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Lois leaned heavily against the elevator wall and rubbed at her eyes tiredly. These late nights were beginning to really take their toll on her. The farther into her forties she got, the more difficult it was to keep up her trademark Lois Lane energy. Oh, she still pretended like she was a driven twenty-five year old... but even the interns could do the math, when her strapping sixteen year old son hung around the bullpen so much.
And constantly being around that Kryptonian super-stamina doesn't make it any easier to forget my age, either.
Lois sighed. This story she'd been working on would go ten times faster with Clark's help. But he and the Justice League had been off-planet for several weeks now. He hadn't been able to send even a short message this time about when he might be back. Luckily she had been able to fabricate a story about Clark working a deep-cover investigation. Lois had basically written off any sort of ten-year wedding anniversary celebration.
"He'll be back, Mom." Jason stopped playing, right in the middle of a phrase, and turned from the piano. She thought she had been hiding her depression better than that, but of course there was no way to hide biosigns from her son. "You shouldn't worry."
Lois put down her book, and grimaced slightly. "It's what mothers do, okay? Now get back to practicing." She added a wan smile for his benefit.
Jason nodded, switching gears to another piece. She had read halfway through the next page before she realized he was playing one of her favorites.
She smiled again, remembering. He was always working on new music, but he had a talent for keeping his parents' favorites in his repertoire. The melody of one of the new ones - she hadn't gotten around to asking Jason what it was called yet - had been running through her mind lately.
The elevator slowed to a stop and she straightened up, taking a deep breath. The nighttime staff was used to seeing her in here, but they didn't need to know how tired she was.
As the doors opened, Lois strode briskly into the newsroom... but stopped after a few yards. The place was darkened, almost dead silent. Where is the night shift? Did something happen?
Suddenly, from the other side of the bullpen, quiet piano music started up - a slow, jazzy chord progression, as if someone had turned on a CD player. Which was odd, since most people used headphones or earbuds...
And then a single light switched on - a desk lamp - and a smooth baritone voice floated through the air toward her...
I'm gonna love you like nobody's loved you - come rain or come shine
In the light of that single lamp, she realized that the music was coming from a digital keyboard and a voice she'd recognize anywhere...
High as a mountain and deep as a river - come rain or come shine
She walked slowly toward her husband and son, only gradually becoming aware that there were other people in the shadows, quite a few people in fact. But the music, combined with her relief at Clark's return, was mesmerizing...
I guess when you met me it was just one of those things
But don't ever bet me, 'cause I'm gonna be true if you let me
Both Clark and Jason were grinning like fools - they'd obviously been planning this for a while - and her grin quickly grew into a full-blown smile. Clark took her hand when she finally came within reaching distance.
You're gonna love me like nobody's loved me - come rain or come shine
Happy together, unhappy together, and won't it be fine?
Lois began to hum the melody - the same that Jason had been practicing lately, as Clark sang the last few lines.
Days may be cloudy or sunny
We're in or we're out of the money
But I'm with you always, I'm with you rain or shine
As Jason ended the song with a diminuendo, applause broke out all around them. The lights came on full, and shouts of "Happy Anniversary!" filled the air. Clark pulled Lois close for a kiss, and when it ended, he murmured against her mouth, "Surprised?"
"You're not mad?"
Of course she wasn't, but there were appearances to keep up. "Let's just hope your gift..." she began with a wink, nodding toward the gift table, "...is something a little more 'out of this world' than tin."
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