The Fill In
By Adrian Tullberg.
Perry White was not usually found with his forehead resting on his desk.
"You okay Chief?"
"Do I look okay Olson?" White raised his head. "You heard about Lois?"
"No Chief. I must have missed the headline that Wonder Woman made a free gift of her powers to 'Mad Dog' Lane."
"Must have made a real impression on her."
"Or Wonder Woman has a real sick sense of humour."
"Your first intelligent comment of the day Olson, keep it up."
"How long will she have her powers?"
"Until the Haig reviews that new evidence by WayneTech. How long - that's anybody's guess." Perry drew out a cigar from a humidor on the bottom draw. "She's on leave until she becomes normal again."
"What? Mr. White, do you have something against..."
"Nobody has anything against superheroes in Metropolis, Olson. Except crooks, cranks and physicists."
"Something about violating the laws of physics. Superman did something in China that made a Nobel Laureate have a nervous breakdown."
"Rea ... I mean ... weird."
"She now teaches beginners art at a community college. The fact is, Olson, you can't have someone being a superhero and a reporter."
Jimmy opened his mouth.
"Why? Practically speaking, there might be some people who can do two things like that at once. They probably have no parents, no friends, no life, but they could do it. However - it's impossible to report the news and be the news. And you should know by now Jimmy, is that superheroes are always news."
"What if Batman wanted to write a column?"
Perry looked at Jimmy, cigar half way to the cutter. "Why Batman, Olson?"
The redhead gave what could be described as an all-body shrug. "He ... might have a lot to say...?"
White trimmed his cigar carefully. "I'd look at his work. And I don't say that to a lot of people."
"How's Clark going, Mr. White?"
"He's at home with Lois." Perry stuck the cigar in the right corner of his mouth and retrieved a matchbox. "They've got a lot of adjustment to get through right now."
The Man of Steel staggered to the living room of his apartment only wearing boxer shorts that had seen better days long ago, vision blurry.
Collapsing in his favourite recliner, he stared at the ceiling, not noticing anything.
A cough made his turn his head to the kitchen, to see a smirking Bruce Wayne.
"Putting you through the paces, Kent?"
Clark knew he should be annoyed. Hell, he should be angry, furious, at this man, who had effortlessly broken into his own home, and definitely listened to the racket he and (mostly) Lois had made not half an hour before.
But he didn't even have the energy to be mildly irritated.
"I..." Clark noisily swallowed "I can't feel anything above my knees."
An expression of pity crossed Wayne's face, as genuine as a three-dollar bill.
"However will you cope?"
Clark tried to articulate his thoughts. "It's ... Diana was ... she never..."
"Lois isn't Diana." Wayne sipped a whiskey he'd poured himself from the liquor cabinet Clark received as a wedding present. "And that's the problem."
"Whu ... what do you mean?"
Bruce's voice took on that lecturing tone when he was quoting tracts of text. "Medical studies of Diana and every other Amazon that has consented to similar tests have shown vastly increased metabolic rates and hormonal levels, most likely due to the biological mechanisms that has kept them alive and virtually unaging for thousands of years."
Clark blinked, slowly. His eyeballs needed time to gather fluid. "How ... how much hormones ... ?"
"A lot." Bruce sat himself down on the couch, resting his shoes on the coffee table. "Did you ever wonder what drove the Amazons, who's devotion to peace is ingrained in every aspect of their religion and culture, to incessantly train and drill for war for thousands of years? To undertake the kind of exercise regime that would kill Navy SEALs, and cripple any other metahuman in their physical class?"
Realisation sparked in Clark's head. What it revealed didn't bode well for him.
"Face it Clark, if the Amazons didn't undertake that incessant preparation for war ... they'd all be pregnant by Thursday."
"What ... what about ... a cold shower...?"
Bruce leaned back, his smirk widening. "And Diana was the best of the lot. Not to mention Aphrodite was one of her patron gods."
"Apf ... Aphrodite..."
"Greek Goddess of Love ... and Fertility."
"It ... it has to be something ... Diana was never..."
"The crux of the problem Clark, is that while Lois has inherited Diana's powers and physical ability ... she hasn't received her discipline."
Something, a spark of anger was finally surfacing. "Lois ... Lois is disciplined..."
"Smart, definitely. Stubborn, single-minded, gifted - but not specifically trained to focus like Diana."
Clark's head dropped to the headrest with a solid clunk.
Bruce looked up to the bedroom doorway. Lois Lane, professional reporter and world-renowned journalist, was standing there in an outfit that could only be described as two strips of leather.
Bruce adopted an expression of exaggerated innocence. "Was I interrupting something?"
"I was letting him have a breather." Lois glided over to Bruce, and touched his Armani clad shoulder with one gloved hand. "Actually ... care to participate...?"
"Lois ... you have no idea how tempting you make it sound. But I don't want to make Clark uncomfortable."
Clark looked at Bruce, his expression growing more and more desperate. "No you wouldn't."
"Lemme know if you change you mind." Lois grabbed Clark by the neck, and dragged him off the recliner. "C'mon Smallville. Next round."
"Bruce, there's plenty of Lois to go around!"
"See you lovebirds later..."
Bruce waved bye-bye to Clark's pleading face as Lois slammed the bedroom door shut.