Consequence

by awehla


Sequel to 'Destiny'.
Feedback welcome!


Consequence

Lois Lane lay down on the bed her head resting against the headboard of the large double bed, her petite yet curvaceous frame dressed only in a silk dressing gown. She rubbed her rounded stomach and wished she had not eaten so much that evening and blamed the baby. She sat up a little and switched on the television which was in a wall in front of the bed. She smiled at the screen at the repeat of Superman's interview with Michael Parkinson a few years ago. "Superman," the ageing Chat show host said. It had been his last ever television interview. "Now I assume that wasn't the name you were christened with as a boy".
Clark smiled at this.
"My biological parents on Krypton called me Kal-El". "And yet you never use that name".
"People seem to like calling me Superman". Lois pressed the up arrow on the remote, she had seen the interview so many times.
"Christian Bienek greatest hits".
She pressed the button on the remote again and selected a showing of Brief Encounter and looked to her right, she heard something at the window and her heart began racing. "Clark," she cried as he appeared on the window sill and he opened the windows and stepped into the bedroom. "Is it you?" Clark dropped a large carrier bag on the floor and Lois almost ran over to him as he walked towards her and they kissed passionately.
"I'll never leave you again," he whispered in her ear as he began kissing her neck. "I better get this thing off". In a swirl of red and blue the famous suit was folded neatly and put on a chair by the window along with his other clothes and his glasses placed on top.
"Da da," Clark said as he stood in front of Lois and she smiled as Clark had not realised the curtains had not been closed properly.
"Nice ass Superman," they heard someone in a house opposite cry and Clark turned and closed the curtains at quick speed. "Jesus Christ Lois".
"That was just that crazy guy across the street, he's known you're Superman for ages".
"The crazy one's always seem to know".
"Maybe they're not really crazy," Lois said as Clark pushed her long wavy brunette hair away from her face and he kissed her full lips and she kissed him back pulling him on top of her as she lay on the bed. Clark was a foot taller than Lois and so she had to move further up the bed. That was one of the few things Lois had had in common with her cousin. They were both only 5'3" but whereas Chloe had inherited the Irish surname Lois had inherited a more Irish look with her dark hair, light eyes, pale skin and freckles. Clark had not even known Lois had freckles as she had always covered them up but when he had seen them he thought they were the most adorable thing he had ever seen and she never covered them up with make up again. Lois almost had an exotic look about her. Clark tried to kiss Lois but something was in the way. "Lois," Clark said as he opened her dressing gown revealing her rounded stomach and breasts. "It's only been a week, I shouldn't be able to see that the baby has grown - should I?" He flopped by Lois's side and she could feel his erection digging into the top of her leg.
"Dr Kline has moved the due date forward another month". "How do we explain that to Perry?" Clark asked as he kissed Lois's bottom and she giggled and gasped as his kisses moved slowly upwards towards her neck. She lay back as he kissed her full breasts and began sucking on her hard nipples. He cupped her breasts in his hands and began kissing her on the lips as she tried to reach for his cock. "You want this". Clark stroked her thigh as she peeled off the dressing gown and he began fingering her gently. "It's been a week," Lois cried and Clark rolled her on her side and pushed his penis inside her grabbing hold of her breasts and Lois began touching herself. Clark moved his hand to Lois's clitoris taking the hint and began stroking it gently as they rocked back and forth. Clark moaned softly and Lois gasped as she could feel the rush overcoming her whole body. Clark moved his fingers fast and she shook violently as she came, feeling her orgasm around his cock Clark let go and came. As he moved away from her the bed was soaking as usual.
Something Lois had noticed when she and Clark had first made love was that he seemed to produce a lot of semen compared to other men.

Four years previously..

Clark and Lois stood in her apartment reeling from the near death experience they had experienced a few days earlier. Lex had tried to kill them again but he was in prison now. She looked up at Clark's face and could not believe she had been so angry with him about the secret. It had been six months and they had waited long enough.
Clark turned to leave the apartment and Lois reached up to kiss him on the lips and he took hold of her face and kissed her back passionately. They both breathed heavily as Lois took hold of Clark's belt and began undoing it and his trousers. "Lois are you sure?" he asked.
"I am not waiting any longer," she replied. "Clark I have punished both of us for long enough, I understand why you lied and I don't care anymore I just want to be with you - damn this button". Clark ripped his trousers and boxers down. "You're not wearing the suit - you always wear the suit".
"I was kinda hoping this would happen," Clark whispered in Lois's ear and he took down her jeans and silky French knickers. He lifted her up against the wall by her legs with one arm and felt her between her legs. He had touched her there before but now knowing he was going to have it, properly, seemed to make his erection grow harder. He took hold of Lois's thighs and looking downwards thrust his penis inside her.
"I thought you'd never done this before," Lois said breathing deeply as she felt him inside her. Most men usually had to fumble around at first.
"X-ray vision." He began moving his hips slowly. "You're holding back," Lois said as she clung onto Clarks back - she had never made love standing up before. "I don't want to hurt you". His voice was so quiet and sexy. "Don't worry just fuck me," she replied and Lois kissed Clark passionately. He thrust harder inside her and Lois gasped with pleasure. They looked into each others eyes as Clark kept thrusting, Lois held on tightly to his back almost ripping his shirt and he came. Lois smiled, Clark wasn't so different to other men and she was relieved that he seemed to last the same amount of time as most guys during their first time. The shock of it meant Clark nearly dropped her but he took hold of her legs again and walked over to the sofa gently dropping Lois onto it. "Gross," Lois cried and she jumped off of the sofa as the white stuff ran down the inside of her legs. "I'll run a bath," Clark said smiling - quite pleased with himself.
"Maybe we should have used something".
"Lois I'm not human I'm not sure I could get a human pregnant".
Lois had known that but had hoped some how it wasn't true. Still practicality had not spoiled the moment and as they sat in a soapy bath washing each other and made love again water splashing all over the place Lois had felt happier than she had done in a very long time.

"What are you smiling at?" Clark asked and Lois was jolted back to the present. Clark began stroking the bump and concentrated on the baby inside.
"I was just thinking".
"Oh yeh".
"Is the baby OK?"
"Yeh I think he's asleep".
"He?" Lois asked, excitedly.
"Just a general term Lois, it's just easier than saying he or she".
"But you must be able to see if it's a boy or a girl if we've only got two months to go".
"And you wanted a surprise Lois".
Lois put her dressing gown on, she was feeling a little chilly, and Clark put on some shorts and a t-shirt. "You know Clark maybe we should tell Perry," Lois said as Clark picked up his carrier bag. "What did you get me?" "I guess you're right," Clark said thoughtfully. "I am?"
"How else do we explain that your nine month pregnancy has been cut down to seven? We can't keep saying the doctor got the due date wrong".
"We've fooled him before with worse excuses". Clark handed Lois a soft toy of a camel. "Aww," she said.
"I also took a bit of a detour around Europe," Clark said taking some items out of the bag. Belgian chocolates, Cadbury's Dairy Milk, Heinz baked beans - well they're for me". Clark took a small green babygrow with a duck on it out of the bag. "And this for the baby"
"The duck is so cute but I thought we weren't going to buy anything for the baby yet".
"He's going to have to wear something". "Yeh".
"So I guess we'll have to figure out what to say to Perry". "Yeh," Lois said. "But we'll have to make it quick - we're going to Smallville tomorrow".
"I almost forgot," Clark said. "Chloe - it's been 14 years".

"Clark," Perry cried smiling as he and Lois walked into his office at The Daily Planet that next morning. "You both look a bit worried, what's wrong? You weren't caught up in anything over there were you Clark? You weren't hurt?"
"Not likely," Clark said smiling nervously and he closed the office door and Lois proceeded to pull down the blinds. "What's going on here?" Perry asked feeling slightly confused.
"We're sorry Chief it's just nobody must hear what we're about to tell you," Clark said as he checked the room for bugs and Lois checked the videophone.
"It's about the baby," Lois said. "And Clark" "It's not his," Perry said and seeing Lois's angry face wondered why that had slipped out of his mouth. "Perry," she said. "The fact is the baby is coming a little sooner than we originally thought".
"Again - you already said the doctor had miscalculated by a month, what kind of doctor is this - I think you should see someone else".
"It's Dr Kline," Clark said.
"But the only patient he sees is Superman, he's not a general practitioner".
"Well there's nothing general about this pregnancy," Lois remarked rubbing her belly as the baby kicked again. "Maybe we should start from the beginning," Clark said. "You remember about 16 or was it 15 years ago when we met in Smallville, actually you better sit down".
Perry sat down behind his desk and looked up at Clark. "Well son spit it out," he said.
"In Smallville, you thought I had special powers". "Clark I would have thought the cows in the field could fly I was so drunk, what has this got to do with anything?" "Well even though you were not sober shall we put it, it seems you're journalistic instincts were spot on as usual," Clark said, nervously. "Because you were right all along". "What?"
"I'm Superman," Clark said and Perry began laughing and seeing Lois's serious expression stopped laughing after a few seconds. "You can't be serious". Clark threw his glasses down on the table and looked Perry right in the eye. "I need a drink". "Not when you've gone 15 years without one," Lois said. "OK so you look like him - prove it".
"How best to do this?" Clark asked looking at Lois. "The spinney thing usually works," Lois replied and Clark spun round and in front of Perry White's eyes materialised as Superman. "Well that's a good trick," he said. "But how do I know you didn't cook this up with Superman".
Clark sighed and spun back into his regular clothes again. "What powers shall I show you?" he said getting quite agitated. He looked at the waste paper bin and it caught on fire and then just as quick blew the flame out with his breath. He levitated above the floor for a moment and looked over at Perry. "Your underwear is grey today".
"Well Alice needs to bleach them," Perry said and he stood up suddenly, shook his head in anger and raised his voice in that way that made Lois and Clark want to scuttle off like school children. "You mean to say that you made me think I was a stupid drunk for nearly 16 years when all along I was right. I was right". Perry smiled at this. "I nearly exposed you 15 years ago". "Well I for one am glad you didn't," Clark said. "My childhood was made hell by people like you".
"I got you this job here didn't I?" Perry snapped and he sat back down in his chair and wiped the sweat off his face. "No I'm sorry Clark - you do realise if you have another job you're supposed to inform personnel. No that was a bad joke I'm sorry". "You understand why Clark couldn't tell you before," Lois said. "And well we're telling you now because Lois needs to go on maternity leave well today. We're going back to Smallville and Lois is going to stay there for the last two months of the pregnancy, well so am I but I can fly over to work. As far as everyone else will know Lois is sick from the pregnancy, we can say its high blood pressure and we'll still be in our house in Metropolis". "No wonder you just got that book deal for $1 million, you create fiction just as naturally as the rest of us sweat on a hot day," Perry said and he shook his head again. "I can't say no can I? You're Superman".
"You shouldn't treat Clark any differently because of that," Lois said. "It's just that if anyone else were to know I'm carrying a child that is half Kryptonian well I couldn't imagine what would happen".
"It's not just the fact the baby is going to due two months earlier than normal but Lois has had some other interesting side effects - show him Lois".
"No it hurts," Lois replied a whiney tone in her face. "It's only a little prick," Clark said and Lois shot him a look which made them both smile.
Lois took hold of Perry's letter opener and flinching scored the top of her finger with it. Perry watched in amazement as the small cut which drew blood immediately healed and disappeared. "You're invulnerable like Super- Clark," he said. "Well I still feel the pain but if I cut myself or bruise it disappears straight away - any zits I had on my face have disappeared too".
"It must be the Kryptonian blood from the baby," Perry said. "Wow the best story in the history in the world and well I can't tell anyone".
"We're sorry but we thought it was time you should know," Lois said.
"Well you two better get to Smallville. Send my regards to your parents Clark," Perry said shaking his head. Clark put his glasses back on. "Damn it Clark - who would ever think a pair of glasses would prove to be such a good disguise". "People believe what they want to believe Chief," Clark said. "Does Jimmy know about this?" Perry asked and Clark shook his head. "Well I'll see you in a few days Clark and Lois..", Perry and Lois hugged for a moment. "you take care of yourself honey". "Bye Perry," Lois said as they left the office. "Bye Chief," Clark said and he handed Perry a mini CD. "Our stories".
"Thanks Clark," Perry said as they walked out of the office. Jimmy Olsen a handsome young man with red hair walked up to the three.
`Where are you going?' he signed to Clark in American Sign Language. "Smallville" Clark said and signed at the same time. "Just for a few days".
`Bye CK - Lois'.
`Bye Jimmy' she signed and Perry patted the young man on the shoulder.
"Come on son," he said, luckily Jimmy could lip read as Perry had never been able to get the hand of sign language. "It's time for your progress talk".
Jimmy looked at Lois and Clark pulling at his collar to indicate mock distress and Lois and Clark smiled as they made their way to the elevator.

Lois followed Clark into the loft and up the stairs to where his telescope still sat. Apart from that the building was completely different. On the ground floor there was now a living area. The walls had been insulated and reinforced with concrete and the building had large windows, one in the left wall and one in the right. The first floor was now a bedroom with a balcony over the living area and beneath the first floor there was a small bathroom. In short the old barn was now a modern barn conversion. Only the old wooden beams and wooden stairs and floors remained though they had been replaced and repaired over the years. "We won't get much privacy up here," Lois said looking over the living area which consisted of an open plan kitchen and seating area with two small sofas and a coffee table. "Well the idea is it's just for the two of us," Clark said sitting down on the double bed. "You know I always used to fantasise about making love to a woman in this loft". "Really?" Lois said and he bent down to kiss her passionately and she kissed him back sinking into the moment. "I love you".
"I love you too," Clark said his hands cupping her face and he laughed as she cringed. For some reason her skin always tingled in a funny way when he did that.
"Clark!"
The couple looked over the balcony to see a greying Jonathan Kent stood by the coffee table. "You have a visitor". A middle aged greying black gentleman walked into the loft carrying a large silver case.
"Doc," Clark cried. "How did you get here?" "I drove for three hours like everyone else," Dr Bernard Kline said in a clearly flustered manner. "You know hiding Lois out here is going to make it difficult for me to keep an eye on her". "I can fly you over in a split second," Clark said. "Oh and we know how much I enjoy flying Air-Superman," Dr Kline remarked sarcastically. "Can you give me a hand with all this equipment?"
"We were just about to have dinner," Jonathan said. "You're more than welcome to join us".
"Thank you," Dr Kline replied and Lois and Clark walked down the steps and followed Jonathan and the doctor into the farm house. As they got to the living room Clark saw someone familiar chatting with his mother.
"Lana Lang," Clark cried smiling.
"Clark," Lana cried, surprised.
Lois smiled too, she recognised the beauty from a much earlier visit to Smallville. Lana had put on 30 pounds or so since then but she could still be considered slim. Clark and Lana hugged briefly.
"It's Lana Ross now," Lana said.
"Yeh I heard you and Pete got married," Clark replied, frowning. The thought of the two of them was weird to him but he had not seen Pete since he had left Smallville 15 years ago. "This is Lois my girlfriend".
"It's so nice to meet you again," Lana cried excitedly. "I saw you on David Letterman a few years ago - you were fantastic". "Thanks," Lois gushed. "I'm not going to do singing full time or anything - I'm a journalist through and through". "Just like Chloe," Lana said a little louder than she expected but with a sadness that suddenly filled the room. "I'm sorry I have to go and cook Pete and the kids their dinner". "We should meet up," Lois said.
"That would be great," Lana replied glancing at Clark and she made her way out of the farmhouse.
Clark noticed a small Indian boy and a small blonde girl sat on the sofa. They had been introduced earlier to Clark as Jayesh and Pauline - the latest children his parents were fostering. "What was Lana doing here?" Clark asked his mother as she was dishing out the dinner.
"She was coming to see these two - they start at the Kindergarten in September. Lana is the head there".
"What is that?" Clark asked referring to the dinner. "Grilled fish, steamed vegetables and boiled potatoes - what it looks like Clark".
"Sounds nice," Lois said as she smiled at Pauline who was prodding her belly at that point.
Clark moved over to Lois to whisper in her ear. "Don't worry I'll go out and get us some burgers later". "Get me one too Clark," Martha cried and Clark looked at her amazed she had heard what he had said. Martha smiled. "Just don't tell your father".
"You have a baby in your tummy," Pauline said, fascinated. "How did it get there?"
Lois and Clark looked at each other and smiled nervously. "Let's just say," Clark said. "It was nothing short of a miracle".

Later that evening Clark, Lois, Dr Kline and Martha were sat in the barn conversion enjoying a late snack of burgers, fries, pickles, chicken wings, potato wedges and various sauces. Lois her face covered in sauce ate as though there was no tomorrow, Martha knew she had had a large appetite since she stopped smoking but this was something else.
"Hungry?" Martha remarked, smiling.
"I know I shouldn't be, we only had dinner two hours ago but ever since I got pregnant I just can't stop eating," Lois replied. "This is the first ever Krypto-human pregnancy - there is no way of predicting how Lois's body is going to react," Dr Kline said his mouth full of beef burger.
"Krypto-human?" Martha said.
"Lois coined the phrase," Clark said smiling. "I think it's better than Humonion".
"What's going on here then?" Jonathan asked coming into the barn.
"Er Superman went and got us some burgers from Benny's Diner on Main Street," Clark said, sheepishly. "And didn't Superman think that people might think it's suspicious that when Clark Kent comes to Smallville for a visit Superman is seen ordering burgers at Benny's the same day?" "Superman does stuff like that all the time," Clark replied, he could not help sounding a little smug. "Wait a minute you bought the suit with you here?" Martha said, surprised. "I thought you'd drove". "Well there was an earth quake in San Francisco - I took a little detour".
"You can't take a break for two days?" Jonathan cried. "Wait a minute you're wearing a t-shirt". Clark unrolled a sleeve of the suit from under his t-shirt. "He gets some kinky pleasure out of wearing it," Lois said glancing up at Clark from under a burger. "I do not".
"There maybe something in that," Dr Kline said waving a fry about in his hand. "Maybe the suit is like some kind of security blanket".
"I just want to be able to save people, you know I just wear it in case something happens," Clark said rolling up his suit sleeve back up underneath his t-shirt.
"Anyway pass us one of those burgers," Jonathan said - Lois noticed his belly was almost as big as hers. Even super fit Jonathan Kent had been unable to fight middle-aged spread. "Jonathan you know you're not supposed to eat this stuff," Martha cried.
"But it's OK for you".
"I don't have heart or cholesterol problems". "I'm sorry Clark only got this stuff because I was hungry," Lois said in a way that always softened Jonathan and Martha and everyone's attention turned to the television that had been on low in the back ground. "Look its Clark".
"Superman's always on the TV," Clark said, dismissing the whole thing as unimportant as Martha turned the volume up. "You said so yourself Superman that both parties have been reluctant in agreeing to a ceasefire, what will be the next step do you think?" the interviewer asked and the camera zoomed in on Superman's face.
"I promise that if there is so much as a playground fight across Israel or Palestine I will withdraw all aid across both countries. If the leaders will not listen then I will not help those who refuse to help themselves," Superman said rather sternly and he muttered in a slightly lower voice. "You can blow yourselves up for all I care". Superman stormed off as journalists followed him shouting and the footage cut back to the newsreader. "And that was Superman having a Super-tantrum after his unsuccessful talks across the middle east this past week," the newsreader said. "Clark I can't believe you said that," Lois cried. "And you never said the talks were unsuccessful".
"Son you're going to have to be a bit more careful about what you say on camera," Jonathan remarked annoyed. "I would have thought after six years of being Superman-"
"Look just shut up I don't want to talk about it," Clark replied just as annoyed. "In a couple of days I'll apologise and they'll most likely want to start the talks again". "And what if they don't and there's a war?" Martha cried, concerned. "Were the talks with Iraq unsuccessful too?" "Look I don't think you guys realise how hard this is for me - I don't want to be responsible for whether these countries are going to war or not but I am because they listen to me. Whether I try my best or not I'm the one who'll get the blame," Clark said resting his head on one hand and gesturing with the other as Lois rubbed his leg.
"I agree," she said. "Clark can't undo thousands of years of human beings fighting each other - these things just happen". "I'll hold a press conference tomorrow say that even Superman gets stressed sometimes and-" Clark began and he sighed. "I'm sorry". "Clark its OK there's a lot of pressure on you at the moment," Lois replied.
"Well there's more pressure on you".
"I won't disagree with you there," Lois said smiling.

Lois waddled along the poolside and with Clark's assistance let herself slowly into the water. She looked over at Lana who was putting sun tan lotion on her three children - though their skin was naturally pale brown in colour she knew too well they could still burn.
"Clark," Lois cried as he walked over to the sun lounger dressed only in a pair of red swimming shorts - his glasses were in a bag with his clothes. You couldn't really go swimming with glasses on and everyone here knew who he was. "Clark you better put some lotion on".
"I don't need it," Clark called back.
"The kids".
"Yeh I suppose I should set an example". Kids always complained if they had to do something and saw that others did not.

"Here you go," Lana said, she handed a bottle of lotion to Clark and got in the pool next to Lois. Two of the children a six year old girl - Laura and a five year old boy called Will ran to the water and proceeded to jump in the deep end splashing everyone in the process. The two year old Sky walked over to her Daddy who was sat on a sun lounger like Clark and rubbing some factor 15 on. "Thanks for inviting us over Pete," Clark said looking over at Lois and Lana who were talking amongst themselves and then his attention turned to Sky who sat on Pete's legs and he put his arms around her. She had the biggest brown eyes that Pete could not resist - hence it was often up to Lana to tell her off when she was naughty.
"That's OK Clark it's great to see you again man". "Even though I lost you your job?"
"Lex Luthor had to be put away Clark, besides I couldn't be Vice president for long without missing out on the kids. I'm still in politics and the car business is going well". "Car business?"
"Used cars, I`ve got a big show room in Grandville and an auto repair shop just outside of Metropolis." "Cool".
"So how long have you and Lois been married?" "Oh we're not married," Clark replied.
"Really? I didn't see you as the type to be living in sin," Pete said smiling.
"Living in sin, Pete this is 2019, over 70% of married couples in America lived together before they got married". "Lana and I did".
"So I suppose because I'm Superman I'm not allowed to be like everyone else".
"I didn't say that Clark".
"We just never got round to it OK," Clark remarked, visibly annoyed and it was like they were 17 again - friends, but Pete obviously jealous and Clark oblivious to why he should be. "So how did you find out about Clark?" Lana asked Lois as Lois held onto the side of the pool kicking her legs up and down. "Oh Clark told me," she said standing up in the water. "After a lot of persuasion on my part - I'm not proud of some of the things I did to find out".

Four and a half years previously

"I'm sorry Lois I have to go I have to," Clark began in that awkward way he always did before he ran off - away from Lois with some lame excuse. They were stood a few feet away from each other in the street.
"Clark we're in the middle of a conversation, where can you have to go at eleven o'clock at night that's more important than talking to me?" Lois exclaimed, annoyed. "I'm not gonna let you run off again". "I have to-"Clark said looking desperate now. "Why do you keep pushing me away? You know whatever's bothering you, you can tell me Clark - you're supposed to be my best friend". "I'm not pushing you away but I really have to go". "You are pushing me away you don't tell me anything. You never talk about your childhood in Smallville apart from the bits I already knew about because I was there".
"You never talk about Tom," Clark snapped back and he immediately regretted it.
"I loved Tom very much and he died, that happened a long time ago. I don't talk about it because it's hard for me to talk about it". "Maybe I find my past hard to talk about". "Or maybe it's because you're scared I'll put two and two together Clark," Lois remarked in a bitchy tone that stunned Clark. Two and two together? She knew. "Why didn't you tell me about the FBI investigating you Clark when you were a kid? Why didn't you tell me about Lex and Lionel Luthor doing secret investigations about you?" "You've been digging dirt on me?" Clark exclaimed angrily. "How could you Lois?"
"There were journalists even Perry - he thought you had special powers, there was a weird alien marking burned on your parents barn, you did your best to cover it all up Clark but you forget how good a journalist I am - Perry never did mention the details of when you two met in Smallville-" Lois continued her rant. "He didn't mention it because he was embarrassed because he's wrong - I don't have special powers".
Lois looked at Clark her mouth wide open. He did it again. He had lied right in front of her face.
"Look Clark if you can't be honest with me," Lois said tears coming to her eyes. It was all becoming too much, too much bullshit. Suddenly Clark could no longer hear the man shouting on the ledge his concentration completely focussed on the crying woman he loved. It was happening again. Ten years ago he had made the same mistake with Lana. He had kept secrets.
"I promised myself I'd never let this happen again," Clark said quietly and Lois looked right into his eyes. For once she could see past the glasses.
"Tell me," she said the desperation clear. "Open my shirt," Clark said suddenly. "You sound as though you've already figured it out Lois".
Lois walked up to Clark her hands shaking madly and began undoing his shirt but she could barely manage one button. "Fucking hell," she said, snot starting to drip out of her nose. She knew it would be there, the red and yellow `S' staring at her. "Lois".
She ripped the shirt open and touched the suit. "Oh God," she said looking up at Clark and she suddenly clutched her stomach and threw up in a nearby bush.
"Lois are you OK?" Clark asked, concerned. "I'm OK Clark," she replied embarrassed. Clark did up his jacket and handed Lois a tissue. "It's just the shock I guess". She wiped her mouth and took a tissue out of her pocket and blew her nose. "I better walk you back to your apartment," Clark said. During the walk back they didn't say a word. Lois ran straight to the bathroom when they got into the apartment. "Are you OK?" Clark cried.
"I'm just getting the icky sick taste out of my mouth," Lois shouted back and she began swishing mouth wash about in her mouth. "I love you Lois," Clark cried all of a sudden and Lois spat her mouthwash out in shock and she ran back into the living room. "What?" she said wiping her mouth with her sleeve. "I love you," Clark said placing his glasses on the sofa arm. "I love you too," Lois replied and she laughed. "I love you so much I want to hit you and make love to you all at the same time". "Don't hit me," Clark said smiling.
"It doesn't hurt you".
"Just kiss me," Clark said softly as they moved closer to each other and as his lips met hers it was as though Lois was kissing him for the first time. They moved over and sat on the couch - it was always easier to kiss then when one partner was a foot taller than the other.
Lois could have easily made love to him that night but she could not let her passion and feelings over ride the fact they had things to sort out before they could do that. Clark after all was not just Clark anymore he was Superman and Kal-El the last son of Krypton. And Lois did not really know him like she knew Clark. "So what happened after he kissed you?" Lana asked. "I sent him home after an hour and the next day I pretended everything was normal," Lois said. "Then I burst into tears in a middle of a meeting - I'm not usually a cry baby. Perry was so angry with Clark, he knew we were fighting again but he didn't know what about. He said `Kent you take that girl outside and whatever it is you have done beg her forgiveness, I will not have my best reporter in tears in my morning news meeting". Lana smiled at Lois's impression and Lois rubbed her round stomach. "Clark told me how you found out, I was laughing so much - I know it must have been scary at the time but what a way to find out". "How did you and Lana-, "Clark began.
"You can't see us together," Pete said smiling. "What happened between me and Lana has nothing to do with high school". "I just remember I was in love with Lana and you were in love with Chloe," Clark said feeling all of a sudden nostalgic. "And they were both in love with you".
"It's all ancient history now," Clark said looking over at Lois who was touching Lana's necklace and talking. Clark was surprised to see Lana still wore it.
"Lana and I met at Chloe's funeral and we kept in touch with emails then we saw each other again at Chloe's father's funeral the year after".
"I heard he killed himself," Clark said the guilt ripping at his insides. He hadn't been there. By the time he had contacted his parents despite telling them he would call them the day after he arrived in England Chloe and Lionel had both been buried and since he had just started his internship at The Guardian he decided to stay away. Again he was in Africa when Chloe's father had died taking care of an Australian tourist who had Malaria. He had decided then that the living were more important than the dead but Clark had never been able to forgive himself for not being there even though everyone had understood. Clark could not have known the minute he flew away that such a tragedy would happen and what would have been the point of coming back two weeks after the funeral? Clark knew the effect Chloe's death had had on people only too well, all he had to do was look into Lex Luthor's face. "After Lillian got taken into care and adopted I suppose Gabe felt he had nothing to live for," Pete said sadly. "Lana left Smallville for France after he died and we kept in touch by email. We joked we only ever seemed to bump into each other at funerals. That year after Chloe's death I thought about Lana a lot, she changed man, she was so whiney and dependent at school and well when I saw her again it was like she was a woman. I wish I'd made a move sooner - then she wouldn't have got involved with Lex". "Lana and Lex Luthor?" Clark said raising an eyebrow. "Didn't you nearly marry Lex Luthor?" Lana cried and Pete and Clark looked at each other amused that it seemed the girls had been carrying out a similar conversation.
"Daddy I need the bathroom," Sky said and Pete lifted her up. "Sorry Clark but with potty training, you're kid says they want to go, you go," Pete said and he ran through the patio doors into the house.
Clark walked over to the pool and sat by the side dipping his legs in the water.
"What are you girls talking about?" he asked. "We were just talking about Lex Luthor - not exactly my favourite subject," Lois said.
"Yeh it's kind of weird," Lana said. "I mean Clark and I, you and Clark, Lex and I, you and Lex - it's a bit weird". Lana looked over to see her eldest children playing with a beach ball the other end of the pool. "Don't you think it's weird?" "Well it's a bit of a coincidence but Lana we never actually had a relationship and Lois and Lex lasted all of five minutes," Clark said, he was surprised Lana could not put the past behind her. Maybe this whole get together had been a bad idea. Pete came running out into the pool area with Sky still in his arms. "Someone's at the door," he said.
"Crap where's my glasses?" Clark cried in panic running over to his bag and looking though it.
"Use my shades," Pete said nodding to the sun lounger. "They won't work the same".
"Clark it'll be fine - they're not magic glasses," Lois said and Pete went to answer the door as Clark put Pete's sunglasses on. A few moments later Pete came back into the pool area and placed Sky on the ground who began running around. "It's OK," Pete said. "It's Christian". Christian popped out from behind Pete and waved. "Hi," Clark cried smiling. "I won't hug you I know you hate that". "It's been a long time Clark - nice to have us all back together again," Christian said.
"Except Chloe's not here," Lana said and she climbed up the ladder and out of the pool.
"Or Lex Luthor," Clark remarked through his teeth. "Well dead people and psycho's aside we're all here," Christian quipped. "What's with the sun glasses?" Clark whipped them off and placed them on the sun lounger next to Lana who was now drying herself with a towel. Lois looked over and stepped onto the ladder, Clark immediately ran over with a towel to help her out.
Clark helped Lois out of the pool and wrapped a towel around her. She leant up and kissed Clark on the chin and he smiled in a way that she knew he loved her.
"Lois Lane I remember you," Christian said smiling warmly at what he could only describe as a treasure to womanhood. "I heard you turned down a 2 million dollar record deal with Virgin records". "So did you".
"Only because I knew I could get more money somewhere else," Christian said sitting down on a sun lounger and he took off his black t-shirt. He then started tackling his trousers. "Jesus what I wouldn't do for that cool British climate right now. You know it's Wimbledon in England at the moment". "Pissing it down with rain is it?" Lois said and Clark smiled at his girlfriends attempt at using a more British vernacular. Pete and Lana looked blankly at each other. They had travelled but no one could be as well travelled as a man who could fly, an ex army kid come journalist and a world renowned musical superstar. "Of course". Christian now sat in his beige swimming shorts folded his clothes up neatly. Lois and Clark sat down on the sun lounger in between Christian's and Lana and Pete's. "So how long before the sprog is born?"
"We're not entirely sure," Clark said. "The doctor reckons another 8 weeks".
"Another 8 weeks? So it's going to get bigger?" "Hey you," Lois cried. "You can't be rude to me you hardly know me". "Do I look like I'm the type who gives a shit love?" "No but I'll make you the type if you don't shut your mouth". "So how did this happen - A.I.D?" Christian asked patting Lois on the bump.
"No, I.B.S," Lois replied smiling.
"Irritable Bowel Syndrome?"
"I'm completely confused," Lana said frowning. "Insemination by Superman," Lois said.
"What's A.I.D then?" Pete asked.
"Artificial insemination by donor," Christian replied. "Well yeh we kind of all assumed that the baby wasn't Clark's," Pete said.
"Well it is," Clark said, kind of amused more than annoyed. "But you're an alien," Lana cried, quite shocked. "Well it wasn't easy to conceive it took four years and this is the third time I've been pregnant," Lois said looking across the pool. Clark rubbed her back gently maybe as much for him as for her. Just the mention of the previous pregnancies that had never made it beyond the 10 week mark made both their hearts sink. It was only after a strange encounter with the caves that the third pregnancy had got this far.
"I'm sorry," Lana said. "I just didn't think it was possible". "This is big," Pete cried. "I mean if people found out". "People aren't going to find out well not for a while we hope," Clark said, seriously. "We just want our child to have as normal life as possible".
"I think it's cool, just think in a few generations the human population could be laced with Kryptonian DNA," Christian said excitedly. "Weird".
Lois looked at Clark, he had a look she recognised and she had an internal sigh.
"Do you want some ice cream honey?" Clark asked getting up from the sun lounger.
"And you'll be getting this en route to where exactly?" Lois replied. "There's been a bomb threat in Italy - I just want to make sure the leaning tower of Pisa is still leaning". "You heard that all the way from Italy?" Christian cried amazed. "Nah I heard it from someone's radio a few blocks away," Clark replied smiling. "I shall see you guys later". Clark kissed Lois on the lips, then the bump and he was gone. "Oh," Lois said.
"You sad he's gone?" Lana asked, concerned. "No he always does that, I should have asked him to pick up some chocolate as well".
Clark found Lois with his parents and Christian later that evening in the Kent farmhouse having a rather nice supper of Spanish chicken and rice. Clark came walking into the living room noticeably cape less and plonked a paper bag full of ice-cream cartons on the work top.
"Clark are you all right?" Martha cried, concerned. Lois looked into his eyes and knew he was fine. "After the bomb threat in Italy I remembered I had to go to the press conference in Baghdad about my `outburst' the other day and then I got stuck in some high winds and my cape just blew off - I couldn't be bothered to get it back, some kid in Pakistan can auction it on EBay," Clark said and he immediately went over to Lois to give her a hug. Christian blatantly checking out Clark's arse put a smile on her face as much as the hug. "No wonder you have won Queer magazines Gay Icon of the year 5 years in a row," Christian remarked with a cheeky grin. "Of all my sons' achievements it's that one that makes me most proud," Martha added with a smile. "That's it I'm getting changed," Clark said whooshing off to the Barn Conversion nearby.
Jonathan Kent suddenly felt very old. When had everything changed so much? How had his baby son suddenly grown up to be any kind of icon? When he looked over to the smiling heavily pregnant Lois he could not help feeling even older. He was going to be a grandfather.
Clark entered the kitchen again this time dressed in a pair of a shorts and a t-shirt and as always his trademark glasses. "I left you the chicken in the oven Clark - you just need to do some rice," Martha said as she and the others continued to eat. "How did the conference go?" Lois asked as Clark took a pan out of a cupboard and turned the hob on. "Fine I guess. I apologised. Then I asked the leaders to resume the talks - they reluctantly agreed to a cease fire and they said we can meet on Monday," Clark replied as he poured some rice into a pan with some cold water and he boiled it up with his heat vision.
"It's going to stick together if you do that surely," Christian cried as Clark placed the pan on the hob and began stirring the rice with a spoon.
"No it's just like microwaving it," Clark replied. "Anyway I'm going with a team of UN diplomats on Monday, these things are so boring but it looks good if I show my face and then I can write about it for the planet so Perry can't complain". "God when you talk about this stuff you sound pretty bored mate," Christian said, concerned for his friend. "I suppose like every other job even being Superman can have its boring days. I love helping people and I love the difference I make but sometimes the red tape, well its just-" "Bollocks," Christian said smiling finishing Clark's sentence for him.
"Exactly," Clark said pointing his spoon in Christian's direction.
"There are ways of doing things son, that's just the way it is," Jonathan said as Lois got up and put her plate on the side. She began looking through the bag of ice cream and stuck down the side was a fairly large DAIRY MILK bar.
"Clark," Lois cried excitedly and he put his arm around her. "Did you hear me when I said I wanted some chocolate?" "No I just knew you'd want some". Lois and Clark kissed on the lips. "I got it from a little corner shop in Manchester, the expression on the guy's face was a classic". "I can imagine. Give us some," Christian cried and he swallowed the last bit of his dinner. "That was real nice Mrs Kent". "Christian you don't need to call me Mrs Kent anymore," Martha said smiling.
"Sorry force of habit".
"They sell Cadbury's chocolate in the general store on Main Street," Jonathan said as he and Martha finished their meals and they got up to put their plates on the side as Lois broke off a few rows of chocolate for everyone. Clark put his dinner out and sat down. "That chocolate they sell at the SGS is a poor substitute," Christian said taking a bite of his. Lois sat down next to Clark and Martha and Jonathan still stood up began eating their chocolate while Martha got some bowls out for the ice cream. "So what did you think of Lana and Pete?" Clark asked Lois, his mouthful of chicken and peppers.
"Pete seemed nice I guess, Lana's sweet, bit morbid though how she wears that necklace made out of the meteorite that killed her parents. It's like me wearing a part of the car that killed Chloe". "I gave Lana that necklace - I'm surprised she still wears it," Clark said frowning.
"I remember you saying it used to be green, that it was Kryptonite and it went transparent because of the space ship and you gave it to her when you left Smallville," Lois said. "But I suppose the necklace has significance for a lot of reasons not just because you gave it to her".
"Well there was her high school boyfriend Whitney, he died when he was in the army".
"Didn't you meet Pete and Lana before?" Christian asked. "Well I met Lana years ago when we thought Chloe had died in that explosion then I saw her and Pete at her funeral the following year and the year after that at Gabe's funeral," Lois said and she laughed a little. "And I thought I was a magnet for death". "This chocolate is good," Martha said. She looked across at Jonathan who was enjoying every bite of his four squares. "I don't see how Lana and Pete fit though, he seems a bit ordinary after she was in love with you and Lex Luthor," Lois said thoughtfully and Christian nodded his head in agreement. Martha dished out the ice cream, Clark finished his dinner quickly and they all sat down to eat the ice cream together. "Luthor is an evil psychopath," Clark said, just his name made him angry.
"He wasn't when Lana was with him," Christian said. "Then he was still grieving for Chloe I suppose, I think he and Lana was a comfort thing," Lois added feeling sad for a moment. It was always there, the young life wasted in a senseless accident, her cousin, the drama queen, the mother to a perfect daughter. "Unless and I apologise for reading too much into this, but maybe they just had each other because they couldn't have Clark," Christian said and Lois laughed at Clark's horrified expression. Not necessarily at the suggestion Lex was gay but at the suggestion anyone would get together because they couldn't have someone else, now that was weird and a bit twisted.
"Christian now that is just the kind of weird theory I would come up with," Lois said smiling briefly. "But I doubt Lex ever liked Clark in that way and if he did well he kind of ruined his chances trying to kill Clark all those times".
Jonathan absolutely amazed at this discussion shook his head and laughed.
"You kids think too much," he said.
"And talking about you know who is putting me off my ice cream," Clark said.
"Still Pete is kinda boring," Christian said getting back to their last thread of conversation.
"Well Lana always wanted a normal life. And I guess that's what she got".

Lois and Clark walked along the grass towards the cemetery. "Back to work tomorrow," Lois said. "Well for you". "Isn't the midwife coming to see us this afternoon?" Clark asked. "Though I didn't think they came out on Sundays". "Not usually, she's a friend of Dr Kline," Lois said and she looked around for a moment frowning. "Did you hear that?" "Yeh". Clark touched Lois's shoulders and stood behind her. "It wasn't a sound but a feeling or something in my mind". "I think it was the baby," Lois cried turning round to face Clark taking hold of his large hands.
"The baby?" Clark bent down and looked at the bump, he undid her dress slightly and began stroking Lois's bare skin. "It's like an instinct, like happiness and warmth," Lois said excitedly. "I feel it," Clark replied looking up into his lovers eyes.
"When we met those other Kryptonian's they could communicate telepathically with you, Jor-El has done it even though he's dead, who's to say our baby can't do that as well even though he's not been born yet," Lois cried and Clark smiled. He loved the enthusiasm in her when she was coming up with theories. "I suppose when the baby's born I won't feel it anymore. It's so strange - it feels like a male presence".
"How can you tell?" Clark cried, standing up, the surprise was over.
"You don't have to pretend Clark, if I had X-ray vision I would have looked to see if it was a boy or a girl as well". Lois squinted slightly. Even in a baseball cap and sunglasses the figure was unmistakable. "Is that who I think it is?" "But he's in jail," Clark exclaimed, shocked. "Clark please don't get angry," Lois cried and Clark looked at her with raised eyebrows.
"Are you Lois Lane? Usually I'd be holding you back from kicking his ass".
"Clark I'm going to be a mother and you're going to be a father, that and us, that's all that matters and yeh if he tries anything I will kick his ass, beached whale or no". Clark smiled and took hold of her hand.
"I'm just going to talk to him - he should be in jail". Clark approached the thin thirty something sat by Chloe's gravestone. Lex looked up at the pair startled. Both as beautiful as ever. Seeing Lois's large stomach poking out from underneath her light blue cotton dress he knew who had won this battle and he did not care. Realising Lex was staring at her Lois did her dress up and gave Clark a dirty look for forgetting. "Hello," Lex said.
"Hello?" Clark said, annoyance in his voice well controlled. "Is that all you have to say? Four years ago you tried to kill us remember, you rigged a presidency, you were put in jail". "They let me go," Lex replied looking up into Clark's eyes and Clark was amazed at what he saw. He daren't think it but gone was the defiance, the steely determination, the hatred. He did not sound cocky either.
"Why?" Lois asked, confused.
"What are you doing here?" Clark added. "Saying goodbye Clark, I'm dying," Lex said and he smiled as he said it.
"And you expect us to fall for that?" Lois interjected in her usual sceptical manner.
"The prison released me on compassionate grounds," Lex continued ignoring Lois's outburst.
"You're dying?" Clark said, he couldn't quite believe it. "What's wrong with you?"
"Bowel cancer of all things," Lex replied, almost laughing again. Lois was not surprised, Lex's emotional reactions were not always normal. Then again maybe if she found out she was dying she would laugh too, human psychology was strange. "Usually it's treatable but my unique physiology has some how speeded up the process".
"How come no one knows about you being released?" Lois asked. "I didn't want anyone to know, of course now you two have seen me-"
"We won't tell anyone".
"Was a time you would have done anything for a story". "I always had my limits," Lois said and she bent down and she cupped Lex's chin and turned his face around to face her - like a mother. "You do look kind of pale".
Lex moved Lois's hand away and as he stood up he felt his legs were shaking.
"Whoa," Clark cried as Lex fell back and Lois caught him under his arm pits. "Good catch". Being taller than Lois, Lex was held at an odd angle so Clark took hold of him. Lex shook his head trying to regain some orientation.
"We should get you back to the farm," Clark said as he put Lex's arm around his shoulder.
"Do you think that's a good idea?" Lex croaked. "My Dad will be out on his tractor and Mom-" "Sounds like when you were 17 again Clark". Lex smiled and Clark remained unmoved.
"Don't go there".
"Looks like I'll have to say hello later cous." Lois said quietly patting Chloe's grave stone. "Your boys need looking after". Lois caught site of the gravestone inscription `Mother to daughter Lillian. Life Partner to Lex. Died age 18 years'. 18, Lois did not even lose her virginity until she was 18, 18 was nothing at all.
"Are you OK?" Clark asked.
"Yeh, I'd help you carry Lex but then he'd have to walk all squiffy," Lois replied smiling and they began to walk. "Good catch though".
"Must be all that Kryptonian blood pumping inside me at the moment," Lois said. They noticed Lex was the first person other than Clark's parents who knew Clarks secret who didn't question whether the child was biologically his. He remained unmoved at the mention of Kryptonian blood pumping inside Lois. Lex may have hated Clark but he knew him. He knew if Clark could not have his own kids he would adopt. He also knew Lois and she would not risk her figure to carry just anybody's child. Clark had been capable of erasing her selfishness shame he had been unable to help Lex.

They walked in silence back to the farm and Clark opened the front door which was open and carried Lex into the living room. "Mum, Dad," Clark called. "I think they're out". Wiping his hands with a tea-towel Jonathan entered the living room Martha closely behind.
"What the hell is he doing here?" Jonathan exclaimed, the anger boiling up inside him immediately at just the sight of Lex Luthor in his home. Martha stood, absolutely flabbergasted to see him hanging off her son's arm and Lois calmly by their side. "We'd thought you'd be out," Lois began and Jonathan stormed into the kitchen dumped the tea towel and re-entered the living room rifle in hand.
"Jonathan," Martha cried. "Put that gun down". Jonathan cocked his gun and pointed it in Lex's direction - directly at his face.
"Dad that shouldn't be in the house," Clark said immediately going into Superman mode. "Don't you think you're overreacting - slightly?"
"I'm sorry Clark but the last time I checked that man was in jail serving a life sentence for murder, crimes against humanity, fraud, extortion..."
"I'm aware of Luthor's crimes more than anyone. Dad he can hardly walk. He nearly passed out in the graveyard-" "He's sick," Lois added.
"I will not have that man in my house". "Actually Clark owns the house," Martha said and Jonathan threw his wife a dirty look she would not forgive him for in a hurry. "But Clark you can't expect your father and I to just accept you bringing a convicted criminal into our house and an evil man at that".
"Look Clark just take me back to the mansion I'll be OK," Lex said.
Jonathan moved the gun away and Lex turned to walk and fell to the ground. Jonathan held the gun to Lex's head and there was a knock at the door.
"It's open," Jonathan snapped without thinking and a black woman dressed in jeans and a white cardigan carrying a medical bag entered the living room.
"What on Earth?" she cried. Lex Luthor, a man with a rifle to his head and a heavily pregnant Lois certainly painted a confusing picture.
"Dad put the gun away or I'll bend it in two and melt it down," Clark said through clenched teeth and he helped Lex onto the sofa.
"You must be the midwife," Lois said smiling nervously. "You're a bit early".
"I was told this was a unique case but-" "It's OK come with me," Lois said. "You caught us a bit of a bad time".
"That's an understatement," the midwife remarked. Looking at Clark, Lex, Jonathan and Martha her eyes narrowed as she followed Lois outside. "Isn't he supposed to be in jail?" Jonathan put his gun on the coffee table. "Would you seriously have shot me?" Lex asked, amused but Jonathan ignored him. Lex sat down on the sofa. "Clark what is he doing here?"
"I told you Dad he felt ill, I brought him back here to rest - that's all".
"Why aren't you in prison?" Martha asked Lex, she stood behind Jonathan - she daren't stand any closer to Lex. "They released him on compassionate grounds," Clark said. "I'm dying Mrs Kent," Lex said.
"And we're supposed to believe that how do we know this isn't some kind of trick?" Jonathan asked, defensively. "Shouldn't you be in hospital?"
"Dad, you would have done exactly the same," Clark said. "No matter who it was".
"Maybe we should take Lex back to the mansion," Martha suggested.
"I have to go and see Lois and the midwife." Clark glanced towards the couch.
"What about Lex?"
"He's not going anywhere - he's just passed out on the couch," Clark replied heading towards the door. "You don't expect us to watch him?" Jonathan exclaimed, annoyed.
"You'll be fine Dad - you've got your gun," Clark said stood in the doorway and he was gone.
"That boy is getting a bit too big for those red boots of his," Jonathan remarked and Martha laughed a little. "Jonathan we raised our son to be kind, we taught him to see the good in others - to try and forgive. We can't blame him if he took pity on someone who was in trouble - even it was Lex Luthor".

Clark walked into the living area of the barn conversion to find Lois laying down on the sofa with the midwife setting up some scanning equipment that Dr Kline had left behind. "Sorry about that," Clark said nervously. "Clark Kent". He held out his hand but the midwife did not shake it. "What exactly did you think you were doing?" she remarked in her deep smooth voice rather aggressively. "Well Lex Luthor was in the graveyard and-"Clark began rather perplexed.
"No both of you - this," the midwife said placing her hand on Lois's bump.
"That's our baby," Lois said and she felt like crying. What was she being like this for?
"I don't think either of you realise the implications of this". The midwife put some jelly and the ultrasound device on Lois's bump. She looked up at the monitor. "Well at least the foetus looks OK".
"Why wouldn't it?" Clark asked bending down by Lois and holding her hand.
"You're Superman".
"So Lois told you already".
"You're from Krypton, you're not human. Everything I've ever learned about science and genetics and DNA tells me this is not possible. This is more than risky".
"With all due respect Ms-"Lois began.
"Mrs Parker - Elizabeth".
"Elizabeth, no-one has ever had a child with an alien before. How do we know it's not possible for us to have a perfectly healthy baby?"
"And regardless of that you're a medical professional, you should do your duty and help us whether it's right for us to have a baby or not. He'll be here soon anyway," Clark said and looking into his eyes Elizabeth softened.
"I just want you to be aware that we have absolutely no idea what your baby will be like. He could have mutations and deformities which are unimaginable. We have no idea how human and Kryptonian DNA will react together. But you're intelligent people you most likely discussed this before you stopped using contraception".
"We didn't think we needed it," Lois said, sheepishly. "We thought Clark would never be able to get me pregnant until I got pregnant the first time".
Elizabeth looked at the readings for the babies heart rate. "The first thing I have found - the heart beat is strong but 60 beats per minute is very slow indeed compared to the average human baby - how do I know if this is normal?" she said frowning. She hit a button on the computer keyboard connected to the scanning equipment.
"My heartbeat is 35bpm," Clark said excitedly as he turned to see a 3D image of the baby appear on the screen. "Our baby". "Wow," Lois cried. "Is that what you see every day Clark?" "Well its not quite the same as that," Clark said and Elizabeth smiled. They were not so different from other expectant parents. "You know I X-ray him every day". "And he communicates with us telepathically," Lois cried. "Well," Elizabeth said, she could not imagine at all what that was like. "Lois I've read Dr Kline's notes, are there any other side effects you've been experiencing?" "Invulnerability except I can still feel pain, some levitation in my sleep, quicker reflexes oh and a bit of heartburn," Lois replied.
"And your asthma and allergies?"
"I haven't had to use my inhaler since I got pregnant and I stopped using any other medication because we didn't know how it might affect the baby," Lois explained and she smiled. "I have more energy than ever".
"You know Mrs Parker, Elizabeth, the reason why my father sent me to Earth was because of the similarities in our biology - he knew I could go unnoticed here. Lois has had two miscarriages before so we see this pregnancy getting this far as a sign," Clark said. "It's not so impossible".
"The baby may seem fine now Clark but we don't know how things will turn out and how Lois will be affected. If this baby is born it will be one of the most amazing things ever to happen," Elizabeth said. "You're little miracle will be just that, I'm just warning you that I will do everything in my power to ensure you have a healthy child but if God decides differently there is nothing, that not even Superman, can do".

"That midwife was a cheerful soul," Clark said as he and Lois lay in bed that night. It was so hot in Kansas that night they both lay naked on top of the bed covers. "She's right Clark we don't know what will happen". "Neither do any parents, we have to be hopeful Lois," Clark said stroking her face gently. "The baby has a heart rate of 60 bpm, about half of that of a normal baby and can communicate telepathically". "Yeh".
"Well I just wonder if he's going to be anything like me at all".
"What asthmatic?" Clark quipped.
"Oh yeh you can just imagine him taking a puff on his inhaler before blowing a fire out with his breath or imagine if he's color blind. My grandfather is color blind". Clark frowned confused. "He won't be able to tell which Kryptonite is which". "Oh he'll be able to tell," Clark said smiling. "Do you enjoy being exposed to Red Kryptonite, I mean you're so horrible".
"You said some of the best sex we had was when I was- "
"I didn't know you were under some weird influence," Lois said and Clark began kissing her neck and her ear. "Clark we can't have sex I'm a whale".
"We only did it a couple of days ago".
"And the baby's started communicating to us telepathically since then".
"You mean the baby might know we're having sex?" "Well probably not, he won't know what sex is, he doesn't know anything".
"I wonder how smart he'll be," Clark said thinking out loud. "I mean we're both pretty smart, he could be smarter than both of us and have a degree by the time he's ten or something". "I hope he grows up to be a writer or a musician". "What like what you wanted to be?"
"It's natural to have aspirations for your child Clark," Lois said stroking Clark's flat defined stomach. "Well when I remember how Jor-El was, how everything was mapped out for me in his mind, I just want our child to be happy".

The next morning Clark was back in `The Daily Planet' office. The team were sat around a long table in the meeting room drinking tea and coffee as Clark entered late as usual. "Kent your late," Perry said and Jimmy threw Clark a look of sympathy.
"Why break a habit of a life time Chief?" Clark joked but Perry remained unmoved. "I had to get a sausage sandwich". Jimmy smiled and Kat Grant smiling too winked at Clark. Her previous attraction to Clark was a joke now but had once scared the hell out of him. "I'm sorry".
"Well I would say don't make a habit out of it but as you say it's too late for that. Perhaps I can have your stories". Clark handed Perry his computer pad and sat down next to Jimmy. "There's my report on the latest Superman controversy and Lois's pregnancy column for the lifestyle pages". "Anything else?
"Oh and there was a terrorist bomb threat in Italy". "Good job Kent," Perry said. "I'll need to see you in my office later. Nelson, any news?"
"Unlike Clark I had a weekend," Peter Nelson remarked and a few others laughed. He was a rather ordinary looking white man with a shaved head and straight teeth. "I think its unfair Clark is getting so much credit for these stories when the only reason he gets them is because he's friends with Superman," Mary, a reporter for cultural events remarked. "How else would he know about the bomb threat and the press conference when he wasn't there himself?" "I did just spend a week overseas," Clark said playing with his tie like he always did when he was nervous. "With all due respect Mary it's not like Superman wrote the damn articles for Clark, is it?" Perry said. "Now Nelson, how about last weeks stories? I haven't seen more than a hundred words out of you in the past two weeks".

"Martha, Jonathan," Lana cried as she entered the Kent house through the front door. She looked over to the couch and gasped holding her hand to her mouth as she saw who was laying there. It couldn't be, surely.
"What's he doing here?" Lana cried thinking out loud. Lex groaned, rolled over and opened his eyes to see Lana looking down at him.
"Lana," he croaked and he cleared his throat. "Martha," Lana cried loudly, feeling scared all of a sudden. "Jonathan!"
"You don't have to be scared Lana," Lex said. "The Kent's must have gone out". Lex sat up and suddenly realised he was in his boxers underneath a blanket. "How long have I been asleep?" "I don't know Lex, what are you doing here? I thought you were in jail serving a life sentence".
"They released me on compassionate grounds". "The only reason they would do that is if-" "I've got cancer," Lex said. He had said it so many times over the past few days it was starting to lose any meaning. Martha came into the kitchen through the back door, placed a basket of apples on the side and walked into the living room. "I thought I heard voices," she said, a little apprehensive. "Lex, you're awake".
"Martha I just came over to see if you wanted to go shopping what with it being the first day of the school holidays and everything," Lana said smiling nervously. "But I see you have company". "Lex you passed out yesterday, Clark X-rayed you and said you'd be OK if we just left you," Martha explained. "So we left you on the sofa".
Lex saw his clothes folded on the coffee table and wondered who had undressed him.
"Thanks," Lex said. "I should get going". "Have a shower first, you might as well and I'll get you some breakfast," Martha said and she went back into the kitchen - she shouted. "Towels are in Jonathan and I's bedroom". "You are just as beautiful as I remember," Lex said and Lana looked stony faced. "It was a shame your husband kept you away from those Whitehouse dinners".
"I had children to look after and I preferred it that way, those kinds of stuffy affairs made me uncomfortable". "You can take the girl out of Smallville-" "A lot has changed since I last saw you," Lana said. Lex noticed there was a new hardness to Lana she had obviously developed over the years. Gone was the soft vulnerability and the innocence. Even after a love affair with Lex Luthor Lana had still retained some of her small town innocence. Obviously travel, marriage and children had changed her. She still wore that necklace though. One thing Lex may have been surprised to know was that her apparent coldness towards him masked a feeling she was very surprised to be experiencing - desire. She had felt a level of attraction when she saw Clark again but they had only shared a childish immature love. They had never had a sexual relationship. She and Lex on the other hand - their relationship had been something else entirely. "I heard you and Ross went to South Africa". "After he resigned from the Vice Presidency four years ago we wanted to get away. But we realised things haven't changed enough in South Africa so we moved back to Smallville". "It's amazing racism is still an issue," Lex said throwing the blanket off. Racism was one of the few things Lex had never been accused of. Lana tried not to look at his body though she could not help but notice one thing, a huge scar in his stomach region. "You had stomach cancer," Lana said as Lex began to pull his trousers on.
"It was bowel cancer at first, then it spread. The doctors said the tumour they removed just grew back even bigger - it's all very complicated Lana but because of what happened to me in the meteor shower surgery and chemo just won't work. It seems the reason why I never got sick is now the reason I can't get better". Lana looked at Lex, the sympathy made him feel embarrassed, weak almost, but Lana had been the most normal with him than anyone else lately.
Martha walked into to see Lex doing up his fly's, even if he was about to have a shower he couldn't streak through the house with kids about.
"I wouldn't worry Martha," he said seeing her surprised expression. "Lana's seen it all before". "I just wondered if you wanted pancakes or waffles Lex," Martha said. "Just coffee and toast will be fine".
Martha nodded, smiled at Lana and left the room. "I can't believe Martha is being so nice to you - did you really do those horrible things people said you did?" "And more the press and general public don't know about". "Does Clark know?"
"He knows most of it".
"Don't you feel sorry?" Lana cried, surprised at how cool Lex seemed to be about everything. About dying, about staying at the Kent's though Clark was his enemy, at seeing Lana again. "Of course I feel sorry," Lex replied seriously. Lana could not see the megalomaniac, the murderer that others saw. "I'm dying Lana and I'm alone. Some people would say I deserve that". "No-one deserves that".
"I better go and wash," Lex said motioning his hands over his body. "I'll wait for you," Lana said sitting down on the warm spot on the sofa Lex had left behind.

Clark sat opposite Perry in his office heating up his sausage sandwich with his eyes.
"So is this what it's like Clark you just start using your powers in front of me and I'm supposed to just accept it," Perry said as Clark took a bite and he caught some sauce which fell out of the sandwich with a tissue.
"It's a sandwich chief".
"How's Lois?" Perry asked as Clark took hold of the latest edition of THE DAILY PLANET. The headline said `SUPERMAN BACK ON THE SIDE OF PEACE'.
"I was never not on the side of peace," Clark said. "And what is this disappointed Messiah stuff, is this how people see me?"

"Every religion on Earth agrees on one thing," Perry said seriously leaning forward and looking Clark right in the eyes. "That you are a gift. It's going to be hard for me, you're not Clark Kent my upstart reporter who's always late and eating junk food in important office meetings anymore, you're something else entirely".
"Lois is fine by the way," Clark said changing the subject. He hated the fact that people thought he was some kind of saviour, that he had some kind of divine destiny, he was just an alien, all Kryptonian's were like him when they came into contact with a yellow sun.
"You know knowing what I know about you Clark I'm worried about both of you. Having this baby could be dangerous," Perry said sitting back in his chair.
"Not you as well," Clark exclaimed annoyed. "The midwife yesterday, every pregnancy has an element of danger, we all take risks every day because we think they're worth taking". "You're not human".
"So, the baby will be half human".
"And half Kryptonian".
"What's your point Chief?"
"Well it's not just the biology of the baby we have to worry about. He's not going to know what he is. He'll be expected to keep secrets from an early age, he might not feel like he belongs". "Like I don't belong?" Clark exclaimed angrily. "Clark you can pretend to be human and live among us but you will never be human. You will always be different. It must be confusing for you and it maybe even more confusing for your child". Clark looked down at his large hands for a moment, what Perry was saying echoed every doubt he had himself in his mind but doubts would not stop Clark Kent from becoming a father. He looked back up at Perry with that steely look of determination on his face that made anyone who saw it notice straight away. "I know I'm not human - I don't want to be human. I know what a tough time Lois has with being human sometimes. And I know who I am and my son will know who he is. Perry this child will have one of the best childhoods, the best lives ever and not because I am Superman but because Lois and I will give him all the love any child could ever want and we will make him belong". Perry smiled, Clark had always had a way with words. He wasn't as eloquent or articulate as Lex Luthor but with just a few words Clark could break down even the strongest emotional barriers in people. Ever since Perry had first met Clark in Smallville, he had had this effect on him. It was because of Clark he had not touched a drop of alcohol in 16 years.
Clark finished his sandwich and took a small picture out of his pocket.
"This is a 3D scan of the baby," Clark said and Perry looked amazed.
Nelson walked outside Perry's office at that point trying to look casual with a cup of coffee.
"There's something else I need to tell you chief," Nelson could hear Clark say as he stuck his head against the door. "It's newsworthy but you can't tell anyone".
"Is this more to do with-?"
"No, Lex Luthor - he's been released from prison and he's staying at my parents in Smallville. He's dying". Now that was a scoop.

Lois, Clark and Christian entered through the kitchen door of the Kent house to find Mr and Mrs Kent in the kitchen with their two foster children. Pauline was jabbering excitedly about something and Clark noticed for the first time there was something wrong with her speech. She had a small Superman doll in her hand. Jayesh was sat at the table knife and fork in hand, waiting. "Looks like someone's hungry," Clark remarked with a smile. "I got Superman," Pauline cried.
"So's Lois," Christian remarked under his breath and she hit him gently in the side.
"Well I suppose I better cook something," Martha said. "It's all right Mom I'll do us a risotto," Clark said taking some whole grain rice out of the cupboard.
"Isn't that a bit fattening?"
"Not the way I do it," Clark said. "We'll do it with this whole grain rice, I'll chuck in some spinach and mushrooms, maybe some nuts - it'll be great I promise you".
"It's like having our own personal chef," Jonathan remarked with a false smile which made Clark think that perhaps his father was angry about something.
They all turned to hear laughter in the living room. "Who's there?" Clark cried.
"Relax Clark," Lex said coming into the kitchen with Lana who was holding an identical Superman doll to Pauline's. "Snap," she said smiling and holding up the doll. "Jayesh didn't get one, he didn't win," Pauline said. "He can have mine," Lana said holding out the doll to the hungry boy. "He wanted the bunny".
"Is that true Jayesh?"
Jayesh shook his head, dropped his knife and fork and held out his hand for the doll which Lana handed to him. "Thank you," he said quietly.
"Anyway we better go," Lex said. "I just came here to get my watch and I found it on the sofa".
"Have you two been at the Corn Festival too?" Martha asked. "Well yeh, it just kind of happened," Lana replied. "I'd wondered where you'd gone Lana you said you wanted to go shopping".
"I'm sorry I just-".
"It's all right Lana".
"Anyway it was really nice of you to let me stay, considering the circumstances," Lex began again.
"Where are you going?" Clark asked.
"Back to the mansion"
"Oh no you're staying here where I can keep an eye on you". "What do you think he's going to do Clark? He's sick, he's not about to start thinking up some evil schemes in the state he's in," Lana cried annoyed.
"No Clark's right Lana maybe I should stay here," Lex said and she looked surprised.
"Where exactly?" Jonathan asked, annoyed. "He can have the couch again Jonathan just for a few more days, he could fall ill again," Martha replied.
"He looks fine to me".
"Well I better get going," Lana said suddenly looking at her watch. "It's dinner time at my house too". "Bye Lana," Martha said and Lex walked her to the kitchen door. "It's been great seeing you today," he said in a soft tone that had made her weak at the knees once.
"Maybe I'll see you again," Lana said quietly and Clark and Lois looked at each other with raised eyebrows. "Bye everyone". "Bye," everyone but Jayesh cried, he was concentrating too much on his new doll and Lana left the kitchen and closed the door behind her.

Clark walked along the main road past the old Luthor Corp building and over to his usual news stand.
"Hi Clark," Harry the old man who worked there said. "Hi," Clark said as the front cover of The Inquisitor caught his eye. "What?"
DYING LUTHOR RELEASED.
"Do you believe that trash?" Harry said. "As if your parents would let Lex Luthor stay at your house, you hate him". "Yeh," Clark cried completely dazed by what he saw. How had The Inquisitor found out he wondered? No one knew Lex was there apart from him, his parents, Lois, Christian and Lana and they wouldn't tell. At least there had been no press outside when he had left, maybe everyone else thought it was lie too like Harry. He had to get home. Clark took his mobile phone out of his pocket and quickly paid Harry the 90 for the paper. He pressed the keypad to call Perry. He had been someone else he had told. "Perry White speaking".
"Chief its Clark, have you seen the front page of The Inquisitor today?" Clark asked, anxious.
"Clark you know I don't read that trash". "It says Luthor has been released from prison and that he's staying at my parents house, I have to get back home, what if press start camping outside my parents house?"
"How did they find out Clark?"
"I don't know, someone must have overheard me telling you about it yesterday unless you didn't tell anyone did you, Alice or-" "Clark I swear to you I haven't breathed a word to anyone. When did you leave your parents house?"
"About ten minutes ago".
"And no one was there when you left".
"No".
"Then maybe nobody believes it, everyone knows you and Lex aren't the best of friends and that Lois hates him and they know Superman definitely hates him".
"OK I'll see you in a minute Chief, I'm sure if something happens Mom will let me know".

"Here you go," Clark said to Lex who was sat on the sofa that evening.
"What's this?" Lex asked staring at the plate of food Clark handed him.
"Chicken Tikka Massalla, what does it look like?" "You know Clark it's really nice of you to do this". "I'm not being nice, call it a duty, call it a compulsion". "Well you finally admit that you're need to do good doesn't actually stem from an innate altruism but rather some psychological facet in your character".
"Only when it concerns you does doing good become a compulsion Lex," Clark remarked with a wicked smile. "It's taking every ounce of my mental control not to throw you across Kansas like a football right now".
Lex laughed and Clark handed him a knife and fork. "Bon appetite," he said and he left the room to join his parents and Lois at the table. Jayesh and Pauline who were sat opposite Lex just began staring at him.
"So no one has been outside all day?" Clark asked his parents and Lois as he sat down.
"Clark no one is seriously going to believe Lex is staying with us," Lois said.
"But he was at the Corn Festival yesterday, loads of people must have seen him then".
"With Lana," Lois said. "Where is Lex anyway, isn't he having anything?"
"He's sat on the couch," Clark replied. "You can't expect me to eat dinner with him besides we only have enough chairs for four". "When Christian was here we took the computer chair from Pauline's room".
"Christian didn't try to kill me or kill you or kill everyone, it's going to take a lot for me to forgive Lex, I don't know if I can do it," Clark said sadly looking down at his bright orange dinner. "I don't know if I can even consider it".
"And yet your actions say differently son, you could have just left Lex at the graveyard to die and for someone else to find him but you didn't," Jonathan said seriously.
"Dad you tried to shoot him".
"I was angry, like you say Lex has done a lot of bad things". "It's hard to know what to do," Lois said. "I mean the rumours are out there thanks to that paper".
"Well we can publish an article saying how it's not true if we wanted to but I think its best if we say nothing," Clark said. "I agree," Lois said and she sighed. "Oh I wish I was back at work, it will be all right when the baby's here but I'm so bored, I wish I could get involved".
Clark nodded and narrowed his eyes, he could hear something and it was coming towards the farm. He whooshed out of the kitchen as Clark and entered the living room as Superman. "Clark," Lex cried as a rocket headed towards him and Clark caught it with his hand and jumped on top of it. He decided not to throw it back as that may cause even more damage and he had nearly killed someone doing that once.
"Get down," Clark cried as the rocket exploded underneath him. "Superman," Jayesh cried, amazed and Pauline began crying. Lex took hold of her and Clark for a moment softened towards his enemy as Lex comforted the frightened child.
Clark got up and saw the carpet underneath him was completed incinerated and the floor boards were scorched. His suit was black but like him still intact. Clark seeing that Lex and the children were OK whooshed outside and seeing a van moving off in the distance flew after it. He stood in the road and held out his arms in front of him and the driver put his feet on the breaks stopping the van. It was only just starting to get dark and Clark could see the would be assassin was George Anasis, a business man and ex member of the recently disbanded Intergang, Lex had double crossed two years ago. "What do you think you're doing?" Clark asked opening the door of the van.
"As soon as I heard Luthor was out I came to get him, that man lost me everything," George snapped aggressively. "What are you doing here Superman? You've ruined it".
"Not that it's any of your business Anasis but I was visiting the Kent's. It was lucky I was there, there were children in there, you could have killed the Kent's and Lois was pregnant". "You don't understand, Luthor has ruined my life". "I understand a bit more than you think," Clark said. "Lex Luthor has tried to kill me several times. How did you know he was in there anyway?"
"The Inquisitor story".
"And you believe it?"
"I won't be the only one Superman, now people know he's been released, they'll be more like me," George rambled on sounding a bit mad but Clark was afraid he may be right. "There may be more like you but I'm still going to have to take you to see the Sheriff," Clark said seriously. "Fair enough Superman," George said with the air of a man who had given up. Clark smiled amused, this was the easiest arrest in history.

Lex was sat in The Talon the next morning completely unscathed from the night before though a little shaken and paranoid. Though The Talon was still called The Talon the dcor was a lot more minimalist now with white walls displaying pieces of art work - one which was done by Lana herself. The chairs were soft cushioned red and blue sofas and arm chairs. Some tables were designed for eating at since the menu had been greatly expanded but The Talon was still an alcohol free zone. Lex was sat eating a large plate of bacon, fried eggs, hash browns, grilled tomatoes and button mushrooms. The owner being British also graced his Full English breakfasts with black pudding and baked beans if desired. Lex ate the meal as if it may be the last meal he would eat, the difference being that for a dying man it could well be his last meal.
Lana walked in with her eldest daughter and immediately grabbed Lex's attention. Lana was surprised to see Lex stuffing his face since he wasn't usually as passionate about his food. He was the type who would skip breakfast or lunch and not even notice, like Chloe had been she supposed.
"Hello Lex," Lana said smiling. They had not seen each other since they had spent all day at the corn festival together. Some how even though that was only the day before yesterday it felt like longer. "Lana," Lex replied smiling too. "Why don't you join me?" "Laura and I just came in to pick up some bagels for breakfast. Lex this is my daughter Laura, my eldest, she's six," Lana said nervously and she turned to look at her daughter. "Honey this is a man I used to be friends with when I was a kid". "Hello," Laura said smiling. At six years old she was too young to know who Lex Luthor was. "Was Mommy a kid like me?" "Well your Mommy was a bit older than you when we were friends," Lex said. "Lana why don't you pop by the Kent's later if you can't have breakfast?"
"I don't know I should really spend time with the kids today its unfair to leave them with Rosa all day again". "How about tonight?"
"I have my reading group tonight," Lana said. "How suburban," Lex cried almost laughing as he said it. "But I could play hooky". Lana had a devilish look in her eyes that reminded Lex of when she would plan excuses to give Gabe when she was sneaking off to see Lex 14 years ago. "I'll see you in the mansion tonight at 8; hopefully Clark will be too busy saving someone to notice I'm gone". "Is Clark still `wanting to keep an eye on you'?" Lana asked mocking Clark's serious tone.
"Well after last night-"
"What happened last night?" Lana asked, concerned. "Well I can't really say in front of you know, lets just say for once I was glad Clark was there".

"I think Superman should go on record saying Lex Luthor is under his protection," Clark said, stood up, as that afternoon he, Lois, Perry, Martha and Jonathan sat having coffee in Perry's office. Well Lois was having a large glass of orange and cranberry juice and Jonathan was reluctantly nursing a cup of herbal tea. "Then all those criminals could target you instead of Lex," Martha cried. "You're enough of a target as it is Clark". "You make me sound so popular," Clark said sarcastically with a cheeky smile. "If I work with the authorities - make it official". "Haven't the locals in Smallville objected to Luthor being around?" Perry asked.
"He usually goes out wearing a baseball cap or glasses and he looks so worn anyone who remembers Lex doesn't recognise him," Lois said. "Or they're just not saying anything," Clark added thoughtfully. "I'm sure a few of the locals in Smallville know I'm Superman they just don't say anything. These days there's an attitude in Smallville that everyone just sticks to their own". "Maybe we should ask Luthor first," Perry said. "I'll speak to him tonight," Clark said. "You know Clark I'm curious to know why you don't just let the police deal with Lex period. Why have him staying at the farm? Why are you helping him at all after everything he's done?" Perry asked. "If you're asking that Perry then you don't know Clark at all," Lois said and Martha and Jonathan nodded in agreement. Clark was doing this because this is what Clark did, he helped everyone whether they deserved it or not.
"I'm not doing this because I'm a good person," Clark said and he grabbed his tie suddenly. "I have to go - train wreck in India". Clark ran out of the office and Lois tutted and shook her head. "What?" Jonathan asked.
"He's lying," she replied.
"Lex, where are you going?" Clark asked as Lex was about to open the front door and leave that evening.
"I didn't realise I was a prisoner here". "I'm sorry, Lois and I are about to go to some ante natal classes at the school-"
"I remember when I went to one of those at the school when Chloe was pregnant," Lex said smiling with the fondness of someone who had done a lot of looking at the past lately. "They showed this video of a woman giving birth and Chloe ran out of the room to be sick". "I've been at four live births since I became Superman - that's not what I wanted to talk to you about," Clark said apparently tense and feeling sad at the mention of Chloe. "I was thinking about how Superman should go on the record saying that you are under his protection. It might warn anyone else who might be thinking of coming after you".
"I think it's a good idea," Lex said though Clark could tell he was distracted and eager to leave. "There were some protestors outside earlier".
"Protestors?"
"People don't like the fact that a murderer such as myself has been released from prison. They think I should be left to die in jail". "They don't understand why we're helping you". "To be honest Clark I don't understand but I am grateful," Lex said. He almost reached out to touch Clark on the shoulder but what would have been natural years ago wasn't now. "Good luck at the ante natal class".
"Thanks and try and stay out of trouble," Clark said as Lex opened the door. "Wherever it is you're going".

Lois and Clark walked towards the front entrance of the High School. It was an experience for Clark which was quite strange. Neither he nor Lois had stepped foot in the school in nearly 15 years.
"Did you speak to Lex?" Lois asked as they walked up the steps into the school.
"Yeh, he thinks it's a good idea".
"Why did you go off Clark, there was no train wreck in India was there?" Lois asked and Clark shook his head. "Are you sure you're not telepathic as well Lois?" "Look don't worry you don't have to talk about it now - I've got more important things to think about than your guilt ridden neuroses," Lois snapped annoyed as they walked along the corridor. "This is poorly organised - there aren't any signs telling us where to go. Then again this is Smallville everyone who is going probably knows each other already". "Lois - guilt ridden neurosis?" Clark cried. "Well that's why you're helping Lex - you're feeling guilty about something. That's what motivates you Clark, I mean you're a good person and sometimes you do things just because you are a good person but this is Lex Luthor we're talking about so I figure - you feel guilty about something. Usually it's totally unnecessary as well. You are more Catholic than my grandfather sometimes," Lois was babbling away unstoppable like a train passing through a deserted station. Clark loved her most of all when she was like this and he smiled.
"Maybe it's in here," Lois cried throwing open the door to find not the maternity class but The Torch office. "Oh". A petite blonde was typing away at her computer and Clark freaked out for a moment till he realised she bore no resemblance to Chloe whatsoever.
"Can I help you?" the blonde asked sarcastically, well apart from that.
"Sorry Miss we're trying to find the antenatal class," Lois said and she looked up at the wall to see a huge selection of newspaper and magazine cuttings.
"The `Wall of Weird'," Clark cried amazed. "It's still here".
"Oh I know where I've seen you two before," the girl said. "You're Clark Kent and Lois Lane, anyway nice to meet you and everything but I have a date and I'm already late". The girl scuttled out of the office clutching her computer pad and her handbag - women's handbags being one thing which had not shrunk in the past fifteen years. As she left the office she bumped into an elderly black man on her way out.
"I can't believe it's still here," Clark said smiling at some old pictures of him.
"I never had the heart to take it down," a familiar voice said from the hallway.
"Principal Reynolds," Clark cried smiling. "I heard you were still working here".
"Well I've come rather attached to this place over the years Mr Kent".
"Principal Reynolds your remember Lois Lane," Clark said. "How can I forget?" Principal Reynolds said smiling. "You know you're cousin was one of the best students we ever had at this school".
"Yeh I remember you saying that at the funeral," Lois said awkwardly. "Anyway - err ha, any idea where the antenatal classes are being held?"
"I'll show you, I'm actually looking for my daughter - she's supposed to be coming tonight".
Lois and Clark followed Principal Reynolds into the classroom where the class was being held and on seeing his daughter Principal Reynolds sat down next to her. "Oh well I don't need to ask who you two are," the teacher of the class said in her shrill and nasal voice. "Lois Lane and Clark Kent, please sit down".
"Hey shouldn't you be at some kind of celebrity Lamas class?" a Chinese woman cried in a Southern accent. "I wouldn't be here if I could help it, just these classes are free". "Well as far as I know I still have to push the baby out of my vagina like everyone else," Lois remarked annoyed. Celebrity indeed, how ridiculous.
"Exactly," the teacher said.
"Oh I could really do with some Chinese food right now," a Hispanic woman remarked. She wasn't that far gone and was with her mother.
"You get really bad cravings too," the Chinese woman cried. "You know I went through this phase of eating dirt, dirt out of the garden for crying out loud".
"I know what you mean I ate a whole box of apples yesterday, I don't normally eat apples," Lois said smiling. "You couldn't have eaten a whole box surely," the Chinese woman said.
"No no," Lois said laughing. Realising any normal pregnant woman would never be able to eat that much or do it at super speed. "So when are you due Lois?" the Hispanic lady asked. "I'm Hazel by the way".
"Well Hazel in about 7 weeks or so," Lois replied. "Oh I read in the inquisitor you're only five months gone, you look pretty big for five months".
"Actually it's seven months," Clark lied. The woman running the class put the DVD on and switched the lights off.
Lois realised no matter how much she and the other pregnant women in the class could empathise with each other there were some things the other women could never understand. Every baby was special, every baby was a big responsibility but the child of Lois Lane and Clark Kent would be truly unique indeed. Lois found it hard not to think of prophecies at this moment in time. The caves and what H.G. Wells had told her needed to be blocked from her mind. Wasn't it Clark who always said `you create your own destiny'? Lois smiled to herself, and look where he ended up - he had fought against Jor-El's wishes for so long but Clark had become someone his biological father would be proud of.

Lana walked into the library of the mansion. It was one of the few rooms not covered by dust sheets and left abandoned. Lex walked in behind her and Lana smiled to see the coffee table set out nicely with wine, light bites such as potato chips and candles. They sat down on the leather sofas by the table and the large ornate fire place.
"Electricity not working," Lana said. She was dressed in a short black skirt, a purple sleeveless top with a high neckline, black tights and black ballet pumps. Her hair was swept back in a style which made Lex think she looked very prim indeed, all she needed was some glasses. Lana crossed her legs and Lex noticed the split in Lana's skirt exposing one of her slender and tight thighs. Lex had in the past preferred the soft feminine flesh of someone like Lois or Chloe but there was something to be said about the firmness of a more athletic woman.
"The electricity is fine," Lex said in that smooth way he did that made someone like Lana very excited indeed. He poured them both a glass of red and leaned forward in his chair. "Anyone would think you're trying to seduce me," Lana joked and Lex cringed at the clich.
"We're just two old friends sharing a drink. I would never dream of seducing a married woman," Lex said smiling. "You know you really look like a Kindergarten teacher in that outfit". "I'm the Principal of the Kindergarten," Lana said. "I have a reputation to keep up. I have to dress business like enough to be taken seriously but not so much the kids and the other teachers are scared of me. I don't wear jeans and pink sweaters anymore. You still seem to like the designer suits". "They don't make me look any less terrible". "You've been ill Lex and you still look better than a lot of men I know".
"I'm only 36 and I must look 40 at least". "I can't believe I'm 30," Lana said with a sigh. "You don't look it".
"Well I haven't changed much apart from the fact I've had three children and I'm married now".
"A lot's happened".
"I still can't believe those bad things you did Lex. You don't seem like the psycho the newspapers make you out to be," Lana said taking another gulp of her wine. "This is really nice". "Lana we all make mistakes and you know me, you don't need to listen to what's in the newspapers," Lex said leaning even further forward across the table and Lana's hand shook as she finished off her glass of wine. "I'm not going to hurt you".
"Oh it's not that Lex," Lana said. "I'm just nervous". "Why?"
"Not because you're the worlds greatest super villain". Lex smiled at this. "But because you're my ex lover". "That was a long time ago Lana".
"I know this is a bit clich Lex but do you ever think-" "What things could have been like if we'd stayed together," Lex said finishing Lana's sentence for her. "We were not exactly loves young dream, were we?"
"It lasted a year - that was my longest relationship so far at that point in my life apart from Whitney but me and Whitney, we didn't even sleep together". Lana finished poured herself another glass of wine and took a large gulp.
"It was just about sex," Lex said coldly seeing Lana was getting a bit carried away with her trip down memory lane. "Is that what you really think?" Lana asked, Lex thought she sounded angry.
"Well I'd only lost Chloe a month before we were tearing each others clothes off on the staircase in Gabe's house," Lex said and Lana shifted in her chair. "Maybe we both just wanted a bit of a comfort, a warm body".
"Then when I went to France again why did you beg me to stay?" Lana asked, annoyed.
"You were my friend Lana, I loved and respected you I won't deny that but I couldn't have built a life with you. Lana how many lovers have you had since me?"
"What's that got to do with anything?"
"Well you obviously see sex as something that's important if you thought that you and I could ever have had a future together just because we had a lot of sex".
"You said you loved me".
"Well I did at the time, but that was just passion, I didn't love you in the way-"
"How you loved Chloe," Lana said finishing Lex's sentence in a sulky tone.
"Chloe is the reason I never married again". "I thought that was because Lois ran out on you on your wedding day". "I loved Lois because she was like Chloe". There was silence as Lana downed her second glass of wine. "I only ever slept with Pete after you," Lana said answering Lex's question finally as she slapped the glass on the table. "You're right I do think sex is important, I don't think people should sleep with people just for the sake of it".
"Did you ever sleep with that footballer you went out with during Junior year?"
"No my first was Jason Teague, the other Jason before him was just someone to help me forget Clark".
"And what about after Jason Teague?"
"Well there was Gary after Clark left but when we slept together and all I could think about was Jason," Lana said. "So I dumped him and then you and I-".
"So you have slept with someone when it didn't mean anything?" Lex cried with a smile of satisfaction on his face and he leaned back in his chair.
"We all make mistakes Lex," Lana said pouring a third glass using up the last of the bottle.
"It wasn't a mistake what we did Lana and I do mean that I loved and respected you. You were the only one who never betrayed me while Clark and Chloe were laughing behind our backs". "Clark and Chloe," Lana said frowning.
"Chloe knew Clark's secret".
"Oh I thought you meant," Lana said relieved. "Well I found out Clark's secret long before he became Superman, I found out before Chloe".
"So you were all laughing at me," Lex remarked, annoyed but not angry.
"Well Clark and I were making out and he floated up in the air and the next day he told me everything. I couldn't handle it so I went out with Jason in the football team, then it was the school play and then there was all that stuff with your father and we thought Chloe had died and Clark disappeared and you were poisoned and I was in Paris and I met Jason Teague and well the whole of senior year Clark and I kind of spoke and eventually we became friends again". "So that's what all that tension was about between Clark and you, because you knew".
"Lois being on the scene was a good distraction for me, it meant I could distance myself from Clark and concentrate on Jason but things didn't work out. Then when Lillian was born Chloe found out and she was cool about it, she didn't care that Clark was an alien and I was so angry".
"Angry?"
"That Chloe could be how I wanted to be around Clark, she liked his powers and she thought the whole thing was so great. I wanted to make Clark human and I couldn't," Lana said tears welling up in her eyes. It had been a long time but the pain could become raw again just at the mention of what had happened. "Clark told me Chloe found out because he flew her to the hospital," Lex said looking down at his hands. "I hated him because he didn't tell me and I was angry with her for a while, but I could never be angry with Chloe for long, apart from the fact she was dead I still miss her every day".
"Me too," Lana said. "Lois being around recently has reminded me of her".
"Chloe was never as hard as Lois".
"Only because Chloe never grew up, she didn't get that far," Lana said smiling and she took another gulp from her glass and slurred her words slightly. "If Chloe was still alive she and Lois would be one nightmare pair".
Lex laughed a hearty laugh that Lana had never heard before and she laughed too. Chloe and Lois running `The Daily Planet' and hen pecking poor Lex and Clark too death well it wasn't meant to be. "There's no point in what ifs and there is no point looking at the past," Lex said holding his glass up in the air. "But I'm going to die - the past is all I have and what a sorry sight it is". "It wasn't all bad," Lana said.
"No you were always there, we were a good team in The Talon," Lex said leaning forward again and Lana leaned forward slightly too mirroring his behaviour. "I always remember you being so prim and proper. Once I remember I was teaching you self defence and you whacked the hell out of that punch bag - that was the first time I saw any real passion in you".
"I suppose I wasn't as passionate about things as some people," Lana replied, she almost said Chloe but decided against it. She couldn't remind Lex about her, she didn't want to. "You drove the boys crazy, you were gorgeous and you had no idea". "Did I drive you crazy Lex?" Lana asked and Lex almost cringed at the clich.
"I wasn't a boy then Lana".
"Do I drive you crazy now?" Lana asked, her stomach churning. Why was she acting this way? Could she blame the wine? "I wouldn't say that exactly," Lex said taking Lana's hand and speaking in a soft husky voice. He stood up and leaned forward across the table and he touched Lana gently on the cheek. She stood up and they both moved away from the table. Lex and Lana looked at each other for a moment and for Lana thirteen years of history disappeared. Lex leaned down to kiss her on the lips and as their lips met Lana felt a hunger she had not felt since she and Pete had first started making love. It was a sad fact that passion was hard to sustain without an injection of novelty once in a while. She kissed Lex back enthusiastically at first and as Lex began undoing the zip on her skirt she moved away and would not look Lex in the face. She did the zip back up.
"I'm sorry Lex," she said. "I'm prim like you said - I'm married and I shouldn't be here".
Lana scuttled off across the room her heels making a scuffling sound on the parquet flooring. She wasted no time in driving back to her husband.

Lex sat in The Talon the next morning listening to Superman on the television and looking into his cappuccino. It was the day of the press conference concerning Lex going under Superman's protection. "Do you think Luthor deserves to be released from jail after what he's done? Shouldn't he be left to rot in his cell - that would be the majority view?" a black woman with very short hair asked in an accusatory manner.
"Lex Luthor like anyone deserves to be able to put all his business in order before he dies. He needs to make peace with the world around him and can't do that from a jail cell. This is why this law was introduced, Lex Luthor has been released on compassionate grounds like any other convict would have been in his position. A year ago a notorious robber Harry Jackman was released in similar circumstances". The digital cameras clicked away and Clark felt thankful that he always did his research. "But Lex Luthor is a menace, Harry Jackman was a petty thug in comparison. Why should Luthor deserve anything? Every minute he is free he is a risk to us all," the journalist continued. "I don't believe that," Clark said with such sincerity that Lex looked up from his cappuccino.
"Then why is he under your protection?" a white female journalist with big blonde hair asked, she was in her sixties. "Why you Superman? He has tried to kill you on several occasions has he not. Why not get the police to do it?"
"I am the best person for the job and everyone deserves someone to be there for them even if that person is their worst enemy," Clark said and he almost sighed as he spoke the next few lines. "No matter how long I live among humans I am still an alien here. I do things humans will never understand sometimes. However I feel protecting Lex Luthor is a very human thing to do. After everything he has done he still deserves help and protection from these people who inevitably want to take advantage of his weak position at this time. Forgiveness is the greatest thing anyone can do other than extending kindness". Clark looked up from the card he had prepared to see the crowd for once quiet and thoughtful. "Have you forgiven him Superman?" the older woman asked. "No other questions," Clark said. "That's all I want to say". Lex took a sip of his cappuccino and the British owner of The Talon came over with Lex's waffles with syrup he had ordered for breakfast. "I agree with Superman," he said. "That Luthor has been punished enough, he's going to rot in hell - that's all that matters". Lex almost choked on his cappuccino and simply nodded and lowered his baseball cap over his face.
"Someone is out to get me," Clark said stood in Perry's office the following morning holding up a copy of The Inquisitor in front of him.
"Clark why are you reading that trash?" he asked. Jimmy came into Perry's office at that point carrying four cups of coffee on a small black plastic tray.
"You did it again," Clark said signing at the same time. "Lois isn't here remember".
Jimmy put the tray down, lightly tapped his forehead with his palm and smiled as if to say `doh'.
`I miss her,' Jimmy signed mouthing the words. "When Lois has had the baby you can come and visit us in Smallville but at the moment she needs to rest," Clark said still signing. Jimmy made the OK sign and sat down.
`I didn't think you read The Inquisitor Clark' Jimmy signed. "This Noslen guy, he wrote that `Superman: Super Tantrum' article and the article about Lex's release and now this `Superman: Super Christ?'" Clark said and Perry watched amazed at how quickly Clark was able to sign this to Jimmy and sighed. He wanted to learn so he could communicate with Jimmy better but he was getting too old. "I think it shows a complete lack of originality in the papers headlines," Perry said looking at Jimmy so he could lip read and Clark and Jimmy smiled.
"I mean listen to this: `Superman an alien preaches to us about human forgiveness as if he is in fact the second coming of Christ. A point made by many theologians and dismissed by scientists. He may think his allegiance to Lex Luthor or `protection' as he calls it is simply an act of kindness but it is an act which will ultimately reduce the human loyalty he currently possesses. Lex Luthor is an evil monster and even if Superman has forgiven him decent American citizens will not, and they should take notice of the current situation. Superman is a law unto himself and it is because of him criminals are running free just because they claim to be ill and say that they need to make peace with their world. I say we should bring back the death penalty and abolish the compassionate release amendment," Clark read from the paper and Jimmy shook his head.
"At least he doesn't mention you or Lois Clark, or your parents," Perry said.
"Oh they do," Clark said. "Even worse is the betrayal of Lois Lane and Clark Kent along with the rest of the Kent family who are currently extending their hospitality to this monster at Kent Farm in The Meteor Capital of the World Smallville, Kansas. This is where the attack against Lex Luthor took place and where protestors have been banned from protesting due to the farm being a private residence. Any protestors have been asked to protest outside the Smallville Town Hall building".
`I don't know why you care what this Noslen guy says. Lex used to be your friend. It wouldn't be a very Clark Kent thing to do if you didn't help him' Jimmy signed.
"The thing that annoys me most about this is that Lex is actually too sick now to get into any trouble," Clark said chucking the newspaper in the recycling bin where it belonged.

Lex trudged across the fields surrounding the Kent property. He didn't do much lately but sleep, walk, eat and think. His daily walks were his haven from Jonathan Kent's suspicious looks and Martha's pity. Sometimes Lois and Christian would offer some light relief but they were often out doing things and more often now Lana was invited into the little sowing circle. Lana and Lois were the most unlikely friends Lex thought but he knew once Lois was back home in Metropolis the two probably would reduce their friendship to the odd email now and again about motherhood. Lex smiled and then felt a little sad at how the behaviour of people was so predictable to him and his view of it so cynical. He walked up the next slope of grass to see a familiar woman riding a large dark brown horse in the paddock.
She looked so young Lex almost had to do a double take. The thing with being back in Smallville was he kept seeing ghosts and flickers of the past. Lana was out of her Kindergarten Head Teacher garb and dressed in jeans, a lilac sweater and black riding boots with her hair loose like she used to wear it. She looked ten years younger than she had done the other night without any make up on - it was so surreal.
"Lex," Lana cried. "What are you doing out here?" "Just walking," Lex replied looking up at Lana. "That horse looks like your old horse Tyson".
"It is," Lana said dismounting and Lex helped her down taking hold of her waist and she looked up at him awkwardly for a moment and took hold of the horses lead and began walking. "Tyson was 30 this year - ever since that boy Cyrus healed him he's just been in excellent health. I suppose not all the meteor freaks were bad". "Glad to hear it," Lex said with a cheeky grin that made Lana feel very regretful she hadn't taken up Lex's offer the night before last. "I never thought of you as a meteor freak Lex you never tried to kill me for one".
"But I was physically affected by the meteor shower". "I'm so glad they got rid of all the meteor rocks. I know Clark probably did it for selfish reasons but I don't think I could have brought my kids up here knowing they might get some kind of disease from them".
"I just wonder why they still call Smallville the meteor capital of the world".
"Well we're not famous for anything else," Lana said. "I still turn a chat show on now and again and there's some meteor mutant or their family discussing how life's been for them". "How's Pete and the kids?" Lex asked after a brief moment's silence. He supposed he should ask.
"Fine, Pete's looking after the kids today - the beauty of being self employed I suppose. He's had a few things to sort out with journalists asking him about the compassionate release of prisoner's law".
"Lana I'm sorry I kissed you the other night. I suppose we both got carried away talking about the past," Lex said suddenly. He supposed they should just get it out in the open. "I kissed you back," Lana replied and then all of a sudden she seemed angry. "I don't know why I didn't let you take it further - something just stops me it's like this switch in my head". "Your conscience Lana, it's good you want to stay faithful to your husband".
"But if I really loved Pete would I really want to do the things I want to do with you?" Lana asked. "I mean you look terrible and yet you still excite me more than he does". "Maybe you and Pete need some counselling or something," Lex said. "No," Lana said a steely look of determination in her eyes. "I know what I need".
Lana took hold of Lex by the shoulders and pulled him down towards her and kissed him on the lips. Lex laughed at her enthusiasm at first and Lana laughed too and Lex lay down on the grass pulling Lana down on top of him. They kissed passionately again clumsily as Lana began undoing Lex's trousers and he pulled them down. Lana pulled down her jeans and licked the tip of Lex's penis and began sucking it gently. Pretty quickly it was standing up on its own and Lex rolled on top of Lana and aggressively thrust into her. Lana gasped at the force of his large girth - well to a small woman like Lana most men felt large inside her even after giving birth to three children. Lana kissed Lex on the lips and on the cheek and as she grabbed his arse he came and Lana smiled like a dopey school girl. "That was well needed," she said in a dirty way that only Lex knew of Lana.
"I was just surprised I could get it up," Lex replied thinking about the poor state of his body and the pairs dirty school child laughter could be heard across the fields.
Lex stood up and pulled his trousers and underwear back on as Lana brushed the grass off of her bum.
"See all that horse riding paid off," Lex remarked as Lana pulled her jeans and underwear back on.
As the pair rode across the field Lex holding onto Lana feeling in dire need of a sleep a camera clicked in their direction unnoticed by the lovers.

`Love rekindled?' was the headline on The Inquisitor's website the following day much to the annoyance of Lex, Lana and Pete alike. Thankfully Pete who trusted his wife knew it was an innocent snap and had believed Lana's story that she had found Lex collapsed in the field. He did look pretty tired after all. Clark was annoyed that this Noslen guy again was so interested in the goings on of him and those close to him.

"I found these old photo's the other day I thought you all might like a look at them," Martha said. She, her husband, Clark, Lois, Lana, Lex and Christian were all sat in the living room after having shared a huge meal of Mexican food together. It had been two weeks since Lex and Lana's encounter on the grass and they had christened several things since like the leather chairs in the mansion, Lex's old four poster bed, Martha and Jonathan's bed, the sofa in the barn conversion and in the stables. Lois lay back fanning her face with a mini fan, her stomach had swollen to even greater proportions over the past couple of weeks. "Didn't Pete want to come round tonight - there's quite a few pictures of him and Clark in here when they were kids," Jonathan said taking an old album out of one of the cardboard boxes. "He's at home with the kids," Lana said feeling a little guilty she hadn't been spending much time with them lately. "Oh look here's one of Clark," Lois said taking one out of an old shoe box she had picked up. "You must have been what 18 in this one - what's with the spiky hair?"
"I was 19 - it was my last night in London. I have all these on a disk at home".
"It's not the same as real paper pictures though is it?" Lana said. She was dressed again in jeans and a sweater. "Ooh that makes me sound old".
"What does it say on the t-shirt you're wearing under the picture of an axe?" Lois asked.
"Big chopper," Clark said smiling slightly embarrassed and everyone but Lana smiled and Martha giggled as Jonathan smiled shaking his head.
"I had one of those t-shirts too," Christian said. "I don't get it," Lana said feeling dumb all of a sudden. "A chopper is a mainly British euphuism for a guys you know - wang," Christian explained whispering the word `wang'. "Oh right," Lana said.
"With Clark it's true," Lois said.
"Lois," Clark cried, growing even more embarrassed. Martha looked at Jonathan and raised her eyebrows in an amused fashion.
"Well look at the size of Clark in general - big hands, big feet," Lois exclaimed waving her hands about in the usual fashion she did when trying to get her mouth out of trouble. "Lois I can't believe you said that," Clark said trying not to laugh. "I'm sorry Clark I've been bored all day playing board games with Chris and his Nana - though she is a sweet lady". "Hey if according to you Lois big guys have big you know where does that leave slender guys like me and Lex?" Christian asked. "Well you do get people who have certain body parts out of proportion to the rest of their body," Lois said. "Like Lois's breasts," Clark replied and he said quickly, "see I can talk about intimate body parts".
"Let's try and steer this conversation back to something resembling civilised," Jonathan said as Lois continued to rifle through Clark's travelling snaps.
"Here's one of Clark, Christian and Pete and that boy Greg," Martha said.
"God I looked gay even as a child and what happened to Greg?" Christian asked. He got up off the arm of the sofa he was sat on. "Greg was a meteor mutant who went a little scary," Lana said. "Let's just leave it at that".
"Does anyone want any cakes - I think I'll ride down to the Talon," Christian asked.
""Yeh OK," Lois said.
"No thanks I'm more than full from Martha's gorgeous dinner. In fact I better get back to the kids and Pete," Lana said looking briefly at Lex who half smiled back. He had conveniently forgotten about Lana's kids when they had been sneaking around. "Thanks a lot Martha and Jonathan. It's been really nice". "That's OK Lana," Martha said, sensing a sadness in her young friend. "Yeh any time sweetheart," Jonathan added. "So Lois - double chocolate gateaux as usual, Clark you usually have a blueberry muffin, and Lex?" Christian said. "I might as well walk out with you Lana".
"I will have a Danish please," Lex said. "Martha? Jonathan?"
"Oh no I'm fine," Martha said, she wasn't surprised or offended that Christian, Lois and Clark were still hungry. Lex was eating while he could.
"No thanks," Jonathan added.
"I'm surprised with the amount you eat you manage to stay so trim," Lana said to Christian smiling. "You must be the only one out of all of us who hasn't put on a pound since high school". "Even Clark's put on ten pounds," Jonathan agreed. "Most likely muscle darling - it's not quite the same," Martha said with a laugh in her voice.
"I can't actually put on weight," Christian said. "Because of the exposure I had to Kryptonite as I was growing up". "Oh," Lana cried, embarrassed.
Everyone looked surprised.
"Anyway I'll see you guys later," Christian said and he went out into the hallway.
"Bye everyone," Lana said and they left the house. "Here's one of Chloe and Clark at the prom," Lois said. "Oh I'm sorry they must have got mixed in with-". Martha began going red in the face.
"It's fine," Lex said. "I still have lots of pictures of Chloe - I see her all the time".
"It was the spring formal," Clark said thinking out loud. "Chloe had a crush on me, I wish I could have liked her in the same way but I liked Lana, I felt bad I hurt her feelings". "Clark that was just kids stuff I wouldn't worry about it". "One of Chloe, Pete and Clark," Lois continued going through the snaps.
"What photo's have you got there?" Lex asked Martha who was looking even more flustered.
"Maybe this was a bad idea".
"Are they of Chloe and Lil?" Lex asked. He hadn't mentioned the baby for a long time. Well she was 14 now. "Can I see?" "They're the ones we saved after-," Jonathan began. "I set the mansion on fire," Lex said. He felt sick thinking about those times.
"I didn't know about that," Lois said a hint of sadness in her voice.
"Lex are you OK?" Clark asked seeing Lex with his head buried in his hands. He rubbed his face and looked up at Clark. "Clark why are you wearing glasses?" Lex looked bewildered. "Lex?"
"Sorry I think I'm just tired".
"You can sleep on our sofa if you want - the barns open," Clark said and Lois nodded.
Lex got up and slowly made his way out of the front door of the house. A few photo's of Chloe had done more to him than cancer ever could.

Lois and Clark went into the barn conversion a few hours later to find Lex asleep. Clark took hold of Lois and they looked at each other in that loving way they always did when Clark was flying, to Lois even though she was used to it in one way in another she wasn't, all the other powers were useful but flying was like being in a fairytale. He floated them up to their bed on the balcony and Lois took her t-shirt off. She noticed Clark was looking a little uneasy and she looked down at Lex.
"Clark Lex is asleep you can take off your clothes to get into bed," Lois said and she smiled. "When I met you, you were walking around naked in a field, a sleeping Lex is nothing". "No it's not that," Clark said. "I suppose everything that has happened since we come to stay in Smallville it's all a bit strange. For the past five years Lex has hated me and I've hated him now he's sleeping on our sofa".
"Do you still hate him?" Lois asked and she took off her trainers, socks, stretchy pants and her bra and put on a large night gown. Clark took all his clothes off apart from his boxers and got into bed. Now Lois was too enormous for sex, it wasn't that they couldn't do it but Lois didn't want to. It was strange for her to feel like that but she knew it could happen. Lois got into bed. "Well?"
"I don't hate him," Clark admitted. "It's just him being around I'm thinking more and more about why he is like he is. I always thought maybe if I'd been around when Chloe died". "Is this what all this is about?" Lois asked. "Clark you can't be held responsible for how he reacted. It's true Clark that you change people, you changed me, but you were only bringing out a side of me that was already there - it was just covered by my hard ass exterior".
"I just feel responsible," Clark said and he sighed. "I could have stopped him setting the mansion on fire and giving Lillian up for adoption and I could have helped him get through his break down. Maybe he's angry at me because he knows I could fly and I didn't come back to at least say goodbye to Chloe". "Clark what good would it had done? You couldn't have brought Chloe back to life. Clark people are who they are, sometimes they can't be saved, sometimes they can't be changed and sometimes," Lois said seriously. "We just have to accept them". Clark looked down at his bare chest and then back up at Lois and smiled, the woman was right.

`Chloe Sullivan born 1986 died 2005. Mother to daughter Lillian. Life Partner to Lex. Died age 18 years'. The stone almost stared at him Lex thought as he bent down to touch it. He didn't bring flowers - Chloe would have said flowers were a waste for a dead girl. Chloe had always wanted to be buried. She had theorised with Lex that being buried alive would be less painful than being burned alive plus she had always wanted a grave stone so people would have somewhere to go to think about her and so people in years to come could sit and wonder who she had been and how she had died. Chloe had often done that when she was a little girl looking at gravestones and Lex had not thought she was too weird like some might. Chloe wasn't to know that one idle conversation with her lover would actually be relevant to her in the near rather than the late future.
"We didn't really get a proper chance to talk before. Lois and Clark they were here too. They've actually been nice to me and with everything that's happened that isn't normally what it's like between us. Everyone is being nice to me because I'm dying Chlo except I won't be joining you - I'll rot in hell like everyone says". Lex felt like laughing madly or banging his head against the gravestone. "I must be so out of it I'm talking to myself "Martha Kent got the photos out last night. Everyone has been so interested in the past lately. Lana and I, I've been feeling so guilty about it Chloe. But you're dead, you're dead and no matter how much I try and believe that I can't. It's been 14 years and I keep thinking you'll come back like you did before but you won't," Lex choked on that last word and couldn't hold back any longer. He cried. He never really cried when Chloe had died. It's like the only emotion he had felt for 14 years was anger and hate. Anything else inside him had died when Chloe had gone. He had spent a year sleeping with Lana but though he was fond of her for him it had just been about comfort and being physically close to someone.
Lex had loved Clark like a brother but when Chloe died their friendship disintegrated. Clark had selfishly stayed away because of his own pain or whatever his reason was. Lois had come to the funeral and had got on with life as had Pete. The Kent's had been there but it was too late. The bad blood between Jonathan and Lex had led to Lex refusing any of their help and despite all their best efforts Lex went off the rails and Lillian was put up for adoption which had been his choice. Then he seemed OK. He concentrated on his business and he became President of the United States like he had always wanted. But he had not been living as a human being - he was like a robot. Now as he sobbed uncontrollably he felt guilt and he actually cared. "I am so sorry," he said. "You were my everything and so was our child and I gave her away".
Lex heard a rustle in some bushes, his senses heightened by the adrenaline rush inside him. He saw a man holding a digital video camera.
"You bastard," he screamed and the man began running and Lex ran after him. The man was too quick and got into his car. Lex couldn't see the number plate without his glasses but his memory was good enough to recall some things about the man. He felt weak and sat down on the grass out of breath and wiped the snot and tears on his face with his sleeve. Maybe he should find out who the man was. That's what Chloe would have done. Lois chucked another bucket of ice into the bath as the cold water continued to run. She was already naked and absolutely boiling, she felt so hot she felt like she wanted to tear her skin off. "Lois what are you doing?" Clark cried as he put his head around the bathroom door.
"Well you weren't here so I had to get some ice from the store," Lois replied. She seemed calm which was good. "Are you going to get in that?"
"Clark I can't explain this, all I know is that I need to lay in a bath of ice". Lois turned the taps off and Clark put his hand in the bath tub.
"That is cold".
Lois got into the tub and chucked the last bucket of ice over the top of herself. It was pleasurable and she squealed in delight. "Oh yeh".
"Is that good for the baby?" Clark asked, he couldn't help but be a little amused by the weird occurrence. Lois hated being cold almost as much as she hated being hot. It seemed humans were forever trying to get the right temperature.
"Clark I can only do what my body tells me, no one knows what a Kryptonian pregnancy is like, maybe this is normal," Lois said. "Ooh it's happened again". Lois winced slightly and rubbed her back.
"What?"
"I think it's a contraction," Lois said quietly, not looking Clark in the eye.
"A contraction," Clark said and he smiled, he resisted the urge not to leap around the room. "Are you sure?" "Please Clark don't get excited, it might not be the real thing". "Have you had any other contractions?"
"Just for a few hours," Lois replied in an almost childlike manner Clark usually found cute.
"And you didn't tell me?"
"Like I said Clark".
"Maybe we should call the midwife just in case," Clark said taking his mobile phone out of his pocket.
"No," Lois cried sounding close to desperate. "I". "Are you OK? Sweetheart maybe you should get out of that bath". "It's happening isn't it?" Lois said, fear was slowly gripping a hold of her and she held out her arm. Clark took hold of her hand and she stood up. "I don't feel so hot now". Clark lifted Lois out of the bath and placed her on the floor gently. He ran out into the living room to find Lex coming in through the front door of the barn.
"Clark I visited Chloe's grave this morning I -," he began. "Lex, Lois has gone into labor," Clark cried excitedly. He dashed up to the bedroom and back down to the bathroom with a bathrobe. Lois put the bathrobe on and waddled out into the living room. "What was that about Chloe?" she asked. "There was a man, he took a picture of me at Chloe's grave," Lex explained as Clark dialled the midwife's number. "Maybe he's the same man who took that picture of you and Lana on that horse and who said Superman thinks he's Jesus and who originally leaked the fact you were released from prison - in fact I'd bet on it," Lois said getting into journalism mode. "Lois we can't think about this now," Clark said frowning and he spoke into the mouth piece of his phone. "Hello Elizabeth. It's Clark Kent. Lois has been having some contractions. A few hours. Huh huh. I'll come and get you, uh-huh - I'll be gentle". Clark flipped his phone closed and put it into his pocket. He whooshed around and turned into his Superman costume. "Lex stay with Lois. I'll be back with Elizabeth and Dr Kline in a few moments". Clark kissed Lois on the forehead and he was gone.

Lois got into the water pool wearing a large baggy t-shirt. She couldn't lay there naked no matter how natural it was, not in front of Dr Kline - it was bad enough he saw anything else. Mothers have always said to her you lose all your dignity after giving birth and that you have no shame after that. That was one of many things Lois was afraid of when it came to motherhood. She was proud and to put the control of her life and her baby in the hands of others made her feel weak. That was why she had to do it her way. The water was an immediate relief and importantly it made her feel clean. The slight breeze in the air made her feel calm and she could concentrate on the open fields rather than on the pain if even for just a few seconds.
"I don't know if this is safe in the circumstances," Dr Kline said feeling the temperature of the water with his hand. It was pleasantly warm.
"If Lois wants to have an outside water birth it's her decision," Elizabeth said smiling nervously.
Clark took hold of Lois's hand as she pushed again her face going red from the strain.
"Isn't this going against gravity?" Lois cried. "Maybe I should stand or squat or lean over".
"Do whatever feels comfortable dear," Elizabeth said softly. "I feel comfortable like this," Lois replied. "Or as comfortable as I'm gonna be".
The midwife who was bent down next to Lois put her hands in the water to feel what was going on.
"Oh, when's it going to stop?" Lois cried after another fifteen minutes of strain. Clark looked on helpless. This was one thing he could not control. This was different from those births he had been present at as Superman. He was terrified. Lois moaned again, she felt tired. It had only been four hours but it had felt like an eternity.
"The head - he's almost there," the midwife cried. "Just one more push Lois".
"Lois he's nearly here," Clark cried and he let go of Lois's hand - aware he may be crushing it.
Lois groaned and the strangest sensation, painful, pleasurable in some way overcame her body and the midwife took hold of the baby and pulled him out of the water which was fairly shallow. Lois and Clark could see him - a perfect, delicate baby with fine dark hair.
"Oh," Lois sighed. "Thank God".
"He's not crying," Clark said and the midwife unalarmed smacked the baby gently. For a moment Clark felt his stomach do somersaults. The baby let out a huge cry for a second and Clark found himself running almost compulsively round to the side of the barn. He began crying, he couldn't take it. The baby began crying again realising his cold and naked state and the midwife wrapped him in a blanket and handed him to Lois. Lois recognised the blanket but was too much in shock to think about it now.
"You have a beautiful baby boy," Elizabeth said smiling. Dr Kline struggled to hold back a tear. "We better cut the cord". "Ooh," Lois cried as the cord at that moment turned black and disintegrated leaving the baby with a perfectly formed belly button. "Where's Clark?"
"I'm not sure," Dr Kline said as the pool filled with blood. "Oh my".
Lois stood up holding the baby in one arm and pushing herself up with the other.
"Lois get back down," Elizabeth said sternly. "I feel fine," Lois said and she stepped out of the pool and onto the grass. She walked around to where Clark was stood wiping his eye on the sleeve of his jumper.
"Lois," he cried.
"Someone wants his Daddy," she said softly, she was smiling but had tears in her eyes. She had never felt anything like it. "I'm sorry I don't know what happened," Clark replied quietly. "Sit down, you'll hurt yourself, your legs are covered in blood". She looked a state and yet Clark felt she had never looked so beautiful. There she was offering the greatest gift to him that anyone could. He x-rayed her.
"Clark I feel fine," Lois said. "Do you want to hold your son?"
Lois handed Clark to him and he gazed down lovingly at his naked child.
"He has six toes on his left foot," he said smiling. "Oh yeh," Lois said touching his little foot and the baby started to cry again. What was this scary place? Dr Kline and Elizabeth came around the side of the barn. "Lois we need to get you and the baby inside now," Elizabeth said a sense of urgency in her voice.
"I feel fine," Lois insisted and all of a sudden she felt faint. She fell back and Dr Kline caught her. She was human again.

Lex walked into The Inquisitor editorial office Monday morning dressed in a well tailored designer suit and carrying a leather briefcase. It had nothing in it apart from his lunch Martha had made for him but he felt like being business like - it had been a while.
"How did you get in here?" one of the reporters asked as the others simply sat looking around them with confused expressions on their faces.
"I'm Lex Luthor," Lex replied followed by a confident smile. The editor came out of her office and motioned with her hands for Lex to join her. She could not have her staff distracted any longer. Lex went into the office and closed the door behind him. She had a window looking over Metropolis which Lex stood by - he liked windows.
"Mr Luthor, how did you get past security?" "I think they were so surprised to see me they forgot to stop me," Lex said - amused. "People forget I still own 20% of this rag". "That's because it's not something we tell people". Lex looked at the name plate on the desk - Mary Potter. "Ms Potter," Lex began.
"It's Mrs".
"Mrs Potter - why do you think I'm here?" "Is this a philosophical question you're asking me Mr Luthor?" Mary asked with a slight wry grin.
"Not exactly. I'm not here about my share prices either". "I suppose this is about the recent headlines. We print what's news - you know that".
"The authorities and myself wanted my release kept strictly confidential. They and I wanted me to have the opportunity to go quietly. They knew I had a lot of money invested all over the world, the only person they could trust with my money was myself". "With all due respect Mr Luthor the majority believe you should have been left to rot in jail".
"That maybe so". Lex supported himself on the table. It had taken him all his energy to get spruced up and get the train from Grandville. "I would be well within my rights to sue. The story this Noslen guy printed about Lana Ross and myself was complete lies. Then again why sue my company and what would a dying man do with money anyway?"
"So what do you want me to do exactly?" Mary asked. Lex's behaviour concerned her.
"Tell me who Noslen is," Lex said looking Mary in the eye. "I can't, Noslen is a freelance writer, personal details of all our freelance writers is strictly confidential - you know that. He's hard to track down - ours is not the only paper he works for".

Lex sat down on a bench, took his mobile phone out of his pocket and called Clark's number.
"Hello," - a female whisper echoed on the other end of the line. "Lois is that you?"
"Lex - Clark's giving the baby a bath - we're trying to get him to sleep".
"I went to `The Inquisitor'".
"What happened?" Lois asked.
"The editor couldn't tell me anything but she was hinting at something. She said he doesn't only work for The Inquisitor," Lex replied. "I went to The Journal but none of the staff there look like the guy I saw - most of the male staff were either black, Asian or overweight. The guy I saw was definitely white and he was thin". "How about The Planet?"
"The Planet is pro Superman".
"Exactly whoever's been writing these articles probably thinks The Planet is the best place for any insider information". "Then Noslen is definitely working under an alias". "I would imagine so," Lois said and both she and Lex could hear the baby cry in the background. "Oh he's crying again. Clark is so good with him I just keep freaking out". "Lois I'm sure you're doing fine," Lex said smiling. "Things like that just come naturally to Clark. Why don't you send Clark to help me and spend some time with the baby just the two of you?" "Well I'm no good to anyone at the moment, I feel like I'm wearing a diaper".
Lex laughed.
"That's exactly what Chloe said when-," he stopped mid sentence. "I'll send Clark, where are you Lex?"
"I'm sat on a bench opposite the Donut Shack near the gardens - tell Clark I've got a donut waiting for him".

"It's been a long time since we've worked as a team," Lex said smiling as they entered The Daily Planet editorial office. "Did we ever work as a team?" Clark replied also smiling. Their rivalry was almost becoming a joke.
"Clark what are you doing here?" Perry cried. "Lex". Lex nodded at Perry and began looking around the office to see if he recognised anyone. Most of the reporters appeared to be out. "Noslen," Clark said as he and Lex went into Perry's office and closed the door. "He's done it again - this time taking pictures of Lex at Chloe's grave. It's like he's stalking us". "So you want to find out who he is, why are you here?" "Whoever it is must have found out from somewhere about Lex's release and who knew apart from us?" Clark cried. "We need to check everyone's pads," Lex said. "I don't think anyone would have their copy on their staff pads besides most of the reporters have got their pads with them," Perry said.
"Well let's get a list of suspects. How many white male reporters are on The Planet staff?" Lex said. "The guy was definitely white". "Could it have been a woman?" Perry asked. "No the build of the person was male, he was about 5'9" and either bald or had his hair tucked under his cap". "What was the brand of camera he was using?" Clark asked. "It was one of those Sony mini digitals, you can barely see people are carrying those".
"Well none of the Planet staff have those as standard," Perry said. "Was he carrying anything else with him?" Clark asked. "Just a plain brown leather bag. He had made sure he wasn't wearing anything unusual".
Clark turned the only desk PC on which included staff details and any other confidential files on the hard drive. Once the computer had loaded up he began typing quickly and his eyes dashed across the screen.
"I've whittled it down to 83 staff across the paper who are white males, 79 are 5'9" or taller, 13 are qualified journalists". Lex leaned over and looked at the computer screen. "It's hard to tell from head shots".
"Maybe the clue is in the alias," Perry said. "Noslen". "It doesn't mean anything," Clark said. "Unless it's an anagram". "Perry think seriously for a minute," Lex said. "Is there anyone who has a grudge against Clark or myself? Is there someone who you think is capable of being so unscrupulous? Who has the necessary skills as a photographer?"
"I don't think anyone in my staff would write stories that are based so much on opinion rather than fact and who would say those things about Superman".
"Right we have nine members of staff who have the necessary skills as a photographer," Clark said. "George Clancy, Robert Bruce, Peter Nelson".
"Nelson," Lex cried and he wrote the name down. "It's so simple it's clever". He wrote the name down backwards and laughed. "This Peter Nelson is Noslen - it must be. Who is he?" "He's one of my newer members of staff, he hasn't really found his niche yet - he writes random pieces," Perry said. "His rsum was impressive. He did a lot of work for Peter Ross when he was vice president, he was part of your personal press and PR team Lex - I'm surprised you never met him".
"Lex was busy trying to trick Lois into marrying him around that time," Clark remarked. "Or he was trying to kill me". "I mainly got my PA to deal with that stuff," Lex said. "Well now we think we know who he is what are we going to do?" "There are laws about invading the privacy of celebrities," Perry said.
"And making up complete lies about people," Clark added. "But we don't want to sue him do we?" Lex cried. "I mean Superman could never sue anyone and I'm dying - I don't have time". "Personally I just want to know why he's doing this and I want him to stop," Clark said a recognisable look of determination in his eyes and the two older men nodded in agreement.

Lex and Clark travelled back on the Metropolis to Grandville line together that afternoon. Sometimes Clark liked to sit and think - travel normally rather than flying or running super speed all the time. Also Lex seemed to be looking a bit sickly again. "Tomorrow I'll search through Nelsons stuff and we can confront him," Clark said.
"Let's hope it's just him who's got it in for us and there isn't someone bigger behind it," Lex replied laying back and closing his eyes.
"They're just some malicious newspaper articles. I suppose the worst thing that happened was that guy firing that rocket at you and the protestors outside the farm".
Lex opened his eyes again as his phone vibrated in his pocket. He flipped the phone open and put it to his ear. "Hello," he said.
"Lex," Lana replied. "Pete's taking the kids to see his Mom in Wichita tonight and they're staying the night. I thought this might be a perfect opportunity".
"Clark's with me".
"You don't think he's listening to us". "I don't know," Lex said looking over at him. "I am now you mentioned my name," Clark said and he moved opposite Lex and looked outside at the Kansas countryside. "Why aren't you going to his Mom's?" Lex asked. "I said I'm ill. Pete knows I'm lying he just thinks it's to avoid seeing his mother". Lex could tell Lana was smiling even though he couldn't see her.
"I'll see you at your place at seven, I'll bring some take out". "See you later Lex".
"Bye," Lex said smiling slightly and he closed his phone and put it back in his trouser pocket.
"Was that Lana on the phone?" Clark asked. "Yeh".
"You guys have been hanging out a lot". "So?"
"It's nice," Clark said turning away from the window and looking at Lex. "She's been a lot more forgiving that the rest of us".

"I'm sorry," Lex said as he lay naked on the bed in Lana and Pete's spare room that evening. Both of them found that preferable to sleeping in Pete and Lana's marital bed. "You've given me a great orgasm - why apologise?" Lana lay back on the bed smiling.
"Well at least my tongue still works," Lex said and he wiped his mouth on the back of his hand. He placed his hands on Lana's breasts which were sliding away from each other as she lay down. Her nipples were hard either because of her recent orgasm or because it was getting cold - Lex couldn't tell. He bent down and gently bit her left nipple which made Lana laugh and he began gently kissing her breasts and licking the space between them which again made Lana laugh.
"Lex you're ill, I'm surprised you have as much energy as you do". Lana got up and touched Lex's scar on his stomach, she bent down and placed her mouth around his penis and her hand around the base of it. She began to suck it and gripped it hard and Lex turned on his side so she could touch his buttocks with the other hand. "There it is," Lex cried. "Quick before it goes away again". Lana giggled and lay on her back. Lex thrust into her quite roughly and she grabbed his buttocks and pushed him deeper inside her. It wasn't as hard as it could be but it was hard enough.

"Lana," Pete cried as he entered the front door of the house.

"Did you hear something?" Lana asked Lex. Lex shook his head.

The kids ran into the living room as Pete went up the stairs.

"I was just turning off route 8 and Mom called to say she was feeling sick and she didn't want us to come," he said. "Lana". Pete flung open the door of the spare room which was the only door which wasn't wide open to find Lex's bare buttocks and his wife's flushed face staring back at him.
"Oh no - Pete," Lana cried and Pete stormed back down the stairs without saying a word.
"I better get out of here," Lex said getting off of Lana and he quickly lost his erection.
"What is he doing here?" Lana cried sitting up and burying her face in her hands. "He was supposed to be staying away tonight". "I'm so sorry Lana," Lex said as he pulled his briefs on. He actually felt guilty and nervous. "You can come with me if you want - let Pete cool off".
"No I should face him," Lana said as she pulled her underwear on. She felt all wet from Lex's saliva and decided to forget getting dressed properly and put a bathrobe on. "I'll call you tomorrow".

Clark snuck into the locker room where some of the Planet editorial staff kept their belongings they didn't necessarily want to carry out with them when chasing a story. He knew Nelson was on his way out to cover the Mayoral elections. He X-rayed Nelsons locker and then bashed it with his fist - the door flung open. "Bingo," Clark said as he found Nelsons mini digital camera. He turned it on and began flicking through the pictures - nothing inconspicuous there. In fact the camera was pretty empty. Clark found Nelson's PAD in the locker and began trying to figure out the password. It wasn't too difficult as after two minutes of super speed typing Clark had figured it out. Clark smiled to himself as he found Nelson's copy of the Inquisitor articles and emails from the Editor.
"What are you doing in my things?" Nelson cried as he entered the locker room -just as Clark had predicted. "Let's see articles for The Inquisitor, emails to the editor of The Inquisitor," Clark said holding the PAD up to Nelsons face briefly. "How did you get access to that?" Nelson cried, aggressively. "Oh and look at these lovely pictures - Lex Luthor and Lana Lang on a horse, Lex Luthor at the grave yard," Clark said sarcastically. He flicked onto the next picture and anger suddenly swept over him. "What the hell is this?"
"Isn't it a lovely picture?" Nelson smiled a rather vile smile despite having perfectly straight teeth. Clark knew this picture must have only been taken last night - it was of him in his Superman suit holding the baby. Lois was with him by the window of the barn conversion.
"Perfect family portrait I would say," Nelson said. "You took this last night," Clark said. "Superman came over to see the baby. Why would you have pictures like this?" "Superman came to see the baby - that's a likely story," Nelson remarked a wicked laugh in his voice. "I was outside that barn all night and I never saw Superman leave - I saw you leaving this morning though".
"Well Superman is very fast".
"You know at first I thought Lois and Superman were having an affair. It's not the first time somebody's suggested it. It would explain her sudden disappearance to go on maternity leave - all the secrecy surrounding the pregnancy. She's had an alien child". "My son isn't an alien," Clark said, annoyed. "Oh no he's half human as well - Lois is his mother. And you, well I tried to figure out where you fit into all of this. It's not just a case of Lois stringing along two men these past four years is it? There is only one man - you are Superman," Nelson said smiling as he took hold of his digital camera which was still sat in the locker. He ripped Clark's shirt to reveal the suit underneath and as Clark tried to stop him Nelson took a picture and moved away - he then took another picture. "I'm going to write the best story ever written - that you are Superman and that that baby of yours is an alien".
Nelson stepped back and bumped into Perry who had just entered the room. Perry snatched the camera off of Nelson and threw it to Clark who swallowed the camera whole. He hated doing it but it was the quickest way of getting rid of it.
"He just ate my camera - that proves it," Nelson cried an almost manic tone to his voice.
"Take your stuff and get out," Perry said. "I think working for another paper and harassing members of my staff is good enough grounds for dismissal - don't you?"
"If you sack me I will tell everyone that Clark is Superman," Nelson cried.
"Clark isn't Superman".
"But I just saw him eat my camera". Clark proceeded to crush Nelson's PAD into a small ball of metal and he threw it in the waste paper basket.
"I didn't see anything," Perry cried smiling and shaking his head. "Fine I don't need your crappy job anyway," Nelson replied in a petulant manner. "I'll still find a way to prove I'm right". "You're lucky it's just you're job you're losing". Perry moved out of Nelsons way so he could leave the room. "All the trouble you've caused".
"What have you got against me and Lex anyway?" Clark asked. "When I found out Lex was staying at the farm I knew it was a perfect opportunity to make a name for myself if I told the story. Then I saw even more money could be made from Superman stories especially negative ones. I've got nothing against any of you. Though I will say this Clark - you need to watch who you're friends are. There are a lot of people out there who have got something against you," Nelson said seriously for a minute. He walked off down the hall.
"What a cocky little bastard," Perry remarked and Clark smiled with the relief that maybe now this was all over.

"Oh I wish I'd have been there," Lois said as she put the baby in his cot by the sofa. "Now I'm a mother I feel like I'm never going to have any adventures again".
"It was hardly an adventure," Clark said smiling as Lois put her rimless glasses on and sat down on the sofa. She picked up the remote control.
"It's more exciting than what I've been doing all day". Lois sighed. "What's wrong with me? Shouldn't I be happy we've got a baby?"
"I'm sorry I should have come home straight after the Nelson thing". "What and leave those people dying in that burning building and let that lady get knocked down by that train?" "Well I could have let the fire service deal with the burning building and technically that lady wanted to get hit by that train." "That's sad," Lois said and she could feel tears welling up in her eyes. "I'm sorry I keep crying at everything". Clark sat next to Lois on the sofa and put his arms around her. Lois reciprocated the gesture and Clark kissed her gently on the lips. She kissed him back tenderly. He pulled away and took a tissue from the coffee table and handed it to Lois who wiped her eyes.
"You know it feels like we haven't kissed for weeks," Lois said sadly.
"It's only been a few days," Clark said smiling. "I don't know why I'm surprised I'm feeling like this - I've read all the books about post natal depression and baby blues. I've read so many articles about how babies are boring and heard so many women complain how they feel like they're going crazy being indoors all day. I'm so tired and he's only 4 days old". "I don't want you feeling like that," Clark said taking hold of both Lois's hands in his. "I want you to be happy". "I am happy Clark - I have everything I could ever want - look at him". Lois looked across at the cot and Clark smiled. "Me too," he said. "Except for one thing". "What's that?"
"Do you wanna get married?"
"OK," Lois said almost laughing. She supposed she should. She supposed she wanted to. It was about time. "Cool," Clark replied smiling and he kissed Lois again. "I love you".
"I love you". Lois stood up and went to her son again who was laying on his back looking as far as his vision would let him. At a few days old everything was a bit of a blur. Lois kissed the little one on the forehead.
"Clark," she said hesitantly. "Can you still hear him?" "Can you?"
"Yeh," Lois said. "I was frightened that once I'd given birth to him I wouldn't be able to sense his feelings like I did when I was pregnant".
"It's quite good to know when he's hungry or needs his nappy changing or if he just wants attention - we don't have to guess like human parents," Clark said and then he grinned slightly. "Whether I want to know his thoughts when he's a teenager is another thing". "I suppose he'll learn how to keep his thoughts from us". "Telepathy certainly has its good points," Clark said as he came up behind Lois and put his arms around her. "Like when I can feel what you feel when you come - that's probably the only time I've ever been jealous of a woman".
"Giving birth is the only time I've ever been jealous of men". "Would you rather have not had the experience? Isn't there something special about it?"
"I suppose in the sense our son was once a part of me - that'll never change. But I'd prefer it without the pain. I suppose I'm lucky I've been healing so quickly. That was weird how the cord and the placenta just disintegrated. Also Dr Kline and Elizabeth said my uterus should be back to normal size in a week - it normally takes six".
"If Kryptonians are more evolved than humans I suppose it makes sense for childbirth to be easier," Clark said and he let go of Lois and stood up straight. "I suppose I should see if Mom and Dad are doing anything for dinner".
"Clark - have you thought more about what we're gonna call him?" "I'm not sure".
"Maybe we could call him something Kryptonian, what's Kryptonian for noble or something like that?"
"Schalem Konoria," Clark replied smiling. "How about Kal as a name?"
"Oh right," Clark cried sarcastically. "How did you get my name daddy, well you see son I named you after what I called myself when I was evil breaking into ATM machines". "Ok you obviously don't like that idea," Lois said smiling. "Maybe we could name him after your father".
"Jonathan?"
"No your biological father".
"We can't call our son Jor-El, apart from the fact that would raise suspicion slightly the other kids might make fun of him". "Well obviously - I meant Joe. That's what he called himself when he was here". "Joseph sounds better - that's OK for when he's older it's not really a baby name," Clark said thoughtfully. "It's easy enough to shorten". "Well calling him Joey for example will just remind me of Matt Le Blanc".
"How about Seph - that sounds cool?" Clark cried. "Joseph Kent, Seph Kent - sounds good though a little serious". "I suppose it's the traditional thing for him to take your name". "Well he can have your name if you want - Joseph Lane sounds just as good," Clark said.
"Well I suppose I'll be taking your name soon," Lois cried pushing Clark onto the couch and clambering on top of him. Clark laughed and kissed his fianc.
Jonathan and Martha came in; both were carrying large glass dishes. "You're supposed to be new parents - shouldn't Lois be covered in baby sick or something?" Martha remarked smiling. "I bought you some chicken casserole".
Lois got up off of Clark and Clark sat up on the sofa. "He doesn't really throw up much," Lois said smiling. "He err did yesterday for the first time if that makes you happy but I was bouncing him up and down a bit too much so that might be why". "He seems to like being up in the air," Clark added with a grin. "Unlike me when I was younger".
"You two look very cheerful," Jonathan said, the smiling was infectious.
"We named the baby," Lois cried excitedly. "And Clark asked me to marry him".
"About time," Jonathan said smiling and he patted his son on the shoulder.
"Congratulations," Martha added. "What did you call the baby?" "Joseph," Clark replied. "Seph for short. It's kind of after my biological father".
"That's nice," Martha said looking at Jonathan who looked unmoved. "Anyway we better put this in the oven". "Don't worry about it Mom," Clark said taking his glasses down his nose a notch. "I'll take care of it".
Lex looked around the club - just young people dancing and drinking as you would expect. Some looked obviously underage and it seemed things never changed. Lex wondered why he tortured himself like this. Coming to a place so ridden with memories as The Black Cat bar was bound to feel a little odd at the very least. In some ways it was comforting. Those days in his early twenties may have been traumatic but nearly drowning after going off a bridge in his car, marrying two women who were completely mad, spending time in a lunatic asylum and being poisoned by his own father, well those things all seemed like a picnic to what followed. He had thought things were finally turning around when he and Chloe got together. He had not planned for her to get pregnant and had been terrified when she had been involved in that explosion that he had lost her for good. But everything was working out except his father just wouldn't stay out of it. Chloe had got Lionel locked away and had meddled like Chloe did and Lionel of course couldn't leave it alone.
He couldn't think further on than that. Then he would have to think about Chloe's death which he caused and a daughter he would never see again. He had sent a letter to Lillian's adoptive parents telling them if they ever wanted to tell her where she had come from to show them the letter. He doubted they ever would. Lillian finding out her father had been a super villain hell bent on killing Superman and ruling the world well that was years of therapy waiting to happen. She would be better off finding out she was an alien, the last of a dead race destined to save humanity. Look at Clark. Though of course Clark had later found out he wasn't quite the last and that the race wasn't quite dead.
Lex thought about another beer but the ten minutes he'd spent in the bathroom after the last one stopped him. It was only due to the 48 tablets a day that he took that he could eat or drink at all.

Lana Ross sat listening to her eldest daughter Laura read as Pete played with Sky and her talking book. Will the middle child was sat drawing Superman and space rockets. Much to Pete's dismay that's all the boy ever drew. Lana wanted to be interested in what her daughter was saying and the magical world of Harry Potter but all she could think about was Lex. Never mind her daughter could read as well as a girl twice her age. It had been three days. She would call him later just to hear his voice, to complain about her husband who wouldn't speak to her. Lex was dying and they didn't have long left. Pete would still be there to pick up the pieces and to be a father. That's why Lana had married him. He had given her the normal life she had always wanted and the family she had never had. Now a part of her wished he was dying instead of Lex - a part of her that felt immediately guilty for such a terrible thought. Lana tried to remember the passionate love she had felt for Pete once but it had been short lived, a few months if that. It was probably lust rather than love if she thought about it. "I think Sky should go to bed," Pete said breaking the silence between them.
"I'll come up with you," Lana cried smiling. He hated her willingness. Her willingness to sleep with Luthor - her willingness to him because she felt guilty.
"It's OK I'll do it, you watch Laura and Will - maybe get Will to draw something different for a change," Pete said and he lifted Sky up and walked out of the living room.
"That was great Laura," Lana said smiling. "Will do you want to draw a picture of your daddy?"
"OK," Will said, reluctance apparent in his voice. Lana knew he couldn't help it. Laura was inspired by Harry Potter, Sky loved the Care Bears and Will loved Superman. All kids had their obsessions and Pete just took the fact that his son was more interested in Superman too personally.

"Mom have you seen Lex today?" Clark asked as he and Lois sat in the Kent's living room. Lois was breast feeding the baby and Jonathan like any man of his generation decided to stay in the kitchen and read his newspaper. Well it wasn't like Lois's breasts were that easy to hide at the moment.
"He went out this afternoon, I suppose he needed some time to think about what's happening to him," Martha said smiling at Lois. "You're doing great".
"Until his mouth falls off," Lois replied. "This is really weird". "I can go in the kitchen with Jonathan if you want". "No not that, I used to do life modelling I don't care about my boobs, no just this - a baby sucking on my nipple, it's supposed to be natural but it feels weird".
"You used to do life modelling".
"Mom it's no big deal," Clark said.
"I was a student, it was easy money," Lois added matter of factly. "It was embarrassing at first but you soon realise how much better it is than working in some bar or diner". "No it's just I wish I'd had the guts to do something like that when I was young," Martha said looking wistful. "Mom," Clark cried embarrassed.
"You can still do it now if you wanted," Lois said with a grin and she finished feeding the baby, slipped her breast back into her nursing bra and did her shirt up. "I better get him settled now". "I'm going to look for Lex," Clark said, frowning slightly. "He shouldn't be out - he's too sick".
"OK Clark," Lois said and he kissed her on the forehead and then the baby on the top of his head and he dashed out of the house. He dashed back and kissed his Mom on the cheek and Martha laughed. "For a minute I thought he'd forgotten me," she said smiling.

Clark looked for Lex in The Wild Coyote, The Talon and every bar and late night coffee house in Metropolis of a certain calibre of course. He also asked around in the local theatres thinking perhaps Lex had decided to see a film and he even went in a few of Lex's favourite museums. Clark finally decided to check out Grandville and was surprised to find Lex in The Black Cat Bar. Lex sat on a bar stool and leaned against a pillar with a bottle of water in his hand. Still he looked drunk some how. By now it was almost 10.30 pm. Clark approached Lex who remained unmoved at the sight of Clark. "Lex, are you OK?" Clark shouted over the music. "I'm fine," Lex said back - no point shouting when the guy had super hearing.
"Lex maybe I should take you home - you shouldn't be in a place like this when you are so sick".
"Clark I feel fine," Lex insisted.
"Do you want a drink buddy?" the bar man asked Clark. "I'll have a coke," Clark replied fishing around for some money in his pocket.
"Put it on my tab," Lex said and then he laughed. "I don't have a tab here do I?" Lex took a ten dollar bill out of his pocket and went to hand it to Clark.
"It's OK I have my own money now Lex, I did recently get a million dollar book deal," Clark said and the bar man poured him a coke and Clark paid him 4 dollars.
"Fine," Lex said and he placed the bill back in his pocket. Clark drank his coke and Lex remained silent mumbling under his breath.
"What are you doing here Lex?"
Lex remained silent.
The next song came on.
"Daniel Bedingfield `Nothing hurts like love' 2004," Clark said and Lex threw him a weird look and shrugged his shoulders. "So are we going back to the farm?"
Lex remained silent.
Clark finished his coke and wished he could get drunk. "Can I have scotch - neat," Clark asked the barman. "You got any ID?" the bar man asked.
"I'm 30 years old," Clark replied. "I work for a national newspaper".
"Oh I'm sorry - you look very young Mr Kent and you're not wearing a suit I didn't recognise you," the bar man said feigning embarrassment and Lex laughed. Clark wondered if the bar man had just done that because he fancied him.
The barman handed Clark the scotch.
"On the house," he said smiling and Clark shrugged his shoulders and downed it in one.
The next song came on.
"Gloria Gaynor `I will Survive' 1977 oh no wait 1978," Clark said. "What are you doing?" Lex asked.
"Well you're not talking to me so I thought I would sit here naming every song that came on, the artist and the year," Clark said and he ordered another drink.
"You are a bastard you know that," Lex replied smiling. "But I love you".
"Lex are you drunk?" Clark asked.
"I had one beer and I've had 46 tablets today - though I did throw up most of the beer and probably some stomach lining too". Lex was silent again.
"Ooh I know this one - of course Frankie goes to Hollywood `Relax' - 1983," Clark said. "They must be going onto their really retro set, this song is older than me though of course on Krypton I may have been born I don't know the maths exactly, you know how many Kryptonian years for every human year you know in relation to where the planets were-"
Lex fell off of the stool and Clark caught him - he had fallen unconscious.
"Do you have a back room I can use?" Clark asked the barman holding Lex in his arms. "He's not drunk - he's just really sick". "Through here," the barman said holding up the bar flap and Clark followed the barman into the staff room. After a half an hour Lex regained consciousness. "We need to talk Clark," he said.

Lex sat up and Clark handed him a glass of hot water with lemon the barman had made for them.
"Lex are you OK?" Clark asked.
"You know two months ago you hadn't called me Lex in 14 years," Lex replied.
"You're my friend Lex".
"Why? Two months ago you hated me".
"I forgive you," Clark said seriously looking Lex in the eye and taking his hands in his own.
The barman watched in the doorway for a moment and walked off again in a huff.
"How can you?" Lex asked.
"Well I'm partly to blame for all this - I left you on your own in Smallville when Chloe died. I didn't come back to see you because of my own pain and because I had some stupid destiny to fulfil," Clark replied in a childish tone reminiscent of the Clark fourteen years ago.
"Your destiny wasn't stupid Clark - you, you don't realise how special you are. You still crave normality and yet you realise don't you, you can be as normal as I can be a good person". "Lex people aren't good or bad - it's their actions which are good or bad," Clark said.
"As much as I'd like to believe that Clark - it has to come from somewhere. You aren't just good because you were raised by the Kent's - you would have always been good because you have a good heart. I remember you on the day of the meteor shower - there was something magical about you even then. Even you couldn't have stopped me from what I become - it was never about you Clark. Even if you had been there I wouldn't have listened to you. Your parents were there and I shunned them - I shunned everyone because I felt too bad. I felt dead inside".
"That's understandable Lex - if Lois died I would be the same". "You know sometimes I wish I'd never got together with Chloe". "I thought you loved her".
"Clark I loved Chloe more than anyone I ever loved, she was so easy to fall in love with," Lex said. "But if I had known what was going to happen I would have left her alone". "How can you say that? If Lois died tomorrow, God forbid, I would be grateful for the time we had together. I would rather have six months with Lois than a lifetime without her". "You would never have done what I did". "What are you talking about?" Clark asked, a knot forming in his stomach.
"I can't Clark, it makes me feel sick to the stomach just thinking about it".
"Lex".
"What happened to Chloe it was my fault," Lex cried burying his head in his hands and then looking up at Clark again. "Lex I know it was your father's car Chloe died in but it was an accident".
"That's how I wanted it to look".
"What do you mean?" Clark asked, frowning. "My father was always there, in the way, I wanted Chloe, Lillian and I to be able to build a life together without him interfering all the time. He hated Chloe and after everything he did, putting me in the asylum, poisoning me, lying to me, making me the person I was scared of being I wanted him gone".
"But they died in a car accident".
"Clark don't be so stupid," Lex snapped annoyed and he sighed. "I had the car fixed, I paid a guy to cut the breaks anything, I was planning on my father being alone in that car, I told the guy make sure no one else gets hurt and then Chloe". Lex took another sip of hot water.
"What was Chloe doing in the car?" Clark asked. "Aren't you mad at me Clark - I killed Chloe - she's dead because of me".
"Lex I don't know what to feel at the moment". "Chloe was in the car because my father was having some internal bleeding or something, the medics worked out that he had died before the car had crashed," Lex said looking up at Clark again with a manic tone in his voice and a confused expression on his face. "She died because she was too kind, she was trying to save someone else's life and lost her own - because of me". "I can't believe you were so stupid," Clark exclaimed angrily standing up for a moment. "Why didn't you tell someone about what was going on? Surely there was a better way of dealing with your father than killing him. I should know you don't rid of people that easily. Your father was always going to haunt you Lex". "With my father dead I could forget him, there was no other way of dealing with him," Lex snapped raising his voice slightly. "That's what I thought," Clark said thinking out loud. "What?"
"Lex," Clark said and he sat back down on the sofa. "I never told you this before but when I was 16 I-"
"Nothing you could have done can compare to what I did Clark. You can't make everything better with words, not this time". "When I was sixteen". Clark carried on regardless. "My dead biological father spoke to me from my spaceship". "The one that mysteriously disappeared". "Jor-El told me I had to leave Smallville, he marked me with a scar - like the `S' on my Superman uniform. I didn't want to leave Smallville, I didn't want to turn into this conqueror - I loved Lana and Mom and Dad, I wanted to make my own destiny but Jor-El he warned me if I didn't leave the people I love the most would get hurt. Your father - he had a Kryptonite key - he had made a copy of the silver octagon key which was used to open the ship and to activate the caves. I figured the ship was the source of my fathers memory some how, I figured I could destroy it with the Kryptonite key. Pete tried to stop me but I used the key to destroy the ship". "The ship was just a thing Clark," Lex said. "There's more Lex. My parents got caught in the explosion. My mother was pregnant at the time and she lost the baby," Clark said sadly. Only after experiencing the two miscarriages Lois had suffered had he been able to understand the pain his mother and father had felt.
"Clark I'm sorry," Lex replied.
"It was the only time my mother was pregnant, the only chance she ever had to have a baby of her own".
"She forgave you, didn't she?" Lex asked, wondering if somehow the Kent vision of perfect familial love was somehow a sham. "She did Lex, I don't know how. It was bad enough what I did but afterwards I couldn't face it and I took a Red Kryptonite ring and well that was when I disappeared to Metropolis for three months. She wasn't angry - she just wanted me to come home". "Clark you were a kid - you didn't mean to do what you did," Lex said.
"Exactly and you didn't mean to kill Chloe. Lex this was all just a terrible accident," Clark said a serious expression on his face. "You have to forgive yourself".
"If you killed Lois would you forgive yourself? If she had died giving birth to your son, if your powers got out of control and you accidentally killed her, would you be able to forgive yourself?" There was silence.
"Clark if I wasn't dying would you forgive me?" Lex asked. "I don't know," Clark replied.
"Hey guys - what are you doing here?" Christian cried as he appeared in the doorway seeing Lex leaning on Clark's side. "I think we need to get Lex home," Clark replied.

Clark and Christian helped Lex off of the bus and they began walking along the grass.
"I can walk by myself now," Lex said in an impatient manner. "Christian you never said what you were doing in the club," Clark said, Christian knew he wasn't interested and merely making conversation. Social etiquette had a lot to answer for. "I'm thinking of buying it and turning it into a jazz club. Gay bars aren't as popular as they used to be," he replied. "Why's that?" Lex asked. "Gay people will always want somewhere where they can pick someone up without worrying if their straight". "See that's where you're wrong old man, we won't need them anymore. When someone like Superman stands up and says being gay is OK well people start questioning their beliefs". "Old man," Lex said and he smiled. "I'm 36 - just because you don't look a day over 21".
"Amazing what being a meteor freak can do for a person," Christian replied smiling.
"You never did explain the extent of your freakiness," Clark added smiling.
"My entire metabolism was changed. How long are you going to live Clark?"
"Pending any Kryptonite or supernatural disasters the Kryptonians estimated at around 800 years old a gene will kick in which will mean my bodily organs will eventually stop regenerating and I'll start to age."
"Well doctors reckon I've got two hundred years in me, also as I said before I can't put on weight".
"That must be difficult," Lex remarked sarcastically as he almost tripped on a rock.
"Actually when I was an adolescent I had to consume 7000 calories a day and once when I got sick of eating I had to go on a drip," Christian explained. "I remember reading about a girl who was sucking the fat out of people - she had a similar thing". "Oh yeh," Clark said and he laughed. "Jodi Melville, those were the days".
"You knew her?"
"I stopped her from sucking the fat out of the entire town - she nearly had Pete. So anything else?"
"I'm not very hairy," Christian replied. "But that's not a bad thing really, well neither is aging slower or being able to eat loads".
Lex felt his phone vibrate in his pocket and he answered the call. "Hello Lex," Lana said on the other end of the line. Pete was upstairs snoring.
"Lana," Lex cried smiling. "You're OK". "Of course I'm OK - Pete's not a monster". "Well I was sleeping with his wife".
Clark looked at Christian and raised an eyebrow. Lex hadn't mentioned Lana the whole time they had been talking. "Was".
"Lana I'm not in any state-"
"Lex I was kidding, well not kidding, I just wanted to talk to you. I've been stuck in the house for three days - I haven't been out at all".
A cow in a neighbouring field let out a large moo at the sight of the three men.
"I could do with a steak right about now," Christian said. "Where are you?" Lana asked.
"We're walking back from the bus stop in Smallville," Lex replied. "What are you doing walking back from the bus stop?" Lana cried and hearing a noise she turned round to see Pete standing in the doorway. "I have to go". Lana pressed the red button on her phone and stood staring at her husband.
"You bitch," he said. "You were talking to him weren't you?" Pete rushed into the hall and up the stairs. "What are you doing?" Lana exclaimed, assuming Pete was going to start throwing her clothes out of the window in some dramatic gesture. "Pete".
She stood in the kitchen for a few moments and Pete came stomping down the stairs in his jeans and his t-shirt and he sat on the stairs putting his boots on.
"Where are you going at this time of night?" Lana asked, trying to be as calm as possible.
"You spoke to him again," Pete said in a tone of voice almost rigid with anger.
"I've been in this house for three days on my own I had to talk to someone - I've been bored out of my mind". "You had me and the kids," Pete said furrowing his brows with sadness.
"Where are you going, are you leaving me?" "I'm going to sort out things with Luthor once and for all," Pete said and he took his gun from out of a draw in the study and went out to the car.
"What do you need a gun for?" Lana shouted to him as he started the car.
"Just get back in the house," Pete shouted back and Lana ran back into the house.
Lana looked up the stairs and tried to hear if the kids were moving at all. She called the Kent farm on her phone. "Hello," Martha said, she sounded sleepy - it was almost 1.30 in the morning now.
"Martha I am sorry - is Clark there?" Lana asked. "Sorry Lana Clark is looking for Lex".
"Something's happened Martha - Pete has gone to get Lex," Lana cried starting to sound upset.
"He's gone to get him?"
"Pete is angry with him - I think Lex might get hurt, is Lois there?" "She's a bit busy with the baby," Martha said looking at Lois who was asleep on the sofa - the baby was in the Moses basket on the floor next to her - also asleep.
Lois began stirring and opened her eyes. "Oh God the baby," she cried and on seeing him asleep on the floor felt immediately relieved.
Jonathan came walking down the stairs.
"Who was that on the phone Martha?" he cried. "The phone rang," Lois exclaimed excitedly. "Was it Clark - is he OK?"
"It's Lana," Martha said annoyed and she handed Lois the handset. "Hello Lana," Lois said, frowning.
"Lois - Pete is going after Lex, he's with Clark I think someone might get hurt, I'm going down there I'll have to take the kids with me," Lana cried and Lois yawned unintentionally. "Lana calm down, this is Pete we're talking about and what do you mean he's going after Lex?"
"He's really angry with Lex".
"Why?"
"I slept with him," Lana said quietly but loud enough for Lois to hear.
"OK Lana, where are they?"
"They were walking back from the bus stop to the farm". "That's two miles of track," Lois said. "And Pete has a gun".
"A gun? OK I'll try and find you". Lois hung up the phone. "What's going on?" Jonathan asked a stern expression on his face. "Lana slept with Lex and now Lana thinks Pete is going to shoot him," Lois said feeling a little confused by the situation. "I need to go and see if Clark is OK - can you look after the baby I shouldn't be too long?"
"Lois now you're a mom you just can't run off and do these things like you used to - Martha and I aren't always going to be here," Jonathan said.
"And me being a mom isn't going to change who I am," Lois replied seriously and she said more quietly. "Or who I'm going to become". "Lois is right," Martha added and she picked the basket up. "I know - we'll look after the baby, just be careful," Jonathan said. When was he going to be able to retire and have a quiet life? Lois kissed the baby on the forehead and felt immediately guilty. "Bye," Lois said in a soft voice and she ran out to her car. She couldn't live her whole life like this surely? "You slept with Lana," Clark said to Lex as he hung up his phone. "Don't get all jealous Clark," Lex replied. "I don't think he is - he's probably disgusted," Christian remarked. "Lana has three kids for Gods sake". "I know I can't even die without causing a little trouble first". "I'm just surprised," Clark said. "Aren't you a bit tired for all that?" Christian tripped over a lump of wood and fell onto Clark. "Sorry mate". Christian noticed the label on Clark's jeans. "Oh my God are they from Marks and Spencers?"
"I've got a jumper from there," Lex said. "I went to London shortly before I was in prison".
"Yeh well they've changed their logo since Clark got these jeans," Christian said as he pulled at the label. "Get off," Clark cried. "That tickles". "You tight fisted bastard - you're wearing ten year old jeans". "Actually I got these when I was 19, they're 11 year old jeans". Lex sat down on the grass.
"If you two are tired I'll just fly you home," Clark cried and he took Lex under one arm and Christian under the other. "Put me down," Christian cried and Clark let go and Christian and Lex stood up again on the grass and carried on walking. "What are you so playful for?"
"Well it's like in that film where he says I never had any friends later on like the ones I had when I was seventeen," Clark said. "If you're talking about `Stand by Me' I think the kids were twelve not seventeen," Lex said.
"Well I didn't know you when I was twelve". "Well that's good otherwise I would have caused you even more trouble".
"You can't seriously say Lex and I are the best friends you ever had," Christian cried. "Not going into what Lex has done I just completely ignored you after high school - well I guess since you went travelling I couldn't be bothered". "I didn't really see much of anyone back home those years," Clark said and he smiled. "But yeh you, Lex, Lana, Chloe - you were the best friends I ever had apart from Lois of course". "Aww," Lex cried.
"Lana?" Christian cried. "She couldn't accept you were an alien". "Well at the time I was in love with her," Clark said. "I couldn't imagine ever being in love with anyone else but with Lois it was like bam and anything with Lana just seemed childish in comparison". "Do you remember that song from that film `Stand by Me'?" Christian cried and he started singing in a bit of a croaky voice after being in the club. "When the night is come and the night is dark and the moon is the only light I see".
"Darling, darling stand by me ohhh stand by me," Lex sang laughing at the same time and clicking his fingers - taking the piss. His voice was average but sounded better due to training as a child. "Come on Clark".
"I am not singing," Clark exclaimed, embarrassed. Christian walked backwards and continued singing, he bashed into a person and turned round.
"Sorry mate," he said.
"Pete," Clark cried. "What are you doing here mate?" Christian laughed, Clark had the habit of adopting phrases of the people around him sometimes without even realising. "Sorry, are you OK?" "Where did you come from?" Lex asked, feeling a little anxious. "This is cosy," Pete said.
"Pete I wanted to apologise for what happened between me and Lana," Lex said, he thought maybe he should try and reconcile that situation before he died. Maybe it was time to tie up all the loose ends.
"It's OK Lex, she told me it meant nothing. I assume you just wanted a last fling before you shuv off". "I've always cared about Lana," Lex said, a little offended by the `it meant nothing' remark. Lex didn't need a final fling before he died, he had had more than his fair share of women in his life time and men come to that.
"Look Pete we really should get back to the farm," Clark said. "Shut up," Pete snapped and he took out his gun. "I was talking". "You know how annoying it is that people still get their guns out and think they're going to be able to hurt me, you should know better Pete," Clark said and he whooshed to take it off him and fell to the ground in pain.
"I also came prepared for you Clark, I couldn't risk you trying to save Lex," Pete said and he took a piece of Kryptonite out of his pocket and tucked it into Clark's trouser pocket. "I know this is the worst place for you because it makes your stomach hurt and you probably can't get it up for a while afterwards either". "I thought you'd got rid of all that stuff," Christian said with his arms in the air.
"Lex knows about it. When he was president he managed to persuade others you might be a threat Clark so the government kept some just in case. You might think the government are on your side, maybe in other countries they are but if you're going to rule the world like your daddy Jor-El wanted you to it'll be over this government's dead body. Well what have you got to say that?" "Fuck the government," Clark groaned as he tried to reach down for his pocket.
"I thought your gripe was with Lex," Christian said as he tried to reach for the Kryptonite and Pete shot him in the arm. "Ahh Jesus Christ!" Christian fell to the floor and grabbed his arm in agony. "You wanker!"
"Pete leave Clark and Christian out of this," Lex said - the coolest out of the bunch.
"Do you know how hard my childhood was being friends with these two, they and Greg would always be leaving me out of stuff?" "What crap you were always up Clark's arse," Christian snapped. "Does it matter we're adults now?" Lex cried looking down at Clark. There was no way Pete was going to succeed where he had failed. "Yeh and still you don't treat me any better. You ruin my chances of becoming the first ever black president of the United States in fact I'm lucky I'm still in politics thanks to you. You couldn't be honest for once".
"If I'd been completely honest we never would have won the election. I wasn't going to let a few hundred republicans stop me from winning what was rightfully mine". "We could have won the next time," Pete said. "We could be in The White House now".
"You know being the first black vice president was still good," Christian said clinging onto his arm. Perhaps if he was nice to Pete they could turn him round.
"And what would you know?"
"Well I'm a gay meteor freak with British parents and German grandparents living in America. I wouldn't be the first person the average yokel living in the Bible belt is going to vote for". "Pete this isn't you," Clark groaned. "You're not a killer". "Getting those things printed about you in the paper wasn't enough, you even managed to stop that from happening". "That was you?" Clark cried surprised. "You got Nelson to print those stories about us and follow us around like that, why?" "Do you know how hard it was for me knowing about you Clark? I wish you'd never told me. Even now I have to pretend you and Superman are two different people to my colleagues and children, my friends," Pete said almost spitting with anger. His hand was shaking but the gun was still firmly pointed at Lex. "I felt like I was just someone you used whenever you needed somebody who knew you're secret to do something for you. I thought when I moved to Wichita I could finally forget about the fact that I knew one of the biggest secrets on Earth".
"Then why did you marry Lana?" Lex asked in a challenging tone. "She will always be linked to Clark and those days in Smallville, she still wears the necklace Clark gave her". "That necklace is part of the meteor that killed her parents". "And it's only clear instead of green because Clark's spaceship neutralised it - Lana told me".
"Interesting pillow talk".
"You knew Lana used to be in love with Clark, you knew she used to be in love with me before you married her - you can't start resenting that fact now three children down the line". "Why couldn't you leave her alone?" Pete whined. "All of you, do you know hard it was for me having to look at that necklace every day? To live in your shadow. Maybe if I killed you both now the world can go back to normal".
"Pete," Clark cried.
"You pretended to be my friend," Pete said kicking Clark in the stomach and all Clark could do was try not to throw up. "You laughed at me, you thought you were so perfect. It was all about you all the time. No one cared about me!" "You're wrong," Clark shouted slightly, wincing with pain. "Pete, Lana didn't want me, she thought I was a freak, she loved you, she chose you, she had your children".
"You didn't want Lana though did you?"
"Well not since she told me she wanted someone normal". "You found someone who you loved even more, someone more intelligent, someone more your equal".
"Just shoot me already," Lex snapped impatiently. "I am refusing to languish in your self pity and bitterness any longer - just do it". "You're going to listen to me," Pete shouted and his body shook violently with anger. Christian couldn't help but notice, was that a bulge in his trousers? The human body was a strange thing. "You might not have cared what I had printed about you in the press but you will listen now. I hated you, both of you, I had Clarks back, I was his friend but still he liked you more. What is it about you? My wife prefers some bald freak who murders people to me and if it wasn't you she would rather be with some alien who now has some freaky alien child. Did you think about Lois at all by the way? You could have killed her. You don't deserve her and you," Pete looked at Lex again. "You didn't deserve Chloe. She was better off dying, I wish I had been in that car then I wouldn't have had to go through the past fourteen years of bullshit. I finally had my life together and you two had to come along and spoil it again. I spent my teenage years thinking I was inferior and then you steal my best friend and get her pregnant. You ruined her life Lex".
"It gets worse Pete," Lex said in a spiteful manner. "Don't tell him Lex," Clark cried.

Lois parked the red truck in the field and spotted the four men surrounded by a familiar green glow. Kryptonite? She thought they had gotten rid of all that stuff - well it didn't surprise her that someone had saved some somewhere. She took a hammer out of the back of the truck and ran lightly across the field.

"I killed Chloe," Lex said. "I fixed my fathers car so that he would die in a car accident and the bastard of all fates decided my fiance would be in the same car with him. So you think you had fourteen years of bullshit".

Fuelled by an even deeper anger Pete pulled the trigger on the gun just as Lois whacked the back of his legs with a hammer. "Ahh," Pete screamed and the bullet missed Lex and hit the ground instead.
"Lois," Clark groaned and she took the lump of Kryptonite out of his trousers and threw it across the ground. Lana screeched the tyres of her car as she parked in the field. The three children were sat in the back.
"Stay here," Lana said in a sweet quiet voice. "Mommy has to get daddy".
Lana left the car, locked it and ran over to the four men and Lois. Pete was squirming on the floor as Clark stood up and Christian was still on the ground clinging onto his body. "The tissues going to start healing around the bullet," he cried. Another side effect of his mutation was that his body healed quicker than average.
"What happened?" Lana cried.
"Lex why did you have to tell him about Chloe?" Clark snapped annoyed. "We could have talked him out of it". "It was the only way to shut him up - he was going round and round in circles," Lex replied and he turned to Lana and poked her in the shoulder. "You're husband is crazy".
"What about Chloe?" Lois cried, feeling tearful all of a sudden. This was not the post natal care she had envisioned for herself. It was cold and dark and her baby was two miles away. "Lois I'm sorry," Lex said in a gentle voice. "I caused the car accident that Chloe died in".
"Why are you telling me this now?" Lois exclaimed angrily. "Did you know about this Clark? I know what you're like with secrets". She went to hit Clark in the chest and began weeping into it instead. Clark put his arms around her.
"Lex told me tonight," he said. "I think this finally explains everything".

Clark flew Christian and Pete to the hospital after he flew Lex and Lois back home carrying them all in the Kent truck. Lana drove her children home. Nobody got any sleep that night. It seemed the events which had driven these five young people into adulthood were finally reaching their final resolution. That night would change their lives forever. Now everybody knew the truth. Now everyone knew the final consequences of their actions. When Lex got back to the farm Jonathan apologised to him for threatening to shoot him when he had first turned up at Kent farm. That was only 4 weeks ago. Time had passed so slowly. The following evening Lois was asleep upstairs in the loft and Clark was downstairs with their baby. Clark knew now he could not be as reckless as he had been in the past. He could still be Superman and save people's lives but his compulsion to do good as he often called it would have to be put further down the list of his priorities. If what Clark had been told by a certain time traveller was true, it was now his responsibility to take care of Lois and young Seph, to ensure a future for the world which with ever increasing greed, death and destruction was slowly falling apart. Clark hoped that humans would learn the lessons the Kryptonians failed to. Lex was asleep in the arm chair as Clark put the baby's nappy on. He wondered how his father could have looked at him as an infant and had so many expectations of him. What made Jor-El think - that small baby, my son is going to be responsible for a whole race of people one day. It was ridiculous. Seph at seven days old could barely see his fathers face.
"Look he's asleep," Clark said smiling holding the baby up in Lex's direction for a moment. "You know tomorrow you'll get to meet your other granddad and your auntie Lucy - she has three babies already, she had them all at once. I was just grateful for you. You know people are going to expect a lot from you. They expected a lot from me. They'll want you to fly and lift up houses, you laugh now but it's true". Seph stared at his father blankly. "You can rest assured though that your daddy Clark Kent, Superman, Kal-El has no expectations of you whatsoever".
Clark Kent, Superman, Kal-El, Daddy - how was a kid ever supposed to understand that? Clark smiled and decided it was time to wake up uncle Lex. He put the baby back in his basket. Clark prodded Lex in the arm gently.
"Come on uncle Lex, time to get up," he said softly and Clark's heart stopped for a moment. "Oh shit, Lex". Clark x-rayed Lex for a moment and put his ear up to his mouth. He was gone. "Lois," Clark cried loudly. "Lois!"
The baby began crying and Lois hopped out of the bed at the sound of her fiancs distressed voice. She ran down the wooden stairs. "Is the baby OK?"
She looked to see Clark holding the limp body of Lex in his hands and she stood looking blankly for a moment. They had been expecting this and yet now why did it seem such a surprise? "I'll call the hospital," Lois said shaking. "No," Clark cried. "Don't go".
"Clark don't," she replied. "I can't bear it". A tear fell down Clark's cheek and he let go of Lex.

The ambulance came to take Lex away and the coroner was called.

It was four o'clock in the morning and Lois sat with the baby asleep in her arms.
"You know one of the last things Lex said to me was that I was a naturally good person. I can't agree with him - how do you explain how I act when red Kryptonite is around?" Clark said. "We all have a dark side Clark," Lois replied. "Most of us learn to fight it. Lex was unlucky. The one person who could have kept him away from the darkness died".
"Do you really think Chloe could have stopped Lex from doing all those things?" Clark asked and Lois looked up and smiled at Clark. "It's amazing what a difference one person can make in our lives," she said.

THE END



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