By Chrys (chaabreh) Apruzese < firstname.lastname@example.org>
Submitted: March, 2004
Summary: In response to Tank's challenge, this is a possible future/vignette sequel to Tank's last "Future" series — "Lois's Story III. The author has come up with an unexpected solution.
This fic was written in response to Tank's challenge on the LNC Fanfic Message boards (http://www.lcficmbs.com/):
"As some of you know, I just finished off the Future series. It is over and I had hoped to start a pleasant and peaceful retirement.
While I very much appreciated the nice comments and feedback I got on this last story in the arc, still there were some gentle readers who hinted (some came right out and asked) that they would like to see more.
So, in an effort to appease those insatiable fic folcs, yet not disturb my retirement, I have come up with this challenge.
I challenge those readers and writers out there to come up with a little short, or vignette, that shows us where the happy couple is and what they are doing some time down the road. Just a short slice of life piece that tells us what the reunited Lois and Clark are doing with their lives now that they are (and have been?) back together again.
The only thing one needs to remember is that this is a minimum of fifty years removed from the setting of the series. Figure that the original Future trilogy took place after Lois and Clark were married, and our Lois then spent 5 years as a prisoner before she started her life on the alt world. So, if you want to use the timeline from the series, Lois would have gone to the alternate dimension around 2000, so they were reunited around 2050. How long you have had them together when you give us a glimpse of their lives is up to you.
This was my response to the challenge:
The usual disclaimers apply. I have no rights to Lois & Clark or any of the DC -Comics owned characters. This story will never be an official part of Tank Wilson's "Future" series. It was written purely for the enjoyment of the fans of Lois and Clark, the New Adventures of Superman.
Thanks to all the message board members that encouraged me to write my first fic, especially Tank!
"Clark, honey! We need to go now or we will miss our appointment!"
Clark heard his wife calling him, which interrupted his daydreaming. He had been reflecting about how strange life could be. How things come full circle. How he had married the woman of his dreams, only to seemingly lose her in an alternate dimension at the hands of a Kryptonian thug. How he had finally fallen in love with her other-world doppelganger (only after allowing himself to stop feeling guilty about it).
Realizing now that Lois, after five years of imprisonment at the hands of Kryptonian criminals, had actually come back home with H. G. Wells and watched from afar while he gave her twin, his second wife, an affectionate kiss while helping her get out of a cab. The despair and hurt Lois must have felt, knowing that there was no place for her anymore in her "own" world. Her selflessness in walking away, so he and Alt-Lois wouldn't have to make a decision that would be virtually impossible for anyone to make.
His anguish at hearing about her ten years of loneliness in a world where his twin, her best friend, and that world's Superman (which she had helped create, as usual) was much younger and married to Jimmy Olsen's female counterpart. His heartbreak at losing his second wife, best friend, lover, partner, mother of his three children to cancer, only to have his first —and now third- wife magically reappear alive — and, due to time differences between dimensions, still in the prime of life! You couldn't make this stuff up if you wanted to!
He didn't think it was possible, but he, in fact, loved Lois more today than he had 50 some-odd years ago! He still missed his second wife so much and had, a long time ago, come to grips with his ability to love two women simultaneously. It was amazing how similar, and yet how different, his two Loises were.
He figured their upbringing accounted for much of that. While Lois (wife #1 and #3) had had a difficult relationship with her father, and her mother had been an alcoholic, depressed over her husband's constant womanizing, Alt-Lois (wife#2) had not known her father, had no sister Lucy, and had been very close to her mother who was self- supporting. The "original" Lois had problems trusting men and kept a wall up, not allowing many in for fear of being betrayed. Lois #2 had a softer side, trusted more easily, and had had few relationships prior to Clark, simply because she was putting all of her energy into jump- starting her career.
In addition, her five years of imprisonment in the Congo had taken an edge off of the usual "Mad Dog Lane" personality that all Loises seemed to share!!! It was her empathy and consideration for Clark's feelings that prompted her to cut off her long dark tresses and color her hair bright red. The less she would remind Clark of his dear departed wife, the better. It was this warm-hearted, considerate woman that Clark had fallen in love with the second time. But he nonetheless loved his "original" Lois as well. They had shared memories of friendship and loving that would burn brightly inside him for all of his days. And now, due to a miracle of time and dimensional travel (and H. G. Wells), they had the opportunity to add to those memories.
When Lois first came back, he was concerned primarily how his children would accept her. Would they think he was no longer grieving over their beloved mother? Would the fact that Lois appeared to be close in age to them "freak" them out? Well, it turned out that he didn't have to worry.
Unbeknownst to him, before H.G. Wells went to the alternate dimension that Lois had been "banished" to, he came to visit the other Lois on her deathbed. He told her that her twin had miraculously been brought back from the dead, thanks to advanced Kryptonian science, and that after five years of imprisonment, champions of her former home world had finally overcame the evil Kryptonians. Lois had been released. But released to go where? was the problem.
Wells had told her that he had brought Lois here, because she desperately needed to see her husband one more time. He explained that Lois didn't want to do anything to ruin the happiness that Clark and Alt-Lois had finally realized, so she had agreed to travel to a "Lois-less" dimension and help that world's much-younger Clark Kent become Superman (and saved the world from the Nightfall asteroid in the process). Alt-Lois, being the ever-considerate, wonderful person that she was, suggested to Wells that after her death (letting a respectful amount of time go by for the grieving process), he should visit Lois and ask her if she would like to come "home".
Just as Lois had forsaken her home world for the sake of Clark's happiness, Alt-Lois didn't want her husband to be lonely. After all, most of their friends had passed on. The fact that due to inter-dimensional time differences, Lois was still in the prime of life, made Alt-Lois happy. Clark would have another lifetime of happiness with her twin. And that made the thought of her passing away so much easier to bear. She wouldn't have to worry about her husband's heart breaking again. Yes, she knew he loved her, but she also knew that there was a special part inside of him that never stopped loving the "original" Lois, and that was perfectly understandable.
The two women had bonded in those dark days of captivity in the Alt-World at the hands of the rogue Kryptonians. Lois had made her promise that she would be a special friend to Clark, if something happened to her. It was time to return the favor.
Wells agreed that he could do that but wondered how that would affect Clark's relationship with their children. Alt- Lois concurred that it might be difficult and agreed that she would call a meeting with her children ASAP. So, it was planned that when Clark was busy doing "Superman" stuff, she would tell her children that the "original" Lois was still alive (as they had been told the entire Alt-World story when they were old enough to understand). If they were comfortable with Lois coming "home," Wells would travel to her when the time was appropriate. If she felt she could leave the life she had built for herself with no regrets, he would bring her back home to be with their father.
The meeting with their three children went well. Trying to explain how time accrues differently in alternate dimensions was a tad difficult, but after their mother had explained to them that Lois had made the supreme sacrifice for their happiness by walking away from her home world and taking up a new life, their eyes welled up. They had been brought up to accept and do the right thing because it was the right thing to do.
Dad's happiness was more important than their comfort level. They all had their own lives and children and were all curious to meet this woman who would be so much like their own mother in so many ways. What made it easier, actually, was the fact that Lois would be around their age, so instead of looking at her as a mother figure, she would be more like a younger "aunt." They were sworn to secrecy because if for some reason the original Lois didn't want to leave her second home, where she had built a life for herself, there was no point to their dad knowing that she was still alive. Somehow, though, they all knew that she wouldn't be able to stay away. Their soul mate connection would be too strong. They had been right.
A Future Reunited — Lois' POV
While traveling to their appointment, Lois was quiet. She never thought this day could possibly happen. She had been so resigned to live out her life in the other world, alone. It was mind-blowing what the last several years had been like. Now, she was remarried, with three step-children who were approximately the same age as her!
She had been so grateful to Wells (he did owe her one, after all!) for getting Alt-Lois' blessing (and then, in turn, the children's) to bring her back home to be with her beloved husband. The children had made her feel right at home and were so unbelievably receptive of the idea of their father getting remarried. She had asked them what they felt comfortable calling her, and it turns out that "Aunt Lois" was what they decided. Plain "Lois" didn't seem to be respectful enough. And it wasn't appropriate to call a woman who was around their age "Mom".
Her physical similarity to their deceased mother would have made that difficult, anyway. They had never really liked their Mom's red hair, and since all of them were dark- haired like their Dad, they often wondered what Mom would have looked like with her natural hair color. But she had been unwavering on that issue. Alt-Lois spent her life on her adopted world as a redhead. "Aunt Lois" looked a lot like them, so they thought of her as their mother's younger sister. After all, they already had a (much older) "Aunt Lucy". Why not two aunts?
Speaking of Lucy, she had visited her several times since her arrival back home. Lucy told her stories of how wonderful her doppelganger had been, and how she suffered for so long, hopelessly in love with Clark, but knowing he couldn't stand to look at her. How Clark had fought his feelings for Alt-Lois out of deference to his lost wife and soul mate. How Lucy had grown to love this "step sister" through the years. The biggest regret Lucy had now was that she was in her seventies and couldn't get around as easily! The tables had turned. She was now the older sister, with great-grandchildren, and thirty-plus more years of life experience. Giving advice to her "big" sister who looked half her age! Who would have thought?
When she had told Clark how Jenny had inherited the other- world Clark's powers in a thunderstorm, he brightened up! The thought of Lois going thru a normal aging process and losing her as well, while he continued to live for an extended period of time, broke his heart. So it was that after careful research, he was able to duplicate the process that gave Jenny her "Ultra Woman" powers. Lois would now live an extended period of time, and they could fully enjoy retirement. They could fly together to paradise islands, they could travel in space to other galaxies, and they could make passionate love above the clouds!
Retirement. Yes, Lois had decided that the journalistic world of 2050 was not for her! The print media had been her passion, and if she couldn't see her headlines in 70-point font, why bother? Electronic journalism didn't thrill her. But there was something missing. And so, about six months after they remarried, Lois had broached the subject with Clark. She had given much thought to the idea, and quite frankly, felt he would be dead set against it. But their relationship had been one of honesty, ever since the day he revealed himself to be Superman, so she felt that is was important to know where he stood with the idea.
At first, he looked uncomfortable. What will the kids think? Then he realized what his wife's life had been like for the last fifteen years. No family, no one to love and be intimate with, no real friends in the later years. He had been astounded to learn that Cat Grant, for a short time, had been her best friend. He looked in her eyes and realized he could never say no to this beautiful woman. That fact always seemed to get him into trouble!!
The doctor had told her to be very careful flying in her last trimester. That is why Clark always, without fail, accompanied her to the GYN appointments. Well, they weren't exactly GYN appointments. STAR LABS was not a hospital. Thankfully, Bernard Klein's great-grandson, Jonathan Klein, had taken up his grandfather's mantle.
Advanced science in the year 2050 encompassed many fields. Cloning research had been made illegal in the United States back in 2015 (largely due to the scandals with Lex Luthor), and a doctor of science was now an expert in medicine, pediatrics, chemistry, Astrophysics, and nuclear physics. It was virtually impossible to have complications during child birth.
However, just as Alt-Lois had taken extra precautions during her three pregnancies, Lois and Clark wanted their old friend's great grandson to continue to monitor the progress of the pregnancy. All three children had inherited their father's powers, and so it would appear that this unborn child would follow suit.
The baby was due in two more months. So far, they had not wanted to know the baby's sex. Clark and Lois had agreed not to use their vision powers to cheat! They had male and female names picked out. If it was a boy, it would be Samuel Perry Kent. If it was a girl, her name would be Catherine Lois Kent.
Lois' daydreaming was abruptly interrupted by Clark's "Honey, we're here!" as they lightly landed on the roof of STAR LABS. Good thing Clark had been holding her hand as they flew, because she hadn't been paying attention at all.