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The Truth About Men and Women 34/74


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 Thirty-Four


Shopping at a grocery store for dinner with Lois was an interesting experience. Or, maybe surreal was a better word. If Clark thought Lois hated clothes shopping, she hated food shopping even more. As soon as he’d stopped at the grocery, Lois had started fidgeting in the car. Clark had told her he was just going to be a few minutes and she could stay in the car if she wanted to. But Lois had decided that that was not practical and had tagged along.

It wasn’t so much that she complained. It was just that she grabbed a cart and sped down the aisles like a swarm of bees was after her. Clark liked to take his time, make sure the produce was ripe and fresh and the meat was recently packed. And truth be told, he liked flirting with the girls who stopped to check him out. Well, he wouldn’t be a guy if he wasn’t flattered by the attention.

As soon as he’d stopped to check the ripeness of the strawberries on display, a girl came over to check her own produce, looking him over while she did so. Lois immediately saw and started to drag him away.

“Lois, do you want dinner or not?” he asked, wondering how he’d got himself into a situation where their roles seemed to be reversed. Where she was the one who hated shopping and he ...

“Well, you don’t have to dawdle,” she commented.

“It’s not dawdling. I’m just trying to make sure the produce is the right freshness.”

Lois frowned at him, sighing impatiently.

“Don’t you have food at home?”

“I’ve been at Lex’s the last three nights. I haven’t had time to get any food.” She was hopping from one foot to the other. “Will you quit that? You’re jumpier than a mouse on speed.”

“Why do you have to spend half an hour checking the produce? Why can’t you just pick one?”

“Clearly you have no appreciation for fine food or cooking.”

“Well, excuse me Gordon Ramsay.”

He rolled his eyes. “You don’t cook, but you know Gordon Ramsay.”

Lois shrugged. “I watch Fox. Sometimes.”

“I met the guy once. I stopped over in London and Lex and I had dinner together. He was sitting at the next table criticising everything about the menu and the food. Lex finally turned around and told the guy to shut up. He cursed Lex a blue streak.” Clark chuckled. “You should have seen Lex’s face.”

“Thanks, but no. Can you hurry up?”

She was watching the girl who had been watching him.

“Jealous, Lois?”

Lois snorted. “In your dreams, Luthor. Grocery stores just make me nervous.”

“Don’t the Kents own a grocery store?”

“Well, that’s different.”

“Different how?”

“It just is,” she said, practically stamping her foot.

Clark finished loading the cart with the produce and moved on to the meat section. He was planning on making a spaghetti Bolognese with green salad. He ordered enough ground beef for the Bolognese and added it to the cart. Then it was off to the wines. Clark selected a dry still red.

“What’s that for?” Lois asked.

“The sauce.”

“Oh.”

“And for drinking.”

Lois frowned at him. “I would have thought you’d have a wine cellar or something.”

“To be honest, I’m not that big a wine drinker.”

“No, I did notice you’re more of a beer man.”

“I happen to like beer.”

“I would have thought ...”

“What? That I’d be more of a scotch drinker? Or that I’d have more expensive tastes? You know that saying less is more?” Lois shook her head. “Look, the point is, just because you have money doesn’t mean you should flaunt it. I’ve learned to appreciate the value of the simpler things.”

“Like what?”

“Like a sunset. Or the feel of sand between your toes as you walk along the beach.”

Lois snickered. “Why, Clark Luthor, anyone would think you were a romantic.”

He shook his head. “I guess when you have something that sets you apart from humanity, you see things from a different perspective than others.”

Lois looked thoughtful. “I guess I never really saw it that way. I suppose I take those things for granted.”

“Come on, Lois,” he said. “Let’s get going.”

Lois was looking around the apartment as he unpacked the groceries and set up everything to start cooking.

“Well, I can see you have expensive taste,” Lois said with a smile as she sat at the breakfast bar.

Clark didn’t comment as he started chopping up onions for the sauce. His apartment was modestly furnished, despite the fact it was the penthouse of the building.

“So, if you’re not into extravagance, why the penthouse?”

“It’s easier for me to get out when I have to, uh ...” He waved his hand in a flying motion. “You know.”

Lois chewed on her bottom lip.

“It’s still a little weird, knowing you’re the Blur. So, um, you really did save me a few times.”

“Well, you do seem to have a bad habit of getting into trouble,” he answered with a grin. “The first time was when you were mugged, and you nearly ended up being hit by a car. That was about a year ago.”

“I don’t remember that,” Lois said with a frown.

“Remember a few ‘near misses’? That was me.”

“Wow! So I’ve actually known you for a year but I just didn’t know it was you.” She frowned. “That sounded better in my head. Now it just sounds weird.”

“Something like that.” Clark finished chopping the tomatoes and added the rest of the ingredients to the browned meat, then put the pasta on to cook.

“Would you like some wine?” he asked. “Or I have juice.”

“A glass of wine would be nice,” Lois smiled.

“Coming right up,” he answered.

Clark poured the wine and came around to sit on the stool beside her, handing her the glass.

“So, I’m guessing it must have been tough, growing up,” Lois said. “Were you born with the powers or did you just grow into them?”

“Well, not technically. Krypton had a red sun.”

Lois frowned. “Krypton? Oh, right, the planet. So, the red sun. Does that make a difference?”

“Well, yeah, since I get my powers from the yellow sun.”

“So Kryptonians didn’t have powers?”

“Not that I know of. Not from what my birth father tells me.”

“Yeah, you were going to explain about him.”

Clark glanced in the kitchen and stood up. “Hold that thought a minute. I’m just going to check on dinner.”

He gave the Bolognese a quick stir, checked the pasta was bubbling nicely, then put garlic bread in the oven to warm up. He rejoined Lois, reaching behind him for the glass of wine.

“I guess I’m doing this the wrong way around. So, I’ll start at the beginning. I was born ...”

“Aren’t you going to start with ‘once upon a time’?”

Clark growled at her. “Stop that.”

Lois chuckled. “Hey, I’m getting in while I still can.”

“You are a very bad girl, Miss Lane.”

“Takes one to know one, Mr Luthor.”

“Can I start with the story now?”

“Yes. I’ll be good.”

“You sure?”

Lois made a motion as if she was zipping her lips shut. Clark still didn’t trust her to keep quiet, but he took a deep breath and began again.

“I was born on a planet about fifty light years from Earth. Well, as far as I can gather. It was called Krypton. The people there had advanced way beyond those of Earth. But all that advancement led to arrogance. Kryptonians were so sure of their superiority that while they visited other planets, they were locked into their own way of life and didn’t consider other civilisations might have something to offer.

“People there lived for far longer than humans. Somewhere between two hundred and two hundred and fifty years. But only because scientists had developed a cloning technique, which allowed them to harvest the organs of each clone to extend their life expectancy. If they were severely wounded in a battle or an accident, they used the cloning technique to repair their bodies.”

“Eww! I don’t think I like these guys.” Clark sighed. He’d known it couldn’t last. “So, get to the part where you happened to come to Earth.”

He rolled his eyes. “Trust me, Lois, this is important.”

She held up her hands. “Okay, fine. Go ahead, Mr Storyteller.”

“About five hundred years before I was born, there was a man, a Kryptonian, rather, by the name of Jax-Ur.”

“You mean like that guy on Xena?”

Clark groaned. “Not Joxer!” He looked at her. Lois was grinning. “You’re doing this to torment me, aren’t you?”

“Yup! Is it working?”

Okay, okay, so he’d screwed up when he told her he’d thought distance was the best way to protect her. But this was ridiculous!

“Jax-Ur married a woman who reminded him a lot of his mother. He eventually discovered that the woman was actually a clone of his mother. So angry at being duped, he threw her out and refused to have anything to do with her, then began a campaign with the Kryptonian Council to ban cloning. Others came out in defence of cloning, using the defence of longevity and it sparked a civil war which raged for decades. Whenever there was anything close to a resolution, someone would spark it off again.

“A hundred years later, another Kryptonian, who wanted to seize power, decided to build a weapon, which he planned to use to threaten the Kryptonian Council into accepting him as the new leader. But my ancestor, Kal-El, found the weapon and destroyed it. Or assumed he did.

“Fast forward a few centuries and we meet Major Dru-Zod, who was a friend of my father, Jor-El. They both believed that Krypton was slowly destroying itself. The environment was being poisoned. Jor-El began investigating the cause and he found that the weapon developed hundreds of years earlier hadn’t been destroyed as Kal-El had originally thought. He informed Zod, telling him that if the weapon got into the wrong hands it could be turned into a Doomsday machine. As it was, Krypton’s environment would become too toxic even for those in the cities.”

Lois frowned. “Why? I don’t get it.”

“The machine was leaking radiation. It was poisoning the soil. That’s why the meteor rocks make me sick. Because they contain the same sort of radiation that was making our people sick. But I’ll get to that.

“Jor-El and Zod tried to convince the council to start sending people off-world. There’d been expeditions for years. Jor-El even came here once. But the council refused to listen to reason and banned all off-world travel. Zod turned on them, tried to take over the council by force and it sparked another conflict. A war which raged on for twenty years. Zod then found the Doomsday weapon."

Lois was riveted, staring at him with an expression of utter fascination.

“Jor-El eventually learned what Zod had done and he helped the council stop Zod and his followers. But it was too late to stop the weapon. Zod was put on trial and sent to an inter-dimensional prison my father created, called the Phantom Zone. Meanwhile Jor-El tried to convince the council elders to let people leave Krypton. He told them that the weapon was slowly pulling Krypton apart and eventually the planet would implode.

“At the same time, my mother, Lara, found out she was pregnant with me. Knowing the planet was facing imminent destruction, my father decided to build a lifepod for me.”

“Wait,” Lois said, holding up her hand. “Why didn’t he build a ship for all of you?”

“Well, Jor-El was a powerful figure on Krypton and the council had already threatened to send him to the Phantom Zone if he told anyone what he believed.”

“So they didn’t believe him?”

“And they considered other races too inferior to share their civilisations with. But Jor-El knew that Earth would be a good home for me. He’d met some people he thought would take me in and he sent some messages to Earth hoping someone would be able to decipher them. I was about three months old, by Earth time, when they sent me out into space. And no sooner had my pod left when Krypton blew.”

Lois’ hand was over her mouth. “Oh my god! And he chose to stay behind! Oh, Clark, that’s so sad!”

“Lex came up with the theory that some debris from the planet was attracted to the magnetic field generated by my ship and that’s why the meteor shower happened back in ’89.”

“Who were the people your father met? The ones he thought would take you in.”

“Hiram and Jessica Kent.”

Lois’ eyes widened. “Jonathan’s parents?”

Clark nodded. “I’m guessing that Jor-El planned for the pod to land somewhere near the Kent farm, but something must have happened to send it off course.”

“And Lionel found you instead.”

Clark nodded. The oven timer dinged and he got up.

“Dinner,” he said.

“Wait, I want to know more,” Lois said insistently.

“I’ll tell you more. After we’ve eaten. All that talking has made me work up an appetite.”

But just as he’d begun to chop the vegetables for the salad, he heard the sound he’d been dreading. Someone calling out for help.

“Shit! Lois, stay here. I’ll be back.”

“Where you going?” she asked as he changed within a second to his Blur jacket and pants.

“Fire in an apartment building downtown. I won’t be long.”

He started to leave, then changed his mind. He bent and kissed her quickly, surprising her. Then sped off again.

The fire was well underway when he got there and he could hear screams from the top floor. Clark quickly located the screaming woman and ran up the stairs to the apartment where the woman was cowering from the flames engulfing the entire floor and grabbed her. He ran to the fire exit, holding her firmly to protect her from the blaze and ran down the stairs, putting her down, then turning to go back up the stairs to put the fire out.

The whole thing had taken less than two minutes. As soon as he was back downstairs, he could hear the woman yelling out.

“He saved me. The Blur saved me!”

Clark checked the building once more, but everyone appeared to be out. The fire department quickly went in to check the rest of the building and Clark felt it was safe enough to leave.

Lois was just setting the table when he returned. She’d already made the salad.

“Wow! That was quick!” she said. “I guess I’m going to have to get used to that, aren’t I?”

They still needed to talk about that, but Clark remained silent.

“I’m just going to grab a quick shower,” he said. “Wash the smoke out. I’ll be back in five minutes.”

It was less than five minutes, but Lois hadn’t appeared to notice when he returned. Clark served up the dinner. Lois sat down opposite him at the table.

“This looks really good,” she said. She twisted some spaghetti around her fork and took some of the sauce, making appreciative noises. “So, who taught you to cook? Was it your friend, the lumberjack?”

“No, I pretty much learned by necessity. Of course, when I was growing up, we had a cook and maids, of course. And I had a nanny.”

“Yeah, you mentioned that. So you never learned to cook at home? Even at school?”

“I went to a prep school, Lois. Our lessons didn’t include things like shop class and home economics.”

“Oh to be you.” She took some of the salad. “What about Lex? Why didn’t he learn to cook?”

“Cause Lex is too lazy to get off his ass and learn how,” Clark grinned. “I mean, he says it’s because he doesn’t have the time, with work and everything. Even when he was in the European office, he spent most of it working, although he did make sure he always had time for Lena.”

“I guess that’s changed since Lionel died.”

“Yeah, and now that Tess ...” Clark felt a lump in his throat when he thought of the sister he’d never known and had really only met a few days before.

“You don’t have to be stoic, Clark. I know Tess’ death has hit you pretty hard. I mean, otherwise you wouldn’t have reacted the way you did.”

Clark took a sip of water and cleared his throat. “Uh, yeah, about that. I’m sorry, Lois. I guess ... after I found Tess, I spent the rest of the night just wandering around. I wasn’t thinking straight.”

“Clark, I won’t pretend it didn’t hurt. But I know why you did it. It was a kneejerk reaction and you hadn’t really thought it through. I know your intentions were to protect me, but there’s something you need to realise. And that is that you can’t protect me twenty-four seven. And not being together isn’t going to change that.

“You know, Ollie said something today that really made me think. You remember how I said I was looking for the perfect guy?”

Clark nodded. He still remembered her call to the cable show. At first, he had seen it as a joke, but he knew Lois had had a lot of time to think about that as well.

“I realised you were right. The perfect guy I thought I was looking for doesn’t exist, but even though you’re not perfect, you’re the perfect guy for me. And I’m not perfect either.”

They finished dinner quietly. Clark knew they still had a few things to talk about. Lois was curious about his powers, which was only natural, and he wanted to know where they went from here. As much as she appeared to have forgiven him, he knew it wasn’t that simple.

Lois declined dessert and they went into the living room.

“So, tell me more about your powers.”

“When I was a kid, I was strong and I could run fast. I didn’t start coming into my other powers until I was fourteen. And I wasn’t always invulnerable then. I didn’t really get that until my late teens.”

“So what else can you do?”

“I have enhanced visual capabilities which include micro-vision and x-ray.”

“In English?”

“I can see through things, except lead, and I can spot anything from a distance. Even a pin on the floor.”

“And you have super-hearing? Isn’t that what you said on the phone? Why did you do that, by the way? Those times you called me?”

“Well, the first time, I just wanted to make sure you were safe. And the other day, I figured you might not listen to me as Clark, but you might listen to the Blur.”

“Yeah, good luck,” she laughed.

“Remember last night? The camera?”

“I wondered if you’d done that. So, you can set things on fire?”

“Something like that.”

“I thought I heard Lex say something about flying this morning.”

“Uh, yeah. I only started doing that a couple of years ago. It was the last thing I learned in my training.”

“Training?”

Clark nodded. He explained about the fortress in the Arctic and the rigorous training Jor-El wanted him to do. He told Lois of the years he’d spent travelling and learning about humanity.

“So, what was it like? Growing up in the Luthor household?”

“Well, I think Dad was only interested in me for what I could do. It was my mom who convinced him to adopt me. I don’t think he had much of a choice when she saw me anyway.”

“What did he do? You know, when you got your powers?”

“He was always trying to exploit them. But of course, when I saw what he could do without powers, I guess I became a little afraid of them. I was sort of relieved when I went to Excelsior as it got me away from him. I spent my senior year of high school in Smallville though.”

“Why?”

“Well, all my classmates at Excelsior were a lot older than me, and with Lex and Ollie not around I got bored. That’s kind of when I started getting into trouble. Causing fights, that sort of thing. Dad got so pissed at me, that’s when he sent me to Smallville to stay with Lex and go to Smallville High.”

“What happened with your classmates?”

Clark sighed. It had always been better with Lex and Oliver around. Oliver had been seen as ‘cool’ by his peers and anyone who hung around him were ‘cool’ by extension. But then both Lex and Oliver had left for college and within a couple of years some of the other students had left, leaving Clark to fend for himself. It had been a lonely time.

“Clark?”

“Some new kids came in and they thought they were the epitome of cool. They didn’t want some snot-nosed spoilt brat who was years younger than them hanging around.”

“You were bullied?” Lois asked.

“I suppose I was. Even though I was strong, Dad always told me to pick my battles. No one ever won a war by attacking without subtlety, was how I think he put it.”

“I sort of understand what Lena was getting at now.”

Clark frowned at her. “What do you mean?”

“She told me how you never felt like you fit in. Is that why you always got into trouble?”

“No, I mostly did that because I hated my father and I wanted to aggravate him.”

“So you put up walls to protect yourself,” Lois said.

Clark nodded. No one except Lex had been able to read him as well as Lois did.

He sat on the couch beside her, taking her hand.

“Lois, I know things have been kind of crazy the last couple of days, but I’ve had some time to think and you were right. What I said, it was a major cop-out. You deserved to know what you were getting into with me. And you didn’t deserve for me to make the decision to walk away.”

“Clark ...”

“Hear me out. I mean, you’re right. I can’t protect you all the time, and god knows I’ve tried. But you are a stubborn woman, Lois Lane.”

Lois pulled away gently and got up. Clark stood up and she moved back a step from him.

“Clark, I appreciate the apology. I really do. And all the stuff you’ve just told me. It’s just ... it’s a lot to take in. I mean, you’re an alien.”

“Intergalactic Traveller.”

“Whatever! The point is ...” She paused, looking away, chewing on her lip. “I’m not sure what my point is. I ... oh to hell with it, can we just skip it? All I know is, life is too short to hold a grudge and yeah, you acted like an idiot, but you’re my idiot and I know we’re probably going to make a lot more mistakes before we get things right, and I ...”

She was babbling again. And Clark knew there was only one way to stop her from babbling. So he kissed her, wrapping his arms around her as he stole her breath away.

When they finally broke apart she was panting a little.

“Thanks. I needed that,” she said.

“You’re right,” he said softly. “We probably will make a few more mistakes before we’re done, but I’m willing to give this another shot if you are.”

“I am,” she answered. “Besides, you still owe me a monster truck rally.”

Clark groaned. He wondered when that would come up again. After all, her ‘mister perfect’ would take her to one.

“I should get going,” she said. “We have an early start in the morning.”

Clark didn’t want to let her go. All he knew was that he wanted her, and he didn’t want to waste any more time.

“Stay,” he said.

She looked at him, her eyes searching him.

“I want to,” she said hesitantly. “But I ...I’m not sure we should.”

“Lois,” he pleaded. “Just sleep with me. No sex, I promise. Not unless you want to.”

“I can’t,” she answered. She stood on tiptoe and planted a tiny kiss on his mouth. “I’ll get a taxi home.”

Clark wanted to growl in frustration. But as much as he wanted her, he knew it wasn’t the right time for them. Not with everything else going on.

“Lois,” he said as she grabbed her bag and went to the door. She looked at him questioningly. “Promise me you’ll call me as soon as you get home. Just so I know you got there safely.”

“I promise. And you ... no Blurring, okay? You’re going to have to learn to trust me some time, might as well start now. I can take care of myself.”

“I know you can,” he answered.

“Goodnight Clark.”

Next

Comments

( 9 comments — Leave a comment )
dream_infinity0
Jan. 12th, 2012 04:57 am (UTC)
great chapter.

glad you updated
phoenixnz
Jan. 12th, 2012 05:14 am (UTC)
Yeah, really need to catch up with my posting. I'm up to Chapter Forty on KSite.
eternal_moonie
Jan. 12th, 2012 09:56 am (UTC)
AWESOME new chapter!!!
phoenixnz
Jan. 12th, 2012 08:47 pm (UTC)
Thanks hon, glad you liked it.
oliver95
Jan. 15th, 2012 12:48 pm (UTC)
Another lovely chapter. I'm not surprised that Clark enjoys people checking him out! Tom's face looks wonderful in your icon, I'd follow someone like that around a shop!

The fact that Jor wanted Kal to find the Kents always makes my eyes water when I watch that episode, that and my mouth drooling at Tom as a sixties James Dean type!

Thanks
phoenixnz
Jan. 15th, 2012 06:12 pm (UTC)
Hee, I'd drool too. He does look amazing as the James Dean type. He has a face I think that is made for that era.
I always wondered how Jor-El would have ensured the Kents found him. He left an awful lot to chance, hence my explanation for what must have happened. Glad you enjoyed the chapter.
ctbn60
Jan. 17th, 2012 01:19 am (UTC)
The scene in the food store was priceless! LOL This was a wonderful chapter honey!
phoenixnz
Jan. 17th, 2012 01:25 am (UTC)
I know, it just seemed to fit that Lois, being such a terrible cook, would be terrible at food shopping too. And it was a bit of fun before they got down to some serious talking.
(Deleted comment)
phoenixnz
May. 15th, 2012 06:45 am (UTC)
I'm working on the next chapter as we speak.
( 9 comments — Leave a comment )

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