Title: Announcement III: The Day After (1/4)Author: BradyGirlPairings/Characters: Clark/Bruce, Dick, Lois, Ollie, PerrySeries Notes: Superman and Batman come out.Category: Drama (laced with humor, hopefully!)Rating: PGWarnings: NoneSpoilers: NoneSummary: The day after the Press Conference. The Daily Planet.Date Of Completion: March 9, 2007Date Of Posting: March 10, 2007Word Count: 1791ITHE DAILY PLANET
Clark entered the Art Deco-styled Daily Planet building, pushing his glasses up on his
nose as he noticed the screaming headline of today’s edition: SUPERMAN AND BATMAN GAY
LOVERS! For a moment he wondered if he was in the headquarters of the Inquisitor, then
shook his head and stepped onto the elevator. It was packed with people, and everyone
seemed to be reading the headline story. He suppressed a sigh.
Well, you knew coming out wasn’t going to be easy!
People’s salacious curiosity was going to be fed, even by the ‘staid old lady’ of
“Kinda weird about the two of them, huh?” murmured a twentysomething young man in a
“I dunno,” said his male companion. “I mean, I never really thought of Bats that way,
but Supes? Just look at his costume!”
“For me, it was Batman,” said a middle-aged woman. “I mean, have you really gotten a
look at the costume he’s dressed that sidekick of his in? Those short spangled pants,
pixie boots, and a Peter Pan collar!”
Bruce didn’t dress Dick up that way. Dick designed the costume.
“God, you’d think a hyper-masculine guy like Superman wouldn’t go the fruit route,”
another man said.
“Geez, ya just never know about these queers,” said another man.
A woman in her early thirties frowned. “Wow, you guys are really sensitive human
The ‘fruit’ man snorted. “C’mon, lady, you don’t have to go all PC on us.”
“I’m not! So what if the World’s Finest are in love? It’s all right for them to go
around beating bad guys up and they’re heroes but if they want to liplock, they’re
He made his way to the newsroom, entering to the blare of the television, “I really
think that this is a abominable turn of events, Oprah. How can we tell our children
to look up to these two now? They’re perverted sodomites, for goodness sakes!”
“But, Reverend, being gay doesn’t negate the good work that Superman and Batman do.
They save people from burning buildings or getting mugged or worse.”
“That still doesn’t excuse their shameful sexual practices. How are we supposed to
protect our children if our so-called heroes are indulging in disgusting deviancy?”
Clark reached his desk, sighing as he saw the piled-up papers on top of it.
Lois strikes again.
Clark jumped. Superman should not jump. “Oh, hi, Lois.”
She brushed past him and sat down in her chair. Her desk was pushed up against his
and they faced each other when sitting down. Absolutely no privacy, not even a Dilbert
cubicle, but Clark usually didn’t mind. He didn’t mind this morning, either. Lois
would be a welcome distraction.
“You look a little peaked. Did you get your beauty rest?”
Clark smiled as he began sorting through the papers. “I have been a little busy of
late.” An earthquake in China, a forest fire in California, an avalanche in Switzerland…
“So, what do you think about our mutual buddy and the Bat?”
Clark looked at his Daily Planet partner. “I think it might do some good.” At Lois’
cocked head he continued, “With all the disparaging and hateful attitudes toward gays,
maybe Superman and Batman coming out will be an inspiration for the gay community,
especially gay kids who suffer a lot.”
Lois’ eyes shone as she regarded her friend and co-worker. “Nice thoughts there,
Smallville. So, would it make a difference as to their motives for coming out?”
“What do you mean?”
“What if they had to beat someone to the punch?”
Clark feigned puzzlement, then asked, “You mean they didn’t do it of their own accord?”
Lois leaned forward. “What if it was blackmail?”
It was. Damn Lex, anyway.
He knew that Lois had guessed the truth. She and Superman had spoken after the press
conference announcing his and Bruce’s new relationship, but he said, “Maybe, but I
don’t think the motives will make much difference to all the different groups and
people out there.”
She leaned back in her chair. “Like the Reverend Wertham on Oprah right now?” Clark
nodded. “Well, you’re right, Smallville. The groups that advocate for gay rights are
ecstatic, and the groups that think gays are just a step above something they scrape
off their shoes are apoplectic.” The phone on her desk rang and she picked up. “Lane
Someone switched channels on the TV. “Well, Ellen, I think it’s just marvelous that two
such wonderful heroes have come out. It’s about time! I mean, what did everyone think
all that spandex and theatrical capes were all about?”
Clark sifted through the papers, long practice allowing him to read Lois’ hieroglyphics
she called writing. The notes would come in handy for their current assignment of
tracking down a smuggling ring that specialized in blood diamonds.
His phone rang. Picking it up, he said, “Kent here.”
“Oh, hi, Ollie.”
“Hey, just wanted to let ya know…it’s all cool, man!”
Clark smiled. “Thanks, Ollie.”
“Listen, they give you any crap over there in Metropolis, just let me know. I’ll come
kick their asses!”
Chuckling, Clark said, “I’ll do that. Say hi to Dinah and Roy for me.”
“You got it, Clark.” A pause. “Hey, it wasn’t exactly a surprise. To those few of us
in the League, ya know?”
“Okay, see ya at the next meeting!”
Perry White’s door opened and he bellowed, “Task Force! In the conference room! Now!”
Lois continued with her phone call, acknowledging Perry with a wave. Clark hung up the
receiver and set his Batman and Robin paperweight on the pile of semi-organized papers,
picking up his pad and pencil. He ambled over to the coffee machine and poured two
mugs full, then headed over to the conference room. Once there he set the mugs down on
the table, sliding the second one over in front of the chair next to him. There was no
privacy here, either, as glass walls let anyone look in who wanted to do so. Even
Perry’s office was a fishbowl. He didn’t know if that meant something Freudian about
newspaper people or that the building’s interior designer had just liked glass.
The rest of the Task Force began filtering into the room. Everyone carried drinks and
copies of today’s edition of the Planet. Clark sipped his coffee and Perry barreled in,
going straight to the chair at the head of the oblong table. Just as he was ready to
start, Lois dashed in carrying two newspapers, sitting down beside Clark and handing
him a copy. She gratefully drank her coffee.
“All right.” Perry surveyed his roomful of department heads and star reporters. “We’ve
got one of the biggest stories to hit the newswaves in a long time, ladies and
gentlemen. This is bigger than Superman fighting alien invaders from outer space or
turning back a tsunami. He’s been there, done that. This little news nugget that he
and the Batman dropped yesterday could conceivably shake the foundations of our society.”
“You think so, Chief?” asked Brad Toland, the graphics department head.
“Of course I do!” Perry chewed on his cigar. He had given up smoking years ago but
still had the habit of keeping a cigar in his mouth most of the time. “What, you think
we’re all so enlightened? Have you been listening to the stuff out there?” He waved at
the newsroom and the TVs. “Superman is a symbol of the good, the pure, the shining. Now
because he’s announced he’s gay, a lot of people are going to look at him as tarnished.”
He shook his head. “But I’ll save all that for my editorial. What this meeting is about
is how we tackle this. We’ve got a good start but we need to keep it up,
get fresh angles, that sort of thing.”
He began barking orders. “Toland, we need a new bunch of symbols and graphics. Come up
with some new designs and we’ll go over them. Probably put the two symbols together:
the ‘S’ and the Bat. Olsen, if Superman announces he’s going to be somewhere, you be
there. And keep that camera of yours especially handy if the Dark Knight shows up.
Royko, I want you to go dig up the man-and-woman-on-the-street opinions. O’Reilly,
update your blog with your opinions on the social significance, and write a column
for the next edition. Kent, Lane, I want opinions from Superman himself. Also Batman
if you can get ahold of him.” A shrewd look entered Perry’s eyes. “Also, see if you can
get an interview with Robin. He really came through at the press conference.”
“Chief, we’re working on that blood diamond story…” Lois protested.
Perry held up a hand. “And you will continue, but this is hot right now. Briggs, I
want you to get down to City Hall and get the political spin on this. Sullivan,
compile the national reactions to this news. And, Cat…” The redhead looked like she had
just eaten a canary. Her green eyes sparkled. “Cat, dear, your column will keep our
newest couple in the news. Get the reaction of the entertainment community here in
Metropolis and Gotham and across the country. And if the lads are seen out together…”
Chuckles went around the room, Clark pushing his glasses up with a slight blush as he
ducked to pick up a strategically-dropped pencil.
“Chief, the Gotham Gazette will be just as hot on this story. Shouldn’t we just stick
to the Superman angle?” asked Briggs.
Perry shook his head. “No, because from now on, Superman and Batman are intertwined.”
Clark dropped his pencil again and hid his burning face.
More orders, then Perry barked, “Okay, people, you’ve got your assignments! Let’s get
As the reporters streamed out of the conference room, Lois smirked. “Man, Perry has the
juice going. That old warhorse hears that story bell and he’s off and running.”
Clark smiled. “Yes, he’s a good newspaperman.”
“The best.” Lois sighed. “Well, Smallville, looks like you and me are on the
“Along with everybody else.”
“Well, Regis, I just can’t see our organization, Defense of the American Family, doing
anything else. Really, Metropolis should take down all those billboards with Superman’s
picture on it right away. I don’t care what they do in Gotham. Batman’s a reprobate,
Clark sighed and sat down at his desk. He picked up his telephone receiver and punched
in a number.
“Bruce? Can we meet tonight?” Clark listened, then said, “I’ll see you there.”