Pairing/Characters: Lois Lane-centric, Clark Kent/Lois Lane, Lois & Diana (Wonder Woman)
Word Count: 8529 (this part)
Summary: role reversal AU; Lois is the surviving member of Krypton but still ends up growing up with the Lanes and Clark grows up as a normal kid in Smallville. They meet at the Daily Planet and Lois is drawn to her new partner. Unfortunately he is more interested in her alter ego. At least at first.
A/N: for the heroinebigbang; special thanks to my artist, wisp_of_a_spook, who had been a great and supportive partner!
Art can be found HERE! :D
“Ms Lane? You can go in now.”
Lois looked up from where she was seated and adjusted her glasses, running her fingers across the side of her forehead to make sure her bangs were pinned, before giving the secretary who had spoken to her a grateful nod and smile.
“Thank you,” she replied, before heading inside the office, coming face to face with Perry White, the Editor in Chief of the Daily Planet, the man who she was hoping would be her future employer. They had already had a first interview and he had called her in for a second so she knew there was hope.
“Mr White, it’s nice to see you again,” she said immediately, sticking out her hand, which he took as they exchanged a firm handshake.
“Same, Lane,” Perry replied, gesturing to the chair in front of his desk and she took a seat. “I’m going to be quick: as we talked about before, your resume is impressive but some other editor would say you don’t have a lot of experience.”
“Something tells me you don’t agree with that,” Lois remarked, when she realized he had paused.
His lips quirked into a smirk. “In this business, experience does matter, but it is not the only thing that matters. What you have already done is good enough for me, and I’m not going to see you blossom at some other paper.”
“Now that sounds like a job offer, sir,” she said, her heartbeat speeding up, trying to keep her voice even.
“That’s because it is,” he agreed. “The Star will have to say goodbye to its top journalist, Lane. Welcome to the Planet.”
“Thank you, Mr. White,” she said, her smile wide.
“Don’t thank me yet,” he replied, but he offered her a grin and another handshake, which she accepted. “We’re going to put you through the ringer, and there’s another young reporter that I feel like you would work well with. He’s just as passionate as you.”
“Are you giving me a partner then?” Lois said, eyebrows furrowing. She had never worked with a partner before and she liked running solo. It helped her get away … when necessary. “I can assure you, sir, I am more than capable of working on my own-”
“I’m sure you are,” he interrupted, “but it has nothing to do with capability. I think you two would balance each other quite well. Now let’s hash out some details and we’ll get you out of here. Then I’ll see you in two weeks.”
What could she do but agree? Working at the Planet was a dream come true, and if she had to do with a partner, then so be it. She would prove herself soon enough anyway, and then maybe she eventually would be able to work alone once more.
Once the details of her contract were dealt with, she had a quick meeting with HR and then headed back to her apartment, writing up her two weeks notice. Fortunately, she had vacation days left over, and she would take it to get out a week early, to give herself a small break between jobs.
Glancing at the clock, she debated sending a quick text message to her dad but instead scratched the idea. Why eventually face disappointment when he either didn’t respond or somehow congratulated her in a backhanded way? She didn’t know why she still seeked his approval, wanting him to just be proud of her, but it was a part of her that wouldn’t go away, the part that wanted to be her dad’s perfect soldier.
Before she could go down that line of thinking, her phone buzzed, causing her to glance down as she saw a text message from a familiar name.
With the exchange of a few texts, they were able to settle on a meeting time and place. Meanwhile, she finished some tasks and it wasn’t long before she was heading out the door once more.
Choosing the ground instead of the air, she sped to her destination, arriving within seconds at a spot behind the building, making sure she wasn’t seen by any curious eyes. Greeting the doorman, who was thankfully familiar with her face, she used the elevator and once at the right floor, got off. Only one apartment was on the floor, which was fitting considering who lived there and honestly, she was grateful for the privacy.
Moments after she knocked, the door swung open, revealing her friend, who welcomed her inside immediately.
“Kala, it’s good to see you.”
“Diana, you as well,” Lois replied, accepting the use of her Kryptonian name, even though it would always be slightly jarring, as she embraced the tall, beautiful dark haired woman briefly, before she was led to the sitting room.
Diana, who had, from what she understood, chosen the last name of Prince but apparently had none, was from an island called Themyscira, home to Amazonian women, a fact that still amazed Lois, despite the fact that she herself was an alien.
“I am relieved that you were able to come by with such little notice,” Diana said, sitting down with an easy grace. Her natural gracefulness, no matter what she was doing, was something that constantly left Lois in awe. For someone so strong, one of the only people Lois had met that could match her in power and strength, she was so completely elegant and it was no surprise that she was a daughter of a Queen as well as a goddess in her own right.
“My day wasn’t busy,” Lois admitted, taking a seat as well, though slightly more abruptly. With all her abilities, she could still be a little klutzy, a fact she definitely had played up in the past and planned to do in the future to make her plans. “I had a meeting at the Planet, but that was it.”
“Did it go well?” Diana asked politely.
“Yes, I got the job,” Lois replied, heart warming as Diana’s smile widened, her ensuing congratulations feeling genuine, and Lois responded with just equally sincere gratitude. It may not be her family but in the past year or so, Diana had gotten closer than she had let anyone in the past.
“Will Bruce be joining us?” Lois wanted to know.
Diana shook her head. “No, I gave him the brief rundown earlier about what we shall be discussing.”
She nodded, understanding. Bruce, after all, was Bruce Wayne, one of the richest men in the world, but apparently aliens and Amazonian goddesses weren’t the only ones who wanted to save the world and behind that billionaire playboy persona was a man determined to save his city and did so wearing a costume and having been dubbed Batman.
Not only the city really, but he was just as invested, and financially so, in creating a League of special people to come together to protect the world at large. Lois had been initially a little skeptical, having spent so much of her life being told she needed to hide, but Diana had won her over, the two of them having met when Lois snagged an interview with her, and not long after, they had witnessed each other in combat, identities revealed, and the bond was solidified. “Wonder Woman” was a more than fitting name and title for the other woman’s alter ego.
As far as Lois went, she still didn’t have a name or a real costume, using her speed to make saves. One paper called her “The Blur”, which spread and stuck, due to some rightly timed photo of her saving someone from getting hit by a car, and all the camera was able to catch was a streak. It wasn’t her favorite, but she had been able to live with it initially. Though considering the social media craze about wanting to spot “The Blur”, she knew she would have to come up with a better identity soon, one she was working hard at.
“So your text said that you found another potential member?” Lois asked, trying to stay in the moment and not get lost in her thoughts.
Diana nodded. “Yes, there is a being with incredible speed in Coast City. I think he will do well with us.”
“Have you approached him yet?” Lois asked.
“No, not yet. I do believe he is not working alone. He may have connections with an archer in Star City, as well as a man of the seas.”
“Green Arrow has a league of his own?”
“You are familiar with the name,” Diana noted.
“Kind of,” Lois admitted. “I didn’t exactly trust the guy when he first came on the scene. He seemed to be living up to the Robin Hood thing so I did some digging.”
“I trust you found some information of use?”
“A source of mine got a picture, and I noticed he wears a chain with a ring,” Lois explained. “My vision spotted a crest and I’ve since identified it. I haven’t confronted him because well, I have my secrets and I’m not a hypocrite.”
“That is fair,” Diana agreed. “I do intend on meeting the speedster face to face. Would you be available to join me on a trip to Coast City later this week?”
“My last day of work is on Friday. We can head out after 6 if that works with you.”
Diana nodded. “Yes, I intend on returning to Gotham before to collaborate with Bruce. Perhaps you can meet me there. We should all get our plans in order before we extend any offers to other people.”
Lois immediately agreed to that suggestion, and they continued to hash out the details. Once their conversation slowly came to close, she stood up. “Are you heading back to Paris after the Coast City trip?”
Paris, where Diana lived and worked as a curator for the Louvre. She traveled for her job, which allowed her the flexibility to come across the ocean to see them.
“Yes, I will be returning but will be back in another few weeks. Steve sends his regards”
“Well, tell him I say hi too,” Lois replied, referring to Steve Trevor, Diana’s boyfriend. There was a part of her that was terrified to get close to anyone so the fact that a goddess was dating a human, no matter how great a guy Steve had proven to be, was something that did give Lois a little hope that maybe, just maybe, she wouldn’t always be alone. Not that she wasn’t fine on her own. Because she was.
Oblivious to her thoughts, Diana vocally promised she would, and soon walked her to the door, as they parted ways for the time being.
Lois had intended to just go back to her apartment, but a buzzing in her head informed her that no, she would be going a little further south. Changing direction, she was suddenly in flight, reaching the Arctic fortress shortly after, landing inside with ease.
“Jor-El,” she called out, her biological father’s name, despite the fact she was constantly reminded, through its behavior that the voice in the fortress was nothing but an artificial intelligence, only containing memories of her biological father. Seems I’m meant to be stuck with emotionally distant men, she thought wryly.
“My daughter, you have arrived,” the voice boomed across the solid crystals that made up all that was left of her home planet.
“You called me, Jor-El,” she pointed out.
“It is time, Kala.”
“Time for what?” He was always so vague, and to be frank, it was exhausting.
Her destiny … whatever the hell that was. Ruler, hero … he had toyed with her in various ways and she was always reluctant to trust him because of it.
It had only been ten years since she found out that she had some sort of grand destiny to begin with and that her home planet was not in fact Earth, but Krypton, literally in a galaxy far far away.
Lois had always known she was different. When she was four, she pulled her bedroom door off its hinges by opening it too hard, causing it to fall right on top of her. Her mom had freaked out, screaming so loudly that she managed to wake up her sister, Lucy, from her nap, but Lois had walked away without a scratch.
She didn’t think too much of it then, but she did notice in the following years that while the kids at school got scrapes and bruises, she never got a single one. Her earliest memories involved pride over that while never forgetting how her parents hid the truth from her every single time.
“I never get hurt,” she told her parents proudly, while they had dinner one evening. “Damon fell from the monkey bars and his elbow was all gross and bloody, but I jumped off the merry go round and I was fine. See?” She then shoved her unblemished hands in front of their faces, not really thinking too much of the funny expressions her mommy and daddy were making at each other.
“That’s great, sweetie,” Ella said slowly. “But maybe next time, be a little bit more careful, okay?”
“Why?” Lois asked, pouting at their lack of excitement.
“Well, you’re a strong little girl,” Sam explained. “But other kids will want to do what you do and they might get hurt. You want to set a good example, don’t you, sweetie? Especially for your sister over here?”
Lucy, age 3, was preoccupied with making sure most of her food landed on her tray table, rather than whatever was going on with her family, but Lois nodded solemnly anyway, as solemn as a six year old could be anyway. Being a big sister was an important job, something her parents had stressed from the get go, and Lois took it very seriously.
“Yeah, I’m a leader!” she said enthusiastically.
“The best leader,” Sam was quick to assure her. “And a good leader makes sure their soldiers know their limits.”
“Like you, daddy?” she asked hopefully.
“Exactly,” Sam confirmed. “I won’t let my people do anything I can’t do, but I don’t make them do everything I do, because I’m more experienced.”
“I’ll be more careful,” she finally said, after taking in his words for a few minutes.
“I know you will,” Sam replied.
Perking up, she asked, “If I am, can I come with you to the base next time?”
“We’ll see,” Sam answered, his expression not giving away anything even when Lois tried to pursue it.
“She’s going to hold you to that,” Ella warned, a smile edging at her lips, even as the rest of her looked so visibly exhausted that even Lois noticed.
“Trust me, I’m aware,” Sam replied dryly. His gaze narrowed as he examined Ella. “You look tired. Maybe you should get some rest.”
“I’m fine,” Ella tried, but a yawn escaped her lips before she could finish her sentence.
“Or not,” Sam countered. “Look, I will clean up. Lois will help me, won’t you?”
Lois nodded, upon realizing she was being addressed. “Yeah! I can help!”
Ella tried to protest, but she quickly realized it was a losing battle so instead, she made sure Lucy was fed, and once she was cleaned up, she gave in and headed to bed early.
“Is mommy okay?” Lois asked her dad once she was gone, and Sam turned his gaze towards her and nodded slowly.
“Of course,” he said, but he sounded weird. Lois didn’t have any reason to doubt him so she accepted the answer. “How about we get to work now, soldier?”
“What do I do?” Lois asked.
Sam was quick to explain, but even his gentle instructions didn’t stop Lois from breaking a cup and two plates with her strength.
“I didn’t mean to,” Lois said, her expression falling, as she stared at the shards on the ground. “I was trying to be careful!”
“I know, Lo,” Sam was quick to reassure her, after he double checked to make sure she wasn’t hurt.
“You and Mommy never break stuff,” Lois continued, upset. “How come I do?”
“You’re just a little … stronger,” Sam said, patting her shoulder gently. “Tough little girl, remember? We’ll work on controlling that later. Let me get the broom.” And he was gone, only to completely change the topic when he returned.
It wasn’t the first time he had avoided her questions, and she’d find out soon enough that it wouldn’t be the last.
Despite it all, she learned the truth on her own and it was a painful truth to learn. Her life had never been the same since, but it had also never been completely normal in the first place, only a mere pretense.
She was startled back to the present when the ground literally shifted to reveal a pedestal holding a package.
“What is this?” she asked, cautiously approaching it.
“It is what you need to take the final step and fulfill your role in this world,” was the answer she received. “Truly representative of our people.”
Picking it up, she found it was indeed a costume. Well, that was one problem off the list. And not at all a subtle one, in its bright red and blues, with the House of El symbol right in the middle.
“You are ready.”
Well, she certainly was going to have to be, wasn’t she?
She didn’t try on the costume until she got back to her place and ended up pacing around in it for quite some time. It certainly would stand out, and the colors may distract people from looking too closely at her face.
Sure, it was tight fitting but at least there were pants. Diana had chosen a skirt as part of her costume and Lois wasn’t so sure she would be comfortable going that route, though the freedom of movement it allowed for was definitely worth envying. The cape would take some getting used to though. Looks like Batman and I are about to have something in common.
Hearing a yell, Lois came to alert and glancing down, she realized that her new costume may get a workout sooner than she thought. No time like the present.
Finding a way to discreetly exit, she quickly headed toward the noise, speeding up as she saw a man being chased by a group down an alleyway. Considering the one being chased had a camera and the others weapons, which they were clearly trying to fire, it painted a pretty clear picture of what was going on. Quickly making her way there, she knocked them out in one fell swoop and quickly found a way to tie them together, so they couldn’t escape.
“Are you okay?” she asked the running man who was staring at her, blue eyes wide and jaw agape. He was about average height with curly brown hair and blue eyes and seemed to be frozen in shock. Had to be around her age, maybe even younger. Blinking, he shook his head, turning frantic again.
“Yeah, yeah …” he stammered. “But my friend, you gotta save him! He’s on the side of the building!”
“On the side of the building?” she repeated. Following where he was pointing, she quickly saw what he was talking about. A dark haired man was indeed clinging to the edge of a rooftop, clearly trying to pull himself back up, and she wasn’t sure how much longer his grip was going to hold.
“I’ll get him,” she promised, before taking off. His fingers loosened and he started to fall, but Lois was already there, catching him with ease.
“Don’t worry, sir, I got you,” she said confidently. This one was taller than her, conventionally handsome, but he was making the same expression at her as his friend. He looked slightly familiar but she couldn’t place him at the moment.
“You got me?” he repeated, bewildered, briefly flailing before he realized her grip was indeed steady. “Who’s got you?”
Lois could only let out an amused chuckle as she settled them on the ground, the camera flashing in her vicinity. Seemed that the photographer had gotten his nerves back and she had a feeling her costume was definitely going to be making a debut somewhere. No more hiding for her. Not anymore. At least her bangs were in place.
“Are you all right?” she asked them both.
“Yeah,” the photographer told her eagerly. “Who are you?”
“And how did you do that?” the other man asked, narrowing his gaze. He looked over at the alley way, looking impressed as he saw the group of men still out. “Huh.”
“Yeah, you should’ve seen her!” the photographer said eagerly. “She just took them out like they were nothing!”
“Right place, right time, gentleman,” she said. “I trust you have a reason as to why they were so eager to eliminate you?”
“They’re responsible for the string of murderers of homeless people,” the man she had just saved informed her. Oh, right, that was a story Lois had wanted to look into, but her editor had thought was a waste of resources. She had done her own digging on the side and hadn’t had the chance to follow up on those leads. Apparently he had. Revealing his badge, he said, “Clark Kent, Daily Planet. Do I get the name of my savior?”
“Just a friend, Mr Kent,” she said, lips twitching into a smile. Daily Planet … of course. Hearing the sirens nearby, she said, “The police are on the way. Try to stay off any rooftops in the meantime.”
Before they could respond, she took a few steps back and darted into the air once more, the adrenaline running through her veins, and her smile widened as their conversation drifted to her ears.
“Wow, CK,” the photographer was saying softly. “She’s … incredible."
“Super, Jimmy,” Clark was correcting him. “Super … woman.”
“Superwoman?” Jimmy repeated.
“Superwoman,” Clark confirmed. “Did you see the ‘S’ on her costume? It’s perfect. Come on, we have to get back to the Planet. There’s a front page story that is calling our names. First let me get this tweet out ...”
So Superwoman … it seemed that she not only had a costume but if those two had their say, possibly a name. It was better than the Blur, even if she did think it sounded a little arrogant. At least it wasn’t self given, she supposed.
While Clark Kent was revealing his encounter with her to the masses, Lois was looking into the reporter who saved her as well. He was born and raised in Smallville, Kansas, on a farm, where both his parents still lived. Typical All American kid- played football in high school and even led his team to a state championship win. Went to college at Metropolis University on a football scholarship, while majoring in journalism, but he clearly chose not to go to the NFL.
It was his birthplace that stuck with Lois the most. Smallville. She had been there a few times, out of curiosity, as she got older. It was a place she was both drawn to and avoided.
After all, that was the city that had not one, but two meteor showers, the first one being the one that brought Lois to Earth. Her dad had told her that he and her mom had been visiting her aunt, uncle, and cousin in Metropolis when they decided to take a drive out of the city for the weekend, and instead ended up right in the middle of the shower.
Lois had known from an early age she was adopted, and it had never bothered her. As far as she was concerned, her dad was her dad, her mom was her mom, and Lucy was her sister- what more did she need to know? With the way her parents spoke (“We didn’t find you,” her mom liked to say, “you found us.”), she assumed that her birth parents died in the meteor shower. Turned out they were the cause of it.
Rubbing her eyes, she closed the tabs, after she had done a little reading on his previous articles. His writing was impressive, and by the time she got on social media, it seemed that he knew how to make a name. His verified twitter account (how was he verified?) revealed her new nickname and a photo, with credits to a Jimmy Olsen. So that was the photographer’s name.
And it had made a splash. In Metropolis, Superwoman was one of the top trending topics, with many people claiming they had seen her and already there were theories connecting her to The Blur. People had assumed ‘The Blur’ was a man, which had been a useful cover for her, and discussions of sexism were now being had along with suggestions about who she was, and what she was doing.
Of course there were the naysayers, who hated superheroes who thought they were “above the law”, but she was going to avoid that.
For now anyway.
First she had to tweet out news on her new job, starting with a long thank you consisting of multiple tweets to everyone at the Metropolis Star, and ended up spending time on and off accepting and replying to the people congratulating her and wishing her well. Social media could be useful, but it was certainly exhausting.
Finally, she got the nerve to check her text messages, which she had been avoiding looking at while she had been working. Diana had sent a supportive message, complimenting her costume and said that “Superwoman was a fitting name for such a special being”, which had Lois blushing at her phone. Diana was certainly an enigma. It was no wonder Steve was smitten.
From Bruce, she got a brief congrats, a dry remark on her color scheme and a question about not wearing a mask.
Unsurprisingly, her dad had only words of caution and Lucy had texted her “Superwoman, huh? Subtle.”
It dampened her mood immediately, as she set her phone down on the coffee table, not realizing her jaw was clenched until she took a deep breath to calm herself down.
Family always had a way of getting under your skin, and hers was hardly an exception. Things might’ve been different had Ella Lane lived, but she had passed away many years ago. Everything began to change when she revealed her diagnosis.
Sam Lane had always been a gruff military man, but he adored his wife completely, and her getting ill had taken a toll on him, and it affected his children. Lois and Lucy were both young, and while he was focused on caring for his wife, his children were neglected. Their physical needs were met, but emotionally they were left wanting.
At that time, Lois had taken more responsibility for Lucy, for whom she had always felt protective over, ever since the day her parents’ fears over her being reckless came to fruition when Lucy imitating her only to slip and hit her head, unconscious for several minutes before she stirred back. In that span of time, Lois had been terrified, truly afraid for what felt like the first time in her young life, drawing her parents attention with the noise she hadn’t even realized she was making. In a desperate state, she tried to shake her, but ended up leaving bruises that left Lucy crying when she woke up. Hearing her sister cry out in pain because of something she did felt awful, but her dad’s disappointed expression when he found out what happened was even worse.
He hadn’t said anything, but then again, he didn’t have to.
That time, the lessons her parents tried to instill in the past stuck. She really was different, and the people around her had to keep their distance, because she would only hurt them.
Lucy was absolutely fine soon enough, but Lois was never the same.
Her parents had always been careful with who she was befriended and emphasized that she should never let it slip out how different she was, but now it was Lois who shied away from them, more cautious than she had ever been, the fear of hurting them like she hurt Lucy always at the back of her mind, dictating her actions even on an unconscious level.
While her father seemed outwardly proud of her new caution, her mom didn’t seem as thrilled, which had been even more confusing for Lois.
“Lo, I know it’s hard, sweetie,” her mom said, after she pulled her aside one day, “but just because we want you to be careful, we don't want you to stop being you. Never lose that spark, okay?”
“Okay, mommy,” Lois told her dutifully, unsure of what else to say, but the answer didn’t seem to make her mommy any happier, and Lois didn’t understand why. As it was, her mom didn’t seem the same lately, constantly tired and she had even been going to the doctor more often, and now Lois couldn’t even make her happy, which only made her sad.
“Am I weird?” she finally asked.
“No, you’re just special,” her mom said immediately, tone firm. “You’re not weird at all, Lois.”
“I wish I was normal,” Lois whispered, dejected. If she wasn’t like she was, then she wouldn’t hurt people and break things, and her parents would be happier. They had done their best to train her but now and then she still slipped and she hated it.
“I don’t,” Ella replied immediately, pulling her into a hug. “I wouldn’t want you to be any way other than you are. I love you and am so glad we have you.”
“I love you too, mommy,” Lois responded, feeling a little better in her mom’s arms.
Ella pulled away and cupped her daughter’s face. “I will always love you, Lois. Never forget that, okay?”
“I won’t,” Lois promised, hoping that would make her mommy smile and it did.
She didn’t understand the look on her mom’s face and wouldn’t even get it for years. It wouldn’t make sense even after her parents had slowly revealed her mom’s diagnosis one day, the real reason why she had been going to the doctor so often.
And she would never forget the devastated look on their faces when she had asked if her mommy was going to die.
That night, she lost control and broke almost half the stuff, ripping off the head of her favorite bear in her rage, and even her dad couldn’t get mad at her. Lucy, however, was terrified. That was another look that would stick with her, a constant reminder at how she could scare even the ones she loved. The ones who loved her.
Lois’s anger and sadness hadn’t gotten to take priority for long, as Lois had to take more and more responsibility for her little sister, as Ella’s illness progressed quickly. She had been constantly told to watch after Lucy, somehow ended up playing both the roles of sister and parent. It was Lois that Lucy went to when she had bad dreams, when she was crying over their mommy, when she wanted, well, anything.
Her father had always called her his good little soldier and Lois was going to live up to expectations. Surpass them even.
Even when the day came that their mom passed away, her whole family by her side as she closed her eyes for the final time, it was Lois holding Lucy tight, her younger sister scared and confused, still not understanding what was going on. Lois let silent tears trail down her cheeks, pain wracking her, but the reality not sinking in until days later, the night after the funeral was over, as she woke up crying once more, only to shove it down back again once she realized Lucy was once again in her bed, curled into her side, because she didn’t want to wake up her sister.
She had to be strong. For both their sakes.
So she had been.
Sam Lane was never the same, and both Lois and Lucy learned to cope with the new reality. In the beginning, they had at least gotten to stay in what Lois had considered their home, the only one she had remembered for most her life. It turned out even that wouldn’t be the case for long. Not too long after her mom passed away, they moved, and while Lois hated leaving the place her mom died, she didn’t have a choice.
They never did.
And every fear Lois had about the move came to life.
It was the place where Lucy, in a desperate attempt to make friends, tried to show off, telling other kids how her sister could lift up a dresser with one hand.
Lois had just been trying to get her hair band back, not realizing anyone was watching, much less a nosy little sister who was always where she shouldn’t be.
(Being discreet was always easier said than done.)
This backfired immensely when Lois had to immediately play dumb on being confronted, and ended up getting Lucy labeled as a liar; kids, cruel in the way kids could be, immediately dubbing her “Pinocchio” and it spread across the playground like wildfire.
“I hate you!” Lucy screamed later that night, despite Sam’s warnings and Lois’s breaking heart. “You ruined everything!”
Nothing Lois could say would lessen her anger.
Their relationship changed that night, Lucy shying away from Lois and instead clinging back to Sam, and that was just another thing Lois had to accept. Even Lois dealing with the bullies herself, putting fear into the biggest one to send a message and managing to stop the spread of the nickname didn’t soften Lucy’s heart. The damage was done.
Sam didn’t blame or get angry with Lois, but instead resigned himself to the fact that this was bound to happen, and there was only one way to protect them all.
Which involved sending Lucy away to boarding school. Fortunately, she had always been book smart, nailing her aptitude tests from the start, so getting in wouldn’t be a problem. Turned out convincing her to go wasn’t one either.
He phrased it in a way to make it sound like he wasn’t abandoning her; instead, he talked about how smart she was, and how he knew she didn’t like her current school, making it sound like he was giving her an out. Lois heard the whole thing, standing right outside Lucy’s bedroom door, doing her best not to cry.
The trick worked and within months, her sister was gone.
And Lois was alone.
Another lesson learned.
Her relationship with Lucy had thawed during those first few years, with Lucy being comfortable at her new school, but the discovery of her secret, when she was old enough to understand had sent things right back to chilly. Lucy seemed to resent her and she just didn’t get it, and Lois was frustrated with trying to understand. She couldn’t be everything. It was too exhausting.
So she let it slip, silently promising to be there if Lucy needed her, and they were all cordial during the holidays and birthdays, but that was it.
That was all it ever would be.
And while it left her feeling hollow, it was something she had just learned to accept.
What other choice did she have at this point?
Ignoring Lucy’s text, because engaging her wouldn’t accomplish anything, she sent off a quick reply to her father, before calling it a night.
Superwoman had indeed made the front page of the Planet the following morning, and she continued to save the day as often as she had when she was still masquerading as The Blur. Now she could do it openly, and it wasn’t long before pictures of her popped up on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. Lois had all three, and it was her biggest fear that some facial recognition system would identify her as Superwoman.
So far, so good.
The rest of the week went by quickly, as she said her goodbyes to her first real job; her coworkers seemed to be able to feign happiness for her- while some were relieved that they had gotten her out of the way and also jealous that she was indeed moving on up. To say the Star, while a reputable paper, had a little brother complex with the Planet, which was a national acclaimed source, was kind of an understatement.
In an industry that people loved to say was dying, she knew she had to look out for herself, and was ready for the change. There definitely was going to be a lot more of that coming her way in the near future.
Before she knew it, she was packed and heading to Gotham, where she, Diana, and Bruce laid out plans for the future of their team.
“A base in space?” she repeated, as she looked over the schematics in Bruce’s “batcave”, fittingly located below Wayne Manor. He really had gone all in on the Bat theme, even if it did have technology the military would be jealous of. “Is that even possible? Why do we want this?”
“We need a neutral site,” Bruce replied calmly. “More heroes have been popping up and even all of us working alone have raised alarms, especially with the amount of powers you and Diana have displayed. If we choose one spot, we are going to draw the ire of someone. In space, we can can be seen as unbiased and without ties to any one government.”
“How are we to get the base into space?” Diana wanted to know.
“That,” Bruce said, eyeing Lois, “may require a little effort. I can have it built but we may need a few people for it to orbit without crashing down.”
“I can do it,” Lois said confidently. She had been in space enough to know how to deal with the dynamics there.
“Alone?” Bruce asked.
She could probably handle it alone, but a certain individual came to mind and she smiled. “I may know where we can get some added support.”
“Would that added support be interested in the League?” Bruce questioned, raising an eyebrow.
“He might be able to be convinced,” was her answer.
“Then I will leave it in your capable hands,” Bruce said. “If that is all, we can conclude this meeting. Diana said you both are heading to Coast City.”
“Yes, to meet up with the speedster,” Diana informed him.
To Lois’s surprise, Bruce pulled out a file and handed it to Lois. “Bart Allen is his name, if you wanted to catch him off guard. He works for Queen Industries.”
Lois’s lips twitched. That lined up with the information she had, and judging by Bruce’s side eye, he had noticed her expression. To both their surprises, Diana accepted the file, but hardly gave it a cursory glance.
“You knew.” She wasn’t sure whether she or Bruce said it first, and it caused Diana to chuckle.
“You’re not the only one who does their due diligence,” Diana told him. “It does help to be able to have any edge on someone who seems to be as fast as Kala.”
“Might be faster,” Lois acknowledged.
“Then I wish you both the best of luck,” Bruce chipped in. “You are welcome to keep that. It is my spare copy.”
Now that didn’t surprise Lois one bit.
“It is amusing to catch Bruce off guard now and then,” Diana revealed later, when they were on the flight, out of everyone’s line of sight, because of course invisible jets existed and of course Diana would own one. That was just apparently Lois’s life now.
“I can’t say I blame you,” Lois responded, with an easy grin. Bruce was a good man, and they had come a long way from their initial mutual distrust and while they still didn’t always agree on everything, he was someone she did trust. Still, he had a tendency to be stoic and it was hard to surprise him, which made it that much better when you were able to.
The flight went by smoothly and they passed their trip making plans in between catching up. Diana was a useful sounding board to get advice on managing a duel identity. Of course Bruce had a civilian one as well but he had perfected the act of the dumb playboy and that was a luxury Lois couldn’t afford. Diana’s career allowed her to be in the shadows and perhaps it was rash of her to pick a job where she would be constantly looking for the story while being the biggest headline of all, yet she had always been drawn to the truth.
With her powers she could save people, but she knew as Lois Lane, reporter, she could help them. It was a difference she learned early and she had to follow her passions. She didn’t know how to do anything else.
Once they landed, they had a quick dinner, before scoping out the area. From what they knew of Bart’s patrol, there were some usual areas that he frequented, and settled back into the residence Diana had procured.
“Instead of ambushing him, we should make him come to us,” Lois suggested. “Stop by these places for a day or two, draw him out …”
“You think he’ll seek us out?” Diana asked, not shooting her down.
“I don’t think he’ll be able to resist,” Lois replied. “And with our luck, he won’t come alone.”
“Then we can get the whole group,” Diana realized.
“Or at least some of them … and if Green Arrow is one of them, it will make getting the rest even easier.”
“Star City is not that far away,” Diana pointed out. “He could get here pretty quickly if Allen gives him enough notice.”
“Like I said, just a day or two,” Lois said slowly. “That’s all it will take. Make it obvious we’re looking.”
“Then we have a plan.”
A plan that fortunately went just as well as they could’ve hoped. By blatantly (for their standards) nosing around, they drew the right amount of attention just as quickly.
It took an extra day, but by the night of Day 4, they got their guy. They hadn’t wanted their alter egos to be spotted in Coast City, but their costumes were on underneath long dark coats anyway.
“Well hopefully this works,” Lois murmured to Diana, as they waited for yet another night in an empty alleyway. She had been disappointed when they hadn’t been able to get a hold of him the night before. Impulse, as he was going by, had been spotted making a few saves, but it was always not so coincidentally on the opposite part of town from where they were, and Lois was still stubborn about not ambushing or one of them could’ve taken to the skies to track down his path.
“We shall certainly see,” Diana replied, just as softly.
“You know, if I had known it was two beautiful women looking for me, I would’ve shown up a lot sooner.”
Lois turned her head only to see a flash of red streak by her.
“We’ve been looking for you,” she said.
“Yeah, no kidding,” the voice came again, from another part of the street. “You haven’t exactly been subtle about it. What do you two want?”
“To talk to you, Mr. Allen,” Diana said firmly. “Which is why we drew you to us. We come in peace.”
That caused him to stop, and Lois could finally see him. He was dressed head to toe in a red leather costume, down to the boots, eyes covered by a pair of dark shades. Even though she couldn’t fully see his face, he looked young, light brown hair sticking out from underneath his hood.
“Like Star Trek?” he asked, confused. “I don’t know how you learned my name, but I’m not scared of you, you know. I can be outta here lickety split.”
“You don’t have to be,” Lois assured him. Her sensitive hearing picked up extra sounds and she had to smile. In a louder voice, without looking back, she added, “You can join us as well, Green Arrow, unless you prefer the shadows.”
She looked directly up to the spot where she knew he was hiding. “Or if you would like, we can come to you.”
There was a pause, a rustling sound, and then he landed next to Bart. He was taller in person than she expected, and yet she was still much more familiar with his look; he resembled the few pictures she had- decked out in a forest green leather outfit, black boots, also wearing a hood and glasses.
“So you said you wanted to talk?”
His voice was modulated by some sort of distorter. Smart.
“Yes,” Diana confirmed. “We want an alliance, with you and your team.”
“We usually find our members, not the other way around,” he told them.
“Oh, we have our own team,” Lois said. “We want you to be a part of it.”
“Wait!” Bart said suddenly, pointing at her. “I know you! You’re Superwoman.”
“That’s not Sup-” Green Arrow started, before trailing off and looking at her closer, when he saw a corner of her mouth lift up. “Are you?”
She unbuttoned her coat to reveal the emblem. “I am.”
“Whoa! That is so cool!” Bart said excitedly. “And you’re Wonder Woman. Don’t deny it, I know it. Are you two partners? Wow, on second thought, sign me up!”
“Impulse!” Green Arrow snapped.
“What?” He didn’t look the least bit apologetic. “We have way too many guys on our team. I want to be where they are.”
Yeah, he was definitely young, and Lois couldn’t even bring herself to be offended. She and Diana exchanged amused looks.
“Now will you hear us out?” Diana asked, gaining their attention.
“Yes!” Bart answered immediately, and Green Arrow groaned.
“At this point, it wouldn’t hurt. I might just give you this loudmouth, no questions asked.”
“Whatever, dude, the only winner here would be me,” Bart retorted.
“Perhaps we should find another venue in which to continue this discussion?” Diana suggested. “Would you prefer to adjourn to our place or your’s?”
Bart and Green Arrow looked at each other, and Green Arrow let out a deep sigh.
“We have a place we can go.”
That place turned out to be their team’s headquarters, located in a tall tower on the outskirts of Star City. The journey was shorter than Lois expected. Green Arrow gave them the coordinates and she and Diana were able to meet them there easily.
“Should I ask if you already know my identity too or can I hold on to what is left of my ego?” Green Arrow asked, once they were inside.
“To be fair, you do a fairly good job with the disguise,” Lois replied, taking note of their surroundings, as Bart proudly showed Diana around. It was a solid set up, from what she could tell. “However, that ring you wear around your neck is an identifier, if someone gets a close enough look at the crest.”
Green Arrow’s hand went to his chest, almost unconsciously, from the look of it. That ring meant something but Lois kept herself in check and didn’t ask nor did he offer any extra information.
“You would be the first,” he said, still not removing his gear, or even turning off the modulator.
“It is my job,” she noted.
“How long?” he asked.
She just shrugged. “Long enough.”
“And you didn’t say anything before …?”
“Because as long as you’re not hurting anyone, it’s none of my business,” Lois said. Dropping her voice, she added, “Tell me, Mr. Queen, are the rest of the team on your payroll too?”
He pressed his lips together. “Don’t you already know that?”
“I have a sneaking suspicion but I wanted to hear you say it.”
“You might as well call me Oliver,” he said. “Does this sharing of identities go both ways by any chance?”
“You didn’t exactly willingly share,” Lois reminded him. “But for now, you can call me Kala, Kala Jor-El.”
“That doesn’t sound like any name I’ve ever heard of,” Oliver remarked.
“It shouldn’t be, as it’s not exactly a human name.”
“So you’re not-” Oliver trailed off. “Of course you’re not. Aliens, really?”
“Did someone say aliens?” Bart interrupted, looking between them hopefully. “Are you an alien? Whoa, I thought you were got your powers somehow, like me, but you do have a lot more of them, I guess. Oh man, are all aliens this hot? Like Diana here is a legit goddess. Did you know that? Hey, does this mean you have a spaceship?”
Lois bit her lower lip to contain her laughter; Bart talked like he ran- quick and nonstop. Oliver dropped his shoulders in resignation.
“We have a lot to talk about.”
Despite the chaotic start, their ensuing conversation went better than Lois could’ve ever imagined or hoped.
Bart was a good kid, and Lois even grew to quickly appreciate Oliver Queen, who was extremely charming and she enjoyed his sarcastic sense of humor. She hadn’t trusted him with her name, and civilian identity just yet, but she figured that would all be revealed soon enough.
With a promise of showing up on their side of the country in the coming month in hand, Lois and Diana were on their way, making sure that they weren’t tracked by any unwelcome eyes. There may be a temporary trust, but they had caught the two of them off guard and she knew they might want to level the playing field a little. It’s what they would’ve done, if the situation was reversed.
They didn’t encounter any issues for the time being, and once secure, they sent a quick encrypted message to Bruce, who of course, was still awake, having just returned from his own patrol.
Then they called it a night, and the following morning, they were already in the air, headed home. Lois went back to her patrol, making sure to go around the world, never allowing them to narrow her down to one spot. She hadn’t had too much pushback but she kept out of the way of officials and law enforcement. There were definitely places she was still avoiding until they got their League together, even if she wished she could extend her help.
She hadn’t seen Clark Kent since the day she had saved him, but sometimes, he ran through her thoughts. It wasn’t just that he was handsome, because he was, with his blue-green eyes, tall athletic body, sculpted features, and killer smile. Lois had been around plenty of handsome people. There was something else- maybe it was the Smallville ties or the fact he named her or maybe even that he worked for the Daily Planet, where she would be soon enough.
Well, she would figure that out later, on her first day.
Little did she know they would meet sooner than she expected.