Her red hair glistened with sweat as the sun began to lower itself toward the horizon. With the back of her work glove, she wiped the sweat from her brow. It was a good day.
With a grunt, she dumped the contents of the wheel barrow she was pushing, full of horse manure, onto the pile behind the barn. This was normally his chore, but he was conspicuous in his absence this afternoon.
After she had shoved the wheel barrow back into the shed it belonged to, she was startled by her name being called…
She added a kick to her step and reached the woman she considers her surrogate mother in seconds. "Hi, Mrs. K… Martha."
"I'm so pleased to see you, Lois!" The one-time US Senator said, while giving her a hug, "What are you doing here?"
"Clark and I wanted to see you…" she paused longer than she meant to.
"Where is my son? It's like I never get to see either of you anymore."
"We know, it's just too easy to lose track of time. That's part of the reason we both came down today."
Lois' choice of words alarmed her and she went on the defensive. "I've told you before, I'm not moving to Metropolis. This is where Jonathan is buried, and all my friends are here…"
"Martha!" Lois spoke roughly, getting her attention. "I promise we're not here to get you to move."
"Then why are you here?"
"I would like to wait on Smallville, before answering that."
"Alright… Where did you say my son was?"
"I didn't say. About an hour after we got here, Shelby came limping out of the field. There was a cut on his rear thigh; Smallville thought he might have gotten snagged on some barbed-wire…" There were tears forming in the young woman's eyes.
"So he took Shelby to the vet." Martha finished. Noticing the emotional awkwardness, she said, "I'm sure he'll be fine. Is there something else worrying you?"
Steeling herself, she smiled. "No, I'm fine."
Not believing a word of it, Martha decided to change the subject, "Not that I mind, Lois, but when did you become a red-head?"
She closed her eyes and chuckled. "You may or may not know it, but it's a couple of weeks until the tenth anniversary of my finding, Smallville, in the corn field…"
"I didn't realize that."
"Well it is… I thought it'd be fun to be auburn haired for the anniversary; like I was then."
"So what happened?"
"I usually dye my own hair, but this time… I told Chloe, and she talked me into going to he hairdresser…"
"And this is how it turned out?"
"Yeah. It wouldn't be so bad, except… Clark finds it rather inhibiting."
"What do you mean?"
There was the evidence of a slight blush that had crept onto Lois' face. "My hair reminds him of you."
"I still don't…"
"Whenever we… kiss… it kind of… puts a damper on things."
"Oh," she answered politely, and then she understood, "OH!"
Both women stood there not looking at the other.
"So when…" Martha asked.
"Day after tomorrow."
"Not soon enough?"
"No, not really; but that's the soonest Chloe's hairdresser could work me in."
"Is something else bothering you?"
"I just wish that alien I married would shake a leg."
"That's intergalactic traveler, Sweetheart," came a response from behind them.
The two women turned toward him and saw that he was holding a slightly shaky Shelby. "He has a few stitches, but he'll be OK in a few days. We need to keep an eye on him until the drugs have worn off."
Both women petted him and scratched him behind the ears before Clark sat him down on the porch atop his favorite blanket. They watched as he stiffly curled up and drifted off to sleep.
Martha was getting the inside information, about Lois' latest Lex Luthor investigation, when Clark brought in their after dinner tea.
"Tea?" Martha asked as he crossed the threshold from the kitchen and handed them their mugs.
"It's something we're trying." Lois answered, "You know, less caffeine, more sleep."
Martha nodded as she added sugar to her tea.
"Selby is still resting comfortably." Clark announced.
"That's good to hear." Martha replied, and then looked at him and Lois sternly, "Now why are you two visiting? Lois implied that it was about seeing more of me."
The look Clark gave Lois did not go unnoticed by his mother.
"OK you two; what is going on?"
He slid closer to Lois on the couch and took her hand in his. "We were thinking that it might be a good idea for Lois to move in for a few months…"
"Are you two OK? Is she in trouble? Clark, are you going away again?"
"No! No, mom. It's nothing like that…" He looked to Lois in confusion.
She placed her free hand over his and smiled. "You'd better let me explain." Turning to Martha, she didn't want to shock the woman – but that is what she does best! "Martha, what my BDIGTH is trying to say…"
"Your what? Bedigtah?"
"BDIGTH: that's my Big-Dumb-Inter-Galactic-Traveler-Husband. But back to what I was saying. What Smallville, was trying to say, Martha, is that… We're pregnant!"
She turned away from them as she stood. Silently she walked over to the mantel and picked up a framed portrait of her late husband. Tenderly, she traced his face as tears started to roll from her eyes. Sniffing, she turned back to her two children, hugged the picture to her chest with one arm and embraced Lois with the other. Crying into Lois' shoulder, all she could say was, "happy… we're so happy…," over and over again.
Lois Lane Kent was half sitting, half leaning out of the widow that opened from the loft in the barn, trying to enjoy an herbal tea that her cousin had recommended from when she had been expecting. She turned and looked to the stairs when she felt the vibrations of her husband climbing up.
"How's your mother?"
"Making plans; I've never seen her this excited, or happy."
"Good, I was worried. Her reaction scared me."
He shook his head, "She caught me by surprise also. But I understand it now that I've talked to her."
"Don't stop now, Smallville! Explain it to me,"
"I'm surmising a bit, but it really hurt my parents when they found out that they couldn't conceive a child. I don't know with which of them the problem lay, and I don't want to know – they were such a couple that I don't think it mattered, it was their problem and they accepted it.
"Anyway, even knowing the legends of the Kawatche tribe, I never and evidently they never, believed that I could have children. This came as such a surprise that she broke down."
"How does she feel about our plans?"
"She agrees, whole heartedly. She just wishes that we would stay in Smallville, instead of just the first few months."
"I'm glad, I love Metropolis, but I want my child born here. It seems like the best things in my life have happened here: finding Chloe alive, getting back in school – even if it didn't take, living with your family, running a successful State Senate campaign, meeting you naked in a cornfield… Damn!"
He was at her side in a second, "Are you alright?"
She had never seen concern etched deeper into his face that it was right then as he wrapped one arm around her and placed his mighty hand over her stomach. "I'm fine Smallville." She said, giving him a wry smile, "I just realized that most of the common euphemisms for our child I've turned into double entendres about your…"
"I understand," he interrupted. "You were pretty obsessed."
"Still am." She said as she leaned into his shoulder, "I still am."