Of a Dying Breed

By GFC <dramadame@gurlmail.com>

Rated G

Submitted August 1999

Summary: One of the gang takes a look back as he takes over the top spot.

Disclaimer: None of them belong to me, even though I wish a young photographer in tight jeans could!!

Author's Notes: This is my first attempt at Lois and Clark Fic; although it is NOT my first attempt at fic. Just, please, bear with me and send (constructive) feedback. Thanks!


The swagger was still there. Forty years after he first walked into the newsroom, camera around his neck, he still moved like a nineteen-year old with an attitude of immortality. Of course, after forty years of chasing pictures and stories, that attitude was gone, but it was replaced by another.

The new attitude was one of a man who knew he had passed his chasing prime just recently. Now was the time to sit down behind the desk and assume to position of the boss. He did so with obvious glee. His back, hurting most days when he got up, came to rest against the worn leather of the ever-familiar chair. His feet, still clad in those ever-incorrigible cowboy boots, went on the corner of the desk. His hands went behind his neck, resting at the bottom of his hairline. The hair he had worked so hard to keep styled was still there, but now it was silver.

Glancing around, he smiled. A clock hung on the wall; Elvis with swinging legs. Half of the cubs in the newsroom didn't recognize the King of Rock and Roll, but he always did. It had been a present from Perry when the older man had retired, leaving the clock in the office as a good-luck gift.

"The King, he was a hero, son. He was also what kept me goin'. When my writer's block hit when I was starting out, that clock looked over at me and told me I could do it. Keep it up on that wall, call it a good luck charm. Hell, call it whatever you want, just keep it up there to remember me." The man had promised Perry he would, and it still hung there, legs swinging.

Wish he could say the same for Perry. The man that had played both father and friend to the man in the chair had died the previous year. He went quietly; in his sleep, with dignity; the way he should have and did. No one deserved dignity in death more than Perry. He was part of a breed that had almost completely died off. Dignity was his middle name, whether or not he acted upon it depended on the day.

On the left corner of the desk sat a picture. A younger version of the man at the desk with an award, and another man with black hair, brown eyes, and a huge smile on his face as he held up his own award. It had been years ago. Twenty or thirty, the man couldn't remember. He did remember, however, the night of the award. He had gotten it for a picture of a group of children holding onto a fireman as they ran from a burning building. The other man in the picture-the famed Clark Kent-had gotten his award for the story he did to go along with the picture.

Clark had left the paper the previous year, just shortly after Perry passed away. Personal reasons, he said, and no one argued with him. Perry had been close with everyone in the newsroom, but he was one of the first people to give Clark the benefit of the doubt. He hadn't cared how small of a town the man had worked in, as long as he could write a story and spell his name.

The man at the desk smiled at the picture as he reached for it, arthritis in his elbow groaning in response. Clark had been another of those who was of the dying breed. An honest newsman who saw no reason to cover the violence first and the good deeds later. "Small town mentality" he had nicknamed it once. In truth, the man holding the picture saw him as the type of person everyone-especially reporters-should try to be. Upstanding, honest, and ready to fight for his beliefs.

Now, Clark was gone, and the herds were thinning. Luckily, there was still one person left in the newsroom who remembered how to do news reporting the old way. A person who knew how to dig in her heels and never take "no comment" for an answer. Over the years, she had only gotten tougher; never giving, always pushing for that bit of a story would never reach the light if not for people like her. "Pushy," some called it, but the man in the chair just called her Lois.

The job of editor had been offered to her, but she had declined, saying that her place was running after stories, not running after the layout person. She had insisted that the job be given to someone who could do a much better job at keeping the place running like it should-like Perry wanted it.

"Hey, Jimmy, you got a minute?"

The man at the desk looked up and smiled to the woman in the doorway. Her hair was gray, and there were stress lines on her forehead, but it was still the same woman he had had a crush on all those years ago. "Lois, come on in. Of course I have a minute."

She sat on the sofa, a replica of the plaid one Jimmy had always slept on when he pulled an all-nighter for one reason or another. Memories of Perry coming in and waking him early in the morning with orders of a shower and a couple of hours of sleep in a bed made him smile. "What do you need?"

"I just got a lead from Clark. Apparently, some people a few blocks down from our building are doing some bad things with a large amount of money."

Jimmy's instincts, honed to perfection after so many years, perked up. "Counterfeit?"

Lois nodded. "Sounds like it. Clark called a friend of his at the police department and pulled in a couple of favors. He'll give The Planet the exclusive if we get up there now with a camera and a reporter. I've got my pad."

The bottom drawer of the desk opened and an old model camera, one of those where everything from the loading to the winding were done by hand. "I'm ready."

"You know, Jimmy, everything else is digital these days, when is your camera going to catch up?"

Jimmy smiled as they walked out of the office and into the bullpen, ever-familiar noises coming to his ears. "When the dying breed finally becomes extinct."

Lois raised an eyebrow. "Excuse me?"

He slipped a hand under her arm and led her toward the door, his voice dropping to a reflective tone. "I'll explain on the way. Let's go, Lois."