By Amanda Pfeiffer (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Summary: Lois and Clark argue politics and manage to get nominated for a Pulitzer Prize — and disqualified — in a day's time.
Sit back, relax! I hope you like my story! E-mail me with you comments at email@example.com Thanx!
It seemed like just any ordinary week in Metropolis, with smog, traffic jams, and an occasional bank robbery. Well, that's about as normal as Metropolis can get! But this week would be different, it would hold one of the most exciting opportunities Lois and Clark would ever be offered. They would be stunned with strong emotions, trying to stay calm knowing that one of their greatest goals is about to be fulfilled and all the while hoping nothing will go wrong. But as we all know, something always does, that's what makes Lois and Clark's lives so special. They always seem to succeed when just about everything is standing in their way.
"Not another presidential campaign commercial, when you've seen one you've seen them all." Lois said, looking up from Clark's television set, "All they talk about are the good things they plan to do, but everyone knows they're just a bunch of lies. If politicians did everything they promised, our country would not be in the shape it's in today."
"Lois, that's a pretty strong statement. I wouldn't call them lies…"Clark replied, as he sat down on the sofa next to Lois.
Lois gave Clark one of her famous, You've got to be kidding me glares.
"They're just…campaign promises." said Clark, clarifying his statement.
"Yeah, off the wall campaign promises. Can you believe this Wendell Bryant guy has actually promised to lower the crime rate throughout the entire country by 75%? What's he planning on doing, clone a Superman for every city?" Lois said, pointing to the commercial on TV.
"Don't even say the word clone, okay? I've had enough of that for a lifetime! Besides according to that chart we ran in the evening addition, I don't think Mr. Bryant has the least chance of winning." Clark said, picking up the Planet's evening paper and pointing to an article.
"You're right about that, even though President Bailey has been more than generous in handing out every imaginable tax, I think it's safe to say that he is a sure thing for re-election." Lois agreed.
"I'm glad we finally wrapped up that insurance fraud story. Who would have guessed the Whitmores were involved? I know Metropolis is going to miss their charity contributions, but what's the use if everything they ever were was based on lies." Clark said, as he and Lois walked to work on Tuesday morning.
"That's reminds me, Perry wants us to cover that presidential debate this afternoon." Lois whined.
"Oh, joy!" Clark sarcastically exclaimed.
"I know, sounds thrilling to me too. It's not like we haven't heard enough mudslinging already." Lois said, relating to Clark frustration.
"No, it's not that, it's just…I got us tickets to that play you have been wanting to see and there's no way we are gonna make it there by seven, now." Clark complained.
"I wish you hadn't told me that. Now I'm gonna hate that debate even more than before." Lois said, in her best perturbed voice.
All eyes turned as Perry fled out of his office waving a fax with a look of astonishment on his face.
"Let me guess; they found Elvis living in the Holiday Inn downtown!" Lois exclaimed, with sarcastic urgency. She could tell something big was up when Perry didn't react to her comment.
"What's up, Chief?" Clark inquired, noticing the change of atmosphere in the newsroom.
"Uh, Uh…I have an announcement." Perry said, in a shockingly serious tone. A roar of concern filled the newsroom. Perry raised his hand to quiet everyone down. "I know I shouldn't be surprised, I mean we all knew it would happen sooner or later…"
Lois and Clark looked at each other as if they were expecting to hear that someone had died.
"How can I do this justice? Perry said, searching for the right words. "Oh, well, I'll just say it. Lois Lane and Clark Kent have been nominated for a Pulitzer!"
"What?!" Lois and Clark shouted in unison, both smiling as if they had just won the Publishers Clearing House Sweepstakes.
Perry turned around and headed toward his office. "Lane, Kent get in here now!" Perry screamed, yet not quite in his normal tone.
Lois and Clark did as they were told, still obviously in disbelief.
Perry didn't wait to let them sit down. "Kids, I don't know what to say. I'm so proud of the two of you, I can't think straight." Perry admitted, apparently speechless. "I'll just give you this, I need to sit down." Perry handed Clark the fax he had been waving and sat back in his chair.
Lois and Clark just looked at each other, smiling.
"I can't believe this is happening." Lois said, smiling. She put her hand on her head as she and Clark went to enter the convention hall where the presidential debate was taking place.
"I know. Who would have thought that all of this could result from that insurance fraud story? To be perfectly honest, I didn't think it was that well written." Clark said, sharing Lois' amazement.
"Neither did I. We worked on that thing so long. I was happy just to be done with it. Funny how it turned out to be the biggest insurance scam in history, huh?" Lois admitted, shyly.
"We've got to calm down and focus on the debate, so we can finish the story early and get some rest tonight. Don't forget, we have to meet Mrs. Chandler from the Pulitzer Committee tomorrow morning at 7:00." Clark said, taking a deep breath.
"You're right, we'd look pretty stupid if we screwed up covering a simple debate." Lois said, as they entered a security check point.
When Lois and Clark found their seats in the press section next to Jimmy, Lois could tell something was wrong. She and Clark had been a little late, but there were already huge groups of President Bailey's supporters leaving.
"Jimmy, what's going on?" Lois asked, as she watched a large crowd of Bailey supporters exit.
"Man, did you guys miss it!" Jimmy exclaimed.
"What?" Clark asked, curiously.
"President Bailey began the debate and the first thing that comes out of his mouth is that he plans on raising taxes, again." Jimmy explained.
"You must be joking." Lois interrupted.
"No, I'm not and as if that wasn't enough, he said he was going to stop allowing college scholarships. That went over really well." Jimmy said, sarcastically.
"I guess this is what happens when politicians stop lying and start telling the truth. Kinda makes you wish they hadn't stopped lying." Clark replied, looking at Lois.
"Why are so many people still hanging around then? They can't all be supporters of Wendell Bryant. What does he have to offer besides giving us all a chance to look at his authentic leisure suit?" Lois asked, in her most critical tone.
"Apparently, free coffee and doughnuts to everyone who stays." Jimmy replied, pointing to a sign posted on Wendell's side of the convention hall.
"I didn't realize we have so many hungry people in Metropolis." Lois commented. "I may take him up on his coffee offer though, this looks like it is going to be a long night."
"What a night!" Clark moaned, running hand through his hair.
"Wendell Bryant may be a jerk, but without that coffee, I would be in a coma right now." Lois admitted.
"Didn't you find it a little strong, though?" Clark asked.
"Yeah, it's just the kind we need around here." Lois said, laughing.
Lois and Clark entered Perry's office where the interview with Mrs. Chandler was to take place.
"Hi, Miss. Lane, Mr. Kent, I'm Mrs. Chandler with the Pulitzer Committee." Mrs. Chandler said, motioning for them both to have a seat. "I've been reading your work for sometime, but I was most impressed by your last article on the insurance scam." Mrs. Chandler praised them.
"Well, you should be, we worked a solid three weeks on that story." Clark interrupted. Lois gave Clark a shocked look, because she was surprised by his rude comment.
Mrs. Chandler seemed to shrug it off and went on with the interview. "Miss. Lane, that is a lovely outfit. Do you usually get so dressed up for work?" Mrs. Chandler inquired.
"I wore it to impress you. I'd do anything to get this award." Lois responded.
Clark kicked Lois lightly on the leg, but not light enough. Lois screamed, "Ouch!"
Mrs. Chandler looked stunned. She immediately stood up and exited the room.
Lois and Clark stared at one another, each shocked over the other's comment. "Why did you say that?!" They both shouted in unison.
Suddenly, Lois got a tremendous headache and started to rub her head in search of relief.
At that same moment, Clark heard the alarm at STAR Labs go off. After checking to make sure Lois was alright, he went to check things out.
Lois walked out of Perry's office and over to her desk. Realizing fully what had happened, she felt sick to her stomach. "Why?" Lois asked herself in a whisper. "All we ever worked for, down the toilet…why?"
Jimmy walked up to Lois' desk just as she was on the verge of tears. "Lois, what's wrong?" Jimmy asked.
Lois touched her head. "I don't know." she replied.
"Can you spare a minute? I want to show you something." Jimmy said, handing Lois a sheet of paper.
"Sodium Pentothal?" Lois questioned, after reading the paper.
"This morning I was feeling really energetic, but when Perry asked me to get some pictures developed, I just simply said no. He asked me what was wrong and then lost his temper. You know how he gets. Then I got this horrible headache. It went away pretty quick, but I still felt funny. When I went to pick up some stuff from STAR Labs, I asked Dr. Klein if he could take a look at me. He wasn't busy, so he ran a blood test and found this." Jimmy said, pointing to the drug on the sheet of paper he showed Lois.
"The name sounds familiar, but I can't put my finger on what it is." Lois said.
"It's the scientific name for truth serum." Jimmy said.
"What? Where would you come in contact with that?" Lois asked.
"Dr. Klein said that it had to have been ingested within the last eight hours and all I've had in that period of time was the coffee at the debate." Jimmy explained.
"That's why Clark and I acted so strangely!" Lois realized.
"What happened?" Jimmy asked.
"Let's just say, I don't think Clark and I are going to get that Pulitzer after all," Lois stated with anger. "and Wendell Bryant is going to regret it!"
"Lois, I found out about the truth serum from Dr. Klein. I assume Jimmy already told you." Clark told Lois when he returned from STAR Labs. "The question is, why would Wendell Bryant trick everyone into taking it?" Clark asked.
"I don't think he planned on everyone taking it, it was just a mishap." Lois replied. "I called a friend of mine with the secret service and he said that President Bailey has been sick with a headache all morning, since he obviously ingested more of the serum than we did. My guess is that all Wendell wanted to do is make an idiot out of President Bailey and I would say he definitely accomplished it."
"I don't suppose there were any long term effects to anyone except us. We had the chance of our lives snatched away." Clark said, with dismay.
"Well, there're two more people who are going to suffer. Wendell Bryant because he is going to be arrested and President Bailey, because now that everyone knows the "truth" about him, they'd have to be crazy to vote for him." Lois said, with a smile.
"I still can't figure out why that stuff affected me, though." Clark said, sounding a bit worried.
"Well, big boy," Lois said, patting Clark on the chest. "you may be Superman but inside you are just as human as the rest of us. Besides I'm kind of glad, you were affected."
"Why?" Clark asked.
"It makes me feel better knowing that us losing the Pulitzer wasn't entirely my fault." Lois answered.
Lois and Clark smiled at each other in spite of their disappointment.
Lois felt elegant in her new black formal. She had to admit, she and Clark made a cute couple especially now. Clark's bow tie seemed to do the trick.
When Mrs. Chandler went to the microphone to announce the winners of the Pulitzer Prize for Journalism, Lois sat back in her chair and relaxed. It was clear that she and Clark had been disqualified for the insurance scam story.
"And the winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Journalism is… the reporting team of Lois Lane and Clark Kent for their wonderful expose' on Wendell Bryant."
Lois nearly fell out of her chair and Clark almost choked on the food he was chewing.
"I thought we were disqualified?" Lois asked Perry.
"No, I said you were disqualified for the insurance scam story. I never said anything about the Wendell Bryant expose'." Perry answered, with a huge grin.
Lois reached over and kissed Perry on the cheek.
Lois and Clark walked hand in hand up to the microphone. Their acceptance speech was short and sweet. For once in her life, Lois was speechless. Clark summed up everything in one sentence. "I hope her name is first on the nameplate or I'll never hear the end of it." Clark said, with a laugh.
Lois leaned over and kissed Clark, because she happened to notice, IT WAS!