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A/N: This fic is set ten years before Revelations because this 'verse is eating my brain. This fic didn't quite do what I wanted but I hope it's not too bad :P. Written for the 12days_of_clois prompt 'Love Story'.
"Okay, are you all comfortable?" Clark asked as he leaned in to check on his five children.
They were currently sharing three small beds in a small bedroom located in a small cabin on top of a very large mountain. The trip had been Lois' idea, she often recounted stories of her experiences trekking through the mountains of the various countries her father had been stationed in. Finally, after much pressuring from the kids, Clark had agreed they could go on a family trip up a mountain.
Of course, with their youngest two only six years old, trekking up the mountain hadn't been an option. But flying up via the Superman express and going on several day tramps around the area with Dad had worked out fine for the younger kids. And the more adventurous older ones had just returned from an overnight tramp to a second cabin with Lois.
They should have been exhausted but the sun had been high in the sky all day and the kids were bursting with energy and no where near ready to sleep. Just getting them inside had been a mission, even for Superman. But they were finally settled in their beds.
Jason, now sixteen, had tried to claim a bed of his own but had been joined by eleven year old Sophie on the first night after she'd decided her older brother was the only one capable of protecting her from a nightmare and she'd refused to budge since. This left a very happy nine year old Dean with his own bed and the six year old twins, Lucy and Ella with the only double one, although Clark still wasn't sure how the two smallest had ended up with the biggest bed he didn't want to ask and risk starting the fighting again.
"Da-ad, " Sophie called out from her spot under Jason's arm. "Can you tell us a story?"
"Yeah!" Lucy and Ella jumped in before Clark could answer and began chanting, "Story, story, story, story-"
"What is going on in here?" Lois had heard the commotion and come to investigate.
"Sto- reee!" Lucy and Ella informed her, joined by Sophie and Dean as Jason rolled his eyes and tried to look mature.
"Well, I'm not too sure, " Clark said with a frown, "but I think they want a story?"
The twins giggled at their father and Lois sighed. "We've had a really long day guys, I just want to get to bed-"
"One story, please?" Sophie begged, barely stifling a yawn as she claimed, "we're not even tired yet."
"Which one would you like to hear then?" Clark asked, raising a cheer from the children and a sigh from his wife.
"Tell the one about how you asked Mom to marry you, " Sophie suggested.
Dean made a face at that. "No, tell us an actual story-story, something with dragons and Knights, with no gross kissing."
"Can there be Princess too?" Ella asked, looking hopefully at her parents.
"Don't look at me, " Lois said, raising her hands as she sat down on the arm of Clark's chair, "your father's the one who's telling it."
"Um..." Clark frowned, trying to figure out a way to please everyone. Eleven years of fatherhood was starting to tell him it couldn't be done but he hated disappointing even one of the kids.
"I agree with Sophie, " Jason put in, "I want to hear a story about you guys."
"Now you want a romantic one too?" Dean complained, rolling his eyes.
Lois chuckled, "Oh believe me, most stories about your father and I would not fall into the romantic category."
"Okay." Clark raised his hands to quiet everyone, "if I tell you a story about us will you be ready to go to sleep then?"
"Yes, " Sophie and Lucy agreed.
"So there's not going to be a Princess?" Ella asked, pouting and looking adorably sad, a fact the little girl was very aware of and used regularly to get her way.
"And no dragons either?" Dean just sighed, apparently resigning himself to a kissing, romantic story.
"Sorry, " Lois apologized.
"Actually, I think I could make it work." Clark frowned.
"Well?" Lois asked after a moment, "we're waiting."
"Okay, how about this: Once upon a time-"
"I thought this was about-" Jason started but Clark held up a hand.
"Just wait, " he assured him, "okay, so once upon a time there was a beautiful Princess, called Lois." Lucy and Ella cheered and Jason grinned as he saw what his Dad was doing. Lois just raised an eyebrow and indicated fo him to go on.
"She lived in a kingdom called Metropolis, one day a brave Knight arrived in the kingdom vowing to protect all it's citizens with his... ummm, magic, " he decided. "But, little did Princess Lois know, the Knight was also a lowly Herald in the kingdom, a careful disguise he wore to protect his friends and family from his enemies. The Princess and the Herald worked together for a long time and slowly became friends."
"What's a herald?" Lucy asked.
"Someone who announces news, " Clark explained, before continuing with his tale.
"Now, the Knight was from a country far, far away-"
"Don't you mean galaxy?" Jason interrupted.
"Jason, shush, " Sophie warned him, "I wanna hear the story. Keep going, Dad."
"Alright then, " Clark agreed, hiding a grin, "for a long, long time the Knight believed his country had been destroyed, leaving him as the only survivor. But one day, wise men in the kingdom discovered evidence that it was still there and there may be other survivors."
"But there was a little problem with that wasn't there?" Lois asked, raising an eyebrow in a clear challenge to Clark to continue.
"There was." Clark was wondering if he shouldn't have just skipped over this part all together, he was in dangerous territory- he'd have to be careful if he didn't want to sleep on the tiny couch in the cabin's equally tiny living room. "You see, " he continued, "the Knight had worked beside the Princess for a long time, as the kingdom's defender as well as a herald.
"So when he found out there may be other survivors from his country, he had a very difficult decision to make. You see, the Princess was very much in love with the Knight but she still had no idea that he was also her herald, " Clark explained, skimming over Zod's arrival the memory-loss, he'd probably have to explain it to the kids at some point in time but that could wait until they were a little older.
"Because he was too think-headed to tell her at first, " Lois interrupted, her tone daring Clark to argue.
"Yes, he was, " Clark agreed, "so one day the Herald leaves his post and says goodbye. But later that month people in the kingdom also began to notice the Knight had left and after more time they started to believe he wasn't coming back."
"Did he?" Ella asked, eyes wide.
Lucy whacked her with a pillow. "Duh, the Knight's supposed to be Dad, of course he came back."
"Mom, Lucy hit me!"
"With a pillow, it didn't hurt!"
"Yes it did!"
"Be quiet!" Sophie yelled at her sisters. "Lucy, don't hit Ella, Ella, it was a pillow, get over it."
"We don't have to listen to you." Lucy stuck her tongue out.
"Lucy, Ella, " Lois sighed, stepping in, "....what your sister said."
"Now, " Clark interrupted the impending argument and cleared his throat loudly, "where were we?"
"You just left for Krypton- I mean-" Jason quickly corrected "-the Knight just left for his country."
"Right, well, the Knight traveled for a long time, hoping that maybe there'd be someone else out there like him. But when he got to his country there was nothing there, it was a barren wasteland."
"Was the Knight sad?" Ella asked softly.
"He was very sad." Clark nodded, "you see, the Knight thought he was all alone in the world. So he traveled all the way back to the Princess' kingdom, hoping that they hadn't forgotten him.
"But when he got back he was shocked to find that the Princess had a child and that she was engaged to another Knight, the White Knight."
"That's Jason and Uncle Richard, " Lucy whispered loudly to Ella.
"I know, " Ella hissed back, rolling her eyes.
"Anyway, " Clark gave them a look and they stopped. "the Princess was surprised at the magic Knight's return but she was also very angry."
"There's an understatement, " Lois muttered.
Clark wisely choose to ignore it and continued. "The Princess noticed one day that the magic Knight and the Herald had arrived back on the same day. So one day she saw the Knight and told him two very important things, the first being that her son was his as well and the second being that she knew he was secretly the herald, and her best friend.
"But she was still in love with the magic Knight even though she tried to deny it. The White Knight noticed and one day decided to give up the Princess so she could be with the magic Knight."
"But the magic Knight still had a lot to make up for, " Lois interrupted, taking over the story. "Because he had been a colossal idiot in keeping his identity as her Herald friend secret from the Princess."
"He had, " Clark agreed, hoping he could avoid the couch tonight.
"But, " Lois continued, "the Knight did make up for it, eventually. And one day, shortly after their little prince's birthday, he asked the Princess to marry him. And I- she said yes. But the story's not over yet."
"It isn't?" Clark had intended to finish the story there, the kids were starting to calm down and Lucy and Ella were almost asleep.
"Of course not, " Lois told him, rolling her eyes, "because, for all the Knight had done, there was still one battle left to fight. Because one person was not happy about the weeding, the Princess' father, the fierce General Dragon."
"Yeah, dragons!" Dean cheered.
"On the very day the Princess and the Knight were due to get married, the General stomped into the church and demanded to speak to his daughter.
"Remember, he still thought the Knight was only a lowly herald, and was very angry that the Princess was marrying someone he thought was below her.
"So he stormed into the Princess' room where she had just put on her wedding dress, and reared up, fire billowing from his nostrils." Lois was waving her arms around, apparently taking a bit too much pleasure in turning her father into a villainous dragon. "He towered over her, trying to look strong and formidable as he loudly declared his disapproval of her marrying such a lowly, weak man."
"Grandpa General said that?" Sophie asked in shock, her eyes wide.
"He did, " Lois confirmed, "but you know what the Princess said? She said that if the General- I mean Dragon, " she corrected, "if the Dragon really cared about her he would see that she was truly happy with the Herald and he would be happy for her.
"So the Dragon turned around and went instead to where the Herald was getting ready. And he stormed in and just looked straight into his eyes and asked, 'Do you love my daughter?'"
"What did Dad say?"
"He said yes, " Clark said, taking over as he smiled at his beautiful wife. "He said, 'I love her more than I have ever loved anything and I will vow to make her happy for the rest of my life'."
"And then what happened?" Lucy asked sleepily.
"Well, the Dragon saw that the Herald and the Princess loved each other." Lois took over again. "So he went back to the Princess and told her that he may not understand what she saw in him but he would bless her wedding and if she would let him, he would be honored to walk her down the aisle."
"And she was the most beautiful bride in the world, " Clark said, placing an arm around his wife.
"Was?" Lois asked, breaking the mood with a sharp look at her husband.
"And ever shall be, " Clark continued smoothly as if he'd been going to say that all along.
Jason laughed. "Nice save, Dad, " he muttered as he tried to stop a now sleeping Sophie from stealing his sheets.
"And then what happened? After they got married?" Lucy asked, still determined not to go to sleep even as she was stifling a yawn and struggling to keep her eyes open.
"Well, the Knight and the Princess went on to have another, handsome prince and three beautiful Princesses, " Clark told her, tucking her in and kissing her and Ella goodnight. "And, then, " he continued, kissing Dean and Sophie and hugging Jason (who was to old for kisses from his parents).
"They all lived happily ever after."
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