Hope you all like it!
Title: Bedtime Blues
Pairing: Chlark; oneshot
Rating: G, 1,280 words
Warnings: Sugary Sweetness!
Timeline: Season 8/Futurefic; companion piece to Wounded Heart
Disclaimer: All characters (except Kallie!) belong to the CW & DC comics.
Summary: Not even Superman is exempt from night-time Daddy Duty. :)
Feedback: …always welcome. :)
Dedicated to the lovely mrs_roy. Because I know how much you love your Chlark babies. ;) Happy birthday in arrears!
Brilliant banner by the supremely talentedctbn60. Thanks as always, Carol! :)
She was crying again.
Superman placed a hand over the hole in the burst pipe he was attending, both to stem the flow of the water and ascertain the identity of child whose sobs had permeated his subconscious.
Yes, it was definitely her sullen cry; he’d know it anywhere.
He could hear her from miles away, had done from the moment she drew her first breath. And from the sound it, his ten-month old daughter was very displeased, and her mother wasn’t having much luck settling her down.
Clark smiled to himself as he sealed the burst pipe with his heat vision. Fortunately her timing was perfect, as he’d just finished his final flyover of Metropolis for the night.
Disaster averted, the world’s strongest man rose high into the sky and headed in the direction of Smallville.
The muffled sobs got louder as he approached the homestead, accompanied by Chloe’s soothing voice. He landed on the front porch and let himself in, then quietly ascended the stairs until he got to the nursery.
Chloe turned around and heaved a sigh of relief the moment he entered the room. “Clark! Thank God you’re home!” she exclaimed, walking over to him with Kallie in her arms. “She hasn’t slept a wink all night.”
“Oh, honey,” Clark said soothingly as his weepy daughter reached for him with chubby arms. “Is it the teething again?”
“Looks like it,” Chloe replied as she handed Kallie over and ran a tired hand through her hair. “Her gums are swollen and red, and she has a slight fever.”
“You’ve applied the teething gel?”
“And given her a spoonful of paracetamol as well, but no dice,” Chloe replied. “It appears Little Miss Kallie is particularly cranky tonight.”
“Poor baby,” Clark soothed, bouncing her in his arms. Kallie whimpered and rested her curly dark head against her father’s chest, wailing loudly.
“Maybe the warmer weather’s making her irritable,” he wondered aloud as he patted her back. It was the middle of May, and the early Kansas summer temperature was higher than usual for this time of year.
“Well, I already took away her heavy blanket, but it made no difference,” Chloe said wearily. “She’s been fractious since I picked her up after work, more so than usual.” She yawned and gave him a tired smile. “Honestly? I think she just wanted a cuddle from Daddy before she went to bed.”
“Well, I can certainly help out with that,” Clark said with a grin as he pulled his wife into his arms for a kiss.
“The Planet’s been running you ragged since you went back to work,” he said as he lifted his head. “And with Kallie like this, you must be exhausted. Why don’t you go get some shut eye, honey? I’ll take care of Little Madam here.”
“Are you sure?” she said, her eyes widening at the prospect of undisturbed sleep. “I mean, you just got back…”
“Hey, I’m Superman,” he said with a smile as he dropped a quick kiss on her lips. “I can leap tall buildings in a single bound, rescue kittens from trees, and soothe crying babies. Especially when it’s my crying baby.” He turned Chloe around by the shoulders and gave her an affectionate pat on the backside. “Go on, Chlo, go lie down. I’ll join you in a bit, once Kallie’s settled.”
“Okay,” she said with a smile, and headed off to their bedroom.
“Right, young lady,” Clark said with a grin as he lifted Kallie and held her aloft. “How would you like to go for a little spin?”
A few minutes later, Clark ascended slowly into the air with his daughter warmly wrapped in his cape.
“Now, I know you’re having a rough time with your little nippers poking out of your gums, and all,” Clark said as he floated upward and sailed over the cornfields, “…but you have to try not to cry so much, Kal. When you get upset, your Mama gets upset, and she feels very helpless when you cry and there isn’t anything she can do to help you.”
Kallie’s whimpering began to die down as he spoke, the soft timbre of his voice soothing her agitation.
“I remember the day you were born, when I first held you in my arms and you looked up at me,” he went on, smiling at the memory. “Mommy didn’t tell me she had you in her tummy; she thought Daddy loved Auntie Lois, can you believe that?” He paused and chuckled, and held his daughter closer. “But I knew deep down that I needed to see your Mommy that day. I just knew that if I saw her, our lives would change forever. And then I heard her calling, and I followed the sound and found her…and I made it to the hospital just in time to welcome you into the world. Pretty amazing, huh?”
He kept talking gently to her, and after about half an hour her eyelids began to droop. Clark turned around and headed back towards the farm, and by the time he floated down to the front door, she had settled down and was sleeping lightly. Quietly he carried her upstairs, pushed open the nursery door with his foot and took her over to the crib.
“Goodnight, Princess,” he said softly as soon as he started to lower her inside.
The moment she sensed the descent, Kallie’s little face scrunched up and she started sniffling and heaving as she geared up for another round of wailing. Clark sighed and lifted her up again and rested her head on his shoulder, patting her back until she quietened down. He made a second attempt to place her in her crib, but once again she woke up and whimpered, her green eyes filling with tears.
Clark shook his head and smiled. “I know what you’re doing, Kallie,” he said, trying to inject some sternness into his voice.
It didn’t work. Kallie gurgled and smiled and reached up for him, and he sighed in resignation.
“Very well,” he said as he carried her out of the room and into the hall. “But remember – it’s just for tonight. Otherwise Mommy will make fun of me for spoiling you.”
Kallie rested on his chest and clutched his earlobe in her tiny fist as he walked into the room where Chloe lay sleeping.
Very quietly he lay Kallie down at her mother’s side, and then took off his superhero outfit and headed to the bathroom for a quick shower. By the time he returned to the bedroom he and Chloe shared, his daughter was fast asleep, her tiny hand clinging loosely to her mother’s earlobe as Chloe glanced up at him reproachfully.
“Superman, your little girl has you wrapped around her little finger,” she murmured sleepily as she tenderly stroked her daughter’s hair. “This is the third time this week you’ve indulged her. She’s playing you, you know.”
“Like a tune,” he said proudly as he slipped into bed beside her. He wrapped his arm around both his girls and kissed the top of his wife’s head. “I’m a soft touch, and I’m not ashamed to admit it.”