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Déjà Vu: Chapter 35: Closed Doors

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A/N: Aaaaaaaand, after a longer than expected break between chapters, here I am again. I guess my Christmas vacation didn’t provide me as much free time as I had hoped.

Just in case you missed it, though, I published a little Christmas one-shot in the future of this universe, called “Christmas Times Five.” I’d be much obliged if you would check it out!

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Déjà Vu

Chapter 35: Closed Doors

Clark crashed through the doorway of the lead-lined room in the cabin, blue eyes ablaze, and gathered her into his strong arms. There was no greenish glow this time, no closed doors, no gag or bonds… just the two of them. Alone. Together.

Lois knew in some small portion of her subconscious mind that this was just a dream, a replaying of the scene with the script rewritten the way she wished it could have gone…

Lois ran her hands up between them, undoing buttons as her fingers traveled upward – hadn’t he been wearing the costume before? – laying the palms of her hands flat on his hard, muscular torso. Clark wasted no time in doing the same, his hands lifting the hem of her blouse to caress the small of her back.

He captured her lips gently between his own as she slid his shirt off of his shoulders. She had been waiting for this for so long, desperately waiting. Lois pushed him backward a little, just enough to let her slip her blouse over her head. She regarded him a moment as she lounged there half-clothed, eyelids lowered in desire.

Clark’s eyes widened as he recognized her look, and then the flame she had seen before began to positively smolder. His broad chest descended upon hers, and the feeling of their mutual arousal sent the room spinning…

Lois’ eyes popped open. Crap, just when it was getting good…

The clock on the bedside table read 4:07am. She groaned and shifted in the bed, eyes adjusting to the darkness. She had been struggling to go to sleep – and stay asleep – most of the night, disturbed by terrifying dreams of Luthor… or steamy fantasies of Clark.

She shivered slightly as she looked around her. It felt strange to be waking up in this bedroom, the same one she and Richard had shared for years. And to be having these kinds of thoughts about Clark… a small body moved beside her, pressing closer. Gently, Lois stroked Jason’s back, and he settled to stillness again, reassured of her presence.

Jason hadn’t wanted to sleep by himself – he was still too anxious about almost losing his mommy two times in quick succession. And on top of that, he had demonstrated his burgeoning superpowers both times, the super-strength on the boat, super-speed at The Planet. Richard was downstairs on the couch, gracefully bowing out of sharing the bed with them: “We can’t all fit on this bed the way we used to, Sport.” He’d ruffled Jason’s hair tenderly, not completely able to hide the deep sadness in his eyes.

And where was Clark in all of this? Well, he’s not here, and that’s the only place I want him to be right now… Though not at the same time as his son… she chuckled uncomfortably, and turned over. Her little bundle of heat shifted in concert with her.

It was no wonder Lois couldn’t sleep well. ‘The Talk’ she had been dreading was on the horizon. I can’t put it off any longer… Jason needs to know that Richard and I are splitting up. He deserves to know before he can be hurt any more than he already will be.

And then of course, the ‘real father’ issue had to come out, too. But when? Tomorrow – she corrected herself, looking again at the clock – today…? In the next few days? Weeks? Months? How long can we reasonably put that off? Should we even try?

Lois could see so many possible outcomes to Jason learning the truth. If he found out now, would he really understand what it meant? Jason was a smart little boy, but he was still so young. But if they waited until he was much older, would he feel betrayed?

Telling him now, after everything that had happened, he might say, ‘Cool! That explains a lot!’ But she could also see the flipside, a red-faced Jason shouting at Clark, “I hate your guts, I’ll never be good enough for you!”

Truthfully, Lois knew it could be anything in that spectrum… and probably would turn out to be something in-between. But as well as she knew her little boy, she just couldn’t be completely sure of what he would do… or say...

- - - - -

“Can we stay here tonight instead of with Mister Clark?”

At Jason’s innocently-asked question, Perry White’s mouth opened in shock. “What the h—Clark?”

Lois’ first impulse was to fly into excuse mode. “Oh, Clark babysat Jason last night… and I came over later to work on the Mitchener story… after what happened with…” She let her words trail off – they sounded hollow even to her own ears. And the uncomfortable assessing looks Richard and Clark were giving each other… Lois realized that there was no hiding it from Perry.

But Jason… Lois placed a gentle hand on Jason’s shoulder and knelt to face him. “Sure, Munchkin. We’ll stay here tonight.” Jason didn’t know anything about the break-up, and this was not the time or place to do it. She would not explain what was going on to Perry in Jason’s hearing. “Why don’t you go in and put your pajamas on and I’ll be in soon.” Thankfully, all of the adults seemed to understand her hesitation. “Hey, Jason, want me to help you find something?” Jimmy volunteered, and his natural enthusiasm broke the tension just enough. “You can show me that new game you got.”

“Okay,” Jason answered after Lois gave him an affirming I’m-just-fine-kiddo kind of nod. Their voices quickly faded as the two went up the stairs onto the deck and into the house.

When Jason was out of earshot, Perry cleared his throat and lowered his voice. “Now, don’t give me any bull, you three. I didn’t become editor-in-chief of The Daily Planet because I couldn’t see what was in front of my face.” His eyebrows drew down as he pointedly looked between Lois and Richard. “Is what I’m seeing true? Did…” He shook his head disbelievingly before continuing, “…Kent come between the two of you?”

“Well, I wouldn’t say that I—” Clark began timidly, just as Lois was also arguing, “Chief, it’s not that easy to---”

Richard held up a hand. “Wait, Uncle Perry. Don’t jump to any conclusions… yet.” Both Lois and Clark halted mid-sentence. Richard continued, voice remarkably emotion-free, “It seems that Lois and Clark had a relationship back before he…” Richard’s eyes dropped for a moment before settling back on Perry’s face. “…left… on his trip. When Clark came back they both realized they still had… feelings for each other.”

Lois was completely surprised, Clark seemed just as astonished. Richard is explaining this… defending us? Why?

Perry dug into the information like the newshound he was. “What? A relationship? When?”

Lois started off gently. “Do you remember the honeymoon story you sent us on? To Niagara Falls?”

“Yes, to investigate the racket up there.” Perry turned to Richard, curiosity flashing across his no-nonsense face, “The same time you were asking me about?”

Richard nodded, still keeping his features schooled.

Clark tried to jump in, although he was clearly trying not to raise his boss’ ire, “It—it was a very romantic setting…” His tone abruptly changed, although only Lois knew why. “And then those aliens came and caused all that panic.”

“Right…” Perry ran a hand across his face. “But I still don’t get it! After all of that was over, you two acted like nothing had changed, and then only a few weeks later Kent gave his notice!” He began to pace, shooting Richard incredulous looks as he spoke. “A little fling like that, over so quickly, and then you’re… throwing away five years of your life…” While Perry continued to lecture Lois, he sent another look to Richard, urging him to speak up, “…and the father of your child, who just risked his life to save you… to recapture it?”

Lois didn’t know how to respond to that… just as with Richard, there was no way to explain what had happened without also explaining her memory loss. Clark was obviously searching for something to say as well. And it went without saying that they had to keep the Superman angle out of the explanation.

“Lois,” Richard began seriously. And Perry visibly relaxed, seeming to think that Richard was finally going to fight for her. “You’re going to have to tell Perry about it in order for him to understand.”

“Tell him what?” Lois asked in a panic. Clark’s eyes widened behind his thick lenses.

“About…” Richard lowered his voice. “About your memory loss.”

“What??” Lois and Clark said in unison. Clark was looking back at her with a stunned expression. How did he…?

Richard calmly went on. “Lois, it’s nothing to be ashamed of. A lot of people suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder.” Richard turned to Perry. “The Kryptonian criminals kidnapped her, used her against Superman. From the way you told me she behaved afterward, she must have blocked out the whole event in her mind, forgetting it ever happened. Isn’t that right, Lois?”

Lois was astounded. How did Richard come up with this theory – one so close to the truth? “Something like that…” she responded vaguely, mind still swimming. “It all came back just this last week, after Clark returned.”

“Great Caesar’s Ghost…” Perry let out a low whistle. “That would sure explain a lot of things about those weeks. But surely, you still have to consider what’s best for Jason…” Before anyone could respond, an odd expression came over his face, as if he were doing the math in his mind, and he looked at the house in puzzlement. “Is Jason…?”

Richard gazed at Lois, eyebrow raised. Lois looked back at him briefly before staring in the direction of the house, biting her lip slightly.

“Yes, he is.”

The three other people turned with surprise to Clark, who had suddenly spoken up. Though Perry didn’t know it, Clark was the only one who really could divulge this information willingly.

“But Mr. White,” Clark continued earnestly, “Jason doesn’t know yet. No one knows except the four of us on this dock.” He moved closer to Perry, letting some of his awkwardness fall away as he caught Perry’s gaze in his. “And we’d prefer to keep this whole thing in the family – not even Jimmy should know. It’s going to be hard enough on Jason without everyone staring at him and whispering.”

Lois stepped beside Clark, joining him in solidarity. She looked Perry straight in the eye with her best dragon-mama stare. “Can you keep it to yourself, Perry?”

At that moment, Jason, in his pajamas, came out onto the deck and called down to them. “Mommy! Daddy! Are you coming?”

Something like sympathetic understanding passed across his face, and then, to her utter relief, Perry gave her a firm nod.

- - - - -

A fluttering outside the window brought Lois to the present again. She carefully untangled herself from the sheets and stepped carefully over to the bedroom window. Lois grabbed a hold of the latches of the window and pushed it slowly open, trying not to make even the smallest sound. Jason had always been a pretty sound sleeper, but without her soothing presence beside him, he could wake up at any moment.

Lois looked out to either side, then upward and down, and out across the water. Is Clark out there? Does he have news about Luthor? Lois would have given anything to see him just then, even at a distance.

She decided to risk just a little bit of noise. “Clark…” she called in a whisper. “Clark, are you out there?”

But there was no response. Somehow, she knew he had probably heard her, wherever he was right now… and as much as she wanted to be near him again, it probably wasn’t possible.

Lois sighed. This is going to be one long night… again, she thought, before climbing back into bed.

- - - - -

The steam from her coffee cup rose in front of her face, blurring the cartoon Jason was watching on television. Her third or fourth cup – she was beginning to lose track. Richard quietly nursed a cup of his own on the far side of the couch. Jason was sitting on the floor in his jammies, probably too close to the TV, but it seemed a small worry in the face of what she had to do today.

“Lois,” Richard murmured.

Lois didn’t turn her head. She’d had enough of the unnerving quiet glances he’d been giving her since she and Jason had first come down for breakfast. “Yes?” she returned just as quietly.

“I think we’d better talk to him. And soon.” Richard kept his voice pitched low, and Jason didn’t turn around.

“We will,” she promised, but the queasy feeling in her stomach made the words come out more as a groan.

“When? After he starts wondering where I am? When he discovers yet another power? You might find it easier if you just wait until he can overhear—”

“That’s enough,” she snapped, turning fiery hazel eyes on him. “Don’t you think I’ve been agonizing over this all night? I can’t help it if I want him to have just a few more moments before I turn his world upside-down.”

Richard closed his mouth, and nodded, looking abashed.

He was right, of course. The credits of the show Jason had been watching began to roll across the screen, going into a commercial break. With great effort, Lois pushed down her stubborn streak and gently called, “Jason, honey. I need you to turn the TV off and come sit by me.”

He turned his head curiously in her direction, about to protest, but something in the way the adults were looking at him must have changed his mind. He punched the power button and came over to her, climbing nimbly into her lap. “What is it, Mommy?”

“Sweetheart,” Lois began, unsure but knowing there was no way to make this any easier, “I have something to tell you that’s very difficult.”

Jason’s face slowly moved from curiosity to worry, but he remained silent.

Please, God, let me not screw this up… she thought, and squeezed his hand. “Your daddy… Richard… and I… are going to—” She stopped, and tried a different tactic. “Sometimes two people who are together find out that they can’t…” No, that wasn’t quite right, either. “Richard and I have been having some problems, and we don’t…” She paused again. She had almost said, We don’t love each other anymore. But in Richard’s case, that probably wasn’t true. And she did love Richard, but not the way that she really should, not the way that she loved Clark. “Honey, it’s complicated.”

Jason was beginning to stiffen in her arms, obviously becoming very anxious at her halting explanation. Lois hugged him tightly for a moment, and shot a look over at Richard. For all that he had urged her into doing this, he was being awfully quiet. Unhelpfully so.

“Jason,” she tried again, pulling back. “Richard and I aren’t going to be getting married.”

“Not?” Jason looked down at Lois’ left hand and seemed to see for the first time that there was no ring. “But… what does…?”

“It means that we aren’t going to be living together anymore.” Jason looked fearfully at Richard, who nodded with a pained frown.

“But… Mommy… Daddy… why?” His lower lip began to tremble slightly. “Is it because of…?” He sniffed and blinked away the tears that were springing to his eyes.

Lois gathered him tightly in her arms again. “It’s not because of anything that you’ve done, sweetie. We both love you very, very much.”

Jason pushed away a little to swipe at the tears with one hand. “But you don’t love each other anymore?”

Richard finally spoke up. “We do, but… sometimes that’s not enough.”

Jason’s voice trembled as he asked, “Will you still be my daddy?”

Lois and Richard exchanged a look. “I’ll always be your daddy, Jason. I love you, and I’m not going to be out of your life.”

“How…? How can you be my daddy if we don’t live together?” he said, voice full of heartbreaking confusion. “Am I going to have a new daddy?”

Lois suddenly felt her tongue stick like glue to the top of her mouth. Richard looked down again, unwilling to answer the question. It was her question to answer, after all. “Well… again, it’s complicated…”

Jason slid out of her lap, a frown coming over his face. Then he turned and slowly walked toward the stairs.

“Jason?” Lois stretched a hand out toward him. Her little boy looked back at her, then Richard, eyes almost blank, as he seemed to try to comprehend what was going on. Then without answering, he turned and walked up the stairs. A few moments later, they both heard the door to his room click shut.

Next: Chapter 36: Once Upon A Time

 

Comments

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kalalanekent
Jan. 1st, 2007 05:08 pm (UTC)
Oh, B... Absolutely worth the wait. Extraordinary chapter, love.

Poor Jason. Could I ever see Tristan loud and clear during the chapter. Actually, it ran like a mini-movie, which is not something that happens that often from sheer writing. I could see every moment.

I'm with Lois as to telling him. Not an enviable position when faced with a five-year-old. Doesn't matter what situation you put them in, breaking up Lois' current situation is not an easy thing to do.

Still killing me with Richard. Such a nice guy. I only hope for his happiness now. And you're still a jerk for making me like him. *pout,:P, LOL*

Love you, love it, great New Years gift!

htbthomas
Jan. 2nd, 2007 02:57 am (UTC)
Mini-movie! Yay! I really live for comments like that. It is really what I strive for. It's especially true in a fandom that is told visually, like movies or comics.

I'll let anyone call me a jerk for making them like Richard. I want you all to feel his pain... *evil grin* And maybe poor James Marsters can stop getting 'the other guy' roles.
(no subject) - kalalanekent - Jan. 2nd, 2007 09:26 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - htbthomas - Jan. 2nd, 2007 09:28 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - kalalanekent - Jan. 2nd, 2007 10:11 pm (UTC) - Expand
ancarett
Jan. 1st, 2007 05:12 pm (UTC)
Awww, this was a heartbreaking installment. Heartbreaking, but necessary. I'm glad that you were brave enough to tackle this problem. I know that it was hard as a writer, almost as hard as it was for the characters.

It worked very well -- the way that the story was "sold" to Perry worked well to communicate everything of importance to the reader. A good choice! And let's hope that they can all get together with Jason and make this work!
htbthomas
Jan. 2nd, 2007 03:00 am (UTC)
Brave enough? Aw, well, lots of people have done it in their fics, I was just lucky enough that the way I envisioned had not really been taken. I do not denigrate other people's versions, at all, because, goodness knows, children are unpredictable.
(no subject) - ancarett - Jan. 2nd, 2007 03:31 am (UTC) - Expand
sunlike
Jan. 1st, 2007 05:38 pm (UTC)
Indeed a very heart breaking chapter but thoroughly needed. Thank you for another great installment of this story.
htbthomas
Jan. 2nd, 2007 03:01 am (UTC)
Yes, heartbreaking and necessary. But really, this is probably one of the last downer moments in the story. The darkness before the dawn, as you will. Thanks again for reviewing!
mark_clark
Jan. 1st, 2007 05:40 pm (UTC)
A very interesting chapter.

Both Lois and Clark had some explaining to do after Jason's comment. Luckily, they were able to explain the situation to Perry when Jason left with Jimmy. The big thing was that Richard was the one that started things off much to the surprise of Lois and Clark. I really found that interesting because of the situation. When all was said and done, Perry now knew what was going on. The most amazing thing is that he knows who Jason's father really is. But the main thing is that they were able to keep Clark's identity as Superman a secret.

Now, the other important event from the chapter was Lois and Richard letting Jason know about their current situation. It was interesting to see Lois try to tell Jason about her and Richard not getting married. That was hard for Lois to do but I think it was best for her to tell her son what is going on. Right now, it appears that Jason didn't take the news very well. The next thing that they may have to do is to tell him that Richard is not his father and that Clark is. When that happens, who knows how well Jason will take it.
htbthomas
Jan. 2nd, 2007 03:06 am (UTC)
I guess I've always felt that Perry at least should know who Jason's true father is. Very few people will know, just for safety's sake. It would be wonderful if Lois, Clark and Jason could just make a sweet little Super!Family, but any little slip of Jason's and WHAM! Superman exposed. Perry can be trusted if something like that does happen, not that it will. :)

Jason just couldn't take in everything he had just learned. He's not happy, but yes, you'll have to see where it goes from there. Thanks again!
ellalou73
Jan. 1st, 2007 05:59 pm (UTC)
WOW what a good chapter. Lots of emotion which is what I like about this story. I liked the start of Lois's dream, too bad it was a dream. Her conflicting emotions here were very real and she has alot she has to explain. I feel for her and for all of them. I kind of hoped Clark would come when she went to the window and called out for him, even though I guessed he wouldn't.

The next morning was also a tense moment and again I felt bad for them but Know that its part of the progression. I really felt bad for poor JAson and for Lois, really all of them for having to go through this time. JAson's reaction was sad too, but I would figure it will all work out.

What can I say I loved this chapter even with the tough times they had in it. I really liked the way Richard went in and helped Lois with the Memory Loss story to kind of get Perry off of her back. I know that he's likely not thrilled with how things are going but I liked that he stuck in there for the woman he still loves.

Alright I really really hope you get to update soon because this story is fantastic. Happy writing.

Ella
htbthomas
Jan. 2nd, 2007 03:09 am (UTC)
I really like to write emotional stories. I find them much more satisfying to read, too.

"Part of the progression" - definitely true. He may accept it in the end, but the first reaction is shock.

Richard's idea about how the memory loss happened is going to save their butts in more ways than one. What a great guy, huh?
(no subject) - ellalou73 - Jan. 2nd, 2007 03:19 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - htbthomas - Jan. 2nd, 2007 03:26 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - ellalou73 - Jan. 2nd, 2007 01:57 pm (UTC) - Expand
jenna_knight
Jan. 1st, 2007 06:33 pm (UTC)
Wonderful chapter! I'm sorry for not being able to beta. By the time I got home last night I was really in no shape to be of any help.

I feel so bad for Richard. He really is such a great guy and you've captured this perfectly. He was willing to help them out of a tough situation and come up with an excuse in a pinch. And the fact that he was willing to lie to his uncle, knowing that Clark's secret was more important than confiding in his own family about the pain and betrayal he must be feeling, well, that just goes to show the real strength of his character.

I'm very intrigued to see how the Jason situation is resolved. Hopefully he will be able to accept that this is for the best and embrace Clark.

Again, great job. How many more chapters do you anticipate?
htbthomas
Jan. 2nd, 2007 03:13 am (UTC)
Hey, no prob! You have a life, and I am always too impatient to wait... one of the down sides of betaing for me. *hugs*

Richard is the hero of this story in so many ways, isn't he? Lois and Clark deserve to be together, but Lois chose Richard for a reason. He's not easily dismissed.

Jason's little arc and the 'final bits' are the last chapters. I think it'll be 3-4 chapters, but it could be more, I'm never sure until I write it. I know what has to happen though, and I see 4 discrete scenes left.
willow_diamond
Jan. 1st, 2007 07:44 pm (UTC)
Awww poor Jason. *hugs him*

Great chapter!
htbthomas
Jan. 2nd, 2007 03:16 am (UTC)
I love it. Your happy smiling Clark icon, while saying 'Aww poor Jason.' Poor Jason, indeed. I think everyone needs a hug after that last chapter...
(no subject) - willow_diamond - Jan. 2nd, 2007 05:17 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - htbthomas - Jan. 2nd, 2007 05:32 am (UTC) - Expand
coltdancer
Jan. 1st, 2007 08:15 pm (UTC)
Since ff.net seems to be screwy all the time, I'll start here. Reading through this (again), the sense of something foreboding - just under the surface - just gets to me. While the physical danger and mystery seems to have been abated, this new dilemma of ramifications, breakups, revelations is just launching. I find Jason's reaction here very...eery. Not wrong, no - not at all. I like that it is some sort of middle ground, up for greater interpretation, and not happy-go-lucky all is well or "I hate you!" I find this very realistic, especially given Jason's special nature. No doubt this is very challenging to write. I do hope the muse continues to be helpful and allows you to get us some answers to this REAL soon. >:) Oh yes, with some emphasis on our poor hero, too. ;)
htbthomas
Jan. 2nd, 2007 03:19 am (UTC)
Eerie is a good word for it. We don't know what is going through his little mind (well, I do, but Lois doesn't), and we're just as worried about it as his parents are. 'Understated' was the word betty used. I like that.

Our poor hero will show up soon, I promise. You are always quick to point out when he is absent from a chapter (and he was there in the flashback, wasn't he??). *hugs*
(no subject) - coltdancer - Jan. 3rd, 2007 02:17 am (UTC) - Expand
oldromantic
Jan. 1st, 2007 08:56 pm (UTC)
(Sorry it took me longer than expected to get here!)

Great chapter!! Now I just have to go to my room for my portable hard drive so I can save it with the rest of the story!! *squee!*

QUOTES!

Clark’s eyes widened as he recognized her look, and then the flame she had seen before began to positively smolder. His broad chest descended upon hers, and the feeling of their mutual arousal sent the room spinning…

Lois’ eyes popped open. Crap, just when it was getting good…


Yes. *glare* Indeed.

Damn you. I was enjoying that dream. :P

How did Richard come up with this theory – one so close to the truth?

I was just as surprised as Lois was when Richard spoke up! Who knew there was intuitive intelligence to go along with those good looks! ;)

Her little boy looked back at her, then Richard, eyes almost blank, as he seemed to try to comprehend what was going on. Then without answering, he turned and walked up the stairs. A few moments later, they both heard the door to his room click shut.

Please tell me that he's not going to try jumping out of his window to fly now that he knows he can do extraordinary things...

As far as the rest of the chapter goes, I thought Jason's reaction was very realistic. I can't wait to see him hear the rest of the truth!

Thanks for the update!! *huggles*
htbthomas
Jan. 2nd, 2007 03:24 am (UTC)
I get saved to the hard drive? (ancarett saves it to her PDA) Cool.

As for the dream, Lois is getting JUST a little bit antsy to pick up where the left off, if you get my drift. ;) And we are too, right? But what is UST without the 'Unresolved' part? (I promise to resolve by the end, though. Or I would be lynched, I think).

Richard is a smart cookie. He's figured most of it out on his own all along, all except the 'Clark is Superman' bit, and he was close to it.

The rest of the truth is coming. When? I'll leave that to your imagination for now. :) *huggles back*
mithah
Jan. 1st, 2007 08:56 pm (UTC)
"Richard was downstairs on the couch, gracefully bowing out of sharing the bed with them: 'We can’t all fit on this bed the way we used to, Sport.'" Now if that isn't a ridiculously sad line, I don't know what is! Gah, I'm feeling way uber sorry for Richard right now (can you believe it--I'm actually sympathizing more with Richard than Clark or Lois!); he's an absolute gentlemen and it's SO NOT FAIR that he was dragged into all of this by default. Aw, man, it broke my heart when he was defending Lois and Clark from Perry. He's such a good guy, a fact you've made me quite aware of but I didn't totally realize until now. I need to find myself a heroic Richard icon now...look what you've done!!! GRR.

"But she could also see the flipside, a red-faced Jason shouting at Clark, 'I hate your guts, I’ll never be good enough for you!'" Hmm, now what fic does this remind me of...hmm... ;)

You left us with quite a cliffie (not much of a surprise, though, seeing as you are the ECQ) on the Jason front, Barbara! Poor little kiddo has every right to be confused and upset, but that’s gotta be tough on all the adults involved. Still, Perry’s right--it’s Jason’s welfare above the rest.

I have no idea what your next chapter will be like, and I’m loving it, ECQ. Happy New Year and cheers!
htbthomas
Jan. 2nd, 2007 03:31 am (UTC)
'We can't all fit on the bed' -- can I be TOTALLY honest and say that I didn't realize the sad double meaning until after you all pointed it out? I love stuff like that... :) If you find a heroic Richard icon, please point me to it!!

And yay! A couple people caught the Alphie reference. I want to let you know (and anyone else reading this) that I ran that by her before writing it. She told me I absolutely did not need to worry about it or credit her. That any good mother would wonder those things. *wubs on her*

I love that I can surprise you, Michelle! I hate to be predictable, so that's really great to hear. :) A few more SMLMJ's to go!
solitary_zero
Jan. 1st, 2007 09:13 pm (UTC)
That was amazing. I agree with kalalanekent - I could see every minute of it really clearly in my mind and that's not something that happens often. I can't wait for the next chapter! Everything about the way you deal with the problems and situations is so life-like. None of it seems fabricated or superficial - everything is real and truthful. Someday I hope I can write with the same verisimilitude :D
htbthomas
Jan. 2nd, 2007 03:36 am (UTC)
Ten points for using 'verisimilitude' correctly in a review! Bravo!

That's high praise, too. The movie-like feel and realism are important to me. I used to read a lot of fantasy and sci-fi (and I guess I still do with comics) but the ones that felt REAL were the ones I bonded with.

Thank you!
mikachoo108
Jan. 1st, 2007 09:22 pm (UTC)
That was a great chapter! I feel so sad for poor little Jason! He's caught up in the middle of it all...well, he's young, I'm sure he'll adapt after a while, right? I feel sorry for Richard too! Why'd you have to make him so nice? *sniff* a very sad chapter, but I'm as a hooked as ever!
Sophie xx
htbthomas
Jan. 2nd, 2007 03:38 am (UTC)
Poor Jason, nice Richard... what's a Superman fic without conflicting emotions? Nothing's ever easy, and that makes the happiness that they eventually share all the more sweet. :)
rogue_lane
Jan. 1st, 2007 10:08 pm (UTC)
Okay I'm a wuss, I cried.

I feel so bad for Richard, he's been incredible through all of this... he loves Lois and Jason more than life itself... I can't believe it but he doesn't deserve this, even though Lois belongs with Clark.

And Jason, my little munchkin... oh god that was the most realistic reaction to the news of Lo and Richard's split I've read in a SR fic, seriously no offense to other authors but you have a way with this characters... it's amazing.

I just hope they all get through this in one piece.
htbthomas
Jan. 2nd, 2007 03:43 am (UTC)
You cried? Aww. Here's a tissue.

Thanks for the praise about his reaction! I said above to <lj user="ancarett" that there have been many, and all are valid, since children are unpredictable. But this is the way I envisioned it, and I'm glad you approve. Don't worry. The Super!Family will survive this bump in the road. *hugs*
sean_montgomery
Jan. 1st, 2007 11:32 pm (UTC)
M'kay, so, when I first opened this, I was about ready to scream 'cause I thought you had mixed up chapters... then I thought it was the steamy one-shot... then I didn't care how plumb confuzzled I was... then I realized it was a dream.

And my thoughts matched Lois' exactly. HA!

“We can’t all fit on this bed the way we used to, Sport.”

Oh, how deep that statement goes! Really painful to read. He's beginning to see the situation for what it really is. Ngh.

Golly, did this conversation at the end tug on my heartstrings, or WHAT?! Jason's reactions were spot-on; not glad, but not sad or enraged either. I don't really know if I could call this a cliffe (I mean, it's not really a DRAMATIC ending... not like a gun being pointed at Lois or anything), but it's an attention grabber nonetheless!

Have you posted this on ff.net yet? I'll scamper over there if you have...
htbthomas
Jan. 2nd, 2007 05:20 am (UTC)
Okay, I'm actually going to use this space to reply to the Super!Review, since ff.net alerts are still down.

Here as promised. : ) And I wanna know if you've been sitting at the computer this whole time waiting to get this! : D -- I was actually. I kept obsessively checking until it showed your review! In my defense, I was doing other things as well. :)

'Crap, just when it was getting good…' - CRAP! (end of first reaction) Killer opener. Catches your attenion, if nothing else. Whoo! -- Well, Lois is getting just a bit hot and bothered, you know. Poor thing has had to wait so long. But it was an attention grabber, that's very true. ;)

'Gently, Lois stroked Jason’s back, and he settled to stillness again, reassured of her presence.' - I love this maternal image. It's so heartwarming. -- Taken from my life. I have a little warm bundle that crawls into my bed nearly every morning. *kisses her*

'“We can’t all fit on this bed the way we used to, Sport.”' -- See my reply to mithah on that...

I caught the italics thing earlier, it's fixed now. Thanks for pointing it out.

'“I hate your guts, I’ll never be good enough for you!”' - This phrase sounds like it comes from something Alphie wrote. : D -- Ten points to you and Michelle. I had Alphie's blessing to do that.

I love the tension slowly building between the three of them here. Superman's gotta stay out of it, but how do you tip-toe around this without giving anything away to Perry...? -- This is a tricky thing, to be sure. But I think they'll manage.

I'm sure he heard her, though. And I'm sure he'll say something about it when he sees her again. -- Ya know, he just might!

More like accidently blowing up the TV when he laughs at something and inadvertently uses super breath... or whatever. : D -- Are you taking lessons from conan? Sounds like something he would say... lol.

'It's one thing to have the door slam, but to quietly, almost contemplatively, click shut? It makes my spine shudder. Excellent. -- Yes, I find a click to be more emotional jarring than a slam. Scarier.

3-4 more chapters to go? What a ride they will be! -- that's the plan. I think. Of course, I might end up with 60 chapters. JK.
bistyboo1974
Jan. 2nd, 2007 01:56 am (UTC)
His broad chest descended upon hers, and the feeling of their mutual arousal sent the room spinning…

Lois’ eyes popped open. Crap, just when it was getting good…


Bah, dream-sequences are nearly as e.v.i.l. as cliffhanger endings, Your Highness! lol

Richard was downstairs on the couch, gracefully bowing out of sharing the bed with them: “We can’t all fit on this bed the way we used to, Sport.” He’d ruffled Jason’s hair tenderly, not completely able to hide the deep sadness in his eyes.

Sweet jeez, that's a heart-crunching segment. *huggles Richard* Oh, poor guy.

And after saving the day (so to speak), explaining matters to Perry...

Lois was astounded. How did Richard come up with this theory – one so close to the truth? “Something like that…” she responded vaguely, mind still swimming. “It all came back just this last week, after Clark returned.”

He's a keen one, that Richard. But, like we discussed earlier, I'm pleased he's come up with this theory of his, explaining Lois's missing memories. That way, he never need know about the Memory Swipe Kiss. I think that's a subject best left between Lois and Clark.

“Jason?” Lois stretched a hand out toward him. Her little boy looked back at her, then Richard, eyes almost blank, as he seemed to try to comprehend what was going on. Then without answering, he turned and walked up the stairs. A few moments later, they both heard the door to his room click shut.

Heartbreaking realism, right there. Poor little guy. There's no way Lois and Richard's news could ever be broken easily to him. {{{{Jason}}}}

Great update, Barbara...I need not tell you how eagerly I await the next installment. ;-) May your Muse have a happy and healthy new year...and the same to you, too! *smooches*
htbthomas
Jan. 2nd, 2007 05:24 am (UTC)
Yes, dream sequences, gunshot wounds, cliffhangers... I am an equal opportunity evil employer.

Keen Richard. (love the icon by the way) Man, poor James needs a plum part as the actual romantic lead. I'd buy a ticket or two!

Thanks for the compliment on the realism. I really try hard to do that.

*smoochies back to you and your Muse!*
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