Superman: If The Cape Fits… Chapter 9 part 1
This stunt had to be coordinated exactly to make it work, Lois thought as she hustled from the elevator to the Daily Planet's seventh floor newsroom. "Morning, Jimmy! What's new in the world?" She asked the young Jimmy Olsen as she sped over to her cubicle and flipped on her desktop computer.
"Not a darn thing, Lois!" Jimmy said formally. "The chief and the big shots on the top floor had a bit of a smack down yesterday." The young photojournalist gossiped. "That's hardly news, Jimmy. They throw down several times per week with the way the newspaper publishing industry is going." Lois added.
Hopefully, this will change all that, she thought as she nervously checked her watch, the gold watch that her father, General Lane gave her as a wedding present after he had served thirty years in the armed service. Clark and Lois had decided that the direct approach would be best. Originally, Clark and Kara were just supposed to do a slow fly by for everyone to see. Clark decided to up the ante.
Lois scurried into the seventh floor ladies room and contacted Clark, stating that she was in position. Here we go! Clark texted back. Lois quickly primped and preened, knowing that all eyes would be upon her shortly. She took a deep breath and exited the washroom on countdown. Ten, nine, eight…she mentally ticked off the seconds, adjusting her pace accordingly.
Clark soared in towards Perry White's corner office. Perry was adjusting the wording on his computer monitor, when a large shadow was cast across the floor within the reflection of the early morning sun. Clark rapped lightly on the window. Perry glanced up from his monitor and slowly turned towards the moving shadow. Clark's cape had been fluttering in the wind. Perry gawked at the sight.
"Great Caesar's ghost!" Perry exclaimed as he quickly reached for his heart, which pounded rapidly. "Mr. white? Can I come in?" Clark spoke loudly through the closed windows. "Sorry to startle you." He added. Perry paled, and struggled to regain his composure. "Uh…sure…can you use the door?" He stuttered. "I would, but the media will be all over the place, and I promised Miss Lane an exclusive." Clark explained as he and Lois had rehearsed. "Oh yeah…right. Thanks for that." Perry swallowed hard.
"I'll just try the front office." Clark stated as he flew around the next two corners of the building. Perry's gaze followed the young flying man as he passed in front of the remaining windows. Lois had conveniently left the window latch opened at the midpoint of the row of window panes that blanketed the south city view. Clark found it and carefully swung the frame open, stepping inside.
"Oh my gosh!" Lois shouted as she reached the exact center of the newsroom. "It's him! It's the super man!" Cat Grant gasped, dropping her latte on the floor in front of her. "Superman?" She echoed as she appraised Clark's body. "That seems to fit!" she flirted. Jimmy grabbed his camera and darted beside Lois. By now, Perry had entered the fray, trying to look like he was in control of his emotions.
"Do you mind if we call you Superman?" Lois played dumb as she cautiously approached the embarrassed man of steel. "If you think that it will stick." Clark pretended to be uninterested in the moniker. "I actually had been searching for a friendlier nickname." He admitted. "Something less mysterious or negative." Lois nodded, staring at him like a stunned schoolgirl.
Obviously, all of the newsroom activity came to a screeching halt. It was just past nine AM and most of the Daily Planet employees were in the building. Save for one rather conspicuous absence. "Lane! Where the hell is Kent?" Perry bellowed. "Oh yeah chief, sorry. Clark called that he was stuck in traffic on I9." Lois lied convincingly. "He ought to be here shortly."
Max Carlyle, from Editorial, nearly choked on his powdered donut. He gaped at Superman, who strolled confidently toward Lois. She pretended to back away a bit, feigning fright. "Miss Lane, you asked for an interview?" Clark lowered his voice a bit and slowed his approach. "Yes, thanks. Um…where should I start?" Lois faked stuttering. Just then, Kara flew in the window, and landed behind Clark.
"Great shades of Elvis!" Perry exclaimed. "It's the Super Girl!" Jimmy pointed excitedly. Kara smiled brightly at everyone, greeting them with a warm "Hello." Cat Grant looked disappointed. "It figures! She's probably his wife or girlfriend." The young fashion reporter whined.
"Actually, Super Girl is my cousin." Clark announced loud enough for all to hear. "They've decided to call me Super Man. I suppose that I have you to thank for that." He gently teased Kara. "Whatever gets you up in the morning." Kara returned the barb. "Uh Superman, Supergirl, can I trouble you for some pictures?" Jimmy asked politely. "Sure." Kara stepped uncomfortably close to Jimmy, who began to sweat. "Jimmy!" Perry scolded. "It's okay Mr. White." Clark said diplomatically. "Just a few." He added.
Clark and Kara stood arm in arm in the middle of the room, both cracking cheesy smiles. Jimmy snapped a few on his old fashioned camera, and followed up with his digital one. Lois playfully stood in between Clark and Kara for a couple more shots, and then Jimmy grabbed one photo of Clark and Perry shaking hands, followed by another photo op with Kara, who seemed not to be camera shy at all.
"How about one or two of you, Jimmy?" Lois played her part well. "If they don't mind." The eager young photojournalist said. "No problem." Clark stated courteously. Jimmy stood in between Kara and Clark, and he noted that the visitors seemed to give off a lot of body heat. Jimmy began to sweat, but it certainly could've been caused by all the excitement, or being that close to Kara. Lois snapped some shots. Clark and Kara exchanged glances. It was time for part two of the stunt, Clark thought.
"Miss Lane, maybe we'd better conduct the interview elsewhere?" Clark suggested, as a few of his slicked back hairs departed from the norm and began to curl. "I mean we are disrupting the Daily Planet business routine." Superman fed her the cue. It was time to go, and let Clark Kent appear.
"Sure." Lois agreed. "If it's alright with you, Mr. White?" Perry had momentarily forgotten that Lois was addressing him. "Yes. Wonderful, whatever it takes." He managed to choke out. "Uh…Superman? Where do we send the payment checks for the interview?" Perry added. "That won't be necessary, Mr. White." Clark turned the fee down gallantly. "Just donate any fees or other compensation to The Metropolis Homeless Children Fund." He stated loud enough for everyone to hear.
This brought out a round of applause from the Daily Planet newsroom staff. "Same for me." Kara added after the din died down. "Oh! I have to go!" Supergirl had planned her exit earlier. This was Clark's moment, and she would have her interview later, as a follow up story from the Daily Planet.
"Go?" Jimmy asked, unable to keep the disappointment from his voice. "Yes, James, I have people to help, remember?" Kara smiled sweetly as she spoke, and floated upward towards the newsroom ceiling, amid gasps from the staff. She'd nearly upstaged her cousin with the display, but they'd already had everything choreographed, including timely exits.
Kara waved as she went horizontal and flew right back out the window as Jimmy snapped a few more action shots. Perry and the newsroom shared an uncomfortable momentary silence. "Um…Superman, I just have to ask…where exactly are you two from?" Perry's eyes narrowed.
"Let's just say that we're not from around here." Clark said evasively, and lowered his voice. "I see." Perry swallowed hard, running all of the implications through his mind. "Miss Lane? Are you ready?" Clark smirked, thoroughly enjoying his new public role playing.
"Yes, sure." Lois froze in place as Clark approached her, picked her up into his arms, and nodded towards Perry. "I'll have her back as soon as possible." He needled. Lois wrapped her arms around his thick neck, and Superman went slightly horizontal, carrying Lois carefully out the window.
Clark flew slowly above the building, allowing the newspaper staff, who had all rushed to the window, a good long look at his trajectory. Clark flew in the opposite direction from Smallville, over Metropolis Bay. Kara followed at a short distance behind them.
Clark had only been flying for a few months now, surprising Lois on their wedding night with a star filled, moonlit flight above the Kansas cornfields, past Gotham City's dark and foreboding skyscrapers, eventually circling back over Metropolis's contrastingly well-lit skyline.
"I'm still not used to you being able to defy gravity, Clark." Lois remarked as the wind whistled past her. She risked a glance downward towards Metropolis's bustling streetscape. Most people were blissfully unaware of the unusual aerial feats taking place high above them. Very few pedestrians paid any mind to the airborne aliens, their attention being wrapped up in their I Pods, texting messages or chatting on cell phones. "If you drop me, Smallville, kryptonite or not, I'm going to kill you!" Lois playfully warned.
"I won't drop you, Lois." Clark reassured her. "Besides, Kara was right behind us. She wouldn't let anything happen to you. Are you ready to do a slow fly by where the denizens of Metropolis can see us?" He asked. "Go for it, sweetie." Lois encouraged.
Clark turned his shoulder slightly downward and banked lower, nearing the tops of the higher skyscrapers. He made it a point to buzz past the upper floors of the Luthor Corp Tower across from the Daily Planet. Lex and Tess glanced out the window at the surreal scene.
Tess Mercer had chosen to keep a close eye on her brain damaged step brother. Lex, Clark's archrival, allegedly remembered little or nothing about his checkered past. Tess had given Lex his own database with carefully selected false information to draw his learning experience from.
"Now I have seen everything!" Tess remarked as Lex gawked at the bizarre sight. "Doesn't that guy resemble Clark Kent?" Lex asked suspiciously. "I don't see it, Lex." Tess said confidently.
"All the same, I wonder if Kent knows that his newlywed wife is sailing over Metropolis with a stranger, a very strange man indeed." Lex grumbled. "That ought to provide for some interesting conversations at the dinner table!" Tess commented cynically, playing her role expertly. They watched Clark, Lois, and Kara zip across the skyline, occasionally dipping low enough for all to see.
Clark doubled back and set Lois down atop the Daily Planet rooftop. He spun back into his work clothes, concealing the bright blue Superman outfit beneath a fairly common and inexpensive blue dress shirt, topping it off with a red power tie, and black Docker pants.
After a quick reminder from Lois, Clark donned the fake black rimmed eyeglasses, and brushed his lengthy hair forward, allowing Lois to fluff it up for him. "How do I look?" Clark asked as he struck a pose. "As geeky as ever, Smallville." She replied sarcastically. "Good. I guess that I'm on!" He said before briefly kissing Lois and slipping back into the Daily Planet newsroom via the supplies closet.
Within moments, Perry bellowed into the newsroom. "Kent! Where the hell have you been?" Clark casually strolled towards his desk opposite Lois's cubicle. "Sorry chief! I called Lois to let her know that I was stuck in traffic." Perry rolled his eyes at him. "Did I miss anything? Where's Lois?" Clark pretended to sound panicky. Jimmy Olsen walked up to Clark and rubbed his broad shoulder.
"I don't know how to tell you this, CK, but Lois took off with another man." The eager young photojournalist needled. "That's not funny, Jimmy." Clark scowled as he spoke. "I'm serious, Clark. Check this out." Jimmy handed him the digital pictures of Superman, Supergirl, and Lois.
"We should have discussed this first." Clark grumbled as Jimmy finished his presentation. "The Blur, uh, Superman, didn't give her any time to call you." He defended his colleague. "Superman?" Clark echoed in a distasteful tone. "That sounds a bit grandiose, don't you think?" He added, playing the hurt, conservative, husbandly role. "The dude can fly, CK!" Jimmy exclaimed.
"It has to be some kind of trick, Jimmy." Clark downplayed the incident. "The Blur never flew, as far as I know." Jimmy shrugged. "The Supergirl can fly, and guess what? She's his cousin!" He added. "Kent! Get with the program!" Perry bellowed from the area just outside of his office. "If you had been here earlier, maybe you could have hitched a ride with that Supergirl!" The Editor in Chief taunted.
"That hardly seems appropriate, Chief!" Clark argued in a measured tone. "It wouldn't have stopped Lois!" Perry prodded, as Clark edged away from his line of sight. By now, the rest of the newsroom, with the exception of Jimmy, had gone back to their cubicles. Some immediately jumped on their phones, E mails, or texts, eager to notify friends and loved ones about the arrival of Superman and Supergirl.
Jimmy patted Clark on the back. "Tough luck, CK!" He empathized. "Maybe Lois will let you share a byline, if you help her research the stories." Cat Grant couldn't resist pushing Clark's buttons as she teased him. "Oh Lois, you got some 'splaining to do!" She said in a loud, exaggerated Latino accent.
Part 2 is on the way for next week!