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Costumes, 2/? (Lois and Clark: TNAOS)

Title: Costumes, 2/?
Author: htbthomas
Fandom: Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman, Season 1
Rating: PG
Word Count: Part 2: 1,830 words
Summary: When Clark shows up at the Planet’s costume party unprepared, Lois improvises with surprising results.
Chapter Summary: The next morning, Lois has one tiny problem to solve...
Author’s Notes: Finally! I return with another part, even though it’s not really that long.  All the other writing I’ve been doing fairly pushed this one to the back. Hopefully you still remember what the last part was about... see Part 1 if not! Thanks to mrsmosley for beta help. :)

Previously: Part 1

ETA This fic has been abandoned. Sorry! :( Enjoy if you like, though.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - -


Groggier than usual the next morning, Lois nursed a large cup of coffee as she watched the numbers slowly change on the digital readout in the elevator. Though the elevator was full of people arriving for work, she hardly noticed them.  In fact, she was fortunate that she had made it to work in one piece, her thoughts were so distracted.  Just what had happened last night?

She had woken up with the hazy memory of drinking a little too much, still dressed in her costume.  Lois groaned again softly, remembering. What was I thinking? she chastised herself. Why did I let Cat get to me like that? It’s not like she hasn’t had her claws out before...

She had been sleepily pondering that question while brushing the awful taste of old alcohol out of her mouth, when the memory of a passionate kiss came to her. It was too vivid not to be real, and it had been so sweet... She desperately hoped that her imagination had not made it all up.  And the way he had pulled her back down into a second kiss ... she had steadied herself with one hand on the porcelain rim of the sink as the sensation washed over her again.

A kiss like that, so powerful, just couldn’t be faked, could it? There had been no pheromone, no life-or-death situation. But what was really giving her butterflies in her stomach this morning was one tiny problem... just who had kissed her?

It was Clark in the Superman costume at the party last night, no doubt about that. But after Cat had baited her that way, she had gotten a little reckless, a little... stupid. So now she couldn’t remember how she had gotten home. Or who had brought her there.

Worst of all, Lois didn’t really know which one she hoped it would be. When that revelation had hit her in the bathroom a moment later, she had to fight a wave of anxiety from felling her onto the tile floor.

In only a few minutes, she would have to come face to face with one of the two possibilities. If she was lucky, Clark would give it away with his posture or a comment – as a trained investigator, it was simple to for her to read a person’s body language. She could even come out and ask him directly – but what if it hadn’t been him? That would be mortifying.

No, she would have to play it cool but remain pleasant, trying to determine the kisser’s identity the Lois Lane way.

The elevator doors opened with a ding, and people spilled out ahead of her. After a deep breath, she stepped out confidently into the newsroom.

Clark’s back was to her as she approached. He was wearing a well-cut gray suit, and the way it hung on his shoulders was... flattering. Had he always looked that good in a suit? After all, she had seen him in nothing but a towel before, so she knew how great he looked under there... and the skin-tight costume last night hadn’t left much to the imagination either. But now that she thought about it, it was almost as if he tried to hide that body under his workaday outfits. Why was she suddenly noticing it now?

Squaring her shoulders, Lois strode over to say good morning…

“Well, well.”  Cat’s voice from behind her made her pause.  “I never knew you were such a smooth operator, Lois.”

Annoyed, Lois spun around, glaring.  “I’m sure there’s a lot you don’t know about me.”  Sniffing slightly, Lois made a detour for the coffee maker.  It wouldn’t do to be all riled up before she faced Clark for the first time this morning.

But Cat obviously couldn’t take a hint.  “Yeah, but the way you were hanging all over Clark last night...” she trailed off, insinuating more with what she was leaving out.  “I was sure you’d be coming in to work... together.”

The way I was hanging...? Lois’ face heated, and she swiftly turned away as she topped up the contents of her cup.  “Well, that’s where we’re different.”

“So nothing happened between you two?”  She slid around the other side of the machine, nose crinkling at the whiff of office gossip she was smelling.  “Or did you chicken out?”  She leaned in closer.  “Again?”

Lois lowered her voice, hissing, “That’s none of your business, Cat Grant.”  She swiveled to walk toward her desk, and finally toward Clark.

“Don’t be so sure about that...” Cat sent after her retreating back.

The nerve! Just because Cat liked to broadcast her exploits around the newsroom didn’t mean Lois’ love life was fodder for Cat’s column.

Clark turned to her as she drew close, and Lois greeted him a little too brightly.  “Good morning!”

“Good morning, Lois.”

She tried to read his tone of voice.  Was that a hint of intimacy?  Or polite coolness?  “That was some night last night, wasn’t it?” she prompted.

“Oh, yeah.  What a party.”

Lois’ lips pressed together, and she tried again.  “Surprising.”

“Definitely.” He placed a hand gently on her shoulder.  “Are you feeling all right this morning?”

“Oh, yes, right as rain,” she fibbed.  She felt fine physically, at least, if not mentally.  “Why wouldn’t I be?”

“Well...” He removed the hand, and she felt oddly disconnected from him.  “The last I saw you, you seemed pretty, you know...”

“Out of it?”  She tried to keep the frustration out of her voice. She didn’t want to come out and ask him if he’d kissed her - not only would it be embarrassing for her, but if it had really been Superman, then Clark’s feelings might be hurt.  And after the great time they’d had at the party... suddenly considering Clark’s feelings seemed important to her.  She replaced her mask of professionalism.  “Well, I may have had a few too many drinks, but nothing I couldn’t handle.  Do you have the transcript of our interview from yesterday?”

“Yes, it’s on the server,” he replied with an odd tone of voice.  Was it because she hadn’t mentioned the kiss?  Or was it because of her swift change in subject?  God, this was aggravating.

Clark bent down to open the file on his computer. “Just let me print it out...” A click of the mouse and the inkjet across the room started up. Clark got up to retrieve it, and instead of starting to read what was on the green text on the screen, she watched him move.

He slid past the desks with a grace she hadn’t really noticed before.  He leaned an elbow on the cart to wait, the other hand resting on his hip.  Why did that pose seem somehow... sexy?

At that moment, Clark noticed Lois looking at him, and he smiled.  She smiled back, embarrassed, and dropped her eyes to the screen.  Lois bit her lip, feeling ridiculous.  If I could only just ask him...

She lifted her head. “Clark?”

And found him right there in front of her. “Yes, Lois?”

Lois startled backward.  “Um – Did you do any looking into Miles’ alibi?”

Clark came around her, and Lois rolled her eyes in irritation at herself. “As far as I can tell, everything checks out. But...” he trailed off.

“But what?”

“Didn’t it seem like he was, I don’t know...”

“...hiding something?” she finished.

“Yeah.  There’s something there that we’re not seeing... yet.”  As they talked over some plans to draw Miles out, Lois found herself unable to focus on anything but the way Clark’s lips moved as he spoke.  So kissable... if there were only a way to compare...

“...pay another visit, do you think?”

Lois shook her head.  “Uh, yeah.”  She quickly reviewed the conversation in her mind.  “Sounds like a plan.”

They stood and put on their jackets.  “Perry? Lois called across the room.  “We’re heading back over to the trustee’s office!”

He waved them his approval, and the two of them headed for the elevators.  At that moment, Jimmy came rushing into the newsroom, holding a large stack of files.  Clark moved out of Jimmy’s careening path, and straight into her.  “Oh, sorry, Lois.”  He adjusted his tie, his nervous habit.  But she could do no more than nod affably – the sudden contact had just knocked a memory from last night loose...

- - - - -


“Oh!” Lois giggled as she stumbled into Clark.  He caught her elbow, and she amazingly stayed upright.  She didn’t think she’d had that many Hauntinis...

Clark lifted her back to her feet with an indulgent smile, looking more and more like the superhero he was pretending to be as the night had worn on. “It’s a good thing I’m getting you home soon.  I don’t think you’d make it much farther on your own.”

The elevator doors dinged open and he guided her in by the elbow.  The mermaid skirt was suddenly very difficult to walk in.  She probably looked ridiculous, but she didn’t care right now.  She leaned in close, and said breathily, “I’m glad you’re here to save me, Superman.”  The doors slid closed, and she vaguely noticed that Cat had been watching them leave with much interest.

“Anytime, ma’am,” Clark answered formally.  His voice was just enough like Superman’s that she did a double take.  But she immediately calmed, because the frankly appraising look he was giving her was anything but superhero-like.  Lois didn’t think Clark had shown his interest in her quite so openly before.  Maybe there was something about being in costume that lowered the inhibitions as much as the alcohol.

It certainly seemed to be doing that for her.

The elevator came to a stop, jarring Lois just long enough to grab onto his spandex-covered arm. He felt warm, stable... she felt a tiny thrill as she let go.  When the doors opened, Clark gestured for her to exit ahead of him, keeping a hand on the small of her back to steady her.  “I’ll just get you a cab...”

- - - - -


The memory faded there.  So she had left the party with Clark, then... he must have seen her home.  But if that was true, why was he acting so distant, so aloof... so normal?  They’d kissed, right?  More than once?  Surely that would signal a serious change in their partnership?  Or at least rate a mention? 

Her mind began to whirl again. Did Clark put her in the cab alone? Did Superman show up after she arrived at home? Even with the memory that had just returned, she felt as much in the dark as ever.

The elevator door dinged open ahead of them and they threaded their way into the car past the people who were exiting. Clark leaned in to murmur, “If this guy is lying, I hope we can nail him with some hard evidence.”

She nodded firmly.  “Don’t forget who you’re talking to.  I’ll get to the bottom of the truth.”


Next: Part 3

Comments

( 18 comments — Leave a comment )
januaried
Jan. 21st, 2008 12:08 am (UTC)
Hee. I generally dislike Lois&Clark TNAOS, but this looks like a fun fic! Poor Lois, probably soon to be very very confused between Clark and Superman! :D
htbthomas
Jan. 21st, 2008 12:22 am (UTC)
Oh, I'm honored that you read this, then! I pretty much love all versions of Lois and Clark, and each for different reasons. I've enjoyed dabbling a little outside of the movieverse this year.

Lois is pretty darn confused as it is, but you know Lois! You can fool her, but only for so long. :)
januaried
Jan. 21st, 2008 12:32 am (UTC)
Well, while searching for Superman fanfic last year, I came across the LNC Archive, glutted myself on fic without having watched any of the show, had quite a lot of issues with the fic, finally watched a couple episodes to make sure I wasn't confusing fanon with canon, and concluded that I do indeed strongly dislike the show. But I'll still read some of the new fics they post every week, and yours because you're a very good friend of my very good friends (Lois & Anissa) and, as I hear, an awesome writer. *takes a breath* Anyway, yeah, that's why. Each to their own. :D

Yep, there's no stopping Lois when she's onto the trail of the truth! Can't wait for the revelation! (Revelations are one of my big fic kinks...) ^_^
htbthomas
Jan. 21st, 2008 12:43 am (UTC)
That's interesting! I started reading the fanfic way back when the show ended prematurely (in my view, at least) -- it was my first experience with fanfiction! I didn't start writing it until 10 years later, though, and for Spider-Man. LOL.

But yes, I have other friends who dislike L&C:TNAOS and I know people who seriously dislike SR or Smallville... Luckily Clois-fans on LJ tend to be accepting of each other. *hugs this fandom*

And I wouldn't be, you know, upset, if you sampled some of my movieverse fic. People seem to like Déjà Vu, at any rate. :) [/pimpage]
ancarett
Jan. 21st, 2008 12:16 am (UTC)
Yay, you're continuing with this. Given my deep and abiding love for this incarnation of L&C (and your skillful handling of the same), I am over the moon! Now Lois is on the investigative path to discover who, exactly, kissed her the other night? Well, poor Clark doesn't know what he's in for!

*glees*
htbthomas
Jan. 21st, 2008 12:24 am (UTC)
It took me long enough to continue, though... I have two or three other birthday fics that could go on, but I promised I'd finish this one first. I think it probably has 2 more parts to go? Not sure.

Yep, watch out, Clark!
thrace_adams
Jan. 21st, 2008 12:28 am (UTC)
so here I am back again, and loving this story...can't wait to see what happens when lois' memory shakes loose :)
htbthomas
Jan. 21st, 2008 12:49 am (UTC)
I can't wait, either! LOL. I think you'll be pleased with the results, though.
sean_montgomery
Jan. 21st, 2008 01:34 am (UTC)
ZOMG! The Queen hath continued this fic! *glee!*

You know, it actually took me a moment to remember this ficlet. A lot of the details were still there, but really glossy. After reading it, though, it all came back to me - kinda like a memory-restoring kiss. ;) This was a really cute continuation of our favorite costume party!

And it kinda feels like it left in a to be continued tone. Will there be more to the tale of Lois hunting down the identity of her kisser? I'm sure looking forward to it!
htbthomas
Jan. 21st, 2008 01:50 am (UTC)
I know, something with more than one part at long last! *gasp*

There is definitely more. I think probably two more parts? When they'll get done is anyone's guess, but the bunny is telling me it's about half-done now. :)
autumnrae89
Feb. 1st, 2008 01:44 am (UTC)
Okay I'm going to quickly weigh on that debate as it's quite interesting.

Actually from memory my first brush with Clois at all was in L&C:TNAOS as I was only 8 at the time. So to a certain extent I didn't really absorb what was going on.

So years later I return with the knowledge that is the Superman films. (Classic Clois :P) I found a new appreciation for LnC tried to do. It's on this turning point that the people I asked decided if they did or didn't like it was the characterisation of Clark.

In the comics and in the movies Clark was as he is described, a mild mannered reporter. But in LnC Clark was charismatic and cool (Thank you Dean Cain) so he had something to offer when pursuing Lois. It's actually one of the things I like and identified with when I watched Smallville. (1-3 flew by me until there was LL in Season 4) It's not that Clark had attitude but he had a quality that sometime you only ever saw with Superman which is his confidence.

Superman Returns had some faults that I dont quite agree with but in principle it was old school Clois.

So basically...I like it and its also affects my perceptions of other things Clois. So I couldn't imagine not liking it. But I can see your point.

--------------------------------

Sorry Queen B I got a bit lost in my own tagent there.

I remember reading the 1st part and thinking...ooo I want more. Then nothing happened and this popped up then I was glad. It went on the to read list. Again I love your writing as it tends to hit the crux of whatever fandom you are writing. You seem to find the pure essence of it. I love the banter that goes on inside Lois' head, she is really deliberating. I think...or I hope it was Clark who smooched her. Eagerly awaiting an update.
htbthomas
Feb. 1st, 2008 02:24 am (UTC)
Hey, that's okay! It seems this little story sparked debate over on the L&C fanfic boards, too -- about the varied characterization of Lois in the show. I tried to make her as close to S1 Lois as I could, without endowing her with any of her more endearing traits from the post-knowledge Lois of S3 and S4. And wow, the interesting commentary! But people are liking it, and talking about it anyway.

And thanks for the "pure essence" comment! That's really very flattering. *warm inside* I hope to continue soon -- maybe it'll be another month, but I will indeed continue. :)
rheajediknight
Feb. 1st, 2008 06:34 pm (UTC)
This is such a wonderful idea. I loved the concept that Lois sees Clark in a Superman costume, and thinks its just for a costume party. It filled me with a kind of nervous anticipation to see what would happen next. I would love to see a follow up where Lois is with Superman and is mentally comparing him to Clark and finds she kind of misses the more relaxed and comfortable persona that Clark presents. Or better yet, you could have Lois need to have a reason to make Superman look more normal (blend in with humanity, ie, dress in normal clothing) and really get confused. . . . ;)

Rhea

Thanks for another great read!
htbthomas
Feb. 1st, 2008 09:40 pm (UTC)
Oo, yay! *twirls that another person found this fic*

The idea was such a cute one, I knew I had to follow through with a longer fic. One of the things you mention will happen. The other? I thought about it, but I've actually seen that done more than once in L&C fic, so I decided I wouldn't. *is secretive*

Thank you for the review!
babettew54
Feb. 7th, 2008 06:18 pm (UTC)
I admit I love Lois’ confusion, even if it was caused by alcohol, and she’ll be the last to admit that she is confused. Stubborn lady! My favorite part was when she thought... "maybe I’ll kiss Clark to compare the two!" *hehe* Classic! But the question is of course, will Clark kiss her back. Without a doubt. We know he would, but she doesn’t. I loved this. I really hope there’s more. Please and thank you.
htbthomas
Feb. 8th, 2008 12:46 am (UTC)
This one there will be a continuation on. That's why the "2/?" at the beginning. :)

And yes, this is fun. Lois has no idea that her dilemma is not really such a dilemma. Clark kissed her! But which guise did he use? And which one matters most to Lois in the end game?

I will probably write more of this in March, maybe earlier, but no promises! ♥
jij
Mar. 9th, 2008 10:35 am (UTC)
Ho ho! I really like how this has shifted from a fairly rompy identity-play piece to a much more earnest look at the confusion between identities Lois would have to be feeling.

Worst of all, Lois didn’t really know which one she hoped it would be. When that revelation had hit her in the bathroom a moment later, she had to fight a wave of anxiety from felling her onto the tile floor.

Oh, what a tangle! Her attempts to elicit from Clark whether she'd been making out with him or Superman are just delightful, and of course the reader can watch Clark's reactions and have some guesses as to what's going through his mind as well, the poor boy. I'm so delighted there's a third part to this!

Edit: Augh, and I forgot to mention just how wonderful and double-edged Lois's last line is. *hearts it and this fic*

Edited at 2008-03-09 10:39 am (UTC)
htbthomas
Mar. 9th, 2008 12:55 pm (UTC)
Hee! Well, it goes back to a rompier Part 3, but then I imagine Part 4 will be more serious again... :D

And yeah, I love those double-edged lines (terrible soft-spot for them).
( 18 comments — Leave a comment )

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