By C_A <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Submitted January 2007
Summary: After events in the episode "And the Answer Is?" take a slightly different turn than the ones on the show, Lois does some late-night pondering.
Disclaimer: None of the characters featured in this story belong to me. Please don't sue.
Lois stared into the darkness, watching the moonlight dance across the covers, bathing his body in soft light and shadow. She turned onto her side, involuntarily reaching for him, and her fingertips brushed across his skin, which, only a short while ago, had been pressed against hers in an outbreak of fervor and heat.
Moments later, she pulled away and quietly slipped from the bed, grabbing the first garment she got a hold of, which happened to be the blue shirt he'd been wearing when she'd shown up at his apartment at close to nine o'clock at night.
She'd gotten caught in the rain on her way there. By the time she'd reached his doorstep, she'd been soaked. She'd walked into his open arms, and he didn't care that her hair was wet or that her clothes were drenched.
She had needed courage tonight because her panic threatened to overwhelm her. But she'd also needed him because he had always been her only need.
Slipping into his shirt, she noticed that a button or two were missing, a result of her hurried effort to remove the piece of clothing. She bit her lip, remembering their rushed coupling, initiated entirely by her and welcomed most enthusiastically by him. Neither of them wanted to wait any longer. Time seemed like a terrible thing to waste once you realized how quickly it ran out. Like hers, his eyes had been opened by her almost dying.
His body above her, she'd seen how scared he was of living his life without her.
Tonight, she had tried to find him again, the man she'd once thought she knew so well. She'd needed to connect with him, to feel as close to him as she had before when, in her mind, the distance between them seemed endless.
She padded into the kitchen and grabbed a can of diet soda from the refrigerator. Her eyes fell on the door to his apartment terrace. Fresh air seemed appealing right now.
For several minutes she stood outside, silently sipping her soda, watching the night sky above. The clouds had gone, but she could not see the stars. She remembered standing here almost two years ago, with him by her side, and naively inquiring, "Invisible? Or fly?"
Time went by so fast. Things changed. They'd changed. But, amidst the changes, her connection to him had remained a constant. When she realized yesterday that for two years she had not really known him at all, she'd wondered if her constant was still there.
Two years worth of lies lay between them, of words not spoken and of truths not realized. And yet, in his bed, his body above her, she had felt that he was still the same: caring, honest, truthful, painfully in love with her. That was what mattered most, she realized: that his feelings had not changed. That, at least in that respect, he was still the man she'd known and loved and would love for the rest of her life.
She'd picked him in the end. Not Dan. Not Superman. And now, things were different, because she'd realized that her choice between three men was really only between two.
She knew he'd tried to tell her yesterday morning in her apartment before the phone had interrupted him. As she looked back on the last two years, she wondered how she could have missed it, in light of all the dumb excuses and flimsy explanations he'd offered. She should have put two and two together. Some grand reporter she was.
A damn pair of glasses! She truly had been blind.
Tonight, caught up in a spell of want and need, his glasses had come off. He had not even hesitated for a second before placing them on the nightstand. It seemed as though he no longer cared. Or perhaps, in his heart, he was already in a place where the truth no longer stood between them.
They still had a long talk ahead of them. But she'd had twenty-four hours to think it through. Her initial anger had dissipated once she'd realized that his not telling her had little to do with her and everything to do with him.
Yes, it hurt. Yes, it was unfair to her and to the relationship they were struggling to build. And yes, he'd been an idiot.
She should be angry, but in reality she was just as scared as he was and of the same thing: losing the one person in the world who made you part of it.
He'd been scared to tell her because he thought the truth might irreparably damage what they had; and once she'd found that truth he'd tried so desperately to hide, she'd been scared that he was gone, lost to her, that he was no longer the man she knew, and perhaps never had been.
For a moment, she'd wished that the truth would go away because it would change their future so fundamentally. All her life, she'd wanted what she had with Clark: she'd wanted something real. But what, she'd wondered, was real now? What was the truth? What was a lie? It seemed utterly unfair to her that she had finally found what she'd longed for all these years only to realize that it was an illusion. That it wasn't real.
But, his body above her, she'd understood that it was. There was certainty and faith and reality in their actions and in his eyes when he looked at her.
Tonight, she'd found her way back to him. She'd realized that the man she thought she'd lost had never left her. She saw now that he had remained the same in every way that counted. There was a whole new side of him that she needed to come to accept, but she would.
Life wasn't fair, or pleasant, but it was real and so was his love for her. She knew that because she knew him.
Lois turned and stepped through the doorway back into his apartment. Leaving the soda can on the coffee table in the living room, she started toward the bedroom, walking slowly past the years and lies and words he had failed to say.
His body above her, she knew he was the one.
In the end, that was the only truth that mattered.