By Ruth Ellison (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Summary: An intimate little conversation between Lois and Clark in which Lois tries to come up with a new angle for a Superman interview.
Well, there *is* an article I want us to write. But I have this feeling you wouldn't like it.
We won't know until you tell me.
Well, it's been a long time since I've written an article about Superman.
Not again! You write them all the time, Lois! And if it's not you, it's somebody else at the Planet. Or at the Metropolis Star, or the National Whisper, or…
That's *news*, that's different. I can't help it if Superman keeps being newsworthy. No, I mean a proper feature article, about Superman the *person*. He hasn't given me an interview in such a long time…
I'm sure he has better things to do with his time. Besides the fact that he doesn't like publicity — as you well know.
He can trust me. I'm not going to make up stuff about his sex life or something — the tabloids do enough of that already. *I* want to write about what makes him tick, what makes him do the things he does, what keeps him in Metropolis…
Lois, what's Superman got that makes you so…passionate about him?
He's…special. He does good things, and he makes people realise that that's OK. I mean, that it's cool to help people and to obey the law and stuff. And he's spectacular. I love watching him fly, with that cape flapping behind him… Plus, when I'm near him and he looks at me *like that*, I just melt…
It's a sex thing, right?
You sound jealous.
Jealous? Should I be?
You don't think you're some rival of Superman's, do you?
No, no, no…
You do have one or two good features yourself.
You're more…subtle than Superman. You look so boring and ordinary, you kind of sneak up on people.
Wow, just blow me away with the compliments.
But you irritate me.
*How* do I irritate you?
By shooting down my good ideas. By being so rational all the time.
Lois, I'm usually just playing devil's advocate. Sometimes it's not the ideas themselves, they just need a bit of work. That's the whole point of being partners.
OK then, *partner*, what's wrong with my Superman article idea?
Well…personally, I think people are getting tired of reading about Superman. They want novelty, not the same material rehashed yet again.
Aha! There you're wrong, Clark Kent, and I can quote you the sales figures to prove it. Perry knows it too… Did you say 'rehashed'?! *That* was not nice!
So you think you can find a new angle on Superman?
Course I can. I'm Lois Lane.
OK, then. Tell me.
Umm… Well, like I said. Why do you think he hangs out in Metropolis? I know he does stuff all round the world, but he does seem to *belong* here, kind of. I'd like to ask him that.
Well, it's a very big city. There's a lot for him to do here.
But there's a lot for him to do in other cities too. Why doesn't he…circulate?
Maybe he's a creature of habit.
Yeah, he just likes having you do his laundry for him, right?
Now who sounds jealous?
I *don't* think I'm jealous of your washing machine, Clark.
Great, because maybe you'd like to share the chore. There's something about that suit, I keep losing my socks whenever they're in the drier together.
Clark, since Superman is your *friend*, you'd know him as well as anyone.
I think we can assume that's the case…
So do you think he could have some other reason for being here? Maybe Diana Stride was right, he might have some secret identity. I mean, he *could* be you.
You didn't believe her, did you?
I did, briefly. It was a plausible idea. Disguising himself as a reporter to find out what's happening in the world. Getting access to important people.
He can do that easily enough anyway.
Yeah, but he's too obvious to be able to find stuff out secretly. A disguise would let him be *subtle*.
Uh-huh. But it wasn't too hard to prove that Diana Stride was wrong.
Well, of course. But it's still a possibility. That he's doing something he doesn't want people to know about, so he needs a disguise. Maybe he's a billionaire, and he wants to be able to give money to charity secretly.
And you're expecting Perry to print this theory?
OK, I'm reaching as usual… Actually, I think I know why he's here.
It's because of me.
He and I are…close. There's something going on between us.
Just because he's given you a couple of interviews!
Just because he comes to my apartment at night, just because he kissed me *in public*…
Well, OK, I kissed him but he kind of took over and *dominated* it and he *enjoyed* it.
Well, I would expect him to. I've always found kissing you is an interesting experience…
Like you'd have much to compare it with, mister Kansas farmboy!
Hey, I've travelled all over the world, Lois. You don't know what sort of experiences I've had.
Girl in each port, huh?
Something like that.
Sorry, Clark, you don't fool me. Underneath that mild exterior lies an even milder interior. You're just not the balcony-scaling type.
So what makes you think you're Superman's only girl, then? *He* might have a girl in each…newsroom.
You think so? Maybe I should use that as my angle… You know, maybe he's not quite as…pure as everyone thinks he is. Maybe his heroic appearance is just so he can prey upon women, maybe he seduces them and lures them off to his…lair to satisfy his evil lusts with them. Maybe I've been tragically deceived all along…
I think you're starting to babble, Lois.
Maybe, even now, he's planning to have his way with me again…
And maybe he's not. Go to sleep, Lois.
OK, now go back and reread the story and see if you can establish its context and the actions that go with it… If any interesting possibilities occur to you, please email me and tell me <g>.