By Gina DiUbaldo (GMD614@aol.com)
Summary: The author's wish for the resolution to Lois' amnesia (after the episode "Seconds").
*The following is my wish for the resolution to Lois' amnesia. I hope you enjoy reading it as much I did writing it. Special thanks to CatTess (Duster) for all her help and support. Comments are appreciated.*
Clark stood there - motionless. His keen sense of smell was irritated by the sanitary odor of the hospital corridors. Nurses, doctors and orderlies whisked past him as though he were invisible. Invisible. Yes, that was how Clark felt.
Pulling his right hand out of the pocket of his pants, Clark looked at his watch. It was nearly 11pm. He was tired, drained. The last few days had been hell, and now, when an end to the madness seemed attainable - this. He had to see her one last time before he left the hospital. Clark knew Lois had no recollections of him, but the look in her eyes, the look she had on her face as she was wheeled away from him - he saw something there. Lois *knew* somewhere inside of her; there was total understanding, total comprehension, and undeniable love. There had to be.
A slow ache rose from the pit of Clark's stomach and reached his head. He could never get used to this feeling. His heart was breaking with every beat, with every tick of the clock that Lois didn't remember him. Was this how Lois felt when she thought he had died? No. Clark, at least, had hope that Lois would remember again. Even if she never regained her memory, Lois was alive. God, the pain she must have felt thinking he was dead. Clark couldn't think about it. He never wanted to feel that pain.
Sighing deeply, Clark moved toward Lois' room, a single at the end of the hallway. His head pounded with the beating of his heart. What would he say to her? His mouth was dry.
Clark knocked, and pushed the door open only slightly. "Lois?"
"Yes? Come in," Lois replied in a soft, tired voice.
The light blue sheets around her made Lois look so pale and tiny in the bed. The bruise on her head was a red and purple swirl of color on an otherwise colorless face. Yet, her eyes, though tired, sparkled as Clark caught her gaze and held it for just a moment. Lois looked away unsure of how she should react..
"Um, I…uh…do you need anything before I go?"
The pain in his head intensified. "That's right. Clark Kent."
"Clark Kent. Nice name - strong, upstanding." Lois smiled, and Clark's heart skipped a beat. It had been days since *his* Lois, the genuine article, looked into his eyes and smiled at him. The pounding in his head waned. "How do you feel? That's a pretty bad bump you have there."
Clark touched the back of his fingers to the bruise on Lois' head. His eyes followed the path of his hand across her brow and down the curve of her face. He wanted so badly to pull Lois into his arms and kiss her wounds. He wanted to hold her body close to his and keep her warm and safe and loved. He wanted to take her home.
Lois studied Clark's face. Who was this man that touched her so tenderly, and why didn't she pull away? His eyes were miraculous, dark pools of light. They seemed to hold the secrets of a thousand lifetimes, flaming with all the emotions of the universe. She felt enveloped in warmth as his eyes caressed her face. What was she seeing that made the throbbing in her head lighten, and the room start to spin? He was dizzying, intoxicating, a mirror of herself - yet a stranger. "The painkillers are starting to work now. I'll be okay. Um…Clark? We know each other well…don't we?" Lois asked, sure of the answer.
Clark's eyes met Lois' again, and he smiled. "Yes, Lois. We do."
"We work together. At the Daily Planet. Reporters. Partners."
"Partners? At The Planet? I have a partner?" Lois questioned, raising her eyebrows.
"Yes, you have a partner, a rather good one. " His easy smile drew her in, yet saddened her.
"I remember the Planet, but…" Lois shook her head slightly, "I don't remember you."
The cloud of sadness that veiled Lois' face was almost too much for Clark to bear. He looked down at his shoes, and shoved his hands into the pockets of his trousers.
"I'm sorry, Clark." Lois' eyes began to well with unshed tears as she closed her eyes and turned her face away from him. She couldn't explain her sudden urge to cry, but it seemed the only release from the twisting ache in her chest.
Lois wanted to know this man. She felt as though she *did* know him - instantly - but without any memories, without a past. She knew her feelings were intense, but something inside of her made her question the origin of these emotions. Lois couldn't be sure if the pain was hers, or if she was feeling his pain through some odd connection. The hurt in his eyes was unbearable, but why? What was it that allowed her to remember the Planet, but not Clark Kent?
Clark tried to swallow the lump that rose in his throat. Looking around the room, he spotted a chair and pulled it near the bed. He sat, and reached for Lois' hand. As he wrapped his long fingers around hers, she was amazed at how tiny her hand felt in his. She turned her head back to face him, and saw one tear slide down his cheek. Clark wiped it away quickly, avoiding Lois' gaze.
"I can't. The doctor said that you have to remember on your own."
"Please. I don't need details. I just have to know."
"We met at work."
"Yes, at the Planet. You said that already. We're friends? I feel like we're…friends."
"Friends. Yes - that too." This was torture for Clark. His body ached with need for Lois. He had to leave. Fresh air - cold and sharp - above the Earth's atmosphere; yes, that was what he needed. He was suffocating. "Lois, you have to get some sleep. Things might seem clearer in the morning." Clark started to rise up out of the chair.
"Please. Don't leave…until I fall asleep. I don't know why, but I would feel better if you stayed."
A strange combination of love, desire, confusion, and hurt filled his every pore. He would stay with her - of course he would stay with her. Lois needed him. She *knew* - somewhere inside of her, she knew. It would just be a matter of time.
"Here we are. Your apartment."
Clark unlocked each of the four locks and turned the doorknob. Pushing the door open, he stepped aside allowing Lois to proceed. She paused at the doorway and looked into the apartment. Yes, it was hers. Home, finally. It seemed like a lifetime ago that she was last here. Lois moved into the room.
Behind her, Clark closed the door and removed his jacket. She felt his hands, solid and strong, rest on her shoulders. She began to shimmy out of her coat. Clark helped her ease out of it. As he hung the coat in the closet and walked to the kitchen to prepare Oolong tea, Lois noticed the familiarity he had with her home.
"You've spent a lot of time here." Clark grinned at her statement.
"Yes. We've spent quite a few late nights on that couch…um, working…on stories."
"I see. Stories, huh?"
Lois nodded and walked to the bedroom. She smiled warmly at Clark's response, but hid it from him as she turned away. She was very pleased to know that there was something more than work and friendship between them. She could tell by Clark's reactions and responses that this was so, and it excited her. He was the most gorgeous man she could ever remember seeing - which at this point didn't mean much. Lois, though, had a feeling that he was *always* the most gorgeous man she'd ever seen, amnesia or no.
She called to Clark from the bedroom, where she was getting reacquainted with her belongings. "I want to thank you for bringing me home. I know I wasn't much company the last couple of days in the hospital."
She reemerged in the kitchen and stood next to Clark as he arranged fresh scones from his mother's oven on a ceramic dish.
"You needed to rest. At one point, I think you slept for 18 hours straight. And you don't have to thank me for helping you, Lois. I'm just surprised you asked me."
" Honestly, so am I. But, it felt like the right thing to do. It felt…good."
Lois grabbed a scone off the dish and nibbled on it as she wandered into the living room, touching and examining all her possessions, hoping for a sudden reminder of her life with Clark. She stopped at the desk by the window. A photograph of Lois and Clark taken at a party reflected the glare of the sun. She ran her hand along the top of the frame, then picked it up. For a long moment, Lois stared at the two people in the picture. She wasn't focusing on the details - she couldn't. The colors ran together much like a painting from the Impressionist Era.
As if the image was speaking to her, Lois understood the bond, the love, the importance of this couple's union. Instantly, the image came into focus and Lois' eyes were drawn to her left hand, in the photo, which rested on Clark's lapel. "Oh…oh, Clark…"
Lois felt dizzy and her knees grew weak. She was falling - down, down, down a long tunnel of darkness. Then, it stopped. Like a bolt from the blue - a bolt "in" blue - Clark was with her, holding her. Lois' mind reeled with images, fuzzy watercolor images of what she assumed was her life. Clark lifted her into his arms and carried her to the bedroom. Carefully placing her in the center of the bed, he rested her head against the soft down pillows. She seemed disoriented, her breathing shallow. Clark sat next to her and brushed the hair from her face.
"It's okay, Lois. The doctor said you might have dizzy spells for a few days. Just close your eyes and rest."
Thoughts, images, feelings, and ideas spun out of control within her brain. She needed to sleep. Closing her eyes, a soft sigh escaped her lips. Clark was with her. She felt safe. Not once through this whole ordeal had he pressured her. In fact, it was she who was pressuring him - for answers. Something seemed so oddly familiar about that. His patience had played a big part in their relationship - she felt it. She knew he'd wait for her to remember - without pushing.
Waiting…waiting…significant somehow, but Lois couldn't be sure. Colors swirled behind her closed eyelids. White, ivory, tangerine - soft and warm… What was her mind trying to decipher? She drifted into a deep sleep.
Martha sat down on the green and gold plaid bedspread. Her eyes moved from object to object lining the shelves on the walls. The history of a mid-western boy and his childhood escapades were spread around the room. In her hands, the worn baseball mitt of a child who had grown. She held the mitt close to her, wrapping her arms around it, hugging it to her chest. Where did the time go ? Wasn't it only last week that Clark and Jonathan won the blue ribbon at the Corn Festival for "Fastest Husking Team" ? That was in 1973. Sighing, Martha stood and moved toward the desk.
Pulling back the chair, she sat and fingered the worn wood. They had made this desk together - Martha, Jonathan, and Clark. It was here where he'd written so many of those articles that caught the eyes of his professors, in high school and college. Now, her boy was a famous reporter working for the Daily Planet in Metropolis. Her boy. He really was "her" boy in so many ways. His enthusiasm for the world and all its details, his love for cooking, his romantic heart were all gifts Martha had given to her boy.
"Do you want to talk about it, Martha?"
She jumped, startled from her thoughts. Smiling, Martha turned to her husband and held out the mitt. "Remember when he tried out for the Smallville Twisters? He was so small, but his will…I think the coach was afraid NOT to pick him for the team!"
Jonathan laughed, reaching out for the leather catcher's mitt. He brought it up to his nose, taking in a deep breath, appreciating the faint scent of oil and dirt that were part of making the leather so soft. "Yes. He was determined. And strong, even then. That's why 'ole Hal put him behind the plate. Said he was a powerhouse."
Jonathan sat on the bed. Martha moved across the room and joined him. Her eyes brimmed with unshed tears. She wouldn't look at him, couldn't look at him, for fear of breaking down into a sobbing mess.
"Martha, he'll get through this. They both will. They have each other.
"Oh, honey, I know that. I am so…so… Oh, Jonathan, I adore that girl. I love Lois like a daughter. She's the answer to every one of those little prayers I've offered for the last 29 years. His life has been so difficult at times."
Martha leaned toward Jonathan and rested her head on his broad shoulder. Pulling his wife closer to his side, Jonathan felt a warmth spread through his torso and radiate out to his fingers and toes. He was needed, and he was loved. This Jonathan considered to be his greatest accomplishment, an accomplishment his son was achieving at that very moment. After a quick kiss, Martha stood and walked to the window. She opened the curtains and stared out into the Kansas morning.
"Jonathan, all these years it has been the three of us. I always hoped, prayed, that Clark would find someone to share his life with. When I first set my eyes on Lois - in the middle of the Corn Festival two years ago, something in my heart told me she was the one."
"Probably the same tug that pulled on Clark's heart when he first saw her, too. You always shared an innate connection with him."
"Yes, I have, and he's in pain, Jonathan."
Martha said nothing more. She just stood quietly at the window, tears running down her cheeks. She watched a blue jay land on the feeder Clark had made as a boy. Disappearing inside, the bird hopped out and summoned the rest of the clan with a melodic little whistle. The hasty pecking and bustling around the old feeder made Martha smile.
"Look, Jonathan. These birds remind me of the women at the dress shop where Lois bought her wedding gown. Hovering, nervous, and pecking ! What a day that had been! I still get teary-eyed when I think about Lois' insistence that I join the Lane women on that excursion."
"She loves you, too, Martha. You two share a very special young man who has a very special secret."
Jonathan stepped behind his wife and directed his gaze toward the activity outside the window. Putting his arms around Martha, the older couple laughed and watched as the birds fussed about.
"Should we go to him?" Jonathan asked.
"No. I think he needs some space to deal with this his way. He'll come to us when he feels the need."
"Is that why you were out of bed and baking scones at 4:00 this morning?"
Martha nodded, then began to cry. Her tiny shoulders shook as she wept silently into her husband's chest. Jonathan held her close to him and gently rubbed her back. He didn't know what to say to her to stop her tears.
Clark sat with Lois for about an hour. Her sleep was peaceful. He was grateful for that. Her small frame looked lost among the many pillows on the bed, but a pinkish hue was returning to her cheeks. A soft, brown curl fell across her closed eyelids. Gently, he brushed it aside, caressing her cheek before removing his hand from her face.
Lois' past was locked inside of her, and Clark knew it was struggling to come out. He could tell by the way she moved around her apartment, by the way she interacted with him. Though a stranger to her, Lois admittedly felt secure and comfortable with him. He wanted to tell her everything - about their love, Superman, the wedding, Luthor, the clone…He wanted to fill in all the gaps of their history, even the ugly parts. But, he knew the memories had to return on their own. Patience, Clark, patience.
He rose from the bed, Lois stirring as he moved. After draping another blanket over her, Clark dimmed the light and entered the kitchen. Hot tea would relax him. Unconsciously, as Clark filled the kettle with water, he picked up the phone and dialed his Smallville home.
"Clark, how are you, son? How's Lois?"
"We've been better. Lois is sleeping. She seems to get tired so quickly. Her color is returning, and she's remembering things in bits and pieces - tiny, minuscule bits and pieces."
"Clark, honey? It's mom. I just picked up the extension."
"How are you holding up?"
"I'm fine, I guess. Frustrated."
"Just be patient, boy. Lois will remember."
Clark laughed at his father's statement. "Patience, Dad. If I had anymore patience, I'd be comatose."
"Clark, your father didn't mean…"
"I'm sorry, Dad. You didn't deserve that. It's just been the longest, hardest week of my life, and all I seem to be doing is waiting. Waiting for the wedding, the honeymoon; waiting for Luthor to make a move; waiting for information; waiting for Lois to regain her memory. I'm tired of waiting. Superman takes action, yet here I am, completely unable to do anything right or useful."
"We haven't heard anything about Superman on the news in a few days. Has he been around?"
"No, Mom. I've been spending as much time with Lois as I can. When I'm not with her, I'm so exhausted. I just go home and sleep."
"Does she know about Superman? I mean, does she remember him?"
"She hasn't mentioned anything and I haven't brought it up. I'm assuming that if she doesn't remember me, she won't remember him."
"Never assume anything."
"I know, Dad, but in this case…"
"Honey, maybe Superman is just what you need right now. Take your mind off of things for a little while. Do some physical work instead of mental for a few hours."
"That sounds like a good idea, Mom, but leaving Lois alone…"
"She'll be fine. Why not ask that neighbor friend of hers to come over while she sleeps?"
"Star? I could do that."
"Your mother's right. Besides, if given the opportunity to miss you a little bit, who knows what Lois might remember?"
"Okay, you've convinced me. I'm going."
"Take care of yourself, Clark. If you need us, you know we're here."
"I know. Thanks, Dad, Mom. Bye."
Clark hung up the phone. Without realizing it, Clark poured his tea into a royal blue mug which displayed his S- shield boldly on either side of the handle. As he lifted the mug to his lips for a sip of the hot, soothing liquid, he caught the irony and rolled his eyes.
The sun was disappearing beyond the horizon. A pinkish-orange haze covered the Earth, giving Clark a sense of calmness and satisfaction. He'd done a lot today. A tanker leaking oil in the Pacific needed cleaning, a fire in a hotel on the Riviera needed extinguishing, and torrential downpours in the Mississippi Valley which caused extensive flooding needed draining - on top of the day-to-day Metropolis crime events. A lingering shower and a hot meal would hit the spot. He flew toward Lois' building, landing on the roof. Spinning out of the suit, Clark pulled the stairway door open and disappeared inside.
Clark thanked Star, and closed the door behind her. She had convinced Lois to take a hot bath, promising her that Clark would return before her bath was through. "Psychics know these things," she said. According to Star, Lois must have walked to the window one hundred times in little more than an hour looking for him.
"Isn't that strange," Star asked Clark.
"Not really. The window overlooks the street in front of the building," Clark replied.
"Yes, it does, but she kept looking *up*. The poor thing must really be confused."
Clark allowed that conversation to play over and over in his mind. Though she didn't know it, Lois was on the verge of remembering. He focused his hearing on the bathroom, to be sure that Lois hadn't fallen asleep in the tub. She was just fine, humming to herself, and turning the pages of a magazine.
He was hungry. He thought about defrosting the chicken in the freezer with his heat vision, but he wasn't in the mood for cooking. That slow, easy smile Lois found so appealing crept across his face. Remembering the first meal they shared, he wondered if recreating that moment would trigger any subconscious memories about their relationship. Should he fly to China and bring back the same meal? He decided to take the chance. Well, in 20 minutes, *one* of his cravings would be satisfied. The lingering shower would have to wait, not to mention his craving for Lois. Realizing the affect his thoughts were having on his body, Clark decided to keep busy. Thinking about it wasn't going to make it happen.
Clark selected a few CD's and loaded them into the CD player. He adjusted the volume and headed for the kitchen. Opening the cabinet next to the sink, he removed two crystal wine glasses. Chilling in the refrigerator was a bottle of wine Clark had found earlier that morning. Setting the table with care, he stepped back and admired his work. Nice, romantic, but not pushy. Comfortable, he decided, but the addition of a couple of candles would add a slight seductiveness to the room.
He glided into Lois' bedroom, and opened the window. Tipping his head slightly, he once again tuned in to her. She hadn't gotten out of the tub yet - he'd have plenty of time to fly to China and back before Lois could realize she was alone. Spinning into the suit, Clark flew into the back alley, and up into the evening sky.
Unlocking the apartment door, Clark entered, carrying bamboo baskets of authentic Chinese take-out. He could hear Lois' movements in the other room, and smiled at his impeccable timing. As he arranged the baskets on the table, Lois entered the room.
"Star, I think you'd better clean your receptors. Clark's still missing in… Oh, you're back!"
Lois fidgeted with her short silk wrap. She hadn't expected Clark to be there. Had she known he was back, the thick terry cloth robe would have been a more suitable choice. However, she seemed to be getting quite a pleasing reaction from him nonetheless. He froze, and stared at her, his lips slightly parted.
Her wet curls fell loosely around her face, framing her big, deep brown eyes. Her legs seemed to go on forever, toned and smooth. But, the way she was tugging at her wrap was certainly heating things up on his end. His mother had bought the wrap for her in Italy last year. The deep burgundy gave her skin an especially rosy tone.
"I stopped for Chinese. Are you hungry?"
"Famished. Star said you were gone for most of the afternoon. Big story?"
"Uh, no, not really."
"Oh. Had some shopping to do? Visiting, maybe?"
"No. No shopping, no visiting."
"Well, don't keep me in suspense. What was it? An appointment with the barber? Returning some movies from the video store? Made an emergency run for Super Choco Chunk Ice Cream?"
Not knowing how to respond without lying to her, Clark simply brushed off the questions. "I realized I hadn't been home in a few days. I had some errands to run, mail to check, things to take care of - nothing out of the ordinary…for me, that is."
She was so close to remembering. The butterflies in his stomach were working overtime, yet he remained calm. There was nothing to be nervous about. Those days were long gone. He just hoped that Lois' memories came back all at once because he wasn't looking forward to another night like the one they had the first time she found out he was Superman. Patience, Clark, patience, patience, patience.
"Clark, that smells incredible. What cute little containers! Where did you get it?"
"Oh, just a little place I know…"
"They're adorable. Have we ordered from this place before?"
"Once before. A long time ago."
She grabbed a piece of chicken and slipped it into her mouth, licking the juice off her fingers. Clark was entranced.
"Lois…your chin…it dripped."
"Oh, Look at me!"
"I have been," he answered more huskily than he'd intended, blushing at the revelation.
"I'd better change. I'll be back in a minute. I think I have a pair of sweatpants hanging on the back of the bathroom door," Lois said, quickly scurrying into the bedroom, embarrassed by her affect on him.
Lois disappeared into the bedroom as Clark tried to think of one really good reason *not* to x-ray the wall between them. He wanted to ask her so many questions. Had she remembered anything? Dreamed anything? He was so nervous about overstepping boundaries, but a big part of him felt it was his right as her fiance to know. He hoped she wouldn't find his curiosity too intrusive.
Wearing a heather gray jogging suit and a pair of his sweat socks she'd found in a drawer, Lois was ready to sink her teeth into the Garlic Chicken. Clark stood behind a chair, pulling it away from the table for her. She smiled at him, looking into his eyes for the first time since this morning. In an instant, she became so much more than Lois Lane, reporter from the Daily Planet. She was part of something bigger - something huge - something infinite. Both Lois and Clark seemed lost in the gaze, standing there for a several seconds reaching into each other's souls.
As her eyes locked with his, a swirling halo appeared around him. Blue. Red. Yellow. Though her eyes never left his, the haze surrounding him reached out and enclosed her as well. Two, yet one - protected by a shield of color. They were untouchable. She felt it starting again - the falling, but this time he was right there, reaching his hand out to her. She took it and he pulled her close to him. Clark Kent, mild-mannered reporter from Smallville, Kansas. Yes, she knew him. The bamboo baskets - The Daily Planet three years ago. As the shield around them intensified, the colors changed from blue and red and yellow to white - pure, innocent, honest white.
He wrapped his muscular arms around her, supporting her, and he tipped his mouth to hers. So strong was the love in his kiss that the force of it made her collapse in his arms. Blue. Red. Yellow. Again the colors changed. She tightened her hold on him closing her arms around his neck. She deepened the kiss, striving to know him - all of him, but something was missing. Blue. Red. Yellow. She had to know. He lifted her into his arms. They were floating. But were they really? She couldn't tell. The haze was surrounding them - a misty, watercolored haze of light. It was bright, so bright that she couldn't open her eyes. She didn't want to open them. The euphoria seemed endless. Higher and higher they floated - wrapped in the brightness of the moon's white glow.
He broke their kiss, whispering her name softly - urgently - in her ear. Where were they? She didn't know, but she wanted to stay. She couldn't open her eyes - the light was too powerful; the colors, too strong. She knew - he was Clark Kent, farm boy - Clark Kent, reporter - Clark Kent, fiance. More, more…Blue. Red. Yellow. The moon's glow - warm, engulfing. Clark Kent…Clark Kent…Clark…Kal…
Her head reeled. The memories swirled together…watercolors on the canvas of her life - twisting, blending. Moonglow…floating…flying. His arms were so strong. She forced her eyes to open. He was there, with her in the blackness of the night sky. Tiny freckles of light danced around them. Just beyond his broad shoulders, the moon. She had to speak - to tell him. She knew. She remembered.
"Clark Kent, Superman."
THE END !!!!!
Hope you enjoyed it!