By Sara <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Submitted: July 2005
Summary: In this second-season vignette, Clark writes his innermost thoughts regarding his relationship with Lois.
This vignette basically came spewing out of me late at night, when once again I was using Microsoft Word and my trusty Discman as proverbial shoulders to cry on :) I posted it on the MBs the next morning, and there it underwent some fine-tuning… thank you to everybody who gave me FDK on it, and especially to Paul and Roger for their very helpful constructive criticism. Thank you also to my GE, Jeanne Pare, for her very helpful editing :)
This story is dedicated to my new laptop, which is functional and so much more efficient than my terrible old '95 machine, besides being pretty with the grey/blue design and all, and entertaining with the cool pinball game and… hem hem ;)
Disclaimer: All familiar characters and situations are property of Warner Bros, DC Comics and whoever else can legally claim them.
FDK welcome as usual at the above address.
*Oh, darkness, I feel like letting go…
If all of the strength and all of the courage
Come and lift me from this place
I know I can love you much better than this…*
— Sarah McLachlan, "Full of Grace," from the album "Surfacing"
You don't ever need to be afraid of me, Lois.
You think I don't know how it is to love? You think I don't know how it is to feel that hand wrap itself around your heart and squeeze? You think I don't know how it feels to tote a stone in your chest and act like nothing is wrong? You think I don't understand the endless aching need, and the sharp pain of joy that comes with the face of your loved one?
I understand. And you're right in what you think — what I know you think — it's very intense. It's all-consuming and all- encompassing. But it's nothing to be afraid of.
Trust me. I should know. I have more than enough things to be afraid of in my life. But you don't think that either, do you? After all, I'm Superman — all-powerful, invulnerable, protected from all of earth's dangers by sheer chance. Superman doesn't feel pain, doesn't bleed, doesn't cry.
But that's the trouble, isn't it, Lois? You see me as Superman, and not as Clark Kent. And trust me, Clark Kent is entirely susceptible to pain.
Do you know how it feels to watch the love of your life with somebody else? Do you know how it is to watch her laughing with another man? Do you understand the hopeless despair that unreturned and fruitless love has as its companion? Have you felt the choking sadness of knowing you'd rather see someone happy with someone else than miserable with you?
Because I have.
If you think I don't know how it is to love eternally and endlessly, Lois, you're wrong. Believe me, I understand. Only too well.
The problem is, I don't think you do.
The difficulty with you — with both of us, I think — is that you've never really felt — felt, not *been* — loved before. I see that incompleteness in you; I ache with it. I see the empty slot and I wish I could be the missing piece.
And me? You know my parents — you've met them — you've seen how their feelings for me just shine out of them. Not everybody would have picked me up out of the cornfield and treated me the way they did, you know. You've felt their love — everybody who meets them feels their love. But, you see, that's not the kind of love I want.
I want to look at you and see you happy — happy because I'm beside you. I want to show you how it feels to be loved, passionately — and I want you to show me. Because I don't know either, Lois. I don't know.
You're afraid to love, afraid to get too near me in case I hurt you. And I nearly had you convinced. I nearly had your trust. I nearly had your love.
*We came so close*. The thought kills me, and I can't stop thinking it. *We came so close* — to perfection, to love, to everything. And then a bomb, a car wreck, blonde curls tumbled against a dark suit jacket — my loss, my guilt, my blame.
I pushed you away as far as I could. Thinking, thinking, thinking, all the time — if only I hadn't been distracted, if I'd never kissed you, if I'd never asked you out — Mayson would still be alive, and there would be a thousand more chances to make us more than friends.
A dark time, Lois. What right had I to love, when every moment I spent with you could be used saving someone's life? What right had I to burden you with the weighty responsibility on my shoulders, the life's work, the never-ending struggle of being the man to blame when things go wrong and someone dies?
Well, I've realised now. I can't live my life drowning in darkness. What's done is done, what's past is over, and what's future is lost because of my stupidity.
Because when I came down from my moral high stance, it was too late.
Yesterday's news. Stale. Boring. How could you ever have thought you'd be that to me? And how could I have failed to convince you otherwise? How could I have fallen short of showing you how much I care, when showing you exactly that is all I've dreamt about for the past two years?
Too late. Much too late.
I see the distance in your eyes. I feel the coldness in your touch. I see you moving away, down the passage of weeks and months and years, and I weep for the time I've lost and the ground that can never be recovered.
I dream at night — you in a crowd, smiling, laughing with Dan Scardino, beautiful and hopelessly out of reach, you on an airport escalator with your bags in your hand, moving ever further away from me — and I curse the heavens. I curse the dreams misplaced and the love unrequited. I curse the chance I let slip through my fingers.
Dan Scardino. I despise the man, really I do, and it's terribly unfair of me. He's done nothing to deserve my hostility — nothing but threaten our friendship, threaten my obsession with you. Because he could so easily be your other half, Lois, and when that happens I know I've lost all chance of ever being anything more than what I am.
Scardino. There was a time where I would have begged — please no, anybody but him — but I understand more fully now. It doesn't matter how basically decent, how kind, how thoughtful and supportive a man is — he'll never be enough for you, because nobody will ever understand you or love you like I do.
And me? I'm Clark Kent, I'm your working partner, and I'm trying my hardest to be your friend.
Why am I even doing this? I don't know what this is. It's not a letter — trust me, I would just about die if you ever saw this — and it's not a diary entry. It's… an outlet. It's a moment of madness when the lure of a blank page is too tempting to resist. It's a window of time in which I'm not your lover and not your friend — nothing. And this is just my way of venting, Lois, since I can't talk freely with you anymore. I've lost that friendship.
Friends. I've been your friend for so many years, Lois, and for a while there I wanted to scream with the frustration of it. And now… now you have no idea what I'd give, what I'd do, to be your friend again.
I could step back and watch you live your life with vivacious passion, the same as you always have, and feel only numbness. I could give you away at your wedding to a nice guy — a man like Dan Scardino — and rejoice in your happiness, with you. I could become godfather to the children you bear — children who'll never be mine, who'll never be ours. I could die contented, seeing you into old age, into wrinkles and grey hair, blissfully happy with the man you love — the man who isn't, has never been and will never be me.
All these things I could do. But I could never let you go.
Don't make me let you go, Lois. Don't attempt to freeze my heart with icy contempt — it's already damaged beyond repair. Don't attempt to cut me out of your life — I've hacked at our bond enough for both of us. Don't treat me with distrustfulness — I know you don't trust me, I know I've damaged your trust in me beyond repair. Please don't push me off that cliff — I doubt my ability to fly back up.
And you can do whatever else, Lois. You can treat me as you like, you can make me a repair-your-puncture, fix-your-VCR and take- you-to-your-second-cousin's-wedding warm body on which to bolster your ego — I'll take it and I'll bear it with pride. I'll be your friend, and nothing more. You don't need to consider my feelings, you don't need to agonise over whether I'll interpret any move from you on a more serious level — you just need to let me watch you move.
Because, you see, you're my reason. Without you I have none.
I'm one of life's good guys, one of the only ones left — or so you'd have me believe. You can count on me never to push you for anything approaching intimacy. You can count on me to be there for you when you need me, without requiring the same in return. You can count on me to breathe for you, to live for you, to lie for you, to die for you. And all I need in return is permission to watch your eyes dance, permission to tease you lightly and watch you bristle, permission to watch your heart play across your face, permission to hug you when you need it — though only when you need it, of course.
How can you expect me not to love you when you're so full of feeling, Lois? How can you expect *anybody* to come in contact with you and go away *not* feeling that everyone else is dull and insipid in comparison? How do you expect me to hide it when you do something every day that makes me love you just a little more?
But I don't need this feeling, not really. I don't need the exploding stars and bursting flowers, I don't need the swelling violin chords and the curly calligraphy, I don't need the fanfare and the fuss people expect love entails. I don't need that — but I need the quiet spasm of emotion.
I need to be able to pretend a little. Pretend I'm not alone anymore — pretend someone accepts me. Pretend I can have something approaching a family, something approaching love. All I need is to orbit you silently and love you with all my strength. I don't need to show it, you see, I just need to be allowed feel it.
I'm not pretending I don't feel more. I'm not pretending I wouldn't love to sling my arm around your waist and take your lips in easy familiarity. I'm not pretending I wouldn't love to see you every morning in an oversized bathrobe with your hair mussed and your face bare. I'm not pretending I wouldn't die from happiness to see you last thing in the evening and first thing in the daytime. I'm not pretending I don't dream about marriage certificates and broad white gold bands. I'm not pretending I don't dream about a joint mortgage and two and a half kids.
But these are things I can survive without. I can't survive without you.
I just need you, Lois. In whatever guise. As friends, as lovers, as acquaintances, as partners — working partners, life partners, whatever.
I need you. Because, you see, you're my reason, and without you I have none.
My reason to fly. My reason to breathe. My reason to live.
(c) Sara, August 2004