Three's A Crowd

By Kimberly

Summary: Lucy Lane crashes at Lois and Clark's place for a while, and it doesn't take long before her brother-in-law is ready to climb the walls. Very funny story!

*Author's note: This story has also come out through the Krypton Club, so if you're a member you probably already read it. <g> It takes place when Lois and Clark are married. It assumes that Lucy lives in Metropolis and was still working at the restaurant in which she had been a waitress in "Metallo." It also assumes that Ellen Lane, Lois' mother, doesn't live very far from Metropolis. Also, this story has virtually no A-plot, so consider yourself warned.<g> The characters in this story are the property of Warner Bros., DC Comics, ABC, and probably many other people, as well. Used without permission, all ideas expressed are the author's, etc. etc. All comments are welcome and appreciated! :)


The moment was incredible; the sky, earth, and clouds all seemed to spin in a giant pinwheel of brilliance and vibrance. Lois sighed with pleasure, smiling as Clark set her gently on the ground. They had flown into the sunset, drifting among clouds of pink and orange, and kissed until the colors of the sky had muted into the soft darkness of twilight.

"So," Clark whispered teasingly, putting his arm around her shoulders and starting them both down the short street which led to their home, "I'm assuming by that smile that you had a good time tonight."

"Mm-hmm," Lois murmured emphatically. "It was wonderful."

"*Anytime* with you is wonderful." Clark kissed her softly, adding emphasis to his words.

Lois responded enthusiastically to his kiss, then took his hand. "Come on. Let's go in the house. As much as I love where this conversation is heading, I'll love it more when we're out of Mrs. Bartlett's range of vision."

Clark looked across the street. "She's not even looking this way."

Lois peeked above his shoulder. "She was a minute ago. She pretends to be watering her flowers, but I know what that's all about. It would kill her if she missed anything that happened in this neighborhood."

Clark, with his usual habit of not seeing anything bad in people, came to her defense. "Maybe she really is watering her flowers."

Lois arched an eyebrow. "Ten times in one day?"

Clark laughed. "All right, Mrs. Kent. I guess you do have a point there."

Lois smiled triumphantly. "I love being right."

"You don't have to tell me that."

They laughed again, and Lois playfully shoved him toward the house.


RRRiiinnnggg!!! Lois reached over to the side table and slapped at the alarm, trying to get the irritating sound to stop. When the clock wouldn't oblige, she sleepily tossed it to the ground. Intricate clock mechanisms sprawled haphazardly across the floor, but the ringing continued.

"Lois," Clark informed her, "that's the *doorbell* ringing."

"Oh," Lois looked sheepish.

Clark started getting out of bed. "We're going to keep the alarm on my side of the bed from now on. This is what, our *fifth* clock in one month?"

Lois, too, began climbing out of bed. "Like it's my fault that the clock, doorbell, and phone all ring. Maybe if they sounded completely different from one another, I wouldn't have this problem."

Clark laughed, kissing her out of her morning bad humor. Since they'd been married, Lois had complained more than once about his perpetual pleasant morning disposition, to which he had replied that if they both awakened in her mood, they'd kill each other in a week.

The ringing still continued, causing the kiss to end abruptly. "I'll go see who's at the door," Lois offered, "while you start breakfast."

"Sure," Clark smiled. "Anything to keep you out of the kitchen."

Lois tossed a pillow at him, then pulled on her robe and headed downstairs.

Clark, meanwhile, showered at superspeed, then took the back staircase down into the kitchen, ready to begin preparing his mother's famous blueberry pancakes.


"I'm coming," Lois yelled through the door, already angry at whoever was behind it for causing the demise of yet another defenseless alarm clock. She looked through the peephole and gasped in surprise. "Lucy!" she exclaimed, pulling open the door. "What are you doing here?"

Lucy smiled brightly. "Hey, Sis! Where's that brother-in-law of mine?"

"He's right here," Clark announced, coming in from the kitchen. "How are you doing?"

Lucy hugged them both, chattering on and on about the most insignificant things, making it seem as though this was just an ordinary visit. Clark, however, having just x-rayed her car, had seen the suitcases in the trunk and was now having some bad feelings about where all this was going.

Lois cut through Lucy's enthusiastic exclamations over their new sofa; she had not lived years with Lucy for nothing. "Lucy, what's really going on? I'm sure you didn't come all the way across town at this hour to admire our furniture."

Lucy swallowed nervously. "All right, here's the deal. I need a place to stay. Just for a week. Three weeks, tops."

"A place to stay?!! Why?"

Lucy caught the scent of the blueberry pancakes. "Can we talk about this over breakfast? I'm starved."

Lois nodded her head jerkily, and Lucy barged into the kitchen. Clark caught Lois by the arm before she could follow. "She cannot stay here, Lois."

"Let's just see what she has to say."

Clark, knowing how useless it was to argue with Lois, said nothing and simply walked briskly over to the stove, where he served them each a small stack of pancakes.

"All right, Lucy. Spill it." Lois said in her best 'big sister' voice.

Lucy dove into her story between mouthfuls of pancake, adding sweeping hand gestures when needed. "Ricardo and I got into a huge fight. He says I ruined his life. Did you ever hear anything so *stupid*?"

"Wait a minute," interrupted Clark. "Who's Ricardo?"

"The Latin American dancer I've been living with."

Lois started rubbing her temples. "I think I'm going to need some aspirin," she muttered under her breath.

"We met at a club a couple weeks ago…"

"You're living with someone you've only known a few weeks?!! God, Lucy, what are you thinking?"

Lucy glared at her sister. "Lois, spare me the lecture. I'm trying to tell you a story here."

Lois opened her mouth, on the verge of completely losing her temper, but was saved by a small kick in the shin from Clark.

"Anyway," continued Lucy, "he lives in this great loft, really big. I thought it would be the perfect place for my band to rehearse in."

"Band?" Clark asked, seeing Lois was not about to say anything.

"Yeah, I'm in this great alternative band. That guy I spent Christmas with a couple years ago, from California, he started it and asked me to be a singer. Anyway, we had been practicing at Paul's house, but he got mono and had to quit, so I suggested we use Ricardo's place. The landlord wasn't too happy about it, and he revoked Ricardo's lease. Like it's my fault that his landlord can't appreciate our sound! So Ricardo broke up with me, but I was getting kind of sick of him, so it's no big deal. I just need somewhere to stay until I get a new place."

Lois, who had been frequently rolling her eyes this entire time, looked angrily at her flighty younger sister. "Why don't you stay in a hotel or something?"

"Using what for money?" Lucy queried.

"What about your job, at the restaurant?"

"Oh, that," Lucy sniffed, waving away the job with a sweep of her hand. "They fired me. Seems some customer complained about my 'attitude'. If people can't figure out what they want to eat, I'm not going to stand there all night waiting. It's not my problem."

"Those famous Lane people skills," Clark whispered under his breath.

"As soon as I find another job, I can get another place to stay. Please, Lois."

"What about Mom?"

"Mom?" Lucy laughed bitterly. "She is *still* mad about that security guard-jail thing. She says she's not bailing me out of trouble anymore. And Dad, who knows where he is now. Last I heard he was at some university in California building more robots."

Clark started pulling Lois out of her chair. "Lois and I need to talk about this. Excuse us."

"Well?" he looked at Lois expectantly as soon as they were out of Lucy's earshot.

"Well what?"

"What do you want to do? I mean, who knows how long it's going to take your sister to get a job? She never did get around to finishing college."

Lois looked up at him. "Clark, she's my sister. I can't just throw her out onto the street, no matter how mad she makes me. And believe me, I'm mad! She is so irresponsible. First she's living with Ricardo, then she's in a band, pretty soon she'll be in Gotham City living with Batman as his loyal sidekick. Not that there's anything so great about Batman. Dressing up as a bat? What does that have to do with fighting crime?"

Clark held up his hand to stop Lois' babbling, while smiling inwardly at the same time. He did love to see her babble. "All right, she can stay. But no more than a few weeks."

"Thank you," Lois gave him a quick kiss.

"Thanks for what?"

Lois grinned wickedly over her shoulder as she headed back to the kitchen. "Thanks for giving in so easily. We both knew we'd eventually do things my way, but sometimes you can be *so* difficult about it!"

Clark just smiled at her.


In a few days it seemed as though Lucy had been living with them for years—centuries, in Clark's mind. Neither he nor Lois had fully thought about the impact an outsider would have in their life. This point was made painfully clear on Lucy's second day in the house.

They had just sat down to dinner when Clark got The Look on his face.

"What is it?" Lois whispered as she placed a basket of rolls on the table.

"Alarm at S.T.A.R. Labs," Clark mouthed, glancing uneasily in Lucy's direction. Fortunately Lucy was completely absorbed in calculating the calories in her gravy and hadn't noticed anything.

"Go," Lois mouthed back, trying to rapidly think of a cover story. She gave Clark a quick kiss on the cheek as he sprinted from the table, then turned to the questioning gaze of her sister.

"Man, was he in a hurry! What's up?"

"Umm, well, he just remembered that he was supposed to, ummm, meet a source tonight." Lois began cutting her roast beef into minuscule pieces, hoping that Lucy would accept the flimsy excuse, but knowing full well that she wouldn't.

"A source? About what?"

"Look, Lucy," Lois dropped her knife angrily onto her plate, "it's really none of your business, OK? Forget about it."

Lucy just shook her head and went back to her meal.

"But if you want to talk," Lois went on, with an edge to her voice, "why don't you tell me how this great job search of yours is going? I have yet to see you look at the classifieds."

Lucy narrowed her eyes. "It's only been two days, you know. I'll get around to it."

Lois seriously doubted the validity of that statement but wisely said nothing further. She did, however, mentally note that things had been a lot easier when they were kids, when Lucy would run up to her room at the slightest provocation instead of just sitting there, causing tension.


A week into Lucy's visit Lois and Clark both felt as if they had been put through the wringer. Lucy and Lois were constantly bickering over every little thing, Clark had a terrible time getting out for emergencies, and Lucy had virtually taken over the house, putting dirty laundry on the back of every chair and having "rehearsals" with her band which lasted all day and into the night. Clark and Lois had even begun arguing more than usual, carrying all the tension with them to work, much to the delight of Perry and the rest of the Daily Planet staff.

"I don't know how much more of this I can put up with," Clark complained as they got into bed and turned out the lights. "You and Lucy are barely speaking, she always has strange people over here, we have to constantly be on guard… I'm sick of trying to think up excuses when I'm at home. It's hard enough thinking up cover stories at work."

"Well, excuses have never been your forte, you know, Clark," Lois teased, lacing her fingers with his. "I mean, you've been known to use 'getting a cheese-of-the-month club shipment' and 'going out for choco-chocolate-monster-chip ice cream'."

Clark laughed. "Hey, that ice cream thing was your idea!"

Lois pretended to be shocked. "Me? Come up with something like that? Please!"

Clark pulled Lois close to him. "I'm sorry I've been so tense about Lucy being here."

Lois snuggled onto his chest. "Well, it hasn't exactly been the best time of my life, either. I forgot what living with Lucy is like. I mean, I love my sister, but she can be so aggravating. Funny, I always thought we got along so well growing up. Maybe I'm just remembering it the way I wanted it to be, not the way it actually was."

"Well, hopefully she won't be here much longer. I got Jimmy to send out copies of her resume to anyone who'd take one."

Lois smiled. "How'd you get Jimmy to do that?"

"I promised him that I'd fix him up with that new stringer Perry hired."

Lois yawned. "Well, unless we want to be fired, we better get some sleep. All this tension around here is exhausting."

Lois was asleep as soon as her head hit the pillow, but she was up again in no time. Lucy was prowling around, obviously looking for something. Bumps and slamming doors could be heard up and down the hall.

"I'm going to kill her," Lois whispered. "Are you up, Clark? Clark?" Lois rolled over, and saw to her horror that Clark was definitely up. Up near the ceiling, that is.

"Great. That's just great," Lois muttered. She could hear the noises getting closer, which meant that pretty soon Lucy was going to be sneaking into their room to find whatever it was she was looking for. "Why didn't we ever get around to fixing the lock on the door?!! If she comes in here and sees this…"

Lois stood up on the bed, trying to awaken Clark. All her efforts were to no avail. She knew that Lucy wouldn't even hesitate to barge into their room, and she also knew that Clark wasn't about to budge. He rarely sleep-floated; it only happened when he was having a vividly-real dream. But when it did occur, waking him up was practically impossible.

The footsteps in the hall came right up to their door. Lois could hear the knob turning. In a panic, she slapped Clark as hard as she could. Startled, Clark's eyes shot open and he began to fall, dragging Lois down to the floor with him. Like a leaden weight, Clark hit the floor with a loud thud, and Lois dropped on top of him.

Lucy, hearing the thud, hurried into the room. "Are you guys OK? I was looking for a tape player to play my relaxation tape when I …" Lucy's eyes had adjusted to the dark, and she saw her sister and brother-in-law on the floor. Thinking she had just committed the worst kind of faux pas, Lucy mumbled some apologies and fled to her room.

Clark and Lois got up shakily from the hard wooden floor. "What just happened?" Clark wondered as he crawled back into bed.

"You were sleep-floating, and I had to wake you up. Lucy was looking around and about to come in here. How would I have explained you up on the ceiling? After I slapped you, you started falling, and I guess I just came along for the ride."

"Are you OK? I didn't mean to drag you down to the floor, too. It just sorta…happened."

Lois snuggled back into bed. "I'm fine. I'm just lucky I wasn't the one to hit the floor first."

They both laughed.

"Anyway," Lois continued sleepily, "that must have been some dream you were having."

"It was."

"What was it about?"

Clark yawned. "Us, of course. What else is there?"

Lois thought rapidly. "It wasn't that one where you're the sheriff and I'm the saloon dancer, was it?"

"I said *dream*, not *fantasy*," Clark replied indignantly.

"Oh, right. Well, what was it about?"

Clark yawned again. "We have to get up for work in a few hours. I'll tell you about it tomorrow, OK?"

"You'll forget it," Lois whined.

"Trust me," Clark grinned. "I'm not going to forget it."

Lois playfully swatted him, then settled into the crook of his arm and went to sleep.


The next morning was a busy one at The Planet. Lois and Clark had been investigating the burglary at S.T.A.R. Labs, and they had just gotten a break in their story.

"Thanks, Dr. Klein," Clark set the phone down with a smile of satisfaction.

"What?" Lois called across the room.

"Great news. They were able to retrieve the film from their security camera, and they have a positive I.D. on the thieves."

Lois came over and sat on Clark's desk. "I thought their cameras were damaged by the thieves."

"Apparently they had a back-up security camera system that no one knew about. Even Dr. Klein didn't know about it. Anyway, it was an inside job. Their new lab technician Frank Boyd and two other scientists who used to work at Lex Labs were behind it. The police have the two scientists in custody, but they don't have Frank Boyd, and the scientists won't talk about him or what they were planning to do with the stolen merchandise."

Lois thought rapidly. "All they took were a couple of petri dishes. Maybe they were trying to make some kind of chemical weapon or virus."

Clark leaned back in his chair. "Well, Dr. Klein said the petri dishes were growing some kind of bacteria that they were going to test a new medicine on. He thinks that maybe they wanted to sabotage the tests."

"To further some new medicine of their own?"

Clark grinned. "Very good, Mrs. Kent. At least that's how the theory goes. The police have a small lead on Boyd, though, so this probably won't take very long to wrap up."

Lois stretched her arms above her head. "This is so unfair."

"What is?"

"It's Friday, our story is practically finished, and we're off on Monday."

Clark threw his pencil down in mock outrage. "You are so right. This is like Chinese water torture or something."

Lois rolled her eyes. "Funny. Very funny. What I *meant* was that we could be about to have a perfect weekend, if it wasn't for Lucy."

Clark rubbed her shoulders as he stood up. "Maybe she'll get an interview or something will turn up. You never know. Anyway, I better get to work on writing my end of this story, or we're going to spend the whole weekend here."

Lois hopped off the desk. "Subtle hint, right? I better start writing myself. I don't think Perry was in too great a mood today."

Jimmy rounded the corner just in time to hear Lois' last comment. "That's because the hotel in Tennessee lost his reservations. He won't be going to Graceland this weekend, after all."

Lois and Clark nodded sympathetically, knowing how much Perry enjoyed his visits to Graceland. Then they sat down to seriously work. Clark was so engrossed in his ending paragraph that he didn't even hear Jimmy come up behind him.

"I have great news for you, C.K."

Clark finished his last sentence with a smile. "There, that story is finished. So, what's the great news?"

Jimmy set a phone message on the desk. "When you were on the phone with the police a little while ago, a call came for you on the other line. It was from Lucy. She had an interview with Met-town Records, and they gave her the job. She's going to be their new receptionist."

Clark stood up so fast his chair nearly tipped over. "Are you serious?"

Jimmy laughed. "Yeah. Man, she was so excited. She thinks that working there will give her band an advantage."

"Did she say how soon she'd be able to move out of our house?"

Jimmy nodded emphatically. "Yeah, she said she met some guy who's looking for a roommate to share expenses. She's moving in with him tonight. She also said that she met a girl down at Met-town who's just my age, I think her name's Heather, and she thinks photographers are sexy. Lucy gave her my number. Isn't that great? I might have a date this weekend, two dates actually, if that new stringer Lisa isn't busy…"

But Clark was no longer listening. All he could think about was the fact that Lucy was leaving. No more excuses, no more arguing, no more guys with leather pants going through the cupboards looking for cigarette lighters…

After hearing Perry's angry shouts of "Judas Priest! Get over here, Olsen!" Jimmy fled, leaving Clark to wallow in his approaching freedom. Clark wanted to tell Lois what had happened, but she had driven over to S.T.A.R. Labs about ten minutes ago. "I'll fly over there right now and tell her," he whispered to himself. Then he heard it: the alarm at the bank. He turned to rush off, then stopped and grabbed a piece of paper. In superspeed, he scrawled a note to Lois, telling her what had happened. He placed that, along with a letter he had written hours earlier, in an envelope and dropped them on Lois' desk, grinning wickedly as he did so.


Lois dropped her bag on her desk with a loud groan. An hour at S.T.A.R. Labs, and all for nothing. The "exciting information" Bobby Bigmouth had called her about turned out to be exactly the information that Clark had gotten from Dr. Klein hours ago. "Next time all he's getting from me is gum! No more expensive dinners if all he can give me is old news," she vowed to herself.

As she plunked angrily down in her chair she noticed the envelope Clark had left on her desk. It contained two separate folded notes. The first one was Clark's quick description of Lucy's impending departure. Lois grinned happily as she read it. "Clark and I will finally be able to live in peace again! I'm so happy about this that I'm not even going to lecture her on how stupid it is to move in with someone the day you meet them," she whispered generously.

Then she opened the other note. "I wonder what this is," she muttered under her breath. Pretty soon it became apparent. Blushing, she read what was Clark's very well- written and provocative description of the dream he'd had the night before. "No wonder he was up on the ceiling," she whispered to herself as she folded up the letter and stuck it in her purse. "This is going to be *some* weekend!"


At seven o'clock that night Lucy's new roommate came over with his truck to pick up Lucy and her things. To Lois and Clark's surprise, he turned out to be Jack, the former low-man-on-the-totem-pole at the Daily Planet.

"Jack, what have you been doing all this time? We haven't seen you in years," Lois said as she and Clark hugged him.

Jack smiled easily. "I decided that my path to fame and fortune was not going to be at the Daily Planet. I went to community college, took classes there for two years, and then I was able to get a scholarship to Metropolis U."

"Majoring in?" Clark asked.

"Business Administration. You're looking at one of MetCorp's newest office managers."

"Sure you're going to be able to handle the business world?" Lois teased.

Jack looked up from the mountain of boxes he'd been stacking in his truck. "Hey, I grew up on the streets. You know, fighting for your life, protecting yourself from back- stabbing crooks, trying to find a steady source of income… Perfect training for a business career."

Amid the laughter, Lucy came running out of the house, almost buried in a pile of clothing, which she airily tossed onto one of the boxes. "Well, that's everything. Look, Sis," she said, turning to face Lois, "I just want to say thanks, you know, for letting me stay here. That goes for you, too, Clark."

"Our pleasure," Lois answered with a wink at Clark.

"I hope I didn't cause you too much trouble," Lucy continued. "I mean, I'm sorry my band got your neighbors so mad, although it was really rude of that Mrs. Bartlett to try and get the National Guard involved! Please! And I'm sorry about last night. You guys should really lock your bedroom door when you have guests in the house."

"I'll keep that in mind," Clark said in a perfectly deadpan voice.

"Oh, and one last thing, I'm sorry I thought you were having an affair, Clark."

This one shocked Clark. "Affair!" Lois was outraged, too. "Where on earth did you get an idea like that?!!"

Lucy looked embarrassed. "Well, Clark was always rushing off at all hours of the day and night. It just reminded me of Dad and Mrs. Bellcanto. But I checked out my suspicions, and I'm glad, for once, that I was completely wrong."

"Checked them out?" Lois was stunned. "How?"

"I called Bobby Bigmouth with the redial button after you called him a couple nights ago. He assured me that I was wrong."

Lois stared in disbelief at her sister. "No wonder he acted so funny the other day. Look, Lucy, I told you once about minding your own business."

"Well, Mom didn't see it coming in her marriage until that incident in the church parking lot! Excuse me for looking out for you."

Clark cleared his throat. "I guess investigative skills run in the Lanes, huh? Using the redial button. That was pretty clever."

"You're not mad?" Lucy was genuinely surprised.

"No, I'm not mad. I can see where you were coming from. There are just some things you don't know, that's all."

Lucy smiled at him, then turned back to Lois. "I'm not mad, either," Lois said with a small smile. "I guess I'm just not used to having you looking out for me like you used to."

"Thanks for understanding. Thanks for everything." Lucy put on her most dazzling smile.

After some hugs and promises to call and e-mail, Lucy and Jack drove off, and Lois and Clark walked hand-in- hand back into the house.

"So, I guess everything turned out all right," Clark said, pulling Lois close to him.

"Yeah," she answered back, putting her hands around his neck and thrilling to his touch as he slipped his arms around her waist. "Lucy has a good job, she's staying with Jack, he's doing OK, we finished that S.T.A.R. Labs story, our weekend is completely free…"

"And we have this house to ourselves again," he whispered, kissing her softly.

"Mmm, that's the best part. Especially after reading that letter you wrote me about your dream."

Clark laughed. "Yeah, well, I told you it was *some* dream."

"It certainly was."

They began kissing again, but were soon interrupted by the phone ringing. "Let the machine get it," Lois said between kisses.

"Hi! You've reached the home of the Kents. We cannot come to the phone right now, but if you leave a message we'll get back to you as soon as we can," Lois' voice flowed over the machine with artificial warmth.

Beep! "Hi Lois! It's your mother. Listen, I hate to do this to you and Clark, but I just found out that my apartment needs to be fumigated, and I cannot get a reservation anywhere. I'll be at your place tomorrow morning at nine. I need to stay until Tuesday. Don't worry, I'll make it up to you somehow!" Click!

"You said something about having the house to ourselves?" Lois inquired sarcastically.

Clark just looked at her. "Here we go again…"