By Carol M. <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Submitted: July 2002
Summary: In another response to Wendy's 30-minute Episode Extension Challenge, Lois puts the pieces together, literally, when she finds the card that Clark tore up in the episode "Tempus Fugitive." Will she believe what she finds?
This was in response to Wendy's 30 Minute Ep Extension challenge. That's the only reason I'm submitting it in its present form. :D It's all her fault! The characters are not mine, but belong to others. Just wanted to have a little fun and will make no profit off this whatsoever. All comments appreciated.
Lois sat at her desk. Parties were always exhausting even if they only lasted a few minutes during the workday. She shook her head, trying to shake off the feeling of deja vu that had been plaguing her all day.
Something was bothering her, something she couldn't quite put her finger on… Something she should remember. Something that surprised her, made her mad even, but she couldn't… quite… put her finger on.
She heard Clark's laugh float across the room. Something to do with Clark.
An old car, a field…
She sighed. It wasn't coming to her.
"Lois, honey, thanks for the suspenders." Perry interrupted her reverie.
"Oh, no problem, Perry. Sorry it's the same thing I got you last year."
"At least you didn't get me a cheesy card like most of these yahoos. Clark didn't either. One of you must be rubbing off on the other one."
"But Clark…" Lois stopped. He had grabbed that card out of her hand so fast, it almost gave her a paper cut.
"What's that, Lois?" Perry was distracted by Ralph's gesticulating for his attention.
"Okay. Thanks again."
What had that dang partner of hers done with the card if he hadn't given it to Perry?
She'd never figure it out this way. And why did it matter? It was just a dumb card. But the way Clark had yanked it away from her had her reporter instincts screaming.
"Hey, Lois," Jimmy called. "Your sister called for you. Left the message on your desk."
"Thanks," she replied absently. She looked around but didn't see a message slip anywhere. Maybe it had fallen into the trash. That happened occasionally. What was this?!
She grabbed the can and pulled the four pieces out.
It was the card. Why would Clark have had her buy Perry a card (not that she remembered doing it, of course) and then tear it up and throw it away?
She saw a little bit of writing on one piece. Cla… Clark? It was her handwriting too. This was getting odder by the minute. She picked up the other three and turned them around, fitting them together like pieces of a puzzle. "Clark," she mumbled. "An equals sign. Su…" The last piece slipped into place. In more ways than one. "Superman." The word was barely a whisper.
Clark was Superman? Why would she have written that down? What on God's green earth would have made her think that Clark was Superman? Deep in the recesses of her soul, she knew it was true.
All the movies, the prescriptions, everything made sense. It was like she'd been looking through a window and suddenly the light on the other side turned on.
She could almost hear Clark trying to explain it. "Clark is who I am, Superman is what I do."
Where had that come from?
She could almost see him squatting down next to her as he said it and shaking his head. She could almost hear him calling her name.
A hip came into view as she continued to stare at the blue of the envelope.
"Conference room. NOW!" she hissed as she shoved him off her desk. She saw his puzzled look, and could have sworn fire shot from her eyes as she looked him.
She scooped up the pieces as she followed him.
She closed the door behind her and turned the blinds as well. She walked over and looked Clark straight in the eye.
And slapped him.
She watched as he rubbed his jaw.
"Don't pretend that hurt, *Superman*!"
He looked shocked for just a minute. "Um, Lois… What…"
She cut him off. "This Clark."
She held the tattered pieces of the card in front of him.
"That's why you tore it out of my hand and then didn't give it to Perry. You must have seen what it said."
"Look, Lois, I don't know why you think I'm Superman, but I'm tied to Superman enough as it is, I'm in danger as much as you are…"
"Don't patronize me, Clark. And don't lie to me anymore either."
She watched as his shoulders slumped in defeat.
"Okay, you got me. I'm Superman. But, Lois, I'm more than just superpowers and a flashy suit. Clark is who I am, Superman is what I can do."
"I know that, Clark." She shook her head as the deja vu threatened to overwhelm her.
"But why didn't you tell me? I understand why you didn't at first, but what about later?"
"No, I know the answer to that too. You wanted me to love you, not the superpowers. And it cut you to the quick when I told you that I would love you even if you were an ordinary man."
"I do, and it did."
"You never needed to worry, Clark. It would just take me some time."
Clark looked at her quizzically.
"I love you, Clark. You, not the buzz-buzz vision gizmos, or the super-speed, or the… well, okay, the flying is a definite plus, but not if it's not with you — you, Clark."
He opened his mouth. "I know it'll take a while to convince you, it took a while to convince me too. In fact, it snuck up on me rather softly. Until it whacked me up side the head a few minutes ago. But I really want you to know that I do love you, very much and I'll spend the rest of my life trying to convince you of that."
"I don't know…"
"Clark, I know there's one thing that you do better than making excuses."
She leaned up and brushed her lips across his.
"Shut up, Clark."
She wrapped her arms around his neck and neither one of them heard Perry open the door and then close it. Neither saw the sly smile that crossed his face. They were too busy being together.