By Katie Green (CloudyEyes@aol.com)
Summary: A mix of Romeo and Juliet, Lois & Clark's pilot, and the episode "The Rival."
[Author's note— Last year during our Romeo and Juliet unit, my English teacher gave us this assignment; rewrite the first scene (or act? I can't remember… maybe it was the second, guess I didn't learn it well enough!) of the play and put Romeo and Juliet in a different, modern setting. So, of course, I chose L&C! This story is kind of a mix between Romeo and Juliet, The Rival, and the pilot episode. Hope you like it! Comments, criticism, etc. welcome!]
Imagine, in another place and time, that Romeo and Juliet are not the children of feuding families in Verona but rather the children of rival newspaper editors in Verona, The Verona Star and the Daily Planet. In this version, Romeo is still hopelessly in love, but not with the chaste Rosalin. He is in love with Linda King, a colleague of his, who is ultimately seeing the Star's publisher. And as in Shakespeare's version, Romeo is dragged off to a party by a friend and meets the new love of his life, Juliet.
"Okay kids, listen up." When Mr. Montague, editor of the Verona Star spoke, his reporters listened. "The Daily Planet has been scooping us on a daily basis. And it just happened again! Can anyone explain this to me?" he asked, holding up a copy of the Daily Planet. On the front was a color photo of a downtown fire.
A reporter spoke up. "Maybe it has to do with the fact that our 'top' investigative reporter can do nothing but lay around depressed." This reporter was a brave one, for he was speaking of Mr. Montgue's son, Romeo.
"That's enough of that," Mr. Montague said. "I want each and every one of you to go out and get some headlines that will knock the Daily Planet out of the water!" With that, all reporters scattered. Montague retreated to his office where the phone was ringing. He answered it with a, "Hello?"
"Mr. Montague? This is Mr. Capulet, editor of the Daily Planet. What is the meaning of the message that was delivered to me this morning?"
"What message?" Mr. Montague asked, feeling his blood pressure rise.
"The one that says the Verona Star will have it's day, and that the Daily Planet is nothing but a rag?"
"I can assure you, Capulet, I had nothing to do with—"
But Capulet had hung up. Montague sighed and took a drink of water. It was going to be a long week.
Romeo Montague, son of the editor of Verona's second most famous newspaper, the Verona Star, had just stepped into the newsroom when he was met with chatter. Chatter about the upcoming charity ball that the Star's rival newspaper, the Daily Planet, was having that evening. Star staffers were not invited, Romeo learned from the gossip. Sighing, he sat at his desk an turned on his computer. But Romeo could not work. He never could. Some people said that the only reason he got his job was that his father was the editor. They said Romeo couldn't write classified ads, much less front page leads. And they were right. However, it wasn't because he wasn't qualified. Romeo had once been known as the Star's top investigative reporter. But that was before he met Linda King.
Linda was also a reporter at the Star, but rumor had it that she was seeing Preston Carpenter, the Star's publisher. This news devastated Romeo, for he was hopelessly and obsessively in love with Linda. He could do nothing but think about her. And since the first time she walked into the Star newsroom two weeks ago, Romeo knew he must have her.
"Romeo, I *do* love you, as a *friend*," Linda had said. Crushed and dejected, Romeo fell into a deep depression and sought the help of Jimmy Olsen.
"Forget her," Jimmy Olsen, the young but sensible cub reporter advised Romeo. "Come with me to the Daily Planet's charity ball tonight. There are going to be a ton of girls there."
"I can't," Romeo sighed, taking a sip of his coffee which had become cold. Making a face, he set the mug aside. "If I see all of those other girls, I'll just love Linda more."
"Look, would you forget Linda King? She's seeing the publisher, Preston Carpenter, everyone knows that."
Romeo sighed once more. Jimmy was persistent, and so he gave in. That night, all decked up in tuxedos, Romeo and Jimmy headed for the tallest building in Verona. LexCorp, where the ball was being held, was also the home of the richest man in Verona, the third richest man in the world, Lex Luthor.
The doorman stopped the two upon entering. "Names, please?"
Romeo panicked and looked at Jimmy, who was equally caught off-guard. How would they get in? "Romeo Montague and James Olsen," Romeo said.
The doorman consulted the guest list. "Go right on in," he said finally.
Shocked, the two proceeded into the mansion. "He must not be able to read," Romeo decided. Jimmy could do nothing but nod, for he was in awe of Luthor's great home.
The editor of the Daily Planet, Mr. Capulet, and his daughter Juliet, who worked for the Planet, conversed in a secluded back room just off the main ballroom.
"I believe I've found the man for you," Mr. Capulet told his daughter.
"Really? Who?" Juliet asked, slightly annoyed. She hated it when her father planned her life for her.
"Lex Luthor," he said.
Juliet's eyes lit up. "That reminds me!" she cried. "I'm supposed to be out getting an interview of him! I'm going to land the first ever exclusive of Lex Luthor."
As she ran off, Mr. Capulet could only shake his head. In all of her twenty-six years, Juliet had been an independent girl striving for the best in a male-oriented world. And this was no exception.
Juliet watched as Lex Luthor entered the ballroom and began greeting various guests. She called out his name.
Lex turned from shaking hands with the mayor to see Juliet, who looked stunning in a strapless gown.
"Juliet Capulet, Daily Planet," Juliet went on. "Why haven't you returned any of my phone calls?"
He smiled. "Well, I can assure you that I'll never make *that* mistake again." Lex made his way over to Juliet, and they began to dance.
"I hope you'll forgive me for being so bold," Juliet said.
"Boldness is a trait that I greatly admire in a woman," Lex replied.
Juliet smiled, thoroughly enjoying herself. But suddenly a voice spoke up. "Do you mind if I cut in?"
The moment Romeo laid eyes on Juliet, before he even knew who she was, he completely forgot about Linda King.
"Who is she?" Romeo asked Jimmy, pointing out Juliet.
Jimmy squinted. "I don't know, but she's really something, isn't she!"
So Romeo walked over to Juliet, who was dancing with Lex Luthor. "Do you mind if I cut in?"
If looks could kill, Romeo would be dead and buried. Juliet seethed with rage at the proposition, but what could she do? Composing herself, she smiled sweetly. "No, of course not." Lex stepped aside and Romeo and Juliet began to dance.
"You idiot!" Juliet cried with controlled anger. "It's taken me a year to…" Suddenly she looked up. "Who *are* you?"
But Romeo said nothing. They continued to dance, and soon the song was over. Romeo kissed her and then walked off with a dazed expression on his face.
Jimmy met Romeo moments later. "I have some news you might find interesting," he said.
"Not now, Jimmy," Romeo replied.
"But Romeo, I found out who that girl is. It's Juliet Capulet who works for the Daily Planet! And not only that, her father is the editor!"
Juliet Capulet completely forgot about Lex Luthor once she met Romeo. She consulted her acquaintance at the Planet, Catherine Grant, better known as Cat. Juliet disliked Cat in a big way, but she did come in handy at times like this because Cat knew everyone.
"Who is that man?" Juliet asked, pointing Romeo out to Cat.
She smiled. "That's Romeo Montague."
"Montague? As in, son of the editor of the Verona Star Montague? That rag, that lousy excuse for paper and ink?" Juliet paused as Cat nodded to all of the above. "I must see him again!" she declared.
Cat smiled even more. "I don't believe it," she said to herself.
"Juliet Capulet finally, literally swept off her feet." She paused. "Too bad he's a Montague."