By Paul-Gabriel Wiener <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Submitted January 2002
Summary: Another patented pgw gagfic. Perry explains to Clark just how he figured out that Clark is Superman.
"Chief, there's something I wanted to tell you. I'm not sure how to say it, but I thought you deserved to know…" Clark trailed off, trying to think. Even famous reporters have trouble phrasing things sometimes.
"Well, just tell me, Son," Perry replied without looking up from the story he was editing. "Don't leave me hanging here in suspense."
"Ok, Chief… I… I'm Superman."
"Yeah, I know. Is that all you wanted to say?"
"Sure. The entire newsroom knows. We've all known for years. Well, not quite all. Lois was the last to figure it out, being too close to the story, if you understand what I mean?"
"Everyone?! But… but… HOW?"
Perry finally looked up, trying not to smile. "Well, Clark, I know you've been extremely careful with your powers, making sure no one was looking in your direction when you were using them. You were very good about that. As far as I know, no one's caught you doing anything specific. The thing is, though, you forgot one important long-term use of your powers. For all of us, it was a dead giveaway."
"What? What did I do?"
"Do you realize that before you came along, no one was ever partnered with Lois for more than one story?"
"Yeah, I think I knew that. Not explicitly, but I realized something like that. What does that have to do with my powers, though?"
"You don't know?"
"No, Chief, I don't," Clark said, starting to feel a little annoyed. "That's why I asked."
"Well, you know Lois…"
Clark smiled at Perry, somewhat sheepishly. "Yeah, I guess I do…"
"When you managed to survive being partnered with her for more than a month, we began to suspect. By the time you actually managed to earn her respect and get her to treat you like an equal and a real partner, we were sure. No one could have survived Lois for that long without the strength, agility, speed, character, and above all invulnerability of, well, Superman. Like I said, Clark, it was a dead giveaway."
Clark stood there, gaping. Coherent thought was not a possibility yet, but somewhere in the depths of his brain was the realization, "So THAT'S how she figured it out!" In the meantime, though, Perry realized that Clark would need something to think about, to get his brain going again.
"So," he said, "now that you know that we know, would you like a desk near the window?"