Carol M <email@example.com>
Submitted: March 2001
Summary: In this sweet, waffy and amusing vignette, an unexpected encounter leads to a battle of wills. Lois is determined to prove that Clark is Superman. While Clark is equally determined to stop her! But more than one question is waiting to be answered.
This is a story that I wrote when I was trying to escape John Locke and Alexis de Tocqueville for a school assignment. Just for fun!
I didn't create most of the characters and they belong to people with lots more money than I have. I just wanted to have some fun!
Lois sat down. There was no real emotion on her face. Just stunned shock.
She knew that Clark and Superman were friends. The whole world knew that. Well, anyone with any sense anyway. But something just wasn't right here.
Could Clark be Superman?
Lois shook her head. It just wasn't possible. There was no way. But how could she explain what she had just seen.
She had gone to Clark's house at 2 a. m. after another bad date. After trying chocolate ice cream and not feeling any better, she decided to go see Clark. Clark always found a way to make her feel better. Usually he just let her vent and then held her when she cried, but that was always just what she needed.
So she had let herself in when he hadn't answered her knock, figuring to wake him up. But he hadn't been there. His bed looked slept in, but it was cold so he had been gone for a while.
She sat on the couch waiting for him, her reporter brain working overtime trying to figure out where he was. Finally, she started to doze off.
The familiar woosh of Superman woke her up and she saw him land just inside Clark's apartment window. He didn't see her there, lying on the couch in the dark. She knew where he had been. She had heard about the earthquake on the radio and knew it would have been a long night for the Man of Steel.
He did look tired. His head and shoulders were drooped and he started to peel off his suit.
Lois gulped. She'd often wondered if it came off and now she knew.
Superman pulled the top off so that he was naked to the waist and took the cape off.
It must have been heavier than she realized because it attached to his shoulders and not the suit like she had always thought.
He dropped the cape into Clark's laundry basket and walked into the bathroom.
Lois breathed a sigh of relief. As often as she had wanted to spend her life with Superman, she didn't want to be a Peeping Tom either. It made sense. She knew that Clark held onto Superman's extra suits, so it only made sense that he would wash them here, too.
She waited for him to get out of the shower, sure that he would notice her then.
But he didn't. Apparently, the earthquake took so much out of him that he didn't even notice her.
When he came out of the bathroom, he was wearing nothing but a towel.
Lois started. His hair was falling over his face and he looked a lot like Clark. She'd always known that they resembled each other slightly, but this was too much. And she HAD seen Clark in a towel before and the view was much the same.
She shook her head waiting for Superman to notice her, but he didn't. She saw him spin and when he finished spinning, he was standing there in a pair of boxers with his hair dry and glasses in his hand. He looked at the glasses as though trying to decide what to do. He finally set them on the nightstand and crawled into Clark's bed.
Lois was having difficulty breathing. Once he'd stopped that spinning thing, he had looked JUST like Clark without the glasses. Not that she'd ever seen Clark without his glasses.
It was just too much. She waited to hear the even breathing that meant Clark was asleep, hoping Superman breathed the same way when he was asleep and not knowing what to make of the whole thing.
She slipped out the front door, being careful not to make any noise.
Lois sat down. There was no real emotion on her face. Just stunned shock.
She knew that Clark and Superman were friends. The whole world knew that. Well, anyone with any sense anyway. But something just wasn't right here.
Could Clark be Superman?
It was already after four in the morning and, since it was Saturday, she was supposed to meet Clark at about ten so they could spend the day together. She thought about going home and getting some sleep, but she was too wound up.
Lois, being the investigative reporter that she was, came up with a plan. She knew that Clark was usually up early, but since he hadn't gone to sleep until almost four, she figured she had some time. She would come back around eight and see if she could catch him before he woke up and dressed.
She remembered that Superman was wearing green and blue plaid boxers. She had seen Clark in his boxers on several occasions, but she had never seen those. That didn't mean anything, not really.
She would knock on his door between seven thirty and eight and see what he was wearing. If Clark was wearing the green and blue boxers he was Superman. If he wasn't, then, well, they just looked a LOT alike. If he was already dressed, then she didn't know what she was going to do. That's why she had to get there early.
Lois went to a nearby coffee shop to think things over. She didn't want to just show up unprepared no matter what happened. Her sleep-deprived mind was trying to come up with plausible explanations either way.
She took out a piece of paper. The best way for her to think was with pen in hand. She made two columns. Clark is Superman and Clark isn't Superman.
She sighed. It was crazy.
First she went through all of the reasons why Clark wasn't Superman. They were so obvious that she didn't even write them down. Glasses vs. no glasses. The biggest thing of course was the whole alien superhero thing. Clark was a nice guy, but a superhero? It just didn't seem possible.
If Clark wasn't Superman, and Lois was pretty sure he wasn't, then why was he sleeping in Clark's apartment? There were few possible answers. One was just he needed a place to crash. Clark and Superman WERE good friends. But then where was Clark? She couldn't come up with a good answer, so she just skipped it.
The other side was a little harder to deal with. Clark was Superman. Could it be true? Lois thought about it. She had always prided herself on being able to look at things that seemed unlikely and find a way to prove them, at least theoretically. She decided to try to prove that it was at least POSSIBLE that Clark was Superman.
THINGS THAT COULD MEAN CLARK AND SUPERMAN ARE THE SAME PERSON
1. They have the similar color hair and it's about the same length.
2. They both have brown eyes (but Superman's are better).
3. They are both muscular (but Superman is more so).
4. They are both good looking, in different ways.
5. The only time they have been seen together was at the news conference.
6. Clark never seems to be around when Superman does a rescue, but always
knows the details.
7. Clark and Superman both know where to get the best food — Superman often from overseas, Clark never tells — could it be overseas too?
8. Clark can get a hold of Superman and no one knows how.
9. They are about the same height.
10. Superman is sleeping in Clark's bed right now.
Lois sighed. She had to admit it was possible. She looked at her watch. It was only six-thirty. It was too early to go to Clark's yet, so she decided to start a new list.
WHY CLARK WOULDN'T TELL ME HE'S SUPERMAN — IF HE REALLY IS
1. He's dumb.
2. He doesn't trust me — but I know he does — I think.
3. He's a geek.
4. He doesn't trust me — or didn't trust me.
5. He's a moron.
6. He's trying to protect me — geek.
7. He's a bozo brain.
8. He's trying to protect others.
9. He's a dweeb.
10. He didn't trust me and now he doesn't know how to tell me.
Lois looked at the two lists that she had made. Numbers six and seven seemed to be the most convincing on the why Clark is Superman list. If Clark really was Superman it would explain why he ran off all the time. Cheese of the Month. Please. How dumb did he think she was?
Lois almost jumped as she realized that she was starting to think like Clark really was Superman instead of this being just an odd set of coincidences. She looked at her watch again. It was almost seven-thirty. Time to go.
She gathered her things and headed back down the street — stifling a yawn as she went. This was going to be a long day.
She walked up the steps to Clark's apartment. Lois took a deep breath and knocked on the door. She heard Clark call from inside and she waited nervously.
He opened the door, shirtless.
She glanced down quickly.
He was wearing blue jeans.
Clark woke with a start, sitting straight up in his bed. The earthquake had taken a lot out of him, but he woke quickly when there was a noise in his apartment. He looked towards the sound and saw someone leaving his apartment. Using his vision, he realized it was Lois.
He flopped back. How long had she been there? He had been so tired from the earthquake and the long day at the Planet, that he hadn't even looked to make sure there was no one in his apartment. He looked at the couch and noticed some indentations on the cushions and the pillows. She must have been lying on the couch when he came home. The question now was how much had she seen?
He thought about what he had done since he got home. He flew in as Superman, undressed, took a shower, spun to dress, and went to bed. He looked through the door and saw Lois sitting on the steps. He could see her profile and saw a kind of stunned disbelieving look. She was suspicious. What would Lois do if she was suspicious?
Clark knew Lois better than anyone, even Lois. He thought about it. Lois was a list person; a pro/con list person. She would go somewhere and make some lists. She'd compare the Clark as Superman and the Clark isn't Superman lists and then decide which one was more likely to be the case. Lois wasn't dumb, Clark knew that. The question was, could she come up with enough plausible items on the list to convince her that Clark really was Superman. She wouldn't want to believe it; she'd want proof.
She'd do some kind of experiment. Find some way to prove or disprove the Clark as Superman theory. He tried to put himself in Lois' place. The most obvious thing to do would be to show up early and see what he was wearing. He had answered the door for her in his boxers on several occasions, so it wouldn't be unusual for him to, but it wouldn't be unusual for him not to either. He set a pair of jeans on the end of his bed and resolved to sleep more lightly and to be dressed when she knocked. He smiled. He'd have jeans on anyway.
Lois just stood there. Blue jeans. No boxers, no way to prove or disprove her theory — unless… an idea began to form in her devious little mind.
Clark tried hard to suppress a grin. He had her. She had been expecting green and blue plaid boxers perhaps? "Lois, you're early."
"Sorry, I couldn't sleep." She pushed passed him. "Do you have any coffee made?"
"No." Clark shut the door and turned to catch up with her. "I can make… " He stopped as Lois started pulling the coffee can out of the cabinet. "Or you can make some?"
Lois just made the coffee. Her mind was going a mile a minute. As soon as the coffee was ready… She grinned an evil little grin. If Clark wasn't Superman, then he'd forgive her. If he was Superman, then it wouldn't matter.
"I came by last night and you weren't here. I knocked and knocked."
"I was probably sleeping." Clark wondered why she didn't tell him the whole truth. He figured that she didn't know that she woke him up leaving.
"Well, usually you wake up."
"I was tired." That was the truth. "Want to talk about it?"
"Are you sure?"
"Okay." He sat at the table and she stood next to the coffeepot. It was almost ready.
She poured herself a cup of coffee. "You want some?"
"If you're pouring."
Lois fixed a cup of coffee for Clark as well. It was going perfectly.
She carried the cups over to the table. As she neared, she tripped. It was a controlled trip and both cups of coffee ended up on Clark's calves. It was scalding coffee.
Clark tried to remember that he should be in pain.
Lois stood up quickly and turned on reporter mode. "Clark, we have to get you out of those jeans." She, completely unselfconciously, pulled Clark to a standing position and started unbuttoning his jeans.
"LOIS!" So this was her new plan.
"Clark, your legs will get burned. Take the pants off now!"
"Fine, but I can do it myself." Clark turned and headed towards the bathroom, trying to remember to limp. Lois followed, doggedly.
"Clark, put your legs under cold water."
"Lois, you really don't need to watch me."
"I've seen you in your boxers before. Now off with the jeans."
Clark sighed and took his jeans off, hoping that Lois wouldn't notice that the coffee hadn't bothered his legs at all. He stuck his legs under the cold water running into the tub.
Lois took a deep breath. He was wearing boxers. Bright purple boxers.
Clark heard her sharp intake of breath. He smiled. He hadn't wanted to put on bright purple boxers, but he hadn't done laundry in a while. He wasn't even sure where he'd got them; they probably came in a package with some others. Lois didn't know that he had boxers as crazy as some of his ties!
He knew that he ought to just tell her that he was Superman, but he had kept the secret for so long, and he had never actually told anyone else, that he didn't know how to tell her. Of course, she probably wasn't ready to hear that he was totally, completely, head over heels in love with her either.
"Lois, look. I'm fine." Clark pointed to his wet legs. "There aren't even any red marks. The jeans must have soaked it all up."
"Clark, that's not possible. I've been burned before, through a pair of jeans. And it hurt like the dickens."
"Well, for whatever reason, my legs don't hurt at all, and they aren't even red." He toweled off his legs and walked into his room. He rummaged through his drawers and pulled out another pair of jeans and a T-shirt.
Lois watched him, looking closely at his legs. They weren't red at all. She knew that the coffee should have burned him. She knew that if he was Superman, he should have been wearing blue and green plaid boxers. He was wearing purple boxers. She didn't know why he owned a pair of purple boxers; maybe his taste in boxers was as eclectic as his taste in ties.
But the coffee hadn't burned him.
Could he have known that she was there? Could she have woken him up when she left? If he was Superman, then he could have seen through the door and known. That was one explanation. The other was that he wasn't Superman, and that somehow he really didn't get burned from the coffee.
Lois sighed. What was she going to do now? She still didn't really know that he wasn't Superman. It was still possible. The question was how was she going to prove it now?
She'd come up with something. She had to.
After Clark dressed, they sat down to new cups of coffee.
"So, Lois, now that you've tried to scar me for life, what do we plan on doing today?"
"Oh, I don't know. How about skydiving or something?"
"Feeling adventurous, are we?" Clark grinned. She must be trying to come up with a new plan to prove he was Superman, and knowing Lois as he did, it would probably involve putting herself in danger.
He couldn't let that happen.
He'd sacrifice everything to keep her from getting hurt.
He'd even tell her that he was Superman.
Maybe he should. Maybe he should just tell her. But, then he'd never see her again. But if he really wanted to spend his life with her, and he did, then he'd have to tell her. Soon.
Finally, they decided to spend the day at the park. Clark packed a picnic lunch for them and they took a frisbee, a soccer ball, a baseball, and a basketball. Maybe they could play a little one-on-one later. Clark grinned when Lois made that comment.
They walked to the park, enjoying the sunshine, and the company. Lois forgot about trying to prove that Clark was Superman and just enjoyed being with Clark.
They spent the next couple of hours playing soccer and throwing the frisbee. It was no surprise to either of them when the obviously overmatched Lois won their little soccer game. Laughing, Lois sat on the blanket that Clark had brought as he chased down her latest attempt to throw a frisbee in his direction. They were both laughing hysterically as it sailed to the other side of the park, nowhere near Clark.
Lois watched him. *If you aren't careful, Lane, you're going to fall for him.* Was that such a bad thought? Clark was her partner and her very best friend. She loved him, she knew that. But what kind of love? Was it friend love or was it romantic love? Did she LOVE love him? Was she capable of loving someone like that? She hadn't loved Luthor like that, and certainly not Claude. Clark had told her he loved her sitting on that bench, right over there. And she knew he'd meant it, no matter what he said later.
And what if he was Superman? If he really was, then why hadn't he told her? And could she really trust him? Trust wasn't easy for her and Clark knew that. If he was Superman he needed to tell her and tell her soon.
"Dollar for your thoughts?" Clark sat down next to Lois on the blanket.
"Huh? Dollar? I thought it was a penny?"
"It is, but you looked like your thoughts were worth more than that."
Clark dug in his pocket and fished out a dollar bill. "So, what are they?"
Lois took the dollar. "None of your business."
"Then give me my dollar back." Clark reached for it, but Lois laughingly held it out of his reach. He reached for it again, but she held it even farther away. He reached for her middle and began tickling her.
"Clark, that's not fair!" Lois had to struggle to get the words out as she struggled against the firm grip that Clark had on her. She managed to wriggle out of his grasp long enough to roll off the blanket and stand up.
Clark grabbed her ankle, careful not to hurt her. She tried to get away, but was unsuccessful. Finally, in her attempts to run, she fell to the ground, laughing.
"Clark, let me go!"
"Never. Now give me my dollar!" Clark pulled himself towards her.
Lois had an idea. The whole point was no longer about keeping the dollar but having some fun. She stuck the dollar inside her bra. "Let's see you get it now."
Lois looked at him nervously. He just might do it. She couldn't have that. She struggled against him again.
Clark held her down, tickling her some more. They were both laughing so hard that even Clark was losing his breath.
Lois somehow managed to get out from her position halfway underneath his muscular body.
"Turnabout's fair play!" She started to tickle him.
Clark didn't know if he was ticklish. He had been as a child, but since he had started getting super powers, he hadn't had anyone tickle him. Lois was the first. And he couldn't help laughing, even though he wasn't really sure it tickled. It was just being with Lois.
Clark easily managed to get away from Lois. "Watch out!" he growled.
Lois stood up and started to run across the open field in the park, laughing the whole way.
Clark stood and gave chase. He was careful not to catch her too quickly, but he soon had her in his grasp. He wrapped his big arms around her and easily lifted her off the ground.
Lois' legs kicked the air. "Put me down!"
"Give me my dollar."
"Never. Put me down!"
"Never." Clark swung her up so he was carrying her in his arms instead of around her stomach and carried her to the fountain. "I'll drop you in," he threatened.
"I would." He looked. The water wasn't that deep. She'd be fine. "Give me my dollar, or you're going swimming."
"No!" Lois wasn't known for her negotiating ability.
"Your choice." Clark dropped her into the fountain.
Lois spit and sputtered as she sat up. Her eyes were full of wicked fun. "I give. I'll give you your dollar." She reached out a hand to him.
He laughed, feeling quite proud of himself for getting the better of the indomitable Lois Lane. He grasped her hand to pull her out of the fountain.
Lois gripped his hand and pulled.
Clark was caught off guard and fell in, right on top of Lois.
He pushed up onto his elbows as Lois tried to force him off her. He looked at the soaking wet, absolutely gorgeous woman sitting there.
Their lips were millimeters apart. There was a kiss coming — they both knew it.
And they waited.
Clark was absolutely breathless. Lois was right there, so close. All he had to do was move his head just a fraction and they'd be kissing.
Lois had stopped laughing as she went under the water, not realizing that she was going to pull Clark right on top of her. As she pushed herself out of the water and pushed Clark away, she was intensely aware of his closeness. Of her desire to kiss him.
She saw him move almost imperceptibly. Then his lips were on hers. It was a soft kiss, a gentle kiss. An amazing kiss, not for its passion, but for its lack of demands. A kiss for the sake of the kiss, not a kiss for the sake of pressuring for something more. Somehow, it was even better than Lois had thought it would be. It was even better than kissing Superman.
Clark stopped as he heard Lois' quick intake of breath. He rolled off to the side, but was unwilling to move too far from her. He propped himself up on his side and just looked at her for a moment. "I'm sorry, Lois. I shouldn't have done that."
Lois looked at him. His hair was wet and his glasses were skewed. "Clark? Can I ask you something?"
"Sure, Lois. Anything."
"Are you Superman?"
Clark looked at her, somewhat stunned. He hadn't figured that she'd come right out and ask.
"HEY! OUT OF THE FOUNTAIN!!" A police officer was walking by and saw what was happening.
Clark helped Lois to her feet. He looked at the officer. "Officer Doze, we're, ah, sorry."
Officer Doze, who had worked with Lois and Clark on several occasions, was one of the many, many people they knew who were a part of the Daily Planet pool on when they would get together. His chosen day wasn't for two more weeks, but he didn't mind losing his ten dollars if it meant these two were finally together. "Lois. Clark. I didn't realize it was you two, but you still need to get out of the fountain. Otherwise, I'll have to write you up for a 795, kissing in a fountain without proper permits."
Lois stepped out of the fountain, using Officer Doze's hand for support. "That's a law? Can you get a proper permit for kissing in a fountain?"
"Sure, they're available at City Hall and the DMV. You just have to apply three days in advance."
Clark smiled, at the law and at the dripping Lois. "Next time, we'll remember to go get that permit."
Lois shot him a look. She wasn't sure what to make of this whole thing. "Who says there's going to be a next time?"
Clark looked disappointed and Doze just laughed. "Well, you two kids better go get dried off." Doze looked at his watch. "It's time for my lunch break."
Clark looked at Lois. "Well, our picnic lunch has probably been carried off by ants by now. Shall we go check?"
"Sure. Let's go." Lois started to walk off. "Bye, Officer Doze. It was good to see you."
Clark followed Lois. "You promised to give me my dollar back."
"I lied." Lois shrugged it off.
Clark rolled his eyes. They walked back to their blanket to find everything just as they left it.
Clark pulled out an extra blanket. "I know it's not a towel, but it'll help you dry off."
"What about you?"
"Me? I'm fine. I don't get sick, remember?"
Lois started. She realized that in all the time she had known Clark, he had never been sick. Superman didn't get sick.
"Clark, you didn't answer my question."
"What question was that Lois?" Clark tried to pretend he had forgotten.
"Are you Superman?"
Clark sat down on the blanket next to the picnic basket. His clothes were still soaking wet and while he knew he wouldn't get sick, he was kind of uncomfortable. "What makes you think I'm Superman?"
"Just answer the question." Lois wrapped the other blanket around herself after attempting to use it to dry off. She sat down next to Clark.
Clark stared at the ground in front of him. "I didn't know how to tell you. I wanted to, really I did, but I just didn't know how."
"So you are Superman?" Lois asked softly.
"Yes," Clark answered simply.
"Then dry me off real quick, would you?" Lois stood up and dropped the blanket from around her wet clothes.
Clark pulled down his glasses and stared at her intently. Seconds later, she sat back down next to him, dry as a bone.
"Are you mad at me, Lois?"
"I don't know. Maybe. I should be. But I don't know if I am. I made some lists this morning."
"I figured you would. Let's see. There was the Why Clark isn't Superman list."
"And you didn't even write anything down, did you? The answers were too obvious."
"And there was the Why Clark is Superman, but I don't really believe it list."
"Let's see some things that would be on that list — They both have muscles, but Superman is stronger."
Lois had the good grace to blush some. "Yes."
"What else? We both know where to get great food?"
"I can always get a hold of Superman on a moment's notice?"
"Doesn't it bother you talking about yourself in the third person?"
Clark shrugged. "It used to, but I've kind of gotten used to it. Sometimes it bothers me, especially around you. And then you made a list of reasons why, if I really was Superman, and you weren't sure that you actually believed it, why I hadn't told you."
"And on that list you called me things like dumb, and a geek, and a sleazeball."
"I didn't call you a sleazeball."
"You didn't?" Clark was incredulous.
"No. I called you a bozo brain."
Clark laughed. "That works better, I guess. Are you okay with this?"
"Why didn't you tell me, Clark? None of the reasons I came up with were really all that great."
Clark turned to face her and took her hands. "When I first met you, I knew you were special and I knew that I wanted to get to know you better, but you wouldn't give me the time of day. You thought I was some hack from Nowheresville and you hated Perry for saddling you with me."
"I'm sorry, Clark."
"It's okay, Lois. It's behind us. I had just created Superman, with the help of my parents, and I didn't know if it was going to work. You were this fiery, all business, no nonsense reporter who would do anything for the story. I didn't really know if I could trust you not to write the story. Once I got to know you and you got to know me, there just wasn't really a good way to tell you without you getting really mad at me for keeping it a secret. So, I never told you."
"That's why Superman didn't believe me when I told him I would love him even if he didn't have superpowers." Lois stated without any trace of emotion in her voice.
"Do you understand why? You had just told me that there was no way that you could be in love with me."
"And you were Superman without the Superpowers."
"So what do we do now? Do you trust me now?"
"Lois, of course I trust you now. I have trusted you for a long, long time. I just didn't know how to tell you."
"Then why did you tell me that you really don't love me? That you just said that to get me to not marry Luthor?"
"Clark, you told me you loved me. And then you took it back. Why? We both know that you are in love with me."
Clark sighed. "Lois, I have loved you since the moment you walked into Perry's office during my interview. I just knew that you didn't feel that way about me, and I didn't want you to pull away from me because you didn't feel the same way about me."
"Clark, tell me again."
"Lois, I'm Superman."
"No. Tell me you love me," Lois said with a smile.
Clark looked deep into her eyes, his eyes full of love and hope. "I love you, Lois. I always have and I always will. I can't imagine my life without you. Someday, I want to ask you to spend the rest of your life with me. I want to give you all of me, both sides of me, and I want you to love me back."
"I do, Clark."
"You do what?"
"I love you, Clark. Not Superman. Clark. I bet you would say something like, 'Clark is who I am, Superman is what I can do', right?"
Clark smiled. "That's how I justify it. Are you sure, Lois? You love me? All of me?"
"When you kissed me in the fountain, you know what I thought?"
"'I wonder if I'm kissing Superman?'"
"No. I thought 'this is even better than kissing Superman'. You know why?"
"Superman is a great friend and nice to have around if there are terrorists and nuclear weapons involved, but I never really knew him. You are my best friend, the only person who really understands me, who is always there for me. That's why it was better. You know me and I know you and that is why…" Lois leaned across their clasped hands and kissed him gently on the lips. "…I love YOU, not Superman. But you know what?"
Clark was still a little stunned. "What?"
"I get the best of both worlds."
"How do you figure?"
"Not only am I someday going to marry — I said someday — my best friend, every woman's dream man, Clark Kent, but I get to marry every woman's fantasy, Superman. And I love them both."
"Do you really mean that?"
Lois didn't respond. She just moved to sit on his crossed legs and kissed him again.
Long minutes later, Clark mumbled into her lips, "I guess you do."
Lois smiled and answered back softly, "Do you think we need a permit for this?"
"Who cares?" And he kissed her again.