By Demi (email@example.com)
Summary: Lois has regained her memory but finds she needs time to sort through the kaleidoscope of emotions that bombard her. Continuity-wise, this story takes place after the episode "Oedipus Wrecks."
[Author's Note: The characters used here are the property of WB/December 3rd productions. Yadda Yadda Yadda ;P This is a short vignette that I wrote on a Sunday afternoon<g> it is not the promised piece some of you know I have coming ;P It also has no A-plot-it's all B so if you hate stories without A- plot, you won't like this one<g>. It takes place after "Oedipus Wrecks" in terms of continuity, and it's kind of a discovery story. I would like to dedicate this to several people for being my WAFF inspirations and gutter buddies<g>: Jiji, Uni, Zoomway, JudiM, Rhen — thanks you guys!! And DebWrites for keeping me in suspense and causing me to write therapy<eg> :) Last but not least to Keina, who knows why…]
This is my second WAFFfest <bg> I am *not* apologizing! ;P
All comments are welcome…
Lois shivered and brought her hands up to her bare shoulders for warmth, rubbing them slowly up and down her arms to distribute some of the heat. The sun was a brilliant fiery crimson color as she watched it descend over the smooth glassy surface of the lake. She listened to the water lap against the shore: a whisper only a few feet away. She was alone. Searching in silence and hoping to recapture the fragments of herself which hid from her even now. Darkness fell in increments around her and the tiny specs of starlight which poked their way through the canopy of velvet sky above, grew more and more prominent with each passing minute. She sighed deeply and sank down into the warm sand, until she lay flat on her back, gazing up at forever…
It was balmy. She ran one hand through her hair and tucked it behind her ear out of habit. So much had happened in the last few weeks, she wasn't even sure if what she now took to be memories weren't simply glimpses into a kaleidoscope of dreams she had been experiencing. Whatever it was, the feelings had compelled her to come here: On the outskirts of the city, along the tenuous line where the rush of civilization and the peaceful tranquillity of nature fell against one another. Where the lights of the city glistened almost as beautifully in the distance as the stars overhead, and where the whispers of the lake and the wind through the trees seemed to ask the questions she was so afraid to. These things forced her to acknowledge that she had come here to exist alone and to wonder why it was she no longer felt whole.
Like flashes of light, she recalled Lex and Clark, Superman and Max. Slowly lifting her left hand in front of her eyes, she examined the pink reflection of the waning sunlight in the diamond solitaire against her finger and remembered being up *there* with Clark when he had slipped it onto her finger yet again. She traced the pattern of a constellation in the sky; her arm outstretched, and she watched the night grow darker.
Clark sat alone in his apartment, on his couch. He held a book out in front of his face but he hadn't read a word of it in over an hour. Sighing he put the book down on the coffee table and lay back reclining his head against the arm of the sofa and placing one hand over his forehead. Lois had asked to be alone tonight. He wasn't sure exactly what that meant but he had respected her wish. He didn't even know where she was exactly, just that she wasn't at her apartment. But he thought that if he needed to, he could find her in a hurry. Unless and until then, he would give her her privacy.
Yesterday had been a shock to both of them: She had remembered, everything. Or at least he thought she had. He had taken her home, gently setting her on her feet inside her apartment as he'd done so many times before, but this time it was almost unbearable for him to let her go. He'd wanted to stay with her, to finally have some time alone together now that she knew who he was! What they meant to each other. Truthfully, after she had allowed him to slip that ring over her finger once again, what he'd wanted desperately…more than he'd ever wanted anything in his entire life, was to take her into his arms completely, to hold her close to him forever, or at least a few hours. His breath caught in his throat on a sigh and he shuddered when he remembered how powerful the emotions he felt had been. Still were. He'd never known how profoundly he was hurting until he was allowed to touch her, to hold her and to kiss her once again. The flood gates were flung wide open and he'd barely managed to keep from crushing her tiny frame against his. Thinking about these now still made his stomach coil into a knot of anxiety and he struggled against his pent up emotions.
In the end that night, she seemed distant. It wasn't something tangible, something he might have been able to put his finger on, it was just…a *feeling* that he had. Something in the way she smiled that wasn't…Lois. He'd asked her if she was okay, but she had assured him that she was fine, and that she just needed to rest. So reluctantly, he'd left.
Today, after she'd taken a day off from the Planet, which was so unlike her, she'd called him in the evening and practically begged him not to come over. To just let her be alone. He couldn't help but wonder why she was pushing him away. Especially now, when they had only just been reunited; now that he felt like he may die if he didn't get to hold her again, to reassure himself that she was really there, and really his..
Last night she had said that 'loving him was what she really wanted.' But tonight, he wasn't sure she still felt the same way. Clark sighed. It was her decision, and he loved her way too much to disregard it. He understood how she felt about needing time to herself, time to get things into perspective. And whatever *he* was feeling right now, her needs had to come first. He could only imagine how confused she was: The rush of memories she must have felt yesterday and the conflicting emotions she'd been dealing with for the past several weeks. These *had* to still be weighing on her soul.
"Lois…" He whispered. He closed his eyes and traced a pattern with his hand above him, visualizing her face. "I wish I could touch you…"
Her voice echoed in his head far away and he smiled..
**You can touch me. …Something about you always made sense to me…That's the part that touches me.**
"Lois, " He whispered once again. "I …"
"…love you." Lois awoke from a light sleep, realizing she had whispered the words aloud. Her heart beat against her chest and she swallowed, trying to bring things into focus. The feeling was strong, intense even; and she shut her eyes to try and center herself through the dizzying emotion. Her loose, sleeveless chemise ruffled in the slightly chilly breeze and she pulled it down over her skirt reflexively, sitting up. The small jacket she'd taken with her lay nearby and she toyed with the idea of putting it on, but the feel of the breeze against her skin wasn't entirely unpleasant, and it wasn't cold enough yet to make her uncomfortable.
She let her mind drift back over to thoughts of Clark and suddenly, she remembered seeing him through the rear view mirror of a limousine, standing, watching her drive away with Lex. He had *let* her go. She'd pretended for a while that it didn't matter, she tried so hard to make it not matter…because they were together again. But it had. It did. And the most terrifying part of it all was that she *could* remember everything now. Or at lease she thought she could…The way she had felt around Lex when she thought he was 'Kent', the way Clark had looked into her eyes when she was in the hospital; there was such hope there, such desperation and she hadn't understood it then. God, she knew he'd been hurting, that's why she wanted to let it go, but there were so many things that didn't make sense! How could he have believed that she would ever willingly go off with that man? With *any* man other than him. She was confused and the doubts she felt gnawed holes in her resolve.
Still more intensely than any of these thoughts, however, was one question that burned inside of her, and she wasn't even sure if she had the right to ask it, let alone be upset should the answer be…
**…you'd slept with the clone…**
Clark's mind suddenly snapped into focus and he sat up instantly, whispering out loud…
"I almost did. I *would* have if she hadn't…"
**Isn't that just as unforgivable? Oh God, I'm talking to myself.**
He hadn't told her. And now, perhaps she believed that he *had* done it. What if that was the reason she didn't want to see him anymore. What if she never… NO! That was not an option. It couldn't be…still…
Was there really a difference if he had or hadn't? The intent had surely been there. Did the fact that the physical end had not actually taken place matter that much? He had fully intended to go ahead and…now he didn't think he was any less guilty of betraying her in the most intimate way then if he had actually committed the act.
"Oh, Lois, I didn't want to hurt you, I would never have hurt you on purpose. Please don't let this be the reason…"
But Lois wasn't here now and he was. Alone. He needed to talk to her. If only he could *see* her…he *couldn't* interfere on her privacy, it wouldn't be right but he *needed* her to understand. Even if she wasn't thinking the worst, she needed to know the truth and they needed to deal with it…together.
Suddenly, Clark looked up, a familiar expression crossing his face as he tipped his head to listen more carefully.
"No…" He whispered, and in a gust of air and a blur of movement, he was gone.
Lois brought both hands up to massage her temples. It was such a beautiful night and coming here *was* helping her focus, but now she wasn't sure if she wanted to know the answers to the questions she had found or not. As if someone had activated a switch inside of her head, the pain in her temple grew into a steady ache and Lois groaned in protest, *knowing* what was to come. She felt a familiar disorientation as one of the frequent dizzy spells she'd been having ever since the accident washed over her full force. She had hoped that these would go away now that her memory had returned, but the reeling of the forest and the scenery around her quickly convinced her that this was not so. More suddenly than she was prepared for, everything lost clarity and she was spiraling down into darkness; falling…
She was dimly aware of her body sinking back into the sand around her and then, everything was blackness and she was having that same dream she'd used to have over and over again…
"Can you feel it?" There were voices. Someone else's…and…hers, she thought, she could hear herself speaking even though she felt apart from the experience.
"Where are you?" She asked.
"I can't see any…" It was cold.
"It's so dark."
"It's always dark in the beginning. Find your way. Close your eyes and *feel*." The voice was calm, so very calm and soothing. She remembered it.
"Find your way."
"I ca…Oh my God!" A rush of light and wind slammed against her and shattered the blackness.
"What do you see?"
"Where are you?"
"I'm flying. I don't know how but I'm flying…" She could feel the wind beneath her and the sky above, but there was something missing…
"Have you had this dream before?"
"I dreamed…I remember…"
A frigid, all consuming darkness enveloped everything. Even the suggestion of fear which insidiously wound its way around Lois' throat. Why did it always begin this way? A caress of air which brushed against her skin was feather light at first, but as she became aware of it, flowing softly around her, it grew stronger.
"I'm afraid." She could feel the fear, but it had lost focus, it just…was.
There were voices. Whispers mostly, echoing in the darkness which surrounded her; invisible and yet their strength of presence was overwhelming.
But where? **I'm searching** Lois' mind reached out into the emptiness, clutching at something she could only know she *needed* desperately ..it was…so close…it was…*someone*. **Who? Oh God! Where are you? Who are you…?** She had known a moment ago. She was sure of it. But like the shadows which moved and tumbled, carrying the hollow sounds of the voices around her, never quite tangible, that memory too had slipped away. And she was falling again…
From somewhere deep within the darkness, she heard her own voice cry out,
"Lois?" Another voice? So close?
"Lois? Are you all right…God, Lois, please…I should never have left you alone so soon after…"
"Clark…" Lois moaned softly and opened her eyes. She thought that her head would explode. **Oh God. Where am I?** She screwed her eyes tightly shut and began to lift one hand from her side towards her aching temple.
"Shhhh. you shouldn't try and talk now. You passed out again." It *was* Clark. He sounded so concerned. She wanted to tell him everything was okay, she wanted to take his hand, but she found that even the slightest movement, hurt … a lot. With every ounce of will power she possessed, she lifted herself up against him and regretted it immediately. The world, which had only just began to come into focus was now spinning wildly out of control and Lois reached out to *anything* in a futile attempt to steady her reeling head. She latched onto a Clark's arm.
**Funny** She thought, **He's not wearing his suit…** It was true, in his haste to get to her, Clark had neglected to change. He still wore the clothes he'd been reading in. A pair of well worn blue jeans and an equally loved T-shirt which he'd won at the Smallville corn festival several years ago. He put his arm around her slowly and helped her back into an upright position. Lois was holding one hand to her head and so Clark leaned down towards her ear so that she could hear him, in case she was still in pain.
"Lois, don't try and get up." His voice was soft. In a moment of insanity, Lois thought that she loved the deep sound of it, especially since his face was right next to her ear and she could feel his warm breath on her skin. She shivered as gentle arms lowered her backwards toward him. For a moment he was still, holding her body against his, perhaps more tightly than he'd intended to. Not painfully so, but with an intense need that was translated almost immediately. Lois shifted so that his arms completely enveloped her.
"What is it?" Clark asked. The side of his face pressed softly against the top her head.
"…I'm sorry." She mumbled. "I guess I got a little excited trying to get up."
"A little." Clark breathed and moved his face against her hair, taking in the smell of her shampoo and remembering how she always seemed so fragile and yet so strong at the same time. Most of all, he remembered how good it felt to hold her like this. "Do you remember where you are?"
"Yes. " Lois repositioned herself; her back against Clark's broad chest, his arms now wrapped securely around her as he unconsciously rocked her back and forth. There was silence for a time as they listened to the sound of one another's breathing. Lois finally broke it.
"Why did you find me?" She asked, twisting around so that she could face him. The dizziness not quite so severe this time, she still caught herself against his chest and he reached up to place his own larger hand over hers, holding it to his heart.
"I heard you. I heard you call my name out…you sounded afraid." Clark gently moved his fingers over her hand, finally taking it and placing a kiss against the tops of her knuckles. Lois sighed.
"It was a dream. I think. I mean, it used to be a dream I had a lot…before I could remember. Max used to tell me that…" Lois caught herself mentioning Max in the same familiar way she had gotten used to recently and she lowered her eyes. Frustration and confusion apparent on her face. Clark watched her face and let her continue the thoughts she was obviously struggling with. "I'm sorry, it's just, it's all so strange for me now. I hate him for what he did, but I have all these *new* memories and I'm still trying to put everything back together…"
He reached out with his other hand and brushed it against her face. "I know." He smiled. "And I'm not going to force you to move quickly this time. I understand how important it is for you to be able to think things out for yourself. I wouldn't have even come here tonight, I swear, it's just that I was afraid that…"
"I love *you*" Lois' expression was serious as she spoke. "You know that, don't you?" Clark swallowed and glanced down at the sand. In his mind, images of a limousine driving away crashed against memories of Lois in her hospital bed.
"Lois.." He started, he had to tell her…
"No, Clark, I never have, nor will I ever, be able to love anyone the way that I love you. Which is why…" Clark felt his heart skip a beat. This was it.
"Which is why you have to let me talk now." He interrupted gently, letting out a long breath. He knew that if he waited much longer to tell her, he might lose the opportunity.
"Okay." Lois looked down at his hands in his lap and gently took them, clasping her fingers around his, she looked up at him again and Clark was sure from the strength of her expression, that she knew exactly what was coming. She trusted him. She loved him and *he* had been ready to betray her that night.
"Lois…I…" How was he going to do this? It was like knowingly plunging a knife into her heart. He couldn't hurt her like that…but if he didn't, she might never be able to forgive him. And he had to take the consequences of his actions no matter how harsh. At least if she wanted to end it now, she could move on. "I…Oh God, I don't know if I can do this.."
Lois fixed him with a gaze that was resolute. He watched her eyes shine in the moonlight and one tear as it fell unbidden down her cheek. She was trying *so* hard not to cry. Clark looked up into the night, even the stars which had comforted him so many times before, now seemed distant and unreachable. He wished that there was an easier way. But it seemed that no matter what happened tonight, he might break her heart again.
"Lois, what I'm trying to say is that…"
Lois watched him wrestle with so many feelings. She could see that he was fighting a battle he thought he couldn't win, but that he was equally determined to see it through. She knew in that moment that whatever she was feeling, he was going through a hell of his own right now, and she wasn't going to let him suffer through it alone.
"You didn't know, Clark. You couldn't have known. It's not your fault…" She lifted one hand up to touch his face and was surprised to feel his tears against her skin. She traced the line of his jaw lightly, exploring, trailing the wetness down across his lips gently. He kissed the tips of her fingers and she tipped her head knowingly. "You did nothing wrong."
Clark shook his head and moved back so that he sat facing her. "She was there, Lois, and I thought…I mean, she was you. And when I kissed her, I should have known but she was soft the way you are, she tasted the way you do…" Lois lowered her head and nodded. It hurt so much but she wasn't angry. She hurt for him. Because he had lost something so precious to a deception. Her first time had been no more special and she knew what that was like so she had *vowed* that she would make his different. Now, that could never be, and the sense of loss she felt for him was so profound it was almost tragic. Clark continued…
"I needed you to know that if she hadn't fallen asleep, I *would* have, I mean, I would never have known that…I'm sorry, Lois. I'm so sorry I betrayed you and I…"
"She fell asleep?" Lois' eyes widened and she stared at Clark questioningly. "You mean you never…that you and her didn't actually…" She sighed out loud. Clark shook his head again slowly, resigned. "No, but it's the same difference, Lois. The intent was there. For me, it's not tied up in just the physical aspect…" He looked down, a little embarrassed and his glasses slid forward as he did so. "Though I guess I am really looking forward to that too.." He smiled and Lois felt her own grin answer his automatically.
"Me too." She squeezed his hand and let him continue.
"But being in love…everything about it is…special to me, and it's all part of the same power that I feel every time I think about you. Sharing that bond, that…love with somebody else is unthinkable to me. And yet I did. For a while, I felt about her, the way I feel about you…" Clark looked genuinely confused and Lois nodded slowly.
"Clark, you thought she *was* me. That's different than feeling those things for someone else, that means that you were still feeling those things for *me*. No one knew about the clone! I think you figured it out pretty quickly actually, and I don't blame you for being in love *with me* on our wedding night. In fact.." Lois lowered her voice to a conspiratorial level.. "I'll insist on it."
Suddenly it was Clark who thought his head was spinning out of control. How could she not be angry? How could she still want to be anywhere near him? She *had* to be hurting, but she was forgiving him even so…
On impulse, he leaned down and captured her mouth with his own. She tasted like tear drops, salty and sweet at the same time. Lois reflexively reclaimed one hand from his lap and curled her arm around his neck to bring him closer to her, her lips parted and she felt the heat of his tongue as it gently caressed hers. She moaned softly and felt his arms travel around her, finding the curve of her waist and pulling her against him a little too eagerly. In an instant, she found herself laying on top of him as he fell, his back pressed into the sand beneath them. She giggled and ran her hands along the smooth muscles of his chest, all thoroughly exposed through the T-shirt pulled tightly around him. She bent lower as her hands moved farther up his chest until their faces were only inches apart and there she froze, simply staring into his gaze; suddenly knowing that the 'incompleteness' she had felt earlier was gone. Sighing, she closed her eyes and listened to the night around them…She could still hear the whisper of the lake and the wind in the trees nearby… Clark made no move to take over the situation, but regarded her in awe of the reverent expression that he saw cross her face..
"What is it?" He asked.
"Shhhhhh." Lois touched a finger to his lips and looked around her before returning her gaze to him. "Just listen…"
"What am I listening for.."
"Listen! Do you feel it?" Lois stared intently at Clark's uncertain expression and in a split second she could see that he was not all together with her. Leaning down, she brushed her lips against his lightly, and then let herself fall forward, deepening the kiss, drawing his tongue into her mouth and pulling his warmth into her own as she pressed her body more firmly against him. She willed him to feel what she was feeling, to know what she knew. His response was immediate: He moaned and rolled them over so that it was she who now lay, half sunken, in the soft warm sand. When the kiss broke away, both were gasping for breath and Lois' eyes shone with a fierceness that Clark hadn't ever seen before.
"I feel it." He said, as he kissed the tip of her nose, and then moved his attention to her neck, trailing soft kisses down along her collarbone. Lois sighed deeply and ran her fingers through his hair while at the same time holding him to her, willing him to continue, she whispered against him…
"Clark…I love you more than I've ever known it was possible to love anyone. I want you with me, in my life now, and forever." She kissed the side of his neck as he moved his head around her, and she ran her hands along the firm muscles of his back.. "Promise me eternity."
Clark stopped his ministrations and moved his head so that he could see Lois' eyes more clearly. They were dark pools he could get lost in. He looked seriously at her face, and a thousand emotions assailed him all at once. He knew even then that he could never put the intensity of what he was feeling into words, but he thought he would try. "I promise you.." He kissed her once, softly…"That I will live and die with your breath on my lips." he paused for a moment and he could see the tears in Lois' eyes. "I promise you that you will share my soul until the end of time." He gently wiped away the drops of moisture that had fallen against her velvet skin and then took her mouth with his once again. The kiss was long and sweet and more powerful than any they had shared before. He thought that he might explode with the fierce intensity of his emotions. When it broke, Lois brushed her face along his, barely allowing her lips to touch his skin as lightly as a feather.
"Clark.." Lois whispered. "Make love with me. I want to be part of you." Clark swallowed as he looked down at her; as everything he had been feeling up until now coalesced into one giant whirlwind. His lips parted slightly and he closed his eyes. He remembered his own words..
**I wish I could touch you**
"You *can* touch me." His eyes flew open as he realized he had spoken those words aloud and that Lois had just answered him.
"I want to be part of you." Lois repeated softly, entreating him…
"Together." He held his breath and watched her expression.
"Do you trust me?" Lois tipped her head up, caressing his lips with her own; feeling him melt against her.
"I love you." He sighed, her breath was a soft caress against his face and it sent shivers down his spine.
"I've found the way…let me show you…" She reached out and pulled him down towards her into a kiss that sent him spiraling out of control and made him forget everything but *her*. Clark knew at that moment that he would know forever tonight…