By Mary Potts aka Queen of the Capes <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Submitted: February, 2006
Summary: What th—? Just who are these people, anyway? And what happened to Lois and Clark?
Steam filled the air of the small bathroom, clinging to the mirror over the sink and creating small puddles on the tiled floor. The hiss of fresh steam and the roar of water cascading from the shower-head echoed loudly off the fish-print walls but were tragically unable to drown out the mournful bellowing of what was obviously either a wounded buffalo or an elephant in heat.
"I'm your vehicle Ba-a-by! I'll take you an-y-where you want to go-o-o! I'm your vehicle, Wo-o-man! Something, something, oh!"
Behind the plastic curtain, the perpetrator of this horrendous crime against music, and indeed sound in general, scrubbed himself with a loofa, blissfully unaware of everything else in creation.
"…Something, something have ya, Child! Great God in heaven, you know I lo-o-ove yo-o-ou!"
Just as he was about to begin the second chorus (the first chorus having run off to purchase a shotgun), he was interrupted by a loud pounding on the bathroom door.
"Honey!" A feminine voice called from behind the door. "Are you almost done? You have a phone call!"
"Coming!" He reached for the knobs in front of him and twisted them, shutting the water off, then grabbed a white towel that was hanging from the rack and wrapped it around his waist. He padded across the bathroom, dripping as he went, and opened the door.
On the other side stood a woman with blonde, shoulder-length hair, holding a squirming baby in her left arm, a cordless phone in her right hand, and looking at him with no small measure of impatience. When he finally took the phone from her, she pushed her glasses further up her nose and shifted the baby into a position that was more comfortable for both of them.
He brought the phone to his ear.
"It's Kyle," the woman supplied.
He raised one hand as a plea for her to be quiet so he could hear. "Hello?"
"Hey, Joe, my man!" The jovial voice on the other end of the line greeted. "Have I got some good news for you!"
"Hey, Mr. Forrest. What's up?"
"Joe, your book is selling like bottled water in the Sahara! People love this stuff! I haven't seen numbers like this since 'My Ex-husband the Con and My Husband the Ex-Con!' This is great!"
Joe smiled. "I'm glad to hear that, Mr. Forrest."
"Call me Kyle, Joe," he insisted. "But really, this is just fantastic! I mean, you actually had me believing that Superman is just a regular down-to-earth guy like the rest of us. Loved it!"
Joe's smile wavered. "Um, thanks."
"So, any chance you can give me some more like these? Same rate as last time, and I'll throw in an extra couple hundred if you mail it in by August."
"Well, um—" said Joe.
"Oh, and I want you and Judy to write another romance novel together. Ever since those rumors started that the author of the Wanda Detroit novels is really Lois Lane, they've been selling like—like—"
"Bottled water in the Sahara?" Joe offered.
"Yeah!" said Kyle. "I tell ya, ever since the Kents disappeared after that sex scandal, it's been crazy! I saw a tabloid this morning that claimed Superman, Lois Lane, and Elvis were all living under a tarp in the back of a K-Mart!"
"Another paper even claimed that he and his wife were living right here in Greendale."
"Elvis?" Joe asked with what sounded like a hopeful tone in his voice.
"No, Joe! Superman!" Kyle informed him. "They say there's been a few sightings and 'strange happenings' that could've been Superman rescues. Hey, maybe that's why you did so well on your book!" He laughed.
Joe tried to think of a response, but it didn't matter. Kyle didn't give him a chance to speak.
"I tell ya, the man had no business doing that unmask-in-public thing and then running off to who-knows-where! Anyway, I've got a client on the other line. Later, alligator!"
"Um, later." The last words were spoken to a dial-tone. Joe lowered the phone and stared at it for a while before his wife cleared her throat, bringing him back to reality.
"Well?" Judy asked.
Joe glanced at the phone once more and chewed his lip thoughtfully before walking into the small kitchen to replace it in its cradle. Judy followed him into the kitchen and also followed him to the table where he sank into a chair and raked a hand through his bleached hair.
He sighed. "He said the book was a hit."
Frowning, his wife shifted the fidgety baby in her arms and lowered herself into a chair next to him. "Well, that's good! Isn't it?"
"We also might have to move again."
'Judy's' shoulders slumped. "Oh, honey! Not again!"
"I need to stop being so careless!" 'Joe' struck the table, causing it to shake.
His wife put her arm around him, silently giving him comfort, which he gratefully accepted. He reached across and caressed her cheek, then allowed his hand to slide lower to tickle the precious bundle in her arms. The baby cooed happily.
"Why did we have to find out *after* I'd already given up the secret?"
"Honey, it's okay," his wife said, moving her arm from his shoulder to lay her hand over his. "Nothing that happened was anybody's fault."
He turned his hand to capture hers, and brought it to his lips.
"It'll be okay," she assured him.
A brief smile flashed across his face in response, and then he turned his attention to the little bundle his wife was carrying. "Well, Kiddo, how would you like to live in India? Or even Tokyo? I passed through this beautiful village in Africa once…"
His wife smiled as he took their son from her arms and began playing with him. Whatever happened, they would get through it. Tomorrow would be just another day in the lives of Joe and Judy Regular…
…Even if Joe and Judy *Johnson* ended up having to change their names again.