By Folc4evernaday <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Submitted: March 2017
Summary: In the Season 3 episode “Virtually Destroyed,” Jimmy sees Clark without his glasses and Superman together. After escaping X, Jimmy is flustered and accidentally calls Superman ‘CK,’ to which Superman responds.
Story Size: 3,869 words (21Kb as text)
Jimmy watched as Superman pulled up the computer trying to power up as much as he could. A familiar voice echoed from the other side of Lois’ apartment. No, it couldn’t be.
‘Alexis, Roxanne, Alex, Lynx!’
Jimmy glanced back at Superman who was still powering up. He was still amazed that he was the one to help the man of steel this time. Normally it was the other way around, but when Superman had arrived at the Daily Planet looking for a way to rescue Lois he’d come to him, Jimmy Olsen. Not Perry White. Not Clark Kent. Not Ralph Simms. Him. Jimmy Olsen, photojournalist and part-time researcher.
‘Try the computer!’
“That guy sounds just like Clark,” He observed aloud.
Superman didn’t look up as he continued powering up, “It’s NOT Clark.” He shook his head adamantly, emphasizing the ‘not’ part. Jimmy nodded, “Trust me, no matter what he looks like…He’s NOT Clark.”
Jimmy nodded his understanding then he heard the other ‘Clark’ from the other side of the door, ‘What’s the other name?’
His tone was something unfamiliar to Jimmy. Clark Kent could be many things but menacing was not one of them and what he heard in this man’s voice was just that.
‘I don’t have time to play; someone’s tapping into my system now…’
That tone. They needed to do something. He glanced back at Superman who was still powering up. Maybe they should just risk it and make a move?
Jimmy knelt down next to Superman, “Superman, I’m gonna stall him. Hurry up.” Superman didn’t look up he just kept powering up, nodding his recognition.
‘My name is Jaxon Xavier Luthor. I’m Lex Luthor’s son…’
Using his power-ups, he broke down the door, “Hold it right there!”
What he saw, surprised him. It looked like his friend, Clark Kent—without glasses—attacking Lois. Lois who was dressed in a burgundy tank top and dress pants being attacked by the face of his friend—his friend that looked an awful like….
“Jimmy!” Lois gasped, looking over at him in surprise.
“Jimmy, who?” The imposter Clark scoffed, throwing Lois to the ground.
Using another power-up, he did a roundhouse kick in the air, egging the imposter on, and hoping Superman would be in here soon. “Come on!”
“Oh, that’s the way you wanna play it, huh?” The imposter took a step toward him, smirking at him. Another giveaway. CK never smirked. “ Check this out…”
Before his eyes, the imposter morphed into a tall, muscular man that looked like someone out of street fighter. “Let’s go little man!”
He rushed toward the muscular giant and let out a loud roar, hoping his power-ups would be enough to handle him. After several near misses and wasted energy on kicks and punches that made no dent into the street fighter’s build, he found himself being hoisted up over the man’s head. “Uh-oh,”
Before he knew it, he found himself being plummeted into the corner of the room, crashing and breaking one of the wooden side tables.
“Not so fast, Jaxon.” Superman’s voice came from behind him.
He looked up and saw Superman standing in his famous pose, daring the street fighter man to try anything.
The man turned to face Superman with a smirk, “Superman? I should have known.” He held up his hand, “You can DIE in here, Fly Boy.”
“Let’s go,” Superman shot back.
Jimmy stood to his feet, walking toward Lois who was watching the battle between the street fighter man and Superman. He’d never seen anyone overpower Superman—without Kryptonite that is. He watched in shock as Superman was thrown into the wall.
“This is it, Superman.” He pulled out a blade, “How does it feel to know you’re going to die?”
Superman sat in the corner when he met the man’s gaze. Jimmy saw the weakened expression on his face. He needed to power-up. The only way to do that was to distract him. He spotted Lois reaching for a vase across the room. It seemed she was thinking the same thing.
“Lois!” He tossed her a baseball bat. She caught it and struck the man up the side of the head. The bat broke into two. It was like fighting Superman.
Superman took advantage of the man’s distraction and pulled up a computer again, powering up while the man looked toward Lois, “What is it with you?” He raged angrily, reaching for Lois and grabbing her.
He needed to do something. He looked around the room for a weapon. He winced when he saw the man throw Lois to the ground, “I’ll deal with you in a moment.”
Before he could find a weapon to attack Superman stopped powering up and rushed the man, hoisting him up over his head and throwing him to the ground. Seeing their chance both himself and Lois raced toward Superman who told them, “Hold on.”
It was purple and blue with electrical circuitry wiring from all sides. He looked around trying to figure out what had just happened. Clark –No the imposter—that looked like a cross between his friend Clark Kent and Superman had been attacking Lois and then morphed into an unknown assailant with an untold amount of power. Now here they were trapped and hiding, trying to figure out what to do next.
He spotted Superman floating not too far away from him. The shadow from the electrical circuitry made his profile look exactly like…
“Wow, that was…” He began shaking his head, “You okay, CK?” He stopped, realizing he’d just called the man of steel by the wrong name.
“Yeah, Jimmy, I’m….” Superman stopped, looking like a deer caught in headlights.
“Jimmy?” Lois called out, “Where are you?”
“…Lois…” he called out.
“Jimmy, where are you?” Lois called out again.
Jimmy caught Superman – No, Clark’s face. “…over here. Follow my voice.” Superman called.
Everything slowly came into focus. All the strange disappearances. Clark Kent –his friend, the guy he shot darts with and got dating advice—was Superman, the man of steel that had saved him numerous of times.
“Where are we? What happened?” Lois asked, looking around, oblivious to the revelation he’d just come privy to.
Jimmy shook his head, still trying to process everything, “Um, looks like we’re in a section of the computer’s unused memory.”
“Jimmy, are you okay?” Lois asked, placing a hand on his shoulder.
He looked between Lois and Clark—err Superman and forced a smile, “Why wouldn’t I be?”
“Jimmy…” Superman began.
“What is going on? What am I missing here?” Lois asked, seeing the worried expression on Superman’s face.
“Oh, nothing,” Jimmy said shaking his head, “Just realizing how nothing is as it seems and that the two people I thought I could trust have been lying to me for –What? How many years now?”
“Jimmy, it’s not what you…”
“Lying?” Lois asked confused.
“What do I even call you? Superman? Clark? Super-Clark?” Jimmy was on a roll as he thought about every time he’d been lied to or manipulated over the last few years.
“You know,” Lois said quietly.
“Yeah,” Jimmy crossed his arms over his chest. “I may be easily manipulated by a pair of glasses…”
“Don’t get me started,” Lois sighed, giving Superman a look. He smiled back at her.
“I’m sorry, okay?” Clark interjected, “Really, I am, but we really don’t have time for this. I know you have a lot of questions and I promise to answer them all, but right now…I don’t know how long we can hide in here. Can you please help us figure a way out of here?”
Jimmy nodded, “Fine, but this isn’t over.”
“I know. Thank you.” Superman sighed, turning to Lois, “Lois, what does he want?”
Lois let out a shaky breath, “He’s Lex Luthor’s son.”
Jimmy watched Clark’s facial expression cover Superman’s face, “Luthor had a son?” Superman may put on an act for the rest of the world, but it was apparent there were some things even he couldn’t hide his reactions from. The shock and disgust on his face were all Clark Kent—his friend.
“Illegitimate,” Lois said shakily. Jimmy raised his eyebrows in surprise but didn’t say anything. Lois ran a hand through her hair, “I’m not sure what he wants, Clark. He seems obsessed with what Lex wanted to name our children.” Lois shuddered slightly at the last sentence. Jimmy noticed the pained expression on his friend’s face with the mention of Lois’ past relationship with Lex Luthor.
The wheels in his head began turning, and he grew thoughtful for a moment, “He’s looking for access codes.”
“What?” Superman asked.
“Access codes,” Jimmy repeated.
“Access to what?” Lois asked.
“Well, this is Luthor’s system…” Jimmy explained, recalling the information he’d come across when he’d been hacking into Xavier’s system.
“Wait, you’re telling me we’re inside something ‘Lex’ made?” Lois asked.
“Yeah,” Jimmy nodded.
“There were always rumors that his cybernetics division was working on a VR that could mess with your head, even brainwash you.”
“No wonder X had the mayor in here….” Lois mused.
“Of course!” Realization seemed to dawn on Superman as well, “Pull the most powerful people in the world into a VR amusement park and when they walk out, they’re yours.” Jimmy watched the expression on his face change once more to that of one he recognized—Clark Kent’s ‘Ah-ha’ face. He’d seen it thousands of times on both Clark and Superman. How had he not put two and two together?
“So, Jimmy, how do we stop him?” Superman asked, looking to him.
“The pressure’s on, huh?” Jimmy asked. They were looking to him for the answers. His friends. The man of steel and star reporter of the Daily Planet needed him, Jimmy Olsen to save the day. It was a daunting task.
He pulled up the computer system, doing his best to power-up, “Power’s the key. Power and information. We gotta get you hitting hard, CK.”
Superman nodded his agreement and Lois shook her head, “I don’t think so.”
“What do you mean?” Jimmy asked in concern.
“Jimmy, it’s not about power. You saw what happened the last time we fought him. No matter how much we steal, he’ll always have more.” Lois explained.
“So what are you thinking?” Superman asked.
“Doesn’t he need to have some kind of emergency button? To get back to reality?” Lois suggested.
Jimmy nodded, “The escape window. That’s what we need to find.”
“What would it look like?” Superman asked.
“It could be anything.” Jimmy shrugged looking around, “but it would have to be where he could always get to it…”
Superman’s brow furrowed in the familiar expression Jimmy had come to see on both Clark and Superman over the years. “The watch.” They both looked to Lois as she continued, “‘L.L.’ Lex Luthor. On his left wrist. Clark, did you touch that watch when you were thrown out the window?”
Superman nodded, glancing warily in Jimmy’s direction before nodding, “Uh, yeah, I think I hit it when I was being thrown.”
“Well, then I say we find that watch, we’re all out of here,” Lois said triumphantly.
Superman gave her wary look, “But getting it’s going to be the hard part.”
“Not if we use our best weapon…” Lois said with a grin.
“What’s that?” Jimmy asked, not following.
“What we know about him.” Lois smiled.
They’d done it. They’d baited Xavier and overpowered him in order to get the exit window, and now they were back in reality. They had hardly had a chance to remove the equipment when Clark had flown him over to Xavier’s Virtual Reality Arcade where Lois was. Once they’d arrived, they’d come face to face with a grim realization.
Though their confrontation with Xavier had gained them freedom, it seemed to have the opposite effect on him. He had purposefully disconnected himself from reality, trapping himself inside the virtual arcade’s system. The pained expression he saw on the superhero’s face was one he’d recognized as his friend, Clark Kent’s. Thus, reminding him of another thing, they needed to address.
Clark was Superman. Superman was Clark. His best friend—or so he thought—masqueraded as a superhero on an everyday basis, saving the world time and time again. Why hadn’t he ever told him? Did he not trust him? How long had Lois known? Were they ever going to tell him?
“Nice work, Jimmy,” Lois patted him on the shoulder as they walked out of Xavier’s Virtual Arcade.
“Thanks,” Jimmy said solemnly.
Clark reappeared by Lois’ side, reaching for her hand, holding up a bag from Metro Burger, “I figured you’d still be starving.” He smiled at her.
Her face lit up, taking the bag from him, “You are the best!” She sighed, reaching in to grab a handful of fries.
He looked back at Jimmy, “I guess now we need to talk…”
“Yeah,” Jimmy nodded.
“You two talk.” Lois said heading for her Jeep, “I’ll meet you at your place.”
Clark nodded, watching her get into the Jeep and start it driving away. They waved to her as she drove off, swerving slightly on the road as she continued trying to finish the food. He turned to face Jimmy. They walked for a few minutes in silence before arriving at Centennial Park. It was secluded because of the late hour, but he noticed Clark scanning the area with his glasses lowered. He’d always thought it was from being near sighted now he knew it was because he was using his superpowers. “So…” He began, turning to face him.
“So…” Jimmy shrugged, “Where do we go from here?”
“I don’t know,” He watched as Clark buried his hands in his pockets, “I was hoping you could tell me.”
“You lied to me.” Jimmy accused.
“I know.” Clark met his gaze with a firm stoic expression.
“I thought you trusted me.” He continued.
“I do.” Clark sighed, running a hand through his hair as he spoke.
“Then why the secrets?”
“This is one thing I can’t share…one thing I…” He paced in front of him, looking down at the ground as he spoke.
“You told Lois.”
“That was different.” Clark said softly, “I didn’t even get a chance to tell her. She figured it out…”
“How many people know?”
“Counting you, five – for sure. My parents, Lois, Trask before he died, and you.”
“For sure?” Jimmy asked, “Who are you not sure about?”
“I suspect the Chief knows…and possibly Jack but neither one’s ever said anything.”
“Crowded secret,” Jimmy observed.
“I thought I was your friend.”
“Not good enough to tell me your secret, though, right? That’s reserved for…Jack who is God knows where now?”
“I don’t even know if he knows. That was an accident. After we were held hostage by Fuentes, he may have seen something he shouldn’t have.”
Clark sighed in frustration, “Yeah,”
“So were you ever going to tell me?”
“I don’t know…maybe…one day. I’m still getting used to Lois knowing my secret. I grew up with a constant fear of what could happen if anyone found out what I could do. It wasn’t until I came to Metropolis that I found a way to use my ‘gifts’ without anyone making the connection…”
“That’s why you moved around so much,” Jimmy observed as realization began to dawn on him.
“Yeah, every time I moved was when people started to become too suspicious …”
“What do you mean?”
“Why now? Why Metropolis? Why…” He looked around making sure no one was around to hear him. “Superman?” He whispered the name so softly only Clark could hear him. So far, they hadn’t mentioned the actual superpowers of the man of steel, and he didn’t want to draw too much attention to them. It was apparent keeping this secret was important to Clark and even if he was hurt he wasn’t going to be responsible for someone else finding out inadvertently.
Clark gave him a weak smile, “I found something worth sticking around for.”
Jimmy nodded his understanding, realizing it wasn’t the Planet Clark was referring to. “Lois.” It had been apparent to anyone with a pulse that Clark Kent was head over heels in love with Lois Lane for a long time. Even when they’d fought and before they were partnered up you could tell from the look in his eyes that he was a man in love. Jimmy envied his friend, knowing that he’d finally found himself, someone, to love and accept him for who he was—something he, himself craved in his unlucky in love life.
“Lois…and the Planet. Friends.” He looked back at Jimmy with a smile. “A life.”
“I guess I can understand that.”
“Yeah, I guess it’d be pretty hard to be..who you are…and keep some sort of resemblance of a normal life.”
“Jimmy, if anyone found out—you, Lois, the Chief, my parents—all of you would be in danger.”
“Yeah, I know.” He grew quite for a moment, “I’m not going to tell anyone, CK. I’m still trying to wrap my head around all this, though.”
“I appreciate that Jimmy,” He nodded, “and I understand. It’s a lot to digest.”
“Yeah,” Jimmy sighed, “I’m just trying to piece everything together…. Three years.”
“I’m still the same person I always was, Jimmy. This doesn’t change any of that. If I was ever going to tell anyone other than Lois it would have been you.” Clark explained softly, “but the idea of opening myself up like that is terrifying…especially after everything that happened with Bureau 39.”
“You jumped out of a helicopter after Lois.”
“What?” He asked confused.
“I guess you did it both times, right? With Bureau 39 and when we were chasing the ‘alien abduction’ lead earlier this year?” He continued.
“Yeah,” Clark nodded.
“I’m surprised I didn’t figure it out before now. There were so many signs.”
“People see what they want to see.” Clark shrugged.
“So is that why you and Lois were having problems when you started dating? She figured it out?” Jimmy asked.
Clark shook his head, “No, I wish that was the reason, but it’s a bit more simple than that. I didn’t handle Mayson’s death very well and pushed her away…. then that added with getting calls for help everytime we were talking about something important…” Clark hung his head. “She figured it out after the fiasco with Mazik.”
“When you froze her and brought her back to life? That was a risky move.” Jimmy remarked.
“It was her idea,” Clark explained.
“Dumb idea.” Jimmy quipped.
“I tried to warn her.” Clark defended.
“But you did it anyway?”
“I did it anyway.” He sighed, hanging his head. He looked over at Jimmy and sighed, “I’m not perfect. I have flaws just like everyone else.”
“Superman has flaws?” Jimmy asked, “Do you really have a fear of flying or was that just another lie to make people not make the connection with Superman?”
“I said I didn’t like airplanes. Not the flying.” Clark corrected. “…and no that wasn’t a lie.”
“When we’re playing hoops …”
“I don’t use my powers.”
“Nope. I only did that one time…and it wasn’t when I was playing with you. I would never cheat.”
“Okay.” Jimmy relented. “So you don’t use your powers out of the suit?”
Clark looked around the park and sighed, “No, I mean sometimes…It’s complicated.”
“Sounds like it.” Jimmy smiled back at him.
“I use them if I need to,” Clark explained.
“X-ray vision. That must have been interesting growing up.” Jimmy teased.
“More like embarrassing.” Clark chuckled. When Jimmy gave him a confused look, he blushed, “Let’s just say when I was learning to control it I came across some things I wish I’d never seen.”
Jimmy laughed, seeing the embarrassed look on Clark’s face, “This is gonna be kinda weird, huh? Me knowing?”
“I think it’s something we’ll get used to.” Clark looked around at the park that was dimming as the sun set over the lake.
“It’s getting late. I guess we should head back.” Jimmy observed.
“Yeah,” Clark nodded. “I’m sure Lois is wondering what’s taking so long.”
Jimmy laughed, “Yeah, I’m sure. Well, can I get a ride back to the Planet?”
Clark smiled, nodding before stepping back. He checked the darkened corner of the park they were in to be sure no one was around, then took off his glasses and spun into the Superman suit. Before he knew what had happened, they were in the air. “Just hold on.”
The next morning Jimmy sat with Perry, Lois and Clark relaying what had happened at Xavier’s Arcade the day before. “Boy I tell you I never trusted those things and now I know why. The minute you separate mind from body you’re asking for a whole lot of trouble.”
Clark gave a grim expression muttering, “Chief, you are preaching to the converted.”
“Amen,” Lois said in agreement walking back towards her desk with Clark.
Jimmy smiled up at Perry, hoping to convince him to try and put himself out there. Ever since the split between Perry and Alice, things had been tense around the newsroom. “Uh, Chief, speaking of conversions…Think I can talk you into picking up your board and surfing the love net?”
Perry laughed, “Jimmy, I’m too old to surf…and too smart to think you can catch love in a net.” With that Perry walked off and Jimmy looked across the newsroom seeing Lois and Clark by the elevators. He smiled watching his friend, cup Lois’ cheek as she smiled back at him.
“Hey, you two! Knock it off! What do you think this is? Honeymoon Suite in Graceland?” Perry called across the newsroom. Lois and Clark pulled apart just before Clark got a familiar look on his face, whispering to Lois. She nodded, and Clark disappeared toward the stairwell. The sound of a sonic boom could be heard from the distance. Jimmy smiled to himself with a knowing look. Things were definitely going to be interesting around here.