By Allison Forbes <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Submitted: January 2007
Summary: Being a superhero doesn't always mean making the wisest choices, as Clark finds out the hard way in this rewrite of the author's very first fanfic.
Author's note—I am not trying to reinvent the wheel, or replace my first fanfic "After the Fact." I wanted to rewrite my very first story for fun, and to show how far I have come as a writer. This is meant as a sort of comedy of errors. I don't think either Lois or Clark would be this stupid; Clark wouldn't have picked this time/place, and Lois wouldn't have been clueless for so long. It was partially inspired by Linda, who gave me great fdk on my other fics, and thought that Lois wouldn't have forgiven him so easily.
*It could've happened like this…maybe*
The brilliant rays of sunlight poured through the stained glass windows onto the happy couple as if in blessing as the minister spoke the words the ecstatic young groom had waited years to hear.
"I now pronounce you husband and wife." Those words echoed in Clark's mind as he kissed Lois for the first time as her husband. 'Sweeter words have never been spoken,' he thought.
After the thunderous applause from the congregation had died down, and Jimmy, his best man, had stopped pumping his fist and whooping, they had made their way back up the aisle, arm in arm, to the reception room Lois's parents had rented for the occasion. It was here they had been introduced as "Clark Kent and Lois Lane Kent" for the first time, having left specific instructions that they were not to be announced as "Mr. and Mrs. Clark Kent."
They had greeted their numerous guests, been given profuse, earnest congratulations by those who knew first-hand how hard it had been for them to get married, and cut the three-tiered wedding cake. He hadn't taken his eyes off his new bride at all during the ceremony, and was reluctant to during the reception, not only because her beauty had been hypnotic, but also because he was still nervous, and was struggling to hide it. Not about the wedding; they were finally, officially, completely married. He was nervous because he had to tell Lois something. He had a secret he'd waited a long time to tell her, and was trying to figure out how; he didn't want anything to ruin this day.
"Lois, can we find someplace private? I have something I want to tell you," he said casually. His heart was pounding as he gently took her hand and led her to the bride's room.
"Sure, sweetheart," Lois giggled slightly as she practiced the endearment on her new husband. 'New *husband*,' she thought. 'Hmm, I can definitely get used to this. He has a surprise for me? Maybe I'll have a little surprise for him!'
She followed him to the little room, and Clark closed the door after her. When he turned around to speak, he found himself covered in lace, tulle, and Lois, who engaged him in a passionate, breath-stealing kiss. When she finally pulled away to come up for air, he spoke quickly to get the words out.
"Lois, I have something to tell you, something very important," he began. He looked deep into her eyes, the eyes that he loved so much. Her gaze was so full of love and trust it nearly brought the Man of Steel to tears. "First of all, I cannot tell you how happy you've made me, Lois. I thought I'd never get you to love me, and then with all the trouble we had getting married…" he trailed off. "But you did fall in love with me, and now, here we are." He looked around, indicating the room, and their attire. He had to close his eyes against the tears that threatened. "I know it's a little cliche," he continued without opening his eyes. "But you made my dreams come true," he said, then paused suddenly, opening his eyes to look into hers. "No," he corrected himself, "you *are* my dream come true." She just gazed lovingly at him, a single tear sliding down her cheek. "And now…"
Keeping his eyes on hers, he slowly removed his glasses and ran a hand through his hair, smoothing it back, then waited patiently for her reaction. For a moment, she simply stared at him, cocking her head slightly in confusion. Then her smile faded, and the color drained slowly from her face, her eyes widening in shock. She staggered back half a step, lifting a trembling hand towards him.
"Hh-oohhh my g…you're…" she breathed in disbelief. Then her eyes rolled back and she collapsed into Clark's arms.
Startled, he caught her, supporting her against his shoulder, then knelt to lower her to the floor against his knee. She lay limply, one arm draped across her stomach, while the other fell at her side. He listened for her heartbeat, fear choking him at how fast it was. Her breathing had become dangerously shallow, and when he felt for her pulse, her skin was clammy to the touch.
"Lois! Honey, can you hear me? Lois?!" He gently shook her shoulder and slid his fingers over her pale cheek, but Lois was out cold, having received the shock of her life. She had come so far emotionally to give up her Superman fantasy, and now she was married to him.
"Oh Lois, I'm so sorry." He smoothed the backs of his fingers across her cheek. "I didn't think my telling you this would…" He gazed at her, guilt and fear playing on his face, and he sighed, almost a whisper, "I just didn't think." He'd wanted to tell her about himself for so long, but he had no idea it would have this effect on her, and then he mentally slapped himself. 'Oh, come on, Kent! Did you actually think she would have a normal reaction when she found out she'd married Superman?'
His efforts to bring her around having no effect, he decided to go for help. 'That's ironic,' he thought, shaking his head. 'Superman going to find help.' He lowered her gently to the floor, put his glasses back on, and quickly made his way back to the reception area. He found his help chatting with some of the wedding guests.
"Mom, Dad," he began as casually as possible, so as not to attract attention. "Can you guys come with me for a second?" Jonathan and Martha looked briefly at each other, then at Clark.
"Is everything okay, son?" his father asked.
"Yeah, sure," Clark hedged, and reached up to adjust his glasses.
Martha recognized the gesture. "Clark honey, what is it? Where's Lois?"
Clark's calm demeanor started to falter. "Can you just come with me, please?" Martha and Jonathan exchanged another look; now they knew something was wrong. They followed him as he hurried back to the bride room. "I've got a problem," he explained, sounding a bit like a teenager who hadn't studied for a math test, then opened the door.
"Oh my God, Lois!" Martha gasped when she saw her unconscious daughter-in-law lying on the floor. She rushed to one side of her while Clark knelt beside her in his original position, Jonathan standing slightly off to the side.
"My word, son. What happened?" asked Jonathan, equally distraught.
"I told her I was Superman, or actually I showed her, and she passed out."
"Lois fainted when you told her you were Superman?" his mother asked, confused. She and Jonathan had assumed that Clark told her about his alter ego a long time ago.
"Yes," he paused, looking forlornly at his bride, and then guiltily at his parents, "because I told her about two minutes ago," he finished, then watched his parents' jaws drop simultaneously, and waited for the storm to hit. He didn't have to wait very long.
"Clark Jerome Kent, this is the dumbest…"
"We raised you better than that, young man…"
"…since junior high…"
"…to have more sense than this, boy…"
He winced slightly as both of them started in on him at once. He raised his hands in surrender. "I know, I know!" he moaned dejectedly under their intense scolding. "I know. It was a stupid, thoughtless, selfish…" he trailed off. 'Way beyond lunkhead.'
Angry as he was with his son at the moment, Jonathan didn't add to Clark's self-recriminations. He could see Clark had learned his lesson, and knew his true punishment was yet to come. Martha also kept her peace, knowing whatever she and Clark's father said to him would be a picnic next to what was coming, and turned to more practical matters.
"Clark, let's not dwell on that right now. You made a mistake. A big one, but we all make them. Right now you need to concentrate on Lois. We need to revive her."
The self-pity left his eyes and he became focused again. He gathered Lois in his arms and placed her on the small sofa in the corner of the room, then sat next to her, leaning in so he could watch her closely while his mother went to dampen a handkerchief. He smoothed her hair back from her forehead and studied her face. Her color was improving, but was still too pale for his liking. Just then Martha reappeared with a damp cloth, which she handed to Clark, and a cotton ball soaked with ammonia.
He pressed the cloth gently to Lois's cheek, the action tilting her head slightly to the side. He listened to her vital signs, exhaling in relief that her heartbeat was steady, but her breathing was still shallow, and her lips still had a gray-tinge. After about a minute, he took the pro-offered cotton from Martha. Jonathan helped Clark prop Lois up slightly, so Clark could wave the ammonia under her nose. Almost immediately, she stirred as Clark watched her intently.
"Nnnnhhh," she whimpered.
"Lois? Honey, can you hear me?" he prodded anxiously, dabbing her cheek and forehead with the wet cloth.
Her head started to move on its own and her eyelids fluttered, causing his heart to do the same.
"Sweetheart, I'm here. I'm right here," he said softly, leaning in closer.
Her head went fitfully from side to side in agitation and she started moaning painfully, as if trapped in a nightmare…
*His face floated in front of her, stretched, distorted, shifting from glasses to no glasses to glasses and back again, over and over. His voice, usually so soft and comforting, now mocked her, ~~Lois, guess what? I'm Clark, but I'm also Superman…I'm Superman!!!~~ She turned in every direction, trying to run from it. But no matter where she looked he was there, but it was no longer the handsome and disarming smile she loved. Now the face that stalked her looked more like the paralyzed grin of the Joker. She twisted, trying to free herself from the choking grip that held her. Her skin felt cold and there was a strong smell permeating her nostrils. But most of all, she heard his voice over and over, ~~Lois, I'm Clark Kent, but I'm also Superman!~~
Through tears, she vehemently protested his declaration. ~~No! You can't be…I let you go…I love Clark now. I think I did all along. It can't have been you the whole time! It can't…it can't~~
Eventually the hideous face faded away, though the voice continued, telling her that her new husband was, indeed had always been, Superman. Then the vice grip that had held her eased and she started breathing normal air. She also realized that the voice wasn't mocking her anymore, but was anxiously calling her name. It was deep and soothing, a voice she loved, beckoning her. She moved forward, wanting to follow it, wherever it led her.*
"Lois…Lois, honey please open your eyes. That's it, come on." It was deja vu; she remembered the last time this happened to her she had been frozen. When he'd called her back to life, she'd been expecting to see one person, but when she did open her eyes, it was…Oh God, it *was* true. It was Clark calling her back…but it was also Superman's voice! Dimly the thought occurred to her how she had never noticed that before. She heard her name more clearly, and then she saw his face, handsome but etched with concern, floating above her. Then he smiled.
Her eyes fluttered open, and he smiled with relief. "Hey, welcome back."
Someone behind her said, "She'll be all right now, dear, just give her some time."
Clark nodded, smiling lightly, and looked back down at Lois. She was almost completely awake now. So many questions flashed through her mind, but she couldn't say a word, nor could she move her arms. She just stared at Clark in fascination. Now she knew what it meant to see something again for the first time. She knew he was speaking to her, but it was like trying to hear under water. He would look at her, then behind her, then back down at her. He fussed over her, checking her pulse and feeling her forehead. He spoke again, her name and his concern now discernable.
"Honey, can you speak? Say something." He stroked her cheek with his fingers while his other hand clasped hers, bringing a warm sensation to her limbs.
"Clark?" she managed weakly.
He blew out a breath. "You really gave me a scare, sweetheart. Are you feeling alright now?"
She frowned. Had she become ill at the wedding? "Why? What happened? Did I get sick?" She struggled to remember. The wedding was beautiful. They were married now, and then…then there was a void. There had been a terrible nightmare, faces, but what had it been about?
"You don't remember?" he stated softly. She shook her head. "You fainted, Lois. You lost consciousness for several minutes. It was all I could do to wake you." As his words sank in, it came back to her in a rush. She sucked in a breath, her eyes widening as she looked into his.
"Superman!" she said, barely above a whisper. She started to sit up, closing her eyes as the room began to spin.
"Easy. Here," he said as he helped her, placing another cushion behind her.
"Lois, honey, would you like some water?" Martha asked gently. Still disoriented, Lois did a double take as she looked at her new mother-in-law.
"Martha…water, yes, that would be good, thank you…" Her voiced trailed off and she just stared ahead, lost in thought.
Martha turned to her husband, who was still standing silently off to the side. "Come on, Jonathan, let's give the kids some privacy."
"Thanks, Mom," Clark said gratefully as she closed the door, then turned back to his bride, who remained slightly dazed.
Finally, she blinked rapidly a couple times, looked at her hand, and murmured, "I'm married to Superman. I'm Mrs. Superman!"
Clark groaned inwardly and grasped her gently by the shoulders.
"No, Lois," he began firmly. "You're married to me, to Clark. This is why I waited until after the wedding to tell you."
"What, you just wanted the thrill of shocking me senseless?" she demanded, sitting up completely, the fire returning to her eyes. "Or did you just enjoy knowing this *whole time*," she emphasized the words, "that I didn't know?" she ranted. "Well, congratulations, Superman," she stage-snarled, her voice choking with tears. "You got me to marry you, and the whole time you had the cape pulled over my eyes!" She shook her head sadly. "I hope the lie was worth it," she sobbed, turning her head and averting her eyes.
He was close to tears himself. Her words, the look in her brown eyes, were like kryptonite nails piercing his heart. "I never lied, Lois," he tried to defend himself.
She looked at him incredulously. "No, you never lied, you just never told me the whole truth! It's the same thing, Clark. You kept a huge, incredibly important part of your life totally hidden from me."
He was silent at her accusation; there was no defense, he knew. He could only hope she'd forgive him. Then she frowned, a new look coming into her eyes, and as if sensing her thoughts, he cut her off before she could voice it.
"And no, it's not because I didn't trust you," he interjected. "I trust you with my life, Lois, and with my secret," he stated vehemently. "I just wanted you to marry me for me, not because of my powers." He carefully took her left hand in his, smoothing his thumb over her knuckles. He was at her mercy now, and he would take whatever she gave him.
She was silent for a long moment, thinking over everything that had happened, everything he'd said. She was still wrapping her mind around it, trying to get past the hurt of the man she loved deceiving her like this. Yes, she still loved him so much; more than any man she'd ever known. But could she forgive him? She snuck a glance at him. He looked so…hopeless, as if the world were about to crash down around him. 'Serves him right,' she thought somewhat peevishly. 'He couldn't blame me if I didn't, and I know he would accept it,' she thought, feeling a bit heady knowing she held him in such sway.
"You should have told me," she said firmly. "I had a right to know, to make that choice."
"You're absolutely right," he nodded, relieved that she was finally speaking again, and held his breath for what she would say next.
"I do love you, Clark, and I want to forgive you," she paused, and he listened in dread for the 'but' that would shatter all his hopes. "But," she continued, and his eyes closed in finality, "it's gonna take a long time."
A lump began to form in his throat. "How long?" he forced out.
"Probably the rest of our lives," she replied. He nodded sadly, then his eyes blinked open as he caught the way she'd said it. 'Our lives.'
"'Our lives'?" he echoed hoarsely. "The 'rest of *our lives*'?"
She shrugged, a smile tugging at the corners of her mouth. "Well, maybe not that long."
His heart lifted and his face brightened as gratitude washed through him. He didn't deserve her.
"I love you, Lois Lane Kent, with everything I am." He lifted her hand to his lips and kissed it.
She smiled, the initial shock and anger fading, and all that was left was love. She spoke through tears. "And I love you, Clark Kent, all of you," she reached up and removed his glasses, "with everything I am." She leaned forward and kissed him.
He felt like a terrible weight had been lifted from him. In the wake of his most idiotic mistake, she'd granted him the gift of forgiveness, when by all rights she could have denied him. Sliding his arms around her waist, he returned her kiss with a passion that engulfed them both. She slid her arms around his neck, entwining her fingers in his hair as he gently pushed her back against the sofa. He sucked teasingly on her upper lip; she instinctively parted her lips, gasping when his tongue slid in. She shuddered with need and slid her tongue over his, smiling in satisfaction when she heard him groan. Her heartbeat thundered in his ears and he could feel her breathing quicken beneath him, this time in a good way. He finally released her mouth and moved down to her throat, burning a path from her jaw to her collarbone and back up again. Restlessly, her hands began roaming his back and shoulders.
"Oh Clark…" she panted. Suddenly she couldn't resist teasing him a little, and summoned her best 'holier-than-thou' tone. "You don't deserve me. You know that, right?" she breathed. He lifted his head from where it had been buried in her neck to look at her and saw the twinkle in her eyes.
"Oh, absolutely, I don't deserve you," he replied, a twinkle forming in his own.
She reached for his bowtie and began to undo the knot. "Mmmm, just so we're clear. Now why don't you 'not deserve' me some more."
His eyes darkened. "My pleasure. I'll 'not deserve' you forever." He threaded his fingers through her dark, silky hair, sliding her veil almost completely off. He was busy covering her throat with kisses full of longing when there was a knock at the door. Dimly Clark remembered his mother had gone to get some water for Lois. Quickly, he pulled them both back up and they hastened to straighten their clothes.
"Come in!" he called. Martha walked in with a glass of water, with Jonathan following behind. Both noticed the flush on Lois and Clark's faces, but said nothing.
"Here you go, honey," said Martha, handing Lois the glass. "Feeling any better?" she asked innocently.
"Mm-hmm, much," Lois replied a bit breathily. She gratefully took the glass and started sipping the water.
"Good. You need to take extra care of yourself after fainting," she said helpfully, though she knew Lois's current breathlessness had nothing to do with her fainting spell.
"Well, Clark, I see you're still alive. You two still married?" Jonathan asked somberly, trying to hide his own amusement.
Clark looked at Lois, who looked like she wanted to throw the water in her face, and smiled.
"Yes, Dad. Lois and I talked, and she's forgiven me. We're definitely still married!"
Martha smiled and took the glass from Lois. "That's good to hear, Clark. Your father and I are so glad you've worked everything out. Now, we'll be outside if you need us. Come on, Jonathan," Martha herded her beaming husband out of the room and closed the door. Once out in the hall, they looked at each other, shared a quiet laugh over their children, and walked back to the reception.
In the bride room, Lois was smoothing out her dress and straightening her veil.
"I guess we should head back out and mingle with our guests," Clark suggested.
Lois nodded in agreement. "Yeah, they have been to all our weddings; this was just the one that resulted in an actual marriage. We should make a final appearance." She caught his eye. They shared a heated look before going out to receive their guests, but only after 'not deserving' each other a few more minutes.