Season 7 (some plot, dialogue and wording from the pilot episode of "Lois and Clark")
Disclaimer: These characters belong to the CW and DC Comics, not to me.
Read Chapter 1 here.
"Perry gave me a chance to rewrite my story. But I'm not sure how."
Chloe looked up from the papers she was sorting through. "Didn't he give you any hints about what he was looking for?"
"Yeah, I guess he did. He said, Our readers don't want to read about buildings. They want to read about people."
"Well, that's pretty clear. He wants you to find a human interest angle."
"Yeah, but... Chloe, I don't know how."
"You're a reporter." She smiled at him. "Go figure it out."
Her bright smile warmed him, and he walked out of the newsroom on air, floating on those three little words. You're a reporter.
Chloe knew how to motivate him, for sure.
Unfortunately, as he was floating down the hall-- almost, but not quite, literally-- he came face to face with Jimmy Olsen.
"Kent." The familiar sneer was in place. "I heard Perry rejected your latest story."
Clark bit down on his automatic defensive retort, and answered quietly. "Yeah, he did. But he's giving me a chance to rewrite it and submit it again."
Jimmy stopped right in front of him, blocking the hallway, and crossed his arms. His chin stuck out at a pugnacious angle. "Tell me something, Kent. Why would you bother? You're not a writer. You're just a file clerk."
The words cut a little too close to Clark's insecurities for comfort. He struggled to remember Chloe's words: You're a reporter. "I am a writer," he answered, fighting to keep his tone level. He didn't want to fight with Jimmy Olsen, of all people. "I've had a few articles published in the Smallville Ledger."
"A crap newspaper filled with crap writing." The sneer in Jimmy's voice was unmistakable. "You're not going to get published by a big paper like the Planet, you know. You might as well go back to the farm."
Clark felt his lips draw back in a snarl. He consciously relaxed his facial muscles, forcing his features into amiable, placid lines. "Look, Jimmy," he said, "you obviously have some sort of problem with me. How come?"
Jimmy took another step forward, so that he was right up in Clark's face. "You don't really want to be a reporter," he said fiercely. "You're just trying to impress Chloe. My girlfriend, Kent. Not yours."
Clark thought about it, and decided the meek, fade-into-the-woodwork guy he was trying to be would back off from Jimmy's obvious aggression. He took a step back.
"I know Chloe's your girlfriend," he said quietly. "I'm okay with that."
And it was true. Mostly. Well... not really. But he figured it was probably best to keep all that to himself. Chloe had made her choice, after all, and her choice was obviously Jimmy.
Jimmy didn't look convinced. "You're not a writer, CK. You're nothing more than a farmer. Quit trying to be something you're not, just to impress a girl. It's pathetic."
He turned and stalked off. Clark watched him go, wondering if everyone thought he was pitiful, a smalltown farmboy and file clerk trying to better himself, setting lofty goals he had no hope of achieving. Maybe he really was stupid, trying to rewrite a story that Perry had already told him sucked. Maybe Jimmy was right, and he was just destined to be a file clerk for the rest of his life...
You're a reporter.
Chloe's words ran through his mind, and he lifted his chin, reminding himself that it was okay if people thought he was less than what he really was.
But it wasn't okay for him to believe it.
He was a reporter, damn it, and he was going to rewrite that story and sell it to Perry. Today.
He squared his shoulders and headed for the stairs.
A small crowd of older people stood outside the theater. Some of them were carrying signs that said, Save the Sarah Bernhardt theater. Clark paused near them, remembering Perry's words: Our readers want to read about people, not about buildings.
It seemed likely that at least some of these people had a history with the building. Maybe he could interview one or two of them, get a more personal angle on the old theater.
Unfortunately, just as he opened his mouth, there was a terrible grinding noise, and a big bulldozer started up. Clark remembered from his earlier research that the demolition was scheduled for today. It looked like things were right on schedule.
The elderly woman to his left began looking around as the machine lumbered toward the old theater. "Beatrice?" she called. "Bea?"
Clark glanced toward the theater, squinting to activate his x-ray vision. Inside the crumbling brick walls he saw the familiar outlines of a human skeleton. The skeleton was moving, clearly very much alive.
Shit, he thought. There's someone in there.
Read Chapter 3 here.