Fandom: Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman, Season 1
Word Count: Part 3: 2,069 words
Betas: van_el, mark_clark, mrsmosley
Story Summary: When Clark shows up at the Planet’s costume party unprepared, Lois improvises with surprising results.
Author’s Notes: Thanks to van_el and mark_clark for brainstorming this chapter with me. It needed that extra push! And thanks to everyone for encouraging me on this little cream-puff of a story. *grins*
Previously: Part 1 | Part 2
ETA This fic has been abandoned. Sorry! :( Enjoy if you like, though.
“Taxi!” Lois lifted a hand to halt a passing taxi, but none of the twenty-some cabs even paused. “What?” she shouted at the exhaust of the last one, “Is my money no good?”
“We could walk...”
Lois gave Clark a flat stare.
“...or take the subway...”
“Clark, it’s all the way on the other side of town, remember? And I don’t feel like switching trains three times to get there, either.” Lois started walking swiftly toward the nearest cross street. Maybe there would be another taxi there. “Not all of us are in peak physical condition. I swear, you must run ten miles a day.”
“Well, I keep busy enough...” Clark trailed off, mumbling something that sounded like, “keeping up with you...”
Lois turned her head sharply to retort, but suddenly she caught a flash of yellow out of the corner of her eye. “Hey! Clark, see if you can catch that—!”
Clark broke into an easy jog, but before he could get to the corner, a loud squealing of tires caught everyone’s attention. Right in front of them, a car careened out of an alleyway to hit a parked car in front of them with a crash.
“Oh, my God!” she exclaimed, jumping back and placing a hand over her mouth. Steam, or possibly smoke, poured from the hood of the reckless car, and the driver was frantically trying to open his ruined car door.
“Lois, get back!” he warned, as he sprinted toward the car to help.
“Clark!” she yelled frantically. What did he think he was, Superman? It looked like the car was on the brink of exploding.
He pulled on the driver’s side handle, and between the two of them, the door popped open. Clark helped the man out of his car, and limping, they made their way to where Lois was standing, frantic with worry.
“Thanks, buddy,” the man told Clark shakily. Clark simply nodded, a distracted look on his face.
“Clark, are you crazy?!” she yelled at him, more from fear than anger. “You could have been—”
At that moment, a bright flash of light startled them all. Clark flattened them to the sidewalk, his back to the explosion. He pinned her so quickly, she could hardly breathe. Was it the danger or his proximity?
All too soon, he was lifting them to their feet. Clark took a quick look at the vehicle engulfed in flames, and began to sprint for the nearest shop. “I’d better make sure the fire department is on its way…”
The driver of the car swayed unsteadily beside her. “There goes my insurance…”
She turned her head to respond, when a flash of red and blue shot from the sky. Superman appeared before them, blowing on the flames with freezing breath. In a few moments, the fire was out, and she could hear sirens in the distance already.
“Superman!” she called brightly, stepping closer.
“Miss Lane,” he nodded pleasantly, and then moved close to the driver. “Are you all right, sir?”
“Yeah… all except for my car…”
“I’m afraid I can’t do much about that.” He patted the man on the shoulder with a commiserating grin. “Emergency services should be here soon.”
He lifted into the air once again, giving her a friendly smile, and then sped away. Lois’ smile faded quickly. Wow, that had been awfully… formal… for someone who had thoroughly kissed her last night. Of course, showing familiarity in public was probably a bad idea, but still… that didn’t change the feeling of disappointment in her stomach.
“Lois…” Clark ran back up to her, breathing heavily. “They’re on their way, but…” He looked at the car, a puzzled frown coming over his features. “Let me guess…” He gestured toward the car. “Superman?”
“Yeah, you just missed him – heck, I almost missed him, he was that quick.” It didn’t come out quite as breezily as she meant it to.
“He’s a busy guy, right? He probably was on his way to some other errand and simply stopped to help.” He chuffed her shoulder with his own and shot her a lopsided grin. “Chin up. You’ll see him again.” Clark walked toward the corner with a motion to follow him.
He had managed to say that without any trace of jealousy, too. If her mystery kisser were Clark, she would have assumed he’d be at least a little put out about the presence of his competition. Lois sighed in frustration.
Lois leaned forward in her chair, gesturing with her notepad. “So, Mr. Miles, it seems like your organization is busy with a lot of different types of charity work.” She gestured to the various photos and posters scattered along the walls. “It must keep you really busy.”
They had come under the pretense of doing a feature article on his organization, Miles to Go, which focused on ending poverty and educating underprivileged children. Somehow they had managed to convince Aaron Miles that the story had no connection to the greater investigation into mismanagement at the bank of which he had been the former president.
Aaron Miles nodded, a smile touching his lined face. “It certainly gives me something to occupy my retirement.”
Clark pointed to one of the posters on the wall closest to him. “Is this one of your big events?”
“The Walk of Fame Ball? Yes, it’s one of our most popular.”
“Isn’t it odd to have a costume party on the day after Halloween, though?”
Miles laughed. “It’s a funny story, actually. About ten years ago, the original gala got cancelled due to inclement weather, and we rescheduled for the next night. People liked the idea so much that it just sort of stuck.”
Lois glanced at the poster – it was an interesting idea. Guests arrived at the party dressed as someone famous, living or dead. But the big money maker seemed to be the silent auction of actual Hollywood artifacts.
“Do you ever work with other Metropolis charities? Pool your resources?” Lois asked.
“Sometimes, when the stars align. I like to—”
A knock at the door cut off his statement. Miles’ secretary, a matronly woman with a friendly disposition, stuck her head into the doorway. “I’m sorry, Mr. Miles. You told me to interrupt you if there were any issues with the gala tonight?”
“Who is it this time, May?”
“The caterer, Mr. Miles.”
“Tell her I’ll be with her in a few moments.” Miles shook his head and reached for the phone on his desk. “I’m afraid I have to cut our interview short. Thank you for taking an interest, Mr. Kent, Ms. Lane.” They both nodded, gathering up their things. “No, no, no,” Miles was saying as the door shut. “No shellfish. You know that Mr. F—”
Clark was frowning distractedly as they left the office. When they were far enough away that she felt safe, she lowered her voice. “What’s that look for?”
“What?” Clark shook his head like he was coming out of a trance. “Oh, I was just thinking. Just before Miles closed the door, I was sure I heard him say ‘Mr. Falcone.’”
“Falcone?” Lois was instantly alert. “Of the Gotham Falcones?”
“Maybe…” Clark shrugged. “Maybe not. It’s a bit of a leap to go from overhearing one name, to linking Aaron Miles to Carmine Falcone.”
“Still…” Lois’ senses started to tingle – she loved the thrill of the hunt for the truth. She pushed her way out of the main doors of the building and whispered in a conspiratorial tone, “Might be a reason to attend that ball tonight.”
Clark looked at her with incredulity. “Two costume parties in two days? Are you sure you’re recovered from the last one?”
“It’s for a story, Clark,” she reminded him, giving him a look askance. “Besides, it’s not like you have to wear a costume every day.”
Out of the blue, Clark began to cough. “Are you okay?” she asked, pounding him on the back.
“Sure.” His voice was raspy. “I must be coming down with something.” He cleared his throat noisily before continuing. “All right, Lois. We’ll go. But if organized crime is really involved in this thing, we’d better be extremely careful.”
“Don’t worry, I’ve been at this a lot longer than you have, farm boy. I can take care of myself.”
Clark went into another coughing fit.
“Maybe you’d better go on home, Clark. I can handle this one on my own.”
Clark stopped her with a firm hand on her arm. “No, Lois. If Miles is really involved, and you go digging…” He gazed directly into her defiant eyes, pleading with her. “It will be really dangerous. If we go, we go together.”
She swallowed. He could be really convincing when he wanted to be. “All right…”
“I’ll pick you up at eight,” he smiled, and then looked distracted again, almost dizzy. Then he shook his head, eyes clearing. “You know what, I’d better go pick out something to wear – any requests?”
“Surprise me.” There was no sense in trying to match costumes, not with so little time before the party.
Clark was already heading toward the corner at a jog. “See you later!”
She waved, idly pondering the contents of her closet while she watched him go…
Lois flashed a brilliant smile at the doorman, lowered her cigarette holder, and blew him a kiss. Though he never cracked a smile, she was sure his eyes were twinkling as he waved her through.
Walking into the Hotel Metropolis’ grand ballroom, she did her best to look like she belonged. Luckily, when she had ransacked her closet, she discovered she still had a black fitted sheath dress. With a few pieces of costume jewelry and her hair in a sleek uptwist, she made a passable Audrey Hepburn. More than passable, it looked like. There were some awful reproductions here, like that fifty-year old matron in a Marilyn Monroe outfit.
She felt a presence by her elbow. “Here all alone, honey?”
Lois turned to see a middle-aged man dressed in a sparkling white leisure suit. “I’m meeting my date here, darling Mister Travolta,” she drawled coyly, staying in character. It was completely untrue, however. About fifteen minutes before Clark was supposed to have picked her up, he called to cancel. Apparently his cold from earlier had gotten worse. With a gravelly voice, he’d made her promise not to come here on her own.
It was a good thing that Clark didn’t have superpowers, or he would have seen her gloved fingers firmly crossed behind her back.
“Well, Miss Golightly…” He lifted her free hand to kiss it. “If your date doesn’t show, I’ll save a spot for you on the dance floor.”
She fluttered her eyelashes until he turned away, immediately scanning the floor for signs of anything out of place. There was quite a large crowd here, the alcohol freely flowing already. On one side of the hall, the silent auction had been set up, and various people, in singles and pairs, were examining the items. As she moved slowly through the crowd, she only noticed one or two people bending to write down a bid. But the night was still young.
A few security guards were noticeably stationed near the display, men in formal attire, with no-nonsense looks on their faces. Were these hired guards? Or possibly Falcone’s men?
She walked slowly from item to item, noting the objects on display. A few signed photographs, props from various Hollywood productions, a dress a starlet had worn in a blockbuster movie… nothing that really seemed highly valuable. But then again, if this charity event were on the level, that would make perfect sense.
Out of the corner of her eye, she noticed a door open. Turning slightly, she saw a couple of men talking seriously, Aaron Miles included. Maybe if she moved a little closer, she might overhear what they were saying…
Lois suddenly felt a hand on her arm. She frowned, figuring it to be the pest from earlier, and turned to shrug him off—
“Lois, what are you doing here?” a voice whispered urgently.
Her eyes widened. The man was dressed in a trench coat and fedora, cigarette hanging out of his mouth. The scowl on his face was Sam Spade to a T…
Lois gasped in recognition – what was he doing here? “S-Superman?”