By Miriam Amos Nihart (firstname.lastname@example.org
Summary: Lois still hasn't regained her memory, but she has accepted Dr. Max Deter's proposal of marriage. Perry cooks up a plan to get Lois and Clark working together again, but Clark, feeling he's broken under the last straw, quits the Planet to become Superman full-time. A continuation of the episode "Forget Me Not."
Put usual disclaimers here. I wrote this over the weekend as I didn't like where the series was going. This ending each episode with Clark in pain was too much for me. I haven't written a piece of fiction since high school English (over 2 decades ago).
Premise: Lois has amnesia and is dating the doctor, Max, as seen in the end of the last show (3/10/96). It has now been several months and Lois stills has no memory of her relationship with Clark.
It had been the most frustrating two months of Clark Kent's life. The Dan Scardino incidents felt like nothing compared to this. At least Lois knew who he was, well sort of did. Now she didn't remember anything but that they work together. Not being lovers. Not agreeing to marry. Not even that he was Superman.
His visits to his parents had become a regular evening event. Lois's interest in the doctor had made the time available for his visits with her shorter and further apart.
"It is so frustrating not being able to see Lois. I miss her at work. I miss her in my life, but she still doesn't feel confident enough to leave the hospital. She says there are still too many gaps. I think her "good" doctor is keeping her there longer than she really needs. Given her feelings for the doctor, I don't think she is all that anxious to leave the hospital anyway."
"Honey, I know it's tough. We miss her too, but you do want all of her memory to come back."
"That's right, son. You can't force things as much as you would like too. You have to think of Lois even if you don't agree with the quack."
"Jonathan." Martha sighed. "Clark, have you thought of suggesting a new doctor?"
"No. She thinks she is in love with him. If I suggest it, she won't understand why or she'll get defensive and start defending him. I can't win."
It had been two months since Lois came into his life. He felt guilty about keeping Clark and Lois apart but if there was a future for the two of them he had to keep them apart. He worried that she would remember, and his plans for them would be shattered. He thanked god every day that she didn't remember Clark Kent. His hands were as sweaty as a fifteen year old getting up the courage to ask a girl out on their first date. Where was she? He hoped she got the note he had sent her. As Lois walked into Max's office his heart beat even faster.
"Hi. I'm here for lunch. What is it today? Spicy Chinese takeout?"
"No. I thought I would get something a bit more special."
"Oh special. Now just what do you have in mind, good doctor?" Lois grinned at him, making his heart pound even more.
"Walk this way my love, and you will see."
Max picked up the picnic basket and the two exited his office for the lush grounds of the clinic. They walked hand in hand to their favorite tree. Max put down the basket. He pulled out a blanket and spread it on the ground. Lois sat down, grinning at him with shining brown eyes that spoke of love.
Sitting down beside her he cleared his throat and said, "Lois, I've had some big news today. There is a clinic in Switzerland that is a leading research facility in memory loss and recovery. They have made me an offer that I don't want to refuse."
"Oh." Lois looked at him hesitantly and waited.
"I'll accept or refuse it, but it all depends on you."
"Lois, will you marry me?" His heart raced. If she said yes he could get her away from Metropolis before any other memories might surface. He was never so relieved as when she only remembered that she worked with Kent. If she accepted his proposal they could leave and he wouldn't have to worry about further undermining any chances of Lois remembering anything more about Clark Kent. He willed her to answer yes and held his breath.
Somewhere a heart broke and didn't even know why.
It seemed like forever, and then not, since Lois last visited the Planet. Even though she had remembered being a reporter she had followed the doctor's orders not to return to work right away. As she walked in, faces she felt she should know and some she did turned to greet her. She was excited. There was something right about being in the Planet, but she wasn't sure what made her feel that way.
Perry White walked out of his office to see what the commotion was all about. "Well I'll be damned. Lois, honey, are you back for good?"
"Perry," she shouted as she walked up to receive a bear hug from the man who had been a father and friend to her forever. "Sorry, but I don't think that is in the cards."
"What! My star reporter is not coming back?"
"Perry, I'm getting married." Lois exclaimed as she put out her left hand for him to see.
Perry, taken back, looked at Lois and asked, "Who's the lucky fella?"
Perry placed his hands on Lois shoulder and led her into his office, glancing over his shoulder at Jimmy and then about the office for Clark. He prayed to Elvis that he not be the one to tell Clark the news, but suspected that his prayers would not be answered. He had sent Clark out to cover a killing on the east side early that morning and was only too glad to have him out at that moment.
As they walked into his office Perry shut the door and turned to Lois, "So tell me all about it. You've only know this doctor for, what, two months? Lois, are you sure about this? Are you going to give up writing? You're the best damn investigative reporter I've known."
"Perry, I'm getting married, not dying. Max is taking a job at a research center in Switzerland, and I've already contacted Newsweek about being their European reporter. I couldn't be happier."
"So when is all this happening."
"Well, we aren't leaving till the end of next week."
Perry thought fast. "You know, Lois, I wasn't kidding when I asked if you were back. We've been a bit shorthanded around here with you out. Do you think you might fill in till you leave? You know. Get your feet wet again here on your old home turf."
"Sure. I think that would be okay. If you really need me. I mean, yes."
As Lois left the office Perry, hoped that working at the Planet next to Clark would shake that girl's memory. If he ever knew two people who ought to be together, it was Lois and Clark. He'd bet his bottom dollar on that. Now if only Lois would remember.
It hadn't been that long since Clark had last walked into the Planet, yet something wasn't right. People were looking at him strangely. As he walked into Perry's office to give him the run down on the murder, Perry greeted him. "Clark, you're back. Good. I have some news for you. Lois is going to be joining us again."
"That's great. Was she here? Did I miss her?" Clark's enthusiasm was immediate. Such good news. Something he had hoped for for some time. Maybe if they actually were working together Lois would start to remember things. He could only hope and he did.
Perry thanked the stars that Clark had missed her, but her news would be out soon enough. Just then Jimmy burst into the office, not seeing Clark sitting on the couch. "Chief, can you believe it? Lois getting married. What will that girl do next?"
Perry cleared his thought loudly and gave Jimmy a look that told him he was back peddling papers on the corner for that outburst. Clark, stunned, looked to Perry for confirmation. Perry walked over to Jimmy and in a murmur said, "You better leave now."
Perry turned to Clark. "Son, I know this sounds bad. Real bad. But you know our Lois; she can run bull headed into things without thinking them through. She doesn't have all her memory back. We need to help her."
"I don't know. Maybe this is what she wants. So much of her memory is missing. It's like she's a new person, but she's not. Some of the old Lois is there. What if her memory never comes back?"
"Clark, now don't you even think that. Go home. I'll have Peterson finish up the murder piece. I want you in here tomorrow ready to make Lois's day back a memorable one."
"I just can't believe she is going to marry that doctor! Maybe we aren't suppose to be together. Maybe this is why things keep getting in our way. Why we are always apart. Maybe this is for the best. No more people trying to hurt her to get to me. No more danger."
"Honey, you can't believe that. You and Lois were meant to be together." Martha's heart ached. She hated seeing her boy this way. He had showed up so distraught, then told them about Lois's engagement and her filling in at the Planet for the next few days. She hoped that Perry's plan to put them together would jog Lois's memory, but Clark's line of thinking was not lending itself to participating in the plan.
"Mom, I just don't think it was meant to be. I don't think I am meant to be with anyone."
"Clark, you already went down this road, remember? Lois has the right to make the decision to be with you or not."
"Exactly. She's made the decision to be with Max Deter. Not me. I just can't take it anymore. I don't want to be me anymore. As the "Man of Steel," maybe I can protect myself better."
"Clark, what are you saying?"
"I'm saying that I don't think a double life works. If I am only going to have one life, it will have to be as Superman."
"Jonathan, talk to him."
"Dad, my mind is made up. I'll be back later with my things." With that Clark changed into Superman and left.
He remembered the last time he had resigned. It had felt bad then, but it was much worse now. At least that time Lois had had feelings for him as Superman if not for Clark. It was so soon after he had arrived in Metropolis that he wasn't sure. After they were engaged, Lois had admitted that she was attracted to him, Clark, even then; she just hadn't wanted to admit it to herself.
Clark walked into Perry's office and placed the envelopes on the desk. The Planet was dark. It was almost midnight, and the office had an eerie peace to it. Not the usual clamor of people working. He would miss the Planet, the people, the excitement. But he just couldn't do it any more. The straw had finally broken the proverbial camel's back.
It was done. All his things were at the farm. He just had to turn the key into the landlord. He looked through the door, sighed, and walked down the stairs.
Lois woke up early that morning. It was her first morning back at the Planet. Well, for a few days at least and then onto Switzerland for her new job and her new life. She thought about setting up Max's and her new home. She missed her apartment and had been hesitant about moving out of the clinic. Besides, she rationalized, if she had she would not have had as much time with Max. Max had explained that Lex Luthor had arranged for her apartment and things to disappear as part of his kidnapping of her. Max had explained it all.
This morning she had an appointment to meet with Bobby Big Mouth. She wanted to get back in touch with what was happening in Metropolis, and Bobby certainly knew everything. She had picked up some dim sum, croissants, and a McBreakfast for Bobby. How that man could eat.
Bobby sat in the front seat of Lois's car gobbling down the dim sum treats. "Steamed shrimp balls. My favorite. What else is there?."
"There's sticky rice, hum bow, and more shrimp thingies. So, Bobby, what has Intergang been up to?" Lois handed him a hum bow.
As Bobby reached for the delicacy, he spied the engagement ring on Lois's hand, "Wow. You and Clark are back together! That's great. You two kids were meant for each other. Clark marrying your clone was quite a shocker, along with your multiple personalities. To say nothing about Lex kidnapping you. Really, Lois, Wanda Detroit. Where did you get that name? So, when's the wedding? I hope you don't accept another wedding gift."
Lois sat starring at Bobby. What had he said? She and Clark almost got married? Clone? Lois's mind whirled. She struggled to keep her composure and at the same time to beat her brain for something … anything. Nothing came to mind.
Bobby looked at Lois, who was sitting like she was frozen in time. "Lois, are you okay?"
"No. I'm not. I think I ate too much this morning, Bobby. I've got to go." Lois pushed the bags of food at Bobby willing him to leave the car.
He opened the door and stepped out. "Okay. Gee I'm sorry. Look, I owe you one. Thanks for the breakfast."
Lois waited a few minutes after Bobby left and then sped off. She had someone to talk to, and she wanted to talk to him now.
Lois stormed into Max Deter's office. The receptionist had not even tried to stop her. Very few people are willing to step in front of a charging rhino. And even fewer would step in front of an angry Lois.
"Max, why didn't you tell me about Clark? What did you hope to gain?"
Max looked up from his desk and saw his future plans fading away. "Lois, what do you mean?"
"Why didn't you tell me that Clark and I were engaged? That I almost married him? That I would have married him if Lex Luthor hadn't kidnapped me? For that matter, why didn't Clark tell me? What's going on?"
"Lois, I couldn't tell you what your past was. You had to remember that for yourself. Forced memory flashbacks could have sent you into withdrawal. Look at you now. You're all upset. This isn't good for you."
"Don't tell me what isn't good for me. I had a life, and I had a plan, and you tried to change that. You manipulated me. You prevented me from filling in the blanks of my life. Big blanks. You're just like Claude!"
"I don't know, but you're just like him! You manipulated me. You lied to me. I specifically asked you about Clark. I specifically asked Clark about Clark. Why didn't he tell me? What is going on?"
"Lois, calm down."
"Don't tell me to calm down. Don't tell me anything anymore. I'm not marrying you. I'm not going to Switzerland. I'm not going to work for Newsweek. I'm going to put my life back together myself without you." Lois struggled with the ring on her left hand.
"Lois, wait. What about your feelings for me? Can you say that you don't feel anything."
"Yes. All I feel for you is anger and betrayal. There." She had the ring off and thrust it back at him.
"Lois, can you tell me that you remember what you had with Clark? That you have your old feelings back? That you remember everything?"
Lois turned and walked toward the door. "No I can't. I don't remember, but I want to."
Perry walked out of his office for the fifth time that morning to see if Lois was in yet. Where was that girl? Damn. This was supposed to be her first day back and there was still no sign of her. Then, just as he turned to go back into his office, the elevator doors opened and Lois stepped out.
"Lois, honey, I thought you forgot how to get here. What took you so long?" He could sense that something wasn't quite right, but he couldn't tell what was wrong.
"Perry, can we talk in your office?"
"Sure. Right this way."
Lois walked in and over to the couch as Perry shut the door. "Perry, why didn't anyone tell me about Clark and me? Why didn't Clark?"
"Well, you see, your doctor told us that any sudden memory shocks could cause severe brain damage, honey. None of us wanted that. He said that you had to remember on your own. That's why we didn't visit you. He would only allow Clark, and even then he cut back on how often Clark could visit you. Why do you ask? Have you remembered something?"
"No, but this morning I meet with Bobby Big Mouth and, well, he thought the ring was Clark's and started talking. I didn't know."
"Ah, where is your ring?."
Lois rubbed the empty finger and said, "After Bobby, I went to Max's office. We talked. I broke off the engagement."
"That's great, honey. I mean, ah, are you okay?"
"Yes. I was so mad at Max for not telling me. I asked him why, and he said basically the same thing you just did about memory shock, brain damage, and not wanting to hurt me."
Lois looked out into the office area. "Perry, where's Clark. I want to talk to him."
"Lois, I'm afraid today is a day of tough news for you. Clark has resigned. He left a note on my desk sometime last night. It doesn't say where he's going but only that working at the Planet and with you was the best thing in his life. I'm sorry, honey. He also left a note for you."
Perry reached into his desk, pulled out a small envelope, and handed it to Lois. She reached out for it, not sure that she really wanted to have it. She took it and slowly tore the top open. She took out a key and a note. She read the note aloud: "Lois, by now you know that I have resigned from the Planet. I just want to tell you that working with you was the best time of my life. You are the best reporter I know. The key is to a storage locker that has what we could salvage from your apartment. I hope these things will help you in your new life. I wish you happiness, good health, and love. Your partner, Clark."
Lois looked through the door into the empty apartment. How could everything be gone? Why did he leave? Where did he go? If only she could remember "them". She knew she had lost something. She just wished she knew how much. It hurt and it didn't, at least not as much as she thought it ought to.
Lois Lane was going to find her man, and she had a lead to doing just that. She forced her way to the front of the reporters crowded around Superman in front of City Hall. "Superman," she shouted out as she tried to get his attention. She caught his eye finally. "Superman, could we talk for just a moment?" He nodded at her and turned to end the questioning with the other reporters.
The two of them walked to the side of the building. "Yes, Lois. Can I help you?"
"Superman, I know you and Clark Kent are good friends and … "
"Ah, Lois, I have to go now. I'm sorry. Maybe next time." Superman flew off without further explanation.
Lois stood there with her jaw open and muttered, "But, but I just wanted to ask if you knew where he is … "
For the next four days Lois tried desperately to trap Superman to ask her single question. Each time he would appear not to see or hear her and leave abruptly. She had had it. She was going to get to ask her question and she was going to make sure there were no more interruptions or opportunities to leave.
Lois hated water but it seemed the least dangerous and most effective way to get Superman to stop long enough to answer her question. She took a deep breath and drove her car off the East Pier into the water below. God, she hoped he wasn't out stopping some volcano or nuclear reactor somewhere. It seemed like eternity, but she felt the car being lifted, and she knew she had him.
Superman set the car down on the dock and ripped the car door open. "Lois. Lois, are you okay? Can you hear me?"
Lois coughed and replied, "I'm okay. Superman, thank God you came."
"Well I did, but I see you weren't taking any chances." He turned his eyes back to her face from looking in the back seat of her car at a small oxygen tank.
"Well, you gave me no choice. I have been trying to talk to you for days, and you kept running out on me."
"Lois, I haven't been running out on you. Really, you didn't have to drive off the pier just to talk to me. I won't run out on you now."
"Do you know where Clark Kent is? I have been trying to find him, and he seems to have disappeared off the face of this Earth."
"Why do you want to find Clark?"
"Well, I need to talk to him. Bobby Big Mouth slipped and told me about us. Everyone else was following doctor's orders. Bobby didn't know about Max putting a gag on everyone, so he slipped and told me about the wedding, the clone, and Wanda. I already knew about Lex; the police had told me that much. Do you know where Clark is? Is he okay?"
"Aren't you getting married in a few days?"
"No. I called that off after what Bobby told me. Can you find Clark for me? Can you tell him I want to talk to him?"
"I don't know where he is at this moment, but I'll find him for you."
"Thanks. Thank you so much." Lois reached into her handbag and pulled out a pad and pen. She scribbled on the pad and tore off a piece of paper. "Here's my phone number at home. I finally got my own place. He knows the number for the Planet. Thank you again."
"Lois, do you have anything else you want me to tell Clark?" Superman took the paper from her. He looked at her with such hope in his eyes.
"No. Just have him call me."
"Lois, I know this is personal but have you remembered something about Clark? About you and Clark?"
"If you mean, do I love him like I did before? No. I know he is my friend. I also know that I loved him enough to want to marry him, so there must be more feelings for him somewhere within me, but not now."
"Lois, I'll find Clark for you. I promise."
Martha Kent was beginning to believe that there was some divine plan for Lois and Clark. She was so happy to see hope in her son. These last few months had been awful.
"Honey, that's wonderful. So why are you here with us? Why aren't you talking to Lois?" Sometimes her boy was slow Martha thought. He might be able to fly to the ends of the Earth in a fraction of a second but sometimes he just missed the boat.
"She wants to talk to me, but she still doesn't remember anything. She doesn't remember that I'm Superman. These last two months I have been doing the two lives thing again. She doesn't know I'm Superman, and I've been deceiving her again."
"You know how she hates being lied to. She can do all the lying she wants, but not anyone else."
"Tell her the truth. This time you can tell her yourself. It will show her how much you trust her. How much you feel for her. She'll understand. You said yourself she knows about the doctor's gag order. Tell her."
"But what about too much shock? Possible brain damage?"
"Clark," Jonathan said firmly. "Lois has had several shocking revelations in the few days, and she's fine. Although driving off the pier was a bit excessive. She'll handle the news just fine. The sooner you tell her the better. Remember last time."
"You're right. I'll tell her. I just hope she doesn't deck me."
"Well, you ARE made of steel. I think you can take it, honey."
Clark held a dozen yellow roses behind his back as he knocked on Lois' apartment door. Pleased and surprised to see him, she let him in. Standing, and with a knot of excitement and dread in his stomach, Clark began with, "I understand you wanted to see me."
"Yes. We have a lot to talk about."
"Yes, we do. I have a lot of questions for you. Why didn't you tell me about us? Why did you leave? Where have you been? What should we do? How could you let Max come between us? How do you feel about me? Do we … "
"Do we what? Have a future? We had a past. I didn't tell you because your doctor said it could harm you. I love you, Lois. I could never do anything to hurt you. I left because of that. You had a new love, a new life, and you didn't remember us. I couldn't take the chance of hurting you by trying to force you to remember. I want you to be healthy,. to be whole. If that meant without me, then as much as it pained me that was what was to be. I left because I had to let you go, and I couldn't watch you with another man. I love you, but I don't know if we have a future. I want that more than anything. I love you more than life."
"So where do we go from here?"
"That is up to you. Do you love me?"
"I don't know. I don't know you. I think I want to know you."
Clark shifted uncomfortably from one foot to the next. He looked up from his feet and took a deep breath. "Lois, what I am about to say is … was … the most difficult thing I have … had to say to you. There is something you need to know about me—that you actually already knew about me but you don't remember … God, this is hard. Lois I trust you. I have always trusted you. I'm not from here."
"Yes, I know. You're from Kansas."
"No, Lois. I'm not from Earth."
Lois numbly sat down on her couch and mumbled, "Not from Earth?"
"Lois, I'm Superman."
"And I knew this before."
"And we were getting married."
"Why do I feel like this isn't how I found out last time?"
Clark sheepishly, "Well … "
"So, you are Superman."
Lois sat in stunned silence. Clark asked anxiously, "Lois, are you okay?"
"Yes. This isn't what I expected. I thought we would talk. We would set up a date. Get to know one another. See if there are more feelings inside of me for you. This makes things more difficult. It puts a pressure on us, on me, that I didn't except. I need time to think. I don't even know you, and now you tell me you are Superman. Oh, God."
"Do you want me to leave?"
"I want you to leave my apartment but not my life. Please, I need some time to adjust. I do want to see you."
Two days later, Clark again sat dejectedly at the Kents' kitchen table. The phone rang.
"Clark, is that you? Are you coming back to Metropolis? Are you okay? I had to get your parents' phone number from Perry. Thank God, he had it. I'm sorry I didn't call you sooner … "
"Whoa, Lois. I'm fine. I was hoping you would call. I should have told you where I would be. Why are you calling?"
"Would you like to go to dinner and a movie tonight?"
Clark now stood next to Lois who was still holding the phone in her living room, "I would love that, Lois."