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The Truth About Men and Women 19/74


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.

a/n: This is seriously taking a more suspenseful turn. It was really supposed to be a romcom. *shrugs*

Previously



Chapter Nineteen


Lois had heeded the Blur’s words. For about a minute. Because seriously, she thought, she had a job to do, and if she listened to The Blur and stayed away from dangerous situations, well, she just wouldn’t be an investigative reporter. An award-winning one at that.

She’d blatantly lied to Clark. Again! Telling him she had some work to do on another story when she really wanted to start researching more into Marionette Ventures. And perhaps get some idea of where these people might be holing up.

As she’d started to walk off to City Hall, knowing full well that Clark would check her computer, she’d got the call from The Blur. And she dearly wanted to give that guy a piece of her mind. Here he was dashing off into the fray, rescuing people and then telling her not to get into trouble. He was sounding a little like Clark.

And it seemed weird to her that she’d just been talking about that very subject with Clark a few minutes earlier. Okay, so the guy might have super hearing and it did seem plausible that he’d heard his name, so to speak. She wondered if, for all his protestations about his honesty, Clark might be telling a teensy weensy little white lie about the fact that he probably knew The Blur’s identity and even had his number.

Lois knew she was talking to herself. She could tell she was thinking out loud by the odd looks she was getting from people. But who cared if it got what she needed?

A few minutes later, she arrived at City Hall records, only to find her least favourite person on duty. Ruth Livingston was one of the city stalwarts. She’d been on the job for longer than Lois had been alive and she didn’t much care for the ‘new-fangled’ technology known as the Internet. She also had little time for reporters who were nosing into records that weren’t their concern, even if the searches were perfectly legal. Lois had tried pulling the old Pelican Brief, ‘are you familiar with the Freedom of Information Act’ game but the old bat wasn’t going to budge a single inch.

But it was the quickest way to get a look at property records without trying to hack into City Hall computers, and the best way to not get caught.

“Good afternoon Mrs Livingston,” Lois greeted her, aiming for a tone of respect. But the old battleaxe just looked over her bifocals at her.

“Ms Lane. Whatever it is ...”

Lois decided to head her off at the pass.

“All I want is to look at some public records. Just let me at the computer and I won’t bother you with anything else.”

“What public records?”

“Property.” The woman was glowering at her and Lois just knew the direct approach wasn’t going to work this time either. She sighed. “Look, you know I could go back to my boss, get a written order, and we both know your boss is going to grant it. So I’d appreciate it if you just stopped trying to put brick walls in my way and let me do my job.”

She was thinking about it. Lois had used that tactic once before and Ruth was only too aware that Lois could do it again.

“Fine,” she said with a growl. “But property records only. I don’t want to see you trying to get into any other records, you hear me, young lady?”

“Yes ma’am,” Lois said, following Ruth to the computer.

As Lois sifted through the files she was only too aware of the older woman watching her like a hawk. There were recent purchases of a number of buildings in an area of downtown, and she wondered if these were the same buildings listed on the documentation she’d read the other day, before Oliver had caught her.

Of course, there was no way Ruth would ever let her see that documentation. But it just seemed too much of a coincidence.

The trouble was, none of the names of the property owners listed were familiar. No Lucas Luthor, or Dunleavy. No Winslow Schott. She had no idea what the Joker’s real name was, and nothing stood out as unusual. Of course, that was assuming that the guy who had taken on the moniker of Batman’s enemy had an unusual name to begin with.

This was useless, she sighed. Company records had failed to show anything that might be just as helpful.
Her cellphone rang and Lois looked up. Ruth was giving her stern looks, as if she was in a public library rather than the clerk’s office. Lois quickly touched the keypad.

“Lois Lane,” she said in a loud whisper.

“It’s Lou.”

“You got something for me?”

“You bet I do, sweetcheeks.”

“I’m on my way,” she said, grabbing her bag and stuffing her cellphone inside. She nodded her thanks to Ruth and ran out.

Twenty minutes later, her cab pulled up outside Lou’s bar. Ignoring the rough clientele, she approached the bartender.

“Lois Lane. I’m looking for Lou.”

“Lou’s busy,” he said. “But I’m available,” he added with a wolfish grin.

“Charming!” she said. “I wanna talk to Lou. He’s expecting me.”

The bartender grinned and leaned forward.

“Now what would a gorgeous gal like you want with Lou?”

“Hey sweetcheeks. Over here!”

Lois turned and looked at Lou. He was a stocky man with a dark five-o’clock shadow. She shrugged at the bartender and began walking toward Lou’s table.

“How about a drink sugar?”

Lois hesitated. She really shouldn’t be drinking on the job. Especially in a bar like this.

“Don’t tell me the lady doesn’t drink,” Lou chuckled.

Lois frowned at him.

“I bet I could drink you under the table, Lou,” she told him.

“Really?” He chuckled harder.

“Really,” she said.

“Prove it.”

“Get me a glass,” she answered.

Lou gestured to the bartender, who brought over a glass. Lois took the bottle of bourbon from the table and poured half a glass full. Then she looked steadily at Lou. The man had beady little eyes which seemed sunken in his chubby face. Lou might act friendly, but she wasn’t fooled. He was tough.

Without taking her eyes off the man, she tipped the glass and threw it back. The liquid burned her throat going down but she didn’t even blink. Or cough. Then she put the glass down.

Lou was nodding. Lois leaned forward.

“I was raised an army brat,” she told him. “I’ve drunk with Russian Generals and Special Forces. And I’m not talking iced tea. I came, I drank. So what have you got for me?”

“You’re all right kid. Where’s your partner?”

“He had somewhere else to be. Lou!”

“Okay, okay. My guy’s heard of some activity down by Blaketown. It’s ...”

“Yeah, I know. Low-rent district. Mostly industrial. What does this have to do with them buying up large uptown?”

“Word is, they’re shipping something in from a small town south of here. Don’t know what it is but they’re bringing in people to work day and night. Migrant workers.”

Lois rolled her eyes. Migrant workers. Just another euphemism for slavery.

“Are you telling me they’re dealing in trafficking?”

“Not just trafficking,” Lou said.

“You got an address?”

Lou nodded. He took a grubby paper napkin and quickly wrote something on it. Lois took it and glanced at it. Then she stood up, holding out her hand.

“Thanks Lou. You’ve been a great help.”

Lois hailed a waiting cab and gave the driver the address. The sky was beginning to darken as the taxi drove through the streets. Lois got him to stop a short distance from the warehouse.

“You sure you want to stop here?” he asked.

“I’ll be fine,” she told him. “Just get out of here,” she added, throwing some money over the seat.
Her heels clicked on the concrete as she walked up to the chain link fence.

“Damn, should have worn flats,” she berated herself.

There were two guards on the gate and she figured not even feminine charm was going to get her through them. And from the look of the two beefy guys, she couldn’t knock them out either.

“Guess we’re climbing,” Lois sighed.

She made sure she was well out of hearing range of the two men and began climbing the eight foot high fence.

“You know you’d come in real handy right now,” she told the Blur. It didn’t matter if he was listening or not.

Her skirt was going to be a problem. It was a pencil skirt and the small slit at the back gave her just enough leeway for walking. It certainly wasn’t going to help her get over a fence. Especially one with barbed wire at the top.

“You’d think this was a concentration camp. Not a warehouse,” she complained to no one in particular. The hem of the skirt caught on the wire and Lois pulled at it, wincing at the ominous ripping sound. “Oh yay!” she groaned. “Ah well, easy come, easy go.”

She managed to get down the other side without incident, then kicked off her shoes, leaving them behind a stack of crates, along with her bag. Lois ran to the end of the main building, ducking down just as two men came out. One lit a cigarette. Lois scowled. She had smoked as a teenager but had long since given up and now the smell of cigarette smoke was an irritant.

Her nose began to itch and she clapped a hand to it, pinching the nostrils.

“Don’t you dare!” she told herself silently.

After a few moments, she felt the urge disappear and sighed in relief. Keeping low, she continued around the side of the building, keeping a careful watch on the two men still smoking outside. There was a door ten feet away. If she could just get to it and get it open without the two men seeing or hearing her, she might have a chance.

Fortunately, the two men finished their smoke break and turned to walk back inside. Lois shrank back in the shadows. They still hadn’t detected her. Good.

As soon as they were gone, Lois stood up, stretching her cramped legs and made her way to the other door. Thankfully, it wasn’t locked and she opened it quietly. The door creaked a little and she winced, glancing through the gap. The door led to a hallway and she guessed to the administration end of the building.

“Lois, this is your lucky day,” she told herself.

Opening the door wider, Lois entered, walking quickly in bare feet along the corridor to what she assumed was the main office. Empty. This was getting better and better.

She saw some shipping manifests on the desk and quickly read them. They’d brought in some containers from ... Smallville? Lois frowned. Was this the small town Lou had been talking about? And what exactly had they been shipping?

She was so absorbed in reading she didn’t hear the footsteps behind her. But she did hear the click of the gun. She looked up, her eyes flicking to the side.

“And what would you be doing here this time of night?”

Lois turned and looked at the man, smiling disarmingly, trying to show no fear despite the 9mm semi-automatic he had pointed at her.

“Um, looking for a job?” she ventured.

His mouth quirked in a smile, but his grip tightened on the butt of the gun. Lois winced at the way his finger was on the trigger. He searched her with one hand, taking his time about it. Lois could swear he was feeling her up rather than searching, and if he hadn’t had the gun in his hand she would have aimed a kick in a very vulnerable spot.

He finished his search then gestured with the gun.

“Ladies first,” he sneered.

Lois swallowed hard, then did as she was told, doing her best to keep her temper as the man shoved her from behind, the muzzle of the gun digging into the muscle between her shoulder blades.

She was pushed out into an area overlooking the main floor of what she now realised was some kind of processing plant where she could see people at work. Some of them were children as young as twelve. They were working with what looked like rocks, putting them into machines.

“Boss,” the man called.

A man turned from where he was supervising the workers and grinned. He was a brunet, with piercing dark eyes, slender, well-toned musculature. He wore a black leather coat and black jeans.

He quickly crossed the floor and came up the metal steps to the mezzanine floor.

“Well,” he said, approaching them and leering at Lois. “Looks like we have an intruder.”

He cupped Lois’ jaw with a strong hand, looking her over.

“Now, what would a gorgeous girl like you be doing down this end of town at this time of night.”

“Slumming?” Lois said sharply.

The man looked at Lois’ guard. “Id?”

“Nothing on her.”

“So, I’m guessing you’re either a cop or a reporter. And no cop I know would be dumb enough to come here without back up,” the dark-eyed man said. “Am I getting warm?”

Lois said nothing, letting the man come to his own conclusions.

“Yeah, I’d say you were a reporter. And there’s only one reporter I know of with the cajones to come alone. Lois Lane.”

“What do you want, a gold star?” she sneered.

He smirked. “Feisty. Yeah, I heard that about you Lane. Pity you wasted your trip. There’s nothing criminal going on down here.”

“Nothing criminal?” she spat. “I suppose next thing you’ll tell me is those twelve year olds you’ve got working on the floor are really just young-looking adults.”

“They’re free to leave anytime they want. I don’t force them to be here.”

“Except for the fact they probably owe you money. Or their parents do.”

“Well, what parent wouldn’t want a better life for their kid?” the man returned. “I’m just doing the parents a favour.”

“And getting slave labour in return.”

“I’m a businessman, Lois. May I call you Lois?” he inquired.

“No, you may not,” she answered.

The man looked at the guard still holding Lois.

“Why don’t you have security call the police and have Ms Lane here charged with trespassing?” he suggested, his tone brooking no objection. The guard spoke into the radio on his shoulder.

Lois snorted. “So it’s not enough to have the mayor, sorry, the ex-mayor, in your back pocket, you’ve gotta have some cops too? Just who the hell are you?”

“All in good time, Lois,” he said smoothly.

“I know about the consortium,” she said as the man started to turn away. “I know about the properties you people have been buying up downtown. What’s your plan? Take up where Intergang left off?”

She had hoped by telling something of what she knew that it might goad him into revealing his plan. Most bad guys had huge egos and loved to hear themselves talk. She hoped this guy was no different.

He turned again and looked steadily at her, then snickered.

“Come now, Lois, do you think I’m stupid enough to do something so clichéd as to tell you what my plans are? And besides, like I said. I’m a businessman. Buying up large amounts of property is not illegal.”

“That depends on what you’re planning on doing with it,” she told him.

The man looked at the two security guards who had come in.

“On second thoughts, forget the cops. Just shoot the bitch! She’s beginning to bore me!”

Lois glowered at him.

“Well I have only one thing to say to you,” she said.

“And what’s that?” he asked.

She screamed. It was loud and piercing, and enough to make the guard holding her put his hands over his ears. Which was precisely what she wanted to happen. She grabbed the gun in his hand, wrenching it down, knowing the other two wouldn’t dare shoot while she was struggling with the guard in case they hit him. Then she kneed him in the groin, hard enough for him to double over in pain.

“What are you doing?” the man shouted. “Get in there and get her!”

The gun Lois was struggling for went off with an ear-splitting crack, the bullet hitting the concrete floor and bouncing off, chipping the concrete in the process. Workers hearing the noises began to cry out in panic, having seen none of the action.

Suddenly the whole place was in chaos. A door burst open below and two guards went flying, hitting the wall with a crack. The workers fled, leaving the rocks behind. Lois turned, staring in disbelief as Clark came in, his face like thunder.

A hand on her arm stopped her from moving and she glared down at the dark-eyed man. He was holding a gun on her.

“Well,” he sneered. “Hello little brother.”

“Let her go, Lucas,” Clark growled.

Lois continued to stare. Wow, she thought. Who’d have thought Clark could be so ... so ... her mind struggled to come up with the words. But damn, he was sexy!

“Or you’ll do what, bro?” Lucas snickered.

Clark sent her a look and shrugged. Oh great, she thought. So much for coming to her rescue. She noticed he was glancing around at the rocks on the sorting tables and keeping what could only be a respectful distance. What was that all about, she wondered.

She turned and looked at Clark and Lex’s brother. She figured Lucas must take after their father, because she really didn’t see the resemblance between Lex and Lucas at all.

“So you’re Lucas,” she said. “You know, I thought Clark and Lex were exaggerating about you, but I guess not. You really are a thug and a psycho.”

“Nice to know they think so highly of me,” Lucas smirked.

Lois heard the sound of the guard behind her starting to come to his senses, and the two guards that had been thrown were also starting to come to. She had only one opportunity to get away from this creep.

“Actually,” she said, “I think they were too easy on you. And you want to know something else? You seriously under-estimated me.”

Lucas was about to say something else and she shoved him backwards, hitting him with a right hook, hearing the crack of bone as she broke his nose. Blood poured out and he yelped in pain.

“You bitch! You broke my nose.”

“You’ll live,” she told him, shoving him again, making him drop the gun. Then she ran down the stairs to where Clark was anxiously waiting.

He grabbed her hand and grinned at her.

“Remind me never to take your advice on how to win friends and influence people,” he said.

“Worked, didn’t it?”

She went outside with him, then let go of his hand.

“Lois?”

“I left my bag here,” she said, going to pick up her bag and shoes where she’d hidden them.

He shook his head as he looked at her.

“Lois.”

“What? Oh come on, it’s not like I had anything I could actually use in there. I left my recorder at work.”

As she quickly checked her bag to make sure everything was all there, she chanced to look up and gaped at the dark shadow silhouetted in the moonlight. It looked like ...

“Oh my god, is that Batman?”

Clark looked up. “Whoa!” he said. “I guess it is. He must have found out the Blur was here.”

Lois looked at him. “The Blur was here? Why didn’t you say something? I would so love to talk to him right now.”

“Why? So you can get an exclusive interview?”

“No, dumbass. So I can thank him. I mean, it had to be him who threw those guys, right?”

“I guess. Yeah, I suppose he did.”

“Just how did you find out I was here?” Lois asked, eyes narrowing suspiciously.

“Oh, I got a tip,” he said.

“Don’t tell me,” she said. “Lou called you and told you where I was going.”

“Um, yes?”

“Great. I’ll be sure to thank him next time I see him. Maybe with a right hook.”

They walked through the gate and paused in the road.

“Uh, Clark? Where’s your car?”

Clark stared at her for a moment, looking as if he was wondering what the hell she was talking about.

“Clark!”

Lois turned and looked at Lex.

“What are you doing here?” she asked.

“Clark was having dinner at my place and he heard you were in trouble. So I drove him down here. My car’s a lot faster than his clunker.” Lex smirked at Clark, who just rolled his eyes.

“I was actually doing just fine,” she told him.

“Oh right. Facing down three thugs, armed with guns. Not to mention Lucas.”

Lex frowned. “Lucas was here?” he asked.

“Emphasis on the past tense,” Lois said. “He’s probably headed to emergency.” Lex stared at her and she explained. “I broke his nose.”

Lex laughed. “Well, I’ll say this for you, Lois. You’re good at getting into trouble but you seem to have a way of wriggling out of it as well.”

“So does this mean you think I no longer need a babysitter, I mean, partner?”

“Oh hell no. That’s all the more reason for Clark to stick with you,” Lex said as he began the drive back to his house. “After all, I did ask him to keep you out of trouble. So he’s just going to have to stick even closer from now on.”

Lois groaned outwardly. But inside she was in turmoil. Just why oh why did the thought of Clark ‘sticking close’ give her a tiny thrill?

Next

Comments

( 9 comments — Leave a comment )
eternal_moonie
Oct. 31st, 2011 10:59 pm (UTC)
This is totally AWESOME!

Another good chapter Leanne honey.
phoenixnz
Nov. 1st, 2011 03:58 am (UTC)
Thanks hon.
theclexfactor
Nov. 1st, 2011 03:29 am (UTC)
Great chapter! I look forward to updates from you and this was action packed and great. Can't wait for the carnival and more Lena ;)
phoenixnz
Nov. 1st, 2011 03:59 am (UTC)
There will be a few more chapters before the carnival, and a revelation, or two. But Lena will be back soon.;)
dream_infinity0
Nov. 1st, 2011 04:33 am (UTC)
great chapter.

can't wait to see more lois and clark action
phoenixnz
Nov. 1st, 2011 07:54 am (UTC)
There will be in a chapter or two. Glad you like the chapter.
oliver95
Nov. 8th, 2011 01:26 pm (UTC)
This is continuing in its fascinatingly different but true to character way. Another beautifully crafted episode, thanks.
phoenixnz
Nov. 8th, 2011 06:01 pm (UTC)
Glad you enjoyed the chapter. More soon.
(Deleted comment)
phoenixnz
May. 14th, 2012 07:40 am (UTC)
I don't know whether to say sorry for keeping you reading the last few hours or thank you for the compliment, lol. But I'm glad it caught your attention.
( 9 comments — Leave a comment )

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