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Underground - Chapter Seven - Homecoming

Where do I start?

Lois looked over her son’s head and watched the city fly by in the cab window. While the steady hum of the car made him doze off beside her, Lois rested her head atop his and couldn’t help but wonder what she had gotten herself into. She could explain the situation to Lucy, but how much information could she reveal, and could she get it out without bursting to tears?

Keeping her face away from her sister, Lois unconsciously chewed on a fingernail and returned her thoughts to Richard. She knew the house would echo with the void of his abrupt absence, and it scared her. There wasn’t going to be the warm, dependable presence that would openly help her with anything, or would comfort her in this situation that she had gotten herself into – not that she would openly admit that, but Richard knew enough about her to know when she really did blame herself for things. It was something she had noticed off the bat with him. 

She could feel tears prick the corners of her eyes. How do I start?

When they turned moments later, Lois could see the river’s rippling surface just over the dashboard, the lights from the house casting a warm glow in the cold night. She knew that being delivered to the Riverside house should have felt comforting in some way, but seeing the two stories and thinking of the stairways and memories that occupied it made the comfort feel daunting.

When the cab pulled into the driveway, Lois told Jason to go ahead and make his way to the front door, while Lucy retrieved the wheelchair from the trunk. Lois was able to wiggle herself to the doorway and had a hand on the frame when Lucy wheeled the chair over to her. The older sister swatted away Lucy’s hand when she tried to help.

            “I’ve got to learn how to do this eventually,” Lois muttered, using her elbow for support while she tried to stand herself up on her good leg. Lucy’s hand under her arm earned her sister a glare.

            “God, Lois. When are you going to learn that you can’t do everything on your own anymore?” From the way Lucy moved Lois into the wheelchair, it seemed like she was doing everything to not slam her sister into it. “It’d be easier if you’d stop being so stubborn about this.”

            “I am not going to need you all the time. I can manage some things by myself.”

            Lucy paid the cab driver and waved him off, putting her hands on the bars and leaning closer to Lois. “Can you, now? Name one thing you’ll be able to do by yourself.”

            Lois put a hand on the wheelchair and was about to mention she could get herself anywhere… but her other arm was in a cast. She wasn’t supposed to put weight on her leg until later in the healing process, so she couldn’t do anything that required stress on the bone. She could eat, but getting her food and drink would have to be handled by someone else.

            Lucy leaned over and lifted an eyebrow. “You’re a little quiet there, Lois.”

            Staring straight ahead and looking at Jason waiting patiently for them, Lois slumped in her seat and turned her head toward her sister. “I hate you.”

            Lucy rolled her eyes. “Yeah, you say that now. Just wait ‘til you have to go to the bathroom later on. You’re really gonna hate me then.”

            Lucy wheeled Lois to the front door and handed Jason the keys, pausing to grab the house key before handing them to him. When he had unlocked the door he held it open and moved out of the way, letting his aunt push Lois into the house. He took off his jacket, toed off his sneakers and ran upstairs to his room.

            “Dinner in half an hour, kiddo!” Lucy yelled to him, reaching down to grab his jacket. She opened the door to the closet and turned to Lois after grabbing a hanger. “Does he do this kind of thing often?”

            Lois stared at his sneakers. “Richard makes him hang up his jacket and arrange his shoes by the door. I can never remember.”

            Lucy pushed her into the kitchen and left her by the table, turning on the lights and setting her keys on the counter. While she was in the living room, Lois looked around and sighed. The house seemed eerily empty and quiet. Her surroundings seemed new, and that intimidating feeling she had felt when they drove up returned. How was she going to do anything – anything while being closely monitored?

            Shaking her head, she called out to Lucy. “Dinner in half an hour? What did you have in mind?”

            Lucy walked into the kitchen and searched through some drawers. “Well, I figured that since we’ve got some adjusting to do, we might as well have something easy. I was going to order a pizza. Any objections?”

            All thoughts of maintaining a diet plan screamed in Lois’ brain, but she was too tired to resist. She shook her head. “Be sure to order Jason Veggie Lovers.”

            “Done,” Lucy held up a flier and waved it at her. “Any preference?”

            “I don’t care. It’s not like I’m going to be able to eat it by myself.”

            Lucy grinned and grabbed the phone. “Well, that’s not entirely true. You can use that good hand of yours, but I would recommend going easy on the other one. No heavy lifting tonight. How are your pain meds holding up?”

            Lois picked at a stain on the table. “Fine. It might be a few more hours before I need some again.”

            “Great. I forgot to call the pharmacy, so I’ll do that after ordering the pizza.”

            “You forgot to call the pharmacy?”

            “I’m a doctor who just brought her sister home from the hospital. I’m allowed to forget a few things.” Before Lois could retort, Lucy’s attention turned to the man on the other line. Her tone immediately changed from sarcastic to attentive and polite.

            I’m a doctor who forgot to call the pharmacy about the pain meds for her sister, Lois thought irritably. There was nothing she could do about it now. Pain meds would come later, and with Jason upstairs and oblivious to what his family was doing in the kitchen…

            When Lucy hung up the phone, Lois gave a significant glance to her sister. “He’s going to be upstairs for a while...”

            “Is this about Richard?”

            Lois looked at her casts. She sighed deeply. “Yeah, it’s about Richard. What’s said here stays here, okay? The last thing I need is for Jason to hear this.”

            Lucy stopped and looked at the brochure she had in her hand. Setting it and the phone on the counter, she crossed the kitchen and took a seat next to her sister at the table. “Nothing leaves this room,” she said quietly. “Do you want to change first? Get into something comfortable, maybe?”

            Lois thought back to the pair of sweats she kept hidden deep within her dresser drawer and nodded her head. “Yeah, actually. Then I’ll tell you everything.”


            “My God,” Lucy leaned back in her chair and took a deep breath. “Wow. So, you get this phone call and head off to the docks to see what you can find, only to discover that the building has been abandoned for months?”

            “Not completely,” Lois turned and looked at the door. “What did you do with my coat? The one I was wearing earlier.”

            Lucy stood and walked into the closet, pulling out Lois’ long black jacket. Handing it to her sister, she watched Lois dig through the pockets and pull out their contents – her car keys, a few dollar bills and some change, some Kleenex…

            “Where’s my lighter?” she said suddenly, digging deeper through her coat. “I could have sworn it was right here… they would give that back to me, right?”

            Lucy smirked. “You don’t honestly think I’d let you have that back, now do you?” She put her hand in her pocket and pulled out the silver lighter, waving it in Lois’ face. “I was able to get you to rely on me again, but the last thing I’m going to do is let you keep smoking. You know better than that with a little one running around the house!”

            Lois glared at her sister. She knew she was taking advantage of her situation, pulling the lighter just out of reach so she couldn’t grab it. Leaning back into her wheelchair, she reached across the table and grabbed her purse. She pulled out the last thing Lucy expected to see.

            “The patch?” Lucy stared first at the white box, then the winning grin of her sister. “When did you start that?”

            “Several months ago. Lighter, please.” Lois held out her hand.

            “No way! You’re not getting this until I get the rest of the story. You were digging for something in your coat. What were you looking for?”

            Lois sighed and reached into the breast pocket. Folded and faded was the document she had recovered earlier. She opened it and handed it to Lucy. “Tell me what you see.”

            Lucy scanned the paper a moment. “Really bad handwriting… an oil change… the engine and propeller blades were cleaned... am I supposed to be seeing something here?”

            “Look at the date of the document.”

            Lucy glanced at the top of the page. In a box above Richard’s signature were the numbers 5/12/06.

            “So, it’s a check-up from several months ago.” She glanced at her watch. “Several months to the day, in fact. This is important why?”

            “Because Richard never goes flying without making sure that everything is in proper working order with his plane. When I checked the files, this was the most recent document they had on his check-up. Why wouldn’t they make note of another?”

            “Maybe they forgot.”

            Lois shook her head. “Nu-uh. Not with this business. Screwing up like that could get you sued.”

            “So you think Richard was set up?”

            The fire that was blazing in Lois’ eyes suddenly died. She turned and looked at the pizza boxes they had discarded earlier. “Well, I don’t have any actual evidence for that. This is my first lead, though. I’ve got to keep looking for… something, anything.”

            “Does Jason know about this?”

            “I hope not, but I’m sure he’ll be asking why his fath--Richard hasn’t come home yet.”

            Lucy set the paper on the table and stared at it. “What are you going to tell him?”

            Good. She didn’t notice it. “I’m not sure yet. He’s a smart boy. He’s going to figure it out sooner rather than later. If I come up with anything on the fly, just play along, okay?”

            Lucy took Lois’ jacket from her lap and picked up the document. “Sure thing. Do you want this back in here, or do you want to investigate it for a while longer?”

            Lois reached out her hand in a silent plea. Lucy handed the paper back and made her way to the closet. When she hung the jacket inside there was a quiet knock on the door. Lucy craned her neck to look at Lois. “Are you expecting someone?”

            Lois gestured to the oversized sweatpants and shirt she had dressed in earlier. “Dressed like this?”

            “You might want to hide, then.” Lucy closed the closet door and crossed the short hallway. When she had her hand on the knob, Lois suddenly stood straighter in her seat.

            “Lucy, wait! I’m not ready!”

            But Lucy had already opened the door. Standing on the other side, a notebook clutched to his chest and a briefcase hanging by his side was…



( 33 comments — Leave a comment )
Nov. 23rd, 2006 03:33 am (UTC)
Hope Clark likes pizza. ;-)

So, I'm interested to know more about what Richard's mixed up in.

And poor Lois, without her 'scrip for pain meds! She and House could commiserate! lol

Looking forward to your next update... :-)
Nov. 23rd, 2006 03:40 am (UTC)
Hope Clark likes pizza.

I have it on good authority from 'Lois and Clark' that he does. I think he was eating it in, like, half the episodes of the first season. :D

She and House could commiserate!

Buahah!! I hadn't thought about that! The cripple and the reporter... what a halarious bunch those two would be!

I'm interested to know more about what Richard's mixed up in.

Oh, poor Richard. Who found his hand in the cookie jar...? ; ) More on this coming soon!

Thanks for reading.
Nov. 23rd, 2006 03:43 am (UTC)
If I recall correctly from watching L&C, Clark enjoyed all manner of junk food. ;-) So, yeah. Pizza. And burritos, too, no doubt!

*is hungry all of a sudden*
Nov. 23rd, 2006 03:46 am (UTC)
Pizza. And burritos, too, no doubt!

And, according to SR, fajitas. Boy, what a pig our Super!Stud is. :D
Nov. 23rd, 2006 03:54 am (UTC)
pssst...it was burritos, not fajitas...

*is a geek for knowing this*
Nov. 23rd, 2006 03:56 am (UTC)
*feels her inner geek scream in mortification*

Wha? NO! Jason says something about fajitas! Right before the Lois/Superman rooftop scene! When Richard is taking him and Jimmy off to get food! *runs off to hopefully prove that she's right so that all can be right in her geeky world again*
Nov. 23rd, 2006 03:59 am (UTC)
Jason yells, "Burritos!" with his cute little adorable speech impediment.

I promise, he does.

But, don't worry...you'll always be a geek to me! ;-)


And hey, get a load of this:

Top 10 Rejected Names for Superman Returns

10. Dude, Where’s my Fortress of Solitude?
9. Lex in the City
8. Superman Version 5.0 with Spam Guard
7. Kryptonian Fever: A Spike Lee Joint
6. The Destruction of Detroit – Superman eats too many burritos *winks*
5. Fast Times at Smallville High
4. Brokeback Metropolis
3. Kal-El’s Big Adventure
2. Man of Steel Magnolias
1. Superman Returns…from Drug Treatment

Nov. 23rd, 2006 04:04 am (UTC)
*does her best to gather herself*

But, don't worry...you'll always be a geek to me!

I've got to find a way to get back to 'geek' status. Right now, I've been downgraded to 'fangirl'! Eek!

At least someone still cares. *sighs*

Oh, that list is great! Man of Steel Magnolias... and number six! Buahaha!
Nov. 23rd, 2006 04:07 am (UTC)

You can be a geeky fangirl. It's all good. ;-)
Nov. 23rd, 2006 04:10 am (UTC)
*scratches head* Do you think? I mean, I've had the whole 'geek' image all my life... is 'geeky fangirl' a step up?? :)
Nov. 23rd, 2006 04:15 am (UTC)
Dunno, but the squeeing over BR certainly gives you qualifications in the fangirl department. I should know. ;-)
Nov. 23rd, 2006 04:18 am (UTC)
fangirl department

Oooh! A whole department? I LIKE that idea! :P

Yeah, BR squeeing... didja watch 'Denial' yet? Or are you still drooling over those pics and trying to lower your blood pressure like I was all last night?

Nov. 23rd, 2006 04:22 am (UTC)
I was the one who MADE those pics...so, yeah. I watched. ;-)
Nov. 23rd, 2006 04:30 am (UTC)


(oh, I was thinking the other day - since the only 'C' name we can associate with Brandon's is yours, does that mean you were with him in the movie? *devious grin*)
Nov. 23rd, 2006 04:01 am (UTC)
*comes back with the shooting script*

*flips through the pages and finds aforementioned scene involving Jason, Richard and Jimmy*

And here's the part where Jason says... *squeak* burritos?

My whole life is a LIE now!

*falls over dead*
Nov. 23rd, 2006 04:06 am (UTC)
I won't say 'I told you so.' I promise. ;-)

*pats Sean's head gently*
Nov. 23rd, 2006 04:09 am (UTC)
Oh, go ahead.

Just be nice when you do. It'll be the second time today that I've been proven wrong. *flinches*
Nov. 23rd, 2006 04:13 am (UTC)
No, I won't do it. You were close enough, naming an item from a Mexican restaurant's menu. Now, if you'd gone with Thai food, I'd have been all over the 'I told you so!' ;-)
Nov. 23rd, 2006 04:16 am (UTC)
No, I won't do it.

Oh, you're so nice for a sister! My older sisters would be all over me right now. :)

Thai food. Ha! I had Chinese tonight, so it wouldn't be outrageous for me to make wonky guesses. :D
Nov. 23rd, 2006 04:17 am (UTC)
Well, saying eggrolls would've at least put you in the ballpark... ;-)
Nov. 23rd, 2006 04:20 am (UTC)
How about if I had mentioned General Tso's? Would I have been anywhere near Thai, or would I be so foul that the ball would've been in the upper decks? *giggles at her horrible baseball terminology*
Nov. 23rd, 2006 04:23 am (UTC)
You'd still have been in China, which is good...since they were eating Chinese in the Super!Stalker scene. ;-)
Nov. 23rd, 2006 04:28 am (UTC)

I love how we're connecting this back to SR! Too bad I didn't have peas with my meal tonight. Can I go on a limb and say I had broccoli like your Jason in chapter 12 of Life?

(heh, i'm getting fangirly about your story. how weird is that?)
Mar. 10th, 2007 03:23 am (UTC)
Poor Lois. I really do feel for her in this situation. Being a mom, I'm usually the one who does EVERYTHING and so relinquishing that power when I'm ill is rather difficult sometimes. But for Lois, she is giving it ALL over for a good long while.

But hey - Clark to the rescue! Off to read more!
Mar. 10th, 2007 04:51 am (UTC)
Lois just wants control! She's got to have all of her ducks in a row... and suddenly they're all scattered everywhere, and a few of them are even missing. And they won't be back together for a while. She's finally getting the point of that here.

Good thing Clark is around to try to bring all the ducks back, right?? : D
Mar. 11th, 2007 05:30 am (UTC)
Darn you! I stopped studying for my midterms to read the last two chapters and then, foolishly, went back to re-read all the previous chapters just because.

Your fics shoot my study habits to hell. ;)
Mar. 11th, 2007 02:09 pm (UTC)
*innocent grin* I wrote this story with no intentions of things like that ever happening. Really. I promise. ; )

I'm going to assume this means you liked it, then. Great! I hope to continue to mess up your study habits! : D
Mar. 11th, 2007 05:29 pm (UTC)
Dear Professor --,

I'm apologize for my appalling drop in grades this semester as my brain was taken over by a fanfic writer named Sean Montgomery. Send help! They have my brain! My braaaaiiiiin! And soon yours will will be assimilated. Resistance is futile. It will not happen again.

Mar. 11th, 2007 06:03 pm (UTC)

Resistance is futile. *said in Data's voice a la Star Trek: First Contact*

It will happen again if I have anything to say abouti it... ; )
Mar. 13th, 2007 03:24 am (UTC)
Oooh, the mystery deepens. I really want to find out what happened with Richard.

The interaction between the sisters is very sweet and realistic. I like this a lot.

Now lets see what happens as Clark enters...
Mar. 13th, 2007 03:34 am (UTC)
You'll find out. Just keep reading. You honestly think I'm going to tell you here, for all the world to see?? ; )

Writing Lucy and Lois is a hoot. I've sort of strayed from it recently, but I hope to be getting back into full swing with it a little later.

Go find out what happens with Clark. : )
May. 12th, 2007 06:33 pm (UTC)
Hmmm, that's interresting!! I hadn't understand exactly what Lois found before now. It was a trap, wasn't it? For Lois' I mean... I could help wondering where's Richard is.

I was right, though. The wheelchair is for Lois. I still have to read more to make you an icon, though.

“I hope not, but I’m sure he’ll be asking why his fath--Richard hasn’t come home yet.” [...]

Good. She didn’t notice it.

I did notice!!!! :D
May. 14th, 2007 12:47 am (UTC)
Already asking me questions I can't answer. : )

I think EVERYONE noticed. At least, I hope they did. Just the smallest flaw Lois has. ; )
( 33 comments — Leave a comment )


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