By Ranica (Ranica@aol.com)
Summary: A lazy Saturday afternoon that starts with laundry ends at a miniature golf course, where Lois and Clark play for high stakes.
Hey there FoLCs! It's me again, with yet another spur of the moment fanfic. As always, comments/ constructive criticism/ (dare I say it?) compliments are greatly appreciated. [Rhen's note: both parts are included in this file]
Clark Kent was reheating a box of his mother's leftover chicken with his heat vision. It was a sunny and relaxing Saturday afternoon and he didn't have to work. He was just picking out a now warm drumstick from the cardboard box, when the phone rang.
"Hello?" he answered. While waiting for the caller to answer, he ate his drumstick with super speed, swallowing before the other person could even utter a syllable.
"Hi, Clark." It was Lois. "Um, could I ask you a favor?" She asked this hesitantly, not at all like the Lois Clark usually knew.
"Depends," he replied, making sure that he didn't sound too eager. He had been hoping to see her on their day off.
"Oh, come on, Clark! It's no big deal! I do favors for you all the time!" Lois was back to her usual self. She was on the offensive now.
"Name one!" Clark loved to tease her, as long as he knew that he wasn't going too far.
After a brief and momentary pause from Lois' end of the phone, she finally answered. "Never mind the COUNTLESS things that I do for you. Right now, I really, and I mean REALLY need to do my laundry and my washing machine is broken. I was wondering, if I could come over and use yours?" When Clark didn't answer right away, Lois continued. "I mean, I normally wouldn't ask you. The last time that I went to the Laundromat — well, let's just say that it wasn't a very pleasant experience and I vowed to never go there again."
Clark wasn't done teasing his partner. "Oh, c'mon. It can't be that bad."
"Oh, yeah? First of all, the dryers ate all of my socks. I think I went in there with at least two dozen pairs, and I ended up with two complete pairs! I'm not exaggerating either! And there are these weird old men there, washing their fifty pairs of suspenders, and hitting on me! And they were old enough to be my grandfather! Oh, and the prices! They're just ridiculous! I could probably buy a whole new washer with the amount of quarters I pump into those wicked machines. It's highway robbery!" Suddenly realizing that she was babbling, she stopped. "So are you going to help me or not?"
"Do you want me to come over and look at your machine. I'm pretty handy." The smile was evident in his voice.
"You?!" Lois laughed herself. "What can YOU do?"
"You'd be surprised."
"It'd be a miracle if anyone — most of all you — could get this piece of junk working again!" She kicked the washer violently. "OW!"
"I'll be right over." He hung up the phone before Lois could protest and was out the door.
Lois looked down at her clothing self-consciously as she opened the door for Clark. "I don't know WHAT possessed me to buy these!" She was wearing bright fluorescent pink nylon shorts with a plain green T-shirt that had a single sentence written across the front in big bold purple letters: Where's the Beef?
When Clark first saw Lois in these clothes, his face adorned a funny expression. He was trying his hardest not to laugh, but even he couldn't help it. He finally couldn't hold it any longer and burst out laughing. "I'm sorry Lois," he said in between gasps for air. "It's just that --" He couldn't finish his sentence. He was laughing so hard that tears started to come to his eyes.
Lois was furious at first by his outburst, but then she started giggling too. "I TOLD you I really had to do my laundry," she said defensively. "I had nothing else to wear. I found these in a box that I'd packed for charity."
"You were going to give these away?" He tugged gently at the nylon shorts. "Um, no offense, Lois, but I don't think that anyone would take these, no matter how needy they are!" He paused and stopped laughing. "You, however, you do look cute in them."
Lois just playfully slapped his arm and started towards the dryer. "Come on. Try to fix that darn machine before somebody else sees me like this." She led him towards her washer. Turning around to check if Clark was following her, she noticed the item that he was carrying for the first time. "Are you sure you know how to use those?"
Clark looked down at the tool box that he was holding. It was empty, and he had brought it just so Lois wouldn't suspect him using any super powers to fix her washing machine. "Sure, nothing to it!"
Lois rolled her eyes as they approached the laundry room. "Here it is!" Be careful. I don't' want you making it worse than it already is, 'Mr. Fix-it'!"
He ignored this. "So, what seems to be the problem," he asked, crouching down to inspect the machine.
"I don't know. It keeps on making this noise — 'clu- clunk, clu-clunk' . .
"Just see what you can do!" She tugged at her shorts, which were as uncomfortable as they were hideous. "And when you can't fix it, Clark, can I use your washer?"
"Sure, IF I can't fix it," he said, completely concentrating on the washing machine.
Lois shook her head and then decided to make herself a snack. She walked into the kitchen and called out over her shoulder to Clark, "Are you thirsty or hungry?"
"No, I'm fine," came his muffled reply.
She opened the refrigerator, saw its unappetizing contents, and changed her mind about making a snack. Instead, she grabbed a can of generic cola and popped the top. In her hastiness of grabbing the soda, she had shaken it and its contents were under pressure. As soon as she opened the can, it exploded, all over her "Where's the Beef?" T-shirt and the horrendous shorts. She tried to clean up some of the mess that she had made on herself, but to no avail. The sticky brown substance was all over her, and there was nothing that she could do.
"Oh, great," she muttered. "Clark," she yelled towards the laundry room, "I need that washer NOW!"
"What was that?" said a voice directly behind her, making her jump and whirl around to see who was there.
"CLARK!" She hit his chest. "Don't DO that! You scared me. How'd you get out here so quickly anyway?"
Ignoring her question, he stated proudly, "It's fixed!" He looked at her soda-stained clothes. "And just in time, I see."
"Yeah, but how am I going to wash these when I have nothing else to wear?"
Clark took off his blue plaid flannel shirt that he was wearing over his gray T-shirt. "Here. Just don't get any — stuff on it." He held out the shirt for Lois to take, but she just stood there, tapping her foot impatiently. "What?" he asked. "You can do your laundry naked, for all I care, but I just have to say, I'm not leaving."
"WHAT?!" Lois screeched.
"There's a game on," he explained and sat down on her couch," and I don't have cable." He turned the television on with the remote and looked up at her. "Besides, I fixed your machine, and you're not even going to thank me?" He grinned and held his shirt out for her again, dangling it in front of her.
Since she really had no choice, Lois grabbed the shirt from him and sighed. "Fine!" She stormed off to her bedroom to change and shower. After toweling herself off, she grabbed the sticky clothes that were on her floor and threw them in the washing machine along with some of her other clothes. She put Clark's shirt on and buttoned it up, sighing deeply. "I'm just NOT having a good day," she muttered to herself.
Clark was still on her couch watching the football game on the Sports Channel. He looked up momentarily as Lois walked in, wearing only his shirt, which ended right before her knee. He patted the seat on the couch next to him, and motioned for her to sit there. Instead of sitting next to him, she sat on the opposite end, as far away from him as possible.
"So, who's winning?" She was concentrating completely on the television screen.
"The Bills are ahead by a touchdown," he said proudly.
This unexpected outburst caught Clark off guard. "Why? do you watch football?" He looked at her in surprise. "I didn't think that you were the type…"
"Yeah, yeah," she muttered, leaning closer to the TV. "YES!" she exclaimed as she watched Rice receive Young's pass.
Clark also leaned forward and scooted closer to Lois. "Since when did you start watching football?" he asked, not taking his eyes off the screen.
"I've always been a Niners fan."
"Oh, yeah? Well, I've always been partial to the Bills, myself."
"Hah! They don't have a chance!" She looked over at him and smiled.
Turning to face her, he challenged her. "You want to put your money where your mouth is?"
After thinking a bit, she nodded, "What's the bet?"
"You heard me," he looked at his partner. "Why? Are you afraid that your precious Young will buckle under pressure?"
"Never! I just meant that fifty dollars isn't a whole lot, especially when I'm assured of winning. Let's make this a little more interesting."
Lois thought a bit and then finally said, "Loser does winner's laundry for a month!"
Clark considered this. "Only a month? I thought that you wanted higher stakes."
"Six months then!" She looked at him defiantly.
"You're on!" He extended his hand for a shake to seal the bet.
"I think that I'll collect on that bet now," said Lois, laughing at Clark who was repetitively hitting his forehead with the heel of his hand. The Bills had lost — 40 — 35. "Here you go Clark!" She dumped the rest of her laundry in front of him in a heap.
Clark sat motionless for a while, then suddenly jumped up. "Double of nothing!"
Lois looked at him in surprise. "What? You've got to be kidding!"
"Lois, just think of it: if you win again, which I doubt very much, I will do your laundry for a whole entire year."
"A whole year, huh?" It was a pleasant thought. "What's the bet?"
Clark grinned and said, "As soon as your clothes are dry, we're going miniature golfing!"
Part 2: A Mini Gamble
"Mini-golf?" laughed Lois. "You want to challenge ME in a game of mini-golf? Don't you remember the last time we went to the driving range?" She chuckled at the memory of Clark swinging, and missing those golf balls.
"Lois," Clark was patient. "Have you ever played miniature golf?"
"No," Lois stopped laughing. "But I HAVE played golf and it can't be that different."
"Oh, well, we'll see," said Clark nonchalantly. He turned away and continued to watch television, unable to hide his smile. "I heard the dryer buzz. Go get dressed. Then we'll go."
"You know, Clark. I still haven't figured out how you fixed my washing machine." She cast a sidelong glance at him before turning her attention back to the road. "I guess it was pretty lucky that you could fix it."
"It wasn't luck, Lois. It was skill."
"No, it was luck."
"Okay! It was pure skill," Lois finally gave in. "Somewhat," she muttered under her breath.
"I head that," Clark returned, but they were both smiling from the exchange when they arrived at the miniature golf park.
They got out of the car and went to pay for their games. They both reached for their wallets at the same time, and it was an awkward moment before Lois came up with a solution.
"Loser reimburses the winner at the end of the game, okay?" She smiled smugly as she handed the attendant her five dollars and received her red ball.
"That's okay, Lois. You won't have to pay me back." He returned easily and handed the attendant his money, receiving both their golf clubs and a yellow ball.
Lois was tossing her ball up repeatedly, while they were strolling to the first hole. "You know, you might as well concede defeat now, Clark."
"Just wait," he said and snatched her ball from her in mid-air.
"Give me my ball back!" screeched Lois. She made a grab for her ball, but Clark just held it just out of her reach above his head. "Clark!" She jumped in an attempt to retrieve it, but she realized that they were receiving some stares from other mini-golfers and stopped.
Laughingly, Clark handed her back her ball and one of the two golf clubs that he was holding. They had reached the first hole. "Shall I keep score, or do you want to?"
"I think that I'll leave the menial tasks to you, while I concentrate on my game."
"Good idea," he returned, "you'll need the concentration."
She glared at him before setting her ball down on the starting point of the first hole. "I'm going first, if you don't mind."
"No, by all means." He was writing both of their names down on the score card.
Lois looked at the first hole carefully. It was a simple 'L' shaped hole, and the object of it was to hit the ball on the cement wall fifty feet from the starting point so that it would bounce at an angle and then roll towards the hole. She summed up the spot that the ball would have to hit the wall, and took her swing.
Unfortunately, since she was so used to taking that first mighty swing in her real golf game, she hit the ball a little too hard. Her aim was good though. The ball hit the precise spot on the wall that would have allowed it to go directly into the hole, but the force of her swing sent her ball flying back towards her. It was headed right for her face. Too stunned to move, she squeezed her eyes shut awaiting the impact, but after a few seconds, she hadn't been hit. She peeked out with one eye and saw Clark standing there holding her red ball between his thumb and forefinger just inches from her face.
"What happened? How did you --" She stopped with a very confused look on her face. "Weren't you standing over there?"
"I — uh, have quick reflexes, that's all." He dropped the ball back into the palm of her hand. "Besides, I knew something like that would happen."
"Yeah, whatever," she said, placing her ball back at the starting point.
"Hey, Lois?" Clark was looking at her in amusement. "Try to hit the ball a little softer this time?"
She ignored him and took another swing at the ball. She succeeded in lessening the force on the ball, but it was still too much. It hit the cement wall, and rolled back to her, stopping at the exact same place that it had been before.
"That's stroke number two!" Clark laughed.
"I know how to count." She said bitterly and tried again. She had a lot more luck this time. The ball hit the cement wall and bounced towards the hole, stopping a few inches from the hole. "See, I just needed a little practice!" She stepped closer to the ball and easily putted it in the hole.
Clark stepped up and started his game. He easily hit the ball on the first stroke and sent it rolling to within inches of the hole. He then easily pocketed it on his second stroke.
"When did you learn to play mini-golf?" she asked suspiciously. "You set me up, didn't you?"
"Nope! I guess it was just luck!"
"Skill!!" She was not going to lose this one, too.
Clark saw the look of determination on her face and smiled. "Okay. Maybe I have played a little bit." He saw that she wanted more of an explanation. "I've been coming here off and on with Jimmy, okay?"
"Let's just golf," she said and pulled him towards the second hole.
Lois had a lot more luck at the second hole. It consisted of what Clark called a 'volcano'. There was a mound, shaped like a volcano, with a depression at the top, which lead to the hole. Once you hit the ball into that depression, it would automatically go into the hole. "Looks easy enough," said Lois as she prepared for her first shot. Her first couple swings were again hit with too much force. Her ball would travel up the 'volcano', right over the depression and down the other side. But her third swing proved to be perfect and the red ball dropped directly into the hole.
Clark also had a lot more luck with this hole. He got it in on the first try. Lois was giving him that look again. She was now almost positive that he had set her up when he made the suggestion of miniature golf.
"This is my best hole. Really." He grinned sheepishly at her. "I promise that it will never happen again."
She rolled her eyes and proceeded to the third hole.
The rest of the course was fairly uneventful. Lois continued to make progress, while Clark's game remained pretty much the same. His average per hole was about 2 or 3, while Lois' was about 3 or 4. By the last hole, the windmill hole, Clark had a score of 44 while Lois had a 49. They could still tie, if Lois made a hole in one and Clark required the maximum six strokes to complete the hole.
Lois nervously placed her ball at the starting point. The windmill door was creaking every time it opened. Lois watched it open and shut for a few seconds in order to time her stroke properly. Taking a deep breath, she hit the ball. Having learned her lesson about too much force in mini-golf from the first hole, she tapped it lightly. Unfortunately, it didn't make it up the incline.
"UGH!" she shrieked. "What do I have to do to play this stupid game!" Her chance at tying with Clark was shot and she didn't want to admit defeat.
"Well, it looks like I'm not going to be doing your laundry any time soon," gloated Clark. He looked at her questioningly. "Do you want to admit defeat now, or finish the game?"
She was keeping one eye on the windmill door, and one eye on her ball. "Finish the game," she said. She swung again, and this time got the ball up the incline, but it bounced off the metal door with a clang. She sighed as she watched her ball roll back down and stopped it with her club. Determined to get through the hole, she tried yet again. This time, she was so frustrated, that she hit it with a little more force than was necessary, and gave a little yelp of excitement as the ball made it past the door and went into the windmill. Unfortunately, her swing had caused the ball to bounce off something inside the structure and bounce back out onto the incline before the metal door slammed shut again.
Clark chuckled as he watched Lois bang her golf club on the ground in frustration. He stepped closer to her and stopped her from hurting herself. "Here," he said, taking her hand, "Let me help you. It's all about timing."
She broke free from his grasp. "No, Clark! I want to do this myself. Let me try it my own, okay? I still have some strokes left."
"OK," he said, holding his hands up in defeat and backing away. "Just remember that it's a six stroke limit!"
She took another swing and again, the door slammed shut just before her ball could roll in the door. She stopped the ball with her club again and tried a fifth time. Same result.
Clark wordlessly stepped up behind her and reached around her waist to gently touch her hands. She didn't resist this time. Instead, she turned around and looked up at him with a sheepish smile.
"I guess miniature golf is nothing like the just regular golf, huh?"
He nodded and then motioned to her club. He spoke softly into her ear, "I usually take a swing right when the doors shut. That way, by the time the ball travels up the ramp, it's open again." He waited until the metal door closed and guided her hands back for the swing. They both watched as the ball slowly made its way up the incline and through the door just in time. It clanked its way through the windmill and ended up on the other side.
Lois quickly broke away from Clark's hold again and rushed to the other side. "It went in!" she exclaimed delightedly, smiling at him.
Clark smiled back and put his yellow ball down on the ground. He again waited for the door to close before he swung. The ball eased its way in the door with no problems and clanked its way through the windmill. He walked over to the other side to join Lois just as it came rolling out towards the hole. It stopped just before it.
"Ooh, too bad," said Lois. It was the end of the course, but she was finally beginning to have fun. He tapped the ball in and took the score card from his pocket. He wrote their scores down from the last hole and quickly calculated the final score.
"You got a 55, Lois. Not bad for your first time."
"And what did you get?"
"Uh," he said, scrutinizing at the numbers, "a 46."
"So, now what?" she looked at him questioningly.
"We still have one more hole."
The 19th hole on the miniature golf course was an extra one. It was designed so that people would return their balls. Everyone would try to get their ball into the hole with one shot so that they could win a free game.
Clark tried first this time. He aimed and swung. The ball hit the edge of the hole, but bounced out and into the collection tray. "Ah well," he said.
Lois aimed her ball and took a timid swing. She held her breath as it rolled up the ramp towards the hole.
Clark glanced around and made sure that no one was looking and then gently blew the ball with his super breath. He watched as Lois jumped and squealed with delight as her ball went into the hole and sounded off an alarm that would notify the attendant of a winner.
"I made it, Clark!" In her excitement, she gave Clark a hug, which he returned. Suddenly realizing that people had gathered around them to see who had won the free game, she let go and smiled at him hesitantly.
The attendant from the ticket booth arrived just as they pulled away from each other. He looked over at the two of them and asked, "So, who's the lucky winner?"
"She is," Clark pointed at her.
"Well, miss, it seems that you've broken our slump. You're our only winner today! Sign here please," he handed her a clipboard and a pen to sign.
"Did you hear that, Clark? I'm today's ONLY winner." She signed the piece of paper and handed it back to the man who glanced at it.
"Well, Ms. Lane," he said, scribbling something on the blue slip of paper. "Congratulations, and you can redeem this free game at any time." He handed it to her and walked back to the ticket booth where a line had formed in his absence.
"Well, I guess that's that, Lois. I won, fair and square."
"Yes, I know," she stared at the free game ticket in her hand. "But now that I have a free game, we should come back next week so I can kick your butt."
He smiled as they headed back to the parking lot. "You're on."