By Nancy V. Sont aka Tipiwoman <email@example.com>
Submitted: Oct. 2004
Summary: Lois and Clark are playing a game of Truth or Dare. Lois reveals something too embarrassing to say, but not until Superman and Clark mess with her mind.
This vignette is written in response to a fanfic challenge.~ All comments welcome at: firstname.lastname@example.org
It was a Friday night. Lois and Clark were sitting on opposing couches in her living room. Two glasses of red wine were on the coffee table alongside the half empty bottle in front of them.
"Your turn," Lois said, still a bit pink from the conversation that ensued from the last bit of truth she'd had to reveal. "Truth or Dare?"
Clark rubbed his chin and chose, "Dare."
Lois smiled, taking another sip of her wine. "Clark Kent, I dare you to lean out the window and yell, "Help! Superman!"
He raised his eyebrows at her. "Loiss. Isn't that supposed to be for emergencies only?"
She smiled. "Maybe he'd like to play with us, too!"
"I'm sure he has better things to do, Lois."
"Well, he can't be saving people every single minute of every single day!"
"How do you know? Maybe he orbits the planet looking for people to save whenever he's done with one job?"
"Like he's a moon? Get real, Kent. He's gotta go…somewhere…and do…something… So are you saying you're not going to do my Dare?"
"No, Lois. I'll do it. I just can't be responsible for the consequences."
"Don't worry, Clark, I'm not going to push you out the window!"
Clark sighed. "Could I lean out a window that's not open to public view?"
"I guess so."
She walked him through to the bedroom and opened the curtain over the window. Clark walked nervously over. "What if he doesn't come?"
"Clark, will you just get on with it?"
"All right, Lois." He reached up to unlock the window and slide it upward, poked his head out and said in a normal-toned voice, "Help, Superman!"
"No, Clark, you have to yell it!"
He shot her a glare then raised his voice and quickly shouted, "HELP! SUPERMAN!"
As he pulled his head back in the window, she watched the sky. Clark stood beside her, pretending to be waiting for Superman to arrive. "I'm going back to sit down, Lois, the guy's probably busy."
"He ALWAYS comes, Clark."
"Correction, he always comes when YOU call, Lois."
"Are you saying he doesn't come when anyone calls?"
"I'm just saying, that he responds to certain calls before others."
"Well, he can tell the difference in a real scream for help…and children playing, pretending they are calling for him. He can recognize people's voices if he knows them. He's not going to go answer the screams of a hungry baby. He can tell the difference, Lois."
"So are you saying that he is going to know you didn't really mean it?"
"I'm saying he probably can tell that I wasn't really interested in whether he came or not, yes."
"So why did he go when Diana Stride called? She was just falling from a building to get him to come!"
"I don't know, maybe she's a good actor. Actress. But she was really falling."
"Well, she does look like Raquel Welch. Do you think Superman minded kissing her? I mean, she is known for her voluptuous body and all!"
"Loisss," he pursed his lips disapprovingly. "Superman isn't interested."
"So how do you know?"
"We…we're friends. We know each other pretty well."
They sat back on the couches facing one another. "Okay, my turn." Clark looked at her as if he was lost in thought. "Truth or Dare?"
"Have you ever broken into my apartment?"
"What? Why are you asking me that?"
"I don't know, I just thought it would be interesting to find out. "Have you ever broken into my apartment and why or why not?"
"Do you think I have?"
"Tut tut tut, I ask the question this time."
"Yes." She quickly blurted out her answer and turned the tables. "Your turn, truth or Dare?"
"No no no…why or why not?" he laughed.
She made a face and sighed. "I wanted to find out if you still had Superman's globe after the break in."
"WHAT?" He was indignant.
She sheepishly responded. "Well, you were so secretive about it and all, and it wasn't really yours in the first place, and I know you said you were going to give it back to Superman, but I wondered if you did, that's all."
"And it wasn't here," she blurted.
"So you searched?"
"This is Lois Lane we're talking about. What do you think?"
"I see. So you were satisfied?"
"Your turn's over. Truth or Dare, Clark."
"Okay, Clark. Where do you go when you disappear all the time? You always turn your head to the side or look up or faraway and then right away you give me some crazy reason so you can leave the room."
"How about Dare?"
She laughed, slapping her knees and took another sip of her wine, replacing the glass on the coffee table. She loved watching him squirm.
As she watched him, she gasped slightly with glee and began coughing.
He came over to her side and patted her back. "Are you okay?" He got up to get her a drink of water, but she'd stopped coughing when he returned. He sat back down beside her and handed her the water.
"Maybe we've played enough for tonight." He looked at his watch, nonchalantly. "I think I'd better be going now."
"Oh, no you don't, Clark Kent! You said 'Truth' and now you don't want to answer the question!"
"Lois, it's just getting late. I'd better go home."
"It's not that late, Clark. Tomorrow is Saturday and we don't have to go in to the office. So just settle down and answer the question."
"I knew I should never play this game with you," he muttered. "I have to do something important."
"What kind of an answer is that, Clark? You can't say that. You have to tell me what the important thing you have to do is!"
"Well, it's always something different, Lois."
Disbelief written all over her face she retorted, "Cheese of the month club? Return a video? Fill a prescription? For the healthiest person I know, you pick up more medication than anyone I've ever met."
He sighed. "It's just something important, Lois. Can't you just leave it there?" He stood up.
"Claaark! Sit back down and answer the question properly."
"Lois, I've said enough already."
"Clark! This is it. You have to answer the question."
"Or what, Lois?"
"Or. Or. Or you lose the game."
"Fine. I lose the game."
"Oh, no you don't, Big Fellow!" She stood up and pushed him back down on the couch. "Now fess up! I've told you all sorts of things I've never told anyone else. You can just do the same thing! You're supposed to be the one that always does the right thing, that plays the game fairly, that's completely honest. Now tell me where you go."
He crossed his arms defiantly and looked her in the eye. "No."
"No, Lois. This is different."
"And just why is this different, Clark Kent?"
"It just is."
"Fine! She turned on her heel and headed into the bathroom slamming the door behind her, yelling as she stomped, "I just told you all sorts of private stuff!"
He stared at the door. Should he just leave? Should he really tell her his secret now? Was she ready to know? Did she really care enough about him not to leave when she found out who he really was? Just how angry would she be?
Making his decision, Clark spun into his Superman suit and sat back down on the couch.
When Lois came out of the bathroom and saw him in her living room she recalled the call for help. "Oh, hi, Superman! Clark said you wouldn't come."
Clark had forgotten about the call to Superman and stuttered, "Well, I did have a bit of time to spare, but Clark is right… I can't just answer calls that aren't important, and I do make decisions about which ones to answer every day."
Superman was standing beside the couch closest to the window that was open, the one Lois was supposed to think he'd arrived through. Lois was on the other couch, her back to the kitchen. Superman nodded toward the kitchen, then faster than Lois' brain could see, he spun out of the suit, into his Clark clothes and hairstyle, and stood in the kitchen making a cup of oolong tea.
"I'm right here, Lois." Clark said from the kitchen. A moment later she heard a sonic boom. He filled the kettle and put it on the burner, keeping his eyes on her in case she turned back to Superman. When she did, he beat her eyes to the spot he had been moments before.
"Have a seat, Superman. We were just playing a game of Truth or Dare. Would you like to play with us?"
Clark knew the gig was up in a few minutes. He, as Clark, had to answer her question once and for all. He'd just spent the past few days convincing her that he wasn't Superman, after Diana Stride had told on National television that he was. She was right. She deserved an honest answer after all that she had revealed already.
"Okay, I'll play," Superman stated. Whose turn is it?"
She looked at Clark in the kitchen. "Clark's. But he won't answer the question."
Superman raised his eyebrows when she looked back at him. "What was the question, Clark?" Superman asked his equal.
"She wants to know where I go when I leave suddenly."
"Can I answer it for him?" Superman asked Lois.
"What?" Lois responded.
Superman turned to Clark who Lois wasn't looking at for a moment as she had another sip of her wine. "Just tell her. It's okay."
Lois spun around to look at Clark who was leaning against the counter in the kitchen waiting for the kettle to boil. "Okay, Lois. I help Superman."
"What? How do you help Superman? What does he need from you?"
Clark smiled and slapped his hand on the counter in victory. "I answered the question! Your turn."
"You call that an answer? You can't just say that! That just raises other questions!"
"And your breaking into my apartment doesn't?"
"So how do we play this game?" Superman interrupted as Lois turned back to face him.
"You choose Truth or Dare and then you get a question to answer or something that you're dared to do." She paused. "But you don't really have to answer if you don't want to, Superman."
"What?" Clark demanded from the kitchen, noticeably agitated. "And just how come he doesn't have to play by the same rules as we do?"
"Claaark! He's different. He's Superman. He has a right to hide some things. Boy, is there ever a lot of noise, like explosions in the bathroom or something." She looked like she was going to go check it out.
"And I don't get to hide some things?" He ignored the noise he made each time he switched positions with his counterpart.
She turned to him and exclaimed, "No, Clark, and neither do I! I don't know why you're so protective about where you always go. It's not like it's really a big deal. You just like to run off to avoid uncomfortable situations. I know. I've got you all figured out."
"I've got you all figured out." Clark imitated her in a high pitched, singsong voice, crossing his arms and looking defiantly at her.
She ignored him and turned back to Superman. "So it's your turn. Truth or Dare?"
Superman looked up at the ceiling and then at Lois. "Dare."
Lois smiled wickedly. "I dare you to…"
"Hey, how come you get to ask the questions?"
"I don't know. I just thought…"
"Well, he's my friend!"
"He's my friend, too; and I discovered him!"
Clark's raised eyebrows stopped her argument.
She changed tactics. "Ladies, first!"
"She's right, Clark." Superman said as she turned to look at him.
"It's not fair, that's all I was saying." Clark retorted from the kitchen, getting a charge out of bantering with her.
She looked at Superman. She'd never seen him in street clothes. Just what did he look like? "Okay, Clark. I'm going. You gonna come and listen?"
"I can hear from here, thank you."
"Superman, I dare you to trade clothes with Clark!"
Clark burst out laughing as Lois turned to look at him. "You've got to be kidding!" He laughed louder. She turned back to see Superman with his arms crossed, his eyebrows raised looking at his counterpart in the kitchen.
"Come on, Clark. Lois, may we use your bedroom?"
"Sure thing, Superman."
Clark, having already decided that he'd come out with the truth during this game, even though the situation hadn't demanded that he did anymore, headed into the bedroom. Superman followed him.
It didn't take long before Clark walked into the kitchen wearing the suit. His hair was hanging down in Clark's hairstyle and the glasses were on.
Superman returned to the living room wearing Clark's outfit with his hair slicked back and no glasses on.
Lois laughed when she saw Superman in Clark's clothes. But when she looked over at Clark in the kitchen in the suit her mouth fell open. Clark fit into the suit perfectly. His muscular body looked just like Superman's. "If I didn't know better, I'd say you just switched heads!" She laughed at the absurdity of her joke.
"Do you want us to switch back?" Clark asked. Before she could answer, he tossed the glasses across the room to Superman in the living room and slicked his hair back with his hand. Lois gasped and then turned to look at Superman behind her. He had the glasses in his hand. She watched him shake his head, pull his hair down over his forehead, and put the glasses on.
"Wow! If I weren't seeing you both at the same time I'd have thought you were the same person. You're twins!" She looked back at Clark who had moved closer to the back of the couch.
"Okay, Lois," Clark said. "Your turn. Truth or Dare?"
"Wait a minute, Clark. This is really spooky. Go stand beside Superman."
Clark eased his way around the couch, still far enough apart from his double that she couldn't see either of them properly.
"Okay," Clark began. "Lois, Superman and I are closer than I've ever let on before."
"I can see that, Clark. What do you think I am, blind?"
She looked back at Superman in Clark's clothes, but it wasn't Superman now, was it?~ It was Clark. Superman was at the end of the couch. Wasn't he? She looked back and forth at them trying to figure out which one was really which. "Can you switch your heads again?"
Superman, on the other couch opposite Lois tossed the glasses back to Clark who was wearing the Superman suit. They changed their hairstyles and resumed their former almost identical appearances. "There. That's better. So, Superman, Clark, are you twins? Did you both come from Krypton together?"
Clark in the Superman suit laughed while Superman in the Clark clothes crossed his arms in front of his chest. Clark had had enough of Lois' trouble making and was ready to tease her some more. "Yes, Lois. We flew together."
"What? You FLEW together? Clark, what are you talking about?"
Superman looked sternly at Clark. "Clark, I think you'd better tell her."
"No, Superman. This is more fun. Stump the whiz. Would she tell us the truth? Not on your sweet Chumpy!"
Lois looked at the Clark standing in front of her. "Clark Kent, that's you, not Superman. She turned toward the man in the Superman suit. "Okay, I get it, switch places."
They walked toward one another and then sped into place. "There, that's better."
"Now come here, Clark. I want to see you sitting beside Superman."
"Are you sure?" Clark responded.
"Yes, I'm sure." Lois' brain was working overtime.
"So, Lois," Clark began as she turned to face him, "now do you see why I help Superman out a lot?"
"Because you're twins?"
Clark had played out the little game. "No, watch this!"
He moved closer to Superman who was also moving closer to him. Staying in front of Lois and in full view all the time, the two people merged into one before her very eyes.
Stunned, Lois looked around, then back at Superman left standing in front of her. "Where did Clark go?"
Suddenly Clark was in front of her instead of Superman. He was able to move so fast that even in front of her, he could change form faster than her eyes could record it, without spinning so that she could see the changing.
She looked confused. "Stop it, Clark! Superman! Stop it right now." She got up and headed into the kitchen where the water for the oolong tea was boiling furiously.
"Here, I'll get it." Clark appeared beside her suddenly. He removed the water from the burner, then turned and took Lois in his arms. "I'm sorry, Lois. I didn't know how to tell you. I've never told anybody this before."
"What? That you and Superman are crazy?"
He laughed. "No, Lois, that I AM Superman."
"No, you're Clark. Didn't you put on your own clothes again? Boy, you look identical. I don't even know anymore."
"I was just teasing you, Lois. It's a thing we do at parties."
"Oh, forget it. Look, Lois. I am Superman." He spun slowly in front of her, then swooped her up into his arms and carried her back to the couch where he lay her gently down. Her mouth was hanging open and her head was reeling.
She put a hand to her head to steady herself. "Clark?"
"But where's… hold me Clark. Just hold me."
He became Clark again, scooped her up in his arms and held her. The noise stopped just after she put her hands to the sides of her head as if to steady it from the distracting loudness.
"What was all that noise?"
"It was me."
"You know, sonic booms. If I move faster than the speed of light, then obviously I'm moving faster than the speed of sound, so the boom catches up a moment later. I had to move pretty fast there while we were having our three people conversation."
She looked around, still in a daze. "So, you're Superman and you're also Clark? How in the world…" She looked around expecting to see the second twin in the other room. "How did you do that?"
"I just made sure you couldn't see both of us at the same time. I could move faster than you could move your head, so every time you were about to look at the other me, I raced over there, changed and was ready for you."
"But Clark, are you REALLY Superman? You work with me all day while Superman is out there flying around saving the world! When do you change from one to the other? And how do you know when you're needed if you're at work or with me? And how come you always rescue me? And why didn't you tell me before? And…"
"Well, Lois, you know that Truth or Dare question you just asked me? About where I go when I look up suddenly and make an excuse to leave?"
She nodded, understanding beginning to move into the realm of the strange reality happening in her living room.
"If I'm at work, I go into the stairwell and change into Superman, go to the roof and answer the cry for help, or the disaster, or wherever I'm needed. I'm not a very good excuse maker."
"So when you left during our chess game when I was telling you my deepest feelings…"
Clark nodded solemnly. "I'm sorry, Lois. I didn't hear a word you said. The cry for help, or whatever it was, was so loud that it was all I heard. It happens an awful lot."
"Does it bother you to have to drop everything and go?"
"Well, at times like that it does! But otherwise, not usually. But I really do detest making up lies about where I'm going. It goes against everything I am, everything I stand for, everything I believe."
"So when we were at the fair and you disappeared, you were saving that whiner…the one that sued Superman…you?"
He nodded. "It was terrible, Lois, I had Dan Scardino practically following me around, ready to leap into my spot if I deserted you for an instant. I couldn't ignore the cries for help or the emergencies. You wouldn't have wanted Superman to stop doing that, would you?" He paused while she shook her head. "But I had to go."
"But you could have told me the truth."
"No, Lois, there were two reasons I couldn't. One, you'd get mad at me for hiding it for so long and possibly never speak to me again. And Two, I only plan on telling one woman in the world. But for a long time I didn't know how you felt about me, so I wasn't sure if I should tell you anyway."
"That's a really lousy reason, you know."
"Not to me. What if you had married Lex with my secret? He's been trying to kill me for ages. He had me in a kryptonite cage during your wedding."
She gasped and her hand went up to touch the side of his cheek.
"Are you okay, Lois?"
She nodded. "Go on. This is fascinating. It doesn't say much for my investigative powers, however."
"You trusted me, Lois, and I led you away from finding out about me."
She smiled half a smile, 'Yeah, I trusted you. Meanwhile…"
"I couldn't, Lois. But lately I've been thinking about telling you. I had been working up my nerve."
"So why did you tell me now? I could see you were pretty nervous about calling for Superman and about telling me about where you run off to all the time. I can't believe you can do all of that yourself. You're incredible, Clark. Superman. You hold down a full time job, hang out with me almost every night and disappear to be Superman continually, but you never neglect anything. You do a perfect job at work, of catching the bad guys… Hey, you use your special powers in our investigations!" At his nod she continued, "You really are a super man."
He grinned and chuckled. "It's a hard job but somebody's got to do it!"
She pushed his shoulder with her hand.
"And since I'm soooo amazing…it might just as well be me!" She whacked at him again but found he'd put her back on the couch and jumped out of the way.
"Now, since I've just told you my biggest secret in the whole wide world, you have to do the same thing."
"Well, don't you have to ask the question?"
"What do you not ever ever want me to find out?"
"Clark? I can't tell you that stuff!"
"Why not, Lois? I just told you a secret I've kept my entire life from the entire world!"
"I know, and it's no little secret either…But, Claaark…"
"I tell you what, Lois, if you tell me your very biggest secret in the whole wide world, then you can win the game."
"Even after you told me about Superman?"
He nodded. "Even after I told you about Superman…Cos frankly, my dear, this is going to be a lot better than knowing my own secret!"
"Do I have to look at you when I tell you?"
"No. I guess not."
"Can I just write it down and then you can open it up and read it at home?"
"I guess. But I'd rather you just tell me right now."
"But, Claaark, it's soooo embarrassing!"
She reached over and took another sip of her nearly empty glass of wine.
"Okay, I'll tell you what, Lois. You can whisper it in my ear. I won't look at you when you're telling me, and I can put my arms around you for reassurance."
"I don't know about that."
"Why not?" His face looked so darn innocent.
"No. I'll write it down and you can read it at home."
"Fine," he said.
She got up and went over to her desk and took out a pen and a piece of paper. "But you have to destroy it as soon as you read it!"
"Okay. Right after I memorize it."
"Ooooh, Clark, you can be soooo exasperating."
"Ooooh, Lois, you can be soooo exasperating, too."
She scrawled a sentence on the piece of paper, ripped it off the pad and folded it up into a teeny tiny wad of paper and handed it to him.
He shot out of the window as soon as the paper touched his hand. Inside his living room, he unfolded it and read the sentence that she'd scrawled in practically illegible writing. "I dream about being with you."
A surge of hope shot through him. He popped the message into his mouth and flashed back through Lois' living room window.
"Wha..?" She hadn't moved from the spot where she'd been when she handed him the message, except to put her arm down and step toward the window.
He reached out to her and took her into his arms. Cuddling his face into her hair, he whispered huskily. "I dream the same thing, Lois."
Their lips met as the sonic boom caught up with Clark's arrival.