Something About Jane
The monitoring center, Watchtower space station:
Kara Zor-El, Supergirl, and J’onn Jonz, better known as Martian Manhunter, watched the news feed again of Clark’s rescue of the airliner, his departure from the plane along with the passengers, most under their own power but a few had been brought out on stretchers, hoping to find any clues as to why this had happened. Airline crashes were a rarity in the future world, not only because of Superman but the FAA was now a worldwide organization renowned for its scrutiny of any unexplained airline accident.
As they both watched everything unfold, they could not help but be thrown back in time when J’onn had returned to Earth after being away for years, and Kara had saved his life. J’onn glanced at one of his dearest friends and it did not take mind-reading to know what she was thinking. “Are you alright, Kara?” He asked when she became quiet appearing deep in thought.
“I’m fine, J’onn, why would you ask that?” Kara frowned as she turned to stare at him.
“Well, I couldn’t help remembering how you saved my life not too long ago in much the same manner.” He paused. “I’ll never forget that Kara.”
“J’onn, we’ve been over that; everything is fine between us now,” Kara smiled and wondered if he had read her mind.
“Yes, it is, but we almost killed each other that day, and I’m.”
She didn’t let him finish, but touched his shoulder. “J’onn, that’s all in the past; we forgave each other, remember. I didn’t know who you were and you were just trying to protect yourself. All is forgiven.”
“Thank you, Kara. I don’t think I ever thanked you for that.”
“That’s not necessary, J’onn. That’s what we’re all here for, to save each other, to be there for each other; remember that.”
“I won’t forget,” he stated firmly as thoughts of how he could return the favor and he would do it gladly.
“Good, now, let’s check for any videos, news coverage or anything that may give us some clue as to how this accident could have happened.”
Clark left the hospital as if he were walking on a cloud of dreams and fantasies. But it didn’t take him long to fall back down to Earth as he exited onto the street and looked up at the sky reminding him again just how different he was from Jane, from everyone. Thinking of those few minutes he was with her, a part of him felt alive like he belonged here after so long a time.
He was getting ahead of himself, wasn’t he? She wasn’t ready for a relationship with anyone; she’s a recent widow. They both need time to heal, he after seeing Lois again after so long and Jane needed time to accept what had happened to her husband and put it behind her, but how long would that take? He had no idea, but he was more than willing to wait. We can be friends, yeah, we will be friends, but the more that word tried to stick in his brain, the more it wouldn’t.
He sighed as he took to the skies, pulled out his cell and called Kara and J’onn, two of his dearest friends because he needed them now more than ever.
Meanwhile, back at Watchtower:
Kara and J’onn watched the video from the plane again, both at a loss as to how to handle the situation. Clark was on his way there and he needed to make a statement of some kind to the press to make sure things didn’t get out of hand. Most of the answering comments seemed to understand that the woman was probably in shock not realizing what she was saying, but there were a few people who also had doubts about the superheroes, the fact they were taking over and that we shouldn’t trust them.
The last thing they needed now was an outcry of mistrust among humans about aliens and why they were there on Earth. Times were different now than they were in the past and the humans trusted them, have trusted them for a long time. But these few minutes on a videotape could mean that everything they’d worked so hard to accomplish could go up in smoke.
Clark entered the Watchtower through the airlock doors and greeted his friends, but when they turned to face him, the smile on his face turned into a frown. “What’s going on?”
“I can tell from your expression that you haven’t seen this video, uploaded not ten minutes ago, and already viewed by over a million people!” Kara exclaimed as she replayed the video for him.
Clark watched the video, groaned and then he sighed. “Look, this can be explained. I’ve already talked to the young woman and she apologized for what she said to me. She was in shock; she didn’t know what she was saying. Surely, you can see that.”
“We do see that, Clark, but why don’t you tell us what happened today,” J’onn said worried for his friend.
Clark wondered if he should tell them about seeing Lois again, but decided against it for now, as he paced and began his story about meeting Jane. After he finished telling them what happened and who she really was, Kara and J’onn were even more worried.
Kara was shocked by the revelation that this woman was related to the Lane sisters. It was astonishing, unbelievable and very suspicious. “And you believed her, Clark? What if it’s a trick to lure you into a trap or something?”
“Kara, she knew my name. I haven’t used that name in centuries. There’s no way she could have known unless she was a member of our family circle; it’s just not possible.”
“Clark, you have to listen and listen carefully,” J’onn began hoping to get through to him. “We’ve all been here long enough to know that secrets always come out at one time or another. Anyone you’ve been in contact with as Clark Kent, or any of your other aliases could have found out your secret. You have to protect yourself.”
He frowned, getting upset by their questions and concerns. He had such hopes, as if meeting Jane and after seeing Lois earlier in the day; it felt as if Lois had given him a sign or something, that he didn’t have to be alone anymore, and he was so tired of being alone.
J’onn and Kara could see how upset he was getting. Kara touched his shoulder. “We should check her out, Clark, just to be sure. Can you tell us anything else about her?”
He sighed and realized that they only wanted to protect him. “You know everything, her maiden name, when she arrived here, her deceased husband’s name, how and when he died. That’s all I know.”
J’onn punched in all the information they had on Jane Douglas and waited for the computer to answer them.
The computer responded after a minute. “The information you entered is accurate. Jane Troupe-Douglas is a widow, just arrived from Los Angeles, California. She just began employment as a writer at a freelance newspaper here in Metropolis.”
“What newspaper?” Clark wanted to know.
“The Metropolis Journal,” the computer responded.
“It’s true; she really is a Lane,” Kara murmured still astounded at this information. “Clark, Clark, look at me.” Kara could see how happy he was, but they needed to deal with the issue of the video. “We have to get her to make a statement about what happened on the plane. It’s very important that we make sure everyone knows she wasn’t herself when the plane landed, that she was in shock.”
“I’ll go see her and talk to her ... as Jonny,” Clark said and grinned.
“Oh, I see,” Kara whispered worried now for what Clark could be getting himself into ... another Lane, more heartbreak down the road. She didn’t think Clark would survive Lois’s death. It was too horrible to think about how devastated he had been after she had died.
“Kara, please, now; I know what I’m doing,” he said and touched her shoulder.
J’onn watched the scene between his dearest friends and decided to intervene as he came forward. “Clark, Kara, we’ve all lived a very long time and we’ve seen what life and love means to humans on this planet. It means everything to them. Kara, you’ve had your relationships and I mine, but what we witnessed between Lois and Clark, it was unique and very special. Kara and I can’t tell you how to live your life, Clark, only you can make that decision, but remember we are here for you no matter what happens.”
Clark was very moved by his friend’s speech and held out his hand. “Thank you J’onn,” he said and smiled. He turned to his cousin then. “Kara, can I count on you, like I always have?”
“Of course you can cuz,” Kara said and gave him a hug. “Good luck and remember we need that statement.”
“I’m on it; don’t worry,” Clark said and left Watchtower and headed back to the hospital.
Two minutes later, Metropolis General:
Jane was worried about her new friend. How can I contact him? Hmm, I think I’ll leave him a note. Surely, he’ll come back to see me, but I am leaving the hospital in the morning. Frowning, she decided she would write him a note and leave it at the nurses’ station. She looked up from her writing and he was standing in the doorway about to knock.
She recognized him immediately because she knew about his disguise as Clark Kent ... the bulky suits, the glasses, the slouch, the shyness, it was all there, but who was the real Clark Kent? Inwardly smiling, she intended to find out.
“Hi,” Clark said as he entered her room.
“Hi, back so soon? Did you miss me?” She asked teasing him a little.
Clark was shocked at how much that was true. “A little,” he replied coming closer.
A friend, he’s a friend, Jane repeated those words in her head over and over. But damn, the man was attractive. “Shouldn’t you be rescuing kittens from a tree or something?” She couldn’t help teasing him.
“I’ve already met my ‘kitten’ quota for the day,” he replied chuckling. “What are you writing?”
“A note for you,” she replied still writing.
“For me? Aww, did you miss me?” He teased only a little serious.
Jane raised her eyes to his face and had to look back at her note. His eyes were serious, too serious. “There, all done,” she said and handed him the note.
Clark read the note aloud. “Jonny, I guess we’ll see each other soon. If you’d like to talk, I’m available at this number (xxx) 555-1882. Once I leave the hospital tomorrow, I’ll be at work and my number there is (xxx) 555-8881. I’ll talk to you soon. Your friend Jane.” He finished reading the note and tucked it inside his suit pocket.
“Don’t loose that; it’s important,” Jane told him pointing to his pocket.
“I’ll guard it with my life,” he stated firmly only half joking.
“See that you do,” Jane said just as firmly, but as she watched him for a moment, his eyes not meeting hers, she could tell he had something on his mind. “Well, I can see you have something to tell me. What is it?”
Clark decided he needed to work on his poker face; it wasn’t fooling her at all. “Something happened on the plane earlier today.”
“Someone made a video of you and me and put it on the Internet.”
Jane gasped. “Oh, no, that’s terrible.”
“Yeah, it looked pretty bad and I was hoping you could maybe upload a video statement or something saying that you hadn’t meant what you said and that you’ve already apologized?” Clark asked feeling awkward.
“Of course, I will Jonny first thing tomorrow.”
Clark was so relieved. “Thank you, Jane,” he said and smiled at her.
“You’re welcome,” she said and realized his smiles were entirely too infectious.
Clark came closer and feeling bold, he took her hand. “I have to be honest with you Jane. I ran a background check on you.”
Shocked, Jane pulled her hand from his. “You did what?”