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Revelations- Chapter Seven

July 25th, 2009 (09:41 pm)
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I'm feeling: blank

Yes, I‘m late… really late. Two reasons: one being I had a truly horrible week (and I mean horrible) and the other being this was an extremely difficult chapter for me to write but I hope you enjoy it.

Chapter Seven: Not Who You Thought I Was

--

Lois woke up as Clark left, the familiar movement beside her pulling her slowly out of her dreams. “Hurry back,” she muttered sleepily, not even bothering to open her eyes as she felt her husband kiss her lightly as he did every time he had to leave.

The door closed behind him and Lois rolled over, intending to go straight back to sleep before she heard two more doors opened and close and muffled conversation in the living room. It almost sounded like Jason and maybe Sophie. That was odd, she thought, pulling the covers up higher, why would Jason and Sophie be here in the middle of the night?

“Oh, god,” she gasped, sitting up so fast she almost got whiplash. “Oh, god,” she repeated, burying her face in her hands as the events of yesterday flooded her mind.

She was still sitting like that when Clark returned almost half an hour later. She heard him land and quickly tried to pull herself together for him. She had no doubt he’d forgive her for a brief forgetful moment but he’d probably be far more hurt if she wasn’t waiting for him when he got back from his first public outing as a single person.

He came in and Lois only had to look at his face to know it was far worse than she’d thought. She didn’t wait for him to get changed like usual or even move at all, she just got up and put her arms around him, not saying a word. He wrapped his arms around her and pulled her closer.

They seemed to stay like that forever, just the two of them, finding comfort in each other’s arms and trying to forget the world outside and what they now knew. “They know,” Clark spoke so quietly she would have missed it if she hadn‘t felt his chest move. “They really know,” he repeated.

Lois stepped back so she could look at him properly. “We’ll get through this,” she promised.

“I thought-” Clark shook his head, “I kinda hoped it was just a nightmare or something,” he said quietly, “but they actually know.”

“What happened?” Lois asked, sensing that there was still more behind his words.

“The fire was arson,” Clark explained, “it was set by some reporters from the Inquisitor.”

“Oh my god.” Lois had been a reporter long enough to know that there were some people who’d do everything they could to get a story. “Was it-”

“It was bad,” he confirmed, “the death toll probably would have been in the double figures, but,” a hint of a smile flashed over his face, “at least I had some help this time.”

“I wish I could have seen them.” Lois smiled, trying to stay on the good things that had come out of the night. “Maybe now they’ll stop complaining about not being able to help.”

“Lois, he knew,” Clark repeated quietly, “the firefighter, he knew. We went down and he knew I was a reporter.”

“Well, it has been on the news all day,” Lois reasoned before realizing what Clark actually thought the firefighter had said. “Clark, Superman isn’t something you just made up, some dress up game you play when you get bored. You are Superman as much as you are Clark, and anyone who believes Superman would willingly endanger innocent people’s lives to get a picture or a story isn’t worth worrying about.”

Clark nodded, but Lois couldn’t tell if he was entirely convinced. “You’re right.”

--

On a school day it was hard to get any of the children up before they had to be out the door and on the bus. But today, even when Clark had promised to fly them which generally meant at least an extra half hour, everyone was up with the sun.

“You went out last night?” Lucy gaped at Dean and Sophie as they tried to eat breakfast. “Why didn’t anyone wake me?”

“You couldn’t have come anyway,” Sophie reminded her, putting down her half-eaten toast.

“But I could’ve watched it on TV,” Lucy said slowly as if she was explaining it to a small child.

“Luce, I’m pretty sure they’ll play it again, the media were practically in a feeding frenzy when they saw Dad wasn’t alone,” Dean assured her, staring his six slice of toast.

“How can you two eat on a day like this?” Sophie asked, looking at him and Chris with something close to disgust as they continued to fill their plates.

“We just put it in our mouth and chew,” Chris explained, “see?” He opened his mouth, revealing half his chewed breakfast and making the girls yell in disgust and his brother laugh.

“Chris, that is gross,” Lucy groaned.

Watching from the door of their bedroom, Lois couldn’t help a small chuckle. “Nice to have all the kids home again isn’t it?” she asked with more than a hint of sarcasm.

Clark didn’t reply and Lois turned to see him looking in the mirror and adjusting his hair for the hundredth time in the last minute. “I don’t know what to wear,” he said, still in the clothes he’d slept in last night. Or lay awake staring at the roof in. He turned to Lois looking so lost that her heart hurt for him.

Keeping the kids safe was one thing, but she knew better than anyone how much Clark had needed his secret to remain one. “Wear whatever you want,” Lois told him, “for once you don’t have to worry about what people see when they look at you. You can just be yourself, here, how about just wearing what you do at home, where everyone already knows who you are.” She reached in and pulled out a plain blue T-shirt and a pair of jeans.

“Do you think I should wear my glasses?” Clark asked, taking the clothes she’d chosen and changing in the blink of an eye.

“Do you want to?” Lois didn’t want to make all the decisions for him, no matter how nervous he was.

“I don’t know, everyone knows I don’t need them but-”

“You like hiding behind them,” Lois completed for him.

“Yeah.” Clark picked up the think frames off the dresser. “I’d feel… exposed without them. But I guess that’s what I am now,” he sighed, putting them back down. “No one likes being caught in a lie and I’ve just been exposed to the whole world as a liar and a fraud.”

“Clark, that’s not true,” Lois protested, feeling her jaw drop at the words. “No one thinks-” but she stopped abruptly. She’d been trying hard not to turn on the TV or radio but she had no doubt that’s exactly what some people were saying.

“Clark, you know most of those people are just speaking from ignorance. That’s why we’re doing this interview, so that we can tell them the truth, help them understand.”

It took another half and hour of gentle pushing but Lois finally managed to get Clark dressed and out into the kitchen to have breakfast. Or stare at his plate without eating anything, but one step at a time.

The knock on the door was so unexpected Lois almost dropped her plate. They’d gotten so used to their isolation In the last few hours that it was a shock to recall there were still people outside wanting to know what was going on.

“Who is it?” Chris demanded after a moment of silence. Lois wanted to know too, it was hard being the only two people in the family that couldn’t see though walls.

“It’s the Taylors,” Jason replied, squinting through the door.

“Are they angry?” Ella asked quietly, looking worried.

“Why would they be angry?” Sophie looked at her oddly. “It was hardly any of their business if Dad was Superman or not.”

“Is anyone actually going to answer it?” Lucy asked, making no move to do so but looking questioningly at the others.

“Oh, right,” Clark snapped out of his daze and headed for the door, seven pairs of eyes watching his every move.

“Hey, Owen, Tina, Kathy,” Clark greeted as he opened the door, nodding to

Mr. and Mrs. Taylor and their thirteen year old daughter.

The family stared at Clark for a moment before Kathy spoke. “You really do look different without your glasses, Mr. Kent.”

“Well that was kinda the point,” Clark chuckled nervously as Kathy’s parents continued to stare.

“I guess.” Kathy shrugged. “But you don’t really look like Superman either.”

“Katherine, that enough,” her father finally broke his silence and tore his eyes from Clark’s spectacle-free face to reprimand his daughter. It seemed rather unnecessary though and Clark wondered if he didn’t just want something to say.

“I was just making an observation,” Kathy protested, “besides, it’s not a secret anymore is it?”

“So it’s true then?” Tina burst out suddenly, sounding as if she’d been holding in the question all night. “you are really Superman.”

“Er, I guess,” Clark answered, suddenly less sure of himself as the three people on the other side of the door continued to stare intensely at him.

The Kents and Taylors had known each other for six years, ever since the Taylors had moved into the apartment across from them but Clark couldn’t shake the feeling they were now seeing a stranger when they looked at him.

“Mom, Dad, it’s rude to stare,” Kathy reminded her parents quietly.

“Oh, sorry,” Tina apologized, still not looking away, while Owen continued to stare with an unerving hint of hostility in his gaze. “but really, we had to come and ask,” Mrs. Taylor continued. “I mean you’re the reason most of this building can’t go anywhere today, Kathy’s school was understanding but our work wasn’t so much.”

“Wait, she doesn’t have to go to school?” Ella demanded, jumping up from the table and moving to stand beside her father. “We still have to go and we’re way more involved than she is.”

“Hey, I want to go,” Kathy told her, “do you know how cool it’ll be when everyone finds out I live next door to Superman.”

“Eleanor, you are going because you have the means to get there- Kathy does not,” Lois reminded her daughter.

“Well, we just came over to see if the fuss was justified really,” Tina admitted, seeming embarrassed by the explanation. Clark nodded in understanding, trying not to make eye-contact with a now-openly glaring Mr. Taylor.

“I’m surprised you’re all here though,” Kathy said, still not seeming phased at discovering her next-door neighbor and occasional babysitter flew around the world in tights and a cape. “I mean with all the stuff about Jason’s girlfriend and the crap about Sophie getting kicked out of Harvard-”

“What?” two voices cried at once, Jason and Sophie both rushing to the door.

“What’s happened with Evelyn?”

“Why am I going to get kicked out of Harvard? Is it because of that thing last month? ‘Cause that was totally not me.”

The Taylors looked rather frightened by the sudden barrage of questions. “It’s all over the news,” Kathy informed them, “haven’t you been watching?”

“Not really,” Clark admitted, really wishing he could just slip his glasses back on without looking strange. He couldn’t believe how naked he felt without them.

“Well you might want to check that out,” Owen suggested, his tone rather cold towards his neighbor. “We’ll be leaving you now, goodbye… Clark.”

Clark flinched at the last word, the name sounding almost like and insult and it hurt twice as much coming from someone he’d considered a friend. He closed the door and sighed. “I guess a lot of people don’t like being lied to,” he muttered.

“He’ll get over it, Mr. Taylor was always a bit weird if you ask me,” Sophie told him, “but getting back to more pressing issues, why am I getting kicked out of Harvard?”

“Dad,” Jason interrupted his sister’s rant quietly, “I know we said we’d go with you guys but-”

“Go,” Clark interrupted him, “we’ll survive without you and I know you won’t be able to think straight worrying about Evelyn anyway.”

Jason had shot out the window before anyone else could even talk. “He really does like her then, I guess,” Lois sighed.

“I should hope so,“ Sophie told her, “they’re getting married.”

“Unless she’d dumped him over all this crap,” Ella put in, “maybe that’s what all the stuff’s about on TV.”

“She already knew who he was,” Lucy reminded her.

“So? Now the paparazzi’s after her she might be reconsidering.”

“Dad, I think I have to go to,” Sophie told him regretfully as the twins continued to bicker in the background. “I really can’t afford to lose my place at Harvard, if something‘s happening I need to be there.”

“I know.” Clark kissed her lightly on the cheek. “Go.”

“Good luck,” she whispered, hugging him before following her brother out the balcony door.

“I guess it’s just you and me now, Superman,” Lois said with a sad sort of smile, coming over to stand with him.

“Just us?” Clark asked, “what about-”

“Dean’s agreed to take the kids to school,” Lois informed him quietly as they observed the usual chaos taking place at the breakfast table. “Ella’s apparently having a hard time with this and you know how close they are.”

Clark nodded, he could understand the other kids’ reactions to him and the reveal but Ella’s puzzled him. She’d always been the calm and happy one, avoiding conflict and trying to make sure everyone got on but now- now she seemed almost determined to make sure everyone was angry.

“It hadn’t even been a day yet, Clark,” Lois reminded him, following his gaze to their youngest daughter, “she just needs some time to get used to it.”

“Have a good day kids,” he called as they got their things ready, the words sounding strangely normal on a day he knew would be anything but.

“Whatever.” Ella shrugged and stalked out to the balcony, refusing to look at her father.

“Don’t worry, Dad.” Lucy saw him watching her sister. “We’ll be fine- maybe we’ll get a bit more attention than we’re used to but personally I look forward to it.”

“Are you sure?”

“Yeah, don’t sweat it,” she said with a shrug, “I was always going to be famous, I just didn’t think it would be this easy.” She grinned and practically skipped towards her brother.

“Easy?” Clark shook his head as he watched her go. “I don‘t think anything about this is going to be easy.”

--

“Are you ready?”

They were hovering above the Planet. Looking down she could just make out the huge crowd on the streets being held back from the door by security while police had given up trying to keep them off the road and were redirecting traffic instead.

Even people who worked in the building were having a difficult time getting in. Lois suspected many of them wouldn’t have even gone home, she had no doubt half the Planet would have pulled all-nighters. She could see most of them gathered on the roof, eyes skyward as they watched for the man who’d fooled them all for almost three decades.

“No,” Clark replied, apparently deciding honesty was the best policy. “I don’t think I’ll ever be ready for this.”

“We might as well get it over with,” Lois shifted slightly in his grasp so she would be facing her workmates when they landed.

…if they landed. “Clark, are we going down?” she asked when he didn’t move.

“I suppose we’ll have to go down sometimes,” Clark sighed, “should we do this fast or slow?”

Lois thought about it for a moment. “Fast,” she decided, “like ripping off a band-aid.”

The world blurred and there was a rush of air before Lois found herself standing beside their desks in an almost deserted bullpen. “That fast enough for you?” Clark raised an eyebrow and grinned slightly at her but refused to look up at any of the other people in the room, all of whom were staring at the pair with slack-jawed expressions.

“I meant down to the roof,” Lois grumbled, glaring at a copy boy nearby. “What are you looking at?”

“Oh, I was wondering when you guys were going to show,” a bright, cheerful and entirely unsurprised voice floated across the desks. “You’ve made quite a stir in the last twenty four hours.”

“We noticed,” Lois muttered dryly as the pair turned to face an amused looking Jimmy Olsen who immediately snapped a picture of them.

“Jeez, Jimmy a little warning next time,” Clark muttered as Lois blinked the flash out of her eyes.

“Could say the same to you too, CK,” the photographer replied, his cheerful demeanor slipping for a moment. “I mean, Sarah’s freaking out, not letting Alice go to school today and really annoyed I didn’t tell her about you.”

“Oh gosh, Jimmy, I’m really sorry-”

“Don’t,” Jimmy stopped him with a sigh, “it’s not really your fault I guess, I saw the footage and you did what you had to, but things have been so hectic here- I don’t think anyone’s gone home since it aired. I only just got out for Alice‘s big night, which was actually way more successful than we thought- in part because everyone found out she knew you.”

Clark shifted uncomfortably as Lois quizzed Jimmy on the events that had unfolded in the bullpen after Clark’s secret had been blown. He was highly aware that everyone in the room had their eyes pinned on him. And someone had gotten word to those on the roof that they had arrived. The crowd was making it’s way downstairs and most of them seemed angry.

“- the Planet’s being turned into a bit of a laughing stock by the other papers,” Jimmy was explaining, “apparently they’re all under the impression Clark Kent is pretty much Superman in glasses, I don’t think they get it yet.”

“Well, that is why we’re here.” Clark nodded, sitting down in his chair as the first reporters began coming back inside, wishing he could become just as invisible as he‘d always been. His desk was exactly the same as he’d left it the previous day, the normality of it was just a little unnerving.

“So, Clark, no glasses today then?” Polly from Lifestyle was the first one to pass their desks and the first one to have the courage to say anything. The rest were either staring at Clark’s naked face with open disbelief or shooting glares at him from behind their desks. “Or do you prefer Superman now?” she asked, tilting her head and raising an eyebrow as if daring him to deny it.

The hushed whispers stopped almost instantly as the entire room listened in. Clark wasn’t sure how to answer it but he didn’t have to as Ralph jumped in before he could reply. “Don’t listen to him, he’ll just lie to everyone again, like he‘s been doing for the last twenty years.”

“Hey,“ Jimmy jumped in to defend his friend, “hardly anything CK said was a lie, he really did grow up in Kansas.”

“But he was born on a different planet,” someone else yelled back, “guess he left that part out of his resume.”

“And now look what you’ve done, we’re the laughing stock of the world for not seeing through a pair of glasses.”

“What did you get some sort of sick pleasure from tricking us?”

“And that’s the last time anyone believes anything you say, Lois,” Gil called out, glaring at her, “claiming you never did Superman while you went ahead and married him behind everyone’s backs.”

That did it for Clark, they could insult him as much as they wanted but no one was allowed to insult the integrity of his wife.

Enough!” His deep voice carried across the whole bullpen as he stood up to his full height, staring at his colleagues. The silence was instant and expressions of anger and distrust morphed into fear and awe as they found themselves staring at a very different Clark Kent from the one they knew. “I accept that you have questions and I do intend to answer them and I accept that you feel I lied to you and I did, to an extent,” he admitted, the whole room hanging on his every word, “but I am Clark Kent, Superman is just something I do, until now I felt that it was necessary to keep that a secret for the protection of my wife and children. Yes, you may feel betrayed and tricked but,” he glared at Gil in particular, “I will not stand by and let you insult my wife because she wanted to protect my secret.”

Our secret,” Lois reminded him, “don’t think you’re getting rid of me that easily, Mr. Kent.”

“Hey, I’m not paying you lot to stand around doing nothing,” Perry’s voice cracked over the bullpen, making everyone jump. He’d only just stuck his head out of his office but Clark had absolutely no doubt the old man knew exactly what had just happened. “We’ve got a story to write.”

“They’re right here, Chief,” Jimmy called as everyone tried to busy themselves while still shooting glances at the couple.

“Good.” Perry nodded as he looked at his two star reporters turned story of the century. “Now we can get started.”

--

A/N: I know quite a few of you were expecting the interview this chapter and I was planning on it but I didn’t feel like I could give it the attention it deserved at the moment (see ‘horrible week’ in previous A/N) and I think it fits better in its own chapter.

Reviews are love.

Comments

Posted by: Barbara (htbthomas)
Posted at: August 3rd, 2009 05:35 pm (UTC)
Awkward Jimmy

Excellent! The anger and dismay was just perfect here.

Posted by: Grace (repmetsyrrah)
Posted at: August 5th, 2009 09:44 am (UTC)
SR; Jimmy; Disbelief

Thanks! I think the people who knew Clark are feeling the most betrayed right now. But the rest of the world is soon going to want a piece of it.

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