Starless Night

By Jana L. Officer <>

Rated: G

Submitted: August 2007

Summary: Clark pays Lois a late-night visit as Superman in this re-visitation of the events at the end of the episode "Metallo."

This was originally written as a birthday fic for my good friend Saskia last year. It has taken me forever to get around to submitting it to the boards! In any case, I am finally doing it!

This is a little story I wrote that takes place during the episode Metallo. It is set during the last night of the episode. I don't have the episodes at my new house with me, so I had to use a script of the episode for the few lines I've pulled. That being the case, the lines might not match to the episode precisely. That's all I have to say! Oh, except… feedback is always welcome and appreciated!


The sky above Metropolis was pitch black above the city lights. The night air was still and cool. No wind to break the cloud cover. It was a starless night; at least to the observer with the eyesight capability of an earthling. Super vision was required to see the stars tonight.

Clark Kent appreciated how quiet the night was. A chance to reflect. Time to relax just a little. No calls for help. None. Zero. Such a rarity. The normal ebb and flow of life in Metropolis didn't lend rest to its resident superhero. There were times when all the craziness seemed ready to overwhelm him and all his special senses. Nights like tonight were his reprieve. The calm was just what he needed tonight. Tonight he really needed time to think.

Lois had saved his life the day before. It felt odd for a couple reasons. First, he was used to saving others, not being saved. Not to say it never happened, but it definitely put the shoe on the other foot. What was of greater import to him, though, was that Lois had saved CLARK, not the superhero she adored, but ordinary Clark. That simple fact spoke volumes. Now, he and Lois were friends, certainly, best friends even. And he wasn't surprised to know she would try to save him just based on her character. Lois was the type of person to be involved, even at her own peril. Somehow though, this event seemed to have greater significance than what face value might imply. Or maybe he was just getting his hopes up. Clark sighed. This line of thinking would get him nowhere. Maybe tonight was TOO quiet.

He had tried to gauge just what Lois was feeling when he had talked to her about it today. But Perry had interrupted before the conversation had run its course. In this instance, the editor in chief had incredibly unfortunate timing. Clark worked side by side with Lois day in and day out, but it wasn't every day they managed to talk the way he wished they could. That conversation had seemed headed in a positive direction, but… "Oh well," Clark breathed the words into the night sky before heading back inside his apartment. No sense pursuing that line off thought.

Inside, Clark's gaze fell to the phone on his night stand. He could call Lois. It would be nice just to hear her voice. Yes, calling her was an idea. Or maybe going to see her would be better. The only problem was between the awkward ending to their earlier conversation and his current meanderings; he wasn't sure what to say to her. No matter, he decided as he spun into appropriate flying garb, there'd be time to figure it out on the way.

"Or maybe not," Clark chuckled upon arrival outside Lois' place. Normally he felt completely at ease around Lois, and rarely at a loss for words. But there was a new undercurrent and, as of the moment, Clark wasn't quite sure what to do with that fact. Why make this so hard on himself? "Superman can talk to Lois." It was an easy decision. So often, as Superman, he felt somehow more protected. As if the suit was a suit of armor, instead of fabric sewn by his mother. Sans super suit, he felt vulnerable in arenas that he didn't as Superman. Sometimes it seemed Clark really was a mild mannered reported, one with average human abilities. Odd how he could parcel himself into the two pieces so easily. "I bet some psychologist would have a field day with me."

Time to stop wasting time. He hovered near the open window, but almost changed his mind when he saw Lois in a robe. She must be getting ready for bed. <But she isn't IN bed yet,> he reasoned. It was now or never, and with the slightest detectable movement, and a quiet breeze, he flew to the window.

Lois started and turned to the window.

Time to find his tongue. "I'm sorry. I guess I didn't realize how late it was."

"Oh, no, it's not late. I'm just… taking an early bath."

Now standing in her apartment, he considered how to start. "I wanted to apologize for having left so abruptly the other day."

"Oh, you don't have to apologize." Lois moved closer to him. "Although I was a little worried about you." She paused and seemed to gather her thoughts. "Actually, I was a lot worried about you."

Wow. He knew what he wanted to talk about, but suddenly even the Superman suit didn't seem to be armor enough. "Lois," he began.

"You know, for a while I was afraid I might never see you again." As she spoke, she leaned into him.

Clark was torn. It would be so easy to hug her right now, to lose himself in the moment. Because while he wanted, needed, her to love him as Clark, it was a wonderful thing just to have her affection, however he had it. This had been hard for him in the past too. Sometimes he had to be content to visit with her as Superman in a context where he wished he could just be Clark. Maybe tonight it was time to change the course, to choose a new path. He had no idea where it would lead, but he felt it was time. Ever so gently, he eased himself away and held her arms until she met his gaze.

"I'm sorry you had to go through that." How could it be so hard to simply talk with Lois Lane? His next words needed to be carefully chosen. "Lois, I want you to know that I think what you did for Clark took incredible bravery."

"Oh, it was nothing."

For some reason, her bravado hurt him. He certainly didn't want it to be nothing. "Was it?"

Lois paused, and he wondered a moment if she would even answer.

"No, I guess not." She met his gaze now. "I guess there isn't anything I wouldn't do for him."

Clark wanted to tell her that he felt likewise, even though he knew she probably already knew that. But that would involve a revelation of another kind, and he figured this conversation was enough to manage in one night. "I think you two are very lucky to each other."

He let her go and she again met his gaze. Her gears were turning at high speed, he could tell. She didn't answer him at first, but the look on her face was enough to make his spirits soar. Maybe his meanderings earlier in the evening hadn't been so far off the mark after all. He walked to her window and paused. "Good night, Lois."

And with an eagerness he had never quite experienced before, Clark, as Superman, flew off into the starless night.