It wasn't often Clark came home from his superhero duties to a home cooked meal. Lois either heated up the leftovers he'd made from the night before or she ordered takeout. To see otherwise put him on edge.
"Oh no, you're trying to kill me with kindness again. What's the bad news?"
She led him to his spot at the table. "For your information, I didn't fix any of it. That nice Ms. Franklin in 3E cooked it."
"Because you told her to," he said as she spooned mashed potatoes into his plate. "I won't be able to swallow any of it until you tell me."
"You are paranoid."
"No," he said, as she heaped green beans onto his plate. "I just know you too well. Is it your father? Is he coming to visit?"
"Not exactly," she said slowly, which proved he was close to the truth.
"Oh, no. It's your father and your sister, isn't it? How long?"
"That's not it either," she said, adding a drumstick to his overflowing plate though food was the furthest thing from his mind now. She slipped behind him and started massaging his shoulders to ease the tension there.
Whatever she had to tell him was even worse than he had imagined. "Please, honey. Have some compassion."
"The army finally forced the General's retirement. Even the president couldn't defer it this time."
He relaxed considerably. "I'm sorry to hear that," he said genuinely, despite the number of times he'd tried to bring Superman down in his official position. No doubt it was a blow to the man. The army was his life.
"Lucy and I are afraid he's going to fall into a depression if he doesn't feel that he's needed."
He tensed again. He didn't like where this was going.
"I've told him that you and I stay so busy we have a hard time juggling the kids' activities and the cost of daycare is astronomical on our salaries."
It was all perfectly true, but they had always managed it before. "And?"
"I've invited him to come live with us."
Clark jumped out of his seat. "No. That's-no. You should have talked to me first. Lois, it's hard enough keeping my secret out there. And you want me to do it in my own home? No."
"You did it when I stayed with you as a teenager. I know it's asking a lot," she said, her voice turning soft. "I wouldn't ask if I didn't think it was the only way."
"What about Lucy? She's got a baby."
"The General doesn't do babies. Besides, Ron said no."
"And you just assumed I would say yes?"
She put her arms around him, weakening his resolve. "I knew you wouldn't turn down my father in his hour of need because you have the biggest heart I've ever seen."
He sighed. "I guess we can try it. The girls can share a room, but-" she cut him off with a kiss. He couldn't deny it was almost worth the impending trouble.
"Thank you, sweetheart. You know you don't always have to put on the suit to save someone's life."
Any reservations he had melted. She was right. He sat back down at the table to eat before the food got cold. As he took a bite, it seemed as tasteless as sandpaper thinking about how he'd soon be living with his father-in-law. Lois might as well have fixed it herself. "How long do I have until D-day?"
"I pick him up at the airport tomorrow."
He put his spoon down, suddenly loosing his appetite.
Lois came over to sit in his lap. "I know I'll owe you one."
"You'll owe me for the rest of our natural lives."
"True." She grinned and kissed his temple. "How can I start making it up to you?"
He smiled back. "I can think of at least one way," he said, pulling her down into a passionate kiss.