A/N: I'm dealing with this Lana-arc as best as I can, and that means writing tons of little drabbly fics.
Two months is a lifetime; something she's learning the hard way.
It feels strange to be back. Everything Lois once knew seems so foreign to her now, as if she has never been in this place before.
Maybe it's because she's gotten used to the smell of disinfectant and the sound of rythmic beeping. Or maybe it's because there's no one here that needs her unwavering support.
She's doesn't know, and doesn't have time to waste figuring it out.
Her desk is still the same, piled high with papers and scribbled on post-its. Some things don't change, and while that holds a little comfort, it's the differences her mind is busy cataloging. The tempermental copy machine has been replaced with a sleeker model, the grumpy guy from three desks over seems to have vanished, and the ladies room has been closed for repairs.
This all feels wrong. That these changes happened while she was gone only drives harder what she already knew. Life had gone on without her, and even though she knew it would, seeing reminders of this cold truth stings.
What pierces her heart though aren't these differences, but the ones that no one seems inclined to acknowledge.
Chloe hides her distance with a sunny smile while Tess is furious and more cagey than Lois has ever known the professional woman to be.
Then there's Clark, the only one that is the same as she remembers.
She wishes it's the man she has come to love instead of the boy she first met that she's returned home to find.
It was probably inevitable that he would revert back. If there's one thing Lois has learned, it's that people don't change. But for the first time, as the days passed and the insecure boy morphed into an independent man, Lois had hoped she was wrong. Maybe Clark Kent would prove to be an exception to the rule.
Instead of a flare of satisfaction at being right, Lois feels nothing but cold acceptance. She won't mourn for a man that never really got the chance to exist, or pine for a dream she had only recently begun to realize.
There's no point.
Two months is a lifetime, and while Lois has always loved a challenge, she's never been one to jump into a game that's already finished. And if at some point, Lois feels her heart tighten at the thought of how things might have been, she shrugs it off, because how can she miss something that she never really had?