By Leslie Cohen (email@example.com)
Summary: Lois and Clark experience emotional highs, lows and hair-raising moments during Lois' pregnancy.
Time: Close to Lois and Clark's three-year anniversary. They are just getting home after winning some big journalism award.
"I can't believe we won again," Lois exclaims as they walk through the door. "However, I will always accept an award."
Clark enters and closes the door. "Yes, I know, Lois, you were never shy in that category."
Lois gives him a gentle punch. Clark comes over and they start kissing.
"What do you say, Lois, we go celebrate our victory," he whispers.
Suddenly they are caught up in the passion of the moment. Clark's suit and Lois' dress are soon on the floor.
"There is something I am forgetting," Lois thinks briefly but then the passion of the moment lets all thoughts leave her mind.
"Clark, I love you so much!!"
"I love you too, Lois," Clark says as he carries her into the bedroom.
The next morning as Lois is getting ready for work she remembers what it was that was bugging her last night. She forgot her birth control pills. Oh well, she thinks, it is only one night.
A few weeks later. It is the middle of the night and Clark rolls over in bed to find Lois gone. He hears her in the bathroom getting sick. He rushes in. "Are you OK?"
Lois stops for a moment to give him a dirty look. "Do I look OK? No, I think I caught that stomach flu going around."
"Lois, is there anything I can get you?"
"Yes, maybe some ginger ale and crackers."
Before she is even finished Clark has changed into Superman and rushes to the nearest store.
The store clerk, surprised to see Superman buying groceries at 3 a.m. gives him a weird look. "Superman, you sick?" he asks, concern on his face.
"No," he says, "these are for a, ah, ah, sick friend," he stutters. He quickly pays for the groceries and rushes back to Lois.
Clark finds her in bed, looking a little better. "Here, honey, I hope this helps."
Lois takes the ginger ale and takes a slow swallow. "You know, if I didn't love you so much I could hate you for never getting sick."
Clark just smiles and gets into bed where Lois snuggles up and falls asleep in his arms. "You know," he whispers, "you have to be better tomorrow. I have big plans for our anniversary."
The next morning finds Lois sick again in the bathroom. Clark comes over. "So you want me to call mom and dad and tell them we can't come tonight? I am sure they will understand."
"No, Clark, tomorrow is our anniversary and they have been looking forward to this. However, I think you can tell Perry I won't be in today."
Clark does a double take on that comment. "Lois, what is wrong? You wouldn't miss work for anything."
Clark looks very worried and Lois cleans up and then goes over to reassure him. "Look, honey, I will be fine. I just need to rest and get over this bug. I want to be in fine shape for our anniversary," she says with a wicked gleam in her eyes.
Clark smiles at that thought. He gently picks up Lois and takes her to bed. "Feel better for me," he says as he heads out the door. "I love you."
"Love you too," Lois says as the door closes.
As soon as he leaves Lois calls her doctor. She didn't want Clark to know that she had not been feeling well for almost a week. She was tired and lately her stomach had been acting up. "Better safe than sorry," she says, dialing the phone.
At the doctor's office, Lois is getting dressed after her exam. "So, doctor, you have some new wonder drug I can report on to end my flu bug?"
Dr. James has been Lois' doctor for quite a few years and knew her reputation as a hard-nosed reporter. "Lois," he says, "what is the first thing you do when you think you have a story?"
Lois looks at the doctor a little strangely and says, "Well, first I get the facts and then I double check them and then I sit down and see what I have got."
"OK," Dr. James says, "let's try this scenario." He sits Lois in a chair. "Lois, I know you are a great reporter, so let's look at the facts here. Fact one, you have been tired lately, not a lot of energy, right?"
"Right," Lois says, trying to understand where this story is heading.
"Fact two, you have been getting sick and not been able to keep things down, right?"
"Right," Lois replies, still confused.
"Lastly, I have one question. Lois when was your last time of the month?"
Lois thinks and replies, "Oh, I don't know, I am always so busy I never pay much attention. Just do what comes naturally and go on with things. You know how it is."
Suddenly Lois stops and the thought hits her like a ton of bricks. Dr. James smiles as he sees Lois' reaction. Lois suddenly stands up and starts pacing the room. "How could this happen?" she says. Dr. James gives her a funny look. "What I mean," she continues, "is that, well, we have been careful."
She starts thinking out loud, "Except for that one night after that awards dinner." She blushes as she realizes Dr. James is still here.
"Lois, I would say you are about six weeks along."
Lois stops and smiles and whispers, "I am having Superman's baby."
Dr. James had been writing something and turns to her. "What did you say?"
Lois realizes her mistake. "I am having a super man's baby. Wait until I tell Clark. We have talked about a baby, but … "
"Look, Lois, a baby is a big adjustment. There are some changes you are going to have to make".
Lois thinks of something and quickly asks the doctor, "Can I fly?"
"Sure," Dr. James replies, "airline travel is OK until you get closer to your due date."
"NO, what I mean is that Superman is a good friend of ours and he offered to fly me and Clark away for our anniversary." Lois says, trying not to give anything away, yet knowing that she needs an answer.
Dr. James stops and looks up at Lois, "You know, Lois, in all my years of practice, I don't think I have ever had anybody ask me that question. I think I will have to get back to you on that."
Lois gives him a nervous smile and turns to leave.
"Lois, you will need to make an appointment to come see me in a few weeks for a checkup."
Lois thanks the doctor.
"You're welcome, Lois, and congrats."
Some time later Lois is sitting at home still letting the concept sink in. Clark comes home bearing roses and a bottle of wine. He sees Lois and comes over to her.
"Feeling better?" he asks, a concerned look on his face.
"Yes," she says, still somewhat in a daze.
"Good, because I told mom and dad we would be over early so that we could make our Paris reservations." He looks around the room and pulls out their suitcase. "Perry and the gang hope you are feeling better and wish us the best. They got us a great card."
"Good," Lois says, having not moved from her spot.
Clark comes over, "Are you sure you are OK?"
"Good, I got us a bottle of wine to celebrate."
He goes over, pops the cork, and pours two glasses. Clark makes a toast, "Lois, for three years you have made me the happiest man alive. I love you more today than ever. Happy anniversary."
Lois smiles and cries at the same time. However, she sets her glass down without taking any. Clark notices this. "Oh, I am sorry, maybe your stomach isn't ready for wine. Well, Mom's home cooking should cure what is ailing you. I will just go and grab a few last-minute items. Sit there and relax, I will be right back."
A few minutes later, dressed as Superman, he comes in. "Well are you ready to go?"
Lois looks up at Clark. "Maybe you better put the suitcases down. We need to talk."
Looking concerned he sets the cases down and moves over to the couch. "Lois, what is it? First, you won't toast with me and now you don't want to fly? Is everything OK? Did I do something wrong?"
Lois looks over and her eyes shine with more love than ever before. "Clark, I went to the doctor today." She quickly reassures him, "No, I am not really sick. Well technically, I guess I am. I mean, it is a temporary situation and … "
"Lois," Clark almost yells, "will you please get to the point? You have me worried."
The look of concern and care in his eyes make Lois cry again. "Clark, the reason I didn't drink and the reason I can't fly is that … " She hesitates, and Clark motions her to go on. "The reason is, well, I don't think these things would be good for the baby."
There is stunned silence in the room as the idea hits Clark. "Lois, you don't mean … "
"Clark, remember the night of the awards dinner?"
He smiles, remembering the night well. Then it hits him. "Lois, we're going to have a baby?"
"Happy anniversary, Clark," she smiles slowly, waiting for the reaction.
Clark quickly picks her up and twirls her around, then remembering her condition gingerly places her back on the couch. "Lois, until today I never thought I could love you any more but I do." He sits down and holds her close, "We're going to have a baby," he says, smiling to himself.
"I know this wasn't exactly planned, Clark, I mean we have talked about it but … We also talked about waiting and … this wasn't exactly on our schedule … I mean Clark, Clark, why are you smiling at me?"
"Because I love it when you babble. I know this wasn't planned, but … I can't tell you how happy it has made me. You are happy about this too, aren't you?"
"Oh, Clark, I am happy … To think that there is this little life growing inside me … I never expected to feel this way, Clark. I am excited, and nervous and scared, but mostly happy."
"Then it's unanimous!!! Lois, I love you and we are going to make a great family."
The two cuddle and let the idea sink in. They sit on the couch just holding each other, enjoying the moment. Suddenly Clark sits up. "Lois, I almost forgot about my parents. They are expecting us. Listen, if it's OK with you I will get them and fly them over here and we can tell them the news."
"Sure, Clark, but let's tell them together. And what about my parents?"
Over the past year it seemed that Lois' parents had been spending more time together, maybe working their way back to a relationship.
"Well," Clark replies, "I'll get them too."
"Look, Clark," Lois replies, "I think we need to tell them."
"We will, Lois, isn't that what I just said?"
"No, Clark. I mean we need to TELL THEM. I mean, it will be their grandchild too and I think that they have a right to know it's going to be half alien."
Lois lets this slip out without really thinking, then cringes when she sees the look on Clark's face. "Oh, honey, I'm sorry. It is just that, well, you know I love you more than anything in the world, and I would do anything for you, but I guess the idea of a baby, your baby, also scares me a little. I mean, there has never been a half-human, half- Kryptonian baby before."
Lois stops when she realizes she is rambling again. "Look, Lois, whatever happens we will deal with it together, the three of us." He smiles, patting her stomach. "We will be a family. Now, I am going to get Mom and Dad. You just sit and relax. And yes, I guess it is about time your parents knew. I mean, what if they went to the nursery and saw their grandchild floating?"
Superman dashes out the window, leaving Lois to ponder that thought.
"Martha," Jonathan yells from the kitchen, "I think the pie is done. I will take it out of the oven."
Suddenly a breeze comes through the open window and Superman appears beside his dad as Martha enters the kitchen. "Clark, you're late, we were starting to worry. It's not like you to be late for homemade peach pie. Where's Lois?"
"Mom, Dad, Lois stayed back at the apartment. I came because I was wondering if you would mind moving the party to our place."
"Clark, is everything OK?" Martha and Jonathan ask in unison.
"Yes, but listen, I don't want to waste time, so is it OK?
"Sure, Clark, just let me grab the pie."
"Mom, don't worry about the pie. I will come back later for it."
"Clark, now I know there is something wrong. Tell me what it is."
"Listen," Superman says, scooping his parents up in his arms, "All will be explained shortly."
Meanwhile, back at the apartment, Lois is calling her parents. "Hello, Mom, how are you? Yes, thank you for the congrats. Yes, all is well here. Well, actually, that is the reason I called. Clark and I aren't going to Paris. There has been a little change. No, Mom, slow down, Mom, Mom … MOM. Just listen. Is Dad there? Good. I have a favor to ask. The Kents are coming over tonight and I was wondering if you and daddy could join us here at the apartment for a little family celebration. Yes, well I know you are two hundred miles away, but, ah, Superman offered to pick you up. Yes, it is important … Listen, MOM, is that OK or not? Fine, then he will be there shortly. GOODBYE, MOM."
Lois turns as she sees Clark and his parents come through the window. They gently land and Martha rushes over to Lois. "Lois, are you OK? Clark wouldn't tell us anything and … "
"Yes, Martha, I am OK." Turning to Clark, "I called my parents and they said you could pick them up."
Jonathan and Martha shot each other a quick look of surprise. "OK, I'm off. By the way, what did you tell them?"
"I just invited them over and told them that Superman was doing us a favor. I figured we would wait until everyone is together before we drop the bomb."
With that comment Clark flies off leaving Lois to deal with his parents. Lois turns to her in-laws. "Can I offer you something to drink?" she asks casually, trying to pass the time until Clark returns.
"Look, Lois, whatever it is you can tell us. We have been through everything with Clark and with you, and I know we can help you both get through whatever this is."
"Trust me, Martha, your help will soon be appreciated."
"So tell us," Jonathan says taking a glass of tea from her. "What is it?"
"Listen, I promised Clark I would wait, and speak of the devil … "
Superman flies in carrying Lois' parents. He lands gently, and Ellen Lane, repeating many of the motions made by Martha a few minutes earlier, rushes over to her daughter.
"For heaven's sake, Lois, what's going on? Superman wouldn't tell us anything."
Lois' father, on the other hand, demonstrates some patience. "Thank you, Superman, we appreciate the lift."
"No problem. Now if you will excuse me I think I hear somebody calling."
Quickly flying out the window, he disappears.
"OK. Now that we are all here, can you please tell us?" Ellen asks. "Wait, we're not all here. Where is your husband?"
Lois tries to stall. "Gee, Mom, I'm not sure — he just ran to the corner store to buy … "
As if on cue Clark walks through the door. "Sorry, honey, the store was all out of … milk?" he asks hesitantly, making sure he has the right excuse.
"Right, milk, well that's OK, we can get some later."
"Well," they say in unison turning to each other, "how do we do this?"
They are standing by themselves in a corner trying to think of the best approach. The parents are huddled in the other corner.
"Martha, what do you think?" asks Ellen, "They're being so secretive."
"Honestly, Ellen, I thought I knew my son but this one has me stumped," replies Martha.
The men stand quietly by, letting the women gossip. Finally Lois and Clark approach.
"OK, everybody," commands Lois, "sit down on the couch."
The parents sit down and look up with apprehension. Lois starts, "Clark and I have decided that we all have spent too much time away from our parents lately and we also decided that our respective in-laws have spent too much time away from each other. I think re-introductions are in order."
"LOIS," Ellen screams, "have you lost your mind!! You've been married for three years, I think I know the Kents pretty well!!"
"For once I agree," says Jonathan, speaking for the first time. "Son, what is this all about?"
"Patience, Dad, patience. Here, let me start the introductions." Clark pauses for a moment letting the tension build. "Mom, Dad, I want you to meet your new in- laws, Grandpa and Grandma-to-be Lane."
"Yes," Lois jumps in, "Mom, Dad, I want you to meet YOUR new in-laws, Grandpa and Grandma-to-be Kent."
Both sets of parents look at each other and then look at Lois and Clark. Slowly, the impact of the moment hits.
Lois," her mother says starting to cry, "You don't mean … ?"
Sam Lane interrupts. Jumping to his feet, he embraces Lois crying, "My baby is going to have a baby!!"
Suddenly the room is electric as both sets of parents hug their children.
"Son," Jonathan says with great emotion in his voice, "I hope you have as great a kid as we did."
"Thanks," Clark says, emotion matching his father's, "I hope your grandchild has parents as great as mine."
Martha hugs her son and turns to Lois. "Lois, you have made my son so happy. You have made Jonathan and me happy too. How could I ever thank you?"
Well, a few hundred free hours of babysitting will probably cover it," Lois says, smiling as she wipes the tears from her eyes.
"Listen," Lois says, leading her parents back to the couch, "We have more news."
"Oh God," says Ellen. "Don't tell me it's twins."
Lois, having never thought of that idea, suddenly gets a scared look on her face. Clark comes to her rescue. "No, Ellen, not twins, at least not as far as we know," he laughs.
Martha and Jonathan have also come back to the couch. Lois, having recovered from the twins idea continues hesitantly. "Martha, Jonathan, before we start, I want you to know that Clark and I discussed this idea first, and we feel it's time my parents know."
Jonathan and Martha look at each other and nod. "You're right, Lois," Martha says and they sit back to wait.
"Know what, honey?" Sam Lane asks his daughter.
"Yes, for god's sake, Lois, what more could there be?" adds Ellen.
Clark steps back letting Lois handle her parents. "Mom, do you remember about five years ago I called you and I was all excited. I said that I had met the man of my dreams. He was gorgeous, honest, strong, and yet gentle. Not only that, he could fly!!"
"Yes, Lois, I remember you called and talked for hours about Superman. There were days I thought I would go crazy if I heard his name again," replies her mother.
Clark, standing in the corner, laughs at that. "Well," Lois goes on, "He was my fantasy. I guess I never had many in high school, so when Superman came he was my Hollywood idol, rock star, poster pin up, all in one. He was and is any girl's ultimate fantasy."
"Yes," Ellen states. "But what is your point?"
Lois continues, "Well, it took me long enough but I finally realized just that … he was a fantasy, not really real. I mean he was real, but unattainable. Clark made me realize what was real. I fell in love with Clark and I put my fantasies away."
With that comment Clark walks over to Lois. Both parents smile at them together. Lois steps closer to Clark for support. "See, Mom, Dad, with Clark I could see a real future, a home, a, a, a, family," she says stopping for a moment. She starts to cry, almost unable to continue.
"Lois, this is all fine and dandy, but you are wearing my patience!!" Ellen almost yells.
"OK, OK," Lois continues. "Well, I did as I said. I fell in love with CLARK, I wanted to marry CLARK. Then I found something out. I found out that I was the luckiest woman in the world because I got them both."
Lois stops, waiting for a reaction. Her parents, not quite catching on, urge her to continue. "You see, when I married Clark, I didn't just marry Clark. I also got my fantasy."
The realization finally starts to sink in and Lois hastily finishes her speech. "Look, don't be mad. We didn't tell you because of your safety. I mean, what if somebody kidnapped you or tried to kill you or … "
Lois stops, having just thought of something. She turns to Clark. "You know your secret must go in three year cycles," thinking back to the first time Clark had discussed his secret. Lois then turns back to her parents.
Sam asks hesitantly, "Lois, exactly what are you saying? Are you saying … " He is unable to finish his sentence.
"Mom, Dad, meet your son-in-law … Superman," Lois says as Clark does his quick change routine.
Sam just stares and Ellen faints dead away.
A few hours later, after having recovered from the shock of all of the introductions, Clark flies both sets of parents back home and Lois and Clark are left to themselves.
"Well, Clark, I guess that went pretty well … I mean, after you promised my mom and dad you would fly them away for a trip together to recover from all of their news, I guess they adapted pretty well."
"Well, Lois, it's not every day that you find out your daughter is having a baby AND she actually married an alien all within an hour. I'd say overall it was a pretty successful day. How are you feeling? You must be tired. Here, lie down on the couch and I'll get you something to drink. Juice, or perhaps, milk?"
"Actually, 'I could use a scotch,' to quote my mother, but I guess cow juice will suffice."
Clark brings her the milk and she sits up to drink. "Now, how do we tell Perry and the gang?" Clark asks.
"Clark, I really don't know. I'm sure we'll think of something. Right now all I want to do is curl up and take a nap," Lois replies wearily.
With that comment Clark gently lifts Lois and carries her to the bedroom. He sets her in bed. Lois looks into Clark's face and realizes how much she loves him, and their baby.
"Clark, have I told you lately how much I love you? When I was growing up, I never imagined that I would get married, let alone have a baby. I always just thought my work would be my only company. Then I met you and everything changed. You changed me and kept me from being alone. You are giving me the greatest gift of all: your baby."
"Lois, it is you I should be thanking. I always thought my powers, who I was, would isolate me, keep me apart from most people. I never imagined I could be this happy, that I could have a family. I always had my parents and that was family, but this is different. I hope that one day in the future our child finds a person that makes him as happy and as fulfilled as you have made me."
They kiss a long passionate kiss. Slowly they break away. "Now Lois, please try to rest, OK? I want you to come with me to the office tomorrow to break the news."
"OK, Clark," she agrees, "but there is just one thing. Your comments before made me cry and I love you very much. Now I realize that you have tremendous powers, but even you can't predict whether it is a boy or a girl. You said 'him.' How do you know it won't be a girl?"
"Lois Lane Kent," says Clark in mock exasperation, "Just go to sleep. You know that whatever we have I will love because it will be a part of us."
With that comment he closes the door and lets Lois sleep.
The next morning, Lois wakes up and hears Clark in the kitchen. She isn't quite as queasy as she has been so she gets out of bed and heads for the kitchen.
"Hi, sleepyhead, I thought I would let you rest. Your nap lasted all night."
"Clark, I'm sorry."
"Lois, don't be sorry. I love watching you sleep. Oh, I also helped save a town from a mud slide, but that's another story. Here, sit down. What can I get you for breakfast?"
"You know, I have the strangest craving for pickles and ice cream."
With that comment Clark gives her a weird look, but heads for the freezer.
Lois gets up, "Clark, I was kidding, I am not having any strange cravings, at least not yet. Some juice and toast will be fine. Actually bacon and eggs sound good too and maybe a doughnut. I'm pretty hungry."
She goes to sit back at the table and Clark laughs as he prepares breakfast.
After breakfast they design a plan of attack for telling the Planet their news and then get ready for work.
Lois and Clark enter the Planet hand in hand, clearly enjoying the morning. Perry comes out of his office and looks up and smiles at the happy couple, then frowns remembering they are supposed to be in Paris.
"Lois, Clark, in my office, now," Perry barks.
Lois and Clark look at each other and smile and head into the office. They come in and close the door. Perry starts, "I thought you two were in Paris?" A note of concern enters his voice.
"Actually, Perry, there has been a little change in plans," Lois says. "Actually not so little when you think of it, well, little now but later —"
Perry interrupts Lois' babbling. "Lois, Clark, what in tarnation is going on?"
"Well, Perry, we have some news but we would like to share it with everybody in the office. Mind if we call an impromptu conference?" Clark asks.
"Well … I guess, it's a slow news day. Whatever it is, though, I hope it was important enough to keep you from Paris."
"It was, Perry, trust us." Lois says.
The three of them walk out to the Main Lobby.
"Excuse me, everyone, could I have your attention, please." Clark says, trying to be heard over the din and clatter of the newsroom. However, he does not seem to be heard.
Finally Perry yells in that voice of his, "Stop the presses!" Turning to Lois and Clark, "I love saying that."
With that comment everyone stops what they are doing and looks up at the trio. The room becomes quiet. "Lois and Clark have something they want everybody to hear."
"Thanks, Perry," says Clark. "Actually, Lois wants me to talk. For a change."
The newsroom laughs appreciatively. Clark continues, "Some of you were here five years ago when I first came to this office. I met this wonderful woman," he says, smiling down at Lois, "And slowly we became friends. You all got to know us as Lane and Kent, the great reporting team. And most of you were here three years ago when we changed from Lane and Kent to Kent and Kent. We became more than just a reporting duo, more than just friends, we became husband and wife."
Many in the newsroom smile remembering all the trials and tribulations the couple had and how they finally got married. "Well," Clark continues, "We're changing again. We will no longer be Kent and Kent. We will be Kent and Kent and … "
Clark stops and turns to Lois. "What? … we haven't even discussed names and … " he stops when he realizes the newsroom is still listening.
"Clark!" Perry interrupts. "The news?"
Some are smiling, having figured it out. Sheepishly, Clark continues, "As I was saying, we will be changing, well, not really changing, just adding on. Well, yeah, I guess you could say changing … "
Perry interrupts again, "Clark, will you please finish your speech!!"
"Sorry, Perry. Lois and I will soon be Kent and Kent and … baby! We are having a baby!"
With that comment the newsroom explodes, people clapping, yelling congrats, etc. Perry turns to the couple. "Lois, Clark, I am so happy for you." He gives Lois a gentle hug.
"Thanks, Perry," Lois says, speaking for the first time since Clark started his speech.
Jimmy comes up to the couple. "Well, Lois, I guess it wasn't the stomach flu?" He laughs and goes to hug her.
"No, Jimmy, it wasn't the stomach flu."
Jimmy turns to Clark, "CK, you are going to be a dad. That's really cool."
"Yeah, Jimmy," Clark responds. "Real cool."
Lois is suddenly surrounded by friends all wanting to know the details and Clark talks to Perry and Jimmy. Lois and Clark spend the afternoon hanging around the newsroom and talking to all of their friends. Finally, after five o'clock they tear themselves away and head for home.
As they sit stuck in traffic they discuss the day. "You know, Clark," sighs Lois, "I never realized until today just how much we have ahead of us. Jennifer was telling me about all of these nurseries we should start looking at, and Sandra pulled out a catalog she kept after Josh was born and showed me all this furniture."
"I know what you mean, Lois. Jimmy was trying to sell me on learning parenting skills through the Internet! And Perry … well, you know Perry — always ready and willing with advice."
They both laugh at that comment. "Just wait, Clark, my mother still needs a few days to recover but I guarantee you she will out-advise everybody."
Lois isn't sure she really likes that idea. Suddenly the car stops. Lois comes out of her thoughts and looks around. They sre at the front of the apartment. "Clark, why did you stop? You know we can't park here."
"I know, Lois; I'm dropping you off. I don't know how hard it might be to find a space in this traffic and I don't want you walking."
"Clark Kent, I am not, repeat not, an invalid. I can certainly walk a few measly blocks. Now go park the car!"
Reluctantly, Clark drives around and after a few minutes finds a space though almost a quarter of a mile away. "Lois, are you sure about this? I mean, I could go back and drop you off — "
Lois cuts in. "Clark, quit worrying; this is fine."
They slowly walk back to the apartment, each lost in their own thoughts. They enter the apartment and Lois heads for the couch, exhausted. Clark, seeing her on the couch gives her one of his I-told-you-so looks. He goes over to the couch.
"Here, Lois. Sit up a minute."
Lois sits up and he gently pushes some pillows behind her and then puts more pillows under her feet. Reluctantly, Lois allows herself to be taken care of.
"Lois, we need to talk. I know you think that you are Ultrawoman," he says with a sly grin, "but you're not."
"Clark, I may not be Ultrawoman, but I still need my independence. That's a part of who I am. You can't ask me to change that."
"Lois, I would never ask you to change. I love your independent spirit too much to see you lose it. It is just that … " Clark pauses, trying to think of the best way to approach things. "Look, Lois, this baby — our baby — is going to be an adjustment for both of us. You just need to realize that well … maybe, just for a little while you may have to … slow down," he says hesitantly, waiting for her reaction.
"OK, Clark, I will admit that maybe right now I don't have my usual energy and vigor. I know there are going to be changes but … well … it is going to take time … OK? Look, I will promise not to walk ten blocks and I will 'think' three times instead of twice before jumping into any scenarios. Agreed? … "
She looks up at him, smiling sweetly. Clark, never being able to resist that smile, nods his head. "For now, Lois."
They kiss and start to kiss more . The kisses become deeper and Lois feels Clark wanting more. She does too but stops for a moment.
"Clark, I thought you said I had to slow down," she says with a coy smile.
"Well, Lois, you didn't have to take me literally." They start kissing again and then he stops. "Lois, this is OK, isn't it? I mean we can't hurt the baby or anything?" he says with concern.
"This is OK. FOR NOW," she says, mocking his earlier expression.
"Just OK?" He whispers huskily as they fall into each other.
It is now almost three months into Lois' pregnancy. So far things have progressed rather normally. Lois goes to the doctor on a regular basis and he has not spotted any differences. Lois and Clark have agreed to see her doctor and keep a normal routine. If something changes, Clark's parents have a very close friend who has promised to "help" with any problems which might arise.
It is night and Lois and Clark are sleeping. Suddenly Lois awakes because she feels something. "The baby," she thinks, "I'm feeling the baby. Clark, Clark, wake up!"
She nudges Clark awake. Drowsily Clark rolls over to face Lois.
"Lois, what is it? Are you OK? Is everything all right?"
As he slowly wakes up he pays Lois more attention. Lois leans over and kisses him.
"What was that for?" Clark asks as they end the kiss.
"Just this," Lois says as she takes his hand and places it over her stomach.
Suddenly Clark's hand jumps as the baby kicks again. The look on Clark's face cannot be described. He looks down at his hand and then looks at Lois. "Lois, was that … ?"
"Clark, that was our baby. And a super baby it will be if that kick was any indication."
Lois is crying and laughing at the same time. Clark continues to stare at Lois. He seems speechless. Suddenly Lois is worried by his silence. "Clark, what is it? What is wrong?"
Clark finally speaks, "Lois, in all my years on earth … I thought I had superpowers, but this … this … " he says staring at her stomach, "This is more amazing than ANYTHING I can do!!"
Just as he says that the baby kicks again. They laugh together at the miracle they are experiencing. "Lois, what does it feel like?"
"Well, it is hard to describe, especially to you," she laughs. "Actually, it's rather pleasant. I was beginning to wonder if he would ever make his presence known."
"There you go, Lois; now you're doing it, calling this baby a he. If we have a girl she might be pretty upset to know her mother was calling her a he."
They had agreed that Clark would refrain from using his x-ray vision to determine the sex of the baby. There were times when Clark had been tempted but they had both agreed to wait.
Suddenly Clark sits up in bed. He turns to Lois, "Honey, I've got to run. Be back as soon as I can."
Quicker than Lois could shake her head he changes and dashes out the window. Lois sits alone in bed. "Well, I guess it's just you and me, kid," she says out loud.
Lois lies down and slowly falls back to sleep. She tries not to be angry at Clark for leaving, but sometimes it is hard, especially now with the baby. They had been sharing a real moment and then he has to dash off!
"Well," Lois says out loud as she is falling asleep, "I guess he is out making the world a safer place for you and me."
And with that she falls asleep.
It is the next morning. Lois slowly wakes up and does not turn over but just begins talking. "Clark, wasn't last night great? I mean I felt it — our baby!! Well, you felt it too, but, wow! What an experience!! Clark, last night was so special and … well, I just want you to know that I forgive you for dashing out last night. I just wish that … well … Clark, don't you have anything to say?"
Lois had been half talking in her sleep but now she is fully awake and turns over to realize she has been talking to an empty space. Clark had apparently not come home last night.
Talking out loud she says, "Well, Clark, I hope it was important."
Repeating her comments from last night she says, "It's still just you and me, kid. Let's see if we can find out what kind of trouble your daddy is into this morning."
The baby starts kicking Lois again as if agreeing with her. Lois smiles and then gets up and goes over and turns on the news, flipping through various channels to see if there is any news of a disaster or any other situation which could require her husband's attention. Nothing.
Talking aloud again she says, "You would think after three years I would be used to this."
Lois grimaces as the baby kicks again. What had last night been cute and wonderful is becoming a bit painful and bothersome. "Look, kid," Lois says talking to her stomach, "I want him here, too, but how about you give us both a break and let me get ready for work. I'm sure he'll be here to walk us to work."
As if listening, the baby settles down and Lois gets ready for work. However, almost an hour later, as Lois is preparing to leave there is still no sign of Clark. Lois checks the news again, even calls the Kents but there is no answer.
"Mister, you better have a damn good excuse when I see you." Lois sounds angry, but beneath the anger there is also worry. It isn't like Clark to be gone for so long.
Reluctantly, Lois drives to work. As she stops into the Planet she looks at Clark's desk hoping maybe he has gone directly to work. No luck. Lois heads for her desk trying to keep her worry and anger in check.
Jimmy wanders over noticing she doesn't look like herself. "Hey, Lois, what's up?"
"What's that supposed to mean?" She snaps, nearly biting his head off.
"Whoa, I'm sorry. I didn't mean to — well, I noticed you over here and I haven't seen CK. What, a fight in lover's paradise?"
Jimmy is only kidding but Lois isn't in the mood. "Look, Jimmy, everything's fine, Clark just had to … run errands. OK??!!"
"Sure, Lois; hey, no problem." Jimmy starts to walk away and Lois stops him. "Look, Jimmy, I'm sorry. It's just … well, the baby started kicking last night and I didn't sleep well and yes, I guess you could say I'm a little angry at Clark, but it's nothing out of the norm. Sorry I bit your head off."
"It's OK, Lois, and hey, congrats on the baby. That must be really cool. Let me know if I can get you anything."
"Thanks, Jimmy." Lois tries to concentrate on some research she is doing but she finds herself reading the same line over and over. She calls the Kents again and still no answer. Just as Lois is starting to reach the panic stage Clark enters the Planet. As he heads for Lois' desk he passes Jimmy.
"Warning, CK. Your missus is not in the best of moods. What did you do anyway?"
"Long story, Jimmy." Clark heads for her desk.
Lois looks up. "Oh, hi," she says in one her best sarcastic tones. "I see you decided to grace us with your presence."
"Look, Lois, I'm really sorry about being away for so long but — well there was this tidal wave in China followed by a typhoon in Japan followed by a mild quake in California and then … well, I flew to the farm to see Mom and Dad. I thought you would be sleeping. Well, then Dad's mare started having her baby and things got complicated and I had to fly in a specialist and … well, here I am."
"Yes, here you are. Let me understand this. I have been worrying myself sick checking the news every ten minutes thinking the worst and you were out helping A HORSE!!!!!!!!"
Lois has started to really scream at Clark and some in the newsroom have turned to stare. "Lois," Clark urges, "Lower your voice. Do you want everyone to know?"
"Clark, how could you be so inconsiderate!! It was bad enough that you had to leave last night in the middle of that very special moment, but this!!"
Lois has lowered her voice some and most in the newsroom have gone back to work. Perry steps out of his office, but for once, decides to keep his nose out of it. He knows whatever problem Lois and Clark have they will work it out — they always do.
"For over three years, Clark, three years, I have put up with you leaving. I understand what you have to do. But stop for a moment and look it from my point of view. You weren't there when I wanted you and I accepted that. I accept that sometimes my bed might be empty in the morning. After three years, I have learned to accept a lot. But you always call or communicate and when you didn't, well … And now this baby. Clark, I need to know you are going to be there when I need you, when the baby needs you, and this stunt this morning, well … "
"Stunt?! Lois, this was not a stunt. I was out helping people and yes, I'm sorry I didn't call, but it was an accident. I just lost track of time. I'm sorry."
"Look, Clark, this isn't like the doctor who comes home late from the hospital and says 'oh, honey, sorry I didn't call I was busy at the hospital.' At least she knew where he was!!! You could have been at the ends of the earth and for all I know … "
Lois quit ranting when she notices the distracted look on his face. "Clark, are you listening to me? Clark?"
"Look, Lois, I hear something. Can we finish this discussion at home tonight?"
"Clark, don't you dare walk out in the middle of this!"
"Look, Lois, I know this is important but so are the people being held up at Metropolis National right now. I gotta run." He leans over, kisses her cheek and dashes.
"Clark Jerome Kent, don't you think this fight is over. I know you can hear me so don't think this is the end."
Lois continues to yell as he dashes out the door. Many in the newsroom turn to look at Lois and then they get back to their work. Perry having seen that Clark has left again heads over towards Lois. "Lois, is everything all right? Where is Clark going?"
"Out to save the world," Lois mutters, not really caring whether Perry hears or not.
"What does that mean, Lois?" questions Perry.
"Nothing, Chief, nothing." Lois is exasperated and after her fight with Clark she wants to get some air. "Hey Jimmy, want to go to lunch? The baby and I just got very hungry."
"Sure, Lois, let's go. How about spicy Chinese?"
"Jimmy, that sounds like heaven." The baby kicks and Lois smiles. "Looks like somebody else likes your idea, Jimmy."
They head out the door. Lois and Jimmy are in Lois' Jeep headed for lunch. Jimmy is driving and Lois is talking about some recent story. "So you see, Jimmy, what really happened was … "
Lois' comments are cut short as a gray truck runs a stop sign and hits the Jeep broadside. Jimmy tries to maintain control of the Jeep, but it is impossible. The impact of the truck pushes the Jeep into a wall and a head-on collision. This all happens within a matter of minutes. No time for Lois to do anything, not even scream for help.
Although Lois is wearing her seatbelt, the impact hit her side hardest, and she has been pushed almost out of her seat and into the windshield. She is knocked unconscious (don't worry, no head traumas here. I promise!!). Jimmy is also knocked unconscious and the driver of the truck is also out cold. Luckily a passing motorist has witnessed the accident and calls for help on her car phone.
Meanwhile, after the bank heist, Superman has headed out west to help stop a raging forest fire. Suddenly, almost at the exact moment of the crash, he feels something. Somehow he knows something is wrong. He quickly extinguishes the fire and heads for Metropolis.
Lois, Jimmy, and the truck driver were admitted to the hospital. Jimmy awakens and after an examination it has been discovered he has sustained only some minor cuts and bruises and a broken wrist. As quickly as he can he phones the Planet to let Perry know what is going on. Then he goes to check on Lois.
Perry is just hanging up the phone when Clark rushes in. His superhearing catching the tail end of the conversation, but he wants to check with Perry to see if there areany other details before he panicks. Jimmy hadn't said anything about Lois. Maybe that is a good sign.
Perry hangs up the phone and sees Clark enter his office. Slowly he walks over and closes the door behind Clark. "Chief, what is it? I know something is wrong. Where's Lois?"
The tension and angst in Clark's voice is obvious and Perry tries to calm him as best he can. "Clark, why don't you sit down."
"Chief, just tell me; I know that something happened."
"After you and Lois had your little um … discussion shall we say, and you left, Lois and Jimmy decided to go to lunch together."
Clark decides he better sit because he doesn't like the way this is sounding.
"Apparently, Clark, as they were driving down Park Avenue a truck ran a stop sign and hit Lois' jeep. Jimmy believes it was a drunk driver."
Before Perry has even finished Clark is standing up prepared to dash out. "How are they, Chief?" Clark askes, wondering if he really wanted the answer.
"Jimmy seems to be OK, just a broken wrist."
Clark asks hesitantly, "And Lois?"
The Chief doesn't answer. "PERRY, HOW IS LOIS?!"
"The doctors don't know, Clark. The truck hit her side of the Jeep and she was wearing her seatbelt, but … "
That is all Clark needs to hear. He will find out the rest himself. He almost SUPER dashes out of Perry's office, it takes all his restraint not to. He waits only as long as necessary and then changes and flies over to the hospital.
Clark quickly lands at the hospital, changes and enters through the emergency entrance. He quickly goes to the admitting station. Trying to get a nurse's attention, he says, "Excuse me, I believe my wife was brought in here. She has been in a car accident and … " Clark tries not to let the panic he feels show in his voice.
The nurse turnes to him. The nurse doesn't even look up but says, "Name?"
"Clark Kent." That catches the nurse's attention. "Oh, Mr. Kent, I'm sorry; I didn't realize it was you. We all read your and your wife's columns. You two are just the best."
"About my wife," Clark says, trying not to sound exasperated.
"Oh, yes, I'm sorry; just let me check my records." With that she turns to some charts sitting on her desk. She finds the one she is looking for and as she opens the folder and reads the file, the expression on her face changes. She becomes noticeably upset. Clark notices the change and by this time is almost at the panic stage.
The nurse sets the file down. "Mr. Kent, why don't you go sit down. The doctors are in with your wife now and I'm sure as soon as they know anything they will tell you."
"What are you not telling me?" Clark almost yells.
"Please, Mr. Kent, I can't say anything more, you will just have to wait for the doctor."
The nurse is obviously uncomfortable and doesn't want to continue her conversation. Clark has a thought and says to the nurse, "IF the doctor comes, tell him he can page me at 555-1213. I have to go get something. I will be back in about twenty minutes."
With that he dashes out the door and heads for Smallville. Within five minutes he is at the farm. He runs in the house screaming,. "Mom, Dad, where are you?"
He quickly scans the house and sees them upstairs. He dashes up the stairs. Martha and Jonathan are playing a game of Scrabble. The second he enters the room his parents can tell something is wrong and they quickly get up from the table.
"Clark, what is it?" Martha asks. She knows just by one look at her son that something is obviously wrong.
"Mom, Dad, I need you to come with me now. There's been an accident, a drunk driver and Lois and … "
Clark is too upset to continue. He breaks down in his parents' arms. Both of his parents hold him for a moment. Clark regains his composure. "Will you fly with me to the hospital? The doctors and nurses won't tell me anything and I'm so upset. I thought maybe you could help me handle this better."
"Son, you know we are always there for you. Let's go," both parents say in unison. All three are back at the hospital in five minutes and still waiting on the doctor.
"Mom, this is driving me crazy. I feel so useless. If anything happens to Lois or the baby, I don't know what I am going to do." Clark is on the verge of breaking down again.
Jonathan comes over. "Son, this is not your fault. Accidents happen. Now we have to be strong for Lois and the baby. Remember how strong she was when that Christmas bug almost killed you and then again when you left for New Krypton. Well, now it's your turn to be strong for her."
Father and son share a quiet moment. Suddenly, out of the corner of his eye, Clark sees Jimmy. He has a cast on his wrist and a few bruises. He cautiously approaches the Kents and Clark.
He just stands in front of Clark not knowing what to say. Finally Jimmy gets the nerve to speak. "CK, I am so sorry. I didn't even see the truck coming, I swear. I tried so hard, and — oh God, if anything happens to Lois or your baby, I will never forgive myself." Jimmy starts crying.
"Jimmy, it wasn't your fault. I know you would never hurt Lois or the baby. I can't count how many times I have told Lois what a great friend you have been to us. I don't blame you for the accident and I know Lois wouldn't either."
Jonathan steps into the conversation, "Why don't Martha and I go down to the cafeteria and get us all some coffee. Jimmy, why don't you wait with Clark for the doctor."
Jonathan and Martha leave.
"Jimmy, I feel so bad. Lois and I had this fight and I left and now … " Clark is unable to continue.
"CK, Lois knows how much you love her. Everybody has a fight sometimes. You can't expect it to be perfect all the time." Jimmy acts as if he wants to continue the conversation but suddenly tenses up.
The driver of the truck that had hit them is approaching them. Clark had checked with the police and found that the driver's blood alcohol level was almost twice the legal limit when he had been driving the truck. The driver has been released from the hospital and is waiting to go to police headquarters. He sees Jimmy and Clark talking and wants to go over and say something. He starts to head their way but then he loses his nerve and quickly turns around. Not quickly enough however, because Jimmy spots him.
Clark notices Jimmy's abrupt change. "Jimmy, what is it?"
"CK, that's the guy that was driving the truck that hit Lois and me." Jimmy points to the man walking down the hall.
Without really thinking Clark gets up and chased after him. He grabs the man and pushes him against a nearby wall. "Where do you think you're going? Do you think you can just walk away? Do you know what you have done?" Clark is practically screaming.
Jimmy had run after them, worried what Clark might do. Clark continues to pin the man against the wall. The man attempts to speak, "Mr. Kent, I am so sorry! I don't know what happened! That stop sign came out of nowhere and … "
"What do you mean, 'you don't know what happened'? I'll tell you what happened. You decided to have a few mid- afternoon drinks and then you decided to get in your truck and drive and then you decided to run a stop sign. Do you know what you have done?!! My wife and unborn child were in that car, along with another innocent person. Your stupid recklessness might have cost them their lives."
While Clark is saying all of this he is almost choking the man with his grip. He has lost almost all sense of control. The only other time he had been this way was with Lex when he had found him in his apartment after the wedding fiasco.
Jonathan and Martha had returned from the cafeteria and looked around for Clark and Jimmy. They find them in the back corner of the hospital waiting room. Jimmy is trying to calm Clark down.
"CK, let him go!"
"Jimmy, how can you say that, after what he has done?"
Clark's grip tightens on the driver and he is obviously having trouble breathing. Martha and Jonathan rush over. Jonathan talks first, "Son, Jimmy's right. Put him down. This isn't going to solve anything."
"Dad, he hurt Lois and the baby." Clark says, sounding like a mix between a scared little boy and a very angry young man. Martha tries to reason with him.
"Clark, is this what Lois would want? This man has suffered, and he is going to suffer for the rest of his life, knowing what he has done. Hurting him further is not going to help Lois heal. You need to save your strength to help you and Lois and the baby get through this. Don't waste your energy on him."
Martha is slowly making an impact and Clark lets the man go. He gasps for breath and tries to talk. "Mr. Kent, I am so sorry and … "
Clark gives him an extremely scary stare and says, "You better be out of my face in two seconds or I am not going to be responsible for my actions."
With that comment the man quickly darts out of the room. Clark turns to his parents and Jimmy. "Thanks, guys; I don't know what would have happened if you hadn't been here. I think I really might have killed him."
Jonathan pats his shoulder, "Son, I can only imagine how you must feel, but I know you would have done the right thing. We just helped you do it faster."
"I don't know. I don't think I have ever been that angry."
Martha gives him a hug and says, "Well, I know my son is not a killer, no matter how angry he gets."
The group has been so busy talking out the situation that they don't see the doctor approaching. Finally he steps in.
Clark turns around. "I'm Clark Kent."
"I'm Dr. Keller. I'm the ER doctor who has been treating your wife."
"How is she?" Clark asks anxiously.
The tension and emotion is obvious in Clark's voice. Jimmy and Clark's parents are also gathered around waiting for the news.
"Mr. Kent, your wife was very lucky. I believe the fact that she was wearing a seat belt saved her life. She sustained a mild concussion and some cuts and bruises."
The relief that shows in Clark's face is evident to everyone.
Clark asks anxiously, "Can I see her. Is she OK? You see, my wife has sort of a history with, shall we say, bumps on the head and … "
"Yes," the doctor replies, "I reviewed your wife's medical background but this incident seems to have caused no major head trauma for you to worry about. However … "
The doctor seems reluctant to continue. Clark can tell the doctor is holding something back. He is almost afraid to ask.
His father jumps in, "Doctor, is there something more we should know?"
The doctor continues hesitantly, "As you may know, a woman's body can be a very precarious thing during a pregnancy. The baby reacts to whatever experiences the mother goes through. It appears that the accident has caused Lois to go into premature labor. We have given her drugs to try to stop the contractions but the next few hours are vital."
"Doctor," Clark almost yells, "My wife is only three months along. A baby that young can't survive." Clark is almost near the point of tears.
"Mr. Kent, we are doing all we can here. As I said, the next few hours should tell us something. Now if you will excuse me I have to check on another patient. Mr. Kent, you can visit briefly but be aware that your wife has been through a traumatic experience and she needs to rest and relax and give the medicine a chance to work."
"I'm sorry, doctor, I didn't mean to yell … it is just so … " Clark doesn't finish his sentence.
The doctor softens some. "It's OK, Mr. Kent, I understand. Your wife is strong and healthy and she seems like a real fighter. I wouldn't give up on your baby just yet."
The Kents thank the doctor and he leaves them to themselves.
Jimmy is the first to speak. "I am going to call the Chief and update him on the situation." Turning directly to Clark he says, "CK, you know what a fighter she is." They both grin. "Lois won't give up this baby without a fight, and boy she can really be stubborn."
"You're right, Jimmy, and I have to be supportive for Lois. Thanks for being here, Jimmy. I don't know how I could have gotten through this without you."
"Always glad to be of service. Just tell Lois that next time she's driving."
With that comment Jimmy walks away to go find a phone. Clark and his parents are alone. Clark is obviously fighting a lot of emotions. Relief that Lois is OK, yet concern about the baby.
"I'm scared. I mean, what if something happens to the baby? This baby is such an unknown. What if it can't survive the trauma? How do we know how this half-human, half- Kryptonian baby will react to anything? I don't know how to go in and face Lois."
"Son," Jonathan replies, "Because it is your baby it will be strong. Stronger than most maybe. And don't leave Lois out of the equation."
"That's right, Clark," Martha jumps in, "You have got one strong ,gutsy lady in there. I can't promise you that everything will turn out the way you want. But you and Lois have enough strength and love to face whatever might come next. Just do it together. Go in there and be with your wife."
"You're right, mom, as usual. I just don't want to lose our baby."
"I know, son," both parents say in unison. They give Clark a hug and he heads off down the hall to see Lois.
Clark quickly finds her room and enters slowly. Lois appears to be resting in the hospital bed. He comes over to her side. There are obvious black and blue marks on her and a small bandage wrapped around her head. Clark just stands there for a moment and looks at her. Lois awakens and looks up at him.
She smiles weakly, "What, no cows to save?" She says, referring to their last discussion.
Clark tries to talk, "Lois, I am so sorry. I should have been there … I should have stopped this … I never should have left … " Clark is near tears.
"Clark, I am sorry about our fight this morning. I knew a long time ago that you had responsibilities. That is one of the reasons I love you so much. Your dedication and your sense of right and wrong. You can't be everywhere all the time. This was an accident."
"Yes, I know, but I still feel responsible. Lois, I love you more than anything in this world. I want to protect you from everything bad the world has to offer. I want to always keep you out of harm's way."
"Clark Kent, we had this discussion years ago. You can't always protect me. You can try but nobody is perfect, not even Superman. I love you and I know you will be there when I need you. I guess I just get jealous having to share you with the world. It is just my selfish nature, but I know in my heart that what you do is important. You are making this place a better world for us and … our baby."
With that comment Lois grimaces in pain, obviously experiencing a contraction.
Clark gets a look of almost panic on his face. "Lois, should I call the doctor?"
"No, Clark, they told me what was happening."
There is an uncomfortable silence in the room for a few moments. Clark doesn't know what to say.
Lois speaks. "Clark," she says, emotion obvious in her voice, "That's our son, trying to make an early entrance into this world." Clark just stares speechless. "The nurse was in doing an ultrasound and I asked her and she told me. She thought it might make me fight a little harder if I knew exactly what I was fighting for. Clark, I don't want this baby to die."
Lois is crying now too. Clark has overcome his momentary speechlessness and comforts Lois.
"Lois, we have to believe that the baby … our son … is going to be OK. He has to be. A boy, I can't believe it."
Clark looks down at Lois in bed. Slowly, gently, he leans over and kisses her. They share a quiet moment together.
Then Lois speaks, "Clark, I want to name him after his grandfathers. I like Samuel Jonathan Jor-El Kent. What do you think?"
Clark is again overcome with emotion. "Lois, it sounds like a great name. I think our fathers will be happy.
"You hear that, kid? You have a name, but you are going to have to wait a few months before you can claim it, OK? No early entrances. You hear me?"
Clark leans into Lois' stomach, "Don't know if you have super hearing yet or not but this is your father and as my first fatherly order I am telling you to stay put for a few more months. OK? Don't be giving your Mom and me a hard time just yet. You have years to do that."
Lois smiles at the image of this grown man, Superman, leaning over and talking to her stomach. Suddenly the contractions stop.
"Clark, you did it. The contractions stopped."
"See, Lois, what did I tell you. I got this parenting thing down pat. Now listen, I am going to sit over here in the corner and let you sleep. You and Sam need all the rest you can get. I love you, Lois."
"I love you too, Clark."
Clark leans over and gives Lois a quick kiss as she drifts off to sleep. Clark settles into the chair in the corner and waits and hopes and prays that everything will be all right. He is also still getting used to the idea of having a son.
Jonathan and Martha take a quick peek in the room to check on Lois and Clark. Jonathan goes over to Lois, and Martha, seeing Clark in the chair, grabs a blanket and covers him up.
Clark turns to his parents. "Mom, Dad, it's a boy. Lois and I are going to have a son." Clark refuses to think otherwise.
Both parents are very emotional. Martha starts to cry and so does Jonathan.
"Son, I know you will make a great father."
"You're right, dad, because I learned from the best."
Martha gives her son a kiss on the cheek and both parents prepare to leave.
"Your mother and I will be right outside, Clark, if you need anything."
Clark drifts off to sleep with hopes and prayers that his son will make it through the night. He realizes that even though he is Superman, Lois' pregnancy has proven to him that there were some things even he couldn't control. He could only wait and hope for the best.
He smiles slightly as he is falling asleep, dreaming of all the games of catch he has yet to play with Sam.
Clark stays by Lois side throughout the whole ordeal. After a touch-and-go night at the hospital, it seems as if Sam was listening to his parents and staying put for a while longer.
Lois' contractions stop and after a few days she is released from the hospital with a strict warning to get plenty of bed rest and not to overdo things. Clark laughed when the doctor had told Lois that.
"Mrs. Kent, I suggest you cut down on your workload a bit. I'm not sure what another trauma or stress might do to the baby. You and your son have been through quite an ordeal."
"I understand, doctor," Lois replies.
Clark just stares, amazed that Lois is offering no resistance. Lois and Clark thank the doctor and leave the hospital. Clark brings the car around and picks up Lois. They drive home in relative silence, each lost in their own thoughts.
Clark carries Lois' bags into the house and Lois Follows closely behind.
"I really missed this place," Lois sighs.
"Well it missed your woman's touch. The place wasn't the same without you," Clark says as he comes up behind her. Clark continues, "Listen, Lois, sit down and stretch out here on the couch. Can I get you anything?"
"Iced tea would be fine. Thanks, Clark."
Clark brings the tea over.
"So," he starts, "do you want to talk first or should I?"
"Clark, what more is there to say? You think I didn't take the doctor seriously? I heard what he said."
"Yes, Lois, but I know you and I know how you like to be consistently busy, working. I can't really recall you ever taking it easy for more than a few days at a time."
Lois is quiet for a minute and then she replies, "That was before … "
"Before I almost lost Sam. Before I really realized how much you and this baby really mean to me. Clark, I don't ever want to be that scared again. I promise, if I have to tie myself to a bed, I'll do what the doctor said. It may not be easy, but I'll try. With your help."
"Lois, you will have my help for now and forever. I love you and Sam more than I can ever say."
With that the two cuddle on the couch and Lois falls asleep in Clark's arms.
The next three months passed rather quietly. Lois goes in for regular check-ups and her pregnancy is progressing normally. Clark is right though, it is very difficult for Lois not to stay busy. She works out an arrangement with Perry to work in the office three or four days a week and to tries to do some of her work at home. She adaptes rather quickly to the new schedule but she misses her old self, the tireless reporter always first on the scene.
She also stays busy with other tasks. She and Clark have taken up house hunting and Lamaze classes and that keeps them both busy. Clark's Superman duties have also kept him busy, but he tries his best to scale back a little, letting the police handle things more often.
Together, they both try to change and adapt to their new lifestyle. Lois becomes so involved with her new life that there are times when it is hard for her to remember what life was like before Clark and the baby. Clark's love and the baby have really changed Lois but it isn't until the day he walks into the office that Lois finally realizes just how much she has changed …
Lois comes into the office and sits down. Lois is showing her pregnancy by this time but she still always looks like she stepped off a fashion catwalk. However, nothing could hide her growing stomach. It had bothered her at first, but now she really doesn't mind. It even gets her more sympathy around the office, why, she almost never has to get her own coffee or lunch or anything for that matter.
"Well," she thinks to herself, "I guess there are some benefits to looking like a beached whale."
This morning the office is relatively quiet. There is a new copy boy, Gerald, and Jimmy is showing him around the office. Jimmy and Gerald walk over to her desk.
Jimmy starts the introductions. "Lois, I want you to meet our new copy boy, Gerald. Gerald, this is Lois Lane- Kent, formerly star reporter Lois Lane, now mother-to-be Mrs. Kent."
"Thanks, Jimmy. I think," says Lois, slowly getting up from behind her desk. "Nice to meet you, Gerald. And contrary to popular belief I am still the best reporter in this place, baby or no baby.
"Nice to meet you, Mrs. Kent. Let me know if I can help you with anything. I'm new but I learn the ropes pretty quickly."
The boys walk away and Lois goes back to work.
A few hours later … the elevator door to the office opens and a handsome stranger walks into the office. He is over six feet tall, lean and muscular with blond hair and piercing blue eyes. He looks around the office, obviously looking for someone or something. About that time Gerald walks by and the stranger stops him.
"Excuse me, I'm looking for someone. Could you help me?"
"Well, mister, I'm new here but I'll try."
"I'm looking for Lois Lane." Gerald had a puzzles look on his face. The stranger continues, "You know Lois Lane, brunette, great body, legs out to here, star reporter."
That last comment jars Gerald's memory. "You must mean Mrs. Kent."
The stranger has been looking around the room but his head snaps back at that comment. "Mrs. Kent?"
"Yeah," Gerald replied, "Your last comment about a star reporter reminded me I met her this morning. However, I don't know about the great body part," he laughs.
"What do you mean?" the stranger questions.
"Well," Gerald replies, finally pointing the stranger to Lois. "It is hard to have a great body when you are six months pregnant."
Gerald walks away laughing and the stranger finally catches sight of Lois as she is getting up from her desk to get some papers. The sight of her very obviously pregnant figure shocks the stranger, and he stands in the hall for a few moments to gather his thoughts.
Slowly, he makes his way over to her desk. Lois has gone back to her desk and become involved in some research she is doing. It is several minutes before she realizes that someone is near her desk. She looks up and almost falls out of her seat in shock.
She would know those blue eyes anywhere. The hairstyle has changed a little, the face looks a bit older, more weathered, but those eyes, she would always remember his eyes. There is a few moments of awkward silence before Lois speaks.
"Josh … Josh Langston … I don't believe it … It has been such a long time … I thought you disappeared off the face of the planet … "
Lois attempts to get up but Josh makes her sit back down.
"No need to get up on my account … Mrs. Kent … "
"Oh hush," Lois says, getting up anyway and going over and hugging Josh. Then she sits back down. "What have you been up to?"
"I could ask you the same question, Lois, but I think the answer is kind of obvious." Again there is awkward silence but this time Josh speaks. "I never thought I would see the day … Lois Lane married and pregnant. Lois Lane, the eternal biting at your heels for a quote, going to back alleys for sources, staying up till all hours on a stakeout just for a story … Is this the same Lois Lane? Can't be. I just can't believe it … "
"What can't you believe, Josh? That I'm married and pregnant or that I'm married to someone other than yourself." That comment hits home and Josh takes a step back. Lois realizes her comment is un-called for. "Josh, I'm sorry. I didn't mean that. It's the baby. You know how pregnant women can be, mood changes and all."
"No, Lois, you're right. I guess I deserved that. It has been a long time, hasn't it. I guess things change. I also guess I liked thinking I was going to be the only man in your life."
"Josh, that was almost ten years ago. I did care for you but we weren't going in the same direction. You wanted to explore the world and I was content staying here. It never would have worked."
"So," Josh says carefully changing the subject. "Where is your husband? I would like to meet the man that finally caught you between stories."
Lois laughs at that comment and the tension disappears. "Actually, he is out with our Realtor checking on a house."
"Whoa, a house. This can't be the same woman that said, 'I never want more than three rooms and a kitchen and I really don't need a kitchen because I hate to clean and I can't cook."
Again Lois laughs. During their exchange Clark has come back in the office. Lois has not seen him and Clark having accidentally overheard their conversation stops short. Who was this stranger? How did he know Lois and why hadn't Lois mentioned him before. His curiosity gets the best of him and he wanders over. Hearing Josh's last comment he can't help but laugh also.
"Well," Lois says catching sight of her husband, "Here's the house hunter now."
Clark comes over and kisses Lois on the cheek and stands beside her in an almost defensive, possessive position.
"Clark, this is an old friend of mine, Josh. Josh, this is my husband Clark." The two men shake hands. Lois continuee, "Josh and I started here together as cub reporters. Worked really well for a while until Josh decided the Planet was too small. He had to go and what was it … explore the world … Earned two Pulitzers along the way if I recall."
"Actually, Lois, it's three now," he says laughing, "That's one of the reasons I'm here, passing through to pick up my latest award."
"How long are you in town?" Lois asks.
"A few days."
"Well," she says, turning to Clark. "We will just have to have you for dinner, although my husband will be cooking. Some things never change."
Lois nudges Clark and he nods, "Yes, Josh, Lois and I would love to have you for dinner," he says with a forced smile.
"Thanks. Let me go talk to Perry and I'll see what I can work out. It was great seeing you, Lois," he says, leaning over and giving her a kiss on the cheek. "And nice meeting you, Clark. You got yourself a good one there."
"Don't think I don't know it," he says with a little bite to his comment.
As Josh walks away, Clark turns to Lois. "OK, Lois, you have some explaining to do. Do you mind telling me who that was?"
"Oh, Josh. He is just an old friend. Someone I haven't seen in a very long time." Lois is avoiding eye contact with Clark.
"Ten years, right?"
That gets her attention. "Clark, how could you? I hate it when you eavesdrop!"
Lois gets angry and starts to walk away, but Clark gets her and turns her around. "I'm sorry, Lois. I didn't mean to, it's just that, well, I saw him talking to you and the two of you seemed so intense, I guess I couldn't help but overhear."
"Clark Kent, this is me you are talking to. Don't try any of your lame excuses. I'm mad!"
"Look, Lois, don't you think I should be the one who is mad? We have been married for over three years, known each other longer than that and in all this time I have never heard his name. Why didn't you tell me?"
The hurt expression on Clark's face changes Lois' attitude. "Clark, there is nothing to tell, it was all a long time ago, OK."
Lois leans over to kisses him and Clark has every intention of finishing the conversation when he hears someone calling for help.
He gives her one of those "this isn't over yet" looks and then says, "I gotta run, we will finish this at home."
He dashes off and Lois whisperes, "There is nothing to finish and don't forget we are having company for dinner."
Clark looks at her from across the room and then dashes off. Perry and Josh come out of Perry's office laughing and chatting like two long lost friends.
"Well, it has been great seeing you. I thought for sure one day I would see your name in the obits, having been shot by some sniper's bullet in some backwater country and getting the story of a lifetime out of some front-line soldier. Glad to see that bullets bounce off you pretty well."
"Actually, Perry, a few stray bullets did find their way to me but nothing seems to keep me down for long."
Lois looks at him from across the room and she remembers all of the great times they had shared. For one moment she is lost in memories until Sam kicks, bringing her back to reality. Sam kicks again harder and Lois in obvious discomfort makes her way to the nearest seat. Both Perry and Josh see her and rush over to help.
"Here, Lois," Perry says, giving her a hand to sit down. Lois gratefully accepts.
"Thanks, Perry. I guess Sam is being a little feisty this afternoon."
"Sam?" Josh questions.
"Sam," Lois says and pats her stomach. Josh still seems a little confused. "See, Josh, Clark and I already know the baby is a boy so we have named him Sam after my father."
"Lois, I'll say it again. Some things have really changed, especially if you are on talking terms with your father."
"Yeah well, we mended our relationship before the wedding. I think my marriage plus impending grand-fatherhood has changed him some."
Perry steps back and looks at the two young people. He had forgotten how well Josh and Lois interacted with each other. He had only been editor a short time when two wet- behind-the-ears college graduates applied for the job of reporter.
He had liked them both on the spot and hiring them had been one of his best decisions. He had hated to see Josh leave but he understood a young man's yearnings. Lois had seemed to be upset with Josh's leaving as well but he never broached the subject with her, and hell, that had been a long time ago. A lot of things had changed since then.
Perry interrupts their conversation. "Look, folks, feel free to carry on but I have work to do." Turning to Josh, "Good to see you again, son, and stay away from those bullets!"
Josh shakes Perry's outstretched hand. "Thanks, Perry, I'll try. At least for a little while." Turning to Lois, Josh finishs their conversation. "So, Lois, where did your husband disappear to? I was interested in learning more about this mystery man."
Lois takes Josh's hand and gets up out of her seat. Together they walk over to her desk. "He had some last- minute errands to run, but he was just as anxious to talk to you. So … will you come to dinner tonight? I promise I won't cook."
Josh laughs. "Sure, Lois, I would love to have dinner with you and Clark. What time is good?"
Evening finds Lois and Clark back at their apartment. Lois is setting the table and Clark is tidying up the apartment. Clark still has a lot of questions about Josh.
"So, tell me again, Lois, who Josh is and why I haven't heard about him."
"Clark, I keep telling you, Josh is just an old friend. We started out at the Planet together. We both had just graduated college and we were both rookie reporters; I guess we had some things in common. We helped each other on our first few stories and I guess our friendship grew out of that.
"Gradually, as we got more experienced, we started working more on our own. Somehow, though, I think this made the friendship stronger."
Lois finishes setting the table and sits down on the couch. Clark comes over to her.
"Lois, I can tell there's more to this story. In the three years we have been married, even longer than that really, we have had no secrets, yet I can tell you are hiding something."
Lois gets a hurt look on her face. "Clark, how could you think such a thing!! We were friends, nothing more … unless … "
"Lois?" Clark questions.
"OK, OK! So maybe … just maybe we became a little more than friends, and maybe, just maybe, he asked me to marry him and run away to God knows what forsaken country … It was a long time ago, Clark, a time I would almost like to forget."
Clark sits on the couch, listening. He doesn't interrupt Lois. He just listens. Somehow he knows Lois needs to tell her story.
She continues, "I was alone in the big city. Dad was, well, you know. Mom was buried in a bottle half the time and Lucy was away at school. I was lonely, and scared, just starting out on my own. Josh was on his own too … no family … His parents were killed in a car wreck when he was in high school and he had been on his own ever since.
"I guess you could say we shared a common bond. We connected and we cared about each other, but when he came to me that day and asked me to run away I knew whatever we had was over. I really did care about Josh, but I couldn't do what he was asking.
"The Planet, Metropolis, the life I had built here was the first steady thing I could really remember having in my life for a long time. It was comfortable and it was stable and I needed that. Josh couldn't seem to understand that, so we had this HUGE argument, and then he left.
"Until today, that was really it. Oh, I got a few postcards from time to time and I guess I kept up with him a little through the media, but that is it, Clark."
Clark had been silent through this whole thing. He is trying to absorb everything Lois had said. Finally he speaks. "Lois, why haven't you told me this all before?"
"Because it never came up; because that is a part of my life I would like to forget. I don't ever talk much about my life back then."
Clark looks over at his wife and feels mixed emotions. Anger at having been kept in the dark about this part of her life, yet mostly sadness and regret at the kind of life Lois had to endure. He moves over and sits closer to Lois.
"So." Lois looks up at him, "Are you mad?"
Clark pauses for a moment. "Lois, I am not mad; just disappointed, a little. I wish you had told me sooner."
Clark looks at his wife and realizes with sadness, once again, how tough her growing up must have been. He was the lucky one with supportive parents to help him through. In a way, maybe he was glad Josh had been there to make things a little easier for her; yet also maybe, he was a little jealous that somebody besides himself had been there for Lois.
Lois continues. "What Josh and I shared was a friendship and companionship. Two lonely people trying to help each other, make things a little brighter sometimes, but that was my past, Clark. I almost feel like that was another person who lived through those years."
She smiles up at Clark. "My real life didn't start until I met you! You and Sam are my life now, Clark, and that is all that matters."
Lois tears up and she snuggles closer to Clark. She needs his reassurance that everything is going to be OK. This successful, beautiful mother-to-be could still be haunted by her past experiences, could still feel some insecurities.
Clark looks down at Lois and sees the emotions in her face. Instead of saying anything, he leans over and kisses her. That is all she needed. His kisses, his warm touch, that is all Lois needs to put her insecurities to rest, at least for this time. (Well, what pregnant woman doesn't get insecure, right??)
They continue to snuggle on the couch until Clark's expression changes.
"Clark, you've got that look."
"What look?" he asks innocently.
"You know very well what look."
Clark looks over at her again.
"Clark, we have company coming for dinner!! Can't it wait?"
"No, Lois, it can't, but I will be back as soon as I can. There are people in California right now trapped in a wildfire!!"
And with that he is up from the couch and out the window.
"Yeah, great excuse," Lois mumbles to herself.
She pats her stomach and says her favorite phrase, "Well, kid, it looks like it's just you and me again. Daddy's flown off to save the world."
Lois goes back to tidying up the kitchen and a few minutes later the doorbell rings. Lois goes to the door and opens it to find Josh standing there bearing a bouquet of flowers in one hand and a bottle of wine in the other.
"Hi, Lois. Can I come in?"
"Josh, come in, please," Lois says, laughing as Josh makes his way into the apartment, trying to balance the wine and the flowers.
"Thanks. Here, these are for you, still like flowers, right?"
"Right, of course," Lois says taking the flowers. "I'll go put these in some water. Sit down and make yourself comfortable, I'll just be a minute."
Josh sits for a moment and then realizes he still has the bottle of wine in his hands. Lois enters the room.
"Here, I brought this for the dinner tonight, non- alcoholic of course. I didn't know what kind you and Clark might like and … speaking of which, where is your husband?"
"Oh, he's uh … out chasing down a lead … for a story we are working on. Not exactly like I'm in any condition to go out." Lois laughs nervously.
"Lois, I know you too well — there's more, isn't there?"
"Oh, OK. Clark thought we might like some time alone, to, you know, catch up and all. I'm sure he will be back soon. While we are waiting, why don't I go get the appetizers."
As Lois leaves for the kitchen; Josh starts wandering around the apartment, not really being nosy, just the reporter's instinct in him. He comes to a table with quite a lot of photographs on it. He picks up their wedding picture and stares at it. A million thoughts run through his head as he stares at the picture.
She was so beautiful and she looked so happy. Josh could only hope that Lois was as happy as she appeared. He realized a long time ago what a jerk he had been to leave the way he did, but that was in the past, and if Lois was truly happy then he could do nothing but be happy for her. He quickly put the picture down and composes himself as Lois comes over with a tray of food.
"Chinese dumpling, Josh?"
"Lois, you remembered," Josh says laughing as he popped the food in his mouth.
It was Josh who had first introduced Lois to spicy Chinese food. Josh takes the drink Lois offers and continues. "You know I think I can still taste the grease from that god-awful Chinese place we ate during that stakeout."
"Josh, it wasn't that bad."
"OK, maybe it was bad, so these will make up for it, OK?"
They make their way to the couch.
"So, tell me more about you, Josh. I heard you swapping some stories with Perry as you left. What have you been up to for the last ten years? How did you get all those Pulitzers? What's the secret?"
"No secret, Lois, just happened to be in the right place at the right time. Got a good story. Period. That's all."
"Josh, it couldn't have been that simple. Tell me about where you went, the people you saw. Did you meet anyone special?"
Lois' last question catches Josh off guard. Lois sees a look and continues to pry. "Tell me, Josh, I can tell, there WAS someone, wasn't there?"
"Why, Lois? Are you jealous?"
Josh is teasing her but Lois blushes just the same. "For God sake, Josh! Look at me," she says, referring to her bulging stomach. "I'm a very pregnant married woman. Me? Jealous? Ha. I just want to hear one of those Pulitzer stories straight from the horse's mouth, so spill."
Josh looks a bit uncomfortable. "Lois, shouldn't Clark be coming home any minute? Maybe I will wait and tell you both."
"Josh, you're stalling, I can tell. Don't forget who taught you the tricks of the trade."
"Who taught who?" Josh says, looking over at Lois.
They both laugh. When their laughter subsides, Lois continues.
"Seriously, Josh, I am interested. It must have been exciting and fascinating to see all of the places you have been, not like I'm an amateur, but you've gone into places even I've never been."
"Well thank you for that compliment, Lois."
"You're welcome, and you are still stalling. Tell me about your last place, where did you win your latest Pulitzer?"
Josh doesn't say anything else for a moment. Lois senses that he needs to talk.
Quietly she askes, "Do you want to tell me about it?"
"It was a war, Lois, what is there to tell?"
Josh has this look in his eyes. Lois recognizes it. She had seen the same look on Clark's face when he had first returned from his own war. They had seen and experienced too many things, things which could never be fully described, things that could still haunt you late into the night.
Clark's eyes had gradually softened after his return home, but sometimes, when a gruesome news story came up, or when Clark had a bad day trying to save the unsavable, that look returned to his eyes. It is the same look Josh has.
Lois can only imagine what Josh must have seen. There is silence in the room for a moment and then Josh speaks.
"You were right earlier, Lois."
"There was a woman. In fact she reminded me a lot of you. I was sent to cover that civil war — God, what a sight to see … landing in that war-torn country … I don't think I will ever forget … "
Josh drifts off for a moment and Lois for once is quiet.
Josh continues. "Anyway, I landed in Bosnia just as the war was heating up and there seemed to be no end in sight. A bunch of us, freelance reporters all of us, found a place to stay. It wasn't much but … Anyway, about my third or fourth day there I am out at this market place trying to buy some bread when the next thing I know I was flat on the ground. I don't know if you remember that market massacre but I was a part of that hell."
Lois remembers seeing the pictures on TV and remembers the outrage and frustration she had felt. It pains her to think of Josh in the middle of that.
"Anyway, I woke up a few days later and I was in the hospital and I saw this Red Cross woman and … well, needless to say, she helped nurse me back to health, when she wasn't bringing other wounded in or facing snipers alley to get food for us all.
She was amazing. One of the most fearless women I have ever met."
Josh stalls for a moment and then continues. "I left the hospital a few days later but … Beth was her name, she was an American volunteer and well … when I got back to the hotel I couldn't stop thinking about her, so I went back a few days later and found her and asked her out.
We didn't have much of a date really, nothing much to do in that place, but we sat and talked and talked and talked. She was like me, alone, no family. She just wanted to help people. We fell in love over there. Me telling stories, her saving lives. We just clicked, you know."
Indeed Lois did know, in fact Josh's tale of his circumstances reminds her of herself and Clark at times; her writing the stories, him saving lives.
"So what happened, Josh?"
"What do you think, Lois? It was a war, things happen!"
Josh got up from the couch, and Lois, taken aback by his harsh comment, says nothing. Finally Josh breaks the uncomfortable silence.
"I'm sorry, Lois, that was uncalled-for. It's well … this is the first time I have really talked about all of it."
Lois walks over and comforts Josh, yet she also pushes because somehow she knows he needs to get the rest of the story out. She remembers one of Clark's first nights back. He had flown over to her and woken her up and cried for what seemed like hours and then he talked for hours more. It helped, he had said, to talk about it. It made it a little easier to bear.
Lois knows Josh needs the same thing right now, so she listens.
Josh continues. "It was one of the final days of the war. We had been together for over a year, and we made plans to come back to the States together … maybe get married.
Beth had gone out to try to get supplies for the hospital. I tried to stop her but she was so stubborn, she insisted that it would only take a minute and she would be right back. Then she kissed me and walked out the door.
I guess the peace and quiet we had felt over the past few days, the promise for peace, had lulled us into a false sense of security. Anyway, she was caught by a sniper's bullet. They found her in the street with scattered medical supplies around her."
All this time Josh had been talking to Lois with his back turned.
"I tried to stop her, I really did, Lois. Maybe if I had been more insistent … maybe … "
Josh can't continue. He turns around and Lois can see that he has been crying. She comes over to him to reassure him like the many times she had reassured Clark when he had been unable to save someone.
"Josh, I am so sorry, but you know it's not your fault."
"I just wish I could have done something more."
"It sounds to me, Josh, that you did the best you could. In that place, under those circumstances, there wasn't a lot anybody could do."
They comfort each other for a moment and then Josh speaks again. "That's why I came back, Lois."
Lois steps away, surprised by his comment. "What do you mean?"
"Lois, after everything I saw and experienced I wanted to come back to a place that held good memories. I wanted to come back and see that the world wasn't as mean and sick and twisted as I had begun to think it was."
Suddenly Clark's comments rang through Lois' head. "Lois, I had to come back to earth, I needed you and my parents. I needed reassurances that the world wasn't as bad as I had begun to think it was."
It hit Lois how much alike these two men were. Both had been through the horrors of war, both men carried scars from their own private battlefields. It was just that Clark was a little luckier than Josh. Clark still had Lois while Josh had lost his Beth.
The pair comfort each other for a few minutes then Josh pulls away and composes himself again.
"All right, Lois, enough about me," he says, attempting to brighten the mood. "I want to hear all about you. Are you happy?"
They continue this conversation while making their way over to the couch. They both proceed to sit on the couch.
"Yes, Josh, I'm very happy."
Just then Sam kicks and Lois laughs.
"OK, Sam, WE'RE very happy. Happier than I thought I could be. Clark is everything I wanted in a husband, and more … " Lois smiles to herself.
"Lois, as long as you are happy that is all I ever wanted."
They sit in a peaceful silence for a few moments.
"OK, so tell me the story of you two. And, I want to know one thing. Why," he says, picking up the wedding picture, "wasn't I invited to the wedding? And you have to start from the beginning, although I would like to hear Clark's side of the story. If I hear it from you I may be here all night."
"And what," Lois says, hands on her hips, "exactly, are you implying? Are you saying I babble?"
"No … Lois, I would never say that … " Lois rolls her eyes. "It's just that I would like a male perspective. By the way, where is your husband, wasn't he due in awhile ago?"
Lois and Josh had lost track of the time as they had been talking. Clark had been gone for over an hour.
"Yes, he should have. And it was just a fire and … " Lois catches herself.
"Lois, I thought you said he was tracking a lead."
"Right, to a, uh, an arson story. Checking down a lead about a local firebug, causing big problems … you know."
Lois turns from Josh and is heading for the TV to check the news. Josh can tell something is up but he doesn't push it. Just as Lois leans over to turn on the TV, the phone rings.
"Josh, can you get that?"
"Sure, Lois. Hello, Kent residence. Yes, just a moment. Lois, it's for you," Josh says, handing the phone to Lois.
"Thanks," she whispers, hand over the phone and then continues to speak.
She had turned the TV on mute and is concentrating on the phone conversation.
"Hi, Martha. Who was that? Just an old friend, and …
Lois doesn't finish her end of the conversation and Josh turns his attention to the TV. Something is being said about Superman. Josh turns as he hears the phone drop and sees Lois standing in a state of shock staring at the television.
Josh turns as he sees Lois drop the phone and stare at the television. Then Lois starts to whisper, "No, no, NO, CLARK!!!!"
Her whispering has gradually gotten louder and her last comment has almost turned into a scream. Lois goes weak in the knees and almost faints. Josh runs over to catch her.
He helps her to the couch, laid her down, and then goes back to the phone. "Hello? Hello?"
Martha Kent is on the other line. "Hello, who is this please?"
"My name is Josh. I am an old friend of Lois'. Who is this?"
"This is her mother-in-law. Can you please stay with Lois? She needs a friend right now."
"Yes, I will stay, but can you please tell me what is going on?"
"I can't. Just please help Lois. I have to go. Thank you for being there."
"You're welcome," Josh says to a dead phone line.
He hangs up the phone and goes to check Lois. She has calmed down a bit but is now glued to the television. She has turned up the volume and sits entranced by the newscaster's voice.
"It appears that Superman has been caught in a cave-in. A mine shaft had collapsed here in West Virginia and Superman had flown in to rescue the trapped miners. He brought them all to safety and says he was going down for one last inspection, to make sure there were no hidden dangers. However, that was almost twenty minutes ago and nobody has heard from him as of yet. The miners, all of us here, and many around the world wait anxiously for Superman to reappear. For now, this is Todd Breaker reporting for LNN."
Lois has been eerily quiet during this whole story. Suddenly the phone rings again and Lois snaps out of her daze to answer it.
"Hello? Perry. Yes, I just saw the story. No, I know I am in no condition to do the story."
During the conversation Lois has somewhat regained her composure. She knows she has to be strong for many reasons. She continues the conversation.
"Yes, Perry. Clark just dashed out of here a few minutes ago to get a jump on the story."
Josh has been watching the television but is keeping one ear on her conversation. Lois' last comment makes him stare at her.
"What is she talking about? Clark hasn't been here all night. Why is she lying to Perry and what is she hiding?"
All of these thoughts rush through Josh's mind as Lois ends her conversation.
"No, Perry, he was in such a rush he forgot his beeper, but I promise you, he will have the exclusive as soon as Superman surfaces. How do I know? Call it a woman's intuition. Yes, Josh is here, so I'll be fine. Talk to you later."
With that Lois hangs up the phone and returns to the couch. Josh confronts her.
"LOIS," he demands, "WHAT IS GOING ON? First your mother-in-law tells me to help you and then you lie to Perry and then … "
Josh stops as he realizes something is wrong with Lois. She is acting as if she is in pain.
"Lois, what is it? Is it the baby?"
"Yes, Josh, I'm having some labor pains. Sam, you promised to stay put."
Lois is trying to keep a brave face but she is in obvious pain.
"Lois, is there anything I can do? Has this happened before?" There is a note of panic in his voice.
"Yes, Josh, in the cabinet over there is some medication; could you get it please?"
Josh gets up, retrieves the medicine and gets Lois a glass of water to swallow it. Lois takes the pill and waits, hoping the labor will stop.
"This happened once before about three months ago after the car accident."
"Car accident, what car accident?"
"Jimmy and I were hit by a drunk driver on our way to lunch. The stress of the accident caused me to go into premature labor."
"So, you're saying this labor is stress-induced? OK, LOIS. WHAT is going on to make you this stressed out?! First you freak out over a phone conversation and then you just stare at the TV and then to top it all off you LIE — to PERRY!"
Josh is exasperated and confused and he wants answers. "And one more thing, where is your husband? Shouldn't he be here to help you cope with whatever it is that is wrong?"
That comment is the straw that breaks the camel's back. All of Lois' emotion burst forth and she starts to sob and ramble incoherently.
"Oh, Josh, Clark can't leave me. He promised to always be with me, he can't die!!!"
Josh goes over to hold Lois and try to make sense of her comments. "Lois, what are you talking about? You told me he was on a story. I'm sure he will be back soon."
Josh is beginning to think that Lois' ramblings are just the overwrought emotions of a pregnant woman. Yet there are still pieces missing.
"Josh, you don't understand."
"Lois, I am trying but you're making it rather difficult. Why don't you tell me what's really got you worried and why you had to cover for your husband and lie to Perry."
Lois finally stops crying and looks at Josh. She studies him for a moment, staring into his intense blue eyes. Then she whispers, "I can trust you."
It is a comment, not a question. Lois has to make a judgment call, one of the most important calls of her life. But she knows the moment she had made the statement she was right.
Once, a long time ago, she had trusted him with her life. They had both been working undercover on their first big story, about some local drug smugglers. They were hiding in an alley when something, some noise had exposed their hiding place. Next thing they knew they were being chased and shot at. Those were the days before you could simply yell, 'Help, Superman!'
Lois was scared and she didn't know what to do, but Josh had led her to a safe place and they had hidden until they were safe. It was only when they finally came out that Lois realized Josh had been shot. He had literally taken a bullet probably intended for her.
It was a minor wound, but the point was made. Josh could be trusted with her life. Lois is about to test that trust again. She is going to trust Josh with the biggest secret of her life. She needs him now and she knows she has to tell him the truth.
"Josh, you deserve the truth."
Josh looks at Lois and suddenly he isn't sure he wants the truth. Lois continues to wince in pain but she knows she has to tell Josh. Josh can tell Lois is in obvious pain and he realizes how rough he has been. His attitude softens.
"Look, Lois, just relax a minute. This isn't doing you or the baby any good. I'm sorry I was so rough earlier. Just relax, OK? Why don't you wait until Clark comes home and then all three of us can talk this through."
Lois wants to cry again but she maintains her composure. "Josh, Clark might not be coming home." And with that comment Lois lets forth again and cries.
"Lois, what are you talking about? Clark will probably be home any minute."
"God, Josh, I hope you are right, but I just don't know."
"OK, Lois, I give up. Why won't Clark be home. Is he a spy? A secret agent sent out on a dangerous mission? Who is your husband?"
Josh is trying to be humorous, trying to lighten the tension, but Lois' next comment sobers him up quickly.
"That," Lois says pointing to a picture of Superman on TV, "THAT is my husband."
"What? Lois, the baby must be doing strange things to you. The news report is talking about Superman. What's going on, Lois? Why isn't Clark here?" Josh is quickly losing patience.
"According to the news report, Clark isn't here because he is trapped in a cave-in. Oh, Josh, what am I going to do?"
Lois starts to cry again and Josh sits in a state of shock trying to absorb Lois' last statements.
"OK, OK," Josh thinks, "this woman has lost it. I mean something is wrong but to think that Superman is her husband … must be the baby, yeah, that's it. I will just sit here and play along until Clark comes home and we can straighten this out. That is the only reasonable explanation for this."
Josh is thinking this while trying to comfort Lois. Lois stops crying and is trying to compose herself, which isn't easy. Finally Josh speaks.
"Lois, everything will be OK. I just know Clark will be home soon. Listen, why don't you tell me about how the two of you got together, it will help pass the time."
Slowly Lois starts. "It was about five years ago when Clark came to the Planet and Perry teamed us up."
"Teamed you up? Lois, you hated the idea of being a team. Even when we worked together you never called it a team. You said it was just two people working toward a mutual goal."
"I know, Josh. I hated the idea of this 'hack from nowhereville' working with me, but Perry insisted, and, well, I wasn't in a position to argue. Eventually Clark's skills began to match my own and … " Lois smiles and Josh rolls his eyes. "OK, Clark was good, even from the beginning, I just never wanted to admit it."
"Imagine that," Josh says sarcastically.
"May I continue?"
"By all means, Lois, don't let me interrupt."
"Clark and I did become partners, then friends, then more than friends. It took me a long time to admit my feelings for Clark. After you left I had one disastrous affair and an almost marriage to a lunatic and … needless to say, I didn't have a great track record and I was scared."
Josh interrupts. "Listen, Lois, about us … I was a real jerk to leave the way I did. I was just so hurt and angry and sad that I didn't know what to do so I just left. I hope you know how much I regretted that decision."
"I know, Josh, we all make mistakes. I almost made a huge mistake by not allowing Clark to become a part of my life. I pushed him away but he always came back and eventually I quit pushing. We decided to get married and then … well, let me quickly bypass the kidnapping, cloning, frog-eating impostors, trips to another galaxy, and get to the important part, we got married!!"
"Sounds exciting, Lois, though I'm not quite sure I got all the details. But what matters is now and … Lois, are you listening to me?"
In fact, Lois isn't listening to Josh because she hears another voice. Clark had discovered when he got back from New Krypton that his powers of telepathy had stayed with him; however, unlike all of his other powers, he wasn't as comfortable with this gift and it took a lot of effort on his part so he very rarely used it. But as Josh drones on Lois can swear she hears him.
"Lois, I'm OK and I'm coming home."
Lois quickly jumps off the couch and rushes over to the television just in time to see Superman dart out of the tunnel and streak skyward.
"Ladies and gentlemen, it appears as if Superman is going to be OK. He has darted out of here rather quickly but I am sure an explanation will soon be forthcoming. For now the world sighs a big sigh of relief because Superman is safe and sound. LNN reporting."
"Clark's coming home."
Josh looks at Lois, then at the TV then back to Lois. This whole situation is spooking him so he decides to break the tension.
"Lois, why don't I go run down to the store and pick up some of your favorite ice cream. That always seemed to help."
"Huh? Oh, OK, Josh, whatever."
Lois wanders over to the window and is not really paying Josh much attention. Josh takes one last look at Lois and then heads out the door. A few minutes later Clark flies in the window and into Lois outstretched arms. Lois collapses in tears of joy and Clark just stands and holds her. Finally she stopscrying.
"Clark, I thought I had lost you again. I was so afraid. I couldn't lose you, not again … "
"Shh, Lois, it's OK. I'm here, see? Everything is going to be OK."
They hold each other for a few more minutes, then Lois finally lets go and really looks at her husband. He is covered from head to foot with soot and dirt and his cape is torn and tattered, but to her he has never looked better.
"Oh, Clark, I was so worried. Your mom called, and then I saw the news and then … "
"Lois, we should call my parents."
"We can in a minute. Let me hold you just a little longer to make sure you are real."
"Lois, the whole time I was down there the only thing that kept me going was thoughts of you and Sam. I just couldn't imagine not being able to see you, not being able to see Sam grow up. I had to make it through. You saved me, Lois, you and Sam."
"Clark, what did happen?"
"Lois, it is a long story, one I would prefer to tell in clean clothes. OK?"
"OK, just one more minute. I want to hold you again."
Lois again holds onto Clark, reassuring herself that everything is really going to be OK. Then she hears a noise.
"Lois, they didn't have your favorite ice cream so I got vanilla and chocolate sauce and … "
Josh doesn't finish his statement. Lois turns and sees Josh drop the groceries and stare at the scene in front of him. Lois is covered in soot and dirt wrapped in a passionate embrace with … Superman. All he can do was stare speechlessly. Clark tries to quickly cover.
"This isn't what it looks like. I mean … "
Actually, Clark doesn't know what he means. He just knows he needs to do something fast. However, Lois' next statement at once defuses the tension, yet also adds to it at the same time.
"Its OK, Clark. He knows. He was here when all this happened and I had to tell him. I was going crazy with worry."
"LOIS, YOU DID WHAT!!? How could you..?"
"Clark, we can trust him. I wouldn't have told him otherwise. I needed a friend, someone to confide in, and he was here."
"Lois, I'm sorry. I can only imagine what you must have gone through. How is the baby?"
"Well, now that you mention it, I was having some labor pains, but now that Daddy is home," Lois says speaking to her stomach, "everything is going to be OK. Right, Sam?"
Clark knelt down to Lois' stomach. "Hey, kid, listen to your mom. You still got a few more months, OK. Now stay put and that's an order."
Lois' contractions stopped. "Well, once again father saves the day. I hope he listens to you that well after he's actually born."
"Yeah, me too. Now I am going to change and you might want to check on your friend. He seems to be in a state of shock."
They kiss briefly and Clark heads for the shower and Lois goes over to Josh. The whole time Josh has stayed on the couch, staring at Lois and Clark not saying anything.
"Here, Josh, let me take the ice-cream and groceries before they melt."
"What? Oh, the groceries. Right, OK."
Lois takes the groceries to the kitchen and puts them away and then returns.
"Josh, are you OK?"
"You weren't kidding, were you? You really are married to Superman."
"Yes, Josh, that IS what I said."
"I know, Lois, it's just that well … " he gets this sheepish look on his face, "I kind of chalked up your rantings to the delusions of a pregnant woman. I didn't actually take you seriously … I mean who could have imagined."
"Well," Lois says sarcastically, "it's nice to know you have such faith in me."
"Lois, I will NEVER, repeat NEVER, doubt you again. WOW!! You're married to Superman. What a story that would be."
Lois gets a very worried look on her face. Josh quickly reassures her.
"Lois, I would never betray your trust, not even for a fourth Pulitzer." They both laugh. "You know, Lois, in all my living I never thought I could be more shocked than seeing you this afternoon at the Planet, married and pregnant. Tonight proved me wrong. I think I have had enough shock to last me three lifetimes."
Clark has entered the room and speaks to Josh. "Thank you, Josh, for being here to help take care of my wife."
Lois walks over to Clark and Josh can't help but smile.
"Anytime. Listen, I am just glad to be here for her. I owed Lois big time and now I guess I have helped to pay back some of my debt to her."
Lois walks over to Josh.
"That was a long time ago, Josh, and what is important is that you were here now, when I needed you. Sam and I both thank you."
"Hey, how is the baby?"
Lois smiles and walks back to Clark.
"Now that Clark's back, the baby and I are just fine."
Josh gets up from the couch.
"Lois, I am glad to hear that. Look, it has been a long night. I'm sure you two would like some time alone. I will be in town a few more days. Maybe we can reschedule a lunch or dinner?"
"Josh, I would like that very much. I would like to hear more about your adventures with Lois."
Lois looks at the two men and smiles. She is very glad both of them are a part of her life.
"I will call you. I still have to get that male perspective I was telling Lois about. Gotta share some of your secrets, OK?"
Josh stops for a moment and realizes what he has just said. Lois and Clark just smile and then they all laugh. Josh leaves and Lois and Clark make their way over to the couch. They snuggle. Finally Lois speaks.
"So, Clark, what did happen?"
"You know, Lois, I think there must have been a small amount of Kryptonite in that mine because when I went down the last time, as I got near the final shaft, I started to feel dizzy and I must have blacked out for a short time. I was still tunneling through the mine when I blacked out and when I came to I guess I got a little lost. It took me a few minutes to figure out which way was out."
"Clark, Kryptonite, are you OK?"
"Yes, you know Zara and Ching told me that when I came back from New Krypton that the force of my ship leaving the planet might take some meteorites with it. They said the meteors from New Krypton would not hurt me as much as true Kryptonite but they might make me a little weaker. I haven't worried about it because in the three years since I have been back, there haven't been any problems. That must have been what was in the mine."
"Well, whatever it was I'm just glad you are safe." They cuddle a few more minutes and then Lois asks, "Did you call your folks?"
"Yep, and I called yours too."
"Oh my God, my mother."
Lois had been standing at the window waiting for Clark when her mother called but she had let the machine take it.
"Yes, Lois, I calmed your mother down, which is no easy task, even for a superhero." They both laugh.
"Clark, one more thing."
"Remind me to give you a compass the next time you go out."
They both laugh again and head for bed. They get into bed and hold each other, maybe a little tighter than usual, and fall asleep in each other's arms."
The last three months of Lois' pregnancy go along fairly well. She continues her prenatal checkups and she and Clark continue with their birthing classes. As Lois gets closer to her due date, her mother and father temporarily move to Metropolis so they can be near for the actual birth. Granted, Superman could always get them but the Lanes are still a little uncomfortable with that idea so they decide on conventional wisdom. Lois tries to cut back on work, but … well, we all know Lois.
Finally, two weeks before her due date, Perry, Jimmy, and Clark convince Lois to go home and stay home. Lois leaves this day in a huff.
"Honey, Jimmy, Perry, and I are just looking out for your best interests. I mean, really, Lois, do you want to have the baby on the newsroom floor?"
"No, of course not, Clark, but still … "
"You know, Lois, come to think of it, if you did have the baby in the newsroom, Jimmy might just beat us to a Pulitzer with THOSE pictures."
Lois shoots Clark a dirty look and remains silent for the rest of the ride home.
This evening Lois and Clark are enjoying a quiet dinner at home. They know moments such as this are soon going to be very hard to have so they treasure their time alone.
Clark cooks (of course) and Lois enjoys being pampered. She is quiet, though, and Clark knows something is on her mind.
"Lois? Lois, honey, is something wrong? Was dinner OK? Are you feeling OK?"
"Oh, Clark, I'm sorry. I know I have been quiet tonight, I've just been thinking."
"About … ?"
"About how different our lives are going to be once the baby gets here. No more impromptu trips to Paris, no more midnight flights around the city, no more … "
"Lois, aren't you stretching things a bit? I mean, sure, things will change, but our parents will be around to help. We'll still have time for just the two of us."
"I know, Clark, but after the baby things will never be the same."
"That's right, Lois, they won't; after the baby we will be a family. A real family."
"I know; it's just that … "
"You are so confident you are going to be the best father, and I am sure you will. You had a great role model. But me … I mean what if I can't change diapers, what if I make the bottle too hot, what if he hates my lullabies … what if you love the baby more than you love me?" Lois' last statement catches Clark completely off guard.
"Lois, how could you say such a thing?"
"Well, it's just that this baby will be a part of you, more than I ever could be. You are going to teach him all the things I can't do. How can I compete with father-son races around the world?"
Clark laughs at that last statement and then realizes Lois is serious.
"Lois, this isn't a competition. No one could ever take away the love I have for you, never, and you know that. Besides, Sam and I will need a referee for our races."
"Clark, I'm serious, I feel as though I might get left behind. You are going to be a great father, but what kind of mother am I going to be?"
"Lois, you are going to be a great mother!! You are never going to be left behind. We are partners, aren't we? Fifty-fifty … " Clark smiles referring to one of their very first conversations.
Lois smiles, too, and her anxiety disappears.
"Oh, Clark, I love you so much. I can't believe we are going to be parents in just a little while. You are right as usual, except for one thing.."
"Seeing as I am going to be the one in labor, I don't think this partnership is exactly fifty-fifty. More like 80-20."
"Whatever you say, honey." And with that they go off to bed.
The next day, Clark goes to the Planet and Lois, being in a good mood, calls her mom to see if she wants to do some last-minute shopping. She and Clark have decided to keep their townhome for the time being and have decorated the spare bedroom as the nursery, but there are still a few items they need, mainly a crib. They held off on that purchase wanting to make sure to get a sturdy and especially STRONG one. Lois told Clark that if Sam's kicks were any indication, a steel crib might be the only thing able to hold him. Ellen picks up Lois and they head for the local baby store.
Once inside the store the manager recognizes Lois as she and Clark have come here several times before.
"Mrs. Kent, nice to see you again, although I thought you would have had the baby by now."
"I wish! No, the doctor says about two more weeks. I brought my mom along to look at cribs. You said you had some new ones come in this week?"
"Right this way. Here they are," he says, pointing to a few cribs. "Oh, and here is the one you asked for. The manufacturer didn't have anything in steel but he promised this one to be just about as strong. I'll let you ladies look around. Let me know if I can help."
Lois gives him a nervous smile and then turns her attention to the crib. Ellen had gone to inspect the crib.
"Mom, what are you looking for?"
"Yes, Lois, how do you intend to keep Sam from floating out of his crib?"
Lois smiles, remembering Clark's early statement to her about the baby. Then she speaks to her mom.
"Mom, keep your voice down," Lois admonishes. "Besides," Lois whispers, "we don't know if Sam will even float. I mean, Clark didn't have powers until he was a teenager, really, and he didn't fly until he was 18. For all we know, Sam will be a perfectly normal boy."
Ellen gives Lois one of her famous looks …
"All right, so Sam might not be 'normal' well, we just don't know."
"That's right, Lois, you don't know, so better to be safe than sorry. Besides, aren't you the one who asked for a steel crib?"
Ellen had a point there and Lois ends the conversation. They buy the crib and take it home. They decide that if any "adjustments" need to be made, Clark and his dad could probably fix it …
Two weeks pass and Lois tries to stay occupied. However, it is hard to see Clark go to work and hear about stories from the office and not be a part of them. She threatens to go into work one day and Clark threatens to pull out the ropes she had once mentioned to tie her down.
However, as the third week starts and there is no sign of labor, Lois starts going a little stir crazy. The Kents are calling every day and it seems as if her mother is calling every two hours.
"No, mother, nothing yet. Yes, I know I am late … Yes, the doctor said not to worry, that some first babies are late … Yes, mother, the minute anything happens, Clark and I will let you know. NO, Mother, you don't need to come over, I am fine. Yes, Mother, I have Clark's beeper number. Mother, please … I will talk to you later."
Lois gets off the phone and makes herself some tea.
"You know, Sam, for nine months you have been kicking to come out, being very persistent at times, I might say, and now, now that it is time, you've stopped. Want to tell me what's going on?"
Lois feels nothing.
"Great, the silent treatment. Well I can't just sit here; what say we pay your daddy a visit?"
It is then that she feels a big kick but she chooses to ignore it.
"I know, I know, but this isn't work, just … a visit. I can't sit here just waiting any longer."
Lois calls a cab to take her to the Planet.
"Lady," the cab driver says, taking in her appearance, "Sure you wouldn't rather go the hospital?"
Lois gives him a dirty look.
"Just take me to the Daily Planet, please."
"Whatever you say." The cab drops her off at the Planet and Lois heads inside.
"God, how I've missed this place," she thinks. She sits down at her desk and enjoys a moment of silence. However, that is quickly shattered as Perry spots her.
"Judas Priest, Lois, you aren't supposed to be here. How did you get here? … Well, never mind, I am sending you right home … "
"Chief, please don't send me home. I didn't come to work, just to visit. I promise not to do anything strenuous." Perry raises his eyebrows at that statement.
"Look, Lois, you need to be resting, in bed or something. Now where is Clark so he can take you home?"
Jimmy, overhearing the conversation, steps in.
"Chief, Clark said he had to, uh, what was it … oh yeah, make sure the car was ready for their impending ride to the hospital."
"Good excuse Clark," thinks Lois.
"Look, Perry, I am sure Clark will be back soon and then I will go home, OK? Let me stay here until then."
"OK, Lois, but Jimmy, you keep a close eye on her."
Perry walks back to his office. Jimmy sits next to Lois.
"You know, Lois, the chief is right, you should be home."
"I am going to wait for Clark, he wouldn't mind my being here."
Jimmy chokes on that comment knowing just how mad Clark is going to be when he sees Lois.
"Oh, OK, he might be a little mad, but I just couldn't sit in that apartment one more minute and … "
"Lois, Lois, are you OK?"
"Yes, Jimmy, I'm just fine and … ouch."
"Lois," Jimmy's voice takes on a panicked tone. "Chief I think you better come out here."
"What in tarnation is it, Jimmy? I was right in the middle of … "
Perry's comments stop the minute he sees Lois almost doubled over in pain.
"I think Sam has finally decided to make his appearance. I felt something earlier this morning and later in the cab ride over, but … " Lois stops again as another pain hit her.
The newsroom virtually stops as they realize what is happening.
"OK, everybody, give her room." Perry is trying not to panic. "OK, Lois, let's get you to the hospital."
"No, Perry, I can't go without Clark." And with that statement another pain hit and she screamed "CLARK!!"
Clark is on his way back from a plane crash in Europe when he hears the scream. For some reason he has been thinking about Lois and Sam all morning and now he knows why. He focuses on the source of the sound and is surprised to find it coming from the Daily Planet. As he flies in the window he sees Lois doubled over with pain and it takes all his restraint not to act as Clark. Instead he runs over to Lois.
"Superman, thank goodness you are here." Perry seems suddenly relieved, now that someone else can be in charge.
"Superman," Lois gasps, "have you seen Clark?"
"I just saw him Lois. I told him I heard you scream, and he is headed for the hospital. He figured I could get there a little faster so … we can meet up with him there." Superman gently picks her up. Lois goes limp in his arms.
"Superman," Perry says, "tell Clark that Jimmy and I will be there shortly."
"Sure, Perry." And with that he and Lois fly out the window. Superman looks down at his wife. The labor has subsided a little and Lois is finally able to talk.
"Thank god you heard me."
"Half the world heard you, Lois! And what, may I ask, were you doing at the Planet? I thought we had an agreement."
"Clark, now is not exactly the best time for an argument. I am about to have your baby, OK? Let's say we get to the hospital, and we can have this conversation later."
"For once, Lois, I won't argue." He gently kisses her and they fly to the hospital. As they enter the hospital, the sight of Superman flying with a very pregnant woman takes some of the nurses by surprise. Superman gently lands and one nurse, realizing Lois is in labor, runs to get a wheelchair.
"Superman?" one of the nurses questions.
"This is Lois Lane-Kent. Her husband Clark is on his way. She has been in labor all morning. Make sure you take good care of her."
"Thank you, Superman," Lois manages to say. He smiles and flies away. Lois is taken to admitting and Clark appears a few seconds later.
"Hello, … hello. "
"Yes, can I help you?" a nurse says without looking up."
"Yes, I believe that Superman just brought my wife in — Lois Kent."
That comment catches the nurse's attention and she looks up.
"Oh, Mr. Kent." The nurse quickly checks her records. "Yes, right this way."
The nurse leads Clark to Lois' room.
"Well, Lois, it looks like Jimmy almost had that Pulitzer, huh?" He can't help laughing remembering Lois at the Planet. However, he then gets serious and leans over and kisses Lois on the forehead.
"Lois, how are you feeling?"
"Clark, I'm about to have your baby, how do you think I'm feeling?" And with that she winces in pain as a another contraction hit.
"Here, Lois, take my hand, you can't do it any damage." Clark puts his hand in Lois' and she squeezes. "Man," Clark thinks. "Am I glad I can't feel that!" Clark continues to comfort Lois and tries to help her through the labor.
"Clark, remind me again why I wanted natural childbirth."
"It's the reporter in you, Lois, always wanting the most out of every experience, wanting to understand and experience everything to the fullest."
"I must have been crazy!!!! If we ever do this again, Clark, I am definitely not going natural!!"
During this conversation the doctor walks in the room and he laughs at that statement.
"Lois, what say we get you through this one first, before you start planning another? Uh … Clark, could I see you a minute please? … Outside."
"Sure, doctor. Lois, honey, I will be right back." Clark kisses Lois' cheek and the two men step outside. "How is she, doctor?"
"She seems to be doing fine, Clark, but the labor is going slowly. I know how impatient Lois can be … " Clark smiles at that statement, "But I think this baby is going to be awhile yet."
"Is that anything to worry about?"
"No, as I said, everything seems to be fine. If anything changes I'll let you know. Now, I think I will let you break the news to her about the labor. I saw that hand squeeze earlier, and I think you can take Lois' reaction better than I could."
"Sure, Clark. I'll be back shortly."
Clark walks back into the room.
"Well, Clark, what did the doctor say? How much longer is this going to be? Not long, right?"
No reaction from Clark.
"Clark … Clark, what did the doctor say?"
"Well, Lois, um … "
"Clark, you're stalling. Is something wrong? Is the baby OK?"
"Yes, Lois, everything is fine. It just seems that Sam wants to take his time coming into the world. The doctor thinks it might be awhile."
"How long is awhile, Clark? Clark!"
"He doesn't know, Lois. It's not like babies are predictable."
"Great. I'm going to be here for the next year."
"Really, Lois, I don't think it will be that long. Just think, within the next few hours, you are going to become a new mother."
"HOURS, did he really say hours?!!"
"No, Lois, calm down, I was just trying to make the point that motherhood is worth the wait and … " Lois interrupts.
"Motherhood … oh, my god, Clark, my mother! I promised I would call her first and … " Lois stops as another pain hit.
"Lois, you are in no condition to call. I'll call them and my folks and let them know we are here." Clark quickly picks up the phone next to Lois' bed and calls her parents.
"Hello, Sam, it's Clark. Yeah, it's time. Lois and I are at the hospital. Well, the doctor doesn't know, though he seems to think it is going to be awhile yet. Uhhhh … do you want to come," Clark lowers his voice, "Superman express? OK, I see. I will see you shortly then. Goodbye. Clark hangs up and then dials another number. "Mom, it's time. Lois went into labor this morning and we are at the hospital now. The doctor seems to think it is going to be awhile yet. Well, you and dad get your things together and I'll come get you in just a few minutes. See you soon. Love you too. Bye.
Lois, I am going to get my folks and I'll be right back. Will you be OK?"
"I'll be fine, Clark. But what about my parents?"
"They said they would catch a cab. I think they are still uncomfortable with the whole, you know … " Clark makes a flying motion.
Lois can tell there is some hurt in Clark's voice. He really wants Lois' parents to accept him but they seem to be having a hard time with it, especially Sam. Clark can tell that Sam isn't always completely comfortable with the idea that his daughter married an alien.
"Clark, they'll come around. Just give them time."
"Lois, it has been nine months."
"I know, Clark, but you know my parents, especially my Dad. Look how long it took him to come back to his family. But he'll be all right. Wasn't he thrilled that we named the baby after him? And hey, didn't mom go shopping with me the other day? They will be fine. You have to realize, Clark, that there is a lot to adjust to. They thought one thing for three years and suddenly that changed. They just need time to get used to that change. And this one too," she says referring to her stomach. "You know, this is the first time they are going to be grandparents. They might be a little nervous. I know I am."
"You're right, Lois, I guess I am nervous too. I am sure your parents will be OK. Now, will you be OK if I leave for a few minutes?"
"Yes, I will be fine … Go get your parents, they need to be here with us." With that Clark gently kisses Lois and goes to get his parents.
Clark picks up his parents and takes them to the hospital. They enter Lois' room to find Jimmy and Perry talking to her. Perry stops his conversation with Lois when Clark and his parents enter the room. There is an awkward moment of silence as Clark tries to explain the sudden appearance of his parents. Perry talks first.
"Martha, Jonathan, good to see you … though I thought you were still in Smallville."
Clark and his parents try to think of something to say, but Lois steps in and defuses the situation.
"Perry, I was just getting ready to tell Jimmy how after Superman dropped me off he did us another wonderful favor and went to get Clark's parents. He knew how important their being here was for us." The tension in the room eases and Clark gives a silent thank you that he has such a clever wife.
"Did I hear Superman mentioned?" Lois' father says as he and Ellen enter the room.
"Daddy, I was just telling everyone how nice Superman was to go and pick up Clark's parents so they could be here with us. He really did do us a big favor," Lois looks at her father with pleading eyes hoping he will catch on and go along with the story. Sam doesn't say anything but Ellen smooths things over with her comment.
"You're right, honey, it's a wonderful thing Superman did, isn't it Sam?" Ellen looks at Sam. Finally he speaks.
"Yeah, that Superman, what a guy," he says, looking directly at Clark. Martha is the next to speak,
"Enough about Superman, dear, how are you feeling?" Clark looks over at his mom and smiles gratefully.
"Leave it to Mom to help tide things over," he thinks.
"Martha, I'm OK, just impatient." That comment causes everyone in the room to laugh.
"Well, Lois, it looks as if the baby has got Clark's disposition. Taking his sweet time, all the patience in the world."
"Thanks, Jimmy, as if I needed reminding that I am going to be in … " Lois winces " … labor for quite awhile yet."
"That's OK, Jimmy. Sam will come when he's ready." Another pain hit. "Sam, you be ready soon. You talk to him, Clark, he seems to listen to you. Explain to him that his mother would appreciate a quick arrival."
"Lois, you heard the doctor, you can't rush mother nature. No matter how much you try."
"Lois, dear, I hate to tell you how long you took. God, I thought I was going to die."
"Well, I did!"
"Lois, you may not believe this, but it's true. Your mother was about ready to climb the walls and so was I. This was the days before fathers were allowed in the delivery room and all I could do was pace and listen to your mother call the doctor every name in the book. I heard her even though I was at the other end of the hall." Sam smiles as he looks at Ellen and his daughter.
Ellen walks closer to the bed and takes Lois' hand.
"But I think the wait was worth it, don't you, Sam?"
Sam steps in too.
"Yes, Ellen, the wait was worth it, and your wait will be worth it, too, Lois. You'll see." Sam looks at Clark. "You'll both see." Clark smiles at Sam as a silent moment of understanding passes between them.
Everyone looks on with smiles as Lois shares a moment with her parents. Clark is especially happy to see them together. He draws his own parents closer to him and smiles. Perry then speaks.
"Ahem, since it seems as though you are going to be awhile, " Perry stops as he looks at Lois, "oops, sorry, Lois. Well, anyway, if you all don't need me here, I am going to put the paper to bed and then I'll come back. Jimmy, want to help me close shop?"
"Really, Chief?" Perry had never asked for Jimmy's help before. It is a big offer.
"Yes, Jimmy, really. I mean, Lois and Clark are occupied so they can't help, so … "
"Oh, I see," Jimmy looks hurt and Perry realizes what he had just said.
"What I mean, Jimmy, is that YOUR help would be greatly appreciated, OK?"
"Sure, Chief, thanks. Bye Lois, bye CK, call us the moment … "
"We will, Jimmy." Jimmy leaves and Perry exits the room with Clark close on his tail.
"That was nice, Chief."
"What are you talking about, Clark?"
"What you did for Jimmy. The chance you are giving him."
"Well, the boy has got to learn sometime. Besides, he's cheap labor."
Clark just smiles.
"Clark, you take care of her and call us the moment anything happens."
"We will, Chief, don't worry." Perry leaves and Clark enters the room again. Lois' parents are standing over in the corner and Clark's parents are fussing over Lois.
Clark walks over to Sam.
"Thank you, Sam; you too, Ellen."
"For what?" They both ask in unison.
"For accepting me and Lois and this baby. That really means a lot. I know you have had some reservations about this whole situation, but … "
Sam stops Clark.
"You're right, Clark. It was a little difficult at first, even now I can't say I am 100% comfortable. However, if Lois can live with it then I guess we can too."
"What Sam is trying to say, ever so delicately," Ellen gives Sam a look, "is that we can see how much you love Lois and the baby. As long as you are both happy, then that's all we can ask for, isn't it, Sam?"
"Yes, well, Ellen, you always did talk better than I did."
"I promise you both that I do love Lois and this baby more than you can imagine and I intend to make them both very happy."
"We know you will, Clark." Ellen leans over and gives Clark a hug. Sam then speaks.
"Don't let us down, … son." Clark realizes the impact of that statement.
"I'll do my best, sir."
It is three hours later and Lois is in the final stages of labor. She, Clark and the doctor are in the birthing room. Perry, Jimmy, and both sets of parents are anxiously waiting outside. Sam looks especially nervous.
"What is taking so long? Lois should have had that baby. I'm a doctor, I know these things." Sam continues to pace. Martha then speaks.
"Well, Sam, at least we know where Lois gets her impatience from." Everyone in the room laughs and Sam relaxes a little.
"You're right, Martha, I'm just anxious I guess."
"We're all anxious, Sam," Jonathan says walking over toward him.
"Yes, Sam, we are all in the same boat here, don't act like you're the only one," Ellen snaps at her ex-husband. However she immediately regrets her comment when she sees the look on Sam's face.
"I'm sorry, Sam, I didn't mean that, I guess I'm anxious too, huh." Ellen walks over to Sam.
"Just think, Ellen, we're going to be grandparents. I can't believe it. Seems like yesterday Lois was playing with dolls and having tea parties."
"I know what you mean," Martha interjects. "It seems like only yesterday Clark was this little boy who climbed trees and came in all covered in dirt, a frog in his front pocket."
"I may not have known them as kids but I remember these two on their first assignment. You should have seen the look on her face when I told her she had a partner." A scream from Lois is heard.
"Wouldn't exactly want to see her face now, chief."
"Me neither, Jimmy, me neither."
Scene switches to delivery room. Clark is trying to encourage Lois.
"OK, honey, you're almost there. Remember birthing class. Breathe, Lois, breathe. Come on, honey. I know you can do this. Come on just a little harder, I know you're strong, you can do this."
"Clark, … " Lois says in between grunts and screams. "You do this, I quit. You're strong enough for the both of us."
The doctor laughs at that comment.
"While your husband does look strong, Lois, I don't think this is a feat he could manage."
"You don't know my husband, doctor."
Clark just smiles nervously and concentrates on Lois. A nurse is on the other side of Lois, and Clark notices Lois grabbing her hand, the nurse wincing in pain.
"Lois, honey," Clark whispers, "you know everybody's not as indestructible as me. Maybe you better ease up a little on Nurse Grant over there."
Lois realizes what she has been doing and lets go of the nurse's hand.
"Sorry … about that … nurse Grant … been used to … my husband's hand."
"Well, if he can take that grip of yours he really must be something." Clark doesn't have time to think because the baby is coming.
"OK," the doctor says, "it's time to push, Lois. Come on now with one big push."
"Clark, I can't do this. I'm not as strong as you." With that Lois tries to push
"You're wrong, Lois, you're stronger than I am. I told you once and I'll tell you again this is more than anything I can do. What you're doing is amazing. Now come on, we're almost there." Lois and Clark exchange a quick look that speaks volumes. Lois then gives a push.
"OK, Lois, that was good. Now rest a minute and then we are going to push again."
"Clark, I love you."
Clark looks down at Lois and casually brushes hair off her forward. He then takes a damp rag and washes her face.
"I love you too, Lois."
"OK Lois," the doctor interjects," This is it, one more big push."
Lois pushes and she hears the doctor.
"That's it, Lois, I see his head. Here he comes. Come on, Lois, just a little more."
Suddenly the room is electric as the sound of a baby's scream fills the air.
"Well, Lois, Clark, here he is. Here's the little guy who's been hanging around for nine months." The doctor gently places the baby on Lois' stomach.
"Clark, would you like to cut the cord?"
Clark is almost speechless, but he nods his head and gently cuts the cord. Clark and Lois just stare, unable to find words. A nurse comes and gently takes the baby off Lois' stomach and wraps him in a blanket and then hands him to Lois.
"Here you are." Lois and Clark are both crying. The baby is beautiful with big brown eyes and curly dark hair.
"So," Lois says through the tears, "you finally decided to make an entrance, kid. Your dad and I have been waiting a long time to see you."
"Hi there, little one, I'm your Dad." Clark smiles through the tears. "My son, I don't believe it. Lois, he's beautiful … Just like his mother … "
"Clark, he is beautiful, but you're wrong. I think he takes after you. Look at those beautiful brown eyes."
The doctor comes over. "You know, Lois, I think you're right. Most babies are born with blue eyes, but he definitely has his father's eyes. I think this kid is going to be very special." The doctor walks away.
"If he only knew," Lois and Clark whisper simultaneously. They continue to stare down at the baby. Lois is then wheeled into a nearby room with Clark soon on her heels. First he has one stop to make. He sees the small crowd gathered in the waiting room and walks toward them, a huge smile on his face. Sam rushes over to him.
"Clark, we heard the baby scream. Is everything all right? How is Lois?"
"Why don't you all come and see for yourselves. They are allowing visitors, though just for a brief time."
Lois' parents, Jimmy and Perry head for her room. Clark stays back to be with his parents for a moment.
"How are you, son?" Jonathan asks, emotion obvious in his voice.
"I can't remember ever feeling anything like this. You have to see him."
Clark leads his parents down the hall as Clark continues to gush about Sam.
"Mom, he's so little, his hands, his feet, everything. He's so little … "
"You were that little too once, Clark, don't forget."
"I know, but it's just, I mean … I have done a lot with my life and I have had so many different kinds of experiences, but this … this is one of the most amazing days of my life. And I just want to say thank you."
"Thank you for what, son?" Jonathan asks.
"Well, Dad, if it were not for you and Mom, I wouldn't be here. You took me in and you raised me and you helped me to build this life. I couldn't have done it without the both of you."
He hugs both parents again, everybody being very emotional. Clark steps away.
Wiping tears from her eyes, Martha then says, "OK enough gushing, I want to see that grandson of mine."
"Yes, I second that." Jonathan smiles at his son.
"Right this way." Clark leads them into the room.
Everyone is gushing over Lois and the baby. Jimmy and Perry stand a little off to the corner and Lois' parents stand at her bedside. Martha and Jonathan come over to Lois' other side to get a look at the baby. Sam appears to be sleeping in Lois' arms, tired out by all the day's activities. He looks just like an angel. As Martha and Jonathan come over he wakes up and looks up at them with his big brown eyes. The grandparents just melt. Clark goes over to the corner of Lois' bed and looks over as well. Lois then speaks.
"Clark, do you want to do the introduction or should I?"
Both grandparents smile, remembering back nine months.
"Lois you look pretty beat. I'll do them. Grandma and Grandpa Kent, Grandpa and Grandma Lane, Perry and Jimmy, I would like for you all to meet Samuel Jonathan Jor-El Kent." Baby Sam smiles almost as if he knows he is being introduced to the world for the first time.
Sam and Jonathan smile down at their namesake. The women just smile and cry a little. Then Perry interrupts.
"I hope you both know how much it means that I could be a part of all of this. You two have become like family to me and, well … Sam has a job as copy boy any time he wants it."
"Thanks, Perry," Lois and Clark say in unison.
"Yeah, well, I am going to break the news to the rest of the Planet. Now you take care of that little one, Lois. I don't want you in the office for a while yet, you hear me?"
"Yes, Perry, I think I am going to be occupied for a while."
Perry laughs, stops to look at Lois and the baby, kisses them both gently on the cheek, and heads out the door.
"Be right there, Chief." Jimmy turns to look at the baby. "First dibs on pictures, OK? And, hey, that's way cool naming him after Superman's father too. I am sure he will be happy to hear that."
"After all that Superman has done for us, Jimmy, it was the least we could do, " Lois says, smiling up at her husband.
"Hey, no argument from me, Lois. Congrats, you two, I think this is your best project yet." Jimmy smiles and heads out the door.
Martha then speaks. "What say we give these kids a chance to bond with their baby?"
Jonathan agrees. "I think the cafeteria is still open. We can all go grab some coffee and celebrate."
"Good thinking," both Ellen and Sam say in unison.
Jonathan and Martha stop one more time to look at Lois and Clark and the baby.
"Thank you, Lois, for making my son so happy, for giving him the family he's always wanted."
"Yes, Lois," Jonathan interjectes, "may your son make you as happy as ours has made us." Jonathan and Martha smile at the happy family.
Lois looks down at Sam. "I'm sure he will." Martha and Jonathan leave and Lois' parents get ready to leave as well.
"You were right, mom."
"About what, Lois?"
"The wait was worth it."
Ellen starts to tear again and quickly kisses her new grandson and Lois and then leaves. Sam gets ready to leave as well but Lois stops him. She reaches for his hand.
"Daddy. Thank you for being here. I know things in the past haven't always been smooth, but today is a new start for all of us. I am just very glad that you could be here and I'm proud to have named my son after you."
Sam, overcome with emotion, is silent for a few moments, then he speaks.
"Lois, I wouldn't have been anywhere else today. And Clark."
Clark had been looking at the baby but he turns to look at Sam.
"Clark, Clark, I just wanted to say … Thank you."
"Thank you for what?"
"For this." He waves his hand around the scene. "For giving me a beautiful grandson and giving me back my daughter."
"You're welcome, Sam. I'm glad you could be here for Lois."
"Well," Sam says, clearing a lump from his throat, "time I left you two alone. Lois, honey, we all will be just down the hall."
Sam leaves and Lois and Clark are left alone with the baby. Sam appears to be hungry so Lois starts to nurse. Clark silently looks on, still in awe of the whole thing.
"My family," he thinks, "I'm looking at my family."
Lois smiles at her son and then at her husband.
Clark steps nearer to them.
"He's perfect Lois."
"Yes he is, Clark. Although we're not biased at all, right?"
Clark laughs through the tears.
"Hey, we're new parents — we are supposed to be biased. Hey there, little one, I hope you know how much you are wanted and loved and adored." Sam finishes nursing and smiles up at them both.
"Clark, Jimmy was right."
"About what, Lois?"
"This is the best project you and I have ever completed." Clark leans over and gently kisses Lois and then kisses Sam. Scene fades as the happy couple continue to enjoy their latest addition. And to think it only took nine months.