By Tank Wilson <TankW1@aol.com>
Submitted September 1999
Summary: Lois makes a bet with Cat, but is Lois prepared to accept its unexpected outcome?
The following story was originally posted on Zoomway's boards in two parts a while ago. It is merely meant to be a bit of fun fluff from the first season. Any and all feedback is welcome. All characters are copyrighted and trademarked to their respective owners.
Her dress clung tight in all the right spots, and the highlights in the hair which flowed over her shoulders shone brightly in the lights of the newsroom. Cat Grant knew the effect she had on all the men at the Planet, well, almost all the men. There was one guy she couldn't seem to reach and that bugged her.
Her stride was purposeful as she zeroed in on the desk of Lois Lane. Cat threw herself into the guest chair next to Lois' desk. Lois didn't look up from the pile of notes she was working on.
"Okay Lois, I give up. What's the deal with you?"
Lois looked up, feigning surprise. "Why Cat, you're here! Is it noon already?"
"Funny Lois." Cat gave her an insincere smile. "I'm serious here. What is it with you?"
"Cat, I have no idea what you're talking about." Lois' exasperation with Cat's question was clearly evident.
"Come on Lois. You are the envy of every gal here. You are partnered with the hunkiest guy to ever come through this place." Lois' and Cat's gazes both strayed up to the coffee machine where Clark was presently conversing with Jimmy. "You treat him like dirt yet he follows you around like a lost puppy. Anyone can see that the guy has it bad for you." Cat took a moment to adjust the top of her dress. "Heck, I've tried everything short of stripping naked in front of him to get him to notice me."
"Really, how'd you miss that one?" Lois' voice dripped with sarcasm.
"I might just try it if I thought it would work, but that poor guy's only got eyes for little Miss Prim and Perfect."
"That's ridiculous!" Lois glared at Cat. "Clark and I have only known each other a few months and have managed to become friends and that's all."
"Come on Lois, twenty dollars says Clark thinks of you as more than a friend."
Lois scowled at Cat. "Sure, I'm going to march up to Clark and ask him sweetly," she continued in a sotto voice, "Oh Clarkie, do you really have a thing for me like everyone says you do?" Lois shook her head. "I don't think so."
"No, I have a much better way to find out." An evil smile spread across Cat's lips. Lois just looked at her. "I can tell the first time I really kiss a guy whether or not he's interested. There are definite levels of that return kiss which give you a gauge on his feelings for you." Cat gave Lois a sidelong glance. "You *have* kissed a man before, haven't you Lois?"
"Once or twice," Lois replied, returning Cat's sarcasm.
"Okay, twenty bucks says, you go up and plant a big wet one on Clark and he'll respond in such a manner that you'll know he thinks of you as more than a friend" Cat pulled a Jackson out of her belt and held it up in front of Lois.
"You know, Clark and I have kissed before," Lois countered.
"I'm not talking about those sisterly pecks you've exchanged. I mean you put your all into it and see how he responds. What do you say?" Cat glanced over her shoulder at Clark, then turned back to Lois. "Or are you chicken?"
Lois glared at Cat for a few moments then thrust her hand into her bag and pulled out a twenty dollar bill. She shoved it into Cat's hand. "You hold it."
Lois stood up, smoothed her dress, then marched up the ramp to the coffee area where Clark and Jimmy were still chatting. Cat followed her half-way: then, leaning against the railing, she settled back to watch the event unfold. Other staffers backed away once they saw the look in Lois' eyes as she approached. The commotion caused Clark to turn. Seeing Lois, he smiled at her
"Hi Lois, what's…"
Clark was cut off in mid-sentence as Lois pulled his head down to her and crushed her lips to his, throwing all the passion she could muster behind it. Clark was at first startled, then surrendered himself to the heat of Lois' kiss. He felt like a man drowning and welcomed it. He began to return the passion that Lois was sending and could tell Lois was beginning to respond to his return kiss, but as quickly as it had started it was over.
Lois released him, turned on her heel, and headed back toward her desk to the sounds of catcalls and applause. Lois didn't slow down or even look at Cat, who was fanning herself with the two bills, as she passed.
Clark Kent was still in shock as he watched the retreating form of his partner and the unrequited love of his life, Lois Lane. At least she was before 'the kiss'; now he wasn't so sure. The rest of the Planet staffers were hooting and clapping. Clark felt like he'd just won the lottery or something. Only this had been much better.
He watched Lois pass by Cat and say something he didn't catch as she passed on her way back to her desk. Reaching her desk, she calmly sat and busied herself with her notes again.
Cat walked up the ramp and stopped in front of Clark. He didn't realize she was there until she ran her fingernail along his jaw.
"Such a waste," she sighed, then left in the opposite direction.
Clark shook off his bemused state and traced the path Lois had just taken seconds ago. He sat on his customary corner of her desk. She appeared to be busy shuffling stacks of notes back and forth across the desk.
"Do you want to tell me what that was all about?"
Lois looked up, her face a mask of innocence. "It was nothing."
"Yeah, just had to settle a bet with Cat."
"A bet that involved kissing me?"
"Yeah." Lois grabbed a sheaf of papers as she stood up. "Do you have your notes on the Melisma Scandal ready yet?"
Clark was momentarily thrown by the abrupt change of subject. Lois had her business face firmly in place.
"Well yes, but…"
"Fine. Grab them and meet me in the conference room." She turned and headed in that direction.
"Lois?" No answer. "Fine!"
Clark hurried to his desk, gathered up his own notes, and followed her. He arrived only seconds after she did but Lois was already putting her copious notes and research into several piles. She didn't look up as he entered the room. Clark closed the door behind him, went over to where she was sitting, and placed his hand over hers to stop her frenetic actions. She looked up.
"Okay, give. What is going on here?" Their eyes met, each felt a little heartburp. "And don't tell me it was nothing because what I felt back there was definitely something."
Lois bit her lower lip and looked off to the side. Suddenly she slumped back into the chair as if the air had been let out of her. In a rush, with each word seemingly competing to get out of her mouth first, Lois recounted her earlier conversation and subsequent bet with Cat. When she had finally finished she exhaled like she'd been holding her breath the whole time. Clark was smiling.
"And?" He said with a hint of amusement in his voice.
She frowned at him. "Okay I admit that Cat was right. When I kissed you I could easily tell that you had strong feelings for me by the way you returned that kiss, but that's not what scared me."
Clark chuckled. "Too bad you didn't hang in there a little longer." Clark was enjoying this way too much in Lois' opinion.
"No, that's what scared me. I had to break because I became afraid of what *I* felt. I found myself losing control, over myself and the situation. I was enjoying that kiss like I had no other before."
"And is that so bad?"
"Yes! No! Oh, I don't know. You can see how screwed up this has made me. Clark, I consider you my friend, my best friend, but I don't know about this. I'm not sure how to… Clark!?"
Suddenly, Clark had that irritating far-away look in his eyes again. Lois could just about guess what was coming next.
"Ah, I'm sorry Lois. I just remembered that I…" He patted his pants pockets. "Seem to have mislaid my keys. I think they might have fallen out when I was down in the locker room. I'd better go see if I can find them before some over zealous janitor accidentally throws them out." Clark started backing out the door. "I promise, we'll continue this later. Be back as soon as I can. I'm really sorry."
As Lois watched Clark disappear around the corner she angrily kicked back in the chair and threw her pen against the wall. She shook her head.
"Oh yeah." Heavy sarcasm belied her words. "There's definitely a future there."
(fade to black as we quietly slip back into season one continuity)