By SkipD (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Summary: Clark can't believe his supersenses when he witnesses a man just struck by a bus come back from the dead. ***
Clark and Lois had just finished their lunch at Ralph's Pagoda and were on their way back to the Planet when the accident happened. Lois noticed the impending crash, and when she turned to her partner to warn him, he had already disappeared. The whooshing sound that came immediately after did not surprise her.
A man who looked to be in his thirties had crossed in front of a Metropolis Transit System bus, and the bus driver had swerved to try and avoid him. Clark, now in his red and blue Spandex suit, had to try to save either the busload of people as the bus was threatening to tip over, or the man who had not been paying attention. To Lois it seemed there was no real choice, as Superman flew along the side of the bus and uprighted it. Then came the sickening thud as the bus hit the pedestrian.
Lois saw what had happened and as soon as Clark had the bus stopped, she ran out to check on the accident victim. "Superman, that man is still under the bus. If you lift the bus up, I'll drag him out."
Clark knew that this was probably the best course of action, and lifted the front end of the bus before any of the passengers could get off. Lois grabbed the injured man by the arms and pulled him out as Clark held the bus aloft.
"OK, Superman, I think he's clear now. You can let the bus down."
Lois was breathing heavy from the exertion of dragging the body out from under the bus. Clark immediately scanned the body with his x-ray vision to see what damage had been done. As he started his scan, the injured man started to move. "Miss Lane, please see if you can keep the patient still while I check for internal injuries."
Lois noticed that Clark's voice appeared strange, and she couldn't understand why. As Superman was doing his scan, the crowd that had gathered was parted by the paramedics that had arrived.
"I don't see any serious internal injuries. You should be able to move him and get him to the emergency room."
Again Lois noticed a touch of surprise in her husband's voice. While the paramedics checked their patient and prepared him for transport, Clark took Lois to the side.
"Lois, there was something funny about the person that was run over. I don't want to discuss it here, so I'll talk to you back at the Planet."
Just then one of the EMS techs came up to let Superman know that they were heading to Metropolis General, and to thank him for his help.
"You should thank Miss Lane as well. She is the one who pulled the man from under the bus while I held it up. Lois, I have to get back to my patrol, but I wanted to thank you for your help."
"Thank you for being there, Superman. I wouldn't have been able to get to him if you weren't there to lift the bus off him."
With that, Clark turned and lifted off into the sky.
Later, as Lois was sitting at her desk, Clark came up behind her and put his hands on her shoulders. Lois looked up from her computer and saw that Clark was in one of his serious moods.
"Lois, come with me. There's something I need to talk to you about."
Lois knew it had to do with the accident earlier that afternoon, but she wasn't sure what was on Clark's mind. As they entered the conference room, Clark closed and locked the door. "So, what happened out there today?" Lois was waiting for Clark to answer.
"Lois, when I stopped that bus, I tuned my superhearing in to see if I could detect a heartbeat from the accident victim. No matter how hard I tried, I couldn't find a heartbeat. Then, after you pulled him out from under the bus, his heart started beating again. This guy just came back from the dead."
"Clark, people have been known to have their hearts stop, and then start again, even after they have been declared legally dead."
"I know that, Lois. The thing about this one was that not only did his heart start beating again on its own, but as I was scanning him with my x-ray vision, I could actually see his body heal."
Lois knew that Clark wasn't infallible, but she found it hard to believe that a man's body could heal itself. "Clark, why don't we go down to Metropolis General and do a follow-up story on the accident victim. Maybe we can check with the doctors to see if they can explain what you saw."
Clark knew Lois was on to something, and he quickly agreed that a trip to the hospital to interview the accident victim was the first logical step.
When they reached the hospital, Lois walked up to the front desk and addressed an older lady who was standing there. "Pardon me, I'm Lois Lane and this is my partner, Clark Kent. We are reporting on the bus accident from this morning, and we were wondering if it would be possible to see the victim that was brought here and to interview him."
The lady behind the desk looked up at Lois and then down at her terminal, "Do you have the name of the victim?"
"No, we only know that the paramedics said they were bringing him here. It was about 1:45 this afternoon."
Clark added, "He appeared to be in his 30's and around 6 feet tall. He would probably have been suffering from internal injuries."
After a moment of checking her computer screen the attendant looked up. "Well, we did receive a case this afternoon in the ER at around the time you said he had been brought here, but the patient was released."
Lois glanced at Clark, and he gave her an "I told you so" look. "Well," Lois asked, "Do you have a name and address for this patient?"
A stern look crossed the face of the attendant "I'm sorry, Miss Lane, but that is confidential information, and we are not at liberty to give it out, to anyone." Just then, a nurse came over with a clipboard and spoke to the attendant. As she momentarily turned her back to them, Clark used his super speed to go around the counter and look at the patient information that was on the terminal. By the time the nurse and attendant were done, she turned around to see Lois and Clark walking out the lobby door.
Once outside, Lois grabbed Clark's elbow and pulled him to the side. "So, what were you able to find out?"
"I got a name and address," Clark reported, "but I don't know how much good it will do us."
"Well, what are we waiting for. If you know where this guy lives, let's go check him out." Lois was starting to move, but she stopped when she realized Clark had more to tell her.
"Lois, the patient's name is John Smith, and his address is 123 W. Clinton Street."
Lois' face lit up, "That's right down the street from your old apartment."
Clark tried to quell her enthusiasm. "Lois, 123 is an empty lot. I used to go past it every day on the way to work, before we bought the house."
"So we're at a dead end." Lois was obviously frustrated.
"Well, I did get one thing from the hospital that may be able to help us. Part of their records for the patients is their Social Security numbers. If we get Jimmy to go online, we may just be able to at least put a name with this mystery man."
"Lois, CK, you're not going to believe this." Jimmy had obviously gotten a hit on the Social Security number that they had given him. "I was able to check some public records against this SS number, and it shows that it is issued to a Mr. John Smith."
Lois grabbed the printout Jimmy was holding. "Does this show an address for Mr. Smith?"
Jimmy came around to look at the printout over Lois' left shoulder, as Clark did the same over her right shoulder. "No," Jimmy answered, "but if you notice, this number was issued by the Social Security office right here in Metropolis."
Lois exchanged a look with Clark. "Clark, maybe you better go check that lead we got this morning, and I'll go down to the Social Security office and see what I can find out."
Clark headed for the elevator, but as Lois was getting her purse and getting ready to follow him, Jimmy put his hand on her shoulder. "Lois, the information in the Social Security files is confidential. They won't let you look at it."
Lois turned to Jimmy. "You mean there's no way we can get any more information about this guy?"
With that Jimmy's face brightened. "If you mean through legal channels, no. But I'm pretty sure I can hack around a little if you let me know what info you need."
Lois motioned Jimmy into her chair and in front of her computer. "Just see if you can get a birth date and possibly a current address. If you can get anything else about him, I would really appreciate it."
"Lois, this really isn't ethical, and it's just barely legal."
Lois wasn't going to let Jimmy's morals stand in her way, especially when she knew that he did a lot of hacking from his home computer. "I'll tell you what, Jimmy. If you can get me the information I need on this guy, not only will I set you up with that cute new intern in copywriting, but I'll pay for dinner." Jimmy didn't even bother to answer. His fingers just started flying over the keyboard. If Jimmy didn't have his heart set on being a reporter, he could probably make a small fortune working in the computer industry, Lois thought. She wandered over to the coffee pot wondering how her super husband was making out at 123 W. Clinton Street.
Clark had just arrived at that address and found exactly what he thought he would find. There stood an empty lot, but there was something that still bothered him about it. He couldn't quite put his finger on it for some reason. He noticed the diamond-shaped path that had been worn down by neighborhood kids playing sandlot baseball. All of a sudden it hit him. He had lived in this neighborhood for over three years, and he could not remember ever seeing a sandlot game being played here. For the paths to be as well worn as they were, there would have had to have been quite a few games played. The grass was worn away where the kids would have been running the bases.
Clark instinctively lowered his glasses, and after checking to make sure that he didn't have an audience, he scanned the lot with his super vision. He checked the entire field looking for a possible clue. Even though he knew he was on to something, he couldn't find anything. He then thought that maybe the answer wasn't where you would think to look. Again he lowered his glasses, but this time instead of looking at the top of the lot, he focused his x-ray vision down below the surface. There he saw below the ground, a complete living quarters. He scanned and saw that if this was John Smith's residence, he was not there right now. Clark thought about spinning into the suit and crashing down into the underground home, but he realized that John Smith hadn't broken any laws, and Superman didn't have any reason to break into his house.
As Clark walked back into the bullpen, he saw Lois hunched over Jimmy's shoulder as Jimmy was pounding away at Lois' keyboard. Clark strolled over and put his hand on his wife's waist. "So what were you able to find out at the Social Security office?"
Lois looked up into those chocolate brown eyes that always made her melt. "Jimmy mentioned that the files at Social Security are classified, and that we probably wouldn't get anywhere by going down there. Jimmy's been hacking away since then, and it looks like he might have something."
At that point Jimmy stopped typing and looked. "Oh, hi, CK." He obviously hadn't heard Clark return. "I was able to track down this John Smith of yours. According to the records that I was able to access, he was born in 1943. His permanent address is 123 W. Clinton Street, here in Metropolis." Lois and Clark exchanged a look that Jimmy didn't see because he was looking at Lois' monitor.
"Thanks, Jimmy, that ought to help quite a bit." Lois went to sit back in her chair as Jimmy reminded her of her promise.
"See if Jennifer is free for dinner Saturday."
"Only if you promise not to take her any place too swanky." Jimmy had a large smile on his face as he headed for the darkroom, before Perry could find him.
As Lois sat down Clark gave her a quick kiss on her neck. "What was that all about?"
"Well, I now have to talk that new intern, Jennifer, into going out with Jimmy this weekend. I told Jimmy that if he helped me get that information on John Smith, I would set him up and pay for dinner."
"Good luck. Every single guy in the building has been trying to score with her. I have to admit she is cute," Clark said with a slight grin.
"Just don't forget that you're married, buster." Lois slapped at him.
"How could I forget. I was the lucky guy that married the most intelligent and beautiful woman I know."
"And don't forget it," Lois joked. "So what did you find over at 123 Clinton."
Clark reached over and moved her mouse to start shutting down her workstation. "Let's go home, and I'll make some linguini with clam sauce, and we'll talk about it over dinner."
Lois grabbed her coat and purse (she was always a sucker for her husband's cooking).
While Clark put the fresh clams he had just diced into the sauce pan to simmer, Lois changed into her 'lounge around the house' clothes. This included a pair of baggy sweat pants and an extra-large sweatshirt bearing the University of Metropolis logo. Even in these clothes that hid Lois' trim figure, Clark still thought that she was the sexiest woman he had ever laid eyes on.
"So, what did you discover when you went out." Lois had her arms wrapped around Clark's lean, muscular waist.
"It was like I remembered. There was just an empty lot. What made me curious was that there were signs that kids played baseball there pretty regularly, but I don't remember ever seeing even a small pickup game being held there."
Lois knew that if there had been a game, Clark in all likelihood would have joined in.
"Anyway, I used my enhanced vision to scan for anything out of the ordinary, but I still was drawing a blank. Then I thought if I wanted to be unnoticed, where would I go? When I used my x-ray vision, I found a fully furnished and used living area — underground. It appears that Mr. John Smith doesn't like company."
"Maybe it's just his way of avoiding door-to-door salesmen." Lois dipped a spoon into the sauce that Clark was making and let out a moan when she tasted it. Clark spun around and put his arms around Lois.
"Admit it, you only married me for my culinary expertise."
"Yeah, farmboy, that's it. Your good looks, great bod, or the fact that you can leap tall buildings in a single bound didn't have a thing to do with my decision."
"Lois, I don't know what we're going to do about this John Smith. I know what I saw. I mean face it, you pulled him out from under that bus. Did he look like he was going to walk away from it?" Lois thought for a second.
"Now that you mention it, that bus hit him pretty hard, and he was dead weight when I pulled him out from under the bus."
"The problem," Clark continued, "is that he hasn't broken any laws. I can't just bust into his home and ask him how he was able to recover from that accident so fast." As Clark stirred the clam sauce, and put the linguini into a pot of boiling water, Lois continued to concentrate on John Smith.
"OK, we can't break into his home, so what if we happen to run into him out on the street. We know that he goes out during the day, and with you x-ray vision, we should be able to determine where he enters and exits his humble abode."
"Well, I already saw that he accesses his home from a doorway in a side tunnel of the Metropolis Rapid Transit System."
"So, all we have to do is stake out the subway entrance nearest the door, and wait for Mr. Smith to show." Lois appeared to be proud of her plan.
After they spent the rest of the evening going over the details of how they would find and confront John Smith, they retired to their bedroom. Lois was wearing 'Clark's Birthday Suit'. The name came when on Clark's last birthday, Lois handed him the last box for him to open. Inside was a very flimsy negligee. As Clark held it up to inspect it he'd turned to his wife and said, "Lois, I don't think this is my size."
With a twinkle in her eye Lois had snatched the nightie away from Clark and said, "Silly me, this is the wrapper. I need to put the gift in it." She went into the bedroom and came out again wearing Clark's present, and a very large smile.
"That, honey, is the best present I ever received for my birthday." Clark couldn't take his eyes off his sexy wife as she came over, sat in his lap and started unbuttoning his shirt, showing that he wasn't wearing his 'other suit'.
Tonight, Clark again gently removed the garment from her as he kissed his way down Lois' neck. She knew that Clark was one of the most patient men in the world when it came to lovemaking, and he would do everything he knew how to make sure that his wife was fulfilled. As Clark's kisses moved down her body, interrupted only by gentle flicks of his tongue, and those hands, that could bend steel, caressed her, Lois let out low, soft moans of pleasure. Finally she couldn't take it any more, "Oh, Clark, please, now." With his wife's urging, Clark stopped what he was doing and moved up her body. Lois wrapped her legs around his firm torso, pulling him closer, as if she would never let him go.
Later as they lay next to each other, holding on as if they would die if they let go, Lois started to give Clark the same treatment that he had given her earlier. She was amazed at how a man who could bounce bullets off of his chest, could become so aroused by the gentle kisses she stung across his firm chest. As she continued, Clark put his arms around her and pulled her on top of him.
Lois woke up before the alarm went off. It was amazing, she thought, how she always felt so full of energy after a night like last night. You would think that getting to sleep later and using all of that energy would leave me drained. She could hear the shower running and knew that Clark was already up without even opening her eyes. She got up out of bed and went into the bathroom. She decided to give her husband a "good morning" he'd remember all day long.
After they had finished their shower, Clark made breakfast while Lois prepared for her stakeout. They had decided that Lois would sit on a bench at the station closest to the entrance Clark had found. Clark would stay above ground. That way he could tune his hearing to Lois' voice and keep track of where Mr. Smith was heading. If he decided to take one of the trains that ran through that station, Clark could follow using his x-ray vision, while Lois tailed him. Lois had already called in and told Perry that she and Clark would be out following up on a story and would be back in the office later that day.
As Lois sat on the bench, holding a copy of The Daily Planet, she kept scanning her eyes in the direction of the door that John Smith would be leaving by. As Lois finished admiring another of Jimmy's heartwarming shots, this one of a fireman carrying a little girl away from an apartment blaze yesterday, she spotted the man she was looking for. "OK, Clark, it looks like Mr. Smith is going up to the street level. I'll start tailing him when he starts up the stairs."
Clark became alert when he heard Lois' voice. He was sitting in a small coffee shop next to the entrance to the subway station. He quickly got up, left money for his coffee, plus a tip, and went outside to wait for their prey. Clark spotted him right away, and decided that they should follow him to see where he went. John Smith in all likelihood had a job to support himself, and was probably heading there.
As Clark walked behind Mr. Smith, he felt Lois come up beside him and slip her arm into the crook of his. They played follow-the-leader for about fifteen minutes, until they arrived at the place where John Smith worked. To both Lois and Clark's amazement, they were standing outside The Daily Planet building. They walked up to Jake, the security guard, who always seemed to be at the front desk.
"Jake, do you know the man that came in just before us?" Lois asked.
"Oh, good morning, Miss Lane, Mr. Kent. That was John. He works in maintenance down in the press room. He works on the big presses, keeps 'em up and running."
"Do you know how long he's worked here at the Planet?" Now it was Clark doing the questioning.
"Gosh, Mr. Kent, John's been here as long as I have."
"Thanks, Jake, you've been a great help." Lois flashed him her warmest smile, and it melted the old timer's heart.
As they walked to the elevator, Clark leaned in toward Lois. "Lois, I've heard that Jake was here as a security guard when Perry was still a reporter. Our Mr. John Smith can't be any older than 35. I have a feeling that there's more to this than we can even imagine."
"OK" Lois replied. "So how do we get John Smith alone so we can question him. Clark thought for a minute as he pressed the elevator button for the press room floor. By the time they reached their floor, Clark and Lois had a plan in place.
"I don't know why they sent me up to this damned conference room to fix a stupid projector. They could have sent one of the youngsters. I was planning on doing maintenance on Press 3." John Smith was obviously upset about having to leave his presses. As he walked into the conference room, he could see that a lady was bent over checking out the broken projector as if she knew what was wrong, and could fix it. Before John could ask her what was wrong, the door to the conference room shut behind him, and Lois stood up and turned to face him. John turned to see what had caused the door to close, and saw Clark Kent standing in front of the doorway.
"What the heck is going on here? What do you want? If you think I have money, you're wrong." John Smith obviously didn't recognize the paper's star reporters. Lois stepped over to him and held out her hand.
"Mr. Smith, I'm Lois Lane, and behind you is my partner and husband, Clark Kent. We're both reporters here at The Planet, and we would like to ask you a couple of questions." John reached out and took Lois' hand.
"I've heard a lot about the two of you. There's always someone talking about your column down in the press room. I'm pleased to meet you."
"John," this time it was Clark speaking, "yesterday, Lois and I were on our way back from lunch when we witnessed an accident. A bus hit a pedestrian, and Lois and I both got a good look at the victim. It was you that was hit by that bus yesterday, wasn't it, John?"
Look, I don't know what … " John realized that he had been found out. "How did you know.?"
"John, Superman is a very good friend of Clark and mine, and he was the one that picked the bus up so that I could drag you out from underneath it." Lois was holding John's hands in hers, and she could feel the tension in him. "John, Superman scanned your body with his x-ray vision, looking for any possible internal injuries. He said that as he watched, he saw your body heal itself. He also told us that you had stopped breathing, and your heart had stopped beating. You were dead, John, and then you came back to life without anyone doing anything. John, we just want to know what it is that happened yesterday."
"Miss Lane, Mr. Kent, I'm sure that you're nice people, but if I tell you my secret, and it gets into the paper, my life will be a living hell." John was clearly distraught at the thought of his secret becoming public. Clark immediately empathized with him.
"John, we give you our word that nothing that you tell us will leave this room." John still seemed reluctant, until he looked into Lois' eyes, and she squeezed his hand, reassuringly.
John released a sigh. "Looking at me, how old would you say I am?" Lois seemed surprised by the question.
"I don't know, maybe mid-thirties, 35 or 36." John looked straight into Lois' eyes.
"Well, near as I have been able to figure, I am two thousand five hundred years old. Now I may be off by a decade or two."
Clark was the first to recover from his shock. "Are you saying that you were over five hundred years old when Christ was born?"
"As I said, Mr. Kent, that's as near as I can tell. They didn't have calendars back then, but I do remember some of the events that history has recorded."
"Oh, my God." Lois was shocked. "This is so hard to comprehend."
"Any harder than believing that a man can fly?" John asked. This snapped Lois out of her shock. "Look, I could sit here for hours, telling you about everything that I've seen, and all of the changes that have occurred in my lifetime. But the truth is, I really have tried to learn to live each day separately. It's the only way I can keep my sanity."
Lois spoke up once again. "But why do you need to keep this such a secret."
"Miss Lane, you said that Superman told you he had seen me come back from the dead, and that my body had healed itself. Can you imagine what would happen if anyone found out about that? People would be asking me to raise their loved ones from the dead, there would even be greedy people that would try to cash in on me. Possibly they would keep me as a living organ donor. They would be able to remove an organ from my body, knowing that a new one would grow back to keep me alive."
Lois went ashen, picturing in her mind what could happen to this poor man.
"I don't know why I am able to do what I do, but I know that I do want to keep on living. I took a job here at the Planet about fifteen years ago as a maintenance apprentice. I probably should have moved on long before now, but I really enjoy what I do. Now that the two of you know, I will have to find a new home and a new identity."
Lois was near tears. "John, Clark and I would never betray your secret. We happen to know how valuable keeping confidences is."
"Oh, Miss Lane, it's not that I wouldn't trust you and Mr. Kent, it's just that if you were able to figure out my secret, then sooner or later, other people will too."
Lois and Clark both thought about what could happen to John if someone like Lex Luthor ever learned about him.
"Listen, John, like Lois said earlier, Superman is a very good friend of ours. I know if we asked him to, he would be willing to take you anywhere you wanted to go."
"Thanks very much for the offer, Mr. Kent, but it is probably better if I just disappear on my own. Having been around as long as I have, I've been able to save quite a bit. Please don't worry about me, I'll be all right."
Lois again squeezed John's hand, letting him know that he would always have friends. She then slipped him a card. "Here, if you ever get in trouble and you need help, just call. We will always be there."
"Thanks. Mr. Kent, Miss Lane, I'm kind of glad you found my secret. I had started getting careless. You helped me to remember that for all of the good people there are in the world, like you two, there are still people who would take advantage of me."
Lois leaned in and gave John a quick kiss on the cheek. "Good luck, John."
Clark grasped his hand and shook it, knowing what John was feeling. "Just remember, we're only a phone call away, even if you just need someone to talk to."
With that John Smith stepped past Clark and walked out the door. Lois came over to her husband and wrapped her arms around his waist. "God, can you imagine how lonely he must be? Any friends he has ever made have died and are buried. He didn't even say if he had family." Clark pulled his wife tighter to him.
"I guess the loneliness that I used to feel before I met you is nothing compared to what he must be going through."
Clark went over and closed the door to the conference room. "You know, Lois, that could just as easily be me. If it hadn't been for people like my parents, and you, I could be the one who was always on the move, afraid someone would learn my secret. I could be the one worrying what would happen if they were able to keep me prisoner just to find out how I work."
Lois put her arms around her husband's shoulders, realizing that, for all of his might, he was still very vulnerable. She looked up into Clark's eyes. "Do you think we'll ever hear from John Smith again?"
Clark gently squeezed his wife's hands in his, knowing how lucky he was to have her. "I don't know, honey, but at least now he may have two people he can trust and call friend."
Clark led Lois out of the conference room, closing the door behind them.