Wheels of Justice

By Zoomway

Summary: Mayson Drake calls a press conference trying to condemn Superman as a vigilante, but she's unprepared for the response she receives from Metropolis. Before the conference, Lois and Clark spend a few hours reveling in their new relationship. A continuation of the fanfic "You Made Me Love You" that paints a clearer picture of Mayson Drake and her motivations.

Okay, I got some requests to do a sequel to You Made Me Love You, and this is it. I'm afraid it rambles on and on just like the first one, but it does come to a complete stop<g> It covers Mayson's press conference as some had requested, and it tries to explain Mayson herself a little bit.


Mayson Drake rubbed the back of her neck. She was alone. More alone than she could ever recall. She had lost the affection of Clark Kent, and had to endure hours of bitter infighting in the D.A.'s office due to her proposed press conference. She had not slept, and was bone-tired. She closed her burning eyes for a moment and tried to clear the fog in her head. What had she hoped or expected would come of this press conference? Why was everyone fighting her? She felt like the only rational soul left on the planet.

She opened a drawer in her desk and removed a pack of cigarettes. She had not had a smoke in nearly three months, but now she was unwrapping her don't-let-me-snap pack. When she placed the cigarette between her lips, she could hear it crunch. She angrily crushed the pack of dry weeds and tossed it into the waste basket and sent the lone cigarette she had held in her lips sailing after it. Her nerves were every bit as brittle as that cigarette.

Just twenty-four hours ago, she had been happy, in love, and found a pleasant world with Clark Kent. A world away from blue uniforms, grey suits, agendas, hearings and judges who seemed more concerned with the rights of criminals than those of victims. Clark was a good man, and from where Mayson viewed the world, a one-of-a-kind man. He was a warm and friendly island in her sea of muggers, rapists, child molesters and murderers. Clark was also a world away from even the good guys she had to deal with on a day in and day out basis.

She had been surprised by her almost instant attraction to Clark. He and Lois Lane, along with dozens of other reporters around the city, had become a familiar sight at the courthouse. Unlike the others, however, Clark did not seem to possess the killer instinct so common among seasoned reporters. By contrast he was polite, good humored, and absolutely drop dead handsome. She had never made a move on Clark when he'd pay his visits to her domain. The main reason being that it would have been inappropriate to the circumstances, but also because she feared Lois Lane was more than just a partner to Clark. Her curiosity peaked, Mayson had certain sources check into Lois and Clark's relationship. These sources assured her that the dynamic reporting duo from the Daily Planet considered themselves the best of friends, but nothing more.

Armed with this happy news, and having fate land her and Clark on the same case in an investigative capacity, gave Mayson the leverage and courage to make her move on Clark. He seemed reluctant at first, but then began to slowly warm up to the idea of their dating. Though their dates were fun, and sometimes slightly romantic in nature, she always got the feeling that Clark was holding back. Any time she tried to heat things up, he seemed just as determined to cool them off. At first she viewed it as small town shyness, after time wore on, the Kansas good-boy routine began to wear thin, and Mayson began to wonder if Clark was purposely holding out on her.

She poured herself a third cup of coffee and sighed. Clark was holding out on her all right. He was in love with Lois Lane. Mayson felt that both of them had played her for a fool. She believed that Clark had used her infatuation to gain privileged information. This was not true, and had Mayson sat down and really thought about her accusation, she would have had to admit that Clark had never asked, nor been granted any special treatment, and had never been privy to any secured information. Mayson, however, saw things differently, and whether through ego, fatigue, or both, refused to consider that she might be wrong about Clark's motives. Why had her world shifted?

She didn't really need to ask, she knew. It all folded like a card castle last night at the charity ball. Mayson had invited Lois to sit at her and Clark's table. She had only wanted to compliment Lois on her singing, and keep her at the table long enough for Clark to return so that they could all have a friendly chat, but the evening began to erode almost immediately. Lois had crooned her song to Superman, and Lois' young associate, Jimmy Olsen, had shouted from the audience for Superman to kiss Lois. Mayson had physically cringed when she saw the alien press his lips to Lois Lane's. It had completely revulsed her, and unfortunately, she had confessed this fact to Lois.

Lois Lane of course had leaped to Superman's defense, and that in turn had made Mayson more adamant about her position. This might have amounted to nothing more than a difference of opinion had it not been for the fact that Clark was also drawn into the topic field by virtue of his friendship with Superman. Lois had made it clear that Clark should be made aware of Mayson's dislike of Superman, or the truth would be much more painful coming out later, or from a different source. Though Mayson did agree with this in principle, she also felt that given enough time, and sway with Clark, she could win him over to her point of view, and until she could do so, she felt she could placate Clark by being civil to Superman. This confession further infuriated Lois, and Mayson began to suspect that perhaps Ms. Lane had deeper feelings than friendship for Clark. Calling Lois on this fact had led Lois to confess that she did, but that she had discovered her feelings too late and would make no attempt to undermine Clark's relationship with her.

Mayson shook her head. This was the point where she had made a threat to Lois in the manner of a B movie villainess. "As if you could," she had said to Lois. Almost daring her to try and take Clark away from her, but that was unnecessary, Clark had overheard everything. Angered by Mayson's disdain with Superman, not to mention that she had referred to Superman as a 'creature' from another planet, Clark turned away from Mayson and walked straight into the willing arms of Lois Lane. It was here that Mayson suspected she had been played a fool by the reporting team of Lane and Kent. They must have been in love with each other all along. How else could she explain the ecstasy in Clark's eyes when he embraced Lois. An ecstasy Mayson had never seen before, and certainly not while she and Clark had briefly dated.

Mayson had not wanted to believe this was true. Not from a man like Clark. He couldn't be like the rest. She got her answer however, when, unable to sleep, she called Clark's apartment at four in the morning to try and mend what had been broken between them. Lois Lane answered the phone. Mayson turned to ice inside, she almost felt as if she were watching herself in a dream. Love, any love, was not worth this kind of hurt. She lashed out emotionally, promising a press conference involving the future exploits of Superman. After railing with both Lois and Clark over the phone, she had slammed down the receiver and cried for two solid hours.

She had actually wanted to call this press conference a long time ago, but her closeness to Clark had caused her to delay her plans until she had managed to coax Clark over to her side of the fence. Clark, no longer a factor, removed the last reprieve for Superman. Mayson would have her press conference, and keep her mind away from thoughts of Clark. There was no profit in trying to keep that particular dream alive. Just the thought of Lois Lane sleeping blissfully in his strong arms, made her shudder.


Clark stroked Lois' hair as she slept next to him. His entire life had changed in a few short hours, and unlike Mayson's, this change had given Clark what he had desired most, a shared life with Lois Lane, or at least the promising beginning of a life together. The events leading to this moment had transpired and resolved themselves so quickly, that Clark felt compelled to keep looking at Lois to make sure it was not a dream. Though Clark had planned to break off his relationship with Mayson last night even before the big confrontation, he had not expected to be in Lois' arms on a small island off the coast, making love to her only hours later. He closed his eyes and remembered the explosive confrontation with Mayson, and then quickly shifted his thoughts to Lois saying, 'I love you'. All actions following that long awaited phrase had compressed so rapidly, that Clark was only able to savor them by slowing them down in his mind.

Armed with pizza and rental movies, they had headed back to his apartment after the charity ball. They were so excited by the discovery of their mutual love for each other, that they both spoke at maximum velocity throughout the first movie. Lois had confessed how she had secretly enjoyed Clark's impromptu kiss during their honeymoon suite stake out last year, and Clark confessed his enjoyment of Lois' weird tangents, to which Lois proclaimed, "I never go off on weird tangents." Shortly after which, Lois talked ten solid minutes about her Aunt Betty's rotten fruitcakes.

By the time the FBI warning appeared on the screen for the second movie, Lois and Clark were locked in some deep and serious kissing. Each kiss becoming more passionate than the last, but when Clark tried to make an advance beyond kissing, Lois demurred. She was afraid. Not of Clark, nor of making love to him, but of crossing the unretractable line. The last man she had made love to had hurt and humiliated her so badly that Clark was forced to pay part of the price. She knew this was not fair to Clark, but she could not help the way she felt. There was a deeply hidden suspicion Lois held about men, even men as sweet as Clark Kent. She suspected that men perceived sex with any given woman as a victory, a triumph over her and even a kind of territorial possession right.

Lois hated feeling this way. She hated making sweeping generalities about men simply because of the handful who had broken her heart, and most of all she hated trying to apply her cynicism to Clark Kent, a man who had shown more patience and caring than her own family. Maybe that was her answer. No one, including her family, had ever loved her so deeply and unconditionally as Clark Kent. How could she accept something that she could scarcely understand? What could possibly put this fear and mistrust to rest?

She received her answer several minutes after Mayson's threatening phone call. Clark, upset by Mayson, and touched by Lois hoping that Superman had someone to stand by him, broke down the only wall remaining between himself and Lois. He told her he was Superman. Lois, to his surprise and relief, was not angry, nor even particularly stunned. Though emotionally astonished by the revelation, Lois decided to keep her astonishment from impacting on Clark. He was completely vulnerable. He had no shield, no cover, no safe haven now. He had unflinchingly given himself to her out of trust and love, and the faith that she would never betray him. Lois truly had her answer now.

In the past, whenever Lois had given herself to a man, he had never given anything back, and she had always been the vulnerable one. Now, however, the man was vulnerable. More vulnerable than she had ever been. He had risked everything that gave his life value by telling her his secret. With a few strokes on a keyboard, she had the power to destroy who and what he was, and probably garner every major award for doing so. This, of course, she would never do, but just the fact of Clark confessing his secret to her, thus leaving himself open and unprotected, had a rather strange effect on Lois. She found herself, quite unexpectedly, consumed by desire.

This was a rather monumental milestone in the socially staid life of Lois Lane. Though no stranger to a few intimate moments, she had always participated out of a sense of obligation, not out of desire. She lived by the notion that coupling was eventually inevitable in a long term relationship and was necessary for proper maintenance of the relationship, and though gifted at 'faking it' with the best of them, she had never honestly experienced desire—until now. Unfortunately, her timing was a bit inconvenient.

After Clark had made his stunning revelation, he had decided he wanted to show off for Lois. He had taken her into his arms as Superman, and flown with her into the pre-dawn sky. He had intended to show her a great many things in his bid to 'show off', but Lois' interests were clearly elsewhere. She began kissing his neck, and as the line of kisses reached Clark's ear, they had become increasingly passionate. He closed his eyes as she tugged at his earlobe with her lips. By the time she had made her way around to Clark's mouth, he was more than willing to match her desire for desire.

The more they gave each other, the more they wanted from each other. They both became so consumed, that neither of them noticed that Clark was rapidly losing altitude. Had it not been for the sound of a rusty gate moving in the wind, Clark might not have recovered enough for a soft landing. Even at that, the landing was awkward, and the off-balance couple tumbled to the ground. "Are you all right, Lois?"

Lois blew a strand of hair from her forehead. "Nice landing, Lindberg."

Clark laughed. "I'm sorry, Lois, but I do have to reserve a little bit of concentration for flying. The kissing got so intense, I didn't have any reserve left."

Lois smiled. "Sort of the Kryptonian equivalent of getting weak in the knees?"

"You could say that," he said, and surveyed their surroundings. "I've seen this little fenced in island from the sky, but I've never been here."

"Welcome to Stryker's Island. A Metropolis prison site, or it will be if they ever get the funds together."

"Ah, our answer to Alcatraz."

Lois wrapped herself around Clark. "Do you think Lane and Kent ought to investigate where the funding is going?"

Clark rolled Lois onto her back. She enjoyed feeling his weight pressing down on her body. His cape, caught by the breeze, sounded like a luffing sail seeking the wind. "I think Lane and Kent should investigate each other." He said, and gave her several soft, teasing kisses. Lois smiled and imitated Clark's gesture. "I love you, farmboy," she whispered, and it seemed as if Clark devoured her words as his mouth sealed itself over hers. Lois' eyes rolled back. Clark had become liquid, and she wanted to drink him into every pore.


Captain Margaret Sawyer walked into Inspector Henderson's office, and dropped a heavy, manila envelope onto his desk. "What's the meaning of this, Bill?"

Henderson rubbed his bloodshot eyes. "You know as much about this idiotic press conference as I do, Maggie." Henderson picked up the coffee pot. "Need a boost?"

"You bet."

"Cream? Sugar?"

"Just wrap a cup around it"

Henderson laughed, filled a cup and handed it to her. "This thing is not going to go down well at the department. Apparently there's a leak at the courthouse—"

Maggie made a half-smile. "There's a surprise."

"The leak about this conference has already started the fur flying all over the department. Half my officers have threatened to come down with the 'blue flu' if Drake's threat is upheld."

Maggie moaned as she settled into a chair in front of Henderson's desk. "Why is she picking on the Boy Scout? He's been a good kid. As far as I can tell he just holds the bad guys till the cavalry comes."

"Yep," Henderson nodded. "Not only that, but he's managed to save more than a few of my officers. I may have to come down with the blue flu myself," he sighed. "How can I, in good conscience, stand next to Drake this morning and go along with her plan?"

"You can't, Bill, and neither can I." She set her cup on the desk. "My entire S.C. unit is planning on pitching a fit right there on the steps, and I can't change their minds!"

"I know," he shrugged. "It's going to get very ugly, and in the end—"

"In the end, Drake will be drummed out on a rail. But in the meantime, the police force will be in an uproar, crime will go up, reporters will be so thick you could nail 'em together and make a land-bridge to Europe, and to top everything off, Metropolis will be flooded with requests from every city on the globe offering to take Superman off our hands."

"I hear ya, Maggie. This all goes down in one half hour, and after that, Metropolis will shake, rattle and roll."

Maggie retrieved her cup and smiled. "Maybe—maybe not."

"Uh oh, Maggie," Henderson smiled. "I usually dread that tone in your voice, but if you have 'any' suggestion that might head this thing off, I'm more than willing to listen."


Clark parked Lois' jeep near the courthouse. It was a half hour till the conference. They had both gone to their respective apartments and gotten dressed appropriately for the occasion. Clark wrapped his arm around Lois and shook her gently. "We're here."

Lois opened her eyes and looked drowsily at the courthouse and then at the dashboard clock. "Clark," she moaned. "I could have slept another thirty minutes."

"Well," he cleared his throat. "Not if you wanted to hear what I have to say first."

Lois straightened, Clark's tone was unusually serious. "I'm listening."

Clark took her hand, and ran his thumb gently across her fingers. "First, I want to state the obvious." He looked into her eyes. "I'm deeply in love with you, Lois, and before this conference thing gets started, I wanted to ask—"

"Clark," she interrupted softly. "I love you too, but I'm not ready for a proposal. At least not yet. I rushed into a mistake with Lex, and though I know you and I aren't a mistake, I want to be sure."

"Lois," he smiled. "I wasn't going to propose."

"Oh," Lois blushed.

"Well, maybe it is a proposal in a way," he shrugged. "My dad told me that he thinks a lot of young couples don't go the distance because they've never had any practice at commitment."

"Practice?" She raised her eyebrows. "Are you suggesting we live together?"

"No, I'd really like to save that for after we're married, but," he said, and removed something from his pocket. "I hope you accept this in the meantime." He placed the object in her hands.

Lois turned the object over in her fingers. "It's your high school ring."

Clark nodded. "My dad said it was called going steady."

Lois laughed and patted his cheek. "Clark, I've heard about going steady, but your dad's right, I haven't heard about it recently."


Lois kissed him warmly. "I'd be happy to go steady with you." She looked at the ring. "What finger do I put it on?"

"Ah," he smiled. "Girls would put the ring on a chain and wear it around their necks under their clothes."

"Why under their clothes?" She winked. "To keep it next to their hearts?"

"No, so the girl's mother wouldn't see the ring and think her daughter was getting too serious about just one boy."

Lois laughed and kissed him again. "Okay, I'll look for a chain as soon as I get home."

Clark reached into another pocket and extracted a gold chain. "I already got you one."

"Oh, Clark," she whispered, and then looked at him thoughtfully. "I can't accept this. One disadvantage of falling in love with someone you work closely with, is knowing how much money they make. Clark, this is too extravagant."

Clark just smiled as he unfastened the clasp. "Lois, I save a lot on groceries because I basically only eat for the enjoyment of it, and I save a lot on gas bills because I cook with my heat vision, I save a lot on long distance bills by simply flying out to visit my folks, and," he said, as he threaded the chain through the ring. "I only recently had the woman I want to lavish attention on, fall in love with me." He leaned forward and fastened the chain around her neck. He grabbed the ring, and held it up in front of her face with a mischievous glint in his eyes. "That just leaves the final step."

Lois snatched the ring from him. "Nice try, Kent," she said, and dropped the ring down the front of her blouse.

"No sporting blood, Lois?"

Lois grabbed Clark's chin playfully. "I've got as much sporting blood as the next guy, but not in my jeep, and certainly not in front of the courthouse!" She gave him a quick kiss and unfastened her seat belt. "Time to hit the pavement, Kent. Reporter mode."

"Yes, ma'am," he laughed, and grabbed a pad and his recorder. After exiting the jeep, Clark trotted up to the sidewalk and put his arm around Lois' waist. She slipped her arm under his coat and placed her thumb through one of his belt loops. The couple approached the courthouse at a slow pace. They noted the TV people had been set up for some time, and the camera and anchor crews sat around looking bored.

Lois looked up at Clark. "Nervous?"

"I guess I should be, and if my life hadn't changed so drastically in the last twenty-four hours—" Clark turned and faced Lois, his eyes appeared soft and diffused. "Lois, I'm not sure I can really make you understand how much you mean to me."

"Clark, you don't have—"

Clark lifted Lois onto a low stone wall at the entrance of the park connected to the courthouse. He hopped up on to the wall and sat next to her placing his arm around her shoulders. "Lois, I'm not just talking about loving me," he kissed her ear and whispered. "Though God knows I'm glad you do. I'm talking about the sacrifice you have to make in order to love me, and that you're more or less stuck sharing my…solitary confinement."

Lois smiled and rubbed a hand across his knee. "Everybody has a definition of purgatory, Clark. I was locked away in my own version of solitary confinement until you broke through the wall. I really don't know why you were so persistent given all the road blocks I put in your way," she sighed. "But I look at it this way, at least if we have to be in solitary confinement, it's nice to share the same cell."

Clark laughed. "Would you like a list of reasons for my persistence in breaking through your wall?"

Lois glanced at her watch. "There's only five minutes until the press conference," she smiled. "That would probably give you enough time to list all my positive qualities and whistle the Minute Waltz four and half times."

Clark laughed again, and then kissed her. She had just demonstrated one of many qualities that accounted for his persistence. Lois could be as serious as the grave about herself one moment, and then turn right around and indulge in a little self deprecating humor the next. Lois pulled away from the kiss. "Let's get some box seats." Clark nodded and helped her down from the wall. As they slowly approached the steps, Lois whispered. "What happens if Mayson really plans a moratorium on your 'super' activities."

"I can't stop being me, Lois. I can't sit on my hands when people are in trouble."

"This could be a disaster, Clark. Don't you remember when you were accused of causing the heat wave, and you broke the law to be Superman anyway?"

"Yes," he smiled. "You rescued me."

"This is serious, Clark. Unlike that time when the citizens were against you, they'll be on your side this time. You'll be like some beloved outlaw. Is that the kind of example you want to set?"

"Of course not, Lois," he sighed. "But I can't just stop and turn a deaf ear to everyone's suffering. I'm not—"

"Well, well," a voice interrupted. "Is there some discontent in the house of romance?"

"Oh, God," Lois moaned. "I know that voice."

"Who is it?" Clark asked, noticing a lanky, pony-tailed man approaching them.

"Jeb Friedman," she whispered. "A guy who's dedicated his life to giving 'sleaze' a good name. He used to hound me for dates."

"Lois!" Jeb said, and then nearly smothered her with an uninvited kiss. "Miss me?"

"Believe me, Jeb," Lois observed dryly. "Even if I shot at you, I wouldn't miss you."

"Ha! That's my girl! Always great with the jabs and the low blows."

"I'm Clark Kent," Clark said, and extended his hand. His jaw was so tensed by anger, it was a wonder his teeth did not shatter.

"Oh, yeah," Jeb smiled. "You're the guy who's been crowding my girl's by line."

"Clark is my partner, Jeb."

"Lone Wolf Lane with a partner? The world must be coming to an end!" He laughed, and then gestured toward Clark. "So, Lois, are you and 'Where's Waldo' here an item?"

Lois could feel herself losing control, and she realized that Clark was probably a lot closer to critical mass than she was. She decided to simply tell Jeb the truth in hopes of defusing the situation. "We're in love with each other, Jeb, if that's what you're scratching around for." She said, praying that the conversation would not reach the point of the 'last straw'. But it did.

Jeb mocked an expression of surprise. "It must be women's lib! We finally have a 'guy' sleeping his way to the top!"

Clark, in one fluid movement, grabbed Jeb by the lapels of his garish sport coat, and dragged him forward. "You can say whatever you like about me, Friedman, because you're nothing to me, but I'll give you just ten seconds to apologize to Lois."

"Clark, don't!" Lois begged. "He's not worth the trouble."

"Because if you don't," Clark continued as if his hearing had been overruled by his anger. "We'll find out the tensile strength limitation on that pony-tail of yours!"

Jeb, who lived for moments like this, winged out his arms innocently. "Hey, big guy, what'd I say about Lois?"

"You insinuated that she would swap career favors for sexual ones."

"No way, Kent," Friedman smiled his greasy smile. "I only intended to insult 'you'. Can I help it if the lady got caught in the fallout?"

"Five seconds."

Jeb swallowed nervously as he peered into the angry dark eyes behind the glasses. He had seriously misjudged Clark Kent. This was not a mild-mannered milksop as he had first suspected. This was a young man who no doubt had the strength and the motivation to make good on his threat. Jeb never understood the power of love, but he always recognized those who possessed it. "Sorry, Lois," he said, and swallowed again. "No harm meant."

"Okay, Jeb." Lois sighed with exhaustion. "But one day your mouth is—"

Lois' sentence was interrupted by a commotion unfolding on the courthouse steps. The Metropolis Special Crimes Unit had taken up a position conspicuously close to the podium. The S.C.U. was still a relatively new addition to Metropolis law enforcement, and as such was still capable of drawing media attention. Cameras that had been fixed and locked on the podium, had to be unlocked in order to pan over to the S.C.U. No sooner had they shifted their focus, than another commotion erupted at the other end of the steps. At least one hundred of Metropolis' finest marched in formation towards the courthouse.

Jeb rubbed his hands together. "Well, there me be a story here after all." He reached into his pocket and extracted two quarters. "Here you go, Kent," he said, dropping the coins into Clark's jacket pocket. "Here's fifty cents. Go out and buy yourself a sense of humor." Jeb quickly dashed away from the couple as he chuckled.

"Jerk!" Lois said. "I'm sorry about that, Clark. He's really—"

Clark placed a finger on her lips. "I'm picking up something."

Lois looked at his intense expression, and realized she'd seen it a hundred times before, but had never connected it to super hearing. "What is it?"

Clark shook his head. "Not good. The police officers over there are talking about a general 'blue flu' walk out if Mayson's conference deals with the cessation of Superman's activities, and the officers who showed up today plan to remove their badges and place them one by one on the podium right in front of Mayson."

"I can't say I don't appreciate the newsworthiness of the situation, but this could turn sour fast." Lois placed a hand on Clark's chest. "You're going to have to become Superman. As ironic as this may sound, you may be the only thing standing between Mayson and an angry blue sea."

"I agree, but I'm not sure exactly what I can do, but I'll try." He kissed her quickly and then disappeared. Shortly after which Lois caught sight of Inspector Henderson. He seemed to be looking for something, or someone, and he was carrying a bible. Lois found this somewhat amusing. "Well, Bill, performing an exorcism, or just providing some counter-programming on the podium down the block?"

"Cute, Lane. Where's that partner of yours?"

"Clark? He had to…change."

"Really? I didn't know press conferences had a dress code," he remarked sarcastically. "He's the only consistent pipeline I have to Superman."

"What do you need Superman for?"

"Sorry, Lane, no exclusives."

"Well," Lois sighed. "I can't believe that Superman is too far away. Not with this press conference brewing."

"I hope you're right. At any rate, he never seems to be too far away from you either." He nodded to Lois and then trotted up the steps to join Captain Sawyer and her S.C.U. Lois smiled to herself. If you only knew, she thought. If you only knew.

At that moment the doors to the courthouse opened and Mayson Drake, accompanied by a small entourage, approached the podium. Lois could not help but notice that the uniformed officers to the left of the podium, and the S.C.U. to the right, gave the appearance of approaching storm fronts. "Where are you, Clark?" She whispered, and started her recorder.

"Ladies and gentlemen of the press, citizens of Metropolis," Mayson began, and then noticed the conspicuous police showing. "Members of Metropolis law enforcement. I have called this conference to address an issue which should have been addressed over a year ago. I have no doubt my stance will not be a popular one, but nobody enters the D.A.'s office with the hopes of popularity, or if they do, they have chosen the wrong career.

"I will not quote charters and statutes, but they are a matter of record and on the books if any among you would care to look them up. I must abide by these laws and make certain they are enforced. That said, I must now address these laws as they apply to the entity known as Superman. His activities for nearly two years run contrary to many of the laws and statutes of our city." Mayson glanced up from her prepared text as an awkward silence seemed to pervade her speech. It was quite unusual for the press to be so attentive and stationary.

"Superman, though claiming Metropolis as his city, does not seem to be a citizen, not only of Metropolis, but of this planet. There is no record of his existence prior to his appearance over a year ago. No birth record, no tax records, no social security, and the list goes on and on. If we were dealing with a human being who felt it incumbent to take the law into his own hands, and was just as mysterious as Superman, I have no doubt that a citizen's committee would have formed long ago to address the activities of this vigilante—"

As a discontent grumble seemed to roll across the steps, Lois felt she should intercede. "Don't you believe most citizens would take exception to the term 'vigilante' when applied to Superman? After all, a vigilante acts as judge, jury and executioner, but Superman seems to basically make citizen's arrests." Lois said, trying to think of anything that would delay Mayson, for her own good, from continuing. "I gather from what you've said that you do not consider Superman a citizen, but if having no confirmable address, name, social security card or birth certificate makes him less a citizen in the eyes of the law, then doesn't that also apply to the homeless of Metropolis?"

Henderson leaned toward Maggie. "Lane is sharp."

Maggie nodded. "Not to mention a knock out."

"I hate to disappoint you, Sawyer, but Lane is rumored to be a hot item with Superman."

"Oh well," Maggie smiled. "You know what they say. The good ones are either married or straight."

"Ms. Lane," Mayson said, and was obviously looking beyond Lois. Looking for Clark? "If any homeless person was out doing the things Superman is doing, I'd hold the same position."

"But what about Superman's citizenship? If you hold that he is not a citizen of Metropolis, or of Earth for that matter, then that would make him an illegal alien." Lois smiled as the crowd laughed at the pun.

Mayson, though not in the least amused, decided to end this thread of conversation. "I have no problem seeing Superman as a goodwill ambassador from his home planet of Krypton, Ms. Lane. However, ambassadors do not have the same privileges as citizens."

"You're quite right, Ms. Drake." Lois countered. "If Superman were to set up a Kryptonian embassy, then that embassy would be seen as being the same as native Krypton soil. As such, Superman could go out into the city, do pretty much what he pleased, and then return to his embassy and be protected by the international tenets of exterritoriality."

Maggie shook her head in admiration. "She must be a reincarnation of Clarence Darrow."

"I'm afraid Lane's last tirade went over my head, Maggie."

"She's talking about diplomatic immunity for Superman."

Henderson laughed softly. "No wonder Superman has the hots for Lane…uh, aside from her other obvious attributes."

Mayson, well practiced in law, was not about to concede on this point. "Without confirmation from Krypton of Superman's diplomatic status, Ms. Lane, his title as goodwill embassador is conferred only in the honorary sense. Thus voiding any immunity he might enjoy in an official capacity."

Lois, no less willing to concede, continued. "Then what you are saying is that Superman is being placed in a judicial limbo. He has neither the rights nor privileges of a citizen, and yet can still be arrested and prosecuted as a citizen."

"Are you trying to create an incident for the sake of headlines, Ms. Lane?"

Lois shrugged innocently. "My editor wants to make certain that I never misinterpret what is said, particularly things said by public officials. As far as I can tell, the D.A.'s office has decided to suspend the Constitution, Miranda, and all other forms of American juris prudence where Superman is concerned." Lois looked at her notes a moment. "I believe our forefathers would call this vexation without representation." This time the laughter was accompanied by enthusiastic applause.

Mayson was aware of the prevailing wind, and if she did not take control of the situation soon, the situation itself would be in control. "Ms. Lane, in the interest of American juris prudence, I will consider Superman a citizen with all rights as they pertain to the Constitution. You have actually made my task easier. I might have found it difficult to take any legal action against a non- citizen."

An LNN reporter stepped forward. "What legal action is the D.A.'s office contemplating against Superman?"

"Superman has been acting as an unauthorized agent of the law, and though vigilante may be too strong a term," she said, and glanced at Lois. "Superman, by virtue of his super powers, has an unfair advantage in terms of even the right to make a citizen's arrest."

"Let me get this straight," Jeb Friedman said, and made certain that he was within camera range. "Superman shouldn't be allowed to make a citizen's arrest because he's being unfair to the bad guys?"

"No. What I am saying is this; using x-ray vision is as much an infraction of a suspect's Constitutional rights as conducting a search without a warrant, or probable cause. Super hearing, likewise, is no better than an illegal wire tap. If a human citizen came to me and said that he had been suspicious of a neighbor, and had broken into his neighbor's home and found criminal evidence, that citizen might be surprised when I busted 'him' for B and E and criminal trespass." Mayson paused and noticed that the crowd was more or less willing to listen again. "The D.A.'s office is dedicated to prosecuting criminals, but we can only do so when we have a so-called 'righteous bust', and with Superman we can never be certain if the suspect was granted due process."

"Meaning no disrespect, Ms. Drake," a very young police officer said as he stepped away from formation. "Busts, righteous or otherwise isn't what Superman's about for us."

A sergeant stepped forward and patted the young man on the shoulder. "He's right ma'am. All of us have made good collars only to see the suspect walk even before we finished the paperwork! Busting the bad guy isn't what we look to Superman for," the sergeant sighed out of frustration. "It's like what happened a couple of weeks ago. A woman called my station and said that she was sure something had happened to her daughter because she was fifteen minutes late coming in from school. Well, my hands were pretty well tied because there was no evidence of foul play, no witnesses who had seen the girl talking to someone suspicious and fifteen minutes would not be seen as a reasonable amount of time to launch an investigation." The sergeant cleared her throat nervously. "There was a reporter at the station when the call came in, and he said he was sure he could get a hold of Superman, and I guess he did, because Superman flew like a rocket to the mother's house, looked at a photo of the little girl, and then started spraying his x-ray vision all over the city."

"I'm familiar with the case, sergeant." Mayson said. "Superman found the girl tied up and hidden under a blanket in the back of the suspect's car which was heading out of the city."

"Yes, ma'am."

"That story, unfortunately, helps illustrate my point. There was not a thing my office could do with the suspect because his rights had been violated."

"With all due respect," said a muscular, long haired man from the S.C.U. "All that mattered to any of us that day was knowing that little girl would have a chance to grow up, and one less parent would have to bury her child, and it was all because of Superman."

This statement seemed to open a floodgate. Officer after officer stepped forward to give testimony until finally one of the officers removed his badge. "I don't want to be part of any city that would put Superman on a leash!"

Cheers of like-minded sentiment roared through the crowd. At that moment Superman descended and stood in front of the podium. "Thank, God," Lois whispered. "Talk about waiting till the two minute warning!"

"Please," Clark said, and held up a restraining hand. "I appreciate your demonstration on my behave, but Mayson Drake is correct, I have no legal authority." Clark then turned and faced Mayson. "Though I must admit, Ms. Drake, nine times out of ten I use my super powers for rescues, and not for arrests."

Before Mayson had a chance to respond, and thus dig her hole a bit deeper, Maggie grabbed the bible from Henderson and approached Superman. "Well, boy scout, you about ready to take care of that one in ten?"

"I beg your pardon, Captain?"

"Put your left hand on the bible, and raise your right hand."

Clark complied.

"Do you solemnly swear to uphold the laws of Metropolis and the Constitution of the United States of America?"

"I do."

Maggie smiled. "Congratulations, Fabio, you're the newest cop on the block."

The cheering from the police officers was deafening. Henderson smiled when he noticed Lois Lane wiping her eyes. He put a hand on Maggie's shoulder. "That's the most abbreviated oath I've ever heard."

Maggie shrugged. "It's a scar from my childhood, Bill. My mother read me nursery rhymes from Reader's Digest." She handed the bible back to Henderson and then faced the police officers. "I almost forgot. Is there a cop out there that wouldn't mind loaning his or her shield to Superman until I can get him one of his own?"

The blue throng serged forward happily and enthusiastically placing their badges on the podium, just as they had planned to do a moment ago, but for a very different reason. Lois was probably the only reporter who noticed that Mayson had withdrawn from the crowd and re-entered the courthouse. Lois actually felt sorry for Mayson. She had made some valid points about Superman and never once let her personal prejudice against the 'creature from another planet' interfere with the fulfillment of her duties. Saddest by far was the fact that her bigotry had cost her the affection of the most decent, gentle, loving man on the planet.

Lois noticed Clark levitate slightly so that he could see over the heads of the adoring police officers. "Speak of the devil," she whispered and then winked at him. Clark's face split into a wide grin and then he drifted back down behind the blue wall. Lois laughed to herself and headed back to her jeep.

She had been transcribing her notes for nearly half an hour when Clark finally reappeared. She put her arms around his neck. "You sure waited till the last minute! I was almost tempted to put on blue tights myself and stand in for you."

"Hmm," Clark smiled and pressed Lois against the jeep. "Sounds good to me."

"I'm not kidding, Kent. You almost waited 'too' long."

"I was listening. You were doing a pretty good job of defending me." He raised his eyebrows. "Vexation without representation?"

Lois blushed. "So, I got carried away."

"What else is new?"

"Careful, Kent. I know where the Kryptonite's buried."

Clark kissed her. "Yes ma'am. Oh," he smiled. "I overheard Henderson say that Superman has the hots for you."

Lois looked at Clark seductively. "I hope Superman isn't the only one with the hots for me."

Clark began kissing her neck. "I assure you he's not. Captain Sawyer said you were a knock out."

Lois playfully pushed his face away. "If you keep this up, sod buster, Maggie Sawyer will start to look pretty good."

Clark laughed and opened her car door. "Okay. Let' get back and file this story. I'd like to finish early and take you to Smallville."

"That's right! Your folks don't know about us yet."

"They will tonight," he smiled. "Besides, I've always fantasized about making love to you in my treehouse."

Lois looked at him suspiciously as she leaned on the open door. "Suppose I told your mother?"

Clark shrugged. "She'd be on my side."

Lois patted his chest. "You're probably right, Tarzan," she said and ducked into the jeep. Clark ran around to the other side and soon the couple were on their way.

Mayson Drake watched from the window as the jeep pulled away and finally vanished from view. She closed the blinds. She decided it was best if she left Metropolis altogether. It was bad enough having to deal with Superman on a day to day basis, but the constant reminder of Clark Kent's love of Lois Lane would be too much. She decided to cut her loses and move on.

She moved quickly getting her affairs in order, and after sending out 'feelers' she chanced upon an opening in the D.A.'s office in a city far from Clark Kent, and the vigilante in tights. She could not have known, however, that events would once again conspire to challenge her soul. Those events, thankfully, were still months away, and for the time being she enjoyed her work in Gotham City, and Bruce Wayne was a wonderful dancer."