Summary: H.G. Wells gets in the middle of an argument between Lois and Clark.
Authors Note: Argument in Time takes place several months after the marriage of Lois and Clark. It starts with an argument that has catastrophic effects and goes from there. —All the usual disclaimers apply. Hope you enjoy. BTW, this is my first finished Fanfic, so all comments are appreciated. Send email to: FamilyPlot@aol.com.
"Come on, Lois, don't you think you're making a mountain out of a mole hill here??!!" Clark exclaimed while bulldozing his way with the argument. "Going out there is dangerous!!"
Feeling frustrated, Lois retorted, "Yeah, like crossing the street is dangerous, or how about visiting my *MOTHER*. That is certainly very dangerous!! Clark, can't you go along with me here just once??!!
"No, Lois," He said turning away from her.
"*Aaaahhhhh*!!" Lois moaned, then stormed out of their home.
"Lois!" Clark sped to the door.
"Don't even *think* about following me, Clark," he heard Lois say with his super hearing. He stood there hands at his sides, fists clenched in exasperation, not knowing what to do.
"Oh, Lois," Clark whispered, a tear sliding down his face.
Clark found himself hours later in the guest bedroom of their house. When Lois returned, Clark thought he would probably move from guest to the dog house.
Having fallen asleep at some point, he jerked upright at the sound of an unknown noise coming from the basement.
"Lois?" Clark asked, while getting out of bed. He hoped she was back, and would consider forgiving him. By the sounds that he was hearing, Clark sensed something a little strange was happening. He threw on his robe, then dashed down the stairs at top speed.
"Huh??!!" Clark exclaimed when he got downstairs, nearly colliding with a time machine.
As if waiting for him, H.G. patiently stated, "Clark, I need your help."
"Mr. Wells? What are you doing here?"
"Clark, I need you to come with me now. It's a matter of life and death! I'll explain when we get there. Quick, get dressed and I'll get the machine going!"
Nodding, Clark dashed up the stairs and within seconds was back again.
"Let's go!" Herb shouted above the whirring of the machine as it powered up. Clark quickly sat down. *****
In what seemed like a matter of seconds, they arrived at their destination. —To Clark's surprise, they were still in the basement of Lois and Clark's house.
"Now, Mr. Wells, tell me what's happening?" Clark asked as they left the time machine.
Herb put a finger to his lips. "My boy, I must show you some things in the future, and I must have your promise not to interfere with the time continuum as you see it."
Not really sure how to respond, Clark asked, "Why?"
"I'm taking a great risk by bringing you here, my boy. This will be hard for you, Clark, but you must understand what is happening now in your life, directly influences what you are about to see."
"Okay," Clark shrugged.
"Very good, now follow me," Wells said, quietly moving up the stairs, heading towards the living room. Herb stopped before entering the room and motioned Clark to bend down so he could whisper in his ear.
"Go in, but take care not to be seen, and whatever you do, don't make any noise." He whispered emphatically.
Clark nodded. As he approached the doorway he found he was shaking. What would he find in the room? Would Lois be in the room? And where was he, or his future self. He stepped into the room and found it was dark, which was no problem for him. As he glanced around the room, he noticed that it had an unkempt look to it, as if no one had cared, or done any daily cleaning for quite some time. But what really caught his attention was seeing himself sitting on the couch, liquor bottles strewn about, looking unkempt, unshaven and uncaring. On closer inspection Clark could see that his other self must have consumed a *lot* of alcohol because he actually seemed to be slightly drunk.
Clark stood rooted in shock when suddenly the phone rang, and rang incessantly. Wondering if his other self would ever answer it, the past Clark looked on in despair. He began to think of answering it himself, but fortunately the future Clark roused himself up, stepping somewhat sluggishly over to the phone.
"Hello?" He said in a strange and raw sounding voice.
"Clark, we're so worried about you. You haven't come to see us in weeks," the past Clark heard his Mom say, using his super hearing to eavesdrop on himself.
"I know, Mom, I've been busy these past weeks with work,-"
"Clark Jerome Kent," snapped his mother, "what makes you think you can lie to me? I called Perry and he told me you had quit your job weeks ago. What are you doing, wallowing in your misery?"
"Mom, I don't care, I just don't care and before you ask about Superman, *he* hasn't been doing deeds for awhile either. Nothing seems to matter anymore,-"
"Clark," Martha asked cautiously, "have you talked to Lois lately?"
The future Clark sat down on the floor and sighed. "What's the point," said Clark, "she hasn't wanted to talk to me since our argument." Looking on in disbelief, Clark saw his future counterpart with tears streaming down his face. Wells led a stunned Clark by the arm from the room.
"But, but,-" Clark pulled away, wanting to learn more. So struck by the events unfolding before him, Herb easily dragged him back down to the basement.
"Clark," Herb said as he settled him down in the time machine, "You had an argument with Lois, and because of pride, both of your lives changed affecting the time continuum in a negative way."
"But Lois… gone?! I can't believe it! How?" Clark cried, pleading for understanding.
"I will show you, but you must remember not to interfere."
"I will do as you ask, just show me!" There was such feeling in Clark's voice that Herb looked up from his adjustments with the time machine in surprise.
"Ready?" H.G. asked. Clark could only nod. *****
After leaving the house, Clark and Herb started walking toward Suicide Slum.
"We're going after Lois, aren't we?"
"Yes, Clark. You need to see what happened when she left."
"I knew that I should never have allowed her to leave. To talk to that source before we resolved our argument. At times she is so bullheaded, and I just had a *feeling* that she would be in grave danger if she left."
"I thought you had worked through your over protectiveness of Lois?" Wells asked.
"Well I thought I had, too, but sometimes it's *so* hard not to be protective of her.-You know lately she has been acting strangely and I don't understand why."
"Clark, in any relationship, there is give and take and you need to remember that this is true in all facets of your relationship. If you are concerned, then you need to talk to her, my boy, don't worry over her. —Oh, here we are," Herb said, as they carefully entered a particularly dark alleyway, smelling of mold and decay.
'Just the sort of place that Lois would go to meet a source,' Clark thought ruefully as he and Wells stepped around garbage debris and muddy puddles.
"Here, let's stop." Herb reached out to put a hand on Clark's shoulder. "Let's watch what happens," Wells whispered, while pulling Clark into the shadows.
Almost instantly, they saw Lois stepping toward a shadow-like figure, close to the end of the alleyway. They spoke for a minute or so before Clark realized that he *could* 'listen in' to hear what they were saying.
"Let me see some green stuff, lady." a mousy looking guy barked to Lois with avarice clearly written in his features.
Lois fumbled with her purse and took out her wallet. She pulled out a few twenties, but not careful to conceal other bills that the guy obviously could see as well. Clark could tell something was about to happen, as the man reached quickly into his jacket, seconds later pulling out a jagged knife.
"Give me *ALL* your money!!"
"No!!" Lois screamed in fright as the man swung his knife. Clark started to move. "Wait, Clark!" Wells said with a firm grip on Clark's shoulder. Herb could tell that Clark was steaming like a volcano, ready to erupt at any second.
Clark watched, as if witnessing in slow motion, a man appear and wrestle with the bum, managing to get the knife away from him, letting the bum escape in the process. Lois watched the whole thing in shock, her eyes growing wide only when the man approached her—
"Dan? Daniel?! Is it you?" Lois exclaimed in shocked joy. "What are you doing here?"
"Well I just happened to be in the neighborhood…"
"Scardino?" Clark echoed in shock and he starting forward, breaking away from Herb.
"Clark,-Superman! Don't!" Herb hissed while trying to catch up with him. Clark abruptly stood still at his words, breathing sharply, and then listened to the last words of Lois and Dan's conversation.
"Argument with Kent? Well you can stay with me."
"I just need time to cool off. I don't want to be in your hair, maybe a day of so, just to get my thoughts together. I really appreciate this, Dan."
"My pleasure, Lois," Dan said as he lead her away, his arm draped around her shoulders, guiding her through the muck.
Clark stood at the other end of the alleyway, desolate, with tears running down his cheeks.
"Come Clark, one more scene to show you," Wells said softly as he guided the dejected Man of Steel from the alley back to the time machine. *****
Once more in the house on Charlotte Drive, they went back to the room where the future Clark was on the phone.
"… not only is Lois living with Dan and wants a divorce but she's pregnant, with *my child*!! So tell me, Mom, why should *I* care anymore??!!" The future Clark ground out in anguish, while Clark sagged to the floor in the hallway in a daze.
"I have been so,*so* wrong! A true lunkhead," Clark said through more tears, though with all the crying that he had been doing lately, he was vaguely surprised that he still had tears left in him. He sat for a time gazing off in the distance.
"Mr. Wells, we can set this right, can't we?" Clark said, not as a question but more as a statement.
"Yes. We can set this a right. Come," he said standing and heard Clark following behind him.
Sitting in the time machine, Herb began to speak before their return journey.
"Clark, I will send you back in time to when Lois left the house. When we arrive, you must hurry because I can't be sure of the exact timing and I'm afraid that we could be cutting it close. I know that I don't have to tell you how important this is. Good luck, my boy!!" Herb said shaking his hand heartily. ***** Meanwhile, back at home.
"Good bye and thank you again," Clark said and then dashed up the stairs in a super burst of speed and changing into the 'outfit', leaving the house in a matter of seconds.
"Goodbye, my boy. My love to you both," Herb grinned knowing that Clark hadn't heard him, but Clark knew how he thought of them as his 'children'.
Clark zoomed to suicide slum, taking precious seconds to find the alleyway, but he had to be in time at all costs!! There Lois was, approaching that bum! He sped forward. Clark tuned in with his super hearing:
"Let me see the green stuff, lady." the mousy looking guy said to Lois with avarice clearly written in his features.
Lois fumbled with her purse and took out her wallet. She pulled out a few twenties, but there were other bills that the guy could see as well. The man reached quickly into his jacket and pulled out a jagged knife.
"Give me *ALL* your money!!"
"No!!" Lois started and screamed in fright as the man swung his knife, but found that instead of touching her, the knife broke on Superman's chest. "You are going to wish that you hadn't done that!" Clark said with real anger as he lifted the man in his arms.
"Cla- Superman!" Lois exclaimed in surprise with a grin, and he gave her a look that spoke volumes. As he turned back to the bum he saw Scardino in the shadows, but he suddenly turned and left.
"Now you had something to tell the lady?"
"Ah, ah, yes, yes," the man stammered.
"Well," Clark said eyes boring into the bum's.
At that point, the man wouldn't stop talking, in fact babbling like a brook wouldn't even begin to describe it.
Later, back at their house Clark took Lois's hands in his and looked at her with great seriousness. She could tell he had something important to say and with all the events and excitement of the evening, she deeply wanted some comfort.
"Lois, I'm sorry. I mean I'm *so* sorry about tonight, our argument. Lois, sometimes I get these feelings and today it just seemed to say, *don't let Lois go out tonight!* I love you, respect you, I don't want to coddle you, yet I don't want to *lose* you. I'm sure I couldn't *live* without you. I'll try doing better, to verbalize what I'm feeling, but just let me know if I get a little overly protective, okay? *Please* let me be there for you!" Clark pleaded in anguish.
"Oh, Clark!" Lois said putting her arms out, holding him tight. "*You* have to forgive me too!! I was being stubborn, and just wanting to jump in without knowing the pitfalls. I forgot my better half, my partner in crime, and my *love*!" With that said, she kissed him passionately.
He reluctantly pulled away from her. "Lois there is nothing to forgive, I'm the foolish lunkhead here," and it was his turn to initiate the kiss. Their arms tightened about each other.
"Beloved lunkhead," Lois murmured in Clark's ear and trailed kisses down his face and neck.
"The next time we are tempted to argue, I think we've just found the perfect way to stop all arguments," Clark said his breathing becoming ragged, building passion as he again reached for her lips with his.
"Or a way in which either of us can get *our* own way," Lois exclaimed when Clark let her break away for air. He laughed and started to kiss her again when the doorbell rang, and rang incessantly.
"AAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHH," Lois and Clark groaned in unison and Clark went to the door, Lois practically glued to his side. He opened the door and there was their friend, Jack, who just recently had come back to Metropolis.
"Hey you two, how's it going. I just came by,-" his voice trailing off as he looked at them. Flushed faces, their lips swollen, and rumpled clothing.
"Am I interrupting something?"
"No, we just have to ah-," Clark started.
"Go check for our cheese of the month shipment," Lois continued.
"Excuse us," Clark ended and dragged her toward the master bedroom.
"You know you guys aren't fooling anyone!- Clark, now that Lois knows, can't you guys come up with some better excuse??!!" Jack said to thin air.
He stood there a moment, then walked slowly to the couch and sat down. He looked at the clock on the wall.
"I guess I'll have a long wait,- make that a really *long* wait."
In the background there was the sound of laughter followed by the bedroom door being closed.