(no title as of yet)

by Ultragirl

Author's notes: I'm going to play around a little and pretend that Lois' parents didn't get divorced until later on (even though I'm contradicting no only the show, but myself as well).

//These indidcate thoughts.// *These denote emphasis.*

*****

"Hi, Mom."

The woman sitting at the kitchen counter said nothing. She merely waved her hand and nodded vaguely toward the young teenager who had spoken to her.

The bottle of wine near her hand spoke volumes to the younger woman.

"Nice to see you, too," the girl muttered. She went over to the refrigerator to get something to eat. There wasn't much to choose from; she finally decided on a banana. "Is Dad home yet?" she thought to ask as she turned to make her way upstairs. Again, the woman in the kitchen nodded vaguely.

Lois rolled her eyes as she made her way to her room. Mom was drunk again...big surprise there.

"Hey, Daddy," she said as she poked her head into his study.

It was a minute before the almost-grey haired man turned to look at his daughter. When he did look at her though, he smiled broadly and opened his arms to her as an invitation for her to hug him. "Princess!" he exclaimed as she went to hug him. "You're home. How was school?" he inquired.

Lois pulled back from his embrace and replied simply, "Fine."

Her father seemed to want more, so she added reluctantly, "Same old, same old."

Her father shrugged. "Well, not everyday is full of excitement."

"I guess," replied Lois. A rather uncomfortable moment of silence followed. Finally, Lois turned toward the door and said, "I guess I'll go do my homework now."

"All right, Princess. I'll see you at dinner."

Lois walked out of the small room, then hesitated for just a brief second, and then peeked into the study once more. Her father was busy at his work again; one might even question whether or not he had ever been inturrupted in the first place. She sighed.

She headed down the hallway to her room. She passed Lucy's room on the way.

"Hey, Luce," she called to her.

"Hey, Lois!" came the reply of her younger sister. "Wait up a sec!" she demanded of Lois. Lois stopped and waited for her sister.

Lucy came bounding out of her bedroom a minute later. "What's up, Luce?" Lois asked.

"Not much. You?"

"Nothin'." Lois started down the hall toward her room again. Lucy followed in her wake; it was an unsung ritual between the two of them. Lois would get home later than Lucy- due to the fact that she stayed to work on the school newspaper everyday. Lucy would be in her room, doing...whatever she was doing, Lois would pass her room on her way to her own, Lois would say "hi," then the two of them would make their way to Lois' room to talk.

Lois pushed the door to her room open and stepped inside. She flipped on the light switch, then dumped her bookbag on her desk. Lucy followed behind her, chatting on about some guy she had asked out that day at school. Lois rolled her eyes at that, even as she grinned. Lucy's obsession with guys could get really annoying at times, but Lois loved her anyway.

Lois flopped down on her bed and lay back so she could stare at the ceiling as she began to eat her banana. Lucy did the same, still going on about that guy. Finally Lucy seemed to be done, and fell silent. The two stared at the ceiling some more.

"Mom's drunk again," Lucy commented almost absent-mindedly.

"Yeah."

"Yeah."

"Dad's working again."

"Yeah."

"Yeah."

"So, how was your day?" Lucy inquired, on a falsely happy note.

"Okay."

"Yeah?"

"Yeah."

"Okay."

That was the way it always was; Lucy would babble on for a while, then fall silent. Lois usually didn't say much; usually there was nothing to say.

"Any 'new endeavors?'" the younger of the two asked.

"Not really. News has been really slow since that interview with the President."

"I'll bet. Any school news must seem really boring after that."

"Yeah."

"Yeah. Actually, I meant-"

"Lucy, if you dare say 'guys' I swear I'll..."

"Okay, okay, never mind."

"Have you done your homework yet?"

"No."

"You should," Lois berated.

"I will."

"No, you won't."

"Yes I will."

"Fine, prove it to me."

"How?"

"Do it now," Lois answered as if it were the most logical answer in the world.

"I hate you," Lucy said in mock anger.

"Yeah, I hate you, too," Lois said with a smile.

The two laughed a little as they got up and Lois escorted Lucy back to her own room. She monitered her younger sister as she sat down at her desk and pulled out her homework. She watched her for a little while longer, making the best of her time as slavedriver, then, satisfied that Lucy would really do her homework, headed back to her room.

She did her homework quickly. She hated working at home. Unless it was something for the paper; then she didn't mind. But doing stuff like physics drove her insane. It wasn't that she didn't like it...okay, so she didn't love it, but she also didn't mind it...it was just that she knew she would never need this stuff. It wasn't like she was going to remember anything she learned after this year anyway. And calc...let's not even go there.

She liked school; she really did. It was her refuge from her home. But she didn't like homework; she never had, since she was a little kid. She wasn't crazy enough to actually *like* homework. The only reason she appreciated homework was that it gave her an excuse to be away from her family. She would say she had to go do her homework and head for her room, and no one would bother her until she decided to come out of her room of her own accord.

Her room was one of her favorite places in the world because of that. She looked foward to the day she would be old enough to have her own place; an apartment, preferably, near her job- she knew where she wanted to work already. That was the one thing in her life she was completely sure of- that she wanted to be a reporter when she was old enough. That was why she worked so hard on the school newpaper. She had already been published a few times in books and magazines, and even had some articles published in a few big papers- the New York Times and even the Daily Planet. She figured she was already ahead of the competition somewhat, but that didn't mean she was going to slack off in the future. No, she would keep working hard, and one day she knew she would be working at the world-famous Daily Planet.

But that was still years away. For now, she still had to deal with her life as a teenager.

Sometimes she felt trapped...well, actually, most of the time she felt that way. She felt oppressed by the limits put on her by her age. She knew she was smarter than any of the kids in her grade, probably even in her whole school, and she was still a junior. Oftentimes, she found herself feeling bored in classes; she still paid attention and took good notes and did her schoolwork, even homework, but that didn't mean it was a lot of fun. It didn't mean she wasn't bored.

Her social life was "practically non-existent," as Lucy said. She didn't care though; she liked it that way. She didn't have a lot of friends, and that was the way she liked it; she didn't have to worry about becoming too attached to anyone, she didn't have to worry about pleasing others, about meeting her peers' expectations, she didn't have to worry about getting hurt. And she had learned her lesson when it came to guys after Paul...that was a wound that she decided would stay shut for a long time; no more guys.

Looking at the kids around her at school everyday, she realized how immature they all really were, how naive. She had realized a long time ago that she was far more advanced mentally and emotionally than they were; they were still kids. Lois knew that technically she was still a kid, too, but most of the time she felt like she was a forty-year old trapped in a fourteen-year-old body. All her peers were still so dumb; they didn't seem to care about anything but themselves and their social lives. It drove her insane. So, she had learned to ignore them, to block them out even, and had given up her social life a long time ago. The only thing she regretted about that was that she had taken so long to do so.

She put her books away into her bookbag and made sure she was ready for the next day. When she was confident that she was ready to go, she decided to go check and make sure Lucy had done her homework.

"Hey, Luce," she said as she hung on her sister's room's door frame.

"Yeah?" came the reply from the disinterested teen sitting on her bed.

"Finish your homework?"

"Yeah."

"Let's see it."

"Oh, c'mon, sis! We go through this every day, and every day I have it done!" protested Lucy as she got up from her bed and went to get her books to prove to her sister that she had done her work.

"I know. And that's the way it'll stay as long as I'm living here."

Lois bent over Lucy's notebooks and checked over the work briefly; she noticed Lucy roll her eyes and make a face at her out of the corner of her eye.

"Okay, good."

"Thank you, Mother," her sister replied sarcastically.

"You're welcome," Lois replied mock-perkily.

"You'd better leave before I get to my bed, or you'll end up getting a pillow chucked at your head."

"All right, all right, I'm going!" Lois said as she made her way to the door. "Oh, and, Lucy-" She was cut off by a mouthful of pillow in her face. She lobbed the pillow back at her sister then quickly retreated to her room.

She closed and locked the door as she entered. She looked around; it was dark in her room…it always was. That was the way she liked it. The shades pulled down, and preferably no lights on- all the better to work on her laptop. Her parents never came into her room anyway; they didn’t care.

//Well, that's a double entrende if I've ever heard one,// Lois thought to herself and chuckled without mirth. Her parents didn't give a damn about her, or Lucy. Lois didn't care that they didn't care. Lucy and she were perfectly capable of taking care of themselves. Besides, if they didn't care, then it was their loss.

to be continued...

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