By Marnie Rowe <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Submitted June 1999
Summary: A different way for Clark to spill the beans. This time without the angst, without the doubt, and without the anger.
Hello, just a quick blurb on a way for Clark to spill the beans. I was tired and my two year old son was screaming Soopraman! Cark. So I was primed. All the usual legal mumbo jumbo that none of this is mine yada yada yada. Anyway comments are always welcome at Bumkin@ibm.net. Hope you like it.
Superman swooped down into the news-room and just stood beside Lois' desk, waiting for her to look up and notice that he was there. He couldn't believe how long it took, with the sniggers and chuckles sounding around her, for it to register in her that there was something going on. Finally, she looked up, ready to blast at whomever dared to draw her attention to anything else while she was absorbed in a story. Even if it was Clark, who was supposed to be here, but had run off with yet another truly lame excuse. Again. She was just about to let the infamous Lane tornado rip loose when she saw who it was that was drawing all the unwelcome attention.
As Clark hid his smile, he couldn't help comparing that Lois swallowing her angry words was like a dragon getting ready to let out a belly full of flame, but checked in mid-torch. It looked very painful to say the least.
After gaining control of herself Lois ventured a deceptively quiet, "Yes Superman, was there something that I could help you with?"
And Clark replied in his best Superman voice, "Yes, there is, Lois. Would you accompany me, please?" As he asked he held out his hands to lift her should she assent to be his passenger again, not that he had any doubts to her acceptance. Not really anyway.
Lois smiled a shy type of smile but had a troubled look on her face. She was warring with the curiosity that was raging through her, but still, with the thrill of a flight, she didn't hesitate … much … except, to quickly look over to Clark's desk.
Superman noticed and interpreting her glance correctly said, "Don't worry about Clark. I know where he is; he's doing something for me." As he scooped her up into his arms ready to carry her, he continued only loud enough for her to hear, "He already knows what I need you for, and he approves."
Lois, hearing that last bit of what to her sounded like the old boys' club, stiffened up. It was just like Clark to keep her in the dark, and she supposed that Superman wasn't much better for going to Clark first. Men! It didn't seem to matter if they were human or not.
They were soon winging above Metropolis at a dizzying rate. Then, as Superman slowed his flight, she recognized the area that he was aiming to land in. It was Clark's balcony. Why the heck were they at Clark's? Was he sick or hurt or what? No, that couldn't be it because Superman would have told her that her best friend was hurt or whatever, wouldn't he? She was so caught up in her "what ifs" that when Superman led her inside and sat her down on the couch, she hardly noticed. What brought her out of her reverie was the next words that he spoke.
"Now Lois, you are about to get the interview of the millennium. I am going to answer any and all questions about me that you want. The only thing is, there's a catch. You have to make the decision to publish my answers or not. Are you up to it?"
Decide to publish? Why wouldn't she … oh no, morality! It was up to her to figure out how much the public should really know about their hero. How would she know? She didn't think that this was going to be as much a straight forward interview as it sounded on the surface. Was anything ever that simple? No.
Clark sat back and waited for the barrage of questions that he knew would come from one of the best reporters there was in the business. He hoped that this wasn't a mistake. He had thought long and hard about how he was deceiving Lois and how he didn't like it. She had been cooling towards him in the suit for a while now and warming up to her partner and best friend. But he was both, and he felt that if he wanted more for them that he had to take this step. He had to tell her. She had to know that Superman was Clark but he also had these abilities, and he couldn't not use them. In plain, she had to accept all of him, both his sides, not just one or the other. Noticing that she seemed to be at a loss for words, not something that you encountered often when dealing with Lois, and taking pity on her, he gave her a boost.
"Listen, Lois, would it be easier if I told you a bit about my history?" At her nod he started. "Okay, then, in a nutshell, when I was a baby my parents found out that their planet, Krypton, was about to explode. To enable me to survive, they put me in a capsule and shipped me here to earth, where they knew that I was biologically compatible to the natives, hoping, I guess, that I'd fit in. What they didn't realize was what the yellow sun would do to me.
"I first started showing signs of abnormality when I was just shy of puberty. The only reason I didn't go mad then was because of the couple who found my capsule and raised me. They seemed to take everything that happened in stride. Of course, they didn't know where I was from. They thought that I was some kind of experiment that had gotten away. We didn't figure out who I really was until I found the globe. But I guess when you are childless and want a baby and get denied the option to adopt, then a baby from the sky is not too much to handle. They never questioned that I was different. To them I was a god-send, the child they had hoped for and been denied twice. They were the god-send if you look at it from my point of view. I mean, look who could have found me? Bureau 39 for one, and that is just for starters.
"But to get back to my mental stability, my parents just saw my abilities as a gift and showed me how to look at them in that way, as well. Nevertheless, I felt I was always looking in from outside, never quite fitting in, always having to conceal my true self from everyone. That, and I felt like the proverbial square peg trying to fit in a round hole."
Lois broke in at this point, although fascinated with what she was hearing and wanting nothing more really than for this man to continue, she needed to get a few things clarified.
"You were raised on earth as one of us?" At his nod she continued, "They must be a truly amazing couple."
Superman smiled and said, "Oh they are. As a matter of fact, you have met them." Lois sat back in surprise. She had met Superman's parents?! When, who..? Wait a minute …
"I have?" was all she managed to say. Something wasn't right. She didn't know what was wrong, but she would figure it out if it killed her. Not really much of a leap for her though. She wasn't known for backing down, not even if it meant her death.
"Okay, well you said that you didn't start showing your powers until close to puberty, right?" He nodded to indicate that she was correct.
"Well, what super thing did you do first? Did you have time to get used to one before you had to master another? What drove you to put on the suit? Where and how do you live? Do you have any other talents other than the ones you get from our sun?"
Clark smiled as the torrent of questions poured from her lips. This was the Lois he knew and loved. Holding up his hand to forestall anymore questions, he began his answer.
"Okay, in the order that you asked, the first thing I did was vision. I had just turned twelve, and all of a sudden if I looked real hard at something I could see it clearly. The big surprise was when I found I could see through things. I was sitting in school and was trying to see what was happening in the next classroom because I was bored, then all of a sudden, I could. I nearly fell out of my chair."
Clark sat back against the couch cushions as he looked over to Lois through half lidded eyes. She was listening and nodding as she tried to picture the man beside her as a boy in a school room. Somehow, it wasn't something that came easy to her. She knew that the suit wasn't attached permanently, but for some reason the picture of a boy in the suit was all that she could see in her mind's eye. Why couldn't she find enough to draw an accurate mental picture of this man as a boy? Did she really know that little about him? His next words brought her mental artistry up short.
"It was when my heat vision kicked in that my parents made me start to wear glasses. The lenses were made of leaded glass so it was harder for my vision gizmos to work. It wasn't that they didn't trust me not to use my powers, but as a precaution against accidents. Probably because the first time that I discovered my heat vision was not exactly nice … Well, you have heard the saying, 'if looks could kill.' I found out in a confrontation with a local bully that mine literally could, if I wasn't careful. It scared the bejeezus out of me to say the least." Clark stopped his narrative at this and remembered that day; he was making light of how scared he had been. That had been the turning point of his life, when he had sat down to think of how he had to control himself, that the slightest mistake on his part could kill. He had taken to wearing the glasses as a way to remind him of the limits he had placed on himself. He continued his thoughts out loud, "When I was wearing the glasses, I knew what I could and couldn't do. By this time, my speed and strength were kicking in at the same levels to each other, and the glasses stopped me from making mistakes by keeping me from playing on sports teams, where I could have easily have slipped up. I was subjected to quite a bit of heckling for this decision, but I found, in the meantime, that I really liked writing so I devoted most of my attention to academics, mainly English. When I started high-school, everyone had gotten used to me wearing the glasses and being a not-jock even though I looked like I should be one. It was expected that I was going to try for honors, maybe even the journalism scholarship. I didn't find out about the flying until I was eighteen when I had already been accepted by the scholarship program. It definitely made visiting home easier not to mention cheaper."
Lois began to see a pattern here, and she wasn't sure that she liked where it was leading her. They were in Clark's apartment and Clark was nowhere to be found, but she was beginning to think that she might have an inkling of his whereabouts. Superman saying that she had met his parents, that he wore glasses, looking like a jock but being more into writing. It all led back to one person and that person was …
Superman nodded and said, "Yes, Lois?"
Lois couldn't believe it. Clark saw this and stood. Quickly he spun into Clark, leaving the glasses off in his hand. Seeing that for the second time in an afternoon he had rendered Lois speechless, he sat down and started to talk again.
"It was you who prompted me to put on the suit. The second day that we worked together there was the emergency in that sewer, remember? All you saw was that I was a mess after helping, even though you had no idea what I had done. You told me in no uncertain tones that I was to keep a change of clothes at the office at all times, just in case. That was when I got the idea to have the suit, so that I could stay in Metropolis and when I wanted to help I could, without worrying about people recognizing me. My mom and I made it so that I didn't have to hide what I can do all the time. I can't begin to describe what that was like for me, the freedom to just be myself at times without having to worry about who or what may be watching. Heady stuff, I can assure you."
Pausing to look over at Lois to make sure that her attention was fixed firmly on him, he tried to let her know with his eyes and body language that he was telling her everything, how much he had wanted to tell her all of this and how hard it was to break the bonds of silence that he had erected to protect himself as well as keep every and anyone from finding out about him.
"You were the reason that I was so desperate to find a way to stay. That first day when you walked in during my interview with Perry, I was struck by a feeling of belonging, something that I had never experienced before, and I knew that whatever happened I was going to stay, to stick by you, that I never would feel so right anywhere else. I have thought for a long time how I would tell you. I figured that this would be best. After all, an interview is something that you are comfortable with. And Lois, I want you to know that whatever you decide, I'll back you up one hundred percent. I would rather that you didn't, but I won't stop you if you decide to publish everything that I have told you. I meant what I said at the start of this; it is entirely up to you."
Finished, he sat back and waited for Lois to deliver the verdict. She sat there for so long that he was getting nervous. Finally, she spoke, just as he was putting his glasses back on.
"People have to have a little mystery about their heroes, Clark. I wouldn't publish this for the world. Besides," a sly little smile on her face told him to be prepared to get zinged, "you don't think that the truth behind the hero would bore them to tears? It's just too prosaic. The farmboy moves to the big city to become one of the best investigative reporters around, but under everyone's collective noses, moonlights in tights."
Clark's face took on an offended look. Lois laughed and leaned forward to hug him. Clark's arms wrapped themselves around her automatically and she murmured into his chest,