By Nicole Sullivan <Shabella2@aol.com>
Submitted: June, 2005
Summary: Clark Kent leads a double life. And Lois is on to him. Sort of.
"Perry, I can't work with him anymore," Lois Lane said, her hands on her hips and her foot tapping impatiently.
Perry White took a long, deep breath. "What is it this time?"
"What do you mean this time?" Lois asked. "You make it sound as if everyday I am in here with some new excuse like I have nothing better to do than find reasons not to work with—"
"Mr. Greenjeans? The Hack from Nowheresville? What'll it be this time?"
"Clark Kent," she said icily, narrowing her eyes at her editor-in- chief. This kind of outburst could cost any other journalist his or her career…but not Lois Lane. She could get away with anything with her boss. And she knew it.
Perry looked amused. He held his hands out to her, surrendering to her look. "What'd he do this time?"
"He leads a double life!" she burst out in a high-pitched voice. "I did not sign up for a partner who LEADS A DOUBLE LIFE!"
Perry leaned forward. "A double life…" he repeated, prompting her to continue.
"I followed him this morning," she started.
"As any good partner would do," he said sardonically.
"When he left his apartment, that's when it happened. When he started leading his other life."
Perry smiled. "Great. Now that we know when he starts, can I get back to—"
"Perry, I am serious!" Lois said, throwing herself dramatically into a chair in the office.
"Lois, make this quick."
"He was helping everyone. And not just people. Animals. It was amazing. The man never stopped. He was so fast, I could barely keep up," she said. "My partner spends his spare time SAVING THE WORLD, Perry! Or trying, anyway. It's ridiculous! I can't work with someone who is so…I don't know…distracted!"
Perry looked confused, but interested. He said nothing.
"He pulled a kitten out of a tree for a little girl. He helped a little old lady take her groceries to her car. He prevented this man from getting hit by a car, he just appeared and knocked him out of the way, barely breaking a sweat! A nun knew his name! He must help her everyday! Perry…I am partners with Beaver Cleaver!"
Perry laughed. And Lois couldn't be sure but he seemed…relieved. Like he wasn't even taking her seriously! That made her angrier…Perry then looked into the newsroom. "Speaking of Mr. Cleaver, here he is," Perry said.
"And eleven minutes late already. Doesn't that make you mad, Perry?"
"No one bags more Superman exclusives than him, so even if he only checked in for fifteen minutes a day, I wouldn't really care," he said, although Lois knew that he WOULD care if Clark only checked in for fifteen minutes a day.
"And HOW does he do that? It's so…so…" Lois trailed off, looking for the right word.
"…important a quality to have in a partner?" Perry offered.
"Annoying," she said, instead. "I mean, what do they do, meet up in the middle of Metropolis after Superman's restored peace in the sky and Clark's restored peace on the ground and compare notes?" she asked, standing up angrily. "I don't think a truly good reporter can be like that, Perry. He's TOO moral! Or something…"
"Lois, one of you has to be," Perry said.
"He pulled a kitten out of a TREE, Perry!"
Perry and Lois watched as Clark talked with Jimmy by the coffee machine.
"I don't want a partner who spends his spare time…sometimes his work time…trying to save the world!"
"You wouldn't care if you were partners with Superman, would you?" Perry asked, knowingly.
"Of course not! But he's Superman! If I had to look at him all day, I'D never get anything done!" she said. "Ooh, but it'd be worth it," she added with a dreamy smile.
Perry just looked at her, his head tilted. He clearly had better things to do.
"Don't tell me, Perry, that someday I'm going to appreciate having a boy scout for a partner."
"Fine, then I won't tell you," he said with a coy smile.
"I think someone should alert the media, though," Lois said, pouting.
Perry just looked at her, his eyebrows raised.
"That Beaver's left Mayfield and is on the loose in Metropolis!"
"Front page. Morning edition," he said solemnly.
"Fine," she said, still pouting.
"So you'll give him another chance and try your darnedest not to burst in here tomorrow with another reason why you can't work with him?" he asked.
"I'll try," she said, not very convincingly.
"Great. Now get out," he said, feigning annoyance.
With a long sigh, she left Perry's office…
…and marched right up to Clark, who was just walking away from Jimmy, two cups of coffee in his hands.
"Morning, Lois. Here you go," he said, cheerfully.
She took the proffered cup, since she hadn't gotten a cup of coffee herself yet, due to her morning distraction of having followed her partner halfway around the city, watching his numerous good Samaritan acts, until he'd lost her, and then seething at her desk until Perry was free for her to take her concerns to.
"Don't think you're so clever, Kent. I followed you this morning. I know why you're late," she said, narrowing her eyes.
"You…you do?" he asked innocently. He looked almost…scared, Lois would venture to say.
"Yeah. I know all about your double life," she said jokingly. Instead of looking confused or laughing—the two reactions she might have expected from him at that—he went pale.
"Are you going to tell anyone?" he asked.
He almost looked like a little boy, he was so scared and vulnerable looking.
"Honestly, Clark, get over yourself. Who would care?" she asked, sipping her coffee. Ooh, she thought…it was really good! Maybe that day that she'd appreciate having a boy scout for a partner was today! It was perfect. Just the way she liked it. "Anyway, could you try to be on time?" she asked.
Looking at him, he looked a conflict of emotions. Confused, relieved, nervous, free…free? She thought. Well whatever the reason, he did seem free.
"I, uh, can't really control when my, uh, assistance is needed, Lois."
He sat at his desk, as more—and many—emotions continued to wash over his expression.
"Oh, for Pete's sake! Let the kittens dangle, Clark! They have claws!" she said. "You could be on time if you just let the kittens dangle sometimes!"
Now he looked really confused.
Annoyed, Lois flung herself into the seat at her desk and got to work on some story notes.
"Uh, Lois, speaking of…that…what we were just talking about, I mean…I have to…" he started, edging toward the elevator.
"Beaver's back already? You haven't even been here for ten minutes!" she said.
"Beaver's back? Is that…oh! Is that the code for it?" Clark asked.
"I think it's fitting…and annoying as hell," she added under her breath.
"Okay, so yeah, Beaver's back. And we'll talk more later!" he said, running from the newsroom.
"Perry better know WHAT he's talking about with that one, or I am honestly going to march in there and order him to yodel…just to see," Lois said to herself.
She took another sip of the coffee. It really was just perfect.