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Forever and All Eternity: Family

By Laura Davies

Rated: PG

Disclaimer: These characters do not belong to me... I'm just playing with them for a while

Author's note: This is something of a prequel to the Forever and All Eternity series. I was mired in A Plot and desperately needed an escape, so this is the result. My thanks to Missy for beta reading this so quickly... All feedback welcome.

Superman flew quickly over the warehouse, scanning it for his missing friend. Intergang was responsible; he knew it. Jimmy had gotten some very incriminating pictures of Bill Church Jr. making some rather shady business deals... It hadn't been long before the headlines had hit the front page and Church was once again warming a jail cell.

Jimmy had gone out to get some shots that evening and hadn't returned... Then Perry had received the phone call. The demands were simple--get Bill Church Jr. released within the next twenty-four hours and Jimmy would go free. Otherwise, the Planet would be looking for another award-winning photographer.

Upon hearing the news, Clark kissed Lois quickly for inspiration and flew out to check the warehouses in the Hobb's Bay area. Over the years, he had learned that the first place to check when one of his friends was kidnapped was the warehouse district. Somehow, as if it were part of the villains' universal handbook, they always seemed to hold hostages in abandoned warehouses. Superman scanned the warehouse one final time before heading on to the next one.

He looked through the door and smiled--Jimmy was inside tied to a chair. Superman tried the doorknob and was surprised to discover that it opened easily. He entered the warehouse and with a few quick movements, freed Jimmy from his confinement. Just as they were about to leave, several hired thugs stepped out from behind a stack of piled-up boxes.

The head thug leered at him. "So, Superman... Thought you'd just breeze in here and rescue your friend did you?"

Superman crossed his arms over his chest and looked at them with amusement. "The police will be here in a few minutes... and you are going to jail for a very long time." Superman picked up the nearest thug and wrapped him in a length of rope left over from tying up Jimmy earlier. Quickly, he tied him up and approached the next thug...

The head thug pulled a small lead-lined box out of his pocket and opened it up, displaying the green, glowing contents. "Superman..." he began in a sing-song voice. "My boss sent a present for you! She doesn't like you or nosey reporters!"

Superman felt the effects of the kryptonite immediately and fell to the ground, groaning in pain. Unnoticed by the hired muscle, Jimmy slipped away to hide. This wasn't the first time Superman had saved his life, and it undoubtedly wouldn't be the last. The least he could do was to return the favor.

Lois stared at her watch and paced back and forth in the living room in their townhouse. Clark had been gone for hours looking for Jimmy and she was beginning to worry... After all, she had just gotten the news today that her flu, officially, wasn't really the flu...

Lois smiled softly as her hand came to rest on her still-flat stomach. She wasn't sure she was ready for this responsibility, but after being told last year that it was impossible, she couldn't help but be happy over the news. She began to pace faster, wondering what was keeping Clark. She wanted her husband home--she hadn't yet figured out how to tell him the good news yet... she had only talked to the doctor that morning and hadn't had time to tell Clark before Jimmy had been kidnapped.

"It's okay little one, your daddy will be here soon... he's going to be so happy!" Lois walked over and sat on the couch, her fingers beginning a slow massage over her abdomen. She wondered how she was going to tell him... she smiled as she began to think of subtle hints that she could drop... baby booties in with his underwear... catalogues of baby furniture on the coffee table... bottles of pre-natal vitamins left out for him to find...

Lois curled up in the corner of the couch and reached for a magazine. She needed to relax... Clark would be home soon and they could... celebrate.

Jimmy watched as the thugs pulled Superman into an upright position and began to pound on him. He winced at the sound of impact upon flesh on flesh. After a few minutes, they dropped Superman to the ground, placed the open box of Kryptonite beside him, and walked away, laughing. He made sure they were gone before he crept silently out of his hiding place.

Jimmy tiptoed over to where Superman lay, closed the box, picked it up, put it in his pocket, and tugged on Superman's arm. "Superman," he whispered, "It's me, c'mon, let's get going before they get back."

Superman grunted his assent and, with Jimmy's help, got up and staggered out the door. After a few minutes, he began to regain his strength. "Thanks, Jimmy." He said quietly.

"I'm glad to help, Superman. Are you okay?" Jimmy said.

"Yeah Jimmy, I'm fine... Go call the police for me? I think they'd like to know about the guys in the warehouse."

With a quick nod, Jimmy ran off to the nearest payphone and within minutes, the police were hauling the thugs out of the warehouse. Superman hung around long enough to see the cops shove the hired muscle in the squad cars before he slowly walked off into the night.

Ducking into a dark alleyway, he changed back into his street clothes, hiding the Suit from sight. Clark walked out from the alley, hailed a cab, and headed for home. Now that Jimmy was safe, what he wanted most was to curl up in bed with Lois in his arms and ignore the rest of the world. He hurt. No matter how many times he got exposed to kryptonite and got the crud beat out of him, he never got used to the aches and pains that followed. He sincerely hoped that the supply of kryptonite would run out soon--he was tired of every two-bit thug and penny-ante thief trying to get a supply to use as anti-Superman insurance. The cab rolled to a stop in front of their brownstone.

Clark paid the cabby and slowly climbed the steps to the front door of their brownstone. He carefully unlocked the door and entered the house, shutting and locking it behind him.

Lois looked up as he entered their house and smiled. She jumped to her feet, ran over, and threw her arms around him. "Clark!" she exclaimed as she began to cover every inch of his exposed skin with kisses. "I was so worried!" She pulled back from him slightly for a few minutes and regarded him thoughtfully. "Sweetheart," she began seriously as she gently touched the bruise that was beginning to form underneath his eye. "You have to promise me to take some self- defense classes! This is the third time this month that you've been exposed to kryptonite, lost your powers, and gotten beaten up!"Lois buried her head in his chest and clung to him tightly. "Promise me," she said, her voice muffled.

Clark wrapped his arms around her and held her close to him. "I promise," he said.

"I don't want our baby to grow up without a father because you were stupid enough to get yourself killed," she mumbled into his chest.

Clark looked down at his wife, startled. "Lois?" he questioned, his eyes wide with shock. If it hadn't been for the fact that his superhearing was beginning to come back online, he never would have heard it.

Lois looked up at him, moisture collecting in her eyes. "Yes," she affirmed softly, tugging his head down to hers for a kiss. The kiss broke off and she leaned her head against his broad chest. "I didn't mean to tell you like that," she said quietly.

Clark hugged her tightly and grinned. "Have you been to the doctor?" he asked, as his face became suffused with joy.

Lois nodded, a huge smile creeping over her face.

Energy coursed back into Clark as he swung his beloved up into his arms. As he leaned down to capture her lips with his, his pain faded until the he was aware only of the two of them and the tiny life that they had created. Lois pulled him closer to her, deepening the kiss. A few moments later, he put her down as they came up for air.

Lois caught his hand and together they walked upstairs. That night was a celebration... of life, of love, and of the life their love had created.

The End... or The beginning.

(c) Laura Davies