Submitted: January 2002
Summary: Lois Lane and Clark Kent meet again after being separated for five years. How is he going to react to another special person in her life?
This is an elseworld story. Our favorite couple met much, much sooner than the ones we know. The results were incredible. The story's very easy to follow, so read on. And please let me know what you think.
I want to thank my proofreader, 'Redhead'. That's the only name I have for her, but she was wonderful. She wasted no time in proofing this for me. Thanks.
The characters are not mine. They belong to a lot of people who should take our hints and produce that movie all of us are dying to see. No copyright infringements are intended.
The small voice was barely above a whisper, and the tiny palm was softly rubbing her cheek. Lois groaned in protest.
"Mommy, I'm hungry. Can we have waffles?"
Lois slowly opened her eyes to see two very large brown eyes inches from her face. They were wide with anticipation.
"Sure, honey. Give Mommy a minute to wake up." Lois eased up to face the now eager little boy before her.
"I'll fix the coffee," the boy chimed as he raced out the room.
"Thanks," Lois replied as she swung her legs over the side of the bed. She glanced at the clock: 6:35 am. Couldn't her son be like normal kids and sleep until at least 8 o'clock? "Figures. A non-morning person with a very morning child," she muttered as she went into the bathroom.
Ten minutes later she found her already dressed and patient son waiting at the set table for her.
"Good morning, son." Lois stopped to place a kiss on his head.
"Good morning, Mommy."
Lois proceeded to fix waffles and fresh fruit for breakfast. Her son watched and waited with enthusiasm, but remained quiet. "He's such a good boy," Lois thought. "Must get it from his father."
His father. There was a thought, one she hadn't had in a really long time. Of course, it was not an unpleasant one, either. Just painful. Lois placed the plate before her beautiful son.
"There you go, Chris. Eat up while I get ready for work." He shook his head, and she retreated back upstairs to get dressed.
Lois entered the newsroom of the Daily Planet, her home away from home, having deposited Chris at the daycare, to tackle the next big story. Unfortunately, only small stories would be had today.
"Hi 'ya, Lois," Jimmy Olsen, Lois' good friend, soon-to-be- brother-in-law, and Chris' surrogate uncle since his birth, said as he flopped on the corner of her desk. "How's it going?"
"Slow. Very slow."
"Tell me about it. Not even a decent Superman story today."
Superman. Another recent enigma that had baffled everyone. Two weeks prior, a 'flying' man (yes, flying) had come to Metropolis. He apparently had some extraordinary abilities and had proclaimed himself 'a friend', here to help. He dressed in a blue spandex suit with a cape and a large 'S' emblem on his chest. A reporter for the Star had secured the first interview, but it had been Lois' retrospect in the Planet where he had received his name. She'd commented that the 'S' stood for super, so the responding media had dubbed him, "Superman." Although yet to even get a quote, Lois had to admit that he was quite a phenomenon.
"But hey," Jimmy continued. "How's my boy?"
"Chris is…Chris," Lois replied.
"Great. Tell him Saturday, Lincoln Park ball courts, 4 o'clock. Be there and be prepared for a butt whipping."
"Yeah, right. You know the kid walks all over you."
Jimmy chuckled softly. "I know. Isn't it awful? A four year old plays better than me. Well, you got to love him."
"Jimmy!" Perry White's voice beckoned him to his office. Jimmy gave Lois a glance and disappeared to get his next assignment.
She soon gave up on the hope of getting a decent story and went to collect her son for the day. Several hours, a Happy Meal, bubble bath and story later, Lois collapsed into her bed to try and stop her racing thoughts.
Chris was a mystery to Lois and probably always would be, at least as long as she couldn't find his father. After their story, Chris had started with the twenty questions tonight. Once again he wanted to hear about his daddy. Lois repeated the same story she always did. That his dad loved him very much and that his work took him away.
That was not exactly a lie. Judging by what little she knew about him, she guessed that he would indeed love his son very much. Lois had met Charles over five years ago during an undercover assignment in London. He was an American, working with an International paper on the same story. They had met by accident, but decided to make the most of it and worked on the story together. After a week of chasing down leads, their persistence paid off. They got the break they needed and a whole lot of trouble. Charles ended up saving her life. The emotional day and night that followed had ultimately resulted in their son.
Charles, the only name she knew him by, was tall and very handsome. His thick, black hair and gorgeous brown eyes were all present in Chris. During the week they'd worked together, Lois discovered that he was a farmboy from the midsection of the country. He loved his parents, had a degree in journalism, and loved to travel. His boyish good looks and even more boyish nature, captivated Lois right away. In the short time she knew him, she felt like she had known a true friend.
Lois' captivation also extended to include almost an instant trust in this man. That, along with the emotional ordeal that nearly cost her life, led to one of the most passionate nights Lois had ever spent. She shared herself completely with this stranger, never feeling more loved in her entire life.
The next morning Lois simply slipped from his room and disappeared. A single white rose and a note were the only reminders to him that she'd been there.
'I'll never see a sunset so beautiful; I'll never again find such strength, such passion; and I will certainly never forget my 'shining knight'. You made me feel things I've only longed for. Take care of yourself my beautiful friend.'
That was it. That afternoon she was on a plane bound for the states once again. She took her memories, certain that was all she'd ever have to remember him by. Fate had other plans though. Two months later, Lois found out she was pregnant. Immediately she knew the baby would represent a piece of the incredible love she had experienced. Once the shock wore off, she settled in to become a mother.
Her friends, which only included Perry and Jimmy, and her family were stunned. Lois was a self-made ice princess. They seriously doubted her ability to become a good mother. It was a very unbelieving group that watched Lois Lane transform over the months. The cold, callous, mostly harsh woman, was replaced by a gentle, compassionate, and loving mother.
Christopher Clark Lane was born seven months later. Lois, to the amazement of everyone, became a wonderful mother. Chris replaced her desire to be the best in her field. A steady column replaced some of the unpredictable stories. She traded the dangerous thrills for early evenings with her son. Several novels insured the small family would be financially secure. The only thing missing was Chris' daddy.
Lois, upon deciding she would keep her baby, set out to find that missing daddy. With only his first name, she had little to go on. With Jimmy's help, they did everything they knew to do. Since she had used a cover name, she figured it highly likely he had, too. For three years she literally searched the world. The only thing left to do was to love her son and try to answer his questions as he began to ask them.
Chris was Lois' whole life. Every time she looked at him, she saw his father. She often wondered what she'd have done without him. Lois hadn't understood her need for the kind of love Chris now gave her. He gave her a reason to be the best person she could be.
Lois retreated to her room to settle for the night. As she sank into the bed, she had to smile at the thoughts of Charles. She would never, could never regret her time with him. He gave her Chris. Her only regret was that he wouldn't meet his wonderful son. She gave in to the sleep that called to her, thoughts of happy times in her mind.
Lois made her way down the ramp into the newsroom the next morning. Jimmy greeted her with a smile.
"Hi 'ya, sis. Have you seen this morning's Star?"
"No, Jimmy. Why would I?" Lois dropped to her seat.
"Seems their new reporter is one hot ticket. He has uncovered several illegal business practices of our very own resident billionaire."
"Yeah. Lex Luthor is trying, at this very moment, to explain his way out of some utility scams. This Kent also promises more to come."
Lois took the paper and scanned the article. She had nailed the first Luthor exclusive three years ago. She had even been out with the man, until he made snide remarks about her son's absent father. But she never figured him for a ruthless criminal. Maybe she had lost her edge.
"Kent is becoming a wonder boy in the world of journalism," Jimmy said.
"Isn't he the one who got some of those Superman interviews?" Lois asked.
"That's right, Lois," Perry answered for Jimmy. "And to think, he could have been on our team. He came in here a few weeks ago pushing a less than reputable resume. I didn't think he had the goods. Boy, was I wrong."
"How could you have known?" Lois shrugged. "I would never have thought Lex was so bad."
"Yeah, yeah. I guess so. Anyway, I'm thinking I might call Kent back. Swindle him over to our side." Perry took the paper from Lois. "C. Kent. He should use his whole name. Clark sounds better than C."
Lois nearly choked on her coffee. This guy's name was Clark. How weird was that? Lois had named Chris Christopher because she had always loved it. Clark had come to her when she heard it a few days before his birth. For some reason she knew his middle name had to be that… She had never met anyone with that name though. It was strange to hear someone with it now.
"Lois, Metropolis Journalist Society. Party. Tonight. Be there." Perry left little room for discussion.
"Argh…I hate those things."
"Yeah. But hey, the Planet's buying." Jimmy patted Lois' shoulder and disappeared.
Lois sat at the table with Planet staff. She had managed to make it there, after wrangling Chris to her mother's house. She had pryed him away from the television and his new Superman obsession, made it to Ellen's, then here with five minutes to spare. Nursing her glass of wine, she admitted she was having an okay time.
The lights went down and Bryan Urban was introduced. He was the newest country music superstar; hometown boy made good. He let the applause die down, then stepped up to the mike.
"Thank you. I would like to sing my newest song for you tonight. I thought this party would give it exposure to a new and larger group than I seldom get to perform for. The lyrics were written by a very good friend of mine. He wrote this a few months ago as therapy to deal with a lost relationship. He credits these beautiful words to a friend that he met over five years ago. He says, and I quote: 'For my queen. May you find your shining knight. Take care my beautiful friend'.
Lois nearly dropped her glass when she heard what he said. She had written those last words to Charles. He had also dubbed her his queen when she said he was her 'shining knight' after he saved her life. Could he be the same man she had known so long ago?
*Got a picture of you I carry in my heart
Close my eyes to see it when the world gets dark
Got a memory of you I carry in my soul
I wrap it close around me when the nights get cold
And if you ask me how I'm doin', I'd say just fine
But the truth is baby, if you could read my mind*
Lois stared at the singer as if she'd seen a ghost. Her thoughts were racing.
*Not a day goes by that I don't think of you
After all this time you're still with me it's true
Somehow you remain locked so deep inside
Baby, baby, oh baby, not a day goes by*
Lois brought a hand to her face.
*I still wait for the phone in the middle of the night
Thinkin' you might call me if your dreams don't turn out right
And it still amazes me that I lie here in the dark
Wishin' you were next to me with your head against my heart
And if you ask me how I'm doin', I'd say just fine
But the truth is baby, if you could read my mind*
Lois was mesmerized by the song, unaware she was drawing stares from her company.
Minutes turn to hours, and the hours to days Seems it's been forever that I've felt this way
*Not a day goes by…That I don't think of you*
The song ended with loud applause from the audience. It was a beautiful song. But could it possibly have been written by Charles? The singer would know. Lois jumped from her chair and headed backstage.
She found her target after a few minutes and entered the small room. "Excuse me, Mr. Urban?"
He turned to see Lois at the door. "Yes?"
"I was wondering if I could ask who wrote that song?"
"Yeah. You said that. I would very much like to know his name."
"And why's that, Ms…?"
"Lane. Lois Lane. Let's just say it really moved me."
"Well, Ms. Lane, I wish I could. He wishes not to have his name released until the album is."
"Please. I need to find out his name."
"I'm sorry. I have to abide by his wish." A knock at the door cut any further conversation short. "Excuse me. I have to go." He walked to the door.
"Can you at least tell me if his name is Charles?"
"No, Ms. Lane, it's not. I really am sorry." He turned and left. A deflated Lois Lane exited behind him.
At the other end of the hall, Clark Kent shook hands with his friend. "How are you, Bryan?"
"Good. Really good."
"Seems like it." Clark nodded at the retreating brunette at the other end of the hall.
Bryan looked back to where he indicated. "Ah, actually she was here to ask about you."
"Yeah. She said the song really moved her."
"Strange. She really wanted to know your name. Asked if it was Charles."
"What?" Clark was stunned. He hadn't been called that since…since…"Did she say what her name was?"
"Yeah. Lois Lane."
Clark rolled that around for a second. Could this woman have been his Marina? She probably used a cover just like himself. If so, this was possible. "Bryan, I have to go."
"Sure." Clark was already leaving the hall at the other end.
Clark looked for this lady, but she had disappeared. He was told Lois Lane worked for the Daily Planet — funny how he'd asked for a job there first — and that the Planet staff had already left. Not knowing what else to do, he went home to see if she was listed in the phone book.
Unfortunately, she was not listed, so Clark decided that he would visit the Planet the next morning. If this was her, he had to know. She had occupied his thoughts daily since he met her. He always hoped someday, somehow he'd find her again.
For Clark, meeting Marina had been a breath of fresh air. She was bright and full of energy. A fireball wrapped in a small frame of a woman; she immediately captivated him. With some smooth talking he had managed to get her to let him help her with the story both were working on. In the process, he had saved her life. The emotional results led to an incredible night of passion. A night he couldn't have stopped if he'd wanted to. His world fell apart the next morning. She was gone.
Clark had been convinced this woman was the one woman in this world he could love. He trusted her almost immediately and wanted to share his secret with her. He knew she'd understand it. He would have followed her anywhere.
He'd kept the note and the rose had been dried. Clark's memories kept him company now, the only reminders that she even existed. Until now? Tomorrow he'd know for sure.
Lois got to the Planet in complete reporter mode. If no one would tell her the writer's name, she would do what she'd always done best. Investigate. She was determined to know his name by lunch time.
"Hey, Lois. The Star's wonder boy did it again," Jimmy said, waving the paper in his hand.
"Kent. He wrote another expose on Luthor. Looks like the Fall of the House of Luthor. They even included wonder boy's picture this time. Funny, he looks familiar."
"What? Let me see." Lois took the paper from Jimmy. What she saw made her do a double take. Right there staring back up at her were those same brown eyes, the same brown eyes her son had. Even behind the glasses, she'd know those eyes anywhere. "Oh God!" Lois grabbed the desk to steady her.
"Lois, are you okay?"
"Jimmy, I have to go." She turned and hurried to the elevator.
"O…kay," Jimmy called as the doors shut behind her. Just then the other elevator opened to a very determined Clark Kent. He exited and headed for Perry's office. Jimmy stepped in front of him at Perry's door. "Clark Kent? Jimmy Olsen." He extended a hand. "I'm a huge fan. Great work."
Clark took the offered hand. "Thank you." Clark noticed Jimmy looked at him funny. "Are you okay?"
"You just…look really familiar."
Clark pulled his hand from Jimmy's. "Guess I have that kind of face."
"Maybe. But I really can't help but feel like I know you." Jimmy stared at him another second before shrugging. "Oh well. I am glad to meet you."
"Thanks. Excuse me." Clark stepped around the young man and rapped on Perry's door.
"Kent! Get in here." Clark entered and walked up to Perry's desk.
"Mr. White." He extended a hand.
Perry caught his hand. "How are you? Did you come to…Judas Priest!" For the first time Perry looked directly at him. When he'd met Clark a few weeks ago, he'd worn a full beard. With his clean shaven face, Perry was looking at his godson.
"Ah…yeah." He slowly withdrew his hand. "Hold on. Jimmy!"
A second later Jimmy stuck his head through the door. "Yeah, Chief?"
"Find me a copy of Kent's bio. Now!"
"Mr. White?" Clark was confused at the man's strange reaction to his visit.
Perry held up his hand to silence him. He continued to stare at him though. "Give me a minute. I'm…ah…a little winded."
A moment later Jimmy entered and went to stand beside Perry. "Got it."
Perry took the papers and sifted through them until he found his target. "I'll be damn!" He looked back up at Clark.
"What is it, Chief?" Jimmy's eye caught sight of the picture on Perry's desk, one of Chris sitting in Perry's lap. He shot a glance at Clark. Now he knew where he'd seen him. "Oh wow!"
Perry realized Jimmy knew. "Page her. Now!" Jimmy left the room, not daring to take his eyes off Clark.
Clark shifted under their gazes. "I'm really uncomfortable here."
"I know. I know. Just…ah…well…give me a few minutes and you'll understand."
"Mr. White, I came to…"
"Kent, please. Trust me. I know what you want. Have a seat. It's coming."
Clark eyed the older man suspiciously, but decided to humor him for the time being. He eased onto the small sofa.
Lois had been unable to hail a cab and was walking the few blocks to the Star. She'd only made it about a block when her pager chimed noisily. "Just great. 911. Jimmy, this better be good." She turned and headed back to the Planet.
She came through the bullpen in a whirl. "Jimmy?" He pointed to the boss' office without a word. Lois cut her eyes at him, but kept going. She swung open the door and stomped up to Perry's desk. "Perry, this better be good." Once again she received a pointed finger. She whirled to the object of its' intention and gasped at the man there.
Clark had risen when she barged in. He nearly passed out when she turned to face him. Five years. Five long years and there she stood. She was even more beautiful than he remembered.
Lois' mind raced. She could barely breath. The man she'd tried so desperately to find was here. She took a small step toward him as if to make sure he was real. Finally she found her voice. "It's been a long time."
"Yes. It has." Clark took a step to her. "I guess maybe this time I should introduce myself. I'm Clark Kent." He extended his hand to her.
She looked from his face to his hand and back, then closed the distance between them and wrapped her arms around his neck. Clark brought his arms around her waist. He'd waited on this moment for a long time.
"I'm really glad to see you," Lois whispered next to his ear.
"I'm glad to see you, too." Clark squeezed his eyes shut and pulled her closer.
After a moment, Lois pulled back. "I'm Lois Lane."
"Yeah. I know. I came here to see you."
"No. Just hoped."
Lois rubbed his arm. "How are you?"
"I thought it was just fine."
"I ask how you're doing, you say just fine." Clark smiled at her reference to the song. "It's a beautiful song."
"Thank you. I just really needed to deal with how I was feeling."
"I've always wondered if you ever thought about me."
"Not a day goes by," he stated softly.
Lois smiled and touched his face. "I have never forgotten you." She dropped her hand to take his. "I need to talk to you. Can you go for a walk?"
Lois turned to speak to Perry only to find he'd gone. She shrugged and led Clark to the elevators. They made their way across the street to the park in silence. Lois' mind raced to find the right words to tell Clark about Chris as they settled on a bench.
Lois turned to look at Clark, who waited patiently for her to speak. "I've thought about us a lot. Missed you. Even tried to find you again."
"I've tried to find you, too. You were really special to me."
Lois ran a hand through her hair. "Are you happy?"
"I'm…getting by. Lois, you left a hole in me I haven't been able to fill. When I woke up and you were gone…Well, I traveled for awhile. Three and half years. Then I came home. A few months ago I decided I had to get my life together. I wrote that song…to say good-bye. I came to Metropolis to see if I could really do that. I never expected to find you."
"I had resigned that maybe you were a dream. But every day I'm reminded of you."
"Then why did you leave?"
"You have to understand that when we met I was a cold, unfeeling woman, bent on being the best reporter in the business. You took me by surprise. I never expected to find…such completeness with a stranger. You scared me. I ran." Lois ran her hands across her knees. "I have regretted it every day since." She looked up at some playing children before lowering her gaze to the ground. "So, you're not…married? Kids?"
"No. There hasn't been anyone that…special…since you."
Lois looked up at him, then turned to stare at the ground again. "Clark, there's…someone in my life now. He's…very special."
Clark became quiet as he absorbed her words. He hadn't seen a wedding band and hoped that she was still available. He followed her gaze to the playing children. "Then why did you try to find me?" It was the only thing his wounded pride could come up with.
"Because you're the reason I have him," she said flatly.
Clark turned to her to question that, but she was digging through her purse. She turned and handed him a photograph. He took it, reluctantly, to stare down at two large brown eyes. Brown eyes that looked exactly like his. "Oh God!" He drew in a sharp breath.
"He's your son."
Clark looked from the picture to Lois then back again. "I…I…Oh God!" He drew another sharp breath as he continued to stare at the image. "I had no idea."
"I know. And you have to know I did everything I could to find you. I wanted you to know."
Clark ran a finger across the small face in the picture. The smile, the hair, the eyes; he was staring at himself. Slowly his eyes began to fill with tears. "I guess he thinks I ran out on him."
"No! He thinks you love him very much." Clark looked up at Lois. "I have always told him the truth. And he has always said that one day you would come to see him."
He looked back at the picture, his tears rolling slowly down his cheeks. "I'm so sorry."
Lois placed her hand over one of his. "I'm not. I'm sorry that you weren't here, but not for him. He is my life. He made missing you bearable."
"He's beautiful," he whispered.
"Yes. Just like his dad."
Clark lifted his head to meet her gaze. "Like his mother." They held each other's gaze for a long moment before Clark looked at the picture again. "What's his name?"
"Christopher. We call him Chris." Lois laughed softly. "His full name is Christopher Clark."
Clark looked back at her again. "What?"
"Yeah. I loved the name Christopher. Right from the beginning I knew that would be his name. I heard the name Clark a few days before he was born and just couldn't get it out my head. I never knew why, but I felt like I had to name him Clark. Guess now I know why."
Clark chuckled softly. He had to admit that she was still captivating. "I'm glad you had to." He turned back to the image again. "When was he born?"
"July 31. He'll be…"
"Five…wow! I bet he's a fireball."
"Yeah. All boy. Loves to play basketball and football with his Uncle Jimmy."
"Uncle Jimmy? Jimmy Olsen?"
Lois nodded her head. "He's actually not his real uncle, not until November. He's marrying my sister, Lucy. But he's always been Chris' surrogate uncle."
"I'm glad he had somebody."
"Clark, Chris is very loved. Always has been. I've ached for him to know you every day, but he has never been unwanted. He's my world."
Clark stared down at the picture for what seemed like hours. His voice was nearly a whisper when it broke the silence. "Can I meet him?"
"Of course. He will be so happy. Every night, when he says his prayers, he always says goodnight to you and that he loves you."
Clark looked back at her, fresh tears running down his face. "God, I wish I'd been here."
Lois leaned forward and wiped his face. "You're here now." Lois smiled, and turned to retrieve a pen and paper. Once she'd scribbled her address she handed it to him. "Here. That's the address. Come for dinner. Seven."
"Are you sure?"
"Clark, you and Chris have missed enough of each other's lives already." She stood and gathered her purse. "Tonight."
"Okay." He stood and held the picture out to her.
"You hold onto that. It will give you something to do today because I'm sure you won't be able to work."
Clark laughed softly. "No. I think maybe I'll just…take a long walk…And look at my…"
"Your son," she finished for him. "I know this is a shock. I just felt you had to know immediately. Are you…okay? With this, I mean?"
"Lois, this is a shock, but you were right. I've never met him and I love him already."
Lois smiled widely, receiving one in return. She touched the side of his face briefly. "You still have the most beautiful smile I've ever seen." Before he could reply, she turned and took a couple of steps. "We'll see you tonight, Clark Kent." She called over her shoulder and was gone.
Clark glanced at the photo. "A son…Wow!" He found the nearest alley and shot into the sky, spinning into the suit on his way up. Above the clouds, he looked at the boy in the picture again. He smiled back. "You are gorgeous. I can't wait to meet you."
Lois entered Perry's office a little while later. He watched her as she came to sit in front of his desk. "You knew?"
"But he was here a few weeks ago."
"He had a beard then. I didn't see it. But today…well. There's no way not to see it." Perry leaned back in his chair. "I take it you told him?"
"Yeah. He was…shocked."
"Does he…want to meet him?"
"Yes. He's coming for dinner tonight."
"And how do you feel about that?"
"Perry, I'm so excited for Chris. He'll be ecstatic."
"Lois, don't push them. Either of them. Let them find their own way."
Lois nodded in agreement. "I agree. That's why I was glad that Clark was the one who asked to see him. I didn't have to suggest it."
"That's good. This Kent seems like a decent fellow. He's got to be. Half his genes made my godson." Perry laughed happily. "Now go on. Go get your son and tell him his prayers have been answered."
Perry smiled as he watched Lois leave his office. He was glad she could finally tell Chris his dad was here.
"Mommy, when's he gonna be here?" Chris asked, climbing onto the counter to watch Lois cook.
"Soon, honey. Did you wrap his gifts?"
"Yes. Do you think he'll like me?" Chris looked down at the picture of Clark in the Star. Lois had shown it to him and he had refused to put it down.
"Chris, he's going to love you. He already loves you," Lois assured him.
"I hope so, 'cause I love him. Mommy, is that okay?"
"To love him?" Chris nodded. Lois stroked his small cheek. "That's fine. You're supposed to."
Chris smiled at her. "What do I call him?"
"What would you like to call him?"
"Daddy," Chris stated softly. "But maybe he won't like it. Or think it's too soon. Or…"
"Chris, why don't you ask him?"
"Okay, Mommy." The doorbell rang and both of them jerked their heads to look in that direction. Chris was immediately excited and had started to shake. "He's here." He jumped down and raced in front of Lois to the living room, only to stop at the sofa.
Lois smiled and continued to the door. Clark stood on the other side, holding a large giftwrapped box and a shaky smile. "Hi," he said and extended a single white rose to Lois.
Her eyes moistened with tears at the significance of his offer. She took the rose and drew it to her nose, inhaling deeply. "Thank you," she said when she found her voice. "Nervous?"
"No. Petrified," he whispered.
"Don't be. He's really excited to see you. Come on."
She stepped back to allow him to enter. His eyes immediately found Chris as he stepped in. Lois took the gift from him and stepped back to allow them to meet. "Go on," she urged. Clark kept his eyes on the little boy trembling behind the sofa. He, himself, had started to tremble slightly as he stepped slowly towards Chris.
Chris kept his eyes on Clark as he inched around the end of the sofa to its' side. Clark stopped a few feet away from him. Both stared at the other for a long while. Finally, Chris started to cry.
"What? What's wrong?" Clark asked as his own eyes filled with tears.
"You don't like me."
Clark knelt down in front of Chris. "Why would you say that?"
"'Cause you didn't say anything."
"No. I just wanted to look at you."
"Really?" Chris swiped at his face with the back of his hand.
"Yes, really. You're…incredible." Clark drew his hand to his mouth, his tears rolling down his face.
Chris took a step to him. "My name's Chris."
"I know. My name's Clark."
Chris giggled. "Mine, too." He took another step.
Clark smiled. "I know." Clark looked at the gorgeous boy before him, not sure what to do. He wanted so much to pull him into his arms, but didn't want to scare him.
Chris took another step, coming just inches from his dad. He placed his small hand on Clark's large face. "Don't cry. I'm a good boy."
Clark couldn't stand it any longer. He drew Chris to him in a tight embrace, his tiny arms circled his large neck. "You're perfect." Clark stroked his back with one hand and cradled his small head with the other.
A crying Lois set the gift on the desk and left the room to give them this time.
Clark kissed the side of Chris' face before pulling him back to look at him. He rubbed his face. "I can't believe you're mine."
"I can't believe you're here." Chris smiled brightly up at him before squeezing his neck again. "I knew you'd come."
Clark stood up still hugging Chris to him. Finally the little guy let go enough to look at his dad. "I would have been here a long time ago if I had known."
"I know. Mommy couldn't find you. But you're here now. That's all that matters."
Clark repositioned him to sit on his forearm and held his back with the other hand. "How did you get so smart?"
"My Mommy says I have good genes." Clark chuckled softly. He could definitely see Lois in him. Chris wriggled and fell to the floor. "I have some gifts for you." He ran to the dining room table to retrieve a large gift bag. He ran back and took Clark's hand and led him to the sofa. "Sit." Clark settled and smiled as Chris handed him a large box from the bag.
Clark opened it to find a scrapbook filled with pictures of Chris. The pictures started with a very pregnant Lois. "Wow! Look at Mommy."
Chris giggled at his funny face. "She was cute."
"Yes, she was," Clark agreed. He slowly turned the pages, reliving his son's life in the pictures. Chris let him look without interrupting him.
"We made this for you a long time ago. We add new pictures some times."
"Thank you. I love it." Clark smiled at a very happy boy.
"That's not all." Chris pulled another gift from the bag. This one was a video cassette. "It has me on it. Even when I was born. Yuck! Let's not look at it now." He reached for yet another gift. This one was a hand painted tie. Two very tiny handprints were imprinted in blue. "My hands. We made that for you when I was two. See. It has the date." Chris pointed to the date printed on one of the hands.
"Chris, this is great. I'll wear it to work tomorrow."
Chris smiled and gave him another gift. It was a tiny gold ring on a long gold chain. "That was my ring. Uncle Jimmy gave it to me on my first birthday."
"Chris, maybe Uncle Jimmy wouldn't want me to have this."
"It's for you. He had it made to give you when I met you. It even says, 'Love Chris' in it."
Clark read the inscription, then looked down at his son. He pulled the chain over his head and held up the ring to kiss it. "I will wear it always."
Chris grinned and handed him the last gift. It was a shadow box. Inside a tiny shirt was displayed on the backside. The front said, 'My shining knight', printed inside a shield. Also displayed in the box was a tiny arm bracelet that newborns received from the hospital, a pacifier, a tiny diaper, a plastic teddy bear with a lock of hair in its' belly, a plastic shaped tooth that held a small tooth, a newspaper birth announcement, and a copy of the birth certificate from the hospital complete with tiny foot prints.
Chris pointed to the birth certificate. "We can finish filling that out now."
Clark noticed the blank for the father's name was empty. There was also no last name behind Chris'. Clark's eyes filled with tears again. He had been a part of his son's life and never even knew he existed. "Chris this is really special. Thank you very much."
"You're welcome." Clark stroked the side of his head. "I'm glad you're here."
"Me, too." Clark glanced around the room to find the box he'd brought with him. "I have something for you." He rose to get the box from the desk. He sat it on the coffee table in front of Chris. "I hope you like it. I wasn't exactly sure what to get."
Chris grabbed his hand. "You're the best gift ever."
Clark took Chris' face in his hands and leaned over to kiss his lips. "So are you." He rubbed his thumbs on his tiny cheeks, then sat back down. "Open it."
Chris tore into the box to find a football and a large jersey with the name Kent on the back. "Wow! Were these yours?"
"Uh huh. I played in college. The ball even has my name on it. I got it for being the most valuable player in the Rose Bowl in '89."
"Oh wow! These are great. But Mommy won't like it if I take something you earned."
"I want you to have them, Chris. Until I found out about you, these were my most valuable treasures. Now *you* are. I want my most valuable treasure to have something from me. I could buy you any kind of gift. But this is a gift that couldn't be bought. They used to represent one of my greatest achievements." Clark touched his face. "Now I know I've done a lot more."
Lois had listened to the exchange with warmth at Clark's feelings for the son he'd just met. "I think Mommy would be okay if you kept those, sweetie." Her voice turned both their heads to her. "Really. He wants you to have them."
Chris smiled up at Clark. "Could you help me put the jersey on?"
"Sure." Clark pulled the large shirt over his head. It looked more like a dress. He smiled down at two very happy brown eyes.
Chris looked down at himself and the football, then back up at Clark. "I'll take good care of them. I promise."
"I know you will."
Chris launched himself at Clark, squeezing his neck with his free arm. "Thank you."
"You're welcome." Clark drew back to look at him. "And thank you…for existing," he finished in a whisper.
Lois wiped away another stray tear. "Okay. Time to eat."
"Ah oh. We're in trouble. Mommy's cooking can be dangerous." He and Clark laughed out loud.
"I heard that," Lois called as she went back into the dining room.
Lois listened to father and son chat as if they had known each other from the beginning. Chris told Clark about daycare and preschool; how he liked to go to the Planet; playing ball with Uncle Jimmy; about him being the best man in the upcoming wedding; his grandparents; and about how his Mommy always told him stories about his dad. Clark told Chris about his travels; his writing; and playing football.
Clark reached into his pocket for his wallet. "I have some pictures I want you to see." He laid the open wallet in front of Chris. "Those are *my* parents."
Chris picked up the item for a closer look. "My grandparents?"
Chris stared down at the older people looking back. "What are their names?"
"Martha and Jonathan. They're farmers and live in Kansas."
"Are they nice?"
"They're the best."
Chris shifted from his chair to sit in Clark's lap, still looking at the picture. "Do you think they'll like me?"
"I think they'll love you." Chris met Clark's gaze. "They've always wanted grandchildren."
"Can I meet them soon?"
"If it's okay with your Mommy."
"They're not my Mommy's grandparents."
Chris' words took Clark by surprise. He looked up at Lois. "He's right," she said. "It's not my place to interfere. You two have to find what's comfortable for you."
"But I don't want it to seem like I'm pushing things too fast. I haven't been here. I haven't helped raise him. I just don't know if I have the place…"
"Clark, you're his father. You have every place. Go with what you feel. Trust that. Chris does."
Clark looked back down at his son, waiting patiently for a reply. "I will fly them out this weekend to meet you. Okay?"
Chris smiled brightly then. "Okay. Come on. Let's go look at some more pictures." Chris jumped from Clark's lap, with the wallet still in his hand, and led Clark back to the sofa.
Chris sat in Clark's lap as he told him who the faces in the pictures were. They laughed and a couple of times nearly cried. When the book was put aside, Chris refocused on the pictures in the wallet he still held. Clark stroked his head and let him be content to play with his treasure.
Chris looked at all the pictures in Clark's wallet before looking through the rest of the contents. "Whatcha looking for?" Clark asked next to his ear.
Chris shrugged. "I just want to know things about you."
Clark kissed the side of his head. "Look all you want." He resettled with a smile as Chris inspected his dad's wallet.
When Lois came in, half the contents were laying on the sofa. "Christopher! What are you doing?"
"It's okay, Lois. I said he could. He just wanted to know a little more about me. He's putting it back."
Lois relented and sat on the other sofa. Chris finished putting the items back. "Mommy, he makes as much money as you do. He's got just as many credit cards." Lois and Clark burst into laughter. When they were silent, Chris looked up at Clark. "Do you write novels like Mommy?"
Clark's eyebrows raised at him. "I didn't know she wrote novels."
"Uh huh. The Real World series. She says they're best sellers and that they made us a lot of money."
Clark glanced at Lois. He'd read the Real World books, not realizing she'd written them. The author's name was L.L. Knight. Suddenly it made perfect sense. "I…ah…have been writing about my travels, but I haven't made them into a book, yet."
"Oh," was Chris' reply. Soon another question came. "Where do you live?"
"I live on Clinton. 344. In an apartment."
"Does…it…have two bedrooms?"
"Ah, no." Chris looked down at the sofa with a disappointed look on his face. "But it has a really neat loft." Clark pulled him close and whispered in his ear. "That would be perfect for an extra bedroom."
Chris brightened and repositioned so he half lay in Clark's arms, looking up at him. He rubbed his large face, then pulled his glasses off. Clark briefly thought to stop him, but decided to let him explore. He was getting to know him and Clark didn't want him to stop. "I just wanted to see," Chris said before replacing the glasses.
Clark rubbed his stomach, then lightly tickled him. Chris' giggle encouraged Clark to do it again. Soon Chris was kicking and laughing as Clark tickled his ribs. After a few minutes, Clark pulled him up to hug him. He squeezed his eyes shut as a wave of love for his son swept through him.
"God, you're great," Clark said softly.
Chris tightened his arms around his neck. "So are you." He imitated Clark's earlier action of kissing his face. "Can I call you Daddy?"
Clark turned his head to mash his face into Chris' hair. "If I can call you son."
Lois held her hands over her mouth as she watched them. This moment had been a long time coming and was even more beautiful than she could have ever dreamed.
Chris pulled out of Clark's embrace, jumped to the floor, and grabbed Clark's hand. "Come on. I want you to help me with my bath."
Clark looked over at Lois. She smiled and said, "Go on."
Clark smiled and got up to follow Chris. The little boy was chatting happily. "We can read a story. And I'll show you my room. And I'll show you my toys..and…and…" Lois listened as his excited voice trailed off up the stairs. She felt so good for him and his dad.
Clark pulled the jersey over Chris' head. He had bathed him and dried him off. His face held a constant smile. "You sure you want to wear this to bed?"
"Okay." Clark stood to get the comb.
"Comb it like yours," Chris chimed.
Clark's heart soared as he ran the comb through his hair. "There. All done." He picked him up to show him in the mirror. "See."
Chris smiled at his image, then Clark bent to put him back down. His little arms clutched Clark around the neck. "Don't. I want you to hold me."
Clark hugged him close. "Okay, Chris. I'll hold you."
They made their way into Chris' room for a story. He lay on his dad as he read his favorite book. When the story was done, Chris snuggled into Clark's chest. For the first time in their lives, both listened to the other's heartbeat.
"Are you gonna leave again?" Chris asked softly.
"No. I will never leave you, son." Clark stroked his hair and kissed the top of his head.
"I love you, Daddy."
Clark swallowed the lump in his throat. Finding out about his son had been incredible, but this was absolutely fantastic. "I love you, too, Christopher." A silent tear rolled down Clark's cheek as he held his son while he drifted to sleep.
Lois was sipping at a glass of wine as she noticed Clark come back down the stairs. He approached the opposite sofa with a smile. She leaned up, poured him a glass of wine, and handed it to him.
"Thank you," he said as he took the glass and sat down. "He's great, Lois."
"Yes, he is. And he is really glad you're here."
"So am I." Clark took a drink of his wine. "Thank you."
"For him. He's the best thing I've ever done."
Lois looked at the sincere expression on his face. She could feel the love Clark had for Chris. "Why didn't you ask if I was sure he was yours?"
Clark stared at her, not sure why she'd asked it. "You wouldn't have told me if you're weren't sure." He looked down at his glass. "We may not have been together long, but I know you wouldn't have been in a position not to be sure." He looked back up at her. "I could feel your emotions when you told me; the hurt you felt by not being able to find me; your love for him. Besides, even my eyes aren't so bad I couldn't see the resemblance."
Lois laughed softly. "Point taken. I just wondered if you were naturally trusting."
"Usually. But even I have my limits. I would have questioned you if I had needed to. Besides, when I met him, I knew. I could feel him."
Lois smiled again, and sipped her wine. "I've never seen Chris so happy. He's really crazy about you."
"I'm really crazy about him."
"Clark, I have to ask…will you be here from now on?"
"Absolutely. I will be his dad, in every way, at least every way you want me to be."
"Well, this is new territory for me. What do I do? I mean, I haven't been here. How involved should I be? If I push too much, will you resent it? I want to do everything, but I don't want you to feel like I'm butting in too much. What's my place?"
Lois smiled at him tenderly. "Your place is to love him and spend time with him. See him every day."
Clark flashed his white teeth and she thought she would melt. "I can do that."
"Good. Like I told you earlier, relax and go with what you feel. We'll figure this out together."
"And Clark, I want you to jump in with both feet. Don't worry about your place. Your place is with your son. And…to prove it…I'd like for you to go back upstairs and stay with him tonight."
Clark looked at Lois with a surprised expression. "What?"
"He's waited a long time for this day. Please. Wake up with him tomorrow. It'll mean a lot to both of you."
"Clark, just do it." Lois grinned at him. "You can't say you wouldn't love it."
Clark dropped his head in defeat, grinning sheepishly. "I would."
"Good." Lois jumped up and started turning out lights and locked the door. She corked the wine and took up the glasses. "Look under the sink in the bathroom. There's a new toothbrush. I keep plenty. I never know when Lucy or Jimmy will decide to stay after a game or movies. There's even a drawer in the hall bureau with some generic clothing items. There's probably some shorts that will fit you." She started to the kitchen.
Clark rose and turned to her. "Thank you."
Lois turned back with a smile. "This is the least I can do. After all, he's alive because of you. Goodnight, Clark."
"Goodnight, Lois." He watched her retreat, then made his way upstairs to be with his son.
"Daddy? Daddy?" Chris' little voice called while his hand patted Clark's cheek.
Clark's eyes fluttered open to focus on the smiling boy inches from him. "Good morning."
"Good morning, Daddy. You stayed."
"Yes." He leaned up and kissed Chris' face. "Do you always get up this early?"
"Yep. Mommy hates it."
Clark chuckled and pulled him close. "I'll bet."
Chris pushed back and jumped to the floor. "Come on. I'm hungry." Clark laughed as he swung his feet to the floor. He grabbed his glasses and left to find his son.
Clark found Chris on a stool fixing the coffee machine like a pro. "You fix the coffee?"
"Yep. Mommy says if I have to get a girl up at the crack of dawn, then I should know how to make coffee."
Clark laughed at his explanation. The little time he spent with Lois, he had bought her a lot of coffee. "That sounds like your mother."
Chris jumped down from the stool and dragged it across the kitchen to another cabinet. He scaled the stool and kneeled on the counter to retrieve the mix for waffles. "I like waffles," he announced as he handed the box to Clark.
"Okay, son. Show me where everything else is. I'll get it." Chris smiled brightly at his dad and sat down on the counter to point out the necessary materials needed to fix breakfast. He and his dad laughed and talked happily while Clark fixed their breakfast.
Lois rolled over to the smell of waffles and coffee. She jumped from the bed in a panic. "Chris is trying to cook again." She was stopped at the top of the stairs by the sound of the voices in the kitchen. The male voice rolled up to her. "Geez, Lois. How could you forget his dad's with him?" She turned and went back to her room to get ready for work. "His dad. That's something I thought I'd never say." She sighed and went to get her shower.
Lois entered the kitchen to find Clark and Chris blowing bubbles in their milk. "Are we having fun?"
The pair turned to look at her. "I think we've been busted," Clark whispered. Chris giggled at his funny face. "I hope you don't mind. He was hungry."
"Are you kidding?" Lois went to fill her coffee cup. "I haven't been able to sleep until seven in three years." She came to join them at the table. "You can come over at dawn any time, if it means I can sleep."
Chris wrinkled his nose up at Clark. "She's not a morning person."
Clark shook his head at him. "No, she's not."
"So, do you get up at dawn?" Lois asked Clark.
"Sometimes. I guess it comes from growing up on a farm."
"Yeah, but Chris lives in Metropolis." Lois stressed the last word and mussed his hair, letting him know she was not upset. "Time to get ready, kiddo."
"Ah…Do I have to? I want to stay with my Daddy."
"Chris, Daddy has to work, too."
Clark pulled Chris into his lap, the little boy was crying. "Hey, look at me." Clark lifted his face. "Don't cry. I'm not going anywhere. But Mommy's right. I have to work. If she says it's okay, I'll come see you this afternoon. Or maybe you guys could come eat dinner with me. Then you'll know where I live."
Chris looked at Lois. "Can we, Mommy?"
"I think that would be great, sweetie. You go get ready. If your Daddy wants to, he can come with us to drop you off at daycare."
Chris smiled up at his dad. "Okay." He jumped down and raced up the stairs.
Lois blew out a hard breath. "He just wants to be with you."
"I know. I feel the same way. He's great."
Lois reached for Clark's hand. "I'm glad you feel that way. He really needs you."
"I…need him." Clark looked down at her hand on his. "I really am sorry I wasn't here. You must have gone through hell."
"Clark, if we spend all our time looking back, we can't move ahead. And whatever sacrifices I've made having Chris, were worth it. The payoff is having him to love."
Clark smiled then. Falling for Lois had been easy before. It was instant now. "I…ah…I'll clean up this mess."
"You don't have to."
Clark was already up, cleaning off the table. "I want to. Go. Help Chris. It'll just take a minute."
Lois smiled and went upstairs to help Chris dress.
"Mommy, my Daddy's great."
"Yes, he is." Lois tucked his shirt in his shorts.
"I love him a lot."
"I'm glad. And he loves you."
"Mommy, did you love my Daddy when you made me?"
Lois stopped to look at her son. "Yes, Chris. I loved him very much."
"That's what Aunt Lucy said. She says babies are made when the Mommy and Daddy love each other. She says you two must have loved each other an awful lot 'cause I'm so special."
Lois rubbed his face. "She's right." She leaned forward and kissed his forehead. "Do you know that you are my shining knight?"
"And you're my queen," Chris whispered.
Clark entered the bedroom to find them, head leaning on head and smiling. "Oh,…I'm sorry. I'll come back."
"No. No. I was just leaving." Lois got up, stopping to place a hand on Clark's chest. "I have the best son in the world," she told him before leaving the room.
Chris smiled up at Clark and held out his sneakers. "She's a softy. You gotta love her." Clark chuckled and went to help him with his shoes.
Clark kneeled in front of Chris at the daycare. Lois had introduced him to the staff and informed them he was to be added to Chris' visitor list. Chris hung his head, not wanting his dad to leave him. "Hey, kiddo. It will be time to come to my house before you know it. Look," Clark asked for paper and a pen. He wrote on it then held it up to Chris. "This is my beeper number and this is my cell phone number. If you get lonely, you call me."
Chris took the paper and put it in his pocket. "Can you come eat lunch with me?"
"Yeah. I'd like that." Clark hugged him briefly. "Now, you be a good boy and play for me. I'll be here at 12."
"Okay. Bye, Daddy."
"Bye, Chris." He stood and waved at Chris as he left with his teacher.
Lois reached for his arm. "Come on. He'll be fine."
"I know." He walked back to the lobby with Lois.
Perry White stepped through the revolving doors to see them. "Just the man I wanted to see." Clark eyed the man carefully. "First off. How you like that boy?"
"He's great." He beamed at the older man. "I almost couldn't leave him."
"That's good. How would you like to be near him every day?"
"Well, I want you to come work at the Planet. And there's a reporter who's been out of the loop for a while, needs a partner for some really big stories. I think it would help with putting the edge back."
Clark watched Perry's face spread into a smile. "Wow! I don't know what to say."
"That you don't have a contract would be good."
"No. I'm working on a story to story basis."
"Good. Finish up any lose stories and mull over this," Perry scribbled a figure on a piece of paper and handed it to Clark. "That includes full benefits. Not to mention a discount at the daycare. And believe me, that gets expensive."
Clark raised his eyebrows at the figure on the paper. "I…wow. This is generous."
Lois peered over at the paper and whistled. "Nice. You should go for it. We need a good reporter around here."
"Look, think about it. Give me a shout in a day or two." Perry clapped him on the shoulder. "Damn! That boy looks just like you." He laughed and left them alone.
"Is it me or does he just want me to come here because of Chris?"
Lois pulled at his arm and led him out to the sidewalk. "That and he likes your work. Why? Your son not good enough to switch jobs for?"
Clark peered down at her in astonishment. "Lois, my son is incredible. I'd work in Beirut for him."
"Oh, I'm sorry. I was only teasing. I just…I'm nervous here."
"I want you to see and do everything with Chris, but I don't want to force him on you either."
"Believe me, you'll never have to force. I want to spend time with him."
Lois smiled and turned her head. Not only was he affecting Chris, he was affecting her as well. "I need to get to work."
"Me, too. I'll see you tonight?"
"Yes. Is six too early?"
"No. I'm looking forward to it." He turned to leave, then turned back. "Lois, I'm really happy about him." She smiled and nodded before going back in the Planet. Clark left with an extra lift in his step.
"Hi 'ya. How's it going?" Jimmy asked Lois.
"Things are great."
"So, is Clark really Chris' dad?"
"Yes, Jimmy." Lois leaned back to look at the young man. "Don't worry. He thinks Chris is incredible. And they talked about you a lot."
Jimmy smiled. "Really?"
"Chris loves you and Clark respects that. Trust me. You'll love him. He's a special person. And you won't be left out."
Jimmy felt better already. Chris had been a big part of his life and he didn't want to lose that. "Thanks, Lois. I needed to hear that."
She patted his knee and turned back to her screen. "I'll ask him if he wants to have dinner to meet you and Lucy soon."
"That would be great." Jimmy rubbed Lois' shoulder and left to start his day.
Clark had finished his current story at the Star before noon. He knew he wanted to work at the Planet and was elated when Perry offered. The editor tried to get him to stay, but he had gathered his few things and left.
Lunch with Chris had been spent in the park. Clark never knew a hotdog could taste so good. It was a reluctant pair who reentered the daycare an hour later. Clark hugged his son and left to get ready for dinner.
Clark had decided on grilling burgers on the balcony. He wasn't exactly sure what Chris liked to eat, but he was sure burgers would be a safe bet. He decided to have everything ready and ask his son to help when he got there.
His son. That was a mouth full. Twenty-four hours ago he was a lonely man, with only his parents for company. Now he was a father and pretty sure he could soon be a friend to Lois. Life never ceased to surprise him.
The only wrinkle in this sheet was Superman. Would Chris be different because of his genes? He was heavier than most boys his age. Clark realized that from some of the rescues he'd performed involving small kids. Would he develop any of his powers? Most importantly, how would Lois react when she found out?
And Lois…She was still a breath of fresh air. More beautiful than ever. Clark also felt she was absolutely amazing. She had raised a baby that belonged to a man she hardly knew and hadn't seen since. Yet, she never held that against the baby or the father. Lois was definitely someone he wanted to know better.
Lois had picked Chris up from daycare shortly after five. She had errands to run before they went to Clark's. Chris was so excited he could hardly contain himself. With only a couple of her errands out the way, Lois was quickly losing her patience.
"Enough!" Chris stopped and gazed up at her. She faced him, his startled expression cutting through her. "Chris, honey, I know you want to see your Daddy. But Mommy really needs to do these few things."
Chris hung his head. "I'm sorry, Mommy."
"No, Chris, Mommy's sorry. You must be so excited. I know I was when my dad finally started acting like I was his daughter. Tell you what; you be a good boy and let Mommy finish her errands, and I'll let you pick out a gift for your dad."
Chris looked up with a grin. "Can I get him a new football?"
Lois grinned at his logic. "You can get him whatever you want."
"Thanks, Mommy." He reached for Lois' hand. "I'll be a good boy. I don't want my Daddy to be disappointed 'cause I was bad."
"I don't think he could ever be disappointed in you." Together they finished the errands. Chris was quiet as a mouse and was rewarded with a new football for his dad.
Clark sprinted to the door when he heard the knock. He opened it to a very happy Chris. "Hi."
Chris launched himself at Clark. "I got you a present." He held up the new ball. "I thought you might want one to replace the one you gave me." Clark looked down at the ball. Chris had written his name on it with a marker. Underneath was his birthdate, and he had written: 'I love you Daddy'. "Mommy said it would be okay if I put Kent instead of Lane."
"I love it. Thank you." He kissed his head and motioned for Lois to come in. "Let's go put it where I kept the other one." Clark took Chris to the shelf in his room and sat the ball in the stand that had held his game ball. "There. I'll see it every day." Chris smiled and wriggled from his arms.
"Can I look around?"
"Yes. My home is your home. We just have to get some things for you to have here." Clark rubbed his head and stepped back into the living room. Lois was looking at the pictures and knick knacks on his bookshelf.
"Your parents look like very good people."
"They are. They're looking forward to coming this weekend."
"You told them about Chris?"
"Ah, no. I thought I'd wait to tell them when they get here. They just think we're going to spend some time together."
Lois sat a frame back down she'd been holding. "Guess that would be a shock over the phone."
"Lois, are you sure we're not moving too fast with this?"
"Are you comfortable with Chris?"
"And he's comfortable with you."
Clark shrugged a little. "Are you?"
"Clark, I am so thrilled that you two get along so well. When I first met you, I was almost instantly comfortable with you. That's saying a lot because I was not the most trusting person in the world then. I knew you and Chris would bond right off. Yes. I'm very comfortable. And to prove it, I'm gonna take these dang shoes off. They're killing me."
Clark laughed as she pulled her flats off and sat them by the shelf. "Better?"
"Good. How 'bout a glass of iced tea?"
"Sounds good." Lois followed Clark to the kitchen. "Where's Chris?"
"He wanted to look around." At Lois' strange look, he added, "He's okay." Of course he knew for sure. Chris was sitting in the middle of Clark's bed looking through a scrapbook. Clark poured Lois a glass of tea and handed it to her. "I thought we'd grill. I wasn't sure what to fix."
"Well, Chris eats anything, and lots of it."
"We'll get along good then. I like to eat, too."
Chris came into the room with the book he was looking at. He'd also taken off his shoes. "Look, Mommy. This is Daddy, but it looks just like me."
Lois looked down at the photo. She saw her son smiling back at her. "Wow. That's incredible. You two do look alike."
Chris sat the book on the table. "Look. Here's one of you and him."
"What?" Lois saw a picture of her and Clark, taken some time during their story in London. Some tourists had taken a polaroid and had given it to Clark with a remark about his pretty girlfriend. "Oh God. I had forgotten about that."
"Yeah. Me, too. I put it in a box of things and sent it home to my parents when I left London. Mom found it a year or so ago when she cleaned out my room."
Lois ran a finger over the image, remembering that happy time. "Chris, your Daddy was the funniest person in the world to be around. He liked the carnivals in the boroughs; loved junk food. And could make me laugh when I felt like crying. I've really missed him."
"I bet you're glad you had me," Chris said with a smile.
"I am very glad I had you. You're my shining knight."
Clark gazed at the woman before him. His heart leapt at her words. It appeared she had missed him just as much as he had her. Needing to break the moment, he took a deep breath and said, "Hey, kiddo, want to help me cook?"
"Sure." Chris closed the book and started to return it.
"No. Let Mommy look at that while you help Daddy." He left it with her and followed his dad to the balcony.
Lois laughed until it felt as if her sides would split. Clark and Chris were telling one funny story after the other. The latest was how Clark had weeded his mother's flower bed only to find out the weeds were actually the flowers. He said she had stayed mad at him for nearly a week before he made her a peanut butter and jelly sandwich to make up for his mistake.
"Hey, they always made me feel better." Clark shrugged his shoulders. "They still do."
"You're funny," Chris told him.
"And you're cute," Clark told him as he stood up to clean up the kitchen.
"I'll help," Lois offered. "Chris, why don't you go watch television." He was gone in a flash and Lois rinsed the dishes as Clark washed them.
"Lois, I…ah…well I want to talk with you about my role in Chris' life."
"I told you I want you to be involved as much as possible."
"I know." He dried his hands and turned to Lois. "I…well I want to help take care of him."
"And you will."
"I mean support, Lois. He is my responsibility, too. I would like to help."
"Oh. I guess I was so concerned about you just being with him…Clark, we've never hurt for money. We still don't."
"That's good to know. It makes me feel better. Because no matter what you say, I will always feel a little guilty for not being here to help." He held up a hand to stop her protest. "I'm not going to dwell on it. I just hate I wasn't here. I am now, and I want to help. When Perry mentioned daycare today it got me thinking. Please, let me help."
"Well, what did you have in mind?"
"I thought, for starters, I could pay for his daycare. And he'll start school soon. Maybe we could put him in a good school near the Planet. And I'm sure he goes through clothes like crazy."
"And shoes and video games and sports leagues." Lois looked up at Clark with a smile. "I'm really glad you want to help. A lot of fathers don't care. But, Clark, more than anything, he needs you."
"He will have me. I want to see him everyday. Eat lunch in the park. Go to little league. Parent/teacher day at school. Camping trips in the summer. Ski trips in the winter. He'll never lack attention from me. I have five years to make up for."
"Tell you what. I'll give you a run down of the expenses I have for him. You take care of whatever you want to. I just want you to be with Chris."
"I will. Always." He turned his attention back to the dishes. "So, I was thinking maybe I should get him some things to have here."
"I think that would be a good idea. And before you say anymore, yes. I want him to stay with you as much as possible."
Clark smiled at Lois. "I want him to. I just don't want you to ever feel I'm over stepping any bounds."
Lois put a hand on his arm. "This subject is closed. You're his father. Period. I *want* you to be his father. Would it help if I say I need your help?"
Clark turned to gaze into Lois' eyes, getting lost immediately. "Will you go out with me?"
"What?" His quick change of the subject took her by surprise.
"I would like to take you out…on a date."
"Really?" He nodded with a smirk. She grinned back and inched closer to him. "When?"
"Any time." He moved a step closer to her. "Tomorrow. The next night. Any night. Lunch. Breakfast. A movie…"
"Mommy? Daddy? I'm sleepy." Chris' voice broke the moment.
"…A bedtime story," Clark finished with a chuckle.
Lois turned to Chris. "Maybe it's time for us to go home."
Clark hurried to his son. "Come here." He reached for him and carried him to the couch. "I'll tell you a story." They sat while Clark told him about one of his trips to a village in Africa. By the end of the story, Chris was fast asleep. "I'll carry him to your car."
"Why don't you keep him tonight?" Lois asked.
"Yeah. You can bring him by the house to change in the morning. He'll love it. I'm sure you won't mind either."
Clark smoothed down his hair and looked down in his face. "No. I won't mind." Clark pressed his lips to Chris' face before rising to take him to the bed.
Lois was slipping her shoes back on when he came back. "I need to go. You should spend this time with Chris."
"Lois, I meant what I said. I'd like to take you out."
She looped an arm in his and pulled him toward the door. Once outside the door, she turned to him. "Look, you've taken me out."
Lois placed a hand on his chest. "Clark, I would love to go out with you. But…"
He smiled and tucked her hair behind her ear. "Ah oh. I knew there'd be a but."
"All I was going to say was, let's get you and Chris settled into a routine first. Everybody needs to get to know everybody, then we'll make plans to go out. Okay?"
"Okay. Makes sense."
"Clark, right now Chris is the most important thing."
Lois smiled brightly at him. "Take care of our boy."
"Our boy. That sounds funnier than 'my son'." Clark shrugged and said, "I will."
"I know." Lois walked down the steps in front of his apartment. "Goodnight."
"Goodnight." Clark watched until she was out of sight, and then went back inside. He stood in his bedroom doorway and watched Chris sleep. For the first time he realized that he hadn't heard any cries for help all night. Maybe he was attuned to him so much that he didn't even hear anything else, deciding that wasn't such a bad thing. He would be able to spend time with him without worrying about running off.
Clark turned out the lights and settled beside Chris on the bed. He touched his face gently, just checking to see if he was real. For so long Clark had wondered if he could father children. Now the proof lay beside him, sleeping soundly. And he was magnificent. No longer would Clark be the last of his kind. He had a son. He had a link to this world.
"I love you, son," he told him as he drew him to his side. A very happy and content man fell asleep a few minutes later.
Lois made her way into the newsroom nearly an hour late the next morning. She had over slept without Chris to be her alarm clock. The break had been wonderful and she felt better than she had in a long time.
Lois briefly wondered on her way home what she was doing, leaving her son with a virtual stranger. She immediately dashed those negative thoughts about Clark. No, she may not know him with her mind, but she did with her heart. And so did Chris. She knew Clark would take good care of him, so she put any negative thoughts out her mind and went home to the best night's sleep she'd had in a while.
"Well…it's about time you join us," Perry told her as she settled at her desk.
"Sorry, Chief. I over slept."
"Wouldn't have anything to do with a certain godson of mine, would it?"
"Yeah. He wasn't there to wake me up."
"You know?" She cocked an eyebrow at him.
"Uh huh. He's here."
"Chris is here?"
"Yeah. His dad brought him up this morning to see me. I told him to keep him with him today."
"What? Well, why would he be here?"
"Because…his dad is your new partner."
"What? I'm the reporter who needs her edge back?"
"Yep. I thought you could put your by-line on larger stories. It's been a while since you chased a good story. I think Clark's flare for emotion will mesh well with your hardcore style for truth. And with both of you working together, you'll have plenty of time for Chris."
Lois had to smile. The thought of working with Clark was very nice. "This may work, Perry."
"That's my girl."
"Mommy!" Chris ran through the room and bolted into her lap. "Daddy took me to Cotler's this morning to get these clothes. His friend owns it. We wanted to let you sleep. Then we had breakfast at Callard's. Then we went to get his dry cleaning. And..and then we came to see Papa Perry. And ..and he said I could stay all day. Isn't that great?" He hugged Lois then bolted back the way he came.
Perry and Lois shared a laugh at the little whirlwind. "Well," Lois began. "He is happy."
"Good morning," Clark said as he approached her desk.
"Good morning yourself. What time did you two get up?"
"Six. I hope you didn't miss us this morning."
"No. I actually hadn't thought about it until Chris mentioned it just now."
"I told her you joined our team. But you two settle in today. You can hit it wide open tomorrow." Perry waved his hand and left them.
"You didn't mention that you had decided to take the job last night," Lois said.
"I knew almost the time he asked I'd take it. I did want to work here first. That's why I've been doing the expose on Luthor. I thought maybe I could impress Perry enough to change his mind."
"You've certainly done that. Although, if you had been clean shaven the first day, you would have gotten the job then."
"Yeah. By default." Clark laughed at his joke. "Well, I wanted to thank you for letting Chris stay last night. I really enjoyed him being there."
Clark sat on the edge of her desk. "You know, for a brief moment I wondered why you let him stay. I'm not exactly the guy next door. It's not like you know me well. I was really very honored that you trusted me that much this soon."
"The thought crossed my mind for a second, too. And no, I may not know you, but Chris taught me a long time ago to go with my heart. My heart is screaming that you are a wonderful person. Chris already thinks you're a great daddy. I trust that."
"Thank you, Lois. That means a lot."
"So do you." Lois blushed and looked away. "Where is that son of ours anyway?"
"Jimmy is showing him how to search the archives. They are looking for Luthor's financial holdings. A very long list." Clark got up to leave. "I was surprised at how well Chris can read."
"Yeah. He's been reading since he was three and half. I think he's got a photographic memory. He remembers everything."
"He could have. I do."
"Huh. One of those things I don't know about Clark Kent. Remind me that we should talk about you and Chris. Soon."
Clark chuckled. "Sure. I'll tell you everything there is to know about me. Should take about…ten minutes." Lois laughed and turned to her screen as Clark left to find their whirlwind son.
Clark settled into his new position almost as easily as he had his role as a father. The only hitch was the tension exhibited from Jimmy Olsen. He had dispelled Jimmy's uneasiness right away; telling him he had no intention of replacing Jimmy's role in Chris' life. Jimmy had always been an important part of Chris' life and would continue to be. Clark told the young man that he would like to be his friend and asked him to help him learn about his son. Like Lois, Chris, and everybody that came in contact with Clark, Jimmy was drawn to him and found an immediate trust. The young photo journalist dubbed him CK and a friend.
Lois was enjoying Clark as a partner. She'd never had one, but Clark's style complimented hers well. Not much work was done the first day. They mostly became acquainted with each other and had fun with Chris being at work with them. Lois let him write a line for her column and Clark let him help organize the files on his computer.
All three left the Planet together for dinner that night. Chris reluctantly went home with his mother. Clark was both happy and disappointed. He wanted Chris to stay again, but he also needed to patrol as Superman. He ended up spending an hour hovering over their brownstone watching him sleep.
The next day was Friday and also the night he was flying his parents in to meet Chris and Lois. He had been both excited and nervous all day. Luckily, a good lead led to another story about Luthor. The evening addition of the Planet proudly boasted the first Lane and Kent by-line. A very happy Perry White whistled his way out the door early for the first time in years.
Lois couldn't remember feeling better about her writing. It felt good to get the lead on a story again. Yet another thing she had to thank Clark for. She would pick Chris up and meet Clark at his apartment at seven to meet his parents. She, too, was extremely nervous. Clark told her not to worry; his parents would love her and Chris. He assured her that she would be considered as much a part of their family as Chris. She smiled at the thought that some people were still civil with one another. She also looked forward to being liked right away. That was something that had taken a really long time in her own family. It appeared that Chris was truly her lifeline to a completely new life.
Clark left work early to pick up his parents at the airport. They had decided to fly in rather than have Superman come get them. He was happy to see his parents, but was quiet most of the way to his apartment.
After commenting on his home, Martha couldn't stand it anymore. "Clark Jerome Kent. Stop and talk to us. Now!"
Clark cast her small smile and they all sat at the table. Clark took a deep breath. "Well, I'm not exactly sure how to tell you this."
"Why don't start at the beginning?" His father suggested.
"Okay. The beginning was well over five years ago, when I was in London. The story I did there, under the Charles King by-line, well..I had help." His parents nodded. "A woman." They had always figured Clark had met a woman in London. After coming home, he had never been the same. "I knew her as Marina. That's all. Anyway, I ended up saving her life. The incident shook both of us pretty hard. We ended up comforting each other." Clark smiled at his memories. "She was something else. I fell in love with her almost instantly. And my heart has had a giant hole in it since the morning I woke up and she was gone."
Neither of his parents knew quite what to say, so Martha just put her hand on his. He continued. "I've went through the motions of living the past few years. I missed her so. When I came back home, I had finally found the courage to try and start living again. Mom, you know that song Bryan just released?"
"The pretty one I love so much?"
"Yeah." Martha nodded. "I wrote it."
"It was…therapy I guess. My way of saying good-bye to Marina."
"So you've reconciled your feelings for her?" His dad asked.
"Not exactly. I..ah I've seen her again."
"Oh God, honey. She's married?" His mom was concerned he'd get hurt again.
"No. But…there is someone in her life and he's very special to her."
Clark continued, stopping his mom in mid sentence. "You know she tried to find me."
"Clark, why would she? If she had someone?" His father had always been his biggest protector.
Clark chuckled softly. "I asked the same question. She told me I was the reason she had that special someone." Both his parents looked startled. "Yeah. That's what I thought, too. This lady's lost her mind. Then Lois, her real name is Lois Lane, showed me this." He pulled the same picture from his jacket Lois had shown him that first day.
Martha gasped and clasped her hand over her mouth when she saw the boy in the picture. "What?" Jonathan said, snatching the picture. "Damn!" Was his reply as he looked at the image. "My God, Clark. That's…you."
"Part of me, Dad. He's my son."
Martha retook the picture, tears welling in her eyes. "I…I…oh, Clark."
"I know, Mom. I was shocked, too. But he's mine."
"Well, there's little doubt about that," his dad said. "He's your twin."
"Even if he hadn't looked so much like me, I would have known he was mine. I feel it when I'm with him. And…Lois is not the…well, let's just say she doesn't trust easily." Clark noticed his mom again. "Mom, are you okay?"
"Oh, Clark. I feel so bad for you."
"You've missed the first five years of his life. It's irrelevant what me and your dad think right now."
"No. Mom," Clark said as he took her hand. "I do hate I missed that time. But I'm not about to waste time dwelling on it. I have him now. I have five years to make up for. I intend to. And, yes, I care what you and Dad think and feel. We were close once. I want to be again."
Martha looked back at the picture. "He's beautiful." She sat silent a moment, then said, "How can you love someone you've never met?"
Clark pulled her into a hug. "Oh God, I've missed you guys. I knew you would love him."
Jonathan rose. Very little moved him to show emotions much more than anger, but he was clearly moved at his son and wife's display. "Well, I'll tell you one thing, no grandson of mine is coming for dinner without a great meal waiting for him. I *assume* he's coming."
Clark looked up at his dad with a smile. "Yes. He and Lois both."
"Good. I have to meet the woman that made such a gorgeous child. Now, Martha, we have shopping to do. We can't meet our grandson without a gift for him."
Martha laughed and got up to follow her husband to the door. She stopped and turned back to Clark, who stood at the end of the sofa. "Is it safe to assume that Lois doesn't know about Superman yet?"
"No. Chris either. I intend to tell her though."
"Smart boy," his dad said, getting him two dirty looks. He had always been the one to harp about his need to keep his abilities secret. "He has no choice in this one. If his son… by the way, does he have a name?"
Clark nodded. "Christopher. We call him Chris. Oddly enough, his middle name is Clark. It's a long story. I'll tell you later. And you're right Dad. If Chris starts to change any, Lois will freak."
"See, Martha. Smart. He's my son." Jonathan opened the door and left Martha looking after him in amusement. She laughed, waved at Clark, and left to catch up to Jonathan.
Martha set the last of the dishes on the table. She had decided on a country supper; fried chicken and lots of vegetables. Jonathan tapped his foot from the chair in the living room. When the knocking finally came, both froze.
"I'll get it," Clark called as he came in from the bedroom. He stopped at the bottom of the stairs. His parents had come to stand side by side in front the television. "Ready?" They nodded.
Clark opened the door to Lois and Chris. The little ball of energy immediately jumped at his dad. "Hi Daddy. I missed you." He hugged Clark's neck as he stood with him.
"Hey, kiddo. I missed you, too. " He reached out for Lois. She took his hand and he led her in to close the door. He placed a hand on the small of her back as they walked down the steps. "Nervous?" he whispered in her ear.
"No. Petrified," she whispered back.
"So are they," he told her. They came to a stop a few feet from his parents. The older couple had to drag their attention away from Chris as Clark spoke. "Mom, Dad, this Lois. Lois Lane."
"Damn. Now I know why you were impressed Clark. You're beautiful," Jonathan told her.
Lois smiled, but amazingly, was not embarrassed. "Thank you, Mr. Kent."
"Nonsense. I'm Jonathan."
Martha stuck out her hand. "And I'm Martha. I've read your work. I'm a big fan."
"Thank you. Clark says you're an artist."
"Clark's a sweet boy. I *attempt* to be an artist."
Clark laughed and set Chris down in front of him. "And this is Chris." He rubbed his shoulders as he spoke.
Jonathan got down on one knee to look eye to eye with him. "Hi there." He stuck out his hand to the little boy. "I'm Jonathan. And I'm very glad to meet you."
Chris put up his hand to shake the older man's, but at the last minute, he stepped to him and wrapped his arms around his neck. Jonathan was stunned. He wrapped his arms around the small boy with tears in his eyes.
Chris pulled back. "I'm glad to meet you, too." He smiled at the older man.
Jonathan smiled in return. "You look so much like your daddy." He reached forward and touched his face.
Chris smiled again then turned to Martha. She watched him extract a rose from his mother's hand. "This is for you."
"Thank you," she answered as she took the flower. "You are a handsome fellow."
"My Daddy says I'm beautiful." He giggled a little. "I don't have the heart to tell him boys aren't supposed to be beautiful."
The adults laughed at this before Martha reached forward and ran her fingers in his hair. "We won't tell him. Okay?"
"Okay." Chris smiled, then wrapped his arms around her neck. "My Daddy said I'd like you, but he never said I'd love you first," he whispered in her ear.
Martha cried as she stood, embracing Chris tightly. Clark had heard the comment and took the bag Lois was holding and went into the bedroom, his own tears threatening.
After a long moment, Martha looked up at Chris. "I loved you first, too." He hugged her again. Finally, she sat him back down. "Are you hungry?"
"Yes, ma'am." He took the hand she offered and followed her to the kitchen.
Lois found Clark standing by the bed. "You okay?"
"Oh yeah. Just needed to breathe. It really surprised me that he jumped right in."
Lois shrugged. "I know where you get it from now. I wanted to hug them, too."
Clark turned to look at her. "They are great." Lois nodded her agreement. "Lois…" He stopped and looked away.
Lois moved and took him in her arms. He didn't resist, wrapping his arms around her small frame. When she pulled back, she said, "I needed that, too."
"Thank you." They smiled at each other, still lightly embracing. Jonathan called them for dinner and Lois took Clark's hand as they walked. They let go when Clark pulled her chair out for her.
"Now I know where Clark learned to cook," Lois commented as she pushed back her dessert plate.
"I always said even a man should be able to cook." Martha took a sip of her coffee. "He also does housework."
Lois raised her eyebrows. "Really?"
"I do know how to take care of myself," Clark added.
"We know, honey. We just like to tease you." His mom blew an exasperated breath. "Men."
"Excuse me?" Jonathan enquired looking up from his conversation with Chris.
"Not you, sweetie." Martha winked at Lois and they laughed. "So, Chris, when's your birthday?"
"July 31. I'll be five."
"What do you want for your birthday?" Martha asked.
He cut his eye at Clark. "I already got my birthday present."
"Really? So soon?" Jonathan asked.
"No sir. My birthday present took a long time."
"Well, what was it?" Martha added.
"Every year for my birthday and Christmas I always ask for the same thing. Every night when I said my prayers I promised I'd be a good boy if I could get my wish."
"Well, if you've gotten your wish, you must have been a good boy," Jonathan said. "What was it?"
"My Daddy," Chris said softly. Suddenly everybody's eyes were moist.
Clark pulled Chris into his lap. "Kiddo, you've got to quit."
"Quit what, Daddy?"
"Making your daddy cry," Clark told him as he pulled him to his chest.
"I've been a good boy."
Clark chuckled and pulled Chris back. "Yes. You're a very good boy. And you're my Christmas and birthday gift for the century. How could I possibly want anything else?" Chris leaned in and whispered something in Clark's ear, causing him to raise an eyebrow and laugh. "Okay. Maybe that." Clark squeezed Chris to him again.
"What? Maybe what?" Lois' natural curiosity was killing her.
Chris smiled at his mother. "Men have to have secrets, Mommy." Slowly, laughter filled the room again. When they had settled, Chris turned to Martha and Jonathan. "Is my Daddy adopted?"
Lois was horrified. "Christopher Clark, why would ask such a thing?"
"Lois, it's okay. Chris, what makes you ask that?"
"Our heartbeats feel different."
"What?" Jonathan asked.
Chris looked at the older man. "Your heartbeat doesn't feel like mine and my daddy's."
"You can *feel* my heartbeat?"
"How?" Jonathan, along with everyone else, was bewildered.
"I don't know. I just do. I close my eyes, and I feel my heart beat. My Daddy's beats exactly the same. Yours beats a second later."
"And you *feel* this?" Martha asked.
"Yeah. I hear it, too." Chris' answer was so matter-of- fact.
After a long silence, Martha spoke again. "Would it matter if your Daddy was adopted?"
"Chris, do you know what being adopted means?" Lois asked.
"Uh huh. It means you have two mommies and two daddies. Your *real* ones give you to the ones that love you and that you live with. Joey in daycare is adopted."
Martha looked at the small boy. "Yes Chris, your Daddy is adopted, but we love him very much."
Chris beamed brightly at Clark. "That makes you special."
Clark smiled back at Chris. "I think I'm just really lucky."
Lois clearly couldn't remember the last time she'd had such a wonderful time. Dinner had been great, the company even better. Martha and Jonathan were the best. They made her feel like part of their family right from the beginning. And Chris loved them. They also seemed to love him. They had run her and Clark out to the balcony so they could have time alone with him.
"Your parents are incredible," Lois told Clark.
"Yeah. I was really lucky. We used to be close. I want to be again."
"Used to be?"
"I ah, spent the last few years sulking. I really didn't want to hear anything from them, especially 'I told you so.'" Clark noticed Lois turn at his words. "Oh Lois, I'm sorry. I wasn't trying to make you feel bad."
"I know. Just…sometimes I do. You were the best thing that ever happened to me, even if it was brief." She looked down at her admission.
Clark stepped to her, raising her chin to look at him. "You were the best thing that ever happened to me." Before Lois could respond, Clark lowered his mouth to hers. The kiss was tender and loving. He'd waited over five long yeas to do that and wanted her to feel every emotion he ever had.
She had just placed her hands on his chest when he pulled back. Slowly, Lois looked up at him. "Wow," she whispered.
He smiled and pulled her to him. "I couldn't go another day without doing that. Lois, I know what you said about us dating, but we've waited long enough." Clark put his hand in her hair and pulled back to look at her. "I fell in love with you then. I fell in love with you all over again when I saw you in Perry's office. The next day, yesterday, just now." He raised his other hand to hold her face. "I love you, more every day. And it has nothing to do with Chris."
She placed both of her hands over his, doing the only other thing she knew to do. She met his lips again. As the kiss deepened, her hands found his hair and neck. He grunted when she pushed her tongue between his lips. Finally, they drew back for a breath. "I love you, too, Clark."
He smiled and traced her jawline with his fingers. "I've missed you…so much."
"I've missed you." She threw her arms around his neck, squeezing tightly. "I know my mind doesn't know you, but you can't tell my heart that."
Clark ran a hand up her back to cradle her head. "Exactly." He kissed the side of her face once, twice, three times. "We'll get to know each other. I promise, I won't push. I just had to tell you how I felt."
Lois pulled back to rain kisses on his face. "I know. Please…push… push." She covered his mouth again. Several minutes later, they pulled back unable to catch their breath.
"Maybe…we…should…slow down. For tonight."
Lois smiled and turned in his arms. He immediately circled her waist with his. "For tonight," she repeated. They fell into a silence. It was a loving silence, allowing them to simply feel the electricity between them.
Lois and Clark reentering the living room, hand in hand, smiling, was not exactly a surprise to the older Kents. The couple settled on the floor with their son. Chris boarded his dad's lap and they all finished a game of 'Go Fish'.
Chris hesitated with the cards, soon having both Martha and Jonathan's full attention. "Can I call you Grandma and Grandpa?"
The older couple exchanged looks before Martha spoke. "Well, Chris, maybe you should ask your Mommy first."
"Why? You're not her grandparents."
Clark barely contained his smirk when his mom's eyes widened. Jonathan extended a hand to his grandson, pulling him around the table to his lap. "You're right. We're not. And I would love for you to call me Grandpa, or Papa, or whatever you want. We may have just met you, but I think you're incredible. I love you, boy."
"I love you, too, Grandpa." Chris hugged his granddad, then looked up at Martha with a wide grin.
She cracked. "Okay. Grandma, huh?… I love it."
"Me, too," Lois spoke up. Everyone turned to her. "My parents don't see him much. Hell, I don't think they like me. They tolerate Chris. He's their reassurance that their daughter was a total disappointment. He needs you."
"Oh Lois," Martha began. "We're sorry. We didn't mean to upset you."
"No. It's okay. But that's what Chris has never understood. The people that could be here to love him didn't. The people that couldn't be here…well. I'm so happy for him."
Clark reached over and rubbed her shoulders. "I'm happy for me." Lois smiled sadly at him. "And you. Whether you know or not, you just got a family, too."
"Absolutely." Jonathan rose and pulled Lois to her feet. "Lois, Chris is our grandson. You're his mother. That makes you our daughter. We love you, too." He pulled her into an embrace. She slowly placed her arms around him as her tears fell.
Chris turned to his grandma with tears in his eyes. "She's my queen," he whispered.
"And I'll bet you're the best knight in the court," Martha told him.
"For what, sweetie?"
"My Daddy… and loving my Mommy."
Martha placed her lips to Chris' forehead. "I should thank your Mommy and Daddy. For making you." He smiled up at her and she thought she had never loved someone as much as she loved him right then. Chris was the gift they never knew if they'd get from Clark. He was extraordinary. Above all else, he was very, very loved.
Lois had left Chris to stay with his dad and his grandparents that night. She felt they should get to know each other. Clark reluctantly walked her to her car. They shared a tender goodnight kiss. At home, Lois fell into a deep sleep, thoughts from the night on her mind.
Clark couldn't help but still feel privileged that Lois trusted him with Chris already. The small boy shared a pallet in the living room with him. Clark couldn't remember feeling so complete.
The next day started early with waffles and cartoons. They all spent the rest of the day in the park and shopping for furniture to put in Chris' new room. In the afternoon, they drove to a nearby beach for a swim. A video camera seemed permanently attached to Jonathan's eye. They all loved the time together.
That night they met Lucy and Jimmy. Lucy was immediately in love with Clark and his parents. The older couple was drawn to her as well. Jimmy relaxed after Clark rescheduled his and Chris' ball game. Jimmy, once he met the Kents, had completely understood why Chris wanted to spend time with them. The small group departed knowing they all had new family members.
Chris stayed with his dad another night, spending time with his grandparents before they left. The next day Jonathan and Clark joined Jimmy and Chris for basketball at the park. Martha took Lois and Lucy shopping. That night the mood became strained when it was time for the Kents to go home.
Chris wiped at his face with the back of his hand. His tears were falling as they had been for ten minutes. "I don't want you to go."
"I know, sweetie, but we have a farm to run. We have to." Martha wiped another tear from his face.
"Can I come soon?"
"Oh, yes. Daddy will bring you very soon."
Chris jumped into Martha's arms. "I love you, Grandma."
"I love you, Christopher." Martha released him and hurried out the door.
"Come here, kiddo." Jonathan took Chris in his arms. "Got your tractor?" Chris nodded. "Every time you look at it, remember Grandma and Grandpa love you very much."
"I love you, Grandpa." Chris kissed his face, then wriggled to the floor and hurried from the room.
"He'll be okay," Clark assured him.
"I know, but I don't know if I will." The tough man turned and left. They had decided to call a cab so that neither Lois or Clark would see them break down. Unfortunately, they probably already knew they would.
Clark found Lois rocking Chris in her lap on the balcony. He had cried himself to sleep. Clark took him inside to his bed before returning to Lois.
"He'll be okay," he told her.
"I know. I never thought he'd fall so fast."
"They did, too."
"Yeah. They said good-bye to me an hour ago. I guess they knew it would be rough."
Clark pulled Lois into his arms. "I'm gonna buy them a computer with a camera and telephone link and one for Chris, so he can talk to them every day."
"Oh Clark. You would do that for him?"
"For him and them. Lois, my parents mean a great deal to me. Now they mean a great deal to my son. I want them to be close."
Lois pulled back to look at Clark. "Tell you what, after you spend a few weeks with him, why don't we let him go stay with them?"
Clark's eyes shot up in surprise. "With my folks? In Kansas?"
"No, Clark in the South of France. Yes! In Kansas. I'm sure they wouldn't mind having him, and I'm sure Chris would love the farm."
"You are incredible." He leaned forward and kissed her briefly. "I'm sure all three would be overjoyed."
"Good. You say when. He goes back to school after Labor Day. So he has a while." Clark smiled and held her. After a long silence, she spoke. "Clark?"
"Will you go out with me tomorrow night?"
He smiled and said, "Yes." They settled back into the companionable silence from before. They stayed that way for a good while before Lois left to go home. Chris would once again stay with his dad.
Lois and Clark did go out the next night. The date was spectacular. They had dinner at Callard's; went dancing at Leonard's; and took a long walk through the park. Clark kissed her goodnight at her door, then left to patrol as Superman.
Chris had been ecstatic that his parents were going out. Lucy and Jimmy sat with him that night. They, too, were happy for the couple. They all agreed Lois had not been this happy since Chris had been born.
Slowly, they settled into a routine. Clark would meet them in the morning to walk or drive into work. And if Chris stayed with him, they met Lois. They often went to eat lunch with Chris and most nights they shared dinner.
Clark was in heaven. He had a fantastic son and Lois seemed be totally interested in him. Still, every morning he cursed his abilities. Although Superman made him feel good about his unique abilities, it was his new family that made him feel like a man.
Nearly two more weeks had passed since Clark had met his son. Things couldn't be better. Clark had bought the computers for his parents and Chris, making all three very happy. He had come by Lois' after work to see Chris.
"Hi, Daddy," Chris said, opening the door to his dad. "I'm talking to Grandma and Grandpa." He turned and raced back to the other room.
Clark walked up behind Chris at the computer. "Hi Mom. Dad."
"Hi, son," they said in unison.
Clark kissed the top of Chris' head and left him to talk to them. A few minutes later, Chris found his dad on the sofa.
"Daddy, are you okay?"
"Yeah. I just…well I need to talk to Mommy."
"Oh. Have I been a good boy?"
"Yes, Chris. You've been very good."
"Daddy, are you mad at her?"
"No, baby. I'm not mad. We just need to talk."
After a long silence, Chris turned to look at his dad. "Are you scared she'll be mad when she finds out you're Superman?"
Clark nearly passed out in shock. He stared at his very serious son. What could he say? That it wasn't true? And how did he know?
"It's okay, Daddy. I know. I knew the first time I saw you on TV. That's why I like Superman so much. I think you're great. You saved one of my friends from drowning last week. I just felt so proud. I wish I had told you then."
"Chris, I…I…how did you know? And why haven't you said anything?"
"I could feel you. I knew it was a secret. I knew you would tell me when you wanted to."
"What do you mean, you could feel me?"
"Don't know. When I saw you on TV, I just felt all warm inside. I felt like that every time I saw you. But I won't tell. I didn't even tell Mommy."
"Chris, do you know what this means?"
"Yep. It means that you are very special. So am I. But Grandma says I may not get powers. But I think I already have some of them."
"Mom knows you know?"
"Yes sir. I told her." Chris hung his head. "I'm sorry, Daddy. I was just so happy about you saving my friend and..and I knew she knew, 'cause you said on TV your mom made the suit." Chris looked back up at his dad. "Please don't punish me. I won't tell again."
Clark pulled Chris onto his arms. "It's okay. Daddy's not going to punish you." Clark pulled him back to look at him. "It's okay to talk to Grandma and Grandpa or me. And…if I work up the nerve, Mommy will know. But what did you mean before, about already having powers."
"I can hear really good. I can see good, too. And I can feel things."
"Like you said before?"
"Uh huh. Close your eyes." Clark did as he was told, and Chris placed his small hands on his chest. Clark's eyes flew wide open when he felt an incredible sensation run through him.
"How did you do that?"
"Don't know. When I touch people and think about it, I can feel them."
Clark ran his hand through his son's hair. "I guess you have some special abilities because of me."
"Does that mean I can help people someday?"
"Will you help me figure out how?"
"I'll always help you, son. Does Mommy know you can do that?"
"No sir. She wouldn't understand without you here."
"I guess you're right. Maybe it's time for her to know."
"For who to know what?" Lois asked coming down the stairs.
Chris looked up at his dad. "You want me to help?"
Chris smiled and patted the sofa. "Come sit, Mommy. We'll tell you." Lois sat down cautiously, eyeing the pair. Chris looked up at Lois, then smiled. "My Daddy loves you."
"I know," Lois smiled back. "I love your Daddy."
"Mommy, what would you say if I told you I saw my Daddy before I met him here?"
"What?" She looked from him to Clark. "When?"
"Lots of times. He was on TV almost every day. I knew who he was the first time I saw him. It was great. I wanted to tell you, but I knew you wouldn't believe me."
"Chris, what are talking about?"
"My Daddy's a hero." Lois stared at him, then at Clark. "He's Superman," Chris whispered.
Lois looked as if he'd just disappointed her beyond belief. "Christopher, it's not nice to tell stories." Clark closed his eyes, trying to find the words to defend his son.
Chris went to the desk and retrieved a paper with a large picture of Superman on it. "It's not a story. Look! Look, Mommy. I have his eyes. His eyes," Chris finished, pointing at Clark. "Close your eyes. I'll show you."
Lois looked between Clark and Chris. "Just do it, Lois," Clark told her.
She did, and Chris placed his hands on her chest. When the sensations ran through her, she jumped and opened her eyes. "How… how did you do that?"
"I just can… because he's my Daddy."
Lois stared down at the picture. Her head rose to meet Chris' gaze, then went to Clark. Clark pulled his glasses off to allow her to see. "Oh God! He's right. How could I have missed those?" She reached to stroke Clark's face. "You are Superman?"
"Yes," Clark answered softly. "I've wanted to tell you, but…"
"Chris was thrown at you."
"No, Lois. Not thrown. I love Chris. I am very glad he exists."
"I know." Lois stared down at the picture for a moment. "Is that why he can do what he just did? Will he be able to do more?"
"I really don't know. I don't know a lot about myself. What I do know, I'll gladly tell you."
"You're…ah…you're an alien?"
"My Daddy is not an alien," Chris yelled. "He's perfect. And he's a great man. And…and…I'm mad at you!" Chris turned and ran from the room.
"Chris! Mommy didn't…" Lois hung her head. That was the first time he'd ever yelled at her. "I'm so sorry, Clark. I didn't mean that. I shouldn't have said it."
"Lois, I do come from another planet. But I was sent here because Earth is biologically compatible with Krypton. I always wondered if that meant I could actually father a child."
"I guess you don't have to wonder any more," Lois laughed.
"No. I do know my molecular structure is more dense. Dr. Kline, at Star Labs, says it's because I was born on Krypton, then raised under a yellow sun. That's what gives me my powers. Chris certainly has a more dense molecular structure. That's why he's so heavy."
"Now I know why he's never been sick or broken a bone."
Clark nodded in agreement. "His photographic memory, his ability to understand so easily, his atheletic abilities, are all possibly because of me. But, Lois, he's only half Kryptonian. He was born under the yellow sun. He may be able to hear really well and his vision will probably be better than perfect. And he certainly has a gift of some kind. I just don't see him doing any of the rest." Clark stared up the stairs to where Chris had disappeared. "I will never let anyone hurt him."
"Lois, he knew. He told me he's always known."
Lois smiled in spite of herself. "Sounds like Chris. He's always seemed to know things he shouldn't. Is that Kryptonian logic?"
Clark laughed softly. "I think he gets most of it from his brilliant mother."
"Watch it, Kent. Flattery will get you everywhere."
Clark dropped his head with a smile. "Are you…mad?"
"Mad? No. Curious…yes. Confused…I should be. Scared…not at all. Anxious…a little."
"Sure. What will Chris be able to do? Will he save lives like you? Will he want to? Just everything and nothing."
"So, this really doesn't make you want to not be around me?"
"Not be around you? Why? Because you're special?"
"That and the fact that I really am an alien. I'm not human. I can't change that."
Lois took Clark's hand. "Clark, you are more human than anyone I know. Look at what you can do. It takes a very special, very human person to do what you do. You carry so much on your shoulders. I feel privileged to know you, all of you. Not to mention the fact that you're in love with me. What you can do has nothing to do with who you are. You're still Clark."
He reached up to cup her face. "And you're still amazing. I was going to say a lot of that to you."
"I do have tons of questions."
"And I'll answer every one."
"Good. Right after I apologize to my son. I don't think his dad's a freak or inhuman. I think he's fabulous." She smiled and leaned in for a kiss.
"Mmm…I knew you were a great reporter."
She slapped at his arm and got up. "Give me ten." He nodded as she walked away.
Lois found Chris holding a picture of him and his dad. He was sitting in a corner and had been crying. When Lois sat down, he spoke. "I don't care if he's not from earth. He's my daddy and I love him."
"I know, sweetie. I love him, too."
"Then why did you say that mean thing?"
"I don't know, Chris. It just came out. I didn't mean it. I'm very sorry." She took the picture from him. "When I look at your daddy I see the most wonderful man alive. That has nothing to do with his abilities. Sure, it will be great to see him do things now and know it's him. But, Chris, Clark is a beautiful person on the inside where it really counts."
"That's what Grandma says. She says Superman was his idea because he wanted to help people." Chris took the picture and rose to put it back in its' place. "I'm sorry I didn't tell you."
Lois reached for his hand and pulled him into her lap. "You were right. I wouldn't have believed you. But Mommy is so proud of you."
"Chris, this is something your daddy wants to keep secret. You knew and he didn't even know that you did. And…you knew he was your daddy and you loved him for who he is. You looked past Superman and saw Clark."
"That's who he is. Superman is just something he can do." Chris placed a hand on her face. "I'm sorry I yelled. I'm not mad."
"I know." Lois kissed him and pulled him into a hug.
When Chris leaned up, he smiled. "Mommy, I can feel my daddy."
"When he's around, I feel him. I feel all warm inside and I hear his heartbeat. When he leaves I know because the warm goes away."
"Is that how you knew Superman was your daddy?"
"Yes ma'am. It's great." Chris looked into his Mom's eyes. "I feel you, too," he whispered.
"Uh huh. It feels like it does when Daddy's around. I can hear your heartbeat."
"How long have you been able to that?"
Chris shrugged. "I guess always. It's great."
"Yes, it is." Lois tucked his hair back from his forehead. "Chris, do you understand what this means?"
"It means I'm special. My Daddy is, too. And I can't tell anyone but us. I understand, Mommy." They shared a warm smile. "Do you still love my daddy?"
"Umm, more every second." Chris giggled and threw his arms around her neck. "I love you my shining knight."
"I love you my queen." He kissed her cheek then whispered, "Daddy's at the door."
Lois pulled him back to see Clark smiling at them. "Guess you're gonna have to get used to getting busted."
"Guess so." He came to sit down beside Lois. "I'll know not to sneak up on you when this guy's around." He reached out to tickle Chris' stomach.
Chris laughed and settled in his lap. "She still loves you."
Clark laughed softly. "I'm glad. I love her. Do you think maybe she'd like to go flying?"
Lois looked up at him in surprise as Chris nodded happily. "I think she'd love it."
Clark pulled Chris against him. "How about…I answer Mommy's questions…and yours? Then we'll fly to Grandma and Grandpa's for supper."
Chris' head shot up, clearly excited. "Oh wow! I didn't think of that."
"This is great!" He threw his arms around Clark's neck, and jumped up.
"I can see my Grandma and Grandpa a lot more now. You can have us there in no time. Wow! I got to go tell 'em." With that he turned and ran from the room.
Lois and Clark both laughed at his enthusiasm. "I think you just became Delta," Lois told Clark.
"Guess so." They sat in silence for a time. "Lois, are you really okay with this?"
She took Clark's hand. "Clark, all my life I've never been really sure of many things. I knew I wanted to be a reporter for the Planet. I knew I didn't want to be like my parents. And I knew I wanted to meet a terrific man that would love me with his very being. Can you do that?"
Clark met Lois' gaze. "Lois, I'm not sure I know how to breathe without you any more."
Lois smiled and touched his face. "I'm not sure I want you to." Clark kissed her tenderly. "I am sure I want you to do that as often as possible." He smiled and did as he was told.
A trip for dinner at the Kents' that night turned out to be an electric experience for Lois. Flying with Clark was wonderful. Chris seemed to take to it like it was the most natural thing in the world. Chris stayed with his grandparents for the next week. Not being able to be away from him any longer, Clark returned to get him. He had to promise to take him back very soon.
Lois enjoyed the week Chris was away with Clark. They shared dinner every night and would spend hours talking. A couple nights both had to take a cold shower when their kissing got out of hand. They both agreed that they wanted to get to know each other better before taking that huge step again. So they were satisfied just to be together.
The night Chris returned they all went out as a family. Chris was thrilled he had both his parents at last. Clark drove them home and told them goodnight so he could go patrol as Superman.
Lois entered the newsroom the next morning with a spring in her step and a smile on her face. She spotted Clark at his desk. He immediately looked up and met her gaze. They smiled at each other as she made her way to him.
"Good morning," she said, leaning against his desk.
He turned from his task to look at her. "Good morning. Sleep well?"
"Like a baby. You?"
"Well, I think I'd rather have rocked the *baby* instead, but I survived," he joked.
Lois blushed and lowered her head. Before she could respond, a very breathless Jimmy ran up to them. "Guys, come quick. There's something wrong with Chris!" The couple scrambled to their feet and ran after Jimmy.
They entered the daycare's main room to find Chris and a small girl unconscious on the floor.
"Oh God!" Lois yelled.
Clark was already on the floor beside his son. "He's not breathing. Check the girl, Jimmy." Jimmy scrambled to do as he was told while Clark lowered his mouth to the small one before him.
"She's breathing, CK," Jimmy announced.
"Clark, don't let our baby die," Lois pleaded through tears.
He blew another breath into Chris' lungs, then looked up at Lois. "I won't." His response was terrified. He took another breath for Chris. "Come on, son. I can't lose you now. I just found you." He blew again. "Come on, Chris." Chris suddenly took a deep breath and opened his eyes to look at his dad. Clark nearly passed out from relief and smiled down at him through his own tears.
"Hi sweetie," Lois said to Chris.
"Hi Mommy," Chris whispered.
Just then the paramedics swarmed around the two preschoolers. Clark gently pulled Lois to the side while the little boy and girl were loaded onto stretchers.
"Jimmy, tell Perry…" Lois began as she and Clark followed their son to the ambulance.
"Don't worry about Perry. Go!" Jimmy pushed them out the door. "Call when you know something."
"We will," she called back.
"Lois, you're making me nervous," Clark stated as he watched Lois pace.
Lois stopped and turned to look at him. "It's been two hours. What's taking so long?"
"I don't know, but pacing won't help."
"Clark, he's never been sick. Not once. Not even as a baby."
Clark rose from his seat and placed his hand on Lois' shoulder. "He's going to be okay."
"He's breathing again because of you," she whispered and rubbed Clark's face.
He closed his eyes to her touch. He opened them again to meet Lois' gaze. In the next instant they were embracing. The moment of comfort ended when the doctor came in.
"Ms. Lane, Mr. Kent?" The couple turned to him. "I'm Dr. Sawyer." He shook their hands. "I took care of Chris when he came in."
"How is he?" Lois asked.
"To be honest, I've never seen a healthier child."
"What?" Lois and Clark asked in unison.
"We've ran every test in the book. There's nothing wrong with Chris," the doctor stated.
"But he passed out and wasn't breathing."
"I know, Ms. Lane. I really have no idea why. We've ran blood tests, bone scans, neurological scans and got nothing. In fact, Chris has already regenerated the blood we took." The doctor shook his head in disbelief. "It appears Chris is a scientific wonder."
"I'm confused," Lois said.
"It appears Chris is a walking miracle. His body possesses the ability to regenerate cells almost immediately. He's incredible."
Lois was about to say something else when she remembered why her son was so special. She looked at Clark with a smile. "He has good genes." Clark returned her smile.
"Chris is a very special young man. Cherish his gift. And how 'bout take him home? He's drowned the entire ER staff playing water war with syringes," the doctor finished with a laugh. Lois and Clark went to collect their son.
Once they got home, Chris pulled his dad to the sofa. "I know how I can help now, Daddy."
"You know? With my special gift. The little girl; she's gonna be okay now."
Lois sat next to them. "Chris, what are you talking about?"
"I felt her pain. She was dying, from cancer. But now she's okay." Chris smiled up at his mom.
"The doctors said the girl was fine."
"I know. I took her cancer away." Chris turned back to Clark. "You believe me, don't you Daddy?"
Clark ran his hand through his son's hair. "Did you touch the little girl like you did me and Mommy?"
"Uh huh. I felt her pain leave her body. It was great. But… then I couldn't breathe." Chris lowered his head and started crying.
Lois ran her hand up his back. "Honey, what's wrong?"
"I scared you and Daddy. I made you cry." He looked up at his mom, tears rolling down his face. "I'm sorry, but I had to help her. She was dying."
Lois pulled Chris into a hug. "It's okay. You're healthy and the little girl is fine. Mommy's proud of you."
"Yes. You did a brave thing."
Chris pulled back and looked at Clark. "Was I a good boy?"
Clark smiled and pulled Chris into his lap. "You were a very good boy."
Chris wrapped his arms around Clark's neck and whispered in his ear. "Thanks for making me special."
Clark couldn't answer because of the lump in his throat. Chris drew back and jumped to the floor. "I have to call Grandma and Grandpa."
Lois leaned against Clark as they watched him go. "Do you think that's what he did?"
Clark stroked her hair. "I don't know. If it is, then he really has a special gift."
Lois turned and came within inches of Clark's face. "Umm… he has great genes." Clark groaned as she closed the distance and met his lips with her own. They melted against each other as the kiss deepened.
"Geez. You two need to get a room."
The couple turned to see Jimmy standing in the door. They laughed and stood to greet him.
"I knocked, but I guess you were… busy. There are some people here to see you." Jimmy stepped aside and led a couple and a small girl into the living room. "They want to see Chris."
The man stepped forward. "My name is Dan Price. This is my wife Ann and my daughter…"
"Ashleigh!" Chris' voice finished for the man. He ran to the girl, who smiled brightly at him. "Come on." He took her hand and led her to the computer.
Mr. Price spoke again. "I don't exactly know what to say except thank you." Lois and Clark exchanged looks. "They told us at the hospital they can't find the cancer. They say it appears that Ashleigh has never even had cancer. Dr. Harris says it's complete remission. We don't think so. We think it was Chris."
Mrs. Price spoke up. "Chris has always talked to Ashleigh. He would bring her hats when the chemo took her hair."
"That's where they went," Lois stated.
Mrs. Price continued. "He would sneak into her class and read to her. He never picked at her like the other kids. When I dropped her off this morning, he met us at the door. He took my hand and told me not to worry about her. I felt this wonderful feeling pass over me. It was incredible."
"You know what we're talking about," Mr. Price stated when he saw the looks on Lois and Clark's faces.
"I don't," Jimmy said.
"Last week we found out Ashleigh would lose her battle with cancer in just a few weeks."
"But what does that have to do with Chris?"
"Chris put his hands on her back and chest and when he let go, they passed out. We don't know what he did or how, but we know he took her cancer away."
"Are you saying Chris… healed your daughter?"
"No, Uncle Jimmy. I took it away," Chris answered.
Mrs. Price leaned down and hugged Chris tightly. "Thank you," she whispered. Mr. Price repeated his wife's words.
"You're welcome. I'm glad I could help. Ashleigh met my grandparents on the computer. They live in Kansas on a farm, and they said she could come visit."
Mr. Price smiled down at the little boy. "I think she'd like that." Ashleigh shook her head in agreement before reaching for her mom's hand. "Don't worry. People would think we were crazy if we told them this. But we'll never forget this." The couple waved and left the room.
Clark ruffled Chris' hair. "Looks like you knew exactly what you were talking about, huh?"
Chris smiled. "Told ya'."
"This is for real?" Jimmy asked.
Chris took his hand, sending a jolt of electricity through his system. Jimmy's eyes grew wide as the sensation ran through him. "Wow! Don't worry, Chris. My lips are sealed. Just remember me when my allergies act up." Everyone laughed at him. He shrugged and pulled Chris up for a hug.
Chris was truly a miracle waiting to happen. Although he truly didn't understand his son's gift, Clark tried to help as best he could. Chris never looked for people to help, but occasionally someone's pain was too much. More often then not, he quietly took away a person's pain without anyone being the wiser. With his dad's help he was learning to do these things with just a touch.
Lois and Clark reveled in their new relationship as well as raising their son together. They were also becoming the best writing team the country had ever seen. Perry was on cloud nine when their investigations finally brought down Lex Luthor for good.
For Chris' fifth birthday, Lois gave Chris his daddy's last name. He was reduced to tears by her gesture. Chris was thrilled and insisted he should be able to spend the rest of the summer with his grandparents. The couple relented and made three people extremely happy.
By Labor Day, Chris was a pro at farm chores. Martha and Jonathan had a tough time letting him go home. Although Lois and Clark had seen him often, thanks to Superman, they were glad to have him home. Chris was looking forward to school.
Slowly, the days rolled by. Lois and Clark grew closer, and Chris thrived with both his parents taking care of him. It was proud parents who watched their son be best man at his Uncle Jimmy's and Aunt Lucy's wedding. The Kents came to Metropolis for Thanksgiving, and Lois and Clark made arrangements to spend Christmas in Smallville.
"Guess who?" Lois whispered in Clark's ear as she stood behind him with her hands over his eyes.
"Umm… Hopefully, the lady who's blessed me enough to spend her holiday with me," he replied.
She moved her hands down to his neck. "And what if it's not?"
The sensation of her breath in his ear sent a chill down Clark's spine. "Then I won't tell her what you're doing to me right now." His voice was a forced whisper.
Lois grinned and placed a soft kiss on his ear, exciting a growl from him. "I hope not. She might get jealous." She ran her hands down to his chest. "I can't wait for you to see your Christmas present."
"Will I like it?"
"I'm betting my life on it." Lois placed a kiss on his neck. "Let's get our son and get out of here."
"Yes ma'am." Clark wrapped an arm around her shoulder as they made their way to the elevator.
Chris was happy to see his grandparents. They spent the evening catching up. Lois and Clark were content just to be able to spend some time together. They arrived the day before Christmas Eve so they could all have time together.
Christmas Eve was spent riding and playing in the snow. They all went to a play at a church in town and came back for a quiet dinner. A few gifts were exchanged, then milk and cookies were put out for Santa. Clark was trying to get an excited Chris to go to bed.
"I know you're excited about Santa coming, but it's time to go to bed."
"I'm not excited about Santa, Daddy."
Chris turned to look at his mom, who nodded her head. He ran to the other room and returned with a small gift box. "Mommy asked me what I wanted for Christmas. When I told her, she agreed it was a good idea." He held out the box to Clark. Clark took the box, opening it to reveal a wedding band. "I want my Mommy and Daddy to get married."
Clark looked down at the band, smiled and pulled a box from his pocket. His contained an engagement ring. "That's what I want for Christmas, too." He rose to hold out the ring to Lois. "Will you marry me?"
"Only if you'll marry me." She allowed Clark to place the ring on her finger.
Chris jumped up on the couch. "Grandma?! They said yes!" He jumped from the couch and ran to the other room.
Clark chuckled. "What was that about?"
"I've waited for this moment for a really long time. Too long. We're getting married tomorrow."
"Uh huh." Lois wrapped her arms around his neck. "The sooner we get married, the sooner we can get to the honeymoon."
"Ooo, I like the sound of that." Clark captured her lips in a long, sensual kiss.
"You guys need to get a room," Chris told them.
"What? No yuck?" His dad asked.
"Not this time." They all laughed as Martha and Jonathan made their way in to congratulate the couple.
With Christmas gifts opened, Martha and Jonathan disappeared. Clark soon found out that his parents, Lois and Chris had been planning the wedding for weeks. He joked that they would have been in trouble if he'd said no. Lois just rolled her eyes at him.
Arriving Superman express, Perry, Alice, Jimmy, and Lucy joined the Kents as Lois and Clark exchanged wedding vows under a beautiful gazebo in the falling snow. After a celebration and returning everyone home, the newlyweds left their son with his grandparents and left for their honeymoon in Hawaii. They returned the day after New Year's, but were unable to tell anyone what the islands looked like. All they had seen was each other. They returned to Metropolis a family at last.
Lois, Clark, and Chris were sharing a board game in the living room, just days before Mother's Day.
"So guys, tell me what I'm getting for Mother's Day," Lois said.
"Nope. No way," Clark answered.
"Oh, Clark, please." He shook his head. "Pretty please."
"I know what you're getting," Chris answered proudly.
"Don't you tell her," Clark warned him.
"Don't worry, Daddy, even you don't know about this gift."
"What gift? Did you and your grandparents do something?"
"Nope." At Clark's glare, he corrected himself. "No sir. You and Mommy did something."
"What did we do?" Lois was curious now.
Chris got up and went to stand in front of his mom, placing a hand on her cheek. "She wants her name to be Laney," he whispered. He looked over at Clark. "This time we all get a gift." He leaned close to his dad. "She has our heartbeat."
Lois sat with a shocked expression on her face. "Chris, are you trying to tell me I'm pregnant?"
"No ma'am. I *am* telling you. Ask Daddy, he can hear her heartbeat."
Lois turned to Clark, who was sitting with his eyes closed. "Clark?"
He opened his eyes and looked at her. "Yes. I can hear it."
"Here, I'll help you feel her." He put a hand on Clark and one on Lois. They immediately felt the baby's presence. Chris removed his hands, smiling brightly. "Isn't she great?" Chris sat down beside his mom. "Don't worry, Mommy. We'll take good care of you. She can sleep in my room, and I'll read to her, and, and Daddy will change the diapers." Lois and Clark laughed out loud. Chris got up and started upstairs. He stopped and turned around. "Mommy?"
"Grandma says you have the same heartbeat as my Daddy because he's your soulmate. Pretty cool, huh?" Without waiting for an answer, he was gone.
Clark drew Lois into his lap. "He's right. It is cool." He placed his hand on her stomach. "And so is this."
Lois put her hand on top of his. "I love you, Clark."
"I love you, too, Lois." They met in a celebratory kiss.
Seven and half months later, a picture of a very happy little boy and his baby sister, Laney Martha Kent, graced the pages of the Daily Planet. Chris held his 'special gift' cheek to cheek. At the time, no one realized that small picture was the image of the start of a better life. Against all odds, two hearts had beat the same and crossed galaxies to find one another. The results were incredible. A super man found an amazing woman. Together they would create miracles… and Utopia.
The song that Clark wrote is titled 'Not A Day Goes By', written by Steve Diamond abd Maribeth Derry, song and released by Lonestar. There is no one named Bryan Urban, even though I took both the names from two other singers. No copyright infringements intended.