Playing Pretend

By Sara Kraft <>

Rated: G

Submission: November 2022

Summary: Clark witnesses a sweet moment between Lois and their daughter.

Story Size: 997 words (6Kb as text)

Read in other formats: Text | MS Word | OpenOffice | PDF | Epub | Mobi

Author’s Note: This was a scrap of an idea I’ve had sitting around for more than a year, even before I came back to fandom, I think! Which maybe should have told me something I didn’t know yet, lol. But in my head, it was just going to be a little narrative version of something profound my kid said. I’m happy I waited because it’s SOOOO much better as an L&C fic! So here you are, a little bit of fluff for you all!

Thanks, as ever, to my Twinnie and partner in crime, lovetvfan, for BRing and help with the title! And thanks to SuperBek for early feedback and helping me troubleshoot a vocabulary issue!

Thank you, GooBoo, for a quick GE for the archive!


Clark landed on the balcony of their townhome and spun into his sweatpants and t-shirt for bedtime, hoping he wouldn’t be called out again for the rest of the night. It was too early yet for Lois to be in bed, and he found her easily — her heartbeat and that of their 5-year-old daughter — in Hannah’s room, playing.

He knew, just from the day he’d had — an almost full day as Superman, which had meant leaving Lois to shoulder their entire workload at the Planet — that the last thing she wanted to be doing was pretending to be the ‘bad guy,’ using Hannah’s teddy bear to attack and kidnap the innocent stuffed unicorn princess.

He watched silently without disturbing them; it seemed like the storyline would soon draw to an end. He knew that it was hard for her to play pretend on a good day, but it was especially challenging on days when she was stressed and overworked. Her heart wasn’t always in it on days like today.

His heart swelled at the thought that she did it anyway. That her love for their daughter was so fierce and so strong. Just like her.

It wasn’t until the quiet hours of the night, when Hannah was asleep and Lois’ anxiety was keeping her awake, they talked about it. Lois warred with herself, she’d told him, feeling simultaneously guilty and justified for her emotions. Sometimes it reminded her too much of when she’d had to do it, with Lucy.

She hated the simplistic nature of pretend play, especially with a 5-year-old who, as such, didn’t have the requisite empathy and social skills necessary to know that her mother wanted to immediately kill off all the characters and end the game then and there.

But, while it was sometimes a herculean effort for her to play pretend with Hannah, he knew Lois still dearly loved spending time with their daughter. He knew that, despite the fact that she’d never dreamed of being a mother, she loved the role more than she could put into words. And he knew, especially in moments like these, that she was so, so good at it — being a mom. More than she would ever let herself realize, no matter how many times he told her.

So Clark was always grateful to catch these small moments, the proof of what he knew unequivocally. As he leaned against the doorframe of Hannah’s bedroom, he let his heart overflow and soaked in the moment.

“Mwhahaha,” Lois said in her best dramatic ‘bad guy’ voice, “I’ve kidnapped the precious Unicorn Princess, and you’ll never see her again!”

Hannah, her deep purple cape at her back and her dark blue mask covering her eyes, affected her best authoritative voice. “Oh, no you don’t! FastGirl is here to save the day.”

His heart lifted and swelled, loving the fact that Hannah had invented her own super-persona even though she had no clue yet who her father really was.

“You can’t defeat me!” Bad Guy Teddy Bear said.

FastGirl swooped in to grab Unicorn Princess and delivered her home to safety. Then, as her bestest super power was her speed, FastGirl was back to deal with Bad Guy Teddy Bear in a flash.

“Noooo! You’ve thwarted my evil plans!” cried Bad Guy Teddy Bear.

“Mommy,” Hannah staged whispered to Lois, “you have to kill me. Here’s your sword.” She handed Lois a glitter wand, wielding no weapon of her own — only a shield.

Clark winced at the dramatic and violent end she’d insisted on, but watched on in fascination as FastGirl made a miraculous recovery after ‘dying.’

“Nooo!” Bad Guy Teddy Bear cried again.

Then, FastGirl grabbed Bad Guy Teddy Bear and held him out in front of herself. Given the violent near-death she’d directed, Clark was a little anxious at what came next.

FastGirl spoke directly to the bear, “Why are you tried to kill me? That not very nice thing to do.”

He sensed Lois’ hesitation, clearly wondering why as well. “Uh, because I’m a bad guy,” she said in Bad Guy Teddy Bear’s voice, “and that’s how it works!”

Hannah hugged the bear close, looking at him with so much tenderness. “You don’ hafta be a bad guy anymore. I will help you!”

“Oh… okay,” Lois replied, barely maintaining Bad Guy Teddy Bear’s voice. “Thanks.”

As FastGirl ran off to play with Not So Bad Guy Teddy Bear, Lois turned to Clark, her eyes shining, just as overwhelmed as he was. “I guess we’re doing something right,” she whispered.

Clark nodded. “C’mere,” he said softly so Hannah wouldn’t notice him just yet.

He gathered Lois into a fierce hug before dipping down for a sweet and tender kiss. Before he could even think about deepening the kiss, he felt a small and not-so-tentative jab to his thigh.

He looked down to find FastGirl giving him a serious stare from behind her mask, her glitter wand of a sword pressed threateningly against his leg. “You not try to steal Princess Mommy!”