By Fauna Rose <Faunarose@MSN.com>
Submitted: August 2004
Summary: The happily married Lois still manages to find trouble wherever she goes. Her life is at risk when she discovers some crooked business dealings on Hobbs Bay.
All familiar characters in this story are the property of DC Comics, Warner Bros and December 3rd Productions Ltd; no copy write infringements intended. Please be kind to me, this is my first attempt at Lois and Clark fan fiction!
Lois opened her eyes and smiled, slowly stretched, the morning light peeked through the window. She contemplated and marveled at being married to such a wonderful man, she did not think a person like Clark existed. She had such bad experiences in the past with men that she had been leery of opening her heart to Clark, even though he was a nice guy.
< He was so patient with me, > she mused as she started to get out of bed. Clark had left the bed while it was still dark to out on a Superman call. She hoped he was all right. < No need to worry on that one girl, he's Superman, remember! > She chided herself silently. She went to the kitchen and started the coffee and went upstairs to get ready for the day. Just as she was finishing her make up she heard that familiar 'thump and twirl' as her husband made his way to greet his wife.
Clark had a rough time early that morning rescuing people in a boat explosion accident in Hobbs Bay. He had been unable to rescue them all in time and was saddened by this. Lois had told him that he did his best and not to burden himself with guilt over things he couldn't control. He knew this, but it still pained his heart.
< If only I could do more! > He thought to himself. How happy he was to have such a loving wife to soothe his sore heart at times like these. He went up behind her and slid his arms around her waist in a fond embrace. Lois turned around and smiled at him and said, "Hello, my husband, how are you this morning?"
"I'm ok, Lois. There was a boat explosion on Hobbs Bay and I wasn't able to rescue all the crew in time. The boat broke up so quickly, I was not fast enough," Clark wearily replied.
She kissed him tenderly and whispered in his ear, "Think of the ones you did save, my love, they would not have survived without you." She took him by the hand and led him down to the kitchen to have a quick breakfast.
On their way to the Daily Planet Lois was pondering about the boating accident. In the past few months there had been other cited incidents of the same kind in Hobbs Bay. < Something is not right here. I will have to check in to this, > she said to herself as she weaved through the heavy morning traffic of Metropolis with ease.
As they walked off the elevator Jimmy came up to them with an eager expression on his face. "Hey guys, did you hear about the Superman rescue early this morning? Man, he was amazing! Wow! I heard the Metropolis Star had a photographer who got some good shots with his night lens of the boat, as it was about to sink completely. Too bad I missed the action," he said.
"Maybe next time Jimmy, you can't be everywhere at once," Lois said looking at Clark.
Just then they heard the booming voice of Perry White come from his office. "Lois, Clark, I need you in my office pronto!" the Daily Planet editor yelled. They headed for his office as newsroom started to come to life with more reporters.
"See ya later," Jimmy said as he headed down to the darkroom.
"Now Lois, Clark, I want to know what you guys are working on as current stories. I know you just finished that piece about the Annual Charity Ball, and that was a fine article, but what are your new ideas? We need something hot! As hot as The King himself!" Perry said to them both.
Clark started to say, "Well, Chief, to be honest we just haven't…"
"…gotten a chance to tell you what we have in mind," Lois said with a quick glance in Clark's direction. "You see, we have some things to look into yet but I think it might be big," she gestured widely.
Perry smiled, he knew Lois's investigative mind was always active, which was what made her such a great reporter. Partnered with Clark gave her a more balanced view and a fresh look at situations. "Hop on it you kids, time's a wasting!" he boomed.
"We're on it Chief!" they said in unison as they hurried out the door.
"So Lois, what exactly did you have in mind when you told Perry that we have a beginning of a new investigation? Things have been pretty routine in the way of crime lately," Clark queried Lois as soon as they got to their desk area.
"You might be surprised farm boy, sometimes you just need to dig beneath the surface of things. I have been thinking about the recent boating accidents in Hobbs Bay the past few months, something smells 'fishy' about them. They just don't add up," Lois said with a wrinkled brow.
"With all the spring thunderstorms, some of them certainly seem reasonable enough," Clark posed to her.
"That's not the problem Clark; it's the frequency of them. In the past three months there have been nine major boating accidents in Hobbs Bay. Look at these," Lois said pointing at her computer screen. " 'Private Yacht Sunk Due To Manufacturing Error,' 'Fishing Boat Caught Ablaze During Night Fishing.' Those two are certainly out of the ordinary," Lois mumbled to herself as she scrolled through the search results.
"Maybe you have a point darling, we should check into this," Clark responded resting his hands on her arms. All of the sudden his super hearing kicked in and he heard a cry for help. "I've got to go honey; I'll be back as soon as I can. Don't do anything to put yourself in danger while I'm gone. Be careful."
"I know my love," Lois said with a warm kiss on the cheek, "I will be very sensible," she said with a sly smile on her face. Clark glanced at her warily but quickly walked into the nearby supply closet to leave. Soon Lois heard the telltale sonic boom of Superman flying to the rescue.
< Well as long as I don't go down any dark alleys what could possible happen? >She reasoned to herself. Lois grabbed her purse and headed down to the Hobbs Bay Marina to see if she could find any clues. Upon arriving at the office and boat supply shop she met a young man behind the front desk. "Hi, I'm Lois Lane from the Daily Planet, and I am writing an article about the marina, showing the benefits the community receives from having such an establishment. Is the manager in?" she said with her thousand watt smile.
"Well Miss, I don't believe he's in today, but if you have any questions I'm the right guy to ask. I've been working here since I was fourteen. I know this place like the back of my hand. I'd be happy to help. My name is Caleb," he said with a sheepish grin on his face.
"That's great Caleb; I just have a few questions. First, how many of the boats docked here are used for business purposes, or is this mostly a marina for private leisure vessels?"
Caleb replied, "I reckon most of these boats are used for recreational use. Although there are a couple fishing boats docked here. Just a month ago one of them went out to night fish and the next day we were told that it had caught on fire and sunk to the sea floor. The funny thing was I remember seeing those guys get on their boat that evening. They sure didn't seem like no fishermen to me. They didn't have that look about them. Too clean shaven and spiffed up."
"That's interesting Caleb, have you noticed anything else unusual the past few months?" Lois asked with a keen look in her eyes.
Just then a booming voice behind her said, "Just who are you little lady?"
Lois turned around and said, "My name is Lois Lane and I'm from the Daily Planet. I'm doing an article…"
"Listen, I'm the Harbormaster of this Bay and I don't want snoopy reporters foolin' around here. This is a fine marina and that's all anyone needs to know," the tall, burly man glaringly said.
Lois sweetly said, "I see, Mr…?"
"Frank Mills the name, Ms. Lane. If that will be all, I'll show you to the door," he said gruffly.
"There is no need Mr. Mills. Thank you for your time Caleb," Lois said quickly to the young man behind the counter. She quickly head back to her jeep. < That Frank Mills certainly is hiding something. So defensive! I will have to call Jimmy. > Lois grabbed her cell phone and speed dialed his desk.
"Jimmy Olsen here," a young voice said.
"Hey Jimmy! This is Lois. I need you to do some research for me. I would like you to find all you can about the Hobbs Bay harbormaster, Frank Mills. ASAP please," she said hurriedly.
"You got it, Lois. I will try to get it by the end of the day," he said eagerly.
"Thank you!" Lois said and then hung up the phone. < Maybe Bobby Bigmouth knows something about these 'accidents'. > Lois called his number and set up a meeting place in one hour. She went to a Chinese take-out place and ordered a full meal for him to go. < Ughh! Better stop by and get him a pastry for dessert too. I want the full scoop on this one. > She thought wheeling toward a bakery nearby. She decided to turn on the radio to see if there were any new reports.
"This just in. There has been a massive mudslide in the Philippines this morning. Thousands are missing, many more homes destroyed. Thankfully Superman has been on hand to help the rescue personnel search for survivors. We will update you when we get more news. Now for your local weather…" Lois heard as she turned off the radio. < Poor Clark, it must be devastating over there! I guess he won't be home until later. > She thought as she rushed into the bakery. Lois arrived just in time for her scheduled meeting with Bobby Bigmouth.
"So Lois what kind of information are you wanting this time?" Bobby said eyeballing her bag of take-out longingly.
"I want to know what you have heard about the Hobbs Bay Marina recently. I think something 'fishy' is going on there," Lois said.
"Actually I have heard gossip here and there of the Marina, but first the food," Bobby said licking his lips.
"All right here you go," handing him the take-out and pastry. "Now give," Lois said a little impatiently.
Bobby stuck his hand into the Chinese take-out bag and grabbed an egg roll. "Boy, Lois how did you know I liked Chinese?" he said swallowing half the roll in one bite.
Lois glared at him and said, "Just a lucky guess. Now, I don't have all day!"
"Ok, Ok, man, just take it easy," Bobby said swallowing a bite of food. "My information is this: I've heard that the harbormaster has been dealing with big wigs underhandedly. Letting them do stuff illegal on the bay, while he turns a blind eye. For a price of course."
"I knew it, he seemed awfully suspicious to me," Lois said snapping her fingers. "Well, gotta run, thanks!" Lois said grabbing her purse and heading for the exit.
"Anytime Lois, why don't you try Italian next time?" Bobby said with food in his mouth.
Lois didn't hear him though; she was long gone. She headed back to the Planet to do some more research. She tried looking everywhere on the internet the rest of the afternoon about Hobbs Bay but found nothing suspicious. "Oh, might as well go home for the day. Maybe I'll try a stake-out tonight," Lois whispered to herself at her desk.
As she was on her way out Jimmy came running up behind her. "Hey Lois! Wait a sec… I've got that information you wanted," Jimmy said with a smile.
< He's so eager to please. > Lois thought with a grin. "Thanks Jimmy. I appreciate it," Lois said as she took the folder and waved goodbye.
Back at home Lois sat down on the coach after eating a piece of cold pizza and started to look through the information Jimmy had found. < Nothing out of ordinary here. > She thought as she scanned his background. < Wait a second. Gotcha! Hmm, a recent large deposit into your savings account, now how could you possibly explain that Mr. Mills? > Lois mused the corners of her mouth up turned. < It's time for some sleuthing. >
Lois went upstairs and put on her stake out clothes, black jeans and black leather jacket. She left a note on the table saying. "Went to check into the Hobbs Bay case. Be back soon. Love, Lois." Just in case Clark returned before she was finished.
Lois arrived at the Bay around 10:30 PM having parked her car a block away to avoid arousing suspicion. She found a good hiding place behind a utility shed and waited, and waited. Her eye lids started to droop, when suddenly she heard a noise. < Finally. > She quickly thought. She peeked her head around the corner and saw a black luxury car pull up quietly. A middle-aged man with thinning hair stepped out. He had the look of deceit on his face. His eyes darted about menacingly. A few moments later Frank Mills appeared looking somewhat worried.
"This better be good Mills, I told you to have limited contact with me, remember?" the man said slowly.
"I know, Mr. Vicanti, but some snoopy reporter lady was here today and I think she might be on to you," Frank Mills said anxiously. "Maybe you better stop things for awhile, I wouldn't…"
"You listen here Mills; I don't want you getting all cowardly on me now. If some little reporter starts nosing around here, give them a proper scare, if you get my meaning," the menacing man said taking hold of the harbormaster's collar. "Our little arrangement has worked out perfectly till now and I won't see it messed up." Lois tried to inch a little closer to hear better when all of the sudden she trip on a rock and fell.
"What's that?" Frank said with a start.
"Well, what do we have here?" Mr. Vicanti said with a sneer. He grabbed her by the arm and pulled her up roughly. "If it isn't Lois Lane, intrepid reporter for the Daily Planet. You would be looking for trouble now would you, Ms. Lane?" he said glaring into her eyes. "Frank, I think we will be taking out one of my boats this evening, go start it up," he commanded, not once looking away from her face. Frank scurried off toward the dock. "So, you think something underhanded is going on around here. Well, you are correct. Until you showed up everything has been running smoothly. But we'll soon bring an end to that problem," he hissed, twisting her arm behind her.
"You'll never get away with this. You will be discovered," Lois said with determination in her eyes.
"I think not, my insurance fraud scheme is fool proof. Buy a boat, frame an 'accident', get a load of cash. It's quite ingenious actually. I feel rather proud of that," the evil man said with grin.
"But you had passengers on the last boat, there were fatalities!" Lois spat out accusingly.
"All the more convincing, doll face. Now let's hop onto the boat and create a new 'accident'. Let's see, how about, 'Woman Drowned At Sea When Boat Crashes'. That sounds nice, doesn't it?" he said yanking her towards the running boat.
Once aboard he gagged and tied her hands, not without a struggle though. Lois hoped fervently that somehow Clark would be flying home soon. < Why didn't I just wait for him to return? I'm so impetuous! >
Mr. Vicanti took the wheel and speedily started heading out to the darkness of the sea. Frank sat down with a concerned look on his face. Some time later he said, "Look Mr. Vicanti, I don't mind turning a blind eye toward your little plans. But I don't intend to be directly responsible for some gal's murder. That just don't seem right in my book," he said with a twinge of concern in his voice.
"You're in over your head Mr. Mills, and along for the ride. You're working for me, remember!" Mr. Vicanti said loudly with a slightly crazed inflection.
Lois looked ahead and saw sharp, jagged rocks in the direction they were going. Her eyes widened as Mr. Vicanti accelerated faster toward the rocky mass. He grabbed the lifeboat and got ready to jump overboard.
"Are you coming with me, Mr. Mills? Or do you intend to die with Lois Lane tonight? Luckily, we are far enough out that it will be quite some time until someone happens upon this wreckage. Ms. Lane will be long gone by then," he started laughing sardonically. Frank assented and got ready to jump with him. Just before they jumped he threw a pocketknife in her direction with a regretful look on his face. They both jumped in the black expanse, leaving Lois to meet her doom.
Lois started sawing away frantically at her bonds, her heart pounding wildly. She was just about to smash onto the rocks! As she was about to cut the ropes loose, the boat loudly scraped with violence onto the rocks. She hit her head on the side of the boat; she was dazed for a second. The boat started to sink, having massive holes on the bottom. She searched frantically for the knife but to no avail. Lois started moaning in anguish. < It can't end like this! I can't leave Clark alone! NO!!! > She screamed inside herself. The water started creeping up around her slowly, the frigid water exciting her more. She tried to get away from the rising water as much as she could, but soon the boat was almost completely submerged. < If only I could get these ropes off my hands! > Lois kept trying to pull them off, but to no avail. She started sinking in the water, having no way to swim and keep herself afloat. Mentally her heart and mind were racing, not truly believing this was happening. Down and down she went, her lungs started to burn for air with insistence. < Clark, where are you, my love? I need you…> Lois mentally whispered.
Just as she was about to lose consciousness, she felt a warm, strong body grab her and start lifting her toward the surface. Quickly they were above the water. Clark was pulling off the gag and ropes and cradling her in his arms. She was gasping for air and clinging to him with all her might. He quickly flew her to the shore. Lois was shivering and her lips were turning blue. As soon as they landed he used his heat vision to warm her body temperature. She looked into his eyes and saw love but also anger in his eyes.
"Lois, what were you thinking going by yourself tonight? Didn't you think of the consequences if you were found eavesdropping? I was looking everywhere for you!" Clark said with a reprimanding tone, his arms crossed.
"Oh Clark! I am so sorry, I guess I wasn't thinking, please forgive me," she said pleadingly. "Next time I will try to think about that…" she said with sincerity. "I thought I was going to die and not see you again. That scared me a lot. I guess I'm still learning about how to be more careful," she said in a girlish tone, wrapping her arms around her husband.
Clark sighed heavily and kissed her hair, holding her for dear life. "If I lost you, I wouldn't know what to do. Fortunately, I found two men speeding back to shore, looking very suspicious. Once I demanded to know where you were, one of them started crying and told me everything. He said that he would go the police and confess. He looked pretty guilt-ridden. I must say, Lois, your hunch was right. Although I wish you would have waited for me. But I guess 'Mad Dog Lane' waits for no one. You have a special knack for getting into trouble. I'm so glad I found you in time," he spoke softly into her ear with emotion. She sighed and laid her head on his shoulder.
"You'll always be there for me Clark. I know that in my heart," Lois said with confidence.
He flew her home and laid her on the bed. He quickly spun into his night clothes, and lay down beside her. She smiled and wrapped her arms around him, her eyes closed dreamily and tired.
"I love you Clark," she said quietly.
"I love you too Lois," Clark responded. They fell asleep happy to be in each other's arms.