By Renee Charles
Summary: Lois reminisces about her husband and her children.
Author's note: Lots of thanks this time, as Rhen put it at first, this was a mess.
[Rhen's note: What I actually said was, "This story needs more editing than I have time to do." :^)]
So a BIG thanks to Barbara Geraud, and Greta Casagrande for doing the final proofs of this. Also, a thanks goes out to Lola McClellan for reading this first, Elizabeth Blayer for reading this over and ATTEMPTING to proof it <G>, Amy McKenna for helping me with semicolons <BG>, and Jennilyn Lazo for reading this. 6/20/95. This is my sequel to One Big Happy Family, and believe me, there's more. (This is one huge flashback story…So you know...)
Lois Lane kicked off her shoes under her desk. She was tired, her 11 year old son, Josh, spent most of the night throwing up. Chuckling softly, she figured that wouldn't make great headlines. Lois rubbed her eyes wearily. She was rather good looking for being 38 years old - her hair, thankfully was still all brown (no grey or white streaks), and she had not gained all that much weight, considering the two pregnancies she had endured. She considered this a Good Thing, not just for her own vanity, but also because Clark Kent, her partner/best friend/ husband, had not appeared to age all that much. He looked older, yes, ancient, no. Maybe he wouldn't age; Kryptonian blood is an interesting thing. But it hadn't stopped him up until now, so she'd have to wait and see. That was her plan, staying to see. She loved Clark with all her heart, and after all this time, he still put up with her ramblings and babbling and in general, crap. That's not all he does, thought Lois, a warm blush creeping into her cheeks.
A yawn escaped her lips for the fourth time that hour. Poor Josh, she thought. He apparently hadn't inherited any of Clark's powers, or any resistance to disease. Clark was at home with him now.
Pushing back a strand of hair that had fallen over her face, she tried to get to work, but her mind kept wandering. Unable to fight it anymore, sleep took over her mind. ***
It was a rainy Tuesday, and Lois was feeling quite sick. So sick, in fact, she couldn't keep any food in her stomach. She was on her way to her doctor's appointment, these symptoms having gone on for far too long. Lois remembered it all over again - the happy face of the doctor as he came out of his lab. "So, Lois," he had said. "Have you chosen any baby names yet?" It had taken awhile to sink through to her. It was almost unbelievable, she was pregnant.
But unfortunately, Clark wasn't home. He was out being Superman, and trying to rescue some little boy from a fire. It was after 10:30 when he came home, and she was bubbling over with pent-up anticipation. "Clark!," she had screamed, startling him. And she proceeded to babble for 15 solid minutes about baby names and books. Clark just stared, bewildered. What was she getting at? He had no idea. Until she finally blurted "Clark, I'm pregnant. We're going to have a baby!" he had never known shock. Silence had covered the apartment like a mist. Clark was barely able to choke out anything and her face fell.
"I know it wasn't planned, but…" Lois had said, upset that maybe he didn't want the baby.
"'But' nothing! I can't believe it! I'm going to be a daddy!" Clark had exclaimed, and hugged her tightly - she could feel his tears on her back.
It made her happy. ***
Nine months later, in late March, Joshua Christopher Kent was born. A healthy boy, with dark curly hair, a ready smile and adorable dimples that matched Clark's.
It took a few months to learn Josh was not invulnerable. In early August, he had fallen out of his crib, and Clark had checked, confirming that Josh's arm was broken.
Lois knew Clark was a bit disappointed knowing that his son was not 'super' like his Daddy. But aside from that, Lois and Clark grew closer, and Josh was raised a happy baby. Perry loved him and was especially pleased when they brought him to work. However, to Lois, even though she loved him dearly, motherhood was not all fun and games. Josh had a knack for getting himself into trouble, just like his mother. She couldn't count the numerous times he had hidden, played with papers at her desk and Clark's, and just plain caused mischief. Lois supposed he had her charm. When he got into trouble, he'd look up with his big, brown eyes, and all would be forgiven. Josh, being very intelligent, quickly learned that people turned to mush at this adorable baby, epecially his father.
It was a couple months before Josh's fifth birthday when Lois had started to get irritable at everything, from late headlines to talkative sources to sarcastic and joking husbands.
As if keeping her byline and prestigious reputation wasn't enough (she had managed to keep up with all the top stories; she dropped none of her work load, even while in labor), she was juggling Clark, who was having problems dealing with being Superman, Josh, Dan Scardino (who had decided to stop by for a visit), and extra weight.
It didn't take long for Clark to notice the weight gain. Or her mood swings. One minute she'd be playful and joking as usual, the next she'd be crying. Or her craving for the strangest food combinations. Like pickles and vanilla yogurt. Or pizza and peanut butter. Or his personal "most disgusting" choice, hot dogs and caramel topping. It made him gag every time, thinking about it.
Soon, she couldn't ignore the situation either. Another trip to the doctor confirmed that she was pregnant again. It wasn't planned, but the two of them were thrilled at the prospect of another child.
Their life seemed too good to be true. And it was. In the middle of her fifth month of pregnancy, Clark and Lois began to have problems in their marriage. And it showed: the quality of their work went down, and the entire aura of the newsroom went from open and warm to cold and tense. The root of their problem was Superman, and the fact that Clark couldn't always be there when she needed him. They even separated for three weeks. It didn't work well; Lois pined away for Clark, and Clark dreamed of Lois. But each was too stubborn to admit it. Until of course, Lois began to levitate frequently, often while the baby kicked. Lois had called Clark, and Clark was concerned, so he had stopped to check on her.
They had started talking things out, and one thing led to another, and by the next morning, they were back together. And closer than ever. Both had realized how much the other meant, and how they both couldn't stand being apart.
From that point, Lois's second pregnancy turned interesting instead of annoying. First it was the floating, and then, along with that, her sight and hearing became much sharper. So sharp, in fact, that on a stakeout, the couple didn't even need to bug the office they were watching. Lois and Clark could both hear perfectly clearly.
But to complicate matters, poor Josh was suffering from baby envy. Clark and Lois devoted lots of time painting the walls to the baby's room. And to their work, and to Lois's health. So Lois had gotten her sister, Lucy, to come and watch Josh during the day instead of day care. Clark also decided to take time off of work to play with him, because he knew that Josh felt as if he wasn't important anymore. Lois took him to work and Perry watched him, each giving extra attention so Josh knew he was still loved.
It was one night in early November, as Clark and Josh were curled up on the couch watching TV, when Lois looked fondly at the men in her life. A split second later, she screamed in pain. Both heads spun around. She pointed vaguely to her protruding abdomen. "The baby, Clark!" Clark became extremely concerned when she fainted, so he flew her over to Metro General. Once she was diagnosed as being in labor and admitted, he had to fly back home because in his haste, he had forgotten all about Josh. He dropped Josh at Lucy's apartment, and sped over to the hospital.
By the time he got there, Lois was in heavy labor. And crying. "Clark," she had moaned, "I want you to hold my hand!" He grabbed her hand, and almost grimaced from the pressure of her grip.
It was a difficult labor, and when they were through, Lois was exhausted. But the end results were worth the effort - there was a new baby girl, Hallie Elizabeth Kent.
If Josh had inherited his mother's persona, Hallie had Clark's. She was a quiet baby, with dark brown hair and big brown eyes. When she began talking, she was always shy and sweet, with a teasing side to her. She was daddy's little girl, in more ways than one. Hallie had inherited all of Clark's powers. Not only did she fly, she could lift couches. And Clark's eyes, while shining with mischief as she did that, also shone with pride.
In general, Lois had a pleasant enough life. It was hard at times, yes, but she wouldn't trade that for the world. ***
Lois woke up to a ringing phone. "Daily Planet."
"Clark! How's Josh?"
"He's doing better, he's asleep right now. Tired, Lois?"
"Not anymore, I was napping."
"Dreams about Superman?" he teased, thinking of the early days.
"Yes, dreams about you."
"Josh is up, honey, I have to go. No! No! Josh, not on the floor! Bye, I love you."
She packed her bag, promising she'd work on the story with Clark at home. ***
Stepping inside, she found Clark and Josh sound asleep on the couch, with Hallie sprawled on top of Clark. Smiling softly at them, she put her work down on the table. She began working on their story, about the bizarre appearance of a breed type of police officers, ones who called themselves "Anti-Superman." According to Bobby Bigmouth, they were employed by none other than Mayson Drake. Looking over her paper, she realized that this article should be an editorial. Too much feeling was involved. Lois put the paper back inside the folder for submitting tomorrow. She would work with Clark later on the REAL story. Right now she needed some sleep.
Lois walked over to the couch, saw that there was still room (the couch was a couch-bed at that moment) next to Clark and Hallie. Pushing them ever so slightly, she eased herself under his arm, and snuggled up to his body. Sighing contentedly, she relaxed once again into sleep. ***
It was in the height of their separation, hers and Clark's. It was a painful time. Josh stayed at Lucy's house for three weeks until it blew over. He couldn't handle it: Clark being so depressed, and Lois so neurotic. "Get back together already," he'd whine, saddened that mommy and daddy were fighting.
She didn't know, but while she was moping, Clark was even worse. He stayed at Jimmy's place, and from what she heard, didn't do much of anything. He ate, slept, sat awake with the 'guys', but didn't register much feeling. Jimmy even said that sometimes, Clark would mumble her name in his sleep. He'd also stare for hours at photos of her, mainly one of the two of them kissing near a pond in Smallville.
Lois had been no better, she knew. Clark may have been taking a so-called vacation from work, but her mind was never on topic. She was usually found holding her heart- shaped locket, staring dejectedly off into space. Not only that, she was irritable from being pregnant, hungry, and to top it off, floating around the house. She missed Clark, she missed Josh, and she wanted life to go back to normal. Everything reminded her of Clark, even chocolate ice cream. Even normal things, like dishes after dinner.
It was after an awful night of insomnia and nausea when Clark had come into work the next day, and promptly became very concerned with her health. She had caught the warm, curious looks in her direction, and with every one, her heart sped up. But she could never admit that she missed him, but oh, she did.
She had to rush out of the newsroom to throw up a couple times, and she was not feeling any better when it was time to go home. She had moaned to herself, wishing Clark was there.
Lo and behold, he had showed up, with that crooked grin and caring eyes. They started talking, small talk at first, then growing more detailed. Before long, they had talked out their fight. When Clark realized that the breach had apparently been healed, he had moved his hand so it was around her shoulders. She had responded instantly, leaning her head up for a long-missed kiss. It came, and before long, the two were asleep in each other's arms.
Waking up in the morning, Lois made Clark breakfast, and made him promise not to leave again. "But Lois, I didn't want to leave. You kicked me out," he said, pathetically. She had replied that she didn't want him to leave her again, or fight for that matter. He crossed the room and wiped away the stray tear running down her face. Tenderly, he had promised to love her forever, and never leave again. ***
Lois shifted in her sleep and smiled. The end of the separation was a happy time; her moods changed for the better, Josh came home, and the newsroom brightened. She had a baby shower at the Planet, with a 'name the baby' raffle. It was all in fun, whoever came up with the best name would name the baby. Perry wanted Perry White Kent for a boy, and Perri Whyte Kent for a girl. Clark was quick to respond with a 'thanks Chief, but no thanks.'
"Wake up, honey," A voice called to her, and she could feel the hand push her hair tenderly off her face. "Lois, honey, wake up."
It was Clark, staring down at her, and in opening her eyes to that face, she smiled at the butterflies that still fluttered around her stomach at the sight of him. "Hey, Clark, we really need to get to work, I promised Perry we'd work on the Anti-Superman story tonight."
Clark nodded. "We can start now."
Lois grinned wryly. "Not yet, Clark, just wait," she cooed, and gently pulled on his tie to bring him down.
"Must've been some dream, Lois."
"Mmm. The night after our separation."
Clark nodded. "That was a night to remember. Too bad you were already pregnant!"
"Oh, you!" She giggled and rolled over onto her stomach. "Where's Josh?"
"He's in bed, I think he's feeling a little better now."
"Lucy picked her up an hour ago, remember?"
"So we should get to work."
Clark pouted. "Before, you said, ' yet.' So? What about that waiting to finish?!?"
"We'll do that later," she said, untangling her hands from his tie.
They both rose and sat at the kitchen table to work on the story.
(TO BE CONTINUED AT A LATER DATE)