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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!


( 19 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 7th, 2008 11:43 pm (UTC)
Aww! sweet! makes me wish the episode had gone like that, too... Nice work. :D

You know, I was thinking... if Lex is gone, who'll be the new owner of the Daily Planet? They'll have a new one, won't they? So Clark can work there? ...iirc, as per comic book canon, Lex sold the Planet to Perry White for a dollar. And Perry eventually sold it to Bruce Wayne. ...dare I dream of just one, tiiiiny, tiiiiiny little Bat-reference? I think I'd have a stroke and drop dead on the spot.. (well, OK, maybe not that bad, but.. dammit.. it's so lame of them to not want to "confuse" the viewers by bringing in Brucie or Diana... *sighs heavily* and... /end rant)
Jul. 8th, 2008 12:07 am (UTC)
Ah, yes, if they'd only gotten to talk a little longer...

Luckily, we know Clark will be working there next season. About damn time. :)

I have no idea who will own the paper. I hope it's Perry, though I wouldn't be surprised if it's Oliver. And I'd love to see a tiny reference to Bruce myself!
Jul. 8th, 2008 12:07 am (UTC)
Aww!! I love this little moment of connection between them! :) Lois and Clark really are more alike than most people give them credit for. ^_^

Jul. 8th, 2008 12:15 am (UTC)
I think they really are a lot a like, though their personalities often made that harder to see. :)

Jul. 8th, 2008 12:46 am (UTC)
Now THIS is how the episode should've gone! You write both Lois and Clark so well! I love how Lois was so determined. She rocks.

Great work! I really enjoyed this one!
Jul. 8th, 2008 12:52 am (UTC)
Thanks - it's funny, I wanted to write Smallville Clois fic for so long, but until Lois started working at the DP, I never had any plot bunnies AT ALL. Thank goodness for the birthday fics. :)
Jul. 8th, 2008 01:34 am (UTC)
Hey! I really loved this fic. This was SO lacking, but I guess that would be a nice way for Lois to convince Clark and for them to beat around the bush of his secret once more... Neat!
Oh, I'm so sad you won't be taking requests for fics anymore... Mh.... My birthday is definintely not in July... Oh well....
Jul. 8th, 2008 09:50 am (UTC)
The scene was so lacking? I agree. I can't wait to see how Clark explains to Lois why he's decided to take that job at the Planet after all. :)

Yes, the time is just about up - I will be writing a few more here and there... but for people who missed out on the first go around. Hopefully the one I wrote for you still brings some good memories. :)
Jul. 8th, 2008 01:47 am (UTC)
Hey, Barb, just got in from my birthday dinner.

Thanks for my birthday fic, Barb. That was awesome. I thought it was perfect, just the way it should have continued between them. And maybe it did happen that way, because we all know he's going to take that application and join the Planet!! Lois was so determined to get him to see beyond the farm, and for just a moment or two he did just that!! She does leave him speechless sometimes!! Great work, loved it!!

Thanks, again.
Jul. 8th, 2008 09:51 am (UTC)
You're welcome!

I think Lois is one of the only people who can leave him speechless now... she's the only one who challenges him the way I think he should be! :)

Glad you liked it, and hopefully you had a fabulous day!
Jul. 8th, 2008 03:22 am (UTC)
Oh, I like your AU what-if scenario, here! Really great Lois and Clark interaction.

I can't wait for season eight to begin!
Jul. 8th, 2008 09:52 am (UTC)
I agree! All the things we've been hearing about season 8 and Clark working at the DP have really been exciting. :D

Thanks for the review!
Jul. 8th, 2008 04:50 am (UTC)
Nice fic :) I remember when I was watching the episode I nearly tossed my remote at the TV when Chloe barged in. Good job of showing us what could have been said then.

I also liked that when Clark wants Lois to be careful around Lex the look on her face. She looks like she is sizing Clark up and not just to really bust his chops like she usually does. Clark does roll his eyes but I dunno...Erica did a good job of conveying something more going on there.
Jul. 8th, 2008 09:54 am (UTC)
Thanks - that was pretty darn frustrating, but hey, what is fic for? ;)

I really love Erica's acting - she can say so much with a look. :)
Jul. 10th, 2008 03:11 am (UTC)
:) I'm on a fic hunt so if comment on a bunch of yours, that's the why of it, ha.

I loved this scene in Arctic and your addition only makes it better. Le sigh. Can't wait for next season, seriously. ...
Jul. 10th, 2008 09:59 am (UTC)
Hey, punch me if I ever complain about comments!! :D

I can't wait either. I keep reading every set of spoilers that comes out...
Jul. 10th, 2008 02:03 pm (UTC)
Mmmn, spoilers.
Jul. 18th, 2008 08:25 pm (UTC)
I do love that simplicity of that scene and with Lois looking out for her friend, they've come a full circle there from Commencement, when they had last discussed about the future. Clark is perfect too, still vague but very clear at the same time -- all he wanted is to help, and that mention of him thinking about his own end someday breaks my heart a little.

Fantastic as usual!
Jul. 19th, 2008 12:50 am (UTC)
Thanks! I'm really glad that Clark is going to start at the Planet. It's really nice to see the mythos finally coming together. :) So writing this helped me see it a little closer.
( 19 comments — Leave a comment )

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