Submitted: January 2020
Summary: After being abandoned at her lunch date with Clark Kent, Mayson Drake begins to realize that his heart never resided with her.
Story Size: 2,639 words (14Kb as text)
Disclaimer: I own nothing. I make nothing. All characters, plot points, and recognizable dialogue belong to DC comics, Warner Bros., December 3rd Productions and anyone else with a stake in the Superman franchise. I don’t own the lyrics to “I’m Not That Girl” either. They belong to Stephen Schwartz, the Broadway musical “Wicked,” and anyone else with a stake in the franchise.
This story is in response to the 2020 Kerth Challenge #2, which specified that the next song the author listened to Is the title of the fic and has to relate to the plot in some way.
Note: The song “I’m Not That Girl,” comes from Broadway musical, “Wicked.” It is sung first by Elphaba (later to be known as the Wicked Witch of the West) and then again later by Galinda (known later as Glinda the Good Witch and no, the spelling difference is NOT a mistake). Each reflects on how the boy they like doesn’t seem to have any interest in them, but in their friend.
Hearts leap in a giddy whirl.
He could be that boy.
Could I be that girl?
The moment I met him, I knew I was in trouble.
Tall, dark, and extremely handsome. So polite he seemed unreal. He held himself with the kind of cool, easy confidence that he seemed more Greek god than mere mortal. I’m not easily impressed, but I was in awe of this Adonis made humble flesh. I could scarcely believe my great fortune that I was going to be the one to work with him on the case at hand.
He shook my hand – a gentle gesture, yet I could feel the raw power of his muscular form rippling just beneath the surface. He tried to be all business with me, but his smile never strayed far from his lips as he spoke. His quick wit and intelligence sparkled in his endless brown eyes and I could swear I saw the hint of interest in me – not as the Deputy DA, but as a woman. A very single, very available woman. I mean, without trying to sound immodest, I’m not blind. I know what I look like. I work hard to maintain my appearance – figure, clothing, poise, everything. He wouldn’t be the first to take a liking to me.
What set him apart from all the others was my interest back.
I was determined to show him that any advances he might want to make would be welcomed. After all, sometimes the most well-mannered boys are a bit too shy to make the first move. So, I didn’t shy away from flirting with him. In hindsight, maybe it was a bit much. Perhaps it was too unexpected and a turn off. In that moment, however, the thought that I might spook him was the furthest thing from my mind. Maybe I should have waited to be alone with him. Maybe that was the problem.
That woman partner of his, Lois Lane, bristled like a police dog about to tear the throat out of a suspect as I spoke to Clark. I didn’t give her much thought, though I guess she was relevant to the case, being the one who contacted the police in the first place. I admit it, I had tunnel-vision. Unprofessional? Absolutely. But in comparison to the well-made man standing before me, everything else seemed to fade into the background. What I didn’t realize at the time was that she was the competition. I mean, who would have thought it? She’s okay looking and it seemed like their working relationship was simply that – a professional, platonic relationship. It never really crossed my mind that someone like Clark might go for someone like Lois. You know: pushy, plain-looking, brash, opinionated to a fault, headstrong, far too aggressive, loud, full of her own self-importance, driven to the point of having tunnel-vision in all things, not just a man. It just seemed so…wrong, that two polar opposites could attract like that.
How wrong I was.
I, on the other hand, am different. That’s not to say that I don’t have my share of faults, because I do. But the thing is, I can recognize this, admit it, and strive to be better when it doesn’t become a detriment to my career. I know that I can also be pushy when I need to. Headstrong and determined too. I’ve needed to be, to get where I am today. After all, it doesn’t just happen that a twenty-nine-year-old woman becomes Deputy DA. I’ve worked my butt off to achieve this level of success – and that hasn’t come by being meek, sweet, and lackadaisical. And I guess, in her own way, Lois had to do the same. As much as I dislike her – she is the competition after all – I do have to admit that she’s also had an impressive career.
But enough about her.
You know, I’ve always thought of myself as a good judge of character. I’ve had to be, in my profession. I need to be able to look at someone, to watch their mannerisms, to pay attention to their tone of voice, to note anything and everything that might clue me in as to whether or not they’re lying. I’ve got a fantastic track record when it comes to prosecuting criminals and interrogating them in court. The nervous flick of their eyes to something in the distance. A habit of pushing their hair back behind an ear when they are uncomfortable. A crack in their voice. An unexpected bead of sweat on their brow. All of it can tell me when someone is hiding something from me. And, almost always, someone is trying to hide something from me.
Clark was a breath of fresh air.
He was an open, welcoming, friendly book just waiting for me to dive right in.
Or so I thought.
It didn’t take long before I started to question what he was hiding from me. It wasn’t a question of if he was keeping secrets. I knew he was. He became evasive and secretive and unreliable, almost from the start. Nervous too, when I would ask him questions, to the point where he would try to change the subject. Whatever it is, I still haven’t figured it out. But I will. Oh, I will. I always do.
Still, it hurts to know that he’s lying to me about something. Something big, if my intuition is right. And it always is.
Then there’s the matter of Superman. I understand that Lois and Clark both share a very special kind of friendship with the Man of Steel. I can respect that. And it’s not that I’m not appreciative of the help Superman gives law enforcement. There are a lot of criminals behind bars thanks to his quick actions. But I cannot, as a responsible member of law enforcement myself, condone his vigilante behavior. His unique brand of street justice is just that – unlawful and improperly handled. Does he read suspects their rights before taking them into custody? No. Does he have any authority to make arrests? No. Does he restrain them in the proper fashion, with handcuffs and assurances that they aren’t harmed on their way to the nearest local prescient? No. Though most come to the police unharmed, I’ve seen and heard about the various ways suspects have been restrained – wire cabling, metal street signs wrapped around them, or flat out not restrained at all, which might even be worse. And don’t get me started on the way he irresponsibly destroys evidence! How many weapons has he melted with that heat vision of his, or crushed into a mangled, shapeless ball of twisted metal, before forensics can process them and prove that it was, indeed, the weapon used in a crime?
As a prosecutor, he’s the bane of my existence.
So yes, I am very outspoken against Superman. And that’s been a source of contention as I’ve worked with Lois and Clark on a few high-profile cases. It’s clear they both worship the so-called hero, to the point of being extremely defensive of his actions. Clark perhaps even more so than Lois, which is odd. It’s never been a secret to anyone with two eyes and a working brain that the famous girl reporter has been moony-eyed and completely smitten with the Man of Steel since he first flew onto the scene, well over a year ago. But Clark? I never expected him to be so rabidly defensive of the caped vigilante. It’s almost as if he himself has a crush on Superman. It’s baffling and a little concerning.
But I was willing to overlook all of that, in favor of pursuing Clark. Who wouldn’t, right? In just about every way, he’s the perfect man. So I ignored the red flags and chalked it up to one of those weird bromance things that I’ve never understood. I gave him the benefit of the doubt. And what did that get me? Nothing, that’s what.
He remained as friendly as ever and maybe I misinterpreted his too-refined manners as flirtation, because he never made one single move. I knew that if I wanted a chance with him, I would have to be the one to make the all of the advances. The problem was that Lois was always around, like a fly hovering around a picnic basket. So, I was bolder than I would normally be toward a man. I was the one who invited Clark out for meals. I even invited him to a weekend getaway, for the sole purpose of getting to know him without having his female shadow attached to his rear-end. He agreed…or at least, he didn’t turn me down.
And then he stood me up.
All weekend I waited for him. All weekend he was a no-show. I tried emailing him. I tried paging him. I tried calling him – home, cell, and office. I received radio silence in return. Instead of having a relaxing weekend away in the mountains – and the possibility of coming home with a budding romance – I got to spend my weekend looking like a fool while Clark scurried off to who knows where to avoid me and I got to know his parents. Oh, and let’s not forget waste my precious time with a blind-as-a-bat superhero. Can’t forget that. That added insult to my injury.
At least being around Superman squashed the notion that maybe Clark was shacked up somewhere with him, instead of on a weekend date with me.
Again, it’s not that I dislike Superman as a person. I’m sure he’s a perfectly lovely person beneath that ridiculous costume. It’s just…his god-complex is such an instant turn-off. His need to be in control of a situation. His inability to sit back and let others take the reins. His constant need to be macho. Even blind, he couldn’t admit that he was unable to do the things he can normally do. Not like Clark. Clark would have handled the situation with far more grace and humility. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I’m glad Superman’s vision was restored – if only to prevent him from causing more mayhem than he already did, flying around without his sight. But Clark’s the kind of guy who would have perhaps struggled a little with sitting on the sidelines at first, but ultimately, he would have respected his limitations and let others take the lead.
He’s a stronger man than Superman can ever hope to be.
When the dust settled after that bizarre weekend, I figured, with Clark being such a stand-up guy, it would have been a simple task to get an explanation out of him about what had happened and why he was nowhere to be found. So, I went to him and told him how hurt I was. I let him know that I was willing to forgive him, that I would understand if being stood up had been born out of some kind of miscommunication or misunderstanding. I would have even apologized if it had been me who’d misread the situation. After all, I’m a big enough person to accept when I’ve made a mistake. I even kissed him, to show him that I still cared about him and that I was willing to put the whole thing aside. He stood statue-like and didn’t return the kiss.
Okay, I told myself. Maybe I’d just taken him off-guard. So, before I could embarrass myself any further, I left. Part of my had hoped he would follow and finally offer me an explanation and/or an apology.
He never came after me.
To this day, I’ve never received an explanation for his mysterious absence.
I was stupid. I should have demanded to know, right then and there, why he was stringing me along. But I didn’t. I didn’t want to be the shrew who became too abrasive and who scared him away. Instead, like an idiot, I kept up my pursuit of him, though I did tone down my aggressiveness. Rather than another weekend away to make up for the one that never happened, I made smaller gestures. Today, I invited him to lunch. And to his credit, he actually showed up this time…only to take a phone call from Lois just as I was about to lay my heart bare to him. He dashed off – a puppy brought to heel by the call of his mistress. And, like a fool, I waited. And waited. And waited. He didn’t return and eventually, after too long a time sitting there alone, I left heartbroken and humiliated all over again. Somehow, it felt worse than him not showing up at all to the plans we’d made.
It’s night now. I haven’t heard from him since he ran off at lunch. I’m tired, frustrated, and seething anger. I’m through being pushed around and taken for granted. I don’t deserve this kind of treatment – no one does. If Clark has any interest in me, he knows where to find me. After months of this cat-and-mouse game, I’m done. My secretary has instructions to let him know that I’ve left the office, that I’m through waiting on both Clark and Lois like some kind of servant to be taken advantage of. If he and Lois want a stone-cold, ruthless Mayson Drake, then they’ve succeeded in summoning her.
You know, every so often, when our hearts make a connection with someone, we fantasize about the things that might be – the wedding, the house we’ll live in, the children we’ll have. We’re all guilty of it. But now when I try to think of what might have been, I can’t help but wonder if Clark actually did me a favor by treating me like dirt upfront. If we’d dated and his habit of disappearing had continued, it might have crushed me. But he can’t hurt me anymore. What desire I had for him is dying swiftly. I won’t say that I’m completely over him – it was only a few short hours ago that I was ready to tell him I loved him. But the outright anger and even a little indifference has already set in.
It’s clear to me now. Clark might have been that boy to me. But I’ll never be that girl, simply because I’m not Lois Lane. I never stood a chance. And as I leave my office now and head to my car to go home for the night, I think I can live with that knowledge.