Not Because I Know How to Yodel

Part VI

Nefertiri's Handmaiden

Disclaimer: I don't own Superman. Why won't you believe me???

Note: Clark knows that Perry knows. Busted.


I always thought I could keep a secret.

I was wrong.


It happened one day when Lois and Jimmy were off on a story. Jason was, as usual, at Kent's desk. He had some crayons in his hands, but he wasn't drawing. He was talking intently to Kent, who had a fond smile on his face and nodded every few moments.

Then the news report came on.

A pretty blonde reporter with a serious look on her face was standing in screen. Behind her in the distance, there was a volcano erupting.

"…The residents of the island are still here, completely unprepared for this eruption. As you may know, Mt. Kickachu has lain dormant for almost a hundred years, and villages are spread halfway up the side of the volcano. At this moment, hundreds are trapped in these small villages, unable to escape due to the rivers of molten lava now streaming down the mountainside…"

My gaze shot to Kent. His face was a mask of worry, and he kept looking from Jason to the television screen and back. In a second, I realized what was wrong. He didn't want to leave Jason alone, but he needed to go.

The words were out of my mouth before I could help it. "Damn it, Kent! Go! I'll watch him!" He met my eyes in shock for a moment. "Go!" I repeated loudly. He nodded, turned, and almost sprinted toward the elevator, pulling at his tie.

I went to his desk and sat down in his chair. Jason looked at me seriously. I looked right back. Then he smiled and went back to his coloring.

I'd blown my cover now, hadn't I?

I expected Kent would want to talk when he got back.


Later that day, Kent was still dealing with Mt. Kickachu while Jason was playing with his Batman and Superman figurines on the floor of my office. I had decided to cut Kent a break and bought the Superman action figure for Jason the week before. Jason had fallen in love with it instantly.

"Let's go fight the Joker, Superman!" said Jason, shaking the Batman. Then he lowered his squeaky little voice to imitate Superman. "You're right, Batman! We gotta stop his evil plan! Whoosh," he said enthusiastically, making the little Superman fly away, providing sound effects with a passion. I smiled at him.

My office door opened and Lois came in. "Mommy!" said Jason, "Superman and Batman are fighting the Joker!"

She smiled at him. "Really?"

"Yeah! And Superman's gonna use his x-ray eyes to find the Joker's secret hiding place!"

"Wow! That's pretty neat."

"Superman is so cool."Lois grinned even wider. "He sure is, Jason. Hey, can you go sit at my desk and play there while I talk to Uncle Perry?"

Jason stood, gathering his toys. "Sure thing, Mommy!"

He exited the office, and Lois turned to me. "Where's Clark?"

I looked at her steadily. "He had to go."

"Go?"

"Yes. Go." I looked at the TV, where Superman was still rescuing natives from drowning in a river of lava. "He probably won't be back for about another hour."

She looked at me suspiciously, and then nodded. "Anyway, about my story…"


I estimated fairly well. Kent returned an hour and twenty minutes later, straightening his tie and running a hand through his hair. He stopped only briefly to ruffle Jason's hair and gently kiss Lois 'hello' and mutter to something to her before heading straight for my office with a determined stride. There was no trace of the timid, clumsy Clark Kent here. It was Superman coming to see me.

I leaned back comfortably in my chair.

Busted.

He came in without knocking and stood before my desk, standing up straight and crossing his arms in a very Superman-y fashion.

"Chief, I think we need to talk." He was using his Superman voice.

"No, we don't," I answered calmly.

His eyes widened in surprise at my answer, and then narrowed in suspicion. "We don't?" Looking at him now, I couldn't believe I had ever thought he was nothing more than Clark Kent.

"No. We don't. I don't print stories that ruin the lives of good men, Kent. Besides, I like having you reporting for this newspaper."

He stared at me intently. Great Cesar's Ghost, he was an intimidating man. It took all the confidence I'd amassed in all my years of reporting to keep eye contact with Superman. Then he seemed to come to an internal conclusion and smiled widely.

"You're a good man, Perry White."

I just raised an eyebrow. He laughed and headed back toward the bullpen. Before he exited my office, I called him back. "Kent."

He turned to face me. "Yeah, Chief?"

I couldn't help it. I grinned. "Would you like a desk closer to the door?"