By Angee Khan (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Summary: While Clark is trying to decide when and if to tell Lois his secret, Lois lends a helping hand to a homeless person who's on the run — an act of kindness that puts both of them in jeopardy.
Author's note: I have another story on Rhen's page - "Communication" - but "Touch And Go" is in reality the first story that I ever wrote and I would like to dedicate it to the memory of Lois and Clark, Teri Hatcher, Dean Cain and the rest of the cast. More so to Teri (who I hope to meet one day or at least write to) to congratulate her on the up and coming birth of her first child. Good luck Teri and I think you're the greatest! I'm your biggest fan!! :-)
This story is an alternative to "And the Answer Is …" and whether Lois is really destined to figure out that Clark is Superman. Any comments would be greatly appreciated. Usual disclaimers apply.
Lois walked as best she could down the sidewalk as she couldn't see anything over the grocery bags that she was carrying, her apartment was in her sights but she wasn't sure she could make it to the door with two grocery bags filled to the brim. She only went to the store to get two things but somehow her list increased to two bags!
Lois reached for the keys that were somewhere at the bottom of her handbag but she couldn't find them and now they were making her angry. She tried again to find any sign that those rattling culprits were there but to no avail. Oblivious to anyone around her and the possibility of tripping, Lois bumped into a young girl and dropped her groceries all over the sidewalk.
"Hey, watch it!" screamed Lois as she knelt down to pick up her shopping.
"Oh, I'm so sorry," replied the girl. Lois looked up at the voice ready to give the all famous "Lois temper" when she noticed that the girl had dirty nails, dirty clothes and scruffy hair. 'She's homeless,' thought Lois.
"Oh, no, that's o.k. Don't worry, nothing's broken." The girl joined Lois on the ground, chasing after the runaway food, giving Lois an opportunity to take a closer look at the homeless girl's face so that she could determine what sort of character she had. She then decided against it because all she could think of was the disaster with Lex, thinking that she thought she knew his character. How wrong she was. 'No I won't try and judge her,' Lois decided, she could do better than that, she could give her somewhere to stay for the night. But before she could do anything the girl stood up.
"Well, I think that I had better be going. I'm sorry again about your groceries." It was now or never.
"No, wait. Um … I couldn't help but notice that you're … ah … " Oh god, how was she going to say this without being offensive or nosy. Lois almost regretted saying anything to the girl when she replied.
"Homeless?" Lois looked up in compassion but the girl's guard instantly went up, and her calm look turned to one of anger. "Look, I don't want any sympathy, o.k! I know what's coming next and it's all right. I don't need money or anything like that, I'm not a charity case. Don't feel bad! I didn't bump into you so that I could get you to see how poor and helpless I am because I'm not all right so … "
"Hey, calm down, o.k.?" Lois had to interrupt, the girl seemed to have gone into overdrive. "Did I say anything like that?" When the girl realised that Lois hadn't actually said *anything* she calmed down again.
"Look lady, I know you feel sorry for me but there really is no need, I don't need or want any charity." Lois quickly thought of an alternate plan.
"I know, and I appreciate that, really, I do. But I just thought that you could pay me back." A puzzled look came across the girl's face.
"Pay you back? For what?"
"Dropping my groceries." Despite herself, the girl smiled, although she still eyed Lois with suspicion. 'Still' she thought, 'give this lady a chance, if I don't accept her offer she might turn me over to the police'.
"Sure. Just to pay you back though."
"I wouldn't have it any other way." 'Another save by Lois Lane'. Lois felt proud of herself, she only hoped that the girl wasn't some sort of mass murderer. Lois thought about it a bit more, even with a face like an angel she could be a psycho. Look at Lex. But Lois and the girl put their fears to the back of their minds as they walked toward Lois' apartment.
"Well, make yourself comfortable while I put these groceries away."
The girl's face looked around in awe. It was the apartment of her dreams, something that she always dreamt she could have but now she knew she never would.
"Are you sure you don't want any help?"
"Positive!" yelled Lois from the kitchen, "You just make yourself comfortable. Do you want a drink?" But the girl was elsewhere; she was trying to figure out how to sit down on Lois' beautiful white, antique sofa without getting it dirty. Lois noticed and quickly interjected, "Ah … do you maybe want to get cleaned up a little?" The girl smiled, Lois could tell that she could trust the girl. She only hoped that the girl would trust her.
"You read my mind." But Lois just smiled, she didn't have to read her mind she could see it in her actions. "Are you sure it's all right?"
"Of course. I'll get you a towel so you can have a shower. I'll lend you some clean clothes." But just as the girl was about to protest Lois quickly added, "and no, it's not charity. I'll give you the clothes that I was planning on throwing out." Lois turned away but stopped in her tracks. "Oh, but you can only use my shower on one condition." The girl began to panic, 'what does she want? I knew this was too good to be true, she's going to turn me in to the cops'.
"Wha … What?"
"I have to know your name." The girl grinned, relieved.
"Hi Kim, my name's Lois. Lois Lane."
Lois and Kim sat on the sofa surrounded by Pizza boxes. Lois never would have thought that she and Kim would have anything in common but they did. They had been giggling and exchanging funny stories, mainly about men but to be more specific, mainly about Lois' men.
The question of why Kim was homeless finally came into Lois' mind again, and she began to ponder about whether she should ask or not.
"Can I ask you a question, Kim?"
"Sure," replied Kim a little warily.
"Why are you living in a homeless shelter?" Kim tried her best to keep a straight face but Lois could see that there was a painful situation behind it. Lois' heart hurt, maybe it was wrong to ask' but Kim began before Lois could say anything.
"My family were killed in a bomb explosion at my house two years ago. The police said that it was an accident, a gas leak."
"You don't think that it was an accident?"
"Who might've wanted to kill them?" But Kim wouldn't say anymore. 'What is she trying to protect' contemplated Lois. "Look Kim, I can help you. I have sources on the street, friends at the Planet who would be only too glad to help, I mean … "
"No! Look I can't say too much or they'll be after you. It's too dangerous, for you and … for me."
"They're after you too?" Lois became alarmed. Kim needed to tell the police.
"I've said too much already, I've got to go. Thank you for everything." Kim rose quickly and darted for the door, but Lois was quicker.
"No! You're not leaving, you're only 18. You're too young to be running from something that is obviously way too big." They sat down but Lois kept hold of Kim's arm in case she decided to bolt for the door again. "Kim, trust me." Kim took a deep breath before she began.
"We lived on the outskirts of Metropolis and were in need of money so daddy borrowed money from a businessman called Pedro Elisand. We didn't really know him very well but the bank had refused my father a loan so he was the last resort. Daddy was desperate. You see the company that daddy worked for laid him off in the middle of something that he was working on."
"What was that?"
"I don't know, none of us did except that it was top secret."
"Who did he work for?"
"Lex Luthor." Lois sat back in disbelief. Even though Lex was behind bars, his hold on Metropolis was harder to get rid of.
"O.k., what else?"
"That's all I know except that Pedro killed my family and now he wants to kill me." As scared as Kim was, as much as she wanted to crawl into a hole until Pedro could no longer find her, she was tired and yawned uncontrollably. All Lois could think of was looking after this young girl who needed a break in life more than anyone she had ever known. Lois felt like she was looking at her own life in its worst form.
What Lois had never told anyone was why she was unhappy at home, especially after her parents' divorce. She felt that it was all her fault, that she could have done something about it. It was such a cliche but it was true. She ran away one night when she was 13, she roamed the streets until it was dark, she wandered the back roads and woodlands until she found herself at her front door again, as if it were automatic. Her situation was nowhere near as dire or as serious as Kim's but to Lois, it was a turning point in her life, it meant more than anyone could ever imagine. It was the day that Lois decided that running away wasn't the answer, that you had to fight. If only I could show Kim that' thought Lois, but she wouldn't give up. Come tomorrow, Lois resolved, after a good night's sleep, I'll show Kim that there's hope.
It was a warehouse in the middle of nowhere and there were crates everywhere, crate upon crate. There didn't seem to be any sign of life except for a faint voice coming from the corner.
"Yes, boss, we have found the girl." Pedro Elisand paused as he listened to the voice on the other end of the telephone screaming down the receiver. "No boss, nothing will go wrong. This time the girl will be eliminated. Yes boss … no boss … of course boss … anything you say boss … excuse me boss? You're absolutely right boss, yes boss, incompetent boss? Undoubtedly we are boss. We'll get right on it. By tomorrow Kim Ellis will be dead. Sorry boss? No boss, there will be no loose ends. O.k. fine, yes. Goodbye boss." 'Ay caramba can that man talk!' thought Pedro. But that was the least of his worries, now was the time to find that girl' and finally get rid of her. It'll be a pleasure after all these years.
Pedro, a stout man with a balding patch, sat down and turned to his brother, Rene, the exact opposite to his brother in appearance sitting at the monitoring table amid all his computer gadgets.
"Is she still at Lois Lane's apartment?"
"Si Pedro. Is tonight the night?"
"No tomorrow. But it will be a bonus to get that Lane woman."
"Why is that Pedro?" Pedro looked up to the sky in despair, his brother was not the brightest of all people in the world. He would be forgiven if this was the first time that Pedro had said this to him but it wasn't, Pedro had mentioned this to Rene about a thousand times before.
"God you knucklehead, how many times before you understand. Lane is the woman that the boss loves. She was going to marry him, remember?" It was the perfect time to get his revenge on the boss - a.k.a. Lex Luthor - who had continually put him down and now he was sick of it. This would teach Lex a lesson. Pedro hadn't told Lex where he'd found Kim and he wouldn't. He grinned as he thought of the possibility of revenge and he looked to Rene so that they could gloat together but Rene frowned, he was a bit slow in understanding things, and his brother made no attempt to enlighten him as he knew that Rene would eventually figure it out. Lo and behold, Rene grinned in realisation. "Ah," continued Pedro, "somebody *did* switch you on this morning then!"
Kim stumbled into the kitchen, half asleep, to find Lois already dressed cooking in the kitchen. Lois smiled at her.
"Hi. How'd you sleep?"
"Very well, actually almost too well." They both smiled and felt comfortable with each other.
"Well good, because as it's Saturday today, I thought that we could go to the Metropolis Fair later, it's nearly 11:30 so we can go about lunch time, how does that sound?" Kim didn't answer straight away, she was worried that she could be easily spotted by Pedro, "you're worried about Pedro aren't you?" Kim smiled.
"How'd you guess?" Lois could only shake her head.
"Kim, you've gotta stop asking stupid questions."
"Yeah I guess that was pretty stupid."
"Come on, let's eat some late breakfast." Lois and Kim sat at the table to start eating the scrambled eggs that Lois had prepared but Kim gazed at it a little dubiously, it looked burnt. Lois looked at Kim apologetically, she had never been a good cook, "well, it's not the greatest breakfast in the world, it's breakfast a la Lois."
"You know what Lois, I don't think that I could go to this fair, what if Pedro finds me." Lois feared that Kim would back out, it was too good to be true.
"Look Kim, I'll get Superman to be there. I'm a close personal friend of his. I can get hold of him and ask him to keep an eye out for us." Lois knew that she didn't have to call Superman, or get Clark to get hold of Superman as that's what usually happened, because he always looked out for her. All Lois had to do what scream Superman!' and he'd come running.
"What! You and Superman? Are you two going together?" Lois spat out her food. What an absurd thing for Kim to say, "No, I'm way out of Superman's league. I used to have a crush on him but I realised that he was a fantasy, that's when I fell for Clark."
"Clark? Is that the guy you told about my situation?"
"Yeah he's my partner but don't worry, he's the only one I told, he's completely trustworthy, not to mention that I love him. He's the man of my dreams, although it took me a while to figure it out. He's patient, kind, loving and the only person I could ever stand to work with, and he's so honest."
"I can't keep lying to Lois!" Clark sat down on his sofa, perplexed. He had been on the phone to his mother for the past half an hour constantly repeating those words. "But I don't know how to tell her. Every time I try, it never comes out, there is always someone that interrupts."
"Well what about now honey?" Clark looked down in dismay. See this was exactly what he was talking about. Every time things went quiet on the work front, something else happened.
"Now she's got this homeless person staying with her." An alarm was set off in Martha.
"A homeless person! Staying with Lois? Are you sure that's safe?" But this time Martha's fear was unfounded and Clark could reassure her.
"Sure mom, completely. I met her at the Metropolis Fair today. She's very nice but she's in a bit of trouble so Lois and I are going to help her out."
"Oh … ", Clark knew what his mother's oh' meant, it meant taking a rain check on telling Lois that he was Superman and it seemed like such a perfect time. But he should have guessed that there is no perfect time with Lois, ever. Then Clark heard a cry for help. 'Oh good, an oil spill,' he sighed but a bit worried that he regarded it as good which wasn't the case, 'but it's something to keep my mind off Lois', although he couldn't do that for long as he was supposed to meet Lois later at her apartment to talk to Kim about Pedro. The telling-Lois-I'm-Superman plan was to be postponed, yet again.
"Uh … mom, I've just heard a cry for help. I'll talk to you later."
"O.k. take care. Bye."
"Bye." In a split second Clark hung up and was out the window.
For the first time in a long time Clark walked to Lois' apartment. He needed time to think about how he was going to tell her that he was Superman. He remembered what his mother said on the phone to him earlier. 'You better tell her before it's too late.' He wasn't sure what she meant by 'too late' but Clark was sure that it would come quite soon. He needed to find the right opportunity. Yet there was a small part of him that always put it to the back of his mind, things were so great between him and Lois right now, he didn't want to rock the boat. He wanted to savour every good moment they had together. He loved her with all his heart. Then he heard his mother's voice again saying, 'if you love someone you have to deal with the good *and* the bad'. She was right. But he also knew that now *wasn't* a good time with Kim there.
Lois and Kim sat down on the sofa and let out a sigh of exhaustion at the same time. They were pooped. Having fun sure was tough as far as they were concerned. Kim started to wave a chiffon scarf around, feeling its softness and the beautiful colours that it had in it.
"I love this scarf Lois, thank you. It's beautiful."
"Oh that's my pleasure. It suits you." They gave each other a satisfied grin, yes, they'd had fun.
"You know," began Lois, "I think we're bonding." Kim gave out a hearty laugh. "What? You found that funny?" But Lois had to admit, that was a funny thing to come out with. "Actually come to think of it, that sounded so much better in my head!" But Kim quickly gave Lois a hug.
"Oh no no no no! It meant the world to me. In fact I was thinking the same thing, only *I* said it in my head." At that they were both rolling on the floor in uncontrollable laughter.
"Oh ooo," howled Kim, "I need a pee." Lois stared at her with a huge grin.
"Thanks Kim, I really wanted to know that!" And Kim was off on a sprint to the bathroom. Lois got up to put things away when there was a knock at the door. "Who is it?"
"Pizza delivery," came the voice from the other side of the door.
'Pizza? Who ordered a pizza?' "Kim! Did you order a pizza?" To which there was a very loud 'no' coming from the bathroom. Lois opened the door to a stout-looking man in a red baseball cap and a 'Delicious Pizza' T-Shirt on. It was Pedro. "Hi, um … I think you made a mistake with your delivery, you see, no-one ordered a Pizza."
"This is Campbell Street isn't it?"
"No it's not. That's two blocks down. Have a nice day." As Lois went to close the door, Pedro put his foot in the apartment. "Excuse me but 'have a nice day' meant goodbye." Pedro contained his anger as best he could.
"Ah … yes but could I use your phone to check that I have to deliver to Campbell Street?" 'This one looks shifty' she thought, 'but then, my character analysing from just the face has been way off so why should I be any different this time?'
"Sure, come on in. Phone's right over there." Pedro made his way to the phone and went to pick it up, he pretended to dial and speak into the phone. Lois decided that he could be trusted and turned her back for a split second when a hand came behind her and was clasped tightly over her mouth.
"Hello Miss Lane, didn't anyone teach you not to open the door to strangers?" With his hand still over Lois' mouth he turned her to face him. 'Man, he is really short', Lois thought, 'god Lois get a grip, you're in trouble and you're thinking about his *height*?' But when he introduced himself, a new alarm was set off in her. 'Oh my god, Kim. Please stay on the toilet.' Never in her whole life did such a stupid sentence sound so serious.
Clark began to slow down even more. For some reason he was dreading to go to Lois', not because he didn't want to see her but he was thinking more and more about telling her that he was Superman. What would her reaction to it be? Would she tell him to get out of her life? Maybe he should tell her that he's got to leave, he was a risk to her, even if she didn't know it. But deep down he wanted to be close to her at all times. What if she was in trouble and he couldn't be there for her …
"Now if you shout Superman or anything in the 'help, help' genre then you'll get it," Pedro said as he raised a baseball bat high above Lois as threateningly as he could without looking stupid. "I'm going to take my hand away, so you shut up!" Lois did as he said. "Now where is the girl? Where's Miss Ellis?"
"I don't know what you're talking about?"
"Don't lie, Miss Lane, I know she's here. I heard you two talking." Lois had to bide some time. For what, she didn't know but she had to bide some nevertheless.
"How do you know who I am?" Pedro knew what Lois was trying to do, and he wasn't buying it, but he'd humour her.
"Well let's just say, old flames die hard." Pedro glared at Lois, he thought of all those times that Lex had scolded him and he became immersed in all the feelings of hate and rage, "This is to pay the boss back for all the times he put me down." Pedro knew that Lois would figure out who he was talking about but he wouldn't give her time to think. Her time was running out. Lois froze, this time his size didn't detract from his scariness, he suddenly sounded like an escaped mental patient. "If you're going to keep testing me Miss Lane, then I *will* club you. Do you want me to club you? Do you? Cause I can do that Miss Lane. I could." Then there was a voice from the kitchen.
"Pedro!" It was Kim and she was charging straight for him. Lois screamed for her to stop but Kim couldn't see anything but Pedro and then it was too late. As little as Pedro was, he was still very strong and he threw Kim easily and she landed with a thud by the fireplace, unconscious.
"Kim!" Lois tried to run to her but Pedro pulled her back and threw her to the ground.
"Now it's your turn Miss Lane." Lois wanted to scream out to Superman, but Pedro's threat had made her lose her voice, screaming was useless. She was locked in fear, all her muscles were jammed.
"Please," she whispered. "Please, leave us alone."
"Oh no Miss Lane. No witnesses." Pedro lifted the club and all Lois could do was look in horror as he lowered it … then … blackness.
Clark looked down at his feet, dragging them along the sidewalk as he approached the corner to Lois' apartment. He turned it just as Pedro left Lois' brownstone and walked up the stairs. He knocked on the door, but there was no answer. 'This is strange', thought Clark, 'she knows I'm coming'.
"Lois?" Still no answer. He pushed the door, but it was shut tight. Clark had a gut feeling, this wasn't right, something was wrong. He x-rayed the door and saw Kim and Lois, lying on the floor unconscious. Clark pushed the door like it was a feather and went straight to Lois. He couldn't tell if either of them were breathing, for him that was impossible, they were really badly injured. There was no time to lose he needed to get them both to the hospital. As quick as a flash Clark, Kim and Lois were gone. He just hoped he wasn't too late.
It had been a week since the attack and Lois was in a coma. There was too much pressure on the brain that the doctors could do nothing about. All they could do was wait. He felt helpless. He was Superman and he could do nothing for the woman that he loved more than life itself. Suddenly his mother's words, 'you better tell her before it's too late' took on a whole new meaning.
"Please," Clark whimpered through his tears. He looked up to the sky. "Please don't let it be too late." And he lay his head down by hers so that he could hear her breathing. It was a comfort to know that with each breath there was a glimmer of hope that she would come back to him. He couldn't stand not hearing her voice, not being able to talk to her, not listening to her go off on some weird tangent.
"Lois," he whispered, "it's me, Clark. I know you can hear me, so why don't you just answer back o.k.? You can do it Lois, I have faith in you." Clark shook his head, 'no, I have to keep going, keep talking to her Clark.' "I love you Lois and … I'm so ashamed that I wasn't there when you needed me the most. God, I keep going it over and over in my head. That I should've been there to save you. Bet you're thinking why *I'm* saying that huh? Well there's a reason why I should've saved you Lois because … I'm … ah … I'm … oh god, this is so hard. Even though you can't answer me, this is so hard." Clark stood up, pacing around the room. 'Why can't I tell her. She's in a coma, she can't hear me yet still I can't tell her.' There was a wrenching in his heart. 'She can't hear me' he thought again. 'No the reason why I'm finding it so hard to tell her is because I know that she *is* coming back to me, she *is*.' He took his seat by her side again, and used what felt like all his superpowers to say it, "Lois, I'm Superman. There I said it. I love you with all my heart Lois, I want to marry you and when you wake up I'll make everything all right. Lois please, I can't function without you. You are my air. Without you I die." But Clark had run out of words, all he could do was cry. For the first time in a long time, all he could do was cry.
Clark had finally fallen asleep, he was all cried out. He hadn't the strength to cope with the thought of losing Lois and the emotions that he was feeling were all so new to him that he had run out of steam. Clark was in a surreal place where he couldn't open his eyes, yet he was completely aware of what was around him and of Lois, *his* Lois lying there, and he couldn't help her. He thought that he felt a brush against his skin but it was probably a fly or a piece of his hair tickling his forehead, but he decided to open his eyes anyway, just to look at her beautiful face. As Clark opened his eyes, he looked in shock to see two deep, gorgeous brown eyes looking straight back at him.
"Lois!" he yelled, and kissed her face all over.
"Clark," Lois mouthed. To the human ear nothing could be heard but Clark heard a faint whisper.
"Yeah, it's me Lois." Lois licked her lips, they were dry.
"Where's Kim? Is she all right?" Clark debated whether to tell her or whether to wait until she was better. But Lois, he was sure, would go crazy if she didn't find out.
"Lois. I'm sorry, Kim didn't make it. She died in the operating room." The pain in Lois' chest increased and all she could do was let tears out, she hadn't the strength to sob. She reached out for Clark to hold her and he did, with all that was inside him.
Another week had passed before Lois was discharged from the hospital, but the doctor stressed that there was to be no working for at least 3 weeks. Lois agreed but Clark knew her better. He had already promised her that he would help her find Pedro. He had to, if he didn't Lois would go off and do it herself and after failing to be there for her the last time, he couldn't bear it if he wasn't there this time.
Clark opened Lois' apartment door and helped her inside.
"All my limbs work fine Clark, I can walk myself in."
"Yeah but what if you fall? Do you want something to drink? Or maybe you wanna lie down, do you want a pillow? Do you want to sit on the couch or lie in bed?" She was barely in and already Lois was ready to throttle him. She was physically back to normal, only Clark was being protective, more than usual. Lois was beginning to wonder why.
"Clark, I'm fine, really."
Lois was already starting to roam around her apartment, picking things up and re-arranging objects that seemed to be displaced. Then she stopped in her tracks and Clark heard Lois sob. He ran to her as fast as he could without being suspiciously fast.
"Lois are you o.k?" But all Lois could do was hold up Kim's scarf, the one that she had bought for her from the fair. Clark held her tight as she held him close. "Lois I think you should lie down … "
"No! I'd just really like to get to work." One thing Clark had to love about Lois, she didn't waste any time. Through all her pain, work was her shield, her way of coping with all the pain.
"O.k." Clark said, reluctantly, "here's all the information that you asked for. Jimmy'll bring some more if we need it."
"Right," Lois resolved, "let's get on with it. I wanna kick that midget in the butt."
Hours later, it seemed as though they had finally put the pieces together. Lois looked up.
"O.k Clark, what've you got?"
"You first." This time Lois was not going to argue, she wanted to get this case solved quickly.
"O.k. The information on Pedro Elisand is pretty extensive. He was an illegal immigrant from Argentina and Lex found out, forcing him and his brother Rene to work in his Research Lab with another scientist there, Daniel Ellis, Kim's father on projects concerning unexplained phenomena." Lois grinned, "sounds like something out of the X-Files doesn't it?"
"Yeah but the aliens in that are so far fetched and odd looking," Clark retorted. 'Humans were always looking for aliens that were so far out. You have to admire their persistence though.'
"Yeah I guess so … " Lois started to think of Superman, there was *nothing* odd about him. She looked at Clark, he was so handsome, she couldn't believe that she would have picked Superman over him. Then a frown came over her face, but she couldn't take her thoughts any further as Clark interrupted them, this 'unexplained phenomenon' element worried him. It led him to think that it had something to do with Superman. When Superman was linked with Lex in any way, it usually meant trouble, mostly for Superman.
"So what exactly did they *do* in this division?" Clark prepared himself for the worst when Lois' eyes looked down.
"They were working on the most effective way of killing Superman with the Kryptonite they had left in Lex Corps vault. But get this, Daniel stumbled onto a vaccine that would *reverse* the effects of Kryptonite. Unfortunately, Pedro found out and must have reported it to Lex, therefore getting Daniel fired. Daniel didn't know that Pedro was the squealer, and asked him for money. Pedro spied on Daniel for Lex so that when he had definitely found the cure for Superman, he was killed, along with the family. Lex couldn't leave anyone behind who were witnesses. Kim got away, she was at a friend's house when the gas leak Pedro had created caused the house to explode."
Lois suddenly realised that just like Kim was the loose end, now she was too. Pedro was probably trying to find the opportunity to kill her. She looked at Clark in alarm but he was busy giving her the final piece of news.
"Well get this, I traced back all of Pedro's illegal activities, there were a lot of 'em, and traced him to a warehouse in the old Metropolis Business Park, you know the one that went *out* of business? The warehouse is called Sally's Soup Kitchen'. Unfortunately there isn't a direct link to Lex, but it'd make my day if … " Clark looked up from the piece of paper in front of him so that they could finally revel at the fact that they could put these guys away, but Lois looked pale. "Lois, are you all right? You look like you're about to faint."
"Well … ahh … I, um … am a bit sca … would you … ah … " Clark could tell what was coming. She was worried about being alone, Pedro was probably waiting to kill her. He felt happy and sad at the same time. Sad because if he had been there for her the first time, none of this would have ever happened but happy because it was *him* that she was asking to protect her, not Superman. 'Maybe she'll be all right if I tell her,' he thought.
"Do you want me to stay tonight? Just to be on the safe side." Lois sighed with relief and moved over to Clark, holding him as close as she could. She didn't ever want to let go.
They sat in front of the television, ready to watch the movie.
"O.k," began Lois, "Lethal Weapon 1, 2 or 3?" They both smiled. It was the time when Kyle Griffin was after her that they watched Lethal Weapon movies. She came over to Clark's place because she was afraid that Kyle would get her in her sleep. Clark was her sanctuary. He always made her feel safe. There was something familiar about that …
"One, you never got through that film last time." Lois sat down on the sofa next to Clark and smiled. So she had fallen asleep. It was the only time she had felt safe enough. Clark pulled her close. He felt warm and Lois snuggled closer to him. Her skin felt soft and he couldn't help stroking her face. 'What a beautiful face it is,' he contemplated. It was the best time to tell Lois and he wasn't going to let it pass him by. 'Yes,' he'd decided, 'now's as good a time as any.'
"Lois." But there was no answer, only a light breathing noise. She was asleep. "Not again," he murmured. Every time he wanted to tell her something would get in the way. Now that she was asleep, if he woke her she wouldn't be in the best of moods to receive the news of the century … or would she. Clark kept thinking about it, should he or shouldn't he? Should he wake her up or not? Would telling her now be the best thing? Then the worst thought came into his mind, should he *ever* tell her? But he quickly dismissed it, he wanted to marry her and if he wanted to, Lois had to know everything. Clark went on like this until the early hours of the morning and fell asleep feeling a coward.
Lois woke up with a jerk. The film had finished, she'd missed it again. Typical. She looked at Clark. He'd fallen asleep too. He looked so peaceful that she didn't want to disturb him. She managed to get out his arms successfully and gazed at him lovingly before going to the kitchen for a drink.
She lazily walked back to the living room, taking short sips of water. She looked at Clark again. 'God it's amazing, so much has happened to us.' She thanked God for Clark, that he came into her life and constantly repented for calling him a 'hack from nowheresville'. He meant the world to her, and it seemed like they were finally comfortable with each other. Still taking sips of her drink, she sat on the table so that she was directly facing him, just so that she could absorb the face that gave her so much joy. Then it occurred to her, she had never seen Clark without his glasses on. She wondered what he looked like, she was sure that he looked like someone famous but she could never quite place it. George Clooney? Nah, he had nothing on Clark. Christopher Reeve? Mmm, maybe, there was something about Clark that reminded her of Christopher but what she couldn't quite figure out. Temptation got the better of her and she removed Clark's glasses …
You know what? I'm sure that he looks like someone else. But who … come on Lois you can figure this out who … ' That was it! Clark looked like Superman! Why hadn't she figured it out before. She smiled at her discovery. She knew Clark looked like someone famous. Wow, she was going out with a Superman look-a-like. Clark would be really good at parties. Still holding his glasses, she walked back toward the kitchen when she heard Clark say, "Lois, I'm Superman." Lois turned back to him.
"What did you say?" But Clark hadn't said anything, he was still asleep. So where did the voice come from? Then the voice came again, "I love you with all my heart Lois. I want to marry you." This time Lois was looking at Clark's face and his lips hadn't moved, *he* hadn't moved. The voice was coming from inside her head, but she knew that it was Clark's voice. 'When did we have this conversation?' Lois asked herself. She wasn't experiencing amnesia, she was sure about that. If they'd had a conversation where Clark told her that he was Superman, she definitely would've remembered.
She sat down slowly. She still couldn't believe it and then it dawned on her.
"Oh my God! Clark *is* Superman!"
She screamed. Clark awoke with a start.
"Wha … what, what happened?" He fumbled around and felt his face. His glasses were gone. He looked at Lois who was in turn looking at him in astonishment, holding his glasses. "Oh boy."
"So all this time, you kept this from me. You lied to me every single day."
"I'm sorry Lois, I know it's not enough to say but I didn't mean to hurt you. I wanted to tell you … "
"Yeah well according to my brain you have told me, you said, 'Lois, I'm Superman.' I mean it was *your* voice! And then you said, 'I love you with all my heart, Lois. I want to marry you'. When did you say this?"
"In hospital, while you were in a coma." Lois sat down. This was so bizarre, but that seemed to be how their lives were. Lois couldn't think. She loved Clark but this changed everything. Clark couldn't expect an answer to anything right now. She needed time. All she could think was that he had lied to her. If he wanted anything from her now she was in danger of telling him to take a run and jump off a cliff, but that wouldn't hurt him, would it. 'Oh, this is hopeless'. The only way to stop Clark asking her anything was to get in there first. To make sure he didn't get a word in.
"Well, I can't think about this now."
"O.k well … "
"So it's 8 a.m. now. Let's go to Sally's Soup Kitchen." Lois walked to her bedroom to change, leaving Clark standing there afraid that he'd lost the woman he loved, forever.
There was so much rubble and broken metal around the place that Lois began to wonder what had happened to close the Business Park down, a nuclear explosion? It wasn't hard to find Sally's Soup Kitchen though, it was the only one left standing.
Once inside though, Lois and Clark couldn't find any evidence that Soup ever existed there, but now that the Business Park was deserted no one would bother checking it out. Lois tried one of the many crates, but they were locked tight.
"Clark, do you think you could call Super … I mean you could use your x-raying thing to see what was in those boxes?" Clark grinned. She didn't sound too mad at him, maybe that was a good sign. But the boxes distracted him. In them were files on alien landings. In fact, it was all the things that Lois and Clark had found in Bureau 39 when Jason Trask tried to kill him. What did Lex and Pedro want with it? How did they get it?
"It's all Bureau 39 stuff?"
"What? Are you sure?"
"Yeah, my craft is at the other end of the warehouse."
"Your … " Then Lois stopped, Superman's baby craft. That meant that it was *Clark's* baby craft. God this was going to take some getting used to. They ran over to it, to take a closer look, Lois had never seen it before but Clark suddenly felt a pain all over his body. Kryptonite. But where was it?
"Clark! What's wrong?"
"Kryptonite. In the crate. My baby craft. Ahh … hurry." Lois looked around, stunned. It was Clark collapsed on the floor, not Superman. For a split second she couldn't take it in. 'Pull yourself together, Lane!' Surprisingly, the crate opened easily and for the first time, Lois saw the space ship that Clark had come to earth in. It was like a milestone in her life, it was how the man she loved had come into this world, literally. She could feel the tears well up. She stood there gazing at it sentimentally when she heard a ticking noise. Right in front of her face, a bomb was ticking but it wasn't a bomb she had seen before.
"Clark, just x-ray this crate and tell me what kind of bomb that is? Are you strong enough?"
"Yeah." With all the strength he could muster, Clark x- rayed the crate and recognised instantly the Disintegrating Bomb - it would turn the warehouse into dust. There was 3 minutes left. Enough time for them to get out and at a safe distance. "Lois we've got to get out of here, that bomb will turn everything into dust. Help me and let's go." Lois didn't argue, she pulled Clark up with all the effort she could gather and they made their way out when they were faced with Pedro and Rene. Clark tried his best to stand alert but the Kryptonite had a drastic effect on him, and he collapsed.
"Clark!" But before Lois could try and revive him, Rene had taken hold of her. "Oh no you don't," she seethed. Rene was a weed, she could break him in half, but instead she knocked him out cold and he fell in a heap on the floor, at the feet of his brother. "Hello again." Lois tried to sound confident and she grinned determined that Pedro wouldn't see that she was so scared her heart was pounding, it was all she could hear. Now she had to get past the midget, 'not before I kick his butt,' she thought. Pedro threw a kick but it was so puny, Lois had to laugh. This infuriated Pedro all the more and he slapped her hard. Lois stumbled backward but quickly regained her composure, charging straight for him she gave a karate kick, knocking Pedro into a crate.
"I can't move! You've crippled me, you mad woman!" But Lois had no sympathy. She dragged Rene and tied the Elisand brothers up. She checked the bomb timer and there was only a minute and a half left. She had to get Clark and get out of there, but he was *really* heavy.
"Clark," Lois said as she strained to pull him up, "gimme a hand here!" Clark groaned. 'Good,' Lois sighed in relief, 'he's o.k'. "Clark, get up, come on, get up!"
"I can't, Lois. I'm too heavy, there isn't enough time for both of us. You go without me."
"What? No. You won't survive the explosion. Who knows how much the Kryptonite has taken out of you. You might not be able to take the force of the explosion. Clark, you might turn into dust."
"Please Lois, just go."
"No!" Pedro started to laugh.
"By the time you two finish arguing, you'll be dead."
"Shut up!" Lois and Clark screamed simultaneously.
"But what if you don't make it."
"Just remember I love you. Hold onto that." Lois couldn't bear the thought of life without Clark. She couldn't leave him but she didn't want him dying with the guilt of knowing that she would die too.
"Clark, I love you too." Lois cared that he hadn't told her sooner that he was Superman, but she might never see him again. She didn't want him to die thinking that she hated him. She didn't hate him, she was only hurt.
Lois ran out of the warehouse as fast as she could, she wasn't even sure that she would make it. The force of the explosion was so loud it was deafening, it threw Lois to the ground almost knocking her out. But that was the least of her worries. All she could think about was Clark, she hoped that he was all right, she hoped that he was able to take the intensity of the explosion. But after the debris had settled, there was nothing left. Nothing but dust.
Lois sat in her apartment, rocking back and forth in despair. She had hoped to find Clark sitting there waiting for her but there was nothing but coldness. The cops hadn't found a single soul in one piece. Pedro had disintegrated, Rene had disintegrated but she didn't care. They were for Kim. But Clark was gone too. There was no sign of him and there was no way of knowing if he had been able to find a way out.
Lois kept thinking about Clark and Superman. How one day they were two people and the next they were one. Until the second the warehouse blew up, Lois never realised how much Clark meant to her. He was her life. When she saw the love in his eyes, his strength wasn't in his powers but they were in his heart. She couldn't believe how stupid she was, thinking that it mattered if Clark had kept being Superman from her. She knew him well enough to know that he had done it for a reason, albeit a stupid reason. He didn't maliciously keep it from her. She felt cold and lonely, she felt ashamed. Ashamed that she hadn't trusted Clark's judgments. She didn't want to be taken wrongly. He should have told her, but he was torn between her safety and how she would react.
"But now he'll never know," she sobbed. One tear came and then they all began to fall. She didn't care for being tough and strong anymore, she missed Clark. She felt a shiver go through her. The window must be open'. She rose to close it, but it was already closed. 'Clark?' She rotated as fast as humanly possible to face the man of her dreams.
"Clark!" She held him as tight as she could. She didn't want to ever let him go. She kissed his face all over hoping that with every one he would feel better. "Oh Clark, I'm so glad that you're … oh I love you. I'm sorry." Clark held her just as close. He couldn't speak, he just held her, savouring every moment. Lois just stayed there in his arms, feeling the warmth, love and passion that ignited in her just by him being there. Clark looked at her, and stroked her face. He lived for this woman, he would die for this woman.
Lois noticed the tears in his eyes and her chest felt tight.
"Clark, how did you get out?" But Clark was beyond talking, all he wanted to do was kiss her and he did, more passionately than she could ever remember. Clark felt complete. He had told the woman of his dreams the secret that had been eating away at him, and she still loved him, not the Superhero but *him* the mild mannered reporter. Lois knew that instant, everything would be all right. She loved him for who he was, Clark Kent, not Superman. Superman was what he could *do*, Clark who he *really* was. And that was who she fell in love with.
Lois couldn't explain the love that she felt for him any more than Clark could explain the love he had for her. Lois thought about marriage. She didn't know if she was ready, whether she was used to the idea that Clark and Superman were one. All they knew was that they were right for each other. No matter what obstacles they faced, they would face them together.