Barbara (htbthomas) wrote,

Déjà Vu: Chapter 22: Tell All

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Déjà Vu


Chapter 22:  Tell All


“Um… hi, honey.” Those seemed to be the only words she could manage at this moment, considering she could still feel the lingering touch of Clark’s hands on her body. Thank goodness for the rain still pelting her – otherwise she would have needed an ice cold shower. She tried to come up with something as she walked back into the living room. A pool of rainwater began collecting at her feet, but she didn’t pay it much attention. “Did we wake you?”


Clark slipped past her, heading for the hallway, perhaps to get her a towel or a robe.


The surprise on Jason’s face faded slightly.  “The storm was loud.  But then I heard someone talking outside my window…” A flash of annoyance flickered in his blue eyes.  “Mommy… you aren’t… checking up on me, are you?”  He scowled adorably, a mirror image of her own frown, and continued.  “I am five-years old now.  Almost six!”


She knelt down in front of him and trying not to laugh, assured him gently, “No, of course not, sweetheart.  I knew you’d be safe with Mister Clark.”  She struggled to keep her face composed while she speedily tried to make up a plausible excuse.  “No, we, um… I was just here to…”


Clark came back into the room, and finished for her, while handing her a large, fluffy towel, “Your mommy and I have a lot to discuss with the story we’re working on for the newspaper.”  Well, it was not the best excuse, but maybe Jason’s five-year old mind would accept it…


Jason titled his head slightly, and the frown deepened.  “Where’s Daddy?  I thought you had a ‘date.’”


Lois stood and began toweling her hair off.  “Our date is over, Jason.” More than that is over, but the middle of the night is not the time to spring this on him!  She experienced a moment of thankfulness that the towel and hair hanging around her face hid her agonized expression from him. “Plus, Daddy is not working on this story this time.  Uncle Perry put Mister Clark and me on this together.” 


She suddenly noticed that Clark was still standing there, dripping wet.  Lois gave his plastered bedclothes another languid glance.  His thin, clinging t-shirt and flannel bottoms were leaving very little to the imagination… Snap out of it, Lane!  Your very curious little boy is standing right here!  “Don’t you need to get out of those?”


Clark blushed shyly at her unintentional double-entendre.  “Well, that towel there is the last clean one… I haven’t had time to do the laundry… all I have left are dish towels.”  He looked down at his feet.  “I’ll be fine.”


It took every ounce of determination she had to hand the towel she was using back to him.  “Here.  Use this one. It’s still dry enough.”


As he took it from her gratefully, Jason piped up, totally unaware of the sexually charged atmosphere in the room, “Why were you guys standing in the rain?  You always tell me not to do that, Mommy.”  He gave her a disapproving look, very similar to the ones she had given him a million times.  But suddenly, a different sort of explanation must have come to him.  “Unless… was he… helping you, Mommy?”


Her mind wandered for an instant again.  Yes, he was helping me all right… God, everyone needs to get to bed before I lose it!  She amended mentally, To their own beds!


Clark spoke quickly and shook his head at Jason, a note of alarm in his voice.  “No, Jason.  The rain just caught us off guard.” Clark’s eyes were wide.  Was he afraid Jason would intuit that there was a lot more going on here?


She tried to help it along.  “Let’s all go back to bed, okay?  I think the worst of the storm is over.  We can talk more in the morning.”  Lois leaned over and kissed Jason on the cheek.  “You’ve got school tomorrow, and I don’t want your teachers to tell me you fell asleep in class!” She smiled, and teased gently, “Again.”


He smiled finally, and gave her a kiss in return.  “Okay, Mommy.  Goodnight, Mister Clark.”  He granted an even wider smile to his babysitter.  “I had fun tonight.”  He held out his arms for a hug.


Clark gave him a quick hug, careful not to get Jason wet, and murmured, “Me too.”  He winked at Jason, who giggled.  Wow, Lois thought. They must have really bonded tonight…


When Jason was safely behind the closed door of the spare room, Clark turned to her again, worry painting his expression.  “Lois, there’s something you—”


She cut him off.  “Whatever it is, can it wait?”  She needed to get some sleep, and the longer she spent around Clark, looking like that, the harder it was going to be.  “We should have plenty of time tomorrow.”


Her firm look must have persuaded him.  “All right, Lois.  Until tomorrow.”  He stepped close to her, and placed a chaste kiss on her parted lips.  Even that little taste was absolutely intoxicating.  Pulling away reluctantly, he added, “I’ll get you a dry shirt.  Unless you want me to…” Clark trailed his gaze from head to foot, mimicking the way he had warmed her with his heat vision in the Fortress.


Her throat nearly closed up, and she choked out, “No!  I mean, a dry shirt will be fine.”  Lord in heaven, if he did that, how would I ever sleep??


He nodded, a gleam in his eye.  The man couldn’t read minds, but that one look told her he understood her reasoning.  He quietly left the room, and she let out a heavy breath she didn’t know she’d been holding.


What a long night it was going to be…


- - - - -


Lois opened her eyes to dim light filtering through the vertical blinds.  Somehow she had finally drifted off.  The dreams she had experienced, though vivid, were already slipping away from her.  All she could remember was a wash of silver…


She realized that it wasn’t the light that had awakened her.  She could hear the sound of sizzling, and the smell of home cooking filled her nostrils.  Sitting up on her elbows, she could now see Clark, dressed in a different set of pajamas, thankfully this time with a robe over it, standing at the stovetop.  He was facing her, the counter and kitchen table between them, but he was looking down at what he was doing instead of up at her.


She took that moment to observe him.  His hair was still mussed from sleeping, and he wore his bedclothes with an easy grace that was difficult to describe.  Considering she had really mostly seen him in either tight-fitting spandex or ill-fitting suits, this was a very nice change.  He was humming softly as he worked to make them breakfast.


Then a small grin spread across his face, and Lois realized that maybe he hadn’t been completely unaware that she was now awake.  “Good morning,” he said in a pleasant rumble, not looking up.  “How do you like your eggs?”


She sat up, and stretched.  “Over-hard,” she answered, throwing back the covers.  “You can cook, too?”


He finally looked straight at her, and melted her with his azure gaze.  “Mrs. Kent raised her boy right.  She always told me that ‘Everything worth doing is worth doing well.’  Cooking was no exception.”


My, oh, my.  Lois stood and stretched again, then padded quietly to the table.  Another oversized robe was waiting for her across an armchair, and she snagged it on the way past.  Slipping her arms through the wide sleeves, Lois stopped dead on seeing the table.  A feast for at least ten people was laid out: coffee, croissants, fruit, juice, bacon, sausage, and a tall stack of…


“Blueberry pancakes!” Jason called out delightedly as he entered the room.  “You remembered!”


“How could I forget?” Clark said with a laugh.  “You only mentioned it about twenty times yesterday.”


Richard was a pretty good cook, which had been useful considering Lois had no talent for it whatsoever, but to have another man excel at it, too?  She slid a chair out, and sat at the table beside Jason, who was already helping himself. “So were you expecting the whole office over today?” she teased.


He came around the corner of the countertop and slid her eggs from the pan to her plate.  “I didn’t know what you might like to eat for breakfast, so I thought, better safe than sorry.”


“Well, thank you.  I usually don’t eat more than an energy bar and a tall coffee… but it’s nice every once in a…”  A thought struck her, and she turned frantically toward Jason, who was already stuffing his mouth with a large piece of blueberry pancake.  “Jason!” she shouted, almost knocking over the cup of coffee beside her plate in her haste to stop him.


Her son swallowed, and smiled broadly.  “It’s okay, Mommy.  I’m not allergic anymore.”


“What?” she said shakily, still expecting Jason to go into anaphylactic shock at any moment.


Clark was at her shoulder, trying to steady her.  “We tried several different kinds of foods last night, Lois.  I think he’s… outgrown his food allergies.”


“Isn’t it great?” Jason said happily.  "I tried peanut butter, and ice cream, and hamburger, and…” He went on with a long list, which generally went over Lois’ head in her astonishment. 


She turned her furious eyes on Clark, who gave her a pleading look.  “I thought it wouldn’t hurt to try.”  He added much more softly, “Don’t be mad, Lois… I knew I could get him help if anything bad happened.  I was monitoring him closely.”


For some reason, though she should be livid, her flash of fear and anger subsided.  After all, this was exactly why she needed Clark’s help with Jason now.  His body must be changing, and who better to determine that than his father?


Jason finished his incredible list of new foods he’d tried, and put another bite of pancake in his mouth, closing his eyes with pleasure at the taste.  “Mm.  These are good,” he said, food obscuring his words.


Lois couldn’t even correct his table manners; she was just amazed that this period of her son’s life was over.  Would he no longer need his medicines either?  She helped herself to a pancake, drizzled a little syrup over the top, and cut a triangle out to place in her mouth.  The instant it touched her taste buds, the fluffy pancake melted in her mouth, and a still-crisp blueberry burst open, coating her tongue with sweetness.  “Oh, my God, Clark… these are sensational!”


Sitting in the chair across from her, he smiled proudly.  “If you think these are good, you should taste my mother’s pancakes.”  He took a sip of coffee.  “I learned from the best.”


Thank goodness one of us can cook… she thought, still savoring the taste of the pancake.  But I’m going to have to watch my weight even more closely!


Jason dug into his breakfast with gusto, sampling everything on the table. Clark and Lois ate in silence, observing each other longingly across the table.  He was so damn sexy, sitting there with a contented smile, his family around him at last.  Even if it wasn’t official yet, she knew he must be enjoying every stolen moment.


He broke the intense eye contact, glancing over at Jason again, and seemed to remember something.  “Uh, Lois… I need to tell you something…” His eyes dropped and it looked like he was gathering his courage.  “Last night…”


She jerked her head toward their five-year old, who was deeply interested in cutting a link of sausage apart.  What could he be thinking?  Jason is right here!  “Yes?” she said sweetly, hoping he would get the hint.


Clark shook his head slightly, indicating that what he was going to say was fit for Jason’s ears.  “Last night, Jason and I…”  But he suddenly stiffened, back straightening, half-rising from his chair.  It was a look she was learning well, the ‘I-have-to-go-save-someone’ look.  “I… I need to—”


“Go to the grocery store?” she supplied quickly.  “You must have used up most of your refrigerator preparing this feast.”


Clark looked back and forth strangely between Jason and Lois, trying to decide what to do. 


“No, Mommy.  He probably just needs to go help someone,” Jason said with incredible nonchalance.


Lois’ mouth dropped open.  She looked at her son, who had said the words completely matter-of-factly, over to his father, who was smiling awkwardly, almost fearfully.


“What?” Jason said, not understanding what was passing between the adults.  “Mister Clark, I thought you said that Mommy knew?”


She recovered enough to say, “I do…”  Then she pierced Clark with a frosty ‘we're-going-to-have-words-about-this-mister’ kind of look, and said, “Go!”  She shooed him with an impatient wave of her wrist. 


He smiled apologetically, and started to head for the bedroom.  Then he seemed to decide that was unnecessary.  In a blur of color, he was standing before them in his red and blue uniform.  Even annoyed as she was, his rapid transformation took her breath away.  He nodded regally once, and was suddenly gone, vertical blinds rattling in his wake.  Amazingly, the sliding glass door was shut behind him, though the plants on the balcony were swaying with the sudden breeze.


Jason was smiling widely again.  He seemed completely unfazed by the huge revelation that must have occurred between them last night.  “Isn’t that cool?”


He had certainly not inherited that calm acceptance from her.  She sighed, only able to nod.  Last night had been momentous for all of them, it seemed!  “How… How did you find out?” she asked, trying not to seem upset.


“Oh… I asked him,” Jason said with a shrug and a swig of milk.


“You… asked him?” she said incredulously.  “And he told you?  Just like that?”


He thought for a moment.  “He didn’t want to… but then I told him about the time at your work, where I saw him standing next to a picture of Superman on TV.  He looked exactly the same, just with glasses and different clothes.”


Lois smirked a little.  Leave it to her own son to see through Clark’s façade before any of the adults around him.


“But there were a few times it didn’t make sense.  Like… why did everybody else think he was just Clark?  And how could he save himself?”  Jason got a proud grin on his face as he finished, “And so I asked him ‘Are you Superman?’ again.  And he can’t lie, so he had to tell me.”


Lois didn’t know how to feel.  Should she be annoyed that Clark had told the truth of his identity so easily to their son, an innocent child, while he guarded it so carefully from everyone else?  Or should she feel touched that Clark was finally able to be honest with his own flesh and blood? Or should she feel proud that her little investigative reporter had figured it out?  Or worried that Jason would share what he knew with the wrong person?


She decided that she felt a little bit of all of these emotions.  “What else did he tell you?”  With Clark gone, Jason was her only source of information, even if the story was going to be a little one-sided.


“He told me… um… that Superman was his job, kind of like being a reporter is his other job.  People wouldn’t understand that he needs to do both.  Oh… and don’t tell anyone, ‘cause only you know about it, Mommy.”


“And what about Daddy?” she asked in a very serious tone.


“He said not anyone, not even Daddy.  It’s very important to keep it just between us.  You, me and Mister Clark.”  He frowned for a moment.  “Why can’t we tell Daddy?”


He looked so puzzled, so uncomprehending.  Why they couldn’t tell Richard, the full truth, suddenly pressed strongly on her heart.  Jason needed to know what was going on… but to tell him, right here, right now, on a Friday morning before he went to school… “Your daddy and I have split up.  We won’t be living together anymore.  And guess what?  I’m in love with your real father, who happens to be Superman.  So now you can kinda see why all these strange things are happening to you?  Anyway, have a good day at school!”   No mother could be so cruel as to do that to her son and then kiss him goodbye for the day. 


She and Richard needed to figure out where they stood, and try to break the news to him gently.  And the whole Superman issue would open a huge can of worms.  Kryptonite-infested worms.  It would take two seconds – less – for Richard to figure out what was going on if Jason so much as breathed the news about Clark being Superman.  Oh, God…


But she had to tell him some reason.  And a reason closest to the truth was best.  “We can’t tell Daddy… yet.  This is Mister Clark’s secret to tell.  He gets to decide when we tell Daddy.  Not me, not you.  Okay?”

She could see Jason puzzle that out in his child’s mind and come to a decision. “Okay, Mommy.  But I hope he tells Daddy soon.” 


Lois nodded once, but didn’t speak. She was afraid she might say the wrong thing.


During their conversation, Jason had finished everything on his plate. He set his fork down and bounced a little on his chair.  “Do you know what the coolest part of last night was?  Mister Clark… I mean, Superman… took me flying!”


Flying? Her eyebrows rose. It didn’t matter that she hadn’t been around to ask, to consult…


Jason continued excitedly.  “It was great!  He took me all over Metropolis!  To the ocean, over the trees, up to the top of the highest buildings!” At her slight grimace, he tried to assure her, “Don’t worry, Mommy!  He was very careful.  He said, ‘Your mom will kill me if I let you fall.’” Jason giggled. 


Got that right, Clark…and you know that only I know where I buried that kryptonite, don’t you?  But Lois couldn’t be that unfair to him, even in her thoughts.  Jason was his son as much as hers, and he loved Jason with an intensity equal to the love he had for her, if not more.  He would never let any harm come to the boy.


“He was right, kiddo.”  She ruffled his unruly hair, causing him to giggle harder.  Then she asked him honestly, “Did he tell you that he’s taken me flying a few times?”  She could completely understand his excitement.


“Yeah.  That’s why I knew everything would be okay.”


Lois smiled.  Of course it was okay.  “What else did you do?”


“We talked about a lot of stuff.   He told me that when he was a little boy, he didn’t understand why he was different.  Why he could do things no one else could.  But his mommy and daddy told him he was special… and that they loved him very much.”  He looked into her eyes, expression the very picture of Clark’s.  “Just like what you said, Mommy.  Mist—Superman thinks I’m special, too.”


It was all she could do not to cry.  She pulled him into a warm hug.  “You are, Jason.  You are very special.  Don’t you ever forget that.”


Into her chest, Jason said, “He said he was going to help me, just like you said he would.”


Lois suddenly had a thought.  “Would you like to stay another night here?  Mister Clark and I still have a lot of work to do, and it will be easier if we all stay over again.”


He pulled away and nodded up at her eagerly.  “But what about Daddy?”


“You’ll see him on the weekend.  I promise.  Now run along and get dressed… we’ve got to get you to school soon.”


Jason lightly hopped off of the chair, and practically skipped into the spare bedroom to change.  She watched him go with a mixture of pain and hope.  He was so happy right now.  So fond of ‘Mister Clark.’  But when he learned about all the changes that were about to happen in his young life…


She walked over to her purse, and took out her cell phone, and turned it on.  Thank God she kept a spare set of clothes in the trunk of her car, for those emergencies when a story kept her out overnight.  But she had one more order of business before work. 


Flipping open the phone, she looked at the call list.  She selected the number at the top, and punched the Call button.


“Hello, Lois?” Richard answered, sounding weary and anxious. “Where the hell are you?”

“I’m at Clark’s.  I’m taking Jason to school this morning.”  She conveniently left out the fact that she’d stayed here all night.  “Can you meet me at the Starbucks down the street from the Planet in about an hour?  I owe you an explanation.”

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

A/N: So many tidbits of this chapter are due to hilarious/insightful email, PM and LJ conversations.  Thank you especially to bistyboo1974, coltdancer, alamo_girl80, earlgrayhot, ancarettmark_clark and betty brant.

Next chapter: Chapter 23: Issues
Tags: superman returns

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