The Lane-Kent apartment, late November, a couple years after Little Secrets.
Lois: *working on an article in the study, occasionally cursing at her spellchecker* No, I didn’t mean Seaweed, it’s a frikkin’ name, you useless piece of…
Kala: *bounces in waving a piece of paper* Mommy, I finished my Christmas list!
Lois: *turns to look, switches gears* Thanks, sweetheart. Let me have that so I can mail it to Santa. Anything you especially want this year?
Kala: *beams* I wanna PONY!
Lois: *pauses, sighs. This is an on-going discussion between the two of them* Kala, honey … we live in an apartment.
Kala: *not bothered by this in the slightest * It can sleep in my room!
Jason: *arrives with his own list* If Kala gets a pony, I wanna python.
Lois: *response immediate* NO. We’ve been over this. You have a psychotic lizard. That’s enough for now.
Lois: *taking a deep breath and lying through her teeth* Jason, Gazeera is special enough to take the place of, like, five other scaly things. Seriously. You know that.
Kala: *wrinkles nose* Ponies are better than dumb lizards and snakes and frogs and things anyway. Eww.
Jason: *the usual outrage* Nuh-uh!
Kala: *the usual response* Yes-huh!
Lois: *knowing this will go on for hours if she doesn’t put a stop to it, deviously* Heyyy, Kala, why do you want a pony when we already have a donkey in the family?
Both twins: *blink curiously*
Kala: *honest amazed* We have a donkey?
Jason: *tilting his head to the side in interest* Where?
Lois: *really enjoying this now, snickering* Ask your Daddy Richard.
Twins: *scamper off without another word*
Lois: *sighs happily, goes back to writing*
Twins: *rush into the living room and accost Clark*
Jason: Daddy, can we please call Daddy Richard?
Kala: *bouncing* Pretty please?
Clark: *slightly confused* Sure. *dials for them, sets it on speakerphone, leaves to give the kids some privacy*
Jason: *chripping* Hi Daddy Richard!
Kala: *just as chipper* Hi!
Richard: Hey kids, what’s up?
Kala: Mommy says we have a donkey.
Richard: *completely at a loss* Ooooo-kay?
Jason: She said to ask you about it.
Richard: *is confused, but wonders just what Lois is up to* All right guys, tell me exactly what Mommy said.
Kala: I wanna pony for Christmas an’ Mommy said we can’t have one cuz we already have a donkey in the family an’ Jason asked where and Mommy said ask you.
Jason: So where’s the donkey, Daddy?
Richard: *fumes silently, realizing Lois called him a jackass and there’s nothing he can do about it*
Richard: *chuckling vengefully* Oh, that donkey! Yeah, I know all about the donkey.
Kala: *exasperated* How come no one ever tells us anything?!
Jason: *intent* But where is it?
Richard: It follows your mommy around.
Twins: *confused silence*
Kala: *starting to disbelieve* Nuh-uh.
Jason: *brow furrowed* Then why’d she say call you if she has ‘im?
Richard: She doesn’t like to talk about it. Mommy doesn’t like the donkey very much, and I do.
Kala: How come she doesn’t like it?
Richard: I dunno, sweetheart. Maybe because it follows her around all the time and never goes away.
Jason: *frowning* I’ve never seen it!
Richard: *is enjoying this far too much, but keeps it out of his voice* It’s invisible.
Jason: Then how come you know about it?
Richard: It’s only invisible to people under about 13 or 14 years old.
Jason: *stumped* Huh.
Kala: *leaves, runs to the study, and starts patting the air behind Lois*
Lois: *gives Kala a “wtf?” look, turns around to see what Kala’s looking at*
Kala: *moves to stay behind Lois as she turns*
Lois: *gets up, walks around her chair*
Kala: *walks back and forth several times right behind Lois, scowling*
Lois: *is thoroughly confused* Kala?
Kala: *runs back to the living room*
Lois: Ooookay, that was weird. Things they never tell you about having alien babies.
Kala: *pouting now* Daddy Richard, there’s no invisible donkey behind Mommy! Fibbing isn’t nice.
Richard: How do you know the donkey isn’t there, Kala? You can’t see it yet.
Kala: I tried to pat it an’ I couldn’t feel it either!
Richard: *stifling laughter* Oh, that’s because it’s intangible too.
Jason: What’s intangible mean?
Richard: It means something you can’t touch. The invisible donkey is intangible to everyone but me and your Daddy Clark. We’re the only ones who can touch it.
Jason: How come?
Richard: Well, your mommy doesn’t like anyone else touching the donkey. She’s kinda sensitive about it though, so don’t pester her.
Kala: *dubiously* Daddy, are you sure there’s an invisible intangibible donkey followin’ Mommy around?
Richard: I’m sure. I’ve patted it a few times. *chuckles evilly* Hey, what do you guys want from Santa?
Jason: A python! They’re cool-lookin’!
Kala: *here they go again* Nuh-uh, Mommy said no icky snakes. I wanna pony but since we have a donkey I guess I wanna meerkat.
Jason: Ugh, you an’ weasels.
Kala: They are not weasels!
Two weeks later, the Lane-Kent apartment, just after Saturday morning breakfast.
Lois: *pouring herself a glass of juice in the kitchen*
Clark: *slips up behind her to snuggle her*
The twins: *scream* NOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!
Lois: *spills juice* Dammit!
Clark: *flinches* What? What is it?!
Jason: *runs over and pushes Clark away from Lois* You’re stepping on the donkey!
Kala: *cries* You smooshed it!
Clark: What donkey? *looks at Lois*
Lois: What the… *glares at Clark like, “how the f*** should I know?”*
Kala: *sniffles* The invisible inten… intan… only you an’ Daddy Richard can touch it, and you smooshed it!
Clark: *looking at both twins like they’ve lost it* Wait, where did this donkey come from?
Jason: Mommy said Kala can’t have a pony ‘cuz we have a donkey, and to ask Daddy Richard about it, and he told us the donkey follows Mommy around but we can’t see it ‘til we’re 13 and only you and him can touch it.
Kala: Poor smooshed donkey… *switching gears immediately* Hey, can we get a pony now?
Lois: *fumes, realizing she’s been had* Cute. Very cute. I need to go talk to Richard. Now.
Clark: But what…?
Lois: *eyerolls* Clark, he’s talking about… *glances at the kids, turns her back on them, and mouths, “He’s talking about my ass”*
Clark: *eyes widen* Oh. Oh, that’s just awful.
Lois: My ex, king of the horrible pun. *storms out*
Twenty minutes later, the White-Lang apartment.
Lois: *beats on door* Open up, Richard!
Richard: Why hello darling, what…
Lois: Where the hell do you get off telling my kids about my ass?
Richard: What’re you talking about?
Lois: Invisible intangible donkey? Ring any bells?
Richard: *laughing* Oh, yeah, that.
Lois: *swats at him* Now I get to explain to them that there’s no donkey, just a terrible pun because their Daddy Richard can’t quit talking about my butt!
Richard: Can you blame me? And you’re the one who called me a jackass first!
Lois: I did not!
Richard: Bullshit, we both know that’s what you meant! *mocking falsetto* “Go call your Daddy Richard and ask him about the donkey in the family, kids!” And then you’re gonna get pissed at me?
Lois: You know what? Shove it up your…
Lana: *walks in from the living room* Ahem. I know this is how you two resolve your differences, but I doubt my bridge club is enjoying overhearing it.
Lois and Richard: *chagrin*
Lana: I’d appreciate it if you both took this … discussion into the hallway.
*both look at her in astonishment*
Lois: You’re kicking us out?
Lana: The air’s already taken on a blue tinge, and you’re not even properly wound up yet.
Lana: Lois, there’s no swearing in my house. Shoo. *makes shooing gesture* Go on, scram, both of you. Curse at each other in the hallway, that’s good reporters.
Lois and Richard: *slink out, glaring at each other*
Lana: *goes back to the living room, where the ladies of her bridge club are staring at her in bemusement*
Lady #1: Who was that rude young woman?
Lana: Richard’s ex-fiancée. She’d appreciate the “young” … and, sadly, the “rude”. Lois is quite the character.
Lady #2: *disbelieving* And you let her in your house?
Lady #1: *disapproving* Not to mention letting him speak to her. Hmph.
Lana: *with a hint of frost* Since she’s become quite a close friend of mine, yes. *more warmly* I admit that the image she likes to project takes a bit of getting used to, but she really is a good friend. And I’ve known her husband since we were three years old. It’s rather complicated, but it works out for everyone – especially the kids. Now, where were we?
Sounds from the hallway: *thump* Richard’s voice, faintly: Ow! Lois, quit it! *thump, smack, swat*