Written By Craig Byrne (CraigByrne@aol.com) and Allison Word
Summary: In this sequel to "The Odd Couple," we see the future Tempus created. In this world, Lois and Clark were never partners, Lex Luthor still runs Metropolis, Superman is hated by all, and everyone seems to want to eliminate Lois. (Episode # 12 of The Unaired Fifth Season)
PREVIOUSLY, IN "THE ODD COUPLE" (TUFS EPISODE #11)
The time-traveler Tempus figured out how to prevent Utopia by traveling back in time to the year 1993 and teaming with Lex Luthor to stop Lois and Clark from ever meeting. Tempus literally changed history when he hired Clark to work at the Metropolis Star, putting one strike against the future that should have unfolded. To further cement their stronghold, Tempus and Lex Luthor decided they could easily discredit Superman by planting not one, but *two*, bombs in the colonist shuttle to the Space Station Prometheus, killing over 200 people — with newcomer Superman taking the blame.
Lex Luthor held a press conference wherein Superman could have addressed the crowd with his own explanation for what happened; unable to give a satisfactory answer, Superman flew off. He flew to Smallville to speak with his parents, who told him to "do what's right" and to do "what he believes in." So the world still had a Superman — whether they liked him or not.
Five years later, Metropolis was a much different place than its intended timeline. Planet editor in chief Perry White died in 1995 of heart failure, a result of the stress he suffered. Clark Kent teamed with reporter Angela Chen at the Star until her departure in April, 1994; she was replaced by Linda King, a reporter who first made it big when she teamed with Clark on an article exposing corruption behind the scenes of their own paper. Linda was an old college rival of Lois Lane's, making the rift between Clark and Lois even greater.
Lex Luthor's popularity grew to the point that he became the world's first trillionaire. The general public thought Lex had the best in stock-market whiz kids, when in reality Tempus was giving him tips, an advantage when you had studied 20th century economics in high school.
Lois Lane spent more time with Lex while keeping her job at the Daily Planet, which was admittedly her first love. Lex had proposed marriage to her several times, but she never found herself quite ready. Lois spent the rest of her time on a crusade *against* Superman, whom she blames for the deaths of hundreds despite the fact that he had saved her several times. It seemed that for every time he saved her, something else happened to discredit him.
Lex Luthor laid low in comparison to times in the "real" past, where he commissioned women to make strange pheromones, made it appear as if Superman was creating "heat waves," and blew up the Daily Planet, among other things. The biggest threat he faced over the years, besides a rivalry with Superman, was the return of his ex-wife Ariana who demanded money. Lex took care of the problem easily. He killed her.
As Lex Luthor's right-hand man, Tempus was at the top of the world … but did he have a scheme up his sleeve?
THE UNAIRED FIFTH SEASON
"PAST AND PRESENT DANGER"
Written By Craig Byrne and Allison Word
Lois Lane worked her way into the bustling office of the Daily Planet. Although she had been seeing Lex Luthor for years, the Planet was still a second home to Lois. And without the interference of Clark Kent, Lex didn't mind her working there.
Jimmy Olsen sat at a desk looking through photos as fellow Daily Planeteer Ralph Claremont sat beside him talking about his love life (or lack thereof) while stuffing doughnuts in his face.
"Morning Jimmy, Ralph," Lois said as she passed them.
"Lois, nice earrings!" Jimmy said, noticing two new somethings dangling from Lois's ears. "Present from Mr. L. himself?"
"Actually Jimmy, no." Lois said. "I bought them for myself. I figure I'm entitled to a little splurge once in a while."
"Smooth," Jimmy commented. The phone rang, and Jimmy scurried over to it.
"Yeah? Okay, great. Thanks," Jimmy said into the telephone. "Lois, some DEA agent got run over at the corner of Picson and Metropolis."
Lois rolled her eyes. "Is this *all* that is going on around here?"
"Well, yeah," Jimmy said, shrugging. "Ever since Luthor started his new crime force, crime is down, and public morale is up. I swear, that Lex Luthor … what a guy. Of course, I don't need to be telling you that!" Even in five years, Jimmy Olsen hadn't changed a bit. He still wore his hair the same way he did five years before, and he still maintained a squeaky clean image. Without the guidance of Perry White, his life remained at a crossroads in which even he wasn't sure of his future. However, he kept up his upbeat manner.
"Well, I guess I'd better go," Lois said with a slight yawn. On her way down in the Daily Planet elevator Lois remembered the days of uncovering mystery and mayhem: drug busts, undercover schemes, and political scandals. But since Luthor was in power, there weren't many problems. When there were, Superman occasionally showed, but he hadn't been a fan favorite since all of the furor over the explosion of the Prometheus colonist shuttle. He had saved Lois a few more times over the years but it seemed as though every time he did, something else would go wrong.
Another wrench was thrown into the mix upon the arrival of the New Kryptonians, who threatened to take over Earth until Luthor exterminated them. Luthor had convinced the citizens of Metropolis, however, that Superman's people were taking over, making the world of wonder a world of hate.
*How things have changed*, Lois thought, going down the elevator to the Daily Planet garage.
Lois pulled out her keys and heard the "beep" indicating her car's location. To her right was her brand-new Lexus, a Christmas present from Lex. As Lois got into the car she decided to give Lex a call.
The voice on the other end of the line was not Lex's, but one with a British accent.
"Nigel?" Lois guessed.
"Yes, Ms. Lane," the butler responded.
"Is Lex around?"
"I'm sorry, Ms. Lane, he's meeting with his doctor right now," Nigel told her.
"Oh, sorry to bother you then," Lois said. "Tell Lex I've got to check out a hit-and-run downtown near Fratellio's Pub, on the corner of Picson and Metropolis. I've got a meeting afterwards, but I should be at the tower around six," she said, before turning the phone off.
Across town, outside of the Metropolis Star, the sun had gone down and the lights of the city were turning on from all directions. The sidewalks were crowded with people looking for cabs or walking home. It wasn't too cold out, which left more people on the sidewalks.
Inside the Star, the elevator had just reached the level that led to the street, and everyone who had come from below charged out the door. Two people lingered behind, obviously not in the hurry everyone else was in.
The man slowly slipped his arms around the woman, and they stood in the middle of the sidewalk in an embrace.
The man was about six feet tall and well built. Black hair topped a chiseled face, with eyes framed by glasses. He wore a business suit with a loud tie.
The woman was in her mid-thirties with blond hair. She was moderately attractive with eyes of sparkling blue. She looked up at him and saw he was looking at her, with a hint of a smile on his face. She couldn't help but slowly smile back.
"So," he began. "Where would you like to go for dinner tonight, Linda?"
"Hmm …" she thought for a moment. "How about the new restaurant on Fifth Street? I heard the food is wonderful, Clark."
"Great idea! I've been meaning to take you there for a few weeks. I guess I kept forgetting … or something got in the way."
She kissed him lightly and responded, "Clark, I know you can't always be there." She whispered, "Seems like Superman has been a busy guy lately," and raised it back to normal. "I understand, and it's tough, but that's okay. I said I would be understanding and help you through it, and I think I'm doing a pretty good job."
He smiled. "You are doing a very good job, Linda. Thank you." They started walking again toward Fifth Street when Clark spoke again. "I really do appreciate all you've helped me go through. I'm not sure I could've made it this long without your help."
"It's been a great few years, Clark. It really has." She smiled as she took his hand and they continued toward the restaurant.
Lois arrived at the scene of the hit-and-run at Metropolis and Picson. She heard blaring sirens all around her mixed with voices coming from different directions. She saw the district attorney, Mayson Drake, who happened to be in the area talking to Inspector Henderson, so she started toward her.
"Miss Drake?" Lois asked politely as she approached.
Mayson turned to face her. "Don't I know you?" she asked brusquely.
"Possibly. I'm Lois Lane, Daily Planet." They shook hands and Mayson shrugged off the feeling that Lois looked so familiar.
"Anyway, I was wondering if you could tell me anything about this accident?"
"Just your typical hit-and-run, Ms. Lane. You can obtain a copy of the police report once it's written up. I'm sure that will have all of the information you need."
Lois smiled curtly. "Thank you for your help."
*Forty thousand dollars a year paid to these people and they can't tell us squat*, Lois thought as she turned to walk away. Suddenly, from out of nowhere, a car began speeding toward them. Both Lois and Mayson screamed.
Their cry was answered by a flash of red and blue as Superman stopped the car a few feet in front of them.
"Well … thank you very much, Superman. I could've had a heart attack! You should really be more on top of things, you know?" Lois turned away, obviously annoyed, and all Mayson could do was shrug and walk away as well.
Superman, a little bothered by their attitudes toward him, flew off toward the Star to talk to Linda.
Lois stopped a few yards away from where Superman had stopped the car and got her cellular phone out of her purse. She dialed the number and held the phone to her ear, sighing as she waited for someone to answer.
"Nigel?" she asked innocently.
"Yes, Ms. Lane?" Nigel replied courteously.
"I was almost hit by a car!" she exclaimed into the phone.
"I'm very sorry, Ms. Lane. Would you like me to have a car come pick you up?" He sounded a bit annoyed by her phone call.
"No … no thanks. I'll be fine. See you later tonight." She was worried about why Lex hadn't called her, and shaken from the near accident only minutes before.
"Thank you," she said quietly as she hung up. She was confused about all that was going on, and that led her to an idea. It wasn't one she was particularly fond of, but one she thought she'd try out anyway.
It seemed as though the more she saw Superman, the stranger she felt around him. She continued to treat him the way she always had — sometimes worse — but she was feeling differently about him. She wasn't sure what it was, or why, but hoped to get it straightened out as soon as possible.
Before driving off, Lois dug through her purse until she found the scrap of paper with a phone number on it. She then dialed the number.
"Hello?" a friendly-sounding woman's voice answered on the other end.
"Hi. I'm calling to get an appointment, anytime is fine, no rush …" Lois trailed off, sounding as though she wasn't in any hurry to get an appointment, despite the fact that she was.
"There was a cancellation today … in about fifteen minutes, if you could make it."
"Ahh … well … really? Well … okay … I'll take it, thanks." Lois shook her head, unable to believe she was really going to go.
"And what was your name?" the voice asked.
"Lane. Lois Lane." She hung up and left as quickly as she'd come.
Lois arrived outside the building ten minutes later and was hesitant to go inside. Gathering confidence, she opened the door, took a deep breath, and walked in.
*I can't believe I'm doing this,* she thought.
She spoke to the secretary who led her to the office to see a middle-aged woman with red-rimmed glasses looking through a file in the reception area. When she walked in the woman looked up and smiled pleasantly.
"Ms. Lane, I presume?" the woman asked.
"Yes, that's me," Lois answered, sounding kind of nervous.
For reassurance, the woman smiled again and walked toward Lois, extending her hand. "I'm Dr. Elaine Friskin." She showed Lois into her office.
"Do I have to sit on the couch?" Lois asked sarcastically.
"Some patients feel more comfortable there, but sit wherever you please." Lois nodded and sat down in a chair by the desk.
"I've never actually been to a psychologist before, this is kind of new to me," Lois said, smiling politely.
"Well, how does that make you feel? Uncomfortable? Scared?" Dr. Friskin got out a pad of paper and a pen and got a serious look on her face.
"I guess … both," Lois answered, unsure.
"Are you indecisive about a lot of things, Lois?"
"Not all the time," Lois joked. "Well, actually … lately I've been feeling that way about a few things." She nodded as she thought about Superman.
"I see," Dr. Friskin noted, both aloud, and apparently, on paper. "What 'few things'?"
"Well, you see, there's Lex, and he's great, but then there's Superman … I know I'm not supposed to like Superman, but for some reason, I don't know, I feel like I do …" Lois finally got it out, after she stuttered around the words for a few seconds.
"Kind of like one's feelings on chocolate? Bad for you yet you love it?" Dr. Friskin questioned with a knowing smile.
"How do you know I like chocolate!?!" Lois asked, suprised and a little shocked that Dr. Friskin knew.
"I didn't say *you* liked chocolate, though I'm guessing now that you do. I was generalizing."
"Oh …" Lois said, a little embarrassed at her outbreak.
"Why is it you aren't supposed to like Superman?" Dr. Friskin asked, trying to change the subject.
"Well, he does nothing but cause trouble!" Lois answered, as though everyone should know why Superman wasn't liked.
"That … and save people's lives. Including yours."
"I know, and that's why I can't help but like him. Well, that's not the only reason. I mean, just about every time I get near him I can't help feeling like a giddy teenager. It's kind of annoying. Not that that is a good reason to dislike someone. I am in love with Lex, though, and Lex has never liked Superman …" Lois had gotten up and started pacing while she was rambling. She stopped and said, "Of course, Lex doesn't tell me to detest Superman simply because *he* does. Although, that could be part of it. I mean, who wouldn't want to make Lex happy, right?" Lois stopped babbling and looked over at Dr. Friskin, who remained silent, with only the hint of a smile on her face.
"So, you're in love with Lex, yet you seem to have a crush on Superman, is that it?" Dr. Friskin inquired.
Lois half gasped, half laughed, in shock.
"I do not have a crush on Superman! That's completely absurd."
"What is it then?" Dr. Friskin asked, continuing to scribble down notes on her pad of paper every so often.
"I have no idea." With a huff Lois sat down on the couch, then resorted to laying down. She turned her head to face Dr. Friskin. "This actually isn't bad." Dr. Friskin laughed.
"You're attracted to a man whom you feel you should hate, and you have no idea why? Yet, you're in love with Lex?"
"That sounds about right," Lois answered indifferently.
"I wasn't giving you an overview, is that how you feel?"
"I don't know if 'attracted to' would be the right way to describe it …"
Dr. Friskin nodded. "Well, describe it to me."
"I just … there's sort of some hidden attraction, and I have no idea why! That's why it's bothering me. Usually I can tell why, there's a valid reason. I can't think of *one* reason why I should be attracted to Superman." She sounded upset, and a little scared. Lois was definitely frustrated, but she didn't mind telling any of this to Dr. Friskin, even though she originally thought she would.
Dr. Friskin tried to reason this. "He's kind." Lois nodded in agreement. "He always seems to get you out of jams." She nodded again. "He's not Lex." Lois sat up at this and stared at Dr. Friskin as though she'd said something wrong. She went on anyway. "He's strong, courageous, caring, has never given anyone a harsh word. Not to mention the fact that he's cute." They both laughed and Lois seemed more relaxed now.
"You're right. He is … he's all of those, and more! Yet I can't figure this out. He's all wrong for me."
"Well, there you have it. It's a mild fascination, I'm sure it's nothing more. If Lex is who you love, then I wouldn't worry too much about it." Lois got up and nodded at what she had said. She noticed Dr. Friskin looking down at her watch. The appointment was already off.
"I think you're right, Dr. Friskin. Thank you. You've … really helped me today," Lois said. Dr. Friskin smiled as Lois left the office.
Across town, in his penthouse, Lex Luthor enjoyed a private meeting with his "doctor," Gretchen Kelly. Kelly was a woman in her late 30's with short blond hair and a very serious look to her. Unknown to Lois, Lex and Gretchen had been seeing each other on the side for over two years.
Gretchen was dedicated to Luthor and had fallen deeply in love with him; Lex truly loved Lois but was using Gretchen for her loyalty … among other things. The two were participating in some hanky-panky until Lex's phone rang.
"Mmm … don't get it …" Gretchen told Lex. Lex, one to never take orders, approached the phone anyway. "Hello? WHAT? Nigel, you are kidding me … yes, I will have a word with him …"
"Gretchen, my dear," Luthor said to Dr. Kelly, holding her hand to his lips, "Business calls. I apologize, but I must go." Lex then went into his drawer, pulled out a gun, and stuck it into his pocket. "Goodbye, Gretchen."
Lex next stormed down the hallway.
"*Tempus*!" exclaimed Lex Luthor as he stormed into George Turner's office. "Nigel just called. He informed me that someone tried to run Lois Lane over this afternoon. Would you happen to be behind this?" Lex asked, angrily.
"Maybe so …" Tempus said nonchalantly. He shrugged. "… maybe not."
"No more games, time traveler. I know you want her out of the picture; you have ever since you came. But I warned you about the consequences should you decide to mess with her," Lex warned.
"And you'll do *what*?" Tempus asked mockingly.
Lex reached into his pocket and pulled a gun on Tempus, like he did so many years ago. "I think your time is over, Future Man," Lex said.
"Oh really?" Tempus asked. Behind Lex, unbeknownst to him, Tempus opened a time window.
Tempus charged toward Lex. Lex shot at him twice, only to hear two "clangs." Tempus wrestled the gun away from Lex until he had it in his own hand.
Pointing the gun at Lex, Tempus instructed, "Close your eyes and back up … nice and slow." Angrily, Lex did as he was told.
"Get it over with," Lex told Tempus pathetically.
"Oh, okay …" Tempus walked up to Lex, and pushed him into the time window, sending the trillionaire off into oblivion. "See ya … wouldn't want to be ya!"
Clark was upset over his last encounter with Lois Lane as he walked into the Star's newsroom.
Linda came up from behind him and put her arms around his waist.
"Hi," she said happily and grinned.
"Hey," he answered unenthusiastically and started walking toward his desk. She followed him and as he sat down, a look of concern spread across her face.
"My, my, don't you sound melancholy. What happened?"
"I just don't understand what I ever did to upset Lois Lane so much."
"Did you just save her again?"
"Yeah, and Mayson Drake, the D.A. I get the feeling she doesn't like me either." He paused and shook his head. "It's like, I'm afraid to wait around for the snide comment she has to offer. I'm not asking for thanks, but it doesn't hurt."
Linda smiled in return for the smile that had made its way across Clark's face.
"You can be so cute when you're upset." She kissed him and pulled away. "You have to save everyone, though. No playing favorites. Maybe Lois just doesn't know how to act. She's never been the sweetest person."
"I know, and I've saved her many times." He stopped again to think. "It's odd, though. Lately it seems like someone's trying to kill her, or hurt her, or something. I keep getting this crazy idea that it's Luthor. He loves her, though, right?" He looked up to Linda for help. "Nahh … I'm sure it's my crazy imagination."
"I wouldn't worry about it," Linda assured. "If you want to look into it more, go for it. Trust your instincts." She smiled as she walked back to her desk, and he smiled at the fact that she could so easily reassure him.
H.G. Wells, the famous writer, and not-so-famous time-traveler, could have been found in the same time and place and Lois Lane, Lex Luthor, Clark Kent and Linda King. He couldn't be found in Metropolis, but he wasn't far away. He also wasn't paying much attention to the outside world.
A few years before, he had started working on an invention to keep Tempus from doing any more damage. In doing so, he had shut himself out from everyone else. Only recently had he made some headway in his invention and had resubscribed to the Daily Planet and Metropolis Star. Why he had decided to get both, he wasn't sure.
That morning he went out to get the paper and saw Lois's name as the byline of the main story on the Planet's front page, just as he'd expected. After glancing through the headlines in the Planet, he opened the Star.
Dropping the cup of coffee he had in his hand, the cup shattered on the floor, and coffee spread out all over the ground.
"Oh no! Something has gone terribly wrong …" he said after seeing the byline of the Star as "Linda King and Clark Kent."
At the Daily Planet, the elevator dinged, signaling that it was just about to drop off passengers. Jimmy looked up to see Lois getting off, looking a bit disheveled and kind of upset. He started walking to meet her.
"Hey Lois, what happened?"
"Oh, the usual. I was almost killed." She seemed to take it all in stride, but Jimmy looked suddenly concerned.
"Lois, that's not usual for most people."
"I know, Jimmy. A speeding car came barreling toward Mayson Drake and me. Superman … saved us both … by stopping the car." She sat down and seemed to be tired.
"You remember Perry used to always worry about things like this happening to you?" Jimmy reminisced.
"How could I forget?" she laughed. "He always worried about little things like that. It's strange; sometimes it feels like there's a guardian angel watching over us, doesn't it?"
Jimmy smiled, "Yeah, I guess sometimes it does." He shrugged and dismissed the idea.
"Yeah, right. Guardian angels … that *is* a stupid idea," Lois said. She put the idea behind her and started to work.
Gretchen Kelly returned to Lexcorp looking for Luthor that evening. She went up the elevator and through the many hallways toward Lex's office. This time he had some important business to discuss with Lex — namely, that he get rid of Lois once and for all, or she would walk.
The top floor was quiet compared to most moments; neither Nigel nor Asabi were anywhere to be seen, and Lex wasn't yelling at any worthless employees. She reached the end of the hallway to the door that led to Lex's office, and she knocked.
Still, nothing. Suddenly someone snuck up behind her and gagged her.
"Now, now … hush Dr. Kelly …" the gagger was Tempus. "Come with me …"
Tempus led a blindfolded Gretchen down to the Lexcorp basement at gunpoint. He placed her in a chair, to which he had her handcuffed, and then he took off the gag.
"What — what's going on?" Gretchen said, confused. She looked over at Tempus, who was pacing around gloating. "Hello," he told her.
"Will you please explain to me why I am handcuffed to this chair? If this is a weird sex trick I — " Gretchen began.
"No. Not a weird sex trick. So do you want me to tell you what you want to hear, or would you like to know what is *really* going on?" Tempus asked.
Tempus then walked behind Gretchen, and whispered in her ear. "Lex Luthor is dead."
"What?!?" Gretchen said, confused and angry.
"All in due time," Tempus said, before he heard someone knock on the door. "Now if you excuse me, I have a visitor …"
Tempus put the gag back on Gretchen, and then walked over to the door to the room where he held her. He then stepped into the dark hallway where he spoke to a young man with a gun.
"Hello, Tim West I presume?" Tempus asked.
"That's me," said the young man. "So, you got the money?"
"You do the hit, I give you the money," Tempus said. "Consider it transferred to your bank account. Now, as for your weapon …"
"Yes?" the man said as Tempus took the gun from his hand.
"This weapon just won't do. I have something that will do just the trick," Tempus said. He walked back into the room and came out with a machine gun. The young man was in awe.
"Here, use this. Make her suffer. And if anyone gets in the way, kill them too," Tempus advised. The young man stuck the gun in a guitar case and went on his way. Tempus went back into the room with Gretchen.
Once he got in, he then went into a drawer and pulled out a remote control. He then pointed the control towards the wall, where a large television screen began to appear. He turned the screen on, and there in front of him were views of the area in front of the Daily Planet building from three angles. He walked up to Gretchen and took the gag off again. "Okay Turner, what is going on?" she said, struggling with the handcuffs.
"Watch and see …" Tempus told her.
At the Planet, Jimmy walked over to Lois's desk with a hopeful smile across his face.
"So, what next?" he asked.
Lois, with a pen in her mouth, and a paper in her hand, looked questioningly up at him. "What do you mean, 'what next?'"
"Well, do we have anything to work on?" Jimmy asked.
"We? Jimmy? Are you okay?" asked Lois.
"Uh, I guess not." He smiled and turned around, walking towards Forrestina's office.
Lois had had enough. Covering this run-over-DEA-agent story was one thing, but almost getting run over was another. Lois needed a break. She was going outside for a little bit of fresh air. She went down the elevator and made her way out the revolving door. She stopped on the sidewalk and leaned her head back against the Planet's outer wall, closing her eyes.
While she stood there Lois could swear that she heard someone saying her name. She tilted her head back down and slowly opened her eyes. In front of her were Clark Kent and Linda King, "star reporters" from the Daily Planet's rival, the Metropolis Star. Without giving it another thought, she sighed, annoyed at their interruption.
"Morning Lois," Linda said, walking by. Lois opened up her eyes. Linda and Lois had been rivals since college when they both vied for the same things.
"What do *you two* want?" Lois asked with an annoyed look on her face.
"Just passing through, going to hit Gabby's Deli," Linda told her.
"Oh *really*? Not to drop by and gloat about your latest scoop?" Lois asked jealously. They were near the Daily Planet; in that respect, Lois felt it was her territory.
"Too bad that car didn't hit you earlier, Lois," Linda said sarcastically. "The world might've been a better place."
Lois rolled her eyes. Clark couldn't help but chuckle at Lois's humorous reaction. He wouldn't admit it to himself, especially considering his relationship with Linda, but Lois Lane was pretty cute when she was mad.
"Oh, and what do you think is so funny?" She turned to Clark, but then a lightbulb came on in her head. "Wait a minute, how did you two know I was almost run over?" She looked back and forth between them as they exchanged looks.
"Well, news … it … uh, you know how fast …" Clark began. While speaking he noticed a man wearing dark clothes and a mask over his face coming out from behind the other side of the Planet, pointing a gun at Lois.
The next few seconds seemed to go in slow motion for the three of them. Lois saw the gunman and turned to look at Clark, who was looking around, pretending not to notice. He quickly ran off after Lois looked in Linda's direction. It took less than a second for Clark to disappear, and Lois, despite all that was happening, noticed this. She looked back to see the killer's gun go off. She closed her eyes and flinched.
Not a second after the gun went off did Superman show up in front of Lois and catch the bullet. Realizing she hadn't been hit with the bullet, she reopened her eyes to see a familiar red and blue blur zooming toward the retreating gunman.
After grabbing onto the man's shirt, Superman stopped and held him in place.
"Who sent you, and why are you pointing a gun at Ms. Lane?" he asked brusquely.
The man was scared, obviously not thinking that Superman would show up to stop him. Not after all the bad things he'd heard about him.
"I … I don't know … no one gave me a name! I was just told what to do … I got the money, that's all that mattered."
"Did you see a face?" Superman asked.
The gunman was cracking. "I saw a face, but I don't have a name. It was dark, too."
"Where did you talk to this person?" Superman asked.
"Lexcorp building," the man said. Superman was intrigued. *Could Lex Luthor or one of his people have sent this man to do a hit on Lois? And if so, why*?" Superman thought.
Superman handed him over to a police officer who had driven up. He was read his rights and put in the back of the police car.
"Thanks, Superman," the cop said as he patted Superman on the back. "I don't care what some people say about you … it's nice to have you around." Superman smiled at the compliment and walked back over to Lois. He thought she'd be in shock.
"You know, you should really be more careful," Superman lectured. "This is the second time I've had to save you today." He smiled in a nice way, more than just polite, and his smiled seemed to be contagious because Lois couldn't help but smile back. "Even for you, Lois, that has to be a record."
Linda tried to look preoccupied. She didn't want to watch Lois smile at Superman that way, and if she didn't know better, she would swear Clark was flirting.
"Well, if it was up to me, I wouldn't make the news, either. I prefer just writing it, but I'm sure we both know how that goes." She laughed softly and looked away.
Superman realized the police officer was trying to get attention and he excused himself to go see what he was wanted for.
"We're going to take him down to the station and do a sketch of the man who hired him," the officer told Superman. "I don't know if you'd like to join us or see it later. You're welcome to either, if you'd like." Clark realized the officer was being polite, something he wasn't used to.
"I'd like to go, if it's okay," he replied skeptically.
"We'll meet you there."
"Great," he smiled as the officer left to get in the car and drive back to the police station.
At the police station, the gunman tilted his head to look at the sketch from a different angle. After studying it for a minute or so, he looked up at the officer and nodded.
"Yeah, that's definitely the guy. Like I said, though, he never told me his name."
Superman mumbled, almost inaudibly, "That's George Turner," but no one heard what he said.
"Excuse me?" the sketch artist asked.
Superman shook his head and got up to leave. "Nothing," he replied, sounding distracted. "I have to go. Thank you for the sketch," he told the gunman as he hurried out.
Back in the basement of Lexcorp, Tempus continued taunting Gretchen Kelly, who, with Tempus, viewed all of the happenings of the "hit" on Lois from the television screens.
"Damn! She got away again," Tempus said to himself.
"I don't get it Turner," Gretchen said to him. "Why Lois? I mean, I can't stand her myself but I still don't get it … you kill Lex, you try to kill Lois … what's the point?"
"You don't get it, do you? You mean Lex never told you?" Tempus asked.
"Told me what?"
"Well just sit right back and you'll hear a tale …" Tempus began. He pulled another controller out of his pocket and pressed a button. Next to him stood a time window. "See this?" Tempus asked.
"Yes … ?"
"This, my dear, is what we call a time window. This is where your beloved Lex will rest for the next billion years," Tempus told her.
"Time window? You have to be kidding. There is no scientific explanation …" Gretchen argued.
"Oh, but as my good friend Herb once said, 'yes, quite, there is'," Tempus said. "Do you want to know my plan? Do you *really* want to know my plan? All righty then … I come from the future."
"Yeah, right," Gretchen said in disbelief.
"Oh, it's true … you see, a few years back my good friend Herb decided to take me back in time to introduce me to some people. Well, I sort of got away at that time and decided to hijack Herb's time ship so I could kill Superman as a baby. Do you follow?" Tempus said.
"I … I think so. I think what you are is mentally disturbed, but I follow," said Gretchen.
"Okay then … anywho … that plan obviously failed, and Herb left me in a jail cell back in 1866. Stinky place, boring too … I even wrote a journal while I was stuck there. Met some interesting folks while I was there, though."
"Are there … any more like you?" Gretchen asked.
"Like me, from the future? Well, contrary to those end of the world theories there are quite a few people in the future … the only ones who seem to travel through time are the officers such as Andrus, but he's boring … if you mean interesting folks like that, there was Tempus Tex and Baron Tempos but I prefer to forget about them."
"So, what is your purpose? What is so interesting to you about Lex, or Lois Lane?" Gretchen inquired.
"To prevent Utopia, of course! You see, the future if I hadn't changed it would be boring … everything's so peaceful, because good old Lois and Superman decided to make everything all nice and tidy. Lex Luthor from my timeline is no help, because he's either dead or pretending to be half the time for the next ten years. My buddy Herb created a device, which was implanted into my shoulder, that prevents my existence from fading away by my change of the timeline … don't ask me how it works, but it does … so, for all other intents and purposes, Utopia no longer exists. Superman and Lois will not be getting together, because, sadly, Lois Lane is going to die soon!"
"So you're saying the timeline … it's … supposed to be different?"
"Oh yes. Let's see, right now we'd be in the, ah, fifth season …" Tempus pondered.
"Season?" Gretchen asked.
"That's how we tell time, on the chronology of the Lois and Clark relationship, in the history books of the future. I'd show you a copy if you were going to live long enough to read it," he said.
"Okay …" she continued.
"Anyway, what was I saying? Oh yes, the timeline. I believe this is the period of time, right after that business with Mindy Church in Smallville … a couple of months after Lois found out she was pregnant … you know, this other timeline, it really is pretty interesting. Some people who are supposed to be alive simply are not, and some people who are supposed to be dead are walking among us," Tempus said.
Gretchen began to feel somewhat strange. "So what you're saying is, some of us aren't supposed to be here?"
"If I didn't know any better I'd think you were talking to Guinan again, but I keep forgetting, wrong show," Tempus said. "But you are *exactly* right. So, while Lex Luthor can live to see forty-five, folks like Lois Lane aren't so lucky to even reach thirty-two. Now I'm sorry, but our time has run out. It's been fun," Tempus said, pulling a needle out of a drawer. He stuck the needle into Gretchen's arm. "Sweet dreams, nice knowing ya," he said.
He then looked down at the body of Gretchen, dozing into sleep before falling into a comatose state. *Oh, what the hell,* he thought. Tempus opened up a time window behind the chair and threw Gretchen and the chair into it. *Saves the mess anyway.*
Lois and Linda were still out on the sidewalk, reiterating the incident to another police officer. It seemed the common danger finally caused Lois and Linda to look beyond the competition and finally bond. Clark walked up to them, hands in his pockets, looking relaxed, even though he didn't feel relaxed at all.
"Hi Clark," Linda said.
"Hi, what'd I miss? There are cops all over the place," Clark said. For effect, he surveyed the area around them, noting at least six police officers.
"Well, I was almost shot for starters," Lois began.
"Twice in one day you're almost killed? I hope this doesn't happen often," Clark quipped. The three of them laughed nervously.
Lois finished telling Clark about the gunman and Superman saving her again. Near the end of her tale he looked away from her as though something else had gotten his attention. "You okay there, Clark?" Lois said.
"You're going to have to continue that later, I … uh …" Clark said, looking to Linda for an excuse.
"Have to go rent that movie before the store closes!" Linda finished hurriedly. Lois looked at her like she was crazy, because obviously renting a movie right now shouldn't have been on anyone's list of priorities. Clark just nodded and smiled, then ran off again. He remembered the real thing he had to do, beyond checking in with Lois and Linda. He had to stop Turner.
Lois looked back to Linda and questioned, "Does he do that a lot?" Linda just shrugged and tried to smile.
Clark rushed to the office of the Metropolis Star. He ran in, past Dirk, past Justin, and past Bud, to the man with whom he wanted to speak. He wanted Turner, and to learn the truth about why he tried to kill Lois Lane, and he was going to do it as Clark Kent — NOT as Superman.
He passed Turner's secretary and forcefully opened the office door. It appeared the office was empty. Soon, a figure stood behind him. "May I help you?" It was Turner.
"You — I could have sworn you weren't — " Clark began.
"I have a habit of surprising people. Besides, I just got through with a meeting. How can I help you, Mr. Kent?" Turner asked, knowing full well what was coming.
"Don't play games with me Turner, I want to know… why are you trying to kill Lois Lane?"
Turner played innocent. "Me?" He then began laughing. "Great one, Kent."
"I'm not kidding, what, are you saying the kid was lying? You know, it makes sense… even when I began working for you, you thought I didn't know there was something up, but I did. You helped Luthor sabotage the colonist shuttle to Prometheus, didn't you?" Clark accused.
"Whatever do you mean?" Turner asked.
"Let's just say you were a little careless," Clark said.
"Or… let's just say you picked me up with that fancy-schmancy 'super- hearing' of yours," Turner finished. "You know, I know a little something about you too."
Clark got nervous. "Oh really, Turner? What is this 'little something'?"
"Don't call me that, the name is Tempus. You see, Clark Kent, where I come from everyone knows, and it's no secret — Clark Kent is Superman," Turner said. "If I feel like killing Lois Lane, I'll do as I damn well please. By the way, you'll be hearing from the Smallville funeral director soon about arrangements for your parents… it seems that there was some trouble going on in Hick-town…"
A confused Clark did the first thing possible in his moment of rage. He began charging towards Tempus.
Linda and Lois continued to talk and began walking as they did. They reminisced about old stories they'd both covered, talked about dating for awhile, which is where the subject of Clark came up. Linda was hesistant to talk about him at first, but soon she didn't mind so much, and she couldn't believe how easy Lois was to talk to.
Not too far into the conversation, Lois heard someone call her name. The two stopped and turned around to see who it was.
A little man with a moustache and glasses was standing on the sidewalk smiling at them both.
"Excuse me for interrupting. Ms. Lane, Ms. King?" He shook both their hands and introduced himself. "My name is H.G. Wells." He paused for this to sink in and Lois immediately became suspicious.
"The author?" He nodded. "You're dead," Lois reminded him.
"Yes, quite. You have a habit of saying that often, don't you, Ms. Lane?" the dimunitive man said, chuckling. "Actually, I built a time machine and have spent most of time traveling with that. A few years ago I went to the future and met Tempus, who has been nothing but trouble since the day I met him. Anyhow, he built a time machine as well and has a thing against Superman. He wants to get rid of him and the proper timeline from which he came." Wells stopped and looked at Linda and Lois.
"Maybe he should meet Lex Luthor," Linda joked. Lois gave her a dirty look. "He hasn't liked Superman since he came to Metropolis either," Linda said, in a more subdued tone.
Wells became serious. "Tempus and Luthor are working together." He turned to Linda. "I'm going to need Clark's help, you understand? He is virtually the only one that can help."
"What can Clark do?" Lois asked, still out of the loop, "He's a nice guy and all, but come on…"
"Ms. Lane, I know this may come as a shock to you, but Clark Kent is Superman." Linda looked shocked that Wells had told Lois, but her shock didn't compare to Lois's.
Lois's mouth hung open. Her eyes grew wide as she looked from Linda King, whose eyes told her it was the truth. She looked down, picturing Clark, and then Superman. Superman, then Clark. She leaned against a wall and asked, "You need his help to fix time? What exactly is wrong with it?"
"Well, about this time in the other timeline, I guess you could call it, you and Mr. Kent are… erm, involved." Wells looked uncomfortable. He glanced at Linda, then continued talking. "As a matter of fact, you are expecting a child. Clark was hired by Perry White at the Daily Planet five years ago, not turned down like he was here. In the proper timeline, Tempus never did travel back in time to change the future." He stopped to let all of this sink in as well.
"I can't believe it!" Linda replied, shocked and partly angry. "Clark married *you*?!"
"How do you think *I* feel? I mean, Clark Kent?!" Lois exclaimed. Wells couldn't help but smile and nod in response.
"You two are very much in love in that timeline. Rather than explaining all of this, however, you two must help me find Clark so that I can explain all of this to him. He must help me stop Tempus and Lex from ever meeting." Wells had gotten more worried as he explained things to Lois and Linda. He was afraid time was running out.
Back at Tempus's office, Clark charged after Tempus, ready to pound him into a wall. Clark held him up over him about to deliver a fatal blow. Nothing, not even being blamed for the deaths of hundreds of people, had set Clark over the edge as much as hearing his parents had been murdered. He was suddenly distracted by a door full of light that stood behind him.
"Don't step backwards and don't make a move, or I'll bring it forward," Tempus warned Clark.
"What is that?" Clark said, still holding Tempus against the wall.
"You mean, you don't remember this from the last time I threw you into a time window?" Tempus reminded. "Oh wait, duh, another time, another place."
Clark began to let Tempus down slowly.
"You're working for Luthor aren't you?" Clark asked.
"Not anymore. Luthor is dead," Tempus answered.
"Show me the body."
"Now, now, demanding aren't we? I'm sad to say that he… ran out of time. Toodles." Tempus opened into a time window next to him and rematerialized in the basement at Lexcorp where he had held Kelly. Clark scanned through the entire Metropolis Star building to look for Tempus, but found nothing. He considered checking Lexcorp but upon getting there he found that all of the walls were lined with lead. Apparently Tempus had warned Lex about Clark's vision powers.
As Herb explained what he could to Linda and Lois, Clark caught up with them and started walking toward them hurriedly. It wasn't until he was only a few feet away that he noticed the man with them.
"Linda!" he yelled. Linda, Lois and Wells turned to face him. Lois couldn't help but stare at Clark, not knowing what to think or feel. She tried to shake it off, but found it difficult to ignore the fact that in some other time period she was having his child.
Wells held his hand out to Clark, who shook it. "My name is H.G. Wells. Feel free to call me Herbert, if you'd like." Clark nodded skeptically.
"I'm guessing you know who I am," Clark said resignedly.
"Clark Kent," he answered. "On occasion, Superman." This grabbed Clark's attention. Wells explained everything to Clark, more thoroughly than he had to Linda and Lois.
When he was through Clark said, "I'm not too sure about this. How do we know you're telling the truth?"
"For starters, I know you're Superman. And I know you've believed for awhile that Tempus and Lex have been working together."
"But Turner — er, Tempus — hired me."
"Yes, quite." He proceeded to explain. "He hired you at the Metropolis Star. I'm guessing he did that to keep you away from Lois." Clark still wasn't sure what to believe.
Linda pulled Clark over a few feet away to talk.
"You weren't sure whether or not to believe Ching and Zara, but they were for real. He seems like he's telling the truth. How else would he know all of the things he knows? I may not like what he says, but it does seem likely," Linda said as she remembered Wells' words about Lois and Clark's relationship. She wasn't sure why she believed him, though. She didn't want him to be telling the truth; if he was, she and Clark wouldn't be together anymore. She was scared, but was determined not to show it.
"Maybe you're right," Clark conceded. "I don't know, though, Linda. Lois and me? It's a bit unlikely, don't you think?"
Linda then noticed Clark's somber look. "Clark, are you all right? You seem… distanced…"
"Tempus… murdered my mother and father this morning," Clark told her. "And I was unable to stop it!" For the first time since she had known him Linda saw Clark cry.
Clark then turned to Lois. "I also have some unfortunate news for you. Tempus has also taken another life today. The life of Lex Luthor."
Lois mouth dropped and she was shocked to the point that she, too, began crying. "I can't believe he's dead! I loved him, he can't be gone! He can't be…" Clark sighed and went over to her and put his arms around her. For some reason, at that point it seemed natural to him.
"I know you all are worried, upset, angry, but with your help, we can stop this miscreant and prevent this from happening!" Wells urged the threesome vehemently. "I can help you, but I need you to help me. Don't worry about any of this. It will all be over soon. We just need to go back in time to stop Tempus from ever meeting Lex Luthor."
Lois spoke up. "Why didn't you try to restore the timeline sooner?"
"I only just realized that things were amiss, and once I did, I wasn't sure where to start. Unfortunately, it is impossible to document at what time Tempus entered the… poof. I decided I needed help in stopping Tempus, I cannot do it alone."
Wells led the three of them back to his time machine. "Ms. Lane, Ms. King, you two need to stay here. The only one who needs to come with me is Clark." Both protested, but Wells was adamant. Wells and Clark boarded the time machine and seconds later completely disappeared, not knowing that Lois and Linda had stowed away behind them.
Wells, Clark, Lois, and Linda appeared on an alleyway in Metropolis 1993. "Oh, dear… I thought you two were going to stay behind…" Wells noted.
"If what you say is true, tell me: What traits do the history books claim are traits of Lois Lane?" Lois asked.
"Why, that's simple. Persistence, courage, and the ability to always get herself in messes over her head," Wells stated.
"Exactly. So why are you surprised I'm here?" Lois joked.
Clark, now wearing his Superman costume, laughed also. Linda noticed and couldn't help but begin to become jealous.
"I implore you to keep away from your previous selves," Wells warned. "If you meet, the results will be disasterous."
Wells noticed Clark walking around, admiring the look and the attitude of Metropolis. "Such a sense of wonder…" Clark began.
"Of a time more naive, more optimisic, with a great future ahead?" Wells finished.
"Yes, how did you know?" Clark said.
"That was one thing the historians always noticed about studying the time period of the first season," Wells answered.
"First season?" Clark asked.
"History term. I'd explain it to you but unfortunately we have to find Tempus immediately, or we'll have to circle back yet again if he has already come into contact with Luthor," Wells told him.
Lois began to look at Clark, and wondered what her life would have been like if she were in love with someone who treated her as an equal instead of an object. While Lois was in her mode of staring, Linda noticed a man who looked exactly like "George Turner" making his way down the road they were next to. "Is that him?!?" Linda asked.
Clark used his super-vision to see through the side building and to see the man walking down the street. It was indeed Tempus. Superman sped towards him and the other three ran closely behind. "May I help you?" Clark said, standing behind Tempus.
Tempus turned around in surprise. "Superman?!? But — you don't exist yet!" Tempus said. He then began to run, not thinking that Superman can outrun him easily. "Oh, poop," Tempus said to himself. He pulled out his time window control and opened a window right behind Linda. Tempus ran towards her and pushed her into the window as he did to Lex. "Happy trails!"
Superman became a little surprised and bewildered. Linda — his companion for several years — had been killed by the same man who would soon kill his parents. He had had enough. Clark sped up and pulled the time window control from Tempus's hand. He then grabbed Tempus's shoulders, and was again driven over the line to the point that he would possibly kill.
Wells walked up behind Clark and looked at him sternly. "A wise person once said to me, that if you treat someone the way a villain would treat another, doesn't that make you a villain as well?" Clark thought about Wells' words, and put Tempus down. "Besides, Clark, now that we have Tempus and can return him to the proper authorities, your parents, as well as Linda, will still live on. The timeline that Tempus and Luthor had created is ceasing to exist," he said.
Wells used Tempus's time window control to create a window of his own to take Tempus to the peacekeepers of the Utopian future. "This time, he will be taken to a well-padded prison cell in the far future of which he will never escape."
Lois started to notice something strange on herself and on Superman, and began to panic. "Our hands — they're fading!"
"Don't worry, Ms. Lane. Because your timeline has been erased, you do not exist in this form. The horrid events of the future created by Tempus never happened," Wells said.
"But I'm scared…" said Lois.
"Don't be, my dear. Your future is a great one to come," Wells assured. Within seconds, Superman and Lois vanished into thin air.
"Ah, quite, well I best be going…" Wells said to himself. He closed the time window so he could hand Tempus to Andrus and the other authorities, who thanked him. Wells told them after all was said and done that there was still one thing he had to accomplish before this adventure of his was over.
Wells rematerialized in the Daily Planet newsroom, right beside Perry's office. The time is three days after they had stopped Tempus, and Clark Kent has returned to Perry White with an article on an old theater being torn down.
Clark sat in front of Perry's desk as Perry read the article Clark had written. Jimmy stood beside him as Lois leaned against a wall, feeling as if she had better things to do.
"'… She came to say goodbye, as we all must, to the past, and to a life and a place that soon would exist only in a bittersweet memory,'" Perry read the concluding sentence of Clark's article.
"Smooth," Jimmy said appreciatively.
"Yeah. If you like that sort of thing," Lois said begrudgingly.
Perry then turned to Clark, holding his hand out to shake it. "You know, Kent, there's one attribute I value as much as experience, and that's initiative. Clark Kent, welcome to the Daily Planet!"
Wells looked at his watch and moved on.
In another time and another place, it was dark out, and a man walked slowly in the pouring rain. He didn't look sad, lost, or even lonely. He seemed to be determined, but to do what? No one who looked out at the otherwise empty street seemed to know. He rounded the corner, quickly ran up a few steps and knocked on the front door of one of the many brownstones on the street.
Lois Lane opened the front door, and she looked up at the almost unrecognizable figure standing in the doorway.
"Clark? You're all wet! Come here."
"I'm fine. I just needed to walk around for awhile."
"It was the plane crash, wasn't it?" He looked up at her to see a touch of an understanding smile on her face, and a caring look in her eyes.
"Yeah. There were a few people I couldn't save." She walked over, and ignoring the fact that he was soaking wet, hugged him. He lightly kissed her forehead and started toward the fireplace. He noticed a scrapbook on the couch. "Is this the scrapbook you made of Superman's articles?" he asked, knowing full well that it wasn't.
Lois looked up. "How did you know — ?" She couldn't remember ever showing Clark her scrapbook of Superman pictures and sightings.
Clark chuckled. "I've known for a long time about that. I know this is just pictures. But what's it doing out?"
Lois grinned. "Oh, I looking for that good silverware Uncle Mike gave us and I found that. I was just browsing through it. You know, it's been about five years since you started at the Daily Planet."
"Five years since I was lucky enough to meet you," Clark added. "Only then, you didn't think you were so lucky."
"Yeah, well, what can I say?" Lois said, slightly embarrassed as she remembered her antics of the period. "Some things just take time!"
Clark smiled as he flipped through the book. "Wow, who took all these pictures? I don't remember ever seeing some of them."
"Actually, Jimmy took most of them. I swear he was following us around or something taking these pictures… that is, when he wasn't forced to fix Perry's fish or clean out the closets!" Both Lois and Clark laughed. "Look at this outfit!" Clark grinned, opening up to a picture of Lois in a chicken outfit she wore undercover.
"Yeah, well, I, ahh,,, why *did* you throw me in that dumpster anyway?" Lois asked accusingly.
"Well you know, for a hack from Nowheresville,,,"
"You heard that?!"
"Of course I did. I hear everything." Clark smiled. His expression changed to thoughtful, and he said, "I still can't believe how much you couldn't stand me. There were a few times there when I thought you'd rather hang around Cat than deal with me! Face it, Lois, you were downright *mean*!"
"I wasn't mean, exactly," Lois interjected. Then she thought about it and conceded, "Okay, maybe I was. It was just, well, the way I handled people, I guess. I didn't want anyone to get too close. And I'm sorry for the way I treated you. There. Happy?" Lois said, looking up pitifully.
"Well whatever you said, even that didn't stop me from falling in love with you." He sat down next to her on the couch and kissed her gently. He instinctively placed a hand on Lois's abdomen, where their child was growing. When they broke from their kiss, Lois turned to a page with a picture of Perry and Jimmy.
"I guess we need to tell them the good news," Lois said, reaching for the phone.
"How about tomorrow at work?" Clark put out a hand to stop her.
"Well, I had something important I thought we could do tonight. Meet you in the bedroom?" Clark said with a sly grin.
"I'll beat you there. And this time, *no* powers!" Lois teased. "I don't know what I'd do without you." Lois lowered her voice. "You really thought I was mean? …" Her voice got even lower as she looked around, then back up at Clark. "I just got the strangest feeling of deja vu…"
PAST AND PRESENT COMMENTS An afterword by co-writer Allison Word
In the afterward to "The Odd Couple," Craig pretty much explained the idea of how to bring Lex Luthor and Tempus together into a believable episode. Once we figured how we could bring them not only back, but together as well, we had to find a way to make sure neither villain would come back to haunt Lois and Clark again.
It was a necessity to have H.G. Wells show up, since Tempus was there. Then the problem was how to get rid of Tempus and Luthor. Once that was solved, the episode was just showing the changed future with Clark at the Metropolis Star working with Linda King, and Lois still working alone at the Daily Planet.
One of the great things about this episode and "The Odd Couple" was being able to bring back old characters, as well as showing what things *could* have been like. As fun as it is to see a different Lois and Clark, it's always nice to get our favorite couple back the way they should be and get their lives back in order.
I hope you all enjoyed this as much as "The Odd Couple," and that you're enjoying reading all of The Unaired Fifth Season.
Special thanks to Kat Picson, Julie Mack, and Russ Dimino for editing this "episode."