By Shannon Berg & Lisa Stankiewicz <email@example.com> & <SsUpRcHiCa007@aol.com>
Submitted: August 2006
Summary: Christmas is coming and the goose is in the pot. But, something else is stirring in the Kent house; Lois and Clark are fighting to keep their marriage alive. Though Clark is fighting a battle all his own… New Krypton… Will it be a holly jolly holiday for the Kents or will this Christmas be scrooged? A multiauthored story by Shannon Berg and Lisa Stankiewicz.
Shannon's notes: I had a great time writing this fic, even though we had our technical difficulties! I would like to give a special thanks to our BRs for reading through the fic and making corrections. And how can I forget Lisa?!? She is so fun and great to write with. With both of us working together, we share great ideas and make those ideas come to life. I hope everyone has fun reading it! Also, suggestions and comments are always welcome! I love FoLCs!
Lisa's notes: Tears in Heaven has taken months and years to write and just edit. Lol. I was very unsure that this story would see the light of day. But, that day is here thanks to Kmar and LL Wannabe, and Kristen for Beta Reading for us. We love you guys! Lol. Of course, I can't forget my partner in crime, Shannon. Without her this bad boy would have never been able to come to life. With her great writing talent she has brought the characters to a whole new level and has kept my crazy ideas in check. So, I hope everyone likes the story and any and all comments are welcome!
The sun peeked through the blinds and danced across the sheets waking Lois from her slumber. She rolled to her side to see Clark's side empty and the sheets in disarray. Placing her hand on the empty spot; all she wanted Clark to do was hold her. And tell her that he still loved her. A tear slid down her cheek. A month ago Lois and Clark were overjoyed to hear that Lois was expecting, but only seven months later their worlds came crashing down on them when Lois suffered a miscarriage. Slowly, Lois and Clark started to drift apart. Lois started to blame herself while Clark just wanted to forget about it and move on with life. Lois seemed to be stuck in her self-pity. Suddenly, the bedroom door opened cutting into Lois's nightmare. Clark walked into the room and started dressing for work.
"Come on, we're going to be late and we still have to drive Shannon and Lisa to school."
Lois stared at the ceiling as tears started to stream down her face. "I can't."
"Can't or won't?" Clark hissed as he fixed his tie in the mirror.
Lois gave him a narrow look. "You just don't care do you?"
Clark rolled his eyes. "Of course I care, Lois, but you have to brush yourself off, jump back up, and move on."
"Clark? Do you hear yourself? We didn't lose a promotion at the Planet! We lost a son and you don't even care! The Clark Kent I married would have! He would be holding me right now. He would be telling me everything will be okay. He'd be telling me this isn't my fault!" Lois sobbed.
"Lois—," he was interrupted by the bathroom door being slammed closed. Clark sighed as he turned back to the mirror. He stared at himself blankly. He desperately wanted to rid Lois of the pain that she was feeling. He wanted to wrap Lois in his arms and kiss her pain away, but over the past few months Lois seemed to have withdrawn from him and everyone else around her. <She won't open up to me so how can I help her feel better?> Clark shook his head and walked downstairs where his twin daughters were waiting to leave for school. They too had been feeling the icy results of the miscarriage and could only console Lois and Clark as best they could.
The Daily Planet newsroom was quiet and slow. Everyone was going about their business until the elevator doors opened and a yelling match flooded out.
"You've never cared!" Lois screamed as she walked down the ramp to the bullpen.
Clark took Lois gently by the arm and argued back, "Lois I don't know what to say to you anymore. Before the…before all this I could kiss your troubles away, but now, you don't even let me touch you."
Tears once again swelled in Lois's sad, brown eyes. She never knew a person could cry so much. "Clark…" she choked trying to find the words. "I don't need you to kiss me! I need you to hear me!"
"Then talk to me Lois! You have to have a little faith in me!" Clark yelled back. Lois said nothing and ran toward the bathrooms. Clark shook his head, walked toward his desk, and buried his face into his hands. He needed to go somewhere—somewhere where he could think straight for a while. Somewhere quiet, like the park.
Clark sat on the park bench wanting to just break down and cry. He missed his wife and he missed his family. He missed the life he used to have.
<God, please help me. I want my old life back. I want Lois to feel my love for her the way she used to. I feel like she doesn't trust me anymore. I wish that there was some way I could have helped the baby. My two girls are upset as well. God! Give me a sign it will get better…>
Clark began to cry. As he got up to walk back home, the wind dried his tears.
"Lois?" Perry called. "Where's Clark?"
Lois looked around when she noticed that Perry was talking to her and responded, "Oh, I think he went for a walk. I'm not real sure."
"Oh, okay," Perry said. "Listen, I want you to go home and rest. You look exhausted and I get the feeling that you and Clark aren't really getting along, so I want you to go home and lay down for a while. Take a couple days off," Perry ordered.
"Perry…" Lois began to argue.
Perry interrupted, "Lois, I want you to go home and rest. That's the end. Period."
Lois walked into the brownstone where she headed into the kitchen to make a cup of tea. As she entered the kitchen, she found Clark sitting at the kitchen table. "Lois, I think we should talk," Clark said.
"There's nothing to talk about, Clark."
"Honey!?! Please! I just want to talk to you. I feel like we're falling apart!"
"Oh and I suppose that's my fault too!?!"
"What's that supposed to mean?"
"Don't play stupid with me, Clark Kent! We both know you blame me for our miscarriage!"
"Lois, I have never blamed you for that! Where are you getting all this?"
"It's the truth! You hate me! You never kiss me! You never hold me! This marriage isn't the same! I miss it!"
"I miss it too, but you won't talk to me! I don't know what to do."
"Clark, maybe…I don't know…"
Clark turned away and began to walk out of the kitchen. "I'm going for a walk."
"See! This is what I'm talking about! You always walk away from everything!" Lois spat. Clark said nothing and just walked out the door. Lois sighed. <Maybe I should get out of the house myself. I'll go visit Lucy.> With that, Lois dumped her tea then grabbed her coat and keys.
Lisa and Shannon entered the brownstone, shedding their book bags from their shoulders. As they headed towards the television they heard something drop from upstairs. The twins jumped. "What was that? Lisa, what if it's someone breaking in?" Shannon asked as they both grabbed their baseball bats out of the closet.
"Don't be silly, from the second story window?" Lisa replied as they approached the master bedroom. Lisa reached for the doorknob. It turned and opened, revealing a tall man with dark black hair and eyes. The twins screamed and hit the man with the bats, but instantly, the bats broke into thousands of small pieces.
The man looked down at the toothpicks that lay at his feet and the twins screamed again as they ran down the stairs. "Who was that?" Shannon gasped, as they hid under the dinning room table.
"Who cares, we have to get dad," Lisa whispered as the man and a woman with long brown hair and green eyes, wearing a black robe of some kind walk toward the dinning room.
"Good one, Ching," the woman laughed
Ching sighed, "Zara, you know that I hate humans. Why didn't you come to this sloppy planet by yourself?"
Zara frowned, "Because, my darling, I think we both need to be here to convince Clark that he is needed on New Krypton."
"You guys are from Krypton?" Lisa asked, still hiding under the table.
Zara smiled. "Yes, we need to speak to your father."
"Well, uh, he's not here. You'll have to come back later," Shannon called out.
"We can't wait," Ching stated, not seeing the point in such childish games.
Suddenly, Lisa and Shannon got out from under the table and said, "Why do you need him?"
"None of your concern," Ching said flatly.
Zara hit Ching lightly in the chest. "Your father once helped us fight a lordship that desperately wanted to take over New Krypton. Now we are in the same dilemma and we desperately need his help."
Shannon scratched her head. "Well I don't know if our da—"
"Girls are you home?" Clark called from upstairs, after flying into the master bedroom. "Why are there toothpicks all over the floor up here!?!" Clark asked, walking down the stairs. He stopped dead in his tracks when he saw Zara and Ching in his living room.
Lois parked the car in the driveway and sighed. A day with her sister had ironically helped Lois sort through this horrible dilemma. Lois smiled for the first time in two months at the bag in her hand. <Nothing a little wine can't fix. Maybe this will help Clark and I get closer.> Lois opened the door and saw the twins sitting on the couch. Clark was leaning against the banister with his hands shoved into his pockets. Zara and Ching were sitting down on the love seat.
Lois cautiously walked in and looked at Clark. "What are they doing here?"
Clark sighed and whispered, "Lois, you better sit down." Clark then looked at his daughters and said, "Girls please go upstairs."
"Now!" Clark said pointing to the stairs. Zara watched Lois and Clark closely. Something was different about them. Lois seems to be in disarray. Heavy bags placed themselves under Lois's eyes. Zara also noticed Lois's body language toward Clark. The way she kept her distance from Clark and pushed him away anytime he tried to be affectionate; Clark, on the other hand, seemed to be frustrated with emotions, as Zara could hear his thoughts cry out for help. A five o'clock shadow was slowly forming around Clark's mouth, which seemed to look as if it hadn't smiled in months.
Lois tried to absorb what Clark was telling her. "They want me to go back to New Krypton. They need my help again."
Lois looked up at Clark. "You can't go."
Clark sighed. "Honey, I have to. I have a job to save those people up there."
Lois got to her feet and paced back and forth. "No, you don't, Clark! Aren't you tired of saving millions of people that you don't know; especially when you can't even save your own family?!" Lois realized how selfish that sounded.
Ching saw a flicker of anger in Clark's eyes; an anger that he had never seen in Clark when talking to Lois. "Lois! Don't you dare put this on me! I'm not the one that…that…AHHH! I have to go! You of all people should know that!"
Tears started to roll down her cheeks as Lois screamed, "Clark, do you even think anymore!?! You have two daughters for crying out loud! You can't be a savior for everyone!"
"Yeah, Lois, I can only be your hero can't I? Do you hear how selfish you're being!?! You're willing to put a whole race at risk all because you can't get over our baby's death!" Clark cried, realizing what he said and desperately wanted to take it back, but it was said and nothing could change it. "Lois—"
Lois held up her hand. "No! Just shut up! Clark! Go! Stay there for all I care! Don't be surprised if I'm not here when you come back home-if you even do come back home!"
"Lois, what are you saying?" Clark asked.
Tears now seemed to pour out of Lois's eyes. "I want a divorce!"
Clark flinched at the words. "What?"
"I want a divorce! Clark, I'm tired of you walking out when things get hard for you. When you can't deal with your emotions or mine," Lois said.
"Lois, no man on Earth, or Krypton for that matter, can deal with *your* emotions!"
Lois shook her head. "See this is what I'm talking about. You make everything a damn joke!" With that said, Lois walked upstairs.
Clark followed her like a lost puppy. "Lois, where are you going?"
"I'm packing and then going to help the girls pack. I'm staying with Lucy and then going to my mother's house," Lois said flatly.
"Lois, I'm sorry," Clark whispered from the doorway of their bedroom, but Lois didn't answer. Rage and frustration again filled Clark. "Fine! If this is what you want, have a nice life!"
The girls rushed out of their rooms, frantic. "What's going on?" Shannon asked.
"Huh? Oh nothing. You two just go back to your room," Clark said. <Great, what am I supposed to tell the girls?>
"Shannon, what's going on?" Lisa asked, very concerned.
"I don't know, but we have to find out…" Shannon responded
"Well, it's obvious that it's something serious because Mom and Dad have been arguing and now all of a sudden, dad is devastated. I mean, I saw tears in his eyes. I feel sorry for him. But what could it be?"
"I said I don't know!" Shannon responded, annoyed.
"How about I talk to mom and you talk to dad. See what we can get out of them and put the pieces together," Lisa suggested.
"All right, but let's wait a few minutes and see if we can hear anything first, okay?"
"Okay," Lisa said. She gathered next to Shannon to see if they could hear something through the door.
"Lois, please let me in. I really want to talk to you." Clark begged as tears ran down his cheeks.
Lois opened the door. "I have nothing to say to you, Clark Kent!" Lois hollered and slammed the door in Clark's face.
"Lois, I don't want to do this, but if I have to break this door to get to you I will!" Clark warned in response to the door being slammed in his face.
Lois once again flopped onto the bed. She grabbed the phone and called the only person she knew that could help her—Lucy. "Luc?" Lois sniffled. "Yeah, can you pick me up? Yeah, I can't do this anymore. Just pick me up and I'll tell you everything later."
Clark started to bang on the door. "Lois! For god sakes, will you just open the door and let's talk this over! It's stupid to drag your sister into this!"
Clark stepped back from the door as she opened it. Lois already had two bags in her hands. "Clark, we have already talked about this! You're going to New Krypton and I'm going to Lucy's!" Lois yelled as she chucked her bags down the steps, which landed at Zara's feet.
Clark wiped away the tears that were blinding his eyesight and yelled, "FINE! Get a divorce from me! See if I care, but don't think I won't fight to the death to get custody of the girls!"
Lois laughed for the first time in months. "Clark, how on earth are you going to do that when you're on New Krypton fighting a war!?! You would have to tell the judge everything. Who you are—who you really are."
Clark held his head. He felt like he was going to pass out if he didn't get out of the house; faster then the speed of light, he left with Ching and Zara at a distance.
Lisa pulled her head away from the door. "A divorce?"
"No way, you must have heard wrong," Shannon said.
Lisa shook her head. "No, you heard it too. Great then, what's going to happen to us?"
"What are you talking about, Lisa? You heard Dad. He'll fight for us if he has to." Shannon assured Lisa.
"Yeah, but what judge is going to grant him custody if he stays on New Krypton? And lately, I have a feeling that Mom hasn't really loved us," Lisa said as she watched a blur of blue, yellow and red pass by.
Shannon looked at Lisa. "What are you talking about?"
"Oh, come on, Shannon. You saw how Mom and Dad were all happy when they found out they were going to have their OWN child. They seemed happier than when they adopted us."
Suddenly, Lois opened the bedroom door. "Girls, pack some clothes. We're going to Aunt Lucy's."
Superman flew faster and faster as the tears ran down his face, disappearing quickly from the speed. Superman was going so fast, that he soon had to slow down from exhaustion. He let himself float past the winter clouds. As he did he pondered on how his life and marriage were quickly going down the toilet. <It's all my fault, I should have told Lois to stay off her feet when she was pregnant. I should have told Zara and Ching that I can't go.>
<It's not your fault Kal-El>, a voice said in his head. Superman looked around to see Ching and Zara flying next to him. Soon, his self-pity turned into pure anger. "Kal-El…" Zara began.
"Don't! Just stop! This is your fault!" Superman screamed.
"Kal-El, we have nothing to do with this, this was going to happen sooner or later," Ching said. Superman shook his head, and, again, Ching saw a flicker of rage and frustration in Superman's eyes.
"If it weren't for you, I'd still have my marriage! I would've had a home to go to! And now, everything is gone. All because of you two!" Superman yelled, getting into Ching's face.
Ching pulled Zara behind him, shielding her from Superman, unsure of what he may do in his state of rage and sadness. "Kal-El, this is just your emotions talking. It's probably best that you don't have a human nipping at your heels anymore. Now you can focus on New Krypton."
Superman took Ching by the neck of his suit and said, "Lois was all I had! She was the one that kept me from breaking down all those times I couldn't save someone. She used to bring happiness to my life! Now that's all been ripped away because of you!"
Suddenly Superman's hand curled into a strong fist, but a small voice in his head brought him back from his rage and desperation. Superman let go of Ching and whispered, "I'm sorry. I just want my life back." Superman sobbed as he fells to his knees why they were still in the air.
Zara knelt next to him and tried to console him. "Clark, please come with us and clear your head for a little."
Superman grabbed his composure and said, "No, I have to see someone first." With that, Superman flew toward the only people that truly understood him: Martha and Jonathan Kent.
"Son, why didn't you and Lois sit down and talk about this?" Jonathan asked.
"Dad, I tried. We both did. It's my fault though because after all this happened I just wasn't the same," Clark responded.
"Clark honey, what do you mean?" asked Martha.
"I really wasn't there for her like a husband should have been after your wife suffers a tragic event like Lois has. I didn't hold her when she was upset. I didn't show her how much I love her. I mean, especially when I found out about me having to go back to New Krypton. I immediately made my decision to go…not even thinking about Lois and the girls. I mean after I did all this to Lois and even the girls…I deserve a divorce. I just miss Lois and the twins. I know the girls know that I love them, but sometimes I wish I could go back in time to show and prove to Lois how much I truly do love her…but it's too late…" Clark then bounced down onto the sofa and covered his eyes as tears began to run down his face.
"Clark, it's not too late. It's never too late to save a relationship with the one person you truly love. And believe me, no matter how much you two aren't getting along right now, I know that Lois has been feeling the same way," Martha said, trying to reassure Clark that Lois and his marriage were still possible.
Jonathan added, "Your mom is right. I mean look at all you and Lois have been through."
"Yeah, I know. I just feel terrible because it's November first and Thanksgiving is almost here. I'm supposed to be with my wife and kids."
"Go talk to her, Clark," Martha suggested.
Clark walked up to Lucy's apartment, unsure of what might happen. He approached the door warily. Clark knocked…
"Who is it?" a voice from behind the door asked.
Clark knew who it was and replied, "It's me, Shannon."
Shannon quickly opened the door. "Dad!" Shannon gasped as she hugged Clark.
"Hey Shannon. Where are Lisa and your mom?" Clark asked.
"Lisa's in the back bedroom and Mom is…"
"Lois isn't here, Clark," Lucy interrupted Shannon. "Lisa, your dad is here!"
"Hey, Dad," Lisa said, as she rushed to the door.
"Hey," Clark replied. "Lucy, do you know when Lois will be back?"
"No, I don't Clark. But then again, why would you care?"
"Lucy, you know I love Lois…" Clark responded to defend himself, "I just want to talk to her. Please, let her know."
Lucy got a bit annoyed and responded, "I suppose I could."
"Thanks. Girls, do you want to go out to the mall with me to talk and get your mom a Christmas gift? After all, Christmas will be here before you know it."
"Yeah, sure," Shannon and Lisa replied in unison.
Lucy stepped in and said, "I don't know. You should check with your mother first and she's not here."
Lisa responded, "So what? Can't you just tell her we're with our dad?"
"I don't know…"
"Geez, Aunt Lucy. He's our dad and you're not going to stop us from seeing him. I know that my mom wouldn't do that to us, even though, at the moment, they're not getting along," Shannon said as she defended Clark. "If it's that big of a deal, I'll call her cell in a little bit. Bye," Shannon finished as she went off with Lisa and Clark.
"So Dad…" Lisa began, as she buckled her seatbelt. "What's going on with you and Mom? And what's this about New Krypton?"
"Well, first of all, I don't want you two to worry about your mom and me. We'll work things out. As far as me going to New Krypton, I don't exactly have a choice," Clark responded.
"Sure you do," Shannon said. "You either go or you don't. It's as simple as that."
"Well, I have to go. A lot of lives are in danger."
"But what if something happens to you?" Shannon asked, concerned.
"Shannon, Lisa, I don't want you two, or even your mom worrying about that. I'll be okay. I survived the last war that Krypton had. I can survive it again," Clark assured the girls.
After the girls and Clark finished up at the mall to buy Lois's favorite perfume for Christmas, they left to go back to Lucy's apartment. Clark was hoping that Lois was there so he could talk to her, and possibly fix things. The girls were hoping the same as Clark; to fix things between Lois and Clark, as well as having Lois convince Clark to stay. As Lisa, Shannon and Clark approached the doorstep, Clark started to become nervous. Shannon knocked on the door to get in. Lois answered it, and smiled at the girls. As the girls walked in, Lois looked up at Clark. "Hi," she said softly.
"Hi," Clark replied with a half smile. "Can I come in?"
"Yeah." Lois gestured to Clark to come in. "Have a seat."
"Thanks. Girls, can I talk to your mom alone?"
"Yeah," Lisa and Shannon replied in unison.
Lois looked up to Lucy who was still standing in the living room. "Lucy, can you leave please?"
"Oh sure," Lucy said, leaving.
"So…" Lois and Clark began in unison.
"Go ahead, Clark."
"Okay. Lois, I just want to tell you that I'm sorry. I've been ignoring you since…since…well you know," Clark started, trying to avoid upsetting Lois with bringing up the miscarriage.
"Yeah, I know what you're talking about."
"Well, I'm sorry for not being there for you. I should have put my arms around you and kissed your tears away like I used to. But the truth is, I felt as if we started to drift and once we got to a certain point, I was afraid. But I know I love you. No matter what, I'll always love you. I want you to know that," Clark ended, dropping his face as his eyes swelled up with tears.
"Clark, of course I know that. I love you too," Lois added as tears slid down her face.
Clark lifted his head up and covered her lips with his in a sweet kiss. "I want things back to normal, Lois."
"Same here, Clark. Um, does this mean you're not going to Krypton?"
"Huh…well, Lois, honey, yeah I still have to go. In fact, I have a press conference tomorrow morning."
"Clark!" Lois exclaimed. "This is the stuff I mean! If you want this relationship to work, you have to actually try, and running away from your family, especially when Thanksgiving is right around the corner, isn't exactly thoughtful!"
"I'm not running away, Lois! They need me!" Clark continued to argue.
"Well, your family needs you!"
"This is different!" Clark screamed.
"For one, it's not like your lives are being threatened by extinction!"
"Maybe not for us, but for you it is!"
"What's that supposed to mean?"
"It means I decided not to change my mind about divorcing you," Lois said as she walked into the kitchen.
"Lois, this is ridiculous. Look, the girls are here and I don't want them hearing this! I told them goodbye and that I'd be seeing them again soon. And I came here to tell you that too. So, BYE."
"Bye…" Lois said as she ignored Clark.
"If you want to see me tomorrow, you can find me at the press conference in the morning," Clark added before leaving.
News crews and reporters waited in front of City Hall in Metropolis. They had received a very strange message from Superman that he was going to hold a press conference at eight, but no one knew what it was about. Many started to imagine what it could be. Over the last couple of months, the citizens of Metropolis and the media had seen a strange change in Superman's attitude and appearance. Superman was always happy to give interviews and sound bites, but now it seemed hard to come by. Superman had slowly withdrawn from the world that loved him so deeply. Suddenly a blur of blue, red and yellow passed the reporters and Superman appeared standing at the podium. Reporters took pictures and gazed at The Man of Tomorrow, who looked worn and tired. His dark brown eyes turned light as they started to get glassy with tears.
"My fellow citizens," he started, but his voice choked as he looked around and didn't see Lois anywhere in sight. "I am once again needed on my home planet to fight a war that seems worse than the last. So I ask all of you to be a hero and watch out for each other in my absence." Reporters gasped and whispered to each other as they tried to ask questions, but Superman jumped off the platform to the ground and walked toward Zara and Ching.
He looked around once more to see if he could find Lois, or even the twins for that matter… but all was lost. As he slowly took flight, rain started to fall as if the angels themselves didn't want to see Superman leave.
New Krypton could rejoice once more. The mystical savior was back again to fight the evil that threatened their planet. Women dressed in their finest, dripping in diamonds. Men, on the other hand, dressed in their most honorable suits to greet the legendry Kal-El.
Zara walked into Clark's bedroom and saw him looking out the window at Earth, which was now just a small dot in space. "Clark, everyone is waiting for you," Zara whispered.
Clark shook his head. "No, tell them to celebrate without me."
Zara frowned. "Clark, those men and woman have to see you. You have to tell them that you will lead them to victory once again."
A tear slid down Clark's cheek… this was almost worse than kryptonite… no, it was worse… "What does it matter? My wife and kids left me because of this. How can I possibly lead your people to victory when my life is ruined?"
Zara frowned once more; she had never seen Clark cry before. "Clark, please. Just say something to them. They need the encouragement and so do you."
"Whatever," Clark mumbled as he got up and walked out of the bedroom and into the ballroom with Zara, only to see hundreds of people waiting to hear something from the son of Jor-El.
Clark stood on a chair with a glass of wine and said, "We are embarking on a treacherous road, one that many of us don't want to take. I will lead sons, fathers, husbands and grandfathers down this road. And many of you may not see the light at the end of the tunnel, but I will lead this planet to victory once again." Suddenly, the ballroom broke out in cheers and applause that seemed silent to Clark as he wondered why Lois had not even said goodbye to him. He needed air.
Thanksgiving had come and gone in a flash and December had placed itself on the city. Everyone had slowly gotten back into his or her routine since Superman's departure, and ironically, the crime rate had been declining a little. Lois, too, had gotten into her own routine, but whenever she slowed down or went to bed she would think of Clark. <I wonder if he's ok? > Lois thought as she sat at her desk trying to re-read her article. She could just see Clark pointing out mistakes. Other parts of the newsroom were booming as everyone tried to get their articles in by the deadline. Everyone was so busy that they neglected to see a messenger walk into the newsroom. He walked down the ramp, with a mission that at times he hated. He walked up to Lois's desk. "Mrs. Kent?" the man said as he took off his hat.
Lois looked up to see a boy, no older than Jimmy, with green eyes and chestnut hair. He wore a black suit and a tag that said, 'Messenger of Krypton Kingdom.' "Yes?" Lois said as her stomach did a 360.
"I'm sorry, Mrs. Kent, but this is for you." The man handed her a letter that was sealed with the kingdom logo.
Lois quickly opened it and read it over; 'At 12:00 midnight, Earth time, an attack on Krypton was made and an explosion occurred. We are sorry to inform you that Kal-El, son of Jor-El, and journalist Clark Kent were lost among the rubble and presumed dead.'
Lois gasped and automatically tears welled in her eyes. "No, no, this can't be right," Lois said, looking up at the man who appeared to start tearing up himself.
"I'm sorry, Mrs. Kent," the man said again.
Lois shook her head, "NO!" She now got the newsroom's attention. "No, he told me he would be safe! He told me he would come home!"
The man looked at the floor. "He also wanted me to give you this in case anything happened." The messenger then handed her a black velvet box.
Lois opened it and saw Clark's wedding ring on the gold chain that she had given to him the first time he went to New Krypton so he could keep it safe; as safe as his love for her.
"I'm terribly sorry, Mrs. Kent." With that, the messenger left.
Lois walked into Perry's office in a haze. All the commotion in the Daily Planet began to go in slow motion as Lois entered. Perry looked up at Lois and saw her face, blank with emotion. "Lois, honey, what's wrong?" Lois stood there blankly as she looked at Clark's ring; she was holding it so tight that it had made an imprint on her hand.
"Perry," Lois choked. "They're gone!" Lois sobbed as she dropped to her knees.
Perry quickly knelt next to Lois, "Honey, what do you mean?" Lois didn't have the strength to tell Perry and simply gave him the letter. Perry read the letter over as his eyes widened. "Dear god…"
Lois was sitting in the family room, starring and holding the necklace Clark had sent back with the messenger. She worried about how the girls would handle it. She wondered how she would tell them because she was still trying to grasp the news herself. But she knew that it would be public soon. She would much rather have them hear it from her than from someone out on the streets.
At approximately 3 o'clock, the girls walked in, dropping their book bags at the door and heading straight for the kitchen. As they headed for the kitchen they noticed Lois sitting on the couch. The twins saw Lois's eyes red from crying, for her face was stained with tears.
"Mom?" Shannon said concerned. "What's wrong?"
"Girls, you need to sit down," Lois said trying to think how she could possibly tell them that their father was dead.
"Mom, is everything okay?" Lisa said as she followed Shannon and sat down.
"No girls, everything isn't okay," Lois began. "Today, at the Planet, a messenger from New Krypton came with a telegram."
"Well, what did it say?" Shannon asked.
"It said…well, it said that there was a massive explosion, and well, they said that Dad was…was…killed."
"NO!" Lisa screamed and ran upstairs.
Shannon looked up at Lois. "He's dead?" Shannon asked in shock, as tears ran down her cheeks.
"Yes. Shannon, I'm really sorry. I know how hard this must be."
Shannon, who was shocked, could hardly speak. "It's not fair! Why did this have to happen?"
"Honey, I don't know. But we can get through this."
"He promised me that he'd be all right! He promised!"
"Shannon, it's okay. As I said, we can get through this," Lois explained as she moved closer to Shannon to comfort her.
"No! I don't want anyone feeling sorry for me, I just want my dad!" Shannon screamed as she ran out of the house.
Lois got up and was going to go after her. But she decided that Shannon needed some time alone, so she let it be. Lois went to Lisa's room to check on her.
Shannon walked down the streets of the city. It was the first time that she saw the city actually stop. Everyone was either gathered around their car radios or store TV sets to hear what had become of their beloved hero. Shannon stopped herself at a small shop where a group of people were standing and listening to President Garland speak. He, too, seemed to be shaken up by the news. "My fellow Americans, we will forever remember this day. The day that the world had fallen into darkness; at 12:00 midnight, the planet Krypton was ambushed by an air attack. Reports of Superman are unknown and officials presume he is indeed dead." Shannon could hear a woman cry out and sob on her husband's shoulder. Shannon continued to walk again, unsure of where she was going, but anywhere was better than here.
Shannon kicked a pebble <It's all Mom's fault! If she just made up with Dad—if she wasn't so damn stubborn—Dad would still be alive. > She looked around and saw nothing but people crying and shaking their heads in shock. Already, banners danced in the breeze that said, 'Superman will live in our hearts.' A tear slid down Shannon's cheek. The Kent family always seemed to get the shitty end of the stick.
Lois walked up to Lisa's room and knocked. "Lisa, sweetie, can I come in?"
"I guess," Lisa sniffled.
Lois walked in and saw Lisa's head shoved under her pillow. "Why did he leave us, Mom?" Lisa said as she looked back at Lois with glassy blue eyes.
Lois sat on the edge of the bed. "I'm not sure, honey."
Lisa put her head on Lois's shoulder. "When me and Shannon saw Dad, he almost laughed it off, telling us that nothing would happen. I hate him for lying to us."
"Hey, don't say that. Lisa, you have to understand one thing about your father. He always tried to shield us from pain."
"Yeah, much good that did us. I just don't understand why he went to that stupid planet in the first place. He doesn't even know them!" Lisa cried.
"It was still his home, Lisa, and he felt he owed something to them. I remember the first time your father went there. Your father practically kicked and screamed to stay here, but inside, he knew that he couldn't turn his back on the one place that gave him a chance to live…a chance to love. No matter how human your father acted he was still a Kryptonian," Lois whispered.
The smoke cleared. The streets of Krypton were littered with rubble of what were once homes and stores. Ching, lying amidst the rubble, came back to consciousness to hear the cries of his people. "Clark," he mumbled as he opened his eyes, unsure what had happened. But soon it hit him like a rock. An air alarm had gone off, signaling the army that intruders were coming. Without thinking or talking, he and Clark had jumped into a Kryptonian aircraft and started to fight the hoodlums that were threatening Krypton.
Ching looked around for Kal-El. "Kal-El!" he called out, but he heard nothing. All he remembered was seeing something bright come toward them. Ching concluded that their aircraft had been knocked out of the sky without a clue of where Clark could have ended up. Ching stumbled over the rubble and walked toward the palace. It appeared to be damaged, but nothing that would threaten its safety.
Around 6 o'clock, Shannon came through the door where she met Lois and Lisa in the family room. "Where have you been Shannon? I've been worried sick!" Lois exclaimed.
"I was out walking. Why do you care?" Shannon responded with a bit of an attitude.
"Shannon, I love you. I know you're upset right now, but we have to accept the fact that Dad isn't coming home," Lois told Shannon.
"NO! He's not gone! He wouldn't leave us like that! He would fight to come back here and see us! He promised!" Shannon argued back and began to cry.
"Shannon! I'm sorry, but he's not coming back!" Lois said.
"Shannon, just calm down," Lisa added.
"No! I'm being told that my dad is dead when I know that he's not! I know he's alive, I just know it!"
"Shannon…" Lois tried to explain.
"Mom! I don't need your stupid advice. This is your fault anyway!"
"What, how is it my fault?" Lois asked.
"You made Dad go! If it weren't for you, he probably would still be alive! But no, you had to go and say 'I'm getting a divorce from you!' It's all your fault!"
"Shannon, shut up!" Lisa screamed as she saw Lois fall to the couch in tears.
"Lisa, I can't believe you! Dad is missing and you don't even care!"
"Of course I care, Shannon. But doing what you're doing isn't going to help, especially when you're blaming Mom!"
"Whatever!" Shannon screamed. "I'm leaving! I'm not coming back until I find Dad!" Shannon ended as she stormed out of the house with the slam of the door.
Shannon walked down the streets of Metropolis. Rain began to fall and it was starting to get chilly as night approached. <I just know Dad is alive. I just know it! > She passed the store with the television in the window. As she passed she watched LNN continue to announce the tragedy that had occurred. Shannon just wanted to fall to her knees. <God, I can't live without my father. Please, he has to be alive. Help me, God! > As she walked farther down the city streets, she stopped at the Daily Planet. She decided to go inside and sit down at Clark's desk. <Who knows, maybe Perry's in there. He'll understand how I'm feeling.>
Back at the house, Lois was talking to Martha and Jonathan. The Kents were trying their hardest to get the earliest flight to Metropolis. They were worried about their granddaughters and daughter-in-law. They were feeling a lot of pain as well and could just imagine what kind of pain Lois and the girls might be going through. They obviously knew how rough Shannon was taking it. "Lois, we should be there by 10 o'clock. Our plane leaves at 8 o'clock."
"All right, thanks Martha. Bye," Lois responded as she hung up the phone.
"Are Grandma and Grandpa Kent coming?" Lisa asked.
"Yeah, they'll be here at ten."
"Awesome," Lisa replied. "What about Shannon?"
"She'll be all right. If she's not back by then, I'll have to go look for her. But right now, she needs to be left alone. She's confused."
Perry walked out of his office and was getting ready to leave when he noticed Shannon sitting at Clark's desk. "Shannon, what are you doing here?"
"Nothing…just thinking," Shannon replied, trying to hold in her tears.
"About your dad?"
"Yeah, I miss him."
"I know. It's going to be hard for you, as well as for your sister and mom, but you can get through this."
"No, Perry. I can't. You have no idea how much I miss my father. I…" Shannon broke down as she began to cry.
"Shannon, listen. I know it's going to be hard. But your dad wouldn't want you feeling like this. He'd want you to be strong about this. He'd want you to look after your mom and sister."
"Perry…it's hard. I mean who's going to be the one to drag me out of bed every morning with a squirt gun? Who's going to play me a game of basketball one-on-one? Who's going to be there when you need someone to talk to? And who's going to be there to be loved…like a father? Look at this picture of my dad and me at the lake last year. I'm going to miss that. It could never be the same if someone else did those things."
"Of course not, but all those fun times you and your dad had, you will always be able to keep. Even though he's not around where you can see him, he'll always be there to watch over you. He'll still come to your basketball games and cheer you on…" Perry began to tell Shannon, hoping that it would cheer her up.
"I don't know, Perry. I mean it's really hard when you lose someone that you're close to," Shannon explained.
"I never said it was going to be easy. But, if you ever need to talk, I'll be here."
"Thanks, Perry," Shannon said as she hugged him.
"Sure. Now does your mom know where you are?"
"Well, I told her I that I was going for a walk."
"Okay. Hey, how about we go grab a bite to eat so we can talk more, and I'll give you a lift home afterwards."
"All right. Sounds like a plan."
Lois put on her coat. "Ok, I'm going to look for Shannon, so Lisa, try to get some rest."
Lisa nodded. Lois looked toward Martha and Jonathan who seemed more confused than Lois. She went over, hugged them and whispered, "I'm so sorry."
Martha began to cry, "Oh honey, this wasn't your fault."
"In a way it was," Lois mumbled. She was about to go to the door, when she saw a '67 gray Shelby with blue strips going along the doors, pull into the driveway. Lois sighed in relief when she saw Perry and Shannon get out of the car.
Lois opened the door. "Shannon, honey, are you ok?"
"Yeah I guess," Shannon mumbled, then saw Martha and Jonathan. She automatically ran into their arms and started to cry.
Lois looked at Perry. "Thank you for bringing her home, Perry."
Perry smiled. "Anything for you kid. Is there anything I can do?"
Lois gave a half smile. "No, you've done plenty, Perry."
Perry nodded. "Ok, but you know where to call if you need anything." With that, Perry pulled Lois into a hug and left. Lois turned around and faced her grieving family.
Everyone was already asleep when Lois decided to go to sleep herself; she walked up the dark stairwell to her bedroom. Lois looked at the master bedroom door. A knuckle imprint was indented on it from Clark pounding on the door. A tear once again slid down Lois's tear stained cheek. She cursed Ching and Zara for taking away the one good thing in her life. Lois opened the door and the room was dark, cold and empty…the moon's light fell upon the bed… the empty bed. Lois remembered all those nights that she fell asleep alone and wondered how she ever did it… She walked over to the bed and slipped under the cold covers on Clark's side. Lois laid there for a moment, inhaling the scent of the Head and Shoulders shampoo he used, the aftershave he used, and the small hint of Calvin Klein cologne…things that over time would slowly fade away, Lois thought as she slowly fell asleep.
It was only five in the morning when Jonathan walked into the Daily Planet with a cardboard box under his arm. He was going to clean out Clark's desk, knowing full well that none of the Kent women were in any shape to do it themselves. Jonathan stepped out of the elevator into the dimly lit newsroom, which was deserted for the time being. He walked down the ramp and sat at Clark's desk. Jonathan sat there for a moment; he shook his head. <It's just not right. I shouldn't be burying my son.> The first thing that Jonathan happened to pick up was a picture of Clark and him fishing, out on the pond when Clark was no older then five. A smile crossed Jonathan's face to see how young he himself was, a time where he could actually keep up with Clark's childish activities.
Jonathan turned around and saw Perry walking toward him. "Oh, Perry. I didn't realize anyone was here."
Perry smiled. "Ah, I get up with the roosters."
"Yeah I know what you mean," Jonathan said as his eyes set on the picture that was now in the box.
Perry frowned as he placed a hand on Jonathan's shoulder. "He was a good man because of you, Jonathan."
Jonathan nodded. "He was a good son. It just doesn't seem right. I shouldn't be planning his funeral. He should be planning mine."
"Give it time, Jonathan. The pain will ease," Perry reassured.
Jonathan smiled. "When we found Clark, it was a miracle." His expression hardened. "But it was so short lived." Jonathan took the picture out of the box and placed it back on the desk. "I came here to clear out his desk, thinking I could do it, but I'm not ready to accept the fact that my son is gone."
A few weeks later
Lisa stood in front of City Hall with about everyone else in Metropolis. President Garland had come to the city to dedicate a memorial for Superman and Clark. Lisa frowned because it seemed kind of funny to her that her father was so loved, and then so unseen. All of Metropolis was grieving for the man in the red, blue and yellow, but very few were grieving for the mild mannered reporter that had a wife and two kids.
Soon, President Garland stepped up to the podium. "My fellow Americans, we have lost two great men that tried so hard to bring justice to the world. Clark Kent was a simple, mild mannered reporter who fought for justice through his words at the Daily Planet newspaper. Superman fought for justice with his action, and it seems that these two great men had a unique balance. This is why I am here before you today: to memorialize the hope and faith that they have spread throughout the city and the world." With that, President Garland walked over to a large black tarp that was covering something. "I give you the statue of Truth, Justice and the American way." He pulled the tarp down to show a large statue of Superman. His hands were on his hips, with a bald eagle on his shoulder.
Lois, the kids, Martha and Jonathan walked into the brownstone after returning from the tribute the president had made. They couldn't believe it. He was actually gone forever.
The day had gotten late; the girls were depressed and exhausted from the events that had occurred in the past month. They were torn apart and crushed. Tomorrow was Christmas Eve, and for the first time in their lives, Clark wasn't going to be there. He had always been there for Christmas Eve. Whether they had been at their home in Metropolis or in Smallville with the Kents, Clark had always been with them.
"Girls, are you doing okay?" Lois asked as she approached them with a hug.
"I guess. It's so hard though," Lisa responded as she grabbed onto Lois.
"I know Lisa. Like I said, this isn't going to be easy," Lois said, trying to comfort her. "Shannon, how are you feeling?"
"I don't know. I don't know what to feel. I know that I have a huge hole in my heart that can never be filled again."
"I know, I know. It'll get better girls. I promise I'll be there with you girls throughout all this," Lois promised, with tears running down her cheeks.
Martha couldn't bear to watch her two granddaughters so upset like this. She tried to hold in her feelings by trying not to cry so she wouldn't upset the girls, but tears began to slide down her face.
Lisa buried her face in her hands. "He's not even going to be able to be here for Christmas, or anything else ever again."
"Hey, listen, just like your mom said, we'll all get through this together," Jonathan explained to the girls.
Martha cut in and replied, "Right. Your dad wouldn't want us moping around at Christmas time. He loved Christmas and he knew we all did. He wouldn't want you to be depressed for the holidays."
"Your grandma's right," Lois said agreeing with Martha. "Your dad helped me see what Christmas really is like with his love and his 'jolly' attitude around the holidays. I think, in honor of Dad, we should try and make this the best Christmas ever."
"That would be fun. Dad always made it fun," Lisa responded, excited.
"Yeah," Lois said. "Shannon, don't you think it'll be fun?"
"NO! That's stupid! I still don't believe that he's dead. There's no way," Shannon exclaimed as she ran upstairs to her bedroom and slammed the door.
Martha tried to comfort Lois. "Just give it time. She's just grieving and hasn't gotten past the denial stage."
"Martha, I don't know what to do. I feel so bad and…" Lois began as she started to cry again.
"I know, but it'll just take time."
"I'm going to bed," Lisa said as she hugged her mom and grandparents.
"Shannon, why do you have to be like that?" Lisa said.
"Why do you care?"
"Because I do! You're not the only one that lost someone! We all did, and everyone has accepted it but you. I know it's hard, but you have to step back into reality!"
"Yeah, okay. You're one to talk!"
"Shut up, Shannon! I don't feel like fighting with you!"
"Figures. You always do this. Say stuff to start with me and then when I start fighting back, you back down!"
"Just don't even talk to me. Good night, Shannon!"
Lois went to bed early that night. She was just so exhausted; she missed Clark and regretted ever implying that she wanted a divorce. What was she thinking? Clark had loved her and she knew that. Lois still loved him too.
As Lois lay in her bed, she stared at Clark's side…it was empty…She wished that all this was just a dream. She closed her eyes and held them shut for a few seconds. She hoped that when she opened them, she would see Clark next to her. She hoped that Clark would wake up and see if she was all right. He would've reassured Lois that she was safe in his arms by holding her close and telling her that he loved her and he'd never leave her because he cared too much.
When Lois opened her eyes, he was still missing. She began to cry, laying in the lonely dark with only the moonlight shining through the windows of her bedroom. As the night passed, she slowly fell asleep dreaming of her beloved Clark.
It was Christmas Eve. Lois and the twins were still quietly sleeping, even though it was almost 2 o'clock in the afternoon. Martha and Jonathan woke up early as usual. Martha was trying to make dinner quietly, trying not to wake up Lois or the twins. They had been through a lot and wouldn't want to make dinner when they got up so she took it upon herself to prepare it.
"Need any help, Martha?" Jonathan asked.
"No dear, I got it. Thanks," Martha replied.
"All right, let me know if you need any help," Jonathan added as the phone rang. "I got it." Jonathan picked up the phone and asked, "Hello?"
"Jonathan, it's Ellen. I just want to make sure Lois and the girls were okay, and Sam and I should be coming around six tonight."
Jonathan nodded. "Yeah, they're fine, Ellen. Six? That sounds good. See you then." With that Jonathan hung up the phone and shook his head. There would be another problem that Lois would have to face.
Dinner was silent; everyone was unsure what to say in fear of upsetting Lois or each other. Suddenly, Lois started to laugh and looked at her family, who thought she was going crazy. "I'm sorry. I'm sorry, I can't help it. I just remembered the time Clark fell off the roof that one Christmas and was hanging upside down and tangled in the lights."
Lisa tried not to choke on her soda. "Yeah and Mom left him up there for like 20 minutes, and there is Dad hanging and yelling at her 'Lo-is get me down!'"
For a moment, laughter had come over the table and for once, happiness had come into play at the memories.
Jonathan smiled, "I remember the first time Clark came to Smallville after he got the job at the Daily Planet. All Clark could talk about was Lois. He told me once that she'd be the one that he'd marry and he was a lucky man, Lois."
Lois smiled. "No, Jonathan, I was the lucky one. Clark showed me how to open up and embrace the people around me. I wish I just could have done something for him."
Martha smiled. "Oh honey, you did. You gave him the life that he always wanted. That's all Clark ever wanted."
"And yet he walked away from it all," Ellen mumbled.
Lois sighed, "Mom, please, not today. Not on Christmas Eve."
"Why shouldn't I? He put you and the girls through so much. I'm surprised that you actually stayed with him this long," Ellen spat.
Lois was about to comment, but Lisa gladly entered the ring, "THAT'S ENOUGH!" Lisa yelled. "How can you possibly be so cold? Dad was a loving father and husband, and like you should talk.* Ellen. * It's not like you had the fairytale marriage! You got some nerve saying all that stuff in front of Grandma and Grandpa. They raised Dad up great! You should be happy that Mom found someone like Dad! But, of course, you can't let people be happy when you don't have what someone else does!" With that, Lisa ran upstairs.
Lois sighed as she put the last dish in the cabinet. Lois apologized to Martha and Jonathan until she was blue in the face, but Martha and Jonathan just hugged her and told her not to worry about it. It seemed that they had learned to turn the other cheek when Ellen talked. Lois walked up the stairs and sighed as she got to the bedroom. Facing it was getting harder every night. Lois walked into the dark room and headed toward the balcony doors and locked it knowing Clark would never fly in and sweep her off her feet ever again. Tears swelled in her brown eyes, "I'm sorry, Clark." Lois then climbed into bed and slowly fell asleep.
<CRASH! > Lois sat up and looked around the dark room. "Hello? Who's there?" Lois demanded as she turned on the lights. Lois shielded her eyes for a moment and looked around only to see one of her pictures had fallen off the dresser. Lois sighed and got up to pick it up. She then realized that it was her favorite picture of her and Clark when they won their first Kerth. It was now ripped from the broken glass. Tears once again tugged at Lois's eyes. "No," she sniffled, and then happened to look up at the mirror and saw someone hiding in the shadows. Lois looked toward the person as she slowly got to her feet. "Who are you? Show yourself before I call the police!"
Without hesitation, the man stepped into the dim light and Lois backed away. He was wearing a tattered black suit and he had a dark beard that was growing in thick. His dark brown eyes appeared to be tired.
Lois was about to open the door and yell for help, but the man took her gently by the hands and into his arms. Saying nothing, he pulled Lois into a passionate kiss. He pulled away and said as his voice broke, "Lois, I missed you so much."
"Clark!" Lois squealed, pulling him into another kiss. A short time later, Lois pulled away with a smile, but frowned. "Clark, I'm so sorry…"
Clark placed his finger on her lips, "No more apologies and no more tears." He then wrapped his hands around Lois's waist and fell onto the bed. Lois closed her eyes as Clark's lips overlapped hers. Her lips were starving for his love, and her heart was aching for it.
"Don't ever leave me, Clark," Lois whispered as his lips went down her neck.
"I'll never leave you again," Clark whispered back as he nuzzled his nose into her soft brown hair. The aroma of lilac shampoo and Paris perfume was overwhelming Clark's senses. He, too, was starving for Lois's love…her touch…her forgiveness… and the hope that she still wanted him as a husband. "I love you," Clark breathed.
"I love you too," Lois whispered, kissing him once more.
Lois woke up to the sun gracefully falling on her face. Lois smiled. "Clark?" She turned to Clark's side to see it was just the way she'd left it. < It was all a dream. A stupid dream, how unfair can God be? > Lois tossed the covers over her head… There was no reason for her to get up.
Just then, she felt someone's arms wrap around her. Then she felt them move the blanket off her face, they pushed her hair gently off her neck and kiss her neck. Lois turned, hoping that she wasn't cracking up. "Clark?" She turned and he was there, his black beard still intact, but trimmed and neater. His brown eyes burned with love and he no longer had the hard look to him that he had last night. He was her husband again. Lois put her hand to Clark's face, still not believing what she was seeing. "Are you real?"
Clark smiled and kissed her. "As real as a person can get."
"Have you seen your parents yet?" Lois asked as she cuddled up closer to Clark, happy once again to feel his hard stomach and lay on his warm chest.
"Yes, I did. They couldn't believe it. Lois, I can't tell you how hard all this has been for me…I mean I can just imagine how hard it was for my parents, our friends, you and the girls," Clark commented as he massaged her head with a kiss.
"It was hard, Clark, but I'm just glad to see you again. Glad that I'm able to be in your arms again and feel your sweet touch. Most importantly, being able to tell and show how much you truly mean to me, and how much I love you," Lois said as a single tear ran down her cheek.
"I love you too, Lois. And I want to fix all those other problems that we had before I had to leave for New Krypton. I don't want this family to go through that stress and pain again."
"I agree. But it is Christmas, by the way, so how about we talk about those things later?" Lois suggested as she kissed him.
"That sounds good. By the way…"
"Merry Christmas, sweetheart."
Lois replied with a kiss and, "Merry Christmas."
"How about we wake the girls up now since it is nine in the morning? I peeked in their room to get a glimpse of them. I can't even explain how much I have missed them."
"Well, I have a better idea," Lois began. "When they see you again, they won't believe it. So, how about you go downstairs and wait with your parents in the family room while I gather the girls up. Okay?"
"Sounds good," Clark said with a short kiss on the lips.
Lois walked out of the bedroom and down the hall. On the way to the twins' bedroom, Lois ran into Lisa. "Merry Christmas. Ready to open those gifts?" Lois asked excitedly.
"Yeah, I guess," Lisa replied. "I have to go to the bathroom first though."
"Okay, how about getting Shannon up too and meeting everyone downstairs. There's a big surprise down there for you," Lois sang sweetly as she headed downstairs.
"Okay," Lisa responded suspicious of what it could possibly be.
"The girls will be right down," Lois said smiling as she sat down next to Clark, kissing his cheek.
Returning Lois's kiss, Clark responded, "Yeah, I can't wait to see them."
"I'm so glad to see you again Clark!" Martha responded.
"Yes, we are all very happy. I can't wait to see the kids' faces. They were so devastated and still are. But, today, I don't know…" Jonathan added.
"Yeah, I can't wait," Clark said looking down at Lois, smiling. He winked and couldn't help but kiss her.
"Shannon! Wake up! It's Christmas!" Lisa exclaimed, trying to wake her sister up.
"Leave me alone! I don't care if it's Christmas!" Shannon responded, putting her pillow over her head.
"Fine then, I'll go down to see the great surprise mom told me about! So HA!" Lisa bragged, trying to peruse Shannon to get up.
"I don't care! Good night!"
"Mom?" Lisa called as she came down the stairs into the family room. "Shannon won't get up and…" Lisa stopped. "OH my god! DAD!" Lisa ran to Clark, "Dad, you're alive!"
"Yep! Oh, Lisa, I've missed you so much!" Clark said hugging her.
"I missed you too, Dad!"
"See Lisa, I told you there was a big surprise for you down here," Lois said, smiling at her excited daughter.
"Where'd you say Shannon was, Lisa?" Clark asked.
"She's still in bed. She's been a monster ever since she thought you passed away," Lisa responded.
"Really?" Clark asked, surprised.
"Yeah, she ran off a few times and just went on rampages. Perry brought her back one night from the Planet. He found her sitting at your desk, not sure what to do," Lois commented. "I mean Lisa was extremely upset as well, she just…"
"Dealt with her emotions in a better way," Clark finished, feeling guilty for what had been going on.
"Yeah," Lois nodded, agreeing. "Should we go up there and surprise her?" Lois asked Clark.
"Yeah, we can do that. We'll be back," Clark informed his parents and Lisa as he took Lois's hand and headed upstairs to wake Shannon.
"Man! Shannon is going to go frantic when she sees Dad!" Lisa exclaimed to her grandparents.
"Wait out here, Clark, then step in after she gets out of bed," Lois suggested.
Clark nodded. "Good idea."
"Shannon, honey? Come on. Everyone is waiting for you to come down, especially a certain someone."
"Mom, I don't care who is down there. I'm tired and don't feel good. I hate Christmas."
"Shannon, you never used to."
"That's before Dad passed away. He always kept our Christmas spirit up and now he can't," Shannon said as she began to cry.
"Shannon, I know, but after you see this, you're going to regret not coming down sooner."
"No I won't."
"Fine, I'll just have to send someone else in here," Lois responded, going outside the door to get Clark. "Shannon, just open your eyes and look who is in here besides you and me."
"Fine! But, after I see, I'm going back to…DAD!?! What? How'd you… oh my God!" Shannon jumped up out of bed in a hurry to get to Clark.
"Hey kiddo!" Clark exclaimed as he held Shannon in his arms. "I really missed you guys."
"You missed us?!?" Shannon questioned Clark. "Don't know what I would have done without you…I mean I know it has been almost two months but I was hurting."
"I know, I heard. I'm sorry."
"It's okay. Um, what exactly did you hear?"
"Well, that you ran away a few times, for one. Honey, I know you were upset, but you know better than that."
"I know, Dad. I was just confused and didn't know what to do."
"I know that and everyone else seems to understand the circumstances."
"Aren't you glad you woke up, Shannon?" Lois asked her daughter as she gave her a hug.
"Mom, that's like asking if the sky is blue. But yeah, I'm glad I got up. I just regret that I didn't get up sooner."
Clark laughed, placed his arms around Shannon and Lois and asked, "So, how about we go open those gifts. It's really bugging me that I still don't know what's under that tree."
"Sounds like a plan to me!" Shannon said.
Lisa and Shannon sat on the floor while the adults sat on the couch talking and watching the twins open their presents. Shannon opened a box and smiled ear to ear. "Ha! The Gucci shoes that I've been dying for! Thanks Mom and Dad," Shannon squealed in delight as she tried her shoes on.
Lois laughed, "Yeah, well I was feeling a little guilty."
Lisa opened a present and found some new art supplies and a canvas. Clark smiled. "Now you can go to the park and draw if you want."
"Oh this is so cool. Thanks, dad." Lisa smiled.
Within a couple of minutes the floor was covered with wrapping paper. As Lisa and Shannon were leaning against the couch, fooling around with their presents, Shannon said, "Oh, I totally forgot about Mom and Dad's presents!" Shannon scrabbled to her feet and ran toward the stairs.
"Shannon! Wait for me!" Lisa yelled and ran toward her, only to trip over the wrapping paper. But before she fell to the floor, Clark caught her by the arm. "Easy there," he laughed as Lisa raced upstairs.
Lois laughed with Clark as they heard another thud from upstairs. As they went into the kitchen to make coffee, Lois began, "They're just so excited to have you back."
Clark took Lois by the hand and pulled her into his embrace. "I am too." He leaned down and kissed Lois when she started to laugh hysterically. "What's so funny?" Lois smiled as she ran her fingers through Clark's beard. "Sorry, but your beard was tickling me."
Clark scratched it. "Hmm…I guess I'm going to have to keep it." Clark then wrapped his arms around Lois's waist and kissed her again.
Lois turned away playfully. "Clark! Stop, you're tickling me!"
Clark laughed. "That's the whole point."
He then heard the twins storm down the steps. "Ok, we got your presents!"
"Let's see what the girls got you," Lois said as she took Clark by the hand and led him into the living room.
They sat on the couch and Lisa said, "Here you go Mom. This is from me and Shannon. We picked it out before Dad left."
Lois inspected the small, narrow box and concluded that it had to be perfume. Lois opened it to find out that it was her favorite perfume, Paris Perfume, that cost at least $100. "Girls, thank you! How did you ever get enough money to buy this?"
Shannon smiled. "Well, since I'm working at the roller rink and Lisa is working at the restaurant, we just pooled our money together and had enough."
"Ok, Dad, your turn," Lisa said as she handed him a piece of paper. "I was going to buy a present, but with the whole drama going on I just didn't have time too." Her eyes dropped to her feet. "And I didn't think I needed too, but I made this when we heard that you 'passed away.'"
Clark smiled as he flipped the paper over and saw a pencil drawing of Lois, Lisa and Shannon crying and hugging each other. A single rose fell from Lois's hand and there was an image of Clark behind Lois kissing her head like he was her guardian angel.
Tears filled Clark's eyes. "Oh Lisa, this is beautiful."
Shannon then handed Clark a box. "This is my present. It's nothing like Lisa's drawing, but I hope you like it."
Clark opened the box and found a photo album. Clark flipped through the pages and found pictures of Lois and Clark's wedding day, a picture Martha took when Clark and Lois adopted Lisa and Shannon, and pictures of vacations they had taken…when times were simpler. "Shannon, thank you. This is one of the best things anyone has given me."
Lois smiled as she watched Clark scratch his eye, but knew there was a tear that he was trying to hide. "Wait. You're not finished yet." Lois then handed Clark a small black box. Clark opened it and found his wedding band with the chain attached just the way he had sent it to Lois. Lois took the ring out of the box and unlatched it from the chain and said, "You always told me to keep our love safe and I know you would do the same." Lois then placed the ring on Clark's finger.
Clark smiled, ignoring the tear that dropped from his eye. "Lois, God I love you." He then placed his hand on the back of Lois's head and pulled her into a kiss.
"Hey, save that for the bedroom. You know your parents are right here," Lisa laughed.
Lois and Clark parted red in the cheeks, and Clark began to search his robe pulling out three boxes. "These are for you three."
They opened the boxes at the same time. Lois got a gold necklace, but the middle of the heart was shaped like an outline of angel wings. Shannon and Lisa got silver necklaces that were shaped like angel wings with a small diamond on it.
Clark smiled and said, "See…you put Lisa and Shannon's necklaces together, and then put it in the middle of your necklace, Lois."
"Oh honey, I love it," Lois said as she kissed Clark.
Everyone was once again at the dinning room table, but now the family was complete and there was nothing on earth that could break them up. Sam swallowed his food and said, "Clark, can you tell us what happened to you?" Clark knew that question was coming. Truly, he wasn't sure what had happened to him in the last two months. It was like he was stuck between a dream and reality. Clark remembered being in one of the aircrafts with Ching and he had woken up with his head stinging with pain. He had tried to get up, but his leg was pinned under what seemed to be wreckage of the aircraft. When Clark came to again, he was in a hospital bed with his leg in a cast and his head wrapped up with a bandage. Then he remembered Ching and the Krypton army invading the hospital that Clark was at. He then remembered being in the palace, bed ridden for a couple of weeks.
"I honestly don't remember. I remember being in the aircraft with Ching and the next moment my leg is pinned against what was left of the aircraft. After that, I was in and out of reality, between the concussion I suffered and the drugs they had me on, I was lucky that I knew my own name. But then Ching and the army invaded the hospital that I was at and took me back to the palace where I continued to get better. Just a few days ago they let me come back home."
The table was silent and in shock. Shannon quickly wiped away a tear; she couldn't believe that she and Lisa were that close to losing their father for real. "But you're ok now, right?" Shannon asked hastily, not knowing if she could handle hearing that Clark may die in the future from his injuries.
Clark smiled as he rubbed his leg, trying to stop the hot fiery pain that was shooting up it. The doctor had told Clark that may happen but would subside in a few months. "Yes, sweetheart, I'm fine. Just twelve stitches in the back of my head, but other than that, no harm done." Suddenly the doorbell rang. "I'll get it," Clark said, getting up to go to the door.
Clark opened the door and saw a man in a suit holding a large brown envelope. "Can I help you?" Clark asked the man, just as it began to snow.
"Yes, is Mrs. Lois Kent here?" the man asked.
Clark nodded. "Yeah." He looked back to the table to see Lois had left to go into the kitchen. "I think she's busy right now, but I'm her husband. Can * I * help you with anything?"
The man frowned a bit. "Well, I guess you'll be reading this anyway. Here you go." The man handed Clark the envelope.
One of Clark's eyebrows rose as he questioned, "What is it?"
The man bit his lip. He certainly didn't want to tell Clark, knowing he would get a fist in his mouth. "Uh you just better open it yourself. Merry Christmas though."
"Uh, yeah…Merry Christmas," Clark said confused as he closed the door and opened the envelope.
Lois walked in. "Who was at the door?" Lois asked and saw Clark reading something. Then it hit her like a ton of bricks. She had met with a lawyer to set the divorce papers up a few days before Clark left. At the time, Lois was still angry with Clark and didn't have enough time to cool down when she did it. She could only hold her breath as Clark's dark eyes set on her.
Clark's head was spinning. "Divorce papers? So, me almost getting killed wasn't good enough?" Clark said as he walked to the window and watched the snow fall more heavily now.
"No, of course not, Clark. I can explain. I did this right before you left and then we found out that you were 'dead'. I just totally forgot about it and didn't tell the lawyer to get rid of them." Lois walked up behind Clark. Her reflection was showing in the window. She kissed his shoulder blade. "I never meant anything that I said."
Clark walked to the fireplace and watched the fire lick the wood. "Lois, the whole time that I was in the hospital…one of the nurses told me that when I was sleeping, I was calling out your name and saying that I was sorry. All I could think about was you and the girls. And wondering if I didn't have my life the way it was before the miscarriage and this whole dilemma with New Krypton, I was going to die right there." Lois was going to say something, but Clark placed his hands around her waist. "Tell me one thing, Lois. Just tell me that I'm not going crazy…that you actually love me, and still want me as a husband, even though I messed up so much."
Lois put her hand on Clark's cheek as a tear fell from her eye. "Clark, I love you with all my heart." In that instant Clark pulled Lois closer to him, pulling her into a passionate kiss as he threw the divorce papers into the fireplace. Within seconds, they were consumed by the fire, never to be brought up again.