By Chris Mulder <email@example.com>
Submitted August 2000
Summary: In a segment from the continuation of the author's "Meet Me in Kansas City," Lois and Clark enlist the aid of the Kents in their plans for Clark's new, and as yet unnamed, alter ego. A Charity Fanzine story.
A Charity Fanzine story, first released summer 1999
[What follows is a little bit of continuation for my fanfic, "Meet Me in Kansas City." For those who haven't read it, "Kansas" explored my ideas about what might happen if Lois and Clark had met before he invented Superman. At the end of that story, L&C arrive at the Kent farm and tell his parents he's going to be moving to Metropolis to work at the Daily Planet with Lois, and that he wants to use his powers to help people. During the drive to the farm, he and Lois had come up with the idea of Clark using a disguise, so when they are all sitting around the table in the kitchen he tells Martha and Jonathan …]
"We think I need some kind of outfit."
Who knew that such a simple sentence could lead to … to all *this*! Clark thought in amazement as he watched Martha and Lois planning out his, or rather his alter ego's, costume.
They didn't seem to need his help at all and, to tell the truth, he wasn't so sure that he could be of any help if they had asked him for it. Sewing was pretty much a closed book to him. He'd had to make a few minor repairs to his clothing when he'd been traveling about the world, but he'd always been just as happy to find someone who could do it for him. He certainly wouldn't have had a clue how to start putting an outfit together, let alone actually designing one. So, he watched from the sidelines as these two women in his life plotted out his future between them.
His dad hadn't offered much guidance, merely shrugging his shoulders and rolling his eyes when Clark had looked to him with mute appeal. In fact, it hadn't taken long for Jonathan to decide that he could be much more useful elsewhere, and he'd headed for the barn. He knew he'd be out of his depth as soon as the conversation had moved into deep and dark areas like "seams," "fabric grains" and "selvages."
Lois had admitted to not having much sewing experience, but that wasn't keeping her from freely expressing her opinion on colors, style and design. Clark was getting the impression that he was going to look like a cross between Buck Rogers and the Lone Ranger, with maybe a Musketeer thrown in for good measure, which was making the butterflies in his stomach feel more like pterodactyls. He sought out the haven of his father's advice.
"I don't know, son. Your mother gets like this sometimes," Jonathan said, with a reminiscent smile. "I've usually found it best to stay out of her way."
"But, Dad," Clark exclaimed, hands thrust into his pockets and shoulders hunched in helpless dismay, "if they put everything into that costume that they're talking about, I … I'm going to look like a joke!"
Jonathan's eyebrows went up in surprise, and a little censure. "Now, Clark, you know your mother would never do that to you."
Clark had the grace to be embarrassed. "I … I know that, Dad. It's just—" He shrugged and kicked at an imaginary object on the floor of the barn. "I don't know," he finished lamely.
Jonathan looked at his boy for a few moments, studying the bowed head and troubled posture. He thought he had a notion about what was really wrong. Lois had been in the house less than five hours, and already she and Martha had connected on some purely feminine level. Clark was feeling excluded.
Jonathan turned back to his workbench, but kept his attention on his son. "You know, Clark," he began, "there have been times over the years when I've thought that your mother has missed being able to talk to other women about … things. Women like to do that, you know. Her friends could tell her everything their kids were doing, but your mom, well … she could hardly tell them all about you now, could she?"
Clark shook his head, feeling guilty suddenly, both for past problems, which in truth had been beyond his youthful control, as well as for his recent jumbled emotions. "No, she couldn't have. I'm sorry, Dad."
"There's no reason to be sorry, Clark. You couldn't have helped change what happened, and you know your mother and I wouldn't have traded you for a hundred kids that we *could* have talked about."
"Your mother is just enjoying being with someone she can talk to about her boy. And," he added with a wink, "I think Lois is enjoying being with someone she can ask questions of about her boy*friend*."
That made Clark laugh. "I think you're right, Dad."
"Things will settle down, son. Just let them enjoy themselves."
Clark could hear the laughter through the open windows of the house, even without having to resort to his powers. "Oh, I don't think there's any problem about them enjoying themselves."
Jonathan was chuckling, too. "Sounds to me like you'd better get back in there."
"Why? You said Mom wouldn't make a costume that would make me look stupid."
"Oh, I know she wouldn't. But that laugh … That sounded like the kind of laughing women do when they're talking about their men. You might want to see what they're up to now. Something tells me they've taken a break from costume designing."
Clark didn't hesitate, raising a small cloud of dust in his rush to exit the barn. Jonathan chuckled a little harder. He'd heard that kind of feminine laughter before … when his own mother had been filling in his bride-to-be on him. Clark had some interesting times ahead of him, that's for sure.
Martha and Lois did indeed have their heads close together when Clark made his hasty entrance into the kitchen, but they made an effort to look occupied with the fabric spread out on the table in front of them.
"Oh, Clark! There you are! I was just about to call you." Martha's voice was studied and businesslike, but it was obvious from the flush on her cheeks and the brightness of her eyes that she'd been laughing rather hard right before he'd come in. Clark just hoped that she hadn't been sharing any really embarrassing stories with Lois.
He pretended not to notice that anything was going on. "Really? What's up, Mom?"
"Well, Lois and I have been looking over some of this fabric that I had stashed away, and we've got a few ideas for your disguise."
"That's great!" he said, as he walked further into the room. "What have you come up with?"
Lois was refolding the lengths of cloth they'd been examining, and stacking them on the seat of one of the chairs. "Your mom has been telling me about the theater group that she's sewn costumes and painted scenery for. She's one talented lady."
Clark put an arm around Martha's shoulders, then leaned down and kissed her on the cheek. "I'd have to agree with you there, Lois."
Martha responded by kissing him back. "Thank you, sweetie."
"There! That's the lot." Lois's announcement served to bring the Kents' attention back to her. "It's great that you have all this, Martha."
"It sure is, Mom, but I'm surprised that you have this much material."
"Well, to tell you the truth, I got most of it on sale. Some of it was donated, but they let me keep it because I did all that work as a volunteer and they wanted to give me something. There actually isn't a whole lot of any one color, but I think we can make do."
Clark reached down to finger some of the fabric. "Most of this feels like the stuff tights are made from."
"Exactly! The Smallville Players went through a Shakespeare phase last year, and we needed tights as well as form-fitting shirts to wear under the fake armor … so it wouldn't chafe, you know. Some of the actors could wear the sizes that were available in the stores, but some of them had to be custom made."
Clark looked a bit bemused. "But, Mom … I don't want to save the day looking like Hamlet!"
"Oh, you won't! Don't worry, honey. Lois and I have been working on some ideas that we think you're going to love."
"I really appreciate all your hard work, Mom, but tights …?"
"It will cut down on wind resistance," Martha and Lois said in chorus, then turned to each other and giggled.
"Did you guys practice that?" Clark asked suspiciously.
Both women had denied any form of collusion, but Clark wasn't so sure. Especially when he saw how efficiently they worked together to get him into his parents' bedroom and out of most of his clothes. Martha had her sewing machine set up already, and in no time at all she was busy taking Clark's measurements.
Fortunately for Clark's peace of mind, he was allowed to change into swim trunks so he wouldn't have to stand in front of them in his underwear, but it was still a bit unnerving to be the only one in the room with so little on. He tried to concentrate on the orders his mother was giving him to stand up straighter, or hold out his arms, and that helped some, but he was all too aware that Lois was just behind him, writing down the numbers Martha called out to her.
Then it came time to get his inseam measurement.
Martha told him where to put the end of the tape measure and let him hold it himself while she pulled the tape down towards his ankle to get the correct measurement. Clark could feel his face getting warm, though, as he stood there with his hand near his crotch and his brand-new girlfriend so close by. He wondered what she was thinking about all this.
"There! That's done," Martha said, picking herself up off the rug and looking a bit flushed after all the recent activity. "Now we can—"
The phone rang and Martha reached to answer it. Clark busied himself with coiling up the measuring tape and avoided looking at Lois.
"I'll be right back, kids," Martha said. "It's Maisie. She needs a recipe." She hurried out to the kitchen, carrying the portable instrument with her, and leaving Lois and Clark alone for the first time since they'd arrived at the farm earlier that afternoon.
Clark heard Lois put the notepad and pencil down on the bed and then felt her moving towards him, but he kept his eyes glued to the tape measure in his hands.
"Here, let me see that for a sec," she said, removing it from his grasp and standing to face him. "I just want to double check something. Would you hold your arms out again for me, Clark?" she asked, keeping her tone of voice very practical and businesslike, which wasn't easy with him standing so close … and nothing on but swim trunks and glasses.
He did as she requested, stealing a glance at her face, but her eyes were downcast and he couldn't read anything in her expression. She reached around him, tickling his chin with her hair and sending tiny electric sparks up his spine where her hands brushed against his back as she was positioning the tape measure. She brought the tape around his chest and overlapped the two ends, then studied the number for a long moment.
"Is anything wrong?" Clark found the breath to ask.
She shook her head several times, making her dark hair fan out around her. Clark watched it, fascinated by how beautiful it was.
"No," she answered him, "everything is *just* fine." Then she looked up and he could see the gleam in her eyes that he'd come to know so well over the past couple of days. "I'm just checking these measurements again," she added as she let the tape slide down towards his waist.
Clark shivered briefly, a response that seemed to please Lois.
"'Measure twice, cut once,' you know," she told him sagely, making him grin. "Are you ticklish, by the wa—"
He quickly grabbed at her hands. "Oh, no you don't!" They were both starting to laugh now. "Turnabout is fair play," he warned her, holding up an admonitory finger.
"And how fair is this?" she demanded through her laughter, because he was easily holding her off with one hand.
"You started it!"
"Me? I did nothing of the sort!" She took a half step back and he released her hands, but she had not dropped the measuring tape. It still hung loosely around him. She slid it up so that she could once again encircle his chest with it.
"I was just doing my job here," she murmured, looking up at him through her lashes as she placed her palms over the ends of the tape and then leaned into him. "Can I help it if you—"
She abruptly ceased her teasing to stare at his chest and shoulders. Caught off guard yet again by one of her lightning- fast changes of mood, and mesmerized by the feel of her hands on his bare skin, he couldn't get any words to come out of his mouth. What could she be up to now?
"Clark …! You're all *goosepimply*! Are you cold? Let me get you a—"
"I'm not cold, Lois. Cold doesn't affect me. I'm invulnerable, remember?"
"Then …? Why? Are you all right?"
"I'm fine. I'm just— It's you, Lois," he admitted, blushing. "I'm just … in love with you … that's all."
"Me?" This is because of me?"
Wow! Lois thought—I've said that a lot since I met him, haven't I?—he's invulnerable and yet I can affect him in this way. This is amazing!
*He* was amazing.
Immensely powerful, fast, strong, and yet she could affect him as nothing else could. He was still looking embarrassed and, she thought, a bit anxious. After all they'd experienced this week he must be wondering how she was taking this new information … hoping that what he'd said wouldn't scare her off.
She moved to take him into her arms, the tape measure falling unheeded to the floor. It was impossible to think of what to say because there was too much to say, so she just held him, relieved and comforted to feel his arms around her, too.
"Are you okay?" he whispered against her hair.
All she could do was nod, afraid that if she tried to speak she might get all sloppy and sentimental.
There was a pause and then he murmured, "I'm sorry, Lois. I guess I'm pushing again, aren't I?"
She shook her head vigorously against his chest, still not trusting her voice. But she could sense his concern and knew she needed to reassure him.
Finally she looked up, and now he could see the unshed tears in her eyes. Concern changed quickly to remorse, but Lois reached up to place her fingers against his lips, preventing him from saying anything else.
"No, Clark, you're fine … and so am I." She could smile for him now. "It's just that *this*," she explained, wiping at the corner of one eye, "is what *you* do to me."
Reaching up, she kissed his cheek and told him, "You just have a way of making me feel special, Clark Kent, that's all."
"Well, you *are* special, Lois. Especially to me."
Now that he knew everything was all right, he bent his head down for a kiss, enjoying the way it felt to have Lois pressed close to his body. With her in his arms he quickly forgot what they'd originally come into this room to do, so it was rather startling when Martha returned a few seconds later.
The young couple separated, a little red in the face, but Martha took it all in stride—she'd been young and in love once herself.
"Glad to see you found something to do to keep you occupied," she observed casually as she picked up the tape measure and began winding it around her hand. "And here I was feeling guilty for leaving you alone all this time."
"Mo-om," Clark protested, but Lois just giggled. There were things about women that he didn't think he'd ever figure out.
Martha excused Clark to go change his clothes, which he was glad to do before he could embarrass himself further. Lois had looked disappointed when he'd left, and that had gone a long way towards making him feel better. Earlier that day he had promised to take her flying tonight—their first flight together—and now he was looking forward to it more than ever.
When he returned from his room, he found Lois and Martha back in the kitchen with pattern pieces spread out on the table.
"Your mom is going to show me how to alter a pattern, Clark," Lois informed him as soon as she became aware of his presence.
"That's, uh, great, Lois," he said, even though he wasn't quite sure that it was.
He lingered a few minutes more, but after Martha had asked him to move a couple of times so she could get to one side of the table or the other, he began to think that Jonathan had had the right idea earlier when he'd made himself scarce.
"Well," Clark said, addressing himself to no one in particular, "I guess I'll go see if I can give Dad a hand."
There was no response from either woman. Martha was busy working on the pattern and explaining to Lois what she was doing. Clark thought about what his father had said. Martha did seem to enjoy having another woman to share things with and, to his great joy, Lois seemed to have found a special new friend in his mother.
Clark opened the door to go outside and, whether it was the sound of the latch or the feel of the breeze that came through the opening, his imminent departure was suddenly noticed.
"Oh … Clark, are you going out to help Jonathan? That's a good idea, honey. Lois and I will let you know when we have something ready to show you."
"Okay, Mom. Thanks. You two have fun … but not too much fun," he told them with a grin.
"Clark, wait!" Lois ran up to give him a little kiss and a big hug. "I'll miss you, big guy."
He kissed her back, glad to know he would be missed. "I'll miss you, too."
As he was walking down the back steps, he overheard Lois saying, "Martha, did I tell you about my idea for a name for Clark's secret identity? 'Resplendent Man.' What do you think?"
Clark was in the process of turning to remount the steps when he heard his mother's response.
"I don't know, Lois. It sounds a bit … show-offy to me. Not really like a crimefighter, but more like a Liberace wannabe, if you know what I mean."
"Hmm, maybe you're right …"
Bless you, Mom, Clark silently thanked her. He left to find Jonathan, secure in the knowledge that his mother would be on his side. He probably wouldn't have to worry about a cape, either. Now he was almost looking forward to seeing his new outfit—the tights notwithstanding.
He retained that sanguine outlook until he saw their first efforts: a leopard-skin-colored long-sleeved top, green tights, an orange Speedo, and a three-inch wide leather belt—with brass fittings.
Looking from their pleased and hopeful faces to the costume laid out on the bed and back again, he didn't know what to say. His face, however, was saying plenty.
"Just try it on, Clark," his mother told him, and before he knew what was happening he found himself in his parents' bathroom with the costume draped over his arms.
How do I get myself into these things? he wondered, and he wasn't just talking about the tights.
Out in the bedroom, Martha and Lois were waiting for Clark to emerge. Jonathan had immediately headed off to shower in the other bathroom, promising to check on them as soon as he was clean again. It was several minutes before Clark tentatively opened the door, and it was immediately apparent that he was feeling intensely uncomfortable.
Lois couldn't think of a thing to say. That fake leopard fabric fit him—you'll excuse the expression—like a second skin. As for the tights and the Speedo, well …! Doris' words to her about not having been looking at Clark's face popped into her head, and she had to turn her own face away so she wouldn't betray herself. Which left it up to Martha to step into the breach.
"Well, that doesn't look too bad."
Her son obviously wasn't of the same mind.
"Mom!" he replied, his voice rising despite his good intentions about keeping his cool, "I can't wear *this* to a rescue!" He was trying various positions for the belt as he talked, but nothing, in his opinion, would improve the look of this ensemble.
"I don't think anyone would be able to take me seriously in an outfit like this. Not to mention that the PETA people would probably throw paint at me every time I touched down—!"
"Okay, Clark, calm down. Lois and I didn't really like this all that much, either. We needed to make one, though, to see how our pattern would work. We had to make so many alterations that I wasn't sure if we'd gotten it right."
Clark took the belt down from his forehead, where he'd been holding it to see how it looked. "You mean, I don't have to wear this one?"
"Of course not, honey. We want you to have a costume that you like, and can feel comfortable in. Don't we, Lois?"
By now Lois had managed to wipe the appreciative grin off her face, and was able to walk forward with reasonable composure. "That's right, Clark. We do." But the sight of him in that jungle outfit and glasses was giving her some interesting fantasies.
She moved closer to him and reached out to touch the fabric of his shirt. "It's kind of a shame, though," she told him, with mock seriousness. "We could have had a 'You, Tarzan; me Jane' kind of thing going on. It might have been fun."
Clark just shook his head at her teasing, but couldn't help grinning all the same. For a moment more they looked at each other, then Martha came forward with the tape measure once again.
"It seems a little too tight across the chest. Let's re-measure this."
Martha helped him unzip the top and they worked together to pull it off his shoulders. Lois, deciding that it was a two-person job, elected to stay in the background admiring the scenery. Martha had positioned Clark in front of the full-length mirror, so Lois had a nearly unobstructed view of his good side, and his, uh, other good side.
In addition to enjoying yet another sight of those great shoulders, Lois was also captivated by the way mother and son were interacting. She knew Clark had a special relationship with his parents—that much she'd gathered from what he'd told her in Kansas City. But seeing them together had still been a revelation. It made her hope that, even if things didn't work out between her and Clark, she could still keep in touch with this family.
The measuring completed, Clark went into the bathroom to change. While he was in there, Jonathan peeked into the bedroom to see what they were up to. A quick glance around was enough to let him know that they were not yet finished. Well, maybe he couldn't be much help with the sewing, but there was something else he could do.
"It doesn't look like you'll have time for cooking tonight, Martha. How about if I take care of dinner?"
"Oh, Jonathan, that would be wonderful! Thank you." She went to kiss him; a kiss that was gladly returned by her husband.
"So, how's it going? Is Clark trying on one now?"
"Actually, he's taking one off," Lois replied, in a tone which hinted at their lack of success.
"Didn't work out, eh?"
"Well, the material wasn't quite right," Martha admitted, "but it was just a prototype, really. I'm going to make some more adjustments to the pattern and try again."
"Okay. I'll let you get back to work then. Call you when dinner's ready."
"Is there anything I can do?" Lois asked after Jonathan had left the room.
"Yes," Martha said, "help me get these things into the dining room. We'll have to work in there this time because Jonathan will need the kitchen table."
They gathered the pins, tape measure, scissors, chalk, and pattern pieces and were just ready to leave when Clark came out of the bedroom.
"Oh, good. You're just in time, honey. I need that one to use as a model."
"Mom, are you sure it's all right that I don't like this one?"
"Very sure. Don't worry about it. We'll find something that will be just perfect for you. You'll see."
"Why don't you give your dad a hand in the kitchen?"
So the Kent men got busy with the pots and pans while Martha and Lois wrought over the pattern, trying to create something that could accommodate Clark's broad shoulders and strong chest. When they thought they had solved these problems, they brought out the fabric again and looked through it.
Clark glanced in their direction a couple of times and was relieved to see that they weren't working with any cloth that had polka dots, or neon colors, or indeed any colors that might immediately remind one of a fur-bearing animal. His dad began to talk about what he wanted to get done around the farm this weekend, and Clark shifted his attention from fabrics to combine repairs, winter storm damage cleanup and new farm gates.
They'd gotten so deeply involved with their discussion, and their cooking, that they hadn't noticed the two women leaving the dining room. So when Lois approached them from the direction of the bedroom, they were rather surprised.
"What smells so good in here?"
"Lois! I thought you and Martha were in the dining room."
"We finished what we were doing in there. Martha's busy sewing up a new top, so I thought I'd see what you guys are up to. Looks good," she added, glancing around at the table all set for dinner, and at the various concoctions bubbling or sizzling away on the stove.
"Dad's making his famous chicken and mashed potatoes."
"Hope you made extra, Jonathan, because all this sewing has made me *very* hungry."
"Nobody's ever gone away hungry in this house."
"Not even Clark?" Lois asked, remembering his appetite when they'd eaten together in Kansas City. She moved over next to Clark, putting one arm around his back and patting his stomach with her other hand, just to show him she was teasing.
"Well, I have to admit that that can be a challenge sometimes—"
"Dad!" Clark protested, his attention instantly diverted from Lois's smiling face. "I'm not that bad."
"—but I have been known to fill up even him," Jonathan continued, just as if Clark hadn't spoken.
"This chicken must be really spectacular then."
"He does have a flair with fowl," Martha said. She had come into the room holding a piece of green fabric and motioning for Clark to come stand in front of her. Now she held the cloth against Clark's back, leaning out occasionally so she could watch her husband at work.
"I've got regular and extra spicy tonight."
"Careful, Lois. Dad's extra spicy—deadly!" Clark warned her, but with a grin.
Martha chimed in, still adjusting the fabric and making an occasional chalk mark. "The rest of us have grown a tolerance over the years."
Lois wanted to hug herself, she was so happy. It was astounding how much she already felt herself a part of this family. She was enjoying the joking and the laughter, but she was also always one to rise to a challenge.
"I'll try some."
"Gambler in the house!" Jonathan exclaimed, waving the tongs in triumph. His face showed how pleased he was with her choice.
Clark, too, was pleased, and his eyes were warm with gratitude as he smiled at her. A moment later Martha thanked him for his cooperation and then took the chalk-marked fabric back with her to the bedroom.
Clark came towards Lois and leaned down to kiss her cheek, then whispered in her ear, "I seem to recall that you and I have a date to go flying this evening."
She looked up in surprise.
"If you're not too tired, that is," he added hastily.
"No! Not at all," she whispered back. "I just thought you'd want to stay here … The costume is important, and—"
"This is more important than a costume."
"But … your mom. Won't she expect you to be here?"
"We'll ask her, but I don't think she'll mind if we slip out for a little while."
"Oh, Clark! I think that will be great!"
"It should be dark enough after supper for us to go. I'll check with Mom now."
Martha gave her unqualified approval of the scheme, so as soon as supper was over—Lois having successfully withstood the challenge of Jonathan's "extra spicy" chicken—Lois and Clark set out for their first flight.
They were gone for about an hour, returning to find the house strangely quiet—no sewing machine motors were buzzing along industriously. Clark expressed the hope to Lois that the machine hadn't broken down.
As it turned out the sewing machine was fine, just taking a well- deserved break. And so were Martha and Jonathan. They were sitting on the couch, watching an old movie on TV, Jonathan's arm around his wife. Lois felt as if she and Clark were intruding, but the older couple greeted their arrival with smiles and asked if they'd had a good time.
Seeing the answer to their questions on the faces of the young people before them, Martha didn't wait for a verbal response, but instead changed the subject.
"I've got an outfit ready, if you're willing to try on another one."
Clark greeted this pronouncement with mixed feelings, hoping that this would be the right one and worried about what he could say if it weren't.
Lois and Martha waited for Clark in the bedroom while he once again changed in the bathroom. When several minutes had passed since he'd gone in there, Lois called out, "Clark! You're going to have to get faster at this, if you're going to be on time for rescues."
As if waiting for his cue, Clark opened the door and let them see Martha's latest effort.
This one was mostly blue and green, with a yellow circle over the chest. Martha was showing Lois and her son how she had used some fabric that had been sewn together for the actor who had played Mercutio. She'd had some sections of this pieced fabric and had cut out the sleeves and part of the bodice from it.
The thing that kept popping into Lois's mind was the irreverent thought that poor "Mercutio" had had to die in an outfit like that, and Clark was looking as if he was about to die of embarrassment. Maybe the rescuer needed rescuing …
"Uh, Martha …"
"Yes?" she replied, but her attention was mostly on the Lone Ranger-type mask of green cloth that she was holding out for Clark to put on.
Lois tried again. "This looks really nice—"
Clark took off his glasses and tied on the mask, his expression growing ever gloomier.
Martha smiled at her. "Thanks. I've also got a hat in these colors, but I want to see what you two think of it."
With that she crossed over to the bed and picked up what looked like a baseball cap, except it had small, yellow cloth wings placed on either side. Martha had to stand on her tiptoes to put the hat on Clark's head. Poor guy, he looked so unhappy.
"… and I can see you've put a lot of time into it," Lois continued, "but … well, it … I'm not sure that it really 'says' what Clark is all about."
"What do you mean?"
"Wellll, it kind of makes him look like the FTD logo … or something. Not that it isn't darned cute on him—"
"Lo-is!" Clark looked over at Martha, and could see that she was beginning to understand what Lois meant. "I'm sorry, Mom, but … I don't think this is going to work, either."
"Oh, well. I guess you two are right."
"Are you okay with this, Mom?"
"Sure, honey. If there's one thing I've learned from those art classes I've been taking, it's that sometimes you just have to start all over again. And actually," she continued, while looking through the fabric stacked up on the bed, "I have lots of other ideas."
Relieved, Clark went back into the bathroom to change. Lois was right about one thing—he was going to have to find a faster way to change clothes. He wouldn't always be able to locate an empty bathroom on the spur of the moment and besides, someone might see him coming and going, which would negate the whole purpose of the secret identity.
It wasn't really late yet, so Martha decided to get started on the next outfit. Jonathan assured her that he was fine on the couch for a while longer; there was a good baseball game on. Clark volunteered to make the nightly check of the livestock and Lois decided to tag along. She'd seen the farm from the air, and now she got a chance to check out parts of it from the ground.
When they got back to the house, Martha was cutting out the next fabric, which Clark could see was mostly red.
"Devilish!" Lois whispered to him, with a giggle, and he grabbed her to show her how devilish he could be. Martha fussed at them good-naturedly for being in her way, and Jonathan called to his son to come and see an instant replay on the TV.
Lois reflected that there seldom seemed to be a dull moment at the Kent house. Maybe that was why she felt so at home.
The rest of the evening was taken up with various moments of relative fun or interest. Clark and Lois divided their time between seeing how the game was progressing in the living room while visiting with Jonathan, and encouraging Martha at her sewing machine by bringing her cups of tea or offering helpful suggestions.
The more time they spent together, the more Lois and Clark knew they had something special together. For two people who'd known each other for only three days, they were already acting like old friends. Each felt more comfortable and relaxed around the other than they had ever felt with anyone else before, and each was very aware of how remarkable those feelings truly were. That sense of awe only added to their happiness.
About 11:30, Lois wandered back into Jonathan and Martha's bedroom. She'd been watching part of the evening news with Jonathan and now she wanted to see what Clark was doing.
Martha was intent on her sewing and looked up only briefly, but her ready smile was still there—even this late at night. Spotting Clark sitting on the floor next to the dresser, Lois went over and sat next to him. She could see that he was looking through some back issues of "The Smallville Press," and "The Kansas Agriculturalist," the latter of which appeared to be the local co-op newspaper.
"Catching up on the latest news?"
"Uh-huh. One of the girls I went to school with just got married, and a couple other friends have had babies. The county got two new school buses, and the bookmobile got all new tires."
"Whew! I can see that Smallville is a hectic beat."
"Used to run me ragged when I worked there," he responded with a grin. "I had to get a job in Kansas City just to get some rest."
"I'm not surprised. Would you mind if I look through some of these?"
"Help yourself." Lois did just that, and found herself captivated by this doorway to the life of a small town. She could even be a bit envious of the reporters who were lucky enough to work on such a paper.
They certainly would have an opportunity to really get to know their communities inside and out. Everything was covered; no event or occasion was too insignificant to be mentioned, it seemed. There was everything from Bloodmobile schedules, to 4-H Club news, to local high school sports results, to the state legislature's most recent activities.
So enthralled was she by what she was reading that she didn't even notice that Clark had gotten very still next to her. She looked up to point out the description of Mrs. Eunice Johnson's 75th birthday party to him, and saw that he was sound asleep. Only then did she remember that, except for the three hours or so of sleep he'd gotten their last night in Kansas, he hadn't slept since he'd met her.
She also remembered how he'd saved all those people at the granary fire, and how he'd done all the driving today, and helped his dad, and then taken her flying. He certainly deserved to rest. Feeling very protective of him, she carefully folded up the papers and removed them from his lap. It seemed kind of silly to be worried about whether or not a rustling newspaper might wake him when he appeared to be oblivious to Martha's sewing machine, but nevertheless, Lois tried to be as quiet as she could.
Since he was propped up between her and the dresser, she thought he could safely stay there for a while. Reaching forward tentatively, she took his hand into hers and held it, then leaned against his shoulder, feeling his body's slight movements as he breathed, and enjoying the warmth of his skin. This was the first time since that morning that she'd had a chance to just sit and do nothing, and whether it was that or the even rhythm of Clark's breathing, or the steady whirring of Martha's sewing machine, in no time at all Lois was sound asleep, too.
When Martha finally took a break from her sewing she saw the two of them sleeping beside each other. She felt her heart do a little flip-flop at the sight. She'd always hoped Clark would be able to find the right woman to share his life with, and she'd often prayed she'd be able to get along with whomever he might choose. With Lois, she knew she didn't have to worry about either of those things any more. Lois would be perfect for Clark, and the perfect daughter-in-law for her. She was looking forward to the day when those two started talking about marriage.
She could still hear the sound of the TV coming from the other room and glanced over at the clock. After midnight! Goodness! How had it gotten that late? Well, she'd get Jonathan to help her put things away and shoo those two kids off to bed.
However, when she got to the living room, the only thing still awake in there was the TV. Stretched out on the couch was her dear husband and helpmate. *Everyone* had wimped out on her!
The next morning, she had occasion to experience a change of heart when her son brought her breakfast in bed. Knowing that she'd been up later than the rest of them, he'd wanted to do something special for her.
She had let everyone sleep while she'd moved her sewing paraphernalia off the bed and closed up the machine. Only then had she wakened Clark so he could help her get the others to bed.
He'd carried first Lois and then his father, knowing that if Jonathan had been awakened at that hour he might not have been able to easily get back to sleep. Martha had helped him cover up their two sleeping companions and would have made up his bed on the couch for him, too, if he hadn't insisted that she go to bed herself.
Not needing as much sleep as humans did, Clark was already feeling better after getting even that hour's nap, but he was still glad to catch a few more Z's. However, he was the first one up the next morning and was able to get some of the chores done and breakfast started before the others were stirring.
After breakfast and completion of the chores, it was time to get back to costume making. Martha told them she'd gotten the latest one about halfway finished, so Clark went off to help Jonathan for a while again, and this time Lois went with them.
It was mid-morning when Lois saw Clark suddenly cock his head in the direction of the house and listen. "Mom's got the costume ready," he told her.
Lois had looked around reflexively, as if expecting to see Martha pop up from nowhere, but she knew they were out of sight of the house. "I can see that you're going to come in handy on stake- outs."
"I can come in handy for a lot of things," he said, as he leaned forward to steal a quick kiss.
Lois blushed slightly at the provocative tone in his voice, but kept her cool. "Oh, you don't say! Well, I *might* hold you to that … someday," she challenged him, poking his chest with her finger before setting off in the direction of the house.
Now it was Clark's turn to blush, and he quickly looked around to see if his dad had noticed their little contretemps. He had. He was leaning on the handle of his shovel and grinning.
"Uh, Mom called, so I have to … uh …"
"You'd better get going, son. Looks to me like Lois is leaving you behind."
"Okay, Dad. I'll be back as soon as I can."
Jonathan waved an acknowledgment, but Clark was already heading for home. Those two are *really* something else, he thought.
The red outfit had an orange stripe across the chest, and a red hood, which meant Clark had to remove his glasses again— something else to feel uncomfortable about. The tight fabric certainly showed off his impressive musculature, for which Lois had no complaints. But the red color, and the hood, well … All she could think of was, Isn't he the cutest little devil!
She giggled more than she should have which made Clark threaten to evict her from the room. That couldn't go without a challenge, and then Martha had to call both of them to order.
"This one isn't working out, either," Martha observed, when she could make herself heard. "I thought the red would be eye- catching and authoritative-looking, but it's just …"
Lois started to open her mouth, but Clark got there first. "It's not terrible, Mom, but I just don't think it's quite what I need. I can't really explain it, but …"
His voice trailed off as he looked at himself in the mirror once again. He wasn't sure what was wrong, but somehow this didn't feel quite right. Glancing down at his mother, he could see his own doubts reflected on her face. They both shook their heads at one another, knowing it was back to the drawing board … again.
Lois was astounded at Martha's patience with this whole project. Having only her own mother to use as a comparison, she knew Ellen Lane would have long since given up on a project like this, if indeed Lois could have ever talked her into it in the first place.
Clark changed clothes and, after stopping to give his mother a kiss and a hug, returned to helping Jonathan.
Except for time out for lunch, that's how things stayed for most of the day. Martha and Lois worked on the costume and the two men worked on various projects around the farm.
Around four o'clock, Martha and Lois called for Clark to come see their latest effort: a costume that was mostly blue, but had vertical red and yellow stripes around the abdomen area, and a red Speedo.
This might not be too bad, Clark thought, when he first saw it, but then he tried it on and began to have some doubts. He didn't think he'd be able to step out of the bathroom in this thing—or at least not while Lois was there to tease him again.
He heard Martha calling to him through the closed door. "Clark? How does it fit?"
"Good. Aren't you going to show us how it looks?"
"You're not getting shy on us all of a sudden are you, Clark?" Lois added playfully.
As a matter of fact, he said to himself, I am.
Though exactly why, he wasn't sure. He'd been in and out of tights several times since yesterday, so he would have thought he'd have gotten used to it by now. There was something about this costume, however, that seemed a bit more … more … something.
"Could you come here for a moment?"
"Come on, Clark," Lois interjected. "We just want to see it."
"I don't know, Lois. I think maybe I should show it to Mom first."
"What! Why can't I see it?"
Because, he thought, it fits too well.
"It was my idea to use the stripes," she told him proudly.
"Terrific," he muttered. Now he'd *have* to pick this one. Mom had made it and Lois loved the stripes. "They're great, Lois," he called to her.
"Honey, I'm sure it will be fine," his mom's voice urged him from just on the other side of the door.
"Mom, I don't want to hurt Lois's feelings, but … do you think you could ask her to leave the room?" he pleaded in an undertone, his face close to the door so that his words could penetrate the wood, but hopefully not carry to where Lois was standing.
"But, Clark—" He could hear the bewilderment in Martha's words, and to be perfectly honest, he wasn't sure exactly why he was feeling suddenly shy. Well, more shy than before.
"Never mind. Forget I said it," he said, with resignation, and, taking a deep breath, opened the door.
At first glance, this outfit seemed to hold a lot of promise. On second glance, that was precisely the problem. Martha, with her recent art training foremost in her mind, was able to articulate for herself just what the problem was.
The entire costume had been made from very shiny material. Material which created interestingly provocative shadows and tended to highlight certain contours of Clark's body. Add to that the stripes, which helped to lead the viewer's eye down towards—!
"You know, Clark, I don't think this one is going to work, either, sweetie. Why don't you go change?"
Clark had been standing in front of the mirror, twisting his torso back and forth, trying to convince himself that maybe it wasn't as bad as he had a feeling it was, when his mother's request released him from having to commit himself one way or the other. He looked over at Lois, briefly, and saw that her cheeks were flushed, and she wasn't looking right at him. Apparently, she agreed with Martha, however.
"Why don't you do that, Clark? And, I think I need something cold to drink," she added, leaving the room as she spoke.
Clark turned back to Martha. "Is Lois all right?"
Years of being a mom came to her rescue, enabling her to say with a completely straight face that Lois was quite all right, and didn't he think he should change his clothes?
"Okay, Mom." He started for the bathroom, but turned back to say, "I'm really, truly sorry that this isn't working out. Maybe it was a bad idea."
"Just because we haven't hit on the right costume doesn't mean it was a bad idea, Clark."
"But this isn't what you planned to do with your weekend, is it?"
She chuckled at that. "No, this isn't what I'd planned. But I'm getting to spend time with my son, and I've had to chance to get to know Lois some. The other things don't seem so important, somehow."
He came forward and enveloped her in a shiny, multicolored embrace. "Thanks, Mom. I love you."
"I love you, too, honey. Now, go get out of that thing and scoot, so I can concentrate on my next move."
"Yes, ma'am," he replied, with a grin.
Clark found Lois sitting on the back porch steps, looking down at one of Martha's flowerbeds. Her color had returned to normal and she was sipping on a glass of soda. She looked up when he arrived, trying—with only partial success—not to think about stripes.
"Hi," she greeted him softly.
"Hi, yourself. Are you okay?"
"Oh, sure. I just needed something to drink. Sewing is hard work, you know."
"I'll take your word for it."
They sat quietly for a few moments, enjoying the sights around them, noting that another day would soon be drawing to a close. Their time together wasn't going to be long enough, again.
"Mom is going to give it another try," Clark said.
"That's good." She finished the last of her drink. "I was thinking about seeing what your dad is doing now. I feel like being outside for a while. Do you think Martha would mind?"
"No, I don't think so. She said something about wanting some time to think."
"Oh. All right, then I can help Jonathan for a while. Wonder where he is."
She rose, planning to take the glass back into the kitchen, and saw by the tilt of his head that Clark was listening for his dad.
"He's in the barn."
"That's amazing how you do that, Clark," she told him with a companionable smile. "Well, I'll go down there as soon as I put this glass away. Are you coming, too?"
"No, I'm going to go back to cleaning out the pond. There are always a lot of leaves and other debris in there each spring, and it's got to get cleaned out or we'll have algae problems."
"Sounds like fun," she said, wrinkling up her nose at him.
"Best job on the farm."
"Uh-uh. I think I'll take *your* word for that."
Clark laughed, and they parted for the time being.
Down at the barn, Jonathan was cleaning the hand tools: sharpening blades and edges, and treating the handles with a waterproofing substance. When she asked if she could help, he willingly showed her how to do the part with the handles.
They worked quietly for a while, Lois not sure what to say and Jonathan seemingly content with the silence. Lois had enjoyed the brief times she'd spent with Clark's father so far, but in that time they'd done little except talk about spicy chicken, farm-related things, or famous baseball plays.
Jonathan hadn't said much about Clark's future disguise ever since the family discussion during the first hours of their visit. He appeared to have accepted it and had even given the impression of being for it by his help with the cooking the night before, but Lois thought he might still have some reservations about the whole idea.
She wondered if Clark had had a chance to discuss it further with him.
"Are you … okay with this?"
He glanced over his shoulder at her. "Sure, Lois. Looks like you're doing a first-rate job there. Better than Clark even, when I first showed him. Of course, he was six at the time …"
There was a twinkle in his eye, which told her he was joking, and that made her feel warm inside. People don't joke that way with you unless they like you.
"Thanks. I … I wasn't talking about the shovel handle, though."
"I knew you weren't." He put the tool he was working on to one side and turned off the sharpener. Taking off his protective glasses, he came and sat on a stack of seed bags near her.
"To tell you the truth, Lois, I was pretty uneasy about it, but now … I think it's going to be all right."
"You do? I'm so glad! But, why?"
The twinkle in his eyes got even bigger. "Always the reporter, eh, Lois?"
She started to say something, but he held up his hand, smiling at her to let her know it didn't bother him.
"You see … all that Martha and I have ever wanted for Clark was for him to be happy, and to have a good life. From the time he started to develop these powers of his, I've worried about what his life might be like. He's been so lonely, and it hasn't been much fun having to watch that … and know there wasn't really anything I could do to help. Other than listen when he needed to talk, or to give what advice I could, and," he said, looking around and gesturing with his hands, "to be sure this place was always here for him to come home to."
"From what I've seen of Clark this week, I'd say that you must have done a lot to help him. He's a great person, Jonathan."
"Thank you. I think so, too. Anyway, as I said, I've worried about him, but now I think he may have found a way that he can be himself and not have to hide anymore. It … it's not really the way I would have chosen for him, but at least he won't have to hold all that inside anymore. That kind of thing," he added reflectively, "can be destructive to even the strongest of people. Clark's strong, down inside where it counts, but he needs someone to love, and be loved by, just like the rest of us. And now he has you."
"I said 'love,' Lois, not necessarily 'marry.' I know you and Clark have a lot to settle between you yet, and I don't want you to think I'm pushing you. But there are all kinds of love in this world, Lois. What you and Clark have together is special, very special. Even an old farmer like me can see that," he said, with one of his gentle smiles. "If you two decide that marriage isn't for you, then that's okay. Somehow, though, I think you'll always be his friend, won't you?"
Her eyes were misting up and she didn't think she'd be able to get any words past the tightness in her throat, but she nodded to let him know that she would.
"Then that's all I wanted to know." He sat beside her a moment more, then reached forward to pat her hand. She felt as if she were going to start bawling any second, and maybe Jonathan thought that too, for he stood up again and headed back to his workbench.
Lois went back to polishing that handle, and if it took her a very long time (because her eyes stubbornly refused to stop tearing), at least Jonathan was too kind to make any mention of it. Eventually, she was able to control her voice again, and the two of them enjoyed a low-key conversation about various "safe" topics, whenever Jonathan didn't have the sharpener running.
When they were nearly finished, Clark reappeared, able to report that the pond was once again nice and clear. While father and son went about tending to the stock and preparing the farm for the night, Lois finished up the last of the handles, and then leaned the tools against the wall.
She wanted to do something to repay the family for their hospitality and friendliness, and she thought she'd hit upon the very thing. She stepped outside, wondering where Clark and his father might be now, and was glad to see them making their way back towards the barn.
Watching them, even at this distance, she could tell that Clark was matching his longer, younger stride to that of his father. Just as once, not so very long ago, Jonathan must have matched his stride to that of a much younger and shorter Clark, and she could really appreciate all that his parents had been able to teach him, just by their example alone.
It crossed her mind to wonder what kinds of subtle lessons she might have learned from her own parents, but she didn't really want to think too much about that. The last thing she needed right now was to get all blubbery again. So, instead of waiting for them as had been her original intention, she went forward to meet them.
Clark noticed her first, and his face lit up with pleasure at the sight of her.
Lois made a funny face at him, her emotions once more under control, as she held up her oil-stained hands. "If you think I'm beautiful, you must be crazier than I thought."
He gestured down at his dirty clothes. "Well, I think we'd make a great match," he told her and then reached for her as if to hug her.
She quickly jumped out of range, telling him that he smelled kind of swampy.
Jonathan stood back, watching their antics and enjoying the sight very much. Lois was trying to find a spot on Clark's face that wasn't dirty so she could give him a kiss, but the only area that looked clean enough was his lips. Making the ultimate sacrifice, she gave him a kiss and then told him to behave because she had something she wanted to discuss with his dad.
"Jonathan, when we were in Kansas City, your son introduced me to Kansas-style barbecue, and it was love at first sight. Is there a place around here where I could get some?"
"Sure, there's a place in town …"
"Great! Then supper is on me tonight." She went to his side and linked her arm in his. "Think I could get a ride into town, handsome?"
"What about me?" Clark asked in a tone of mock injury.
"You are to stay here and bathe," she told him, grandly, "as often as it takes to de-swamp you, because I don't fly with men who wear Eau de Okefenokee."
It had taken some time to get everyone's order written down, and then Lois had wanted to get cleaned up a bit before making her first appearance in a Smallville business establishment, but eventually she and Jonathan set off in search of sustenance and what excitement could be found at Clyde's House of BBQ.
Clark had watched them leave with mixed emotions, disappointed that he wasn't to be the one to show Lois the glories of Smallville by night, and yet thrilled to see her and his father getting along so famously. He consoled himself with pleasant thoughts of taking her for a more protracted tour tomorrow afternoon, at which time he'd be able to introduce her to his friends himself. It was silly, really, how much he was looking forward to showing her off to everyone.
"I want you to meet Lois Lane," he'd say. "She's my … friend? Girlfriend?"
Hmmm … This could be more treacherous than it appeared on the surface! Maybe he should ask Lois about it beforehand. That might be safest.
Having solved that problem to his satisfaction, he recalled that he was under orders to get cleaned up and set off to do just that.
All the time he was showering, shaving and getting dressed, he could hear Martha's sewing machine whirring along, and decided that he'd see if he could bring her anything, or help her in some way. He also wanted to persuade her to take the rest of the night off. He and Lois had plans for another flight that night, and he wanted his mother to take a break, also. She'd been putting in too many long hours on this project already.
When he walked into her bedroom, hair still slightly damp from his shower and combed back away his face, he found her waiting for him.
"I've got another one ready for you, honey," she told him, with a smile, but definitely looking a bit weary. "Could you try it on for me?"
He started to ask if she didn't want to wait until everyone was back home, but on second thought decided to try it on now. If it fit, he could help her put all this stuff away and then she'd really be able to relax.
"Sure, Mom. Glad to." And he didn't even say anything about the fact that this one had a cape.
Trying it on, he had to admit that he rather liked the clean lines of it. The other ones had all had some design or pattern on them, but this one was almost plain next to those. He'd always liked blue, and had several dress shirts in different shades of blue. Maybe this one would work out.
"How about that one?" he heard Martha calling to him.
"I don't know," he told her, then opened the door, and walked over to the full-length mirror.
Martha followed close behind, then stood next to him as he studied his reflection. He was turning slightly, from one side to the other, trying to decide if he liked the cape or not, when his mother's amused tone broke into his thoughts.
"Well, one thing's for sure … nobody will be looking at your face."
Clark's head snapped around to face her; he couldn't believe what she'd just said. "Mom!"
She laughed at the shocked look on his face. "They don't call them 'tights' for nothing," she told him, and hugged his waist.
He returned the hug, smiling at her now, before venturing to bring up what was bothering him. "I'm not so sure about the cape, though."
"Oh, I think it will look great when you're flying."
"That's what Lois said."
"She's a smart young woman." Martha looked into the mirror again, at first contented, but then a bit puzzled. "There's something missing … something …" she muttered, more to herself than to Clark, as she studied her creation.
Suddenly, a possible solution popped into her head, and she wondered why she hadn't thought of it before. Practically bouncing away from Clark, then dropping down to the floor next to her bed, she reached to pull a suitcase out from under it.
"What's that?" Clark asked as she opened the case and began to get things out. Her hands grasped a rather faded and worn- looking blue blanket and she held it up, touching its surface lovingly.
"The blanket we found you in, so long ago," she told him, while putting her hand in among its folds, "and this." She pulled out something, and held it up for him to see: a piece of his past—an emblem or symbol of some kind—in gold and red.
Uncharacteristically breathless, Clark could feel his heart beat a little faster at the sight of it. The design reminded him of a capital "S," and he couldn't help but wonder what it meant. Had it held some special significance for his parents, Jor-El and Lara? Was it the Kryptonian symbol for his own name, Kal-El? Maybe it had been his family's coat-of-arms, if they'd even had such things on Krypton.
He reached out to gingerly caressed it with his finger, then looked up to see his mother smiling at him with love and understanding.
It didn't take long for Martha to stitch the emblem to the front of Clark's outfit, and then once again he was standing before the mirror. Now the costume was complete, and they both knew it was so without having to say anything. Martha stood beside him, arms around him, beaming up at her tall, handsome son.
"Your folks would be proud of you. We sure are."
His arm went around her and he hugged her. "Thanks, Mom."
They smiled at one another and then both turned back to the mirror. Clark took a deep, contented breath, then reached up to his glasses and took them off. He'd never really wanted to do that with any of the other costumes, but with this one it felt right.
Through the open window they heard the pickup truck come down the drive and stop next to the house. "Food's here!" Lois's shout informed them. Mother and son chuckled at the excitement they could hear in her voice. They could easily follow the progress of the other two, just by listening to Lois's running commentary.
"Jonathan and I had the best time! Clark, you won't believe this … well, maybe you will … Could you put that on the table for me, Jonathan? Thanks. Anyway, Clark …? Can you hear me? Wait a minute, of course you can hear me. Who am I talking to?" She giggled at her own joke, hardly pausing for breath. In the bedroom, Clark and Martha were silently laughing.
"There were people there who already knew about me … that I'm visiting you, I mean. Boy! What Perry wouldn't give to have that kind of grapevine in Metropolis! Jonathan, if you get the plates, I'll get the glasses. Oh wait! I want to go wash up first. Be right back!"
Hasty footsteps retreated in the direction of the hall bathroom and then Martha and Clark could hear Jonathan's steadier tread coming their way. Martha gave Clark a small pat of encouragement, telling him softly to, "Go ahead and show him."
Clark, his glasses still in his hand, stepped out of the bedroom and met his father at the entrance to the living room. "What do you think?" he asked, hands on his hips and cape gracefully falling around his shoulders.
Momentarily stunned, Jonathan only hesitated for a couple of seconds before saying with a smile, "That's my boy!"
For the first time since they'd begun this project, Martha looked concerned. "That's right. What if someone recognizes you?"
"I don't think they will, Mom. Because it won't … be … me," he told them, quickly putting his glasses on and then taking them back off.
They saw the rightness of this, and felt at ease again. After all, who would ever suspect that someone like Clark, a mild- mannered young man and a reporter, could be this new hero who flew around in a red, yellow and blue suit performing fantastic deeds.
Martha moved next to Jonathan and he held out his arm to her, pulling her close to him.
Down the hall, the bathroom door opened and they could hear Lois's footsteps as she came towards them. From her perspective, she could see only Martha and Jonathan at first but it wasn't long before she was able to identify what had brought them out into the living room.
There was Clark; at least it sort of looked like Clark. Blue tights, red boots, red cape, red Speedo with a yellow belt, and a beautiful red "S" over a golden background sewn onto the shirt of his costume. This outfit looked wonderful on him, no … better than wonderful. It was tremendous. No, that wasn't it either. It was … It was … super. Yes! That was it. It was super!
Her eyes shining like stars, she walked forward slowly to take the hands he was holding out for her. "It's super, Clark," she told him, then seemed to hear what she'd said.
"Super-man," she murmured breathlessly. Their eyes met and the last piece of the puzzle fell into the place.
This story is dedicated to my Aunt Doris, who passed away a few months ago. She was my inspiration for the character who bears her name in MMIKC, and I very much miss the dryness of her considerable wit, the ever present twinkle in her eyes, and the way she always called me, "Christy" even after I'd "grown up."
I hope you enjoyed my little story, and didn't mind the liberties I took with the original costume-making scene from the Pilot. I certainly had fun writing it.
For those readers who aren't familiar with the U.S., Okefenokee is the name of a swamp that lies in southern Georgia and northern Florida. Perhaps Lois knew of it because of a story she'd once done on illegal alligator poaching in the swamps of Florida. Who knows? <g>
I used some quotes from the show again. Most of them are from the Pilot episode, which makes sense, but there are a few from other eps as well. See how many you can spot.
The full story of Lois and Clark's first flight together will one day be available in my continuation of "Meet Me in Kansas City," — KC-II, The Metropolis Years."