Last Call Casualty

By Sue S. <>

Rated: PG13

Submitted: January, 2008

Summary: What if Clark hadn't been home when Lois came by at the end of the episode "Whine, Whine, Whine"?

I know I seem to have a thing for Drunk!Lois lately. Actually, I started this story in March 2007 and it's lingered on my hard drive ever since. I didn't think it was ever going to turn into anything. And then Lara came up with an amazing twist for the plot and I just had to do it. Originally, the idea for this one came from the song 'Last Call Casualty' by Bowling for Soup.


{*I'm sorry I picked up the phone

My mind couldn't leave well enough alone

So if I get drunk and call you up

Don't get pissed and don't hang up

I know it's late, but it's never too late to be

Another last call casualty*}


"Clark? Clark, are you there?"

A long pause and he could hear laughter and loud music.

"Are you screening your calls? Clark?"

His answering machine beeped, then mechanically announced, "Message two, eleven-seventeen, p.m." This time he only heard the music, a different song from the first call. He could her breathing into the phone, then an exasperated sigh before the connection was broken. He did the mental math. Almost twenty minutes had passed since her first call.

"Message three, twelve-oh-three, a.m."

Another sigh, then, "Okay, you hafta be home by now. Pick up the phone." There was a small pause and then she added, "Please? Are you there? Where did ya go? Where would you go on a Friday night? Serioushly? You didn' tell me you had plans. Didja have plans? Clark? I told you jus a minna!" This last was spoken away from the mouthpiece and Clark didn't envy whoever had harassed her at that moment. "Anyway," she spoke into the phone again. "I jus' need to talk to you, okay?"

Was she slurring her words? Or was the background noise playing tricks on him?

"Message four, twelve-fifty-four, a.m."

"Okay, the thing is, Clark, I don't know what your problem is. Believe me, I've spent a lot of time trying to figure that one out. I don' know why you act all intereshted and then run off for no reason. Is it me? Is there something funda, funda, fun, fundamentally wrong with me? Or izit you? Let's face it, you're a weird guy. You act all normal and everything, but there's somethin' goin' on with you. I know it. Thaz reporter's instincts, thaz what that is. There's something goin' on with you and I'm the one in therapy because of it. I came by earlier tonight but you weren't there. Where are you anyway? Iz one thing to disappear in the middle of the day, but where the heck do you go at night?"

The music in the background hit a crescendo and her voice became more muffled. Clark could picture her holding the mouthpiece even closer as she urgently said, "This is my fault, isn' it, Clark? Iz my fault. I pushed you away for so long and now you're paying me back. I don' know what to do anymore. I jus'..." Her voice became breathy and even more slurred. How much had she had to drink?

"I'm in love with you, Clark." Her voice shook, becoming higher pitched as if she were about to cry. "I. Love. You. And I don't know what to do about that. I gave up Superman for you, didja know that? Dan, too, but that wasn' as hard. I jus' want to be with you and you're not even there. This is just so, so, uh, so typical. You know? Maybe it ish me. Maybe I'm attracted to you because I know that I'll never hafta commit to you. I mean, you're never around when it matters. Ish the perfect relationship, isn' it? I can't commit, and you can't either. Only I really wanted you to commit. I really wanted you to want me. Jus a little? Can't you want me jus a little, Clark? Can't you..." The message cut off abruptly and he realized that she had hit the two minute limit.

"You have no new messages," his machine intoned.

He glanced at his watch. It was just past one in the morning. Would she try calling again? He was deeply grateful that his parents had opted to stay at a hotel. At least they hadn't been around to hear this. He loved his parents dearly, but he couldn't handle even one more knowing look from his mother. He knew she thought he should tell Lois everything. His mother had no comprehension of just how tricky that was going to be.

The phone rang. He picked it up before the second ring and cautiously said, "Hello?"

"You... Y'er home," Lois said in a stunned tone. "How long you been there?"

"I just got here." Should he tell her that he had heard her previous messages? He decided discretion was definitely the better part of valor tonight. "Where are you? You sound a little tipsy."

She let out a soft snort. "Oh, I passed tipsy about two hours ago. I'm jus numb now. I think I'm really gonna hate myself in the morning."

"It's already morning," he pointed out. "Where are you?"

She sighed and then mumbled. "I'm at Pete's on Stinson Street."

"I'll be there in ten minutes. Don't leave before I get there."

"You're coming here?" She sounded horrified.

"Someone has to see you home."

"Hey, Clark?" she said as he was about to hang up.


"Nothin'. Never mind."

"Ten minutes," he repeated and then hung up the phone.


She was sitting at the bar when he came in. He could see her reflection in the mirror as she morosely circled her glass on the counter. She looked like she was waiting for a parent to pick her up from the principal's office.

"Hi," he said as he sat on the barstool next to hers. "You come here often?"

Lois shrugged but didn't answer.

"Are you ready to go?" he asked.

She fixed him with a bleary stare. "Thas it? Does that line work for you?"


"You sat down with a pick-up line. You think you can jus' take me home on that one? Try again."

"Lois, I don't pick up women in bars."

She pulled a face. "Where do you pick them up then?"

"Let me amend that. I don't pick up women, period."

"Oh my gosh," she giggled. "You're gay, aren't you? This is just my luck."

Clark shook his head and stood up, taking hold of her shoulders. "Time to go." He helped ease her off the stool and she collapsed against him. Her hands clutched at his arms as she dissolved in a fit of laughter.

"I haf the worst luck, you know," she stated, still laughing. "And the absolute worst taste in men. I'm a psycho magnet. You're so smart to avoid me." She giggled as if that was the best joke she had ever heard.

"I'm not avoiding you," Clark pointed out. He put one arm around her shoulders to support her as he half-walked, half-dragged her towards the door. "Did you have a coat?"

"Coat?" she repeated, sounding as if she had never heard the word before. Her hand came to rest on his chest, patting him absently as she stared at the outerwear hanging on hooks near the door. "Was I wearing a coat when you last saw me?"

"No," he answered. Then again, the last time he had seen her, he was dressed as Superman, not himself.

"I don't think I even saw you today, Clark. Where haf you been?" She started laughing again. "All my life. Where haf you been all my life? Where has my coat been all my life?"

Clark shook his head and went back to getting her out the door. "No coat, then. You didn't drive here tonight, did you?"

She frowned. "If I did, I think the keys are in my coat."

"We'll get a cab."

"Pretty sure I didn't drive. I wasn' going to drive home like this, you know. Jus' in case you thought I was."

"I didn't think you would."

"I do a lot of stupid things, but not that. Nope." She dissolved into another fit of giggles. "I did the stupidest thing ever tonight. Wanna guess what it was?"

Clark shook his head and held the door open with one hand. He put his other hand on her back to guide her and she flinched, stumbling away from him and out the door as she swore profusely at him. He stepped outside, his eyes wide with shock as she flailed her arms in front of her as if to ward him off.

"Dammit, Clark, don't touch me!"

"What?" he asked, thoroughly confused. "What did I do?"

"I got a tattoo tonight! Do you have any idea how sore I am? Huh?"

Clark came to a dead stop, shoving his hands into his pockets so that he wouldn't be tempted to reach out and grab her elbow to keep her upright. "A tattoo?"

"Yeah," she said with a faraway sigh. "And you jus would'n believe how much that hurt. That's why I came in here. I was jus gonna have one drink to steady my nerves or... somethin'."

"Where?" Clark asked.

"Here. At Pete's. I haven't been bar hopping, for god's sake!"

"No, where's your tattoo?"

She giggled, her red-rimmed eyes turning flirtatious as she beamed at him. Apparently he had been forgiven. "Wouldn' you like to know? Maybe, if you're nice to me, I'll show you."

Was it somewhere personal then? All thoughts of quickly scanning her to verify the truth of her boast left him. Clark could feel the blush all the way to his ears. "No. That's okay."

She smacked his arm and leaned closer to him. He could smell the alcohol on her breath, and he wondered how she was able to move under her own power. "I got it on my butt, like any normal person would."

"Your butt?" No -- he definitely had better not go looking for it.

"Well, okay, not exactly my butt. It's at the small of my back. Don' ya wanna know what it is?" She clutched at his sleeve to keep herself steady as she peered curiously up at him. "I can't believe I'm gonna tell you -- it's kind of embarrassing."

"Then don't tell me."

Her free hand patted his chest and she lurched unsteadily against him before tracing an 'S' at the center of his chest. "Iz Superman's 'S'. But it's only about thiiiiiiiis big." She held her forefinger and thumb about an inch apart. "Jus a little reminder for me that I can't have everything." Her expression became sad. "I told him 'bye today. That I jus wanna be friends. There's someone else."

Something stirred inside him, sliding along his veins and pooling between his legs at the thought that Lois had marked her body as his. Needing something to do, Clark raised his hand to signal for a cab. His mind skipped back to the messages she had left on his machine.

//"I. Love. You. And I don't know what to do about that..."//

Clark stared at her as she wove slowly from side to side. Currently, he had no idea what to do about it either. Get her home, he told himself. Take her home and you can talk to her when she comes out of it tomorrow.

Lois let out a sigh and swayed closer to him. "I picked you. So don' break my heart, Clark. I don' haf anyone left but you." She hiccuped softly and then looked away.


Lois had dozed off during the cab ride to her apartment -- a fact for which he was grateful. He had no idea what to say to her anymore. She had frequently surprised him, but never like this.

A tattoo. Lois had a tattoo. Of his family crest. Every time he thought about it, his pants grew just a little more uncomfortable. Had she been drunk when she got it? It seemed like she had said she got the tattoo and then started drinking.

But why? What impulse had led her to pick that symbol, out of every possible choice? How had she unerringly picked the one that was going to haunt his dreams and fantasies from this day forward? If she hadn't been slumped back against the seat, he would have been sorely tempted to take a peek.

She woke with a start when he opened the door of the cab, then crawled out, making it necessary for him to hold her arm so she didn't end up face-first on the sidewalk.

"I haf no idea where my keys are," she said, sounding as if she was unsure whether they were even at the right building. "Do you still have a key?"

"Yeah." He took a firmer grip on her elbow -- reminding himself not to touch her back as he led her up the stairs.

On her back! Right where he touched her all the time. If she had any idea that she had just branded herself in the same spot that he liked to imagine was his alone... No. He had to stop thinking about it. Just a few more minutes and he could leave her in the relative safety of her apartment . Then he could go home and think about it to his heart's content.

Only Lois seemed to have other plans for him. No sooner were they inside the door then she was digging into the pocket on her pants. She retrieved a small foil tube and held it out to him.

"I need your help," she told him, as if it was a foregone conclusion that he was supposed to stay with her. "I can't reach it and I'm too drunk anyway. Can you do it?"

"Do what?"

"This." She waved the tube at him. "I need you to put this on my tattoo."

The air squeezed out of his lungs at the realization that he was going to get to see it after all.

"Okay." His voice had dropped to a husky whisper, but she didn't seem to notice.

Instead, she had turned her back to him and was unbuttoning the vest she was wearing. She shrugged her shoulders and it dropped to the floor with a soft thud. Her shirt was untucked and there were a few dark little pinpricks near the hem.

Blood. From the tattoo.

This, he cautioned himself firmly, this should *not* be turning you on. He took in a deep breath and then lost it in a whoosh when she started unfastening her pants. He heard the snick of the button and then the slide of the zipper and he swayed on his feet. Oblivious to his discomfort, Lois worked her pants down until they were just barely covering the swell of her hip. He could see the lacy purple line of her underwear just beneath the hem of her shirt.

"Go on," she told him and took hold of the back of her sofa as if she was expecting it to hurt.

Clark took one more breath, letting it out slowly. Then he dropped to his knees behind her and lifted the hem of her shirt.

He swallowed -- hard. There was a little gauze bandage taped to the small of her back. Color had bled through the fabric -- red and orange. Orange, he realized, because it was her blood mixed with the yellow ink. Clark went to lift the bandage but it pulled and she let out a hard groan.

"Sorry," he apologized. "I think it's stuck to you."

"Dammit." She trembled a little and he was about to stand up again when she exhaled slowly and said, "Jus' pull it off."

Little dots danced in his vision and his entire body seemed to come alive as he asked, "Do you want it fast or slow?"

She made a low growl and her shoulders shook as she tightened her grip on the back of the sofa. "Fast. Can you do it fast?"

"Yes." He pulled quickly and she jumped a little.

And there it was -- the crest of the House of El. The red was vivid and the yellow was still tinted by the little pinpricks of fresh blood from the removal of the bandage. It wasn't much bigger than his thumb and Clark had to fight the urge to kiss it.

"Wow," he said softly as his desire for her became something sharp and focused.

"Jus' put the ointment on." Her voice was more slurred with sleep than alcohol now, and it shook him from his heated thoughts.

Clark squeezed a little of the white substance onto his finger and touched it to her back. She made a faint moan and her body trembled.

"Am I hurting you?" He lifted his hand from her.

"No." Her voice was still thick with weariness. "The guy said it had to be a thin layer, then dab it. You know, so it soaks in to my skin."

Skin. Her skin. Another jolt went through him, pulsing swiftly to catch and hold low in his pelvis. She was all he could see, smell and feel.

He brushed his finger lightly over her tattoo again and she made the same soft moan. Clark fisted the hem of her shirt in the hand holding it up, telling himself that he needed to be gentle.

"Ah, actually, that feels better," she sighed.

"Good," he answered, not trusting his voice to say anything more.

"Why do you run away from me?"

He closed his eyes, taking his hand away from her. "I don't run away from you."

"Yes, you do. All the time. You run and you make excuses. So do I. We both do and I'm sick of it. The only reason we run away is because we're afraid."

He opened his eyes and she was turning around. Their eyes met and held as she leaned back against the sofa, her hands still clutching it for support.

"Afraid of what?" he asked, his voice barely above a whisper.

"Of this. Of being close like this."

He glanced away from her face. Her pants were still unzipped, dangerously loose on her hips. That was it. All he had to do was tug and they'd be gone... Clark pulled his thoughts together and looked up at her again. "I'm not afraid of being close to you, Lois."

Her hands pulled at his shoulders, urging him to stand up. He did and she swayed forward and kissed him. She tasted like whiskey and he realized that alcohol could affect him. His hands tangled in her hair as he kissed her back greedily, tasting every drink she'd had until he was as dizzy as she was.

"I should go," he panted, when he finally was able to summon enough willpower to break the kiss.

"See, you're running away." Her eyes darkened and he felt a physical pang at the thought of leaving her.

He shook his head. "Lois, you're drunk."

"I know." She giggled and tugged his head closer for another kiss.

For a few seconds he let himself give in to the pull of her lips on his. Then he stepped away and gave her a shy smile. "Why don't we talk about this tomorrow?"

"Are you angry?" She peered up at him nervously.

"Angry? About what?"

"The tattoo. I bet you wish I hadn't done it, huh?"

"I think that's the sexiest thing I've ever seen. But we should wait until you're sober to talk about it."

She pushed him away, causing him to stumble a little as he moved backwards toward the door. "Who says we'll be talking?" She rolled her eyes and then tumbled over the edge of the sofa to land face-down on the cushions.

Clark went back to check on her. "Lois?"

She made a soft moan and he wondered how close she was to succumbing to the night's excesses. Her loosened shirt was high on her back, affording him an unobstructed view of her tattoo. He came around the couch and lifted her into his arms, taking care not to touch her lower back. Clark cradled her against his chest as he carried her to her bedroom, then set her gently on the bed on her side.

She murmured her thanks, her head nodding sleepily into the mattress. "Don' leave me," she whispered.

He bent to speak softly near her ear. "I won't."

Her breathing evened out, becoming slow and deep and Clark simply sat near her, his hand stroking slowly over her hair. Tomorrow, he told her silently. Tomorrow he would tell her the truth -- that she had marked him years ago. It might not be visible, but it was deep and permanent.