By SuperMom <>

Rated G

Submitted October 2000

Summary: After Clark runs off once again, Lois puts her feelings on paper — or, more accurately, on the computer screen. Find out just why Jimmy suggested to Clark that a flak jacket might be appropriate attire for the occasion.

The usual disclaimers apply, blah, blah, blah. Thanks to Ann, Kath, Wendy, and LabRat for their input during the various stages of this endeavor. I couldn't have done it without you :).

(Did you ever wonder what Lois was typing in "And the Answer Is"? You know, when Jimmy was looking over her shoulder as she typed furiously?)


~~ Lois's apartment ~~

Clark roamed around Lois's apartment, talking to photos and plants as he planned how he would FINALLY tell her that he was Superman. She deserved to know before their relationship went any further. He really should have told her a long time ago, but every time he'd summoned up the courage to even try, something else would happen.

Then there was the whole affair with Mayson and Scardino, and his promise that he wasn't going to run away anymore. And now he stood in front of Lois's photograph, wondering if he should just come straight out and say, "Lois, I'm Superman." or if he should give her hints and let her reporter's skills take over and figure it out. Either way, she was going to be mad. No doubt, it was a good thing that bullets bounced off of him.

As he was absentmindedly asking himself whether Lois owned a gun, he heard her enter the room behind him. Taking a deep breath and trying to relax, he turned to face her.

"Lois, I've got something I want to tell you."

"It's not good news, is it?" she asked as she moved across the room toward him.

"Well, I don't know. Maybe." Clark could feel the knot in his stomach tightening as Lois looked at him.

Seeing Clark squirm, Lois replied, "No, it's not. I can tell by the look on your face."

"Lois, maybe you'd better, uh, sit down."

As she sat down, Lois sighed, "Oh yeah. This is good news."

Clark took a seat beside her, drew in another deep breath, and began, "You know how you're always complaining that I seem to run off every time we start talking about something important?"

"I recall mentioning it once or twice." Clark noticed that Lois smiled a little as she said this. Maybe there was hope after all.

"Well, there's a reason for that, and it has nothing to do with my having a fear of intimacy or being afraid of falling in love or anything like that." Clark looked directly at Lois, took yet another deep breath, and continued.

"I think I should just tell you this as simply and honestly as I can. Lois, I'm Super…"

Before he could say the word, THAT word, Lois's phone rang. Almost relieved, Clark paused and suggested, "Maybe you should just answer that." Giving him a look of disbelief, Lois got up from the couch, walked to the phone and snatched up the receiver, obviously unhappy with this interruption.

"Hello? Yes, he's right here." Holding out the receiver to Clark, she said, "It's for you."

Taking the phone from her, and wondering who knew he was there, Clark quickly said, "Hello?" Then he listened as his world began to unravel around him. He'd been trying to tell the woman he loved that he was Superman, yet here was someone who already knew the secret. But how?

Careful not to show his concern to Lois, Clark hung up the phone, and turned back to Lois. "Uh, that was my barber, Waldo."

"Your barber?" Lois asked incredulously.

"Yeah, I'm late for an appointment. I have to go. I'm sorry." Clark moved toward the door as once again he made a ridiculous excuse for leaving.

"Clark, you were in the middle of telling me something."

"Was I?" Clark grimaced a little, then tried to laugh, wanting only to get out of Lois's apartment and deal with whomever knew his secret.

"Yes! You said, 'Lois, I'm super…" Lois paused, hoping he would finish the sentence.

His hand on the doorknob, Clark laughed nervously and told her, "Lois, I'm super late for my appointment. I'm sorry and I can't have breakfast with you this morning. But I'll be in the office later and maybe we can have lunch. Okay?"

As he walked through the doorway and into the hall, Lois called to him, confused by Clark's behavior. "Clark…!"

Pulling the door shut behind him, Clark hurriedly said, "I gotta go, Lois. I'm sorry."

~~ Later, at The Daily Planet ~~

Lois pounded the keys of her computer furiously, her conversation with Clark (if, she thought, you could call it a conversation) still fresh in her mind. Her anger was still fresh too, and hovering dangerously close to boiling point. *How dare he…* she raged, as she continued her assault on the keyboard. *If he thinks…* she continued in her mind, as the bile rose in her throat, and her caustic thoughts became symbols on the computer screen.

Walking by Lois's desk with copies of the latest circulation reports in hand, Jimmy noticed Lois's frenzied typing and decided "Mad Dog Lane" must be hot on the trail of another Kerth-caliber story.

"That must be some story," he commented as he leaned over her shoulder and read the screen. As he saw the words, he froze and sucked in his breath."Seen enough?" Lois asked sarcastically.

"Uh… you're not actually going to say those things to C.K. are you?"

Lois stopped her typing and turned to Jimmy with a stare that could have melted steel.

"None of my business?" As she nodded her assent, he agreed, "Right." Wanting to put as much space as possible between himself and Lois, Jimmy almost sprinted across the newsroom. As he approached the ramp, Clark exited the elevator and walked toward him.

"Hi Jimmy."

"Nice coat," Jimmy commented. Then, half-mumbling, he added, nodding in Lois's direction, "Although a flak jacket might have been a better call."

Glancing toward her, Clark asked hesitantly, "Upset?"

Feeling sorry for his friend, Jimmy shook his head. "You only wish."

Clark sighed, and headed for Lois, determined to make up for his earlier course of action. As he arrived at her desk, Lois finished her typing with a pounding flourish and settled back to review her composition.

"I think we need to talk," Clark uttered softly.

Giving him one of her patented looks, she answered, "You read my mind. Or my screen." Pushing away from the desk, Lois rose and headed for the conference room. Worried, Clark took a quick look at her screen, blanching at the contents as he cursored down the page.

"Dear Clark,

You're "super late" for your barber's appointment? I thought we'd decided to move on with our relationship. I thought you were ready to take the next step; I thought WE were ready to take the next step. After our talk, I really believed we'd worked everything out. I told Superman that I just wanted to be his friend. Dan and I aren't going to be seeing each other any more. And the way you held me and kissed me — well, let's just say that I've never felt like that before. You led me to believe that you wouldn't run away any more.

But you did it again this morning. I was excited about having breakfast with you. I even bought a new suit for the occasion, although I don't know why I should feel the need to impress you with some new item of clothing. Maybe it goes back to my father. I was always trying to impress him. But no matter what I did, it was just never enough. Sorry…I'm babbling. Or maybe I'm distancing (what does that mean anyway?). You'd think that for what I pay Dr. Friskin, I could at least understand what she tells me. I'm babbling again. And not only am I babbling, I'm apologizing. I shouldn't be the one apologizing; YOU should be. You ran off again with another one of your lame excuses.

Clark, you were going to tell me something important — and I have an idea that it's something that will affect our relationship. But whatever it was, it obviously wasn't as important as keeping your appointment with Waldo. And maybe that means that I'm not important to you either.

I love you, Clark. And I thought that you loved me. But even after you promised you would stop, you are still pushing me away. Why won't you let me get close? Why won't YOU get close? I know why my relationships with men have never worked out before. I seem to be drawn to the wrong kind of man. Before Claude, I was too trusting. And until I met you, I NEVER trusted ANY man. With Lex, I was swept away by his power and influence. And when Superman told me that there was no chance for us — well you know the rest. But something about you started breaking down those walls I had built around me. Something about you began to touch my heart. You became my partner and my best friend. And when I thought you had died that night at Georgie Hairdo's club, I wanted to die too. I knew then, though I wouldn't admit it, that I was in love with you. It hurt to think about not having you in my life.

And now that's how I feel again — hurt and angry and disappointed and abandoned and deceived. You pushed me away for the millionth time. And I don't think I can take being pushed away any more. If we can't resolve whatever it is that keeps you from staying around and actually talking about us, then maybe I just need to call this whole relationship with you off. Maybe I just need to cut my losses here and now before I get in any deeper than I already am. Maybe I need to ask Perry for a new partner. Some time apart right now would probably do us both some good. We could both put things — our relationship, our feelings for each other — in perspective.

You'll get this in your email because I've always been better at putting things into words than verbalizing them. And quite frankly, I don't want to have to look at those puppy-dog eyes of yours while I tell you to take a hike. I might have been sucked in by them before, but this morning was the coup de grace, you no-good, lying, snake-in-the-grass coward. You're just like my father, just like Paul, just like Claude, just like Lex, and just like every other man that's ever been in my life. Listen to me! I'm beginning to sound like some teenager writing to Dear Abby.

I told you before and I'm telling you again, Clark. Forget it!