By SuperMom <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Submitted March 2001
Summary: In this follow up to the fanfic "Clark.doc," Clark replies to Lois's email with one of his own.
All disclaimers apply. Thanks go to Ann McBride, LabRat, and Kath Roden for their beta reading, editing skills, and their untiring encouragement.
Previously, in "Clark.doc":
"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!
As Clark read Lois's words, his heart sank. Today was to have been the big revelation. He was going to tell Lois everything. Sure she would be mad, but he had figured that she would throw a few things and babble a bit — okay, she'd babble a lot — but then she would realize that he had only had her best interests at heart. And she would forgive him his little deception.
Clark reached into his coat pocket and fingered the small velvet box that rested there. It contained the diamond engagement ring that he had purchased three days ago. The ring was nothing like the one that Lex had given her. Clark chuckled as he remembered how Perry had described that ring: "That thing's bigger than the cap on a Coca Cola bottle!" No, he might not be able to compete with Lex's billions, but he had something to offer that no one else did. He had his undying love and devotion to offer to Lois.
He'd watched his parent's relationship over the years and their love for each other seemed to grow stronger year by year. Clark could only imagine the strain that their inability to have children had put on the marriage. However, Krypton's misfortune had resulted in the fulfillment of Martha and Jonathan Kent's dream of becoming parents. He'd heard the story of how they saw the shooting star and followed it to Schuster's Field. There, they found a baby, wrapped in a blue blanket, lying in a spacecraft. The story had an almost biblical quality to it when his mother told it. For there, in that tiny craft, was the answer to their prayers.
Thanks to Martha and Jonathan's loving upbringing, Clark had grown into a fine man. He was well educated and a world traveler. But his wanderlust had soon given way to a yearning for something more. He had made his way to Metropolis and the Daily Planet. And sitting in Perry's office for his interview, he had met her — not just her, but HER. He had known immediately that there was something special about this woman. Lois Lane was the most beautiful woman he had ever seen. There was a fire in her eye, however, that far overshadowed the physical beauty. And it was that combination of fire and beauty that had drawn him like a moth to a flame.
Lois had used and abused him. She had mocked him, called him "Farmboy" and a "hack from Nowheresville," stolen his stories, and had blatantly told him not to fall for her. But Clark just couldn't help it. Somehow he KNEW they were destined to be together; deep inside he understood that he would be bound to this woman for eternity.
Over time, Lois had softened a bit. Despite her protests to Perry that she didn't need or want a partner, she had eventually accepted Clark, and had even come to rely on him in many ways. Their partnership evolved into a friendship and then to a "best" friendship. It nearly killed him, both figuratively and literally, when she agreed to marry that monster, Lex Luthor. But they hadsurvived that crisis and grown even closer in the process. He'd hated lying to her about his feelings, but if that's what it took, then…that's what it took.
God, how he had hated leading Lois to believe that he was dead when Clyde Barrow had shot him. And he'd hated even more the crazy story he'd told her about Superman using Dr. Hamilton's techniques to bring him back to life. Of course, once he told her the truth about him and Superman, she'd understand — AFTER she ranted at him about letting her believe he was dead.
Their "almost first date" was bittersweet. Clark had finally garnered the nerve to ask her out only to have his plans thwarted by Perry assigning them to an all-night stakeout. At least they were together. But then they'd both been distracted — detoured — by Mayson Drake and Dan Scardino. Clark hadn't known that Mayson was in love with him, but her death was devastating to him nonetheless. Any death was devastating, but he felt particularly guilty because he had been so close, yet unable to prevent it. And in his grieving, he had pushed Lois away — again.
They had weathered the storm called Scardino and Clark had promised not to run away anymore — a promise he intended to keep. That promise would include telling Lois everything. Now, this man who not only knew that he was Superman, but wanted him to steal in order to protect the secret, had thwarted his intentions. Yes, he wanted Lois to know; but he wanted her to hear it from him, not from someone using the information for blackmail. Maybe his parents were right; maybe he should tell Lois — and the world — and call this fellow's bluff. And then maybe, after Lois calmed down, they could resume their courtship — if you could call it that — and he could propose.
Clark squeezed the ring box once again and made his decision. He glanced toward the conference room where Lois had retreated earlier. She was alternately pacing and gazing out the window. In her current state, talking to her would be next to impossible. She was emotional and angry. And Clark was well aware of his uncanny ability to get tongue-tied around Lois when his emotions were flaring.
He moved to his desk, sat in front of his computer, and turned it on. After it had whirred through the start-up routine, he opened his email program, pointed the cursor to "Compose," and clicked. He had always been better at putting his thoughts on paper than verbalizing them. If Lois could email him a "Dear John" letter, he rationalized that he should be able to email her the truth. And since the Planet had upgraded the network security to protect all the reporters' files and messages, he wasn't worried about anyone else seeing anything he wrote.
I am Superman.
There, I've said it. Normally I would have worked up to this, but you are so angry at me right now that I was afraid you would discard an email that began with how I feel about you or how much I love you or how sorry I am that I ran out on you this morning.
Oh, I know that you don't believe me, and you think that I'm just trying to get back into your good graces. But think about it, Lois. When did I start working at the Daily Planet? And when did Superman first appear? Have you ever seen Superman and me together? (I know you thought you did when Diana Stride made her revelation. That was a hologram that my mother worked out.) Why do you think I give you such stupid excuses for running away? I'm not running away from you; I'm running to a rescue.
I am Superman. Or rather Superman is what I can do. Clark is who I am. Everything else that you know about me is true — farmboy from Kansas, Midwest University graduate, world traveler, sports nut, good dancer (I really did learn from a Nigerian princess), and hopelessly in love with Lois Lane.
I intended to tell you the truth earlier this morning at your apartment. Do you remember when we were sitting on your sofa? I said, "Lois, I'm Super…" and then the phone rang. I was going to say, "Lois, I'm Superman," and then after you quit yelling at me, I was prepared to answer all your questions and try to move on with our relationship.
I've lived my life keeping my powers a secret from everyone. I can tell you all the details later, but the short version is that my folks found me in a space capsule in the middle of a field. They didn't know if I was a cold war experiment gone awry or a strange visitor from another planet. Eventually the truth was revealed to me; but from the beginning, I always had to keep the secret. It was hard being different, Lois. I never really felt like I belonged. And my dad was always warning me that if I wasn't careful, they would put me in a laboratory and dissect me like a frog. I never knew who "they" were, but I did know I didn't want them to catch me. Then I came to Metropolis and I met you and I created Superman. Actually, you helped. Remember the day we happened upon that explosion in the manhole? I really did save that man. Your suggestion about keeping a change of clothes at work gave me the idea for the outfit. And of course, you coined the name "Superman." So he's as much your creation as mine. Forgive me if I talk about him in the third person; my mom gets worried when I do it, but sometimes it's the only way I can keep it straight in my head: I am Clark Kent, son of Jonathan and Martha Kent. Superman is what I can do to help other people.
As the whole Superman thing progressed, it became apparent to me that certain people didn't want me around. I "interfered" with their business. And it also became evident to me that anyone close to me could become a target; they could be used as leverage to get to me. As you and I became more involved, I realized that not only did I have to worry about my mom and dad, but now I also had to worry about you. On the one hand I wanted you to know everything about me; on the other hand I wanted to protect you.
I said earlier that I've never run away from you. This morning I knew I wasn't going to a rescue. Although as it turns out, it was; I'm rescuing myself from a blackmailer. The call was from a man who told me that he knew I was Superman and unless I met his demands, he would tell the world. He wants me to steal for him in order to keep my secret. I won't do it, Lois. I've already talked to my parents and they agree that I should reveal to the world that I am Superman and call this guy's bluff. But I wanted you to know first. Then maybe when you've settled down, you can help me figure out how to make the big announcement to the world and then how to deal with it.
I love you, Lois. I love you more than life itself. Now that I've told you, a huge burden has been lifted from me in one respect. On the other hand, I'm not sure you will still feel the same about our relationship. Being Clark Kent's girlfriend is one thing; being Superman's is entirely another. I don't know what life will hold for us once the world knows that Clark Kent is Superman and that he loves Lois Lane. But I do know that if you will give us a chance, together we can get through anything.
Please don't hate me, Lois. Please understand that I did what I thought was best. Of course, I'm assuming that you're going to be angry with me over this. Maybe you won't be. Conversely, maybe you'll never want to talk to me again. I'm hoping you will have read this by noon and calmed down enough to have lunch with me. And then we can talk — REALLY talk.
All my love,
Clark took a deep breath and held it as he clicked on the "Send" button, dispatching his confession to Lois's computer. He leaned back as he exhaled and began contemplating his plan of action. He wanted to enlist his parents' help on how to announce his secret identity to the world. And Lois's too, if she was still speaking to him. The ringing of his phone jarred him from his thoughts.
"Clark Kent," he announced into the receiver.
"Did I call at a bad time?" Clark realized it was "him.""There won't be any more bad times," Clark whispered into the phone. "I hate to ruin your plans, but I've decided to go ahead and tell everyone I'm Superman. Want to see who can call a press conference the fastest?"
"Interesting change of attitude. Your folks didn't have anything to do with it, did they?"
"My folks…" Clark began worriedly.
"We're sharing some quality time together now. Well, I call it that. They call it kidnapping," he said. "They're good people. And I know you wouldn't want anything to happen to them."
Clark thought that the man was bluffing, but his fears were soon validated. He heard his father yell in the background, followed by what sounded like a slap and his mother's scream.
"Let them go. They mean nothing to you."
"Oh sure they do. Because now you have to do what I say no matter what happens."
"I can't steal for you."
"You can do anything. You're Superman. Remember?"
The phone went dead. Clark stared at the receiver realizing that his worst fear had now come true. The family he loved had become a madman's target. Glancing at Lois in the conference room, Clark hoped that once she read his email, she would understand why he'd left the office — why, once again, he had run out. He hung up the phone and dashed for the elevator.
Lois paused from her pacing and looked toward the conference room in time to see Clark bolt toward the elevator. "He's probably going off to pick up his "Tie of the Month" shipment," she mumbled sarcastically. She was glad he hadn't followed her into the conference room. She wasn't ready for that final confrontation. Now that he had left the newsroom, she could get back to work and get her mind off of the distraction she called Clark Kent.
Booting up her computer, she immediately noticed a new email from Clark. While she was hesitant to read it, she realized it could contain information on their current story. Whatever their personal situation, she couldn't — no she wouldn't — let it interfere with her work. She and Clark might not be dating anymore, but she was still going to be the best-darned investigative reporter in Metropolis.
She clicked on the icon to open the message and was immediately confronted with the words "I am Superman." "Who in the hell does he think he is?" Lois snorted. But curiosity got the best of her and she continued reading.
Ten minutes later, Jimmy found her sitting numbly at her desk, staring at a blank computer screen, and looking as pale as if she'd seen a ghost.
Author's note: Clark.doc can be read in its entirety at