By Gina M. DiUbaldo (GMD614@aol.com)
Summary: Lois runs to Perry for advice when she notices a rapport between Superman and Martha Kent — it even looked like he called her "mom."
This is my first attempt at writing fanfiction. My story takes place after ATAI, but before a revelation. Big thanks to ROEY DiU and CatTess for their input. Any and all comments will be appreciated. Well, here it goes … Summary: Lois runs to Perry for advice when she notices a rapport between Superman and Martha Kent — it even looked like he called her "mom."
Lois crossed the newsroom with great purpose in her step. Ignoring morning greetings from fellow workers, she pushed open the door to Perry White's office and closed it behind her.
"Do you have a few minutes, Perry?", Lois asked almost rhetorically. Without pause, she continued. "Something happened last night, at least I think it did. I am not so sure. I mean, I am sure I heard what I heard, but I am not so sure it meant what I think it means … Oh, but it has to!!! After all this time - the little things I didn't notice - it DOES make sense … "
Perry stopped her. "Hold it. Hold it right there, Lois. You sure do have a knack for babble, Honey. Sometimes, I wonder how you ever became the best darn reporter this paper's ever seen."
Except for Clark, the Chief knew Lois better than anyone, and right now the expression on her face - the look in her eyes - was something Perry had never seen before.
"What is it, Darlin'?" Perry put a reassuring arm around Lois' shoulders.
"I think Clark has been lying to me."
Tears welled up in Lois' eyes and Perry wasn't certain how to answer her. Guiding Lois to the couch under the newsroom window, Perry sat next to her and waited for Lois to continue.
"I was having dinner with Clark and his parents last night at that new French restaurant. We were sitting by the big window that overlooks the park. Some sort of commotion started outside … a woman was being mugged. I turned to see if Clark was going to get the story, but he was already gone. Typical."
Perry's eyes never left Lois as she continued.
"I ran outside … Superman dropped out of the sky … the thief is in custody and the woman got her purse back."
"Well, sounds like an ordinary evening in Metropolis to me, Lois."
Lois stood up and began pacing, shaking her head, trying to piece her thoughts together.
"There's more. The Kents followed me out. We were standing together when Superman came over to give me a quote. I asked if he had seen Clark and … "
Falling back down onto the couch, Lois put her head on Perry's shoulder and began to cry.
"Oh, Lois … "
Handing her a handkerchief, Perry urged Lois to continue.
"Jonathan was going on and on about the mugging and the mechanics of writing the story. I thought it was strange. He never showed such an enthusiastic interest before. Anyway, I noticed Martha and Superman standing away from the crowd. Martha was examining a tear in Superman's cape."
Lois paused and took a deep breath, forcing herself to say these words aloud for the first time.
"They were laughing, Perry, and she patted him on the chest. I got this very weird feeling … like I'd seen them together this way before … Martha and Superman … the way she looked at him. Jonathan was trying to divert my attention and then … "
Lois' tears started falling again. Perry just held her, letting her shed these tears. She needed to release some of this pain - pain Perry always worried would get the better of Lois. Perry stood and walked to his desk. He moved a picture of Alice and the boys and sat right on the edge.
"Go on, Honey. Let me hear the rest of it."
Nodding, Lois dried her cheeks, wiped her nose, and pressed on.
"Martha reached up and kissed Superman on the cheek. Perry, I'd bet my reputation as a reporter - I'd bet my life- that Superman said, 'Thanks, Mom.' I couldn't really hear him, but that's what it LOOKED like he said. Could that be right??? … Yes!!! … That's what he said. I'm sure of it."
Lois stopped her rambling and looked at Perry - hoping for some logical explanation from this man she'd grown to love almost like a father. Perry knew what Lois was searching for; he read it in her eyes, but Lois' story only confirmed what Perry had suspected for some time.
Before he could answer, Lois continued.
"He told me he loved me. He PROPOSED!!! Didn't he trust me enough to tell me? Clark and I are partners, Perry, in just about every sense of the word. What do I do now?"
Perry didn't know what to say to comfort Lois. Honestly, he too felt a little betrayed. Lois had never really trusted men since the day Perry met her. Perry changed that a little; so did Jimmy, but even Jimmy seemed so different from the boy he was just over a year ago. As a veteran journalist, and "Captain" of the Daily Planet news team, Perry knew a thing or two about people. He knew that just the right man would come along to soften Lois and win her heart completely. The moment Perry saw Lois and Clark standing together in his office, he knew. Clark would be the one.
He took Lois by the hands and firmly said, "Don't do this to yourself. Think about it, Lois. You are an award- winning journalist. Think about the consequences of Clark's secret becoming public knowledge. Darlin', let Clark tell his side of the story. As sure as Elvis was King, this must have torn Clark up inside … having to live a double life … having to keep this from you."
Lois tried to smile. Perry gave her a quick hug.
Rubbing her temples, Lois said, "You're right, but I am just so … soooo … ooohhhh!!!"
Suppressing the desire to scream, "Stop the presses!" Perry asked, "Did you speak to Clark at all last night? He called me at home looking for you, "worried sick" were his words. He said he called all over town."
"Called, Perry? Or flew?" Lois bit her lip to keep from crying again.
"I take it you didn't call him back."
Lois shook her head. "I considered it for about two seconds before "Superman" climbed through my window."
"Did he have any idea you'd caught on, Honey? Any idea at all?"
Lois took a deep, cleansing breath. "No. I can't actually believe this is happening." She mustered up a little laugh. "You should have seen his face, Perry. Too bad Jimmy wasn't around to capture that one on film."
"Ha. You let him have it, did you?"
"Oh, no. Much worse! I was completely calm and rational. Poor Clark. He must think aliens replaced the real me with a synthetic facsimile."
Aliens! That word. Lois couldn't think about that just yet. No - not now.
"I just told him the truth - that there's a look a woman gets when she stares into the face of her child, and that I must have been galactically stupid not to have seen it before. I told him I couldn't talk to him right then. Everything was still a blur. I said I'd deal with him here, at the Planet, this morning and I asked him to leave. I wonder if Clark's standing in front of his closet debating on showing up in an Armani suit or blue tights."
For the first time all morning, they both laughed an easy, familiar laugh. Perry squeezed Lois' hand.
"Go easy on him, Darlin'. This is going to be hard on BOTH of you."
With that, Lois went to her desk and tried to look busy. Her eyes continually wandered over to the elevator, then Clark's desk and his vacant chair. She laughed an ironic laugh to herself, wondering if Clark was off saving someone in trouble or trying to choose which tie to wear.
Superman = Clark
Clark = Superman
Lois looked at the words on paper. Seeing it - writing it down - making it more tangible somehow - made her stomach knot again. Lois lifted the picture of herself and Clark at the Daily Planet Christmas Party off her desk. She ran her fingers over Clark's face. Sighing, Lois thought, "Isn't this what I've wanted all along? How many nights have I spent staring at the ceiling, weighing the pros and cons of being with Clark … of being with Superman."
Clark or Superman. Clark or Superman. Even Dan couldn't hold her interest for very long. It has been Clark and Superman since they both entered her life two years ago. Clark Kent - every woman's dream husband. Superman - every woman's ultimate fantasy … Lois, lost in her thoughts, gasped when she felt a strong hand gently squeezing her shoulder. As Lois turned, and looked up into her partner's face - glasses in place, designer tie knotted - Clark said, "Do you think you are ready to deal with me now?"