By LcRich <email@example.com>
Submitted: August 2002
Summary: A comedy vignette explaining the problems Clark encounters one day when he finds a big stain on his glasses.
This is just an idea that came to me one day when I was annoyed because I always had to clean my glasses and that can be very frustrating. It's certainly not the best story ever, but it's a little thing to entertain you and make you smile. Hope you enjoy it.
Dawn was just breaking over Metropolis when Superman finally went to bed.
It had been a busy night for the Man of Steel. First, there had been a fire at the Metropolis Hospital, where Superman had been fighting against time to rescue every single person still in the building.
After an hour of work, Superman was flying towards his house when he heard other cries for help. After solving some minor incidents, the superhero gratefully went back to his bed, and almost immediately fell into sleep. However, his rest didn't last long, since he was awoken only an hour later by the ring of the phone.
Clark tried to hide the tiredness of his voice. "Hello?"
"Clark! Lois here, you've got to come; I just had a meeting with Bobby and he gave me some interesting information about a network which helps illegal immigrants entering the country! That could be worth a Pulitzer, or at least a Kerth!"
No matter how much Clark was glad to hear Lois' voice, this was not a good time for him and he certainly wasn't going to let her take him into this crazy story.
"Lois, do you realize it is five in the morning?? What are you playing at, organizing a meeting with Bobby so early?"
"Clark, bandits, gangsters, ruffians, or whatever you call them, won't always act in broad daylight! So, you want to come with me or not?"
Clark smiled despite himself. This was Lois as he liked her best. Lois in her Mad Dog Lane state. But he nevertheless needed a bit of sleep, even if he was Superman, and Lois wasn't going to change that.
"I'm sorry, Lois, I can't come. I didn't have much sleep last night and I want to use the few hours left before going to work. You can always go without me, but take Bobby with you. We never know, it could be dangerous."
"Oh, you're so patronizing, Clark. It's not like I'm always putting my life in danger. Anyway, if that's what you want I'll go without you, but don't be mad at me when I win the Pulitzer. See you." And she hung up the phone before Clark could say another word.
With that, Clark returned to sleep, but he connected himself on Lois' steady heartbeat to be sure she was safe. It was amazing how he could always hear her, even if she was miles away from him.
The newsroom was already buzzing with activity when Clark Kent exited the elevator. He quickly went to his desk, greeting Jimmy as he passed, and settling his things down on his desk. Lois was already seated in front of her computer, typing frenetically.
"Hi, Lois!" said Clark.
"Hi, Clark," she replied without even looking up. "Too bad you didn't come with me. This story will make a great headline."
Clark heard a point of anger in her voice but took no notice. He was turning on his computer when Cat Grant approached him.
"Hi, Clark," she said in her unctuous voice. "You seem kind of tired today, my poor little boy." and on those words, she bent to give Clark a kiss on the forehead and went away. When she was out of earshot, he heard Lois say, "Next time, you two could find a private place to do this sort of thing, don't you think, Clark? A place where no one would hear your whispered sweet words."
"Lois, you know perfectly well there's nothing between me and Cat. She acts like this with every man who crosses her pa — " but he stopped short when he noticed something in his glasses. Some RED thing bearing a big resemblance to the color and the texture of lipstick. There was no point wondering where this had come from. Cat. Even Lois noticed and that didn't improve her opinion of Cat Grant.
"Oh, really. That woman is so…so…Clark, are you listening?" she said when she saw the strange look on his face.
But Clark had other matters on his mind than discussing Cat for the moment. He was trying to find a way to wipe away the lipstick on the right lens without taking them off. But everything he did made things even worse. He couldn't see a thing now behind the glasses. This was ridiculous. He, the Man of Steel, wasn't going to fail to remove a bit of lipstick from his glasses! He glanced at Lois who was looking at him with interest on her face. Sure she was making fun of this, that was visible from the look in her eyes.
"Clark, you seem to be having some difficulty with that. Maybe it would be easier for you if you just take them off."
"No, Lois, it's all right, I think all I need is some water. I'll go into the bathroom and wash them."
As Clark made his way towards the men's room, he heard Perry yell at him from the other end of the room. He turned quickly to face his Editor-in-Chief.
"No time for the restroom, son, there's been a robbery at the bank. I want you and Lois on this story. Pronto!"
Lois nodded, took a notepad, grabbed Clark by the arm as she passed, and entered the elevator. Once in there, she offered a Kleenex to Clark and then said, "Sorry, you'll have to make do with this."
Clark took the Kleenex and again proceeded to wipe his glasses clean without taking them off. If he did so, Lois would know at once who he really was, and he wasn't ready to tell her. He didn't know for sure if she would keep it silent or go and print it in the next edition. And he wanted to wait, to see if he could win her heart, not as Superman, but as the farmboy she thought he was.
"Oh, really, Clark, you'd think you've never done that in your life before. Give them to me, I'll do it for you."
"No!" exclaimed Clark, a little too vehemently. Lois looked at him in a suspicious way.
"I mean, I can do it, thanks," he said hastily.
Lois frowned but didn't say anything. Clark continued to rub his glasses without any effect and finally decided he would take them off when Lois wasn't looking. But that would certainly not happen in an elevator where they were completely alone.
When they arrived at the bank fifteen minutes later, Clark still hadn't found an opportunity to take off his glasses. Lois was always close to him, peering at him in a curious sort of way, and he was starting to feel quite ridiculous about all of this. This whole thing was completely absurd! Why, he was Superman but he wasn't even able to win a fight against a bit of lipstick on his glasses!! Clark was still thinking about that when Lois' voice made him escape his reverie.
"Clark, I think you should go see the policemen and talk to them while I interview some of the passersby."
"Fine with me," said Clark hastily. This was his only chance to get away from Lois. So he walked towards the policemen but stopped dead when he saw Inspector Henderson standing among all the officers. Henderson had worked a lot of times in co-operation with Superman and would certainly recognize Clark for who he really was, if he was to take his glasses off. Clark thought of turning away and finding a bathroom, but saw Lois looking at him and urging him towards the policemen. Clark slowly made his way trough the crowd and reached Inspector Henderson.
"Hi," he said.
"Hi," replied the officer. "Clark, you got something on your glasses."
"Oh, it's nothing, Inspector, I'll just wash it later. For now I have some questions to ask you."
"Of course, of course, go on."
Clark asked the usual When? Who? How? and wrote down Henderson's answers on his notepad. He was constantly distracted by the stain on his right lens and was having trouble seeing what he was writing.
At the end of the interview, after Clark had closed his notepad, Henderson asked if Clark was all right, because he seemed tense to him. Clark reassured him and kindly refused the Kleenex Henderson was gently offering him. "No, thanks, that won't be necessary; I was just going to the bathroom anyway. I'll wash them there." And he left on those words.
At the same moment he heard Lois yell his name and turned around. She was waving for him. In a few moment she was at his side.
"I think we can go and write our story, Clark. Perry will certainly want it for the morning edition. So we better not waste any time. This won't make the front page, but, well, we can't always have thrilling articles. I see you haven't cleaned your glasses yet. You sure you don't want me to help? 'Cause you look pretty strange with this big blot on your face."
"No, Lois, really. I'm fine, thanks."
He opened the door of Lois' car and started to enter it when his foot got trapped in the jeep's step and he fell head first onto the seat. He hadn't seen it at all. All he had seen was a red stain. From the other side of the car he heard Lois laugh and couldn't help but feel even more stupid. He had to find a bathroom, and soon.
Despite all of his best efforts, Clark didn't succeed in finding the time to go to the bathroom or even to get away from Lois long enough to wash his glasses.
When they had come back from the bank, they had started writing their article and Lois didn't want to hear anything about Clark going away even for one minute. She said there was work to do and no one could have changed her mind about it.
Then there had been a phonecall from an anonymous person, telling Lois and Clark to go to an abandoned warehouse, where they would find a man selling machine-guns to youngsters. However the phonecall turned out to be just another prank, since they found nothing more then a few squatters in the warehouse. They went back to the Daily Planet and finished writing their article.
Clark had even thought of using one of the lame excuses he usually used for the times when he went flying over the city as Superman, but they didn't work either. Lois simply didn't want to hear that he had another plant he really needed to water. She said that there were more important things in the world than taking care of a pitiful, green, useless thing.
By five o'clock, Clark was completely desperate. He couldn't stand that stain in front of his right eye for one more second. He was starting to lose his nerve. Without telling Lois, he made a dive for the conference room, grabbing a Kleenex as he passed. He closed the door behind him and took off his glasses. It was time to put an end to all this nonsense. He was wiping his glasses frenetically when he heard a voice at his back.
"I wouldn't do it like that," Lois said.
Without thinking, Clark turned around, startled to see someone behind him. Lois stared at him right in the eyes, took his glasses away, and had them cleaned in less then thirty seconds.
"Here you go. I don't see why you didn't let me do that earlier; that would have been easier for you," she said and Clark could see she was about to laugh. "And, by the way, Clark, you're more handsome without your glasses. Ever thought of wearing contact lenses?"
Lois didn't wait for an answer and simply turned and left, leaving a bemused Clark behind her. She hadn't seen anything. She'd just looked at him, right in the eyes, and she didn't even realize who he was! That was amazing, really.
Clark was starting to get angry with himself. He had been so stupid! The whole day, he had endured being half blinded by that blot on his glasses, just because he thought Lois would recognize him at the first glimpse she had of him without his glasses. He'd felt so embarrassed just now. He was wondering how he could have been such an idiot. The only thing that cheered him up was that at least his glasses were clean. What a fool he was.
At the other end of the room, Lois returned to her desk with a big grin on her face. This had been a perfect day for her. Seeing Clark fighting all day against his glasses, trying to find a place where he could be alone to take them off. And she had made sure he would never succeed. Oh yeah, she was having far too much fun with this. If only Clark knew. If only he knew that she had found out about his secret identity almost one week ago…
But she wasn't about to tell him. She was having so much pleasure hearing his poor excuses and hearing him talk about himself in the third person. And that thing about his glasses. That was the funniest of all. She wanted to wait till he was ready to tell her, and only then would she tell him she'd been laughing at him all this time. This was really getting exciting.
Oh, Clark, if only you knew, she thought. Since I saw you spin into the costume in that dark alley, everything became clearer to me, all dimness drifted away. It was like putting on a pair of glasses.
All comments on the story would be appreciated at firstname.lastname@example.org