By Melissa Dore (firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com)
Summary: After Lois is shot in the chest, she has an out-of-body experience in which she is counseled by a kindly apparition.
This story may be shared, but not for profit. Characters from DC, used without permission. yada yada yada. Missy P.S. this was a quickie…to soothe the savage beasties of LCWS :)
Jimmy screamed, "Lois!!"
It was too late. The bullet slammed into her chest, and Lois collapsed on the warehouse floor.
Lois looked around. She seemed to know the room, but couldn't place it. It seemed cozy enough, but it didn't fit with the Metropolis life style. Where was she?
"In here, Martha! I found your torch flint!"
Lois started at the voice. Jonathan Kent? What was he doing here? She looked around the corner to see Jonathan. He was picking up what looked to be a large safety pin.
*Jonathan* Lois said.
Jonathan looked up for a moment and shrugged. "Martha, remind me to put some more insulation in the north wall. It still seems a but drafty."
With that, Jonathan left the room.
Lois raced around the room. He didn't hear me! He didn't see me! What's going on? Lois headed to the door that Jonathan went out. She peeked around the corner, and saw the Kent's kitchen.
What am I doing in Smallville? I don't remember flying out here. Where's Clark? Lois wandered around the Kent's house. Finally, she found Martha. Martha was working on her latest metal sculpture, her torch blazing.
*Martha!*, Lois hollered. *Martha!*
Martha didn't hear her. Lois didn't dare tap Martha on the shoulder, not a good idea when someone has an acetylene torch running. She decided to walk to the other side of the sculpture and wave.
Martha never stopped her metal cutting. Lois was stunned, Martha didn't see her, or hear her. What was going on?
Lois and Martha spun to look at the doorway. There was Clark, shoulder's slumped, eyes puffy.
*Clark*, Lois said. "Clark!", Martha greeted as she shut off her torch. "What are you doing here? It's the middle of a work day. I thought you and Lois were working on a story?"
Martha looked at her son's forlorn expression. She took off her gloves and hugged her son. Quietly she asked, "Clark, honey, what's wrong?"
With that, Clark wrapped his arms around his mother, and started sobbing uncontrollably.
"Clark! Oh, honey…", Martha just let herself be squeezed, and ran her hand through Clark's hair.
Finally, Clark took a breath, and sobbed out, "They won't let me see her."
"She who, Clark? Lois? Who won't let you see her?"
"The doctors. They don't think she's going to make it. <sob> Ohhh…Mom! It's all my fault!"
Both Lois and Martha were trying to make sense of this. What had happened? What was his fault?
Martha guided Clark over to the stool and sat him down. Holding his hands, Martha faced him and said, "Clark, control yourself. You're the reporter, report what happened."
Clark took off his glasses and blew his nose. Martha took the glasses and hung them on the acetylene gas tank.
"It's Lois, Mom. She's been shot."
*No, I haven't, Clark! I'm right here!*, Lois screamed. She waved her hands furiously, but no one saw her.
Martha wrapped her arms around her son once again, "Oh, honey." Tears started running down Martha's cheeks. Clark bear hugged his Mom.
Lois watched in anguish.
After several minutes of silent weeping, Clark got up the strength to relate the story.
"It was the Furguson case. Lois thought Amos Furguson was using his hardware factory to make adapters for guns, making them automatic weapons. Amos is well respected in Metropolis, and Perry thought Lois was imagining things. True there was an increase of automatic weapons on the streets, but Furguson Tools?
Lois was being her normal insistent self. I agreed to go with her, to snoop around, but the scanner just reported a oil tanker had collided with a freighter carrying fertilizer at the entrance of Hob's bay. I made some excuse, and headed to the accident. I thought Lois would follow that story, but she conned Jimmy into checking out the Furguson warehouse. Since it was on the bay, everyone would be evacuated, and that would be her chance to scope out her story. I had just managed to get the oil tanker into dry dock, the Coast Guard handled the freighter, when I heard Jimmy scream for Lois. I had just started to scan for them, when I heard the shot. I found then in time to see Lois collapse."
Clark's voice broke. Lois stared at Clark, stunned. She had been shot? Funny how she didn't remember any of this.
*It's not surprising you don't remember. Few people remember their last moments on earth.*
Lois spun around. Who said that? What's going on?
The shadow of Martha's sculpture began to move.
*I spoke.* The shadow took on a two dimensional appearance, it seemed to look at Lois, *You're not supposed to be here.*
*And where am I supposed to be?*, Lois demanded.
The shadow sighed, *At the hospital, getting well. It's not your time yet.*
Lois paled. *Am I dead?*
Lois thought she saw the shadow smile.
*No, not yet.*, the shadow answered. *You have too much to do, and a person that needs you.*
The shadow drew Lois's attention to Clark and Martha, still hugging in the middle of the room. *He needs you.*
Lois walked over to Clark. *How could he have heard Jimmy scream? Clark wasn't in the warehouse.*
The shadow encircled Lois, seeming to hold her, comfort her. *You are beginning to remember the warehouse?*, it asked.
*Yes.* Lois whispered. *Clark wasn't there. I remember Jimmy's scream, and my cheek hitting the cement floor.*
*What else?*, the shadow asked.
Lois felt her cheek, and flashed to the warehouse. She looked down on her body, and saw the blood flowing from the center of her chest. She cringed.
*It hurt!*, she moaned. The shadow still held her, it's warmth giving her strength.
*Look.*, said the shadow. Lois saw a figure in the entrance to the warehouse.
"NOOOOO!!!!", the figure screamed. In a blur the figure flung the gunman into a box. Then it leaned over Lois's body. "Nooo…", it whispered.
*Superman!*, Lois said, astonished.
*Yes.*, said the shadow, *Watch.*
Lois watched as Superman placed his hand over the bleeding hole. Jimmy just stood in shock. Superman picked Lois's body up, cradling her head in his arm. He reached around and grabbed his cape, carefully wrapping Lois in it's warmth.
"Jimmy", Superman croaked, "Keep an eye on that one, and call the police. Tell them I'm taking Lois to Metropolis General. Then call Perry. Tell him what happened."
One tear rolled down Jimmy's cheek. Jimmy, headed for the gunman, and started to tie him up.
Superman rose off the floor, tucked his arm under Lois's legs, and started to flying out of the warehouse.
*Wait! Superman!*, Lois screamed.
*He can't wait. He's too close to losing you.*, the shadow whispered.
With that, the shadow and Lois started rising off the floor. Lois looked down to see Jimmy place a phone call, and sob, "Chief…"
Then the shadow and Lois were in the sky. Soon they caught up to Superman and his precious cargo. Lois could hear Superman talking.
"Hang on, Lois, don't you die! I need you! I love you!"
*Oh, Superman.*, Lois sighed, *I need you, but I need Clark even more.*
Lois and the shadow followed Superman into the emergency room. She watched as the doctors and nurses took over the care of her body, and hand Superman back his bloodied cape.
"Thank you, Superman, we'll take it from here." said one of the nurses.
"The bullet is lodged in the right ventricle of her heart. It's a small caliber bullet, and I couldn't see any other bullets."
"Thank you, I'll tell the doctors. You'll have to leave now."
"CODE BLUE! CODE BLUE!"
"Nurse, I need you in here! Now!", shouted one of the doctors.
"She's not going to make it.", said one of the residents.
"Ohhhh, nooooo.", Superman slumped against the back wall. "Fight, Lois, fight!"
Lois and the shadow walked over to Superman. She looked him in the face, and saw tears rolling down his cheeks. Superman pounded the wall, and then flew off to the west.
In an instant, Lois and the Shadow were back in Martha's studio.
*Ohhh, Superman.*, Lois sobbed, *Ohh, Clark.*
Lois felt the shadow tighten for a moment, then release.
*That's it*, Lois said, feeling quite certain. *That's why I came here.*
Lois walked over to look at Clark and Martha, still clasped in the bear hug.
*Clark is Superman. Or rather, Superman is Clark. He can't help me all the time. Look at all those people he saved from the tanker/freighter collision!*, Lois mused.
The shadow faced Lois, *He won't understand that, unless you tell him.*
*But, how!*, Lois cried. *I'm dying!*
*Only if you decide to die, Lois. It's up to you.*, the shadow whispered.
*I want to live! I want to tell Clark it's not his fault!*, Lois whispered, *I want to tell him, I love him, both as Clark and Superman. I understand that, now.*
With that, Lois went over to Clark, and kissed him on the forehead. As her lips touched his brow, Lois glowed and was gone.
Clark released his mother and looked around. "Did you feel that?" he asked.
Martha pulled back and look at her son. She shook her head, "I didn't feel anything, Clark."
Clark stood up. "I've got to go, Lois… Lois may need me."
Martha released her son. "Come back if you need to, call us either way."
Clark kissed the top of his mother's head, "I will, Mom. I promise."
With that Clark flew into the sky, heading back to Metropolis. Martha watched him go, sighed, and went to find Jonathan.
The shadow watched as Martha walked over and hugged her husband. Another shadow emerged from the wall.
*How is she?*, asked the first shadow.
*She's weak, but will be fine.*, answered the new shadow. *And she remembers his dual identity.*
The first shadow blended with the second one. Both looked out the window at Jonathan and Martha. The second one spoke after a while.
*They did a good job raising our son, didn't they, Jor?*
*That they did, Lara.*
*Lois will help him grow, won't she?*
*In ways we could never understand, beloved.*
And with a final look, the shadows went back to the wall, and resumed the shape of Martha's sculpture.
Martha looked out her studio window. Lois and Clark were walking along the back field. Lois was still recuperating from her bullet wound, and Martha had insisted she come to Smallville to rest. Martha had watched her son's and Lois's love blossom now that Lois knew everything. Lois didn't remember much about the shooting, but awoke knowing Clark's secret. Martha smiled at Clark's elation of Lois's survival, and her strangely immediate acceptance of Clark's secret. Martha sighed and turned back to her work. Strange how it turned out. She heard Lois and Clark enter the house.
"In here, Clark!"
Lois and Clark entered the studio. Lois stopped for a moment. Clark turned to look at her.
"Lois are you all right?", he asked.
Lois nodded, "I'm fine, it's just that…well that statue looks so familiar."
Martha looked at her work. "I started a couple of weeks ago. In fact, Clark found me here and told me you had been shot."
Lois continued to look at the sculpture. "What do you call it Martha?"
Martha shrugged, "It was supposed to be a modern representation of a farm couple, but now, now it's changed."
Clark looked at the sculpture. The metal seemed soft and entwined. The light hit the work and cast the most human- like shadows of a man and woman kissing. The shadows seemed joyous, and very much in love. For a moment, the shadows seemed to look at him and smile. Clark shook his head.
"Clark? Are you all right?", Lois asked.
Clark wrapped his arm around Lois's still frail shoulders. He looked down and smiled.
"I'm fine, Lois. The best I've ever felt."
With that, the three left the studio. As Martha closed the door, she could have sworn she heard laughter. It seemed to be coming from the shadows.