By Gina Blank (Blankh@cadvision.com)
Summary: Lois comes to terms with nightmares and fears during a weekend trip to the Grand Canyon. After reading numerous pieces of fanfic, I decided to try my own. I love to write, and have had this idea for an L&C story in my head for a while. I was having major LCWS during the time I wrote this (right after Big Girls Don't Fly), and so there are a LOT of WAFFs, and things like that. If you're more of an adventure person, sorry! For those of you who love the mushy stuff, this should give you your fix! It's my first attempt at fanfic, too, so feel free to send any comments to me at the address below! And as for continuity, well, this takes place AFTER they're married.
Lois flopped onto the couch and let out a hot breath. "My goodness it's hot," she said to herself as she leaned her head back. She was about to take a nap when a gust of cool wind blew through the window. Either the weather had changed *extremely* rapidly or…
"Clark!" Lois managed to get up from the couch and wrap herself around her husband.
"Hi, sweetie," he said after a brief kiss. "Listen, I'd love to chat, but I need a shower. I smell like the ocean from saving that ship. But I'll be out in a jiff." He told Lois as he sped into the bathroom.
Lois smiled. She had *the* greatest husband in the world. Not to mention one that could make a nice cool breeze every time he flew by.
As Clark had promised, he was out in a jiff, and he continued where he'd left off—kissing Lois—but more passionately this time. After a while, they separated, and Lois could tell by the look in Clark's eyes that he had something to tell her. Something good.
"Lois, as I was heading to the Pacific Ocean—y'know, to lift that sinking ship?—I looked over Colorado, and the weather is *BEAUTIFUL!* Amazingly, it's cooler than it is here. So, I have a surprise for you."
"A surprise?" Lois asked, slightly concerned. Her most recent surprises hadn't been that great lately: being kidnapped by Lex, replaced by a clone, finding out she had been acting like Wanda Detroit, Clark shrinking…
"Don't worry," Clark said, noticing the concern in Lois' face, "It's nothing bad. I was thinking maybe you'd like a vacation this weekend. To the Grand Canyon. Just you and me. No darting off to save anyone from anything, just a romantic—"
"I'd LOVE it!" Lois cried, standing on her tippy-toes to wrap her arms around his neck. Clark chuckled. He was hoping Lois would like the idea. She'd been so tense lately, and she'd been clingy, as well. Clark figured it must have been the result of all the chaos that happened before the wedding finally took place. I mean, she was kidnapped by Lex, got amnesia, and when she got her memory back, Clark had to leave the Earth. When he'd come back after Lord Knor had died, and Clark had returned to Metropolis, Lois had never been happier, and since then, she hadn't spent more than about an hour away from Clark. So he knew she needed to unwind and relax.
Clark and Lois spent the evening planning out the details, and then headed off to bed.
Clark was in the kitchen getting finishing a midnight snack. He'd been up in the middle of the night often since Lois was kidnapped by Lex. It was as if someone was going to come in and try to take her away again.
Clark brushed his hands together to get rid of the crumbs from the toast he'd just finished, and climbed in bed. He'd no sooner laid his head on his soft down pillow, when he heard Lois gasp beside him. He turned to see her sitting bolt upright in bed.
"What is it?" he asked, rubbing his tired eye with the palm of his hand.
"I—I—I just had the *weirdest* dream!" Lois gasped as she tried to catch her breath.
Clark put his right arm around her shoulder and pulled her in close. "Why don't you tell me about it," he whispered softly, as he kissed the top of her head.
"Well, we—we were walking through a field, and everything was nice, but I walked a little bit ahead of you. When I turned around to see you, you were *gone!* And then I started falling, but I woke up before anything happened," Lois explained, with a slight frown on her face in confusion.
"Well, everyone has dreams of themselves falling once in a while. It's a sign of stress. When I'm stressed, I sometimes have dreams like that, because I'm falling out of control, and whatever's going on in my life that's making me stressed seems to be out of control, too. Don't worry about it, Lois. It just means you need to relax a little." Clark kissed the top of her head again, and lay down to go back to sleep.
"But that's not what scared me. You were *gone*, Clark, you were *gone.*" Lois whispered. But Clark didn't hear her, even with his superhearing, because he was already fast asleep.
When Lois woke up, the sun was beaming through her window, signaling another hot day in Metropolis.
"'Morning, honey," Clark said as he walked into the bedroom, tying the tie around his bath robe. "I've got breakfast ready if you want it. Then we can pack and get out of here."
"Mmm…okay," Lois replied, still half asleep. She got up and stumbled into the bathroom for her shower. The shower refreshed her somewhat, but she was still fairly tired, as she hadn't fallen asleep for some time after her nightmare. She got dressed and came out of the bathroom groggily, and sat down for some of that great breakfast Clark had made. His breakfasts were always great.
"You look beat, Lois. Did you not get back to sleep last night?" Clark asked. Lois shook her head without saying a word. "Well, then. Leave the packing to me—not that it'll take that long—and you can finish your breakfast." Clark rose from the table, and then started to zip around at superspeed, first clearing his dishes, and then zipping in and out of rooms to get clothing, accessories, and other things for their holiday.
"Well, it's ready!" Clark announced from the living room a few moments later, as he zipped up the suitcase. "You ready?"
"Yeah. Just let me brush my teeth." Lois got up and headed into the bathroom. When she came back out again, Clark was in his Superman costume, holding Lois' coat out for her to slip in to. She smiled.
"And away we go!" Clark picked Lois up, and flew out the window, making sure it locked behind them.
"Lois? Lois, honey, we're almost there. Wake up." Clark whispered in Lois' ear. Lois had fallen asleep somewhere over South Dakota, and woke up now to see the beautiful Grand Canyon below her.
"WOW!" Lois gasped, "It's so BEAUTIFUL!"
Clark smiled, "I knew you'd like it. Look, there's the hotel, and a convenient little secluded spot for us to land." Clark started his descent, and soon they found themselves on the ground. He spun himself back into Clark Kent, and they headed around the side of the building to the front of the hotel.
"Hi. We have reservations here. Last name Kent." Lois told the man behind the service counter inside the hotel.
"Ah, yes. Room 306," the man turned around to get the room's key. "Do you need any help with your bags, sir?"
"Uh, no thanks. I can handle it." Clark said politely. Lois grabbed the key from off the counter, and the two headed into the elevator which made it's way to the third floor.
"Mmm…this is going to be SO nice," Lois said, leaning back against Clark's chest.
"I know what you mean. Let's get our stuff into our room, and then we can head down to the swimming pool I saw," Clark replied as the elevator door opened. The couple stepped out, and headed to the end of the hall where there room was.
Lois unlocked the door, and peered in. "Well, don't just stand there, go in!" Clark teased. Lois opened the door wide enough so that she could get in and flounced herself backwards onto the bed.
"This is PERFECT!" Lois sighed. Clark couldn't help but chuckle a little. "Come on," she said, sitting up again, "let's go down to the pool!" Lois grabbed her swimsuit and headed into the bathroom. Clark closed the curtains to the hotel room, and spun into his swimming trunks and t-shirt. When he stopped, he saw Lois standing there, with her eyes wide with awe.
"I'll never get tired of seeing you do that!" she exclaimed, "come on, let's go!"
Lois was floating peacefully on one of several water mats the pool provided when she got splashed with what felt like a bucketful of water. She was so startled that she rolled off the mat and into the pool. When she surfaced, she found Clark stifling a laugh.
"What was that for?" Lois tried to sound angry, but she was smiling. Before Clark had the chance to answer, Lois grabbed a kid's bucket floating near by, filled it with water, and splashed Clark directly in the face. Clark rubbed his face with his shirt, submerged his hands into the water, and pushed them forward and upward, sending another stream of water in Lois' direction.
For about five minutes, the couple acted like children, splashing about in the swimming pool, while sunbathers watched with awe.
As a final splash, Lois mustered up all her strength, and spun around in a circle, creating a mini tidal wave just big enough to drench Clark. When she stopped spinning, she noticed Clark was underwater.
"Clark?" she asked, "Clark?" Clark wasn't coming up for air. Lois squeezed his shoulders under the water. "CLARK!" She almost yelled. He still wouldn't come up. Lois splashed the water in frustration. "CLARK!!!" she yelled once more.
"WHAT?!" Clark yelled out, as he surfaced with a splash.
Lois gasped, "Don't DO that!" she cried, splashing him in the face and turning to walk away, which wasn't easy, considering she was under water from her torso down.
"Hey, hey," Clark said, gently putting his hand on Lois' left shoulder, and turning her around. "What's the matter? Look, I didn't mean to scare you. I just wanted to surprise you. I would've been fine. I can hold my breath for twenty minutes, you know that. But I'm sorry. I guess I just didn't think you were still so jumpy." Clark pulled her in for a brief hug. "Now, what say we get dressed and go for lunch?" he asked.
Lois' body relaxed. "Sure," she smiled.
Lois and Clark walked along a field hand-in-hand in the warm summer sun.
"Oh, look!" Lois exclaimed. A small wild animal, perhaps a gopher, or maybe a bird of some sort, was looking at the couple in the distance. "I'm going to go see if I can touch it." Lois let go of Clark's hand and started cautiously toward the small animal.
"Come here," Lois called softly to the animal, making slight clicking noises with her tongue. Soon Lois was right near the animal, which was indeed a gopher. "Clark, come look at this. He's so—" Lois turned around. Clark was gone. "Clark?"
Suddenly, the earth cracked beneath Lois feet and Lois started falling backwards.
"CLARK!" Lois screamed, as she woke up with a start. "Clark I had that dream again!" Lois looked to the left of her, but Clark was not there as he usually was. Lois heart skipped a beat, and she immediately got out of bed.
"Clark?" She called, as she headed towards the bathroom. Clark wasn't in there. "Clark, where are you?" Lois headed into the mini-kitchen of their hotel room, but he wasn't there either. "CLARK!" Lois slid open the back balcony door, and looked out. No Clark.
Hot tears were starting to fill Lois' eyes. Where IS he? she thought, almost in a state of panic. Lois felt as if her heart had jumped right into her throat. It was beating as fast as a rabbit's, and as strong as a drum.
Lois slammed the balcony door shut, as if it was the door's fault Clark wasn't there. "CLARK!" Lois yelled again. She headed back to the bedroom and looked around briefly "CLARK!" she choked his name out this time, her voice starting to tremble. Lois spun around to find herself looking straight into a chest. Without even looking up to see who the face belonged to, because she knew it was Clark's, Lois collapsed in his arms, and started to cry uncontrollably.
Instinctively, Clark wrapped his arms around her in a soothing hug. "Hey, hey, what's wrong?" he asked, but Lois was crying too hard to answer.
"You were GONE, Clark, you were GONE!" Lois managed to cry, her voice slightly muffled in Clark's shirt.
"I was just getting a snack from the vending machine," Clark told her, running his hands through her soft brown hair, "but I'm here now. I'm right here. Shhh…shhh…" Clark rocked Lois slightly from side to side to calm her, holding her securely in his arms as she cried, and even after she'd cried herself right to sleep, Clark still held her.
The next morning before breakfast was a very quiet one. Lois didn't want to talk about what had gone on the night before, and that was okay, because Clark didn't know what to say. He didn't know how he should react. This was a 'first' in their marriage.
The couple got dressed quietly, headed down to breakfast quietly, and the only words they let leave their mouths were the orders for breakfast at the restaurant.
After the couple had received their meals—Lois with a bowl of cereal, some toast, some strawberries, and a drink; Clark with bacon, eggs, and a couple waffles—Lois began to eat slowly, while Clark just sat back in the semi-circle booth they were seated in and watched.
He couldn't keep the silence up any longer. "You had your dream again last night, didn't you?" he asked gently. Lois dropped her spoon at the suddenness of the question, but said nothing. Instead, she picked up her spoon and continued where she'd left off on her cereal.
Clark moved around to Lois' side of the booth, and put his arm around her. "It's okay. Did you want to leave so we could talk about it?" he asked.
"Let's finish breakfast first," Lois replied in a whisper that was barely audible.
"Okay." Clark slid himself back to his side of the booth, and started at his breakfast.
To Clark it seemed like forever before they were both finished. He was anxious to listen to Lois' story, because he knew she'd be tense all day if she didn't talk. Lois didn't seem to care one way or another about whether or not she talked about what happened. At least, not in the restaurant.
As soon as the two got into the elevator, Lois wrapped her arms around Clark's neck and blurted, "don't ever leave me again!"
Clark unclasped Lois' hands and held them in his own. "Lois, I'm not going anywhere." He squeezed Lois' hands gently for emphasis. "But I would like to know why you think I am. When you're upset like this, I am too, but right now I'm feeling your pain, and I don't know why, because I don't know what's going on. Come, we're at our floor. When we get to our room, you can tell me anything you want. And I promise I won't leave." Clark smiled a half smile, as they stepped out of the elevator.
Clark opened the door and let Lois in first. "Thanks," Lois whispered. She dropped her purse onto the chair against the wall, and crawled up onto the bed. She didn't go under the covers, she just lay on her back with her hands covering her face.
Clark moved onto the bed beside her and pulled her into his lap. At that instant, Lois felt unbelievably safe. She knew he wasn't going to go anywhere. "So, where do you want me to start?" Lois asked.
"Wherever you want to start," Clark replied.
Lois laid her head back on Clark's shoulder and closed her eyes. "Well, you know that I'm having a recurring dream—"
"—but you were wrong about your falling theory. That's not what's scaring me. What scared me was the fact that when I turned around, you were gone, and I didn't know where you went, or if you were coming back. I guess the falling *did* add to the scariness, seeing as you weren't there to save me like you usually are."
Clark thought for a minute. In her dream, he had been gone. Just like when he'd had to leave Earth. And he wasn't there to save her when she started falling. Just like when he wasn't there to save her from Lex. And Lois was being clingy.
"I think I know why you're so scared!" Clark almost shouted.
"Really? Why?" Lois was eager to know. She craned her neck to look into Clark's face.
"Okay. Since the beginning of this year, you have almost lost me twice. Lex kidnapped you, and I wasn't there to save you. I had to leave Earth, so I was gone for a few months, and couldn't ever be there for you. And lately you've been sticking to me like a magnet on a fridge. I just think you're scared that you're going to lose me again."
"I don't want to ever lose you again," Lois said seriously, "twice was enough." Lois' eyes started welling up with tears. Clark noticed, and gently wiped her eyes with his thumb before they could fall.
"Shh…don't cry," he said, pulling her in close, "you know I'm not going to leave. We're married now. No one can do anything to us. I won't let anything happen to you."
"You said the exact same thing before our wedding, and looked what happened there," Lois sobbed. Clark may have stopped her first tears, but he hadn't stopped them all.
"Lois, that was a mistake. I was overconfident, because I didn't possibly think anything could go wrong—it was our wedding! But do you remember, when you were still searching for your memory, you complained that I was always leaving? What did I say afterwards?" Clark asked.
"That…you'll always come back," Lois whispered.
"And I always do, don't I?" Clark asked. Lois remained silent. "Lois, was there ever a time before the first wedding or after, where I haven't come back, or haven't come to save you before it was too late?"
"No," Lois said.
"See? What happened at the wedding was just one mistake. One BIG mistake, but only one. Aside from that, I have *never* gone away and not returned, and I have *never* not come to save you from harm, because I love you."
Lois looked up at Clark and smiled. She put her hand on his cheek the way he had done to her so many times before. "You've convinced me. I should know that you'd never leave, and I should know that you'd never let me get in harms way. I guess it's just that with all that happened this year…I kinda freaked out."
"It's all right. To tell you the truth, I've been up late at night quite often, because I was scared that someone was going to come in and take you away from me," Clark admitted.
"Really? Oh, Clark!" Lois exclaimed, and she sat up to give Clark a bear hug, which he returned tenfold. After a few minutes, while still in a hug, Clark looked over his shoulder to find Lois fast asleep in his arms. But this time, she had a smile on her face.
"Hey, there. Did you have a nice nap?" Clark asked as Lois started to stir awake. Lois had remained in her hug position throughout her nap, and Clark was somewhat relieved she'd woken up. He'd gotten bored with watching the neighbour's TV through the wall, and didn't want to move for fear he'd wake his sleeping beauty. So he'd just sat there.
"Mmm, yeah. And I didn't have my dream, either!" Lois smiled.
"I know. And you know why? I think it's because you found out why you were having your dream—"
"—because subconsciously, I was scared I was going to lose you again—"
"—right, and now that you've discovered your fear, it can't come back to haunt you in your dreams!"
"Good! Maybe now I can get some sleep!" Lois laughed.
Clark chuckled a little, too. "Hey, I've got an idea!" he said.
"And that would be?" Lois asked.
"We haven't been to the Canyon yet. I mean, that's one of the reasons we came here, right? So, this evening, when the sun is setting, we'll go for a romantic walk along the cliffs of the Grand Canyon," Clark said, moving his hand around in front of him in a semi circle as if he was spanning an invisible landscape. Lois followed his hands with her eyes, mesmerized. Clark noticed her dreamy glaze. "Lois? Earth to Lois!"
"Huh? Oh. Yeah, that's a great idea!" Lois exclaimed, snapping out of her trance.
"So, what do you want to do 'till then?" Clark asked, "it's barely lunch time."
"Oh, I dunno…but before we do anything, can we have lunch first? I'm *starving*!" Lois exclaimed.
Clark chuckled, "sure. Whatever you want, my little tornado."
It seemed like forever before the sunset came and the couple headed out on their walk, because they both looked forward to it like there was no tomorrow, but now here they were, walking along the cliffs of the Grand Canyon, with the sun starting to set ahead of them. The sky was already turning pink.
Clark and Lois were in the same embrace as they were the evening Clark proposed—his arm around her shoulder, her head resting on *his* shoulder.
"Mmm…this is SO nice," Lois breathed, "The sun is nice and warm, I'm with the man I love…" Lois let out a huge sigh of happiness.
"You know what would make this moment even more perfect?" Clark asked.
"What?" Lois looked up at her husband.
"A picture. We'll just set the camera on that rock we just passed, set it so that the picture takes by itself, and voila! We'll have this moment on film to remember forever," Clark smiled.
"That sounds lovely. But, where's your camera?" Lois asked.
Clark's eyes widened as he realized he didn't have it in the tote bag he was carrying. "Uh oh…"
"What? Did you leave it at the hotel? We can go back and get it, if you want," Lois told him.
"No…I left the camera in…" Clark swallowed hard, "…Metropolis."
"CLARK!" Lois cried.
"I'll go back and get it! It'll only take a minute!"
"Clark, don't bother! We'll just buy a disposable one at the gift shop and—" Lois started. But Clark had already zipped off. Lois rolled her eyes at his stubbornness, but she smiled, because she was amused that Clark was willing to do so much for her. *Y'know that boy'd walk on water for you…or he'd drown trying,* Perry had once said. Now Lois believed him.
*Well, it's no use standing here," Lois thought to herself, as she continued to walk down the vast land in front of her.
The sun had lowered a little bit, and it shone brightly into Lois' eyes. "Ach," Lois muttered, and started to search her tote bag for her sunglasses, still walking forward as she looked. She was starting to wish she hadn't put so much into her bag, as finding her sunglasses was more difficult than she'd liked it to be.
"Where are you, you stupid things?" she said to the invisible sunglasses, "Ugh! That's the last time I fill this bag to its limits!" Lois searched inside the many pockets, unzipping, rezipping, unvelcro-ing and revelcro-ing. Lois continued to walk forward, unaware of her movements.
"UGH! Where are those stupid sunglaAAUUGGGGHHHH!!!" Lois suddenly felt herself drop sharply, and the wind started flying upwards in her hair. *I'm falling,* Lois thought to herself, *just like my dream, I'm falling.* "HEEELLLLLPPPP!!!!" She screamed, as she realized fully what was happening.
Lois' fall ceased just as abruptly as it had started when she landed on her back on a flat piece of rock that jutted out from the side of the cliff. Lois scrambled to sit up, and looked over the ledge. Below, she saw her sunglasses fall into the Colorado River below. Lois rolled her eyes. "Ooohhhh," she groaned, as she leaned back against the wall of the cliff.
Realizing that she wasn't going to be able to get down from the ledge without help, Lois cried out, "SUPERMAAAAAAN!!!" She shouted his name five times, but after each time, all she heard was the echo from her own voice bouncing off of the cliff's walls.
Lois just hoped that the ledge held out. No sooner did she have that thought, however, when she heard a loud crumbling/cracking noise. "Oh, no," Lois muttered under her breath. The ledge gave way, and Lois was falling again, the wind blowing upwards through her hair.
"HHEEEELLLLLLPPP!!! Aaaaggggggghhhhhh!!" Lois cried, "Helphelphelphelp heeeellllpppp!!! Claaarrrrk!!!" Lois repeated Clark's name over and over.
The ground was growing closer and closer. Lois knew she should have been hitting the ground at any second, but suddenly she felt herself rising, rising as fast as she'd been falling. Lois swung her arms around Clark's neck and held on to him tighter than she had in a long time. She turned to look at him briefly, and noticed that he wasn't wearing his suit. He was still in his shorts and t-shirt.
Soon, they surfaced, and Clark set her down gently on her feet.
Clark just looked at her. "I got the camera," he said after he'd caught his breath, holding up the camera by its strap. Lois half-smiled and fell into Clark's arms. Clark rubbed her back. "See, Lois, I always come back…I *always*…come back."