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Birthday fic: Going Up, 1/1

Title: Going Up
Author: htbthomas
Fandom: Superman Returns
Rating: PG
Word Count: 1,801 words
Betas: van_el (taskmastering), mark_clark
Summary: An elevator. An electrical storm. An emergency.
Author’s Note: A birthday fic for oldromantic.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -


Clark adjusted his tie as the elevator doors slid to a stop. He had noticed the empty elevator heading upward toward the Daily Planet newsroom’s floor as he swooped in from another rescue. In moments, he was through the access panel and into the empty car. When the doors opened, whoever had called for the elevator would see nothing more than a slightly disheveled-looking Clark Kent, which is exactly what he tried for—

“Lois… Jason!” Clark didn’t have to affect his surprise when the doors slid open – he had only just scanned through the door to see who was there. Lois looked as if she was heading out for the day, her carryall over one shoulder. She looked like she had just had a bad day, her face pinched with annoyance. On the other hand, Jason waved brightly at seeing Clark. His small pack was fitted across his back – Clark was pleased to see it was still the Superman one.

Clark stepped aside, holding the door open with one hand to let them though.

“Hi, Clark,” Lois said pleasantly enough, leading Jason with her free hand. “Just getting back?”

“Yeah, you wouldn’t believe the traffic out there!” A heavy thunderstorm had started about fifteen minutes ago. It hadn’t affected Clark at all, but it provided a good excuse for his tardiness. “Some folks just don’t do well with bad weather.”

“Of course, the one night I need to get home early…” Lois swore subvocally for a moment. Clark wondered if Lois realized that when Jason’s super-hearing kicked in, her mumbles would be as loud as shouting. They were to him. He tried not to wince.

“Sorry, Lois. Bad luck, I guess.”

My luck, more like it.” Lois sighed. She looked into his sympathetic face and then suddenly frowned. “Don’t you have somewhere to be?” She nodded toward the door which he was still holding open.

“Oh!” he startled. He fumbled for an excuse, letting go of the door. “I just realized I need to… get something from the mailroom.”

Lois gave him an odd look, but didn’t make any comment. She pressed the button for the parking garage, and then the ground floor.

The real reason he was going back downstairs was to spend a little more time with Lois and Jason. He knew he was pathetic – he should just come out and tell her the truth. Richard no longer stood between them any more… Jason already knew who he was… what did he have to lose?

Nothing. Except Lois’ trust.

He sighed internally and turned to Jason. “How are you today, young man?”

“I’m good. Mom says we can get pizza tonight!” Jason grinned at the news.

“Cheese still your favorite?”

“Uh huh.” Clark knew Jason was particularly pleased at all the new foods he could try, now that his allergies were fading.

“You should really try the—”

At that moment, the elevator was plunged into almost total darkness, save for the tiny emergency phone light. The car shuddered to a stop on the emergency brakes.

Jason let out a tiny yelp of alarm – it was followed by Clark’s, “Golly!”

“F—Crap!” Lois exclaimed angrily. “Who has it in for me today?!”

Clark X-rayed through the walls. The Daily Planet and the surrounding blocks were suffering from a power outage. “It’s probably just a blackout,” he reasoned while continuing to scan for the seriousness of the situation. The outage seemed to be confined to their section of the power grid.

“Or it could be this elevator. I mean, how old are these things?” She kicked at the wall for emphasis, and then he heard her blindly search inside her bag for her cell phone. She found it and flipped it open, casting a bright light on her worried face. “No signal,” she announced with defeat.

“The cell phone towers are probably out as well…”

Lois turned an annoyed look on him before flipping the phone closed. She stalked over to the emergency phone. “Hey! Is anyone there?”

After a pause, a tinny voice rang out. “Yeah, we’re here. Are you stuck?”

Clark could see Lois roll her eyes in the faint light. “Would I be calling if I wasn’t?” she growled.

“It’s going to be a little while. The power’s out everywhere, ma’am. A lot of problems to take care of. You sit tight, and we’ll be there as soon as we can.”

“Sit tight? You’d better get here, pronto! This is Lo—” There was a distinct disconnection click, and Lois cut off her words with another growl. She slammed the phone back onto the cradle, stomped back over to her bag, and sat heavily on the floor.

“Mom?” Jason walked over and sat beside her. “They’ll get here soon, right?”

Lois sighed and put her arm around Jason’s shoulders. “Yeah, don’t worry, kiddo. We won’t be stuck here forever.”

Clark crouched down beside them. “Help is already on the way.”

At that moment, Jason seemed to recognize anew just who was sharing the elevator with him. “And you won’t let anything happen to us, will you?”

Lois looked sharply at Clark and then Jason. But Clark stuttered out, “O—Of course, I’ll be right here, keeping you both company…”

Jason tilted his head for a second, and then opened his mouth in a small ‘oh’. He nodded, and then snuggled farther into his mother’s shoulder. Lois looked mystified for another second longer before shrugging.

Clark moved to a sitting position a few feet away, giving them some space. His thoughts turned inward as the minutes dragged on. If he could just get over his fear of how Lois would react to finding out he was Superman, then he could get the three of them out of there in seconds.

Knowing that he could be doing something, even though his hands seemed to be tied, made him feel restless. It seemed he wasn’t the only one. Jason suddenly sprang up and started to pace the floor on the other side of the car. Clark still remembered what it felt like to be that age. Staying in one place – especially against his will – had been torture.

“It really shouldn’t be much longer, Jason,” Clark tried to console him. “Do you want to play a game or something to take your mind off the waiting?”

“No, it’s okay. I just hope they hurry…” His pacing increased.

Lois leaned over toward Clark, murmuring. “He’ll be fine. He’s always had a lot of energy. Almost as much as—” Lois cut off suddenly. Clark could easily guess what she had almost said. “—as if he ran on batteries or something…” she finished instead.

Clark smiled. “He’s doing really well. When I was that age, I would have been climbing the walls to get out.”

“Huh,” Lois huffed in thought. “You, as a kid? I can’t even imagine it. What was that like… a lot of feeding the chickens?”

Clark’s heart warmed at her teasing tone. Somehow being stuck in an elevator was starting to improve her mood. “And running through the cornfields.” For a brief moment, he felt himself sail over the tops of the rows of waving gold. “I really needed all that space, let me tell you.”

“I figured you for a bookworm, Clark Kent. Curled up in an overstuffed chair…”

“I read plenty of books, believe me…” His voice dropped in pitch as he got more comfortable, and he scooted a little closer. “I just wanted to see the world they spoke of.”

Lois opened her mouth to respond… but suddenly Jason’s white athletic shoes were between them. They looked up at his pale face, wan in the dim light.

“I have to go to the bathroom.”

After making this announcement, Jason began to dance around a bit, in obvious stress.

“Oh, no… can you hold it, honey?”

“I have been…” he whined in a low voice.

Lois tried to reassure him. “You’re going to have to try a little bit longer, sweetie. They should be here any minute…”

Clark was at a loss. He himself had not experienced anything like this in years – he’d always had fine control of his metabolism. But Jason was only half-Kryptonian, and his human genetics had always been stronger until recently. Clark could only imagine how embarrassing it would be…

Scanning through the walls, Clark tried to see if help was anywhere near… nothing. Jason would just have to—

Jason bolted toward the doors, hands scrabbling at the seam to find purchase. “I can’t hold it…” There was suddenly an ear-splitting shriek of wrenching metal.

Lois leapt to her feet. “No! Wait—!”

Clark knew exactly why Lois was freaking out. She had no idea that Clark already knew Jason’s secret. But Jason did. If he could just zoom in quickly, to give him a little help…

Clark grasped the doors and shoved them apart with super-strength—

The lights flickered.

And came on.

Full.

Clark closed his eyes for a beat… then turned to Lois.

She stood there, mouth open in shock. It was obvious that Clark had helped to wrench the doors open.

“Oh, no…” Jason whined. “It’s still too high…”

The elevator car was just enough below one of the floors that a two foot opening existed between the forcibly opened doors.

Pressing his lips together slightly, Clark rose into the air, gently pushing upward into the support beam in the ceiling. The elevator moved upward with him until Jason could scrabble into the deserted hallway. “Thanks!” he called, racing down the hall. The restroom door slammed behind him.

Clark floated back downward, facing Lois with a sheepish expression.

Lois’ mouth had closed, and she arched one eyebrow. “I’m always around, huh?”

He kept silent. He’d learned long ago that when Lois was truly angry… not to answer her rhetorical questions.

She walked up to him slowly, step by step. “So not only do you keep this from me… but you make me sit in a stuffy elevator for God knows how long? And Jason? He didn’t seem very surprised, did he?” She jabbed a finger into his chest. “When were you going to tell me? Huh?”

Clark waited a moment, to make sure she really meant for him to answer. Then he opened his mouth to speak—

Flush!

Clark closed his mouth with a click, mortified.

Lois’ jaw clenched…

And then she burst out laughing.

She slapped his chest, hugging her side with the other hand… and he found himself laughing, too, the ridiculousness of the situation bubbling out of him. Soon they were both unable to stop.

A few minutes later, feeling much better, Jason popped his head in to look down on them, scratching his head in confusion. His parents were sitting on the floor, still racked with giggles.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - -


Is your birthday soon? Request a ficlet!

Comments

( 35 comments — Leave a comment )
elliania
Apr. 15th, 2008 04:59 pm (UTC)
Aww! So cute! I love when Clark has to reveal his secret to save his little boy, but that one was just so so very sweet! He didn't save him... he just acted like a father! *in love*
htbthomas
Apr. 15th, 2008 05:54 pm (UTC)
Hee, isn't it fun that he can be Super-Dad just as well? And I know the birthday girl has probably gone through something like this a gazillion times with her kids. I couldn't resist! :)
oldromantic
Apr. 15th, 2008 08:41 pm (UTC)
Uh, yep. Emergency trips to bathroom? Been there, DONE THAT. *lol*
mary_v
Apr. 15th, 2008 05:29 pm (UTC)
:DD Like elliania said, I loved that he simply acted like a dad. Absolutely wonderful fic!!:D:D
htbthomas
Apr. 15th, 2008 05:55 pm (UTC)
Thanks! I know if I were him, I'd do anything to keep my girl from embarrassing herself like that! (If only I had the super-strength! *grin*)
thrace_adams
Apr. 15th, 2008 06:16 pm (UTC)
What a cute story! Having experienced first hand lately (twice) what a little kid is like when they *really* have to go to the bathroom, I was totally in Lois' shoes! Well done!
htbthomas
Apr. 15th, 2008 08:06 pm (UTC)
My daughter can barely hold it in when she needs to go, dancing and squealing and pounding the floor... :D

Thanks for the review!
seacrystal
Apr. 15th, 2008 06:31 pm (UTC)
I love that line about being stuck in an elevator actually improved Lois' mood. This has such and easygoing and freeing feel, which is certainly something I've never associated with stuck-in-elevator type of fics.

For a brief moment, he felt himself sail over the tops of the rows of waving gold.

Just perfect.

Jason is the cutest, as usual. :D
htbthomas
Apr. 15th, 2008 08:14 pm (UTC)
I'm glad you got that easy feeling from the story! I didn't want to make it a stressful situation... except on Jason's part. ;)

And thanks for picking out lines that you enjoyed, it's nice to know which ones touched people. :)
foolish_grin
Apr. 15th, 2008 07:49 pm (UTC)
Adorable! ♥ ♥
htbthomas
Apr. 15th, 2008 08:14 pm (UTC)
Re:
Hee! Thanks! ♥
the_scary_kitty
Apr. 15th, 2008 08:31 pm (UTC)
SuperDad to the rescue!

I love how the revelation came during such a wacky situation... in a way, it helped Lois see that it didn't need to be such a big deal if she was willing to let it go. Awesome! :)
htbthomas
Apr. 15th, 2008 08:48 pm (UTC)
See, I've always wanted to do a silly revelation... and this gave me the perfect chance! :) Lois has a good sense of humor -- I think she'd roll with it!

Thanks for the review!
kabuki_party
Apr. 15th, 2008 08:37 pm (UTC)
I loved it! Very cute ending!
htbthomas
Apr. 15th, 2008 08:49 pm (UTC)
Thanks! The Super-family can be silly as well! :)
oldromantic
Apr. 15th, 2008 08:45 pm (UTC)
Whee! PERFECT!! ♥ And ditto to what everybody else said, because they nailed what I enjoyed the most on the head!!

My favorite part:

Lois’ mouth had closed, and she arched one eyebrow. “I’m always around, huh?”

He kept silent. He’d learned long ago that when Lois was truly angry… not to answer her rhetorical questions.


Good choice, lol. Dig hole deeper, perhaps?

LOVED IT! Awesome, Barb! I will definitely be saving this one! :D Thank you so much!! *hugs*
htbthomas
Apr. 15th, 2008 08:50 pm (UTC)
Yay! It always makes me happy to hear that the birthday person enjoyed the gift! I went pretty silly with your prompt, so I hoped you'd appreciate it. :)

Enjoy the rest of your day!
oldromantic
Apr. 16th, 2008 03:39 am (UTC)
I'd say more lighthearted than silly, but that's what made it so fun! ♥

And btw, not sure where my brain was today, but I totally forgot to mention that I LOVED the title you chose - since that's what on my Spider-man icon. :P Whether a funny coincidence or planned, it was perfect. Hee. :D
htbthomas
Apr. 16th, 2008 09:39 am (UTC)
It was definitely on purpose! :)
januaried
Apr. 15th, 2008 10:38 pm (UTC)
Oh, Jason! How adorable! And what a perfect reveal. I love it. *dies laughing at the Flush!*
htbthomas
Apr. 15th, 2008 11:21 pm (UTC)
Hee hee! When I thought of that, I couldn't stop giggling... so I'm glad it affected you the same way! :)

Thanks for the review!
babettew54
Apr. 16th, 2008 12:56 am (UTC)
A fit a giggles, talk about unexpected, but so funny! Jason is my little guy, and that made perfect sense. Clark couldn't let the little guy have an accident, and so...there it is! It was great! And Lois, she is so full of surprises. I love her!:D

Thanks, hon!:D
htbthomas
Apr. 16th, 2008 01:01 am (UTC)
Oh, good, I was hoping it would take you a bit by surprise... :)

Thanks!
chickadilly
Apr. 16th, 2008 02:50 am (UTC)
*giggles*

That was adorable. :D :D


htbthomas
Apr. 16th, 2008 09:40 am (UTC)
Thanks! It was funny to think about how Clark might respond to a situation like this! :D
alphielj
Apr. 16th, 2008 06:30 pm (UTC)
So beautiful! And so funny! I've seen authors deal with Superman needing a zipper on his supersuit so he could pee, but I've never seen one deal with a five year old with super strength in desperate need of the bathroom. So funny! Great job!
htbthomas
Apr. 17th, 2008 12:26 am (UTC)
Thanks! I've done a couple elevator scenes before, and I needed something different... With Jason in the story, this is what my silly mind came up with! :)
saavikam77
Apr. 19th, 2008 10:30 pm (UTC)
Hahahaha!!! ^_^ This was adorable! Thank goodness for Jason's trip to the bathroom.
htbthomas
Apr. 19th, 2008 10:38 pm (UTC)
Thanks! It was fun to have a revelation story like this -- humor instead of angst. :)
taro_twist
Apr. 24th, 2008 12:23 am (UTC)
Ohh, this was adorable, and so. funny! I thought the "stuck in an elevator" scenario was awesome enough, but then Jason has a bathroom emergency! LOL! That is a hilarious way for Clark to end up revealing his powers ... and I'm glad that Lois realized that, too. :D

Clark talking about his childhood (and comparing it with Jason's) was cute, too. He *would* have been an energetic kid!

And this was a great moment, with Clark holding the elevator doors open and totally forgetting his act:

“Don’t you have somewhere to be?” She nodded toward the door which he was still holding open.

“Oh!” he startled. He fumbled for an excuse, letting go of the door. “I just realized I need to… get something from the mailroom.”


Fantastic!
htbthomas
Apr. 24th, 2008 01:22 am (UTC)
There have been so many "stuck in an elevator" stories, that I was just happy to have found a scenario I'd never read before! :)

Thanks for the review!
lilyoftheval5
Apr. 29th, 2008 07:43 am (UTC)
That meme reminded me, I still haven't read your April fics!

“F—Crap!” Lois exclaimed angrily. “Who has it in for me today?!”
That was soooo fitting and soooo Lois. :D

Revelation due to being stuck in an elevator? I'm not sure if I should be rolling on the floor laughing or being properly awed at the idea and execution of it.

(P.S. I totally forgot you take birthday fic request. Do you do retroactive requests? My b-day was just a week ago and I'm still in a celebratory mood.)
htbthomas
Apr. 29th, 2008 02:44 pm (UTC)
Hey, it's okay! You came back to read. *hugs*

I've read a ton of elevator revelation stories -- the trick was to find a new take on it! :)

Yes, I accept retroactive requests. I can't promise a timeline, though. It would be anytime in the next week to two to get it done. But request away! I need a fandom, character/pairing, and a short prompt.
jij
May. 18th, 2008 02:34 pm (UTC)
Awww! Jason is great at defusing the various tensions of this scene and getting his parents through all that awkwardness, lol. A super-kid ripping an elevator apart to get to a restroom is a striking image!
htbthomas
May. 18th, 2008 06:39 pm (UTC)
I think Jason is the best unifier in this universe! Both parents care about him more than their other issues, in some ways. (At least that's the way I see it). :)
( 35 comments — Leave a comment )

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