With apologies to Dali, and a thank you to Georgia for editing and to Claire for beta reading ....

THE PERSISTENCE OF MEMORY

["A 'person' is smart. *People* are dumb, panicky, dangerous animals and you know it. Fifteen hundred years ago, everybody *knew* the Earth was the center of the universe. Five hundred years ago, everybody *knew* the Earth was flat, and fifteen minutes ago, you *knew* that people were alone on this planet." -- Men in Black]

by Zoomway@aol.com

Lois felt rotten. It was like having a hangover but without having enjoyed overindulging the night before. "If Clark gave me the flu, I'll kill him," she whispered drowsily as she trudged to the bathroom.

She looked in the mirror and grimaced. "I look worse than I feel." She turned on the hot water and grabbed her toothbrush. "Although," she said to her reflection, "I've never known Clark to get sick." She ran the brush under the stream of water and her thoughts drifted back to last night.

They had been snuggled together on his sofa, a bowl of popcorn, some wine, and "To Have and Have Not" in the VCR. Being in Clark's arms felt more and more like the place she wanted to be for the rest of her life, and yet the thought frightened her. Though she'd known Clark nearly two years, it had only been in the last couple of months they'd begun sharing a romantic relationship.

She did concede that for a few months prior to that, she had felt a growing attraction to Clark, and when he finally asked her out on a date, she was willing. Then that *stuff* started. That need he seemed to have to run off at the most crucial moment. She squeezed some toothpaste onto the brush. Then again, when she thought about it, he ran off *before* they started dating.

"Where do you go?" she asked as she placed the brush in her mouth. What was he so afraid of? *Was* he afraid? She'd dumped Dan, and she thought when she'd done that, Clark would stop being so...high-strung, but no, he was still nervous...flighty. Not all the time, though. She smiled as she rinsed. Most of the time he was the sweetest, most loving man she knew.

Lois rubbed her stomach. "Bleh. Please just be that salmon I had for dinner last night, and not the stomach flu."

Maybe it was too soon, she consoled herself. She'd only dumped Dan a week ago. Still, she shrugged, Clark had said 'I'm ready to take the next step if you are.' When she'd asked him what the next step was, he'd said 'Commitment. Just you and me.' An exclusive relationship. A little scary, but in a good way. He was also understanding. Sometimes they'd kiss pretty hot and heavy, but she'd always...stop the forward momentum. Maybe that was it. She was sending mixed signals. She loved him. She loved him so much, but that intimacy line -- why couldn't she cross it with him?

Lois started dressing, still feeling queasy. Maybe it was a good thing they'd never been intimate, she mused. If they had, she might rush out and buy a pregnancy kit considering her unhappy digestive system.

It wasn't like she had no experience. Not that any of it was good, but she *did* have experience. Could that be it? Every man before had been a disappointment. Worse, she felt she'd been a disappointment. They always seemed to leave after the relationship became sexual. Did men have a sixth sense? Could they tell she was only going through the motions?

She shook her head as she buttoned her blouse. Then again, she'd never felt desire with the few other men she'd been with, but she most *definitely* did with Clark. It was so overpowering sometimes, and yet, the stronger the pull, the more she resisted, the more she balked.

Did that frustrate Clark? Probably. Was she unintentionally telling him she didn't find him desirable? "God," she whispered. "I hope not."

There was a soft rapping at the door. Lois brightened instantly. "Speak of the devil," she said ruefully as she slipped into her blazer. She loved Clark's new habit of dropping by to accompany her to work.

Maybe it was time to take Clark where no man had gone...well...no man in at least five years...had gone before. Cross the line. Love him completely. She sighed. They hadn't even said the "scary words" to each other yet, and while Lois acknowledged that every kiss, glance, and gesture from Clark shouted the unspoken words, she also acknowledged it would be nice to *hear* them.

She trotted to the door, smoothing back a few stray hairs, took a composing breath, and opened the door. "Hi," she said brightly.

"Good morning, Ms. Lane," a nasal voice responded.

A young man with a smooth-featured face sporting owl-eyed glasses smiled benignly back at her. Lois placed a hand on his thin shoulder and swung him out of the way like a garden gate. She peered down her apartment hallway, sighed with disappointment, and then swung the young man back into place. "Good morning, Corey," she said and glanced at the large manila envelope he was carrying. "Perry can't wait for me to even get to the Planet this morning?"

"Guess not," Corey shrugged and handed her the envelope, receipt and a stubby little pencil.

"I've got news for Perry White," Lois griped as she scribbled her name on the receipt. "I'm not a twenty-four hour convenience store."

"Hey, Corey. How's it going?" Clark said cheerfully as he brushed by the young man en route to Lois.

"Fine, Mr. Kent," he replied, his voice breaking with a squeak.

"Hi," Clark said softly as he touched Lois' shoulder.

"Morning," she smiled, and leaned into a kiss waiting to happen.

Corey swallowed and tried to fix his eyes on something else in the apartment. Unfortunately Clark Kent was a bit broader in the shoulders than Corey had anticipated. The young man, suddenly feeling inadequate, squared his shoulders and took a deep breath in an effort to puff himself up. The effort only served to make him dizzy, however, and so he exhaled quickly.

Lois broke from the kiss. "Oh, I'm sorry, Corey," she said and handed back the receipt and the pencil.

"It's okay, Ms. Lane," he said rather glumly as he turned to leave. He wished he had at least given her a bigger pencil.

Clark closed the door. "Perry delivering homework?"

"Apparently," Lois sighed as she opened the envelope. She extracted the contents. "Photos," she said, handing them to Clark.

"From a security camera."

"Uh huh," Lois nodded as she read an enclosed note. "Perry says these were taken at STAR Labs last night...blah...blah...the police were already called in...blah...and wants us there ASAP."

Clark smiled. "You've got a real Reading Rainbow flair, Lois."

She tipped her head slightly to the side. "Cute," she said and grabbed the free corner of the photos. "This guy is pretty bold. He's staring right into the camera."

"Arrogant," Clark said as he surreptitiously lowered his glasses to magnify every detail. He noticed the man had a tattoo of barbed wire around his wrist.

"That too." Lois stuffed the photos back into the folder. "So, I guess we'd better head to STAR--" She stopped and held her stomach. "I almost thought this went away for a minute."

Clark's jovial expression changed to one of concern. He placed the back of his hand on her forehead and then her cheek. "Feeling bad?"

"Rotten," Lois corrected. "Remember Ralph's Pagoda?"

"Lois, you didn't--"

She shook her head. "No, no, but I think it's the same thing. I had some salmon last night and it's not always easy to tell if fish is fresh."

"Why don't you stay here and get some rest," he offered. "I can cover the STAR Labs thing."

"That's sweet of you, Clark," she said as she opened the door, "but sometimes I get like you and ... obsess."

She fished in her pocket, removed her car keys and dangled them in front of Clark. "Do you mind driving? I don't feel up to it."

Clark took the keys. "I do *not* obsess."

Lois switched off the lights. "You *do* obsess, Clark."

* * *

"All I'm trying to prove," Clark said as he held open the door to the room at STAR Labs where they'd been directed to go, "is that I do *not* obsess."

Lois placed a hand on his chest. "Clark, all the way up here you've been obsessing on how you *don't* obsess. What does that tell you?"

A balding man in a lab coat approached them. "Can I help you?"

"I'm Lois Lane, and this is my partner Clark Kent. We're from the Daily Planet."

The man extended his hand. "I'm Dr. Bernard Klein. I'm the one who phoned the police."

Clark shook his hand. "We've seen the security photos."

Lois quickly retrieved a tape recorder from her purse. "What was stolen, Dr. Klein?"

He shook his head. "We're still cataloging, Ms. Lane. They definitely took all controlled substances they could carry."

"Illegal narcotics?"

"Illegal *and* legal, Mr. Kent. Worst of all, they took some experimental drugs, some with very dangerous side effects."

Lois frowned. "Do you think they'd try and sell them on the street, Dr.--" Lois suddenly placed a hand on her forehead, and then swooned forward.

Dr. Klein caught her, "Oh, my! Ms. Lane?"

Clark hurried to Klein and took Lois into his arms. "Lois?"

"Here," Klein said. "Place her on this examining table."

Clark laid her gently on the table and then took her hand. "Lois," he whispered.

Klein put his fingers at her throat and then lifted her eyelid. "She seems to be fine. Just fainted." He sighed with relief. "But I'll do a more thorough exam."

"She was complaining about not feeling well. Her stomach was upset."

"Do you know if she's been vomiting," Klein asked offhandedly as he pulled a small cart next to the table.

Clark shook his head, his face clouded with concern and confusion. "I don't know. Maybe. She didn't say."

"Does she have a boyfriend or husband, Mr. Kent?" Klein asked as he inflated a blood pressure cuff.

"What?"

"I'm not trying to pry, I'm just trying to eliminate certain possibilities, like pregnancy."

"Oh," Clark smiled uneasily. "I'm her boyfriend, but she isn't pregnant."

"You never know," Klein shrugged. "Even the most proven birth control methods can fail on occasion."

"I guess so," Clark said, and couldn't believe he'd even said that. Why was he embarrassed to tell Klein that he and Lois had never made love to each other? Did it make him feel less of a man?

Clark tried to comfort himself with the knowledge it was not for a lack of interest. He had wanted to make love to Lois that night she came to his apartment stating that he was the one she wanted, not Scardino and not Superman, but Lois had put on the brakes. She *always* put on the brakes. Maybe it was a matter of trust. He still ran off to be Superman with no explanation. That certainly must make her feel insecure. She deserved to know the truth, and maybe it wasn't right for them to make love until she knew.

Lois's eyes fluttered open. "Clark?"

Clark squeezed her hand tenderly. "I'm right here, Lois," he said, putting a hand behind her neck and helping her sit up.

"Did I faint?"

"I'm afraid so, Ms. Lane. Mr. Kent told me you weren't feeling well. Have you been vomiting?"

Lois held her stomach. "Don't remind me. I think it was that salmon I had last night for dinner."

"Then let me run a few tests," Klein said. "I don't often do clinical work, but--"

"Oh, no, please, Dr. Klein. I'm sure it's nothing." Lois insisted.

Klein looked down at her, his expression rather resolute. "People don't faint from 'nothing', Ms. Lane, and since you're so petite, vomiting could be a little too much for your body to take. You might be partially dehydrated, or your electrolytes--"

"Okay, okay," she said, surrendering. She knew Klein was probably like her father, and that meant take the tests and get it over with. She looked up at Clark. "As long as I'm conscious, at least for the time being, I can finish the interview. Maybe you could find Superman and have him stop by. Maybe there's something at the crime scene here he could pick up that the police might have overlooked."

Klein beamed. "Superman? Maybe he's old hat to long-time residents, but I'm new to Metropolis. I'd love to meet Superman."

Lois sighed. "Another scientist who wants to find out how he ticks?"

"How he ticks?" Klein asked. "Oh, how he ticks! No, Ms. Lane, I just want to meet him. I mean he's from another planet. Don't you find that fascinating?"

Lois smiled. "You'll find he's as far from a Hollywood alien life form as you can get, Dr. Klein."

Clark heard a cry for help. "Well, I'm going to leave you in Dr. Klein's capable hands, Lois, and try and find Superman," he said and kissed her cheek before dashing for the door.

***

The Superman emergency took longer than Clark had anticipated. One side of a high-rise under construction had become the victim of a nasty sinkhole. The skeletal structure had shifted violently and two men were killed instantly. The entire site was deemed unsafe and ambulances were told to keep back and that helicopters would try and rescue the stranded workers. It was the kind of accident scene that presented too many options, and none of them good. Since the medical teams were warned away, Clark had to pick up the injured and deliver them to the ambulances waiting behind the designated line. There were also men trapped on a gondola scaffold after the structure shifted, which was being battered by high winds. Other men dangled from safety harnesses at various places throughout the massive skeleton. On top of all that, the building was still sinking on one side.

Brute strength wasn't going to solve the problem, and Clark's strength was not infinite. Usually he lifted extremely heavy objects by letting his aura do the work. When he levitated, and was thus weightless, any object he touched likewise became weightless. This time, however, the building had been stressed and bent and straightening it would stress it again, perhaps fatally so. No, he had to rescue the workers and then turn his attention to the building. He began a painstaking process of breaking and rewelding key support points so that they could take the stress of being straightened, and then came the problem of literally propping up a multi-ton metal structure. After two hours an extremely tired Clark flew to STAR Labs.

***

"Dr. Klein?"

Klein studied information on his clipboard, seemingly oblivious to the sound of someone calling his name.

"Dr. Klein."

Klein finally glanced up. "Superman!" He smiled and extended his hand. "I was expecting you. Thank you for your help in solving this..." He thought a moment. "Caper."

Clark smiled despite his fatigue. "My pleasure, Dr. Klein. If you can show me where they broke in."

"Right this way, Superman."

After studying the area a few moments, Clark folded his arms and sighed. "No fingerprints, no substances or particles. They were certainly careful."

"Oh well," Klein shrugged. "It was worth a shot."

Clark glanced over to the far wall. "They left this vault intact."

"From what we've been able to catalog of our losses so far, it seems they were interested mainly in drugs and chemicals. Even if they weren't, that vault weighs about four tons and has three different locking systems. It would likely require a sizeable explosion to force it open." Klein said. "Actually you can be glad they didn't access that vault, Superman. It contains Kryptonite."

"Kryptonite?" Clark asked, and actually felt his blood chill. "Why would STAR Labs keep Kryptonite here?" His tone became suspicious, even a bit accusatory.

Klein looked startled. "I'm sorry, Superman, I thought you knew."

"What's to stop me from taking that vault and throwing it into the sun?" Clark asked, and wasn't kidding.

"Nothing I can think of, but it was my hope that since all specimens of Kryptonite, known and unknown, can't realistically be disposed of, then perhaps this element could be studied. Maybe we can find a weakness that can be exploited," Klein said simply. "Or perhaps a pseudo-vaccine developed rendering it harmless to you."

Clark suddenly looked hopeful. "Is that possible, Dr. Klein?"

"That's what I was hoping to find out, Superman."

Clark sighed. "Then what can I do to help? Did you want me to be exposed to it over a period of--"

"No," Klein interrupted. "That would be a toxic trial, and maybe fatal." He shook his head. "Much too risky."

"Then--?"

"Well, a hair or skin sample. Something we can test the Kryptonite against. Get an idea of how it affects you, what it specifically attacks and then," he smiled, "build a counter-attack."

Clark pulled a couple of hairs from his head and handed them to Klein. "Thank you."

"I hope we can come up with something efficacious."

"Me too," Clark finally smiled. "Oh, Clark Kent told me that Lois Lane fainted. Is she all right?" he asked, though he knew that Lois was back at the Planet, having done a 'fly by' to make certain.

"I'm sure Mr. Kent knows by now that she's fine, Superman. Her upset stomach and fainting were due to her pregnancy," he said casually as he placed Clark's hair samples into a plastic bag. "It must have been a total shock to Ms. Lane. She kept saying 'that's impossible', but then again--" Klein looked up, and saw he was talking only to himself.

***

Clark sat in his apartment staring at the blank TV screen. He was numb. It was all a lie. It was all over. Lois was pregnant with another man's baby. Clark closed his eyes as his thoughts grew ever darker. He began to convince himself that Lois hadn't dumped Scardino at all, that it had been the other way around. He dumped *her*, maybe when she told him she was pregnant. What had she planned? Turn to him after Scardino left her pregnant? Foist the baby off as his? That thought made Clark laugh bitterly. She'd left out an important step if that had been her plan.

"No," Clark said firmly. "Lois would *not* do that."

She could so easily have made love to him and then claimed the baby was his. It's not like he was the one balking. No, it had to be another reason she'd turned to him. To make Scardino jealous? Clark laughed again. Right, a DEA agent jealous of a journalist.

Something wasn't adding up. *Nothing* was adding up. If Lois knew she was pregnant, she wouldn't have let Klein run tests on her. So, maybe she didn't know she was pregnant until she got the test results. Maybe that's why he hadn't heard from her yet. She had to contact Scardino and give him the "joyful" news.

Clark rose from the sofa with an exhausted sigh. Lois hardly *knew* Scardino. Clark had known her two years, and yet even with them now in a romantic, committed relationship, she wouldn't ... Nope, it wasn't adding up at all. Something was just *way* off.

It was at that moment Klein's comment cut through Clark's murky thinking. "It must have been a total shock to Ms. Lane. She kept saying 'that's impossible'."

"Impossible," Clark whispered.

Lois had no idea. Had Dan done something? Taken advantage of her? He had access to drugs ... no, no, no. Clark shook his head vigorously. He may not have liked Scardino much, but while the golden boy of the DEA was certainly an opportunist, he hardly seemed a crazed sexual predator.

Clark started at the sound of the phone ringing, but was grateful for the interruption. "Hello?"

"CK?"

"Hey, Jimmy," Clark said, trying to sound casual. "What's up?"

There was a long pause before Jimmy responded. "Is there some trouble with you and Lois? I mean I know it's none of my business, but she just filed for a leave of absence and didn't want you knowing about it until tomorrow after she was safely on a plane --"

"Jimmy," Clark interrupted. "Thanks, don't worry. I'll find her, and I won't tell her you called."

"That's okay." There was another awkward pause. "I mean if it was my girlfriend and she was pregnant--"

Clark's heart began to pound. "She told you!?"

"No, she didn't say anything, CK," Jimmy quickly corrected. "But I guess hanging out with you guys for the past couple of years has made it easier for me to put two and two together," he said and laughed weakly. "I mean if you guys had just had a fight or something, she wouldn't run away."

Clark sighed. "You're getting pretty good at deductive reasoning."

"Well ... that and Lois got sick in Perry's office twice." Jimmy cleared his throat. "And Perry said that's what Alice went though when she was pregnant. Plus," Jimmy added, "Perry said it looked like Lois was retaining a little water--"

"That's fine, Jimmy." Clark interceded before Jimmy's "deductive reasoning" ended up including a confession and three pieces of corroborating documentation.

"If there's anything I can do, CK, just ask."

"Thanks, Jimmy, I owe you ... We *both* owe you."

"Nah," Jimmy said, and swallowed hard. "Just bring her back, CK."

***

"No, Lucy," Lois sighed into the phone. "Please don't fly out here. There's nothing you could do right now. Maybe I'll fly out there and spend time with you later."

Clark hovered outside the window and noticed Lois' packed suitcases.

"No, the DNA test wasn't dangerous, everything's fine." Lois groaned with frustration. "Quit believing everything Mother says. It's *not* Satan's needlepoint. Dr. Klein only took a sample of *my* blood to do a maternal-fetal cell separation test. He said he wouldn't need to get any samples from the fetus itself ... I don't *know* how it works," Lois said, her voice edgy.

"I just wanted the test for my own peace of mind, that's all, and Dr. Klein said he could accelerate the process for faster ... No! I definitely do not suspect Clark ... I'm *not* defending him ... He's just not like that."

Lois sighed again as Lucy droned on and on. "Look, Lucy, I've got to go...what? No, I won't change my mind ... That is a non-issue, so please stop bringing it up. No, that's okay...really. I'm just upset. I love you too. Bye."

Lois hung up the phone and sank back into the sofa. She barely had a chance to relax when she heard someone knocking at the door. She glanced at the plane ticket on the coffee table. She should have just gone and waited at the airport. Now she was stuck. Maybe if she was just quiet.

The rapping continued. "Lois," Clark's voice called softy. "I know you're home, please open the door."

Lois started for the door, but froze in mid-stride. "Clark, it's late."

"Lois, I know you're pregnant," he said tenderly. "Just let me help you."

That did it, the dam broke. Lois opened the door and fell against him sobbing. "Thank you, Clark. You don't know how badly I needed someone to say that. *Just* that. "

"Shh," he whispered as he closed the door behind them. "I'm here, Lois. It's going to be all right."

Lois began crying very hard. Clark, though having faced Lois's tears before, had never experienced this. She was just crying her heart out. No words, no attempt at words, just a steady stream of tears and sobbing as if they'd been bottled up inside her forever. All he could do was hold her and let her cry. Just be a physical presence for her to release against. Then, after what seemed an eternity to Clark, Lois's crying subsided and she pushed away.

"I swear to you, Clark, I don't know how this happened," she sniffed. "I mean I know *what* happened, but not who or how he got access to me. I must have been drugged! Remember that story we did on--"

"I remember," he said. "The article on date rape drugs." Just knowing someone could have done that to Lois made it difficult for Clark to stay calm.

"Dr. Klein figured I was about 10 weeks pregnant, I mean I knew I was late, but I had called my doctor about that weeks ago, Clark."

"Lois," Clark said softly. "I'm on your side. I'm not looking for loopholes in your story. There was no reason to think you were pregnant. I believe you."

"Thank you." Lois sighed with relief. "Anyway, my doctor said that if I hadn't been sexually active, then any number of reasons could be responsible, including stress. I had an appointment for next week."

Clark ran a thumb across one of her stray tears. "You've certainly had your share of stress the last couple of months."

"That's why I didn't want to face you," she said, the tears threatening to start anew. "I figured you'd think it was Dan's baby, but Clark," she said firmly, "there was absolutely nothing between us. One kiss on the cheek was about as romantic as it got."

"I know," he soothed, but felt a bit guilty that he had briefly thought exactly that.

"Oh, God, Clark, my life is ruined! Every hope and dream of what I wanted to accomplish was taken away from me by some animal who's out walking free knowing he got away with this," she said as she paced the room. "It's over for him. He can go on with his sick little life, but it doesn't end for me. I'll have a reminder of what happened every *single* day of my life."

"You're keeping the baby," Clark said, and made certain that it did not sound like either a question or accusation, but rather a simple statement.

Lois turned and looked at him. She'd never looked so small and helpless before. Her face was puffy and red from so much crying, and there was a deep pain in her eyes. She looked so lost. "It's not wrong, Clark. It's not the baby's fault."

"I know," he said, once again taking her into his arms. "It's late, but I'm guessing you haven't gotten any sleep since you found out, have you?"

He felt her shake her head against his chest. "Come on," he whispered and reached down and lifted Lois into his arms. He carried her into the bedroom.

"Get ready for bed and I'll heat some milk for you," he said as he set her down next to the bed.

"Clark--"

He drew a thumb down her cheek. "You're keeping the baby, Lois. Keep the baby healthy."

Lois sighed and nodded. "Thanks."

Clark left the bedroom, his thoughts working overtime. He'd always been the one to think and plan for the future, and Lois had always been the impulsive one. Now she was going to have a baby, and for the most part, her impulsive days were over. Clark poured some milk in a pan and heated it the old-fashioned way.

After several minutes Lois heard the soft rap on the door frame. "Come in," she said. She had placed a cool cloth over her puffy eyes. She heard the glass being set on her night table. "Thanks, Clark."

"You're welcome," he said and then sat on the floor, his back resting against the wall.

Lois pulled the cloth away and looked at Clark. "You haven't gotten any sleep either, have you?"

He smiled and shrugged. "I'm fine."

Lois reached her hand down to him. "Sleep with me, Clark."

"Lois, I--"

"We're in this together?"

"Yes, but--"

"Then sleep with me," she repeated. "I just need to feel you with me, Clark."

Clark swallowed. "Okay," he said, his voice robbed of breath. "Drink your milk."

Lois smiled and took the glass. "Thanks."

Clark loosened his tie. He'd thought about changing in the bathroom, but he was experiencing a strange, seductive emotion. For no logical reason whatsoever, he suddenly felt like a husband. It was a crazy unshakable thought. It didn't matter to him that he and Lois had never made love; or that he was a virgin. Just the sight of Lois lying there, waiting for him to come to bed, a baby growing inside of her, fueled his irresistible notion.

As soon as Clark had stripped to his shorts, Lois pulled the covers back. "Leaving your glasses on?"

"All the better to see you with," he smiled and slid in next to her. "Actually, I take my glasses off just before I turn the light off."

Lois leaned forward and kissed him tenderly. "I love you, Clark."

Clark's heart skipped a beat. All the time they'd been dating, he'd longed to hear those words. Well, he conceded, for two years now he'd longed to hear those words. He wrapped his arms around her and kissed her just below the ear. "I love you too," he whispered. "We'll be okay."

She pulled back slightly and smiled. "I know."

The tender moment was interrupted by the phone. "Oh, no," Lois said and looked at the telephone as if it had just been delivered from Hell. "It's probably my mother."

"You want me to answer it, honey?"

"No, that's the last thing ... did you just call me 'honey'?"

Clark hesitated for a moment. "I don't know, did I?"

"Having endearment blackouts?" She laughed and reached for the receiver. "And yes, you called me honey."

"I guess the question is, did you like it?"

Lois pressed the receiver to her ear and covered the mouthpiece. "Yes, very much. In fact ... oh, Dr. Klein?" Lois sighed with relief. "Thank goodness, I thought you were my mother. What? No, Dr. Klein, it had nothing to do with your voice... no, really, your voice is very masculine."

Clark smiled. "Is this a lead on the burglary?"

Lois' expression darkened. "The DNA sample? How is that possible?"

"What?" Clark asked, his expression becoming a mirror of hers.

"Good bye, Dr. Klein ... and ... thank you." She pulled the receiver from her ear and looked at it for a long moment as if it had betrayed her in some unspeakable manner.

"Lois? Are you all right? What did he say?"

"He said he knows who the father of the baby is."

Clark shook his head. "That's impossible unless he has sample DNA from a suspect."

"He does," Lois said, her voice trailing off as she hung up the phone. "It's Superman...he says the father is Superman."

[end part 1]
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