A Battle of Wills 2: On the Other Side of the Door

by Phil Atcliffe <Phillip.Atcliffe@uwe.ac.uk>

Rated: PG

Submitted January 5, 1998

Summary: Lois has a heart-to-heart with herself (selves?) over her feelings for Clark in this cute story. A sequel to the fanfic "A Battle of Wills" by LadeeV.

[Every so often, I suffer from a bout of "sequel-itis", in which I read, see or hear a story and just _have_ to think about what happened next. So, when I read LadeeV's story "A Battle of Wills", this tale inevitably came to mind… and from there, to my computer. If you haven't read the original story, do go and take a look at it (it's in the archive); it sets up the situation for what follows, and is darn good in its own right.

Thanks go to Gay Devlin for her comments and encouragement — PA]


Lois lay on the couch, uncomfortable, restless and unable to sleep. Her mind kept going back to the events of earlier that evening, replaying her attempted seduction of Clark and his gentle refusal, over and over again, and it was driving her nuts!

She was so confused. She'd been scared that Clark would finally give up waiting for her. 'God knows, he'd be entitled to,' she thought. 'He's suffered so much from loving me, right from the start. How long can even Superman take the kind of hurt I put him through all these years? Even now, when we're finally engaged, I keep putting obstacles in his way…' So, when she'd seen that… that *bimbo* coming on to Clark, she'd decided that she'd have to put her own fears and worries aside and give herself to him, because she couldn't bear the thought of losing him. He *was* a terrific-looking guy, even without the suit, and other women might not be as… skittish as she was right now. That peroxide blonde from Travel certainly wasn't! She had to show him that she did want him, now and forever; she just wished that she could have had a little more time, so that she could feel happier and more secure in herself.

So, tonight she'd made her move, and what had happened? He'd been surprised, and worried about her; then he'd worked out why she was doing this, and had been so sweet and understanding, reassuring her that he loved her and that she wasn't going to lose him, that he would wait until she was truly ready, and that she was worth the wait. She believed him… she *knew* that he'd meant every word. So why was she still so uneasy?

"Because…" a little voice said, right by her ear, "you still can't quite believe that Clark is different from men like Claude, and Lex. But, deep down, you know he is. I told you that this afternoon. You didn't need to go through that charade tonight; we were never in any danger of losing him."

Lois rolled over to see a small version of herself, in a shining white version of the pajamas that she was wearing, sitting on the back of the couch. She smiled. "'Allo, ALo," she whispered, and they both chuckled. It was an old joke; Lois had first encountered her angelic and devilish sides as a pre-teen, and she'd given them both nicknames: ALo (she'd just started learning French) for "Angelic Lois", and DoLL for the "Devil in ol' Lois Lane" (that one had taken a bit of thought, but her first attempt, without the "ol'", had *not* been appreciated by its recipient!) Since then, they'd turned up at unpredictable intervals to give her "advice" and "encouragement", although who advised and encouraged her to do what varied wildly.

She'd seen a lot of them over the last year or so, ever since she'd started to really become interested in Clark. Sometimes their advice helped her cope with her problems, and sometimes it didn't, but they were always around, and it usually *was* a help to hear them argue with each other. "Where's DoLL?" she asked.

ALo cast her eyes heavenwards. "Oh, she'll be along…" she replied in a long-suffering tone. "But before she turns up, let me tell you something: we *don't* have to worry about losing Clark. Not to bottled blondes, not to Nigerian princesses, not to Kansas sheriffs, not to *anyone!*"

Lois was momentarily surprised that ALo knew about some of her most deeply-hidden anxieties, but then she remembered just who the small, white-clad figure actually was — who else would know about her inner fears if not herself? She went back to listening to what ALo was saying: "Clark has stood by us for as long as we've known him. He's loved us all the while, despite everything that we, and the rest of the world, have put him through, and he's still here. He's strong, both physically and emotionally, and he won't let us down. Now that he's got what he's wanted all this time — for far longer than we knew it was what *we* wanted, too — he's *not* going to walk out on us. And certainly not for some silicone- enhanced bimbo whose hair came out of a bottle!"

"Yeah, yeah, yeah…" came a cynical voice from nearby. It was, of course, the missing DoLL, an identical twin to ALo, except for the look on her face and the shining flame-red pajamas. She was strutting her stuff in no uncertain manner as she walked along the back of the couch, and came to a stop not far from ALo with an emphatic bump of her hips.

"And if you believe *that*," she went on, "I have this land deal in Florida that you're just gonna love! He's a *man*, and you know as well as I do what they're like. They think with their gonads, and if they don't get what they want, real quick, they'll just go looking for some… what was it? 'Silicone-enhanced bimbo'? I like that; I might use it myself sometime. And it's a funny thing, but there's always a bimbo around to take them up on it."

"Maybe there is," replied ALo emphatically, "But *Clark* isn't looking for one, and he won't! He loves *us*. He doesn't need, and he doesn't *want* any other woman!"

DoLL slapped herself in the forehead in an exaggerated manner. "Yeesh!" she cried. "How can anyone be that naive? We've been giving him the hands-off-don't-touch routine for *three years* now — just how long do you think the guy is going to put up with it?"

*That* made Lois wince as it hit home, it being the real worry that had led to the present situation. And DoLL wasn't finished. "Not long, that's for sure. Not with Miss Peroxide-and- Silicone from Travel coming on strong. Now, *there's* a woman who's got the right idea — you see it, you want it, you go and get it!

"And 'it', in this case, is Clark! He's always being chased by blondes, y'ever notice? Sheriff Harris from Hicksville; that old girlfriend of his that he doesn't talk about much, what's her name — Lana Lang? And who could forget Mayson? As much as we'd like to…"

"Yeah, we remember!" snapped ALo. "And we remember something else, too: you're a pretty lousy judge of character, especially when it comes to men! *You* were the one who was so hot for Claude, and look how that turned out! You were also a big fan of Lex, as I recall. 'Hey, Lois, this guy is the greatest: he's good-looking, kind, thoughtful, generous and *rich*. Go for it, kid!' And then there was your advice on Scardino: 'Forget the boy scout, Lois; Dan's even better-looking, he gives us all those fun presents, and *he* doesn't run off every time we want to get serious.' Frankly, with your track record, I don't think your opinion of *any* man is worth much, and definitely not where Clark's concerned!"

Not getting anywhere trying to put Clark down, DoLL changed tack. "Okay, okay, maybe there *is* such a thing as a good guy — so, since we've found one, let's go *get* him! With all these blonde bimbos around, we need to stake our claim! He's just in there… all we gotta do is go into the bedroom and take up where we left off!

"Didn't he feel good, Lois?" she crooned. "Remember running your hands over that gorgeous body? Remember *him* running his hands over *you?*" DoLL began to slowly move her own hands up and down her torso and thighs, undulating sensuously. "You were driving him crazy, just like he does to us. You go back in there and do that again, and there's no way that he'll be able to resist; he'll be putty — *super*-putty! — in your hands! Come *on*, Lois, the world's sexiest guy is right in that room, just waiting for you…"

"Right!" yelled ALo. "He's waiting, and you know what he's waiting *for?* He's waiting for the right time, and the right place, and this isn't it! If we blindly charge ahead with what you want, we run the risk of ruining this relationship! Clark is The Guy for us, we all know that, but if we don't do this properly, we'll regret it for the rest of our lives. Clark will do what we want — what we *really* want — so we should take our time and make everything perfect. If we rush things, we'll not only regret it later, we'll never know just how wonderful it *could* have been…"

"Oh, gimme a break!" snapped a sarcastic DoLL. "'How wonderful it could have been…' And how wonderful is it gonna be to finally get our hands on Clark at the age of *96?!* Which is about when we'll score with the guy if we 'take our time' your way!"

"Don't you believe it, Lois," replied ALo. "It won't be much longer, I promise you — and it will be worth the wait, just like Clark said. He loves you, you know that, and he'll wait until you're completely happy to be intimate with him, because *he* won't be completely happy unless you are. He wants you, but he also wants you to want him, without any reservations, any fears, any worries. And until you do — until you *can* — he *will* wait. Because he *loves* you.

"Trust him. Trust *yourself…*"

"And trust *me*," DoLL began angrily, "to keep reminding you just what you're throwing away by listening to this— *ooof!*" She had realised from the expression on Lois' face as ALo talked about Clark's loving patience that she had lost this round. She obviously had some sort of retribution planned, but ALo didn't give her the chance to make any threats, quickly stepping up to her and delivering an absolutely *brutal*-looking Tae Kwon Do kick, right to DoLL's stomach. The force of the kick sent DoLL skidding across the couch and off the edge, out of sight.

Lois couldn't help giggling, although she hid her smile behind one hand. "Hey, nice move," she quipped.

"Thanks," said ALo with a matching smile. "What can I say — I learned from the best!" They both grinned at that, then ALo went on, "Now, you go to sleep, and don't worry about *her*; I'll keep her out of trouble. Pleasant dreams… which you *will* have; I'll make sure of that."

With that, ALo waved and ran to the edge of the couch, where DoLL had last been seen. Calling out, "Look out below!", she made a graceful swan dive off the cushion and was also lost to Lois' view.

Lois, still smiling, rolled onto her side. She grabbed a pillow and hugged it to her; she wished it were Clark, but she'd make do with this for tonight. It was a shame that she hadn't brought her teddy bear, the one that Clark had won for her at the Smallville Corn Festival. As she slowly drifted off to sleep, she… basked was the only word for it, in the thought of the love between herself and Clark, which once again had been shown to be something unlike any feeling that she had ever experienced.

'I love you, Clark,' she thought, 'and one day, soon, we'll share ourselves with each other. I'm counting the hours till then…'

Lois' dreams *were* pleasant that night, but she could never remember them; they were all banished from her memory in an instant as she woke, next morning, gently roused by Clark with a cup of coffee and a loving kiss.


Epilogue 1:

Lois watched Clark take her mug over to the coffee machine. She did so love to look at him; sometimes, she found it hard to drag her eyes away from him, so any even half-legitimate opportunity to feast her eyes on him was to be seized unhesitatingly.

But then, as he filled his own mug and tasted it to see how strong the current pot was — he didn't much mind what the coffee was like, but he always tried to make *hers* just the way she liked it — her gaze moved past him to reveal something much less welcome: that damned bimbo from Travel, rapidly approaching from whatever rock she spent her time under! Had she been waiting for Clark? Probably…

Almost without thinking, Lois was up from her desk and heading for Clark. As she closed in, she heard the woman coo, "Hi, Clark…"

Clark looked up in surprise and embarrassment. "Uh… hi," he said hesitantly, not knowing what to say to her.

His diffidence, if anything, merely encouraged the blonde. "I hear you were on a stake-out last night," she said huskily. "Wanna come on another one tonight? My place? You never know *what* you might discover…"

'Wanna bet?' thought Lois as she arrived at the scene. Before Clark could say anything, she gently but firmly took both coffee mugs from him, set them down by the pot, and then reached up to grab his head and pull him into a long, passionate kiss.

Clark stiffened in surprise for just a moment, then relaxed and gently drew her into his arms as the kiss became ever deeper. For her part, Lois tried to put every bit of the love, trust and passion that she felt for him into the kiss, and he seemed to be getting the message. Eventually, to the accompaniment of whistles, cheers and clapping from their nearby workmates, they separated, both more than a little starry-eyed. Clark stayed that way, but Lois' expression quickly changed to that of a cat well-fed on canary, cream *and* caviar as she picked up her coffee and leaned over to the blonde to say, quietly but firmly, "Sorry. Clark has a previous engagement — tonight, and *every* night..!"

She strolled back to her desk, with more than a touch of sashay in her walk. Along with most of the newsroom staff, and most definitely *all* the nearby men, Clark watched her go, following every movement that she made, totally oblivious to anything else. Once she sat down — and, if she darted a spectacularly sultry look at him as she did so, Clark for one was not about to complain — he dragged his attention back to the world at large, and particularly to the woman from Travel, who was glaring at just about everyone, but especially at Lois.

He realised that he had a rather goofy smile on his face — a common "problem" when Lois made one of her rare public shows of affection — but he couldn't get rid of it. He settled for picking up his own mug before saying, in a smug tone that defied his every effort to keep all emotion out of it, "You heard her…" and heading for his own desk.

The office gossips noted that Clark took a slightly less-than-direct route to get there, however, and it surprised nobody when he stopped at Lois' desk for a few quiet words that no-one, try how they might, could overhear. Then he moved on and settled down at his computer. Both partners rapidly became engrossed in their work, but not too engrossed to refrain from casting frequent glances at each other across the office. And it was interesting to see that these glances almost always coincided, and the two would spend a few seconds just looking at one another, communing silently.

Even Perry noticed that Lois was smiling more than usual that day…


Epilogue 2:

October 6th, 1996. The wedding day of Lois Lane and Clark Kent. They had escaped from the Wedding Destroyer and her crooked psychiatrist, they had found that their souls were linked in an eternal love, they had stopped a curse from being cast that would doom those souls to unhappy separation in each incarnation, and they had righted an imbalance between good and evil. Oh yes, they'd got married, too. All in all, quite a day.

But now, it was their wedding *night*, and the waiting was over. They were husband and wife, this time for real, and there was nothing to stop them from at last obtaining their hearts' (and bodies') desire.

Lois was ready. *Really* ready; no doubts, no hesitation, just a few nerves — inevitable, she guessed, for anyone faced with the prospect of being the lover (and the first one, at that) of the Man of Steel. Not that that mattered, because it was *Clark* that she was about to make love with, and all she wanted to do was give him all the love and joy and passion that she was able to offer. And Clark… well, Clark was so glad that his patience had finally led him to this night and this woman that he hardly had room in his mind and heart for any worries, and the sight of Lois in her black teddy had just about removed any remaining semblance of coherent thought.

They lay together on the bed and kissed, the first step in a night that would finally see their souls become complete. They broke for some air, and to tell each other of their love. They went to kiss again, but just before their lips met, a voice said, "Congratulations, you two. It took a lot of effort, but you're finally married. We're so happy for you."

Lois and Clark looked over in the direction from which the voice came, to see AC and ALo floating in mid-air. Somehow, it surprised neither of the newlyweds that the other also had an angelic — and, presumably, a devilish — aspect that manifested itself at times. As always, their good sides were dressed in white, satin-like versions of what the couple were wearing. AC had his arms around ALo, and she was resting her head on his shoulder; they both had big smiles on their faces, and a serene happiness shone from them.

"What did we tell you?" AC went on. "Weren't we right, that night on stake-out? Isn't this worth the wait?"

Clark looked at Lois, who gazed back with such tenderness and love that his heart threatened to break out of his chest. They spent a short, blissful eternity staring deep into each other's eyes before Clark turned back to the angelic couple and murmured, "I'll let you know…"

Lois giggled, but her laughter took on a sultry edge as she began to nuzzle Clark's neck. "Oh, it will be, farm boy," she whispered, moving her mouth up to nibble his ear. "It will be…"

"Yeah, but how's the guy gonna find out unless you stop talking about it and start *doing* it?" called another voice — a female one with a very husky note to it. Lois and Clark were not surprised to see DoLL and DC also floating nearby, not far from their angelic counterparts. They were dressed in red, as always, but their faces were a good match for their clothes; they were dishevelled and breathing hard, and their hands were all over each other. Even as the other couples watched, DoLL gave up trying to say anything, throwing her head back in rapture as DC began to kiss — or was it *devour*? — her neck and shoulder.

After a moment or two, however, DC reluctantly stopped his attentions to DoLL, who growled in frustration as he pulled away slightly and removed one hand from her to point at his old enemy — or was it friend?

"And *you!*" he yelled, "Will you shut up for once and let them get on with what they're doing?" He snorted in disgust. "Some people will interrupt *anything* to preach their mealy-mouthed morality!"

AC only smiled. "As much as it pains me to admit it," he said, amused, "he's right. It's time that you two were alone — together, as you will always be from now on." He looked down at ALo tenderly. "And I have to say that I'm looking forward to *our* being alone as well…" ALo blushed, and hid her face in his shoulder, but Lois was sure that her eyes were full of happy tears.

Raucous laughter came from the devilish pair. "I don't believe it!" guffawed DC. "Mr and Mrs Goody-Two-Shoes actually have the hots for each other! I never thought he had it in him!" DoLL, who had been laughing so hard that she had even let go of DC, managed to recover a little self-control, just long enough to whisper something in his ear, after which they both cracked up again, tears streaming from their eyes as they held onto each other, helpless with mirth.

Eventually, they sobered up a bit, and DoLL began to nibble on DC's neck and chest. DC, meantime, was looking over at ALo with a considering expression. "You know, you might have something there…" he remarked. "She is kinda cute. Wanna swap sometime?"

DoLL stopped what she was doing and glared at her partner, fire in her eyes. But then she looked over at AC and ran her eyes up and down him in a very purposeful manner. She paused for a moment or two, apparently making up her mind, before shaking her head ever so slightly and reaching up to drag DC's face to hers in a fiercely demanding kiss. It went on for quite some time, until DC managed to pull away for just long enough to murmur, somewhat breathlessly, "Nah… Forget it. Who needs Little Miss Wimp when I got a *real* red-hot lady..?" DoLL grabbed him again and the two slowly sank out of sight, locked in a passionate clinch that, to Lois and Clark's eyes, looked hot enough to be in danger of setting the apartment on fire.

"They're happy," said ALo indulgently. "We are happy. *You* be happy, this night and always." The two white-clad figures turned to each other and embraced. They kissed, love, tenderness and even desire shining from them, and gradually rose towards the ceiling, slowly disappearing from view, the white glow of their feelings lingering, like the Cheshire Cat's smile, before finally fading away.

Lois and Clark, now alone, said nothing; there was nothing more *to* say. Indeed, few of the sounds made in the apartment that night were words; most were the product of love and passion, and if, at times, either Lois or Clark thought that they heard something similar coming from the floor or ceiling, they merely smiled and turned their attention back to what they were doing, and with whom they were doing it — which was, really, the same thing.