NOTE: In this story after Lana/Lex got divorced, Clark left to do his training, he did not get back together with Lana.
Be careful what you wish for, or you just might get it.
Summary: Clark's worst nightmare is coming true, all he had ever wanted was Lana Lang and now Lois is going make sure he gets her.
Regression: the act of going back to a previous place or state; return or reversion.
"Is Lois awake yet mom?" Clark asked as he stepped into the kitchen after completing his morning chores.
"No honey, I thought I heard her a little while ago but she hasn't made an appearance yet." Martha responded, while smoothly transferring her last batch of pancakes to the hot plate on the side board, and carrying it over to the table before taking her seat.
Chloe, who was already seated at the table reading the newspaper, poked her head up "So Clark, all ready for your engagement party next Saturday?" She enquired before reaching for her share of pancakes.
"Yep, be even readier if my fiancé would wake up, so we can start getting things organised" he laughed, taking a seat and helping himself to breakfast.
"Hah, that's just Lois, she's probably sleeping in on purpose." Chloe responded.
The quiet of the kitchen was only disturbed by the scrape of cutlery on plates and the radio playing softly in the background.
"I can't believe you and Lois are actually engaged, even though you've been together for ages, I still remember how much you couldn't stand each other when you first met" laughed Chloe, to which Clark and Martha joined in.
"Yes honey, remember how all you wanted to do was get rid of her. I think you went about it the wrong way" Martha teased.
"Well I finally woke up to myself mom" Clark replied.
"Yeah, I finally realised that she was never going to go away, so I decided to marry her instead" Clark said laughingly.
"Clark..." Martha chided.
"You know I'm kidding, it took me almost two years just to get her to go out with me, but it was all worth it in the end, I finally got her" Clark said in satisfaction.
"I wish your father could be here, he would be so proud and pleased. He loved Lois like a daughter you know" Martha smiled a little tearfully.
Clark gave her a reassuring hug and wished his dad could have been there too, he had never stopped missing Jonathan Kent and had always deeply regretted his part in his passing. But no matter how much he wished otherwise, Lois had taught him, that you played that hand that you were dealt and dwelling on missed opportunities and regrets brought nothing but doubt and bitterness.
Thinking of his fiancé he couldn't help but smile at how lucky he was. He still found it completely unfathomable that he hadn't seen what was right in front of his eyes for so many years. How on earth had he kept chasing after and 'mooning' over Lana when Lois was front and centre for all that time.
He supposed it was a blessing, when he had fallen in love with Lois, she hadn't felt the same way, so he could imagine how much worse it would have been, loving her for eight years without it being reciprocated in the slightest, and at least his relationship with Lana had taught him what NOT to look for in the person you wanted to spend the rest of your life with.
Although, being with Lois had taught him a whole new set of relationship rules. The first being, that when she screwed up or hurt him, it wasn't up to him to go running to her begging for forgiveness, she was big enough to do that for herself.
He remembered their first couple fight. He had gone to her and asked her to forgive him and she had been shocked that he had thought he had to make up, when she had clearly been in the wrong. She had taken his hand, led him over to the couch and explained that when she was wrong, as much as it pained her to admit it, it was up to her to make things right, not him. And she was sorry that she hadn't already done that.
He had been amazed at that, he didn't want to bring up Lana, and point out that she was really his only point of reference with regard to relationships, so Lois did, and told him that all that he learnt in his relationship with Lana should be thrown out the window, unless he really thought she and Lana were alike in anyway, in which case it was time they broke up.
He had stumbled over his words, quickly trying to let her know that he knew she was nothing like Lana, and was infinitely glad for it, then they'd laughed and Lois had proposed they have make up sex, after all she said 'they might as well get something out of it, after being so miserable for two days', he hadn't needed any convincing.
He had still screwed up every now and again and a couple of times had reverted to his 'Lana ways' as Lois called them, but eventually she'd beaten them out of him, he'd happily pointed out.
The quiet in the kitchen was disturbed by the stumbling and grumblings coming from upstairs and Clark, very familiar with Lois' morning routine, quickly poured a cup of coffee and went to stand at the bottom of the stairs with hand out stretched holding the precious java.
Lois came shuffling down, with her eyes partially closed, took the cup, had a sip of coffee, shuffled over to the table, sat down, and let her eyes close fully, while inhaling the scents of coffee and breakfast in the kitchen. By the time she'd gulped down half the cup her eyes were mostly open and she was reaching for a pancake but when she looked around she noticed that everyone staring at her "What ….oh shit, um sorry Mrs Kent, what the hell happened?"
"What do you mean, nothing's happened" Chloe pointed out.
"The hell it hasn't, what's going on? You know I'm not quite with it first thing in the morning, are you all trying to drive me crazy, cause that's just not nice."
"Lo, what are you talking about?" Clark asked concerned. He knew that jokes before Lois was awake, would earn him a one way ticket to sleeping on the couch, so he never even entertained the thought.
"What am I talking about, oh well let's see, Smallville your wearing glasses and either Chloe's hair grows faster than anyone else's, or it's grown 6 inches overnight, you all look older and what's with you calling me Lo?"
"Lois, we look the same way we always look" Cloe replied, while simultaneously sharing a confused look with both Clark and Martha.
"No Chlo, as I just stated you don't, and you know, it's kind of funny but I don't remember coming here last night, I must have had more to drink then I thought. Although I don't remember drinking much either and by the way, what's this ring for?" Lois asked in confusion, holding up her left hand and wiggling her ring finger.
"Lois, don't you remember coming here with Clark and me after work yesterday?"
"No Chloe, I just said I don't. What's going on, how and why are we here? Oh don't get me wrong Mrs Kent, you know me, I'd travel anywhere just for your cooking and I love staying here at the farm, but why aren't we at our apartment at the Talon?" Lois looked at Chloe, waiting for an answer.
"The Talon! Lois you and I haven't lived at the Talon for years, not since we moved to Metropolis" Chloe was baffled, the whole conversation had taken a turn for the bizarre.
"Chlo, I don't live in Metropolis, it feels like I do sometimes with all the travelling back and forth, but I live here in Smallville, and you're sharing my apartment until the Met U's dorms are rebuilt, remember."
"Lo, that happened in 2007" Clark put in
"So, its 2015" Chloe said slowly and clearly.
"No it's 2007" Lois replied back in the same manner.
"Lois, 2007 was eight years ago, it's now 2015" Clark put in.
'Don't be ridiculous, if it was 2015, I'd be 28, I'm only 20" Lois stated as if that was the end of the matter and was now expecting everyone to fess up to some huge joke being played on her.
"Lois honey, it really is 2015" Martha told her gently, after sharing a shocked looked with Clark and Chloe.
"Ok, you know I appreciate a good joke as much as the next person, but this is seriously un-funny. You're trying to tell me I'm 28 years old, when I know I'm not. I'm 20, I remember turning 20; I do not remember anything after that."
Chloe turned the newspaper around so Lois could read the date, hoping that it would clear up Lois' confusion or get her to stop playing games. She agreed with Lois that the situation was un-funny and couldn't understand why she insisted on perpetuating what was so clearly, a not funny joke.
After reading the date on the newspaper, Lois ran to the mirror and was shocked at what she saw. She had changed, aged and didn't understand how it could happen. When she turned to face the others, they could see that she wasn't joking or tying to tease, she really didn't know what had happened.
Lois walked back to the table, took her seat and picked up her coffee cup. This was all just too weird. Weird things were always happening in Smallville, but this was something she had never experienced before.
"Ok, we need to figure out what's going on. Lois, do you feel any different, even a little?" Chloe asked, while Clark and Martha waited quietly for her answer.
"What about when you first woke up?" Chloe probed.
"No…..well ok, a little but not now" Lois shrugged one shoulder to signify her bewilderment.
"What do you mean not now, did you feel different before?" Chloe questioned.
"Well, when I first woke up it was strange; it was like there were two people…no not people, two lots of memories fighting in my head. I thought I must have been hung-over, because some of the memories didn't make sense and I didn't remember them ever happening. I tried to get up but was kind of dizzy, so just lay back down. I must have fallen back to sleep because when I woke up the second time, I was fine."
Lois looked over at the three people in the room. She could tell that Clark wasn't listening or particularly interested in what she was saying, which was not surprising. Their relationship was more on the thorny side than anything and unless her name was Lana Lang, he wouldn't be all that attentive, but she would have thought he'd care at least a little bit that something had clearly happened and that she was scared. She should've known better. But Chloe and Martha at least did want to hear her and help, for which she was grateful.
Clark shook himself out of the trance he had fallen into, apologised for having to leave and ran out the door.
"Typical, I know I'm not Lana but you'd think just once, he show an ounce of interest in something that doesn't concern her, well I guess nothing's changed in eight years" Lois stated unsurprised.
Realising that Lois had no idea that Clark was Superman and exactly why he had run off, the two women tried to reassure her that he really did have urgent business that needed tending too, and began trying to pour oil before the waters could become too troubled.
"Hey don't worry about it, Smallville and I understand each other. I'm not mad, just not overly surprised. Anyway, forget about Clark for now, we have to figure out what's going on, but first I really need a shower, I feel all icky and grungy" And with that Lois returned upstairs.
"Ok, we've got trouble. Lois thinks she's 20 …..or she is 20, I don't know which and to make matters worse, she also thinks Clark is an inconsiderate slob unless you're name is Lana Lang." Turning to Mrs Kent, Chloe encountered the same troubled look that she knew was reflected on her own face and the two ladies silently shared the same hope, that in true Lois fashion, she would have a very long shower and Clark would get back before she returned downstairs, so they could let him know the latest development.
"Lois said she first woke up with two lots of memories, and that's the part that most concerns me" Martha supplied, moving into the living room and making herself comfortable on the couch.
"I know, that's the part that makes me think she really is 20 and somehow or someway, her 28 year old self is in there but being suppressed. But how could that happen and who or what could want to make that happen?" Chloe questioned, pacing up and down in agitation.
Clark returned in time to hear the tale end of the question and asked if the whole could be repeated, explaining that unfortunately, just as Lois had started talking, he'd heard a broadcast of a train derailment and missed most what was said.
Once filled him in, he didn't know whether to focus on the part where Chloe believed that they were dealing with a 20 year old Lois, or that his fiancé really thought he didn't care because she wasn't Lana.
"Ok, first things first, I need to explain to her where I've been and why I left" He said scrubbing a hand through his hair.
"Clark, this Lois knows nothing about Superman, how are you going to tell her, it could change everything" Chloe protested.
"I'm going to tell her Chlo, I'm not going to let her think that I don't care about her because she's not Lana. Lana was never much of an issue between us thank god, and I have no intention of letting her becoming one now" He countered, waving her to a seat next to his mother before sitting down in the recliner.
"No Chloe, on this I'm not budging, Lois is the woman I love, and I'm not going to let her to think otherwise" He said with an air of finality.
"Clark's right dear, he needs to tell her about Superman, otherwise Lois will think that Clark doesn't care, or that she can't depend on him in all this confusion" Martha put in.
"Ok, besides, I don't remember Lois ever telling us that when she was 20 she went to the future, and I think she would have ……I hope" Chloe replied troubled.
"She would have told me Chlo, Lois tells me everything. It took a long time to get to that stage, but we are there now, so I know she would have said something. Which can only mean that when she reverts back to being her older self, or her younger self goes back, she never remembered being here. So her knowing about Superman and her life now, won't hurt or change anything" Clark pointed out.
"Yeah ok, but we still have to be careful with what we tell her, we don't want to confuse or frighten her if we can help it and …….oh my god!" Chloe cried suddenly.
"What, what's wrong?" Clark asked, when no answer was forthcoming he took Chloe's hand and gave it a shake "Chloe, what?"
"Oh my god Clark, remember, when Lois was 20, I called you one day, I had spent the previous night with Jimmy so didn't know anything was wrong at first. But when I hadn't heard from Lois the next day, and she wasn't answering my calls, and she hadn't turned up for work at the Inquisitor, and your mom hadn't heard from her, I called you to go over to her apartment at the Talon and when you got there…." she trailed off.
"I found her asleep. At first she just appeared to be sleeping, but I couldn't wake her up, so I called an ambulance and had her taken to the Smallville Medical Centre" Clark finished.
They had all been worried, but the doctors couldn't find anything wrong with Lois. They had said she wasn't in a coma, but she was unconscious, or in a very deep sleep. She wasn't in distress like the time Lex's lab experiment had gone wrong, it had to have been something else but they couldn't explain it and unless or until Lois woke up, there was nothing to be done.
"Oh honey, of course, it makes sense doesn't it?" Martha exclaimed in distress.
"Yeah, it's the only thing that does but I just didn't connect it until now, why would I, why would any of us. But we never did find out what caused it, the doctors didn't know and Lois flat out refused to discuss it, I think the whole episode just freaked her out too much. She hates losing control and that was a situation beyond her control and because she wasn't harmed in any way, I just let it drop" Chloe commented.
"But when Lois woke up, she had no memories, dreams, flashbacks, nothing, and when questioned, she said she just felt like she'd been asleep and now, we obviously know this is where she was….here in this time. Which means, that whatever happened to her, had to have happened here, in the future, and that's why, not only could the doctors not find anything wrong with her, she also had no memory of ever being here" She concluded.
Clark had been silent during the whole of Chloe's recital. He remembered that time clearly, but knowing helped little, like Chloe had said, Lois had refused to discuss it or delve into it and unfortunately at that point in his life, although he was certainly glad that she was ok and didn't appear to suffer any harm from the experience, it meant that he was able to revert back to dwelling on the failure of his relationship with Lana Lang once again.
"Ok, so we have somewhere to start, but we still don't know what caused it" Martha put in.
"And at the moment, we also don't know how to fix it to send her back. We must have figured it out, because she woke up five days later, but we need to try and figure out where to start looking for answers" Chloe said with determination.
"So have you come up with anything, or is this just one of those Smallville freak occurrences again?" Lois asked.
No one had heard her come down the stairs, they were too busy lost in thought of where to start to looking for answers, while the memory of that time eight years previously played in their heads.