By Nan Smith <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Submitted: June, 2004
Summary: Lois Lane has married Lex Luthor, and starts to realize what this will mean to her future life, and her happiness.
Disclaimer: The familiar characters and settings in this story are not mine. They belong to DC Comics, Warner Bros., December 3rd Productions and whoever else may have any legal right to claim them, nor am I profiting by their use. The story is based on the Lois and Clark script "House of Luthor" and all parts and ideas taken from that script are hereby credited to the writers of the show. Any new characters, settings, and any changes in the story belong to me.
"I now pronounce you man and wife."
Lois closed her eyes as the words sounded in her ears and her heart. Goodbye Clark. Goodbye Superman. She had made her decision with her head, not her heart, and her future was linked to Lex's now.
It was safer, she told herself as Lex kissed her, and made herself respond appropriately. Clark could have hurt her — *had* hurt her terribly — when he'd told her he loved her and then turned his back when she had refused him. He could have at least respected her decision. Instead, he had insisted that she was marrying a monster, that Lex was a criminal of hideous proportions, which was clearly ridiculous. How could he possibly know more about Lex than she did? And Superman had coldly rejected her when she had declared her love.
None of her friends were here. None of them. Not Perry, not Jimmy … nobody from the Daily Planet. Why were they all siding with Clark? She had been at the Planet longer than he had. Didn't that count for something? Could it be that they believed Clark? That they thought he was right and she was wrong? Why would they do that? They knew that she was the better journalist; even if Clark hadn't turned out to be the hack that she had assumed he was in the beginning, didn't they know that she knew Lex best, that he couldn't be what Clark had claimed?
But she had wanted him to come to her wedding. He had refused. He wouldn't come to see her marry a monster. He'd said it to her face. It had angered her at the time; but now …
'Oh, Clark, how I'm going to miss you.'
All the people smiling at her. At Lex.
A tiny flutter of panic began to rise in her throat … 'Maybe this wasn't such a good idea. Safety and happiness don't always go together. A bird in a cage is safe. Is that really what I want? But it's too late to change my mind now …'
How had they got out of the church so quickly? She didn't even remember walking out the door, and yet they were getting into the limousine, on their way to the huge wedding reception that Lex had arranged.
The little bud of panic burst suddenly into full bloom at the realization. Oh God, what had she done? She was married — married to Lex — married to the wrong man. She had made a mistake, a horrible mistake. She had married a man she didn't love for the safety, the security, and had thrown away any chance there might have been for happiness.
Clark, where was Clark? He wasn't here, of course, had said he wouldn't be here to see her married and now she would never see him again. How was she going to live, day after day, without Clark? No more pizzas at his apartment, no more joking and laughing with her best friend, no more happiness. Just formal courtesy between Lex and her, formal dinners, no love, no joy, no fun, no living. Her, playing the dutiful wife.
Oh God, she had really done it this time. She had jumped in again without checking the water level and now there was no one to save her. No Clark; no Superman. No Perry or Jimmy, even. She had finally taken a step too far, she had done something irretrievable. How could she have been so stupid?
Maybe she could tell Lex she had made a mistake, that she wanted an annulment. One glance at him and she shrank from the thought. Lex wouldn't let her go. Somehow that was beyond doubt in her mind. Lex hadn't got where he was by admitting defeat, admitting he was wrong. She was bound to him for the rest of her life, and she had no recourse.
The limousine was pulling up to the Lexor now. Why had it taken such a short time? They were racing toward the future, which she now looked at with dread. Why had she been so stupid to think that she could do this? How could she have been so blind to the love she had for Clark? How could she have believed that her relationship with Lex was enough to base a marriage on?
They were in the elevator, now. How had they got here? The enormous reception hall on the fortieth floor was fabulous, elegant, glittering. Waiters in formal suits, an orchestra that rivaled the Philharmonic … Oh God, this was going to be her life from now on. Glitter and elegance, no pizza with Clark, no investigations in the worst parts of Metropolis, no excitement, no thrill of the chase or the knowledge that she had exposed wrongdoing, no Mad Dog Lane … No Daily Planet … No Perry … No Clark. Oh God, no Clark, ever again.
She wanted to run screaming, but instead she nodded and smiled at her well-wishers, a false smile plastered on her painted mouth. All artificial, nothing real. 'Clark, get me out of this! Help, Superman! Somebody help me! I've made a mistake, I've done something stupid; why didn't I listen when Clark told me he loved me?' Now that possible future was gone. 'I could have had Clark and a little house in the city; instead I have thirty mansions in fourteen different countries and a twelve-car garage. I have butlers and servants and cooks. No take-out Chinese, no pepperoni pizza on a stakeout. Help, somebody! Help me, I can't do this!'
'The musicians are playing and Lex is leading me onto the floor for our first dance. I'm smiling at him and letting him guide me around the floor and he's smiling back. Inside my head I'm screaming. Why isn't it Clark leading me out? Why did I do this? Why did I have to be right every step of the way? Why didn't I listen to my heart?'
'What is Inspector Henderson doing here? And those police — and Perry, Jimmy … Jack. They came after all, but not Clark. Clark isn't here, never will be here …'
'What is Bill saying? Arrest? Lex is under arrest for crimes too numerous to mention … and Mrs. Cox in handcuffs. Clark was right. Clark was right all along and I couldn't see it because I had to be right. I couldn't admit he knew what I didn't.'
"… Sorry Lois… rain check … Something has come up …"
'What is Lex saying? Lex is gone with the police in pursuit and Perry has his arms around me but Clark isn't here.' "Where's Clark?"
"… Haven't seen him since yesterday …"
'Clark is gone. Clark wouldn't see me married to Lex. No, what is Perry saying?'
"… Wouldn't give up … determined to prove what Luthor was …"
'But it's too late. I married him anyway … wouldn't listen …'
How had they reached the sidewalk so fast? Perry's arm around her, and people pointing up, and screams. Oh God, a body hurtling down. 'This is a nightmare. It's Lex. Lex falling … Where's Superman? No sign of Superman anywhere. No sign of Clark … Clark! He looks ill, what have I done to him?' "Oh, Clark!"
His arms around her and somewhere behind her the dull, wet, meaty sound of a body impacting the concrete. He was leading her away, and somehow nothing else mattered. Not the sirens, not the commotion, not the babble of the spectators or the police whistles, or the official voices …
"Clark." All she could say was his name. "Oh, Clark …"
"Come on, Lois. This is no place for you …"
"… Sorry … so wrong … knew it the minute it was done … so glad you came …"
"Don't talk, Lois. We'll talk later. Come on, get in Perry's car. I'm taking you home."
Home. But I am home, she wanted to say. The first clear thought she had had in hours. Clark has always been home since we became friends. Clark will always be home.