By Mona <DrLu3@yahoo.com>
Submitted September 2007
Summary: A birthday gift is the impetus that launches Lois and Clark on a journey of great love and sacrifice as our favorite couple experiences the trials and triumphs of a super pregnancy. Along the way, they give Dr. Klein the shock and surprise of a lifetime.
Thank you, Laura and Julie for being fantastic BR/GE respectively and LabRat for all your efforts in getting this story posted to the archive in 2007! :)
Author's Note: This story begins a year and a half after Clark and Lois have been married and in terms of the series would have taken place during the unaired fifth season. This story also follows Dr. Klein's findings that due to his * super * DNA, Superman would be incompatible with an earth woman. Lois and Clark, however, have not let that deter their trying and despite an early failure both biologically and with adoption, they have by no means given up hope of having a family.
As the last sweet notes of "Happy Birthday, dear Clark" ended, Martha and Jonathan exchanged secret smiles while almost simultaneously giving voice to the words "it's time."
Clark, who of course, heard his parent's whisper, looked toward them expectantly, before glancing at Lois for a clue. Lois, however, was still entranced by the double layer, homemade cake with chocolate frosting that Martha had set before Clark just moments ago and was oblivious to everything else around her.
"Earth to Lois!" teased Clark, trying to break the reverie his wife was lost in.
Lois was smiling awkwardly. "Huh? Oh, sorry." She reddened upon noticing three sets of eyes were upon her with amusement. "I zoned out for a moment there, looking at the cake…all of you know how much I love chocolate…" She trailed off finally feeling the impending excitement in the house.
The three Kents laughed and Clark gave his wife a quick kiss. And then with a glint in his eye he said, "If you are good, maybe I'll let you have some of *my* cake!
"Well if *you're * good, maybe I'll will share some of *my* piece with you," replied Lois seductively.
"You will, will you?" Clark's lips whispered against Lois' ear.
At once the spell was broken and Clark and Lois snapped to attention, remembering that Jonathan and Martha were present.
Clark did manage to sneak in a quiet "We will continue this later," before composing himself to face his parents.
"Sorry Mom, Dad, guess we got, uh, carried away…"
The elder Kents burst out laughing, much to the chagrin of both Clark and Lois.
"Oh Clark." Martha said. She enveloped her son in a hug and then reached out to Lois. "You know your father and I couldn't be happier for you. For both of you."
"That's right, son," continued Jonathan, giving Clark and Lois quick hugs as well. "We love both of you so much. Even if well…" stopped a red-faced Jonathan midway.
"After a year and a half of marriage, Clark and I still sometimes act like a couple of newlyweds? Lois finished, saving Jonathan a little shred of grace.
"Yeah, that." Jonathan said meekly.
"If the three of you are quite finished," demanded Martha, while trying to maintain a stern face, "can we move into the living room so Jonathan and I can give Clark his gift from us?"
"I'm waiting," said Clark, who had super-sped himself into the living room and was sitting impatiently on the sofa, eying the packages before him.
"And you better not have x-rayed all the gifts yet, either." Martha said as she and Jonathan took chairs on the other side of the coffee table, opposite the couch where both Clark and Lois now sat.
"I wouldn't dare. But I certainly am curious, especially as to the contents of that large packing box sitting in the corner as though it were hiding."
"Then listen." Martha requested as all eyes focused on her. "Clark for 32 years, your father and I have been blessed with your presence and love. My dream of becoming a mother came true that beautiful spring day when we found you. Since then, my life gained new meaning and felt complete in a way I never dreamed it could. It is true that you are a hero to millions on a daily basis and for that your father and I could not be more proud…"
"Even if we still worry every time we see a flash of red and blue on television at night." Jonathan interrupted softly.
Clark reached across the coffee table to squeeze his father's hand.
"But, you have been and always will be my hero for your innate kindness and desire to see the good in all people even though you are a constant witness to humanity's darkest side." Martha was crying now and so the task fell to Jonathan to finish their thoughts.
"I love you, son. It has been and always will be my honor and privilege to have you as my son. Like your mother, I cannot imagine my life without you and am so thankful to have you in it. You are a super man. Even if I still don't understand why your mother insisted on fashioning your costume out of tights." Jonathan concluded in an attempt to lighten things up.
In one swift, super movement the three Kents were locked in one another's embrace. A few seconds later, Lois was enveloped in the hug, completing the circle.
"So, do I get to open my presents now?" asked Clark in a playful, little boy voice.
"Even without *super * senses, I know you two, " Lois indicated Martha and Jonathan, "have got something special up your sleeve. And I for one am tired of waiting to know what it is!"
"Then you will be happy to know, Lois, that Jonathan and I have you to thank for making Clark's main gift possible," Martha responded as she picked up a medium sized box and handed it to Clark.
For once Lois was stopped in her tracks and sat quietly as Clark opened the package to reveal a beautifully hand crafted, collage style picture frame. Tears misted in his eyes as he gazed at and felt the love in the pictures before him. For a few moments he was simply entranced by the memories before him. There was, however, also a mystery. The picture frame was made to hold five pictures; currently, only four resided within it. Clark gave his parents a questioning look, while Lois at last set her eyes upon his gift.
"The first picture is perhaps the most special to us," Martha said, beginning to share the story of Clark's gift with Lois. "It was taken a month or so after we found Clark and finally allowed ourselves the gift of moving forward, knowing that somehow Clark was ours forever."
Lois focused in on the first picture and saw a 4 month old Clark, who appeared to be almost smiling as he gazed wide eyed at the balloons, gifts, food and neighbors around him, while being held by Martha and surrounded by Jonathan.
"It was a hot June day with not a cloud in the sky," Jonathan reminisced, having picked up the story from his wife. "Martha and I had decided the time had come to have a small welcoming for Clark among our neighbors. It was a risk, but in our hearts we knew we had to do this to be able to move on with our lives and also honor our new son by starting to let him live his. So we invited half a dozen other families as well as some townsfolk to an early evening potluck, a belated baby shower/christening ceremony, if you will. We were so proud of our son and even though we never went a moment without fearing for his safety should his unique arrival be discovered, we wanted to show him off and allow him to meet the people he'd be growing up with."
"I don't know if under similar circumstances I would have had the courage to do that, but I admire you both even more for it." Lois admitted.
"Ever since, my Mom and Dad have made sure that I never went without knowing not only their love, but the feeling of being part of our Smallville community."
The second picture showed an ecstatic 6 year- old Clark, petting the noble head of a black Labrador puppy, his birthday gift.
"I loved Star, so much. I even named him as a thank you to my parents for making my wish upon a star come true."
"We included his picture in this frame not only as a memory for Clark, but to honor our old friend for what he gave to us. You see, Lois, even at such a young age, Clark's unique heritage had begun to emerge and he often felt a little out of place and lonely. Martha and I wanted him to have a friend all his own who he could share whatever he wanted or needed to without having to remember to keep his emerging abilities a secret."
"I think the third picture of you and Clark on your wedding day speaks for itself, Lois. As we told you then and will again, now and forever, Jonathan and I may have given Clark roots and all the love we have, but it was you, Lois, who have allowed him to have a home. A touchstone outside of this house forever."
Martha and Jonathan gracefully exited for the kitchen, muttering something about it being high time to cut the cake.
With tears in his eyes and a big goofy smile on his face, Clark, captured Lois' lips and embraced her as tightly as he dared without hurting her. There was no need for words.
Sometime later, over the decadent cake, conversation returned to the pictures and Clark was asked to bring the frame into the kitchen. He did so, and along with the rest of his family, smiled in memory at the 4th picture, which was taken of all of them standing in front of their Christmas tree, just a few months ago courtesy of the new digital camera Lois had bought for her in-laws.
When questioned about the mysterious blank slot in the frame, Jonathan whisked the other three members of his family back into the living room and instructed Clark to bring the until-now nearly hidden huge brown box over to the couch.
"This gift is for both of you, kids, with all our love. Please open it together."
With Lois' help, Clark's crib soon stood proudly before them, having been cleaned up and polished to a sparkling shine by Jonathan and Martha.
"We believe somehow, someway, be it biologically, through adoption, or via your very own Schuster's Field, the two of you will be blessed with a child of your own. It simply has not happened yet"
"The empty slot in the frame," whispered Lois, as she and Clark embraced one another and then thanked Jonathan and Martha.
For a few moments thereafter, each of the Kents sat quietly, lost in their thoughts.
"Whenever you're ready Clark," Martha broke the silence by saying, "you can open the rest of your gifts.
Clark opened his smaller gifts and discovered: a book he had been wanting for a long time, a couple of CD's, along with a super soft flannel shirt. While he was busily doing this, Lois whispered in a voice that only his ears could hear "If you're really good, mister, perhaps in a little while, if Superman is available that is to fly us home, you might just get a very special * private * gift that I happen to have waiting for you." This time, Clark managed to control his response and simply said a soft "I can't wait."
After straightening up the living room and treating themselves to a little more of Martha's amazing cake, it was time to call the evening a night.
"Clark, " began Martha giving her husband some silent signal to agree with her, "Why don't you go fly the crib and your other gifts home and then come back for Lois. I take it you, two were not planning on spending the night here?"
For the umpteenth time that evening an exasperated cry of "MOM!" resounded throughout the kitchen, nearly shattering the windows.
"Oh come give your mother a kiss goodnight and then do what I asked!" Martha demanded with a knowing smile at Clark.
Clark obeyed and then without a word, he grabbed the crib and took off into the star filled Kansas night sky.
Lois, meanwhile, was feeling proud of herself for holding back so far in demanding an explanation, while simultaneously feeling nervous as what might be to come.
"Jonathan, weren't you going to make sure the animals are all bedded down for the night and then lock the house up?" Martha ordered questioningly.
"Yes, Dear," replied one Jonathan Kent, having learned the hard way a few times over the course of his marriage when it was time to follow his own advice to Clark and simply do as Martha wished.
"Lois, don't look so worried!" chided Martha giving her daughter-in-law a hug. "I merely wanted us to have a couple minutes alone so that I could talk to you privately."
Lois, still not quite knowing what to say, merely gave a half smile and nodded to Martha.
"First of all, as you * better * know by now, Jonathan and I are beyond thankful that Clark has you. You enable Clark Kent to have a life and one he honestly never dreamed he'd have. Secondly, I wanted to apologize to you if it seemed like giving you two, Clark's crib seemed rash. Both Jonathan and I are well aware of the fact that you and Clark have already had your share of disappointment and frustration regarding fertility and adoption. The road to motherhood may not even be one that you even * want * to take, though I daresay, I know you well enough to know that even if your mind is not fully around to the idea of becoming a mother, your heart is. I know how disappointed you sounded a few months ago."
Never one to argue the truth, especially against a woman after her own tenacious spirit, Lois replied: "The truth is I still cannot envision myself a mother. Me! The woman, who, as Clark likes to tease, will jump headfirst into anything without thinking twice or looking back. I can be incredibly selfish and domineering, not to mention the fact that as you already know, I wasn't lucky the way Clark was to have been brought up surrounded by the kindness, love, and support of two amazing parents. Clark was born to be a father. He will be the greatest dad the world has ever seen, that I know without question. I don't want to take that away from him yet, " Lois continued to babble as Martha wiped a tear from the younger woman's face. "Besides, I can't even cook!"
"I will be happy to give you some cooking lessons, my dear, in fact I happen to have one in mind already." A strong and familiar voice said.
"Clark! How long…?"
"Have I been standing here?"
"Only for a few seconds. I just helped Dad finish up and saw him safely inside before coming in here to get my beautiful wife. That is, if I have my mother's permission to take you home?"
"And Lois, any child that has you as its mother will be beyond lucky. But let's continue talking about this at home. It's getting late. Mom, have a good night and thank you again for everything. You and Dad made this a very special birthday for me."
Clark started to walk toward the front door, giving Martha a quick second to whisper to Lois. "You have a family now, Lois. Jonathan and I love you very much and think of you as a daughter. That's right. Not the Hallmark card saying of "like a daughter" but as a daughter. I hope you know that by now! Whatever you and Clark decide or should happen we are on your side and with love. Never forget that or the fact that anytime you need us we are only a phone call or flight away."
For one of the few times in her relatively young life, Lois was able to reply with an 'I love you, Mom and thank you."
Clark graciously had waited outside and smiled when Lois indicated she was ready to go home.
With one last wave to his mom, Clark scooped up his wife and in an instant the two of them had taken off in whirl of red and blue.
"Those two are sure lucky to have one another." Jonathan remarked, having just come into the entryway to lock the front door."
"As are we, to have them and most of all each other." Martha responded quietly as she kissed her husband. "Let's get going to bed. It's already after 10!"
Back home in Metropolis, after putting away Clark's gifts and leaving the crib in what both hoped might one day become the nursery, Lois made good on her earlier promise of giving her husband that * private * gift. Afterwards, the couple snuggled together in their bed and Clark was nearly asleep with the hint of happy smile playing at his lips. Lois sighed as she watched her handsome husband sleep peacefully and for the millionth time thanked the stars above for bringing her Clark Kent.
She, however, remained restless, with thoughts of being an unworthy mother haunting her very being. There was no doubt in her mind that she was loved and in return loved Martha Kent as a mother and there were times this reality left her in awe. Yet the concept of Lois Lane becoming a mother still was almost foreign to her. Although as Martha tactfully hinted at earlier, Lois was admittedly devastated a few months ago upon learning she was not pregnant. That must mean her grief lay deeper than simply at knowing Clark would be disappointed, didn't it? Perhaps in the morning she would be ready to share this thought with Clark.
The next day, thankfully was Sunday and so Lois and Clark did not have to worry about rising early for work. After her fitful night's sleep, Lois was not that surprised to discover that she had slept until nearly 11!
"My sleeping beauty has arisen!" joked Clark as he kissed his wife good morning in the living room where he had been reading.
"Somehow, though, I still feel tired." Admitted Lois as she joined her husband on the couch. You, however, were out like a light! I thought Superman did not need much sleep?"
"He doesn't need as much sleep as human; that is true. But, honey after last night, even the man of steel needed to catch some zzz's." responded Clark happily.
"You did seem to enjoy your gift."
"Always. Can I make you something for breakfast? Or, would you be interested in taking advantage of a * free * cooking lesson? Clark hinted seductively.
"As much as you know I would love another uh * lesson * there's something we need to talk about first. Or maybe I should have some something to eat first…" Lois continued to babble long enough for Clark to make her some tea and toast without her even noticing he had left.
Hesitantly, Lois took a bite and sip and then gave her concerned husband a shaky smile. "It's okay, Clark. I'm fine. I just have been thinking…"
"Lois, my parents meant well by giving us the crib but if you'd rather I returned it…" began Clark being stopped by Lois' hand on his mouth.
"Not at all. Although I will admit that when I first saw the crib my immediate thought was, how could you? Both your parents, your mother especially, knew how much that, even non- maternal me, had hoped a few months ago that I was pregnant."
Noticing that her husband was about to say something, Lois silenced him and said, "I need to say this, Clark, so please just let me finish. The reason Martha wanted some private time with me was to explain about the crib. She instinctively knew I'd probably be feeling hurt as well as perhaps a little angry. She just felt it might be easier on us both if she explained her reasoning when it was just the two of us present."
A brief silence followed and Clark, as always supportive, simply held Lois' hand as she took another bite of her breakfast before continuing. "You have the greatest mother in the world, Clark." Lois began.
"And the greatest wife; who is putting off telling me something! Lois, you have to know by now you can tell me anything. You do, don't you?" finished Clark hopefully but with a trace of worry in his voice.
"I do, which is probably why this is so hard to tell you! Don't you hear any cries for help? Someone that needs Superman?"
"Lois! Unless there was a major, and I mean major catastrophe or some other form of impending doom, there is no where I need or would rather be than right here with you. Now please just tell me, honey. I can't take all this tension anymore nor how it's eating away at you."
"Well when you put it like that! All right, Clark," said Lois turning serious. As you know few months ago I thought I was pregnant. When it turned out I wasn't, instead of feeling relieved, I felt more depressed than I ever had in my whole life; save the time I thought you were dead. I felt as if a part of me …of us…had failed and in that sense died. I know how much you want to be a dad. I also know beyond a shadow of a doubt what an incredible one you will be. What I don't know, or if I am being honest with myself, am not ready to admit to knowing, is that while the idea of motherhood still scares me and leaves me horrified at thoughts of how I might destroy a child. Recently I have slowly started to work past those fears and embrace the possibility. I just wish there was a way to * know * that everything would work out okay. Clark, it would break my heart, if I hurt any child of ours in anyway especially since I know that kind of pain all too well. That above all else has been what is haunting me…"
"And has been preventing you, not your past, deciding whether you want to give motherhood a shot?" Clark finished in a hushed voice laced with tears, as he gave Lois a huge hug.
"Lois, please look at me," urged Clark wiping a few last tears from his wife's face.
"I also was and in a small way, still am, afraid that you might hate me." Lois confessed hastily.
Her admission nearly shot Clark upright and through the ceiling and it was now his turn to try and calm down before responding. Even so, his face was whiter than a ghost.
Without thinking Clark hugged and then kissed his wife with a passion and fire that could have ignited a forest.
"It's a good thing I am invulnerable or a heart attack might have just taken me! Please don't ever and I mean EVER think for one millisecond that I could hate you! Lois, I love you with every fiber of my being. I might continue to exist without you but I certainly would not live."
"I love you so much, Clark, and as always thank you for putting up with me. I guess it's time for me to find a way to love myself more."
"I will do anything that I can to help you work through this. Just please, Lois, promise me you don't think I hate you?" Clark begged.
"Even if I never become pregnant or ruin our future child's life?" Lois questioned in a level voice.
"Lois first of all, my love, my eternal love and admiration for you is for you, not based on any future children your body might help bring us! Secondly and, in it's own way even more vital, is the fact, that any child of ours will be beyond lucky to call you his or her mom. You are the most brilliant, dynamic, passionate and tender person that I am privileged to know and love. It may take you awhile to see love right under your own nose or accept the friendship of others, but once you do, the other person never again has cause to doubt your affection or belief in them. Neither will our future children. That, my dear Lois, is more important than anything you might cook for them!"
"You sure do always know just what to say, Clark," Lois replied a little shakily yet with a smile.
"When it comes to my belief in and love for you, it's as natural to me as breathing." Clark replied in a heartbeat.
Lois pulled Clark into a long and tender embrace before timidly yet with more conviction than ever before, "Do you really think I'd make a good mother?"
"I know you will. And so do my parents as I, too, finally realized by their gift of my crib. They love and adore you so much, Lois and didn't mean to imply anything negative by the crib."
"Shh, I know that, Clark, I knew it just by looking at their faces and seeing their kindness yet concern for my feelings written all over them. You are so lucky to have them Clark. *I* am so lucky to have them! For the last few years and especially during the time since our marriage, Lois Lane has come to know both the love of a father and a mother. I just hope Perry isn't jealous!"
"Lois," laughed Clark, relieved and thankful that the feelings of inadequacy that had apparently haunted his wife to such a degree that she should even fathom he could hate her, had at last vanished, and were replaced by hope and teasing.
Suddenly it was Clark's turn to look a little forlorn as he really allowed himself to realize the truth that even if Lois should ever want to try and conceive naturally, his alien makeup might not allow her to do so! He awkwardly gave voice to this concern that in truth had been plaguing him ever since he married and possibly ever since he first laid eyes on Lois Lane.
"My God, Lois," Clark continued, "What if some terrible complication arose and hurt either or you or the baby?"
"Then that's a chance we take." Lois responded without a missing a beat. If I heard correctly, someone who sounded awfully confident and a lot like my husband recently said, 'that love is the only thing that matters.' Not to mention the fact that our love can conquer anything!"
"Looks like someone else instinctively knows the right thing to say" Clark answered, kissing his wife.
"The true thing. Clark, the only thing is, if we should choose to try and have a child, there might come a time where we would need to confide your secret in the doctor or at least hint at it as a possibility. Dr. Klein?"
Clark nodded affirmatively. "He has proven himself to be trustworthy and loyal to us, so should the time come I would have no qualms about telling him. I also think Perry should know, regardless of our decision, and do so in the not too distant future. I know how much you love him, Lois, and how, he in turn loves the daughter he has in you. He also has been a wonderful boss and friend to me. I wouldn't even be too surprised if he even knows my secret already. * Our excuses * aren't that good after all!
Lois and Clark laughed and then Clark turned serious and asked, "So what should we do now on this beautiful first day of March?"
"Prove to all the doctors in any galaxy that our love for another is powerful enough to create a healthy child!"
"Are you sure? Not that I want to question those beautiful words but I don't want you to feel rushed or like this is something I am pressuring you to do."
"It's something that until this moment * I * did not want to do. Now, however, my lord, the bedroom awaits us," Lois teased bowing toward Clark.
Clark could see and even more so feel that the glow radiating from his wife had come at long last from her slaying her own personal demons. Without further hesitation, he swept Lois up and in a flash our favorite young lovers were in their bedroom. Then, not even the end of the world could have stopped them.
4 months later
"Superman!" Dr. Klein exclaimed in surprise as the Man of Steel floated through the scientist's open office window.
"I apologize for startling you." Superman began, looking a little concerned as Dr. Klein slowly regained his composure.
"You know, you are always welcome here, Superman. However, and I mean no disrespect, but perhaps next time you could knock on the window before flying in? I am getting older, you know!" Dr. Klein added with a smile.
"I promise." Superman replied as he starred uncomfortably at the older man, as if unsure of how to proceed.
"What can I do for you? And please have a seat." Dr. Klein said, gesturing to a chair opposite the one he had just taken.
"Thank you. And please bear with me, for what I need to ask you will not be easy for me. I even practiced while pacing through the clouds!" Superman admitted, sounding much more like a regular man than a super one.
"Take your time," Dr. Klein managed to finally get out a few moments later.
"I have a favor to ask of you. One that I honestly never imagined myself needing to ask." Superman began tentatively.
"I will be glad to help in anyway that I can. I hope you already knew that," Dr. Klein replied, leaning toward the superhero.
"I do indeed and thank you. I also want you to know that if you did not have my implicit trust as well as gratitude for all that you have done for me in the past, I would not be sitting here right now. You have been a good friend to me, Dr. Klein, and I admit to needing you now," Superman replied.
"Thank you, Superman, and you have my word of that this conversation will remain confidential," The good doctor replied with assurance.
Superman took a brief stroll over to the window and a couple deep breaths before returning to his chair and beginning. "What I need to share with you does require the highest form of secrecy. No one must ever even suspect we had this conversation let alone see us having it. That is the reason for my hesitancy so far. Anyway, I know you are a busy man and I don't want to take up more of your time than necessary. I appreciate your attention so far. The thing is: would you be able to take a short flight with me in the next couple days? We would be going someplace remote to eliminate the possibility of eavesdroppers."
"I am nearly through for the day here. I could finish up and be with you in about hour. Say around 5? Would that be okay or would another time work better?" Dr. Klein stated after having checked his calendar.
It certainly took a will of steel to prevent Clark from bolting there and then. However, he knew what he had to do and was lucky, so very lucky to have Dr. Bernie Klein to turn to. So like the superhero the world knew him as, Superman held out his hand and said: "5 would be great and thank you again."
"No problem and thank you for your trust. I promise to never let you down," Dr. Klein replied shaking Superman's hand.
"He'll be ready at 5," Clark reported to Lois, as he landed inside the couple's bedroom window.
"Thank you, Clark for asking him. I know it wasn't easy." Lois replied, giving her husband a kiss.
"I would do anything for you and * our children *," Clark replied with a heartfelt grin. "I still can't believe we are going to be parents!"
"You got that right, Mister. Parents with a capital P no less, as I am having triplets." Lois reminded her husband forcefully. Then, with a seductive glint in her eye she added in a whisper, "Those sperm of yours certainly are * super * all right."
"L-O-I-S!" Clark hissed turning nearly the color of his cape.
Lois hugged her husband fiercely in return as she uttered some calming words
Clark, quickly recovered and had * threatened * to prove to his wife just how * super * he really was when he realized 5:00 wasn't getting any farther away. "I know we have talked about this to death, but are you positive, this is okay with you?"
"More than. This is all part of our destiny, Clark," Lois replied. "Now let's go get your parents before we change our minds and chicken out."
"Then let's go." Clark responded with a smile as he scooped up his very pregnant wife and took off for Smallville.
An hour later, having dropped off his parents and Lois on one very deserted island, Clark returned to Star Labs to get Dr. Klein. Clark only hoped the good doctor had a strong heart as the * surprise * that would soon be sprung on him would require no less.
"I'm all ready, Superman, whenever you are," Dr. Klein said with a tentative smile. "You certainly have my mind working overtime though trying to figure all this out."
"I just hope when you do, we will still be friends." Superman responded, picking the scientist up and starting toward the open window. "You'll need to close your eyes for a few moments as we will be flying super fast in order to prevent anyone or anything from seeing us."
Closing his eyes and covering his face, the good doctor nodded he was ready and the next thing he knew, the world seemed to fall away below him as they soared into the early evening summer sky.
Seconds later, it seemed, they were there. Wherever "there" was, thought Dr. Klein as his feet touched the sandy ground and he looked around.
"We're on a tiny island in Fiji." Superman responded to the unasked question. "As far as I know, no man has ever quite been this far out."
"It is beautiful," Dr. Klein gulped starring into nothingness once more.
"And very safe. Although I need to warn you, in a minute…well maybe you should sit down." Superman spluttered gesturing to the folding chair that Dr. Klein would swear must have magically appeared through thin air.
The older man collapsed into the chair and simply waited. He was too much in shock to do anything else. Or so he thought he was in shock; that is until he saw what had to be the apparitions of Lois, Jonathan, and Martha Kent appear before him. Then, he must surely either be dead or in a state of unconsciousness!
"Drink this water slowly," Martha commanded handing Dr. Klein a paper cup.
It took a good five minutes but at last the elderly doctor gave a weak smile and commented that he must be alive to have consumed the water.
"We are so glad you are alive!" Lois exclaimed as she hastened over to Dr. Klein's side to make sure he really was all right.
"We are truly sorry to have given you such a scare. Although it probably seems otherwise, that was never our intention," Martha and Jonathan went on to insist.
"No it wasn't. " replied a familiar and strong voice from a little distance away.
"Superman! I was wondering what had happened to you. This really must not be a dream as you are indeed standing beside me. But why did you bring me here and an even better question is what in the world are Clark's wife and parents doing here? The three of you are Lois, Jonathan and Martha Kent, aren't you?" Dr. Klein asked, with a hint of disbelief in his voice.
"We are at that," Jonathan replied quietly. The elderly farmer was in a bit of a shocked state himself; not being the type of person accustomed to pulling off the sort of stunt that, well, he had just helped to pull off!
Superman sighed and whispered hurriedly to his parents and Lois. He then flew off, returning a heartbeat later with 4 additional folding chairs. His family and himself soon occupied them.
"First off, you have my sincerest apology as well, Dr. Klein, for putting you in this awkward situation. I knew you would be surprised but never imagined that seeing the Kents here would shock you to the point of nearly passing out. I feel horrible about that. Are you sure you are okay?" Superman asked carefully.
"I'm fine, just quite stunned as well as perhaps a little angry. I do still trust you though, all of you." Dr. Klein swept his hand around the group in front of him. "But I would like to know what is going on now."
"Clark always teases me that I tend to often jump right into situations without a backwards glance as well as to always speak my mind, sometimes without enough forethought. So, here goes," Lois began, as she reached out to the friendly scientist and took one of his hands in her own.
"Thank you, Lois. But this explanation is mine to give," Superman responded instantaneously.
Lois risked giving Superman a quick good luck smile before joining the others in waiting for their hero and friend to begin.
"Dr. Klein, do you remember about a year ago when you conducted some tests on my DNA?" Superman questioned.
Dr. Klein nodded in response and waited for Superman to go on.
"Among other things, those tests seemed to reveal that because of the differences in my genetic makeup I could never impregnate an Earth woman," Superman said with a smile that was both bemused yet scared to death.
"I remember. I also…" That was as a far as the good doctor got, before whatever haze or spell that had thus far prevented him from realizing Lois was pregnant was lifted. And, suddenly, everything was made clear. Yet it wasn't. It couldn't be. "Superman," Dr. Klein croaked, "What are you doing with Clark Kent's obviously pregnant wife?"
Lois held fast to Dr. Klein's hand and the elder Kents stood near by, lest he truly keel over this time, as they watched their loved one create a whirlwind of red of blue as he shed his secret identity to reveal his truth.
This time Dr. Klein did indeed pass out and it took a good 10 minutes plus some super intervention for him to at last come to. When he did, he was faced with four people who had apparently just entrusted him—him— with their secret not to mention the very core of their lives. It was this startling realization that overrode any anger he might have felt and replaced it was a tremendous feeling of awe, respect, and most of all responsibility. At the moment, however, he simply felt OLD. Yet humbled in a way he never could have imagined.
"Dr. Klein, please say something," All four Kents begged as the doctor continued to stare at them all with a dazed expression.
"What can I say? Other than the obvious that I am shocked beyond belief yet humbled to my very core by your trust," Dr. Klein slowly yet proudly responded.
"So you are not too mad?" Clark ventured.
"More like amazed!" Dr. Klein all but shouted. "Although from what little I know of both you and Lois, I guess it shouldn't be too surprising that your love found a way to conquer the laws of science!"
"I knew we would like you, Dr. Klein," Martha Kent replied. "That is exactly what Jonathan and I have been telling our son and Lois all along."
"Speaking of my son," Jonathan began firmly. "You do realize, Dr. Klein, how vital it is too all of us, especially to Lois' unborn children that Clark's secret now be kept even more of a secret?"
"Dad!" Clark exclaimed with embarrassment. "We can trust him."
"I understand, Clark, no offense was taken. And, Mr. Kent, I don't blame you in the least for asking. If I were you, well, first off I don't know if I would be able to watch my son reveal what yours just did, but if I did, my reaction to someone else knowing would have probably been much more demonstrative then your own," Dr. Klein assured Clark's father. "I swear to all of you that no matter what happens from here, no one will ever be the wiser to this evening," Dr. Klein promised with a conviction that earned a smile from all the Kents, Jonathan especially.
"So now that the four of you have tried to do me in twice already this evening, is there anything else you would like to share with me before my heart does decide to give out?" Dr. Klein teased.
"The reason we deemed this meeting necessary, Dr. Klein," Clark said as his mother squeezed his shoulder in support, "Is the fact that not only is Lois pregnant but a recent ultra sound confirmed what my x-ray vision already knew; and that is that Lois is carrying triplets; triplets who as you can see," Clark hesitated for a moment before continuing, having caught Lois' glare at him indicating her big belly, "are growing fast. Too fast to be completely human."
Dr. Klein's face told the others he was still processing this latest bit of information so Lois continued. "Clark's mom has some medical experience from her days as a midwife and has been looking after me throughout my pregnancy. After the first couple months, we all knew it would no longer be safe for me to see my regular obstetrician. So we have acquired what equipment we need, although with Clark here we don't really need much…" Lois babbled.
"And despite some early kicking and rapid growth, there did not seem to be anything too unusual about Lois' pregnancy. Until that is just about a month ago, when Clark realized the seeming * super * strong heartbeats he heard from inside Lois' womb belonged to not two babies as we originally thought but in fact three. After that it seemed the triplets perhaps felt they had been acknowledged and so there was no longer a need to hold back their strength or growth. Also, Lois has confided in me that she has started to experience moments of light headedness accompanied at times by shortness of breath." Martha saved Lois by finishing.
"That's when we * knew * the time had come to confide in you and ask for your help." Clark added hopefully.
"I am honored that you did, all of you. My main concern probably mirrors your own in that we really don't know just how far this pregnancy will go, nor what surprises it might have in store. This certainly presents a unique problem and one I admit to not being sure as to how to solve," Dr. Klein thought aloud.
"First of all it's getting later and cooler. Clark, do you think it would be safe to continue this conversation at home? I really don't think Lois should be sitting out here in that hard chair much longer," Martha asked her son.
"Oh my God! Lois, I am so sorry! I was so caught up in everything that I didn't even think. You must be freezing not too mention exhausted," Clark babbled on frantically.
The resulting laughter did everyone good and a plan was made for Clark to fly Lois and his mom home to Smallville before returning for his father and Dr. Klein.
An hour later, the Kents had agreed for Lois to visit Star Labs the following evening after regular hours. Dr. Klein had been flown home and now the Kent family was able to breath a sigh of relief as they helped Martha whip together a quick supper.
After a delicious meal and lots of hugs all around at how well things had worked out with Dr. Klein, it was time for Lois and Clark to return to Metropolis. However, Martha wasted no time in offering the farmhouse as a safe refuge for Lois should it become necessary to hide some of the everyday issues concerning her pregnancy. Both younger Kents agreed that if not before, certainly in a couple months time, they would take Martha up on her generous offer. For now, everyone was tired yet triumphant after a difficult late afternoon and were ready to call it a day.
The next evening around 7 found Superman quickly x-raying the entire Star Labs facility before quickly lowering his wife inside Dr. Klein's window.
Dr. Klein was ready and waiting for them and after a brief period of uncertainty on the scientist's part as to how he should proceed. He decided an "old fashioned" ultra sound would be a good starting point.
Lois lay down on the exam table and briefly winced as the cold gel was squirted onto her stomach. Clark, being the super husband that he was, quickly zapped the gel with a tiny bit of heat. Dr. Klein was never even the wiser.
"Your three fetuses certainly are awake and active!" Dr. Klein exclaimed as the three of them focused onto the rapidly moving white sacs displayed on the monitor.
"Tell me about it," Lois groaned. "Sometimes I wonder if they ever sleep!"
"They are always on the go, just like their mother," was Clark's attempt at a humorous response.
The resulting laughter from Dr. Klein was soon stopped short as he realized Lois had grown quiet, too quiet. A closer look revealed that her heart rate was quickly increasing every time one of the babies engaged in prolonged movement.
"Lois," Dr. Klein slowly, knowing the words he was about to deliver would be met with the same reception as say a fish being taken out of water.
"What's wrong with my babies?" Lois demanded suddenly, looking from Dr. Klein to her husband. Both men seemed to be exchanging secretive and worried glances with one another.
Clark slid his chair closer to Lois and held her hand even tighter as he waited for Dr. Klein's response.
Dr. Klein cleared his throat a few times before beginning. "Lois, Clark, you told me the triplets were conceived in early March and therefore at this time Lois should be about four months pregnant. However, just from this ultrasound alone, though I caution both of you, as these things can be inexact, I would advise that an internal monitor be placed immediately…" Dr. Klein trailed off.
Clark had changed out of his Superman costume immediately upon arriving at Star Labs, just on the off chance any employee might decide to put in a late night appearance. As far as Dr. Klein was concerned, however, the look he was now being given by both the Kents might have even made Superman quiver!
"So an internal monitor is the next step," Lois all but shouted. "And then? Why I am starting to feel light headed? I swear Dr. Klein and this might just go for you, too, Clark, if one of you does not start talking and I mean now, I won't be responsible for my actions!"
"Honey, please calm down. And Dr. Klein, the suspense is killing both of us. It's pretty obvious something is very wrong. We need to know what that is and now!" Clark finished in his superman voice.
Dr. Klein, knowing when he was beaten, sighed before replying, "From what I have seen and felt in my examination so far, my guess is that Lois is more like a good 6 months along in terms of a normal human pregnancy. As you both might already know, the expected gestation cycle for a healthy triplet birth is at about 35 weeks, in other words, a good month earlier than a singleton. In this case, however, and I will need to do some further testing to try and determine the fetus's weight and other overall development, I'd be surprised if Lois even carried that long."
"Are you saying I could have these children at any time? Perhaps even now?" an irate Lois babbled almost incoherently as she still was feeling light headed.
Dr. Klein squeezed Lois' hand and replied, "What I'm saying Mrs. Kent is that you may need to make that trip to Smallville to be on bed rest much sooner than anticipated."
The eyes of both Kents filled with tears and they held each other close for a few moments, feeling as though the world just might be crashing down on their three miracles. Clark, silently added to himself "On Lois, too."
The next hour was filled with more invasive tests and procedures including an internal monitor being placed. Dr. Klein even attempted to draw some fetal blood but all he got was a broken syringe.
"This complicates things even further." Dr. Klein muttered to himself. "Um Clark, would you mind going to take a walk or something for about 10 minutes?" Dr. Klein asked with tremendous speed as if getting the words out as quickly as possible would prevent an explosive reaction out of the two parents to be.
As he expected, no sooner than the last syllable left his mouth, he found Clark standing at his full height and glaring down at him and Lois, struggling for all she worth to raise herself into a standing position.
"I gather the answer is no?" Dr. Klein asked meekly as he took few steps toward the closed exam room door, just in case * he * needed to attempt a super escape.
"It is until you tell us why!" Both Kents all but yelled.
"Kryptonite. I believe we need to find out * now * whether or not the triplets will be susceptible to it's radiation. I, of course, realize we may not fully know that at this early stage of their development, but if a very brief exposure might allow me to draw some blood, it could prove to be vital to not only their health but that of their mother's as well." Dr. Klein stated with more authority, seeing, that at least for now, he wasn't being attacked.
Not surprisingly, the very mention of Clark's biggest nemesis caused both he and Lois to pale and * want * to verbally lash out at the scientist for even suggesting such a thing. However, given the fact that within the last couple hours Lois' had gone from a weary yet quite fiery and healthy mom to be to someone who looked as if she was almost done in, the Kents were forced to suppress their gut reaction and face the facts. To this end Clark asked Dr. Klein if he and Lois might have a few minutes of privacy before making a decision.
"Of course," Dr. Klein immediately replied. "Please know I did not suggest this lightly. I am very concerned about Lois' elevated blood pressure and heart rate and am thinking…well I don't want to get ahead of myself. I'll just run over to my office and check for any late messages and will be back in a little while."
With tears streaming down her pale face, Lois turned to her husband and said, "Clark, I am so scared. Terrified is more like it. I * knew * something horrible would happen to our child because of me."
"My sweet, Lois, what have I done to you?" Clark wept silently for a couple moments. "Don't you see this is all my fault for getting you pregnant! We knew, * I * knew my alien physiology might put you at great risk, but did that stop me? No! And now both you and our unborn children are in danger."
Lois, strengthened by her fierce love for Clark, managed to sit up and turn her husband's face toward her own before beginning with a small smile, "And you always said I was the babbler and person to sometimes let my emotions overrun me!"
Clark, still feeling as if he had been hit by a ton of Kryptonite, managed a smile and kissed his wife lightly. Before he could say anything, Lois reminded him quite firmly that they were in this together.
"We both wanted this to happen, Clark. It's hardly as if I was forced or coerced into a situation that I did not want to be apart of. As you always say, our love is stronger than any obstacle that might come our way. For all we know, the Kryptonite might not affect the babies at all and then we will be right back to where we are now. I, for one, would rather find that out at the hands of a trusted friend in Dr. Klein than later down the road when faced with some psychopath wielding Kryptonite."
"It's not even the thought of Kryptonite being used on our babies right now that is truly terrifying me, don't you see, Lois, my blood, my alien blood and DNA seems to be hurting you. It seems to be draining the life out of you." Clark finished in a barely audible voice. He didn't even care that Dr. Klein had just returned to the exam room and had most likely overheard some of their conversation.
Dr. Klein, quietly joined the couple and softly replied, "First off no one is to blame for this situation. The two of you have been through some events in the past that would have felled lesser people, even, * super * powered ones, but your courage and belief in and love for one another got you through. Just the fact that Lois is pregnant right now proves that the love you share is more powerful than, and forgive my choice of words, but I think it fits perfectly here, the largest chunk of any colored Kryptonite either of you might ever encounter. Secondly, a thought came to me while I was giving you both some privacy. A very interesting thought should it prove to be of any merit."
Like the blue-blooded investigator that she was at heart, those words got Lois' attention and fast. Clark was not exactly oblivious either as he, too, looked toward Dr. Klein with a flash of hope and renewal.
"I'm just thinking aloud here so please bear with me for a minute." Dr. Klein started, offering a fatherly smile to both of his young friends."
"You definitely have our attention, doctor." Clark responded.
"You certainly do." Lois replied with strength of voice that was like music to her frantic husbands ears. Being forced to play the part of a patient and take it easy during her exams and this time following, had done wonders for Lois and at last she was beginning to feel more like her old self.
"Here goes. As I see it, it's already pretty safe to say that the uh * super * components of Clark's DNA have begun to make themselves very known, perhaps even to the extent of one day overriding their human counterparts." Dr. Klein held up a hand to indicate that he would appreciate the opportunity to continue before either Lois or Clark responded. "Therefore, these are going to be very strong little people who, and this is the interesting part of my speculation, may in fact be immune to Kryptonite if for no other reason than the fact that they, even in- utero, are already gaining strength and protection from our Earth's yellow sun. The same yellow sun whose rays activated Clark's innate super DNA to make him super powered and almost immortal. My proposition is what if being born under a yellow sun and not a red one, enables your children to truly be invulnerable? Wait, there's two more things, you both might like to hear before you speak. What if also, even if it's just some cord blood, I transfuse a little of your children's blood to Clark? Additionally, as a means of intervention to the affects of, excuse my language, alien blood in Lois' system now, I were to give her a little of your blood Clark. I think that might very well be the solution to Lois regaining full health and no longer being at risk for as long as she may be pregnant."
"Clark would then be truly immortal in that he would be free from the curse of any form of Kryptonite!" Lois exclaimed with a sudden new-found glint in her eyes.
"And, you Lois, would no longer be in any danger! That would mean more to me than anything else in the world," Clark said with great passion before sobering for a moment as new tears threatened to fall from his eyes. "And, if I dare ask for anything else, perhaps my greatest long term fear that the day would come where Kryptonite allowed someone to hurt my family because of my reaction to it would cease to exist as well." Clark said in mild disbelief. "Do you really think that's possible, Dr. Klein? After all the reason I've always thought that Kryptonite hurts me is because as an infant I was never exposed to, or if I was for very long, the rays of the red sun of Krypton."
"I am afraid that is something we will probably never know for certain, Clark," Dr. Klein responded quickly. "But along those same lines, we do know, thanks to the little you as Superman shared with me about your origins, it was limited or no exposure to that same red sun that quite possibly is why you are gifted with the powers you have. The yellow sun of our Earth, combined of course with your natural DNA, is therefore a more reasonable explanation to the powers you behold than any red sun of a now long gone planet called Krypton could provide. Don't you think?" Dr. Klein finished abruptly lest Clark think his birthplace was being insulted.
"I think you might very well be brilliant, Dr. Klein, and onto something, I know I never before thought of," Clark replied earnestly before turning to his wife and asking, "Lois?"
"That makes two of us, though I admit to not quite understanding everything you said. If it should prove true…" Lois started to cry the happiest of tears as she hugged her husband with all her might.
"Our family would never be threatened again. I could actually * live * more of life. We both could, with each other," Clark continued through his own awe filled tears.
"Should we get started?" Dr. Klein asked softly, " Or now that Lois appears to be more stable, would you prefer to wait until the morning. It is nearly 8:30 and I daresay you, Lois, especially must be exhausted!"
"I am still not 100% in support of exposing the triplets to Kryptonite, but if you honestly feel there's even the slightest chance that giving some of my blood to Lois would be an antidote to the condition she was in earlier and might be in again, then break out that Kryptonite by all means. I am ready," Clark answered.
A few minutes later it was decided that Clark should go and get at least one of his parents, along with Lois' jeep before the Dr. Klein proceeded in drawing his blood. As the good doctor himself said he'd be happy to drive the two Kents home if necessary afterward should Clark still feel too weak to fly them there, but it would probably look a whole lot less suspicious for one of his parents to do so instead. So, that is what brought Clark home at the rather late farm hour of nearly 8pm.
"Clark!" Jonathan shouted in surprise as he slowly opened the front door to find his son standing outside.
Clark quickly came inside and closed the door behind him before ushering his parents into the living room. Once everyone was seated, he quickly relayed the events that had taken place over the last couple hours.
Tears coursed down all three of their faces as Clark described the horror he felt at seeing Lois suddenly look as pale as a ghost only to later be told of the unusual yet highly possible antidote and what it could mean to him, to all of them.
No words were necessary as the elder Kents embraced their son with all their love and might. It looked as if the deepest and longest held wish that both Martha and Jonathan had for their son might in fact come true: Clark, who on a 24/7 basis was ready in a heartbeat to live his life for others no matter the personal cost to himself, might, just finally, be given the gift of complete immortality and as a result being to enjoy more of his life and family.
Given the magnitude of the situation both Martha and Jonathan insisted on accompanying their son back to Metropolis. While Martha and Jonathan quickly dressed, Clark grabbed their emergency over night bags which, soon after he became Superman, his parents always had packed and ready to go just in case, and in less than 20 minutes, they had arrived at Star Labs.
The sight that greeted them, however, was one of grave concern. Dr. Klein stood over one very pale and listless looking Lois Lane, who was shivering under the heavy blanket that the scientist had covered her with.
Clark literally flew over to his wife's side and watched in absolute horror as his precious Lois was slipping away right before his eyes.
Martha and Jonathan were simply in shock and could do little more than offer support to their son.
Dr. Klein broke the silence by thanking Clark's parents for coming and then adding, "Lois bloodstream is being ravaged even more quickly and violently than I had expected." Dr. Klein couldn't help show some emotion as he added in a whisper, "She's going fast and is going to need her husband more than ever and now. Are you ready, Clark?"
"To save Lois' life? From the second I met her, Doctor, from the second I met her." Clark answered with all his heart. "It's Kryptonite time?"
"I am afraid it's our only hope. One thing, though, is I am nearly confident it will save the day." Dr. Klein added, desperately needing to infuse some hope into the three hearts that stood before him.
"Then let's do it," Clark firmly replied, kissing Lois for all he was worth.
The elder Kents were left to guard over Lois while Clark was led into a small, locked room. "I have a small piece of Kryptonite hidden in that safe over there." Dr. Klein said indicating a nearly invisible wall colored safe. "Why don't you take a seat over here and we'll get started. With any luck, my friend, this will be the last time Kryptonite ever has any power over you or your family."
"I can only pray with all my being that you are right," Clark answered as he braced himself to shortly be swept away with nausea and pain.
"Clark! Clark! Wake up, please snap out of it!" Four voices demanded as they tried to penetrate the trance their loved one was under.
"What's going on?" Clark muttered sleepily as he at last struggled to come to.
"Oh Clark, we thought you might be lost to us this time," Martha sobbed as she fussed over her son, making * sure * he was all right.
"Mom? Dad? Where are we?" Clark asked, feeling as though he truly were lost in a haze of fog.
The bond of love he shared with Lois answered that question in an instant, for Lois Lane Kent grabbed hold her husband's hands and with tears of radiant happiness in her eyes answered, "Safe from all evil forever. You did it Clark, you really did."
Being the man of steel had its advantages for it did not take more than a millisecond for Clark's super brain and powerful body to return to form upon hearing those glorious words. "Lois! You are alive, you're okay!"
"And our three unborn children are perfectly fine as well, my love, all thanks to your courage," Lois replied.
"How can I * we * ever thank you, Dr. Klein?" Clark as well as his family asked one very weary but triumphant Dr. Klein?
"Your courage, and the love you share for not only your family but for the world at large, has done that a hundred times over, Clark. It was my honor to have the opportunity to help you and Lois tonight."
Clark embraced the elder man and then slowly asked, as if not wanting to take any chances that the answer might be negative, "So does this mean Kryptonite…?"
"In any form, some psychopath might come up with, should never be a threat to any of you * super * people again." Dr. Klein crowed with happiness. "Not only was I able to give Lois a little of your blood, Clark, which almost immediately returned her body chemistry to normal, but after enough time, I somehow was able to extract some cord blood to not only bring you back to full health now but to ward off the ill and potentially deadly affects those multicolored fragments of a long since exploded planet have or should I say had upon its last surviving son forever. You are free, Clark, you are free," Dr. Klein finished joyously.
A little more than 3 months later, as fall fully descended upon Metropolis, turning leaves beautiful hues of red, orange, and yellow, and early Halloween thoughts began to invade the minds of the city's young children two of the city's most special "children," were given the ultimate gift in a tiny Smallville hospital.
After much discussion, it was decided to entrust old Doc Blake, (the very same Doc Blake, who had 32 years earlier discreetly conjured up a birth certificate for Clark and who always could be trusted to sign off on any school health forms that came the Kent's way), along with his daughter, Jennifer, who had a good 20 years earlier taken over her father's family medical practice and of course one forever revered in the Kent family, Dr. Bernard Klein with Lois care and when the time came c-section at Smallville Community Hospital. Since their fellow colleagues upheld Doc Blake and his daughter, in the highest esteem not only in town, but, as well, not a second thought was given to their request for a private operating room and for Dr. Klein to be allowed on board.
The dreams of the Kent family were tripled on the morning of October 24th. Dr. Klein was given the task of calling out the birth times to Doc Blake who, of course, had to be the person to record them.
Tears cascaded down Dr. Klein's face as he helped Dr. Jennifer Blake perform Lois' c-section.
Lois and Clark had already secretly given Dr. Klein a list of what they wanted to name their children so it was with great joy that he announced the arrival of first "Jonathan Kyle, at 10:07am, followed by Marissa Star at 10:08, and lastly at just seconds before 10:10, Zachary Adam."
All three babies were found to have very healthy sets of lungs, given perfect APGAR scores, and, much to the amazement of all their doctors, even levitated slightly at times.
The Kent family was whole forevermore. The empty fifth slot in Clark's picture frame would soon be filled.