By IRC Round Robin
Submitted January 1999
Summary: "Mxyed Signals" was inspired by a recent story in the Superman comics. In it, Mr. Mxyzptlk returns to bedevil Lois and Clark by interrupting their cozy evening at home with a trip into TV land.
An IRC Round Robin by AMCiotola <AMCiotola@aol.com>; Eraygun <Eraygun@aol.com>; Lansbury <Lansbury1@aol.com>; Mackteach <Mackteach@aol.com>; Misha <email@example.com>; Sambrea <firstname.lastname@example.org>; SUPERfan <CKandLL4ever@juno.com>
This round robin was inspired by a story in the SUPERMAN 80-Page GIANT #1 - A Celebration of the Heroic Legacy ( February 1999) now on sale at your local comic dealer. ;). "Prime Time" by Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning, writers, and Graham Higgins, artist, is a reminder that Superman and comic books are supposed to be fun. :)
Lois sat at her desk staring at her monitor. She had just LANed the most recent by-line from Lane and Kent. Both she and Clark, when Superman didn't demand his attention, had worked non-stop for the last few days to bring down the latest in the long line of bad boys that always seemed to be out for the city of Metropolis.
Now with that done and the holidays finally over and the families gone home, Lois was looking forward to spending a nice quiet evening at home with Clark. They planned on just vegging out in front of the TV channel surfing and watching whatever they could find. Clark would make them a nice simple dinner (after all, she was eating for two now and Clark would want to make sure she was eating and eating right. Then they would cuddle up in front of the TV, even if they never actually saw what was on the tube.
At the thought of Clark, her hand caressed her still flat tummy and she began to think too about the miracle within her. Lois automatically turned to look for her husband, expecting him to be sitting at his desk. He wasn't. She couldn't help but wonder what Superman was needed for *this* time. She didn't get to wonder too long.
"Lois!" Perry called from his office door. "Find Clark and get yourselves outta here. Good job on the article. Enjoy the weekend, you've earned it."
"Thanks, Perry." Lois turned and saw Morgan Edge sitting on the couch behind Perry.
She heard Morgan say something about how Clark never seemed to be around, then Perry's response.
"A good reporter doesn't get award-winning stories by sitting around on his duff. Why, did I ever tell you about when Elvis … "
She stifled a laugh as the editor's door closed, cutting off the rest. Quickly shutting down her station, Lois headed towards the elevator before Perry could change his mind or some other late-breaking story could find its way to her.
Clark had just finished cutting the fresh vegetables when he heard Lois at the door. Giving her a chance to make her way into the kitchen, he threw a mixture of the vegetables into a wok with a little cooking oil. He'd had to improvise a quick and easy dinner using what he'd found in the fridge, since neither he nor Lois had made it to the grocery store, but he knew it would provide a nice meal.
He had been home for a little over an hour now, coming straight from a brief rescue. He was eager as Lois to get started with their evening. He'd known that she could handle a quick wrap up of the story they had been working on most of the afternoon, and didn't feel much guilt about not going back to the Planet. If something came up, Lois knew how to get in touch with him.
While waiting for her at home, he had set up the living room so they could enjoy their dinner in front of the TV. He even had the set already turned on, tuned to an easy listening music video station, while he made preparations for their night of doing nothing.
Lois walked through, heading straight for the kitchen, and noticed what Clark had done. They were finally going to get the break they both needed.
"Hi, honey." Clark wiped his hands quickly on a towel, then engulfed Lois into a brief hug and a welcoming kiss as she walked through the swinging doors, both of which she returned enthusiastically before she playfully pushed him away.
"So this is where you disappeared to. And here I wasted energy worrying about you being out on a rescue." The twinkle in her eye told Clark that she was teasing. She knew he probably did have some kind of emergency because he wouldn't have deliberately taken off if he could've avoided it.
After Lois had changed into something more comfortable, they finished making dinner and moved what they would need into the living room.
Neither one of them noticed when a strange figure blended himself into the current music video on the TV. At first he danced along with the rest of the extras, his bizarre clothing doing little to hide him. He purposely stood out as if daring Superman to notice him. As the video continued, he eavesdropped on the super couple, listening to their plans for the evening.
"So, Mr. Muscles thinks he and the Mrs. will be able to enjoy an uninterrupted evening at home, huh? Well, think again, Mr-I-Wear-Tight-Tights. The fun is just about to begin."
With that he pointed his finger at the remote control sitting on the arm of the couch, giving it a special touch of magic. And as suddenly as he'd appeared, he just as quickly blended back into the video before finally completely disappearing from the TV.
"Mmm, that was delicious." Lois leaned back against Clark after placing her dish back on the coffee table. "You really know how to spoil a girl, Kent."
"You're the only girl I want to spoil, honey." Leaning over and beginning with her shoulder, he placed small kisses as he followed the path to her lips. Neither one of them wanted to rush the passion they were sharing, yet they were unwilling to separate. After a few more moments they both came up for air.
"How about that night of vegging out in front of the TV you promised me, Farmboy. I want that first." Lois was grinning her I'll-get-you-later grin.
"As you wish, my love." Sneaking in one more quick kiss, Clark grabbed the remote and pressed one of the buttons.
Instantly their comfortable world vanished from around them and they found themselves looking through some kind of glass wall, seeing the living room just as it had been a few moments before.
"Clark … "
Lois had no sooner called out his name when, on the other side of the wall, a puff of purple smoke appeared. Lois' mouth literally dropped to the ground. Floating before them was the menace from the fifth dimension. He was sitting on a puff of air with a tub of popcorn and a remote control much like the one they used for their own TV.
"Hello there, Mr. Hardbody, are you ready for some fun?" Without warning, the imp pressed a button on the gadget.
Lois and Clark found themselves standing in an a open field. The air surrounding them was hot and dusty and there was a steady hum in the air.
"Clark, did you see him!? It was Mxyzptlk!"
"I know, honey —"
"Do you have any idea what he's done to us or where we are?"
"No, but I don't think we have time to worry about that right now."
"Take a look."
Lois turned and looked up into the sky. There were helicopters there, at least three or four of them, each bearing distinctive lettering.
"M- A- S- H," Lois spelled out slowly. "MASH?! As in Mobile Army Surgical Hospital? We're in a war zone! Oh my god, Clark, he's sent us back in time."
Before Clark could respond a voice called out to the two of them. "Hawkeye, Hotlips, look alive! We've got incoming!"
"Hawkeye?" Lois asked incredulously.
"Hotlips?" Clark replied.
"Is there an echo out here?" a tall man with a mustache said with a smirk.
Clark shook his head slowly.
"Actually, Hunnicutt, it looks to me like Pierce has been imbibing on duty again," a weasel-faced man who reminded Lois of Morgan Edge interjected.
"Can it, Frank," the tall man admonished. "Everyone knows Hawkeye's a better surgeon blind drunk than you are cold sober."
"And who asked you to butt in anyway, ferret face?" Lois added sharply.
"Margaret!" the Morgan clone said in a disapproving tone.
Lois eyed the man disdainfully. "Do I know you?" she asked.
"Margaret, how could you say that after all we've meant to each other?"
"Oh dear god, please don't tell me I've had anything that resembles a relationship with you," Lois said as she rolled her eyes heavenward. "Even in fantasy land I can't escape federal disasters."
"Never mind that now, honey," Clark interjected, as he moved away from the man who now seemed on the verge of tears. Looking around him he could see injured and dying men everywhere. "Wherever we are, these people are hurt, really hurt. Let's see if we can help out somehow."
Lois nodded in agreement, but suddenly Mxy appeared in a puff of smoke. "Ever the *Super* boy scout, aren't you? Well, let's see what it will take to change that."
Lois and Clark were suddenly standing in a crowd of people looking up into the night sky. A cold drizzling rain was falling as a hush settled over the crowd.
"Look! Over there." A tall lanky man standing next to a small redhead was pointing up into the heavens. "Scully, look ..quick … something is over there. About three o'clock high." Mulder looked at his partner and could see she was not interested a bit in what was going on. "Come on, Scully, you agreed to come and be a 'watcher' with me tonight."
"Mulder, I came to shut you up. You have talked of nothing else for the past three days. I'm here only under duress. Standing in the cold rain watching the black, and I might say, cloud-filled sky for moving objects is not my idea of a fun evening. Mulder, are you listening?" She gave him no time to answer. "*Even if* something was up there, it would have to be the size of a football stadium and as bright as a small nova to cut through this cloud cover."
Mulder continued to scour the sky listening to his partner. When she had finished her ramblings he leaned towards her, smiling from ear to ear. "Scully, the extreme possibility of seeing an alien or a UFO tonight is great. I can feel it in my bones. There have been sightings coming from this area for the last three weeks. Open that scientific mind of yours for that possibility."
A movement to the right of her caught her eye. Scully looked at the couple next to her. Clark had his arm around Lois' shoulder in a protective stance. Scully noticed immediately something was wrong with the woman he was holding.
"Sir, is everything all right? Do you need help?" Scully peered at Lois and could see from her paleness that she was not feeling well. "I think she needs to sit down, sir. I'm a medical doctor. If there's anything I can do to help I'll be happy to."
Mulder moved to stand on the other side of Lois. The happenings in the sky were forgotten.
Trying to come up with a quick explanation Clark looked at both of them. "My wife is pregnant and this excitement is making her a little queasy."
"Sir, you need to get her to a dry place. Our car is over there." Mulder and Scully led Lois and Clark to their car about two hundred feet away.
"Thank you for your help. We both appreciate it." Clark settled Lois, then himself, into the back seat. Mulder had taken off his black overcoat and given it to Clark. He gently placed it over her. Lois moved till she was resting her body against Clark's. She immediately felt better as her body began absorbing his body heat.
Scully reached over the front seat and gave Lois a cup of hot cocoa. "We have a full thermos of this. Would you like a cup?"
Lois smiled as she took the cup. "Thank you, I'd love it."
Mulder was the next to speak. "Are you two watchers, too?"
"Watchers?" Lois and Clark said at once. "Well, we try to watch every week but with our work schedules it isn't always possible."
Clark gave Lois a slight nudge on her arm. He placed his lips next to her ear. "We're *in* THE X-FILES."
Lois sat up straight. "What I meant to say is we go whenever we hear of a sighting near us."
"Then you have a lot in common with my partner here." Scully smiled wryly. "He's into aliens and alien sightings, big time. He'd give his right arm to actually see and talk to a living breathing alien."
Both Lois and Clark smiled in the darkness.
"I don't think an alien would need an extra right arm," Clark said in an amused tone, "but you never can tell who you might run into on a night like this."
The evening sky and light drizzle suddenly disappeared, replaced by a blue sky and green grass. But not just any blue and green. As Lois looked around her, the phrase "jewel tones of sapphire blue and emerald green" popped into her head. That was the only way to describe the incredible vibrancy of the sky and grass.
She took a step forward, immediately stopping and looking down at her feet.
Her bare feet.
"What the … ?" Lois held her arms out to either side and looked down at what she was wearing. She stroked the front of her dress; the material felt impossibly soft and supple. "Softer than suede," she murmured. She touched her neck and felt polished stone against her fingertips. "Waitaminute … "
She looked about her once more and spied Clark a short distance away. At least, she thought it was him. The outline of the body was very male, very strong, very confident, very … heroic. As the figure walked toward her out of the sudden rise of mist, she saw that it indeed was Clark.
Or was it?
"Lois? Honey, is that you?" the figure asked as it walked toward her.
The voice was unmistakably Clark's and Lois relaxed her stance slightly, wondering even as she did why she stood with her legs apart and her chest out, looking in disdain at the approaching man. While he still had his glasses on, instead of the jeans and t-shirt he had been wearing in the comfort of their home, he was now wearing what looked to be a metal chestplate, leggings, and boots.
Looking into his eyes, Lois recognized the tender look of caring and concern. A soft smile played on his lips and Lois felt her mouth begin to twitch in response. He stopped in front of her, removing the helmet he wore and Lois couldn't stop the gasp of surprise from escaping from her lips.
"Clark? Your hair! It's … it's … "
Frowning, Clark looked at Lois, taking in her transformation. Lois' skin was now a darker hue and she stood before him tall and proud. But what took his breath away was her hair. Long, flowing waist-length black hair.
He looked into her eyes and saw the uncertainty behind them. He wanted to rush forward, to pull her into his arms and reassure her that everything was all right, but there was something about her stance and her attitude that gave him pause. He continued to look at the other changes that Mxyzptlk's magic had made. No longer clad in the casual clothes that she had changed into before dinner, she appeared to be wearing some type of native garb. His hearing tuned in to a faint melody on the soft breeze. Smiling, he responded to her exclamation.
"What about my hair, honey?"
Lois nodded. "Yellow. You know, like the yellow that kids use in elementary school when they paint. Egg yolk yellow."
Clark combed his fingers through his hair. "Really? Egg yolk yellow, huh? That seems to fit everything that I'm seeing, honey. Bright, vibrant colors. Like a painting."
"Like a painting … " Lois echoed softly.
Reaching for her hand, Clark looked around them, staring. "The colors, Lois. They're so … "
Lois nodded. "Vivid. Unnaturally so. Almost as if … "
Clark stared at Lois. "He didn't … "
Lois stomped her bare foot on the green grass, a flurry of butterflies rising at the disturbance. "Clark! That imp's jumped us into a Disney animated movie! You're John Smith and I'm … "
Clark nodded slowly. "POCAHONTAS. I know, honey. I heard the background music. 'Colors Of The Wind,' right?"
"Uh huh. But *why* is he doing this?"
"For fun, kiddies."
Lois and Clark turned at the voice. Lois' head jerked back in surprise, her long black hair blowing in the seemingly ever-present breeze. Clark quickly reached out, capturing the little hummingbird.
"Hey! Watch it! I'm an endangered species, y'know!"
Loosening his grip, Clark looked at the hummingbird closely. Instead of the head of the character, Flit, that he expected, he found himself staring at Mxyzptlk's head.
"All right, you fifth-dimensional elf! What's this all about?"
The wind and leaves rustled about them and Mxyzptlk smiled. "Just having some fun, Stooperman. You and the little wifey here wanted some peace and quiet in front of the TV. So I figured, why not bring you inside the TV? For something a bit more … shall we say … up close and personal?"
Lois shook her finger at the dimensional imp. "Listen, Mistletoe! I'm not in the mood for your fun and games!"
With a poof, the impish hummingbird disappeared only to be replaced by another animated character, this one looking like a devilish version of a certain large mouse.
Mxy frowned and stuck out his tongue. "It's Mxyzptlk to you, Mrs. Stooper. And too bad. I'm going to have more fun and more games with you two before this is over. *If* it's ever over."
"Mxyz —" Clark growled.
A large white-gloved finger shook at Clark. "Uh uh uh. That's not in the rules. Besides, there are over one hundred channels available for me … and the two of you … to surf through. Thank goodness for cable."
In a cloud of smoke, the mouse-imp disappeared. Lois and Clark looked around as his voice filtered back to them.
"See you around primetime, kiddies."
Clark looked down at himself, a habit that he seemed to be quickly forming. His glasses were gone, and he was wearing a …
Jimmy looked up from the couch upon which he lounged. "What did you say, Bruce?"
Clark tried hard not to stare. He'd never seen Jimmy dressed up, nor in such … vintage clothing.
Jimmy looked down at himself. "What?"
"Ahh … nothing."
"Master Bruce, Master Dick, there is a call on the Phone." Perry appeared out of nowhere, dressed impeccably in clothing from an even earlier time.
Clark glanced around. This was starting to seem bizarrely familiar. Perry opened the study door, and there on the desk was the big, red phone, merrily buzzing away.
"This is … BATMAN," he intoned into the huge handset, mentally crossing his fingers.
"Get going, already!" Mxy yelled, and Clark felt himself suddenly jump into fast forward, primary colors speeding past him as he almost decapitated Shakespeare, jumped down a pole, and emerged into the beeping, pulsing, over- labeled Batcave.
He and Jimmy, now dressed in flashy tights even more colorful than his own, roared off in the BatMobile.
The scene change music flashed and Clark found himself standing in front of the Cat's Paw Gaming House.
Inside, Lois shook her head and looked down at herself. "Oh, my god … " A fluffy Persian, with more hair than body, walked across her lap, waving its tail in her face. She watched in fascination as the fine white hairs drifting in its wake settled on her skintight black costume and then vanished.
"Hey, I wish I could get my suits to delint like that!"
"What'd you say, Catwoman?"
Lois purred involuntarily, then coughed in shock as Clark and Jimmy broke the door down. The cat-eared thugs hanging around her threw themselves bodily at the two be-tighted boys.
Lois giggled at the huge THWACK! and BOP! signs that flew through the air faster than the obviously telegraphed punches.
When they finally all lay groaning on the floor, she threw herself into Clark's arms. "You know, this isn't so bad after all."
Clark returned her grin. "I think right now you look better in black than I do."
Jimmy favored them both with a puzzled look. "Holy cats, Batman! Aren't you going to arrest her?"
"Yeah! Sheesh! Let's move on!" Mxy waved his remote.
Clark looked at the painting he was working on, trying to figure out what it was supposed to be. The strains of the music distracted him, and he looked away from his work.
Lois was lying on a bed nearby dressed in a long black dress. She ran her hands over a bowl full of juicy green apples and tried to decide what she was doing.
What has Mixlerod zapped us into this time? she thought as the music got louder and faster. All of a sudden, she got the feeling that she should sing …
"I feel just like that painting Collecting dust on the wall, And everyday you walk right by me And don't know I'm there at all, And I can't think of one single reason why I should be hanging around … "
Clark turned to look at Lois while she sang. Mxyzptlk has zapped us into a music video, he realized. Odd, I didn't know he was a Mindy McCready fan …
He grinned at Lois as she sang and acted out the words, looking clueless about what was going on.
"Maybe he'll notice her now Maybe he'll open his eyes Sometimes it takes somebody leavin' For a man to realize … "
Clark wanted to get a message to Lois without interrupting the song. He thought a moment then picked up his paintbrush.
Intrigued by his actions, Lois started to adlib the lyrics to the song …
"Maybe he'll pay attention since she left … He ignored her while she was here … I don't like myself as a blonde … I mean, maybe he'll notice her now … "
Clark laughed as Lois fumbled over the song.
"Maybe he'll notice her now Maybe he'll open his eyes Sometimes it takes somebody leavin' … "
What, this is a country song? An idea flashed through Lois' mind.
Clark caught Lois' eye and they both started digging through drawers as the MAYBE HE'LL NOTICE HER NOW video played on.
"Gotcha," Lois whispered as she pulled out the CD player. Clark pressed 'play' and they both settled down, content to let the CD do the work.
Lois and Clark moved closer and started kissing. "I like this channel the best," Lois whispered.
"Peter, I'll take Dane Staff and Shari Brooden for the block." A middle-aged woman sitting on a platform pointed to the upper left hand corner of a large three by three block of squares. The very same corner square that was now occupied by Lois and Clark.
Lois looked out into the bright lights and saw a room full of people and what looked like a studio of some sort. There were a few TV cameras, two of which were pointed in her direction. Turning to her right, she found Clark, sans glasses, sitting next to her and immediately grabbed for his arm.
"Clark, we're in a game show?!?" she whispered.
"Seems like that to me, honey. It looks like that new HOLLYWOOD SQUARES."
Clark gave a glance around as well. There were a few TV stars he vaguely remembered, but they were all staring in their direction.
"Ok, Dane and Shari, this should be an easy one for you to score an 'X' for the block. What are four of Superman's … "
Before the host could finish his question, Lois' world transformed once again as she found herself sitting next to a bathtub with … a rubber duckie in her hand?!?!
A voiceover boomed "It pays to Discover … "
Lois undulated in a miniskirt and go-go boots. "Kiss my bippy," she said to Clark who was dancing beside her dressed in the suit and muttering "Sock it to me?"
"Your *bippy*? Lois! We're in public!"
She eyed him coyly. "Well, if you kiss my bippy, I'll sock it to you … " Her finger traced an S on his chest.
"Verrrry interesting," Mxy muttered. "But not what I want."
The scenery changed again. This time Clark was sitting out in the blazing sun on a construction site. He glanced down to see a can of diet cola in one hand and his shirt in the other.
Using his enhanced vision, he spied around for Lois, finally spotting her a few floors up in a building across the street. She seemed to be enjoying the view. So were the group of ladies huddled around the window with her, literally drooling in his direction. He started across the street and …
… almost tripped over a footstool.
He levitated over the object and eyed Lois appreciatively. "Y'know, honey … I never noticed how great you look in slacks before."
"That's because I never wore capri pants before. Ohhh Claark! I'm even wearing those black flat shoes!"
A tall bald man came through the swinging doors into the living room.
"My god, Clark, it's Lex!"
"That's impossible, honey. Lex is dead."
"This is TV. No one is ever really dead," Mxy said with glee.
The living room and the bald man disappeared.
Clark looked down at the blue varsity letterman's sweater he was wearing. "Oh boy," he murmured.
He looked up as Lois walked in wearing the straight skirt of the 60's topped by a red sweater twin set that showed off her assets quite well. Suddenly, a phrase popped into his head. "I found my thrill … " he sang.
Lois stared at the jukebox, not sure which song to select. Clark leaned against it, taking in Lois' pursed lips. He straightened the front of the black leather jacket he was now wearing.
"Allow me." He gazed into her brown eyes as she stepped aside, a look of pure worship and adoration in her eyes. Standing in front of the jukebox, he stared at it and then suddenly hit it with his fist. The jukebox shattered into a pile of plastic and chrome.
Lois looked at Clark, taking in the rainbow-striped suspenders over the striped shirt and the black Converse sneakers. "Shazbat!" she muttered.
Clark looked back at Lois, her brown hair in twin ponytails with bangs to just above her eyes. "And a nanu-nanu to you too, honey."
"Clark, what are you doing with those toothpicks?"
"I'm using them to construct a catapult to hurl sandbags at the bad guys who are shooting at us."
"Couldn't you just throw them?"
"Well, yes, but then I wouldn't get to build a catapult out of toothpicks."
Lois looked up at Clark, once again in his familiar suit, and smiled. Even with the tights and the super-serious stance, Clark looked like a kid with his hand caught in the cookie jar. She reached up and kissed away the lingering traces of his milk mustache.
Mxy's voice shrilled, "You're ruining it!"
The channel changed once again as they heard Mxy complaining about the commercials.
Clark blinked a couple of times. He couldn't move, yet he *was* moving. It didn't take him long to figure out he was on a slowly spinning platform. At least he was able to speak.
"Down here," Lois said angrily. She was kneeling at Clark's feet, her head poised and frozen, looking up at Clark who was dressed as Superman. Her hands were also frozen in place, one on Clark's red boot, and the other higher up, just above his knee on his inner thigh.
The platform suddenly stopped spinning and Mxyzptlk strode out wearing an oversized, sponge rubber cowboy hat.
"Friends!" he shouted to a television camera. "Tired of your old gas-guzzler? Then come to Mister Mxyzptlk's big Garage of Savings!" He floated until he was chest level with Clark. "Check out the all new Super 8!" he said, smacking Clark in the chest with a pointer.
"If I ever get my hands on you," Clark growled.
"Listen to that engine purr!"
"Mxyzptlk!" Lois hissed through clenched teeth. "If you don't stop this right now —"
Mxyzptlk moved his pointer to Lois. "Ever experience annoying interior noise, guys?" he asked the camera, then produced a scarf with the Superman emblem. "No problem! The Super 8 comes with a muffler. It fits right over *her* mouth." With a flick of his wrist, Lois was gagged.
Clark sighed loudly and rolled his eyes at the old joke. Mxyzptlk materialized an elaborate metering device and held it next to Clark's mouth. "Talk about clean emissions! Unfortunately," he shrugged, "the Super 8 has *dual* exhaust, so you don't wanna take him for a spin on burrito night."
"Enough!" Clark shouted.
"Guys, check out that grill work!" Mxyzptlk passed a hand in front of Clark's face and Clark's lips curled into an exaggerated grin. "If there's a woman in this dimension who can resist such beautiful grill work," he extolled, "she must be a date ya dug up in the cemetery! Not that some of you three- dimensional guys aren't capable of that!"
Mxyzptlk hopped down from the platform. "Other features include two-on-the- floor, one-in-the-sky, Man-of-Steel frame, overhead suspension of disbelief, and beautiful upholstery in any color combination you want … uh … as long as it's blue, red and yellow. And oh!" Mxyzptlk added enthusiastically. "Check out the seat belt!"
He hit Clark's belt with the pointer which caused the belt to spring open and his red briefs to fall. A black square suddenly appeared with the word "Censored" superimposed over it. Mxyzptlk glowed bright red. "Oops!" he said and aimed a small box at Clark. He pushed a button. *Bweep … bweep*. "It also comes with a locking remote security system."
The device fortunately restored Clark's belt and briefs, but when Mxyzptlk hopped back onto the platform, a mechanical voice intoned, "Please step away >from the super hero. You are standing too close to the super hero."
"So come on down to Mister Mxyzptlk's Garage of Savings!" he said and knelt next to Lois, whose hands were still frozen to Clark. "Once you get your hands on a Kryptonian, you'll *never* let go!"
Now they found themselves in a coffee-house surrounded by a few other people sitting on a couch near-by.
"Clark, where are we now?"
"I don't know, honey, but maybe he's getting bored? Those last few went by so fast."
Afraid to look around, Lois did so anyway. The place seemed relatively harmless and the people around them didn't appear to really notice them. They were all intent on the blonde singing off key up near the front window.
"FRIENDS. That's where we are." Lois was sure of it. She turned toward her husband. "Clark, we need to figure a way out of this."
"I know. How is he doing all this? Even with his magic, there has to be a key to it."
Thinking back to when Mxyzptlk first appeared in their living room, Clark recalled something. "Lois, do you remember what he was holding in his hands when he first zapped us to TV Land?"
"A tub of popcorn?"
Clark gave Lois 'that look.'
"Besides that. He was holding a remote, much like ours."
"That's right, Super-boy-scout. The remote is the key, but you hafta catch me first." Mxy's voice boomed from above as the scene changed yet again.
Lois and Clark were still sitting on a couch but it was no longer located in Central Perk, but rather in the comfortable living room of a suburban home.
Clark rolled his eyes. "Sheesh, I really hate magic."
"What did I tell you, daughter?! It's so typical of that petty mortal attitude."
Both turned around and there, hovering in the air a few feet from them, was Ellen Lane, dressed in something that looked a great deal like a nightgown with a cape. At least the person hovering looked like Ellen, but her red hair and haughty attitude plus the fact that she was floating in the air immediately made Clark think of someone else.
"Endora!" he said as he leaped from the couch. "You're *Endora*."
"Oh, we are bright today, Durwood."
Ellen/Endora gave a theatrical wave of her hand and a giant martini appeared out of thin air.
"Mother!?" Lois exclaimed.
"Oh, nothing at all," Clark interjected lamely. "*Sam* was just wondering if you'd like an olive to go with that, Endora." Lois goggled at Clark. "We'll just go out into the kitchen and get you some. You wait right here and make yourself comfortable," he added, giving her his most winning smile.
"Why, Dobbin, it appears I may have misjudged you," Ellen/Endora replied smugly.
Clark hustled Lois into the kitchen.
"Clark why did you do that? You know my mother shouldn't drink … "
"Honey, she's a witch —"
"Clark, I know my mother hasn't always been nice to you, but really —"
"Lois, that's not what I mean. Didn't you ever watch reruns of BEWITCHED?"
"Actually, I liked 'I Dream of Jeannie' better. She could shrink and that was almost as cool as being invisible and I liked her costume even if you couldn't see her navel—I liked it so much I got one of those harem outfits of my own, and — "
Clark's smile was reminiscent. "Yeah, I know, honey, and you looked fantastic in it, too, but never mind that now. The point is that if your mother is a broom- riding caldron-stirring witch … "
"Then, so am I!" Lois said with a huge grin.
"And if we can lure Mxy out into the open, maybe we can fight magic with magic and get the remote that way."
"I sort of love that," Lois added with a wicked grin.
She grabbed a bottle of olives from the counter and they quickly returned to the living room.
"Mother," she asked sweetly, "do you know any spells that would conjure up imps?"
"Certainly, my dear, but why would you want to cavort with such lower class, common types? They're almost as annoying as mortals," Ellen/Endora replied with a pointed glance at Clark.
"It's important, Mother. Please."
"Well, all right, if you insist."
Ellen/Endora raised her hands and began a rhythmic chant. Suddenly she was frozen in space as though someone had pressed the pause button on a VCR.
There was a blinding flash of light and Mxy appeared. "Very clever. I have to give you two credit, you're smarter than you look."
"Temper, temper, Fly-boy. Let's see if you can think your way out of this."
In the wink of an eye Lois and Clark found themselves standing in the middle of a hospital emergency room. Doctors and nurses were hurrying around them, shouting out orders as ambulance after ambulance brought in victims of a multi-car pileup.
Clark pulled Lois out of the way as two people in uniform wheeled a gurney towards them at top speed.
"Someone get Doug. This kid is going sour fast."
Clark heard Lois' intake of breath as George Clooney in the persona of Dr. Doug Ross pushed pass them. "Clark, did you see who that was? My word, he's as handsome in person as he is on ER."
"If you say so, but I don't see it myself. He looks just like a regular guy to me."
She winked at him, "That's because you don't have high levels of estrogen flowing in your blood."
Moving away from the action around them, Lois and Clark stepped inside a small supply room. Through the window in the door Clark could see into the trauma room as the doctors and nurses worked on the small child lying on the table.
"You know, honey, if I didn't know better, these actors could be the real thing. They make it all look real and believable. ER is one of the most popular series on television. I guess they didn't win all their awards for a slipshod show."
Lois' hand found its way to Clark's face. She lovingly touched his lips to quiet him. "Clark, we have to find a way out of this mess."
"We will, honey, we will. When I get my hands on Mxy, I'll drop-kick him into an alternate dimension where imps are considered a delicacy."
Clark's remarks made Lois smile. She knew full well he was just venting his frustration at being helpless. She herself had begun to imagine what she would do to Mxy once they were at the same place in the same time. The air around her stirred. Behind her she felt instead of heard the arrival of the little troublemaker.
"Now, now … none of that. Don't make idle threats, especially when I hold the remote." He dangled it in their direction. Clark seized the opportunity to make a grab for it, but before he could move Lois out of the way, he felt himself rushing forward at the speed of sound.
Lois was the first to comment on their new surroundings. "I don't believe this … blue ocean … sandy beaches … lagoon … Clarkkk."
But to her surprise he was nowhere to be seen. Panic was beginning to take hold when she noticed across the lagoon a small cluster of thatched houses.
"Well, at least I'm not stuck on a deserted island all by myself. Maybe Clark went there looking for me." Lois looked around and noticed the only living thing listening to her was a sea gull sitting contentedly on a rock nearby. Moving quickly, she set off, making her way around the lagoon towards the first thatched house. As she got closer it occurred to her where Mxy's channel surfing had dropped her. Lois automatically smiled and felt her panic disappear. She couldn't help herself as she began to sing the opening lyrics of GILLIGAN'S ISLAND.
Gilligan came from one of the huts carrying an armful of coconuts, dropping them all on his feet when he saw her. He pressed his lips together to keep >from yelping in pain.
"Skipper! Professor!! We got another one." Gilligan ran to her. He grabbed her hand and began to pump it up and down. "You must be Lois. Mary Ann and Ginger are over there with Clark. He sure does love Mary Ann's coconut pie."
When she entered the hut, Clark looked up and saw Lois. "Honey, there you are." He swallowed the last piece of pie as he spoke. "I thought we got separated."
A tinge of jealousy rose in Lois as the young women stood beside him, not wanting to back away from this handsome stranger.
"I explained to the Professor and the others, Lois, that we're experimental scientists who have volunteered to dimension jump for a highly secret government agency. I told them in one of the dimensions we've encountered a group of individuals who are in dire need of a spell to break the hold of an evil sorcerer. The Professor is a history buff and knows a lot about medieval sorcery. He's going to check a book he has for spells."
Lois could tell by the tone of Clark's voice he wanted her to go along with this story he had concocted. At that moment the Professor appeared.
"This may be of some interest to you, Clark." He paused only long enough to look over Lois from head to toe.
"Yes, my wife, Lois."
"What do you have for us, Professor?"
Clark moved to stand beside Lois. But before the Professor could read from his book they felt a pull. In a flash and a twinkle their surroundings changed.
Lois found herself getting out of a car and walking toward a crowd of people. She tugged at her skirt, trying desperately to make it longer, amazed at how short it was. "This is getting ridiculous," she muttered.
As she neared the crowd, the men assembled seemed to sense that she was there and stepped aside to let her through. Smiling tightly at the greetings of 'Hey, Detective' and 'Hiya, Lance,' she stopped short at the yellow plastic strip crossing her path.
Looking ahead, she let out a low breath as she recognized a familiar figure and yelled out, "Hey, Chief!"
A man stood from his squatting position, turning to face her. He walked toward her, his face grim and Lois gasped as she saw that behind him on the asphalt lay a body with other men squatting around it.
"What am I in now?" she mused. She watched the scene in front of her and caught the shiny glint of badges on the waistbands of some of the men. She heard the squawking of several police radios as well as the click of a shutter on a camera. Shaking her head, she continued to stare at the still body until a figure stood in front of her, blocking her view. She started at the gruffness in the man's voice.
"It's about time you got here, Rita! Where's your partner?"
Frowning and trying to identify the television show, Lois turned her attention to the man who resembled Perry White, yet spoke with a New York accent instead of the southern drawl she was used to hearing.
"Rita? My partner? Chief … "
"I've told you before, Rita. Don't call me Chief. It's Captain. Captain Lipschitz."
At the name, recognition of the television show she had been zapped into hit her. "Ah. Right. Sorry, Ch … er, Captain."
Perry nodded. "Right." Looking past her shoulder, he asked, "So, where's Lorenzo? Don't tell me you drove here separately because the whole department knows about you two. Heck, even Frannie saw your car parked at Lorenzo's place."
Scrambling for an answer, Lois began to babble. "Well, um … y'see, Cap … "
"Never mind. Come look at this. I think this murder is right up your and Lorenzo's alley. It's got all the markings of one of those SILK STALKINGS you two specialize in."
"Silk stalking, right," she muttered. Nodding at 'Captain Lipschitz,' she ducked under the police crime scene tape, looking around for Clark. "Where is he?" she said under her breath. As they reached the body, Lois pulled up short at Perry's hand on her arm.
"Rita … I should let you know … the Commissioner wants to reassign you and Lorenzo, give you different partners. Department regulations don't allow couples to partner up."
Lois shook her head vehemently. "No way, Per … er, Cap. It won't work out. Besides, if that happens, Chris Lorenzo will die, I'll leave the force, and the ratings will take a dive."
Perry frowned, looking at Lois with concern. "Rita … are you feeling okay? What are you talking about? Ratings?"
Lois just smiled. "Never mind. Let's play this out, shall we?" Perry nodded and left her side to confer with some patrol officers.
Lois knelt by the body and spoke to the coroner kneeling across from her. "So, waddaya say, Doc?"
The coroner raised his head and smiled at her. "At least you didn't say, 'What's up?' honey."
A wave of relief washed over Lois as Clark continued to smile at her. "Is he dead?"
Clark's smile faded. "'Fraid so. Recognize him?"
Lois stared at the dead man's face. "Nigel St. John? I thought we'd seen the last of him a few years back."
Clark nodded. "Yeah. I know what you mean. But, apparently Mxyz is pulling people from our memories."
Lois smiled grimly. "Both foes and friends. Did you see Perry?"
Clark nodded. "Uh huh. I've gotta admit, I never thought I'd miss that southern drawl."
"Yeah, me too. Somehow, 'New Yawk' just doesn't fit."
Clark agreed. "And I don't think he tells Elvis stories either."
Lois stood, smoothing her skirt down. "Neither do I. Well, shall we … " She stopped and looked down at Clark, smirking slightly. "What?"
Clark's eyes traveled lingeringly up her legs, a slow smile brightening his face as he made eye contact with her. "Very nice." He stood up, looking intently into her eyes.
Lois stepped toward him and ran her fingertips along his jaw. She whispered softly, "Just wait until we get out of this, I'll give you a view … "
Lois closed her eyes and sighed. "This really *is* getting ridiculous." Reluctantly, she turned away from Clark. "Yeah?"
"Waddaya say, partner?"
Jimmy stopped short. "Jimmy? Who's Jimmy? Rita, it's me, Chris Lorenzo … your partner." He sidled up to Lois, putting his arm around her waist. "Don't you remember last night?"
Lois kept her face serious, throwing a glance at Clark who was failing miserably at wiping the grin off his face. Rolling her eyes, she turned back to Jimmy, smiling sweetly. "How could I forget? I made a man out of you, didn't I?"
Jimmy grinned. "Come on, let's let the doc here bag and tag the body. We've got a silk stalking to solve."
Lois and Clark stood there for a moment as Jimmy went to confer with Perry.
Looking at Jimmy, Lois spoke softly. "Maybe killing him off wouldn't be such a bad idea," she mused.
Lois looked back at Clark. "What? They went ahead and did it anyway, in spite of all those letters from the fans."
"Of which at least two hundred were from you!"
"Well … it's just that Rita and Chris … the *real* Rita Lance and Chris Lorenzo … reminded me so much of … us."
"What? Partners? Friends?"
Lois turned to face Clark, her hand sneaking inside his jacket to rub his side. "I'm talking chemistry, Clark. Hot, smoldering, passion." She stepped closer to him.
Clark swallowed reflexively, his throat suddenly dry. "Um, honey?"
"The kind of hot passion I was hoping for on our quiet night in … "
He ran his tongue over his dry lips and tried once more to interrupt her. "Lois?"
Her hand came up to cover his mouth, her fingers lightly tracing his lips. "Yeah?"
Clearing his throat, Clark rationalized. "Honey, this isn't the time or the place … "
Lois' eyes widened and she smiled seductively. "Clark. It's a *cable* show."
Clark blinked twice before grinning. "Oh, right." He leaned toward Lois, intent on kissing her when a disembodied voice startled them.
"Oh puh-leeze! Enough with the mushy stuff already!"
Lois tried to focus, but the room was too full of smoke. She staggered forward until she reached an open window. "Now what," she sighed as she poked her head out.
The building was impossibly high. An elevation sign reading, "Wouldn't you like to know?" was affixed to the ledge.
"I get it," she said, her voice tired. "Help! Superman!"
"Hi, honey," Clark said, his voice also tired.
Lois turned and jumped slightly. "You scared me!"
"I'm sorry, honey, but it seems we're *both* trapped in this burning building. I don't have my super powers either."
Lois peered back out the window. "Naturally."
The elevation sign suddenly moved out of the way revealing a television screen. Mxyzptlk, sporting fluffy blond hair and perfect white teeth, was gesturing to firemen and pointing up to the burning building. The firemen shook their heads and shrugged. The camera pulled back revealing that their ladder was too short to reach the window where Lois and Clark were trapped.
Mxyzptlk appeared to think for a moment and then pulled a roll of candy from his pocket. The wrapper read, "IMPOZ." Popping a mint in his mouth, he winked at the camera and then dashed out of frame. The camera switched to the firemen who were now cheering as a wide angle view revealed Mxyzptlk uprooting a picket fence.
The imp ran to the fire truck and up the woefully short ladder. Once at the top, he set the picket fence in place and climbed to Lois and Clark's rescue as a cheesy jingle played in the background.
"Life goes better with IMPOZ, Fresh and full of spaz!"
Just as Clark was about to grab Mxyzptlk, the picture froze with Mxyzptlk smiling his perfect smile at the camera and holding up his roll of IMPOZ.
"Marsha, Marsha, Marsha! Why is it always Marsha?" Lucy stormed up the stairs, leaving Ellen and Lois gaping in her wake.
"Jan!" Ellen started up the stairs. Lois dropped her head to her hands. This was one place she did not want to be.
She looked up, and sure enough, Jonathan was standing there, with Martha at his side. They were dressed exactly like Mike Brady and Alice the maid. Clark appeared behind them.
Clark suppressed a wince. "Where's the TV remote?"
"Is your homework done, son?"
"I believe that Peter had it last."
A scruffy dog ran through the room, dragging a battered metal box trailing wires and dropping batteries. Jimmy ran after him, hollering, "Tiger! You bad boy!"
Mxy chuckled behind them. "Nice try, kiddies." As Jimmy chased the dog in circles around the kitchen, the imp frowned. "Even I can't take much more of this BRADY BUNCH."
"Tonight … on the Sci-Fi Channel's STAR WARS MARATHON … "
Lex loomed over Jimmy. "Luke, I am your father."
Jimmy screamed in denial. "Noooooooooo!"
Lois found herself toe to toe with Clark in a narrow hallway. "I'd rather kiss a Wookie!" she heard coming from her lips.
"I can arrange that!" Looking at the flash in Lois' eyes, Clark had a vicious sense of deja-vu of the time when she hid every emotion behind her defensive prickles.
Mxy sighed. "Ah. The classics."
"And now … we return to WONDER WOMAN … on the Sci-fi Channel … "
Lois found herself twirling in place, light flashing around her. She staggered to a stop and held a hand up to her forehead. The world stopped spinning, and she dropped her hand to her stomach to assure it that there would be no more rollercoasters in the program. She hoped.
Her hand met the slippery fake metal belt at her waist, and she adjusted the tinsel bracelets. Clark had to be around here somewhere, and likely in some mortal peril, if she knew her TV shows. She trotted toward the sound of the evil villain explicating the plot, where Clark patiently waited for rescue.
Lex stood in front of Clark, wearing the token togs of an SS captain.
"Ve haf vays of making you talk, Major Trevor. Ve vill haf the secret codes of your high command."
Clark yawned, stretching his shoulders. "Nope."
Lois paused in the doorway, taking half a moment to savor the sight of him in uniform.
"Vat do you mean, 'Nope'?" Lex spat.
"He means 'no.' " Lois said as she stepped up behind him and brought a handy chair crashing down on his head.
Clark winced as Lex slid to the ground, then brought the snapped ends of his ropes in front of him. "Honey, did you have to use the chair?"
"Well, I don't think I can do the Vulcan neck pinch, Clark."
Clark took a moment to take in Lois' costume, and smiled. "No … but you could have used that little lasso there."
She looked down at her belt. "Well, yeah, I guess, but I really wanted to clobber Lex."
Clark wrapped his arm around her waist. "So did I, but I was enjoying him being silly instead of threatening for a bit."
"Have you seen the remote?"
"No." He sighed. "I don't think it's here. They didn't have TVs in World War Two. Just a few Germans and one sexy Amazon." He grinned down at her and hugged her closer.
"Bzzzt! The boy scout wins a prize!" Mxy appeared above them, waving the remote. "I guess he'll have to try somewhere else!"
Lois and Clark found themselves sitting in an elegant restaurant, warm candlelight glowing between them.
Clark looked around. "I don't know where we are, but at least we look like us this time."
Lois looked down at the lovely gown she was wearing. "Well, it's certainly an improvement."
Clark reached across the table and took her hand. "We'll get out of this, honey. We just need to figure out —"
Lois looked down at the white chihuahua next to her chair. "Of course," she nodded. "You want Taco Bell."
"No, senora, yo quiero Schlitz."
Before Lois could respond, a man dressed in a suit, well, a bloated clown head atop a man's body wearing a suit, stepped up to Clark. "May I have your order please," his electronic voice asked.
"Look, buddy, just talk into my face while placing your order."
Three women, who looked like airline stewardesses from twenty years ago, appeared on the left side of the table and began to sing.
"Hold the pickle, hold the lettuce. Special orders won't upset us —"
Three young men dressed in McDonald's uniforms appeared on the other side of the table.
"You deserve a break today! So get up and get away —"
A young woman on roller skates approached the table. A car door suddenly appeared next to Lois and the woman placed the tray on the ledge. She pressed 'play' on a cassette player affixed to her belt, and a Beach Boys' tune started playing.
"Sittin' in my car outside your house. Remember when you spilled Coke all over your blouse?"
"Clark!" Lois said urgently. "We're in fast-food hell!"
"Tell me about it," Clark said wearily, holding up a bucket of chicken. Unfortunately, the chicken was alive and pecked repeatedly at the knot in his Clark's necktie.
A pizza dropped in front of Lois. The cheerful delivery boy smiled.
"You get your pizza in 30 minutes or it's free!"
Lois looked down at the pizza. "It's not cooked!"
"Hey," he shrugged." We said 30 minutes. We never said it would be cooked."
Suddenly a dog in a grey wig, who was being chased by a has-been 70s sitcom actress, started fighting with the Taco Bell chihuahua. The McDonalds and Burger King singers began to brawl. Dave Thomas of Wendy's threw 99 cent chili on Jack 'N' the Box while the Domino's pizza delivery boy and the Sonic drive- in waitress duelled with tater tots and pepperonis.
Just as Lois and Clark realized they were glued to their seats, and therefore incapable of dodging the food melee, all action froze. Mxyzptlk, the only moving object in the tableau, walked to the camera. He was dressed as a surgeon.
"I'm not a doctor," he said soberly. "I only play one with my girlfriends."
He swept his hand backward towards the frozen fast-food massacre. "Does your tummy feel like this after eating out at some cheap joint that can't remember you wanted fries instead of onion rings? If so," he said and held up a box. "Try Mxy Selzer."
Background singers crooned, "Plop, plop, spaz, spaz, oh, what a relief it has."
Mxyzptlk removed two tablets and walked over to the table. Lois watched nervously as he dropped the tablets into her water glass. He placed a hand behind his ear. "Listen to it fizz."
Mxyzptlk stepped back. There was a brief explosion and he stepped toward the table again, fanning away the smoke. Lois and Clark were dripping in an amalgam of various fast-food items.
He looked adoringly at Lois. "Feeling better?"
Lois wiped the remnants of a pepperoni-papaya malt from her cheek. "Your McNuggets are history," she snarled.
Mxyzptlk swallowed and stepped away. He looked back into the camera. "Another satisfied customer," he chirped. "Now back to the worst part of TV. That's right, the program!"
Clark steered an ancient boat. He looked down at himself and saw he was wearing a blue vest with a white shirt underneath it, and black leather pants. He looked up to see an older man come up next to him and lean against the side.
"So are you ready for your wedding today, little brother?"
Wedding? he thought. "Yeah, I guess I am," Clark said reluctantly.
The man laughed heartily. "Are you getting last minute jitters, SINBAD? Don't worry, they're common. Ah, here is your bride. Good morning, Maeve."
Sinbad/Clark watched as his brother moved off again, and then looked over to see a figure come from the below-deck area. He wasn't surprised to see that it was Lois, but another name came to mind.
Maeve/Lois walked over to where Sinbad/Clark was standing and leaned up against him, giving him a good morning kiss.
Mxy appeared out of nowhere, floating in midair. "I told you! No mushy stuff! Eww!" he screamed, and shuddered in disgust.
… and suddenly it was all black. Lois heard a cheesy pulsating beat in the background. A beat that she hadn't heard since days long ago when she and her girlfriends had snuck into an X-RATED MOVIE house.
She groaned. "Clark?" she asked breathlessly.
Gasping for air, Clark grunted a reply. "God … Lois … think of it … uh … this way, honey. At least we have these types of channels blocked from our cable." He paused and caught his breath. "All he sees is a scramble."
"Oh rats!!" was all that could be heard.
Lois shook her head. The cheesy disco music was still there, only this time things were not scrambled. She could see that she was apparently on a stage surrounded by seven other girls, all of them wearing revealing costumes. To make matters worse, they were in front of a live audience. She scanned the crowd and saw Clark standing by the far wall wearing a white dinner jacket and what looked like a flash camera.
Where the hell are we now? she wondered, as the other girls linked arms with her and began to do high kicks like a bargain basement imitation of the Rockettes. After a few more kicks the number ended, and after a spattering of applause and a few quick bows she made it offstage.
Clark was waiting for her there, and he pulled her away from the other girls and into a nearby storage area.
"Before you ask, we're on some kind of cruise ship."
"Cruise ship?" Lois asked quizzically.
"Yeah, the Pacific Princess."
"That name sounds awfully familiar."
Their conversation was interrupted by a knock on the door. "Ace … Amy … are you in there?"
The door opened and there was Jimmy in a purser's dress uniform.
Lois and Clark both sighed. "What is it, Jimmy?" Clark asked.
"Not Jimmy. It's me, Gopher. I came to warn you that Captain Stubing is on the warpath. You know he hates for crew members to fraternize. You both could be fired!"
"We weren't *fraternizing* … Gopher."
"Honest, we were just talking."
"Just do me a favor, will you? If you want to talk, do it on the main deck so it at least looks innocent. Please?"
Under Jimmy/Gopher's watchful eye Clark shepherded Lois out of the storage area and on to the deck. Taking off his jacket he draped it over her shoulders as they started their walk in the moonlight.
Midway up the deck they paused, leaning over the railing and looking out at the vast ocean surrounding them. "I don't suppose it would be worth it to search the sea bottom for the remote," Lois said after a few moments of silence.
Clark shook his head, "I can hold my breath a long, long time but I doubt that even I would be able to find it. It would be like looking for a needle in a haystack." Lois sighed and nodded agreement and continued to stare out at the ocean.
"Unless, of course," Clark continued teasingly, "you're planning on becoming a *real* mermaid. That might give us a bit more range."
"Fat chance," Lois replied as she raised one eyebrow in a look of mock consternation. "Even you couldn't hold your breath long enough waiting for that to happen."
Clark chuckled and placed a comforting arm on Lois's shoulder. She gave him a warm smile in return. "Under ordinary circumstances this would be wonderful. Just you, me, the moonlight and the ocean," she said wistfully.
"Yes, but we also have 'Gopher interruptus'," Clark replied with a wry grin. "Not to meantion a crazed Captain who'll make us walk the plank if we even hold hands."
Lois giggled. "I bet he looks like Lex." Clark smiled and in response Lois reached up and brushed an errant lock of hair off his forehead. "Let's risk it," she whispered. "After all this is the LOVE BOAT."
Clark's grin grew even wider and he pulled Lois into a close embrace.
There was a blinding flash of light and Mxy was floating nearby with his large tub of popcorn. "Sheesh, I can provide much better 'interruptus' than that!" he said with a snap of his fingers.
Lois and Clark stared as a huge iceberg appeared in the path of the ship.
"That's impossible!" Lois cried. "We're in the South Pacific!"
Mxy shrugged. "Don't you just love it when a show has an unlimited special effects budget?"
As the iceberg moved nearer, Clark positioned himself so he could protect Lois. They braced for the impact, but suddenly Mxy's disembodied voice rang out.
"What am I doing!? I *hate* that movie!"
Where are we now, Lois and Clark thought, as they looked around at the familiar set design of the most famous street known to every child five years and under.
A warm sense of peace and well-being filled them as they looked in both directions of the long studio set. Hand in hand they walked along the sidewalk to stop and sit down on the stoop of Maria's apartment building.
"You know, I used to watch this series faithfully every day. Mom says I even named two stray dogs Bert and Ernie. She bought me pajamas and sheets for my bed with all the characters from this show on them. Now look at me. I'm sitting just a few feet from the garbage can of the Oscar the Grouch. If this had happened twenty-seven years ago I would have been the happiest kid in the world."
"You watched SESAME STREET, too? Lucy and I would sing every song on the show together. I always wanted to knock on the Oscar's garbage can."
"Lois, go ahead. No one is looking," he told her playfully.
Lois looked over her shoulder and sure enough Sesame Street was deserted. Letting the small girl who had loved this series surface again, she began to giggle.
"Okay, you talked me into it." She walked to the garbage can and loudly banged on its lid.
To her surprise a voice came from inside.
"Who's that knocking? Don't you know it's rude to interrupt someone when he's trying to sleep?" The lid was pushed aside and instead of Oscar out popped Mxy. "Hey baby, want to tickle me instead of that weirdo Elmo?"
Lois' fiery words charged the air around them. "Don't you 'Baby' me, you sick little twisted creature."
"Now, now. Temper, temper."
Lois quickly put her hand on the little man's arm. "I got him, Clark, I got him."
Mxy began to laugh. "Madam, all you have is an arm."
Much to Lois' chagrin he disappeared, leaving her holding a dummy arm, only to reappear just a foot from her.
"Can't catch me that easily. You've got to use brains, not brawn." Leaning forward he whispered, "Make sure you tell Lover Boy over there what I just said."
With that Lois saw him aim the remote and as he clicked it, her only response was "Noooooo!"
As their fields of vision refocused, they heard Mxy's voice taunting them. "Let's see ya try and get mushy here!"
As Clark looked about, Lois looked at Clark. She smiled remembering the first time she had ever gone to Smallville and Clark had been dressed similarly. Except then he had worn a faded denim shirt with the sleeves rolled up instead of the plaid flannel shirt he now had on. That was the only thing different. The jeans still fit just as well.
"Where are we, Clark?"
Clark turned to her. "I d-d-d-d-don't …
Lois frowned. "Clark? What is it?"
Also frowning, Clark tried again. "Lo … lo-lo-lo … "
Concerned, Lois reached for his arm. "Clark! Why are you stuttering?"
"B-b-b-b-b … "
Driven by a sudden impulse, Lois stepped forward and kissed him, long and deep. When she stepped back, she smiled, keeping her hands on either side of his face "You were saying?"
Taking a deep breath, Clark looked into her eyes and spoke, this time without stuttering. "I have no idea why I was stuttering, honey. Maybe because *this* character feels so insecure around you … "
Clark nodded. "Yeah. Look at you." He stepped back and took in her simple calico dress and her shoulder-length hair curling around her face. She made a pretty picture against the earthy colors of the forest around them. Clark sighed. "You're so self-assured, so confident. I mean, traveling around the Cape in a boat … all the way to Seattle … "
Lois' eyes widened. "Seattle?" A familiar memory scratched her mind. She looked once more at Clark, his hair a little past his collar, a lop-sided, slightly shy grin on his face. "Oh my gosh, Clark, you're Bobby Sherman!"
Clark shook his head and frowned. "No, honey … I'm Clark Kent."
Lois grinned. "Well, yeah, sure. But in *this* show that Mozzarella zapped us into, you're Jeremy Bolt … the character that Bobby Sherman played on HERE COME THE BRIDES. He stuttered." She looked at him, her face bright with a smile. "At least he did until he admitted that he loved Candy Pruitt."
Clark grinned and pulled Lois into his arms. "And I'm assuming that Candy loved Jeremy?"
"You betcha." She sighed. "Y'know, I had such a crush on Bobby Sherman. I always wondered what it would be like kissing him."
Clark chuckled. "Thank goodness for teen idols."
Lois smiled brightly. "And the fantasies they … inspire."
They leaned toward each other.
As their lips lightly touched, a groan echoed through the forest. "NOOOO!"
The sudden shift threw them both off-balance for a moment. Now they were in a courtroom, and everything was literally shades of black and white. Clark stood by a wooden table, dressed in a dark suit, white shirt, and black tie. He looked at Lois, taking in her fifties-style outfit, a pencil poised in her hand.
The stentorian tones of someone speaking drew his attention. "Your Honor, the prosecution rests."
Lois and Clark watched as the gentleman sat down next to a gray haired man. Clark's hearing tuned in and he heard the attorney whisper, "Let's see Mason get out of this one, Tragg."
Eyebrows raised, Clark leaned over to Lois. "OK. Now that imp has me playing PERRY MASON and judging from your steno pad, you're Della Street. What now?"
Lois thought for a moment. "I've got an idea. Instead of serious drama, let's give him farce, shall we? Play along with me on this, okay?"
Clark winked and nodded.
"Mr. Mason?" The judge drummed his fingers on the arm of his chair.
Straightening, Clark adjusted his suit jacket and addressed the judge. "I'm sorry, Your Honor. I was —"
"No, Perry, don't!"
Every head turned at the sound of Lois' voice. Standing, she rushed toward Clark. "I can't let you do this, Perry. I can't keep this secret any longer." Lois paused dramatically, knowing that every eye on the courtroom was on her. "Oh, Perry. Your client is … is … "
Judge Mxyzptlk leaned forward, grinning. "Go ahead, Miss Street. What about Mr. Mason's client?"
"You have to understand, Your Honor. I did this for Mr. Mason. I *had* to because … because … "
Smiling at Lois' theatrics, Clark interrupted. "Oh, Della! How could you?"
Lois turned to Clark, her eyes wide, her face serious for all to see. Except Clark. Focusing, he saw the muscles around her mouth twitch in her efforts to keep from smiling. "Perry, I did it for you. For us."
His face matching hers in seriousness, Clark pulled Lois into his arms. "Hush. It will be all right, sweetheart. I'll defend you."
Lois buried her face in Clark's chest. "I knew you would, darling."
"Just one thing, Della."
Looking up at Clark, her eyes soft, Lois sighed dramatically. "Anything, my love."
The judge rolled his eyes before banging his gavel. "Enough of this sickeningly sweet melodrama! Geez, you'd think this was Ally McBeal or something like that. Miss Street. You were about to say something about Mr. Mason's client."
Turning to the judge, Lois' eyes widened and she blinked innocently. "I was?"
"Yes." Mxyzptlk reached for the remote control. "I'm getting pretty tired of this." He aimed the remote at Lois and Clark.
Shrugging her shoulders, Lois nonchalantly answered. "Oh. Um, he's dead … "
" … Jim," Klein intoned as he slowly rose from his position next to the cooling red-shirted body on the dusty planet surface.
Clark bit back 'You get his tri-corder, I'll get his wallet' and looked around instead.
Jimmy stood beside them, solemnly observing the little gathering around the un-named ensign. "So it appears, Doctor."
Clark glanced at the body and then looked up. "I think we should beam back to the ship and, ah, gather a little more data on the situation."
Jimmy raised an elegantly arched eyebrow.
"What is it, ah, Spock?"
"That is an eminently logical course of action."
"It is unlike you."
Clark sighed. "Let's just do it, okay?" He whipped out his communicator, smiling at the familiar chirp. "Three to beam up, Scotty."
"Alright, Cap'n." Perry's voice, mangled by a Scottish accent, came out of the small device.
"Energize." Clark watched the air in front of him shimmer like a heat mirage on the desert and the transporter room appeared around him. He started to stride off, then realized that he had no idea how to get to the bridge.
"Jim, what do you want me to do with the body?" Klein gestured at the limp ensign on the transporter floor.
Clark looked blankly from Klein to the ensign. "What do you usually do with them?"
"I don't know! I'm a doctor, not a coroner!"
"Well, examine him for cause of death."
"He died of a phaser blast to the chest! Even a first year medical student could diagnose that."
"What do you know, you pointy-eared pin-head?"
"I know that any layman who observed the event, and not just a medical student, would be able to arrive at such a logical conclusion."
Clark shook his head and, slipping quietly out of the room and down a short corridor, found his way to the bridge. Lois swiveled in her chair and pulled a large bit of metal from her ear.
Clark smiled, loving the look of her long legs in the short uniform skirt. "I'd like to see you in my quarters, Lieutenant Uhura."
Lois smiled. "Yes, sir."
"And bring the latest communications … "
" … from Star Fleet, yes, sir."
The door slid closed behind them, and Clark pulled her into his arms. "This is even in keeping with the show." He nuzzled her neck and murmured, "Did you get it?"
Smiling triumphantly, she surreptitiously slid a small object into his hand. "Let's get off this STAR TREK and back to our own show, shall we?"
"Mm-hmm." Clark smiled and brought his lips closer to hers. "Our regular show?"
"I was thinking more along the lines of a private show that isn't even on the cable to be scrambled." Lois inched her fingers up Clark's shoulders to his neck.
"Mmm. I like that idea." Clark's lips met hers softly.
The imp popped into existence next to them, waving his remote wildly. "No, no, no!" I keep telling you and telling you and telling … oops."
Lois and Clark grinned behind their kiss as Clark brought up the replicated remote and pointed it at Mxy.
Lois eased her lips away from Clark with a soft sigh, and opened her eyes. The familiar shadows of their living room snuggled around them. Clark glanced over at the TV screen. Nothing remained of their tormentor but sizzling snow.
He turned back to her. "I don't think I'll want to watch TV for a month!"
Lois smiled up at him. "At least we didn't get into a football game. I don't think I could have jumped around in a cheerleader's skirt for very long."
Clark grinned. "Not even a Midwestern game?"
Lois met his grin and raised it. "You don't play for Midwestern anymore." She poked his chest. "You told me you had to fake a knee injury your senior year so you could go off and rescue that cargo ship in the South Atlantic."
Clark chuckled. "Want to see my scar?"
Lois laughed. "I'll show you mine if you show me yours."
"Now that's the sort of show I could watch all night."
Lois smiled, her eyebrow raised. "Now, who said anything about *watching*, hmm? I was thinking … interactive."
Clark grinned. "Really? Interactive? Lemme get my PlayStation that I got —"
The rest of his statement was halted by Lois' hand over his mouth. As he looked at her through wide eyes, she softly traced his lips before moving to caress and stroke the side of his face.
"Clark," she whispered, the sound low and husky. "You've got your PlayStation right here … " Her voice trailed off even as her hand moved downward along his throat and over his T-shirt, feeling his muscles through the soft material. She looked down at her hand, watching it with idle curiosity as she stroked his chest, the cotton of his shirt rubbing against his sensitive skin.
She leaned toward him, feeling his arms come around her to pull her closer. As she closed her eyes, her lips pressed lightly against his.
Clark groaned, tightening his embrace and immediately deepening the kiss. His hands slipped under her shirt, caressing her back, marveling once more at the silky smoothness of her skin. Hearing her moan softly into his mouth and feeling her restless movements against him, he shifted beneath her to a more prone position on the sofa, keeping Lois on top and against him.
As the kiss continued, their hands fumbled at their clothing, both of them needing … wanting … craving … the feel of their bodies against each other.
Lois broke off the kiss. "Clark," she gasped.
"Forget slow and easy … "
As always, they lay basking in the warmth of the afterglow of their lovemaking. Lois' fingers traced random patterns on Clark's chest. Clark's hand stroked her arm.
At his sigh, Lois raised her head and smiled at him. "What?"
Clark returned the smile with one of his own. "I was just thinking."
At the sight of that perfect, loving smile, Lois felt her heart do cartwheels. God, how she loved this man. "Thinking about what?"
Clark chuckled. "That what we do … *every time* we do it … "
"It's better than Pay-Per-View."
Their soft laughter mingled with the low hiss of the still flickering television. Without taking his gaze from Lois, Clark retrieved the remote and aimed it at the TV set.