Lucy and her family descended on them the next morning. That was the only way to describe it. But Lucy had always entered and exited in a whirlwind with little announcement. In fact, it seemed to be something of a Lane family trait.
"How are you?" Lucy asked in greeting.
"We're all great," Lois said. "How are you? How's Suzie?"
The baby was in Ron's arms and sleeping peacefully despite the flurry of excitement.
"Wonderful. She didn't sleep a wink on the plane, so she's making up for lost time."
Lucy pulled Lois away. "How is it really going?" she asked in a conspiratorial whisper between sisters.
"Sometimes it's like it's World War 3 in here," Lois said wryly.
"And other times?"
"The General seems halfway human."
"Good," Lucy said, "That eases my conscience some."
"You look like you've put on a few pounds," Sam said to Ron.
While a part of Clark was glad Sam had another victim of his sharp criticisms, his other better part empathized.
Ron patted his stomach with his free arm and laughed his contagious, good-natured laugh. "I've been working late a lot, no time to exercise and grabbing takeout. I'm sure I have put on a few."
"How's the London Daily Planet treating you?" Clark asked him, changing the subject before Sam could fire again.
"Oh, you know," he said, "the same daily grind just a boss yelling at you to get the story in a different accent. Miss you guys though."
They all found a place to sit in the living room with a few borrowed kitchen chairs. The apartment felt more crowded than ever but in a good way as they caught up on each other's lives.
"Momma, can we have a baby?" Ella interrupted, bringing the adult conversation to a standstill.
"You are my baby, And anyway, she's your cousin. It's like having a little sister and sometimes a lot better," she said with a teasing glance toward Lucy.
Ella grumbled a bit with disappointment and then went back to entertaining her cousin with her toys while Lara was content to let Suzie grasp onto her finger.
The day passed pleasantly enough without incident. They ordered a big chicken meal for lunch and had leftovers for supper. Clark almost believed his secret could stay secret from Lois' family the day was so normal.
"It's kind of fun camping out with you," Lois said, tracing circles through his thin t-shirt that night.
"Except I don't get you all to myself," he said, pulling her closer. "Besides, I'm not sure sleeping on our living room floor counts as camping."
"Oh, it definitely does," she said with a grin. "In a city kind of way. No kidding though, we should take the girls camping. Some of my fondest memories are when the General would take Lucy and me camping."
"You're right we should. For the space to breathe if nothing else."
She laughed. "It does seem to be getting quite full around here."
"I don't really mind. Big families are fun."
"My family fun? The smog is getting to you, isn't it? I'll book us a cabin somewhere first thing tomorrow."
"No, really. I had a nice time today." It wasn't Armageddon like he had expected. Sam was getting easier to be around all the time because of familiarity if nothing else and Lucy was so much more mature now than she used to be. Much less awkward than the first Thanksgiving he'd spent with Lois' family.
"It's hard to believe little Suzie is already rolling over. It seems like only yesterday we were visiting Lucy and Susie in the hospital."
"Tell me about it. It seems like only yesterday you were in the hospital having with Ella."
"Don't tell me you're thinking about another baby too," she said with a chuckle.
"No, but it's like you blink and they're another year older," he said wistfully, wishing he could slow time down.
Sam was the only one home when the doorbell rang. They were all down at the airport. He'd already said his farewell. He hated airports and long goodbyes.
He answered the door and found a young man with one of those man buns the kids were so fond of nowadays. He was thankful his sons-in-law at least knew how to cut their hair if nothing else.
"Lois and Clark are out," he said. "You look familiar."
"Brandon Jenkins. I was at your granddaughter's ballet recital. My son was one of the lost boys. We see each other sometimes as his dance class is the one right after hers."
"Ah," he said. That explained a lot about the bun.
"It bothered me how Lara broke that tree so easily. I played it over and over on my phone, trying to figure out what it was and why she reminded me of someone."
Mr. Jenkins held up some toy that looked like it came off Star Wars.
"And what's this?" Sam said as he snatched it from him.
"A drone," he said smugly. "Maybe not as sophisticated as the ones they use in the army, but it does the job."
"I caught the most interesting footage of Superman flying out of one of these very windows, a bedroom window. Your granddaughter is Superman's daughter!"
Sam dropped the drone, and it shattered as it hit the hard floor. "Such a shame," he said as he picked it up, ensuring that the camera was indeed broken.
"Are you insane? That cost me five hundred dollars!"
"I did you a favor, son. Using your drone to record people is illegal. It's called stalking. So unless you want to be labeled a peeping Tom, I suggest you find some other way to occupy your time," and then he shut the door in his face.