A Cautionary Tale

By Tank Wilson <tankw1@aol.com>

Rated: G

Submitted: January 2005

Summary: Clark has some sound advice for Lois - and everyone else - in this vignette.

***

Clark Kent burst through the door to room 521 of Metropolis General Hospital. The sight of his wife, all bandaged, cast in plaster, and strung up with ropes and pulleys caused an involuntary gasp to escape from his mouth. He'd already talked to the doctor. She had a broken leg, a broken arm, and a mild concussion, along with assorted cuts and bruises.

He rushed to her side. "Lois, are you all right?"

She turned her sore, bruised face toward her concerned husband. "No, not really. I'm pretty banged up, but the doctor says I will eventually be fine. I just have to stay here for a while." Lois frowned while giving herself the once over. "I think I'll go nuts lying about in this hospital bed." She reached over with her good hand and stroked Clark's cheek. "It will be easier if you visit me a lot."

"You know I'll be here as much as I can."

Lois took a moment to study her husband. She knew that look, he was obsessing again. "Clark, I know that look. There was nothing you could have done. I thought I'd convinced you that you can't be everywhere, and that sometimes you won't be there to prevent an accident. Even one involving me."

Clark grimaced as he returned her comforting gesture. "It's not that. I know I can't be everywhere, at all times."

Lois wrinkled her forehead. "Well what… you don't blame Jimmy do you? I mean, sure he was driving, it was his car. But there was nothing he could do. It happened too fast. I doubt even I could have avoided the accident if I had been driving." Lois clenched her fist a couple times. "How is Jimmy doing by the way?"

Clark reached over and brushed the hair from Lois' forehead. "Jimmy's fine. Just some cuts and bruises, and no I don't blame Jimmy. I know that he couldn't have done anything."

Lois was confused. "Well, Clark, I know that look, you are upset and obsessing about something."

Clark stepped back from the bed as he stared at his wife. She was the most precious thing in the world to him and he'd nearly lost her, to carelessness.

"Lois, I read the accident report before coming over here." Clark paused, drawing his lips into a tight line before continuing, "You weren't wearing your seatbelt."

Lois drew in a slow breath. Clark was upset with her! She was lying, all battered and bruised, in this hospital bed. She was feeling very sorry for herself, and looking forward to some tender loving care from her husband and here he was lecturing her about wearing a seatbelt.

"I forgot." Lois pouted.

Clark heaved a heavy sigh. "Lois, you were thrown from the car; it was a miracle you weren't killed!"

Lois knew Clark was right, but she felt like she needed to defend herself. "It's not like I never use my seat belt. I always buckle up when I drive. I just sometimes forget to when I'm only a passenger."

"I know, honey." Clark's hand found Lois' cheek. "Most people do. Unfortunately, a passenger in an automobile accident is much more likely to sustain serious injury than the driver. That's why it's so important that they buckle up too."

A few tears escaped from Lois' eyes. "I'm sorry."

Clark wiped at her tears with his thumb. "I know you are. Just promise me that you'll make it a habit to buckle up any time you are in a car. We both have jobs that can place us in danger, and there are plenty of people in this town who would love to rid the world of Lois Lane, investigative reporter. All I'm asking is that you don't help them. I have to keep myself from shaking when I stop and think how close I came to losing you."

Lois met Clark's intense loving stare with one of her own as a small smile tugged at the corners of her mouth. "I think I'd remember better if you sealed your argument with a kiss."

Clark leaned over and obliged the lady.

(Author's note: I feel I need to explain the point of this little vignette. I got a call Monday night. My best friend from high school has a 17 year old daughter who, I was informed, had been in a terrible auto accident over the weekend. She was riding with some of her friends when it happened. She wasn't wearing her seatbelt and was thrown from the car. My buddy wasn't as lucky as Clark. His daughter died. The other occupants of the car were injured, some seriously, but they all survived. I have to attend the funeral tonight.

This got me to thinking. I'm very good about buckling up my seat belt when I get into my car, but like most people I seldom do when I'm a passenger in someone else's vehicle. Consider this Cautionary Tale, a plea to everyone out there, to think about it. Buckle up. It's not only the law, but it just might save your life.)

THE END