By Poussin <email@example.com>
Submitted June 2008
Summary: After her near wedding with Luthor, Lois doubts herself, her relationship with Clark, and her relationship with Superman. Maybe a little chat with the superhero could help her....
I would like to thank my GE, Jeanne, who did a wonderful job editing my copy, and above all, Catching my numerous tenses mistakes.
Ten days. It had been ten days and it was still as difficult. It was as if something were broken between her and Clark. As if something were broken between her and Superman. As if... something were broken within her. Period.
Since her near marriage with Lex Luthor, everything had changed, and it wasn't for the best.
Clark had tried to warn her that she was making a mistake, but she had not listened. That had almost broken their friendship. They had been cold to each other for a few weeks before the wedding, which should have taken place ten days ago. It hadn't. She said no at the altar, and then the police, along with Perry, Jimmy and Jack, had interrupted the ceremony to put Lex under arrest, and he killed himself.
She said no because of Clark. While she was walking toward her fiance, she was thinking about Clark. And when she remembered the day when he kissed her lightly on the lips to say goodbye, she realised that she could not accept losing Clark. She wanted him in her life. And that wasn't compatible with marrying Luthor. She wasn't in love with Luthor. She wasn't even sure why she agreed to marry him in the first place. So she said no if that was what it took to keep Clark's friendship. And it wasn't as if she was depriving herself of something she wanted by saying no, anyway.
She hadn't thought she loved Clark -- she was already in love with Superman -- but she realised that day that she cared about him far more than she ever thought. And it was well possible that, given a little time to get over her crush on the superhero, she could start to love him back.
The day after her near wedding, she wanted to tell him that. That she was, maybe, beginning to fall in love with him and that she regretted rejecting him when he declared his love to her a few weeks ago. But she hadn't said anything. Clark insisted on speaking first and he took back his declaration of love. So she remained silent. It wasn't as if she was sure of her feelings anyway. Superman was still in her heart, too. She was so confused.
And even if they agreed to go back to their former friendship, they had not. Not really. There was still some distance and some awkwardness between them. They weren't as comfortable with each other as before. She missed her best friend, and she hoped it was only a temporary situation. It had only been ten days, after all.
As for Superman, things had not gone back to normal either. She had not spoken to him, nor seen him since that dreadful night when she told him she loved him. He had rejected her, that night, not so tactfully. He had even been pretty mean, actually. It hadn't been in his words exactly, even though his words weren't so nice. It was more in the way he said them. Some of his comments had really hurt.
She got over it. It wouldn't be the first time a guy rejected her, and most had been much crueler. But since then, she had not seen him, and she began to think that he was avoiding her, that he was still angry with her, although she didn't know why. And that hurt much more. She thought they were friends. Either she screwed everything up, or she had been mistaken, and he never cared about her, not even as a friend.
And it was well possible that she had been mistaken. She had believed Lex, hadn't she? She thought she was a great reporter, a good judge of character, a person difficult to lie to. But the whole Lex thing proved her wrong. And now she just doubted everything she had ever been sure of.
She was so confused.
That was why she went up on the roof of her building. She needed to think about everything that had happened in her life in the last weeks, and she thought that some fresh air and being all alone in the quiet night would help her clear her mind. So far, she was still as confused as before. But at least, she was feeling much more relaxed. Looking to the stars had always helped her to relax, but she had not really taken the time to look at them in years.
The stars were beautiful, and, as it was summer, there weren't any cloud to hide them.
Lost in her contemplation, she didn't feel the sudden breeze near her, and she jumped when a voice came from behind her.
She turned back and saw Superman standing a few feet away.
"Hi," she responded, really surprised.
He looked a little nervous, embarrassed maybe.
"uh... I wanted to talk to you," he hesitated. "To apologize... you know, for what I said. Last time."
Lois reddened. She didn't really want to think back to that night, and she never thought that Superman would apologize for being a little harsh.
"It doesn't matter, Superman. You have nothing to apologize for. You don't feel the same way; it's okay."
"Still, some things I said were... rude, as my comment about your dress, for example. I shouldn't have said that. I'm sorry, and I truly feel that I should apologize for my behaviour that day."
"Apology accepted," she responded, smiling. She never thought that he would apologize, but it was nice that he did. And even nicer to see him and talk to him again. She missed him.
Superman was looking more relaxed, relieved, but she was the one feeling embarrassed now. The last time she saw him, she made a complete fool of herself by declaring an endless love for him. To hide her embarrassment, she looked up to the sky again.
"The stars are beautiful, tonight," she tried to change the subject.
"Yeah. I love watching them," responded Superman, also looking up.
"It figures. When I was a child, I tried to learn the names of the constellations. I even bought a book, but somehow, I never managed that."
"It is easier when someone shows you. My father showed me."
Pointing at the stars with his finger, he started showing some constellations to Lois.
"Wow. Which one is yours?" Lois asked.
"I wish I knew," sighed the superhero.
"You don't know?" She really was surprised.
"No. It doesn't matter, anyway. Krypton doesn't exist anymore."
"Yes, but most of the stars we're seeing are dead. Maybe we can still see Krypton from here," Lois insisted.
"Maybe," conceded Superman, "but I really don't know where to look for it."
Lois was really puzzled. He did know where the galaxies were. He showed them to her. And surely he knew from which galaxy he came from? But as she was about to insist, it suddenly hit her that the loss of his home world could be a sore point to him. He saw his world explode, he lost his family and friends... She never should have talked about his planet.
"Forgive me, Superman. I was sad, and now it's you. I'm sorry," Lois apologised.
"You were sad? What's wrong?" asked the Superhero.
"Oh, nothing. Just... a few things. I was thinking back to my engagement. I didn't think it was easy to fool me, but Luthor did it so easily. I believed him. I was so stupid."
"No, Lois. You're not stupid. You're the smartest..."
"No, I am." Interrupted Lois. "Clark warned me, and I thought it was jealousy. And I miss Clark. Since then, it's weird between us. As if... as if he were still hurt that I believed Luthor, and not him. I just hope he will forgive me, eventually. I want my friend back."
"I'm sure that Clark has already forgiven you, Lois."
"hm," Lois replied noncommittally.
"And what made you think that you made me sad?" Superman asked after a brief silence.
"Well... I brought up the subject of your home world, even thought you told me that it had been destroyed. I mean... it must have been painful, and I didn't even think about it."
"Oh. No, it's okay. I don't really miss Krypton. I love Earth, it is a beautiful world," he responded.
"And how was Krypton, if I may ask? You do look like a human. Was Krypton very different from Earth?"
"I don't know. I don't remember Krypton."
"You don't?" Lois exclaimed. "But how is it possible? I mean... You came here only a year ago. If you have forgotten Krypton, you have forgotten your whole life! And I know you remember your father. You told me he showed you the stars."
Superman stayed silent, obviously searching what to say. He looked nervous again. And Lois understood.
"Oh, I see. You didn't come to Earth a year ago. You've been here longer than that. That's why you know so well our languages and our cultures. You lived here. Am I right?"
"I did not come here to give you an interview, Miss Lane," Superman responded defensively.
"And I'm not about to print anything," Lois assured him. "I am just curious."
Superman sighed. "I was a baby when Krypton exploded. I've never known Krypton. As far as I am concerned, Earth is my home planet."
"But... and the father you were telling me about... Oh god! You were adopted by humans. You're living among us. You have a human identity."
Lois was almost overwhelmed by what she just discovered. Wow. That was huge.
"Yes, I do," responded Superman." But I am not about to tell you who I am, and I trust you not to try to find out on your own."
Lois reddened. She was already thinking of ways to try to discover who he was. But he trusted her not to, and she wouldn't betray him. Never.
"I promise, Superman."
"Will you tell me someday, who you are?" Lois resumed.
"I hope so."
For a brief moment, they looked at the stars in silence again, until Lois resumed speaking.
"You really must have a really good disguise! Nobody ever contacted the press saying 'Hey! My neighbour, or my colleague, is Superman.'"
"I think the primary colours work pretty well for a disguise. It is so flashy that everybody notices the suit, and not me."
Lois looked at him, puzzled, and Superman explained.
"As you said, I have a human identity, and that is the real me. Right now... I am wearing the disguise. This suit. It is the disguise."
"Yes, I understand," Lois nodded. "It makes sense, even. That's why you said that I didn't know you, huh? Tell me something. If I had met you in civvies and told you that I loved you when you weren't in disguise, would your response have been the same?"
Clark hesitated. Should he tell her? He wasn't sure. It would tell her that he had feelings for her, but on the other hand, maybe she would start looking for normal guys... "No. It would have made a difference."
"Then I hope to meet you in civvies, someday. I've seen you often enough not to be blinded anymore by a flashy suit. I'm sure to recognize you," Lois said on a joking tone.
Superman smiled, somewhat bitterly.
"Oh my! We've already met?"
"And I hadn't recognized you."
"Well... I'll do better next time. I won't be so blind anymore if our paths cross again."
"Oh, I can guarantee you that. Well... I probably should finish my patrol," he said turning towards her.
He bent towards her, and gave her a light kiss on her cheek before taking off.
Lois stayed on the roof. She was sure Superman had not meant to tell her so much about him, but she was glad he did. She thought he was avoiding her, and now, she knew she still had his friendship and his trust. That was the most important thing.
If only she could say as much about Clark. She remembered again when he kissed her goodbye during the heat wave. And she began sobbing.
This time, she felt the breeze, and she refused to turn around and let him see her tears.
"Lois, what's wrong?" asked Superman, anxious.
She dried her eyes with her hands.
"I thought... I didn't know you were still there."
"I left. But I was still in hearing range when I heard you cry. I came back. Are you okay?"
"Yes," Lois lied.
"No, you aren't," he insisted.
"I... I just realised something, when you kissed me goodnight. I am not in love with you. It made me think... made me think of Clark. He kissed me goodbye, once. I thought I would never see him again. And when you kissed me, it hit me. If I had to never see you again, I would miss you, but I could bear it. I couldn't bear it if Clark said goodbye another time."
He wasn't sure to have understood correctly what she just said, so he didn't know what to tell her while she began crying again. But Lois didn't seem to care about Superman's silence as she spoke again.
"How lame is that?" she sobbed. "I realize I love my partner just after he tells me that he only wants to be friends. And I'm not even sure we're that anymore. I know he tries, but..."
She couldn't finish, but it wasn't necessary. Clark knew he understood it right. He took him a few seconds to find his voice.
"Clark loves you too, Lois."
It had been difficult, he almost said "I..."
"No, you're wrong, Superman. He told me himself that he doesn't."
"He does," Clark insisted.
"And would you know that?"
Lying? Not lying? He was fed up with the lies. He wanted to tell her the truth.
"How would I know that? Well... I fell in love with you at first sight. You interrupted my interview with Perry, and you completely ignored me when he introduced us. And I'm not sure it was a bad thing as I was completely unable to speak, anyway. Even when I'm hit by lightning, I'm not that stunned. Lightning doesn't bother me at all, actually. It was the first time I felt that way. And I know I still do feel light- headed every time you smile at me."
Lois stared at him for a long time, completely taken aback.
She then realised that she had held her breath.
"Clark?" She finally asked when she was able to think and speak again.
She turned her back on him and remained silent. After a while, she said, as if she were talking to herself: "I'm such a fool. Everybody can fool me so easily. How could I even think for one second that I was a good reporter?"
"Don't say that. You are a great reporter, Lois. The best out there. I guess... I guess you just didn't want to see it," Clark tried to help her, before adding: "I'm sorry I deceived you."
"Apology accepted," she told him for the second time that night. But this time, she didn't care much for his apology. She wasn't angry with him. She was disappointed with herself, and she was more confused than she has ever been.
She came on the roof to be alone and think things through quietly, looking at the stars. And she needed that even more now than before. She looked up again.
But she was now so confused that she didn't even know any more what she was confused about. So she took one thing at a time. First, the trouble with Clark. There wasn't any trouble with Clark any more. Clark was in love with her. Second, the trouble with Superman. There wasn't any either. He wasn't avoiding her. He did trust her. Oh god! He was Clark. Clark in disguise. He trusted her enough to tell her that. Okay. Here was something that she was confused about, but she knew that to reconcile the two of them in her mind, she would need time. And third, the trouble with herself. She felt even more stupid now than she did an hour ago, when she went up on the roof. But she wasn't about to give up the fight. She fought all her life to prove to everyone that she was the best. And it wasn't because she just learned how far she still was of her goal that she would give up.
His voice intruded into her wanderings. She almost forgot he was still there.
"Yeah, Clark?" she responded without taking her eyes away from the stars. She wasn't sure that to look at him in the suit when she still hadn't really come to terms with the fact that he was Clark would do her any good.
"Would you, uh... would you like to, uh... go on a date? With me, I mean," he babbled.
This time she had to look at him. The suit was a shock, as was his question, but he looked so nervous and Embarrassed and almost fearful that she could recognize her partner in the superhero near to her.
"On a date?" she repeated, smiling. "You mean, a real date? With a nice dress, and perfume behind the knee, and everything? That kind of date?"
"I... Yeah, I think that was what I had in mind. You know, sort of... getting to know each other a little better."
She grinned. He knew her too well. He knew she needed time with him to come to terms with his revelation. Oh, god! How she loved this man!
"Yes, Clark. I'd love that."