By Poison Ivy
Summary: Seven years into their marriage, Lois and Clark realize they have fallen out of love. A WHAMmy story written in response to the fanfic "A Winter's Tale."
Author's notes: This is based on the fanfic that was sent out not too long ago called A Winter's Tale. It could even be a continuation, I guess. You're gonna kill me for this…
"I say we go at it from the position of the woman! She's the victim!"
"But Lois, there are millions of articles out like that! If we write it from the position of the murderer, it would strike a chord with the public; they would see things from a different perspective, and it would help them to understand different situations better."
"Are you CRAZY, Clark?! People won't want to read an article that promotes murder!—"
"— But, Lois—"
"Let me finish!"
"Because there's a robbery two blocks away. Just… just do whatever you want." Tiredly, almost to himself. "That's what we always do anyway." Calling to her as he walked backwards to the elevators. "Lois Kent always has to do things her way! And screw what other people want!"
"Clark!" But he was gone. Lois whispered angrily at the closing elevator doors, "And Clark Kent always puts total strangers above his own marriage." She felt the hot tears raising in her eyes, and barely managed to hold them off until she was in the seclusion of the ladies' lounge.
The lounge, which was a small room one walked through to get to the ladies' restroom, was empty. Lois dropped down into a soft sofa and cried into her hands. She was so *angry* with him! The incident at her desk a few minutes ago alone wasn't so bad, but it was only a tip of a huge red-angry iceberg that had grown in-between Lois and her husband for the past few years. The words they had shouted at each other, painfully loudly, were all in regards to past arguments.
The door to the lounge opened and an elderly woman Lois didn't know very well but remembered as Patty came in. "Hi, Patty," Lois said tiredly, and gave her a begging look that said, "please, just leave me alone."
Patty ignored the look and sat down next to Lois. "Hi, honey," Patty answered in her soft Irish accent, putting her wrinkled hand on Lois's cheek in sympathy. "We all heard ye and Clark fighting, and I thought maybe you wanted to talk about it."
Lois was about to turn her down, but instead answered in despair, "Everything has just gone wrong! Clark and I used to be happy and perfect and all, but now it's like the littlest thing sets him off… sets both of us off." Patty was about to speak but Lois trudged on. "There's been one thing in particular that has been bothering us. We've been married seven years now, and still we haven't had children. We think the problem is on his side, and I said that maybe we should do something about it, go to a doctor or something, but he kept saying we could do it on our own. We've argued about it, I've suggested adoption or artificial insemination, and he won't even hear of it. I think it hurts his ego. Eventually I stopped bringing it up because somewhere along the line I stopped wanting children." A sob escaped her lips but Lois pressed on. "And I think he doesn't want children anymore either, and seven years ago that's all he wanted. Now we don't even have sex anymore." Lois leaned back against the couch and cried harder.
"Are ye even sleeping in the same bed?"
Lois shook her head. "Sometimes we do, but for the past week one of us has slept on the sofa, and yesterday he walked out after dinner. I don't know for sure, but I think he slept at the Olsens'." Lois stopped talking there and just cried. Patty put her arm around Lois and the younger reporter cried into the woman's shoulder.
"But you are being faithful, I hope." Lois nodded. "Well, good, then at least you don't have that extra bit between ye." The woman paused a minute and then said, "Lois, I think perhaps the two of you aren't made to be together."
Lois looked up at Patty in horror, but then nodded in submission. "I've been thinking that, but this is the first time someone actually said it."
"I'm sure Clark has been wondering the same thing. You both have very strong personalities, and neither of you are ever ready to admit you are wrong. And infertility always makes things more difficult. But darling, no one is made for each other; the world just doesn't work that way. And every couple goes through their bouts of unhappiness. I've been married thirty-five years, and I know what a try it is to keep a household from falling down around your ears."
"Yeah," Lois whispered, "I think you're right." Her tears had abated somewhat, and a ghost of a smile flashed across her lips. "We've had times when we weren't talking to each other, and we can work this one out. Thanks, Patty."
As Lois left the lounge, one detail nagged her. The times that she and Clark weren't talking too each other were almost always over trivial things, and those periods ended within a week, and they always had made make-up love. But they hadn't expressed any sort of affection in a very long time, and now Lois was beginning to wonder if Clark was just another Lex Luthor.
"… No, mom, I'm not sure if I love her anymore," Clark said tiredly into the receiver.
As his mother was expressing worry and sympathy that he didn't really want to hear right then, Clark heard Lois come into the apartment. "Um, mom, she's home, I've gotta go now… Yes, I'll talk to her about separate vacations… love you too, bye."
Lois dropped her things on the couch in the living room and came into the kitchen in search of dinner. "Who was on the phone?" was all she said to him as they crossed paths.
"No one," he replied and stalked into the living room. As he flicked on a basketball game on TV, a nagging guilt told him that his comment was uncalled for, and he knew it was. He just didn't feel like talking to her.
"So you were talking to yourself," she answered with sharp sarcasm.
"It was my mother, all right?!" He snapped back, practically yelling. "Do you always have to know EVERYTHING about EVERYBODY??"
Lois didn't answer. Thoughts were careening through her head. *I don't love him anymore. We can't work it out because we're just too alike.*
Lois heard him sighing in the other room and then getting off the couch. She didn't turn around when she felt his presence behind her. *I used to love the feel of his body near mine.*
"Lois, I'm sorry. That was uncalled for." *I used to have to work to keep from holding her when we got this close. Now the thought repulses me.*
Lois could see he didn't mean it. *I can remember getting teary eyed and forgiving him on the spot when he apologized after an argument. Why?* "You're damn right it was uncalled for."
Clark was taken aback, and it showed on his face. "You are the most self-centered woman in the world! Can't you ever take an apology?!" He was yelling now. *We used hold each other and kiss right about now.*
She spun around. "Yes, I can," she shouted back, putting her sandwich on the counter. "I can take an apology when it's sincere, and I know the person giving it is really sorry!" She could feel the argument being born, but she wasn't going to hold back now. She wasn't about to let him win.
Clark opened his mouth to scream a retort, but then stopped. He glanced at the floor and laughed in a very sad, tired and beaten way. "It's happening again, isn't it?" he asked her, looking into her eyes and about ready to cry. "We get angry and say things just to hurt each other, and we stay angry the rest of the night and go to bed at nine because we can't stand to see each other."
"And one of us sleeps on the couch," she finished. Tears were rolling down her cheeks as she said, "We can't do it anymore, can we, Clark?"
He didn't answer, nor did she want him to. It was the first mutual agreement they made in weeks without fighting over.
"We just can't stay together. We aren't fit for each other."
"Lois—" he wasn't protesting, Lois could see that as well as she could see the tears in his eyes. But she wanted to finish.
"And Clark, I just don't love you anymore." He looked down at her as if she had just pulled out his heart with a kryptonite scalpel. But even as pain was coursing through his body, Lois could see that he was thinking the same thing.
"I don't know," he said slowly and softly, "if I love you anymore either."
A sob escaped Lois's lips as she began to cry full force.
"But I know… that it takes more than love to make a marriage work."
"Oh, Clark," She sobbed in pain. He pulled her close to him out of sympathy, but continued.
"You're right," he whispered into her black hair that had gotten rather long and rather grey in the intervening seven years. "We need… to get divorced."
Lois gasped a little… but then nodded. "Yes," she whispered against him, "we do."
They held each other closer then and cried out of sympathy for each other and out of pain for themselves. They both had gone into their marriage believing that they were the perfect couple and that Lois's record of bad romances were finally at a close. But as they stood together in the kitchen in almost physical pain for the emotional tempest they were in the middle of, they both understood that there is no perfect couple.
Many months later Clark would find it painfully ironic that when the judge asked him and Lois if they really wanted a divorce, their unison reply was the exact same words they had spoken their first moment as husband and wife: "I do."
… in more ways than one.
"Good evening, Paris, this is Catherine Grant with your Channel Eight daily news. Clark Kent is on assignment in Metropolis, America, reporting on the sudden disappearance of Superman…"