Not According to Script

In Clark Kent's apartment you could hear a pin drop. Lois was too stunned to speak, and Clark, sitting across from her at his kitchen table, gave her time to compose herself again.

"You are! You really are Superman! Why didn't I..." Staring off into space, her comment was left unfinished. Lois Lane never fainted. He'd seen her go through a lot of things that would make most people drop to the floor, but Lois had never been the type to faint. Looking at her glazed eyes, however, he was wondering if this would be the first time. He sat back and waited, hoping she would recover.

He had dreaded this moment for a long time. The longer he put off telling her, the harder it would get. But, their relationship had gotten to the point where he had to do it. They were practically engaged already, and he hoped that they would be soon if he could find the right time to pop the question. They had to get through this first, though. Getting up the nerve and actually going through with it had always been the toughest part. The desire to tell her his secret had been exactly proportionate to his fear of telling her. That had always been the problem. The desire and the fear cancelled each other out and he wound up doing nothing. Now he had finally done it.

He found himself feeling better already. So far it had gone better than he expected. Knowing Lois as he did, he assumed that once he took off his glasses and she saw the costume under his shirt, that he would have to do something to prove he really was Superman. He'd been prepared to heat the tea kettle on the stove with his heat vision or maybe float to the ceiling, but it wasn't necessary. He didn't even have to say "Lois, I'm Superman." As soon as she saw the glasses come off and the suit under his unbuttoned shirt, Clark could see the wheels turning in her head as she began to solve little mysteries that had been nagging at her for so long. Like, why the strange disappearances? Why the sometimes strange behavior?

Clark knew that Lois wanted to ask him these questions, and he also knew why she didn't. She wanted him to tell her, without being asked. For her, it was a sign of trust that she didn't ask him and that he would tell her eventually. As their relationship deepened, however, her patience with him over this was beginning to thin, and so—it was time to share his secret or risk losing her.

According to the script he'd gone over in his mind (about a million times), after being taken aback by his revelation, she would be quite irked with him for not telling her sooner. He was prepared for that. Only the truth would serve here. They had spoken at length about always being honest with each other and that the only way to make it work for them was to always be truthful. The secret of his dual life always made him twinge inwardly when they talked about honesty, but he never had lied to her. Well, except to cover for the secret.

After being irked, she would start kicking herself for not figuring it out for herself. Typical Lois. She was always being harder on herself than--

His train of thought was interrupted by Lois' vigorous headshaking. She was snapping out of her stupor. Clark could see that her eyes were already clear and alert again. He prepared himself for the 'irked' part, but when she made eye contact with him she didn't seem angry, but hurt.

"Clark, why didn't you tell me? Didn't you trust me?"

She had that hurt puppy dog look. He hadn't been prepared for that and he felt like such a heel. He willed himself to shake it off and just go on as he'd planned.

"I'm sorry for not telling you sooner, Lois. If it makes you feel any better, you are one of the few people who—-" He got no farther than that, because her eyes had narrowed measurably and her hand came up to stop him from going on.

"What do you mean 'one of the few people'? Who else knows this little secret?" That script of how this was supposed to go was only in his head, but he would have sworn he could see it flying out the window just then.

"Well Lois, er, there's Ma and Pa, of course, and uh--"

"Of course. And?" There was that look. The look that said that she didn't know the answer to her question yet, but she knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that she wouldn't like it when she heard it. Cutting the tension with a knife at that moment would be like trying to slice a rock with a butterknife. Clark could have sworn that the temperature in his kitchen had dropped markedly too. He was only surprised that he couldn't see frost when Lois spoke.

"And then of course there's Lana--"

"Lana Lang? You told Lana Lang before you told me? How could you?" He didn't believe it was possible, but the temperature in the kitchen dropped down even farther. In the back of his mind, beyond conscious thought, he wondered idly if he would ever again get to finish a sentence to her. A sudden urge to fly away crept up on him. He suppressed it with effort.

"Lois, be reasonable. Lana and I grew up together and she was my best friend. I told her long before I ever met you."

That mollified Lois for a moment and she visibly relaxed a bit. A bit. The eyes soon narrowed again, however, and Clark found that his breath of relief was now stuck in his throat.

"Who else?" Uh-oh. It was then that Clark Kent realized that Lois Lane, reporter for the Daily Planet, had a unique superpower. She had the ability to make Superman sweat with a single look. With only two words, she could put the Man of Steel into a panic, without even touching him. With truly superhuman effort, he resisted the urge to bend his head down and stare dejectedly at the table.

"Ummm, only one other person knows."

"And who would that be?" The false sweetness in her voice was somehow, somehow, worse than the earlier frost.

"Well, Diana knows too."

There was silence again in the room. The tension in her face was building, he could see it. Very similar to volcanic eruptions on Mars. The similarities were uncanny. First the tremors over the surface as the pressures mounted, and then...then comes the explosion.

The pressure on the surface of the planet begins to build...
"Wonder Woman knows too! You told her--"

The surface tries to contain it...
"I didn't tell her, she figured it out--"

The pressure intensifies...
"She figured it out?"

One last futile effort to contain it...
"Yes, when she first saw me as Clark, she knew--" There are some moments in life where you realize you've just phrased something exactly wrong and it's too late to take it back. This was one of those moments.

Then the quiet moment just before...
Sometime during this exchange Lois had stood up and began pacing the kitchen. Even her shoes sounded angry as she went back and forth. Now, however, she stopped.

...the explosion.
"So, she figured it out as soon as she saw you as Clark? No, let me guess. She said something along the lines of 'Of course I knew it was you, Clark. I'd have to be blind not to see it.'. Is that pretty much how it went? Hmmm?" This was delivered somewhere between a roar and a screech. It was difficult to tell.

"Of course not, Lois! Don't be silly." Clark made a quick mental note that this was merely a little white lie and didn't count towards their agreement on always being honest with each other. This was a special circumstance. It could be argued in his defense that he was actually trying to save his own life. Her quoting of Diana was amazingly accurate, though.

"Lois, Diana understands that you would have no way of connecting Clark Kent and Super--"

Sometimes, there are multiple eruptions.
"Wait a minute! Hold on there, Mr. Kent. Do you mean to tell me," Her voice at this point could have driven nails, "that you and that bi— that woman talked about my not being able to put two and two together? You-- Oh, how she must've-- I don't believe--"

Even superhearing wouldn't have been able to decipher the spluttering that came next. Pure survival instinct kept him from even making the attempt.

Strangely, he could feel the gravity in the room change. It had become much much stronger somehow. The really amazing thing was that it only affected his head, which slowly dropped into his hands which were clasped on top of the table. Clark wisely, if belatedly, decided that anything he might say in his defense would be wrong, so he kept silent. The patterns on the tabletop became quite fascinating, however. He was still tracing the designs with his eyes when he heard his back door wrenched open. He tried to lift his head to look at Lois, but he just didn't have the strength.

"I think I need to leave for awhile." Still driving nails with her tone of voice. "If I come back, and if I'm still speaking to you, we can discuss this like adults. Until then, goodbye!" With the slamming of the door, the gravity in the room went back to normal.

As the sound of her strident footsteps faded away, Clark got up and went to the refrigerator, got himself a beer and seated himself back down in his chair. "Well, that could have been worse." And for some reason, he found this the funniest thing he had heard in a long time. He laughed until tears fell from his eyes, then laughed some more. Popping the top of the bottle of beer with his thumb, he decided that his script definitely needed a re-write.