- Chloe: If you want something bad, you have to fight for it. Step up your game, Lois. Break out the L word.
- Lois: Lesbian?
- Chloe: The other L word.
- Lois: ... Lesbians?
- - "Charade"
"Yeah, that’s me. Can I help you?"
"I know, I’ve been meaning to call, but you know how busy things can get around the Watchtower." She grinned, hugging her cousin.
"Too busy, if y’ask me. We need to start some regularly scheduled Chloe-interacts-with-the-real-world time." She slings an arm over the other woman’s shoulder, glancing her over. "How’ve you been, otherwise? Things okay?"
"You make it a habit to break into people’s offices?"
"So what does a girl have to do to get a hug from her favourite cousin?"
"Get your ass over here, you," she grins, wrapping her arms around the smaller blonde. "Been a while, cuz."
"Short version? I’ve seen better days," Jon said as he took a seat in the chair facing Lois’ desk. "I’m sorry for not contacting you sooner, Lois. Things…took a turn."
He glanced past her to the window that looked out to the Metropolis skyline. His mind drifted off to darker places as he stared, and in the distance where the worst memories were kept, he heard his own screams once again.
Jon swallowed hard and let out a shuddering breath. He wasn’t ready to tell her the whole story yet; the wounds were too fresh. “I, uh…I really need your help. I need your connections and resources. My normal channels have gone dark or have become unsafe. I need a way to reach out to S.H.I.E.L.D.’s new director. He needs to know I’m still in this fight. You’re the only one left I can trust, probably the only one I’ve ever fully trusted. Will you help me?”
Lois frowned as she glanced him over, not bothering to circle back to her own seat but leaning back against her desk in front of him instead. Crossing her arms over her chest, she chewed the inside of her lip as she listened to him, noting the weariness in his shoulders, the distance in his eyes.
"Of course, Jonny. Anything you need, you know that. S.H.I.E.L.D.’s been pretty radio silent lately as far as the press is concerned, but I’ll do some digging. D’you know who replaced Fury?"
Jon had to work hard to keep a grin from lighting up his face, as he knew Lois would likely slap it off him. Her barely contained anger at his Prodigal Son-style return was something he’d fully anticipated, and he was prepared to explain everything to her. Whether she’d accept it all and be willing to help him remained to be seen.
He approached the doorway and said, “Well, let me in and I’ll give it a shot.” Only after saying that did he let the slightest hint of a smirk curl his lips, silently expressing his happiness to be in her midst again.
Cocky son of a bitch. She fought an eyeroll - not very hard, mind you - and gestured him inside, murmuring a couple of directions to the assistant outside the doorway and shutting the door behind them both.
"Been a minute, Jonny. You sure know how to keep a girl guessing." She offered a smirk right back, eyes glancing him over quickly to make sure he wasn’t missing a limb or nursing some kind of gruesome gash under his clothing. "How’ve you been?"
It was pure, white-hot, relentless in its sweep through his body. He was sure he could feel every cell being shredded. He remembered begging whatever deity would hear him for death, but his prayers went unanswered.
Days later, Jon Corvus had awakened in a warehouse where a makeshift hospital had been put together with what little medical equipment S.H.I.E.L.D. could scrounge as Hydra’s tentacles choked the life out of it. Memories were fuzzy, voices seemed so distant, lost in static, but as days turned to weeks, the fog lifted and Jon discovered the horrible truth.
Hydra’s reach had finally found him, implanting a nano-virus into the cybernetically augmented cells that enhanced his technopathic abilities. The mutant gene that had granted him his power was violently torn from his DNA, and the augmented cells turned against him, causing extensive internal and external damage.
After he’d been found and brought to the emergency hospital, days turned into weeks as a modified version of the serum given to Steve Rogers decades before worked to rebuild his body. Finally, he’d been given a clean bill of health, a debriefing, and the means to start a new life as a civilian, far away from the danger of Hydra.
Jon Corvus would have none of it.
The moment he left the facility, he knew what he needed to do: contact the new director of what remained of S.H.I.E.L.D., Phil Coulson, and fight back. However, with so many loyal S.H.I.E.L.D. agents having gone dark along with the ever-present dangers of Hydra and the U.S. government, he’d need an inside track from someone who wouldn’t be suspected. Thankfully, he knew exactly who to talk to.
Seeing Lois Lane again, hard at work in her office at the Daily Planet, filled him with a calm he had desperately needed. Their bond of friendship had become very strong, and he found himself thinking of her often. She was the first person he wanted to see upon leaving the emergency hospital, as he knew Lois’ resourcefulness would set him on the right path.
"Excuse me, sir," one of the writers called to him, breaking Jon out of his reverie. "Can I help you?"
"Yes," Jon nodded, his lips curling into a smile as he continued, "Please tell Miss Lane that…Jonny is here."
She should be used to it by now. The way he jumped in and out of her life so erratically, in town for days at a time and then suddenly gone completely without a word. Assigned on some insane death-defying mission, no doubt, off to save the world or… whatever the hell it was he actually got into these days.
She forced herself not to worry. Or tried, anyway. She had plenty of friends with dangerous as all hell extracurriculars. Clark, Ollie, Chloe, Hal… if she worried every single time one of them up and disappeared, there’d be no room left to just… live.
That was the logical way to think, anyway. But she couldn’t help her mind wandering in the quiet moments, imagining the hell he might be in, or when and if she’d see him again. It was stupid. Probably. He was more than capable of doing… whatever the hell it was, and agonizing about it would do nothing to help him anyway.
So she threw herself into work. It was easy, when the bullpen was so insane, so all-consuming. She was in the middle of a conference call with a journalist in Hong Kong - which was not going well - when Lisa popped her head in to alert her to a visitor. Lois furrowed her eyebrows at the name, waving her off like she was swatting a fly, attempting desperately to filter the translator’s chatter on the other line.
"No, no, that’s not- I understand that, but if this story breaks too early, we lose all leverage, do you understand? You w-“
Wait. Jonny. Not…
Lois frowned, sitting up and craning her neck to glance out her office door at the crazed swarm of writers and photographers on her floor. There, looking harried as hell but in one goddamn piece…
She muttered a command into her phone and ended the call, launching herself into the doorway of her office and gaping at him a moment.
"Jon fucking Corvus. You better have one hell of an apology lined up."