By Pam Jernigan <ChiefPam@nc.rr.com>
Submitted March 23, 1998 (written March 1997)
Summary: Lois writes a letter to Clark, to be delivered after her death.
This isn't my usual type of fanfic (other than being short) but it presented itself nearly full-blown and demanded to be written. I think it's a reaction to some themes in "Brutal Youth" and "Meet John Doe" but there are no spoilers in here for either episode.
The letter began simply:
If you're reading this, it means that fate finally caught up with me, and that I'm dead. I'm writing this while I'm healthy and I don't ever want to leave you, but … I've spent a career making narrow escapes, and you've spent a career saving me; sooner our later our luck might just run out. And even if we do both live to a ripe old age, it seems very likely to me that I'll grow old and die while you remain almost as young and sexy as you are right now.
The thought of growing old by myself was upsetting at first, as you might recall. Oh, even then I knew I wouldn't really be by myself — I know you'll be there for me, no matter what. It's one of the qualities in you that I've always admired. Whether you're covering for me with Perry or vowing to stay with me in sickness or in health, you're a man who honors his committments.
Gradually, though, it occurred to me that if (as seems likely) you outlive me, you'll be alone again. And that saddened me immensely. I know how alone and isolated you used to feel, before you could open up to me, and I imagine that it will be worse now that you've lost me — especially if your parents are also gone (as I write this, they've just come back from that trip to Italy, and they're in great shape, but we humans just don't last forever).
We don't have any children yet, we might not be able to have any. To be honest (and you'll never hear me admit this while I'm alive) the prospect of having kids is pretty scary. I'm good at a lot of things, but I don't have any idea what to do with kids, and I'm terrified of failure. Parents can mess up their kids better than anyone else; I should know. But I'm willing to try, because I know you'll be a marvellous father, I can learn from you. There's nothing Lois Lane can't master once she sets her mind to it. (I guess I never really had my heart in that whole cooking thing.)
Well, by now you're probably wondering what my point is, if indeed I have one. I do. It's hard for me to write (harder than I thought it would be). It may be hard for you to read — that's one reason I've told the lawyer to deliver this letter six months after my funeral, instead of immediately. I want to tell you one last time that I love you, Clark Kent, passionately, obsessively, completely … but not, I hope, selfishly.
I am dead, but you are alive. You might have years, or decades in front of you. You have to let me go, and take care of yourself, for me. (And if you wallow in guilt over my death, no matter what the circumstances, I swear I'll never forgive you — by all rights, I should have died in my late twenties — my entire life after that point was a gift from you). So what I'm saying is … god, this is hard to say, but I'm determined … grieve for me, but let yourself recover. You should, anyway, in the normal course of things, but I want to make sure you don't torment yourself with guilt over it. As my last gift to you, I'm letting you go.
When you've recovered, I want you to think about getting remarried. I know you, darling, you're made for domesticity, you thrive on it. I don't have to tell you to be careful about who you choose to get close to, but I want you to know that you've got my blessing. I can't bear to think of you being alone. Make sure she's strong enough to handle the stress of being married to Superman, but understanding enough to appreciate how wonderful a man Clark Kent is. Please make sure she'll take good care of you.
Alright, I've said what I set out to say. Now I'm going to entrust this letter to our lawyer and go back to enjoying life with you, for as long as it may last. Without you, even if I had survived, I would still be an empty, bitter shell, with no meaning or purpose to my life. Thank you for changing all that. That was the most dramatic rescue of all … and please note that it was accomplished without any superpowers.
With all my undying love,
Lois Lane Kent"
A fat salty teardrop touched the bottom corner of the page, and Lois hastily wiped it away. Writing this letter had taken longer, and taken more out of her, than she'd anticipated, but she was satisfied that it was done. She glanced at the clock, then at the television. The celebrity golf tournament was still underway. Superman was on the fourteenth hole, and not doing very well, scorewise. She smiled, glad to have something to smile about.
So, there was time to wash her face to hide the traces of tears, run by the lawyer's office, drop by the Planet to check for messages, and pick up some Thai food on the way home. This was their one night a week that was reserved for spending time together, barring all but the most major of emergencies, and she was looking forward to it.