Pairings/Characters: Clark/Bruce, Lois Lane, Allison O’Toole
Summary: Lois is fiercely protective of her friend and partner Clark, as Bruce finds out one day.
Date Of Completion: December 10, 2007
Date Of Posting: December 10, 2007
Disclaimer: I don’t own ‘em, DC does, more’s the pity.
Word Count: 1801
Feedback welcome and appreciated.
Author’s Notes: Happy Birthday, saavikam77 ! :) I know your birthday is on the 13th, but considering the week you’ve had, I thought you might enjoy a little early present. :)
This is mostly Comicsverse Lois, though if you wanted to throw in a little Smallville Lois, that’d work! ;)
Clark hung up the phone. Before he hid his expression, Lois saw the hurt.
Then it was gone and he rose from his chair. “I’m going to get some coffee. Would you like some, Lois?”
Biting back her rage, she answered calmly, “Thanks, Clark, I’d like a cup.”
She watched him leave the desk next to hers to head for the kitchenette. She let her anger show on her face.
For whatever reason, Clark was in love with billionaire Bruce Wayne. It was a relationship that puzzled her, not the least of which being the fact that they lived in two different cities that took more than just an hour or two to travel between. Secondly, the two men seemed to have nothing in common. Clark was a farm boy from Kansas, while Bruce Wayne was, well, the Prince of Gotham. What did an ultra-rich blueblood want with shy, bumbling Clark Kent?
It angered her that often Clark seemed to be on the receiving end of Bruce’s coldness. Whenever there was an argument, Clark had to give in because Wayne certainly wasn’t going to do so.
It also angered her that the sweetest and gentlest man she knew was treated so shabbily by a snotty rich boy with a silver spoon in his spoiled mouth. If she ever got wind that Wayne was toying with Clark, making fun of him with his society friends…!
Well, at least the relationship was not common knowledge. Clark was spared the public humiliation of Bruce Wayne squiring around bubble-headed females while keeping him on the side like a plate of French fries. Yet Lois, smart reporter that she was (and nosy, too) had divined the nature of the relationship, keeping close tabs on it with Bruce’s secretary Allison O’Toole.
Lois tapped a pencil on her desk. When she had first met Clark, she had thought he was too good to be true: smalltown boy with a good heart and sweet disposition. She thought she and all the other reporters would eat him alive, but he had shown surprising aptitude for the news business, and was a helluva writer. He scored exclusives with Superman through his friendship with the Man of Steel, but she didn’t squawk because she did the same thing.
She and Kal-El of Krypton had enjoyed a romance for a few years, but after the novelty of being Superman’s girlfriend wore off she had realized that she wasn’t interested in a long-term relationship. She liked her independence, and if she ever did marry, she wanted a husband who wasn’t constantly off saving the world.
So she and Superman were good friends, and her closest friendship here at work was Clark. They worked smoothly as partners: she was the stereotypical brash, egotistical reporter barreling in to get the story while Clark’s quieter, subtler methods worked well in tandem with her and on other stories. They had a friendly rivalry going which Lois enjoyed.
The most striking thing besides Clark’s clumsiness and weak stomach was his consideration of others. He never failed to ask her if she wanted coffee or a snack when he was going to get some himself, and was always polite and kind in so many little ways while able to joke around with her.
Granted, she could count two instances in all the years of knowing him when he’d sworn, and he could blush like a schoolgirl at off-color jokes, but he was no prude, thank god. Her Army brat upbringing had disavowed her of any delicate niceties a long time ago.
All of this combined to make her very, very angry at one Prince of Gotham.
She picked up the phone and dialed a familiar number. “Hello, Allison! Say, could you fit me into tomorrow’s schedule? Excellent! I won’t need more than fifteen minutes. Thanks!”
Clark came back just as Lois was hanging up. He handed her a cup of coffee and said, “I also got two apples I brought from home. Would you like one?”
Lois smiled. “Thanks, Smallville.”
As she bit into the apple, she began writing what she was going to say tomorrow in her head.
& & & & & &
“Hi, Allison. Mr. Wayne is expecting me so I’ll go right on in.”
Allison smirked and Lois winked. She entered the sleekly modern, glass-and-steel office of one Bruce Wayne, Chairman and CEO of Wayne Enterprises.
“Ah, Ms. Lane.” Bruce looked up from the file folder he was studying. He was dressed in a dark-blue suit complete with vest and gold pocketwatch. His hair was fashionably-styled and his hands were manicured, hands that had never known heavy farm work or even typing a story on deadline. “What can I do for you?”
Lois didn’t bother to take off her coat. She planted her fists on the desk and leaned forward
“I want you to stop jerking Clark around.” At his look of surprise she continued, “Smallville’s a good guy. He deserves better than to get his heart broken once every other week by a guy who’s got a string of babes that he squires around to every fancypants party that pops up on the social calendar.”
Surprise turned to irritation, or was it anger? “Ms. Lane, you’re being presumptuous…”
“Am I? I’m Clark’s partner and friend and I don’t like to see him hurt.”
“I don’t know what you think you know about Mr. Kent and me…”
Lois waved her hand. “Pul-leese. Don’t pretend you’re not dating Smallville. He didn’t blab it or wear his heart on his sleeve but a girl can tell.” Lois could smell Bruce’s expensive cologne. The man was just so, while Clark was so rumpled! Opposites sure did attract. “Every time you two have an argument, he has to come crawling back to you because you never give in. Clark’s willing to do it even if he’s in the right because he loves you. One of these days he’s going to get awfully tired of doing that and might decide that there’s something better out there for him.” Yes! Was that a flicker of fear she saw in those steely blue eyes?
She straightened up, adjusting the lapel of her coat. “Listen, Mr. Wayne, I know Smallville can drive a person crazy. I’d like him to stand up for himself more, and he’s got the grace of a circus clown whose shoes are too big. But he’s good, kind, and the most considerate man I know. I know you’re considered quite the catch, but I have a news bulletin for you: so is Clark.”
She squared her shoulders. “So think about that when you stonewall him by asking your secretary to play gatekeeper for you while you sulk in this office of yours. And I know I’ll probably never get another interview from you again, but it’s worth it if I can help Smallville out. He’s my partner and friend and he deserves the best he can get.” She sighed. “There’s always Lex Luthor for billionaire industrialist interviews.”
Bruce’s expression was still stormy. Lois had no idea if she had gotten through that thick aristocratic head of his, but she had tried. Perry would scream and pitch a fit when he learned that she had burned her bridges with the Prince, but so what? There was always some other hungry young reporter out there willing to grab an interview like Bruce Wayne.
She turned and stalked out.
Allison looked up. “Mission accomplished?”
Lois pulled on her gloves before going out in the winter cold. “We’ll see.”
& & & & & &
Clark was still subdued the next day, and Lois figured that Bruce Wayne had given her the figurative flip-of-the-bird by ignoring her tirade. Well, she’d tried. Maybe she could fix Smallville up with rich boy Oliver Queen from Star City, or how about a real Princess? That Amazon might be a good choice.
Or maybe see if she could set him up with Jimmy. The kid already followed him around like an eager puppy dog.
One thing about Smallville. When he’s down in the dumps, only his close friends know it. He hides it well.
Unlike her, who ranted and raved and made everyone scurry for cover.
My way is healthier. Gets it all out instead of staying bottled up, she thought smugly.
The phone rang. Clark picked it up, hope on his face, which fell as he said, “Oh, yes, Perry. Sure, I’m almost done with that story.” He hung up and returned to his typing.
Damn Bruce Wayne!
A low buzz started in the room. Lois looked up, her eyebrow climbing into her hair.
The Prince of Gotham strutted through the newsroom like he owned it.
Which he did, but that was neither here nor there.
He was dressed to the nines, wearing expensive suede gloves and a camels’ hair coat, a silk scarf with the Wayne crest keeping his neck warm. As usual, his haircut probably cost a hundred dollars at the very least. He carried a gold-headed cane.
“Hello, Ms. Lane.”
“Hello, Mr. Wayne.” Her voice wasn’t as frosty as she would have liked, but the guy was civil enough.
Clark looked up and the hope flared again. How could anyone disappoint this man?
It looked as if Bruce Wayne was thinking the same thing. “Hey, Clark.” His voice was suddenly soft.
Clark hastily stood up, banging his knee against the desk. Lois winced, but he seemed unaware of the pain. Love sure made a man loopy.
“Hi…hi, Mr. Wayne.”
Bruce waved his cane. “Now is that anyway to greet your boyfriend, Clark?”
Clark gaped, then the sun radiated from him in a smile in such a way that Lois almost gasped. Bruce blinked, too, then he smiled and said, “How about some lunch?”
Clark hit ‘Send’ on his computer and scooped up his jacket, Lois jumping up and helping him into it, smoothing out the wrinkles as best she could. She adjusted his red tie and patted his chest. “Have a good lunch and take your time, Smallville.”
He smiled at her. “Thanks, Lois.”
“Yes, thank you, Ms. Lane.” Bruce’s voice was smooth with a tinge of amusement running through it. “Oh, and call Allison and set up an appointment for an interview, will you? Can’t let Lex have all the press.”
He put an arm around Clark and they left the newsroom, pausing at the coatrack. He helped Clark into his winter coat and placed his arm around his shoulders again, seemingly unaware of all the eyes and buzz in the newsroom directed toward him and Clark.
Lois grinned. She snatched up the telephone and sat down, leaning back in her chair as she crossed her legs, bouncing one slightly.
“Hey, Allison. There’s an interview I need to schedule…”