By Jennifer Baker (JijiB@aol.com)

Summary: Clark comes home to Lois and a wonderful surprise!


He flew high over the buildings, circling one last time in the night. Below him, he could hear the hum of city life, bustling even at this late hour. And, over it all, an ever-present gentle rhythm. He smiled to himself. Her heart was beating slowly and gently, not quite asleep, but neither fully awake. Calling to him. With a twist, he swooped downward, and home.

He landed on the balcony and reached for his key. Unlocking the door, he stepped inside. She was lying there as he knew she would be, curled on her side, one arm clutching the bear he had won her so long ago. He could hear her heartbeat change as he entered the room, quickening slightly as she drifted further awake.

Silently, trying not to wake her any further, he slipped out of the costume and crossed over to the bed. For a moment he simply gazed down at her, entranced by the glow of her skin in the moonlight and the fall of her hair across the silk pillow. But as he stood there, her heartbeat changed yet again, and he knew she was awake.

Turning, she rolled over, looking up at him, her eyes shining in the semi-dark. "Clark?"

"Hi, baby."

"What is it?" she asked, still confused with waking.


"Then come to bed," she ordered sleepily, offering him a tantalizing view of her curves as she pulled back the sheet for him. "It's late, and even Superman needs sleep."

"Yes ma'am," he teased even as he slid into the bed next to her, repositioning the covers around them both. He drew his arms up around her, pulling her even closer and, with a contented sigh, she snuggled into his warmth, burying her face against his shoulder.

Lying there, nestled in each others arms, he could feel her body begin to relax against his, her heart beating back towards sleep. Minutes later, he knew she had found sleep again as her slow and steady heartbeat filled the room. Not needing to sleep yet himself, he lay content in her embrace, listening as each heartbeat confirmed again that she was still there, with him in the darkness, as much a part of his life as he was of hers.

Then, as he lay there listening, he slowly became aware of an entirely new sound in the room: a tiny, steady fluttering, no louder than the beating of butterfly wings. At first, he thought that was all it was, the movement of some insect he had let in earlier. But, as he tried to isolate the location, he soon realized that the sound was not coming from the room. Instead, it was quite clearly centered within the woman he held clasped in his arms.

Tears sprang unbidden to his eyes at the knowledge and his arms tightened instinctively around her. Around them. Tilting his head, he brushed his lips against her hair before resting his cheek on the top of her head, unwilling to wake her, to share the news with anyone. The morning would come soon enough for that, but for now he lay in the darkness, cherishing the heartbeats of his family as they slept secured in the shelter of his arms.

The beginning