?

Log in

No account? Create an account
 
 
24 February 2007 @ 10:00 am
Posting LS: Now The Fun *Really* Begins  
Okay, folks, we now present to you Chapter Thirty-One in what has now been decided to be Act Four: Luthor. Read on if you dare.  And the plot thickens... :D

Lois had smiled when she picked up the phone, hearing Barbara’s voice.  But before she could say more than, “Hello,” her expression began to slip.

“Lois, listen,” Barbara said, and the tension in her voice was enough to send a chill down Lois’ spine.  In the background, she could hear Ashlyn crying, and Todd’s voice trying to soothe her.  “Ashlyn’s class got held late, so she came out five minutes after everyone else.  When she got to the bench where Mrs. Mosley normally waits with the twins, nobody was there.”

“What?”  Lois’ voice was a tiny, strengthless whisper.

“Todd and I got there right after; we found Mrs. Mosley.  Someone hit her in the head and dragged her into the bushes; Todd called an ambulance and the police.  She’s gonna be okay, I hope…  She doesn’t remember what happened.”

Ashlyn’s voice rose in the background, petulant with trauma.  “Where are Jason and Kala!”

Barbara sighed, and her tone made it clear how much she hated giving this news, how deeply she understood the horror she was about to voice.  “Lois … the twins are missing.  They can’t be gone long; we already called the police…”

But the reporter heard no more.  At those four words, the twins are missing, her vision went abruptly white, her ears deafened by the sudden roar of her own blood beating faster, faster.  “Luthor,” she whispered, and came back from the brink of fainting, burning with fury.  Luthor.  You sonofabitch, I’ll kill you.  Touch one hair on their heads, and I swear, if it takes my last breath to do it, I will kill you.

She wasn’t aware of dropping the phone, letting it thud against her desk as it twisted on its cord.  Lois just grabbed her purse with the reassuring weight of the Ladysmith inside, and headed for the doors.  She tried to keep her emotions locked down inside, but it was little use.  Part of her was wailing in sheer terror, howling for this to be merely a nightmare.  Another part screamed for Luthor’s blood, enraged and knowing instinctively he had to be behind the kidnapping.

Dimly, Lois heard Jimmy yell, sensed him and Perry following her.  She had one goal in mind: hunt Luthor down before he could harm her children.  God alone knows what he’s figured out, she thought, storming toward the doors.  I’m not going to let the twins get hurt because of me, because of what I had with their father.  I’ll strangle that bastard Luthor with my bare hands if he hurts them…  Jason, Kala, Mommy’s coming…

She was barely aware of her surroundings until she nearly reached the elevators, and then he was there, barring her way.  “Get out of my way now, Kent,” she growled, his voice unheard.  Not even Superman could stop her when her children were at stake…

 

 

Clark had been minding his own business, working on a story and worrying about the arsonist, when he became aware of the absence of a sound that he knew and loved.  Lois’ heartbeat.

His head snapped up, his expression intense enough to give away his secret if the right people had seen his face.  But then her heart began to beat again, and for an instant he relaxed.

The beat was too fast, though, too hard, and it only accelerated.  Clark hadn’t tuned into the phone conversation yet – he spent most of his time trying not to hear private discussions – but he did so then, catching only a woman’s voice as she called out, “Lois?  Are you there?  The cops are coming … the twins could be anywhere…”

And his own heart stilled in its great steady rhythm.  The twins.  Oh, my God.  No…  Lois went steamrolling across the office, Jimmy yelling for the Chief, yelling for him.  Clark forced himself to move past the shock and the horror, and as soon as he was up he found his own pulse hammering.  He sped out of the side door that lead to a long-disused hallway to some conference rooms, and beat Lois to the elevators in a blur of super-speed.  “Lois, wait,” he said, and she was nearly incoherent with terror and rage as she snarled a reply and tried to push past him.

Clark caught her arm, held her fast.  “Lois, you can’t do this,” he said as gently as he could, his heart breaking for her.  “You can’t run headlong…”

She whirled on him, punching his elbow in a vain attempt to make him let go that probably numbed her hand.  Her voice rose as she shouted, “Don’t tell me what I can’t do!  Luthor has my twins!  And I’ll do whatever I have to!  Now get the hell out of my way!

Lois was hysterical.  Clark had never thought he’d see her this far gone into that particular madness, but he couldn’t let her go.  She’d likely run blindly into some trap of Luthor’s, and how would that help Jason and Kala?  Clark grabbed her upper arms and lifted her off the ground slightly, setting her down again squarely in front of him so that she had to look into his eyes, not at the elevator doors.  It was done so smoothly and swiftly that Perry and Jimmy probably hadn’t seen or recognized the immense strength behind that simple move.  “Lois, get hold of yourself,” he told her firmly.  “You can’t go running off like this; Luthor has a trap laid for you if you do.”

She struggled in his grip, her hazel eyes brimming with tears.  “Damn you, let me go!”  Her voice was near breaking with the extremes of emotion, but she knew all too well that he was far stronger than she was.  She had only one way to hit him hard enough to make him release her, and it was with words.  “What if it was you, huh?  What if Luthor had your kids, what would you do?”  Lois glared up at him defiantly, practically spitting the words into his face.  While part of her was reeling in disbelief over how close to the truth that was, the majority of her mind and heart hoped it would startle him into letting her go.  Nevermind that he was faster, or that he was probably right.  Gripped in the vise of panic, all she cared about was chasing down the maniac who had her twins.

And it did shock Clark, but not as badly as she hoped.  I suspect he does have them, Clark thought distantly, but he held her and let the certainty in his blue eyes calm hers.  “If it happened to me, Lois, I’d pray you were around to stop me from doing something like this.” 

That stopped her; Lois’ eyes went wide as she stared up at him, both of them all too aware of the implication in their words, Lois realizing the inevitability of it.  Neither she nor Clark noticed Jimmy whispering to Perry, both men turning away from the doors and shooing the other reporters back to their desks.  Clark continued softly, “Getting yourself killed won’t help them, Lois.  Jason and Kala need you alive and free to act.”

Then the tears began to spill from Lois’ eyes, and she choked back a sob.  “It’s my fault, Kal-El,” her voice low and trembling, and Clark pulled her close, cradled her in his strong arms, and she was unsurprised at that moment to finally feel at home at last.  Closing her eyes at the momentary relief it gave her, she could only close her eyes and hold tightly to him.

“We’ll find them,” he whispered, and guided her out of the hallway, into the maintenance corridor, where the toughest reporter on the Planet could weep brokenly to the one person who had ever seen her that vulnerable.

 

 

Richard had found reasons to stay out of the office.  The consulate fire needed following up, some other stories needed a bit of fact-checking, and it never hurt for the International editor to have lunch in the café across the street from the U.N. building.

One more thing required his attention, and in the afternoon he went to Centennial Park.  A tent city had sprung up in the meadow, and Richard worked his way through the dispersing crowd.  He’d timed this just right, arriving after Lana’s show was over…

Flashing his press pass got him backstage, where the slim redhead was shaking hands and accepting congratulations from a crowd of admirers and fellow designers.  Richard waited, smiling a little; Lana was unfailingly nice to everyone, even the one or two who were clearly jealous of her success and trying to offer a backhanded compliment.  He couldn’t help comparing the two women: Lois would have had a scathing reply delivered in the same falsely sweet tone, but Lana acted as if the compliment was sincere and defused any potential insult.

What a genuinely nice person, he thought, mentally kicking himself in the next instant.  What are you thinking, Richard?  And while we’re on the topic, what are you doing here anyway?  You’re engaged!

For how much longer?  Was that his conscience, speaking so coldly?  Richard shook off the thought, silencing his doubts for the moment.  He was just here to congratulate a source on her successful show.  Nothing more than that.  Really.

The press of people abated somewhat, and Richard was able to make his way to Lana’s side.  “Hi,” he said, turning that winning grin on her.  “I wanted to be the first to congratulate you on the show, but it looks like I was a little late.”

The redhead seemed startled to see him, but her lips curved up in a smile that lit her green eyes.  “Richard!  What a pleasant surprise,” she said with real warmth.  Perhaps she had shaken hands with too many fans and rivals in the past few minutes, because Lana automatically reached out and took hold of Richard’s hands.

The spark that leapt between them was tangible to both, and their eyes widened simultaneously.  His fingers tightened on hers for an instant … and then Lana dropped his hands as if she’d been shocked, chuckling nervously.  “Well, it is good to see you,” she said, and the comment sounded lame to her own ears.  Lana scolded herself, Quit fawning over him, you idiot!  He’s engaged to be married, remember?

Even if he’s unhappy…  The traitorous little voice that whispered in her ear spoke the truth, but Lana didn’t want to listen.  He was a nice man and a good reporter; that was all.  She couldn’t let herself get close to him.  “So how are Lois and the twins?” she asked, quickly trying to put some distance between them.

Richard flinched; that was pure icewater, there.  “They’re okay,” he answered automatically.  Then he remembered whom he was talking about, the conversation he’d had with Perry that morning, and went on.  “I learned something else I wish I didn’t know about Lois, but that’s to be expected by now.”

Lana smacked his arm.  “Don’t talk about your fiancée like that,” she said sternly.  “She can’t be … the way you make her sound, or you wouldn’t be with her.”

Her frankness surprised an uncensored reply out of him.  “I might not be for much longer.”

Dark auburn eyebrows rose questioningly.  “Oh?  Did she find out about your extensive background check?”  Darn it, can you be any more abrasive?  What are you trying to do, make him feel at home?  Thank God he couldn’t hear the thoughts whispering in her mind.  Did I just think that?  My God, that was catty.

Richard gave her back a look that was just as cool.  “No, I found out she kissed another man,” he replied.  But this was Lana, so he amended, “Almost kissed him, anyway.”

“What?” she asked.  “Is this the guy you think is the father of the twins, or someone else?”

“Yeah, it’s Clark,” Richard replied, and bit his tongue a second too late.  Aw, damn.  I can’t believe I just did that.

Clark?  Lana’s voice rose.  Clark Kent?  You’re out of your mind!  I’ve known him since grammar school!”

“Keep your voice down,” Richard hissed.  “Yes, that Clark.  Think about it, Lana.  Have you ever seen the way he looks at her?”

“I’ve met her once,” Lana replied, “and she was too busy tearing your head off for me to notice anything … else…”  No, wait.  He was watching Lois – and that scolding was as much for him as for Richard.  She pretty much stalked over and marked them both as hers…  Not to mention that day in the Chinese restaurant.  Textbook definition of awkward there – and the look she shot me just screamed ‘jealous.’  Dear Lord, I think Richard’s right.

Clark is the twins’ father.  That cashier didn’t know how right she was – Daddy’s girl indeed!  And oh, what Richard just said he found out…  Clark’s been fooling around with an engaged woman?

Martha Kent is going to kill him!

There was no more time to talk, or to think, however.  Richard’s cell phone buzzed, and he muttered, “Let me check this.”  The screen displayed Perry’s desk, and little as Richard wanted to take the call, he knew he should.  “Hello, Uncle Perry, I’m with a source…  What?  What?  Who has them?  Wait a minute – Perry, where’s Lois?  He listened a moment longer, his complexion going pale as chalk, and Lana caught his arm, afraid he would faint.  “Thank God.  I’ll be there as soon as I can,” he said into the phone, and snapped it shut.

“Is there anything I can do to help?” Lana asked.  She didn’t need to know exactly what was going on; his face and voice told her it was terrible, and her compassion moved her.

Richard looked at her blankly, as if he’d forgotten who she was and where he stood.  Then his wild eyes focused, and she saw a little relief in them.  “I don’t know, but if there is, I’ll call you.  Lana, I have to go.”

“I know,” she replied, and everything left unspoken between them could stay that way for now.  Whatever he’d just heard overrode all else.  “Is it Lois or the kids?”

“The kids,” Richard replied.  “They’ve been kidnapped.  Thank God Clark stopped Lois from running after them or she’d have been taken by now, too.”

Sympathetic pain tore through Lana, and her sea-green eyes filled with fear and grief.  “My God, Richard,” she whispered, and squeezed his shoulder gently.  “Be safe – and call me if you need me.”

Richard placed his hand over hers briefly, mute gratitude in his glance, and then he was gone.  Lana was left feeling suddenly alone in a sea of people, her mind in turmoil.  It doesn’t matter that he’s not their biological father, he loves those kids.  And to have come so close to losing her as well…  My God, please, don’t do this; he doesn’t deserve it.  None of them do.  Please, please, let the twins be okay…

 

 

Jason cried out as the big man shoved him into the room, making him stumble and fall.  Kala writhed in her captor’s grip, kicking at his shins with as much accuracy and force as she could muster.  He said a bad word when she connected, and dropped her.  Before the girl could whirl on the man who’d pushed her brother, the other man put his hand between her shoulder blades and shoved her hard.  She staggered into the room and hit Jason just as he was getting to his feet again, and both twins tumbled to the ground.

It took them a moment to disentangle themselves and get up, and during that time they heard metallic noises on the other side of the heavy door.  “They locked us in,” Jason said in affronted tones.

Kala muttered one of Mommy’s bad words, trying to keep a brave face.  “They better leave us ‘lone, or I’m gonna bite ‘em next time.  You okay?”

“Uh-huh,” Jason said, looking down at himself.  His knees and palms stung from where he’d caught himself in the fall, but the boy had hurt himself worse on the playground.  His brand-new shirt was another matter, though.  It had a rip in the sleeve, which he picked at sorrowfully.  “What about you, Kala?”

I’m really scared and my arm hurts where the bad guy grabbed me, she thought, but she only shrugged and said, “I’m fine.”  Thinking back to all of the school fire drills and Officer Safety and her parents having always told them to stay calm in any kind of emergency, Kala knew that was what she had to do.  She needed something else to think about besides the bad men hitting Mrs. Mosley like that, and then picking her and Jason up like they were bags of groceries or something.  Some way to keep calm until they could get rescued.  If Mommy was here, what would she do?

Look for a way out, maybe.  Kala looked around intently.  This was a very large room, almost as big as the bullpen at her parents’ job.  It was hard for her to remember that all of this, and lots more, was actually on a boat.  Not much else in it besides the two of them, a piano on a raised dais at this end of the room, and some couches and tables at the other end.  This looked like the kind of room where grownups had really boring parties where they danced slow and drank too much.  She did see one other door over by the seating area, and started toward it.

A sudden low throbbing caught her attention, and she turned in a slow circle.  That noise sounded big somehow, and to her sensitive ears it was quite loud even in the insulated ballroom.  It was almost like the roar of a furnace, or Daddy’s plane engine…

They felt the movement at the same time, Jason turning to her with wide eyes.  “They’re takin’ us out to sea!” he said anxiously, and his voice hitched as his breath grew shorter.

Kala had had enough asthma attacks to recognize the beginning of one, and she hurried to her brother’s side.  Those other doors were probably locked, anyway – grownups weren’t usually as dumb in real life as they were in the movies.  “It’s gonna be okay,” she told Jason, hugging him.  “Mommy and Daddy are gonna find us, and they’re gonna beat the snot outta these guys and take us home.”

Jason locked his arms around his sister and hugged her back tightly.  The painful knot in his chest started to ease a little; as long as the two of them were together, everything would be okay.  “Yeah,” he replied with false bravado.  “An’ I won’t let them take you ‘way from me, Kala.  We’re safe if we’re together.”

“Right,” she said forcefully.  “We’ll always be safe as long as we’re together.  No ugly bald bad guy’s gonna getcha while I’m here, either.”

In spite of their courageous words, the two children clung to each other, desperate for comfort.

 

 

Richard made it across town in record time, his palms slippery on the steering wheel.  The elevator at the Daily Planet seemed incredibly slow, and he paced the confined space.  Finally, the doors opened on the sixtieth floor, and Richard rushed out.

Jimmy was waiting for him.  “They’re in the conference room in back,” he said in a low, urgent voice.  “Perry’s already told everybody we’re not rolling on this one ‘til the twins are home safe, so it’s none of their business.”

“Good call,” Richard muttered, but his mind was focused on one goal.  He hurried down the disused hallway, making Jimmy stretch his legs to keep up, and was at the door in moments.  The international editor twisted the doorknob, not slowing down until he was past the threshold.

Lois was sitting at the big conference table, looking very fragile and frightened.  Everything he suspected, everything he knew, everything he feared, shattered in the moment that Richard met her gaze.  None of that matters now, he told himself as he crossed the room with quick strides.  The twins are all that’s important.

He had almost reached her when he realized who was standing behind her, his hand on her shoulder.  Clark saw Richard, and started to step away, but Lois covered his hand with hers even while her eyes were locked on Richard’s.  He stayed, and squeezed her shoulder gently.

For the moment, Richard ignored him, ignored Perry at the other end of the table, ignored Jimmy closing the door behind him.  He dropped into the chair beside Lois, caught her free hand, and cupped her cheek.  “Lois,” was all he could whisper, words failing him.

“Richard,” she sighed, leaning against his hand on her cheek.  “Thank God.  Perry told you?”

“Yeah,” he replied.  “I’m so sorry…”

“It isn’t your fault,” Lois said, and the guilt in her eyes was heartbreaking.

“Okay, kids,” Perry said gruffly.  “Save the blame game for later.  Right now we need to get those kids back.  Any ideas where they are?”

Lois rubbed her temples briefly.  “Not a clue.  We need to check the Vanderworth and Luthor property records, although I doubt he’ll make it that easy.  The sonofabitch could be anywhere.”

“Are we totally certain this is Luthor?” Richard asked gently.  “I mean, Lois, you’re a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist.  You’ve made other enemies…”

The raven-haired reporter was already shaking her head.  “No, it’s him.  It reeks of Luthor.  The timing, the precision, the sheer bastardy of hitting me through my kids – it’s Luthor.”

“But why now?” Perry asked.  “He hasn’t made a move since he threatened you at the Pulitzers, and you’ve left him alone.”

Lois bit her lip, her gaze skittering away.  Then she sighed heavily and tilted her head back, her raven curls blanketing Clark’s hand that was still on her shoulder, still anchoring her.  “I went to the Vanderworth estate this morning,” Lois said.

“You what?” the four men said simultaneously.

“I checked all the specs on the security system,” Lois said sharply in her own defense.  “There’s no way he should’ve known I was there.  And I picked up an important piece of evidence.”

“Evidence is for cops,” Perry growled.  “What the hell did you find?”

Now she hesitated.  “A piece of crystal.  Very small, but it was out of place.  I wonder if it’s part of a detonator or…”  Lois trailed off as Clark’s hand tightened on her shoulder, and she turned to look up at him, seeing his face, seeing his eyes suddenly full of horrified recognition. It was only then that a possibility occurred to her as well…

“But what does crystal…” Jimmy started to ask, and they were interrupted by Lois’ cell phone ringing. 

That wasn’t the normal ring tone, however, and Lois clawed it out of her purse.  Just as she’d suspected, it was a text message, and she hurriedly pressed the buttons to view it.

The first thing that appeared on the tiny screen was a grainy picture from a camera phone.  Lois’ breath froze in her chest, her lungs squeezed painfully tight, as she looked at Jason and Kala being held roughly by their upper arms, forced to face the camera.

Clark and Richard saw the photo at same moment, and both drew in sharp breaths.  That image held all three frozen in shock, fury, and terror, but it soon began to scroll upward.  The message that appeared beneath was, if anything, more horrifying.

 

            Greetings Ms. Lane,

Such lovely children you have.  They’re fine, for now.  Don’t involve the police or the military if you want them to stay that way.  Come looking for me yourself – or bring the Boy Scout.  I’ve got a little present for him. 

 

It might take you a while to find my island hideaway, but don’t worry – I’m aware of your children’s special needs.  Nobody will feed them peanuts while your back is turned.

 

Just a reminder: Get your father’s military contacts on this one, and I’ll mail them back to you in pieces.  First Jason’s right pinky finger, then Kala’s left ear.

 

Yours,

An Old Friend”

 

Lois’ free hand trembled, and the text began to blur.  “Oh, God, Clark,” she whispered in a choked voice, holding his hand all the tighter.  “The twins…Oh, God, he really does have my babies.”

“We’ll get them back,” he told her, and his voice was firmer than the others had ever heard it.  There was an underlying anger to the words as well, something that didn’t bode well for Luthor.  “In the meantime, let’s get started tracing him down.  Perry, Richard, and Jimmy can start looking at the property rolls – I’ll see what I can do about tracing the phone he placed the message from.”

The other three men glanced at each other speculatively; was this Clark Kent taking command of the situation?  They’d seen him protective of Lois before, but never like this.

He wasn’t finished, however.  “As for you, Lois, I think you need to get in touch with Superman.  We can really use his help.”

“After what happened last time, do you think he’ll be easy to get hold of?”  The question came from Richard, clearly reluctant to ask it but voicing all of their concerns.

“Superman would never deliberately abandon Lois Lane,” Clark said seriously, meeting the other man’s eyes steadily.  “Especially not now.”

Hearing those words, Lois’ hazel eyes met his again, this time with gratitude and something else warring in her expression.  Something a lot like love.

 

 

A child’s sense of time is flexible.  Joyful, exciting moments flash by too quickly to capture, and must be repeated again and again for their impact to be felt.  The boring times, however, drag along forever and ever.  The five minutes between each query of “Are we there yet?” can seem like five hours – or five years – to an active young mind spinning its wheels while the equally active body endures forced idleness.

Jason and Kala had no idea how long they were left alone.  Long enough to thoroughly explore the ballroom, try to take a nap on the leather-covered couches, explore again in the hopes that their first search had overlooked something useful, and then sit for an interminable length of time staring apprehensively at the doors.  After a while, the sheer boredom grew so oppressive that the twins felt as though they had always lived in that room, in that state of tension, and always would.  There would never be an end to the waiting and wondering.

And then, suddenly, something changed.  Kala’s exquisite hearing captured the sound of the locks being turned, and she sat bolt upright, facing the potential threat, her heart hammering.  What she wanted to do at that moment was bawl, but she screwed her face into an approximation of her mother’s best scowl.  As the door opened a crack, the little girl made her voice sound angry and employed a threat she’d once heard Lois make.  “Th’ next one who pushes me or my brother ‘round gets a kick in th’ jools!”  Kala didn’t know exactly why the words had such an effect when their mother used them on Grizzly Lombard, but she hoped that it would impress whoever was opening the door.

Jason hadn’t heard the sound, but when Kala sat up, he did, too.  The person who came through the door wasn’t scary except for being a stranger, though, and so he asked curiously, “Who’re you?”

The dark-haired woman seemed a bit taken aback by both of them, but she recovered quickly, rushing into the room in a clatter of high heels and closing the door behind her.  “My name’s Katherine,” she said, and her voice had a hint of false cheer in it.  It had the same affect on a child’s hearing that cherry flavoring does in cough syrup; instead of sugarcoating the bad thing, it makes it more obvious by contrast.  “What are your names?”

Both twins scowled.  Probably no one here could be trusted … but they had been raised to be polite.  “I’m Kala,” the girl said warily.

“Jason,” he answered.

Kitty frowned; these two were much more suspicious than she expected.  Luckily, she had a trump card handy.  “I’m sorry I can’t let you out,” she said, and that had the ring of truth behind it.  She sensed them defrosting a little, and continued, “Lex – the guy you saw when Grant and Riley brought you on board – he’s … he’s not a very nice man.”

“He’s bald,” was Jason’s blunt reply.

The twins looked at each other for a moment, and Kala wrinkled her nose as she added, “And creepy.”

That startled a laugh out of Kitty, which she quickly stifled.  “You’re very right,” she replied.  “But you understand why I can’t let you go, right?  I mean, we’re already at sea, there’s nowhere you could go.”

“Yeah,” Kala said with obvious skepticism.  “What do you want?”

That one’s her mother’s daughter, Kitty thought wryly.  I only saw the Lane woman on TV for a few seconds and listened to Lex harp about her longer than I like to think about, but I can spot that attitude already.  “Well, you could do me a favor,” she said aloud.  “Or we can say you’re doing me a favor, anyway, so nobody gets in trouble.  Do you like dogs?”

The twins glanced at each other again as if silently conferring.  “All except the drooly ones,” Jason replied cautiously.

“And the ones that bark all the time, even when there’s nothing there,” Kala added with a roll of her hazel eyes, thinking of Richard’s parents and their Yorkies.

“Well, I have a little dog,” Kitty said.  “Lex doesn’t like her – he’s mean to her.  And she’s really lonely; there’s no one to play with her anymore.  Would you keep an eye on her for me, and play with her with her toys?”  As she asked, she reached into the oversized purse on her shoulder and brought out Tala.

The little golden puffball barked twice and wagged her tail furiously, her inky eyes lighting up.  Tala loved children; they gave her all kinds of people food, either directly or by dropping crumbs while they ate.

Kala and Jason tried to be reserved and watchful, but they couldn’t help brightening up at the sight of the dog.  Smiling, Kitty set Tala down, and the Pomeranian ran to the twins.  Their wary demeanor dissolved as Tala jumped up on them, licking and wagging, and the twins laughed out loud.

Kitty chuckled, smiling wistfully at them.  It was the first time in a long time that she had heard such innocent laughter.

Her enjoyment of the moment would’ve been seriously lessened if she had known who was listening outside the door.

Just who do you think is listening at keyholes?

ETA: Everyone wander over to the chappie post on FF.net for a little Intro surprise! We love you guys!

 

 
 
Latitude and Longitude: At The Mother-In-Law's
On the Verge of: rejuvenatedrejuvenated
Beautiful Noise: Within Temptation-Memories
 
 
(Deleted comment)
Loiskalalanekent on February 24th, 2007 04:48 pm (UTC)
*blush* Aww, Caroline! Expect more GUH! ahead, and I say that with a smile. It's nice not to see Kal-El and Lo at each other's throats, isn't it? I told everyone they were going to have to work for it, didn't I? They really were getting close to the truth there, weren't they? :D

As for Lana, go ahead and like her. With no guilt. I was determined to redeem her in LS and I think I did it. Heck, I like her. I even like the Richana! *LOL* I've really grown to love all of these guys so much. Makes me not like myself so much for what's ahead, though...

It does look like the twins have an ally and Kitty has something else to focus on other than going slowly nuts. Doesn't anyone other than me think she didn't know about kids being involved? Hmmmm...

Thanks for the quick review, Caroline! *hugs and kiss on cheek* You and Alphie made my morning.
AlphieLJ: Jason's Drawingsalphielj on February 24th, 2007 04:07 pm (UTC)
I think this was one of your best chapters yet! I especially loved Lois asking Clark "What if they were your kids?" GULP! They ARE his kids! GAH! And I loved the interaction between Jason and Kala and the way they support each other. Nicely done here!
Loiskalalanekent on February 24th, 2007 04:52 pm (UTC)
*blushing even redder* Oh, thank you! And we were worried that we might have glossed over too much here. *sighs with relief*

There's alot more coming for all of them. Eventually *all* of the adults except poor Perry will get dragged into this. Lex has quite a few things planned and Lois, Kal-El, Richard, and Lana discover more than a few things while trying to regain the babies.

This is going to be so much fun...!
ellalou73 on February 24th, 2007 04:39 pm (UTC)
I'm so glad I have my brother's computer if only until work to read this and now review. Again I love Barb in all of this. Her having to call Lois to tell the children was sad considering how close the two families and their children seem to be. The depiction you gave of Lois hearing the news and then her reaction was dead on what I would have guessed and I absolutely love that it was Clark who stopped her.

She was determined to go and find her babies and you showed just how protective a momma bear can be of her babies, okay Lois isn't a momma bear but she reminds me of one in this, and anyway I really liked how Clark took care of her pulling her into the stair well to hold her while her defenses were at their lowest.

I kind of like Richard getting to know Lana, though at that point I was wondering more of when he would get the call and when he did he did't waste much time getting there. Him arriving to see Clark's hand on Lois's shoulder was not much of a stretch there but when Clark started to take that hand away, and Lois took it back in front of Richard I was king of surprised by that, but then again not, He's her true love even if Richard hasn't figured it out yet, though well on his way, and Lois needs him.

Clark Taking charge was another interesting piece of reading, and might it clue in to Richard that he's right on some of his suspicions?

When the bad men pushed the kids around I wanted to go in and kick them myself. I like how strong you have made Kala, and how much she is like a young Lois Lane. She is such a fun addition to all of this and again I must say that it would have made for a twist of the movie verse would have gone that route. I like how protective she is for Jason and again how protective he is of her. Twin power.

That Last part with Kitty coming into the room was a great add especially with the dogs, and I wonder what badness Lex is up too. I am so totally hoping for an update very soon, because ladies this story is one of my absolute favs.

Keep up the wonderful work.
Loiskalalanekent on February 24th, 2007 05:18 pm (UTC)
YAY! Ella!

Actually she's reminds me of a Momma Steamroller here. *LOL* But Momma Bear really is the visual we use for her when this starts. If anyone ever thought her the most unlikely mother, I have all the evidence I need against that coming up. Those twins mean everything to her. There's a lot she's given up for both them and The Secret. At the moment, she's in shock and scared, but you know Lois. After fear, there's anger. And that will addressed shortly as well. ;)

And you liked the Clark/Lois? There's more coming, promise. It was an important thing to have them pull together here, especially since our boy has grown to love them, even with not knowing for sure they're his. Him taking charge is unusual, but this is Lois involved here, a shocked and scared Lois. That amkes it more believable. And the hand-clutch was just the first sign that Lois is very much coming back to herself. I think that moment where he goes to step away and she doesn't let him go was my favorite story moment this chapter.

Richard and Lana is starting to be another of my favorite things. This awkward little dance between them is great fun, especially since they shouldn't even be noticing each other, but can't help it. And we tried to make the break-off moment with the call abrupt. Dunno if we managed that. He likes Lana, but that was the twins. With the way things are with Lois right now, if it had just been her, I think he would have hung up on her and just kept talking to Lana. And wouldn't have told Lana who the caller had been. *LOL*

The twins do have themselves in a bit of a situation, don't they? But with Kitty as an ally (that spoiler I will give away. She is an ally), things may just be a little better for them until Mommy, Daddy, and Daddy Richard get there. All we can hope is that Kala can manage to keep that mouth in check. *LOL*

Thanks again, Ella, for getting a chance to review!

ellalou73 on February 24th, 2007 05:42 pm (UTC)
Haha, that will be the key there seeing what language Kala can come up with. I really love how you portray Lois as a momma, and I had not doubts that she would be a good one at that..I had to go back and read that part where Clark goes to step away and she doesnt let him, I just love this whole thing...I want my computer back so I can be in for more sneak peaks and updates.. I go to the library but threre is only so much one can do there..
Lisa: lois and clarkmrsmosley on February 24th, 2007 05:07 pm (UTC)
we found Mrs. Mosley. Someone hit her in the head and dragged her into the bushes

Ack! You beat me up! *sighs dramatically* But I suppose it was for a good cause - well, utimately, I mean. I'm just flattered I got a little cameo. No idea what I did to earn it, but I'll take it all the same. Thank you! :)

“If it happened to me, Lois, I’d pray you were around to stop me from doing something like this.”

Great line. It speaks volumes about their history together.

Clark pulled her close, cradled her in his strong arms, and she was unsurprised at that moment to finally feel at home at last.

Lovely warm fuzzy. Probably the last we'll get for a while.

“They better leave us ‘lone, or I’m gonna bite ‘em next time.

LOL! This is Lois' kid, all right. OMG, she's going to grow up to be SuperLois. I never thought of that before. (Duh, Lisa, get with the program.) She's going to take the world by storm.

He had almost reached her when he realized who was standing behind her, his hand on her shoulder. Clark saw Richard, and started to step away, but Lois covered his hand with hers even while her eyes were locked on Richard’s. He stayed, and squeezed her shoulder gently.

Oh, boy. I am a major L/C shipper, but I do feel sorry for Richard. I'm glad you're getting him with Lana. (You are, aren't you?)

“Oh, God, Clark,” she whispered in a choked voice, holding his hand all the tighter. “The twins…Oh, God, he really does have my babies.”

And the first person she talks to is Clark. She might as well have just said "our babies"! I think everyone in this room suspects it anyway.

Is Kitty really being nice or is Luthor setting up something?

Great chapter, ladies. You keep my interest every time.
Lois: Loving Every Breath Of Youkalalanekent on February 24th, 2007 05:27 pm (UTC)
*LOL* You were due that cameo months ago when everyone else was getting theirs, but we had planned to give you a slightly more important one for a while. You were always planned to be the teacher that waits with the two of them and Aslyn in the afternoons. Which means that you'll be recurring like Caroline, Abby, Brian, and B. It's your due, love. Sorry we had to beat you up to get the ball going.

Shhh...it's a good time to be a Clois 'shipper. ;) All I'm saying!

And I already let the cat out of the bag on that one. Kitty is genuinely being nice. You'll see next chapter that she didn't know about the kidnapping. She's an ally. Period. (Does it show that I kinda liked the poor girl. In wwwwaaaay over her head.)

And I'm glad we can keep your interest, dear! Just as long as we keep keeping it. ;)
Brian's FanFic Journal: Superman over the earthmr_beeto on February 24th, 2007 05:34 pm (UTC)
Amazing. You ladies have never disappointed. Well, the only disappointment is having to wait another week or so for the next installment, but, my God, what a story!

Favorite line: Clark’s been fooling around with an engaged woman? Martha Kent is going to kill him!

I really like your Lana, and really, really like the idea of Richana. He deserves to be happy in the end, too. I liked seeing her put the pieces together in her head and conclude that Richard was right: Clark is the twins' father.

Okay, where do I even begin to describe all the wonderful things you've put in here? Maybe start with the love triangle. Perry, Richard and Jimmy are seeing a side of Clark that they've never before: The confident, unwaveringly firm, take charge guy. They're seeing what Lois fell in love with, which must only strengthen their suspicions. Clark, both comforting and talking sense into Lois; Lois clinging to his hand like a life-line (in front of Richard, no less); and when the disturbing call comes in, it's Clark's name that rolls off her lips. Mrs. Mosley's right: Lois might as well have said "our babies" - in light of her interaction with Clark in that conference room, I suspect that Richard and Perry now have very little doubt about that fact. I suspect Jimmy's more perceptive than we give him credit for, too. It was Jimmy's whisper to Perry, after all, that gave them some privacy at the elevators.

I can't leave this section without another fav line: ...she was unsurprised at that moment to finally feel at home at last. Closing her eyes at the momentary relief it gave her, she could only close her eyes and hold tightly to him.

Her heart knows what it wants, and home is where the heart is. I hope both parts of her personality are finally in agreement on that, though I think that they've got a little farther to go before they get 'home'.

As for the drama - My God, I hate to see the twins manhandled by Luthor and his thugs. They have each other, though, and the Lane genes definitely won out with Kala. *LOL* Go ahead, Kala - I dare you to kick Lex in the 'jools'.

I'm not a big fan of Kitty, but she a victim of sorts here, too. Typically gangster girlfriend - wants the perks, but doesn't want to know where the money comes from. Hopefully, she'll do the right thing in the end. Oh, and C&L finally suspect the cause of the EMP.

Man, it's going to be tough waiting for the next installment.

-- Mr. Beeto - because readers need to hear my voice in the right octave ;)
Lois: Fading Memorieskalalanekent on February 24th, 2007 08:20 pm (UTC)
Amazing. You ladies have never disappointed. Well, the only disappointment is having to wait another week or so for the next installment, but, my God, what a story!

You guys are making me blush so much today! We love for compliments like this, because often we feel like idiots on Wednesday nights and everyone says how great everything is Saturday. *LOL*

I love that line, too. What's even funnier is that Martha has already guessed and isn't quite sure how to feel. :D I can't wait for her to actually catch sight of him.

Well, I set out to redeem all Lanas past and it seems that we have succeeded. I honestly love her here and how opposite she is from Lois, while still making it clear that they're both good women. I think she's a good match for Richard, if they can ever get to a point where they're not across a moral fence.

As for the love triangle, isn't it great that it can now be considered one? I'm actually looking very forward to the rest of Act Four and even Act Five (yes, there will be one.) Especially since we have alot planned for the lot of them. Richard is about to get a crash course in what it's like to meet the 'real' Lois Lane. And will do things he never expected he could.

And as to Kal-El and Lois? I'm definitely thinking that this could be the start of something, don't you? It's amazing how things start to look differently once your world is spun off course. And how it makes things collide. One of the biggest points of this story was to make everyone realize just how deep this relationship goes. And that's one of the things that I'm determined to portray. I want all of you on this adventure with them. I want you to be able to see both sides and feel sides. As long as you can do that, I know I've done them justice.

And it'll make the payoff that much better. ;)

As to the twins, I hate scaring them and regret some of the things ahead for just that reason. I'm going to play them as close to real children as I can, precocious children but children nonetheless. Kala's the brave one, mimicing Mommy, but Jason will more than show his meddle soon enough. Don't think I'm trying to make him less trouble than him just yet. The bond of being twins is incredibly strong. There's no tell what it'll help you do...

I promise you, you'll like Kitty a whole lot more very soon. Maybe even next chapter, even.

Thanks for reappearing just in time, Brian! Abby and I were about to send out a search party. *hugs*


Brian's FanFic Journal: Superman over the earthmr_beeto on February 24th, 2007 09:01 pm (UTC)
Enjoy the accolades, ladies - you've earned it. Chapter after chapter after chapter, you've done a superb job of capturing the essence of the characters, mixing in humor and drama and I don't know anyone who's done a better job of capturing the spirit of 6-year-olds in prose. It is my opinion that Little Secrets is the best of the best, and you've maintained that standard of quality with Christmas with the Kents and All's Fair in Love, War and the Front Page. It's probably a good thing that not all fanfic writers are of this caliber, or I'd never manager to tear myself away from the fandom sites to do anything in real life. :-)

You given us a lot to look forward to with your hints, and I can't wait to read on.

Brian's FanFic Journal: Superman over the earthmr_beeto on February 24th, 2007 09:03 pm (UTC)
And, Yes, you've redeemed Lana. Amazing how charming and delightful a non-Salkanized Lana can be, isn't it? I really like your portrayal of her.
Loiskalalanekent on February 24th, 2007 09:15 pm (UTC)
I love you, Brian. *LOL* God, I say that every single time you post something, but it's so completely true.

And I agree that they could have done so much more with her if she hadn't been used only as a replacement for Margot, who actually had a better part for the fifteen minutes she was onscreen. And I do *hate* the only scene they had together. Have you ever wanted to punch a woman so badly?

And I've said it before, but I felt the need to redeem Kal-El after the Lester version of SII. I really did not love him for the 'I have to give up the love of my life, but flirting with the farmgirl in the next movie is alright' move! DAMN YOU, ILYA!

But I have to thank the makers of SIV for one thing. If there hadn't have been the scene between Margot and Chris at his apartment and theflight and conversation that followed, I won't have started dreaming this tale up fourteen years ago. Just having her remember sparked my imagination to huge heights. Sidney Furie, I love you for that alone.
Brian's FanFic Journal: Superman over the earthmr_beeto on February 25th, 2007 12:27 am (UTC)
I think we've both ranted over those lost opportunities, an unfortunate pattern that the producers of Smallville seem determined to follow. The Lana that you've described is Lana as she's meant to be. It's also similar to the Lana I described in my story, though my Lana's married to Pete Ross. She was an adolescent crush (i.e., he grew out of it), not an adult rival for Lois. Geez...

SIV had very little redeeming qualities, other than it destroyed the Salkinds' stranglehold on the franchise. 'Strangle' is the right word, I think, considering that they did kill it. That and horrible writing.

Anyway, you guys are doing a great job with this, and I can't wait for the rest!
sean_montgomery: Super!Reviewer!sean_montgomery on February 25th, 2007 06:35 am (UTC)
*incoherent babble*

Ladies, this was... this was superb! Lois and Clark bonding/angst, the Richana strikes again, MORE Clois goodness and heartache... and the twins! Oh, how I feel for the darlings! Such a dangerous situation to be in, and such innocence exposed to such hatred and violence! The twins have no idea what they're getting themselves into, and our favorite reporters look like they have long, sleepless nights ahead.

Excellent, excellent job! This arc is going to be worth the effort!
mithah on March 2nd, 2007 03:52 am (UTC)
ZOMG, this chapter! Talk about pedal to the metal! Whoa, whoa, WHOA! I knew the abduction of the twins would put a strain on everyone involved, but DAMN, everything’s suddenly spinning on its head…and EEEEK! It’s so intense! The horror, the terror, the fear; it is all coming together at warp speed now to form a wonderfully suspenseful, breathtaking, gloriously character-driven act, and truly, I couldn’t be happier. Everything’s coming to a head in this act, and boy, is all the tension and angst sure paying off, and big time at that! GAH, you have me literally on the edge of my seat. That last line…GULP!!!

(Oh, and before I forget, I really love your Lana. She's everything she should be. Man, you guys totally rock at characterization. Many kudos!)

And lots of love right back atcha! ; )