By Michelle Gilmore and Stephanie Hudzik <Michell944@aol.com> and <Shudzik@aol.com>
Rated PG Submitted September 24, 1997
Summary: When Clark's out of town on Super-business, Lois stumbles into trouble. Will the Daily Planet be writing her epitaph?
This story is set a few months into the future of The Family Hour. We haven't dealt with the having kids issue! Epitaph is loosely based around the theme of Resurrection so it may help to have watched the episode. Saying that however, Stephanie hasn't and she wrote half of this! All the usual disclaimers apply. Send any comments to <Michell944@aol.com> and <Shudzik@aol.com>.
Lois stifled a yawn but didn't bother to open her eyes. She hated mornings. Why was it that one never felt tired at night when they're supposed to? Maybe an early morning shower would wake her up enough to even attempt to find an angle for whatever the day's hottest story might be. She opened her eyes but all she saw was the colour white. At first she thought that lack of sleep might have induced a state of temporary blindness but a quick peek to her left contradicted that. She was in fact, face-to-face with the ceiling. She wouldn't have minded this if Clark was the kind of person who woke up at the sound of someone breathing but he wasn't. He could sleep through a world war or the screams of a suffocating wife and this posed a little problem for her.
Then all of a sudden she began to fall, faster and faster. She looked down to see the ground approaching her quickly! What could she do? Her life flashed before her eyes. She began to see people's faces … the first being Clark's, then her parents and Clark's parents and so many people. She didn't recognise all of them but two in particular seemed vaguely familiar … who are these people? SMASH! She hit the ground with a thud! Lois screamed and sat up … she was back in her bedroom. The covers were all twisted … it had all been a bad dream … But where was Clark? WHOOSH! A red blur popped through the windows.
"Hi honey. I was in Texas cleaning up a train wreck … honey, what's the matter?"
Lois proceeded to tell Clark the whole dream … even the part about the weird faces. Clark told her she was working too hard and needed some time off. He went to make breakfast and he got dressed. Clark is wrong, Lois thought. I don't work too much. After breakfast Clark flew them to the Planet … Lois's desk was swamped! Clark had to make an exit so she was all alone. She looked at her desk. There were flowers and candy on the desk … and a note.
Meet Me In The Back Alley In 1 hr
Ohhhh, Clark is so romantic, she thought. She began to walk to the alley. When she arrived, she found another note … and a box. She started to open the box and a rag was put over her mouth and nose blocking of off all oxygen.
"Don't move or talk!" a voice growled. Then everything went black.
Clark entered the newsroom and straightened his tie. Lois had bought it for him as a joke. It was blue and had lots of miniature Superman symbols printed on it.
Clark turned to find Jimmy grinning at him. "Oh hey Jimmy."
"Nice tie!" he grinned. "Speaking of Superman, did you see channel 5 news? Superman flew to San Francisco to save a busload of children and teachers being held at gunpoint during a geography field trip. Y'know when Superman got there, he was too late to save seven kids who had already been shot."
Clark looked slightly agitated. "How many did he save?"
"Fifty or so."
"Well aren't the ones he saved as important as those who weren't so lucky?"
"Now son," Clark turned around to see Perry, "The public likes to read about bad news. The good things in life, well, uhhh, if you want to hear the good news then you can go to church!"
Clark faked a smile.
"Now son, where's that wife of yours?"
"I thought she was here." Clark's eyes widened. "Where is she?"
"Last I saw of her was when she went to meet you, son."
"Meet me? Where?" he asked urgently.
"The alley, round the back." Clark ran back to the elevator and raced to the alley.
"Uh oh Julie, look who's coming!" Julie turned to look at the gorgeous captain of the football team striding towards her with a big smile on his face.
"Oh my God, Lois, I think he's smiling at me! How's my hair?"
Lois giggled at her boy-crazy best friend."It's fine!" she whispered back.
"Hi!" said Dave, still grinning his big 'we've just won' grin.
"Hi," drooled Julie.
"Jules, great cheering, you're our inspiration!"
"Thanks Dave." Julie blushed and Lois rolled her eyes.
"Lois ,are you free on Saturday night?"
Lois turned to look at Dave. "You're asking me out? Umm, can I think about it?"
It was Julie's turn to roll her eyes."She's holding out for Bobby Sherwood!"
Dave looked hurt."But Bobby's only a quarterback!" he said motioning to the spot where Bobby was chatting with six members of the football team and two flirty cheerleaders.
Dave frowned as he remembered Lois's behaviour towards him all those years ago. It was as if she had known what was going to happen. He remembered how Bobby, the shy quarterback had dated Lois for a year and come out of his shell. He had knocked Dave out of his position as captain and even beaten him to a football scholarship at the university. When he had graduated, he had tried out for the Buffalo Bills with two other hopefuls including Bobby. Now Bobby had millions of dollars, a great career, a wife and four kids and one enemy. An enemy who hated him and his wife and kids and Metropolis University and Coach Fuller and Coach Brackett and most of all, Lois. For helping Bobby to be his best. A best which had knocked Dave from the top spot. He turned to his side where four prisoners lay, bound with ropes, gagged and knocked unconscious. Bobby Sherwood, Lisa Sherwood (his wife), Julie Graham (Lois's high school best friend and captain of the cheerleading squad) and Lois herself. They would be the first of many to suffer.
As Clark ran around back, he wondered what could have possibly happened to Lois and most of all, why would she be in the alley after him? She knew he was going to San Francisco. When he reached the alley, it was pretty dark. He used his x-ray vision to look for anything suspicious but found nothing. He decided to double check but still found nothing…wait! What was that? LOIS'S EAR-RING! She must have dropped it! Maybe she's playing a trick on me and I have to solve some kind of puzzle, he thought…but she does have a knack for getting into trouble.
Back in a makeshift cell in Dave's basement Lois began to come to. "Where am I?" Lois tried to say but it came out sounding like blah blah blah. She turned and looked around…who are these people? Things were very hazy and she felt sick. When things began to make some sense, she recognised Bobby…then Julie. Why after being out of school for twelve years would she be reunited with these people? And where was Clark when she needed him?
Lois being the strong woman she was, moved across the floor and with her hands tied behind her back, managed to remove Julie's gag. Julie did the same for Lois. "What is going on?" asked Lois.
Julie replied, "Remember Dave from high school? Well he's bought us here for some reason!" Bobby was still passed out in the corner.
"How long have I been out?" asked Lois.
"About an hour," replied Julie. "I was brought here first, then Bobby, then you. I don't know why Bobby hasn't woken up yet."
Clark flew home as fast as he could. He wondered what in the world was going on. He put his key in the lock and opened the door.
"Lois! Lois!" Clark screamed. No answer. He decided to call the Planet.
Lois began to scream. Dave had come back and Bobby had woken up and they had begun to fight. Dave threw a punch which hit Bobby and this only made him more angry. With a loud grunt Bobby smacked Dave's head against the table and knocked him out cold. A pool of blood began to build up on the floor around him.
"OH MY GOD, DAVE! IT WASN'T SUPPOSED TO GO THIS FAR!" screamed Julie.
Lois stopped her yelling and turned to Julie wide-eyed."What are you talking about?" asked Lois.
"You blew our cover!" yelled Dave.
"You were in on this too?"
"I wanted to get back at you," she explained. "In high school, I was the head cheerleader! I was supposed to get all the attention and the boys and be the homecoming queen." She looked at the ground "And you got all that!"
"Enough with this crap!" yelled Dave."Get your friend Superman to fly me to Fort Knox or you'll never see Bobby alive again!"
Lois narrowed her eyes. "I'm not helping you! What do you want at Fort Knox?"
"I'm just going to kill a few people! Well, more than a few! All right, just a cityful!"
"And you expect me to put my life in front of the millions who live in Metropolis?" Lois laughed a confident laugh to try and hide her fear.
Dave grew furious and he clasped his hands around Lois's neck. "Get Superman or I'll kill you!"
Lois looked him in the eye. "No!"
"I assume you know the story of Romeo and Juliet?" he said dryly. Lois just gave him her best defiant look. "And you know that Juliet made herself appear dead using a potion. A potion which was the inspiration for a little pill called Resurrection. This pill was used to sneak criminals out of jail by making it appear as if they were dead. The pill's effects only lasted a day or two. A clever little thing. There was another pill made up. Epitaph. If you swallow it, you will appear to be dead for just over three days. At that point you wake up. For one hour you have a raging thirst because you haven't had a drink for three days. If you don't have a drink during that hour, you won't live another minute."
"A lovely tale!" commented Lois. "But what does it have to do with me?"
"I have that pill on me!" he replied. "And I'll jam it down your scrawny throat if you don't contact Superman now!"
Lois shook her head. Dave yanked her mouth open and stuffed a pill down her throat. She collapsed on her side.
Dave smiled an evil smile. "Lois almost dead, Bobby almost dead, just you, Jules!"
Julie turned white. She opened her mouth to scream but didn't get the chance.
"This is the police, open up!" yelled a voice. Dave picked up Julie and knocked her out again. He looked around and saw the window he had left open to torment his prisoners. He climbed out of the window, Julie in tow.
"We'll break down the door!" the police officer yelled his warning. Two police officers broke the door down.
"A corpse and an unconscious man!" said one of the police officers.
Two days later a funeral was held.
"Dearly beloved,we have gathered here today to remember a dear friend, daughter, sister, and wife, taken away from us at such a tragically short age. Lois Lane was a brilliant woman, devoted to those who loved her and to serving the citizens of Metropolis with the truth."
The funeral lasted an hour and a half but Clark could barely stand up for one minute. He cried openly and stared at the closed casket. Closed because of the blood and wounds which she had suffered.
Back at Clark's home, not his and Lois's anymore, just his, his parents sat crying and comforting him. They spoke of tragedy and of time healing.
"I can never be healed," he replied in a cold distancing voice, "I lost my soul mate." Clark wished for death, for kryptonite. Anything to reunite him with his lost love. He no longer cared, the world could explode around him and he wouldn't notice. He had lost the one person he could share everything with. He suddenly felt very cold and alone. "I'm going for a walk," he said quietly, "I just need some time alone."
Meanwhile, Lois blinked her eyes and then opened them. All was dark.
"What's going on?" she asked the small amount of air around her. "Am I dead?" In a flash she remembered Dave and Julie and Bobby. She felt very thirsty and tired."What's going on? Have I been found? Wait a minute…if they found me, they might have thought I was really dead." It all hit her like a ton of bricks "OH MY GOD!!! I'VE BEEN BURIED ALIVE!"
Lois moved her leg and started kicking wildly. She heard a click and a light switched on. She blinked and squinted while her eyes got used to the light. She looked up and saw a note taped to the top of the casket.
LOIS, YOU'VE FOUND MY LITTLE SURPRISE FOR YOU!! YOU CAN'T ESCAPE!! ARE YOU GOING CRAZY?? TOO BAD. THIS COFFIN IS LEAD LINED SO THAT SUPER FRIEND OF YOURS CANNOT COME TO YOUR AID!! THERE'S SOME KRYPTONITE AT THE BOTTOM OF THE CASKET JUST IN CASE!!
Lois heard a ticking noise and she turned white but continued to read…
NOW YOU HAVE TRIGGERED THE SWITCH TO ACTIVATE THE EXPLOSIVES UNDERNEATH THE DAILY PLANET! YOU AND YOUR BELOVED PAPER AND THAT HUSBAND OF YOURS CAN HAVE A TRIPLE FUNERAL!! TOUCHING ISN'T IT?? HAHA!!…AND LOIS…THIRSTY YET???…
Clark was sitting at his kitchen table restlessly while his mother prepared him something to eat. He felt sick and he didn't want to eat, he wanted to die. Clark stood up and mumbled a phrase or two about not being hungry and wanting to work and then he flew off in the direction of the Daily Planet.
When Clark arrived in the city room he saw Lois's desk and at that moment, he felt an overwhelming sense of dread. How can I go on? he thought bitterly. He caught sight of their wedding photo and caught his breath, he felt a bit faint…
"Clark, son, what are you doing here?" Clark turned around to face Perry and his boss enveloped him in a hug. "Clark, I said that you could have as much time off work as you wanted."
Clark shook his head. "I have to find out who's behind this, I can't let Lois die without avenging this murder. I just can't do that."
"Son, you are feeling a lot of strong emotions at the moment and I just want to say that if you want to talk to anyone about anything at all, I'll be here."
"Thank you chief, I appreciate that."
"It's getting late, son. Let me walk you home."
Lois looked around. There were flowers from Clark. She just wanted to cry. What he must be going through! There was a note attached to the flowers. <In loving memory of the most perfect woman in the universe. I have loved her from the beginning and will love her till the end.> It broke her heart! She looked down and noticed something at her feet. A pillow with a cell phone on it. She started to think about Clark.
"Wait!" she said aloud. "A cell phone!" She had once joked with Clark that she wanted to be buried with it but she couldn't believe that he had actually done it!! He is so thoughtful. She used her legs to propel her body around and she pushed the power button. It still worked, there wasn't much power left though. Lois frantically dialed Clark's number.
The elevator came and Clark and Perry stepped in. Clark's phone rang and he answered it. "Hello?"
"Clark, it's me!"
"Me?" he asked. "Who is me?"
"Lois," the voice on the other end said.
"Who is this?" Clark growled. "You are sick. Why are you doing this to me?"
"Clark, it's me, Lois! I swear it's me! Do you need proof? Umm, I know that you're Superman! See, it must be me! No-one, well not many people know your secret."
"Lois? Is it really you? I thought you were dead! How's this possible?"
"I was given a pill to make me look like I was dead! Clark…there's a bomb in the Daily Planet building." Lois hesitated for a moment. She thought of her unbearable thirst and the unbelievable pain she was in. "Clark, I've been buried alive, but wait, don't say anything. I've been buried with kryptonite. If you come to save me then you may get hurt and if you do come then the Planet will burn to the ground."
"Lois, I'm coming to save you…" As Clark said that, there was an explosion and the elevator began to fall. It seemed to race faster and faster…
"CLARK!" screamed Lois.
Clark didn't stop to think. The fates of his loved ones were hanging on a thread, a thread that he himself was holding in his super hand. He flew through the bottom of the elevator and pushed it to rest on the second floor. He ducked behind it before anyone had a chance to see him and changed into his suit at super speed. He flew around the building blowing out fires and flying people outside until all were safe from the explosion.
He took a deep breath and flew at full speed towards Metropolis Cemetery. He dug her casket out from the ground and opened it. Lois sat up and tried to smile at Clark but her condition didn't allow her to complete that task. She fainted. Clark keeled over from the effects of the kryptonite but he couldn't quite reach the object so that he could throw it into the distance.
"Lois," he called weakly. "Honey, can you…" He fell unconscious.
Lois opened her eyes slowly and tried to sit up. She turned to her side and spotted Clark. "Honey?" she asked. "Oh my God." She noticed the kryptonite and immediately got out of the casket and shut the piece of hell into a lead lined prison. After that sudden burst of energy she fainted once again. A few minutes later, Clark opened his eyes. He had a bad headache but he felt a lot better. He picked up his dying wife and flew her to the hospital.
A few days later, Clark and Perry were sitting by Lois's bed while she slept and talked about what Perry had observed in that elevator.
"Now, uh, son that's quite a stunt you pulled." Clark smiled weakly at his joke. "Now you don't need worry about me. I'll take it to the grave!"
"Don't talk about graves, Perry," said Clark with a half smile.
"Don't worry son, I won't be going into mine for quite a few years!"
Lois opened a sleepy eye and smiled. "Neither will I, Clark."
Perry put an arm around Clark and Clark leaned down to kiss his ever-beautiful wife.
Jimmy peeked round the door. "Can we come in?" he asked.
"Sure!" replied a smiling Lois. Jimmy entered followed by Lois's and Clark's parents and Lucy. Lois sat up and smiled at her best friends as they fussed over her and told her how much they loved her. She smiled a secret smile to Clark and he smiled the same happy smile back. Lois couldn't remember when she had felt happier.
A few days later Clark took Lois home. Lois was still sort of weak and really wasn't allowed to walk around. Plus Clark insisted in carrying her wherever she wanted to go. He never wanted to be apart from her again.
"Are you cold? Do you need a blanket? Or maybe you are hungry?Or thirsty?" Clark said. "Ok, bad question!" They both laughed.
Clark walked downstairs and got her a cup of hot chocolate. This will definitely warm her up, he thought. He decided to take a minute to think about the past week or so. It was the hardest time he had ever known. Even when she hadn't accepted his marriage proposal and he was heartbroken. But to lose Lois forever. He would be devastated! He took a deep breath, grabbed the cup and went upstairs.
He sat down next to Lois and gave her the hot chocolate. "How is that?" Clark asked.
"Well it is good but something is missing," replied Lois.
Clark didn't have to think twice. He cuddled up against Lois and never wanted to leave that spot ever! He thought about the time that they had lost. Yes maybe just a week but to those who love, time has no bearing unless it is ripped away. He never wanted to experience that grief again. He moved closer to Lois. Nothing could ruin this moment! Not a cry for help or Lex Luthor or Tempus or anything else that had so often come between them. No, as Lois fell off into dream world Clark knew he would protect her. He knew this WAS true love and was hard to come by. He ran his hand through her soft hair and quietly told himself he wouldn't sleep tonight. He would stay awake and just watch her.