Friday, September 15, 2006

Clarkmas, Chapter 4

Season 6 (based on spoilers and my imagination) - based on "Lexmas"
Rating: PG-13
Disclaimer: These characters belong to the CW and DC Comics, not to me

"Look, someone needs to stay here and take care of our guests." Chloe crossed her arms over her chest and glared at Lois and Jimmy. "We can't just all go off and look for Clark."

"Fine," Lois said, sighing. "I'll stay. The two of you go."

Chloe shot a glance at Jimmy. She didn't particularly want anyone with her, because if Clark was incapacitated in some way, there was always the chance that Jimmy or Lois might catch on to his... peculiarities. The last time he'd disappeared, she and Lois had found him in a shallow grave. Once Chloe had tossed away the kryptonite that had been buried with him, he'd started breathing again. Chloe had been worried Lois would realize there was something strange about that, but apparently Lois had just assumed he'd only been buried for a few minutes. But Clark sometimes displayed other strange abilities, like instant healing, that were much harder to explain away.

She'd told Clark a long time ago that she'd die before she told anyone his secret, and she took that responsibility very seriously.

"Yeah, I'm going too," Jimmy said, interpreting her glance. "I really doubt anything's wrong with CK, but it's Christmas Eve, and I want to spend time with you. Even if it's just driving around town looking for CK. If nothing else, we can check out all the decorations."

He flashed his friendly, guileless grin, and Chloe felt her heart melt. Good old Jimmy. He was trying to reassure her, and she appreciated that. He'd never shown the slightest flicker of jealousy, but she knew that somewhere deep down, he was aware of how much Clark meant to her. He knew what was in her heart, maybe better than she did, but he stuck with her anyway.

"Okay," she said, taking his hand. "Let's go."


The face in the mirror faded away, leaving Clark only marginally more enlightened than before. He turned away from the mirror, feeling confused and frustrated. Looking around the room, he found his wallet on the nightstand. The drivers license was dated 2012, so yeah, he'd somehow gone at least six years into the future. Assuming any of this was real. Assuming he wasn't just delusional or dying... or dead.

He shoved the wallet into his jeans pocket and headed for the door. The apartment was apparently quite small, because he could hear paper rustling just down the hall. He went down the narrow hallway and found himself in a small kitchen. Lois was seated at the table, reading the Daily Planet. She didn't bother to look up as he came in.

A horrible smell instantly assaulted him. He wrinkled his nose, realizing she was smoking. When in the hell had Lois taken up smoking again?

The smoke wafted straight to his nose, the way cigarette smoke always did, burning his sensitive nostrils, and he had to struggle not to lift a hand and wave it away.

A glass of orange juice sat in front of her, but his abnormally keen sense of smell picked up another scent mixed with the juice. Alcohol. Great. Eight o'clock in the morning and Lois was drinking.

He was pretty sure that wasn't the sign of a happy person.

"Hey," he said gently.

"Hey yourself," she said, still not bothering to look up. Her stiff posture, her cold expression, clearly indicated she was pretty damn pissed off.

"Listen," he said, dropping down into a chair across from her. He glanced at the paper she held, seeing the date: December 24, 2014. So it was still Christmas Eve. Same date, different decade. "I'm sorry I upset you this morning."

Something flickered in her expression, and she lowered the paper just a bit and looked at him. "Well. There's something I almost never hear from you. An apology."

"I was just... sleepy. A little confused."

"Yeah, and you were probably dreaming about her again." The venom was back in her voice. "You always do."

Clark thought about that for a minute and decided not to explore it right now. He wasn't really sure he wanted to know who "she" was. "Lois," he said instead, "why'd you agree to give me another chance if you're this angry with me?"

She slammed the paper down on the table and glared at him. "I don't know, Kent. It's the holidays. I guess I just gave into my mushy, sentimental side. But the problem is, nothing's changed. You still keep disappearing and coming back with lame excuses, just like you always have. I'd think you could do without seeing her for a few days, but obviously you can't."

Understanding dawned, and he began to realize why Lois was so angry. She doesn't know, he thought. I married Lois... and didn't bother to tell her what I am and what I do.

Geez, he was a jerk and an idiot. After his relationship with Lana Lang had fallen apart, he'd finally recognized the impossibility of maintaining a romantic relationship with a woman who didn't know his secret. And he'd finally admitted to himself that if he couldn't trust a woman enough to tell her his secret, he had no business getting close to her.

At least, he thought he'd come to terms with all that. But apparently he'd gone ahead and married Lois without sharing the most basic truths of his life with her. No wonder she was pissed off.

"Lois," he said softly. "It's not what you think."

At least he hoped it wasn't. Obviously he'd made some really stupid choices, but he hoped he hadn't grown into the kind of man who'd keep a girlfriend on the side when he was married. He simply couldn't imagine himself that way.

"No?" She looked at him through narrowed blue eyes. "Then exactly why do you keep sneaking off?"

Clark opened his mouth, then closed it again. He wasn't sure how to answer. If he'd never trusted Lois with his secret, maybe he had a reason.

But if that was the case, he'd had no business marrying her.

"Yeah," she said bitterly. "That's what I thought."

He drew in a deep breath, trying to make sense of this situation he'd found himself trapped in. Glancing into the small living room, he saw there were no presents, no tinsel, no Christmas decorations anywhere. No sign that it was Christmas Eve. "Are we going to get a tree today?" he asked.

"I really don't see the point, Smallville."

He looked at her, seeing the lines bracketing her mouth, the tired expression in her eyes. Poor Lois. She'd never been his favorite person, but she deserved better than a marriage that was so horrible she couldn't even take an interest in decorating for Christmas. He thought about how happy she'd been the last time he'd seen her, how excited she was about sharing the holidays with Ollie, and he wondered what had happened, and why she'd wound up choosing him over Ollie.

Obviously it had been a serious misjudgment on her part.

"Come on," he said softly. "Have some breakfast, and then we'll go get a tree."

"Most of the good ones are gone by now," she said, stubbing out her cigarette in an ashtray. "Someone's probably already got the one we'd have wanted."

He had the distinct impression she was talking about more than Christmas trees. "Oh, I don't know about that," he answered, thinking about what Jonathan had told him. "There are always choices, Lois. You never know what you might find if you look hard enough."

Read Chapter 5 here.


Anonymous said...

I know the concensus is that Clark's a BDA, and that can be true at times
but I can't help but fall for him, he's so kind-hearted
you're great at writing stories that show us both sides

looking forward to your next chapter


Anonymous said...

This is great. It reminds of 13 going on thirty where the main girl realizes she had grown up into this terrible person but then tries to fix and in the end is able to go back and make the right descions. I wonder if Chloe and Lois are friends in this future or is she the "her" Lois is referring to. Keep it up. And I'm loving your quick updates!

Opal said...

I can't wait for more! I want to know how Chloe's going to fit into Clark's life, and if Chloe and Jimmy find Clark!

unique_kiwi said...

OOooh is Chloe 'her'? *muses*

And yey you have 'Lollie' in this story!!!

Whilst i Chlois, i do actually like EDlois, who you have down to a T by the way, just not as THE Lois Lane (does that make any sense at all? Lol!)

I'm loving this fic!!

blackheart_me said...

aww I actually feel pretty bad for Lois and also wonder y Clark never told her. Marriage seems so binding with them...Can't wait to read the rest.