It's Not Because I Know How to Yodel
Disclaimer: I don't own Superman I, II, III, IV, or Superman Returns. I don't own the comics. I don't own the characters. I don't own the TV shows. I don't own anything… can we get on with it now?
Author's Note: Perry White isn't the Editor of the Daily Planet because he knows how to yodel. (A blatant wink at Lois and Clark.)
Also, I don't have a beta, so forgive any misspellings. I can't catch them all. If anyone would like to beta for me, let me know in a review and I'll contact you. Thanks and enjoy!
My name is Perry White. You probably know me as the Editor in Chief of the Daily Planet: the greatest newspaper on the planet. I've been doing this job longer than I care to think about it: and I've been pounding the pavement chasing stories for even longer. But I'm damn good at it. If there is a story somewhere, I can find it.
And I'm sitting on the biggest story in the history of my career. The biggest story in the history of the Daily Planet. One I made a vow to myself that I would never write.
I'm Superman's boss.
I can hear you laughing now, but I'm serious. Superman works for me. Not when he's in the suit: I don't decide who lives and who dies and which natural disasters are averted and which ones rage. I don't control the news. But I do control who writes it.
And the truth is that Superman is a damn good reporter.
Because most of the time, Superman is Clark Kent.
That's right. The surprised gasping is much appreciated.
You'd never guess it to look at foolish, bumbling, goofy, accident-prone Kent that he's such a good reporter. Second only to Lois Lane. And third only to myself. Well, perhaps fourth after Cronkite. And you'd certainly never guess that he's really Superman: consistently ranked by People Magazine as one of the top two most beautiful people (sometimes that crazy Bat-person from Gotham makes the number one spot and once, for some reason which neither I nor anyone else understood, the Martian Manhunter got it), the uncontested Hero of Metropolis, and quite arguably the most powerful being on the planet.
But by Jove, he is.
I didn't realize it at first. He did do a good job of hiding it. But eventually, an old news hound like me had to catch the scent.
The first thing I noticed was all the unexplained disappearances. Where the hell was he going? But I ignored it because he always completed his assignments, and his articles were always damn good.
I started to formulate a theory when I noticed how quickly he'd disappear. He'd be there one second, I'd look away, and the next second I looked again he'd be gone. I thought this strange at first, but the more often it happened the more I started to connect the dots.
Then I noticed how Superman and Kent were never in the same place at the same time. At first I thought nothing of it: after all, there were plenty of people who'd never met Superman. But as time went on, I noticed how Kent always just missed him. It was too close to call coincidence. And they did look remarkably alike, if you ignored Kent's glasses.
The clincher was when I found a tie in the elevator. A tie I knew I'd seen Kent wearing that morning. I could not think of a single explanation of why Kent would be leaving ties in the elevator unless he was changing his clothes in there. And there was no other reason that he'd been changing his clothes in there unless he was taking off through the emergency exit in the elevator's ceiling.
But I needed to be sure. So I devised a test. Well… actually… it was more of a stunt. In fact, I'm a little ashamed of how simple it was.
I simply knocked his glasses off his face, making it look like an accident when I called him into my office to discuss something. In the instant before he hid his face from view, I saw Superman's eyes looking back at me.
And I was sure.
But I didn't call him out on it. I never will. I think I understand why he does it. If I were Superman I wouldn't want people mobbing me all the time. Plus, I had no intention of losing my second-best reporter to a cape.
So when Kent handed me his resignation five years ago I was shocked. I was worried. I didn't know what to say or do. But I couldn't prevent him from quitting. It was his life and his choice. And maybe he'd decided living a double life was too hard. So I accepted his resignation with a sigh and a heartfelt invitation to return whenever he felt like it.
Then he disappeared.
In retrospect, I should have told him to stay. I should have told him I knew. I shouldn't have let him resign. I should have held him here, somehow.
She fell apart when he left. She hid it well by burying herself in work and rebounding hard into poor, unsuspecting Richard, and once the baby came along most people thought the change was just about her becoming a mom, but it was more than that. I saw it. And I saw the way she would glance over repeatedly at what used to be Kent's desk, hoping he'd be there without even realizing what it was that she was looking for.
When Jason was born, I counted back the months. And I saw his eyes. They're blue, but not the blue that Richard's are. I had a fairly good idea that he was not Richard's son. That he might belong to a certain Kryptonian in blue tights. I think Lois might have known it somewhere in her, too, but she was still too caught up in denial to admit it.
I never wanted to run 'Why the World Doesn't Need Superman.' Because we do need him. And so does Lois.
That's why I re-hired him when he called after all those years.
When I heard his voice on the phone, I almost choked on my own saliva.
"Uh, Chief? This is Clark Kent. … Well, I was wondering if you happened to have any open positions that you might…"
I hired him back before he finished the sentence.
And when he showed back up at the office, I knew it would only be a matter of days before Superman showed back up in Metropolis.
And sure enough, just later that day, the first person he saved was Lois.
Trouble seems to stick to that girl like glue. In her endeavor to avoid Superman – while ignoring Kent even more than she had before he left – despite my efforts to force her back to him, where I knew she belonged, she managed to get abducted by Lex Luthor in his latest evil plot. Superman saved her, and he saved us all, and in the end, I thought there was a very good chance that I would lose one of my best reporters, this time for good.
He pulled through.
These days he sits at his desk, glancing at Lois with a strange smile on his face and a new light in his eyes. He's finally more at peace then I've ever seen him. His whole face lights up when he sees Jason and the two are becoming fast friends. They are so much alike that my suspicions regarding Jason's parentage have been confirmed. It's a common sight to see little Jason coloring at Kent's desk while Kent watches him with poorly concealed fatherly pride.
Jason will likely wear the suit one day.
Kent still disappears at random intervals through the day, but he still turns in fantastic articles. He even writes a Superman story every once in a while, something he never did before he left. He stills stumbles over himself, but not quite so much as he used to. He still leaves coffee on Lois's desk and asks for nothing in return. He doesn't even vie for her attention. He still corrects her atrocious spelling.
He still doesn't know that I know he's Superman. I have no intention of ever telling him I know. Nor do I intend to ever print a word of this. Even though it would be the best story to ever grace the front page of the Planet.
Some stories are worth sitting on. Knowing that is why I have this job. Not because I know how to yodel.