By Eppie <email@example.com>
Submitted: June 2002
Summary: In a sequel to the Eppie's 30-minute challenge fic "Insomnia," Lois confronts Superman about Clark's death.
Author's Introduction: This is a sequel to my 30-Minute Episode Extension Challenge response, entitled "Insomnia," and while it might be a good idea to read "Insomnia" first, doing so is not essential to the understanding of what goes on during this vignette. Both stories are set during TOGOM; this one in particular takes place the morning after Clark's shooting.
This vignette and "Insomnia" were the first LnC fanfics I've written in years, and I'd like to thank all of the FoLCs whose kind support and encouraging commentary were so helpful to me in writing both of these stories.
I hope you enjoy! Comments and criticism are very much appreciated. Characters are the property of DC Comics and Warner Brothers.
Lois, in a daze, heard the truck driver blaring his horn and looked up, but it was too late. She swerved, but knew that it would be impossible to avoid the collision. Suddenly, a flash of red and blue intervened as Superman threw himself between the semi and her Jeep, bringing both vehicles to a halt and averting disaster.
He rushed to her door, as she'd suspected he would. "Lois! What happened?? Are you okay?"
Lois sighed, responding without looking at him. "I'm on my way to the Planet and just wasn't really paying attention, I guess." She paused, then continued dryly and with a hint of sarcasm. "And yes, as always, I'm fine. Thanks so much, really."
He hesitated, looking at her strangely, and Lois could only imagine what was running through his mind. <Probably thinks I was trying to kill myself> she thought. Of course, that hadn't been the case at all…she'd just been tired and had had her mind on other things…or another thing. The same thing she'd been thinking about for hours upon hours.
After a pause, Superman ventured to speak again. "Lois…maybe you shouldn't drive the rest of the way. If you like, I could fly you—and your car—to the Planet. Would only take a second."
Lois frowned, experiencing a brief moment of d‚j… vu, but shook it off without another thought. "That's okay. I'll just…park in that lot over there and walk the rest of the way. I could use a walk."
"Are you sure?" When she didn't respond, he added, "Could I at least walk with you?"
She finally turned to look at him, about to tell him that she didn't really need, or even want, his company—but suddenly changed her mind. "Yeah…sure. I need to talk to you, anyway."
She parked then got out and began walking, with Superman beside her. He waited for her to initiate the conversation, but when she didn't, tentatively spoke. "Lois, I heard—"
"About what happened to Clark last night," she finished abruptly. "Yeah, I expected that you would have." There was no mistaking the anger and bitterness in her tone, and he frowned, confused.
"Lois? Did I…do something?" he asked cautiously.
She glanced at him again, and the flash of anger in her eyes was answer enough. "Superman—" She stopped, took a deep breath, willing herself to maintain her composure, and started again. "Superman…last night, I had a dream. Well, lots of dreams actually, but one in particular. It's not important to go into detail, but suffice to say, it had to do with you and Clark."
"What about…me and Clark?" He asked, seeming a bit taken aback.
"I told you, the details aren't important! And please don't interrupt me—this is hard enough as it is." She took another breath, then said, more softly, but still firmly. "Please."
"All right," he responded quietly. "Sorry."
Lois nodded. "Anyway, the dream, while incredibly unrealistic, got me to thinking, about Clark's…death. Not that I hadn't been thinking about that anyway—it's all I'd been thinking about." She sniffed, refusing to cry right now, until she'd said what she had to say. "But suddenly, it got me to thinking about you, too…or rather, the ~lack~ of you."
He hesitated. "I'm not sure I understand."
She stopped walking and turned to face him. "Where were you last night?" She didn't give him a chance to respond, but continued. "Don't tell me you didn't know what was going on…people were screaming, you had to have heard them. And surely you had plenty of time to get there, before…" She trailed off. "Superman, you've been able to get to me with less than a moment's notice when I've needed you. But Clark…you just let him die?" She shook her head, turning away from him. "And here I believed that you thought of him as a good friend. He was certainly a good friend to me—he risked his life to defend me. And you could have defended him, without risking anything…but you didn't…and now he's gone." She was crying now, had been for some time without realizing it.
When he didn't respond after a moment, she looked at him, her face streaked with tears. "I want to know why. Why you weren't there…why you let him die."
He was quiet for a long while, obviously deep in thought. Finally, he asked her quietly, seeming oddly resigned to something, "Lois…your dream…what was it about?"
"What?! I told you, it doesn't matter! It had nothing to do with what I'm asking you, anyway. It was just some random, crazy, incredibly farfetched dream that made me think of you. Now quit trying to change the subject, and tell me where you were when Clark was shot last night! I think I have a right to know!"
But Superman persisted, gently but firmly. "First, tell me about your dream."
Lois threw up her hands, frustrated and unbelievably angry. "Fine!" she yelled. "I dreamed that you were Clark, or he was you, or—whatever. Satisfied?"
Superman looked perplexed, and glanced around, then responded very quietly. "Well, then, Lois…I guess I don't have to tell you where I was last night."
Lois was incensed. "Well, you guess wrong!"
He smiled slightly, his tone both playful and tender. "Guess not."
Her response was automatic, though angry. "Guess s—"
She stopped and stared at him, wide-eyed. After a prolonged silence, she smiled at him tearfully, and spoke softly. "It was true, then. I was right."
He couldn't bring himself to remind her that, only moments ago, she had referred to her dream as 'random, crazy, and incredibly farfetched.' Instead, he smiled, gently teasingly. "Aren't you always?"