By Carol M. <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Submitted: November 2002
Summary: What would happen if Perry sent his star reporters on a photo shoot with a couple of ambitious photographers?
Author's notes: I don't own any of the characters — not even the 'new' ones [most of you will recognize them!!!]. I just had an idea and some fun. I don't own any of the pictures either… Or the slogan that most of you [Americans at least, not sure about everyone else, but you'll get it at least] will recognize. Special thanks to Katie S. and Kaylle for all their very hard work looking at yummy pictures of Clark [and Lois] while helping me with this fic.
Extra special thanks to Karen for inspiring the whole thing with the last line and most abject apologies because it took me so long to realize that acknowledgement had been inadvertently left out.
*~*~*~ indicates a picture. Annesplace has the version with pictures. Personally, I think it works MUCH better with pics, and that's the version I recommend, but I understand not everyone can DL them.
Thanks to everyone who encouraged me with this!!!
"Perry!" Lois whined, "I have better things to do with my time!"
"This came down from high up, honey." Perry pointed at the ceiling. "The big boys upstairs want you and Clark to do this."
"It's in your contract, honey. You have to do promotional stuff from time to time. It's no different than the 'Hottest Team in Town' pictures you two did."
"Sure it is, Perry. This is for an advertising agency. They want me to promote some product I may or may not even use!" She was quickly approaching full Lois-rant mode. "Only poor actresses or actors or leftover football stars do ads! I mean, next thing you know you'll be wanting me to promote Radio Shack or some other dumb thing."
"I'm serious, Perry. I have much better things to do. They want to send their best reporter, okay, reporters, to do a photo shoot that won't even help sell more papers. It's to sell some product that probably isn't safe for kids and I wouldn't give my own mother!"
Perry took advantage of Lois' deep breath she carried on with her rant. "Lois, honey, it's milk."
She stopped mid-stride and turned to look at him. "What?"
"The ad is for milk, Lois."
"Oh." She seemed to deflate before his eyes. "Milk. I drink milk. And so does Clark."
"And so does Superman. He's doing an ad, too."
Perry amended his statement. "Well, they want him to, but they haven't been able to get a hold of him yet. That's also a job for you and Kent. Think of it as a public service announcement."
Lois glared at him. "I'll tell Clark. He can get a hold of Superman easier than I can."
"Good. I don't want you throwing yourself out the window and hollering 'Help, Superman!' to find him."
"I don't do that anymore, Perry, and you know it."
"I know, I know. Now, the two of you need to be at the photo studio in an hour, so you better get to it."
Lois rolled her eyes. "Fine. We'll be back this afternoon."
She started to leave, but was halted by a voice calling after her. "And, Lois?"
"Don't forget to smile!"
She smiled at him and answered in a softer voice. "I won't."
"What are we doing here, Lois?" Clark had been out on a rescue when his pager went off. A call to Lois' cell phone had told him where to meet her. They now stood in front of Lex Towers looking up at the tall building. A shudder ran through the two of them simultaneously as they recalled the last time they stood there.
"We're getting our pictures taken, Clark. Come on."
A quick survey of the building's tenant list told them that Metropolis Advertisers were on the fifteenth floor. The ride in the elevator was filled with a comfortable silence until they approached their destination.
"Lois, you never did tell me why we're getting our pictures taken."
Lois rolled her eyes. "We're part of an ad campaign."
Clark was puzzled. "We just did the 'Hottest Team in Town' pictures a couple of months ago. They want us to do more already?"
"No. This is for something else. Perry said to think of it as a 'public service announcement'." She made quote marks in the air with her fingers as they exited the elevator.
"But what is it, Lois?"
"Oh." Lois waved her hand dismissively. "We're going to be wearing milk mustaches, I guess."
"Milk?" Clark's eyes lit up. "I love milk!"
"I know. That's…"
The receptionist interrupted her. "Can I help you?"
"I'm Lois Lane. This is Clark Kent. We're here for a photo shoot."
"Oh, yes. The milk campaign, right?"
"Did you bring Superman with you?"
Clark raised his eyebrows. "Superman?"
"Yes, we were under the impression he would be coming with you."
"We haven't been able to get a hold of him yet."
The receptionist frowned. "They really wanted to get the three of you together."
"Have you talked to Superman about this yet?" Clark asked her, a slight frown on his face.
"No. We were told the two of you would take care of that. I mean, we would have, but how are we supposed to get in touch with him? Jump out a window and yell, 'Help! Superman!'?"
Lois opened her mouth but shut it when she saw the look on Clark's face.
"That's not the best way to get in contact with Superman, Ms…" Clark looked at the nameplate on her desk. "Thompson."
"I know, Mr. Kent. I'm not about to risk my life in case he's in Japan because of an earthquake or something."
Clark muttered something about some people having some sense as he watched Ms. Thompson push a button on the phone.
A few minutes later, they were led down the hall and into a studio.
A pretty, young woman bustled around the room. "Hi," she called. "I'm Katie S. Just Katie S. No last name. Only Katie S. If you head over there," she pointed towards the corner of the room, "you'll find dressing rooms. Your clothes are in there — they're marked for each change. Except for Superman, of course. He can just wear his suit." She stopped and looked at the pair standing just inside the doorway. "Where's Superman?"
"He's not here." Lois barely got the words out before Katie S. was going on.
"Oh, well. We can photograph him later and then make them into one photo — no one will ever know the difference."
Clark looked at her warily. "Um, all three of us?"
"Well, yes. You two are his only known friends and you have the most exclusives on him. People associate the three of you."
"Which is exactly why he won't want to do it," Clark interjected.
Katie S. waved her arm hand in the air. "Never mind that for now. We'll do your pictures now and superimpose him in later. Now, go change."
Clark emerged from his dressing room a few minutes before Lois. His dark shirt and flashy tie were things that he felt comfortable in and he was grateful for that. At least he wasn't shirtless or anything. Surely Katie S. wouldn't expect that of him. But as he watched the bundle of energy work around the studio, he suddenly wasn't sure and uncomfortably loosened his tie just a bit.
"Oh, good! There you two are. Let's go," she called as Clark heard the door to the other dressing room close behind him.
He turned to see Lois wearing a gray pinstripe suit. Very professional. Good. Let's keep this safe. Clark could just see this Katie person having them get close with Lois wearing an incredibly short skirt or something. *That* could be uncomfortable.
The backdrop was supposed to look like the newsroom, he guessed, and for the rest of the photo shoot, he tuned out his super-hearing and focused on getting the shots right the first time. It was sort of fun and he and Lois were close, but not too close. Friendly, but not too friendly.
And then they changed clothes.
Lois emerged from her dressing room in a pair of form fitting, though comfortable, black jeans with a white button-down shirt tucked into them.
Her breath caught in her throat as she saw Clark. The only way to describe him was… yummy.
The blue jeans fit well around his thighs and hips. The wide brown belt separated the jeans from the denim shirt. The sleeves were rolled up to his elbows, leaving his tanned, well-muscled forearms exposed as he held a rubber mallet similar to the one he had used in Smallville to win her a bear. The grin on his face was patently Clark. Those teeth were… well, when combined with the rest of the package, it should be illegal to look that good!
Lois suddenly shook her head. What was she thinking?! This was CLARK she was looking at! Her partner and best friend, not some hunk of meat.
But what a nice hunk of meat he was.
The thought had come unbidden and she quickly pushed it to the back of her mind.
And then it was her turn. Clark smiled warmly at her as he passed on his way to change his clothes again. What could they possibly put him in next that would be even better?
After Katie S. had taken a few pictures, Lois was getting her hair touched up by Kaylle, Katie's assistant when she saw a shirtless Clark emerge from his dressing room.
She heard a gasp and belatedly realized she was the one who had made the sound.
He had no business looking so good. What was he doing? Trying to show off for Katie? That had to be it. He must have a thing for her. She *was* cute. Lois didn't understand the feeling that washed over her. Was it, could it be… jealousy?
No, it couldn't be. Clark was a very nice looking man, but she had no hold on him. No right to be jealous if he decided to try and impress someone else.
Her attention was drawn back to Kaylle who was… What was she doing? Unbuttoning her shirt?!
Clark felt a blush spread from his face down into his chest as Kaylle unbuttoned the top couple of buttons on Lois' shirt. She then started working on the bottom buttons. How far was this going to go?!
He breathed a sigh of relief when she stopped and tied the bottom two ends together.
What had he been thinking? He should have known something like this would happen. He'd see Lois and get weak-kneed. More than he could handle.
The black denim hugged her hips. She hooked her thumbs inside the front pockets and he thought he could see just a hint of her belly button above the waistband. Her flat stomach peeked from beneath the knot in the shirt and her collarbone, as well as some more supple skin, was revealed by the buttons undone from her throat. The sleeves were rolled up a bit, exposing her slender wrists, her long fingers a stark contrast to the dark denim. A large fan blew her illustrious hair and a sensuous look crossed her face, her eyes half closed. He mentally searched through over three hundred languages and the only word that came close to describing the way she looked was… perfect.
Three days later, a courier arrived at the Planet. Jimmy had signed for the envelope, but a big story had kept them all busy and he forgot to give it to them until they were on their way out the door.
Blushing as she remembered some of the photos, Lois suggested they head to her apartment before looking at them, unwilling to do to view them in a public place.
Clark was quick to agree. He'd thought the shirtless set of pictures had been embarrassing, but they were nothing compared to what happened later.
He pushed the thoughts from his mind. If the gods were smiling down on him, then those particular pictures wouldn't be included in that envelope, but he couldn't bring himself to take a peek to be sure.
Somehow, they managed light-hearted banter on the way to Lois' apartment. Lois tossed the envelope on the coffee table on her way into the kitchen.
"Do you want coffee or tea?" she called over her shoulder.
"Whatever you have is fine."
"I wonder if the pictures with Superman are in there too?"
A thought suddenly struck Clark. She wouldn't have — would she? He, as Superman, had explicitly instructed Katie S. not to print any pictures with all three of them, or even the ones she had insisted on taking of Superman with Lois. "Maybe," he called to her as he used a bit of x-ray vision.
Lois was coming back from the kitchen. He had to get that picture out of there before she saw it. He turned his back to her and with a quick burst of super-speed, he took out the picture Katie had made against his express wishes. He quickly hid it in his jacket. He'd have to find a better place soon.
"Let me see those, Clark." Lois held out her hand after she set the mugs on the table.
He handed her the envelope and hoped there were no other pictures in there that would be too embarrassing.
Lois pulled a stack of pictures out. "There's a note from Katie." She read it aloud. "'The set of pictures we have taken to affectionately calling 'steam' were a bit too… steamy for a milk campaign so they're not in here. However, the Planet has said they may be interested in using them for an ad campaign at a later date. Please let us know as soon as possible if any of the pictures included are unacceptable. Katie S.'"
Clark felt his skin turn all shades of red as he thought of the pictures she had to mean. He was grateful when she interrupted.
"Well, Clark, let's see what the damage is." She moved the handwritten sheet off the top of the stack to expose one of the first set of pictures they had taken.
Professional picture of Lois and Clark in the Newsroom — Caption: The Hottest Team in Town: When we're chasing down a lead, we need plenty of energy. A glass of ice-cold milk helps give us the strength to pursue the hot story. Got milk?
Clark looked at it critically. "It's not bad."
Lois twisted her head to study it from all angles. "Wonder what the Planet will think about them using the 'Hottest Team in Town' thing."
"I'm sure they'll either okay it, or they'll have to change it."
Lois moved that one to the bottom of the stack. Clark. Blue jeans. Very nice.
Picture of Clark wearing denim jeans and button down shirt. Caption: "Like a good country boy — Clark Kent came to Metropolis from Smallville, KS, where he learned that a glass a day keeps the doctor away! Got milk?
"Wow, Clark. I like it. You look very…" Lois searched for the right word. "Corn Festivalish."
Clark laughed. "Thanks."
"Tell them to use it."
"Okay." He took the stack from her. "Let's find one of you."
He didn't have to look far. The next picture took his breath away.
Picture of Lois in white top and black jeans. Caption: Work out every day? Lois Lane does. She knows drinking milk helps her stay fit. Got milk?
"Wow! Lois, you look incredible!" Clark swallowed hard. For two days he'd imagined what this picture would look like and it was even more spectacular than the ones he'd seen in his head. It was… perfect.
Lois looked at it critically. "I don't know. I think my wrists look too…" She searched for the right word. "Bony or something."
Clark looked again. "I think they look fine Lois. Besides, the writing covers up one of them."
"Okay. I'll let them use it." She flashed back to when they were taking the picture and the sight of Clark without his shirt on. Her pulse quickened just thinking about it. She resolutely pushed the thoughts out of her mind and went on to the next pictures.
The next two pictures were safe.
Two pictures of Superman:
1: Black and white superhero pose. Caption: Heat vision comes in handy. After flying all night chasing bad guys, a glass of warm milk helps me unwind. Got milk?
2: Red background, superhero pose, cape fluttering. Caption: It's a bird! It's a plane! It's Superman! Whether it's fighting crime in Metropolis or earthquakes in Japan, milk gives me what I need to be Super. Got milk?
"He looks nice, don't you think, Clark?"
Clark hated seeing himself in spandex.
Lois went on without waiting for Clark's answer. "I think he'll approve them, don't you?"
Clark nodded. "Yeah, I bet he will."
"Where do you think Superman goes to drink his milk?" she asked idly. The thought had never really occurred to her before. Where could Superman go if he wanted a glass of milk?
"Uh, he drinks milk at my place sometimes."
"Really? You never told me that before."
Clark smiled. "There's lots of things I've never told you before, Lois."
Lois smiled back. "Let's see what other pictures are in here."
Picture of shirtless Clark. Caption: Milk builds muscles. Like these. Got milk?
Lois gulped hard. Wow. Clark looked… very nice.
"Uh, no." Clark put the picture aside. "That one is NOT going to be used."
"Why not?" Lois picked it up and looked at it critically. "It's…" She chose her words carefully. "Not bad." She didn't want Clark to know how it affected her to see him. Those muscles… She had seen him shirtless before. The day after she met him he had opened the door in nothing but a towel and that hadn't affected her like seeing him in the studio had. Maybe it was this… undefined something that was between them. There was definitely an attraction and she had noticed that he hadn't quite met her eyes when she'd gone past him with her midriff showing. And later…
She took a deep breath and willed her heartbeat to slow down. "Let them use it, Clark."
"You think so?" he asked doubtfully.
"Sure. You said I have to use the one with my stomach showing so you have to use the one with your stomach."
She saw Clark roll his eyes. "Fine." He placed the picture back in the stack.
Lois picked up the next picture and her heart began racing again. Her mind flashed back. She'd been wearing a very short skirt and she'd seen appreciation in Clark's eyes. He'd been as uncomfortable as she had been at first, but somehow, the closer they'd gotten, the better it felt.
Clark had been so close to her.
Picture of Lois and Clark very close, her hands on his chest. Clark is wearing a suit and Lois is wearing boots with a heel and a short grey skirt with a black shirt. Caption: It does a body good. Need we say more? Got milk?
His leg was brushing against hers… It was the same spot his hand had been during those pictures, when Katie had had him slide it slightly under her skirt. And she could still feel his warm skin under her hand… The way she had wrapped her arms around him and pulled his shirt open… The way both of his hands had held her leg wrapped around him…
She HAD to stop thinking about it. She HAD to change the subject.
They turned to each other, faces only inches away. She could see the heat and desire in his eyes; he wanted to kiss her and she wanted it too. Badly.
Almost of its own volition, her hand reached up to cradle his face. Her thumb ran itself along his cheekbone. It moved to the back of his neck and tangled itself in his hair. She could feel herself pull his head to hers and then her lips brushed his.
It was sweet, that first kiss, but hot on its heels came the second kiss. Lois felt Clark's arms move around her and he tugged her closer to him, his mouth desperately moving on hers. The steam from the photo came to life as their bodies pressed close together. She felt her second hand move onto his chest and play with one of the buttons there. It would be so easy to undo it and slide her hand inside…
She unbuttoned it and started to slip her hand inside. She had only the slightest sensation of feeling something other than skin when Clark pulled away. He moved her hand away from his chest and she could see something akin to fear in his eyes. Was that regret mingled there too? What was he afraid of? And what had that been under his shirt? Surely he didn't wear women's lingerie or something. But he had been wearing *something* under his shirt.
Clark interrupted her thoughts. "Uh, Lois. I gotta go."
And with that he bolted for the door, dropping something on his way. He fumbled with the locks, but managed to open it quickly. She heard him say something unintelligible as the door swung shut behind him.
Lois sat back on the couch. What had just happened? She couldn't have been the only one who thought that kiss was absolutely incredible. But yet again, Clark had run off on her.
Puzzled by what she didn't understand, she reached for the folded paper that he had dropped.
She opened it, studied it quizzically and then realization spread across her face.
"CLARK JEROME KENT! GET YOUR BUTT BACK IN HERE!"
Photo of Lois and Superman with his cape wrapped around her. Clark is superimposed into it. Clark and Superman have similar expressions on their faces. Caption: Metropolis Crime Fighters. We all fight crime. We all drink milk. What more could you ask for? Got milk?