By Dave Lane (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Summary: Superman and Lois come to the aid of an orphaned infant.
Authors note — This is a he-loves-her-and-she-loves- him-and-she-knows-his-secret-so-let's-move-on type of story. I would *really* like some feedback on this story as it is my first *real* fanfic story, so please be kind. I'm not a writer (my English grades in high school are testament to that :-), but I've got lot's of ideas to toss around. Special Thanks to Zoomway for her encouragement and advice. It was greatly appreciated. Enjoy.
Lois had just returned home from Brussels, where she had covered a meeting of NATO defense ministers, when she got Clark's message. It said that he was at the Metropolis General Hospital in 'the suit', and would meet her there when she got back. Throwing her bags in her bedroom, Lois quickly grabbed her purse and ran out of the apartment, slamming the door behind her. Worried that something had happened to him, Lois exceeded the speed limit all the way to the hospital. Leaving her Jeep parked haphazardly in the lot, she ran through the main doors and into the reception area. "My name is Lois Lane. I'm from the Daily Planet," she said quickly. "Where's Cla…um, Superman?" Catching herself before she went too far, Lois hoped that the nurse at the desk didn't notice.
"Ahh, yes, Miss Lane. Superman told us you would be coming. He's in the pediatrics unit, fourth floor, west wing." She then pointed Lois in the direction of the elevators.
Lois' confusion left a puzzled look on her face as she made her way down the corridor to the elevator. 'What would he be doing up there?' she thought. Entering the maternity ward, Lois asked a passing orderly were Superman was. He pointed toward a set of windows further down the corridor. Continuing along the hall, Lois couldn't help wondering if she might be able to have a child with Clark one day. The surroundings had put Lois in a good mood, but even then, she wasn't expecting the sight that greeted her in the Critical Care Unit.
Wearing a combination of the lower half of his red- and-blue suit and an open-front hospital gown, Clark sat in an old rocking chair with a small baby laying against his exposed chest. From the pink woolen toque on her head and the blanket that kept her warm, Lois could tell Clark was holding a girl. He was gently humming to her. The baby was attached to the myriad of machines around them, by several cords, tubes and hoses. All geared toward keeping the incredibly small baby alive.
Lois merely stared, speechless at the sight of such an immensely powerful being, delicately nursing a helpless child back to health. Any worries for the outside world were replaced by concern for the little girl. As Lois searched her pocket for a tissue, a doctor walked up, and addressed her. "You must be Lois Lane. Superman said you would dropping by." The doctor offered his hand. "I'm Michael Rosen, the head of the pediatrics department here at Metro General."
Taking the proffered hand and shaking it, Lois asked about the child, as she looked back a through the window.
"The parents, Bailey and Louisa Burton, were in a car crash. The father died instantly. Superman brought the pregnant mother to the ER. Unfortunately, she died during surgery and Baby Jane was delivered by emergency C-section eleven weeks premature." A sad look crossed Rosen's face. "She weighed only one pound, nine ounces."
"Dear God," she whispered. Turning to Dr. Rosen, she asked "Does she have any family at all?"
"That's the tragic part; we don't know. Social Services hasn't been able to locate a relative. It may be several months before one is found, if at all." The doctor, a man in his mid- fifties with thinning gray hair and glasses, began to lose some of his professional detachment. Clearing his throat, he continued. "She really has captured a lot of hearts around here. Including," he said, indicating Superman. "one heart in particular." Gesturing with his chin, the doctor confessed. "He's been here almost constantly since she was born; which is one reason why she's doing so well."
"Really?" she asked. "How so?"
"Well…As Superman explains it," Rosen answered, his demeanor reverting back to that of a calm professional, "the cells of his body radiate an energy field that gives him his invulnerability." Clark had explained long ago how his powers worked, so this was nothing new to Lois. "He is using that field to help bolster her natural healing factors. The skin to skin contact is the critical element." He smiled at the thought, "Simply amazing."
Lois' mouth dropped open in stunned silence as she gazed at Clark and his young 'patient'. 'Dear god,' she thought to herself, 'what have I done to deserve someone like him.'
Glancing up, Clark noticed the spectators; and made a half-hearted attempt at hiding the relief in his face at seeing Lois in the window. Placing the baby in the care of the unit nurse, Clark stripped off the hospital gown and retrieved his cape and tunic from the back of the rocking chair. Once out in the hall, Clark thanked Dr. Rosen for stopping by and directed Lois to an empty room across from the C.C.U.
As the door closed, Lois leapt into Clark's arms hugging him as tightly as she could. Clark simply melted into her, grateful for the chance to finally let his guard drop. Silence enveloped them as they embraced each other. Tears streamed down Lois' face as she released him. Gazing up into his eyes, Lois discovered he too, had been crying. Cupping his face in her hands and wiping his tears away with her thumbs, Lois pulled him into a deep, soothing kiss. This time it was Clark who initiated the embrace, lifting Lois off the ground; their lips never breaking contact.
Clark broke the kiss and began nuzzling her ear. "I am *so* glad you're here. The last few days have been pure hell." The strain in his voice was evident as he lowered Lois to the floor and then collapsed into a chair. With his head downcast, Clark began to tell Lois about the crash, Baby Jane and the people responsible for making her an orphan. "The bastards that did this, worked for Intergang!" He spat the words out as he fixed her with a serious look. "The Burton's car was caught in the crossfire of a gang war. A war sponsored by Intergang in a bid for control of a few blocks of prime real estate in Hob's Bay."
The muscles in his body began to tense as the image of the burning car replayed in his mind. "She's all alone Lois," he cried. The tears began to flow again. "That sweet, innocent little girl is an orphan, all because Intergang decided to flex it's muscles." Clark's pent-up emotions surged forth as he brought his fist down on the arm of the chair he was sitting in, destroying it. Clark fell to his knees and began sobbing uncontrollably, as Lois knelt beside him. Her face wet with tears, Lois held onto the man she loved, as he released the anger and frustration he had held back for three days.
It wasn't difficult to understand why he felt so strongly about Baby Jane. He too, was an orphan. Only he was perfectly healthy as a baby. He was also found by a kind and loving couple that cared for him and raised him as their own. Jane, on the other hand, was a very sick little girl. Her premature birth had resulted in under-developed lungs and a weak heart with an irregular rhythm. Finding foster parents for such a sick little girl, would be difficult at best.
With gentle insistence and loving words, Lois helped Clark to his feet. After he had changed his clothes, she walked with him down the corridor towards the stairs. Clark protested, wanting to check on the baby before he left. Lois assured him that she would call the hospital as soon as they got back to his apartment to make sure everything was fine. Fatigue forced him to acquiesce as they made their way down the stairs to the main floor. ***
In the car, Clark remained silent, choosing instead to stare out at the lights of the passing cars. Lois had never seen him this way before; brooding and angry. She had seen him mad on several occasions, but never like this. Usually, she was the one that was ranting and raving with Clark assuming the role of mediator. Arriving at his apartment, Lois shut off the engine and went around to open Clark's door. "Come on, Clark. Time to for you to get some rest," she said softly. She helped him up the stairs to his apartment; using her key to open the door.
Inside, Lois sent Clark to the bathroom to take a shower, hoping the hot water would help him to relax. While Clark was in the shower Lois decided to tidy his apartment up. His concern for Baby Jane had caused him to neglect the housekeeping. Clothes were slung on the backs of chairs and the coffee table was littered with cartons from various take-out restaurants. Ten minutes later, she had the place looking respectable. Placing the last of the dirty dishes in the sink, Lois heard the shower being turned off. Clark, in an old brown robe, emerged from the bathroom, drying his hair. The shower seemed to help, as his mood had improved and he smiled at her. Taking her in his arms, Clark nuzzled her ear, "You have no idea what your being here means to me. I love you, so much."
Gazing up into his face, Lois saw that he had begun to cry, but the eyes conveyed no sadness this time. The sorrow had been replaced with relief. The anger, which he still felt, was lessened by her reassuring presence. Reaching up, Lois pressed her lips to Clark's and held onto him as tightly as she could.
Clark responded by gripping her waist and rising off the floor. They remained there, suspended, until he broke the kiss that had held them both. Bowing his head, until their foreheads were touching, Clark softly pleaded, "Would you do me a favor?"
Lois merely smiled, wrapping her arms around his neck, "Anything."
His eyes searched hers intently, "Would you stay here tonight?" His voice was almost inaudible, "I don't feel like being alone right now." The look on his face was almost pleading.
She answered his request by lifting her head and softly kissing him on the forehead, just above his nose. She had already made her mind up to stay, but was grateful that he had asked.
Clark hugged her tight, mindful of how much pressure he could safely apply. Floating through the apartment toward his bedroom, Clark realized how lucky he was, to have found a women he could so completely trust and confide in. Setting down next to the bed, Clark reluctantly released his hold on Lois.
Her feet firmly on the ground, Lois took charge of the situation. Marching over to Clark's dresser and pulling the top drawer open, Lois found a pair of pajamas. "Here," she said, tossing the bottoms to Clark, "put these on." Confident that her instructions would be followed, Lois closed the drawer and headed for the bathroom. Reaching the door, she called over her shoulder, "I'll be out in a minute, so don't go anywhere."
"Yes, Ma'am." was all he could say as he lazily donned the pajamas. The events of the past few days had indeed taken their toll on Clark, leaving him emotionally exhausted. Intergang was new to Metropolis, as was it's brand of violence and mayhem. They did not care who was killed or injured, or even orphaned. Satisfying their agenda was all that mattered to them, and anyone who got in their way, paid the price. Putting Intergang out of his mind, Clark climbed into his bed, grateful for the cool embrace of the sheets.
Moments later, the light shining from the bathroom winked out and a sigh of relief escaped Clark's lips, as Lois emerged from the bathroom wearing his oversized pajama top and carrying a bundled-up towel. Knowing what she had in store for him, Clark rolled onto his stomach and placed a pillow under his chin. Easing her way onto the bed, Lois unbundled the towel and placed it over him, just below the small of his back. Placing herself behind the towel, Lois uncapped a small tube of oil that she had hidden in the towel, and began to massage it into his skin. Aside from the occasional groan from Clark, the two remained silent. The smile on his face was all she needed to verify that her skillful manipulations had succeeded in lowering his stress level. She had learned how to give rubdowns at the boxing club, earning money to support herself while she was studying for her journalism degree. More than a few of the athletes had advised her to skip journalism and become a full-time masseuse. After about twenty minutes, Clark's steady, even breathing told her he was asleep. Carefully wiping up the excess oil, Lois leaned forward and kissed him lightly on the cheek. She eased off the bed and disposed of the message oil and towel. Looking back at the bed; Lois stared thoughtfully at the sleeping form of her lover. "You know that I'll always be here for you," she whispered softly.
Having moved over to the other side of the bed, Lois turned out the bedside lamp, plunging the room into darkness. She had just settled into her pillow when an arm encircled her, gently pulling her towards the middle of the bed. "Thank you," came the hushed whisper in her ear, "thank you so much." Clark, now fully awake, maneuvered them into a position that resembled two spoons in a drawer. A series of light kisses dotted Lois' neck as he expressed his gratitude to her. Comforted by her presence, Clark laid back on his pillow. Adjusting his hearing, he concentrated on a sound that he had come to know very well. Whenever he felt tense or stressed, the sound of Lois' beating heart always seemed to calm him. It still amazed him how attuned to her he was; how deeply she affected him. It was that slow, rhythmic cadence that now lulled Clark into a peaceful sleep. ***
Sunday morning dawned in Metropolis, as the first rays of sunshine crept over the horizon. For Clark Kent, morning was his favorite time of day. As his body began to convert the solar energy from the sun, he became energized. It was an invigorating experience; like that first cup of coffee in the morning. Normally, he performed his morning exercises of a thousand high-speed push-ups, and the same number of sit-ups. Today, however, was different. The still sleeping form next to him, kept him where he was. They might have remained there indefinitely, had Clark's alarm clock not sounded. Startled out of a peaceful sleep, Lois began to groan, annoyed at the sudden noise. Clark, equally weary of the intrusion, shut off the offending machine with a well aimed blast of super-breath. Having taken care of the clock, Clark turned his attention to the now-conscious Lois. "Good morning, my love," he beamed at her. "Did you sleep well?"
"Yes, I…" she cut herself off in mid-sentence, realizing where she was. "Clark," she said slowly, "what are we doing in mid-air?" During the night, Clark had repositioned them so that Lois was now almost on top of him. With her feet lying across his legs, and her back supported by his strong arm, Lois had slept with her head on his chest. The sheets of the bed were draped over them like a tablecloth.
He looked at her with an pleading intensity that she had not seen the night before, "I just wanted to hold you for awhile, that's all."
Reaching up, Lois pressed her lips to his, running her hand through his hair. She loved him so much, it troubled her that she could do little to help ease the pain that was inside of him. This was the first time that a tragedy like this had affected him so deeply. Holding onto him, Lois ended the kiss. The light in her eyes telling him everything would be all right. "C'mon," she said, smiling, "There's a sick little girl that needs a friend right now." Lois didn't want this moment to end, but she knew he would want to go see Baby Jane as soon as visiting hours started.
Lowering her to the bed, Clark quickly kissed her on the lips. "Thank you." he said simply. ***
Within thirty minutes, the two were on their way to the hospital, after a pit stop at Lois' apartment for a change of clothes. Clark remained silent in the passenger seat of Lois' jeep; although his mood was more upbeat then the night before. Instinctively, Lois knew that it was more than Jane's condition that was bothering him; it went much deeper. They made it to the intersection of Bessolo and Drake when the light turned red. This particular intersection was notorious for having one of the longest traffic lights in Metropolis. They would be there for a while. 'Good', Lois thought to herself, 'now maybe I can find out what is wrong.' Safely stopped at the red light, she turned to him; determined to find out what was *really* upsetting him. He cut her off before she uttered a word.
"Do you ever think about having children, Lois?"
The question caught her off guard. Since their relationship had expanded to include the possibility of marriage and a family, Lois had found herself re-evaluating her unease around children. The thought of raising kids didn't scare her as it once had. "Yes. Once in a while," she answered. "Now that we're together. Why?"
"Ever since Jane was born, I've been thinking about what it would be like to have a family," he explained. "I mean, is it even possible for me to have children with a human?" His voice showed the frustration he was feeling. "I *don't* know and I'm afraid to find out."
"Clark, there are a lot of couples that, for whatever reason, can't have children," she looked at him with a hopeful expression. "Yes, it's sad, but it is survivable." Lois had thought about this possibility when she was infatuated with Superman, so she was more willing to accept not having his children. But Lois, being the award-winning reporter she was, saw through him, finally realizing what was really bothering him. "You're worried about being the last of your race, aren't you?" Lois asked, seeing the larger issue he was avoiding.
Now it was his turn to be surprised. "Well, yeah," he said, confused by how she had figured him out so quickly. Apparently, she was attuned to him as well. "I just don't-"
Lois cut him off, assuaging his fears. "I know that it is difficult for you to accept that you could be the last of your kind, Clark, but there is very little that you can do about it. So worrying about it now is counter-productive." Her semi-stern expression mollified him. He knew that she was right, as usual. "Besides, if it turns out that we can't have children and have to adopt," she said with a warm smile. "It will just mean that you're following in your parent's footsteps."
Clark's heart skipped a beat as he unbuckled his seat belt and moved to kiss her. "God, what did I do to deserve you?" His question went unanswered as the kiss deepened; their love growing. It wasn't until a car horn blared letting them know the light had changed, that they broke the embrace. They spent the rest of the trip to the hospital in a contented silence. ***
Arriving shortly after 10, Lois went in by herself so that Clark could change into his Superman identity. The elevator bell sounded and the doors parted, allowing Lois onto the pediatrics floor. Moving toward the critical care unit, she saw a flash of red and knew that Clark had beaten her there. Clark was talking to the duty nurse when Lois walked in. "Ah, Lois," he said, smiling at her, "I'm glad you could make it. This is Nurse Roberts. She's going to let us in to see Jane." Once the introductions were finished, Lois and Superman entered the C.C.U. wearing surgical scrubs to prevent any bacteria from harming the infants delicate health. Since he had been an almost constant fixture in the unit since Jane's arrival, the staff were accustomed to Superman's presence. Lois, however, was met with curious looks until Clark explained that she was with him.
Sitting in his usual rocking chair with Lois standing close by, a nurse brought the tiny, pink-attired baby over to Clark and gingerly deposited her into his arms. The sight of the two of them made Lois' breath catch in her throat as she struggled to keep from crying.
Slowly rocking back and forth, Clark's smile soon faded as he began to think about her future. "It's not fair, Lois," he said somberly, "Social Services isn't going to find a home for her, not in her condition." His voice lowered to a whisper that only Lois could hear. "I was very lucky Mom and Dad found me in that field. I had the benefit of two wonderful parents, but who does she have? Who's going to take care of her?"
The exasperation in his voice struck a cord within Lois. Telling Clark she would be right back, Lois left the unit, stripping off the gown as she went. Finding a pay phone, Lois quickly punched in a series of numbers and hoped Jimmy was home.
"H-Hello?" came the groggy response.
"Jimmy, it's Lois. Look, I know it's Sunday, but I need you to get down to the pediatrics unit of Metro General, right away."
Jimmy recognized her 'reporter mode' voice and decided not to argue. "I'll be there in about fifteen minutes, but you owe me breakfast."
"Fine, just hurry." Returning the handset to its cradle, Lois began digging through her briefcase for a notepad and a pen and furiously began to make notes.
Looking rather haggard and half asleep, Jimmy arrived twelve minutes later as she was talking with one of the nurses. Taking Jimmy to the scrub room, Lois quickly told him of her plan. With the doctor's permission, Jimmy would take a few pictures of Superman and Baby Jane to be used in a story for the Daily Planet. The intent was to publicize Baby Jane's situation so her chances of finding a home would improve. Entering the CCU, Lois saw that Clark had closed his eyes as he continued rocking back and forth. A tear welled up in her eye as she gazed down at the sleeping Baby Jane and the gentle giant who was her protector.
The sound of their approaching footsteps alerted Clark to their presence, his eyes snapping open to see Lois and Jimmy standing only a few feet away. After a quick explanation, Clark agreed to Lois' plan, an expression of hope crossed his face. Looking down at the sleeping infant, Clark kissed the top of her head, "Don't worry, sweetheart, we'll find you a good home." ***
*FIVE WEEKS LATER*
Lois looked up from her desk as a bell signaled the elevator's arrival. The doors parted to reveal a beaming Clark Kent. Spotting Lois, he hurried over to her desk.
Lois waved to him as he came down the steps. "My, aren't we in a good mood," she observed as he approached. Ignoring her remark, Clark simply bent down, lifted Lois right out of her chair and brought their lips together in a passionate kiss; all in one smooth motion. Returning the stunned reporter to her feet, Clark failed to suppress a laugh. The entire newsroom had seen his little display, but Clark didn't care. He was happier than he had been in weeks and he wasn't going to let a little thing like the Planet's rumor mill spoil it. "O.K., you're in a great mood," she said, recovering her composure. "What gives?"
Clark remained silent as he lead Lois to the conference room. After closing the door, he explained the reason for his giddiness. "I just came from the hospital. The doctors say she is going to make a full recovery."
This was wonderful news. The articles on Baby Jane had produced a flood of public support for the little girl, everything from teddy bears to clothing. Donations poured in from across the country, to cover her considerable medical bills. The pictures of Superman and Baby Jane were on the front pages of newspapers from around the world. "Clark, that's wonderful!" Lois cried, her arms thrown wide to hug him.
Accepting the embrace, Clark continued, "That's not all. She's being adopted!" Lois backed away and grabbed his shoulders, "Really?" she exclaimed, "By who?" "Reginald Stewart."
Reginald Stewart's family was one of the wealthiest, most influential in Metropolis. Their generous donations to various charities had become legend, saving several charities from having to shut down. Baby Jane's future suddenly looked a whole lot brighter. But Clark had saved the best news till last.
"And the best part," he continued, taking Lois' hands in his own. "Is that they want Superman to be her Godfather."
Lois could see Clark's eyes begin to moisten. "Oh, Clark, that's wonderful." she breathed, wiping the tears away from his face. "Have they picked a proper name for her?"
Clark's delighted expression softened, "Bailey Louisa Burton-Stewart. After her parents."
After several minutes, Lois and Clark emerged from the conference room and made their way to their respective desks. Their shift was just about over and the two decided to call it quits for the day. "I feel like celebrating. How about we go out for dinner?" Clark asked. "I know this great little Italian place that just opened."
"Let me guess," she eyed him mischievously. "Milan, right?"
The grin on Clark's face grew, "Venice, actually. I'm in the mood for a gondola ride."
"Sounds incredibly romantic," she purred. "And then what?"
Slipping his arm around her waist as they made their way to the elevator, Clark regarded her with a mischievous grin that made her knees weak, "I thought that I might repay you for all those great backrubs you gave me."
As the doors of the elevator car closed, Clark smiled to himself. His thoughts turning to Lois, their future and a little girl named Bailey.
"Where There's Life There's Hope"