"How could you possibly hate Superman?" Lois leaned over her desk onto her elbows, her face contorted in confusion.

"I don't hate him, Lois." Clark tried to be patient, leaning over his own desk to face his partner. "I just think he's a little overrated, that's all."

Lois, outraged, stood and started pacing. "The man has saved your life, Clark. He's saved the world more times than I could count on two hands. And you don't think he deserves respect?" She slammed her hands next to his and leaned in close. "I guess my suspicions are confirmed, Clark," she said softly. "You really are heartless."

"I am not heartless!" the mild-mannered reporter intoned so sternly that Lois stumbled backwards in surprise. "Are we supposed to revere a man for the dumb luck that he landed on our planet at the exact moment that Lex Luthor decided to start destroying it? Sure, he's great and all, but I don't think he worked really hard to become faster than a speeding bullet."

Sitting back down, Lois rested her ankles on the desk. "I can't believe you're letting your feelings for me change the way you feel about our savior," she said smugly.

Clark was incredulous as he leaned back in his chair. "Oh, he's our savior now?" Then he realized what Lois had said. He sputtered, "What do you mean, my feelings for you?"

"Don't think I haven't seen the way you've looked at me since you first walked into the Planet, Kent." She brushed a lock of rich chestnut hair over her shoulder. "You're jealous because I have a relationship with Superman. Don't think I don't know these things."

Clark grinned. "You don't have a relationship with Superman, Lois. You have a crush on him. A spandex fetish!" He adjusted his coke-bottle glasses. "Trust me; I don't think he has time for a girlfriend."

"He has time for me." Lois had turned defiant. "And it's not a fetish, smart-ass. Superman is truly a good man. He's got upstanding morals, a fantastic character, and he'll always stand for truth-"

"-justice, and the American way," Clark finished as he rolled his eyes. "I know. We wrote it." He turned back to his computer, tapping the keys absentmindedly. "I don't get how you put this guy on a pedestal, that's all. The whole thing seems blown out of proportion."

"Superman's not just any guy, Clark. He's not like Jimmy, or Perry, or even you, regardless of the fact that you share a hair color." Clark slid his glasses up the bridge of his nose with disgust. "Superman is just that: super. He's a hero. He can do things that no one else can do, and he does them for us. That's what he was born to do; it's his destiny."

Turning to Lois, Clark cocked his head. "Does he give you this speech over your dinner dates, or is it in the press release?"

"Actually," Lois scoffed, "I came up with it on my own. What can I say? The guy's an inspiration."

"Well, what about me, Lois?" Clark said, trying a different approach. "I have the same morals as Superman. I've never stolen, or killed, or really lied. I stop crime and uphold justice through my stories. And on top of it all, I'm just a normal guy, with no powers or mysterious origins to help me out. I put my life in danger everyday I write that piece on Intergang! Wouldn't that make me at least on the same level as Superman?"

Lois evaded the question by shaking a finger at Clark. "You know what the problem with you is, Kent? You aim to please. All well and good at the Planet, I suppose, but not when you're comparing yourself to Earth's Greatest Hero. Superman doesn't just do what he does, but he does it because he knows in his heart that it's the right thing to do." She stopped to enjoy Clark's glare. "Really, we're all living by Superman's moral code."

Running a hand through his hair restlessly, he groaned, "I can't believe you said all that about a mutated cop." He threw his arms in the air, making wild gesticulations. "Lois, the man basically does what we do! We save the world. We make the streets safe. His presentation is just flashier! Even you must know that Superman has to read the paper to get his leads."

Lois pouted and mumbled something about doing her civic duty to assist the Man of Steel. Clark was still raving.

"I can't believe you compare yourself to this...alien...like he's some kind of god! You've been doing what he does for longer, and you don't even fly around like a mental case in pajamas! Don't you realize that Superman would be nothing without people like you?" Lois started to protest, but Clark interrupted. "I'm sure he's a very nice man, and he probably treats you commendably. I'm sure he's handsome, and intelligent, and friendly, and all of those things. But one thing he's not is perfect. It's time you realized that."

Lois blinked as her phone beeped. She recovered swiftly enough to answer the call: "Lane here. Right, we're on it." Looking up at her partner, she said, "There's a fire at 36th and Main. Are we taking my car?"

Clark thought about it, and then shook his head. "You can, but I think I'll drive down myself. I'd like to take my sweet time, maybe see our caped wonder in action."

Lois shrugged. "Suit yourself." She grabbed her bag and headed for the elevator, Clark close on her heels.


Just as he suspected, Clark arrived at the scene before his partner. The fire was still raging in the tall office building on the corner, and it had drawn a crowd of onlookers and news crews, all waiting for Superman to swoop down and save the day. Clark took notes on reactions, but comments he overheard were becoming all too monotonous. A glimpse of the Man of Steel was promising for these people, but the fire itself seemed to garner little interest.

Suddenly, a hush fell over the crowd. A child behind the police barricade asked his mother if the strange, muffled sound belonged to an airplane, but of course he knew it didn't. Only one thing on Earth could cause that sonic boom, and the excited faces turned to the sky to greet it.

A momentary harsh wind calmed the fire, and a blur of blue and red rescued a ten-year-old girl from her father's office on the fourteenth floor. A roar of a cheer rose from the onlookers. Superman paused just quickly enough to wave to his fans before leaping back into the air with a flourish.

Clark only had one thing to say about the display before him: "Pompous bastard."


A/N: So, yeah, I know that this had nothing to do with the Smallville universe, but I know you people, and I quite like you. I hope you enjoyed.

Thanks times a billion to Die Hard for the fantastically prompt and helpful beta!

I'd love you hear all your insights as well! For this reason, feedback is greatly appreciated.