By: Laura Davies AKA. BrightFeather email@example.com
Finished: July 2002
All the usual disclaimers apply. <g> Thanks to my BRs,
Helen, Fortran, and Tricia. And to the gentle readers on Zoom's
message boards and to the gangon IRC...without ya'll, this might have
never gotten finished.
Lois woke with a start. She glanced over at the clock and shivered: 2
AM. It was far too cold to be sleeping without blankets, but Clark
could be a restless sleeper, and it looked as if he has kicked them off
somewhere...again. She shivered, unwilling to get up and search for the
blankets; they could be anywhere.
Lois rolled over and smiled tenderly at her sleeping husband. Glad that
there had been no late night calls, she gently brushed a lock of hair
away from his temple. <Well>, Lois thought, <There are other
ways to get warm>. Lois cuddled next to her sleeping husband. She
twined her legs in his, threw an arm around his waist, and laid her
head on his chest.
Clark shifted a bit in his sleep and put an arm around her. Lois smiled
sleepily. She loved how he responded to her needs...even in his sleep.
Her last conscious thought before she drifted off to sleep was that
this was exactly where she belonged; exactly where she wanted to be.
Clark struggled out of sleep to the annoying buzz of the alarm clock.
"Lois honey," he said, kissing her softly,
"Time to get up."
Lois yawned and said sleepily, "I wish you would wake me like that
every morning." Clark said laughingly, "as you wish, milady!"
Perry sat in his office and stared off into space, thinking. <How am
I ever going to get Lois and Clark to go on this interview? >, He
wondered. <Clark will do it but Lois! She hates *fluff* pieces! >
Perry sighed; he had the feeling that there was something more to this
than a simple artist's interview. After all, he'd changed this
particular artist's diapers; he could always tell when she was hiding
something from him; something that was probably dangerous. She didn't
want to be protected, but he couldn't help himself; he was a
Southerner, and by Elvis' favorite cape it just went against the grain
to let any of *his* women-folk put themselves in danger! Elvis hadn't
let Priscilla stick out her neck, so why should he let his niece do the
same? <Lois does it all the time>, the traitorous voice in the
back of his head informed him. He knew that, <but *Lois* had Clark
looking out for her, and she could take care of herself! >, Perry
thought, <Lois and her partner were going to do this job--he would
just have to wait a bit to break the news. By Elvis, he *would*
have his way with Lois...or else! >
Clark glanced over at his wife. She was sitting on the passenger side
of the Jeep, staring at him. She had that mischievous smile on her face
that said they had better get to work soon or they would be seriously
Clark pulled the car into the Planet's garage. "Honey, we're here," he
"Hmmm? Oh, sorry," she said, "I was just thinking."
Lois smiled at Clark and his heart turned over. It still amazed him;
Lois, his wonderful, smart, beautiful wife. All she had to do was
smile...and he was a goner.
Lois reached for Clark's hand as they walked towards the elevator. As
the doors closed, she linked her arms around his neck. "I love you
Clark," she whispered. "I love you too," he said as he brought his lips
down on hers. Suddenly, they were conscious of applause and
wolf-whistles as the doors of the elevator opened up into the newsroom.
Perry sat in his quiet, brightly-lit office and smiled as he heard the
applause coming from the newsroom. "LOIS, CLARK IN MY OFFICE NOW!", he
shouted. Lois and Clark exchanged a worried glance. What had they
done now? Feeling like cookie thieves with hands caught in the cookie
jar, they frantically dumped their belongings at their desks and went
inside Perry's lair.
"Lois and Clark, I have an assignment for you," Perry said gruffly.
"I've got an up-and-coming young artist that I want you to interview."
"Chief, you know I don't do *fluff* pieces!" Lois exclaimed, as she
paced back and forth across the room. "Isn't that more within Ralph's
purview? Besides, interviewing artists is the art critic's job! Since
when did I become an art critic? I have some major stories to work on!
I'm an investigative reporter for heaven's sake! A *fluff* piece? You
have *got* to be kidding!!!"
A look of patience crossed Clark's face. From Perry's expression, there
was no doubt who would eventually win.
"Great shades of Elvis!" Perry thundered, throwing his hands upward in
a plea for patience. "Lois I am *not* going to send Ralph to do this
interview! You already know the artist...her name is Rebekah Petersen;
she's my niece, my sister's daughter."
"Perry," Lois growled, "I don't care if she's Andy Warhol! I'm not
"*Yes, you *are*" Perry stated with quiet certainty. "There's more to
this interview than meets the eye; Rebekah's hiding something from
me...I smell news, and you're going to find out what it is. It's more
likely she'd tell you anyway; ya'll *were* friends after all!"
Lois thought for a minute and finally gave in...the name did sound
familiar. "Rebekah?" Lois looked puzzled for a moment, but
comprehension suddenly dawned on her face. "Chief, you don't mean Beky,
do you?" Lois asked. She turned to Clark; "Rebekah and I did our
internships here at the Planet. If I remember correctly, she was only
fourteen at the time...a really old fourteen. She was really more like
a kid sister than anything else...I was closer to her than I was to
Perry smiled, "Yep, that's the one."
"But Chief, I thought that Beky was a writer..." Lois trailed off.
"Among *other* things," Perry smirked, "she's not your run-of-the-mill
artist. Bekah is represented by every major gallery from here to New
York City and from New York to Atlanta. Stick around...she'll be here
Lois and Clark exchanged a look. "Okay Chief," they said
As Clark and Lois walked out of Perry's office, Clark let out a yell,
Jimmy ran up to the pair and said, "Yes, CK, Lois?"
"Jimmy," Clark said quietly, "I want you to dig up everything you can
on a Rebekah Petersen."
"I'm on it CK," Jimmy said as he headed to his computer terminal.
Jimmy looked up from his research as the elevator door opened and a
girl walked out. The way she was dressed, she sure didn't look like she
belonged in a newsroom. Jimmy stared at her for a moment, uncertain
what to do. Tall and stocky, the girl was dressed in carpenter-style
overalls, a brightly tie-dyed T-shirt, and open-toed sandals. Her long,
sun-streaked light brown hair was gathered into two thick braids that
fell past her waist. Jimmy walked up to her and cleared his throat.
"Excuse me, miss, but can I help you?" he asked.
"I'm here to see the Editor," the girl said with a slow smile. Jimmy
met her eyes just in time to see laughter lurking in the gray-green
depths. "I'll ssshow yyou to hhis office," Jimmy stammered. He felt his
neck begin to turn red at her level regard. He'd never heard an accent
like hers before...a soft Southern drawl that sent tingles up and down
his spine. <It's so smooth>, he thought, as he led her toward
"Hhhhere's hhhis office," said Jimmy, stammering slightly.
"Thank you," the girl smiled at him. Jimmy started to feel the
beginnings of a crush...and he didn't even know her name! He *had* to
find out more about her.
The girl stuck her head into Perry's office. "Uncle Perry," she
exclaimed laughingly and ran over to give him a hug. <*Uncle* Perry?
>, Jimmy thought <Wow! I?ll have to carefully as I go about this!
>, thought Jimmy as he walked away, shaking his head, lost in
"Great shades of Elvis, Rebekah, you're *early*!" Perry exclaimed as he
returned the embrace. "C'mon, there are some people I want you to
meet." Perry took Rebekah's hand and led her over to Lois and Clark's
Clark looked up as he heard Perry approaching. "Hi, Chief," he said,
causing Lois to divert her attention from the computer screen. Clark
stood up and walked over.
"Clark, I want you to meet m'niece, Rebekah. Lois, I'm sure you
remember her. Rebekah, this is Lois Lane and Clark Kent."
"*Rebekah*?" Lois questioned incredulously.
"Yep, it's me," Rebekah smiled mischievously, "I remember you as being
Lois laughed, "Well, as I remember it, you were considerably shorter,
so we're even! Clark, come and stand next to Beky for a minute." Lois
looked as both of them and then nodded in satisfaction. "I thought so,"
she said, "Beky, you're only about half an inch shorter than my husband
and partner here."
"He's your husband?" Rebekah said, looking Clark up and down. "Darlin'"
you sure got lucky! What happened to the Lois
I'm-never-getting-married-until-I-get-a-Pulitzer Lane that I know and
love?" Mischief and laughter danced in Rebekah's eyes as she walked
over to Lois, grabbed her the lapels of her coat and exclaimed, "Who
are you and what have you done with my best friend?" Lois laughed and
"I'm still the same Lois...only I met him." Lois said, her eyes
softening as she looked at her handsome husband.
Rebekah grinned, "okay, you're gonna have to tell me everything! Now
Lois, don't get that look on your face...y'know, the one that says that
you're gonna leave stuff out! After all, it's your own fault for not
staying in touch!"
Lois laughed suddenly, "all right already!" she said, " I admit, I
could have answered your letters."
"Yes you could have,' Rebekah said laughingly. Rebekah's face started
to look more serious. "I could have kept writing you too..."
Clark's face suddenly took on that familiar, abstracted look. "Lois,"
he began. Lois interrupted, "Clark, could you please go check on
that source for me so that Beky and I can talk?"
Clark smiled, "Sure sweetheart," he said. As Clark ran toward the door
loosening his tie, Rebekah turned toward Lois, took a deep breath, and
said, "Lois there's more to this interview than Uncle Perry let you
Lois stared at her friend in disbelief. "What do you mean Rebekah?",
she asked quietly.
Rebekah took a deep breath, closed her eyes and began to explain.
?Lois, Uncle Perry knows nothing about this. See, I came to Metropolis
because I have three gallery openings in the next three months...and I
was following a story. I have details, but I think that Clark should be
in on this too...he is your partner after all, and this may be the
biggest story to hit the art world in twenty years." Rebekah looked at
her closest friend uncertainly. Lois was as close to her has she'd ever
let anyone get...arm's length was close enough. ?Lois, will you and
Clark please help? I haven't really done much investigative reporting
since out internship 11 years ago; when I've written for papers it's
been as a feature writer."
Lois knew that her friend was serious. After all, it had been Rebekah
who taught her how to 'dangle above the jaws of death like an hors
d'oeuvre.' Strangely enough, Rebekah, at all of 14, had taught her how
to be totally fearless in the face of danger. <It?s strange how one
person can make a difference>, Lois thought soberly. It was Bekah
who had been there for her after Claude...who, even after they had
pretty much lost touch, continued to send notes and cards that showed
up during the darkest times of her life. Lois felt like she owed
her...it's why her first Kerth had been dedicated to Bekah...and
Rebekah's friendship had made it a bit easier for her to open up to her
best friend, soul mate, and husband, Clark. "Rebekah, how can we not
help? Even after we lost touch, you've always been my friend. Besides,"
mischief lit Lois's eyes, "Clark thinks I get into trouble now; wait
until he sees what kind of trouble the *two* of us manage to stir up!"
Rebekah looked at Lois, trying to suppress the explosion of laughter
that threatened to well up. Lois's evil smile matched her own at they
both remembered their internship days as the 'Troublesome Two'.
Together, they had gotten into more trouble than the twenty or thirty
years of past interns put together! The laughter was all Rebekah's
fault; she lost it...apparently it was infectious because the next
thing she knew, Lois was laughing so hard that tears were rolling down
Clark flew back to the Planet. He had been lucky; out of a twelve-car
pile up, no one had been seriously hurt. He thought about Rebekah, and
wondered why Lois had never mentioned her. Clark saw the Planet and
speeded up so that no one would see him approach. He landed on the
roof, spun into normal clothes, and walked down into the newsroom.
Riotous laughter greeted him. He grinned to himself as he walked over
to his wife and her old friend.
"What's so funny?", he asked, still smiling.
"Nothing much, Clark," Lois gasped, 'Just an old
joke...resurfacing." At Lois's comment, Rebekah began to giggle
harder. After all, neither she nor Lois were going to let Clark know
what kind of trouble they were going to get him into...yet.
After a few minutes, the girls settled down. "Lois and Clark," Rebekah
began, "I have something I need to tell ya'll. Is there someplace we
can go to talk? There are just too many listening ears here..."
Lois and Clark exchanged a glance. "How about the Conference Room?'
they said in unison.
Rebekah nodded wearily, "That'll do."
Once in the Conference Room, Rebekah began to pace back and forth
nervously. ?You may not believe this. The police didn't. They said that
the pressure that I've been under since forever was finally getting to
me. I guess they just don't like to hear about crimes that have been
going on under their noses in cities worldwide for practically years.
I'm not exactly sure where to start telling you this...very strange
story." Rebekah paused for breath as Clark started to laugh.
"Let me guess," he said with a chuckle, "Lois's babbling rubbed off on
you!" The three of them laughed a little, dispelling the tension
in the room.
"Let me start again." Rebekah said finally. ?For the past few years,
there has been a rash of Art Gallery fires. These fires always take
place the night after a show opens featuring a major artist. I started
looking into them after four of my shows got burned out. There are a
few really strange facts about these fires; there are never signs of
arson, and there are never any traces of the artwork found in the
ruins. To make matters worse, I've seen some of it show up in museums
and private collections."
Clark let out a slow whistle. "Are you sure?" he asked.
"Positive. Three years ago, one of my first pieces was accepted into a
major show. The night after the opening, the gallery burned to the
ground, and all of the pieces in it disappeared," Rebekah paused and
continued softly, "That missing piece of mine is now in the
Metropolis Museum of Art valued at 2.4 million dollars."
Lois stared at her friend in shock, < how could something little
Beky made be worth that kind of money? >, She thought. Finally,
after taking a deep breath, Lois said, "I think you're right...this is
big!" Lois smiled; this was *huge*.
"Ya'll are gonna need my contacts so that people'll talk to you,"
Rebekah continued, "therefore, we're gonna have to figure out some way
to con Uncle Perry to assign me to the art beat. Any ideas?"
"Well," Clark began, "we do already have an art critic..." It was then
that the screaming started. Clark listened intently for a moment and
then smiled crookedly. He looked over at Lois and gave a tiny, almost
imperceptible shake of his head. This time, no one required a rescue.
By unspoken accord, the three of them walked out into the newsroom to
find the source of the screams. A glance toward Perry's office revealed
all. A strangely dressed little man paced back and forth, waving a pink
slip and gesticulating wildly as he heaped abuse upon the editor. "At
least, we *had* an art critic," Clark amended as Planet Security came
in to drag the little man away.
"Excuse me for a moment," Rebekah murmured, "But I think I had better
go apply for a job..." Rebekah walked toward Perry's office, wishing
she had a resume with her. "Uncle Perry," she said softly. Perry looked
up from his desk.
"What can I do you for darlin'?" he asked.
"Uncle Perry, it's come to my attention that you need a new art
critic...I'd like to stay in Metropolis for a while, so I'd like to
offer my services."
Perry smiled to himself. He would *love* to have his beloved niece
working with him, but there *were* formalities to be considered.
"Honey, that's nice, but what kind of experience do you have?"
Rebekah sighed and wished, just this once, he'd go easy on her. "Uncle
Perry, I'm afraid I don't have my resume on me today, but I was the
critic for the Atlanta Journal and Constitution last year and the
Chicago Sun-Times the year before that."
Perry started in surprise, how could he have missed this? His favorite
niece, writing for major papers? He suddenly realized how little he
really knew her, "you're hired," he said curtly. ?JIMMY!? Perry yelled.
Jimmy rushed into his office. "Jimmy, show Miss Petersen around; she's
going to be working here." and Rebekah, take Lane and Kent with you the
first few times. I'm temporarily assigning you to them until you learn
the ropes around here. There's a gallery opening at the Rome Gallery
for George Boges tonight at 8. I want you to go...take Lane and Kent
"Yessir," Rebekah said, "want me to tell Lois and Clark?" Perry
nodded and shooed her out the door.
As Jimmy began to give Rebekah the grand tour, Clark ambled over to
Lois's desk and sat down on it. He smiled as his wife put her hand on
his. He looked down at her smiling face and said, "So why didn't you
ever say anything about Rebekah before?"
Lois pondered his question for a moment before replying, "I guess it
just never came up. I mean, we had been good friends, but she's been
away for a long time. Despite evidence to the contrary, it was easy to
believe that she didn't care. For a long time, I thought that she was
just another person who was passing through my life...another person
Clark laid his hand on her cheek in a familiar caress. "But didn't she
say that she wrote you?"
"She *did* write," Lois confirmed, "But I was just too busy to write
back. After a few years, she mostly stopped writing, but I always
seemed to get notes and cards from her when I most needed a friend. A
faraway look appeared in Lois" eyes. "The day after you left for New
Krypton, I got a long letter...and a card after that. She always
managed to let me know that she was there if I needed a friend during
the painful times...I think that Perry must have had a hand in some of
Clark smiled his beautiful smile and leaned down to kiss her. "I'm glad
that you had someone to
lean on when I couldn't be there for you," he said softly. "I'm glad
that I'll probably get to know her now. It's almost a sure thing
that Perry will assign her to work with us on this story...and that
we'll still have to interview her and write it up. I guess we get to
teach her a few things."
Lois suppressed a smile and a laugh as she looked at her husband. She
didn't want to miss the look on his face when he realized that the
opposite was true...Rebekah would probably teach *them* a few things.
She wondered if she could get Bekah to teach her how to bypass
Jimmy, for once totally overjoyed to follow his boss' orders, smiled
happily as he began to show Rebekah around, pointing out all of the
relevant areas of the Planet. <She's so beautiful,> he thought to
himself, <and her *voice*!> Jimmy hoped that if he ever got up
the guts to ask her out, she would actually say yes.
Rebekah followed Jimmy around absently noting the locations of
everything that he showed her. She hoped that Clark and Lois were free
to go to the opening tonight...the arsonists probably wouldn't put in
an appearance...George Boges just wasn't a big enough name for the
thieves to notice. But, she knew the artist, and this was one opening
that she definitely didn't want to attend alone.
Jimmy led Rebekah over to her new desk, close to Lois and Clark. He
said goodbye quietly and left. After all, he got the feeling that she
didn't yet know that he was alive...a situation that he would have to
rectify rather quickly.
Rebekah walked over to Lois and Clark. "Hey ya'll," she began, "There's
a gallery opening tonight at 8 and Uncle Perry wants ya'll to come with
me." She paused for a moment before continuing, "I'd rather not
go alone to this one anyway; the artist is a slime ball." She smiled
mischievously. "Clark can play over-protective-big-brother and keep 'im
away from me!"
"Of course we'll come," Lois said with an internal sigh. She *had* been
hoping for some time alone with her husband... "But why do you need
Clark to *protect * you? As I remember it, you're pretty good at taking
care of yourself!"
Rebekah grimaced, "Yeah, but I'd damage him. All Clark has to do is
loom a little bit. The last time this guy came after me I had him
singin' soprano for a month! We'll have to raid closets for appropriate
wardrobe; you can always tell the artists from every one else...and
they talk more freely if they thing that you're an artist too; we've
got to promote the myth of the artist!"
Clark made a face, he could see the kinds of stuff that Rebekah would
come up with to dress him in--and he knew that Lois would insist that
they follow her advice! It might be necessary, but that didn't mean
that he had to like it"
"Well, that was a waste," Lois said with a grimace as she flopped down
on the couch in the living room of their brownstone. Rebekah, who had
come back with them opened her laptop and began typing.
"Not necessarily," Rebekah answered. "Because of Clark's
uh...performance, I doubt that George will come after me when he sees
this review. I mean, the man has no right to call himself a
Clark cleared his throat, "Well, um it wasn't *too* bad..."
"You're right, Clark," Rebekah said laughingly. "It wasn't too bad, but
it wasn't any good either! There! All finished." She ran the spell
checker and turned to her friends. "Look it over for me?" She asked
Lois came over and started reading. She smiled first, began to chuckle,
and then started laughing harder. "Clark," she gasped in between
spasms, "you *have* to read this!" Clark walked over and began to read
through the article. He grinned suddenly. ?Right on the money, Perry
will love this. It's a good thing that my... 'performance' impressed
this guy, or you just might be in trouble!"
Rebekah suppressed a yawn as she connected to the Daily Planet network
and LANed the article to Perry. "I think," she said with a sleepy
smile, "that it's time I went back to my apartment. My show opens
tomorrow night, so if what I suspect is true, and the thieves follow
true to form, they should show up at the gallery the day after; I
should be at the opening, and then the three of us should try to get
definite evidence. Oh! I almost forgot...here's everything I've been
able to find." Rebekah pulled a disc out of her backpack and handed it
"I'll go through this and get Jimmy looking for more information,"
Clark said. "We need to find out not just who's stealing the art and
setting the fires, but who's behind it too."
"It could be lots of people...Intergang, some other relative of
Luthor's, or even a crazy art collector!" Lois said seriously. "We can
try to figure it out tomorrow..."
Rebekah yawned again, "True, but I really think that it's time I went
home...I can't fall asleep riding my Harley, now can I? G'night you
two!" Rebekah slung her backpack on her back and headed out the door.
It wasn't really that late, but she had seen the look on Lois's face
earlier that day and knew that her friend wanted some time alone with
Clark. Since Perry's dictum had prevented it, Rebekah thought that it
was only fair that she help the two out. Rebekah climbed on the back of
her beautiful blue Harley and headed for her new apartment; she could
always do some more research there...
Lois leaned back against Clark as they sat on the couch. It had
definitely been a very long day! First, an old friend appeared out of
nowhere, and the same friend having the story of the decade with her.
It was a *huge* coincidence...if it was one. "Clark, honey...this may
seem strange, but how can we be sure that Rebekah is *really* Rebekah?
I mean, her appearing and just *happening* to have the biggest story
that I've seen in a long time is simply too weird! I mean, I haven't
seen her in 11 years, how can we be sure that it's the same person? The
Rebekah I remember was a gangly, accident-prone 14 year old with a
penchant for getting into trouble, a talent for hacking people off, and
a tendency to swear at people in foreign languages! How can we know
that she's who she says she is? The Rebekah I knew was a writer; she
wanted to be an investigative reporter...and she was good at it. I
admit that the article she wrote just now seems an awful lot like her
Clark, deciding that she had babbled enough, stopped her babble the
only way he knew how; he kissed her. Her arms found their way around
his neck. The kiss deepened and they finally broke contact, coming up
for air. Clark was still feeling a bit dizzy when he took a deep breath
and began to try to answer his wife's question. "Sweetheart, we can't
know...at least not yet, but I asked Jimmy to get whatever information
he could dig up on her...just in case. We should have it in the
morning. We can talk to Perry, I mean, he *has* to have seen her at
family gatherings. We'll find proof either way eventually. In the
meantime..." His voice grew husky as he lowered his mouth closer to
hers, "I can think of other things we can do to...pass the time." Clark
picked Lois up and whisked her up to the bedroom.
The newsroom was quiet... too quiet for this time of day. It was eleven
am and the Planet was dead. It was an extremely slow day for news.
Perry sat in his office chuckling over the story that *his* niece had
turned in. He had remembered that she could write, but this!
"PETERSEN!," he bellowed, "IN MY OFFICE NOW!!"
Rebekah ran into Perry's lair, hoping that she wasn't in trouble. She
didn't think that her article was *that* bad...after all Kent and Lane
had liked it! "Yes Chief?," she said with a question in her voice as
she watched Perry close the door behind her and put the blinds down.
Her breath caught in her throat; she remembered those signs from her
intern days...the door closed and the blinds went down just before her
uncle reamed someone out. <I'm in trouble now! >, Rebekah
Perry caught the look of trepidation on his niece's face and chuckled
to himself. He might just let her stew...a little. "Rebekah," he began,
"I've just finished going over your article and I have to say...by
Elvis, this is the finest piece of feature writing that I've seen in
years! Kerth material for sure." A crafty look came over his
face...just maybe... "So, Petersen, when would you like to give up the
art business and come to work for me here at the Daily Planet forever?
With your style, and special 'skills'," Perry looked at her with a
twinkle in his eye and winked, "you could be on par with Lane and Kent
in no time! I smell Pulitzers!" Perry smiled broadly as he thought of
Rebekah's gifts, after all her artistic ability and journalistic
talents were only the tip of the iceberg.
Rebekah looked at her uncle in shock before she started laughing.
"Uncle Perry," she said, "I'm flattered, but well...I want to do what
I'm doing for a while. You know that I can always switch careers at the
drop of a hat anyway... As for my writing," Rebekah smiled
mischievously, "How could I help but write well? I mean, you were a
great journalist, and well, Dad *is* a Pulitzer Prize winning
novelist...Writing runs in the family!"
Perry shook his head; he couldn't argue with her there. "Go find Lane
and Kent and get me a story! We have a newspaper to put out!"
Rebekah walked out of his office and over to Lois's desk where she had
seen her friend before being shut in her uncle's office. "Find
anything?" she asked as she looked at her friend's computer screen.
Lois grimaced. "Unfortunately, no." Lois tucked a recalcitrant strand
of hair behind her ear and wished for one of Clark's neck rubs.
"Clark's over with Jimmy checking up on some leads. I've run a search
and come up with nothing. The problem is, we need more links in between
the fires. What we have so far is just a lot of coincidence."
Rebekah took a closer look at Lois's computer and began muttering
softly under her breath. Lois tried to understand what she was saying,
but, as what she was saying was all in a foreign language, she couldn't
understand. "What's the matter?" Lois asked.
Rebekah ran a hand through her hair in frustration. "I don't know why I
didn't see this before, but all of these galleries were, at least to
some extent, showing my work! That's why these fires only go back for
four years...I didn't start showing until four years ago!"
Lois looked stunned and began, "So it's either someone who hates you
"A stalker with resources." Rebekah finished grimly.
Clark looked over Jimmy's shoulder and wondered exactly what he was
looking for...a connection between art theft rings and arson? Didn't
Rebekah say that the police had always ruled out arson as a cause for
the fires? And that reminded him of a certain conversation he had with
Lois last night... "Jimmy, did you get the background information on
Rebekah Petersen that I asked for?"
Jimmy started guiltily. He had been too busy mooning over her to dig up
much; he felt a bit embarrassed giving Clark so little to go on.
*She* was fascinating. She was pretty, smart, talented...amazing. Now
if he could only get her to notice him!
Clark noticed his young friend's lovesick glances toward Rebekah and
sighed in exasperation. "*Jimmy*," Clark said breaking into Jimmy's
besottled thoughts. "The information?"
"Uh, yeah CK," Jimmy mumbled confusedly. "Here's what I have so far; I
should have a complete work up by tomorrow." Jimmy handed a packet to
Clark. "Hope it helps."
Clark chuckled softly to himself as he headed over to his desk to study
the papers. He sat down and began leafing through the contents of the
packet. "Lois," he called softly. "I need you!" Lois looked up at the
sound of his voice. Murmuring apologies to Rebekah, she quickly joined
him and sat in his lap.
"I'm assuming that this is about Rebekah?" she questioned him softly as
she planted a kiss on his forehead and smoothed his hair back.
"Jimmy just gave me some information about her," Clark said softly, "it
only goes back to her graduation from the Atlanta Institute of Art and
Design a few years ago; there isn't much, but Jimmy said that he will
have complete information by tomorrow."
"That's all well and good," Lois replied, "But we still have to find
out if this is the real Rebekah, and I think I've figured out how. When
we were doing our internships, she broke some bones; back then she
often couldn't walk across a room without falling down. Clark, if you
x-ray her left arm, you should see that it was broken in three places,
and her left leg was broken in two. How she managed to break limbs in
so many places falling down the stairs still amazes me."
"That's a good idea," Clark acknowledged. "Rebekah!" he called.
"Yeah, Clark?" Rebekah answered, walking over to his desk. She looked
at Lois and an impish smile stole over her face. "Not enough chairs
Lane?" she asked, suppressed laughter evident in her voice as she saw
where her friend was sitting.
"Oh, there are enough chairs," Lois said mischievously. "But if I sit
in a chair, I can't do *this*" Lois kissed Clark thoroughly,
passionately, surprising him. Clark was startled for a moment, but he
tightened his grasp around his wife's waist and began giving as good as
he got. A few minutes later, they broke apart slightly, gasping for
Lois glanced over at her friend and smiled widely. Rebekah was turning
purple from suppressed laughter and lack of air. "Breathe, Rebekah!"
Lois commanded. "Actually, we needed you to look at something for us to
confirm some facts." Lois nodded to Clark, who passed Jimmy's research
over to Beky. While Rebekah was occupied perusing the research, Clark
surreptitiously lowered his glasses and x-rayed Rebekah. He caught
Lois's eye and gave her a tiny, almost imperceptible nod indicating
that this really was Rebekah.
"Rebekah, we need to interview you for Perry..." Clark began, but he
was interrupted by a distant scream for Superman.
Lois recognized the look on his face and said "Clark, honey, aren't you
suppose to meet Bobby about the fires?"
"Thanks sweetheart, I almost forgot!" he said, relief evident on his
face. He helped his wife off his lap, kissed her goodbye, and said,
"I'll catch up to you two later." He hurried out of the newsroom,
loosening his tie as he went.
"Rebekah," Lois said quietly, "Clark is right...we do need to talk; but
it can wait. I don't know about you, but I'm hungry; let's go down to
the deli. Clark will catch up."
Rebekah nodded hesitantly and replied, "It's a nice day outside, I
guess a walk would be a good idea."
Lois grabbed her stuff and motioned for Bekah to follow her as she
headed out the door. They walked down to Lois's favorite deli, making
sure to pick up a steak sandwich for Clark. Lois led the way to the
park and went to her favorite bench next to the fountain where Clark
proposed to her. They sat in silence for a few minutes, eating their
sandwiches and enjoying the warm sunshine. After a few minutes, they
started talking...catching up on old times.
Soon, Lois began to question Rebekah concerning her art and why she had
suddenly changed careers. "Lois," Rebekah said quietly, "There are
things about me you don't know; hopefully you never will. Uncle Perry
knows my little secret, but I'm not ready for you to find out just
Lois nodded slowly before asking one question, "So, is this secret good
Rebekah regarded her friend seriously for a minute before replying, "It
depends on your point of view. It's not illegal or anything, I promise
to explain later, just not now."
Lois was intensely curious about this secret of Rebekah's, but she knew
that she had to respect her friend's privacy. When Bekah was ready to
tell her, she would...or Jimmy would find out about it. They sat in
silence for a few minutes, enjoying the scenery and the warm weather.
The park was a little crowded that early spring day...mothers taking
young children for walks were abundant. Every time a mother with a
little one walked past, the conversation would lag as Lois looked at
the children with an expression of wistful longing in her eyes. After a
few such lags, Rebekah gathered up some courage and asked, "Lois,
darlin', I know that it's none of my business, but are you and Clark
planning on having kids?"
Pain was written all over Lois's face as she turned to her friend and
said quietly, "Bekah, we want kids, but the doctors have told us that
we can't have children." Lois's face crumpled as she struggled to hold
back tears. "I want a baby," she said, desperation evident in her
voice, "I want *Clark's* baby!"
Rebekah put her arm around her closest friend, and gave her a small hug
before handing her a tissue. "Maybe I can help with that problem." She
said quietly. "I know quite a bit about infertility." Hope dawned in
Lois's eyes. She hadn't quite given up yet, but so far, Dr. Klein's
predictions had proved to be correct. Suddenly, a sobering thought came
upon her; as much as she wanted to, she couldn't let Bekah help. To do
so, their secret would have to be exposed, and they just couldn't risk
it. <Besides, > she thought, <What can little Beky do? It
isn't like she is an expert in Kryptonian physiology...> "Bekah,"
Lois said softly, "Thank you, but there are some complications I can't
really go into...so no; at least for now." Rebekah nodded, reluctantly
accepting her friend's decision. She knew that she could help her
friends if they would just let her.
A man stood in the shadows of the trees, gloating to himself. This was
going so well! Rebekah Petersen was the key to the Kent's undoing. All
he had to do was to ruin her career... she would be so busy with the
fires that she would never manage to help the Kents...and eventually
without her help, the Kents would drift apart and their marriage would
end in divorce! The man grinned evilly. He would outwit the famous
reporting team, *destroy* Lois Lane, Clark Kent/Superman, and Rebekah
Petersen! His smile turned lecherous as he gazed upon the two women.
Perhaps just ruining the marriage would not be enough. Evil evident in
every inch of his body, he chuckled. It would be far better to kidnap
Lois Lane and Rebekah Petersen. To abuse them, destroy them. They would
be far more useful to him as his prisoners than they would be dead. He
smiled suddenly; it was a leer of pure evil. This would be sheer
pleasure. He would soon prove who was really the smartest person in the
universe; Clark Kent alias Superman would not find out that he was
responsible for the destruction of everything he held dear!
Clark spun back into his street clothes and ran a tired hand through
his hair. It had been a long few hours; the roof of a daycare center
had collapsed and he had to do the part of Superman's job that he hated
the most; carrying the broken, lifeless bodies of children out of the
wreckage to their grieving families. Finding the reason why the roof
had collapsed was now the job of the city's structural engineers, but
he desperately wished that he could have prevented it! Carrying
children; babies out of the wreckage of buildings always wrung his
heart, but it was especially bad now that he knew that children were
denied to him. Clark loved his wife; he desperately wanted to have
children with her. He wanted to hold his own precious babies; created
from the love that he and Lois shared. Clark sighed as he began to head
back to the Planet. He stopped along the way to pick up a few copies of
the paper...he knew that Lois and Rebekah would like to see that lovely
poison pen critique of last night's show that Rebekah had written. He
chuckled to himself as he found it to re-read it once again. It was
clever, well written, and the show, as well as the artist deserved
He thought about the artist...what had Rebekah called him?
'Georgie-porgy' that was it...and was glad that he had been with to
play 'big brother'. Clark didn't much care for the way little Georgie
had ogled Lois and Rebekah. He always wanted to protect Lois, and well,
Rebekah looked so much younger than her chronological age, and she gave
you the feeling that she was more fragile than her sturdy build
suggested...she made him feel protective of her too...in a big brother
kind of way. He had always wanted a sister... and since Lois and
Rebekah had seemingly adopted each other, maybe, as she'd put up with
his big brother routine, he could convince her to let Lois and him come
to the opening of her show later that night. He had a feeling that they
would be needed...
Back in the newsroom, Rebekah had pulled up a chair so that she and
Lois could search for more connections in the fires/thefts. "Hmmm...
maybe we should run a cross-check of other artists showing in the same
galleries...or in the same city, at the time of the fires?" Lois
commented, thinking out loud.
Rebekah typed the necessary parameters in the computer and hit
'search', "that's entirely possible," she said thoughtfully. "I suppose
it could be somebody collecting art too...the next search should be for
art collectors that were in town at the same time."
The computer finished it's search and a list popped up on the
screen...and on the top of the list was...Georgie-porgy! "It
couldn't be," Rebekah said slowly, "Boges doesn't have the brains to be
this involved to run a scam on this scale...nor the necessary
creativity or imagination to dream it up. That explains how he makes
his living anyway...His 'art' is just too badly done and most of it is
ripped off of other artists' work. He got his first show by
stealing my slides and submitting them as his own." Lois
grimaced, now *that* situation certainly sounded familiar!
Clark walked into the newsroom and walked over to his wife's desk to
see what had gotten dug up in his absence. "Hey Clark," Rebekah
said absently; all of her attention was taken up in this new idea. Lois
flashed a smile at Clark and explained their findings. Clark let out a
low whistle, "So you think that Boges is the man on the street?"
"We're pretty sure," Rebekah replied, "I mean, he has been in the same
city as each gallery fire at the same time, and he doesn't have an
alibi. I also think there's someone else involved; they need brains in
the operation and Boges is so stupid that if you put his brain in a
bumblebee, it would fly backwards!"
"He's that stupid?" , Clark asked, his eyes dancing with suppressed
"Damn straight! When ignorance gets to a nickel a barrel, I want
drillin' rights on his head!" Rebekah retorted.
The three reporters laughed and got back to business. "Do you
think that Boges will be at your opening tonight Rebekah?" Lois asked
"Probably." Rebekah said tiredly. "He'll probably case the joint
tonight so that he and his buddies know exactly where the good stuff
is. Dang it! It would have to be this particular jerk!"
"What do you mean?," asked Clark.
"Remember when I told ya'll about damaging him the first time he messed
with me?" inquired Rebekah. At her friends' nods she continued quietly,
"I was eighteen then...and he tried to rape me." Rebekah's smile turned
feral, "I made sure that he wouldn't try *that* again anytime
soon! He was singing soprano for a month."
Clark's expression turned dark. He *knew* that there was
something about that guy! "That settles it," he said quietly, "We're
coming with you. I'm *not* going to let that slime mess with," Clark
grinned suddenly, "my new friend."
Rebekah turned to Lois in exasperation, "Is he *always* like that?" She
threw her hands up in the air, "Why is it that men always feel like we
women need protected? Like we need the *big, strong man* to come
and rescue us! I mean, when I started dating, my dad always made a
point of cleaning his shotgun in front of my date! And if he
didn't do that, he made a point to show off his shotgun
collection. Uncle Perry is just as bad. I swear," she
growled, "The next guy after this that does something 'for my own good'
to 'protect' me is going to get *something* thrown at his head."
Lois just laughed and pointed out that they needed to go and change for
the gallery opening.
"We'll pick you up at 6:30," Clark said seriously. "If this guy
is after you, it'd be better if you didn't ride your Harley for a few
days." Rebekah nodded, giving her consent. She hated being
wrapped in cotton wool, but it was obvious that Clark was just trying
to protect his new friend.
Eric Green sat in his apartment, glowering and clutching a glass of
brandy. <It's not fair!> he thought to himself.
<Perry shouldn't have fired me. Yesterday I was the art critic
at the Daily Planet, today I'm unemployed without references. And
who did Perry hire in my place? His niece> Eric sneered
at his glass before continuing his train of thought, <There is a
plot here, I know it! He just wanted me out of the way so that
his niece could write for the paper. I bet Lane and Kent are in on it
too. After all, I did hear that Lane used to be this Petersen's
best friend.> Eric thought for a few minutes more and then
smiled. He had known for quite some time of the gallery
fires...and been well paid to ignore them. Perhaps the man known
to him as "the Destroyer" could use some help in getting
Petersen. She would pay for taking his job from him minutes after
he was fired. He would have his revenge.
Clark and Lois walked into their brownstone and began looking for
appropriate clothing to wear to the opening. Lois pulled out the
embroidered tunic that Rebekah had given her as a 'belated wedding
present'. Lois pulled the tunic on with a pair of jeans and
turned around to face her husband. "What do you think?", she asked.
"Wow," Clark said, "You look beautiful!" Rebekah had apparently told
him what he should wear also because he was dressed a bit more
informally than last night...
"You look...great too", was Lois's reply. Clark smiled and leaned
down to kiss his wife. Her arms went automatically around his
neck. He deepened the kiss. Some minutes later they came up
for air. Clark gently touched her kiss reddened lips before
bringing up something that had been bothering him ever since they had
talked about Georgie-porgy. "Lois," he began hesitantly, "Do you
think we should invite Rebekah to stay with us-at least until we
publish this story?"
Lois considered his question for a moment. "Yeah, I think we
should. I mean, she hasn't gotten any death threats yet, but it's
only a matter of time...and speaking of time, *we've* got to leave."
The reporters grabbed their leather jackets and rushed out the door.
Rebekah rubbed a tired hand across her eyes as she searched the closet
of her new apartment for an appropriate outfit to wear to the opening
of her latest show. She had already removed three 'sneak suits'
in the right sizes from the secret drawer in her dresser and made sure
that they had lock picks and other relevant articles in the hidden
pockets. She had a feeling that something would go down at the
gallery tonight and breaking in after the opening would be a very good
idea. She wasn't sure if Lois and Clark had the right kind
clothing for breaking and entering, so she decided to provide it
herself. Her sneak suits were suits of dark charcoal-gray
clothing-long sleeved and tight fitting. They had a multiplicity
of pockets and matching soft boots to go with them.
She finally pulled out a long, full skirt and a tunic top similar to
the one she had given Lois. She checked to make sure that lock
picks and one of her multi-tools were still hidden in the hems of her
clothes before changing. <It never hurts to be prepared>,
she thought as she brushed out her hair and carefully clipped it back,
using hair ornaments that also doubled as tools. She slipped her
feet into sandals, grabbed her leather jacket, and hoped her friends
would show up soon.
The Destroyer looked around his secret room and smiled. It was
perfect; lead lined and sound proofed, he should be able to keep Lane
and Petersen there for quite some time. He leaned over the monstrosity
of a bed and pondered it. He checked the restraints in the room,
making sure of their fastness. <Soon,> he thought, <Very soon,
I will have them here and I will bend them to my will. He
contemplated this thought for a moment before turning his attention to
the table where a few knives lay, glittering in the half-light of the
chamber. He had someone to do his dirty work now, Rolf, his own
personal human dog; his own personal psychopath. He turned and
contemplated the montage of photos pasted to the opposite wall.
Rebekah and Lois, Lois and Rebekah-beautiful, desirable, and they
belonged to him. Forever.
Rebekah was waiting for them when they pulled up. She climbed
into the Jeep and handed each of them a bag. "What's this?" Lois
"It's a sneak suit," Rebekah stated quietly. "I have a feeling
that we're going to need them. There are lock picks and other
tools in the pockets."
Clark looked at the suit dubiously. "Isn't black a better color
for lurking around in?" he asked.
"Most people think that," Rebekah said cautiously, "But charcoal gray
blends in better with the shadows."
Lois glanced back at her old friend and shook her head. "I don't
even *want* to know where you learned *that*," she remarked.
Rebekah giggled. "We can leave them in the Jeep while we're in
the gallery...I have a feeling that we might need them.
They arrived at the gallery and went inside where they found
Georgie-porgy oozing around the exhibits in such a manner that you
could almost see a trail of slime coming off of his feet. The man
was a slug that should have crawled back under the rock from whence he
came long ago. Lois noticed his fascination with one sculpture in
particular. Watching him slink around it, she realized that,
because of his interest, it was more than likely that a fire would be
set the next day; they had to find a way to catch Georgie-porgy *and*
the brains of the operation. After all, it wasn't every day that
you had art arsonist/thieves/stalkers all rolled into one!
The three reporters meandered their way around the gallery nibbling on
snacks and exchanging pleasantries with patrons as they kept a look out
for other suspicious characters. The evening was mostly
uneventful-near the end, Clark pulled Lois aside and whispered, "Lois,
honey, there's a bridge collapsing on the other side of town.
Cover for me?"
"Always." Lois answered with conviction. She smiled fondly at her
husband as he hurried off. Lois looked around for Rebekah; a
buyer had led her off quite some time ago. Lois spotted her
heart-sister and went over to talk to her. "Rebekah," she said,
"The crowd is thinning out...are you ready to go?"
Rebekah rubbed a tired hand across her eyes before replying.
"Sure. But, where's Clark?"
"He had to go meet a source," Lois lied glibly. "He'll catch up
"Okay," Rebekah said quietly, "The galley will be closing in five
minutes anyway; just let me grab my stuff." Rebekah disappeared
into the office and returned moments later, backpack in hand.
"Let's go," she said quietly, swinging her backpack on her back as she
headed out the door, towing Lois in her wake.
Eric smiled to himself as he made his way across town. He had
contacted The Destroyer earlier and arranged to meet in an abandoned
warehouse in Hobbs Bay. Helping destroy three certain reporters
would lighten his mood considerably. He'd do anything this
man asked because it was the sure path to revenge. Amorality
sometimes held certain advantages.
They had been on the road for a few minutes before Lois spoke up.
"So, did you overhear anything of interest?", she asked. Even
with Clark's super hearing, the two of them hadn't heard anything
"Yeeeesss," Rebekah said hesitantly, "I heard Georgie talking with one
of those men...I think something is going down there tonight."
She glanced over at Lois, "I guess you'll get to try out your sneak
suit tonight; we're breaking into the gallery."
<Clark is going to kill me for doing this without him, > Lois
thought. <I don't think that we'll get into too much trouble;
anyway, Clark *is* just a 'Help, Superman' away...> "We'll have to
go back to the house to get my lock picks," Lois stated quietly.
"No we don't," Rebekah said, "Remember, that's what the sneak suits are
for. We'll go to my place to change and I'll show you where the
picks and stuff are in the suit. I made sure to check out the
locking systems, so we should be able to get in without difficulty."
Lois grimaced as she turned on to Highwater Avenue, where Rebekah's
apartment was located. "It looks like you've thought of
everything," she said quietly,
"Everything that is, except for Clark. I'll call home and leave a
message for him to let him know where we are."
Rebekah nodded, "I'm sorry that I didn't think of that," she said
simply. "This is just so much like old times that I forgot about
him." Rebekah grinned suddenly, "Remember the first story we dug
out as interns?", she asked.
"How could I forget?" Lois said laughingly. "I mean, Perry sent
me with you to keep you out of trouble. It was only a dog show
after all. The next thing I knew, you were giving me a how-to
course on breaking and entering and we had a front-page story. I
swear, you got me into more trouble!"
"That's sure the pot calling the kettle black," Rebekah retorted.
"After all, you got *me* in trouble just as much; and I was usually the
one who had to get us out of whatever mess we landed in. You
didn't know how to pick locks yet, and I never found the time to teach
you to do it properly."
Lois looked around Rebekah's place with interest; everywhere she looked
there was...art. Prints hung on the walls, and stacks of charcoal
drawings were heaped in piles on the floor while every available flat
surface served as a resting place for sculpture and pots. Every
single piece was unique, different. Lois found Rebekah's prints
to be fascinating; upon closer inspection, what she had taken for
texture proved to be words. Rebekah had written stories as
backdrops for her figurative images--melding them into one seamless
whole. Looking at the finished product, it was impossible to
imagine one without the other; they were a perfect symbiosis of
The sculptures were by far the most numerous. They were in
one word, beautiful. Some told stories in series of images while
others had raw emotion depicted in every line. Lois stood in
front of one of the more emotional pieces. The expression on the
face of the statue wrung your heart-judging from the pain and loss on
the figure's face, whoever this was, they had lost someone or something
very important to them. Lois shook her head in awe; she was
beginning to understand why Beky had decided to be an artist.
While Lois poked around her living room, Rebekah opened her secret
closet and pulled out some street clothes in the correct sizes to wear
over the sneak suits. These clothes were old, worn, and much
patched...they also had concealed tools in them...just in case.
She quickly changed into her suit and put the ratty clothes over
it. Rebekah didn't remember a time when she hadn't been kidnapped
at least once a month; someone always wanted to take advantage of her
special abilities...that's why she learned how to pick locks and the
advisability of having multiple sets of tools and picks concealed about
her person. Unless someone did a full strip search, which rarely
happened, she was never without the tools to escape...or break in.
She walked out of the bedroom and handed Lois the sneak suit and ratty
street clothes to wear over it. "The bathroom's over there," she said
quietly, pointing it out. "The old clothes are for just in case
the police pull us over before we get there; I *don't* want to explain
to the cops why we're dressed like cat burglars!"
Lois simply laughed at her friend and went to change clothes. She came
out a moment later, frowning. ""Why are there so many hard places
in these clothes?" she inquired.
"It's simple," Rebekah answered absently, "For every hard place,
there's a set of lock picks or a similarly useful item." She
looked up suddenly and grinned broadly, "If we're caught and they find
all of those, I've concealed more picks in the hems of the
clothes...they *never* check the hems!"
Some time later, Lois and Rebekah snuck around to back of the
gallery. Rebekah contemplated the lock; it was simple. "Do
you want to do the honors or shall I?" she whispered, turning to Lois.
Lois smiled, "I'll do it." She said simply as she pulled a lock pick
out. With a few turns and twists of the wrist, the door was open
and they were inside. The two women crept quietly into the
gallery, heading for the hiding places that Rebekah had picked out
earlier. They had barely gotten there when three men walked into
the room and began crating up the artwork. Lois reached inside an
inner pocket and pressed the record button on her tape recorder.
If they talked, she would have evidence on tape. Rebekah's leg jerked
suddenly and hit one of the podiums with a resounding thump.
Mentally she cursed herself. <Why do my muscles decide to go
into spasms *now*? > she wondered.
"What was that?" on of the men said as he heard the noise. "You two,
look around, there's somebody in here." The man walked toward
Rebekah's hiding place, training his flashlight around the room.
Rebekah cowered back in the shadows, praying she wouldn't be
discovered. Unfortunately, this was not to be. As the light
came closer, she saw the man's face-George Boges. His light came
to rest on her.
"Ah," he said, "A nosy reporter." George grabbed Rebekah's wrist and
hauled her to her feet. Before she could put up a struggle, he
hit her over the head with his flashlight. Rebekah soundlessly
crumpled to the floor. George stood over the unconscious form and
smiled. Soon, the boss would let him finish what he had started
seven years ago. He had wanted the bitch then, this time she
would not deny him. He called the other two men over to him and
instructed them to search the gallery. When one noisy reporter
was hiding, in all probability, so was another. A few minutes
later, he heard another thump. He went over to investigate; Lois
Lane. He made the others pick them up and take them to the pole
in the center of the gallery where he chained their hands and feet
together and then linked them to the pole. They had to hurry;
this little interlude had cost precious time and they needed to get the
work out of the gallery quickly. As the others crated up the
remainder of the artwork, he got a ladder and unscrewed one of the
spotlights, replacing it with a special one of his own. In a few hours
a fire would start and the fire department would rule the cause as
electrical. If Lane and Petersen were lucky, they would die in
the fire. If not, he shrugged mentally, he would get what he
It was still dark in the gallery when Rebekah woke up an hour and a
half later. Lois lay beside her, still unconscious and chained to the
same pole. Rebekah looked around dizzily, trying to figure
out where they were. She groaned as she realized that they were
chained to a pole in the storage room. The storage room door was
self-locking and they would have to wait to be let out because picking
the locks just wasn't possible. <I need to get out of these
chains> Rebekah thought, looking ruefully at her hands and
feet. They had been chained in front of her, and she still had
plenty of slack. "Amateurs," she said with scorn, "Can't even
chain a person right; getting out of these should be child's
play." Rebekah reached into one of the hidden pockets in her
sneak suit. Luckily, they hadn't bothered to search her, and her
hands had been chained within reach of a concealed set of lock
picks. She pulled out the picks and set to work. Within
minutes, she was free. She set to work on Lois's chains next,
picking the locks quickly. She got her friend unchained and
contemplated her next move as Lois began to stir.
Rebekah got up and began to examine the door. It was
hopeless. She began
verbally heaping vile maledictions upon the heads of George and his
thugs in the most obscure languages she knew at the top of her
lungs. If Georgie had been anywhere within reach, he probably
wouldn't have survived to tell the tale.
Lois awoke with a headache to the sound of Rebekah screaming
*something* at the top of her voice. She didn't understand what
Rebekah was screaming, and the thought occurred to her that someday she
would have to get Clark to translate.
"What's the matter, Rebekah?" Lois asked fuzzily.
"We're trapped," Rebekah stated flatly. "This door locks from the
outside, the hinges are also on the outside of the door, and I can't
get it open, there aren't any loose panels in the ceiling, and the air
vents are just too small to crawl through. Not only are we trapped, but
you must realize that soon this building will probably catch on fire."
Lois looked at her friend and began to smile. "Oh, is that
*all*?", she inquired. "Rebekah, this is *Metropolis*," Lois
said, "When you are in this kind of trouble, there's only one sure fire
course of action."
"What is that?", Rebekah asked looking mystified.
"This," Lois grinned, "HELP SUPERMAN!" she screamed.
Superman smiled as he flew his nightly patrol over the fair city of
Metropolis, the bridge hadn't been a total disaster; only one car had
been teetering over the edge when he arrives. It had been easy as
pie to put the car on solid ground and save the people inside.
Temporally shoring up the bridge had taken a bit longer, but now there
would be no more accidents until it got fixed. Metropolis was
quiet tonight; the criminal element seemed to be taking the night
off. Superman was just about to head home for the night when he
heard one specific voice screaming for help. It was a voice that
he had been attuned to from the beginning; the voice of his dearest
love. He turned toward the source of the shout and sped off into
"Now what do we do?" Rebekah inquired, siding down the wall to sit on
"We wait," Lois said simply.
A few seconds later, the door to the storage room burst open as it was
ripped off its hinges. "Lois, are you two okay?" the superhero
said, looking concerned.
Rebekah looked at Superman's face with interest. <Wow> she
thought, <If the Greeks had gotten a look at him, they would have
set a whole new standard for male beauty. > He had a classic face; a
face that combined with his body would make an excellent subject for a
sculpture. Not only that, but he was adorable. Rebekah
wondered if there was some way that he'd agree to pose for her to that
she could draw him, and later sculpt him. In fact, one of the
projects she was working on could definitely use him in it; she'd have
to ask--after they got out of this mess.
"We're okay Superman, thank you." Lois said quietly, "But we've got to
get out of here; this place could catch fire at any minute!"
Superman suddenly became aware of a slight ticking noise. There
wasn't time to save the gallery, so he grabbed a hold of Lois and
Rebekah and flew them out of the gallery a few seconds before it
exploded. "Let me take you home," he said insistently, "I'll send
Clark for the Jeep later." Lois agreed, after all, it *had* been a very
Superman flew them over to the brownstone on Hyperion. During the
flight, Rebekah had gotten the chance to ask her all-important
question. "Superman," she began, "Would you please allow me to
draw you? I have a commission for a sculpture from the Superman
Foundation; they wanted me to work from pictures, but the sculpture
would be so much better if I could use you for a reference.
Please say yes!"
Superman considered this proposition for a few minutes. As far as
he could see, this could be a very good thing. After all, if he
could convince Rebekah to make the sculpture a bit taller and bigger
than he really was, the line would be further blurred between Superman
and Clark Kent. He knew that he had to consult Lois before
actually agreeing to do this; after all it *would* cut into their
private time. "I'll have to look at my schedule and think it over," he
said finally, "But I'll get back to you, I promise. Can I reach
you through the Kents?" he asked
Rebekah nodded her assent as he landed, put Lois and Rebekah down on
the front steps of Lois and Clark's house, and took off. Before
Rebekah could offer a word of protest, Lois stopped her by saying,
"Rebekah, Clark and I want you to stay with us for a few days; after
the robbery tonight, I really think that you shouldn't stay
alone. It's very possible that this guy could come after you."
Rebekah shook her head. "Normally, I'd argue with you," she said
softly as they entered the house, "But the thought of going back to my
apartment by myself with some sort of maniac on the loose just doesn't
appeal to me tonight"
"We'll go back to your place after Clark gets back with the car to pick
up some of your clothes, "Lois said, "Frankly, you're too big for my
clothes and too small for Clark's"
Rebekah nodded her assent before grimacing suddenly, "Don't we have
that staff meeting tomorrow, you know, the 'meet the new hire' meeting?"
"Yes," Lois answered.
"I guess that means I'd better get some of my professional clothes,"
Rebekah sighed, "I'd much rather wear comfortable baggy jeans and
t-shirts than dress up. I guess I'll have to get out the clothes that
actually fit; Uncle Perry would have my hide if I showed up to a staff
meeting dressed in overalls!"
Lois giggled a bit at her friend's obvious discomfort over wearing work
clothes to the Planet. She knew that it would be good for Bekah
to be dressed as the reporter that she actually was. It wasn't
that Bekah was a bad artist, to the contrary, it was just that looking
the part of a reporter could often get you into places that you
otherwise couldn't visit. Lois walked into the kitchen, and asked,
"Bekah, would you like anything to eat? I'm sure I can fix
Rebekah rushed to follow her, "Lois, if your cooking is like it used to
be, you'd better let *me* make something non-chocolate to eat!"
"Hey, there's nothing *wrong* with *chocolate*," Lois retorted.
"No, there's nothing *wrong * with it, I just thought you'd like some
*real * food," Rebekah said with a huge grin.
"Chocolate *is * real food," Lois exclaimed, "First Clark and now
you! I swear, when will you people ever admit that chocolate is
*good* for you?"
"Never," Rebekah said laughingly, "Too much of a good thing is bad for
anybody!" The two friends started laughing as Rebekah ransacked the
fridge and the cupboards looking for something edible.
Clark, still dressed as Superman, flew back to the gallery, spun into
street clothes, climbed into the Jeep, and began to drive back to his
house. He sincerely hoped that Lois would manage to convince
Bekah to stay with them for her own safety. Lois had confided her
stalker theories to him and with the night's robbery, it seemed as if
she and Rebekah were right. Someone was after Rebekah. If it
weren't for the fact that Luthor had died the previous year, he would
suspect that this stalker was, in actuality, after more than just
Rebekah. After all, Luthor had proved that he had no compunctions
about using the innocent to get what he really wanted; possession of
Lois, and his own demise.
He arrived at the house, parked the Jeep and started up the
steps. He smiled to himself as he heard laughter emanating from
the kitchen. He used his super hearing to tune into Rebekah
teasing Lois over Lois's inability to cook anything but chocolate
desserts and pasta salad as he unlocked the door and entered the house.
He sobered quickly as he thought of the rescue. It had been near
enough; he'd have to talk Lois into being more careful. <I
couldn't stand it if I lost her> Clark thought seriously. Lois was
his world; without her, life just wasn't really worth living.
He strode quickly into the kitchen, knowing that if Lois had convinced
Rebekah to stay, it would necessitate a trip to Rebekah's apartment to
pick up some clothes for the next few days. "Hey, you two," he
said quietly, a soft smile playing around the corners of his mouth.
"Beky, has Lois managed to convince you to stay with us until we catch
Rebekah looked at her brother-in-law for a minute before replying,
"Yeah, she conned me into it. I do have one condition though;
ya'll have to let me do a portrait bust of you two as a thank you."
Lois and Clark exchanged a glance. If sitting for a portrait would
enable them to keep their friend safe, then they would find the time to
do it. "Sure," they said simultaneously.
"Clark," Lois said, "We need to run over to Beky's apartment to grab
some of her clothes." Clark nodded. After all, he had expected
this. He pulled the keys from the Jeep out of his pocket and
beckoned to Lois and Rebekah. "The Jeep is right outside," he
It didn't take long for the three of them to arrive at Rebekah's
apartment. Rebekah unlocked the door and went inside with Lois
and Clark at her heels. <I should probably get my largest
sketchbook and my drawing supplies>, she reflected. All
sculptures started with drawings, and if she were to sculpt Superman
and her friends, she'd have to draw them first. She walked
quickly into the second bedroom of her apartment. She had been
using it as a studio until she could find a building that she could
rent for the same purpose. She moved on to her bedroom, grabbing
a suitcase out of the closet and quickly filling it with the
necessities she'd need for the next few days.
Rebekah rummaged in the back of her closet and pulled out the
seldom-worn business clothes that she knew would be necessary for
tomorrow's meeting. She had never liked wearing this sort of
constrictive clothing; not having to wear this kind of thing was one of
the reasons why she had turned artist in the first place. She finished
packing quickly. Soon, the trio was driving the Jeep back to
Lois climbed into bed and turned down the covers for Clark. In
between being tied up again, getting some of Rebekah's stuff, and
putting her up in the guest room, it had been a long day. She
watched Clark come out of the bathroom. She wanted him to hold
her all night without having to go anywhere. The brush with death
in the gallery had scared her more than she would admit; she needed the
security of his arms around her. "Clark," she began quietly,
"Hold me, please, just hold me."
Clark climbed into bed and gathered her into his arms, and dropped a
soft kiss into her hair. "Honey," he whispered quietly, "It's okay, I
Lois snuggled closer to him. "I know," she said, "I just feel
safer here in your arms." She looked up at him suddenly and he could
see the remnants of fear in her eyes. "Please Clark, don't leave me
tonight," she said with a slight tremble in her
Clark looked at her quizzically as he pulled the covers over both of
them. This was a pretty severe reaction for someone who faced
death on a regular basis. "I won't," he promised before venturing
to ask, "What's the matter, Lois?"
"I don't know, Clark," she said, drawing in a shuddering breath, "It's
just that, ever since we got out of the gallery, I've been thinking
that we could have still been chained to the pole when the gallery
caught fire..." Lois trailed off.
"You weren't," he said quietly, pulling her a bit closer and brushing a
wayward tendril of hair back from her face. "It won't happen," he
stated quietly, "I won't let it." Comforted finally, she put her head
on his chest and slept.
Jimmy looked at the computer screen in shock. <How can this
be? > He wondered. <How can Rebekah be so much more than
she seems? > She was so young and, at least to him, beautiful.
He needed to know why she had hidden so much of her past. It had
taken him hours to uncover it despite the fact that it was a matter of
public record. <It would have taken a master hacker or a
computer expert to hide records so thoroughly> he thought. It wasn't
that there was anything bad in her past, in fact, her past could enable
her to do enormous good in the world. Jimmy wondered briefly why
she would choose to ignore this part of herself that was so capable of
helping humanity. He decided, since this information really
wouldn't have much impact on Lois and Clark, he ought to talk to
Rebekah before handing it over to them.
Lois, Clark, and Rebekah walked quickly into the newsroom and strode
into the Conference Room. They had no wish to be late to Perry's
staff meeting; the fits he threw about the tardiness of his reporters
was legendary. Other Planet employees began to trickle in as the
trio settled themselves and took out their notes for the meeting.
Jimmy walked quietly up to Petersen and tapped her on the shoulder.
"Rebekah," he said quietly, "I need to talk to you." Rebekah glanced up
briefly at Jimmy and nodded her assent before turning to her friends,
"Tell Uncle Perry that I'll be right back," she said. Lois nodded
as Rebekah stood up and walked outside with Jimmy.
"Rebekah," Jimmy began, "Lois and Clark asked me to find out about your
background. Somebody went to lots of trouble to conceal it. Why don't
you want anyone to know about your past?" He looked at her
quizzically, "I mean, you could do so much good if you just let
everyone know about all of your talents." Jimmy paused for a
moment, waiting for her to respond.
Rebekah looked at Jimmy, trying not to panic. It had taken weeks
working on the computer to hide what he had apparently uncovered in
days. She didn't want Lois and Clark to know about what she was; what
she had been, just yet. Rebekah closed her eyes briefly and took
a deep breath.
Rebekah knew what she had to do; she had noticed the looks that Jimmy
had been favoring her with the past few days. She watched him through
half-lidded eyes, changing her posture a bit so as to look more
inviting; more seductive. "Jimmy," she said softly in a slightly husky
voice designed to send shivers up his spine, "Please, don't tell Lois
and Clark." Rebekah leaned forward a bit and favored Jimmy with a
sudden up-glance that made his heart flutter. She hated
manipulating guys like this, but Lois and Clark just didn't need to
know about her past; it was her business until *she* chose to share it.
Jimmy could feel his insides turn to mush in response to Rebekah's
flirting. He knew that he should just decide whether to help her
conceal her past or not, but the way she was looking at him through the
silken fringe she called eyelashes made thought difficult. Before he
could stop, his traitorous mouth blurted out, "Rebekah, will you go to
the movies with me on Friday?"
Rebekah leaned toward him to give him a slightly better view of
her...assets...before answering. "Maybe," she said saucily, "But
I need to know if you're going to tell on me." She threw Jimmy another
flirtatious glance that made his knees turn to water.
Jimmy took in a deep breath to steady his nerve; Lois would most likely
kill him for keeping this from her. "IIII won't tell them," he
said finally, staring at her in amazement. The dress she was
wearing clung to her in all the right places and being this near to her
and her beautiful hair made his heart race. He'd had fantasies
about Rebekah dressed in nothing but her hair. These fantasies
had even displaced his old erotic dreams of Lois. Jimmy had
fallen and fallen hard.
The look on Jimmy's face let Rebekah know that she had him where she
wanted him. She looked at him through her long eyelashes and
carefully made tears well up in her eyes. She widened her eyes
and let the tears brim up, "Thank you Jimmy, I'd be happy to go to the
movies with you," she said in a huskier voice designed to pluck his
heartstrings like a harp. She let a single tear roll slowly down her
cheek, AI don't want Lois and Clark to know about my past just yet;
I'll tell them later."
She leaned toward Jimmy and brushed a soft kiss on his cheek before
walking back toward the Conference Room. She made sure to put an extra
sway in her hips to keep the seduction farce going. She really
didn't care for Jimmy in that way; he reminded her too much of a kid
brother. However, she wasn't above a little manipulation to
protect herself and Jimmy was the perfect target. She knew that
she had to be careful in the amount of encouragement she gave him;
after all, it simply wouldn't do to have his infatuation develop into
something more serious. She really didn't want to hurt him, but
sometimes, a girl just had to use what she'd been given on the opposite
sex to protect her secrets.
Jimmy put a hand up to the spot where Rebekah had kissed him...he would
never wash that spot again! He watched her saunter toward the
Conference Room in shock; she had *kissed* him. He grinned to
himself before following her to the conference room for the staff
Rebekah walked into the staff room. She was a bit late because of
having to manipulate Jimmy.
"Here she is," Rebekah heard Uncle Perry say, "The newest addition to
the Daily Planet, Rebekah Petersen, the new art critic."
Rebekah nodded hello to the other reporters as she worked her way
across the room to the seat that Lois and Clark had carefully saved for
her. She was a few feet away from them when she heard a loud wolf
whistle. She scanned the room until she found the cause of the
disturbance. A pudgy, balding man leered at her from across the
room. <I hate it when guys do that, > she thought to
herself, beginning to get angry. Throwing stuff at his head wasn't an
option; there wasn't anything heavy, hard, or sharp enough within
reach. Heedless of disturbing the meeting, Rebekah strode quickly
across the room. She glared at the little man and demanded, "What
is your *name*?"
The man looked at her with something like fear in his eyes.
"R-R-Ralph," he stammered.
"Ralph," she said smiling sweetly. She then began to recite to
him a list of his parentage (which didn't include humans), his parent's
sexual habits, and his own sexual habits in a variety of languages,
none of which was English.
The Travel columnist looked at her with awe and respect because of the
invective coming out of her mouth, Ralph cowered in his chair, vowing
*never* to rouse her ire again. Clark glanced over at Lois; he felt
like he should be taking notes. It was rare that he came across
such...colorful language. Lois looked at her friend in shock; she
knew that Rebekah had a tendency to tell people off in foreign
languages when angry, but she had never seen her do anything like this!
After a few minutes of dishing out abuse, Rebekah seemed to run out of
steam. She flashed him a killing look and went over to her chair
and sat down.
Clark leaned over and whispered, "Rebekah, I didn't know you could get
into *that* position." Rebekah looked at him in shock before
giggling quietly. Lois looked at the pair with a puzzled expression on
her face. Clark noticed her expression and murmured, "I'll tell
Perry looked at his niece with a hint of disapproval in his eyes.
"Rebekah," he said quietly, "After the meeting I want to see you in my
office." Rebekah nodded in trepidation, after that display of
temper, she knew that trouble was forthcoming.
The story meeting went forward without another hitch. Luckily,
Lois's tape recorder had recorded George's conversation with his thugs,
so they had solid evidence to present to both Perry and the
police. Lois had presented the cops with a copy of a tape that
morning. The police were holding George on suspicion of arson and
had managed to round up the thugs as well. Lois, Clark, and
Rebekah had been promised the exclusive for the Planet. As far as
Perry was concerned, all was right with the world.
It was lucky for Perry's peace of mind that he was ignorant of the fact
that Lois had suppressed some of the tape. Clark had listened to the
tape in its entirety, transcribing it a t super speed after the girls
had fallen asleep. On the end of the tape, Georgie had spoken of
the Boss and of his plans for Rebekah. That morning, Lois and
Clark decided that, to better protect Becky, the police need not
know. After all, Clark was the best bodyguard of all.
Neither he nor the police yet knew of the boss, the man responsible for
the fires; the man who wanted Rebekah. That much was evident from
the tape. It was what they didn't know that might prove to be
Eric Green glanced across the room and looked at his new boss, the man
known as The Destroyer. He had been on his payroll for quite some
time suppressing news of the fires, but this was the first time he had
ever been in his presence for more than a few minutes. Eric had
yet to see his employer's face, but there was one thing he knew for a
fact; the Destroyer possessed the means to revenge himself upon Rebekah
Petersen, Lois Lane, and Clark Kent. Rebekah was foremost in his
mind. After all, by hurting her, he would indirectly be hurting
Perry White, the man who had fired him...
Rebekah walked out of Perry's office with slightly slumped
shoulders. <That was the worst tongue-lashing I've ever
gotten> she thought soberly. The worst thing was, she wasn't
exactly sure if he was really mad at her or not. She had detected
a small twinkle in his eyes that told her that he wasn't really all
that mad at her after all. Perry had extracted a promise from her
that she would endeavor to keep a tighter reign on her temper after the
little display in the staff meeting. She supposed that she should
go over and reinforce her manipulation of Jimmy, but after the staff
meeting fiasco, she just wasn't in the necessary mood for
seduction-manipulation. Rebekah walked over to her desk and sat down;
she needed a few minutes to collect herself. She saw her backpack
and smiled; her sketchbook was inside and she knew that drawing would
calm her; she needed some sketches of Lois and Clark anyway if she were
to sculpt them.
Clark watched Rebekah walk over to her desk and pull out drawing
supplies and a sketchbook before turning to Lois. Now that
Rebekah was safely occupied, he could discuss what had been on his mind
since Rebekah had asked if she could sculpt Superman. "Lois," he
began softly so as not to be overheard, "What do you think about
letting Rebekah sculpt Superman? As far as I can see, we could
only benefit; especially if Superman could convince her to make him a
bit taller and bigger than he really is."
Lois considered this for a moment before replying, A I think that it's
a really good idea; we should encourage her to go forward with this
Clark smiled at Lois. "That reminds me," he said quietly, "I need
to check with Jimmy and see what he's found out about Rebekah; I'll be
right back." Clark strode quickly across the room to where Jimmy
was standing. "Jimmy," Clark said, "Did you get the information
that I asked for?"
Jimmy turned to face Clark, he knew that he had to lie to his friend,
but at the same time, the thought of doing it made him feel horribly
guilty. <I'll do it for Rebekah's sake> he thought with a
deep sigh. "Sorry, CK," he said, "But I haven't found much of
anything yet...the information is hidden very well." He was
telling the truth...sort of. He had gotten the information, but
it *had* been very well hidden.
Clark sighed in disappointment. He really wanted that
information; Rebekah was hiding something. If it was a matter of
public record, he wanted to know what it was. He knew it was a
bit oxymoronish, after all, he was probably the most secretive man on
the planet, but he wanted to *know*; sometimes just *knowing* was
enough. "Thanks anyway, Jimmy. As soon as you find anything, let
me know, okay?" Jimmy with a purely internal wince, nodded.
Clark smiled his goodbye and walked back over to Lois's desk.
Somewhere across town in a subterranean hideaway, the Destroyer planned
his assault on the three reporters. <Soon, very soon> the
Destroyer thought as he lazily picked up a recent photograph of Lois
Lane, Clark Kent, and Rebekah Petersen. He smiled as he picked up a
black magic marker with the other hand and began to mark out the face
of Clark Kent and draw hearts around the women's faces. The women
would grow to love him, he was absolutely sure of it. They were
his; all part of his bargain. He would own them, mind, body, and
soul...his to play with; however he wished. He pressed play on
the VCR and began to watch the surveillance tape of the two women yet
again. The man known as the Destroyer leaned back into the soft
embrace of his chair and contemplated his plans, smiling. The
smile on his face wasn't nice; it was as cold and empty as his heart
Rebekah grabbed her drawing box and her sketchbook. <It's now
or never> she thought as she walked over to Lois and Clarks
desks. She cleared her throat slightly to get her friends
attention. "Um, ya'll, I need to do some preliminary drawings for
the sculpture I'm doing of ya'll. Do you think we could start
now? I mean, I could draw you two while we work on digging up
more information on our mystery man. I mean, it's not like there
are any major gallery openings this week anyway."
Lois and Clark exchanged a glance before nodding their mutual
assent. "Won't Perry be upset if he catches you?" Lois asked.
"Nah," Rebekah replied, "I told him I was going to do this." She
shrugged, "I'm an artist, I have to create; I can't help it at
times. Sometimes I feel like if I don't create something I'll
either explode or go quietly mad. Uncle Perry said I could; he
doesn't quite understand, but at least he's letting me do what I do
"Bekah, are you sure you want to do this?" Clark inquired, "After
all, you *are * a famous artist..."
"Clark, I'm not famous," Rebekah corrected gently as she began drawing
the couple. In order to be a famous artist, you have to satisfy
two conditions. First, you have to be very prolific, which I
am. Second, you have to be very dead. And since I'm not
planning on dying anytime soon, I won't be famous for a long time.
Rebekah quickly finished drawing her friends' faces. "I need to
draw ya'll individually first and then together," she said as she
directed Clark to stand up. She walked around him, carefully
drawing him from all sides. "You're up next, Lois," she
said cheerfully as she began to draw her friend. It didn't take
long for her to have completed drawings of the two reporters.
"Lois, Clark, would you mind modeling together?" she asked, "Lois I'd
like you to stand in front of Clark and kind of lean against
him...Yeah, like that. Now Clark, put your arms around her waist
and ya'll need to link hands." Lois and Clark stood together in a
pose that was very natural for them; Rebekah had put them in a position
where they were leaning on each other and taking strength from one
another's presence. "Perfect," Rebekah said, studying the pose
for a few more seconds before taking out a fresh stick of vine charcoal
and beginning to draw. She walked around them, carefully drawing
them from all angles. Occasionally, she pulled out a stick of
white comte to add pure white highlights to the drawing. She
finished quickly, then began gesture drawings to insure that she could
get the body positioning exactly right in her sculpture. After a
few more moments of drawing, she was finished. "Now ya'll, that
wasn't *too* painful, now was it?" Rebekah said with a grin. "I
may have to borrow you for reference after I start on the sculpture,
but I should be okay with the drawings...Now if I can just get Superman
to pose for me..."
Thank you, Rebekah," Lois said as she and Clark exchanged a slightly
guilty glance. Clark knew that he would have to contact her as
Superman soon to get the modeling over with; today would probably be
the best day to just get it done. After all, they'd just spent
time talking over the story as Rebekah drew them and between the three
of them had come up with some ideas for possible leads. Clark
thought for a second; he could talk to her as Superman during lunch and
get this over with.
George Boges cowered in the corner of the Destroyer's subterranean
hideaway. He had failed; thanks to Lois Lane and Rebekah
Petersen, he had almost been caught. Now more than ever, he wanted
Rebekah; he would show her who was the boss! How dare she turn
him in? It was bad enough that she had once rejected him, but
this smacked of betrayal. He could not allow her to get away with
behavior like this. She was far too independent anyway; he was
lucky enough to work for the Destroyer, his Master. George looked
up slowly to eye the Master standing in the center of the room. <The
Master will allow me to play with her.> he thought, a growl
emanating from the back of his throat. <She will not deny me,
Rebekah and Lois sat in the outdoor café close to the Planet
awaiting their lunch order. Clark had come with them, but had to
leave suddenly due to forgetting a doctor's appointment. Rebekah
didn't think he looked all that sick, but she figured it was just a
routine checkup. They had been sitting in companionable silence
for some minutes when Rebekah heard a loud whoosh and a thump behind
her. She turned around; it was Superman.
"Ms. Petersen," Superman said, "I'd like to take you up on your offer
to sculpt me."
Rebekah looked up at the superhero and smiled, "Thank you
Superman! Here's my address; I work out of my apartment right
now. How does 6 PM tonight sound? This shouldn't take long."
Superman nodded, "I'll do my best to be there," he said quietly before
taking off again. A few minutes later, Clark walked up to the
table and sat down. He was glad that they could get the portraits
out of the way; he had never really felt comfortable with stuff like
this. At least he knew that the sculpture of his alter ego would be for
a good cause.
He had called the Superman Foundation earlier that day to get more
information about this project, and had discovered that the statue was
to be auctioned off to the highest bidder, and the proceeds were to be
given to the orphanage. The highest bidder would then supposedly
donate the sculpture back to the Foundation to be displayed in the
outer courtyard of the offices. Rebekah had called it a
'commission' but that wasn't entirely accurate; she wasn't getting paid
for creating the statue, the Foundation had only granted her enough of
a stipend to cover the materials. Clark smiled, the sculpture was bound
to fetch a tidy sum; it wasn't every day that a well-known artist
created an artwork for charity.
Rebekah said goodbye to her friends and headed to her apartment to
begin work on the sculpture of Lois and Clark. She had been
extremely surprised yesterday when Perry had given her the afternoon
off for today; he must have been pleased with the reviews she had
turned in the past few days. She let herself in and walked into
her studio. She had decided to do both sculptures in bronze,
which meant one thing; the original had to be sculpted in
plasticene. She'd always hated using it; the texture was horrible
and the residue tended to stay on her hands for hours after she'd
Since she didn't yet have the sketches of Superman, starting on Lois
and Clark's sculpture would be the agenda for the afternoon.
Rebekah pulled out her tools, armatures, modeling stand, and clay and
started working. Hopefully, she could finish this tonight and get
the mold set around it so that she could take it to the Metropolis
Foundry. Almost all of her casting equipment was in storage until she
could find suitable studio space; in any case, the superman sculpture
would have had to be taken there anyway. The Foundation wanted it to be
slightly larger than life sized, and she simply couldn't cast anything
that big by herself.
Superman flew swiftly toward Rebekah's apartment. The sooner they
could get this over with, the better. Rebekah was already making
one sculpture of him as Clark Kent; he wasn't so sure anymore if it was
wise to let her create another sculpture of himself as Superman.
Mentally he shrugged, after all he'd already promised to let her sculpt
Superman, and she already had the drawings to create the portrait of
Lois and Clark. He flew to the window and knocked. A few
minutes later, he was standing on a platform in the center of a
well-lit room with a fan steadily blowing the bottom of his cape to one
Rebekah looked at him critically, trying to decide exactly how he
should position his arms. "Superman," she began, "How do you
usually position your arms? I need to see how you usually hold
them so that you're properly represented in the sculpture."
Superman considered this for a moment before saying hesitantly, "well,
I either put my hands on my hips or cross my arms over my chest..."
"Let me see, please," Rebekah requested. Superman complied and
she walked around him, studying the two positions from every
angle. "Arms crossed, definitely," she said with quiet
certainty. "If you'll hold still for a few minutes, I'll be
done." Rebekah walked around the superhero again, this time sketching
quickly. "Thank you for modeling for me, Superman," Rebekah said with a
"Glad I could help with this project," Superman said, glancing around
her studio. Many projects littered the room in various stages of
completion. A few feet away from him a half-finished sculpture
stood on a small, rolling platform. The details had yet to be
added, but the forms and positioning were that of Lois and Clark.
The Destroyer sat at a table in his secret hideaway, caressing a R.
Petersen original sculpture. It was a self -portrait, joy was
written in every line of the piece. He pulled out the artist's
statement that George had taken off the wall of the gallery and
examined it-<Beautiful> he thought, <Her writing talent shows
in the statement.> He looked around at his collected pieces
and smiled. Soon he could add the artist and her best friend to
his collection as well. He looked at the joyful piece in front of
him...soon he would convince her to create such pieces especially for
him. Her gift would be his to order as he wished as well as the
gifts of her best friend, Lois Lane. He would own them...
Rebekah sat on a tall stool in her studio putting the finishing touches
on her sculpture of Lois and Clark. Their faces were finished;
she only had small details left to add. It was early yet, and
since tomorrow was her day off, she had plenty of time to work on her
Superman sculpture. She carefully constructed glasses for
the Clark sculpture out of fine wire as she considered the
possibilities for Superman's statue. It would be better, she
decided to make it relatively small and then have the foundry enlarge
it. She simply didn't have the large quantities of plasticene
needed to construct the sculpture to the desired size.
Rebekah pulled out another armature and started building Superman's
form. She knew the cape would probably be the hardest.
Flowing cloth was always hard to create in any kind of clay, and
plasticene was considerably stiffer than natural clay.
She carefully began to build muscles on the wire skeleton that
was the armature. Rebekah looked at the headless, capeless sculpture
critically and compared it to her drawings. It still needed
clothing details, but it was accurate at least. She stuck a lump
of the artificial clay on top and began to construct Superman's face,
starting from the skull and building outwards. Rebekah smoothed
on the muscles and began building the rest of the tissue and outer
layers of skin. She carefully built up appropriate areas and
added in Superman's features, being careful to add expression to his
handsome face. The mass for his hair came next. She
carefully finished the details on his face and went on to the cape,
pounding out thin strips of clay and attaching them to the figure.
Within an hour, she had finished Superman's statue. Rebekah stood
up to stretch before walking in the kitchen in search of something to
eat. She'd been working on the sculptures since one, and it was
almost midnight. She was glad that she'd remembered to call Lois and
Clark to tell them not to wait up; she knew where they kept the spare
key anyway, so if she went back, it wouldn't be a problem to get
in. Sandwich in hand Rebekah padded back into her studio and
turned on a few lamps to highlight her work.
She looked at the sculpture and compared it to her drawings...it was a
good match and the expressive quality was excellent. She rolled
the Superman statue out of the way and put the sculpture of Lois and
Clark in its place. She looked at it critically before deciding
that it needed more work; Clark's face wasn't quite right. She
pulled out the drawings and carefully began to add details to make it
realistic and to add expression, stopping every few minutes to check
her sketches. At last she had finished. She put the two
sculptures side-by- side so as to get both of them into the
light. She examined her work minutely.
<That's weird,> she thought suddenly, looking closer at the
sculptures of Clark and Superman. Her brow furrowed as she pulled
out drawing supplies. She carefully penciled a portrait of Clark and a
portrait of Superman. Rebekah got out an eraser and began to make
changes to her Clark drawing. She erased the glasses and changed
the hairstyle before comparing it to Superman. <The bone
structure is exactly the same> she thought quietly. If she
didn't know better, she would think that Clark Kent and Superman were
identical twins or...
Lois and Clark walked into the lobby of the Daily Planet hand in hand
after leaving Rebekah in the cafe. Rebekah may have had the
afternoon off, but they still had work left to do. Lois glanced
over at her husband and smiled. He had the look on his face that
meant that he was obsessing about something. Since Superman
hadn't had to make any major rescues that day, there was little chance
of it being about a life or death situation. She playfully butted
him with her hip. "What's on your mind, flyboy?" she asked with a
playful smile hovering around the edges of her mouth.
Clark sighed a bit as he thought of the events of that morning.
Jimmy had been lying to him; he was as certain of it as he was of his
own name. "Lois," he began, "I asked Jimmy about the background
information on Rebekah this morning and, well...he didn't exactly tell
me the truth. I think she convinced him to help her hide
something that she doesn't want us to know...I can't help but wonder if
she's up to something."
Lois stared at Clark for a moment. It was a strange sight; her
eternal optimist, expressing doubts about her best girl friend.
"Clark," she said softly, "Rebekah probably just wanted to tell us
herself. She promised me that she would-and that her secret isn't
a bad one. I trust her enough to give her the benefit of the
doubt." Clark nodded slowly. If Lois thought Rebekah was on the
level, experience had taught him that she was usually right.
The duo walked out of the elevator and over to Lois'ss desk.
There was still research to finish; if they could find this 'Boss"
mentioned on the tape, then the fires would definitely stop. The
tape had also mentioned someone by the name of "The Destroyer".
They had wondered if the Boss and the Destroyer were one and the same,
but not only did they not have proof, but the real identity of this
person was still a mystery. With a name like "The Destroyer",
Clark had some suspicion that it could be Tempus, but Tempus was still
currently locked up in the Asylum. There weren't really any art
lovers among the known criminals of Metropolis. Intergang had
even been mysteriously quiet lately. While it was true that they
had the know how and resources to run a scam this big, in Lois's mind,
all of the information pointed towards a single person, not an
organization, behind this ring of arson and thievery.
Lois sat down at her desk and placed a call to Bobby Bigmouth.
They had been visiting their other snitches, but so far the snitches
weren't talking. She made an appointment to meet with Bobby in an
hour...with the bribe of Thai food and chocolate éclairs, he'd
definitely be able to tell them something.
Bobby Bigmouth grinned as he made his way towards the silver
Jeep. He had information; Lane and Kent would owe him big for
this. <Peking Duck, here I come!> he thought
gleefully. He opened the door of the Jeep and slid inside.
"What do you have for me?" he questioned eagerly.
"That depends on what information you've got for us," Lois said
crustily. Clark pulled out a bag marked with the name of a Thai
restaurant and handed it to Bobby. With his other hand, he
grabbed a coke that was sitting in the drink holder and passed it over.
Bobby dug around inside the bag and pulled out a container. "Yum,
Thai." He said as he opened the container and dug in.
"Now what's the word on this Destroyer guy?" Lois demanded.
"He's a shady character. Word is that his tastes run toward
expensive objects d'art, a certain artist turned reporter, and her best
friend. Anything more will cost you dessert," Bobby said.
Lois grimaced as she produced a white bakery bag and passed it
over. "Okay, spill it, Bobby."
Bobby glanced inside the bag and grinned; it contained five fat
chocolate eclairs. "Hardly anyone has ever seen his face and survived
to tell the tale, but they say that he bears a remarkable resemblance
to John Doe. That's all I've got." Bobby gathered up his loot and slid
out of the Jeep. "Pleasure doing business with you," he said as
he sauntered away.
Lois looked at Clark in shock, "John Doe?? Tempus??? Isn't he still in
the Metropolis Home for the Criminally Insane?"
Clark grimaced, "I think so, but I think we'd better go check." Lois
started the Jeep and they sped toward the Metropolis Home for the
They arrived at the asylum to find that Tempus was still locked
inside. Unlike their previous encounter with him in the mental
ward, he acted normally-for him. "If Tempus is still here," Lois began,
"Then Bobby must be wrong. There's no way he can be the Destroyer
and still be locked up."
"Lois, we don't know that. The Tempus in our past lives hated us,
isn't it possible that another Tempus, say from the past or the future
is after you now?" Clark questioned.
"I suppose it's possible, if highly unlikely, " Lois acquiesced, "But
Tempus has been locked up for a long time, I simply don't think that he
would try to go after Rebekah. I know why he would want to get
me, but why her? It just doesn't make much sense."
Clark nodded in agreement. <Lois is right> he
thought. <After all, Tempus wants to make sure Utopia never
exists; Wells would have said something if Rebekah fitted into how
Utopia came into existence.
I will, however have to talk to Lois and Rebekah. If this madman
is really after the both of them, I'll just have to convince them not
to go anywhere without me; for their own safety.>
The Destroyer sat in a large armchair in his lair listening to a tape
of Bobby Bigmouth's conversation with the Kents that Eric had obtained
for him. They were starting to get too close for his own
comfort. He picked up the silver-framed picture of Lois and
Rebekah that sat next to him on the end table. He ran caressing
fingers over the two images. By tomorrow at the latest, he would
make his move; it was time to collect his possessions. <After
I break Rebekah,> he thought, <She will create her objects d'art
exclusively for me. I must find a way to control Lois.>
It would only be a matter of time until Rebekah and Lois would learn to
love him...or at least to obey his every whim. <Obedience is
better than love anyway.> he thought with an evil smile.
<Love is an illusion propagated by sissy poets and musicians.
When I succeed in kidnapping them and gaining their obedience, I will
succeed in making life more interesting.> The Destroyer
smirked; he would never be caught or even suspected-his counterpart was
unavailable to wreck havoc in this world. <I love destroying
lives; it's just so fulfilling!> The Destroyer laughed evilly before
beginning to finalize his nefarious plans; preparing to set them in
Lois slowly climbed out of the Jeep. Clark had been called away
on the way back from the asylum for a bank robbery, so she was
temporarily alone. It was late enough that they had just phoned
the Planet to let Perry know what they were up to before heading home
for the day. Lois smiled to herself. Rebekah had mentioned
that she might be staying over at her place working on the sculptures,
so soon she and Clark would be able to be alone. Clark had
promised that he would pick up some take out after allowing Rebekah to
draw him for the Superman Foundation sculpture.
Clark flew through the window; take out containers in hand. The
modeling session with Rebekah had gone quickly; he was still unsure
about the wisdom in allowing Rebekah to sculpt him as both of his
identities. However, his mother dabbled in sculpting and if
Rebekah worked as Martha did, he surely had nothing to fear. Art
was an area that he knew little about; especially representational
art. Clark dismissed his worries. <After all> he
reasoned, <she's only an artist...and she's Lois's friend. If
Lois trusts her, then I do too.> Clark smiled at the mere
thought of his wife. "Lois?" he called softly.
Lois's head popped up from behind the couch. "What did you pick
up for dinner tonight honey?" Lois asked as she got up, walked to the
kitchen, and began to pull plates out of the cupboard.
Clark walked over to the table and set down his burden. "I swung
by Italy on the way home and picked up some of that pasta you like so
much, " he said, smiling softly.
Lois finished setting the table, walked over to the fridge, and pulled
out a gallon of milk. They usually would have had wine with
dinner, but since she had been trying to get pregnant, they had
switched over to milk. "Yum," she said, smiling up at her
handsome husband as he opened the take out containers and began placing
the food on the plates. Lois toyed with the food on her
plate. "I'm not really hungry...for pasta," she said smiling
seductively at her Clark.
Clark smiled at his wife innocently, "And what would you be hungry
for?" he inquired, standing up and closing the small distance between
them. He leaned over and began planting butterfly kisses on her
neck. Lois sighed as she stood up and wrapped her arms around his neck,
delicately playing with the fine hairs she found there. Clark's
hands tangled in her hair as she bent her head to give him better
access and began to plant soft, feathery kisses along his jaw in
return. Clark pulled back slightly but only in order to capture
her lips with his, intensifying the moment. The kisses became more and
more passionate and urgent as they stumbled into the living room.
Locked in each other's heated embrace; they fell on to the couch.
Clark trailed a hand down her spine as Lois tugged his shirt free and
began exploring his chest. Clark caught her hands and motioned to the
stairs. He smiled at her, passion darkening his eyes.
"Maybe we should continue this...upstairs, he said huskily as he
carefully scooped her up and headed for the bedroom.
(Insert naughty bits here.)
Hours later, as Clark was kissing Lois, the phone rang.
Clark half-heartedly began to reach for the phone, but was stopped by
Lois's moan of protest as she buried her hands in his hair, tugged his
head closer to her and captured his mouth with hers. "The machine
will get it," she said breathlessly between heated kisses. Clark
couldn't help but hear from the message that Rebekah wanted them to
meet her at her apartment for lunch the next afternoon. He began
to trail more butterfly kisses over Lois's exposed skin; thinking about
tomorrow just wasn't in the present agenda.
Lois woke slowly encircled in the comfort of Clark's arms. She
yawned sleepily as she shut off the alarm and prodded her still
sleeping husband. He groaned and slowly began to rub his
eyes. "Morning already?" he asked, his eyes still full of
sleep. At Lois's nod, he climbed out of bed and stole a
kiss. "I'll go fix breakfast," he said with a yawn as he headed
toward the door.
Hours later, Lois and Clark sat in the conference room with their
research spread out in front of them. They finished filling
Rebekah in on what they had discovered the previous afternoon while she
had been working on her sculptures and looked at her expectantly.
She had told them that she would put out some feelers in the art
world...more information would have been useful in pursuing their story.
Rebekah sighed as she regarded her friends. She had done some
snooping, but so far had yet to learn much about the "Destroyer".
She shook back her long braids, dreading having so little to
tell. "I did a little digging," she began, "But all I managed to
discover is that he's fencing most of the stolen objects d'art over the
internet. It seems that he keeps some of them-mostly my more
expressive pieces. It looks as if the more emotional the subject
matter is, the more he wants the piece-especially if the subject matter
is on the darker side."
Lois looked at her friend in disbelief. "But aren't most of your
pieces on the light side? I mean. All of the ones I've seen express
more joy than anything else..."
Rebekah looked at her friend ironically. "Lois, I guess we really
need to find time for that interview of Perry's after all. A
substantial part of my work deals with dark subject matter-overcoming
pain and suffering is one of my main themes..." Rebekah trailed
off. "Speaking of work; I finished the sculpture of ya'll
yesterday," Rebekah said with a big grin. "Since it's past
lunchtime, and I did invite ya'll to my place for lunch, would you two
like to see your portraits?"
Clark glanced at his watch and exchanged a glance with Lois before
replying for both of them. "Sure," he answered. "Of course
we'd like to see how it turned out."
"I guess we'd better get going then," Lois said as she began to gather
up their belongings.
Rebekah ushered Lois and Clark into her studio. She had used her
cell phone to order pizza for them on the way to her apartment, so
there was no reason why she shouldn't show them the fruits of
yesterday's labors while they waited. She reached over and pulled
the cover off of their sculpture. She turned around and smiled at
her friends. "What do ya'll think?", she asked with an engaging
Clark took a step back and began to examine the sculpture. The
portraiture was perfect and she had somehow managed to work emotions in
the piece. He glances over at Lois, wordlessly asking if she saw
what he did in Rebekah's work-she had somehow managed to convey the
deep love and commitment they had for one another. He wasn't sure
how she could do it, but somehow it seemed as if she had seen into
their hearts and souls and proceeded to incorporate it into their
portrait. Lois was the first one to speak. "It's beautiful,
Rebekah," Lois said quietly. Clark nodded his agreement; Lois was
A slow smile stole over Rebekah's face-she knew how to go about telling
her friends the truth. She gently pushed the modeling stand away
from her; using the action to disguise the fact that she had palmed the
glasses off the Clark figure. She turned to her friends carefully
blocking the sculpture from view with her body. "I finished the
Superman sculpture last night also," she said quietly. "I'd really
appreciate an opinion." With that simple declaration, she pulled the
cover off the sculpture she had created for the Superman Foundation,
making sure that the two modeling stands stood side by side. Rebekah
stood back and motioned her friends to come and look.
Clark's eyes widened as he stared at the sculptures. The likeness
was absolutely amazing. The statue of Superman was heroic, but
Rebekah had managed to capture an element of sadness-sadness and regret
for the people he could not save. Clark glanced over to the first
sculpture and then at Rebekah. Her expression was one of
acceptance; it was acceptance of knowledge she had no right to
know. Comprehension dawned on his face. She knew. She
knew the secret that he had spent his life protecting; that Lois had
spent the past three years protecting. Lois had been a bit faster
on the uptake-Rebekah's knowledge of the Kent family secret was a bit
disturbing, but if they could swear her to secrecy, no harm would be
It was Rebekah that spoke first. "Lois, Clark," she began
seriously, "First of all, I promise I won't tell." She
scuffed one foot against the floor before continuing. "Second,
Clark if you *really* want to keep your secret, don't make friends with
figurative sculptors...especially if they're trained in forensic work
like I am."
Lois took a deep breath before answering for both of them. "We know
that you wouldn't betray us," she said quietly. "But there's
something else isn't there? I know you promised to tell us sooner
or later, but I think that if we're going to trust you with our biggest
secret, we need yours for blackmail material."
Rebekah gave a short nod. "I was planning on telling you today
anyway." She motioned for them to follow her as she led the way to the
living room. "Make yourself at home, I'll be right back," she said
before disappearing into the bedroom. She re-emerged a few
minutes later carrying a notebook. "I thought it might be a good
idea if I showed you some proof," Rebekah looked serious as she handed
over the notebook. Lois began to look through it, making sure
that Clark could see the documents and pictures also. "As a young
child, I was considered to be exceptionally bright," Rebekah began, "My
parents took me and had IQ tests run. The tests all labeled me as
a child genius, so my parents took me out of preschool and put me in
college." Rebekah took a deep breath before continuing, "By my seventh
birthday, I had a degree in Biochemical Engineering from Georgia Tech
and went on to become a doctor. I know that it's a bit hard to
believe, but I had a degree in medicine from Emory by the time I was
eleven. Lois, I met you the summer before my last year working on a
degree in Journalism at Met U. After I finished that, I moved to
the Atlanta College of Art and Design to get a BFA in art."
"Why is this such a big secret?" Clark asked. "I mean, your past
is a good thing."
Rebekah rubbed a hand across her face and pushed her braided hair
back. "I didn't want anyone to know because it's something I'd
like to forget. There are lots of people out there that tend to
take advantage of a child genius. There are also things I know
that the criminal elements would love to have access to. It was
easier to be R. Petersen the artist and leave the rest behind." Rebekah
took a deep breath before continuing, "One of my medical school buddies
did the autopsies on the dead New Kryptonians. I was curious, so
against government regulations, he slipped me a copy of the autopsy
reports. They were hoping that by learning everything they could
about Kryptonian physiology, if Superman ever had a problem, they could
use what they learned to help you." Rebekah looked over at her friends
and took another deep breath. "I have some friends in Washington
that gave me the medical data that was included in the peace
treaty. Basically, I'm one of a handful of people that can be
considered experts on Kryptonian physiology."
"Dr. Klein has been treating Clark for years, doesn't he have this
information?", Lois asked quickly.
"He has some, but one of my special studies is infertility. The
government asked me to look into whether or not there could be
Kryptonian/human babies after the invasion. They said that if
such a conception was possible, they needed to identify the children so
that Superman might be able to help them. At the time, I ruled
that it simply wasn't possible, but I think I was wrong. I think
I overlooked something basic. With a decent lab and a few days to
work on it, I'm pretty sure that I can find a way for the two of you to
have kids if you want them." Rebekah looked at her friends as
hope blossomed on their faces. She had been reexamining all of
her information since she had discovered that Clark was Superman.
It was obvious to her that Lois wanted Clark's child. Rebekah had
hoped that she'd never have to actively practice medicine again, but to
help her friends, she would attempt to fix the problem. "I have
next Wednesday and Thursday off. If I can get acceptance into a
lab, I might have an answer for you next week."
"If we talk to Dr. Klein and offer your information, it's entirely
possible that he might let you work in Star Labs," Clark said.
"We'll make an appointment with Dr. Klein for Superman this
afternoon. That way, we'll have a better chance of convincing him
to let you access the labs."
<Whew! It's been a long day!> Rebekah reflected as she
strode through the Planet's parking garage on her way to her
Harley. Clark had managed to finagle an afternoon appointment to
see Dr. Klein, so she had gotten introduced that day. Dr. Klein
had been extremely skeptical, not to mention suspicious that she was
who she claimed to be. <It's just about what you expected,>
she told herself wryly. He had recognized her name in conjunction
with art and had proceeded to treat her like a small child. Being
treated like an idiot by people who were her intellectual equals was
something that happened whenever she spoke to supposed
colleagues. Rebekah hated it, but had grown accustomed to the
condescending remarks that flew her way whenever she claimed her full
identity. She and Superman had managed to convince Dr. Klein by
not only the volume of data that she possessed, but by her complete
understanding of it. Rebekah smiled to herself as she remembered
Klein's sudden recall of her papers and articles; it had taken him a
while, but he had finally remembered reading more than a few
groundbreaking papers by R.A. Petersen. Rebekah reached her bike
and began to rebind her hair; combing the tangles out after riding the
Harley was just too painful unless she bound it first. Just as
she inserted the final bobby pin, a cloth-covered hand came over her
mouth. Rebekah fought back with all the skill she had ever
managed to acquire, but soon the darkness overcame her and she slumped
to the ground.
Lois parked the Jeep in front of the Hyperion Avenue brownstone.
It was still a bit hard to believe that little Rebekah was a doctor and
thought that she could help them. However, not only had she seen
the documentation, but she had made a few calls this afternoon that
offered definitive proof that Rebekah was telling the truth. Lois
sighed, remembering the look of fear in Clark's eyes when Rebekah had
told them that she knew their secret. Even her assurances that
she would never tell had not completely obliterated the fear in her
beloved's eyes. Lois knew that Clark's alter ego was safe; after
all, so many criminals had tried to unmask Clark as Superman that most
of the media regarded it as a bad joke.
Lois pulled out her keys and unlocked the door before walking
inside. She had sent Clark out for Chinese food; she was sure
that after dinner, she could help alleviate his anxiety concerning this
most recent addition to the inner circle. In a way, Rebekah's
knowing could be a very good thing. With all of the break-ins at Star
Labs, and the theft of Clark's medical records, she wasn't really sure
if Dr. Klein should ever be told of Superman's real identity; it could
be dangerous for all of them. She climbed the stairs to the
bedroom that she and Clark shared and pulled some casual clothes out of
the dresser. Lois changed quickly into blue jeans and a t-shirt,
deciding just this once to leave her shoes off and go barefoot.
She padded downstairs into the living room and into the kitchen, opened
the fridge and reached inside for a cream soda. As she began to
straighten up, hands grabbed her from behind and a cloth was forced
over her nose and mouth. Before she had a chance to defend
herself against her assailants, darkness took over as she lapsed into
Two dark vans drove swiftly through the streets of Suicide Slum their
precious cargoes bound, gagged, and blindfolded as the Boss has
ordered. They had come from different directions; each had taken
a circuitous route to get to their final destination. The first
of the dark vans contained a tall, somewhat stocky artist while the
other held prisoner a petite dark haired beauty of a
reporter. Both captive women had major roles to play in the
developing history of this world; both were headed toward doom and
certain death. It was unclear what awaited them; the one known as
the Destroyer had been known to change his mind on a whim. His
men knew of his wanton cruelty and callous disregard for those he
considered his playthings. They had helped to dispose of the
evidence that would connect him to his play.
The first van carefully pulled behind the hidden entrance to the
Master's hideout and inched its way down into the small garage.
Four heavyset men pulled the limp form of a young artist out of the
back of the van. In her struggle to win free, the bobby pins that
secured her braids to her head had loosened, causing her braids to
thump down free on her back. The four men carefully carried the
unconscious young woman into the special lead-lined room that the
Destroyer was so fond of sitting in. He had ordered that she be
undamaged, so they gently laid her down on the huge bed and, after
taking her bindings off, chained her hands and feet to the frame. Her
braids flipped over to one side, barely within reach of her chained
Clark flew swiftly over the ocean, carrying steaming bamboo containers
filled with delicious Chinese take-out food. He soon neared the
East Coast, flying as fast as he dared; eager to return to his loving
wife. As he neared Metropolis, his thoughts turned more and more
to a certain pair of liquid brown eyes; eyes that he could easily spend
a lifetime drowning in and still beg for more. He flew through
the window of the house he shared with Lois, spun out of his suit, and
immediately began looking for her. "Lois?" he called
softly. She was nowhere in sight, and for some reason, although
the lights were on and the refrigerator door was open, he couldn't hear
her heartbeat. Thinking that she might have had to leave suddenly
to meet with a source for their current story, he set down the take out
and walked quickly over to the desk where they usually left messages to
each other in situations where the other could not be reached.
Clark lowered his glasses and looked out the front door; her Jeep was
still parked out front. Clark began to smile; something like this
had happened before. He bounded upstairs, hoping to find his
beautiful wife lying on their bed waiting for him. "Lois?", he
called again softly. There was no answer. He pushed open
the door to their bedroom and walked inside. He was disappointed
when he found it silent and empty. The only evidence of her
presence resided in the laundry hamper; the work clothes she had been
wearing were crumpled inside. Clark took a deep breath and
momentarily closed his eyes. He then began using his special
abilities by scanning the house inch by inch, hoping to find some sign
of where she had gone. He finished the scan in a matter of minutes.
Lois had not called for him--either she was unable to scream, or
unwilling to. Clark stashed the food in the fridge before
spinning into the Suit to search for his other half. He knew,
through the soulmate bond, that she still lived, but it was obvious to
him that she was in some sort of trouble. He began to fly a
search pattern over the city, hoping and praying that he would find her
before it was too late. His mind refused to contemplate what he
might be 'too late' to prevent; losing her was unthinkable-she was his
A second dark, lead-lined van sped quickly and quietly through the
streets of Metropolis. Six large men repeatedly snuck nervous
glances at the small woman lying in a boneless heap on an old mattress
in the back of the vehicle. The Master had told them to be wary
of this one-she might look harmless, but the truth often belied
appearances. He wanted her undamaged; the men knew what
that meant. Any damage this puppet incurred was to be at the
hands of the Destroyer. Any one of them who disobeyed orders
would most likely be part of the Master's game; as yet another
plaything. None of the men wanted to end up like that; few
survived the Master's games. The driver of the van glanced back
at the unconscious figure in the back before turning to concentrate
upon his destination.
The van silently slipped through the secret entranceway to the
Destroyer's lair. Six men climbed out of the van and gently
carried the limp form into the lead-lined room. Carefully, they
untied their prize, untaped her mouth, took off the blindfold,
laid her out on the soft bed, and chained her next to Rebekah. After
they finished the task, the six men slipped out of the room and
notified the Master of their successful foray into the Kent's
home. A few minutes later, the Destroyer strode into the room and
loomed over the women, a chilling smile upon his wicked visage.
His smile was one of pure, unadulterated evil that sent chills up the
spines of viewers. <Mine,> he thought, <All
mine.> The Destroyer mockingly caressed the faces of the two
senseless women-now his possessions to do with what he would. He
sighed regretfully. Playing with these two new toys would not be
amusing until the recovered from the effects of the chloroform his men
had used to subdue them. He would have to wait until they
recovered. He grinned mockingly as he kissed each of the
women. <Mine, all mine,> he thought again as he exited the
room, locking it carefully behind him. He would come back after
the drug wore off to begin his games.
Rebekah opened her eyes blearily and examined her surroundings.
Her head felt as if it were stuffed with cotton-wool, she had been
chained to the bed, but otherwise she was fine. <How are you
going to get out of this one Petersen?>, she asked herself.
Rebekah turned her head to the left and began to smile. Her
braids were within reach of her left hand-and hairpins were sticking
out of the braids. She carefully removed a bobby pin and
painstakingly began to pick the lock; mentally blessing the drawing
professor that had made her draw left-handed for eight weeks. She
fiddled with the tumblers until she heard them click, freeing her left
hand. She then began to carefully pick the other three locks that
held her bound, freeing herself after much effort. Rebekah leaned
over Lois, examining the triple-locking system that was an impediment
to her friend's freedom. She picked the twelve locks that held
Lois chained to the bed and slowly began to examine the room for escape
routes. Upon examining the room, she discovered that other than
the door, the only other way out was the rather large ventilation shaft
high up on the wall. She examined the opening and shook her head;
Lois, petite as she was, could fit inside, but the chances of following
the same way were nil. Rebekah walked over to the bed and began
shaking Lois gently. "Lois?", she called softly, "Wake up."
Lois stirred and opened her eyes. "Where are we?", she whispered.
"I don't know," Rebekah said almost inaudibly. "Whoever took us
was pretty thorough. There is one way out for you to go get
help...the air ventilation system." Rebekah fumbled with a seam
in her worn carpenter jeans and pulled out an old, battered Swiss army
knife. Without looking at her friend, she unscrewed the vent
plate and carefully set it against the wall.
"Let me guess," Lois said, "You want me to leave you here, waiting for
an unknown enemy to do who-knows what to you while I stay safe?
Forget it. This could be the biggest story of this century...I'm
not leaving without you or it."
"Lois," Rebekah began, "You're not leaving me here...this is divide and
conquer. I can't fit in that vent. As soon as you're
inside, I'm putting the cover back on and I'll try to escape through
the door. That way, one of us is guaranteed to make it out, find
Superman, the cops, and rescue the other. Either way, the Planet gets
the exclusive." Rebekah smiled crookedly, "Now will you get into the
Lois sighed and shook her head before answering her friend. "You
have to promise to meet me in the Daily Planet in three hours-by then,
one of us will have made it out. I need a boost to get into the
vent," she said quietly, walking over to stand next to Rebekah.
Rebekah cupped her hands together and with a grunt of effort, helped
raise Lois to the hole near the ceiling. Lois grabbed the edges
of the opening and pulled herself in. Rebekah handed Lois her Swiss
army knife and pulled another out of another seam. Without another
word, Rebekah waited until Lois was completely inside, fit the vent
covering over the hole and replaced the screws. She hurried over
to the door and picked the lock. As she reached for the doorknob,
the door slowly began to open...
Lois crawled quickly through the vent, trying not to think of the filth
underneath her. <Of all the times these idiots could have
picked to kidnap me, why did they have to wait until I was
*barefoot*>, she snarled inwardly. <It's a good thing I
changed into blue jeans,> she thought with a grimace.
<Otherwise, *another* set of work clothes would be ruined.> Lois
felt her way carefully down the air shaft, wishing for a
flashlight. Soon, her questing right hand encountered empty
space. She carefully inched her way around the corner, praying to
find a way out of the filthy ventilation system soon.
After what seemed like hours of crawling through passages, she saw a
ghost of light off in the distance. Lois crawled towards the
faint signs of an exit carefully and quickly. As Lois reached the
light source, she paused to pull out the Swiss army knife that Rebekah
had slipped into her hand before she had crawled into the vent. She
examined the opening carefully; it was another vent cover. Lois
pressed an ear to the opening. After a few minutes of hearing
absolute quiet, she slowly inserted the blade of the knife between the
crumbling wall and the vent opening. After a few minutes of
prodding and prying, she popped the screws free of the drywall and let
the vent cover swing open.
Lois closed the knife and stuck it in her pocket before lowering
herself from the vent, dropping the last few feet. She landed
silently and began to look around; it looked as if she was at the end
of an underground passageway. She padded quickly and silently
down it; hoping to find a way out After a half-hour of walking, the
passageway began to turn. <Finally! Something different.> Lois
thought. It had been getting monotonous walking down a seemingly
never-ending hallway. As she followed the curving tunnel, the
smell had been getting steadily worse. Soon it became apparent
where she had ended up-the sewers.
Lois tried not to think of what unknown substances squished between her
bare toes. Lois stumbled and fell headfirst into the sludge at
the bottom of the tunnel. She picked herself up and looked down at her
beslimed body. <I'm going to have to sterilize myself and burn
my clothes when I get out of here,> Lois thought with a grimace of
disgust. She began searching the wall for a way out. Soon
she came across a ladder leading upwards. She grabbed a hold of
the rungs and began to climb. A few minutes later, she hit the
top of the tunnel and a manhole cover. She hooked a leg through
the metal ladder and shoved at the cover as hard as she could; moving
it inch by inch until there was enough space to squeeze through.
Lois clamored out of the manhole and began to look around. Her
surroundings looked a bit familiar. Lois turned around at the
sound of crowds coming out of a building. She stood shifting from
foot to foot as she noticed where she was-the Metropolis Opera
House. A fat, evening gown and fur clad figure stepped out
of the doorway. She wrinkled her nose as if smelling some foul
odor and held the skirts of her dress away from Lois. "Someone ought to
make sure that trash like that, " she began looking pointedly at Lois,
"shouldn't be allowed to loiter around places that their betters
frequent." The woman said haughtily before flouncing away.
Lois's face darkened and she began to follow the woman to give her a
piece of her mind. Lois stopped when she remembered that if the
Opera had gotten out, it must be late-extremely late. <Clark
must be worried sick!> Lois thought. After making sure that no
one was looking, she ducked into an alleyway and pulled money from the
vault. Within a few minutes, she had located a payphone and
called a cab...
Clark flew over the city frantically using his x-ray vision to search
the buildings. The most logical places to look were the Hobbs Bay
area and Suicide Slum, so he paid careful attention to the buildings in
those areas. After a few hours of searching, he reluctantly
concluded that trying to find his beloved in this manner just wouldn't
work; there were just too many blind spots in the old buildings due to
lead paint. <Maybe I should head over to the Planet,> he
thought slowly. <I guess it's possible that she could be
there.> Clark flew over to the Planet and landed on the
roof. He spun into his street clothes and ran down the stairs
into the newsroom.
The Destroyer grasped the doorknob and opened the door that separated
him from his new possessions. Entering the room, he wasn't too
surprised to find that Rebekah had freed herself; it fit with what he
knew about her. What did surprise him was the fact that Lois was
missing. His expression darkened at this discovery. He
motioned for his employees to chain Rebekah to the bed again.
This time, he made sure to quadruple-lock the chains. He loomed
over the hapless artist; enjoying the fear he saw in her eyes.
"Rebekah," he said with an evil smile hovering about his lips.
Rebekah glared her defiance at her captor and made as if to spit on
him. "That wouldn't be very lady-like," he growled as he put a
restraining hand over her mouth. He grabbed her braids with one
hand and jerked them out sharply. With one swift, smooth motion,
he picked up a sharp knife and sawed through the thick strands.
He held up the dangling braids, "I know how much you love your long
hair," he sneered. He wrapped one of the shorn braids around her
neck and began to use it to squeeze. Soon Rebekah began to fight
for air as spots of darkness danced in front of her eyes. She had
refused to speak from the beginning-the longer she stayed silent, the
greater the chance Lois had of escaping.
The Destroyer loomed over her, his very prescence as her side
threatening. Rebekah lay quietly; chained up. She was unable to
move. She knew that one false move would probably be the last
mistake she ever made.
He placed a sharp knife on her ribs and asked in an icy voice, "Where's
Rebekah shivered. Until now, she had all but avoided looking him,
but she could not any longer. She glanced up at his face and
recoiled from what she saw in his eyes. There are some people
that walk this earth who, somewhere along the way, have lost or given
away their very souls. The Destroyer was one of those
people...his eyes were dead, devoid of any feeling but the pleasure of
other's pain. As Rebekah stared at his once-handsome visage deep
down inside she knew that evil now had a face-and she was staring right
at it. "I don't know," Rebekah answered truthfully.
<After all, > she thought, down in the back of her skull,
<Lois could be anywhere by now.>
The Destroyer smiled before picking up the knife he had laid on her
The Destroyer put down the knife and poked his head out the door to
speak to the guards. Soon afterwards, two men joined the
Destroyer in the room. One of the men was familiar to
her-Georgie-porgy. She didn't recognize the other, but the total
lack of expression on his face unnerved her.
The Destroyer gestured toward the two men, "George, Eric,..."
The cab pulled up to the curb and Lois stepped up to talk to the
cabbie. He took one look at her filthy clothes, wet, stringy,
dirty hair, and bare feet before leaving her standing on the
sidewalk. Lois shook her head and sighed. The buses didn't
run this late and as dirty as she was, cabs most likely wouldn't pick
her up either. It would be a very long walk home; especially
since she didn't have shoes. <I hope Clark will
understand,> she thought as she took a deep breath. "HELP
SUPERMAN!", she yelled.
Clark was sitting behind Lois's desk, going through the drawers when he
heard the cry for help. He raced out of the newsroom and up the
stairs spinning into his suit as he propelled himself forward.
He'd recognize that scream anywhere-Lois was in trouble. Within
seconds he was standing in front of a filthy, bedraggled, barefoot
Lois. "You screamed, Ms. Lane?", he questioned. Before she
could answer, he scooped her up and headed towards home. From the
way she smelled, Clark knew that the first thing on her mind would
probably be a shower...and burning her clothes. Lois pulled
herself closer to Clark as they flew, wanting nothing more than a
shower and a change of clothes. She didn't know how much time had
elapsed since she and Rebekah had split up, but she knew that Rebekah
would wait if she made it back to the Planet first. Clark flew
through their bedroom window and straight into the master bathroom
where he gently set her down.
Lois looked up at her husband, a small smile tugging at the corners of
her mouth. "Trying to tell me something Kent?", she asked
"Maybe I am," Clark said with mischief dancing in his eyes. He
reached over and turned on the water before picking her up and
playfully pretending to get ready to dump her into the shower.
"Okay, Okay, I get the hint," Lois said laughingly. "Now put me
down; we're to meet Rebekah at the Planet in three hours!"
Clark carefully put her down, smiling broadly.
Lois looked him over, noticing for the first time the mess that had
rubbed off of her on to his Suit. "You've got smutz all over the
Suit," she said softly her hands reaching up unerringly to the
fastenings that held the Suit closed. Lois began to unzip the
Suit, preparing to peel it off of him. "Care to join me?", she
asked with a seductive smile. Clark grinned before he
undressed both of them at superspeed and pulled her into the shower
with him; even filthy she was beautiful.
Lois stepped underneath the warm water with a blissful sigh; she didn't
much like being covered head to toe with gunk that came from the
sewers! Clark picked up a washcloth and a bar of soap.
"C'mere," he said, reaching around her to get the washcloth wet.
Lois leaned back against him as he rubbed soap into the washcloth and
began to gently scrub off the smelly mess that covered her. He
started at the top, washing off her face, shoulders and arms; trailing
kisses over her freshly washed skin. "I was worried about you,"
he murmured softly while kissing her face, forehead and lips.
Clark continued to wash her; making sure that none of the filth that
was the legacy of her most recent adventure remained.
Lois kissed him as he reached for the shampoo and gently began to
massage it into her scalp. As soon as the soap had been rinsed out of
her hair, Lois grabbed the washcloth, rubbed more soap in it, and
turned to her husband. She began to carefully run the washcloth over
his large frame; performing the same service for him that he had
performed for her. She stood on tiptoes and brushed a soft kiss
against his lips. How she loved this man! Lois finished
washing his body and carefully soaped his hair. She helped him
rinse out the soap before wrapping her arms around his waist and
closing her eyes as the warm water cascaded around them.
She was thankful that she had managed to escape and was now
standing with him; wrapped safely in his strong arms. Lois
thought back to all the times that she could have lost him or he
her. She pressed her body closer to his, knowing that if anything
ever happened to him, it was unlikely she would survive. He was
her life, her heart, her soul; she needed him for her continued
existence. She tugged his head down to hers and kissed him
hungrily. After a few moments, she broke the kiss and caressed
his face lovingly. "As much as I'd like to continue this, Clark,"
she began, "we need to find out if Rebekah managed to escape
too." Clark nodded in agreement as she turned off the water.
A few minutes later, Lois and Clark sped back through the mostly
deserted streets of Metropolis in their jeep on the way to the
Planet. By Lois's calculations, it had been two and a half hours
since she had Rebekah had split up; if Rebekah had managed to escape,
she would soon be at the Planet.
Eric smiled widely. Revenge was sweet; he only wished that Lane
had not escaped so that she could get a taste of it.
The Destroyer leaned up against the wall, watching the ongoing
game. Rebekah would be his, so far she had only bent, but he
would break her and make her his. He had all the time in the
world to convince her to go his bidding. He laughed his pleasure
at the tears running down her face; she would soon learn what real pain
truly was. Eric and George had had their fun; it was now his
turn. He motioned for them to leave before he turned to
Rebekah. He smiled gleefully. "You will learn to obey me
soon enough...for now, you are *mine*." As the Destroyer started to
come towards her, Rebekah shut her eyes, grit her teeth, and set to
Lois and Clark leaned against Clark's desk, waiting for Rebekah to show
up. It had been three and a half hours since Lois's escape and
they were starting to worry. "Clark," Lois said, "something must
have happened; Rebekah has never been this late for anything as long as
I've known her. We were being held underground somewhere in
Suicide Slum...they might have recaptured her."
"I x-rayed Suicide Slum and didn't find anything, so you two must have
been in a lead-lined room. I guess we'll have to figure out another way
to find her." Clark pondered this thought for a few minutes, trying to
come up with a way to find their friend. Over the past few days,
he had found himself growing fond of his wife's friend. <It
wasn't all that hard to do,> he reflected. After all, she was
a nice kid. He thought back to the time he had spent in her
studio the past few days. Clark remembered the conversation he
had had with her about art materials...plasticene in particular.
She had admitted that she despised the stuff, but that it was a
necessary evil. She had said that the residue clung to her body
for a long period of time after she finished using it. He slowly
remembered the scent of the artificial clay and an idea crept into his
head. He smiled suddenly as he turned to Lois. "Honey," he
began, "did Rebekah have any smears of that green clay on her hands
Lois simply looked at him, wondering why he would ask such a weird
question. "Um, yeah, she did. I remember seeing some when
she gave me her knife. Why?"
Clark grinned before replying. "That clay has a distinct odor. I
much doubt that the kidnappers made your prison smell proof! I
think I might be able to find her if I," he grinned, "sniff around."
Lois groaned at his pun and smacked him lightly on the chest.
"Baby," he began softly, "wait here for me? Your captors may try
to get you back." Lois nodded slowly; she would wait...this time.
Rebekah choked back a sob as she felt a sudden jolt of pain as she
tried to shift her broken right arm. In her mind, breaking her
hands and arms was probably the worst thing anyone could do to her;
they were her livelihood. She glared up at the Destroyer
through her tears; wishing and hoping that her friends would soon
rescue her and put her tormentor in prison where he belonged. She
refused to allow herself to hate him; she felt that if she gave in to
that potent emotion, he would somehow win. Rebekah closed her
eyes and began to excersise the only option left to her-praying
fervently that Clark and the police were somehow on their way.
Clark hovered above Suicide Slum, blocking almost everything out of his
mind but the scent of plasticene. He smiled fiercely as he
located it and began to fly swiftly toward the source of the odor.
The Destroyer looked at his handiwork and laughed at his new toy as
pain filled eyes looked up at him. He checked her chains one last
time before gathering his possessions. He wasn't finished playing
yet, but it could wait until he had a chance to change clothes and get
something to eat. He picked up one of the shorn braids, laughed
at his plaything again and walked out the door. The Destroyer
chuckled to himself as he made his way down the corridor and behind a
secret panel to his private quarters. He had made sure that
Superman could not find him here by lining it with lead; here he was
safe from the overgrown blue boy scout.
Clark arrowed toward the source of the plasticene smell. He had
located the building and by his calculations, the room Rebekah was in
was about six feet underground. He entered through an open
window, made his way to the basement, and crashed through to the room
where her unknown captors had hidden her. He closed his eyes
briefly in sympathy as he saw her injuries. Working quickly, he
leaned over and snapped the chains that held her. Rebekah's eyes
opened, clouded with pain. "Superman," she said with a voice
hoarse from screaming, "Thank goodness you found me." Rebekah's
eyes closed as she fell into the mercy of unconsciousness. Clark
x-rayed her and discovered that she had some broken bones. He
carefully detached his cape, picked her up and gently wrapped her in
it. Clark picked her up and flew out of the prison as fast as he
dared to the nearest hospital. Once there, he handed her over to
the ER doctors and called the police. It was imperative that they
meet him there to apprehend the perpetrators. Clark flew swiftly
back to the crime scene and began gathering up the Destroyer's
men. George and Eric were among the first to be
apprehended. Within minutes, every member of the group and been
caught and hog-tied-except the Destroyer. None of his men knew
where the entrance to his chambers lay...and he wasn't coming
out. Clark flew back to the Planet to fetch Lois. She
needed to know that her friend had been found-and that she was in the
Rebekah came to in the Emergency Room of the Metropolis General
Hospital with doctors and other members of the medical staff hovering
around her. She sighed in relief, glad that the rescue hadn't
been a dream. The cuts on her broken limbs had been attended to
and temporary casts of wrap-around splints and ace bandages held the
broken bones in place. She looked down at her body, noticing that
a large portion of it was swathed in bandages...and more were being
added by doctors as they finished taking care of her injuries.
A man leaning against the wall noticed her wakefulness and came
forward, introducing himself as Inspector Henderson. He asked if
there were any nearby relatives and seemed surprised when she had told
him to call Perry White. Rebekah closed her eyes briefly in pain;
it wasn't really suprising that few knew of her relation to the
Planet's editor in chief. His sister, her mother, had succumbed
to leukemia when she was twelve, leaving her motherless and her father
and uncle bereft. Henderson pulled out his cell phone and made a phone
call before taking up the thread of questioning again. For a
brief moment before answering, Rebekah considered feigning
unconsciousness to avoid the questions. She then began to answer
every question, telling him everything she knew. A few minutes
after the questioning began, Lois and Clark walked in, silently pulling
up chairs beside her bed.
"Do you think you could recognize the man if you saw him again?",
"Inspector, if you get me paper, vine charcoal, white comte and a
plastic eraser, I'll do better than that, I can draw him.", Rebekah
Inspector Henderson raised one eyebrow skeptically before going to
speak to one of the guards they had placed by her door. He soon
returned with the desired materials and handed them to her; making sure
to pull up the table.
"Remind me to write a letter and thank my old drawing professor," she
muttered grimly as she began to draw the face etched in her memory by
her pain and terror filled experience. She drew the face of pure
evil carefully, making sure not to leave out any of the
details-including the scar that ran from his right eyebrow to his
mouth. As Rebekah put the finishing touched on the portrait, Lois
leaned over to take a look. She gasped it was-"It *can't* be,"
she said in a shocked voice, "he's still locked up."
Clark came up behind Lois and examined the finished portrait.
"It's not, honey, at least not *our* universe's version of this
madman. He pointed toward the scar on the man's chin. "Ours
doesn't have that. And if other universes have versions of us,
isn't it possible that they have other versions of him too?"
Inspector Henderson picked up the picture and grimaced. "This is
John Doe, isn't it?"
"That's one of his aliases," Clark began quietly, "I know that this is
hard to believe, but his real name is Tempus...and this man came from a
parallel dimension. Our Tempus is currently locked up in the
Metropolis Home for the Criminally Insane for the rest of his life. Our
Tempus doesn't have that scar."
Henderson looked at Clark in disbelief. If he hadn't known what a
straight arrow Kent was, he might not have believed him. Over the
years, however, he had learned that Kent rarely, if ever, told
lies. As a result of this, after a brief struggle with himself,
he took Clark's word for it. "I'll get my men right on it," he said
quietly on his way out of the room.
A nurse walked soundlessly in the room and glared at Lois and
Clark. "You're not relatives," she said bitingly. "This
young woman's uncle is here to see her and she needs her rest, so
you'll have to leave."
Rebekah pushed herself up painfully. "They're staying Nurse," she
said with quiet authority. The nurse grabbed Lois and Clark and
began to usher them out of the room while giving Rebekah a
doctor-knows-best look. Rebekah began to murmur something under
her breath; knowing that Clark would hear what she was saying and relay
it to Lois. "Clark," she whispered, "Uncle Perry was planning on
staying at Aunt Alice's place tonight-they couldn't have gotten in
contact with him this fast. Sneak back in after the nurse lets
you go!" Clark nodded slightly to show her that he understood and
allowed the nurse to lead him out. A few minutes later, Lois and
Clark snuck in and hid in the bathroom. Something was bound to
happen-if Perry really wasn't here; there was no telling who this
AltTempus (aka. The Destroyer) stood calmly before the admittance desk
of Metropolis General Hospital. It hadn't taken much to find out
where the big blue boy scout had stashed his plaything; after
all, Metropolis General was the closest hospital to his lair.
Soon the nurse came out to tell him which room Rebekah was in; the
silly git thought that he was Perry White. He slinked down the
hallway, stopping at Rebekah's room. Tempus walked quickly past
the guards and into the hospital room, fingering the shorn braid that
lay coiled in his pocket. He crept up to the hospital bed and
looked at the sleeping woman before smiling coldly. If he could
not have the wench, no one could. He whipped out the hair,
wrapped it around her neck, and began to squeeze. Before he could
get very far, Superman burst out of the bathroom and pulled him away
from the injured young woman. Superman smiled at the
criminal. "Tempus, I presume?", he said with a hint of irony in
his voice. "You'll now be joining your counterpart where both of
you belong-jail." Superman carried Tempus outside and handed him
over to the waiting arms of the authorities.
Rebekah slumped down in the hospital bed, bored. Due to her
numerous injuries, the doctors had insisted that she stay in the
hospital for a few days under observation. <It's a good thing the
staff are under orders to let my friends is,> she reflected soberly.
<Otherwise, I might go mad!> She had spoken to Dr. Klein
earlier that day and he had promised to bring by their combined
research and some test results from a test that she had asked him to
run. Rebekah leaned back in the bed, flipping channels and hoping
that Dr. Klein would show up soon-his arrival would at least alleviate
Dr. Bernard Klein whistled cheerfully as he finished recording the
results from one of the tests that Dr. R. Petersen had requested.
Since this test involved Superman, he would not trust anyone else to
perform it. He examined the results and smiled happily.
<I've never been more happy to be slightly wrong,> he
thought. He had one final test to finish before delivering this
information to Dr. Petersen. Soon the test was finished.
Dr. Klein boxed up the notes and got his coat, heading to Metropolis
A few minutes later, he handed the information to Rebekah.
She motioned for him to sit down and began to look over the latest
results. A brilliant smile broke over her face. "Dr.
Klein," she said, "I think I know what the problem is-and I have the
solution. I promise to tell you, but I think our patient has the
right to know first." Dr. Klein nodded reluctantly. He was
intensely curious as to the precise reason she had ordered a few of the
tests; there simply didn't seem to be much of a correlation between any
of the data they had obtained. "Superman will be by later-thanks for
your help Dr. Klein," she said softly.
"You're welcome," he replied. "You will come by Star Labs and
tell me what you've discovered later won't you?" Dr. Klein shot her a
Rebekah chuckled, "I promise," she said with a smile.
Dr. Klein walked out of the room, shooting wistful glances at the small
box of data on her bed.
Rebekah leaned back against her pillows and chuckled. <It
*would* be something that simple,> she thought, grinning at her own
cleverness. She settled back to wait for her friends as they had
promised to be by at noon and it was nearing that time now.
Lois and Clark climbed out of the jeep and entered the hospital.
Rebekah had hinted at having a solution to their problem very
soon...and the famous Lane curiosity had taken over. Lois wanted
to know-now. She strode into Rebekah's room half pulling Clark
Rebekah looked up from the notes she was studying and broke into a
sunny smile. "Hey ya'll," she said happily. "Clark, I need
you to lock the door before I give you the news." Clark walked
over to the door and locked it behind them and then came over to stand
beside Lois next to the bed. Rebekah took a deep breath.
"Lois, Clark, Dr. Klein was both right and wrong." Rebekah looked at
the puzzled looks on her friends' faces before continuing, "Clark,
genetically, there's no reason why you and Lois can't have kids.
However, there is a slight problem."
Clark suddenly found the floor to be the most fascinating sight
he'd ever seen. "I knew it," he said, "it's because I'm not human,
isn't it?" He looked up at his wife and her friend, pain and
sorrow written all over his face.
"Clark," Rebekah began, "from everything I've seen, Kryptonians are
pretty much human. They're distant cousins to say the
least. Your problem is something that is easily fixed because I
have the data to create the medication to rectify the situation."
Hope began to dawn on the faces of Lois and Clark.
"You mean, we might be able to have kids after all?", Lois asked.
Rebekah smiled, "There's no reason why not! In earth humans, the
egg is covered in a protein-like substance that protects
it. Sperm cells have an enzyme that eats it's way through the
covering on the egg so it can be fertilized. Kryptonian
reproductive systems work much the same way, only the covering on the
egg is thinner. Clark, you don't have enough of that enzyme to
fertilize Lois's egg, but we can fix that." Rebekah grinned
widely. "All we have to do is to convince your body to produce
more of the proteinase-and I know how to do it." Rebekah wrote a
note on a piece of paper, stuck it in a box, and passed the box to
Clark. "The instructions for manufacturing the drug to fool your
system are in the box. Take it to Dr. Klein and he'll know what
Lois looked at Clark and saw an expression of relief and joy that
mirrored the one she wore.. They took their leave of Rebekah and
went to Star Labs and gave the box to Dr. Klein, explaining that
Rebekah had asked them to drop it off for her. They had finished
writing the story the previous day, so they had the weekend off.
Jimmy had been disappointed that Rebekah had broken their date, but
considering that she was in the hospital, he understood. Lois and
Clark got into their jeep and headed toward home; the story series from
this little adventure was in the bag for this year's Kerth awards...for
once, a Lane and Kent story had different byline-Lane, Kent, and
Rebekah lay in her bed and stared out the window. She was
beginning to remember all the things she hated about cities; it was
time to go home. Her mouth twisted in a wry smile; going back to
her land in the mountains of North Georgia had never looked
better. She would stay for the last two of her show openings
before going back. Lois and Clark already knew of her
visits to the hospital's counseling center; she just had not yet told
them about her decision to leave Metropolis. She'd been on the road for
quite some time-it was a big part of why her work sold so
well. She would have to tell Lois and Clark of her
decision-later. She was scattering their targets. Rebekah
knew that because she knew the truth about Superman, it put her at
risk...if she left, the risk would be less.
Lois sat curled up next to Clark on the sofa in their living
room. "So," Clark said, pressing a soft kiss into her hair, "now
that we know that children are possible, how many do we want?"
Lois looked up at her love and smiled. "Since the impossible has
just become possible...well...that's something we need to
discuss-later." Lois reached up and pulled his head down to hers,
capturing his lips softly. Clark reached over and pulled her on
to his lap. Lois settled in his embrace, laid her head against
his chest, and wrapped her arms around him. They stayed like that
for some time; content to simply be together.