By Felicia Dexter <email@example.com>
Submitted January 2000
Summary: Clark makes a desperate decision when he thinks Lois has really chosen Scardino over him.
Perry White looked out his office window, and sighed. Lois and Clark, his two best reporters, were fighting- again. Clark had probably done his 'disappearing act' again. *What in the Sam Hill am I gonna do about those two* They needed something to make them tell each other how they felt. And Perry's latest plan wasn't working!
Perry was right. Clark had disappeared on Lois again. But what had made it worse was that, when he returned, Agent "Call me Dan" Scardino was with her. Scardino. The thought of the obnoxious little DEA agent made Clark's eyes narrow. He deeply regretted telling Lois to go out with him.
*You should tell her, you idiot!*
*Tell her what? That you're Superman, that you could never have a normal relationship because you'd be running off to save someone?*
*Oh, shut up*
He finished the story he was working on, LAN'd it to Perry and left the newsroom. He needed to think.
Clark tossed and turned for most of the night. What could he do about Lois and Scardino? All the superpowers in the world couldn't help here. He laughed, a bitter laugh. The most powerful man in the world, and he was reduced to a wreck by one woman.
*Ahhh, but what a woman* He loved Lois. He couldn't deny it. He loved her with all his heart and soul, loved her more than life itself. But Lois didn't love him, didn't want him. Unbidden, an old saying came to mind.
"If you love somebody, set them free"
He had his answer. If it was Scardino that Lois wanted, he would not stand in the way of her happiness. He would step down. Leave the 'Planet', leave Metropolis. Take up a job at some other paper, as far away from Lois as he could. Start again. His decision made, he slept.
Clark was late to work the next day. Buttonholing Jimmy as he came out of the elevator, he asked him for a big packing box. "Sure C.K, what d'ya need it for?"
"Just get the box, Jimmy."
The desolate tone of Clark's voice frightened Jimmy. He ran to get the box without another word.
"Chief, can I talk to you for a moment please?" Perry looked up at one of the finest reporters he'd ever seen. He looked haggard.
"Come in, son."
"I've- I've come to tender my resignation."
A startled look crossed Perry's face. He'd sort of expected this, but it was still a shock.
"Would you mind telling me why? No, wait, don't worry about it. I can guess. It's Lois, isn't it?"
He knew he'd struck home.
"I can't help it, Chief. I love her. She deserves to be happy, and I don't seem to be able to give her that. If she wants to be with Scardino, then so be it. But I can't stand by and watch that happen, Chief. I'm leaving Metropolis."
Perry looked at Clark with pity. He knew that leaving Lois behind would, for Clark, be like tearing out his soul.
"What choice do I have? I- reluctantly- accept your resignation."
"Thank you, Perry." After shaking Perry's hand, Clark turned and left the office.
Perry waited until the door had closed behind him, then took his anger and disappointment out on the trash can, kicking it into the wall.
Clark made his way slowly to his desk. He glanced at Lois, working furiously at her computer, and smiled sadly. He would miss Lois.
Sighing, he turned to his desk, picked up the packing box that Jimmy had left there, and started clearing off his desk.
"What are you doing?"
Lois's voice at Clark's elbow made him jump. He turned to look at her, then turned away. It had to be done, but he wouldn't be able to go through with it if he looked into her eyes.
"I'm leaving, Lois."
"Because I can't stay here, Lois. You should be with someone that makes you happy. All I seem to be able to do is hurt you. Go with Scardino. He makes you happy. But I can't stay here and watch you with someone else. I love you too much to be able to stand it."
He put the last thing into the box, his nameplate, and walked towards the elevator. Lois caught up with him at the top of the ramp.
"No! Clark, you can't go!"
"Because I love you, dammit!"
Before he had a chance to react, she grabbed his arm, forcing him to face her, pulled his head down to hers and kissed him, hard, with all the love and longing she felt for him.
Rapt in each other, neither Lois or Clark noticed the arrival of the elevator. The doors opened to reveal Scardino. Without a word, he reached out and pressed the button that would take him back to the lobby.
The plan had worked. Uncle Perry would be very, very pleased.