By Angela <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Submitted: July 16, 2005
Summary: Lois, Clark and Jimmy get the shock of their lives. How will they cope?
This is set pre Lois knowing about Clark=Superman. WHAM WARNING: Tearjerker — You may need tissues.
Disclaimer: I do not own Clark, Lois, or any other character. I'm just borrowing them for a while. The title is borrowed from the Elvis song 'You'll Never Walk Alone'.
Clark walked into the newsroom, and looked around. Something was desperately wrong. Sure, everyone was busy, but there was something different. Clark looked at the Editor's office. Why was it so dark in there? It wasn't like the Chief to be the last one to arrive in the morning. It was the opposite. Clark got off the elevator and looked directly at Lois. She looked up from her desk, and locked eyes with Clark.
Was she crying? Just the mere thought of her crying made his heart jump into his throat.
"Lois, what's wrong? Where's Perry?"
Lois tried holding back her tears. "He's in the hospital. Alice called to let us know that it's serious; he has Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis. He's had it for a while, but he never told anyone about it. Clark, I'm really worried. The doctor asked her if he had a will, and to call the family in."
Clark was shocked. "I had no idea. What are we doing here then? We can at least go visit."
"No Clark. It's family only."
"Lois, who do you think we are? We are family of sorts. Besides it doesn't hurt to go and see if Alice needs anything, and to show some support."
Jimmy overheard the conversation and came over. "If you're going to the hospital. I want to go with you."
The ride to the hospital was quiet; too quiet. When they walked into ICU Alice met them. "I was getting ready to call you. He knows that he doesn't have much time, and he's been asking to see the three of you. Thank goodness it hasn't affected his voice yet."
"May I go first?" Lois asked.
"Go ahead, " Alice answered.
Lois walked quietly into the room.
"Chief?" Lois whispered.
"Lois, honey. I'm glad you're here. Did you get the interview with the mayor?"
"Of course chief." Lois managed to choke out. She had to smile; even on his deathbed his mind was still on work.
"Lois, I don't have much time. I just wanted to let you know how much you mean to me. I know I never told you this, but I love you like a daughter."
Lois bit her lip trying her best not to cry. "Listen Perry, I could never have asked for a better boss than you. You're more than just a boss… you're more like a friend. No, I take that back, you're more like a father figure. You're more a dad to me than my own ever was, but then you probably already knew that."
"Lois, honey, you're starting to babble."
"You're right. Sorry. Anyway, you gave me a chance in a man's world, and I'll always be grateful to you for giving me that chance."
Lois leaned over and planted a kiss on Perry's cheek. "I'm not the only one here who wants to speak to you, so I better go. Bye Chief. I love you." Lois walked out of the room crying. Clark and Jimmy looked at each other.
"You can go," Jimmy said.
Clark nodded, went into the room, and closed the door. "Hey Chief."
"Clark! Son, how are you?"
"Not bad." Clark walked over and sat in the chair next to the bed. "Perry, I wanted to thank you for giving a boy from Smallville the privilege to work with you."
Perry smiled. "You're welcome. You were a little wet behind the ears at first, but you're now a top-notch reporter. In all my days at the Planet, I've never seen a better writing team than you and Lois. You two are really something special."
Clark dropped his voice to a whisper. "I'm going to tell you something that I've never told anyone. Not even Lois. Actually my parents are the only two people who know this. I'm Superman."
Perry laughed gently. "I already know that."
"You do?" Clark said as he felt his blood run cold.
"Son, I've been in the newspaper business for years. I was at one time a top investigating reporter."
"Why didn't you say something? You could've gone public with that kind of news."
"Son, I felt that when you were ready to let the world know who you were, you'd be the one to tell them. It wasn't my place. Besides we sold a lot of papers due to Superman, do you think I'd let that go down the drain? Truth is, I rank Superman right up there with Elvis. You've done a lot of good for this city, and I'm glad to know that Superman will be around for a long time."
"Thanks Chief. But, how did you know?"
"I figured it out not long after you started working at the Planet. After all, I've never seen anyone leave a staff meeting to find Lois, and then find the person by the closet window."
Clark chuckled from the memory. "Thanks for not telling anyone."
"You're welcome Clark, but like I said, it's not my place to tell her."
"Jimmy is waiting outside, he wants to see you. I better go." Clark stood up, gently grasped Perry's hand, and hesitantly let it go.
"Promise me one thing."
"Look out for Lois."
Clark smiled. "As long as I breathe, I'll take care of her." Clark walked out of the room and into the waiting room. He walked up and placed a hand on Jimmy's shoulder.
Jimmy jumped up and walked toward the room. Before entering the room, he stopped and took several deep breaths. "Hi Chief."
"Jimmy. Glad you're here son."
"I wish I could say I was glad to be here."
Perry gently laughed. "You're going to make one great reporter someday."
"You mean it Chief?"
"Jimmy, you should know by now that I never say anything I don't mean."
Jimmy chuckled. "I don't know about that. You did tell me that I was brilliant, whenever I said 'Chief '. I know you didn't mean to say that."
"I forgot all about that. I felt like tanning your hide when you had me hypnotized."
"We've really had some good times haven't we?"
Perry smiled weakly. "Sure have son. By the way, I have one last assignment for you." He could feel his strength starting to leave him. He knew he had to give out this one last request before it was too late.
"Make sure they play Elvis throughout the whole funeral."
"I'll make sure they do."
Perry's face went white and his machines started beeping. Nurses came running into the room, and were shouting to each other. "Goodbye Jimmy, " Perry whispered softly.
"Bye, Chief," Jimmy whispered back.
"I'm sorry sir, but you have to leave," the nurse said to Jimmy, as she turned to help Perry.
Jimmy went out the door only to find Lois, Clark, and Alice standing by the room. Tears flowing down their faces.
"What's taking them so long? What's going on in there?" Lois asked.
A few minutes later, which felt like eternity, the nurse came out. She could barely look them in the eye. "I'm sorry, he's gone," she whispered softly. Clark wrapped his arms around Lois as she cried on his shoulder. Alice crumbled onto the floor sobbing out Perry's name. Jimmy knew he had to do something, so he sat down next to her, and wrapped her into his arms.
"The boys aren't here yet. They couldn't get a flight out until an hour ago. They'll be here in 2 hours. They didn't get to say goodbye. Perry, Why? Why did you leave us?" Alice's sobs were heart-wrenching.
Lois raised her head from Clark's chest, and looked over at Alice. She went over and sat down on the cold hallway floor next to her. "You know, I bet Perry said a special goodbye to the boys. Sure they may not be able to hear it, but he loved the boys. He would never leave without saying goodbye," Lois said trying her best to comfort her.
Alice gave her a watery smile. "I'm sure he did."
She looked at the three people who were surrounding her. Jimmy sat on her left with his arm around her shoulder. Lois was on her right holding her right hand, and Clark kneeling down in front of her holding her left hand. They were each doing their best to comfort her. She knew she would need a lot of that, especially the weeks, months, and years after the funeral.
"Perry talked so much of you three that I was almost jealous. He would come home from work and his first words would be: You won't believe what Jimmy did, or guess what Lois and Clark found out? He always spoke kindly of you."
Alice stopped to wipe her tears. Lois and Clark both handed her a tissue at the same time. She smiled her gratitude. "Please don't forget me. Stop by from time to time to visit."
"We promise to keep in touch," Clark said quietly.
Perry hovered over the group he considered his family. They were all there huddled around his grave. Each one trying their best to hold back tears, everyone was there including Cat who flew in from California. After the service was over, Lois, Clark, and Jimmy lingered.
"I always thought of him as a dad. I just can't believe he's gone," Jimmy said as a tear slid down his face. Clark reached out and gently squeezed his shoulder.
"What are we going to do without him? I'm sure going to miss his Elvis stories," Lois quietly added.
"Uhh. Perry, What stories did you tell them?" Perry laughed and looked at the man next to him. As they floated away, Perry put his arm across Elvis's shoulder, and started telling him one of his famous stories.
Later that day, the rain was gently falling as Superman went to the grave. He knelt down on one knee, and looked at the two statues he had in his hand. One of Elvis, the other of Superman. He placed them gently on the tombstone, bowed his head, and cried.
Note from author: I just recently heard of the passing of Lane "Perry White" Smith. I was stunned and extremely saddened by his passing. This is the first fic I've written, and only because I wanted to do something to honor the man that really brought Perry to life. Mr. Smith this is for you!!!
April 29, 1936 — June 13, 2005