By Zoomway <Zoomway@aol.com>
Submitted October 1998
Summary: Mulder and Scully arrive on the scene to determine if our favorite alien is *really* an alien.
I wrote this very short fanfic back in 1994 when Lois and Clark and The X- Files had both just finished their first seasons. It's definitely not deep, just done for humor's sake ;) I kept meaning to send it to the archive, but kept forgetting, so I'll dedicate it to Steve, for reminding me. He gets all the blame. <g>
Metropolis USA 9:31 a.m.
A small, rented sedan pulled up in front of the Daily Planet building. An attractive, well dressed woman exited the passenger side and leaned up against the car. She shielded her eyes and gazed at the familiar landmark. Her male companion darted around the car and stood by her side.
"We finally made it," he said breathlessly.
The woman turned her gaze toward her friend. "I still don't know what we're doing here, Mulder. Wouldn't it have been cheaper to just subscribe to the paper."
"Very funny, Scully," he said, and he began escorting her to the entrance of the Planet. "This is where Trask started his investigation."
Scully pulled away from Mulder's grip. "Jason Trask! That nut case from Bureau 39?"
"Yes, he was on the trail of something big, an alien — "
"Whoa! Back up, Mulder. In case you just visit newspapers and don't read them, Jason Trask was killed in Smallville, Kansas, when he made an attempt on a reporter's life!"
Mulder, his enthusiasm undampened, began to whisper. "I thought that too, Scully, just a crazy loose cannon."
"But — "
Mulder smiled. "But I found out that our contact, Deep Throat, was there too, masquerading as a farmer named Wayne Irig."
Scully rolled her eyes. "You've got to be kidding, Mulder. Even if Deep Throat was using the cover of a farmer, it doesn't seem likely that a small farm community would welcome a stranger with open arms."
Mulder began ushering Scully back toward the building. "He was a mole. He moved into the community in 1966, the same date that fascinated Trask."
The couple passed through the doors and into the lobby of the Daily Planet. Mulder trotted to a concession counter and purchased a bag of donuts. "Something big happened in Smallville in 1966," he said. He offered Scully a donut.
Scully waved off the offering as they entered the elevator. "Trask's case is closed, Mulder. Jason Trask was earmarked for the rubber room platoon years ago, and if you don't cool down they'll make reservations for you too."
"We'll see, Scully," Mulder shrugged as the elevator opened onto the city room. They looked at the teeming sea of bodies. A young man greeted them at the top of the stairs. "Hi, I'm Jimmy Olsen. Can I help you guys out with something?"
"I'm looking for Lois Lane, or Clark Kent," Mulder said. He tipped the open bag toward Jimmy. "Donut?"
"Thanks!" Jimmy extracted several donuts from the bag. "I haven't had breakfast yet," he said sheepishly. "I don't know where CK is, but Lois is at her desk right down there."
"Thank you, Mr. Olsen."
Jimmy watched the enigmatic couple descend the stairs. "Real smooth," he whispered.
Lois Lane was busily scooping up files which had mysteriously flown from her desk at precisely the moment Clark Kent had vanished.
Lois rose up and removed the pencil from her mouth. "Yes, I'm Lois. What can I do for you?"
Mulder extended his hand, "I'm special agent Fox Mulder with the FBI; this is agent Dana Scully."
Lois looked at him suspiciously. "This is a gag, right? I'm supposed to believe an FBI agent named 'Fox?'"
"From where I'm standing," Catherine Grant interrupted, "it simply looks like a case of truth in advertising."
"Actually, Ms. — "
"Just call me Cat, Fox."
Mulder winced. "Actually, Cat, I avoid using my first name whenever possible."
"Let me guess," Lois smiled. "Your mother named you after the film studio."
"No, Ms. Lane, but she once told me that she was fond of the Cinemascope extension music tacked onto the Fox fanfare theme."
Scully smiled. "Just be glad you weren't named Metro Goldwyn Mulder."
"Or RKO Mulder," Lois nodded. "That would make you sound like a bail bonding firm."
"I prefer Universal Mulder," Cat purred. "One size fits all."
Mulder looked pointedly at his partner. "When you find the time, Benedict, I could really use some help here."
Scully grinned as she opened her purse. She had come to expect Mulder's sarcasm to surface any time conversation strayed too far from his investigative parameters. "This usually works quicker, Mulder," she said, handing her credentials to Lois.
Cat sighed loudly. "It sounds like you'll be getting down to some dreary business."
"If at all possible."
Cat drew her finger down Mulder's jaw line. "I suppose that means the intimate dinner for two I was planning is out," she said and began to leave.
"Maybe later, Cat," Mulder said, uncertain as to how he should respond to her proposition.
Cat paused and looked over her shoulder. "Put it in writing."
Scully shook her head as she watched Cat slink away. "Is she the Daily Planet Welcome Wagon?"
"She's actually the Daily Planet's welcome 'mat,'" Lois sniped, returning Scully's credentials. "So, what does the FBI want with me?"
"We were interested in speaking to you and Mr. Kent, Ms. Lane, because of your firsthand knowledge of Jason Trask."
Lois leaned against her desk. "Even my Aunt Betty never cooked up such a rotten fruitcake, and my Aunt Betty's rotten fruitcakes were notorious in three counties."
Scully smiled, "I'll have to agree with you on that, Ms. Lane, I may not know your aunt Betty, but I have seen Trask's psychological profile. He was paranoid, delusional, and would stop at nothing to accomplish his goal."
Lois sighed. "To destroy Superman."
"Exactly," Mulder nodded. "Jason Trask may have been missing a few batteries, but he was a brilliant investigator."
Lois laughed. "Isn't that like saying Hitler was a sadistic monster, but at least he had a sharp uniform?"
Scully, despite an effort not to, began to laugh. She shook her head and shrugged at Mulder by way of an apology. Mulder smiled weakly, "I wasn't trying to find a positive quality in Trask's dossier, Ms. Lane. I want to know what brought Trask, and another highly placed operative, to a place like Smallville, Kansas."
"The best, and the smartest. He was disguised as a local named Wayne Irig."
Now it was Lois's turn to laugh. "Wayne Irig! I met that guy after Trask nearly shot Clark. Take my word for it, agent Mulder, that man could make the centerfold for Tractor and Plow magazine."
"Nevertheless, Ms. Lane, he was there with Trask, and I want to know why, and what connection, if any, Smallville has with Superman."
Lois straightened her shoulders. "Now you're starting to sound like Trask."
Mulder backed off, not realizing that he had become somewhat intense. Scully, all too familiar with what she had come to call Mulder's "prosecuting attorney" mode, stepped forward. "I read your account of the events in Smallville, Ms. Lane. It was excellent."
"Oh?" Lois raised an eyebrow. "Thank you."
Mulder, taking his lead from Scully, decided to take the same flattery trail. "I've always been a fan of your syndicated column, Ms. Lane. Your expose on that car theft ring was truly amazing, though I find it hard to believe anyone would mistake you for a man."
Lois, her defensive screens melting away, began to relax. "I had a good make-up man."
"It's not hard to see why Superman, with all the reporters in the world to choose from, would seek you out so often for exclusive interviews."
"It's more than that," Lois insisted. "There's a bond between us. I can feel it."
Mulder, though intrigued by the statement, decided to try a different tack. "Is it true that Clark Kent has been the only person to successfully contact Superman on a recurring basis?"
The gauntlet had been dropped, and Lois Lane, as both Scully and Mulder expected, retrieved it. "Wait right here," she said. She disappeared into a throng of coworkers.
"Okay, Mulder, now would you mind telling me what you're up to?"
"I want to see him, Scully. I want to know if he's real."
Scully shook her head. "Isn't that supposed to be my line, Mulder? I'm the skeptic, remember?"
"You have the medical knowledge, Scully. You can determine whether he's a genetically altered human or a genuine alien."
Scully's eyes widened. "You want me to walk up to Superman and tell him to roll up his sleeve?"
Mulder smiled. "Hardly, Scully. His hide could break needles all day long, but you could listen to his heart, take his temperature — "
"Hold on, Mulder! How much proof do you need? This guy has survived bomb blasts, a missile assault, even outer space. Not to mention his ability to fly, x-ray vision, heat — "
"I know his stats, Scully. I don't want to buy him; I just want to kick his tires."
"This is certainly a switch, Mulder. A guy with amazing abilities falls out of the sky admitting he's an alien, and you want his green card."
Mulder looked at Scully thoughtfully. "I want to believe, Scully. I always have, but if my partnership with you has taught me anything, it's that I have to get the proof first, and then the belief will take care of itself."
"Amen, Brother Mulder," Scully said, and then she dropped her voice to a whisper. "If Superman does turn out to be a secret government project instead of an alien, we have a bigger problem."
Mulder nodded, "Do we report it, and if so, to whom?"
"It may be a moot point, Mulder. If the government owns him and orders him to invade a country, who's going to stop him?"
"I've got it!" Lois shouted as she approached her desk. "This prototype from S.T.A.R. labs emits a hypersonic signal. Superman can hear it."
"I'm sure he can, Ms. Lane, but what makes you think he will respond to it?"
"Clark said he told Superman about it, and Superman agreed to keep an ear open for the signal."
Mulder shrugged. "Sounds good; give it a try."
"Not here," Lois whispered. "Too disruptive. Would you mind coming to my apartment?"
"Well, no, Ms. Lane, if you trust us enough."
"I had you checked out. I wanted to make sure your credentials were real," she said and hurried toward the elevator.
"What happened to the good old days, Scully, when you could shout 'FBI' and everyone would cringe in awe and terror?"
Scully smiled as she walked alongside her partner. "IRS is the only acronym that inspires that kind of terror anymore, Mulder."
"Do you think I'd make a convincing T-Man?"
"I don't know; you do kind of have that junior CPA look."
Mulder smiled as he entered the elevator. "Car parking attendant?"
Clark Kent, having slipped away from the Planet while things were a bit slow, sat at the dining table of his Kansas home and watched his mother light a candle on a birthday cake. "Hey, dad, isn't it a little like cheating not to have all the candles on your cake?"
"Oh, honey!" His mother laughed. "The last time I put all the candles on your father's cake, it took third prize at the science fair as an accurate depiction of the burning Rain Forest."
Clark laughed and patted his father's arm. "Don't worry, dad, I still love you."
Martha stepped behind her husband and put her arms around him. "Clark, one day when you're married, you'll know it's the right person because you'll be able to tease each other and actually enjoy it."
"That's right, son. Next year we'll light all the candles on your mother's cake and see how many smoke alarms we can set off between here and City Hall."
It was at this odd moment, while Clark laughed at his parents' playfulness, that he realized that something of his mother actually reminded him of Lois. He recalled all of the occasions when he and Lois would mercilessly spar with each other verbally, and he realized that when the cruelty barrier was left uncrossed, it was actually pleasant. He began to wonder if their jousting matches were genuine sarcasm or actually backhanded displays of affection. He was about to comment on the fact when a distant whine began to ring in his ears. "I hear it."
"Hear what, son?"
"That signal watch I told you about."
"I didn't think you'd be able to hear it this far away, honey."
"It's faint, mom, but I can hear it." Clark threw his napkin on the table. "I'd better go." So saying, the Kents' son opened the door as Clark Kent but closed it as Superman.
Lois Lane opened the two windows which faced her small balcony. "Superman will probably be in a hurry, and my apartment doesn't have collision insurance."
"It's been quite a while, Ms. Lane," Mulder commented. "Maybe he's not coming."
"Well," Lois shrugged. "I don't know how far away he is, or at what distance he can pick up the signal. But he always comes back to Metropolis. He'll be here."
Scully leaned against the sofa. "I've read that Superman considers Metropolis his home. I wonder what drew him here in the first place?"
At that moment a blue and red blur passed through a balcony window and solidified into the form of Superman. The costumed man tenderly placed a hand on Ms. Lane's cheek. "Are you all right, Lois?"
Scully shot a glance to Mulder and wondered if Superman had unintentionally answered her question. Mulder nodded and stepped toward the Man of Steel, "I'm afraid Ms. Lane called you for us, Superman."
Superman looked at the strangers for a moment and then interposed his body between them and Lois Lane. "What are the guns for?"
Mulder raised his eyebrows. "I guess the stories about your x-ray vision are true."
"They're all right, Superman. They're with the FBI," Lois said, and she placed a hand on his arm. "I checked them out."
Superman seemed to visibly relax. Mulder took this opportunity and extended his hand. "It's a pleasure to meet you, Superman. I'm special agent Mulder."
Scully noted Mulder's expression of wonder was not too dissimilar to Lois Lane's expression of adoration just moments earlier. She then offered her hand to Superman, "I'm agent Dana Scully."
Superman shook her hand and then looked at the two of them. "I still don't know what you want."
Mulder swallowed. "Frankly, Superman, we want to determine if you are a genuine alien, or a genetic construct designed by this, or a foreign, government."
Lois laughed loudly. "That's ridiculous!"
"So is putting nutritional information on a package of Twinkies, Ms. Lane, but it has to be done."
Superman folded his arms. "Take the car keys out of your pocket, agent Mulder, and then place them on your palm."
Mulder complied, partly out of curiosity and partly out of fear as to what the consequences might be if he did not. Superman concentrated his gaze on the keys, and in less than two seconds they had become too hot to hold. Mulder dropped them and rubbed his hand. "Pretty impressive, but you could have used some kind of mind control to make me think the keys were hot."
Superman sighed and glanced around Lois's apartment. He spotted a small, sand-filled vase being used as a door stop. He retrieved the vase and stepped out onto the balcony. He poured the sand into a small mound and then handed the vase through the window to Mulder. "Stay back, please," he said, and he began to concentrate on the sand.
"My, God, Scully," Mulder whispered. "He's turning the sand into glass! Do you know what temperature has to be achieved to pull off a stunt like that?"
Scully shrugged. "I must have missed that episode of Beakman's World."
Mulder smiled but did not take his eyes off of the transforming sand. "Over three thousand degrees Fahrenheit. I investigated a UFO landing site once where clumps of sand had been changed into glass. Sand makes excellent glass, but the cost of commercially producing temperatures that high isn't very cost effective."
Superman beckoned Mulder outside but cautioned him away from the glass. "You can take that to whatever laboratory you like, agent Mulder. I don't think they'll ascribe it to mind control."
"I think you're right, Superman, but I'd better wait till it cools off first."
Superman nodded. "That gives us time for one last test," he said and slipped his hands beneath Mulder's arms. Within moments they had drifted beyond the roof of Lois's apartment building.
Scully leaned her head out the window. "He won't hurt him, will he? I mean, he will bring him back."
"Don't worry," Lois smiled. "Mulder's alien abduction is only temporary. Although I will admit I'm glad he went flying with Mulder instead of you."
Scully managed a faint smile, "I don't think you have to worry about Superman's loyalty, Ms. Lane, I think he made that very clear the minute he stepped into your apartment."
"What about you and agent Mulder? Are you two — ?"
Scully's smile broadened reflexively. "No, Ms. Lane, we're not. Mulder and I were thrown together as partners. As time passed we began to trust and like each other, but none of it would have clicked without respect. I may not agree with Mulder very often, but I still respect him."
Lois thought of Clark for a moment, but was interrupted by the return of Mulder and Superman. Mulder looked pale but exhilarated and reached down for the oddly shaped piece of glass. Superman held him back. "I'd better make sure," he said and blew on the glass. Mulder picked it up and was surprised that not only was it cool to the touch, it was actually cold. He turned and faced Superman, "I still don't know if you came from another planet, or a scientist's test tube, but I will say this: if you were cooked up in a laboratory, the scientist at least must be from another planet. There's no other way to explain you."
Satisfied, or at the very least, mollified, Scully and Mulder thanked Superman for his cooperation and then departed. Lois turned from the door and faced Superman. "Do you think they'll be back?"
"I hope not. I mean, they were nice enough, but I'd hate to put on little demonstrations like that every day."
Lois smiled and placed her hand on his arm. "You were very patient."
Clark could feel the Superman part of himself fading, and it always astounded him that Lois have that effect on him with the merest touch. Fortunately there was a graceful out. He gently pushed Lois away and retrieved Mulder's car keys from the floor, "I don't think they'll get very far without these; I'd better return them."
"I guess so," Lois sighed, and she watched Superman depart. He had not been gone very long before Lois heard someone knocking on her door. "Great! Superman flies off to take them their keys, and they end up coming back for them." She pulled open her door, but she was surprised to see Clark Kent leaning in the doorway.
"Is everything okay, Lois? When I got back to the Planet they said you'd vanished with a couple of FBI agents."
Lois regarded her friend and partner for a long moment and then placed a hand on his arm just as she had with Superman. "Clark," she smiled, "have I ever told you how much I respect you?"