Someone mentioned something the other day about being depressed, and wanting to read something dark and depressing. Well, I've had a difficult month, so this wasn't very hard to do. So this is my contribution to the 30-minute challenge. It's a WHAMy deathfic
, so consider yourself warned.
The Electrified Bride
It had taken them so long to get to this point. He wasn't just thinking about the wedding. It was everything. Their becoming partners, then best friends, then finally, falling in love. He'd lost his heart to her the moment he'd first seen her, but, he thought with a wry smile, it had taken quite some doing to get her to feel the same way. And now…He smiled as he watched her, a glowing vision in white, seemingly floating down the aisle towards him. Despite the other people in the little chapel, he couldn't take his eyes off her. He snuck a quick glance down to make sure he wasn't floating.
She came to stand in front of him, and he took her small hands in his, his heart nearly bursting with the knowledge that she was about to become his wife. His greatest dream was about to come true!
“Do you, Clark, take this woman, to be your lawfully wedded wife?” Perry asked him.
“I do,” Clark replied. Almost there, he thought joyfully!
“Do you, Lois, take this man…”
“I do, I do!” she exclaimed, not even letting Perry finish.
Clark laughed softly at his almost-bride's enthusiasm. But he didn't want to rush this. This day would only happen once, and he wanted to remember every detail.
“You think maybe we can slow this down a little?” he asked Perry. “She's not here,” he reassured them, despite Myrtle's promise/threat to ruin their wedding.
“Aww, yeah, you're right,” Perry replied, realizing how much this day meant to Lois and Clark. “Ellen could we have the ring, please?”
Ellen Lane reached into her clutch, and pulled out a small, purple velvet box, which she handed very carefully to Clark. His hand trembled slightly, but he took the box from his mother-in-law-to-be, and opened it to reveal the simple gold band.
He slipped it reverently onto her finger, and clasped her hands in his, thrilled that she was finally wearing his ring! They leaned toward each other, barely registering Perry's words pronouncing them husband and wife, and he tilted his head to kiss her…
Suddenly, a blue light issued from the ring and surrounded her hand, crackling wildly. It surged upward, quickly seizing her arm. She cried out, her body jerking violently, arching forward as the voltage relentlessly enveloped her. Her eyes rolled back in her head, her arms falling limply at her sides, the bouquet falling to the floor.
Horrified, he grabbed her, holding her against him, trying to steady her as the charge ripped through her frail body. But she was twitching so violently that he couldn't hold onto her, so he leaned down and, as gently as he could, laid her on the floor at his feet. Just then another voice came from the front of the chapel.
“Get away! Or she dies!” the shrill voice barked. He looked up to see Myrtle Beech and her cohort, Voyle Grubman walking quickly up the aisle. “DON'T MOVE!!” she yelled again, shocking Lois again as Clark straightened.
“No!” he cried in anguish.
“Then do what I say!” she replied threateningly.
“OK, I'm not moving,” he said, raising his hands in a placating gesture. He turned his head, and addressed everyone else. “Nobody move,” he ordered. “Now, please,” he pleaded, his heart pounding furiously.
Once satisfied that nobody was going to challenge her, Myrtle walked slowly forward, the remote device still in her outstretched hand. She gave a satisfied chuckle when she saw Lois' body lying, unmoving at the altar.
“Hmm, we'll be going now,” she said smugly. “I just wanted one good look at her. One little button push away from the eternal. And you, you look scared,” she sneered in mock-sympathy at Clark. “Well, you should be. Cause this thing,” she shook the device at him, “it's got a ten mile range. So don't even think of coming after us. I don't care if you're as fast as Superman. I see anyone following us, my finger hits this button, and she's dead.”
“Call an ambulance!” Sam Lane demanded.
“Please, don't do this to my daughter!” Ellen pleaded.
“Myrtle, you need help,” Clark said, keeping his voice deliberately soft and non-threatening. She had already demonstrated that she could harm Lois, and he didn't want to say or do anything that would set her off again. If he could just get close enough to her to get that thing away from her…
“Oh, I remember the last time you tried to help me; three years in the Wacky Factory!” she retorted.
“We didn't know then what was wrong with you.”
“What's "wrong' is that I lost the only perfect man in my life.”
“No, that's not true! Voyle's been lying to you, telling you your fiancé was perfect. He wasn't perfect, Myrtle, he was gonna leave you.” As he spoke, he began slowly inching his way closer to her, trying to distract her from his approach.
“That's a lie!” she gasped.
“Who's been telling you all along that your one chance at happiness was ripped away, who's been encouraging you to strike back?” He was only a few feet from her now, and her resolve was beginning to weaken.
Grubman tried to weasel out of the situation, but she took him out with a well-aimed blow.
“I've got nothing now, thanks to you!” she growled through gritted teeth. “Maybe I should show you what that feels like,” she suggested menacingly.
“You could do that,” Clark replied, seeing a chance to appeal to whatever belief in love she still had. “But look at where you are, remember the love you once had. Now that love is right in front of me. You have the power to stop this, Myrtle, stop it now.” He was right in front of her, his hand on the device. She sobbed again, her hand trembling as he grasped the device to take it from her. He let out a deep breath. It was finally over.
But then her sobs stopped, and her grip tightened. Clark looked up to see a cold glint in her eyes, and a feeling of dread came over him.
“Nice try,” she said, her voice devoid of all emotion. Before he could react, she pushed the button on the device, sending another jolt of electricity surging through Lois.
“Nooo!” Clark screamed, pulling the device from Myrtle's hand and deactivating it. Suddenly, the police stormed into the chapel, quickly taking the Destroyer and her device into custody.
Clark turned and ran back up the aisle to the altar. He dropped to his knees beside her body, which was still spasmodic from Myrtle's last attack.
“Lois! Honey, can you hear me?” he asked frantically. He grasped her shoulders, lifting her upper body into his arms. Her head rolled lifelessly against his arm. “Lois? Oh god, honey, talk to me, please!” He lifted a hand to her cheek, caressing the soft skin with the back of his fingers. “Lois?”
“The ambulance is on its way,” he heard Sam say.
He lowered his hand to her throat, and his blood went cold. “Oh no…oh god, no…” he murmured in horror, then looked up at the gathered parents. “I can't find a pulse,” he said in disbelief, shaking his head. His gaze shifted back to Lois, who lay still and pale in his arms. “Hang on, honey, hang on!”
Then he remembered something. He sat up, and gently laid Lois back on the carpet. Tilting her head back, he bent over her and began to breath into her. With each breath, her chest rose and fell, but when he sat back and checked her pulse again, there was no activity.
“C'mon, sweetheart! Breathe, breathe!!”
He bent over her again, and began a chest massage, but after a couple of minutes his hearing told him her heart still wasn't beating. Tilting her head back, he began to breathe for her again. Then he felt someone pulling on his shoulder, trying to pull him back. Ignoring them, he continued, until his mother knelt next to him.
“Clark, honey, the ambulance is here.”
That snapped him out of it. He immediately sat back, and gathered his Lois into his arms. He stood and turned, finding a gurney being rolled up to him. He gently lowered her onto it, and when they'd fixed an oxygen mask over her face and given her an IV, he followed the gurney as she was loaded into the ambulance, and taken to Metropolis General. While sirens wailed overhead, and the paramedics worked to stabilize her, Clark hovered at his beloved's side, holding their joined hands tightly to his chest, stroking her cheek, pleading with her to hold on.
The ride to the hospital seemed to take forever. It was only a couple of minutes, but to a man who could make a trip around the world in minutes, it seemed interminable. Finally they pulled up to the ambulance bay at Met Gen, and Lois was whisked into the trauma room, Clark being forced to stay behind.
Frustrated at not being allowed to stay with her, he turned around, and saw his and Lois' parents coming toward him.
“Clark, honey, how is she?” Martha asked.
“Where's my baby? I want to see my little girl!” Ellen wailed, worry etched into her face.
“Clark, what've they done with her?” Sam Lane demanded.
Clark, himself too shaken to answer, simply shook his head.
“What's happening son?” Jonathan asked calmly, placing a hand on Clark's shoulder.
“I don't know,” he replied, his voice strained. “They won't let me see her. They brought her in and just took her away, so…” his voice broke, so he took a deep breath, letting it out slowly. “They got her pulse and her breathing restarted in the ambulance, but she still hadn't regained consciousness.”
“But she had a pulse?” her mother repeated hopefully.
Clark nodded. “It was thready, but it was a definite rhythm.”
“Thank God,” Martha murmured.
“Clark,” Sam began, “why don't you and everyone have a seat in chairs. I'll go see if I can get some answers.”
Clark was about to protest, but his mother took him by the arm and gently led him away from the trauma room doors.
“C'mon, honey, let's sit down for a minute. Try to relax.”
“Mom,” Clark groaned. “I can't relax. Every time I close my eyes, all I can see…”
“Then don't close your eyes, just sit down. Here,” she said, putting him in a chair, and sitting right next to him. “Now, just take a deep breath, and let it out slowly…that's it,” she said soothingly as he inhaled and then let it out. He leaned forward, resting his elbows on his knees, and bowing his head over his laced fingers. She could feel some of the tension leave him, and prayed silently that Lois would be alright. She didn't know what would happen to Clark if she wasn't. Just then she saw Sam come back down the hall.
“I can't get any answers from anyone,” he growled. “Apparently you have to actually work in a hospital before they'll tell you anything.” Sam then took in Clark's slumped form. “How's he holding up?”
“I'm trying to get him to relax a little,” Martha replied. Sam nodded, then turned to look for a coffee machine. Martha sighed a little, then turned when she felt her husband's hands on her arms.
“How's he really doing, Martha,” he asked, looking her in the eyes. She looked into her husband's wise gaze, then looked at their son.
“She has to be alright, Jonathan. She just has to. I don't want to think about what could happen to Clark if…” she trailed off, not wanting to even say it.
Jonathan nodded, then wordlessly pulled his wife into his arms. Across the room, Ellen Lane walked up to her ex-husband, a haunted look in her eyes.
“She's my firstborn, Sam; my little girl. She's one of the few things I did right in my life. I can't lose her, I can't…” she whispered, tears slowly making their way down her tired face.
“I know, Ellen,” Sam replied, taking his ex-wife lovingly into his embrace. “I know I wasn't the most attentive father, or the most supportive. I'd always hoped that at least one of them would go into medicine…” he began, but stopped when Ellen glared at him. “But I wouldn't trade our Lois for all the M.D.'s in the world.”
Ellen smiled through her tears, and hugged her ex-husband tighter, happy that he could finally admit how proud he was of their daughter. Finally, they parted and went over to the waiting area to sit with Martha and Jonathan, who were sitting with Clark, holding his hand, rubbing his back, doing anything they could think of to comfort him.
Clark sat there, his head in his hands, his heart in his stomach. He knew they were all trying to help him, to assure him that Lois would be alright. And he prayed that they were right. He had to believe she would. He had to believe that the doctor would come out and tell him that, other than being extremely shaken and in need of a few days rest, she would be fine, that there was no lasting damage and that they could proceed with the rest of their wedding. Their wedding…he hadn't even kissed her; that first kiss as husband and wife.
They still had their first dance as a married couple; he still had to carry her over the threshold of their home together. Not to mention, their first time together, period. His greatest dream, second only to marrying Lois, was making love to her for the first time. That was another threshold he longed to cross with her. They'd come awfully close so many times, but they'd never passed a certain point. He wanted so badly to share that with her, for her to be his first, and only. So many "firsts' they had yet to experience together, their whole lives they had only begun to share.
He opened his eyes and stared, unseeing at the floor. In his mind's eye he saw the day they first met. She blew into his life like a force of nature, turning his world upside down, and stealing his heart forever. Every smile, every laugh, even every argument, was imprinted on his memory indelibly. He knew she'd be ok; they'd been through too much for Fate to take her from him. He felt it in his heart, because that's where she was.
“Clark,” he heard Martha murmur. His head snapped up, and his heart went into his throat when he saw the doctor coming down the hall. Everyone immediately stood at attention, trying to gauge the doctor's expression as he approached.
The doctor slowly approached the family of the young woman who'd been brought in. He'd seen the look on the young man's face as they wheeled her into the trauma room, the love he had for her and the despair at being separated from her. So now, as he got closer, the look on the young man's face, so desperate for good news, tore at his heart, making what he had to do that much more difficult.
He took a deep breath before addressing the group.
“I'm Mark Greene, the chief attending. Are you Ms. Lane's fiancée?”
“Yes, how is she? Can I see her?” Clark asked anxiously.
“Is she going to be alright?”
“When can we see her?”
“What's taking so long?”
“What's happening with my baby girl?”
Dr. Greene raised his hands to forestall the barrage of questions being thrown at him, then lacing his fingers together, took a deep breath.
“As you all know Ms. Lane suffered a severe electrical shock, which stopped her heart for several minutes. The ambulance crew did get a pulse, and we worked on her vigorously for more than thirty minutes, but she arrested again. We used paddles to restart her heart, which it did briefly, but not before her vital organs began to systematically shut down.” He stopped for a moment, letting it sink in before he finished.
“We tried everything we could to repair the damage to both her organs and her nervous system, but I'm afraid there was just too much damage. I'm sorry, but we were unable to save her,” he finished quietly, sincerely. He then stood, respectfully quiet, his head slightly bowed, as his terrible news was absorbed by the devastated family.
Ellen turned, sobbing, into Sam's shoulder. His arms wrapped tightly around her as he felt his own tears begin to fall. He suddenly felt as if he'd aged twenty years in the span of a few seconds.
Martha also turned to her husband, tears streaming unbidden down her face. She kept moaning, “Oh, no, oh no,” over and over as a quietly trembling Jonathan held her. He could barely keep his own tears in check, but for the moment did, for his wife and son's sake.
Clark just stood there, motionless with shock. He hadn't quite processed what he'd been told, but he could hear Lois' and his parents weeping behind him. He'd heard what the doctor said, but he just couldn't…something wasn't right. Lois couldn't be…there had to be a mistake. But the sound of Ellen's hysterical sobs, his own mother's moans, and the doctor's softly spoken words cemented it for him.
“I'm so very sorry for your loss, Mr. Kent.”
"His loss? His LOSS!!?' Clark thought angrily, looking helplessly at the doctor. This wasn't just a "loss'! A loss was when you misplaced a credit card, or a favorite t-shirt! A loss was something you missed and then got over! This wasn't just an unfortunate mishap. His whole world, his whole life, was over. Nothing mattered anymore if Lois was gone; if she was dead, then he might as well be too. It was at that moment that the impact of the doctor's words fully hit him, and suddenly the world spun away, and he began to sway backward.
“Oh my god! Clark!” his mother cried as her son's body pitched back. “Jonathan!”
Both Jonathan and Sam reached out to steady the young man, holding him up until they could get him into a chair. Once seated, his equilibrium started to return, and his gaze cleared a little.
“Clark? Oh honey,” Martha said worriedly, one hand rubbing his shoulder in support, the fingers of her other hand patting his cheek.
“It's alright, Mom. I'm…I'm ok,” he quickly assured her, though they both knew it was a lie. “This can't be…” he murmured, mostly to himself, then looked forlornly at his mother. “She can't be gone, mom,” he whispered brokenly, sounding so much like a lost little boy it startled her.
“I'll just leave you alone now,” Dr. Greene excused himself, and turned to leave.
“Wait,” Clark said, turning the doctor back around. He stared at him for a moment, as if unable to speak. The doctor just stood there, waiting patiently. “Can I see her?”
“Son, do you think that's such a good…” Jonathan began to ask.
“I want to see her,” Clark said quietly, but firmly, looking from his father to the doctor.
Dr. Greene nodded in understanding. “Of course.”
Gathering his strength, Clark stood, his mother at his side. “I'll be fine, Mom,” he said, patting her arm, and even managing a weak smile for her.
“It's this way,” the doctor said, gesturing for Clark to follow him.
Clark's legs felt like lead as they carried him into the trauma room. When he saw her laid out on the table, they almost gave way beneath him. But he forced himself to move forward. They had removed the IV's and respirator, but she was still wearing her wedding dress. Even in death, she still took his breath away. Her eyes were closed; she looked so peaceful, so serene. He gazed at her face, still so beautiful despite what she'd been through. He picked up her left hand, and brought it to his lips, gently kissing the back, then kissed her wedding ring, letting his lips linger a moment. Clasping her hand close to his heart, he leaned over her, and brushed a strand of hair from her face.
“Oh, my love,” he whispered, then fingered her veil. “My wife.” A sob escaped his throat, his tears making it almost impossible to speak. “Myrtle may have taken you from me, but she could never mar your beauty, nothing ever could.” He stood silently a moment, letting his fingers move slowly over her, memorizing every detail; the perfect, pale glow of her skin, her full lips that he'd kissed so many times, her delicately arched brows over long, dark lashes. He dipped his head, and pressed a small kiss to her forehead. “I love you, Lois, more than you will ever know.”
Lifting his head slightly, he gazed at her one final time, his tears moistening her skin, then gently brushed his lips lingeringly over hers, their first and only kiss as husband and wife.