By Sara Kraft (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Summary: Clark has gone to fight the good fight on New Krypton, but he left Lois with a little something to remember him by … and a lot to think about. A continuation of the episode "Big Girls Don't Fly."
Author's note: This has been in the works *forever*. It's finally finished and I actually got around to sending it in. I started writing this before I saw IASWAA and finally got around to finishing it after BGDF. Like most FOLCs, I was not content with a cliffhanger, so this is *my* version of the same idea. The normal disclaimers apply as usual…(blah, blah,blah). I would like to give a special thanks to my e-mail buddy, Maria, and her sister, Nina. Without their ideas and encouragement, this story would not be here. I would also like to thank my sister, Mary, for her help in editing and inspirations. Words contained in *single* asterisks denote emphasis. Phrases contained in **double** asterisks indicate thoughts. Enough with my babbling, on with the story.
Superman had been asked to leave the earth and journey across the universe to a rock called New Krypton. During Superman's farewell speech, Clark was out covering the city's reactions. Perry was concerned when Clark hadn't returned that evening or the next day. No one had seen or heard from Clark for a full week.
Everyone had their own theories as to where Clark had disappeared to. He had amnesia, he was kidnapped, he was killed in an accident, he found another woman, he had gotten cold feet about the wedding and split town. While Lois had heard just about every explanation, no one dared tell of the latter speculations. She seemed distracted and miserable not so much by Superman's departure, but by the mysterious disappearance of her fiance.
After a long month of hunting, the search for Clark diminished greatly. Lois was secretly grateful for everyone's speculations, that way she didn't have to think up her own excuses for Clark's absence. She wasn't feeling up to doing anything lately. Perry, concerned for her health, ordered her to take a few days off and see a doctor.
Lois came straight home from the doctor's office late one afternoon, not up to going back to work and facing all the people. She let the door close behind her and sighed as she leaned back against it for support. She was emotionally drained from the past month and had not been feeling physically well on top of all that had happened. Dragging herself to the couch, she sat down and placed a hand on her abdomen. She remembered how surprised the doctor had been when she flat out started bawling after he told her that she was going to be a mommy.
She thought back to her last night alone with Clark, the night they created this new life growing inside her…
She and Clark had long been enjoying their engagement. For weeks, there had been no villains, no old (or new) flames, no clones, just the two of them, memories intact, engaged and hope hopelessly in love. They had spent many long nights watching movies. Or at least attempting to without much success due to mutual distractions. This night was like any others, both of them were at Clark's apartment, dressed comfortably.
Lois, because Clark didn't trust her in his kitchen — not even with popcorn, was in charge of picking out a movie. She had made her selection, Chances Are , and was popping the tape into the VCR as he came into the room with two colas and a big bowl of popcorn balanced in his arms. He unloaded their refreshments onto the coffee table and plopped down on the couch with a contented sigh. Lois found the remote, pressed play and snuggled up on the sofa, resting her head on Clark's shoulder.
"So, honey," Clark asked, putting his arm around her shoulders. "What are we watching tonight?"
"Chances Are," Lois stated the title. A seductive grin spread across her face as she remembered the previous occasions when they had tried to watch the very same movie only to spend the whole time making out like two high school teenagers.
"Chances are we won't get around to actually watching it *again*," Clark hinted, kissing her briefly on the lips.
"And what, may I ask, would be wrong with that?" Lois whispered invitingly into his ear as she nipped at the lobe.
"Oh," Clark started, with mock disappointment, "Well, I was just really looking forward to seeing Cybil Shepard half naked that's all." He had trouble keeping a straight face when he lied.
"Hey," Lois protested and punched him in the shoulder.
Clark grabbed his shoulder and feigned injury as Lois continued to pummel him in the chest playfully. He held his hands up to surrender, "Just kidding Lois, you're the only one I want to see…"
Lois clapped a hand over his mouth before he could finish, "How long can you hold your breath, Farmboy?" She teased.
Clark smiled, counting the weeks till their wedding, "Just about five weeks."
Clark settled against Lois as the movie began. He stole a glance at Lois and observed that she was wearing a pair of *short* shorts and one of his old sweatshirts. **She looks beautiful in anything she wears,** Clark thought. He couldn't help but notice how the large neckline of the sweatshirt slipped down her shoulder on one side, revealing her slender collarbone and threatening to go further. **Perhaps with a little help, it would fall all the — - Stop that Kent! You'll never make it through the next five weeks with *that* train of thought.** Clark yelled at himself, *almost* regretting their decision to wait until their wedding night. He settled back down next to Lois and tried to concentrate on the movie.
Moments later, Lois caught herself eyeing, no, more like ogling Clark. Clark was wearing a black sleeveless T-shirt and a pair of silk boxers to match. **I love it when he wears that shirt, just *look* at those biceps! Gawd, how wonderfully tight that shirt clings to his chest, not to mention how his shorts do the same for those godly quads. And- — Lane, get a GRIP! — - Yeah, a grip on …- — Stop it, girl, just stop! Five weeks seems to be getting further and further away by the minute.** Lois shook her head gently in attempt to clear the one track conversation going on in her head.
They both turned to face each other simultaneously and said, "It's hot in here!" They laughed nervously. Clark finally spoke after a tense silence, "Do you want me to turn up the air conditioner or something?"
"Sure, go ahead," she answered, "I'll save your spot." He smiled at that as he went to adjust the thermostat.
Once again, he settled down next to Lois and they finally tuned in to the already started movie…
Corrine woke up on a half empty bed and called out as she felt the barren spot next to her, "Louie?"
At the sound of his name, Louie jumped out of the bathroom, "Happy Anniversary!" he exclaimed. He took her into his arms as she walked towards him, giving him an enthusiastic kiss."
"You're dressed," she observed, playfully upset.
"Yeah but I don't have to be."
"Well, get undressed and get back in bed. I have something for you," She said seductively as she slipped back under the bed covers.
"Okay!" Louie wasted no time in stripping down to his boxers and jumping back into bed. He immediately started kissing her and attempted to make love to her before she interrupted him.
"No, Louie, that's not the way I planned it."
He sat back against the headboard, "So this is a planned thing?"
"Yeah, I wanted to be here in bed when I gave you your anniversary present, because this is where it was made."
His eyes lit up with excitement, "We're having a baby?"
"Mmm-huhm," she nodded in reply.
Those lines sparked something in Lois' mind. "You know, Clark, that's something we haven't talked much about, having children." Clark turned to listen, the movie forgotten. "I mean, we're both agreed that we want children, right?" Clark nodded and she continued, "But with you being Kryptonian and all, we don't even know if that's possible. I know we could still adopt if that were the case. But even if we *can* have children, who's to say that we'll be good parents. Well, of course you'll be the *perfect* dad, but me, I'll probably be the worst…"
"Lois, Lois, honey, slow down," Clark said, putting a gentle finger to her lips, shortly followed by his lips for a brief moment. "First of all, I *know* you'll be a *great* mom," he said reassuring her, "And second, the rest is something we'll have to discover together when the time comes. We know very little about my Kryptonian heritage." Clark's mood saddened a little at his own words, "I mean Jor-El said he chose Earth because the inhabitants were biologically compatible. Other than that, I don't know much. *We* don't know much," he finished, frustrated with his ignorance of his home planet.
"Well," Lois stared, giving him a hug to reassure him, and whispering seductively in his ear, "I wouldn't mind finding out just how compatible we are." Continuing to try and lighten the mood, Lois started nibbling at his ear and planting a path of lingering kisses, leaving a trail of fire from his neck down to mouth. Obviously succeeding, Lois continued, gaining Clark's enthusiastic participation in the process.
"Yeah," Clark groaned with pleasure, "Neither would I," he agreed, covering her mouth with his own again.
As the kisses got more heated, they sank down, recumbent against the couch. Lois' back hit the remote, stopping the tape. The television blared a commercial with an annoying voice yelling, "Stop! Before you buy a new car, first try…"
The passionate moment on pause, Clark switched off the television. He turned his attention back to Lois to question the inevitable, "Are you sure you want to do this?" He knew by the look in her eyes what the answer was. Clark stood and scooped Lois into his arms and carried her to the bedroom.
The memory of that night made her smile to herself. But the memory of her last day with him saddened her mood again. Five weeks ago, Clark had left for New Krypton with Zara and Ching to fight the evil Lord Norr. It was hard enough living without Clark there, but now, being pregnant and alone was too much.
The thought of being a mother scared her. It was something she wasn't quite ready to face, at least not without Clark. His absence made the news so much harder to bear. She imagined how he would react, how happy he would be, how happy she *should* be. She needed to think, to get away from the city. She took the phone from the end table and dialed that oh-so-familiar number.
Martha picked up on the first ring, "Hello," she greeted. She heard a sniffle and then Lois' voice on the other end. She knew right away, something was wrong. "Lois, honey, what's the matter? Are you thinking about Clark again?"
Lois sniffed, "Well, yeah, but that's not exactly why I called." Martha waited patiently for Lois to collect herself, "I'm going to catch the next flight out to Smallville…if that's all right with you…I…I just really need some time away from here. I haven't been feeling well and well…I just really miss Clark."
"Oh, honey, we all do. Of course it's all right, you know you can come anytime you want." Martha knew something else was troubling Lois, "Lois, hon, do you want to tell me what's bothering you?"
"Well, yeah, Martha, but I'd rather wait until I get to Smallville."
"All right, dear. Make sure you call us with your arrival time and we'll pick you up at the airport."
"I will. Bye"
As soon as she hung up with Martha, she called the airport and reserved the next flight into Kansas. She had an hour to kill until she had to be at the terminal, so she decided to tell Perry in person, rather than give him a call.
"What do you mean 'an indefinite leave of absence'?" Perry asked, trying not to blow up, but to be supportive instead.
"Well, with Clark missing and…and…" She couldn't finish before she began to sob. Perry put an arm around her to console her, urging her to finish. "Perry, I'm…pregnant."
Perry was unsure of what to say, so he just let her continue. "I'm going to move to Smallville and live with Clark's parents. Just until the baby's born, or maybe a little longer. I know you're going to say you need me and the Planet wouldn't be the same without me, but I'm not the same without Clark."
"Lois, you should go," Perry agreed.
Lois keep babbling, Perry's words taking a second to register, "I don't think I'd be very productive anyway. Well, and after a while, we could work something out for me to write and… Wait, I *should*? Oh thank you, Perry. Thank you so much."
Perry held up his hand, "On one condition," Lois waited, unsure, "Only if you let me be the Godfather."
Lois smiled, and hugged him, "Of course, Perry, I wouldn't have it any other way. And I'm sure Clark would agree with me."
Not accustomed to letting his soft side show, Perry added, "Not get out of here and get packed. Skee-dattle."
Lois' plane arrived at the Wichita airport late that evening. Jonathan and Martha were waiting at the gate for her with open arms. After greeting each other with hugs and idle chatter about the weather, they proceeded to the baggage claim.
With Lois' five suitcases in tow, the three went to find Jonathan's pick-up in the parking lot. After securing the luggage in the bed of the truck, they piled into the vehicle. Jonathan drove and Martha sat next to him in the middle, letting Lois have the window seat. Martha saw the dark circles under Lois' eyes and knew it would be best for her to sleep during the long car ride to Smallville.
On the road, Martha and Jonathan carried on a quiet conversation, careful not to wake Lois.
Lois woke as the old truck was pulling up the dirt road that led to the Kent farmhouse. "How are you feeling, dear?" Martha asked.
"A little sleepy. Lightheaded. And *hungry*." she replied sheepishly.
Martha chuckled and gave a knowing smile. "Don't worry, we have plenty of food for the *two* of you."
"Thanks Mar…two of us? How did you know?"
Martha patted Lois on the leg, "Oh, just call it a mother's intuition."
The months passed slowly, all the while the Kents and future Mrs. Kent became really close. Lois grew accustomed to calling Clark's parents Mom and Dad, at their insistence. She knew it helped them to have a "daughter" with them while Clark was off doing who-knows-what somewhere in the universe. They leaned on each other through the hard times and laughed together through the good.
Lois helped out with some of the chores around the farm until Martha insisted that she stay inside and rest. Eight and a half months along now, Lois felt useless sitting around all day so she spent most of her days finishing her novel on her laptop.
When Martha was done with the dishes and Jonathan was done repairing the old porch swing, they joined Lois in the living room. Jonathan brought some tea from the kitchen and Martha carried an old photo album.
Martha smiled a devilish grin and held up the binder full of photographs. "Clark's baby pictures."
"Oooh, ooh, let me see." Lois begged. Martha handed her the album while Jonathan poured tea for Martha, Lois and himself. The expectant mother opened the big book on top of her bulging belly, using it as a table.
Lois 'oohed' and 'aawwed' for a while at the pictures of Clark sleeping, Martha holding Clark, Jonathan holding Clark. Clark being held by numerous others whom she didn't recognize, but assumed they were all relatives. Martha said, "Ooh, here come the good ones." In the center of the next page, there was Clark in his highchair, and red spaghetti noodles everywhere but in his bowl. Lois nearly dropped the picture book when she erupted in laughter. Another picture showed an unclothed Clark covered in his mother's paints with an 'Uh-oh, I'm in trouble' look on his face.
Four photo books and three hours later, they were wiping the tears of laughter from their eyes and finishing up their now cold tea. "I've been thinking," Lois started after swallowing the last of her tea. She reached over her huge tummy to set her cup down on the coffee table before continuing, "We haven't decided on a name yet. I though it would be kind of nice if we named her 'Kallie' in remembrance of Clark. You know like his Kryptonian name Kal-El…sort of." Her eyes welled up a little at the thought of her absent lover.
"Lois, honey, that's a wonderful idea," Martha gave her a hug to comfort her.
"I think Clark would be honored." Jonathan added.
They sat in silence, remembering Clark.
Three weeks later, Lois brought Kallie home from the hospital. Jonathan had been busy neglecting his chores so he could make furniture for the baby. Martha and Lois had gone on many shopping sprees during the past few months, buying baby clothes and toys and food and such. Kallie had everything a baby could want. Except a father.
Later that night in the living room of the old farm house, Lois gently cradled the small child in her arms. Tears sprung to her eyes for about the millionth time since Clark had left when she thought of how their little girl would have to grow up without her father. She blinked the tears away and scolded, "Don't lose hope, there's still a chance he could come back." Lois moved to sit in the padded rocking chair by the window. Jonathan had hand-carved it and Martha had made the lacy cushions that adorned the seat and back. She started humming a soft tune to Kallie as she rocked gently in the chair. Staring out the window at the Kansas sunset, the tears resurfaced. She remembered the numerous times when Clark had taken her flying among those same clouds.
Looking down at her sleeping daughter, she half- smiled when she saw the strong resemblance to Clark. She went upstairs to her room, the room that Clark grew up in. She gently placed Kallie in her crib and then climbed into bed. She didn't bother to brush her teeth or dress for bed that night. With tears roll rolling down slowly down her face, Lois cried herself to sleep.
Clark Kent stood in the doorway to his infant daughter's dimly lit bedroom after coming home from a mid- evening rescue. He smiled to himself as he moved to gently tuck her under the warmth of the pale blue baby blanket. He felt lucky to be home and to have been blessed with such a miracle. He reached to her tiny head to smooth his hand over her thin hair and laid a gentle kiss on her brow. On his way out the door, he flipped the light switch, leaving the soft glow of the teddy bear night light behind.
Clark returned to his bedroom and silently removed his suit as to not wake his sleeping wife. He tried to slide under the covers without waking her. As he settled in next to her, she rolled over to wrap her body in his warmth, resting her head on his bare chest. He brought his arms down around her to encompass her as he brushed his lips against her forehead lightly. She roused slightly, forever attuned to his presence, and returned a soft kiss to his warm mouth.
"So what was it?" she asked of his absence, still half asleep.
"Oh, just an attempted burglary down at Metro Mall, it didn't take long," he answered softly, "I didn't mean to wake you," he apologized.
"No, no, I was just up with Kallie, you didn't wake me," she yawned. Her exhaustion showed as her eyelids fluttered and eventually closed.
Clark whispered, "Lois, honey, are you awake?" He shook her. "Lois, Lois."
She opened her eyes to see Martha standing over her, "Lois, Lois, hon, are you awake."
"Oh, Martha, it's you. I guess I must have been dreaming," Lois said in a tired voice. "Clark was home, and we had our own house and, we were so happy." Lois started weeping again.
Martha tried to reassure her that Clark would do everything in his power to come home. But she wasn't quite so sure herself that he actually would return.
FIVE YEARS LATER…
Martha and Lois were in the living room watching five year old Kallie beat her grandfather at a game of checkers. Lois was trying to finish a small human interest article for Perry, not having much luck concentrating. The two women sat there giggling at the scene, quite amused with the little girl's banter.
Kallie picked up one of her red pieces and successfully cleared the board of Jonathan's few remaining black checkers with a triple jump. She giggled at her victory, "You lose again, Grampa."
Jonathan shook his head in wonderment, still trying to figure out where he had made a wrong move. "You're just like your father. How do you always do that?" he asked his granddaughter.
"That's for me to know and you to find out," the intelligent child teased her grandfather. "Wanna play again?"
"Oh no, I think it's time for Grandpa to go to bed," turning to his wife, "Right Martha?"
"Sure, dear," she said stifling a yawn, "I know you just don't want to lose again." She smiled as they both stood to head for bed. "Good night you two."
Kallie went to hug her grandparents good night. "Night, Gramma. Night, Grampa," she said as she gave a hug and a kiss to each.
"I expect a rematch from you, young lady," Jonathan joked. He turned to his adoptive daughter, "Night, Lois."
"Pleasant dreams," Martha added.
"Good night, Mom, Dad," Lois closed her laptop with a yawn and set it on the table by the couch.
Kallie settled down on the couch next to her mother while Jonathan and Martha headed upstairs for the night. Mother and daughter stared at the roaring fire in front of them for a long while. "Mommy?"
"Yes, honey?" Lois asked, even though she knew the question that was coming.
"When's Daddy coming home?"
"I don't know, honey. I don't know."
Clark floated above Lois apartment, full of remorse for the grief he'd caused Lois for the past few years. He had just arrived back from New Krypton, still donning the black suit in which he had left, exhausted, both emotionally and physically. Lord Norr was defeated and Zara and Ching, newly married, were named the rulers of New Krypton.
He descended down to look through the window, wanting to see Lois before he went to her. She wasn't there, he scanned the whole apartment. Not a trace of Lois, or her belongings. His head fell, Lois didn't live here anymore. She'd given up on him, gone on with her life. "Probably gotten married to someone else and started a new life with him. She probably thinks I'm dead," he thought out loud. He held back the forming tears as he had done for the past few years. With Lois not there, the only ones he had left in the world were his parents. That in mind, he sped off through the clouds towards Smallville.
He let out a heavy sigh as he hovered above the Kent farm. Clark lowered himself down to the large picture window, through which he had spent many childhood days staring at the rain that kept him inside. He brought his head up to look through the window, not expecting anyone to be there, due to the late hour. The scene that he saw caused him to sink hard to the ground, completely shocked. "Lois?" He wondered, his voice nearly a whisper. He shook his head and looked again to make sure his eyes hadn't deceived him. Sure enough, he saw Lois asleep on his parents' couch with a young girl of about five years napping in her lap. The Man of Steel started to cry, after years of being without Lois, the wedding that never happened, and now a baby, *his* baby, their little girl. His eyes clouded with wetness as he went to the front door.
Lois stirred in her sleep, thinking she had heard someone call her name. She opened her eyes and looked down at Kallie, who was still sleeping. When she looked up at the doorway leading to the kitchen, she expected to see Martha or Jonathan up and about, but she saw *him*. Or at least she thought it was him. Lois brought a hand to her face to rub the sleep from her eyes, then checked again. There was no mistaking that -S- on his black suit. It *was* him! Sliding out from under her sleeping daughter's head, she stood, and walked towards him slowly, stopping a few feet from him. He looked at her and then down at their precious child sleeping peacefully on the couch. For a minute, the two just stood there, silent, paralyzed with emotion. A sleepy yawn from the couch broke the moment.
"Daddy?" a drowsy little voice asked. Kallie moved from the couch and stood next to her mother, looking up at her mother and then the stranger curiously, "Daddy?"
Clark look at Lois with questioning, watery eyes. She nodded, not taking her eye off Clark for a second.
Kallie ran to her father and jumped in his arms, "Daddy!" Clark caught her and hugged his daughter just about as hard as she hugged him. Over Kallie's shoulder, he saw Lois, her face streaked with tears of relief.
He gently set Kallie down on the floor near him and opened his arms wide for his true love, his other half. Lois fell into Clark's strong arms and held him tight. He brought her head up to face his. He kissed away the salty tears on her face gently. Their lips finally met, a year's worth of pent-up passion, loneliness, and love.