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A Rose for a New Life
Author's Note: All standard disclaimers apply. Lois, Clark, and other related WB/DC Comics characters and settings do not belong to me, I'm just playing with them. Any resemblance to any other work of fiction is unintentional. This is the third in my trilogy of 'Rose' vignettes, and a birthday present for Jenni Debbage. Happy Birthday, Jenni. Okay, so it's also a challenge taken too far--blame this on the Milk Duds. ;)

Lois stared at her computer screen, a secretive smile gracing her face. She didn't really see what was on the monitor--she had other things on her mind. Her hand left her lap to cup her stomach. She'd been feeling under the weather for a few weeks, and had finally let Clark convince her to visit the doctor. Since Dr. Klein's pronouncement last spring, she hadn't even considered the real cause of her malady. Now she just had to figure out a way to tell Clark.

Lois propped her elbow on the desk and rested her chin in it, deep in thought. A large, sappy grin spread over her face as she considered the way Clark had proposed two years before. 'What if I.' she thought. Her smile grew wider. Turnabout *was* fair play, after all.

Clark walked into the newsroom, whistling. He'd just gotten back from a successful Superman rescue. For once, it was a good day--Intergang had been relatively inactive lately, and they hadn't heard from a new psycho, evil, megalomaniacal genius in over a week. The only worries he had were about Lois--she'd been sick lately, and until this morning, had refused to go to the doctor.

He hoped she was okay; he'd heard of lots of illnesses that started with her symptoms. Two years as her husband simply wasn't enough, and he didn't know what he'd do if her lost her. Fervently, he prayed he never would.

Clark walked over to his desk and sat down. It was then that he noticed a small bouquet of forget-me-nots sitting on his desk. Under them was a book entitled, "The Meanings of Flowers: From Victorian to Present Day". He smiled, picked up the book, and began to flip through it until he found forget-me-nots. The book informed him that the flowers meant 'true love'. Clark flipped through the book once more until he found a note.

"Dear Clark," it began.

"I have something I have to tell you, but I'm not sure how. So I'm taking a page from your book, and letting flowers do my talking for me. I love you.

Love,

Lois"

Clark folded the note and slipped it in his pocket. It was surprising that the infamous Lane babble gene had deserted his wife, but it wasn't unheard of. He looked around the newsroom, hoping that she was there, but he couldn't hear the comforting sound of her heartbeat. He sighed and turned on his computer. He'd just have to wait until she got back to ask what was going on.

Ten minutes later, Jimmy interrupted him. "Clark?"

"What is it, Jimmy?" he asked absently.

"Lois asked me to give you this," Jimmy said, handing him a handful of ivy woven around some heather.

"Thanks, Jimmy," he said, accepting the flowers. He opened the book and discovered that ivy stood for 'eternal love' and that heather meant 'your wishes will soon come true'. He put the flowers in water and sighed. He hoped that she'd just *tell* him what she needed him to know.

Clark shook his head and started entering his story into his computer again. He hadn't been working for more than five minutes when a deliveryman with a florist box showed up at his desk.

"Mr. Kent?" the man asked.

"Yes?"

"Sign for this, please." The man held out a clipboard and a pen.

Clark signed for the box, said thank you, and opened it up. Inside, he found some marjoram and a couple of orchids. He opened the book again to find that marjoram symbolized joy, and that orchids meant love, and were also a Chinese symbol for many children.

Briefly, Clark wondered where this was heading. After all, the meanings were starting to sound strange, and he had a very varied and unusual bouquet of flowers on his desk. He put the flowers with the others and tried to concentrate on his story. After a few minutes, he gave it up as a bad job-- he could be interrupted again at any moment, anyway.

Perry came up to his desk next. "Clark, I sure don't know what's gotten into that little gal, but she asked me to deliver these." He handed Clark a red rosebud and two red roses in full bloom.

"Thanks, Chief," he said. "Lois is trying to tell me something--in the old language of flowers."

Perry chuckled. "If that don't beat all," he drawled. "You be sure to let me know if it relates to the Planet." He clapped Clark on the back and strolled towards his office without waiting for an answer.

Clark found the meaning in the book at something short of superspeed and smiled. He already knew that red roses meant 'love triumphant' from when he had given them to Lois, but he hadn't known that the arrangement she had sent him meant "Keep it a secret for the present."

"Keep *what* a secret?" he muttered, putting the roses in with the rest of what he was coming to call his assortment.

A few minutes later, Lois appeared. "C'mon, Clark," she said softly. "I need to talk to you in private--and bring your book."

Clark nodded, picked up the book, and followed her. He was being eaten alive with curiosity. He shut the door of the conference room behind him. "What is it, Lois?" he murmured, cupping her cheek in his hand.

Lois reached behind her and pulled out the biggest pink rose he'd ever seen. It was in full bloom, and a drop of water glistened on its soft petals. "Look it up," she said, her brown eyes moist with unshed tears.

Clark flipped through the book and found the meaning, then looked at her in astonishment. "You're pregnant?" he asked. His whole face lit up with joy as he pulled her into an embrace. He began to pepper tiny kisses all over her face.

"Yes," she said simply as he captured her lips with his.

Slowly, they broke off the kiss, and Clark dropped to his knees in front of her. He put his ear against her stomach and listened. It wasn't long before he heard it, the small fluttery noise of a fetal heartbeat. He looked up at his wife, wonder and awe on his face. "And to think," he said softly. "It all started with a rose."

End.