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FANFICTION ARROW : Bad Day
nath_42
Disclaimer : I don’t own anything. It’s just for fun.
Summary : Felicity Smoak is having a very bad day.
Rated : Friendship mainly. A hint of ‘Olicity’.
Season 2 (between episode 2 and episode 6)

***

It was one of those days you wished you could have stayed at home and cuddled in bed while watching ‘singing in the rain’, a pack of ice cream at hand’s reach.

It started with a nasty headache and an annoying alarm clock ringing loudly in her ears. How a pleasant way to start the day… The vigilante’s activities had forced her to stay awake most part of the night and she could sense the lack of sleep and exhaustion weighing on her tired body.

As she so gracefully reminded Oliver earlier this week, she loved spending nights with him. This city needed saving. Crime and delinquency were spreading rapidly, expanding outside the Glades. The Police was overworked. It was past time someone cleared the streets of this cancer and brought justice to the citizens of Starling City. They needed a hero. She needed a hero. A sign of hope to lighten those gloomy days.

But what she needed right now was a strong coffee, something to wash up the remnants of sleep and help her go through the day. Diggle and Oliver might be used to this lifestyle but she wasn’t. She needed rest and sleep. All these nights spent in the basement of the Verdant’s club were taking a toll on her. Not that she complained. She was glad to be part of the team and be able to use her mad skills for the greater good, although it might be the cause of her demise one day. She would probably end up at Guantanamo Bay in an awful orange outfit. But for now, she refused to think about it.

She had seen the potential in Oliver. But he was wrapped up in his own suffering and vengeance from all those years of hurt spent on that hellish island. While trying to readapt to a normal life, he discovered the involvement of his family in an unspeakable treason. She could not begin to understand the pain and conflicted emotions he must be experiencing. Five long years trying to survive on an hostile island, learning how to hunt and fight. Kill or be killed. The vision of all the scars on his torso and on his back made her nauseous every time she laid eyes on him. The fact that he had survived and returned home after all this time showed his strength. Not only physically, but mentally. He was damaged, for sure. But she was certain he would overcome the hurt and guilt he was feeling at the moment. It was only a matter of time.

The rumble of thunder suddenly brought her out of her reverie and she raised her head to glare at the heavy clouds that were rapidly gliding towards the city. ‘Oh perfect. Now my day is complete’ she told herself. ‘Definitely should have stayed in bed this morning’.

She had woken up to find her coffee can empty and old fruit juice long expired and forgotten in her fridge. The downsides of living a double life… no time to go shopping anymore. To add brightness to this beautiful day, she had walked to her car to find her front tires flat and useless and she had to run to the nearest bus shelter to arrive at work on time.

The morning had been enjoyable as Ms Rochev had made an unexpected appearance, interrupting one of the many meetings Oliver was attending to, not even bothering to grant the MIT assistant a smile or a greeting. And finally, here she was, coming back from her lunch break outside the office to avoid cafeteria gossip and sideways glances from her beloved colleagues. Being suddenly promoted from IT girl to executive assistant of the CEO – who happened to be a very handsome playboy – had aroused suspicion. Funny how the 30 000 employees of the firm were more interested in their boss’s love life than the energy he had spent to save them from unemployment.

A bowl of light stroke the city, making Felicity stumble on the sidewalk. Her left heel broke as she tried to disengage herself from a manhole she stepped into. To complete the picture, she felt drops of water falling down on her face and glasses, blurring her vision. Sighing heavily, she cursed and took off her glasses. By the time she arrived at QC entrance, she was drenched from head to toe and quivering.

This day could not be more perfect. Oh well, she was wrong again. As she approached the entrance of the building, she was suddenly surrounded by a bunch of reporters. She didn’t move at first. She believed they had mistaken her for somebody else and would soon realise she was not the person they were looking for.

‘Miss Smoak ! Felicity Smoak ?’ She frowned. Obviously, they knew her. And she was wrong… again. Oh boy, she was tired of this day. Couldn’t they leave her alone, for God sake ?! She tried to avoid them but a large hand stopped her walk and turned her around to face the camera. Great, now I’m gonna make the news. Just calm down and don’t babble.

‘Miss Smoak, a word on your work status here at Queen Consolidated. I hear congratulations are in order. You used to work for the IT department, right ?’ She didn’t like the way this was going. ‘Yes’ she responded, reluctant.

‘- Now I’ve heard you’ve been promoted to personal assistant… Mr Queen’s personal assistant. Is that correct ?
- I don’t see your interest in that matter. Now, if you’ll excuse me. I have work to do.’
She turned to leave but couldn’t break through the crowd.
‘And what does your job consist in exactly, Miss Smoak ? Secretarial work is not your field of expertise. Or maybe Mr Queen needed your… expertise… in a totally different field.’
Felicity tried to gather the last remnants of control she had left. ‘What are you insinuating ?’ Blood was rushing to her head. She would have loved to practice the combat moves Diggle had taught her on this guy.

‘Well, I’ll rephrase the question in much easier terms for you to understand. What is the nature of your relationship with Mr Queen ?’
Before she could answer anything, she felt a protective arm circling her shoulders and she turned around. John Diggle, black driver, bodyguard and saviour of the day, was dragging her away from the reporters. ‘Thank you’ she whispered.

As they approached the entrance of Queen Consolidated, she couldn’t help but overhear the reporter’s sarcastic comment as he addressed to the camera and, as a matter of fact, Starling City’s population. ‘Queen Consolidated seems to be in good hands, Ladies and Gentlemen. Or should I say, Mr Queen is in good hands… The billionaire playboy does not fail to his reputation…’

Felicity stopped in her tracks, shocked and most of all angry. Very angry. This day had been a total joke. She couldn’t stand anymore crap. ‘That’s enough’ she said, turning her heels over and walking to face the reporter. Diggle didn’t even had time to react. ‘Felicity, don’t. He’s not worth it’. But she wouldn’t listen.

She planted her heels in front of the reporter – heel was more appropriate – and glared at him. ‘What’s your name ?’ The reporter did not answer at first, surprised by her reaction. ‘Glenn Porter, Starling Register’.

‘Well, Mr Porter’ She accentuated his last name. ‘I may be blond but I’m not that blond. I do not like your tone. Would you have made some research, you would know that I went to MIT.
- What’s your point ?
- My point is… I’m smarter than you are.’
She could hear someone chuckle in the background and it gave her the courage to continue.
‘I worked hard to get this job. Now I hope the Starling Register does not engage in the gossip business.’ She paused, pleased to see Mr Porter standing still, his mouth hanging open like a fish out of water. ‘Far from me the idea of telling you how to do your job, but I would have expected better professionalism.’

Another reporter interrupted her. ‘You can’t ignore Mr Queen’s reputation. Spoiled and rich kid that spends his nights in clubs. What did he do lately to convince us otherwise ?’
Felicity stared at the woman who was standing on her right.
‘Well, have you seen him in tabloids, lately ? I don’t think so.’
She was so pissed, she hoped that she wouldn’t blurt out a stupid comment that would completely discredit her boss or even worse, reveal his secret identity. But it was too late now to have second thoughts. The cat was out of the bag.
‘For starters, he managed to save 30 000 jobs by taking the direction of Queen Consolidated. People need to blame someone for the destruction of the Glades. I understand. But Mr Queen is not responsible for the mistakes his parents made.’

She paused again and looked around her at the crowd of reporters gathered in front of her.
‘May I have to remind you that Mr Queen spent five years on an island, trying to survive. Do you know the name of this island ? Yian Yu. Translation : Purgatory. Not a paradisiacal island. No deckchair, no exotic beverage with a little umbrella in it, no coconut.’

Felicity took a deep breath to regain some composure. She needed to end this before messing things up, which would eventually happen at some point. ‘Now he finally comes back home and discovers that his parents have been involved in an act of terror. And yet, here he is, trying to clear the name of his family and regain the trust of the people. So, cut him some slack. It will take time to keep the company afloat and back to business. But he will, eventually.’

She felt Diggle’s warm hand on her back. A cue to take off. She locked eyes with him and nodded in silent approval. She let him drag her away from the noisy reporters. The rain would not stop and she was freezing by now. They finally closed the distance that was separating them from the shelter of QC and Felicity sighed once they entered the warm hall.

‘Oh God, I hate this day’. She leaned on Diggle and took off her shoes. It might not be appropriate but at this point, she didn’t care anymore. The floor was cold and probably covered by germs and dirt. But if Oliver had managed to survive on that stupid island for five years without contracting tetanus or infectious diseases, she could handle a little walk, barefoot, to the elevator.

She tried to ignore the suspicious looks from her co-workers, as she and Diggle patiently waited for the doors to open. A high-pitched sound finally announced the arrival of the elevator and they gladly stepped into it. Felicity was unusually quiet. Diggle seemed to notice it. ‘Are you alright ?’

She didn’t answer at first and sighed. ‘Well, I don’t know. Let’s see…’ she commented, sarcastic. ‘My head is throbbing, my favourite shoes are destroyed. My clothes are soaking wet, my hair is a mess and I probably look totally insane. But you know what ? I’m fine because in an improbable moment of clarity and wisdom this morning, I chose to put a waterproof make up. So, maybe, I did not completely lost my credibility in front of that good’old Porter and his joyful club members.’ She frowned at Diggle’s laugh but didn’t say anything.

‘- you did good, Felicity.
- yeah, right. I’m pretty sure Oliver will have to disagree with you.’ She paused and glanced at him. ‘By the way, thank you for coming to my rescue, over there. You can not imagine how happy I was to see you.’ She winked. ‘my knight in shinning armour.’ She watched her friend’s reaction as his smile grew wider and dimples appeared on his cheeks.
- anything for my IT girl.
- Executive assistant.
- right.’
Diggle playfully brushed her hair. She feigned annoyance and pouted. They finally stepped out of the elevator and headed to Felicity’s desk. She could see Oliver, from the corner of her eyes. He was leaning comfortably in his chair, intensely watching his computer screen.

She sighed heavily and dumped her bag on her immaculate desk, along with her foggy glasses. ‘I’d rather tell Oliver about my little “slip up” before he discovers it on the news.’ She turned around and faced Diggle. ‘Now I would really appreciate if you could stay behind me for support. You know, in case Oliver decides to get physical on me or worse, fire me.’

Diggle hold the door open as she entered her boss’ office. ‘You have a weird sense of priorities, Felicity.’ She didn’t reply. Her thoughts were focused on Oliver, who had already acknowledged her presence and was staring at her intensely. It did nothing to help her agitated mind and she felt nervous suddenly.

‘Hey’ he said with a gentle smile. Felicity bit on her lower lip, trying to figure out a way to bring him the news. She tried to brush away a loose strand of hair but stopped when she realised she was still holding her shoes. It was so awkward. She cleared her throat and closed her eyes for a brief moment. ‘Look, I have something to say to you. I messed up, big time. But before I tell you, I want you to know that I’m really sorry and I hope you won’t be too mad at me because it was not my intention to discredit you and you know me… no brain to mouth filter and… I did it again, damn it Felicity, focus !’

Oliver slowly straightened up and turned his computer so she could see the screen. Her throat went dry suddenly and her vision blurred. ‘Oh God’ was all she could say. The interview had been broadcasted in live and Oliver just happened to watch the news at this precise moment. Excellent timing, as usual.

Her heart beat increased as she watched Oliver get up from his chair and circle is desk. ‘I’m really sorry, Oliver. It’s just… I’ve had a very bad day and this guy… Oh God I was so pissed…’ Oliver was coming to her, stepping closer. ‘I know it’s not an excuse and I should have walked away. But I couldn’t let him throw false accusations at you. I had the best intentions, you have to believe me !’

Before she could say anything else, Oliver drew her closer into a tight embrace. The world seemed to stop in that instant as she struggled to breathe evenly. She felt his strong arm circling her waist, while his other hand hold a firm grip on her neck. One single hug and all her doubts vanished. She relaxed in his arms and clutched at his shirt.

Somewhere in the back of her head, she registered the sound of her shoes dropping on the tiled floor. But she couldn’t care less at this moment. She breathed in his masculine scent and closed her eyes, unable to form a coherent thought.

She didn’t know how long they stood there. Could have been ten seconds, one minute or one hour. She had lost track of time. Oliver eventually broke apart, brushing his lips to her temple in the process. All she could do was stare at him, conflicted emotions overloading her now very awake brain. ‘You’re not mad at me ?’ she whispered.

Oliver smiled genuinely at her and her heart skipped a beat. ‘Why would I be ? You did not discredit my reputation. You discredited theirs. I think you can rightfully add “CEO’s spokeswoman” in your job title.’

Felicity laughed, relieved. She was about to make a sarcastic comment but was suddenly stopped by a powerful sneeze. Oh joy. At the way things were going, she was pretty sure she would spend the next day in bed… Only instead of ice cream, it would be chicken soup, aspirin and lots of tissues. Oliver immediately took off his jacket and slipped it on Felicity’s bare arms. ‘Thanks’.

‘I’ll ask Thea to bring you a change of clothes. Now, sit down.’ He pushed her towards the couch. ‘You need to warm up. I’ll be back in a minute.’ She was left alone, contemplating the view of their beautiful city, slumped in the comfortable couch of her boss. This was surreal. She lifted her wrist to her nose and inhaled Oliver’s scent on the sleeve of his jacket. She closed her eyes and let her head rest on the back of the couch.

‘So…’ Diggle said from behind, startling her. ‘He did get physical, after all.’ Felicity blushed but remained silent. She watched him walk to the window and sit down in front of her, across the table. She had completely forgotten his presence and she suddenly felt stupid. He probably knew she had a crush on Oliver, from the very beginning… mainly due to her dysfunctional mouth filter. But nonetheless, it was not a subject she was comfortable enough to discuss with him… or anyone else for that matter.

Fortunately for her, Oliver chose this moment to return, bringing coffee for everyone. ‘Now I feel bad for all the times I refused to fetch you coffee.’ Oliver smiled and sat down next to her. ‘Well don’t. Because you were right. You’re not my personal assistant. I consider you more of a partner and a friend.’

Diggle raised his glass. ‘To friendship, then.’ They sat in comfortable silence, sipping hot coffee. Felicity’s body began to warm up again. Her head was still throbbing, she couldn’t feel her toes and her clothes were draining on Oliver’s expensive couch. But these were details, right ?

When she thought about it, everything she needed was in that room. A job that she loved and friends that she cared about. She could have refused to join Oliver and Diggle in their little quest and get back to her boring IT job, her boring “geeky” life. Boring was the key word. For the first time in her life, she felt useful. So yes, job had its hazards. But it was worth it.

As she listened to Diggle and Oliver’s easy banter, she thought that – maybe – it would not be such a bad day, after all.

***

The End.

FANFICTION NCIS LOS ANGELES : No place like home
nath_42
Disclaimer : I don’t own anything… It’s just for fun.
Summary : After the events of ‘Blye K.’ Kensi’s point of view.

***

Kensi emerged slowly from sleep, feeling slightly disorientated and fuzzy. As her eyes refused to open up, she focused on the sound of birds bickering nearby and buried her face further into the pillow. She knew something was off. The bed was too comfy to be hers. This simple thought should have waken her up and put her senses in alert. But instead, she lied down and let the sun warm her back, silently inviting her to go back to sleep. She dozed off and remained still for a few minutes. Then, with a heavy sigh, she forced herself to concentrate and tried to wash away the remnants of sleep. Her eyes fluttered open and she took sight of her surroundings, finally gathering the last pieces of her muddled memory.

She remembered the drive to the boatshed, the morning before. The light banter with her partner. Then, the laconic voice of Assistant Directeur Granger calling for her. At first, she was intrigued and annoyed by his frequent interviews about her trips to Hawaï and the investigation she was conducting on her father’s death. When he accused her of murder, she could feel her blood boiling in her veins and she refrained the urge to kick him in the ‘cul de sac’.

Then he nonchalantly put the file on the table, in front of her. And from this moment, it all went in a blur. This day had been full of mixed emotions, the result of so many years of frustration, anger and incomprehension. She learned the unsettling truth about her father’s team unit, found the one responsible for his death, and made it up with her mother. She should have been satisfied. Then why couldn’t she get rid of this persistent knot in her stomach ? All these years building up walls around her. One single day and it all crumbled down, leaving her numb and lost.

Her sanity had been sorely tried and she nearly lost control. She would have killed Clairmont if she had not discovered her mother’s belongings, having pride of place in the closet. Kensi’s pictures and drawings lovingly kept in sight. Julia told her she never forgave herself for not telling her the truth about her father and not a single day went by without thinking about her. At that moment, Kensi had realised that her mother never ceased to love her. Kensi smiled as she recalled her conversation with her mother, the evening before. She had welcomed her without hesitation, while she had every reason to blame her. As she stood on the porch, Kensi had recalled Deeks’ words ‘I don’t think she wants an apology. I just think she wants her daughter back.’

Kensi closed her eyes and sighed. Deeks. Her thoughts drifted towards her partner. He had been with her every step of the way, keeping her sane, making her laugh when she was on the edge of breaking down. He opened up for her and showed her his support. She was not prepared for that.

She nearly burst into tears after the confrontation with Megan Stevens’ impostor. She went to hide in the public restroom and gathered all the strength she had not to collapse on the floor. She instinctively dialed Deeks’ cell phone number, remembering the promise she made. She was ready to let go right there, waiting for Deeks to come and save the ‘damsel in distress’, take her in his arms and make her laugh. But she didn’t. She focused on his voice, at the end of the receiver, surprised that he immediately acknoledged her call. She tried to answer him but couldn’t make a sound. Then, she realised that she was not ready to give up. She could not afford to break down, so close to the truth. After all these years searching for answers, she had finally the opportunity to avenge her father’s death. Stupid pride.

Callen and Sam were always making fun of Deeks. They kept telling Kensi they felt sorry for her having to put up with Shaggy all day long. The truth was, she was the weakest link of this partnership. She was impulsive, stubborn and had a terrible sense of humor, although she would never admit it in front of Deeks. He, on the other hand, had an easy temper and a charming personality (charming ? really ?). He remained calm under any circonstances. Of course, he was a Detective from L.A.P.D. and had not been trained to be a Federal agent. But he had the potential to become one. A very good one. He had earned everybody’s trust in the Agency, even Sam’s. No matter what… He was one of them. Life at NCIS would be so boring and insipid without him.

‘Damn it!’ she suddenly exclaimed. ‘What time is it?’ She rolled over and winced as she felt a sharp pain striking her side. She sat quickly on the edge of the bed and paused. She felt dizzy. Her wounds had woken up and she could feel everyone of them. Her body was screaming its dismay at her and she wished she was mainlining morphine. Or aspirin… Anything.

She reached the bedside table but didn’t find her cell phone. Her eyes scanned the room without success, as she tried to remember her last actions of the evening. Kensi and her mother stayed up most part of the night, talking. The day had been emotionally and physically exhausting and Kensi was so tired. Her mother had offered her to sleep in the spare room and she had gladly accepted it. Needless to say that the idea of going home alone and finding her apartment turned upside down had quickly made up her mind.

‘Hetty’s gonna kill me’ she whispered. She stood up, slowly, and grabbed the blanket that was resting on the armchair, nearby. She left the room and walked along the corridor. Her bare feet silently slided on the wooden floor and stopped at the top of the stairs. Her heartbeat sped up as she remembered her last fight with Clairmont, ending at the bottom of it, blood spread all over the wall. She shuddered at the thought and tightened up her grip on the blanket. She cautiously went down the staircase, her hand brushing against the banister.

She heard voices coming from the kitchen and she suddenly felt nervous. Before she could think twice about it, she heard a burst of laughter and tried to focus on the familiar voices. Her mum was having a rather animated chat with… Deeks?! Really? Why was he here? Did Hetty send him to pick her up? Oh, she was in serious trouble! She walked in their direction and was immediately greeted by her mother.

‘Hi, sweetie. Did you sleep well?’ She offered her daughter a tender smile. Kensi smiled back at her. ‘Yes, thank you.’ Then, she turned her attention on Deeks, who was staring at her intensely. He was smiling and acting casually but his eyes were all over her and Kensi could feel the blood rising in her cheeks. Her hair were a mess, falling on her shoulders. She was wearing one of her mum’s nightdress. Not the old fashioned one. Her mother had taste, that was for sure. It was a beautiful low-cut dress, white and very simple. But since Kensi was taller than her mother, the nightdress revealed a lot more skin than intended to.

‘What’s up, partner?’ Deeks said, his voice deep and warm. Kensi cleared her throat and adjusted the blanket on her shoulders. ‘What are you doing here?’
‘So much of a hello!’ Deeks replied, pretending to be hurt. Kensi interrupted him. ‘What time is it? Did Hetty send you? I can’t find my phone… I… I remember putting it on the night table… but…’ Oh perfect, now she was babbling like a fifteen years old girl called to the Principal’s office. She was going soft. And the only people that could have that effect on her were standing right in front of her.

‘Easy Fern, don’t freak out on me.’
‘Fern?’ Julia asked.
‘Oh, don’t ask please!’ said Kensi, exasperated. She glanced at her partner and saw him smile mischievously. Her fist went in violent contact with his arm and Deeks nearly lost his balance. If she would have put a little more strength in it, he would have fallen from the stool.
‘Really?! Are you always that cheeky in the morning?’ Looking back at Julia, he added ‘Don’t worry, I’m fine. I’m getting used to it. And by the way…’ He winked ‘Girls punch boys they like.’ Kensi sighed and rolled her eyes ‘What are you? Eight?’

‘I’m afraid I have to plead guilty, honey’ explained her mother ‘You seemed so tired last night. I went to check on you this morning and you were soundly asleep. I figured you could use some extra sleep. Then your phone rang and I picked it up, not wanting to wake you up. Marty was worried sick about you.’

What was wrong with the last sentence? Few words and yet, very disturbing. Did she call him Marty ? In retrospect, Kensi realised that Deeks and her mother had plenty of time to get to know eachother. First, on their way to the boatshed, then Deeks drove her back home. And finally, this morning. They seemed quite at ease with eachother, sharing breakfast and chatting happily. Her mother had obviously fallen under his spell. Like everyone. Kensi was certainly not blaming her for that.

Now, about the other disturbing fact… Was Deeks really worried about her? She should have been exasperated. After all, she was a tough and proud girl who didn’t need protection. To be honest, she was flattered. And she was beginning to like the idea of being pampered. Well, not that she would admit it in font of the band. But Deeks had seen right through her disguise and she was not afraid anymore to reveal herself to him when they were alone.

She glanced at him and bit her bottom lip as she saw him blushing hard. ‘Well… I was not worried sick about y… I mean yes, I was worried, you know… It was nine past ten and hum… But…’ He cleared his throat and fidgeted in his seat. ‘Anyway, Julia invited me for breakfast. I could not refuse such a nice offer.’
‘And Hetty was kind enough to grant you that favor?’ She asked, suspicious.
‘Yes, she was.’ Deeks paused and looked at her with that goofy smile on his face. Kensi maintained eye contact with him and patiently waited for a better explanation.
‘Ok, I may have skipped the breakfast part. I told her that I would pick you up.’
Kensi sighed ‘I’m so screwed.’ She turned on her heels ‘I’ll be ready in five.’

Before she could take another step, Deeks’ hand grabbed her arm. ‘Kens, relax’ he whispered. ‘Take a seat and enjoy breakfast.’ He tightened his hold on her, refusing to let her go. Kensi looked up and instantly dove into his blue eyes. ‘Deeks…’ she pleaded. They fell silent, unable to look away from eachother. Then Deeks spoke again. ‘No emergency. Just paperwork waiting for us. You’ve been shot and beaten yesterday. Forget about Hetty, forget about what she wants. Please, sit down.’

Her breath caught in her throat as she recalled their conversation in the garage. ‘Forget what they want, I’m talking about us’. His honesty and genuine concern had thrown her off balance. She had tried so hard to hold back her tears, so close to break down.

She tried to ignore the knot in her throat as the implication of his words sank in. ‘Alright’ she whispered. Deeks finally let go of her arm and she sat down next to him. She peeked at her mother, while she was pouring orange juice in her glass and shared a look with her. She had questionned her on Deeks, the evening before, teasing her about his charming personality and their [relationship] partnership. Was it that obvious? Was she that transparent? She tried to smile but instead, stared down at her glass.

‘I figured you could use one of these’ Deeks said, putting a tube of aspirin on the table. Kensi sighed ‘Oh, thank god.’ She hastily opened the box and threw two pills in her drink.
‘So, how’s the arm?’ Deeks asked.
‘Fine’ Kensi replied.
‘And the torso?’
‘I’m fine.’ She looked up and smiled ‘I’m… good. Really.’
Deeks smiled back and nodded.
‘So, I was thinking… maybe we could make a stop at the beach on our way back to work, so you know…’
‘Don’t even think about it, Deeks. No surfing today. We’re already late.’
‘Come on, we’ll blame it on traffic. We’re in L.A. after all. They won’t give us a second look.’
‘No way. I thought you would have learned your lesson after Hetty hacked your webcam.’
‘I know she has ears and eyes everywhere in ops, but she can’t always be at our back.’
‘She can force Eric to track our cell phones… And you know how scared he is of Hetty.’ She added.
‘you two seem to have a rather nasty and ruthless boss’ commented Julia.
‘She’s one hell of a woman’ Deeks approuved. ‘That’s why she excels at her job. She keeps the ship afloat. But she’s also very kind and generous. If it was not for her, I wouldn’t be working for NCIS right now.’

Julia frowned, intrigued. She crossed her arms and leaned on the table, facing Deeks.
‘Do you like working for NCIS? Or do you intend to go back to the Police Department?’
Kensi hold her breath, waiting for Deeks to answer.
‘Well, becoming a cop represented everything to me… I’ve worked hard to achieve that goal and earn the badge.’ He paused, then smiled. ‘I’m a hopeless sentimental. I kind of like to see the word Detective attached to my name.’

He glanced briefly at Kensi before turning his attention back to her mother.
‘But to be honest, I think NCIS is where I belong, now. I used to work undercover, alone. I’ve pissed off my fair share of shields in the process. NCIS is not any Federal agency. There is a code of honor among the personnel… former marines and SEALs. I have friends there… and a family.’

Kensi couldn’t take her eyes off of her partner. Her mother had innocently put the question that she always dreaded to ask him. Kensi could feel the tension leaving her body. She tried, but failed, to suppress the wide grin that was forming on her face.

Forcing herself to look away from him, she focused on the chain around her mother’s neck and the ring that she knew belonged to her father. As if reading her mind, Julia reached for the ring and played with it, lost in her thoughts.
‘You are a good cop, Detective’ she emphasized the last word. ‘And I’m sure you will make a good NCIS agent, one day. I’ve spent the most part of my life being dictated by the marines’ code of conduct. I recognize a marine when I see one.’ She smiled. ‘Welcome in the family, Marty.’

***
The End.

FANART 2 : NCIS LOS ANGELES
nath_42
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FANART 1 : NCIS LOS ANGELES
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FANART2 LEGEND OF THE SEEKER
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FANART1 LEGEND OF THE SEEKER
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NCIS ART 2
nath_42

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FANFIC NCIS : Cause for celebration
nath_42

Disclaimer : I don’t own anything…
Summary : After the events of ‘Spider and the fly’ Ziva finally gets what she deserves.

***

The quiet street was suddenly filled with a happy hubbub as the cinema’s doors opened with a loud creak and people left the building.

‘Come on, Ziva. How can you not like this movie ? It’s a classic !’ Agents Dinozzo and David stepped on the bumpy sidewalk and followed the crowd. ‘Well classic does not necessary mean that everybody likes it.’

‘It’s so much more than that… Captain Blood is the best swashbuckling movie… ever ! Errol Flynn is just great. There’s action, romance. Besides you told me you enjoyed The Black Pirate, I thought you would like it as well. You can’t deny…’ Tony interrupted himself in the middle of his sentence and stared suspiciously at his partner. ‘You’re kidding me, right ?’ Ziva smirked smugly and walked past him ‘you’re so easy to fool, Tony’.

‘All right, miss David, mock me if you want. But you have to admit : It is a great movie.’ Ziva laughed and shook her head. ‘It was not bad’ she finally admitted. ‘But the seats were very unconfortable… and dusty. The building is falling into pieces.’ Tony made a face ‘It’s the only cinema in town that broadcast old movies non stop. You’ll have to get used to it because it’s my favorite.’

Getting used to watch movies with Tony. Ziva tried to decipher the meaning of his words. Was it the first of many movie nights ? Was it a date ? Unconsciously, she looked forward to it and the thought made her shiver with anticipation. Tony misunderstood her reaction and his hand gently brushed her neck as he zipped up her jacket. His eyes then dived into hers and Ziva drowned.

Since her return from Somalia, a year ago, their relationship had changed. Ziva had been through hell in that camp. She had come to the point of non return, ready to die in the hand of her enemy. But fate had other plans for her. She was safe. Tony risked his own life to avenge her death, after everything she accused him of. She would never forget the emotion she saw on his face when Salim brought her in that dusty cell. She would never forget his words as they faced eachother, tied up. ‘I couldn’t live without you, I guess.’

And now, not only she was burdened with the memory of those terrible three months of captivity, but she was also frightened by the powerful rush of emotions she experienced that day. She knew Tony was fighting with his emotions as well. Abby told her once that he had walked like a zombie ever since he learnt the Damocles’s wreck. It was very disturbing to know that she could trigger such a violent reaction from anybody. She did not deserve it. Her father did not even bother to come in person to see his daughter after her rescue. Why Tony would even bother to complete a suicide mission when he believed she was lost ?

Deep down, she knew the truth. But she was not ready to accept it, yet. Ziva broke eye contact with Tony, unable to hold his gaze anymore. She began to walk again but his hand hold her arm, forcing her to stop. ‘I’m sorry’ Tony whispered. Confused, Ziva looked back at him ‘for what ?’

She sensed his hesitation and frowned. ‘I promised I would attend to the ceremony. It was important and I wanted to be there. But…’
‘… you had orders, I know.’ Ziva interrupted. She paused. ‘Do not make yourself itch.’
The corner of Tony’s mouth rose up as he corrected her ‘ill. Do not make yourself ill.’
She smiled back ‘whatever.’

They walked in confortable silence, listening to the melodious buzz of the city. ‘Anyway. I had a good time tonight. Thank you.’ Ziva said.
‘Oh, you don’t get rid of me easily, sweetcheeks. The night is not over.’ Tony said huskily. His words took her off guard and she stared blankly at him. She hoped her trembling hands did not betray her nervousness.
‘What… hum… what do you have in mind ?’ she did not recognize her own voice. Tony gave her his trademark cocky smile before leaning closer. ‘Well, I was thinking… you… me…’

Ziva’s heart missed a beat. She was waiting for his next word… or move. She focused on his lips, hypnotized. Finally, he spoke again ‘and a plate of pasta.’

‘hum ?’ Ziva snapped out of her trance and looked up. Tony nodded and looked past her ‘Italian restaurant, right behind you. It’s a sign.’ Ziva slowly turned around. ‘oh’ her heart was still pounding in her chest. She tried to regain some composure. ‘I don’t know. It is late and… hum…’ She couldn’t manage a coherent thought.

She could sense Tony’s pleading eyes on her. ‘come on, Ziva. It’s friday night. It’s just dinner… please ?’ She drowned into his puppy eyes again and gave in. ‘all right, you win. But next time, I choose the restaurant… and the movie.’ She bit her lips as she suddenly realised that she unintentionally got caught up in Tony’s game. There would definitely be a next time, she was certain of it. Tony would gladly remind her these words. The young man grinned mischievously but remained silent. He hold the door open for her and they entered the noisy hall.

Instead of waiting at the reception, Tony pushed Ziva at the far end of the room. As soon as they reached it, a squeal shook the bartender’s glasses. Everyone turned around and watched as a little brunette jumped up and down with joy. ‘Abby ?’

The young woman smiled ‘welcome home, Ziva !’
Ziva looked back at Tony, confused. He smiled at her in return and shrugged innocently. Ziva narrowed her eyes. Innocent… Dinozzo ? I do not believe so, she thought. Tony winked. They walked to Abby and the young girl hold Ziva in a powerful embrace ‘congratulations ! we didn’t get the chance to celebrate your citizenship status properly, you know, with all that cartel’s crap.’

Ziva’s smile soon faded when she became aware of the people that suddenly surrounded her. Tim was here, along with his sister Sarah. Jimmy and his girlfriend were sitting at the bar, nearby. Ziva got out of Abby’s arms and looked on her left. Ducky and Jordan were talking to director Vance and his wife. Abby’s friend, Carol, was here as well. Not far from her stood Jackson Gibbs. Ziva searched the room and her enthousiasm faded away.

‘Looking for someone ?’ she nearly jumped and turned around. ‘Gibbs’ was all she could say. She stared at him in awe, unable to speak. He leaned closer ‘congratulations, agent David’ he whispered, as he planted a gentle kiss on her forehead. Ziva was overwelmed. She bit her lower lip and tried to contain the tears that were threatening to fall down on her cheeks. ‘Thank you’ she said shakily.

Sensing her distress, Tony went to her rescue. ‘Now, I’m starving. Don’t just stand up people ! what are you waiting for ?’

‘We’re waiting for you, Dinozzo.’ Gibbs said, giving a gentle slap on the back of his agent’s head.

***
The End.

FANFIC NCIS : Crash and burn, Dinozzo's way
nath_42
Disclaimer : I don’t own anything…
Summary : aftermath of Ziva’s captivity in Somalia. Short scene, it takes place in the middle of season 7 – Tiva

***

It was way past noon and he missed lunch. The past few days had been very intense and exhausting as they were working on a particulary tricky case. Abby made wonders, as always. Thanks to her forensic magic, she managed to fill the remaining gaps and link the victim to his murderer. No wonder why she was Gibbs’ favorite. Tony watched his superior swallow his seventh coffee of the day in one gulp. Another characteristic trait he shared with Abby. Their little addiction to caffeine preserved them from exhaustion. Years of practice. In days like this, he envied them. But four cups were already more than he could handle. They were about to apprehend the main suspect. He needed to think clearly and have a steady hand on the trigger.

Then, his attention turned to the woman in front of him. Ziva was already packing, waiting for orders. He studied her for a moment, allowing his eyes to travel up and down her body. He did that a lot recently. It was silly, he knew that. But he felt the need to constantly check on her. He came so close to lose her, in Somalia. It was hard enough to know she was angry at him and didn’t want to see him, but when Gibbs reported the Damocles’ wreck, his heart sank as well.

His eyes stopped on her face and drowned into hers. He missed her so much. He watched her bend down to pick up her gear, her hair loosening on her shoulders. She was beautiful. But something was wrong. She was not the same since she came back. She pretended to be alright but Tony knew better. She fooled the psychologist, but he didn’t buy it. Neither did Gibbs.

She looked like hell. Her eyes were sad and tired, her smile was forced. But who could blame her ? Her boyfriend had been killed by her co-worker, she had been captured and tortured for three months. And last but not the least, she had been betrayed by her father. She was a strong soldier, the best he knew after Gibbs. But she was only human after all. He remembered the time she went undercover and was attacked by a serial killer. She had not been herself for days. The most difficult part had been to force her to admit that she was not fine. She could be stubborn sometimes.

This time was different. It was worse. Gibbs gave her time and space, hoping she could suck it up eventually. But Tony knew her well. She needed a confrontation, face to face. And since Ducky failed to reason with her, Tony decided to take the problem in hand… The Dinozzo way was far less subtle and gentle. But it was necessary… for her sake.

He stood up as his boss checked his gun and gave his orders.
‘McGee, I want the location of this bastard.
- I’m on it, boss.
- Ziva, Tony. Grab your gear and meet me in the garage in fifteen minutes. Abby’s got something, I’m going to her lab.’
Tony went straight to him and looked into his eyes.
‘I’m not sure it’s a good idea, boss.’
Agent Gibbs straightened up and tried to sound out his intentions. Tony could feel McGee’s nervous gaze in his back.
‘What’s the problem, Dinozzo ?
- well, it’s not what, but who is the problem. I think Ziva should step back for this one.’
Ziva gasped but Tony didn’t look at her.
‘Why ? what’s your problem, Tony ? you don’t like competition or you have something against me ?’
Her voice was composed but betrayed her anger. Gibbs was quiet, still drowning into his eyes.
‘It’s a delicate situation, boss. A single mistake and we can blow up the whole mission.
- who do you think you are, Tony ? You’re no better than me. I’m the best shooter of this building and I…
- have you looked in the mirror, lately ?’ Tony brutally interrupted her. ‘You’re a wreck, Ziva.’
She remained speachless, her hands gripped her chair for support. He hated to do that. She looked tiny and weak all of a sudden. He turned around and faced Gibbs again.
‘I’m sick of the pretense. She walks to my apartment twice a week in the middle of the night. She falls asleep on my couch. Don’t get me wrong, I love spending time with my co-workers, watching movies and drinking beers. But two in the morning… come on !’
Tony paused a second, deliberatly avoiding Ziva’s glare.
‘Let’s face it, boss. Our supersoldier is cracking up. I say, we take McGee this time.’

Gibbs imperceptibly nodded and walked away. Tony used to joke about his boss and the Director Vance’s relationship. At the time, he didn’t get the subtle glances and voice’s intonations. Now he did. Tony walked away as well, still ignoring Ziva. He briefly glanced at McGee and bit his lower lip to stop his urging smile. Probie’s mouth was widely open. In other circonstances, he would have loved to tease him, but now was not the time. He headed straight to the men’s room and stopped in front of the mirror. It would not be long. He rested his hands on the sink and waited.

The door suddenly opened and hit the wall. Ziva stormed into the room and stopped behind him. A small smile formed on his lips. So foreseeable.
‘What’s wrong with you ?! how dare you…’ her voice was shaking with anger. She violently closed the door, hitting agent Brown in the process. She locked it and remained still for a brief moment. ‘In front of the others… in front of Gibbs.’ She whispered. She was hurt, he could tell. But he remained silent and stared at the tap. He could see her shadow, from the corner of his eyes, pacing like a lion in cage.

‘After all these years, I thought I finally figured you out. I trusted you and you betrayed me ! What kind of partner are you ? what kind of friend are you ?!’
She was screaming again. ‘You had no right to tell him ! It was… private. Can you possibly imagine how hard it was for me to get over my pride and knock on your door in the middle of the night ? How many times I lay awake in bed… crying.’ Tony closed his eyes, feeling somehow guilty and responsible for her pain. But she was talking and he let her continue.

‘You let me sleep on your couch, you accepted my lame excuses. I thought you understood. But I guess I was wrong.’ She paused, emotions overwelming her. He glanced at her reflexion in the mirror and saw tears watering her lovely eyes. ‘I’m not a wreck’ she murmured. ‘I am not…’

Silence filled the room, fueling the tension between the two agents. Then Ziva moved again and hit Tony’s back. He winced but remained quiet. ‘I am not a wreck !’ she shouted. She pushed him again… hard. ‘I am a trained Mossad officer. I can fight. I can shoot. I am a good agent, damnit ! why don’t you trust me, Tony ?’ She grabbed his left arm and turned him around. ‘Look at me !’

His reaction was quick. He reached for her and violently pinned her to the nearest wall. She tried to get out of his embrace but he forestalled her and grabbed her arms. He drowned into her dark eyes and stared as tears were now running freely on her face. ‘I hate you.’ She struggled again and he tightened his hold. ‘I trust you, Ziva.’ His deep voice echoed in the room and the young woman stilled. ‘I never questioned your skills. You are a good agent. And I’m glad to have you by my side in the field, covering my back.’

Ziva frowned, confused. Tony took a minute to study her face. Her hair was a mess, her eyes were getting red and her wet cheeks were glowing. Still, she was lovely. He let his eyes wander on the thin curves of her lips, inches apart from his, then dived back into her eyes. ‘You are a brave women, Zee-va David. But you are not infallible.’ She stared back at him. ‘I’m sorry for Michael. I’m sorry for your father. I can’t even imagine what you’ve been through in Somalia.’ He paused. ‘But you have to let go.’

Ziva bit her lower lip, desesperatly trying to contain the tears that were threatening to fall down on her cheeks. ‘Come on, Ziva.’ He whispered. The woman closed her eyes and sighed. She was breaking up. Tony slowly released her arm and gently cupped her cheek. She leaned on his hand and took a deep shaking breath. ‘You should keep your distance, Tony.’ She said, her voice barely audible. ‘The ones who get too close always end up dead.’ Tony’s heart broke into pieces. He watched her as she finally surrendered.

‘When the Damocles went down, I chose to continue the mission. I knew it was suicide. I thought I deserved it. I did not mean to live through it, but Salim thought overwise and held me captive.’ She stopped, unable to continue. A weak sob escaped from her mouth and she began to cry silently. She slowly moved into Tony’s embrace and buried her face in his neck. ‘Torture is worse than death.’ She managed. ‘The pain… the solitude. When I close my eyes, I go back there, in Somalia. I see the dusty cell, I can’t breath. Each time I brush my scars, I feel the excruciating pain coming back to life.’ Tony gently stroke her back, as she continued. ‘I am so sorry, Tony. I should have believed you, I should have trusted you. I did not deserve to be rescued.’ Her last words tore Tony’s heart apart. ‘Don’t say that’ he begged. His arms tightened around her. ‘I can’t live without you.’

Her hands gripped his shirt as she cuddled deeper into his arms. He inhaled the subtle sent of her hair, suddenly relieved and grateful for the second chance he was granted. They remained in eachother’s arms for long minutes. Ziva’s body finally began to relax against his. The conversation was not over, far from it. She needed to get it out of her system. But now was not the time. She admited she needed help and she was ready to talk. It was a good start. Tony glanced at his watch. He was reluctant to let go of his partner, but Gibbs was probably waiting for them. ‘I think we’re up to a nasty slap on the head, this time.’ Ziva chuckled. ‘I can live with that.’ She whispered.

***
The End.

FANFIC SMALLVILLE : The ties that bind Chapter 6
nath_42
Smallville - Kansas

« We’re late, Clark » Martha heard Lois’ voice from outside. She grinned and patted Shelby’s head.
« Well, I remember suggesting separate showers, Lois.
- we would have run out of hot water. Besides, you didn’t complain. »
The kitchen door opened and her children stepped in. Shelby barked and wagged its tail.
« Hi mum » Clark said. He walked to her and gave her a hug.
« Hello sweety » she said. Then she greeted Lois. « Hello dear, you look lovely today. »
Lois smiled « Thanks. »

« Hi Clark » said a voice behind them. Lois and Clark turned around. Lana Lang was standing a few meters away, her hair tied up in a ponytail. She smiled at Clark but remained silent.
« Lana was passing by. I told her she could stay and wait for you, said Martha.
- yes, I… was riding my horse and… well, I stopped by to say hi… »
Clark smiled at her.
« How are you doing ?
- I’m fine » she answered. She glanced briefly at Lois. « Hello, Lois. »
Lois nodded back and smiled. It was awkward, she thought. Lana still had a serious crush on Clark. No wonder, the man was perfect. She should have thought twice before dropping him miserably. Not that Lois complained. She looked at Clark. He still had affection for Lana, she could tell. But not love. He was over her.

« I’ve read your article » she started. « Congratulations. »
« Thank you. It’s a nice job. »
He looked at Lois and smiled.
« Yeah » Lois continued, « Uncovering the truth, saving the populate… risking our lives. » she shrugged. « It’s exciting. » Clark chuckled.
Lana stared at them a brief moment.
« Well, I should go now. It was nice to see you guys.
- Bye Lana. » Martha said.

Clark watched her leave, then turned his attention on Lois. He gave her a mishevious smile and she sighed.
« What ?
- nothing.
- wipe that stupid grin off your face, Clarkie. I’m not jalous. »
Clark smiled again and closed the distance between them. Martha watched, bemused, as her son hold Lois firmly and gave her a languorous kiss. She stared at them a moment longer and a wide grin lit up her face. She cleared her throat.
« I am sorry to interrupt you, but I would like to clarify a few things. »
Clark relucantly took a step back and Lois blushed. « I’m sorry » she said, « we didn’t mean to shock you. »
Martha smiled. « You have no reason to be sorry, honey. I’m glad you two finally found eachother. It was time, may I add. »
Lois glanced at Clark, surprised. He shrugged.
« A mother knows that » she explained simply, « you two are meant to eachother. It was only a matter of time. »
She hugged Lois. « Welcome in the family » she said.
Then she grabbed her son by the arm and dragged him to her. « Your father would be proud of you » she whispered in his ear. Clark hold her tight and gave her a light kiss on the cheek.

Martha stared at them a brief moment and her eyes watered. She suddenly waved her hand and smiled.
« Clark, would you give me a hand please ? I’ve cooked your favorite meal.
- sure » he answered.
He stole a kiss from Lois and followed his mother. He missed his dad and he knew his mom was heartbroken. The pain would not go away and they would have to live with that. But they needed to move on. There were good people out there who needed their help. Lois and Clark working at The Daily Planet, as well as Martha Kent’s involvment in politics, could make a difference. Their new position would allow them to fight insecurity and injustice. Clark was ready to defend his father’s values and ideals. It was worth it.

***

THE END

FANFIC SMALLVILLE : The ties that bind Chapter 5
nath_42
Metropolis City – Daily Planet

« Are you nuts ?! » the loud voice shouted in the cell phone. Lois moved the receiver away from her ear and sighed. « I’m fine, dad. Thank you for your concern » she said, sarcastic. She listened again and rolled her eyes at her father’s comment. « I know Luthor is influent and dangerous. That’s why Clark and I wrote the article. People deserve to know the truth… Look, journalism is not another whim of your daughter. I finally found my calling and I thought you would be happy for me ! »
She glanced at her partner. Clark was sitting at his desk, across from her. He was in the middle of a conversation and didn’t seem to notice her distress. « Fine ! I don’t care if you believe me or not. I have to go, but thank you for your call. It was delightful, as always ! Bye. »

She hung up the phone and threw it on her desk. She stared at it angrily and looked at Clark again. The young man hung up the phone as well and stood up. He walked to her and sat on the corner of her desk. « Everything’s alright ? » he asked. « Never been better ! My dad gave me a pep talk, that was refreshing ! » She sighed. « Honestly, I don’t know what he expects from me. Everything I do is wrong. But I’ll prove him otherwise. »

Clark gently brushed her face with the back of his hand. « You don’t have to prove anything, Lois. Just be yourself. » She smiled and looked up.
« That, was a pep talk. You should have a word with my dad when you get the chance.
- I’m sure he’s happy for you. He’s just concerned.
- well, he has a curious way of showing his affection.
- you of all people should know that soldiers are trained to be tough and keep their emotions for themselves. »
She silently nodded.
« Anyway » he added. « If it’s making you feel any better, my mom is delighted. She just called me to congratulate both of us.
- you mom is sweet, Clark. »
He smiled and winked at her. « I know. »

They were suddenly interrupted by a strident whistling.
« Ok everybody, now listen to me » said Perry White behind them. « I’ve just received word that Luthor Corp has lost one of his member in a tragic accident. I want everyone on it. Where’s Sullivan ?
- she’s out on a story, said Jimmy Olsen.
- Lane and Kent !
- we’re on it, chief ! » Lois answered. She was up before he could add anything. Clark followed her and they rushed out of the room. They soon arrived at the Luthor Corp’s building and dived into the crowd. Policemen were trying to contain people.
« No press. It means the accident happened not long ago. We have to take advantage of the situation. »
Clark nodded in agreement and looked up at the building while Lois was calling out an officer.
« Excuse me, officer. Can you tell us what happened here ?
- don’t cross the line, Ma’m. It’s a crime scene. »
Lois glanced over his shoulder.
« I’m Lois Lane, and this is Clark Kent. We are reporters from The Daily Planet.  What can you tell us about the accident, who is the person involved ?
- I have not the liberty to tell you.
- I heard the victim was thrown out of a window, is it a murder or an accident ? »

Both Lois and the officer stared at Clark in shock. Clark readjusted his glasses and winked at Lois. The woman smiled.
« Who told you that ? the information has not been released to the press, yet.
- obviously, the cat is out of the bag » interrupted Lois. She shrugged casually. « We talked to some people. They think the ‘accident’ could be related to the recent accusations made by the General Attorney about Luthor Corp’s investments.
- indeed. It is a plausible eventuality. However, it has not been confirmed yet. We tend to believe in the suicide’s theory. At least, the evidences are leading this way. But the investigation is not over.
- did he let a suicide note to explain his action ? asked Clark
- yes he did. His laptop was on when we arrived. »
Well done Clark, Lois thought. Now they knew the victim was a man. And the suicide note was not hand-written. It could be a suicide or a murder, one could never knows when it came to the Luthors.
« When are you going to reveal the identity of the victim ?
- it’s not up to me. Now, if you’ll excuse me… »
The police officer walked away and headed to a new group of reporters who had just arrived. « No comment » they heard him shout. « A press conference will be held as soon as the police is done with its first investigation.
« Lucky us » whispered Lois in Clark’s ear. « We came first, we have the intel we want. Welcome into the merciless world of… » She didn’t finish her sentence. She suddenly spotted Jimmy Olson in the crowd.
« Jimmy ! » she ordered. The young boy ran toward them. « What took you so long ? Come on, try to take a picture of the victim before they take him away. Hurry up ! »
She pushed him hard and called out another officer to distract him. In the meantime, Clark breathed lightly on the coroner and seconds later, papers were flying all around him. He cursed and knelt on the ground to gather the sheets of paper. Hopefully, it would give Jimmy enough time to take one last shot before the coroner closed the bag.

---

Back at The Daily Planet, Jimmy Olsen ran to Lois’ desk and transfered the images from his camera to her computer. Clark and Lois stood impatiently behind him.
« I shot the scene from every angle possible.
- good, now let’s see what you’ve got. »
Jimmy scrolled through the pictures.
«  Nice job Jimmy, said Clark. We could use… wait ! Go back to the previous picture.
- what ?
- zoom in on the victim’s face.
- he’s too far, it’s gonna be a blurr.
- at least try. Go as close as you can. »
Jimmy obeyed. He progressively zoomed in on the face and finally stopped. The reporters remained silent a brief moment and stared at eachother.
« Clark, tell me I’m hallucinating.
- I’m afraid not.
- oh my… »
Jimmy leaned back in his chair.
« wow. I mean it’s huge, but the image itself is blurred and we can’t know for sure.
- there’s only one way to find out » said Lois.
She picked up the phone, dialed and waited a few seconds.
Clark activated the speaker. A female’s voice greeted them.
« Luthor Corporation, at your service. »
The voice was barely a whisper. The woman at the other side of the receiver was obviously in shock.
« Hello, my superior Mr. Grant has an appointment with Lionel Luthor tomorrow morning. Well, he’s just heard on the news about his death. This is terrible ! He would like to offer his condolences to Mr. Luthor Junior. He must be going through a difficult time and Mr. Grant want to reaffirm his support in the collective agreement they signed last month.
- thank you. I’ll inform Lex Luthor of your support. It is indeed a tragedy. But I’m surprised the news has been released already.
- I’ll contact Mr. Luthor later. Thank you for your time. »
Lois hung up.
« So it’s true ? » asked Jimmy. « Lionel Luthor is dead. »
Clark silently moved to his desk and sat down. He looked at Lois and the woman closed the distance between them. « Ready ? » he asked, as he began to type on the keyboard.
« As ready as I’ll ever be » she whispered.

***

Smallville - Kansas

The week passed quickly. The recent death of Lionel Luthor had spread all over the country and shaken the financial world. The funerals had been organised in a record time and broadcasted on television. Lex Luthor was on every news. The heir of Luthor corp was handling things well. Too well, according to Lois. The perfect son was mourning his regreted father, praising him as if he had always been closed to his heart. But she knew better. Everything was a competition in the family. Jalousy, secrets and trahison were leading their life.

Lois sighed as the young Luthor appeared on the CBS chanel for another interview. She let her thoughts wander a minute. She and Clark had been shocked by Lionel’s death. Clark had even felt guilty at first. It was amazing how he could easily forgive. The man had blackmailed him and taken advantage of hundreds of people. He had murdered God knows how many people and Clark worried about their indirect implication in his ‘suicide’. Clark was strong, but he was carrying too much weight on his shoulders.

A knock on the door interrupted her thoughts. She turned off the television and went to open it. Clark was leaning on the doorframe. Her heart melted instantly. She realised then that she had totally fallen for him and was under his spell. It should have scared her but instead, she finally accepted her feelings and washed out her apprehensions. She smiled and let him in. « Wow, Smallville. You look great. Did you borrow James Bond’s tuxedo ? »

She didn’t wait for his response and glanced at her reflexion in the mirror. She adjusted a strand of hair and let it fall on her shoulders. « I’ll be ready in a minute. » She took a look at her cloths and silently approuved her choice. She wore a white dress, with thin straps. It was falling loosly under her knees. The bright color of her dress was contrasting with her dark hair.

Clark suddenly appeared in front of her and blocked her view. « You look ready to me » he commented. He embraced her and kissed her with fire. Her heart nearly stopped and her entire body warmed up. When finally Clark let go of her, she breathed slowly and took a minute to compose herself. « How dare you kiss me like that » she whispered. « You do realise we have work to do this evening, don’t you ? I’ll never be able to concentrate. I don’t even want to get out anymore. »

Clark laughed. « Believe me, I’d rather like to stay here with you than go to Lionel Luthor’s memorial. » The woman sighed and cuddled into his arms. « Just a minute, please. » She closed her eyes and inhaled Clark subtle cologne. His strong arms hold her tight. She was safe with him like she had never been with any other man.

« I love you, Lois ». She smiled. « love you too… pumpkin » she whispered.
« Muffin » he teased back. She laughed and looked up at him. He was grinning and sparkles were lightening his baby blues. She grasped her purse, put her arms around his neck and he swept her off her feet. « Ready » Lois said. She kissed him softly on the neck and rested her head on his shoulder. A draught suddenly filled the air and the door closed behind them.

***

Metropolis Museum

They arrived at the Metropolis museum’s Luthor Hall and spoted Chloe in the crowd. She was wearing a green dress and looked beautiful. « Hey » she greeted. « Thanks for showing up ! Lex is about to make a speech. »
Lois groaned.
« I hate diplomatic parties.
- Whether you like it or not Lois, we cover the event for The Daily Planet, Chloe said.
- I know. But it was not how I pictured my Saturday night.
- oh ? and how did you picture it ? »
Lois blushed and looked away. « Quiet, Lex is talking. »
Chloe glanced at Clark and winked.

« Ladies and gentlemen » started Lex, « Can I have your attention, please. »
The crowd gathered around him. He was in his element and spoke with eloquence.
« First and formost, I would like to thank you all for being here tonight, at the Metropolis museum’s Luthor Hall. I couldn’t think of a better place to celebrate my father’s memory. He was an educated man and this building had a special place in his heart. »
Lex searched a face in the crowd and finally, looked at Clark.
« As you all know, false accusations have been published in newspapers to discredit my father’s reputation. The truth is, rumors can get someone to do terrible things. »
Clark maintained his gaze and both stared at eachother. Silence settled. Then, Lex spoke again, slowly taking his eyes off him. « My father was a good man. And I wanted to honor his memory one last time, among his friends. »

Lois took Clark’s hand in hers. Lex was a master of deception and a wonderful actor. His relationship with Clark was complicated. They had once been friends. Lex’s betrayal was still a painful memory for Clark. And Lois was not sure he would ever recover from it.
« Finally, I’m using these few moments of peace and quiet to announce officially my new position at Luthor Corporation. I’m taking control of my father’s inheritance and I’ll do my best to pursue his work. Thank you, enjoy your evening. »
The audience applaused.
« This son of… » Lois started. « He’s as corrupted as his father. And he has the impudence to deny the accusations.
- it’s in his interest, Lois. He’s now taking the commands of the ship, added Chloe.
- Even Lionel Luthor’s death is suspicious. We don’t know if it’s a suicide. I mean, why would he do this ? he had already been accused of embezzlement in the past. But he always managed to break free from accusations. He had a lot of connexions. It makes no sense. »

Clark was quiet. He watched his enemy walk toward him and stiffened.
« Hi Clark. I’m surprised to see you, I’m pretty sure I didn’t send you an invitation. »
He paused and smirked. « Oh, right. I’ve invited the press. You’re a reporter now… congratulations. »
Then, he spotted Chloe and Lois.
« The finest team of The Daily Planet is here tonight, I’m honored » he said, sarcastic.
« The finest indeed » said Lois, « I’m glad you recognize our talent, Lex. After all, the ‘muffin dealer’ beat up the multimilionnaire on the senate’s campain. »
Lex Luthor smiled but didn’t say anything.
« You seriously believe that Lionel’s suicide is related to our article ? » asked Clark.
Lex looked at him and frowned. He remained silent and Clark continued.
« We both know that’s not the reason he committed suicide.
- then, you must know something that I don’t.
- what did he say in his suicide note ? asked Lois.
- this is none of your concern.
- I desagree. By the way, congratulations for your promotion. Your father would have been proud… if he was still alive.
- what are you insinuating, Lois ?
- me ? oh nothing. I’m sure the police’ report was thorough. They concluded it was a suicide, right ?
- I suggest you leave, Miss Lane. I’m afraid you’re not welcome anymore. »

Lex turned his back to her and walked off.
« Be careful Lois » said Chloe, « Lex Luthor is dangerous.
- I’m investigating, cuz. I don’t care if he likes me or not. »
Chloe chuckled.
« Beware Lex » she whispered. « The mad dog Lane is back. »
Lois rolled her eyes « whatever. »

---

Fifteen minutes later, Lois was by her cousin’s side again.
« Hey, where have you been Lois ?
- sneaking around, you know.
- did you find anything ?
- sure, I’m begining to enjoy society’s events. I’ve found out that Senator Kinsey over there is having an affair with his secretary… Mitzi. She has a terrible taste, may I add.
- what about Lex ?
- definitly not my type. »
Chloe laughed.
« I wasn’t referring to that.
- I know. Well, I’ve met a few people that could provide me good intel. We’ll see. »
She stopped and looked around. « Where’s Clark ? »
Chloe turned around. « I don’t know. He was talking to detective Sawyer. Maybe he heard someone asking for help on the street.
- I need fresh air anyway. I’ll be back soon, Chloe.
- sure, no problem. I think I spotted Jimmy near the buffet. I’m gonna check on him. »

Lois walked towards the exit and stepped outside. The air was chilly and she shivered. A bad storm was in the offing. Clark was sitting on the museum’s steps, his forearms resting on his thights. She took a moment to engrave this sight into her memory. She was so lucky. Sure, Clark had faults like everyone. And he had the unique ability to get on her nerves. But all things considered… yeah, well Clark Kent was perfect. His adoptive parents raised him well despite the evident difficulties they had to face regarding his abilities. Clark was honorable and fair, with a high sense of justice.

They had the same ideals, although they had different approaches. They complemented eachother. She had a strong temper and always chose a direct confrontation, whereas Clark was more subtle and calmed things down. He was kind and patient… and obviously good looking. Yes, she was lucky.

A rush of emotions suddenly ran through her veins and she fought back the urge to throw herself into his arms and devour his wonderful lips. Instead, she sat down by his side and smiled.
« What’s up ? she asked.
- nothing. I was just thinking.
- care to share your thoughts, then ? »
Clark looked up and stared at her. None of them spoke. Finally, Lois broke the silence and whispered. « Clark, let’s get out of here. » She couldn’t resist any longer and kissed him with passion.

When they finally broke contact, gasping for air, Lois looked up with pleading eyes « now, please. » His eyes darkened with desire and for an instant, she believed he had the power to strip her with a simple look. « Are you sure, Lois ? » he asked, but his eyes were telling otherwise. « We can wait. » A shiver went down her spine and a knot formed in her stomach. She shook her head « I don’t want to wait, Clark. I need you. » Clark cupped her cheek with his hand and kissed her softly. « Come on » he said.

***

Metropolis City

« What is this place ? » asked Lois as she entered the luxurious room. Clark led her in and closed the door behind them. He grinned mischeviously.
« The owner of this apartment owes me a favor.
- look at the view ! » said Lois, excited, as she walked to the large window. « What did you do to be granted such a favor ?
- Last time I was here, I was three months ahead with the rent, and… I paid cash. »
Lois turned around and looked at him, surprised. Clark shrugged. « remember my rebellion thing, with red kryptonite ? » Lois nodded. She was about to speak when Clark stopped her with a finger on her lips.
« You really don’t need to know how I got this money.
- wow, it was a hell of a rebellion. You definitly win. »
He chuckled and walked pass her. She watched as he closed the curtains and lit up a bedside lamp. Then, she took a good look around her and sighed.
« Honestly, I didn’t care where we were going, being with you was enough for me. I was even ready to make love in your barn. But this… this is much better ! »
Clark laughed. « I’m glad you like it.
- are you kidding ? and look at the bed ! are these satiny sheets ? »
Clark took her hand and dragged her to him. « You’ll find out soon enough. »

Lois bit her lower lip and looked down at their jointed hands. She was dying to make love with Clark. Still, she was holding back. She didn’t know why. The knot in her stomach reappeared. It was not her first time and yet, she was nervous as hell. This man was not like any other man. He was bringing her down on her knees.

Thunder suddenly broke the silence and she jumped in surprise. Clark must have sensed her disconfort. His hand reached her neck and he closed the distance between them. She leaned into his arms and breathed deeply. Her entire body warmed up as he whispered in her ear « Let go, Lois. » She inhaled his masculine scent and melted instantly.

Outside, lightening was striking Metropolis and the rain was pouring but she didn’t hear it anymore. The only sound was the beating of her heart, furious. Clark gently bit her ear and drew kisses along her jaw, slowly, almost painfully. She closed her eyes and sighed. Finally, his lips decended on hers and she surrendered. She relaxed in his arms and let her emotions take control of her body. Her lips parted, granting full access to Clark. He deepened the kiss and she sighed again.

She leaned further in his embrace and began to undo his belt. Heat was suddenly overwelming her. Clark helped her, still kissing her with fire. Soon, his shirt met his pants on the floor and Lois broke their kiss a second to take a look at his perfect body. She had already seen him naked and to be honest, their first meeting in the cornfield had haunted her for all these years.

« Someone is a little overdressed » Clark’s husky voice broke her reverie and she smiled. « Suit yourself. » He walked behind her and slowly unzipped her dress. Lois shivered with anticipation. She felt Clark’s body pressed against hers and tensed slighly. He moved her hair away and drew kisses along her neck, then on her shoulder. It was torture. Lois turned around and threw her arms around his neck. Her dress fell to her feet in the process and she clinged to Clark desesperaly. They stared at eachother a short instant and saw the reflexion of their mutual love. There was no need for words.

They kissed again and Clark walked them to bed. Slowly, they laid down and Lois felt Clark’s strong body pressing her onto the matress. She groaned softly and his lips devoured her mouth. She was in heaven. God, this man was driving her crazy. Her brain stopped again and she had to concentrate to get out a coherente sentence. « I was right » she managed, « This is definitly satin. » She felt Clark’smile on her neck and closed her eyes. She drowned into him and surrendered.

---

A muffled sound broke the peaceful silence. Clark slowly emerged from his sleep and opened his eyes. The room was in the shadows. A few beams of light were passing through the curtains, announcing dawn. He sighed and shifted slightly, brushing Lois’ soft skin in the process. His hand followed the curves of her body and finally rested on her back. He stared at her for a moment and watched her sleep.

Flashes of their night together resurfaced and he smiled. Making love to Lois was a total blast. They explored eachother hungrily and didn’t seem to get enough. Clark was surprised how natural it felt. Maybe because he was in love. He was serene, his life was perfect.

The muffled sound echoed again in the room. Clark listened carefully, then drew light kisses on Lois’ back. The woman stirred but didn’t wake up. Clark chuckled. She was a heavy sleeper. « Hey beautiful » he whispered, « Your phone is vibrating. » She groaned. « I don’t care. »

Clark sighed and turned around. He stretched his arm and grasped Lois’ purse on the floor. He searched for her cell phone and finally reached it. He watched the caller ID. It was Chloe.
« Hi, Chloe » he answered with a sleepy voice.
There was a brief silence at the other side of the receiver. Then Chloe finally spoke.
« Clark, is that you ?
- yep. What’s up ?
- well I should be the one asking you, considering that you and Lois left the party yesterday night without an explanation ! I’ve called Lois six times and didn’t manage to reach you on the phone. I was getting worried.
- sorry about that. »
Chloe sighed. « Is Lois with you ?
- yeah, hang on a minute.
- wait ! that’s weird. Why did you answer her phone ? »
She paused again.
« Am I waking you ? » She didn’t let Clark answer. « Oh ! » she exclaimed. She tried to come up with something but couldn’t get out a word. Clark rolled his eyes and turned around to wake Lois.

He gently stroke her back and she finally turned around. She looked at him and his heart stopped. Her hair were a mess, falling loosly on her face. And still, she was beautiful. Clark moved away a strand of hair and kissed her softly. When they finally broke apart, he gave her the cell phone and mouthed ‘Chloe’. Lois sighed and cleared her throat before greeting her cousin.
« Hi Chloe, what’s up ? » Her cousin laughed. « Do you remember last night, when you told me I’ll be back soon ? »
Lois bit her lips « oh… » Chloe smiled. « don’t worry about that. I’m glad you two are alright…. So, did you have a good time ? »
Lois blushed « Yes, we did. » Clark was staring at her. He smiled at her disconfort and leaned in. He began to plant soft kisses on her belly. She closed her eyes and tried to focus on her cousin’s voice.
« That’s it ? Come on, you can do better than that. I want details, Lois.
- you know, there’s something called privacy… »
She gasped as she felt Clark’s mouth going up to her breasts. Lois heard her cousin laugh.
« What time is it ? » she managed.
« It’s ten AM. By the way, I covered the memorial’s story and gave the article to Perry.
- thanks Chloe. I’m really sorry for yesterday, we should have told you.
- don’t mention it. And consider my article as a farewell gift. »

Lois brushed Clark’s hair and sat up. He gave her a questionning look and sat by her side.
« What do you mean ?
- well, I’ve made my decision. I’m leaving Metropolis. »
Lois frowned and stared at Clark in silence.
« Lois, you’re still here ?
- yeah, I heard. »
Then she talked to Clark over the phone « Chloe is leaving. She’s heading to Gotham. »
Clark nodded. He already knew her decision. The way she talked about the city, about Bruce Wayne, and about the Dark Night of Gotham. He knew her well.
« So, when are you leaving ? asked Lois.
- don’t worry Lois, I’m not in a hurry. I’m planning a huge goodbye party as we speak. »
Lois smiled. « Alright. »
Chloe cleared her throat and added « Well, I’m sorry for disturbing you. Now, I’ll hang up and let the lovebirds recover from their night of passion. Oh and Lois, if you break his heart, I’ll break your legs. »
Lois shook her head. « Goodbye Chloe. »
She hang up and dropped her cell phone on the floor. Then, without a warning, she threw herself into Clark’s arms and laid him on his back. « We have two long hours before our lunch with your mom in Smallville. » Clark smiled and she kissed him. All traces of sleep vanished instantly.

FANFIC SMALLVILLE : The ties that bind Chapter 4
nath_42
Metropolis City – Daily Planet

A draught suddenly swept papers away and Clark appeared in the bullpen of the Daily Planet. It was early in the morning but the office was already crowded with clerks and reporters. Clark spoted Lois at Chloe’s desk and went straight to her. She was resting her head on the desk and by the rythme of her breath, Clark could tell she was fast asleep.

He carefully put down his bag on the floor and let his eyes wander on his partner. She was simply beautiful. They had spent the rest of the night at the Daily Planet, working on a story and trying to sort things out. It was a delicate situation and they had to choose their words very carefully. Lionel Luthor was not a man easily fooled. Fortunatly, they would not have to justify their source, the law protecting them. But they needed hard evidence to rely on or their career at the Daily Planet would be over before it started.

But Clark was confident. The article was pretty good, he thought. Hopefully, it would satisfy Perry White. He and Lois had managed to pull out their resources together and they had done well. In fact, it had been surprisingly easy to work with her. They were on the same wavelength and shared commun ideals.

Clark leaned on the desk and moved a strand of hair apart who was threatening to fall down on Lois’s eyes. His fingers brushed her hair a second longer, then slided over her shoulder and ended on her back. Lois shifted.
« Clark ? » she whispered, slowly regaining conciousness. She sighed and opened her eyes, trying to collect her memories. Finally, she lifted her head and sat back in her chair. Clark was by her side, smiling.

« Hey » She took a good look at him and noticed a change of cloths. He wore a grey suit on a white shirt. Lois gasped. « wow, what a change ! You even matched your tie with your suit » commented Lois, ironic. « I didn’t know you had suits in your closets. » She was mocking him but she couldn’t take her eyes off him. He was gorgeous.

She suddenly coughed, aware of her strange behaviour. « You look like a top model, not a reporter. You have to be more credible or Mr. White is gonna kick our asses out of his newspaper. »
Clark shrugged. « What do you want me to do, Lois ? Glue my hair and add false warts ? Come on, it’s ridiculous. »
Lois was deep in thoughts. « A nerd with glasses » she whispered. She stood up and wandered in the bullpen. She finally came back with a pair of glasses. She tried it on Clark and took a step back. « Nice » she said.

Clark sighed but didn’t say anything. Then, Lois noticed the bag on the floor. « What’s that ? » she asked, curious. Clark took the bag and got out a black suit.
« My suit ! said Lois.
- I took a run to your apartment, I hope you don’t mind.
- not at all. »
She smiled. « I’m gonna change, thanks Clark.
- you’re welcome. »
She left the room. Five minutes later, she came back to her cousin’s desk, unaware of Clark’s eyes on her.
« I think I saw Chloe get a lipstick out of a drawer once. It must be somewhere.
- you don’t need it, Lois. You’re beautiful. »
She lifted her eyes, shocked, and noticed a gleam in Clark’s eyes. She blushed hard and looked down. She finally found a brush and a lipstick. Clark was still looking at her. She tried to change the subject.
« So, I’ve printed the article. What do you think ? »
Clark relucantly looked away and read the paper once again.
« It’s just fine » he commented at last. « I think we’re ready. »
They looked at eachother and smiled, excited.
« Well, let’s do it » Lois said « If we crash and burn, at least we’ll do it together. »

They climbed the stairs and headed to Perry White’s office. They stared at the golden letters on the door and gathered their courage. Clark knocked.
« Come on in » said a voice. Clark opened the door and galantly hold it for Lois. They entered the room and stood in front of Mr. White’s desk. The chief of editor looked up from his paper and stared at Clark a brief moment.
« I know you… » Clark smiled, glad he remembered their encounter. « I’m Clark Kent. We met in Smallville a few years ago.
- oh right, of course ! »
Perry White stood up and gave him a warm handshake. Lois was surprised. Clark didn’t tell her he knew Mr. White. And it was obvious he hold him in high esteem, which was not surprising because Clark used to make friend with everybody.
« What brings you here, in Metropolis ?
- let me introduce you Lois Lane.
- Lois Lane you say ? This name is familiar.
- I’m Chloe Sullivan’s cousin, sir.
- oh right, she speaks highly of you.
- I’m flattered. »
Perry gave her a handshake as well.

« So, what’s the matter ?
- well, Mr. White, we’d like to work for the Daily Planet » said Lois. « Personnaly, I’ve traveled a lot but my heart is in Metropolis. And the Daily Planet represents all that I stand for. »
Clark took a step ahead and held out the article to Perry White.
« You probably think it’s impudent. And you’re probably right. But we’re willing to take a chance. We’re just asking for five minutes of your time. »
The editor looked at them, deep in thoughts. He finally grabbed the sheet of paper and sat back in his chair. Clark and Lois exchanged a worried look as Perry White silently read their story.
« Well » he finally said « It’s impressive. I like the style and the revelations are huge. And that’s my problem, you see. Lionel Luthor is a big deal and we don’t make accusations without solid proofs.
- that’s why we prepared a whole file of proofs for you, sir. »
Lois handed him the file. « We think these informations are reliable enough to open an investigation on Mr. Luthor’s investments. »
Perry went through the file. He checked every document and read each page, each paragraph, each word carefully. They probably had worked very hard on this story and they did well. This was a very professionnal work and, just a minute, he wondered why they didn’t come to the Planet sooner.

Of course, they were young. But they had potential. Perry had seen potential in Clark’s work already. And he was willing to give both of them a chance to prove themselves.
« You realise I can’t expect less than this quality of work in the future, do you ? »
Clark smirked and glanced at Lois. The woman was trying to stay calm and look casual. But Clark knew better. The way she bit on her lower lip, that she shifted her weight on her other foot. She was floating on cloud nine, and he was as well. This was the opportunity they wanted. Now, it was up to them to keep the job and break the news on the front page of the Daily Planet.
« We do, chief » said Clark.
« Thank you » added Lois.
Perry nodded and waved in their direction. « Now, get out of here. I have a newspaper to run. »

Lois and Clark were leaving the office when they heard him shout behind the closed door « Tomorrow - 8.00 AM. Be on time ! »
Clark couldn’t suppress the grin on his face. The whole situation seemed unreal. It was happening too fast. At first, journalism was just a pleasant way of making friends and be integrated into high school. He would have prefered to hang around quarterbacks and cheerleaders… well, one cheerleader to be precised. But his abilities were preventing him from joigning any sport club, and he ended at The Torch, with Chloe Sullivan.

He now saw the irony. He’d spent all his youth trying to look like someone he wasn’t. But he couldn’t deny his true nature. He was not like everybody and he did want to make a difference in this world. Maybe he couldn’t save everyone, but he could at least protect people by uncovering the truth and making a better world for the future generations.

His mom, by taking his father’s seat, had shown him the way. And he was ready to embrace his destiny. He looked at the woman by his side and knew instantly what he wanted to do with his life. He had found his calling, he had found a friend, a partner, and even better… love.

As if she was reading his thoughts, Lois leaned against him and kissed him on the cheek. Clark inhaled deeply the sweet perfum of her shampoo and hold on her a little longer. They remained still a few more seconds, their lips inches apart. Then Lois slowly drew back and looked down. It was a start, Clark thought. He knew Lois well and he decided to let her deal with her emotions first.
« Come on » he said « Let’s go get Chloe. »
Lois smiled, grateful, and walked off.

***

Metropolis City

« I am glad you accepted the invitation Clark, Lois. I was expecting more than our brief meeting, yesterday. Chloe told me so much about you. »
Two pairs of suspicious eyes focused on the little blond, who smiled innocently while drinking her tropical beverage. Bruce Wayne had convinced them to take a modest lunch at his hotel’s restaurant which, by the way, had nothing modest. Pompous was more appropriated.
« Please, make yourselves confortable. I don’t pay much attention to proprieties.
- we can see that » said Lois, sarcastic.
She looked around « Fancy. » She immediatly regreted her words as she felt Clark’s elbow pushing into her back. « What ? » she mouthed, exasperated. Clark glared at her but said nothing. Instead, he ignored her and started the conversation with the heir of Wayne’s entreprise.

« It’s very generous of you to invite us, Mr. Wayne.
- please, call me Bruce. »
Clark nodded. « alright » Then he added with a smile « I’m afraid our bad manners will ruine your reputation. »
Bruce Wayne laughed. « Don’t worry, my reputation is already scratched in Gotham. I suppose you heard about my… ecentricities. »
Lois couldn’t help herself and jumped on the opportunity.
« By ecentricites, are you refering to your swim in a fancy hotel’s decor or your last car accident with… was it a porsch ? I can’t remember.
- Lois, warned Clark.
- don’t be so prudish, farmboy.
- I may come from a farm, but I have manners. Behave yourself, obviously you don’t know who you’re talking to.
- prudish and naïve » sighed Lois.
Chloe leaned back and whispered in Bruce’s ear « Now, you see what I have to put up with ? »
He chuckled and stared at the couple in front of him. They formed an interesting duo and seemed to complement one another. « So, I was told congratulations are in order. »
Lois glared at her cousin « News travel fast in Metropolis. »
Chloe shrugged « You know me, Lo. Always running after exclusivities.
- and what is the subject of your article ? » asked Bruce.
Lois gave him a mischivous smile.
« tsts… you don’t really expect us to tell you, do you Bruce ?
- at least, I have tried.
- right. But you’ll have to wait until tomorrow morning. »
Bruce Wayne smiled « Of course. »

« So, what are you really doing here, in Metropolis ?
- and you don’t expect me to tell you, do you ? » the millionaire echoed Lois’ words.
- well, if none of us are willing to share information, the conversation will dry out soon.
- it is unlikly, Lois. You’re doing well on keeping the conversation by yourself » said Clark, sarcastic. He knew Lois was not confortable with awkward silences.
« Well, I am sure we can find plenty of subjects » said Bruce. He paused and watched them carefully. « Like, how long have you been together ? »
They both looked at him in shock. Lois blushed hard while Clark shifted in his chair. Obviously, something was up between the two of them and Bruce had hit the right spot. Curiously, Clark recovered more quickly than Lois. He remained calm and let his eyes wander on Lois’s face. « Lois and I are not together… » Clark stopped. Something in his voice gave Bruce the impression that the sentence was not finished. But nothing came.

« I apologize, then. I was under the impression that you were knowing eachother very well. My mistake.
- don’t be sorry, Bruce » said Chloe. « They are acting like an old couple sometimes, it’s very disturbing. »
Lois gave her cousin the darkest glare she possibly could.
« Thanks Chloe. Speaking of Prince Charming, I think you’re hanging out a lot together, you and Bruce. »
Her remark didn’t make the answer expected. Chloe smiled.
« Well, Bruce is a gentleman. Who wouldn’t be flattered to spend time with him ?
- and the pleasure is mutual, added Bruce. My invitation still stands, by the way.
- and I’m thinking about it. I just need more time.
- hold on a minute, interrupted Lois. What are you talking about ? »
Chloe looked at her friends.
«  Bruce invited me to Gotham City.
- oh great, you deserve some days off.
- no Lois, I mean permanently. »
Lois and Clark fell into an awkward silence, unable to speak.
« I’m sorry to announce you that so abruptly. I wanted to wait until I made my decision.
- oops, I believe I have made another mistake. » whispered Bruce.
Chloe laughed.
« Don’t worry, they’ll get over it.
- yeah sure, whispered Lois. And Gotham is not that far away. »
Clark nodded « and we can phone or e-mail you everyday. It’s not like we won’t see you anymore.
- but the streets are not safe in Gotham. It really bothers me, cuz.
- I haven’t made my decision, yet !
- don’t worry about the streets, Lois. My butler Alfred would be glad to drop your cousin off anywhere she wants.
- Alfred is sweet. But he is your butler, not mine. The elevated railway is just fine,  said Chloe.
- of course, my father built it. »
The woman smiled. « And Batman is always around. »
Lois made a face. « Ok, that’s it. Who or what is this… B.A.T. man ?! »

***

Metropolis City – Daily Planet

« Clark, are you sure there’s no copy of this tape anymore ? »
Chloe and Clark were sitting in the empty conference room. The recorder was on.
« No one can be sure. But I destroyed all the files and videos that were on the computer. I fried it all.
- very subtle » said Chloe, smiling.
- I didn’t want to take any chances.
- I understand. Your mom is gonna be relieved. I imagine she was pretty upset.
- indeed. My father’s death was a tragedy. Then, the blackmail was more than she could handle. She took dad’s seat because she believed in the same values. But mostly, to keep her mind busy. I think she was ready to give up.
- you’ll have to be very careful. Lionel is not gonna give up easily. He knows your secret.
- I know. And that’s what I am afraid of. »
The tape was rolling on. They watched it in silence. The screen went dark. Then a second film started. Chloe looked at Clark, confused.
« The video you’ve just seen is the original blackmail, explained Clark. Lionel Luthor had two videos on the tape. The second one is showing Lois and I on the dam of Smallville, with the hit man from Gotham.
- so, Lionel planned all this ? It was a set up, another video to blackmail your mother ? »

Clark nodded. His eyes were dark with anger. Chloe returned her attention on the video. She heard the gunshot and jumped in surprise as she saw Clark fall at the bottom of the dam. She remained silent until the end of the film. Then Clark took the video tape and burnt it with his red vision.
« Amazing, said Chloe finally.
- I would have chosen another word, Chloe.
- of course, it’s terrifying. I’m sorry. But I wasn’t referring to the blackmail. »
Clark gave her a questioning look.
« I’ve never seen Lois like that, she explained.  She’s so strong. When I see these images, I don’t recognize her. I’ve never seen her cry, not even at her mother’s funerals. She was six.
- I know, she told me.
- she did ? Wow, she never speaks about her mom. »
Clark shrugged. Chloe didn’t think he grasped all the meaning of her words. Lois never confided in anyone.
« You look pretty upset as well, on this tape. What’s going on, Clark ? »
The young man looked down at his hands and stared at them a long moment. When he finally dared to look up again at Chloe, there was no doubt in his eyes anymore. She saw determination, and love.

Love for the woman he was devoted to. It was not her. And for a brief moment, she felt guilty for all the times jalousy had impeded their friendship. Chloe smiled.
« Lois is tough and stubburn, but she’s a teady bear on the inside. Don’t let her push you away.
- I won’t. » Clark gave Chloe a warm hug. « Thanks, Chloe. »
- you’re welcome. I will spare you the inevitable speech ‘if you hurt her feelings… I will harm you.’ She smiled. « I know you’ll never hurt her. I’d rather save it for Lois. »
Clark laughed. « yeah, and I’ll have to save it for Bruce Wayne as well. Are you really gonna leave us ? »
Chloe thought for a minute.
« I don’t know. I love Metropolis. I’ve grown up here with Lois and Lucy. My life and my friends are here. But my heart doesn’t belong here. I can’t explain it.
- let me give you a piece of advice, Chloe. Don’t think too much and let your heart decide for you.
- thank you. »
Chloe stood up. « Anyway, I will let you know about my decision. » She frowned suddenly. « Speaking of love… where is your other half ? »
Clark smiled.
« She’s on the roof of the Daily Planet. » He shrugged. « I heard her curse Jimmy Olsen on her way to the elevator. She said she needed fresh air. »
Chloe nodded. « Well, good night then. I’m exhausted. »
She gave him a gentle pat on the arm. « See you tomorrow. »

---

The night was quiet and calm. The moon was trying to pierce through the clouds, without much success. A few beems went through, enough to enlight the beautiful woman who was leaning on the edge of the roof. She didn’t hear him come. She was lost in the contemplation of her work. Their work, actually. The new edition of The Daily Planet was lying in front of her.

Clark let his eyes travel from her legs to her back and admired her tight frame. Her long hair was falling loosly on her shoulders and ondulating under the slight breeze. He smiled at the view and finally walked to her. « A penny for your thoughts » he said.

She jumped in surprise and turned around. Clark was standing by her side, calm and confident. Something in his behaviour immediatly made Lois’ senses in alert. But she chose to ignore it. She smiled at him and lifted the newspaper above her face. « Look » she said, « I’ve managed to steal a copy of tomorrow’s edition in the press room. »
Clark shook his head, amused.
« And guess what ? we’re on the front page ! »
The young man took the paper from her hands and read the headline ‘State Vs Lionel Luthor.’
« Perry has given the police a copy of our file. Apparently, the evidences were enough to open an investigation on Lionel Luthor. »
Lois stopped and waited until Clark finished reading the article. « I’m gonna love this job » she said. Clark looked up. She was excited. She couldn’t remember a time she was happier. This moment was magic. The breeze was intoxicating her… or was it Clark ?

She suddenly became aware of his intense gaze on her and for a brief moment, she felt paralysed… or rather hypnotized. They stared at eachother, unable to look away. Lois drown litterally in his beautiful eyes. She watched, powerless, as he leaned into her. Her eyes followed the strong line of his jaw and finally descended on his lips. This was happening too fast. She wanted to stop him but she couldn’t speak. Instead, she closed her eyes and waited. His masculine scent soon invaded her space and, in a desesperated attempt, she took a step back and looked down. Her heart was beating furiously and she forced herself to breathe deeply.

« Lois » Clark whispered. She shook her head, unable to think straight or to formulate a coherent sentence. She needed time to compose herself. She was ashamed of herself and angry. How could she be so weak ? If she didn’t want it, why couldn’t she tell him ? In the past, she had always been clear on her intentions. Why Clark had this effect on her ? She was afraid of the answer. It was simple and frightening at the same time. She loved him. And she was not sure to be ready for love.

She chewed on her lower lip. She had never imagined love this way. She was taken aback. She could not be more happy to end up with someone like Clark. But love was a reminder of too painful moments. She loved her mother and she died. Then her family parted and she remained alone.

She felt Clark’s gentle touch on her cheek and looked up. She fell in love with the Kents and their family fell apart. « I am jinxed, Clark » she whispered miserably.
Clark smiled and she went to heaven. « I’m willing to take the risk. » Clark could be stubborn, sometimes. He stepped closer and hold on her firmly. « Give us a chance, Lois » Clark whispered in her ear. His hand was on her neck now and the woman gave up her inner battle. She swallowed in anticipation and closed her eyes. Slowly, Clark’s lips decended on hers. The instant Clark kissed her, Lois’ brain stopped. She litterally drown in him.

It began as a soft and chaste kiss, a promise of pure love. Lois groaned softly and leaned in Clark’s arms. She shivered as she felt his strong body pressed against hers and deepened the kiss. Clark responded with passion and her legs gave up. She threw her arms around his neck and clinged to him desesperatly. He was a hell of a kisser, she had clearly underestimated him. And secretly, she was looking forward to their first night together.

Her face was flushed and she shivered again. She didn’t know how long they stayed in eachother’s arms. Finally, Clark relucantly broke their embrace and looked up at the sky. « We should go » he said, « It’s gonna rain soon. » Lois sighed. « Now what, you’re the weather man ? »
Clark laughed. « Come on, I’ll drop you by. It’s late and we have a big day tomorrow. »
Lois nodded, clearly disappointed. Clark kissed her hard before whispering in a husky voice « Be patient, Lois. »

FANFIC SMALLVILLE : The ties that bind Chapter 3
nath_42
Metropolis City

« Who are you kidding, Smallville ?! »
Clark and Lois were confortably seated in the back of a small restaurant. The place was bright and cosy, and the food was excellent. Most of people had left the restaurant but they were so lost in their conversation, they didn’t notice the place was quiet now.
« What ? You don’t believe me Lois ? »
The woman shook her head « - Oh no, I don’t ! Trust me Clark, I win hands down when it comes to teenage rebellion.
- Lo, I’ve ran away from home and stolen my dad’s motorbike.
- but I’m sure you weren’t yourself. I know you’re strong and you have powerful abilities, but your parents are honorable. Dogs don’t make cats. »
Clark chuckled and sighed.
« - I was on red Kryptonite. But there was a part of me, deep down, that wanted to scream and run away from Kansas cornfields, good manners and plaid shirts.
- wow, Clark Kent a bad boy ? That would have been nice to see for a change ! teased Lois. You said red Kryptonite ? Tell me where I can find a piece of that rock ? »
Clark rolled his eyes but didn’t answer.
« - well, although I can perfectly picture you in a teenage rebellion, you told me you’ve nearly raised your sister. You’ve grown up very quickly.
- yeah, but once Lucy gone in Geneva, the time kind of catched up on me. You should have seen the first time I disobeyed my father’s order. We were on a base in Colorado. There was this cute soldier, Steve… something. I was driving him crazy…
- so far, nothing new. » interrupted Clark.
Lois didn’t bother to answer « I wanted to get out of the base and have fun. So I convinced him to go with me. We left at night, went through the security and walked to the nearest city. Well, it was not exactly the big frenetic city… just a little town. The main attraction was the bowling. But we had fun.
- and then ? did your father find out about it ? »
Lois winced « Oh yeah. He was worried sick and he turned the base up side down. When he finally found us, Hell suddenly felt warm and sweet compared to the punishment he was planning to give us. »

The picture of General Lane standing in front of Clark in the barn resurfaced and he shivered slightly « I can’t imagine how hard it had been for you, to be dragged around the world and raised among arrogant soldiers. »
Lois remained silent a few seconds and leaned back in her chair « I can’t blame my father » she whispered. « He couldn’t afford to send his two girls in boarding school. Luce was younger. He had no choice. »
Clark smiled and winked at her « well, he didn’t raise you that bad. I mean, you’re stuck up, rude, arrogant. But that could have been worse. »
Lois smiled back « yeah… those are some of my qualities. »
Clark laughed and shook his head. God, he liked this woman. She had spent her youth in military camps. Those years made her stronger than any woman he knew. Somehow, he believed she had build walls to protect her, like would have done the perfect soldier. She didn’t let go easily. She wanted to be strong for her sister, for her father… and for her mother’s memory. She didn’t even let go around her cousin. But he could have sworn she was fighting with her past, preventing it to resurface.

Little by little, Clark had gained her trust and her friendship. And despite people’s thoughts, they had respect for eachother. They had a unique connexion. Banters were daily rituals and they had found themselves enjoying it. It was new for both of them. But it also was so delightful.

The waitress suddenly appeared and Clark went back to reality « I don’t want to be impolite Madam, Sir. But the restaurant is closing soon. » Clark looked at his watch, surprised. « Damn, it’s late. I lost track of time. »
Lois did as well, confused. The waitress gave them an apologetic smile, put the bill on the table and turned back to clean the room.

Lois saw Clark reach his wallet and pay the bill, she winced slightly and bite her bottom lip. As if he was reading her mind, Clark smiled and teased her. « Don’t worry Lois. It’s all my pleasure. And you’ll have to think twice next time you want to criticize my good manners. » She blushed hard but smiled at his comment.
« - Good point, Clark. You learn fast.
- I have a good teacher. »
Lois stood up, embarrased. « Well, anyway… let’s get out of here, or the owner’s gonna kick our asses out.
- never gonna happen » smiled Clark.

---

The city was quiet on Sunday afternoon. Lois and Clark were wandering on the docks, enjoying the slight breeze that was brushing against their skin. A few seagull was flying by, looking for leftovers forgotten by distracted fishmen. A confortable silence had settled between the two friends, both lost in the contemplation of the beautiful city in front of them. Lois suddenly broke the silence.
« You know, I’ve travelled a lot and seen beautiful places. But this city… » She paused « It’s home. »
She looked into Clark’s eyes, searching for understanding. « I’ve spent my childhood here, before my mom died. » She smiled « And I know every club and bar of this town. »
Clark smiled but didn’t comment.
« - Oh don’t give me that look, Clarkie. Your beloved friend Chloe used to be my sidekick for most of the rides.
- why am I not surprised ?
- you have to admit that getting out and dancing is funnier than cleaning the barn and sweeping haystacks.
- well, remember me to invite you to the next Smallville corn festival. » He paused and leaned closer in a conspiratory way « Obviously, you don’t know what fun is. »
Lois smiled, secretly looking forward to this special celebration. She was about to tease him again when a police’car went past them, exceeding the limitations, the siren covering Lois’s words. « What the Hell ?! »

They saw the car stopping his course a few meters away. There was a small crowd already. Lois tugged on Clark’s shirt and began to run. « Come on, Clark. » When they arrived, they saw divers searching for something in the water. Then, they finally got an inanimated body out of the water. One of the policemen knelt and tried to find a pulse. But when he looked up, his eyes were shadowed and he whispered « He’s dead. » Then he raised his voice « Alright, I’ll ask everybody to move on. There’s nothing to see ! »
« I do not agree » whispered Lois as she leaned in and got the attention of Clark on young fishermen standing apart from the crowd « I bet these two have found the body and called the police. I’ll have a little chat with these gentlemen. Try to see what the dead man looks like. » Then she was gone.

« Oh yeah, she has found her calling. » whispered Clark to himself. Then he saw a young man in the crowd, holding a camera in his hand. As he approached, Clark heard him curse against the policemen. He engaged the conversation.
« - Hi, did you manage to take pictures of the scene ?
- Sshh ! I’m trying but these cops don’t make it easy. I don’t have a good angle for the shot. »
He paused a few seconds, then spoke again, panicked.
« - I have to take these pictures or I’m fired.
- are you working for a newspaper ?
- yes, the Daily Planet. »
Clark couldn’t have wished better news.
« alright then, I’ll try to distract the cops. But you’ll have to share the pictures. »
The boy was suspicious. « You work for the Inquisitor ? »
« No. But I have a friend at the Daily Planet. Chloe Sullivan. »
The boy grinned. « We have a deal, then. »
Clark winked back at him and went to find the inspector. He composed himself a professionnal attitude and called out. « Hi, Clark Kent from the Daily Planet. What happened ? »
The policeman got closer « Where is your reporter card ?
- it’s my day off, he lied. I was running on the docks when I saw the crowd. »

He walked a step aside. The cop followed. « We don’t have any information for now. The man was found in the water but he was already dead when we arrived.
- do you know his identity ?
- not a clue.
- I heard he was shot, Clark tried.
- Yeah, shot in the back. He didn’t see it coming. »
He shook his head and looked over his shoulder « Crime never stops… even on Sunday. Now please, let us do our work and move away. There is really nothing to see. »
Then, he turned his back and went to help his co-workers. By the time, the coroner had arrived and Clark watched them move the body on his back. All color drained from his face and his legs nearly gave up. His breath was suddenly hard and he stared at the man in front of him, unable to take off his eyes of him.
« Clark ? » came a worried voice behind him « Clark, you’re alright ? I could swear you’ve seen a ghost.
- close enough.
- what ? »
He pointed a finger in the direction of the coroner’s car.
« The dead man. I know him. He was the one who attacked me on the dam. »

***

Metropolis City – Daily Planet

The bullpen of the newspaper was hectic this morning. The new editor in chief, Perry White, had taken the commands of the Daily Planet and everyone was trying to adjust to his new methods of work. Chloe liked him. He had spent most of his life working at the Planet, first as a copy boy, then as a reporter. He had been through difficult times but alcool was part of history, he once told her. He had somehow managed to put his past behind him and move forward. He was a good man and a wonderful leader. Chloe was sure he would do wonders. He deserved it.

It was past noon and she didn’t have the chance to have lunch. Journalism was definitly a full-time job. News travel fast. You have to keep up or be left behind. Chloe was so concentrated on the paper she was reading that she didn’t hear Clark calling her name and jumped in surprise when she found both Lois and Clark standing behind her desk and looking over her shoulder.

« Mmm… It must be a hell of a scoop, began Lois. You didn’t even hear Smallville’s heavy footsteps. »
Clark didn’t bother to respond and simply rolled his eyes. « What are you looking at ? » he asked Chloe. « My article. Perry corrected it, but he is definitly interested. It will be in the next edition of the Daily Planet !
- congratulations ! what is it about ?
- corruption in Gotham City. »
Lois whistled « I’m impressed, cuz.
- don’t be. The title is mysterious but I’ve found nothing important yet. No one is incriminated. I just made some connexions here and there with the facts I had.
- don’t be modest, Chloe. This is great.
- modesty is a really nice character trait Lois, reminded Clark. You should take exemple on your cousin. »
Lois feigned indignation « Modesty is my middle name. » Clark laughed but Lois ignored him. « Anyway, you seem to have a sudden interest in the Dark City, Chlo.
- I do. I mean, who wouldn’t be thrilled by all those mysteries, the architecture, the people…
- corrupted people…
- they are not all bad people. Most of them are honest fellows who work hard to feed their family. The judicial system may be corrupted. But I’m certain it will change soon.
- it was a cry from the heart. Nice, Chloe. »
The woman smiled back at Clark.

« Speaking of Gotham, Lois said. Clark and I went to the Police Department this morning. The dead man has been identified. » She paused and looked at Chloe, sparkles lightening her mischievous eyes.
« - And guess what ? our mysterious John Doe belongs to the Red Hood Gang. A very powerful gang from…
- Gotham City » finished Chloe, suddenly interested. « I don’t understand, why would a member of this gang want to blackmail and kill you, Clark ?
- maybe he saw me using my powers on a trip to Metropolis. »
Lois frowned « I don’t think so. Think about it Clark, if he knew about your powers and the Kryptonite, then why would he let you go ? He should have known that you could have run after him. Why taking that risk ? In fact, if I hadn’t been there, you probably would have done it. Instead, you went straight to me, letting him go.
- I thought you were injured. At that moment, the man was none of my concern. »
Lois smiled at him, grateful. He stared at her a brief moment and she suddenly felt weak. How did he do that ? Damnit, she had to take a grip on herself before she went all mushy. She cleared her throat and looked down.
« anyway, Chloe did you find the owner of the car ?
- it’s a dead end. The liscence plate brought me to a rent company. The clerk told me that the man had rented the car for the week-end. He should have brought back the car this morning. But he didn’t show up.
- yeah, he decided to take a swim instead, added Lois, ironic.
- well, I could go back to Gotham and dig up information if you want.
- or Gotham could come to you. » came a familiar voice behind her. She turned around, stunned.

« Good morning, Miss Sullivan. It is a pleasure to meet you again. »
The woman smiled « The pleasure is mine. »
The intruder walked to her, gently lifted her arm and put a chaste kiss on her hand. He was a handsome man with good manners. And by the way Chloe looked at him, Lois realised her cousin had fallen under his charm. He was not as good looking as Clark of course, but definitly belonged to the ‘Hot Babe’ category. Although he looked like a real gentleman, Lois was not fooled by his expensive suit. She coughed to get Chloe’s attention.
« Oh ! sorry guys. Let me introduce you Mr. Wayne, from Wayne Entreprise. »
The buisnessman took a step forward and shook hands with Clark.
« It’s a pleasure to meet you, Mr. Wayne. I heard a lot about you. I’m Clark Kent. And this is Lois Lane.
- Miss Lane… »
He leaned in and repeated his greeting’s gesture. Lois made a face and glanced at Clark, annoyed. « Don’t even think of greeting me that way, Smallville » she whispered « ever. » He grinned, amused.

« Well, what brings you here, Mr. Wayne ? » asked Chloe.
« Buisness. I try to keep busy, you know. » He smiled. « I was in the neighbourhood, so I decided to pay a visit to my favorite reporter. »
Chloe blushed. Lois leaned against Clark and whispered « Now, I understand her sudden interest in Gotham’s people. » Then she came to her cousin’s rescue and changed the subject.
« Mr. Wayne, we could use your expertise.
- I would be glad to help you.
- have you heard about the Red Hood Gang ?
- as a matter of fact, I have.
- what can you tell us about it ? »
He frowned.
« Well, I know its reputation. It is a powerful organisation with very active members. It often makes the newspapers’ headlines.
- what else can you tell us ?
- that’s pretty much it. Why ? »
Chloe intervened. « A member of this gang has been murdered, here in Metropolis. The news will be revealed by the press soon.
- you can expect a revenge, then. His murder will fuel their anger.
- great, just what we needed. An armada of angry bad asses invading Metropolis.
- I am not very familiar with this environment, as you can imagine…
- one never knows » whispered Lois. Clark punched her in the arm. She gave him a ‘what did I say’ look and turned her attention back to Bruce Wayne.
« … but I had a chat with a good friend of mine the other day, inspector Gordon. He heard from a source that the gang had split up and that a member had left the city. He had an important contract with a multimillionaire business man in Metropolis. »
After a brief silence, Wayne spoke again. « But it may be false rumors. I’m not sure Gordon’s source is reliable. I mean, he’s a good man. But I find it surprising that he chose to put his trust in a bat-man. »
Lois and Clark exchanged a blank look. ‘Bat’ ? mouthed Lois. Clark shrugged.

« Don’t be so hard on him, Mr. Wayne, said Chloe. I think he’s right to place his trust in the dark knight.
- well, what do we know about him ? He hides from the Police and frightens the streets.
- he frightens muggers ! he makes the streets of Gotham safer. He saved my life once and he has all my gratitude. He has a sense of justice. »
Bruce Wayne waved his hands casually. « Why don’t we continue this conversation in the limousine, Miss Sullivan ? Alfred is waiting for us.
- why, what ?
- did you have lunch ?
- err… no.
- good. It is settled then. Of course, your friends are invited. »
Clark forestalled Lois’ answer.
« Thank you, Mr. Wayne, but we have work to do. Maybe another time.
- all right. Stop by the mansion next time you visit Gotham. I’ll be glad to see you. »
He winked and offered his arm to Chloe, who gladly took it. Clark and Lois absently watched them leave the building, lost in thoughts. Finally, Lois turned around and looked at her friend.
« How many multimillionaires do you know in Metropolis ?
- a few. In fact, there’s only two people… I think.
- exactly. Our beloved Luthor and Son. And why am I not surprised ? »

Clark sighed deeply and shook his head. His expressive eyes were showing sadness and incomprehension.
« Don’t blame yourself Clark, said Lois in a gentle whisper. You can’t save everyone. »
He looked down and met her eyes.
« You tried to help Lex but he refused your friendship. » She smiled. « You’re always looking for the bright side in people. You’re an eternal utopist, Clark. »
The young man smiled back, his eyes lightening again.
« Anyway, it was his choice. You can’t change him. Some people are mean and if we can’t help, then we have to fight them.
- a true warrior speaks from the heart, said Clark after a brief moment of silence.
- mock me, Smallville. But you know I’m right. So, who do you think is this multimillionaire ? father or son ? Or both ?
- I don’t think so. They don’t get along well these days.
- tell me about it ! It’s lie, sex and trahison in this family, worse than Santa Barbara.
- I would bet on Lionel Luthor. We had pretty intense encounters before and he’s hanging around the farm too much, lately.
- I agree. Besides, I think Lex has greater plans. He moved away from Smallville and settled deeper in the organised crime in Metropolis, according to Chloe’s investigations. »

Lois walked to Chloe’s desk and picked up the phone.
« Lo, what are you doing ? » She didn’t respond and searched briefly in her cousin’s agenda, before dialing a number. She waited a few seconds, then spoke.
« Hello, I’m from the Inquisitor. I’d like to speak to Lionel Luthor please. I’m writing an article on the recent fusion of Luthor Corp and McBrain’s company . I’m very interested and I’d like to interview Mr. Luthor. »
Lois held on a few seconds and winked at Clark. Then, she said « That’s a pity. In this case, I’ll contact him when he comes back. Thank you for your time. »
She hung up and smiled « Guess what, our famous multimillionaire is out of town, on a buisness trip. It’s a unique opportunity to peruse some files and learn dirty little secrets.
- wait, you don’t mean that…
- yes Clark ! That’s exactly what I mean ! Come on, let’s break into his office tonight. It’s the only way to get the information, right from the source.
- it’s too dangerous, Lois.
- and so… what ? I’m not going to wait and sit tight. I’m going tonight, with or without you.
- you know I won’t let you go alone. What you’re doing is called ‘blackmail’.
- I don’t blackmail you, Clark ! If you want to stay, fine. I’m a very capable woman and I know how to defend myself.
- sure, you defend yourself well against muggers. But we’re talking about professionnals, here. There are safety protocols to enter the building, cameras and trained guards. »
Lois sat on a chair and began to work on her plan. « We have to try anyway. »
« I have to try » stressed Clark. She froze and looked at him.

Slowly, he knelt down in front of her and covered her hand with his. Lois drowned in his beautiful eyes again. She saw concern… and maybe something else. Something very disturbing. Her heart skipped a beat and she tensed.
« I know you want to help me, Lois. And I’m grateful. But I really must go alone. It’s too dangerous, I’m sorry. »
The young woman smiled. A strange feeling warmed her entire body and she resisted the urge to throw herself in his arms. She lifted her free hand and cupped his cheek.
« Clark, you know I love your principals about ‘damselles in distress’ but unless you tie me to this chair, I’ll go with you.
- don’t tempt me. » Clark smiled. And she drowned again.

---

« Clark, would you mind telling me why we are on the roof of the Daily Planet ? »
Lois and Clark, both dressed in black pants and sweatshirts, were looking at the city above. The lights were illuminating Metropolis, contrasting with the dark and cloudy sky.

Clark took a deep breath and turned away to the other side of the roof. Lois followed in silence, confused. She stopped by his side and looked ahead. Suddenly, she understood. In front of them stood the Luthor Corp building, stoical and cold. « Oh no, don’t tell me. »

She watched as Clark climbed on the edge and offered her his hand. « Do you trust me, Lois ? » She hesitated a fraction of seconds and took his hand. At this point, her brain was set to freeze. If she was thinking straight, she would have declined the offer. Instead, she let her instincts take the lead and decided to trust her guardian angel. He lifted her without effort and hold her tightly against him.

Lois briefly looked down and closed her eyes. Clark must have sensed her nervousness because he tightened up his grasp. « I hope you can fly, Smallville. » She opened her eyes and turned her head towards her crazy alien. He was smiling. She looked deep into his eyes and hold his gaze. The wind was intoxicating her. Or maybe it was Clark. Her heart was pounding in her chest so loudly, she thought a minute that she would faint in his arms. It was a crazy idea, she knew that. But it was so exciting. She was scared but she knew Clark wouldn’t put her in danger. She had to trust him. « Alright » she whispered.

Clark broke the eye contact and focused on the building in front of him. Lois took a deep breath and clutched firmly on his shirt. The next thing she knew, she was taking a leap in the dark, literally flying in the empty space. When she recovered the first shock, she realised that they were not falling ; instead, they had defied Newton and his theory. A rush of emotions invaded her body and she looked at her beloved alien in awe.

Soon, they landed on a balcony and Lois realised she had hold her breath all the way. Clark gently put her on her feet and let go of her. « You’re alright ? » he asked. Lois nodded, still recovering. She had finally met a man who could sweep her off her feet, in every way. Clark smiled and took her hand. « Come on, we have work to do. » She followed him in silence and forced her brain to work again.

---

« I’m not lost Lois, Clark whispered.
- oh, I think you are. We already have taken this corridor. Now, if you just wanted to admit…
- I’ve already been here. I know where Lionel Luthor’s office is. Now, if you could just stay quiet, I could lead us to it. »
Lois sighed but didn’t reply.
« Thank you ». So far, it had been good. They had avoided the cameras and Clark had unlocked several doors. There was no guard to be seen. « This way » said Clark. « His office is right here, at the end of this corridor. » They walked in silence. Suddenly, Clark noticed a camera rolling. He quickly took hold on Lois and supersped towards the door, above the camera, so they could not be seen. Lois fought back a wave of nausea. « wow, I would appreciate a warning next time. » Clark winced « sorry. »

They entered the large room and began to search for any information. While Lois was heading to the desk, opening drawers, reading files and articles, Clark was scanning the area with his x-ray vision. « Found something. »

Lois was sitting in the chair, trying to enter the right password on the computer screen. She looked up.
« What’s that ?
- I found a safe in the wall. »
He brushed his fingers on an invisible mechanism and the safe opened.
« Impressive » greeted Lois. Her attention went back to the screen. She groaned « That damn computer would not let me in…
- there are too many possible passwords, Lois. Don’t expect much.
- aren’t we defeatist, Clarkie ? I’ve learned a lot from my cousin, you know. I’ll crack this code.
- aye aye » answered Clark. « Oh, look what I found, a video tape… »
He didn’t finish his sentence. He suddenly felt weak and tripped.
« Lois » He fell painfully on the floor. The young woman reacted quickly and knelt beside him.
« What happened ? are you hurt ?
- Kryp… Kryptonite » Clark’s voice was a whisper.

All of a sudden, the meaning of Kryptonite came back to her brain and she started panicking. She looked up and saw a set of shelves full of green rocks.
« These rocks… is that Kryptonite ?
- yes » Clark managed. « Get me out of here. »
Without hesitation, Lois grasped Clark’s waist and helped him to stand up. They struggled to the opposite wall and Lois ran to the safe. She took the tape and closed the door. Her heart was racing. She walked to Clark, her legs were shaking. She finally reached his side and rested a hand on his chest.
« How are you doing ? » she asked, worried. Clark smiled « I’m fine. Thank you. »
Her hand was shaking as well. Clark lightly brushed it. « It’s over, I’m fine now. »
She nodded, relieved, and looked away. « Now, you’re glad I came with you, aren’t you ? »
Clark shook his head, smiling. « Yes, I am. »
Satisfied, Lois went back to work. Twenty minutes later, she let out a cry of joy.
« I did it ! Chloe will be proud of me ! »
Clark closed the distance between them and leaned against her back.
« Ok, let’s dig out some dirty little secret. »
They found evidence of the blackmail and destroyed all the files related to it. They also found references to the recruitment of a hit man and proofs related to his connexions with the Red Hood Gang of Gotham City. Then, they searched for anomalies, suspect transactions and false declarations related to the corporation’s managment. Lois copied every useful information that could incriminate Lionel Luthor and turned off the computer.
« You know » added Lois, thoughful. « Lionel Luthor certainly can afford good computer scientists to retrieve these files we delated. » Clark raised an eyebrow. « I think I can help with that. »

Lois got up and watched him fry the hard core with his red laser vision. She smirked. « Well done, Smallville. Now, let’s get out of here. »

FANFIC SMALLVILLE : The ties that bind Chapter 2
nath_42
Metropolis City

« A deal is a deal, man. I want my money »
The man was standing in front of the desk, arms crossed, waiting for a response.
« Hey do you hear me ?! »
Slowly, the large chair turned around and stopped to face the intruder.
«  I took care of the young boy. Now I want the reward »
A low voice rised from the chair. «  I already told you not to come here. I am the one giving orders, remember that. » The mugger let out a sarcastic laugh « yeah right. But don’t forget who I am. I may not be famous in this city, but where I come from, the gang I represent is among the most powerful lobbies.
- very impressive.
- don’t fool me ! You didn’t answer my phone calls, I had to come.
- I am a busy man. And in case you haven’t noticed… a very influential buisness man.
- are you threatening me ? »

A sigh escaped from the chair « Of course not, I know how powerful you are ». Silence settled for a second. The boss threw an envelope at his guest, looking at him as he walked to the door « That’s why I can’t allow you to leave ». Suddenly, a loud noise filled the room and the man collapsed on the floor, life leaving his body.

The chair turned around to face the frenetic city above. The boss pressed the button of the interphone and spoke « Security. I have a job for you ».

***

Smallville - Kansas

The sun was shining into the sky, lightening the Kent’s farm and Smallville’s neighbourhood. Sunbeams were breaking through the windows, gently brushing Lois’s face.

She was sitting on the couch, struggling to find her strength back. She had been through so many emotions on that dam, it was hard to recover. Her hands were still shaking and she nearly spilled the glass of water Martha gave her on the floor.

Her skin was so pale and her eyes tired. She looked vulnerable. Clark had never seen her so weak, it made his stomach turn upside down. When he first realised Lois was on the dam, crying on the floor, his heart nearly stopped. He thought the mugger attacked Lois and hurt her. He was so scared, he supersped towards her without even bothering to hide his ability. But she didn’t seem to notice. She was lost in her pain. A pain he found hard to believe, for both of them.

Lois was a close friend. But he couldn’t have imagined such a violent emotion, from her and also from himself. What the hell happened to them ?! Martha brought him back to reality.
« Are you feeling better Lois ? You’re shaking honey. Clark, give her a blanket ». But Lois didn’t let him stand up and pulled at his T-Shirt, making him fall back on the couch next to her.
« - where the hell do you think you’re going ?
- Lois…
- I’m fine, I’m not cold. And you go nowhere.
- but Lo…
- shut up and stay here Smallville. From now one, you don’t go anywhere without my blessing. You’ll have to ask me permission, even if you want to go to the bathroom, is it clear ? »
Clark chuckled and sighed. Yeah, his Lois was definitly back. Wait, did he say ‘his’ Lois ? Crap.

Lois turned to Mrs Kent, without loosing grip of Clark’s T-Shirt « I’m really sorry for this pity party ! I hate myself for being weak.
- honey, how could you not be upset ?! You nearly saw Clark die in front of your eyes.
- I saw him die, Mrs Kent. He should have been dead, I… » She quieted herself, trying to stop the tremble in her voice. Martha exchanged a worried look with her son and turned her attention on Lois again.
« - you are shocked, Lois. Why don’t you go upstairs and rest.
- I’m fine. And I know what I saw ». She turned to Clark « I saw the other guy shoot you… He was close. Too close to miss you ». Clark shifted position, unconfortable. He watched as she stretched her hand to his chest and move his jacket aside, to reveal the hole of a bullet on his T-Shirt. She stared at it a second, before brushing a finger on his skin. The proof was laying in front of her, there was dry blood around the hole, but no bleeding scar. It was amazing.

« I can explain, Lois… ». She quickly raised her hand and squeezed his arm « don’t ». She looked at him and drown in his eyes « Clark, I don’t know what you’re made of, but don’t give me any dumb explanation. I saw him shoot you, I saw him push you over the railing ». She glanced at Martha, who was biting her lips. Then, she turned her attention back on Clark and stared at him. « Look, I understand you wanna protect you secret. You don’t have to tell me anything. I’m fine with it. I’m shocked but I’m fine. I don’t care how you survived. You’re alive ».

The room remained silent, Clark and Lois drowning in eachother’s eyes. Martha was watching them, a shy smile forming on her face. They finally broke eye contact. Lois stood up and walked towards the kitchen, the glass still in her hand. Clark looked at his mother, determined. She knew what he was going to say before he spoke « I’m gonna tell her, mum. » Martha’s smile grew wider « I’m not the one to convince, honey ».

***

Smallville, Crater Lake - Kansas

The sun was high in the sky. It was a beautiful day. Birds were whistling the arrival of spring. The place was peaceful. Only a soft breeze could be heard in the leaves, cooling the air and ondulating on the smooth surface of the lake.

Soft footsteps approached Lois Lane, making the wooden pontoon creak. She didn’t bother to look back at the intruder. She knew who he was. She smiled when she recognized his voice.
« Last time, you nearly tied me to the couch. And an hour later, you escape to the farthest spot of the town ». Clark sat down next to Lois, glancing at the horizon.
« Yeah well, to be honest, I think I completly lost it. I mean that’s creepy… I never lose control. And suddenly, I’m all muchy and teary, like Miss Kansas winning the Beauty contest ».
Clark chuckled « I don’t think you can compare both situations, Lois.
- well, you get the point. I had to get off your back and take some time alone to think straight.
- I see. »

Silence settled for a moment. Lois glanced at Clark and saw hesitation and apprehension in his eyes. She didn’t understand at first. They usually were confortable around eachother. Then she realised. His hesitation was about telling her his secret. « Clark, it’s fine. You don’t have to tell me. I understand. » He interrupted her, determination showing on his face. « I want to. I’m just worried about your reaction when I’m gonna reveal you the truth. » Lois remained quiet for a moment, studying his strong muscles contracting on his jaw. It scared her a bit but she quickly regained her composure and joked « come on Clark, it’s not a big deal. I know your secret can’t be that bad. You’re a good person… you couldn’t even squash a fly ».

Clark smiled, touched by her assurance « well, don’t be so sure about that ». Lois sighed and rolled her eyes « Yeah whatever. And you’re gonna tell me you’re a strange visitor from an other planet. Frankly Smallville, I… » She stopped dead when she saw Clark’s face turn white « What ?! ».

Clark was shaking. What if she doesn’t understand ? What if she sees me as a freak ? But he had no choice. It was too late, no turning back. He began to speak, slowly « See, I have some… abilities that distinct me from other humans on earth » When he got no answer, he added « In fact, I’m not from around here ». Lois blinked « Then, where do you come from ? »

Clark slowly lifted his eyes to the sky. Confused, Lois did as well. Then, she turned her attention back on him. Silence settled. No one spoke. They looked at eachother for a while.
« Well… so… what ? You mean, you’re an… ?
- alien » Clark finished.
It took her a minute to process the information « You’re kidding, right ?! ». Clark shook his head. « All right Smallville, that’s a little hard to believe, don’t you think ?
- I tell you the truth, Lois. I’m from a planet called Krypton. I’m the last survivor. My parents sent me on earth during the first meteor shower. The Kents adopted me. »
Lois blinked twice, in shock. Clark was freaking serious « What the hell… ? »
« - are you alright Lois ?
- yeah… I think so. But… how is it possible ?! I mean, come on, that’s a cliché ! Aliens invading the earth, Roswell, area 51… That’s legend only, right ? Tell me you have nothing to do with it ?! »
Clark couldn’t help himself and laughed lightly « Don’t worry Lois. To my knowledge, I’m the only visitor from another planet… But who knows ? » he added with a wink.

Lois lost herself in his beautiful eyes. How was it possible ? Such a sexy guy… like any other handsome man. No green face, no uggly eyes. Just a tall and robust farmboy from Kansas.
« - But you look so…
- human ?
- yeah !
- I’m still the same annoying plaid man you enjoy teasing, Lois. »
She smiled and punched Clark on the shoulder « wow, an alien with a terrific sense of humour ! »
Clark laughed. He was relieved. She took the information pretty well. In fact, that was better than he had expected « So, you’re not gonna freak out and run away ? » Lois laughed out loud « yeah right. You know Clark, alien or not, I can beat you anytime ! You’re still the annoying plaid farmboy, aren’t you ? ». Then, she remembered « You told me you had abilities ? »
« - Well, I can do a few things…
- go ahead »
Clark cleared his throat « I have a powerful strength ». Lois rolled her eyes « Yeah tell me about that ! The usual male ego… ». Clark sighed « Of course Lois, and it’s my terrible male ego that makes me lift a car with bare hands and fall from a dam without a scratch ». Lois blinked but remained silent.

Clark stared at her for a moment, then smiled.
« What’s so funny, Clark ?
- finally, I’ve left Lois Lane speechless. »
Lois blushed and quickly turned her attention on the surface of the lake. Clark enjoyed the sight of the beautiful woman beside him, her hair flotting around her face, curls falling on her shoulders. She really was amazing. He just revealed her he was an alien who had the power to kick her ass outer space. But he saw no fear, no apprehension in her eyes. She was the same blasé army brat he had always known. He definitly had done the right thing by revealing her the truth.

Lois finally broke the silence and cleared her throat « And do you have other gifts ? »
Gifts. A blessing word coming from her mouth. « Well, I can burn anything with my eyes » He stopped to see her reaction, then continued « I also can hear very far and see through objects and people ».
‘wow’ was the only answer Lois could come up with. Clark stood up and looked down at Lois « But there’s also something I want to show you ». He offered his hand as she got up. Slowly, he closed the distance between them and whispered « You have to trust me ». Lois simply nodded.

She saw Clark pull out a cell phone from his pocket and dial a number. She gave him a confused look but he simply smiled. She was dying to know what he was gonna do but she waited patiently. Finally, the speaker picked up and to her surprise, she heard Clark greeting her cousin. « Hi Chloe. How are you doing ? Did you have a nice trip to Gotham ? » Silence settled for a few seconds. Then Clark spoke again. « Where are you at the moment ? » He listened, then hung up the phone and got it back in his pocket « Are you ready ? ». Lois shrugged « Whaterver it is, I’m in ». A second later, she found herself curled in Clark’s strong arms « Just close your eyes and hold on me, ok ?
- you scare me a little Clark, you wouldn’t take advantage of the situation, would you ? »
He chuckled « I wouldn’t dare.
- fine.
- close your eyes » Clark repeated. She complied and Kansas cornfields were soon replaced by buildings and skyscrapers.

***

Metropolis City

Chloe was still on the phone, calling Clark’s name when a draught suddenly made the papers fly on her bed. Oh, she knew so well what was happening and cursed out loud « Clark ! How many times will I have to remind you not to do that anymore ! ». But she quickly stopped when she saw Clark put Lois down on the floor. The complaint died in her throat as she tried to babble something coherent.

« What the… ? She looked at a confused Lois, as bemused as herself. The cousins looked at eachother and blinked. Then, they turned their attention on Clark who offered a sheepish smile.
« So ? » asked Chloe.
« So… » repeated Clark.
« So. » confirmed Lois. Her face was pale and the world was spinning around her. She needed to sit down « Definitly not ferris wheels » she took a step back and sat beside her cousin, who was processing the information.
« - So you told her ?
- yes
- everything ?
- yeah…
- wow !
- yep. »
Lois looked at Chloe, confused « So you knew it ?! » Her little cousin bit her bottom lip and gave her a sheepish smile « Are you mad ? ». Lois was still shocked by the supersped trip to Metropolis but she managed a few words « Of course not. I’m just… hum. In fact, I don’t know how I feel for the moment. But I’m not mad. A secret is a secret after all. I understand. » It was then that she realised « Hey, the advice I gave you last year… you were talking about Clark’s secret, weren’t you ?! »

Chloe quickly glanced at Clark, who was staring at her with a questionning look. She stared at her hands, ashamed. Lois came to her rescue « She didn’t tell me anything, Clark.
- It’s true. I didn’t want to betray you. But when I first discovered your secret, I was completly lost and I didn’t know what to do.
- Chloe was wondering if she had to confess she knew your secret or just wait till you were ready to tell her
- and you gave me a wise advice » added Chloe with an ironical smile. « No offense cuz, but it was very surprising coming from you. » Lois rolled her eyes but smiled at her cousin’s sarcastic comment.
« Lois is quite amazing » Clark said, staring at Lois with an intense gaze that made her blood burn in her veins. She wondered if the warmth she was feeling was her imagination or Clark’s heat vision.

Chloe quickly became aware of the tension and smiled, while watching them. Lois was the first to break eye contact and looked down at the floor. She was very unconfortable. She had been raised among men and wasn’t easily impressed or concerned by any guy. She even came to the pathetic conclusion that all the men on earth were the same arrogant and self centred persons. Maybe she was right. Maybe Clark Kent was the exception. He was more human than any other man on this planet. And to be honest, he was the only person that could sweep her off her feet. That was a disturbing feeling. And she was trying hard to deny it. She was an independant and self sufficient woman who didn’t expect anything from anyone. And yet, something was bothering her. Something deep inside her.
« So » asked Chloe, « How did it happen ? Why did you tell her Clark ? Or maybe Lois discovered your secret too ?
- sort of. That’s kind of a long story.
- well, since I nearly had an attack when you came in and you washed away my papers across the room, I’ll say you owe me one. And you wouldn’t be here if you didn’t want to tell me, right Clark ? »

The young man blushed and looked away. He glanced at Lois before clearing his throat. « Well, a man called me at the farm this morning. He told me he knew my secret and wanted to see me on the dam. Lois overheard our conversation and followed me. He had kryptonite. He shot me and pushed me over the railing. Lois saw me fall from the dam. » Lois shivered as the scene came back in her mind.
« - how did he know about the kryptonite ? asked Chloe.
- I don’t know. But if he knew my secret, he could have known my weakness too. Otherwise, he wouldn’t have confronted me. »
Lois interrupted them « Wait a minute. What is that Krypton thing ? I thought it was your planet, Clark.
- indeed. Krypton is my world of origin. When it exploded, some pieces of rock landed on Smallville.
- oh yeah, the meteor shower.
- right. I’m allergic to these rocks. They make me weak and if I am exposed too long, I can die.
- god… » whispered Lois, her face loosing colors.
Chloe quickly jumped from the bed and went to the bathroom. She came back with a glass of water, that she offered to her cousin. « Thanks Chloe. But I’m fine. I’d better control myself cause if I loose it once again, my reputation is screwed ! And I’ll have to kill you both of course. »
Chloe and Clark laughed at her comment.
« Don’t worry cuz. Your reputation is safe with us. » Lois smiled back « yeah, I can see you’re both pretty good at keeping a secret. » She looked at Clark « Don’t worry Clark. Your secret is safe as well with me. I understand you can not reveal your powers to the world. It could put you in danger.
- and it could put my family and friends in danger. If anything happened to them, I couldn’t forgive myself. »

Silence filled the room, each one lost in its thoughts. Then Lois spoke « Clark, I know you have to keep it secret. But you have wonderful gifts. And your parents raised you with the sense of justice. You can’t just stay in your barn, moping around all day. You’re destined to much more than milking cows. » Clark stared at her, bemused. This woman was surprising him sometimes. And these last two days had been a revelation. She was a true friend, a confident. She was loyal and smart. And last but not the least, she was so understanding. But there was something else. Something he couldn’t determine yet.

Chloe interrupted his thoughts, yelling « There ! I told you Clark ! Remember ? I told you your destiny was much more than milking cows ! ». He shrugged « As much as I want to help people, I can’t easily do it without revealing my secret.
- but it usually doesn’t prevent you from trying, does it Clark ? asked Chloe.
- have you ever thought of double identity ? » whispered Lois, lost in her thoughts. Then she realised she had spoken out loud « Never mind. » She stood up and got out a piece of paper from her pocket. « Chlo, I’ve noted the license plate. Can you check it out for me ?
- sure, but first I have to finish my article. I’ll do it tomorrow, I promise.
- thanks Chloe. Cause I won’t let this guy walk free. I’ll find him and he’ll spend his entire life regretting his action ! Lois word ! »
Clark and Chloe stared at her, confused. « What ?? »
‘wow’ chloe said. « I’ve never seen you that angry and determined. What happened to you ?
- nothing.
- oh… right. Sorry, that’s just… » She paused and smiled, sparkles lightening her michievous eyes « I was just wondering if your suddent desire of justice had something to do with the fact that this guy nearly killed Clark. » She tried hard not to burst in laugher. The scene was priceless. Lois was blushing, which was a premiere, and Clark was painfully quiet. Neither of them wanting to look at the other.

Lois cleared her throat and tried to make a coherent sentence. But she couldn’t help it, the queen of babbling was back again « Hum, well. You know… Chlo hum… You would have done the same thing… right ?
- yeah, that’s my job. Uncovering the truth, protecting the populate… I’m glad you find an interest in journalism as well » Chloe teased.
It was too much for Lois « Give me a break, please ». She sighed and sat down on the bed. Clark gave Chloe a disapprouval look and walked toward Lois. She seemed exhausted.
« - you should eat something Lo, you didn’t have breakfast this morning.
- I’m fine
- no, you’re not. And you need a pick-me-up.
- yeah well, I’m not hungry.
- sure. »
A stunned Chloe watched as Clark grabbed Lois’arm and stood her up on her feet. The young woman didn’t even complain. Only a little sigh escaped from her mouth. And did he just call her Lo ?! wondered Chloe, shocked. She nearly missed Clark’s question.
« - Chloe ?
- hum ? Oh sorry. What did you say ? »
Clark stared at her, concerned « Are you alright ? » Chloe couldn’t get rid of her smile. She should be the one asking them this question.
« - of course I am.
- so, you come with us ?
- where ? »
Clark paused « You sure you’re fine ? ». Chloe chuckled «  Yes, Clark. Now where’re you heading ? Back to Smallville ? »
Lois interrupted her « For crying out loud no ! » She turned to Clark « No offense Smallville, but my head is still spinning from our little trip. »
A sympathetic smile appeared on his face « What about a restaurant ?
- sure. And how are we gonna pay for it ? » She turned her back to him and walked to the bathroom « ‘cause unless you did not notice, we didn’t come here with any luggage. And I won’t ask Chloe to pay for us. » She sighed and put the glass on the sink « So, I guess… »

She jumped in surprise as she turned around and saw Clark standing in front of her, a bright smile on his face… and a wallet in his hand. Lois bit her lower lip and smiled « You know Clark, I could get used to that. » He remained quiet but his eyes said everything.
« Hum guys… » interrupted Chloe « That’s nice of you to invite me, but I have this article to finish.
- oh please Chlo ? It will be fun !
- I’m sure it will » Chloe winked « Have a nice lunch ! »

FANFIC SMALLVILLE : The ties that bind Chapter 1
nath_42
Disclaimer : I don’t own anything…
Summary : It takes place after the death of Johnatan Kent.

***

Smallville – Kansas

The car left the road and turned into the familiar lane, surrounded by cornfields. Lois Lane smiled. She remembered last year, when she cursed country’s roads and lost herself to find the Kent’s farm. It seemed such a long time ago. She had lived and learned so much since that day when she first met the Kent’s. And she was sure of one thing, now she would have recognized these cornfields anywhere and when she reached the mailbox and saw the farm, she felt home.

The winter had been sad and painful. Everything was quiet, as if life had been on hold. The snow dissolved two weeks ago but the air remained cold. It was the end of February. Spring would follow soon, and she hoped that she could let go of her pain more easily with brighter days.

But she had to face the truth. Mr. Kent was dead. He was the father she never had. And she couldn’t get over it, as she didn’t get over her mother’s death either. Life was unfair. All the people  she loved went away. Maybe it was the way it had to be. Maybe she was condemned to be alone for the rest of her life.

She had learned to hide her feelings behind a wall of steel. But the Kents had taken her off guard and the wall had fallen into pieces. And now Mr. Kent was gone and her heart was bleeding again.

She stopped the engine and got out of the car. She started walking towards the house, taking a deep breath and trying to remain as calm as possible. She had to be strong for the Kents. She was about to knock when she heard voices rising from the opened door of the kitchen. Clark and Martha were arguing. Apparently, it was a family matter. She was about to leave when Clark’s voice stopped her.

« Why didn’t you tell me ?! »
Martha’s answer was a whisper. She seemed so desesperated and helpless.
« - honey, you don’t have to be involved in this.
- mum, we’re talking about blackmail ! It’s all about me and you know it ! »
Silence settled for a moment before Clark spoke again, his voice soft and tender.
« I know you want to protect me, mum. But I’m not a little boy anymore. You don’t have to deal with it alone. »

Lois was stunned. She remained still for a minute, standing on the porch and wondering what to do. When she finally recovered, she dared a quick look through the door and entered the kitchen, unsure. Shelby was the first to notice her and ran straight to her, wagging its tail. She greeted him but quickly focused her attention on the Kents, who were watching her by now. Martha was the first to speak.

« - hi Lois. It’s nice to see you.
- hi Mrs Kent, Clark. »
Here were two choices : one, pretend she hadn’t heard their conversation, two, put her foot in it and eventually crash and burn. Or course she was a Lane, and of course she took the second option.
« - I’m sorry to interrupt.
- you’re always welcome Lois. »
Clark was silent. No banter, no sarcastic pic. Obviously, something was wrong. And it was not the usual ‘moping around’ she was used to. He seemed absent-minded, like he was on another planet. And he had this adorable wrinkle on his forehead that betrayed him when he was upset about something. Wait… She didn’t say ‘adorable’, did she ? Ok, focus girl. She turned her attention on Martha, who was staring at her.

« Is there something bothering you Lois ? » God, this woman was amazing. She was such a mind reader ! At her words, Clark emerged from his thoughts and frowned. Loïs bit her lower lip and gathered her courage. « Actually, there is ». She took a step ahead. « Don’t be mad guys, but I heard your conversation ».

She saw them exchange looks of horror and she felt the urge to reassure them. « I’m really sorry guys. I know it’s a family matter. But don’t worry, I won’t tell anyone ». The Kent’s remained silent. « Look, I have known the hard way that everyone keeps secrets, even from the ones they’re the closest to, and I promise I won’t ask anything to you ».

Martha gave her a weak smile. « Thank you, Lois ».
« You’re probably gonna tell me it’s not my buisness, but I want you to know that I’m here if you need help ». She winked at Clark and added « The General left me a valuable legacy that consists in kicking butts… and I have to admit that it’s very useful and jubiliant. I’d be glad to use it on anyone you ask me to ». Lois saw Clark’s smile growing wider and twinkles sparkled in his eyes « I’m sure you would. As long as I’m not the target, it’s ok with me ».

Despite her trouble, Martha laughed at Clark and Loïs’ banter. She had been used to these delightful interactions when Lois was living under their roof and it was nice to have it back.
« - we appreciate, Lois » she looked at her son « But I’m afraid we have to face it alone.
- Mrs Kent, I don’t wanna be rude but I insist. The General has technology to find bugs and stuff like that. He can check the farm and your Senate’s place. It’s routine for him. Let me ask him… please let me help you ». Lois saw the hesitation in Martha’s eyes « I won’t tell my dad about the blackmail. I promise. After all, every politicians have their places checked out ».

Clark put a conforting hand on his mother’s shoulder and answered « We accept, thank you… for everything ». He was staring intensly at her. Lois couldn’t look away. She was diving into his eyes. « That’s the least I can do » was the only answer she could think of.

For her sake, he finally broke eye contact and turned to his mother « It’s gonna be fine, mum ». Mrs Kent smiled at her son, a single tear threatening to fall down on her cheek. She was so proud of him. He definitly was Johnatan’s son.

***

Later that night, Lois entered the barn and climbed the stairs to find Clark sitting on the couch. He looked tired. He didn’t notice her presence and jumped when she spoke up. « I came to say goodnight. It’s late and Mrs Kent is tired. She went to bed ». Clark nodded and smiled at her. « And as far as I can tell, you are in bad shape as well ».

« It’s been a long day » he said. She tried to cheer him up.
« - and the good news is that all the places are cleaned now.
- thanks to you ».
Lois looked away and swept his compliment with a quick wave of her hand. « Yeah, well. You know… err… it’s nothing… really ». Geez, she was a mess. Lois Lane, the queen of witty spirit became the queen of babbling when a simple farmboy paid her compliments. Actually, he was not any farmboy.

Clark broke her reverie « - I’m worried about mum. Now that she has taken dad’s seat, she’ll have to carry a heavy weight on her shoulders.
- don’t worry for you mum. She’s a big girl.
- but her senate’s office was full of bugs. Your dad took them away but it won’t prevent anyone from doing it again.
- we just have to reinforce security.
- how can she survive among those sharks ?! »
Lois was touched by his concern.
« - Clark, I know you want to protect your mother. But it’s her choice. And you have to let her get her marks. Besides, she may be the beloved mother that makes soup when you get the flu but she’s also a stronghead and an ass kicker, believe me ! »
Clark chuckled.
« - she’s not the only one.
- I take that as a compliment.
- whatever ».
Lois smiled but didn’t answer. She finally turned around. « Goodnight, Smallville ».

« Wait… » Clark suddenly felt the urge to hold her back.
« - where are you going ?
- where do you think I’m going at 1.00 AM ?! I’m heading back to the Talon.
- It’s late Lois, you can’t drive alone in the middle of the night.
- and why not ? »
Clark looked at a stubborn Loïs, standing by with her arms folded. He knew she wouldn’t listen to him so he tried another way.
« - after everything you did for us, the least we can do is giving you hospitality.
- oh… err… thank you ».
The queen of babbling is back, watch it Lo. Clark’s eyes deepened. And again, she drowned.
« And I couldn’t sleep knowing you’re on the road ». Clark was sincere and the more he was thinking about  her, the more he realised she had been there for him whenever he needed someone.

She helped him to find Chloe without asking questions. She prevented him from killing Alicia’s murderer. She was the one who busted his chops every time he let himself get discouraged. This woman left no prisonners. People could hate her or love her. But she didn’t leave anyone cold.

Lois was unusually quiet and he was worried she could refuse his offer.
« - Lois ?
- hum what ? oh yeah… ok. I’ll invade your peronnal space, once again ».
Clark was relieved and smiled at her. She was about to leave when he called her « I think I owe you an apology ».

Lois frowned and closed the distance between them. She sat down on the couch next to him.
« - what the hell are you talking about ?!
- I’m talking about all the times you were there to support me and my family.
- oh… that. Yeah like I said, I have a weakness for stray dogs and naked guys ».
She was about to stand up but Clark grabbed her arm.
« I appreciate everything you did for my parents. I know you hate funerals. And I know how hard it’s been for you to come. I won’t forget. »
Loïs was not prepared to that and she felt weak for a minute.
« Mr. Kent was a great man. He was honorable, honest and generous. Your family accepted me and gave me a roof under my head without asking questions or lecturing me. You don’t owe me anything Clark, I do ».

***

Metropolis City

It was dark and peaceful. The city was asleep. Only hungry cats roamed the alleys. A limousine stopped  along the street and a man got in.
« - did you have a nice trip ?
- It could have been better. I hope it’s worth it. »
The first man got out an enveloppe from his pocket and gave it to the other.
« - the other half when the job is done.
- when ?
- tomorrow. 7.00 A.M. Smallville’s dam.
- what is it in the box ? »
He opened it.
« - what do you want me to do with that piece of rock ?
- you ask too much questions. Just keep it in your pocket. »


***

Smallville - Kansas

Martha Kent got up early. Although she was tired last night, she didn’t sleep well. In fact, she had not slept much since Johnatan died. How could she rest without her husband holding her. The bed was too large and cold. All the photos on the walls brought her to the painful reality of her loss. They were happy together. She gave up her career to live with Johnatan and she became the happiest woman when Clark came into her life.

And now, she was wondering why death took her husband so soon. What did she do to deserve such a punishment ? Life was unfair. Everyone had the right to happiness. That’s why she had to take her husband’s senate seat. She had to go on and achieve his dream of a better world. She had faith in him and she wouldn’t give up, now more than never. But the fact was, she couldn’t run the farm and work as a senator. The farm was in the family for so long. She didn’t want to sell it but she would have to make a choice sooner or later. Clark wanted to run the farm but Martha knew he was destined to something much better than milking cows. And she didn’t want him to waste his life.

When she passed his room’s door, she noticed the bed was empty. That was not surprising. He couldn’t sleep either and he spent almost every night in the barn, grieving and blaming himself for his father’s death.

Martha went to the barn and slowly climbed the stairs. She was right. Her son had fallen asleep on the couch. But he was not alone. Martha smiled at the wonderful picture laying in front of her. Lois was curled into Clark’s arms, her head resting on his shoulder. She knew something was up the moment she saw them bantering. Whatever they would say, they couldn’t deny the sparks lightening their eyes. And she knew her son so well. It was only a matter of time.

But for the moment, they needed some rest. It had been a long time since she last saw her son so peaceful. It was a relieve. She turned around as quietly as possible. But she should have foreseen his super earing. And she surely had overestimated his sleep because she heard him shift position. « Mum ? ». She turned to face him, a sheepish smile on her face.
« - I’m sorry honey. I didn’t want to wake you up.
- that’s ok. Besides, I feel better this morning. »
Martha bit her lips but didn’t say anything. The reason was laying next to him. And she was begining to emerge as well. Slowly, they sat up and waved away the last shades of sleep. Surprise and confusion came first. Then, they realised they had spent the night in eachother’s arms. Clark spoke first.
« - mum, I can explain.
- yeah… we were just talking. I guess I fell asleep. Clark, why didn’t you wake me up ?!
- oh, good question Lois. I don’t know… maybe because I fell asleep too !
- that’s not a reason to hold me tight.
- who knows ? you may have been the one sliding by my side.
- don’t go there, Smallville. »
Martha was laughing out loud.
« All right, that’s enough. Now, if you two had some rest, I think it was not such a bad idea. »
Lois and Clark exchanged confused glances and quickly looked away.
« - I’ll take a shower.
- and I’ll feed the cows. »
They quickly disappeared, letting Mrs Kent alone, a broad smile crossing her face.


***

Metropolis City

She was back. Finally. The trip had been long but it was worth it. And now, the only thing she wanted was a hot shower and a sweet lazy day. After all, she deserved it. And it was Sunday. Besides, Lois was in Smallville and Lana was spending the weekend with Pete, in Wichita. So she had the room for herself.

But patience was not one of Chloe’s qualities. She was so excited. Her investigation in Gotham City had been very interesting and she had found the information she wanted to write the article she was working on. And if she was working all day on it, she would be able to give it to Mr. White, the new editor, on Monday.

A smile appeared on her face as she took off her cloths and entered the shower. Gotham City was a beautiful city. Most of people described it as a dark and corrupted city. But she disagreed. The architecture was amazing and the athmosphere mysterious. That was all a reporter could dream of. In fact, she had fallen in love with the city. But not only…

She bit her lower lip and closed her eyes. The water was running down her body. Although she knew her life was here, in Metropolis, she somehow realised that her heart was still in Gotham.

***

Smallville - Kansas

The hot water was running for long minutes now and condensation was invading the Kent’s bathroom. Lois seemed insensitive to the heat, her mind miles away from the reality. She couldn’t believe she had fallan asleep on Clark’s shoulder last night. It was late and they were tired. They spoke a long time and although it was hard to admit, their conversation was nice and she soon felt confortable with him. She couldn’t explain it but his presence was reassuring. She was refreshed this morning and it was a bit scary. What happened to her ‘no plaid, no geek’ policy ? Wait, maybe it was a ‘brother feeling stuff ‘. She had no brother but yeah, that couldn’t be anything else, right ? He was overprotective and annoying with her. Only a brother could get on her nerves like that. But what about that little twist in her stomach ? She quickly waved it away. Probably hunger.

She turned off the shower and grabbed a towel. Just then, she heard a phone ring and rushed in Clark’s bedroom to answer it. The ring stopped and she checked her cell phone. But it was not hers. It probably was the Kent’s phone, downstairs. She dressed up and got out of the room, hoping Clark would still be feeding the cows. She didn’t want to cross his way. Not this morning. She was too confused. She needed time.

Unfortunatly, she heard Clark’s voice and stopped in the middle of the stairs. She was about to climb back when she stopped again.
« Clark, don’t go there ! »
Martha’s voice betrayed her trouble.
« -mum, I have to.
- please honey. At least, let me go with you.
- no way. If anything happened to you, I couldn’t forgive myself.
- it’s too dangerous.
- don’t worry, I’ll be careful.
- but…
- please trust me and stay here. I don’t want you to be harmed. »
The kitchen’s door creaked and the house became quiet. Clark had left. And there was no way he was leaving without Lois. He would probably be mad but whatever he would say, he needed back up. She rushed to the front door and ran to her car. « What the hell are you thinking about, Clark ! ». Whatever he was involved in, he was not a super man. He needed help. She started the engine and her car soon closed the distance with Clark’s one. « You’re lucky Clark, I’m the queen of shadow play ».

***

Smallville’s dam - Kansas

Clark stopped his car on the dam and got out.  There was no one. Not yet. He didn’t know what to expect from that man but he seemed pretty confident on the phone. And it scared Clark to death.

His mother had destroyed the record but it was possible the man had a copy and wanted to continue the blackmail. But why this meeting ? Why would he take the risk to meet him ? That didn’t make any sense. Clark’s thoughts were suddenly interrupted. A car was coming. It stopped in front of him and a man got out. He stood quietly, a smile on his face. Clark waited a second and spoke « What do you want ? »

Lois stopped her car at the other side of the dam, where the two men couldn’t see her. They were too far and she couldn’t see the man’s face. She reached the glove compartment and took a pair of binoculars. « Where’s that damn pen ?! Here ! All right, Mister Bad Guy, let’s see your license plate. »

She noted it on the back of her hand and turned her attention on the man. She saw him close the distance and Clark suddenly tripped, taking a step back to the railing. What the hell was happening ? She  rolled her eyes and sighed « I knew you would need a sidekick ».

She took her spray off her bag and got out of the car. A loud noise suddenly made her jump. A gun shot. A second later, she heard Clark cry and saw him bend down with pain. God no ! That couldn’t be possible ! Lois dropped the spray on the floor. Her feet were stucked on the road, shaking. As she began to move, she saw with horror the other man grab Clark by his jacket and push him over the railing.

« No ! » The man turned around and quickly jumped in his car. But Lois didn’t even notice him. She was running as fast as she could, hysteria threatening to overload her mind. « Clark ?! Clark ! ». She couldn’t breathe anymore and her legs nearly tripped. She hit the railing and bent down in the empty space. She couldn’t see him.

If he was not holding the railing, that meant he had fallen on the ground. She couldn’t see the bottom of the dam and it scared her to death. She shouted his name a last time, tears running freely down her cheeks. There was no answer. Only a painful silence. That couldn’t be happening. It was a nightmare. She couldn’t stand it anymore and closed her eyes, taking a step back. Her legs suddenly weakened and she bent down on her knees. Her head hurt so much, everything was spinning around her. She couldn’t even think straight. The scene went over and over in her mind, haunting her. Her heart was bleeding, so badly. How could she survive this ? Why everyone she loved had to die ? Anger melted with both distress and pain. All she could do was stay in the middle of the bridge and cry.

Her strength was gone. She would not have the courage to announce Clark’s death to his mother. She would not be able to put up with it. That was aweful, she even heard voices in her head. Clark’s voice. She had lost her mind. The voice raised and she could clearly hear her name. That was too much. She opened her eyes and went back to reality. She turned her head in the direction of the voice and saw a shadow approaching. Was it a driver rescuing her ? Was it the mugger coming back ? At this point, she didn’t care. She couldn’t even see his face as he knelt down in front of her. Tears were blinding her. She felt a gentle touch cupping her face and again, Clark’s voice, soft and frightened. « Lois ? Lois, look at me. Are you alright ? ».

She forced herself to focus on the man and stared at him. Her heart beat increased as she looked up and drowned in his eyes. Was she insane ? She could not trust her mind, it was causing her tricks. There was only one way to find out. She gathered her strength and stretched out her hand to his face, touching his cheek. « Clark ? » she whispered. She felt his hand holding hers as he answered « Yes it’s me, Lois. It’s gonna be fine ».

It was too much for her sanity and she threw herself in his arms. He hold her back and she felt life coming back in her body. She felt warm and relieved. Clark was alive, in her arms. They sat there for a long time, holding each other without saying a word. She didn’t know how he survived and to be honest, she didn’t care. He was safe.

GERALD DE PALMAS
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Artiste, auteur, compositeur et chanteur.


Les excellents musiciens qui l'accompagnent :

Guitare - Sébastien Chouard
Batterie - Amaury Blanchard
Basse - Bernard Viguié
Claviers - David Berland









Mes chansons favorites / My favorite songs
Le choix a été très difficile. / It has been very difficult to make a choice.

1er album 1994 - La dernière année
- sans recours
- sur la route ***
- la vérite
- ici et ailleurs
- mon alter ego

2ème album 1997 - Les lois de la nature
- les lois de la nature
- Mary Jane
- Johnny et Joe
- rester calme ***

3ème album 2000 - Marcher dans le sable

- une seule vie
- j'en rêve encore
- regarde moi bien en face
- rien à faire ensemble
- si tu veux ***

4ème album Live 2002

Le concert en lui-même est sensationnel. Le remix de ses albums précédents est excellent.
The live is awesome. The remix of his previous songs is excellent.
- elle s'ennuie
- la vérité (harmonica)
- tu finiras toute seule
- sur la route
- si tu veux ***
- trop tard

5ème album 2004 - Un homme sans racines

- elle danse seule
- au paradis
- elle habite ici ***
- encore une fois
- silverado

6ème album 2009 - Sortir

Il est sorti récemment. Mon avis n'est pas encore définitif.
It has been released recently, so my opinion is not definitive, yet.
- au bord de l'eau
- dans une larme
- mon coeur ne bat plus pour toi
- fais de ton mieux
- sous la pluie

... à noter également la chanson "Pandora's box" en duo avec Eagle-eye cherry, que j'adore.
... also to be mentioned, a duet with the great Eagle-eye cherry in the song 'Pandora's box'.

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FANFIC SMALLVILLE : Just a bad day
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Disclaimer : I don’t own anything…
Summary : well… the title says all… just a short little story – Cloïs
(Please be gentle, that’s my first attempt and I’m not fluent in English)

***

It was a dark and rainy day. The kind of day you enjoy lazing around in Pjs, with hot chocolate and fudges… you know… all the good little things that keep you slim and content.

Oh yeah, that could have been a very nice day… if it was not for that stupid stomach turning her up side down… Whatever she did, whatever she said, her thoughts always ended up where she definitely didn’t want them to. Pain… regrets… anger… and that so damn headache !

She turned around the corner of an old building and stopped her walk a few seconds, allowing her gaze to wander on the beautiful city above her. Her eyes immediatly caught the two highest towers of Metropolis, The Luthor Corp. And The Daily Planet, facing each other in a quite challenge.

She had travelled a lot, seen beautiful places, but this city had something special, something magic that had always made her feel like home. She smiled as she remembered the crasy and funny evenings spent in nightclubs while visiting her cousin Chloe. She had shared a lot more time and activities with her than with her own sister… weird huh ? Actually, the only good souvenir she remembered about her sister Lucy was that summer in Granville, when her family was gathered and happy… a month before her mother went ill, a year before she died.

Biting her lips, she fought for control and wiped a single tear that was threatening to fall down on her cheek. « Damn it ! get over it Lo » she whispered. She took a deep breath and opened the old fence in front of her. As she entered the peaceful cemetery, the beating of her heart increased and she felt her legs going weak.

Her mind screamed for her to walk back and go home. But she didn’t. It was too late, she’d already seen the grave, over there, near the old oak. She closed the distance and fell down on her knees, staring at the inscription in front of her.

Ellen LANE
Beloved Mother and Wife
Always

She cleared her throat and looked down at the simple rose she sadly hold.
« Hi Mom » she said in a trembling voice.
The silence was almost frightening. Gathering her strengh, she closed her eyes and began to speak.
« Well… here we go… you and me as always »
She bited her lips, confused.
« It’s been a long time, hasn’t it ? Actually, a year… Yeah it’s pathetic, I know. »
Her throat suddenly went dry and tears ran freely over her cheek.
« I miss you » she whispered.

God she hated being week ! If she had had enough strengh, she would have kicked her ass right now for being so stupid and mushy.
« Well… » she began sarcastic, trying to adopt the ‘Loïs Lane’s auto defense mecanism’.
« Let me fill you in with the late news of the happy Lane’s family ! Hum, let’s see… The General is babysitting a thoursand guys but can’t deal with two naughty girls of his own… And Lucy, well that’s pretty interesting. Apparently, the smart and brillant young lady seems to enjoy walking over her big sister ! »

She stopped and sighed.
« See, that’s not too bad… I think that could have been worst… well, actually, I’ve been fired of the University… again. But damn it, that was not my fault, the guy was drunk… I just gave him a little kick… »

She wiped the tears off of her cheeks and tried to smile but it faded.
« But don’t worry mom, I’m gonna be fine. Even if I am alone… »

Suddenly, a voice came behind her.
« You’re not alone, Loïs »

She closed her eyes and smiled. Oh yeah, she recognized that voice. Always at the right place, at the right moment. She turned around and saw him crouching next to her, laying a wonderful bunch of country flowers on her mother’s grave.
« Tell me Smallville, do you always twist in people’s private life with that tact of your own or are you only torturing me ? »

She saw his eyes twinkle. But he didn’t answer.
« - Chloe told me where to find you.
- well I presume she also told you that it’s the anniversary of my mother’s death »
He nodded. Then he studied her for a moment and noticed she had cried.
« Are you all right ? »
She tried to smile but avoided his gaze.
« - Do I have to answer that ?
- I’m sorry Loïs, but you shouldn’t face it alone.
- It’s fine Clark. I can handle it by my own. Besides, it’s just a bad day… I’ll feel better tomorrow ».

She highly doubted about that but her defense mecanism was back now and she didn’t want Clark to break it down.
« Yeah of course Loïs… And what you’re gonna do ? Press the magic button and then the pain will be gone ? »
He paused, a concerned look on his face.
« - I know how it feels to loose someone you care about… And I know you can’t go through it alone.
- you know what ? My dad prefers venting on his troops and my sister… well, I don’t even know where she is.
- there’s Chloe and her dad ?
- I don’t want to annoy them with that. The last thing they need is a crying and boring cousin under their feet !
- then you have me. »
She raised her gaze at him. He smiled.
« That’s what friends are for »

Loïs raised an eyebrow and joked.
« Oh yeah, that’s right. We’re friends now. »
Clark’s smile grew wider. Wow How could she possibly resist to that farmer’smile. She grinned and punched his arm. Clark fainted to be harmed.

« - Aoutch… ok Loïs. You know what ? I feel generous today and I allow you to vent on me…
- that won’t be so different from another day, Smallville. »

He rolled his eyes and sighed deeply.
« - That’s what I’m afraid of…
- eh I didn’t asked you to come, right ?
- no you didn’t. But you suddenly disapeared from the surface of the earth. I needed to check on you.
- oh… cause you missed me ? I knew you would be lost without me.
- no, because I had to prevent you from getting in trouble… It appears to be daily ritual for you.
- and what you’re gonna do ? kick my ass to Antartica ?! Don’t be mad Clark but I know how to send a three star General to hell, so I think I can handle a farm boy like you. »

Sparks lighted up in Clark’s eyes
« Don’t be so sure about that Loïs »
She shrugged « Whatever ».

They sat in silence for a couple of minutes, then Clark whispered.
« Come on Loïs… Let’s go home »
She nodded.
« Yeah… god I need a hot shower and fresh coffee ! »
Clark smiled and helped her to stand up. He was about to leave when she called him, making him turn around and face her.
« Thanks Clark » she simply said.
He grinned. « Any time ».

THE END

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FANFIC ATLANTIS : Rescue - Chapter 4
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Disclaimer : I don’t own anything…
Season 4 – Shipper

Chapter 4

It was almost daylight. Sunbeams were sliding on the surface of the ocean, announcing a hot and beautiful day to come.

John remained in the shadows, silently standing on the balcony of the east pier. He liked this spot, away from the agitation of the city. He had been up all night, brooding over the events of the previous day. So many things happened, it didn’t feel real.

Michael was gone, at last. He had caused so many deaths among the Athosians and the people of this galaxy. At first, John had thought it was worth the try, that the retrovirus might be the solution to end this war. Teyla and Ronon were not convinced. They were right. He should have listened to them. Now it was too late, the harm couldn’t be undone and he was surprised his friends were still by his side.

Speaking of friends… his thoughts drifted towards Teyla. The words of Doctor Keller echoed again in his head « You are the father of this child, Colonel. » It hit him hard, but he sucked it up at the time. He first refused this possibility. How could he be the father of her son ? A simple touch made his heart leap, so how could he not remember a whole night spent with Teyla ?

He refused to believe it, at first… until he heard the confession of Nabel. Slowly, his brain put one and one together. He didn’t have lots of memories of the evening spent with the people of Brennidon. But then, he realised his dreams had begun days after this event. Not really dreams… just flashes… very disturbing flashes that woke him up at night and let him lost and confused.

The door chimed behind Sheppard and he sighed in frustration. He had a terrible headache, his emotions were a mess. The last thing he wanted was to hear congratulations or pep talks. He wanted to be alone. He frowned and rubbed his eyes.

« John ? » he heard. Her voice was soft, concerned. He didn’t move and stared at the ocean in front of him. He heard her footsteps moving closer to him. She leaned on the railing next to him. « Are you alright ? »

John glanced briefly at her, then his gaze went back to the ocean. Her face was pale. She probably did not have a lot of sleep tonight. He smiled.

« I’m fine. » He sighed again and added, ironic : « It has been a hell of a day ».

They looked at eachother and smiled.

After the interrogation of Nabel, Teyla had mumbled some excuses and left the room. Sheppard, on the other hand, had been stuck with Woolsey, Ronon and McKay. He had tried to escape but McKay and Woolsey would not let him go. He tried to avoid their questions. It was hard enough to process the information. He wanted to be alone, period. Woolsey was not a bad guy, but he was a real pain in the ass sometimes.

« - How’s Tagan ? asked Sheppard.

- He’s fine, thank you. I believe he is in the control room. »

John raised an eyebrow, curious. Teyla smiled.

« When I left, Amelia and Chuck were arguing about ‘who should hold the baby’ » she said, miming quotation marks. John laughed.

« - Geez this child is gonna be spoiled.

- about that, John… »

She paused, taking a moment to gather her courage and find the right words.

« This is a delicate situation for both of us. I… » She paused again. It was harder than she thought. She had been awake all night, holding her little boy and listening to his heartbeat as he fell asleep in her arms. She remained in the dark, staring at him in the moonlight. John’s child.

In a way, it made sense. When the expedition left a year and a half ago, Kanan and Teyla became closer. Then John came back and she felt the need to slow things down. Kanan was a good man and she didn’t want to let him down. He didn’t deserve it. But deep down, she knew she didn’t love him.

She was aware of John’s eyes drowning into hers but she looked away, unable to hold his intense gaze.

« I had time to prepare myself and embrace my new condition as a mother. You, on the other hand… » Another hesitation. « This child has a mother and a family. You don’t need to… » She bit her lips « I mean… I would understand if you… »

John didn’t let her finish her sentence. He gently pressed his hand on hers.

« Don’t worry, Teyla. I’m not gonna let you down. This child has a father too. »

Teyla released her breath. She didn’t want to force his hand. He had the right to choose. But his answer washed away most of the fears and interrogations that kept her awake the previous night. « Thank you » she whispered.

John smiled at her. He removed his hand from hers but didn’t look away. She drowned in his eyes and her heart melted. Maybe they didn’t meet by accident that day on Athos. Maybe the stars brought them together.

« I am glad you are the father, John. »

He frowned. « I thought you and Kanan… »

« It is… complicated » interrupted Teyla. She looked away « We became closer when you went back to earth. »

John nodded but couldn’t hide his smile.

« There is something else I wish to tell you » Teyla added.

She drew a breath and closed her eyes.

« - I think I have memories of the night… the night we…

- me too. »

She looked at him, surprised. John cleared his throat.

« Well, not memories, just flashes. I thought it was just some dreams… you know. »

Teyla nodded. They stared at the ocean in silence. Then John sighed and ran a hand in his hair. He slowly walked away from the railing.

« I love this child already, Teyla. But I don’t know if I’m gonna make a good father. In case you didn’t notice, I haven’t grown up myself. »

Teyla turned around and smiled.

« - you will be a good father, John. I am certain of it.

- thanks for the vote of confidence. I’ll have to remind you of this conversation, one day. »

He slided down the wall and sat on the floor.

« My father and I didn’t get along very well. I hope it doesn’t run in the family » He sighed.

Teyla closed the distance between them and sat down by his side.

« Also, I’m not very good with feelings. I screwed up my marriage, my manners are terrible. Oh, and I told you I haven’t grown up, right ? »

Teyla laughed and leaned her head on his shoulder.

« I can’t afford to screw up with you, Teyla »

The Athosian cuddled against him and closed her eyes. A ray of light suddently warmed her face. She felt John’s arm pressing on her waist and sighed.

« You won’t screw up, John. Trust me, you won’t. »

***

FIN… THE END

FANFIC ATLANTIS : Rescue - Chapter 3
nath_42





Disclaimer : I don’t own anything…
Season 4 – Shipper


Chapter 3


The sound of sticks striking against one another had replaced the usual banter between Ronon and John. The athmosphere was light but the men had set up the pace to a higher level. John was a quick learner. But to be honest, he had improved his skill more quickly with Ronon than with Teyla. The woman was not gentle on him, but she didn’t hit him hard. On the contrary, the Satedan didn’t hold back his strengh. John had received many hits ; he had learned it the hard way. He had to focus all his attention on the fight, which was not necessary the case when he was hanging around Teyla.

At first, he tried to avoid the hits. Then, he slowly began to attack his adversary and sometimes, he even managed to score points off Ronon. Boy, this man was a hell of a teacher. He even succeeded in teaching Doctor Keller some moves to defend herself. McKay… Well it was another story. But Ronon had not given up on him yet. And John suspected him to enjoy way too much the Ninja lessons.

His mind wandered a second. A second too long. Ronon jumped on the opportunity and the stick hit his jaw. Badly.

« - Focus Sheppard. Stay on your guard.

- yeah, yeah. »

He glared at the young Satedan and took a step back.

« Damnit. I swear one day, you’ll regret it. »

Ronon smiled, defiant.

« Well, then. Come on and try again. »

John rolled his eyes. But his friend’s words had challenged his ego. He needed no more. He rushed forward but was suddenly stopped by Major Lorne’s voice.

« Colonel, I think we’ve got something. »

The tone was insistent. His second in command, usully calm and composed, stormed into the gym.

« - What’s going on, Major ?

- Sergeant Mehra just arrived from M7G-676. She’s pretty sure Teyla’s baby is hidden on this planet. »

John stared at him a brief moment. « How… ? » But the Major didn’t let him formulate his question.

« Sergeant Mehra was undercover on this planet. She made some friends, pushed them a little hard on the drinks. And she learned that a man by the description of Michael had once arrived in the village, put it upside down but didn’t kill or capture anybody. »

Lorne stopped a few seconds, breathless. He had run all his way down to his commanding officer after the Sergeant had debriefed the situation.

« A man swore he saw the creature carrying a child. »

Sheppard dropped his sticks on the floor. « Let’s go »

« Sir, there’s a small problem. M. Woolsey has just arrived. The Daedalus beamed him down in the control room half an hour ago. »

John stopped and turned around to face the Major.

« That’s just great » he mumbled.

Colonel Carter had returned to the SG-C to supervise the extraction of a Goa’uld symbiote. She had temporarly put John in charge of the expedition. With the sudden change of command, he was now worried about Woolsey’s priorities.

But Sheppard was determined to show his new C.O. the importance of their mission. He knew he had connexions with the IOA. And he knew it could cost him his job. But he was willing to take the risk.

« Major, prepare your men. Rendez-vous at the gate in 30 minutes. »

Then he turned to Ronon.

« Get ready. Call Teyla and McKay ».

He didn’t wait for their answer and ran to the control room. He would get the permission to go on this mission. It was an affirmation.

« Welcome home, M. Woolsey. » he murmured.

-----

The ring activated and a massive flow of energy filled the air. Seconds later, Sheppard and Lorne’s team got out of the stable puddle and quickly established their perimeter.

« Sanchez and Granger, hold the fort » ordered Lorne.

« Yes, Sir »

Sheppard made a quick halt and addressed to Sergeant Mehra.

« - How far is the village ?

- two miles in that direction, Sir.

- all right. Lead the way. »

The young Sergeant nodded and walked away. The rest of the team followed her in silence. Everyone knew what was at stake. The men were concentrated on their mission and tried to keep their mind clear. Years of military training made it easier.

But it was impossible for Teyla to focus on the surroundings. What if the intel was wrong ? What if the baby was not hers ? Would she recognize him ? So many questions and doubts. Emotions were messing with her head. She should be thrilled, there was hope. Instead, it was a torture. She had wanted her child back so badly. Now that her wishes were about to become reality, she was scared.

A large hand brushed her shoulder. It was Ronon. Even in the worst situations, he could feel if something was wrong with his friends. Despite his rough manners, Ronon was a very subtle man. Teyla smiled and quickly nodded. She was fine. He got the message and found his way to Rodney, who was babbling unintelligible sentences. The Satedan slapped him on the back of his head.

« - Aoutch ! What was that for ?!

- Shut up » ordered Ronon and John in unison.

They finally reached their destination and stopped at a safe distance. The Colonel took his pair of binoculars and mentally tried to evaluate the situation.

« What now ? » asked Rodney.

Sergeant Mehra indicated a small group of habitations on the left, away from the village.

« I’m pretty sure the boy is kept in here. The couple who lives there is old, the woman stays mostly at home. The others don’t seem to know the existence of this baby. They keep him at home. »

She looked at Teyla.

« I swear I saw a baby in this house. I think it’s yours, Ma’am. »

The young woman stared at her, motionless. She tried to contain the tears that were threatening to fall down on her face.

John finally broke the silence.

« All right, we keep a low profile. I don’t want to draw attention on us, got it ? »

The last sentence was destined to the good Doctor, who rolled his eyes but remained silent.

They moved quickly. A few minutes later, they reached the house and the Colonel gave his orders. « Teyla, Ronon, Lorne. With me. »

« Rodney, Sergeant. Check the perimeters. »

McKay opened his mouth but John didn’t wait for his protest. « Stay here and stay quiet. »

It was not a suggestion. Rodney got it five by five. His friend and C.O. was not in the mood. Understandable. So, he didn’t insist.

The group separated and John went round the house, followed by Lorne, Teyla and Ronon. They heard a baby cry. Teyla tensed. She could feel her heart pounding in her chest. John got out of the shadows and took a look into the house, through a dirty window. A woman was showing her back to the door and was leaning over a small cradle, entirely made of wood. She started singing and the baby stopped crying. Clearly, this old lady wasn’t a Wraith worshipper. But Sheppard wasn’t ready to trust her, yet. They needed to be cautious.

« Sheppard ?! » McKay whispered, hysterical.

« What ? » John answered.

« What ? huh ? » The radio crackled and Rodney’s voice lowered. « What now ! this stup… radi… not working… damnit… Zelenka touched that thing… broke it… yes Serg… thank you. I know how it works… not stupid… In fact, I’m probably smarter than y… »

John heard Sergeant Mehra in the background, then patiently waited for Rodney’s next comment.

« Oh, Err. Yes that’s it. »

The voice was clear now, still a little confused.

« Right… Err, well I knew it was this chanel. It just… slipped out of my mind for a second. »

Then he regained some composure and his arrogance resurfaced.

« But you know, brilliant stuffs are always popping out of my head, monopolizing my brain. I can’t focus on such insignificant things like that. Einstein was… »

« McKay » John ordered, exasperated. « Drop it. What did you want to tell me ? »

He saw a man enter the room, from the corner of his eyes. He was carrying a heavy basket, of what seemed to be vegetables.

« Oh, right. The husband is on his way. He’s about to come inside. »

John and Lorne shared a look and the Colonel rolled his eyes.

« Thanks Rodney, that’s good intel » he said, ironic. Then to the others « Let’s go ».

They moved slowly to the front door, carful not to cross other people. Sheppard waited a few more seconds, then nodded at the Major. He opened the door without hesitation and entered the house first, aiming his P90 at the old couple, who jumped in surprise and stared at the men.

They were so stunned they didn’t even think of asking for help. They stood motionless, squeezing their hands and shaking all over. Ronon closed the door behind him and leaned against it. There was no need for him to frighten the couple. Two armed men were enough.

« Hi » said Sheppard. He flashed them his flyboy smile and spoke again.

« Sorry to interrupt, folks. My name is John Sheppard. This is Major Lorne, Teyla, and the big Chewie over there is Ronon. »

He waited for their reply. It didn’t come.

« Alright. Since it appears that you lost speech, I’m gonna dig further the presentations and inform you about the reasons of our ‘rude’ intrusion into your ‘home sweet home’ ». He stressed his last words and waved at the house.

« What do you want ? » the man managed to articulate. As if he knew they were talking about him, the baby started to cry again. The old lady reached for him and carried him in her arms.

« We want the boy » said John, his voice calm but firm and determined.

The woman stroke the baby's back and hid behind her husband.

« You can’t » she complained. Her voice was desesperated.

Teyla couldn’t take her eyes away from the little form resting in her arms. She put her gun down and took a step forward.

« We want you no harm. We came here for the child. I think he’s mine. »

The couple remained silent a few seconds and looked at eachother. Teyla gathered her courage and tried to refrain the need to take her son in her arms.

« A Wraith hybride took my baby several weeks ago and let me die. My friends here rescued me. They searched my child in the entire galaxy. They never gave up. » She paused. « We know this child is not yours… We know a Wraith came to your house. »

Her voice suddently broke. « I don’t know what he did to him. I don’t know what he told you. » Her brown eyes were watering.

« I just want my child back. Please. »

Silence settled for a long minute. The couple was processing the information, while John and his team were waiting for any reaction.

The woman took a few steps towards Teyla, the baby still in her arms.

« I am very sorry for you, Dear. But we cannot give you this child. Our lives and the ones of the villagers are at stake. »

Her husband spoke « This… Wraith… or hybride… threatened to slauther the entire village if we said or did anything against his will. If you take this child, the creature will kill us. »

« We can help you » intervened Sheppard.

« We don’t even know you », the man answered back. « You can’t expect us to trust you ».

Lorne sighed and glanced at his commanding officer.

« Look » John tried again, « We know this Wraith well. We have weapons. We can protect you. We could have killed you and taken the baby away with us, but we didn’t. »

The radio crackled again. This time, it was Sergeant Granger.

« Colonel, Major, please respond. »

« What’s up, Sergeant ? » answered Major Lorne.

« - Sir, the gate just activated. We’ve got company.

- take your positions, at cover. But do not engage.

- yes Sir. »

The woman looked at her husband, she was on the edge of breaking down. « That’s him, Alar. He’s coming. »

Sergeant Granger spoke again over the radio.

« - A dart came through. Then the puddle shut down. Only one dart Sir. Do you want back up ?

- no Sergeant, we’ll be fine. Keep your position » ordered Sheppard.

Then he turned to Alar. « This Wraith always comes alone, doesn’t he ? » The old man nodded. « He comes to check on the child from time to time. The people of the village know nothing about his visits. » Then he added « You must leave. »

« We’re not leaving » Sheppard stated. His voice was sharp and cold. Ronon knew it was time for revenge.

« We’ll take care of him. Now, we’re running out of time. Stay here and stay quiet. He’s gonna be here any minute. »

They didn’t wait long. Five minutes later, the door opened and Michael appeared on the threshold. The humans were there, the baby too. They were standing right in front of him, as if they were expecting him. Something was wrong. They were scared. He was used to it. But this time was different, they were acting oddly. Before he could reach them, he heard a familiar sound and felt an electric shock going right through his body. The room suddenly went dark and he fell on the floor, unconscious.

« Holly goodness, what did you do ?! » The woman was hysterical. « Ancesters will punish us for this affront ! »

« - You’re welcome, said Rodney, who had just arrived.

- A man was killed in our house, we are cursed.

- he’s not dead, ok !

- not yet » added Sheppard.

His words raised a bell in McKay’s head and he stared at him for a brief moment. His friend was standing motionless in the middle of the room, his eyes were dark and full of anger. This was not a good sign.

« What do you mean ? » he asked.

John ignored his question.

« - Lorne, escort these gentlemen outside and wait near the gate.

- Sir ? »

The Major was hesitant. He was willing to follow orders, but the Colonel’s behaviour was suspicious. It was taking a very personal turn. He knew his boss was blaming himself for the experimentation on Michael. In fact, he was blaming himself for almost every dramatic issue that occured during missions. He was too hard on himself. Evan didn’t know much about his past, but he was pretty sure he was running away from something. It could explain his reckless actions and his heavy record.

Hell, he couldn’t blame the man. Lorne did things he wasn’t proud of, always following orders, and sometimes, it haunted him. In fact, he admired the Colonel. He wished he could have the guts to follow his ethics and disregard the court martial’s threat. But to be honest, he was not ready to do so. He didn’t want to be discredited. It would be an affront to his family.

Sheppard glanced briefly at him, then turned his attention on Teyla, who stared back at him.

Way too personal, Lorne thought. But he didn’t really bother. Michael had gone too far. The bastard deserved to die. No paperwork, no custody, no interrogation. Woolsey didn’t need to know. Selfdefense, crossfire, whatever… He would back his superior. « Yes, Sir » he answered.

Sergeant Mehra escorted the couple out. But Teyla stopped them before they could reach the door. Without a word, she carried her son away from the lady and held him in her arms. Her little boy. The baby she never had the chance to know. He had grown up so quickly. She was suddenly overwelmed by emotion. Her tears fell on the baby’s face as she gently brushed her lips on his forehead. Then, her eyes moved from Michael to Colonel Sheppard, who was still staring at her. His expression was hard to read, but she knew him well. And she knew what he was about to do.

She felt the gentle touch of Major Lorne, inviting her to leave the room. She hesitated. She once had compassion for Michael, but this time was over. After all he had done to the Athosians, to her and to all the people of this galaxy, they could not allow him to escape again. To be honest, she was dying to pull the trigger herself.

Call it maternal instinct if you want, she repeated herself. But she knew better. She had this warrior instinct, the need for survival, the need for revenge. People had lived in fear for thoursands of years. It was time to change.

She finally walked away, followed by Major Lorne. Rodney was bringing up the rear, somewhat reluctant and nervous. He didn’t like the way this mission was heading. But he was too afraid to say anything. As for Ronon, he didn’t move. Sheppard knew he wouldn’t leave. And it conforted him. As much as he wanted Michael dead, he needed to ask him a few questions. And to be honest, he was not sure he could handle it. He was afraid of loosing control.

His friend closed the door and moved towards Michael. Sheppard helped him carry the Wraith. They tied him up to a chair and patiently waited.

-----

Michael finally woke up. Slowly, painfully. His vision blurred a second. Shadows were moving in front of him. He was not alone. He remembered being shot in the back. A stun weapon. That could not be villagers. They only had primitive tools. Another Wraith maybe. But how could it be possible ? He had kept this place secret. No one knew except him. He didn’t trust anybody. Both the Wraith and the humans betrayed him.

He tried to move but his legs refused to obey. He tried again. His wrists and ankles hurt and his lungs were about to explode, he couldn’t breathe. Then he realised. He was tied up to a chair. He waited a few more seconds, then raised his head. He was still in the house. The couple was gone. Standing in front of him was Colonel John Sheppard. He looked into his eyes and he knew he would not get out of here alive.

« Colonel Sheppard » he pointed. Then, he turned his head on the left and smiled. « Ronon Dex ». He sighed and closed his eyes a brief moment.

« You’re the last persons I expected to see »

The men remained silent.

« Well, there must be something you want to tell me, Colonel. Otherwise, you would have killed me already. »

Ronon stepped forward but remained quiet. If it was up to him, Michael would be dead by now. But John wanted some answers. Ronon was not sure Michael would gladly give it to him. And he was not sure the interrogation was very sane for his friend.

Sheppard didn’t move. His right hand was resting on his gun, ready to pull it out any moment.

« How is Teyla ? » A smile escaped Michael’s lips. « She didn’t survive, did she ? Otherwise, you wouldn’t be standing here. You want revenge. »

He paused. « The truth is… you won’t torture me. You don’t have the guts, Sheppard. »

John drew his 9mm. « Don’t tempt me Michael »

« - So what ? You’re gonna kill me anyway. What do you want from me ? Forgiveness ? I won’t give you this pleasure.

- I don’t need excuses. I need answers. Why did you do this ?

- Why do you care ? I’m the bad guy, I kill people. That’s how you see me, right ? Teyla was stubborn. She could have lived by my side, but she refused. I had no choice.

- She’s alive » stated Sheppard.

Michael stared at him, shocked. « You’re lying »

He glanced at Ronon. The Satedan was smiling.

« Believe me », added John. « If she had not survived, you would have known what torture was, by now. »

Michael was silent. He was still processing the information.

« - We’ve met Nabel, by the way. Pathetic man. It’s hard to find good spies nowadays.

- I see you have found your answers already.

- How many experiments did you conduct ? I want the gate address of each planet you visited. I also want the location of your ship. »

Michael smiled again.

« Do you really think I’m gonna give you these informations ? »

His voice suddently broke into an hysterical laugh.

« I have nothing to loose. I hope my experiments will kill and devour you all, until nothing but bones remain. »

The sound of a bullet echoed in the room, along with a cry of pain.

« Bad answer » said Sheppard. « Next time, it won’t be in the leg. »

Michael winced with pain.

« - You know, I did not have the chance to congratulate you, Colonel.

- How so ?

- Well, you’ll find out soon enough I guess. Things didn’t exactly go as I expected.

- Care to elaborate ? »

But nothing came. Only the hysterical laugh of an insane mind.

« Damn you, Colonel Sheppard. And give my best to Teyla. »

John couldn’t stand it anymore. He pulled the trigger without hesitation. The bullet went straight in Michael’s heart. He shot him twice. Just in case. Michael’s head fell on his chest and stilled.

John was surprised by his own reaction. He felt no remorse. On the contrary, it had been easier than expected. His hand was still on his gun, his heart was beating slowly. How could he be so cold and indifferent ? Yet, it was not surprising. He had been trained to fight and kill. Most of the time, he lied to himself, pretending his job was to protect people. But the reality was different. He was a soldier. He had taken many lives. Deaths were not always justified.

Ronon brought him back to reality. « Come on »

It didn’t seem to bother him either. But nothing unusual, coming from the Satedan.

« Wait »

Sheppard got out a lighter from his pochet and looked at the body in front of him. Then, he turned around and walked past Ronon, towards the door. His friend understood and dragged the chair outside, Michael's body still tied up to it.

A crowd was gathered at a safe distance. The shots must have alerted them. It didn’t matter. John threw his lighter on the chair. Flames instantly rose and soon, Michael’s body was on fire. He stared at it for a moment. Ronon gave him a gentle tap on the shoulder and walked away.

-----

Colonel Carter had done a terrific job on Atlantis. Command was good to her. She had been chosen at first because of her impeccable military background and her experience of the replicators.

Woolsey had learned to know her better during his frequent visits to the SG-C. And he had a great respect for her. In fact, he was not particulary thrilled by his new assignment. But all things considered, he couldn’t have arrived on Atlantis at a better moment. The replicators had been destroyed and Doctor Keller had found an antidote to the Hoff drug after the discovery of Michael’s data among the debris of his planet.

Both Doctor Weir and Colonel Carter had to deal with difficult situations. And they did a wonderful job so far. The truth was, Woolsey was not sure how he would react in situations that required delicate and quick decisions. He tried to prepare himself during his long trip on the Daedalus. But who was he kidding ? He was about to administer a whole city in an other galaxy ! So many lives depended on his decisions.

He arrived on Atlantis 24 hours ago, thinking it would be an easy leadership. But again, he was wrong. Fortunatly (or not), Colonel Sheppard gave him some advice on the command of the city.

He was glad to have someone like the Colonel by his side. He knew the city and the personnel of the expedition very well. And despite his troubled past with the military, he had the respect of everyone on this base. Woolsey just hoped he would not interfere in his final decisions.

Sheppard could be very persuasive, and he had ‘convinced’ him to send his team on a mission the IOA would not agree with. His first act of command would probably cost him his job, or at least, some reprimands. But at the end of the day, he knew it was the right thing to do. And as he entered the infirmary and watched the young Athosian holding her son, he knew he had made the right decision.

The woman acknoledged his presence and greeted him with a warm smile.

« - Mr Woolsey, I thought you were settling in your new quarters.

- I settled well, thank you. I dropped by to see how you were doing.

- It is nice of you. »

Woolsey was unconfortable. He was not as caring and compassionate as Colonel Carter or Doctor Weir. But Teyla’s enthousiasm encouraged him.

« - So… How’s the baby ?

- He seems in good health to me. But Jennifer insisted to do a complete check up on him. I’m still waiting for the results.

- Does he have a name yet ? he asked, looking at the sleeping baby. Teyla smiled.

- Yes. May I introduce you Tagan John Emmagan.

- John ? I thought the father was Athosian.

- Of course, his name was Kanan. Although I didn’t expect my condition at all. It was a surprise to me. We were not seeing eachother a lot since John… I mean the expedition returned to Atlantis a year and a half ago.

- It’s a nice name, anyway.

- Tagan is the name of my father.

- Oh, I see. »

Richard gently brushed Tagan’s arm and smiled.

« Would you like to hold him, Mr Woolsey ? » Teyla asked.

« Oh… I, Err… don’t know »

The woman presented her son to him. The new leader of the city carefully hold him against his chest and stroke his back. The boy didn’t wake up.

« How is he allowed to hold the baby and I’m not ? » asked a voice behind them. Dr McKay, Ronon and Colonel Sheppard were entering the room.

« I won’t drop him on the floor, you know ! » added Rodney.

« Whatever » John answered. « you won’t be allowed to hold this child until he can walk (and kick your ass). And defense to dragoon him into Mensa.

- you’re just afraid he may like me better than you.

- oh, I’m scared !

- because soon enough, he’ll realise I’m smarter than you.

- yeah… Sure. »

John rolled his eyes and glared at Ronon and Teyla, who were laughing loudly.

« A little help here ? Or at least support ? »

Ronon shrugged « I already told McKay that I would kill him if anything happened to the boy. »

Rodney winced but remained quiet. He knew it was an empty threat but when it came to these stuffs, he didn’t dare to challenge the Satedan.

He saw Dr Keller walking towards them and decided to change the subject. She seemed to be lost in the reading of her file.

« So, how’s the boy ? »

No answer. The small group turned its attention on her. But she didn’t speak.

« Is there a problem ? » asked Teyla, worried.

« Hum no… no. Everything is fine. Tagan is in perfect health. »

She opened her mouth to speak, then closed it.

« What’s the matter ? » questionned Woolsey.

Jennifer hesitated.

« I discovered something… » She bit her lower lip and continued.

« I need to speak with Teyla in private.

- he’s not my son, is he ? whispered Teyla, ready to break down.

- oh no, Teyla. He is your son, that’s for sure.

- then tell us.

- I ran a DNA test to determine if he was indeed your son. And he is. »

She paused and stared at Woolsey a second.

« Maybe I should hold the baby… » she said, as she took the child away from him. « Just in case. »

She cleared her throat.

« - I ran the test twice to be sure.

- enough, spill it ! Rodney said, exasperated.

- well, this child has Wraith DNA, like his mother. But he also has… the ancient gene. »

The room suddently became quiet. Jennifer looked at them, but they didn’t seem to grasp the full meaning of her words.

« So, I decided to run a paternity test. » She glanced at Teyla, then turned her attention on Colonel Sheppard. He held her gaze, confused.

« You are the father of this child, Colonel. »

-----

The silence settled. Everyone was looking at Jennifer as if she had lost her mind, including John and Teyla. It was disturbing. How could they not know ?

« Is this a joke ? » asked Sheppard.

« I’m afraid not, Colonel. » She then looked at Teyla, who was still recovering from the news.

« It’s impossible » she stated. « There must be a misunderstanding. You have to do the test again.

- I did it twice, Teyla. I’m positive. »

Teyla shook her head.

« No, you don’t understand. It cannot be. »

Teyla and John stared at eachother, confused.

« Is there something you wish to tell us ? » asked Woolsey, looking at them.

Rodney’s eyes poped out of his head but he remained silent, nothing could get out of his mouth. As for Ronon, he was quiet as usual, but he managed a smile.

« I understand your wish to keep your relationship secret, Colonel, Teyla. » Woolsey commented. « But you can’t deny it anymore. »

« No Sir, you don’t get it. We didn’t… »

John waved towards Teyla. « We never… »

« You mean you didn’t sleep together ? » finished Rodney, tactfull. « You know guys how to make babies, right ? Normally, you put a guy and a woman in a room and… »

« Rodney ! » John shouted.

« Wait ! » Ronon interrupted. « Remember what Michael said, Sheppard ?

- what ?

- he said he didn’t get the chance to congratulate you.

- and ?

- and he also told us his plan didn’t go as he had expected.

- so what ?

- I don’t know. »

They were desesperatly searching for a logic explanation. But it didn’t come.

Teyla spoke again. « When I was captured, Michael told me he had great plans for my baby, that his Wraith DNA made him special. But he didn’t mention anything about the ancient gene.

- there’s only one way to find out, John said.

- hypnosis ? asked Rodney.

- I was thinking about our good friend, Nabel. I think it’s time to pay him a visit.

-----

The sound of the door woke him up. A familiar sound he was used to by now.

« Is anyone sleeping in this city ? Incredible ! »

He opened his eyes and sat on the bench of his cell.

« - I see the all gang is here. What owe me this honor ?

- we need information, said Woolsey.

- I already told you everything and I’m still waiting for your hand of the bargain.

- you won’t have to hide from Michael anymore, John answered. He’s dead. »

Nabel looked at him, suspicious.

« - Do you really think I will believe you ?

- I killed him, end of story. Now, you have to choose : you tell us what we want to know and you’re a free man. You don’t, and you’re stuck here forever. »

The Genii spy sighed.

« - What do you want to know ?

- the baby. »

John saw a spark lightening Nabel’s eyes and a smile escaped from his lips.

« - What baby ?

- my baby, said Teyla.

- oh yeah, congratulations by the way. How is he ?

- don’t mess with me, Nabel. » interrupted Sheppard. He took a step forward and warned him again.

« - If you lie, I promise there will be nowhere in this galaxy you can hide from me. I won’t hesitate to kill you.

- I’m sure you won’t, Colonel. I know this subject is close to your heart. »

He glanced briefly at the young Athosian.

« - Well, you have an interesting gene, Colonel. Many people would kill for it. Koyla was right. Atlantis is the best hope for the defeat over the Wraith. He also was right when he said you were incapable of using it well. You arrived in this galaxy and claimed to be the descendants of the Ancients. But you are imposters. As the most advanced people of this galaxy, we should run this city.

- easy there. What’s the point ?

- you need the Ancient gene to activate the Jumpers, right ? In fact, the Ancient gene is required for almost everything on Atlantis. We were unable to stole or recreate your gene therapy. So, we tried something a little more ambitious. »

Sheppard didn’t know where he was heading for and he was feeling the premise of a terrible headache.

« - To the point, please.

- do you remember this evening you spent with the people of Brennidon ?

- vaguely. I kind of got drunk that night.

- no you weren’t. You were drugged. »

John stared at him in disbelief.

« - what does it mean ?

- see, the people of Brennidon are friends with the Genii. We asked them to invite you. You didn’t meet by accident.

- so you drugged us, then what ? »

Nabel smiled.

« - It was not a simple drug, Colonel. The plant we used is very rare but very powerful, with unique properties. It stimulates specific hormones and muddle up your mind.

- oh my god ! said Rodney. You slept together, that was true ! I can’t believe it !

- shut up McKay ! » said John.

Richard Woolsey intervened.

« - If I understand you correctly, Mister Nabel, the Genii drugged Colonel Sheppard’s team and let him seduce Miss Emmagan in order to make her… pregnant ? Isn’t it devious ? Were you planning on kidnapping the child ?

- I told you our plan was ambitious, not devious. It didn’t go as we expected. A Genii woman was supposed to seduce Colonel Sheppard. And given the Colonel’s reputation, we didn’t think it would be too hard. »

John winced but didn’t speak. He was still processing the information.

« Of course, we doubled the proportions. We only had one opportunity. But apparently, the Colonel found someone else to his taste. »

Nabel stared at the Athosian, amused.

« And by the looks of it, the feeling was mutual. »

Woolsey, McKay and Ronon stared blankly at Teyla and John, who were blushing hard. The new parents were avoiding eye contact and seemed to find a sudden interest in the dusty floor.

John cleared his throat, unconfortable.

« I think I’d remember if I had spent the night with Teyla. » He mumbled. « Regardless, I woke up alone.

- please Colonel, you don’t think we were stupid enough to let both of you wake up in the morning and discover the subterfuge. You would have known something was wrong. And all the evidences would have led you to the Genii.

Nabel leaned forward and rested his forearms on his thights. “Miss Emmagan must have woken up during the night because she emerged from the room a few hours before dawn. We didn’t wait for her to get her bearings. We quickly sedated her and carried her to her room.”

Nabel looked up. “Then we injected the two of you with a powerful drug that messes up with your mind and hopefully, leave you with no memory of the previous night. And it appears that the subterfuge worked.

“Come to think of it, you both acted strange in the morning, Rodney commented.
- like you would know…” John shot back, “ you were still sobering up from the night before. Speaking of, tell me how can you pass out after one single drink ?! that must have been some kind of record. Ronon had to carry you all the way to your room.
- I have a low alcohol tolerance, so what ?
- It was 9 PM !”
- The girl that kissed Sheppard, the morning we left…?” interrupted Ronon, adressing directly to Nabel, who was smiling and obviously enjoying the moment.

He briefly glanced at Colonel Sheppard. “Well, we figured the Colonel would be confused waking up naked, with no one at his side. He had to believe that he had spent the night with a woman of Brennidon.


“Oh my… » whispered Teyla.
Her face lost all colors as she brushed a weak hand on her temple.
« Are you alright, Teyla ? » asked Woolsey. She nodded.

“But why did you drug us all ?” asked Rodney. He was not particulary thrilled at the idea of being drugged, remembering the time he had to use Ford’s drug to escape his captors.
“We didn’t. Aïana, the woman who was supposed to seduce Colonel Sheppard, offered him the drink. But he had eyes only for Miss Emmagan.” Nabel turned his attention on the Athosian “And she must have sensed it because she went to him and he shared his drink with her.”

« Tell me, Mister Nabel. You’re not really a Wraith worshipper, are you ?

- not really. By infiltrating their ranks, I kept an eye on the baby and I gave valuable intel to my fellow Genii.

- Is Laden Radin in the confidence ?

- This traitor ? He’s a coward.

- I guess not, commented Woolsey. Well, I suppose we have no reason to keep you here anylonger. Unless you were lying of course, and intended to plan another devious subterfuge in the futur. See, I have troubles keeping my hand of the bargain.

- I won’t do anything against Atlantis or the baby, you have my word.

- Good. »

Woolsey leaned closer.

« Because if anything happened, you may not be saved another time by Doctor Keller… and you have my word. »

***


FANFIC ATLANTIS : Rescue - Chapter 2
nath_42
Disclaimer : I don’t own anything…
Season 4 – Shipper


Chapter 2


The rain was pouring outside. The city was gently rocking on the surface of the ocean, silently inviting its residents to fall asleep. At three A.M. all the lights were off, except for the control room, under constant guard. The entire city was shadowed into darkness. From her bed, Teyla could see the moons trying to break through the clouds. With no success.

Nights were exhausting lately… and long. At least for the young Athosian. Days had passed, then weeks. Her baby was still missing, Michael was hiding him. Major Lorne, who still felt remorses, had covered the galaxy in search for intel. He was sure the baby was hidden among humans. Michael was unable to deal with a baby. He might have left the child with a human somewhere on a planet. A woman probably.

But although Colonel Carter had made the search a priority, they had found nothing yet. Teyla appreciated the help. It meant a lot. Over the years, Atlantis had become her home and the people, her family. She wouldn’t admit it in front of the Athosians, they would not understand. But watching these people, her friends, put their work on hold to find her child, was conforting.

Her son was an obssession. She tried to keep her mind occupied. It was hard to pretend in front of the others. She had to be strong. As a leader, she could not let her feelings get in the way of her duty. She had built walls around her to prevent her emotions to break down.

Nights… Well, nights were dreaded. She remained alone in her room. She had no one to fool anymore. She couldn’t lie to herself. Walls were breaking down, tears were silently falling on her face… and sleep would not want to release her pain. Docteur Keller had gave her medicine to help her find sleep, but it was not doing any good.

Teyla shifted position. She now faced the door and stared at it for a long minute. She finally turned around and sighed. She had not slept for two nights, she was exhausted. Two long nights, wandering in corridors, standing on balconies, looking at the stars and praying. Two nights trying to refrain herself from running to his quarters, fighting the urge to wake him up and rest in his arms.

Teyla sat in her bed and closed her eyes for a brief moment. She took a deep breath, then got up. Sleep wouldn’t come, again. She left her room and began to walk slowly through the silent corridors. Her thoughts were wandering freely. Each step was bringing her closer to him.

As she turned around the last corner and reached his quarters, she felt her heart pounding loudly into her chest. She stopped in front of his door and stared. What was she doing ? Why was it so difficult to admit ? She was lost, sleep deprived and she needed him.

xxx
At first, she met him on a balcony. It was late and neither of them could find sleep. They remained in the dark, listening to the sound of the waves. Words were useless. The air was chilly and they finally left the balcony for the sweet temperature of the hallways.

As they reached John’s quarters, they stood there and stared at eachother for a brief moment. He must have seen vulnerability and distress in her eyes. He took her hand, opened the door and dragged her in, towards his bed. She was unsure at first, but she followed him.

Of course, he behaved in gentleman and offered her his shoulder. Sharing bed, no more. That was what John Sheppard was giving her. Confort… and sleep. And to her surprise, it did wonders.

They soon fell into a routine. However, Teyla was not entirely confortable with this situation. Her thoughts were not clear, her emotions were a mess. And she didn’t understand why he had this power on her. It scared her and comforted her at the same time.
xxx


She raised her hand, waited a few seconds and brushed the door’s lock. It opened with a light sound and revealed John’s room, plunged into darkness. She didn’t bother to announce her presence and took a step forward. The door shut down behind her.

He was there, showing his back to her. And now, she was having second thoughts. She bit her lower lip as she looked at his frame shifting in the dark. It was too late, it was not the time to question her decision.

John finally turned around and acknoledged her presence. Teyla didn’t move. There was no need for words. John put the covers aside, silently inviting her to share his bed. Teyla released her breath and climbed beside him. It felt so right. She sighed in relieve and closed her eyes, drowning into the masculine scent of John Sheppard.

« Come on » he murmured into her ear. She felt the sweet pressure of his arm bringing her closer to him. She gladly accepted the offer and cuddled into his arms, resting her free hand on his chest. She listened to the sound of the waves rocking against the city, outside. And she knew she would sleep well that night.

FANFIC ATLANTIS : Rescue - Chapter 1
nath_42
Disclaimer : I don’t own anything…
Season 4 – Shipper


Chapter 1


The explosion had lasted less than thirty seconds but it seemed forever for sheppard and his men. Walls were crashing all around them, preventing anyone from getting out. The air was shrouded in dust, making impossible for anyone to see more than five feet away. They were coughing and gasping for air. It was hopeless, Rodney thought. They would die here, so would Teyla. The events would repeat themselves and Michael would have won.

« We’re screwed ! » he shouted. He didn’t hear John’s answer, interferences breaking the signal of his radio. At this precise moment, a piece of girder fell on the floor, right behind him. He heard a loud noise, followed by a cry. When he turned around, he saw Major Lorne lying on the floor, obviously in pain.

« Major ! » He crouched next to him and tried to remove the girder from Lorne’s leg. It was too heavy. « Rodney, Lorne ! » Sheppard shouted over his radio. « We found an access to get out ! There are tunnels, leading underground. Hurry up ! ».
A sarcastic laugh escaped from Rodney’s lips and he allowed himself an optimistic thought, for once. « Go, Dr Mckay ! » Lorne cried.
« Not leaving without you, Major » came his answer. He didn’t quite know where this heroic attitude came from… or was it ego ? It didn’t matter right now. They needed to go, and quickly. A marine helped him to lift the girder and they helped the Major to get up. The second marine’s voice came from their left « I found it… come on ! ». They avoided a few obstacles, running as fast as they could, and finally reached the tunnels. Just as they sealed the door shut, they heard a giant explosion and felt the walls shaking. They remained silent while the building was collapsing, praying to their lucky star.

Then all of a sudden, it became quiet. Dazed glances were shared. Then, Major Lorne sighed and exclaimed « We are damn lucky bastards, you know that ?! ». Rodney smiled.
« Rodney ? Major ? Respond ! » Sheppard shouted.
« Everyone is accounted for, Colonel » said Lorne. « Thanks by the way ». They heard Sheppard’s sarcastic tone on the radio « well, you’ll have to thank Ronon’s peering eyes. I could use one of those Roni senses sometimes ».
« Let’s get out of here, kids » he added. « We’ll meet on the surface ».

After thirty long minutes, they finally found a way to get out and gathered around the cloaked Jumper. « Well, what now ? » complained Rodney. « We almost died for nothing. Teyla was not there »
« … yet ! » corrected John.
« What ? what do you mean ? »
« Well, we know she’ll be here sooner or later. You found her on this planet, in the alternative timeline… whatsoever… We just have to wait for Michael’s ship to come ».
« Oh yeah, good thinking Mr Genius. And what do you think he’ll do when he’ll see the building crashed down ? I don’t think he’ll stop by and invite us for a friendly barbecue ! ».
Sheppard rolled his eyes in exasperation. « We don’t have much choice, here ! It’s the only intel we have. And if we wait too long, Michael’s gonna kill Teyla ». His voice hardened « and we can’t let that happen ».

Rodney sighed « Ok, so how do you want to play this ? I mean, I want to be optimistic, I really do. But we won’t have any chance to enter the ship. As soon as they’ll realise what’s going on, they’ll fly into hyperspace and we’ll lose their tracks ».
John paced nervously back and forth, trying to concentrate.
« So, well… then, we’ll take the Jumper, activate the cloak and take the ride with the Wraith ship ».
« Hum… that could work ».
« Well, I’m not a genius but I have good ideas sometimes ».
Rodney sighed in frustration and shook his head.
« Anyway, we don’t know when they’ll show up. So, I suggest we go to Atlantis, pick up some food, and make the ride back here… »
Everyone stared at him « What ? In case you didn’t notice, we almost died today. I need… we need to keep our strengh back and… »
« We’re not going anywhere » interrupted John. « We’ll bring the Major near the gate, dial Atlantis and let him go through…
- it’s alright Colonel, I’m fine.
- no, you’re not Major ».
Lorne took a step ahead « Look, it’s my fault if Teyla was captured in the first place. I really want to go with you ».
Sheppard stared at him and remained silent a few seconds, making sure his next words would get the Major’s attention « Major, this is not your fault. Don’t put the blame on yourself. And I don’t want to repeat myself anymore, got it ? »
Lorne nodded and took a step back « yes sir ».

A bright light appeared suddenly in the sky and a Wraith ship came through the hyperspace window. « Oh gosh… already ?! » complained Mckay.
« Alright, let’s get moving. It’s our last chance »
« Go, Colonel. You don’t have much time » pointed Lorne.
« We’re too far from the gate, you can’t walk.
- I’m gonna be fine. Hurry up. »
Sheppard hesitated, then turned to the marines « You two, go with him ».
Then to the others « Let’s go ! move ! ». They all rushed in the Jumper and John took off.

The small ship flew to the hive and finally reached its destination. Then, Sheppard landed on a small portion of the vessel and stopped the engine.
The moment after, the hive opened an hyperspace window and jumped into the wormhole.
« Now what ? » asked Ronon. Sheppard opened his mouth but Rodney spoke first.
« Now, make yourself confortable. It could be a long trip ». And he ponctuated his words by lying back in his seat. Ronon glanced at Sheppard and sighed « Try not to snore this time, it’s annoying ». Rodney took great offense to that but John was no longer paying attention to the pep talk between the scientist and Ronon. All his thoughts were now converging on Teyla and the knot that formed into his stomach since he learnt about her disappearence was growing by the minute.

It was highly expected that Teyla was aboard this ship. And if it was indeed the case, he couldn’t do anything to help her at the moment. A shiver went down his spine. He was trying hard not to imagine the worst scenario. But he couldn’t hide the fact that this ‘unfortunate’ event back on the planet may have rushed Michael into his plans. Therefore, Teyla may have been in danger, while Sheppard and his team were stuck outside. Maybe it was too late. And this thought was killing him.

« Sheppard ? » The deep voice of Ronon Dex confronted him to the reality and he released the breath he was holding when he saw that the ship had got out of hyperspace and was now heading to a large planet, surrounded by two tiny moons.

« Thank god ». He quickly disengaged the Jumper from the hive and followed it on the ground. Vegetation was dense. Even clocked, they were unable to land next to the ship.
« I can’t get closer guys. We’ll have to walk from here ». As soon as everyone got out of the Jumper, the Colonel set the pace. Ronon was by his side, followed by a terrified but brave Dr Mckay, who was unusally quiet.
They finally arrived at the entrance. No sign of anyone. Not yet. But soon, Michael’s supersoldiers would arrive.
« Alright, let’s do this. Our priority is to find Teyla. Don’t engage fire unless you have no choice. We have to be discreet. McKay, lead the way to the lab ». Then, speaking to Major Lorne’s men « Check the cells. We stay in radio contact ».

They moved in silence. Roni senses were doing good so far. They were close. Adrenaline was running through Sheppard’s veins. He was very anxious and tried his best to push his visions away. Terrible visions in fact. Would they find Teyla ? Most importantly, would they find her in time ? She had suffered enough in her life, he thought. And she didn’t deserve to die.
« Colonel Sheppard, respond ».
- What’s your status, Stevens ? » he asked, pressing the button of his radio.
« We found Halling and the Athosians but Teyla’s not there, Sir.
- Understood, Lieutenant. Let Sgt Deeks escort them to the jumper and come back here, we could use some help.
- We’re already on our way ».
« Sheppard ! » Ronon shouted. Just at this moment, a group of people appeared behind them.

A blast hit the wall just above Rodney. Ronon grabbed him by his vest and violently dragged him to the next wall, at cover. While shooting, he recognized a familiar face.
« Kanan ! » he cried. « Don’t shoot, it’s Ronon ! ». But the man didn’t bother to respond.
« What the hell ?! »
Sheppard and Ronon shared a quick glance « Kanan ! » he shouted again « Stop ! ». But the Athosian didn’t show any sign of emotion. He looked at him but Ronon saw nothing… emptiness. He probably had been brainwashed. Like Carson, he was under the influence of Michael.
Reinforcements were coming and soon, Sheppard’s team would be trapped. They had to get out of here, now.
« Rodney go. Ronon and I will cover you ». The scientist ran to the next corner without hesitation. He knew members of his team were good shots, Teyla included. And he trusted them in these kind of situations, like they trusted him when it came to the science part, most of the time anyway.

As he turned to the nearest corner, he heard a crossfire… more P90s he thought. The second team had arrived. A few more bullets were shot. Then silence settled. Gathering his strengh, he drew a long breath and took a look back. Lt Stevens and his men had been able to arrive in time. The situation was under control. They were clear. But something was wrong… Yeah, something was definitly wrong, Rodney thought.

He suddenly was aware of the bodies lying on the ground. Kanan was one of them. He didn’t know who killed him, but there would have consequences, he was certain of it. He saw Ronon and Sheppard stare at eachother and he hoped it was none of them.
« Let’s go » ordered John. The rest of the team followed in silence. Rodney was leading the way « Almost there ». They walked through another corridor, then turned left.
« That’s it, that’s the lab » Mckay said, pointing his finger at the entrance in front of him. Sheppard nodded and entered first, Ronon behind him. No guard. This could not be a good sign.

The room seemed empty, but then, they saw the Colonel running to a small corner of the room. And they saw her. She was lying on a dirty table, her hands tied up to it. Her face was pale and her cloths were covered with blood. John’s heart skipped a beat. It was worst than his visions. She obviously had her baby, and judging by the butcher’s instruments nearby, it hadn’t been in the best conditions. John checked her pulse. She was barely alive.
« Is she… ? » started Rodney.
« No » John whispered. He took a look at her face and tenderly pushed a piece of hair away from her eyes. A mixt of emotions suddenly rushed through him. Relief, pain, guilt and anger.
« Son of a bitch. He crossed the line. I swear I’m gonna kill this bastard »
« Same here » added Ronon. He walked back to the entrance « I’m gonna find him ».
« Ronon » John ordered « We’ll make sure he’ll pay for what he did. But right now, we need to leave ».
« And the baby ? » asked Rodney, still in shock. « What happened to the baby ? I mean, aren’t we supposed to go after him ? If Michael has the boy, who knows what he’s gonna do with him… »
« I know ! but we’re out of time. Michael will see the bodies, and he’ll send reinforcements. We can’t fight against an entire ship, we’re not even sure we’ll be able to get out of here ».
He paused and looked at Teyla. « Our priority is to get her out of here. I don’t know what he did to her but she needs medical attention ».
No one protested. They untied her and prepared to leave. John put a hand on her stomach. He was afraid she was still bleeding. He had to check it now, before they moved her. He began to push the covers aside but Teyla’s fingers grasped his hand.

« Hey Teyla » he whispered. « It’s me, John. Don’t worry, you’re gonna be fine ». She didn’t open her eyes but nodded in acknowledgement. She tried to speak but no sound was getting out of her mouth. Once the baby born, Michael had injected a liquid into her system. She had not even seen her son. Right after that, she had felt weak and her vision had blurred.
She bit her bottom lip, feeling tears rolling down her cheeks. They had to find her child. She would not make it anyway. But her son was in the hands of the enemy. Rescuing him should have been their priority.
As she felt John’s warm hand cupping her cheek, she knew they would not give up on her. And she knew they would not search for her child. She tried to protest but she was too weak. There was nothing she could do or say to stop them. She heard John’s soft voice « We’ll get you out of here ».
Ronon reached for Teyla but John stopped him. « That’s ok. I’ve got her ». Then he added « Listen up people, we need to get moving. Ronon, lead the way. Rodney… stay behind him. Stevens, you and your men will cover our six. Let’s go ».

He gently lifted Teyla up and wrapped her in the blanket « Come on Teyla, hang on ». He didn’t go through all these troubles for nothing. She had to live.
He followed Ronon. He trusted the man enough to put his life and the ones of his men in his hands. John knew he was vulnerable. He could not carry Teyla and hold a gun at the same time. But he had no choice. He just hoped they would not encounter an armada of Michael’s soldiers.
As if reading his mind, an alarm activated. They had discovered the bodies. Rodney stopped. « We cannot go back on our tracks, or we’ll be discovered ».
« Come on » ordered Ronon « There’s another way out ». Nobody felt the need to argue with him. It was surprising how quickly the members of Atlantis had integrated the Satedan into the expedition. He had gained their respect, mainly because of his past as a runner and what he had been through for seven years. The truth was, both the Satedan and the Athosian had proved their value and loyalty, and they were fully considered as members of the expedition. And to John, they were more than that. They were family.

Ronon stopped suddenly and prepared to shoot. « We’ve got compagny ».
Everyone moved into position. Even Rodney drew his gun, ready to fire. Four men finally appeared. Ronon didn’t let them draw their weapons. He shoot two men, Rodney closed his eyes and pressed the trigger. He heard P90s, then opened an eye and saw the men on the floor.
« Did I do that ? » he asked.
« No, you missed » stated Ronon. « Next time, try to open your eyes. It works better ».
Rodney winced but didn’t answer. Ronon was already on the move. The group reached the entrance, eliminated the guards and disappeared into the dephts of the woods.

They were right behind them. They could hear their footsteps. It was only a matter of time before they reached them. The Jumper was not far, they had to go faster.
« They’re coming ! » shouted Ronon
« Here’s the Jumper ! » cried Mckay, at the same time.
The sound of a blast suddenly filled the air. Everyone went down. Sheppard crouched next to a tree, scanning the forest. He supported Teyla’s weight with one hand, while the other one reached for his gun. Sgt Deeks was taking cover behind bushes, the Athosians by his side.
« Rodney, go to the Jumper ! » he shouted. A brave Rodney Mckay rushed forward, unclocked the Jumper and opened the door.
Just at the same time, Sheppard saw bushes moving on his left. A man was hidding there, aiming his gun in the direction of his friend. John lifted his arm and shoot without hesitation. The man collapsed on the ground. The Colonel reacted quickly and got up. They would not hold them back forever. Ronon was covering his retreat. He ran and headed to the Jumper, where Rodney was standing.
« Don’t just stand there Mckay ! Take the commands ! »
Rodney opened his eyes wide and babbled « Oh no ! no no no… really, I’m not good with these situations… you should… »
« That’s an order ! »
Rodney swore back but settled in the pilot seat. John finally reached the ship and fell on the floor, Teyla still in his arms. Ronon was next, then Stevens and his men arrived, along with the Athosians.
« Go ! » shouted John. Rodney focused and took off.
« How is she ? » Ronon asked. John took her pulse. « She’s unconcious. We need Dr Keller to be ready as soon as we step through the gate ». Ronon nodded and went to Mckay’s side.
« You’re doing good, Rodney » he cheered up. But the scientist didn’t bother to answer. He was trying to avoid the hive’s attack. The cloak had been damaged, they were an easy target. He remembered all the times he criticized Sheppard’s flights. He made a note to himself not to complain anymore.
« Dial the gate Ronon ! ». The Satedan did so. John heard him ask for a medical emergency. He looked down at the woman who was lying in his arms. Her face was livid. He had never seen her like that. And it scared him to death. His fingers gently brushed her jaw as he whispered « please, don’t give up Teyla ». Halling knelt besides him, silently praying the Ancesters.

Then it all went by in a blur. The Jumper reached the gate. John heard Rodney yelling, asking Colonel Carter to turn on the shield. Then he saw the Jumper’s door opening and Dr Keller rushed inside. He got up, not letting Teyla go. He carried her to the stretcher and carefully laid her down on it. He was about to follow the medical team when Colonel Carter appeared.
« Did Major Lorne make it to the gate ? » he asked. Sam nodded.
« Yes he did. He also told me about your plan. What happened ? How’s Teyla ?
- she’s barely alive. She had her baby, but we were unable to search for him or Michael.
- understandable » she approuved. « The rescue must have been delicate and difficult ».
« About that » added Ronon. « We’ve got a problem ».
He hesitated, glanced back at Lt Stevens, then spoke « Kanan was aboard the hive. He’s been killed in a crossfire ».
« Hum… ok » said Carter, unconfortable. We’ll debrief in an hour. In the meantime, I suggest you take a shower and rest. You deserve it. Good work. »
The group parted and everyone went to their quarters. Everyone except Colonel Sheppard, who went straight to the infirmary. Unfortunatly, Dr Keller was in surgery and the nurse he interrogated had no informations on Teyla’s condition. He had no choice but to wait. At least, they had brought her back home. Her life was now in the hands of Dr Keller.


It had been two weeks. Two long weeks since they brought Teyla back home. Her recovery had been long and painful. Michael had injected a poison into her blood. She would have died if Dr Keller wouldn’t have found an antidote. She gave not promises, but Teyla was a fighter. And she finally woke up three days later. She had several injuries and infections. But eventually, the fever disappeared.

John had spent most of the time by her side, keeping an eye on her, checking her heart’s rhythm on the monitor, annoying nurses in the process. Sometimes, when he could not sleep, he wandered through the city’s corridors and found himself heading to the infirmary. How many nights had he spent in the inconfortable chairs of this room, he didn’t know. But even now, he could feel the pain in his back.
Anyway, it was worth it. He had spent the worst days of his life, waiting for Teyla to wake up, praying a god he didn’t think he believed in, silently begging Teyla to fight for her life.

Now that she was finally out of danger, he knew it would be her turn. She would spend the worst days of her life. Kanan was dead and her son was in the hands of their enemy. The enemy they created. Michael was their creation, their experiment. They had failed and now, the entire galaxy was paying for their negligence. John would always feel guilty about it. And he was determined to find Michael and to end his life.
Unfortunatly, they didn’t have any luck so far. The good news though was the progress of Dr Keller and her team to come up with an efficient vaccin against the effects of the Hoff’ drug. They had focused all their energy on this problem.
During his frequent late visits to Teyla, John had often found a sleepy Jennifer, being slumped in a chair, a computer nearby. Ronon had told him he had been wrong about her. Maybe she was reticent to take Carson’s chair at first, who wouldn’t be ? But then, she had fully embraced her position and her responsabilities. She was efficient. After all, she had saved Teyla’s life. And he had to thank her for that.

As he stepped out of the transporter, he saw Ronon heading in his direction. He was carrying sticks in his right hand, a bottle of water in the other one.
« You’re heading to the gym ? » he asked. « And who will have the privilege to get his ass cleaned today ? »
« Major Lorne. Already done ».
« You mean, you just beat him ? And you’re not even sweating. It’s not fair, you know. »
Ronon smiled. « It was just a friendly sparring. He’s convalescent. Jennifer told me to go easy on him ».
« Jennifer, hum ? you two hang out a lot together ». The Satedan shrugged « She’s worked hard lately. She needs to spend time out of her office. »
He paused, then smirked « You want to take your chance, today ? » he asked, showing the sticks. John smiled back « Thanks, but no thanks ».
He was about to leave when Ronon called him. He turned around.
« You’re gonna see Teyla ? » the Satedan guessed. He sighed as he saw his friend nod in approuval. « You know she doesn’t want to see anyone, right ? »
« Yeah I do. But it’s been a week since she got out of the infirmary.
- it doesn’t matter. She won’t let you come into her quarters
- who said I needed her invitation ? » stated John, as he prepared to leave.

Ronon watched him walk away and winced. He would have given anything to witness the scene. It should be very interesting. He turned around the next corner, just in time to hear Sheppard’s voice calling him « You should take Rodney for another Ninja lesson ! »
Great idea, Ronon thought. It should be fun. At least for him, it would.

The door chimed but no answer came from inside. As expected. Sheppard had informed Colonel Carter of his concern for the Athosian woman. She refused to let anyone visit her, she barely ate and drank. Even Rodney had come to her with a full tray of food. But she remained silent and distant. It was not personal. She had a hard time dealing with her emotions. It was a difficult time.
Nevertheless, Sheppard was getting worried. He didn’t recognize her anymore. He missed her gentle temper and her beautiful smile. Carter told him to be patient. She also had experienced a trauma in the past. A Tok’ra had taken control of her body and her mind.
« I would never pretend to know how she feels » she told him. « Circonstances are different. But I know that, eventually, she will have to step back and reassess the situation and her emotions. All she needs right now is time… and friends ».
He got the message five by five. And he would make sure she knew she had people who cared for her.

Waiting no more, he entered Teyla’s quarters without being invited. The room was shrouded in darkness. A candle was burning on the bedside table. Teyla was lying among the cushions, showing her back to the door. He was pretty sure she heard him come in. But she didn’t move. Maybe she thought he would leave, seeing no reaction from her. But she was wrong. He was stubborn and he wouldn’t move from here until she heard what he had to tell her.
He had seen Halling earlier. The man told him she refused to talk to him. He was pretty upset. And to be honest, John didn’t know how she could listen to him if she didn’t even bother to talk to her fellow Athosian. But he had to try.
He walked towards her, feeling suddenly awkward. He stared a few seconds at her back, then sat on the bed next to her. Gathering his courage, he took a deep inspiration and began.
« Hey Teyla, I know you probably want to be alone » He paused. « but we’re all pretty worried for you ».
« Look, I can’t imagine what you’re going through. I’m really sorry. For everything. And I would understand if you were mad at me. Maybe you think I should have saved Kanan and searched for the baby. But the truth is… if I could go back in time, I would do exactly the same thing ».

He hesitated, then put his hand on her forearm. Teyla tensed slightly but didn’t move.
« You’re very important to me… and to everyone on this base. You have friends and family here. And we were not ready to give up on you ».
Silence settled then. He waited a minute, then pressed on her shoulder and turned her around, forcing her to look at him. His heart melted as he saw tears rolling down her face. She was trying not to cry in front of him, he could tell. But she failed miserably and the moment she found his eyes, she lost control.
John couldn’t help but stare at her. Teyla, the beautiful and strong leader he knew, was gone. And suddenly, he knew. She refused to show herself vulnerable. She had responsabilities towards her people, she had to preserve her image of leader. She was struggling to regain some composure. She couldn’t afford to break down in front of her people or her friends. She was proud, and loosing control scared her. Hell, he couldn’t blame her for that. He had the same problem. He was working on it, but it was not solved yet. But maybe he could help her. Or maybe they could help eachother.

« Teyla » he whispered. « You’re gonna be fine ». It was an affirmation. She nodded but more tears fell on her cheeks. She sighed and bit her bottom lip to prevent another wave of sadness from submerging her. She failed again.
« I’m here Teyla ». He wiped up the tears on her cheek and added « We’ll find your son… I promise ». His fingers rested on her cheek for a moment, then his hand captured her neck and he pulled her into his arms. « Come here » he whispered into her ear. She finally surrendered and cuddled against him.
She let tears fall freely down his neck as he slowly stroke her back. He didn’t know how long they’ve been sitting here. And to be honest, he didn’t care. He was where he needed to be. It felt right.

FANFIC ATLANTIS : missing scene 2 Sunday
nath_42
SUNDAY (missing scene)
Disclaimer : I don’t own anything…

Seize the day


Several weeks had passed. John and Rodney, along with Ronon and the crew of the Daedalus, were back from earth. Routine was settling in again. Teyla had been cleared of for active duty by doctor Keller and Sheppard’s team had returned to its daily missions.

The young Athosian was glad to have her friends back. She wished she could have travelled through the Gate with them after doctor Beckett’s memorial. But at the time, she could barely stand up. As a matter of fact, she had plenty of time to brood over this dramatic event.
She was usually an optimistic person. She tried to keep herself busy, visiting her people, spending time with Elisabeth. Days were flying by. But nights were endless. The moment she retired in her quarters, her thoughts resurfaced and she was overwhelmed by sadness.

She missed John’s laugh and smile, Ronon’s surly voice, even Rodney’s sarcastic comments. She missed late nights’ banters in the mess. She missed the sound of his voice, the sensation of his skin brushing against hers when they were sparring.
And then, she remembered the conversation with her fiend doctor Hewston before she died this bloody Sunday. She was right. Life was too short. The ways of Teyla’s people were different, indeed. But she was in Atlantis, surrounded by earth custums and culture. In such circonstances, she had to put her own custums aside and let go.

It was mandatory rest day. People were lazing around, chatting and laughing with eachother. It was a beautiful sunshiny day. She couldn’t waste an opportunity like that. She had made her decision.
As she walked through the corridors, she could feel her heart pounding in her chest and her stomach going upside down.
She finally reached the balcony and found the man she was looking for, alone, a golf club in his hand. She smiled as she watched his elegant frame hit the little ball on the floor.
« Well done, Colonel »
John Sheppard jumped in surprise and turned around.
« eh, hi Teyla » He smiled « what’s up ? »
The young woman took a step ahead and cleared her throat « well, nothing… I… I just… » He was staring at her, waiting. She smiled shyly.
« are you alright ? » he asked, concerned.
« yes, I am fine »
« good » he replied « eh, I thought you had plans with Elisabeth ? »
« yes, I had. But Rodney called her, he seemed rather excited »
The Colonel sighed « oh yeah, let me guess. He found a new way to improve the city’s power system ? or he ran another experiment on the fusion of whatsoever ? Can’t he just let go for just a day and drop his damn science ? »
«- I believe he discovered a mobile plateform in the ocean.
- oh ?! well, that could be worth checking out.
- I agree »

John took another ball and put it down on a strange little object. Then he grabbed his club with both hands and looked intensly at the ocean in front of him.
« so, did Ronon ask you to sparr with him ? » he asked, innocently.
Teyla bit her lips, amused « well, word has come to me that he has been the victim of a naughty blackmail »
John cleared his throat, unconfortable « oh, really ? »
« yes. It seems someone has threatened him to babysit Rodney on the next mission if he was to sparr with me »
« it was not a threat ! It was more like… an advice »
The woman laughed « I appreciate, Colonel. But I have been cleared of for active duty and I feel much better now. You don’t have to worry about me »
« it’s Ronon we’re talking about ! I don’t want you to go back in surgery »
Teyla smiled. She was really touched by his concern.
« well, I don’t intend to sparr today, anyway »
John raised an eyebrow « you don’t ? »
« no. In fact, I… » She bit her lips and tried to hide her nervousness.
« I was wondering if you would like to teach me how to play golf »

Silence settled for a moment. Then John seemed to recover and snapped out of his reverie « sure, ok. I’ll show you »
First hesitant, Teyla walked by the Colonel’s side.
« so, is that it ? you throw a little ball in the ocean ? »

John rolled his eyes « that’s not the question of… » He stopped, exasperated. Then he tried to explain the rules of this game. But unlike Ronan, Teyla seemed more interested.
« now, grab the club and try » she did as he wished. The club hit the ball. They both watched it fly in the air, then fall into the ocean.
« not bad » commented John « maybe I can help you »
He walked behind her and she could feel his breath on her neck as he slowly snuggled up to her and moved his arms down hers to grab the club. Golf was getting interesting, she thought. There was however an inconvenient. She was not able to concentrate anymore.
« just relax » he whispered huskily « take you time, breathe slowly and concentrate on the ball »
Yes, concentrate. She got that. But it was easier to say than to do. John was certainly aware of her nervousness but he didn’t show it.
« you are too tensed, Teyla. Let go »

A soft cry escaped her mouth as she felt his knee pressing against hers « what are you… ? »
« bend your knees, you have to find your balance » he interrupted.
« like that ? » she asked
« yes, this is better »
Golf was not as boring as Ronan told her. On the contrary, she was begining to like it. Of course, she would need to practice more…
Still holding the club, John hit the ball and led Teyla with him. They watched as the ball flew far away and finally dropped in the ocean.
« see ? this is much better »

Slowly, he moved away from her. She couldn’t hide her smile anymore, and when she dared a glance at him, she saw the reflection of her smile on his face.
« next time, I’ll teach you how to play with a skateboard. That should be fun »
Teyla bit her lips « I can’t wait »

FANFIC ATLANTIS : missing scene 1 Sunday
nath_42
SUNDAY (missing scene)
Disclaimer : I don’t own anything…

Pride


With a sigh, she let the Colonel reach her back and winced as she felt the fresh scar crushing her belly. She closed her eyes for a moment and fought back the nausea that was threatening to overtake her body.

She felt his grip around her waist. She leaned closer and tried to steady herself. But as her feet touched the ground, the pain increased and her strength vanished. At that very moment, John could sense her weakness. She looked so fragile and her face was dangerously pale.
He didn’t approve her decision and was reluctant to let her go to the memorial. But he knew nothing he would say could stop her from getting out of this bed. She was stubborn and proud. Qualities he both admired and feared.

He hold her tight, afraid she would faint at any moment and break like a doll. He knew she was a strong woman, he also knew she had been through much more difficult situations before. But still, he couldn’t hide his concern. He glanced at her serveral times as they carefully walked through the corridors. He focused on her voice while waiting outside her quarters, in case she would need his help. But again, she was very proud. She didn’t ask for help.

The funerals were about to begin. Teyla appeared in the doorstep, she was obviously in pain. But she remained quiet. Never since he had met her, John had heard her complain. Always polite and understanding, following orders without a single fight, although she wasn’t part of the military. And yet, she was the first person he turned to when they were confronted to a difficult situation, as if he was looking for her approval and support in his decisions.

She was a very caring person, making sure of her people and friend’s well being first. She chose to put her trust in John and his people, sometimes he still wondered why. Maybe for the same reason Ronon chose to stay with them. But Ronon had no home, no shelter. His planet was destroyed. Teyla on the other hand had her people. As their leader, she built a bridge between both people, filling the gap between two different cultures.

Sometimes he felt guilty to lead her into dangerous situations. But he knew she wouldn’t agree with that. She chose to join his team on her own. And even now, he had the impression she could read his mind as she lifted her head and stared, a weak smile on her face
« I am fine, John ».

He quickly closed the distance between them and leaned closer, brushing her skin as he grabbed her waist and secured her with his arm. They walked again in silence.
The Gate room was not far away. As they walked through the last corridor, John noticed the change in Teyla’s attitude. She tensed up slightly and gently broke away from him. Despite her evident pain, she got an hold of herself and entered the room where Ronon and Rodney were waiting for them.

She nodded in his direction and paused « thank you, Colonel ». John nodded back in acknoledgment. The leader of the Athosians was back, strong and proud. She wanted to stand for their friend. He could see the determination on her face. Like he once told Elisabeth, she was the strongest woman he had ever met. And that made her even more special and unique to him « you’re welcome, Teyla ».

STARGATE : Crossover Art
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