Two of a Kind
Jane was too shocked to speak as she stared at him, unbelieving that he was really there in her room.
Clark wasn’t surprised by her reaction, but her silence spoke volumes. “I’ll come back later,” he said and turned to go.
“No, wait, don’t go,” she finally spoke to him, sat up, pushed her hair out of eyes, raised the blanket up to her chest and tried to be polite. “I just never expected to see you again and especially not here, but ... I’m glad you came.”
Clark wasn’t usually shy around beautiful women and she was beautiful, there was no denying that fact, but as he came closer, he saw that her eyes were red. He then realized it was her voice he had overhead in the hallway just a few minutes ago. He wondered why then he hoped it wasn’t because of him. “I’m sorry to just drop in on you like this, but after what happened ...”
Jane sighed as he watched him come closer still feeling terrible about what happened. “About that, I wanted to apologize for my behavior on the plane. It was uncalled for and inexcusable,” she told him firmly.
Clark was touched by her apology, but he wanted to know why she had been crying and what had caused such a strong reaction to him. “There’s really no need to apologize. You were in shock.”
She felt relieved but it wasn’t enough. “I realize that now, but ... I hope you’ll forgive me and try to forget it ever happened. Do you think you can?” She really hoped he would forgive her.
He thought about it for a moment. “I’ll forgive you, but on one condition?” He smiled hoping to make her feel better.
“Oh and what’s that?” She couldn’t help returning his smile.
Clark also couldn’t help his eyes as they roamed over her face and noticed how flawless her olive skin was, her dark hair was long and curled over her shoulders as if waiting for someone, him maybe, to run his hands through it. But it was the color of her eyes that drew him to her, and her lips were just the right size. He tore his eyes away from her face and tried to think and cleared his throat. “Well, on the condition that you tell me the real reason for your outburst on the plane.”
Jane tried to ignore his frank appraisal of her, turned and stared out the window. “I don’t want to talk about it,” she said leaving no room for argument, hoping to put some distance between them.
Clark didn’t understand why he did it, but he reached up to touch her shoulder, however he stopped and lowered his arm just as she turned back to him again.
“Do you really want to know?” She asked and despite her best efforts not to get too close to him, she did feel compelled to talk to him, but he was not going to like what she had to say.
“Yes, I do, and it may help to talk about it.”
“Alright, but you have to sit down first,” she said. “I’m getting a crick in my neck staring up at you.”
Clark chuckled and pulled up a chair. “Is this better?” He asked and smiled.
Jane narrowed her eyes at him. That smile would knock any woman to her knees, but she was a widow, a recent widow, and she wasn’t interested in the super-powered savior of Metropolis, but maybe the other persona might interest her. No, no, I’m not ready. He doesn’t need me, besides if he knew who or what I was, he would run away from me. I’m sure of it.
“Are you ready Jane? Oh, can I call you Jane, I feel as if I know you somehow, but ... how is that possible?” Clark shook his head at that question and began to wonder if they had met before today.
Jane stiffened at his questions, but maybe she should tell him the whole story, not just about Bill, but about the two of them, and that they did have a connection from the past, albeit indirectly. “Yes, you can call me Jane.” She took a deep breath and began her story. “I’m a widow, Superman, a recent widow,” she said and dabbed at her eyes with a tissue, as she’d never said that word out loud before.
“I see; go on,” he encouraged her.
“My husband, Bill, and I hadn’t been married long, only a few years, when ...” She paused to gain some control. “He was on a plane headed back from a business trip a few months ago but somehow ... the plane encountered turbulence ... and it crashed in the desert just outside of Los Angeles.”
Clark remembered hearing about the crash; he was in outer space when it happened trying to save the planet from a meteor shower, one of many that seemed to happen pretty much every other month now. “I’m so sorry, Jane, but you know I would have tried to stop it if I’d been there.”
She was still doubtful about that. “Where were you, Superman?”
“I was in outer space at the time, Jane, a meteor shower. I’m so sorry,” he said again as his eyes pleaded with her to try and understand.
Jane had been so devastated from her tragedy, not speaking to anyone except her family, and ignoring the outside world for months. “Oh, no, I blamed you, Superman, for all of it.”
He did touch her this time, as he took her hand in his. “Everything is going to be alright.” He squeezed her hand. “I don’t want to hear anymore apologies Jane Okay?” He smiled again.
“Alright,” Jane sighed relieved to finally know the truth, but then they suddenly became self-conscious and stared at their joined hands, and reluctantly released their hands at the same time.
Clark was at a loss as to what was happening and stood up to leave. “I should go,” he said not looking at her.
“Wait, don’t go,” Jane said stopping him with a touch to his arm. “I have to tell you something and it’s pretty important. Can’t you stay for a one more minute ... please?”
He narrowed his eyes and listened to the world outside for a moment. “Okay, for a minute.”
“We do know each other ... sort of,” she told him being cryptic.
Clark frowned as he sat back down again. Surely he would have remembered her. “When did we meet?”
“Oh, we’ve never met before.”
“But I don’t understand.”
She looked into his eyes. “I know who you are,” she confessed still being cryptic.
“Of course you do, I’m Superman,” he said as his heart began to pound and his breathing increased.
“Yes, but you’re also ... Clark Kent.”
Clark’s heartbeat spiked, but he put on his best poker face. “Who did you say?” He must have heard her wrong.
“It’s alright, I would never tell anyone, I promise. Please don’t be upset.”
He stood up then and went over to the window hoping the sun would calm him a little. “I’m not upset,” he admitted, wondering how she could possibly know that name. “But I ... Umm ... I have to leave.”
Jane couldn’t help but wonder why he kept running away from people. “But don’t you want to know how I know? Aren’t you just a little curious?”
Clark was curious alright, frantic actually, to know how she came across his name. “Tell me,” he said but kept his distance from her. His heart was racing, wondering if he could accept or believe what she was going to say.
“You may want to sit down,” Jane suggested as she watched him carefully.
“I’m fine right here; just tell me,” he said trying to stay calm.
Jane thought it best she just tell him the truth. “My maiden name was ... Troupe.”
Clark’s eyes widened as the truth hit him ... hard. “Then, you’re.” He couldn’t say it as his breath left his lungs.
“Yes, Clark, I’m a descendant of Lois and Lucy Lane.”
Clark had never fainted before in his life, but there was always a first time. He took hold of the window sill and held on tight; the sill cracked a little.
Jane jumped out of bed and helped him to sit down. “Take deep breaths, there; you’ll be fine in a minute. Are you alright?”
Clark’s heartbeat slowed down a little, as he stared at her and the world came back into focus. He couldn’t help it as he touched her cheek. “Your eyes, the Lane eyes; I should have known.”
“Just from my eyes, really, Clark. I don’t think so,” she said and smiled at him. She became suddenly serious and she took his hand. “I know this is a shock hearing it like this, but I want to be your friend Clark, if would you allow it?”
He swallowed suddenly nervous as he thought about that question. “A friend, sure, we can be friends, of course we can, why not,” he rambled and couldn’t help how his eyes wandered of their own accord across her face to her lips, across her ...” He tore his eyes away and then cleared his throat. “You should get back into bed and I have things to do.” He watched her climb back into bed, closed his eyes as her long shapely legs and firm thighs made their presence known. He shook his head at her as he tucked her in.
“Hey, I’m not a baby,” she complained then chuckled.
“No, you’re not, but I am a lot older than you, you know.”
“How old are you anyway?” She couldn’t help asking.
“Old enough,” he replied closing the subject. “I’ll see you around Jane.”
“I’ll see you around, Clark.”
“Call me, Jonny,” he instructed.
“Yes sir!” She chuckled then saluted him.
He chuckled and turned to go, but couldn’t help looking back at her when he reached the door. “Bye, Jane.”