By Supermom <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Submitted: February 2002
Summary: This year's trip to Smallville for the Valentine's Dance is very special for Lois and Clark. One they will never forget!
Usual disclaimers apply. Many, many thanks go out to Ann, Kath, Riley, Sarah, and Katie for their beta reading, editing, ideas, and brainstorming over the course of the last thirteen months (sheesh — this thing took longer than a pregnancy!). And thanks too for an audience who waited so patiently while my muse traveled the world — several times around, in fact.
As the aroma of bacon, eggs, and fresh coffee assaulted her nostrils, Lois slowly opened her eyes. Those smells could only mean one thing: Clark was cooking breakfast. If he relied on her to cook the morning meal, he would be eternally bored, since the only decent dish she could prepare was her famous "Eggs a la Katie Banks." Of course there were always Pop Tarts or instant oatmeal or those frozen breakfast burrito things, but Clark didn't consider them proper food for a woman in Lois's condition — her condition being that she was in her thirty-fifth week of a pregnancy neither of them had believed would ever happen.
After the initial shock had worn off, the couple had delighted in their impending parenthood. Fortunately for Lois, the pregnancy had been an easy one. She had continued working at the Daily Planet, with Perry being quite understanding of her need for an occasional nap; and she planned to continue right up until the baby's birth.
Clark had certainly been the doting father-to-be. Lois had on many occasions been the grateful recipient of one of his famous backrubs. Clark had even used a tempered version of his heat vision on her achy muscles as the baby had grown larger. He had read possibly every book ever printed on the subject of pregnancy, labor, and delivery, and had been right at Lois's side during their childbirth classes, eagerly learning all the breathing techniques and tips to make the birth as easy for Lois as possible. Nothing would keep him from her side when their child made its appearance — not even Superman.
Lois waddled slowly down the hall, heading toward the tantalizing aromas coming from the kitchen. As she passed the door to the nursery, she thought back on the time she and Clark had spent preparing the room for their child. Martha had kept everything from Clark's infancy, and it had taken quite a few trips to and from Smallville for Superman to get all the items to Metropolis. Anything that she didn't have, Martha had lovingly created with her sewing machine and knitting needles or Jonathan had crafted in his workshop.
Their colleagues from the Daily Planet had thrown them a surprise baby shower the week before and between Martha's creations and the gifts from the shower, the dresser drawers were filled to overflowing with a variety of clothing and bedding. Not surprisingly, Jimmy had given them a tiny red, yellow, and blue sleeper with a large "S" on the front. Clark had feigned a hurt look and asked Jimmy if he was trying to re-ignite Lois's flame for Superman. She had assured them all that she only had eyes for Clark now. That tiny Superman sleeper was now hidden deep in the back of the closet. It would do no good for anyone to make too many connections between the Kent's baby and Superman. Lois shuddered at the thought of a reoccurrence of the tabloid scandal right after their marriage.
As she got a whiff of Clark's cooking again, Lois was jarred from her thoughts and resumed her trek to the kitchen. She paused in the doorway, watching her handsome husband as he skillfully put together the pieces of a delicious meal for her. Clark didn't have to eat, but he had told her numerous times that he enjoyed sharing meals with her. And all during her pregnancy, Clark had taken extra care to provide Lois and their baby with all the proper foods. Clark had feared that weaning Lois from her almost-intravenous supply of coffee might prove to be the most difficult task. But Lois wanted only the best for their child and had switched to decaffeinated coffee, though not without some grumbling.
"Uummffff," Lois grunted as the baby kicked and tumbled simultaneously.
"Oh…morning, honey. I didn't hear you come down," Clark greeted her as he licked strawberry preserves from his finger.
Moving across the kitchen, Lois grabbed Clark from behind and snuggled as close as her expanded belly would allow. The baby chose that moment to do another tumble and Lois grunted again.
"Is Hayseed giving you trouble this morning?" Clark laughed as he turned and patted her abdomen.
Lois smiled at the nickname they had given their baby. Since they had opted not to know the baby's sex before the birth, they had decided to use some sort of nickname. It was the circumstances of the baby's conception that had prompted the name "Hayseed."
They had visited Clark's parents in Smallville the previous June for the Kent's yearly celebration of Clark's "adoption." True, they had found him in May of 1966, but because of their fears that he might be some sort of Russian experiment or U.S. special project, Martha and Jonathan had kept Clark's existence a secret for a month. After a month had passed without any inquiries about the spaceship in which they had found him, Martha and Jonathan felt safe enough to go public with their "adoption" of a baby boy. "He's a distant cousin's baby," they told everyone.
Lois took part in this tradition right from the beginning of their relationship. Her family had never been much on traditions, so it felt good to be part of the Kent's. She intended for her and Clark's married life to be full of traditions that they could pass along to their children, although those hopes and dreams had been shattered by Dr. Bernard Klein the year before when he pronounced Superman and an Earth woman incompatible for reproduction.
Poor Bernie was just as surprised as they were when Superman had appeared in his office one day and announced that the test results were apparently flawed. Of course, he had been let in on Clark's secret identity, and he had also graciously agreed to act as Lois's doctor in order to avoid suspicions should anything unusual occur during her pregnancy.
Clark's party had been wonderful. The family's closest friends had been there and included Wayne Irig, Maisie, and Smallville's sheriff, Rachel and her husband Tom Hannah, the town doctor.
Martha had cooked all day in preparation. Jonathan set up tables and chairs under the big shade tree behind the house and the group had enjoyed a beautiful day outdoors, laughing at old memories and sharing "Clark stories" as Rachel liked to put it. As the sun began to set, someone turned on a radio and the sounds of dance music drifted through the air. Ever the gentleman, Clark danced with all the women. Rachel had challenged him to do the "tush push" with her — "For old time's sake," she reminded him with a wink — and Clark had happily complied.
Lois loved being in Smallville. "Smallville," she had snorted at Perry when Clark had first started at the Planet. "I couldn't make that name up." But now it was like a second home for her. She and Clark had spent their first Valentine's Day as a couple in that small town, and the weekend had been a milestone in their relationship. They had made love for the first time. They had talked about marriage and having babies together, although it was several more months until Clark officially proposed to her. And every February after that, they had returned to Smallville to relive that magic weekend.
Another kick from the baby brought Lois back to the present. She placed her hand on top of Clark's, and together they patted the life growing inside her.
"No more trouble than usual," she answered. "I suppose it's getting a little crowded in there."
"It won't be much longer," Clark reminded her. "I know you probably feel like you've been pregnant forever, but these past months have flown by for me. I can hardly believe that in another month our baby will be here."
As he patted Lois's abdomen, he felt the muscles underneath tighten briefly. Lois stiffened, then closed her eyes and began to breathe deeply.
"Braxton-Hicks?" Clark asked.
Lois nodded yes and continued with her breathing. Clark cradled her in his arms until the contraction ended and then gave her belly one final pat.
"That's been happening a lot lately, hasn't it?"
"Yeah," Lois replied. "But they say that it helps get your body ready for labor and delivery. And goodness knows, I want my body as ready as it can be!"
"I know you told me that they don't hurt, but are you sure? Are you being honest with me, Lois?"
"Yes, I'm sure. They're a little uncomfortable but not bad. And yes, I'm being honest," she assured him. "Dr. Klein says everything is going exactly according to schedule."
"I just wish that schedule didn't include your being due three weeks after Valentine's Day," he grumbled.
"Why? What's the matter with my due date?"
"It's just that all the books I've read say a woman shouldn't travel in the last four to six weeks of her pregnancy. And that means we can't go to Smallville for Valentine's Day," Clark explained.
"Look what kind of shape our last trip to Smallville got me in!" Lois joked as she turned sideways and showed Clark her profile.
"Yes, " he agreed. "But didn't you enjoy every minute of it? I know I did." Clark pulled her back into his arms and began nuzzling her ear. "Remember that night?"
After the last guests had driven away from the Kent farm, Clark did a "super-cleaning" of the backyard. Before Lois and Martha could blink twice, the food was put away in the kitchen, all the paper plates and cups were in the garbage can, and the tables and chairs had been returned to their place in the storage shed.
Lois grinned at Martha. "Don't you just love having him around the house?"
Martha put her arm around her daughter-in-law's shoulder and hugged her tightly. "He's something else, isn't he?"
"You don't know the half of it," Lois responded dreamily. Then she realized what she said, or rather HOW she'd said it. As a blush crept up her neck and face, Lois turned to Martha and saw the twinkle in her eyes.
"Oh, Lois, don't be embarrassed. You don't know how good it makes me feel to know that you and Clark get along so well. I see so many young people in miserable marriages and it just breaks my heart. I always wanted the best for my boy, and I do believe he got the very best woman in the world."
"Thank you," Lois whispered, her voice choked by emotion. "I think he had a good example set for him."
"Oh, I know he did. Jonathan is the best husband and father there is."
"I think you played a big part, too, Martha," Lois said.
"Look at us!" Martha exclaimed. "Blubbering like a couple of fools."
"Fools for love," Lois told her, giving Martha another hug.
"What are you two up to?" Clark called as he and his father walked back toward the women. "Plotting against us poor men?"
He grabbed his mother around the waist and gave her a big hug.
"Thanks, Mom, for the best party ever." Clark gave her a loud kiss on her cheek.
"Thank YOU, for being the best son ever," Martha replied, returning the hug and kiss. "And thanks, too, for the…you know." Martha made a whirling motion with her hand to indicate his super-fast cleaning. "I don't know about your father, but I'm exhausted and ready for a good night's sleep."
"I'm with you, Martha," Jonathan piped in. "I guess my age must be catching up with me."
"You two aren't old," Clark argued. "You just worked on this party for the past week. Why don't you head on to bed and Lois and I will finish up here. There's just a couple more things to put away."
"Normally I'd argue with you, Clark," Jonathan said. "But tonight, I'm just going to spoil you and let you have your way! Goodnight, you two."
"Goodnight, Dad. Goodnight, Mom," Clark responded, with another hug and kiss for each of them.
"Just turn off the barn lights when you come in," Jonathan added.
"I will, Dad. There's a full moon tonight and I want to show Lois how bright it is out here away from the city lights."
"You know, Clark, your father used to show me the full moon from the hayloft. Maybe Lois would like the view from there?" Martha winked at Clark as she made her suggestion.
"Oooh…that sounds like fun," Lois squealed.
"And there's a stack of clean quilts in the cabinet right inside the door," Martha offered.
When Lois gave her a questioning look, Martha explained, "Honey, that hay is awfully scratchy. You don't want to lay directly on it."
"Oh," Lois commented innocently.
Struggling to stifle a giggle, Martha continued. "Clark, do you remember when you and Rachel climbed up there after the senior prom? Bless her heart, she itched for days."
"Mom," Clark muttered. "I don't think Lois wants to hear about…"
"Sure I do," Lois interrupted, a conspiratorial grin crossing her face. "Go on, Martha. Finish the story."
"There really isn't much more to the story. Rachel told me she'd never go up in a hayloft again," Martha chuckled. "I just wish I'd known you two were planning that, Clark, because I would have left the quilts out for you. Your father and I learned a long time ago about scratching hay."
"Well, thank you, Martha, for looking out for me. I appreciate it even if Clark doesn't."
By this point, a thoroughly embarrassed Clark was staring at the ground and kicking at a clump of grass with the toe of his shoe. Glancing at his father, he noticed tears running down his cheeks as he tried not to laugh.
"I'm glad you two get such a kick out of humiliating me in front of my wife," Clark grumbled. "I don't know just what you think we might do in the hayloft…"
"Oh, we have a pretty good idea," Jonathan snickered. "Probably the same thing your mother and I did."
"Come on, dear," Martha ordered, taking her husband by the arm and leading him toward the farmhouse. "Before you embarrass our son any more, let's leave these two to their hayloft."
"It's not what you think," Clark called to the retreating couple. "And Rachel and I didn't do anything but talk that night." Turning to Lois he continued, "Honest. We just talked about graduation and college and all our friends going in different directions and…"
"You're babbling," Lois declared. "That's my job."
"Sorry." Clark raked a hand through his hair and then rubbed the back of his neck. Lois recognized the gesture; it indicated Clark was very uncomfortable. "I just get…I mean it feels funny having your parents joking about…well…you know."
Lois took Clark by the arm and led him over to a swing, hung by two sturdy ropes from a thick branch of an old oak tree. She motioned for him to sit and then snuggled in beside him.
"Clark, your parents are the kindest, most wonderful people in the world. And your mother made a comment to me earlier about being happy that you and I got along so well…"
"Lo-is! Were you and Mom talking about our…about us?"
"We weren't talking about sex, if that's what you're worried about. At least we weren't talking about it directly."
"Calm down, sweetheart. I just made this comment about you being nice to have around and then your mom said…oh never mind. Honey, it's just so nice to be able to have another woman to talk to — you know…woman to woman. My mother had a hard time just talking to me about my first period. She'd probably start drinking again if she had to talk to me about sex."
"And just what to you two talk about…woman to woman, I mean?"
"Oh…girl stuff. You know…" Lois's shifted her glance away from Clark.
"No, I don't know. I mean…you already know about your period. And you darn sure know about sex," he smirked.
"Oh…you…" Lois slapped at his arm playfully. "And I suppose your father had that 'birds and the bees' talk with you when you were a kid?"
"You mean your mother did it?" Lois asked in astonishment.
Clark laughed and continued. "You didn't let me finish. When you grow up on a working farm, you get to see plenty of the 'birds and the bees' in practical application. Animals mate and give birth and nurse their young. Most farm kids just figure it works the same way for humans. Or at least I did. And when I got to the point where I started wondering about…uh…human specifics…well…uh…I just checked the books out of the library."
"Weren't you afraid the Smallville librarian would turn you in to your mother for checking out sex books?" Lois teased.
"Well…actually…I was already in college and the university didn't care who checked out what books."
Seeing the surprised look on Lois's face, he blushed.
"I told you I was different…that my experiences were different. But…you never told me. What DO you and Mom talk about — woman to woman?" Clark asked, quickly changing the subject.
Clark felt Lois tighten, and his super-hearing picked up an otherwise imperceptible change in her heartbeat and breathing. He dropped a light kiss onto the top of her head and hugged her gently.
"Why don't you show me that famous hayloft now?" It was Lois's turn to change the subject. "Or maybe that should be infamous?" she joked. She quickly rose from the swing, grabbed Clark's hand, and pulled him to a standing position. Hand in hand they headed for the barn.
Once inside the barn, Lois glanced around and located the storage closet Martha had mentioned. Opening the door, she saw a stack of well-worn but clean quilts. She grabbed one and thrust it into Clark's hands and took another for herself.
"You know, these things are probably worth a fortune. I saw some old quilts that were not as nice as these in an antique shop back in Metropolis."
"You're probably right. But I don't think Mom would ever sell these. My grandmother made most of them. That one that you have — it was on my bed when I was little."
Lois saw a faraway look in Clark's eyes.
"What? Not Superman?" she asked.
"Oh…no. I was just remembering something about that quilt. When I was about twelve years old, Pete Irig and I decided to have an apple-eating contest. We sneaked over to old Mr. Pritchard's orchard and gathered all the apples we could carry in a burlap sack."
"You stole his apples?" Lois asked in a mock serious tone.
"Oh, no. We just took the ones on the ground. Mr. Pritchard always told us we could have those. We carried that sack back to Pete's house, sat behind their barn, and took turns eating apples until Pete finally conceded defeat. I was pretty darned proud of myself," Clark boasted.
"Well, you did have a definite advantage. You're Superman," Lois chided.
"Not then I wasn't. Oh, I had the beginnings of some powers, but not much. And I definitely didn't have the super stomach yet because about eleven o'clock that night I woke up with the worst stomachache. I remember sitting straight up in the bed, calling out loud for Mom, and just as she walked in the door I threw up all over that quilt."
A wry look crossed Lois's face as she glanced at the quilt in her hands.
"THIS quilt?" she asked as she held it away from her body. "Uh…let's swap, okay?"
As Clark reached for the quilt, Lois burst into laughter.
"I'm kidding. Now where's that hayloft?"
"Over this way," Clark directed as he walked toward the back of the barn. "Here, give me the quilt."
Clark held both quilts and floated silently upward. After depositing the quilts in the loft, he descended. Wrapping his arms around Lois's waist, he lifted off again and moments later they were standing in the middle of the upper level of the barn.
"So…this is a hayloft," Lois commented as she looked around her.
Clark quickly spread the quilts out on top of the loose hay, and stacked up several bales to make a backrest. He made sure they were in a position to look out the loft door and see the now rising moon. He sat down, leaning against the hay bales, and motioned for Lois to sit in front of him. She sat where he directed and then leaned back against Clark's chest. As she relaxed into his embrace, she heard him whisper.
"I see the moon. The moon sees me. God bless the moon. And God bless me."
"You know that too?" Lois asked.
"Yeah. Mom told me once that when I was about two years old and just starting to talk a lot, I'd say 'God mess the moon. And God mess me.'"
"I love hearing stories about you when you were younger. I already love you so much, but the stories are like the final pieces of a puzzle — the pieces that make the picture complete."
"And heaven knows, my mother delights in telling you," Clark chuckled. "I'm surprised you hadn't already heard about the quilt or my mispronunciations. You and Mom are always whispering together about something."
As he remembered Lois's earlier reaction to his questions, he whispered, "I'm sorry for prying earlier."
In silence they watched the moon as it began its journey across the dark sky. One by one, stars joined the moon as they created a twinkling canopy above the Kansas landscape. Clark held Lois securely in his arms and played lazily with a tendril of hair that fell against the collar of her dress. She, in turn, ran her finger in random patterns against the backs of his hands. The earth revolved and the moon rotated as they sat in that hayloft.
"Babies." The word was barely a whisper in the moonlight.
"Huh?" Clark asked, jarred from his reverie.
"Babies," she repeated softly. "Your mom and I talked about babies. About not being able to have babies."
"Oh god, Lois," he whispered back. "Sometimes I wonder if…"
Lois turned and put her fingers to his lips to stop the rest of his sentence. Clark could see her eyes brimming with tears.
"Don't say it," she commanded, the tears spilling onto her cheeks. "We've been through all of this already and there's nothing we can do — nothing we can change that will make any difference." She leaned against Clark's chest and cried quietly.
Clark held her close, wondering again why the gods that had blessed him with this wonderful woman had cursed him with the inability to procreate with her. Yes, they had registered with all the adoption agencies; they had checked into private adoptions and overseas adoptions. They had even uncovered an Internet adoption scam in the process and won an award for their expose of it. But in spite of it all, the bassinet at 348 Hyperion Avenue remained empty, and his wife lay sobbing in his arms because he'd kept pushing about something that was none of his business in the first place.
The moon rose higher in the sky and the embracing couple was bathed in its silvery white light. Clark pulled his handkerchief from his pocket and blotted the tears on Lois's cheeks, and then gave it to her. After cleaning up the tears and blowing her nose, she turned again, her back to Clark, and lay against his chest again.
"I was helping your mother clean out an old chest yesterday and we came across some of your baby clothes. That's how it got started." She sniffed and dabbed at her nose with the handkerchief.
"Honey, you don't have to tell me…"
"No, Clark. I want to. Really, I do," she protested. "She pulled those clothes out and started talking about what a cute baby you were and how you were such a happy baby, and then she suddenly stopped and gave me the saddest look. She started apologizing, Clark — apologizing for carrying on about babies when she knew we couldn't have any. I've never seen her so sad."
Lois shifted a little in Clark's arms and continued her monologue. "I told her not to apologize. She shouldn't have to stop enjoying the memories of her baby because of our circumstances. I asked her if she minded telling me what it was like for her and your dad — when they found out they couldn't have kids. She said they'd been married a few years when they decided to start a family. They just assumed it would happen. But after months and months of trying and not getting pregnant, they finally decided to see a doctor. She said they had to go to Kansas City to find a doctor who knew anything about infertility. And then the tests showed that she was the one with the problem. They didn't know exactly what it was, but for some reason she couldn't get pregnant."
Lois paused and then took a shuddering breath before she continued. "Did you know that your mother offered to divorce your dad? She told him she would leave and he could marry someone who could give him children."
Clark felt as if the wind had been knocked out of him. He couldn't imagine his parents not being together. But on the other hand, he could also imagine his mother's very noble, albeit misguided, offer.
"But your father wouldn't hear of any such nonsense. He was a tower of strength, she said. He loved her and told her he didn't care. They would adopt children. So they applied at all the adoption agencies and then they waited for a baby. And while they were waiting for a baby, another couple was waiting for the destruction of their planet. They wrapped their baby son in a blanket and built a space ship for him and sent him off into the darkness to a place called Earth." Lois's voice cracked as she went on with the story. "And I think you know the rest."
Clark bent and placed a kiss on Lois's neck, breathing in the smell of soap and shampoo.
"I…I never knew that…about Mom offering to leave Dad," he stammered.
"No…I doubt it's something any parents would share with their child," Lois said, turning once again to face Clark. "Clark, she was so sad telling the part about finding out they couldn't have children. But when she talked about finding you in that field, your mother absolutely glowed. She considers you to be a miracle. You know that, don't you?"
"I…guess so. Mom and Dad told me about seeing the light streak across the sky and finding me in the spaceship in Schuster's Field. But I guess by the time I was old enough to be told about it, they had gotten over the raw emotion of it. I mean…it IS an amazing story, but it's MY story — my life…the only life I've ever known. I suppose I wondered about why they couldn't have children of their own. But my parents always made me feel so loved and wanted and…special. I guess I never thought about things being any other way."
"You ARE their miracle, Clark. And you're MY miracle too. You're the man…"
"…you never thought you'd meet," Clark interrupted, finishing her sentence. He gently placed his hand on her cheek and threaded his fingers in her hair — the gesture that had given away his secret identity to her a few years earlier. Leaning toward her, he brushed his lips against hers in a gentle kiss.
"Your mom told me something else too," Lois whispered against his mouth.
"What's that?" Clark asked, nibbling tenderly at her lower lip.
"She said she's certain that there's a "Schuster's Field" out there somewhere for us too — that some way, somehow, we'll have a baby."
Clark was fearful of replying. He was afraid of getting Lois's hopes up. But he didn't want to ignore the possibility of a miracle either. His parents had received a miracle and maybe, just maybe… Clark brushed the tears from Lois's cheeks and then bent to put his lips to hers once again.
The smell of Lois's perfume and the tenderness of her lips aroused Clark's desire. He pressed himself to her and felt the warmth of her body pressing back against him. His soft kiss became one of rising passion and a voice in the back of his head told him he shouldn't let this go any further. The last thing he wanted Lois to think was that he was making love to her to try and make a baby. They both knew that was impossible. Dr. Klein had pronounced them "incompatible for reproduction." But as his hands began caressing her body, the scientific jargon faded away.
Clark traced the outline of Lois through her clothes. He studied her body as a blind man would study a classic sculpture. He felt each contour — each rise and dip in the topography of that wonderful landscape called Lois.
Lois's body responded to his exploration. She mewled softly as he touched her and moaned into his lips as he kissed her with desire.
"Love me, Clark," she pleaded.
Clark quickly stripped off his shirt and then his shoes and socks. After a bit of fumbling with buckles and buttons, his trousers and briefs joined the pile of clothing in the corner of the loft.
The sight and feel of Clark triggered Lois's passion. She began unbuttoning the front of her sundress. Fire shone in Clark's eyes as the dress began to reveal the creamy skin underneath. When the last button was undone, Clark reached to help her remove the garment, leaving her clad in only a few scraps of silk and lace. He was eager to resume his study of her and lowered her to the hay-padded quilt.
Lois's pleasure was always first in Clark's mind. This time was no different. As her body responded, he was encouraged. He had one goal in mind and he focused on attaining that goal. He pursued it like a man possessed — possessed of passion and fire and intense love. As the full moon shed its light on them, they were one in body and soul. Their soft moans and the whisper of rustling hay were the only sounds to be heard.
They lay still in each other's arms as their passion retreated. Clark thought that perhaps they had not been the first to make love in that hayloft, and would certainly not be the last. But at that moment in time, they had been the best.
Six weeks later, a very astonished Lois Lane sat in her bathroom, staring at a white stick in her hand. Clark had come home from his weekly basketball game to find his wife crying and distraught.
"Honey, what's the matter?" Clark asked worriedly. "Is something wrong?"
Lois shifted her gaze from the stick to Clark's face and back to the stick. She shook her head mutely.
"What's wrong, Lois?" Clark repeated. He noticed that the object in her hand seemed to be the source of the problem. He took the object from her and turned it over in his hand.
"It has two lines," she said in amazement.
"What is this Lois?"
Lois took a final look at the telltale markings on the stick and remembered Martha's words to her just the month before.
"Clark…it's Schuster's Field. It's OUR Schuster's Field," she squeaked.
"Mmmmmm yes. I do remember that night when we made our little "Hayseed." But Clark, sometimes I'm afraid I'll wake up and it will all be a dream — a cruel dream."
"Do dreams wiggle and squirm and kick you in the bladder?" he asked her jokingly. "Do dreams make your belly expand and your breasts swell and your skin glow? It's a dream all right, Lois; it's a dream come true. It's OUR dream come true. And in just a few weeks we'll be holding that dream in our arms and we'll be a real family. You'll be a mother, and I'll be a father." Clark's voice cracked on the last word.
Lois kissed him tenderly and stared deeply into his dark brown eyes.
"And you'll be the best father that ever was. I have no doubt about that."
"Well, I still hate that we can't go to Smallville for Valentine's Day," he grumbled again.
"Who says we can't go?"
"I told you that all the books say a woman shouldn't travel in the last four to…" Lois cut him off with another kiss.
"True, Clark," she agreed. "But most women don't have the advantage of "Superman Express Airways" to get them to their destination."
"Lois, I'm not sure it's a good idea for you to be flying with me so close to your due date."
"I talked to Bernie and explained things, and he said if you fly low and slow, it shouldn't be a problem. He said it wouldn't be any different than a drive across town," Lois explained, patting him on the chest reassuringly. "And IF I should go into labor in Smallville, you can fly me back here in no time, and anyway Bernie doubts that will happen because first babies are usually late instead of early, and when he checked me last week I was showing no signs of being ready to deliver, so I don't think…"
Clark stopped the babbling with his time-tested method of kissing her — slowly and deeply. As he pulled Lois as close to him as possible, his super-senses could pick up the baby's steady heartbeat, and he felt it move again. He also heard Lois's stomach rumble from hunger.
Pulling away from the kiss, Clark ushered Lois to the kitchen table.
"Your breakfast awaits," he announced with a flourish.
"This looks wonderful, Clark. Thank you." Lois turned her head up toward Clark and puckered her lips.
"You're very welcome," he answered, planting a short, smacking kiss on her mouth. "Now EAT! We'll discuss this Smallville thing later."
Lois opened her mouth to argue, but was stopped short when Clark pushed a forkful of eggs into it. "I said for you to eat! I'm going upstairs to shower and dress and make the bed. And I expect to see a clean plate when I get back."
"Yes, sir, Superman, sir!" Lois barked as she raised her hand and saluted him. Clark gave her a sarcastic grin and jogged up the stairs.
He showered and dressed at normal speed in order to give Lois time to eat, and after making the bed, returned to the kitchen. Lois had devoured her meal and was sitting with her feet propped on a chair.
"Bathroom is all yours, sweetheart," he called to her as he tackled the dirty dishes and pots in the sink. "I'm gonna call Bernie as soon as I've finished here and see if he really thinks your going to Smallville so close to your due date is wise."
Lois waddled back upstairs to shower and dress, glad that it was Saturday and she could relax around the house. After straightening up the bathroom, she trudged back downstairs and found Clark on the phone.
"Bernie, are you absolutely sure it will be safe for her to go?" Lois heard him ask. "Well…if you say so," Clark continued. "Okay, I'll give her your best. Bye now."
Lois stuck her tongue out at Clark and jeered, "See, I told you."
"I know, I know," he answered sheepishly. "I'll let Mom know we're coming for the Valentine's Dance again this year."
Martha Kent heard a soft thump on the porch and ran to look out the window. As she suspected, Superman was depositing several suitcases by the door. He took off again quickly to fetch his passenger. Ordinarily, Martha would have expected them to land in just a few moments, but Clark had told her the stipulations that Dr. Klein had laid down; and she knew it would take a little longer for them to arrive in Smallville. She returned to the kitchen to finish cleaning up her cake and cookie-making mess. She never tired of spoiling her son and daughter-in-law with her home cooking and baking. She'd baked chocolate cookies and a heart- shaped cake with white frosting and red rose trim. By the time she had put the last cookie sheet away, she heard another thump, the telltale whirl, and the backdoor opened. Her son and very pregnant daughter-in-law walked in. Martha hurried to greet them.
"Lois, come in and sit down and I'll fix you a cup of tea. Oh, my! You *are* getting close, aren't you?" Martha scurried around, taking Lois's coat and then ushering her to a comfortable chair. "Do you need any pillows or a stool for your feet, sweetie?"
"No, thank you, Martha. This is fine." The flight had been a little tiring, but Lois wouldn't admit it — especially after she'd made such an issue of visiting Smallville. The real roots of their intimate relationship were in that tiny Kansas town, and Lois wanted one more special Valentine's Day alone with Clark before their lives were changed forever by the arrival of their little one.
Clark brought in their suitcases and took them upstairs. As he came back down, he heard the familiar sound of his mother and Lois whispering and giggling. What those two found to whisper about was beyond him. Actually, he knew what they found — HIM! All through Lois's pregnancy, Martha had shared photos and stories of Clark as a baby, Clark as a toddler, Clark as a first-grader, Clark as a middle-schooler… He had absolutely NO secrets anymore and he had a strange idea that if their baby was a boy, he would stand no chance either against his mother and grandmother either. Clark had tried to draft his father into service to stop it all, but Jonathan had staunchly maintained a neutral position. "Son," he told Clark, "there's no avoiding it. So you might as well just give in gracefully."
When he entered the room, the whispering stopped; and both women looked at him with silly grins.
"Oh, don't stop because of me. Just pretend I'm not here," he told the women. "Better yet — Mom, would you mind watching Lois while I run a couple errands with Dad? That ought to give you two a couple more hours to chatter about me."
Lois opened her mouth to disagree, but Martha stopped her. "Honey, I'll be happy to stay with Lois. And I can finish telling her about the first Valentine's Day your father and I spent together after we were married."
"Yeah…sure! Just remember that I've already told her about throwing up all over the bed after Pete and I ate all those apples, so you can skip that story."
"Okay, sweetie, I will. I'll tell her about the time you and Pete went skinny-dipping in Old Mr. Winstead's pond, and the preacher and his wife came by to go fishing."
Clark groaned as he and his father walked out the back door, leaving a giggling Lois and Martha behind.
"Did he and Pete really do that? I mean he's so modest now that…" Lois stopped in mid- sentence, closed her eyes, and breathed deeply.
Panicked, Martha took Lois's hand and asked, "Honey, are you all right? I can run out and catch Clark before he and Jonathan leave."
Lois nodded, then exhaled loudly. "I'm fine, Martha. Really. It's just Braxton-Hicks contractions. Nothing to worry about. Bernie checked me yesterday and said everything is going according to schedule."
A relieved look crossed Martha's face. "Don't worry, Martha. Bernie says I'm not going to have this baby for three more weeks. So don't worry about little Hayseed arriving in Smallville. I get these contractions all the time. It's just preparation for childbirth. So please…don't worry, okay?"
"Okay. But you promise to tell me if it's anything other than that. This grandmother doesn't want anything going wrong with the birth of my grandchild." Martha patted Lois's hand and smiled warmly. "And speaking of grandmothers, how's your mother handling all of this?"
"My mother has been a basket case ever since she found out I was pregnant. Do you know that she actually wanted to hire 'Beverly-the-Wedding-Consultant-Who-Also-Arranges- Showers' to plan a baby shower for us?"
"How did you manage to avoid that?"
"Your son, bless him, reminded my mother about the three- ring circus Beverly planned for our wedding and told him that pregnant women are not supposed to perform in circuses. She argued with him a little, but he won out in the end. And I almost forgot — she doesn't know we're here this weekend, so please keep our secret. She would absolutely die if she knew I had gone out of town this close to my due date. She's hardly wanted me to go grocery shopping since the sixth month."
Martha pressed her fingers over her lips. "Mum's the word. Your secret is safe with me."
Sharing her concerns and her fears over a cup of tea with Martha had just seemed natural. As much as she and Clark wanted this baby, and as much as they'd studied about the whole process, she was still scared. What if the breathing exercises didn't work? And what if half-Kryptonian babies looked different at birth, and somebody got suspicious? And what if…?
Martha laid a reassuring hand across Lois's and smiled. "Everything will be fine, sweetie."
"Keep telling me that, Martha, and pretty soon I'll start believing it," Lois said, rubbing her abdomen and scowling.
"Is it those contractions again?"
"Yeah. And my back hurts a little too. It's just so hard to sleep comfortably with all this belly." Lois ground her fist into her lower back and chuckled. "It's hard to do ANYTHING comfortably with all this belly."
"You just take it easy today, sweetie. And — I have something special for you. Wait here, and I'll get it. It's upstairs."
"I'm not an invalid. I can walk upstairs," Lois said in a mock huff, groaning as she pushed herself up from the chair.
"I know, sweetie. I just don't want to tire you out so you can't enjoy the dance tonight. I know how much the dance means to you and Clark."
"I won't be too tired. Hayseed makes sure I take a nap every afternoon, so I'll be fine tonight."
Lois followed Martha to the room she and Jonathan had shared for their entire married life. It was cozy, with a handmade quilt on the bed. Bright curtains were pulled back from the windows to allow the sun to shine in. Photographs were scattered throughout the room, commemorating various events in the Kent family life. Lois smiled as she thought of the special, engraved frame that they had picked out for Jonathan and Martha. It would soon contain a photograph of their grandchild and would join the other family pictures as a testament to the love shared in this family.
Martha rummaged in the closet for a moment before she pulled out a garment on a hanger and held it up for Lois to see.
"Martha! You didn't?"
The garment that Martha held up was a maternity version of the dress that Lois had purchased years before at the Smallville Corn Festival. Lois had worn that dress to every Valentine's dance — at Clark's request. He had told her he thought the dress was sexy.
<This old thing?> she'd questioned, shocked that he would find a dark calico frock in any way sexy.
<Yes, that old thing. It fits you just right,> he'd assured her. <It shows off all your best assets. And I find it quite a turn-on to know that you bought it especially to please me.>
She *had* bought it for him, even if she'd been reluctant to admit it at the time. That first trip to Smallville had been the beginning of the change in their relationship — the start of a closeness that would eventually develop into caring and then love, and finally a lifelong commitment to each other, and now to their child.
"I can't believe you made this! You shouldn't have gone to the trouble." Lois blinked back tears as she gazed at the dress.
"Lois, I couldn't imagine NOT making it. You know me and tradition; you have to wear calico to the dance. Let's surprise Clark with it, okay?"
By now, both women were teary, and Lois could only nod her agreement as they walked arm in arm back to the kitchen to finish their tea.
The errand that Clark and Jonathan had to run was their annual trip to 'Sweet Dreams,' Smallville's combination flower shop, candy store, and gift boutique. Each man selected a dozen red roses and a box of chocolate candy. Clark added a little stuffed bear wearing a Smallville T- shirt to his purchase. Heaven knows, their baby already had a room full of stuffed toys, but Clark couldn't resist one more with a special tie to his hometown. After they had paid for their purchases and arranged for their delivery later in the afternoon, the men walked several blocks to the diner for a cup of coffee.
"Well! As I live and breathe! Clark Kent! How are you?" Maisie's voice carried across the room, and she hurried quickly to greet Clark and Jonathan. She ushered them to a booth and then sat beside Jonathan after telling one of the waitresses to bring two cups of coffee.
"How is Lois? I didn't expect to see you this year for the dance. Aren't you afraid to leave Lois alone in Metropolis so close to her time? And Jonathan, tell Martha that we need to get together for lunch sometime." Maisie barely drew a breath as she rattled on.
"Lois is fine, Maisie," Clark answered. "And she's here in Smallville for the dance. Superman flew us here after Lois's doctor okayed it. We still have a couple of weeks to go, and he said it would be okay as long as she didn't overdo it. So Dad and I left her at home with Mom while we ran our errands."
"A dozen red roses and a box of Godiva chocolates?" Maisie inquired with a grin.
"Guilty as charged," Jonathan laughed.
"Here's Naomi with your coffee," Maisie said, rising from the booth. "I'll see you at the dance tonight." And off she flitted to the next table, tending to her customers as only she could. Her sincere interest in her customers was what made her diner such a success. That and Noreen Fisher's cooking skills.
Clark stared into his coffee cup as he stirred the sugar and cream into it.
"Something worrying you, son?"
"Not really, dad. It's just beginning to hit home that in a couple of weeks there's going to be another little person in our lives — a little person who will be completely dependent on Lois and me for everything. And even though we've read all the books and watched all the videos and gone to all the classes, I'm just scared that we won't know what to do."
"Your mother and I were scared too, Clark. We didn't have a bunch of books and videos and classes to help us, and on top of that, we had your unusual arrival to deal with. But we depended a lot on common sense, and we did just fine. You and Lois will too. And you can always call your mother if you need to. Or Ellen."
Clark merely rolled his eyes at his father's last suggestion. The rest of the day passed quickly. Martha prepared a light lunch after Clark and Jonathan returned from town. Clark helped his father repair a broken generator in the barn. Martha put the finishing touches on her newest art project. And Lois took a short walk around the yard to try and stretch the kinks out of her back before retreating to the bedroom for her afternoon nap.
"Clark, don't let me sleep too long," she begged. "It takes me twice as long to get ready now and I don't want to make us late."
After assuring her that he'd get her up in plenty of time, and after a quick backrub and a judicious blast of heat vision to her aching muscles, he left her and rejoined his parents in the den.
Lois never heard the doorbell ringing to announce the delivery from the florist. While Martha fussed over her flowers and candy, Clark quietly slipped into the bedroom and placed the items on the dresser. He moved to the bed and carefully sat on the edge. Gently rubbing Lois's shoulder, he called to her softly, "Lois, honey. It's time to get up."
As she opened her eyes, she was greeted by the smile that brightened her life. Smiling back, she stretched as much as her body would allow and then held out her hands, indicating to Clark that she needed help getting out of bed. As she sat up, her gaze landed on the gifts from Clark.
"You spoil me. Did you know that?" she asked as she nuzzled his neck.
"You're worth it," he murmured and nuzzled back. Not wanting to start something they were not allowed to finish, Clark willed his passion to subside and was content to simply hold his wife in his arms for a few moments.
"Need any help getting dressed for the dance?"
"Sure. You can hold the tent stakes while I put my dress on," she joked as she walked to the closet to get the "surprise" garment.
"Dress? I thought you were going to wear the pants outfit I got you for Christmas," he pouted.
Turning to show him Martha's handiwork, she pouted back, "If you'd rather I wore the pants instead of this, I'll…"
Clark's eyes grew big as he stared at the dress. "Where? How? I mean…"
"Your mother made it for me," she announced, grinning like the cat that had swallowed a canary. "She's pretty handy, you know."
"She sure is," he agreed. "She can make anything — Halloween costumes, superhero outfits, tents…"
"Ooohhh…you…" Lois fumed as she quickly grabbed a cushion and threw it at her obviously amused husband. Then just as quickly she sucked in a breath and closed her eyes.
"Lois, honey…is everything all right?" Clark was by her side in a blur.
Exhaling deeply, Lois nodded.
"The contractions again?" Clark asked.
Once more she nodded, and as the contraction eased, she leaned against him and relaxed.
"Mom said you had them several times this morning. And you told me yourself that your back was hurting. Are you SURE you're all right? Because if you're not I can have you back to Metropolis faster than…"
Lois clapped her hand over Clark's mouth to silence him. "I'm fine. Honestly, I'm fine. I'm just very pregnant, and my body is doing all the things that very pregnant bodies do."
"You give your mother a break," Clark sternly lectured Lois's swollen abdomen as he patted it gently. "I want her to enjoy the dance tonight."
"Is this how you handle bad guys — a stern reprimand and a pat on the belly?" Lois asked with a grin.
"Come on. Let's pitch that tent and we'll go dancing."
As Lois entered the Smallville Grange Hall, she was dazzled by the decorating that the Grange ladies had done. According to Martha, they had a very limited budget, but a combination of volunteer effort, donated supplies, and endless creativity always resulted in a festive atmosphere. Tables had been set up around the perimeter of the room, each with a bright red tablecloth. Folding chairs were clustered around the tables. 'Sweet Dreams' had donated a number of blooming plants and the children of Smallville Elementary School had been drafted into service to make decorations. Crepe paper streamers hung over the food tables, each with a large heart on the end. On each heart was printed a familiar Valentine phrase such as 'Be Mine' or 'Love Ya' or 'You R Cute.'
Everyone in Smallville was at the dance and they all made a point to greet Lois and Clark as they made their way across the room to a table. Maisie commented on Lois's girth, the ladies from 'Sweet Dreams' asked how she liked her gift, and Rachel and Tom joked that if the baby decided to come early, Tom was running a Valentine's Day delivery special.
"Thanks, but no thanks. My doctor told me this baby won't be arriving for another few weeks. But I appreciate the offer." She chuckled and gave Rachel each a hug. "Just to be on the safe side, I am going to abstain from anything too fast tonight. So you'll have to keep Clark company during the line dancing."
"It'll be my pleasure. Tom doesn't dance very much."
Their conversation was interrupted when the band started playing a slow dance tune.
"May I steal my wife away for a dance, Rachel?" Clark held his arms open.
"Sure. But she's already told me that you and I are going to get to do the tush-push for old times' sake tonight."
As the band started playing, the lights in the hall were dimmed. Lois looked up and saw hundreds of tiny white lights hung overhead. <Like dancing under the stars,> she thought. Clark pulled her close and together they swayed gently to the rhythm of the music. After several minutes, Clark felt Lois shift her position in his arms and groan slightly.
"It's just my back. Bernie told me that a back ache was to be expected since the baby is throwing my posture off."
"Do you want to sit down?"
"Not yet," Lois answered with a kiss. "It may be a long time before we get to dance under the stars again." She waved her hand to indicate the lights overhead.
"You're not having regrets are you?"
Lois rolled her eyes and laughed. "It's a little late for second thoughts, isn't it Farmboy? No, I'm just being pragmatic. Our lives are going to change, but it's a change that we've dreamed about. So, no…no regrets. But I do want to sit down after this song is over because my feet are killing me too."
Clark brushed his fingers against her cheek and stared into her eyes. He softly brushed his lips against hers and then whispered endearments in her ear. The rest of the world disappeared as they enjoyed the dance, though all too soon the music ended. Clark ushered Lois back to their table and helped her to her seat. He placed another chair in front of her, propped her feet on it, and then went to get her some refreshments.
Moments later, Clark returned with a glass of punch and a huge wedge of chocolate cake. He sliced off a bite-sized piece and fed it to Lois with a grin. "When I saw this, it had your name written all over it."
Lois chewed the cake slowly, savoring the flavor. When Clark offered another bite, however, she shook her head in refusal. "Just put it on the table. I guess I'm just not really hungry now."
Clark started to sit next to her but before he could, she pushed him back to a standing position. "I promised Rachel that you would dance with her. And you need to dance with your mom. And Maisie, too."
When he started to protest, Lois quickly interrupted him. "I'm fine. And I don't want you hovering over me when you could be having a good time with your friends and family. So don't argue. Go!"
As Clark mingled with the crowd, Lois sat back and watched the interaction. He was the perfect son, the perfect friend, the perfect neighbor, and the perfect gentleman. He was also the perfect husband, and soon, he would be the perfect father.
Suddenly she became aware of someone standing beside her. Looking up she spotted Tom Hannah.
"Did Clark tell you to come over here and check on me?"
"No. Well, yes. Uh…not exactly. He really worries about you, and I told him I'd make sure you were all right." Tom watched Lois carefully as she shifted uncomfortably in her chair and then absentmindedly rubbed her abdomen. "He said your back was hurting and that you'd been having lots of Braxton-Hicks."
"Yes. But that's normal. My doctor in Metropolis said it was perfectly fine for me to be here this weekend," Lois stated defensively.
"Whoa, whoa. I'm not tryin' to start a fight. I just promised Clark I'd check up on you."
"I'm sorry, Tom. I'm just a little cranky these days. My back hurts, my feet hurt, I can't roll over in bed, I haven't been sleeping well… Listen to me. I don't mean to talk your ear off." Lois blushed a little.
"Trust me. I hear lots worse from some of my patients. But why don't I help you up and we'll take a little walk around the building and stretch out your back muscles. It will make you feel better."
"Okay. But can we stop by the restroom first? I've had to go to the bathroom every five minutes for the last three months, and my five minutes are up."
Tom took Lois by the hands and helped her stand. She had just brushed the wrinkles from her dress and tucked a stray lock of hair behind her ear when it happened.
Clark's hearing picked up on those two simple words and he was quickly by her side.
"What's wrong? What do you mean by uh oh?"
Lois pointed to the puddle at her feet.
"Oh my gosh! This is it," Clark yelped as he grabbed Lois's hand and squeezed. "How far apart are your contractions, honey? Do you need to start the breathing exercises? Shouldn't she be lying down?" he asked Tom. "Don't just stand there; somebody call 911!"
Martha Kent hurried across the room and looked for the source of the sudden commotion. She was greeted by the sight of her son gesturing wildly and barking orders at bystanders while Lois stood perfectly still, her eyes wide and a shocked expression on her face.
"Clark, what's…?" Martha's question caught in her throat as she saw the floor.
Tom snapped his cell phone shut and turned to Lois. "The ambulance is on the way. ETA is five minutes. From here it's about twenty minutes to the hospital. They've been notified that you're on the way. Why don't you sit back down and relax?" Tom took Lois by the arms and gently lowered her back to the chair.
"Do we have twenty minutes, Tom? What if the baby comes before the ambulance gets here? Do you know what to do?" Clark was firing questions like a machine gun while he repeatedly raked one hand through his hair.
"I am so embarrassed," Lois moaned.
Tom grinned. He'd seen this behavior so many times that it was funny now: a totally shocked expectant mother and a father armed with just enough knowledge to make him dangerous.
"Mom!" Clark grabbed his mother by the shoulders. "Do you think the Grange Hall has some towels we can use? And water! We need boiling water!"
"Clark Jerome Kent! Snap out of it!" Martha shook her son by the shoulders and then began to laugh.
"This is not funny, mom."
"You're right. *This* is not funny. But *you* are. You know better than this." She pulled him into a hug and patted his back.
"I am *so* embarrassed," Lois cried again.
Tom knelt beside her and took her hand. "Don't be embarrassed, Lois. This happens all the time. I'm used to it. Just think -it could have been worse. You could have been in the middle of Costmart when this happened."
The wailing ambulance interrupted the four Kents as it pulled up to the building. Lois was quickly moved to a stretcher and wheeled to the waiting vehicle. Jonathan got the car from the parking lot as he and Martha prepared to follow the ambulance to the hospital. And the annual Smallville Grange Valentine's Dance was abuzz over the arrival of a new baby.
Lois watched her beaming husband hold a swaddled bundle in his arms as her in-laws sat across the hospital room. The last few hours were a blur — her water breaking, the ambulance ride to the hospital, Clark and Martha encouraging her, Jonathan pacing, and finally, their daughter's birth.
"She's beautiful, isn't she Clark?"
"Just like her mother," he answered as he leaned over to kiss Lois gently. "She's so perfect and so tiny."
"I'll argue on that tiny part, sweetheart. She felt anything but tiny when she was being born. And please, don't *ever* say the word 'push' in my presence again."
A knock on the hospital room door interrupted them. Tom Hannah poked his head in and smiled at the new parents and grandparents.
"Everything going okay in here?"
"It's great, Tom," Clark answered. "I don't know how to ever thank you for everything you did tonight." "Just doing my job, Clark. And your wife makes it easy. Lois, you were made for childbirth — those hips of yours were made for an easy delivery. And I understand from the nurse that the breastfeeding is going well too."
"I've known for years that her hips were okay," Clark quipped. "And her other parts too."
"Oh, you! Come here so I can hit you," Lois ordered. Across the room, Martha giggled and Jonathan blushed.
"I'm not gettin' in this fight," Tom remarked. "But just for the record, when you have the next one, don't ignore all the signs. I figure you've been in labor all day and just didn't realize it."
"The next one won't be any time soon," Lois assured him. "I think we'll enjoy her for a while before we have another."
"Well, remember what I said. You don't want to push it too close."
"Ohhh. That word!" Lois groaned.
"Have you two decided on a name yet?"
Clark cleared his throat. "As a matter of fact, we have. If you don't mind, we'd like to name her after you."
"Tom's a pretty funny name for a girl, isn't it?"
"Hannah," Lois said softly. "Hannah Lane Kent. If it's okay with you, that is."
Tom stood speechless and then a grin turned up the corners of his mouth.
"I'd be honored. Thank you. I'd like to stay and visit but I need to finish up some paperwork. And *you* need to get some sleep," he said, pointing to Lois. "I'll check back in the morning." And then he was gone.
Martha and Jonathan stood and said their farewells, still not believing the events of the evening. And then the new parents were alone with their baby for the first time. Clark laid her in the bassinet and moved back to Lois's side. He sat gently on the side of the bed and took her small hands in his larger one. Bringing them to his lips, he kissed her palms softly.
"Thank you for the best Valentine's Day ever."
"You're wel… I forgot. Clark, I forgot!"
"Your Valentine's gift. I forgot to give you your gift. It's still at the house in my suitcase. I'm sorry, Clark. You must think I'm awful. When you go back to the house, look in the bottom of my bag and it's wrapped in red paper with white hearts, but don't open it there because I want to see your face…"
Clark stopped the babble with his time-tested method.
"Lois, I'll bring it back here tomorrow and open it in front of you. But believe me when I say that you've already given me the best gift I could ever get. You gave me our daughter. You gave me a Smallville Valentine."