Duo Infernale

By Bella <1971bastet@gmx.de>

Rated PG-13

Submitted October 1998

Summary: Lois and Clark, the movie??? Hollywood tails Lois and Clark and tells all during a talk show. Author's note: I have given one character the name "Larry Sounders". I swear on Superman's cape, I didn't know then, there was really some Larry Sanders. As I said, I don't do shows. So any resemblance of whatever kind is purely accidentally and not intended! Sorry!

Last legal disclaimer: I've borrowed and modified one idea from an old 'Remington Steele' ep. No infringement intended. Maybe you don't even know which, but even if chances are astronomically low, that someone of the old crew of 'Remington Steele' reads this…better be safe than sorry. And as usual: The characters of "Superman: The new adventures of Lois and Clark" aren't mine, never were and never will. No infringement intended. Just want to have some fun.

Duo Infernale

Bella <dikoi000@mail.uni-mainz.de>


+++++ denotes the show and commercial breaks ~~~~~ denotes video clip

The stage was prepared, like every evening from Monday to Friday, eleven o'clock p.m. The lights went up, three people sat down. Glasses with spring water and orange juice were brought. Sound check. Camera check. One minute left. Make up check. Last revising of the notes. Was the film material alright?

"Okay, ten, nine, eight, seven, six, five, four, three, two, one …you're on the air!"


"Hello, everybody. Welcome to Esther's. Tonight I have some very special guests. Greet with me Larry Sounders and Missa Theodorakis…Good evening you two."

Esther Maxwell turned in time with the camera and smiled in greeting at Hollywood's latest and hottest movie couple.

"Hello, Esther. It's good to be here tonight." Larry Sounders, dark, tanned and muscular smiled at her.

"Hiya. How's it going, Esther?" Missa Theodorakis, Hollywood's Sex Symbol of the Month greeted.

"Last time I checked I couldn't complain. The reason you're here tonight is to promote the movie you're shooting these days. Why don't you tell us a bit about it, Larry?"

"Well, Esther, it's about an investigative reporter team. They stumble over something big and over each other. Following the old 'Lou Grant' and 'He Said, She Said', but spiced up for the nineties. But more about it later."

"Yeah, to get a feel for ink, presses and shouting editors we joined and accompanied a real news team for some time."

"I don't know if you out there know this, but I myself was once a real reporter, so I know what you're talking about. I heard you were in Metropolis to learn from the best?"

"Hank Spoins, our producer, knows Mr. Stern, the publisher of the 'Daily Planet', and Mr. Stern was enthusiastic about the whole thing. We even may take a few shots at the real Daily Planet newsroom. We were promised to work with and observe Lois Lane and Clark Kent."

"Well, they say they're the best, at least on the East Coast. Tell us about them. I know you even brought some film material with Lane and Kent in action. Why did you start taking shots of them in the first place?"

"As soon as we knew we would work with them, we started to read everything they've ever written for the Planet and everything we found about Lane and Kent. You know, Clark Kent and Lois Lane and Superman and certainly Luthor. We were impressed, I mean about their work. And certainly we hoped to meet the Man of Steel, since he seems to be this close to Lane and Kent and the Planet."

"And did you meet him?"

"Let's say we got a longer glimpse of him. Very impressive."

"Anyway, after reading about them and the stories by them, we had certainly an impression of Lane and Kent. And we were dying to see if that would be correct."

"And was it?"

"Esther, we knew they were the best. But we didn't know that Lane and Kent behind the scenes are ten times more interesting than in ink."

"How so?"

"To give a sneak peak of the movie: we have a female/male reporter team that gets teamup by their editor because the story is too big for one reporter alone. They can't stand each other at first and need to learn to cooperate. So we were curious about Lane and Kent and how they started working together."

"Mr. Stern greeted us and brought us personally down to the newsroom and into the capable hands of Perry White, the almost legendary Editor-in-Chief of the Planet, at least in the journalism scene. We were immediately familiar with the surroundings. In the studios before the shots the chaos is often the same: phones ringing, fax machines beeping, keyboards clacking, people running and shouting to hold the elevators, chasing after the latest stories. But as soon as the crew got wind about who had stepped out of the elevator, silence reigned. It was amazing and flattering, as you can imagine. Mr. Stern lead us to Mr. White and explained the whole thing. At first Perry was flattered, but then, as soon as he knew we were there for Lane and Kent, his facial expression changed from joyous to wary. I can still hear his southern accent: 'You want them to work with Lois and Clark? And with that you come early on a Monday morning? Lois won't be enthusiastic about it.' Mr. Stern said it was now Mr. White's problem and left us at his doorstep. Mr. White gave a huge sigh and shouted over the newsroom to a man, who was standing by the coffee table to come over."

"Then a one of a kind type of man hurried over to us. Raven black hair, broad shoulders, tall, moving with the most feline grace and with a smile to die for. Shortly, Clark Kent."

"Stop drooling, Missa." "Oh yeah, and who's chin dropped down to the floor, whenever he saw Lois Lane? Especially after her little accident with water?"

"Cut it out, you two, or the National Whisper has you having an affair faster than you can say 'unfounded rumour'."

"Anyway, we were introduced, and Clark wasn't bouncing up and down in joy upon hearing the news. But he was fairly civil about the fact he had to babysit some Hollywood actors for the next month. I swear I almost melted into a puddle, what a sexy and sensual voice, when he opened his mouth and asked if Lois already knew. The poor man got pained, when Mr. White told him to tell Lois about it. He protested, quote: 'What, on an early Monday morning? And why me? You're her boss.' 'And you're her partner. So I'm the Colonel and you're Elvis. Time to face the audience, son, and let's hear some music!' Unquote. A young gopher, Jimmy, sort of Mr. White's right hand, dogsbody and best friends with Lane and Kent, snickered and asked in mock gravity, if he could have Clark's Hi-fi tower if he didn't come back. Clark only looked at him, straightened his tie, tensed his spine and with dignity walked out of the door, you know a man on a mission, over to the coffee table, pouring some into a Superman mug, adding low fat milk and sweetener to it, grimaced when tasted, looked at his wrist watch, walked up to the elevators, and waited a few seconds. The elevator opened and…"

"…and the most beautiful woman I've ever seen stepped right out of it. Brunette, expressive brown eyes that catch your eyes immediately. Decidedly one of the most feminine women in the world. In another time she would have been one of those 100% angora sex kittens, who drive a man crazy with want with just one look. Probably she is even now if or when she loses her tough attitude. Still half asleep. Later we got to know that Lois isn't a Monday morning person. Clark greeted her, handed her the coffee, which she took thankfully and sipped contentedly, and steered her into the conference room. And two minutes later even we heard the ''WHAT!?! IS HE NUTS?!?' behind closed doors and across the newsroom. Then Lois stormed out of the room with a thunderous look and straight up to us. That woman has fire. And I mean fire. She started to insult us, Mr. Stern and Perry White for forcing her to babysit two 'Hollywood actors'. For one moment I actually was ashamed of being an actor. Even Mr. White seemed a bit helpless about the attack. But then Clark came up and calmed her down to everyone's relief. He just laid his hand on her arm and looked her in the eyes, soothing her with words. It was amazing. The last time I saw something like this was when we shot 'Lone Ranger'. A stuntman had to calm down a mare gone wild."

"And from that moment on, we just knew we had found gold. I've an old friend in the f/x section. He gave us two tiny video cameras to take in everything we encountered for the next few weeks. Mick Delanian, the scriptwriter, thought it was great material and a lot of things actually make it into the movie."

"And tonight you've brought some of the real scenes with you to show us."

"But before we show some we'd like to thank Jimmy Olson. Mr. White knows one million Elvis stories, Jimmy one million Lane and Kent stories. He told us many, many vignettes and incidents in the life of Lane and Kent. About the beginning of their working together as rivals and how they ended up as very, very best friends. Some of the stories were downright ridiculous. For example, when Superman was new in Metropolis, Lois regarded him as her own. He was her story, she had discovered him. And she fought everyone who tried to change that. She even stepped over the line and did some very questionable things. Clark was still fighting for her respect as a fellow journalist and possible partner at that time. And when Lois went over the edge, he decided to teach her a lesson concerning the rights on Superman as story material and in respecting him and everybody else. Jimmy told us, still laughing in remembrance, how Clark drew a map of the Metropolis sewage plant, furious with Lois, with the remark of Superman's hideout. Lois personally showed me later the little Godzilla doll with the S-shield and the cape she had found after she had waded for hours through the plant and had gotten about one million mosquito bites. She says she keeps it as a reminder to respect your partner and friends and that nobody is owned by anybody. No matter how good the story might be. You just have to be better and faster than the rest of the horde. With this little mean trick, Clark managed to earn Lois Lane's respect, which is one of the most difficult things you can achieve in life, as we painfully had to learn."

"Okay, now you made us all really curious about Lane and Kent, off the camera so to speak. After a short commercial break we'll be back."


"Here we are again. Larry, Missa. Why don't you give a few comments about the context of what we're about to see?"

"Certainly. Thanks to Lois, Clark, their friends and family, who gave the permission to show this."

"The first one is about one of the real horrors in the life of a man…his female friends gather."


The elevator doors opened and a young, pretty blonde stepped curiously out of it. Her eyes darted searchingly around the newsroom. When she had found, what she had been looking for, she raised her voice.


Clark's head turned up and around, searching for the caller. When he saw the woman he jumped out of his chair and hurried towards the blonde, opening his arms.


Sheriff Harris jumped into his arms and let herself be swung around by her old friend.

"What are you doing here?"

The blonde looked beamingly down at him.

"I'm here for a seminar."

"That's great. How long will you be here?"

In the meanwhile, Lois had joined them.

"Hello, Rachel."

Rachel wriggled out of Clark's arms to embrace Lois.

"Lois, how are you? You look fantastic."

"So do you, Rachel. Everything's alright?" Lois probed.

"Yes, everything's alright again. It had to be done and I don't regret it."

"So, how long are you staying in Metropolis and where?"

"Just two days and I have a reservation for the Jeffries'."

"Oh, no. You will stay with me, Rachel." Clark offered readily.

"NO WAY! You don't! Rachel's staying with me. She and I have a long overdue conversation, remember, Rachel?" Lois winked.

"Right. Almost forgot. Besides, I doubt, there will be enough space for all of us anyway."

"All of us?"

"I've brought dear company."

The elevator doors opened again and the Kents stepped into the newsroom.

"Mom, Dad?"

"Clark, son, how are you?" The Kents embraced lovingly. And slowly the whole party walked back to Clark's desk..

"Hello, Lois. My God, she gets more beautiful every time we meet. We decided to join Rachel for this short trip."

"We already decided the sleeping matter, Mrs. Kent. Rachel's staying with me. We still have to tear Clark apart."

"That sounds like fun. I'm really tempted to join you. Clark was sooo cute as a baby, not to mention sweet."

"Mom! Isn't it bad enough that Lois and Rachel will gossip about me?"

"Why, Clark, are you getting nervous?" Rachel teased. "Lois, has he been a naughty little boy?"

"Don't get me started, Rachel."

The women enjoyed themselves very much.

"Mom, do something."

"I will, honey, I will. Girls, when do you start? I'm with you."

"Oh, yes. It was a dark day in the life of Clark Kent, when Sheriff Harris and his parents rode into town…" Lois smiled smugly.

"Haha, Lois…MOM…please…" But his plea fell on deaf ears and far

too mischievously grinning faces.

"I see. I can't win. My only comfort is, that Mom hasn't brought the stack of baby photos." Clark smiled tightly.

"Who says, I haven't? They are right here." Martha patted on her bag.

"DAD! Tell me, this isn't rigged."

"Okay, son, if it makes you feel better I will. This isn't rigged." Jonathan grinned widely.

Clark groaned. And the whole scene had already attracted everybody's attention. Even Perry and Jimmy had come up.

"Lois, Rachel, have I ever told you about Clark and Emily at Aunt Margaret's 60th birthday? Clark was four and Emily was three…"

"Not this one, Mom, please!" Clark protested.

"And did you know about Clark and Lana on the hood of Mr. Westman's red corvette after the match against Clearwells High?"

"Whooh, Clark, on the hood? Who would have thought. I rather took you for the hayloft kind of guy," Lois teased.

"Well, haylofts are a typical city folks prejudice. Haylofts are one of the last places to make out, my dear Lois. First they tend to keep the heat under the roof in summer, which means they're suffocatingly hot, second they are dusty, so when you keep breathing hard over some time, you'll inevitably start to sneeze, and that's not very romantic. And third even if you have a blanket between your body and the hay, it still manages to stick through and itch and scratch you in the most inappropriate moments. So: making out in a hayloft is no fun."

Rachel and the Kents sighed confirmatively.

"Then about the hood. Lois, please, how unimaginative is it to neck in the backseat? Everybody does. And there's never enough space to manoeuvre. Most of the time you keep saying 'ouch', 'sorry' and 'if you put your arm there I can put my leg here'. Am I right or am I right?"

Clark looked triumphantly at the baffled Lois. He had managed to turn the tables, at least in a way. And that was something to savour for rainy days.

"Why.." Martha turned around to her son, taking him by his ear and pulling him down to her face level.

In mock indignation she said,"…Clark, have you kept secrets about your love life from your mother?"

She loved this.

"Mom… ahh… okay, okay, go on, pull me through the grape vine. Tear my oh so fascinating love life to pieces. But I have to disappoint you. There are a few things even you don't know, Mom."

Clark smiled for a moment smugly.

"Really? What? Things like your first wet dream?"

Alarmed, Clark's smile fell.

Martha smiled evilly and whispered something into his ear. Clark blushed crimson, his eyes widened in shock.

"Mom, who are you? My mother or the NIA?" Clark said whining. In a threatening, deep voice Martha just retorted.

"What made you ever think that there is a difference in the first place?"

"I'm doomed! Dad, help me."

"You remember the last time we were here and I got into hot water with your mother? Well, these days it's my time to pull a Shultz."

On the edge of despair Clark let himself fall into his chair, muttering about ill-meaning parents and evil friends. Cupping his face in his hands he pouted at his desk.

"OOH, look at him…" Rachel exclaimed "…isn't he adoringly cute when he's pouting?" Martha ruffled lovingly his hair and pressed a kiss on his forehead.

"I love you, honey. I'm proud of you, and mothers tend to talk about their beloved children every offered opportunity. We can't help it. "

"I know, Mom. I love you, too." Clark sighed heavily. "Alright, go ahead, have your way with me tonight. Have fun. Just do me a favour."

"What?" Lois' eyes sparkled in mischief.

"Please, still respect me in the morning."

The round cracked up in laughter.


"And, Missa, did you ever see the cute baby Clark?"

"No. I guess, this was some kind of family gathering. But to console Clark, his father, Mr. White and Jimmy had a gentleman's evening downtown."

"Okay, folks, the next one happened during the investigation about the gold smuggle."

"Yeah, Lois and Clark were fairly sure that Masterson, Ltd. had some stock in it, and Lois managed to get an appointment with Masterson's personal assistant, who is completely innocent in the whole affair, by the way."


"And there is no way you can give any information about the ships?" Lois exasperatedly asked the beautiful blonde behind the desk.

"Ms Lane, this is business affair. I can't tell you anything." Lois nudged Clark with her elbow. He didn't react. Then she stepped onto his foot with her heel. That changed his attitude and with an angry glare towards her he mingled into the conversation unwillingly.

"Ms Stevens, please, isn't there a single thing you can tell me about the ships' destination? Anything at all? Discretion is guaranteed."

Clark smiled his most open and yet sensual smile. Ms Stevens' resolve seemed to waver. Looking at Clark she bit her lips in inner conflict. Clark smiled encouragingly. Finally she looked at him again, smiled and took out a business card to write something on its back.

"Here, and that's all I can do for you."

"Thanks." Clark took the card and smiled good-bye.

In the parking lot, Lois snapped the card out of his hands and read aloud.

"What's that? Susan Stevens' personal phone number? And the backside? What!?! 'I like spicy food and sunrises at Ash Point'?! The nerve of some women! This is completely useless."

Angrily, Lois tore the card into half and let it fall into a public trash can.

Clark grinned and tried to save the card's halves.

"Wait a moment here, Lois. Give me the card back. It's mine."

"What for?"

Clark rolled his eyes.

"To wrap some fish in, Lois. What else?"

"What?!" Lois was outraged.

"What is it, Lois? She's nice, loyal, apparently knows how to keep a secret, loves the same things as I and is terribly good looking. I think I'll give her a call when this is over, if she's not involved in it."

"What is that performance for, Clark? We both know, you're not interested in her."

Lois began to walk over to her car, Clark followed.

"Oh, yeah? How can you tell?"

"I haven't seen the *look*."

"What look?"

"The look a man gets when he wants a woman. The look I've seen when Mayson and you kissed in your apartment."

"Oh, that! Lois, that was more surprise than lust. Believe me. But wait a moment here. How do you know about it?"

Lois blushed.

"Well, I was about to visit you with new information about Intergang, when I saw your entwined silhouettes behind your door. I figured I'd interrupted something and decided to do the polite thing and wait it out." Lois grimaced in disgust.

"Oh, sorry to have offended your delicate senses, Lois."

"Forget it. You can't help it. It's a testosterone thing or other problem you guys have."

Lois graciously waved her hand as if saying: 'Let's forget it.'

"What's that supposed to mean?"

Clark folded his arms in front of his chest.

"Nothing, but you can't help yourself when a woman throws herself at you. Your genetic imperative demands of you to seek reproduction."

"Oh, and women don't?"

"Nope. We have control over our bodies. We call all the shots."

"What about seduction?"

He stepped behind the car at the passenger's side.

"No man on Earth can seduce a woman into doing something she doesn't want already. Because our bodies are controlled by our brains. If we give into seduction, then it's because we've thoroughly thought about it, weighed the consequences and decided to follow through."

Arrogantly but convinced, Lois stated and activated the central door locking. "If you say so. But personally, I think you've never been really seduced, merely persuaded."

Clark let doubt seep through his words and dropped the whole affair by entering the car.

"But let's get back to serious matters. We still don't know the ships' destinations."

"Well, there's nothing like a little B&E," Lois replied, knowing they treaded already hot waters, and deciding as well it would be the smartest thing to let the issue of seduction and testosterone drop for now.

"Lo-is. No."

"Cla-ark. Yes. Or give Ms Sunrise a really good time." "Lois, be serious. That's not how we work. Rule number four."

"Well, then it'll be B&E. Tonight. I have a plan." "Oh, god. The scariest sentence in the English language."

Larry turned into the discussion.

"I always thought it was 'And now I pronounce you husband and wife'." "You don't know Lois' plans. And thinking about it, you will stay at the hotel tonight. No need to involve you as well. And two are already too many for B&E. Not to mention four."


"They love to tease each other. At least Clark loves to get a rise out of Lois from time to time. I think he really enjoys her fits and their discussions."

"And did Lane and Kent some B&E?"

"No, Mr. Accident came to help. But I know they would have done it."

"Rule number four?" Esther asked. "Yeah, they have certain strict rules how to do their job. At least it's some code of Lane and Kent."

"What are they?" "Well, rule number one is: 'Never get involved with your story.' Second rule says: 'Never let anybody get there first.' And rule number four is 'Never use sex beyond some innocent flirting to get what you want.'" "What about rule number three?"

"They never told us. And even Jimmy or Mr. White couldn't answer that. Nobody but Lane and Kent knows rule number three."

"Oh, I see it's already time for another break. Be back in a few minutes."


"And here we are again. Missa, Larry, I noticed you looked very different in the last scene. I wouldn't have recognised you if I didn't know it was you."

"Well, popularity is a very fine thing, but we were just short of being undercover there. And after one day of disturbing the work of Lane and Kent, like in interviews where people asked us questions, rather than answering the questions of Lane and Kent, we decided to alter our appearance. Nobody recognised us anymore, and they could do their job undisturbed."

"So, the next clip shows a very different Clark. Ladies, we get to see, what's underneath the GQ menswear. Again we thank Clark for this. We had to beg and persuade a long time, until we were allowed to show this. And to think, he really has no reason to hide this."

"Yeah, I remember. I stood directly behind Missa, and I swear, her neck hair stood on end and goosebumps raced along her body." Larry teased.

"Oh, keep your mouth shut, Larry," Missa grumbled. "You're just envious, that's all. Besides, whose hormones ran rampant? I could have heard your hard breathing from Hollywood!"

"Anyway, we had just came back from a game of the Met-Tigers versus the Boston Hawks. The advantage of being a top reporter is, that you can still officially get tickets when the game's officially sold out. On our way back, we came across a bank robbery with hostages and masses of men in blue. We stayed until the end, and that's when we encountered Superman. He told the police what the situation inside was like. Lois and Clark naturally ran immediately to the Planet to write up a piece. Guess, that's the price for being the 'hottest team in town', sacrificing your free days and weekends for work. And then it happened."

"Okay, what happened and what's so special about Clark, that unsettles Missa and makes Larry envious or not? And why was Larry breathing hard? Let's see."


Lois, Clark , Missa and Larry were hurrying down the ramp towards the respective desks of Lane and Kent, when a voice boomed a fraction of a second too late.

"WATCH OUT!…AAIIEE…OOPS!" Jimmy looked at Lois in consternation and with a healthy dose of embarrassment, his face flushed.

"Jimmy, YOU FOOL! IDIOT! Look what you've done, you two left handed clumsy…" Abruptly Lois stopped her tirade and crossed self consciously her arms over her chest. But it was already too late. Every male in close proximity had already looked his fill of a very wet and therefore translucent t-shirt, under which well formed breasts were barely held in by an enticing bra.

With a controlled and measured voice Lois spoke up again "Clark, give me your t-shirt."


"You heard me. Give me your shirt."

"But Lois…"

"Clark, I need a shirt. A dry one!"

"But I don't wear anything underneath." Clark stalled.

"And you know exactly what I have underneath mine. So give me your

damned shirt! And don't tell me, you're embarrassed. I've already seen you

in nothing more than a loosely wrapped short towel around your hips. So don't get prudish on me!"


"Clark, I was always led to believe your parents rose a perfect gentleman…"

"Okay, okay… here, there you have it." Clark sighed uncomfortably. Crossing his arms, he slowly pulled his sleeveless t-shirt out of his tight jeans. With every inch more naked skin got revealed, over the well sculptured stomach muscles up to the seductive wide chest and finally over his head. His arm muscles bulged, threatening to rip open the smooth skin.

Somewhere in the newsroom a mug fell onto the floor and broke in a loud crash. If Lois was equally transfixed by his action, she hid it well. A shadow of longing might have passed over her face when Clark pulled the garment over his head. But she had a neutral look in her eyes when Clark gave her the shirt and practically fled to his desk to hide behind it.

"Thanks, Clark." Lois pulled the shirt over her own wet one and wiggled out of it under the several sizes too big shirt of Clark… Handing it over to Jimmy, she ordered "You wet it. You dry it. NOW!"


"MY GOD! WHOAH! What a body! Who would have thought that! Wow!" Esther exclaimed finally, shaking herself out of the lustful haze.

"Yeah, I think you just expressed what probably every straight woman and some men at home watching the show thinks, Esther," Missa grinned.

"That woman either walks down the other street, has her eyes disconnected to the rest of her body, or this is the final proof for the long rumoured affair between Lois Lane and Superman. No woman in her right mind could resist that body! Except she knows an even more appealing one."

"Well, I would be very careful with such a statement, Esther." Larry mingled into the gutter.

"There's definitely something going on. Just wait for the final scenes. But right now, we want to show you Lois from a new angle."

"When we showed her this, she was mortified, but then she began to see the humour in it, laughed and swore, she would never overdo that certain thing again. Not to mention her professional ethics. She broke rule number one and got involved with her story about the militant group of divorced women and betrayed wives. They had had their meeting in a club and that's how Lois came back…By the way, we cut out the more disgusting part."


The elevator doors opened and a very dishelved, swaying Lois entered the newsroom. She stumbled a bit and took off her shoes which required a careful balance. A fellow newsman snickered. Focussing after a few attempts at the instigator, Lois glared and slurred.

"Whaddsa funny?"

"Ahm, nothing, it's just…"

"MEN!" Lois shouted, "MEN! Good for short to nothing."

"Lois?" Perry looked up.

"Whadd? Whaddya looking at?"

Deciding Perry wasn't worth the effort of concentrating on, Lois focussed on strolling down the ramp with as much dignity as possible in her inebriated condition, having a tight hold on the rail. On her way to her desk, Lois crossed the path of a female co-worker.

"Heya, Sheila." Lois greeted her enthusiastically, putting one arm over Sheila's shoulders, pulling her close, crooking her finger to encourage her to lean in even closer, still slightly swaying on her feet.

"Listen, honey. You know whadd? Men are all pigs. They use you like a tissue and throw you away after sneezing once into it, they lie with a vengeance, they stab you in the back when you expect it least. They swear, they love you while they're feeling up your best friend under the table. You're their prized trophy. And if one of them is unable to commit himself to one woman alone, his buddies call him a stud. They get better jobs and the better pay for the same work. And if a woman actually makes it to the top, they automatically think she slept her way up. They never put the toilet seat back down and consider burping a sport. Their best friend cleans his nose with one sleeve, while scratching his ass or crotch with the other hand. They lose their money in an all-night-poker game without blinking once, but get into a screaming fit, when their wife buys herself a new dress to look pretty for them or toys for the kids… Ah, kids. Ever noticed, that, when your kids did something wonderful, it's *our* chil…children, but if they screwed something up, it's always *your* son, or even worse, *your* daughter. They forget the wedding anniversary and can't comprehend, why we think a bouquet on the right date is more precious than an diamond collier three weeks later. Now, tell me, if I'm not right."

Sheila bit her inner cheeks to keep a straight face. Lois was in a rare form.

"And if I'm right, why do we put up with them?" Lois looked at Sheila as if this was the question of all questions.

"Because we love them? And know that even the most mature men still have a part of the little boy they once were inside who needs to be taken care of. Maternal instinct kicking in, you know."

Lois frowned, obviously thinking very hard about Sheila's soft answer. "Hmh, maybe…maybe you're right."

"Look, there's Clark coming. He'll see you to your desk and get you some coffee." Sheila pointed to her nearing partner, whose twitching mouth betrayed the inner struggle between concern and utter amusement.

"Lois? Come on, let me help you. You're in no condition to work. I'll get you some coffee and take you home." He gently pulled her away from Sheila who had started to support Lois in her struggle to remain upright.



"And then you take me home?"


"And then?"

"Then you go to bed." Lois' frown deepened again. Distrust coming in waves off her.

"And you?"

"What about me?"

"What will you do, while I'm going to bed?"

"I'll wait until you're in."


"In the living-room, or even better, in the kitchen, pouring you some orange juice and looking for some aspirin."

"And you will not peek?"

"Certainly not." Clark shook his head in emphasis, causing the wild patterned tie to swing slightly. Lois watched this as though hypnotised.

"Lois?" Clark bent down to look evenly into her face when she didn't make any reply.


Lois looked decidedly ill.

"Clark…your tie makes me nauseous…" His eyes widened and he fetched Sheila's waste paper basket right on time before Lois…

…A crimson faced Lois looked up from the basket.

"Oh my God, I'm…" Lois fell onto Sheila's chair. Partly disgusted, partly amused coworkers had long stilled their hands on the keyboards and cranked their necks to watch better.

"Jimmy, get her a glass of water." Clark put the basket onto Sheila's desk.


Too embarrassed, Lois didn't look up.

"Lois, listen. Jimmy is getting you some water to clean your mouth. Let me take this away and then we go. Okay?"

He looked at Perry, who nodded with a big grin. She nodded slowly as if being in a trance. Making sure she was safely seated in the chair and wouldn't slip down to the floor, Clark pulled his tie off and let it fall into the basket.

"I think, you're right. This pattern is a bit too wild, even for me." Lois took the offered glass, gargled and spit the water into the basket. Clark went away with the basket.

"Thank you, Jimmy."

"Feel okay?" clear concern in her young friend's voice.

"No. Not at all."

Clark came back with a cleaned basket.

"No, come on, Lois." Gently he helped her up. Lois' eyes filled with tears, that finally spilled over.

"Oh, Clark," she clung to his neck, "I'm such a mess. And still everybody's so nice. I don't deserve this. I'm such a bitch all the time."

She wept openly. Soothing Clark stroked her back.

"That's not true, Lois. And we all love you," Clark contradicted.


"Yes, all."

"Even you, after I just…right in front of you and almost on your shirt?"

"Lois, you're my best friend and I love you, even now."

"Oh, Clark…you're just the best. The very best of all. My big and strong, soft and caring teddy bear."

"Teddy bear?"

Clark raised his eyebrows, clearly not knowing if he should be feeling honoured, insulted or just amused.

"Yeah, just like Clarkie, the little one you won for me last year."

"Oh, boy!…Lois, can you walk?" He searched her tear stained face for an answer.

"I don't know…OOPS…" She slipped gracefully out of his embrace down to the floor.

"I think I need some help."

Smiling he picked her up and carried her towards the elevators. Lois yawned widely all of a sudden and snuggled into his body, arms around his neck, her head on his shoulder, looking to the world like a five year old.

"Am tired. Wanna sleep." She murmured in a childlike voice. When they reached the elevators, Lois was already fast asleep and didn't see the tender smile on Clark's face as he looked down at the small form in his arms.


"Well, pooh, they certainly have a certain way to handle things…"

"Yeah, and Lois has real class. The next morning she came in with sun glasses, stepped onto her desk to get some attention without the need to shout all over the place, since everybody gathered around the desk. She apologised for the incident the day before and asked them not to shout or yell too loud and put the phone on low, because she had the mother of all headaches."

"The staff laughed and obliged her as good as they could." Larry, Missa and Esther laughed.

"So, what's next? I'm getting really curious about them. You were right. They're a lot more interesting when they don't write."

"The next scene shows how close they are and how deep their trust runs. Poor Lois got the hiccups and whatever we tried to do failed. Holding your breath, swallowing sugar, shock, drinking gallons of water. We even tried three Hail Marys. Nothing helped", Missa told.

"Lois was at that time already quite exhausted. And then Clark had a breathtaking idea, so to speak. But let's see for ourselves." Larry turned to the big screen in the background of the show decoration.

~~~~~ ~~~~~

"My God, honey, how did that happened? How long is this already going on?

Hold your breath," Perry advised concerned.

Lois sat at her desk, fighting the hiccups, gasping for air. "We've already tried everything we could think of, Perry."

Clark answered from beside her desk, where he had crouched down to support Lois in her struggle, turning on his heels to look up at his boss and a helpless Jimmy.

"And now?" Jimmy asked. "Do we call a doctor?"

"I…hick…don't care…hick…what…hick…hick…you do! Hick…Make it…hick …stop…hick…hick…hick…"

"Boss, I think, there's one remedy left…"

Clark stated hesitantly and cautiously.

"What…CLARK! LOIS!" Perry shouted surprised.

"Damned, that boy's good." Perry awed a second later.

"I can see that." Jimmy snickered.

"That's not what I meant! Combining the element of surprise with that of air deprivation. I would have never thought of that."

Both looked at the couple pressed against Lois' sign for recycling, locked in a kiss that barely concealed the underlying sensuality. Finally the shell-shocked Lois tried to wiggle out of his embrace, gasping for air. She slid slowly down to the floor. Clark kneeled down beside her. Panting they looked at each other. Had it worked?

Now carefully, Lois filled her lungs with air and waited.

Nothing. No hiccups.

A wide grin spread Lois' tensed face and finally she giggled.

"Lois?" Clark asked worried.

"Clark, I think this is the first time ever that I actually have to thank someone for kissing me."

Clark chuckled. "You're welcome."

He helped her up. "You okay?"

"Think so."

"Fine. Let's get back to work." Clark turned to his desk.


He turned his head back over his shoulder.



He smiled widely, showing his regular teeth. "I know, Lois."

Lois smiled back, saying under her breath "Don't you always?"

"Wow! That's steamy."

"Yes, wow, Esther. I think, if any other man had tried this with Lois, he would still sing soprano, if you get my drift. On the other hand, Clark is allowed to do many things with Lois. They're really close." Larry sighed.

"Well, I think it's time again for some incentive for the consumer industry, meaning commercials, commercials, com…"


"And here we are again. So, Missa, what's next and final?"

"As next and final we see a new interpretation of the notion 'srewing with someone's mind' by Lane and Kent, the hottest team in town…"

"Lois and Clark were in the conference-room, papers and notes flying everywhere, tossing ideas about the Masterson gold smuggling around. Trying to comprehend what was going on, when Jimmy, Missa and I entered the room."

"And then they finally pieced it all together, and that's how it happened…"

"Can't wait to see."

"Don't need to, because…"


"Masterson sends his ships to Amsterdam."

"From Russia, trains from the mines go West for a carefully organised detour as a diversion."

"In Hungary, ships travel down the Donau into the Black Sea, officially their load is sand."

"The cargo crosses the Sea and in Turkey the sand becomes white pebbles, used to stone wash jeans."

"Through the Mediterrean Sea, up to Amsterdam."

"And in Amsterdam the "pebbles" get transferred onto the Masterson ships. And here in Metropolis customs check only randomly what comes into the country, because…"

"…Masterson is such a support for society and who cares about pebbles anyway? With all the drugs in Colombian coffee?"

Lane and Kent had steadily sped up their conversation.

"We've got him." She stated satisfied, but exited.


"YES!" Lois yelled and threw her arms up in the air. The rapid flow of words had left them slightly breathless. Time suspended for a short moment, when they looked into their eyes, gulping for air. Then they closed the short distance and threw themselves into each others arms, holding each other tight. Jimmy had watched the exchange wide-eyed and grinned smugly all of a sudden.

"Hey, you two. Sex during office hours is forbidden."

Lois and Clark froze, but then Clark grinned and let himself fall into the next available chair, pulling Lois down onto his lap. Surprised, Lois let it happen and watched like the others, as Clark reached for the pack of cigarettes and the lighter, long forgotten by someone. Taking one out, he lit it up, puffed on the cigarette with relish and blew the smoke up into the air. Obviously Lois must have caught on, what was going on, because she took his cigarette and puffed as well, before Clark took it back again, sighing deeply and satisfied. Lois snuggled into his chest and rested her head back onto his shoulder.

"So, babe, was it as good for you as it was for me?" Clark's voice dropped half an octave. With a sultry voice she answered.

"Oh, yesss. Nobody does it better than you, stud muffin." Lois looked adoringly into his eyes.

Jimmy's eyes got even wider, jaw dropped down to the floor. They looked at him and the mouths started twitching and finally Lane and Kent cracked up in laughter.

"Jimmy, you should have seen your face…" Lois gasped. With unpractised fingers Clark stomped the cigarette into the empty ashtray. The Daily Planet was normally a no-smoke building.

"Yes, that face was worth it to pick up a cigarette. God, this stuff is awful."

"Tell me again. My kingdom for a toothbrush…Ahm, Clark…'was it as good…'?"

"Well, there's a first time for everything."

"So, you don't ask usually?"

"I've never used that or a similar phrase in my whole life, Lois. Every time I imagine a situation like this, I see her hand reach into a drawer next to the bed and take out little cards, giving grades for technique and artistic performance."

The laughter was on his side.


"Well, that was Lane and Kent. They're amazing."

"And you said, many more incidents made it into the script of your movie?"

"Some, even one or two of the ones, you've just seen."

"When it's like this, I can't wait to watch the real movie."

"So, wait another three months and then lean back and enjoy the adventure of Nicols and Holler. By the way: they read the new and final script. Clark smiled about the end of the movie, Lois rolled her eyes and said something like 'typical Hollywood. Can't shoot a movie without the leading characters ending up in bed together. How unbelievable and cliched can you get?'"

"Well, unbelievable and cliched or not. One thing we learned from Lane and Kent. With these two, EVERYTHING is possible."

"I see our time is up for this evening. Missa, Larry, thank you for coming. I wish you success and fun shooting the movie. We'll wait eagerly for the start of your movie. And I think after this evening, even the life of Lane and Kent will be under a closer scrutiny. Maybe life will imitate Hollywood?"

"Thank you, Esther. It's been nice being here tonight." "Yeah, we'll see us again, Esther. Goodbye."

"Okay, FoLCs, we'll meet again tomorrow night. Up to then, have a nice time. Bye."


Missa, Larry and Ester got up. Smiling and cracking jokes they stretched and went to make-up to let loose for the night. The studio emptied and the lights got turned out.