The Best Reporter in the World

By Mr_D8a <>

Rated: PG

Submitted: April 2003

Summary: What is Lois to do with a seemingly delusional Superman?

I never thought that I would ever write a TOGOM episode adaptation, but I had this crazy idea for a revelation that I don't think that anyone else has tried and it fit perfectly with that episode.

I was having trouble getting this written. My muse was out to lunch. All it took was one comment from Elisabeth to get me going again and this story is the result.

As always, I am beholden to my wife for using a cattle prod on my muse.

This is entirely from Lois' POV and takes place the same night as the shooting.


Lois had unlatched the last lock on her door and walked inside. In one lousy second, she had lost her partner and best friend. Clark was dead. Clark was dead and it was her fault.

She closed the door behind her, not even bothering to lock it. She didn't care any more. Clark was dead. She turned around to face the empty apartment. She walked through the darkened space toward her bedroom.

The worst part was that she still expected him to turn up at any moment. Her subconscious mind was telling her something that her mind and heart knew to be impossible. So, it was with great surprise that she saw someone's silhouette on her couch.

"Who's there?" she asked, as she made her way to the nearest lampshade.

"It's me."

Lois' hand stopped at the sound of the familiar male voice. It sounded like Clark! ~I must be going mad! He's dead!~ Her insides turned icy cold with anger. There was definitely someone sitting on her couch, sounding like Clark. They were going to pay and pay big. She flipped the switch. Nothing prepared her for what she saw. Superman was sitting on her couch.

If she was angry before, she was beyond rational emotion at the sight of the super-hero.

Part of her could see that the man was hurting, but the rest of her reveled in his pain. She stalked around her furniture on autopilot until she was toe to toe with the Man of Steel.

"Get out." It came out as a whisper, but there was a deadly precision to it.

It cut straight through the heart of the man in front of her.


She held both hands in front of her as she spoke. "NO! I don't want to hear *anything* you have to say! Leave!" She turned and paced in front of him. It took only a moment for the super-hero to time his retreat, when she noticed his movement. She stuck a finger in his path, forcing him to fall back on to her couch.

"You've saved my life more times than I can count, but when it came to your 'best' friend you weren't there! How could you let him die? How could you let *Clark* die?"

She continued to pace for a moment before turning back to him. "Well, aren't you going to answer me?"

Several emotions passed across Superman's face, finally settling on resignation. His voice was so low that she had to strain to listen. "There was no time to do anything else. One second I was protecting your honor, the next I was being shot by a jealous gangster clone."

Lois was speechless, for about a heartbeat. "No time! You can move faster then a speeding bullet and you say you had no time!" Then the rest of Superman's statement seeped into her mind. "What do you mean that *you* were protecting my honor and that *you* were being shot? Clark was the one that did all that!" ~ Great! Now I have to deal with an alien with an identity crisis! ~

"Maybe this will help."

Superman got up and started to spin. He turned into a multi-colored swirl that went from primary to autumn colors in a couple of blinks, not that Lois was able to take her eyes off him. When he stopped he was Clark. Her Clark. The glasses, suit and hairstyle were perfectly like Clark. ~He really has gone off the deep end. How am I supposed to deal with a mentally unstable Kryptonian that can bench press space shuttles?~

Lois softened her voice and slowly began to move behind her other couch. "Look, I can see that Clark's death has really upset you, but you have to get a grip on reality. I realize that I may have been unfair, even you can't be everywhere at once, but dressing up as Clark isn't going to bring him back." ~ What is the name of that shrink my mother likes to use…~

"You don't understand. I *am* Clark Kent!"

Lois rolled her eyes. "What? Do you think I'm *galactically* stupid? Clark Kent whines about paper cuts. He's always going to the dentist or doctor. He wears glasses, for goodness sakes. If you were Clark you wouldn't need glasses."

The super-hero mirrored her eye roll. "First of all, I don't *whine.* "


Superman frowned. "Secondly, I wear glasses as a reminder to not use my powers in public. It was my father's idea from when I was a teen."

Lois raised her eyebrows. ~ Oh, he's good. ~ Her brain went into overdrive. ~ How do you convince someone that they are delusional? I could ask him something that only Clark should know. Problem is, they're both as bad as old women. ~ Lois frowned at herself. She felt bad thinking ill of Clark at a time like this.

"Okayyy, if you are Clark, what did I do when Bobby offered that pickle up?"

"*I* reached for it and you snatched it for yourself." A smug smile pasted itself across the Man of Steel's bespectacled face.

~Dang. He must have been watching. He must have been. How else would he always be able to save me in the nick of time?~

"Not good enough. You could have been listening."

His face fell.

~There is one possibility. I'm sure that no one has called Clark's parents, yet. I could threaten to call them. That should snap him out of this idiocy and make him face the truth.~ Lois faced the pensive super-hero. "I know. Let's call Clark's parents. They can straighten this out."

"Fine. I'll call *my* Mom and Dad."

Superman walked over to the phone, dialed the number at super-speed and handed it to her.

Lois' face took on a completely blank look. ~AHHHH!!!! This is not what was supposed to happen. What am I going to say to Clark's parents! 'Hello, this is Lois. Could you tell me if Superman is really your son? Yes, I know it is a silly thing to think, considering that I know your son is DEAD!' Yeah, that will go over well.~

{Hello? This is Martha Kent.}

~Say something!~


"Ah, Mrs. Kent…"

{Lois, how long have you known me? It's Martha.}

"Yes… Martha. I have a strange question for you. Is Superman really your son, Clark?" ~I can't believe this is happening!~

There was a long silence on the line before Clark's mom answered. Her voice was strangely calm. {Why do you ask?}

Lois could have sworn that Martha had covered the mouthpiece and called for Jonathan.

"Superman is standing here with me right now and he's trying to tell me that he really is Clark Kent, which is impossible."

Another long pause. {Why is it impossible?}

Tears started to form around Lois' eyes. "Oh, Martha, I'm so sorry to tell you this, but Clark was gunned down in front of me about four hours ago. They dragged his lifeless body away. Now, I have Superman here trying to convince me that he's really Clark. He looks the spitting image of him, but he's obviously delusional. I'm so very sorry, but I didn't know who else to call to convince him that he is wrong."

The phone was silent for an awfully long time. Lois was torn between saying something to comfort Martha or throwing something at Superman for the total lack of sympathy in his face.

{Lois? I think you need to sit down. Superman is telling you the truth. He really is our son.}

A scream of joy broke out of her at the realization that Clark was alive. She dropped the phone and launched herself at him and kissed him repeatedly. But a little voice insisted on being heard. ~But he said he was dead.~ She slowly pulled away from him. "I…I don't understand. If you are really Superman, then how can you be dead?"

The phone lay on the floor with a tiny voice coming out of it. It was being ignored for the moment.

"I'm dead because more than two dozen people saw me gunned down and dragged out of the building. It didn't help that you called out my name several times as they dragged me away."

The tiny phone voice was quickly becoming agitated.

Clark quickly picked up the phone. "She's ok. I think I can take it from here." He paused for a moment. "I could pick you up." Another pause. "Yes, Ma'am. See you in the morning."

Clark turned to her. "Lois?"

"Superman is Clark Kent." She muttered to herself. She didn't know if she should be angry at him for lying all this time or overjoyed that he was alive or depressed that his Clark persona was dead and she would never be able to work with him again.

"Actually, I'm Superman."

Lois' head snapped up. "What?"

"You said that Superman is Clark Kent. It's more accurate to say that Clark Kent is Superman. Clark is who I really am. Superman is what I can do."

Lois slowly nodded her head. "So, I really have been galactically stupid for the last year and a half. Me, Lois Lane, the Daily Planet's 'best' investigative reporter has worked side-by-side with Superman for over a year and never had a clue." Lois slumped into a nearby chair and buried her face in her hands.

She felt Clark kneel down beside her and tip her head out of her hands. "Lois, you are selling yourself short. No, you are most definitely *not* galactically stupid. You *are* the best reporter in the world. There is no doubt in my mind that if I were Superman, pretending to be Clark Kent, that you would already have found me out. But I'm not Superman pretending to be anyone. I *am* Clark Kent. When I am with you in the newsroom, or on stakeout, or anywhere else as Clark, I am being me. I was less that a year old when the Kent's found me in Schuster's field. I have been Clark Kent all my life. So, are you really surprised that it never dawned on you that I could be Superman?

"There was a better chance of you finding out that Superman was Clark Kent than Clark Kent was Superman. Think about it if you want to, but all that is moot if we can't figure out how to resurrect me. That's why I came and waited for you.

"You are the most brilliant person I know. I know that if we put our heads together we will figure out something. What do you say?"

Lois sat and contemplated what Clark had said. It made sense and it saved her pride. All he was doing was being Clark. And, he needed her.

"Give me some time to think. Why don't you go pick up your parents? I have a feeling we're going to need all the help we can get."


Author's note: Now I know that a lot of you are going to want more, but solving Clark's problem is not the point of this story. The point was to have a revelation that allow Lois' pride to escape mostly untarnished.

If someone wants to finish this story, by all means, do so. Just point them back here.

Mr. D8a.