Continuing Tales

And Then There Was Light

A Lois & Clark Story
by Anti-Kryptonite

Part 11 of 23

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Sleep didn't come for a while, and when it did, it was filled with dark shadows and frustrating mysteries and secrets that danced just out of reach. I was dimly aware that I tossed and turned and whimpered, unable to still myself or hold back the tiny exclamations of frustrated grief. Finally—hours later, minutes later—a hand slipped into mine and a low, husky voice whispered in my ear. A calm, strengthening presence lent itself to me, and I quieted and stilled, as if I could not help but respond to him.

When I finally woke in the morning, I had to squint against the light piercing through my otherwise-dark room. Though it was bleary and unclear to my tired eyes, the clock revealed that I had slept later than I had the last few days and yet not nearly enough to catch up on the sleep I had lost piecing Clark's letter back together again.

Clark's letter.

Instantly, I was wide awake, sitting bolt-upright and looking toward the cot by the window.

It was empty and neatly made. I didn't hear any sign of Clark.

Do you know why I'm up before you almost every day? Do you know why I can't sleep without being able to see you?

Forcibly, I shoved the memory of his written words out of my mind. I didn't want to remember it all. I didn't want to revisit the simultaneous awe and terror that had been birthed within me while reading the secrets of his damaged heart.

Trying to achieve strength and resolve by faking them, I threw the covers back and stood. I hadn't quite made it to the bathroom when Clark peeked his head into the bedroom.

"Good morning," he said tentatively.

I opened my mouth to return the greeting, but no sound emerged.

I'm really not trying to hide things from you, Lois.

"There's breakfast when you're ready," Clark said after an awkward moment of silence. Then he retreated, and I was left alone.

But then, even when he was in the room, I was alone, wasn't I? Alone in sanity, anyway. Clark was lost, lost to whatever Luthor had done to him. And yet…even lost, he was still more…human, more caring, than anyone I had ever known.

Wishing I could simply stop thinking—wishing I had never read that letter—I quickly washed and dressed. Sight of the razor Perry had brought for Clark, lying so innocently by the sink, made me realize that a shadow of darkness still marred Clark's chin this morning; he hadn't shaved again. What so scared him about that simple act?

I dream about you, Lois…dream that all the things Luthor threatened to do to you are really happening. And I can do nothing. I'm just as powerless as I—

I clapped my hands over my ears, hating that his paranoid, beautiful words were trapped in my head, emitting light, casting shadows, going round and round so that I didn't know what to think anymore. Clark had always confused me, but never like this. He had never made me feel as if I didn't know him, as if he were so far beyond me I could never reach him…as if I didn't even deserve to try.

Clark seemed to realize that I couldn't have spoken to save my life, so he just gave me a friendly smile when I entered the kitchen, and he set a plate of hot scrambled eggs, sausages, and honeyed toast before me with a cup of steaming, aromatic coffee.

He even remembered exactly what I liked for breakfast.

I could never hurt you, Lois. It's impossible for me. I care too much.

"Thank you," I managed to whisper, my voice hollow and dry, little more than an echo. I dared not look toward the wastebasket where I had rearranged strips of torn, handwriting-covered paper over the top to hide that I had stolen his secrets from him.

Almost hovering, Clark watched me eat my breakfast. I would have sworn that I wouldn't have been able to eat more than a few mouthfuls, but it was so delicious—and Clark looked so hopeful—that I couldn't help but finish it all.

"I'll do the dishes." Clark pounced on the chores before I could do more than blink; he seemed to have forgotten that he had told me I would have to do the cleaning up in exchange for his cooking. But I knew he hadn't forgotten. It was just his way of caring for me. He cared for me so much, in fact, that it had been Luthor's key to unhinging his mind.

He's stolen everything from me.

"You, uh…" Clark gave me a hesitant smile, as if unsure how I would receive it. "You wanted to call Perry this morning, remember, and ask him to get in contact with some of your snitches."

"Right," I said, forcing a short nod. "I'll see if they've got anything on Luthor."

"Tell them to be careful, though. Luthor's dangerous."

I fled the room before the words beginning to slowly boil up from within me erupted to wipe the smiles from his face and the patience from his eyes.

But I'll hope, Lois. That's something I can never stop doing.

It took me ten minutes before I regained enough composure to dial the familiar number; it took only the sound of Perry saying hello to bring me right back to the verge of tears.

"Hello? Who is this?"

"Perry…" I managed before my voice gave out once again. It was as if Clark's written words had stolen my own voice from me, consigning it to the shredded state his letter had been in before I had unwisely put it back together.

"Lois? Darlin', is something wrong?" The panic that threaded Perry's voice gave me back the power of speech.

"Everything's fine," I assured him hastily, tasting the bitterness of the lie. "I just wanted to ask you to get in touch with some of my sources and see if they can dig up something on Luthor."

"You sure they won't spook if they hear from me instead of you?"

"They have to know already that something's wrong—I've only written two articles in the past week. I've told them enough in the past so they should know they can trust you."

"All right, then. I'll get right on it." Perry hesitated, and I held my breath, unable to decide what I wanted him to do or say at that moment. "Uh, Lois, honey…are you okay?"

"Yeah." My voice again crumbled into dust.

"Is it Clark? Is he all right?"

The irony of the Chief's question was like a physical blow. The only thing that stopped me from breaking down into sobs was the fact that I knew Clark would come rushing in at the sound of them.

At worst, you'd think I'm crazy—as if I could disprove that one the way I am now! At best, you'd accuse me of—

My grip on the phone tightened until it was a physical pain, ripping me from the memory of the words seared into my mind. "I'm scared for him," I whispered into the phone. "He's so different, Perry. Luthor…changed him."

But had he? I wondered. Or had I simply never realized just how deep Clark's feelings ran? Had I blinded myself to what he was really feeling and thinking? Had I ignored what I didn't want to face?

"Lois…" Perry fell silent, and I could picture him behind my closed eyelids, sitting hunched over his desk, cradling the phone against his ear, his face caught between concern and uncertainty. "I'm sorry you have to go through all this. Do…do you need me to come over?"

For a moment, I was seriously tempted. Maybe I could even get Perry to insist that Clark stay at his place so that I could have some much-needed distance. Maybe Perry would be able to cure Clark, coax him out of his delusions, calm him from his terrors, cajole him from his fixations. Maybe I would, after a few days of distance, even be able to pretend that I had never read the letter Clark had written and then decimated. Maybe I could go back to the person I had been before witnessing the desperation of Clark's private hell.

Do you know why the only day I got up later than you was because I was holding you in my arms and knew you weren't dead? I need to remind myself, sometimes.

"No, that's okay, Chief. Thanks for the offer. I just…had a bad night, and I'm a bit grumpy this morning. Really, everything's fine."

"You sure?" There was a fair bit of suspicion lading Perry's tone.

"Yeah. We're getting pretty far on the investigation on our end. Any problems on yours?"

"Not particularly. We're playing it safer than a black cat hidin' in a shadow. You make sure you're doin' the same, you hear me?"

"I hear you, Chief." I couldn't, for the life of me, have said from where I managed to dredge up the cheerfulness infusing my voice. "Let me know if any of my sources come through."

I could almost see Perry's relief. "Hey now, who's in charge here? You watch yourself."

With a fake laugh, I told him goodbye and hung up the phone. Which meant it was just Clark and me again. Just me…and a man who cared for me far too much and believed lies about Superman.

The man you think is Superman is an imposter.

The conversation with my mentor gave me enough strength to walk back into the living room, offer a small, pale smile as a reluctant gift to Clark, and sit on the couch across from him. The intel we had on Luthor had all been sorted, but today, we needed to begin using it all to build a case against him. Henderson was limited in what he could do without tipping off any politician that might be in Luthor's pocket or even bought men among his own officers, so we needed to do what he couldn't.

"Lois?" Clark said my name slowly, uncertainly.

If I tell you, Lois, you'll die.

"I'm just tired, Clark," I said quickly without looking up from the file in my hands, though I couldn't have said what was written across its white surface. All I saw were Clark's neat letters, swimming in front of my eyes, blotting out everything else.

The sight of Clark's hand taking the file away and holding my own hands between his sent the words scattering. In fact, it sent every thought I had flitting away, and I remembered the touch and whisper that had allowed me to sleep through the night. Not a dream, I was suddenly sure.

"What is it, Lois?" His eyes were so intent that I couldn't help but look up and so soft that I couldn't look away. "Is it something I said?"

I can just hear you chiding me, telling me to keep to the point, stick to the facts or let you write the piece.

"No." I spoke so quietly he must have read my lips.

"Are you afraid of something?" He studied me so closely that I was sure he could have described every minute detail of my expression.

The urge to confess slammed into me like a freight train, knocking the breath out of me and leaving me wide-eyed and gasping. Confess, I told myself. Tell him you saw his letter. Tell him you read it. Tell him you don't know what's going on. Tell him you want the old Clark back with no complications, no expectations, no implications. Tell him…tell him you're afraid—both for him and of him.

"Please," he prompted gently, kneeling there before me, completely at my mercy. I could let him know that I had read his letter and now knew him to be, truly, a victim. I could inform him that he needed professional help. I could trample all over his heart and take away the hope he clung to so tenaciously.

It's the only power I have left.

"Clark," I began, turning my hands to clasp his more tightly than the loose grip he had instigated. "I…"

"What is it?" He was so totally trusting, looking up at me with shining eyes and open expression. He trusted me. He needed me. We were partners. Partners…and friends. I should tell him. He would listen to me. He would do whatever I told him. Even if it killed him.

"Clark, I need to tell you something." But I could not, for all the front page bylines in the world, decide what that was. There was so much that should be said and so much that could be said…but what would I say?

The tiny, infinitesimal smile that curved Clark's lips and made the gleam in his eyes explode through the lenses of his glasses was my undoing. "You can tell me anything, Lois."

"I know," I said very quietly. "But can you?"

He froze, his hands in mine suddenly very still. "I'm trying," he finally whispered back.

can't tell you this, Lois. You have no idea how much I want to, which is why I'm writing this letter.

"Just tell me," I commanded Clark. "Tell me the exact thought you're thinking right now." Surely, I thought, he was thinking about the letter. Surely that was all anyone could think of at the moment.

He swallowed, looking more afraid than I had ever seen him before, even in the cell when Luthor had pulled out that tiny box. "I can't."

Disappointment covered me like a second skin. "Why not?"

"I'm afraid."

Yet still I can't resist dropping hints.

"You don't have to be afraid," I told him. Pulling one of my hands free of his, I laid it against his cheek. "I'm right here. I'm not going anywhere."

"I think you would if I told you what I'm thinking at this moment," he admitted with the hint of a self-deprecating grin. "It's not something you exactly welcome."

And with a start, I realized that Clark was not thinking about the sentences that burned like coals within my mind. He was thinking of three little words that weren't exactly a secret. Three little words I couldn't bear to hear right now, not at this moment, not like this, not when I didn't know him as well as I thought I had.

Abruptly, I pulled my hands away from him and clutched them protectively in my lap. My eyes fell away from Clark's, but it was impossible to miss his flinch of disappointment and the way he shrank in on himself. I should have just told him what I had originally planned, I thought dismally. It would have hurt him far less.

"Clark," I said again, then paused when he did not look up to meet my gaze.

"It's all right," he said hurriedly. He stood and moved so that his back was to me, hiding his expression from me as he had never been able to hide his heart. "I guess we should…get back to work. Right, partner?"

But I'll never get you to believe me.

Making a sudden decision, hoping I could undo the damage that rounded his shoulders and tightened his eyes, I stood. "Clark, about last night…you and Superman and the l—"

The knock at the window forestalled my confession. Clark hunched even deeper in on himself while I looked to the window and saw Superman floating there, tips of skyscrapers brushing the cold-blue sky his otherworldly backdrop. My immediate impulse at seeing him was to smile, but somehow, the expression could not form itself on my face.

"You'd better get that," Clark said dully. "We need the exclusive, right?"

Wincing away from the bitterness I expected to hear in his voice—and yet, strangely, did not hear—I moved to the window and pulled it open. "Superman." I couldn't help the breathy quality that automatically pitched my voice a bit higher. The man was flying, after all—it was hard not to be affected by that!

"I promised I'd give you the exclusive," the superhero said with the hint of a smile as he floated into my apartment and touched down on the floor. His eyes flicked to Clark, behind me, then moved back to meet my gaze. "Is this a good time?"

"Uh, yes, of course." The smile finally broke through to reshape my features. I ignored the prickling sensation at the back of my neck, caused by the feel of Clark's eyes on me. "Did you want anything to drink?" I remembered to ask as I gestured Superman toward one of the couches.

"No, thank you." His eyes tightened a bit when Clark sat beside me, though Clark's expression remained decidedly neutral.

The man you think is Superman is watching us—watching me. He's doing all of Luthor's dirty work.

"So," I said brightly, feeling more uncomfortable than I ever had in my life. I wished I could scrub Clark's insane accusations from my mind. "You were gone a long time—two months."

"Yes." Superman crossed his arms over his chest, his cape wrapped around him.

I waited a moment more, then said, "What were you doing?"

"Until your article clearing my name became public knowledge, I was traveling the world, moving from city to city, convinced it was unsafe for me to stay in one place for very long."

Clark tensed beside me; he could not have been more rigid if he had been made of steel.

He's playing us. He's the jailor in our prison—

"Couldn't you return to your home planet?" I watched Superman closely, afraid of his answer, suddenly realizing that I had never before dared to think about Superman leaving my world.

The superhero's vibrant eyes flickered slightly. "That is impossible for me. This world is mine now, so I remained."

"And after it was discovered that you were innocent?" I prompted, leaning forward to grab a notebook and pencil off the coffee table to conceal the depths of my soul-shaking relief.

Superman shrugged. "When I read your article, I was ready to make a public appearance. However, with the realization that Nightfall was headed our way, I had no choice but to delay my return to Metropolis."

A cough erupted from Clark, but I was certain without even glancing toward him that it was made more out of derision and disbelief than anything. The assertions from his letter tried to pry their way back into my mind, but I refused to allow them entrance, focusing instead on Superman's earnest gaze.

"Was it hard stopping the asteroid?" I asked in concern. It hadn't been so long ago that I had thought Nightfall had killed Superman—and that I had been partially responsible for him having to face it alone.

Strangely, Superman's gaze moved to Clark. "It took a lot out of me. That's why it took so long for me to…return."

I looked between Superman and Clark for a moment, about ready to grab them both and shake them until they started giving me some straight answers. But they wouldn't, I was sure. Once again, I ignored the memory of Clark's haunted message.

"Superman." I leaned forward. "Were you hurt? Were you alone? Why didn't you ask anyone for help?"

It wasn't until I heard my own voice uttering the questions that I realized I was asking as much for Clark's sake as I was for my own curiosity or desire for a story. I had told Clark that if I could ask Superman any question, I would ask why he had not saved Clark. Surely if Clark realized that the superhero had been hurt saving the world, he would realize that it was not Superman's fault he had not been able to help him.

"I was not hurt," Superman replied.

Again, I waited for an illuminating reply that was not forthcoming.

"But you said it took a lot out of you," I commented, biting my tongue to keep from letting loose an irritated retort. Why had I never before realized just how…evasive…Superman was? Had he always been this close-mouthed? I had to admit that the lack of a mask, the openness of his persona, the air of integrity that surrounded him—it had made me—it had made everyone—think that he had nothing to hide. Were we wrong?

He's Luthor's puppet.

"It did. I had to recover my strength." Superman smiled at me, and I had a hard time keeping any coherent thought in my head, let alone the snatches of sentences Clark had written.

"And where were you while you were…recovering?" Clark asked, startling both me and Superman. His dark eyes, shaded by the glasses, were intent on Superman. He gave no sign that he noticed either my puzzled frown or Superman's close study of him.

"I prefer not to say," Superman answered after a pause. "Even I need a safe place to recharge without being mobbed."

My vague suspicion melted away. The hero was so alone, I marveled. So aloof, trapped in the sky while the rest of the world remained on Earth—a planet alien to him. The only planet left to him now, for whatever reason. And yet he never seemed to waver or to doubt that he was doing the right thing.

"That's understandable," I murmured with a soft smile that made Superman seem to relax a bit. "So…" I cleared my throat and shifted to break the suddenly intimate moment. Clark looked away, a muscle ticking in his jaw. "Do you have any plans now that you're back?"

"I will do what needs done," he replied simply, starkly. "There is nothing else for me to do."

"And," I began cautiously, remembering the question Clark had wanted to ask him. "Is that enough? Are you happy?"

Superman cocked his head, a puzzled expression sitting unnaturally—and yet, somehow familiarly—on his features. "Happy?"

Clark leaned forward, intensity caged within him. "Do you ever feel like there should be more? Isn't there something missing? What do you do when you're not making rescues?"

Superman's smile was almost grim as he locked stares with my partner. "You should know that better than anyone, Clark. Are you happy?"

Clark went suddenly and completely white. He wavered, looking as if he might collapse at any moment. His mouth was so tightly shut that white lines crimped his jaw.

I stared between the two men uncertainly.

"I am happy, Ms. Lane." Superman looked away from Clark to meet my gaze. "I was made for a purpose, and I am fulfilling it."

"Made?" I repeated slowly, assaulted by yet another line from the letter.

when Superman was first created…

A smile heightened Superman's already-amazing looks. "Created. Born. We each have a purpose."

"Destiny," Clark said, his hands clenched tightly over his knees. "You believe that certain things are fated to be? That there's nothing we can do to change them?"

"I believe that we should each find our place in the world—and accept it." Superman shrugged, though his tone was anything but casual. "I believe that…everything works better when we each know where we should be."

"An interesting viewpoint," I interjected quickly. "Of course, lots of people believe very similar things. But getting back to the focus of this interview…were you ever threatened while you were…away?"

The merest hint of a frown crossed Superman's features. "No."

"But you were in disguise, right? I mean, how else would you have been able to quietly move from city to city? I don't suppose you'd tell me what alias you were using?" I shot a sidelong glance to Clark, who was shifting somewhat uncomfortably. I was sure that he knew the answer to this question already and equally sure that he would never betray it, regardless of his suspicions.

Superman hesitated a long moment. "Let's just say that I was careful to avoid inciting mass panic. Back then, it was still believed that I conducted and attracted the potent energy of the sun."

"I see." Trying to hide my disappointment and tamp down on my curiosity, I straightened. "Well then." I looked once more at Clark as he studied Superman closely. "Superman, how much do you know about the Kry—"

Clark made an indeterminate sound that turned into a delayed groan, which was, I had no doubt, simply a ploy. Superman started a bit, then gave Clark a puzzled frown. I clenched my hands into fists, thoroughly sick of this whole evasion routine.

"Are you all right?" I asked my partner dutifully.

"Uh…" Clark swallowed, looking incredibly guilty. So much for the lies he supposedly told all the time—the man couldn't tell a lie to save his life! "I have a headache, I guess."

"Oh, that's too bad," I said with false sweetness. "And you were feeling so much better. Superman, why don't you carry him into the bedroom and put him on the cot? You do need your rest, Clark."

"Of course, Lois." Superman stood so quickly that Clark had time only to toss me a betrayed look before being picked up by the superhero and carried farther back into my apartment.

I couldn't bring myself to follow the two men into the bedroom, feeling a tiny bit remorseful for the petty revenge. It was just all so frustrating! Superman's evasions, Clark's irrationality…my own confusion about both of them. I had been in love with Superman from the moment he flew me in his arms, but Clark was right—I didn't know that much about him.

And Clark? I hardly knew what to think of him. Each time I saw him, the letter consumed my every thought. I had thought he was an open book to me, but the letter proved that there were whole chapters I hadn't even realized existed. And what was I supposed to do with this newfound knowledge?

Aimlessly, I picked up the notebook I had held earlier, though I hadn't written anything in it. I should start scribbling ideas on how to write an article with what little Superman had given me, but…it was useless. All I could see were the sentences Clark had composed while sitting alone in the dark.


I turned, trying to control the suddenly racing beat of my heart. Superman stood near the door, the light from my fish tank casting an ethereal glow onto his skin. The stillness of his posture did nothing to help me regain my composure, which had vanished with the sound of his low voice.

"S-Superman," I managed to say, not quite intelligently. I tried a smile to distract him from the slight stammer. "Is Clark all right?"

Instead of replying, Superman took two steps nearer me, his cape floating lightly around him. The sight of him filled my mind so there was no room left for anything else, not even Clark's letter. "You seem sad, Lois. Is there anything I can do?"

His kindness threatened to send me flying apart, but if I let that happen, I would have to explain why I was so on edge. I would have to tell him about the letter. And that wasn't his secret—or mine, truthfully. It was Clark's. And no matter how paranoid he was acting, I couldn't betray my partner. So I smiled, and I gestured toward the window that led to the fire escape.

"It's just this investigation," I lied as I stepped out onto the cold metal, followed closely by Superman, whose warmth seeped into me even at the careful distance he kept between us. "I hate hiding. I'm not used to sitting still. I want to see Luthor dealt with already so Clark and I can move on. It's not fair to him to stretch this out so long."

"I understand." Superman looked up at the sky. When I followed his gaze, I saw the first snowflakes of a winter storm spiraling down from the large gray-white clouds. Like tiny fairies, they danced and spun until descending to my level and alighting on my hair, my cheeks, my nose, my opened palms.

"It's beautiful," I whispered.

He heard me and stepped closer, his eyes more captivating than I had ever before seen them. Slowly, gently, he raised his hand and brushed his fingers across my brow, my cheek, my chin, stroking away the snowflakes and igniting sparks to take their place.

"Th-thank you for giving us the interview," I said, my voice shaky and as soft as the snow.

"I would give you anything, Lois."

My mouth dropped open in surprise.

And Superman kissed me.

Another woman might have frozen in astonishment, might have melted away in a burst of vapor, might have gaped up at him foolishly. But not me. I was Lois Lane, and I didn't let any amount of surprise stop me from sliding my arms around his neck and kissing him back. I had dreamed of kissing him before, but this was the first time those dreams had ever transmuted themselves into reality, given substance and form that were, ironically enough, almost dreamlike.

It was over far too quickly, and yet not really because Superman kept me in his arms, pulling back just far enough to talk to me. "I care a great deal for you, Lois."

"I…care for you, too," I responded, a very weak statement considering all that I wanted to say and do. But he was Superman, and that he had kissed me at all was enough out of character that I wasn't surprised when he let his arms fall to his sides and took a step back.

"If I find anything on Luthor, I'll let you know," he promised intently. "I don't want anything to happen to you."

"Thank you." I dared to reach out and put my hands on his arm, eager to make up for the vicious accusations that had—even if they hadn't originated from me—been swirling through my mind throughout our entire interview. "I'm glad you're back, Superman. I know it must seem that we—the world—rejected you on a theory that didn't have a lot of proof to support it, and that we accepted you back for…selfish reasons. But…most everyone is very happy you're here. Especially me," I added softly.

His hand cupped my shoulder for a brief instant. "I don't need acceptance—I'm doing what is right—but thank you for the thought."

When he began to float into the air, I reluctantly stepped back. "I'll see you around?"

"Of course." His smile was almost a grin, nearly childlike in its simplicity. "I get around fast."

It seemed an odd thing to say, but I smiled anyway just to see the glimpse of this more relaxed, happier Superman. And then he was gone, the snowflakes rioting in his wake.

I'm convinced that I was actually floating as I ducked back inside the living room. If I was, I was quickly brought back down to earth by the sight of Clark standing in exactly the same place Superman had stood just moments earlier. Only, the glow of the humming water beside him cast shadows across his face rather than giving him an otherworldly air.

"Why didn't you want me to ask him about the Kryptonite?" I questioned him, struggling to keep my voice neutral even as I panicked, wondering how much he had seen of my interlude with Superman. Just because I didn't feel for Clark as he did for me didn't mean that I wanted to rub his face in the fact that I loved Superman. I mean, sure, before he had left, I had mentioned it quite frequently, using it somewhat as a deterrent against the crush I knew Clark had on me. But now, after the letter, after the conversation we had had just before Superman's arrival…it seemed inordinately cruel.

"Why worry him about something that we've decided to take care of for him?" he responded, his voice quiet and…tired. "Are you hungry? It's almost lunch time."

"Sure." I wasn't, actually, not after the big breakfast he had given me, but one rejection in a morning was more than enough.

The sandwiches he fixed were delicious, naturally, as was the cut fruit he served on the side. I managed to eat half the sandwich and a bit of the fruit, not wanting to irritate him and not having any idea what to say. He didn't say much either, not during lunch and not during the afternoon as we silently worked on the piece. But I didn't get the impression that he was angry. Rather, it was as if he were…focused. As if he had made a decision and now was determined to see it through.

Which frightened me. Because, with the memory of his letter annoyingly fresh in my mind, how could I know what that decision was?

How could I know that it didn't involve Kryptonite and a private meeting with a man he no longer believed was Superman?

And how could I ever assimilate what that letter had said with my unassuming, kind partner?

I don't know how to tell you this, Lois. I can't tell you this. You have no idea how much I want to, which is why I'm writing this letter. I know I can't give it to you, but if I don't do something to warn you, I'll explode.

The thing is, even if I did tell you, you wouldn't believe me. At worst, you'd think I'm crazy—as if I could disprove that one the way I am now! At best, you'd accuse me of jealousy. You've done it before when Superman was first created, and again when I tried to warn you about Luthor.


I hate that word—hate it because I cannot honestly say I don't feel it. Even more so now than ever before.

He's stolen everything from me. That line had been crossed out, I vividly remembered, but not so heavily that I hadn't been able to read it.

I'm really not trying to hide things from you, Lois. I want to tell you, but…Luthor made it very clear what would happen to you if I did.

Do you know why I'm up before you almost every day? Do you know why I can't sleep without being able to see you? Do you know why the only day I got up later than you was because I was holding you in my arms and knew you weren't dead? I need to remind myself, sometimes.

I dream about you, Lois…dream that all the things Luthor threatened to do to you are really happening. And I can do nothing. I'm just as powerless as I wished to be so many times.

If I tell you, Lois, you'll die. And not pleasantly, if any death can be said to be such. No, you'll die, horribly and alone.

Yet still I can't resist dropping hints. And I know he knows it. Which means…I don't know what it means. Will he not kill you? There must, after all, be something of me in him. And I could never hurt you, Lois. It's impossible for me. I care too much.

But if he won't kill you—I wonder if I can take advantage of that. I've tried already, but…it's so hard to talk to him.

Enough rambling. I can just hear you chiding me, telling me to keep to the point, stick to the facts or let you write the piece.

But you can't write this one.

The man you think is Superman is an imposter. He's Luthor's puppet. He's playing us. He's the jailor in our prison—a prison you can't see, with locks formed of threats and chains made out of helplessness.

Luthor told me the rules of this game just before he let us out of that cell and into this one. The man you think is Superman is watching us—watching me. He's doing all of Luthor's dirty work.

But I'll never get you to believe me. How could I? It's not like I can prove any of this. Not now. Maybe not ever again.

And how can I even think of telling you at all? How can I endanger your life just because I feel dead inside when you smile at him?

I can't. So I'll destroy this letter. I'd burn it if I still had the ability to do so.

And I'll say nothing.

But I'll hope. That's something I can do. Besides…it's the only power I have left.

And Then There Was Light

A Lois & Clark Story
by Anti-Kryptonite

Part 11 of 23

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