Lives Unfinished

By Juli Hale <>

Rated PG

Submitted November 1998

Summary: Lois is devastated when a criminal vows revenge by killing her sister Lucy and her parents. But are they really dead?


Scene: A small dark cell in Metropolis State Prison.

The two inmates lay in their respective bunks; both lost in his own pensive thoughts. Each had seen the darkest side of life and each had succumbed to its vile temptations. Neither had realized that their own actions had been the cause of their demises. Both sought revenge.

"The reporter has to pay. She stuck her nose in my business one time too many. It's her fault I've been in this hell hole for almost five years!" He continued fuming, "I'm up for parole in three weeks, my time is coming-Lois Lane's is up!"


Scene: A bright early morning in Daily Planet Newsroom

Clark was filling Jimmy in on the details of Sunday afternoon's football game when he heard his wife's exasperated groan.

"Honey, something wrong?" (As if he didn't know.)

"Does this job have its downsides or what? I mean, long hours, dead-end leads, incompetent sources, not to mention the life-threatening criminal element, and now this! After all I've done to expose the criminals in this city — our laws can't even keep them in jail!" As she paced, she ranted, "Now I have to take the time from my busy day to go to the parole hearing of a man who has been in prison five years and who was sentenced to fifteen! It's not like the fact that he tried to kill me and half a dozen other people for getting in the way of his operation should be enough to keep the psycho in jail. Or not even that his 'operation' was selling drugs to teenage gang members. Nope — now he's obviously a model citizen ready to be unleashed … "

Clark interrupted, "Lois, Lois, honey, calm down. These things usually are just a matter of formality. Even with Superman's help this city has overcrowded prisons and the guys in charge have to search for ways to solve those problems. Even though it's inconvenient, once you testify, I'm sure they won't allow this guy back on the street if he's as bad as you say." He paused, "Who is it anyway?"

"Austin Malone," Lois sighed, "a real loser. It was right before you came to the Planet that I exposed him as the leader of a group responsible for the increased availability of drugs among teens in Hobbs Bay. He was like the Cost-Mart of illegal drugs — prices that the kids could afford and either use or resell themselves."

Clark watched her exasperation turn to disgust as she continued, "When he read his life story in my article, before the police could organize their investigation, he set up his friends to take the brunt of the fall. He probably would have gotten away clean, had his wife not left him with their two kids." She rolled her eyes. "Of course he blamed my interference for the break-up of his domestic life and came after me — after having severed his wife's car's brake lines. Fortunately, the ensuing car accident resulted in only scratches and bruises for his family and the police picked him up at my apartment shortly before he intended to feed me cookies with arsenic icing."

"Thank God for that," Clark muttered as he embraced his wife.


Scene: Two weeks later, Metropolis State Prison, focus on the two inmates.

"Well, Malone, I'm outta here. You sure you got everything under control?"

"Trust me. The parole panel is bought and paid for. My guys on the outside have the necessary pharmaceuticals waiting for you, along with a plane ticket to sunny California." Malone drawled with an evil grin, "The real question is, Harris, are you ready to live up to your end of the deal?"

"Let's go over this one more time, boss." Harris didn't notice Malone roll his eyes. "I get to California and get to Lucy Lane's apartment, right? How do we know that she will want to go out with me anyway? I mean, isn't that crucial for the plan to work? Why can't I just go straight to Lois Lane here in Metropolis? We could take her instead, couldn't we?"

"First of all, Harris, I call the shots here and the plan, my plan, is already underway. Lucy Lane is not known for her taste in men, thankfully, so you should be okay. If she resists, go ahead and drug her. It's just a matter of time before that happens anyway.

"You are not to go anywhere near the reporter. I don't want her, not yet. I want her to suffer the way she has caused me to suffer. You see, she was the cause of my family abandoning me, the reason I had to hurt them.

"I'm going to see that she loses her family, or at least thinks that she does, and I'm going to play a little game with her mind along the way. Our main concern, of course, will be Superman, and I've gone to great lengths to plan around his heroics. I've also researched every aspect of Lane's life.

"Fortunately, the capture of her parents went like clockwork. Since they were on vacation anyway, no one will even miss them until their youngest daughter's funeral."

Evil laughs resounded throughout the small prison cell.


Scene: One week later, Daily Planet newsroom.

Lois and Clark were both working diligently under their deadlines, both were confident that their latest story was about to break. Lois was still incensed that she had to leave soon for the parole hearing if she was to make it on time. Just as Clark lifted his head to remind her of the time, Lois' phone rang.

Normally, Clark would not have eavesdropped on Lois' conversation, knowing she would always fill him in later, but this time the look on her face got the better of him.

"I'm sorry, Mrs. Kent, I know this must come as a shock." The color had drained out of her face and she felt like she couldn't breathe. Thank God Clark was at her side, holding her.

"But, h-how?"

The anonymous voice on the phone continued, "All the we know for sure at this point is that she was on a date with a man that her neighbors had not previously seen before. Her car was found, deserted on the beach, along with the clothes that she had been reportedly wearing that night. They were torn and covered with blood. A shoe was found on the beach. From the position of her other personal effects, we have to assume her body washed away with last night's tide. I'm so sorry." The line went dead.

She looked at Clark as if he could provide some sort of alternate explanation, but all he could do was hold her. There were no words that could console. She whispered, "Lucy's dead. My sister's dead."


Scene: Bedroom, Lois and Clark's Brownstone.

Clark sat on the bed with Lois' head in his lap, her blind eyes staring at no one object. They had been silent for about an hour, Clark knowing that she wouldn't talk about what had happened until she was good and ready. Slowly, she sat up and took a deep breath. It was painfully obvious that she was trying to gather her composure before speaking.

"Mom and Dad are still on their African Safari. They were so looking forward to that trip. You know it's their first trip since they had gotten back together. I don't know exactly where they are, but they need to know … we have to tell them … "

"Honey, it's okay, I'll go get them as Superman as soon Jimmy and Perry get here to stay with you. You don't need to be alone right now. Since we don't know their exact location, it could take several hours to find them."

Lois looked at him with grateful eyes, "I would feel better knowing that they are on their way home. I'd like to be by myself with my memories of Lucy for a little while anyway. I need to prepare myself for when my parents get here — it will be harder on them than me and I'll have to be strong for them."

"And I'll be strong for you, my love."


Scene: Africa

Superman could not believe what he found. It was not possible. How could so much tragedy occur in such a short time? How could he tell Lois? Little did he know that Malone had orchestrated his plan around knowing what Superman was capable of and what he would find in Africa. One of the advantages of being a drug kingpin was having international contacts who tended to be less-than-moral.

When Superman finally found the tour group that the Lanes had been part of, the leader had told him that Dr. and Mrs. Lane had left the group a week and a half before. A search party had been assembled, but it was deemed that in the best safety interests of the majority, the group should continue their safari and notify the proper authorities at the first available instance. Lone tourists ran the risk of animal attack. Superman searched from the air for 45 minutes before he found what he had feared.

The Lanes' backpack had been a gift from Lois and himself upon their departure. Its contents were strewn around the base of a large tree. Traces of human blood were smeared against the trunk of the tree. The Lanes were gone.


Scene: Kansas farmhouse.

"Mom, Dad, I don't know how to tell her. I've never had to face anything like this before. How can I tell the woman I love, who just lost her sister that she's also lost her parents?"

Martha wrapped her arms around her son in a protective manner. She, too, was at a loss for words. She couldn't imagine the effect that it would have on her daughter-in-law, a woman who had only recently opened to the love of her family.

It was Jonathan who intervened with wisdom, "Clark, son, she needs you now more than ever. The love you two share will be what gets you both through this difficult time. Depend on that love, let it carry you through the rough waters ahead."


Scene: Lois and Clark's brownstone.

Lois had sent the reluctant Perry and Jimmy home minutes before. She needed time to collect herself before her parents got there. She was looking at old photo albums of her and Lucy as children. Lucy had been her only friend during their parents' divorce. They had depended on each other for support and sanity during that awful time. She wished with all her might that they had been closer these last years. She wished that Lucy could be alive to witness the regeneration of their parents' love. Lois was so engrossed in her thoughts that she only vaguely heard her husband land on the balcony and come into the living room with his passengers.

When Lois looked up expecting to see her parents, she saw Clark, Martha, and Jonathan, all looking at her very sympathetically. "Martha, Jonathan, I'm so glad you could be here, but Clark, where are my mom and dad? Oh, no, you couldn't find them! Now what will I do? We can't have a service without them. I need them to be here … " She stopped as she realized that the three were still just staring at her.

"Lois, I need to tell you something … " Clark stepped forward and attempted to lead her to the sofa.

She was becoming very apprehensive very quickly, and she refused to move from the spot in which she was standing. "Clark, where are my parents?"

"Lois, honey, something's happened. I think you need to sit down."

"Where are my parents???" Lois was on the verge of hysteria. "Tell me what's going on. Just say it. Say it!"

"They're gone, love. I don't know how to tell you this, so I'm just going to say it. They disappeared over a week ago. Apparently they got separated from their touring group. I'm so sorry, Lois, but … " Clark's heart was breaking.

"N-no, no, that's not possible. We need to go find them, I know that they're okay … " she attempted to get into Clark's arms and prepare for flight. "We h-have to hurry. Come on, let's go. Clark, I said, let's go!"

"Lois, honey, they are gone. I'm so sorry." He tried to hold her, to stroke her hair from her face, but she pushed him away in desperation.

"Stop saying that!! They are not gone, they're just lost. People get lost all the time. I know they're okay, they just need someone to find them. They need me to find them. I need them to be okay. I need Lucy. Oh my God, I need them, we have to go. Clark, please help me find them, please." She looked at him in search of some shred of hope. "P-please?"

Clark just stood there, holding his arms open to her, his strained expression telling her that he had found them. Lois turned as if to run away, to escape the pain of her loss, but only succeeded in sliding slowly to the floor. As realization sunk in, an inhuman cry escaped her lips, "NOOOOOO!"


Scene: Later, in Lois and Clark's bedroom.

Lois lay on her back on the bed, staring at the ceiling. She was beyond tears, beyond grief, lost in a sea of emotions that threatened to drown her very soul. As exhaustion overtook her, she slipped into a fitful sleep.

Feeling very helpless, Clark was downstairs with his parents, attempting to make the arrangements for the memorial service. Martha and Jonathan were actually making most of the arrangements, since Clark seemed to be past rational thought. Much like he did not know how to reach Lois, they did not know how to reach him. He could not believe how unfair life could be. Martha interrupted his reverie with a suggestion, "Sweetie, maybe you should take something up for Lois to eat. She probably hasn't had anything today and she really needs to keep up her strength. More than anything, I think your presence near her will help her the most." Clark nodded and started towards the kitchen to prepare a light meal for his wife.

As he started up the stairs with her tray, he heard Lois call out to him. In an instant, he was at her side, comforting her. "This can't be happening, Clark. I can't lose all three of them. We were just going to be a family again. There's still so much I have to say. I thought we would have so much more time. I didn't get to say goodbye or tell them … tell them … "

"Lois, baby, of course they knew you loved them, as much as they loved you. You had forgiven each other for things that happened in the past. Some people never get to come to terms with the past. I know it's hard, honey, but now is the time to concentrate on the good times, like the way our wedding brought your parents back together. Who would have thought that they would ever find each other again? I don't mean to be a cliche, but it's not the quantity of life that we lead, but the quality. And I believe that your parents were happy with each other, and Lucy was living her life the way she wanted to. She was happy and free."

Lois knew he was trying to help, but she just wasn't ready to accept that her family was gone. "There are no bodies. Couldn't there be some kind of big mistake?"

"I wish more than anything that that could be the case. However, all the evidence points to what we have been told. Lois, I can't stand to see you hurting like this! Is there anything that I can do to help you? I'd give the world away to ease your pain."

"Take me away from here. Somewhere above all of this." Clark spun into his suit, picked up his wife, and headed for the stars.


Scene: A dark, undisclosed location in Metropolis.

"Sam, what is happening here?? This is ridiculous, I mean, we are supposed to be on vacation for God's sake! Are you sure these Neanderthals that are holding us here aren't some of your old enemies? You aren't exactly known for keeping the best company, you know. Yep, I'm sure that's it. Seventeen years you were gone, we get back together, and now this …

"Ellen … dear … Shut up!! I have no idea who these people are, but I am quite sure that I have never made any of their acquaintances." Dr. Lane's patience with his hypersensitive wife was growing thin after almost two weeks of being cooped up in the makeshift prison that they were in. Just as he was about to continue an attempt to convince her that he was not to blame for this latest catastrophe in his life, the door to their cell opened and as their youngest daughter was forced in.

"Lucy!" both Lanes exclaimed with surprise.

"Mom, Dad, what's going on? How in the world did I get here? Where are we anyway?"

Austin Malone entered the room and calmly and firmly replied to Lucy's question, "Now, now, my dear. Everything will become clear shortly. You and your parents are going to help insure the demise of your obnoxious, nosy sister." As he spoke, he withdrew a needle and syringe and walked towards Lucy. "And thanks to this little persuader, there's nothing you can do to stop me!"


Scene: Three days later, after the memorial, Lois and Clark's brownstone.

Lois woke up alone. Instead of assuming that Superman was out saving the world as she would have normally, an unreasonable fear gripped her heart. What if something happened to him? What if I lose him too? "CLARK!! CLARK!! Please be okay … oh, God, where are you??"

Clark was returning from a routine burglary attempt which he successfully halted when he heard Lois' anguished calls for him. From a distance, he saw her step out onto the balcony outside their bedroom, a look of pure distress on her face. In the dark, she felt his presence before her eyes could focus, but that did not stop her from throwing herself into his arms. "I thought you were gone. Please don't leave me, Clark, I can't lose you. You're all I have. All I have."

The next morning, Clark got up and prepared to go to work. He made breakfast for Lois, arranged it on a tray, and carried it to the bed where she was still sleeping. She looked peaceful for the first time in days and Clark didn't like the idea of waking her, but was afraid that if he didn't see that she ate before he left that she wouldn't eat at all. Also, he didn't want her to wake to an empty house and relive the episode of the previous night. "It's time to wake up, sweetheart," he gently crooned, "breakfast is served."

"Oh, Clark, what time is it? I'm going to be late for work!!" She got up in a huff and scurried toward the bathroom. "Why did you let me sleep so long? Perry hates for us to show up late!"

"Lois, Perry knows that you need a few days to deal with what's happened. You can't push yourself right now, it's just not healthy." Clark watched her with growing concern, knowing that if she chose to argue the point with him, he was not likely to prevail.

"What I need is to keep busy, not to sit here another day to mope." She had on her determined look, "You can stand there and look worried, or you could go warm up the car while I find something to wear. Well, get!"


Scene: Daily Planet.

As Lois and Clark exited the elevator, Jimmy told Clark that Perry needed to see him in his office immediately. Clark sighed and headed that way. Perry was standing in his office, peering out through the blinds into his newsroom. Before Clark could say a word, Perry started, "What in sam hill is that girl doing here? I thought I told her to stay put!"

"Chief, you know Lois. She thinks that if she keeps busy, she won't have to deal with the pain. I thought she had gotten past holding her emotions inside like that, but she just hasn't been able to deal with reality yet. I just don't know, she loves her work, so maybe being here will help her get her through until she is ready to open up."

Perry turned from the blinds to face Clark. "That's not the reason I needed to see you Clark. I'm afraid we have another problem. Sit down, son." The younger man noticed the worry in the other's face. "In all the chaos, Lois wasn't able to make it to Austin Malone's parole hearing. I got word earlier this morning that due to lack of relevant testimony, he was freed from prison. Now, this is the last thing that that little lady needs to worry about right now, especially since it's well known that this shady Malone character has a personal vendetta against her. I wanted you to know to be on guard for Lois, don't let her out of your sight." Perry sighed and turned back to the window to the newsroom. "I love that girl like my own daughter. She's a strong one, but a person can only take so much. Take care of her, son."

"Thanks, Chief. You know that I will." The two men exchanged understanding glances when they both heard Lois scream.

"LUCY! Is that really you? Oh, thank God, I knew you couldn't be dead, where are you?" Lois was jumping up and down with excitement, but it was to be short lived. She held the telephone receiver in her hand so tightly that her knuckles were turning white. "Lucy? Lucy? Hello? Lucy, are you still there?

Clark pried the phone from her hands and listened very carefully. "Honey, there's no one on the phone. I think you must be mistaken. Lucy didn't call." He could tell she didn't want to believe him. "We both know she couldn't have, don't we? Are you sure you want to stay at work today? No one would blame you if you wanted to go home."

Lois, obviously very shaken, said, "No, no Clark, I'm not going home. Let's just get back to work." She sat down at her desk, trying to clear her thoughts enough to concentrate on the tasks at hand. A lot of work had piled up in the four days she had been absent. Her sources had left several messages that needed to be responded to quickly and she began by prioritizing those. As she worked, she sadly whispered so silently that only her husband heard, "It sounded like Lucy."


Scene: Undisclosed location, Metropolis.

"Good work, little sister," Malone drawled as he took the phone out of Lucy's hands, "but now it's time to really get down to business. And this time, mama and papa have to bring home the bacon."


Scene: Outside Daily Planet, after work.

As she and her husband were heading to dinner, Lois pondered her disappointment that it had turned out to be a slow news day. She desperately wanted some sort of distraction to get her mind off of the now infamous telephone call. If one more person looked at her with that sympathetic-I-wonder-if-she'll-crack look, she would probably crack. She had been so convinced that it was Lucy on the other end of the line. "Probably just wishful thinking."

Reading her thoughts, Clark replied, "There's still tomorrow. Something always turns up. Maybe Bobby will come through for us. You know, we could even start a new series that I've had in the back of my head for a while now but that we haven't had time to work on — something in terms of the exponentially increasing population of Metropolis as the crime rate has declined in recent years … "

Clark uncharacteristically continued to ramble on about his idea as an obvious attempt to divert her thoughts, but as he did, a couple at the cafe they were approaching caught her attention. The older man and woman were both almost disguised, full with sunglasses, hats, and long coats. However, the closer Lois got to them, the more familiar they seemed. As Clark paused his speech to tell the hostess that they wished to be seated in the non-smoking section, the couple stood and started for the exit. As they were leaving, Clark stopped rambling and got a familiar look on his face. "Uh-oh, honey, explosion in Hobbs Bay."

Lois, almost grateful for his impending absence, immediately told him to go. As soon as he disappeared, she ran back across the street to her Jeep, intent on following the mysterious couple. Am I losing my mind? What is it about them that's so familiar? A million questions went through her mind during the car trip toward Metropolis beach.

As is common in the New England area, rocky cliffs loomed high above the actual sandy beach. Lois had barely noticed how the hectic city traffic dwindled down to almost solitude on the access roads in the outskirts of Metropolis. At this time of year not many people were eager to be on the cold windy waters. Lois watched as the sedan that the two were driving slowed at a curve in the road and pulled over onto a scenic overlook of the ocean. She, too, pulled over behind them, her need to discover their identities overriding the inhibitions that she normally would have had while following strangers. The people stepped out of the car, removed their glasses, and looked directly at Lois. Then, they turned and quickly started making their way up the rocks.

Lois sat in her Jeep, too stunned at first to move. The couple, they weren't strangers, they were her Mother and Father! They weren't dead, they weren't lost! With a burst of newfound energy, she got out of her vehicle and ran towards them. She called out to them, but they only moved faster. The sun was setting quickly, it had been dusk when she first saw them. As the group continued higher up the rocks, now an uncomfortable climb, it became very dark. Lois was intent on reaching her parents and nothing was going to stop her. She could barely see three feet in front of her, but she the place she was standing high above the ocean was now level. The only light was the reflection of the moon off of the water, or was it the reflection of the city's lights distantly glowing in the dark?

Despair overtook her because she feared that she had once again lost them. "MO-THER, DAD-DY!! WHERE ARE YOU??" Just then, she felt strong, unfamiliar hands roughly push her towards the edge of the cliff.

She fell for what seemed like a long time. Images of her childhood flashed before her eyes, images of the good times she had shared with Lucy and her parents. It was the image of her husband that brought her back to reality, and the knowledge that she was not ready to leave him. As icy ocean air sliced through her, she screamed, "SUPERMAN, HELP!"

Before her cry fully made its way out her mouth, two strong arms wrapped themselves around her. A moment earlier, she had been falling but now she was heading upwards. "Lois, what happened? Are you okay? What are you doing out here in the dark?" She explained to Clark how she had followed two people who turned out to be her parents and how someone had pushed her from the cliff, insisting that he help her continue searching for her mom and dad. Clark landed at the Jeep, which was now parked by itself on the side of the road.

"Sweetheart, you've been under so much stress, are you sure you saw what you think you saw?" She stared at him in disbelief, amazed that he dared to not believe her. He noticed this and continued, "I heard you calling for your parents while I was putting out the last of the fires started by the explosion I told you about. I immediately flew towards the sound of your voice. As I got nearer, I x-rayed the whole area and saw nothing, except for you falling." His expression was pained, "Lois, I'm so worried about you. All I want is to help you cope with your loss, but I've never felt so helpless. I'm used to being able to rescue you from any physical danger, but this time, I'm scared that nothing I can do can save you." He pulled Lois tighter into his arms, and whispered, "Let's go home."

Clark had spun from his suit and was driving himself and Lois home in the Jeep. Most of the drive was spent in silence, but as they neared home, Lois turned to him, "Clark, you are the most understanding, caring man I've ever met. You are also one of the most rational. I know it seems that all this tragedy has affected my thinking, but you have to believe me, I am perfectly sane. Sad … heartbroken … emotional, but definitely sane. We have seen so many strange and wondrous things since we've been together and we've been through so much. We know each other better than we know ourselves." They pulled up to the brownstone. "Clark, look at me, really look. I know what I saw tonight, and I know what I heard this morning on the phone. It seems impossible, but what with us isn't? Whoever is doing or causing this to happen to me is assuming that no one will believe me. That every one will think I'm crazy." Tears filled her eyes, "I hope that they have underestimated you."


The next morning, The Daily Planet.

When Jimmy and Perry came into the newsroom, it was obvious from the work on Lois and Clark's desks that they had been there quite a while. Clark was glad to see Jimmy, "Hey, buddy, I need everything you can get on the murder investigation of Lucy Lane." Jimmy looked uncertainly from Clark to Lois, wondering what was going on, but then quickly made his way to get started.

An hour later as Lois walked by the fax machine, disappointed because as of yet nothing had turned up, she noticed in passing the report on the previous night's explosion in Hobbs Bay. A suspect named Robert Harris was picked up for the apparent bombing. The haunted look in the eyes of the man in the mug shot briefly held her attention until she heard Jimmy telling Clark everything he had found from the authorities in California. " … all they really have is Lucy's neighbors' account of what her date looked like. They are e-mailing me an artist's rendition of the suspect now."

The three stood behind the computer on Clark's desk as the attachment of the drawing slowly loaded onto the screen. Lois gasped in recognition of the same man who was suspected of the bombing in Hobbs Bay. Clark and Jimmy watched as she went to the fax machine and retrieved the police report that she had seen earlier. "Clark, we have a lead!"

"It turns out that Robert Harris was the cell mate of guess who — Austin Malone — for four years. He had had a pretty hard life before he got picked up for stealing electronics." Clark continued, "According to our sources on the inside, Malone sort of took Harris under his wing, and Harris became very loyal to him."

Lois interrupted, "And Malone definitely wanted to get back at me. I had completely forgotten about his parole hearing. I assume he was released?"

"You bet he was! We can also assume that he is behind Lucy's mur … uh … disappearance, and that Harris' bombing last night was a ploy to keep Superman busy while … "

" … while someone attempted to kill me using my parents as bait. But why would my parents and Lucy be in on it with them? Why didn't they try to warn me or tell me what was going on?"

"Well, we know that Malone is a drug kingpin — someone who would have international connections, even in Africa. Who knows what types of drugs he can get his hands on. I'll bet that everything your parents and Lucy have done has been under the influence of some illegal substance."

"Which means that time is of the essence. If Malone thinks that we are on to him, I'm sure he wouldn't hesitate to really hurt them." Lois cringed and then paused in thought, "Clark, last night when Superman rescued me, he said that he had x-rayed the area and not found anyone. But, someone definitely pushed me and my parents definitely were there. What if … "

"What if there is an enclosure lined with lead near the spot where you were pushed?" Clark reached for his tie, "There's only one way to find out."

"Not without me, mister!" Lois hurried out behind him.


The cliffs.

From far above the cliffs, Superman looked at the area where he had rescued Lois the previous night. As they had suspected, there was a fuzzy spot in the cliff that his vision could not penetrate. He sat Lois down in a safe place, which she vehemently objected, and flew back to the obstruction. Like a drill, he bored through the side of the cliff, through the lead lining of Malone's hideout, and directly into the holding cell that housed Lois' family.

"Superman!! Am I glad to see you!" Ellen Lane exclaimed. "It's about time, you know. We've been couped up here forever!

"Uh, Superman, what she means to say is 'Thank You'." Sam Lane and Superman exchanged understanding glances. Lucy, is Loisesque fashion, only sighed and rolled her eyes. Weeks in a 9' by 9' cell with her mother obviously did not agree with her.

"Are you all alright?"

Dr. Lane was the first to answer, "We're still a little groggy. They administered some sort of drug, to which we each suffered short-term memory loss. From what I can tell, it was some sort of suggestive pharmaceutical, but it doesn't seem to have any lasting effects. Do you know what is going on here? And why wasn't Lois taken like the rest of us? Is she okay?"

"Oh, yes, Lois is fine, but I'll have to explain everything else to you later. Right now, I have a criminal to nab." With that, he blurred into the next room, surprising both Malone and one of his henchmen.

"Superman, how did you … I mean … how did you know where to find … "

"Well, Malone, you should really learn to think twice when you decide to harm Lois Lane. She has friends in high places, so to speak. Which brings us to the fact that you're due back in Metropolis State Prison. They're expecting you, even. Kidnapping, attempted murder, administering illegal drugs, well, you get the idea — all these activities are stressful on your probation." He swiftly tied the two up and set them outside for the police to easily collect.


Later, at Lois and Clark's brownstone.

"Guys, I'm so happy to have you here. The thought of losing you was so terrible. There was so much I wanted to say to you, so much I realized that we had all taken for granted."

Dr. Lane hugged his oldest daughter. "Well, princess, life just wasn't finished with us yet, but I am so sorry you had to go through that."

"Well, Daddy, at least I did have Clark. He believed me when anyone else probably would have just made a reservation for one to a padded room." She looked at her husband with love evident in her eyes.

Ellen broke the silence. "Lois, was our memorial service nice? Your tastes sometimes concern me. I have this book I'll lend you that lists the proper ways to plan for funerals and how to do things like arrange the flowers … "



"What?" Ellen looked at her daughter and husband wide-eyed.

Lois gave her mom a big squeeze and a kiss on the cheek. "Oh, nothing, nothing at all."