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  1. #121
    Settling In Sykobee's Avatar
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    Wow, surprises abound. Was not expecting the adoption suggestion from Lois. The memorial was subtle and insightful. Further, Cat doing any type of article involving Lois. . . Mind Boggled at Lois' suggestion. Let's hear it for cagey, sharp women!

    Sniffle, sniffle, getting very close to the end. I'm Okay and have support fics standing by to cope with the loss. 😇😌😀 STILL LOVING IT!

  2. #122
    aka EB phoenixnz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sykobee View Post
    Wow, surprises abound. Was not expecting the adoption suggestion from Lois. The memorial was subtle and insightful. Further, Cat doing any type of article involving Lois. . . Mind Boggled at Lois' suggestion. Let's hear it for cagey, sharp women!

    Sniffle, sniffle, getting very close to the end. I'm Okay and have support fics standing by to cope with the loss.  STILL LOVING IT!
    Yeah, the visit to the memorial was just a subtle reminder of the cost of war and to re-emphasise Clark's point to the General about not working for the Government as a super-soldier.
    I thought of them adopting the little boy, mostly to show just how compassionate Lois is. As for Cat doing the article, the fact that her and Lois do not get along is the reason she was perfect to do it. It meant she had no personal agenda.

    It's always hard to end a story but they have to at some point and I felt it was appropriate.

  3. #123
    aka EB phoenixnz's Avatar
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    Chapter Forty-Four

    Donner had never been the type to let go. Despite Cat’s article, the other reporter seemed to have decided to wage a war against them. Each article or opinion piece he published seemed to make even more outrageous claims as the weeks passed.

    Lois had heard from a contact at Bethesda that the General was slowly recovering although he refused to follow his doctor’s orders and slow down or give up smoking his cigars. The one good thing that had come out of it was that he refused to make any comment in the media about the situation. Clark had been right about one thing. The fact that she had stayed through the surgery had stood in her favour where her father was concerned. While he clearly refused to back down over his attitude toward Clark, he acknowledged that she had cared enough to be there for him.

    The hype over the wedding was starting to get on her nerves. Every day she came into work, there were new emails offering deals on wedding dresses, reception venues, photography. So much for the quiet wedding they had both wanted, she thought with a sigh as she deleted yet another batch of emails.

    Clark had ordered all her calls to be screened, but that didn’t stop a few from trying to get through on her direct dial. Or her cellphone. Most of the time she switched the phone off unless she needed it. Since Clark could use his super-hearing, she knew she didn’t need the phone in case something bad happened.

    When her office phone rang, she glanced at the caller i.d. Not recognising the number, she hesitated, but picked it up.

    “Lois Lane,” she said warily.

    “Lois, it’s me.”

    “Lucy?”

    “Sorry, sis, I tried calling your cellphone, but …”

    “Oh, yeah, I forgot, I had it switched off.”

    “Are you still getting those calls?” her sister asked. “You’d think they’d have got the message by now. I mean, you have what, two weeks to go?”

    “Yeah. Guess they missed the memo.”

    “Well, listen, can you come down to the shop? Do you have time?”

    She turned to her computer and began checking her appointments for the day.

    “Hmm, Clark and I have a cake-tasting at three. I have an interview at about one and I have a story to write for deadline, but I should have that done in about an hour.”

    “Great!” Lucy replied. “So, I’ll see you about eleven-thirty?”

    “Sounds good.”

    She wondered why her sister wanted to see her. Lucy had done all the measurements and had even shown her a few sketches of the dress she had designed, but Lois was yet to see the actual physical thing. Given that there were only two weeks to the wedding, she had been a little worried that Lucy wouldn’t get it done in time. She knew her sister was busy with her studies as well as working part-time, but thankfully the design school had fully supported the idea, making it Lucy’s final project.

    Lois finished up her story and sent it off to be checked by the editor, then worked on writing up another interview in case Perry needed to question something in the article.

    When the deadline passed without any issues, she got up to leave, grabbing her jacket. It was almost May but it was a cool day. She had joked with Clark that they needed to find a new name for the season, being a combination of both winter and spring.

    As she started to head downstairs, she was intercepted by Cat. The blonde reporter blocked her way.

    “Don’t go that way,” she said. “Donner’s out front. Probably trying to get a photo that makes you look bad.”

    She looked at the other woman. Ever since she had asked Cat to write the article about her issues with her father, their working relationship had thawed somewhat. Especially after Cat had heard she had told her family the other woman was a good writer.

    “Thanks, Cat,” she said. She turned and headed down the corridor to find the back exit. Just as the blonde had warned, the man was waiting out the front. She wondered if he had some kind of bug on her phone, or else how would he have known she would be leaving. Then again, it wouldn’t be a stretch to think the man would just hang around like a vulture anyway.

    “Going somewhere?”

    She started and turned around to stare at her fiancé in his superhero uniform. While she liked the blue tunic with the red cape, which hid absolutely nothing, she much preferred him in his civilian clothes. There was something almost other-worldly about Superman. Naturally, she thought, since he was actually an alien. He’d once told her the uniform was a design similar to that of the clothing worn on Krypton. As much as she didn’t care about that part of his heritage, she understood why so many people were in awe of Superman. The look, although colourful, set him apart from everyone else.

    “Yes, I am,” she said. “And no, you’re not allowed to spy on me.”

    “Would I do that?” he asked, raising an eyebrow.

    “Well, Superman wouldn’t, but a certain fiancé of mine would.”

    He tried to put on an innocent look but the sparkle in his eyes didn’t help. He might be considered a guardian angel to a lot of people, but he could be a devil when he wanted to.

    “Just do one little thing for me before you go,” he said, pulling her into the alleyway where they couldn’t be seen.

    She didn’t have time to object as he kissed her until she was dazed. She barely managed to gather her wits before looking up at him coyly.

    “You know, I do have a fiancé,” she said.

    “So you said.”

    “You’d know him. Big, sexy guy. Goes by the name of Clark Queen.”

    “Doesn’t ring any bells,” he replied, grinning.

    “I’ll ring your bell,” she murmured, pulling him close to kiss him. She moaned softly as they broke apart. “I really have to go. I have an appointment.”

    “If you must,” he said with a sigh.

    “I really do have to.” She straightened her clothes which had somehow become mussed when they’d been making out. How did he always manage to do that, she wondered. “See, here I go. Leaving.” Yet she made no move to get away.

    Damn it. One look from him and she was like Jello. She always got lost in those beautiful eyes of his. Enough to make her forget what she was supposed to be doing.

    It was a while before she finally remembered she was supposed to be meeting Lucy.

    Fortunately, or perhaps unfortunately, her sister knew her well enough to figure out what had caused the slight delay. She grinned knowingly, tapping her mouth with a finger. Lois realised her lipstick was smudged. She grumbled to herself, mentally noting to go and buy smudge-proof lipstick.

    “So, why did you want to meet here?” she asked.

    Jenna emerged from the backroom, holding what was obviously a dress in a garment bag. Lois looked at her sister.

    “You finished it?”

    “Almost. We need you to try it on so we can make sure everything fits.”

    Lois took the bag with trembling hands. She went to the dressing room and slowly opened the zipper. As the contents were revealed, she couldn’t help gasping in delight.

    The dress was strapless with a sweetheart neckline. The bodice was lace over satin leading down to a full-length tulle skirt.

    She carefully put the dress on, walking in bare feet out to the front. Lucy was watching her boss deal with another customer but turned when Lois entered the room. The other customer stared.

    “Oh, she looks beautiful!”

    Lucy appeared to have tears in her eyes. “Lois, you look … amazing!”

    She began fiddling with the bodice, making small adjustments here and there.

    “It needs a few adjustments, but … what do you think?”

    “Luce, this dress is so beautiful. I can’t believe you did this for me. You have an amazing talent.”

    “Yes, she does,” Jenna answered, beaming proudly as Lucy turned and hugged her boss.

    “You taught me,” she replied.

    “Your fiancé is one very lucky man,” the other customer told Lois.

    “I’m the lucky one,” she said.

    Lucy made her stand still while she completed the adjustments. Once she had taken the dress off and got dressed in her street clothes, Jenna told Lucy to take her lunch break. The sisters left the shop and headed for their favourite café.

    “I can’t believe you’re getting married in two weeks,” Lucy said. “It’s come up so fast.”

    “I know. Clark’s been asking me to move in with him. I mean, I’m going to. I guess I should get that sorted before the wedding. We’re going to be too busy with finalising all the details.”

    Thankfully, she didn’t have to worry about bridesmaid’s dresses as Jenna, knowing Lucy would be too busy with Lois’ dress, had given her the name of a shop that specialised in bridal wear. Lois had asked her sister to be her maid of honour and Chloe to be her bridesmaid.

    Oliver, of course, was Clark’s best man and Bruce was going to be his groomsman. As much as Lois would have liked her father to have walked her down the aisle, she knew he would never have come.

    As she and her sister finished their lunch, Jack and his sister Jess came into the café. Lois waved to them.

    “Hi,” Jess said. “Hello Lucy.”

    They’d had dinner with the Kents a few times and Lucy and Jess had become good friends. While Jess was studying art history at Met U, the two girls had found a common interest in fashion.

    Jack smiled in greeting. “Wow, haven’t seen you in a while.”

    “Yeah, it’s been busy. Wedding stuff.”

    He nodded. “Only two weeks to go, right. You getting nervous?”

    “Should I be?” she asked.

    “Nah. You picked the right guy. Anyone can see how great you two are together. Oh, I meant to ask you. Is it okay if I bring a date to the wedding?”

    “Of course you can. Anyone I know?” Lois asked.

    “Just a girl I met at school. She’s a senior.”

    Jess raised her hand. “I’m bringing a date too, if that’s okay.”

    Lois nodded. She was happy the two siblings had found dates. She still felt a little guilty that she’d basically dumped Jack when Clark had broken things off with Tess but he had always told her that he’d known from the start their dates were only ever going to be casual.

    When she returned to the office, she barely managed to avoid Donner, who was still camped out by the front entrance. Lois sneaked in through the back entry and spoke to security, who told her there was little they could do. The police had already had a word with Donner for loitering but he’d apparently pulled the ‘freedom of the press’ card and told them he had a right to be there.

    As annoying as it was, she knew there was little she could do about it. She made a note to tell Clark to avoid the main entrance when they had to go to the cake tasting.

    Later that day, she went upstairs to Clark’s office. He was just finishing up a meeting with Perry.

    “Honey, we have to go,” she said.

    He looked up at her. “Oh, yeah. Forgot.” He smiled at Perry. “Cake tasting.”

    “Go for chocolate,” Perry advised.

    “Uh, actually, chocolate’s out. My mom’s allergic.”

    Perry cocked his eyebrow. “Allergic to chocolate? That’s something I’ve never heard of before.”

    Lois nodded at her editor. “Actually, I think it’s just sensitivity to the cacao bean. She gets these migraines that knock her out for half a day. But people can be allergic, it just depends on the ingredients, I think.”

    “Well, you learn something new every day,” the older man responded. “Have fun with the cake tasting.” He shook his head. “Can’t believe you two are getting married in two weeks.”

    “I wish it was tomorrow,” Clark said wistfully, giving her a look.

    “Why? Are you stressing out?” Perry asked.

    “No, I just can’t wait until she’s all mine.”

    Lois couldn’t help laughing. She’d been his from the moment she’d fallen in love with him, but she knew what he meant. It was definitely mutual. Clark often proclaimed that she was the only one who had the key to his heart. Sure, it was sappy, but then again, he was a born sap.

    “You are such a sap,” she said.

    “You love me that way,” he replied.

    Perry raised his hands. “Okay, I’m out of here. You two are so sweet I’m getting cavities.” He walked out with a huge grin on his face.

    Lois wrapped her arms around her fiance’s waist.

    “Guess we’re both saps,” she said.

    “Can I get that in writing?” he asked. She poked him in the ribs before tilting her head for his kiss.

    “I love you.”

    He kissed her. “Let’s skip the cake-tasting and go home.”

    “Oh no you don’t!” she scolded. “You’re going to this tasting if I have to drag you kicking and screaming.”

    “Considering I have super-speed, I think you’d have a hard task catching me.”

    “That, my darling, is called cheating.” She pulled out of his embrace and linked her arm with his, guiding him out of the office. “I’m not saying you have to enjoy the cake-tasting. You can sit there and look bored and miserable, but you are not, under any circumstances, allowed to answer any emergencies.”

    Well, okay, there were some exceptions. Like if it was a natural disaster, or a major fire or crash. Anything else, the League would have to handle.

    “Yes dear,” he said with a sigh.
    Last edited by phoenixnz; 09-09-2018 at 01:29 PM.

  4. #124
    aka EB phoenixnz's Avatar
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    a/n: Last chapter. Epilogue to follow.

    a/n2: The song is Here and Now by Luther Vandross

    Chapter Forty-Five

    Clark’s hand was inexplicably trembling as he tried to knot his tie. He stared in the full-length mirror, wondering why he was so nervous.

    A tall blond-headed figure appeared behind him.

    “C’mere,” his brother said. “Turn around.”

    He complied, letting Oliver take the ends of the grey-striped tie and knot it for him in a full Windsor. He’d opted for a charcoal grey tuxedo jacket with white silk shirt for himself and his groomsmen.

    He still couldn’t believe today was the day.

    “Hey, relax little brother,” Oliver soothed. “She’ll be there.”

    “I’m not worried about that. It’s just …”

    “The League is on stand-by for any emergencies. All you and Lois have to do is remember to say your vows, enjoy yourselves at the reception, and go off for a nice relaxing honeymoon.”

    “This really is it, isn’t it?” he said.

    “Yeah, it is.”

    He found himself thinking about the first time he’d met Lois. She’d been brash, bossy, almost rude, but there had always been a spark between them. She’d had to put up with a lot. Being stalked by the Paparazzi, the late-night emergency calls where he would be out for hours. Sometimes even days. Yet she never complained. She understood, probably more than anyone, the trials that came with being a superhero’s wife.

    Oliver straightened his tie and smoothed down the sleeves of his jacket.

    “You know, I was really nervous too when Chloe and I got married. I used to wonder what I’d ever done to deserve her and I worried.”

    “About what?”

    “About how she was handling the superhero thing. I mean, yeah, she knew I was Green Arrow before I actually met her, and she accepted it, but I worried that it might be too much for her to handle. You know what she said?”

    “Tell me.”

    “That it was her job as my wife to give me a reason to do what I do. To keep going, even when things got rough."

    Clark nodded. Lois had said something similar a few days earlier.

    “I think about my mom and what she had to go through every time my dad went off on deployment. It had to be so hard. But you know, she remained stoic until that door closed because that was how she helped Dad do what he had to do. They were in it together. Just like you and I.”

    The door to his bedroom opened and his mother came in.

    “It’s time to go to Smallville, sweetheart.”

    “Thanks Mom. Did you …”

    “Martha called about half an hour ago. Lois and the girls will be ready on time to meet you at the chapel.”

    She hugged him and pressed a kiss to his cheek.

    “I’m so proud of you, darling.”

    She fiddled with his tie. “You know, I remember when your father and I took you to get your uniform for Excelsior. You complained the whole day about having to wear a tie. What did your father say?”

    Clark grinned. His father had told him a story about Louis XIII hiring Croatian mercenaries who wore cloth around their necks, mostly to keep their jackets fastened. The French king had liked the look so much he made it mandatory for men to wear them at Royal gatherings.

    “He once told me some people thought it was a way of showing their superiority. Then he’d roll his eyes and laugh.”

    Robert often made fun of the people in his social circle, especially those who thought having millions of dollars in their bank account made them better than anyone else. The worst one of all was Lionel, who his father had told him was little better than a thug. He could fake his background, dress in nice suits, but at the end of the day, he was still a kid from the slums who had made his fortune through lies and deceit. Not to mention murder.

    Oliver had once told him he suspected Lionel might have had something to do with what had happened to cause him to be trapped on an island for two and a half years but neither one of them had ever been able to prove it.

    “Dad would be so proud of you, Clark,” his brother said. “Not just for today, but … for everything. For who you’ve become.”

    “He’d be proud of you too,” Moira said, smiling at her fair-haired son. “And I know he would have loved Lois. In a lot of ways, she reminds me a little of your father.”

    “How?” Clark asked.

    “She has the same boldness that made me fall in love with him. I think that’s why she and I became so close.”

    “It’s not just her boldness that I love, Mom. Lois is … well, she’s the kind of woman who stands up for what she believes in, you know? She doesn’t just stand back and wait for someone else to do the right thing. She will dive right in, even when it might put her in danger.”

    “She can be a handful, darling, but I think that’s what makes her so special.”

    Oliver clapped a hand on his shoulder. “You know what, I think if anyone can handle a woman like Lois, it’s you.”

    “Thanks,” he said, grinning at his brother. He looked at his mother. She was wearing a skirt and jacket in a soft blue that went well with her colouring. “You look great, Mom.”

    “Thank you, darling. Now, let’s get this show on the road.”

    ***

    Lois smoothed down the skirt, checking her reflection in the mirror. Lucy stood behind her, ready with the veil.

    “It’s almost time, sis,” she said quietly.

    She glanced at her sister’s reflection in the mirror. Lucy was wearing a long satin dress with beading on the bodice. The dusky pink worked perfectly with her colouring. It also suited Chloe, which was why Lois had chosen the design and colour.

    Chloe came in, holding Conner’s hand. They had decided that Conner would walk down the aisle just ahead of his mother. His job would be to carry a little basket holding the rings instead of flowers.

    Lois looked her cousin over. They’d all had their hair styled by a woman who had brought in a team from Metropolis. The living room of the yellow farmhouse had been turned into a beauty salon, giving the stylists room to work. Chloe had opted for a French knot for her blonde hair.

    Lois picked up her nephew. “You ready Conner?” she asked fondly. He grinned at her and babbled something. She still couldn’t quite understand his baby babble, but it didn’t matter.

    Martha knocked on the door. “Girls, the limo is here.” She paused in the doorway. “Oh, you all look so beautiful!”

    “So do you, Mrs Kent,” Chloe said. The older woman smiled. She’d chosen to wear a linen suit in cream with a pearl necklace. Her hair, once a fiery red, was flecked with grey. She’d chosen to wear it down.

    “Thank you for letting us stay here,” Lois said, moving to give Martha a brief hug.

    “Oh, no, dear. It was our pleasure. Believe me, Clark and his family have always been part of our family too.” She grinned at Chloe before picking up Conner and giving him a hug. “I’m so happy you and Clark decided to get married in the chapel. It’s where Jonathan and I got married and it’s a lovely place.”

    Lucy helped her fit the veil. “Have we forgotten anything?” she asked as they started to head for the door.

    “Let’s see. I’ve got my something new: my dress. Something old: Mom’s pearls. Something borrowed: thanks for the loan of the bracelet, Chlo. And something blue.” She winked at her sister. “Well, Clark will find that later.” Lucy had given her a garter in pale blue. “The bouquets will be waiting for us at the chapel.”

    “The rings?”

    “Downstairs in Conner’s basket,” Martha said. She looked at Lois. “Are you nervous, sweetie?”

    “Actually, no,” she said. She didn’t feel nervous. A little buzzed, maybe. Then again, she was marrying the man she loved.

    She couldn’t help thinking back to the moment they’d met at the Ace of Clubs. She remembered watching him pace the lobby, appearing frustrated and annoyed. He’d been so tall, so handsome in his fitted tuxedo. She’d had to pause for a moment, trying to remind herself of the reason she was there. Sure, their blind date hadn’t exactly been successful, but it had all turned out all right in the end. She wouldn’t have traded those few months of friendship for anything as it had given her a chance to really get to know the man behind the stunning good looks.

    Half an hour later, the limo arrived at the chapel. As expected, there were photographers everywhere. As well as the local law enforcement. The sheriff and her deputies were busy trying to keep order among the Press as Lois emerged from the limo with her sister and cousin.

    “Geez, it’s like a Royal Wedding,” Lucy commented.

    “Tell me about it,” Chloe returned. Conner babbled something to his mother, pointing at the photographers.

    They quickly ascended the steps into the building. Lois noticed her nephew pausing on the top step and waving to the photographers, giving them a cheeky grin. She glanced at Chloe and chuckled at her cousin’s exasperated look.

    “Just like his dad,” Chloe muttered.

    They paused in the ante-room, making sure everything was perfect. Lucy peeked out into the chapel.

    “Oh wow! Clark looks amazing! Who’s that guy with the dark hair standing with Ollie?”

    They’d opted not to have a bachelor/bachelorette party and since Clark had been called to an emergency right before the wedding rehearsal, Lois had decided to skip it, so Lucy had never actually met Clark’s groomsman.

    “That’s Bruce,” Chloe told her. “Bruce Wayne.”

    Her eyes widened. “Bruce Wayne? He looks so different in person. Ooh, there’s Jimmy!” she added excitedly, pointing out her boyfriend.

    She stood back as the door opened and Jonathan came in. Lois smiled at the older man. He was wearing a suit with a dark blue jacket and black pants.

    “Ready?” he asked. When she had been trying to think who would walk her down the aisle, Moira had suggested Jonathan Kent. He had been more than happy to do it.

    “I’m ready,” she said.

    The music began to play and Chloe gently guided her son to the door, picking up her bouquet. The ushers held open the doors and she began following the little boy up the aisle.

    Lucy smiled and followed their cousin within a few seconds. Lois took a deep breath and took the older man’s arm.

    Everyone turned to watch as she began her walk down the aisle. Clark and his brother gazed at her calmly. Her husband-to-be smiled broadly as he saw her.

    As she walked slowly toward the man she loved she heard the lyrics of the song they’d picked out for the ceremony.

    I look in your eyes and there I see
    What happiness really means
    The love that we share makes life so sweet
    Together we’ll always be


    Jonathan handed her over to Clark with a grin. Her hero leaned toward her and whispered: “You look beautiful.”

    She smiled softly at him and turned to the female pastor. She couldn’t help smirking a little as the pastor began giving a long-winded speech about love and commitment, almost promising hellfire and brimstone along with it if things went wrong. After what seemed like a very long time, they were able to give their vows. Lois had been determined to write something rather than use the same old, love, honour and whatever.

    She looked at Clark as he began to speak, holding her hands in a gentle but firm grip.

    “I, Clark Joseph Queen, take you, Lois Lane as my best friend, my lover, my wife. I know that as long as I have you by my side, I will never feel alone. That you will always be there to give me strength when I need it most, to give me respite from the demands of our busy lives, as I will give my strength to you, as I will be there to provide support when you need it. I commit myself to you, body, heart and soul. Forever.”

    She smiled softly at him, loving the earnestness in his expression. He meant every word.

    It was her turn.

    “Clark, I …” She faltered. She’d memorised her vows but as she looked at him, she wondered if what she had come up with was really the right thing to say. She took a deep breath and began again.

    “Clark, when I was growing up, I spent a lot of time wondering what I had done wrong to make my father hate me and then I spent a lot of time doing the wrong thing. I realise now he never hated me. He just saw something of my mother in me that hurt him so badly he couldn’t face it. Maybe he still can’t.”

    Even after every cruel thing her father had said to her, she knew now that it was true. He had lost her mother and had never got over it. Both his daughters had inherited many of their father’s traits but she realised that the General also saw a lot of their mother in them, and that was probably why he acted the way he did. He couldn’t let go.

    She could see that Clark understood, even if no one else in the little chapel did, why she was saying this now.

    “But I know now what it was. A love so powerful that not even time could heal him. That’s what I feel with you. We both have different strengths, but together, it’s something so powerful that nothing and no one can take it away from us. Clark, you’re my best friend, you’re my soul mate. I can’t imagine spending my life without you by my side, to be my strength when I need it, as I am yours.”

    She felt a single tear slip down her face. Clark smiled and squeezed her hand. They once again turned to the pastor.

    Chloe watched as they each said their ‘I dos’ and glanced at her husband. He smiled and winked at her, fulfilling his duty as he took Lois’ ring from the little basket Conner was holding and handed it to Clark. Lucy did the same, handing Clark’s ring to her sister.

    She couldn’t help remembering her original idea to get Lois and Clark together. Little did she know just how successful a match it would be. They’d had their ups and downs, both together and apart, but once they’d fallen in love, nothing could ever keep them apart.

    “You’re going to do that ‘I told you so’ thing, aren’t you?” Oliver said wryly.

    They were watching Clark and Lois dance their first dance as a married couple at the reception. Chloe stared at her husband.

    “What?”

    “You’ve got that self-satisfied look on your face. Like you’re congratulating yourself.”

    “I do not!”

    “Yeah, you do. But that’s okay. Get it out of your system.”

    “Well, I have to admit, I do think it was one of my more brilliant ideas.”

    “Don’t go getting cocky, wife. I’d hate to imagine what would happen if you decided to take up match-making as a side deal.”

    “Oh no,” she assured him. “One time only. Promise.”

    She turned again to watch her cousin, who looked happy and so in love with her new husband. Clark and Lois were talking as they danced. From the look on her cousin’s face, he was whispering sweet nothings in her ear.

    “Look at Conner,” Oliver said with a laugh.

    Chloe followed his gaze and giggled softly. Moira had Conner in her arms and was dancing with him. The little boy was giggling at his grandmother’s antics.

    “I got an idea. Let’s have another,” Oliver said.

    “I’ll think about it,” she replied.

    He turned and looked at her incredulously. “You’ll think about it?” he asked. “Well, I only have one thing to say about that.”

    “What’s that?” she asked.

    “Get over here, wife,” he said, pulling her into his arms before sweeping her out on the dance floor.

  5. #125
    Settling In Sykobee's Avatar
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    *BIG CHEESY GRIN* I just love a happy ending😍 Cliché, I know, but thank you. Bringing people joy and pleasure is a gift. The fact that you give freely makes you a talented, generous soul. Can't wait for my favorite part. Epilogues are the best!

  6. #126
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sykobee View Post
    *BIG CHEESY GRIN* I just love a happy ending Cliché, I know, but thank you. Bringing people joy and pleasure is a gift. The fact that you give freely makes you a talented, generous soul. Can't wait for my favorite part. Epilogues are the best!
    I've always been a sucker for a happy ending myself and I love writing Clois, so it's always a win-win. Thank you for commenting along the way. I love sharing my love of writing, but without readers' comments, it's always hard to know if people are enjoying what I write. Epilogue coming right up.

  7. #127
    aka EB phoenixnz's Avatar
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    Epilogue

    The interviewer was blonde, aged somewhere in her forties. Clark had watched a few of her shows but hadn’t really liked the woman’s style. She was highly critical and didn’t mince words. Lois often compared her to a barracuda in heels.

    The woman smiled at the camera over Clark’s shoulder. The interview was being filmed in his office at the Daily Planet. He had a camera in front of him, filming him face-on and another camera behind him, filming the reporter. He guessed they would mesh the two together in editing.

    “So, Mr Queen. You’re a successful newspaper publisher and an award-winning author. You also apparently have quite a following on social media.”

    “I suppose I do,” he answered. He never really paid attention to that stuff and Lois was usually the one to check up on that or reply to any personal messages.

    “How does it make you feel, knowing that so many people look up to you?”

    “Miss Carter, I can’t answer on behalf of all of those people who follow me on social media, so I can’t say that they look up to me. All I can say is that I do my best to be a good man and if that is something they see as a good example, more power to them.”

    “So, tell me. How did this book come about?”

    He began to explain how he’d started his writing career under an assumed name, not wanting to cash in on his family’s fame. When he’d approached a few publishers, they had recognised him as Oliver Queen’s younger brother. Some had turned him down on that basis, but when he’d sent his proposal to Richmond Publishing, Emma had asked to meet with him.

    She had persuaded him to out himself as Jerome Kent and published the book under his real name. Most of the book’s content had included information he’d already gathered for his freelance articles but thanks to Jor-El’s thorough analysis he was able to go into further detail.

    Robyn Carter listened, nodding. Despite her reputation for cynicism, she was clearly interested and even impressed.

    “So, author, publisher, husband … what’s next? Father?”

    He smiled and looked up as the door to his office opened. Lois stood in the doorway, her face flushed with excitement.

    “You never know,” he responded.

    The interview wrapped up a short time later. Clark saw the reporter and the crew out and turned to his wife, who had sat down on the couch.

    “Lois?”

    “They’ll be here very soon,” she said. “Clark …”

    “Don’t be nervous, okay?”

    “I’m not nervous, just … We’ve waited so long for this.”

    “I know, honey.”

    The office door opened again and Amanda walked in with a huge smile on her face. Behind her, a plump woman stood with her hands on the shoulders of a two-year-old boy.

    ***

    Oliver saw his wife frowning at him as he drove from the airport. He’d opted to drive the family himself instead of taking a limo. The BMW was a smooth ride and had a lot more leg room than the Lamborghini.

    Clark had called and asked them to come for the weekend, telling them to be there in time for dinner that evening.

    “Did he say what it was about?” she asked.

    “No. Just that he wanted us to be at their house at six-thirty.”

    Oliver glanced at his three-year-old son in the back of the car. Conner had fallen asleep on the plane from Star City and was still sleeping soundly. He looked at his wife in the passenger seat. She was rubbing her belly. She was almost seven months pregnant.

    “You okay, sweetheart?”

    “Yes, I’m fine,” she said. “Don’t worry. I don’t think your little girl is planning on make an entrance just yet.”

    “If she’s anything like her mother, it’ll be dramatic.”

    “Hey!” Chloe replied. His mother smirked at him from the seat beside Conner.

    Oliver pulled up in the driveway of the bungalow. Clark and Lois had opted to buy a modest two-storey house in New Troy. It wasn’t anything as luxurious as the mansion in Star City, but it was comfortable and they liked it.

    The door opened, revealing Lois, as if she had already been alerted to their presence. They got out of the car, Oliver carrying Conner, figuring it was quicker than waking up the toddler and letting him walk by himself to the door. He had a tendency to dawdle. Conner woke up as they reached the step.

    Lois hugged her cousin. “Wow, cuz, you look huge!”

    “Yeah, thanks,” she said. “Really needed to hear that.”

    Lois laughed. “Sorry, cuz. Just being honest. Come on. We’re in the family room.” She appeared excited about something, her face flushed and her eyes sparkling with happiness.

    Puzzled, Oliver followed his wife and sister-in-law down the hallway. As they reached the door, he could hear Clark and a child’s voice. Clark was explaining something to the child.

    Lois opened the door with a flourish. Clark and a little boy aged about two looked up. The boy was dark-haired, like Clark, with pale skin. Conner begged to be put down and immediately made a beeline for the other toddler.

    All three adults looked at the couple as Lois went to her husband’s side and took the little boy’s hand.

    “We wanted you to meet our son. Christopher Adam Queen.”

    He stared at his brother, then down at the child.

    “Uh … what?”

    Chloe was over her shock first. “You didn’t tell us you were adopting,” she said.

    “It’s been in the works since he was born, actually,” Clark said. “Remember that bridge collapse in Germany?”

    Oliver nodded. Superman had gone to help and he’d taken a pregnant woman to the hospital. The mother had died shortly after giving birth to a little boy.

    “Wait! Is that … is he …”

    Lois nodded, gently stroking her son’s hair with a loving touch.

    “I thought since the mother had no living relatives that we should try to adopt him.”

    “It took a while,” Clark added. “The authorities wanted to try to track any family down, but no one came forward. Of course, then there was all the red-tape we had to deal with.”

    Moira smiled knowingly, moving to get down on one knee before the little boy. She took his hand.

    “I’m your Grandma, sweetie.”

    “We’ve been teaching him English. Ever since the officials told us it was happening, we’ve been visiting every couple of weeks,” Lois said.

    “So that’s where you’ve been going on these mysterious trips,” Chloe said. Oliver nodded. Clark had begged off a few social occasions saying he and Lois had some personal business to take care of, but had never given a full explanation.

    “Wow!” Oliver said. “I can’t believe you never told us.”

    “Well, we told Mom, but we made her swear to keep it a secret,” Lois told him.

    Oliver looked at his mother, who just grinned.

    The little boy tugged on the hemline of Lois’ skirt. She crouched down.

    “What is it, sweetie?”

    “Hungry, mama.”

    She laughed delightedly. “Okay, baby. We’ll get you something to eat.”

    She picked him up in her arms and took him out of the room, Moira following with Conner, who was also begging for something to eat.

    Oliver turned to his brother. “So, does this mean …”

    Clark shrugged. “It doesn’t mean anything,” he said. “It’s like Lois is always telling me. Being a parent isn’t just about biology. It’s about love. It was what she wanted and I loved the idea. Whether we have natural children or not doesn’t matter.”

    Chloe hugged him. “I think you and Lois will be wonderful parents,” she said. “I’m so happy for you.”

    Clark grinned. “You’ll never believe this, but we called the General to tell him he was a Grandpa and he actually sounded happy for us. His exact words, and I quote are: ‘I’m never gonna like you, Queen, but you make my daughter happy and I guess I can live with it. I’ll be wanting to meet my grandson’.”

    Oliver laughed. “Figures,” he said with a snort. “They always come around when the grandkids come along.”

    “Lucy will be here shortly,” Lois said, returning with little Chris, who was chewing on a cookie. Clark held out his arms for his son, grinning as the little boy responded with a giggle. Conner was in his grandmother’s arms, also chewing on a cookie. Oliver didn’t have the heart to scold him for spoiling his dinner.

    The family gathered around to coo at the newest member, who appeared completely unfazed by it all. Oliver glanced at his wife, who smiled back at him. He wrapped an arm around her shoulders and hugged her close, watching as Clark and Lois did the same.

    It was funny how things worked out, he thought. He remembered something Clark had told him a long time ago. When he’d first learned what he was, he had been afraid he would never be accepted. Now he had a wife who not only accepted him, she also supported him in every way. She stood by his side, encouraging him, loving him and being there to give him a way to rest his mind when all the expectations that came with being Superman became too much.

    The past two years since Clark and Lois had got married had been relatively quiet, considering all the hype that had built up before their wedding. The media soon got bored when a couple just settled down into married life and didn’t appear to do anything but go to the occasional charity ball. They had been conspicuous by their absence at a few events and now Oliver understood why.

    He was thrilled for them. They had a lot of love to give and why shouldn’t they give their love to a child who had lost everything practically the moment he was born?

    As he looked at his brother’s happy face, he was reminded of the first time he had laid eyes on the little foundling who would become his baby brother. Sure, they’d had their ups and downs and moments of sibling rivalry where they’d tried to outdo each other with naughtiness but he knew now that he wouldn’t change it for the world.

    They were family, and that was everything.

  8. #128
    Settling In Sykobee's Avatar
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    👏 Congratulations 🎉 another wonderful story complete with 🍒 on top. I loved the close of Ollie's thoughts. He's. A great character and you gave him a well balanced life. Happy for Clois and Chris. Wish those things didn't take so long. Thanks a gain for a sweet, romantic fix, Clois-style😍

    Have been debating whether to start Incognito or read Phoenix first. . . I've decided to do both😊

  9. #129
    aka EB phoenixnz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sykobee View Post
     Congratulations  another wonderful story complete with  on top. I loved the close of Ollie's thoughts. He's. A great character and you gave him a well balanced life. Happy for Clois and Chris. Wish those things didn't take so long. Thanks a gain for a sweet, romantic fix, Clois-style

    Have been debating whether to start Incognito or read Phoenix first. . . I've decided to do both
    I thought it would be nice to close with Ollie's p.o.v. I'm glad you liked how I portrayed him in this story. Yeah, adoptions from foreign countries are apparently nightmares and can take a while but I wanted to be fairly realistic. And you're welcome.

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