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Déjà Vu: Chapter 5: A Lead

Chapter Links: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24 | 25 | 26 | 27 | 28 | 29 | 30 | 31 | 32 | 33 | 34 | 35 | 36 | 37 | 38 | 39 | 40

Déjà Vu

Chapter 5: A Lead

“I’m fine!” she snapped, a little more harshly than intended, and Richard stepped back, glass of water in hand. She was feeling a lot better, really, but for some reason Richard and Jimmy were fussing over her like she was nine months pregnant.

“Are you sure?” Richard pressed. He knew better than anyone how much she hated to appear weak, even to her closest friends.

Feeling sorry for her outburst, she acquiesced. “Maybe a couple of ibuprofen to go with this?” she said, accepting the glass. “But really, just let me go over this research. It’s probably only a touch of something I picked up at sea.”

He nodded, but still wasn’t completely satisfied. “What about dinner tonight? Should we cancel? We can reschedule if you––”

“Richard.” She cut him off firmly, but gratefully. “The best medicine for me will be to break this story wide open.” She gestured at her computer screen.

He bent down to kiss her cheek. “All right. But promise me you’ll let me know if the feeling comes back?”

“I promise.” She watched him walk toward the supply cabinet, and dig around for the pain medicine she had requested.

They had arrived back at the Planet about a half-hour ago. Jimmy had forewarned Richard of her condition by phone call. As soon as the elevator doors had opened, Richard had taken her from Clark Kent’s arms and hustled her to her chair to sit. Clark had drifted away toward his desk, no longer needed.

She wondered again what had come over her. It’s not like I’m some swooning delicate flower, here… But then she chided herself. Admit it, Lane. You only get like this in the presence of Superman. Her dramatic fainting spell after Superman had rescued the plane was ample proof of that.

But Superman had been nowhere in sight this afternoon… Which reminded her – now that she felt better, she needed to properly thank Clark for his support earlier. She looked toward his desk. Empty. She scanned the room for him – he wasn’t with Jimmy, or Perry, or anywhere else in the room. He hadn’t gone off to research the story without her, had he? No, she smirked, she might do something like that, but not wholesome-as-milk Clark Kent. He was probably off on some inane errand again.

She glanced at the bank of television monitors. News organizations from around the world were reporting various Superman sightings since he had recovered from his fall from the skies. Been busy today, have you? But you can’t avoid me for long…

As she idly read through the list of damaged buildings trying to find some connection, she began to wonder if these fits of… déjà vu… were somehow connected as well. She broke off looking at the list, and grabbed a pencil and a legal pad from under a stack of papers.

She wrote ‘DV’ at the top of the tablet, underlining it a couple of times, just for good measure. She began to make a list of all the moments that had caused her to experience that strange sensation …

Superma–– She erased and started over. Inexplicably, she felt the urge to write in code.

S – red glow

Blue nappkin

Dimonds w/ white snow

C…

She stopped. She had been about to write ‘Clark’s disappearances’ but wasn’t sure if they were related at all. In fact, she had that vision of Clark’s glasses fading from his face, too… She wrote it down anyway:

C – dissapear & glasses?

At that moment, Richard came by and quietly placed the ibuprofen on her desk. She smiled up at him in gratitude, while simultaneously blocking her handwritten notes with her forearm. He smiled back, and went on to his office.

As she removed her arm from blocking the list, she felt a twinge of guilt. But as with anything directly, or indirectly, related to Superman, she felt the need to keep it to herself. Again she tried to convince herself: Let me figure this whole thing out first, and then I’ll tell Richard everything.

She tore the sheet from the pad, folded it several times, and placed it in her purse for safekeeping. Writing things down always seemed to help her coalesce ideas in her mind. She would let them percolate a while longer…

Turning her attention back to the monitor, Lois scrolled down the page. The damage had been citywide. She pulled up her mapping program, and began to plot the locations. As she suspected, the damage spread from the quake’s fault point at the waterfront, and radiated outward.

She deleted the locations from the map that were in that radius, focusing instead on the buildings – like the Harris office building from this morning – that were outside of the expected pattern.

The red pinpoints were all over the map. She could see no discernible pattern… Wait. There, on the other side of the marine district from the section with the most damage, was the warehouse complex of L & V Construction. Hmm. Interesting. Could it be the same company that handled the construction of the Harris building?

She consolidated her list and got to work. Picking up the phone, she called the zoning office for the city of Metropolis. Lois spent an afternoon on the phone with various municipal offices – wheedling if needed, barking when necessary. If there was one thing in which Lois Lane excelled, above all others, it was getting information from people willingly. In all of these phone calls, she discovered a very important fact. While not all of the buildings had been built by the same company, a considerable number had been. Her hunch about L & V seemed to be panning out.

But at about 4:30PM, she hit a roadblock. The last phone call to make was to L & V Construction. She had a story all ready to tell the receptionist… but she ran into a recording, instead: “You have reached L & V Construction. At this time, our offices are closed, due to extensive damage to our headquarters. Please leave your name, number, and the address of the project in question and one of our project managers will get back to you as soon as possible.”

Shoot. She glanced at the clock again. Even if they were closed, there might be someone there to talk to. It was a good bet that everyone would leave by 5:00PM... But it wouldn’t hurt to try…

She grabbed her purse from the floor and jacket from the back of her chair, and strode over to pop her head into Richard’s office. “Richard,” she announced, and he looked up expectantly. “I want to go check out a lead at the waterfront. You have any idea what happened to Clark?”

“No idea.” He shrugged. “You look like you’re back to your old self.” She nodded, impatient to get moving. Richard’s face took on a puzzled expression. “Was Kent like this before? Always disappearing at odd times?”

“I think so,” she said, eyebrows drawing down. “I don’t remember all that well. But it seems like it.” She waved a hand in dismissal. “I’ll just give him a ring, let him know where I’m headed. If you see him, tell him to call?”

Lois started to rush off, but he stopped her. “Hon?”

She popped her head in again, very briefly. “Yes. Dinner, I know. I’ll be home in time.”

Without waiting for his response, she blew him a kiss, and sped for the elevators. She slipped one arm through her jacket sleeve as she searched through her cell phone contact list for Clark’s name. I know that I asked Clark for his number during lunch… was I so out of it that I just…? She found it, finally. The elevator doors opened with a ding and she stepped quickly out of the building. With one hand raised to hail a cab, the other hand held the phone to her ear.

She got the voice mail again. Will you please charge up your phone, already? She rolled her eyes, and spoke quickly into the phone. “Hey, Clark, this is Lois. I couldn’t find you earlier… but I think I might have a lead on our story. I’m heading to L & V Construction down by the docks if you want to meet me there. Otherwise, see you at 8 o’clock for dinner tonight. Bye.”

Just then, a cab stopped for her. “Pier 52, please,” she said matter-of-factly, sliding into the back seat.

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

A/N: The spelling errors on Lois’ handwritten list are intentional. ;)

Next: Chapter 6: Need to Know

Comments

( 21 comments — Leave a comment )
dissident_dream
Aug. 14th, 2006 10:59 pm (UTC)
Hey

I know I spoke to you the otherday about loving your fic and everything.. I was wondering whether you would consider putting it up at our new fiction archive?

its metropolisfic.com and is dedicated entirely to the movies - we've just completed it.

No pressure or anything! just thought I would ask :)

Hannah
htbthomas
Aug. 15th, 2006 12:23 am (UTC)
I will check it out! I would love to post it there! Should I put everything up I have so far? Or just one chapter at a time?

Barbara

P.S. Are you the Hannah that posts at Divine Intervention?
dissident_dream
Aug. 15th, 2006 07:37 am (UTC)
ooh sorry I wasn;t online when you replied - im in the UK so it was getting a bit late lol

You can post as much as you like, I love your story so you're automatically validated :)

Hannah... and nope never heard of Divine Intervention, what is it?!
htbthomas
Aug. 15th, 2006 12:55 am (UTC)
Okay, I got busy and put up six chapters. I think it might be easiest to post chapters there after I post on my LJ, since I can copy and paste formatting more easily.

Thanks for giving me another venue!
dissident_dream
Aug. 15th, 2006 07:39 am (UTC)
Yep just noticed and its absolutely my pleasure, I was fed up of searching around for fic so at least now theres a site dedicated to it :)

Theres also an LJ community for questions about the site as well if you need to ask any that is, its metropolis_fic
midniterose
Aug. 17th, 2006 05:09 am (UTC)
Fantastic story. Your capture of the whole Lois and Clark/Superman saga is brilliant.
htbthomas
Aug. 17th, 2006 10:27 am (UTC)
Thanks so much! There will be another chapter this morning - I was too busy last night to get it up. And another one every day until I'm caught up to the current ff.net chapter (right now, 18). *kiss*
midniterose
Aug. 18th, 2006 02:55 am (UTC)
18? Wow! I wish that I could write stories that good and detailed.
htbthomas
Aug. 18th, 2006 06:10 pm (UTC)
Well, this is the first time I've written so much, to tell you the truth. My highest before was 12. And this story will probably top out around 25-30. So you never know!
coltdancer
Aug. 20th, 2006 07:19 pm (UTC)
Which reminded her – now that she felt better, she needed to properly thank Clark for his support earlier.


Suuuuure...he's not annoying at this moment. ;) *smacks Lois*


Off on the little adventure!
htbthomas
Aug. 20th, 2006 10:06 pm (UTC)
Aw, c'mon, being perpetually annoyed is Lois' prerogative! ;)
bistyboo1974
Aug. 27th, 2006 08:52 pm (UTC)
Crappy spellers of the world, UNTIE! lol I love that little quirk of Lois's. ;-)

I feel like I'm short-changing you with comments by doing this marathon read-through...but I'm just so anxious to get to the next part! *dances impatiently*

And off I go... ;-)
htbthomas
Aug. 27th, 2006 09:54 pm (UTC)
I feel like I'm short-changing you with comments by doing this marathon read-through...but I'm just so anxious to get to the next part! *dances impatiently*

But you're commenting on each one! So no complaints from me!! Yippee!
bistyboo1974
Aug. 27th, 2006 09:58 pm (UTC)
The thing is, if I were reading this at a normal pace (at the pace you were actually posting these updates) you may have reaped the benefits of novel-like commentary rather than the blips-and-blurts-type commentary I'm currently giving you here! lol

And is that your little one pictured in the icon?? She's precious! :-) Awww, what a doll!
htbthomas
Aug. 27th, 2006 10:19 pm (UTC)
Novel-like commentary? Well, I suppose I inspire that from my friends. You should see the length of some of the reviews at ff.net!

Yes, this is my Chiggy! I needed a smiley icon, and this picture is TOO cute to resist. She's opening presents for her birthday from grandparents.
jij
Feb. 12th, 2007 02:03 pm (UTC)
*waves*

I'm hoping to read all of this saga over the next few weeks and thought I'd pop in here and there to say hello! Loved the spelling errors in this one--I read her notes and thought, "I wonder if she got people trying to tell her those were errors?" LOL...I love that little detail about Lois, for some reason. So humanizing.

And she's a great investigative reporter here, putting together all the pieces bit by bit, even with a mental block to work around!
htbthomas
Feb. 12th, 2007 03:38 pm (UTC)
Whee! Great! I'm so glad you're trying to read. This makes my little writer's heart so glad.

I was completely certain people would tell me about the spelling errors if I didn't put a note at the bottom! Luckily most people got it... or if they didn't, they went, "Oh, yeah! *facepalm*"

There is a lot of investigative reporting in this story, I enjoyed that part.
sydgill
Apr. 20th, 2007 07:10 pm (UTC)
Excellent touch with the hand written notes and the spelling errors! Superman I and II are coming back to me now!!! i love it!
htbthomas
Apr. 20th, 2007 07:27 pm (UTC)
I definitely based many things off of Superman I and II in this fic - it was the only way I could reconcile the odd things that happened in Superman Returns. I do a large amount of flashing back to Superman II in "Then And Now" - my first Superman fic, from Clark's POV.
brdwaybebe
Jul. 31st, 2007 04:09 am (UTC)
As soon as the elevator doors had opened, Richard had taken her from Clark Kent’s arms and hustled her to her chair to sit.


Oooh. Interesting choice of words there... ;)


She wondered again what had come over her. It’s not like I’m some swooning delicate flower, here… But then she chided herself. Admit it, Lane. You only get like this in the presence of Superman. Her dramatic fainting spell after Superman had rescued the plane was ample proof of that.


ROFL she does have a nasty habitof going unconscious around the man. LOL!!


She stopped. She had been about to write ‘Clark’s disappearances’ but wasn’t sure if they were related at all. In fact, she had that vision of Clark’s glasses fading from his face, too… She wrote it down anyway:


Hee hee I have a feeling this list is gonna get pretty long! And I think Clark's name is going to pop up more times than she can ignore!


She got the voice mail again. Will you please charge up your phone, already? She rolled her eyes, and spoke quickly into the phone. “Hey, Clark, this is Lois. I couldn’t find you earlier… but I think I might have a lead on our story. I’m heading to L & V Construction down by the docks if you want to meet me there. Otherwise, see you at 8 o’clock for dinner tonight. Bye.”


Oh Lois. Heading off somewhere alone. So familiar. I hope Clark checks his voicemail LOL at least she checked in with SOMEONE. The fact that if she gets in trouble Superman shows up might be another thing for out list of layers hehe



P.S LOVE the spelling errors on Lois' list hahaha

htbthomas
Jul. 31st, 2007 12:37 pm (UTC)
ROFL she does have a nasty habitof going unconscious around the man. LOL!! -- I know! Intrepid Reporter Lane turns into a swooning flower all the time! I like to play around with those silly cliches when I can.

Hee hee I have a feeling this list is gonna get pretty long! -- Making that list was really fun. And she did really get some benefit from it.

Oh Lois. Heading off somewhere alone. So familiar. -- Of course! It wouldn't be Lois otherwise! :D
( 21 comments — Leave a comment )

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