The Parent Trap

By Jose Antonio Chamorro <danlx86@yahoo.es>

Rated: PG-13

Submitted: February 2002

Summary: In this Alt-world story, Lois and Clark's lives are shattered by the consequences of a previous meeting in their teens.

I like the Disney's movie 'The Parent Trap'. Yes, that's with Halley Mills, Maureen O'Hara and Brian Kerth. The old one. I thought about adapting it to an L&C story. My problem was how to have teen daughters not quite long in the future. I decided to place the story at the equivalent period of the fourth/five season. What I want to say is that this story deals with an irresponsible act of a teenaged L&C. Lois was 15 and Clark 17. Plus 15 years, 30 and 32. Although that passage it's not in the story, the characters talk about it because it's part of the plot. That's the reason I rated the story PG-13. Moreover there's no villain (apart from a special guest star), and Superman doesn't exist… yet.

I'd like to thank all the people in the MB who read and commented the story, especially because they suffered the non beta-read first part. Thanks also to Julie who suggested a change of names for the girls' original names. I'm really grateful to Copea, who beta-read this for me, trying to leave my own words. Finally, I want to acknowledge the fantastic work that Jeanne, my GE for this story, did.

All disclaimers apply.

<…> Means thoughts / telepathy. CAPS means emphasis.

***

Lara got out of the taxi. She saw the camp main entrance. "Camp Lake Tahoe" she read. <Why am I here? I didn't want to come > she thought.

"You'll meet interesting people," her father had said. She missed him. But now he was miles away from here. She came through the entrance into the camp.

Lara went with her cabin mates to the lake. There were plenty of people. Sally, Jenny and she were sitting on the dock of the lake when a boat came up next to them. She observed three girls that were on it. But she focused her look at only one of the girls. She had long red hair and she was wearing glasses. Lara thought she knew her.

"Do I know you?" Lara asked.

"Me?" the girl answered surprised.

"Yeah."

"I don't think so. What's your name?" the girl asked.

"Lara."

"From?"

"Smallville, Kansas," Lara said.

"Where? Now I'm sure we haven't met before. I'm from Metropolis," the girl replied.

"Oh!" Lara exclaimed.

"How on Earth do you think I would know a person from Nowheresville?" the girl told Lara.

The three girls got out of the boat and left Lara and her companions.

"These people from Metropolis always think they're on top of the world," Sally commented angrily.

***

The dining room was crowded.

"I don't see any seats open," Jenny commented.

"I see some," Lara replied.

They went towards the table. There were already three other girls sitting there . They were surprised when recognized them.

"You again," the Metropolis girl said.

"Yeah. We'd like to have lunch," Lara commented as she sat down.

"These seats are taken," the other replied.

"I don't see anybody," Lara said angrily.

The girl seemed surprised.

"OK," the girl commented, "you'll see." She took the piece of cake that was on the table and threw it on Lara's face.

"Good point," Lara told her. "My turn," she replied with her cake, and the food war started.

***

"Incredible," the camp counsellor said, "and two sisters."

"What?" Lara and her companion screamed at the same time stunned. "She's not my sister," Lara replied.

The camp counsellor looked at them carefully and told them. "You really look like each other. Let's see." The woman opened a file and read, "Ellen Lane and Lara Kent. True. You're not sisters. Pretty weird. Well, the punishment. You'll be together in the isolation cabin until camp is finished," the director added.

***

Ellie and Lara were unpacking their clothes. Lara finished and sat on the bed, watching her new cabin mate finishing. Ellie took out her last thing. A frame with a photo of a young woman. <Her mother> Lara thought. She used her enhanced vision to examine the woman. She was surprised. She stood up, went towards the photograph and took it. It was she.

"You recognized her," Ellie said, not surprised that somebody knew who the woman was. "She's …"

"… My mother," Lara completed in tears.

Ellie didn't expect that answer. She was astounded and she didn't notice Lara had gone out. Ellie felt the anger growing. <Mom lied to me><I had a twin sister. >

***

"Lara," Ellie called going out of the cabin. She looked for her. She found her new sister not far from the house.

"Let's go into the cabin. We can talk better there," Ellie told Lara.

"Yes," Lara answered. Ellie saw her eyes under her glasses. They were red from crying. Ellie studied her sister. Her hair was the same color as hers but she had it shorter, over the shoulders. And she observed that she also had pierced ears.

They came into the cabin and they sat on Lara's bed.

"So, we're sisters," Ellie started, "but I don't understand how you could have recognized her. I didn't ask Mom about Dad because she doesn't like it. One day I looked for at least one photo. Nothing. Do you have a photo?" she asked.

"No, but Dad draws pretty well, and he has a photographic memory. He drew a portrait of her. She's younger in my picture," Lara replied.

"Maybe he drew it when they met," Ellie added.

"Yes. I also have some other evidence. Better." Lara sighed, starting to explain. "Before there's something…"

<I think you looked for the photograph at superspeed. >

"Hey, how did you do that? You haven't moved your mouth," Ellie exclaimed.

<Telepathy. Try. >

<Amazing. I didn't know I could do it. >

<Only with me and with Dad. >

"It makes my head tired. I think all the powers must be related to something," Ellie commented.

"I suppose you are invulnerable, among other things," Lara added.

"Yes. Why do you think I have this hair? Are there scissors that can cut it? And you how…?" Ellie asked.

"Later," Lara said, telling her sister to wait with her hand and trying to make up her mind.

"First of all, we're half kryptonian. This means that Mom is from Earth and Dad is from Krypton. Krypton exploded years ago and our grandparent's -biological grandparents Jor-El and Lara- sent their son Kal-El to Earth as a baby. The Kent's found the spaceship where he was and called him Clark. The Kents, grandma Martha and grandpa Jon, raised him. But Krypton had a red sun. Here, as you can see, the sun is yellow, so Dad and we have the powers from the sun," Lara explained.

"How is this related to Mom?" Ellie inquired.

"Well, we didn't know anything about that until a few years ago, when the globe activated," Lara explained. "The globe was the computer of the ship and that day Jor-El told us the entire story," Lara told her sister.

"So, the globe is more or less a photo album," Ellie commented.

"Yes… but a little bit enhanced," Lara added.

"Oh."

"I'll explain. Some time ago I was a little depressed. I was having my first period and I missed Mom. You know, a woman who you can talk with. Grandma is okay, and I love her, but she's not a mother, my mother," Lara said. "I saw the globe and touched it. Suddenly I saw her. Mom. She was very young. It was the day they met. Their first kiss. How they… you know," Lara added shyly.

"You saw that!" Ellie exclaimed, embarrassed.

"No. Somehow the globe felt my feelings. I didn't want to watch my parents making love, and it changed to the day she found out she was pregnant. My -our- birth. Her tears the day she gave me to the Social Services. And finally, one of the most important days of her life: Her first award," Lara explained.

"I remember that," Ellie commented.

"There I saw her name: Lois Lane," Lara said. She stared at her sister and told her. "Then I realized something important."

"What?"

"I didn't see you. The globe didn't show a scene with the two of us," Lara ended.

***

"Do you know what I'd like? I'd like to meet Dad," Ellie said. They were walking in the forest alone.

"I'd like to meet Mom. But how could we do that?" Lara asked.

"Swap. We can swap," Ellie added.

"It's a good idea. But there's a problem. I can cut your hair with heat vision, but I can't pierce my ears," Lara explained.

"Why?"

"Dad thought that in order to prevent further arguments and problems it would be better to make them while I was a baby and my skin was still vulnerable," Lara explained.

"Oh." Ellie sighed. She wasn't feeling well. Suddenly she fell on the ground.

"Ellie!" Lara yelled. "Could that damned stuff be near?"

***

"Where?" Ellie said.

"Shhh," Lara told her sister. "We're in the cabin. You fell on the ground."

"Why? I haven't been sick since I can remember. But I felt tired and that hurt. It was horrible," Ellie explained.

"Kryptonite. We think it's a part of Krypton. It's venom for us. I hope nobody finds it until we can take it," Lara said.

"You aren't sick," Ellie remarked.

"It wasn't near. I practically couldn't feel it. But it was your first exposure to it. Obviously it's the worst. It hits you hard. You'll be without your powers one or two days," Lara made clear.

"You've been exposed to it, too!" Ellie exclaimed.

"Yes. Dad and I are exposed to it regularly. As a vaccine. And it works. What happened before was a piece of evidence. Anyway, when do I pierce your ears?" Lara asked, less concerned for her sister and happy because they could go on with their plot.

***

Lara stood in the Metropolis airport terminal. She was looking for her mother. She and Ellie had prepared a good excuse for the new look she had. She saw her.

"Mom!" Lara yelled, running towards Lois.

"Ellie?" Lois asked surprised. She didn't recognize her daughter.

"Yes, Mom. I missed you," Lara hugged her mother.

"How…?" Lois asked.

"Later," Lara replied. She felt the love of her mother while they were hugging.

"Let's get your luggage and go home," Lois said.

***

"Well, how…?" Lois began.

"One night I lay on the bed with long hair and when I woke up I had this hair. And that morning I nipped my skin and it hurt. So I took advantage and I pierced my ears. The earrings are from a friend. The one who cut my hair. Because of that she felt a little bit guilty and she gave me them," Lara explained.

"Too well explained," Lois said grinning.

"I knew you'd suspect. I've been making up my mind since we took off. Ah, I was only two days without the abilities. I don't know why they disappeared," Lara added. <It was near. > She thought.

"Weird. It's the first time it happened to you. I think you have some interesting stories. You have to tell me about this friend of yours… what's her name?" Lois asked curiously.

"Lara. She's from Kansas City. We didn't start too well. The prank of the hair was the first night. But when we knew each other better we had a lot of fun." Lara commented trying to avoid more questions. "I'm a little bit tired. I'd like to go to bed. But I'm starving too. What's for dinner?"

"I could order a pizza. OK?" Lois asked.

***

Ellie was looking at her father. He had taken her from Kansas' airport. Now they were driving to Smallville.

<How could Mom forget him? Or didn't she? > She thought.

"What are you thinking?" Clark asked.

"Uh. Nothing important. Just remembering the camp," she said.

"I think you finally had a good time there, didn't you?" Clark asked his daughter.

"Yeah. You were right. I met some interesting people," Ellie answered.

"Like…"

"A girl from Metropolis. Ellie," Ellie explained.

"From Metropolis…" Clark said. This could be helpful. "Lara, Honey. There's something I have to tell you."

"Yes, Dad." Ellie expected something important.

"I've been thinking about something and I'd like your opinion," Clark started. "Would you like to go to Metropolis next week with me? I would like to apply for a job at the Daily Planet. You could meet your friend in Metropolis."

<What? >"Uh…" Ellie was speechless. <This is gonna be a mess. > "Well… I don't know," <Wait a minute. If we move to Metropolis Lara and I would be together. > "Will I move with you?" Ellie asked.

"Only if you want. You could stay here," Clark answered concerned. He'd prefer she moved on with him but he didn't want to push her.

"Let me think. Okay?"

"Okay," Clark replied.

***

After dinner Ellie and her grandmother were alone. Clark and Jonathan had gone out. Ellie was a little bit worried. She must be careful. Otherwise her grandmother could suspect. Martha and Jonathan Kent were different from her other grandparents. And she felt it. She felt the special relationship between them and Clark. Completely different from the one that Sam and Ellen Lane had with her mother. <Actually there isn't a relationship between them. > She thought.

"I suppose that he asked you about moving to Metropolis," Martha Kent started. She felt something different in her granddaughter. She seemed less confident.

"Yes."

"And…" the elder Kent said, waiting for an answer.

"I don't know. It's complicated," Ellie was trying to avoid the conversation. It was a dangerous territory. She didn't know what Lara would do now.

"You seem less confident than usual. And you've been acting strangely since you came. Like out of place," her grandmother said. "You are acting as if you were another person."

"Oh!" Ellie gasped. "Eh…"

"Your reaction confirms my suspicion. Who are you and where is my granddaughter?" Martha Kent asked angrily.

"Okay. I'll explain but don't yell. First of all, your granddaughter is here. I am your granddaughter. But I think you're talking about the other one. She, Lara, is in Metropolis with Mom," Ellie replied.

"And you're…"

"Ellie."

"Well, Ellie. So Lara is with Louise in Metropolis," Martha Kent commented.

"Louise? No. Mom's name is Lois. Lois Lane," the girl corrected.

"Lois Lane. The Daily Planet reporter?" the old woman asked.

"Yes. Lara knew."

"She knew? How…?" the Kent asked in disbelief.

"The globe. She told me that she saw her on it," Ellie made clear. "Grandma, don't tell anything of this to Dad. If he finds out I will be in Metropolis faster than a speeding bullet. Lara and I will try to repair this mess." She went towards her grandmother and kissed her on the cheek.

"Ok, Honey. We have time to talk before you travel to Metropolis. It's late and you're tired. It's better you go to bed."

Ellie walked up the stairs and went towards her bedroom. Her grandma was right. She was pretty tired.

***

Thursday

The time in Smallville went by really fast. And now she was in Metropolis again. She and Dad found a double room in the Apollo Hotel. They thought it'd be better that she wasn't alone in one room. She didn't sleep well. She was thinking about what to do to avoid the people at the Planet. And she had to meet Lara. After having breakfast they went to the Planet. While her father talked with Perry she waited downstairs. She had to speak to Lara. Ellie dialed her home phone number.

"Lara, get the phone," she said impatiently.

"Yes, Lois Lane," the voice answered. Ellie was speechless. Her mother will recognize her voice. Bad luck. She was still at home.

"Is anybody there?" Lois insisted. Ellie hung up the phone. Damn! At least she wasn't at the Planet. Her father was next to her.

"Could you talk to your friend?" he asked.

"No. Nobody got the phone," she lied. "What about the interview?"

"Not well. Mr. White didn't like my resume," Clark explained, "but he was saying something about Lois Lane writing a piece. It seemed she wasn't yet in the newsroom. Maybe if I could write that story before her, I'd have a chance. Let's go," Clark told her daughter.

<If you get it you'll have the job. But you'll see why people call Mom Mad Dog Lane.> Ellie thought.

***

"Perry is gonna kill me," Lois said running in her apartment towards the door. Ring, ring. Lois heard the phone. "Somebody's calling. Blasted telephone… I don't have time."

"Yes. Lois Lane." Nobody answered. "Is anybody there?" She heard the sound of the phone being hung up. "Wrong number. Ellie, I'm leaving." Lois opened the door. There was Billy. "Hi Billy, come in, Ellie is in."

"Hi, Ms. Lane," the kid replied. He came into the apartment and closed the door. "Hi, Ellie, it's Billy."

Lara came to the hall. She saw the boy that was there. He was approximately the same age as her. He had dark hair and brown eyes. He was as tall as her. Their gazes crossed. She felt a lightning. Her heartbeat increased and she heard his too. <Why I'm so nervous? Haven't I seen a guy before? But he's attractive. Very attractive. Why am I thinking that? I haven't felt this for a boy. A boy, he's fourteen like me. I'm falling for him. Impossible. I've seen him twenty seconds. I have to talk. He's going to suspect something. >

"Eh…Hi, Billy," Lara said shyly. She didn't feel comfortable.

"Hi…" Billy tried to say her name. He couldn't. He had seen her plenty of times and he had never felt that for her. She was his best friend. He observed the girl in front of him. She looked different. She had cut her hair. Her beautiful red hair was shoulder-length. He could see her charming green eyes under the glasses she was wearing. He noticed the earrings hanging off her earlobes. <Wait a minute. I'm falling for her because of her new look. Yes. She looks quite different. Does that mean she has feelings for me? That's the reason for her change. And how has she pierced her ears? No, that is not possible. I have never seen that look in her eyes. I would have noticed that look. Stunned, astonished and more. Like hypnotized by something, or… someone? Am I looking at her like that? My God, I'm falling for her. But she's beautiful. I've never realized until now. It's like she was another person. Another person? > "Who are you?" he asked, suddenly.

"Uh…" Lara didn't expect the question. She hadn't been on the planet since she said hello to him. She had been dreaming. Love at first sight. That reminds me of something. Mom and Dad. She was scared. <No, that's not going to happen. I'm young but I'm responsible. What are you thinking? You don't know him. Wait a minute, he asked you something. > "You asked?"

"Who are you?" Billy repeated.

"I'm Lara," Lara said calmly, still a little bit distracted. She saw the surprised expression on his face. <Why does he have that…? > She realized. <You told him you're Lara. > "Oh, no. This is not good. I'm going to be in Smallville before I can say goodbye."

Billy was surprised by Lara's revelation. She had admitted she wasn't Ellie. He saw her getting nervous. Back to Smallville. Maybe she lives there. <That's right. Ms. Lane called her Ellie. She doesn't know this isn't her daughter. > "Where Ms. Lane's daughter?"

She looked at him, astonished. <No.> "I'm her daughter," Lara pointed out Angrily. "Don't dare tell her that I'm not her daughter." She was very angry.

"You're her daughter?" Billy inquired. "That's not what she'll think," he added venomously.

"Who're you to doubt that I'm her daughter?" Lara blurted out, "You don't know me, prince charming, so don't ever judge me before I have explained all this mess to you? Maybe Ellie and I are twins but I'm not her. Got it?"

"Yeah, got it," Billy said. <Wow. She is something. She is really something. > Now he was beginning to believe that she could be Lois' daughter. He had seen an argument between Lucy and Lois one day. Lara wasn't Ellie that's for sure. Lara's behavior reminded him of Lois that day. Ellie was different. They had had some fights and he knew perfectly well how Ellie handled him.

"Come on, I'll explain everything to you, " Lara said, "but you must help us. Otherwise when Ellie returns the revenge will be dreadful," she said grinning.

Billy stunned. <What a change? Who was she, Dr. Jeckyll and Mr. Hyde? This is going to be difficult. Curious. > He thought. <She probably lived with her father in Smallville. Did Lois have the daughter whose character was like the father and the father had to deal with this tornado? > "Ok, I'm all yours." She glanced at him and blushed furiously. He realized what he has said and blushed too. <I think it's evident we like each other. >

"I think we can talk about that, another day… maybe on a date," she told him.

***

This time her Dad insisted she came into the newsroom. He didn't know she had been there plenty of times before. She was really worried. I can't phone again. She remembered something. <I could try it. How could she forget? > Telepathy.

<Lara, can you hear me? >

<Ellie, is it really you? >

<Yes. We have problems. I'm at the Planet. With Dad! >

<What! >

<The article he has written is pretty good and he scooped it from Mom. Come! I don't think I can cope with them alone. >

<OK>

She felt tired. It was difficult to maintain the telepathic connection. She was sitting on one free desk, trying to be unnoticed. She saw her Mom walking down the ramp.

"Oh, oh. The H-hour has arrived," she told herself.

Lara was at the Planet. She had come at superspeed and she was tired and breathless. Too much time at superspeed. It was also imprudence. She was in the newsroom. She saw Ellie. She also saw her mother reading a paper as she walked towards Perry's office.

Clark went out of Perry's office distracted.

"Son, welcome to the Daily Planet," Perry was telling him when he bumped into her.

"Sorry," Clark said. He looked at her. She was…

"Are you okay, Honey? Let me introduce you to Clark Kent. Clark Kent, Lois Lane. Lois Lane, Clark Kent," Perry said.

"Lois Lane!" Clark stunned said. <What is she doing here? God, she's Lois Lane and I have literally stolen a story from her. She will go ballistic. >

"Clark! What on Earth are you doing here?" Lois asked, stunned too. "You have been searching for me," Lois said, pointing at him.

"How? I didn't know your real name. Fifteen years thinking of Louise Line," Clark yelled. The entire newsroom was looking at them.

"Eh…Mr. White," A new voice said. Lois, Clark and Perry looked at the girl, "I think it'd be better if you gave these two the day off to solve the problem."

"Yes. It's a great idea. But Ellie, Honey, you know you usually call me Uncle Perry," Perry told the girl.

"Actually, she's Ellie," Lara said, pointing to her sister who was walking towards her, "and since we haven't been properly introduced, I think it wouldn't be right to call you Uncle Perry."

"Lara," Clark said. <Hey, those weren't the clothes she was wearing before. What's going on? Who is that other girl? They really look alike. Wait a minute. Louise… I think Lois has hidden from me the fact that I had another daughter. They are twins. I have another daughter! >

"Ellie," Lois added. She saw the two girls. <They are two, really two, so one of them must be Lara. My God, I haven't seen them together since they were babies. >

"Lara, you're late," Ellie told her sister. They were in front of Lois and Clark.

"I came as fast as I could, and you know I'm really fast," Lara replied. Clark and Lois understood what her daughter had done. Lois didn't know what to think. They talked as if they knew each other. <But when…today, no, Lara told her sister she came as fast as she could. This week, Ellie, no Lara, she was Lara, I'm sure of that. Lara spent plenty of time with me. In the Planet too. The camp! They swapped after the camp. They're grounded until they married. And that would be…never! >

"In our opinion, we do have plenty of things to talk about. And this isn't the best place to do it. You two," Ellie pointed to Lois and Clark, "to the garage, into the car and home. You drive, Mom."

***

Lois opened the door. Nobody had said a word since they were in Planet's newsroom. They went into the living room.

"Okay. Speak," Lois ordered. She looked at their daughters, then at Clark. <He was smiling. This was funny? > She observed him. Fifteen years. She had to admit that the time had been benevolent with him. Actually, she had been examining him since their daughter told them to go to the garage. And he passed the exam with A+. She wasn't made of stone. He was more gorgeous now than fifteen years before. She remembered that night perfectly. He was pretty muscular when he was seventeen, but now he was Mr.Hardbody.

"Wait, Mom. Lara and I would want to do something. Dad, do you mind?" Ellie said, as she indicated to her father to turn back.

"Ready, Sis?" Lara asked, as soon as Clark had turned back.

"Yes." And they started to spin as a double twister around a common point. When they stopped their clothes have swapped.

"Wow!" was the only thing Lois could say.

"If you did what I'm thinking," commented Clark. He was looking at them again. "The time at the camp was very useful. It's difficult for me to do that alone. Moreover, you had to see what the other one was doing."

"You could do that!" Lois yelled at Clark. <What is all this about? >

"Stop!" Lara said before the argument began again. "We'll go step by step. And I'm sure that's not the first step."

"In our opinion," Ellie started, looking at her sister, "Mom must take the first step."

"Me!" Lois blurted out. <What do they want now? Why must I begin? >

"We think you owe us an apology, since you're the only person in this room who knew we were twins," Ellie said seriously.

"And how are you sure that he didn't know?" Lois replied, pointing at Clark. <Ha! I'm older, so smarter. >

"Because of the reaction of grandma Martha the other day," Ellie added.

"My mother knew you weren't Lara?" Clark asked with disbelief. <I think I will talk to Mom when I fly to Smallville. >

"Just after dinner. She's pretty smart," Ellie commented, grinning

"Well. You're right. I owe you an apology. This mess wouldn't have happened if we had met before," Lois admitted. Now she really felt guilty. "I'm sorry, but I want to tell you one thing, Lara. Sending you far away was the most difficult decision of my life. My parents told me to give both of you up for adoption. However, I refused to do it. Clark and I shared responsibility for what we did. So I decided he had to take care of you. That doesn't mean I didn't love you or I had forgotten about my other daughter. Certainly I had preferred to keep both of you, but it would have been difficult to handle you both," Lois sprung onto Lara.

"Mom, of course I know that. This week has been fantastic, although you have been thinking I was Ellie. Dad didn't talk about you. But I knew you had good reasons for doing what you did. And Ellie told me plenty of things. Would you have become one of the best reporters in the world if you had to take care of me, too?" Lara told her mother, pointing her sister. "I doubt it." Lara walked towards Lois and hugged her. "Mom, I love you. That's the whole thing."

Lois caressed her daughter's hair and kissed her on the forehead. "Honey, I love you too."

"Oh, I forgot. Mr. Kent, I'm Ellen Lane and as you realize I'm your other daughter," She walked towards his father and hugged him. She gave him a kiss on the cheek and said, "I love you, Dad."

Clark kissed her back on the forehead as Lois had done with Lara, and said, "I love you too, Sweetheart."

"Well, I think I'll be the envy of all my friends," Ellie commented.

"Why?" Clark asked.

"Because I have the most gorgeous father in all the high school," Ellie said, grinning, while Clark blushed and Lois and Lara started laughing.

Breaking the hug, Ellie said, "I hate breaking this Kodak moment, but we should continue." Ellie added, "second step. What's this about Louise Line?"

"It was her name when we met," Clark commented.

"The name I had at that convention," Lois corrected. "Somehow my name was changed in the convention log. Some blockhead didn't understand it correctly. At first obviously I didn't trust Clark, afterward I was scared that he didn't want anything to do with me. And after "the night" I was terrified. So I left," Lois explained. She remembered the night, trying not to flush.

"And the letter?" Clark asked.

"I regretted the last part immediately after giving Lara to the Social Services. I would have allowed you to find me, not immediately, but after some years. Ah, that time I didn't lie. The letter was signed L. L.," Lois made clear. She didn't like to remember that time. It was too painful.

"That explains why I couldn't find any Louise Line in Metropolis," Clark realized.

"The Louise Line mystery is solved. The next is…" Lara said.

"Wait a minute. When did you organize all this step by step thing?" Lois, curious, asked. Lois suspected something. <They had made up all this. They are smart. >

"In the car," Ellie replied.

"I didn't hear you talking," Lois contradicted.

"Telepathy," Clark suggested.

"Uh," Lois glanced at her daughters. Then at him, "You can… too?"

"Yes. I think we have reached the third step," Clark chuckled.

"I think so," Lara spoke. "First of all he isn't a mutant or something similar. He's an alien. As you can see he isn't Lt. Ripley's friend." Lara chuckled at the last comment. "He's from the planet Krypton. Our powers come from the yellow sun that we have here. Ellie and I haven't totally developed ours. I was pretty tired at the Planet before."

Lois heard Lara's speech. An alien. <The father of my daughters is an alien! That could be a headline of The National Inquisitor. Incredible. Why didn't he tell me anything? He slept with me and he didn't say anything. Yeah, he would have introduced himself saying 'my name is Clark Kent. Would you like to have dinner with me? Ah, I'm an alien.' No. In his place she would have done the same. Now we have to talk to each other and see each other again. Well, at least, that explains all the things that Ellie can do.> Lois observed Clark again. <He looks like a man. He isn't different from a man. She knew that. She remembered him and she had been missing him since that night. But it wasn't only sex. That was the climax. The previous three days had been fantastic. They thought they were in love. At least that was what he had told her. >

"That was dangerous. Somebody could have seen you," Clark pointed out.

"Yes. But…" Lara was speechless.

"So, you are learning how to handle your powers," Lois said, "but why?"

"It's necessary," Clark interrupted. "If they weren't able to control their powers they could hurt people unintentionally."

"I didn't think about that. I agree with you. It's necessary," Lois commented and then asked, "Ellie, correct me if I'm wrong but can you control you powers now better than one month ago?"

"Yes. I've been practicing in Smallville and Lara taught me at the camp," Ellie answered.

"At the camp?" Clark inquired, surprised.

"Calm down, Dad," Lara pleaded. "We were alone because… we were in the isolation cabin."

"Might I know why you two were isolated?" Lois asked.

"Remember I told you about that friend… Lara," Lara started.

"Yes." "Supposing me to be Ellie, I was that friend. We were in the isolation cabin because the first day we incited a food war," Lara ended.

"You cut her hair," Lois said.

"Yes, but the prank thing wasn't true," Lara added, shyly. "I know I lied, but I didn't want to return to Smallville."

"Okay, I understand. Then her powers didn't disappear," Lois commented.

"Actually, I was able to pierce her ears because she was two days without them," Lara replied, looking at her father.

"That means you found…" Clark intervened.

"Yes. It was near enough to affect her but far enough that I could barely feel anything. We were lucky," Lara said, a bit concerned.

"Why?" Lois and Ellie asked.

"I didn't tell you there, but we could have died," Lara commented, glancing at her sister.

"What?" Lois yelled.

"Calm down, Lois. We know what it is. We call it Kryptonite. You could identify it easily. It's green and it glows. It's probably a part of my planet. The fragments came in the wake of the ship. Usually we find them near Smallville," Clark made it clear, calming Lois.

"Then you pierced her ears and all this mess started," Lois concluded.

"Yes," Lara and Ellie said simultaneously.

"And with this we have finished for the moment. We know there are more things to talk about," Ellie commented, "but you must talk too. So we're leaving."

"Where are you going?" Lois asked.

"Remember you told me the other day that the guy from the apartment in front of us moved out?" Lara reminded her mother.

"Yes."

"I think Dad and I need a place to live. Don't you think so?" Lara chuckled. "We are going to see it. Bye."

***

Now they were alone. The girls had gone out. They could feel the silence. It was uncomfortable. They were speechless.

"Well…" Lois started, "we are alone."

"I'm sorry, Lois," Clark said. Clark had been studying Lois too. She wasn't the girl he met years ago. But when he saw her he felt again the connection. She was beautiful. Her dark hair was cut over the shoulders. Her brown eyes were the same. The look was the same. He could spend his life looking at those eyes. Now he realized why he hadn't had too many dates all these years. He had been in love with Lois. He couldn't forget her. The first thing he saw everyday was the portrait he drew just after he came back to Smallville from his trip. And he has missed her. Luckily, their daughter didn't look like her. It would have been too painful.

"Why?" Lois replied. She couldn't understand why he was apologizing. "I don't blame you for anything."

"Lois, what we made that night…" Clark began.

"Do you regret it?" Lois asked angrily.

"Yes… no, God, Lois, I don't know," Clark whispered. "It was…"

"Fantastic," Lois added. "Clark, it wasn't your fault. It wasn't mine either. Simply, it happened. We were young."

"Do you think it was a mistake?" Clark asked.

"Never. Don't ever say that. Do you consider your daughters a mistake?" Lois was angry again. "Could you imagine your life without Lara?"

"No. You're right. I'm sorry again. Of course I've never considered Lara a mistake," Clark commented. "It's been hard for both of us."

"Yes. But we've been able to handle it. I suppose you had your parents. At first I had them too," Lois said. "Now only my sister helps me. Actually she lives here, with us."

"Do you think we'll be able to work together?" Clark asked, changing the subject. "I could tell Mr. White that it's better for the paper if I…"

"Clark! That's not fair. If I left you doing that Lara and Ellie wouldn't talk to me again," Lois replied, grinning, "So, friends?"

"Friends," Clark said, hugging Lois. They felt the warmth of the other. They knew that there was more than friendship.

***

"How on Earth have you managed to convince me to stay here until we can move to our apartment?" Clark asked. He and Lara had gone to their hotel. They had paid for it and taken their luggage.

"It's easy, Clark," Lois said. "Three women together are stronger than a man alone." Lois teased. At first she wasn't sure that she'd like having Clark here. She hadn't seen him for fifteen years and now he was going to spend some nights at her place. But now she was glad. She could see that Ellie seemed happy. Lois hadn't noticed that she missed her father.

"Mom, Dad. We'd like to go with you tomorrow to the Planet. The argument this afternoon there was our fault. We have to apologize to Uncle Perry for it," Ellie said.

"Ok, Honey," Lois commented, "it's fine. Well, I don't like cooking now, so why don't we have take out for dinner?"

"Mom. Don't lie. It isn't that you don't like cooking. It's that you can't cook," Lara chuckled.

"Lara!" Clark blurted out, stunned for the commentary of his daughter.

"Young girl. You are playing with fire," Lois replied. <In one week she has figured me out. >

"Come on, Mom. Practically all the Planet staff knows that you can burn water," Ellie said, helping her sister. "I'm choosing Chinese."

"Me, too," Lara added.

"That would be fantastic," Lois agreed.

"Well, I really like Chinese," Clark commented as he stood up. "I'll go," Clark pointed out, before Lois could reply.

"But you don't know what we'd like and where to buy it." Lois avoided his comment.

"I'll bring an assortment and I'll find somewhere," Clark told her as he went out.

"I hope the food won't poison us," Lois whispered.

"Actually, the poisoned food would only harm you," Lara explained.

"So he could poison the food and get rid of me, eh, and nobody would suspect," Lois commented, teasing.

"Yeah, but he can't do that today. Not after the argument. He would have a motive," Lara joked.

The buzz sounded.

"Who is there?" Lois answered the door communicator. "Clark."

Lois opened the building door and the apartment one, waiting Clark to come.

"That was fast," Lois commented.

"I took a shortcut," Clark explained.

"Where did you get it?" Lois asked while they walked to the table.

"Shangai."

"Oh." Lara and Ellie gasped.

"Let's eat, I'm starved," Lois said as she started to eat.

"Ah. This is super. You have to show me this place, Clark," Lois pointed out to Clark.

They had dinner pleasantly. They had plenty of fun. Lois didn't remember her family ever having a good time. She had always thought she didn't need this. Suddenly she imagined how it would have been all these years if she had traveled to Smallville to find Clark after she found out she was pregnant. What would they be doing now? That question didn't have an answer. Lois cracked the fortune cookie.

"Oh, it's Chinese," Lois gasped. Lara took the piece of paper. "Don't tell me you read…"

"A good horse is like a member of the family," she read.

"That's not a fortune," Lois said.

"You can read Chinese?" Ellie asked.

"Yeah. I speak and write Spanish, French, German, Italian, Latin and Ancient and Modern Greek," Lara explained. "Moreover, I can read and speak Chinese and Japanese and some others."

"And I thought I was good at languages," Ellie joked.

"Traveling improves them," Lara added.

"That's true," Clark said.

"You have to tell me more about your travels, Clark," Lois pointed out.

"That is a long story, Lois, but… " Clark commented.

***

Lucy Lane opened the door of the apartment she shared with her sister and her niece. She had been out of town last two weeks. It was late. Lois and Ellie were sleeping. She left her suitcases and walked into her room. She switched on the lamp that was on the cabinet and started to undress. She looked for a nightshirt and put it on. She sat on one side of the bed before switching off the light and lying on the bed ready to fall asleep. She felt something strange. She heard somebody's respiration near her. Suddenly, a hand fell on her.

"Ahhhhhh!" Lucy screamed.

Clark woke up, scared by Lucy's shout. He saw a woman in the bed, looking at him.

"Who are you? And what are you doing in my bed?" Lucy yelled, demanding an explanation.

"I…Lois…eh," Clark gasped.

At the moment the door opened.

"Lucy. What on Earth are you doing here?" Lois inquired.

"Actually, this is my bed," the young Lane replied angrily.

"Mom, what happened?" Lara asked. Lucy saw the sleepy twins at the door.

"What…?" Lucy was speechless.

"I knew it wasn't a good idea. I'll sleep on the couch," Clark said, as he went out of the bed. He was wearing only a pair of boxers. Lois and Lucy observed his body. Lucy glanced at her sister.

"We'll talk tomorrow. Night, Lucy," Lois said. <Wow. His body is better than I thought. I think I'm going to need a cold shower. >

"Night, Lois and everybody," Lucy added. If she had known he had that body she wouldn't have shouted.

***

Friday

Lois woke up. She heard her daughters' voices in the kitchen. She stood up and walked towards the kitchen. She observed the scene as she stood by the door. She saw her daughters talking. She glanced at Clark. He was making breakfast. He looked at her and smiled. She liked the feeling. Having breakfast with her daughters and her husband. <Why have I thought of Clark as my husband? > She went to the girls and kissed them on the cheek. After that she surrounded the table and went towards Clark. Unexpectedly, she gave him a little kiss on the lips. Lara and Ellie gasped. <What I have done? >

"Sorry, Clark," Lois apologized, "I don't know…" <I'm falling for him again. That's for sure. Why not? Come on, he's not Claude. Actually, I could think he's not the typical male. That day he wasn't willing to go to bed. In fact, you pushed him. >

"It's nothing, Lois. You're still a little bit asleep," Clark commented smiling. He was surprised for what she had done. But he liked it. Wow! <Does she still have feelings for me? >

"I saw you there and…"

"It's okay Lois. You haven't done anything wrong," Clark continued, "and it's not the first time you've kissed me."

"Yeah, but it's the first time I've kissed you in fifteen years," Lois replied, glancing at him.

"So what's the plan today?" Lara asked their parents, changing the subject, avoiding further embarrassments for her mother.

"We probably have to explain all this mess to your Aunt Lucy. And after that, we'll go to the Planet; we still have to work," Lois said.

"Does Lucy know about Ellie's special abilities?" Clark asked, concerned.

"Yes," Ellie added, "We thought it was better to have told her before she tried to cut my hair and you know what would have happened."

"We have to explain it all to her," Clark replied.

"She won't tell anybody," Ellie added.

"So, who is the first in the bathroom?" Lois inquired.

"I don't know, but you're the slowest, so you'll be the last. Although if you don't mind sharing the shower…" Clark chuckled.

Lois didn't expect Clark's commentary, but she managed a reply. "Maybe another day…when we have the morning off," she said grinning and saw Clark blushing. She remembered that he was načve. He could be easily embarrassed. That had been one of the things she had remembered about him. The other men she had seen didn't easily embarrass.

Another figure appeared at the kitchen door. Lucy Lane observed the scene, grinning. "You guys, you remind me of a happy family. Hi, I'm Lucy Lane," the young Lane said, introducing herself to Clark. They shook hands as she sat on the chair, next to Lara.

"I'm Clark Kent. And that's your other niece, Lara," Clark pointed to his daughter. Lucy and Lara kissed each other on the cheeks.

"I suppose you're the guy that Lois met that day," Lucy spoke.

"Yes. I'm sorry about last night. Lois told me you were out. Actually that's why I accepted the invitation to spent the night here," Clark explained.

"That's nothing. I was only a bit scared. I didn't expect somebody in my bed. Sure not a man like you. Only my sister would leave you sleeping in my bed instead of hers," Lucy commented mischievously.

"Lucy!" Lois gasped and this time she was the one who blushed.

At this time, they heard the door buzz. Ellie stood up and went to open the door. When she opened the door she saw Billy. "Billy!" Ellie said and she hugged him.

He was astonished. He didn't expect that. One moment. "Ellie?" He asked. He was expecting Lara to be here. And now this was Ellie. That would mean that… No. He felt the fear of losing her. He pushed her away. "Ellie," Billy added, "tell me that she's not in Smallville." He came in and walked towards the kitchen. Ellie was following him. He came into the kitchen. He saw a man and Lucy and Lois Lane. And there she was, Lara. She looked at him, smiling.

"God, Lara. When Ellie hugged me I didn't know what to think. I thought that your mother had sent you back to Smallville," Billy said. "I felt… incomplete, as if I had lost something… or somebody." He was nearly crying.

Lara stood up and hugged him. "Shhh. I'm here." They hadn't been as close the day before. They glanced at each other and forgot where they were and the people that were in the room. Their lips approached and they started the kiss. They didn't hear the gasps of Lara's relatives. Time stopped at that point. The kiss allowed their souls to recognize their mates. The connection they had felt the day before grew. They broke the kiss. They were reckless. Suddenly, Lara remembered that they were in the kitchen. The entire family was looking at them. <I kissed him in front of my parents! What was I thinking? Nothing. Only kissing him. > She examined the faces around her. Her aunt and her sister were smiling. But her parents were not exactly smiling. Surprised, she noticed that her mother seemed angrier than her father.

"Well, Lara, Billy. Finished?" Lois inquired.

<This is not my business. It'd be better that I disappear. However, I have to ask Lara why she was kissing my best friend? > "I think I'll be the first to take a shower. Aunt Lucy, could you help me to find some towels?" Ellie asked, glancing at her aunt.

Lucy knew that she must get out of the kitchen. It was better to be out of reach from Lois' wrath. She stood up and told her niece, "Yes, I'll help you." After saying that, the two women went out of the kitchen.

"Mom, Dad, I know you're angry…" Lara said but Lois interrupted.

"We're not angry, at least I'm not," Lois made clear, "although there is something to be angry about… and you know what I'm talking about, because yesterday when I went to work, I left you alone here."

"You left them alone yesterday?" Clark asked.

"Yes, but I thought she was Ellie," Lois told Clark.

"Ms. Lane, Mr. Kent. I swear that nothing happened yesterday. We were only talking," Billy said, concerned. "I wouldn't ever take advantage of your daughter. Actually we didn't start quite well. Yes, we were to attracted each other as soon as we met each other's eyes but…"

"He thought he was falling for Ellie. The problem was that he denied that I was your daughter, Mom. And that really annoyed me," Lara explained.

"She was angry?" Clark asked Billy. He nodded. Clark whistled. "Wow! If you saw her angry yesterday and you come here today as if you had lost her… Man, you're doomed," Clark added, grinning and glancing at Billy. He was not angry. He was surprised. Lara had never shown too much interest for boys.

"Dad, why do you say that?" Lara inquired. She was curious. Her father was taking this quite calmly. And it seemed that this didn't bother him.

"Lara, Honey, how do you think I felt when I met your mother?" It was a rhetorical question. Clark looked at Lois. She was looking at him. He knew what she was thinking. The day they met. They knew they had fallen in love just after meeting.

"Billy. I know you won't take advantage of her and …" Lois said.

"Mom, you know I'm stronger. That means I could take advantage of him…" Laura added mischievously, looking at Billy.

"We can fix that with a chunk of kryptonite," Billy joked.

"You told him!" Clark yelled at his daughter.

"Eh, Mr. Kent. I knew. I found out about Ellie's special skills when I tried to cut her hair one day at home," Billy explained. "Lara, explained plenty of things to me yesterday."

"I suspected that Ellie had told you," Lois intervened."It's a secret, you know."

"I would never hurt Lara or Ellie, Ms. Lane," Billy affirmed.

"So, when is your first date?" Lois curious asked.

"I was thinking of asking her out tomorrow afternoon. Maybe we can go to the movies." He glanced Lara.

"Tomorrow afternoon, I can't. I have to help Dad with moving. But today I'm free," Lara answered.

"Ok, I'll pick up you at 5:00," Billy said.

"You two are okay?" Lara asked her parents. Too easy. They were planning something.

"One more thing," Clark added, "you'll have company. Ellie."

"It was too good to be true," Lara moaned.

"Do you prefer Clark or myself?" Lois replied to Lara's complain.

"Nooo," Lara answered smiling. Better Ellie than Mom or Dad.

"Well, discussion over," Lois finished.

***

Lois, Clark and the girls came into the newsroom. They went down the ramp approaching Perry, who was talking to Jimmy.

"Lois, Clark. It looks like the problem has disappeared, hasn't it?" Perry asked.

"Yeah, Chief," Lois answered.

"Of course, Mr. White. I'm sorry for the show we had yesterday," Clark added. "I'd like to introduce you to someone." Clark showed with his hand one of his daughters, who walked next to him. "This is my daughter, Lara Kent."

"Please to meet you, Mr. White," Lara said shaking the Editor-in-Chief's hand. "I'm really sorry about yesterday. It was all our fault."

"OK, Honey. It's nothing," Perry replied, "Ah, Clark you'll like to look at page seven." Perry told Clark, as he gave him the newspaper.

"What it is?" Lois inquired.

"It's the article I wrote yesterday," Clark commented, allowing Lois to grab the newspaper. She wanted to read the article. "After you read it, I have to say that I did the work you was supposed to do."

"You scooped it from me," Lois said, with a questioning look to Clark. She read through the article.

"Perry," Lois began. The entire newsroom was looking at them. They knew that Clark had been hired after writing an article that Lois was supposed to write. Lois' annoyance yesterday would be nothing compared to today's. Perry was expecting Lois' reaction with fear. Nobody would ever dare to steal a story from Lois Lane. "I want a partner." She waited for the reaction of the newsroom. She saw the astonished look on plenty of her colleagues.

"What!" Perry gasped, "You haven't have a partner since…"

"Better to forget that. And I don't want just any partner. I want Clark as my partner," Lois added. She heard gasps and oohs from the audience.

"Why?" Clark and Perry, stunned, asked at same time.

"With my investigative skills and Clark's writing… we could be the hottest team in town," Lois pointed out.

"Are you sure, Lois?" Clark asked, "I don't mind but…"

"Clark, we will work fine together, but I'm the senior partner," Lois began, "I'll call the shots. You're lowman, I'm top banana, got it?" Lois teased Clark.

"Yeah. I got it. I remember that you like to be on top," Clark replied.

A blushed Lois glanced at Clark. "Don't push me, Kent. You're way out of your League." She saw his smile. "I know you have some doubts, but you see the last thing we did together. They are pretty terrific, aren't they?" Lois chuckled. Clark raised an eyebrow, glancing at her.

"What was?" Jimmy cut in.

"Uh."

"The last thing," Jimmy made clear.

"Them," Lois and Clark said at the same time pointing at their daughters. Perry and the others started laughing.

"God, Lois. I didn't know you had a sense of humor. But that has reminded me of something that was delivered yesterday," Perry commented, and he went to his office. He came back carrying a big canvas.

"It is what I think, isn't it?" Ellie said. She took the canvas and opened it. It was a painting. A view of the Daily Planet newsroom.

"Fantastic," Clark said astonished. He read the author's signature. Ellen Lane, July 1998, "Did you paint it, Ellie?"

"Yes, Dad," Ellie answered. "It's a surprise, isn't it? I know Lara enjoys writing, but I prefer painting and drawing. I take photographs, too."

"Actually, the painting is impressive," Clark commented. "Where are you going to hang it?"

"It's a birthday present for Uncle Perry. I told him on his birthday that I'll paint for him. The only thing I needed was something to paint," Ellie explained. "The Daily Planet is his life, so then he chose the newsroom."

"I'm going to hang it in my office," Perry told Clark as the Editor-in-Chief took the painting and carried it to his office.

"Maybe, someday I could paint Mom and you, if you don't mind?" Ellie asked.

"Of course Ellie. Someday," Lois said grinning.

Perry came out again from his office and told Lois, "Lois, remember that on Sunday it's the Daily Planet Charity Ball. I suppose you'll have to find a partner."

"Yes, Chief, I remember. And I've thought about a partner," Lois replied, glancing at Clark. "What do you think, farmboy?"

"Well, I can't refuse such an offer," Clark said, smiling.

***

The day went by quite fast. Lara visited the Daily Planet with her sister. After having lunch with their parents they returned home. She had to prepare for her first date with Billy. Lois and Clark spent their time at some interviews, and after lunch they wrote the article. Although they were working, they have plenty of fun. They knew they liked each other. But it was too early. And both of them were scared.

They returned home a little bit late. Lara and Ellie were talking with their Aunt Lucy. They had bought take-out for dinner… again. During the dinner Lois and Clark literally interrogated her daughters about the date. They trusted Billy, but they were curious. After all they were journalists. After the dinner the conversation turned to more serious matters…

"It's no problem Lois, I'll sleep again on the couch," Clark said. It was no problem for him sleeping on the couch. In fact, he'd sleep over the couch.

"You don't have to do that," Lucy protested. "I was not supposed to be here. This is what we'll do." Lucy got ready to explain. "You can sleep on my bed. I'll share the bed with Lois."

"That's not fair, Lucy, I can't turn you out of your bed," Clark complained.

"Clark's right, Lucy, it's not your fault," Lois said, looking at her daughters, who smiled. Lois continued, "and I thought you had enough of the couch last night," she said, pointing to Clark. "To be fair with everybody… the solution is… you two," she turned to her daughters, "can share a bed. Lucy you'll sleep in your bed. Clark…" She glanced at him, <God. I can't believe I'm gonna say this. > "…You'll sleep with me." Lois saw the astonished look from the other women.

"Lois, are you crazy, you…" Lois didn't allow Clark to continue. < I wanted to sleep with her but it's too early. Two days ago I didn't know her real name and now I'm going to sleep with her… again. >

"Clark, we're adults. It's not the same as fifteen years ago. And what is more important. I trust you. Are you saying that you don't trust me?" Lois asked Clark. Of course she wanted him, but they had to go step by step. It would be a mistake making love this night. They would regret it immediately. She knew she loved him. She was sure too that he was attracted to her.

"I trust you, Lois," Clark answered, dryly. This would be a long night, a really long night.

"No problem. So if you don't mind I'm going to bed. It's been a hard day. Coming Clark?" Lois asked, but Clark knew that the tone was more a request than a question.

"Yes, I'm tired too," Clark said and walked towards his daughters. He kissed them on the forehead and told them, "Good night, Sweethearts. Good night, Lucy."

Lois did the same as Clark and she slid to her room with Clark following her. They heard Lucy telling Lara and Ellie, "I hope they don't make a mistake tonight. I know they are attracted each other, but it's too early."

Lois and Clark came into Lois' room. He hadn't been in that room before. There was a big bed. Next to it Lois had placed two nightstands with a lamp on both of them. On the left one there was a frame with Ellie's photograph. Lois took a long nightshirt she had and went out of the room. Clark supposed that she was going to put it on in the bathroom. He started to spin and when he stopped his clothes had changed. He was wearing a pair of boxers and a T-shirt. He waited for Lois, before choosing a place in her bed. When Lois came in she was wearing the nightshirt.

"Why aren't you in bed?" Lois asked. <Fortunately, he hadn't taken his T-shirt off. In your dreams, Lane. Unfortunately. >

"Eh… well… I didn't know which side you liked and…" Clark answered shyly. <God, she's gorgeous. With nothing more than a T-shirt. Her legs are fantastic. Kent, behave yourself or you'll finish the night under the shower. >

"Ah… I choose the left," Lois said, getting into the bed. <He left me to choose the side I wanted. >

Clark did the same, on the opposite side of the bed. When they were lying on the bed, next each other, his face in front of hers, Clark commented, "Lois, I think you should change the photograph in that frame."

Lois knew what he meant, "Yes. I have to take one with both together." She knew this was a good moment to talk, "Clark, are you… er attracted to me?" Lois asked.

He wasn't surprised by the question, but he wasn't exactly expecting it. "Lois… I…" He knew that a relationship was cemented in trust. He couldn't lie to her. It would be worse later. "Yes, I'm attracted to you. In fact… I love you, Lois. I have loved you since the day we met." <There. I've said it. >

"I love you too. I know that is odd," Lois began to explain. "Clark, do you think we understood Billy and Lara because it was the same with us?" she had been wondering about that question a while.

"Yes. I was a little bit shocked at first. My daughter kissing a boy I've never seen. Actually, I hadn't seen her looking at one, at least not with that reason," Clark commented, "Ellie and Lara aren't little girls anymore, Lois, but I think they're responsible, and they've had a good example of what happens when somebody is not."

"See Clark. We've lost fifteen years," she came back to the subject. "Our love has lasted although we were living separated from each other. But now we're together again."

"Yes, Honey, we're together again. But we also must be careful. We'll have our first date on Sunday," he added.

"Did you just call me Honey, Clark?" Lois thought she had misunderstood.

Clark noticed the mistake. <Careful Kent, that's pushing too much. > "Uh… yes I think so. I'm sorry, Lois, I didn't mean to…"

"Shhh…" Lois sealed his lips with her index finger. "I don't mind. Actually I like it, but you wouldn't call me that way when we were in public. It was pretty obvious that we knew each other. And with two twins who didn't ever know the existence of the other, people will make the connection." She didn't like gossips. She knew how was the newsroom after the affair with Claude.

"Do you mind what people think?" Clark inquired.

"No, not exactly. I had a bad relationship in the past. He seduced me. He slept with me and he stole my story. Nobody believed me, except Perry. But he didn't have facts. It was me against him. Perry got rid of him as soon as he could," Lois opened her heart. "Moreover, he spread gossip about… you know."

"Thank you, Lois," Clark said concerned.

"Why?"

"For opening your heart. In a relationship, it's important to share feelings. That means you trust the other person. The newsroom can go to hell." Clark prepared to continue. "What may happen between us is not their business."

"Actually, I have only two real friends at the newsroom. Perry, who is like a father to me and Jimmy, who is the brother I never had. In fact, he's my Sis' boyfriend," Lois stated.

"Really?"

"They've been going out almost a year. Lucy used to move quickly with her boyfriends but with Jimmy it's different," she explained. "They don't want to rush things."

"Yeah. They aren't like us. See? We have two daughters, we're sleeping together, and we haven't been on a proper date," Clark joked.

Lois smiled at the joke. She was relaxed with him. They teased each other and they didn't mind. "Speaking of sleep I think it's time; tomorrow is going to be a long day." They glanced each other. Lois gave a peek on Clark's lips, "I love you, Clark."

"I love you too, Lois," Clark replied.

** Saturday

Lois woke up slowly. She felt another presence in her bed. Clark. She was lying next to him, with her arm on his chest. She had slept quite well. She didn't usually sleep well at all. Lois was always worried about her work. The next article. The next interview. There wasn't anything of that this night. She slept the entire night with Clark at her side. She could easily get used to sleeping with him. It has been, at the moment, for this night. Today he will move in his new apartment. She felt that she would miss him. At that moment Clark woke up too.

"Good morning, Sleeping Beauty," Clark said a little bit asleep.

"Good morning, Farmboy," Lois replied, "Sleep well?"

"Yeah, and you?"

"Better than I can remember," Lois, smiling, told Clark as she got out of the bed. "We have to hurry or we'll be late to work." She walked in the direction of the door and went out.

Clark stood up, yawning. He had liked the feeling of waking up with Lois at his side. He could get used to it. He walked around the bed and did the same that Lois had done previously. He left the room and went to the bathroom. He met Lois as she was coming out. "I better get in before the other women get ahead of me," Clark told her. He came into the bathroom.

Lois left Clark and made her way to the kitchen. <What am I doing here? I'm not going to make breakfast. > At that moment she saw Lucy entering, followed by Lara and Ellie. "Good morning, young girls…" Lois said, "and Lucy."

"Hey, are you saying that I'm not a young girl," Lucy protested.

"Yes."

"She's in a good mood today," Lara commented. "Nothing happened?" Lara asked her mother.

"Nothing. Don't worry, you won't have a brother or sister… yet," Lois teased.

"Actually, I wouldn't mind a little brother," Ellie replied to the teasing.

"Maybe another day." Lois was trying to change the subject. "What are you going to do today?"

"I'm going to show Metropolis to Lara," Ellie explained, while her father came into the kitchen and gave each daughter a kiss on the cheek. "Apart from that, nothing interesting."

"Who makes breakfast? I'm starved," Clark interrupted and he heard Lara complaining about his appetite. "When aren't you starved?"

The women looked at each other and spoke at the same time, "You," pointing to him.

***

"That man… that man saved me, that man," Lois heard the man saying and pointing to Clark. <This is not good. > "Come on, you're shocked. He didn't move from my side. Don't you think I would have noticed it?" Lois commented, trying to get the attention away from Clark. They left there quickly. It was the best they could do. She must talk with Clark. She knew he had saved the man. "It was too risky," Lois began.

"Yes, but I couldn't leave him to die, Lois," he explained.

"I see."

"All these powers I have are a gift. And I like to help when I can. That's the reason I don't stay too long at any one place, except Smallville," said Clark concerned.

"Now you've got to change your clothes. You can't go back to the office this way. Maybe you have to carry a spare suit…" Lois addressed Clark. She realized that Clark's look had changed, "a spare suit."

"Are you thinking the same as I am?" Clark asked.

"A suit when you're doing rescues."

"Yes." The idea was fantastic. He could have a normal life and he could help the people.

"But I can't sew," pointed Lois quickly.

"That's no problem, Mom can help. She used to make Halloween costumes for me and Lara," Clark made clear. "When I travel to Smallville I'll tell her." They went home. Clark changed his clothes and returned to the Daily Planet.

***

All Lara and Clark's stuff was already in their new apartment. Clark had flown several times to Smallville. He hoped that nobody had seen him. His parents were in town. They knew that Clark had been carrying all the boxes. They weren't able to talk. Clark stood near the door when Lois and the girls came into the apartment.

"I see you've brought all the boxes. Didn't you miss something?" Lara asked.

"I don't think so. Mom and Dad had this entirely ready. And before you ask I was careful, and I didn't vaporize anything," Clark replied.

"We're ready to start," Lois commented.

"Mom, I think WE are ready to start," Lara said clearly, pointing to her sister and her father.

"Yes, Lois, I swear I'm really thankful that you want to help but it will be better that you sit down on the chair," Clark said, guiltily.

"Why?" Lois asked angrily, as she sat on the chair taking Clark's mobile phone that was on it.

"Wait and see," Ellie answered, while smiling at her mother.

"Ready?" Lois heard Clark ask his daughters. In that moment Lois understood why they didn't want her help. She would be bothering them while they were moving at superspeed. And if someone bumped to her she could be badly hurt.

"Ready," the girls answered at the same time. Suddenly, the three figures disappeared and three blurs started to move around the apartment. That was the only thing that Lois could see.

Just after they started, Clark's mobile phone buzzed. Lois had it in her hands. She answered the incoming call, "Yes."

"Uh…" the voice said, not expecting a female voice to answer. "Who are you? This is Clark Kent's phone."

"Eh…Ah! I'm Lois Lane. I'm at Clark's now. And you're?" Lois asked to the voice.

"I'm his Mom. Wait a minute; you said Lois Lane? The reporter? What are you doing with my son's phone?" Martha Kent inquired.

"Clark is busy at the moment, Mrs. Kent," Lois answered, when she felt Clark's hand on her shoulder. She observed her surroundings, and she saw that they had finished. She had been distracted by Clark's mother's call. "I rectify, Mrs. Kent. He has already finished." Lois gave the telephone to Clark.

"Hi, Mom," He began, "Yes, she is… I was putting the apartment into order… Yeah… I think she was a bit astonished," Clark said, glancing at Lois, "Of course, Mom, we'll talk later, okay… Bye, Mom."

"What did Grandma say?" Lara asked curious.

"We're having dinner in Smallville," Clark answered.

"Today?" Lois incredulous, questioned. <How can they get to Smallville that fast? Has he some strange device for traveling? >

"Yes, I think we need a shower. Is six p.m. okay, Lois?" Clark asked.

"For what?" <This is getting weird. > "For traveling to Smallville." Clark replied, smiling.

"Ellie and I too?" Lois raised an eyebrow and glanced at Clark.

"Of course. It's time that my parents see their two granddaughters together," Clark commented, "and they want to know you too," he added.

***

At six p.m. the four of them were all at Clark's. Lois still didn't know how they were going to travel to Smallville. The only possibility was too fantastic to believe. Clark opened the window and said. "I'll carry Lara first, next Ellie, and finally you, Lois, OK?" Lara walked towards her father and he lifted her with his hands on her waist and under her knees. Suddenly he started to float, and a blink after Lois could only see a blur that disappeared.

"He can fly?" Lois asked her daughter. <That's how he managed to get all his stuff this evening. >

"Yes. Lara and I can float a bit," Ellie answered. "Are you worried, Mom? You seem a little bit nervous since Dad told you that we were going with him."

"Perhaps. What if his parents don't like me?" Lois replied.

"Mom, they'll love you. They are different from Grandpa Sam and Grandma Ellen," Ellie explained. At that moment Clark appeared at the window.

"Ready, Ellie?" Clark asked, as Ellie and he repeated the same process that Lara had done. "This is the first time I'm taking you flying. Don't be scared. I won't drop you." They took off and disappeared.

Lois was alone. A man who could fly. That reminded her of something. <The Colonist Transport. That man. He was wearing a mask. He took the bomb out of it. After that, he had flown her to the ground and had given a boost to the Colonist Transport. > She remembered that because some time before, Ellie had saved their lives breaking a chain, although she was only ten. <He didn't look at she at that moment. If he had glanced at her, he would have known her, and maybe…>

Clark stood in front of Lois, staring at her amused. She was lost in her thoughts. "A penny for your thoughts," Clark said a he reached her, grabbing her as he had done with the girls. "We'll go slower, since you're not invulnerable. You might get vaporized."

Lois paid attention to Clark's words, not realizing that they were flying yet. "Hey, we're flying," She passed her arms around Clark's neck, "You were the one who saved the Transport."

"Yes."

"I understand why you did it. Especially after this morning. You like helping people, but you don't want to jeopardize your life," Lois explained.

Clark listened to this woman. She was in his life again. When they met, it was a brief encounter. That meeting gave them two daughters. This time wouldn't be just three days… more like the rest of their lives. He felt she understood him. She was not scared of his powers and it seemed that they didn't bother her. "Do my powers bother you, Lois?"

"No," Lois answered quickly, "In fact I like them. It's an advantage. Like this afternoon. Another time they could save your life. They are important to me because they are part of your life and part of my daughters' lives, and the disguise was my idea," Lois pointed out.

"We'll talk with my parents about that."

"Before I forget. After that problem with the Colonist Transport, some people claiming to be Federal Agents rushed into the Planet looking for information about you. I couldn't tell them anything, but nobody in Washington knew of them, Bureau-39," Lois explained.

"And."

"It was sort of secret-illegal agency. They were, as far as I know, under the orders of a man named Jason Trask. I managed to track them down, and I found a warehouse. I took some photos. I'll show you another day. But now I remember one. It was a ship. A tiny spaceship. Probably big enough to hold a baby," Lois continued.

"Do you think it was my spaceship? You know, my real parents sent me here when I was a baby," Clark told Lois. He remembered the day his parents told him how they had found the spaceship with him inside.

"I'm SURE it is your spaceship," Lois assured. Clark looked at her surprised. "In the front, it was the same S-symbol that's in that pendant that Lara wore."

"The El-seal?"

"El?"

"Yeah. My Kryptonian family," Clark told her, but he didn't continue. "By the way, why did you choose Lara?"

Lois didn't expect the question. "I don't know. I liked Laura, but… Lara appeared in my mind. And it's a beautiful name, isn't it?"

"Yes, it is."

"Why do you ask?" Lois inquired.

"You'll understand later. We're going to land."

***

Martha Kent was in the kitchen. She thought she had heard the sound that announced Clark's coming, but he didn't come in. Suddenly, she heard a second one. And the next thing she heard was some voices that were approaching the house. She walked to the front door, and two figures opened the door. They were her granddaughters. For the first time she saw them together.

"Hi, Grandma," Lara greeted her, and walked towards her. She hugged her grandmother. "I missed you."

"I suppose you're Lara," Martha said, kissing the girl's cheek.

"Yeah. And she's Ellie, but you've met her," Lara chuckled. "Where's Grandpa?"

"He's outside. This is gonna be a surprise to him," Martha commented.

"Why? You did explain this all to him, didn't you?" Ellie asked.

"No, I didn't. I thought it would be more fun this way," Martha told the girls, grinning.

"We'll see what his reaction is because he's coming," Lara added. She had heard her grandfather's steps.

"Martha, I think I have…" Jonathan said as he opened the door, but he stopped. He was speechless. He didn't expect to see his granddaughter and another girl who was the exact image of her in front of him. The two of them were waving their hands at him.

"Was it worth it, Grandma?" Ellie asked. She knew that Martha was enjoying this too much.

"Yes. This has been quite a surprise for him," Martha answered, grinning.

"This is nothing," Lara replied, "You had to watch the show that Mom and Dad gave at the Daily Planet newsroom. Thankfully, we were able to cut them off in time; otherwise there could have been the third World War."

"I would have paid to be there," Martha said.

"What's this all about?" Jonathan came out of his astonished status and asked.

"Oh, excuse me, Mr. Kent," Ellie apologized, "I'm Ellen Lane. I'm your other granddaughter." They heard a sound coming from outside. "That's Mom and Dad."

"Lois is coming too?" Martha inquired.

"Yeah. Dad told her you wanted to meet her," Lara made clear.

"But you said that they didn't get on well," Jonathan pointed out.

"That was at first. But now they get along very well," Lara said, smiling. "In fact, last night they slept together."

"What!" the Kents yelled at the same time.

"Calm down! We heard nothing going on. And we have really good ears," Ellie calmed her grandparents.

They heard the door open. A petite dark-haired woman came in followed by Clark. When the door closed, Clark said, "Mom, Dad, this is Lois Lane. Lara and Ellie's mother."

***

The dinner in Smallville was fantastic for Lois. As Ellie had told her, Clark's parents were totally different from hers. Now she was alone with Martha Kent.

"You're the first woman, apart from Lara, of course, that I can talk to about my son in more than thirty years. And I'm happy. For him and for you," Martha began.

"For me? Why?" Lois was curious. She didn't understand the woman.

"Lois, Honey, I'm older, but not blind. The girls told me that last night you slept together," Lois raised her hand to object, but Martha didn't allow her to speak, "I'm sure that nothing happened." Martha pointed out, "On the other hand, I have seen how you look at each other, and there's more than friendship…" Martha left the sentence unfinished, this time allowing Lois to continue.

"Yesterday we were only talking. We showed our feelings. We love each other. That's true, but we're scared too," Lois explained.

"Of course you're scared." Martha took Lois hand. "Everybody is when a relationship starts. But it must be something when the two times you see each other you fall head over heels for the other. I'm not saying there won't be problems. That's impossible. You are different people and have different opinions about, for example, your daughters. But both of you have raised them in fantastic ways."

Lois listened to the older woman. She liked her. She hadn't said anything about fifteen years ago, not like her mother, who brought up the subject every time she visited her. "Thank you, Martha." She stood up and hugged the elder Kent.

Ellie came into the kitchen. "Lara told me she wanted to show us something. She spoke to Dad too. He's coming." Clark and Jonathan came into the kitchen.

"Where's Lara?" Clark asked.

"I'm here, Dad," she answered. She had walked down the stairs and moved into the kitchen too. She was carrying a glowing object.

"The globe!" Ellie exclaimed, as her sister placed it on the center of the table.

"Touch it," Clark told Ellie. As soon as her hand contacted the surface of the globe, it stopped glowing, and started shining. A hologram appeared in the middle of the kitchen. There were a man and a woman. The man looked like an older Clark. Next to him there was a woman. She had curly red hair and green eyes. Both of them wore the same symbol that Lara had in her pendant and Lois had seen on the spaceship.

"The El-seal," was the only thing Lois was able to say.

"Jor-El and Lara," Ellie said, remembering what Lara had told her their first day together in the isolation cabin.

<Lara? > Lois thought. < That's why Clark asked me about the name. Incredible. And curious. Lara had her grandmother's name without knowing her. >

"We are Jor-El and Lara," the man began. There were five messages. They helped Lois to understand why somebody could abandon a baby in a planet that was not his. When the messages ended, Ellie took her hand from the globe. Now it was glowing again.

"It's strange. Other times, after showing the messages it stops glowing," Clark commented.

"Unless…" Lara was thinking, they missed something, "That's it! Mom, touch it," Lara ordered her mother.

"Me?" Lois didn't understand why Lara wanted her to touch the globe. She did the same that Ellie had done previously. The globe began to shine again. This time only Lara appeared. She spoke.

"You are the One," The older Lara said smiling warmly to Lois, "the One that my son has chosen to share his life with. Since the globe is connected with my son, when his heart chose you, the globe connected with you too. The events since that moment are in the globe. That's why your presence has activated the globe again. It's a shame that Jor- El and I can't meet you. You have to be his friend and support. We trust you as we trusted before in the people that took care of him when he was a baby." She made a pause. "We don't know too much about human biology. This means that there exists the possibility that Kal-El and you aren't biologically compatible. Children might be born or maybe not, time will tell. Note that I said biologically compatible, not physically. I don't think there will be a problem physically," Lara said pointing with her index finger, showing a mischievous smile. This was the only time they saw Jor-El or Lara smile. She reminded her of her daughters. At that moment she looked at Clark. He was quite blushed, and she felt the heat in her cheeks too, and realized that the other people in the room were looking at them, after hearing older Lara's comment. "Take care of Kal-El, my daughter. He is in your hands. Good bye." The hologram disappeared, and the globe seemed to relax.

A tear slid over Lois' cheek. Clark's mother trusted her. It was a big responsibility. But that was what love was about… taking care of each other.

***

Sunday

Clark had picked up Lois at her apartment, at the same time that Jimmy did the same with Lucy. The two men got an impression when they saw them. Lucy was fantastic, but Lois was simply astonishing. The dress fit so well that it didn't leave much to the imagination. Lois didn't expect that the vision of Clark wearing a tux would make such an impact on her. The four of them were staring at each other for almost a minute. After that they went to the Lexor Hotel.

There, all gazes fixed on Lois and Clark. It was well known in Metropolis that the social life of the Daily Planet's star reporter wasn't the most important part of her life. Lois knew that most of the people that were looking at her and Clark had expected her to come alone. The music started and the sound of a waltz flooded the room.

"Would you like to dance?" Clark asked Lois.

"Yes." Clark grabbed Lois' hand and led her to the dance floor. They started to dance.

"The Blue Danube, Johann Strauss. I think it's one of his finest," Clark said to Lois while they were dancing. She looked at him a little bit surprised.

"I didn't think you liked this kind of music," Lois commented.

"No? I like classical music. The first time I listened to this piece was when I was watching 2001, A Space Odyssey," Clark explained. "I was twelve, I think. The scene is hypnotizing. The music and the space station spinning in the middle of the space."

"I'm discovering interesting things about you, Clark Kent," Lois replied, "where did you learn to dance?"

"Oh. A Nigerian princess taught me," Clark made clear.

"Might I be jealous?" Lois asked mischievously.

"No, Lois. We kissed once," Clark said. "The one you gave me on Friday morning meant much more for me than all the kisses other women have given me." When he said that he saw the flush on Lois cheeks.

The night was marvelous for Lois. After his words she was a little bit lost. But she had fun with Clark. They danced, they talked to each other and with friends. She introduced Clark to some people. When the party finished they walked to their building. The girls would probably be in bed. Lois' door was first, when they came up the stairs. Lois opened the door. Lois didn't want to look at his eyes. He would have that puppy-dog look. She couldn't stand not looking at him. They glanced at each other. There were no words. They lips approached and the kiss began. When the kiss broke, Lois went into her apartment. Words weren't needed. The kiss made clear the feelings quite better than a million of words. Lois didn't remember how long they had been kissing. It could have been ten seconds or ten minutes. It was incredible. A kiss with Clark induced in her sensations that she had never felt with another men. Nor when she had sex with them. <Could have Clark, only with a kiss, made me reach… > She didn't know but the sensations were quite nearer to that. The kiss meant something. That was for sure. Their relationship had reached the next step.

***

Monday

Clark was at his parent's, in Smallville. They were trying to find a suit for his rescues. He didn't like the previous one he had tried on, but now he was wearing a blue and red one. The cape and the boots were red too.

"Do you like it?" Martha asked.

"I'm not sure…" Clark answered. This seemed better than the others.

"I think something is necessary…" Martha wondered out loud. "That's it!" she crouched next to the bed and took out an old trunk. She opened it. "This. The El- shield."

Minutes later he was flying to Metropolis wearing his new suit. Lois could cover him in his absence at the Planet. Suddenly he heard a help scream. <Lois! >

He flew to Metropolis as fast as he could. He saw a man with a gun holding a hostage. Lois. She was the hostage. Clark at superspeed took the gun and Lois from the man. The man and all the people were amazed.

When they were finally recovered enough to react, the man was totally tied up. Lois saw another man next to him. He was wearing a blue suit. Clark. She could barely recognize him. It was difficult. His hair was different. Without glasses and with that suit, she was sure that nobody would look at his face. "Are you okay, Miss?" Clark asked Lois.

"Eh, yes, I think…" Lois was speechless. She knew he was Clark but she didn't want to uncover his identity, "Who're you?"

"I'm a friend." Clark was making a big effort not to blush. He wasn't used to being the center of attention.

"What are you doing here?"

"To help," <This is enough > "I must go." He began to float slightly over the ground and Clark heard the oohs and gasps from the people that were surrounding him and Lois.

"Wait," Lois ordered Clark.

"Yes?"

"Do you mind giving me a lift to the Daily Planet?" Lois inquired. <This is going to be funny. >

"No. Actually I think it's on my way," Clark answered as he grabbed Lois by the waist and flew again.

When they were high enough, Lois spoke again, "Thank you, Clark."

"You're welcome, Honey. To the Planet?"

"Yes. All the people will be astonished," Lois hoped that Jimmy had the camera near.

Clark opened the window with his superbreath. They came floating next to Lois' desk.

"Thank you," Lois said shyly. Clark floated again to leave. "How can I find you?"

"I'll be around."

"You owe me an interview," Lois told Clark defiantly.

"Maybe later. Now I have to go," Clark finished and vanished in a blur.

Lois was a little bit astounded, although she knew <I thought I knew > about Clark's powers. "What the 'S' stands for?" she heard somebody asking. "Super… Superman," Lois answered grinning.

***

Tuesday

Lois and Clark were in the newsroom. The Daily Planet front page showed the first heroic act of Superman. They shared the byline of the article about the rescue and the exclusive interview. But they were nervous. They knew that Trask would make his appearance at any moment. The elevator opened and Lois recognized Jason Trask. Good. This was working. She pushed the device that would send the signal to Henderson. He would be here quite fast.

"Everyone step back from your desk. This is a Federal Business," Trask said. This time Lois saw that his men were armed. They were making sure that nobody made a suspicious movement. "We are looking for Lois Lane and Clark Kent." He showed a paper and walked towards Lois and Clark. "Hello, again, Ms. Lane." He gave Lois the paper.

Lois grabbed the paper and read through it. It seemed to be a Federal Warrant. "Good, Mr. Trask," Lois said after finishing the reading. She tore the paper in front of Jason Trask. He looked at her astonished. "Do you think I'm stupid? Since in Washington nobody knows about Bureau-39, this paper has no legal standing. Do you know that it is an offense to impersonate a Federal Agent?" Lois asked Trask.

"Smart. It seems that you were expecting us," Trask commented. "How did you know?"

"Superman. As soon as I saw the symbol on his suit, I was sure you'd come to talk with us. That's the reason we called the police when I saw you coming out of the elevator," Lois explained.

"I had time enough for what I want," Trask replied. "Where's Superman?"

"Why do you want Superman?" Clark inquired, speaking for the first time.

"I'd like to show him this," Trask said, and he made a signal to a man that was behind him with a little metallic box. "Open it," Trask ordered.

The man opened the box and they saw a green glowing rock. Lois knew instantaneously what it was and when she looked at Clark she saw the pain in his face. Clark put his hands on his stomach. The man closed the box. Lois was thinking about an excuse for the sudden change in Clark. "I told you!" she yelled. He looked at her surprised, but he went on with the play. "No, they won't give me a stomach ache, you said. How can you eat ten Twinkies, five Ding-Dongs," she stopped for breath and pointed to him while shaking her head, "ah, and don't forget the half apple-pie that Ellie and Lara baked yesterday. You're worse than a six-year old kid. Come on, sit down," she told Clark as she grabbed his arm and carried him to the chair. Trask and all the people were looking at the couple.

Lara and Ellie were in another part of the newsroom. Their parents didn't know that they were here. And they didn't expect the kryptonite.

<Luckily, we were behind the man when he opened the box. > Lara telepathically told her sister. They were each on a different side from Trask. They could see the box.

<I have an idea. When I was in Smallville I saw Dad welding some parts of metal. > Ellie thought.

<It's a good idea. We have to use the heat vision in bursts. I hope nobody could see us. The people are distracted with Mom's play. Now! > Lara explained.

They lowered their glasses and they used the heat vision to melt the metal in around the opening. They were careful that the metal didn't start to be hot enough that the man would notice that something was going on. When they finished, they blew softly, so that the temperature of the metal went down and it would solidify quickly. They observed the newsroom and made sure that nobody had seen them.

<Good idea, you're smart girls. > Lara and Ellie heard in their minds.

<Who're you? How? > Lara asked. She was surprised. It reminded them of their father's voice but…

<You'll understand later. Thank you. > The voice told them.

Trask cleared his throat. "I supposed you wouldn't tell me anything, but I have another way." He took out his gun and pointed it at Clark. "He probably wanted to save his friend." And he shot. He downloaded the whole charger. Nobody wanted to see it.

Lois felt a part of her life vanishing. She realized in less than a second what Clark meant for her. The short time they had been together passed in front of her eyes. She didn't want to lose him. <If we hadn't been so cautious. >

All his life went by in front of his eyes. When Clark saw Trask pressing the trigger, he closed his eyes. He didn't want to see the bullet coming at him. He knew he was dead. He didn't have any of his powers. It will be worse. Surely they'll find out that he wasn't human. Their daughters won't have a life. Her daughters. And Lois. He wasted the short time he had been with Lois. He'd like to marry her and have a family. The seconds were infinite. <I haven't felt the bullets. > Clark didn't expect what he saw after opening his eyes.

When the people looked again and were expecting Clark's bloody body, they saw a figure wearing the red and blue suit. Lois, Clark and the girls were the only people that were more than astonished. How was it possible? Superman stood in front of Clark, floating a few inches over the floor. "Open the box!" Trask ordered again. But the box didn't open. The girls had done it. Superman smiled at Trask, and showed his hand. The bullets were on it.

"I think this is yours," he said and disappeared in a blur. When he reappeared, all of Trask's bunch were in the middle of the newsroom tied and unarmed and Superman had the box in his hands.

"You are a threat. He's the head of the conquest of the Earth. His friends will come," Trask yelled.

"I'm not a threat. You are the only threat trying to kill a man to probe things that are only in your imagination," Superman told him. "As far as I know, I'm the only survivor of my kind. I said yesterday I was here to help." At this moment the elevator opened showing Henderson and his men.

"It's about time, Henderson," Lois said. "I think the initial charges could be impersonating a Federal Agent and attempt of murder."

"I think it's time to leave," Superman said. <We'll see you later at Lois' place. > He told Clark. And he floated a bit and disappeared with a blur and the swoosh that accompanied him.

"Clark!" Lois yelled, throwing herself over Clark. "When Trask fired, I felt I lost a part of me." Clark caressed her hair and listened to her words. "I had the feeling of wasting the little time we've been together." They looked at each other. After the date at the ball, they were sure that there was something between them. She heard Clark say, "Me too." He was caressing her hair.

"Mom, Dad," Lois heard. She saw her daughters coming to her. "What are you doing here? It has been very dangerous," she told them.

"Yeah. But…" Lara started whispering, "Did you have time to think about why the box didn't open?" She commented, smiling. The look on Lois' face told her that she had understood. "Smart girls," Lara heard again, this time Lois and Clark had said it.

"Who was he?" Lois asked Clark, whispering.

Clark was as blank as Lois. "I dunno, but he told me telepathically that he'll see us at your place later."

"OK, later then. We'll have to write an article," Lois commented. "Clark, are you okay to write?"

"Yes, I was only exposed short time. I'm okay but I don't have any superpowers. But I think I'm too involved to write about it," Clark explained.

"This is going to be a long day. It will be better when I begin to write," Lois said.

"I could help you," Lara offered.

"Eh…" Lois tried to reply, but she heard Clark telling her, "Let her, I think you will be surprised." Lois shrugged. "Well. You write about the Trask detention. I'm going to use some of the material I found out about Bureau- 39. Come on, Clark. We're going to do some research." Clark stood up and went away with Lois.

Lara sat down at Clark's desk. Ellie was next to her. "Ellie, I'm going to write a bit fast. Keep a watch at the newsroom. Try to hide me." Ellie sat on the side of the desk that could allow the people to see Lara's hands typing on the keyboard. She heard Lara start typing at normal speed, but she noted that the speed of the taps was increasing. Suddenly she stopped. Ellie turned her head and looked the screen. The words were written on the screen but Lara wasn't typing. Lara started again. At first, Ellie didn't notice that somebody was watching Lara. She saw Jimmy looking at them, a little bit astonished. When Ellie and Jimmy's glances crossed, Jimmy turned his head and tried to disappear.

Ellie stood up and went to catch Jimmy. Lara saw her moving and stopped typing. She observed her telling Jimmy to go into the conference room. Lara thought that it would be better to type at normal speed.

<Dad, come with Mom to the conference room. >

<What happened? > Clark said. He didn't know that the telepathy still worked when he had been exposed to the kryptonite.

<A problem. > Ellie was in the conference room with Jimmy.

"Ellie, I didn't see anything," Jimmy told her.

"Yeah, and Uncle Perry is not an Elvis fan," Ellie replied, sarcastically. "Come on, Uncle Jimmy, it's not bad… at least for you. Mom and Dad will kill Lara and me."

"Why?"

"We can't use our powers in public. We've been careless. We've been very lucky that you were the one who saw Lara." Ellie informed him, as Lois and Clark came into the room.

"Lois, I'm not going to tell anybody of this," Jimmy told Lois.

"Of what?" Lois asked curious.

"That Ellie and Lara are Superman's daughters," Jimmy answered.

Lois and Clark glanced angrily at her daughter who was trying to disappear from the room.

"What I don't understand it's why you told us that they were Clark's daughters," Jimmy wondered in a loud voice.

"I know today it's not the best day but… I'm Superman, Jimmy," Clark told the young reporter.

The look that Jimmy gave them showed that he didn't believe too much of that assertion. "Sure, and how…"

"We have to work that out, Jimmy. Actually, we didn't know who that was," Lois explained. "We only know that if he hadn't appeared, Clark would be dead now."

"Dead. If he is Superman…" Jimmy began. But Ellie interrupted him.

"Why do you think Trask had that stone?" Ellie asked. "That stone can kill us if we're exposed to it for too long. Shorter exposures only drain the powers."

"You can't tell anybody about this. Only Clark's folks and Lucy know. You see that there are people who want to kill him," Lois said pointing at Clark.

"I will be a tomb," Jimmy told them.

Ellie glanced into the newsroom and saw that her sister was looking at them. "Finished. Let's see what Perry thinks about Lara's piece." They went out from the conference room, walking towards Clark's desk.

"Come with me?" Lara stood up and sauntered in the direction of Perry's office with the others behind her.

Lois went ahead of her daughter and told Perry, "We have something for you."

"A good article?" Perry joked.

"We don't know," Lois said. "That's your work, Chief." Lois saw Lara give the article to Perry.

Perry read the byline and said with surprise, "You wrote this?" glancing at Lara. She nodded. Perry didn't speak. Lois wouldn't allow a girl to write her article, although… He read the piece. He didn't believe that a fourteen-year old girl could write that. "This isn't a joke, is it?" He looked at Lois defiantly.

"Nope," Lois answered. "She wrote it alone. Is it good?"

"Are you telling me that you didn't read it before giving it to me?" Perry asked astonished.

"Chief, I know that it was risky, but we trust our daughters," Clark explained.

"Okay." Perry calmed down, and glanced at Lois again. "I think you have something to complete the article. I want you to share the byline."

"Yes, Clark and I are working on it," Lois explained. "So the article is good?"

"Excellent, I would say," Perry added, pointing at Lara. "You're good, girl."

"Hey, the merit isn't entirely mine. They," Lara indicated her parents, "gave me the talent. I've only learnt how to use it."

"Girl, with this." Perry showed them the paper. "You'll have a job here when you want."

"She's still young, Chief," Lois objected Perry's offer. "She's only fourteen."

"Come on Lois, you were seventeen when you came as copy- girl on a summer job, and you didn't write like her," Perry replied to his reporter.

"Seventeen, but maybe over the summer…" She relaxed. "But you'll work on research," she said looking at Lara.

"We have plenty of time until summer, Mom," Lara finished.

***

Lois opened her door and came in first. They were expecting to see Superman here.

"Nobody's here," Lois complained. Somebody came from inside the apartment. He was a short man. He was wearing a suit that didn't fit in this age. It would have been perfect for the nineteenth century.

"Ah, finally you have come. I was starting to worry." The man spoke. He had an accent in his voice. He wasn't American, that's for sure.

"Who're you? And what are you doing in my place?" Lois inquired.

"Excuse me, Ms. Lane," the man apologized, "my name is H. G. Wells."

"The writer?" Clark lifted one eyebrow and looked at the man suspiciously.

"Yes…" Wells began, "well not exactly your Wells, eh…"

"What do you mean 'our Wells'?" Lois was starting to get angry.

"I think I could explain it better," a new voice said. The figure came to view. It was a woman. But not any woman. It was Lois Lane. The four people were stunned. It was impossible. Two Lois Lanes were standing face to face. The new Lois had short hair and she looked slightly different.

"How…?" it was the only thing that Clark could pronounce.

"We can trust them?" The new Lois pointed to the girls.

"Of course," the longhaired Lois replied. "How can you doubt my daughters?" she asked indignantly.

The other Lois raised her eyebrow and glanced a questioning look to Wells, who was managing to invent a excuse, "Sorry, but…"

"Yeah, it was not necessary." She looked at the girls again. "Maybe later I'll ask why you are teenagers, but I know you deserve an explanation." She took a breath and spoke, "He's really H. G. Wells and I am Lois Lane. We came from another universe."

"Another universe?" Lara asked.

"Yours is one of infinite universes," Wells added.

"And why did you come?" That was the main question.

"I think you can tell us why, Clark," Lois commented, smiling a bit.

Clark was surprised. He didn't expect that she knew his name. "You know my name."

Shorthaired Lois was about to explain when they saw Superman coming in by the window. "Sorry," he said, "I've been pretty busy. If you don't mind I'll change my clothes." He made a whirlwind and when he stopped, Clark Kent stood next to Lois.

"Why did you save me?" Clark questioned the newcomer.

"Because Utopia would never exist if Trask had killed you," Wells cut in. "Utopia will be founded by Superman's descendant in some universes, for example, as in this Lois and Clark's universe. In others, fate has made that impossible or the changes that must be made are very big," finished Wells.

"So that's why you appeared. To assure Utopia's creation," the Lois from this universe said.

"That's correct, Ms. Lane," Wells added, "and…"

"But you said that Utopia will be founded by his descendants," Lara said pointing to her father. "I don't understand why it was important for Utopia to prevent his murder."

"It's obvious," the alt Clark talked, "if he's dead he can't have children."

"Hey, remember what we did with the box?" Ellie inquired.

"So you're his daughters," said the alt Clark. "I suspected it, but you could have been Kryptonian too. The things in each universe are not exactly the same." He was thinking. "Mr. Wells, he has descendants, why did I have to save him?"

"I don't know. The only thing I can say…" Wells intend to explain, but the two Lois interrupted him suddenly.

"That's it!" They were surprised. "You first," the alt Lois said.

"OK. Clark's an alien. Although he may be dead, somehow they would discover that he wasn't from Earth. But they couldn't study a live Kryptonian body," Lois explained, "unless…"

The other Lois continued, "there were somebody that was like him or close to him. And without another pure Kryptonian on Earth, is there anything better than his teenager daughters?" she looked at the girls. "You'd have been closed in a lab, and you couldn't have descendants and the road to Utopia would vanish…" her voice ended with a whisper.

Lara and Ellie were scared. They imagined for a minute the life they would have had if Superman hadn't caught the bullets. They were thankful to him for saving his father, but they were thankful too for giving them the life that would have been stolen. "Thank you," Lara and Ellie told the alt Clark, "thank you for helping us."

"Hey, I couldn't have done it without your help," the alt- Clark replied to the girls. "It was a good idea." He turned to Clark. "Where is their mother?"

Lois looked at him astonished. "Here!" Alt-Clark's jaw dropped. "I'm their mother."

"How…?" It was the only thing Clark was able to say.

"Come on, Farmboy." The other Lois glanced at him. "I'm sure you know how. The only question is when."

"Fifteen years ago, more or less," Lara answered.

"You're lucky. I have been only six years with her, the first two as partners, another as a couple, and the rest married," Clark explained.

"You're married?" this universe Lois asked incredulously.

"You two aren't?" the alt couple replied. "But you knew each other for fifteen years and…"

"It's a long story," Ellie said, "and Mr. Wells is getting impatient. It will be easier to say that they met fifteen years ago; it happened then and they haven't been together since then until a week ago."

"Each universe is different, Mr. Kent, Ms. Lane," Mr. Wells commented. "I think it's time."

"One more question," the long-haired Lois interrupted and talked to the alt-Clark, "did you think they," she waved the hand showing her daughters, "could have been Kryptonian? Are there more on the Earth?"

"I don't think so. In my universe, at least, not. But there exists a colony of Krypton, New Krypton," the alt-Clark said. "This universe is different. It could be possible that if they exist they could come."

"Our task here is done. Mr. Kent, Ms. Lane, Lara, Ellie, good bye," Mr. Wells said as they disappeared from the room.

"They have disappeared," Lara commented. "They returned to their universe."

"Yes," Lois said, "my life was not quiet, Clark, but since I have known you, I see a man who flies and travelers from another dimensions. What would be the next?"

***

Wednesday

Lara came shyly into in her new classroom. It will be hard for her. She was a country- girl. He hoped she could fit in the class. Ellie and Billy were in this class, too. She was lucky. At least in her first class she would know somebody.

"This is a new girl that came this year. Could you introduce yourself?" The teacher said.

"Of course, Ms. Fine," Lara said. She stood in front of the rest of the class. "My name is Lara Kent-Lane. I'm from Smallville, Kansas."

"Lara Kent-Lane…" the teacher commented. "I've read that name before not so long ago…" She had a copy of the Daily Planet on her desk. She read it distractedly and said, "Maybe it's a coincidence but…"

"No it's not a coincidence; I wrote that article. Some parts are mine and others are from my mother," Lara explained. "Don't ask. It was an emergency solution. Ellie and I were at the Planet yesterday and they were in a hurry. We were really lucky that the editor liked the piece. If he hadn't…" She didn't want to imagine what Perry would have done to them.

"You wrote this," Ms. Fine pointed at the article. She read again the byline, "Lois Lane is your mother?"

"Yep."

The teacher glanced at Ellie, and then at Lara again. "I suppose there is an interesting story that you and your sister would like to share with us, but it's getting late. Sit there, next to your sister."

The revelation that Ellie and Lara had been at the Daily Planet the previous day propagated quickly around the school. Girls seemed the most interested in their adventures, especially because they had seen Superman. They were engrossed if he was as gorgeous as in the photos. Lara and Ellie didn't know what to tell them. Although he wasn't exactly their father, they couldn't describe him in that way. They were pretty embarrassed. They managed to escape by telling everyone that they weren't able to look at him properly because everything happened really fast. But Superman wasn't the only reason for the gossips about them in the school. At lunchtime it was obvious that the people had noticed that the newcomer from Smallville was more than Ellie's sister for Billy. When Billy, Lara and Ellie came into the lunchroom, there was silence. They didn't know what all this was about. Most of the people thought that Ellie and Billy would end up together. That was the reason that no girl had tried with Billy the year before. The same had happened with Ellie. Now it seemed that Lara was cheating on her own sister.

"What!" Ellie yelled when they noticed the silence. "It seems that you've seen a ghost." Nobody answered. "Is there something you wanna share with us?"

"Come on," Billy said, "we know this silence. It means that something is happening with the three of us?" He looked at Lara. He saw that she was feeling uncomfortable.

"You know quite well what is happening," an unidentified voice yelled.

Lara, although she was uncomfortable, was thinking. She had watched odd looks all the day when she was with Billy. And all had been when Ellie wasn't with them. <Ellie told me that she wasn't attracted to Billy, but… could the people think that she was and now they're thinking I'm cheating on her! There's only one way to know. > She came next to Billy, turned him towards her and started kissing him. She felt his astonishment at first but quickly he began to return the kiss.

The gasps flooded the lunchroom. Ellie stood quietly while Lara and Billy kissed. They broke the kiss. They saw the stunned faces, but Ellie was quite calm. "Can't you behave yourself in public, guys?" Ellie joked.

"You knew?" one of the girls next to her was able to say.

Ellie looked surprised at her, "Are you trying to say that you thought they were cheating on me?"

The girl nodded.

"Girl, I've been never interested in him. At least not in that way," Ellie said, "and I hope that wasn't the reason why nobody asked me out last year." Then some of the boys flushed. "Incredible. This is going to be an interesting year." <After this, I think that everything is possible. Maybe this evening when we get home Mom and Dad will have eloped… >

***

Lois and Clark were at the Planet. After another hit with the Trask capture, they had the afternoon and the evening off. Clark had been writing about the stuff the Police had found in the Bureau-39 warehouse. He didn't have his superpowers yet. She took advantage of that. He couldn't follow her. Lois wanted to surprise him. She had gone to the jewelers. She had bought two wedding rings. She knew she wanted to marry him. Before lunch she was going to ask him if he could fly them to Las Vegas and elope. Clark had finished the little work they had. She hoped his powers would return soon.

"Lois, we can go," Clark told her. He knew something was going on. Lois had been odd that morning.

"Come on, partner, I'm buying." She grinned.

They walked up the ramp and waited until the elevator door opened. They entered. <Good. We're alone. > This was the moment. "Clark, have your powers returned?"

"Yeah, they just returned." And he started floating. "I'm super again," he said, smiling at her.

Lois was happy. "Well, that's fantastic. Clark, I would like to ask you something," Lois said shyly.

"Uh." Clark was a little bit worried.

Watching his face, she told him, "It's nothing wrong. I'd like to know if you can fly us to a place after having lunch." She didn't look at them.

"Where?" He asked.

She put her hand in her purse and took out a small box. She opened it. There were two rings. "Las Vegas." She threw herself on him and wrapped her arms around his neck. She kissed him. "I love you, Clark. And I want to spend the rest of my life with you." She kissed him again. The door opening broke the magical moment. Lois and Clark noticed the people watching them and they left the elevator embarrassed.

They walked out from the Daily Planet. They were speechless. Especially Clark. He didn't expect the question. But he wanted to do it because he loved Lois. They seemed a family most of the time, but he and Lara lived in one apartment and Lois and Ellie in other. Somedays they had dinner in his, other breakfast in hers. He wanted to live in a house with his two daughters and with Lois. It was true he wanted her in his live.

They reached the little restaurant they had chosen previously to have lunch. After ordering the food, Clark spoke. "Lois, I love you. And I will fly us to Las Vegas after lunch." He saw the smile in her face, and a tear rolling on her cheek. They grabbed their hands. They stood up and kissed. When they sat again, the waiter brought the food.

"What will Lara and Ellie think?" Lois asked.

"They will be happy and astonished," Clark replied.

"Finally, we'll be a family. So we have to find a house. These days haven't been good for them. Although they spent plenty of time together, they weren't as happy as the days you were at my place," Lois explained.

"That's another reason. The girls need us. The both of us. I want to be with Ellie when she has a nightmare or when she can't understand a math problem," Clark told Lois.

"And we need each other," Lois added. She looked at Clark. "Your parents! What will they think? They will be angry."

"My parents, angry?" Clark chuckled. "On Monday they asked me when I was going to ask you to marry me."

"Oh," Lois gasped. "Really?"

"Really. They like you a lot," Clark made clear. "What about you parents?"

"I'm sure that it will be better to get married before I introduce you to my parents," Lois commented with concern. "I don't want to scare you."

"Come, Honey, they can't be that bad," Clark replied humorously.

"Worse than you think. You'll see," Lois told him.

They finished having lunch. Clark paid for the food, and they left the restaurant. They searched for a deserted alley, in which Clark could spin into Superman, so they could fly to Las Vegas.

The fly was quite fast. They landed near a chapel. Clark told Lois, "Come in and arrange everything. I'll be back soon." He flew away again.

Lois walked into the chapel. Eloping. When her mother finds out she'll go ballistic. She talked with the woman that was on the reception, who told her that she had to wait. She chose a classical wedding. Lois waited for Clark. <Where did he go? > It was ten minutes when Clark appeared. "Where were you?" Lois inquired.

"Sorry, it took more than I thought," Clark apologized. He wanted to surprise her.

"What?"

"After the wedding," Clark added. He heard, "Clark Kent and Lois Lane." They came into the chapel.

It wasn't more than ten minutes when they came back. They had got married. They exited to the street.

"Lois, I want to give you something," he said as he put his had into the pocket of his trousers. He showed a ring to Lois. It was a gold ring, with a sparkling diamond mounted.

"Clark, it's… it's… Wow!" Lois was speechless. "Where did you buy it? And that must be really expensive. You hadn't…"

"That's why it took a long time, I didn't buy it." He saw the surprised look on his new wife's face. "No Lois I didn't steal it. I made it."

"You made it." Now she was stunned. "How?"

"I found a gold deposit and a diamond one. The ring itself was easy to design, but I had to read about diamond cuts. The expert in Amsterdam said that it was one of the best diamonds he had seen," he told her a little flushed. "Moreover, I made some inscriptions." He showed her the inside part of the ring. There was written 'Clark loves Lois'. He turned the ring and showed her the part under the ring. There, Clark had drawn the El-shield. Clark said, "That's because now, you're the First Lady of the House of El."

"Clark, I'm honored for that but… could you shut up and kiss me," Lois ordered her husband.

"Your wish is my command, Madam," Clark commented. He kissed her.

Lois broke the kiss and told him, "When you want, we'll go home."

"Yours or mine,"

"Yours," Lois replied. "Lucy could be at mine."

"And the girls?"

"They are still at school. We have time enough." Lois grinned. She knew what she wanted and she wanted it now.

***

"Come on, Billy. I have them at home," Lara told Billy, as both of them and Ellie were approaching to the apartment where Lara lived with her father. She took out the keys from the bag. When she opened the door they could see a chaotic room.

"You have had some visitors," Billy commented. They came into the room. It was in total chaos. But the computer was still there. "What were they searching?"

"I don't know," Lara replied. "We're going to…" She shut up. She had heard something. "Did you hear?" They could hear laughs coming from one of the bedrooms.

"Do they think this is the Lexor Honeymoon room?" an angry Lara said as she strode to her father's bedroom door. She opened the door, saying, "Having fun?"

Lois and Clark were stunned when they saw the door opening, and the embarrassment grew when they saw their daughters and Billy standing at the door. Lois and Clark were naked, with Lois on top of Clark tickling him. Lara closed the door as fast as she could, but Clark didn't remember that Lois was on him and she rolled down to the floor when he stood up.

"Hey," Lois accused his husband.

"Sorry. I…" Clark tried to apologize.

"Yeah. Me too. Better if we put some clothes on…" Lois told Clark as she stood up.

Outside the room the girls and Billy were pretty blushed. Ellie commented to Billy, "Get that look off your face."

"Hey, I'm young, but I'm still a man," Billy replied. He saw the angry look on Lara's face. He regretted what he had said.

"Are you telling us that you like it?" Lara asked.

<Billy, you have made a big mistake > "Eh… good. I… Well, your mother isn't the typical mother, she's quite young, and she's quite beautiful, like you, and…" the words were ending for Billy. He was lucky because the door opened. Lois and Clark appeared wearing two robes.

"Well, you could have warned us," Lara told her father.

"We didn't expect you," Clark replied.

"You weren't going to tell us. Lucky that we catch you naked to discover it," Lara addressed.

"We were going to tell you. And this isn't the first time you saw me naked. Remember that…" Clark began, but Lara cut him.

"Yes, I remember. It was an impression. But there is a BIG difference between watching you father accidentally taking a shower and your parents making love," Lara blurted out. She was still angry.

"Actually," Lois cut in, "we were not making love, at the moment." Lois saw the surprised expression on their daughters face, and Ellie was going to speak, but Lois lifted her hand and the girl waited. "We have been making love. That's true. But when you opened the door I was searching the places where Clark is ticklish."

Lara and Ellie raised their eyebrows. At least they were honest. They told them the truth. Unexpectedly, Ellie got a gleam from Lois' hand. <It's not possible that… > She ran to her mother and grabbed her had. She saw the ring. "Wow!" was the only thing she was able to say.

Lara understood what that meant. "You got married?" Her parents nodded. She walked in their direction. She started to cry of happiness as she hugged them.

"Shhh, Honey. We talk about this later," Lois told them. "You could go home and wait there for us. We'll be there soon. And we have to talk with Lucy." Lara broke the hug. Lois heard her saying, "Ok. I love you, Mom." Ellie and Lara kissed their parents and went out.

Billy was still there. He had seen the entire scene. He told them, "Congratulations, Mr. and Mrs. Kent." He turned back before going out.

"Billy," he heard Lois saying and he looked at her.

"Yes."

"If you call me Mrs. Kent again, you won't see my daughter for the rest of your life," Lois threatened Billy. "Comprende?"

"Yes." Billy went away really scared. He wouldn't make that mistake again.

***

Lara was happy now. The initial shock had disappeared. Billy had returned home, and she and Ellie were waiting for their parents. The door opened. Lois and Clark came in holding hands and smiling. Lara saw clearly that her parents were happy.

"I see you're ready," Lara began. "Ah, before I forget, Aunt Lucy telephoned a while ago. She said that she wanted to tell us something important." At the same time Ellie joined them and came into the living room.

"Mom, Dad, I'm sorry for my reaction before…" Lara said shyly, looking at the floor.

"It's nothing, Honey," Lois replied. "You were shocked, and maybe you were right," she explained. "We could have told you something. But…"

"Yeah, Mom, you usually jump without looking at the water level first," Ellie joked.

"Well, I suppose you'll need some intimacy." Lara grinned. "I think that you can live in the other apartment and I'll sleep in your bed, Mom," she told them.

"Good idea," Clark said. They heard the door opening and voices. Lucy and Jimmy. They came into the living room.

"Hi," Lucy and Jimmy said. The others made a greedy gesture with the hand. "You were waiting for us?"

"No, we've been talking about some things," Lois commented. "What did you want to tell us that is important?"

Lucy grinned and looked at Jimmy who returned the smile and the look. They were holding hands. "Jimmy has asked me to marry him," Lucy left the bomb, "and I answered yes."

Lois was surprised. She thought that she would drop the bomb, but her sister had beat her to it. "Really? Are you sure?"

"Yes. I'm sure," Lucy answered. She expected her sister to tell her that she was making a mistake, but Lois was taking this very well. "Actually, we were thinking about flying to Las Vegas as soon as we can. Before Mom finds out."

"That's a good idea, Lucy," Lois said as she stood up and hugged her sister. After that she hugged Jimmy and told him, "You take care of her, otherwise…"

"Hey, you know me Lois, I'll take care of her," Jimmy replied.

"I have an idea," Lara said. "Dad, why don't you fly them and Mom now to Las Vegas, and after that we'll have dinner together. Two weddings the same day… It's not something we planned when we set up this mess…" Lara realized she had spoke more than necessary and Lucy understood.

"Two weddings, you mean that…" Lucy looked for Lois left hand, "you're married?" She hugged her sister. "Sis, I'm happy for you."

Lois broke her sister's hug and asked Lara, "What does 'set up this mess' mean?" The look in her eyes told Lara that she had better not lie.

"Do you think we swapped only for meeting both of you?" Lara questioned, not letting her parents answer. "That was our first idea. After that, we wondered what would happen if you saw each other again when you swapped us again."

Then Ellie said, "I was really surprised when Dad told me he would apply for a job at the Daily Planet. That made your meeting easier, although it wasn't as we would have planned it."

"So this is what you were looking for," Lois said showing her left hand.

"Of course," Lara answered, "we knew you were trapped when you kissed Dad in the kitchen the other day."

"It has been a good parent trap," Jimmy cut in. He and Lucy were having fun with the girls. Lois and Clark glanced at them with a questioning look. "It's funny, isn't it? The two best reporters of the Daily Planet tied down by a pair of rugrats."

"Come on Uncle Jimmy, we're not rugrats. And it's getting late and you have to travel to Las Vegas," Ellie replied. "While you're there Lara and I will search for a place to have dinner."

"That's a good plan," Lois agreed with the girls, "and Lucy, we have to think about how we are going to tell Mom that we have gotten married."

"Sis, do you think I'm going to tell her anything?" Lucy answered, "Better if she finds out alone. Clark," Lucy turned to her new brother-in-law, "the bride first."

***

Thursday

The sound of the phone awoke Lois. She reacted slowly to the not quite familiar room, but she remembered. She rolled over and she saw Clark's naked body. Her husband. The phone was still ringing. She stretched her arm to reach the receiver. She picked it up and said, "Yes." Her voice sounded sleepy.

"Lois? What are you doing at Clark's at this hour? Why do you seem so sleepy?" a feminine voice inquired. It was clear that the woman didn't expect her here.

"It's early. We were still sleeping. Who're you and what do you want?" Lois replied awaking slowly.

"You were sleeping together?" the voice said a little bit angry.

"Hey, that's what married couples are supposed to do, among other things," Lois grinned, remembering the other things that Clark and she had been doing -making-; she corrected herself, during the night.

"Married! Where? When? Why?" the stranger asked, unbelievingly.

"I think that's none of your concern," Lois replied.

"Lois, you married MY son and that's none of my concern?"

Now Lois was sure who was in the other end of the line. "Martha! Oh my God. Sorry, I didn't recognize your voice, I'm still a little bit sleepy," Lois apologized. <The perfect way to tell your new mother-in-law that you have eloped. > Lois gave a jab to her husband who was awakening. "Clarkie, Honey, your mother's on the phone," Lois said with a sweet voice.

"Mmmm," Clark was still dreaming, but he suddenly understood what Lois had told him. "My mother!" He said grabbing the phone quickly. "Hi, Mom."

Lois walked out from the bed, and put on a robe. She preferred to leave her husband alone to deal with his mother. She left the room, listening to the explanation that Clark was giving. She finished her walk in the living room. It was similar to hers. There, Clark had the computer. Interesting, she thought. <I could discover interesting secrets about my new husband. > She switched the computer on. The usual messages appeared in the monitor and the operative system started to load. The classical Windows desktop appeared on the screen. She sat down and with the mouse clicked on the Start Menu. <Let's see what programs you have. > The programs menu slid and she took a look to it. <The classical programs, Office 98, and some games, Need for Speed III and Colin McRae. It seems he likes car games. Civilization II. Learning strategy to rule the Earth, Flyboy? > She left the menu and she clicked in my documents short cut. There were two folders named Clark and Lara. She clicked on Clark's. The other later. There were plenty of files, not quite long. The names could be from articles. There was another folder. The name was KC. She entered it. There were fewer files, but they were bigger, really bigger. <I recognize these titles, except this one. > She wanted to know what they were. She double clicked on the last one. But the document didn't load. It required a password. Lois started to think. <Uhm… I'll try. > She typed Lois Lane. Password incorrect. <No, wait… he didn't know my name until three days ago. > This time she wrote Louise Line. Password correct. The Word loaded and showed the document. <I have figured you out, my Farmboy. >

She started reading the document. <It looks like a novel. I know this style. But I haven't read this yet, could he…> "Oh," she gasped, surprised by the revelation. She felt the hand on her shoulder.

"Good morning, Honey." He kissed her cheek. "I saw you have discovered my other secret."

"Why didn't you tell me that you were Kyle Connors?" Lois questioned.

"It would have been a surprise. Lara told me that you liked all his books. I was going to send you a dedicated first print of this," Clark explained, as he wrapped his arms around her.

"Now I understand how you can afford this apartment without asking Perry for an advance," Lois told him.

"Well," he began, embarrassed, "I can't deny I have some spare money. And that allows my parents to live without problems with the farm and medical expenses. And I give some to charity," Clark said.

"You're such a boy scout," Lois said, smiling.

"What do you think?" Clark pointed to the screen.

"I only read a paragraph," Lois replied, "However I think it would be another bestseller." She made a pause. She remembered something about some time ago. "There's something that just came to my mind. One day I was reading one of your books and Ellie told me I looked like I was daydreaming. I replied that I could fall in love with Kyle Connors."

"Actually, if I'm right, you had done something more than fall in love with Kyle Connors," added Clark, laughing. He looked lost for a moment. "That's it. The other day in Smallville I found Ellie and my Mom laughing. They were near the printed copy of the novel. Ellie probably saw who I was and remembered that. She told her grandmother and they have some fun with you," He explained.

"Speaking of that, we have another daughter," She turned to the computer. "I wonder what our daughter has here." She went into Lara's folder.

"That's her diary. Don't try. I can't even open it. It has five passwords," Clark assured.

"Five?" Lois shook her head. "What does she have there, NIA secrets?" She joked. Lois looked for another file. "I'll open this." When the document opened it revealed another novel. Lois acknowledged the byline. "She's Katherine Love? Ellie loves her books. Now I understand why you were so relaxed the other day. But it was dangerous; it isn't the same writing children books as articles for a newspaper."

"She wrote for the school paper. And for the Smallville Gazette," added Clark.

"Are you putting the Smallville Gazette at the same level as the Daily Planet?" Lois asked mischievously. "It would be better that Perry didn't know that you said that." She was looking at him smiling. "We should get ready," Lois said shutting down the computer.

***

The elevator opened and revealed two couples. Lois and Lucy Lane came into the newsroom with their new husbands. They weren't showing any sign of their relationship between them except the rings they wore. They wanted to tell Perry before making the general announcement. The four of them walked directly to Perry's office. Lois knocked on the door and went in.

"Chief, got a minute?" Lois asked. "We want to speak with you."

Perry lifted his eyes from what he was reading and glanced at the two couples. "Good morning guys, what I can do for you?"

"Chief, we wanted to tell you that yesterday…" Lois didn't know how to continue.

"You eloped?" Perry completed the sentence. "It was time, girl. Congratulations, Lois, Clark."

"They weren't the only ones," Jimmy cut in.

"You too?" Perry this time was a little bit surprised. "I'm happy for you two." He stopped and pointed at the two women, "But I don't want to be near your mother when she finds out…"

"We are still thinking how we want her to find out…" Lois said. That was a big problem.

"Are you going to do a general announcement?" Perry inquired. "I won't say anything, if you don't want to."

"Not yet," Lois commented.

"OK. And now if you prefer going home…" Perry suggested, showing a mischievous grin.

"Ehhh, that would be good Chief, but we'll need the some time off when we have to do the moving… again," Clark said rolling his eyes before looking at Lois.

"Lucy ended her holidays on Sunday. Today she has to work. I don't mind working…" Jimmy explained glancing at his wife.

"If you came to work, what are you still doing here?" Perry yelled. "This is not the Poukesville Gazette."

Lois, Clark and Jimmy went out laughing from the office with a frightened Lucy. She briefly kissed her new husband and walked towards the elevators.

Two hours later Jimmy Olsen was tired. His wedding night had been fantastic, but he and Lucy had to work the morning after. And now he was paying the consequences. They hadn't really slept. At the moment he was in the middle of the newsroom when he saw Cat Grant coming to greet him.

"Hey, Cat, how was the vacation?" Jimmy asked.

"Short, next time I'll ask the Chief for a month instead of two weeks," the gossip columnist told him. She saw a new face in the newsroom. Clark was in his desk, reading a paper. "Hey, who's the new tight end?" And she walked towards Clark desk not hearing Jimmy, "Cat, I…"

"I haven't seen you, before. Are you a new hire?" Cat said and Clark raised his eyes. "I'm Catherine Grant."

Clark stood up from his chair to introduce himself properly. "I'm Clark Kent," he told her as he shook her hand.

Cat slid his hand over his chest and she grabbed his tie. "If you're alone, I can comfort you tonight," Cat proposed. Before Clark could reply, she kissed him on the lips. She broke the kiss and left Clark asking himself what on Earth had happened and praying that Lois hadn't seen that. But the entire newsroom had, and the gossip will run around it quite fast.

Lois saw the scene that Cat had made. She was angry. But she thought she could have a little fun with Cat. She walked next to her.

"Hi, Cat, hunting again?" She inquired.

"Yes, Lois. Jealous?" Cat replied.

"No, not really. But I think he didn't like your kiss," Lois commented distractedly. She was throwing the bait to the fish.

"Could you do it better?" Cat asked defiantly.

"Probably," Lois said. She saw Jimmy get up to object, but she gave him the Mad Dog Lane look and he refused to say anything.

"You bet?"

Lois looked at her. Cat was rally sure of herself and didn't suspect anything. "Okay. Twenty that I can melt him with a kiss," Lois offered. She saw Cat looking in her purse for a twenty dollars bill and she showed it to her. Lois left Cat and walked towards Clark, still a little bit lost about before.

Clark watched Lois, as she came to him with a mischievous grin on her face. "Lois, I swear…" He couldn't finish the sentence. He heard Lois saying, "Shut up and kiss me." She put both hands on his cheeks, grabbing his head. She kissed him. The kiss was completely different from the one Cat had given him before. It reminded him of the kisses from the previous days. When the kiss finished he melted, and he threw himself on the chair. He could barely see Lois walking returning to where Cat was.

Lois was perfectly conscious of the vanishing of the secrecy in the relationship with Clark. But it was worth it. Ice Queen Lane melting a man with a kiss in the middle of the newsroom. Cat's face told her everything. She grabbed the note and continued walking. Suddenly she turned back and told Cat, "Ah, one more thing Cat, don't you ever dare try that again with MY husband." She was showing the ring on her left hand.

"Husband?" Cat asked, astonished.

"I tried to warn you, but…" Jimmy commented in his defense.

***

The next three weeks went by really fast. Superman was doing plenty of rescues. Lois and Clark managed to have plenty of exclusives. They had to find a new house to live in. Finally they had found one. They had some days free at the Planet to do the moving. But the moving wasn't hard. Lucy and Jimmy offered their help. Lois told them it wasn't necessary. But they insisted. Lois and the girls had helped Lucy out to move to Jimmy's. When they came that day, Lucy and Jimmy understood why they didn't need their help. But there was still a problem. Lucy and Lois hadn't told their parents yet that they had gotten married. Trying to avoid an argument, Lois didn't invite them to the party that she and Clark gave the last day of mini-holidays. Clark's parents had flown from Smallville. Jimmy and Lucy were there too and Lara invited Billy. Perry and surprisingly Cat were the only guest from the Planet. After the pass that Cat had made at Clark the day after her return from vacation and after her recovery from the revelation, Lois and Cat had begun to get along well. It was strange but she invited her. At least she was the most similar to a female friend that she had at the Planet.

The doorbell rang when they were in the middle of the party. "I'll go," Lara said, walking to the door. She opened the door and found a couple. "Yes. What do you want?" Lara asked the two strangers curiously.

"What do you want?" Ellen Lane complained, "Is that a way to greet you grandmother, Ellie?" She kissed the girl. "You see, Sam, how your daughter teaches her?" Ellen Lane came into the house.

"Hi, Darling," Sam Lane told an astonished Lara. These were her other grandparents.

Lois knew that her mother had arrived when she heard her complains. "Oh no, Mother."

"Lois, what's this? Your phone wasn't working and in the Planet told me that this was your new address," Ellen talked, watched by the people in the party. "What's the party for and why wasn't I invited?"

"Ellen…" Sam said, trying to calm his ex-wife.

"Mother," Lois and Lucy began, but they weren't able to continue. They had to leave. They were about to throw up. "Sorry," gasped both of them with their hands on their mouths and rushed towards the stairs.

"If I hadn't seen Mom doing that before I would say that she provoked it," Ellie joked, pointing out her amazed grandmother, who reached the next level of astonishment when she heard Lara saying, "I'll go with them," and she saw her as the girl walked up the stairs. After Lara had disappeared an uncomfortable silence prevailed in the room. The Lanes were sure that the other people knew something that they didn't.

Upstairs Lois and Lucy had thrown up all the things they've eaten before in the party and more. They didn't know why. When they opened the bathroom door they found Lara. She was smiling.

"There's nothing funny," Lois complained.

"Yeah. I'd like to ask you something," Lara said. The looks on Lois and Lucy faces revealed to her that they would allow the girl to ask her question. "Did you miss something in the last three weeks?"

"Miss what?" Lucy replied.

Lois wondered. She had had this problem before… "Are you trying to say that we can be…?"

"Why not?" Lara spoke. "There's only one way to know. Wait here," She ordered the women and she went to her room. When she returned she was carrying three boxes.

"Is that what I think?" Lois asked with a questioning look at her daughter.

"You do have the same look that the drugstore clerk had when I bought them," Lara joked. "Don't worry. It's for a science project. I'm lucky. Probably, I'll have two positive tests. I'll do the test too, for contrast."

They have to wait some time for the tests. When they were ready they examined them. Two positives and one negative. It was obvious that they were pregnant. They didn't know what to think. Lara hugged them. She was happy. She was going to have a new brother or sister.

Lois and Lucy walked down the stairs slowly. They were a little bit concerned by their husbands' reaction, and more concerned by the one of their parents. In the living room the tension could be cut with a knife.

Clark spoke, "Lois, Honey, are you all right?"

"Yeah, more or less," Lois answered, not looking at his eyes.

"Lucy?" Jimmy asked too.

"We are pregnant," Lois blurted out. The faster she said it, the better.

"What?" It had been Billy who yelled. "When? How, Lara?"

All the people looked at him with surprised eyes. Then Lara spoke, "Them Billy, them." She was pointing to her mother and her aunt.

Lois and Lucy were still waiting their husbands' reaction. They were still frozen. Suddenly Clark and Jimmy ran to their wives and hugged them, taking them in the air.

"I love you, Lucy Lane Olsen," Jimmy told his wife, kissing her.

"I love you, Lois Lane Kent," Clark told his, doing the same as Jimmy.

Ellen's Lane voice broke the lovely moment, "Could somebody explain what is happening here?"

Epilogue.

Lois and Lucy were in the same room. They were cuddling her babies. Clark and Jimmy were next to them. Ellen Lane asked, "Have you chosen names for my new grandsons?"

"Yes, Mother," answered Lois, "this is Clark James Kent, CJ."

"And this is Samuel Clark Olsen," Lucy added.

"Those are fantastic names," Martha commented.

At this time, a tear slid on Lois cheek. Clark saw it and asked, "Honey, are you all right?"

"Yes, I was remembering how happy I was when the girls were born. But now it's different. That time I was alone. Now I'm not only happy for my child, I'm happy because you're with me," Lois explained.

"Yes, Lois, this time is different," Clark realized. "There are people that care about you. Your parents aren't the same as they were fifteen years ago. You have your sister now and the two of you will be able to share your experiences. My parents will be there for you. Lara and Ellie are looking forward to helping with their brother. And you know that I will always be here for you. Forever, we will be together," Clark commented to Lois.

Clark kissed her as she whispered, "Together."

The End. Fin. Das Ende.