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31 December 2006 @ 10:18 am
Posting LS: Now The Fun Begins...  
Well, I'm a loser. No teaser this week, due to the insanity that is my life, but look! I have a brand new chapter for all of you! Am I forgiven for being gone most of the week? As soon as I post this, we're out the door to go on our little trip. Figured that putting it up early might be in order since it's New Years! We love you all and thank you for sticking with us all this time. We promise, things here at LS are only going to get more interesting. *evil grin* Happy New Year and amazing luck to you all in the year to come!


 

The weather had only just begun to show the first signs of the cold front coming through as she had started home only a few hours before. Now it seemed to be mirroring her emotional uproar, Lois thought as the Audi roared up the expressway, the darkened sky occasionally lit by boiling purple and white flashes from behind the shield of the cloud cover. Radio still playing softly in the background, her eyes remained on the cars ahead of her, willing herself to keep it together. Even with the heater on, she shivered. The temperature had dropped, making her wish for her trench coat, left behind in the heat of the moment. But only part of it was the cold and she was all too aware of it.

 

She had given herself the small luxury of a round of tears on the way out of Bakerline after hearing that song, to wail about her own stubborn fears, about the way her carefully constructed life was falling apart. About how all of this was going to affect the twins before trying to brusquely stem the tears. Oh God, how could we do this with them at home? Especially with Kala’s hearing. Oh, my God, what’s wrong with me? And after what they saw this afternoon! God, Lois, have you lost your mind completely?

Why? Why had he chosen tonight to dredge up all of this mess? After all that had happened earlier in this long-as-hell, awful day when nothing had gone right? And what had possessed her to give away so much about her relationship with Superman? Especially in light of that damned press conference? If she was being that stupid and loose-lipped, why hadn’t she just gone ahead and told him the truth? Told him the reason things were kept hidden and why he had never been able to have her whole heart? Why not just come right out and tell him that Kala and Jason were Superman’s children at this rate? Wouldn’t that rock his world to its foundations.

Just as she put her hand to her forehead, trying to rub away the tension and threat of another round of tears, a soft, broken voice drifted through the speakers, lamenting, “He says that behind my eyes… I’m hiding… And he tells me… I pushed him away… That my heart’s been hard to find…” That drew pained eyes to the lighted console as painfully as if she had been struck. Just as the piano continued the delicate melody, she snapped off the sound. With a disgusted and heartsore sigh, Lois swung the car across the lane and onto the Yellowknife exit.

It always amazed her how alive the city was every moment; even at this hour, Metropolis glittering with vitality even as the evening drew to a conclusion. At any hour, there was something happening, some event fully attended. Never a light dimmed. One light in particular caught her eye as she pulled onto Fifth Street, the blowing leaves dancing across her headlight beams. Ahead of her, slightly hidden by the lower levels of the building, the Planet globe called out to her like a beacon. Something in her calmed even as she pulled into the lot just next door, waving to Evans the security guard as she went past.

Once the Audi was parked and locked, Lois hurried up the steps of the front façade and into the revolving doors to get away from the brisk wind. She could smell the rain in the air, knew a storm was imminent. At least she had gotten inside before it started. The tap of her heels was lonely on the tile floor, devoid of the usual sounds of daylight journalistic hustling, as she made her way into the elevator. With only the hum of movement for company, the musak that usually filtered through turned off for the night, Lois tried to pretend she wasn’t deliberately trying to ignore her own teeming thoughts until the bright ding signaled her arrival on the sixtieth floor.

As she made her way up the hall toward the sprawling hulk that was City and International and put on a professional face that hid the chinks in her armor, she called out greetings to several female members of the custodial staff and a couple of the night-time maintenance guys, all of whom smiled back. Almost all had known her from years of her having worked well into the night on some story or another, living on black newsroom coffee and her Marlboros until she had finally put that particular piece to bed. A few of them were old enough to be her mother and had always tried to treat her as such. Even now she remembered Henrietta having snuck a cup of coffee and a couple of doughnuts over to her desk when she had fallen asleep at her computer one night after being up fifty-two hours. But it had been a while since she had been quite that dedicated. That was before the twins. When it had still been their father, her, the story.

Forcing herself to put those thoughts away, Lois stifled the lump in her throat. Answering questions about the twins and how quickly they were growing and how she was eating (so skinny, Isadora scolded as she shook her mop handle at her), she continued on, stopping only a minute to poke her head in and wave to Helen in the mailroom.

With that, Lois made her way through the double-glass doors into her sanctuary, relieved to see no one else had decided to stay late this evening. Unlocking her office door, she strolled over to her desk in the dark and sat down in the padded chair heavily. Sighing, she closed her eyes before unlocking the bottom drawer with a small golden key. Carefully, she drew the flask out of hiding and took a conservative nip before returning it to the place it came from. Closing her eyes, she forced all of her whirling thoughts into a box in the corner of her mind and slammed the lid. It was either disconnect or go crazy, at this point.

Now, get your head screwed on straight, kid, she ordered herself, grateful for the kick of the Russian liquor. That brought her back to reality. Before all of this mess went haywire, you were trying to find any clues you could as to Luthor’s whereabouts and just what he was up to with the Widow Vanderworth. You can worry about your family life later. Right now, you need to safeguard the twins.

Moments later, her fingers were flying over the keys, Lois’ pale and drawn face illuminated by the computer screen like that of a wraith. Work was the most potent and mood-altering of all substances for her and she indulged as deeply as she could.

The twins’ bedroom door opened quietly. For a moment, Richard’s head was silhouetted against the hall light, but seeing the twins still asleep he left without a word.

Several minutes later, Kala whispered, “Okay, he’s gone downstairs.”

“Are you sure?” Jason whispered back.

His sister just sighed heavily. “Yes, boogerhead.”

“Don’t call me a boogerhead!” he hissed.

“Don’t be one, then,” she said primly, sitting up in bed.

After a moment’s sulk, Jason sat up too. “Well? What were they sayin’?”

“Bunch of stupid grownup stuff,” Kala replied. “I think Daddy’s jealous ‘cause Mommy’s friends with Superman.”

Jason wrinkled his nose in horror. “Daddy’s not jealous of Superman! That’s dumb. Superman’s the coolest ever.”

Kala gave him her best imitation of Lois’ cool, superior look. “Shows how much you know.”

Her brother drew himself up and scowled. “Oh, yeah? I betcha I know somethin’ ‘bout Superman you don’t know!”

“Hah! You don’t even know how to listen through walls!” Kala replied scornfully.

“Fine, then I won’t tell you,” Jason said. “A girl would never figure it out by herself.”

“Jason! Mom’s a girl!”

“Yeah, but she’s different. She’s Mom. You’ll never get it ‘less I tell you.”

Kala turned her nose up haughtily. “I don’t wanna know your dumb old secret. I have one, too, and mine’s better ‘cause a girl figured it out! A boy wouldn’t be smart enough.”

“Liar! You don’t know nothin’!” Jason hissed.

“You called me a liar,” Kala said, eyes widening. “I’m gonna get you, Jason Garen Lane!”

“Ooooh, I’m so scared, Kala Josephine Lane,” he mocked, then yelped when she hit him with her pillow.

He quickly jumped out of her bed to race over to his own, grabbing a pillow and swinging it at Kala. In the process of swatting each other, they forgot to be quiet, and one of Jason’s backswings hit Captain Jack’s cage with a loud rattle.

“Uh-oh,” both twins whispered. Kala closed her eyes, but she didn’t even need to strain her ears to hear Richard’s footsteps on the stairs. “Daddy’s coming!”

Jason dove for his own bed and yanked the covers over himself, just as Kala burrowed down into her pillows. By the time their door opened, they once again looked like two little angels asleep. The only evidence of disturbance was the fact that they were back in their separate beds, and the ferret’s eyes glowing redly in the half-light.

Richard closed the door again after a while. For several minutes, the silence was only broken by Captain Jack shuffling around in his cage.

“Kala? You ‘wake?”

“Course I am,” she muttered angrily. “How come you had to make so much noise?”

“You started it!” Jason hissed.

“Did not!”

“Did too!”

“Did not!”

“Did too!”

“Be quiet, he’ll hear you!” Kala whispered.

“Fine! Just tell me why Mommy left.”

The little girl was quiet for so long, Jason thought she’d gone back to sleep. “They were yellin’, tryin’ to be quiet but still thinking yellin’, and Daddy said Mommy kept secrets from him. He said she lied to him about bein’ Superman’s girlfriend.”

“What?” Jason whispered, awed. “Mommy was Superman’s girlfriend? Uh-oh…”

“It was a long time ago, she said,” Kala told him. “Mommy sounded mad but scared at the same time. They’re both so mad, they used bad words … Daddy said the really bad word and Mommy broke something and left.”

“Oh.” Jason’s voice was very soft and sad. “Kala, d’ya think Mommy and Daddy will, you know…”

“I don’t know,” his sister replied. “I don’t know, Jason.”

“They wouldn’t split us up if they did, right?”

“They’d better not!” Now Kala was fierce. “I won’t let anybody take my brother away. Even if you are a boogerhead.”

He stuck his tongue out, but smiled anyway. “I love you, too, Kala. I’ll never let anyone take you away from me either.”

Clark locked the door behind him, shutting out the cold wind rising outside. He looked around his apartment and sighed. Most of his belongings were still boxed up; the only room he’d managed to unpack was the bedroom, and only because he slept there. He moved silently through the other rooms of the apartment, vowing to finish unpacking. Coming home to something this impersonal just wasn’t inspiring.

The bedroom was another story entirely. A framed photo of himself, Jonathan, and Martha hung at eye height just inside the door. His diploma and a copy of the first article he’d gotten in The Daily Planet were also framed and displayed prominently. The quilt on the bed was handmade by Martha, and the nightstand beside it had been a joint project between Clark and his father.

Oh yes, this room was full of memories. Clark gently picked up the photograph that sat beside his alarm clock, and stared at it for a moment, his expression somber. “But why would you lie to me?” he murmured to the empty room, returning the picture to its place. Lois’ thousand-watt grin beamed up at him silently from within the silver frame.

Is it even possible? The thought had never occurred to him once he learned of his true parentage. There’s no reason to assume that a human and a Kryptonian could… We’re analogues of each other, like those two species of snake I studied in biology class all those years ago. Emerald boas and green tree pythons. They look identical to a layman’s eye, but they’re from different continents, they’re different genera entirely. No possibility of hybridization. And I … I’m not even from this planet. How in the world could…?

But why else would she name Kala after me?

Clark paced the room, scowling. No. It can’t be. Dammit, I’m an alien! Jor-El would’ve warned me if such a thing was even remotely possible … wouldn’t he? Would he have even known if it was?

Who knows what he would’ve said. Jor-El was none too fond of the idea of me fraternizing with the human race, anyway. Not to mention, I haven’t been back to the Fortress since my return, and I’d hate to hear what he would say if he knew I was thinking about Lois. Again.

His eye caught another framed photo on the wall, one of himself with Lois, Perry, and Jimmy. Taken back in the good old days, when the only competition for Lois’ affection was … well, himself. The ex-boyfriend – Elliott or Erik or something like that, the therapist, but not mine as Lois always said defensively – hadn’t counted, even if he had sometimes sought ‘closure’ to their relationship. You want closure? Clark could hear Lois’ sarcastic tone in his memory, annoyed that the man had called her at work. It’s closed. Closed, locked, deadbolted, security chain on, and a two-by-four under the doorknob. I’m tired of being analyzed, tired of you asking questions about my relationship with my father. If you ever say ‘Elektra complex’ to me again I’ll have to send you to a proctologist to get my shoe back!

Clark grinned, remembering. No, she’d never had any trouble getting over an ex…

Not until you, that is.

That wiped the fond smile off his face. Is that maybe why she named Kala after me? Something to remember me by, since I was never coming back, or so she thought? No one else would get the reference.

I guess it could go either way. If they are mine, she might have lied to me. She lied about remembering – well, she didn’t lie so much as omit, but still.

Little as I like to think about it, I have to confront her. Again. Now I just need an opportunity to catch her alone…

Outside the rain began to fall, joining the wind to make it a miserable night for flying. He would’ve preferred to take to the air and gather his thoughts, but the sound of the rain made him remember just how long the day had been. Clark sighed. Maybe if I sleep on it, things will be a little clearer. I just can’t think straight with that possibility rattling around in my head.

It had worked for a good hour and a half, every suspicion about Luthor or his doings spiraling out onto the screen in a worthy distraction from her life. And then, as abruptly as steam disappearing, it was gone. In panic and disbelief, she had sat watching the monitor as if it were a lifeline, hearing only the wail of the wind.

And twenty minutes later, still staring at her computer screen, alone in the City Room, Lois felt her thoughts wander against her will. It wasn’t something she especially wanted to do, but her mind was just well beyond the point of jumbled and weary, making it impossible for her to do anything else. The day had been too long, too tumultuous, and she knew full well that she was running away from everything. Something she had been doing for too long. And the wolf-hour thoughts were finally pounding at the door, demanding to be let in or else they would storm it.

Tenting her fingers against her temples, she let all of the tenseness and confusion make itself know. It was better to do it this way, away from prying eyes. Wasn’t that the whole reason she had come here, to the one place in the world she felt safest? To try to work this all out, make some sense of it before she managed to destroy everything?

Here in her darkened office, she had to admit that it had been idiocy to think Richard would be anything less than furious with her, whether it really was his business or not. Maybe it was, in some small way. As much as she had tried to blow off the assumptions the others had made, he would have had to have been a fool not to think it a possibility, as Perry had said. And he may have been kind, but Richard White was no fool. But, knowing her as he did, he would also have to have known that she wouldn’t want to talk about it, not with the way Superman had left. Reporter or not, Lois had never been given to blurt out her innermost thoughts and feelings to anyone.

She would never have let him so close if he had been a fool. And she had let him close, let her children grow to love him as they would a father who shared their blood. She had grown more than a little fond of him herself. But had it been more than that, more than warm affection for the man who had looked beyond the twins and still seen her for the woman she had once been? Had it ever been anything even approaching those intense emotions she had felt in the past? Her comment to Kal-El earlier echoed back in her mind, You can’t even know for sure what you felt for me was love. Lois felt the hair on the back of her neck stand up, her stomach feeling sick.

That was another thing she had been trying to hide from.

Just thinking of him made her rise to her feet, instinctively trying to outrun the thoughts. Pretending that that wasn’t what she was doing, she drifted over to the window just as she heard the rumble of thunder. So many stories up, she had a decent view of the city all the way out to Hob’s Bay, a million lights like diamonds in the darkness. But she found her eyes scanning the roiling skyline. One hell of a storm was brewing, the weather systems crashing into one another violently before they would meld.

Lois had to laugh at herself, although it was a little shrill. She was looking for him, of course, whether it made her comfortable to admit it or not. All in all, any thoughts of him were making her uncomfortable as time went on. She still couldn’t get the stunned look on his face when she had fielded that question at him at the fire out of her mind. The look of upset at that moment had hurt more than any of the puppy-eyed looks she had gotten since he had come back. It seemed to wound him even worse that she was questioning him as a hero than as a man. And it had struck her deep to see it.

Almost as much it had hurt to see the mix of emotions in his eyes when he had questioned her about how quickly she had gotten pregnant. At first it had only infuriated her, the way he missed all of the little tells. Features and expressions of his that were impossible for her not to identify immediately, even at their birth. But there had been more than anger there in his eyes, more than the bitterness that had momentarily crept into his voice. The reminder tugged at her heart now, making her bite her lip. Why didn’t he see?

How could he know, Lois? Honestly, isn’t that what you had been hoping for? Neither of us thought it possible, she scolded herself. Or are you starting to change your mind? First you never wanted him to know, now you’re angry because he can’t tell that the impossible occurred. You keep using the same excuses, the same tired arguments. You’ve been using the twins’ well-being as a shield to hide from how you really feel.

Especially when you found that photo of you hidden behind the picture of his mother when you were snooping through his desk the other week. Picked up that old frame the wrong way, and there it was, slipping out from behind the backing. That picture frame was old when he brought it on his first day and so was the one of you. Must have been one that Jimmy shot back in the day, probably eight years old. And he’s been carrying it with him.

How was that for a kick to the gut since the only reason you even dropped by his desk was because you missed him? Not Richard’s office, mind you, not your fiancé’s, but Clark’s desk.

What is it you want, Lois, or do you even know? Your feelings for him are as strong as ever, whether you want to face it for not. And so are Richard’s for you. You can’t keep doing this. Stop hiding from yourself.

For a long moment, the dark-haired woman stood there in the dim light cast by her computer screen, stunned by that last question. A question that really did deserve an answer.

The voice in her head had a point, loathe as she was to admit it. She had come here to find some answers and it seemed as if the only way she’d keep herself from running from the truth was to try an old trick. A moment later, she was out of her office and striding toward the empty hallway. There were some decisions to be made and this had always worked in the past. Lois was grateful that she had been wearing boots when she had left home. She was going to walk the Planet.

As the night wore on toward morning, Richard sat in front of the television drinking Lois’ vodka in Sprite. And brooding. His eyelids felt gritty, but he wasn’t tired and couldn’t stand the thought of going to bed. The alcohol made his thoughts slightly fuzzy though he wasn’t precisely drunk; he drank the odd little cocktail slowly.

The kids were sound asleep, thank God. Even when he’d heard a noise from their room, it had only been the ferret rattling around, and the twins had slept through that. At least they hadn’t heard him arguing with Lois … at least they hadn’t heard his last angry words.

Stupid. Lois Lane is not the kind of woman who will break down and tell you the truth just because you hurt her. And that last one scored pretty deep. It’s a thought that troubles me at three in the morning when she’s staying up ‘til all hours on the computer, but I shouldn’t have said it out loud. Not the best way to ask someone what you really mean to them.

He took another swallow of his drink, grimacing at the strange sharpness the liquor gave to the soda. That was another reason for this particular mix – he didn’t like the taste, and wouldn’t be tempted to drink too much and possibly do something stupid, like call Lois up and toss a little kerosene on a burning bridge.

It’s not quite that bad yet, Richard thought, looking at Black Christmas on the television screen but not seeing it. We do need to talk. And really talk, not just yell at each other.

Problem is, how on earth am I supposed to stay calm when I have the sneaking suspicion that she’s hidden things from me from first to last? When her biggest secret is still uncovered, and I think I know the shape of it?

Clark felt himself drifting between sleep and awareness, listening to the rain on the window. He was ready to doze off again when he heard another sound, one far more familiar.

Lois’ heartbeat. Coming from … right beside him?

He sat up, rubbing his eyes, and caught his breath at the sight. She was curled into a ball on the other side of his bed, her dark hair spread out on the pillow. For a long moment, Clark just stared at her. Then he closed his eyes tightly, counted to twenty, and opened them again.

She was still there. “This has got to be a dream,” he murmured, getting ready to pinch his forearm.

A delicate hand caught his. “What’re you muttering about, Kal-El?” Lois asked sleepily, and he shivered. Her voice sounded so real

“I’m going to wake up now,” he said quietly. “This is a dream, and I’m waking up now.”

“Silly,” Lois said with a yawn, and she rolled over to face him, letting him see that her belly was distended. “Pregnant women – and their husbands – have to get their rest, you know.”

“Pregnant?” Clark gasped.

“Yes,” she shot back, fingertips brushing her stomach. “What did you think this was, a little overindulgence in the Godiva chocolates? I’m pregnant. With your twins. You were with me at the last ultrasound.”

“No, no, no,” and now he shook his head, trying to dispel this too-tempting vision. “No, I left for Krypton before I even found about the twins. This is just a dream, a fantasy brought on by Lucy showing me those pictures of you pregnant in Paris.”

“What do you mean, you left for Krypton?” Lois asked him, sitting up now. The nightgown she wore was very thin, and he tore his eyes away from her body. “Honey, you never left. I think I would’ve noticed, you know?”

“I left … I was gone for six years … I didn’t know, about the twins … You were so angry at me when I came home…”

“Hey.” Lois caught his face and turned him to meet her eyes. Once again he was falling into those mysterious hazel orbs. “Relax, baby. It was just a nightmare, okay? I’m right here, see?”

Baby? Lois had called him many things – some of them unprintable – but never ‘Baby’. He so wanted to believe this was real, and that everything else he remembered was the dream, from the moment he stole her memories to their recent confrontation. “I have to get out of here,” he whispered, wondering if he was going mad. He sat up and swung his legs out of the bed, grasping the sheets to toss them back, and then halted, and hastily pulled the blankets back over his lap. Since when did I start sleeping naked? The only time was in the Fortress with Lois … and I know I’ve dreamed of that more often than I can count.

Lois saw his sudden discomfiture and chuckled richly. The hair rose on the back of his neck as she purred, in a tone he hadn’t heard for six years, “Relax, Kal-El, it’s not as if I haven’t seen you naked before. And done a lot more than look.” That soft, knowing laugh again, and he began to blush as he remembered exactly when he had heard it last. Lois’ voice dropped as she repeated, “A lot more. Or don’t you remember how these little darlings got here?”

“Lois…”

She touched his cheek, turned him to face her again, that look in her eyes, the one he had never forgotten, breaking his heart. “It’s okay, love. I think it’s sweet that you’re still a little embarrassed about your wife seeing you in the nude.”

The second time she said it, it finally broke through his confusion. “Wife? When … no, you always said you never wanted to be married. ‘Three kids, two cats, one mortgage,’ remember?”

“That was before you,” she said, running the tips of her nails over his shoulder. “Besides, it’s two kids, no cats, and a lease. You really do have the strangest dreams, you know it? Imagine dreaming you’d left me! Kal-El, I know that you’d never leave me all alone and carrying your twins…”

“But I did,” he whispered. “And it’s killing me…”

Lois looked confused, and started to say something else, but her hand flew to her belly as she gasped in surprise. “Whoa! They’re getting pretty rambunctious. Here, Dad, I think that’s your son kicking.”

Caught up in a storm of emotions, wanting so badly to believe that all of his problems were simply a bad dream, he reached out to her. If he could just feel his child stirring in her womb, then he would know this was the reality and all the heartbreak was nothing more than a nightmare…

His fingertips brushed the satin gown, but as he laid his palm on her rounded belly, Lois vanished before his eyes. Kal-El blinked … he was sitting up in bed, in his pajama bottoms. And he was alone.

It was a dream … a dream crueler than any nightmare. He rested his head in his palms, feeling more beaten and bewildered than the time he’d been without his powers and tried to take on that jerk in the diner.

The rain had abated, leaving a fresh, watery scent to the air. The winds were still high, and Lois leaned into them willingly from where she stood on the roof, letting her raven hair and suit get tousled. The five-story walk had exhausted her enough to have knocked down the last of her defenses and given her the answers she sought, although neither of them were ones which she could contend with. I miss him, God knows I miss Kal-El more than anything else in the world. There’s no denying that I still love him, not now. But how can I even think about doing all of this again? How dare I even let myself wonder what it would be like to have him back? How he and I feel has nothing to do with it. He’s always been a weakness of mine, just as I’m one of his. We’re no good for each other, we can only get each other in danger. Didn’t he make that clear enough to me?

Not to mention, I would ruin the twins’ lives. They don’t deserve to be uprooted, to have the only stability they’ve ever known crumble out from under them. How can I even dream of putting my happiness ahead of theirs? The only sensible thing to do is settle down, marry Richard, and give Jason and Kala some kind of sane, secure family life.

Late lightning lashed the sky, and thunder snarled. The suddenness of it was startling, but Lois couldn’t stop her heart from leaping. That sarcastic voice that lived in the back of her mind spoke then. You, sensible? Sane? Stable? Why don’t you get a lobotomy so you can keep playing Stepford Lois more easily? The General’s Daughter scoffed. Anybody else would’ve had the sense, sanity, and stability to get the hell off the roof when there’s lightning out, but you thrill to it. Face it, Lois, you’re wild at heart, as strong in your passions and convictions as anyone. If you wanna be with Richard, make sure he knows that. And if you don’t want him, stop playing with him.

And then, as if she had an angel on one shoulder and a devil on the other, the Romantic chimed in. While you’re facing facts, have a look at your heart. You will never not love him. There’s a part of you that belongs to him, forever and always, whether you act on it or not. And those twins are his – he’ll never be out of your life or your thoughts. Don’t they deserve to know who their real father is?

Lois squeezed her eyes shut. When the voices in your head gang up on you, that’s a bad sign, she thought. Frightened as it made her, she knew what she had to do. No decision needed to be made just now, at this moment, so long as she figured things out soon. But there was one thing she had to do, even if just to keep a promise. Softly she whispered into the wind, “Truce, Kal-El. Truce.” She didn’t know if he could hear her, although it didn’t matter. She had said it and that made it real. There was no going back.

Staring off at the horizon, Lois stayed looking out silently for a bit longer before she was forced back inside by the numbness of her fingers. This time, starting to feel groggy, she managed the single flight of service stairs before taking the elevator back down to City.

The reporter made her way back to her office weary, her eyelids growing heavy with the lack of sleep over the last several nights. Sliding into her chair again, Lois attempted a losing battle with the Sandman. If I just sit down for a bit, maybe I can get my mind in gear again. Just rest my eyes for a moment…

The digital clock on the corner of her desk read 12:03. Her horrible day was over.

There was nothing to watch on television except infomercials, so Richard turned it off and looked at the clock. Hmm, four in the morning, which meant it was about ten in Paris. Plenty late enough in the day for what he’d decided to do.

He took the notepad beside him and looked at the list of numbers he’d gotten from directory assistance yesterday while waiting for Lois to get home. Four men who had worked for La Tribune Quotidienne six years ago, and seven others who shared Jason’s middle name. Garen wasn’t all that common a name in France, it seemed, and if Lois had really named the boy for his father, then one of these would know her.

If I have to argue with her again – and I just might – I’d better do my research first. If what I suspect is true, I have to eliminate all the other possibilities first.

Picking up his cell phone, he dialed Garen Lamoureux first.


The song playing on the radio at the beginning of the chapter is 'Baker, Baker' by Tori Amos. I'm glad I could include it, having very strong high school memories of that one. And it just fit perfectly. :)

Oh, and by the way, the trivia questons from last chapter? Almost everyone here, on LJ, and FF.net got the Amityville reference, so cheers for that! But only Dragonflame got both! Margot once dated Pierre Trudeau, the Canadian Prime Minister. Congrads, Dragonflame! Now we need to figure out that the heck the prize could be!
 
 
Latitude and Longitude: Out the door to Tallie
On the Verge of: excitedexcited
Beautiful Noise: A howling Kallie Beagle
 
 
 
ellalou73 on December 31st, 2006 05:02 pm (UTC)
I'm so glad you updated, and this was well worth that wait. I loved that you used that song at the beginning. It worked for the mood Lois was feeling. I like the discription of the city as she was driving up to it with all the lights, and the one beacon of the planet. She would go there in time of trouble and need, very Lois like. I also liked that her inner thoughts were raging battle again, and that she had gone to the Planet to try and find Lex.

The exchange between Kala and Jason was great. I love her name for him, Boogerhead. Kala is so fun to read. She seems like she is the one in control of things, not wanting to be dooped by her brother by any means. I like that Jason thought he had a secret to tell and how she was unwilling to grovel over that with him. I also loved the pillow fight and how they both dove into the bed when Richard was coming.

Lois does indeed have to worry about her daughter's hearing and I loved that both twins were unwilling to give one another up. Even though they argue and do name calling there is that connection which is great.

Richards thoughts on the matter were also insight to how much he knows or realizes. I felt bad for him, he knew he shouldn't have pushed her but then again what could he have done. You wrote that part as I had imagined it.

Clark's dream was very real and revealing, I almost thought it was real until she told him she was pregnant with his twins. I think a time is coming where they will have that talk and I keep wondering what he will think when the truth is out, and what will happen with the kids and Richard when he does know.

Daredevil Lane standing up on the roof in the storm. I can see her doing that, but mostly to get her thoughts in line. AGain the battle of the wills was great to read as it has been throughout this story. She has a lot to figure out and deal with.

Great add. Have a great new year you two, and I'll be looking foward to more soon.

Ella
Lois: Jasonkalalanekent on January 1st, 2007 01:26 am (UTC)
(I loved that you used that song at the beginning. It worked for the mood Lois was feeling.)

I almost called this chapter 'What's In A Day?' after another line in the song. I was in sorta the same situation as Lois in high achool at one time. 'Baker, Baker' and a couple of Tori's other songs got me through. Still love it.

(Clark's dream was very real and revealing, I almost thought it was real until she told him she was pregnant with his twins. I think a time is coming where they will have that talk and I keep wondering what he will think when the truth is out, and what will happen with the kids and Richard when he does know.)

Trust me, our hearts were breaking for him as we wrote it. But it was bound to happen eventually, especially with her so much on his mind of late. He's not sure if they *are* his yet, but the possibility is now firmly planted in his mind. It's a good thing that he usually deals with Lois the opposite way of what Richard did earlier, huh? ;)

(Daredevil Lane standing up on the roof in the storm. I can see her doing that, but mostly to get her thoughts in line. AGain the battle of the wills was great to read as it has been throughout this story. She has a lot to figure out and deal with.)

That was a hard scene to write. I must have rewritten it six or seven times, but I think it's my favorite of the whole chapter. God, she's so torn right now...

Happy New Year, honey, and we start the new chapter tomorrow, so it should be up on time next Saturday! *Hugs*
sean_montgomery: Clark - Booknerdsean_montgomery on December 31st, 2006 05:52 pm (UTC)
You are most certainly forgiven, my twin. ;)

What a wonderful thing to read while nursing a sore back. I think out of all the chapters you've ever written, it's the emotional chapters I love the most. There's a maturity that shines in each character, and when they are alone with their thoughts, you can tell just what tears at them with all of this. Even the twins! They might not understand 100% what's going on, but at least they will be there for each other.

Oh, and Clark and the dream? *GUH!!*

Has this been posted on ff.net yet? I'll leave a review ASAP! Lots of favorite moments in this one!
Lois: Kalakalalanekent on January 1st, 2007 01:35 am (UTC)
(I think out of all the chapters you've ever written, it's the emotional chapters I love the most. There's a maturity that shines in each character, and when they are alone with their thoughts, you can tell just what tears at them with all of this. Even the twins! They might not understand 100% what's going on, but at least they will be there for each other.)

Had to bite my lip over this. This is, by far, the most difficult chapter we've written thus far. I cried more than once during it, the whole situation is just so difficult. I wanted to make it clear were everyone stood and what their feelings were. At this point in the story, it's important for everyone to know where our leads are, emotionally.

Lois is finally realizing that she can't just pretend this isn't happening anymore, Clark is slowly starting to unrevel the mystery behind the drastic changes Lois' life has undergone, Richard is being aware that there was always more to Lois than met the eye, and the twins each know something that the adults would never suspect they knew.

I know Agi had a problem with the dark tone of the chapter, but we warned everyone that things would get worse before they got better. That's the truth of reality. And that's what I'm determined to keep this story: real. Buuuut...

Since everyone's read CWTK, you know that there could be a bright future out there. ;)
sean_montgomery: Clark - Booknerdsean_montgomery on January 1st, 2007 02:18 am (UTC)
I wanted to make it clear were everyone stood and what their feelings were. At this point in the story, it's important for everyone to know where our leads are, emotionally.

You did it, and YES. It's so crucial to understand where they are. Especially with what's coming up. If we don't know where THEY stand, then WE don't know how to read into them as characters. That can sometimes be too big of a distraction.

I know Agi had a problem with the dark tone of the chapter, but we warned everyone that things would get worse before they got better. That's the truth of reality. And that's what I'm determined to keep this story: real.

Honestly? I think it's brilliant. It makes this story so much more than an emotional drama. Now the action arc gets involved, and the characters have ANOTHER roller coaster they're about to ride on. You've kept it real this far. The balance of humor and drama, all with its own blend of RL, is wonderful. *cheers you on*
Loiskalalanekent on January 1st, 2007 02:45 am (UTC)
(You did it, and YES. It's so crucial to understand where they are. Especially with what's coming up. If we don't know where THEY stand, then WE don't know how to read into them as characters. That can sometimes be too big of a distraction.)

And with this being a redo of SR, there are no visuals. Something that Margot or Chris could show you with a look, I have to describe. Some times that means very distinct wording and I'll rework one section for hours until it's just right. I want to try to make the line between the film Lois and my Lois almost impossible to notice. And the minute I don't do that, someone tell me. Please. :)


(Honestly? I think it's brilliant. It makes this story so much more than an emotional drama. Now the action arc gets involved, and the characters have ANOTHER roller coaster they're about to ride on. You've kept it real this far. The balance of humor and drama, all with its own blend of RL, is wonderful. *cheers you on*)

My biggest problem was that I didn't want something that was just straight romantic angst. There has to be something else going on, something behind the scenes that catches them all by surprise. I loved the end of SR, but there were things that I'd have done different. And that's what we're going with...

...just not in the way everyone's expecting...

:D
sean_montgomery: Me-amusedsean_montgomery on January 1st, 2007 02:52 am (UTC)
I want to try to make the line between the film Lois and my Lois almost impossible to notice. And the minute I don't do that, someone tell me. Please.

Whatever you've been doing to walk that line, keep doing it. It's brilliant so far. :D

My biggest problem was that I didn't want something that was just straight romantic angst. There has to be something else going on, something behind the scenes that catches them all by surprise.

That's what makes it a good story. Romantic angst is fine, and some are able to do it brilliantly (like Bisty and 'Life'), but having that 'something else going on' undertone can really drive and push characters to new heights (no pun intended). With the state that your characters are in now, it's only going to get worse. As you've warned us time and time and time and time and time and time again. :D

And that's what we're going with...

...just not in the way everyone's expecting...


*bites her nail in anticipation, then...* Wait, could there be something I don't know?

(and, at the risk of adding pressure, is it safe to say that i'm REALLY looking forward to this arc?)
Loiskalalanekent on January 1st, 2007 03:23 am (UTC)
(Whatever you've been doing to walk that line, keep doing it. It's brilliant so far. :D)

*huge hug* I don't know what I'd do without the encouragement sometimes. God knows I do enough research. *LOL*

(With the state that your characters are in now, it's only going to get worse. As you've warned us time and time and time and time and time and time again. :D)

Do I warn everyone too often? Some think I don't do it enough! *LOL* It's just that we'll never let it get too dark without something else happening to shine some light. I mean, this isn't Batman we're dealing with here. :D

(*bites her nail in anticipation, then...* Wait, could there be something I don't know?)

A girl has to keep some secrets! ;)


sean_montgomery: Brandon - huh?sean_montgomery on January 1st, 2007 03:27 am (UTC)
*huge hug* I don't know what I'd do without the encouragement sometimes. God knows I do enough research.

*hugs you back* Anytime you need it, hon. I'm a big fan. : D And you do warn people enough. I think before every chapter counts as 'enough'. ; )

It's just that we'll never let it get too dark without something else happening to shine some light. I mean, this isn't Batman we're dealing with here.

ROTFLMBO!!

A girl has to keep some secrets! ;)

*jaw drops, then bites her lip to keep from squealing* Things not TOLD! Ooooh!! *really big grin*
Loiskalalanekent on January 1st, 2007 03:32 am (UTC)
(ROTFLMBO!!)

I thought you'd like that. *LOL*

I'm still reeling from one of Lex's comments in the midst of the madness, if that gives you any idea... God, our version is so EVIL! I can't wait for the fireworks to begin, even if it's not going to be good at all for any of our nerves.
sean_montgomery: Clark - Booknerdsean_montgomery on January 1st, 2007 03:36 am (UTC)
I can't wait for the fireworks to begin, even if it's not going to be good at all for any of our nerves.

HA! You sound like me and 'Dance' again! *winks* Don't worry - an E.V.I.L. Lex is always a good one. And I think the following you've got will agree with me when I say that this action arc is only going to make this story better, and we all are looking forward to it.

Loiskalalanekent on January 1st, 2007 03:46 am (UTC)
It'll be coming up soon enough. I keep saying a couple of chapters, but we're still getting everything set up and in place for it to start. The chapter the bomb drops(not literally) will start out pretty innocently.
sean_montgomery: Brandon - pumped (excited)sean_montgomery on January 1st, 2007 03:59 am (UTC)
The chapter the bomb drops(not literally) will start out pretty innocently.

Innocence is good. : D
Loiskalalanekent on January 1st, 2007 04:06 pm (UTC)
Especially when it leads to freaking people out. ;)
Brian's FanFic Journal: Superman over the earthmr_beeto on December 31st, 2006 10:28 pm (UTC)
The more I read of the story, the hungrier I get for more. This chapter (and this story) is fantastic.

The dream scene was particularly poignant and heart wrenching, as Kal-El suspects the truth and realizes just how much he's lost. I felt his pain.

Lois' soul-searching at the Planet was also emotionally deep and well written. She admits she loves him, missed him, wants him. But she doesn't think she can go there and instead contemplates settling for someone she doesn't love like that. How horrible that must feel.

Which brings us to Richard, also caught in a tough spot. Knowing that Lois isn't telling him everything, suspecting something big's looming over them, and trying to track down the truth on his own.

And as usual, the twins were a delight, arguing, the pillow fight, but steadfastly loyal to each other no matter what. I'm still waiting for Kala to tell Jason that Superman is their real daddy. We know that she knows. Can't wait for Jason's reaction to that, though it could spell trouble.

I've said it before, but this Fic is one of the best of the best, and I eagerly anticipate the next installment.
Lois: Hazel Met Ceruleankalalanekent on January 1st, 2007 01:42 am (UTC)
(Lois' soul-searching at the Planet was also emotionally deep and well written. She admits she loves him, missed him, wants him. But she doesn't think she can go there and instead contemplates settling for someone she doesn't love like that. How horrible that must feel.)

Like I told sean above, that was such a bear to write. Getting into her head at that moment was just...painful. She's so scared of doing the wrong thing, of ruining everyone else's life. And then of being wrong about her choice. There's so much to consider...

(The dream scene was particularly poignant and heart wrenching, as Kal-El suspects the truth and realizes just how much he's lost. I felt his pain.)

Again, wanted this to be realistic. It's so heart-wrenching to me because Lois has no idea that he feels this way about the twins. And he doesn't even know that they're his! Heck, she doesn't even know how much of them he's seen. It'll come up in the next chapter that Lois has no idea that he's seen them since the night of the interview. Guess Richard should have told her, huh? :)

(Deleted comment)
Lois: LS 'I Remember'kalalanekent on January 1st, 2007 01:51 am (UTC)
(Loved the bits with Lois and the ladies from Custodial. Seemed very real.)

Very much based on my interaction with the same ladies when I worked for St. Vincent's. I seemed to know everyone that worked in those departments by the time I left after four years. And I worked in Dietary, nowhere close to where they did. I still miss them.


("You’ll never get it ‘less I tell you.”)

Anyone wonder what that secret is? ;)


(Just like the Duracell commercial. *big grin*)

Yay! You caught it! Yes, that was done deliberately. :D A friend of mine said that the photos of her sounded stalkerish. I argued that he's been in love with her for years, so what's wrong with him having pics of her. Like Jimmy wouldn't have given him a few, knowing how he felt. I also like the fact that we hid the one at work behind the picture of Ma, so *he* could see it whenever he wanted without giving it away to the others. Both of his best girls in one frame.


(Just thinking of him made her rise to her feet, instinctively trying to outrun the thoughts.)

That one just came to me out of nowhere. That and the 'wolf-hour thoughts' in the earlier scene. The Muse said 'Here', so I ran with it! NEVER question your Muse.

I'm just glad everyone enjoyed it. *hugs*