Safe & Sound

"Lois, be careful."

"Lois, stay safe."

"I really hope you are safe."

The irony of three separate people requesting the same thing from her was not at all lost. Lois had done what she always did to reassure them that she was fine but given her current situation? she was anything but. She honestly wished she had a better explanation as to why she was currently in the middle of what looked like the Sahara desert, wandering aimlessly, looking for some way out. But like most situations she had found herself in throughout her life, there wasn't much of a reason save for wrong place, wrong time. Her conversation with Lex had inspired her to abandon Lindsay's townhome haven and out into the cold and apparently right into the path of danger. Callista was obviously not herself (or was she? Lois couldn't be sure) but the woman was someone that Lindsay known and what she thought would be a quick interaction had turned into the woman casting some sort of spell and Lois had woken up in the middle of the desert. The layers she had donned to go out into the cold had been shed as the sun climbed higher into the sky and the extreme heat began to set in. While she was mostly in control, she could still sense Lindsay's thoughts, which seemed just as confused as her own. Aliens, cyborgs, metas...Lois could handle it all but magic? That was something she had very little experience with. So, instead? She trudged through the sand, shading her eyes with her hand, desperately on the look out for any sort of caravan or sign of life.

"It could be worse, you could be alone."

The thought broke through the silence and actually brought a ghost of a smile to her dry lips. Lindsay was right. While they were sharing the same space, they were two separate entities. That brought Lois a little comfort as time ticked on and no other signs of life were to be found.

"You make a valid point, but it could also be better, we could also have brought a water bottle along." Lois could feel the eye roll that followed her response and a shake of her head accompanied. "Listen," she continued, "I'm just saying that this is a teachable moment for the both of us, we could honestly benefit from drinking more water."

"This is me making a mental note of that. Drink more water, carry a water bottle around on the off chance that we find ourselves transported and abandoned in the middle of a desert...again." The thought reply came back dripping with sarcasm.

They fell into silence once more as she continued on, becoming increasingly more uncomfortable with the heat, the lack of protection from the sun, and the general sense of forboding. It was a strange thing, to share a body and be able to sense what each was thinking. However, the longer they walked with no real direction or semblance of rescue in sight, the more their thoughts began to mirror one another, until they both settled on the same one: What if I die out here?

Lois had grown accustomed to not thinking of her demise. Those dark thoughts of what ifs were rarely dwelled on. In her line of work, it could become a distraction that would, no doubt, lead to disaster. But those kinds of thoughts were few and far between when one had a direct connection to a number of super heroes. Sure, she was human. She bled easily, felt fatigue, and had come several times to the brink of death, but she had barely batted an eye to it. "That's what happens when you rely on someone else to save you every time."

"I'd appreciate it if you didn't give your opinion on my life choices. Not like you have any room to talk."

"It's not like I can exactly avoid your thoughts, I'm sharing this space with you."

Silence again as her steps became heavier with each taken. And while Lindsay's interruption of her survey of life choices had been rude, she wasn't exactly wrong. True, she had no room to talk, either. Both had a tendency to be dependent on men, but in her case? Her dependency had caused her to be almost frivolous with her life. It was always a bit of a habit to live her life a little dangerously, but she had done it even more so when she knew that her savior was only a strangled cry away. But there had been no response to her cries for help, they had been swallowed up into the windswept sand. She grew increasingly frustrated that she had expected anything different. A dry swallow caused her to pause and look around once more, hoping that the barren landscape had changed. Her fair skin now a shade of red, she was almost positive that if she didn't die from lack of hydration, the sun stroke would surely get her. Her body screamed with each labored step, from exhaustion and from the elements but she soldiered on, with Lindsay offering tired yet strangely uplifting support.

"We can do this. There has to be a way out of here. This isn't how it ends for you. This isn't how it ends for us. We can be our own savior. We just...have to make it through this."

Maybe it was the words of affiramtion, or maybe it was the delusion beginning to set in, but there were suddenly a few dark spots dotting among the beige a couple of hundred yards away. Another dry swallow was taken as she pushed herself to walk toward the dark spots.

"That could very well be a mirage. Those are real things."

"Yeah, it could be. But let's just hope that the damn mirage has cell service because all I need is a tiny window of opportunity to send out an SOS. I'm so tired."

"We have to keep going. Maybe it's not a mirage. Don't give in to that tired feeling, not yet. Talk to me. Tell me things. Tell me about...Metropolis."

Another faint smile appeared at the mention of Metropolis. Home. Or it once was. She wasn't even sure about the status of Metropolis or if it even existed on this plane. She sighed, fighitng through the wave of weariness. "Metropolis is apparently a lot like your Chicago. All the big city feelings with that midwestern heart etched into the lining. It's one of the few places that felt like home, and I can say that because thanks to being an army brat, I never really felt like I had a home."

"And Kansas? Tell me about Kansas."

"The sand reminds me of the fields in Kansas. Miles and miles of golden fields any which way you turn. Never thought I'd ever want to be in the middle of field in Kansas and yet, here we are."

"Chasing a wouldbe mirage, in search of an escape. Story of my life."

Lois merely nodded, too tired to even think of a response.