Submitted: November 2022
Summary: Lois tries to comfort Clark after Mayson’s death in the second season episode “Lucky Leon.” Will he let Lois in on his secret? Or will he push her away even more?
Story Size: 1,781 words (10Kb as text)
Notes: Thank you to ksarasara for helping me think this through and the quick BR’ing. The title comes from the song ‘Head Games’ by Foreigner.
I don’t know, I don’t know if it’s real
Been a long night and something ain’t right
You won’t show, you won’t show how you feel
Foreigner: Head Games
Lois stood behind Clark as he unlocked the door to his apartment. It had been a long night, full of possibility and despair. After their talk about their date and Lois slamming the door in his face, they shared an earth-shattering kiss. It had been interrupted, though, by a terrible bomb that had killed Mayson Drake.
After talking to the police and the paramedics, Lois guided Clark into a taxi back to his apartment. He was solemn the entire way, his shoulders slumped, and tears in his eyes. She couldn’t leave him alone, not in his time of need.
Now she followed him into his apartment, not sure what to do next.
“Lois, you don’t need to come inside with me,” he sputtered, the first words he said since before their kiss.
“You wouldn’t want me to be alone if the shoe was on the other foot,” Lois responded, looking up into his eyes. “I already made one mistake with you, I’m not going to do it again.”
He went down the stairs slowly without turning on the light. He looked down at his hands and noticed the blood on them once again. The paramedics had even asked him if he was hurt, but he had just shaken his head. Lois had to tell them it was Mayson’s blood.
“How about you go clean up and I’ll make us some tea,” Lois suggested as she removed her blue blazer, putting it over the back of the couch.
Clark looked over at her for a moment then walked toward his bedroom. All he really wanted to do was be alone, but he knew when Lois got like this, there was no stopping her.
While he started walking through his bedroom, he removed his blazer and threw it on the bed. Clark stopped instantly, looking down, he remembered the torn oxford shirt underneath. His mind flashed back to Mayson feeling the spandex under the torn shirt. The look on her face when she realized who he really was. All of those emotions flooded back to him. Mayson could not stand Superman, and when it came down to it, he was exactly what she thought he was. He wasn’t fast enough and didn’t save her. Clark fell on his bed, his hands covering his face, and sobbed.
Lois was busy putting the kettle on the stove when she heard Clark break down. She had never heard him cry before. Now he was crying for a woman he cared for, maybe even loved, that had died in his arms. Lois rushed toward the bedroom, kneeling in front of Clark. She put her hand on his knee.
“It’s okay, I’m here,” she whispered before standing up and sitting next to him. She began to rub his back. Slow circles on his lower back, just letting him cry.
“I wasn’t fast enough,” he mumbled. “She was right, I wasn’t a hero.”
“You didn’t know,” Lois responded leaning onto his shoulder. This was tearing her apart. “She knew you loved her.”
Instantly, he stiffened and the tears stopped. He sat up straight and knew he had to tell Lois the truth. He felt like he could feel his heartbeat in his throat. The pounding in his head clouded everything.
“Earlier today at lunch, she told me she loved me,” Clark stated sternly.
After a brief pause, Lois reached for his hand and asked, “What did you say?”
“Nothing. You had called about the shipment, so I rushed off just after she said it,” he admitted slumping his shoulders.
“Clark, I know you cared about her. I’m sorry for your loss,” Lois declared, reaching for his hand.
“I cared for her, but I didn’t love her. Not like -,” he began to say before saying too much. He looked down at their joined hands, then looked at Lois. “I’m sorry.”
“For what?” she asked, looking at him with sincerity. “There is no place I would rather be than here with you.”
“Thank you,” he muttered before realizing he still had Mayson’s blood on his hands. He had also forgotten about the torn shirt. He heard the sound of the kettle and let go of Lois’ hand. “I better get cleaned up.”
Lois gave him a small smile and let go of his hand before he stood up and walked away. She went into the kitchen and got the tea ready. When he came back into the living room moments later she was setting two mugs of tea on the coffee table. His hair was wet and he was in a pair of black sweatpants and a burgundy t-shirt.
“Lois, you really didn’t have to go to all of this trouble,” he repeated from earlier as he sat down on one side of the couch.
“Clark, how often have you done the same thing for me after a long day? Why can’t you just accept my gesture?” she wondered, sitting down from him.
“There’s something I need to tell you,” he said before taking a sip of the hot tea. He needed to be honest with her. Clark needed to tell her everything before she had the same fate as Mayson. Putting the mug down, he turned slightly on the couch toward her. “I wasn’t in love with Mayson. I never was. Yes, I cared for her, but -.”
“Clark, I love you, too,” she whispered, reaching for his hand. Last night on their date, she wanted to tell him. She wanted to let him into her apartment and kiss him senseless. Yet, all of her insecurities boiled over and she ended up slamming the door in his face. After losing him in the warehouse earlier in the night, she couldn’t imagine a life without him in it. Fortunately, after the kiss they shared on the sidewalk, she knew exactly what she felt.
“What?” Clark stuttered, as his heart started racing.
“I made a mistake last night slamming the door on you. I know this isn’t the right time to tell you after what happened to Mayson. I was scared. I am scared. What if I lose my best friend? My partner? After seeing what happened to Mayson, I don’t want to lose you. But when you held her in your arms, my heart broke for what I could have lost. I mean I don’t even know how you heard the bomb,” Lois babbled, her hands moving around. “You got to her car so fast. One minute we were kissing, then you were gone. I can’t understand what happened. How did you even know she was in trouble?”
“Lois,” he blurted out louder than he intended. She stopped suddenly and looked into his dark eyes. She could get lost in those eyes of his. “I heard the ticking of the bomb while I was kissing you.”
Her head tilted to the side, not understanding for a brief moment. Suddenly, everything clicked, such as why she couldn’t find him in the warehouse, why he heard the timer on the bomb, and how he got to Mayson’s car so fast.
“You’re -,” she mumbled before standing up and walking away from the couch. She looked around the apartment. The moments in her head started replaying all the times he ran off, the excuses, the disappearances, and why Superman and Clark were never in the same place.
“I wanted to tell you before,” Clark admitted, “especially after you agreed to go out with me. I mean after our almost first date, I didn’t even go out with Mayson until lunch today.”
“I get it. In the beginning, you didn’t know if you could trust me. Then there was all of that stuff with Lex. Oh my,” Lois stammered as she stepped back and covered her mouth. “I told you that I just wanted to be friends, then threw myself at Superman.”
Lois’ body froze in place, she started sweating, and her heart started racing. She had broken her best friend’s heart that day in the park, then told Superman that she could love him if he was a normal person. And now she knew why he told her no.
Clark could see how physically shaken she was at remembering that day in the park. It had broken his heart when she turned him down that day. But he had decided that he would rather be her friend, her partner, than lose her forever. He reached for her hand and she pulled away.
“How could you even forgive me for what I did,” Lois cried as she lowered her head.
“Honey, there was nothing to forgive,” he responded, once again reaching for her. This time she didn’t flinch away from him. He took her in his arms and held her. “I knew then that neither of us was ready for anything more. You needed your partner then and I made it more complicated by admitting my feelings.”
“I needed my best friend. You were always there for me, even after finding out the truth about Lex,” she confessed as she laid her head on his shoulder.
“I wanted us to get back to being partners and best friends. So that summer, I stood back and let you come to me when you needed me,” he recalled, remembering the weeks it took for them to get back to some normalcy as the Daily Planet was being rebuilt.
“What do we do now?” Lois wondered, pulling slightly away and looking up at him. “I mean we can’t forget everything that happened.”
“No, we just take things slow. You can ask me anything you want, just know that I might have to fly off at the last minute, but I’ll always come back,” he admitted, covering her cheek with his hand.
“No more lies,” she murmured, leaning into his touch.
“No more lies,” he repeated as his lips met hers slightly. They still had so much to say, but right now nothing else mattered. The head games were over after the tragic night they had. No time had ever been right. Until now.