Written by John McNamara
Transcript prepared by Sarah Wood, submitted to the L&C board by carolm.
Lois and Clark are in Clark's apartment, Lois is drying dishes and putting them away and bangs her head on an open cupboard.
"Honey, you okay?" Clark asks, coming in with a box in his arms.
She turns and looks at him blankly. "Who... who are you?"
Clark drops the box he's carrying, his face falling in shock and disbelief. "What?"
"Where am I?" she asks.
"Oh no, no, no, no!" Clark groans. "No, no!" he protests.
Lois breaks into a cheeky grin. "I was just kidding, lighten up!" She flicks her dish towel at him and giggles as she turns back to the dishes.
"That's not funny! Honey, that is not funny!" Clark tells her, seeming simultaneously relieved and annoyed.
"No, that was funny, those are not funny," Lois corrects, pointing to the newspaper clippings that litter the table. They are mostly from tabloid rags. "Clark, I know you better than I know anyone, and I will never understand your fascination with those things. One look at them and I want to be chemically hosed!"
"You have to keep a sense of humor," he tells her. "Think what a kick the kids are going to get out of these things," he points out, holding up a clipping showing a picture of Ultra Woman and Superman facing each other.
"I'm just not sure we should be bringing all of this on," she says with a sigh.
"What do you mean?"
"Oh, well, I don't know, Clark. Maybe we're cursed or something. I mean, maybe the Gods like us to get happy, comfortable, enjoy a little peace and quiet and then wham! Take down, grapple and pin, happiness loses!"
Clark cheekily holds up another clipping, which has a picture of Lois, undercover, wearing a rather sleazy red outfit [it's from "Resurrection"] and the caption "Clark Kent is livid."
Lois is not amused. "I don't think we should joke about this. And the more I think about it, we really shouldn't be advertising."
"Honey," Clark says soothingly, putting the clipping down and moving closer, holding her. "We are getting married, because our being together is bigger than anything that has ever been!" She smiles at him, but his voice turns serious as he adds, "It's destiny."
"Oh, Clark," she says softly, relaxing against him raising her face up for his kiss. Then she turns back to the dishes.
"Besides, it's not like the Wedding Destroyer broke out of the Asylum or something," he says lightly.
"The Wedding Destroyer? What makes you think of her?" she asks curiously.
"I was just flipping through that article we wrote on her," Clark replies, opening it up. "Remember?"
Lois looks down at it. "Myrtle Beech... Hm."
"You know, she hated us."
"So I guess we look on the bright side? At least the Wedding Destroyer isn't coming after us?" Lois asks.
"Hmm-hmm," he agrees.
* * *
In an institution there is an explosion, and through the smoke a figure can be seen running off. She cackles gleefully. Left behind in the room is a newspaper article from the Daily Planet Society section about Lois and Clark's upcoming wedding.
* * *
Lois and Clark are walking to work together. Clark is reading a tabloid as he walks. The front page headline banner screams:
"Reporter Still Searching For Lost Mind!"
"If you think about it, you can see the reason these things are so popular," he muses.
"Oh come on!" Lois protests. "Next you're going to be defending big-time wrestling. Just because something is popular, doesn't mean it has any value."
"There is some sort of truth here. Or maybe truth is too strong a word," he relents, showing her the article he's reading, which is titled, "Lane & Kent: Wedded Blitz."
"They have no right. This is our life, it happened to us, we declined to comment, and that should be the end of it."
"Lois if that was the end of it, we'd be out of jobs," Clark points out.
"You're not comparing what they do to what we do?!"
"Well, I like to think that what we do has a higher purpose, but I wonder if it feel that way to the people we go after," Clark replies as they arrive at a coffee stand.
"Good morning," the small man behind it greets them. "What can I do to make your day a little better?"
"A lot of chocolate, a little caffeine, and no fat," Lois says.
"Same here but double the caffeine and triple the fat," Clark says with a grin.
"How are the wedding plans coming?" the man asks.
"Pardon?" Lois says after a moment's pause.
"The wedding plans. You seem a little nervous, but don't worry about it, to be nervous is okay, it's just fine!" the man reassures her.
Lois is nonplussed. "I don't mean to be rude, but I have a little rule about talking to strangers."
"I'm no stranger, Lois," the man says in surprise, straightening up and showing his face to her clearly.
She looks at him oddly, as does Clark, as though they feel they ought to know him. "Who're you?"
"I'm Mike," he replies.
Clark slowly says, "Hey, I know you."
"You know you worry too much, Clark?" Mike says. "About Lois, about everybody. You're doing just fine! But you two really ought to get on your way!"
"Yes, we should," Lois agrees in a strange voice.
"Yeah, we're going to be late," Clark adds with a smile.
They continue walking towards the Daily Planet. "You know, I hadn't noticed what a beautiful day it is today," Clark suddenly observes cheerfully.
"Hmm," Lois agrees pleasantly.
Suddenly they're confronted by a man with graying hair and sharp features, who steps in front of them, blocking their way. He is accompanied by a black man who immediately begins snapping pictures of the couple. "Loissss? Clarrrrk? Like my article?" the first one asks in a smarmy voice.
"Oh!" Clark groans, shielding his face from the camera with the tabloid he's been reading, just as Lois tries to use her Styrofoam coffee cup as a shield. "Hello, Nunk."
"What's this, a reassessment of my work?" the man asks, seeing the tabloid.
"No, just looking for a bird cage," Lois replies as they try to go around the obstruction.
"A bird cage, that's good, glad I have the recorder running," Nunk laughs, showing that he's tape recording this. "Anything else you'd like to say for the record?"
"Yes," Lois says, turning to confront him in irritation, blocking the camera by holding her briefcase alongside her face. "For the record, you should get yourself to Harvard -- that's a college, in Boston -- and turn yourself over to the science lab as a scientific breakthrough... The newly discovered, one of a kind, lowest form of life in the known universe." She starts to walk away, perhaps before she loses her temper.
"Clark, anything to add?" Nunk asks, unperturbed.
"Yeah, tell him to quit taking pictures," Clark says, gesturing to Lamont, the photographer accompanying Nunk, who has been busy.
"Or...?" Nunk asks him.
"Don't go there!" Clark warns, trying to remain civil.
"Lamont, you wanna stop taking pictures?" Nunk asks his photographer.
"Nope," is the answer.
Clark's voice suddenly takes on a helpful tone. "Okay, I'm just trying to tell you for your own good, there are supposed to be solar flares all day today, those things have been known to ruin entire rolls of film."
"Fascinating," Lamont replies.
"Okay," Clark shrugs genially, and he casually lowers his glasses a bit to look over the top of them, using his X-ray vision on the camera. "You know, I have a funny feeling those pictures aren't going to turn out." He turns to join Lois, giving her a wink.
"You know, speaking of funny feelings, I wondered if you two had heard about Myrtle Beech, the Wedding Destroyer?"
That got their attention.
"She's out," Nunk tells them with obvious relish.
"What?" Lois asks in shock.
"You guys put her away, didn't you! And since your wedding's coming right up... Are you sure you got nothing to say?"
"We have nothing to say," Clark assured him in a clear voice.
"Listen, I feel for you, I mean, you just can't get a break! Lois' amnesia, living with Lex... That must've burned a little, huh Clark? Lois all whacked and shacked with her old fiancé. Course, you had that hot little lizard-eating clone to do the frug with."
"Listen, let's get something straight," Lois says sharply. "Clones eat frogs, not lizards, frogs. Any idiot knows that!" She stalks inside the Daily Planet. Clark, impressed with her self-control, makes a "so there!" face at Nunk before following her.
* * *
There is a knock at the door of Dr. Voyle Grumman's office. He opens it to a dark-haired woman, Myrtle Beech, who walks in as though quite at home there. "Myrtle!" he greets her.
"What's up, Doc?" she asks with a smile.
"I can't believe it! You're out! You really did it!"
"Now, Doc, how in the world can't you believe it?" she asks in her soft voice. "If it hadn't been for all that nitro you slipped me in those little nail polish bottles, I don't know what I'd have done, but now I am out! Breathing sweet clean air again! And I know exactly what I'm going to do!"
"I think we should retire to my private chamber, the police have already been here," the doctor says.
"Police!" she sniffs, unimpressed. "Tax-sucking rubber-shoe dummies with pensions."
The doctor moves a book on the bookshelf, and it slips aside to reveal a hidden room. "Myrtle, I've really missed you," he tells her, kissing her hand as they enter.
A while later they are sitting at a table having tea. "So, Myrtle, tell me your plans."
"Oh Voyle, you know what my plans are."
"Hmm, do they involve a certain pair of reporters who brought you nothing but misery?"
"They just might," she replies enigmatically, nibbling on a biscuit.
"And as they prepare to marry and look forward to a life of great joy and happiness, will you be destroying all that?"
"I just might."
"And will I be there to record it all in the name of science?"
"Well, we'll just have to see if you're a good boy."
"Oh Myrtle, tell me everything," he says, getting out a note-book.
"Well then... Lois and Clark, and how I will destroy their wedding," she begins, as he takes notes.
* * *
Lois and Clark have brought Perry and Jimmy into a conference room for a private meeting. "All right, from now on this is a red alert wedding," Lois begins. "All information is to be centralized, modulized and on a need-to-know basis. Shower, canceled. Rehearsal, canceled. Out-of-town brunch and rehearsal dinner, canceled. Reception... to be determined."
Jimmy clears his throat to get her attention.
"Um, can I still bring a date?" he asks.
Clark intervenes. "Lois, there's a good chance we're probably overreacting here."
Just then a man enters the room. "Lois Lane?"
"Sign here please," he says, holding out a package for her.
Lois signs for it, and he leaves. Looking at the return address, she gasps. "T.W.D."
"The Wedding Destroyer?" Jimmy asks.
Clark X-rays the contents of the package, and sees only a tape recorder.
"Now hold on," Perry is saying, "I'm going to get the bomb squad in here double quick."
Clark, knowing that would only waste their time, quickly opens the package.
"You know, you took an awful chance doing that," Perry warns him.
"Well it didn't, uh, look like a bomb to me, Chief," Clark says lamely, but Lois knows what he means. He presses play on the recorder, and they hear the wedding song playing on an organ while people weep.
Lois snaps it off abruptly. "Fine! She's going to go after my wedding? We're going to go after her! Jimmy, pull up every nanobyte we have on Myrtle."
"You got it," Jimmy replies, getting straight to work on it.
"Perry, can you reassign our stories so we can concentrate on this psycho?" she asks.
"Already done," he assures her.
* * *
Nunk, the tabloid reporter, is meeting with Myrtle Beech in Dr. Voyle Grumman's office. "I appreciate your seeing me on such short notice."
"Well, when Dr. Grumman passed on your message I was understandably intrigued," Myrtle says. "You see, I'm a great admirer of your work, Mr. Nunk. It passed many a long evening in the hospital. Especially that recent series on those two reporters."
"Well, I bet you're kind of interested in them now, huh?" he asks jokingly.
"Whatever makes you say that?" she asks innocently.
"Let's pop the cork here, Myrtle. I'm holding information you'd like to have. I got a blanket of spies on those two. Janitors, coffee guys, staffers on the Planet, more snitchers than a Watergate reunion. Now you know everything about that wedding is going to change. You need my info to keep up."
"And in exchange for this generous gesture, you would get...?"
"To be right there when you hit 'Johnny-on-the-spot', plus an exclusive interview with you after."
"You realize, Mr. Nunk, that this is no game. Lois and Clark humiliated me, took my freedom and sullied my good name. I am not planning a prank, I am planning revenge of operatic proportions."
"Cool," Nunk says casually.
* * *
Lois and Clark are tracking down Myrtle's associates, and have come to the house of a well-dressed woman named Emily, who is about to go somewhere. They speak with her on the front porch, while a man waits impatiently in his car at the curb. "So you were going to be one of Myrtle's bridesmaids?" Lois asks her.
"What was she like? Before?" Clark asks.
"Sweet. Such a romantic. She was dying to be loved. She was an orphan, you know," Emily tells them.
"Yeah, her parents died when she was five. Inherited a two hundred million dollar fortune when she turned eighteen," Lois says.
"That's when she met Roger. He was an attorney who handled her estate."
"And on the day they were supposed to get married, he died in a car crash on the way to the church," Clark finishes.
"What sort of unusual behavior did you first notice in her... after?" Lois asks.
"Well, she started making scenes at other peoples' weddings. Friends of ours. Pretty soon she wasn't invited to anything anymore. I started hearing stories about how fixated she was, that if she couldn't be married and happy then no one could. Someone told me she let rats loose at some poor girl's wedding!"
"First we heard, she phoned in a bomb threat to a church. Then she poisoned a wedding cake, then sunk a boatful of people on their way to a reception," Clark says.
"Well, she never actually killed anyone though... Did she?" Emily asks anxiously. The man waiting for her, who has been tooting his horn occasionally, gives several sharp beeps and calls to her. "I'll be right there, honey," she calls back.
"Emily, Myrtle is very very dangerous, and now she's coming after Clark and me," Lois points out. "Do you have any way to reach her? Or maybe you could tell us something about the fiancé?"
"He was... a man," Emily says inadequately.
"According to other friends of hers, Myrtle said he was the one perfect person that she ever knew," Clark says.
"Was he?" Lois asks.
"I don't know, I don't think there are any perfect people. I think he wanted to love Myrtle," Emily says.
"Are you saying that he didn't?" Clark asks perceptively.
"I'm saying that she didn't really know him," Emily replies, avoiding a direct answer.
"Maybe you could tell us a little more --" Clark begins.
"Look, I don't want to get too involved. Myrtle scares me, I don't want to have anything to do with her," Emily says anxiously. "I'm sorry," she apologizes as she heads towards the waiting car.
Clark's cellular phone rings. "Clark?" Martha asks.
"Hi Mom," he says.
"I'm just calling to tell you not to bother coming to meet us at the airport tonight."
"Why, what's wrong?"
"Oh, someone canceled our tickets. Here, here Jon," she says, handing the phone to her husband as she takes their suitcases from him. "And watch your back," she reminds him.
"Right. Yeah, hi Clark, someone phoned in pretending they were us."
"All right, well don't you guys worry, I'll make sure you get here," Clark says.
"Okay, thanks son," Jonathan says, then hangs up.
"Myrtle?" Lois asks.
"Myrtle," Clark confirms. "You should probably call your folks, tell them they'll be coming Superman Exp--" Suddenly his super hearing kicks in.
Nunk's saying, "Are you getting all this?"
"What?" Lois asks.
"This is beautiful," Nunk adds.
Lamont says, "I'm getting every word, Nunk."
"Nunk. Jump in," Clark tells Lois, gesturing to the Jeep. Under cover of the noise of her door, Clark whizzes into the Superman costume and over to a nearby parked van, ripping one of the back doors clean off and exposing two very startled tabloid employees.
"Hey, okay, hold the phone, muscle boy! You haven't heard of a little thing called the First Amendment?" Nunk asks. "It says --"
"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the Press --" Clark quotes immediately.
"Yeah, a little more of the part that says I got the right to do whatever I want because I'm a reporter!" Nunk snarls.
"We can all be thankful that Amendment has not been written yet, Mr. Nunk!" Clark returns sharply, taking away the camera.
"Hey, you can't just take my camera! My film!" Lamont objects as Lois hurries over to join them.
"Normally you'd be right, but I just had a thought." Clark turns to Lois. "Now Lois, you can tell me if I'm reaching here, but I believe the escaped lunatic known as the Wedding Destroyer has threatened you?"
"I can't help wondering if someone's been slipping her some information, someone who has eyes everywhere, someone who would do anything for a story no matter how many lives were endangered."
"I wouldn't say you're reaching at all, Superman," Lois says smugly. "In fact, I think you might be on to something here."
"Good, that's a very good theory," Nunk says sarcastically. "Now let me show you a little theory, it's called 'speed-dialing my lawyer.'" He takes out his cellular phone and presses a button.
Lois shields her mouth from Nunk and his photographer and whispers, "Superman, I've got an idea."
"Hi Heidi, get me Tom... Hello, Tom? Leo," Nunk is saying.
"Grab him, rough him up," Lois whispers.
Clark, not sure what her idea is, nonetheless does as suggested, grasping Nunk's suit and lifting him off the ground.
"I'm having a little problem with Superman!" Nunk cries into the phone, alarmed.
"Superman, hold it, it's okay," Lois intervenes.
"I'm currently being -- I believe the word is hoisted!" Nunk tells his lawyer.
"Superman, let him go. I'm as mad as you are, but this isn't the way."
Clark cottons on to her plan and goes along. "Well gee, Lois, if you say so," he says, feigning reluctance and lowering Nunk.
Lois pulls the man's jacket back into some semblance of order. "I'm sorry, Mr. Nunk, but see, Superman is a very good friend of ours, and, well, if he thought that you were helping Myrtle in any way, well, the phrase 'God help you' would take on a whole new meaning because... only God could!" She smiles brightly at him.
"Call you back, Tom," Nunk says into the phone, hanging up. "Well, that was very dramatic, Miss Lane. But Lamont and I are reporters, not criminals, and we'd like our equipment back!"
Clark hands the camera back with a steely glare.
"And an apology," Nunk adds.
"Don't push it, Nunk," Clark warns him.
"Come on, Lamont," Nunk tells his photographer sourly. "I'm driving." The two climb into the front of the van and tear away, their two folding chairs flying out of the back of the doorless van.
Lois begins walking along the street with Clark, still in his costume, and she smiles. "I've never seen Superman quite so edgy! You were like one of those crazed cops in a buddy movie!"
"Being a groom will do that to a guy," Clark replies with a grin. "Now, did you do what I think you did?"
Lois grins as she holds up a brown book. "Nunk's notebook!"
"Say that five times fast!" Clark jokes.
"Now let's just see who he's been talking to," Lois says, opening it and beginning to read. Clark sees a man struggling to lift a bag from the sidewalk to the back of a truck, and naturally lends a hand.
"Here you go," he says cheerfully, tossing it in.
"Thanks, Superman," says a familiar voice, and Clark does a double-take. It's Mike, the man from the coffee stand.
"Hey, you're..." The name seems to be on the tip of his tongue, and yet just out of reach.
"I think Lois needs you," Mike reminds him.
"Yeah, thanks," Clark says, feeling a bit confused. He hurries to catch up to Lois, still walking along with her face buried in the notebook, but glances back. The truck, and Mike, have vanished, as though they were never there.
"This is interesting," Lois tells him. "He has notes here about a Dr. Voyle Grumman."
"Which is the name of the grief therapist that Myrtle saw after her fiancé died."
"Well, I guess Dr. Grumman's going to get a visit from Lois and Clark," Clark says cheerfully.
* * *
Myrtle arrives at Voyle Grumman's office. "Well, Voyle, I just saw the lovely little gazebo where Lois and Clark are going to be married. I was, in fact, the last person to see it prior to its..." She brings a flame thrower out of her purse and ignites it, startling him. "... incineration!" she finishes. "Voyle, are you pouting?" she suddenly asks, seeing the look on his face.
"No, it's just... I must be honest. Certainly it's fun canceling airline reservations, burning down gazebos, it just lacks the scope of what I thought we were trying to do!"
"I don't think you're quite seeing the whole picture, Voyle. This is just the violin section warming up. They overcome these little inconveniences together, and they appreciate each other more." Myrtle's hand absently closes around a gold locket she wears on a necklace, and as she speaks she opens it. One side is empty, the other side has a picture of a dark-haired man. "In the face of all this adversity, he loves her for her feisty resolve, she loves him for his quiet strength, the knowing way he draws her into his arms, comforting her whenever life's endless cruelties become too much for her. And she can't imagine a world without him, but that's exactly the kind of world she's going to be living in. A world where the pain of simply being alive and alone is almost intolerable." Lost in personal memories and pain, Myrtle finishes in almost a whisper.
"Intolerable," Voyle repeats obtrusively, taking out his notebook. "Exactly what do you mean?" Just then the phone beeps, and he answers it impatiently. Myrtle closes the locket and composes herself. "Yes, Miss Grant?... Really? I see." He puts the phone down. "Lois and Clark are here," he says, taking a deep breath.
"They're probably just running down a laundry list of all my former associates. Smile, lie through your teeth, and try not to sweat too much," she tells him as she heads for the secret room.
Lois dives right in. "So you were Myrtle's grief counselor after her fiancé died?"
"Yes, oh yes," Voyle replies, sweating profusely.
"When did she stop seeing you?" Clark asks.
"Oh, it was, um, well... She was my patient for a very short time. I wasn't very effective in her case... obviously." He smiles weakly at them.
"And have you seen her since?" Clark asks.
"Since she was your patient?" Clark asks more clearly.
"Since she was my patient, yes, I mean, no, I mean... what do you think?" Voyle looks from one reporter to the other, trying to keep a calm facade. "Yes."
Lois and Clark exchange looks. "We came across something kind of interesting, though," Lois says after a pause. "Out of twenty or so weddings that Myrtle disrupted, six of those participants became your patients. Don't you think that's kind of an odd coincidence?"
"Not really. There are very few therapists that specialize in cases of romantic grief. In fact, I'm the only one that I know of in Metropolis, so, you see, it's not really unusual at all."
"Do you know a reporter named Leo Nunk?" Lois asks.
"Nunk? No, I don't," Voyle replies unconvincingly.
"Are you warm, doctor?" Lois asks him, leaning a bit closer.
"Yes, a bit. See, I'm... wearing wool," he explains lamely.
* * *
Voyle Grumman and Myrtle are standing in an alley. "It's that reporter, he turned us in, I'm telling you!" Voyle tells her.
"Calm down, Voyle."
"We've got to get rid of him," Voyle insists.
"His information's been awfully good," Myrtle says with a sigh. "And awfully helpful."
"But if he has turned on us, we'll find out."
* * *
Lois and Clark reenter Voyle's office quietly when it's empty. "X-raying this place, I saw --"
"Don't tell me," Lois interrupts. "A secret lair?"
"How'd you know?" he asks.
"Please!" she scoffs.
Clark examines the bookshelf with his X-ray vision and locates the book that needs to be moved to open the secret room. They go inside, looking around cautiously. It has a medieval decor, including a suit of armor.
"Most couples are picking out china patterns and arguing over seating charts. We're breaking and entering," Lois muses, leaning an elbow against the suit of armor. It gives way beneath her, opening yet another secret room, which is filled with file cabinets.
"Looks like he keeps his files in here," Clark says as they enter.
* * *
Nunk approaches Voyle and Myrtle in the alley. "Hey! Hey! What's the big emergency?"
"I have something I want to show you," Myrtle tells him in a disarming voice. "See, this wedding band is the one we're going to substitute for the one Lois Lane bought Clark Kent. Is it a good match?" she asks, handing it to him.
"Yeah, I think so."
"What about the size? You seem to have similar hands to Clark, why don't you slip it on?" Myrtle suggests.
Nunk does so. "It seems all right. What's the plan here?" he asks impatiently.
"The plan? The plan is, if you don't talk, it's gonna be, 'With this ring I thee dead!'"
"Dead?" Nunk echoes, not understanding.
"Dead," Voyle repeats, taking out a little controller and pressing a red button on it. Electricity sparks out from the ring, making Nunk twitch violently and fall to the ground.
Voyle squats down beside him. "I know this is probably a bad time for this, Nunk, but... could you maybe illuminate me a little on your mental state right now?"
Nunk mumbles incomprehensibly.
"Voyle, quit your fooling!" Myrtle says, swatting him. "You talked to Lane and Kent, didn't you," she says to Nunk. "What'd you tell them? Did you tell them where to find me? Did you tell them what the plan was?"
"I didn't tell them anything!" Nunk manages to say.
"Interesting. He's lying," Voyle says.
"How do you know?"
"I don't, I just think everyone's lying." Voyle's finger slips onto the button, electrocuting Nunk, who dies. Voyle looks at Myrtle apologetically. "Oops."
"Oops? Oops?" She smacks him. "You idiot, you killed him!"
Nearby, hidden from view behind some garbage cans, Lamont takes out his cellular phone in alarm and calls for help.
* * *
Lois and Clark are going through the notes they took from Voyle's secret files. "All right, so let me get this straight," Clark says, munching as he talks. "Myrtle's fiancé dies in that car crash..."
"Myrtle comes to Voyle, Voyle starts talking to some of Myrtle's friends, ostensibly to get a more thorough psychological portrait of her, but..."
"But what he pieces together is that Myrtle's perfect fiancé isn't so perfect after all," Lois finishes for him.
"Because Mr. Perfect was having an affair with --"
"Emily, the bridesmaid," Lois finishes for him. "No wonder she was afraid of Myrtle. Look at this." She begins reading Voyle's notes. "'They were coming back from the hotel in separate cars, both ready to tell Myrtle the wedding was off --'"
"Ouch," Clark inserts.
"' -- when his car hit an ice patch and flipped into a ditch. So that was Myrtle's great lost love.'"
"And Voyle knows this, and has kept it from her. Look at this, this guy really is sick!" Clark exclaims. "'All my life I have sought to create a specimen of pure rage. Myrtle's emotions are the clay with which I will mold a creature driven by grief and pain.' See here, it was even his idea for her to disrupt that first wedding."
Just then his super hearing picks up an emergency broadcast about an electrocution victim.
Lois, seeing that unmistakable look on his face, says, "What?"
"It's an ambulance. Someone's been electrocuted, and they don't think they can get him to the hospital in time."
"Go," she urges.
Clark is torn. "You'll stay here? You won't go back to Dr. Grumman's without me?"
"Clark, come on," she replies soothingly, without actually making any promises.
With no time to stand around arguing, Clark changes into costume and flies away, making Lois grab for the papers on the desk to keep them from scattering.
Picking up a page, she reads some more. "'The key to Myrtle's dysfunction is the total lack of...'" There is no more on that page, and she can't find a continuation. It takes all of two seconds for her to decide upon a course of action in keeping with her character, and she rises from the chair in determination.
* * *
Clark arrives at the alley just as the ambulance gets there, and he checks Nunk's body alongside the paramedic. "He's dead, Superman," the paramedic confirms.
Distressed, Clark stands up. "I know this man. Who made the call?"
Nunk's photographer, Lamont, comes forward from the shadows. "I did."
"You saw who did this?" Clark asks him.
"I was hiding back there. I didn't see, but I heard. It was Myrtle Beech and that doctor."
"Voyle Grumman?" Lamont nods. "How'd they kill him?"
"I don't know, it was some electrical thing with this big bright light, and then... They're going after Lois and Clark. You were right, Nunk cut a deal with them, he's been slipping them information. Listen, man, they're crazy, I mean really crazy!"
"Superman! There's a fire at Mercy Hospital, they can't get all the patients out, they need you there now!" one of the paramedics says to him urgently.
Clark nods and takes off immediately to help.
* * *
Lois is back inside Voyle's secret file room, having found the rest of his notes. "'The key to Myrtle's dysfunction is the total lack of love she received as a child, combined with the trauma of losing her parents and fiancé."
Myrtle and Voyle enter the secret room. "Of course, we haven't even dealt with the real issue yet," Myrtle is saying.
"Whatever am I going to wear to Lois and Clark's wedding?" she asks.
Lois tries to be quiet as she puts the file back and closes the cabinet.
"Maybe black?" Voyle suggests.
"No, I don't want to outshine the bride," she says brightly.
Voyle notices that someone has gotten into his secret file room, and smoothly averts Myrtle. "You know, Myrtle, I have a feeling that we may not be safe here anymore."
"What do you mean?"
"God knows if that idiot Nunk has told anyone about us."
"You know you're right, Voyle. Maybe we ought to move on out of here, check into the Manly Hotel, make that our base, what do you say?"
"I think that's an excellent idea."
"Good," she purrs. "I'll register us, you pick up whatever we need and meet me."
"Yes, the Manly has an excellent buffet," he says, escorting her out.
Lois is startled when suddenly the door to the file room opens. Voyle Grumman is there, holding a gun. "Hello, Miss Lane, I see you've discovered my little secret about Myrtle, well that's too bad."
"What kind of a man are you, taking that poor grief-stricken woman and turning her into a monster?" Lois asks him, scared but also angry.
"I need her," Voyle replies.
"Myrtle is a singularly unique case. Grief and rage in perfect union, acting out with spectacular force. You see, I need to feel pain, other people's pain, and she is a lifetime supply. Providing, of course, that she's handled correctly. And you are a very big part of that handling, which is why... I'm letting you go."
"What?" Lois asks in surprise.
"Yes, go. Go on with your wedding, Miss Lane, because that's what Myrtle wants."
Lois quickly darts through the doorway, but then stops abruptly and turns to face him. "I don't mean to seem ungrateful, but you do know that I'm going straight to the police, and Superman."
"I wouldn't have it any other way," Voyle says.
Lois gives him an odd look, then scowls and uses his arm to knock the suit of armor that closes him into the secret file room.
Later she sits in the Daily Planet beside Clark, telling a select gathering where things stand now. Her parents are both there, as are Clark's, with Perry and Jimmy. "And then Voyle let me go. So the police don't have any leads on Myrtle or Voyle, they disappeared, and that's where things stand, wedding-wise."
"Does anybody have an aspirin?" Ellen Lane asks wearily. Everyone whips out their little bottle of aspirin from their pockets, proffering them. "Two will be fine," she says, taking the closest bottle from her ex-husband.
"Well, kids, it's very obvious the best way to handle this is --" Sam Lane begins in a parental voice.
Lois speaks right over him. "We've decided --"
"-- cancel the wedding and get as far from Metropolis as possible."
"Just the opposite, actually," Lois says.
"What?" Martha asks incredulously.
Jonathan jumps in too, concerned. "Now Lois, I think you should listen to what Sam's saying."
"Yeah, I gotta say I'm chiming in here," Perry says.
"Ditto!" Jimmy adds vehemently.
"Okay, okay," Clark puts in quickly, "but just hear us out. Okay? Say we go off to... Kuala Lumpur..."
"As long as they're on the loose, she's going to try and destroy us," Lois sums up tiredly.
Jimmy chuckles slightly. "I guess technically she ought to be called the Happiness Destroyer, huh?" He looks around, pleased with himself for the joke, only to be met with disapproving looks from every face. "What?" he asks cluelessly.
"We have decided to set a trap," Clark explains, moving right along.
"What kind of trap?" Perry asks.
"A wedding trap," Lois says.
"Oh!" Ellen cries out, throwing her hands up. "I don't think I can take much more of this!"
"We're sticking to the same time and the same date, although we don't want to endanger anybody else so it's just going to be Clark and me and Superman..."
"Now hold on, you two, if there's trouble we're not running from it," Jonathan argues.
"We're your family! Family doesn't run from trouble!" Martha agrees.
"And neither do friends, right Chief?" Jimmy asks in determination.
"That's right, Jimmy. You tell us where and when, we'll be there with caviar and rice," Perry assures them.
"I'd never tell a bride how to get married, would you, Ellen?" Sam asks gamely.
Ellen laughs helplessly. "It's just so you, Lois! I mean, she always had to be different than all the other kids! Okay, so. Your ring is at the jewelers being engraved, and I assume that you want it, right? Okay," she capitulates.
"Okay," Clark echoes with a smile.
* * *
Ellen comes out from the jeweler's, having picked up Lois's ring. Across the street, Myrtle and Voyle give a ring box to a man. "Don't mess up," Voyle whispers. The man smiles and takes the box. He artfully bumps into Ellen as he passes her, making her drop her purse and the jeweler's bag.
"Excuse me, let me get that for you," he says politely, slipping the substitute box into the paper bag and handing it to her. "Here you go."
He returns to Voyle and Myrtle, who hand over the payment. "Nice doing business with you," he says cheerfully as he leaves.
Myrtle examines the real ring. "Lois Lane's wedding band!"
"Myrtle, I think it was a stroke of genius to make her the target. Whatever made you think of that?" Voyle asks.
"Something you said, actually."
"That Lois doesn't seem to suffer as much as Clark, or at least, not as well. I think you said, a lifetime of misery would work better on Clark."
"Well, I may have said something like that," Voyle says casually.
"Pretty, isn't it," Myrtle says dreamily of the ring.
"If you like that sort of thing," Voyle says in disinterest.
* * *
The wedding trap is put into motion. Perry stands in as minister. Jimmy plays the organ for a little atmosphere. The Kents stand to one side and Ellen to the other as the only witnesses.
"Now you are definitely decided no cops?" Perry asks Clark.
"We don't want anything to scare them away."
"Right... But you're sure that Superman's around," Perry checks nervously.
"Positive. You okay?" Clark asks him.
"Oh yeah, yeah, I'm fine, I'm fine, it's just, uh... it's a little close in here," Perry explains lamely.
Jonathan suddenly remembers something. "Oh, Ellen, do you have the ring?"
"Oh, yeah," Ellen says nervously, patting her purse.
Then Lois and her father enter the Church, and Jimmy begins to play the Bridal March as they walk down the aisle. He hits a wrong chord at one point and throws everyone an apologetic grin. Lois gives her father a kiss on the cheek when they reach Clark's side, and Sam shakes Clark's hand as he releases his daughter and steps back. Lois and Clark hold hands, facing each other before Perry.
"Uh... Dearly beloved," Perry begins, and is then interrupted when the church doors are blown open with a crash, scaring everyone. "All right, everybody, it's okay, everything's all right," Perry soothes, "let's just, uh, calm down, it's okay. Now, where were we? Okay, yeah... Clark, do you take Lois to be your lawfully wedded wife?"
"I do," Clark replies, smiling at her.
"Do you, Lois --"
"I do, I do!" she replies, without waiting for the question, sounding eager and excited, her face alight with happiness.
Clark smiles, but turns to Perry. "Can we, uh, maybe slow this down a little bit? She's not here."
"Okay, um... the ring!" Perry suggests.
"How romantic," Ellen mumbles as she gets the jewelry box from her purse. Jonathan takes it from her, opens it, and hands the ring to Clark.
"With this ring, I thee wed," Perry says.
Clark repeats the words with more feeling. "With this ring, I thee wed." He slips it into place on Lois' finger, but as soon as he has done so she is suddenly enveloped in blue electricity, crumpling in his arms as he looks at her in horror.
"Get away, or she dies!" Myrtle shouts, coming down the aisle with Dr. Voyle Grumman at her side. She holds the control, thumb over the button, stretched out before her. Clark lowers his bride to the floor and steps back. "Don't move!" she warns, pressing the button again. Lois convulses as electricity arcs all over her body. Clark holds his hands up, pleading with Myrtle to stop, on the verge of panic. "No, no!"
"You'll do what I say!" Myrtle commands.
"All right, I'm not moving, right? I'm not moving. Nobody move," he cautions the others urgently, trying to calm the situation. "All right, no one is moving," he assures Myrtle soothingly. "Okay now, please..."
Myrtle comes a little closer to peer at Lois, who is moving slightly. "We'll be going now," she tells him. "I just wanted one good look at her. Right on the edge here. One little button-push away from the Eternal. And you -- you look scared! Well you should be," she sneered at Clark. "Cos this thing? It has a ten-mile range, so don't even think about following us. I don't care if you're as fast as Superman, if I see anyone coming after us, my thumb hits the button and she's dead."
"You're planning to kill her anyway," Clark says, giving voice to his fears.
"You don't know that. And you don't want to risk it. I mean, who knows what I'm going to do, I'm nuts, right? That's close enough," she warns him, waving the control in his direction after he takes a couple of slow steps towards her.
"Call an ambulance!" Sam implores.
"Don't do this to my daughter," Ellen pleads.
"Myrtle, you need help," Clark says gently.
"Oh, I remember the last time you tried to help me. Three years in the whacky factory!"
"We didn't understand then what's really wrong with you."
"What's really wrong with me is that I lost the only perfect man I ever loved," Myrtle replies.
"No, that's not true. Voyle's been lying to you!" Clark tells her.
"Desperation, very good," Voyle says, jotting something down in his notebook.
"Your fiancé... He was going to leave you," Clark tells Myrtle. "He was in love with your friend Emily."
"How dare you? How dare you sully his name?"
"Voyle has a secret file on you, we read it. He's twisted everything that happened. He's kept you thinking that Roger was perfect so that he could control you, but he was not perfect, Myrtle. He was going to leave you."
"That's a lie," she denies, shaken.
"No it's not," Lois says. She is weak, but has managed to prop herself up a little bit. "He was driving to the church when he died. He was going there to tell you it was over."
"And Emily's car was right behind his, wasn't it," Clark puts in. "They were together."
"We read all of that in Voyle's file," Lois tells Myrtle.
"For God's sake --" Voyle begins.
"Shut up!" Myrtle tells him.
"You were just some sick experiment to him," Lois says.
"Who's been telling you all along how your one chance at happiness has been ripped away? Who's been pushing you to hurt other people? To strike back? Who killed Nunk?" Clark asks pointedly.
There's a long pause as Myrtle takes all that in. "Myrtle," Voyle begins, but she slams her fist back into his face, knocking him out.
"I have nothing now, thanks to you two!" she cries. "Not a friend in this world," she says, gesturing to Voyle, "not even the memory of being happy." She grasps the locket containing Roger's picture that hangs around her neck and wrenches at it, breaking the chain. She flings it to the ground. "Nothing!"
"You have the truth," Lois tells her.
"Being alone, that's the truth. Maybe I ought to show you what that feels like," Myrtle tells Clark bitterly.
"You could do that, Myrtle," he agrees anxiously. "You have the power. But look at where you are. You remember what all this felt like, don't you?" he asks cajolingly. Myrtle looks around at the church slowly. "The hope you had in your heart? The life that you always dreamed of, right in front of you. Well now that life is right in front of me, in front of all of us, and you hold those lives right in the palm of your hand. You don't want to do this anymore, Myrtle." Slowly, carefully, Clark moves closer to her, reaching out in a non-threatening manner. "Stop. Stop and we'll get you the help you need. But end this, Myrtle, end it now."
Myrtle allows Clark to take the controller from her hand, which he turns off at once. Lois lays back with a sound of relief, and as Clark rushes to her side, Myrtle begins to release her pent-up grief and anger with cleansing tears.
* * *
Voyle is led away in handcuffs. Myrtle, too, comes out of the church in cuffs, when Mike walks up to her. "It's all right, Myrtle," he says in a kind voice. "We'll talk later. You're going to be just fine." He gives her a handkerchief, and she smiles bravely at him. A police officer escorts her over to the nearby car, but she turns and gives Mike another little smile. Looking one last time at the church, she turns back to Mike -- only to find that he's vanished.
* * *
Lois and Clark are back at his apartment, still wearing their wedding attire. Lois is sitting down sipping a glass of water, and Clark is kneeling in front of her, watching her in concern "You okay?" he asks.
"Considering we just had our second wedding which failed to result in an actual marriage... I guess so," she replies in a small voice, handing the glass to him.
"How do you feel about a little trip?" he asks with a smile, setting the glass aside.
He scoops her into his arms with a broad smile, and strides to the window. The television screen shows Channel Zero, where Mike is holding a microphone, saying, "All those who can fly under their own power will be making themselves and their fiancées airborne and flying due west."
The sun is beginning to set as Clark flies westward with his bride in his arms, lighting the sky with orange and gold hues.
"Where are we going?" Lois asks him curiously.
"Can't you feel it? The further west we go, the more right it feels," he says.
"It's here we should land," Lois suddenly says, and Clark descends. They land in a grassy clearing high on a hilltop, from where the sky seems to surround them, bathed in the orange light of the setting sun, and the lake stretched out below reflects the color of the sky.
"Do you know where we are?" Lois asks, as they both look around.
They are joined by Mike, climbing up some steps to reach the top. "Oh, you beat me here. Well, I guess I should have known," he says with a smile.
Clark looks at him, puzzled. "You look familiar. Do I --"
"You know me, Clark!"
"Yeah, of course I do," Clark realizes, grinning.
"And you too, Lois. I'm --"
"Mike," Lois finishes, a smile crossing her face as she remembers. "All my life he's been there for me, giving me just that little bit extra," she tells Clark.
"Yeah, he's always been there with a little bit of encouragement, but we never get to remember," Clark agrees in wonderment.
"What are you, Mike? Are you...? Are you a...?" Lois can't quite bring herself to say it aloud.
"Lois, I've got the best job in the world," Mike tells her. "I look out for people."
Perry and Jimmy climb to the summit. "I have no idea where we are, Olsen," Perry is saying jovially, "I just, uh, I turned around, and..."
"Who are you?" Jimmy asks as he sees Mike.
"You remember. Everyone remembers today!" Mike says happily.
"Mike?" Jimmy asks uncertainly.
"He-hey!" Jimmy greets enthusiastically, shaking his hand warmly.
"Jimmy! Perry! Good to see you," Mike says joyfully.
"Mike! How're you doing? Good to see you!"
"Glad you're here!" Then Mike turns to greet the next ones up the hill. "Martha!"
"Hi, Mike! What a pleasure to see you!" she cries in surprise.
"So glad you're here," Mike responds warmly, shaking Jonathan's hands next.
"Oh, for goodness sake!" Ellen greets him next in astonishment and delight, and Sam shakes his hand with a beaming smile.
Mike looks around at the gathering. "Well, I don't know about you, but I'm ready to get started."
"Started?" Lois asks.
"It's time for you kids to get married! You've got your friends, your family... It's a pretty nice day. You've even got a broken down old minister!" he jokes.
Clark holds up a hand, looking concerned. "Look, everyone needs to know that this isn't some kind of evil genius, cloned, amnesiac fake-out, because... there would be a riot."
"Clark, I'm just here to see that you both get what you have wanted for so long, and what everybody has been waiting for so patiently and praying for so hard! Sometimes it takes us a little while, but we're always listening. So, shall we?" he invites.
They take their places for the ceremony, with Lois and Clark standing before Mike, their hands joined together. Their friends and family stand around in a semi-circle to witness the occasion.
"Well, I'm glad that I could get you all together here. I've known you all for a long time, haven't I... Especially you two." Mike smiles at the couple. "You two have kept me pretty busy. But after everything that's happened, I think you guys have learned something. Love survives. Survives any joy, any sorrow... all the rights, all the wrongs... even life and death. But then you both know that already, just like you know now, that now you have finally arrived at the perfect time and the perfect place. Clark?" he prompts, handing him a ring.
Clark faces his bride. "Lois," he begins softly. "I have loved you from the moment that I saw you. I love your humor, your passion, and the way you just dive right in, even when you shouldn't." Lois shares his smile at that, and Ellen nods knowingly. "Because you refuse to just watch the world, you demand that it be a better place, and because of you... it is. And today I want to give you as much of the world as I can, so I give you my heart... my soul... our future." He places the ring on her finger.
"Lois?" Mike says, handing her the other ring.
"Clark, you're my best friend," she begins. "Until I met you I never had a best friend, and falling in love with you has been so easy, I don't know why I fought it so long. You have such gentle grace, and such quiet strength, and mostly... such incredible kindness. I've never known anyone with as pure a heart, and so today I give you my love... and my honor... and our life, together." She puts the ring on his finger, smiling at him with eyes made luminous by tears of happiness.
"Lois and Clark, I now pronounce you husband and wife," Mike says.
With a laugh of joy and relief, Lois and Clark fall into each others' arms and kiss.
"Finally!" Martha whispers to Jonathan happily, seeing the beaming smile on Lois' face as she gazes around at her loved ones.
* * *
Lois opens her eyes, and freezes in momentary panic. "Oh no," she murmurs. "Oh God, don't tell me it was a dream," she pleads, realizing that she is in Clark's apartment and had fallen asleep on his sofa. She raises her hand and sees the wedding band on her finger.
Clark deposits an armful of presents on the floor, surrounded by piles of gaily wrapped boxes. Overhearing her, he chuckles. "I don't think so, honey! Not unless the rest of the world was dreaming too! There are more presents on their way, along with about a hundred telegrams, including... dum-ta-da-dum!" he says, presenting one to her with a flourish and a grin.
Lois takes the telegram and reads it. "Dear Lois and Clark, finally! Best wishes on the wedding we've all been waiting for, the President of the United States!" She finishes it with an amazed giggle.
"Now we're all packed for the honeymoon," Clark says, eager to get going. "Estimated time of arrival in Hawaii..." He moves into the next room, there's a whizzing sound, and he emerges in the Superman costume, carrying their luggage. "... Two minutes," he ends, beaming. The phone rings. "...And fifteen seconds," he amends, going to answer it. "Hello?... Hi Mom." He gives Lois a beautiful smile as she holds up and shows him their framed wedding certificate with a happy giggle. "Yes, it was, wasn't it?... Yeah... We'll have a big party when we get back... Okay. Say hi to Dad, too... I love you too, Mom... I will. Bye-bye." Hanging up, he turns to Lois. "Mom and Dad say hello," he reports cheerfully.
She smiles at him, then picks up the wedding photo on the end table. She comes to stand by Clark, showing it to him as well. "It was so simple, so beautiful the way it just happened. It was like we were trying to find that hill and that sunset all our lives."
"We were," Clark tells her, looking down at the picture. Then he raises his head and looks at the window. "Are you ready?" he asks his wife with a smile.
"This is it, isn't it?" she asks him, as though she can hardly believe it.
"The moment our lives really start," he says.
"I love you, Clark."
"And I love you, Lois."
As they kiss each other they begin to float, turning in slow circles without even knowing it. In the photo, Mike's face breaks into a smile, but the newlyweds are so lost in each other that they're unaware of their surroundings.
World of Lois & Clark Home
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