By Katie Green
Summary: Lois has to choose between her cousin's baby shower or a date with Clark on his birthday.
Well… here's a story! =) Hope ya like it!
Lois Lane sighed with disgust. Brushing her hair out of her eyes, she looked at the items in her hands. She had just finished getting her mail from the box and it was a mess. Every single item was junk mail. There were restaurant advertisements, carpet cleaning coupons, and a catalog of pet supplies. I swear, Lois thought, I must be on every single mailing list in the entire country! The fact that millions of trees were being wasted wasn't really what bothered Lois though. She had just been having a bad day. This was not uncommon, for Lois could easily have a bad day. Someone puts the wrong kind of dressing on her salad and there goes the day. But today had been significant. While working on a major story at work, the computer system went down for a few minutes. Lois had been careless that one time and didn't make a backup disk of the file. The whole thing had been lost.
Had she not been quite so ticked off, Lois might have noticed a small envelope addressed to her. It was blue and had gold calligraphy writing. But she didn't notice, she threw all of the mail onto the sofa and went to sleep. Sleeping was a lot more relaxing than being awake, at least on bad days.
The next morning, when Lois was in a better mood, she found the letter. It was from Sally Lane, her cousin's wife. Kyle Lane married Sally two years ago in January. It announced that Sally was going to have a baby, a boy to be exact, and that there was a shower at the beginning of next month. It was May fifth when Lois received the letter and the shower was on the seventeenth of May.
Her eyebrows went up at the mention of the shower. "Hmm…" she thought to herself. "The seventeenth…" Lois knew that there was something important on that day but couldn't recall what. She looked around for her planner and found it on the counter under a stack of junk mail. Opening the planner, Lois turned the pages. "May seventeenth… that's Clark's birthday!" She had promised Clark Kent, her partner at the Daily Planet and best friend, that they'd do something for his birthday since his parents in Smallville wouldn't be able to take a flight to Metropolis then.
Lois loved her cousin Kyle, but disliked Sally. While they were engaged, Kyle had brought Sally to Metropolis to meet Lois for Thanksgiving. It was the January before they got married and Lois decided to have an open mind when meeting her. That all changed when Sally criticized her mother's turkey, Lois' outfit, and even the new tablecloth. Lois couldn't believe that Kyle would marry this woman, but Kyle didn't listen to Lois' complaints. "This is my life, not yours," he had said.
And now they would be having a baby. Lois, being Kyle's closest cousin, would be expected to go to the shower. Kyle and Sally lived a few hours away. "That's crazy," Lois thought. "They can't possibly expect me to go to the shower!" It was not a tough decision; Clark's birthday or Sally's shower. Birthday, Lois decided. She went to pick up the phone.
"Hello, Kyle? This is Lois. Oh, I'm fine. Yes, I heard! Congratulations!" Lois listened to Kyle talk about what was going on with him and Sally for a few minutes. Then Kyle asked when she'd be coming over for the shower and if she needed to stay with them overnight.
"Oh… I don't think I'll be able to make it," Lois said.
"Why not?" Kyle asked, hurt in his voice. Lois was his favorite cousin.
"Well… it's my friend's birthday and—"
"Your friend's birthday?" Kyle asked incredulously. "You can't skip the shower for your friend's birthday, Lois. I was looking forward to having you come down here. You haven't seen our new house yet."
"Oh, it's a 'he'," Kyle said, as if that explained everything. "I guess I understand. It's just that Sally really wanted you to come too. We haven't seen you in… how long?"
"Six months?" Lois guessed. "I'm not sure, but I'm really sorry."
"Well, I suppose this guy is special?"
"Clark?" Lois asked. "He's… he's my partner at work. And my best friend. That's all."
"Sure," Kyle said knowingly. "Well, I'll tell Sally you called."
"All right," she replied. They exchanged good-byes and Lois hung up the phone.
"Damn them," Lois muttered to herself. "They expect me to drop everything and run to that little shower, when I obviously have more important things to do." As if trying to prove this to herself, Lois glanced around her apartment. She flipped through some papers which were of no great significance and then set them aside. She looked up that day, the fifth of May, in her planner. "Pick up dry cleaning," the entry read. Fed up with life in general, Lois threw the planner into the kitchen sink. She then got into her jeep and drove to work.
Clark was the first person to greet her. "Something wrong?" he asked, noting Lois' sour expression.
"Oh, it's nothing," she replied. "Well, almost nothing. Okay, it's terrible! My own cousin hates me!"
"Maybe it's not that bad. But my cousin Kyle and his wife Sally are having a baby—"
"It would be, except the baby shower is on your birthday and we planned to do something and I hate to do this to Kyle, he's my favorite cousin, he'll be so disappointed but I can't really stand the thought of being around Sally for more than a few hours and I'd have to stay the night and it's just so much trouble, but I guess the truth is that—"
"Lois? If it's really important, we can do something for my birthday another night…"
"No! What I meant to say was that I'd rather be here. I'd rather go out someplace with you than sit and try to socialize with Sally and her friends that I don't even know. I've only seen Sally four times, but believe me, it was no picnic."
"Oh… well that's fine." Clark wondered exactly what she meant by all of this. Lois certainly would much rather be with him or else she wouldn't have brought up the shower to compare the two possibilities.
"And Clark, I just want to make sure that you're not going to cancel on me! It would be awful if I had to sit at home on that night and—"
"Lois, of course I won't cancel! It's *my* birthday, not yours. Don't worry."
Lois gave Clark a quick hug as she went to her desk. "Thanks. I know I'll be able to count on you."
Jimmy was in distress. He had just gotten yet another speeding ticket on his motorcycle and he couldn't afford to keep paying them all. And not only that, if he got one more ticket his license would be suspended. Then he'd have to take a cab to work, which would cost even more. His recent major plastic surgery had sort of drained his bank account permanently.
Clark noticed that Jimmy looked down. What is it with everyone today? Clark wondered. First Lois, and now Jimmy. "Anything wrong, Jimmy?"
Jimmy looked up. "Yeah. I got another ticket. I mean, I was only doing fifty!"
Clark looked at him. "Yeah, well I have to take a cab every day. It's not a lot of fun." That is, when Lois doesn't give me a ride, Clark thought, a small smile cracking his serious expression.
"You could buy a car, C.K."
"Well…" Clark himself wasn't in a really good mood. Aside from the fact that Lois was not her cheeriest, he had really wanted his parents to be able to come up for his birthday. However, this dinner with Lois sounded great. They were both looking forward to it.
Perry seemed to be the only one in a good mood. And he noticed this. "Cheer up, kids," he kept telling his employees. "Whatever happened, it can't be that bad."
"Sure, chief," Jimmy said. "I just might have to retire my motorcycle."
"Aw, now Jimmy, it's not a difficult problem to fix. Just don't speed anymore."
"It's not that easy, chief. I'm always late, so I have to hurry and get here!"
"So leave earlier."
"But… then I'd have to wake up earlier!" In Jimmy's mind, that in itself would be torture.
The days came and went without anything particularly exciting happening. Jimmy took Perry's advice and woke up earlier, and in theory this would avoid the need to drive faster. But Jimmy, who had no concept of time whatsoever, drove fast anyway. Clark and Lois worked together on an article involving the new Metropolis Downtown area, and how it was being restored. They decided that for Clark's birthday, Lois would take him to go to the Metropolis Museum where a new exhibit on the solar system was opening. There was a planetarium and everything. Then they would go to a Japanese restaurant for dinner that Clark had never been to.
But on the day of Clark's birthday, May seventeenth, a huge unseasonable thunder storm hit Metropolis. Phone and electrical lines were down, power was out, and the slippery roads made driving a disaster. Clark had to skip work regretfully in order to act as Superman and save thousands of people from being injured or even killed. During the worst of storms, there were many hazards.
Lois came into work and was surprised, Clark was usually there before him. But she thought nothing of it, he probably wanted to sleep in a little for his birthday.
But when nine o'clock came and there was still a vacant spot at Clark's desk, Lois began to wonder. She began to worry at ten and decided to phone his apartment to make sure everything was okay.
Clark was in the middle of preventing some cars from skidding into a coffee shop when he picked up his phone ringing with his super hearing. Making sure the cars were safe, he flew to his apartment. "Hello?" Clark asked, picking up the phone.
"Clark?" came an irritated voice that he knew was Lois'. "Where are you? I mean… why aren't you at work?"
Clark faked a cough. "I… I won't coming in today, Lois. I came down with something. I'm really sick." He hated lying, but what else could he do?
"Does this mean we can't go out tonight?" Lois asked, sounding extremely disappointed.
Clark sighed. He hated to do this to her. "Yeah, I guess so. But we can go out for my birthday another night…"
"I guess so…" Lois sighed unhappily. Clark was *never* sick! Why did he have to pick the one day that was really important?
"Well, could you tell the chief that I won't be in today? Thanks a lot, Lois. I'll make this up to you, I promise."
"You'd better." Lois was trying to sound less distressed than she really was. "Bye…" She set down the phone and slowly walked to Perry's office. "Perry?" she asked, knocking. "Can I come in?"
"Of course," Perry replied. "Anything wrong?"
"No… Clark told me to tell you that he can't come in today."
"He's sick… has the flu or something… and it's his birthday! I had to skip a baby shower for my cousin's wife so that we could go out tonight. And now he won't be able to go…"
Perry sighed. He knew that Lois was more disappointed than she wanted to admit. It was obvious that she cared for Clark a great deal, loved him even. "Well, Lois, you could always bring him some chicken soup."
Lois tried to smile a little. "I guess I could visit him after work. Thanks, Perry." She left the office.
When Lois got home that evening, however, she was still depressed. The storm had settled down to just light rain, but the sky matched her mood. It was gray and cloudy out. Sighing, she wandered over to the refrigerator. "Ah… food… you'll always be there for me," Lois said to the frozen fudge bars and rocky road ice cream. Just as she was about to dig in, the phone rang.
"Lois? It's Sally," said a woman's voice. "Aren't you supposed to be somewhere tonight? Out with your boyfriend?"
"No," Lois replied, "he's not my boyfriend. And why did you call if you thought I wasn't going to be home?"
"I was going to leave a message, Lois. Look, if you really didn't want to visit us you could have said something."
"Sally, that's not what happened. I was planning to go to out with my friend for his birthday and then he got sick and I couldn't—"
"You don't have to make excuses," Sally interrupted. "I understand."
"It's not an excuse!" Lois cried.
"Well, I have to go now. Bye, Lois." Sally hung up before Lois could say another word.
Dejected, Lois sat on her couch with a tub of rocky road. She couldn't visit Clark and have him see how unhappy she was. He might be able to spoil her evening, but she would not give him the satisfaction of knowing. But Clark was so sweet, he probably would just feel worse knowing that she was miserable. So by not visiting, Lois reasoned, I'm actually doing him a favor!
The phone rang again.
"Hi Lois, it's Clark," Clark said. "Are we still on for tonight? Or did you make other plans already?"
"I… I thought you were sick!"
"It went away! I fell asleep feeling awful and woke up feeling fine."
"Clark… you rat!" Lois cried. "Do you know how upset I was when I thought I had to miss your birthday *and* Sally's shower?"
"I'm sorry," Clark said genuinely.
"It's okay," Lois replied. "I guess I can forgive you this time. We still have reservations so I'll pick you up in thirty minutes. Is that enough time for you to get ready?"
Clark was already ready, but he said that was fine. They both hung up and Lois rushed to get dressed, put makeup on, and find her purse. Finally, thirty-five minutes later, she walked out the door.
"Clark, I just hope you're worth it," Lois said to herself as she tripped over her heels. She locked her apartment, a long and lengthy process, and began walking towards the parking garage. "Because if not, I have missed a very important shower for nothing. I have a cousin who is mad at me, and it's all your fault."
But one look at Clark, who was dressed handsomely in a suit and a tie that was decorated with miniature yellow lightning bolts, and Lois knew that he was worth everything.