Jimmy Olsen Blues

By Jon B. Knutson (waffyjon@execpc.com)

Summary: Lois talks Clark into helping her set up Jimmy with another Planet employee.


James Bartholomew Olsen, better known to his friends and co-workers as Jimmy, took careful aim with his camera and clicked the shutter.

Framed within the shot was Carole March, an attractive blonde, blue-eyed woman, just a little order than Jimmy, who worked in the Daily Planet's circulation department as an operator. Carole was dressed in a tan blouse with matching skirt, with black flats. Her hair was tied back in a ponytail, so as not to get in the way of the headset she wore on the job.

Carole heard the click from Jimmy's camera, and turned to look at Jimmy, waving to him while talking to a customer who was increasing their newspaper delivery from weekends only to seven days a week. By the time she'd finished taking the order, Jimmy was by her side.

Carole thanked the person for his order, and pressed the computer key that entered his order and hung up the phone. "Hi, Jimmy," she said. "What's the occasion?"

Jimmy wasn't sure what she meant. "Huh? Oh, you mean the picture? The chief's been hot on getting pictures of all new employees posted in the lunch room so everyone knows who they are."

"I know that, but I thought you'd already taken my picture for that… besides, I thought your photography skills were better suited for the front page, not the lunchroom bulletin board."

"Ah, well the first picture didn't turn out so well," Jimmy said, which was a lie. "So, I had to take another one. As far as why I'm taking the new employee pictures, it's a rotating assignment, and this month was my turn." Another lie on Jimmy's part.

The truth of the matter was that Jimmy normally hated it when it was his turn to take new employee photos (which were also used on their Planet I.D. cards… Carole was still using her temporary one), but when he saw Carole for the first time in the Planet lunch room, and learned she was new, he'd volunteered to take his turn early. As far as the first picture of Carole went, it had come out just fine… in fact, a large blow-up of it was hanging on the wall in Jimmy's apartment.

"Well, I hope this one turns out better," Carole said. "Now you'd better scoot out of here… I've got to get back to work!" She made a shooing motion with her hands.

Jimmy saw a conspicuous ring on one finger, and felt his mood darken. "Nice ring… I didn't know you were married."

"Married? Not yet… this was a birthday present from my boyfriend… he said he spent his last bonus check on it, but I think it's not a real diamond, only cubic zirconium."

"Oh… well, I'll be seeing you." Jimmy walked out of the circulation department feeling dejected.

"Why does she have to have a boyfriend already?" Jimmy sighed as he walked into the photo lab.

Denise Peterson, one of the other Planet photographers, looked over at Jimmy and absentmindedly pushed her glasses further up from where they'd slipped down her nose. "Why does who have to have a boyfriend?" she asked.

"Oh, hi, Denise… didn't see you there," Jimmy said, pushing a stray lock of hair back. "Carole March, the new girl in circulation."

"Girl? She looks more like a woman than a girl to me," Carole teased.

"Aw, you know what I mean. I just found out she has a boyfriend already."

Denise leaned back in her chair, setting the loupe aside she was using to check over contact prints. Gesturing dramatically, she said, "Oh, the slings and arrows of outrageous misfortune! The woman of Jimmy Olsen's dreams is already attached, dashing his hopes to pieces!"

Jimmy frowned. "Oh, knock it off, Denise." Jimmy plopped down into an unoccupied chair.

Denise stood up and walked over to him. Denise was an attractive woman herself, but had chosen to de-emphasize it in her appearance. Since she spent so much time in the darkroom or behind a camera, she didn't bother with makeup for work. Her hair was what she called "mousy brown," and was usually piled up under the baseball cap she habitually wore, although a few ringlets dangled out here and there. She favored oversized shirts and jackets with plenty of pockets, and loose-fitting jeans. Doc Marten's shoes completed the outfit, making her wardrobe the only one at the Planet that bettered Jimmy's as a member of the so-called "Generation X." This had been even more apparent since Jimmy had started to dress in more conservative wear at work, thanks to Clark Kent's advice.

"I'm sorry, Jimmy," she said. "I guess I went a little overboard with the teasing. Forgive me?"

Jimmy looked up at her with a crooked grin. "Sure, Denise." He straightened up in his chair, and pulled a roll of film out of his pocket. "Well, I guess I'd better get this film developed and printed so the new employee photos can be ready to post before lunch."

"Okay, Jimmy… I'll let you know if the chief needs you."

Jimmy stood up and went into the darkroom.


Clark Kent and Lois Lane accompanied Perry White to the lunchroom later that morning. Perry had been encouraging the newsroom reporters to eat in the employees' lunchroom instead of at their desks for the past week, but there hadn't been any change in habit yet. Therefore, he decided that today, he was going to take the first step, and more-or-less directed Lois and Clark to follow suit.

Lois, of course, had protested, since she had made lunch reservations at an Italian restaurant down the street. Clark hadn't protested on his part, though. For the last several weeks, Lois and Clark had chosen one day of the week to go out to lunch together at a nicer restaurant than usual, trading off one week to the next as far as paying the bill went. It had begun a competition of sorts, each of them trying to find a restaurant that would be able to serve them in an adequate period of time so they wouldn't be late returning to work, and yet getting more expensive than the previous week's one had been.

Whoever paid for the last lunch had the choice of the next restaurant, and Lois figured she had Clark beat with this choice. Clark was sure she'd have him beat, as well, and hadn't been looking forward to the out-of-pocket expense involved. In fact, he had been trying to find a good excuse for calling off the competition without bringing up the subject of expense, since he knew Lois would take that as a victory.

He didn't know that Lois had been looking for an out as well, having had her own budget stretched nearly to the breaking point as well… she may receive a larger paycheck than Clark due to seniority, but her rent was significantly higher than Clark's.

Given those circumstances, neither one of them argued with Perry when he made his very strong suggestion they join him.

Of course, this didn't stop Lois from making complaints about the food in the lunchroom… opting for salad and coffee (since the other choices seemed very unappealing to her). Clark chose a double cheeseburger and fries with a coke (which caused Lois to wonder once again how he can eat so much unhealthy food and stay in good shape). Perry's choice was a tuna salad sandwich and potato salad, with iced tea to drink. After paying at the cashier, the three of them looked around for a table, and spotted three empty seats at the table Jimmy and Denise were already sitting at.

"Mind if we join you folks?" Perry asked even as he set his tray down.

"Not at all, chief," Denise answered. Jimmy didn't say anything, but he had a dreamy expression on his face.

Clark and Lois noticed this, and turned to see who he was looking at. Of course, it was Carole, who was eating lunch with the other circulation operators.

"She's cute," Clark said, breaking Jimmy's concentration.

"Huh? What? Oh, when did you sit down?"

"Just a minute ago, Jimmy… but you were too busy to notice, I guess," Lois teased gently.

"Sorry… how's it going?" Jimmy said, taking a bite of his burger, but still keeping an eye on Carole.

"Looks like we should be asking you, son," Perry said. "If you're going to stare at her, you might be a little less obvious."

Jimmy looked guilty. "Do you think she noticed?"

Lois grimaced. "If not, she's even more flighty than I thought."

"My, my, Lois… getting a little judgmental, aren't we?" Clark teased.

Lois rolled her eyes. "I just don't see what the big deal is… she started her a week ago, and it seems like every single man at the Planet's fallen head over heels for her. I don't get the attraction."

"Not every single man," Clark said. "She's not my type… and too young for me, besides."

"Oh, I stand corrected, Clark… your type is the kind that throws herself at you, like Mayson Drake."

Clark looked innocent as he said, "Did I say anything about Mayson?"

"Now, now, you two… that's enough of that… we're talking about Jimmy here," Perry said. "Son," he said, looking at Jimmy with his best parental expression, "have you asked her out yet?"

"Nah," Jimmy said. "She's already got a boyfriend."

"Now, Jimmy, that doesn't mean you have to give up on her entirely."

Denise abruptly stood up and took her tray. "I'll see you later, Jimmy… I've got to get back to the photo lab."

"Okay, Denise… see you."

Lois looked at Denise as she stalked away from the table and out of the lunchroom. "I think that was the wrong thing to say, chief."

"Why's that, Lois?"

Lois looked exasperated. "It's patently obvious to me that none of you know anything about women. Jimmy, it looks to me like Denise is the woman you should concentrate on, not Carole."

"Denise? Well, she's a nice person, and I really like her, but as a friend…" Jimmy started.

Lois rolled her eyes again. "You're so busy concentrating on the flashy woman that you're ignoring the perfectly wonderful woman right in front of you. I hate people who do that."

Clark put down his hamburger and leaned back, smiling. "That's very insightful, Lois… so you're saying instead of concentrating on the person who's the most physically appealing, but unavailable, Jimmy should concentrate his efforts on the person who has more to offer on the basis of personality, who might know him better to begin with?"

"That's right, Clark… you've got it exactly."

"I guess you've got it all figured out, then."

Jimmy had been entirely lost in the conversation, resuming his staring at Carole, who was getting up from her table. "I'll see you later," he mumbled, collecting his tray to meet Carole on the way out.

Perry, in the meantime, knew exactly what Clark was talking about, but was not going to say a thing, instead concentrating on eating his tuna sandwich without choking on it.

Jimmy met up with Carole at the exit to the lunchroom. "Hi, Carole," he said.

"Oh, hi, Jimmy. I didn't notice you were in here."

"Oh, well, you were busy…"

Jimmy was interrupted when Betty Doyle, the senior operator in circulation, said, "Come on, Carole, we've got to get back and relieve the others."

"Okay, Betty… nice seeing you again, Jimmy!"

As Betty and Carole headed for the elevator, Jimmy just stood there dejectedly.


Lois had kept quiet during the rest of lunch. Clark knew there was something going on inside her brain, and that she'd say something about it when she was ready… but he already had a hunch he knew what she was up to.

When they had returned to the newsroom, Clark continued working on his current story, but Lois just sat at her desk thinking. Perry, in the meantime, headed directly for his office, feeling that he couldn't hold back his chuckle any longer.

"That's it," Lois suddenly announced.

"What's it?"

"My plan… I've figured it out completely."

"What plan?" Clark asked, fearing he already knew the answer.

"To get Jimmy and Denise together."

It was Clark's turn to roll his eyes. "I had a feeling you were going to say that. I don't think we should interfere, here."

"Clark, we're Jimmy's friends — it's our job to interfere. Don't you think Jimmy would be better off with Denise instead of mooning over Carole?"

"Well, sure, but…"

"So then, we've got to make sure Jimmy finds that out, any way we can, short of maybe hitting him in the head with a 2x4."

Clark sighed. "All right, let's hear it… what's your plan?"

"Welcome to the team, Clark… I have a part in mind for you in this."

"I had a feeling. Okay, what do you want me to do?"

"Tonight, you need to get Jimmy to go with you to Inferno."

"Inferno? What's that?"

"Geez, Clark, don't you go anywhere in Metropolis other than the Planet and your apartment? It's one of the hottest nightclubs in the city… and I heard through the grapevine that Carole and her boyfriend are going there tonight."

"So it's my job to torture Jimmy?"

"No, Clark… you need to make sure Jimmy realizes that he doesn't stand a chance with Carole. Once he sees how good Carole's relationship is with her boyfriend, Jimmy will give up on her."

"All right, then, what's your part of this?"

"I'm going to work on changing Denise's image… it's no wonder that Jimmy only thinks of Denise as a friend, the way she dresses."

Clark lowered an eyebrow. "Shouldn't Jimmy want to date Denise just because of who she is, instead of how she looks?"

"You catch more flies with honey than vinegar, Clark. Denise is a very attractive woman, she just needs to let Jimmy see that as part of the whole package!"

Clark could tell there was no point arguing with Lois on that point. No matter how much Clark disagreed with her, he had to admit that in his own case, he might not have paid enough attention to Lois to get to know her better if she wasn't as physically attractive as she was. "Okay, Lois, I'm willing to give it a try, for Jimmy's sake."

"Good… oh, there's Jimmy now… go ahead and talk to him!"

Clark got out of his chair, and walked over to where Jimmy was coming into the newsroom and heading for Perry's office. Jimmy had stopped in front of Perry's door with a strange look on his face.

"Hi, Jimmy," Clark said. "Why the strange look?"

"It sounds like the chief is laughing his head off in there."

"That's strange… anyway, Jimmy, I was wondering if you were busy tonight."

"Hmm? No, no plans tonight other than plopping my butt in front of the tube."

"Well, then, Jimmy, do you think you might be interested in going to Inferno tonight?"

"Me and you?"

"Uh, right… Lois has been telling me I need to get out more anyway, and I hate going to nightclubs by myself, plus I was thinking we need to do things together more often."

"Okay, Clark, sure… maybe we'll even run into Carole."

"Uh, Carole?"

"Yeah… I heard she was going there tonight with her boyfriend."

"Oh, I didn't know that… I suppose we might."

As soon as Clark had started talking to Jimmy, Lois got up from her desk and made her way to the photo lab. She didn't see Denise in there, only Barry Keene, another of the Planet's photographers (and the one Jimmy had convinced to give up new employee photo-taking this month), who was eating a sandwich. "Um, I'm looking for Denise?" Lois said.

Barry, who was in his mid-30's, wiped his beard with his hand, pointing at the darkroom door with his other hand. "She's in there."

Lois entered the darkroom door… it was more of a round booth, actually, with a single opening that would rotate, allowing persons to enter and leave the darkroom without letting any light in.

Lois' eyes were adjusting to the light when Denise said, "Oh, hi, Lois… what are you doing here?"

"I wanted to talk to you about Jimmy… you really like him, don't you?"

"He's a good friend."

"Don't try that 'good friend' line on me… I can tell. Trust me on this one, Denise: Most guys can't tell when a woman's interested in them, and hinting doesn't work, either… you practically have to smack them in the head to get their attention first."

"You mean like that scene in 'Top Gun?' I should go to Jimmy and say, 'Take me now, Jimmy, or lose me forever'?" Denise said, laughing.

Lois joined in the laughter. "Not quite like that. Right now, Jimmy only has eyes for Carole because she's flashier. You're an attractive woman, but you don't dress the right way to show it."

"But I don't want to attract Jimmy just because he thinks I'm pretty… I want him attracted because of me."

"Have you been talking to Clark?" "What?"

"Never mind. I know Jimmy likes you, Denise, you're smart, witty, and you've got a great personality… but that combination with your clothes equals 'friend' in his mind… he's not mature enough yet to appreciate you for that alone. I'm not saying that's good, or that's right, that's just the way his mind works. What you've got to do is get his attention, then he can realize how wonderful a person you are."

"What's wrong with the way I dress?"

"Nothing, if you're going on maneuvers in the Persian Gulf. It's just not the best way to get Jimmy's attention."

"Okay, then, what should I do?"

"Meet me in the newsroom at the end of the day, and I'll give you a makeover that will make all the young men in the building forget Carole like she was last year's 'best picture' winner."

"If you think that'll work…"

"Trust me."


Lois returned to the newsroom and sat down at her desk. "How's your end coming along, Clark?"

"Jimmy and I are all set for our 'boy's night out,' if that's what you mean. You?"

"After work tonight, I'm taking Denise on an unforgettable drive to Makeover City. Tomorrow, you'll see I was right."

"I hope so, Lois."


Lois was just finishing up a few tasks when Denise showed up at her desk. "Okay, Lois, I'm ready."

Lois quickly straightened up her desk and shut off her terminal. "Don't look so nervous, Denise… this isn't going to hurt a bit."

Lois and Denise headed for the elevator as Perry made his way to Clark's desk. "Clark, what's going on with Lois and Denise?"

"You won't believe it, chief."

"Try me."

"Well, Lois is taking Denise for a complete makeover so that Jimmy will pay attention to her, and I'm supposed to take Jimmy out to Inferno tonight so he can see how Carole and her boyfriend are meant for each other, so he'll lose interest in her."

Perry stood there for a few moments in silence. "Didn't you try to talk her out of it?"

"I tried, chief, I really tried… but you know Lois… once she gets an idea in her head…"

Perry held up a hand. "Say no more, Clark. Her heart's in the right place. Just go along with it… it may come crashing down around Lois, but if it does, maybe she'll have learned her lesson. You can't mess around in other people's love life."

"But weren't you giving Jimmy advice on dating not too long ago?"

"Sure, but I'm a married man… my advice is a bit more valid than Lois'."

Clark was ready to remind Perry how his advice had turned out for Jimmy, but thought it was best to drop it… especially since Jimmy was entering the newsroom himself.

"Hey, CK… ready to party tonight?" His mood had definitely improved since lunch.

"As ready as I'm going to be… I'll meet you there at eight, okay?"

"Actually, CK, I was thinking we should head there right away… grab a bite to eat and check out the babes before the band starts."

Clark instantly translated this to mean: Carole and her boyfriend are having dinner there, and if they suddenly decide to break up, I want to be there to pick up the pieces.

"All right, Jim, if you insist… I was thinking about changing clothes first, though."

"Nah, you'll be fine… there's no dress code there, written or unwritten. Let's get going… you can ride on the back of my bike."

"Only if you have an extra helmet."

"Hey, would I ask you to risk your life? Of course, I've got an extra helmet."

Jimmy had an extra helmet, all right, as Clark discovered, but it wasn't exactly the type of helmet he'd ever thought of wearing, if he had thought of wearing a motorcycle helmet before. It was painted jet black, with a skull painted on one side, surrounded with an aura of flames.

"This is the extra helmet?"

"Yeah, cool, isn't it? I got a great deal on it… only fifteen bucks!"

Clark shrugged and put the helmet on.


Lois and Denise had taken Lois' jeep straight for the Metro Mall, making their first stop at a one-hour glasses store.

"Why do I need new glasses, Lois? These work fine!"

"Denise, dear, thick frames don't look good on you," Lois said, looking over the frames. "Try these on," selecting one pair with very thin frames.

Denise took her glasses off and tried on the pair Lois suggested. "Well?" she asked.

"Close, but not quite right… maybe something rounder, that matches the shape of your face better."

A clerk approached them. "Can I help you?"

Lois brushed the clerk off. "No, thank you, we're doing fine on our own."

"Very well… if you need any help, just let me know."

"Lois, what about these?" Denise said, holding up a different set of frames.

"That's the spirit, Denise… go with it, have fun!" Denise tried the frames on and looked in the mirror uncertainly. "Bingo!" Lois said. "Absolutely fabulous. Now, where's that clerk? You've got your prescription with you, don't you?"

"Well, yeah, but… these frames are pretty expensive."

"Don't worry about it, Denise… this evening's on me," Lois said, waving her Visa card.

The next stop was a hairstylist's. "Now, Denise, I'd prefer to take you to my stylist, but he's got a three-week waiting list. This stylist was trained by my regular one, though, so it should be fine," Lois said as she herded Denise in. "By the time your hair is finished, your new glasses should be ready."

"All right… I guess."


Meanwhile, Clark and Jimmy had arrived at Inferno. The club had a decidedly Dante feel to it, as the name would suggest. The waiters and waitresses wore devil costumes, all red with a tail hanging off the back. Given the attire of the staff, Clark was surprised that Jimmy's full attention was diverted to Carole and her boyfriend, whose table was on the opposite end of the club.

"Nice outfits the waitresses are wearing," Clark said.

"Sure," Jimmy said, non-commitally.

Clark picked up a menu and started looking over the selection. "The Hellfire Chicken Wings sound good," he said.


"Jimmy," Clark said, waving his hand in front of Jimmy's face. "Earth to Jim, come in!"

Jimmy blinked. "Sorry, Clark… I guess I was staring again?" "If your eyes were projecting laser beams, Carole and her boyfriend would be charcoal. Ignore them, will you? If you want to stare at any women in here, you might try staring at the waitresses… it seems that's what their outfits are designed for."

Jimmy looked at the waitresses as if for the first time. "Wow. I'd like to see Carole in something like that… talk about hot! I bet you wouldn't mind seeing Lois in something like that yourself, eh?"

Clark couldn't help but smile at that, instantly getting a mental picture that was going to be very hard to shake the rest of the evening. "What about dinner? I was looking at the Hellfire Chicken Wings."

"No way, CK… they're too hot for me. I've heard the blackened salmon was good, though."

"It does seem that everything on the menu is either very spicy, blackened, or flambe. Appropriate, anyway."

"Um, yeah," Jimmy said, his attention returning to Carole again.

"This was not a good idea," Clark mumbled to himself.


Lois and Denise (in her new glasses and new hairstyle) were taking a break before continuing their tasks at the food court of the Metro Mall. They'd decided on corn dogs and lemonade for their dinner.

Actually, Lois had decided for the both of them… as it had gone for the entire evening so far, although Denise was starting to enjoy it in spite of herself.

"Now, Denise, there's some things that you need to work on that we can't buy in any store… like the way you walk, for example."

"What's wrong with that?" Denise asked, swallowing a bite.

"You've got to walk with more confidence… take long strides, and think smooth, every step moving right into the next one."

"Okay, I'm with you so far…"

"Another thing you need to do is smile more, not a goofy smile, or a closed-lip smile… don't be afraid to show a little teeth… but not too much. Sometimes it helps if you think of something amusing."

"Like maybe something from the last 'Seinfeld' episode?"

"Whatever works for you… Seinfeld, Monty Python… as long as you stay amused, without laughing… save laughing for when Jimmy says something funny, but make sure he's trying to be funny. Nothing turns a man off faster than laughing at something he says that's not supposed to be funny."

"Got it. But how do you tell when a guy's trying to be funny?"

"They get a look in their eyes like they're expecting something. Kind of like they want you to share your candy with them… that's the best way I can describe it. I'm sure you'll pick up on it fast enough, don't worry."

Denise finished up her corn dog and washed it down with the last of her lemonade. "Ok, so what's the next step?"

"Clothes, shoes and makeup."


"This is really not a good idea," Clark said to himself. He had been thinking or saying that for the past two hours. Jimmy had been staring at Carole and her boyfriend the entire time, and when Clark looked over at the couple, they looked like the happiest two people in Metropolis.

"Excuse me, would you like to dance?" a female voice said.

Clark looked up to see an attractive woman standing by the table. "Um, no thanks… how about my friend here?"

"No way… you corporate types are more my taste. Besides, you're much cuter." Before Clark could react, the woman snatched the glasses off his head. "Wow… did you know without your glasses you look a lot like Superman? You should get contacts."

Clark took his glasses back and put them on. "Uh, I can't wear contacts."

"Oh, that's too bad… sure you don't want to dance?"

"I'm sure." "Okay, your loss."

The evening didn't get any better for Clark… Jimmy kept staring, and Clark kept turning down offers to dance (feeling he shouldn't leave Jimmy alone). After some time, he offers stopped coming… using his super-hearing revealed that the word had gotten around that he was gay.

"This was really not a good idea."


Lois and Denise left the Metro Mall as it was closing, their arms filled with bags. "Lois, I really appreciate this," Denise said.

"No thanks necessary… as long as you get Jimmy's attention, it'll be worth it."

"I'm sure it'll work… you certainly got Clark's attention."

"Clark? Ah, I don't know what you mean," Lois said, unconvincingly.

"Oh, come on, everybody at the Planet knows Clark's crazy about you."

"Clark and I are the best of friends, but that's all, Denise. Don't believe all the rumors you hear."

Denise didn't press it further… but she wasn't entirely convinced at Lois' denial either.


Clark awoke that morning by the ringing of his telephone, rather than the alarm clock. Out of force of habit, however, he hit the alarm clock, smashing it to pieces. "Damn." He reached for the telephone. "Hello?"

"Hi, Clark, it's Lois."

Clark blinked and looked at his watch. "Lois, it's 5:15 am… what are you doing up so early?"

"I wanted to check with you about last night before we got to the Planet… you weren't home when I called last night."

"Oh… I couldn't drag Jimmy out of there until the club closed… and he's really depressed now."

"Why's that?"

"Just before closing, Carole's boyfriend proposed to her, and she accepted."

"Well, that's for the best, isn't it?" "Maybe… but now every woman in Metropolis that was there last night now thinks I'm gay, because I wouldn't dance with them."

"You'll get over it, Clark… besides, what are the odds you'll ever go there again?"

"There's two chances: Slim and none. How did things go with you and Denise?"

"You'll see when we get to the Planet. I do good work, even if I say so myself."


Clark was very surprised later that morning when he arrived at the Planet. Lois offered to give him a lift, and since they were both early, they stopped for breakfast before going to the office. As Clark drank cup after cup of coffee to wake up, Lois went on and on about how much she'd helped Denise out by taking her out the night before.

By the time they'd finished their breakfast, Clark was fully awake. Since Lois had parked her jeep in the Planet garage and walked to the restaurant they ate at, they entered the Planet through the lobby, where they saw Denise.

Lois was surprised as well.

Denise was dressed in her standard attire, hair still tucked up in her ball cap. In fact, the only change from last night that was still apparent was the new glasses.

"Denise!" Lois called as she ran up to her. "What happened to the new clothes?"

"Oh, hi, Lois… I'm sorry, last night was fun, and I hope we can do it again," Denise replied.

"Sure, any time, Denise… but I thought you were going to wear the new clothes?"

"You know, Lois, until I got home last night, I was all set do so, but as I was laying in bed, trying to get to sleep, I got to thinking."

"Thinking what?"

"Well, if I finally got Jimmy to see me as more than a friend just because I dressed differently, then it wouldn't feel right for me, you know? Maybe I'll have to wait a while for him to come around, or maybe I'll get tired of waiting for Jimmy, and turn my focus onto someone else, but that's the way I want it. I want him to want me for who and what I am, or not at all."

"So what are you going to do with the new clothes?"

"Oh, I'll keep them in the closet… maybe if Jimmy finally asks me out, I'll wear them then. Or if I need something nice to wear for something else. I did like the glasses, though. Thanks for the help, Lois."

"You're welcome, Denise," Lois said as Denise ran for the elevator.

Clark had overheard the entire exchange. "Well, so much for that plan, eh, Lois?"

Lois frowned. "I could've sworn she was going to follow through on it. I guess I was wrong."

"Don't feel too bad, Lois… you did help her, in a way."

"I guess so… oh, there's Jimmy!"

Jimmy had a dejected look on his face as he entered the Planet lobby. "Morning, Jim," Clark said. "Was the garage full?"

"Hmm? Oh, hi, C.K… nah, I didn't take the cycle in this morning… I walked in to work… needed time to think. I can't believe Carole is getting married."

"If it helps any, Jim, I don't think she was really your type," Clark offered.

"Thanks, C.K. I'll keep that in mind."

"Oh, cheer up, Jimmy," Lois said. "I'm sure you'll meet the right person someday. Who knows, maybe you have already, but you just don't know it yet."

Jimmy brightened a bit. "Yeah, now that you mention it, maybe I have. I did hear that Tammy Jameson broke up with her boyfriend last weekend… see ya!" Jimmy darted away.

Lois shook her head. "I'm always amazed at people who can't see what's right in front of their eyes."

"Me, too," Clark said, smiling.