Rating: Adult. If you're under eighteen, please go elsewhere now.
Disclaimer: These characters belong to the CW and DC Comics, not to me.
Read Chapter 9 here.
Read the story from the beginning here.
Chloe had never been so happy in her life. She'd loved Clark for a long time, and at last, he was all hers.
At first she'd been a little worried she was just the rebound girl, just a substitute for Lana, but before long it became clear to her that Clark was genuinely happy, in a way he hadn't been in a long, long time. He flashed his brilliant smile on a daily basis, and he hardly moped around in the loft at all.
And several of the farmhouse's kitchen chairs had met with an untimely demise.
She'd moved to the Kent Farm, because it seemed to make sense to move in when she was there all the time anyway. One evening she came home to find him waiting for her at the door with a big bouquet of red roses.
She paused, and regarded them suspiciously. "Clark, those aren't from..."
"They're from a florist," he assured her. "It's our four-month anniversary, you know."
She stood on tiptoe and kissed his cheek, then took them from his hands, smiling at the reminder of their first time. "Thanks. They're beautiful."
"Chloe," he said, trailing after her as she poured water into a vase. "Do you ever wish I'd gotten you pregnant that first day?"
She glanced over her shoulder with a wry smile. "Maybe a little," she admitted, because the truth was that she'd felt a pang of longing while imagining a dark-haired, green-eyed baby more than once. "But I'm glad I didn't get pregnant, Clark. Because I needed to know that you wanted me for me. If I'd gotten pregnant, I would never have known for sure that you weren't getting involved with me just because I was going to have your baby. You know?"
"Yeah," he said. He was silent for a long moment, then spoke in a near-whisper. "I really do love you, Chlo. You know that, don't you?"
At the troubled note in his voice, she turned her head and looked at him. She was surprised to see anxiety in his eyes. He'd been so carefree and happy lately that the look surprised her. Suddenly he looked like the weight of the world was back on his shoulders.
"Clark," she said, very softly. "What's wrong?"
"I just..." He shrugged, and a little crease appeared between his eyebrows. "Well... I've been thinking about how worried I was that you might be pregnant after we made love that first day. I remember thinking we were too young to handle it, that we wouldn't be able to cope..."
"Quit worrying," she advised him, placing the roses into the vase and beginning to arrange them. "I'm on the Pill now. I'm not going to get pregnant."
"Yeah, but the thing is, I keep thinking about you with a baby, Chlo, and I..."
The clear note of longing in his voice touched her. She put the roses on the counter and walked over to him. "One of these days," she whispered, putting her hand his chest. "When we're a little older, and a little more ready. Sooner or later, I definitely plan to have a baby with you, Clark."
He closed his eyes and swallowed. "Sooner might come earlier than you think, Chlo."
She frowned. "What?"
He opened his eyes and looked straight at her.
"I'm pregnant, Chloe."
Learning that her boyfriend was pregnant was something of a shock, but really, it was no more shocking than learning he was an alien had been. After years of living in Smallville, and years of being Clark's secret-keeper, Chloe was accustomed to the strange and bizarre, so after a brief period of shock, she accepted it, and began to make plans.
Clark, of course, ws significantly more freaked out than she was. He was scared, almost panic-stricken, and she couldn't really blame him. But she slowly began to realize he wasn't just afraid of the unknowns of a male pregnancy. He was afraid of the effect this all might have on their relationship.
"I'm not leaving you," she told him firmly one night, when hormones and fear and stress sent him into a mope the likes of which she hadn't seen for months. She'd found him hiding in his loft, lying on the couch, his knees drawn up to his expanding stomach, his eyes closed.
"I know you're not," he said glumly, refusing to open his eyes. "But how do I know you're not just sticking around because I'm having a baby?"
Her teeth ground together, and she almost snapped at him, but she realized fighting with him wouldn't help matters any. She wasn't the one dealing with pregnancy hormones and weird physical changes, so it fell on her to be the calm, mature one in their relationship right now. She dropped to her knees besides him and touched his face in a loving gesture.
"You know perfectly well that's not why I'm with you," she said gently. "I was with you for months before you realized you were pregnant, right? Obviously the baby isn't the only reason I'm sticking around, or even the major reason. I'm here because I love you, Clark."
"Yeah. I know." He covered his face with an arm. "I just.. this is all so strange, Chlo. I never expected to have to deal with something like this. I'm not sure how to cope with it."
"You just have to cope with it the way you've coped with everything else, Clark. Head on. And I promise, I'll be there to help."
He reached up blindly, groping for her hand, and squeezed it.
"You always are," he whispered.
It had taken some effort to find a doctor who could discreetly deliver the baby. Clark had been opposed to letting any doctor in on his secret, but Chloe had insisted.
"We don't have the slightest clue how Kryptonian babies are born," she'd pointed out. "If something goes wrong, if something happens to you, we might need help. I'd rather find a trustworthy doctor now than have to call 911 then."
With some help from Oliver Queen, they'd found a doctor who'd been treating the meteor infected for years, and who apparently had never even hinted at any of their secrets to anyone. She'd hardly batted an eyelash when the two of them had walked into her office and informed her that Clark was having a baby. She'd simply picked up her chart, started making notes, and asked if he was having morning sickness.
Now Clark lay, panting and sweaty and exhausted, in their bed at the farmhouse. Chloe stroked his hair, whispering gently to him, telling him how strong he'd been, how amazing he was, how proud she was of him. The doctor smiled at them as a baby began to cry.
"It's a girl," she said.
Clark closed his eyes. She thought she saw a tear spilling down his cheek, but she didn't blame him for crying, not after all the stress of having to keep his pregnancy hidden from the world all this time, not to mention the strain of labor. Having the baby hadn't exactly hurt him, because he was invulnerable, but it had clearly been less than comfortable, and he looked completely drained.
Chloe lifted her head, looking at the baby, who was even more of a miracle than babies usually were. She looked kind of red and squashed and funny-looking, but Chloe had done enough reading to know that was how babies were supposed to look. But she looked healthy and normal, and she was bawling angrily. The knot of anxiety inside Chloe relaxed, and she couldn't stop herself from smiling.
Maybe, she thought, she and Clark weren't quite ready for parenthood. But their baby was ready for them to become parents. And working together, she was confident they'd manage.
The doctor began wiping the baby off. A few moments later, she wrapped the red-faced, squalling infant in a blanket and handed it to Clark. Clark held the bundle protectively against his chest, looking down at the small face with wonder.
"What's her name going to be?" the doctor asked.
Clark looked toward Chloe with a faint smile, and she smiled back. Oddly, the two of them hadn't ever discussed her name. It was as if the matter hadn't even been open for discussion. Somehow, they'd settled on a name for the baby without ever talking about it.
"Rose," they answered in unison.