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Birthday Fic: In Vino Veritas, 1/1

Title: In Vino Veritas
Author: htbthomas
Fandom: Smallville, episode tag for 7.18 “Apocalypse,” with a hint of the Season 8 sides.
Rating: PG
Word Count: 1,034 words
Beta: mark_clark
Summary: Lois takes Clark out for drinks to get his mind off his troubles. But Lois can’t get her mind off of something else…
Author’s Note: A birthday fic for ancarett. Beyond her prompt, inspiration for this comes from a request by bop_radar and a nudge from svgurl. ♥

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

“C’mon, Clark,” Lois said, smacking her empty shot glass down on the countertop. “It’s a bar. You’ve got to order more than a coke.”

“Says who?”

Clark played with the small red stirring straw, making the ice tinkle gently against the sides of the glass. He had been distracted since they first arrived a half hour ago.

Lois caught the bartender’s eye and gestured with two fingers for another round before giving Clark a flat stare. “Says who…? Hell, everyone says, Smallville. They don’t call it ‘drowning your sorrows’ for nothing.”

“I guess I’m not much of a drinker.” Clark pushed at his glass idly, watching the condensation smear across the black surface as the glass moved.

“Another tequila,” the bartender announced as he set another shot in front of her. “Anything else?”

“Yeah, Randy. Get my friend here…” Lois turned and gave Clark a once over. He sat on the bar stool beside her, eyes lost in the bubbles in his drink. “…a beer. Whatever’s on tap. Surprise us.” Randy nodded and moved down the bar to fill her order.

Clark made a face without turning his head.

“What? You look like the beer type. Do you want me to change it to a nice dry sherry instead?”

A slow grin turned up the corners of his mouth and he finally looked at Lois. “Beer it is.”

Finally, a smile. Lois grinned back, an odd feeling coming over her. Dammit, when he turned that smile on a girl, it was hard to resist. Lois raised her glass to him, and knocked back another shot.

Lois had brought him here to cheer him up, to try to get him out of his funk. He had been worrying so much about all this mess with Lana – actually, when she thought about it, most of the four years she’d known Clark, he’d been dealing with one mess or another with Lana. He deserved a night out, to forget about his troubles.

Randy set the beer mug in front of him, and Clark took a long, slow draught of his beer.

“Feel any better?” she asked with a nudge of her elbow.

“Strangely enough…? Yes.” Clark nudged her back gently. “Thanks for dragging me here. I needed it.”

“Hey, like I said, you’ve been there for me…”

Clark gave her a shrug and a small smile. Lois returned it, but as he looked away, they lapsed into silence.

It was strange. Usually Lois was eager to fill any silence with conversation, even just the sound of her own voice. But here, with the sound of 80s metal blaring from the jukebox in one corner, a baseball game on the television in the other, and bursts of laughter from all over the bar… it didn’t seem necessary.

Instead they sat side by side at the counter, Clark lost in thought, staring at nothing…

And Lois, staring at Clark.

He was an odd person, really. When they met four years ago, she’d dismissed him as a simple farm boy. Nice to look at, well-mannered, great parents. But after getting to know him better, she realized there was a lot more to Clark Kent than met the eye. And every once in a while she got a peek under those layers.

He seemed to be the epicenter of most of the bizarre events in Smallville. And to be truthful, most of the bizarre events in Metropolis, too. At first, she figured it all for some weird coincidence. Smallville, Kansas had the monopoly on weird. The more strange things happened, the more she started to file them away in her mental ‘Clark’ file – to be reexamined later. The only reason she hadn’t looked into his life more was the fact that Chloe seemed to trust him wholeheartedly. And anyone Chloe trusted, Lois trusted.

But still… there was something intriguing about him, something she couldn’t quite put her finger on. Lois tilted her head, eyebrows knitting together in thought…

Clark suddenly turned to look at her again, startling her with his vibrant green eyes. Those eyes crinkled in amusement at catching her staring at him. “What?”

She felt a rush of embarrassment, one she would never have felt if she had been caught staring at Jimmy or Lex, for instance. “Nothing,” she covered smoothly. At least she hoped it was smooth. Clark was too good at getting her off-balance. “Just thinking about all the stuff you’ve gone through in the last few years. Sometimes you look like you’re carrying the weight of the world on your shoulders, you know?”

“Sometimes I feel like I am.” For just a moment, his face filled with an inexplicable sadness.

Clark suddenly swigged back the last of his beer and stood up. “I’m going to get back to that research. Thanks for the beer.”

“Yeah, anytime you wanna knock back a few, I’m here for ya,” she returned with a smirk.

Clark put an arm around her shoulders and squeezed. “No really, Lois. You say you’re no good at this, but you’re a great friend.” He pulled away and gave her one of his sincere smiles, the one that probably made Lana and Chloe weak in the knees. It didn’t affect Lois that way at all. Of course, she was still sitting down.

With a wave, he turned away from her and left the bar.

She hadn’t realized that she had been staring distractedly at the exit until she felt a presence by her shoulder some minutes later. “Another shot?” Randy asked.

“No, I’m fine, thanks.”

What was she doing? Clark had a girlfriend, for God’s sake. A girlfriend in a coma. And he was her cousin’s best friend, even though she said she didn’t care for him in that way anymore. And he was… well, he was Smallville!

A new tune had started up on the jukebox, and she began to hum it before realizing what it was…

Is this love that I'm feeling
Is this the love that I've been searching for…

Not Whitesnake again… She swiveled toward the bartender with a jerk. “Hey, Randy? I changed my mind.”

“What can I get you?”

“Whiskey on the rocks. And make it a double.”

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

Is your birthday soon? Request a ficlet!


( 33 comments — Leave a comment )
May. 14th, 2008 05:15 pm (UTC)
Oh, wonderful and wonderful! I do like it when Lois gets to take a little time to slow down and, when Clark joins her?, it's perfect. What a wonderful coda to "Apocalypse". I will firmly believe this deepening relationship is what's in store for us next season. Thank you so much for my perfect birthday fic!
May. 14th, 2008 06:41 pm (UTC)
I sure hope it is in store! I would like nothing better. :D

I'm also really glad you liked it! Happy birthday!
May. 14th, 2008 05:22 pm (UTC)
Aww, I really like this. I don't read Smallville fic that often, but I do try to read everything my flist posts as best I can. I just love the end -- especially bringing Whitensnake into it. Hee. :)
May. 14th, 2008 06:44 pm (UTC)
Cool! It's funny, I didn't even know that you watched Smallville until we started setting up for the chat tomorrow!

What would a jukebox be in a Clois fic without Whitesnake? :D It'll always be 'their band.' *smirk*
(no subject) - pie_is_good - May. 14th, 2008 06:59 pm (UTC) - Expand
May. 14th, 2008 05:43 pm (UTC)
That was wonderful! It makes me very excited about season 8- where there is going to be Clois moments galore, no doubt! :)
May. 14th, 2008 06:47 pm (UTC)
I'm really excited about season 8, too! *twirls* I really look forward to tons of Clois. :)
May. 14th, 2008 06:05 pm (UTC)
This is perfect! I love that comfortable silence you have between the two of them, lost in their own thoughts. "It's not so good, but it's not all that bad either" vibe that I find very realistic and strangely endearing because it's so Lois. And she did manage to crack a smile out of him. This is a great moment between friends.

And major props for Whitesnake on the jukebox. :)
May. 14th, 2008 06:52 pm (UTC)
You really have the perfect icon there!

Being able to enjoy comfortable silences is one of the things I love in a good relationship.

What else but Whitesnake, eh? Hehehe.
May. 14th, 2008 07:23 pm (UTC)
Oh my goodness, I've been wanting to read a fic like this ever since that scene aired! It was just begging to be written. I loved it! ♥
May. 15th, 2008 07:35 pm (UTC)
Yay! I was really glad no one else beat me to it around here, actually! Thanks for the review. :)
May. 14th, 2008 07:26 pm (UTC)
OMG! This was amazing. I knew you would do a great job with this prompt and you didn't let me down!

I love how happy Lois was to get a smile from Clark. She's adorable.

And her doubting her feelings but staying in denial was win!

Great work! I really enjoyed this fic.
May. 15th, 2008 07:36 pm (UTC)
Thank you, you're so sweet. *hugs*

I just can't see Lois ever admitting her feelings for Clark until there's been a long internal struggle. Hee. :)
May. 14th, 2008 07:35 pm (UTC)
Did you hear that? That was a fangirl squee.
Your fic was great, I think that should have been added to the end of the episode!
Aaahhh... I'm anxious for the season to come when we're going to see that for real...
May. 15th, 2008 07:36 pm (UTC)
Oh, if only...

It will be nice to see a lot more of Lois and Clark working together next year. *squee*

Thanks for the review!
May. 14th, 2008 07:43 pm (UTC)
Haha!! XD Clark can kinda sneak up on ya', can't he? *snerk*

May. 15th, 2008 07:37 pm (UTC)
He certainly can! He's totally sneaky that way.... :)

May. 15th, 2008 11:24 am (UTC)
Awwww that is very cute! \o/ With Whitesnake! Oh, Lois.
May. 15th, 2008 07:38 pm (UTC)
Heh. I just had to include the Whitesnake! ;D

May. 15th, 2008 02:34 pm (UTC)
That song will always be associated with them now. I think it's great. I was thinking though, wouldn't it be great if they wrote that into the new season, with her actually remembering that 'fateful' day? I really liked this 'behind the scenes' story. Lois and her feelings are creeping in, just a little, and she ain't having it! Perfect!

Thanks, hon!:D
May. 15th, 2008 07:38 pm (UTC)
LOL, I'm glad. It's officially 'their song' now. *decides* And yes, I TOTALLY hope Lois will remember some of this stuff!
May. 24th, 2008 10:56 pm (UTC)
Awwww, so sweet and funny.

Loved this part:

Clark put an arm around her shoulders and squeezed. “No really, Lois. You say you’re no good at this, but you’re a great friend.” He pulled away and gave her one of his sincere smiles, the one that probably made Lana and Chloe weak in the knees. It didn’t affect Lois that way at all. Of course, she was still sitting down.

So, Lois is falling for Clark, huh? Loved. m:)
May. 25th, 2008 11:43 am (UTC)
Thanks! I think with the Season 8 sides, they are going to be showing a bit of a mutual attraction between them -- but I bet Clark and Lois will deny it for quite a while. :)
May. 25th, 2008 02:50 pm (UTC)
:DD I loved it! I love how Lois is falling for Clark and she wants to be in denial but it can only last so long! LOVEly work.:D
May. 25th, 2008 08:10 pm (UTC)
Thanks! Denial and Lois just go together, don't they? :)
(no subject) - mary_v - May. 25th, 2008 08:24 pm (UTC) - Expand
Jun. 18th, 2008 12:26 pm (UTC)
Hello, I thought I'd leave a comment, I liked this fic.
Jun. 18th, 2008 12:31 pm (UTC)
Well, hey! Thanks! :)

So did you just sign up here?
(no subject) - mysterious_p09 - Jun. 20th, 2008 03:27 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - htbthomas - Jun. 20th, 2008 03:44 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - mysterious_p09 - Jun. 20th, 2008 05:17 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - htbthomas - Jun. 20th, 2008 05:44 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - mysterious_p09 - Jun. 22nd, 2008 02:47 am (UTC) - Expand
( 33 comments — Leave a comment )

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