A Different Hero

By Angelica <pauldetr@k2nesoft.com>

Rating: G

Submitted January 20, 1998

Summary: Lex returns with a seemingly unbeatable plan to get Lois and get rid of Superman, but help comes from an unexpected source.

Author's Note: Hi! This is my first fanfic, but I think I did OK. Any and all comments or suggestions are appreciated, good or bad. Also, I know my characterization of Lex and how strongly he loves Lois is a little different than the show's, but this is the way it worked. Thanks, and I hope you enjoy reading this as much as I enjoyed writing it. Angelica <pauldetr@k2nesoft.com>


"Hey, CK, where are those letters you wanted me to mail?"

"Oh, thanks Jimmy, but I already took care of it," Clark murmured, concentrating on his computer screen.

"Gee, thanks, CK," said Jimmy, trying to sound happy. "Oh, by the way, here's another gift for Superman; a thank-you from that little girl he saved this morning. That's the fifth package today."

Jimmy handed Clark a small gift wrapped in shiny silver paper.

"Six now," said a delivery man who walked over and put a huge package onto Clark's desk. "Sign here, please."

Superman had been extra busy lately, and people had been feeling the need to thank him.

"Superman's great and all, but do they have to send all his gifts here?" Jimmy said edgily.

"Well, it's not like he asks for them, Jimmy," said Clark, a little defensively. "This is the only place people know to send them."

"I know, I know," Jimmy said walking over to Lois. "Hey, how's it going? Here's that research you asked for."

"Thanks Jimmy, but I got it myself last night."

"Oh." Jimmy looked surprised and a little annoyed. "Well…"

Lois's phone rang. "Oh, just a minute, Jimmy. " Lois picked up the phone. "Hello, Lois Lane…yea…what do you know about it?…hold on, let me get a piece of paper…great, thanks for the tip…bye." Lois ripped the piece of paper off her pad and quickly grabbed her coat.

"Hey, Lois…?"

"Not now Jimmy. I've gotta go," Lois said.

She disappeared before Jimmy could say anymore. He just sighed and walked away.

"Hey, Olsen! Things are pretty quiet here. No one really needs you right now. Why don't you take the rest of the day off," Perry said as he walked by.

"That's great!" Jimmy said, his sarcasm a little too loud. "Why bother coming to work at all? It's not like it makes a difference," Jimmy added under his breath as he headed for the elevator.

He was still muttering to himself when he walked out of the Planet. "Maybe there's a good movie on or something…" Jimmy's eyes fell on a woman who was reading a newspaper as she walked into the road, oblivious to an oncoming truck.

"Hey, look out!" he called, and ran to help her. Startled, she looked up and seeing the truck, screamed. Just as he got to the road, Jimmy tripped clumsily over the curb falling in front of the truck's huge tires. He closed his eyes and waited for the pain, but instead he heard a familiar whoosh and felt a quick breeze. He opened his eyes and found himself standing beside the woman and Superman on the sidewalk, right near where he had fallen. Superman had scooped them out of harm's way just in time.

"Are you hurt?" Superman looked at Jimmy, worried.

"No, no, I'm fine. Thanks. I…"

"Thank-you soooo much, Superman!" the woman cut Jimmy off in an obnoxious, nasal voice. He turned to her. "My name is Jennifer Barr…."

Jimmy looked at Superman and the woman and then down to his shoes. "I appreciate it," he finished, but no one heard.


Lois struggled to get the keys out of her purse, with her hands full of groceries. Finally, she found them and opened the door to her apartment. Kicking the door closed behind her, she hurried in and went to the table to put the packages down. Just then, she heard the faint, unmistakable click of a gun being cocked. She froze. Her packages crashed to the floor spilling their contents everywhere. Frightened, she turned around and drew a quick breath as she saw what she thought must be a ghost.

"Hello, Lois," Lex said, as he quietly fired a dart into Lois's leg. She fell to the floor unconscious.


Lois slowly drifted towards wakefulness. She became aware of the cold cement floor underneath her and the piercing pain in her leg. The air was thick with the suffocating smell of human waste and decomposition. Lois opened her eyes and saw that she was in a sewer. It looked like some kind of underground laboratory. There were all kinds of computers and appliances everywhere. Confused, she tried to get up and found that her wrists and legs were chained. Gradually she began to remember what had happened.

"Lex?" she asked, looking around.

"Ah, the sleeping beauty awakes. I trust you slept well?" Lex said in a mockingly polite tone, appearing from around a corner.

"Lex, where am I? How is this possible? I thought you were dead."

"Of course you did, my dear, but you should have had more faith in me. You should have known that a minor thing like death couldn't stop Lex Luthor for long. In fact, there's only one thing that has ever been able to successfully ruin my plans, and that's Superman. But no worries, we're going to take care of that now, aren't we?" Lex offered his charming smile, but somehow Lois didn't find it quite so charming anymore.

"Lex, I don't know what you're talking about! How are you alive? I saw you die; I was there!"

"Ah, indeed. Well, I would have died, if it weren't for my faithful doctor. You know Lois, just because you rejected me and essentially drove me to my death, doesn't mean that all women have such treacherous ways. My old technician retrieved my body and kept it alive until just recently, when she, for lack of a better term, brought me back to life. Anyway, that's all in the past, and what I am worried about right now is the future. It's going to be quite fun for me to take you and Superman down all at once. So, you might as well get on with it and call him."

"Lex, you're crazy! You don't really think that I'm just going to call Superman so you can have another go at killing him, do you? Besides, he'll catch up with you sooner than you think and put you in jail where you belong."

"Sorry, Lois, but I have different plans for 'Fly-Boy'. You're right; I anticipated your resistance to calling him. That's why I've devised a very effective form of persuasion." Lex picked up a remote and pointed it at the stone wall where three monitors came to life. On one there was a pigeon pecking busily at the ground and another, she saw Jimmy working late on the computer at the Daily Planet. On the third, there was a clock.

"Watch closely, Lois." Lex began typing on a computer. "First, I set a target, our friendly neighborhood pigeon; this time that is. Next I set the timer." Thirty seconds appeared on one of the screens and began counting down. "And lastly I activate my series of encryption codes, so that no one but I can deactivate the system." Lex looked at Lois and smiled. "See, I knew you would sacrifice your life for Superman's any day, but you could never sacrifice someone else's."

The timer continued down; 15, 14, 13…. "So, tell you what Lois, I promise you that you won't be injured. I won't lay another finger on you, whether or not you call Superman" 7, 6, 5…. "But Jimmy, on the other hand, well…" 2,1. Lois watched in horror as the pigeon exploded. "I just can't guarantee anything." Lex smiled and laughed.

"Lex, don't do this," Lois pleaded with him. Then, recovering her defiant nature said, "Anyway, what's to stop Superman once he's here? He'll just free me and cart your ugly carcass off to jail."

"Now, Lois, that's no way to speak to the man you almost married! You really should know me better! This is only a minor part of my plan. The real meat is to come." Lex again used the remote, and three glowing green force fields appeared. "See? He can't get to you, the computer, or me. These fields are pure kryptonite, only in an electrical form. Science really is wonderful, isn't it? And that's not even the best part! I've injected you with a lethal poison for which only I hold the antidote. Unless Superman does as I say, leave Earth forever; it's bye-bye Lois. But we both know he'll never let that happen. So it looks like I come out the victor."

Lois glared defiantly. "Not yet."

"No Lois, not yet," Lex activated the timer once again and set it for five minutes, "but soon."


It was a beautiful, clear night. Superman flew over the city just making one final round before he went home. The air was cool and refreshing. Everything seemed peaceful. Satisfied that all was well for now, Superman turned towards home, but before he got anywhere he homed in on a scream.

"Superman, help!" It was Lois's all-too-familiar cry.

Superman instantly sped to the source of the sound, plummeting into the sewers. He arrived in seconds. At once he began to feel dizzy and weak; he knew kryptonite must be near by.

"Lois, what's going on?" he asked, but he didn't need her to answer. He looked around and immediately saw. "Luthor!"

"Hello Superman, so good to see you." Lex smirked.

Ignoring Lex, Superman flung himself at the kryptonite force field enclosing Lois. She screamed, "Wait, Superman!" But it was too late. He hit the force field and groaning in pain, toppled to the floor.

"Ahh, ahh, ahh, Superman. Naughty, naughty! I wouldn't advise that; these fields are sheer kryptonite."

"Luthor, what do you want?" Superman struggled to say. He rolled over on the floor, trying to breathe and overcome the gripping pain in his stomach and head.

"Oh yes, wonderful, just cut to the chase. You know Superman, you and I might actually have gotten along if I didn't have to banish you forever. You see, Lois here has been injected with a lethal poison that, as I explained to her, only I have the antdote for. You can't get to me, her, or the computer, which happens to control the force fields and which is safely secured with encryption codes. Unless you promise to leave the planet forever and not try to stop me, Lois dies. You have half an hour before the poison kills her."

Superman looked at Lois, not knowing what to say. He stood up slowly, holding his head which still spun from his run-in with the kryptonite field. He looked from Luthor to the computer, to Lois and back to Luthor again. He sighed and looked helplessly to the floor.

"I knew you'd see it my way. Now, you can stop all this right now, if you just give me your word," Lex looked at Superman matter-of-factly.

Superman returned his gaze with complete hatred in his eyes. Then he looked at Lois and his face again became worried.

"I'll be back," he assured her and then flew with whatever strength he had left, out of the lab.


Confused and unsure what to do, Superman flew aimlessly, just trying to get away from the kryptonite, so he could think clearly. Eventually he found himself back at The Planet, and too absorbed to notice that Jimmy was there, quietly playing on a computer. He called his parents and explained the whole thing. They always had some perspective that he hadn't thought of yet.

"Can't you just zap the computer?" Martha asked.

"No, Mom, there's a kryptonite field around it too."

"Well, how about its power source? Isn't there a circuit or something you can cut?" Jonathan tried hopefully.

"There might be, Dad, but what about Lois's antidote? Luthor would withhold it!"

"I don't know what to say, honey, but don't give up!" Martha tried to reassure him.

"Son, why don't you come home for a few minutes, so we can talk this over."

"OK, Dad. I'll be there soon."

Jimmy, who was listening the whole time and was completely baffled, stood up and walked over to Superman. Superman has a mom? I thought he was the only survivor from Krypton. Poor Lois, I've got to try to help!

"Superman? I heard what's happening. How can I help?"

"Jimmy, what are you doing here? How much did you hear?" Superman asked now even more worried.

"I was just hanging around, you know, playing on the computer. I heard everything you said." Jimmy paused momentarily, and then looked at Superman suspiciously. "So, you have a mom?"

"It's hard to explain. Right now I don't have time. Jimmy," Superman looked at Jimmy with the most serious face, "you have to promise me that you're not going to try anything. You have to stay here! "

"But I can help-"

"Jimmy, I don't have time for this. Just promise that you'll stay here. Luthor is very dangerous."

"Fine, fine. I promise, just go! Lois needs you." Superman flew off in a flash. "Good luck!" Jimmy called after him. Then, when he was sure Superman was out of hearing range he said, "You sure know how to make a guy feel important."

God, I've got to stop moping and try to be productive! Jimmy scolded himself. Suddenly a sly look came over Jimmy's face. Just because he had to stay here didn't mean that he couldn't investigate. Who was Superman calling "Mom" anyway? Jimmy went over to the phone Superman had been using and pushed redial. What better way to see who he was talking to, than to call them back?

"Hello?" Martha's voice came over the phone.

"Hi, my name is Jimmy Olsen. I think I must have dialed a wrong number," he lied. "Who is this?"

"Jimmy, this is Martha, Clark's mom. Are you sure you have a wrong number? Do you need to speak to Clark? He's kind of busy right now."

Suddenly everything fell into place for Jimmy. It's so simple. I mean, they've always looked sorta similar, and Clark was always running off in the middle of crisis to do silly things like return library books, or videos, and then what d'ya know, there's Superman, saving the day just in time. He understood everything, and then he didn't understand at all. He was so confused, he just couldn't think of CK and Superman as the same person, but they were. He knew it.

"Clark is Superman," Jimmy said to himself, as if saying it aloud would confirm it.

"Jimmy, what did you say? Are you still there?" Martha inquired nervously.

"I know." Jimmy said simply. "I know everything. Look, I know you need to go to talk to Superman, so I'll let you go. Just tell him that if things don't work out that I said that he is and always will be my best friend, even if he did keep a few secrets from me. Tell him I said 'thanks.'"

Jimmy hung up the phone before Martha could say anything more. He sat down at his computer, trying to block all thoughts of Clark/Superman out of his mind. "I've got to concentrate on cracking Luthor's encryption codes," he said to himself. "This is a cinch. No problem. I'm the King of Cyberspace and I rule the Net. Hacking is child's play. Luthor on the other hand…….. If I could only concentrate!"


Solemnly, and a little slower than usual, Superman returned to the laboratory. He looked to where Lois was chained, ignoring the ache in his head, and saw that she was lying on the floor, barely conscious.

"Oh, you've returned. About time! Much longer and Lois could suffer permanent brain damage."

"Luthor, give her the antidote!"

"Sorry Superman, no-can-do. Not until you promise."

"Fine Luthor, you win. I promise. Now just give her the antidote!"

Luthor walked over to Lois, his force field moving with him, and gave Lois a shot in the arm. She slowly sat up and looked around.

"Superman," she said dazed.

"Yes Lois, I'm here. Everything's going to be fine. Luthor gave you the antidote."

"But that means……. oh no! Superman, you shouldn't have! I'm just one person. You've got the whole world to protect! They need you! I'm just one person!" Lois was suddenly animated.

" Lois, you are my world," Superman started and then turned to Luthor. "Can you leave us alone for a minute?"

"Well, I suppose so, considering the fact that I know Superman would never break his word. Just remember, you promised. You can't try to stop me." Lex disappeared into a tunnel leading away from the lab. "You have five minutes."


"No, Lois wait. Let me. I…" Superman struggled for words, staring down at his feet. "I am so totally in love with you. I could never let anything happen to you. I wouldn't be who I am without you. You're my closest friend, but there are a lot of things that you don't know about me. More than anything, I need you to know that I love you. Also…." Clark glanced down at his feet and sighed, frustrated with his loss of words. "I don't really know how to say this, so I guess I'll just have to show you; but before I do, promise me that you won't be mad. I can't go away knowing that I'll never see you again and that your last words with me were angry ones."

Lois only nodded, tears streaming down her face. Superman looked at her somberly and began to spin. He was terrified at the thought of her possible reactions, but at the same time strangely excited. He had been waiting for this moment for a long time. His spinning slowed, and then he stood before her as Clark Kent, the mild-mannered reporter. Lois could only stare.

"Lois, I'm sorry, I wanted to tell you. I love you more than anything, but I was afraid that if I told you, you would love me for Superman, not Clark. Clark is who I really am, Superman's just a way for me to help people and lead a normal life at the same time."

"But Clark, all those times I sat swooning over Superman and ignoring you; I must have hurt you so much! Clark, I've loved you for so long; I just didn't know it until recently. I wanted to tell you, but then, after the thing with Lex, when I tried to, you said that you weren't really in love with me and I felt like a fool. You have to believe me Clark, you know, because I told Superman - you - whoever. You can't leave, Clark. I need you."

"No, you don't, Lois. You'll get along just fine without me, just like you did before I came. You never really wanted a partner, anyway," Superman said half-kidding, trying to lighten the mood, and cover up the tears he was fighting back.

"No, Clark…." Lois started sobbing.

Luthor came back in from the tunnel, and Clark quickly spun back into his Superman suit.

"Time's up, you two. Superman, it was so nice doing business with you, but don't be a poor sport." Lex smiled triumphantly. "It's time for your departure."

Lois met his eyes and they stared at each other, the unspoken message understood. He nodded to her and then turned to fly away.

Suddenly the force fields blinked off…


"Yes! Bingo!" Jimmy yelled and pounded his fist against the desk. "I did it!"


Reacting before he even realized what happened, Superman went to Lois and broke her chains. She stood up and threw her arms around him clinging to him. Bewildered, but quick to realize he'd lost, Luthor slipped back into the tunnel. Lois saw him and let go of Clark.

"Hurry, go after him!" she prompted.

"No, there's something I have to do first." Superman said, pulling Lois to him. Their eyes met and their lips followed. He kissed her passionately, a fire burning in him that he could only dream of before. When they broke apart, their eyes met again for a fleeting moment. Then Superman sped after Luthor, and soon came back carrying him.


The click, click, click, of keyboards filled the Daily Planet. Lois, Clark, and Jimmy were at the coffee machine, filling their mugs when a delivery man approached them

"Another package for Superman?" Jimmy asked, looking at Clark, a little embarrassed for what he had said the day before.

"No, actually, this one's an overnight delivery. Jimmy Olsen," the man said.

"Me?" Jimmy said surprised. "Wow, a special delivery for me!"

"Sign here please." The delivery man said, uninterested.

Jimmy did and took the envelope. He removed the card and opened it, to disclose two concert tickets.

"Whoa! Tickets to Everclear! I thought they were sold out; I've been trying to get tickets for weeks!……And backstage passes!" Jimmy could barely keep himself from jumping up and down, he was so elated. "This is too cool!" Beaming, he took the tickets out of the card and became more serious as he read it.

Dear Jimmy,

We owe you so much. You really saved the day. We can't thank you enough. Without you, who knows what Luthor would have done? Not only did you save us, but you also saved all the innocent people that Luthor would have undoubtedly tortured. You're a real hero and a true friend. We're lucky to have you. We know we can trust you with Superman's secret.


Lois and Clark