By Beth Summerson <email@example.com>
Submitted: January 2009
Summary: Lois has had enough of Clark’s excuses and disappearances. She decides to take a stand against his behaviour and let him know how she feels. A 2008 Holiday Ficathon Story.
Story Size: 1,835 words (10Kb as text)
Read in other formats: Text | MS Word | OpenOffice | PDF | Epub | Mobi
This story was written for the 2008 Holiday Ficathon. It was written for Sunrei, and her request is as follows:
Three things I want in my fic:
1. An argument
2. A puddle (of any kind)
3. A kiss
Preferred season(s)/holiday [if applicable]: No strict preference, but I like season 2.
Three things I do not want in my fic:
3. A Superman Revelation
Thanks very much to Nancy and Carol, my great BRs, Tricia my GE, and also to Carol and Elisabeth for organizing the ficathon. Any and all feedback is very welcome!
<The proposed hike comes with the promise for increased street cleaning in and around the downtown area of Metropolis. City councilor Tara Veer ensures that the extra cost for parking will not decrease business activity, but rather encourage…>
Lois paused in her typing, and glanced to her right for the hundredth time to look at the cup of frozen yogurt sitting on her desk. It had started to melt, and beads of condensation were forming on the outside of the plastic container. The soft swirls sank down towards the rim of the cup, and Lois couldn’t help licking her lips. It was chocolate frozen yogurt, too. How completely unfair was it that Clark knew her that well?
But she had made her decision. Last night, after Clark had failed to answer his phone, she had been up late thinking, and she wasn’t about to back down. This yogurt would not be eaten. With fresh resolve, Lois returned to her screen.
<…but rather encourage visitors to the downtown area. According to Veer, cleaner streets make for a more welcoming environment that will…>
Lois pulled her fingers back from the keyboard and sighed in frustration. Who cared about more expensive parking, anyway? What she really cared about was the poor dessert sitting abandoned and uncared for on the side of her desk.
And that’s what this whole thing was about. She was the frozen yogurt.
When Clark had first set it on her desk, she knew it was meant as an apology for what had happened the other day. Sure, he probably knew that she hadn’t been upset with him too long after he had ‘surprised’ her by not getting her any frozen yogurt, but he had still gone through the effort to get this for her. And he hadn’t spared anything.
It wasn’t the typical frozen yogurt in a Styrofoam cup that you could buy at the stand across the street. It was the good kind of frozen yogurt that came in the colorful cup and even had a little decorative chocolate disk pressed into the top. He had probably gotten it from one of the numerous out-of-the-way places that he always seemed to know in Metropolis.
Clark had always treated her with the same care that this frozen yogurt was made with, and yet he always seemed to make her feel the way it looked right now.
She had been scared for him when he was taken by Johnny Corbin and held hostage, and she had been so relieved when he had been okay in the end. But nearly all those feelings had disappeared when she tried calling him last night after Superman’s visit and he hadn’t been there. Realistically, she knew she couldn’t expect him to be home whenever she felt like calling him, but she did expect him to be there when she really needed him.
And a lot of the time, he wasn’t. He had run off to wherever on some flimsy excuse like getting frozen yogurt and left her feeling bewildered and confused.
And hurt, too.
She wasn’t going to put up with it anymore. Her refusal to eat the yogurt was symbolic, in a way, of her refusal to put up with Clark running away from her. Something was going to have to change.
Out of the corner of her eye, she caught Clark glance over at her, and she studiously returned to her task of writing the silly parking story for Perry. She pretended to ignore Clark as she sensed him get up out of his desk and walk towards hers. Her typing continued even as he leaned towards her, putting his head on an equal level with hers.
“Lois, I really don’t think you’re fat,” he spoke quietly. It was evening, and the newsroom was pretty empty, but there were still a few people hanging around, so she was glad he wasn’t loud.
“I know,” she replied primly, not turning around while ignoring the fact that she was now typing gibberish onto her screen. She couldn’t concentrate enough to type in anything that made sense.
“And it’s chocolate, so I know that you’ll like it,” Clark continued.
“Oh, that’s right, you know me so well, don’t you?” Lois spoke, her voice dripping with icy sarcasm. That’s what she had to be here.
Like the yogurt.
Well, like the yogurt before it started to melt, anyway.
“Lois, what are you talking about?” Clark asked in bewilderment.
“I’m just saying that you may not know me as well as you think,” she replied shortly. “If you did, then you wouldn’t be doing certain… things.”
“Lois, you’re hardly being fair here,” Clark told her, starting to sound upset.
She shrugged indifferently.
“I thought things were going well between us,” he told her.
“Think again.” Lois gave up on her typing, and stood up, brushing past Clark on her way to get a fresh cup of coffee.
She stopped in front of the coffee maker to take a breath. It was harder than she thought it would be to be so angry to Clark. But she had over a year of abandonment to act as fuel for this argument, and she was far from exhausting the supply.
“Lois, will you just talk to me?” Clark asked, behind her once again. “You’ve been acting strange all day, and I want to know what’s bothering you.”
She ripped open the package of artificial sweetener and poured it into her coffee. Somehow, ripping open that package wasn’t nearly as satisfying as opening a package of real sugar, but she made do with what she had.
“I wanted to talk to you last night,” she informed Clark. “Did you know that Superman came by to see me then?”
“Uh… really?” he replied, pushing his glasses up on his face.
“Yes, really. And after he left, I tried calling you.” She reached for the low-fat creamer, but then changed her mind halfway through. She wasn’t eating any frozen yogurt today, so maybe she could spare the extra calories for some real creamer.
“Uh huh.” She took a satisfied sip of her coffee. “But I couldn’t talk to you. You didn’t answer.”
“I was out on a… walk,” Clark replied lamely. “But you can’t blame me for that, Lois,” he continued assertively. “As much as I enjoy talking to you, I can’t sit at home all the time waiting for you to call.”
“That’s not the point,” she said bluntly.
“Then what is?” he asked, following her back to her desk. His eyes landed on the abandoned treat again. “You can’t still be upset about the yogurt thing the other day, can you? Lois, I’m sorry I did that, but I thought you had moved past it.”
“Yeah, I did,” she replied snappily. “Just like I’ve moved past all the other times that you’ve run away from me with some terrible excuse. But I can’t keep doing it anymore, Clark,” she finally told him, her coffee cup trembling in her hand. “I can’t keep forgetting all the times that you leave me.”
“Lois, when do I ever—”
“Cut it out, Clark,” she cut off. “Just today we were about to go get some lunch when you ran off to go ‘pay your phone bill’.”
“Okay, I might have done that,” he agreed reluctantly.
“It doesn’t make sense, Clark. And it feels like you’re deliberately abandoning me,” she confessed. “And that’s what I realized last night when I couldn’t get a hold of you. I can’t stand having you always run away from me. Not anymore.”
She took a sip of coffee to calm herself. She had practiced all of that in front of the mirror last night, but it was a completely different thing to say it to Clark.
“I’m not done yet, Clark,” she waved aside. “Look, I can feel there’s something going on between us. And whether or not you do too isn’t actually the most important thing. Because it hurts more and more every time you leave me. I can’t handle the uncertainly of it all. I need to know if you’re going to be there when I call you at home, or if you’re going to come with me when we go to cover a story rather than running off and meeting me there later. I need to know if you’re going to be here in the morning so I can say hello to you and if you’re going to stick around in the evening so you can walk me to my car. I need to know if we’re going to eat lunch together or if you’re going to be gone somewhere where I can’t find you. I need to know whether or not you’re going to be here for me, Clark.
“If you are, then great. We can move on from there. But if you’re not… Then I need to know now. Before it gets too much.”
“Lois…” Clark croaked.
“Yes or no, Clark,” she told him. “That’s all I want to know.”
“Yes,” he finally replied. “Yes, I’ll be here for you. For as long as you want me.”
Before she could even realize what was happening, Clark had cupped her face in his hand, and pulled it towards him.
But Lois jerked her head away before he could get any closer.
“Do you really mean it?” she asked. “You have to really mean it, Clark, because you won’t get a second chance with this.”
“With all my heart, Lois,” he replied.
Their lips touched softly, tentatively, at first. But the sweet power of their kiss soon blocked out any insecurity. Clark leaned into her, bringing them closer, and she reached back to place a hand on her desk for support.
Her blind fingers hit the cup of frozen yogurt, pushing it down to the floor where it landed with a soft splat, spreading out in a puddle at their feet.