By Mark Stone (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Summary: Through his office window, Perry has a firsthand view of the highs and lows of the newsroom drama known as "Lois and Clark."
Well, I finally got around to finishing my first ever short story under the LNC topic. I just wanted to say thanks to my little sis, for helping me pull this off, and being there when I needed her. And to the rest of the LNC crew. I've enjoyed listening to every minute of the talks and such. I think somewhere in here go the standard disclaimers, right.. you have the right to remain silent… OOPS, wrong one.. well, you know which disclaimers. And any critiques and such are greatly appreciated.. The harsher the critiques or the brighter the raves, the better, thanks.
He stood there and watched his two star reporters as they sat at her desk, him leaning over her shoulder, staring intently into her computer screen, her flushing her fingers over the keyboard. What would he do without those two? They had it all, the ability to find the smallest detail, the gift of the written word, and that chemistry together.
That chemistry. It was remarkable. He knew from the moment he had hired the young man on to his staff, that their teamwork was obvious. Sure they had had their shares of ups and downs, but so did Elvis and the Colonel, and everything always seemed to work out in the end. And the chemistry spread beyond the office and the job. The best thing he could have ever done was to partner those two together. He somehow knew, despite all the differences, the debates, and the arguments, that those two were destiny bound.
Pulling the blinds closed for a moment, he brushed his brow, then peered through the slats to look at his two kids. And they were his kids, at least he would always think so. He felt like their father, and wanted them to know it.
The two were smiling and laughing. Either it was his one-of-a- kind country boy comments or the look that she gave him in return that started the joviality. He could only hope that they would take this the necessary step further. They held secrets from each other and themselves. They obviously had feelings for one another, as any casual observer could have easily noted. Her, well, it was probably more of the not wanting to admit to herself that she had fallen for the young man. And he … well that was his big secret.
If he had to he'd play Cupid; he wouldn't mind, but only if he "had to." He chuckled silently, knowing that he'd use any excuse to fit in the "had to" category, as he had done so many times in the past. The charity balls, the small parties, the insistence on their going as a team to even the smallest events. And there had been some progress. It was slow, but it was progress.
The sound of the phone ringing was about the only sound that could get through to his office with the door closed. After walking over to the door, he pulled it slightly ajar to hear her take down a name and an address, apparently down on the wharf. Closing the door and the blinds, he then raised a slat back up to see the elevator door close between him and the two. He walked back over to his desk, and resumed his seat with a smile on his face.
Having become so captivated by his thoughts of the couple, only the occasional flash of the lightning of the storm brewing outside the main office seemed to break his concentration. Looking back up through the window, he saw the two kids coming back in, apparently in a storm of their own. This time he had left the door closed, and couldn't hear a word they were saying. he stood up and walked over to the window, not daring to open the door for fear of attracting any attention to himself. Even chemists needed a little heat to produce something most of the time.
He watched as the two sat down at their desks, each assuming their tasks at hand; she, pounding out more information into her computer, and he on the phone, following up on what they could only hope was a successful tip. The duo shot random glances at each other to make sure the other wasn't watching them. They had quit talking to each other, each trying only halfheartedly to concentrate entirely on their jobs. Scenes like this were a disappointment to him, but they were a necessity he supposed. It didn't make it any easier to see it, necessity or not. He didn't have to like it.
But he knew that it had the smell of the makings of a great story. That was the amazing thing about those two. Whenever they disagreed, it was only for a short while, something of mammoth proportions almost always came out of it. The only problem was watching the two of them build up the temporary ice wall between them. Hopefully, this was a thin wall. Because the big problem was still lying ahead like … well, like an ugly pothole in the road. It still hurt him to know that the perfect couple had their debates, but everyone did. George and Martha Washington, he and his wife, even Elvis and Priscilla didn't live in harmony 24 hours a day every day. Everyone. Too bad that things just couldn't be simpler for those two.
Suddenly the young man rose and said something to her and raced off to the elevator. She simply made a motion at him, and buried her head deeper in her work. Why couldn't he just tell her about this. She would understand. Sure she'd probably get mad at him for a while, even tell him that she didn't want to talk to him again, but they all knew it wouldn't be true, and she'd tell him how important it had made him, and that she would understand completely. Important? Hell, if it wasn't for the Clark, none of them would probably be here now.
It was only by pure coincidence that he had caught on to Clark's secret. Deja vu and some logical deductions had brought him to the realization. He didn't make it to where he was by not noticing his surroundings and the people in those surroundings. He glanced over at the coat rack where the reporter's coat was still hanging. One of the few absent minded traits where the young man was concerned which had let himself put the puzzle pieces together. And when he discussed the issue with Clark, he promised he would not mention this to anyone, especially not to Lois. Both men realized it would only be a matter of time before she figured it out as well. Clark would have to tell her sooner or later. Hopefully sooner. Lois would eventually put two and two together, and hopefully he'd tell her before that moment. He only hoped Clark would know when the time was right, and it could happen at any time for both of their sakes.
Suddenly, he realized that Lois too had left out in the storm. Some observer he was, standing right there in the middle of his own thoughts, and she vanishes right out from under his eye. She must have tried following him. For all the good it would do her. Not unless she knew exactly where he had headed. Of course with her instincts, that was a possibility. She had that gift to sense out trouble wherever it was, and when her partner left on his own, that usually meant trouble was somewhere nearby. Watching the young office worker pick the small yellow pad off the floor, he couldn't help but laugh. She could have always gotten a little hint as well. He looked back up at the empty desks, and heard himself whisper a silent order, "Keep an eye on her."
Hours later, he stared back at the two empty desks, and felt a twinge of worry cross his mind. They've gotten in trouble, he could just feel it. There was no telling what happened, just knowing that something happened was getting to him. Control yourself, he though, the kid knows how to get both of them out of binds. Chuckling to himself for still referring to the young man as a kid, despite his natural abilities, he shook his head.
They'd been there before, and most times come out with only a few bumps and bruises or, as usually in her case, a slightly bruised ego. And they always came back with a great story. He looked down at the nearly ready press, and knew what he would love for the lead story to be. But that didn't appear to be happening anytime soon, so whatever they had come up with would have to "suffice" for now.
The flash of lightning outside caught his eye, taking his attention away from the two soaked reporters as they stepped into the room. He looked back to see the young man taking her jacket off her shoulders, and Lois giving him that flash of a smile that even made his knees buckle when he saw it. He could only imagine what it was doing to Clark. A heavy breath of relief crossed his office.
As they made their way back to the desks, he rose to his feet, stood at the door, and watched as they plugged what was apparently the last part of the story into their machines. A large smile crossed his face for a moment, which he immediately replaced with his serious look, and swung the door open.
"Lois! Clark! Where's that story? We have a paper to get finished here! I don't want to have to wait until the Colonel's birthday!" He bellowed so that everyone in the newsroom had to turn their attention on him. They flashed a pair of smiles at him. "Just finishing, Perry." Lois and Clark responded simultaneously.
He turned and walked back into he office, and pushed the door closed. He turned and looked out the window for the last time tonight, and flashed a Cheshire cat smile as the blinds closed down in front of him. Chemistry!