By Alicia U. <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Submitted: August, 2003
Summary: Lois Lane takes a moment to reflect about her past before leaving her empty house.
This is a sequel to "The View" http://www.lcfanfic.com/stories/2003/theview.tx t. Thanks, Tricia, for beta reading this story for me and offering very helpful comments.
She was alone.
Her large house, usually so full of people, love, and chaos was completely empty. She was struck by a strangely unsettling feeling. It had been a long time since she had been completely alone and the resulting sensation was eerily peculiar.
For most of her childhood, Lois Lane had dreamt of an idealized, peaceful life with no one to bother her. Space, solitude, and isolation had been her greatest desires. Growing up in a horribly stifling environment had made her realize the value of being alone.
As a child, she had been smothered, first by her parents' nags and high expectations, then by the pressures of practically raising her younger sister after her father had left the family and her mother had given up. The pressure had made it so she practically had to gasp for every breath of air.
The harsh reality of a pressurized childhood had been too much for her to bear. As a young child, she had realized that she didn't need anyone to make her feel complete. Emptiness had always been a far better companion, for when she was alone no one could interrupt her thoughts, which were much better company than her family ever could be.
This empty house was what she had imagined for most of her life. It was exactly what she had always wanted.
She had wanted to be alone, but now her view had changed. The vast expanse of her empty house was very foreign to her and quite unsettling. Whenever she was not surrounded by the people she loved, she felt a strangely sobering sense of alienation. The emptiness wasn't calming as she had expected it to be. Whenever she was separated from her loved ones, she felt a pang in her heart, an all- encompassing worry about what could be happening to her family. She was overcome by an uncomfortable sensation in her heart that manifested itself whenever she was alone. Without her husband and children near her, she felt a large vacancy. Her house seemed barren and almost foreboding. When they all were inside together, it felt like a warm, inviting home.
Lois had discovered unconditional love. Never before had she known how to love and to be loved completely.
A few years ago, Lois would have never admitted that she would ever be able to feel this way.
Marriage? Children? For most of her life, Lois had scoffed at both ideas. Falling in love had been the last thing on her mind. She hadn't even wanted to think about children. Since she would never get married, she certainly would never even have to worry about children. Freedom and complete solitude were what she had craved. How could she be completely alone if anyone depended on her?
The unhappy memories of her painful childhood had been too much to bear. She didn't want to inflict any of those memories on anyone. Thus, she would never get married and would never have children. If she never put herself into that situation, there would b no danger of ever inflicting her troubled past on anyone.
At a very young age, she had set her mind that she would never fall in love. After seeing her parents' relationship crumble, she had known that she didn't want to experience that feeling again. Her father's affairs had never been a secret. Even if they hadn't been public knowledge, her mother had made sure the children had known about them. She seemed to have wanted her daughters to hate their father just as much as she did.
It had worked. Lois and Lucy had hated their father for abandoning their family, for tearing their familiar lives apart, and for making their mother turn to alcohol as a release. They both had despised him with unbridled passion, and they both had paid for that hatred in their dealings with men in different ways.
After watching her family disintegrate, Lois had decided never to put herself in any similar situation. Thus, she had decided that she would never fall for any man that would be bound to hurt her just as her father had hurt her mother. Growing up in the Lane household she had experienced more than her fair share of family drama, so she never wanted one of her own. She had vowed never to let her guard down; she'd never let any man hurt her again.
As hard as she tried, she had never kept that promise to herself. Instead, she kept breaking it repeatedly. Even though she could never admit it to herself, she needed to be loved and to know that she was lovable.
Originally, she had stuck to the plan flawlessly. In high school, she hadn't dated as a rule. The pain from her father's abandonment had been too strong at the time, and her vow too fresh in her mind. She had been set in her decision not to allow herself to have any chance of falling in love. It had worked well for her, or at least she had tried to convince herself it had. She had been popular in high school, but she'd never really been close to anyone. It had been a lonely existence, but she had felt that it was well worth the pain. Since she had always kept her distance from everyone, no one could hurt her.
Then, in college, she had let her guard down too far; she had grown almost complacent. She had met a man, Paul, who had won her over with his dark hair, big, blue eyes, and killer smile. He was the first man she'd ever really had a crush on — the first man she'd ever even considered dating. She had fleetingly thought that maybe her guard had been too tight. Paul couldn't be like her father, could he?
Yes, he could.
He was supposed to be different. Yet he hadn't been different at all. As soon as Lois had opened her soul to him, he had left her and had broken her heart. He hadn't just left her; she might have been able to deal with that. He had left her for her best friend. How could that have happened?
The answer was simple. He was a man of the same mold as her father. She should have known better than to fall so shamelessly for him. Lois had broken the most important rule; she had given her heart to a man that had been bound to hurt her.
Paul had never loved her. Lois had been blindly taken in by the attention he had showed her when she had thought that she was unlovable. She had been so stupid.
Thus, she renewed her vow to herself. She would never fall in love, never give herself to a man again. She devoted herself to her career; Lois Lane would be the best investigative reporter in the world.
However, as much as she tried to concentrate on work alone, early in her career, she couldn't help but notice the suave, attractive, irresistible French reporter, Claude. Again, she scoffed at the vow she had made years ago. This man had to be different. He seemed to love her so much.
Again she had been horribly mistaken. Claude was a man. She should have known he was the same as all other men. He was just out for personal gratification. And to top it off, he had stolen a story she had written and had claimed it as his own.
At this point in her life, Lois had needed to be loved so much that she had misunderstood Claude's motives. She should have known better. The constant vigilance that she had always practiced had been compromised yet again. She had let her guard down for the last time.
This time, she vowed that she was truly finished with men. She would never make the same mistake again.
Then one day an Adonis in blue tights flew into her life. Superman. He could never hurt her; he was so pure, so innocent, so god-like, so … unattainable. That was the reason she had fallen for him so completely. Even though she had sworn off all men, there was a part of her that still craved their love and companionship. She was so bad at keeping promises to herself. Superman was a fair exchange with her conscience. She had fallen madly in love with him, but she knew that she could never have him. That made him safe. He could never hurt her because she could never really have him.
Around the same time as Superman had shown up, Clark Kent had entered her life. Initially, she had treated him horribly, seeing him only as a small town hick. She had developed a shield that prevented herself from opening up to another man again. However, somehow, over time, Clark had broken through her shield and had become her best friend. She had known that he had been attracted to her, yet she did not see him as a potential love interest. Even though he was handsome, kind, and good, he was still a flawed man with the potential to hurt her just like every other man in her life had.
Just after she had met Superman and Clark, she'd gone temporarily insane. She wasn't exactly sure how it had happened, but somehow, she had started dating Lex Luthor. Originally, she had just wanted to get close to him so that he would grant her an interview. However, before she knew it, they were dating. She had been flattered that the third richest man in the world had wanted her, but she really wasn't ready to date anyone. Then before she knew it, they were engaged and the wedding was set. She hadn't really felt like she had a choice. Her life had spiraled out of control.
Looking back, Lois realized that Lex Luthor had probably planned it all from the beginning. He had planned for Lois to be his from the beginning. Luthor wanted nothing more than to control her completely.
Thankfully, at the last minute, she had come to her senses. Just before she was to marry the man who turned out to be the biggest criminal in the world, she had realized that she didn't have to marry him. She certainly hadn't loved Lex Luthor; she had been in love with someone else entirely. When she had looked at her reflection dressed in her ornate wedding dress, she had pictured herself spending her life with another man.
She had pictured Clark. Her partner. Her best friend. The man she loved. The man who wasn't safe at all. He was the man that could hurt her more profoundly than anyone else. Yet she was truly, madly, deeply in love with him with all her heart.
Falling in love with Clark had been so easy; she hadn't even realized it was happening. As much as she had tried to resist it, tried to convince herself that she couldn't fall in love with him, he had wormed his way into her affections. He had gently pushed at her barrier until he had eventually found the keystone and caused the wall she had so carefully built to crumble at her feet. Even though she had rejected him so many times, he had kept trying through acts of intense kindness and love.
Then Lois's world had almost shattered before her. She realized that the man she loved, the only honest man she'd ever known, had been lying to her since the moment he had met her. Clark Kent had been concealing a dark secret.
Once she had overcome her anger and pain and had allowed herself to think about it, she had been able to forgive him. His secret had caused him to live the life of seclusion that she had always wanted for herself. Now that she knew what real love was, she couldn't imagine wanting that life for herself. Yet Clark knew it firsthand. It must have been so painful for him. He could never get close to anyone because of the secret he was branded with. Clark was different, and he could never share his differences with anyone for fear that he would be exposed, unable to live the normal life he craved. He had to keep his distance from everyone in the world, never revealing his true identity. Yet he desperately wanted a normal life: a job, friends, a wife, children. And Lois Lane's love.
Clark had chosen her. He had trusted her, even though she had the power to ruin him. She'd never felt that kind of unconditional trust before. It was then she had realized that *Clark* had been the vulnerable one in their relationship. Her love for Clark had grown over time, but she hadn't even known that he had been as scared of her as she had of him. They had more in common than she would have ever guessed at their first meeting. Now, they were more than best friends, lovers, and partners. They loved each other unconditionally, both knowing that they were finally safe. When they were together, nothing would be able to hurt them again.
After they were finally married, Lois wanted Clark to have the life he craved. Even though he'd told her that he had everything he'd ever wanted when they were finally married, Lois had known that something was missing. Children. Even though they hadn't talked about having kids, Lois had known that he desperately wanted to have children.
She had never wanted to have children; she was almost afraid of them. Her childhood had been painful, to say the least. She had never felt wanted by either of her parents. Her father made no secret of the fact that he had wanted her to be a son rather than a daughter. He had been upset that she had gravitated towards English and History in school rather than Math and Science. And even though she had always been a perfectionist, nothing had ever been good enough for him. Her mother wasn't any better. Thus, she had decided not to have any contact with children. She didn't want to inflict any of the same emotional pain that she had suffered on anyone. The only way she could prevent that transmission was by not having children at all.
When she had fallen in love with Clark, her view had changed. Clark had changed her life for the better in every way. She was less cynical and finally capable of love and trust.
She had realized that she wanted more than anything else to have children with the man she loved. For the first time, she realized that she didn't just want to have children for Clark's sake. She wasn't her mother; she had the power to create a different, better life for her children. Lois had always wanted children, just not the childhood that she had lived. Her children would know pure, unconditional love.
Once they had decided to start trying to have children, they had encountered fertility problems. She had taken it even harder than he had. Although she had tried to deny it for so long, she had realized how much she wanted children, how desperately she had always wanted them. When they had finally come, she knew what miracles they truly were. Her two children were the most precious gift she and Clark could have given each other.
Now, she couldn't believe just how lucky she was. She didn't have to stay cooped up in her eerily empty house. Clark and her two kids were outside waiting for her. As she looked out the front door onto her porch where her husband and children were playing, she was awestruck by the breathtaking view before her.
It was absolutely perfect.
Clark was sitting on the top step with two little girls climbing on him. Looking at her two little girls, she realized, not for the first time, that this was more than she had ever wished for, the perfect life she had thought she'd never have.
Lois slowly opened the door and stepped onto the front porch. Clark turned to her, a large grin spread across his face. Her heart filled with a love that was so strong it almost hurt. When Clark reached out an arm inviting her to join him, she didn't hesitate to sit down next to him in their little family huddle. When she nestled herself in Clark's arms, her two daughters climbed onto her lap. She was overcome by a wonderful feeling that had become so familiar to her.
Clark turned his head and smiled widely at her. Lois knew that he was feeling the same sense of love and absolute contentment. She inched her head closer and brushed her lips against his. He responded in a voiceless 'thank you' by capturing her lips with his own and kissing her deeply.
As they kissed, Lois knew there was no place on earth she'd rather be than surrounded by the three people she loved most in the world. Her wildest dreams had become reality.