Submitted: April 2006
Summary: The missing scene from "The House of Luthor" at the end of the episode. Clark realizes again just how much Lois means to him and helps him. Written in response to a "deleted scenes" fanfic challenge.
The characters and familiar settings in this story are the property of DC Comics, Warner Bros., December 3rd Productions and whoever else can legally lay claim to them, but the story is an original idea and belongs to me. I am not profiting from this story. It is purely for fun. A special thanks to the writers of Lois & Clark. No copyright infringement is intended.
Written in response to the Deleted Scenes Challenge on the Fanfic mbs (http://www.lcficmbs.com/index2.html)
Clark heard sirens off in the distance. He started to jump up and change into his suit, when he remembered; he wouldn't be doing any rescues tonight. His powers were coming back slowly, much like after his very first exposure to Kryptonite, probably because he'd been exposed for such a substantial length of time this time. Actually, most of his powers were getting close to full strength, except for flying. He still wasn't quite able to fly just yet.
He sighed. Well, the police would be on their own for tonight. Superman had to take it easy. He really was fortunate to be alive. If Luthor hadn't left that cummerbund behind… Well he didn't really want to think about that.
Clark looked again at the copy of one of their competitor's newspapers. The heading read, "Luthor Dead After Fall From Penthouse". What disturbed Clark more, though, was the smaller article heading under that, which read, "Citizens Ask Themselves 'Where Was Superman?'" There would be repercussions from this, he was sure. No one would ever know why Superman hadn't been around to save Luthor. Sure, like the article said, the fall was a long one; it should have given Superman plenty of time to respond. What they didn't know was that Superman hadn't had the *ability* to respond, and it was Luthor's own fault. The man had unwittingly put an end to his life by trying to put an end to Superman's.
The Kryptonite had weakened him so badly that there was no way he had the strength to even catch Luthor, let alone fly, when Luthor had inexplicably jumped. Clark despised the man, hated the evil that exuded from him, but he never wanted to see anyone die. Not even Luthor. He might have fantasized from time to time about finally finding the evidence against him to be able to see him behind bars, but never dead. The image of him falling was haunting his thoughts, and Lois, poor Lois, burying her head against his shoulder. There was nothing he could do to help her but to try and protect her from seeing what was going to happen.
She had finally had her eyes opened to who Luthor really was. Thank god he, Jack, Jimmy, and Perry hadn't given up and found the evidence they needed to stop the wedding. But even so, he knew she'd had feelings for Luthor, and it had to be hard to have watched what happened. He was glad he had been able to make it out of Luthor's wine cellar in time to be there for her.
His mind lingered on thoughts of Lois for a few minutes longer. He had lied to her earlier today. He did love her, but he had been so afraid of complicating things, of losing her as his friend, that he had lied. He had told her he just wanted to be her friend, forever, and he would be, if that was all she would give him.
Clark decided he would call her. She had been through a traumatic couple of days and probably would appreciate someone calling to check on her. He dialed her number and waited, holding his breath, hoping she would pick up.
"Mmm. Hello?" her sleepy voice said on the other end of the line.
"Hi Lois, it's Clark. I'm sorry. I didn't realize how late it was. Did I wake you?"
"No, it's okay. I tried to go to sleep and couldn't. I've just been sitting here thinking. I'm so tired but my mind just keeps playing the events of the last few days over and over."
"I know, me too. You're okay, though?"
"Yeah, I guess so. I still can't believe how blind I was. How could I not have seen through his shiny veneer?
"Well, that's the thing about love, I guess. It blinds you to the faults of the ones you care about," Clark said, venturing a guess. There was a long, awkward silence and Clark was about to say something when Lois began speaking.
"Maybe, but that's the thing. I don't think I was ever actually in *love* with him, Clark. I had some feelings for him, and I certainly wouldn't have ever wanted to see him do what he did, but I…I…"
"What, Lois?" Clark asked eagerly. He couldn't help feeling a little relieved at her admission that she hadn't *really* loved Luthor.
"I know you'll think this was ridiculous of me, Clark, but I told Superman about my feelings for him,…and he rejected me. I think that played at least a part in why I accepted Lex's proposal. I felt so lonely and rejected after that. I thought maybe I could grow to love Lex, since he obviously did love me."
Clark felt a pang of guilt at the mention of Superman's rejection of her. So, he was at least partly to blame for what she'd done. If he had just found some way to get past his wounded pride and give her something to hold on to, even if it was *Superman*, she might not have ever agreed to marry Luthor. It surprised Clark how open and honest Lois was being with him about her feelings. She must be feeling vulnerable right now, he thought. He wished he could go over there, to her apartment, and comfort her. But that was not a job for Clark, her forever friend; maybe Superman, but he was *grounded*. He would just have to be content to comfort her with his words.
"I don't think that was ridiculous. You needed to know how he felt about you. Don't kid yourself, Lois, Superman cares for you, he always has. You can see it in his eyes and the way he's always there to help you…I'm sorry he wasn't there to help you today," Clark told her with difficulty.
"That's okay, you were there, Clark. I know Superman can't always be everywhere at once. I'm sure that he had a good reason for not being able to be there. He cares about everyone. He wouldn't let someone die if he could have prevented it." Her words were like a soothing balm to his soul. She didn't know she was talking to Superman, didn't know how much what she was saying meant to him. She was forgiving him for what he couldn't do. She was making him whole again. Giving him the strength he needed to get through this. Would she ever know just how much she meant to him, as Clark her friend, and Superman her hero? He didn't know. But he didn't think he would ever want to tell her more than he did right now. Could he? Should he?
"Lois, I need to tell you something," he began.
"Oh Clark, can you hang on? I was having some Chinese delivered to my apartment and the delivery guy is here, hang on, I'll be right back." Clark sat there in silence thinking furiously about what he had been about to tell her. By the way, Lois, I'm Superman? No, this wasn't right, he couldn't do it like this, not over the phone.
"Okay Clark, I'm back. Mmm, it smells so good," she told him. His super hearing was definitely doing better. He could hear her smelling her food through the phone line. Before he could say anything, she had started talking again. "You know, I've come to terms with what Superman said to me that night. And you know what?" she asked him.
"I've decided that I'm not giving up on him that easy," she said. He could hear the determination in her voice and could picture that stubborn look she had on her face. So she wasn't ready to give up on her Superman fantasy yet. Clark was glad her delivery had interrupted him before he had made a mistake. She wasn't ready for a revelation like that.
"What were you about to tell me before my food got here?" she asked him.
"Oh, nothing important," he lied…again. "Enjoy your food, Lois."
"Thanks, Clark. You know, there's a ton of it, do you want to come over and have some?" she asked him. Did he detect a tone of hopefulness? But, no, the mood was broken and it was time to say goodnight.
"That's okay. I think I'd better hit the sack. With the Planet reopening its doors for business, Perry is going to be expecting two hundred percent from all of us. Goodnight, Lois."
"Oh…okay…um, goodnight, Clark."