Taking a Chance
“Jane, I …I’m sorry; just let me explain, please,” Clark asked pleading with her.
“You should leave,” Jane said and left the bed and went to hold the door open for him.
“Jane, please, I had to know the truth; don’t you see? It’s just been so long since anyone had said that name to me. I had to be sure. Please tell me you understand.”
Jane sighed and closed the door and crossed her arms. “And my word wasn’t good enough for you, and now I’m supposed to trust you, and believe everything you say? It works both ways Jonny.”
“I know,” he said and came closer. “Please Jane I want us to be friends, to trust each other, to be able to tell each other anything, no matter how painful. Don’t you want that too?”
She did want that, but maybe they needed a little time to think about why this happened and besides she needed to get settled in her apartment, to get back to work in a few days, and maybe they were moving just a little too fast. She didn’t answer him, but left his side and went to stand by the window.
“Jane?” He decided not to follow her, but give a little space.
“I have some thinking to do, Jonny; I have to get back to work in a few days, and I … I need time to think about … everything.”
Clark decided not to push her, so he kept his distance. “I understand, of course, but hearing that name again after so long brought back all the memories of my former life in Smallville.”
She turned back to him then. “Your ‘former life,’ but you’re alive, you’re not dead.”
“Oh, but I am dead, Jane. There’s a tombstone in Smallville, Kansas with my name on it. Clark Kent couldn’t live forever, so I faked my death and put an empty coffin in the ground buried next to … Lois, my wife. It was the only way,” he managed to say as his eyes filled with tears.
“Oh, Jonny,” she whispered wanting so badly to go him and comfort him, but it was wrong because they both needed time to heal. “I’m so sorry.”
He rubbed at his eyes. “I’m alright,” he said and took a deep breath. “I haven’t talked about that time in well … a long time.” He stared at her as if seeing her for the first time, but also as if he knew her inside and out. “I feel like I could talk to you about anything, tell you anything and you would understand, not judge me, or look down on me … like I’m a … freak or something,” he said trying to get her to smile.
She shook her head and smirked at him. “Are you going to throw that in my face every day from now on?”
Clark was very relieved she asked that as if they ‘would’ see each other again. It gave him hope. He held his hands up in defense. “I won’t mention it again, I promise.” He hesitated, but then he heard something. “I have to leave, but I’ll call you in a few days.”
Jane sighed. “Alright, we’ll talk in a few days. Goodbye, Jonny.”
“Goodbye, Jane.” But before he left he remembered the video. “Oh, and don’t forget to do the video.”
“I won’t forget; I’ll do it first thing in the morning.”
“Thank you, Jane.”
“You’re welcome, now go rescue somebody,” she said and couldn’t help smiling at him.
He saluted her this time and left her standing by the window with the sun shining on her with an ethereal glow as if she were an angel or something. Clark shook his head and blinked, thinking he had imagined it then left her room with that image swirling around in his brain.
Later that evening at the hospital, Jane had another dream of Superman. It would not be the first nor the last time she would dream about him. It was the real reason she had decided to come to Metropolis, to meet him and to help him if she could.
Jane’s dreams were not like most people’s dreams. Her dreams took her to the future and sometimes to the past and she was rarely in them herself. She had long ago accepted the fact that she was ‘special,’ a ‘psychic,’ and normally she wouldn’t divulge anything about her dreams to anyone, including her husband, because well they didn’t mean anything.
The people in her dreams were not hurt or in danger, she hadn’t known them, and most of the dreams she didn’t remember, but not the ones of Superman. In fact, his rescue of the plane the other day had played out in one of her dreams, but she had not been on the plane in that dream, which was probably the reason for her terror, and not the fact that she was furious with him for not saving her husband. It was a relief to finally admit it after so long.
Her first dream of him happened about six months ago, she was alone at the time; her husband was on one of his many business trips. In that dream on this one particular night, Superman had died and when she awakened, she tried to remember what had happened to him. He hadn’t fallen from the sky that she could recall, he hadn’t appeared to be hurt, but … he had died, she was sure of it and when she had awakened from the dream with tears streaming down her face, she became terrified for him because she hadn’t seen when in the future it would happen, and no clues had come forth since then that the dream would actually happen at all, so she was torn about telling him any of it.
The next morning after breakfast, the nurse helped Jane with her preparations to leave as well as her release papers from the hospital. She was so ready to get back to her life again, but she knew she would have to make a decision soon about whether to tell Jonny about her abilities and about her dreams, but when?
Clark was furious with himself for telling Jane about the background check, but after being married for so long, keeping secrets important secrets from the people you care about just was not in his nature. People I care about? When did that happen? He shook his head at his musings and after taking care of a few minor accidents and a rather suspicious incident that occurred at a power plant on the outskirts of town, he arrived at Watchtower hoping for a few moments alone to think about what was happening to him, but it was not to be.
Early the next day, Jane left the hospital, took a cab to her office and made the video as she promised she would. She used an alias to upload the video to hide her identity, but she realized it would only be a matter of time before everyone knew who she was. The hospital workers would probably recognize her from the video and one thing would lead to another. She sighed and went back to work. Nothing could be done about that now; she had a job to do and stories to write.
Her boss, James Addison, editor- in-chief of the Metropolis Journal, was a strong individual, dedicated to the truth, honesty and integrity and expected no less from his staff. The journal was number three in Metropolis but readership was inching closer to that rag The Inquisitor, plus the paper had a true following and Jane was happy to have the job there. She was watching her video again when she got a call from Jonny.
“Hello, this is Jane Douglas,” she answered her private line.
“Hi, Jane, it’s Jonny,” Clark liked her telephone voice; very pleasant to his ears. He was flying upward toward Watchtower as he watched the video from his phone.
“Hi, Jonny, what’s up?”
“You know what’s up; thank you for doing the video Jane; it’s perfect. You’re quite the videographer.”
“Well, I did have a little help from a friend here at the office, but I think it turned out ok.”
“You are too modest; you looked great, you sounded great, and I liked your outfit too,” Clark was rambling a bit, not quite believing he was nervous talking to her over the phone.
“Jonny, you’re buttering me up for something, go ahead, spill it,” Jane could almost see the wheels turning in his head as he thought of the reason why he called her in the first place.
“I’m not up to anything,” Clark replied realizing he couldn’t get away with anything with her.
“Uh, huh, I’m waiting,” Jane was determined.
Clark sighed and decided to forge ahead. “Are you doing anything Saturday night?”
“Jonny, I …” Jane hesitated. Oh, dear.
He waited for a heartbeat and then another. “I understand … umm ... I’ll let you get back to work.”
“Jonny, wait,” Jane thought she must be losing it to ever consider going out with him. “Call me in a few days and we can talk about where you’ll be taking me … on our date,” she couldn’t believe she just agreed to go out with him. I am losing it.
“That’s great; I’ll talk to you soon. Bye, Jane.”
J’onn and Kara watched Jane’s video statement and they both had to admit she was steady, straightforward and sounded sincere in her apology to Superman and everyone else on the plane.
“What do you think of her now, Kara?” J’onn asked wondering if she’d had a change of heart about Jane.
Before Kara could answer him, a very tall, dark-haired woman entered the monitoring center, her steps strong and determined. Both J’onn and Kara gasped not only because they hadn’t seen her in a few months, but also she was wearing an entirely new outfit.
“Diana?” Kara was surprised.
“Where is he?” Diana was in no mood for pleasantries. “I don’t like repeating myself. Where is he?” Diana was on a single mindset at the moment.
“It’s good to see you Diana,” J’onn said hoping to calm her down for a moment. Clark would certainly take her attitude the wrong way and go in the opposite direction and head straight for Jane no matter how hard they tried to stop him.
“You’re looking well.” Kara threw in her two cents. She sighed. “Clark’s not here Diana, but we expect him at any moment.”
“Good because after watching both videos, it’s as clear as the nose on my face where this is headed … disaster for our friend.”
“We realize that, Diana, but we have to be calm and rational about this,” J’onn said but Diana’s eyes were still breathing fire.
Diana was worried, very worried for him. “Tell me everything you know about her … NOW!”