By Pam Jernigan
Submitted: February 2005
Summary: "Since I was exposed as an alien, I haven't had much of a social life. But then this strange woman shows up in my office…" Read this sequel to "My Interview with Superman" to learn what happens next!
Author's note: This is a sequel to "My Interview with Superman" and you really have to have read that one first. Thanks to Wendy for real-time beta reading, and everyone who agitated for a follow-up story.
My Date with Lyn
by Clark Kent
It's not easy for me to take a woman out to dinner. Being the most famous guy on the planet has a few downsides, to say the least, and the inability to visit a restaurant in peace is one of them. But Lois thinks she can fix that for tonight.
Somehow, I always thought that if I were fortunate enough to meet my soul mate, I'd know her instantly. So much for that theory. Although on second thought, there's probably something to it. It's not like me to give that sort of interview. If Lyn hadn't been Lois, I probably would have thrown her out. But there was some kind of connection there — a rapport. She made me feel comfortable.
So, maybe, if I'd never even heard of Lois Lane, I'd still have fallen for Lyn Drozny.
The whole situation makes me want to laugh, to fly… This morning, I was lonely and miserable. Now, the whole world has changed — it's full of hope. All because of her.
"So, where are we going, Lyn?" I've got to remember to call her that… for the next few days anyway.
She stands up. "Well, I could really go for some Mexican food. You don't get much Mexican food in Bulgaria, for some reason. But first, we need to go to a thrift store, for your disguise."
"Well, actually," I realize with a sinking feeling, "first we have to get out of this building. Without anyone seeing us."
She looks around my office. "I guess your window is watched."
"Most of the time, yeah."
"Well, we'll have to sneak, then." The prospect doesn't seem to alarm her any. "How about I go down the stairs and out into the alley?"
"Is that how you got in?"
She just grins at me. "You go out in full view, all by yourself. You can meet me behind the building."
I hesitate — I hate to let her out of my sight.
She reaches out to lightly touch my arm. "It's okay, Clark. I'll be there."
How does she do that? "Okay, then."
It doesn't take long for us to get out of there. Lois… err, Lyn… disappears past the fax machines and I make a show of going home for the day. The Planet staff doesn't pay too much attention to me anymore, other than to say goodnight. I go out the front door and launch into the air without bothering to change, rising out of sight before circling around.
When I land in the alley, she's there. Her eyes widen a bit. "Wow. That's really impressive to see in person."
I laugh. "Just wait until you're flying *with* me." Flying with me… held in my arms… against my heart… we haven't even shaken hands yet. "Or we could take a cab. You know, if you'd rather. Or you could take a cab, and I'd meet you, you know, wherever…"
She rescues me from the verbal quagmire. "Clark, I know that flying with you means you holding me. It's okay. I've decided you're not an obsessed lunatic, remember?" She flushes slightly and smiles. "And I've got to say — I've kind of been looking forward to flying with you."
"I've been dreaming about flying with you." That's the sort of comment I know I should *not* make. Don't want to freak her out again. It just slips out, anyway.
She just smiles. I step closer to her, and she steps towards me. We're close enough to be touching. I just look into her beautiful eyes. "I can't believe I was fooled by a pair of glasses."
"Hey, is it your fault I picked a brilliant disguise?" She pushes her hair back from her face again. "Besides, why would you see through it? I've got to be the very last person you'd ever expect to show up in your office."
"Yeah, I guess that's how it works."
She half shrugs. "I tried a lot of things when I was first hiding out. This was the easiest. Speaking of which, I think there's a thrift shop on Seventh Avenue, isn't there?"
I blink. "Um, yeah, I think so."
"Good. Let's go."
She's smiling at me again. With my heart in my mouth I reach for her, bending down to scoop her up. I've carried hundreds of people before, including the other Lois, but nothing ever felt as right as this.
She shifts around a bit and puts her arm around my neck. Her face is so close… Business. I only met the woman half an hour ago. I need to keep my mind on business.
It's only a short flight. Lois is looking all around, delighted by the whole experience. Then we land, and I have to put her down. She regains her footing easily enough, but stays close to me, one hand on my shoulder.
"I don't think you should come inside with me," she says. "Just wait here, okay? Unless of course duty calls; I don't want to keep you from rescuing someone or anything."
"I'll be here." Duty had better not call. It might get an answering machine.
"And try to look inconspicuous." I can tell she's doubtful about that.
"I'll be fine, Lyn." That's not the part that's making me nervous. "But what are you going to get?"
"Depends on what they have. Trust me, okay?" She doesn't wait to get an answer.
It seems like a long wait, but it's really only a few minutes until she comes back out of the shop. She comes over and hands me a bag. I peer inside. I see jeans — I already have jeans, but these are undeniably scruffier than mine. But that shirt… I look up at Lois. "Tie-dye?"
"Sure." She smiles evilly and pulls a small packet from the bag. "See, they had these John Lennon glasses, so I was kind of on a sixties kick."
"I'll stick out like a sore thumb!"
She hands me a ball cap. "But you won't look anything like Superman, will you?"
Okay, she's got me there. "I guess we'll find out. I don't really have anything to lose if it doesn't work."
"Yes, you keep that positive attitude, Clark. Now we need to find you a place to change."
"That is not a problem." I move down the alley a little further into the shadows, then spin into the new outfit.
For a moment, Lois is speechless, and I feel smug. It's about time I give back some of the shocks she's been giving me.
"Whoa, that's… cool."
"I just picked it up recently. So, let's go eat!"
"Right. If I remember correctly, there's a family-owned Mexican restaurant just a few blocks away. Want to walk?"
"Sure. For tonight, I'm just an ordinary Joe."
She takes my hand to get us started in the right direction, and we start off down the street side by side. I'm not in any hurry to let go of her hand. Seems she's not in any hurry to let go of mine, either.
This is the happiest I've been in a long, long time.
I draw a few looks as we walk, but no one calls me Superman or reacts as if they recognize me.
It occurs to me that I should probably say something. "So… Bulgaria, huh?"
"Yeah. All of Eastern Europe was starting to open up then… I figured Lex might have agents in France or Germany, so I didn't stay there, but probably not even Lex Luthor could have a network behind the Iron Curtain."
"Seems like it worked for you." If he'd managed to kill her… well, I know exactly how miserable I'd be right now.
"It wasn't too bad, actually. I learned a lot. Met some nice people. It was an exciting time. Oh, here we are."
The place is definitely low-rent, but it seems clean. There's even a short line to stand in. God, I love that. When it's our turn to be seated, the waitress barely glances at us.
Lois is looking smug now. "See what I mean?"
"I am amazed." I guess I shouldn't be; I've seen how this works in the other universe. But there, no one has any idea Superman would ever dress down. I'd always figured that had a lot to do with it.
"Turnabout is fair play. You know, I remember the moment I first heard about Superman."
I frown at her; does she want to ruin everything?
She smiles. "Where were you when you first heard about him?"
My turn to be talked about in code, I see. "At the office. How about you?"
"Yeah, I was working." Her heart rate is speeding up. "And it took about two minutes before I developed a crush on him."
"Well, you know, when you don't really know someone, that's all it can be. It's not real."
Call me crazy, but I think she's going somewhere with this. "But then, one day, you meet that person. What happens to the crush then?"
She looks down at her napkin. "Well, I guess it fades away." She looks up again. "It gets replaced by real feelings, based on the real person. Whatever they turn out to be."
"Sometimes," I can't help pointing out, "people get mad when other people don't match their expectations. The real person could be pretty… ordinary. Or not likeable at all." I really hope we're not talking about us, here.
"Yeah, they could." She looks uncertain now.
"Or you could find that the real person is even better than you'd hoped for."
She smiles, just a little. "Yeah. You might. If you're really lucky."
"I don't know about you, Lo-" oops! "Lyn, but I'm feeling pretty lucky right now."
The waitress arrives right then, of course. We give her our orders, and then the conversation gets more general. We're in the middle of a lively debate about politics when we get interrupted.
"Hey, aren't you Superman?"
I freeze. It's a little girl, standing next to our booth. I sigh and look at Lois. This has been so nice and peaceful; I hate for it to end.
Lois smiles at the girl, then at me. "See, Joe, I'm not the only one who thinks you look like Superman!"
The girl is joined by a woman, probably her mother. "Laurie!" she scolds. "Don't pester people."
"But Mama…!" Laurie protests.
Lois holds out a placating hand. "It's okay. She was just pointing out that my boyfriend looks like Superman."
I'm slumping against the back of the seat. Lois kicks me under the table.
"Yeah, I get that sometimes," I comment, making my voice just a little higher than normal. "It's a hoot at parties. You ready to go, Pumpkin?"
Her eyes narrow for a second before she pastes on a smile. "Yeah, hot stuff, I am."
Laurie's mom mumbles an apology and shepherds the girl away. As they reach their table, I can hear the mom telling Laurie not to be ridiculous; of course that's not Superman.
I have to work at not laughing aloud. Lois's eyes are dancing, so she's no help whatsoever. We hurry out of there. Relatively speaking. Super-speed at this point would *definitely* give the game away. We pay the bill and get outside and a few steps down the sidewalk, but then I'm laughing, and so is she. And we're holding hands again.
She looks at me, her eyes still dancing. "Pumpkin?"
"I guess I'm just a farm kid at heart."
"Yeah? Well, it's a good thing you're unbreakable, or I'd have kicked you again." Even with no one nearby, she lowers her voice.
"It's a good thing you didn't, really," I can't help pointing out, "since you *are* breakable."
She just rolls her eyes at that. Those glasses look kinda cute on her. "Come on, walk me home."
I drop the silliness. "Where is home?"
"For now, it's the Sheraton. Over on 9th Avenue."
It's a nice night, temperature-wise. We talk all the way there. Out front of the hotel, I pause and look at her for cues. She turns to face me and drops my hand. Her other hand, though, comes around to rest on my colorful shirt. It feels wonderful.
She looks unsure, too. "Do you want to come up with me? I haven't got coffee but there's always room service."
Regretfully, I shake my head. "I'm overdue for a patrol. And after that, I've got a golf course to open in New Zealand." Plus I don't want to rush things.
"Well, I guess we don't want to rush things."
"How do you do that?"
"Say what I'm thinking."
She smiles. "Did I? I don't know. I'm not reading your thoughts or anything."
"Well, you don't get any prizes for guessing what I'd really like to do before leaving."
The smile broadens, and she moves just a smidgen closer. "It probably wouldn't be too different from what I'm thinking."
"Let's find out," I say softly, putting a finger under her chin and raising her lips to meet mine. It's only a short kiss, but… wow.
She looks a little dazed, too.
"Good night, Lyn. Sleep well."
She smiles at me. "Good night, Joe. Call me tomorrow, okay?"
"Count on it."
She smiles and disappears into the hotel lobby. I head toward the nearest dark alley and shoot upwards. Very fast. After all, I wouldn't want anyone to see my new "ordinary Joe" disguise. I fly high, savoring the memories of this amazing day. Not to mention the suddenly limitless possibilities.
I don't think I could stop smiling if I tried.