Coffee or Tea: That is the Question

By Alicia U. <> or <>

Rated PG

Submitted February 2000

Summary: Lois knows best, at least when it comes to which beverage to choose.

This is yet another example of what a biomedical engineering class can do to you.


Ah, life was good. Lois Lane had everything she needed for a relaxing midwinter evening: a good book that she had been wanting to read for a long time, a perfect husband to cuddle up against, and a nice, hot cup of tea to help her relax. After their recent long days working at the Planet on yet another big story, all she wanted to do was curl up on the couch with her husband and a nice cup of tea. Lately, her husband, Clark, had tried to convince her that tea was the perfect relaxation agent and that she should try it. Lois, however, was not convinced. In fact, she had always preferred coffee to tea, even when she was trying to relax. She also had tried to resist relaxation whenever possible before they were married because she claimed it made her lose her edge. But now that they were married, she allowed Clark to help her relax, at least sometimes.

Later that night Clark had collapsed onto the bed, exhausted from their long day at work, several taxing Superman rescues, and then an exhausting 'work out' with his wife. Lois, however, was having trouble settling down. As a half-asleep Clark watched her, Lois had rearranged their closet and drawers, ironed his dress shirts, ironed his capes, done her aerobics work out twice, and practiced her tae kwon do. She looked like a whirlwind to Clark, the man with Superspeed. Lois was rivaling him when it came to speed. Bouncing happily from one task to another, Lois reminded him of a man he met on the street who was high on speed. By the time Clark had fallen asleep, Lois had pulled out her laptop and opened her romance novel file. All night she worked on the long forgotten novel, and by morning she had written thirty pages, but she hadn't slept a wink all night, and, surprisingly, Clark hadn't woken up to be Superman all night. Metropolis must have been uncharacteristically quiet for him not to have to go out.

As the sun rose, Lois began to feel her high fade. In fact, she was feeling extremely fatigued. She had to lay her head on the pillow for just a few seconds, and then she'd be fine and ready to get up and face the new day. They had a long day ahead of them at the Planet. When her head hit the pillow, she immediately fell into a deep sleep, and when the alarm when off thirty minutes later, she was in such a deep sleep, she didn't even hear it. Clark knew she had been up all night, and was worried about why she hadn't been able to sleep. Whatever it was, he knew it had finally worked its way out of her system for her to be sleeping so soundly. From the way she was sleeping now, he knew that she wouldn't be awake to come to work this morning. He got ready for work and tried to wake her up, but she just mumbled that she wasn't going to work today. Clark raised his eyebrows incredulously. When did Lois ever not go to work? In the more than four years he had known her, he couldn't remember any time she voluntarily stayed home sick. He kissed her gently on the head and left her a note on the bedstand telling her that she should call him as soon as she woke up.

He felt terrible leaving her, but he had to go to work. They had interviews with some of the biggest players in Intergang, and they were willing to spill the beans on the boss of the operation. Lois would kill him if he didn't go, if she didn't kill him for not waking her up first.

Around noon, Lois lazily stretched and reached out to Clark. He wasn't there, so Lois figured that he was probably away on some rescue. When she turned to look at the clock, she cried out in amazement at the time.

"11:59!" she cried, "How could I have slept until 11:59? Oh God, I missed the Intergang interview!"

She sat up in bed with her legs off to the side and saw the note Clark left. It read:

Honey, don't be mad at me for going in to work without you. I tried to wake you up, but you told me you weren't going in. Since I knew you'd kill me if we missed the interview, I went in. I'm sorry.

Please call me as soon as you wake up. I am so worried about you.

Love, Me

She smiled as she read the note, and not only because Clark had gotten the interview, but because Clark worried about her. Sometimes his concern was annoying, but today, it just seemed so sweet. Never in her life did she believe she would ever have a man as sweet and caring as Clark Kent. How she ended up with just such a man was still a mystery to her. As soon as she finished the note, she picked up the phone and dialed his cell phone number.

"Clark Kent."

"Hey, sexy, I got your note."

"Lois how are you doing? I've been so worried about you."

"I'm not so worried about me as I am about Intergang. You got the interview, right?"

Clark sighed. Lois always worried more about her job than about her own well-being.

"Yes, I got the interview, but I think it might have been a bust. You'd never believe it. The guy fingered Mindy Church."

Lois laughed out loud, "Mindy Church? He has to be kidding. That bimbo could never run an organization like Intergang!"

"I know. That's what I said! So, anyway, how are you feeling?"

Lois rubbed her head where it terribly ached.

"I guess I'm doing better, but I'm so tired. I don't think I slept at all last night."

"You didn't, honey. It was like you were on some kind of drug or something."

"I don't know. Maybe it was the tea?"

"No, I don't think it could be the tea. I get it from China, and I'm sure it was totally pure."

They talked for a few more minutes until Clark heard a cry for Superman, and they had to hang up. Lois, however, still wasn't convinced that the tea wasn't to blame. As soon as she felt awake enough to get out of bed, she ventured to the computer and logged onto one of the medical informational wed sights. There she found the information she was looking for and printed the information so she could show Clark.

That afternoon, she decided she felt well enough to go into work. Besides, she had to prove to Clark that she was right. As soon as she stepped off the elevator, Clark saw her and jogged up the ramp to meet her.

When he got there, she shoved the paper in his face.

"See, honey, tea is not a relaxing beverage. This says that tea keeps you awake even more than coffee does because it has more of those… um… I can't pronounce the word… it begins with an 'x'."

Clark, who was reading the article, said, "Xanthines?"

"Yeah, that sounds right. Those are the things that keep you awake and make you hyperactive. Caffeine is one, but the one in tea, I think it begins with a 't', is much stronger. It actually makes some people more hyper than coffee or chocolate do."

Clark raised his eyebrows. He had read the article, and it certainly proved that Lois was right about the tea. But this contradicted everything that he had ever believed about tea, and that shocked him.

Lois gloated, "So I guess I was right all along: chocolate and coffee are much better for you than tea is! So I want a cup of coffee and a double fudge crunch bar right about now."

Clark just smiled and stifled a laugh. It was good to have his wife back to her old self!