The Wisdom of the Fortune Cookie

Nefertiri's Handmaiden

Disclaimer: Something about not owning Superman the movies, the comics, the merchandise, the TV shows, or the cartoons. Something about please not suing me, and something about Joe Sigel and Jerry Schuster being the rightful copywrite owners, blah, blah, blah.

Author's Note: My first Superman fic! Please give me some feedback so I can work up the courage to post another, or be sufficiently chided into leaving you people in peace.

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"Hi there, Lois."

"Hmmm?" asked Lois distractedly, staring intently at her computer screen, glancing at a file, and then back to her screen. "Oh. Hi, Clark."

"It's getting kind of late. Would you... would you maybe like to go get some lunch with me?"

"No, no. I'm fine, Clark. Thanks anyway." Her words hadn't even finished reverberating off the walls before he heard her stomach growl. He smiled. She looked up sheepishly.

"Really, Lois? You sound kind of hungry to me."

She smiled for real this time. "All right. You win. Let's go. You know, since you've been gone, a little Chinese place opened just around the corner."

He grinned and helped her into her jacket.

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Clark was just finishing his sweet and sour chicken when Lois reached for her fortune cookie. She cracked it open and pulled out the small white piece of paper. A grin split her face.

"These are so stupid! Listen to this, Clark: 'Look for hidden strength in those close to you.'"

Clark stared for just a second before recovering and laughing nervously. "Yeah. Stupid."

Bizarre, more like. What a fluke.

"Go on, Clark. Your turn. What does yours say?"

Still a little thrown by Lois' fortune, Clark hesitated. "Come on, Lois. You don't really believe in these things, do you?"

"Not really. But they're fun to listen to. Go on. Crack one open, Kansas."

Clark did as instructed. He grabbed his cookie, pulled away the flimsy plastic wrapper, cracked it down the middle, and pulled out the fortune.

And stared at it in absolute disbelief.

Seriously?

"Well? What does it say?"

Clark cleared his throat nervously, fixed his glasses, and fibbed, "'Find joy in your work.'"

Lois laughed. "Well, duh! What kind of fortune is that?"

"Yeah..." murmured Clark thoughtfully.

'HELP! Superman!'

Clark's head snapped up and to the side. His eyes narrowed dangerously, turning cobalt blue.

This strange behavior did not escape Lois. "Clark? Are you okay?"

"I... uh... I have to go, Lois. Have to run home. I... uh... forgot to feed my fish."

Lois looked at him strangely. "Well, okay, Clark. I'll see you back at-"

But Clark was already gone, leaving in his wake his payment for lunch and his discarded fortune.

"- work." Lois shook her head. What a weird guy.

She stood, gathered her things, paid for lunch, and started toward the door. She stopped when something grabbed her eye. Clark's fortune... She picked it up and read it.

'Others may not realize your ability to help.'

Her eyes narrowed. Why would Clark lie about something as trivial as a fortune cookie? That was silly. Anyway, it wasn't as if he was...

Wait.

No. This was Clark she was thinking about. Bumbling, goofy, innocent, good-natured Clark.

He couldn't be. Could he?

Well, actually, yes. He very well could be. In fact, if he was, things would make a lot of sense. Everything would fit.

Oh my God.

He was.

She stared in shock for a moment. Then a knowing grin crossed her face. She looked up in the direction he'd gone, pocketed the fortune, and headed back to the Planet.

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When Clark returned to the Planet later that day – he'd been delayed by two more crises after the one that had caused him to rush out on Lois – he was shocked to find a small piece of paper taped to his computer screen.

His fortune. From the restaurant.

Oh, Lord.

Clark looked closer. Scrawled in the corner, in handwriting he'd recognize anywhere, was a small note.

'I know.'

Clark's eyes snapped up, sought Lois. She was watching slyly him from her desk. He swallowed nervously, fighting panic.

Slowly, she smiled.

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Author's Note the Second: No joke, guys, I actually got the same fortune that Clark got in this story. I just started laughing when I saw it and decided immediately I needed to write a Superman story about it.