And With Her Strength, I Survive

By Erthanngel <> OR <>

Rated PG

Submitted July 1999

Summary: A story for all you Lois & Lex romantics out there. ;)

Feedback: PLEASE!!! This is my first L&C fic ever (I've been writing it ever since the Fall of the house of Luthor) LOL! Okay, well maybe not quite that long. Actually, I guess it kinda says something about me that I don't start writing fanfic 'till 4 years after the shows off the air, LOL! P.S. If anyone knows of any L&C fan lists please e-mail me!

A love story with a twist.

Place on the Time Line: Okay, so I failed L&C Title Trivia 101. But it occurs in the arc where Lex returns for the last time and interrupts Lois and Clark's wedding plans. The Story opens in at the scene where Lex first emerges into the room where Lois is being held captive, having taken off his mask. And from there follows the course of events as they should have been(well, okay, as I think they should have been; you might disagree *smile*).


Lois sat, tied to a chair, in the middle of God knows where, gagged, bound, and confused. She knew who her captor was, and yet her eyes widened unwittingly as Lex entered the large, concrete room. His hair was longer, his clothing a bit scruffier for his ordeal, but his eyes gave him away. They shone with the same cunning intensity as the day they'd met. She was so overcome with the shock of seeing her long estranged suitor that she barely realized he had been speaking to her.

" … Now let's hear that lilting voice." As he reached out to her, and slowly lowered the gag a wave a rage washed over her. 'How dare he! How dare he kidnap me … AGAIN!' Her gut reaction was to lash out at him, even if it was only in words.

"You sick, twisted, sociopath." Lois bit off each syllable with the explicit purpose of directing them into whatever region of Lex's heart that could still feel them. She did not consider herself a vindictive person, but nevertheless she wanted him to hurt. She excused this vengeance by telling her conscious she hated this man, that she was angry, that she was defending herself …she told herself anything, except that she was doing it out of a long festering wound of her own.

"Ah, you finishing school girls …" Lex smiled and joked trying desperately to allow the attack to roll off his back. And yet, despite his outward facade, her stinging words pierced him, undetected.

Lois turned her head away, unwilling to look into his eyes; partly out of anger, partly out of a fear of what she might see there. As she studied the floor, she couldn't help but notice that her bindings were not particularly tight, and that the chair was not particularly hard, Lois could not help but laugh to herself. Even now, Lex had her comfort in mind. 'Was he honestly so twisted as to think this is love?' she wondered to herself. 'And yet, why else, when he finally makes his escape from prison, would he come for me instead of fleeing Metropolis? If there's one thing Lex doesn't do, it's put himself on the line for something he doesn't care about.' Lois sighed to herself - nothing made sense anymore.

"Why would you want me? I'm marrying another man." she blurted.

Lex flinched at the thought. "But you were going to marry me; so obviously your flexible." 'It's true' he thougth. 'She was going to marry me, she loved me once …If only I could make her see.' Suddenly Lex began untiing her binds, he hated seeing her like this. He wanted her to stay, but he also wanted her to do so willingly. He began to tell her about her clone, the new life he had planned for them, and how happy he would make her.

Finally, Lois could listen to no more. "I don't understand you, Lex!" She backed away from him in utter frustration, "What is it you want? You say you love me, but then you … you do these things," She gestured around the abandoned warehouse. "If you loved me, then why would you do this without regard to how I feel; but then if you didn't care about me then why don't you just take your clone and leave me alone!" No closer to a conclusion, but much more winded, Lois turned her eyes on his forcing him to come up with an answer.

For perhaps the first time in their relationship, Lex had nothing to say. "I-I."

"And what about before?" Lois interrogated. "I loved you, I defended you, I would have done anything for you; and what did you do? You tried to take away everything and everyone that was important to me; my job, my friends … why?"

When Lois finally focused back on Lex she was stunned by the profound transformation that overtook this man that she thought she knew so well. Lex stood before her, shoulders slumped forward, eyes glistening with a held back tear, averting her gaze. He looked for all the world like a hurt little boy. Suddenly she was overcome by a flash of Lex Luthor, as the young orphaned 13 old boy, he had told her of. For the first time, she really understood the utter loneliness; the desperation he must have felt alone in the world. No wonder he turned to crime; what choice did he have? And it took every bit of stubbornness she possessed to stop from taking him in her arms and comforting him.

"Lois, I - I never meant to hurt you …I, was" he choked on his on words, but then continued on, determined to make her understand "I was afraid Lois, I wanted you to be dependent on me because, then you couldn't leave me, then you couldn't hurt me. But I never meant to hurt you." He repeated as he looked up to meet her gaze. The tears in his eyes were the only proof she needed.

"Oh Lex," Lois could barely hold back her own tears as she held this fallen man in her arms. "Come here, honey, it's alright …it's okay." she ran her fingers through his dark curls and whispered soft reassurances in his ear. She hugged him tightly as she made her decision. "I would never ask you to change Lex. After all, I fell in love with you the way you are." Lois couldn't help but give a soft chuckle as she realized she was admitting that fact to both Lex and herself at the same moment. She pulled away just enough to look him in the eyes "What I do need you to do, is let me in on exactly who that is. If we can't trust each other …"

"Then we have nothing." Lex finished for her. "I'll never let you down again, Lois."

"Do you promise me, Lex?"

He paused to fully absorbing the implications of her query, "I promise."

"Then I believe you." And at that the flood gates opened. Lex cried, for the first time since childhood, he cried. Lois trusted him, she believed in him. And not because of some act he put on, not because of deception. She knew him, who he was, and she accepted him for it; loved him for it. He had been given a second chance. And he was determined not to waste it.