Summary: Maternal feelings sprout in Lois when she and Clark are charged with the care of a baby. Will temporary parenthood keep them from getting the scoop on a city gone insane? And will Lois forgive Clark for challenging her to swear off chocolate during the same week Metropolitan Candies announces the biggest chocolate giveaway ever?
The Billboard read: In Honor of Our 25th Anniversary, Metropolitan Candies announces the Biggest Chocolate Giveaway EVER! Watch this space for further news!
Clark yelled, "Hey, watch where you're going!"
Lois quickly pulled back into her lane amid the honking and shouts of fellow drivers. "Did you see that billboard, Clark?" Lois said excitedly. "I love Metropolitan Candy. Their Double Fudge Metro Bars are to die for."
Clark smothered a grin, "You know, Lois maybe you ought to talk to someone about this chocolate addiction of yours.
Lois smugly looked at Clark. "It's not addiction, Clark, it's appreciation. You just don't understand the finer points of chocolate! Besides, I can quit eating it anytime I want to."
"Hah," snorted Clark, "I bet you couldn't go one week without eating chocolate."
"You're on!" gloated Lois.
Clark just looked at Lois trying not to smile. "Wipe that expression off your face, Kent," Lois warned — " I told you- no problem!"
Lois and Clark walked hand in hand into the Daily Planet and settled into their respective desks. As he typed, Clark kept stealing glances at Lois. He still couldn't believe it was real, that he was at last back where he belonged. The months away from Lois had seemed like years. Looking down at his wedding band, finally on its rightful place on his left hand, he felt complete. They had gone through so much to get here, he mused. Sometimes he felt he was living a dream, and he never wanted to wake up. Together they had bought a house, and he finally had a place, that, when he was flying over the city, he could point to and say — That's my home. A place where he and Lois could put down roots, and hopefully fill with the sounds of children, laughter, and love.
Clark jumped as Perry clapped him on the shoulder — "Son, I know you love her, but let's try to get some work done around here."
"Sure, Chief, Here's the write-up on last night's PharmoCorp break in. That's the third pharmaceutical company break-in this month; someone's got to be planning something. We talked to Superman last night, but he hasn't been able to find where these drugs are disappearing. The police say they haven't been showing up on the street. Lois is trying to check with some of her sources this morning and see if we can get some leads."
Perry continued walking to his office, "Great, Let me know if you get anything."
Clark got up and walked over to Lois. While she was talking on the phone, he took the opportunity to drop a few lingering kisses along her neck. Lois looked up at Clark and smiled. She quickly finished her conversation.
"Did any of your sources have anything?"
"No," It's so frustrating! No one breaks into three pharmaceutical companies, and steals all those drugs and disappears without a trace. Come on Clark, let's go talk to Professor Klein at StarLabs, maybe he can give us an idea about what the drugs that were stolen could be used for."
"OK, Lois," Clark said grabbing the car keys, "But this time I'm driving; there might be more chocolate billboards out there."
As they went down in the elevator, Lois reached up, fitting her body against his and drew his mouth to hers in a passionate kiss. Clark was so involved in the kiss that he was startled when the doors opened in the lobby and he heard catcalls and whistles. Blushing, he hurried Lois out the doors and toward the car. Lois, smiling, twirled the car keys in her hand and proceeded to get in on the driver's side of the car.
"Just you wait, Lois," Clark warned. "When you least expect it … "
Lois laughed, "I love you too, Clark."
At StarLabs, Dr. Klein look at the list of drugs stolen. "Hmm, I know what some of these do, but some of these were experimental drugs that the companies were developing. All of the ones I recognize do have one thing in common, however. They all seem to work on the brain chemistry, or behavior in some way. I'll run some simulations and try to see what they might do in different combinations."
"Thanks, Dr. Klein. If you think of anything please let us know."
Clark looked at his watch "It's lunch time, how about going on a picnic in the park?" Lois readily agreed and they bought some sandwiches from the deli on the corner. They settled in under their favorite tree, enjoying the moment and each other.
As they ate, Lois took Clark's hand, "What do you think about going to see your parents this weekend? Martha called last night while you were out and invited us for dinner Saturday night. She said she wanted to see us before she and Jonathan left for vacation."
Clark replied, "Fine with me, Lois. I'm so glad that you and my mom are so close."
Lois reached out and brushed his hair off his forehead. "Well, Clark, I think it helps us both to talk to each other sometimes. There's so much that I can't share with anyone else, I don't know what I'd do if I didn't have Martha to call up and listen. I love my mom, but she's never treated me as an equal, she always has to be "Mom". Martha, even when she's giving me advice, never seems to lecture."
As they were driving back to the Planet, Lois noticed the billboard had changed — it now read: FREE GIVEAWAY!!!!! Metropolitan Candies Double Fudge Metro Bars are now free for this week only at all regular locations. Limit 10 per day. Get your Free Chocolate Pass at the following locations …
"Clark, Clark, did you see that!" Lois shouted.
Clark grinned slyly, "I knew you couldn't make it one week, Lois."
Lois' competitive instinct kicked in — "I'll show you, Clark, I won't even go near chocolate this week."
Meanwhile, back at the newsroom, everyone had chocolate bars stacked on their desks. Jimmy stopped by Lois' desk, smiled at Lois and said, "Isn't this great!(he bit into a chocolate bar) I can't seem to get enough. Where's your stash, Lois?"
"I don't have one," said Lois through clenched teeth. "Don't you have some pictures to take or something?
Clark looked around him. "Lois, doesn't it seem strange to you that everyone is eating chocolate?"
"NO, CLARK," Lois practically shouted. " It doesn't and since I'm not, let's get out of here, OK?"
As Clark and Lois drove home, they saw long lines snaking out of every convenience store and grocery store. It seemed everyone was stocking up on chocolate bars.
Looking at the crowds of people, Lois mused ,"Maybe you're right, Clark, even I've never been this desperate for chocolate."
Suddenly, there was a crash and the car in front of them swerved to miss something in the road and smashed into the light pole. Clark quickly changed into Superman and rushed to help. The driver of the car was a woman and was badly injured, so he gathered her in his arms to fly her to the hospital. "Lois, there's a baby in the back seat, she seems okay, can you bring her to the hospital?" With a whoosh, Clark flew off.
"Well, little girl, I guess I'll take you to the hospital to your mommy.". She carefully loaded the baby in her car seat into her car and drove to the hospital.
Clark met her there — "The woman's in with the doctor now, Lois, but she had no ID. The police are trying to trace the car, but things are pretty busy right now."
The doctor came out and looked over the baby. "She looks fine, thanks for bringing her in, we'll call Social Services to come and get her. Her mom is still unconscious, she'll probably be in ICU for awhile. If Superman hadn't got her here as fast as he did, she probably wouldn't have made it. Just leave the baby with my nurse — unless, that is, you can take care of her for a few days until we can locate some family?" I know you're friends with Superman, I'm sure you're trustworthy. Things are so chaotic right now, there have been accidents all over the city.
Lois looked stunned — She stammered "…I-I .. well haven't had much experience with babies, we're in the middle of a story, Clark .. what do you think …?"
"I'm sure my mom could come up to help, Lois,"
"I'd feel better about taking her home than having to hand her over to Social Services, they're overworked as it is. It's just for a few days. Besides," watching the baby smile at Lois, "I think she likes you!"
Finally at home, Lois sent Clark out to the store for a few days worth of "baby stuff". She gave Martha a call and explained the situation.
"Martha," Lois asked, "Could you come up for a few days and help me out here? I don't know a thing about babies. We're in the middle of a story and I can't just drag her all over the city. But I couldn't just leave her there. She kept looking at me and smiling."
Martha's voice calm and reassuring as always — "Of course, Lois dear, just send Clark to pick me up."
Clark returned from the store, carrying several bags. "Something is definitely wrong out there. It's practically a mob situation in some places. There are people looting stores for chocolate bars and chocolate passes. People are getting mugged for chocolate. I've got to change and try to help. Here's the things for the baby."
"Wait, Clark, your mom …" — But Superman was already out the door. Lois sighed and called Martha and told her about the delay. She looked at the baby, "I guess, it's just you and me, baby, let's go get the story." She loaded the baby in the car seat and drove downtown.
The Planet newsroom was quiet and dark, but it was a mess, chocolate wrappers everywhere. There was one bar on Jimmy's desk and Lois looked at it longingly. "Get a grip, Lois," she said to herself. Lois placed the baby on her desk, turned on her computer and began to type the facts she already knew.
Clark flew in the window — "Lois, what are you doing here?"
"What do you THINK I'm doing here, Clark? This is big! What's happening out there?"
"The whole city's gone crazy, Lois. This has got to be related somehow to the drug robberies. This behavior is beyond description. I've been going from emergency to emergency. Police, Fire Dept, and ambulances aren't responding. You aren't safe here, let me fly you and the baby home."
Lois protested — then looked at the baby and gave in. "All right, Clark, but before you go out to help again, go and pick up your mother, she's waiting for you. Then we can solve this thing together — partners, remember?"
"OK, Lois let's hurry, this is definitely a night for Superman." Clark gathered Lois and the baby in his arms and flew them home.
With Martha taking care of the baby, Clark flew Lois to StarLabs, where they met with Dr. Klein.
"I've analyzed the chocolate and there are some unusual ingredients; we haven't identified them all yet," Dr. Klein said. "It seems the candy, when it breaks down in the stomach, produces a chemical that affects the brain pleasure center. The more you eat, the more you crave. The only way this city is going to recover is to get all of the contaminated candy away from people. I believe the effects will wear off within 24 hours. Do you think you can contact Superman, maybe he can find the bulk of the candy and get it out of circulation?
We'll try, Dr. Klein, I know he'd want to help. Clark and Lois hurried from StarLabs. Pausing in the alleyway behind StarLabs; at superspeed, Superman raced through the city.
At first there seemed to be no effect, but as the hours passed the city began to calm down. Police and medical personnel from the neighboring Gotham City came to help deal with the aftermath of the city-wide chocolate binge. Lois and Clark checked in with Martha and then went to the Planet to write their story and try to get a lead on who contaminated the candy. Perry said, "It's lucky you picked this week to swear off chocolate, Lois. As for me, I don't think I'll ever be able to look at a chocolate bar in the same way again. Do you have any leads about the drugged candy?"
Clark spoke up, "The police have the head of Metropolitan Candies' son in custody now. He's confessed to drugging the candy. He thought that he could boost sales with his formula. He never really meant to turn the city into chocolate addicts. All of the contaminated candy has been destroyed by Superman."
Perry shouted, "Well, what are you waiting for? Let's get the story into the next edition!"
Clark and Lois finally finished their stories and tiredly drove home. Clark took Lois' hand in his. "Why don't we go to Smallville for the weekend as planned. I'll call the hospital and check on the baby's mother. I'm sure they won't mind if we take the baby with us."
"Peace and quiet sounds good to me right now," Lois replied.
Lois waited as Clark talked with the doctor on the phone. She walked over and took the baby from Martha. "Thank you, Martha, for helping out, I know you've been busy getting ready for your vacation. "
"It was no trouble, Lois, I love babies. This one is very easy to take care of, she hasn't been fussy at all. It's obvious that her parents have made her feel loved and secure."
"I hope that I can do as good a job when Clark and I have children, Martha. A shadow of a frown crossed her face. "If we can have children," she thought.
Martha saw the expression on Lois' face and sighed. She knew what it was to want children and not be able to have them. She hoped and prayed that Clark and Lois did not have to experience what she and Jonathan had gone through. She walked over to Lois and hugged her gently. "Come on, Lois, let's go see if Clark is through talking to the doctor."
Clark walked toward Lois and his mother with a smile on his face. "Great News!" he exclaimed. "The baby's mother is doing well, she's conscious and asking about Amanda here. I told her doctor we'd stop by so she could see the baby was OK." He took the baby from Lois and swung her around, making her squeal with delight. "Amanda, let's go see your mom!'
At the hospital, the woman's eyes swam with tears of joy when she saw her baby. "Thank you for keeping my baby safe," she said in a weak voice. "My mom will be here on Monday to take care of her. Do you think you could possibly take care of Amanda until then? She can't get here sooner, the airline schedules are all crazy because of the riots."
"We would be honored to," Clark said. "You named her well, Amanda means lovable. She has been easy to care for — Lois and I had help, though. This is my mom, Martha Kent. We were planning to spend the weekend out of town with my parents — they have a farm. Would it be all right with you if we take Amanda with us?"
Yes, of course," the woman answered.
Lois sat down gently on the edge of the bed. "You're very lucky to have such a beautiful baby. We'll take good care of her, you just concentrate on getting well. We'll bring Amanda to the hospital on Monday and give her to her grandmother."
"We'll see you again on Monday, I'll leave my parent's phone number on the pad by the phone in case you need to get in touch with us before then." Lois, Martha and Clark left the hospital and went back home to pack for Smallville.
At the Kent farmhouse, Clark sat on the porch and watched Lois show the baby the chickens. Jonathan came up to him and said, "Want to talk, son?"
Clark said, "Lois is so worried about what kind of mother she would make, yet look at her with that baby. I don't know whose having more fun, Lois or Amanda." Clark sighed, "I wish I knew whether Lois and I can have children together, Dad. I know it will upset Lois if we can't."
"Son," Jonathan said gruffly, "everything will work out fine." "Lois and you will be wonderful parents — whether the child is born to you or you adopt."
Lois came up the steps to Jonathan and Clark. "She's so smart, Clark, watch — I point to the chicken and she says cluck, cluck."
Clark smiled and took the baby from Lois, "Let's go inside, it's getting late."
Clark woke up and found the space next to him empty. He got up, peering through the walls to see where Lois was. He found her in the spare room, where they had set up the crib for the baby. Lois was sitting in the rocking chair, cradling the sleeping baby in her arms. She was slowly rocking the baby, tears tracking down her cheeks.
Clark knelt beside her and gently said, "Want me to put her down, and then we can talk?" Lois nodded. Arm in arm, they went back to bed. Lois began to speak — "Oh, Clark, I was sitting there rocking the baby back to sleep, and my heart ached. I know how much it would mean to me to have your child in my arms. Now, I really understand the heartache your mother went through all those years ago."
Clark gently kissed the tears from her cheeks. "Lois," he said, "if nothing else, this experience has proven to me that it doesn't matter whether or not we have to adopt. We will love them just the same. Look how that baby girl has captured our hearts in such a short time." Clark gathered Lois into his arms, caressing her back. "Even if we do eventually decide to adopt a child, it doesn't mean we have to stop trying to have one of our own, you know."
Lois melted into his arms and smiled. "It's not like it's hard work, is it?"
They moved closer together, touching, tasting. Clark pressed butterfly kisses over Lois' face. "You know what they say, Lois," he whispered in between kisses, "If at first …you don't succeed … try … try … again!"