By Alicia U. <>

Rated: G

Submitted: August, 2003

Summary: Why does Martha insist that Clark wear the costume she made for Halloween?

Author's Note: This link will greatly help you understand this story: 372/dw/dw.htm. Thanks to Queen of the Capes who issued the challenge on the lcficmbs ( hp?ubb=get_topic;f=3;t=000088) and to Missy who gave me the idea to use Darkwing Duck. If anyone has heard me talk about ducks — my "pet" duck or "duck beer" — you will know why I absolutely *had* to write this story. Finally, thank you, Annie and Tricia for beta reading this story so quickly.


"Honey, I'm sure you look cute. I always thought a mask would look good on you. "

"Mom!" Clark Kent exclaimed into the phone as he threw his free hand up into the air in exasperation. How could his *mother* say something like that. "Are you serious?"

Martha Kent's voice shook with laughter as she said, "Trust me, Clark. Have I ever steered you wrong?"

"Do I really have to answer that, Mom?" He pulled his glasses off and rubbed the bridge of his nose. "When you said you made me a new suit, I guess I was picturing something completely different." He shook his head again. She couldn't expect him to wear this. It had to be some kind of horrible joke.

"Clark, honey, it's Halloween. Do this for me. I'm your mother."

What was she doing, pulling rank on him? He was thirty years old. His mom couldn't pull rank on him. He ran his hand through his hair in frustration.

"But, Mom, it's a *duck* costume with a cape and mask." What was he doing? Whining? He was reverting back to his early childhood. Maybe it was appropriate — if his mom was making his Halloween costume, he could play the child.

Why did she want him to wear a duck costume — with a cape and mask to boot? What the heck was she trying to prove?

"Clark, come on, you were skeptical about the suit in the beginning, too. And you only have to wear this for a few hours."

"Yeah, but …"

"No buts, Clark. You remember the deal. If you don't do it for me, do it for Lois."

Clark sighed deeply. Now she was bringing Lois into the equation. Yes, he remembered the deal. His mom was right; he had to stick to his promise. The guilt trip always worked. Yes, he felt bad about what he had done. But hadn't he atoned enough? Did it really warrant such an unusual punishment?

"Okay, okay, Mom, I'll do it." He grabbed the purple costume out of the box and held it out at arms length. "Purple, mom?"

"Purple, Clark," she said in a laughing tone. "Honey, you can't be Darkwing Duck in blue and red."

Clark raised his eyebrows suspiciously. "Darkwing Duck?"

"Clark, don't you watch cartoons?"

"Do *you* watch cartoons?"

Clark could picture his mom hiding a guilty smile. He knew that cartoons — especially ones featuring a superhero — were her guilty pleasure. She couldn't hide her secret very well.

"Oh, Clark, stop it. You know I do," she said in mock exasperation. Clark knew, though, that she knew he was only kidding.

Suddenly, Clark knew which cartoon she was talking about: Darkwing Duck, the show about the Superhero Duck. As he pulled the other components of his costume out of the bag, the premise of the cartoon became clear. Darkwing Duck was a mild mannered duck, Drake Mallard, who spent his nights masquerading as the superhero crime fighter Darkwing Duck.

The parallels to his own life were quite interesting.

In fact, hadn't one of the first costumes his mom tried to make for him been a purple mask and cape? Purple just wasn't his color. He needed something more … masculine? He had wondered where she had gotten her inspiration at the time. Now he knew.

Each element of this costume was strange in its own right, but together it was absurd. He pulled out the lilac mask, large duck beak, black cape with a pink interior, wide-brimmed grey hat, white shorts, purple jacket, and large duck feet and spread the elements of the costume out on the couch. He shook his head, staring at them incredulously.

When had he agreed to wear this costume? Well, it was Halloween and he *had* promised to wear whatever his mom sent him — but he had made that promise a long time ago. At the time, it didn't seem too bad, but he was definitely regretting it now. But a promise was a promise — and Superman kept his promises.

"Okay, mom, I'll do it." His eyes fixed on the large yellow foam duck feet. "Do I really have to wear the feet?"

"A deal's a deal, Clark. Call me tomorrow to tell me how it goes. I don't want Lois to call me and tell me you misbehaved," Martha said through her laughter. "Bye, honey."

"Bye, Mom," he said quickly before he put the phone back onto the cradle.

He shook his head before he grabbed the first piece of his costume. It would probably be less painful if he could change into it quickly. Before he could have any second thoughts, he quickly spun into the costume just like he did into his Superman suit. There, that wasn't too painful.

Then he checked his reflection in the mirror and straightened his beak. Maybe he didn't look *that* bad. Who was he kidding? He was dressed as a cartoon duck! He looked horrible.

He was having second, no, third thoughts about this costume idea.

He was dressed as a duck. A cartoon duck.

Still admiring his reflection, he gently tugged at the mask. He was very glad there wasn't a mask component to his Superman suit. It was irritating his nose — he was Superman, cloth wasn't supposed to irritate him. Maybe it was just the unfamiliarity. The cloth just felt different than his glasses.

He took his mask off and brushed at his nose where the mask had been irritating him. When he removed his hand from his nose, he tilted his head up and he caught a glimpse of his reflection without the mask. Interesting. As he moved the mask back up to his face, he studied his reflection again.

How had Lois not seen the truth? She had seen him so many times as both Clark and Superman — sometimes within seconds of each other. Yet she didn't see the truth. He'd always thought the similarities were apparent, but Lois had known him for two years and hadn't noticed. But why? She certainly wasn't stupid. And she was definitely one of the most observant people he knew. It was part of what made her the best reporter he'd ever met.

Maybe his mom had been right — in that skin-tight suit, no one ever looked at his face. Perhaps Lois was so star struck by the fake Superman persona, that she had taken it upon herself to form her own idealized mental picture of Superman. She might have been blinded by her own ideal Superhero.

It was not worthwhile to think about the reasons Lois hadn't seen the truth because it was all in the past. Right now, he had a bigger issue at hand.

He looked at the clock and sighed. It was almost eight o'clock. Lois would be expecting him in a few minutes.

Quickly, he fastened the mask behind his head and took one final glance in the mirror. Yes, he looked stupid, but, no, he wasn't going to change now. He grabbed a piece of paper that had been in the box along with the costume and scanned it quickly. Did he actually have to say this? Yes, probably. How embarrassing! At least he could fly fast enough that no one would see him in this costume on the street.

Soon, he was standing in front of Lois's door getting ready to knock.

When Clark's hand was poised to knock, the door flew open in front of him.

"Trick or Treat!" Clark exclaimed as was written on the paper in his hand.

Lois's jaw dropped as she looked at Clark's costume. "Clark, *what* are you?"

Clark looked down at the paper in his hand and started to read. "Don't you recognize me?" He whipped the cape around his face and said in a deeper voice, "I am the terror that flaps in the night." He looked from one side of her apartment to the other, hoping to look menacing — like the script told him. "I am the low point on your sine wave." Pulling the cape away from his face he exclaimed, "I am Darkwing Duck!"

Lois's non-committal expression turned into a grin even though she was obviously trying to be serious. When she could no longer hold the straight face, she burst out laughing. "Darkwing Duck?" she asked incredulously.

Clark heard her unspoken question — who on earth is Darkwing Duck? "You and my mom are really evil." Clark tugged at his mask. "I really did it. Today I'm Mild Mannered Drake Mallard by day and Darkwing Duck by night!"

"Clark!" Lois exclaimed. "You're not reading the script!"

Clark raised his eyebrows. "I really have to read the script?"

Lois rolled her eyes. "Yes, you have to read the script. We're doing a role playing activity. It's called, 'what should have happened'."

"Okay, okay." He looked down at the paper again. "Hello, fair lady, I am Darkwing Duck."

"Thank you." Lois smiled benevolently at him. Then she spoke in an obviously pre- rehearsed voice, "Clark, you're not wearing your glasses. How can you see? Did you switch to contacts? Maybe you should take your mask off so you can put your glasses on."

"Oh, uh," he said, grabbing behind his head and slowly untying his mask, preparing to let it down to show Lois his face sans glasses and mask.

"Oh my God! You're Superman! And you didn't tell me before you asked me to marry you!" Lois exclaimed, feigning anger. However, he could tell that she was having trouble keeping a straight face.

"Lois, I'm so sorry!" He reached up to wipe his eyes and then looked down at the script. "You *know* how sorry I am I didn't tell you before. I am so sorry I let you figure it out yourself."

Lois shook her head and reached out to touch his face. "Forget the script, Clark. You've done your penance." She took a step closer. "I can't pretend to be mad at you when you look so funny. I just can't be mad at you, DuckyMan."

"DuckyMan?" He decided not to wait for a response. "See, I told my mom I look funny!" Clark rolled his eyes.

Lois reached up and took his hat and put it on her head, laughing. "Oh, honey, you don't look funny. You look cute. Your beak …"

"What? What about my beak?"

She put her hands on his shoulders and looked up into his face. "It's really becoming."

Clark pulled the mask away from his mouth and wrapped his arms around Lois's back and pulled her close. He leaned down and when his lips were centimeters away from hers, he whispered, "You would think so."

"You're lucky I do, Kent," Lois whispered as she moved her lips closer to his. "Or else I wouldn't be letting you off so easily."

Lois's lips magnetically drew Clark's to them. He didn't fight the force, and lightly brushed his lips against hers.

She moved her hands from his shoulders to run through his soft, thick hair as she pressed her lips against his.

When the kiss ended, Lois disengaged herself from his embrace and started to walk back towards the bedroom. "Are you coming, Clark? You know what this little white shorts and purple jacket do to me."

"I'll be there in a second. Let me just call my mom." Clark picked up the phoneand dialed his parents' number. After his mom picked up the phone, Clark began, "I did it, Mom."

Martha laughed. "I told you, Lois and I decided that since you didn't tell Lois the truth about yourself before you proposed, I would make you a Halloween costume to remember — every year for the next ten years. Costume three: Darkwing Duck."