By Croctden Dee <email@example.com>
Submitted: December 2002
Summary: After Clark reveals his secret to Lois, she tries to come to terms with what this new knowledge means to her and how it will affect their future lives together.
Lois stepped off the elevator onto the Daily Planet's newsroom floor Monday morning. She could see Clark at his desk, typing diligently. She wondered how loudly she would have to speak for him to hear her. He was Superman. <<Clark Kent is Superman!!>>
Last Friday, Clark, feeling that their relationship was getting serious (Lois agreed), had told her. She appreciated his gentlemanly honesty, but with one sentence (and a flight demonstration to show a disbelieving partner) he had blown her world away. Everything she thought she knew about Clark, Superman, and well, herself, had changed irrevocably. She had looked over her whole life of the past three years and re-evaluated it, and now she was not sure. She had had a headache all weekend, and made no progress, in fact she was less sure of what it meant now than ever. Clark had stayed away at her request.
"Clark, can you hear me?" She whispered as softly as she could. Clark's eyes snapped up to hers.
"Hi," he smiled back.
"Let's just pretend nothing happened for today okay?" He frowned, but nodded. She was not sure how she would handle it, but Clark would have had plenty of experience she thought bitterly. "We should talk after work." He smiled widely at this, and Lois bravely smiled back. Now she had the day to find something to say.
The problem was she did not know what she thought. How was she going to get used to this? She supposed she should be upset, but it was hard, she really liked Clark and Sup- his other half. But what could she say to him? She felt betrayed, but could understand why he did what he did; she would have done the same in his shoes. She was hurt, but not nearly enough to want to give up on the relationship. She was a little excited to know Superman had fallen for her, but was embarrassed about how she used to throw herself at him, and was worried how it would be with Clark always running off.
"Would you like some coffee?"
"What?" Lois realized Clark was holding a mug out to her. "Oh thanks." Then she realized she was still standing at the elevator as she had been for about five minutes. "I guess I should get going. I was just thinking."
"I can imagine."
Lois just caught the corners of his mouth turn up. What did he know? He had never found out he had superpowers- or had he? What about his parents? Had he told them? He must have, how had they taken it?
"Clark," she whispered, "Do your parents know?"
"Of course," he sounded amused.
Lois felt a bit of her old temper flare. "Look Clark!" She hissed, "you may find this funny, but my whole life is going crazy."
Clark's smile left, "I'm sorry." He kissed her temple.
The touch of his lips made Lois feel a thousand times better. Maybe it would be okay, if she followed her emotions things might end up fine. She squeezed his hand. "Sorry, it just is hard to get used to."
He smiled and kissed her lightly again. He tugged on her hand to lead her to her desk, "you are taking it well."
"And what does that mean?" She poked him in his steel hard chest to let him know she was joking.
His eyes got wide in mock terror. "Even my powers are useless against your anger Lois."
She laughed in spite of herself. Just being with Clark was making things better. It had not always been that way, she never would have laughed at herself the way she just had before she met him. She knew then that Superman or not, she wanted to be with him. It would still take some serious thinking to understand everything though.
Lois had a quiet morning, which was good; her mind was not on her work. She kept glancing over at Clark. They were the only ones at the Planet that knew he was Superman. He seemed very calm about it all. She kept waiting for him to have to leave suddenly, but was surprised when he did not. He was probably happy about it she supposed, it could not be fun to have to deal with disasters all the time. Thinking about it she realized that he was remarkable for always being so cheerful considering what he had to deal with on a daily basis.
It was nearly lunchtime. Lois crossed the newsroom floor. "Want to grab some lunch Clark?"
He looked up in surprise. "Are you sure?" he whispered, "You said you wanted me to stay away."
"I changed my mind. I didn't see my boyfriend all weekend."
Clark did not have to be told twice, springing to his feet. <<It's nice to be wanted>> Lois thought.
"So how was your weekend?" Lois asked as they got some sandwiches and sat on a park bench. "I heard about the two plane crashes and the bank robbery."
"That was about it. I was actually hoping there would be more for me to do, I was nervous all weekend."
Lois gave Clark a peck on the cheek. "Sorry."
"No Lois, you have not done anything wrong. I know how confusing this has to be for you."
"No, I remember how unsettling it was when I first started getting my powers."
"You mean you did not always have them?"
"No, I only became strong as a teenager. I could not fly until I was twenty."
"Wow, I never knew that. I have all these Superman questions I have been dying to ask. When did your parents tell you that you were an alien, wait…are you an alien?"
Clark winced at the word, "I am from another planet, yes. They told me when I started getting strong and fast. Mom can't have kids. They saw a comet one night and went into a wheat field. They found a little baby and decided to keep me as their own. They never questioned it, I just got lucky."
"There are so many things I want to ask them too. I have wanted to know about Superman for so long."
"Trust me, I know."
Lois frowned. She knew what he was talking about; she had thrown herself at Superman totally. She felt silly now. There was Clark seeing her falling head over heals for himself in spandex. "Did you ever laugh at me when I was going on about Superman?"
"No, it really wasn't fun for me Lois. I wanted you to want Clark, not some stereotype in a suit."
"Then why did you let me talk to you about him all the time. This is so embarrassing."
"I was curious I guess, and while it hurt, it was comforting to know you wanted a least a part of me. Besides what could I do?"
"You should have done something. I owe you one for that Mr. Kent."
"You know I never took advantage of you."
"Yeah? Then why were you always flying by my apartment?"
"It was nice, after being ignored all the time."
Lois realized he was being honest. She kissed him. "Well, it took a long time, but I finally figured out the right thing to do." Clark moved in and kissed her again. Lois wiggled when she started to run low on air. "I can't hold my breath for half an hour Clark," she panted.
He grinned, "Sorry."
"I'm sure." She noticed the crowd thinning. "Augh, we have to get back, just when it was starting to go so well. Where should we have dinner?"
"Anywhere is possible."
Lois looked at him in a new light, "I could get used to this."
Lois was feeling great when she and Clark got back to the Planet. She watched him go back to his desk. "That suit better come off," she smiled to herself. To her horror Clark turned around and raised an eyebrow. Lois turned bright red, "Ohmygod!!" She ran to the bathroom. She was alone for a few minutes before she heard a knock on the door.
"Go away Clark."
"Come on Lois, it is fine."
"That's because you did not say it," she was still blushing furiously. She could not recall ever being more embarrassed.
"You can't stay in there forever."
"Not for lack of trying."
Clark sighed, "I'll see you at dinner."
<<Oh my God! Dinner!!>>
Clark was working diligently on his assignment that Perry had given him when Lois tried to sneak back to her desk. He watched her the whole way. She sat down and without looking up whispered, "Clark, I think I want to call off dinner tonight."
Clark rolled his eyes; she had been in the bathroom for over an hour and now this! Didn't she remember she had asked Clark that about Superman before she knew? He got up and went to her desk. "Lois, you are being silly. It is nothing to get upset about, I am flattered."
"How can you say that? What would you do in my situation?"
"This is hardly new news for me you know."
That was the wrong thing to say. The color drained from Lois's face, as she comprehended what he meant. For years she had been telling her Superman fantasies to her best friend, she had been telling Clark all about how much she wanted him and didn't even know it! Clark saw what was happening. "Lois it is nothing, just water under the bridge. I feel the same way about you." He kissed her. Lois caught what he said and kissed him back, but her mind was years away now. "Come on Lois, we can go out to dinner tonight and discuss it, okay?"
"I guess." Lois was too busy trying to remember everything she had said about Superman to Clark to pay attention to what she was agreeing to. All of the things she had been trying to keep from Superman, but told Clark, Superman knew. Anything she had said to Superman, but not wanted Clark to know, Clark knew. She had unknowingly been playing the fool. Over the weekend she was able to wrap her mind around Clark being perfectly justified in always running off (and her owing him an apology for making it hard), his over-protectiveness of her, and Superman's friendly attitude toward her even when they did not see each other that much. Now she realized there was much, much more. Why had Superman always been around when she was in danger? Because as her partner he was supposed to be. Why had Clark always managed to get the best Superman stories? He was always there. A multitude of memories swarmed over her. She had not even touched the tip of the iceberg yet. All of the times Clark or Superman had spoken oddly probably made sense from their, HIS, combined view.
Lois was thankful she had a competent partner this day because she was oblivious to the story they were supposed to be working on. He wrote the story while Lois made a mental list of questions to ask over dinner. She did notice when he had to leave suddenly for about twenty minutes, but that was all. At the end of the day she could not have even listed off the points of the article with her name on it. Clark had to nudge her to remind her that it was time to go.
"Have you decided where you want to go for dinner?"
Lois had not given it much consideration, other than to realize why he always seemed to find these great places when he went for take out. "Let's just get some takeout, and eat at my place okay? I want to talk." She reasoned they would have plenty of other times to go out somewhere exotic.
"What do you want?"
He racked his memory for a second, "Alright, I know just the ticket. I'll meet you at your place?" Lois nodded and watched him walk away. She noticed he turned to go *up*stairs. She had seen that before. She wondered how come it had never registered?
Lois straightened up her place a bit as she waited for Clark. He still was not there when she finished. She had an inspiration and turned on the radio. She flipped to the 24-hour news station.
"Once again there are no fatalities. Superman rushed a mother and son to the hospital just moments after the crash. He has helped put out the fire and moved the derailed engine off the road and back onto the tracks. He appears to be leaving, we'll see if we can get a statement. Superman! Superman! Do you have any comments on this crash?"
"I heard the train jump the tracks and moved in to make sure no one was hurt. I found two people trapped in the first car and got them to medical care. Then I helped rescue crews clear the wreckage." Now that she knew Superman's voice, it sounded exactly the same as Clark's. "I just wanted to help as best I could."
"Thank you Superman."
And Superman had flown away. "There you have it ladies and gentlemen — once again Superman was able to help prevent an accident from being a greater disaster."
Lois nodded as she turned off the radio, but she was thinking about something Clark had said. He wanted to help. That was what he said the first time she had interviewed him. When she asked why he was here he answered 'to help.' That answer had not suited Lois and in her exuberance had made a few suggestions. That was always how she had been around Superman she realized, making him into more than he was or wanted to be. She had seen a god and never wanted any deviations from that image. She had been foolish she realized now, and had put Clark in an uncomfortable place to boot.
There was a tap at her window. Lois looked up to see Superma— Clark floating by her apartment. She opened the window and he flew in, "Sorry I'm late, there was this train derailment."
"Boy have I heard that one before. I knew." She gestured toward the radio. "Come on let's eat. What did you get?"
"Honey glazed roast African Water Buffalo sticks, I loved it when I was in Botswana."
Lois shook her had in amazement. "How come in two plus years I never questioned where all this great takeout came from?"
"I used my mind powers on you." Lois's eyes got huge with fear. "Joke. Other than being great with languages I am the same as you mentally."
"I'll let that slide this time. How many languages do you speak?"
"Fifty-two." He handed her a meat stick.
"I'm trying to grasp that. Why didn't I see all these clues? What do you do to hide your secret?"
"I wear spandex."
"It has worked so far. Everyone watches the Superhero and no one thinks about the mild mannered beat reporter covering him. Think for a moment Lois, you are my best friend and you had no idea right? Even after it was reported."
He rolled his eyes. "That's not what I meant. When I am not in the suit and am just being myself I'm perfectly normal, I-"
"I would not go that far."
"Would you have believed for a second that your partner was a crime fighter?"
Lois giggled, "No. I always thought you were a good man and a brave man in your own way, but not a vigilante running through the streets."
"Then you've answered your own question."
Lois sighed and sat down. "This is so hard to wrap my head around. One second I am chatting with my best friend the way I have been for years, the next moment he is flying off to save the world."
"Mmm," he shuffled and handed her a stick.
"Oh I'm not trying to make you feel guilty. I don't blame you at all, but you can't imagine how crazy it all seems." She tried a bite, "hey, this is pretty good."
"I wish I could help more, but I don't know what to do. My parents knew about me before I did. I've never told anyone else before."
"Really?" She was oddly touched when he nodded his head. He had given a big piece of himself up when he told her. "Thank you for telling me. I know it's scary going into unknown territory," she squeezed his hand.
"Everything with you is new for me. I've never had a girlfriend before."
She patted the seat next to her and Clark obliged. "Well you are doing pretty good for a first timer."
"I've had lots of inspiration."
"Well, you certainly say the right things." She finished her stick then flopped back next to him. "Oh Clark, what are we going to do?"
He handed her a stick, but stayed quiet as he thought. "We go slow. I can't tell you much beyond that. I *can* tell you that I'm sure I love you. Hopefully that counts for something."
"It does, but you're almost a stranger to me." She regretted her words as soon as she saw him wince. She wanted to reach out to him, but he stood.
"Lois, it was never my aim to hurt you." He started to pace. "When I first got here…it just seemed easier…to be Superman…sometimes…so I could be Clark others. Then we got involved and I was not sure what to do." He paused to look at her, "I'm sorry that I waited so long, but there is nothing I can do about it now."
"I can understand that intellectually, but I still hurt. Damn it Clark!! I shouldn't feel guilty! You lied to me! You had to have known I would be upset."
"I did. I was not sure what to say. I was worried no matter what I did you would be angry."
"Well of course I'm hurt and angry, why wouldn't I be?"
Clark seemed subdued. "What else could I have done? What would you have done differently if you were me?"
Lois's anger abated slightly as she was forced to consider. He was right; he had had no better options. Clark had been between a rock and a hard place and had acted in the most honorable way he could conceive. "I know, I know, but I am still upset. If that is just me overreacting as usual than I can't help it."
"I don't blame you Lois," he took her hand and kissed it, "I love you."
She looked at him and felt a little bad seeing his hangdog expression. She wiped a strand hair from his glasses and suddenly she was looking at Superman. He slipped his glasses off and laughed nervously. He put them away and sat down. They were both at a loss as to what to say. The uncomfortable silence was finally broken by Lois, "See? This is want I mean: we don't even know how talk to each other anymore. I'm used to goofing around with my partner, how can I make fun of Superman for being from the country?"
"You already have. Lois, I'm still the same man. Superman is the act, not me. I'm not going to change."
"It will take some getting used to. I can't believe you are Superman! I've always tried to be professional around you when you were in the suit," her mind wandered.
"Oh! Is that what you call it? Well, I hoping you don't stop acting that way around me entirely."
She was speechless. <<I can't believe he said that>>. "I believe you are Clark now, Superman would never say that!!"
"He just did. The suit does indeed come off."
Lois choked and blushed, "Don't bring that up."
He pulled her into his arms. "Come on Lois, think of it this way, there is nothing you haven't already told me even if you meant to or not."
"You have no idea."
"Well now you have a chance to live your fantasies out."
Lois's jaw dropped, "We are not having this conversation!"
He swung his arm over her shoulders, happy to have lightened her mood. "What is there to be embarrassed about? We are both adults. You think I never imagined a moment with you in the three years we have known each other?" Lois just stared at him wide eyed and Clark started to feel a little hot under the collar. <<I think I said too much.>> "That is…I…uh."
Thankfully she laughed and kissed him, "we'll talk about that a little later." She reached for another stick, "You know I spent this whole weekend going back over the last three years to understand how you saw things, and trying to grasp that the super-hero who swept me off my feet was the same kind man I had shared my life with and suddenly discovered I was madly in love with one day." She caught his pleased look. "I thought maybe I had made a tiny bit of headway. Then I talked to you today and it all got blown to hell. Each time I talk with you it keeps getting bigger." She struggled for words, and was thankful when he hugged her tightly. "Clark, don't take this the wrong way, but before you knew me I was totally independent. Then you came along and became the biggest thing in my life, not just Superman, you too. I wasn't happy to be stuck with you at first, but I'm thankful now, because you were the thing I needed more in my life than I ever knew, even if I did not want to admit it. But now suddenly my rock is gone, and I'm lost." Clark put his head on her shoulder and they were quiet.
His lips brushed her cheek. "I'm sorry for that Lois. I promise I'll rebuild your confidence in me."
"It's not even that, I still trust you, but I don't know what to do." She leaned back into him and was rewarded by his arms circling around her tightly, wrapping her in warmth. "Clark, were you nervous to tell me?"
"I was nervous I'd lose you."
She looked at him, surprised, "Why? I mean I know you knew I'd be angry, but you had to know I loved you."
"It is still all new to me. I spent my whole live hiding what I am from everyone until Friday night. Dad used to tell me that if the government found out about me they would dissect me."
"He was trying to protect his son. The three of us were the only ones who knew…well everything. But we had no experience; we had to make do with our best guesses. I think they did great considering."
"You turned out wonderful, but that is so sad. And it does not fit! You and your parents are the warmest, kindest people I know. You are so outgoing, Clark. You're friends with everyone you know."
"I don't know what to tell you Lois. You know in a way Superman helped me. Everyone liked him, so I could relax rather than worry over how everyone would react if they knew there was a person from another planet flying around." He paused, but could not help himself, "I mean even you were nice to him."
She turned to look at him, on the verge of tears, "I'm learning so much about you. I didn't think it was possible, but I love you even more." They kissed and held each other. Suddenly she bolted up. "Hey!! You talked about yourself in the third person."
"Yeah, I know. It is easier that way. He really isn't part of my life, just a figure in it. It is hard to explain."
"Do your parents do that?"
"No, they tease me for it."
"I want to ask them so many questions. I still have a million questions for you. I don't even know where to start."
"Do you want to go see them?"
"No, not yet. I'm don't think I am ready for you to be flying me around all over the place." She cuddled up to him some more. In truth she suddenly was tempted to fly. "Maybe later."
"Whenever you want Lois."
"Superman at my beck and call," she smiled to herself, "I like that."
"He already was."
"So tell me what it's like."
"What it is like?"
"Being Superman. Flying, shooting lasers from your eyes, being able to throw cars over your shoulder as though they weighed nothing."
"Most of those are not things I do. I can't make my self not strong or not invulnerable. I can't explain it because I have never felt any different, expect when there is Kryptonite."
"What is that?"
"Pieces of my planet; it suffered some type of explosion. That is why my parents sent me here."
"Well why does your planet harm you?"
"I'm not sure. Earth is different somehow. I don't think my parents had superpowers."
"You don't know?"
"No, I was an infant when I got here. I don't remember anything of them. Until I got strong my parents never told me where I was from. I did not even know my name until I found that orb."
"And I gave you grief for that too. Clark, I'm sorry I have been such a bear."
"Relax honey, you didn't know. Besides I like the spice you add to my life."
She looked over her shoulder at him, "Good save. I like it when you call me honey."
"What is your real name?"
"Clark Jerome Kent as far as I am concerned, my parents named me Kal-El."
"That is my full name. 'Kal' and then 'El' that is what the 'S' stands for: either the word 'El' or a family crest. My parents were some type of nobility I think. That might be why they were able to send me away."
"This is too much for me to digest."
He took her in his arms. "There is no rush. I'm not going anywhere."
She snuggled into him, "Good." Her eye caught the clock. "Oh, it's already late. She fished the last buffalo stick out. "I need to clean up."
"I'll do it."
"No, that's alright Clark," she got up, "I can-"
There was a rush of air and he and all the plates were gone. There was second rush of air and he was back, "Done."
Lois blinked and sank to the couch. "Okay." He looked concerned as though he was not sure if she was okay, so she patted the couch. He flopped down next to her. "How are you feeling?"
"No I mean about telling me."
"Good. I knew I had to do it. I probably waited too long. You are taking it better than ever imagined."
She gave him a look, half in jest, "I know. I should be furious. You lied to me about everything for as long as I have known you! But damn you Clark I just can't get angry. I know you're a good man, and I love you. I think I was worried that you running off all the time would be something horrible and subconsciously I was just relieved you were just a superhero. Relieved you are just a superhero! Listen to me Clark. I'm going insane. I think I…we, will be okay. I just need some time."
"Whatever you want Lois."
"I have no idea how I'm going to make it through work tomorrow. I was watching you all day."
"I know. I'll try to help you out as best I can."
She nodded, "I guess I'd better let you go." She made her way to the door.
"Actually," he loosened his tie, spun around, and she was suddenly looking at Superman. "I'm going to run a quick patrol to make sure the city is quiet."
"Where did you get the suit?"
"My mom makes them."
"No, I mean just now."
"Oh, I wear it under my clothes."
She nodded. In her fragile mental state she did not want to ask any more questions. She moved to the window. Just as he was about to fly away he turned and kissed her deeply. It was devastating and they both took a moment to recover before smiling embarrassingly at each other. He started to fly away. "Clark!" He floated back. "Will you stop by later? Say hello, if I'm still awake I mean?"
He smiled broadly, "I always do." He rocketed away.
Lois went to close her window, but thought better of it and left it open.