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Legal Disclaimer: I do not own the DC Universe or any of its associated characters, I do not claim ownership of the DC Universe or any of its associated characters, nor am I making profit from this original work of fan-fiction that was created and published for entertainment purposes only. The DC Universe is owned by Warner Bros. Discovery, Inc. All rights of the DC Universe belong to Warner Bros. Discovery, Inc.

Superman created by Jerry Siegel & Joe Shuster and, in the Superman stories DC puts out, they have to include “by special arrangement with the Jerry Siegel family” after crediting Siegel & Shuster. Isn’t that swell? :)

All Backwards

Written by Felicia Rondo

Summary: It’s a quiet night in Metropolis after a very long day. Clark stayed in late at the office of the Daily Planet, as a favor to his coworkers, which would have merely been a relaxing end to his day after an exhausting encounter with Bizarro… had Lois not returned after leaving something there in the office. As he proofreads Lois’s write-up on the battle with Bizarro, something stirs in Clark - something he'd been putting off for some other night, for the past several years.

Well, that fateful night finally came.

Contains: Proofreading, Superman Confession, Identity Reveal, and Clark stealing another scoop from Lois! Typical.

It was a quiet night in Metropolis. Clark’s super-hearing only picked up idle conversation and other private matters he had no business eavesdropping on, which wrested his attention away from being guardian of Metropolis back into the interior of the Daily Planet.

He had agreed to stay in late so the others wouldn’t have as much to catch up on in the morning, and thankfully there weren’t any supervillain antics occurring that night to whisk him away in his super-pajamas, so he got to pay back some of the favors he’d built up over years of having to rush over to his ‘second job.’

There wasn’t much left to do, not much time remaining before he’d really have to worry about this lingering wakefulness, when he heard the turn of a key unlocking the door. There was some fidgeting, a struggle to pull the key back out afterward, and a swear or two he could pick up from the other side. Just his luck Lois should arrive - he was just sitting down to do an editing pass on Lois’s latest article covering Superman’s recent run-in with Bizarro.

“Smallville? You still here?” Lois called, using that nickname Clark couldn’t tell if he should have been offended or endeared by, before she spotted him waving from his desk across the office.

“What brings you here so late, Lois? I don’t think Superman’s been up to anything since this story you wrote up here,” Clark remarked, bringing up his alter-ego and supposed greatest rival for Lois’s affections.

“There you go again - always Superman, Superman, Superman with you,” Lois quipped, earning a grinning ‘are you sure about that?’ look from her coworker and supposed greatest rival in journalism, “no, Clark, I just realized right as I got out of the shower that I forgot and left something here in the office…

“… That I swear I left here by the printer,” she spoke, biting her nail as a hint of anxiety snuck its way into her sharp voice.

“Oh, the pen?” Clark asked, “I thought that was yours - it’s right here by your desk,” he revealed, gesturing to the pen on the desk beside him. He actually had seen her with it, often in fact, but being able to see and recognize her fingerprints on it with his photographic memory and enhanced vision helped.

“You touched it? You moved it? Did you rub all the good luck off it while you were at it?” Lois scoffed with a grin, “Putting it right next to you so I’d have to come over, too - real clever, you sly dog.”

“L-Lois!” Clark reacted, shocked, “I-I would never—”

“‘Course you wouldn’t, Smallville, I’m just busting your chops,” she laughed, walking over to her desk and picking up her pen, only to discover… “My… my notepad! I left my notepad here too! God, where is my head today?!” She smacked her forehead and sighed,

“Ohh it’s been a long, long day…”

With a thundering crash, Superman’s back was embedded painfully into the brick wall of the building Bizarro had sent him hurtling into. It hurt, but he pushed himself out and back onto his feet, facing his confused foe as his tattered cape blew in the wind. It had been some months since they’d had a tussle like this, and Superman was going to get to the bottom of why.

“Bizarro, I thought we had a disagreement,” Superman said, “I stay in my world doing what I can to make it a better place while you stay in yours doing what you can to make it a worse place.” The logic, what little of the agreement could be said to contain any, was shaky at best - but Superman thought he might’ve spared Metropolis any further incident from his opposite.

“That’s where you right, Superman! You disagree with plan, Bizarro agree with it!” declared Bizarro, causing splitting headaches in everyone who could hear the strange sentence, “Bizarro not tell Superman he secretly agreed, because Superman is Bizarro’s friend! And friends keep secrets from each other!”

It was then that Superman noticed Lois had made her way to the scene, with Jimmy by her side snapping photos of the bizarre encounter, as if his day needed any more turning upside-down. Lois was supposed to be on a flight to Central City for a profile on The Flash, he’d learned from Perry handing her the assignment in the middle of a conversation he’d been having with her as Clark Kent.

“Lois!” Superman shouted, “What’re you doing here?”

“Going after a story, what else?” Lois replied, with a smirk, before turning to Jimmy, “Okay, that’s enough shots of the big guy, go back around and try getting some shots of Bizarro.” Jimmy nodded and dashed off while she jotted down some notes on her notepad.

“I thought you were—” Superman began to say, before cutting himself short. Superman wasn’t supposed to know she had an assignment she was ditching, only Clark did.

And friends keep secrets from each other!

Superman shook his head, brushing the echo in his mind of what Bizarro had said away for the moment. “You could get hurt, Lois! It’s dangerous!” he retorted instead, in vain.

“So is any frontpage story, Superman!” answered Lois, just as he knew she would. Well, now he had that to keep track of, on top of trying to find a way to settle Bizarro down.

It was going to be a long, long day.

“Is that my story, Kent?” Lois asked, leaning over Clark’s shoulder at his screen.

“You tell me, you’re the one who wrote it,” Clark chuckled, as he scanned the document carefully, “Lois, if I’ve told you once, I’ve told you a thousand times - ‘embedded’ starts with an ‘e,’ not an ‘i.’

“Like hell it does,” Lois retorted, before gazing at the corrected spelling and quietly humming in acceptance, “It’s a small, insignificant error - nothing compared to what nonsense you wrote here in the quotes from Bizarro.”

“Er, weren’t you there, Lois?” Clark responded, a little nervous as he hoped she wouldn’t have noticed that edit, “you know Bizarro, he always speaks backwards. Except when he doesn’t. It’s not always consistent, but it uh… seemed like he might’ve said it the other way around, is all.”

“Big words from the reporter who wasn’t there,” Lois rolled her eyes. But, before he could go back and undo his edits, she interrupted,

“Wait…” she sighed, “no, you’re right, Clark - he did say Superman was right, not wrong. There’s another thing I forgot, today,” Lois frowned, taking a seat next to him, “why do you always have to be Mr. Perfect, huh?”

“Who, me?” Clark said, laughing bashfully, “Y-you know I can barely do a thing right with my hands when I’m not at a keyboard, so clumsy…” he shook his head, resuming his scan of the article that was set to go live the following morning, “You’re no slouch yourself, y’know - this is a darn good article, Lois!”

“Oh please, flattery will get you nowhere, Smallville,” Lois replied, rubbing her temples while gazing up at the ceiling.

“No, no, I’m serious!” Clark asserted, “You’ve got my favorite writing voice, you know that? You have such a way of being present even when you’re talking about what other people were doing, and the way you describe a scene makes me feel like I was there even if I wasn’t!” He shook his head, his gaze dropping to the floor as he ‘corrected’ himself, “Er, even when I wasn’t. Th-there, I mean.”

When he looked back up, Lois was looking at him with the same eyes she always had, but a different look than he could remember seeing her give him before. As Clark, anyway.

“Thanks, Clark,” she smiled, before quickly changing the subject. “Funny line about friends keeping secrets from each other, from Bizarro, huh?”

“Yeah,” Clark agreed, furrowing his brows softly, “funny…

He was running out of tricks. Talking him down hadn’t gotten anywhere, but use of force wasn’t faring much better. He’d grab him by his cape and throw the brute up into the sky, but Bizarro would only use the subsequent downward momentum to crash his fist into the kryptonian’s jaw even harder.

As hard as it was, especially after that last hit, he’d have to try talking again.

“Can’t we come up with a new disagreement? One you won’t agree with?” he offered, dodging another blow from the hulking foe, while trying to mimic Bizarro’s speech patterns enough to be remotely-intelligible to him, “I’m trying to meet you where you aren’t, Bizarro, please don’t help me here!”

“Where I aren’t?” Bizarro repeated, leaving his fist raised in the air instead of hurling it towards his counterpart, “Everyone never tries to meet Bizarro where he is, always where he isn’t,” he spoke angstfully.

“That’s because… er, because they’re your friends, Bizarro… I’m trying to be your enemy,” Superman explained, as best as he could.


“Yes!” Superman replied, before nearly being fed another knuckle sandwich from the backwards attacker, quickly ‘correcting’ himself, “I mean no! No, Bizarro!”

Bizarro paused for a moment, before letting his fist fall to his side.

“Nobody’s ever been Bizarro’s enemy before…” Bizarro said, “Bizarro only has friends back home, no enemies… Ohh now Bizarro feel good!” he grimaced, clutching his chest.

“Wh-why’s that, Bizarro?” asked Superman, trying with all his might to keep track of the conversation.

“Bizarro would never keep secret from an enemy… it’s good to keep secrets from enemies! Ohh,” Bizarro dropped to his knees, his head bowed, “now Superman is going to forgive Bizarro…”

Superman took a deep breath and chose his next words very, very carefully.

“I’m not going to forgive you,” he told Bizarro, with a smile, “no matter what you do, no matter what you say, I’m never going to forgive you for keeping a secret from me.”

Bizarro looked up at Superman, wide-eyed with tears flowing down his cheeks, and softly asked, “N-never ever?”

“Not now, not ever. Never, Bizarro,” he grinned, kneeling down to eye level with Bizarro.

Choked up, Bizarro pulled Superman into a tender hug, tears gently staining his cape. Superman tensed for a brief moment, but relaxed and hugged him back - staying with him like that for a good long while before seeing him off as he left for his home world a much happier—or, sadder man.

It was then I realized a funny thing about Bizarro I hadn’t thought of before. I guess it only came to mind since it had been so long since we’d seen the guy, but… No matter what’s going on or how you felt when you woke up in the morning, with Bizarro, you always have to come to him on his terms. There’s no room for ego, you have to connect with him on a level he can understand or you’re not going to get anywhere with him.

As confusing as his speech patterns can be, I guess we’re all a little backwards like Bizarro in our own ways. We fight even when there’s no reason to, arguing like we don’t know how to talk to each other, and we keep secrets that only hurt us after all is said and done.

I wonder what the world would look like if we had more people like Superman, who always comes down to understand us on our level no matter what’s going on, even when he could simply stay in the clouds above us and our simple earthly problems.

I’d like to see that world, someday. Or, I wouldn’t, as Bizarro would understand it.

With that, he finished proofreading the article - ‘All Backwards.’ Even though he was there when it happened, he was so caught up in the moment that he’d missed the poignant meaning Lois was able to find in it all.

“Wow,” was all he could say in response.

“That bad?” Lois chuckled bitterly, feeling insecure about the write-up she had done for the incident.

“It was beautiful, Lois, that was absolutely beautiful,” Clark answered, wiping genuine tears from his eyes, to her surprise.

Oookay, I think you’ve been cooped up in this office for too long, Smallville,” Lois decided, pulling Clark’s chair away from his desk, “how about you pick your things up and we both call it a night? Say see ya tomorrow and get some sleep?”

“Actually, Lois,” Clark began, “could you do me a favor?”

“Hm? That depends, be more specific,” she dodged.

“Before you leave, can we go to the roof? Together?” requested Clark, barely managing to keep his voice steady.

A silence hung in the room, for no more than one full minute that felt like an eternity. Lois looked into Clark’s eyes, through those nerdy glasses of his, searching for a clue as to what was going on in that head of his but finding almost nothing. Nothing but a faint trace of… hope.

“… Sure, what the heck? I’ll bite,” Lois shrugged, standing up from her chair, “If this is what I think it is, I’ll be surprised.”

“Maybe it is,” Clark said, standing up, then cheekily added, “just don’t tell me what you think it is - then you can pretend you were right no matter what it ends up being.”

“Who says I’ll have to pretend, Kent?” Lois smirked, before heading over to the stairs and ascending them ahead of Clark, not noticing him taking his hat off behind her back. The office wasn’t that far below the roof of the building, so it wasn’t long before Lois turned the knob of the door to the rooftop.

It was a refreshingly-cool, quiet night in Metropolis. Stars littered the sky as the moon casted a glow on the clouds below it. When she turned around, she saw Clark taking off his glasses.

“Well, aren’t we being dramatic?” Lois quipped, breaking the silence of the rooftop, “So, Smallville, what was so important you had to take me all the way up here so late at night?”

“I don’t wanna keep secrets from you anymore, Lois,” Clark said softly, taking a step closer to the woman he’d loved more than anything for years.

Secrets? I’ve known you liked me since we first met—” Lois started.

And then she saw his eyes.

Those beautiful blue eyes, with no glasses hiding them, were closer than she thought she’d ever seen them before, and… it clicked. Everything.

Those familiarly-strong arms wrapped around her waist firmly, and their feet slowly ascended from the rooftop.

“Clark is the name my ma and pa gave me, back in Kansas… when they found me,” Clark spoke, as the night’s breeze softly danced around them, “Kal-El is what my mother and father named me when I was born on Krypton, and… Superman is the name you gave me, Lois.”

They were floating in the air, defying everything she’d been taught about gravity as a little girl, but still Lois could hardly believe she wasn’t dreaming. Yet she couldn’t deny the reality of the moment she had found herself in, how real it felt as Superman… Clark, held her.

“… Way to steal my thunder, Smallville,” she said, choking up, “You were right under my nose this entire time, and now you’ve gone and spoiled the secret before I could figure it out for myself!” Lois laughed through her sobs, “I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m just…”

“Busting my chops again, Ms. Lane?” Superman grinned, finishing her sentence.

“Oh drop that already, Clark - you know my name, use it,” she laughed harder and hugged him tightly, after using his name without really thinking. Maybe she should’ve thought more about what she called him, but somehow there was nothing else she could’ve called him. Not Kal-El, and certainly not Superman. It might seem backwards, but she hadn’t learned Clark Kent was Superman, that night… she learned that Superman was Clark.

“This is just great - now I’m never gonna know how to take you seriously again, now that I know you’re Superman.”

“Then don’t,” Clark replied, laughing with her, feeling lighter than a feather with her in his arms… before the lingering pain in his smile caused it to fall, “I’m… Gosh, Lois, I’m so sorry I didn’t tell you sooner…”

“Forget it, you big baby, I know the score already,” said Lois, planting a kiss on his cheek, “You wanted to protect me from being hurt by the people who want to hurt you, so you kept me at a distance - real cute, but I’m glad we’re dropping that now.”

Just for a moment, Clark cupped her cheek and looked into her eyes, staring back at him. He saw in them every hope fulfilled, every dream coming true, and knew it was the most extraordinary sight his adult life had ever granted him - more incredible than all the cosmic oddities he’d witnessed in any galaxy.

“At first, I just wanted you to love me as plain old Clark Kent, before I told you I was Superman… But now I know I had it backwards - I never would’ve deserved that love unless I told you the truth first,” Clark confessed, breaking his gaze from her and kissing her shoulder.

“Clark, come on… look at me,” Lois told Clark, gently lifting his chin back up and making him meet her gaze again, “In case you couldn’t notice or see with any of your super-visions, none of that matters now… I’ve got about a trillion questions for you, and they can all wait until tomorrow.

Tonight,” she smiled, touching his bottom lip with her index finger, “let’s focus on loving each other and forget everything else, huh?”

It was like the whole world around them went dark after she said that, with just a light over them both as they slowly closed the distance between their lips. When their lips touched, without a secret keeping them apart any longer, the world lit up again like daylight. Everything they’d been through together and apart, all the fighting, had been worth it to reach this beautifully-eternal moment.

“Mmm…” Lois moaned into the kiss, before eventually they both had to begrudgingly pull away for air. “Okay… So,” the reporter smiled, “there is no way I’m walking all the way back to my apartment now that I know you can fly us there, Clark.”

“Fair,” Clark smiled as he gently set them both back down on the rooftop. Casually, he unbuttoned his shirt and grabbed both sides of it, before at last revealing that familiar ‘S.’

She must have seen it a thousand times before, from having been saved by Superman time and time again in the past, but it never looked better than it did on Clark.

The End

Author’s Notes: There’s probably a million ways to write a Superman confession, but this is the one I wanted to write. I hope y’all enjoyed it!

Originally-published on August 10, 2022

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