By Tank Wilson <TankW1@aol.com>
Submitted August 1999
Summary: Superman tells Lois he doesn't believe that she would love him if he was "an ordinary man," but this time Lois refuses to accept his answer! Find out what happens next in this rewrite of the end of the episode "Barbarians at the Planet."
The following story was originally posted as three vignettes on Zoomway's boards. I think most FoLCs will recognize the seminal scene from Barbarian At The Planet that opens this fanfic. I have included the three titles of the vignettes (in parentheses) at the beginning of each part but have used the middle one as the overall title. There has been only minor editing and rewriting from the original posts.
All characters are trademarked and copyrighted to their respective owners. Any and all feedback is most welcome.
(Something To Think About)
"If you had no powers at all, if you were just an ordinary man, leading an ordinary life I would love you just the same! Can't you believe that?"
Clark's mind flashed back to this afternoon when he had just poured his heart out to Lois and professed his love for her. She had rejected him as an ordinary man then, how was he supposed to believe her now?
"I wish I could, Lois, but under the circumstances I don't see how I can."
Lois sucked in her breath at the stinging condemnation of his last words. Suddenly her pride and a little anger surged forth. She grabbed Superman's arm as he started to turn to go.
"Wait just a minute! Where do you think you're going? What did you mean by that? Do you think I'm in the habit of lying to people I profess to love?"
Clark was a bit taken aback by the sudden switch of tactics on Lois' part. He stared off to the side briefly thinking he should just go… No! she had asked for it so he was going to see this through with her.
"Okay, Lois, you say that it isn't the powers that attract you to me, then tell me, what exactly is it?"
Okay Lois, she thought, it's put up or shut up time. She stared at him for a moment, marshaling her thoughts.
"Well, you are good. And kind. And you are the most compassionate man I've ever met. I couldn't help but be attracted to that. Even if you didn't have powers."
"Is that all?"
"Well," Lois blushed. "That, and the fact that you are gorgeous."
Now it was Clark's turn to blush, but he quickly regained his equilibrium.
"Okay, you defined desirable characteristics that attract you to a person. You're telling me that you've never come across anyone else like this? Is Lex like that?"
"Yes… well, no. Lex is well, Lex." Lois turned away and thought hard for a few moments. "Lex is powerful and charming, but I guess the only other person I really know like that is Clark"
"So, if I didn't have powers I'd be like Clark?"
"But you don't love Clark, you prefer Lex?"
"NO! I mean yes… I mean…" Lois stopped herself and turned away from Superman. What did she mean? She did love Clark. He was her best friend, but she couldn't love him that way, could she? Clark was all the things she told Superman she loved about him, including being a great looking guy. And Clark did have a wicked sense of humor she very much enjoyed. Did she really love Superman because of his flashy powers or did she love him because he was so much like… Clark! She turned back to Superman and looked into a somewhat confused and expectant face.
"Thanks for coming by, Superman. I have a lot of things I need to think about now." She gave him a gentle shove toward the window. "It's never easy, is it?" she asked as he stood in front of her open window.
"No, Lois, it's not." He smiled. "Take care."
With a familiar whoosh of air he was gone.
Several hours, and nearly a gallon of Choco-Chocolate Ripple later, Lois reached for the phone and pressed one of only two speed dial numbers she had on her telephone. It rang.
"Clark, I'm glad you're home. Could you come over? I think we have some things we need to talk about."
(A Chat with Lois)
It was late but the knock on the door was firm if not loud. Lois opened the door. Clark stood outside, he'd come over just as she'd asked. In fact he'd come over quite quickly, almost as if he'd been waiting for her call? Of course, Superman. Honestly, those two were worse than a couple of old gossips. Lois swore there wasn't anything that she'd ever told to one of them that the other didn't soon seem to know. A quick flash of uneasiness hit Lois at that thought but she pushed it aside. No time for that now.
"Thanks for coming, come in, sit." Lois backed away and indicated the couch with her hand. "Can I get you something to drink?"
Lois came over and sat in the chair opposite the couch. Was that hope she saw in Clark's face?
"As you know, Superman was here earlier," Clark just nodded. "And after I had told him how I felt about him he said some things to me which made me do some thinking. Made me truly examine my feelings." Lois got up and came over to the couch, sitting next to Clark. "I have a lot of questions for you, but before I can decide how to proceed I need you to answer me two questions. Straight up and honest. Will you do that?"
Lois grabbed Clark's hands and looked into his eyes. She felt herself start to melt into those expressive chocolate colored pools. Get a grip! Lois squeezed Clark's hands.
"Okay, here goes. First, why do you hate Lex? I know you think he's some sort of monster but I need to know why. Please don't tell me it's just jealousy."
Clark was momentarily taken aback by her question. It was not one he was expecting. In order to tell her about his suspicions truthfully she'd have to know his secret. He supposed he could use the 'Superman told me' dodge but he was tired of the deceptions and he knew he should tell Lois the truth, tonight, but not just yet. He needed to hear something more from Lois first. Call it foolish pride but he needed to know that Lois' feelings were leaning in a direction he hoped.
"No, Lois, it's not jealousy, well not entirely anyway." He smiled, she smiled back. "The answer is more complicated than you might think. It would probably be better if we moved on to your other question first." Clark placed a finger against Lois' lips to forestall the protest he could see coming. "I fully intend to answer your question completely and honestly, Lois, but let's just say the answer involves someone else and I need a little time to figure out how to best tell you for the sakes of all concerned."
She knew it! It had to be Superman. He'd told Clark things that Clark had kept to himself. She always knew they were close but if he knew things about Lex he should have told her. She wasn't quite sure how she should feel about that. She mentally shrugged and decided to wait to hear his reasons before she decided how mad she should be. Lois sighed. It was time for the big question in her mind.
"Okay, I'll wait." Lois pulled back a little so she was at the opposite end of the couch. "Next question. Assuming what you told me at the park this morning still holds…" She waited for a response and got that smile that makes the recipient want to giggle like a schoolgirl. "Right, okay, Why me?"
Clark was stunned.
"What! you're kidding, right?"
"No, I'm not. Clark, you are a great looking guy, you're kind and considerate with a great sense of humor. I've come to realize something I probably already knew but was afraid to acknowledge, but Clark Kent is a pretty terrific guy. You could have virtually any woman you set your sights on. So, why me? I know I can be difficult, a bit stubborn, even bossy at times…"
Lois rolled her eyes when she noticed his grin. She stopped talking and just glared at him. Clark put up his hands in a defensive posture.
"Okay, okay Lois, straight up, honest answer." Clark licked his lips and took a breath. "You are simply the most amazing woman I've ever met. You are brilliant and beautiful. "
Lois looked down at the old jeans and t-shirt she was wearing. She had on no make up and had shoved her hair back behind her ears. She gave Clark one of those 'Yeah right!' raised eyebrows but he continued on.
"But more importantly, you are the most loyal and caring individual I know. You wear a shell so you can pretend that nothing ever gets to you, but I know better.
"Everything gets to you. You couldn't be the city's best reporter if you didn't care or didn't have such a passion." Clark took a breath and gave her a mischievous smile.
"Besides, you've already met my parents and they love you." She threw a pillow at him but was smiling herself. "Seriously, I knew from the moment I met you that you were the woman I'd been looking for all my life, and didn't even know that I had been looking! Whenever I'm with you it's like whatever I've been missing in my life is suddenly filled. I can't explain it, Lois, but I know I can't deny how I feel. I am, and always have been, in love with you."
Lois was overcome by the intensity of Clark's pronouncements. There was no doubt in her mind now. This man loved her, faults and all, like no one had ever loved her before. She also realized that she had been crazy to fight it herself, but she knew that she too loved Clark. A tear rolled down her cheek as she pulled him to her. Grabbing the back his neck she crushed her lips to his. It was like liquid fire coursing through her veins. Yes! this was definitely something she could get addicted to.
Clark felt his skin heat up with the passion of Lois' kiss, and he gave back as good as he got. Somewhere in the back of his mind he knew he would still have to deal with the Lex problem and that other small 'Superman' thing but that could wait. Right now the woman he loved was showing him that she felt the same, and that was enough.
It was quite the picture of domestic bliss. It was 4 AM and Lois Lane was snuggled back into the arms of Clark Kent as they sat wedged into the corner of her couch. Lois lay with her head against Clark's chest as he occasionally blew little tangles into the hair at the top of her head. This would cause her to turn to face him, try to look cross but end up smiling when confronted with his grin. Then they'd kiss until they ran out of breath. Their clothes were rumpled but intact. Neither had felt it quite right yet to become completely intimate. Clark was especially glad because he didn't feel he should take that last step until Lois knew everything. Coming up for a breath after their latest kiss, Lois noticed 'that look' on Clark's face.
"Oh no, not now!" Clark moaned.
"What is it?"
Clark carefully set Lois aside as he stood up. The timing couldn't be worse! He looked at the confused concern on Lois' face and made a decision right then. No more lies, no more lame excuses.
"Lois, I'm terribly sorry. I didn't plan for you to find out this way, but there's a big apartment fire over near Hobb's Bay and people are in danger. I have to go."
"What? How do you… Go where?"
"I'll be back as soon as I can and explain everything." Before Lois could form a coherent sentence Clark had spun into Superman and was gone.
"Clark!" Lois sat back down onto the couch with a thump. Shock and bewilderment were written on her face. "Clark?" she looked at the window that he'd just exited from. "Superman?"
The fury had finally died down. The feelings of hurt and betrayal were temporarily set aside while the now dominant Lane intellect began to work. Lois was perversely proud of the fact that nothing was broken. Well the lamp didn't count because she hadn't meant to break it. She glanced at the pieces on the floor and decided she would leave them there, for now. It was time to look at things logically. The news reports on the fire showed it was winding down so Lois knew Clar… Supe… Clark! would be back soon.
First of all, she couldn't believe she'd been fooled all this time by a pair of glasses and a comb, but then so had everyone else so that recrimination could wait. The most important things now were: how did she feel and what should she do about it. Clark had lied to her and that hurt, but she also knew deep down that she'd get over it, eventually.
She had already reasoned out the why of a 'secret identity'. As Superman the poor guy would never have anything approaching a normal life. He'd never be able to go to a ball game with friends or have a dinner date with a girl. It would be worse than being a big motion picture star. No, she definitely understood that. What hurt was that he hadn't trusted her.
Come on, girl, her little logical voice said. What did you expect? You had been throwing yourself at Superman but kept Clark at arm's length, for how long?
Lois winced at that thought. She was sure he thought of himself as Clark and Superman was just the hero persona that allowed him to use his powers openly. She supposed it was a little tough on the ego to watch who he was be ignored in favor of what he could do. As she ran the litany of pathetic lies and excuses through her mind she could now match them up with times that Superman had been needed, but she couldn't recall any time the didn't involve Superman that Clark had been forced to lie to her. And don't forget, she told herself, even though you were getting to be better friends, you were dating his hated enemy, Lex Luthor. Yeah, Lois thought, if Superman has reason to hate Lex Luthor I definitely have to rethink my feelings for that man! Bottom line, Lois, she told herself. Do you love him? Yes! Enough to forgive him…? Yes, but that didn't mean she was going to let him off scot free.
Clark flew back into Lois' apartment not knowing what to expect, but he was sure this was not it. Lois was sitting with her arms folded casually across her chest. Her expression was unreadable. She seemed calm…? Clark quickly surveyed the apartment and noticed the broken lamp. He looked back at her as she stood.
"You realize, of course, now that I know your secret, you'll either have to kill me or marry me."
She stood right in front of him and stared straight into his eyes, her expression never giving away how much fun she was having.
"You can't run the risk that I might tell someone. So you'll either have to keep me under constant watch, or kill me."
"Superman doesn't kill."
She threw her arms around his neck.
"Good," she said as she kissed him hard. Clark was still a bit confused as they broke the kiss.
"What about Lex?"
Finally, Clark smiled as they resumed their kissing.
(fade to black)