By Laura S. <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Submitted: July, 2007
Summary: An in-between scene for the episode "Lethal Weapon." After Clark bruised Lois, how did he deal with the guilt? This explores Lois and Clark's reactions to the tense scene.
This little (and I do mean little) vignette deals with one of my favorite episodes from season 4, Lethal Weapon. It's been sitting, nearly done on my hard drive for a very long time and I finally picked it up and sat down and finish it. It's really just a filler scene for the episode, but one I would have liked to have seen. I'm sure it will be easy to figure out where the story starts out.
Night had fallen on Metropolis hours before. The townhouse on Hyperion Avenue was as dark as the rest of the buildings on the block. Its two occupants, however, were both wide awake.
Lois was alone in the bedroom, unable to sleep without the warm weight of her husband next to her. She was no stranger to sleeping alone — it came with the territory of being married to Superman — but this night held something entirely different in its grasp. Lois sported a large, swollen bruise on her arm, courtesy of her mild-mannered husband. In a moment of tenderness, his strength had overcompensated. Lois had, of course, been worried about the out-of-control superpowers Clark had been displaying, but even the bruise hadn't seriously perturbed her. God knew it wasn't done intentionally. Clark would much rather inflict pain on himself than hurt her. But when Clark had discovered the bruise and gently held her arm in a feather-light grasp, Lois had been able to perceive the exact instant that the realization that he had inflicted the wound had dawned on him.
The shock, followed by acute horror, infused his eyes before she could even think to reassure him. He had apologized profusely, all the while scrambling to distance himself from her, self-loathing evident on his face. After a strangled good night, Clark had left, nearly tearing the door down with his gentle twisting of the knob.
Finally letting out a frustrated sigh, Lois roughly shoved aside the covers and grabbed her robe. It just wasn't the same without Clark beside her.
Clark was staring at the ceiling, unable to remove Lois' bruised skin from his mind's eye. He had hurt her. After swearing to keep her from harm, he had injured her. He closed his eyes for a moment and tried to banish the picture from his mind. He knew Lois didn't blame him, but it didn't stop the guilt from wracking his body. It was the ultimate irony that it was himself whom Lois had needed protection from. He, the most apt person to safeguarde his precious wife, wasn't able to even give her a hug good morning.
Over and over, relentlessly, the scene played in his mind. Remembering holding her this morning, unaware that the carefully schooled muscles in his arms were crushing her, wreacked havoc in his mind. Despite years of training himself to become "normal," he had failed. And with the person most important to him.
Flipping over anxiously on the couch, he grimaced as the springs groaned warningly. No more moving. Got it. He was extremely lucky the house hadn't crashed down around him yet. Clark sighed, very carefully, and immediately sought the comfort of Lois' heartbeat. At least his hearing remained fairly normal. He found it a moment later, thumping reassuringly on the stairs.
On the stairs?
Clark whipped his head to the side and saw Lois sitting on the steps, a soft look in her dark eyes. Her hair was tousled from sleep, or the lack thereof, and her robe was thrown haphazardly on. The knot was a little loose on the side and revealed some of her silky nightgown.
"Hi sweetheart," he said softly, almost afraid to break the oppressive silence. "Can't you sleep?"
She leaned her head against the banister. "No, I missed you."
"You sleep okay when I'm out doing, you know." He made their universal "Superman" signal and continued to drink in the lovely sight she presented.
"But then I know you'll come back next to me," Lois said quietly. She stood and moved toward him.
"Lois! No!" Clark shot straight up, halting her step. "Please don't come near me. I can't bear to hurt you."
Lois paused for a moment, locking eyes with her husband. "Lay down," she commanded quietly.
Something in her voice made him comply and he slowly lowered his torso back onto the couch, keeping their gazes locked.
Lois moved forward slowly, halting his protest with a meaningful glare. When she finally reached his side, she knelt beside the couch. Clark kept his hands rigidly at his side, loathe to mistakenly touch and bruise her again.
Lois pushed back a few wayward strands of hair from his forehead and he managed a lopsided grin. "I wish I could touch you, Lois."
Acknowledging this with only a glimmer in her eyes, Lois gently placed a hand on his flat stomach and lightly skimmed the top. Clark, shirtless, shivered slightly under the feather-light touch. He started to speak, but Lois placed a light finger on his mouth. After an instant, he quieted and Lois replaced her finger with her lips.
She caressed his mouth softly. The gentle kiss was one of reassurance, but it still scared him. For a long moment Clark tried to refuse the kiss, to grant himself one semblance of control, but finally he relented, capturing her lips before they could dart away. Mindlessly, he reached up a hand and only his extreme willpower halted it a mere millimeter off her skin. With supreme determination, he resisted the urge to pull her closer, fully aware that he was still dangerous, a loaded gun. Even kissing should probably be off-limits, but she felt so good…
She finally pulled back, her breathing ragged as she rested her head on his shoulder. They lay like that a few moments, Clark allowing himself to be lulled slightly by the comforting, familiar weight of his wife's upper body resting across his chest. She sighed slightly, rousing him from his half-sleep.
"What's wrong?" He murmured drowsily, looking at her in surprise. He had to remind himself twice to keep his hands firmly at his sides. It was all he could do not to reach out to take her into his arms. She looked so adorable…
"I'm just so *angry* about this!" Lois lifted her head and glared around the room as if her unknown foe would be there to take her on. "You're my husband! We've battled obnoxious district attorneys and crazy ex-high school classmates and we were on the lam and we've traveled through time…" She drifted off as a smile quirked the corner of Clark's lips.
"This isn't funny, Clark Kent!"
He blew out a breath, wincing as the gust froze part of the ceiling fan. It cracked, sending sawdust raining down on top of them. The act served to bring him fully back to why his wife was so angry, and his smile faded.
"I know it isn't, Lois. You know it's killing me not to touch you back…"
Lois interrupted him, a little hurt gleaming in her eyes. "Then why were you smiling earlier?"
"I was…" Clark drifted off as his thoughts wandered. How could he explain to her what he could barely piece together in his own mind? "You see, you're the most important person in the world to me, Lois. And when I'm with you, no matter what's happening, you have this way of letting me forget."
Still suspicious, Lois raised herself up on her elbows, using her husband's broad chest as a solid plane to rest on. "Forget what?"
"What's… wrong." Clark internally rolled his eyes. He actually got paid for his words? He couldn't seem to speak or think coherently tonight. He hastened to clarify. "You have a way of turning all of my senses toward you, so much that I usually forget the horrible things I see. For a while, anyway," Clark amended. "And you just reminded me that no matter how bad things look now, we've probably faced worse. At least this way I can still be with you."
Lois looked at him for a moment, inwardly smiling at his rambling explanation. She kept the serious look in her eyes and tilted her head to the side.
"You know, Clark," she said softly, alluringly, "you pack a lot of horse sense in them tight britches."
Clark stared at her for a few moments before he started laughing, a deep rumble that reverberated throughout her body. "I love you," he said, nearly inaudibly, as his laughter died down.
"We'll get through this," she agreed with him.
"We will." He gave her a look. "If you get back into bed right now, young lady." Clark admonished her like he would a child and grinned as she pouted playfully.
"Can't I just stay here with you?"
"Nope. Think about if I decided I wanted to shift position as I slept. I'd probably send you flying halfway across the world."
Lois shrugged. "I do enjoy flying."
"Fine, fine." She removed herself from her comfortable position atop his chest and stretched, cat-like. Giving him a quick kiss, she made her way over to the steps, rolling her hips a little. She felt his hot gaze on her without even bothering to glance back.
"We'd better figure this thing out soon, Clark," she said as she climbed the steps, pausing at the top.
Entranced by the seductive view his wife made, it took Clark a moment to answer.
"Because our sex life is going to be pretty dismal if we don't." She gave him a Cheshire grin and disappeared into the bedroom.
Clark lay awake a long time after she had gone, fueled by a sudden determination. He'd catch the person responsible for this in record time. Glancing down, he smiled ruefully. He had better, anyway. Ignoring the ache, he turned over and tried to sleep. Lane and Kent were on the case and he pitied their foes. They didn't stand a chance.