sean_montgomery (sean_montgomery) wrote,
sean_montgomery
sean_montgomery

Underground - Chapter Two - Rest


        The heart monitor was the first thing she heard when she woke hours later. She opened her eyes for a moment before squeezing them shut just as quickly. The light was bright – too bright for her to still be on the docks. She groaned, feeling a headache spread from the back of her neck to her forehead. What happened?

        “Lois?”

        Her mouth felt dry and raw. She tried to wet her cracked lips, but found she wasn’t hydrated enough to do so. She moaned instead.

        “Are you alright?”

        She knew that voice. She opened her eyes again, much slower this time, and looked around the room.

        It was a hospital. She was lying propped up on a bed, and a TV was on mute, showcasing a ball game from earlier that day. The blinds were open and rain was pouring outside. Movement from the windows to her left directed her vision toward them, and her eyes met with the concerned gaze of Clark. He was sitting by her side, leaning over the frame of the bed but not touching her, looking like an animal that would startle easily. A small grin moved his lips when her eyes met his.

        “Thank goodness,” he breathed, settling back in his chair and adjusting his glasses. “You really had us worried for a while. You got pretty banged up.”

        Lois wanted to ask what was wrong, wanted to ask a million questions – how had she gotten there, how long was she asleep, where is Jason? – but felt too tired to do so. She looked back at Clark who was scooting his chair closer to the bed. How did he get here? She watched his eyes glance nervously to her arms and legs. She followed his gaze, her eyes widening despite the pain.

        Her right arm and left leg were in a cast.

        Nerves settled in where she was once tired, suddenly trying to make sense of things. There was that piece of the door that hit her leg… wasn’t there? But how did she hurt her arm?

        “H… how…” her voice sounded so distant, so unfamiliar to her. She tried to swallow but could barely do that. Clark must have sensed her frustration. He turned to a pitcher of water and poured a small amount into a Styrofoam cup. Surprisingly, his hands didn’t shake and not a drop was spilled when he carefully brought the cup to her lips. The cool water seemed to bring life itself into her being. She took as deep a breath as she could without hurting herself and turned to him. “Clark, what happened?”

        He rubbed a hand behind his neck. “Well, uh, according to the authorities, the building you were in collapsed.” His gulp was audible. “It looked like the structure was unstable. Lois, are you okay?”

        She looked again at the two casts on her body, moving her fingers, wondering incoherently if there was going to be pain when she did. She had to have been given pain killers. She could hardly feel a thing.

        “Don’t push yourself,” he said, lifting a hand to stop her fingers, though he never did. “You must be feeling pretty bad.”

        “I don’t feel much of anything,” Lois replied in almost dazed wonder, lifting her arm a bit to see the cast better. She definitely had been given pain killers. She was beginning to feel a little loopy.

        “Well, that’s good. I can’t say that I’ve had any broken bones in my life, being the good kid and all, but I’m sure it’s not a lot of fun.”

        His rambling made her smile a bit. She looked at him and found him playing with his hands, suddenly finding the skin around his nails fascinating. “I’m okay, Clark.”

        “I know,” he answered, still not looking at her, still making his feelings for her obvious despite how hard he tried. It was touching.

        “Clark,” she said again, a little more firmly.

        His wide eyes stared back at her, almost truly seeing her for the first time in the last few minutes. “I’m okay.” She hoped the emphasis would get through to him, trying her best to assure him that she really was doing fine. He seemed to get the idea, pushing his glasses up his nose again before ducking his head to hide a blush. When the doctor came into the room he almost looked grateful.

        Lois could only catch a few words he was saying – something about being brash in decision making and needing to prescribe pain killers. She was beginning to feel tired again, and was almost thrilled when the doctor left. Clark stayed behind, still sitting in that chair, still fidgeting and looking uncomfortable just being there.

        Clark?”

        He jumped in his seat.

        “What did that doctor say?”

        His eyebrow knitted together. “Well, gee Lois. He just told you about your arm and leg. Didn’t you hear?”

        Her eyes began to droop. “Not really.”

        If he was concerned about that, he didn’t show it. He only adjusted his tie and looked at the cast that ran from her knee to her ankle. “Well, he says you broke a bone in your arm and have a hairline fracture near your knee. A few cracked ribs. You’ve got a little bump on the head but nothing to worry about. A few cuts here and there.”

        His form faded in and out of focus. Her eyelids closed as his words echoed and died in her mind. Sleep was too wonderful to avoid at the moment…

-----

        She fell asleep.

        Clark sighed deeply and sat back in his chair, letting his gaze sweep for a moment over the few cuts on her face, finally settling on the cast on her arm. He focused and the cast melted away, the blood and flesh beneath it visible. The bone was broken, the muscle around it swollen with gathered blood. It hadn’t penetrated the skin, but it still looked painful. Maybe the pain is equivalent to kryptonite.

        It took him a moment to locate the fracture in her leg, but when he found it he was surprised to admit that it was much better than he thought it was going to be. Part of the roof had fallen on her when he arrived, and the doorframe had landed under it awkwardly. That had to be the reason why her leg wasn’t any worse than it was. He was lucky the roof hadn’t crushed her.

        He took a moment to study her face again, captured by the warmth of her beauty, agonized by the small hurts that covered it. She had tried to insist that she was okay…

        I like worrying about you, he had told her once, and it had brought her more pain while his emotions felt so mixed and jumbled. I still like worrying about you. He remained frozen by her side, stealing a moment he knew he might not have again for a while. When she got out of here it would be Richard and not himself who would take care-

        He nearly gawked at his own stupidity. No one knew what had happened yet!

        With a lingering glance at her still form, listening to her heartbeat so soothe his fears and confirm she was asleep, he made his way to the lobby and found a payphone several feet away from the hospital doors.

        “Mr. White? It’s Clark… I-I know I’m not at the office, sir. Listen, Lois is in a bit of a pickle…”


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