Just a Number

By Sam Jackson <samjbham@yahoo.com>

Rated: G

Submitted: November 2006

Summary: It's a showdown! Clark's been "gardening," and wants a kiss, but Lois breaks out the cleaner. Will she clean his clock, will he steal second base—again—or will they calla draw due to interference?


<When did I become so domesticated?> That was the main question running through Lois Lane's mind as she stood on a dangerously wobbly chair, leaning over to dust the top of her kitchen cabinets. Most people would be thinking about how precariously positioned they were, and why not get down and actually MOVE the chair — but then Lois Lane was definitely not most people.

"I blame you for this Clark. This is what married life has done to me!" she declared out loud, before applying herself to a particularly stubborn mark.

"And what have I done now, dear?" came the cheerful reply. Startled, Lois rocked to one side before catching her balance. She turned round to face the door, only to find her husband had appeared at her side, ready to catch her had she toppled off the chair.

"You have finally managed to turn me into a clean freak," she informed him in a stern tone.

"Ah. Well, miracles do happen!" Clark replied, causing Lois to swat him with the duster. "Seriously though, Lois, that's not exactly the safest way to reach high places. Come down and I'll do it later."

"Clark, I am perfectly capable of cleaning the kitchen," she told him, rolling her eyes. But, when he continued to look reproachfully at her, she sighed and began to climb down.

"Hey, need a hand?" Clark offered her his hand, as his wife carefully lowered herself to the floor.

"Not those hands I don't!" Lois replied, noticing for the first time the mud smeared over Clark's hands and arms. "What on earth have you been up to out there?"

"Um…gardening?" he replied, keeping a perfectly straight face. He reached out to draw her in for a kiss, but she avoided him and moved away to wash her own hands at the sink.

"Sure you have, Mr Green Fingers," Lois said disbelievingly, as she ran the water.

"What, these simple farm boy's hands are too grimy for you?" he joked, stepping up behind her. Lois ducked under his grasp, flicking water over him. "Clark, you touch me in that state, and I swear you will regret it!"

"Oh really?" he asked, amused at her threat. "And what exactly are you going to do to me? Bearing in mind I am pretty much invulnerable of course." Clark continued to advance as his wife slowly backed away.

Lois steadied herself as she stepped behind the table. "I'm warning you Kent, don't come any closer!"

"Nope, sorry, you don't scare me! And the problem is that you now owe me a kiss, and I'm not leaving until I've got one!"

"Well I hope you're a very patient man!"

"Not any more, Lois, that's one of the things married life has done to me!" he grinned, as they slowly circled the table.

"Well the question is, Clark; are you fast enough to catch me?" Lois shot back, hiding her smile with raised eyebrows.

"Hmm, I think I can manage!" he said. They came to a stop, still with the table between them. Clark folded his arms across his chest, trying to look stern.

"Don't you pull that Superman stance on me mister, it doesn't fly anymore!" Lois warned, leaning on the back of a chair.

Clark laughed and, concentrating hard, began to rise off the floor and float slowly over the table. "Oh really?" he asked, grinning at her unconcerned facade.

"Show off," she muttered, before spotting the bottle of cleaning fluid in front of her. Snatching it up, she pointed the nozzle directly at him. "Stop right there, or I'll spray you right out of the sky, flyboy!"

Clark stopped midair, wobbling slightly as he fought to stay still. "You wouldn't dare."

"Try me!"

They stared at each other, both struggling to keep a serious face, Lois' finger shaking on the trigger of the bottle. "Well what happens now, Clark? It seems we've reached an impasse," she said.

"Well," Clark started, pretending to think carefully. "We could reach a compromise; you let me kiss you but I promise not to touch you with my hands. Or…"

"Or what?" she asked, before Clark suddenly shot forwards towards her. Lois tried to squeeze the trigger, but it had been taken out of her hands. "Clark!" she shrieked. "Let me go, you'll get dirt all over me!"

"I can't believe you actually tried to spray me!" Clark exclaimed, gripping her wrists gently.

"Never underestimate Lois Lane! And you're lucky my Tae Kwon Do is a little rusty, or you'd be dead meat right about now" she told him, wriggling in his grasp.

Clark, worried about hurting her, let her arms go, sliding his own arms around her waist instead. "It wouldn't matter honey, I think I've just proved I'm fast enough to beat you to the punch!" he joked.

"Yes, but you've never beaten me to a story, have you?" she remarked, smartly.

"Oh, are you going to pay for that, Mrs. Kent!" he replied, "And to the victor, the spoils!" he announced leaning in for a kiss.

Just at that moment, the back door opened with a crash. Lois and Clark looked over to see a small whirlwind entering their kitchen.

"Grandpa, Grandpa!" shouted the whirlwind, tugging at Clark's pants. "Daddy is back! Come on, I wanna show him our mud pies!"

Lois looked back into Clark's eyes. "Gardening, right?" she asked.

Clark shrugged sheepishly, "Hey, we did some planting too!" he told her.

"Yeah, Grandma! We're growing a chocolate tree!" said the small boy standing beside them, grinning with delight. Clark had the good grace to look faintly embarrassed, but before he had a chance to defend himself, a tall dark haired man entered the kitchen. Seeing Lois and Clark still in each other's arms, he pulled a face. "Will you two ever act your age?" he asked.

"Nope!" they both answered simultaneously, laughing at their son's exaggerated discomfort. "Age is just a number," Lois informed him.

"Right. Good to know," he replied, rolling his eyes in an expression so like Lois', Clark often wondered if any of his own traits had ended up in there — apart from the super ones. "Anyway, Jon says you have something to show me, Dad?"

"Mud pies!" shrieked Jon, before racing outside, followed closely by his father.

Clark smiled, leaned over, and kissed Lois gently on the cheek. He reached up, and smeared a line of dirt across her forehead. "I win," he whispered in her ear, before making his way towards the door, following his son and grandson outside.

"Excuse me?" Lois yelled, "You haven't won! Call that a kiss? Have I taught you nothing in forty years of marriage? Come back here right now, Kent!"