By Renee Charles
Summary: A what-if story that explores what might have happened if Clark had settled down with Mayson Drake.
This leaves off in the parallel universe that Carla Humbert created in the story Clark Kent, This is Your Life as if the return had not yet happened. This is a SAD story, so unlike me.
Getting off the elevator was not the same anymore. Lois Lane was alone. Sighing sadly, she walked out into the night.
Clark lay back in his empty bed and watched TV. Mayson was not yet home, he doubted she would be soon. He was lonely, he was bored, he was tired of trying to keep his powers from his wife. Clark loved Mayson, this was a given. Why else would he give up EVERYTHING for her? A little voice nagged him *Pity perhaps?*. He shrugged it off. *No, I love her. Don't I?*
The door opened to his apartment and Mayson walked in. "Clark?" she called, kicking off her shoes.
"In here, honey," he said, tiredly.
She walked in, nodding in his direction.
"Uh, uh, uh, you promised May, you need to do your exercises." Clark rose from the bed. "C'mon, I'll help."
"No, no, I have too much work. Maybe you should edit some story or something."
"Mayson, I…" he trailed off. "Forget it." *I miss you*, he thought. He missed the way it used to be, when it seemed that his marriage to her was the right decision. He missed feeling confidence that he made the right choice quitting his job, leaving Lois.
*Lois*, he thought. He missed Lois, probably more than he'd ever admit. He had left so abruptly, so spontaneous only a couple weeks after their first and only date. Clark smiled faintly. He had wanted to go out with that woman more than life itself. He had wanted her to understand the Superman part of him as well, for her to love him for both halves. How quickly that had changed.
He had Mayson, she had Dan. Did she still date Dan Scardino? He didn't know, and suddenly, it was of dire importance for him to find out. Clark knew that under different circumstances, he would have forgotten about it just by thinking of his wife. Even that wasn't enough. He wanted his old life.
Clark felt sorry for himself, sorry for everything he had given up. It was not Mayson who had changed. It was him. "Mayson," he said, biting his lip. He knew this was a touchy subject, but it needed to be said. "I want my old job back, and Perry said I could have it. So I'm taking it. I miss reporting."
Mayson spat angrily "You miss reporting and Lois."
Clark sighed. "Yes, I miss Lois. I miss the excitement, and I miss my friends. You recovered and your life has picked up from where it's left off. Mine is the one that has changed. I'll always be behind you, but I want my life, too."
Mayson laughed bitterly. "I am not better, and now you're running off."
Clark's eyes blazed angrily. "Mayson, I'm going and you can't stop me." Clark was surprised at the words that came out of his mouth, so unlike him. Maybe his old life meant more than he realized. He supposed he still hung on to the fact that he was a reporter, and a reporter should be working on the news. Mayson needed to understand that, he missed everything about the way things were, and that included Lois.
The next morning, Clark awoke and headed for the Daily Planet. He entered the elevator to the reporting floor and got off, for the second time that week. Spotting Jimmy at HIS desk, he sauntered over. "James Bartholomew Olsen?," he said, in a deep voice.
Jimmy broke into a smile. "CK!"
"I decided to visit."
"Twice in a week?," Jimmy asked, incredulous. "Mayson let you?"
"Mayson doesn't know."
"Oh," Jimmy said, looking down. "She's here you know, Lois."
"I know. I thought I'd talk to her today."
"Clark, she misses you," Jimmy said, rising. "It's not so much Superman. It's YOU."
Clark only nodded and walked slowly to her desk. "Hey partner, whatcha workin' on?," he asked, grinning.
"Hi Clark," she mumbled, into her work. "Clark! Pull up a chair!"
Clark laughed and stood behind her, a gesture reminiscent of old and better times. "I'd prefer to read over your shoulder, Lois, if you don't mind."
A tired looking, older Lois turned to smile. "Of course not. So how's the little wife?"
"Fine, how's Dan?"
Lois colored visibly. "Dan and I broke up seven months ago, Clark. I must not have told you. It didn't work for us. Do you know why? Because he's not you. I found myself comparing every guy I've dated for the past two years to you."
Clark didn't know what to say. "Did you find anybody?"
"No, come with me for lunch. We need to talk."
It had been a long two years for Lois. Every date, every man, every partner she had compared to Clark Kent. None had measured up, not even close. She missed him, needed him. Lois admitted it to herself a long time ago; she loved him. It was too late, she could have had him. Clark was a wonderful man, so kind to Mayson. It could have been her, a small voice nagged. Lois agreed. It could have been different.
She sighed. "Clark? How did you forget me so fast?"
Clark shifted. "I didn't forget you, not inadvertently. Mayson needed me. She still does," he said, forcefully, trying to convince himself. "I love her," he said, but his voice was not as true. "Really, I do."
Lois turned to look at him. "I thought it was interesting that when you quit your job and married Mayson, Superman left."
"Listen to me Clark, I know."
"Clark, you're Superman. As soon as you left I figured it out. That was because I missed you, and I missed Superman. I realized I had been making a big mistake because I didn't love Superman. I loved you."
Clark moaned, "Oh Lois, what can I do now? I couldn't forget you, I had to stay away, Mayson didn't like it. Our relationship has changed, Lois. For the worse. I miss my wife, she hangs on to me because I'm THERE. Do you understand? She may love me, but not like she should."
"Why did we kid ourselves, Clark?" Lois turned her tear stained face upward. "Why did we hide from each other? Our date was great, and we threw it away. Who are we kidding?"
Clark fought the overwhelming urge to hug her, to kiss her, make everything better. "I don't know, because even through all of this, I loved you too." He kept digging a deeper hole for himself. He did love Mayson, he was not IN love with Mayson. Somewhere along the lines, he had fallen out of love.
The old, yet familiar feelings of deep love for Lois Lane returned to him in a wave. "Lois," he whispered, "It's too late. Too late," he finished, touching her cheek.
"It's not too late," a voice came from behind, sadly, but with resolve. "It's not too late," she repeated. It was Mayson. Tears streamed down her face in rivulets. "They say if you love someone let him go, and if he loves you back, he'll return."
Clark looked at her with so much emotion, he couldn't speak. "May.."
"No, Clark, let me finish. I cheated you out of your life, your job, your family. You were there for me, and I took advantage of the fact that you were so good. I do love you, I love you with all of my heart and I always will. But you aren't happy, I see it in your eyes. I'm letting you go, Clark. And if you come back, I'll wait. But I doubt you ever will."
Lois grabbed on to Clark's lapel. "Are we going to let things go again? I can't help my feelings, but I love him."
Mayson only nodded. "And he loves you. Don't deny it, Clark, I see it. You were not the only one who was kidding herself. I tried to think that Clark could give everything up for me. But obviously, he can't. You both deserve a try. You deserve," she grimaced, "each other."
Clark coughed. "Mayson, can we talk? I love you," he said, trying to hold on to the shred of dignity that he knew he had.
Mayson smiled sadly and took a deep breath. "You loved her more from the beginning. You're the perfect couple, and it was wrong of me to miss that. I'm sure you'll forget me, but I won't forget you."
In the days that followed, Mayson moved out and the Kents separated. Clark resumed his old job at the planet and his partnership with Lois was greatly improved.
A few weeks from that, the papers came filing for a divorce. In the note that accompanied them, Mayson explained that she wanted to get on with her life, and that she'd found somebody else. 'Dan Scardino is such a nice guy,' she wrote, and Lois and Clark laughed at that a long time before Clark took her hand in his and set off for their seventh date.
In the years that followed, Clark married Lois and Mayson married Dan. Although they never admitted it, Martha and Jonathan Kent were quite happy with this, and the grandchildren were adorable.
"Hello, Clark? Come in Clark…"
"It happened again, Lois! I was stuck in some weird daydream, but this time, you were in it. Mayson too."
Lois sighed. "You need to forget Mayson. Come on, let's go eat."