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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

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]

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