By Tank Wilson <email@example.com>
Submitted: January 2005
Summary: A tongue-in-cheek addition to the author's popular Future series.
This one is for Pam.
Lucy Lane sat back in the leather chair and looked around her. It was her first day as Mayor of Metropolis, and she wasn't sure she was up for the challenge. So much had changed. It was a darker, more lawless Metropolis ever since Superman left. She sighed as her thoughts drifted back to that fateful turning point in so many lives.
It had been a little over ten years since the divorce. It was the biggest break up since Chuck and Di, as far as the media was concerned. The fact that neither Lois nor Clark were talking just fed the frenzy, and the rumor mill worked overtime to fill in the speculative gaps.
Of course, Lucy knew the truth. That the divorce itself was a sham. The Lois that divorced Clark wasn't even his wife. It was some other dimensional doppleganger who had come here to take her place. Her own sister, and beloved wife of Clark Kent, had died in the other dimension. A situation which Clark was never able to get over.
Lucy remembered when Clark came home to break the 'big news'. He had taken some time off, and had gone home to Smallville to think things over. A few weeks later, he'd come back and made the announcement to the world that he was leaving. He'd said that he'd been in contact with the New Kryptonians and they needed his help again. Lucy knew that wasn't true. He'd been in contact with them again, but it was his idea. He asked them to come and get him. So they did, and the world had been without its superhero ever since.
As for Lois… Lucy had found she liked the woman from the alternate dimension and would have liked to have been her friend, but such was not to be.
At first, Lois had tried to dive back into the life of the Daily Planet's top reporter. She managed to bring in a few front page headlines, but the working conditions became intolerable. Everyone blamed her for the break up. No one could see Clark, since it had been obvious from the start he worshipped the ground Lois walked on, ever considering such action. Therefore, it had to be Lois' fault. Speculation ran high, and most innuendo included Superman, and so Lois was blamed for his leaving also. Lucy shook her head as she acknowledged the sort of left-handed truth to that.
Finally, Lois couldn't deal with it any longer. She quit the Planet and went to work for the Star. In the beginning, she began to bring some respectability to that paper with her hard-hitting, real journalism. But once a rag, always a rag, so Lois was worn down and eventually began to do things 'the Star way'.
Lucy thought a lot of Lois' decline was due to the fact that the public still held her in such scorn. Rather than fight the image any longer, Lois embraced it and took the path of least resistance. Even if the public hated her, they still wanted to read her words, so Lois prospered at the Star. She became lazy and rich.
About two years ago, Lois decided she'd had enough of working the street end of the newspaper business, and decided she was going to start her own paper. She hooked up with Noel Goode, the younger brother of Randy Goode, and together they revived the long dead Dirt Digger tabloid. The last Lucy had heard, Lois was worth about 75 million.
Lucy sighed again. Things certainly had changed, but now she was mayor and it was time to see what she could do to stem the downward slide of her hometown.
Her musings were suddenly interrupted by a gentle, hesitant knock on the door.
"Come in," she said.
A reluctant head poked itself around the edge of the half-opened door. "Ah, honey, I was just getting ready to head home. Do you want me to stop at the market for anything on my way?"
Lucy gave her husband a sad smile. "No, that's okay, Ralph, I'll see you when I get home." Ralph nodded and disappeared behind the closing door.
Lucy stared at the closed door for a few moments, then dropped her head into her hands.
fin (ta ta)