The 1985 silver Mustang careened wildly down the quiet country road as seventeen year old Lois Lane furiously jerked the wheel. She had gotten her license only three months before, but that hadn't stopped her father from allowing her to undertake the fourteen hour drive from Colorado to New Troy. She choked back a few wayward tears when she thought of the trip to Colorado.
Her grandmother, her father's mother and the only grandparent Lois had ever known, had died recently of lung cancer. She is…was, Lois mentally corrected herself, a compulsive smoker. Lois sighed as she caught a glimpse of her speed and slowed a little. Lois had sworn off cigarettes and drinking after she had seen what the cigarettes had done to her grandmother and what the drinking was doing to her mother.
Her mother. The thought reminded her of her father and she dug her fingernails into the leather of the steering wheel. Her father had generously taken the time to take two days off of work and fly his family to New Wakeland, Colorado for the funeral. But he couldn't be expected to deal with such trivial things as his deceased mother's possessions, so Lois, fresh from driving school, was given three hundred dollars and a road map.
Lois had been so wrapped up in her thoughts; she had barely noticed the falling darkness. When she found herself squinting at the road, she turned on her headlights and sighed in relief. That was better. Driving one handed and keeping a wary eye on the road, she grabbed the road map on the seat next to her.
Where the heck was she? This country road was supposed to have given way to Route 64 miles ago. She jabbed the light switch above her and tried to read the lines on the map. A few flurries of snow started to fall, drifting lazily down and piling on the road.
Lois swore softly as she narrowly missed a tree and continued to squint at the map. With a frustrated groan and a louder expletive, she bunched the map and threw it to the other end of the car.
She was lost. It was nighttime, she was in the country alone and she was hopelessly lost.
Just another day in the life of Lois Lane.
Her friends envied her freedom. Your parents let you drive by yourself for fourteen hours? That's freakin' awesome. Mine won't let me out past the suburbs.
Some freedom. Look where it had got her.
The snow started to fall more heavily.
Lois continued driving; now keeping a wary eye on her nearly empty gas meter as well as the road. She sped up slightly and gripped the steering wheel with both hands now, a stark contrast to the loose one handed grasp she had employed earlier.
But then she had known where she was, it had been snow free and most importantly it had been bright and sunny. Now the trees that she had admired earlier looked dark and sinister and the high branches obscured most of the moonlight. She was uncomfortably aware that her situation resembled that of a B rated horror flick and she cringed.
Those girls in those movies were always alone on country roads when the crazed murderer would close in on them. Lois had always thought those movies to be stupid and not worth her time, but now she found herself glancing backward into the pitch black interior of the car.
What if someone had climbed in her trunk at that last stop at McDonalds!? Or if someone was in her backseat right now?
With a sharp intake of breath, Lois jerked her head backward, frantically checking the backseat for any sign of insane rapists. Nothing. With a sigh at her foolishness, Lois turned back to the road and barely had time to gasp before she plowed headlong into a huge cottonwood tree.
Eighteen-year-old Clark Kent sat bolt upright in bed.
He then let out a startled yelp as he fell from where he was floating, four feet above his twin bed. Clark rubbed his head slightly, the occurrence perfectly normal.
He had heard something.
Pulling some jeans over his boxers and a worn sweatshirt over his head, Clark grabbed his tennis shoes and knocked on his parent's door.
At their sleepy nod to come in, he stood in the doorway, framed by the light from the hall. He was taller than most, and with his wide shoulders and muscular build, his silhouette cut an imposing figure.
But looks were misleading. The light also threw his face into sharp relief, illuminating concerned brown eyes and a normally unassuming stance. Right now, however, he was filled with a sharp tension at the noise.
"I heard something Mom, Dad. I think I might go out and look around." Clark thought for a moment. "If it's the Denoso kids, I'll chase them off okay?"
His mother murmured something that sounded like "yes dear" and promptly fell back asleep.
Biting back a laugh, Clark shoved his shoes on and sped out the door at a sped only slightly faster than an Olympic sprinter. When he got outside, he paused and tuned in his "special" hearing.
He hoped it wasn't the Denosos'. Jeff Denoso was senior, just like Clark and seemed to relish making his life miserable. His younger brothers Randy and Mikey weren't much better, and they had taken to sneaking onto the Kent's property and causing as much damage as possible.
Clark could catch them if he needed too, but that would mean revealing his secret. And he had sworn never to do that. So he'd yell and run after them, nearly a snail's pace for Clark, listening as they cursed him over their shoulders and kicked up some of the newly planted crops.
He knew why Jeff hated him so much. It was a scar he still hadn't completely erased. Jeff Denoso was the polar opposite of Clark, physically he was smaller, blonde with blue eyes and intellectually Clark was light years ahead. Jeff had been aggressive, smart mouthed and Clark's best friend in the world.
Clark had just turned 14 and Jeff was spending the night in celebration. Martha had baked a huge chocolate cake, Clark's favorite and Jeff had bought Clark his first football as a birthday present.
Clark and Jeff were outside on the farm, tackling and passing the ball. Clark's strength hadn't yet kicked in, though he was fast. Very fast. He had learned to control that though, and it was easy for the folks in town to believe he was nothing more than a rambunctious, athletic teenage boy.
Until that day. The sun was fading; a soft breeze filled the Kansas air. It was beautiful. Jeff threw a perfect spiral pass to Clark, who caught the ball easily and began to jog away.
Jeff, small but scrappy, immediately zoomed after Clark and tackled him back down. Clark shook him off and laughed, before tackling Jeff right back.
And that was when it happened. Clark's good-natured tackle was suddenly like a freight train. Jeff slammed into the dirt, causing an indention three inches deep in the hard ground.
Clark got up immediately, horrified.
Jeff was unmoving in the ground, the rocky soil having caused bloody scratches on his face. Clark screamed for his parents, hysterical. He fell to his knees and shook his friend, who remained unconscious.
The night had passed as if through someone else's eyes. Clark could only remember bits and pieces, the harsh blue and red of the ambulance lights, the cold stares from Jeff's parents and his mom's tight grip on his shoulder.
Jeff hadn't spoken a civil word to him since. Clark had been at the hospital every day, talking to his unconscious friend, crying. His parents sat and had a long discussion with him about his "gifts" and his need to control them.
But Clark hadn't needed to be told twice. He dropped out of all sports and started to keep to himself more and more. After Jeff had gotten out of the hospital, Clark had tried three times to apologize and each time he was met with a disgusted stare, mixed with fear.
When he detected the fear amidst the tangible hate and contempt, Clark felt like he had been punched in the gut. This was Jeff, his best friend. And he was afraid of him. After the years had dulled the pain, Jeff had gotten more and more adventurous, less and less afraid. He spread rumors that Clark was gay—he wasn't, but the fear of anyone getting close to him had added fuel to the fire, started vandalizing the Kent's property and taunted Clark on a fairly regular basis.
And Clark took it, turning his back, but never retaliating.
And so Clark was lonely.
Which brought Clark from his painful memories and back to the sharp winter night. He didn't hear the telltale scrape of tennis shoes on the ground, so he dismissed the Denoso boys with relief.
He tuned into a second heartbeat, aside from his parents and dashed toward it.
About a half mile down the road, he saw the car crashed into the tree. He approached it hesitantly, apprehensively hoping whoever was inside was alright.
Frost had obscured the windows. He knocked on it and heard a frightened squeak from the inside, along with the sound of the car doors being relocked. He shouted against the wind.
"Hello? Let me help you!"
He couldn't tell if whoever was inside could hear him over the wind. The car was off and though the cold didn't particularly affect him, he had a feeling that whoever was inside the car didn't have his immunity. He grasped the door handle and pulled lightly, easily opening the door despite the lock.
At this, the girl inside whimpered slightly, her knees tightly pressed to her chest, but too cold to think to flee.
The girl turned to look at him, fear in her eyes. Clark's heart constricted slightly, even though he was aware that there would have been fear in her eyes directed at whoever had opened the door. It killed him to see it. The girl looked about his age and was without a doubt the most beautiful woman he had ever seen in his life.
He spoke softly to her.
"Are you alright? Come on, you have to get out of the cold."
She shook her head defiantly, shivering on the seat.
"Please? My farm is only a few minutes down the road. We can get you warm and some medical attention."
The girl looked at him again, the fear slightly receding at the soft tone of his voice.
Clark took this as a sign of encouragement and easily lifted her out of the car and in his arms.
She gasped as the cold wind stung her face and all thoughts of struggling with this unknown man left her as she instinctively burrowed against him. He was warm, though she had no idea how.
She couldn't say how long he walked, but the cold was dreadful. It whistled through every opening in her jacket and sliced at her skin like a knife.
Lois had no idea who the man was who carried her so easily. After the car had crashed into the tree, it had completely shut off. She was freezing minutes later, but one look at the outside had convinced her to stay in the car. She had been prepared to wait out the storm in the car, though she was terrified.
And she was still terrified. What if the man was a killer and bringing her back to his lair? The reasonable part of her mind immediately disregarded it. This man's voice was too full of kindness. She immediately trusted him.
But that was a killer's modus operandi, wasn't it? Their victims trusted them? Oh God, she was going to die. Well at least it would teach her father for making her drive by herself for 14 hours. Hah. What a story she'd make, she'd be on TV sets around the country and her friends would say "I never envied her life, how much freedom she was given, it's unnatural," and her mother would cry and Lucy would lock herself in her room.
Oh God it was really going to happen. She was about to start struggling when she was immersed in warmth. Oh no. Maybe he had done it already. Was this heaven? It didn't really hurt quite as much as she expected…
Her eyes were tightly squeezed shut, afraid to open them and see heaven's gates and white clouds. She counted to ten and opened them. She was staring into a pair of curious, gorgeous deep brown eyes.
Oh crap she was in heaven. They didn't make eyes like that down on earth.
Her eyes slowly adjusted to the dim light of the… kitchen.
She wasn't dead! She looked around wildly and noticed she was still clasped protectively against the man's chest. Except… She looked at him curiously. He wasn't a man. Yet. Oh he was definitely male. She could garner that from the hard chest she was currently pressed up against. But though his body was tall and muscular, his face was young, about her age.
"Thank God you're okay," he said softly. He brought her over to a long couch and gently deposited her on it.
"I'll go get my folks, stay here."
With that he was off. Lois wondered where the boy thought she would actually go. She mentally rolled her eyes. Kansas farmboy and stretched her stiff shoulders. She had banged against the steering wheel when she crashed in front of that tree, but other than sore muscles and a killer headache, she seemed to be physically okay.
Her thoughts were interrupted by the entrance of two middle aged people Lois assumed to be the boy's parents.
The woman immediately ran over to her, clucking her tongue and feeling her forehead.
"Oh you poor dear! Clark! Go get your quilt, we need to get her warm."
Lois tried to protest, but she found she could barely find the strength to talk. All the adrenaline had rushed out of her as quickly as it had come. She was exhausted.
She watched through heavy lidded eyes as the boy, Carl? Clark? A C name, she knew, returned with a thick blanket.
He ignored his mother's outstretched hands and instead tucked it around Lois himself. Clark was completely oblivious to the look of surprise his parents shot each other. He took a long look at Lois's face.
"You'll be okay," he said softly.
With that reassuring thought, Lois closed her eyes completely and fell into a blissful sleep.
As you can see, this is an elseworld story. It actually keeps up with the continuity of the series however, merely has them meeting at a slightly younger age. The characters are all the same except for one exception. Sam Lane, Lois' father, has been fairly drastically altered and perhaps her mother is a bit more apathetic. This is much longer than a one shot, and I'll post the next chapter as soon as I finish some editing on it. Hope you guys enjoy the story, it's a new type for me. Reviews and constructive criticism is always welcome.