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The Truth About Men and Women 18/74


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 Eighteen

“Clark, what the hell were you thinking?”

“Lex ...”

“I told you not to get involved with her.”

Clark dropped his head in misery, then started as Lex put a hand on his shoulder and shook him.

“What’s going on with you, little brother?”

“Lex, I ... I’m falling for her. I can’t help it. I can’t stay away from her.”

“Jesus Clark, you pick a fine time to join the rest of us mere mortals. Have you told her any of this?”

Clark shook his head. He had a feeling Lois was doing her best to fight the attraction. Hence the date with Oliver. And he owed his friend a huge apology. Barging in on them in the restaurant had certainly won him no favours. But he’d overheard the phone call and he’d seen red.

“Clark, I hate to say this, but this is going to present a whole new set of problems. You know that, don’t you? I mean, you and Lois have to work together. And if this, whatever it is between you, doesn’t work, it’s going to make it more difficult for the working relationship. And how do you propose to tell her the truth about you? Because you can’t not tell her, can you?”

“I don’t know, Lex,” Clark sighed.

“Well, what are you going to do?”

Clark exploded.

“I don’t know, Lex! God! What’s with the Spanish Inquisition?”

Lex threw up his hands in a gesture of surrender.

“Okay. Don’t get defensive!”

“What do you want from me?” he asked his brother. “I’ve never felt this way about anyone before.”

“Not even Lana?”

“Honestly?” Clark sighed. “Not even her.”

Lex sat behind his desk and seemed to be studying Clark.

“I’d ask you if you were telling me the truth but the answer’s as clear as day on your face. I’ve never seen you this miserable over a woman before. You’ve really got it bad, haven’t you?”

“I don’t know what it is about her, Lex. She ... she resists me at every turn. She challenges me. And it’s not a ‘thrill of the chase’ thing. I’ve had other women like that. And believe me, the bloom comes off the rose very quickly. But Lois ... I can’t stop thinking about her. I know I’ve acted like an arrogant shit with her. And because of that, I’m pretty sure she’ll want nothing to do with me.”

“Don’t be so sure, Clark,” Lex said. “I’ve seen the way she looks at you. Like a combination of attraction and fear.”

“She’s afraid of me?” Clark asked, raising his eyebrow at his brother.

“No, Clark. She’s afraid of her feelings for you. I think this is something new to her as well.” Lex leaned forward across the desk. “Look, god knows I’m no expert at romancing women. The few times I’ve actually got that far with a woman have turned out to be complete disasters. But I’ll help you.”

Clark stared at his brother.

“Wait! What about all that talk about not getting involved with her, and ...”

“Well, that was before I knew you’d fallen for her. It’s just so unlike you Clark. Which is how I know it’s the real thing. And I think the best thing for you both is to start with something simple.”

Clark frowned at him. “Like what?”

“What about the fair this weekend? I promised Lena we’d go, but I have to work again. And I know I’ve broken my promises to her too often, but ...”

“Are you suggesting I use your daughter to ...”

“Well, Lena’s been telling me for days you two are ‘so right for each other’.”

“Who’d have thought Lena would be right.”

Lex smirked. “Lena’s a lot more observant than I give her credit for. Anyway, what I’m saying is, the two of you take Lena to the fair. That way, you can spend time together without the pressure of trying to impress her.”

Clark thought about it for a moment. “You know, that actually sounds like a good plan.”

Suddenly the door flew open and Oliver walked in. Anna followed, looking a little nervous.

“I’m sorry, sir,” she said. “He wouldn’t take no for an answer and I ...”

“It’s all right Anna,” Lex said quietly. “Shut the door on your way out.” He waited until Anna had left, then looked at Oliver. “Ollie ...”

“Sorry, Lex, but I wanted a word with Clark, and I wasn’t prepared to wait until you’d finished.”

Clark looked at his best friend, and before Oliver had a chance to speak he said it first.

“I know what you’re going to say, Ollie, and you’d be right. I acted like a complete asshole and I deserve whatever vitriol you want to rain down on me. So I’m sorry. But it wasn’t about you, it was Lois. I was jealous.”

Oliver stared at him, open-mouthed. Then his face lit up in a huge grin. It almost looked like he was going to do some sort of victory dance.

“I knew it. I knew it! You’re in love with her!”

“Well, I ...” Clark felt himself reddening. Another first for him. “Yeah, I am,” he said, realising even as he said it that it was the truth. He was in love with her.

Oliver strode up to him and put his hands on his shoulders, shaking him.

“Well, congratulations. Welcome to the human race!”

“You’re ... you’re not mad?” Clark asked stupidly. Oliver just grinned.

“You and I both know I was only going out with her to get you all riled up. I knew you had feelings for her, you schmuck! You were just so much in denial I figured you needed a push in the right direction.”

Clark felt a surge of anger at his friend.

“So you were using her?” he said.

“No, idiot! I mean, how can I be using her if she just as clearly has the same feelings for you?”

“Are you sure about that?”

“Well, let’s see, she spent about an hour the other night defending you and at lunch she avoided talking about you altogether. Yeah, I’d say she’s got it bad.”

Clark suddenly needed to sit down. He groaned.

“I’m an idiot!”

“You’ll get no arguments from us,” Lex said. “Just, whatever you do, don’t do something stupid like drive her away, the way you did Lana.”

“That’s not what happened and you know it. She demanded to know my secrets.”

“And Dad told you not to tell her. Even though you were supposed to be going for your training!”

“Because Dad didn’t think she was ‘suitable marriage material’,” Clark said, using his fingers as air quotes.

“Ever notice the old man was full of shit?” Lex said. “Considering he cheated on mom at every opportunity.”

“Yeah. Don’t forget, Clark, he used Kryptonite on you and was probably planning to do some experiments on you.”

How could he forget that? But the whole point was, Lana had not understood why he’d had to go off to his training. He’d asked her to wait for him, managing to get visits in periodically, but Lana had been tired of the secrets and the way Clark had always acted so cold toward her.

At the time, Clark had justified his actions by telling himself that he was protecting Lana from his father. If Lionel had had an inkling that Lana was more than just a girl to ‘scratch an itch’ then Lana would have been in trouble. Lionel had constantly drummed it into his sons that emotions had no place in business and sex had one purpose and one purpose only. Control. Love never entered into it.

Then again, Clark had to admit that if he had truly loved Lana, then nothing, not even Lionel’s displeasure, would have stopped him from being with her. Clark had been torn between Jor-El’s demands to stay for the next few months at the fortress to complete his training, and staying with Lana. Finally, Lana had given him an ultimatum. It was either her or his secrets.

She’d clearly tried everything to keep his interest. Even going out a couple of times with a guy she’d known in high school, in an attempt to make Clark jealous. But in the end, Clark had chosen his training – mostly to get away from Lionel’s idea of his ‘destiny’ and Lana had walked away for good. But not before she’d trashed his apartment and destroyed everything that had ever meant anything to him. Especially the one photograph of Lillian that Lionel hadn’t managed to hide away.

Oliver had been right, although Clark would have never admitted it at the time. He had treated Lana badly. For someone he had claimed to have feelings for, he had behaved like a complete tool.

The last thing he wanted to do now was screw things up with Lois.

Clark turned to leave his brother’s office.

“Clark.”

He looked at Lex.

“What?”

“Don’t forget about Bruce tonight.”

Of course. Lex had told him after the meeting that Bruce had called and suggested meeting for dinner. And he’d made a point of asking Clark to be there. Or rather, not so much asking as ordering. Clark had no idea why Bruce wanted to meet with him but he’d agreed to go.

As he walked into Lois’ office, he could see she was upset. But she quickly hid it, her expression neutral as he entered.

“About before,” she said, before he could get a word in. “I’d rather pretend that didn’t happen.”

Clark nodded, pretending to take her lead for the moment. Baby steps, he thought. Let her think I’ve backed off.

He sat down opposite her.

“So, Lou says he knows a guy who might have seen Lucas. He’s going to do some more sniffing around to see if he can find out where this consortium is meeting. And get this. Lou says there are rumours the Joker has been seen in Metropolis as well.”

Lois frowned. “He’s a little out of his territory, don’t you think?”

Clark nodded. “Batman put him in Arkham Asylum, but he’s somehow out again. And he’s looking to control the mob. In Gotham at least.”

“I wonder if he’s trying to get in on the action here, then?” Lois mused. “Ever since Intergang dropped out of sight ...”

“The local mob’s been easy pickings.”

“Do you think Marionette Ventures might be a front for a new gang operation?” Lois asked.

“Sounds feasible,” Clark nodded. “I’m thinking we should try and talk to Batman.”

Lois shook her head. “The man, or whatever he is, is notoriously anti-social. He doesn’t work well with others.”

“You’re right,” Clark agreed. “So, partner, what’s our plan?”

“I think we should try and contact The Blur.”

“I don’t play well with others either,” Clark mumbled.

“What was that?”

“Well, I mean, he tends to hide in the shadows. So maybe he likes to work alone.”

“That doesn’t mean he prefers to be alone. I mean, who knows? He could have a day job somewhere. He could be pretending to be someone else during the day, hiding in plain sight, so to speak. He could ... he could even be you.”

Clark choked. He looked at Lois searchingly. She couldn’t have heard him, could she?

Lois grinned at him, even as she reached out to slap him on the back. “Just kidding, Clark. Lighten up!” She sobered. “I wonder how I would contact The Blur?”

“Well, I hardly think you could take an ad out in the Planet,” Clark told her, once he’d recovered sufficiently.

“I could always go up to the roof of the Daily Planet and throw myself off,” she said with a grin, which told Clark she wasn’t being serious. “After all, the only time he ever comes around is when I’m in mortal peril.”

“I wouldn’t think he’d appreciate ...”

“Oh Clark,” she sighed. “Where’s your sense of humour?”

“I must have left it in my other pants,” he chuckled.

“Funny!”

Now, Clark, he told himself. Ask her now while she’s still ...

Lois stood up and he frowned at her.

“What’s up?” he asked her.

“Well, we’re not going to find out anything more right now. I have another story I’ve been working on. I’m going to go, uh, check a few things. On the story.”

Clark raised an eyebrow at her, but said nothing.

“Well, I guess I should go work on my column then,” he said. “I mean, if you’ve got this other story you’re writing.”

But as soon as she was gone, he raced out of the building to another building a few blocks away. This one was around the same age as the Daily Planet, although considerably smaller. It had a dome on top which Clark had suspected meant it had been an observatory once upon a time. It was now Watchtower.

He grabbed the small modulator, an idea he’d picked up from Oliver when he was playing Green Arrow, and a cellphone which could not be traced. Then he dialled.

“Lois Lane!” Lois barked when she picked up.

“Hello Miss Lane.”

“It’s you! How did you ...”

“I have extraordinary hearing, Miss Lane. I can hear everything that goes on in the city.”

“Oh, well that explains it. So tell me something, what do you do when you’re not rescuing reporters from certain death?”

“I observe. I watch over the city.”

“From where?” she asked, clearly digging for more information.

“Why do you need to know?”

“I ... well, I don’t really. But I don’t understand why you keep to the shadows. I mean, don’t you think people would trust you more if they could put a face to the name? I mean, you could be a symbol. You know? To inspire people.”

“I get that. But that’s not why I’m calling.”

“I’m guessing you know about this consortium?”

“I have been trying to get the lowdown on these people, yes.”

“And?”

“When I find out, you will be the first person I call, Lois. But I need you to listen to me now. If these people are what I suspect them to be, they are dangerous. And I would hate for that pretty head of yours to get caught up in it.”

Clark could hear the smile in her voice.

“You think I’m pretty?” she said. “Sounds like you’ve been, uh, admiring from afar.”

Clark chuckled to himself.

“Something like that,” he answered. “Remember, Lois.”

He hung up, leaving the equipment in Watchtower. Lex had sent him a text, telling him dinner was at seven at Lex’s place.

Clark sighed. He hoped Lex had organised someone else to cook or this was going to be a major disaster.

Five minutes before seven, he turned up on Lex’s doorstep. Just as he was about to use his key, the door was flung open and his niece grabbed his hand.

“Uncle Clark!” she practically shouted.

“Hey squirt. Where’s your dad?”

“In the dining room with Uncle Ollie and Mr Wayne. Hey, Uncle Clark, is it true you and me are taking Lois to the fair on Saturday?”

Clark bit back a snort of laughter.

“I haven’t even asked her yet,” he told her.

Lena grinned and nodded with an all-knowing look.

“She’ll say yes. I know she will. She likes you Uncle Clark.”

“Oh, really? And what about you squirt?” he asked, sweeping her up over his shoulder. “Do you like me?”

Lena squealed, laughing as he carried her through the house and into the dining room. Clark’s laughter died as soon as he saw Bruce. And Chloe. He should have known, he thought with a groan.

He put his niece down and she ran to her seat beside her father.

“You’re just in time Clark,” Lex smiled. “Lena, go wash your hands.”

“But they’re clean Daddy,” she protested.

“No they’re not,” he retorted, leaning over to look at her hands. “I can see dirt under your fingernails.”

Clark held out his hand. “Come on kid. I need to go wash up too.”

He glanced at Chloe, then took Lena’s hand and started to lead her to the bathroom.

“Race you,” Lena said. “Last one there’s a rotten egg!”

Clark grinned and followed her as she ran to the bathroom to wash her hands. He quickly followed suit, shaking the water off his hands and pinching her nose.

“Uncle Clark!” she said in exasperation. “Now my nose is wet!”

They went back into dinner, which Lex’s housekeeper had, thankfully, cooked. The food was delicious as always, but Clark couldn’t enjoy it, uncomfortable with the way Chloe kept glowering at him. She stopped when Bruce nudged her.

Clark was still mystified as to the reason for the dinner. But no one said anything until Lena had gone to her room to watch tv. Clark volunteered to make coffee for everyone, since the housekeeper had left for the evening.

Chloe followed him into the kitchen.

“I never would have thought I’d see you do something so domestic,” she remarked. “The Clark Luthor I knew wouldn’t be caught dead.”

“Well, maybe I’ve changed,” he said quietly.

Chloe gave a snort. “Right. That’s not what I hear from the gossip rags.”

Clark wanted to deny it. Have it out with her. But she was Lois’ cousin and the last thing he wanted to do was alienate any relation of the girl he was in love with.

“I guess I deserve that,” he answered, just as quietly.

Chloe raised an eyebrow at him. “You guess?”

“Chloe, what I did to you ... I ... it was wrong, and I want you to know that I’m sorry for the way I treated you. We were friends and I was horrible to you.”

“You mean, because you slept with me then dumped me? Oh, wait. To be sleeping with me, it would have to actually be in a bed. But no. That’s not what you did, is it? You fucked me. You fucked with me. With my head, and with my heart.”

“You’re right. I did. And I know I can never make up for that. But I ...”

Chloe looked at him steadily for a few moments and he began to feel very uncomfortable under her scrutiny.

“She got to you, didn’t she?” she said.

He frowned at her. “What?”

“Lois. Someone’s finally broken through that spoiled, rich boy exterior. And it seems almost ironic that it happens to be my cousin.”

“Would it make you feel better if I said yes?”

“It might.” Chloe stepped forward as if to help him with the coffee tray. “But I’m warning you, Luthor. You do anything to hurt her and I will find a way to hurt you. Capisce?”

Clark frowned again, genuinely perplexed by this sudden turnaround.

“Um, okay?” he asked. “But ...”

“Lois hasn’t even admitted it to herself yet, but she’s crazy about you. And I think it’s mutual. But I meant what I said.”

Clark nodded at her. “Message received and understood.”

But as he followed her out of the kitchen he had to pause for a moment. She’d said she would ‘find a way’ to hurt him. Did that mean what he thought it meant?

Bruce took his coffee and stirred it. Clark glanced around. Lex and Oliver were looking at the older man expectantly.

“So, Bruce, you want to tell us what this is about?” Lex asked. “I mean, you’re the one who called this meeting.”

“Yes, I did,” Bruce said, his voice a low growl. “I thought it was about time we got a few things out into the open. Like, for instance, Clark’s ‘other identity’.”

“I have no idea what you’re talking about,” Clark mumbled, glancing at Lex, who was giving Bruce a narrow-eyed stare.

“Don’t you?” Bruce said casually. “I find that hard to believe.”

“Bruce ...”

Oliver was watching Bruce, an odd expression on his face. Then his eyebrows shot up in complete comprehension.

“My god! You’re Batman!”

“Oliver!”

Oliver ignored Bruce’s exclamation and looked at Lex and Clark.

“Think about it guys. Where do you think Batman gets all his toys? I know for a fact some of them have been developed in the R and D division at Wayne Enterprises. And I doubt whether Lucius Fox could be Batman. For one thing, he’s too old.”

“And no one else could afford them,” Lex answered. He stared at Bruce. “So it’s true?”

“Yes!” Bruce barked. He looked again at Clark. “And you’re The Blur.”

“How did ...” Clark began, then looked at Chloe, the truth dawning. “How long have you known Chloe?”

“I found out about it not long before you, uh, did what you did.”

“Why didn’t you say something?”

Chloe shrugged. “Loose lips sink ships Clark. God knows, I’ve sunk my share of flotillas and I wasn’t going to be the iceberg to your Titanic. It wasn’t my secret to tell,” she said, sighing at the odd look he gave her.

“So now that that’s out in the open ...”

“You’re here chasing the Joker, aren’t you?” Clark asked Bruce.

“I think we’re all chasing someone involved with Marionette Ventures,” Oliver said.

“I suggest we start sharing our information,” Bruce answered. He looked evenly at Clark. “But first, I want to know everything. Are you a meteor mutant?”

“Uh, we don’t exactly use that terminology,” Lex said.

“I wasn’t talking to you!” Bruce growled.

Lex looked taken aback. Clark immediately jumped to his brother’s defence.

“Don’t attack Lex. He was affected by the meteors too.”

“And I’m guessing you weren’t,” Chloe said. “I mean, you’re not like the others. You have more abilities, for one.”

“I’m not from around here,” Clark told her. “In fact, I wasn’t even born anywhere near this solar system. I was sent here as a baby when my planet experienced a major cataclysm.”

“When you say ...”

“It blew up.”

Chloe stared at him, then blinked rapidly.

“My god! Are you the only one?”

Clark hesitated. “Well, I did find my cousin a few years ago, but she and I are the only ones left.”

Bruce began asking more questions but something began niggling in the back of Clark’s mind. He focused his super hearing. It sounded like Lois was in trouble.

“Lois!” he groaned.

Everyone looked at him.

“What’s going on, Clark?” Lex asked.

“It’s Lois. I think she’s in trouble.”

“Sounds like a job for The Blur?” Chloe asked. “You know, you really should think of a better moniker.”

“I’ll think about it. Right now, I have to go,” he said, preparing to speed off.

Why did Lois never listen to him?

Next

Comments

( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
ctbn60
Oct. 31st, 2011 01:57 am (UTC)
Fantastic chapter honey so much happening here it was wonderful!
phoenixnz
Oct. 31st, 2011 01:58 am (UTC)
You just wait to see how much trouble Lois gets into. LOL
theclexfactor
Oct. 31st, 2011 02:39 am (UTC)
Loved the chapter, but I'm not crazy about the fact that Chloe told Bruce who Clark was. In spite of what he did to her when they were teenagers, that wasn't her secret to tell to anyone. It's entirely possible I'm biased because of how I feel about Clark and Chloe respectively though, so don't pay me any attention, lol. Can't wait for the next chapter.
phoenixnz
Oct. 31st, 2011 02:47 am (UTC)
ah, but Clark's only assuming Bruce found out through Chloe. She doesn't really confirm it. And despite the hostility between Bruce and Clark, they will need to trust each other. Let's just say that I have something coming up which will require both of them to work with each other.
eternal_moonie
Oct. 31st, 2011 11:18 am (UTC)
Absolutely loved this chapter honey. Keep up the great work.
phoenixnz
Oct. 31st, 2011 08:09 pm (UTC)
Thanks hon, glad you like it.
(Deleted comment)
phoenixnz
May. 14th, 2012 07:39 am (UTC)
Yep, he needs to double time it, but you know our Lois.
( 7 comments — Leave a comment )

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