By Angel <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Submitted: July 2002
Summary: After an unusual conversation with a stranger, Clark decides to let Lois in on the secret.
Author's notes: This is the first fanfic I've submitted to the archive so any feedback (good or bad, as long as it's constructive) would be greatly appreciated! All feedback can be sent directly to the email address above.
I don't own the characters of Lois and Clark. I'm simply borrowing them for entertainment purposes. Now, on to the story!
Clark Kent sat down at the counter and waited for the waitress to serve him. It had been a long and stressful day and all he wanted were a few moments to sit alone with a hot cup of steaming coffee in his hands and have a chance to relax and think. It seemed that the waitress was taking forever.
Clark hadn't noticed the stranger sitting at the other end of the counter until he'd moved to approach him. "Can I help you?" Clark asked, eyeing the man who stared back at him with an intense expression on his face.
"I know you're Superman," the man said with an air of nonchalance. The stranger could have been stating that Clark had dark hair by the casual tone of his voice.
"You heard me. I was sitting over there and I recognized you right away. The glasses and the hairstyle help to disguise you, but I could see right through it," the man stated as he sat down next to Clark.
"I'm sorry-you're mistaken."
"No, I'm not. Take your glasses off and slick back your hair," the stranger instructed.
Clark shook his head. "I will do no such thing! You don't just go up to a stranger and tell them to change their appearance. Besides, I can't see very well without my glasses," Clark argued.
The waitress finally made her way over to Clark. Her arrival interrupted their conversation. "What can I get for you?" she asked Clark.
"I'd like a cup of coffee."
The waitress nodded before directing her gaze to the stranger. "Your order will be up soon," she told him.
Clark and the man watched as the waitress walked away. Clark's brain was working overtime. How did this man find out that he was Superman? Did he simply recognize him like he'd said? Clark didn't trust the man; something told him that he was up to no good. Of course it could be his protective nature making him feel so distrustful.
"I am *not* Superman. I have no idea how you got that idea." Clark directed his gaze back to the stranger sitting at his side. He just wanted him to go away and leave him alone.
Suddenly, the stranger picked up a nearby fork and stabbed it into Clark's left hand. The fork bent from the contact with his skin. Of course Clark's hand remained unharmed. "I knew I was right! You *are* Superman!" the man exclaimed triumphantly.
"Shh, if you don't mind I'd prefer that the whole restaurant didn't know," Clark scolded in a whisper.
The man ducked his head sheepishly. "Sorry, I didn't mean to say it so loud."
Clark didn't say anything for a moment as he studied the man sitting next to him. He was a younger man, probably in his early twenties. He was lean with blonde hair that fell below his ears.
"Okay, so you proved your theory. What do you plan on doing with this information?" Clark asked warily.
"Nothing. I just wanted to know if I was right. I've got nothing against you Superman, quite the opposite actually. You saved my daughter from a house fire a year ago. I just wanted to say thank you."
Clark was surprised at his words, but his untrusting nature when it came to his secret wouldn't subside yet. "So you're not going to tell anyone?"
The stranger shook his head. "Nope, not a soul. If you find that you need to wear a disguise then that is your business," the man said as he got up from his chair. The waitress was approaching with his food and Clark's coffee.
"Here's your coffee sir," the waitress said as she sat the cup down in front of Clark. She turned to the stranger and handed him a bag of food to go. After she left once again the man turned back to Clark.
"Thank you. Because of you I still have my daughter today, safe and alive."
Clark watched as the stranger left the restaurant, his bag of food in his hands. He could barely believe what had just happened. A complete stranger had recognized him as Superman! How was it that a perfect stranger could see the truth yet his brilliant partner who just happened to be the best investigative reporter he'd ever known had never seen it herself? And she'd been working along side him for over a year now!
If Clark wasn't careful one of these days she *would* see the truth! God help him if she found out before he ever got the chance to tell her himself. Clark finished his coffee as his mind drifted to the last half-hour. Maybe the stranger's ability to see though the glasses and hairstyle was a sign. Maybe it was time that Lois Lane knew that her partner and best friend was also Superman.
Clark paid for his coffee then left the restaurant.
An hour later Clark was standing outside of Lois' apartment door. He swallowed nervously before knocking. He was about to tell the woman he loved his biggest secret. The thought sent his heart into overdrive.
A moment later he heard the jingling and clicking of her locks as they were being unlatched. Her face peered around the side of the door after she'd finally opened it.
"Hi, Lois, can I come in?"
She opened the door wide and motioned for him to enter. He had such an intense look on his face. Something was obviously wrong. "What's the matter, Clark?"
"Nothing, Lois. I just needed to talk to you…it's important."
Lois led him to the couch then sat down next to him after he'd been seated. "What is it, Clark? You're acting so serious."
"Lois, I've known you for over a year now. We've become really close; you're my best friend. But there is something I've been keeping from you-well keeping from the whole world actually. I trust you completely. That's why I've decided to tell you. Actually that and the fact that I had a really strange incident happen today, but nevertheless I trust you enough to tell you-I have trusted you for a long time now." Clark finally stopped talking and looked into Lois' dark eyes. The last thing Clark expected was for Lois to burst out laughing.
"What's so funny?" he asked, hurt. He was trying to bare his soul to her and she was laughing at him?
"Nothing, Clark. It's just that you're babbling! *I'm* the one who usually babbles!"
Clark smiled at that. One thing he loved about Lois was her ability to lighten any situation. "I'm sorry. I didn't mean to babble. I'm just nervous. Lois, I've never told anyone this before-not willingly anyway."
"Clark, you're my friend. You can tell me anything," Lois said softly.
"You might hate me."
"I might not. Now quit stalling and just tell me."
Had she just heard him right? No, she couldn't have. Clark wouldn't joke around about being the man of steel when he was obviously stressed about whatever he wanted to tell her.
"I'm sorry. I don't think I heard you right. It sounded like you just said that you're Superman."
Clark stared into her eyes for a moment before answering. "Lois, it sounded that way because that's what I said. I've wanted to tell you for the longest time, but I was afraid to."
"You can't be serious! If this is your idea of a good joke then you're seriously mistaken, Clark."
Clark shook his head in disbelief. He'd finally gathered the courage to tell her and she didn't believe him! "I guess the only thing I can do is show you, Lois." With that said, Clark got up from the couch and started to spin.
Lois' eyes widened as she watched the tornado of gray and white turn into the bright colors of red and blue. When he stopped spinning, Superman was standing there in front of her. It may have been Superman's appearance, but the expression on his face was purely Clark's.
"Oh, my god," Lois whispered in shock. He wasn't joking; he had been telling her the truth! For the past year and a half she'd been working alongside Superman and she hadn't even known it! He'd told her things as Clark, and had told her things as Superman. She'd told them *both* things about the other! She was going to kill him!
Clark had been watching Lois in apprehension when she suddenly bolted off of the couch and stood face to face with him. "Clark Kent, I swear that if I knew where to obtain kryptonite I'd seriously think about using it on you right now! How could you lie to me?"
"Well…I guess it involved opening my mouth and letting the words come out," Clark said in a feeble attempt at humor. His words just seemed to fire up her anger even more.
"If you think that turning this into a joke will help your case you'd better think again! I don't appreciate being lied to and I certainly don't like being played for a fool!"
"Lois, I'm sorry I lied to you. I never enjoyed it, but I didn't see any other way around it at the time. And I *never* thought of you as a fool!"
"Didn't see any other way around it! You could have told me the *truth*!" Lois yelled, completely losing her temper.
"I couldn't! In the beginning I didn't know you. Then when we became friends everything became complicated. I just didn't know how to tell you."
Lois' mind flashed back to her almost wedding to Lex Luthor. She supposed that the word complicated did fit fairly well. Especially when she thought of Clark's confession of love and his later denial of it.
"I'm telling you now, Lois. I trust you and I wanted my best friend to know *all* of me, not just half of me. I'm sorry that I didn't have the courage to tell you sooner." Clark's soft tone of voice broke into her thoughts.
She was still angry, but he did have a point-he had told her. He didn't have to tell her but he had anyway. Suddenly she wondered why he'd told her now of all times.
"Why, Clark? Why now?"
"I'm not sure. I was in a restaurant earlier when a complete stranger recognized me as Superman. It blew my mind away that a stranger could see it yet my very best friend couldn't. Then I started to think how angry you'd be if you ever found out before I'd had the chance to tell you myself. I don't know-it just seemed right that I tell you now."
Lois stepped forward and before Clark knew what was happening she was in his arms. He wrapped his arms around her, returning her embrace. She looked into his eyes and saw all of the loneliness and uncertainty there. "I'm glad you told me, Clark. I am still hurt and angry, but I'm glad that I know who you are now."
Clark couldn't resist the temptation to touch his lips to hers in a slight kiss. Whether she viewed it as purely a kiss between friends or more was up to her. He was just happy to have the woman he cherished in his arms, and this time she knew *all* of him.