Submitted: April 2020
Summary: Clark Kent can’t seem to understand how in the world everyone close to him now knows he is Superman…including Ralph. Have Clark’s secret-keeping capabilities finally bit the dust or is there something more going on?
Story Size: 818 words (5Kb as text)
A/N: This is a fun little vignette that arose from pondering just what would happen if our Clark was transported into the Alternate Universe Clark’s world without any hand-holding from H.G. Wells. Happy April Fool’s everyone!
Thanks to Endelda for being G.E. on this one. Thank you!
He was late.
Clark looked at his watch as the elevator doors opened, and he stepped out into the Daily Planet’s newsroom. As he walked down the ramp which led to his desk, his friend Jimmy bounced up to him with a broad grin on his face.
“Hey, Jimmy, you got a big date?” Clark commented, seeing the suit and tie Jimmy had donned in lieu of his normal flannel and jeans office attire.
“Oh, just keeping the look sharp, CK. Big night! Another Kerth for Lane and Kent!” He waved a white linen card in his hand and then added with a smirk, “Or should that be, Super-Kent?”
Clark stopped mid-stride and stared at him in shock, momentarily at a loss for words.
“S-sorry?” Clark stammered out, eventually finding his voice.
“So, what is it like to fly up there in the clouds? Does Metropolis look like any different from the other cities or does it all look like a bunch of ants crawling around?”
Clark blinked back at his friend in shock, wondering just how to explain or deflect the casual accusation from his friend. Should he deny it? Should he admit it? Then there was the whole aspect of how Jimmy had discovered that his alter-ego and himself were one and the same. A thousand thoughts raced through his mind and he felt the weight of the world press down on him as he tried to formulate a response.
Perry walked past him, whistling as he rounded the corner and hollered out. “Hey, Superman, you and Lois. In my office in five minutes with everything, you’ve got on the President. OK?”
“Chief?” Clark croaked out, questioning his super-powered hearing as he craned his neck to look back at the disappearing figure of his Editor-in-Chief.
‘What on earth was going on?’
“You got a problem with that, son?” Perry cocked an eyebrow at him, daring Clark to question him further.
“Noooo. Of course not. Five minutes your office.” Clark shook his head, unsure of how to respond.
‘Just the fact that you’re calling me Superman.’
“Right. Don’t be late.”
Perry moved off, heading in the direction of his office. Clark shook his head and walked toward the coffee machine where Ralph appeared to be trying to chat up one of the recent hires with moves only Ralph would think were smooth.
“And I know we just met but…”
“I think I hear my phone.” The intern said, moving away from Ralph. She bumped into Clark and smiled, “Always saving the day, right Superman?”
“Wha..?” Clark gasped in surprise, looking back at the intern as she moved toward her desk.
Before Clark could ponder too much further on the comment Ralph approached, waving his coffee mug in front of Clark. “Hey, Superman, help a guy out, would you? Give er a little zap and heat this up for me?”
Clark numbly reached for the mug, obligingly sending a burst of heat vision to the dark liquid to heat it up. When he looked back up he saw Lois approaching with her own mug in tow. “Aren’t you supposed to be at a ribbon-cutting ceremony by now for the Children’s Hospital, Superman?”
“Lois?” He let out a harsh whisper. “Why is everyone calling me Superman?”
“Well, that’s your name, isn’t it?” Lois responded.
“So what’s the problem?” Lois prompted.
“Come on, Clark, you didn’t really think they didn’t know about Superman, did you?” Lois raised an eyebrow as she looked back at him with an amused expression. “I mean, everyone knows.”
Tempus sat in the corner of the Daily Planet office laughing hysterically as he watched Clark stumble his way through the newsroom trying to reconcile just how they all knew about his alter-ego. It was perfect.
“Really, Tempus, you’ve had your fun. Now would you kindly return Superman back to his universe?” Herbert George Wells grumbled from under his bowler cap.
“Now, Herb, I still haven’t told him it’s a prank yet,” Tempus argued in between short laughs. “He thinks the whole world knows.”
“This is the last time I lose a bet to you,” Herb grumbled.
“I have a confession.”
“You lost your sense of humor?” H.G. Wells asked mildly irritated.
“I cheated.” Tempus grinned back smugly. “Happy April Fool’s.”