By Renee Charles
Summary: In the episode "Virtually Destroyed," all Clark could manage to say in response to Lois' confession that all her relationships "ended up in the negative column," especially the one with Lex, was, "Ouch." In this story, he manages to say a lot more.
Author's note: I was angry at one scene from Virtually Destroyed, the scene in which all Clark could muster to Lois' confession was "Ouch." So I'm redoing it. A good friend of mine wrote this out on a list post, and I took it out on fanfic. Beware. =) (12/15/95)
"Well, see, it turns out that all my relationships ended in the negative column," Lois Lane said, grimacing slightly. "Especially my last one, with Lex."
Clark frowned, looking slightly uncomfortable. "Does it still hurt as much, Lois? It was such an awful time for all of us, but you were getting the worst of it all." He took her hand, waiting for her to talk.
Lois laughed bitterly. "Well, no," she began. "But it still hurts, something like that… It doesn't go away. I was so confused, nothing was in order. I was upset, the Planet was gone, and if you'll recall, we were fighting over the mere fact that I was seeing Lex. I didn't believe you, I wanted so much to trust somebody, and it was just so…" She searched for the word she was looking for, and finding it, she threw her hands in the air. "Complicated! I mean, I was intrigued by Lex. The money, the charm, the power… It all got to me. But I thought I was in love with Superman, and then in the middle of all that, I was missing you, my best friend, Clark Kent."
Clark nodded, looking even more uncomfortable. He sighed. "I tried, Lois. I tried to tell you, but you wouldn't listen to me."
Lois closed her eyes, squeezing his hand. "You told me he was a bad man, dishonest and power-hungry. But he loved me, and that's all I saw… I was in love with Superman, you… And I couldn't have him. Why did you turn me away? Why didn't you take me as Superman? That pushed me over the edge, go for the man who loves me. I didn't believe you when you said it that first time, I thought it was a desperate cry from you to stop me. It only pushed us farther apart, and me deeper into that spiral."
Tears formed in the corner of her eyes, and Clark pulled her closer, stroking her hair.
"When I did say yes, I did it out of spite. Attraction only goes so far, you know… I was attracted to him. But certain things, THE thing, it repulsed me. He scared me, he was only out for himself. I needed my best friend, and we weren't speaking. Both of us were hurt and angry with the other."
"Ouch," Clark muttered. "I didn't know I did that to you, I thought that you just were upset over Superman, and when you told me that you'd love me as Superman if I were only an ordinary guy, I got upset myself. It wasn't true."
Lois shook her head. "But it was," she said. "Lex and I agreed to wait until our wedding night, the truth was, I didn't want him with me. We talked about children, and he was so self centered… The names Roxanna, Alexis and Lynx sound like the workings of a kind, patient man?" She laughed again. "I was so upset the when he asked me to pick a name, I said the first thing that popped into my mind. Clark."
Clark's eyes widened. "Your child? My name?"
Lois patted his arm. "Don't act so surprised, Clark. I told you I missed you. Then, it only got worse because I knew you were right, but I couldn't admit it. When I wanted to admit it, you took your declaration of love all back."
Clark smiled sheepishly. "I crossed my fingers," he said meekly.
Lois grunted. "You are such a boyscout, it drives me crazy! I was going to tell you then and there that you were the reason I didn't marry Lex."
He couldn't find the words to express his shock. "Me?"
"You," she said. "But I diagnosed my feelings as extreme loneliness, and I was lucky to have you as a friend. Even when the Superman infatuation wore off, I was glad to have you as a friend. When you asked me out, I got scared again. Would I lose my best friend? We almost did, Clark."
"I know," he said. "So many times, we seemed to fight so much…"
"I didn't want to put you in the negative column," Lois said, nodding. "I wanted it to work, but the more feelings I had for you, it seemed the more you'd disappear. There was a reason, we talked about this before… When I found out this reason, you proposed. So fast," she said, taking a break to breathe. "I loved you then, I love you now," Clark said, bluntly. "I couldn't help it."
"Couldn't help it," Lois murmured, smiling finally. "I love you too, you know that. But the reason I'm so… Skittish… Is because we haven't had time to even attempt at becoming intimate. We skipped basically the entire courting process!"
Clark made a face. "You're not…"
Lois cut him off. "No, no. No! Not that, I just want to get to know you like that, you know, intimately.. Does that sound stupid? If it does, I'm sorry. I told you that I suck romance out of things like a vacuum."
Clark offered an odd grin. "Well, Lois," he began, "I like knowing you'd like that too, but there's something you ought to know first…"