By Jennifer Ayotte <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Submitted April 17, 1998
Summary: In this pre-revelation story, Lois's subconscious is struggling to understand her relationship with Superman and Clark. She feels an uncanny confusion, but before the answer comes within reach, a nemesis from Lois's past enters the picture.
It was Tuesday morning, and Lois was on her way to work when a song came on the radio that made her begin to think about her relationship with Clark and the mysterious distance she felt between Superman and herself for the past few weeks. Almost coincidentally, she thought back to the time she and Clark had become serious.
As she was listening to the radio, she couldn't help but wonder if it had been something she had done. *Could I have done something to offend him?* As she was sorting these thoughts in her head, she completely missed the stop sign and was almost run off the street. But, unfortunately for her, another car was hit and caused many cars to stop to see if the person was injured.
As people began to question the cause of the whole scene, Superman arrived to lend a hand. Lois thought selfishly that this would be the perfect time to confront him about his behavior. And so, after he had cleared everything up and made sure that the young man was all right, he had noticed Lois was waiting.
"Did you need something else?" he asked her. "Um, no. Well, yeah. Well, kinda. You see, lately, I've been thinking, well, actually, wondering, I mean," …
"Lois, you're babbling," he said with a grin. He loved it when she did that.
"I'm sorry. I just wanted to know, are you mad at me?"
Clark was stunned. Why would she think he would be mad at her? Then he remembered he was Superman at the moment. "Mad at you?! Why on Earth would you think that?"
"Well, it's just that you've been kinda distant lately, and I just thought maybe you were mad or something."
Clark was beginning to understand now. Ever since he and Lois had become closer, he hasn't felt as much need to fly to her window every once in a while just to see if she were okay. He was there for her now, but as Clark. But what could he tell her now? All he could do was say the first thing that came to his mind. "Of course I'm not mad at you. You just haven't needed my help as much lately. And, you have Clark around too." *Idiot!! Why did I say that?! She might think Superman is jealous or something.*
Lois felt both relieved and bewildered. Did she really hear that? Why would he say that? Was he jealous? "Yeah, you have a point."
Then he got that look.
"What do you hear?"
"Someone's in trouble. Gotta go." As he said this, a Clark habit started to kick in, and he began to lean towards her, as if to kiss her, but quickly recovered and flew off, hoping she didn't notice.
Later that day at the Planet ….
"Jimmy! Where in Elvis' name are Lois and Clark?!" screamed none other than Perry White.
"I-I don't know chief. They haven't called," Jimmy answered as he ran to a phone to call her cellular. As he hurried, he bumped into Clark.
"Hey, CK, where you been? Chief's been looking for you and Lois all morning."
"I was … wait a minute. Lois isn't here yet?"
"No. She's not with you?"
"No. I saw Superman earlier and he mentioned that Lois was part of a little collision on her way here, but nothing happened to her or her jeep. But that was a few hours ago." Clark was already out of breath. He couldn't help but think of what might have happened to her. He heard the elevator open and ran in.
"Wait! Where are you going?" Jimmy asked, fearing that he'd have to tell Perry.
"I'm going to see if I can find Superman and find out where she could be." And at that, the elevator doors closed.
"The plan is working well, sir."
"And Lois, was she harmed?"
"No sir, she's heavily sedated and still out cold."
"Out cold?! The orders were that she was to be left alone."
"I know sir. But she was too aggressive. The boys couldn't keep her still long enough to inject her, so they had to do something."
"I want to see her. Now!!"
As the men walk in they see a limp, lifeless body lying on the floor, unconcious. They turn her over and see on her face an almost completely black eye and across her left cheek bone a mark, which was obviously left by someone's fist, still stained with blood.
"This is what you call a necessary precaution to keeping her still?!" As this was said the other man is knocked to the floor. Lois begins to stir.
"It's okay my dear. Sleep now. You'll awaken in good time. You need all the rest you can get."
Clark was getting restless. He couldn't stand this. It had been 2 hours already and he hadn't found a trace of her. Not even her jeep. She had been missing for about 4 hours or so now, and he didn't know what to do or think. How could he help her if he couldn't find her?
*This is pointless. I'm not getting anywhere. What can I do?* Clark was deep in thought as he was flying, and all of the sudden he heard something … in a distance. As he used his supervision, he could see 2 men opening a huge garage door of an abandoned warehouse. He tried to see what they were doing, but it was leadlined. Of course. But his instincts told him he'd better get down there to see what was going on. As he got closer, his heart began to beat faster, for he couldn't help think about the worst things he could find.
Meanwhile, Lois was in and out of conciousness every few minutes and was having the strangest dreams. She kept seeing Clark and talking to him, but then he would all of the sudden be Superman, and she was still talking like he was Clark. She didn't understand it. She didn't know if she wanted to. Was she really seeing what she thought she was seeing?
"All right guys, go get her. And be gentle!"
*What was that? Is someone talking? Are they getting closer?* As the men picked her up and put her in the truck, she began to squirm and moan, and that's when Clark saw her.
"Lois!!!" He flew down there as fast as he could.
*Clark? Where are you? I can't see you!* She was still sedated. But she knew she heard him. Was he really here? She began to hear things a little more clearly … there was a fight. And she heard the word Superman. So where was Clark? What happened to him? She tried to talk, but she still couldn't move. Not even her lips.
"I knew you'd find us sooner or later Superman. I was just hoping it would be later. But, nonetheless, I am prepared as always. You see this?? That's right. Kryptonite. So don't try anything funny. I'm not here to kill you. But I do need your little friend Lois. And you'll get her back when we're finished. That is, if she cooperates."
Clark struggled to talk, but it was hard. "What do you want with her?! If you hurt her … "
"Relax, Superman, relax. She'll be fine. Just as long as she doesn't disappoint the boss."
"Who-who do you work for?"
"Ah, very clever, but I'm afraid that's for me to know and you to find out." After the man said this, he left the warehouse and returned to the van, where his accomplices were waiting for him. Superman was left with the Kryptonite close at hand. Since the building was leadlined, there was no sun coming in, so it had taken him nearly a half an hour to fully recover from the exposure of the rock. By the time he had gained enough strength to begin his search again, they had been long gone. Clark was almost beginning to lose hope. *Who was he talking about … the boss?* Immediately, he called Jimmy to research any information he could about anyone named or referred to as "the boss," and he told Perry he'd be taking the rest of the day off to help Superman look for Lois.
Her eyes popped open. But she realized she couldn't move. As she began to look around her, she saw that she was tied up, both her arms and legs, and she was gagged at the mouth. But where was she? It was too dark to see anything very far ahead of her. But, wherever she was, she definitely knew she was in trouble. She tried to loosen the rope around her wrist, but she ended up just hurting herself and making her wrists bleed instead. *How do I do this?* she thought. *How is it that every time something goes right for me in life, I somehow always manage to get myself into trouble?!* As she was processing her thoughts, she heard someone begin to open the door which happened to be the only means of entrance or departure.
"Well, well, well, a true sleeping beauty. How are you feeling? Oh! You don't have to answer that." As the man said this, he found it quite amusing which only made Lois mad.
"Well, I think it might be safe enough to lower your gag now. But don't bother screaming for your boywonder. He won't be able to hear you." When the man stepped closer to Lois, she began to make out his face. She couldn't believe it! It couldn't be! After all this time…
"What am I supposed to do???!!!!!!" Clark screamed at the top of his lungs. He had flown to one of his favorite places, near the North Pole, where he knew he wouldn't be at risk of anyone hearing his desperate crying. He felt so helpless. He'd been here for about 2 hours now, trying to think of who could do this, and how, if any way, he could find her and make the kidnappers pay. He knew it couldn't be Lex, not again. He was clueless.
She knew that accent. And she knew that hair, that body, and she was completely panickstricken about everything now. It was Claude. The filthy, lying, deceiving, manipulating crook who had shaken her faith in men for so long! But why would he be doing this to her? She just couldn't understand it. As he began to walk closer to her, she began to notice something was different about him. It wasn't a physical appearance that changed, but it was something in his face, his eyes, and his expression.
"Honey, I'm home!" He said with a grin that stretched to his ears. "Aw, Lois, don't you remember me? Ofcourse you do. You must."
"You," was all she could say.
"Ah, so you do remember me. How have you been? I see you have raised your standards from a little, shy, gullable, green, still trying to make it writer. You've done well."
"What do you want with me? Why, after all this time, would you go so far as to kidnap me? Is it another story you want?"
"No, no Lois. Just you. Just you and your talents."
"My talents? I don't understand."
"I know. But you will."
to be continued … soon …