By Vincent Pai <email@example.com>
Submitted March 2007
Summary: Wanting to know what makes her hero tick, Lois Lane secretly makes a video copy of Superman's deepest, fondest fantasy, with the aid of a sophisticated electronic device. However, the results are quite unexpected… Set in the first half of Season 1.
"Uh…I'm not so sure about this," Clark said nervously.
He was at the Daily Planet as Superman, after a Star Labs scientist, one Dr. Bernard Klein, had shown up in the newsroom begging someone to get ahold of him.
"But…*please,* Superman? It's too dangerous to test on humans right now, and I just want to know if it can work!" Klein pleaded.
"C'mon, Superman. It'll be fun — don't you want to live out your greatest fantasy?" Jimmy encouraged.
"Be a sport, Superman! Help the good doctor test out his invention!" Perry added with a grin.
"Well, you wouldn't actually be *living* your greatest fantasy. You see, the way the device is supposed to work is that the machine hooks up to the pleasure centers in your brain, and converts the fantasy to VHS format, complete with audio. So you'd just be watching the video," Klein explained excitedly.
"*Please,* Superman? I won't even put a tape in, Scout's honor!" the scientist continued, thumping his chest. "It'll be for your eyes only!"
Lois had been silent throughout this whole exchange, a thoughtful expression on her face. But now she perked up. "Oh, do it, Superman! You deserve a little fun!" she said.
Clark looked at Lois with an embarrassed expression on his face. Oh boy, something told him that he was going to regret this.
"Well, all right, doctor," he reluctantly agreed, extending his arm to receive the VR helmet being proffered by Dr. Klein.
Jimmy, Perry, and Dr. Klein let out a simultaneous cheer, and eagerly started studying Superman's face after he put the helmet on, to see if they could detect any sign that the device was working.
They were so focused on their task that they didn't notice Lois sneak to the other end of the machine, put a tape in the recorder, and press the "REC" button…
Lois practically tripped over herself as she rushed into her apartment, fumbling for the videotape. Dr. Klein's device had worked, and she had managed to sneak the tape into her bag after Superman's fantasy was done playing without anyone noticing.
She could have sworn that she saw a flash of guilt appear in Superman's eyes when she looked at him afterwards and asked him how his fantasy had been. In fact, he had clearly been averting his eyes from her!
For the first time in years, Lois Lane had left work early, as the temptation to watch the video had become too great to put off any longer. If what she hoped Superman fantasized about was on the tape…
Immediately after locking the door, without even bothering to label the videotape "Superman's Greatest Fantasy," Lois plunked it into her VCR and pressed "Play." A first-person view of the skies of Metropolis materialized on her television screen.
Ah, of course it would be in a first-person perspective. After all, the machine recorded fantasies as the fantasizer imagined them. It was like Superman was holding a television camera in front of him. Lois stared transfixed at her television screen as the view of the city dipped lower, to one of Metropolis's many apartment complexes.
As Superman flew into one of the apartments, he called out, "Honey, I'm home! Boy, getting all of the nations to agree to world peace was a lot easier than I thought it'd be! Since there's no more crime, accidents, or natural disasters, I think that pretty much takes care of everything!"
Lois smiled. How cute. Of course the world would be a perfect place in Superman's fantasies. He was just that kind of caring, compassionate person. That was weird, though. For some reason the apartment he was in looked strangely familiar to Lois.
Then she saw herself appear in the doorway, and say in a sultry voice, "Well hello, sweetheart…"
Lois leapt from the edge of her sofa to her feet. "Yes!" she squealed, with a broad smile on her face stretching from ear to ear.
Ok, so she was a bit more clothed than she would have liked to have been, considering that this was *Superman's* fantasy. Still, the black teddy that she was wearing on screen had unmistakably intimate undertones.
Lois gasped as she realized the implications. *Superman* fantasized about her that way. She would have to go out and get one of those. Maybe she would even wear it for him the next time he dropped by her apartment…
Lois felt a rising tide of joy welling up inside of her as she anticipated making Superman's fantasy a reality. She continued watching, more intently than ever now, as the fantasy continued playing.
As she saw, from Superman's point of view, herself leading him into a room with a large bed, a thought occurred to Lois. Maybe she shouldn't be watching this. After all, this was Superman's most private fantasy. Maybe she should respect that privacy.
She shook her head to drive the unbidden thought away. Nah! She needed to watch this — for *intelligence* purposes. After all, she wouldn't have known about the black teddy if she hadn't started watching in the first place. Who knew what else Superman liked? It might be helpful to know some of that stuff if she was going to make him *happy.*
Then, Lois saw her television screen self mirror the smile that she was now wearing. She watched herself grasp Superman's hand, and say, "I can make a man of you, Clark…"
"What???" Lois shrieked. No. She must have heard wrong. It couldn't be. Superman wouldn't fantasize about her…doing *that* with Clark. Yes, that must be it. She had just heard wrong.
"Oh, Clark," she moaned on screen.
"Eep," Lois gurgled as she hurriedly turned off the VCR. Ok, Lois, don't panic. Stay calm.
Suddenly, she realized why the apartment had looked so familiar. It was *Clark's* apartment. Oh, it looked a bit different in Superman's fantasy than it did in reality — that was why she hadn't recognized it at first. But now that she thought about it, it was *definitely* supposed to be Clark's apartment.
Why would Superman fantasize about *that?* Men weren't supposed to fantasize about women being with other men! Why would anybody do that?
Think, Lois! First, there was the possibility that Superman fantasized about his two best friends being happy together. *He* might be selfless enough to want something like that. Lois felt a pang of despair. Why couldn't Superman think about his own desires?
But wait a minute. Superman was also himself in his fantasy — he had been flying, and arranging world peace. It's just that he was…also Clark. Lois then got another thought. Superman might want her after all, but thought that she and Clark were an item, and didn't want to get in the way. Maybe that's why he fantasized about being Clark! That wasn't unreasonable — they worked closely together, and he wouldn't be the first one to make that assumption. Perhaps she would have to distance herself from Clark to show Superman that she was available.
Then again, maybe he just wanted *Clark* to be happy. Lois had been getting the feeling for a while now that Clark might be attracted to her — maybe Superman had gotten the same idea. Clark was just as close to Superman as she was — maybe Superman wanted everything in life for his best friend, Clark Kent. He had always seemed to have an unusual amount of respect for Clark, especially considering how much of a dork her partner was.
Lois bolted upright as she thought of the most disturbing explanation yet. Maybe this had nothing to do with her at all. Maybe Superman just fantasized about being Clark Kent, and just happened to think that she and Clark were involved. That would explain Superman's attitude about Clark Kent — he had made Clark out to be some perfect human ideal, set him up on a pedestal, and admired Clark so much that he wanted to *be* him. Oh, why couldn't he see how special of a person he himself was? It was Superman she wanted, not Clark!
Lois's thoughts were in turmoil. Just a few minutes earlier, she had been so sure that Superman desired her. Now, she couldn't be sure of anything. Grabbing a pencil, she decided to write all of the possibilities down so that she could try to make sense of Superman's bizarre fantasy.
1. Superman fantasizes about what he thinks will make Clark and I happy.
2. Superman wants me, and thinks that I'm with Clark, so he wants to be Clark.
3. Superman admires Clark, and thinks that Clark wants me, so he wants me to be with Clark
4. Superman just fantasizes about being Clark
Oh, this was no good. There was no way to figure out what Superman wanted! Sighing, Lois decided to call it a night and think about it tomorrow at work. She would have to figure out what, if anything, it was about Clark that made Superman admire him so. She would definitely have to pay more attention to her mild-mannered partner now — evidently, there might be more to him than met the eye.
Lois sighed with disappointment as she buried her head into the cushions on her bed. It looked as if she wasn't going to be buying a black teddy after all. However, right before she drifted off to sleep, she realized that that particular thought didn't disturb her nearly as much as the possibility that *Superman* might be a *Clark Kent wannabe.*
For what must have been the hundredth time that week, Lois Lane stared at her partner when she thought he wasn't looking at her. Just what was it about Clark Kent that Superman found so fascinating? So far, she hadn't been able to detect anything unusual about him in her observations — he was just so *ordinary.*
True, he was probably one of the nicest guys that she had ever met, but then again so was Superman. After that pheromone episode, she had grudgingly admitted to herself that Clark was also fairly good looking — although certainly not so much that *Superman* would envy his looks, far from it! So what reasons could Superman possibly have for dreaming about being Clark?
Well, Clark probably knew more about journalism than Superman. But Superman had super brainpower — he could easily learn journalism, agricultural techniques, Chinese and anything else that Clark would be able to learn. Aargh! There was absolutely nothing that she could see about Clark that would make Superman jealous! Did that mean that Superman really did just fantasize about being with her? But then why did he fantasize about being with her *as Clark?*
The announcement of the so-called Nightfall asteroid along with the end of the press conference shook Lois out of her reverie.
"Clark, take out Madison behind you!" she said as she dashed to the telephone.
"Lois, these TV guys all get on the air before the afternoon edition anyway," Clark protested.
Lois sighed as she pushed him into Madison. Clark was so…*mild-mannered* that he couldn't even take out a television news reporter without her help! So *why* did Superman think so highly of him?
"Now, if I told you that your name was Superman and that you were a superhero, what would your reaction be?" the doctor asked a dazed looking Clark.
"Superman? Do you know that for a fact?" Clark asked.
Outside of the room, Lois approached an agitated Inspector Henderson.
"Henderson, this better be good. I'm working the asteroid story with my partner AWOL and…oh my god, what's Superman doing here?" Lois asked as she recognized the hero in his spandex suit. Amazingly, the suit wasn't even dirty.
"He doesn't know. A group of people went to congratulate him after he destroyed that asteroid, and they brought him to the station as soon as they realized what had happened. I was working at the time, and I gave you a call," Henderson explained.
Speaking into the microphone, he said, "Doctor?"
Lois waved to try to get Superman's attention. "Superman!"
"Can't see you, Lois. It's a one-way. Wouldn't matter, though. He doesn't remember a thing. His name, his super heroics, you."
The doctor stepped out of the room. "Doctor Jerri McCorkle. Lois Lane. She's our department shrink," Henderson introduced.
"What could have caused this?" Lois asked.
"Most definitely hitting his head on that asteroid," Doctor McCorkle responded.
"Is he going to be OK?"
"Physically, he's fine. Whether or not he's going to regain his memory immediately, I don't know. The good news is, based on the battery of questions we ask, it seems that at least he remembers being a chronic do-gooder who can handle anything."
"Tell me what to do," Lois said with determination.
"Superman needs to be surrounded by familiar people, do familiar things. Since we have no idea who his friends are, we thought that you and Kent would know the most. It will come back in time. Be patient with him."
Back at her apartment, Lois was listening into her phone, futilely willing Clark to pick up while Superman looked on.
"Oh, where could he be?" she growled with frustration and more than a little bit of worry.
Glancing at Superman, she quickly reassured him, "I'm sure he's OK, maybe his parents know where he is." She quickly dialed Martha and Jonathan's number.
"Hello?" Jonathan answered.
"Mr. Kent, do you know where Clark is? Superman's here at my apartment and he's lost his memory — I was hoping that Clark might be able to help," Lois explained.
"Uh…oh, right, Lois! Clark's here in Smallville with us — we feared the worst when we heard about the asteroid, so he came home to be with us," Jonathan said nervously.
"Can I talk to him?"
"Er…actually, that's not possible right now. After the asteroid was destroyed, Clark decided to go fishing at the lake. We won't be able to contact him for the next couple of days at least," Jonathan stammered.
"Oh, all right. I guess that leaves me alone with Superman," Lois moaned, realizing ironically that that would have been most welcome just hours earlier.
"Jonathan, why did you tell her that Clark was here? Now we can't go to Metropolis, or even try to call him to tell him who he is!" Martha shouted despairingly.
"Well, what was I supposed to tell her, Martha? 'Oh, he's just standing right next to you after losing his memory from ramming an asteroid?'" Jonathan asked, pointing out his inability to think superhumanly fast.
As they exchanged worried looks, Clark's parents could only hope that he would regain his memory soon, and that his secret would remain intact.
"Oh, why does Clark have to be out fishing at a time like this?" Lois wailed as she hung up the phone and turned to face Superman.
"So, Clark is a reporter, like you?" Superman began, "He's a friend of mine, then?"
Lois silently nodded.
"Ok, so — what do I do now?" he asked, clearly at loss as to how to handle the situation.
"Well, I think you normally just…fly around the city keeping an eye out for people to save, or criminals to capture. I'm not one hundred percent sure, though," Lois said apologetically.
"Uh, I don't remember how to fly," Superman began with a grimace, "but is there anything else that I normally do? I mean, I don't spend *all* of my time doing this superhero thing, right?"
"Well actually, I think that you do. I've never seen you do anything else, anyway," Lois said, although she sounded a bit unsure of herself.
"But if that's true, then why do I feel like there's a part of me that's *missing,* a whole other *life* that I normally live. I'm sure that if I could just remember it — maybe you could take me to where I live so I could start looking for clues," Superman said hopefully.
"Where you live?" Lois asked abruptly, surprised. "I don't know where you live — nobody does. I think you might have some kind of lair somewhere…but it could be anywhere! Are you sure you don't remember?"
Superman's eyes widened. "Nobody knows where I live?" he stammered incredulously. "Then where am I going to stay tonight?"
Lois stared at him blankly. She hadn't even considered the fact that Superman might need a place to stay — surely, as a friend, she should offer to let him stay at her place, right? Just because he was a friend who needed help — it wasn't as if she had any ulterior motive.
"Oh, well you could stay here…" she suggested hopefully.
Superman considered this thoughtfully. "That sounds good, but there's something that I've been meaning to ask you. Uh, we are friends, right? Are we…more than friends?" he asked, sounding both hopeful and nervous at the same time.
Lois's heart skipped a beat. Could it be that he did have feelings for her after all, and that those feelings were beginning to come back to him? But she couldn't take advantage of the situation.
Grimacing, she reluctantly said, "No."
Superman blushed and looked embarrassed. "Ah! I'll sleep on the sofa then. But I'll try to impose for as little time as possible. Starting tomorrow, I'd like to begin systematically investigating who I am and what I do when I'm not flying around saving people. Do you think that your people at the Daily Planet could help me?"
Lois was taken by surprise. Superman thought that he might be another person. No, surely that couldn't be possible! But if it were true, maybe she could be that person's friend! If Superman *did* have feelings for her, maybe he would feel more free to act on them if he was in another guise. However, Lois knew that it was highly unlikely that Superman's initial gut instinct was right — it wouldn't do to get either of their hopes up.
"Of course that would be okay, Superman! After all, you've done so much good for the city! But, I have to warn you — I really don't think that you do anything else besides fly around being a superhero. So don't feel too disappointed if you don't find anything, all right?"
Lois smiled sympathetically at him. Poor Superman — what he must be going through, not knowing who he was, and hoping to find another identity that probably didn't exist…
"Jimmy, could you get me the information on every white male in the city who is 6'2", with black hair and brown eyes? There can't be that many who look exactly like me — if I am correct in my supposition that I have another identity, I should be able to recognize myself from the picture."
It was the next day, and Lois had taken Superman to the Daily Planet so that he could carry out his investigation. Perry and the rest of the staff were only too happy to oblige the Man of Steel, and had promised him all the help he needed. As Lois watched Superman dig for clues, she was surprised at how good his investigative instincts were — he could almost have been a reporter himself. If only there were anything to find…
"Sure thing, Superman! Boy, if it turns out you're right, wouldn't that be something!" Jimmy said as he went to do the research.
After Jimmy had gone, Superman turned to Lois. "Lois, while talking to all of the people here, I've noticed something. My diction differs somewhat from most other peoples' — that leads me to hypothesize that I'm either an English or Journalism major. Another possibility is that I work in a vocation which requires a fair amount of public speaking."
Lois smiled encouragingly at Superman, not wanting to force her own doubts onto him. "Maybe you're right, Superman. Well, I hope you find what you're looking for," she said, even as she doubted that he would.
"I found it! This is me!" Superman exclaimed excitedly as he held up the picture that he was looking at.
"What??" Lois and Jimmy cried out simultaneously as they rushed over to the desk that Superman was using. Lois had opened her mouth in shock. Could it really be? *Superman* had a secret identity?
"Already??" Jimmy exclaimed incredulously, "and you started barely five minutes ago! Come on, let me see!"
Superman, grinning broadly, turned the picture towards them so that they could see. It was a picture of…Clark.
"No way, Superman! That's C.K.! Oh man, I'm sorry Superman, but this is just too funny! Wait 'till he hears this!" Jimmy laughed.
Lois gave him a good-natured groan. "Trust me, Superman. You are *not* Clark," she said lightly.
Superman's eyes widened, and he blushed in embarrassment. "Oh, *this* is Clark? And I was so certain, too!" he said disappointedly as he resumed his search again.
Suddenly, Lois felt as if she had been punched in the gut. Superman had thought that he was Clark! As she realized what that meant, the situation lost all of its humor. Superman wanted to believe that he was Clark, and had been subconsciously trying to convince himself that that was really the case.
Which finally made the true meaning of his fantasy painfully clear. Superman didn't have any romantic interest in her after all. Furthermore, his subconscious desire to be Clark Kent was resurfacing in his mind, and he didn't even realize what was happening. Lois looked down at her feet, crestfallen. It was almost enough to make her wish that Superman really were just Clark Kent.
"I'm sorry that none of them matched, Superman." Lois said disappointedly, although the depression in her voice stemmed mostly from her earlier revelation.
Superman put on a determined look. "I don't know…something's still not quite right. I feel like I'm missing something — I'm going to try to triangulate my place of residence based on all of the known sightings of me. If I can just find out where I live…"
As Superman went to inform Jimmy of his plan, Lois sighed sadly to herself. If it weren't so heartbreaking for both of them, it would almost be amusing that he was putting forth so much effort into his futile quest. She could only hope that he wouldn't be too emotionally scarred from realizing that his fantasy of being Clark Kent could never come true.
"Aha! I knew it!" Superman said as he looked up the occupants of the building at the center of the most Superman sightings.
"Lois! I'm going *home!*" he said purposefully as he walked past her in his stride towards the door.
"Wait! Where are you going?" Lois asked, alarmed and fearing the worst. If he was trying to delude himself into thinking that he was Clark again…
As she ran after him out of the Planet's entrance, she heard him say, "344 Clinton Avenue," before he took off with a loud swoosh.
Lois gasped and started to call him back, but it was too late — he was gone. "Wait! Superman!" she yelled frantically.
Why did he have to choose now to remember how to fly?
As Lois thundered up the steps to Clark's apartment, she apprehensively wondered what Superman might be doing inside. She gulped as she stepped towards the open door. By now, Superman could be going through all of Clark's stuff and claiming it as his own. He could be sleeping in Clark's bed. Maybe he decided to use Clark's shower.
She blushed as she tried to dismiss the image of Superman taking a shower. Now was not the time! She had to convince Superman that he wasn't Clark before he did even more damage!
Finding Superman standing in the middle of Clark's living room, surveying the apartment around him as if it were his own personal kingdom, Lois tugged on his arm pleadingly, trying vainly to move him towards the door.
"Superman, you can't be here! What if Clark comes back from his fishing trip and finds you in his apartment?"
"Lois, I *am* Clark," he responded fervently.
Lois groaned in despair. Why couldn't he just give up his Clark fantasy?
"No, Superman! I didn't want to find out this way, but before you lost your memory, you *idolized* Clark. You even fantasized about *being* him! Superman, you have to let this go!" she wailed.
"Lois, why would I idolize *myself?*" Clark asked insistently.
"Because Clark…he…he's the kindest, most caring and compassionate man that I know!" Lois began, realizing with a start that what she spoke was true. "He just has an innate goodness in him — you do too! But you're not him!"
Clark smiled at her. "You really think so, Lois?"
"Yes! I completely understand why you would look up to Clark — I do too! But we have to get out of his apartment before he catches us here!" Lois pleaded.
Clark turned around, and for a moment Lois thought that she had gotten through to him. However, then he turned back to look at her with a determined glint in his eye.
"Lois, this is *my* apartment!" he insisted.
"No, it's not!"
"Well, if I'm not Clark Kent, then what are *these* doing here!" he declared triumphantly as he rotated his closet to reveal a secret compartment with several Superman uniforms, a hint of challenge in his voice.
He looked at Lois with a smug expression on his face, as if daring her to contradict him.
"Oh my god."
"Lois, wake up! Please, say something!"
Lois slowly opened her eyes.
"Clark?" she asked, dazed.
"Yes, Lois! It's me, Clark! Are you OK?" Clark asked worriedly.
"Oh my god, so it wasn't just some kind of bizarre fantasy. And all this time, I suspected Superman of being a Clark Kent wannabe," she said, shell-shocked.
"What?? Lois, what could possibly have made you think that?" Clark exclaimed incredulously.
Without warning, Lois suddenly bolted upright. "But that means that…" she began, pausing to reorganize her thoughts. Then she let out a gasp.
"Clark Kent, *how dare* you fantasize about getting me into bed!" she yelled as she indignantly poked him with an accusing finger.
Clark's face clearly registered shock. "What?? Lois, honestly, I would never…"
"Oh yeah? Well, I've got news for you, buster! When you were testing out Dr. Klein's device, I put a tape in, and…" suddenly Lois's eyes widened and she trailed off, realizing what she was admitting to.
"YOU WHAT???" Clark shrieked as his jaw dropped.
"Oh, well…I mean, I just…you know Clark, it isn't really such a bad fantasy to have. I mean, I wouldn't mind if…" Lois babbled weakly.
"Lois, what are you saying?" Clark asked warily, with a hopeful expression on his face.
"What I'm saying is…ugh, *you're* the one who's buying the black teddy! You *cannot* honestly expect me to walk into a store and…" Lois began, but she was unable to finish her sentence, as Clark had covered her mouth with his.
As they wrapped their arms around each other, kissing passionately, Clark suddenly remembered in the back of his mind that, before he had lost his memory, he had always tried to *prevent* Lois Lane from finding out that he was Superman, not to prove it to her. But he could worry about that later.