By BanAnna <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Submitted: January 2003
Summary: Clark and Lois have some serious talking to do in this reworking of the freezing scene in hte episode "And the Answer Is."
Author's note: This is a rewrite of the end of ATAI. I've left the A-plot events out of this story because they remain unchanged.
All characters are copyrighted by DC Comics, Warner Brothers, December 3rd Productions, and probably some other people too. Tony Blake and Paul Jackson wrote some of the dialogue in this story, but most of the dialogue is my own originality. No copyright infringement is intended; this is just for fun.
"I have an idea. I want you to tell Superman to meet me at my apartment as soon as possible." Lois silenced Clark's impending objection with a deep kiss and then told him, "Everything is going to be all right." She left the Daily Planet conference room in a hurry and Clark followed her, loosening his tie.
On the way to Lois's apartment, Clark stalled by flying over the city and wrestling with the thoughts running through his head. How was he going to keep Lois alive and get his parents back too? Could he convince Lois to get out of town as fast as possible? If she left, what would happen to his parents? What crazy idea did she have up her sleeve? Should he try to tell her his secret again before attempting to solve the immediate problem? Was there even time to deal with the Superman issue? He had less than thirty minutes before Mazik killed his parents, but if Lois died never knowing why he kept running out on her, he'd never forgive himself.
He finally decided that she had to know. For once in his life he wouldn't yield to her. He wouldn't let her convince him to corroborate with her on some crazy scheme. No matter what she tried to say, he'd make her listen to him first. He would get everything out in the open and then fly her far away before going back to face Mazik.
Although she had requested the presence of Superman, he landed in the alley beside her building, spun out of the suit and jogged up the stairs to her apartment. *Clark* had something to tell her.
A knock on the door of Lois's apartment prompted her to check the peep hole and answer it.
"Clark," Lois said, clearly surprised. "What are you doing here?"
"Can I come in?" he asked, gently making his way into the apartment.
She closed the door behind him and without answering his question she asked, "Where's Superman? Don't tell me you couldn't find him. Not now. Not when we need him more than ever." Tears began to form in the corners of her eyes. "He's the only chance we've got. Your parents, if they…" She trailed off, unable to finish her sentence.
"Lois," Clark put his hands on her shoulders, forcing her to look straight at him. "I have something to tell you. I've been trying to tell you this since yesterday and I need you to listen to me. You might be mad or confused, but I need you to hear me out before you say anything else. You might want to sit down." He guided her over to the sofa and she followed, despite her protests.
"Clark, there's no time. We've got to find Superman." Lois wiped a tear from her cheek, trying to appear brave for Clark's sake.
Clark paused and decided to alter his plan of action, just slightly. "All right, Lois. I've found Superman. Let me get him for you." Keeping a steady gaze on Lois, he removed his glasses, loosened his tie, and slowly unbuttoned his shirt to reveal the red, yellow, and blue beneath it.
As he moved, Lois's expression changed from its original worry and sadness to confusion and then, suddenly, to realization. "Clark- Super- Clark-" Lois stumbled over the words, unable to decide what to say next.
Clark stood and spun fully into the suit, then sat back down beside her. "This is what I've been trying to tell you for days. This is what I meant to say yesterday morning and this afternoon." He paused, noticing the look on her face. "I know this is a shock for you. I know you must have a million emotions and ideas going through your head right now."
"All the running off, all the dumb excuses," Lois processed the revelation slowly at first, then more quickly. "All my conflicted emo-" Suddenly she stopped, stood up straight, wiped away her tears and continued in a voice that told Clark she was all business. "Your parents. He's got your parents. We have to do something. I've got-"
She opened her mouth to say more but Clark put a hand on her lips to quiet her. "I know, Lois, but I'm not going to bring him your body. I'm going to fly you away from here as fast as I can and then come back and search for them. Mazik must be keeping them somewhere close by." He stood up and reached toward her in an effort to scoop her into his arms.
"No, Clark," she protested, taking a step back from him. "I'm not going anywhere. I've got an idea. You could freeze me."
"Yes. Like cryogenics." Lois began to pace around the room. "You know, people who fall into frozen lakes and they get revived. You could freeze me with your breath. Fast. I've seen you do it a hundred times. And then I would look like I was dead and you could take my body-"
"Lois," Clark interrupted her, his eyes filled with worry, "do you have any idea how dangerous that is? You could have arterial ruptures, permanent brain damage… Lois, you could die."
"Yes, I could die." Lois began to break down into tears again as she resumed her place on the sofa. "But your parents will die unless we help them. Please, Clark. It's the only way. They need us now." Lois looked down at her hands, then back up into his deep brown eyes, pleading with him, "And I know you need me to help you more than ever. Please, let me help."
He paused, looking back at her, his mind racing with the events of the last hour. He sat down next to her, put his hands on hers, and whispered with defeat, "All right."
"If anything happens," Lois said, her voice shaking, "I want you to know that I love you."
He wiped away the tear on her face, then cupped her cheek in his hand and looked at her solemnly. "And I love you."
She kissed his hand as he pulled it away and they stood up. "Close your eyes," he instructed her. He took a deep breath, then sent an icy cold stream of air out of his mouth and down her entire body. When she was completely frozen, he gently picked up her body and flew out the window with her.
The next evening Lois was alive, safe and sound, with a cold as the only lasting side effect from the trauma her body had recently experienced. Clark sat with her as she lay in her bed, resting on the doctor's orders.
"How are you feeling?" he asked softly.
"I'm fine, really I am," she began with a smile before changing to a more serious expression. "But I do think we should talk."
Clark nodded. "I think so, too."
"Clark, I admit that at first I was shocked, but there wasn't much time for that yesterday. I've had some time to think about this today and I've been through every emotion. At first I was confused… I started remembering all those times when you would run off with one of your stupid excuses. Then I was hurt that you hadn't trusted me enough to tell me sooner. That pain turned into being furious with you for not telling me sooner. And then I was mad at myself for not ever figuring it out, for letting a silly pair of glasses deceive me for so long."
Lois paused to gauge Clark's reaction. His eyes were full of concern for her pain and his face showed the guilt he felt for putting her through it.
Lois reached up to touch his cheek and then she continued, wanting to ease his guilt. "But after all that, I thought about you and about how much we mean to each other. And I know that you would never hurt me on purpose, because I know that you love me and because," Lois paused and looked into Clark's deep brown eyes. "I love you."
"I do love you, Lois." Clark took her hand in his and kissed it softly, then looked back at her, his eyes pleading for forgiveness. "Can you forgive me?"
She smiled quickly. "Of course I can."
Clark smiled with relief and leaned over to give her a soft, sweet kiss. Leaning his forehead against hers, he asked, "Do you feel up to a walk?"
Lois smiled. "Sure."
After she had changed, they left the apartment, his arm around her, and headed for Centennial Park.