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Birthday fic: The Packing List, 1/1

Title: The Packing List
Author: htbthomas
Fandom: Superman movieverse
Rating: PG
Word Count: 1,252 words
Summary: It’s always difficult to figure out what to take on a business trip... A slightly-AU missing scene from Superman II: The Donner Cut.
Author’s Notes: A birthday ficlet for kalalanekent. Her prompt: “I’d love to see something Original-verse, since I’m the only one writing it. *LOL*” Thanks to mark_clark and van_el for the beta as always.

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

Lois scrubbed at her hair, warm, soapy water sluicing down her body – she wanted to make sure she got every disgusting bit of melon out of her hair.  Every so often, another watermelon seed would plink to the shower floor, and she would pour another handful of shampoo onto her hair and savagely start over. To think, some people actually purchased fruit-scented shampoo, or squeezed fresh juice into their hair. Lois wasn’t sure whether she could even stomach juice inside her belly at this point.

Be honest with yourself, Lois Lane, the realist inside her brain chided.  You’re less disgusted with the fruit that got all over you than you are with yourself. And it was true.  She’d thrown herself out of a window thirty stories up just to get Clark Kent to admit to her that he was Superman.  Stupid, stupid, stupid. She rubbed at her skin with Ivory soap until her skin turned pink.  She’d been so sure!  It was infuriating, especially since her reporter’s instinct was rarely wrong...

When she felt completely scoured from head to toe – which wasn’t until the water had started turning cold – she turned off the spigot, grabbed a towel from the rack and stepped out of the shower.  Catching her reflection in the bathroom mirror, she studied it for a moment, occluded as it was by the steam on the glass.  Was she really that dense?  Did Superman blind her so much that she couldn’t see the truth clearly anymore?

She spun on her heel and stalked into the bedroom.  She had one hour to pack and get ready for the trip to Niagara Falls – no sense in wallowing.  Still, she took an odd pleasure in yanking her suitcase from the bottom of the closet and tossing items into it more roughly than necessary.

First, a couple pairs of shoes - one dressy, one athletic, a pair of boots.  She would wear a pair of work pumps during the trip to save space.  Next, some outfits to wear.  She needed a traveling outfit for the drive, something that screamed ‘bride.’  She looked at and rejected almost every suit she had, then settled on a white one with a pleated skirt.  She’d forgotten that she even owned it... had she bought it for Lucy’s wedding or something?  With a white silk blouse, a flower pin on the breast, and oh! that white hat with an upturned brim she had hidden in a hat box on the top shelf, she would pass.  But she made sure to pack a couple of pantsuits to change into once they were there.

But she also needed something dressy to wear to the dinners at night.  Her fingers brushed across the dress she had worn when she interviewed Superman.  She had never felt more like a desirable woman as she had that night on the balcony, and later in his arms as they soared through the clouds.  Her eyes closed in memory of that feeling, and she started to remove it from its hanger... Then she stopped.  No, it would just feel wrong to wear it in the presence of any other man, especially Clark!  Her face heated again with embarrassment and the flimsy material dropped from her fingers.

Another dress caught her eye then, a blue chiffon number with ruffles at the collar.  What is it with you and blue, Lois? She shook her head at her unconscious choices.  But neither Clark nor Superman had seen her in it, so it was probably the best selection.   Clark would probably get all choked up, trying to keep his crush to himself, but she knew his true feelings would be shining out of his blue eyes anyway.  She might as well feel like a woman adored at the honeymoon banquet, it would make her job of acting just that much easier.  With a nod, she slung it over her arm with the other articles of clothing.

The anger was finally starting to dissipate.  Lois had never been one to let emotions get in the way of her job. With brusque efficiency, she gathered up her toiletries, made sure she had her reporter paraphernalia such as her notepad, tape recorder, etc... and did a quick check around her bedroom for anything she might have missed. 

Her eyes fell on the nightstand, lingering there for a long moment.  Should I take it...? It was a crazy thought.  Why would she need it during a perfectly harmless exposé on honeymoon scams? She shook her head, dismissing the thought.  Lois closed the latches on her suitcase and slid it off of the bed.  Carrying the suitcase to the foyer, she set it beside the door, and then looked at the time.  Clark would be here to pick her up in about fifteen minutes – she’d been more efficient than she thought.

Grabbing her purse from the bar, she took it outside to the balcony. Unzipping the top, she pulled out a pack of cigarettes and her lighter. She tapped one cigarette out into her hand, set the pack down on a table, and strolled over to the railing.  Lighting the cigarette, she took a long, slow drag. Idly, she wondered whether Superman had heard about her little stunt this morning.  She chuckled.  Of course he has, he always knows about everything that happens to me... If not for that awning, she would have been a Lois-shaped smear on the pavement - would he have mourned for her?  Or derided her stupidity?

Yep, that awning was my superhero today... But suddenly a thought struck her, and she removed the cigarette from between her lips.  That awning - at the rate she had been falling, she should have ripped a large hole through it, or at the very least, broken several limbs.  Time had seemed to slow as she was falling - but what if it had really been her speed?  Especially if someone had wanted to make sure that the only thing she bruised was her pride...

The doorbell rang. Lois’ eyes narrowed.  Grinding out the cigarette quickly, she shoved everything back into her purse, and went to the door to press the intercom button.  “Yes?”

“Uh, L–Lois?  I’m here to pick you up.  Are you ready?”

“Not quite.  But I’ll be down in a minute or two, all right?”

“O–okay.  Don’t be long.”


Lois walked quickly back to the nightstand, pulled the drawer open and looked at the object which gleamed inside.  As clear as day, she realized her mistake.  It wasn’t her life she needed to put in danger, not at all. 

Lifting the silver pistol from the drawer, she spun the barrel to be sure there was no live ammunition inside.  Then she placed the gun and the box of blanks at the bottom of her purse.

The buzzer sounded again, and she smiled grimly.  “I’m coming, Clark.”

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

Is your birthday soon?  Request a ficlet!


( 33 comments — Leave a comment )
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Dec. 11th, 2007 05:14 pm (UTC)
*nods sadly*
That girl really never gives up...
Dec. 11th, 2007 07:28 pm (UTC)
Re: *nods sadly*
Nope! And it's why we love her! ♥ :)
Dec. 11th, 2007 05:45 pm (UTC)
Nice one!! That a very great wink to the donner cut version!
Dec. 11th, 2007 07:29 pm (UTC)
Thanks! I always wondered why she happened to have a gun ready... :D
Dec. 11th, 2007 06:00 pm (UTC)
Hah! I loved that ending so danged much! Lois is dogged in pursuit of the truth (and Superman). I also loved the nod to her knowing about Clark's crush -- too many stories paint her as oblivious. Lovely work!
Dec. 11th, 2007 07:29 pm (UTC)
I like it when Lois is un-oblivious, though I must admit I have written her that way myself. *shifty eyes* Thanks!
Dec. 11th, 2007 06:17 pm (UTC)
Niiiiice! Really good piece here, Barb! I love that it's a sneak peek into the mind of Lois Lane as she tries to set out her next little plan... and, since the first was so spontaneous, this one just... works! Knowing what the outcome will be makes it all the more better. Great job!
Dec. 11th, 2007 07:31 pm (UTC)
Wow, now is THAT the perfect icon here, or what?

You gotta wonder just what was going through her mind. But I LOVE that revelation. It's my favorite ever.
Dec. 11th, 2007 06:58 pm (UTC)
Oh this was wonderful! I always loved Margot Kidder as Lois (and LOL remembering the 'bride outfit'). I've never seen the Donner Cut but I need to get my hands on it.
Dec. 11th, 2007 07:32 pm (UTC)
You definitely must! It's SUCH a good version, really makes me wonder how the rest of the series would have gone with Donner still in charge. *sigh*

Thanks for the review!
(no subject) - fairfax_verde - Dec. 13th, 2007 02:12 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - htbthomas - Dec. 13th, 2007 05:15 pm (UTC) - Expand
Dec. 11th, 2007 07:50 pm (UTC)
Aha! Perfect. I adore the Donner cut! Wow, what SII could have been! *sigh*
Dec. 11th, 2007 08:42 pm (UTC)
I know! If only... I suppose series all have their ups and downs. Let's root for a satisfying sequel to SR, whenever it happens...
Dec. 11th, 2007 08:15 pm (UTC)
THERE'S our Margot!Lois that we all know and love (and thanks to Superman Returns, for some such as myself) miss!

I was glad to review, loved the ending, and am almost certain the birthday girl in question will adore it!
Dec. 11th, 2007 08:44 pm (UTC)
Thanks! She's wonderful to write. I'm glad that kalalanekent requested Original-verse, or I might not have written it! I haven't done much outside of SR. It's fun!
Dec. 11th, 2007 09:23 pm (UTC)
That was awesome - I really enjoyed that. :)

Dec. 11th, 2007 09:46 pm (UTC)
Thanks! It was fun - hopefully it'll be a nice end-of-celebration treat for Lois! :)
Dec. 12th, 2007 01:20 am (UTC)
Oh this is a great one, adding to what was in the movie and her motive for the pistol. I like the last line, cause I can hear her saying it "I'm coming, Clark."....

very fun
Dec. 12th, 2007 01:22 am (UTC)
Thanks! I was hoping to capture a bit of that tenacious Lois here. Thanks for reviewing! ♥
Dec. 12th, 2007 04:46 am (UTC)
I love you so much it hurts! Oh, Mom...

What can I possibly say? This was a snapshot of utter beauty. You are so spot-on here Mank is getting a run for his money!

I'm not sure that it's fair to single anything out as a favorite.

I could see her just steaming in that shower, gritting her teeth in anger and humiliation. And the plinks just had me cracking up. Oh, she's mad! *snicker*

Love the mention of the 'Interview dress' and just how personal she considers it. I told you that mine still has hers, right? Packed away in a garment bag that no one knows about. :D And geez, the clothes they put her in for the honeymoon sequence. *headdesk* So bad. *snickers*

Oh, Clark, she always knows you're in love with her! *LOL* And oh, Lois! My poor love, thinking herself a fool and worrying about Superman's perception of her. *hugs her*

And you should have seen my grin when I got to the 'Hey, wait a minute...' moment here. Or heard the cackle. Poor Clark. Sweetheart, you have no idea what the next twenty-four to thirty-eight hours are going to be like.

And this is the cherry of the top of a Black Forest cake for me! A perfect finish for a perfect day! *hugs again* I love you!
Dec. 13th, 2007 02:35 am (UTC)
Aw, I feel so loved! ♥

Is it funny that I had a moment of "Mank? Who?" LOL.

I was definitely hoping that I had gotten Margot!Lois right just for you. *breathes a sigh of relief*

Now let the rest of your birthday week be filled with sunshiny joy!
Dec. 12th, 2007 09:30 pm (UTC)
Ahhh, this was awesome! I still haven't seen the Donner Cut (must. get. hands. on it!) but I know generally what happens in it, and this was an awesome missing scene. :D I loved all of your vivid descriptions--Lois fuming and taking it out on herself in the shower, then the packing, with her going through her shoes and her clothes. Loved seeing how much Superman influenced her dress selections. *grin* Aww, and this was such a cute line:

Clark would probably get all choked up, trying to keep his crush to himself, but she knew his true feelings would be shining out of his blue eyes anyway.

Poor Clark, trying to hide his feelings and utterly failing, lol. And I just love anything about how expressive Clark's eyes are. *squee*

And what a great build up to the ending, with Lois considering the gun for security purposes only at first, then realizing how suspicious her miraculous landing really was, and grabbing the gun after all before she meets Clark.

The buzzer sounded again, and she smiled grimly. “I’m coming, Clark.”

Eee, does Lois kick ass here. :D

Anyway, I loved reading this! Bravo! *applauds*

Dec. 13th, 2007 02:38 am (UTC)
Omigosh, you so should get a copy. It's so great for Lois fans, and a lot of the other scenes are much, much better as well.

I can't go a fic without mentioning his eyes either! (Or a billion times... it was a quibble with DV for a reviewer... LOL) What is that, anyway?

Thanks for the review!
Jan. 16th, 2008 09:50 pm (UTC)
I love this little ficlet :D Watermelon seeds...hilarious :D I think you did a great job with her emotions and her evil plotting -- it flowed really well :D I really enjoyed it! Great job, B!!
Jan. 16th, 2008 09:56 pm (UTC)
Thanks, Tage! I hadn't done much with the original movieverse, and Lois' birthday gave me the perfect chance! *hugs*
Mar. 6th, 2008 04:55 am (UTC)
I really love stories set in the first two movies! Kidder's Lois has such a distinctive feel to her, and you capture her fierceness and tenacity (and underlying loneliness) so well.

She might as well feel like a woman adored at the honeymoon banquet, it would make her job of acting just that much easier.

See, that's such a lovely line, so wistful underneath the bitterness. *sighs* I love the way you set up her way of thinking as she works through events...
Mar. 6th, 2008 10:59 am (UTC)
I really like writing stories like this, too, but it took this prompt to get me to visit SII again! :)

Margot really is my favorite Lois, so it wasn't hard to evoke her -- she was so expressive. ♥

Thanks again!
(Deleted comment)
May. 13th, 2008 09:37 am (UTC)
Thank you! I really adore Margot's Lois - she's probably my baseline inspiration for all versions of the character. :)
May. 18th, 2008 04:33 pm (UTC)
Aw, how did I ever miss this! O_O

Gotcha! ^_~ I love this little missing scene... Of course, she should have gone back to grab the blue dress that she'd vetoed, too, just to mess with Clark's head. ^_~
May. 18th, 2008 06:50 pm (UTC)
I don't know! I could have sworn you reviewed it, but hey! Better late than never!

If I'd thought about Lois getting the dress, too, I SO would have put it in. :D
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