By Karen Thompkins <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Submitted August 2009
Summary: Lois notices something odd during the episode “Strange Visitor.” How will she react to her newfound knowledge?
Story Size: 3,311 words (17Kb as text)
Read in other formats: Text | MS Word | OpenOffice | PDF | Epub | Mobi
Author’s note: This story actually came from a kernel of an idea one time I was watching Strange Visitor, back when it was airing on TBS, if that tells you how old it is. I recently rewatched the ep, and I decided to get it down, and it grew a little beyond what I’d expected. I actually envisioned it as 3 vignettes, so they’re separated out accordingly. The majority of the dialogue from parts 1 and 2 come from “Strange Visitor,” written by Bryce Zabel. Thanks so much to Carol and Jenn for the encouragement and beta’ing. And while they are totally awesome, the title “Carol and Jenn are awesome” doesn’t quite fit the theme. And thanks to Labrat for GE’ing this for me.
Part 1: Nothing But Air
I peer through the blinds of Perry’s office at the government agents, incensed beyond belief. Okay, maybe not beyond belief, at least for anyone who knows me, but still pretty mad. Or annoyed. Annoyed sounds better. First they demand Superman, then they start going through my stuff. MY stuff! I feel a light breeze ruffle my skirt, and smooth it back down. “Do they honestly think if we knew where Superman was, we’d hang around this place?”
I turn to look at Clark, but get distracted by a paper ball hovering over the trash can. Wait, hovering? Hovering! In mid-air! I turn the rest of the way, and a big ka-THUNK sounds in my head, followed by the loud (to my mental ears) sounds of bells and whistles, making what’s left of my stunned brain think of a slot machine. Suddenly, a big piece of the puzzle has slammed into place, and I’m left reeling. It all makes sense. Every little bit of it, or at least almost all of it. The coloring is right, especially that little upturn at the edges of the eyes. I’ve already found out that Clark has a great, heck, phenomenal body. And our escape from the shuttle hangar no longer seems like the Lane luck saving me again. Clark! Is!
Perry enters the room and derails my train of thought, especially when he mentions the polygraph tests, and the stupid agents taking my computer. The tests themselves don’t bother me so much, after watching that special on how fallible they can be, but taking my computer! My novel! Oh, if they found that and read it, I’d die of embarrassment and humiliation. Bad enough that I let it slip to Perry and Clark. I storm out of the office, and my mind slides back to my revelation, and I try to put it out of my mind. I don’t need to be dwelling on it during the stupid polygraph. There’ll be more than enough time tonight.
Part 2: Catch the Wind
I stare at the other side of the plane wall, my mind racing. I’ve spent the last two days coming to terms with my new knowledge. I think I can understand why he hasn’t told anyone. After all, you can’t walk into a meeting and say “Hi, I can fly,” and not get weird looks. Or prove it and freak people out. And the hype is already building, and I’m beginning to see groupies. Not that I’m one of them. Oh, sure, I may have been starstruck, but I lust over Mel Gibson and I can still see his flaws. And it’s not exactly something you share with your coworkers, especially if you’re in the news biz, like we are. I’m sure he’s afraid he’s tomorrow’s headline, “Mild-Mannered Reporter Really Alien from Space!” After seeing these quasi-government freaks, I understand that so much more than I did last week.
Now that I know, however, things are looking up. Oh, I have plans for Mr. Flying-by-the-seat-of-my-Greenjeans. What I’ve seen so far can come in really handy. Especially now. But I need some way to get him to open up to me, but quietly enough that the idiot Trask doesn’t hear. It shouldn’t be too hard with the sounds of the engines.
“It’s a romance novel,” I blurt out, trying out an insane idea before I can think of all the ramifications. Maybe give-a-little-get-a-little will help.
“What?” Clark looks at me, confused.
“My novel. It’s about a woman who dies without ever finding her true love.” Okay, I probably didn’t need to blurt that much out, but there it is. Clark’s seemed fairly trustworthy so far. And if you can’t trust Superman, who can you trust?
“That’s not going to happen to you, Lois.”
Aww, that’s sweet of him to say. Though I know it’s not going to happen and I’ll end up thinner than I’d planned, unless I can nudge him in the right direction. “Yeah? Check it out, Clark. These guys look serious.” I nodded toward Trask and the rest of his goons. Serious Trask, serious goons. I’ve never been fond of goons.
“So, I told you, now you tell me.” I stare at Clark and try thinking at him ‘Tell me, tell me, tell me,’ hoping he’ll take the hint.
“Tell you what?” Yep, still confused. Maybe I can try this from another angle.
“What really happened between you and Cat? Not that I care, but it’s probably the best secret you got going. If we get out of this, Clark, you have to raise your standards.” I squash the urge to compare Cat to myself, but after the big revelation, it’s probably better if I wait. This is one time when I’m not going to just jump right in.
Clark looks like he’s about to say something when Trask butts in, taunting us. One of the goons opens the plane door, and I realize what they’re going to do as the air pressure drastically changes. Clark tries to protect me, sweet of him, really, but a plan pops into my head.
“No, I’ll go,” I say, eying Clark.
“Lois! You don’t understand!”
‘I understand more than you think’, I think as one of the goons comes up to grab me. Clark looks so miserable, though, and I know he doesn’t have the same idea I do. I know that if I jump out first, they’ll probably try to restrain me, or wait too long to send me after. But if I know Clark and his protective streak, he’ll probably come shooting out of the door soon after I do, no matter what. My plan is so much better than whatever he’s thinking of. But how to get him on the same page?
“I ought to get at least one last request,” I say, staring at Clark.
“Within reason.” Oh, so smug, aren’t we. Not once we get done with you, you jackass. But first we need to get back down on the ground.
“I want to kiss Clark goodbye.” Wait, kiss? Where’d that come from? No, no, no, I was just going to say hug! Hug, dangit! I mean, I’ve thought of kissing Superman, sure, but not Clark. Well, except for that one time a few days after we met, but I try to get my mind away from that. Though now I’ve said it, I see it’s a much better request, and I can do a two-for-one.
Trask nods, and I walk over, staring up at Clark, begging him to go with me on this. I stretch up as he leans down, and our lips meet. It’s much better than I thought. Clark’s a really good kisser! The kiss ends, and I lean into him, my knees a little wobbly and my mind a little too blank. I try to get my mind back on track, and give him the hug I’d originally intended. Clark tries to say something, but there’s no time. I know the natives, er, goons are getting restless.
“I know. Follow my lead, and make sure I don’t hit anything on the way down.”
I figure I have to put on a good show. After all, I’m sure even they’ve heard of Mad Dog Lane, especially after the last day. And goons being goons, I’m fairly sure what will happen. I hope, anyway, that they just don’t decide to shoot me instead. I spin around and jab a few times at Trask and I see Clark go after one of the goons. I spin a bit on the heel of my foot to get closer to the door, and sure enough, I get pushed out the door.
I flail a few times, getting distracted by memories of Wile E Coyote cartoons. I wonder what running on air is really like. I force my mind back to the plan and get out a few good shouts just on the odd chance they have a microphone pointed towards me. I don’t think it’s possible, but just in case, I need to put on a good show. I peer at the clouds, and mid-shout, Clark swoops in and grabs me. I glance down and breathe a sigh of relief as I see we’re nowhere near the tree line. I glance back up and notice that his face looks a little different without glasses. So it wasn’t just the suit distracting me.
“Well, it’s about time, Clark. Hurry up and get me on the ground before they get away.”
Clark gapes like the stuffed fish on Perry’s wall. “How…how did…?”
Heh, now that’s funny. The Man of Steel and quick retorts at a loss for words. I wonder how often I can get him like this. I almost wish I had a camera. “Air ball, Clark? You must have been a great basketball player.”
Superman lets out a big sigh, followed by my name, as he sets me down on the ground. I stand and get my bearings, but lose my train of thought as I see something trailing smoke headed right towards us. I must have looked stunned, and I definitely feel stunned, because he repeats my name. I just point behind him. Superman turns, then shoots off into the sky, supposedly to intercept what I presume is a missile. There’s an explosion a moment later, and now it’s my turn to gape. I know he’s strong and can fly, but I have no idea if this is something he can survive. No normal human could survive that, but as I’d told Clark soon after we met, he is definitely not normal.
I stagger up to the newsroom a little shell-shocked. Perry intercepts me before I get very far, asking what happened.
Still stunned, I can only attempt to speak. “Before or after we got thrown out of the plane?” I shake myself out of it, and hope that my words were actually decipherable. I glance out the window. “Superman! Is he all right?”
Perry says something, but I hear the chime of the elevator behind me. I spin around, then run up and hug Clark. I’m so relieved, I can barely stand it, but a tiny quiet voice (that keeps repeating itself louder and louder) reminds me ‘Secret! Keep secret! Play your part!’
I spin around and address the boggled newsroom. “If Clark’s alive, that means Superman saved him and _he’s_ alive!” I quickly head down to my desk to get started making phone calls. Henderson should get right on this, if I can get him to listen. I hear Clark follow me more slowly then he pauses at my desk.
“Uh, Lois…” he stammers.
I glance up at him mid-dial. “Not right now, Clark. First, we have bad guys to stop and a story to write. Then we can have dinner at my place, and make sure you bring that Chinese you brought me before, and we’ll talk.” I figure we’ve got a lot to talk about, and it’ll take awhile.
Especially if I can get him to take me flying.
Part 3: Shooting the Breeze
I slam the door shut behind me and toss my bag onto the desk next to the ficus before stomping into the bedroom to change, my bad mood reveling in the thuds and thunks I’m making. I am so irritated, so incensed, so _pissed off_ that I can barely think straight. I’m glad that Lucy is off on her date with Jimmy, so she’s not a witness to the carnage. I throw on some comfortable clothes before stomping back out to the living room. Just as I flop onto the couch, there’s a knock at the door. Grumbling to myself, I open the door to see Clark standing there with a few bags.
“I just can’t believe that they’re getting away with this!” I gripe, still in ranting mode. I take one of the bags and stand back to let Clark in. “They were there this morning, and boom, they’re gone! They must have some great manpower if they can disappear that quickly. Ooh, if I could just get something on them…” I trail off and glance back at Clark. “What?”
He shakes his head, grinning slightly. “Nothing. Just not what I was expecting.”
“Expecting?” I glance down at the bag I’m holding, and the smell finally reaches my nose, reminding me that Clark wasn’t here to discuss governmental disappearing acts. “Oh, right.” My stomach lets out a loud grumble, and I grin sheepishly. “Let me get some plates, and we can eat.”
The next few minutes are spent gathering eating implements and dishing out the food. Sharing the containers might be okay in the office, but plates are better at home, even though I do have to wash them. We settle in, and I take a bite of chicken, closing my eyes in pleasure. “This is good. From now on, you get the takeout. The places around here just don’t cut it.”
Clark frowns, squirming slightly in his seat. “Lois, about that. You know this is a secret, right? You can’t turn it into a big expose.”
I roll my eyes. “If I’ve learned anything the past three days, it’s the types of high-level kooks out there, and what they can do. I’m not opposed to an official interview, but I’m not going to splash ‘Clark Kent is Superman’ all over the front page.”
Clark visibly relaxes across from me. “Thank you. I’ve had it drilled into my head all my life that if someone found out, I’d be dissected like a frog. I might be invulnerable now, but that wasn’t always the case.”
I gesture at him with my chopsticks. “So, spill. Off the record, of course. I may not tell anyone, but that doesn’t mean I don’t want to know.”
Clark thinks for a minute, then takes a deep breath. “Well, first of all, I’m adopted. The official story is that my birth mother was my adoptive mom’s teenage cousin. But the truth is, my parents were driving past Shuster’s field…” I listen in amazement as Clark tells me his life story, from being found in a spaceship to growing up and gaining strange powers.
“Your parents sound amazing,” I say wistfully, thinking of my own painful childhood.
“The best. I think you’d like them, especially my mom.”
“Well, I don’t know about that. I don’t do well with parents.” I grimace, thinking of my own. “So you don’t know where you’re from?”
“Well, I didn’t until today. I found my spaceship in the warehouse today. I found a metal ball inside that told me I’m from Krypton.”
“Krypton? You mean you really are from another planet?”
“It looks that way. I’m glad I’m not a Russian science experiment, but I still don’t know why I was sent here.”
“To seek out new life and new civilizations,” I quote. Clark shoots a look at me; I’m not sure if it’s amused or frustrated. I grin back. “Sorry, just popped into my head.”
“No, it’s okay.” He shakes his head, and I decide it’s amusement. “Who knows? Maybe that ball will tell me someday.”
“Maybe. So, what all can you do? I’ve seen fly, and you’re strong. What else?”
“Well, I can see through almost anything except for lead. Heat things with my eyes, cool things with my breath, hear things a long way off, I’m very fast, and I’m invulnerable.” He lists them all off on his fingers.
“Wow.” I sit for a minute, absorbing all of this information. Boy, when Clark said he wasn’t like other guys, he wasn’t kidding!
“So…” Clark shifted slightly. “How did you figure it out?”
“Hmm?” I pull myself out of my musings to focus on Clark’s face. “It was a bunch of small things, really. Your disappearing acts, our miraculous escape from EPRAD’s warehouse.” ‘Your great abs both in and out of the spandex,’ I think to myself. “It didn’t click until we were waiting in the conference room the other day.”
“I was staring out the window, and looked to see a paper ball hovering over the trash can. Really, Clark, you need to be more careful!”
Clark blushes slightly. “Oops.”
“Oops is right. Boredom is not an excuse.” I grin at him.
“Yes, ma’am!” Clark sketches off a quick salute, making me giggle.
“I think you’re safe, though. I only noticed because we’ve spent so much time together lately. But I’d be more careful in the office.”
Clark nods, and we sit quietly for a few minutes, mulling over our discussion. Or at least, I am. For all I know, Clark might be on Krypton.
“So, what are you planning to do with this knowledge?” Clark’s question brings me out of my reverie.
“Blackmail.” I say with a wicked grin.
Clark gulps. “Blackmail?”
“Sure! Food from wherever I want whenever I want, occasional peeks behind locked doors. Ooh, we don’t need microphones with your hearing! Yes, I’m seeing a beautiful relationship ahead of us. We might even get a Pulitzer out of it!”
“And if I don’t?”
“Well… I haven’t gotten that far yet. But I’ll think of something suitably evil, like…” I trail off, thinking. Some things are out because of his invulnerability. “Stealing all of your pens, getting IT to lock you out of your computer. And other more diabolical things that I can’t let you know about, or you’ll try to thwart me.”
Clark chuckles. “Thwart?”
“Yes, thwart, you evil fiend.” I poke him, grinning.
“How about I appease you with a real interview instead?”
I eye him speculatively. “You don’t want the scoop yourself?”
He shakes his head. “After this week, I don’t want to seem too close to Superman.”
“True. I don’t blame you. And you did promise it to me.”
“Very true. And yes, I think the interview will appease me. For now, anyway.” Of course, the Chinese did that, but I’m not going to tell him so! I grab my notebook and pen off the desk, then settle back into my seat, not letting this chance pass by. “So, Superman, if I may call you that, tell me about yourself.”
We go back and forth between questions, trying to decide what will be available to the public and what should be kept private. By the end of the night, I’ve decided we really do work well together. Maybe I wasn’t too far off when I said that this was the beginning of a beautiful relationship.
I just wonder if I can get him to take me with him next time I want authentic foreign food.