? Yeah, right. What I could see of him, he was a bumbling idiot half the time."

Cat pouted. "That's just because you were jealous."

He wrapped his arms around her and kissed her neck. "Well, Mrs. Scardino, unless he's looking at you, I have nothing to be jealous of anymore."

She grinned. "Those, Mr. Scardino, are the magic words."


Dear Lois and Clark,

We wanted to offer our congratulations, as we saw your daughter's birth announcement in the Planet. We were unaware you already had a son, otherwise congratulations would have come sooner. We offer you our best wishes and our blessings on your children, and any more who might come along.

If you don't know already, Dan and I met when he moved out to L.A., and we ended up working on an investigation together. He already knew that I had worked once at the Daily Planet, but it was some time before he mentioned that he knew you both. Don't worry, Lois, I made him forget all about you. We were married about a year ago, and Dan has since adopted my son, Dylan, who is four. Both my boys have helped me to tame my wild ways. We're looking forward to our daughter's birth in six months.

I want to thank you for your rejection of each of us. If not for that, who knows what may have happened? My boys are my life now, and we're all happier than we ever thought we could be. I suppose, in some way, we have you to thank for that. You were the first female I could even tentatively call a friend, Lois, and you paved the way for the women in my life who I do now call true friends. You also showed me that a woman could be more than a gossip columnist. I'm going to surpass you in Kerth Awards one day: I already have three. And Clark, you showed me that a man can be a gentleman. True, Dan isn't as much of a Boy Scout as you (and I say that with fondness) but he is a kind man, and because I knew men had it in them to be kind after knowing you, I was able to open myself up to him. It was the best thing I ever did.

Dan says you both taught him about love...that even with the fights you had when he knew you and the problems you were having, you were able to get past it and end up where you belonged...with each other. He also says you taught him that he had to tame his ego a bit. Thank you for that. Our egos have a hard enough time competing as it is.

We wish you luck. If you're ever in L.A., look us up.

Best Wishes,

The Scardino Family

Dan, Cat, Dylan and Baby (and Oscar, the dog)


The chapter names are taken from Ulysses, by Alfred Tennyson. The whole quote is "To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield." To Strive: Cat pushing forward with her life and her career, despite the set back of a child and no father around to help her. To Seek: Dan searching for that one love to make him complete, latching on to Lois in an attempt to find it, losing her and still continuing to look. To Find...and Not to Yield: They found each other...and they did not yield against love, they embraced it. Maybe not the way Tennyson intended that line to be interpreted, but I never actually read Ulysses although I always meant to, so, oh well.

So, it may be cheesy, it may be improbable, but I thought it was sweet. So what did you think?