By AnnieM <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Submitted: May 2003
Summary: In this sequel to the author's "Standing at the Edge" and "All Alone," Clark spends some quality time with his son and reflects on his new life and family. Inspired by the Steve Holy song by the same name, this is the final story in the New Krypton series.
Author's Note: This story has been in the back of my mind since I wrote the other two stories, but I didn't plan on getting to it until sometime in the distant future. Then one night it came to me and refused to leave me alone until I wrote it. I feel better though after writing, knowing that Lois and Clark are settled into their new life, and that they aren't too traumatized by the events of the last two stories. I hope the readers will feel the same way. Thanks as always to my wonderful BR, Kathy, who convinced me to stop when I did, keeping it sweet and simple.
From the quiet cocoon of the bed, Clark listened as the early morning rain pattered against the window. The wind howled softly outside as the rain poured down, sheeting the window and obscuring his view of the outside world.
He didn't mind though. He lay in bed, eyes closed, perfectly content for now to live only in the little world he had created inside the house.
He could hear Lois puttering around downstairs, cleaning up toys left strewn across the living room floor, and emptying the dishwasher.
His eyes fluttered open again, drawn immediately to the beautiful creature beside him. His tiny son stirred, stretching and then curling up again, snuggling closer to him. Clark reached out and stoked his soft, dark hair. His little angel.
For so many months and years he had slept fitfully, tossing and turning, dreaming of assassination attempts, power struggles, and the life he had left behind in exchange for those things. Now his nights were peaceful. He was safe, surrounded by the people he loved.
When he had finally made it back to Earth — bruised, battered and weary — all he could think about was finding Lois again and starting their life together. It had been the only thought that had sustained him through the bloody civil war that had killed half the kinsmen he didn't know he had.
So when he had found her, it was all he could do just to pull her into his arms and hold her, kiss her. She had been equally relieved and happy to see him, and they had held each other as they had cried tears of grief for the time they had lost and of joy for the time that had been restored to them.
He had no expectations, other than that they should be together. But the last thing he had foreseen was that Lois would tell him that they had a son. A son he had never seen. A son whose whole existence up until that point had been a mystery to him.
They had wasted no time. He had been wounded and weak and it would be nearly a month before his powers would be restored, and so they had traveled via her jeep.
Things on Earth were so similar, yet so different since he'd left. The silver jeep had been replaced by a newer model painted in black. The vanity plates were gone, exchanged for a car seat strapped in the back. As she drove, she had given him her wallet so he could sort through the pictures she carried of their son. At his insistence she had spent hours telling him every detail of her pregnancy, the delivery, and their son.
She had named him Jonathan Clark, she told him. Originally, she had wanted to name him Clark Jerome, Jr., but after careful consideration she had realized that he would have wanted to name their son after his father rather than after himself. She had intended to call him Jonny, she had said, but the moment she saw him, she knew he was a Jack.
He was nearly two now, precocious and into everything. He had his father's features and his mother's obstinate nature. But he was a sweet boy, she had told him. He loved books and music and he cheered her up when no one else could. He was the light of her life.
At first, Clark had been angry, outraged that he had missed so much. He had felt cheated. He could never have those years back. But slowly the anger had faded and eventually even the sadness was replaced by joy.
He had son.
A beautiful, loving, wonderful son. He had cried the first time he held him. He had worried that his son wouldn't want him; that he would view his father as an unwelcome intruder into the pleasant life to which he was accustomed.
But he needn't have feared. While the road certainly was not always smooth sailing, they had weathered the challenges. Lois had kept shelves of videotapes and journals, recording everything in the hope that someday Clark would come home. She had understood how much he would need to see everything for himself. Of course she had.
He had spent days pouring over the material, drawn away only by his family.
Slowly, he had slipped back into the rest of his life. He and Lois had married quietly, making legal the bond they already considered sacred. His friends — Perry and Jimmy especially — had been overjoyed at his return. They knew the truth, of course. Lois had been forced to explain his disappearance to them when it became apparent that he wasn't returning immediately.
They had supported her, helped her when she needed them most, and he was more grateful than words could express for their friendship.
So now, nearly two months after his return, New Krypton and Lord Nor seemed like little more than a bad dream. It was no longer his reality. His reality was here, in his arms.
Jack stirred again, fighting the urge to wake and choosing instead to burrow closer to his father.
The first few nights after his return, Clark had sat by the side of Jack's bed, watching him sleep. Lois had been loathe to tear him away, knowing how much he had wanted to make up for lost time. Eventually, he would come to bed where they could make up for lost time of their own, making love, talking for hours, simply holding each other and reveling in the knowledge that they were together again.
But this was the time he loved most. He loved waking up and discovering that this wasn't just a dream.
He loved the nights when Jack would come crawl up between them, fitting himself into the nest created by their bodies. Clark would lie awake in the dark, listening to the steady breathing and heartbeats of the two people he loved most in the world.
He was still sorry that he had missed so much, and that Lois had suffered without him. He knew that if there were any way he could do things differently so that he could have been with them, he would do it. But time only moves forward, and he had lost too much time to waste what they had now, wallowing in grief and regret. He had missed nearly three years, but he had many more years to come. There were so many things he would see and do, so many experiences he would share with his family. There would be picnics, T-ball games, and first days of school. There would be family vacations, music recitals, and school dances. Someday there would even be weddings and grandchildren. Their future held so many wonderful things.
But for now he was content in the present. He had a beautiful wife and a precious son, and he loved them more than he ever could have imagined that he could love someone. He had finally found what he had spent his whole life searching for. He was complete.
Next to him, Jack lost his battle with wakefulness. His eyes fluttered open and Clark stared into the dark eyes that mirrored his own.
"Daddy!" the little boy exclaimed, obviously delighted to wake and find himself in his parents' bed, cuddled by his father.
"Good morning, sweet boy," Clark whispered, pressing a kiss to his tiny forehead. "Did you have a good sleep?"
He yawned, still not fully awake. Clark smiled, kissing him again. When he raised his head again, he saw that Jack's eyes had fluttered shut again and the corners of his mouth were turned up into a contented smile.
He heard a soft noise from the doorway and looked up to see his wife watching them. He reached his arm out to her.
"Come join us," he said softly.
Lois smiled and came to him, taking his hand and sliding into bed on the other side of their son.
"I don't want to get up yet," he said, extracting his hand from hers and reaching up to stroke her hair. "I just want to stay like this for awhile."
She nodded, stretching her neck to kiss his lips lightly.
"I love you, Clark."
"I love you, too," he whispered, watching her eyes close.
What a beautiful morning, he thought, oblivious to the rain and thunder outside. He had everything he needed in his arms.