Seahorses do it all the time

by Shropshire

Disclaimer: I don't have any character. I'm working on a hobby, though.

Notes: This is LastScorpion's fault. I would never have done it, if not pushed. Or rather asked, in passing, in a joking sort of way.

(There are more notes but they were naughty in class and so have been kicked to the end).

Warnings: Mpreg. (If you leave now, I'll understand). AU sometime after the first season.

Everyone knew about the meteors, of course. It was just one of those subjects that you simply didn't talk about. If your tennis partner started to literally steam when they lost, you politely overlooked it. You talked about the weather or, if desperate, the fascinating history of cheese. If someone made an offhand comment about another person having eyes in the back of their head you made a discreet check, just in case.

But you never ever mentioned it out loud.

Nonetheless, on the day that every single little green rock spontaneously glowed brightly, hummed a tune which sounded suspiciously like "hush a bye baby" and then disintegrated there was a general air of immense relief (except on the part of one hairy billionaire who hastily - and foolishly -opened his Metropolis vault to discover nothing but wispy green particles).

The relief was sadly premature.

"It's my kidneys that get the worst of it. The little blighter always seems to know exactly where to kick." Pete shifted uncomfortably.

"Huh. I wish I just had aching kidneys. Not only do I have bunions the size of barrage ballooons- Look!..."

"For gods' sake, Whitney, not at the table!"

"...but also, I feel like I'm gonna toss my cookies every time he moves."

Pete, Chloe and Lana now felt like tossing their own cookies. Whitney's bunions were a bit much to take before breakfast, especially when thrust so close to the muffins. Unfortunately, these days the bathroom was so in demand that you needed to book in advance.

"How do you know it's a 'he' anyway?" Lana asked. "It could be a girl."

"Or it could be a hideous homicidal rock monster."

The glares bounced right off Chloe and endangered passers by.

"What? I mean it is more likely isn't it?"

About a week after the disappearance of Smallville's greatest scourge, Jonathon Kent had started to feel unwell of a morning. His greasy bacon and maple syrup pancakes went down just as easily as normal but in a few minutes they returned, complaining about the accommodation. He shrugged it off, telling Martha not to worry, he was fine. Telling Clark not to worry, he was fine. And even if he wasn't, it was not Clark's fault. And stop staring moodily into the distance and help me with some chores.

His conversations became even more repetitive than usual.

He was also fine when his backaches became more frequent and his bladder shrunk to the approximate capacity of a thimble. But, by the time his trousers started to not fit him, the problem was too widespread to be ignored.

Every single human male in Smallville, between the ages of fifteen and fifty was pregnant. Every human female was trying not to giggle.

The town heaved a collective martyred sigh and settled down to not talking about a whole new subject.

"Hey, Clark! Over here! Take a load off."

"A wide load."

Clark lumbered over. He gingerly sat next to Pete, cradling his gut which had expanded to the approximate size of a pillow. Lana slipped off to get him a drink- "No heavy caffeine, Clark, you know that"- and to smile evenly at all of the customers. She felt they appreciated it.

"How's it going, Pete?"

Pete gave a good impression of a man being stuffed with garlic-scented porcupines.

"Have you any idea of what it's like to live in a house full of pregnant guys? It's like living in a hippo house, only the other hippos keep complaining all the time and stealing your pile cream."

"Pete, please, I'd just got my appetite back."

"It must be hard on the farm, huh, Kent?" Whitney tucked blithely into his seven muffins and orange juice.

"Uh, yeah. Dad's really frustrated at not being able to do much."

Pete coughed.

"Oh and me too, of course. Mom's been just great about everything. Actually I think she's almost enjoying it."

Clark settled back guiltily into his chair, subtly adjusting his pillow.

The Kryptonite amnesty had been an incredible joy to Clark. The bliss of not being constantly under threat of death by pebble was exhilarating. And with their oppressive presence gone, he felt stronger, healthier, like he was floating on air. Occasionally he was. Thinking heavy thoughts was not working as well as he'd hoped with that.

But there was one slight glitch; All human males had been affected by the meteor's last hurrah. Clark couldn't afford to look suspicious. He had made do with a scatter cushion at first, gradually working his way up. He really didn't know what would happen when everyone came full term. His 'child' was just going to have to be stillborn.

He actually felt quite bad at the thought.

When Lex came in, Clark didn't even have to look round. There was a subtle but palpable shift in the atmosphere. Lex had always had that effect but, nowadays, it was mingled with a bit more envy than usual.

"You know the one thing that makes me think that there is no god? Lex Luthor. Business trip. That jammy little bastard."

Lex ordered his coffee and turned to nod toward Clark and his friends. Clark and Chloe smiled back.

"You know, it was really strange that he had to leave, all sudden-like, just before the whole rock spore, Wham, Bam, Thank You, Sir thing happened."

Clark sighed.

"Pete. Lex had nothing to do with what happened. He just got lucky."

"And besides, Pete, he still has to take care of his dad. There's a man who doesn't take pregnancy well."

Chloe had managed to take photographs. The sight of a flushed and sweaty, baboon-bellied Lionel Luthor in maternity gear was rather an arresting one.

"And, believe me, making charcoal and jam sandwiches at midnight because dad's having a crying jag and doesn't want the staff to see him, is not as fun as you'd think."

Lex had sauntered over, a sleek gazelle in a sea of chunky wildebeest.

His popularity, never low, had reached stratospheric proportions as the only man for miles who wouldn't place in an elephant seal lookalike contest. He was sure to be taking full advantage of the fact- a thought that Clark was finding strangely upsetting.

Lana came back with their coffee. She turned on the extra value smile at Lex, ignoring the growl from her boyfriend.

"Thank you, Lana."

Did you have to smile while you're thanking her? You have a perfectly good "What the hell is that on my shoe?" look that would fit the occasion nicely.

Clark choked on his low-caf special as he listened to his own thoughts. They'd been out of control for a while now, thinking things that he had expressly told them not to. At the moment they were admiring the way that Lex sipped his drink.

"Clark, I can't stop, but I'd like you to come over later if you can. There's something I need to discuss with you."

Clark restricted himself to a nod. He didn't currently trust his mouth not to side with his rogue libido. Lex smiled, which reinforced the decision, and left, saying a polite goodbye to the others.

"Clark, man, weren't you coming over to Fordman's with us?"

"It's not long 'til the school dance. The new line of maternity tuxedos is going to go quick."

Clark shrugged apologetically.

"Well, don't blame us if you have to wear something orange and frilly."

The hospitals had quietly and efficiently laid in all the supplies and odd scary implements that they could think of and recruited extra- female- staff. The effect of such a lot of impending maternity leave all at once was being felt throughout all of Smallville's businesses.

LuthorCorp and LexCorp were being very understanding. They were also expanding into the field of infant care products. Shares were impressive.

No-one liked to talk about whether their cots and baby bottles would prove to be totally inappropriate. On the other hand, sales in weaponry, nets and small, but serviceable chains, also noticeably improved.

Clark made his way over to Lex's with a speed just short of super. He carefully checked his pillow and posture before strolling in.

"So Lex, what was it you wanted?"

Lex was sprawled on his couch in a way which made the word 'sprawled' slightly obscene. He smiled at Clark and gestured to the chair opposite.

Clark tried to match the sprawl. It wasn't entirely working. He felt that he looked less like an untamed wild cat than a labrador that's been dropped from a height.

Still, the way Lex's grin increased didn't seem entirely mocking.

"Clark..." Lex suddenly became very serious and earnest, leaning forward slightly. He looked Clark steadily in the eyes.

"Clark, I think we should get you to a hospital. Your feathers have broken."

Clark blinked. Then he looked down and squeaked.

His pillow had somehow sprung a leak and escaping feathers were cascading down his trousers. He sensed that just maybe, he had been rumbled.


"Clark, you do a good job of being pregnant when you think people are watching. But when you don't, you suddenly look remarkably like a man walking around with a pillow up his jumper."

Clark was assaulted by all sides of his brain talking at once. Deny Everything, was fighting with Confess Everything while Damage Control was trying to butt in. At the back of his head was a thought he didn't want to get into right now.

"How come you've been watching me so closely anyway?"


Lex just smiled again- a different one every time- and raised an eyebrow.

"Clark, we're friends."

He had a slightly wounded air about him. He had also returned to that insouciant sprawl which he must have been practicing or how could he do it so carelessly?

Clark, frantically trying to brush off the incriminating feathers, finally lost his grip on his stomach. It slid to the floor with a whump.

"Okay, Lex. So, I'm not really pregnant. So, I've been pretending to be just like the other guys. That doesn't mean that I'm some alien from the planet Krypton. That doesn't mean that I somehow have powers ranging from superspeed and strength to x-ray vision. That doesn't prove anything."

"You're right, Clark. And I'd add floating to that list of things you can't do."

Double damn. With chocolate sprinkles.

Clark buried his head in his hands. His secret was out. At practically any moment a big whooping siren would go off and a horde of white-coated scientists would swarm out of a secret lab and cart him away for a nice evening's vivisection.

Of course, they'd have trouble making him go. No meteors.

And... that siren wasn't happening, yet.

Clark unburied his head. Lex was looking at him with compassion mixed with something else.

"It's okay, Clark, you don't need to be afraid of me. I always told you, I'd do anything for my friends."

His smile this time was slightly bitter.

"Not that they've ever believed that."

Clark took a few breaths. Pete knew. Lex knew. The world hadn't ended yet. Although it was certainly getting to be a very peculiar place to live in.

"I'd better lend you a new pillow." Lex's smile did some sort of beckoning thing without actually moving. "Care to come help me pick one out?"

A very peculiar place indeed. But not at all a bad one.

Clark's brain surrendered to the gleeful little voices and followed Lex. His legs weren't actually moving but that didn't seem to be a problem.

Seven months after the meteors had vanished, and a little before anyone had expected, the first pregnant man was rushed to hospital. Shortly afterwards, the entire hospital, emergency auxilary wings and a couple of nearby sheds, were full. The combined grunting, screaming and yelling for mommy was audible for several miles.

Many of the patients in for other disorders were to suffer recurring nightmares and expensive therapy for years.

Anxious women paced the corridors, fighting the bizarre craving for cigars. Slowly the noise died down, replaced by an expectant hush.

In the end, it hadn't been a problem for Clark to just quietly vanish during the delivery rush. Everybody was more concerned with their own immediate circumstances.

He and Lex spent the time getting to know one another. They had spent a lot of time like that recently, some of it even with their clothes on. Clark had discovered what an enormous relief it was to have a friend who could actually give you helpful advice on your more insane and sometimes highly personal extraterrestrial issues, as well as giving him useful tips on keeping a low profile.

He had also discovered a few other new and enormous things.

Altogether, he had had a great few months, tempered only by the need to behave as if he was as much of an aching, flat- footed wreck as all of his friends. Pete, knowing the truth, had become especially grumpy with him lately. (With hindsight he should have showed more interest when Pete had started his new hobby. But bootees were hard to enthuse about and Pete was a lousy knitter).

But now the waiting was over and Clark had an uneasy feeling that his services would be required.

"It'd be just my luck if a whole squadron of murderous Krypto-babies were to besiege the town."

"Actually, Clark, it wouldn't be just your luck. Everybody would be quite put out by that."

They gave it a few hours, then Clark kissed Lex goodbye and sped over to the hospital, trying his hardest to look like a man who'd just given birth.

He scanned through the walls. Then he double-checked a few more times.

Chloe later worked out some sort of theory but nobody was really interested in why. They just took home their little rock spheres, with their high water content, shifting continents and self-sustaining atmospheres, and put them in a cupboard somewhere.

A few got lost down the back of the sofa.

A very few, spawned by some of the more disappointed men, were given the cots to 'sleep' in and wrapped in the lovely footie pyjamas they would have got to wear, if they had only been equipped with limbs and sentience.

Those few baby planets got bedtime stories. Only time would tell how this would affect their development. Planets had a long, long infancy.

Normality sprung back into Smallville as if it had never been away, which, in appearance at least, it never had.

Clark happily found himself unaffected by the little Kryptons so he shared his room with Jonathon's own offspring. It was a poignant reminder of a home he'd never had.

He had tried asking his dad about the experience but had been met with a look so forbidding, that he had resolved never even to think about it in his dad's presence. (Martha had had more luck, judging by the muffled guffaws and amused sidelong looks that went on for months afterwards).

Pete and Whitney, despite Chloe's encouraging remarks and suggestive charades, never mentioned it again.

For Lex and Clark, however, the whole experience was a positive one.

"But, Clark..."

"Yeah, Lex?"

"If you and your wacky Kryptonian sperm ever get me pregnant...?"

"Er, yeah, Lex?"

"Forget Kryptonite. I'll devote myself to finding a whole new method of alien extermination. Stop that! Using pinking shears...oh!"

"Stop that?"

"No, no. Don't stop that."

And in cupboards across Smallville the world turned.

Notes (reformed): LastScorpion suggested an Mpreg. I decided to write one in which everybody except Clark and Lex got pregnant. Just to give them a break.

You may find hints of the Midwich Cuckoos in here. That's not theft that isn't. It's homage.

If you enjoyed this story, please send feedback to Shropshire

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