The Life That I Have
Disclaimer: Not mine.
Dedicated to the extremely talented Interstellar!
Summary: The life that I have is all that I have, and the life that I have is yours.
Notes: It's sad; be warned. I'm sorry.
Backing music: http:// /watch?v=bcErVmcJPT8 (take out the spaces before "www" and between "you" and "tube)
It was snowing. It was snowing!
She laughed out loud and swung around to face him and he was standing there all hers, grinning much as she had ever seen him grin. She stopped for a second shaking, grabbing his outstretched arms, and looked up into his face. She shook her head slowly, biting her lip with a silent chuckle.
"What?" He asked softly, with amusement. She just grinned wider and grasped his arms a little tighter.
"Come on!" She tugged him across the snowy landscape with a yell. "Come on Clark!"
He raised his eyebrows but allowed himself to be dragged by the hand along the track. There was a childish delight in her eagerness that he had rarely glimpsed and only usually when there was food involved. They were running and running and "Come on, come on! We're going to be late", the trees were rushing past as they sped down the path but he didn't notice because all he could see was her and all he could feel was her hand around his.
He had never felt this alive.
Breathless and hearts thumping, they pounded to a stop at the end, the trees giving way to clear sky above them, speckled with icy white flecks. Lois was looking up a step away, beaming, and he was glad it was night because the light of her smile shined all the clearer. He stepped towards her with a sigh. But she didn't step away. And it seemed as she never would; she always stepped into his arms now.
She lowered her head slowly to meet his, his arms around her, and softly she leaned in. Their lips met, and it was as gentle as the snowflakes perpetually cascading around them. There was a slight stroke of his fingers on her waist and she felt that ever familiar warmth creep up her spine – hers… he was hers. Her lips began to curve, and a laugh again fluttered out across his tongue. He pulled back slightly to look at her.
"What it is?" He whispered. Her eyes sparkled. "Lois, you're beautiful." Her gaze flickered quickly past his shoulder, but then settled back on him, seemingly even more amused.
"Go on Smallville…"
He leant in a little closer, "And you make me happier than I've ever been. And you're mine and I'm yours and you can't say anything about going slow because it's Christmas and at Christmas you tell the truth."
"Well Smallville," her fingers landed lightly on his neck, "I'm too blindsided by your ability to quote Love Actually to protest."
"I thought as much." There was a side smile, a shy bob of his head. "I like blindsiding you."
"Anything-else you like doing?"
"I like holding you," and there it was again, the warm tingle on her spine just up from where his hands lay, "I like watching your eyes close" her lids fluttered closed, "just before I…"
"Just before you what?" She was breathless already.
"Do something-else I like…"
She felt the warmth of his breath just over her lips, her eyes still closed she tilted her chin up and then his lips were upon hers, soft and coercive. Another breath was taken, then another kiss. Each small flake that landed on her cheek, in her hair, on his nose lay forgotten; they stood together, arms encircled around the other, the world forgotten.
Slowly, slowly Lois came to, "Clark" she whispered as she pulled away. "Your mother's waiting."
He was pouting: pouting! She almost laughed.
"Can't she wait? Just a more minutes, please?"
"Clark…" she said again, then unwrapped an arm from around his neck and stroked his eye lids open, caressing them her fingertips till they conjured a hazy green. "No and no. She's there now, waiting…"
"How do you know? She might be running late!"
"Smallville, who do you think taught you to be at least an hour early for everything?" And then she did that Lois Lane trick of hers: a tilt of the head, a gentle mocking, glittering twinkle in her eye. "She's behind you."
"Oh!" He didn't move.
"Clark…" She rolled her eyes and unwrapped her arms from his neck, placing them instead on his shoulders, turning him round so he could see his Mother standing at the bottom of the steps to the Lincoln Memorial with her arm raised in a wave.
Her arms dropped from his shoulders and one of his found its way across hers as they walked, Lois curling in against the cold.
"Clark!" He withdrew his arm from around Lois –there was a muffled groan of annoyance – and wrapped it around his mother. "Mom! It's so good to see you."
She drew back, "It's good to see you too," then turning her attention to Lois who stood shivering slightly but with a light in her she hadn't seen before.
"Lois," she smiled, "Oh Lois."
She grinned back and hugged her. "It's lovely to see you. It's been too long."
"I agree…" but then she smiled slyly with a glance at Clark, "But looking at how happy you are Lois, I think whatever has happened in the meantime has been immeasurably good."
Lois bit her lip, but her hand found Clark's again. "I would agree with that." Her head fell onto his shoulder, "We would agree with that."
Martha glanced across the hospital foyer; Clark was crouching on the floor beside a small group of sick children, laughing as they forcefully shoved a red nose on his face and a pair of antlers on his head.
"What a dork." She heard Lois whisper. It was to herself, a private sentiment. He looked up evidently having heard her muttered insult, and grinned, the antlers bobbing slightly on his head.
"And I thought plaid was bad!" she called. With a cheeky glint in his eye, he turned back to the children and began to lead them in a rousing chorus of Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer. "Oh my god…" it was meant as a groan but Martha could see through it. She rubbed a hand on her shoulder in reply.
"He's just as good as his father was." She chuckled as the chorus of Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer reached new heights. "At singing I mean."
Lois nodded absently, eyes softening as she watched him gently swing an ecstatic toddler round. Then he caught her eye again and there was a glance away, then another glance up. The child was placed back on their feet as Clark straightened. A quick finger was held up – one minute, I'll be right back – then in three straight bounds he stood before her and it was her he was swinging round.
"Clark!! Put. Me. Down!"
She struggled for a moment; the breadth of her smile a concession. Then the hands that beat on his back fell softly onto his arms and her eyes closed and her head fell onto his shoulder. They were stood for a moment, her feet dangling an inch or two off the ground as he held her.
And Martha still stood smiling.
In a second Lois was back on her feet and Clark across the other side of the room, a paper hat in one hand and a cracker in another.
"So when did it happen?" Martha asked.
"Not so long ago... about a month." Lois paused for a moment then looked at her over her shoulder and grinned shyly, apparently having changed her mind about something. "31 days, 12 hours," she checked her watch, "5 minutes and counting."
"And you're both happy? It is going well?"
"Going well? I-" She turned to face her fully. "I've never been happier. I don't think, I don't think that will change."
Martha nodded. "And I don't think that will. I did know- from Clark… he sounds so happy, so content; he's not very subtle even on the phone. Especially with his feelings-"
Pain flashed in Lois' eyes but she spoke dryly: "Oh he can be subtle. Believe it or not, he can hide them pretty well. He can be scared, and hesitant and cautious and well, Clark."
"Oh," she smiled, "Don't worry; I found them in the end. Well they found me." She shook her head. "He's changed, when I came back… it was like he finally knew what he wanted, who he wanted, and well it was me."
"But that wasn't where it started."
Lois turned to her, biting her lip. "No, no it wasn't. I… I don't know… you've known me for so long, and him and well of course you'd know him; he's your son. But you've known us, together, for years and, oh god it took so long for me to realise, then he realised and Chloe and I just- did you ever realise? That we could be so…" She heaved a sigh.
"Do you think so?"
Martha opened her arms and squeezed her tight. "Yes, Lois."
She sat down heavily in the darkened room. It was late.
She began to pull of her shoes, dropping them to the floor, pulling off her stockings. Her dress went stiffly over her head; it had been such a long time since someone had helped her out of it. The cupboard beside her was shut and she wrenched it open, ploughing down the handle and yanking it towards her. She was like that, she was tough, and strong.
But she didn't seem like it now; she just wanted to rest. The cupboard door swung open suddenly but she didn't sway. There was a soft nightgown inside that she hurriedly pulled on and at last she lay back, eyes wide open, the ceiling's dark expanse before her.
How long had it been? How long was it since a time when he'd be lying beside her, hand entwined in hers. Why wasn't he there? How could he not be there now?
The room's silence was broken by voices from the living room outside. The door was shut, but she could hear them, she could hear it all.
"I have your present." The voice was her son's. Hesitant but sincere.
"Oh you do? Are you going to give it to me?" There was a thump and a giggle. "Or am I going to have to wrestle it from you?"
Her eyes closed and it was her in the room just outside, and it was her Jonathan leaning over her. Her Jonathan… with his eyes wide as they paused in amazement; she had been amazing to him. But oh… how time passes, and oh, how it was her no longer.
Now she lay on the bed in the darkened room and she heard their voices replace her memories.
"Come on Smallville… please? Look! Look at the clock; it's midnight!" How did it get so late, so soon? "It's Christmas!" My goodness... how the time has flewn. She was stealing words, stealing lines, stealing voices.
"Lois… to be honest, I'm terrified."
"Oh Clark…" there was a kiss, she knew it, and she feel it on her lips the same way she had on that night those long few years ago. Oh Jonathan.
"I made something."
"You made something? For me?"
"Yeah. I did."
He had made her a world. He had carved her heart and sewn the skin of her cheek with needle and thread, in and out, in and out. That rivet beneath her ribs; a chisel had indented there and his fingers had polished its marble. He had made her an empty bed and a chill on her arms where his had been and he broken himself from beside her with splinters and dust.
"What is it?" Voices soft, voices quiet. They continued. She was lost to her memories but still she heard.
"Clark," there was an intake of breath. "It's… wow." She could hear the thin, metal chain as it was pulled from the box, the rustle of one hand over another. "Clark, you're shaking."
"I told you; I'm terrified."
"I love it."
"It's inscribed; on the back, y-you can read it."
"Read it to me… please."
"It's just the first stanza of a poem… I can recite the whole of it if you like, I heard it and I-I just… it said what I wanted to say."
"Please say it…" The voice caught, it was strangely desperate, strangely yearning. "Please." She heard her whisper again.
He cleared his throat and began, his voice soft and measured:
"The... life that I have.
Is all that I have.
And the life that I have,
Is- is yours,"
"Lois?" And a kiss, and another kiss. Time was rolling on.
Please don't kiss her again; recite it, all of it, so she could lie here and listen.
He began again:
"The life that I have,
Is all that I have,
And the life that I have,
The... love that I have,
Of the life that I have,
Is yours a-and yours and yours.
A sleep I shall have,"
His voice swelled:
"A rest I shall have,
Yet death will be but a pause!
For the peace of my years,
In the... long green grass
Will be yours... and yours,
There was silence. Then a sob. Was it hers? And another. Was it hers? Was it his? Who were they after all?
And tears were running silently down her cheeks as she heard the other woman cry in the room just outside. He had given her his life and now what could she do but weep? He was there now, there to hold her and stroke her neck with loving hands as her back shook and her throat grew tight.
But that poor man who had lovingly given her his life, he was gone.
"Lois…" Her eyes were shut again, "I love you, I love you, I love you… I love you."
He had fallen to the ground beside her, tumbling from her like those words that fell from her son's mouth. There had been love in his eyes. His eyes…
Her throat clenched painfully, her eyes stinging. The tears were there again.
She was falling too now…
Like him, like the snow outside.
It had been snowing when she'd buried him.
Yet death will be but a pause, and yet death will be but a pause… yours and yours and yours… the life that I have, a sleep I shall have, and yours and yours, yet death will be but a pause... the life that I have... is yours and yours and...
She could see his eyes in her dreams, and he was walking in a field of long green grass and there was peace.
It was snowing.
She turned, a hand on the cold metal of the necklace hanging around her neck. It seemed such a long time ago had he given it to her. Her thumb ran over the inscription. It didn't mention love but it was written there all the same: "And I love you" it said.
She couldn't feel anything but the metal in her hand. Not the cold flakes falling, nor the pain of the man beside her. It was Christmas. Why did it have to be Christmas? Of all the times to be helpless. The sky wasn't white but dark and ominous. It swallowed everything but him and her as they stood together. Smallville, her Smallville, head bowed, eyes shut.
"Smallville..." she whispered. Her hands just as quiet in their movement across his back, down his arm to his hands. "Oh please Clark don't lose me. Stay. I have you and I have your life. I'm here, I'm always here."
It was so far away and time was tripping on its way. It hadn't gone so smoothly these last hours. It hadn't rolled as it had when they were young, when he had recited poetry and she was alive.
"Clark I-" she began again, soft whispers-
And then he was falling, out of her reach, with the snow, knees buckling to the ground. "God, god... no please." And she wanted to touch him and hug him and hold him so much.
"Smallville..." she tried again, and then his eyes snapped open. She slowly pulled him to his feet, a hand dragging him from the graveyard. "Let's go home. Sit by the fire... that's where you know her best. Not in a cold graveyard."
Suddenly he stopped.
He turned to her, "Yet death will be but a pause..." his voice ached, it rasped and crackled with pain. "D-death will be..." His eyes creased, "but a pause... a pause!"
She nodded. "Just a sleep... just a-" she couldn't go on. Then with a breath, she could, "just a rest..."
And she drew him in and they were falling asleep and they could see her reunited with him once more, in the fields outside the farm with the sun and his wide, wide eyes and her dazzling red hair.
The life that I have
Is all that I have
And the life that I have
The love that I have
Of the life that I have
Is yours and yours and yours
A sleep I shall have
A rest I shall have
Yet death will be but a pause
For the peace of my years
In the long green grass
Will be yours and yours