By Cherry <email@example.com>
Submitted: June 2005
Summary: What really matters, when you've lost your best and only friend and the world seems a colder place without him?
This fic actually wasn't meant to be written. I had a completely different idea for a fic when I started and then my Muse attacked. Ah, when good Muses go bad… And I actually tried to promise myself not to write a TOGOM fic, as I'm quite sure you're all tired of them.
Ah well. At least I tried making mine different from everyone else's.
Many, many thanks to LabRat, who gave me the idea to extend the idea slightly. What would I ever do without you?
Disclaimer: "Lois & Clark" its characters and concepts belong to DC Comics and Warner Bros; no infringement of copyright is intended by their use in this work of fiction.
He was dead. How could he be dead? Clark had always been so alive. So… living. And now he was gone. It just didn't add up. If there was one thing Lois had depended on in her life, it was that Clark Kent would always be there. He was her safe rock. Her shoulder to cry on. And now — when she most needed it he wasn't. He couldn't be there.
Whose shoulder could she cry on now he was gone? She was alone. Completely alone.
Lois sobbed, burying her face into her pillow. "Oh, Clark…" Her Clark was gone. And nothing mattered anymore.
During the last couple of hours, she had been going through every emotion possible: anger, hatred, denial, sadness…acceptance. Until, finally, she became drained. Now she simply felt hollow, empty. She had nothing left to live for.
Sleep. She needed sleep. But how could she even think about sleeping when she had nothing to wake up for in the morning? She needed Clark.
She buried her face even deeper into her pillow as she continued to hug Herself, desperately drawing some comfort from it like she usually did from Clark.
She bit her lip in a desperate effort not to cry. Her pillow was nothing like Clark.
Lois swallowed as she reached down towards the floor and gripped the half-read novel she knew would be there. She closed it carefully before tucking it into her pillowcase and wrapping her pillow with Clark's sweater.
She rested her head on top of her pillow once again, which now almost felt like Clark. Lois hugged herself tightly as she closed her eyes, drawing comfort from her pillow, before falling into an uneasy sleep.
Clark sighed as he slowly flew across the sky. It was a beautiful night. No clouds were in sight and the stars were bright, twinkling faintly now and then. Normally he'd enjoy himself immensely. But not tonight. Not when his life was shattered, over.
He had lost everything. His job, Perry, Jimmy…Lois. Oh, Lois…
Images of her passed through his mind. Lois when she was happy, mad, excited, depressed, bouncing, irritated… She was a tornado. Her moods could swing faster than a three-year-old's. And how he loved her for it. How could he ever live without her?
He shook his head in an attempt to clear it. Thinking about Lois now was torture since he knew he'd have to live his whole life without her. Thinking about her would only remind him of how much he'd miss her.
Of course, he could still have her as Superman. Clark closed his eyes. He still had a chance with her. But would it be fair to Lois? No. Lois could never have anything deeper than friendship with Superman. It was too risky.
Clark breathed in deeply. Lois would never be safe if someone…anyone…found out she was having a relationship with Superman.
It wouldn't be fair. She'd love a hero, a man in tights and a cape. A man who couldn't marry, because he didn't really exist.
No. It would hurt, but he had to let her go. After all, sometimes showing someone that you loved them meant letting them continue living their life. Even if you aren't a part of it.
Clark exhaled as before, opening his eyes again. He just needed to see her one last time and then he'd let her go. After all, Lois' happiness was all that mattered.
"Leave her alone!"
A step forward.
A gun exploded.
Caught in mid-step.
His hand shot up to his chest.
His eyes widened.
He fell. His glasses were askew…
"Clark!" Lois shot up from bed. She panted and her eyes were wide. Her shoulders shook uncontrollably as she desperately tried to control her sobbing. "Oh, Clark…" She gave a loud sob, before burying herself into her pillow.
Clark. Her Clark was gone.
Her world had tumbled.
And she sobbed. She sobbed for a friend, a dream and the world that she had lost, all at the same time.
Lois gave out another loud sob before burying her face even deeper into her pillow.
Tap-tap. <Pause.> Tap. <Pause.>
No. Not now! She knew exactly who that was. And, for once, she really didn't want to see him…
Tap-tap-tap. <Pause.> Tap-tap.
Lois sniffed as she lifted her head. She shot Superman a wet glare before climbing out from her bed to open her window, drying her eyes on the back of her hand as she went.
"Yes, Superman?" Her voice was empty, soulless.
Superman sighed. "Lois…" His eyes bored sadly into hers.
"I don't want to see you. We have nothing to say to each other."
"You know what, Superman? I thought I could trust you, but when I really needed you, you weren't there. I thought he was your friend." She pounded her fists into Clark's chest. "He was your friend! I really thought…" She sobbed. "I really thought…"
Superman sighed, enveloping her in his arms. "Lois, listen to me. He was my friend as well, and…"
"Friend?" Her voice was quiet — so quiet that if it hadn't been for his super-hearing, he never would have heard her.
"Lois, please listen to me -
"Oh no, you don't." Her tone was sharp.
Superman stared at her, confused. "Don't what?"
"That! Don't you dare sound like him. He was the only one who was allowed to pronounce my name that way! Don't you dare!" She took a deep breath as she desperately tried to calm down. "I don't care how special you are, you aren't as special as he was. He was my friend. My best friend." She sobbed. "He meant the world to me. He kept me sane…"
Superman sighed as he held her tightly, silently stroking her hair. "Oh, Lois…"
"And you know what? I don't care what you say. I trusted you. I thought you'd always be there. I thought I could trust you! But when it really counted, you weren't there." She pushed herself away from his arms. "I don't want to see you here again. We have nothing to say to each other."
"Lois — " he whispered. "I can bring him back to you."
"How? Using crazy glue?" Lois frowned before pointing towards her window. "Out. I never want to see you again!" She turned, about to climb back into bed again.
"Lois." Superman's voice was soft, pleading even.
"Didn't you hear me? I don't want to — " She spun around and felt her mouth go dry, because there, on the same spot Superman had been just a few second ago, Clark stood. His shirt was dirty and his coat was missing, but it was still Clark. "Clark?" Her eyes were wide.
"Lois." Clark smiled warily.
"Oh, no, no, no. You're dead. Oh gosh, I'm having a nightmare. No, it's a dream… No, it's too real. I've gone insane." Lois' voice was shrill. "That's it. My partner died and it was the last straw. I've gone insane… The nice men in white coats are going to lock me in a nice padded room tomorrow."
"Lois… You're brilliant. Well, maybe a bit on the insane side." He smiled. "Listen, Lois. I'm not dead." He paused. "You might want to sit down."
"My dead partner is talking to me…" Her knees buckled under her and she fell to the floor. "I'm going insane."
He sighed. "No, Lois. You're not insane. I'm not dead, I wasn't killed." He looked at her with weary eyes.
"But I saw you. They shot you…" Her eyes welled up with tears.
"No, Lois. They did shoot me, but…it didn't affect me."
"Of course it affected you. How could it not have — No." She stared wide-eyed at him. "You're Superman…"
"Oh, it's all so clear. All those bad excuses; why Superman suddenly disappeared just now… And I thought I was going insane!" She glared at him. "How dare you make me believe you were dead? I thought you were my friend!"
"Calm down. I came back to you because I care. Because I couldn't let you suffer." He gripped her gently, lifting her up into his arms.
"What are you doing? Let me down! I'm not through with you yet!"
However, Clark ignored her and slowly began to levitate towards her window, before shooting out, through her window and up above the clouds. "Lois, I don't want you to think I pretended to be dead because I don't trust you, or because I don't care. Because I do. I love you, Lois Lane." He smiled slightly. "And I did bring him back, didn't I?" He whispered.
"Yes, you did," she whispered as she started to relax in her partner's arms. And suddenly she realised that her anger didn't matter that much anymore because her best friend was back, and that was all that mattered.