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The Truth About Men and Women 17/74


Author: phoenixnz
Fandom: Smallville
Genre: Romcom,Drama, movie knock-off, AU
Rating: R (for innuendo, although there may be smut later)
Pairing: Clark Luthor/Lois Lane
Disclaimer: I don't own the characters, not even the AU ones, or the movie this one is based on. Some situations from the movie The Ugly Truth are borrowed for effect, but with a Smallville spin on them.
Feedback: Yesh pleash
Art: dream_infinity0

Summary: Lois Lane is a dedicated journalist. So dedicated in fact that she has trouble with relationships. She is mortified when cable show host and womaniser Clark Luthor joins the Daily Planet as a columnist and he begins teaching her the truth about male/female relationships. From his angle anyway.

Previously


Chapter Seventeen


Lois found herself frowning at Clark, even as Chloe pulled her away. He was acting weirder than usual.

“Earth to Lois!”

Lois looked at her cousin. “What?”

The blonde looked her over thoughtfully. “Okay, out with it.”

“Out with what?”

“You’re staring at him like he’s got two heads or something.”

“I’m really not in the mood for a Chloe quip right now,” she returned.

“Oh no,” Chloe sighed.

“Oh no what?”

“You’ve fallen for him.”

“I have not!” Lois protested. “He’s a jerk and I don’t feel anything for him at all.”

“Denial!” Chloe said in a singsong voice.

“I am not in denial!”

“Are you kidding? You’re Cleopatra. What did I tell you about Luthor?”

“And don’t you think you’re biased because of what he did to you?” Lois returned.

“I got over that, Lois, I told you that. And why are you defending him all of a sudden?”

“I’m not defending him. I just think your judgement might be a little clouded, that’s all.”

“Whatever!”

Lois noticed Bruce touching Chloe’s arm and whispering something in her ear. Chloe frowned at him for a moment.

“Do you really have to?” she asked. “We’re not here to ...”

Bruce shook his head and Chloe sighed.

“All right. Fine! I’ll see you back at the hotel.”

Lois looked at her cousin as Bruce walked off.

“Trouble in paradise?” she asked. “You know, I have to wonder why you’ve never mentioned you’re dating Bruce Wayne. Of all people. And you want to talk about Clark’s reputation. What about his? Everyone knows he’s a playboy.”

“Bruce has his reasons,” Chloe said firmly. “And we’re not exactly out to the general public yet.”

“So why are you both here, then? At a black tie event? Considering there are reporters covering this shindig.”

“Because people don’t know me so well here,” Chloe told her. “And I came here because I was concerned about you.”

Lois huffed. “Concerned about me? For what?”

Chloe shrugged her shoulders in a gesture of annoyance. “We need to talk, Lois. But not here.”

“Well, I can’t just leave. Clark brought me.”

Her cousin shook her head, as if she couldn’t believe what she was hearing.

“Well, tell Clark you’ll get a taxi home. Or do you two have ‘plans’ later?”

“We’re not here on a date, Chloe. It’s business!”

“Sure!” Chloe said, rolling her eyes.

Lois went to find Clark to tell him she was taking off, but it turned out it was unnecessary. He was looking a little uncomfortable, his expression otherwise unreadable.

“Clark?”

“Lois, uh, listen, something’s come up and I ...” He took out his wallet and pulled out some money. “I really hate to do this but will you be okay to catch a cab home?”

Lois looked at the money in his hand. “I can pay for a cab myself.”

“But I feel really bad that I’m abandoning you,” he said.

Lois sighed. “Clark, it’s fine. You’re clearly only here because Lex asked you to be here. You’ve done your duty and you don’t have to stay for me.”

Clark seemed to be relieved. “Lois, you are one in a million,” he said, leaning forward to kiss her on the cheek. And Lois was a little disappointed with that.

She rejoined Chloe, not mentioning Clark’s excuse and sudden need to disappear.

“So?” she asked.

“We’ll go back to your place,” Chloe told her. “Come on.”

“Hold on. Let me go say goodbye to Lex first,” Lois said. Chloe gave her a look. “Well, he is my boss,” Lois added.

Lex looked as if Clark’s disappearance was something he’d come to expect.

“Looks like we’ve both been abandoned,” he said with a little smile.

“Yeah. And I hate to do this, Lex, but ...” She glanced toward the corner where Chloe was waiting. “My cousin’s here and her date just bailed on her too.”

She didn’t miss the sardonic lift of Lex’s eyebrow at the mention of the word ‘date’ but didn’t respond.

“Of course, Lois. I appreciate the fact that you came.”

“You’re welcome, Lex,” she said with a smile.

The ride back to her townhouse was filled with a heavy silence. She had the impression that Chloe wasn’t too thrilled with her at the moment. As soon as they were inside, Lois kicked off her high heeled shoes and let her hair down. Chloe followed suit, sinking down in the comfortable armchair with a heavy sigh.

“Okay, cuz,” Lois said. “Spill.”

“Lo, it’s not just your call this morning, which, by the way, pissed Bruce off. He likes a lie-in in the mornings.”

“Well, how was I supposed to know you were sleeping over? I’m not psychic.”

“I know that,” Chloe said. “Take a chill pill Lois. I told him he had no right to be pissed, since I hadn’t actually told you we were dating.”

“Yeah, and how long has this been going on?”

“We’re not here to discuss my love life, Lois. We’re here to discuss yours. Or rather, your up until now, non-existent love life.”

“There is nothing wrong with my love life,” Lois insisted. “I go out on dates.”

“Interviews, Lois. Not dates.”

Lois frowned. Lucy had said the same thing.

“You’ve been talking to Lucy.”

“So what? She’s my cousin too.”

Lois sighed. “All right, fine. So my love life is sort of a natural disaster at the moment. There’s no need to call out the National Guard!”

“I think there is, Lois. Especially when I hear you talking about Clark Luthor. The man might be good-looking, but he is a wolf. Make no mistake about that.”

“Just what have I said that gave you the impression I was into Clark Luthor?” Lois asked.

“For one thing, you’ve been complaining non-stop in your emails about him for two weeks. Ever since he started at the Daily Planet. It’s all ‘Luthor did this’, ‘Luthor did that’. And frankly, that worries me.”

“I am not planning on dating Clark Luthor,” Lois said firmly.

“Then why do I get the impression you actually have feelings for this guy? Lois, you can say I’m biased, but remember the guy did have sex with me and then dump me. He will do the same thing to you. Mark my words.”

“Maybe he’s changed.”

“And didn’t you tell him tonight that a leopard can’t change its spots?”

“Well ...” Lois was beginning to feel like this was an intervention. “Chloe ...”

“What’s happened to you, Lo? What happened to the girl who didn’t care what anyone else thought? Who used a tank to go to prom? Who would sneak out at night to go to a club even though the general would ground her in a second? Where is the smart, sexy, devil may care Lois?”

“She grew up.”

“No,” Chloe said, leaning forward. “She became so busy being the career woman, the award-winning journalist, she’s forgotten how to be the woman. She’s taking advice on her love life from, of all people, a cable show host and Metropolis’ resident Lothario.”

“How do you know ...” Lois shut up, but the damage was done. Chloe smirked.

“You’re not the only one with sources,” she said.

“And yet you don’t know that your dad’s living in a hovel.”

Chloe’s expression darkened. “I do know, Lois. The difference is, he’s too proud to let me help him. And believe me, I have tried. I’ve talked until I was blue in the face. And I don’t want to talk about my father.”

Lois was all talked out by the time Chloe left and she fell into bed exhausted. She had come to the realisation that Chloe was right. She had spent so much of her energy on building her career, she had neglected the other part of her life. And that bothered her more than she cared to admit.

What was she doing taking advice from someone like Clark? She was perfectly capable of getting dates. And okay, so she hadn’t exactly been dressing to please herself. The problem was, she had started listening to the wrong advice.

Her first year of college, she hadn’t exactly been the best student. She had been more interested in socialising and drinking games with jocks, just to prove that she was tough. More than once, she had been dragged up before the disciplinary committee for drinking under-age. It wasn’t until a drinking game had gone horribly wrong for another student that Lois had realised the danger she had been in and she had started focusing on her studies more.

Her third year, she had studied under a professor in journalism who had pulled her aside one day.

“Lois, you’re a good student, when you focus, and I think you would make a fine journalist one day, but, and please don’t take this as a criticism, I just think you really need to take another look at your wardrobe.”

“What’s wrong with it?” she asked.

She’d always worn nice tops which showed off her ‘assets’ and she’d started dressing in outfits that were a little more professional, or rather, more suited to the job of a journalist. She’d scored an internship at The Inquisitor that summer and they’d asked her to wear skirts or dress pants, rather than jeans, and blouses and jackets.

“There’s nothing wrong with it, per se,” Professor Malcolm told her, “it’s just that they tend to be a little too distracting. You’re a very attractive girl, Lois, and I just feel that perhaps you need to dial it down a little. I mean, do you see the likes of Diane Sawyer wearing low-cut blouses? Let’s face it. You’re not auditioning to be a catwalk model.”

Lois had been angry for a while, until she noticed the way some of the young men in her class looked at her. And she’d realised her professor might have had a point. So she’d started wearing tops that were more practical, and wearing her hair up.

The outfits Clark had bought her had been closer to the styles she’d worn in college that her professor had so soundly criticised.

It wasn’t just the clothing either. Her first year as a full-time journalist, she had dated one of her co-workers. She’d thought she’d loved him, until he’d stolen a story idea from her and pretended it was his. He’d not only got a front page story, but he’d also been promoted. Lois had vowed from then on that nothing would get in the way of her career. She would not only avoid dating co-workers – and she’d broken that vow when she’d dated Brady for five minutes – but she would also not let her love-life interfere with her career.

She’d built up so many walls around herself that she had few friends. And Clark was breaking down those walls. Whether she wanted him to or not.

She needed to get him out of her head. And the only way to do that was to date someone else, she decided. And Oliver Queen just might fit the bill.

No time like the present, she decided, as she got into work the next morning. She called Oliver on his cellphone.

“Hi, it’s Lois,” she said.

“Lois.” His response was a low chuckle. “I was hoping I might hear from you again.”

“I was wondering if you’d like to meet me for lunch,” she said. “That’s if you’re not busy.”

“Lois, I will make the time for you. How does one o’clock sound? There’s this great Japanese restaurant not too far from your office.”

Which probably meant sushi. Lois hated sushi. She thought quickly.

“Um, why don’t we try Montebello’s?” she suggested. “It’s only a couple of blocks from the Planet.”

“Want me to pick you up?” Oliver asked.

“No. I’ll meet you there,” she said, glancing up as Clark came in. She quickly said goodbye and hung up.

“Going somewhere?” he asked.

“To meet a source,” she told him without batting an eyelid. “And he’s the kind of source who can be a bit cagey,” she lied. “Doesn’t like new faces.”

“Oh. Well, Lou called and left a message on your voicemail. He wants to meet with us later.”

Lois nodded. “I tell you what, Clark. Why don’t you go talk to Lou and I’ll go meet with my source?”

“You’re not coming?” he asked, frowning at her.

She smirked at him. “Well, you know, sometimes you just have to let the baby bird find its own way out of the nest.”

His frown deepened. “What?”

“You know the questions to ask, Clark. You know what we need. Or do you really need me to hold your hand?”

He rolled his eyes and shook his head. “Of course not, Lois.”

“Or maybe you’re just afraid to set foot in that neighbourhood all by your lonesome,” she said snarkily. “I mean, you weren’t exactly happy about it yesterday.”

“That’s because Lex told me to keep you out of trouble,” he retorted. “But whatever. I’ll just get the story and get all the credit.”

“Yeah, you do that,” she told him, knowing full well it was going to take more than talking with one source to break the story.

He was giving her odd looks. Like the ‘Lois has either lost the plot or Lois is up to something’ look. But she didn’t care. She was going to get over these feelings for him, even if it killed her. And if that meant she had to keep things professional between them, then so be it.

They walked upstairs to the boardroom for the usual editorial meeting. Cat was gushing about the exhibition.

“Oh my god, did you see Bruce Wayne there? He is sooo dreamy! I wonder who the girl was with him? Did anyone get any photos of them?”

“Cat, we’re not a tabloid rag,” Perry answered. Then he looked at Lex, who had come in. “Actually, that’s a very good question. What was Bruce Wayne doing in this neck of the woods?”

“We have mutual business,” Lex said. “And as for the girl with him, perhaps you’d better ask Lois that question. From what Bruce tells me, the matter is private and he does not wish to discuss his personal life.”

Perry looked at Lois, his eyes questioning. “Well, Lois?”

“Off the record, Chief?” she asked. He nodded. “She’s my cousin. And they’re friends. She works for a newspaper in Gotham.”

“Which begs the question, if they’re only friends, why did they attend such an important event together?”

“I don’t know, Chief,” Lois said quietly.

“And speaking of visitors from Gotham,” Bill Schuster said. “I hear Batman was spotted in the city last night.”

Everyone began murmuring, clearly wondering what the Dark Knight was doing so far away from home. Lois glanced at Lex, who, oddly enough, was staring at Clark with a questioning look.

What the hell was that all about? Lois wondered.

“It appears the Blur was busy last night too,” Lex said.

Clark nodded. “There was a four-alarm fire south side. I was talking to a cop at the 17th Precinct this morning and he told me it was an apartment building. The Blur managed to put out the fire in seconds. After that, there was an armed robbery at Richter’s Jewellery across town. The Blur managed to get in and stop the robbers from shooting the old man.”

“And no one saw his face?” Lex asked.

“Nope. The old man told the cops The Blur was moving too fast.”

“So how do we know it was The Blur?” Lex said, looking again at Clark.

“Well, it’s obvious, isn’t it?” Lois answered. “I mean, who else but The Blur would be that fast?”

“I see questions,” Perry said. “Follow ups. A headline. ‘Who is The Blur?’ Vigilante or hero?”

“Speaking of headlines,” Lex prompted. “Lois, Clark, let’s hear from you.”

“We’re chasing a few leads,” Lois spoke up before Clark could open his mouth. “Clark’s meeting with a source in Suicide Slums this afternoon, while I have a meeting up town with another source.”

Lex nodded. “Great. Keep me posted. Clark, when this meeting is done, I need to see you in my office.”

Clark nodded. “Sure Lex.”

As soon as the meeting was done, Lois went back to her office to find someone had delivered a bouquet of flowers. Yellow Chrysanthemums, to be exact. And from what she knew about the meanings of flowers, those meant she had a secret admirer. She doubted they were from Oliver, since he wouldn’t have had time to arrange the delivery. And he would have sent a card with them.

She worked for a while on the story, wondering what Clark and Lex were meeting about, but she didn’t worry too much. Hell, if Lex wanted to hold secret pow-wows with his brother it was not her issue.

Clark had still not shown when she noticed it was almost one. She grabbed her jacket and her purse and left the office.

Oliver was waiting at the table for her when she walked in, only a couple of minutes late. He grinned at her, standing up as the waiter showed her to the table.

“You look beautiful Lois,” he said.

She had dressed to kill that morning in a red silk blouse and black fitted skirt combo that not only made her feel like a million bucks but from the glances she’d been getting since she’d walked into the office, she looked it too.

“I took the liberty of ordering,” Oliver said. “Hope you don’t mind.”

“Not at all,” she answered. “I love Italian.”

“Great!” he smiled. “So, I hear you and Clark were at the exhibition last night.”

“Clark asked me to go with him as a favour. He apparently hates those things.”

“Yeah,” Oliver nodded. “He usually leaves those things to Lex.”

Lois sipped her water and smiled. “Let’s not talk about Clark. Tell me what you’ve been up to the last couple of days.”

The conversation flowed over lunch. Oliver was a great conversationalist. Lois had to give him that. But for some reason there was no spark. The few times she’d had lunch with Clark, they had bantered back and forth and Lois couldn’t remember the last time she’d laughed so hard.

Damn it, she thought, why am I still thinking about Clark when I’m here with a really great guy?

Just as they were ordering coffee, Oliver looked up toward the front of the restaurant and he had such a look of dismay on his face that Lois had to turn around. Clark was swaggering toward them.

“What are you doing here?” she asked him.

“I could ask you the same thing, Lois,” he said. “I thought you were meeting with a source?”

Eek, she thought. She’d blatantly lied to his face and now she’d been caught out.

“Uh, well, you see ...”

“Actually,” Oliver said, “we were having a nice, quiet lunch together. And you weren’t invited.”

Ouch! Lois thought. That was kind of cold, considering they were supposed to be friends. She watched as the two men glared daggers at each other.

“Okay! Way too much testosterone in this room for me,” she said, getting up.

“Don’t leave on my account, Lois,” Clark said bitterly. “I mean, it’s not as if you blatantly lied to me, is it? Oliver could be a source. He certainly knows enough about the consortium.”

Lois sent Oliver an apologetic look. “I’ll call you,” she said, grabbing her bag. I’m sorry, she mouthed.
Clark pursued her as she left the restaurant and she turned on him.

“What the hell did you do that for?” she asked.

“You set up a date, Lois. With Oliver.”

“So what if I did? You don’t own me, Clark. You are just my partner. As in, we work together. But if I want to go out on a lunch date with a guy, I will go out on a lunch date. And you have no say in it!”

“Considering you were out with me last night, I beg to differ.”

“You said that was business.”

“I said that to make you feel more comfortable,” he told her.

Lois began walking back toward the office.

“Go to hell, Clark. I will see who I want, when I want, and you can’t stop me. And by the by, I don’t need your advice on my love life. I am perfectly capable of finding my own dates.”

“Right. You probably would never have asked Oliver out if I hadn’t goaded you into it.”

“Oh get over yourself, Luthor. You might think you’re God’s gift but ...”

The rest of her rant was cut off as his mouth closed over hers. She tried to push him away but he was too strong and if she was honest with herself, she really didn’t want to resist him. Kissing him was like the Fourth of July and New Years in Times Square combined. And then some!

She found herself pulled into an alleyway and pushed against the brick wall as Clark continued the sensual assault of her mouth. Everything else just seemed to disappear around her as she became lost in the taste and smell and feel of him. His hard body pressed against hers and she lost all sense of time.

Somehow her arms ended up around his neck, while his hands clung to her waist, holding her close so she could feel the evidence of his arousal against her hip. Her body felt like it was on fire. She clung to him, dizzy with the force of her desire for him and it was all she could do to stop herself from ripping his clothes off then and there and begging him to make mad, passionate love to her.

“Ahem!”

Clark started and broke away from her. Lois stared in disbelief at Lex, who just sent them a stern look and nodded his head toward the Daily Planet building. Meekly, Lois followed Lex into the building and waited for the hammer to fall.

Lex shook his head at them as he paced his office.

“Do you two realise you just made a public spectacle of yourselves? And frankly, Clark, I expected better from you.”

“Lex ...”

“Quiet, Clark, I’m talking. You know, you’re both fortunate that I have a few connections and I will be able to get rid of that security footage.”

“What footage?” Lois asked weakly with an impending sense of doom.

“Did you forget about the street camera?” Lex asked, glowering at her.

Lois’ heart plummeted. Oops!

“My god, Clark, you two were practically fucking in the street! I asked you to work with her, not feel her up in goddamn public!”

“Lex ...” Clark tried again.

“No, Clark! I told you not to do this, but you ignored me.”

Lois closed her eyes briefly, unable to believe what she was about to do.

“Um, Lex, it’s not entirely Clark’s fault. I ... I could have stopped it if I really wanted to.”

“Nice try, Lois, but I think I know my brother better than you. And when he wants something, he will take it. Despite any objections to the contrary.” Lex sighed. “Lois, go freshen up while I talk to my brother alone.”

“Uh, sure, Lex,” she said, wondering what else Lex could have to say to Clark. She glanced briefly at Clark on her way out the door. He looked just as miserable as she felt.


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Comments

( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
eternal_moonie
Oct. 30th, 2011 02:33 am (UTC)
Absolutely love this new chapter sweetie. I'd love to hear what you think. :*

Keep up the great work!
phoenixnz
Oct. 30th, 2011 04:33 am (UTC)
Aww thanks hon.
ctbn60
Oct. 30th, 2011 02:36 am (UTC)
Eek neither one if them is thinking very clearly. U know Chloe thinks she is helping but she should stay out of it loll
phoenixnz
Oct. 30th, 2011 04:34 am (UTC)
No, they definitely are not thinking clearly. As for the convo between Lois and Chloe, well, Lois will have her own say about that in another few chapters.
dream_infinity0
Oct. 30th, 2011 03:12 pm (UTC)
love it. great work once again. can't wait to see what would happen next
phoenixnz
Oct. 30th, 2011 07:54 pm (UTC)
You wait. Coming very soon I have a doozy of a chapter.
(Deleted comment)
phoenixnz
May. 14th, 2012 07:37 am (UTC)
Oh look, it's the party pooper! LOL
( 7 comments — Leave a comment )

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