By Lynn Baldwin (LBALD@aol.com)
Summary: Lois and Clark are invited to Lexcorp's New Years' Eve Ball, the theme of which is "A Super Costume Party: Dress Up as a Superhero." Lois, who's planning to go as Wonder Woman, threatens to ferret out Clark's secret using her Lasso of Truth.
I was so inspired by the stories on the fanfic list that I decided to write one of my own. I hope somebody likes it!
"So, Lois, I suppose you've got big plans for New Year's Eve," Clark said as he absent-mindedly stared at the half-written story on his computer screen.
"Well, not yet," Lois answered, not wanting to admit that tomorrow night would most likely be spent with Dick Clark and a carton of kung pao chicken, "but I'm sure something will come up."
"Well, kids, today's your lucky day," exclaimed Perry White as he bustled into the room whistling "Hound Dog." He set an envelope upon Lois's desk with a flourish.
"What's up chief?" asked Lois.
"I'll tell you what's up. Those are two invitations to the Lexcorp New Year's Eve Gala."
"Lexcorp?" asked Lois incredulously. After the traumatic events of last year with Lex, she had stayed as far away from anything remotely related to him. And now Perry expected her to spend New Year's Eve at Lexcorp? Why…"
"I know what you're thinking, Lois," Perry said, interrupting her reverie, "But Lex is no longer there. In fact, Lexcorp is going to announce its new CEO tomorrow night. It'll be fun…and it might be a good story."
Clark scanned the envelope with his X-ray vision and speed-read the contents of the invitation.
"But chief," Clark started to protest.
"No buts, Clark, it's a big story and I want you and Lois there."
"But." Perry fixed Clark with his best "don't step on my blue suede shoes" look.
"What's the matter Clark? You have a big date with Mayson Drake or something?" Lois asked smugly.
"Mayson Drake? I haven't even talked to her in weeks!" Clark retorted, although his feelings didn't match the tone of his response. He liked it when Lois acted jealous, and this definitely sounded like jealousy.
He watched in amusement as Lois opened and read the invitation:
A Super Costume Party
"You are invited one and all
to the Lexcorp New Year's Ball
Dress up as a superhero
and meet our new CEO."
"Oh, that's awful," grimaced Lois.
"I know, " responded Clark, "they can't possibly expect us to dress up as superheroes. That is the stup.."
"No, silly, I meant the rhyme - it's really bad. But I think the superhero theme sounds like fun."
Clark groaned. "Who are you going to be?"
"Wonder Woman, of course," Lois replied. But of course, Clark thought. Who else? However, the prospect of seeing Lois in a skimpy costume was rather appealing."
"Wonder Woman…Wonder Woman…" sang Jimmy, as he entered the room spinning in circles, "Will you be carrying your Lasso of Truth?"
"But of course. I hope you don't have any secrets, Clark. I'll get them out of you with my lasso," Lois promised, flexing her wrist in a cattle-roping motion. "Who are you going to be?"
"I don't know. I don't like the whole idea of this."
"You're no fun. You could be Batman, the Green Lantern…"
"You know, you could be Superman," Lois said, sizing up Clark. You have the right color hair, you're the right height, and I hate to admit it, but you have the right body type." She hated to admit it, even to herself, but the prospect of seeing Clark in something a little more tight-fitting than his usual suits was strangely appealing.
"Oh, right," Clark responded, not knowing how to feel. On one hand, that was quite a compliment coming from Lois. On the other hand, he couldn't possibly dress up as Superman!
"I couldn't Lois. I.."
"Sounds like a super idea to me C.K.," Jimmy said, assuming a cross-armed Superman pose. Clark laughed in spite of himself.
"Sure you could. In fact," she continued, staring off into space with a dreamy look on her face," "Maybe you could even borrow one of his costumes. I mean, do you think he has more than one? Do you think he takes it off when he showers?" she sighed, "Do you think that he even showers?"
"Well, I guess I don't know him as well as I think," Lois admitted.
"You know him better than you realize," Clark retorted, as he grabbed his suit coat off the back of his chair and sped out of the newsroom.
"What did you mean by that comment, son?" Jonathan asked a few minutes later as Clark explained the situation to his parents. Clark paced around the kitchen with his hands in the front pockets of his jeans.
"Well, Clark," Martha said, as she looked up from a book she was reading at the table," Freud would say you're facing a deep-seated conflict between your id and you ego. The two sides of your personality are in conflict and .."
"But mom," Clark protested, as Jonathan stifled a laugh. The psycho-mumbo Martha had been spouting since she'd started her Adult Education class was good for a laugh, but he really didn't think it did much for Clark.
"Wait a minute, Clark," Martha continued, "I think you're torn: part of you dreads the idea of Lois finding out that you're Superman, while part of you wants her to know. You realize that if you go to the party dressed in the outfit, she might finally figure it out. She's a smart girl, you know Clark."
"I know, Mom. Believe me, I know." With that, he kissed his mom goodbye and flew out the window in a flash of blue and red.
The next evening, Lois was adjusting her Wonder Woman tiara in the mirror when the doorbell rang. She ran to the door, tripping in her high-heeled red boots. How had Lynda Carter even managed to catch the bad guys in such uncomfortable footwear?
"Superman," she exclaimed as she opened the door. "Why didn't you use the window? I mean, not that there's anything wrong with the door, but you usually use the window. Oh, god, I just realized how ridiculous I must look. I'm…"
"Lois. Lois, it's me - Clark," Clark said, entering the apartment with a sweep of his cape.
"Wow. You look great," Lois said admiringly, as her gaze took in his muscled chest, broad shoulders and wavy black hair.
"Thanks. So do you." Clark returned the appreciative look.
"Oh, but you know what? You'd look even better if you took off your glasses." Lois reached up to remove the tortoise-shell frames from Clark's face.
In a flash, Clark had Lois' hand in an iron grip. "Uh, no. I…I want to be able to see."
"Okay, okay. Easy big guy."
Lois and Clark arrived at Lexcorp headquarters and joined the swarm of Batmen, Spidermen, Catwomen and every conceivable superhero entering the party. There were even a few Resplendent Men! The main ballroom was lavishly decorated in hues of black and gold. The walls were covered with what appeared to be the new Lexcorp logo: a gold letter L on an upside-down black triangle. Black and gold flowers decorated the tables and the band was dressed in black tuxedos with gold cummerbunds and bow ties.
"I guess this isn't so bad," Clark said, mostly to reassure Lois. Despite her bravado, he knew that she felt nervous about being back in Lex's world, even though Lex was no longer a part of it. So why did he feel nervous. His supersense told him that something was not quite right.
"Clark Kent to the main lobby please. Will Clark Kent please report to the main lobby." The announcer's voice over the intercom startled both Lois and Clark.
"Did you forward your calls here?" Lois asked sarcastically.
"Maybe it's the office. I'll be right back." Clark said, as he gathered up his cape, extended his right arm and started to leap into the air. He suddenly remembered who and where he was. He casually lowered his arm and stumbled forward. Hopefully, Lois would think that he'd tripped over something and lost his balance. He glanced backwards at Lois, who was watching him with a curious expression.
Clark strode up to the front desk. "Uh..Superman…uh…" stuttered the young woman behind the desk.
"No, Clark Kent. I was just paged."
A large X-man-clad figure appeared from around the corner. "Right this way, Mr. Kent. Follow me." He brusquely grabbed Clark by the elbow as soon as they were out of sight. He led him down two flights of stairs and into a dark hallway. He opened a metal door with a large key, never loosening his grip on Clark. Clark decided to play along, and allowed himself to be roughly shoved into a small room. He heard the retreating steps of his kidnapper as he surveyed his surroundings.
"Hello, Mr. Kent," said a familiar voice. Clark looked up to the source of the voice and gasped in astonishment.
Lex Luthor, clad in a black suit and tights floated in the corner of the room. His gold cape billowed out behind him, as he pointed to the emblem on his chest: the same L that decorated the walls upstairs. "In the flesh. Well, actually, the new and improved flesh," he smiled as he pushed a gold button on his black belt and alit a few feet from where Clark stood.
"I thought you were dead," was all that Clark could manage to say.
"Don't worry. I fooled everyone. But now I'm back - and I intend to get what I want." With that, he pushed another button on the belt, then reached down and casually lifted a barbell from the floor. Clark could read the numbers on the side of the weight: 1000 lbs..
"What is it that you want?" Clark questioned.
"Lois!" Lex answered, repeating the button maneuver, then bending the barbell in half with his hands.
Clark turned towards the door.
"Hold it there, Mr. Kent," Lex ordered. He quickly spanned the distance between them and brusquely pushed Clark against the door. "You're just dressed as Superman; I'm the real thing."
He pushed Clark onto a metal chair. "It's fitting that you're dressed as Superman today. If you must know, you're really my second choice. I wanted him, but I haven't been able to find another source of Kryptonite."
"But why me?" Clark asked, sensing a good story.
"You and Superman put a wedge between Lois and me. You drove her away from me and ruined my chance of happiness with her once, and I'm not going to let you do it again. This time, she'll be all mine."
With a cackle, Lex produced a sturdy chain of metal link and started to wrap it around Clark's hands. Clark put on a show of mild resistance, but was soon securely bound to the chair.
"I hope you like it hot, because I've programmed the temperature in here to rise to 300 degrees within a few minutes. And don't count on your friend Superman for help - this room is soundproof and lead-lined." With that, he was gone in a flash of black and gold, slamming the door behind him.
At least the bad guys had picked on him this time and not on Lois, Clark thought, as he twitched his chest and broke the chains surrounding him. True to Lex's word, the room was lead-lined and his X-ray vision was unable to penetrate the ceiling and clue him in as to what was happening upstairs. He slicked back his hair at super-speed, then removed his glasses and put them in his secret storage compartment. He smiled as he thought of Resplendent Man and his many questions - if he only knew where Superman stored things!
When Superman arrived upstairs two minutes later, he was able to slip in without being noticed as all eyes were on the spectacle in the center of the ballroom. "And now presenting the new CEO of Lexcorp…Ladies and Gentlemen…Mr. Lex Luthor!"
The crowd gasped, then cheered as Lex Luthor flew into the room and landed at Lois' side. "Marry me, Lois and anything you want will be yours," he said, as he lifted her up with a billow of his gold cape.
"Put her down, Lex," commanded Superman, arriving with a swish at Lex's side. "The only thing that's going to be yours is an extended jail term."
"That's what you think, Superman," mocked Lex, as he suddenly karate-kicked Superman, while still holding Lois suspended in mid-air.
"Superman!" shrieked Lois, as Superman fell backwards from the force of the blow. He quickly regained his composure and went after Lex. Lex placed Lois in front of his body like a shield."
"Oh, that's some way to show her you love her, Lex."
Lex responded by flying down to the stage, still tightly gripping Lois. The 5-piece combo quickly disbanded, flinging guitars and keyboards in their efforts to get out of harm's way. Superman plucked an accordion out of the air seconds before it hit a frightened woman in a Catwoman suit. Lex reached down and grabbed an entire drum set with his right hand, still holding Lois captive with his left. He hurled the instrument at Superman, who reeled backwards as the drum crashed against his head with a bang.
Superman instinctively reached for a weapon, tearing an amplifier out of the wall. "You wouldn't want to hurt the pretty lady, would you?" mocked Lex, holding Lois firmly in front of him by both of her shoulders. Superman dropped the amplifier. "In fact," continued Lex, "you probably wouldn't want to be responsible for anyone getting hurt."
His threat was immediately apparent as he swooped down to the nearest table and grasped it with one hand. The ten people sitting there looked on in horror as the table, laden with drinks and appetizers, came crashing down upon them. Superman zoomed in and caught the table, quickly uprighting it before it could cause any real damage.
"Stop right there, Lex," Superman commanded, "this has gone on long enough." He directed his comments to Lex, who was hovering near the chandelier in the center of the ceiling.
"I don't think so, Superman. But, you know, you can have Lois. She's too much trouble." With that, he dropped Lois and ripped the crystal chandelier from the its base. Pushing a button on his belt, he shot over to the nearest window and flew out, leaving broken glass in his wake.
Superman immediately was upon Lois, cradling her gently in his right arm. With his left hand, he plucked the plummeting light fixture out of mid-air. Within milliseconds, they were both safely on the ground. Superman sped away bolted out of the window after Lex, while Lois raced across the dance floor to the window to get a better view.
Lex was still in view and Superman quickly cut the distance between them. He aimed his heat vision at the back of Lex's belt, which immediately began to melt and smoke. It exploded in a puff, as Lex tumbled towards the ground.
"Oww, help…I'm on fire," screamed Lex as continued falling.
Superman hesitated for an instant. No, he had to save Lex this time, especially since he hadn't been able to the last time he "died." He blew out the fire, then caught Lex just inches from impact.
Superman smiled at Lois, who had witnessed the whole scene through the broken window. "Superman, where's Clark?" asked Lois, slowly recovering from the events of the last few minutes.
"He's in a safe place. I'm sure he'll be right back. But you may not see Lex for awhile." Superman said, as tightly gripping Lex, he disappeared in a blur of blue and red.
"Fine by me," whispered Lois with a small smile. She felt a light tap on her shoulder and turned to face a familiar blue and red caped figure with slicked-back black hair.
"A dance would be fine with me also, Lois," he said, leading her out to the dance floor. They started to sway back and forth to the music. Lois pulled back slightly from his strong embrace and encircled him with her silver Lasso of Truth.
"I need to ask you a question." said Lois, looking directly into the familiar brown eyes which were no longer hidden by glasses.