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David Hines [userpic]

Random pairing generator, turn turn turn!

May 21st, 2004 (09:31 pm)

"So," said Lois, "tell me about Bruce Wayne."

Lucius Fox didn’t turn to face her. He was gazing out the window, over the canyons and concrete mountains, as if he was waiting for something to pass by. Lois knew Fox invested heavily in real estate; she wondered how much of what he saw, he owned.

"That isn’t just the kind of thing you ask somebody, Ms. Lane," he said. "I wouldn’t know where to start. He led a big life. I knew him close to thirty years. Last week, I found out I didn’t know him at all. Then they put him in the ground."

"You said you’d talk to me," said Lois. "At the funeral -- "

"A lot of things were said at that funeral," said Fox. He snorted as he turned from the window. "Who knows. Maybe even half of them were true."

"If you're not going to talk to me," said Lois, "then why did your assistant let me in?"

"Because I wanted you to tell me about him."

"What makes you think I can do that?" said Lois.

"You're a reporter," said Fox. "You've been on this story since it broke. You must know everything there is to know. More than you've printed."

Of course she did. She knew things she wasn't supposed to know, that would get the Planet in trouble and her arrested, maybe, if she printed them. She knew secrets and lies and the tawdriest of truths, knew stories that would rally nations and tear them down. She knew things her husband whispered in her ear at night, because he needed the release of being able to confide in someone, and she knew things he kept from her, only to mumble in his sleep, in the depths of nightmares.

"And if I share what I know with you," she said, "you'll talk with me. And me alone."

Fox nodded.

"What do you want to know?" she said.

Fox sat on the edge of his desk. He looked down at her. His face was calm, his eyes anguished. Lois was prepared for the thorny questions: what happened at the takedown. how they stopped him. why.

What Fox asked was worse.

He said: "How is it possible to know a man so closely -- to have him right by your side for years, know him as well as you know anyone -- and not know him at all? How can you miss out on all the lies, all the inconsistencies, all the little things that should have made it obvious all along? How? When you're paid to notice things -- big things, little things, important things -- because if you don't then companies run into the ground, people lose their livelihoods, liars will rip you off? How do you not know the biggest thing in the world to know about your business partner? About a man you call your friend?"

Lois looked up at him, and wondered how to reply.

She could have told him about the heartbeat Clark heard, deep below ground, just as the funeral party scattered. She could have told him about Bruce Wayne's "distant cousin," who was really a teenaged girl with false papers and an entrenching tool hidden under her coat. She could have told him that he didn't need to mourn his friend, that there were miracles and heroes and good men in the world, that he wasn't the only one who'd missed obvious signs, only to have a secret dropped into one's lap. The worst kind of secret, one that explained everything, except the one question: how did I miss it?

She could have.

But then again, she couldn't.

"I wouldn't know," Lois said.

She told Clark her painful secrets, too.

[Lois Lane / Lucius Fox; post-Dark Knight Returns]


Posted by: Dammit, Clark's penis is going in *something*. (thete1)
Posted at: May 21st, 2004 07:54 pm (UTC)
Batman = Freaky

Oh, man. For those left behind. *shiver*

Posted by: the Jack (buggery)
Posted at: May 21st, 2004 10:53 pm (UTC)
I Love My Dead Gay Robin (Jason)

Oh, EEEEEEE. Lucius.

I hope the emphasis is meant to be on the time limit when you say you're "not good at the five-minute thing." Because... oh, man. This is so very much NOT "not good."

I even liked your Lois here, and that's a rare occasion for me. Being privy to the secrets that burden Clark. And heh, Lucius really played her at her own game, or did a damned good jub of trying.

Posted by: David Hines (hradzka)
Posted at: May 21st, 2004 11:37 pm (UTC)
cass groovy

It's the time thing. I seem to be able to come up with ideas on these pretty quickly, but what I come up with invariably takes more than five minutes to write. The only one that I did in five minutes that I actually like is the Two-Face/J'onn thing.

Posted by: Nos (nos4a2no9)
Posted at: May 22nd, 2004 06:36 pm (UTC)

Are you archiving these anywhere? (Besides ff.net, I mean). I'd love to give 'em a home on my site...

Posted by: David Hines (hradzka)
Posted at: May 22nd, 2004 09:52 pm (UTC)
cass groovy

I plan to stitch 'em together and make a collection of ficlets. One or two might actually turn into a story, and I could use 'em for that. I think the Scarecrow/Harley one might get posted at ff.net as a short-short in its own right.

What I'd really like is for somebody to make a random pairing archive -- lots of fun things being written. Or... hmm. I think I'll address this in a separate post.

Will talk with you about archiving in email, after shower and much sleep.

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