Summary: Lois slowly remembers details about the time that was erased. When she remembers it all, how will she react?
Disclaimer: I own nothing at all, but thank you for letting me explore the wonderful world that is Superman. If you sue me, you'll have to get in line behind all my other creditors...
A/N: Although this is a sequel to Superman Returns, it also owes heavily to the ending of the original theatrical release of Superman II (not the recent Donner Cut). One of the issues that I wish had been dealt with in SR is Lois' memory wipe. The novelization and prequel comic seem to make clear that Lois truly believes that Richard is Jason's father until nearly the end of the film. So how did she come to the conclusion that Superman was actually the father if her memory had been erased? Conversely, if her memory was not erased, as Bryan Singer has suggested in interviews, why does she not seem to know Clark's identity? It seems out-of-character to me that he would sleep with Lois without her knowing that vital fact.
This story explores Lois' point-of-view as she comes to terms with her memories, and deals with the consequences of Superman's decision to all persons involved. Enjoy!
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Chapter 1: Mystery
Lois rubbed an affectionate hand over Jason's tousled locks one last time before standing to leave the room. They had been sitting together watching the stars for about an hour, hardly speaking.
"Mommy?" Jason had asked after a particularly long pause, "Do you think he'll visit us a lot?"
She smiled and bent down to kiss the top of his head. "I think so. He said we would see him around, and I know he meant it." Jason turned his head to look up into her face. She continued, "After all, Superman never lies…"
He nodded slightly, grinning. He trusted her implicitly - he was young enough not to think any other way. It warmed her, but scared her a little, that she held his little heart in her hands. Did he have any idea that Superman was his father? They seemed to have such a connection in the brief time that the Man of Steel and her son had interacted. She worried what this would do to him. So once again, she told herself she had made the right decision in keeping the truth from him until he was older.
Jason yawned, and blinked his eyes tiredly. "Maybe you'd better turn back in, sweetie," she suggested.
"What if he comes back?" he protested weakly.
She placed a comforting hand on his small one. "I'll wake you up if he does… I promise."
"Okay," he agreed, really too tired to argue. He crawled beneath the covers again, and was soon fast asleep.
Lois walked slowly down the stairs. She glanced at her computer in the den, the unfinished article, but found her thoughts too disorganized to continue. Maybe it was time to go to bed herself.
Richard stirred slightly as she got back into bed. He had always been a heavy sleeper, able to doze even when she was up late typing an article on her laptop right beside him. She gave his back a rub. He groaned in his sleep, turning toward her. The slight smile on his face pained her to the core.
There were so many secrets between them now… When Richard had asked her, point-blank, "Were you in love with him?" she had dissembled.
"He's Superman. Everyone was in love with him."
"But were you?" he had pressed, looking into her eyes for any hint of the truth.
"No," she had told him.
She had been afraid to admit it at the time. But from the moment she first laid eyes on Superman again on the rescued airplane, she knew that she still felt something. And then all of the emotions she thought she had long worked through came bubbling back to the surface. How dare he try to waltz back into her life again! She was happy… she had a great guy, a beautiful son… Her Pulitzer-winning article 'Why The World Doesn't Need Superman' could probably have been entitled 'Why Lois Lane Doesn't Need Superman' with very little alteration.
Leave it to him to prove her wrong with his first act of return. If not for him, she would be either frozen in space or reduced to bits. Later, on the roof of the Daily Planet, his presence had been so overwhelming that she had nearly kissed him.
It was just as well that she had missed the Pulitzer award ceremony. She would have felt like a fraud accepting the award for an editorial on a piece that was so clearly not true. Perry had tried to assure her that it didn't matter, "Lois, Pulitzer Prizes are like Academy Awards. Nobody remembers what you got one for. Just that you got one." But she secretly felt a bit relieved… Lex Luthor's scheme had been good for something at least.
And she couldn't forget what that ordeal had revealed as well. Her little boy, her brilliant, fragile, prematurely-born boy… truly was Superman's son.
What disturbed her deeply was this: how had it happened? When Superman had left five years ago, she had been upset. Why hadn't he said goodbye? Did she mean so little to him that she didn't even rate a "So long, nice knowing you"?
Richard White had quietly entered her life, winning her over with his easy, confident manner and charming personality. And discovering she was pregnant so soon into their relationship made it easy to stay with him.
At her first sonogram, the doctor informed her that, although the baby was somewhat larger than it should be at this stage, it was not out of the realm of normal. So when she went into labor a few months early, no one had thought much of it.
Except Lois. Throughout her pregnancy, she had begun having flashes, vague but potent, of a very passionate nature. At first, she thought her subconscious mind, combined with the hormones, was dredging up fantasies of Superman again. Lord knows she'd had them enough when the superhero was still around. But the images invaded her dreams so frequently that she began to doubt herself. A particularly vivid image of his face, superimposed on a field of white, occupied her thoughts. Were these more than dreams? Had she… and Superman… made love?
But how could it be true? How does someone forget a night like that? Had she had one too many bumps on the head? They say you can only have so many of those before there is permanent brain damage. Did one of those concussions shake a few memories loose?
Late into her pregnancy, when her swollen belly had made it impossible to sleep comfortably, she had worried about it. After Jason was born, his health problems had all but pushed the possibility from her mind.
If she hadn't seen Jason's feat of strength for herself, she would still be denying that possibility. But she knew deep in her heart somehow that it was true beyond a shadow of a doubt. She had whispered to Superman what she suspected as he lay in his hospital bed. And Superman's visit tonight confirmed it – he believed it as well.
Lois Lane would get to the bottom of this mystery. One person held the answers, and as soon as she could find a way to get the truth from him…
Suddenly, a loud knock from outside startled her. She looked over at Richard. He simply moaned and turned over. Grabbing her robe from the bedside chair, she headed outside and onto the deck again. In the dark, it was difficult see anything amiss. She waited, listened a few minutes, and turned back around.
She felt the vibration under her feet this time. Something had banged against the wooden posts below the deck. She could hear faint taps as whatever it was moved with the lapping water of the river. Lois leaned over the railing, trying to get a good look at it. But she couldn't see a thing.
She quickly went inside the kitchen, and dug inside a drawer for the flashlight, trying to keep quiet. She didn't want to disturb Richard or Jason this late at night. But she couldn't feel it in there at all, and she didn't want to turn the lights on. Crap!
There wasn't much else to do but go back to bed. She climbed the stairs, feeling a vague unease. Her insatiable curiosity would just have to wait until morning.
As she finally drifted off, she listened carefully for any other sounds from outside. If there were any more, they were too faint to make out. Dreams overtook her soon after.
In the pre-dawn light, just before the sun broke over the horizon, a chunk of dark, green-flecked crystal dislodged itself from the wooden posts of the deck, and came to rest against the soft mud at the foundation of the house.
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A/N: I am deeply indebted to betty brant for being my partner-in-crime from very vague outline to now hundreds of pages of notes. This story would be not be as richly detailed as it is without her. Deep and unending gratitude to you, my friend.
Special thanks also to Mark C, Jen K, ColtDancer and bistyboo1974 for beta work throughout the story.