When life hands you lemons, make lemonade…or so the saying goes.
So when the ship's game room was closed due to some work being done on the electrical system…Cody had figured that he and his friends could find some other way to have fun.
Zack and Woody had balked a bit when he'd suggested a game of Trivial Pursuit, but with few other options for recreation available at the moment…they'd finally agreed to play. Cody had increased their level of interest slightly by suggesting a battle of the sexes, the three of them against Bailey, London and Maya. Masculine pride had required that Zack and Woody do their best to win.
But that was no easy task. At first the boys had thought they'd have a clear advantage over the ladies, but in addition to Bailey being a match for Cody's considerable intellect…Maya was proving to have no shortage of brain power herself. And London, who they'd believed would drag the girls' team down, was turning out to be an asset to her side whenever questions regarding trends, fashions or celebrities came up.
As a result, the pressure rose with each turn. The boys couldn't afford to miss any of their questions if they wanted to claim victory.
Thus it came as a relief when the topic for the next question, one directed towards Zack, was 'Super Heroes'.
"Besides Lois Lane, name three other women that Superman has been in love with." Bailey smiled as she finished reading. This question seemed pretty tough to her.
Zack's grin however was quite confident…with a touch of condescension.
"Lana Lang, Lori Lemaris and Llya Lerrol," he answered.
London laughed heartily. "Listen to him…making up weird names."
Bailey did not share her roommate's mirth however. "No, according to the card…those are the right answers."
"What?" Maya said in surprise as she took the card from Bailey to see for herself.
"Come on, that can't be a real answer," London protested as the three boys looked smug. "They're too weird."
"Well, they're not all supposed to be human names," Cody explained. "One is Kryptonian and the other is Atlantean."
London responded with a blank look.
"And what's with all the 'L's?" Maya asked. "They've all got the same initials."
"That shows up a lot in Superman comics," Woody answered.
"It's a recurring theme," Cody agreed. "Most likely starting out as coincidence by the earliest writers, and then played up and repeated once it had become noticeable."
"Well, I know Lana Lang from watching Smallville," Bailey said, referencing the television show. "But I've never heard of these others."
"Yeah, and what's Superman doing falling in love with so many different women?" Maya chimed in.
"Typical guy," London commented. "Can't be trusted."
"No, no…don't jump to conclusions," Zack said. "Superman met all these ladies at different times in his life."
"Yes," Cody went on. "You must know from Smallville that Superman grew up with Lana, who was his first girlfriend. After leaving home and going to college, he met Lori."
"They fell in love, but couldn't stay together," Woody continued. "Because she was a mermaid who was only there to learn about the surface world. Eventually she had to return to Atlantis."
"So Superman went to college with a mermaid?" Bailey asked incredulously.
"I bet they didn't go out dancing much," Maya cracked.
"Hey, it was very sad," Woody countered.
"But not as tragic as the doomed romance with Llya," Cody added.
"What was so tragic about it?" London asked.
"Superman got zapped back through time," Zack replied. "He ended up back on his home planet of Krypton before it exploded. Now back there he didn't have any of his superpowers and no way of getting back to Earth and the present day. He figures he's going to live out his life there as just an ordinary guy, and he meets Llya who's a famous Kryptonian actress."
"They had actresses on Krypton?" Maya interrupted.
"It was an advanced culture," Cody answered. "I'm sure they had a thriving theatrical community. Anyway, she and Superman fell in love and he even proposed to her."
"But before the wedding, Superman ends up accidentally blasted through a space warp back to the present day," Zack continued. "He gets his powers back and is returned to Earth."
"Though he returns with the knowledge that Llya, his bride-to-be, is now long dead," Cody concluded.
"Awwww," London said sadly.
"That is tragic," Bailey agreed. "Poor Superman."
"Still, it's a bit odd with everyone having the same initials," Maya said. "And wait a minute…those are Lex Luthor's initials too!"
"Symbolic perhaps of the thin line between love and hate," Cody theorized.
"Oh, it's all just goofy," London said in an annoyed tone. "Nobody would really be involved with so many people with the same initials."
"I don't know," Woody replied. "Look as Zack."
"What are you talking about, Woodchuck?" the elder of the Martin twins asked.
"Look at all the 'M's in your life," the larger teen responded.
"Wait a minute," Cody spoke up. "Woody's on to something. Your girlfriend is Maya. That's one M-name."
"And before her the only girl on the ship you ever got serious about was Marissa," Woody went on. "An M-name…and also a mermaid just like Lori Lemaris!"
"She wasn't really a mermaid," Zack objected.
"But there is an actual pattern here," Bailey said. "Because before you came on the ship, the one girl you always claimed to love was…Maddie."
"She's like your Lana Lang, dude," Woody told the increasingly uncomfortable Zack.
"Actually," Cody spoke again. "I'd say Maddie is more his Llya. Separated from Zack by time, or in Maddie's case...age. No, his Lana-equivalent would be Max."
"Can we drop all this and get back to the game?" Zack said testily. "I don't have any Lanas or Llyas or Loris in my life. I have Maya." He looked over to her and smiled. "And she's not my Lois Lane…she's my Supergirl."
Maya smiled back before leaning across the table to give her boyfriend a big kiss. The romantic moment was cut short however by the angry sound of an adult's voice approaching.
"You may not have a Lois Lane," Cody commented to his twin. "But you do have a Lex Luthor…it's Mr. Moseby!"
"And he's got an M-name too," Woody observed. "A double M-name! Marion Moseby!
The man in question rushed towards the table, his eyes focused on Zack. "I saw the mess you made in the Triton Lounge!"
"Triton Lounge?" Zack feigned innocence as he stood up and started a hasty retreat. "What's that? I've never been there. Especially not last night between nine-thirty and nine-forty-five!"
The other teens could only shake their heads as Mr. Moseby began chasing Zack around the deck. Then Bailey pointed out that the boys would have to forfeit the game since their team had lost a player…which caused Woody and Cody to join in the chase in a vain attempt to try and get Zack back to the table.
"That is sort of funny when you think about it," Bailey noted. "Zack's coincidences with 'M's being like Superman and 'L's."
"Hey," London said suddenly. "I'm like Superman's girlfriends. I'm an 'LL' too."
"But your last name is Tipton," Maya pointed out.
"Yes, but my middle name is Leah," the heiress responded. "London Leah…LL."
With an enthusiastic smile she looked towards the sky.
"Superman!" she called out. "Come here! You can date me! I know you can hear me…you've got super-hearing! We can go to one of my Daddy's coal mines and you can crush all the coal into diamonds for me!"
As she wandered off, still calling for Superman, Maya and Bailey could only laugh. They were still giggling when their friend Addison passed by. They eventually explained to her what they found so amusing.
"Although," Bailey finally said after the explanation had concluded. "I guess we can't blame London too much. If he were real, it would probably be great to date Superman."
Maya nodded but Addison shrugged.
"He'd be okay," the petite girl commented. "But imagine dating Wonder Woman instead. That would be awesome!"
She skipped off with a smile on her face…and Bailey and Maya could have sworn they heard her say: "I'm eighty-three pounds of pure Amazon power!"
The Ever-Loving End!
author's notes: A Christmas gift of a story for my friend SilverTurtle (I demand you go read and review all her stuff). This bit of goofy fun was inspired by the all the 'M' names in Zack's life…as well as a chance to show off some of my comic book geek credentials. It is odd how the women in Zack's life line up so well next to the women in Superman's.
Of course I had to show some love for Addison and her lesbian tendencies in the end. I mean...think about it...on the show she questioned the need for men in one episode, and exhibited a terrible fear of balls in another. Symbolic much? :P
Hope you found this somewhat amusing. Please review.