Barbara (htbthomas) wrote,

Birthday Fic: Promise, 1/1

Title: Promise
Author: htbthomas
Fandom: Smallville, AU rewrite of a scene from 7.20 “Arctic”
Characters: Clark Kent, Lois Lane
Rating: PG
Word Count: 957 words
Beta: mark_clark
Summary: What if Chloe hadn’t interrupted Lois and Clark at the beginning of “Arctic”?

Author’s Note: A birthday fic for babettew54.

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

The doorbell sounded as Clark was pulling a red T-shirt over his head. He threw a quick glance through the walls which separated him from the front door: Lois.

The doorbell rang again, as insistent as a doorbell could sound. As he lightly jogged down the stairs, she rang the bell five more times.

The door opened before his hand had touched the handle. “Hi…”

“Hey!” Lois barged past him. “Get the lead out, Smallville, opportunity is knocking on your door.”

“Come on in, Lois…”

She completely ignored his sarcasm. “Big news, an intern just got promoted to Chloe’s old desk.”

He frowned, wondering where this was going. “Am I supposed to be happy that someone took my best friend’s job?”

“Absolutely! ‘Cause it opens up a spot in the bullpen. And guess whose name is written all over it?” She waited with an expectant smile.

He simply stared back at her.

“‘Clark Kent?’” she answered, as if the answer should have been obvious. She pressed several sheets of paper into his hands. “I’ve got your application right here.”

“Heh. That’s never gonna happen.” He handed the application right back to her, brushing past her to grab his jacket. “Now if you’ll excuse me, I have chores to do.”

“Seriously, Clark, don’t you think you’re destined for greater things in life than working on a farm?” Disdain mixed with incredulity in her voice.

But even Lois should know why working at the Daily Planet was a no-go. “Even if I wanted the job, Lois, I’d never work for Lex Luthor.”

Her huff of frustration showed she didn’t really know. “Okay… then why were you such great friends with the guy?” She leaned back against the table, her eyes softening with curiosity. “Looking into Lex’s past, I found out just how far you two go back.”

Clark opened his mouth, but no words came out. Just what should he tell her?

She persisted softly, “You’re nothing alike. Why were you so close for so long?”

A thousand scenes flashed through his mind. All the times when he thought he was seeing a different Lex, a Lex who had put his Luthor background behind him… and the disappointment that always followed. “Sometimes… people don’t turn out to be what you thought they were.” Furthermore, with Lex came danger to the people he cared about. Clark moved toward her. “Lois, if you’re going to continue working for Lex, promise me you’ll be careful.”

She looked less than impressed at his concern. “You know, if I didn’t know any better, Smallville, I’d think you were worried about me.”

He rolled his eyes at her narrowed ones. Silence stretched as he once again tried to decide what to say. She could make him feel so uncomfortable sometimes! “Uh…”

Lois smirked.

“Well, of course I’m worried about you, Lois,” he replied noncommittally. “You know first hand how dangerous Lex can be – especially if you get in his way.”

“Hey,” she said, taking a step back. “I can take care of myself. I’m there until I can dig up just what’s going on with that sleazeball.” She paced past him, gesturing in the air. “Who else but me is going to do it? And maybe Jimmy. None of those other chumps at the Planet have the balls to step up, now that Chlo’s gone.”

She turned back to him. “That’s why I’m there, Smallville. I mean, maybe I can’t be out ‘saving the world’ on a daily basis like Oliver, but I can make my little corner of it a better place.”

For a moment, her fiery diatribe left him speechless again. Clark looked down at his hands. There were so many things he could say to her right now… That he had already helped save the world a couple times over, but that it never seemed to be enough. That he still felt driven to help over and over again, despite the personal consequences.

That he feared his own end was coming sooner rather than later… and that Lois might meet the same fate with her crusader ways…

“You know, Smallville,” Lois said gently, somehow close to him again. “I always pegged you for the same kind of person. I mean, I’ve only known you for four years, but I’m not wrong, am I?”

He looked back into her hazel eyes, warm with an unconcealed concern. “No, Lois, you’re not… but maybe I need to go about making the world a ‘better place’ in my own way.”

By taking care of Brainiac. By stopping Lex from learning he was The Traveler.

“By chucking hay bales into the loft?” she teased him with a tilt of her head.

“No…” He shook his head with a grin. “But if I promise to think about it, will you leave me alone?”

She snapped the application in the air in front of him. “Only if you take this, too. I could really use your help around there.”

As much as he hated the idea of working closer with Lex, maybe she had the right idea. And maybe he could keep a closer eye on Lex this way, too… as soon as the whole Veritas problem was solved.

“Fine.” He snatched the paperwork from her outstretched hand.

Lois smiled in triumph.

Just then, the door opened and they both turned to see Chloe. Her face lit in surprise at Clark’s visitor. “Hey, Lois. Can I talk to Clark for a second?”

Lois nodded with satisfaction. “Yeah, I think we’re done here. You better keep that promise. All right?” She sauntered out the door, giving Chloe a friendly elbow nudge on the way out.

Chloe watched her go and then turned back to Clark with a tilted eyebrow. “Promise?”

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

This is where I usually remind you that you may request a ficlet, but prompt submissions are coming to a close! I’ll be finishing my commitment up on Aug. 3rd. ♥ If you have a birthday in July, this is your last chance to ask!
Tags: birthday fic, fanfiction, smallville

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