This began in response to a challenge over at the L&C message board.

All normal disclaimers apply: I don't own them. I just borrow them and don't always put them back where they belong.


Prologue

The cell was cold, bitterly cold. Clark had started shivering again, and she tried to prop him up against her chest, to get his bare back away from the cold, damp stones. His back was bleeding again and Lois wondered once more how much of the torture he could take. How could they have possibly mistaken him for this Kal-El person? Why were they doing this?

"Lois," he murmured. She had to bend closer to hear him. "The next time they come, they're going to cut me open. Please, please don't let them dissect me like a frog."

"What do you want me to do?" she asked. She knew she couldn't stop them, but his pain, his terror, was breaking her heart. The cold was seeping through the scrubs she was wearing – her uniform for the past twenty-four hours.

"Make sure I'm dead . . . please, don't let me be alive when they come," he said. He couldn't keep his voice from shaking. "I'm begging you . . ."

He wanted to die? He wanted her to kill him? "Cl – Kal-El, I don't know if I can."

"Please, Lois, if you ever cared, please do this for me, please," He laid his head back on her shoulder and closed his eyes, too exhausted to even speak any more.

She looked around for a weapon, but the cell was bare - not even a cot, not even a blanket to protect them from the cold. She looked down at the bloodied shirt she was wearing and began tearing a strip off the bottom, using her teeth to start the rip.

She twisted the strip in her hands and placed the strip around his throat, above the poisoned torque their captors had placed around his neck. She knew from his breathing he was conscious again, but he made no move to stop her. She twisted the fabric tighter around his throat and he went limp.

"I'm so sorry," she murmured through her tears.