By Sara <email@example.com>
Submitted: October, 2003
Summary: Lois contemplates the meaning of love and how it has enriched her life as she patiently awaits the return of her Superman in this poignant vignette.
Before I forget, the song is from the movie Anastasia — I'm scarily addicted to the soundtrack ;). The Time Traveller, by H.G. Wells, is mentioned in the story, along with What She Wants, by Cathy Kelly, and Jane Eyre, by Charlotte Bronte. These, along with L&C, are not mine, property of whoever can claim them, yadda yadda yadda… I claim no ownership <g>. This fic is strictly no A-plot, no angst, just a lot of waffy introspection. You have been warned… ;)
This fic would probably have been left to languish and die in my hd if it wasn't for a strange bout of insanity prompting me to ask for a beta on irc… and for Kaethel volunteering. So Kae… thank you for nagging, for melting, for sympathising, for oohing and aahing in all the right places, and for cheering me up when I was feeling icky, even though I didn't ask you to. I am *very* lucky to be able to count you as a friend.
Thanks also to Lynn, my GE, who made some very helpful edits, along with some lovely compliments that I'm sure I didn't deserve :)
Also, credit goes to the FoLCs on #loisclark who nagged me until I finally posted, especially to Wendy and Kaethel, who not only nagged but absolutely tortured me with… ahem… a certain wave file until I did ;) Thanks a lot, guys, really!
Thanks as always to the wonderful readers at lcficmbs.com who provided me with such encouragement and made such wonderful compliments when they saw this first :)
This story is dedicated to James and Kerry, who provided me with the motivation to write this. I hope you guys both get what's coming to you.
Life is a road, and I wanna keep going Love is a river I wanna keep flowing Life is a road, now and forever Wonderful journey.
I'll be there when the world stops turning. I'll be there when the storm is through. In the end I wanna be standing At the beginning… with you.
~At the Beginning, by Richard Marx and Donna Lewis; theme from the movie Anastasia. ~
I'm sitting up in bed, reading. I yawn and glance over at the clock — it's 2:14 am. 2:15 now. I glance down at the empty space beside me and finger his pillow gently, smiling softly.
It happens almost every night — I feel the bed move, feel a small peck on my forehead, and a second later he's gone. I've almost gotten used to it by now — but I always wait for him. One night it got too long, and I fell asleep halfway through the middle of a sentence with the light on, but mostly I've gotten used to my nocturnal literary habits.
Every time he comes back he moans and grumbles, berating me for not simply rolling over and going back to sleep. But at the same time I can see that soft, satisfied gleam in his eye that tells me that he's secretly pleased that I care enough to wait for him.
And I do. I really do.
It's amazing — how much you can learn to love somebody over time. In the beginning, it was denial, which slowly turned to denial mixed with curiosity, which slowly turned to denial mixed with admiration, which slowly turned to denial mixed with infatuation, which slowly turned to love.
I learn something new about this feeling every day. It isn't sixteen-year-old spew about flowers and chocolate and Valentine's day. It isn't moonlight kisses, or winter nights spent cuddling by the fire, or exotic holidays, or blazing, hot, passionate summer nights, or even marriage. It's so much more than all of that. It's recognising something when you see it — it's grabbing onto the right person and never, ever letting go — it's knowing that at the end of the world, when bridges collapse and the earth beneath your feet trembles, when the sun goes phutt and the sky collapses, when everybody is out for themselves and it seems like nobody cares whether you live or die — there's somebody there. Somebody you can stand by. Somebody you can depend upon. Somebody who will stick by you and always be on your side, no matter what. Somebody who will fight in your corner. And at the end of it all, somebody to hold when things get too scary. Somebody to comfort you. Somebody who needs to be comforted. Somebody to…
Somebody to love.
Love isn't romantic dinners, or violin strings, or moonlight over the water. Love isn't a comforting thing. Love isn't safe, love isn't blind, love isn't all flowers and cherubs and walking on air. I mean — *some* of it is — Clark has certainly proved that! — but not all. Definitely not all.
Love is ethereal. Love is ephemeral. Love is a cruel vice that grabs a hold of your heart, your soul, and never, ever, *ever* lets you go. Love sucks and sucks at you, until you're just an empty shell… a leaf, blowing in the wind, a grain of sand carried thousands and thousands of miles away from home, a lone voyager, travelling through places and things that nobody has ever dreamed possible.
Love is much too big, much too intricate, to be put into words. Futile little phrases don't describe love — but the person who sits down and tirelessly racks his brain, trying to describe love, describes love.
It's the thing that makes people jump off tall buildings and eat chocolate and fly higher than they had ever dreamed possible. It's a patient young man, watching from afar, just waiting for his chance, his opportunity. It's what makes a cynical, hardened young woman breathe freely again. It's what makes a wife keep her husband's side of the bed warm.
It's me. Sitting up, reading at 2:30 in the morning when I have to be at work in the morning at 9, waiting for him to come home.
I've gotten used to it. The constant ache that resides in my heart when I'm away from him. The bitterness that lodges itself in my spirit when the absence is prolonged. The hopeless feeling of knowing that you're in love, now and forever. The anxiety, the constant worry, of not knowing whether or not he's okay.
He's not my other half — one and one make two. But he is a part of me, in a fashion that is so hard to define, so complex, that you don't even notice it until it's tugged away from you. In a way, he has been a part of me since the very first day I saw him, burrowing himself deeper and deeper into my soul month by month, week by week, day by day, hour by hour, minute by minute.
Somehow, he managed to wriggle his way right down to my very core, without me realising, and that thought absolutely terrifies me. If he chose, he could completely destroy me — he could tear my heart, my soul asunder. He could scatter me to the wind — he could scatter me to the four corners of the earth if he wished.
But he won't.
Trust. That's what love is.
I trust Clark.
I love Clark.
Nothing will change that.
Nothing *can* change that.
I have been his wife for a little over a year now. A small thought comes to my mind that the honeymoon is over. I laugh, amazed. It will never be over. Not for us.
I have to admit that it has been hard. Harder than I ever thought possible. It's difficult to share your husband, your life partner, the man that you love, with the rest of the world. It's difficult to sit up like this, half- concentrating on the novel in front of me.
The novel… I've almost forgotten what it is, and why I'm reading it. The Time Traveller, by H.G. Wells. Never on my top ten list, I'll admit, but Clark bet me a few weeks ago that I couldn't read it. He recently finished it — said that having met the man, we could at least do him the courtesy of reading one of his works — and was scoffing at my choice, which on this particular day happened to be What She Wants, by Cathy Kelly, an Irish writer. Hey, it was the closest one to hand, okay? The week before I had been reading Jane Eyre…
I can never resist a challenge, and since the book in question was a measly 118 pages long, I'm almost finished.
An enormous gust of wind blows over the bed, and I look up sharply, an expectant smile on my face. There he is.
He spins back into his night-time attire, while I watch approvingly, gets in beside me, reaches over, tugs the book gently from my hands and places it on the nightstand. I gaze into his eyes as he returns, and smile. I know what he wants.
I reach over and turn off the light.
That's what love is.
Sara October 2003.