By Julie Mack
Summary: Someone knows something about Lois Lane that even Lois doesn't know! A villain from her past reappears and Lois receives some information that she can't wait to tell Clark. But, being kidnapped and tied up makes it difficult unless Superman can once again save the day. (Episode # 9 of The Unaired Fifth Season)
Story Idea by Craig Causer and Julie Mack
Lois slid under the comforter, snuggling close to Clark. His arm went around her hugging her close out of habit, his attention focused on the television. Lois placed her head on his chest, immediately relaxing as she heard and felt his steady heartbeat. She glanced at the television.
"Hmm? Oh. Something on The Learning Channel. "Birth and Babies". It's pretty interesting."
Lois felt a slight twinge as she heard the title of the program. Although they had been told by Doctor Klein that they couldn't have children, Lois still harbored a secret hope that one day, somehow, they would. She knew that Clark still had that same hope. She still regretted that her father hadn't been able to help them. She still had a dull ache in her heart from having to return the baby to the future. The baby, though, had given them a glimpse into the future. A future with Earthlings who had Kryptonian blood. Whether the baby was their direct descendant was a question still unanswered.
Most of the time, she and Clark were able to hide their disappointment from one another. But occasionally, they would catch each other wistfully looking at a baby carried in its mother's arms or small children at play in the park. When they did, they would remind each other how lucky they were to have each other. "A family of two," Clark had said.
She and Clark watched the rest of the program in companionable silence. As the program ended and Clark used the remote to shut off the television, Lois drew random patterns on his chest.
"Clark? I was wondering,,,."
"Hmmmm?" Clark was trying to ignore Lois' soft caresses, but it was getting more and more difficult. Lois had always been able to affect him like no other person could. His self-control seemed to be non-existent whenever Lois was near him. Like right now. He held her hand to stop its movements across his chest. "What is it, Lois?"
"Think we'll ever be able to have children?"
Clark closed his eyes as her question struck a sensitive nerve. He had promised himself that he would never intentionally hurt Lois. He had. Once. The day that he had told her about Doctor Klein's test results. He took a deep breath. He formed his words carefully before speaking. He didn't want to give Lois a false sense of hope.
"I honestly don't know, Lois. Doctor Klein seemed pretty sure about the test results. But, we've seen a little bit of the future and knowing us, nothing is impossible." He shifted slightly so that Lois was now completely within his embrace. He waited until she had adjusted and looked deeply into her eyes.
"Lois, I would love nothing more than to have children with you. You are the best part of me. I don't know what my life would be like without you in it. I don't ever want to find out. Anything beyond that is just icing on the cake. Believe that."
As Clark spoke, unshed tears brightened Lois' eyes. She gently stroked the side of his face. "You have such a way with words. I believe you, Clark."
Clark smiled as he saw the truth behind Lois' words. "So," again shifting so that his lips were closer to hers. "Until the powers that be decide what they want to do with us, I guess we'll be a family of two."
"And?" Lois brought her lips closer, almost touching Clark's, but not quite.
"And." Clark softly kissed her. "Practice." He kissed her again. "Because practice does make perfect."
He kissed her again and this time held it a bit longer. His tongue traced the outline of her lips. Lois moaned at the sensations that Clark was creating within her. Of their own volition, her hands began an exploration of his upper body. His arms, his shoulders, his chest. Her hands buried themselves in his hair and pulled him closer. She groaned. She could feel the heat of his body responding to her soft caresses. Her breath quickened. She whispered against her mouth.
"How much do you love me, Clark?"
He answered the only way he could. He showed her.
Lois and Clark stopped at the curbside breakfast wagon before entering the Daily Planet. The vendor greeted them warmly, handing them their regular orders: Lois' "morning mocha" and Clark's "double-extra-of-everything" cappuccino. Lois sipped slowly from her cup, making sure that she didn't burn her tongue, closing her eyes and savoring the rich chocolate flavor. Clark watched Lois indulgently, constantly amazed at how Lois made even the simple act of drinking a sensual event.
"You must be feeling better."
"Mmmmmm. Yeah, I am. You know, this is the first morning in about a month that I don't feel rundown."
"What did your doctor say when you went the other week?"
Lois grinned. "You mean, after he scolded me for not having had a physical in about 5 years? Or after I told him that hard working, intrepid, investigative reporters do not give in to a little tiredness?"
Even though he smiled, Clark was worried. "Lois. I'm serious."
Lois caught the concerned look in his eyes. "OK. It's been a while since I'd had a complete physical, so he insisted to doing all kinds of tests. The works. The test results aren't in yet. I just hope it isn't mononucleosis. I had that in college. That's one of the reasons I switched from a math major to journalism. I failed calculus because of mono. I'll call in a couple of days for the test results, OK?"
Satisfied for the moment, Clark nodded his agreement. Sipping from his cup, he turned from Lois and indulged in one of his favorite past times: people watching.
Metropolis was a city always on the move. At all hours, there was always something happening. The sanitation workers doing their job. The policemen patrolling. The people moving from one appointment to another. Lois window shopping. Lois?
Clark gasped at what he had just seen. He looked quickly to his side. Lois was talking to the vendor and munching on a croissant. He quickly looked across the street again. He could have sworn he had seen Lois. Was his mind playing tricks on him? He tried to remember what he had seen briefly. The woman had the same hair style as Lois. She worn the same style of clothing as Lois. She even walked like Lois. He looked further down the street and thought he caught another glimpse of the woman. But, before he could zero in on her with his supervision, she was swallowed up by the crowd going into the train station. He stared after where he thought she had gone, trying to figure out if he had seen what he thought he had seen.
Lois' voice broke into his thoughts. He turned to her slowly. "Huh?"
Lois noticed the confused look in his eyes. She put a hand on his shoulder. "Honey, are you OK?"
"Yeah. At least, I think so. Lois, do you believe that everyone has a double somewhere?"
Lois chuckled. "Well, in my case, only if it's a clone." At the look on Clark's face, she instantly sobered. "Sorry. Bad joke. No, Clark. I don't believe that everyone has a double. But then again, until you came into my life, I didn't believe in flying aliens. Why?"
Clark smiled to reassure Lois that everything was fine. "Nothing. I guess I'm just so in love with you that I see you everywhere."
Lois gently smiled. She was again amazed at how Clark always seemed to say the right thing. She realized that it was probably because he always spoke from his heart. She reached up and adjusted his tie. Her look told Clark that she wanted to adjust more than his tie.
"Let's go. Before I make us even later to work than we already are!"
They finished their drinks and entered the Daily Planet building.
As she uncrossed her legs from under her, Lois stretched and looked over at Clark. The day had been uneventful, so most of the time had been spent on research. Lois had brought home her work. Her husband, superhero that he was, had finished all of his research at the Planet. He was now indulging in one of his other favorite past times: computer games.
Lois looked up from her laptop. "Clark? Want a soda or something?"
Without looking up from his laptop's monitor, he answered distractedly, "Sure, honey."
Lois smiled as she got up from the couch. She went over to Clark and looked over his shoulder. "What level are you on?"
"Twenty-four. I'm just about to,,,.Ack!"
"Ha! Serves you right. If you had put the blue piece on the left, then you would have cleared all the rows except for two."
Clark looked up at Lois, a lopsided grin on his face. "Oh really? And who is the all-time champion on this game, may I ask?"
She kissed him on the cheek and walked out his reach. "I am." He watched in open-mouthed amazement as she walked away, her voice coming back to him as she entered the kitchen. "Among Earthlings."
Clark laughed. The doorbell rang. He got up, opened the door and gasped in surprise. The look on his face must have been somewhere between surprise and suspicion, because the person spoke in a timid voice.
"Um, Mr. Kent? I'm not here to cause you or your wife any harm. May I come in?"
"Stay right there." Clark's suspicions made his tone brisk and harsh.
Lois came out of the kitchen and headed towards Clark, glasses in her hands. "Who is it, Clark?"
As she reached the door, Clark stepped back so she could get a good look at the person standing in the entryway. The glasses fell to the floor, shattering, the liquid and ice pooling around Lois' feet.
"It's,,,.it's,,,." Lois mouth opened in surprise, her power of speech temporarily leaving her.
Clark finished her thought. "It's you, Lois." He looked at Lois and the person in the entryway. A person with the face of Lois Lane.
"As I said, I'm not here to cause you or your wife any harm, Mr. Kent."
Lois had watched in silence as her look-alike entered the brownstone. She couldn't believe what she was seeing. This woman looked exactly like her. The same hair style. The same clothes. The same voice.
They went into the living room where the woman sat on the couch, Lois and Clark on either side of her. Finally, Lois' power of speech returned.
"Before this goes any further. One question."
"Are you the clone?"
"What's a clone?"
Lois and Clark exchanged glances. A silent message passed between them. Clark nodded slightly, concentrating and listening to the woman's heartbeat and breathing. He lowered his glasses unobtrusively and examined her cell structure with his supervision.
"Where are my manners? Would you like something to drink? Eat maybe? I think we have some frog legs in the refrigerator,,,." Her voice trailed off at the woman's look of disbelief and confusion. She cleared her throat and slipped into reporter mode and started with the basic questions.
"Who are you?"
"My name is Lynn. Please, Ms. Lane. I'm not here to hurt anyone."
"Why are you here?"
"Please, just listen to me and I'll explain everything."
Lois sat back and crossed her arms. "OK. I'm listening."
The woman breathed a sigh of relief. "Remember about three or four years ago? There was a lot of anti-Superman sentiment being spread around? In fact, it looked like even you, Superman's friend, had turned against him."
Lois sat up as she began talking. "Yes, I remember."
"Well, I'm your double. Remember?"
"I'm starting to. You had plastic surgery to make you look like me. You dressed better than me back then."
The woman smiled sheepishly. "Yeah."
Lois was starting to get indignant as she remembered the incident. "You said I was a 'glorified pencil pusher'!"
The woman started to apologize. "Yes. I know. I said and did a lot of rotten things. I'm sorry about that. That's why I'm here."
"Get out of my house!" Lois stood up and headed for the front door.
"Lois." Clark's calm voice stopped Lois' outburst. Lois turned to Clark and saw him adjusting his glasses. He smiled at her. "I think we should listen to Lynn's full story before we jump to any conclusions."
Lois came back to the couch and sat next to Clark. He put a reassuring arm around her.
"OK. I'll listen."
"You have to excuse Lois, Lynn. She doesn't do well when she's face-to-face with herself." Lynn felt calmer, seeing Clark's easy smile. She again started talking.
"As I said, I said and did some things that I'm not very proud of. I went to prison. But, I'm paroled now, and I want to make up to Lois for what I did."
Lois listened to Lynn. She listened to her steady, sincere tone. She listened, and believed her.
Clark heard Lynn. He heard her steady, unchanging heartbeat. He heard her steady, soft breathing. He heard, and believed her.
Lois and Clark exchanged looks and realized that they had both come to the same conclusion, albeit by different methods. They smiled at each other. Lois turned to Lynn who had nervously watched the interplay between the two of them.
"We believe you, Lynn." Lynn breathed a sigh of relief. "We believe that you don't want to cause either of us any harm. But, I'm still not sure why you're here."
Lynn looked at her watch. "It's late. I want to explain, but I don't know if I have enough time tonight. Lois, can we meet tomorrow?" She looked to Lois and Clark hopefully.
Lois didn't hesitate. "Sure. Tomorrow's a light day anyway. Perry was going to let me work at home. Is nine in the morning all right with you?"
"Nine is great. See you tomorrow." They all rose from the couch and walked towards the front entryway.
As Lynn left, she turned and looked at Lois. "You know, I read all about you and Mr. Kent while I was in prison. I'm so glad you two found each other and got married."
Clark looked at Lois with a warm gaze. "So am I, Lynn. So am I."
Lois returned his gaze before looking at Lynn. "See you tomorrow."
Lynn left and Lois slowly closed the door, thinking all the while.
"What are you thinking?"
"Clark, she's like,,,.my twin. I only just met her, but I feel that we could maybe be friends."
"Lois, she's being very sincere when she says that she's sorry about what she did. She didn't lie."
"I know." She grinned at Clark. "And you. Mr. Charmer."
"As if you didn't know. 'She doesn't do well when she's face-to-face with herself'. Please."
Clark began to laugh. "Well, it's true, isn't it?"
"I don't think anyone is. Were you? When you talked to your clone about 4 years ago?"
"I see your point. Well, at least we know Lynn's not a clone. She's for real." He reached for Lois and brought her into a tight embrace. "So are you."
Lois linked her hands behind his head, her eyes darkening with pleasure. And love. "How real?"
Clark picked her up and proceeded up the stairs, his eyes reflecting back her love and desire. "Let me show you." With that he kissed her and went into their bedroom, kicking the door closed with his foot.
"Ha! Level 23! I'll beat your top score yet, Clark!" Lois grinned gleefully as she placed another piece into the ever building puzzle and watched 15 rows disappear. Clark had gone into the Planet, today, leaving Lois to work at home. But, she didn't feel like working. She was a bit nervous about meeting Lynn again "face-to-face". Instead, she turned on Clark's laptop and decided that she would be the all-time champion, Earthling or Kryptonian. So intent was she on the computer game, that it took her a few moments to realize that someone was ringing the doorbell. Continuously. She looked at the wall clock. Nine o'clock. She played one more piece and whooped with joy as the entire wall disappeared. She had made it to Level 25. She typed her name in the top score slot and hurried to open the front door.
"Hi, Ly — -" Her greeting was cut short as an unconscious Lynn slumped to the ground. "Lynn!"
Lois knelt down and checked for a pulse, relieved to find that it was slow and steady. A shadow crossed over Lynn's body, causing Lois to look up and gasp in shock and surprise. A gun was leveled at her. A gun held by someone with the face of Lex Luthor. Before Lois could utter another sound, the gun went off, striking Lois in the chest. Lois looked down, fully expecting to see a hole and blood. Instead, a dart was sticking out from her.
"Who? Who — — " Her voice trailed off as the tranquilizer took effect.
Clark unlocked the door and entered the brownstone. "Lois! I'm home!" He was greeted by silence.
"Lois?" Still no response.
Thinking that she and Lynn may have gone out together, he went to the desk, looking for a note. He saw that his laptop was still on, and checked the screen. He grinned as he saw that Lois' name was now in the top score slot. "Top banana," he murmured.
Something just to the right of his laptop caught his eye. It was Lois' organizer. A feeling of dread came over him. Lois never left the house without her organizer.
"Lois!" He became worried and couldn't shake the sense that Lois was in trouble and needed him. He used his superspeed to go through the brownstone, checking every room. Nothing. He used his supervision looking for a clue. Nothing. Clark began to grow frantic with worry. He could actually feel his heart beating more rapidly. He willed himself to calm down and think. *Where could she be*, he thought. Quickly, he spun into the suit and zoomed out the French windows to search Metropolis.
"Lois? Are you all right? Lois?"
Lois groaned as she slowly became conscious and her eyes began to focus. "Wh- Where am I?"
She straightened up in her chair and looked around. She looked around and saw that she was in a darkened room that looked like it hadn't been used in years. Dust and cobwebs were everywhere. Lynn was sitting in a chair across from her, tied securely.
"Lynn? Are you all right?" She tried to stand and found that she too was tied securely to her seat. As she struggled to try and loosen the bindings, a loudspeaker came on and a voice, garbled and disguised, echoed throughout the large room.
"What's the matter Lois? Not yourself today?"
Lois yelled back, trying to figure out what direction the voice was coming from. "Not when I'm drugged and tied up. What's the matter, had to practice your sailing knots?"
Lois snuck a quick glance at Lynn. She was scared, but trying to stay calm. They made eye contact.
"Don't worry, Lynn. We'll get out of this. You and I have a lot to talk about." Lynn shakily smiled. The loudspeaker boomed again.
"Ah. That famous Lois Lane 'spunk'. I hate spunk."
Lois winced. "Geez, will you turn down the volume? What do you think this is, a room full of people? Better yet, why don't you talk to me face-to-face?" Lois was starting to not like that phrase. A voice sounded behind her, startling her.
"OK, Lois. Here I am." The voice stepped in front of Lois and she was again shocked at seeing Lex Luthor's face.
"You're not Lex. He's dead."
"Yes. He is. And you killed him." A hand began to pull the latex mask away. Lois and Lynn watched mesmerized as the person turned away from Lois to face Lynn.
Lois continued to talk to the stranger. "I didn't kill him. His own obsessions killed him."
Lynn's eyes widened as she recognized the face behind the mask. "You!"
The voice changed and became distinctly female in tone. And dangerous. "But, you see, Lois, you were Lex's biggest obsession. And I hate you for that." The person turned back to Lois. With the face of Ariana Carlin.
Ariana Carlin smiled tightly. "I'm so glad you remember me Lois. I had thought with your bout of amnesia a while back, you would have forgotten me."
"How could I forget? I told you things that I hadn't told anyone."
"Yes. I know. How you were attracted to his power. What girl wouldn't be? I hate you. You had what I never had. Lex's complete and total love."
"I never loved Lex, Ariana. I love Clark. I always have. Even before I knew that I was in love with him, it was always Clark."
Lynn had been listening to the exchange between Ariana and Lois with interest. She felt ashamed. Ashamed that she had been so easily convinced that Lois was some evil person who needed to be destroyed. She listened to Lois and heard the sincerity in her voice. She knew that Lois truly loved Clark. She also heard the slight edge in Ariana's voice. The edge between sanity and madness. Ariana could go over the edge either way. Ariana's next words caught Lynn's attention.
"Yes. Clark Kent. Your partner. Your husband. He's the perfect man for you, isn't he Lois? Even more than Superman."
Lois smiled. "Yes, Ariana. Even more than Superman."
"You think you have it all don't you? A career. A husband. And now. Now that you're pregnant. I hate you even more."
Ariana again smiled coldly. "You heard me. Pregnant. Almost two months. I hate you for that. I could never have children. That's why Lex divorced me."
Lois was having a hard time believing what Ariana had just revealed. "Wait a minute, back up here. I'm,,,pregnant? How do you know?"
Ariana looked at Lois like she was a child. "Now, Lois. You're the investigative reporter. Think about it. Who do you think analyzed the tests from your physical?"
"I don't believe you."
"Why should I lie to you Lois? When I was paroled from Gotham State Prison, my psychiatric license was revoked, my career ruined. The only job I could get was as a diagnostic lab technician. A lab tech!" Ariana grew thoughtful, speaking almost to herself. "You know, it's weird that the job was already waiting for me when I was paroled, but I wasn't going to ask questions. Strange isn't it? I didn't think anyone even knew that I had a lab background before I became a psychiatrist."
She again focused on Lois. "But, there I was. Placed in a diagnostic lab,,,.as a technician! Testing blood samples. You should see who has blood tests done. And then, two weeks ago, your name was on a folder. Lois Lane. The psychiatrist in me would say that all my repressed feelings of anger and hatred towards you came to the surface. All I knew is that when your test came back positive, I wasn't going to let you have any more happiness. I wasn't going to let you live. Not when my Lex was dead and you were the cause."
She turned her attention to Lynn. "I knew that you were getting out of Metropolis Women's Prison. I followed you. You were following Lois. The Daily Planet. The market. Her doctor's. I knew that your basic goodness would take you to Lois. To try and make amends for what you had done to her. You failed to discredit Lois. You failed me. You failed Lex. I hate failure. If I learned one thing from being married to Lex Luthor, failure is not to be tolerated. I'm going to have to eliminate you too."
As Ariana taunted Lynn, Lois' mind began racing. Pregnant. She was pregnant. Since Doctor Klein had told them they couldn't have children, they hadn't worried about precautions. Ariana had said almost two months. She tried to think back to over the past two months ago. Their anniversary. The hybrid Kryptonite. That Mr. Mixhiswhatsit. Any of those time could have been the one time. That would explain her tiredness over the past month along with other signs that she had just written off as part of "a bad hair day". She was pregnant. Clark was going to be a father. Clark. Just thinking of him, made Lois remember the situation that she and Lynn were in. She looked around for a way to escape. Ariana's next words registered.
"What did you say?"
"I said, Ms. Mother-to-be, that you and your 'twin' here might as well get comfortable. No one, not even Superman, will find you. This place used to be a fallout shelter. It's lead-lined. I'll kill you both and leave your bodies for the rats."
Lois sighed. "What is it with you Luthor-types? First the subway, now a fallout shelter? You ever hear of above ground hideouts?"
Ariana laughed. "Keep it up, Lois. Even your brave exterior will fade. And then, until I kill you, it'll just be you all alone. With you. That's delicious." Ariana continued to laugh as she walked out of the room, locking Lois and Lynn in.
Jimmy Olsen watched as Clark Kent entered the Daily Planet's newsroom. At least, he thought it was Clark. The Clark Kent that Jimmy was used to seeing was always well groomed and dressed in a coat and tie. This Clark looked like he hadn't slept all night. His hair was unkempt and he hadn't shaved. He was wearing a pair of jeans and black t-shirt with a worn leather jacket. He walked towards his desk and wearily put his head down.
Perry White had been watching the same scene from his office window. As Clark slumped down at his desk, Perry came out into the newsroom. He made eye contact with Jimmy and cautiously, they both approached the weary Clark.
"Clark? Son, are you all right?"
Clark raised his head and looked into the concerned eyes of Perry and Jimmy. "Hi Chief. Jimmy." He combed his hand through his hair and released a long breath. "No, Chief. I'm not all right. Lois is gone. I can't find her anywhere."
"Gone? Gone where? You didn't have a fight, did you CK?"
"No, Jimmy. No, nothing like that." He looked at them both, trying to decide how much to tell them. "Lois stayed home yesterday to follow up on a lead. I got home after work and she was gone."
"Maybe her mother is in town,,,.." The look on Clark's face stopped Jimmy before he finished his thought. "Sorry."
"No, she's vanished. Her organizer is still at home."
That last statement made Perry and Jimmy grow concerned. They knew that Lois never went anywhere without her organizer. Lois was always involved with something, and the only way that she stayed sane was to take notes and make appointments in her organizer. Perry looked at Clark and realized that he was close to exhaustion. The fear and anguish in his next words made both Perry and Jimmy realize how deeply Clark loved Lois. How much a part of him she was.
"I've looked everywhere. I don't know what to do."
"What about Superman?"
"Superman's looked everywhere too. He's as worried as I am." He looked at Perry and Jimmy. "It's like she's vanished off the face of the earth."
Perry decided that Clark needed to get his focus back. He cleared his throat. "Now, son, let's not get melodramatic here. You're not thinking straight. Lois has been in tight scrapes before."
Clark released another breath and appeared to gather himself together. "You're right Chief. Lois wouldn't go down without a fight. I'd know if she were,,,..gone. It's just that I can't get over this feeling that she's in trouble. And I'm not there to help her."
"So, what can we do to help CK?"
Perry took over. "Let's start with Lois' old files. Maybe someone had a reason to get back at her."
Clark looked at Perry skeptically. "Chief, do you realize how many people hold a grudge against Lois? And me? And even Superman?"
"All the more reason to get started. Jimmy, when you pull them, bring those files into the conference room. We can work in there."
"Right Chief." As he left, he placed a hand on Clark's shoulder. "We'll find her CK."
"Thanks Jimmy." He looked at Perry. "Thanks Chief."
"We all love her, Clark. Now, let's get started,,,."
Lois looked at Lynn. "So, how'd you get mixed up with this particular psycho psychiatrist? Amnesia? Brainwashing?"
Lynn looked at Lois. "How can you be so brave?"
"Because I have complete faith in Clark. He will find us. He's never let me down before. And, I'm not going to let anything happen to this baby."
"So, you believe her? That you're pregnant?"
Lois nodded. "Yeah. I do."
"I'm happy for you and Clark."
"Thanks. I'm happy for us too. We've wanted to have children, but were told that we couldn't. Guess doctors can be wrong." She mentally made a note to have Superman tell Doctor Klein that very fact.
"It's a wonderful feeling Lois. Having a new life growing inside of you. There's nothing like it."
"You have children?" Lois was curious about Lynn.
Lynn's look turned to one of sadness. "Had. I had a child. A beautiful little girl."
Lois was immediately sympathetic. "I'm sorry. What happened?"
"A drunk driver happened. Killed himself. And my daughter."
"How awful for you."
"It was. I was the only survivor of the accident. Ariana came to visit me every day that I was in the hospital recovering from my injuries. She was so kind. It was like having my sister back to talk to. She said you had taken away the only man she had ever loved. She convinced me that you were evil. My face had been damaged and I needed plastic surgery. But I couldn't afford it. She told me her plan and offered to pay for the plastic surgery. When I was in prison and read yours and Clark's articles, and read about your marriage, I realized that she had lied to me. Lois, I am so sorry."
"She was a psychiatrist. And a pretty bad one at that. Trust me, I know the type. She played with your emotions. It wasn't your fault."
"Thanks." They smiled at each other.
"Um, if it's not too painful to remember, what's it like? Being a mother and all that?"
Lynn smiled. "It's not painful. What's it like? It's like nothing you've ever experienced or felt before, Lois. It's heaven and hell at the same time. But, there's one thing that makes it all worthwhile."
"The unconditional love that you give to your baby. And that you get in return. You would do anything and everything for your child. You'd die for them, if you had to. There are days when you may wonder what you've gotten yourself into, but the love is always there. You're lucky too."
"You have Clark. That man loves you so much, Lois. And I know that you love him just as much. With all that love already in your lives, you'll make great parents."
"You think so?"
Lynn nodded. "I know so."
"I'm not so sure. I mean, I know Clark will make a terrific father. But, my experience with my own parents — -" She stopped her thought at Lynn's insistent shaking of her head.
"It's not how your parents raised you, Lois. It's not even whether your parents were married forever and a day. It's you. It's your own heart. You have a lot of love to give. You've given it to Clark. Now, you just have to include the baby in that love."
Lynn's words struck a chord within Lois. She did have a lot of love to give. Clark had shown her that. By opening her heart to him, she had received love back. Instinctively, she knew that Lynn was right. She and Clark would make great parents. Together.
She wished Clark were there right now.
"These are the most recent ones, Chief." Jimmy placed a stack of folders next to the other piles on the conference table, sat down, and picked one up. Perry nodded absently, concentrating on the folder opened in front of him.
Clark looked up from the last folder in the pile in front of him and looked at the clock. They had been scanning through files of Lois' old articles for a couple of hours. Nothing. He was getting frustrated. He wanted to leave, spin into the suit, and do another search of the city. He kept remembering Lois' near-miss with "Jack the Ripper". *She's still alive. I just have to get to her*, he thought. Perry's voice broke through his thoughts.
"OK. Clark? Now, I know you haven't told us everything, and I respect that. Reporters have to protect their sources. But, we're getting nowhere fast. What 'lead' was Lois following up?"
Clark hesitated, but only for a moment. "Lois was meeting Lynn."
"Lynn? Lynn who?"
"Remember all that anti-Superman business? Not the recent stuff with Brandon Trask. About four years ago?"
"Lynn is Lois' double. She had plastic surgery to look like Lois."
"Now I remember. Something about subliminal messages in some of our articles, wasn't it? What was the name of that psychiatrist? Ana? Amanda? Anita?"
"Ariana. Ariana Carlin."
"That's it, Jimmy! Ariana Carlin." He looked at Clark. "The former Mrs. Lex Luthor?"
"Think she has anything to do with this?" Jimmy looked back and forth between Perry and Clark.
Clark sighed and closed his eyes briefly. "I thought we had seen the last of the Luthors. First Lex, then his ex-wife, then his sons." He opened his eyes, anger briefly flashing in them. "Won't it ever end?"
"Wait a minute. I seem to recall,,," Perry began sifting through some of the more recent articles. "Aha! Here it is! Seems our Doctor Carlin was paroled two months ago from Gotham State Prison."
"Lynn was paroled a few days ago from Metropolis Women's."
"Think there's a connection?"
"Maybe. Jimmy — "
"I'm on it Chief! Background information on Ariana Carlin." Jimmy rushed out of the conference room.
"Good boy." Perry looked at Clark with a tight smile. "Clark, I think we've figured it out."
"I hope so, Chief. I hope so."
In spite of her bindings, Lois tried to stretch. Her muscles were beginning to cramp up from the long hours of sitting in the same position. She looked over at Lynn who seemed to be dozing off.
"Lynn? How are you doing?"
Lynn raised her head. "I'm doing OK Lois. I just wish I could change positions."
"I know what you mean. That and go to the bathroom. There never seems to be a bathroom nearby in these hideouts." They shared a laugh.
"I don't see anything funny, do you?" Ariana's voice instantly sobered them both. She walked into the room, carrying a gun. Lois saw that this time, it wasn't a tranquilizer gun.
"It's time to leave, ladies." Ariana kept her gun trained on Lois as she removed Lynn's bonds. Once she was released, Ariana stepped back and moved to remove Lois' bindings. Lynn rubbed her wrists as Lois went to stand by her side. "The police are surrounding this place. Apparently, Lois, your husband is every bit as good an investigative reporter as you are. I can't have them find you here. At least, not alive."
"Ariana, it's not too late. You can let us go and we'll get you some help."
"What? A psychiatrist helping a psychiatrist? Not likely. They'll send me back to prison. For a long time. I'm not going back to prison knowing that you have everything that I don't. I hope you kissed Clark good-bye this morning." She raised her gun and pointed it at Lois.
"No!" Lynn's shout startled both Lois and Ariana. Ariana recovered quickly and again aimed at Lois. Lois closed her eyes and waited for the bullet to hit her. She heard the shot and reflexively jerked. There was no impact, no pain. She opened her eyes and saw Lynn slumping to the floor, a bullet hole in her chest.
"Lynn!" Lois knelt down and cradled Lynn in her arms.
Ariana watched her as her blood slowly seeped out of the wound. "One down. One more to go." She again aimed the gun at Lois.
Lois again closed her eyes and whispered. "Oh god, Clark…"
The sound of a wall crashing in caused Lois to open her eyes and Ariana to twirl around. Superman crashed through the wall and focused his heat vision on Ariana's gun. In seconds, it became red hot. Ariana dropped it and held her hand.
"It's over, Ariana. Clark, Perry White, and Jimmy Olsen found out that you were a part owner of this nightclub. They told me that it was lead-lined. That's why I couldn't find Lois before."
"You're too late, Superman. Tell Clark Kent that his wife is dead." She gestured behind her.
Superman jerked back, startled. "Lois? Oh god, Lois!" He rushed to the women. Ariana saw her opportunity to escape and ran towards the exit. As she reached it, the door opened and she ran into Perry and Jimmy, followed by the police.
Perry held Ariana and stopped short as he saw "Lois" on the floor, her head cradled by another Lois. "Great shades of Elvis! I wouldn't never have believed it if I hadn't seen it?"
Jimmy couldn't believe what he was seeing either. "Lois?" He didn't want to believe that Lois was lying on the floor dying.
"Right here, Jimmy, Perry." They both breathed a sigh of relief as the kneeling Lois answered them. Perry handed Ariana over to the police as he and Jimmy went to Lois' side. In the momentary chaos, Lois spied Superman leaving. "Where's Clark?"
"Right here." Clark burst into the room. Lois gently placed Lynn's head on the floor, got up and ran towards Clark. They met in the middle of the room, embracing each other tightly, murmuring soft words of love to each other. Tears of relief flowed down Lois' face. Clark closed his eyes and prayed a silent "thank you" to the powers that be that she was safe and alive. Clark held Lois by her shoulders and stepped back to look at her.
"Are you all right?"
Lois stroked his face and smiled. "I am now."
Their lips and mouths came together and they both surrendered to the need to confirm that they were both alive and together. Her tongue played tag with his and after a while she forced her tongue into his mouth to more fully taste him.
A moan startled both of them back to the reality of where they were. Lois hurried back to where Lynn lay and knelt beside her, taking one of her hands in her own. Lynn's eyes fluttered open and focused on Lois. Seeing Clark behind Lois, Lynn smiled.
"Lois. Clark came." Her breathing was labored and shallow.
Lois smiled softly, her eyes filling with unshed tears. "Yeah. Told you he would. You hang on, the ambulance should be here any second."
Lynn returned Lois' smile with a gentle one of her own. "Lois. It's too late. You know it and I know it." She winced at a pain that only she felt, her hand tightening for a moment over Lois'. Lois looked at Clark. He looked at her with sorrow in his eyes, verifying what Lynn had said.
Lois sighed audibly. "Oh, Lynn. I'm so sorry."
"Don't be sorry, Lois. I'm not. I'm going to be with my little girl again. Be happy. I know that you and Clark will be — " Her words were cut off by another spasm of pain. As the pain faded, Lynn once more tightened her handhold and looked directly into Lois' eyes. "You'll be fine. Trust yourself. Trust Clark. Remember, you have a lot of love to give."
Lois nodded, tears running down her face. She locked gazes with Lynn and held her hand tightly as Lynn quietly passed away. She sobbed and released her hold on Lynn's hand. Clark helped her up and held her tightly as she cried.
"Come on, Lois. Let's go home." Sadly, they left the room as the police covered the body and led Ariana Carlin away.
Clark slipped under the comforter and opened his arms for Lois to cuddle closer. She placed her head on his chest, all the while watching and listening to the news reporter's remarks.
",,,.and so ends the bizarre and tragic story of Ariana Carlin. A fatal attraction that indeed proved fatal."
Lois clicked the remote to turn the television off and settled more comfortably into Clark's arms. He tightened his embrace and sighed a sigh of relief. He was where he wanted to be. At home. With his wife in his arms. Safe. Alive. He thought of Lynn.
"Lois? I have to tell you,,,."
"Hmmmm?" Lois was trying to ignore Clark's soft caresses, but it was getting more and more difficult. Clark had always been able to affect her like no other person could. Especially when he was near her. Like right now. She shifted slightly to look directly into his eyes. "What is it, Clark?"
"I have never been as scared as I was today. I thought that I had lost you. Really lost you. And when I saw you, I mean Lynn, lying on the floor,,,.Lois, my heart stopped. I felt like a part of me had been ripped out."
Lois looked deep into his eyes and saw the fear and insecurity that Clark usually kept hidden away. She was humbled by how much this man, this Superman, needed her. And loved her. She looked deep into herself and realized that she needed him and loved him just as much, if not more. She leaned forward and kissed him. She poured her soul into the kiss. She kissed him to let him know that she cared for him, that she cherished him, that she needed him. That she loved him.
When she broke off the kiss and again looked into his eyes, she saw the same love and desire that she knew he saw in her eyes. She gently stroked his face.
"I'm here, Clark. And I'm alive. I have too much to live for."
"Lois, I'm nothing without you."
"And I'm nothing with you." She grinned. "Besides, it wouldn't be fair." She traced random patterns across his chest.
"What wouldn't be fair?" Clark was beginning to get distracted by her soft touch.
"Oh, if I wasn't around."
"For what?" Clark closed his eyes as his body began to respond to Lois' touch and nearness.
"To watch our baby grow up." Lois watched for Clark's reaction.
"Yeah, that wouldn't be — — Lois?!?!?" He wasn't sure that he had heard what he had heard.
Lois' eyes began to twinkle and she felt her laughter threatening to explode. "What, Clark? Or should I say 'Daddy'?"
"'Daddy'? Lois? Wha — ?" His mouth continued to move, but no sound came out.
Lois laughed out loud. "And this from a man who makes his living with words! Clark, read my lips. I am pregnant. We are going to have a baby!"
Clark listened to what Lois said. As the words sank in, a grin slowly spread across his face and reached his eyes. "We're going to have a baby? We are going to have a baby!" He hugged Lois tightly to him.
"I take it that you're happy?"
"Happy? I'm ecstatic!" As a thought came to mind, he instantly sobered. "How — ?"
Lois playfully tapped Clark in the chest. "I thought you got straight A's in high school."
"OK, OK. To be honest, I don't know. Ariana said about two months, but she could have been wrong about that."
Clark thought about it for a few seconds. "Mxy? The Parasite? My exposure to that hybrid Kryptonite? I wasn't exactly my "super" self during any of those situations. Maybe,,,.."
Clark did the mental arithmetic and looked at Lois. "Our anniversary?"
Lois shrugged her shoulders. "Possibly. I'm going to have to go to the doctor's to make sure. I'll make an appointment first thing tomorrow."
"OK. Lois, you don't know — "
Lois silenced his words with a soft kiss. "I do know, Clark. Believe me, I do."
Clark looked deeply into Lois' eyes and saw love reflected back. "I love you."
"I love you too. This baby is so lucky."
"Lucky? What do you mean?"
Lois remembered Lynn's words and repeated them to Clark. "Because we have each other. I know you love me. And you know I love you. With all that love already in our lives, we'll make great parents. Because we love each other. It's in us. In our hearts. We have a lot of love to give. We've given it to each other, Clark. Now, we just have to include the baby in that love."
Clark marveled again at the wonder of having this woman in his life. "You are one in a million."
"And don't you ever forget it, 'Daddy'"
"I won't." Clark sealed his promise with a kiss that showed Lois just exactly how much he loved her. "'Mommy'."
SECRETS OF "THE EX-FILES"
By Julie Mack
The idea for "The Ex-Files" came from a series of short descriptions of "episodes I'd like to see if there had been a fifth season" that I posted on the L&C ABC message boards (about the same time that TUFS was starting up) as part of my semi-regular Top Ten Lists (those of you who remember *those* are showing your age <G>). I showed those descriptions to a couple of my online friends, and they helped me "flesh out" two of them, this episode, "The Ex-Files", and my previous episode, "Life In The Fast Lane".
Have you ever gotten that "Whatever happened to,,,.." kind of feeling? <G> I did. I had always wondered about some of the villains that Lois, Clark, and Superman had encountered. Had they reformed? Or were they still out for world domination or revenge? In the case of Ariana Carlin, I said, no, she hadn't changed. Her love/obsession for Lex Luthor was as intense, all-encompassing, eternal, and warped as Lex's love/obsession had been for Lois Lane. And, just as Lex initially hid his evil behind a mask of good deeds, Ariana was able to hide her mental instability from everyone, even the parole board.
As for the character of Lynn, I thought that she was essentially a good person, driven/tricked/deceived into joining Ariana's plan. So, I made up a background for her that hopefully showed how vulnerable she had been to Ariana's manipulations. I also wanted someone that Lois could voice her concerns to about her new-found state of pregnancy and impending motherhood. Who better than someone who had been through all of that herself, and knew the highs, lows, trials, and tribulations that Lois would been facing? Besides, Lois didn't have my phone number or email addy <G>.
As for the computer game that has Jimmy and Clark hooked, well, that's just a little bit of my weird sense of humor coming out. Besides, why wouldn't a Kryptonian-raised-as-normally-as-possible become hoooked on a computer game? Men are just bigger boys. So are their toys <G> On an aside, I play a mean game of Tetris <G>
Anyways, that's how "The Ex-Files" came about. A *super* BIG thank you to Craig Byrne for his willingness to edit "The Ex-Files" and for putting up with my millions of rewrites and emails.
I hope you enjoyed this episode. I know I had a lot of fun writing it, and isn't that what Lois and Clark is all about? <G>
Thanks and Happy Holidays!
;) Julie Mack