Summary: After battling for months, Lois Lane is given the chance to go back and prevent the Darkness from coming, saving Clark in the process.
Rewrite of Season 8; Drama, action and Clois!
Disclaimer - I own nothing; all rights belong to Warner Brothers, the CW and Millar and Gough. For entertainment purposes only, no money is involved, only sweat and worry.
I am a first-time fanfiction writer and I welcome comments.
Thanks to Sara Wolfe, my beta, for being supportive and responsive. Many thanks to Briee, one of the best, for keeping the emotional content on track. She's my hero because, not only does she write great stories, she finishes them. I promise to do the same for any of you who join in this adventure.
Star City, 2011
Lois Lane stood alone on the roof of the Star City Chronicle, watching her city burn. The city that had been her home for almost three years was on fire. Buildings, cars, street lights, even people, all burning. Shouts, screams, and occasional gunshots rose through the darkness with the smell of smoke. Flames provided the only light in the dark of evening.
How had it come to this?
Being Mad Dog Lane, she had investigated, probed and typed up the results, but this time she couldn't get the answers to all of her questions. Maybe she would get the answers to some of them tonight.
She drew in a shaky breath at the thought. She rubbed the scars along her neck, a nervous habit that reminded her she wasn't a reporter anymore. She was a fighter. After the Darkness invaded, people fell into one of two camps, fighters or victims, and Lois Lane would never be a victim.
Still, the need for answers burned. After all, her job had never been about the work, the writing or even her precious Kerth; it was always about the truth, learning from history and trying to make things better. That was what the truth did.
After six months of fighting, it seemed that there was no truth. Regrets and questions were all that were left.
Why did the Darkness invade?
How did it get here?
Why did it take some, but kill others?
The last question was the one that haunted her. She'd lost so many to the Darkness. First, there had been the General, the one man who seemed indestructible to her, sent in when martial law was imposed. After the General had died, Martha and Chloe lost their lives as part of the battle for Metropolis. She'd learned about and then lost Kara and Victor in the span of a few weeks. Equally hard were the loss of her co-workers - Hank, the irascible editor who treated her like a daughter; Sally, the social editor; and Ben, the freckle faced intern. Finally, there was Dinah, who'd become her friend and fellow protector of Star City. Each and every loss had been like a stab to her heart, sharp and painful, until the sheer multitude of wounds filled her with a continual ache.
Tonight she was feeling especially sore, the constant pressure to give up weighing her down. This needed to end. She needed it to end. A warrior knew when it was time to call a halt to battle. Her hand dropped from her scarred neck. She didn't need any more reminders of why she was here.
She glanced around for her team even though she knew they were hidden. Oliver and J'onn should be in position and waiting, like her. Of the small band that was left, these two were in the best position to help her fight him or turn him.
Would he show?
Oliver didn't think so, but Lois knew better. Only she knew what was offered as bait and why he wouldn't be able to resist it. It would be enough.
Mentally, she reviewed her strategy for the hundredth time. It was a risky to meet him alone, but it was the only way. He never recognized the others or responded to their threats or promises, only hers. She wondered at it, at the connection that was there. Incredible, really, when she had cut him from her life two years ago and the Darkness had taken him only a year previous.
In one of her articles, she had named him "Night" after the Darkness that followed him. At the time, she knew what he was doing but not who he was. Ironic when she found out; she was always giving him nicknames that captured his essence. Maybe that's why this name stuck; it defined who he had become, a harbinger of the Darkness.
She saw him then, as if her very thoughts had brought him to her. He crossed the evening sky, only darkness and shadow, a black streak against the stars. Here and there fire would shoot from his eyes down toward the city, marking his passing with destruction.
How had this happened?
Would this work?
The questions were never far when he was near.
He flew like an arrow straight to the Chronicle, landing only feet in front of her, standing still and tall. His eyes never rested, they darted all around, looking for a threat. She noticed that his eyes never landed on her. Even though she knew he didn't consider her a threat, it rankled.
So she straightened and let her eyes dart over him, searching him for the unexpected.
He came alone; he was always alone. He carried no weapons, but he didn't need any. The all-black that he wore was the same, complete with the long black coat. Her eyes didn't linger on his face, but seeing it was always a shock … gaunt, drawn, and sallow, with dark circles under his eyes.
She knew that his appearance was caused by limited exposure to the sun. As a result, Oliver had thought that his powers would diminish over time. They had waited in vain for that to happen.
No more waiting.
Taking a deep breath and rubbing at the scars on her neck, she looked into his eyes. No matter how she prepared herself, it wasn't enough. They were steel gray, shuttered and cold, no longer revealing his every emotion to her. At the same time, when she looked closely, she saw a flicker, something like that night seven years ago when she had practically run him in down in the cornfield …
… when he had been lost and alone.
His face now reflected the same loss of self. She could see it and remember. Maybe that's why this connection existed, why he would respond to her and no one else. Couldn't the others see it? It made no sense. Of course Oliver never tried, but J'onn … they had been friends, too.
She watched as his eyes burned red, moving to take out a couple of the traps she'd set earlier as distractions. Her breath stilled, as it always did when he used his heat vision. When he was finished, his eyes moved back to hers. Unable to resist, she lifted the side of her mouth and her brow, as if to say, "What did you expect?"
Perverse to the end, she couldn't resist taunting him.
He responded. It was brief but, for a second, his expression seemed to mirror hers, and it rocked her. Memories of bantering and bickering, images of the boy he used to be clashed with what she saw now and she was blindsided.
God, can I do this?
She took a quick step forward, tilting her head slightly and looking straight into his eyes. Not before she got some answers.
"What happened to you?" She demanded.
Maybe she'd imagined it. It wouldn't be the first time she thought she saw something in him that wasn't there. She stepped closer, and looked into his face.
"How did this happen to you?" She almost shouted in her frustration.
His lack of response infuriated her. Who did he think he was anyway? He wasn't meant to be this creature. Of all of them, he had the means to stop the madness. They needed him. Sheneeded him.
She felt it then, her craving for the person he used to be.
No, not now.
This was the time for fighting, not for these feelings that would make her want things she couldn't have, things she'd never had. Unabated, the need swelled inside her until she couldn't ignore it or push it back to wherever she hid it when he wasn't around.
Furious with her own lack of self-control and fuming over his lack of response, she launched herself at him, taking it out on him by hitting and cursing, beating against his chest and arms. She raged against him, trying to hurt him as he had hurt her, trying to get some kind of response or some answers, anything. It was stupid, she knew. He could swat her like a fly at any time but he didn't. After a few minutes, he simply grabbed her arm and she stopped.
Cold, extreme cold; it radiated from his hand down her body.
She shivered and pulled away. What was she doing? She knew better. She rubbed the scars along her neck. She should hate him and be done with it. But she couldn't, damn him. Despite what he'd done, despite what he'd put her through, she could never hate him.
God, how could someone so empty make her feel this way?
…because he wasn't always so empty.
Detached and still, he continued to watch her, while she sighed at her own stubbornness. It was useless, she knew, but at least she could say that she tried. "Never give up" was a Lane motto after all.
Her emotional assault may not have worked, but it did place her close enough to him to initiate her planned attack. Still breathing heavily, hoping against hope that her strategy would work, Lois leaned over as if to catch her breath and quickly pulled out the small piece of sharp green crystal from the lead-lined pouch at her waist. It was a very small piece, one of the last, but anything bigger and he would have noticed the compartment. She had to trust that it was enough.
The minute the meteor rock was in her hand, she looked up through her lashes and saw the shock and pain in his face. She quickly darted behind him so she could remain close but out of reach and waited. When he didn't move, she moved in closer. The resulting grunt was loud enough for her to hear and she watched as he doubled over and wrapped his arms around himself as if to contain the pain. The green of the rock seemed to color his skin and sweat broke out on his brow as he took a stumbling step away. Hearing about the effect of the rock and seeing it were two different things; he really seemed powerless. Afraid to move or change the dynamic, Lois stood perfectly still, rock in hand.
Maybe this will work.
The arrow that flew through the air and shot through Night's chest was not part of the plan.
Oliver! Damn him, he could never forgive.
They had argued about this, only hours before - immobilize or destroy?
Lois sucked in her breath as she saw how easily the arrow penetrated. Night fell to his knees and, eventually, to his back. Blood was covering his chest, and he struggled for breath.
When he fell, she tried to run to him but realized the green rock that was now cutting into her hand was hurting him as well. She stilled, thoughts tumbling in her brain as she considered what to do. If she let go of the rock, they would be destroyed. If she stayed close, he would die.
Inching away, she glanced out of the corner of her eye at J'onn, who had landed on the roof right after the arrow struck. Keeping one eye on Night, Lois raised a brow at J'onn, who simply shrugged. He always had trouble reading Night's thoughts, something about him being controlled.
A frustrated moan escaped her as Night's breathing became more labored. Taking a few steps back, she watched as it steadied and he looked into her eyes. Steel gray seemed to soften for a minute and she was mesmerized by the look that crossed his face.
"Lois," he breathed. …
Oh God, now he was talking.
As color gradually returned to his irises, Lois focused on the expression or awareness within. Gray turned to soft blue and she saw what she thought was approval or appreciation.
Surely he didn't want to die?
Her hand covered her mouth, to keep in a scream or a sob, she wasn't sure.
"Lois," he mouthed again, and Lois was transported to the time when a boy of eighteen was lying helpless on the floor, surrounded by green rock after saving her from the plastic surgeon and a nightmare of needles.
Throwing down the stone, she ran to him. It was her turn …
Before she could reach him, before she could shout out her orders to J'onn, her body was frozen by a unnatural white light. She could see everything as if through a light fog, but she couldn't hear and she couldn't talk. Struggling mightily, she tried to reach him but couldn't break free. She could see that Night wasn't breathing any longer. Tears streamed down her face as she continued to resist the pull of the light. Her last thought was that she had killed him, she had killed Clark Kent, and then there was nothing more.
TBC - comments are welcome...