A/N: As promise. Enjoy!
Disclaimer: All rights for Superman belong to DC Comics/Time Warner and the heirs of Superman co-creator, Jerry Siegel. This story is based on characters and situations created and owned by the above mentioned as well as Warner Brothers. This story is for entertainment purposes only and no copyright infringement is intended.
'I can't take one more sleepless night
-Without you- David Guetta ft. Usher
Lois shot up. Her heart was beating fast and her cheeks were wet with tears. Sweat beaded at her brow and her legs were tangled up in the sheets.
"Jason." She rasped, her voice husky from misuse.
"You were screaming, mommy. Are you okay?"
"I'm fine, Jason. I'm sorry I woke you," she swiped at her cheeks and eyes with the back of her hands, "come on, I'll bring you back to bed."
Lois rolled over and kicked the covers on her side of the bed away. Clark's side was neatly made up with the covers tucked in at the corner. The bed side clock read 03:54 and Lois couldn't help the feeling of bitterness rising up inside of her. The nightmare had shaken her and she wanted nothing more than to be held by her husband and to be given solid proof that he was alive and safe and hers.
"This is ridiculous. Clark has more important things to do than play mommy to a grown woman. Get a grip Lane."
Taking her son's small hand in hers, Lois led him down the hallway of their town apartment to his own room.
She couldn't shake the image of Clark lying motionless on the floor of the plane, couldn't get rid of his tortured scream echoing in her mind.
Lois felt a tear slide out the corner of her eye and she sniffed quietly, hugging her legs closer to her body. Screw this, she thought, and grabbed the packet of cigarettes kept in her side drawer. She had quit smoking two years ago to Clark's joy. The same year that everything happened, the year they almost died.
"Clark isn't around to say anything." She muttered bitterly. Lois knew what she was getting herself into when she agreed to marry Clark but just because she knew what was involved didn't mean she necessarily had to like it.
Lois snuck out quietly, being careful to close the balcony door behind her. She didn't want Jason to see her smoking, she promised to stop but this was an emergency and therefore, an exception.
Holding the lighter up to her cigarette, she bent forward slightly trying to shield the tip from her surroundings.
"Good evening Miss Lane."
Lois jumped and swore.
"Shit Clark, make some noise would you?" Exasperated by her display of weakness and still disturbed by her dream, Lois angrily swiped at her eyes trying to erase whatever evidence of her crying. She chucked her unused cigarette and tossed the lighter on the table before sinking into the only chair on the balcony.
Clark chuckled and lowered himself slowly, still wearing the famous red and blue garb.
"Well, making noise would defeat the purpose of sneaking up on someone."
Lois didn't answer and looked out into the dark morning. She was angry with herself for being weak, for letting herself be vulnerable and needy. And Worst of all, for not recovering before Clark came back. Of course, in typical Lane fashion, she took out her irritation at herself on Clark. It was easy to accuse him, accuse him of being gone when she needed him, of putting their family second and the needs of the people first; which was obviously untrue and not very nice to blame him of ever doing when she knew that he tried his hardest to balance everything. But then again, an irritated Lois Lane was never nice.
"Lois, are you alright?" Clark took a step forward. Lois could hear his cape flapping behind him in the breeze, could smell that uniquely Clark scent as well as the faint hint of smoke, obviously wherever he had come from involved fire. She could feel the warmth radiating off him and involuntarily took a step closer, her body seeking that warmth and the comfort he could offer.
"Lois." Of course he had to speak and cause waves of irritation and anger to surge over her. She stood up and walked towards him, her finger pointed at him accusingly and her eyes blazing.
"I'm not bloody alright okay? How can you even expect me to be fine when you go flying off in the middle of the night to who knows where? You missed Jason's piano performance last week because you were too busy saving the world and being a hero. Of course family doesn't matter, who cares about the bloody family when you're bleeding Superman!" Lois lashed out at him, the irritation and fear from the nightmare fuelling her anger.
Clark stood his ground, clearly unafraid of the raging reporter advancing on him, but then again, he was Superman. He raised an eyebrow at her; Lois's behaviour was strange and definitely unexpected.
"I was at the performance. I was standing at the back and I told you I was there. You know that isn't true, you guys are the most impor-"
He didn't get a chance to finish.
"Well congratulations, you managed to make it to that performance. How about the next performances or other family events? Will you always be there? It's not even just about family events, yeah, you're Superman but it doesn't take a genius to figure out that kryptonite is deadly to you. Sure you're doing…"
"Lois." It suddenly clicked, why she was behaving like that, why she was standing out there in the middle of the night, why she wanted to smoke.
"a great job of balancing everything right now, but one day even Superman isn't going to be able to balance the demands of being a parent, reporting for the Planet and saving the world on a daily basis."
"If I was able to even suspect who you were when you just needed to be Clark Kent and Superman, how many more people are going to catch up now that you've got even more on your plate? You're going to end up spending less time at home and Jason's going to continue the rest of his childhood without a dad. You weren't here for the important years and now you're just going to miss the rest! How can you do that?"
"Lois." This time, Clark took a step forward and pulled the nearly hysterical woman into his arms. Surprisingly, she collapsed into his embrace with no resistance. She buried her face in his chest, her hands gripping his arms as her shoulders shook. It broke Clark's heart to watch her cry and to hear her choke at her sobs, trying her hardest to stop them. He wrapped his arms around her and held her close with one hand on her lower back while the other ran through her hair.
"Did you have that dream again?" He asked, resting his cheek on the crown of her head. She nodded, her head moving only the slightest against his chest.
"I'm sorry." His chest rumbled as he spoke, it was comforting and Lois moved even closer.
"Don't be. I'm sorry for lashing out at you, I didn't really mean too." She murmured, so quietly that he wouldn't have been able to hear if he wasn't, well, if he wasn't Superman.
"I am. Sorry, that is. I'm sorry for not being here."
"You're never always going to be here, with saving the world and everything. I didn't mean what I said. You really are doing a fantastic job of balancing everything."
He lifted her chin up with his finger. She was beautiful, she always was. Despite the tear tracks down her face and her slightly swollen eyes, no woman on the planet, in the universe even, could look more beautiful than she did.
"And I couldn't have done it without you."
If anyone else had said that to her Lois would have scoffed at their cheesiness. The sincerity in her husband's voice however struck a different note. She smiled a small smile and looked up into his eyes as he gently brushed away the tears from her cheeks.
"You know I hate to admit it, but I can't do this without you too smallville."