By Sarah A. <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Submitted August 2008
Summary: Another TOGOM fic (based on the episode "That Old Gang of Mine") where we see how Lois deals with the death of her partner.
Author's Notes: Many many thanks go to Nancy for being so patient with me and helping out with this. I really appreciate it.
Gunshots still ring in my subconscious. Trying to remind me of what I've caused. Taunting me. Torturing me.
All I seem to hear are those same gunshots, and I'm on the edge of a shiver every time I stay still for too long.
I think I'm still in shock because I can't seem to cry. I need to cry. I need to feel the relief that it brings. To feel the weight of grief being lifted -- but I don't think I deserve to feel better. And now I don't know what to do. I want to cry. I feel like crying. I want to curl up in a small corner and scream all my sadness out of me. But I know I don't deserve that. I have no right to feel better about what I've done.
I still see him every time I close my eyes. I see him collapsing and falling to his death, and I can't resist having a drink to calm down my ever-turning thoughts.
I've been sitting in the same position for too long. And I can't take it. I have to get out of here. I need to escape my thoughts. I head over to the place where we have some sort of connection -- a link to one another. I go to the place that brought us together.
The newsroom looks just the same as always, in constant motion. But somehow it's as if I've never been here before. I feel so disconnected and out of the loop -- like a stranger in my own home.
Out of the corner of my eye I see Jimmy coming out of Perry's office wiping tears away. And I'm suddenly struck by the realization that I'm not the only one in this. Perry, and Jimmy, and Clark's parents and a lot of people I don't know about are all grieving the passing of a great man -- a man who made a difference in the world. One soul was being mended at a time.
I brush my fingertips over his desk before I sit on his chair and stare at the photo on his desk. How could someone become past tense all in one pulling of a trigger?
I trace the surface with my hands and try to find every marking of a beautiful soul. I find a slight carving on the desk, probably from him pressing the pen too hard on the paper while writing.
A smile is on my face when a single fat tear rolls down my cheek. I brush it away quickly, full of shame. I'm not allowed to cry; crying would only make me feel better. And I'm not allowed to feel better.
I lift my head, wanting to see the others' reactions. Perry is in his office looking out the window with his chair's back to us. I can only imagine what he's feeling right at this moment. And I don't blame him for not wanting anyone to know how he's dealing with this. Jimmy is nowhere to be found. He's not on the floor. He's dealing with this in his own way. I guess we're all dealing with this the only way we can. The only way we know how.
I've already spoken to the police and given them my statement. So what else is there to do but wait? Wait for them to tell me that they found him dead in a dumpster, or worse. I should be optimistic. That's what Clark would've done. I should say, 'He's going to be fine. He's somewhere trying to find a way to come back to me.' I really want to believe that with all my heart, but there's a part of me that's realistic and telling me he's dead somewhere and waiting in the cold to be discovered. I've always hated the part of me that is so objective.
Without news about Clark's whereabouts, we've all invested ourselves in the myth of his survival, the myth of his possible resurrection. I should have known better than to believe there was anything indivisible about a friendship, any more than there was about a family. And yet the myth of his survival sustained me when he was shot -- then, and ever after.
Myth, I say. And never hope.
For the box of hope lay empty.