By Ladee V (LADEEV@aol.com)
Summary: All decked out for an early-morning roller-blading date with Lois, Clark finds he must instead comfort her — she's been having nightmares about his alien side.
Author's Note: I was inspired to write this story by the scene in Contact where Lois first remembered details about her abduction and tried to explain it to Clark. Of course, this being fan *fiction*, I was able to overlook that little "break-up" (boo!) at the end and go directly to the relationship status at the end of Just Say Noah — "in love and dating" (yeah!). While this is not my first fanfiction story, it is the only one I've actually had the nerve to let anyone read — so far. So all you wonderful FOLCs, please feel free to comment, honestly of course. I hope to hear from you, good or bad. — Vicki
Clark Kent was nobody's fool. Intelligent and street- smart, he possessed a natural, cosmopolitan maturity that could only come from his years of experience traveling abroad.
If the 16 year-old part-time salesclerk at Sports World had known him personally, he would have been feeling even more egoistic. He *said* all he wanted was a pair of rollerblades. One hour and forty-five minutes later Clark emerged from Sports World, two large plastic bags in hand, and a $288.21 dent in his checkbook.
Sitting on his couch reviewing the receipt, his senses seemed to come back to him, albeit a tad too late. "Rollerblades $180.00?? On sale?" The little piece of paper practically shouted at him.
Pro Sport Rollerblades 225.00 20% off -45.00 Your price 180.00 Elbow/knee pad set 18.99 Adult Helmet 24.95 Sport Bag 6.99 Blade Bag 15.99 Biker Shorts 12.99 SW Tee-Shirt 11.99 Subtotal 271.90 Sales Tax 6% 16.31 Total 288.21 check $288.21 Thank you for shopping Sports World Refunds with receipt within 7 days
How had he so quickly spent so much money? "What in the world did I buy pads and a helmet for?" He thought to himself completely perplexed. Then his mind drifted to Lois. A smile crossed his face. Even after their disastrous "vacation" straight into the clutches of the criminally insane Spencer Spencer, both still desired to do normal, "couple" things. She liked to go to dinner and a movie. Like a regular couple. Hit a few balls on the driving range. Like a regular couple. Date. Like a regular couple.
After all, Superman is only what he can do, Clark is who he is. Clark is a young man in love. Young men in love do things, ordinary everyday things, with the woman they love.
Clark thought back to earlier in the day at the Planet. To his "Do you want to do something this weekend?", Lois replied, "Sure, how about rollerblading?" Clark looked surprised. "Well,…uh, I've never been on roller *blades*. I use to roller *skate* back home. I would certainly be willing to give it the old college try!"
"Great! Can you come by around 8? You can fix us breakfast, something energy inducing. Trust me, you're going to need it if you plan to keep up with me!" She winked as she smiled at him and walked away. Even now, just remembering the moment in his mind had the same effect. He felt all warm and fuzzy inside.
Looking down at his treasure, he decided to keep it. All of it. Besides, a regular guy would have pads and a helmet. Lois would have pads and a helmet. He put his spoils away and changed into his alter ego. Time to check the city. As he flew he found himself singing. "Crazy little thing called love."
All evening Lois was thinking of Clark. Her initial feelings of anger and betrayal over him lying to her about being Superman seemed like years ago. Now, she no longer saw Superman as the man of her dreams. No, instead it was Clark who filled her nights with hope and fantasy. Quite a bit of her days too. Lately she noticed that more and more frequently she could be right smack in the middle of a great sentence for a story and WHAM…Daydreaming. Some hack from Nowheresville he turned out to be! The thought of her saying that to him *still* made her cringe. However, she always managed to get a chuckle from, "Don't fall for me farmboy." Something about not having time. Now here she was. Dreaming of him. Daydreaming of him. Glad he went and fell anyway.
As Lois dressed for bed she thought once more about his proposal. She fully accepted his "super" side and realized she truly loved him as Clark but…she just wasn't ready to say yes. Yet. Maybe it was that stupid nightmare she had had on occasion since he first proposed. "Nope!" She spoke out loud as if the dream would hear her and go away. "I'm not even going to think about that. I need my sleep."
In bed and feeling drowsy, she really intended to get a good night's sleep. "Clark is always on time," she thought and even though he was a novice rollerblader, he is still Superman. She had no idea how the rest of their Saturday would unfold, but it didn't matter. Just to be with him was enough. Unfortunately, a restful sleep was the last thing she would find tonight.
As expected, Clark arrived at 8am sharp. Lois, staggered from her bedroom, looking as cranky, tired and irritable as she felt. She opened the door to find Clark, smiling broadly at her — at first. Quickly his look changed to concern. "Am I too early?" Checking his watch. "We did say 8, right?"
"Yes, yes, we did. Well don't just stand there, come on in." She waved him in and proceeded to yawn. She snatched the bag of groceries he was carrying and trudged off to the kitchen.
Clark put his skate bag on the floor near her couch and followed her to the kitchen. "I did a little shopping because I know you never have food here." He opened her refrigerator and smiled. "Aha! You are right again, Mr. Kent. Thank you, we know her so well, Mr. Kent" Lois was sitting at her kitchen table perfectly willing to let Clark continue his conversation with himself.
"Well, guess what I bought yesterday?" Seeing Lois' face he knew she had no intention of responding so he just kept talking. "Rollerblades!!" He went to the bag and pulled them out for her. "Pretty cool, huh? And I got this nice bag to carry them in. It has a pocket for your…knee and elbow pads!" He smiled as he whipped one of each out of the pocket. Looking unimpressed Lois sighed. Clark continued his high energy babbling. "Can you believe the helmet fits in here too?" He pulled the helmet out and placed it on his head. He tapped on the helmet a few times with his knuckles. "Safety first!"
Returning the helmet to its place Clark continued. "Maybe you noticed this new outfit, purchased specifically for this purpose." He dropped the bag to the floor and stood up straight. Doing his best runway model imitation he described his outfit. "Black cotton blend biker shorts with the ever popular, Sports World tee-shirt. Notice also the handy sport bag about the waist. Capable of holding a myriad of useful items such as, money, identification,…band-aids. Not that *I* will need them. Although I don't want to imply that I am invincible to say…falling on my rear end, I just don't think I'll be doing any bleeding. Unless of course I stumble over a Kryptonite pebble on the trail."
He laughed for a moment which gave Lois her opportunity to get a word in edgewise. "Clark!" You are babbling — big-time!"
Clark was surprised. Her expression seemed to be one of annoyance. Lois had walked over to her cabinet and began the makings of a cup of coffee. "Sorry."
Clark's speech had slowed considerably. "Are you OK?"
Lois slammed the mug down on the counter and spun around to face him. "It's just…are you always so darn chipper first thing in the morning?"
Clark looked at her, not really knowing what to say. "Are you always this …not?"
Lois looked at him for a moment then smiled, realizing she was taking her mood out on him. She couldn't begin to count the times he had listened patiently as she babbled on and on. He seemed to even…like it. Here he was, obviously excited about spending time with her and she was complaining about his high spirits. She walked over and gave him a big hug. "I'm sorry, Clark. I just…I didn't get much sleep last night and I guess I'm a little…cranky." She looked up at him and kissed him softly. "By the way, this outfit *really* works for you!" He laughed and they kissed again.
"So, what caused your sleepless night, anything you want to talk about?" He picked up the tea kettle she had placed on the stove and heated the water in it with his eyes.
Lois smiled that smile that says "How does he do that?" "Well, I would like to…actually…I need to talk …to you…about…something." Her voice trailed off at the end. Clark looked at her curiously as he fixed her *instant* coffee. A sure sign that Lois was tired and in desperate need of caffeine.
"OK, let's talk. Here's your coffee." He handed her the mug and they walked arm in arm to her living room.
"Clark, sit down"
"Uh-oh" Clark replied as he took a seat on her couch. "Is this bad news?"
"No!" Lois replied almost too quickly. "At least, I don't think so…I hope not. That depends on what you say." Lois had Clark's complete attention and both of them prayed to themselves t hat no one would need Superman before this conversation was through.
"Lets see, how about if I just start at the beginning of the nightmare?"
"You're having nightmares?"
"Yes, well…actually its just one. The same gruesome one over and over."
Clark's concern was evident in his face. He held out his hand to her. "Come here. Sit next to me and tell me what happened." She took his hand and sat down. Leaning her head against his strong chest she felt safe. Slowly, she began to tell him…
"When you asked me to marry you, I said I needed time to think. Believe me I have been thinking! Not just do I love you, because that's easy, I do, but thinking about everything that marriage involves. From the little things like deciding where to live and how to decorate, to the big ones like…having children. Maybe I've been thinking too much." She sighed, then took a deep breath.
"The nightmare, ironically, it starts out as a beautiful dream. We are happily married. Three or four years I think. In fact , we are dining out at a fancy restaurant celebrating our anniversary. I -are you ready for this- am pregnant. Really, really pregnant." She made a gesture with her hands at how large her stomach was. Clark smiled, enjoying the idea of it. "But you know what struck me the most?" Not waiting for a reply she said, "It's been say… four years, I'm *huge* beyond my wildest dreams, and you…" she turned to look at him, "you *still* look at me like I am the most precious jewel in the universe." she threw her hands up in disbelief.
Clark kissed her forehead. "I've seen the universe, and you are."
Lois smiled and stood up. In the dream, things went downhill from here and she felt the need to pace. "Well, then, it happened."
"I went into labor. The pain was intense and I just *knew* I was going to die. You of course, flew me to the hospital, and we're in the delivery room with the doctor and the nurse…you know doing the whole childbirth thing and then…" she begins to stammer as she chokes back a tear.
Clark stood and put his arms around her. "It's OK Lois, what happened?" He barely believed his own words. He had wondered quite often if he and Lois could safely have children. He just didn't know if a human could bear a part Kryptonian child without…complications.
Lois put her head on his shoulder. The feel of her snapped his mind back from his horrible thoughts. She squeezed him as hard as she could before continuing to pace and in typical Lois fashion finished her story.
"Well, anyway the baby was practically born and all of a sudden the doctor lets out this shriek…"Oh my God" he said and then passed out…cold! So of course, you just deliver the baby yourself. You were so thrilled. You just kept saying, it's a boy! It's a boy! We both started to cry and I said "Let me see him. And then…and then…"
Clark was aching inside. He saw the fear in her eyes. Apparently they had the same concerns about bearing children. Did she die? Did the baby die? "What!? Lois, what happened then!!??"
Lois burst into tears. "Oh Clark, he was just…the…most hideous creature I ever saw in my life!" Apparently not quite the same. Clark looked stunned for a moment.
"What?" He barely spoke above a whisper. "My…our son was…hideous?"
Lois continued through the sobs. "Clark, he was green and really wrinkly, and he…he had this huge oblong head with big bulging eyes! Just like those things I *thought* were aliens when Bob Fences kidnapped me. Only smaller. And…did I mention his nose…was…well, not…there? I was absolutely mortified, I mean, you know I've never been really…comfortable with children but…I thought…*our* baby would change all that. Oh Clark! There was my very own son, and he had…this…face, not even his mother could love!!"
By now Clark had recovered from his shock and was smiling sympathetically as Lois continued to rant.
"You know what was the worst part?"
Clark gently shook his head.
"You said that he was much cuter than you were when you were a baby and that all Kryptonians went through this…shedding and morphing process before they achieved their human-like look."
Clark couldn't contain his amusement and let out a little chuckle.
Lois, still wrapped up in the emotion of her dream, didn't notice. "Then you said for me not to worry because by the time he was ten he would probably be a pretty normal looking kid." Ten years, ten years I'd have had to look at that… child." her voice trailed off into a whisper.
When she felt Clark's strong arms around her she turned to him and gave him a hug while she let the last of her tears out. Clark just held her and stroked her hair. When she opened her eyes and broke from the hug she looked up to see him smiling at her. "Lois"
Before he could continue she cut in — "I know. I'm sick. I need help. I mean, look at you." she looked him up and down slowly. "Even on a strictly human scale you are…incredibly good-looking" Clark felt a slight blush overcome his face. Something about the throaty, breathless way she said "incredibly good-looking". He was relieved when she didn't seem to notice. "Throw in the fact that you're actually an alien and I mean you shoot right up there to…drop- dead gorgeous. Right off the scale! *Beyond* a ten!"
"Lois," Clark tried again, in vain.
"I know," she said putting her hand up to him. "I should just call Dr. Friskin and make an appointment for every day for the rest of my life because I'm just…cracking up, right?"
Clark grabbed her by her shoulders and shook her lightly. "Maybe you should just call your cable company and have the Sci-Fi channel disconnected!"
Lois looked confused, then amused, then embarrassed, all in about 5 seconds. "Oh, Clark, I feel so stupid! But last night that dream was really scary!"
Clark took her by the hands and sat her down on the couch. "I know it was, Lois, and I can understand why you might be having nightmares like that."
"You can?" Lois sat staring at his sneakers, wondering whether he was serious or just playing along with her delusions.
"Yes, I can. I mean…you said it yourself. I *am* an alien. Literally and figuratively from another planet. That's a big deal. Especially when you consider that even now, after "Superman", most people's idea of intelligent life in the universe is *still* those scary little creatures who snatch people out of their homes and perform all kinds of horrific experiments on them." His voiced quivered toward the end in mock terror. Lois just smiled. Still a little too embarrassed to pick her head up. So Clark did it for her and looked right in her eyes.
"I may look, act and function like a human male but the bottom line is still, I'm not…quite…human." They both smiled. "Not only have I asked you to marry me, but maybe, if it's possible, have my children too. I mean talk about your interracial relationships!"
Lois laughed. She was feeling much better now, as silly as her dream was, she was glad she could share it with him and she basked in his concern as he tried to comfort her.
"Lois, the whole reason my parents chose Earth to send me to was because our genetic structure and appearance is so identical that I could exist here and be just like a regular human man." Lois raised an eyebrow at him. "Well, almost. You know, except for that little…yellow sun thing."
"Clark, I love you." His sensitivity was overwhelming her and she just blurted it out like her life depended on saying it at that exact moment.
"I love you too ,Lois, and I *promise* you, I do *not* morph into some…oozing blob of goo at the end of the day!! Or any other time for that matter." They laughed again and he kissed her gently before adding "The only transforming or shape-shifting *this* alien does is from Clark…to Superman…and back."
Lois kissed him again. A long kiss that tried to convey just how grateful she felt for being able to completely confide her feelings to him. No matter how daft. Clark got the message loud and clear.
"So basically," she purred after the kissed, "what I see is what I get?"
Clark countered, "Whenever you want it." He attempted to kiss her again but was surprised to feel the back of her hand instead of her soft lips. He opened his eyes to find, Lois trying quite unsuccessfully to stifle a yawn.
"Sorry" she said and gave him a quick peck. "Give me a few minutes to shower and change?"
Clark looked at her for a moment and said, " I have a better idea."
He gently scooped her up into his arms and kissed her all the way into her bedroom. Carefully he placed her in her bed and covered her up. "I will gladly take a rain-check on the rollerblading, Ms. Lane. Why don't you try to make up for last night, while your mind is somewhat at ease?" She smiled. "And while you still have these adorable little pj's on."
She reached up and pulled his face close. "You sure you don't mind?"
"No, besides, I may not be very good, but you're still going to need more energy than *this* to keep up with me."
Lois smiled and kissed him. In a sleepy voice and without opening her eyes she asked, "Clark, will you lay down with me, just until I go to sleep. It won't be long, I'm sure".
Clark smiled. Glad for any chance to be near her. He climbed onto the bed and snuggled up next to her, being careful to position himself so he could easily plant tender kisses on her face and stroke her hair. She sighed a content, happy sigh as Clark whispered in her ear. "Sweet dreams".