Title: You're just Lois Lane
Part II of II
A/N: I really have to thank all of you guys for giving me the courage to post the second half of this. Thanks so much.
You are not the reason he survives. You are not the one keeping him together at the ends. You aren't the light at the end of the tunnel. You are not the way he searches for. You are not the beacon that draws him home. You are not the one he calls for when all hope is lost.
You sneeze, the dust from old papers and files forgotten seeping into your nose and gliding down your trachea with stealth.
Your spine stiffens, not much, but enough to show that you're still uncomfortable with this new place you've forced yourself inside. Even in the grayness, you can make out his figure coming towards you between aisles of boxes stuffed with simple articles that tower above his head.
Turning, a few files in your hand, you lift at eyebrow at his appearance. He looks boyish tonight, his hair ruffled as if he's been running for miles and his cheeks flushed in the single light of a lamp like the air is too cold for him.
"You look like crap, Smallville," you lie. His eyes are bright, much too bright, and there's something loose about the way he's standing so close to you.
"I always look like crap according to your standards."
With a shrug, you sit on the creaky desk left abandoned down here years ago where the sunlight can't touch it, not even on the brightest day.
"I could schedule you a shopping date with Bruce."
A noise emits from the back of his throat and you're not sure if it's a gag or a guffaw; it's probably both.
"You, Clark Kent, the most optimistic farm boy on Earth, hate Bruce?"
"I don't hate him."
"Well, you don't like him."
"Unlike you, Lois, I am able to have more than two emotions."
"Right. Like moping?"
Really, you don't know where it comes from. Well, you do, but you hadn't intended on voicing your thoughts though you should know yourself better to know you can't keep your mouth shut. He surprises you then. Instead of looking hurt at the mention of his failed romance, he lowers his head to look at you with a pointed look that seems to tell you he thinks you're just annoying. That's new.
"She was my first love, Lois."
"Yeah, yeah, your one true love. I know. Spare me the Lana-Clark Epic."
He draws back, a frown deepening and creating shadows that swallow his face now that he's blocking the light from the lamp on a footstool. It surprises you that for a second he's not the good guy you can count on. He's the man stuck on the wrong side of the mirror, dark and filled with a hunger for something he can't satiate. And then Smallville's back, his shoulders a little lower and a tug of his lips falling to gravity as he leans against the desk beside your thigh so his weight won't knock you both down.
His look isn't directed at you, but you know his words are only for your ears.
"I've been…waiting for the right time to say this." He takes in a deep breath. "But every time I think about saying it, you find a way of scaring it to the back of my mind." This time he smiles just barely and finally turns his head towards you. "I'm sorry, Lois."
There are very few times where you're speechless. His sincerity flies through and wrenches your conscience dry, even though you have nothing to feel sorry for.
"For what? Being the bane of my existence? The Paula to my Simon?"
He seems to be searching your face, sifting through the rocks and the reflective glass to find the kernel of truth beneath. You don't know if you want him to find it or not, unsure of what's left of you to give and not get back.
"For what happened with Lana…and us."
The scoff can't sound nearly as forced as you think it does. "Smallville, don't flatter yourself. We're Lois and Clark, archenemies till the end of time. I'm hardly sad that our awkward moment of madness was broken before I saw red."
The lips shape into a smile that you don't quite believe, but he looks at you with something like amusement behind those eyes.
"Why do I get the feeling that's a good thing for your new friend?"
"Because, Kent." You grab onto the lifesaver with a yelp. "Any man would be lucky with a kick ass Lois Lane behind him."
His grin meets yours, and even though your heart cracks just the slightest, you know you'll live.
"I just want you to be careful around him. There's something," he frowns thoughtfully, "not right about him."
"About Bruce Wayne? Smallville, your time in Metropolis has made you paranoid. There's nothing not right about him."
An exasperated sigh escapes his lips and you nearly want to smile. Nearly, and so you bite your lip.
"You're not going to listen to me, are you?"
"Well," he shifts closer so his shoulder leans into yours. "I probably won't have to worry long, anyways."
"What's that supposed to mean?"
"Come on, Lois. Any man who ends up with you is going to have to have incredible patience."
It's a dig, obviously. However, in the dark, you can pretend so many things don't exist. He is just Clark, and you are just Lois.
"And a quick wit."
"Along with a high tolerance for pain."
"Oh, he'll have to be invulnerable to pain. And have super strength considering I'm a hell of a good fighter."
"A big ego to think he can control you."
"He better be able to drive like he's in Nascar if he wants to catch me."
Clark looks at you, that same light frown you see too much on his face when he's battling something within. You swear he's beginning to lean too close into your defined space, but he halts, his eyes becoming brighter and confused at the same time.
"Or he could use simple super-speed to get you."
"Psh. He may as well fly, too."
His lost smile resurfaces and you feel slightly afraid at the way it seems to curl around you as he breathes, "Maybe he will."
"I know my grape flavored personal bubble is enticing, but I'd hate to have to kill you and then tell Mrs. Kent."
He's the only person you know who can make his entire face smile even if his mouth is already stretched to his ears. Most of the time it annoys the hell out of you, like now.
"Clark, sometimes I swear the only reason you exist is to make me want to kill you, or myself."
Standing, he shakes his head and reaches out an arm, his hand palm up as if an invitation. You take it and he pulls you up with no effort. It won't hurt to do this one little thing. It's not as if anything's changed.
"I wouldn't let you kill yourself."
"Why not? I'd finally have some peace away from you," you grumble, not lying in the least.
You feel him look down at you as his fingers linger on the knob of the lamp, the light yellow on both your faces, tempting and subtle with the hint that something is just in the shadows, that his eyes still aren't lying when they say words he shouldn't know.
You are the reason I survive. You are the only one holding me at the frayed ends. You're my light at the end of the dark tunnel. You are the way I walk to. You are the beautiful beacon that always draws me home. You are the name I scream for when all hope is lost. You are the essence of my existence. You are the reason I will become who I'm destined to be. You are the only one I can murder and kiss at the same time. You are the smile I dream of when I'm alone. You are the heartbeat greater than mine. You are my world. My match. My everything.
"Because you? You're the Lois Lane."