By KenJ <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Submitted: December, 2014
Summary: This is the third in the Matchmaker Style series. Clark and Lois are finally able to get away for a weekend honeymoon at the Lexor, but something happens to interrupt their fun.
Story Size: 26,070 words (138Kb as text)
Read in other formats: Text | MS Word | OpenOffice | PDF | Epub | Mobi
A/N Since the incident with Trask in Smallville, Lois and Clark have been married and even though Lois was affected by Miranda’s pheromone spray and Clark had needed to take her away so that he could satisfy her urges, she couldn’t remember what they did. He still wanted to give her a honeymoon that she would remember so he booked a weekend at the Lexor, but things didn’t work out as planned.
When Virginia proposed the challenge of taking a first season story and having it result in Lois and Clark being married I took up the challenge and “The Green, Green Glow of Home — Matchmaker Style” was the result.
That was all well and good, but then I started thinking - What about future episodes? How would the fact that they are now married affect the dynamic? For instance, how would “Pheromone My Lovely” be changed by the marriage? How would it affect “Honeymoon in Metropolis”?
So, to answer the question - What if Lois and Clark were already married when All Shook Up happened? I offer the following.
Lois and Clark were married during the events of GGGOH and have gone through PML. They have never really had a honeymoon. Maybe now is their chance.
Honeymoon in Metropolis — Matchmaker Style
This is a sequel to Pheromone My Lovely - Matchmaker Style
Disclaimers: The characters in this story are property of DC, December 3rd productions and Warner Bros. No Copyright infringement is intended. I have just borrowed the characters for a short time.
In this, the sequel to PML - Matchmaker Style. Lois and Clark have been back from the assignment in Smallville for a few weeks. The events of PML were delightful, however, Lois really has no recollection of what happened. Clark now wants to take the opportunity to give Lois a real honeymoon.
Lois and Clark now live in Clark’s ‘old’ apartment.
In this particular story a lot of the dialogue is taken from the script text. I wish to express my thanks to my Beta readers Artemis and Ray Reynolds for their invaluable help. This was a VERY rough draft when it first landed in their hands.
* * denotes emphasis
< > denotes thoughts
As always comments are welcome. (email@example.com)
This story is part of series including these stories: “Green Green Glow of Home: Matchmaker Style,” “Pheromone, My Lovely: Matchmaker Style,” “Honeymoon In Metropolis: Matchmaker Style,” “All Shook Up: Matchmaker Style,” “Witness: Matchmaker Style,” and “Illusions of Grandeur: Matchmaker Style.”
Universal Locator Designation
Alpha -34 x Gamma 255 x Tau -225
Under the influence of Miranda’s pheromone spray, Luthor had assaulted Clark at the airport after Miranda had been led away by the police. Lois had actually disarmed him and then Clark had laid him out with a punch.
After seeing to it that Luthor was duly charged with the offenses that Clark had listed to Henderson, he had picked Lois up and flown them to Smallville. After a pot roast dinner they had spent some time with Martha and Jonathan before heading to bed.
They had gone upstairs and cuddled on the bed until his parents had gone to bed, then Lois had nudged him and said, “Let’s go out to the barn.”
“Lois, it is getting chilly out there.”
“I guess you’ll just have to keep me warm by keeping me in your aura then. When you’re in m … with me and I’m in your aura it won’t bother me, will it?”
With a smile, he agreed, “No, I guess it won’t.” He picked her up and floated them downstairs so that the creaky treads on the staircase wouldn’t give them away and then flew them to the hayloft.
Using super-speed, Clark removed both his clothes and Lois’s and laid her in the hay. He lay down next to her and wrapped her up in his arms so that his aura would protect her. They started kissing and one thing led to another and before much longer they were exercising their marital rights with each other. After a long, leisurely, very enjoyable session they cuddled in the afterglow. They finally returned to the bedroom in the farm house and were together in bed when Martha called them for breakfast.
Lois spent some time with Martha, while Clark helped Jonathan around the farm for a while. They were preparing for winter and it was a chore that Jonathan needed help with. After lunch Lois and Clark said their goodbyes and Clark flew them to their island getaway. They spent the next few days lazing in the sun and enjoying frequent intimacies.
When the pheromone wore off they returned to Metropolis. Clark checked with Bill Henderson and found that Luthor had been released the day before which meant that he had been incarcerated for a total of three days. Clark asked Bill if he could get a copy of the Luthor mug shots, which he provided. The picture of Luthor’s angry countenance and the orange jumpsuit was a sight to behold.
They had been back to work for three days. It was late on Friday evening. Jimmy and Perry were in the bullpen near the desks that Lois and Clark usually inhabited. Clark was typing away at his keyboard trying to finish up on a Superman rescue story before they left for the weekend. Lois had just shut down her workstation and was clearing the debris of the workday from the top of her desk.
She asked, “How much longer, Clark?”
“Just a couple …”
“Hurry up! I’m anxious to get started.” She reached down under her desk and picked up a suitcase that she’d had hidden there.
“Be right with you, Lois.”
“It isn’t like you to keep me waiting.” Lois grabbed her coat and put it on, then she picked up her camel colored briefcase and threw the strap over her shoulder.
Cat was wearing a leopard skin top with a long black skirt that was slit up both sides in front to show off her legs as she walked.. The top had sleeves, but the shoulders were bare with a low cut bodice. She was walking by and stopped to ask, “You guys going somewhere?”
Smiling, Lois replied, “Yes, we are. That is if Clark ever finishes his story.” She started to get an irritated tone as she asked, “Clark?”
Cat pressed the issue, “Where are you going?”
Lois gave her a non-committal smile.
As soon as Lois did that, Cat realized that something must be up or Lois wouldn’t be so closed mouthed. With barely restrained excitement, Cat said, “You’ve got a scoop! Undercover investigation?”
Her excitement was contagious, as was the subject matter. Jimmy offered, “It’s the revolution in South America, isn’t it?”
Cat, with a know-it-all look said, “Nuh-uh. The riots in Miami!”
Jimmy was so sure of himself and Lois that he challenged Cat, “Five bucks?”
Cat, sure of herself, said, “You’re on!”
They shook hands, sealing the bet.
Perry, knowing that all of this speculation could actually be on point started to worry. He said, “Hold on now, Lois. I’ll have to get this cleared with the budget office.”
Lois was exasperated by this point and blurted out, “We are *not* going on a story! We do have a personal life, you know!”
Perry, Jimmy and Cat just stood there aghast at this outburst. They were still used to the ‘old’ Lois, the one driven by her quest for the next Kerth, a Meriwether and eventually a Pulitzer.
Finally, Clark chimed in, “She’s right, folks. We do have a private life outside of this office. Remember a week ago when Lois was re-exposed to the pheromone spray? We went off together to give her time to recover. I wanted it to be the honeymoon we never had. Well, you guys know the effects of that spray. We had an enjoyable time, but Lois really doesn’t remember it, so I promised her a weekend at the Lexor.”
Lois quipped, “Yeah, for a weekend of pure relaxation … period. No pressure, no deadlines, no riots. Just Clark and me and we plan to make some memories that we will both remember.
Perry still couldn’t believe it. He offered one last possibility, “Is it the prison break upstate?”
Thinking of the old adage ‘a picture is worth a thousand words’, Clark asked, “Do you want to see our reservation?” Clark pulled out a slip of paper and displayed it.
Cat grabbed it and read aloud, “It does say, wow, Honeymoon Suite!”
Lois reached over, closed her fingers on the slip of paper, removed it from Cat’s unresisting fingers and stuffed it into her bag. “Satisfied now? Clark wanted to take me there as soon as the spray wore off, but this was the first opening they had.”
Cat quipped, “I never thought I’d see the day that Lois Lane would be found in the Honeymoon Suite of any hotel, let alone the Lexor.”
Jimmy looked at her and said, “Stranger things have happened.”
“Who would have thought that Lois and Clark would go to Smallville on assignment and come back married? Before they left she could barely tolerate him and then, abracadabra and Alakazam, they come back not only in love, but married.”
Seeing that Clark had just finished shutting down his computer, Lois said, sarcastically, “Thank you very much. We’re leaving now.” She reached for Clark’s arm and started dragging him toward the ramp.
Perry was still marveling at this profound change in Lois. He said, “Lois, you have to admit: the idea of you spending an entire weekend *relaxing* is a little, well, far-fetched.”
Jimmy and Cat nodded their agreement with Perry’s statement.
“That might have been the case BC, but not now.”
Perry was mystified by the reference and asked, “BC?”
Lois looked at her husband and said, “Yeah, BC, Before Clark. Come on, Honey, the Honeymoon Suite awaits.” She handed him her suitcase and he took it in his free hand.
Perry just nodded his understanding.
As he was being dragged towards the elevator, Clark said over his shoulder, “Chief, I emailed that Superman story to you.”
Always appreciative of Clark’s diligence he shouted, “Thanks, son. You two go and have a good time.”
They entered the elevator and, as Lois pushed the button, Lois said, “I’m sure we will,” turned and smiled at Clark as the doors closed.
They took the elevator to the garage and loaded Lois’ bag into the Jeep. She had taken her suitcase into the bullpen with the intention of changing before they left, however they had run late because of the Superman rescue and Lois had decided to just wear her work suit so that they could make their exit.
As Lois was putting on her seat belt she released a sigh and said, “Finally! I thought we’d never get out of there. You know, I really don’t mind dipping into my Tahiti fund for this. Now that I don’t have to worry about airfare or even accommodations …” She had a wistful expression as she remembered. “With Superman express and that little bungalow that you built on the island … we have almost all of the comforts of home. Actually, all we needed was a bed. On second thought, we won’t even need that … you could always float us.”
He smiled and said, “We really needed more than just a bed. Those afternoon showers. A roof was really necessary.”
Lois quipped, “Only when we are wearing clothes, which isn’t a lot of the time.” With a smile on her lips, Lois started the Jeep and, backing out of her parking space, headed for the Lexor.
Arriving at the Lexor, Clark removed their bags from the back while Lois turned over the keys to her precious baby to the parking valet.
When they approached the desk, Lois pulled their reservation slip from her bag and handed it to the desk clerk.
“Ah, yes, Mr. and Mrs. Kent. I have you in the Honeymoon Suite.”
Hearing him say, ‘Mrs. Kent’, Lois started to smile, wrapped her arm around Clark’s and looked at him with adoring eyes. It was still so new, being Mrs. Kent, and she wasn’t completely used to hearing herself being called that. It sent a thrill up her spine because it reaffirmed that she was in fact married to this man, this very special, this super man.
The desk clerk hit a bell and shouted, “Front!”
In response a bellboy almost magically appeared next to Clark.
The desk clerk said, tersely, “Honeymoon Suite.”
Grabbing their bags, the bellboy said, “This way please,” and turning on his heel, led them to the elevator.
Exiting the elevator, Lois and Clark followed the bellboy down the hall. He stopped in front of a door and opened it. He set their bags inside and stepped into the hallway. Pulling a camera from his pocket he stepped back and looked at them expectantly.
Clark just looked at him and finally Lois got the idea and said, “I think he’s waiting for you to carry me over the threshold.”
A smile crept onto his face as he said, “I think you’re right,” and leaning down he placed one arm under Lois’ knees and the other around her back. As he lifted, she leaned back into his arms and wrapped her arms around his neck. She leaned in and started a kiss.
Being very aware of the presence of the bellboy, Clark pretended to stumble as he crossed the threshold while holding Lois to the accompaniment of the flash of the camera.
Clark placed Lois back on her feet and then reached back to massage his lower back as if he had strained it.
The bellboy had an amused smile as he accepted the tip from Lois and said, “The pictures will be at the desk for you to pick up tomorrow. Enjoy.” He was snickering as he closed the door. <This beauty obviously chose a wimp to marry. Well, there’s no accounting for taste.>
As soon as the door was closed, Lois slugged him playfully and said, “You and I both know you didn’t hurt your back.”
He stood up straight and then started rubbing his arm where she had slugged him. “The honeymoon must be over already. That was spouse abuse,” and he started to grin.
Lois threw herself into his arms and said, “I would never abuse my ever loving husband. I might love him to death though.”
“Might I remind you that you already tried that?” Dropping his voice to a whisper he continued, “Eleven times in one night was almost too much, even for me.”
Lois blushed at the mention of their activity while she had been under the influence of the pheromone. “At least you have super stamina along with speed, hearing, eyesight and strength. By the way, did you use super speed while we were, you know …”
With a leer he replied, “No. I wanted it to last and so did you as I recall.”
“I am so disappointed.”
“I don’t remember it.”
“I guess we’ll just have to make some new memories.”
With a wicked little grin, she asked, “Want to try for twelve?”
He put his hand over his heart and staggered back, “I don’t know if even I could survive that.”
Stepping up to him and putting her arms around him, she looked up coyly and said, “You’ll never know until we try.”
Scooping her up, he flew them into the bedroom. As soon as they passed through the door he stopped and they both gaped at what they saw. In the center of the room was a heart shaped bed with a spread the color of Superman’s cape and heart shaped pillows also in red with a white ruff around the periphery. Across the room was a lounge chair and a large screen TV. Over against the wall was a heart shaped sunken spa tub right next to a large picture window which was made of smoked glass so that no one could see in, but which gave a panoramic view of the city. The spa had been prepared and had bubbles floating on and steam rising from the surface.
Her surprise was expressed as a breathy, “Wow,” as she took it all in. Clark allowed Lois to reclaim her feet. Making up her mind, Lois quickly removed her jacket and then reached up and started to unbutton her blouse. She threw the blouse on the bed, then unfastened her skirt and it followed the blouse. Standing there in bra and panties, she turned to Clark and said, “Come on, get undressed. I want a soak.” Reaching behind she released the hook of her bra. Quickly it and her panties followed the rest of her clothes and she stepped into the spa. As she sank into the foam she let out a groan of pleasure. “Come on, Clark. I don’t want to be in here alone.”
Clark spun out of his clothes and mindful of her complaint that at times he moved too fast for her liking he slowly strolled, totally naked, over to the spa and entered the water. Lois responded by licking her lips.
As soon as he was in the water Lois sloshed over and straddled his hips. Reaching up he fondled her breasts which started a period of marital intimacy. The waves that were generated by her energetic movements threatened to overflow the sides of the tub, but apparently management had anticipated this type of activity and installed additional overflows to siphon off the excess water to prevent that from happening.
The feeling of buoyancy that Lois had from the water came close to the feeling of being in his arms and floating or flying and the warm cocoon that the water provided was relaxing and very sensual. Lois felt Clark’s hands on her hips guiding her movements and she was grateful for it because the buoyancy of the water was actually keeping her from experiencing this joining to the full. With him steadying her and guiding her movements she was able to enjoy what they were doing. He seemed to know just how to move her to maximize the sensations. While they were joined, at least part of her torso was above the water at all times and her breasts were bobbing and swaying enticingly in front of Clark’s face so he would occasionally lean out and take one or the other nipple in his mouth and nip it gently with his teeth.
The feel of what they were doing and what he was doing to her breasts was driving her crazy and the tension was rapidly building in her body. She could feel the muscles in her lower back start to clinch rhythmically and she started groaning his name.
While she was still shivering, and not due to the room temperature, Clark wrapped his arms around her and pulled her firmly into his chest and her head fell to his shoulder while her arms went around his neck. After some seconds, she turned her face to the side and kissed the side of his neck where it joined his shoulder.
Feeling loath to break their contact, Lois released a contented sigh and wiggled her hips to let him know that she was happy. She kissed the side of his neck again and then said, “Hmmmmmm, you are one fantastic lover. I’m glad I have you under exclusive contract. I can just imagine if the word got out about just how wonderful a lover Superman is. I’d be beating the women off with a stick.”
“No chance of that happening because I can’t imagine this being as good with anyone else. With anyone else it would simply be sex. With you, it’s making love. I love you so much.”
Lois gave another contented sigh, wiggled her hips again and said, “You know I love you just as much,” and sealed her statement with a sensual kiss as she wiggled her hips once again.
Releasing her arms from around his neck she leaned back so that she was floating on the surface, although below the surface they were still joined. She sighed and said, “This is the life. Time alone with my husband and not a care in the world. No more Trask. Now that STAR Labs has formulated an antidote to Miranda’s Witches’ brew spray it is no longer a threat.”
Clark felt compelled to bring up another topic, “Then there’s Luthor.”
That one word completely ruined the mood. Lois finally separated her body from his and moved to the opposite end of the spa. She shivered slightly realizing that the water had started to cool. While they had been joined, his aura had protected her from that, but now that they were separate she could feel it. She said, “Clark, the water is cooling off. Could you …” She held her hand up and making a ‘V’ with two fingers near her eyes gave him the signal.
Nodding he gave the water a couple of blasts of his heat vision.
Lois looked at him accusingly and asked, “Why did you have to bring *him* up?”
“We still need to talk about him. There are some things you need to know.”
“Okay, but does it have to be on our honeymoon? We’re here to relax and enjoy ourselves.” Looking out through the window she said, “Just look at that view! I know it isn’t like when you take me flying, but …”
Derailing her train of thought, a light suddenly went on in an office across from them. The lights were in the top floor offices in the building directly across the way. While she watched, three men entered the reception area and then moved through to the inner office. Lois noted that one of the men was tall and slim, wearing a business suit. In startled recognition, Lois asked, “Isn’t that Congressman Ian Harrington?”
Her question drew Clark’s attention to the office across the way and he zoomed in with his telescopic vision. He said, “I think you’re right. What’s he doing in that office?”
Looking at the second man she decided that she didn’t recognize him, but she noted that he was short and stocky, wearing black slacks and a black turtleneck. The third man was huge, wearing muscle pants, a t-shirt and, Clark could see with his x-ray vision, that he had a stiletto hanging handle down in a shoulder holster.
Lois was looking on in rapt attention and realized just what Clark was doing and felt that she needed to level the playing field, somewhat. Without looking away she asked, “Clark, could you get my bag? I have binoculars and a camera in it.”
Less than a second later and also without so much as a ripple in the water, he placed her bag within reach.
Just as Lois was bringing her binoculars to her eyes, Congressman Harrington opened his briefcase and, pulling out a large sealed envelope, handed it to the stocky man. By implication, the third man was simply ‘muscle’.
In exchange, the stocky man handed Harrington and smaller, although thicker, envelope. When Harrington opened his envelope both Lois and Clark got a glimpse of green. Lois quickly grabbed her camera and started snapping pictures. The contents of the other envelope was not readily apparent from their angle.
As they watched, the stocky man moved to the wall and pointed to a date on a wall calendar. When he did, Harrington started arguing with him. The stocky guy got right up in Harrington’s face and a few seconds later tapped the date again. This time Harrington appeared to acquiesce.
Lois and Clark looked at each other, a question in each of their faces, “I wonder what that was all about.”
As they turned back the lights in the office went out
Clark was on the sofa in the sitting room of the Honeymoon Suite when he picked up the phone to make a call.
Jimmy was in his apartment when the call came in, “Jimmy Olsen.”
“Jimmy, you busy?”
“Hey, CK, what’ch’a need?”
“Jimmy, I have a roll of film I need developed and printed for Monday. Can you come by the Lexor and pick it up?”
To say the very least, Jimmy was surprised at this request wondering just what the pictures could be of, and then it hit him: <They’re on their honeymoon. Could they be pictures of … them?> “Uh, CK, are you sure you shouldn’t be using a Polaroid for those kind of pictures? That way they don’t go to a lab where they can be copied.”
Clark was mystified and it was in his voice as he said, “Huh? A Polaroid? What are you talking about?”
With a snicker, Jimmy said, “Pictures of you and Lois … you wouldn’t want them shown around, would you?”
“*Jimmy!* These aren’t those kind of pictures! Look, you’ll see when you develop them. Please come pick up the film and develop it. It could be a lead to a big story.”
“Oh, so you guys *are really* undercover! This wasn’t just a honeymoon after all! I knew it, you couldn’t fool me. Hahahaha, okay, I’ll be there in a little while.”
Dryly, Clark replied, “Thanks, Jimmy. See you soon.”
Clark hung up the phone and turning to Lois said, “Now … where were we?”
She leaned in and started a kiss which quickly escalated in intensity. Without even breaking contact, Clark floated them up, over the sofa and into the bedroom, closing the door behind them as they passed through.
Half an hour later, Jimmy was knocking on the door to the Honeymoon Suite in the Lexor. After a minute, Clark finally answered the door. He was wearing a terrycloth robe with the Lexor logo on the breast pocket. Jimmy stepped in and through the open door to the bedroom saw Lois similarly clad, the short robe displaying her legs. Lois quickly disappeared behind the door and said, “Hi Jimmy,” as she closed it.
“Uh, hi Lois,” he said to the closed door.
Moving to the side table, Clark picked up a roll of film and handed it to Jimmy. “Here you go. I hate to ask you to work on the weekend, but we will need these first thing Monday.”
“What’s goin’ on, CK? What should I be on the lookout for?”
“Purely by accident we saw what could be a bribe being exchanged for information.”
Jimmy was awed, “Wow, how is it that you guys keep just … falling into these kind of stories?”
“Just lucky, I guess.”
“Who is it?”
“Congressman Ian Harrington. We don’t know who the other guy is. If you recognized him it would be a help.”
“What size do you want?”
“At least 8x10. We need to see detail.”
“You got it, CK. Hey, I hope the rest of your honeymoon is uneventful.”
With a nod and a rueful expression, Clark agreed, “So do I Jimmy. So do I.”
On Monday morning a very buoyant and bouncy Lois entered the bullpen hanging on Clark’s arm, bag over her shoulder and a travel mug of coffee in her free hand. The crowd in the bullpen didn’t know it, but the flush in her cheeks was from the make-out session that she and Clark had had in the elevator on the way up from the garage.
Jimmy was at her desk waiting for them, and the pictures he was holding had attracted the attention of Perry and Cat.
Cat walked over and asked, “What’s all of this?”
Jimmy replied, “Over the weekend CK called and asked me to pick up a roll of film to develop …”
Cat interrupted and asked, “Pictures of the two of them in the Honeymoon Suite? Are any of them ‘X’ rated?”
Lois overheard that comment and said, sardonically, “Sorry to disappoint you. We don’t need to take pictures like that.” She gave a hearty sigh, “The memories are more vivid than any picture could be.”
Cat started fanning herself as she quipped, “Did the temperature in here just go up by ten degrees?”
Lois laughed and asked, “How did they turn out, Jimmy?”
Jimmy held up some prints and said, “I think you got some good exposures. That automatic camera did a decent job.”
In the top shot Congressman Harrington was front and center and the envelope he was handing over was clearly stamped “TOP SECRET” “FOUO”
Looking over Lois’ shoulder, Cat thought she recognized the subject. She pointed and asked, “Isn’t that …”
Lois finished for her, “Yeah, Congressman Ian Harrington.”
Clark added, “Chairman of the House Defense Committee.”
Cat added, “And the most notoriously sexy man in Washington.”
Lois quipped, “Unsubstantiated rumors.”
Cat sighed and said, “The best kind.”
In the next shot they could all see the contents of the envelope that Harrington had received … “Cash,” she said.
Perry pointed at the stocky man and asked, “What about that joker?”
Jimmy replied, “Already on it, Chief. I scanned in the picture and I’m running our Identafile program against it, looking for a match.”
After pulling out her notepad, Lois said, “Clark and I did some checking. At this point we know that those offices were leased to a company called,” she consulted her notes, “a company called ‘Apocalypse Consulting.’” Lois looked at Clark before she continued, “Chief, we were thinking …”
Perry looked at her with a look that said, ‘This is a typical Lois ploy.’, “Let me take a wild guess. You want the Daily Planet to put you up in the Honeymoon Suite until we can figure out exactly what’s going on in Apocalypse Consulting.”
Lois jumped on this and eagerly said, “Thanks, Chief!”
Perry temporized, “Now, hold on a minute. What we’re talking about here could be a major surveillance operation.”
“Right! This is a *major* investigation! A Washington VIP selling highly classified information. Clark and I found it! *It’s ours*.” Lois’ tone brooked no denial of their possession of the story.
Perry was thoughtful and then he said, “Maybe we should check this out. I think I should contact my source, *the* source … just to see if there’s really something to this … before we get in too deep.”
Jimmy took Perry’s meaning. Aghast he said, “You don’t mean …”
Perry put a finger to his lips to shush him and then in a tone smacking of mystery, said, “Don’t even say that name out loud.”
Clark hadn’t been around long enough to know what was being spoken of and asked, “Who?”
Perry shushed him and then said, “Okay, you guys have got three nights. Now, look, this time you are on the Planet’s dime. I expect you and Clark to do the job you are going there to do. Look at it this way, if you weren’t already married, I’d be sending the two of you anyhow. You will need to spell each other on the surveillance. It’s the perfect cover. They wouldn’t let us use that suite if we told them it was for a stakeout. Just keep a low profile.”
They spent the rest of the morning making the reservation and other arrangements. Then after lunch they went home to pack.
Before going to the Lexor to sign in they stopped at the Planet and raided the equipment locker to get the surveillance equipment.
When they arrived at check-in the hour was different from Friday so there was a different staff on duty. It wasn’t any problem playing the happy newlyweds. Lois was hanging on Clark’s arm the entire time as he handed the clerk the reservation confirmation.
The desk clerk checked his screen and said, “Ah, yes. Mr. and Mrs. Kent, I have you in the Honeymoon Suite.” He hit the bell and shouted, “Front!”
A very eager bellboy appeared at Clark’s elbow, leered at Lois and picked up the bags. Or at least he attempted to pick up the bags. He shouted, “Hey, Frank!”
“Bring a cart over here will ya? These bags feel like they are full of lead.”
Frank grabbed a cart and between them, he and Phil loaded the bags. As they did, Phil asked, “What is really in here?”
Lois came up with the cover story, “Actually, they are weights. Clark likes to work out.”
“We have an in-house gym. He didn’t need to bring his own.”
Glibly, Lois replied, “You know how it is. You like to use your own stuff.”
Phil just shook his head ruefully as he pushed the cart onto the elevator.
When they arrived on the floor, Phil pushed the cart over near the door and then opened it with the key. Standing back, he handed the card key to Clark and then grabbed a videocam from the cart and stepped into the center of the sitting room. The impression that Clark had was that he leered at all of the pretty women that he helped. He was just glad that Lois wasn’t here by herself. Once he was positioned he shouted, “Action,” as if he were the director of a high budget movie.
Taking this cue, Clark looked at Lois and shrugging reached for her. Even though they had done this just a few days before, Clark leaned down and placed one arm under her legs and the other across her back and lifted her up to carry her across the threshold. He struggled to not make it look too easy and Phil shouted encouragement, “That’s it. Hoist ‘er up, big fella. Smile. Great. Hold on. She can’t be *that* heavy.”
Lois had her arms around his neck and was ‘helping’ by nuzzling his neck and giggling like a schoolgirl.
As Clark set Lois back on her feet she very aggressively advanced on Phil and said, “Okay, Phil. How much?”
Holding the camera behind his back, Phil said, “This is for the hotel’s files.”
With her hands fisted and on her hips, Lois took a threatening stance and said, “Oh, yeah? That’s not my understanding. Hand it over.” Thrusting out her hand palm up she motioned for him to give her the tape. Looking over her shoulder and indicated Clark she said, “You have to get past both of us to get out of here. Hand it over.”
There was a quaver in his voice as he said, “You’ve got no right.”
Lois gave him an intimidating look.
Phil paled and fumbled with the camera. Finally he extracted the tape and handed it to Lois.
Lois said, “I don’t know what scam you are trying to pull, but I don’t like it. I happen to know that the hotel policy is to take still photographs. What am I going to find when I look at this?”
“Well … not every couple that checks into the Honeymoon Suite is actually married … or if they are it’s not to each other.”
Lois nodded her understanding and said, “Just as I thought. We happen to be happily married, to each other. That’s not the issue. You’re talking about blackmail. Get out of here before I call Henderson at MPD and have him pick you up.”
Phil had already been pale, but now he went white as a sheet. He gasped out, “You’re friends with the cops?”
Lois smiled an intimidating smile, “Yeah. I talk to Detective Lieutenant Henderson so much I have his number memorized and we are on a first name basis. I’d suggest you stop your little scam, right now.”
He stuttered, “Y … ye … yeah. Okay. I won’t do it anymore.”
“See to it that you don’t. Now get out of here and don’t let me see you again.”
Phil exited so fast he forgot to ask for a tip. Clark closed the door behind him and turning to Lois said, “Very impressive. How did you figure out that he was running a scam?”
“When we were here a few days ago, the bellboy used a still camera. I didn’t like the way Phil was looking at me and I thought he was a little ‘twitchy’ so I went with my gut.”
“Well, I’ve got to hand it to you. That was some impressive investigating.” He gave her one of his patented multi-megawatt smiles and finished, “That’s my girl.”
Clark wheeled the cart into their bedroom to unload the luggage.
A few minutes later there was a knock on the door. Lois stopped what she was doing and said, in exasperation, “That had better not be Phil coming back.”
Clark eased his glasses down his nose and said, “No, it’s … Jimmy.”
“What’s he doing here?”
“Let’s let him in and find out.”
Clark opened the door and Jimmy stepped in. He was carrying a small duffle bag.
Jimmy’s previous visit to the Honeymoon Suite had been extremely brief so this time he took some time and looked around at the suite’s pastel-tinted opulence and whistled before turning back to Lois and Clark. “Hey, guys, I thought of some more equipment that you would need so I figured I’d bring it over to you.
Looking back and forth between Lois and Clark, Jimmy asked, “I wasn’t at the wedding, so, can I kiss the bride? No tongue. Scout’s honor.”
From the side, Lois nailed him with one of the throw pillows from the sofa.
Jimmy smiled and said, “Guess not.”
Lois returned his smile and said, “The only one that gets even close to this mouth from now on is my husband and the next person that cracks a newlywed joke gets fitted for a body cast.”
Suddenly they heard “Ooh, count me in,” as Cat came through the door and then closed it behind herself. Cat was wearing a floor length turquoise gown that clung to her curves the same way that Clark’s Suit fit him as Superman. It had a deep cut ‘V’ neckline and was slit up the left front to a point just below the hip and her long leg showed as she moved.
Clark dropped onto the sofa and put both arms along the back in a relaxed posture.
Lois was beside herself. She had been looking forward to time with Clark in these opulent digs while they performed the stakeout and the Honeymoon suite was turning into Grand Central Station. “What are *you* doing here? We’re *supposed* to be undercover.”
Nonchalantly, Cat replied, “I was at a reception downstairs. Just thought I’d pop in and say hello to the newlyweds.”
Looking at Jimmy accusingly, Lois asked, “What about you?”
Nodding his head in Clark’s direction, he said, “Well, like I was telling Clark, I thought of some more gear you should have.”
While Lois was talking to Jimmy, Cat moved to a wall panel of switches. Ignoring all that was going on around her, she pushed a button and a hidden wet bar rotated out of its concealed position and into the sitting room.
The noise of the bar deploying attracted Lois’ attention, giving a Jimmy a break.
Cat was humming to herself as she sauntered over to the bar and extracted a bottle of sparkling water from the small bar fridge. She picked up a glass and approached the cupid statue on the corner. She pinched his cheek while she held the glass up. In response, ice came tumbling out of the urn he was holding into her glass. She opened the bottle and poured the contents over the ice.
Lois was watching this display with an open mouth. She just couldn’t believe what she was seeing. She continued to follow Cat with her eyes as she came out from behind the bar, crossed the room and plopped down in a chair that looked like it could be a recliner. She pushed a hidden button and the chair started to rock and vibrate. Sitting her glass on a handy table, she clapped her hands twice and romantic music started playing from hidden speakers. She picked up her drink and relaxed back into the chair.
Lois, Clark and Jimmy were staring in open mouthed disbelief at this display.
Snapping out of her reverie, Lois quipped, “Why do I get the feeling that you’ve been here before?”
Cat looked around, shrugged, said, “This old place?” She flipped back the cloth covering the side table and revealed her name, ‘Cat’, etched into the surface. Nonchalantly, Cat replaced the cloth and said, “It’s kind of a home away from home.”
There was a knock on the door and then a hotel maid stuck her head in and looking in got a disapproving look as she saw the crowd in the room when she was expecting just one couple. In a thick Swedish accent, she asked, “Extra towels, yah?”
After Jimmy and Cat had left, Lois and Clark finally had the privacy that they wanted. They checked the offices of Apocalypse Consulting occasionally, but there was no activity. Finally, later in the afternoon they set up the surveillance equipment. Eventually there was a video camera with a large telephoto lens in position, pointed at the offices. A directional microphone was hooked to a tape recorder and was trained on the lighted but empty offices of Apocalypse Consulting across the way. A computer/printer set-up was positioned nearby. Lois and Clark sat on the sofa. Lois was wearing baggy shorts and a tee while Clark wore sweat pants and a tight black tee. Nearby were the remains of a room service dinner. Bored, Lois fiddled with the directional controls of the mic, tuning in bytes of noise and conversation from unseen sources.
Clark asked the one question that was on both of their minds, “What if no one shows up?”
With a smirk, Lois said, “Then I guess the honeymoon is over.” Her smirk turned into a predatory smile, “Don’t worry. They’ll be back. They made that pretty clear on the calendar.”
Lois had her back to him when Clark picked up a deck of cards and started shuffling. He asked, “Old Maid?”
Lois had gone over to check the equipment and hadn’t seen what Clark was doing. With a shocked expression, Lois looked at him. She gave him a rueful smile before she said, “You know, just a few weeks ago, that could have been prophetic.” She moved over and plopped down on the sofa next to him and taking his hand in hers she looked deep into his eyes and said, “You know what they say, ‘Hindsight is always 20x20’. Well, in hindsight I can see where putting off having a relationship and always pursuing the next award, I was on my way to that status. Now, I’m very happily married and I still can’t get over it.”
He smiled and agreed, “I have to occasionally pinch myself to prove I’m not dreaming this.”
Returning his smile, she said, “You know what the best part is? I didn’t have to give up the pursuit of the next award; it’s just that … now we can do it together, as a team.” She leaned in and gave him a kiss before standing again and moving back to the equipment and started fiddling with it. “Anyhow, we’re not here to play games, at least not if we are going to win that award I was just talking about. We’ve got a job to do.”
“Rats, and I was looking forward to time, alone, with my wife.”
His comment was almost lost in the sudden burst of noise and then a man’s voice came from the speaker attached to the equipment. “… so I told her to stop calling me. I mean, when a things’ over it’s over. Right?
A second voice came through, “Exactly right. Next time, don’t even pick up the phone. Remember when I dumped Tawny? Women hang on like there’s no tomorrow.”
As Lois reacted to this and said, “Men are pigs,” Clark reached over and turned off the mic before she finished, “present company excepted, of course.”
With a chuckle, Clark replied, “Thank you for making that exception.”
“I had to except you. You don’t have cruel, rotten bone in your body. It just isn’t in your nature.”
Clark nodded in the direction of the equipment and said, “People are entitled to private lives and thoughts, Lois. Who are we to judge?”
Lois felt compelled to ask, “Are you sure you’re in the right business, Clark? Our *job* is to rip away the veil of secrecy and expose the naked truth.”
With a leer, he said, “Well, when you put it like that …” and bounced his eyebrows
Belatedly realizing just what she had said, Lois could feel the flush as it started in her breasts and traveled up her neck to her cheeks. Fanning herself because of the sudden heat of her body, Lois turned and headed for the bedroom. “O … kay. I’m going to bed, by myself. You’ve got first shift. Wake me when our friends across the way show up or if you just can’t stand to be away from me for whatever reason.” She bounced her eyebrows at him, the same way he had.
Clark said, “Wait a minute. Aren’t you forgetting something?”
Lois turned and asked, “What?”
“My goodnight kiss.”
With a smile, Lois returned and he folded her up in his arms. The kiss was gentle and almost tentative for the first ten or fifteen seconds and then they each opened their lips and their tongues met and started a slow tango. From that point the kiss rapidly deepened and they were both panting when they broke contact. Clark marveled at this. He could hold his breath for 20 minutes or more, yet, kissing Lois left him breathless.
Lois smiled and said, “I think that stuff is set to start as soon as it picks up movement and sound in that office. We can probably leave it alone, at least for a little while.”
Clark nodded and started to float them into the bedroom. Before she knew it the bedspread had been turned down and they were both naked and on the bed together.
After their interlude, Clark returned to the living room and checked on the equipment and seeing that it was set properly, he settled down on the couch and flipped on the TV. Finding a game he turned the sound down so that Lois wouldn’t be disturbed and settled in to watch.
In the bedroom, Lois had just exited the shower. She had gotten rather sweaty during their interlude and now felt refreshed. She grabbed her brush and sat at the dressing table and watched in the mirror as she brushed her hair.
It wasn’t much of a game and Clark soon became bored and actually drifted off to sleep. He started dreaming about Lois and what they had just been doing and started to float in his sleep. He floated into the middle of the floor and then a distant siren woke him. He fell with a thud.
Lois had just finished brushing her hair and was about to climb into bed when she heard the thud. She ran into the living room wearing nothing but her shortie nightie and seeing Clark lying on the floor in the middle of the room with the TV on she started to giggle. She said, “Couldn’t hold your interest, huh?”
With a chagrined look he replied, “Yeah. I must have drifted off and then floated over here.”
“Poor baby. I think you’d sleep better in bed with me.”
“Lois, you and I both know just how much sleep we’ll get if I come in there and joined you in that bed. None.”
She smiled and said, “Is that so bad?”
“I could probably handle it, after all, I don’t need nearly as much sleep as an ordinary guy, but you need your sleep.”
With a leer, she replied, “Oh, I think I’ll sleep better with you in m … in bed with me.”
“You see. That’s what I mean. Neither one of us would sleep.”
Bouncing her eyebrows again, she said, “We still need to try for twelve.”
“I’m all for that, but I think it has to be on our time and not the Planet’s. We’re here on a stakeout.”
“Spoil sport. Oh, all right. Work before pleasure, but you owe me, buster, and I intend to collect.” She turned and moved to the bedroom a vision of pink flesh and baby blue see-through gauze.
Clark called to her, “Goodnight, Lois.”
As she turned off the bedside light, Lois replied, “Goodnight, Lover boy.”
Clark smiled at this endearment and settled on the couch to try and watch the rest of the game. He was shifting around, looking for a comfortable position. He picked up the pillow he had under his head and holding it between his hands tried to fluff it and then pound it … too hard, as it turned out because feathers exploded from the pillow only to drift on the air currents. As the feathers drifted down, Clark shook his head in indignation and mortification.
Lois was sleeping soundly curled up in one corner of the oversize bed. Clark noted that subconsciously she was on the same side of the bed that she normally occupied when they slept together. Clark leaned over her, and planted a gentle kiss on her forehead. Even though he was gentle, she awoke with a start. She quickly was awake enough to realize what had just happened and she reached for him. After a brief touch, she stretched and asked, “What time is it?”
“Getting close to midnight. They’re back.”
Instantly wide awake, Lois threw back the covers, jumped up and headed for the living room.
As she entered the darkened room she saw the red light on the camera and knew that it was recording. Seeing the tape spin she knew that the audio was being recorded as well. She grabbed her binoculars and trained them on the suite across the way. She lowered them and, momentarily forgetting who he, was offered them to Clark.
He shook his head and said, “That would be gilding the lily.”
With a chagrined smile, she said, “Oh, yeah. Superman doesn’t need binoculars. You’ve got your vision gizmo.”
He snickered at the term she used and agreed, “Yeah, with my vision gizmo, I don’t need those.”
Lifting the binoculars back up to her eyes, she asked, “Can you hear them with your hearing thingie?”
He chuckled again and said, “I wish I could. We’re too far away, they are talking too softly and there is just too much background noise.”
She indicated the audio set up by waving her hand in its general direction while continuing to watch and said, “Turn that up, would you?”
Clark turned to the audio device and turned up a dial. Suddenly the voices of Harrington and his companion filled the room. They could see the same tough with them that had been there previously, but he wasn’t saying anything.
As they watched, Harrington handed the other a large envelope and as he did they also heard, “That’s the last of the system specs. I’ll have the information on the testing for you tomorrow. Dates, procedures, the whole thing.”
For the first time they heard the voice of the other man as he asked, “Good. What about the new vote?”
Harrington was exasperated and it could be heard in his voice as he replied, “I can’t initiate a re-vote until after the test results are analyzed and the plan rejected. Hopefully …”
The other said, “‘Hopefully’ isn’t good enough. That’s why I bought insurance … *you*.
For the first time, they had a name to put to the face as Harrington replied, “You don’t own me, Roarke.”
Roarke, to show Harrington just who had the power grabbed him, pushed him against the wall and then grabbed his collar, making it difficult for Harrington to breathe as he said, in a deadly tone, “I own you lock, stock, and *re-election fund*, Mr. Chairman. Never forget that.”
In order to keep his apparent boss from doing something he would regret, the other man dragged Roarke away from Harrington.
Once Harrington was able to get his breath again, he stood up and straightened his clothes.
After a few seconds, Harrington said, somewhat shakily, “I only meant… are you sure you can pull this off?”
With a smirk Roarke replied, “I guarantee it.”
With a worried look, Harrington continued, “Because if you don’t, what … will happen to me?”
With a sneer, Roarke said, “Pray you never find out.”
Roarke’s implied threat lent wings to Harrington’s feet and he left, rather hurriedly.
After the door had closed behind Harrington, Roarke and his henchman both burst out in laughter.
Lois and Clark had been very interested observers of this little drama as it had unfolded. Some of their questions had been answered. They now knew that the second man’s name was Roarke, although they didn’t know how to spell it, but there was still a bigger mystery that hadn’t been revealed.
Lois turned to her husband and asked, “Clark, what would you say if I said that I don’t have a clue what they’re talking about but that, whatever it is, I think it’s even bigger than I originally thought.”
Clark nodded and said, “I’d say … you’re absolutely right.”
“Well, I guess we’ll have to hope that they meet again tomorrow night.” Lois released a jaw cracking yawn and said, “I think the show’s over for tonight. Let’s go to bed.”
“I’m right behind you,” he said.
Looking over her shoulder and giving him a wanton look, Lois said, “Ohhhh, we haven’t tried that position yet.”
Clark hugged her back to his very interested front and whispered in her ear, “Your wish is my command, my lady.”
Lois was still giggling as seconds later, they were in bed together.
The next morning found Lois and Clark in bed together, arms and legs entangled and somewhere along the line they had both removed their nightwear and so the only covering they had was the silky sheet.
Clark awoke first and disentangled himself without disturbing Lois. He stood at the side of the bed and looked down at her. She was lying there, very peacefully. Her steady, slow breathing causing her breasts to move under the soft covering which clung to her figure almost like his spandex Suit clung to his skin. He could see every curve in perfect relief. As he watched he could feel himself becoming aroused again and decided that in order to allow Lois some extra sleep he would have to either take a cold shower, maybe a dip in the Arctic Ocean would be better or else do some exercises. Since the exercises wouldn’t take him away from his lover he decided to do some push-ups.
He floated horizontal and then lowered himself to the floor. Once he was in position he started doing the push-ups, going faster and faster until he was moving at super-speed. It required concentration, because in order to do it right he had to use his flying ability to bring himself down to the low position. He was moving faster than gravity acted and had to compensate for that lack. He was already into the thousands, when he heard Lois stir.
Lois sat up and the silky sheet fell from her body revealing her nude condition. She leaned over the side of the bed to look at her husband. She saw what he was doing and said, “Stop … right … there.”
He froze in the up position and cocked his head to her.
She scrambled out of bed and laying down on the floor, on her back, scootched under him. Once in position she said, “Okay, now, down, slowly.” Her hands were busy as he lowered himself. She sighed in contentment as her plan came to fruition. She locked her legs around his hips and her arms around his back. He then floated them up and onto the bed.
After they finished, they lay in each other’s arms and cuddled for a while. Clark had a silly smile on his face and Lois asked, “What?”
Clark’s reply didn’t satisfy her, “Oh, nothing.”
She became more emphatic because she knew that it wasn’t nothing. He was holding out on her, “What?”
Clark smiled again and said, “Oh, it’s really nothing. It’s just that, well, you look absolutely beautiful, for first thing in the morning. Especially after …”
She snuggled deeper into his arms and sighing said, “I’m contented. I have a husband that loves me and that I love. We just had marvelous sex …”
Clark interrupted, “Lois, I wouldn’t say that …”
“Well, I thought it was. Didn’t you?”
“No … What I mean is yes, but I wouldn’t just call it sex. We make love. It’s a whole different thing.”
She started nuzzling his neck and said, “Oh, I see what you mean and yes, I agree. We make beautiful love together. The best ever.”
“You can have sex, without love, but we have it all.”
With a smirk she replied, “Do we ever.”
Ever the practical one, Lois reached for the phone and said, “Let’s take advantage of Perry’s largess and order some coffee from room service.”
“Let’s order more than coffee. It’s almost lunchtime. Let’s order breakfast as well.”
After ordering room service Clark had dismantled the surveillance equipment at super speed and stowed it in the bedroom.
Lois and Clark were still in their robes when there was a knock on the door.
When Clark answered the door a cart was pushed in. Lois was sitting on the sofa with her feet propped up on the coffee table and the short robe rode up and displayed her shapely legs.
The first thing that the person pushing the cart in saw was Lois and he stopped in mid-stride and leered at the display of her legs.
Clark took the bill folder and scribbled his name
Lois heard a gasp and when she looked over she spotted … Phil! She deliberately lowered her legs and stood up. She started slowly crossing the room in his direction and she had mayhem in her eyes.
Clark quickly interposed himself and stopped Lois.
Realizing that this had been a big mistake and that he was pushing his luck, Phil started looking for a way out and then he noticed the feathers scattered all over the floor and the ruptured pillow. His jaw dropped open. He was having a hard time envisioning a position that would have resulted in the mess that he was looking at. He quipped, “Whoa, tough night?” Even as he said it, he realized it had been a mistake because; Lois started to struggle with Clark, trying to get past him and at Phil. He heard her say, “Let me at him!”
Clark struggled to restrain Lois and looking over his shoulder saw the look in his eyes however and said, “I fell asleep on the couch watching the game. I’m a … heavy sleeper.”
Knowing that discretion was the better part of valor, Phil beat a hasty retreat forgetting to ask for a tip once again.
Lex Luthor had just spent the last hour in conference with his scientists at Luthor Technologies. He was concerned and making a final check with them about their latest project. There was a not so small fortune in Luthor money tied up in this project and it just had to perform as advertised if he wasn’t going to lose it all.
Now he was in the back of his limousine. Nigel was driving, but even Nigel, trusted lieutenant though he was, needed to be kept in the dark on some things so the privacy barrier was up between the driver’s and passenger’s compartments while Lex was on the phone.
“Yes, Admiral, my staff at Luthor Technologies will be available to you both during and after the test.”
He listened for a second and then replied, “Um hmm. As agreed, we’ll delay our combined statement to the media concerning Shock Wave until *after* the results are in. Naturally I expect nothing less than total success.”
He listened again before replying, “I look forward to that, Admiral.
Lex hung up the phone and then reached into the fridge pulling out a bottle of mineral water. He picked up a glass from a nearby rack, poured the water in and simply stared at it briefly. He was thinking about the aftermath of the dinner. The dinner he’d had planned for Lois and what had happened were preying on his mind. He couldn’t believe that she had informed him that she was married … and to of all people … that bumpkin … Kent. All of his plans were now going to be so much more complicated. First he would have to get rid of Kent. That would have to be handled delicately, very delicately. Absolutely no possibility of it being traced back to him could exist. It must look like an accident or a mugging. Something so common that his involvement couldn’t even be suspected.
He hadn’t had any alcoholic beverages since that night. He had shown weakness then. He had emptied the bottle. Never again!
After breakfast, Lois and Clark had dressed and, after stowing the equipment back in their bags, they headed for the Planet.
Once there they went into the conference room they called in Jimmy so that they could find out if the Identafile program had provided any answers, and Cat because of her knowledge of Congressman Harrington.
Lois addressed Jimmy first, “Okay, we got a name. It might help with the Identafile. Roarke. I’m not sure how it is spelled. Check any variants you can come up with.”
Clark added, “That’s just the first piece. We also need to know what ‘systems’ they’re talking about and what test.”
Lois took the next bit, “Don’t forget the ‘vote.’ We should get our hands on every available record of every vote taken by Harrington’s committee for the past…
Jimmy suggested, “Six months!” He smiled and added, “Already on it.” Jimmy left the conference room.
Catherine Grant, author of ‘Cat’s Corner’ the ‘Gossip Columnist’ of the Daily Planet in the past had earned Lois Lane’s ire. Thinking back on it, she couldn’t blame Cat for being attracted to Clark. Now she knew the truth of the matter that all of her attempts to seduce Clark had failed. Lois still felt the need to make the occasional jab at her and her lifestyle, but in this instance, this investigation, she was proving to be more than a gossip columnist, she might just turn out to be a valuable asset to the team.
As if to prove that point, Cat made the comment, “Gotta be something big. Congressmen don’t sell out for less than *big*.”
Jimmy walked back in and said, “I ran Roarke, Rorke, Roark and a few other variations, name *and* picture through every program the Daily Planet has access to … nothin’. The man’s a ghost.”
Clark asked, “What about Apocalypse Consulting?”
Jimmy replied, “Another dead end. No bank accounts or transactions that I can trace.” Jimmy checked his note pad before he continued, “Apocalypse moved in a couple months ago. Paid off a five year lease on the offices *in advance*.”
Cat quipped, “Business must be good.”
Lois was starting to show her frustration, “*What* business?”
Just as Lois was asking that particular question, Perry entered the conference room where they were gathered. His expression showed that he was very pleased with himself. He picked a photo of Roarke in a dinner jacket from the folder he was carrying. As if to say, ‘This old dog can still bite,’ he dropped it on the table and announced, “Thaddeus Roarke, R … o … a … r … k … e. International arms dealer, electronic weapons system analyst, entrepreneur, and general bad boy. Last known base of operations … Beirut, Lebanon.”
They were all flabbergasted at this revelation.
Jimmy and Lois tied for being the first to be able to speak, “How’d you … Where’d you …”
Perry, as if he were addressing a class of novice journalists replied, “Sources, boys and girls, sources. The life blood of journalism.”
Eying the photo and seeing that it wasn’t a standard glossy print such as they would have in the photo archive, Cat gave in to her curiosity and picking up the picture turned it over. She read what was on the reverse and blurted out, “People Magazine?”
Realizing that his secret had been exposed, Perry said, “Here, give me that,” grabbed the photo and dropped it back into the folder.
Clark summarized the salient points, “Arms dealer, House Defense Committee. Makes sense.”
Realizing the absolute gravity of the situation, Perry said, “Now team, we should talk about this. A scoop’s a scoop, but if we’re into something that impacts on national security, we have to bring in the Federales.”
Dismayed at the prospect of losing what could possibly be the scoop of the century, Lois blurted out, “Now?”
Perry relented, somewhat, “No. When the time’s right. So far we have more questions than answers.” He looked around and saw nods of agreement all around. “Let’s do some brain-storming. I’d like to hear some theories.”
Jimmy was the first one willing to offer a theory, “Okay. The Defense Department is about to test some new weapons system and Roarke wants to know about it.”
Going along with that theme, Clark offered, “So he bribes Harrington to pass him the information.”
Lois added, “But from what we saw Harrington is also afraid of Roarke.”
Clark suggested an alternative, “Or *maybe* afraid of what Roarke will do once he has the information.”
No one added anything even though Perry looked from one to the other around the group. Like a General marshaling his troops, Perry finally said, “Seems to me we should be doing some legwork to back up our surveillance.” Perry looked at Cat significantly as he asked, “Cat, do you think you can find Congressman Harrington and stick with him?”
Cat was somewhat indignant that Perry had any doubts as to her ability to follow through on an assignment like this and it came out in her voice, “Like … super-glue.”
Next Perry turned to Jimmy and gave him his unique assignment, “Jimmy, the next time Roarke shows …”
Enjoying being part of the team and not being treated as the lowly gofer, Jimmy smiled and nodded, “Got him.”
Perry next turned his attention back to his top reporting team and asked, “You two need any help with the surveillance?”
Lois answered for them, “We can handle it, Chief.”
“Okay, but if you need more equipment or personnel, let me know. You have two more days. Make the most of them.”
Lois quipped, “Trust me, Chief. We will.”
Perry was quick to reply, “Hey, hey, hey, remember, you’re on the Planet’s dime. Save the hanky-panky for your own time.”
After the meeting broke up, Lois and Clark decided to head back to the Honeymoon Suite. In no time at all they were back in the spa tub together. Their joining was totally enjoyable although brief because neither of them could concentrate on watching the office across the street while they were thus engaged.
They decided to play cards and without even getting out of the tub they started playing. That way they could alternate watching the office.
With a wide grin, Lois slapped down her cards and announced, “Gin!”
Clark was astounded and said, “No way.”
Lois spread the cards out and said, “Read ’em and weep.”
Clark shook his head in consternation and admitted defeat.
Thoughtfully, Lois said, “You know, with all that you can do, how is it that I can beat you so easily? I mean, it would be so easy for you to see what cards I have and not play to my hand.”
With a shamefaced look, Clark said, “I have been tempted, a time or two.”
“Why not? I would.”
Astonished, Clark blurted out, “You would?”
“Sure! Take advantage of what you can do. You know, this is still very new to me. I mean, you just told me who you are and we just got married and it is taking me time to process all of this and, well, I’m just starting to see the possibilities. With what you can do … just think of how much simpler our investigations are going to be. We won’t have to worry about guards sneaking up on us. Locked safes won’t be a barrier because you can x-ray the mechanism and see the workings or hear the tumblers click. There is no way we could be trapped on an upper floor. You could fly us out of danger. The mind boggles at the possibilities.”
“Lo - is, I’m not so sure that some of that is such a good idea. Some of those things would put you in too much danger. Besides, that’s not the kind of thing that Superman does.”
“You’d be there to protect me and you wouldn’t be doing it as Superman. You’re Clark Kent.”
“What if, right in the middle of a mission, I have to leave to handle an emergency?”
Lois thought for a few seconds before she replied, in a happy tone, “You could take me with you and I could report on the rescue. Then if whoever it is discovers that they have been broken into, we will have proof that we weren’t anywhere near the place.”
He groaned in frustration. He could see that this would be a losing battle.
The novelty of the spa had finally worn off and they finally climbed out. They donned the courtesy robes and moved into the sitting room of the suite. They were sitting on the floor on opposite sides of the coffee table. On the table was spread out a local variant of a Monopoly board. There was a bowl of fruit on the end of the table.
Lois picked up an apple in one hand and the dice in the other. As she rolled the dice she took a bite of the apple. Noting the roll she picked up the little metallic shoe and started moving it the indicated number of spaces with a little ‘click’, click, ‘click’ as she hit the board with each hop.
Landing on Main Avenue, Lois shouted, “YES!”
Clark muttered, “Unbelievable,” under his breath.
Lois chortled, “That completes that group.” She counted out some play money from her stack and handed it to Clark who was acting as the banker. As she did, she said, “I’ll put hotels on each property.” Clark sorted the bills and placed them in their places in the bank and then handed Lois 3 hotels which she placed on the board.
Lois rubbed her hands in anticipation as Clark picked up the dice for his turn. As soon as he made the roll he knew he was doomed. Picking up the Scottie dog he advanced it with a ‘click’, ‘click’, ‘click’ ending on the space with Lois.
Lois, gleeful at his misfortune, held out both hands wiggling her fingers in a ‘gimme’ gesture and said, “Pay up.”
Clark counted his cash and in a dispirited tone said, “I can’t make the rent.”
Lois was not what you would call a gracious winner, but she was even a worse loser. She ordered, “Give me whatever you have and then go to the poor house.”
Later they had ordered a room service lunch which included a chocolate milk shake for Lois. As she was slurping up the last of which, Clark mentioned it, Lois replied, with an arched eyebrow and a wicked little grin, “I need to keep up my caloric intake. I’m burning it off right away. We’ve been … very … active.”
All Clark could do was smile at the reminiscence of just how active they had been. He asked, “Should I call down for another one? You do need to keep your energy up.”
“I’ll be eating for two soon enough.”
Clark perked up, “Oh? Are you …”
She smiled at him and said, “It’s too soon to tell. It’s only been a couple of weeks, but we do have a good shot. Like I said before, with all of that activity … all of those little spermies swimming around inside of me. Anything can happen.”
Lois finished her shake and set the glass down. As soon as she did, she slid over into his waiting arms and cuddled there. She was idly playing with the hairs on his arm as she asked, “Are you sure we’re ready for that?”
Clark pulled her into a tighter embrace and said, “Is any couple ever ready to become parents? I think that’s one reason that the baby takes so long to develop in the womb. It gives the parents a chance for the facts to sink in and for them to prepare mentally. All I can say is, I’m looking forward to the day that we can hold that new little person and know that our love has taken a physical form.”
Lois craned around and gave Clark a kiss before she said, “You succeed in surprising me constantly. I knew you were a softie now I see that you are just a romantic at heart. Before that trip to Smallville and Herb messing with my memories, I never thought I’d be able to say anything remotely like this but, I love you so much I feel like I could burst. I’m just incredibly happy that we are together now.”
A little later Lois and Clark were again on opposite sides of the table. This time on the table was a local version of Scrabble called Scramble, perhaps because you are supposed to scramble for words.
They had been playing for some time and there were a number of words on the board already. In her last draw, Lois had picked up a difficult assortment of letters.
Clark could see that Lois was in a quandary and sensed that there might just be a possibility of a win. The longer it took Lois to place her tiles, the more he could sense the blood in the water.
To his chagrin, finally, Lois selected a tile. She kept it in her hand as if she were considering just where to place it. Finally with calm assurance, she placed the tile on the board and smiled a confident smile. She had captured a double word space with the move and unless Clark came up with something equally spectacular it would give her the win.
It took a few seconds for what she had done to register with Clark. Even as it did register, Lois was crowing about the score for the move.
As she reached for the score pad to add her new score Clark stopped her and asked, “What is that?”
Innocently, Lois replied, “What is what?”
Clark pointed at the board and said, “That.”
A little hesitantly, Lois replied, “It’s my word.” In an attempt to distract him, she asked, “Anything happening across the way?”
To her disappointment, Clark didn’t even move from his seat. He simply took a second to use his x-ray vision to check on the Apocalypse office and muttered, “Still nothing.” He immediately returned to the subject at hand and said, “There’s no such word as ‘chumpy’.”
Lois had used what little time she had gained by the distraction to come up with an answer, “Of course there is. Somebody’s a chump. Therefore, he’s chumpy.”
With a look of disbelief, Clark said, “Come again.”
At times Lois acted indignant and it intimidated interviewees so she tried it now, “Are you challenging me?”
Clark’s reply was swift and sure, “You bet your sweet *chumpy* I am.”
Lois challenged, “Where’s a dictionary?”
Clark tapped his temple and said, “Right here. Eidetic memory, remember?”
“Oh, so you’ve memorized the entire unabridged dictionary?”
“Well, no, not unabridged, just the most recent Webster’s.”
“There, you see, you *don’t* know every word that’s out there.”
Clark just shook his head in bewilderment and said, “Lois, you have got to be the *most* competitive person I know. What is it about you that makes you need to win *all* the time?”
She smiled and said, “I don’t have to win *all* of the time, but that’s one of the things you love about me. Admit it. It is, isn’t it?”
He leaned over the table to give her a kiss as he said, “One of the many.”
The light outside was fading into twilight as Lois and Clark played yet another game.
Clark was sitting on the sofa holding a card from a version of Trivial Pursuit based on Movies, TV, people, places and things around Metropolis in his hand. He had asked the question and Lois was considering her answer.
As Lois was thinking she paced back and forth in front of him. The fact that she was wearing that short robe had Clark thanking his lucky stars. He loved looking at her legs. On top of that, when she reached the end of her route, she spun and the robe flared out revealing that much more. Lois had a bag of chips in her hands and was munching on them as she thought.
Finally, Clark decided that he had given her enough time and said, “Time’s up.”
Lois was frantic. She hated not winning and challenged, “No it’s not. I know the answer to this question.” She gave him a pleading look and said, “Give it to me again.”
Giving in, Clark read the card again, “What was the name of Jerry Lewis’ suave alter ego in the Nutty Professor?”
Lois stopped her pacing and stood facing him, staring into space as if the answer would suddenly appear on the wall as if written by the hand of God, but no such manifestation made its appearance. She was muttering, “B … B … B.”
Clark realized that she was actually on the verge of getting the answer, but not quite there when he said, with a note of satisfaction in his voice, “Buddy Love.”
Forgetting about the bag of chips she still held, Lois threw her arms up and started shaking her hands, sending chips flying all over the room and she shouted, in frustration, “I knew that!”
Clark tried to placate her by saying, “You’re right, Lois. You don’t need to win all the time.”
Realizing that she had been taking the game way too seriously, Lois put her now empty chip bag on the table and snuggled up to Clark on the sofa. In a tone of mortification, Lois said, “I don’t know why I get like that. When I’m playing a game I guess I do get a little competitive.”
Clark pulled back and said, in a mocking tone “A little?”
“Yeah, you’re right. More than a little. Something just comes over me. That’s what happened with that story that I stole from you. I just couldn’t let you beat me. I did apologize for that didn’t I?”
“Not in so many words, but that’s okay. We were even.”
Nodding in chagrin, Lois said, “Yeah. Super Godzilla. You know, that was nasty. I never would have done something like that to you.”
“Want to know a secret?”
Lois perked up, sat up, looked him in the face and nodded.
“I was going to take the map back. I knew you were sorry for what you had done, but just then you found the map and it was too late.”
“It’s okay, Clark. I deserved it. I actually think I’m a better person for it. It took me down a peg at a time when I needed it. I was so obsessed with you, your other self, that is, that I just couldn’t see straight. It actually helped me.”
“No hard feelings then?”
“I could never be mad at you, especially for doing something that was needed. I’m glad I’m not that person anymore.”
“So am I, Lois. So am I.”
That evening Clark and Lois were in the bedroom getting out the equipment. Clark had started setting up the video camera on its tripod. They were planning to set up in the bedroom this evening so that they had a different, possibly a better view of the office and if anyone were to come in, the equipment wouldn’t be immediately visible.
Suddenly, Clark heard the outer door opening. He looked around and made a quick decision. Collapsing the tripod he threw the camera on the bed, threw the spread over the equipment and then grabbed Lois.
Taken totally by surprise, Lois suddenly found herself on her back on the bed with the very solid weight of her husband pressing her into the mattress and his mouth on hers. Lois reacted instinctively and moved to deepen the kiss emitting guttural moans as she did. Her entire focus became the kiss and the feel of her husband’s body. Her arms came up around his back and she grabbed handfuls of the robe he was wearing and started squirming under him, not to escape, but just to get a better position as a prelude to a lovemaking session.
Suddenly through her lustful haze she heard a gasp and she knew it wasn’t Clark’s voice.
As she broke the kiss and looked past Clark she had a look of annoyance on her face when she saw the maid.
The maid said, “Towels? Yah? Oops. Sor … ry.” She was startled and flushed with embarrassment because she knew that she was interrupting something as what she saw sank in. She put the towels on a nearby chair and quickly made her exit.
When Lois heard the door close behind the maid, she grabbed the front of Clark’s robe and said, “Where were we? Oh, yes, I remember,” and pulling him down again, attacked his lips with hers.
It had dawned on Lois that Clark had done that simply because of the maid and wanted to conceal what they were really doing, but her juices were flowing just the same. What had started as camouflage for the stakeout turned into a lovemaking session.
When they finished, as they were cuddling in the afterglow, Lois said, “Let that be a lesson to you. From now on, put the ‘Do Not Disturb’ sign out and we won’t have to worry about the maid. This is the Honeymoon Suite after all. They would expect that on the doorknob. If it’s not there, they probably think we are out.”
Clark placed his hand gently on her cheek and turned her face so that he could reach her lips and kissed her. When he broke the kiss he said, “How right you are. I’m gonna go do that little thing right now then we can get the equipment set up.” He stood and looked down at her naked body as she lay on the bed and enjoyed the unrestricted view.
She levered herself up and propped her elbows on the bed behind her so that she could get a good look also. He was equally naked and she gave him a lecherous stare as she said, “Hurry back.”
He reached for and put on the robe before crossing to the door to place the sign. When he returned she reached for him as she said, “Come to mama. We’ve got a long way to go to reach twelve.”
Clark hesitated, “Uh, Lois, much as I’d like to, we are here on the Planet’s dime. We do have a surveillance to conduct.”
With a petulant expression, Lois grabbed her robe and as she slipped her arms into the sleeves said, “Spoil sport.” As she tied the belt, she released a sigh before continuing, “Yeah, I guess you’re right. Work before pleasure. Let’s get this stuff set up.” Lois moved to the dresser, pulled out her clothes so that she could finally get dressed for the day. They had spent the entire day, in and out of the robes.
It was good that they decided to set the equipment up when they did because as they finished doing that, the third, as yet unidentified, member of the trio entered the office and proved that he wasn’t ‘just’ muscle because he started putting files away. There was no evidence of Roarke or Harrington, but they let the tape roll, just in case they showed up.
They settled down on the sofa in the sitting room to watch and Lois was snuggled up in Clark’s arms when she had a thought. She asked, “Clark, do you mind if I ask you a … personal question?”
“You know you can ask me anything, Lois. We don’t have any secrets now.”
“Okay, I know that you had never had … relations with anyone before me, but have you ever lived with anyone? I mean, full time, like in a relationship, with a member of the opposite sex.” Thinking back to their time in Smallville, Lois added, “You know, like … Rachel? You know, like lived together to share expenses, that kind of thing.”
Clark took her question seriously and he addressed it as such when he said, “No. Not full time, actually, not at any time. There have been the occasional sleepovers by my partner when we’ve worked late into the night. Not until now, with you, but then we do more than just share expenses.”
Lois nodded her acknowledgement and said, “Me neither. Not full time. The sleepovers were fun. I had no idea it would be this good.”
Clark smiled as he said, “I don’t think it would be this good if we weren’t married.”
She craned around and kissed his lips before she said, “I think you are right. This is just … super.”
Clark replied, “I have to admit, it was a little scary … at first.”
Lois replied, “Compromises. I’ve never been good at compromises … until now.”
Clark offered, “Forced intimacy. I had always been afraid of intimacy because it meant that I would have to reveal my secret. Now …”
Lois added, “Shared responsibilities. Actually, I think I made out in this deal. I mean, you do all of the cooking and cleaning.” She lifted her hands and looked closely at them noting the smooth texture of her skin and added with a pleased sigh, “I’ll never have dishpan hands.” She added as an afterthought, “You know, Luthor complimented my hands.”
“There we go with Luthor again. This time you brought him up.”
Looking apologetic, Lois said, “Sorry.”
His curiosity getting the better of him, he asked, “What did Luthor say?”
“I’m not sure if I can remember exactly what he said, but it was something like, ‘They’re so graceful. So delicate. Like fine porcelain.’ I should have known right then that he was under the influence of Miranda’s Witches’ brew. It was actually kinda creepy.”
“You mean that it wouldn’t have been flattering?”
“Flattering? Perhaps, but not from the one person I want to flatter me.”
Smiling at her response, Clark added, “I’ll flatter you all you want. You know, along with shared responsibilities, it also means never being alone again.”
Lois agreed, “Never alone. Clark, promise me something.”
“Promise me that you’ll never leave me alone again. Now that we’re together, I … I couldn’t bear to be without you again. I don’t want to be alone any more. I was alone for … for so … so many years. I feel like I was lost during all that time and now … now you’ve found me and I don’t want to be lost again. Promise me.”
Clark leaned down and tenderly kissed her and then said, “I promise, Lois. I promise I will never leave you.”
Just as he finished speaking the speaker on the surveillance equipment came to life. The noise of an elevator bell sounded alerting them to the arrival of more people. Clark looked through the wall using his x-ray vision.
Lois asked, “What is it?”
“I think we may have something,” and got up off the couch to check the equipment to make sure it was recording.
Lois joined him and grabbed her binoculars.
Roarke’s henchman also had heard the elevator chime. While Lois and Clark watched, he closed and locked the file cabinet that he had been filing papers in. The jacket he had been wearing was hanging on a coat rack just inside the door and he placed the key to the file cabinet in the pocket.
Seconds later, Roarke and Harrington walked in and joined the other in the inner office.
Indicating the sound equipment, Lois said, “Turn up the sound, Clark.”
Clark complied and in response they heard Roarke speaking, “… no possible way the test will be postponed?”
As he shook his head, Harrington’s reply was terse, “Weather’s clear. Naval monitoring ships are en route. Dawn, day after tomorrow. It’s set.”
Roarke was almost gleeful as he said, “Good. And after the test fails, we’ll get *my* system approved and installed. How soon before you can vote again?”
Harrington was showing doubts as he replied, “There’ll be delays, of course. Analysis of test results, modification proposals …”
Roarke cut him off abruptly, “No, no, no, no, no.”
Harrington almost had a pleading tone in his voice as he tried to placate Roarke, “We have to go through the process, Thaddeus.”
Roarke stated flatly, “After what happens at that test, no one will be interested in ‘modification proposals’.”
Harrington was starting to see that there could be more to this than just a simple failure of a test and he was becoming worried. The apprehension came out in his voice as he asked, “What exactly *will* happen?”
With a sneer, Roarke says, “Why don’t I show you? We had a video made from our computer model.” Lois and Clark finally learned the henchman’s name as Roarke ordered, “Bart, get the lights and pull the shades. I want the congressman to see this without any glare on the screen.”
In response to the order, Bart hit the switch which doused the lights and then moved over to close the shutters. When he did Lois and Clark’s view was blocked.
Lois let out a frustrated, “Hrumph. Clark, use your x-ray vision. We have to see this show.”
Frustrated, he replied, “I’ve been trying. No good. Those shutters must be made of or painted with lead paint.”
The video that Roarke was showing Harrington must not have had a sound track because all was silence from the office for a time.
Lois muttered, “This is torture.”
After several minutes they saw Bart opening the shutters and they again could see into the office. They could see that Harrington was pale and they heard him say, “Roarke, you can’t … millions of people!”
Roarke replied, “In for a penny, in for a pound,” and he escorted Harrington out.
As they watched, Bart also departed; however, Lois noted that he left his coat on the coat rack when he did.
Seeing Bart’s jacket hanging there was a temptation for Lois and one that she was having a hard time avoiding.
Just then the computer beeped indicating that its FAX function had been activated. A few seconds later the printer activated and started printing out a report.
Clark moved over and started to read it. He said, “It’s from Jimmy. Voting records of the House Defense Committee.”
Lois had been staring at the jacket and the desire to look in that file was becoming more than she could stand. She saw that Clark was distracted by the FAX and made up her mind.
While his back was turned, she grabbed a hand held scanner and slipped it into her bag then said, “Clark, I’m going down to the lobby for a few minutes. I … need something from the drug store. You need anything?”
Absorbed in what was being printed, Clark replied, absently, “Okay. No, nothing for me. See you in a few.”
“Okay, I’ll see you in a few.”
Clark was still looking at the printout as Lois exited.
The printout had finally finished and Clark was going over it when the phone rang.
Picking it up, Clark answered, “Hello?”
Clark immediately recognized the voices on the other end. Martha asked, “Clark Kent, what are you still doing in the honeymoon suite of the Lexor Hotel?”
Jonathan said, “We thought you had already had your honeymoon.”
Clark looked at the time and said, “I thought you guys would already be in bed. Why are you calling?”
“We are in bed. We just thought we’d check and see how you and Lois are making out. You’ve been married a few weeks and we were hoping that you hadn’t had any spats. Is everything okay?”
“Everything’s okay, Mom. We haven’t had a single argument.”
Jonathan said, “You didn’t tell us why you’re in the Honeymoon Suite … again.”
“Oh, that. We’re undercover.”
Martha laughed and said, “We know that’s what the Honeymoon Suite is for! Plenty of time under the covers.” She nudged Jonathan to let him know that her mistaking what he said was deliberate.
Clark rolled his eyes and said, “Ha ha ha. Very funny. We are on an undercover assignment for the paper.”
Martha persisted, “Are you trying to tell me that you and Lois aren’t spending any time under the covers? Come on. We know how the two of you were when you were here. You couldn’t keep your hands off each other. When you came in from the barn … the hay in Lois’ hair … that was a dead giveaway.”
Clark could hear Martha’s joyous laughter spilling from the receiver. Martha and Jonathan couldn’t see it, but Clark was beet red. Martha really knew how to push his buttons. “How did you find out we were here at the Lexor?”
Jonathan answered, “Perry White gave us the number.”
Martha asked, “Honey, is Lois there? Thanksgiving is coming up and I want to talk to her about it.”
“Sure, hold on.” Clark looked around and then remembered, “Oh, that’s right. She went downstairs a little bit ago.”
Just then the sound equipment picked up the chime of the arriving elevator. Clark said, “Hold on a minute.”
Martha said, “Okay.”
Clark looked across the way just in time to see Lois enter the office. He blurted out, “Oh, no. Mom, we’ll have to call you back. I think Lois is getting herself into some trouble.”
Martha answered with a single word, “Go!”
Lois’ plan was half formed before she left. She wanted to get into that office, retrieve that key, pull out that file, scan it, replace it and leave before Bart or Roarke returned. She had taken the elevator down to the lobby and exited the building through a door on an opposite corner and had rounded the building corner and crossed the street to the building that housed the Apocalypse Consulting offices. By exiting through a door that wasn’t directly across from her target, she hoped that any security cams would throw off any investigation. Once she was in the building she decided that she didn’t have the time to climb the stairs so there was nothing other than the elevator, so she had to use it. The door to the office was ridiculously simple. Smiling to herself, she pulled out the key card to their Honeymoon Suite and used it to slip the lock.
Clark watched as Lois quickly moved to the inner office and turned on a desk lamp. She shuffled through papers on the desk, opened and closed several drawers and looked unsuccessfully for the videotape. She knew that Clark would be watching and she looked up at where she thought the Honeymoon Suite windows were and smiled. Finally she retrieved the key from Bart’s jacket and unlocked the file cabinet. She pulled out a handful of file folders, carried them to the desk, and began to copy them with her pocket scanner. After a short time she heard something and snapped the desk light off.
Clark was getting worried. There would be a problem if Superman suddenly showed up to spirit Lois away. That would definitely give them away, but if she was discovered he would have to act. He couldn’t allow anything to happen to Lois. He would have to trust her experience and unique talents for getting herself into and out of trouble, but he knew that it would have been easier before they had been married. He needed to be ready to intervene.
Lois had heard the elevator. She quickly crossed to the inner office door and closed it softly, throwing the lock as she did. Then she returned to the desk picked up the files and shoved them back in the file drawer. Once she had done that she pushed in the button to lock it and then put the key back in Bart’s jacket pocket. She looked out the window and gave Clark an imploring look, mouthed, “Help,” then she scurried back to the desk, knelt down to see if hiding under it would be feasible. She saw that the space was too small. She didn’t realize it, but when she knelt down to look under the desk, the door key card to the Honeymoon Suite fell from her pocket onto the floor.
While Lois was doing this Roarke entered the outer office, flipped on the lights and moved to the inner office door which he found locked. He looked accusingly at Bart who simply shrugged as if to say, ‘Force of habit,’ and pulled a key ring out of his pocket.
While he was sorting through his keys looking for the one to the door, Lois moved to a small closet and squeezed inside.
Bart was taking too long finding the correct key and Roarke grabbed the key ring from him and found the key right away.
Seeing what was happening and seeing Lois call for help, Clark had been growing increasingly worried so he had exited the Honeymoon Suite and taken the fire stairs to the roof. He spun into the Suit and flew across to the other building.
Just as Roarke got the key in the lock, the outer door opened, a blue clad arm reached in and flipped the lights off. Then twin beams of heat vision, invisible to the unaided eye hit the sprinkler head in the middle of the ceiling.
The sudden darkness startled Roarke. Then immediately following on that event bells started ringing and water started pouring on his head.
Disconcerted by what was happening, Bart grabbed his jacket and holding it over his head like a raincoat, he and Roarke both fled the office slamming the outer door behind them.
Lois heard the door slam and made her way out of the closet. As soon as she was out she was hit by the water. Holding her bag over her head to try and keep her hair at least a little dry, she ran for the inner office door. Once through that she felt herself being picked up and held. Knowing exactly who it was she said, “Took you long enough.”
Clark laughed and flew them to the stairs, up and out and back to the Honeymoon Suite so that they could watch events unfold. Even as high up as they were they could hear the sirens in the street below.
They were both standing there at the window, dripping on the carpet as they watched.
Suddenly, Lois sneezed and Clark’s attention was directed to her. “I think you need to get out of those wet clothes.”
“Is that a proposition?”
“No, I think at least one of us needs to continue to watch to see what transpires.” He spun into his clothes and gave her a look.
“Show off. Okay, I guess you’re elected. I’ll go change.”
“You might want to take a shower. You don’t know just how clean that water was.”
Lois brought her arm up and sniffed her sleeve. She made a face and said, “I see what you mean. Okay, I’m for the shower. Let me know what happens.” She turned and went into the bedroom.
Clark rewound the tape in the videocam and then played it forward to the point just before Lois broke in and started recording over it to remove any evidence of Lois’ B&E.”
After Lois left for her shower Clark continued to watch. He saw the firemen enter the Apocalypse Consulting office and check around. After a time they collected their equipment and filed out satisfied that it had been a false alarm.
A few minutes later, Lois came out wearing the robe and drying her hair with another towel.
He was relieved that nothing serious had happened during her little excursion, but he was still irritated that she hadn’t even thought to ask his opinion or so much as tell him what she was planning. He challenged, “What did you think you were doing? If they’d caught you, who knows what they would have done.”
“But they didn’t.”
“Only because I set off the fire alarm.”
“That’s what you’re supposed to do. Back me up!”
“Lois, if we had discussed it we might have come up with a better way.”
“Or you might have said it was too dangerous and not let me do it.”
“Well, it was dangerous!”
“I’ve done more dangerous things before I ever met you and I’m still here aren’t I?”
“That’s beside the point. We’re together now. We are supposed to be a team, aren’t we? That wasn’t acting like we’re a team. That was the old ‘loose cannon’, Lois.”
“Loose cannon?!?!? I’ll have you know, I had everything under control.”
“Right. I saw how you had everything under control. Hiding in the closet. Do you really think they wouldn’t have found you?”
Contritely she said, “I had lots of stuff in that closet to hide behind.”
“Lois, you didn’t tell me what you were doing. What if I had been called away on an emergency? I thought you had simply gone downstairs. You lied to me! I wouldn’t have known where you were and I wouldn’t have been here to rescue you. You could have been hurt.”
“Oh, come on, Clark.”
“No, you lied to me and because of that you were in danger.”
“Oh, like you never lied to me.”
“That’s not the same thing and you know it. I only did that so that I could go on a rescue. I wasn’t putting my life in danger.”
“And making me think you were two different people?”
“Again, that didn’t put your life in danger.”
“Look, Clark, that’s who I am. That’s the way I’ve always been. It’s the only way I know how to get the scoop.”
“Lois, I’m not trying to change you, really. I’m just asking for a little consideration. You’re not just Lois Lane anymore. You’re more now, you’re Lois Lane-Kent, my *other half*. If I lost my other half, I don’t know if I’d survive.”
Seeing how she had affected Clark she felt really bad and repented. “I’m sorry, Clark. You’re right. I’m *not* alone anymore. You are *my** other half and I need to keep that in mind. I need to let my other half know what I am doing. Please forgive me.”
Clark pulled her into his arms and said, “Of course I forgive you. How could I not?”
“I’ll try to do better next time.”
Shocked, he blurted out, “Next time?”
“Clark, you know me. With me there’ll always be a next time. It’s my nature just like it’s your nature to help people. Please don’t be mad at me.”
“I could never be mad at you, Lois. I love you too much. I just worry about you. I don’t want you to get hurt.”
“Did we just have our first fight?”
“I think so.”
“Does this mean we’ve made up?”
“Yeah, I guess it does.”
“You know what I’ve heard?”
“Make up sex is the best sex ever.” She grabbed his arm and started dragging him in the direction of the bedroom. She had only gone one step before he picked her up and super-sped them into the bedroom. The breeze of their passage closed the door behind them.
The next morning Lois and Clark were in the bathroom preparing for their day. Their usual routine at home was for Clark to get ready and then Lois would have her turn in the bathroom, but this morning they weren’t taking any chances with the maid so they were both going at normal human speed and sharing the bathroom. The confines of which were barely adequate for one person, let alone two.
Lois had finished her shower and was drying her hair with a towel when Clark said, “Excuse me, I need my tooth brush.” He reached in front of her and grabbed it from his bag. That was when Lois grabbed her brush and started to brush her hair. As she did, he said, “Can we change places, my toothpaste is in my bag.”
“Oh, sure,” and she passed around behind him to resume working on her hair.
He was in the process of brushing his teeth when Lois realized that her toothbrush was in the bag. She asked, “Could I … just … um … I need my toothbrush.”
Clark said, “Uh … sure,” or something to that effect around his toothbrush and passed around behind her.
After he finished with his teeth, Lois had her brush in her mouth and he said, “Pretty tough, huh?”
Lois asked, “What?”
Lois took her brush out of her mouth and said, “Yeah, a lot of people do it. I like our system better.”
A little later they were in the newsroom. Lois had given the hand scanner to Jimmy to download and print what she had gotten with it. It was only a few minutes before Jimmy joined them with the printouts.
Jimmy laid the papers out of the conference room table and they all gathered around.
It was like assembling a jigsaw puzzle. As they found the pieces that were associated, Cat taped them together. Finally Cat read the heading of a sheet that seemed to be by itself, “Tsunami.” Looking up she asked a question that demonstrated that she didn’t have the vaguest notion of what it meant. “Is that the one with avocado and crab?”
Patronizingly, Lois said, “Yes, Cat, that’s the one.” Lois looked around to make sure she had everyone’s attention before she said, “I was about to copy that file when I heard something in the outer office.” She looked pointedly to Clark because she knew he would understand before she continued, “What, we’ll never know.”
Still not understanding, Cat asked, “Why would they keep a file on Japanese seafood?”
Clark took pity on Cat and explained, “Cat, ‘tsunami’ isn’t … what you think it is.”
Before Clark had a chance to continue, Jimmy explained, “It’s a giant wave. Like a tidal wave.”
Cat wasn’t sure if they were all pulling her leg or not. She looked from face to face and saw that they were serious.
Perry held up a piece of paper and said, “Wave? I’ve got a wave here too!”
Lois had actually scanned the file cover along with the papers inside and Perry read, “Shock Wave / Preliminary Analysis.”
What Perry just said, triggered a memory for Jimmy, he almost shouted, “Wait a minute, ‘Shock Wave’ …” Jimmy jumped up and ran from the conference room.
Jimmy’s outburst had surprised the rest and they simply watched as he dashed to his desk and grabbed a stack of printouts from the corner.
After Jimmy returned to the conference room he was a little winded, but managed to get out, “Harrington’s committee voted on something called Project Shock Wave not too long …” He sorted through the papers in his hand. He found what he was looking for and said, “Here it is!” He started reading, “‘Appropriation approval for system test installation.’“
By this time, Jimmy had everyone’s attention and they were all reading over his shoulder.
Lois spoke up, “It says that vote took place five weeks ago.”
Clark added, “Passed eight to zero with one abstention.” He paused for emphasis, “The abstention was Congressman Harrington.”
Frustration in her voice, Lois blurted out, “But nothing about what it is.” Then it hit her, “This is what they were talking about. Roarke wanted Harrington to have the vote reversed.”
Perry offered, “Yeah, and his own system approved instead. Whatever that means.”
Lois mused, “If we only knew what ‘Shock Wave’ was.”
Clark looked at Cat. So far she had almost completely been left out. He asked, “How’d it go with Harrington yesterday?”
Realizing that she was going to be judged on her performance and not wanting to be considered an airheaded gossip monger not worthy of working on ‘hard’ news, she pulled out her notepad and read, “One-thirty: lunch with a semi-attractive blonde. Three o’clock: haircut and manicure. Four-thirty: drinks with a-so-so redhead. Seven p.m.: dinner with a mousey brunette …”
Perry quipped, “Nice to know our tax dollars are being spread around.”
As if she hadn’t been interrupted, Cat continued, “Ten o’clock: drinks with a striking auburn-haired beauty.”
On that last one, Jimmy made a comment, “Finally, a little class. Who was she?”
Cat, with the look of the cat that ate the canary answered, “Me.” She accepted their startled looks as a compliment and then continued, “Like super glue, remember?” She paused to let that sink in before she finished, “Then he came back here to meet Roarke.” She closed her notebook with a flourish and put it away.
Perry said, “Okay, Jimmy, you were supposed to be following Roarke.”
Jimmy answered, “After last night’s fire drill, Roarke and Bart drove to Pier 31 and went into a warehouse. They were still there this morning when I left to come back here. When I got back here I checked. The warehouse is leased to … you guessed it … Apocalypse Consulting.” Jimmy tore the page with the address out of his notebook and handed it to Lois.
Curious, Clark asked, “Did you get a look inside?”
Disappointment in his voice, Jimmy replied, “No windows.”
Lois was frustrated and it was evident in her voice as she said, “We’re spinning our wheels. Some test, monitored by Naval units, is taking place tomorrow at dawn, and Roarke is planning on sabotaging it.”
Perry came to a fateful decision, “I think it’s time. Time to go to the top. To the man who always knows what’s happening. To the man who’s *never* let me down.”
Jimmy gasped and in a hushed tone asked, “You don’t mean …”
Perry nodded in a conspiratorial fashion and said, “I do mean … Sore Throat.”
Some time later, Perry led Lois and Clark as they headed for a rendezvous in an underground parking garage. Once there they took up station in an out of the way alcove to wait.
It was getting on into colder weather and the bare concrete structure did nothing to warm the atmosphere. Lois started pacing up and down, swinging her arms in an attempt to keep warm. She complained, “Why here? It’s freezing!”
Resigned to have to put up with Lois’ complaining, Perry replied, “Sore Throat’s choice. He’s a … creature of habit.”
Stepping over to Lois and shrugging out of his jacket, Clark draped it over Lois’ shoulders as he said, “Here, Lois, take my jacket.”
She gave him an appreciative look as she accepted his love offering. His jacket held his body heat. It was warm and cozy, warming her and making her feel loved. She slipped her arms into the sleeves and pulled the coat tightly by wrapping it and her arms around herself and she could smell his scent. Just smelling that aroma sent a rush of emotion through her. She associated that scent with him and how much she loved him.
Suddenly, dragging her out of her reverie, a somewhat portly, fifty-something gentleman stepped out of the shadows. He had on a long overcoat and hat with the brim pulled low and in spite of the fact that there was little light, he also wore sunglasses. As soon as they were all aware of his presence, he stepped back into the shadows. In a rather raspy voice, he said, “You should dress more warmly, Miss. This *is* the cold and flu season after all.” Breaking off suddenly he sneezed and sniffled. Pulling out a tissue he blew his nose and then commented, “Allergies. They’re killing me. Always good to see you, Perry. Who are they?”
“Two of my best reporters.”
“This violates our agreement. Our understanding was, I speak only to you.”
Perry stuttered, “Well, I .. it .. doesn’t violate it exactly, it just expands it. Please, uh, trust me.”
Grudgingly accepting the situation, Sore Throat said, “Well, okay. Just this one time.”
Perry, never one to mince words and knowing that Sore Throat didn’t like to waste time, cut to the chase, “What can you tell us about Project Shock Wave?”
The effect of Perry’s question on Sore Throat was obvious. He was shocked and his voice was strained as he asked, “Where did you hear that name?”
Clark spoke up for the first time, “We have reason to believe Thaddeus Roarke is working with Congressman Ian Harrington to sabotage Project Shock Wave.” He paused for a second and then continued, “It’s due to be tested …” They knew that it was scheduled for dawn the next day, but he left the end hanging for Sore Throat to fill in the blank.
Sore throat appeared to consider for a second and then decided that since they knew this much, they might as well have the rest, “At dawn tomorrow. I know all about it.” He cleared his throat and blew his nose again before continuing, “Project Shock Wave: experimental coastal defense network. A couple of years ago, the Navy began lobbying for their own version of a Star Wars system. Several proposals were made, the Navy picked Shock Wave. Roarke’s system was runner-up.”
Perry asked the crucial question, “Can you tell us who’s behind Shock Wave?”
Sore Throat’s answer was immediate, “Luthor Technologies.”
Lois, Clark and Perry all exchanged glances as if to say, “We-should-have-known.”
Lois challenged, “Why was Shock Wave picked?”
Sore Throat’s answer was swift and sure, “More sophisticated. It’s designed to automatically identify any foreign object within sensor range and calibrate an appropriate response.”
Clark, eager for more detail because he knew intuitively that he might just have to deal with this, asked, “What kind of response?”
Sore Throat didn’t know the reason for Kent’s interest, but decided that he needed to make sure they had the information they needed. He had recognized them even though Perry hadn’t introduced them, knew the reputation of both Lois Lane and Clark Kent and their relationship with Superman. By giving them the information he could very well be passing it on to Superman indirectly. “Think of it as a sonic ‘curtain.’ Sonic vibrations providing an impenetrable barrier that would disable whatever tried to pass.” He paused for a second as he dredged up the additional details, “Roarke had millions tied up in his own system. I’m not surprised he’s taking steps.”
Sore Throat sneezed again and then asked, “Anyone have a tissue?”
Lois delved into her bag and bringing one out, handed it to him. As she did, she asked, “Mr. … Throat, what would you suggest we do?”
He considered for a second and then answered, “You could take whatever evidence you have to the Navy, but they’d probably accuse *you* of espionage. This test is beyond top secret.” He thought for a few seconds and then offered, “You could publish your theories, force the Navy to cancel the test, and face government censure and a slew of lawsuits.” There was another pause before he finished, “Or, you could do what I’m gonna do.”
Clark asked the obvious question, “What is that?”
“Get out of town.” He cleared his throat noisily and said, “I need a drier climate.”
Lois was astounded and blurted out, “That’s it? *That’s* your advice?” More than a little note of sarcasm entered her voice as she finished, “The great Sore Throat has spoken?”
Defensively, Sore Throat replied, “What’d you expect to hear? Follow the money?” He shook his head and then added, “You know, I *never* understood that.” Finished speaking, Sore Throat started to turn away to leave.
Perry stopped him, “Keep in touch.”
Sore Throat stopped and replied, “As always,” but thought he would add one final log to the fire, “Oh, by the way, did I mention that Roarke was completely insane, with maniacal delusions of grandeur?”
Perry was dumbfounded. All he could say was, “No.”
Sore Throat replied, “Well, he is.” Now he was finished and he beat a hasty retreat.
Lois, Clark and Perry just stared after him and each other for a minute before heading back, Perry to the Planet, Lois and Clark to the Lexor.
Lois was still wearing Clark’s jacket, and they were discussing the benefits of the recommendations that Sore Throat had made as they approached the door to the Honeymoon Suite.
Lois said, “I say we publish. We gather up everything we’ve got, video, audio, research, and put it in the afternoon edition.” Delving into her bag she searched for her keycard. She muttered, “It was here a while ago.”
Clark’s response was quick, “Assuming Perry goes for it, I agree.”
Lois was still searching for her keycard as she replied, “Roarke scares me. If half of what we’ve heard is true … he’s got to be stopped.”
Clark reached into his pocket and pulled out his keycard to open the door. Slipping it into the slot he unlocked the door and swung it open.
The sight that greeted them caused both of their jaws to drop in shock. The suite had been ransacked! The audio/video equipment was smashed to pieces, tapes destroyed, furniture overturned, sofa cushions torn, wallpaper peeled off the walls. Lois pushed the door closed behind them.
When she did, it became apparent how they had found them. Lois’ room keycard was pinned to the back of the door with Bart’s knife. Lois mused, “I was wondering where that was.” Lois headed into the bedroom and found that not only was her wardrobe scattered around, most of it had been slashed and ruined.
In the sitting room, Clark could hear Lois’ exclamations of despair with each new piece of clothing she found destroyed. Clark started doing a minute examination of the sitting room using his telescopic and x-ray vision. He started in the area where the equipment had been and branched out from there, trying to find anything that would still be useable. He heard a slight noise and zeroed in on the sound with his vision. When he did he saw a bomb, hidden in the couch. It had apparently been triggered by their entry and the timer had counted down to one second.
At super-speed, Clark closed the distance and decided on the appropriate course of action. He grabbed the bomb and pulled it into his stomach, curling his body around it. He had to use his body to dampen the explosion. When the bomb went off there was only a very muffled explosion. Fortunately, since he had pulled the bomb in close to his body, his aura had protected his clothes and, other than some smoke, there was no damage.
Lois stuck her head around the corner of the door and asked, “Did you hear something?”
Clark said, “Yeah. They left us a little present.”
Clark stood and indicated the smoke rising from his chest, “A bomb. It was timed to explode after we entered the room.”
“Good thing you found it.” Lois had something in her hand as she said, “Obviously, Roarke knows we’re on to him.”
Indicating the ruined equipment, Clark replied, “Worse than that, he’s destroyed all our evidence.”
Lowering his glasses, Clark looked across the way to the offices and said, “They’ve cleared out, lock, stock and barrel.”
Lois was determined as she said, “We have to stop him. That sick so-and-so is capable of anything.” She held up what was in her hand. It was Clarkie bear and his stomach was slashed wide open with his stuffing protruding.
Just then, Clark’s head tilted to the side as his super-hearing picked up a distress call and he said, “Lois, I have to go. Why don’t you head back to the Planet and get together with Perry. Let him know what had happened and see what we can do.”
Clark sprinted for the stairs and Lois said, under her breath, “After I check out something.”
After Clark left on his rescue, Lois went home and changed clothes. She made sure that she had everything she would need in her camel colored bag and headed for an address on pier 31 and the warehouse that Jimmy had mentioned.
When she arrived she found that there was a fence around the perimeter. Finding a gap near a gate, Lois managed, thanks to her slim figure, to squeeze through the gap. As she did she thought, <Clark, where are you when I need you. You could have floated us over this fence.>
Lois saw that attached to the warehouse was a boat house. Thinking that it might be easier to enter the boat house than the warehouse itself, Lois descended a set of steps at the side to near water level.
She found a door and, delving into her bag, pulled out her lock picks and went to work on the lock. It yielded to her efforts in short order and she opened the door.
Stealthily, Lois made her way into the boat house. She had to move around crates and other obstacles. She saw a light at a distance and headed in that direction. When she got close enough she looked through a door into a lighted room and saw Congressman Harrington, bound to a chair and gagged. He was slumped over, possibly unconscious.
Suddenly, Roarke stepped into view. He had a briefcase and he started putting papers into it.
Lois reached into her bag again and pulled out her camera, intent on taking pictures. Just as she was bringing the camera up to look through the viewfinder she felt a hand on her shoulder and suddenly there was a knife at her throat. With a startled expression on her face, Lois gasped. She knew it wasn’t Clark.
Later, at the Daily Planet Clark joined Cat, Jimmy and Perry in the conference room. Clark asked, ‘Where’s Lois?”
Perry replied, “I don’t know, son. Isn’t she with you?”
“No, we separated. She was supposed to come back here and fill you all in on what happened, while I followed another lead.”
Jimmy asked, “Could she have gone back to the apartment, I mean, your apartment. You know, to change clothes or something?”
Picking up the phone, Clark dialed the number. When the answering machine picked up he hung up. With a worried look, Clark said, “She’s not there,” and started to leave, but Perry stopped him. He asked, “What happened? I thought you were going to bring the evidence you had collected here.”
“Perry, that’s just it … there is no evidence. They found out about us and ransacked the Honeymoon Suite. They destroyed all of our evidence.”
In a resigned tone, Perry said, “Well, that’s it I guess. We got nothin to take to the authorities. Look, wait right here. Let me make some calls.” Perry returned to his office.
The longer the delay, the more anxious Clark was becoming. He was sure that Lois had gone off like a loose cannon again and was in danger, he just didn’t have any idea as to just where she could be.
As a conversational gambit, Jimmy said, “I bet Lois was pretty upset, losing all of your evidence.”
With a rueful shake of his head, Clark said, “You can say that again.”
Cat really hadn’t been paying strict attention to what all was going on and said, “I’m starved.”
Jimmy was the first to see Perry returning and said, “Chief?”
Perry replied, “I called everyone I know in Washington. No one’s interested. And, as far as the Navy’s concerned, there *is* no test.” He looked around and asked, “Lois turn up?”
Clark was reaching the end of his patience. He didn’t know where Lois was and he was worried. Then he had a thought. There was one avenue that hadn’t been followed. He moved to his desk, picked up the phone and dialed.
Jimmy asked, “Who are you calling?”
Clark held up his hand for silence as the phone was answered. He said, “Hello, this is Clark Kent with the Daily Planet. I’d like to speak with Lex Luthor, please.” He listened for a second and then replied, “*Yes*, it is important. *Very*, important.”
Clark was very tempted to change into the Suit and scour the city; however, he knew from prior experience just how fruitless that could be. He needed some clue as to where to look or he’d be wasting his time and perhaps be in the wrong place when push came to shove.
Clark, Perry and Jimmy were in the newsroom, brainstorming. Clark was pacing restlessly while Perry and Jimmy sat on a couple of desks.
Clark said, “Lois hasn’t dropped this. I know it. What would I do if I were her?”
Perry offered, “Something impetuous.”
Jimmy offered, “And headstrong.”
Clark added, “And dangerous.”
Cat sashayed up and asked, “Is anyone else hungry?”
Suddenly an unexpected voice answered her question, “No, thank you.” Clark recognized the voice and turned to see Luthor enter.
Perry turned to him and asked, “Lex, what are you doing here?”
Always urbane and courteous, especially to those he considered his inferiors and, especially right now with Clark Kent, he needed to remain cordial so he greeted them and explained, “Perry, Mr. Kent, Cat …” He looked at Jimmy, but didn’t know his name, “… and … whoever, Luthor Technologies has approximately half a billion dollars in research and development tied up in a project code-named Shock Wave. Shock Wave, even the name, is top secret. Yet you, Mr. Kent, you call to tell me you not only know of the project, but suspect that Thaddeus Roarke, a man with whom I’ve had previous unsatisfactory dealings, intends upon sabotaging the impending test. A test which commences,” he paused to look at his gold Rolex watch, “in six and one half minutes.” He paused to let that sink in before he continued, “Under the circumstances I might have elected to stay home and watch reruns of Flipper on the all night cable channel. Instead, I decided to come here.” He looked around at the four people and asked, “What is going on?”
Clark looked at Perry and Perry nodded his permission so Clark launched into an explanation, “We’ve had Roarke and Congressman Ian Harrington under surveillance. Roarke is positive your system will fail its test, leaving the door open for *his* system to be adopted instead.
Off to the side, not involved in the conversation, Cat was thumbing through the yellow pages looking for food and said, “Oooo, Italian would be good. Linguini with clam sauce.”
Luthor was pensive, only for a second, then replied, musingly, “Roarke and Harrington, I should have known.” Looking directly at Clark now, Luthor challenged, “You say that Roarke is positive?”
Clark simply nodded in reply.
Luthor was thinking out loud when he said, “That would imply sabotage. No one ever described Thaddeus Roarke as an incurable optimist.”
Perry challenged, “Now, Lex, how could your system be sabotaged?”
Luthor was less than sure of himself as he replied, “So far as I know, it can’t.”
Clark pointed out the obvious, “But Roarke is an electronic weapons systems expert.”
Luthor had to agree, “Yes, he is.”
Cat said, “Maybe Mexican, chicken enchiladas.”
Jimmy suggested, “What about a power failure?”
Luthor shook his head in dismissal, “Redundant systems, too many backups for that to happen.”
Clark pointed out, “Besides, Roarke hinted at more than a simple breakdown. Something … bigger.”
With that, the conversation ceased while they were all deep in thought.
Cat said, “Oo, Japanese! I could go for something Japanese.” Thinking about her mistake earlier and willing to poke fun at herself, she quipped, “How about some of that ‘tsunami.’“
That one word, spoken by an unsuspecting source triggered a string of thoughts and first Clark then Jimmy and Perry looked up in surprise.
Luthor was puzzled. Cat was speaking about food and had mentioned something which wasn’t food, “Tsunami?”
Clark shot to his feet and almost shouted, “Tsunami, a giant wave caused by an undersea tremor!”
Jimmy said, in an awed tone, “Shock Wave.”
Clark turned to Jimmy. He now had an idea of just where Lois was, “Jimmy, where was that Apocalypse Consulting warehouse?”
Perry also realized the significance, “Great shades of Elvis.”
Clark turned to Perry and said, “Chief, I have to get down there.”
“Go, son. I hope you find her.”
Luthor turned to Perry as Clark ran up the ramp and through the stairwell door, “Find who?”
“Lois is missing. She’s been gone for several hours.”
Luthor’s face fell. Noting the location … Pier 31, he left quickly following almost in Clark’s footsteps.
Dawn was breaking. Lois and Congressman Harrington were tied side by side to a piling which supported that section of the wharf around the boathouse.
Bart was loading equipment into an outboard motorboat. Congressman Harrington had regained consciousness and he and Lois were watching as Bart did so.
Roarke stepped over and addressed his captives, “I envy you two. You’ll have a much better view from here. However, *we* do need to get out beyond the three mile limit.” He smirked and bringing his hands up in a Japanese salute, he gave a slight bow and said, “Sayonara.”
Neither Lois nor Harrington had said a word, they simply watched as Roarke joined Bart in the launch. As soon as he jumped aboard, Bart started the engine and pulled away from the dock.
Lois turned to the congressman and asked, “What’d he mean?”
The congressman was almost unresponsive, but he finally was able to answer, “We’re dead.”
Lois was confident in Clark, but since she had gone off again without telling him where she was going, she had some doubt, but she still said, “Congressman, we’ll be fine. Someone will find us.”
Harrington gave a slight shake of his head. He said, with a fatalistic tone in his voice, “No, it’s too late.” He paused a second and then continued, “I never meant for this to happen.”
Lois was starting to worry now. She turned to Harrington and asked, “What?”
Harrington stopped talking and simply stared out to sea.
Out at sea an older World War II era light cruiser and its task force was on station. Its duty was to ensure that there were no intruders in the test area. Using radar and sonar, it and its escorts were sweeping the area for other vessels. Reports could be heard all over the vessel as they were transmitted via the PA system.
“All systems … operational.”
“Prepared for barrier penetration test.”
“Sonar sweeps … negative.”
A controller picked up a handset and said, “Flight deck, you are cleared for takeoff.”
The signal was given and a Navy Sea Stallion helicopter took off from the helipad on the after deck. Its mission was to deploy the Shock Wave package.
Course and speed of the helicopter was tracked by the ship and when on station the order was given, “Prepare to deploy package on zero. Three, two, one, zero.” The loadmaster hit the release and a large cylindrical object dropped from the belly of the aircraft. A small drogue shoot trailed it to stabilize its descent. It only had to fall three hundred feet before it splashed through the surface of the sea. As soon as it hit the water the drogue shoot dropped off.
Back on the ship, the entry of the package into the water was noted and a countdown started, “Shock Wave in … ten … nine … eight … seven … six … five … four … three … two … one.”
Once underwater, the device dropped an anchor line and floated, stationary, below the surface.
The test was initiated when a torpedo was fired from another surface vessel. No undersea craft were included in the task force due to the nature of the test. The torpedo streaked through the blue-black depths trailing a stream of bubbles in its wake as the compressed air driven propeller sent it under its own power to reach its predetermined point where the Shock Wave system engaged, reacting to the threat presented by the torpedo. First, a barely heard VIBRATION and a shimmer of golden light appeared over the water. But, the vibration escalated into an ear-splitting HUMM. Suddenly the sensors on board the cruiser started to go crazy. Most of the sensor readings went right off the scale. Panic began to set in. The ship rocked in the sudden troughs. Warning ALARMS started to sound. The point at which the detonation of the torpedo occurred was within visual range of the cruiser and resulted in a geyser of water at the site.
From the site of the detonation the geyser had fallen back on itself, but then a swell had started to be generated. This was not like any manifestation that the personnel on the vessel had ever seen. If a pebble had been dropped into a pond the swell would show as ripples moving out in concentric circles from the center, or the spot where the pebble had disturbed the surface. This was different. It was directional! It was growing as they watched and manifested itself as a single wall as if a hand had simply pushed the water in one direction.
The cruiser was close enough that the wall of water had not reached a height that it couldn’t simply ride over. The wave quickly passed under the ship giving everyone a rocky ride as it did and then the crew watched as it gathered breadth, strength and height while it receded from them in the direction of the shore, the shore where the city of Metropolis stood.
Lois was still trying to get Congressman Harrington’s attention when she heard Clark’s voice and realized that he was here to save her. She heard Clark shout, “Lois!”
She shouted back, “Clark! Over here!”
She looked at Harrington to get his attention and let him know that the cavalry had arrived, but when she looked at him he was staring out to sea and his eyes had gone almost as large as dinner plates.
She didn’t know how Clark got to her, if he had flown or run, but she was grateful that he was there nonetheless. Looking over her shoulder, she saw that Clark was in his business suit and not the Suit. It was natural then that he would kneel behind them and start to work on their bonds.
Still worried, Clark asked, “Where’s Roarke?”
Lois nodded her head and said, “He headed out to sea.”
Clark looked and didn’t like what he saw. He looked at Harrington and saw his blank stare. He asked, “Is he all right?”
“I think he’s in shock. He never meant for this to happen.”
“For what to happen?”
“How should I …” That was when she saw the wave. She gasped and said, “Oh … my … GOD! Clark! Look! Come on, get us out of these ropes.”
From seaward there was a RUMBLE, like rolling thunder or a hundred freight trains. Lois’ eyes widened. Harrington Screamed. Clark swiveled to look.
Realizing that time was short and that Harrington probably wouldn’t remember what was happening anyhow, Clark ripped the ropes apart and freed Lois and Harrington.
Clark helped Lois and Harrington to their feet.
“Go, go. Get to higher ground,” Clark urgently said and pushed them on their way.
It took Harrington a few seconds to realize that he had been released, but as soon as he did, he turned and fled.
Lois turned to Clark fully expecting him to pick her up and fly her away, but instead she saw that he was looking at the wall of water that was rapidly approaching. Clark had been all around the world and had seen large waves. He had seen some big waves in Oahu, Maui, Mexico, Tahiti, Tasmania, Chile, California, South Africa and Fiji, but those were waves that surfers could handle. He had never seen a wave this big. This made the largest wave he had ever seen in the Banzai Pipeline look like a pond ripple. It towered into the air for what seemed like a hundred feet and it was bearing down on Metropolis with the speed of a freight train, not a slow freight, an express.
If that wave made it to shore only the tallest structures would survive.
Lois grabbed his arm and asked, “What are you going to do?”
Without taking his eyes from that evil wall of water, Clark said to her, “Lois, I want you to get to higher ground. Run.”
Lois asked, “What about you?”
“I’ve got to stop … that.”
Lois gave him a peck on the cheek and said, “Go get’em Tiger!”
He noted that Harrington was already out of sight and he doubted he would be looking back again as he fled so he did a spin change and took to the air.
Heedless of the danger and confident in her husband’s abilities, Lois stayed where she was to watch the show. She found her bag lying on the dock near where she had been tied up. Picking it up, she was surprised to see that her camera had been returned to it. She pulled it out and started snapping pictures.
As the wave approached the shoals it actually became taller, the rising seabed forcing the water higher. Clark was surprised that it didn’t start to curl and break, but then this was not a normal wave. It reached the point where it actually dwarfed all, everything, but the tallest buildings on the Metropolis skyline.
As Clark took to the air the wave finally began to crest, but that really wasn’t a big help. He had to do something to protect Lois. By protecting Lois he would also be protecting the city.
Thinking back to their time in the Honeymoon Suite he remembered the spa tub. The design had a trench around the lip with extra drains to siphon off the excess water. Even with all of the turbulence of their movements it had not overflowed.
At super-speed he clove into the water in front of the wave. Diving to the seabed, he began to dig a trench. He threw the debris up on the shore side of the trench. The deeper he made the trench the higher the wall rose. In less time than you would think, the trench he had excavated extended beyond the limits of the wave in both directions and the wall rose above the surface.
When the wave reached that point, Clark assisted his efforts by flying back and forth, side to side, pushing as much water in front of him as he could. The effect was dramatic.
When the wave hit the trench he had created it had immediately lost much of its height. Superman’s movement through the trench from side to side siphoned off large quantities of the water and the wall that had been created with the excavation debris stood like a dike. What was left of the wave hit the dike and subsided.
It was like the wave just magically folded in on itself and disappeared.
Seeing that the danger was now past, Superman started to take apart the dike he had created. He knew that it would be a hazard to ocean going vessels so he simply pushed the debris back into the trench he had created.
Once he was finished he floated up above the surface and spun at super-speed to spin dry his Suit and then flew to where Lois awaited him.
Just as Superman was picking Lois up to fly her away, Lex Luthor arrived. He saw Lois wrap her arms around Superman’s neck and lean her head into his shoulder just before they lifted off.
Luthor thought, <Huh, I wonder if Kent knows about this. Maybe he should be made aware of just how cozy his wife is with Superman. Enough of that and he might divorce her.>
Clark flew Lois home. They landed on the balcony and moved into the bedroom. Before they had gone five paces he had spun into his business suit.
In a chiding tone, he said, “Lois, we have to talk.”
Innocently, Lois replied, “Oh? What about?”
“Lois, you did it again!”
Still acting innocent, she asked, “Did what again?”
“Look, don’t act innocent. You know exactly what I’m talking about. You went off and put yourself into a dangerous situation without even telling me where you were going.”
Lois hedged, “Well, you weren’t around. You had gone off on a rescue. How could I tell you if you weren’t even around?”
“Lo — is. You had to have had this planned before I left! I was worried sick about you. I was about ready to start scouring the city. If I had, I could have been on the far side of the city when all of this happened and then where would you be?”
With a shy smile she said, “Right where I belong, in your arms. I knew you would rescue me. You always do.”
“Lois, why does this keep happening? You promised that you wouldn’t do that again.”
“Oh, I didn’t mean to. It’s just that … well …”
“Well, if I had told you, you would have told me how dangerous it would be and asked me not to go and I would have had to say that it’s my job and I have to go and you would have insisted that I stay home, for my own safety and I would have had to defy you and go anyway, so you see it was better this way. I didn’t have to defy you and go against your wishes.”
Shaking his head in chagrin at her babble, Clark asked, “What am I going to do with you?”
Lois smiled a coy smile and a raised eyebrow, she asked, “Are you really looking for suggestions?”
“Lois, I’m trying to have a serious discussion here.”
“So am I. I’m serious about our relationship.”
Clark just looked at her for a minute.
Finally, she broke the silence. In a small voice she said, “Clark?”
Resignedly, Clark replied, “What is it Lois?”
“I think I got some good shots of the tsunami.”
He looked at her in surprise. “You what?”
She started to smile a self-satisfied smile, “I think I got some good shots of the tsunami.”
He looked at her in amazement, “You are amazing. With all that was happening, you managed to get pictures? In … credible.”
She nodded, “Yep. I think I need to call Jimmy to get the film and develop it and then we need to start writing. We’ve got a scoop to publish.”
The next morning the headline of the Daily Planet read:
*SURF’S UP! *
And had a Lane and Kent byline.
All around them the newsroom was a bustle, a normal busy morning. Lois, Clark, Jimmy, Perry, and Cat were all gathered around Clark’s desk. The featured photo was of the giant wave with the photo credit being given to Lois Lane
The Sub-heads were:
*Superman Builds Undersea Trench, Saves Metropolis With Seconds to Spare.*
*Thaddeus Roarke Held For Questioning.*
Jimmy was incredulous, “Held for questioning! Hah! They caught the guy red-handed!”
Perry commented, “It’s amazing how he manipulated the Shock Wave sensors to make them think something the size of the Rocky Mountains was trying to penetrate the system.”
Lois replied, “Yeah, the system worked just fine. It just … over-reacted.”
Clark finished for her, “And the resulting seismic effect caused the tsunami.”
Lois said, with some satisfaction, “So, Luthor Technologies, with some modifications, gets the contract. End of story.”
Cat added, “Not quite. Congressman Ian Harrington is claiming he set the whole thing up as a sting operation to trap Roarke. He says any claims of collusion on his part are merely unsubstantiated rumors.”
Thinking about what Cat has said previously, Clark, Lois, Jimmy and Perry all chorused, “The best kind.”
All of them, including Cat started to laugh.
A few days later, the phone rang in the Honeymoon Suite of the Lexor Hotel.
Clark picked up the phone and said, “Hello.”
The voice coming out of the receiver was immediately recognizable, “Clark Kent, what are you and Lois doing in the Honeymoon Suite again?”
Clark smiled and said, “Hi, Mom. Well you see it’s this way, it’s just the management’s way of apologizing for any inconvenience suffered during our stay. They knew that we didn’t trash the room. They didn’t know just who or why but since we were registered here at the time they offered us a couple of days free after the repairs were completed.”
“Is Lois there? I still need to talk to her about Thanksgiving.”
“Uh, she went downstairs.”
Jonathan said, “Uh oh. Just like last time.”
Just then, Lois came through the door and Clark said, “No, not like the last time. Here she is. Lois, Mom and Dad are on the phone.”
Lois put down her package and took the phone from Clark, “Hi Martha and Jonathan! I’m happy to hear from you.”
“And we are happy to hear you, too. Listen, Thanksgiving is coming up. What are you guys doing?”
Lois looked at Clark with a question in her eyes. He smiled and said, “Whatever you want to do is fine.”
Lois smiled and returned to the phone, “Martha, we don’t have any plans. What did you have in mind?”
A little later, Lois and Clark were in the bedroom. Lois held up that package she had brought back with her from downstairs. She said, “I’m going into the bathroom to change. No peeking.”
He gave her an innocent expression and said, “Me? Peek? Never!”
Lois almost danced into the bathroom. Clark heard the shower and thought he might as well get comfortable so he changed out of his business suit and into a pair of sleep shorts.
He heard the shower go off and then some rustling sounds in the bathroom. He could distinguish the sounds of the towel rubbing over her skin and the slight squeak as she dried her hair.
A few minutes later the door opened and Lois stood in the doorway. She struck a pose and Clark’s jaw dropped open. She was a vision of loveliness in red satin. She was wearing a red teddy and looking absolutely sexy. He could feel all of his blood rushing south as his breath caught in his throat.
Seeing his reaction, Lois asked in a sultry tone, “Wanna peel a tomato?”
This story is part of a series including “All Shook Up: Matchmaker Style,” “The Green, Green Glow of Home: Matchmaker Style” and “Pheromone My Lovely: Matchmaker Style.”