By Jana L. Officer <4everLNC@journalist.com>
Submitted: June 2003
Summary: Clark's attempt to tell Lois his secret goes much more smoothly than it ever did on screen, in this response to the ATAI ("And the Answer Is…") Challenge on the Lois and Clark Fanfic Message Boards.
Author's Note: This is my response to the ATAI challenge http://www.lcficmbs.com/ubb/ultimatebb.php?ubb=get_topic;f= 3;t=000054 Thanks to Saskia who acted as my BR, even though I kept procrastinating and pushing the deadline. Thanks also to Jose and Paul, who listened in IRC, and to Paul for coming up with the title. This was written in honor of my wonderful twinnie's birthday. So this is also a birthday fic. Happy birthday, Anna! —
Clark took a deep breath as he knocked on Lois's door. Today was the day. He was finally going to tell Lois the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. He was done keeping secrets. He was standing there, contemplating what he was going to say, when he heard Lois call, "It's open!"
He let himself into her apartment and automatically walked over to a picture of himself with Lois. Noises coming from the direction of the bathroom told him that Lois must not be ready yet. He was vaguely aware that Lois was talking to him and even responded a couple times, but his mind was elsewhere.
Clark picked up the picture and smiled gently at it. What was he going to say? "Lois, I have something to tell you. I'm Superman." No, too direct. He needed to break it gently. "Have you ever noticed how Superman and I look kind of alike? Well, it's funny you should say that, because-" No. That definitely would *not* go over well. "Lois, guess what. I'm Superman." Erm, no. That was even worse. "Lois, there's something I've wanted to tell you for a long time. And before our relationship goes any further, I think it's important that you know that I'm-"
"What are you doing?" Lois's voice broke into his thoughts.
Clark jumped. He must be distracted. He hadn't even heard her coming. "I… uh… I've got something to tell you."
"It's not good news, is it." It was a statement, not a question.
Clark gave her words some consideration before answering. "I don't know. Maybe." Even as he answered her, he was mentally repeating, <Go with number four. The others were all wrong. Number four, number four…>
"No it's not," Lois said simply. "I can tell by your face."
It took Clark a moment to get himself back up to speed. What were they talking about again? Oh yeah. Well, now or never. "Lois, maybe you'd better, uh… sit down."
She was already sitting before he finished his sentence. "Oh yeah. This is good news."
<What was it he had planned to say again? Something about Superman. Uh oh. Now was not the time to freeze up… Quick! Say something!> "Lois, did you ever notice how Superman and I look kind of alike?" He blurted out the words before he could stop himself. And once he started, there was really no point in stopping. Darn that rehearsal. He didn't bother to wait for her answer. "Well, it's funny you should say that-"
"Clark," Lois interrupted. "You don't have to do that." She reached over and touched his arm gently. "Really."
"Wait, Lois. Do what?" Clark was confused and he was afraid he might lose his nerve if he wasn't able to finish his sentence soon.
"I do?" Clark's voice was doubtful now. Somewhere, the conversation seemed to have gone off track. Now he had no idea what they were talking about.
"The whole Superman thing. I know all about it." She gave him a beautiful smile.
<Wow, what a smile. She was amazing. Wait. What did she just say?> "You do?"
"But… How? When? Uh…" he stammered.
"I just, you know, figured it out. I've known for a while now."
"Wow. I had no idea." His brain felt over-exerted from trying to process all this new information.
"Clark, you don't have to pretend with me anymore."
"Well that's just it," he began in earnest. "I don't *want* to pretend anymore. I was just afraid you'd be mad."
"Mad?" He gave her a quick nod. "No, I thought it was sweet!"
"Sweet? Lois, I don't think we're talking about the same thing here."
"Clark, I know how you try to mimic Superman just to impress me. I think it's sweet. But really, you don't have to do that anymore. I told you, I picked you." His eyes widened as he realized the depths of their misunderstanding. "I picked you, Clark. Not Dan. Not Superman. You."
"No, Lois, you don't understand…" He trailed off as he thought about what she had said. "Dan," he grumbled. "Dan is-"
"Daniel is a very nice man who is deeply misunderstood." Lois stopped for a second to size him up, then smiled. "But I still picked you."
Clark rolled his eyes at Lois's attempt to defend Scardino. As he did so, his thoughts moved to the last thing she had said. "I picked you." Even Superman hadn't been able to take Lois away. He paused only momentarily to reflect on the great irony of losing Lois Lane to himself. He had never really felt that he was Superman anyway. Superman was a costume, a talent. He wasn't Clark Kent. And right now the last thing Clark Kent wanted was to ruin things with Lois Lane. He would tell her, someday. Not today though. Right now, at this moment, the only thought left was that Lois had picked country boy Clark.
"Clark?" Lois's voice brought him out of his stupor.
"What are you thinking about? You suddenly seem a million miles away."
"Oh," he laughed sheepishly. He hoped his train of thoughts wasn't obvious. "Sorry, Lois. What was I thinking?" She nodded seriously as she studied his face. "I was just thinking how amazing it is that the most incredible woman I've ever known would pick me. Over a superhero even." He turned to meet her gaze head on.
"Oh, Clark." She said it with a quick laugh, but he could tell his words had touched her. Neither of them spoke for a few brief moments. They sat there together, Lois's hand resting on Clark's. It was Lois who broke the spell. "Did you have something else to tell me?"
"Oh, not really." Clark waved off the thought.
"Well, if you weren't done…"
"No," he broke in quickly. "It can wait. The only thing that *can't* wait, is this." He gently tilted her chin up and then brought his lips to hers. Superman could wait. Right now, Clark Kent was making up for lost time.