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Okay. For those of you who are following, I've taken out a good-sized chunk of a section in Chapter Seventeen (also known as the chapter where Lois gives Superman a serious chew-out and he tries to explain himself). The before is this section:

The emptiness and despair in his eyes closed her throat. He was on the verge of tears, a look of complete defeat that she had never seen before. The hands gripping her wheel slightly bent the metal until he pulled them away. “There was an explosion that caused an earthquake. You… you were driving down the same road it hit. I couldn’t get there in time. I…” He became lost in a memory, his form beginning to tremble slightly. A lone tear slipped down his cheek. “I pulled you out of your car,” he whispered. “You had several broken bones… and you were crushed to death. I never knew a body could be so cold.”

He paused, letting the memory wash over him. Lois sat before him, stunned into silence, in disbelief that this had happened. But she knew, better than anyone, that Superman never lied…

“I couldn’t bear it. Lois, a life without you… it’s not a life worth living. I turned back time to save you.” He swallowed, his eyes closing. “But it was at the cost of countless lives.”

Her eyes were glued to him, riveted to his tale. “What happened?”

“The earthquake… it broke a dam in front of a small town. Before I saved you I was able to help those people, but… afterward…” He sighed deeply. “When I turned back time… I saved you instead.”

“And… those people…”

He paused for a long time. Was he haunted by an image she didn’t know of, screams of people in pain that she couldn’t hear? “They died. Every last one of them. I sacrificed their lives to save yours. So, you see, thousands of people died because I didn’t want to live without you. It was a decision that wasn’t mine to make.”

Her heart ached for him. More than anything else she wanted to reach out to him and hold him close, to tell him how grateful and speechless she was that he loved her that much. Instead she held his gaze and immediately regretted her next words. “So… you can turn back time and save me, but you couldn’t make yourself stay when you left for five years?”

Recognition dawned in his eyes, mixing with his hurt and guilt. It was a discussion for another time, and they both knew it. Keeping his gaze locked with hers, he spoke firmly. “I’ll help you find Richard, Lois, but I can’t be directly involved. We don’t know how many lives are at stake. But I promise you… we will find him. Together.”


Remember that section? It's been nagging me since I wrote it. Now I present to you the after:

The emptiness and despair in his eyes closed her throat. He was on the verge of tears, a look of complete defeat that she had never seen before. The hands gripping her wheel slightly bent the metal until he pulled them away. “There was an explosion that caused an earthquake. You… you were driving down the same road it hit. I couldn’t get there in time. I…” He became lost in a memory, his form beginning to tremble slightly. A lone tear slipped down his cheek. “I pulled you out of your car,” he whispered. “You had several broken bones… and you were crushed to death. I never knew a body could be so cold.”

He paused, letting the memory wash over him. Lois sat before him, stunned into silence, in disbelief that this had happened. But she knew, better than anyone, that Superman never lied…

“I couldn’t bear it. Lois, a life without you… it’s not a life worth living. I turned back time to save you.” He swallowed, his eyes closing.

Her heart ached for him. More than anything else she wanted to reach out to him and hold him close, to tell him how grateful and speechless she was that he loved her that much. Instead she held his gaze and immediately regretted her next words. “So… you can turn back time and save me, but you couldn’t make yourself stay when you left for five years?”

Recognition dawned in his eyes, mixing with his hurt and guilt. It was a discussion for another time, and they both knew it. Keeping his gaze locked with hers, he spoke firmly. “I’ll help you find Richard, Lois, but I can’t be directly involved. We don’t know how many lives are at stake. But I promise you… we will find him. Together.”


See the big change? It hit me like a ton of bricks the other day that the entire section for Superman involving him sacrificing others to save Lois was so horrifically out of character that I'm surprised you all aren't after my head. So it got a face-lift to this. My sincerest apologies to whomever I might have mentally wounded or frustrated with my lack of character understanding in this chapter. I'll do my best to be more aware of Superman's character in the future.

Comments

( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
anissa7118
Jun. 15th, 2008 03:27 am (UTC)
*whaps you in the head* Silly goose. It's one scene - admittedly out of character, but that's why we're writers, not brain surgeons. We can go back and fix our errors ... much like Superman himself.

Don't kick your own butt about it so much, Writer. Oh, and the rewrite? LURVE IT.
( 1 comment — Leave a comment )

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