Summary: Lois accepts Clark's proposal of marriage but takes it back when she remembers that she loves Superman more.
"Lois, will you marry me?" Clark repeated his question. Lois was sitting in the rain, looking at the diamond ring he held in shock.
Finally, she answered. "Of course, Clark. But, I thought you were going to say something else," replied Lois in an inquisitive manner.
Clark started to contemplate telling her his secret. She had just agreed to marry him; if she learned that he had lied, she might break it off. But, on the other hand, how could you have a steady marriage when your husband leaves your side every important moment, for example during childbirth, and comes back with a dumb or no excuse. Clark finally decided to tell her, no matter the consequences, as the storm stopped.
Clark took off his trademark glasses, and started intently into Lois' beautiful brown eyes. "Lois, look at me. What do you see? Do I look like anyone else you know?" asked Clark, hoping she'd answer truthfully.
Lois stared at his face. His eyes were warm and brown, familiar like Superman's eyes were. His hair was the same as Superman, as was his build. He looked like Superman! But, Lois thought it was a ridiculous idea! She loved Clark, truly she did, but he wasn't as heroic as Superman.
Superman. Lois had forgotten about Superman. Once, she remembered him, she remembered that she loved him more than Clark.
"Well … No, I can't!" stated Lois, stopping herself.
"Please, Lois, tell me what you were going to say."
"No, I didn't mean that, Clark. I meant that I can't marry you."
Clark looked crestfallen. "Why not?" he asked quietly. He hoped to high heaven that it wasn't anyone like Lex Luthor, or Dan Scardino.
"Clark, I do love you. But, being out here in the rain, looking up at the stars, I forgot all about Superman. Clark, I love him more," replied Lois.
Clark didn't become angry, but he did ask her a question. "Lois, how much do you know about Superman?"
Lois answered best she could. "He's kind, helpful, heroic, sweet, loving, romantic, smart, understanding, and, handsome."
"Yes. But, do you know where he lives? Who his parents are?" replied Clark.
Lois looked at him in disbelief. "Clark, he's a superhero! He doesn't need parents. He doesn't need anybody. It's amazing that he loves me."
"Lois, everybody needs somebody," said Clark, putting his glasses back on. The tears that he had been holding back began to wet his glasses. It hurt him that Lois was still in love with her hero, and hadn't been able to love Clark as a real person. He couldn't tell her now; she didn't love the 'true' him. He sighed deeply.
"Clark, I'm sorry," replied Lois, softly.
Clark heard her, but did not respond. He just looked at his wet black shoes.
"Clark, please. I still want to be best friends with you; I still want to be your partner."
Clark looked up, and at her. Lois continued:
"You still have something to tell me?" she asked. He started:
"Let's do a 'what if'. Lois, what if I was Superman? What if Jimmy was Superman? Would that hurt your relationship with him?"
"No. I'd love him if he was a lawyer from Nebraska. I don't love him because of his cape, Clark, I love him because he's him. " Lois replied. Clark contemplated.
"Lois, what do you like about me?" he asked her.
"Lots, Clark. You're kind, understanding, helpful, sweet, intelligent, and handsome. Clark, if there was no Superman, I'd marry you in a second. But, there is, and I love him more. Can't you accept that? I told you from the beginning, not to fall for me."
"Yes, but you said you loved me."
"Clark, I meant that. I did fall for you, but Superman is still first on my list," replied Lois. Clark took off his glasses, again, and stared into Lois' eyes.
"Lois, at least answer one more question for me. Do I remind you of anyone?" questioned Clark, with the question that she had yet to answer.
"Yes, Clark. With your glasses off, you look like Superman. But, Clark, what's you're secret. Before, it sounded like you had a secret," she replied.
Clark sighed heavily. "You've already guessed it, Lois."
"That you look like Superman? That's your secret?" asked Lois in confusion.
"Yes. I look like Superman. I sound like Superman. Lois, haven't you been able to figure it out yet? I am Superman!" yelled Clark, in frustration, forgetting that he wasn't going to tell her. Thankfully, no one was around to hear that. Lois looked at him, stunned, but refused to believe him.
"Clark, I know you love me, but that's no reason to lie," she told him, and turned away from him. Clark looked up at the clouded sky, then back at Lois. She didn't believe him. No matter that she didn't love the 'true' him, she had to know who else he was. He hoped she wouldn't be hurt; Clark felt no need for revenge.
Clark removed his tie, and unbuttoned his shirt. His red, white, and, blue suit peeked out. Then, he spun very quickly into his full Superman suit.
"Lois," he called. She turned back around to face him, and stared at him.
"Superman?" she asked him. Clark hesitated a moment, then shook his head.
"Clark," he told her softly. Hot tears burst from her eyes.
"You lied to me!" she cried out.
"Lois, please," pleaded Clark.
"You lied to me. Why did you lie to me Clark? I thought you loved me," she whimpered.
"Lois, I love you with all my heart. I love you more than life. All I did was try to protect you."
"Well, Clark, you can stop protecting me! I never want to see you again, Superman!" she cried. Then, she ran off, and left 'The Man of Steel' with tears cascading down his cheeks.
Lois walked quickly down the deserted streets towards her apartment. The rain had started again; she was soaked. But, she wasn't cold. She was burning with fury at Clark.
He had lied to her! All that time she had thought him to just be a sweet normal guy, who didn't know how to make up excuses. More times than one, she had confessed her problems to him, her deepest fears and secrets. And, he had never told her this until now!
Lois thought about him a moment longer. Then, she thought of Lex Luthor, of Dan Scardino, of all the guys that had asked her for her hand in marriage before college graduation. She decided she didn't need Clark, or Superman. She could have any guy she wanted!
Fuming about Clark, she didn't notice a blue van in front of her, following her. But, she did notice, however, when a pair of gloved hands came out from the back of the van, and snatched her up.
She sat on the van floor, startled. A short young man, with shock red waves, and beady black eyes tied her up, and gagged her. Two other men stood near him, smiling ruefully.
The redhead smiled. "Hi-ya, Lo-Lo. Remember me?" said the redhead, calling her by her high-school nickname.
Lois shook her head. "Well, Lois, I didn't expect you to. I'm Ricky Myers, from high school. You dumped me for Craig. Since then, my life has gone downhill. But, yours seems to have been going up. So, I waited until your highest point, today, and caught you. With you, I'm getting rid of you, and Superman. I'm having my revenge!" he laughed, inhumanly.
As the van picked up speed, Lois' thoughts turned again to Superman. She might just need him, after all…
Clark walked about the park. He was upset, but not at Lois. He was upset at himself. He was such a fool to think that Lois would like him better than his alter ego, Superman. Now, he had lost her in both ways, as Clark and as Superman. She never wanted to see him again!
"Help, Superman!" came a resounding cry from somewhere, far off. No one in Metropolis. Clark wiped away his tears. It would do no good to save someone while he was breaking down inside, and showing it. Since he was still in his Superman suit, he left quickly, flying towards that far-off cry, and away from any thoughts or memories of Lois.
Lois stared at Ricky, as he ordered one of his henchmen to take off her gag. She was still tied up, but now, she could talk.
"Ricky, listen. We could forget this whole thing. I just broke up with my guy, and I'm open. Why don't we just date?" asked Lois.
"Please. You'd never date me. I'm an evil villain. I'm ugly! Come on, Lo-Lo. Your last two loves were Clark Kent, star reporter, and Superman, the hero. You'd never go for me. The only reason you're even trying is so that I won't kill you, or Superman."
"I could care less for him, but that's besides the point. What revenge do you possibly have against Superman?"
"The fact that he's another guy that you love, when you can't love me. And, he's landed me in jail a few dozen times." he told her.
Lois couldn't deny her heart. She still loved Clark. "How would you kill him?" she asked, hoping for a gun or a bomb. Something that wouldn't hurt Clark.
Ricky grinned, and took out some kryptonite, glowing with fury …
Clark took the last person out of the blazing apartment building, a little girl named Blaze. It was an appropriate name for this fire. He handed her to her middle-aged mother.
People crowded about him, with their normal thank- you's. He didn't hear them, though. Far off, he heard the famous "Help, Superman!" cry. It was Lois. Clark flew at top speed back to Metropolis.
On his way, he stopped short. Why was she calling to him, when she didn't want to ever see him again? Something was terribly wrong. Clark wished that he could go faster.
Still, he got to the blue van quickly. It was almost out of Metropolis. Clark pulled open the door.
Lois looked at him. She had kind of not expected him to come, but he had. He shouldn't have though, after how mean she had been. His face was a little tear-streaked, he must have been crying. Lois thought he was crazy to love her.
As Clark got into the van, he noticed a gash going down her right cheek (Ricky had made it a moment before). It was bloody. Clark glared at Ricky. He had hurt her!
Ricky smiled, confidently. "Hi, Superman. Ready for your death?" he asked him, his little eyes turning into beads of fire. He took out the kryptonite. Clark winced, and fell to the van floor.
"Put him over there, boys." Ricky said, after watching Superman lose almost all of his strength, kryptonite still grasped in his small hand. He didn't have enough strength left to fight back when the henchmen tried to pick him up. But, they couldn't pick him up.
"He's too heavy, boss. It's like picking up steel."
"Oh, just leave him there. I'll kill him here, so Lo-Lo will have the joy of watching him die before her." he said.
"No!" cried Lois.
"You're still tied up, Lois. You can't stop me, and neither can he." said Ricky, looking at Superman in disgust.
"Go say good-bye to him, Lois. I'll give ya a moment alone." he said, and went to the front of the van with his henchmen in tow.
Lois called to him softly. "Clark?"
"Yes?" he asked her. He hadn't moved from where Ricky's henchmen had dropped him.
"Are you all right?"
"Sure." he mumbled. "Nothing but a broken heart, and weakness from the kryptonite."
"Clark, how much strength do you have?" she asked, ignoring his comment.
"Enough to leave, I guess."
"No, Lois. I told you before, I love you more than life. I won't live if you die. But, I will make sure that you don't die." he said.
With most of his little gaining strength, he stood up, and went towards her at a slow pace, for him (though it was plenty quick for her). Using his heat vision, he burned the rope enough to unravel, and then he fell to the floor in exhaustion.
Lois finished untying her rope. She thought about quickly escaping, but that was out of the question. For one thing, she wasn't going to let Clark die. For another, the van was going 80 m.p.h. She couldn't go if she wanted to.
As she stood, thinking of her dilemma, Ricky climbed back over the backseat, and in to the back of the van, without his henchmen. In his right hand was a polished pistol, glistening in the dimness of the van's light. In his left was that piece of kryptonite. He grinned, and began to corner Lois.
"Ricky, please. Isn't their some way we can work this out?" pleaded Lois. Ricky contemplated.
"I'll make it easy for you, Lois. Marry me, and I'll let your hero go. You'll stay with me." he said.
Lois saw that Clark was gaining strength, because Ricky had turned the kryptonite away from him, and towards Lois, at the other side of the van. He (Ricky) had also wrapped it up in something, and stuck it in his pocket. Lois decided to buy more time.
"Would this include all of the vows made?"
"Yes. In richness, and in poorer, in sickness, and in health. As long as we both shall live. This means no divorce, Lois." he warned. Clark began to stand very quietly. Lois continued :
"Would this include making love?"
"Yes, of course, and many times at that. I want a Ricky Jr., and a Lois Jr., and a Richard, and a Ricardo, and a Loisette, and a Lu-Lu … " he said. Lois saw that Clark had almost fully gained his strength, and was hovering behind him. Lois decided to end this charade now!
"Well, then … " she started.
"Yes?" he asked her.
"Never." she said defiantly.
"Then say bye-bye to Superman, Lo-Lo." he turned around, and was face to face with a smiling Superman!
"I'll take that, thank-you." he said, and took the kryptonite out of Ricky's pocket. He threw it to Lois, who threw it out of the van window. Ricky, in turn, glared at the both of them. Then, he pointed his pistol at Lois.
"You can save Superman, but you can't save yourself, Lois." he said. He began to slowly pull the trigger.
"Sorry, Ricky, but I don't think so." said Clark, stepping in. He quickly grabbed the gun from Ricky, and easily tied it in a bow, like ribbon. He left Ricky with his hands still ready to shoot.
Then, Clark calmly left Ricky stunned, and went to the front of the van, cape floating about him. There was no one there. Clark guessed that when they had heard trouble, they had stopped the van, and ran out. It didn't matter. Clark went back to Lois and Ricky.
"Well, where are they?" asked Lois. Clark shrugged.
"They're gone, but you're still here, Ricky. Ready for a lifetime in prison?" asked Clark. Then, he, quick as a wink, dropped Ricky at the jail.
Soon, he was back at Lois' side, dressed back in his soaked 'Clark' clothes, no longer Superman. He was still depressed.
"Lois, we aren't that far from Metropolis. I'm going to take you back, and then leave." he told her. He went towards the front seat. Lois followed him.
"What do you mean leave?" she asked him.
"Exactly what I said, leave. Perhaps, I'll go to California." he told her. He sat at the drivers seat, and started the car.
"Clark, are you serious?"
"Yes." he told her. He started along the highway.
"Clark, please don't go. I said before, I want to be your best friend, I want to be your partner … " she started.
"Still? You said you never wanted to see me again." he interrupted, eyes on the highway.
"Clark, I love you. I didn't mean that. I was just hurt and angry. But, continuing what I was saying, I want to be your fiancee." she told him. He turned around, and stopped the car. He looked at her.
"Clark, yes! I want to marry you. Where's that engagement ring?" she asked him. He grinned, and withdrew the ring, and put it on her finger. The emerald cut diamond glittered.
"Lois, I think we should celebrate the occasion." he told her. Lois smiled. Clark spun into his Superman suit, and took her out of the van (which was parked in an abandoned garage), and into the sky.
The stars and moon glistened. Clark was levitating near them (the stars), holding Lois close. The two lovers kissed…