The Little Things: Lois Lane
by Darth Stitch
Disclaimer: Superman and the rest of the merry Metropolis/Smallville crew belong to DC and all that jazz. Again, I'm taking things ENTIRELY from the new movie so I'm ignoring most of DC comics canon, mmkay?
Warnings: Spoilers for Superman Returns. Again, consider yourselves warned.
Notes: Because I've never read the novel or the comic book tie-in, my perceptions of the characters, their motivations and everything else is based entirely on what I've seen/extrapolated from the movie. It might be a little off or different from what the book or comic says (then again, the movie is said to depart from its literary tie-ins too), but I hope I've manage to capture the spirit of the characters as they were finally portrayed in the film. Sequel to The Little Things.
Lois Lane prided herself on being able to spot the little things.
Of course, that came in handy as an ace, Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter for the Daily Planet. She'd always been able to spot that particular detail, that overlooked bit of information that would lead her to that major scoop.
The funny thing was, she never expected that talent to come in handy as a mother. She should have realized that of course. Jason was so fragile, so very precious – there were times when she'd thought that she was going to lose him with all those attendant childhood illnesses that her child seemed especially vulnerable to. Somehow, Jason would make it through.
These days, however, it seemed that there were a lot of little things that she had to notice about her son. Things that she had once set aside as pure coincidence, flights of fancy or simply wishful thinking. Like the color of her child's eyes, a blue that wasn't quite the same color as the man Jason called Daddy had, the shape of his nose, the curve of his cheek. The times whenever she seemed to look at him, she'd see someone else, someone different from Richard, someone she'd once sworn to finally set aside and forget.
And she'd remember how it seemed as if whenever her son was ill, all she needed to do was to take him into her arms and bring him up to face the sun and it seemed that he would get better, stronger…
And then, when they were on that ship, Lex Luthor finally gave all those unspoken things and feelings a name with one simple question.
Who is that child's father?
Richard, she said automatically, because that was what she knew, what she wanted to believe.
Until Jason had done the impossible with that piano…
No, she didn't want to think about that today. Thinking about it inevitably brought her too many unanswered questions, too much heartache
(too many bittersweet memories)
and Richard. Richard – good, dependable, decent Richard, who'd been with her when the other wasn't, who could be there during those sleepless nights when Jason lay abed with fever or wheezing his lungs out and not just to swoop into the rescue and fly away when all was said and done.
"Fly me, Mister Clark! Fly me!"
Lois surveyed her son and officemate with a mixture of amusement and exasperation. It was difficult bringing a kid to work as it was but Lois didn't want to entrust Jason to strangers and he was generally a good, well-behaved little boy, especially with "Mum" and "Daddy" working.
It was funny how Jason had immediately attached himself to Clark Kent – quiet, unassuming, mild-mannered Clark who had been hardly missed while he'd been gone on that journey to wherever. She'd barely paid any attention to those postcards he'd sent but then again she'd always thought of him as just one of those nice, forgettable guys.
"I like him," Jason had said determinedly, when she'd asked her son about it and Lois couldn't help but smile at that. Jason, even at five, had an uncanny knack for people and she remembered how he'd easily run up to Clark, the very first time he'd seen him and shrank back from Lex Luthor.
"I thought I told you not to bother nice Mister Clark when he's working." Lois hated to break things up but she thought Clark probably needed to get back to work right now and she really didn't want to impose babysitting duties on the poor guy…
"Awww, Mum – Mister Clark doesn't mind…"
"Awww, Lois – he really wasn't bothering me at all…"
In that moment, the two of them sounded so much alike, both of them giving her that same pleading look with those big blue eyes
(funny how she'd never noticed how blue Clark's eyes were)
that Lois had to stifle a smile - who knew tall, bumbling Clark Kent was a five year old at heart? "Well, that looks like an interesting game you two were playing."
"Oh, he's Superman and he's saving me," said Jason matter-of-factly.
"Golly!" Clark pushed his glasses up over the bridge of his nose and looked hilariously self-conscious.
Jason pulled at the hem of her skirt and she bent down to look at his earnest, serious little face. "Superman's in disguise, Mum. That's supposed to be a secret."
Lois nodded just as gravely, although she was fighting to keep from laughing at the absurd notion of Clark Kent being Superman. "I see. I won't say a word. I promise."
"That's a relief," Clark remarked. "Phew."
"Now, I think someone around here should really get back to Daddy's office…" she began, standing up and taking her son's hand in her own.
"Awww, Mum, five more minutes?"
"Really, Lois, he's not a bother," Clark said. "I don't mind it at all."
"All the same Clark, I really don't want to impose on you – you must have a lot of work to do."
"It's all right, Lois. I like having him around and besides - " Clark looked down at Jason and the two of them exchanged goofy grins, "Jason and I are friends, aren't we?"
"Yeah!" The little boy said enthusiastically.
Lois shook her head. "You really should think about having a kid of your own, Clark. I'm sure you'd make a great father."
Something like pain flashed through Clark's blue eyes and just for a moment, there was something there, some image, some
thing that teased just at Lois' mind but then, she dismissed it as her imagination working overtime.
Clark just looked a little wistful and in a quieter voice answered, "Yeah."
Lois was embarrassed. Clearly, she must have struck some kind of nerve and it wasn't fair to do that to Clark. She opened her mouth to apologize and then –
"Please, Mum, please?" Jason was tugging at her skirt again. "Five more minutes?"
She relented. "Five minutes. And then we're going to get something to eat and then you have to take your meds, okay?"
"Swell!" Clark and Jason both said together and she left them to their play, muttering about a certain Big Kid and a Little One. She got back to her desk and spared a last look at the two of them, laughing together.
How strange. She looked from man to little boy and it was funny how it seemed, just for an instant, how very much alike they were.
Author's End Notes
I know that in the Superman II movie, it seems like all of Lois' memories about her romantic time with the Big Blue Boy Scout were all erased with just that one last kiss. But if Lois in Superman Returns has figured out that Jason is actually Superman's son, the implications of all those lost memories is just a bit ugly. You find out your son's father isn't your very human fiancé and you can't remember how THAT happened? Oi vei, oi vei…
It looks like director Bryan Singer didn't exactly stay completely faithful to the Superman II movie canon so I'm assuming that this incarnation of movie Lois remembers that something definitely happened between her and Supes but what she really doesn't remember is that Clark was Superman.
As for "Mum" – I know someone's pointed out that it sounds a bit British (yeah, like how odd it would be if the Harry Potter gang called their mothers "Mom"). Still, this is what I distinctly heard Jason call his mother so it's not a British vs. American thing – simply a kid thing, with the way he pronounces the word.