By Nicole <CKgroupie@gmx.net> Rated: PG
Submitted December 10, 1997
Summary: Alt-Clark, returning to his own dimension to confront the emptiness of life without Lois, decides to do some research on Lois's disappearance. Could Lex Luthor be involved? Is Lois really dead?
This is my first attempt in fanfiction. I actually wrote this story soon after seeing LOIS AND CLARKS in the spring of 1997, but I had to translate it before sending it to the archive. I just thought that the story of the other Clark couldn't end like this and so I tried to help him a little on his way to a happier future.
I have to admit, I totally forgot about the fact that the other dimension's Perry is not the chief editor of the Daily Planet, but rather the mayor, until I rewatched TEMPUS ANYONE. To avoid complaints about this obvious mistake in continuity, let's just say that Perry was tired of being the mayor and returned to his old job.
Another problem was my lack of geographical knowledge. Is there an ocean near the Congo? I really don't know and didn't dare to look at a map yet. I don't like it when my story gets destroyed by such a simple fact. But maybe you guys are like me and don't know either, or (even better) don't care. Then you hopefully will have some of the fun in reading this story as I had in writing this.
As usual, the characters of this story don't belong to me and blah blah blah … I can't remember the correct words for the disclaimer but you know what I mean.
Feedback is really appreciated. You can send your comments to <CKgroupie@gmx.net>. (Ckgroupie on IRC)
Clark opened up the door to his apartment. It was as dark and empty as it had been two days ago when he had left. He sighed. What had H.G. Wells told him when they had said Goodbye?
They had not talked very much on their trip back to his own dimension. Clark was lost in thought and H.G. Wells seemed to understand that.
It's amazing, how short such a trip is, Clark thought, when you consider how big the differences are between our two dimensions: *his* world and *my* world! He tried to push back the feeling of bitterness and unfairness in his soul about *him* having it all, while he had nothing. It was hard, so very hard. He remembered the happy smiles of Martha and Jonathan Kent, when they finally were able to embrace their beloved son again and the expression on Lois's face - God, Lois! The thought of her clinging to her husband, as if she would never let him out of her arms again, and her smile when she talked to him - it was so good to see her happy like this, but it hurt so much at the same time.
"We're there, Clark." The voice of H.G. Wells suddenly brought him back to the present. Turning around, he could read a lot of understanding in the older man's eyes.
"It's not easy to come back, isn't it?"
"No it isn't," Clark answered shortly.
"Maybe it wasn't fair to ask you for this favor, Clark, " the time-traveler started, "It occurred to me all the time in these past two days and I … "
"It's okay, Mr. Wells," Clark cut in. "They needed me and it worked. I guess that's the most important thing. It's just that … "
" … It's just that you want to be a little more like *him*, isn't it?" H.G. Wells finished the sentence for him softly.
Clark didn't answer. He stared at the ground in front of his feet, fighting his emotions.
The time-traveler didn't speak for a while. He just watched him. Finally he said, "Clark, don't look at *his* life, you have to look at your own. *You* have the power to change it." He smiled reassuringly. "I'm sure, you'll find your happiness, if you just start searching!"
"But why is it so easy for *him* and so hard for me?!!" There it was, he had said it. The thought he had fought against the whole time. A childish thought and he was ashamed of it, but he couldn't help it. It was written in his mind in big letters and he couldn't ignore it any longer!
H.G. Wells didn't smile, neither did he frown. His voice stayed as calm and full of understanding as it had been before, when he answered. "But you don't really know *his* life, Clark, do you? You would be surprised to know, how hard it has been for him, how hard it still is and maybe will be.
"There was a time when his life was much worse than yours is now. He lived completely isolated by his own choice. Nobody knew his secret and he had to watch Lois almost marry another man. Or the time when Lois was abducted and he didn't know if he would ever see her again.
"Not so long ago, he was ready to leave the love of his life and his beloved parents to save a planet, he didn't know anything about besides the fact that they needed his help and that they were lost without him. *He* also always had to make sacrifices, to fight against his doubts and to strike down so many barriers between his destiny and his happiness. And that's what you have to do, too."
Clark remained silent for a while. Suddenly he stood up and offered H.G. Wells his hand for a goodbye.
"Thank you Mr. Wells,"he said. "I'll try to think about what you said to me, if I happen to fall back into self-pity again. You have to know, I'm feeling ashamed of it."
H.G. Wells smiled his friendly smile. "You don't have to, Clark. You're only human and that's one of your best character traits. Trust me on this." He looked at his watch, then waved Clark goodbye and was gone.
'You'll find your happiness, if you just start searching.' Clark thought about these words, when he boiled some water for tea. Where should he start? But of course he knew the answer even as the question crossed his mind. He had to be honest with himself. He knew exactly where to start and that there was only one thing, or better, one person that was missing in his life. He had to find Lois Lane.
"To the Congo?!" Perry White looked at Clark in total astonishment. "But Clark, what in the King's name are you gonna do there?"
"I want to find Lois Lane," Clark answered honestly.
"Lois? But she's not in the Congo anymore, Clark! Don't you remember? She was here, not so long ago and she obviously started a new life, because when she left again, she told me that she wanted to go back to her fiancee and her new job!"
"I know, Chief … " Clark didn't really know what to say. He couldn't tell Perry that the Lois he had seen at the Planet not so long ago had not been the same Lois who was lost in the Congo; that this Lois had been abducted from another dimension; that the 'fiancee' in reality was *his* parallel self in another dimension and that he now longed for a woman he had never seen in his life and whom he didn't even know if she was still alive! So he just said, "It's something I kind of stumbled over, during the last two days. It's about the abduction of Lois Lane in the Congo and I really can't say much more about it. You have to trust me on this, Chief. All I want is your permission to investigate in this case. I don't even know if I really have to fly to the Congo … "
Perry shook his head. On the one hand Clark Kent had never give him any reason not to grant him this favor. He always behaved as a role model in both his jobs as a reporter for the Daily Planet and as the famous Superman. He never required any special attention or demanded any special treatment. If Superman had been busy all day, then Clark worked at night to be sure he still had the best stories in town. And that's without ever writing an article about Superman! Those stories he gave to the other reporters out of principle. The fastest got the story and if the fastest was from another newspaper, no problem for Clark but a big problem for Perry.
In the beginning there had been heated discussions between Clark and Perry about this. Perry had been furious about Clark giving a Superman story to another newspaper. In Perry's view, the Daily Planet should be the newspaper which covered all Superman stories and he was totally taken aback when Clark told him that he would have to quit under these circumstances. But after a few months he was able to understand Clark's decision. Now, as things were, Perry still had a great reporter in Clark Kent, even without the stories about Superman and those stories could be in his newspaper too, if the other reporters did their job. Perry also realized that the boy had a right for some life of his own, outside the superhero. Probably this also was the reason Clark still wore the suit Lois had made him if he was out saving the day as Superman. '"I need to be able to distinguish between Superman and Clark Kent, Chief."' Clark told Perry when he had asked about the suit.
Clark wondered about something he could add to make Perry understand why he needed to investigate Lois's disappearance, but there was nothing he could say without revealing the rest of the story. So he just suggested, "You can see it as my time off, Chief … "
"No, Clark, you don't have to do that," Perry cut in immediately. "I know that it must be important for you, otherwise you wouldn't ask, and even if I don't understand it, I'm right behind my best reporter."
"Thank you, Mr. White," Clark said softly. He stood to go back to his desk.
"Oh, Clark?"said Perry asked.
"Good luck son. And be careful, okay?"
"Thank you, Mr. White," Clark answered and smiled. "I'll try."
LOIS LANE ABDUCTED ON ASSIGNMENT IN CONGO
NO LEAD TO DAILY PLANET'S STAR REPORTER YET
WHAT HAPPENED TO LOIS LANE?
LOIS LANE MURDERED?
LOIS LANE DECLARED DEAD
Clark had gotten all the stories about Lois's disappearance from the archive of the Daily Planet and now he laid them out on the table in his living room. Where should he begin?
His eyes fell on a photo of Lois. It was taken at the Kerth Awards, which Lois had won not long before she was abducted. She was smiling, a shining confident smile. Her hair was a little longer than the other Lois's hair had been, but besides that …
Clark suddenly was unable to tear his gaze away from her. He remembered Lois saying,'"Those feelings you have, they%re probably meant for *her*, *your* Lois …"' He felt this uneasy feeling rising in his stomach again like he always had done when he had seen her. The famous butterflies? What was happening with him? He never had been sick in his whole life and his heart started to pound faster when he watched a photo? He almost smiled to himself, but on the other hand he felt like crying. He seemed to be happy and unhappy at the same time! Boy, he knew there was a simple answer to the question about what was wrong with him … He was in love! He was totally, completely, head over heels in love … but with whom?
He forced his gaze away from the photo and back to the newspapers in front of him. The facts seemed to be simple: Two years ago, Lois and two other reporters were sent to the Congo on an assignment about an international drug ring. They got a tip from an imprisoned dealer that the head of the drug ring was there. They spent nearly two weeks in the Congo and hadn't been able to find any strong evidence, when it happened: Lois Lane was abducted. Her two colleagues reported that they were on their way to a source, when suddenly a car appeared next to them. Four armed men jumped out and while two of them threatened Lois's colleagues, the other two forced Lois into the car. Then they disappeared and that was the last time anyone had seen Lois alive.
That was not much information. Perry White had tried to investigate on his own several times by sending reporters to the Congo and by hiring detectives on the Daily Planet's account, but found nothing. Lois was gone and never returned.
There was never a request for a ransomand the abductors didn't try to get in contact with Lois's family or the Daily Planet. The theory of the police was depressing. It said that the abductors probably wanted information from Lois and then murdered her. But her body was never found.
Clark thought a while about this story. Something seemed to be strange. Why did the abductors only take Lois and leave the other two reporters free? The other two reporters probably had the same information as Lois. And if they didn't do it because of information, why abduct her anyway? Why not kill all three of them on the street?
This was really weird. And by the way, which information could Lois have that the head of the drug ring needed? What if the whole abduction wasn't related to the drug ring story at all? What if somebody just wanted Lois Lane, and her abduction in the Congo was only an attempt to cover their intentions? If this was the case then the abductor clearly succeeded, because all investigations centered on the drug ring story and of course the Congo!
On the other hand, if somebody wanted Lois and got her by taking such a long way around (choosing another continent for the abduction), then there had to be something really big behind all this. Lois Lane had been a well known reporter, almost a celebrity, and a very beautiful woman not only to his biased opinion, but could that be the reason for such a big deal? The abductor had to be very powerful and rich to plan and start a stunt like this.
The good point on this theory however, was that this way it seemed to be far more possible Lois still was alive. She *had* to be!
Clark sensed this well known feeling he always got when he knew that he was on a big story. He looked at the photo again.
"Who wanted you, Lois?" he asked aloud.
He was going to search for an answer tomorrow again. His first move would be to find the two other reporters who had been with Lois on that horrible day. If this abduction was not related to the Congo story, then the abductors needed a reliable source to know everything about Lois's doings during her visit in the Congo, and the two colleagues seemed to be the first place to look for that.
He read in the report about the abduction: Ross Campbell and Peter Meyer. The names meant nothing to him and they certainly didn't work for the Planet anymore. But he was sure that he would find them.
Lost in these thoughts, he started to clear his table. It was almost midnight, time to go to bed even for a superhero, especially if you never knew when the next time the world needed Superman would be. He took the photo in his hands for a last time. He would dream about her tonight. He couldn't wait to fall asleep.
It turned out that Ross Campbell and Peter Mever didn't succeed in making a big career move at the Daily Planet. Perry frowned when Clark mentioned their names.
"Well Clark, neither of them are here anymore. They weren't real reporters though, more like task forces members. That was the reason I assigned them to go with Lois to the Congo. I couldn't afford another reporter, but she needed help. She wasn't very happy, of course. She did like Ross, he was a calm and polite guy and did everything she told him without ever daring to deny her anything. On the other hand, he was a little slow and not very innovative.
"Peter Meyer was another case. *He* had the talent to make a nice career as a reporter, very smart and a really good writer. But he was totally unreliable. One day top the next day flop, if you know what I mean."
Clark nodded and Perry continued. "And he was *much* too busy picking up every woman in the newsroom. He was a handsome guy and very successful with it. There are still a lot of broken hearts in this newspaper left over from him, believe me. The only one he couldn't land was Lois. She had burnt her fingers once and after that she swore never to let anybody get that close to her. She despised Peter, but that was nothing extraordinary. Lois was very complicated and never could work with anybody else besides those who weren't a challenge for her, like Ross."
"What happened to them?"
"I don't know exactly. Peter quit not long after that Congo affair. He got a really good offer from LNN that seemed a little strange to me because he wasn't really well known as a reporter yet. Ross remained some time longer, but he had a big problem: alcohol. He was forced to go not long before you came here. Maybe you should ask in the personnell office, they should have at least the addresses."
"This is everything I have for you, Clark." Lucy Lane handed him a big box. "Inside there's every personal item I kept from Lois's apartment ." She swallowed hard as her gaze wandered over the things which had once belonged to her sister.
"I … I've never believed that Lois is dead. Not Lois! She wasn't that type of person who would just disappear. There *has* to be an explanation!" She looked pleadingly in his eyes.
Clark noticed that she had the same eyes as her sister, big and intense, the only difference was that Lucy's eyes were blue, not brown.
"Clark, I don't know why you're doing this, but I want to tell you that I'm so happy about this. If anybody on earth could have the power to find out what really happened to Lois, it's you. Please, find her!"
Clark nodded. "I'll try my best, Lucy," he said and turned around to leave but a thought suddenly crossed his mind.
"Lucy, what happened to Lois's apartment after Lois disappeared?"
"We had to give it up. First we tried to keep it, still hoping that she would return, but after 6 months we couldn't afford the rent any longer."
"Could you write down the address for me?"
"Sure." Lucy wrote the address on a little paper and handed it to Clark. "You will tell me how things are going, won't you?"
"Of course. And thank you for this box. I'm going to return the things to you as soon as possible."
Clark was so lost in his thoughts on his way home that he almost ran into a young woman walking along the street. When he hastily apologized, he recognized Lana Lang, with whom he had been engaged only a few months ago.
"Hi Lana," he said uncertainly.
"Hi Clark," she answered. She smiled a little almost against her own volition. "How are you?"
"Fine, thank you. We haven't seen each other for a long time … "
"That's true. But I heard and saw all the news about Superman, of course. Seems like you finally found your real destiny." She tried to find a light tone, but Clark could feel that she barely was able to hold her composure. He knew her too well.
He tried to analyze his own feelings. Did he still have feelings for her? He waited for the pounding of his heart and the butterflies in his stomach he'd gotten by looking at the photo of Lois yesterday, but they didn't come. Did he have those feelings for Lana in the past? He *had been* in love with her then … or not? He even wanted to marry her! Maybe he just had forgotten how it was then.
He'd been known Lana for his whole life. They'd been friends as kids and remained friends even in high school, when a boy couldn't really be a friend to a girl. Lana had always been the one who was in control. She was smart, confident and domineering, the star from Smallville High. There was only one soft spot in her heart, one weakness, and that was Clark Kent. She would have done anything for him, just for his smile and friendship. And this fact never changed. Even now he knew that he would have been able to save the engagement, if he really wanted. But he wanted to be honest. Part 2
Lois Lane had came into his life and from that moment on he knew that it was impossible for him to marry Lana. Suddenly friendship and trust weren't enough anymore.
"Okay, Clark … " she hesitated, obviously waiting for a reaction, a sign … When he didn't give one she said resolutely, "I'm kind of busy, I have to go."
"Yes." Clark nodded and added, "It was nice to see you."
He saw the disappointment in her eyes when she turned around and walked away. He stared after her for a while and saw her disappearing in the crowd. Poor Lana. For his whole life he had thought that he loved her.
It was not very hard to find the two other reporters, but to Clark's disappointment, they couldn't tell him anything new. It seemed that Peter Meyer had made a big career since he had worked for the Daily Planet. He was one of the leading men at LNN, the biggest news network in Metropolis. Obviously he wasn't very pleased when Clark asked him about the Congo affair after all this time, but then he nicely told Clark everything he remembered. He was a good looking man, tall, with dark hair and Clark thought of the 'broken hearts' Perry had mentioned earlier. He didn't like him very much at first view — too smooth for his taste.
The story Peter Meyer told him was the same one that Clark had read in the newspapers, but there was one important clue. The men who had abducted Lois had been white men, not natives, and they spoke English. This fact seemed to fit in with his theory that the head of this operation was to be searched for here in Metropolis.
"It's nice that somebody cares about Lois's disappearance after all this time," said Peter when Clark told him goodbye. "She really was a hot little thing, if you know what I mean." He suggestively licked his lips and Clark suddenly regretted (not for the first time) that Superman wasn't supposed to punch another guy's nose. But his icy glare must have betrayed him, because Peter hastily tried to rescue his case by adding, "And a terrific reporter she was, of course." He then took the opportunity to mention that he was 'very busy' to compliment Clark out of his office.
Ross Campbell seemed to be a nice guy: friendly and polite, but Clark noticed that he obviously didn't have his alcohol problems under control. He was now working for a little local tabloid as a free lancer and Clark felt very sorry for him. What a step down after a job at the Daily Planet, the biggest newspaper in the world!
Ross was very friendly and tried to find something that could have helped Clark, but he didn't really have anything to tell beyond the facts Clark already knew.
Maybe now was the time for a trip to the Congo.
Clark flew through the night because he didn't intend to come to the Congo as Superman. He didn't need long for the flight, and so only a few hours after his departure from Metropolis, he stood at the entrance of the hotel where Lois and the others had lived two years ago . X-raying all the rooms and interviewing the hotel employees didn't provide any new clues. Most of the people weren't even working at the hotel two years ago and the others barely remembered that there had been something like an abduction at that time. At least the manager of the hotel was able to give Clark an exact description of the street where the abduction had happened.
The street where Lois disappeared was right before him, lonely and dusty in the sunlight. Of course, there was no sign of the events that had taken place here so long ago.
Clark tried to follow the road with his view as long as he could and noticed that the street lead directly to the ocean.
Well, this was interesting! He had thought a lot about the fact that nobody had ever seen either Lois or the other men or the car. Sure, there weren't many people living in this area, but still … What if there had been a boat waiting for them at the coast? After all, it *was* a lonesome area and nobody should have noticed a ship at all. And with a ship you could go anywhere without leaving any clues.
He sighed. Even if there had been a ship waiting for the car two years ago, it was impossible now to find any evidences for this theory here. His only chance was to depend on his theory, that the key of this abduction was to be found in Metropolis. At least most of the clues he had found over the last two days seemed to point in this direction. He knew he was closer now.
Back in Metropolis he read the articles about Lois's disappearance again. He decided to think of the abduction as controlled from Metropolis as a fact. Who could have been interested to get Lois? Who had been in contact with her right before the Congo story? Suddenly a thought crossed his mind.
"Mr. White, what was the story about, that Lois won the Kerth award the year she disappeared?" he asked when his gaze fell on the photo of Lois from the award ceremony again.
"Oh that was a real scoop Clark, an exclusive interview with Lex Luthor!"
"Who's Lex Luthor?" Clark asked.
"Don't tell me, you didn't hear from him yet?" Perry obviously couldn't trust his ears. "He's one of the richest men on this planet. Unfortunately he's a little weird. He disappeared from society a few years ago and now lives in a castle in the mountains. And if I say castle, Clark, I'm talking about a *real* castle!"
"How did Lois get this interview?" Perry chuckled. "Well son, you know our Lois could be very persuasive sometimes. She had the nickname 'bulldozer Lane' here and people didn't call her that for nothing. She was new at the Planet when Luthor moved out of Metropolis and into this castle and from the moment he did it, she was running after this interview like a bee for honey!"
Clark grinned. He imagined the Lois he knew would probably have done the same.
"She never did give in, and sent Luthor one phone call after the other, tried to get in contact again and again and maybe one day he was just tired, so he accepted an interview with her. *I* always wondered if our advertisement strategy at the time had something to do with it."
"Advertisement strategy?" asked Clark.
Perry chuckled. "Yes, we had some sale problems at that time so the marketing department of the Daily Planet decided to bring out huge posters with our reporters on them. Well, in Lois's case, the photographers really did a good job. Her poster was terrific. It even caused a traffic jam in front of the Daily Planet building!"
"Yes, absolutely. I could show you one of the old pictures in the archive and you'll know what I mean … well, what I meant to say is that Luthor probably saw one of the posters and suddenly found Lois hard to resist. He had always been known as a rake … "
Clark absently watched the articles on his desk and wondered … Lex Luthor … What was the name of the network Peter Meyer was working for?
"Mr. White, does LNN belong to Lex Luthor, too?"
"Like I said Clark, almost everything in Metropolis is property of this man. From the television network to the harbor … "
"The harbor?" Clark cut in, suddenly very exited. That was it maybe! The key he had been looking for the whole time!
His gaze wandered to the photo again. Maybe the picture on the poster had brought Lois more than an award winning interview.
"Where did you say the castle was, Mr. White?"
The lights of Metropolis mixed to long shining stripes when Clark flew over the city at superspeed. He took the direction Perry had described to him. There was a strange feeling in his stomach. He was excited. Suddenly he was sure that he knew where Lois Lane was.
And, what if she wasn't there?
Don't think about it, fly, she will be there.
And, what if she *was* there?
Clark suddenly stopped for a moment. What should he do then? How should he act? At least he couldn't go to her and say, 'Hi, my name is Clark, I'm from another planet and I love you,' could he? That was the way he felt, but it was so silly at the same time that it was an impossible option. How would she be, anyway? Maybe she was there on her own free will? Maybe she would suffer from psychological damage?
Don't think about it. Fly!
He stretched again in the moonlight and continued his flight to the mountains as fast as he could.
The castle was indeed a very weird building and Clark understood what Perry had meant. It looked like an illustration for a medieval fairy tale, or better, a horror movie. It didn't fit in the American landscape at all. It was really huge. The park around it was even bigger than Centennial park in Metropolis and when Clark x-rayed the building, he noticed that there were at least a hundred people working in it! Luthor seemed to be *really* rich indeed.
In one of the rooms he saw the owner himself. He had read Lois's story about him after his talk with Perry, so he was no longer uninformed about this man. Luthor was sitting at a large desk and two businessmen were standing in front of him. One of them Clark recognized as the chief of the Metropolis Bank. Clark had had an interview with him not so long ago. People in the other rooms of the castle were busy, too.
They were preparing dinner in the kitchen, housekeepers were running through the house and Clark noticed a butler who was polishing the silverware.
Then he saw her.
She was sitting in a room in the castle's basement, a computer in front of her, obviously totally absorbed in her work.
She looked exactly the same way the other Lois had looked. Her hair was a bit longer, but it was the same color: black and shining. She had the same eyes and the same concentrated look on her face as she was sitting there watching her computer.
Clark suddenly came back down to reality when he heard the sound of something crashing down in the park below him.
He x-rayed the rooms next to Lois. It looked like she had her own little apartment in the basement of the castle. In front of the door to her apartment Clark noticed a guard.
This to the theory that she's here of her own free will, Clark thought grimly.
He considered the situation for a moment, then he flew towards the back of the basement. He sent a short look over his shoulder and easily broke the bars in front of the window to Lois's entrance hall. A few seconds later he was standing in front of her door.
He took a last deep breath to calm down and to stop his hands from shaking, then he knocked at the door.
"Don't you dare to come inside this room, Lex Luthor! Your visit hour for today is over and I can't stand your slimy face one moment longer than that!" roared a voice from the inside.
Clark grinned to himself. Well, it seemed like Lex Luthor really had a good time with his charming hostile.
But *he* wasn't Lex Luthor after all, so he bravely opened the door a few inches. Only his superspeed saved a vase flying in his direction from a sudden death.
"I told you to remain where you … " Lois stopped in the middle of her furious sentence. "Who in heavens name are you?!" She looked over Clark's Superman outfit from head to toe. "Did Lex find a new uniform for you guys, or what?"
Clark found that he had to clear his throat, because his voice suddenly refused working. "No, Ms. Lane, I'm not one of Luthor's employees. My name is Clark Kent. I work for the Daily Planet and the world knows me as Superman."
"Super … oh man, as if *one* crazy man in this damned castle isn't enough for me!" She drew her eyes heavenwards. "What do you want?" she asked sharply. "Say it fast, and then goodbye. I've got work to do."
Clark smiled. He said softly, "I'm not nuts Ms. Lane. I know this all sounds crazy and I'm going to tell you everything, but I guess now the most important thing will be to take you away from here."
Suddenly her expression changed. She no longer looked angry and resigned, she looked hurt and scared and she was fighting tears. "This isn't funny!" she snapped. "What is this? A new pervert game from this monster Lex Luthor?! Is he wondering how far he can go?!" Her voice became husky. "Okay, he did it! I can't stand this any longer! I hope he's satisfied so please, leave! Out of this room, now!" She sank down in a chair, helpless and filled with despair. In her eyes he detected fear.
He moved a little closer to her and said softly, "Trust me."
She just sat there, her arms hanging to her sides, sobbing like a little child. Clark reached out for her and took her in his arms. She didn't make an attempt to free herself, she just hung limp in his arms. As he flew through the room with her towards the window he realized that she had fainted.
Lois was feeling terrible. She could hear a voice far, far away. It was a strange voice and the voice was calling her name. She liked the sound of the voice, but she was feeling so *terrible*!
Suddenly she could feel a slight breeze around her. And again there was this voice.
"Lois! Wake up Lois! Come on!"
A nice, male voice.
She decided to give it a try and tentatively opened her eyes. She looked directly in the dark brown eyes of that man who had appeared in her room a few minutes ago. What was his name? Clark Kent or *Superman*? That was ridiculous. The eyes were nice, too. Chocolate brown eyes. She *liked* brown eyes. She had to admit, that he looked really good anyway, black hair, brown eyes and now he smiled. Wow … "Boy Lois, I thought you would never wake up."
Lois forced her gaze away from his face as she became aware that she was staring. But when she looked around she almost fainted again. She now knew where this breeze came from, because she was flying in the arms of this guy, nearly 1500 feet in the air!!!
The man laughed, when she tightened her grip around his neck. "Don't worry Lois, I'm safer than any airline in the world and you'll get used to it."
She looked in his eyes unable to speak. For the first time in her life, Lois Lane was totally speechless.
There were many faces around her: Perry White with tears in his eyes, her mother crying, Lucy totally worn out and clinging to her hand, her father blowing in a big red handkerchief, the police asking thousands of questions, a doctor saying, "Ms. Lane is in shock, she needs rest! She has to be brought to a hospital immediately!", and between all these faces, this new face with the dark brown eyes and this incredible smile. Clark Kent or Superman … He didn't take part in the excited talk of the crowd around Lois. He was standing a little aside, but Lois could feel his gaze on her from time to time. The chocolate brown eyes now looked very worried.
Suddenly a thought crossed Lois mind. "Why has nobody been surprised, when we came flying through the window? Have I been away for so long, that flying people are nothing unusual anymore here?"
At the sound of her voice every person in the room suddenly stopped talking.
Perry cleared his throat. "Well Lois," he started. "We all know Superman, or Clark for what is his real name, for a while now, so we're used to it … "
"Oh, I see," Lois said and closed her eyes.
The doctor couldn't take it any longer. "I insist that Ms. Lane be brought to the hospital now! No more questions, no more talk, until she is better. She needs rest immediately!"
Lois was laid on a stretcher. She sensed that she was going to faint again. It's weird, she thought, I've never fainted this much in my whole life!
As she was carried to the elevator, her gaze fell on Clark again, who was standing near her. "Clark?" she asked.
"Yes?" he answered and was at her side in a second.
"My pleasure," he said. He looked still worried.
Lois looked in his eyes. "Will you come and visit me?"
He smiled happily. "If I'm allowed to."
She smiled, too. "I would be happy." She blinked once again, then she was carried out of the room.
Clark stood there staring after her, even after the doors of the elevator were closed for a long while.
He was so happy.