By Sarah Wood Sarah4LC@aol.com *firstname.lastname@example.org
Summary: Lois and Clark have one of their platonic pizza-and-video "dates" at his apartment during a heatwave — and his air conditioner has broken. Underdressed for the climate, they find themselves concentrating on each other instead of the movie.
Author's Note: This fantasy is set in Ye Olden Days, when Lois and Clark had not yet entered into a romantic relationship and had fallen into the routine of having platonic movie dates. This is a piece of fluff, not a story. No plot, no villains. It was originally in two parts, but part two rather rapidly descended from the gutter to the sewer and had to be left there. My thanks once again to Donna G. Brown for proofing.
Clark Kent answered the impatient knocking at his door. Lois Lane, his working partner and best friend - and the woman he loved - barreled in, juggling two video cassettes and her car keys.
"Hi Clark, sorry I'm late, there was this stupid man at the video store, you wouldn't believe how long it took him to —" She came to an abrupt halt as she finished getting her keys into her bag and looked at her partner. And then looked down. Flushing, she quickly looked up again, not wanting to be caught staring at his body. He was clad only in a skimpy pair of running shorts, which had slits up the sides to allow for maximum freedom of movement. They covered only a small portion of his body, and Lois was completely unprepared for seeing him practically naked. She knew she was blushing, which only made her blush more.
'Be cool,' she told herself, feeling terribly flustered. 'God, what a body!'
"Come on in, the pizza just got here. What did you get?"
Clark gestured to the tapes.
"Oh, these, right, well, I didn't know if you'd seen it already so I got another choice just in case, I've seen them both but it doesn't matter, I'd like to see them again, so whichever one you want to watch is fine with me."
Clark grinned. When Lois babbled it meant she wasn't in control, and seeing her control slip was so much fun! He didn't know what had set her off this time, only that he should take advantage of the moment before it slipped away. "Lois, which movies did you get?" he repeated slowly.
"Oh, right!" Her mind went completely blank. Try as she might, she couldn't remember the titles she'd selected less than half an hour ago. Feeling foolish, embarrassed, and a little angry with herself, she looked at the tapes. "Demolition Man and Top Gun," she read aloud.
Clark moved to close the door behind her, and she gratefully hurried down the stairs and over to the television before he could take another look at her reddened face.
"Either one of them would be fine with me," Clark called after her.
Lois looked up to say something, but nothing came out. She hadn't seen Clark without a shirt on in a long time, she had forgotten what a muscular body he had. 'He must work hard to stay in shape like that. How can someone who eats so much junk food have such a hard stomach? And those chest muscles, mmm, he looks incredible.'
"Earth to Lois, come in Lois!" Clark waved a hand at her cheekily. "You're spacing out. Are you okay?"
"I'm just a little…"
"Must be the heat," Clark said sympathetically. He wasn't suffering during this awful heat wave, but the rest of the city was wilting. Tempers had been short at the Daily Planet all week long.
"Yes, it's hot, really hot in here," Lois said quickly, grasping at that offering. 'Hot and bothered is more like it!' she thought. 'I'm acting like a teenager! C'mon, Lois, get it together. This isn't the Soloflex guy, it's Clark!'
"The air conditioner broke down," Clark explained. "I'm sorry, if you want we could go somewhere else."
'That would mean him getting dressed.' "No, no! This is fine, I'll be fine, I just need to sit down." Lois dropped onto the comfortable sofa to hide her face from Clark, and to hide his body from sight. She just needed a moment to get a grip on things. 'Get a grip on something, oh no! Why'd I have to think of that!' A bit alarmed by that unexpected line of thought, Lois searched around for something neutral to say. "This heat wave has been terrible. You sure look hot!"
She realized the double meaning behind her words and hurriedly continued. "Could I have something cold to drink?" she asked, desperate to find something to talk about that wouldn't make her tongue slip.
As Clark agreeably headed into the kitchen to get her something, she began babbling again out of nervousness. She was afraid he knew what her reaction to him was, and she wasn't willing to admit to herself that she found him attractive, so she certainly wasn't going to admit it to him!
"What a week, huh? I stayed in the newsroom until about three in the morning yesterday, trying to track down that accountant. I ran computer checks on everything I could think of, and didn't have much luck, and I was so tired all day, and I guess this weather makes me a little bit cranky sometimes…"
Clark smiled to himself as he let her voice flow over his head. 'A little bit cranky? What an understatement!' It had been a very long week. They had both been working hard, and it seemed as though everyone in Metropolis was on a very short fuse. Clark had had to deal with hostility and irritation everywhere he turned, and Lois was no exception. He was used to her being a spitfire - it was one of the things that attracted him to her - but an entire week of her grumbling and making sharp retorts and dripping sarcasm over every other sentence was about all he could take.
It was understandable, with temperatures above a hundred degrees every day for more than a week. If he had been a normal average guy he'd probably have been snapping at everyone too. It had been a bit of a struggle, pretending all the time that the heat was bothering him too, sprinkling a bit of water on his face to make it look like he was sweating. Hopefully the worst of it was past now.
Lois accepted the proffered glass of soda with relief, gulping some of it immediately. 'Okay, I'm in control now,' she told herself firmly. 'No more babbling!'
"Let's watch Top Gun, I haven't seen that in ages," Clark suggested. She nodded, so he went over to the VCR and put the tape in. 'Well, whatever had her going, looks like she's got it under control now,' he thought, both relieved and disappointed at the same time. He sat down beside her on the sofa and helped himself to a slice of pizza from the open box sitting on the coffee table in front of them.
'What incredible legs he's got! Muscles everywhere! I had no idea he was hiding this under his suits, which is just as well! Wait, I can't believe I'm thinking these things! Clark's my partner, my friend, we work together, nothing more.' Perhaps if she reminded herself of those facts firmly enough her mind would stop rebelling.
'I wonder what's gotten into Lois tonight, this isn't like her. Babbling up a storm, sure, but now she's so quiet!'
'I won't look at him, that's all. I just won't look at him! Then I won't think about the curve of his biceps, how strong he is, how beautiful his skin tone looks… I'm doing it again!'
'She must have a lot on her mind.'
'A girl would have to be blind not to think he's sexy. Sexy? Did I think that? Well, okay, he is, I can admit it. It doesn't mean anything!'
'Probably still thinking about that accountant she's so determined to nail.'
'If I'm really subtle, maybe I can sneak a quick glance without him noticing!' Lois surreptitiously peeked at Clark over the rim of her glass as he was watching the opening sequence of the movie. 'Lord, he has a beautiful smile.'
"Beautiful cinematography," he said, turning to her. Lois gave a start, horrified at being caught ogling him, and then let out a squeal of dismay. She had spilled sticky soda all over her lap and the front of her blouse.
"Oh, Lois! Here, let me help you with that…" Clark grabbed some paper napkins from the table and began dabbing Lois's lap. She was wearing her work clothes, having come straight from the newsroom. A short black skirt and a white blouse. He looked at her blouse and gulped as he quickly looked away. The thin material, when wet, was a flimsy covering. He could clearly see the lace trim on her bra. 'Don't touch her blouse!' he said to himself. Suddenly he became aware of the fact that her skirt covered barely half of her thighs. He had long admired her legs, and been appreciative of the skirts she often wore to work. His hand grazed over her stocking-clad leg unconsciously, and he jumped as he felt the heat of her skin.
Lois was finally able to swallow the hot mouthful of pizza, and she looked down at herself, plucking at the saturated blouse. "Now what'm I going to do? This blouse is going to feel horrible, it's sticking to me already!"
"You can borrow something of mine," Clark offered quickly. Then he remembered something. "Oh no! I was going to do my laundry this weekend, things have been so hectic I haven't had the time. Almost all of my clothes are in the hamper right now."
"I'll take anything," Lois said grimly, peeling the wet material off her stomach. She was so distracted by her clothes that she had momentarily forgotten about Clark's state of undress.
Clark went into his bedroom, glad to escape from the sight of her blouse plastered to her skin. Things like this really made self-control difficult.
"A pair of shorts and a tee-shirt would be great," Lois called out to him.
"I'm wearing my last pair of shorts, and I if I had a clean tee-shirt I'd be wearing it," he called back apologetically. "I'll see if I can find something…"
"Boxer shorts would be okay."
Clark wondered how to answer that without getting embarrassed. "Well, um, I'm afraid my cotton boxers are in the hamper."
"Your *cotton* boxers, huh?" Lois grinned. "What other kinds of boxers do you have?"
"Well…" He squirmed, and he knew that she was enjoying this.
Lois came into his bedroom, her eyes sparkling with mischievous delight. "Why, Clark Kent! Do you mean to tell me you've got silk boxers in there?" She waited a moment, but he just looked at her, tongue-tied. She grinned at him wickedly and pulled a pair of black ones out of the open drawer. "Well, Clark, you have impeccable taste, and black is definitely your color. These'll do fine." Somehow having Clark in an uncomfortable spot made Lois feel more confident and bold. Normally the thought of wearing Clark's boxers would have had her backing away, but desperate times called for desperate measures. She could feel the stickiness on her skin, and it was very uncomfortable.
"Now, unless you can find something for the other half of me, I'm going to have to sit around in my bra, and I can assure you I have no intention of doing that!" Lois declared.
"Let me… I'll see if…" He began rummaging rather violently through his drawers.
Lois stood back, watching him with a smirk on her face. Gradually, however, the smirk slid away. She could see the muscles rippling in his back with every move he made. There wasn't an ounce of fat on him that she could detect. The running shorts were incredibly short, leaving her tantalized by the possibility that if he bent over just a little further she might catch a glimpse of something forbidden.
"I'm sorry, Lois, but this is the only cool thing I can find," Clark said apologetically, turning around and holding up a garment.
Lois quickly looked at it, hoping he hadn't noticed where her eyes had been focused. It was a large muscle tee. "That'll be fine," she said appreciatively, plucking it from his fingers. "Do you mind if I take a quick shower? I have to get this stuff off me, I felt sticky enough without it."
He smiled understandingly. "No problem, I'll just grab a towel for you."
"Got any clean ones?" she teased.
"Surprisingly, yes," he returned with a grin as he handed her a towel and a washcloth from the linen closet in the narrow hallway. "I'll stop the movie and wait until you get out."
"You don't have to do that, I've seen it before."
"No, I'll wait, we'll watch it together," he insisted, and she smiled sweetly at him as she brushed past him to go into the little bathroom.
She had thought there was plenty of space, but she had miscalculated. She had to twist sideways a little bit, and ended up brushing his chest with her bare arm. A little tingle shot through her at the contact.
Clark felt her touch like electricity, sizzling him. There was an awkward moment as they stood there, their eyes locked together in shock.
Lois recovered first, mumbling an apology and scooting into the bathroom.
Clark released a shiver of longing and frustration, took a deep breath, and went to turn off the movie. His hands, he discovered with surprise, were trembling.
"Lois, if only you knew the effect you have on me," he murmured, shaking his head slowly. He heard the water turn on and imagined her getting undressed, standing under the spray, rivulets of water running down her body. The urge to peek was powerful, but he restrained himself. He had far too much respect for Lois to do something like that.
Lois sighed with pleasure as the cool water flowed over her, closing her eyes to enjoy the sensation. Then she remembered the feel of Clark's bare chest, how smooth and firm he felt, how she had been gripped by a strong desire to splay her fingers across his chest and run her hands down, over his taut abdomen to those oh-so-short shorts. A moan of frustration escaped her lips and she squeezed her eyes shut tighter, as if that might shut out the mental image. "This is ridiculous!" she said softly, and the sound of her own voice brought her back to reality. "I must be crazy, to be thinking like this about Clark! That's it, I'm exhausted and overworked, and probably suffering from heat exhaustion! I'll have a good laugh about this tomorrow." She nodded, deciding that she could convince herself of it if she was determined enough.
When Clark heard the water shut off, he couldn't help but imagine Lois drying herself with his towel, and then putting on his silk boxers and old muscle tee. He groaned. "I've got to stop thinking like this! I'll never make it through the movie at this rate!" He wolfed down another piece of pizza, discovered that it had cooled off too much, and quickly reheated it with his heat vision.
Lois put on her own panties and bra, and then slipped into Clark's boxers. "Who would've thought Clark wears silk boxers," she marveled softly. They were loose around her waist, of course, but not in any immediate danger of sliding off altogether. The muscle tee, however, wasn't quite as adequate as she had first thought. It was made to fit Clark's big torso, and she didn't take up much space in it. The armholes were far too large and the front was cut too low for her, exposing a generous amount of cleavage and offering numerous glimpses of satin and lace underneath.
She examined her reflection, testing the coverage with simulated reaches for a drink and other likely movements. A bit worried, but resigned, she looked herself in the eyes. "It could be worse, at least my bra isn't sticky! And it's not like Clark's going to be looking, anyway. Well, he's a normal guy, he probably will take a look, but it's not like he's going to see anything, I mean, it's like I'm wearing a bikini. Besides, it's this, or the wet blouse, or go home."
Determined to make the best of things, Lois opened the bathroom door and walked into the living room.
Clark was watching the news, but he looked up at her to see if everything was fine. His jaw dropped for the second time that evening. The shimmering silk boxers might have looked ridiculous had they not been followed by long, shapely legs. The muscle tee allowed him glimpses and flashes of a provocative bra and a generous serving of flesh.
"Not a perfect fit, but it'll do. Think we can wash my things while the movie plays? I'd hate to have to go home dressed like this!" She laughed at the idea, until she noticed that Clark wasn't laughing with her. "Houston calling Clark, we've lost contact," she called, pleased at the chance to repay him for his earlier teasing.
He abruptly realized that he was staring at her. "Your clothes! Right, sure, I'll toss a load of things in. No problem." He took the wet items from her and darted off down the hall before the closeness could begin to drive him crazy.
Lois sat down and picked up her unfinished slice of pizza, surprised to find that it hadn't grown cold while she had showered. It wasn't like Clark to be so out-of-it, but she decided it must be the heat. They had all been a bit jumpy and a bit spacey at times during the week.
A couple of minutes later Clark rejoined her on the sofa, turning the movie back on. They both stared at the screen, their thoughts far from what they were seeing.
'How can I bear it? Sitting here beside her, so close I could brush my thigh against hers if I lean over to get my soda, and I can see right down that top, and the desire to take her in my arms and show her how much I love her is getting stronger by the minute. How am I going to last through the whole movie?'
'He has no idea how gorgeous he looks. I mean, really gorgeous! My heart's racing, my palms are sweaty, and I just *know* I'm blushing again! How can I spend the evening sitting next to him, looking at his body, feeling… feeling… I don't know what I'm feeling, all I know is I can't feel this way! I just can't. Not over my partner. This is going to be a long night, I can see it now!'
At the same exact moment, the tortured and frustrated couple let out identical sighs.