By angelic_editor <Moxie406@yahoo.com>
Submitted: November 2006
Summary: Lois' not-so-calculated risks in the name of a page-one story threaten to tear her away from Clark — permanently. Clark struggles to balance his love for her with his frustration.
Disclaimer: The characters aren't mine; the words are. Please don't take legal action, as recent college graduates aren't worth suing, anyway.
Feedback: Better than chocolate, especially since I'm so new at this. Be brutal; I welcome comments and criticism of all kinds.
She thought dying would hurt more.
It should hurt more, shouldn't it? She'd fallen about thirty stories. The impact should've felt more…just more.
So why wasn't she in agony?
"Lois, I've got you."
Eyes still squeezed shut, her arms involuntarily curled around Clark's neck.
"You —" she choked, her breaths coming in quick, short bursts. She was sorry. God, she was so sorry she'd been so stupid. And she couldn't even articulate an apology.
"It's all right."
That husky voice next to her ear, the love and concern and relief layered within those three words, was nearly her undoing.
"Clark — you came," she managed, her forehead resting against his collarbone, just above the bright blue spandex.
"Yeah," he murmured against her hair. "I did."
Cradled gratefully against his chest as they flew above Metropolis, she didn't see the grim set of his jaw or the fear swirling in his dark eyes.
Her own body was shaking so much, she couldn't feel his heart hammering against his ribcage.
But he knew. Next time, he might not be so lucky.
*She* might not be so lucky.
And it would be the end — literally, figuratively, metaphorically — for both of them.
The prospect frightened him more than he'd ever allow himself to analyze. It left his mouth dry and his limbs weak. More potent than Kryptonite, just the thought of losing Lois left him broken inside; if it ever came to pass, not even his legendary strength could withstand that crushing emotional onslaught.
But he swallowed back his frustration and held her closer. Picking a fight wasn't worth it, not now. She knew she shouldn't have trusted an anonymous tip; she knew Clark knew, too.
So right now, it didn't matter.
Right now, she was safe.
And right now, with her head tucked beneath his chin and her trembling hand resting against his chest, it was enough.
"Love you," she whispered shakily, her eyes still tightly closed.
Clark smiled, shoving his tortured thoughts to a dark corner of his mind. "Love you, too."
Right now, that was enough.