Screaming Inside

By Jenny

Disclaimer: These characters do not belong to me. They are the creation of Joe Shuster and Jerry Siegel. Smallville belongs to the WB. I think that's all, except for the fact I'm just borrowing them to seve my TV delusions.

Author's Note: I just want to say for this story, I've taken a lot of creative liscence in writing this. I know nothing about amnesia or how post-traumatic stress disorder works. This is just a bunch of cleverly written science fiction.

She stood quietly by the bedroom window, her eyes watching the lights twinkle throughout Metropolis, a soft wind blowing her short brown hair out of her face. However, she noticed none of it as she focused internally on thoughts swept up in deep contemplation. Briefly, her sight left the dazzling skyline to glance over the form of her sleeping husband. A small smile graced her features as she watched his strong body breathe in and out from under the covers. She missed the safe and loved feeling of him holding her as they slept. And when she had gotten out of bed, he had reached for her, almost making the strong-willed reporter remain where she was.

She grinned slightly at the memory, but dismissed the thoughts. She hadn’t walked to the window side to just moon over her husband of five months. She needed to think, to cry, to hope. For one of the first times in her life, she felt alone in the world. There wasn’t anyone of yet, especially her beloved husband, that she could turn to for help with the conflict raging inside of her. In truth, this was due to a fear, a fear of rejection, of loosing everything in the world she held dear.

Old memories swirled around in a cage inside of her head, occasionally mixing and melding with more current ones. She felt like she was loosing hold of her reality. She had lived with this secret for so long, never assuming anything would come of it. A flash of guilt tore at her heart: he had revealed all of his secrets to her long ago. Then how come she had never felt like she could completely trust him with hers? Like if she told him, the most honest, caring man she had ever met, the truth about her past, he’d dismiss her like yesterday’s news? A rush of teenage fears and anxieties escaped from the cage and filled her head, emotions that the thirty-four year old woman could only dimly recall feeling.

How had this happened? She thought she knew. It was him of course. She vaguely remembered telling him that once, that it’s always him. She started to try and remember more of that interval, but a buried instinct told her to keep that painful memory repressed for now. It would come back to her in due time, whether she wanted it or not, but for the moment, it was better to let sleeping dogs lie. She laughed at the cliché that had so suddenly sprung to mine.

Sixteen years, she thought. She had sixteen years to relive, sixteen years worth of memories that needed to refill her head. She had started on this gest almost two months ago. It had shocked her at first. Now she just accepted it. And it was all because of him. Not his famous persona, just the mild-mannered reporter she had married.

The doctors had said her memories might return to her someday. Yet, even then, at the age of sixteen, with no clue of who she was or what had happened to her, she could still recognize the ambiguous note in the doctor’s voice. Whatever accident she had gotten herself into had wiped away her memories of a life, leaving her only with schoolbook knowledge. Post-traumatic stress disorder, repressed memories, they claimed. She supposed that was true. After all, when she woke up from the seven-month coma in Metropolis General Hospital, her burns and broken bones were still healing, slowly but surely. They had told her that she was lucky to be alive. Yet, all she had wanted that moment was a familiar face, possibly one with sparkling blue eyes.

She blinked back escaping tears at the recollections of her hospital stay. She had hoped so much that her family would come and find her, take her where she belonged, help her on the road to healing, and remembering. They had been the whimsical wishes of a scared girl. It took her eighteen years to learn why: everyone she had loved before had believed her dead.

“I guess I was lucky,” she whispered softly into the night sky.

The reporter was lucky. While recovering in the hospital, one of the doctors had become taken with her and asked to adopt her. Within a month of waking from the coma, she had gained a loving mother, father, and sister. She couldn’t imagine where she’d be without the support of her parents or Lucy. They had helped her through the difficult period of adjusting to normal life. They had filled her empty mind with now cherished memories of love and belonging. But this new part waking inside of her longed for a different family, one in which it was just she and her dad, and not the one who had adopted her. She made a mental note to ask Jimmy on Monday to run a background check on the person she remembered. There would be no problem in remembering the name. She could just ask her husband if she forgot. And that was the scariest part.

Her mind drifted as she her eyes were torn away from the window and back to his sleeping body. She laughed sardonically. Now here was irony at its worse, proof that the gods above were playing some sort of cruel trick on her. Out of all the people she could have fallen in love with, it had to be him. She remembered warning him not to fall in love with her when they first met. Well, when he had first met the woman she had become after the accident. She obscurely remembered their first actual meeting: she had kissed him impulsively, leaving him bewildered and confused as she laughed at his expressions. Other than that, she couldn’t recall more of that encounter. Quenching the thought, she tried to shift her mind to more pertinent issues; the issues she had woken up to deal with. She tried to sort through the mess of her memories, tried to fill in some of the many gaps in her mind, but it was to no avail. All efforts kept returning to him. He meant everything to her. He did then, as she actually clearly recalled, and he did now. Although there had been others, in the end, it was him and only him.

She wondered how he’d react if she told him the truth. Would he be shocked? Angry? Hurt? Overjoyed? She hoped for the last choice, but the cynic inside of her said that life was full of fairy tale, happy endings. Her former self had stopped believing in wishes long ago. She had to be realistic. He would be hurt, hurt that she didn’t tell him sooner. But would he hate her? The former her? What would he think if she told him that when he saved her five years ago from falling to her death, that it wasn’t he first time he had saved her life? That it was more like the tenth or eleventh time?

A stray memory trickled through her head, a memory of when her love had risked revealing his secret to the former her so she wouldn’t die in a wall of flames. That image was rapidly accompanied by random flashbacks of him rescuing her from dangerous classmates, murderers, corrupt officials and officers, burglars, freaks, and more. She clutched her head as if the act would slow down the rushing scenes. It didn’t work. The flashes came in no particular order. They were just full of him, him rescuing her. Even mingled in were some from her present. Funny how the list of culprits never really changed, she thought. But no matter what sort of trouble she got herself into, he was always there to save her from it.

“I was like the poster child for Remy Zero’s Save Me then…and now,” she muttered. She had regained control over her mind once more. Within that single moment, she had witnessed more flashbacks than she had in the past couple of months. She knew that there would be more sets of overwhelming flashbacks escaping the cage inside her mind as the weeks progressed. The worse was yet to come. Amazing, this affect he had on her.

She moved from the windowsill and walked over to the CD player next to the fireplace. She shuffled through the stack of CDs her husband had so carelessly left on the edge of the table until pausing at one in particular. She opened the case and placed the CD in the radio, pressing one of the buttons until the soft music filled the room.

I will remember you
Will you remember me?
Don't let your life pass you by
Weep not for the memories

Things like this were going to become the problem. While her present self disliked the song, her former self loved it. Now she liked apple pie, especially the ones made by her mother-in-law, but before she had never been a big fan. Feelings of déjà vu washed over her constantly. Now she knew why her husband’s hometown had felt so familiar when he had brought her there on numerous vacations. She just hoped that he had no surprise visits planned in the near future. Although she was strong now, a trip to her quondam town would ultimately bring back the rest of her memories. And that was something she was afraid of.

How could she deal with two different, yet remarkably similar, people melding together inside her head? Even her appearance was different from what it used to be. Sometimes, privately, she’d find her husband’s picture of the two of them when they were teens and compare the girl in that photo to the one she’d see in the mirror. It wasn’t an easy thing to do, but this reporter was nothing but intrepid. Yet, she wanted to continue this slow adjustment. Although she took risks with her life almost daily, her amnesia was one thing she wanted to play safe with. She wanted to remain herself, whichever one, or combination of, that may be.

Remember the good times that we had?
I let them slip away from us when things got bad
How clearly I first saw you smilin' in the sun
Wanna feel your warmth upon me, I wanna be the one

She walked back to the window, silent tears trickling down her face. All these thoughts of the past, all the memories, all the attempts at trying to remember had lead to the one memory she hated. It was the one that had woken her up in the middle of the night crying, causing her to disentangle herself from her husband and run down the street to the neighborhood park where she could sit and cry and not be disturbed. It happened six weeks and three days ago, to the hour. That remembrance had started her road to recovering the other lost memories. It was the one that she remembered the clearest; it was the one that hurt the most…

I will remember you
Will you remember me?
Don't let your life pass you by
Weep not for the memories

I'm so tired but I can't sleep
Standin' on the edge of something much too deep
It's funny how we feel so much but we cannot say a word
We are screaming inside, but we can't be heard

…He was in the barn’s loft. No surprise there, she had thought when his mother had told her where to find him. She walked into the barn eagerly, geared up to tell her boyfriend about what could possibly be her best piece of investigative journalism yet. This story was going to be her pride; it was going to ensure that scholarship to Metropolis University. And she couldn’t wait to tell him that.

“Hey farmboy,” she greeted rather loudly as she climbed the last of the stairs.

He jumped up rather suddenly; almost knocking over a glass of water he had resting on the windowsill of the barn. Quickly, and guiltily, he backed away from his telescope. She noticed everything.

“It’s the middle of the day. What are you looking at?” she asked with a laugh, dropping her bag on the couch and rushing over to the telescope before he had a chance to say anything, or to intercept. Almost as quickly as she peered in through the eyehole, she pulled away. Her hurt, furious green eyes instantly met his ashamed blue ones.

“This,” she faltered for a second, “this was aimed at her house!” She threw her hands up into the air and studied him. “I,” a sob broke through, “I thought you said that you were over that. I thought you said that…that you cared for me.”

She turned away from the barn window and stormed over to the couch to grab her bag. “I trusted you,” she yelled. “And, and I thought you cared for me! I guess I’ll never be anything more than a friend to you, huh, no matter what you lies you say!”

Just as she began her decent down the stairs, his strong hand grabbed her arm. She tried to pull away, but her refused to let go, his grip growing stronger. “Just give me a chance to explain,” he pleaded.

“Let go. You’re hurting me,” was the cold reply.

“I would never do anything to hurt you!”

“Then you should have thought twice before regaining your peeping tom status!”

“Then that’s it? It’s…we’re over?” His voice was broken. She could see in his face that she had beaten him. The pain doubled over inside of her but she pushed it inside. She was not going to be second best. She loved him more than he could imagine. She just wished that he felt the same way. She wished that just once, he could have been the type of boyfriend to her that she knew he would have been towards his former infatuation. At that moment, she gave up on wishes entirely.

“Yeah… I guess you’ve finally outgrown me, huh?” she whispered softly from the bottom step. A sad smile spread across her face as she tried to hold back tears. He was about to continue down from the middle of the staircase but she shook her head.

“You’ve always wanted her. And now’s your chance. Good-bye Clark,” she said, eyes unable to meet his.

“I’ll miss you,” was all he could muster to say.

“I won’t miss you.” She turned away and ran out of the barn to her old, beaten up car, the tears streaming down her face. He called after, but she ignored it. Hastily getting into her car, she turned the ignition key and the engine sputtered to life. As she drove away from the barn, the last thing she saw was him crying by the doorway of the barn…

But I will remember you
Will you remember me?
Don't let your life pass you by
Weep not for the memories

…She gasped for air. Remembering that hurt so much, much more than the events that had followed that painful goodbye. Although the memories were vague, she could dimly recall recklessly going to Hamilton’s laboratory on the outskirts of Metropolis, carelessly gathering the evidence she needed for her story. Someone had tipped off the mad doctor, and before she could realize what had happened, a bomb went off in the building, bringing flames and debris down on her. Somehow she made it out. The next thing she could remember after that was waking up at Metropolis General, covered in bandages, unable to remember how she got there, or who she was. The rest, after that, had become the only life she could remember up to now.

“Hey sleepy-head,” a strong voice teased her gently from behind, his strong arms encompassing her waist and pulling her against his chest. “There’s no computer over here.”

“Just cause I can’t sleep, Clark, doesn’t mean it’s cause I have a desire to finish a story for The Planet,” she retorted, fighting the urge her former self had to reply something a bit more snarky.

“Serious?” Even though she couldn’t see his face while leaning against him, she could just picture his eyebrows rising in mock-surprise. “And since when does Lois Lane’s world not revolve around the Daily Planet?”

“Since I fell in love with you,” she mummered, shifting slightly in his arms and burying her face into his broad chest.

I'm so afraid to love you, but more afraid to loose
Clinging to a past that doesn't let me choose
Once there was a darkness, deep and endless night
You gave me everything you had, oh you gave me light

“Hey Lois, is something wrong?” he asked, concerned. She sighed. She should have known better than to hope that he wouldn’t notice. Even without x-ray vision, he had become more perceptive than he was during their teenage years. “Lois. Answer me, love. The woman I married isn’t known for standing around in dark bedrooms, staring aimlessly at the night sky, and listening to a song she doesn’t like.”

He had pulled her away so he could look down on her. His strong grip held her shoulders in a caring manner, and his eyes reflected his concern. So unlike the eyes that I had caught spying on Lana, she thought. She forced a smile onto her features and spoke.

“I’m just thinking. Last time I checked everyone was entitled to that right.” She paused, thinking for a second on what she should say. He continued to watch her, still not entirely relieved. His face became quizzical as she talked again. “Lucy’s birthday is next month and I think she and Dave have plans to fly the family up to Metropolis to visit my parents and us. I guess I was just trying to figure out how we could dissuade them from rooming here for the stay.”

He smiled at her, the same million-watt smile that made her heart melt in high school. “Thank you.” In those two words, he expressed all his love and gratitude towards her for putting up with his alter ego, and adjusting her life to do so. It caused an ache inside of her.

“Clark?” she asked earnestly after a few minutes of silence between the couple. “Can you just hold me for a while?”

He nodded and pulled her close to him again. She snuggled up against his chest and he wrapped his arms around her. As they stood, watching the busy skyline of Metropolis, their home, she sighed contently. She’d tell him the truth someday, someday in the not so distant future. She loved him too much for him never to know. He deserved this explanation, for, in a way, he was the one thing she never forgot. But until then, the girl she had once been could finally feel loved in her best friend and beloved’s arms.

And I will remember you
Will you remember me?
Don't let your life pass you by
Weep not for the memories

And I will remember you
Will you remember me?
Don't let your life pass you by
Weep not for the memories
Weep not for the memories


One more thing… I know cheating on someone is not Clark Kent. If Chloe had just given him a chance to explain, it would have been revealed that what he was doing a favor for Lana to try and figure out where this raccoon was getting in to her house. Chloe jumped to conclusions too soon. If I get enough response, and if I feel like it, maybe I’ll write a sequel and expand on that.