A Love Story in Four Parts
by Cyrano the 2nd
This story takes place one year after the movie, Superman Returns and contains spoilers. I do not own Superman, but if I did, I would be rich.
Part One: The Wedding
"I can't believe I'm really getting married."
Jimmy Olson's voice was full of wonder, and Clark smiled as he watched his friend straightening his cravat in the full-length mirror in front of him. There was a bit of sadness in the smile. It had been a year since he'd come back, a year in which he'd had to accept that Lois was no longer his. It could have been Richard standing here, shaking and expectant. Though Clark doubted that Richard White would have ever asked him to be his best man.
"Jenny is a great girl," Clark said.
Jenny Crawford had started at the copy room of the Daily Prophet only ten months ago, and she and Jimmy had been nearly inseperable since the very first day they had met. They shared the same goofy sense of humor, the same fascination with Boris Kardoff movies, and the same enthusiasm for life. Jimmy had asked Jenny to marry him on their fourth date, and been over the moon when she'd accepted.
"Yeah, she is." Jimmy's eyes went far away. "She's the best thing to ever happen to me. I mean, how'd I get so lucky?"
Clark gave Jimmy a small smile in the mirror. Jimmy's joy was shining on his face, and he should be happy for his friend. And he was.
So why did he feel so out of sorts?
Snap out of it, Clark. Jimmy is your friend. Don't ruin it for him! "Yeah, you certainly are lucky," he said, hopeful that he had kept the wistfulness from his voice.
"Hey, Clark." Jimmy turned and peered up into his taller friend's face. Clark tried to paste a happy smile on his lips, but Jimmy could be very perceptive when he wanted to be. "When are you gonna settle down, huh? I mean, I know it didn't work out with Lois but-"
Jimmy faltered. It was obvious that he felt he'd gone too far. "Hey, that was years ago," Clark said quickly, trying to change the subject. "Lois has Richard, now."
Something he has to remind himself of, often.
"Now-" Clark rallied, "That sounds like your cue."
Indeed, the strains of You Light Up My Life, the song Jenny has picked as her wedding march, had started. Jimmy suddenly looked terrified. "Clark, do I-" Jimmy gestured at his tie, throat suddenly too dry to continue.
"You look great. Now, get going."
Lois stood as the bride appeared at the end of the aisle, resplendant in white tulle. Jenny had never been a close friend, but Lois had know Jimmy practically from her first day at the Daily Planet, and she was happier for him then she could say.
So why did she feel so miserable?
Snap out of it Lois. This is a wedding, for God's sake, not a pity party! But she couldn't help the stab of jealousy that peirced her heart at the sight of Jenny in her wedding dress. Only ten months ago, that could have been her. But now...
She remembered how shocked Richard had been when she'd told him the truth about Jason. He'd had a lot of questions, questions that Lois had no answers to. She could not remember what exactly has happened. There were three days of her life just missing. Gone. She remembered being in Niagara Falls, on assignment with Clark. And then she remembered a dizzy spell in her office three days later. In between there was nothing.
Her innate curiosity had lead her to pour over newscasts of those few days when Zod and his cronies had been front page news. She'd tried waiting it out, thinking surely it would all come back. In desperation, she'd even gone to a shrink. Nothing worked. It was just...gone.
And then Superman had left, and Lois had felt so lonely, so empty and she didn't even know why. Sure, she carried a torch for the guy, but it wasn't like they knew each other well. It seemed so nonsensical that she had felt so lost after he had been away. Lost, and angry. It was her article, Why the World Doesn't Need Superman, that had led to her meeting Richard White. He'd been in the London office, and he'd read the article and phoned his uncle, Perry, to ask about the author. They had talked, then gone out. When she turned up pregnant a month later, she had assumed it was Richard's.
She had insisted that they take it slow, not rush into anything simply because of the baby. The last thing she wanted was a false sense of dependancy. But Richard had been there, strong and loving, good and kind. And some of the loneliness in her heart had eased and she had thought that maybe-just maybe- she could forget her hopeless infatuation with Superman and move on.
And for a while, they had been happy. Richard had been in the delivery room to watch the birth of their son, Jason. She'd asked Richard to move in the month before, and in the weeks after the delivery she was sure she'd made the right decision. Richard was a tender lover, and a wonderful father. She had felt herself lucky to have him.
And then one day it all came crashing down.
Jason had been only 18 months old at the time, just learning to pull himself up and walk along on his own. Jason had been in the dining room, playing with his toys while she made dinner. She remembered him crawling under the table and sitting down in the midst of all the chair legs, rolling his cars around the underside of the table like it was a racetrack. She had been in the kitchen, and had barely heard his wimper before there was an enourmous CRASH. Lois ran into the dining room to see that her son, her 18 month old son, was holding the heavy oak table in his two tiny hands, over his head. One of the chairs had falled against the wall, causing the loud noise.
Lois remembered sucking in a breath. "Jason, honey, could you put that down please?"
He did. And suddenly her little boy- the one that everyone said looked so much like her- looked like someone else.
She'd tried to explain to Richard the reasons why she had kept the secret to herself. But all the excuses rang hollow in the face of one incontravertable truth- that Lois had know for four years that Jason was not Richard's son, and had not told him. Richard had stayed for two months, trying to make it work, trying to rebuild what they had. But in the end, his faith in her had been shattered, and they could never get that back.
He'd gone to Paris, ostensibly on assignment, but the move was going to be permanent.
The horrible thing was that Lois was okay. She should have been devestated. She should have spent sleepless nights crying herself to sleep. But she had not. In truth, she was relieved. She had been so tired of all the lies and the secrets.
So, why was she so depressed at the sight of one of her best co-workers getting married?
Lois sat down with the rest of the assembly, watching as Jimmy took Jenny's hand. The priest began to speak, and Lois' eyes slid to Clark, standing up front, beside his friend. He was dressed, not in his usual buttoned-up three piece, but in a slim black tux. And, Lois had to admit, it was a very attractive change. Clark's usual gawkiness was gone, replaced by a still grace. Of course, that could just be because he wasn't moving. Clark at rest was a whole lot different than Clark in motion. Still, Lois couldn't help noticing how handsome Clark seemed suddenly.
Lois grinned at her own foolishness. Come on, Lo. Next thing, you'll be panting over Timmy the copy boy! She laughed ruefully, drawing a chagrined look from her pew-mate. Lois stared the scowling old lady down, before once more focusing her attention to the front.
"Do you, Jimmy Olson, take Jenny Crawford as your lawfully wedded wife?"
"I do," Jimmy said softly. Clark's eyes seemed to turn to Lois of their own accord. She was sitting in the fourth row to the left, next to Timmy Conway's mother. She was wearing a blue dress the exact shade of his Superman suit, and her hair cascaded in soft curls around her bare shoulders.
The sight of her took Clark's breath away.
Lois must have felt his eyes upon her, because she turned and raising an eyebrow at him, a small smile quirking her mouth. He felt a rush of happiness surge through him, and smiled back. Lois' smile became more pronounced, before she fixed a stern expression on her face and nodded towards the happy couple. The message was clear- pay attention.
Clark focused his eyes back to front, but his attention was still on the woman in the fourth row. He could feel Lois in every part of him, tingling through his veins like the energy of a yellow sun. He could not help the love that filled him whenever she was near. He could not help the rush of desire, the fierce need to take her in his arms.
It was not right.
It was inevitable.
Clark stole another glance at Lois and noticed her watching him, that same small smile on her face. What has put it there, he wondered? He gave her the same quirk of the eyebrow she had given him, relaying the same message- pay attention. Lois flushed and looked away.
Clark's brow furrowed. Two thoughts struggled for supremecy.
First, he had never-not as Clark, nor as Superman- seen Lois blush.
And second- had Lois actually been flirting with him?