It was late in the day and Bruce Wayne had finally managed to summon the strength to get up. It had been a long, long night last night and his muscles ached all over. As he stood looking at himself in the mirror, and examining the fresh bruises and scratches all over his body, he kept hearing a nagging voice at the back of his head telling him that he was getting too old for this sort of thing.
The nagging voice belonged to Alfred, and the nagging voice continued:
"You can't keep punishing your body like this night after night, Sir. After all, you're only human. And besides ..."
Bruce turned his face away from Alfred to hide his guilt, for he knew what Alfred was about to say.
"...Isn't it about time that you got back to being Batman? After all, Sir, the streets are amok with meta-humans."
"But, Alfred, how can I give her up? She's a babe."
Alfred rolled his eyes. Bruce was in love, and nothing he could say would alter the fact.
"By the way, she's been ringing all day. If you come across an earring in the batmobile would you let her know."
Meanwhile, back in Lois and Clark's kitchen, Lois was still having difficulty in believing Lex's story.
"So you wanted Clark out of the picture so you started making kryptonite-laced coffee. That doesn't make any sense at all."
"No, you've got it all wrong. At first I wanted Clark out of the picture, but then I saw how you wrote about Superman and realized he was my main rival. The coffee was to get rid of him, but I didn't want Clark to know I was behind it (after all, he was next) so I kept up my pretence of being Lana Lang. And then I discovered Clark was Superman and realized that I could kill two birds with one stone."
"And you expect me to fall at your feet, just because you're wearing a Lana wrapper?" Lois asked indignantly. In fact anybody, apart from Lana, wearing a Lana wrapper would have been pretty tempting to Lois. If only there was a way to get Lex's mind in Clark's body, she thought, that would be just ...
And then Lois' cellphone rang, disrupting her train of thought. She looked at the caller on the display and gritted her teeth. Every time Clark got in the slightest bit of trouble, which was all the time, Martha would ring. Admittedly, her life was more or less empty since the death of Jonathan, but she was intensely annoying nonetheless.
"Won't be a moment, Lex."
Lex waited patiently as he listened to Lois's side of the conversation.
"Hi, Martha. I don't suppose you could call back later. It's a bad time. Clark's being attacked by an army of Lanas ... oh, it's on TV already is it ... and I've got the antichrist in my kitchen."
"That's right. Lana. The real Lana. Except it's Lex - he's in Lana's body."
"No, not like that. They've just swapped minds."
"What, you've got to go already. Okay, Martha, bye."
That was funny. Martha usually stayed on the phone forever. Still, Lois wasn't complaining - she was just grateful to get back to the bizarre goings-on.
"So where were we?" Lois asked, turning back to Lex.
Just as Lex opened Lana's mouth to speak, his cellphone started to ring. He turned away from Lois, holding the flat of Lana's hand towards her, as he answered the call. This time it was Lois's turn to listen in on Lex's side of the conversation.
"Hello, Mrs. Kent."
"Yes, it is true."
"No, I'm sorry. That's not possible. He's not my type."
"Yes, he does have nice hair."
"Yes, I realize that she's career-orientated, and not getting any younger, and I can only imagine how much you're longing for grandchildren, but me and Clark would just never work out."
"No, I'm afraid Clark has to die. It's non-negotiable. Bye, Mrs. Kent."
"Nice lady," he said, turning back to Lois. "Now, where were we? Ah, yes, I know what's next."
Lex got down on one of Lana's knees and pulled a ring out of her pocket.
"Lois. Will you make me the happiest girl alive and marry me?"
Martha watched events unfold on her TV screen:
"Hi, this is Galaxy Broadcasting's Steve Lombard coming live from Metropolis with the death of Superman. As you can see from our exclusive footage, Superman's just lying there while numerous teenage coffee moguls are hitting him with electric bolts, changing his chemical structure, chewing on him, giving him karate kicks, and lots of other evil stuff. But there's a few Lana Langs here on the sidelines, and I've managed to get an exclusive interview with them. Hi, Lana."
"Hi, Steve. Am I on television?"
"That's right, Lana. Would you like to say Hi to your parents?"
At this point Lana burst into tears. "But my parents were hit by a meteor."
"I'm sorry. I didn't know."
"How could you not know? It's written on the side of every La La Land carton."
"Well, I hope they get better soon. Next!"
"Hi, Lana. Why aren't you helping in the fight?"
"Well, Steve, we've all got different abilities. I'm a super-intelligent Lana, so I'm not much use in a fight."
"Don't worry, Steve. I'm only super-intelligent by teenage Lana standards, which puts me at about your level."
"And what about you, Lana?"
"Well, I can shape-shift, but why bother when I look this good?"
"And what about you, Lana?"
"Well, Steve. All I can do is bounce up and down."
"Well, I'm sure our viewers would like to see that."
"Aren't you going to ask me what I can do, Steve? Steve?"
"Sorry, I was distracted for a moment by the bouncing Lana. So, little lady, what ... ungh!" Steve said as the knee hit his groin.
Martha picked up her phone. There was only one man who could help Clark now. Someone she'd rang not so long ago. As soon as she heard the phone being answered at the other end, she barked her orders down the phone.
"If that's Alfred, drag Bruce Wayne out of bed and get him to the phone. If that's Bruce, get your Batman outfit on and save Clark pronto."
On the other end of the phone, she heard Lana's voice saying "Bruce Wayne is Batman?" followed by a maniacal laugh that seemed to go on forever and ever.
"Sorry, Lex. Wrong number."
"Sir, it's the batphone. It's that woman again."
Bruce Wayne rushed to the phone.
"Hi, Martha-wartha. It's Brucie-wucie here."
"Yeah, whatever. Listen up, kid. Clark's in trouble, Lex is in Lana's body..."
"I thought everybody had been in Lana's body?"
"That's what I said. No, it's one of those mind-swap deals like in ... what's that movie where the parent and kid swap minds?"
"That's the one. Anyway, you wouldn't believe what was happening if I told you. It's ridiculous. It'll be quicker if you just switch the TV on. It's on all the channels."
"OK, Martha, but I'm not sure if I'm up to being Batman after last night."
"I'll make it worth your while."
"You don't mean?"
"Party on, Wayne!"
"Party on, Marth!"