By Debby Stark
Summary: A humorous pre-relationship story inspired by previews of the episode "The Eyes Have It."
This story was thought up on January 11 and 12, written on the 13th, and also submitted on January 13, 1995, late, as an alternative scenario to the as-yet unbroadcast L&C episode apparently named, I believe, "The Eyes Have It" to be broadcast on January 22, 1995. It is "alternative" because I doubt the writers thought of it, though I wouldn't mind being psychic, either… firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lois Lane got wind that something odd was going down at Galaxy Labs (Star Laboratories' up-and-coming rival) well before Perry White even dreamed of assigning her to look into it. As for Clark Kent, her if not courageous at least well-meaning Watson, he wasn't in the office that Wednesday. He had yet to learn that sometimes it didn't pay to take ones regular day off. She pulled on her running shoes, grabbed her purse and was out the door and into her jeep before Jimmy, who she nearly ran down, could say let alone spell Pulitzer.
Some time later she found a blind alley behind the big, scientific research facility on the edge of town. She rolled to a quiet stop but left the jeep in idle as she planned to be there only long enough to case the joint and decide on a better approach to take later that evening. Maybe she'd call Clark and wake him up to join her.
But, much to her surprise, she saw Superman (who she recognized because no one else had such broad shoulders nor could wear a red cape so well) walking — no *staggering* along, heading away from her deeper into the alley, reaching out, touching the wall of the building as though for balance. As she rushed up behind him she called out "Superman?"
He staggered to a halt, apparently grabbed at his chest, turned and looked vaguely in her direction. "Lois? Don't sneak upon me like that!"
"Huh? Are you all right?" Her well-honed investigative senses told her that Something Was Wrong. His eyes were glazed and blood shot, and he didn't seem able to focus on her. As he appeared to be trying to think of something to say, with trepidation she carefully waved her hand before his face. No reaction. "You can't see…"
"Actually… no. I was investigating something here and several men jumped out and there was a flash and," he shuttered "darkness!"
"Ohmigosh! Well, you can't stay *here*! Whoever did this could be looking for you!"
"I think it happened in this building…" he patted around for it, found a wall, looked relieved. "I don't know how I got out, except there were fisticuffs and I threw some people around and when it was quiet I broke through some walls…"
It was then she noted some yards away a Superman-sized hole in the brick wall. "I can see where you broke through…" She imme- diately regretted using the word "see" and hoped he wouldn't take it personally. "Well, you still can't stay here. I'll take you to my place where you can rest and we can figure out something to do."
"Your place? Past the guard? Through the lobby? Up the eleva- tor? 18 floors? No, Lois, I think I'd rather fly to the Gobi Desert—"
"No, wait! *That's* not up!"
"Okay, okay, maybe… I won't fly right now. I know: take me to Clark's place."
"Clark?" Not *there*, Clark'd try to scoop this story for sure… "Ah, but it's his day off!"
"So? He lives on the ground floor in a working-class neighbor- hood. Everyone will be at work and there will be less of chance I'll be seen, understand?"
She had to admit that made sense. Also, the desperate look now on Superman's almost boyish face tugged at her heart. Maybe she wouldn't write a story about this — and kill Clark if he suggested doing so himself. "Okay, I'll take you there. Let me help you…"
She got him on to the floor behind the front seat of her jeep and covered him with the blanket she had there in the event she was stranded in a snow storm. She also told him he should feel to take a drink from the canteen of water she carried in case she broke down in the desert.
Not wanting to be stopped for anything remotely resembling a traffic violation, she drove carefully to the north side of town and Clark's quiet neighborhood. She had never appreciated it much, but today it was a wonderful place for her partner to live. Superman was right, too: there was no traffic and no prying eyes. She stole up to Clark's door and tried the knob. Locked. Where was he when she needed him? But no, she didn't need him actually. She pulled out a spare credit card and breezed through the lock as though she'd had her own personal key. The apartment was dark and homey feeling.
She ran back to the jeep, looked around again making sure the coast was clear, and helped the Man of Steel out of the jeep, up the steps (he only tripped once and didn't swear at all though she did), and into Clark's apartment.
"We're in!" she announced as she shut and locked the door behind them.
"I don't hear him…"
"He's not here."
"Good. Sometimes I don't think he can take the strain of adventure."
"But he's good at other things, like… well, I know he'll have something you can drink, but it probably won't be very strong. You sit down over… here… in this… nice… comfortable… chair… and I'll see what I can find in his kitchen."
"Can you just relax?"
"I'll relax in a minute."
She found nothing stronger than ginger ale or more exotic than pear juice. Great, Clark, she thought, am I going to have to teach you to drink, too? She finally decided that ice water would do. She fixed a tall glass of it and pressed it into Superman's right hand. She didn't like how he was sitting there like a lump, staring at nothing, looking almost thoughtful and definitely worried.
"Would you like to lay down with a cool cloth—"
"How about some music? I'm sure he has a radio around here somewhere—"
"Maybe we should be listening to the news for clues, the villains could be gloating about this and—"
"No, no, no." He reached around for what Lois realized he'd think might be a table, found one before she could help, put the otherwise untouched glass of water there, and stood up. He looked more steady, that was something. "I'm going out for a little air."
"You can't fly! You can't *see*!"
"But I can hear just fine, and I'll be careful not to run into anything. Maybe I'll just go straight up so landing will be easier after I've thought this through. You'll have calmed down, too, and maybe his will have cleared up by then. Now, where's a window? I don't want to break down a wall again…"
"I'm going to talk you out of this—"
"No, you're not, and if you don't want to have to explain why Clark has a new ventilation system, you *better* point me at a window."
"All right, all right, *be* pig-headed, see if I care!" What a stupid thing to say, she thought after saying it, she did care, a lot. But he *was* being pig-headed… "There's a window in Clark's bedroom. It faces out into a courtyard and there's nothing overhead."
"That will do."
She guided him to the bedroom and opened the window. He fell out through it, picked himself up unhurt, let go of his grasp on gravity, and began to float up, up, up…
When she had lost sight of him (she looked briefly around Clark's bedroom for binoculars but saw none), she gave up, pulled back inside, left the window open just in case, sat down on the bed, and began to cry.
But, because in a few minutes she heard someone at the front door, she dried her tears and went out into the front room in time to, at worse, defend Clark's apartment from burglars, or, at best, welcome Superman back because he'd had second thoughts, regained enough sight to return this way, or something equally wonderful.
Nope, it was only Clark, carrying a bag of groceries. "You?" she said. "What are *you* doing here?"
"Me? I live here. You, on the other hand, must have broken in. Am I going to have to call the police? I warn you, I know Inspector Henderson, he's mumbled at me a few times, which means we're like this:" and he held up two fingers, like brothers.
"Clark, I didn't break in, friends don't break in, and besides, I had Superman with me."
"Superman?" Clark looked surprised. He put down the groceries on the kitchen table and said with some excitement, "So *he* broke in, huh? Where is he?" He looked around and then pointed at the glass of water. "Did he leave that there? Without a coaster?! If that makes a stain—"
"Okay, then, I can forgive him, he probably doesn't know any better. Where is he? Is he taking a.. Is he in the bathroom?"
"Clark! Superman doesn't take leaks! He's above that!" and actually he was… above…
"You know that for a fact? You never told *me*, your *partner*, about that…" and he shook his head. "But then again, that makes him like a Gila Monster, I guess, and that's not something I'd want spread around because they're mean when they're full…"
"Clark, will you shut up for a moment so I can explain?"
"Okay, explain, *if* you can."
"Oh, I can. Superman's blind! I found him wandering around behind Galaxy Labs. I think he stumbled on to some experiment they were performing and they turned it on him and look what happened!"
"They blinded him? A guy with heat vision like lasers? Ha!"
"Well, maybe they used mirrors and turned it back on him—"
"And he didn't out run it?"
"Even *Superman* can't fly faster than the speed of light!"
"Who says? Sure he can fly that fast, every day," he started unpacking his groceries, "and twice before breakfast on Saturdays, but never, *never* on a Sunday."
She gave him a narrow look as he began to hum a jaunty Melina Mercouri-esque tune.
"And who told you that?"
"Oh, he did. We were having drinks together—"
"No, you weren't, you liar! You're just lying!"
"Well, okay, maybe we weren't drinking together, but he *would* have told me that, I'm sure. I mean, I've invited him over, like to play poker with Perry and Yusef and the others, and you, when you decide to come, when it's my turn to host, but he always has some excuse." He lowered his voice unconvincingly. "'Sorry, Clark, I'll be saving someone that night' or 'I hear a dam's going to burst then.' Like he's going to know, right? Do you know what I think his *real* excuse is?"
Lois couldn't believe her ears and her stunned expression didn't cause Clark to pull up and think for even one moment. "Ah…?"
"*I* think he's gay."
"Yep, it's obvious if you think about it. That tight, sugges- tive suit, his working with all those policemen, and then going after that fashion-plate power-house Lex Luthor. *I* think he's afraid to come here because it's mostly guys on poker nights and he thinks his latent tendencies will—"
By this time she'd picked up the nearest nonbreakable thing, a couch pillow, to throw at him, and spotted a good heavy book to follow it. She planned to work her way down the coffee table and then head for the bookcase.
But he caught the pillow, ducked the book and pointed at her. "Stop that!"
"Well, you stop saying stupid things! He's *not* gay!"
"Oh, yeah? How do you know? — Don't answer that, I don't want the mushy details."
"I'll mush you!"
"Don't you *dare* throw anything more, I can't afford broken things. *Some* people have one all-purpose suit and can sleep any- where with anyone, but *I* have rent and taxes to pay and neighbors who worry, and an appearance to keep up."
"Clark, shut up!"
"Are you hungry?"
"Good, that leaves more for me," and he started constructing a Dagwood-style sandwich.
As she glared at him she realized her mouth was watering. "Well, I'm a little hungry…"
He gave her a skeptical look. "And I'm supposed to feed you and you won't even tell me where you're hiding him because you thought I wasn't coming home?"
"I'm not hiding him, he went out for a spin — a fly, to cool off…"
"Oh, great, now I'll have to buy flares and set them out for him and get out there and wave flags…"
"No, you won't, because he couldn't see them…" and she sniffed… The anger Clark had goaded her into, she realized suddenly, had scared away her tears, but now her hunger was threatening to bring them back again. "Oh, Clark, he looked so helpless…" and she sat down at the dining room table and sighed heavily.
Clark worked quickly and put a plate full of sandwich in front of her. "Eat," he instructed. "It'll make you feel better."
She doubted anything could do that but seeing her hero flying high with a glint in his eye (a glint inspired by her admittedly). But, "Okay…" She picked up the sandwich and bit in. Oh, it tasted good…
He sat down across from her with a sandwich twice as big, took a bite, ruminated on it for a while, and eventually could say, "It looks like we'll have to find out who did it to him, if it was accidental or on purpose, and, most important, if they plan to use the same weapon, if it was a weapon, on the city itself. Maybe it's actually a good thing he went in first. If they think they've scared him off… which I guess they have… they won't be expecting less… powerful people to be investigating them…"
"Oh, Clark, I knew you'd help…" and she wondered how she could ever have missed those sincere, brown eyes of his or that nice smile… "You've got mustard on your chin." Yep, that was how.
But he wiped it off and his eyes just twinkled…