What Matters Most

By nina6 aka Maria Eduarda Eloy <nina6@portugalmail.com>

Rated: PG

Submitted: September, 2007

Summary: When big boys are STILL boys, Lois questions her choices in life.

This is my first fanfic and my first try at writing something in English. When I first posted it on the lcmbs it was full of mistakes, but thankfully there was a very kind soul who offered to be my BR. Thank you, Elisabeth!!! I loved all your side comments, your suggestions and your patience while beta reading for me!!

LabRat, I really appreciated the time you spent editing this story for the archive, even though you were busy on the sidelines. Thank you so much!!!!)

And, of course, thanks to everybody on the mbs who gave such wonderful comments and convinced me that this story was worth posting, as well as my best friend Patricia who read the story and liked it (even though she had no idea who Dan was)!

Disclaimer: All characters belong to their creators and whoever owns the copyrights. The idea for this story was mine but since I'm not making any money out of it don't bother suing. ;)


There was no way she could figure out how things had gotten to this. What was supposed to be an intimate dinner with Clark at her apartment had turned into a verbal spat between him and Dan, who (once again) had shown up completely unexpectedly.

Sighing in defeat at the sight of two fully grown men arguing about petty things and never getting to the point, Lois turned her back on them and tried to think of something to do to occupy herself.

There was no way that she would be in the middle of that — taking sides. She was sick of defending Clark to Dan and vice-versa. So far, that had gotten her nowhere. Clark sulked and Dan bragged whenever the other's name was mentioned. Lois was tired of it, and now having the confrontation inside her home was just too much to handle.

In an attempt to prevent an incoming headache, Lois plopped down on her couch and randomly picked a magazine from a stack on the floor. The first thing that came to hand was one that Lucy had left behind on her last trip to Metropolis. Trying to muffle the sound of Clark and Dan's voices, she opened the magazine and started perusing the pages without really noticing what she was reading.

<Seven tips to cut your own hair like a pro.>

'Yeah, right. As if…'

Lois turned the page.

<Chihuahua: Your bag's essential.>

'Oh, come on! Who wears a dog inside their bag?! They probably just pee and smell the same as other dogs and you end up looking a complete idiot with a smelly, naked animal inside your designer bag!'

She turned two more pages, only reading the main titles and discarding them immediately — discovering to her surprise that this was a great way of not listening to the guys fight.

"Should buy one of these sometime…" she muttered under her breath as another page alerted her to the evil secondary effects of bananas.

<Oedipus and Electra or how we end up becoming our parents.>


Now that was just not possible. She could not and would not end up like her mother! What was this all about?

<Have you ever questioned yourself about your choices in romantic partners? What is it you look for in them? Is it their eyes or their smile? Is it the way they talk to you like you're the most important person in the world? Or their uncanny sense of humour?>

<Well, Clark does make me feel like I'm special and that he cares. He is brave and strong in more ways than one — but also sensitive…and mysterious. I'm sure there's so much more to him than meets the eye.>

<Not that I was *searching* for all that. Not exactly. He just… found me.>

<Now Dan…I have to admit he does have a *unique* sense of humour and he's bold — going after what he wants. And he is a survivor in his own sort of way…>

<But sometimes I have no idea why I like them…>

She lifted her eyes from the pages and surreptitiously looked at Clark and Dan.

Yep, still fighting.

She resumed reading.

<Have you ever wondered why you search for those particular things in your other half? What about your parent figures? Which qualities do you admire most in them?>

<Well, that one's hard…>

<Mother…I guess I admire her courage to go to rehab and admit her alcoholism.>

<And Daddy…I always admired his intelligence.>

<And of course there's Perry… I always liked his survival skills and courage in the pursuit of a story. And also the way he cares about others without them even noticing.>

Lois smiled, thinking about her surrogate father. If it wasn't for his support she sometimes wondered if her life would be the same. And those Elvis stories were something. Lois often questioned whether they were all made up just to illustrate some point. Probably.

But still, they were one of Perry's quirks and it made him special.

<Ever heard about the Oedipus complex? The boy who loved his mother so much that he was jealous of his father? Electra's complex is very similar, only related to girls.>

<Now if you are a mentally healthy grown-up woman or man you will be wondering what this is all about. Of course, you don't want to become your mother or father, but you feel that you know what to expect from people if they resemble your family. So you search outside your family for replacement models that match your family.>

<The fact is that we spend most of our lives searching for security, and the first place we ever felt safe was with our parents or with our parent figures. Following that pattern, once we grow up, we try to imitate the models that seemed to work in the past. Therefore we try to find the qualities that represented our mother or father in the people that surround us and especially in someone we wish to spend the rest of our lives with.>

Once more, Lois lifted her eyes from her reading.

She was a little stunned and couldn't help staring into the void — questioning her choices in life. Her parents, Claude, Lex, Clark, Dan, Lucy's boyfriends, Perry, Paul and countless others paraded in a restless spot of her mind, melting into each other.

It was scary.

Paul was a womanizer, and she had been hopelessly attracted to him.

Claude's features resembled her father's. His eyes, his gestures…why hadn't she figured it out then?

And Lex…he was probably one of the smartest men she had ever met.

Dan was as arrogant as her father…

Lucy's boyfriends also followed the pattern. They all had the worst sides of Sam Lane. It just couldn't be possible that she had been attracted to them because of that.

But Clark… He was different. He had to be. He was intelligent, but he was not as arrogant about it as her dad.

Even if she loved him for the fact that he was her equal in so many ways, that wasn't what counted. He made her feel wanted, something her father had never accomplished. And he was faithful. She would put her life in his hands without a heartbeat's thought.

Maybe it was true that she was looking for safety. After all, her almost wedding to Lex had been a sad attempt to find a safe harbour in the middle of the storm that her life had become back then.

But that didn't mean anything! It just wasn't possible that she wanted a man who mistreated her like her father had done to her mother.

Ignoring her doubts, she continued reading once more.

<Maybe you are wondering, if that is so logical, why so many relationships fail? Maybe what attracted you to that person were the wrong qualities.>

<Everybody has blacks and whites and grays. You just have to choose what is best for you. Focus on the best and not on the worst.>

<Have you already thought about the best qualities of your parents? If so, that is what you should search for. Now connect the dots and you'll see that it makes sense.>

<We all aim for happiness. You don't have to be like your parents. You can be better. So just be happy.>

Lois frowned.

Was that really true? Was there hope after all?

Still, that also meant that she somehow resembled the mothers of the men that she had dated throughout the years.

That was creepy at first thought — or maybe not.

Martha, for instance, was someone she greatly admired and someone she wouldn't mind being like. If Clark sensed some of his mother's qualities in her, she couldn't help but being flattered.

Maybe it was true…

Maybe Clark did resemble the best of her male models…after all, even her father could be a kind man — just like Perry and her uncle Mike…

Lois was called out of her reverie by the sound of Clark's voice saying goodbye to her. Before she could react, he had gone out the door and slammed it behind him.

She had absolutely no idea of what the guys were arguing about and what had made Clark so mad, but the mere presence of Dan seemed to have that effect on Clark.

It didn't matter. Her choice was made from the start, even if she didn't know it at the time.

Surprising Dan, she ran out the door and after Clark. There was no way he would escape.

He had always been her better choice. Where the others' defects attracted her, his best qualities called out to her heart, surpassing all of her bad choices. It wasn't hard loving him or being loved by him, either.

So far, he had taught her how to love again, and she felt happy.

That was what mattered the most after all. Wasn't it?