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Birthday fic: Dear Lois, 1/1

Title: Dear Lois, 1/1
Author: htbthomas
Fandom: Superman Returns
Rating: PG
Word Count: 796 words
Betas: mark_clark, van_el
Summary: “Dear Lois, I know this probably seems cowardly, but I’ve been trying to figure out how to talk to you for weeks…”

Author’s Note: A birthday fic for beatrice_otter. See more notes at the end of the story.

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

The corner of the envelope stuck out innocuously, just the tip visible from inside her purse, but Lois’ wrist had rubbed against it when reaching for her cell phone. Her brows creased as she placed the phone on the desk, forgotten, and pulled the envelope from the bag.

Lois turned the cream-colored envelope over in her hands a couple of times. The front read simply:


She frowned, recognizing the handwriting. Why would he need to slip a letter in her bag? He couldn’t have given it to her himself? She looked toward his desk. He was gone – he hadn’t come by to give her an excuse. Trying to avoid her while she read?

Whatever the reason, her reporter’s curiosity wouldn’t let her leave it unopened a second longer. Lois placed a jagged fingernail under the flap and tore it open with little fanfare. Unfolding the letter with a snap, she began to read:

Dear Lois,

I know this probably seems cowardly, but I’ve been trying to figure out how to talk to you for weeks.

No kidding this was cowardly. Who was supposed to be the fearless fly-boy between them? She pushed her sarcasm aside.

The last few weeks have been a strain on all of us. The incident on the yacht with Luthor, the revelations about Jason, and other things… Well, my mind has been whirling. And I know yours has been too, though you’re a lot better at hiding it than I am.

He shouldn’t be so sure about that… he’d proved he could keep a secret, too – the ‘other things’ he’d alluded to. How he could keep a smiling face, at the worst of times, she’d never know.

But there’s one thing we HAVE to stop hiding from each other - where our relationship is going. Whenever I see you looking at him, especially when he’s with Jason—

Lois looked up suddenly, over to where Jason sat coloring at his desk. Jason had been doing a lot of coloring the last few weeks. And many of the pictures featured all four of them. How it must pain his heart to see that! But he was too good a man to say anything. She wondered idly whether he’d been talking to Jason…

—I am more and more convinced that there is only one thing to do. You are torn between us, Lois, and so...

I need to step aside.

The letter smacked down on the desk. Step aside? Was he crazy? After everything, this is the thing he felt was best for them? Best for Jason? Her fingers crumpled the edges of the letter a little in frustration as she lifted it again to read.

I know you’re going to argue with me about it. But consider Jason. How can I give him the life he deserves? He needs a father who will be there for him when it counts.

Just like he was there for you when it counted.

Now that was just unfair! Damn the man and his sense of duty! Duty was not more important than love…

She had been spending a lot of time pondering all of this the last few weeks, true. While observing Richard, she would try to weigh her feelings for Clark, and vice versa. And watching either of the men with Jason complicated the issue.

But she had recently come to a decision. And she had meant to talk to both Clark and Richard, very soon. But this letter was forcing her hand.

If it gets too awkward, I will quit my job here. I have a letter prepared for Perry already. I’m sure there are other papers, other cities, which could use a reporter with my skills.

This was getting ridiculous! Who did he think she was? Simpering Susie in the secretarial pool? She skimmed over his signature and stood up suddenly, determined to talk with him wherever he was

She glanced over at the empty desk… only to find it wasn’t empty anymore. He was handing a couple of bills to Jason to take downstairs – presumably to get something from the snack cart. Jason bounded away, grinning.

Lois folded the letter sloppily as she stalked over to his desk. “Now, just a minute…!” she began, gesturing with the offending letter in her hand.

Then he turned to her, his blue eyes sad and resigned. Her anger dissipated immediately. He was so certain he had no hope, that he had lost his chance with her…

Lois placed a hand on his shoulder. “It’s you I love, you doofus. You’re not going anywhere. We’ll work out all the stuff with Jason in time.”

Then Richard smiled, a flood of relief washing over his face – and he pulled her down for a tender kiss.

- - - - -

Author’s Note: Gasp! A Lois/Richard story! This was an interesting request to fill, and my plot bunny demanded I leave the pairing off the header. Despite my Clois heart, I have a lot of love for Richard, and I don’t think it unreasonable at all that Lois might choose him instead. ♥


( 43 comments — Leave a comment )
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Jul. 30th, 2008 03:21 pm (UTC)
A Richard/Lois story! Yay! That was a good fake-out. Like you, I like Richard. He's Good People. James Marsden's characters need to get the girl sometimes. ;)
Jul. 30th, 2008 03:26 pm (UTC)
Hee, it's my first, so I hoped it would go over well. :) And yes, James needs the love. ♥
Jul. 30th, 2008 03:53 pm (UTC)
Oh, you totally got me!! For shame! Really nice line about the 'fly-boy'!! I liked this, even though my 'Clois heart' clinched a bit at the end!!:D
Jul. 30th, 2008 03:55 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I know... One of my betas reacted about the same. :D

But Richard deserves the love sometimes, too. ♥
(no subject) - babettew54 - Jul. 30th, 2008 06:54 pm (UTC) - Expand
Jul. 30th, 2008 04:21 pm (UTC)

You totally got me. Like, totally.
Nice work, even if that last line was a little hard to read. (Not that I don't like Richard, it's just, well, you know.)
Jul. 30th, 2008 04:27 pm (UTC)
;) You're not mad, I hope!

I know what you mean, but I had to give Richard some love. :)
Jul. 30th, 2008 04:28 pm (UTC)
Ooh, that was a great fake-out!

But what happens next? Enquiring minds want to know! I can see several possibilities, and even if you never write a sequel, I'd be curious to see what you think happens next.

You have no idea how awesome this was to look up to. Yesterday started great but ended bad, with a lot of extra stress I wasn't expecting, and I really needed something to cheer me up. Thank you.
Jul. 30th, 2008 04:44 pm (UTC)
Honestly, I'm not sure what happens next - though in my perfect version of this world, Clark, Richard and Lois remain friends and share the parenting somehow. :D

Really, if I ever saw Lois with anyone else, it would be Richard.

I'm glad this cheered you up!
Jul. 30th, 2008 04:38 pm (UTC)
Aw, I think a little bit of me died inside. O_O I loved the ambiguity of the letter, to have the surprise at the end, but gods, I figured she'd still choose Clark over Richard.


Yup, shameless Clois shipper here. :p

Jul. 30th, 2008 04:46 pm (UTC)
*revives that bit of you with big Clois shocker-paddles*

You know where my loyalties actually lie, but I have to admit that I can see it going the other way! I mean, you ship Clark with... others, too... right? ;)
(no subject) - saavikam77 - Jul. 30th, 2008 06:30 pm (UTC) - Expand
Jul. 30th, 2008 05:37 pm (UTC)
You totally got me! And I loved it. I'm definitely a Clois shipper in the long run, but SR made me get into Lois/Richard, just because Richard is such a good guy. Anyway, this was wonderful.
Jul. 30th, 2008 05:54 pm (UTC)
Yay! I think I'm the same - at heart a Clois shipper, but I can definitely see the appeal of Lois/Richard.

Jul. 30th, 2008 06:25 pm (UTC)
You totally had me fooled. I blinked when I saw the end and had to reread it. Totally thought it was going for Clois!

Anyway, Richard is good guy and though I feel sad for Clark, it was a lovely story.

Great work!
Jul. 30th, 2008 09:58 pm (UTC)
Well, if you've read a lot of my writing, you'd expect Clois! I was sort of going for that... :D

Thanks for the review!
Jul. 30th, 2008 06:57 pm (UTC)
Gasp indeed! But in a good way. I very much love Richard, this ending would have made me very happy. I like that you kept Lois in character as she made her unexpected decision. This is so cool for you to write something completely different like this! I hope Clois shippers don't give you too much grief. I know how hard it is for me to read something that goes against my OTPs, but I think as a writer it is an excellent thing for you.
Jul. 30th, 2008 10:00 pm (UTC)
Oh, that's very nice! I think, as much as I love Richard, I could easy go with this sort of ending... the bittersweet feeling of Clark knowing his time had passed... ah, but Clark getting the girl is a big deal to me as well. *sigh*

Thanks for the review!
Jul. 30th, 2008 07:38 pm (UTC)
*evil cackling*


...wait, I think the Clois side of me is in shock. But I totally saw this coming. Nice try, Mom. ;) Awesome idea, though! Though I might be a Clois shipper through and through, this makes me anticipate my Lois/Richard fic. XD
Jul. 30th, 2008 10:02 pm (UTC)
*hands you a gold star*

Van saw it coming, too, though he was warned ahead. :D

I'll look forward to your Lois/Richard fic - though be warned, with all the love I'm getting here on LJ, ff.net has been total crickets in reviews. :D
(no subject) - sean_montgomery - Jul. 30th, 2008 11:09 pm (UTC) - Expand
Jul. 30th, 2008 09:19 pm (UTC)
That was brilliant and utterly worthy of the ECQ, Mom. We all know that Richard deserves a happy ending. I started to wonder before the end which man it was because this is you. ;)

Of course, my little Clois heart protested, but the possibility is there that she might stay. Although I think I'm happier when she's with someone else. ;)
Jul. 30th, 2008 10:03 pm (UTC)
Because it was me. LOL. Love it.

The possibility is definitely there! Who knows what Singer will do? You never know.
(no subject) - kalalanekent - Jul. 30th, 2008 10:14 pm (UTC) - Expand
Jul. 30th, 2008 10:23 pm (UTC)
I know I have a James icon somewhere. I just need to get it back. Darn, So, here are my dogs.

Loved the story. You had me going for awhile. It doesn't go with my Clois heart either. But it is such a good story. And Richard is a really good man.
Jul. 30th, 2008 10:39 pm (UTC)
Ah, thanks - even though it was a bit of a trick, I'm glad you still liked it! :)
Jul. 31st, 2008 02:04 am (UTC)
This is the closest icon I have to shock LOL. OMG a LOIS/Richard story and it was REALLY good. I know, I always feel bad for Richard too, I mean how do you compete with Superman? He just picked the wrong girl and it's so obvious that he loves her. So I liked this...despite my Clois heart, I did like this...and what a spectacular twist!
Jul. 31st, 2008 02:25 am (UTC)
Your icon is great! LOL. I'm glad it was shock in a good way! I was afraid I'd anger and confuse you all... :D

Richard does deserve a little love, doesn't he?
(Deleted comment)
Jul. 31st, 2008 02:26 am (UTC)
Evil, I am.

And I'm glad you didn't see it coming! And thought it was nifty! :)
Jul. 31st, 2008 06:03 am (UTC)
Smart Lois. One of the things I liked about Superman Returns, is that they didn't make 'the other guy' a bad guy. That they let Richard be a good man, instead of turning him into some kind of a jerk that could be easily swept aside to make place for Clark.
Jul. 31st, 2008 02:07 pm (UTC)
Yes, I'm the same way - I also liked that about John Jameson in Spider-Man 2, but he had so little involvement in the MJ-Spider-Man/Peter part of the story. That would have rocked if he'd been made more important to the plot.

Thanks for the review! (A surprise on a Superman story!)
Aug. 6th, 2008 04:39 pm (UTC)
I don't know whether to say "YAY!" or "Awww...." ;P

Nevertheless, Richard = awesome. :D
Aug. 6th, 2008 11:52 pm (UTC)
Maybe both? It is a darn sneaky piece. :D

I agree with the awesome part, hell yeah!
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