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The Truth About Men and Women 38/74


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

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: Awesome banner made by dream_infinity0

Previously



Chapter Thirty-Eight

Clark lay watching her sleep, gently tracing the contours of her face. She was so beautiful. He had never known any woman who could equal her in strength, in beauty, and she was more than a match for him.

“Luthor, you’re turning into a sap,” he told himself.

But Lois Lane defied all the things he thought he’d learned about women over the years. She refused to fit the image he had always had of women. He supposed that was why he loved her so much. Because she wasn’t like any other woman.

“Kal-El,” the AI called. Clark sat up.

“Jor-El?”

“Lex has been calling. I did not want to disturb you until it was appropriate. I informed him you were here and that you would return his call when you could.”

“Thank you, Jor-El. Send Lex a message and tell him we’ll be there soon. What time is it?”

“It is six-thirty am in Metropolis, Kal-El.”

Lois stirred, lifting her head and blinking at him.

“What is it?” she asked sleepily.

“Lex called. We should get dressed and head back.”

Lois frowned, wrinkling her nose. “Well, I would, but somebody tore my panties last night.”

“Hmm, don’t know who that was,” Clark told her, chuckling. “We’ll stop by your place so you can change your clothes.”

“I really should feed my cat too. I’ve been neglecting him.”

“Somehow, I don’t think he’ll worry too much. Cats are pretty independent. Besides, I fed him yesterday when I stopped by for your clothes.”

Lois yawned and stretched. “God, I can’t believe how much has happened in just a few days. I mean, there’s Tess, and Morgan Edge, and Lucas.”

“I know,” he said. “But now that Lucas is in jail, I think we can all breathe a little easier.”

Lois sat up and planted a brief kiss on his lips.

“Definitely,” she said. She got out of bed and began gathering her clothes. He grabbed her wrist.

“Last night was ... amazing!”

She grinned and kissed him again. “It was. Thank you. For waiting, I mean.”

“I’m glad we did,” he said, reaching up and putting his arms around her waist.

He kissed her, pulling her back to the bed with him. Lois dropped her clothes on the floor. Clark was so tempted to just grab her and pull her back onto the bed with him and make love with her all over again.

“Lex,” Lois reminded him.

He nodded, sighing. “Lex.”

They quickly dressed and Clark flew them back to Lois’ townhouse so she could quickly change her clothes. Her cat rubbed himself on Clark’s ankles until he poured cat food into the dish, then promptly ignored him in favour of the food. Clark grinned. Typical cat, he thought.

He glanced at the clock. Ten minutes before seven.

“Lois?” he called.

She came out of the bedroom looking extremely pretty in a white short-sleeved blouse and knee-length skirt in burgundy. He whistled in admiration.

“You look great!” he said. She smiled and put her hand in his.

Ten minutes later found them at Lex’s house. Lena was at the counter eating toast, crumbs and honey on her face. Lex looked up as they entered.

“I tried calling you,” he said crossly. “I left messages.”

“I know. Sorry. But Jor-El did tell you where we were.”

Lex studied Clark for a moment, looking from him to Lois. Then his eyes widened in comprehension.

“I see,” he said.

Clark bent down and kissed his niece’s cheek.

“How are you feeling squirt?” he asked.

“’M’kay,” she said, her mouth full of toast. “How come you were at the fortress Uncle Clark?”

“I wanted to show it to Lois. Teach her about my birth family.”

“Oh.” Lena took another bite of toast, mumbling around it. Clark was used to her mumbles so he understood her. “Did Lois like it?”

“Don’t talk with your mouth full,” Lex interrupted absently. “And I need you to be on your best behaviour today. Mercy is still not feeling well after what happened yesterday.”

Lena quickly chewed and swallowed.

“Daddy, can’t I come with you to the office?”

Clark looked at his niece in sympathy. She was clearly still feeling unsettled. He wanted to wring Lucas’ neck for what his brother had done to Lena.

He grabbed some bagels and put them in the toaster, then some cream cheese and jam from the fridge, putting them on the counter so Lois could help herself. Lex observed this without comment, then turned back to his daughter.

“No, honey, you can’t,” Lex said. “I have a meeting with Ms Drake this morning and there might be a few things you don’t want to hear.”

“Like what?”

“They’re not for a child’s ears,” was all her father would say.

Lena turned pleading eyes to her uncle. Clark was busy buttering the bagels and spreading cream cheese and jam, while Lois poured coffee for them.

“Can’t I stay with you then?” she asked.

“Sorry kiddo, but Lois and I have a lot of work to do and we have to talk to the police about Lucas.”

“But I don’t want to stay here,” she whined. “I want to stay with you.”

Lois was biting her lip. It seemed she understood as well how Lena was feeling.

“Sweetie, you know we’d love you to stay with us, but ...” She glanced at Clark, then looked as if a brainwave had hit her. “I know. Why don’t we ask Martha and Jonathan?” she said. “You like them, don’t you sweetie?” The little redhead nodded.

Clark frowned. Lena didn’t like staying with the housekeeper and since Lex had taken her out of school until vacation, they had few options. But Lena had seemed to like the older couple.

“Why don’t you give them a call?” Lex suggested. “I remember them from Smallville. They were a nice couple.” He looked at his daughter. “Honey, if you’ve finished your breakfast, why don’t you go and wash up.”

“Okay, Daddy,” she said, seeming brighter.

Clark watched his niece go, hearing his brother sigh. Lois had already picked up the phone and was calling the older couple.

“She had nightmares again last night,” Lex said. “She was scared something might have happened to you when you didn’t call. But then I got Jor-El’s message.”

“I wanted to share it with Lois,” Clark told his brother.

“Spare me the details,” Lex said dryly. “Just tell me it was worth it.”

Clark looked at Lois, who appeared to be chatting enthusiastically.

“More than worth it. She’s ... she’s everything, Lex.”

“Well, that narrows it down.”

“I love her. She’s like no one else I’ve ever met.”

Lex grinned. “Well, well, looks like you’ve finally met your match.”

“Yes, I have. Lois isn’t just my match, Lex. She’s the one.”

Lois chose that moment to interrupt them. “Jonathan said they’ll be happy to look after Lena for the day.”

Lex smiled in relief. “That’s great. That’s a load off my mind.”

“Why doesn’t she like your housekeeper?” Lois asked.

“Well, you know, Lena doesn’t take easily to some people. She and Mrs Hendricks have never really got along. Mrs Hendricks never had children.”

Lena came back in with her school books.

“I’m ready, Daddy,” she said.

“Okay. Uncle Clark will drive you to the Kents’. Promise me you’ll be good for them.” Lena nodded vigorously. Lex turned back to Clark. “Your car’s still in the parking garage at the Planet, so you can take Lena in the Beemer. I’ll take the Porsche. And on that note,” he added, picking up his briefcase. “I need to get to work.”

Clark watched as his brother kissed Lena and started to walk out the door.

“Oh, and Clark? Change your clothes. Those look like you’ve slept in them.”

Clark growled and Lex laughed, waving as he walked to the garage. Clark finished eating and began stacking the dishes in the dishwasher. Lena and Lois were chattering away quietly while Lois ate her bagel and drank her coffee.

Clark watched them for a few moments. Lena seemed happier, and more animated. Of course, it helped now that Lucas was behind bars where he belonged. Lena had been badly frightened by what had happened, and Clark guessed it would be a long time before she came to grips with it all. She might have the intelligence level of a genius, but she was still a little girl.

Lois looked up and noticed him watching. She smiled, then turned back to Lena as the girl chattered on about something else. Clark looked at his watch.

“Time to motor,” he said.

Lena jumped up from her seat and flung herself into his arms, begging to be carried. Clark could understand her need to be babied and he was prepared to indulge her for a little while. But he knew he couldn’t allow it forever.

“Okay, honey,” he said. “Just this once. But you’re a big girl, Lena.”

“Don’t care,” Lena said, her voice muffled by her face against his shirt.

Clark waited while Lois cleaned up. The housekeeper came in, ready to start work for the day, and Clark informed her Lena would be staying with friends for the day. Mrs Hendricks nodded briefly, her mind already on her work.

It was almost eight by the time they made it to the Kents’ grocery. Clark had stopped by his apartment to quickly shower and change his clothes.

The grocery store was small by most standards. But it was clean and neat, and a small house adjoined it. Jonathan was already at work in the grocery, serving a customer. He looked up and smiled brightly.

“Hey there,” he said, as soon as the customer left.

“Thanks for this,” Clark said quietly. “I hope she’s not too much of a handful.”

Jonathan chuckled, his grin broad. “I’m sure we’ll find something to keep Lena occupied, won’t we kiddo?”

Lena nodded shyly, still clinging to Clark.

Martha came in from the house, followed by a young man about twenty-one. Clark immediately recognised him as the Kents’ son.

“Hi,” Clark Kent said warily. He hugged Lois, who just grinned at him. There seemed to be some unspoken communication between them.

“Hi,” Clark returned. It was strange being confronted by someone who had the same name. Different circumstances, Clark was sure he would have been a Kent himself. “So, you studying for finals?”

“Yup. I hear you’re working with Lois.” The look implied he was not exactly happy with this information. Lois immediately put an arm around his shoulder.

“Don’t worry, you’re still my favourite.”

“That’s not what I’m worried about,” he replied, glaring at Clark.

Lena was glowering at him. “My uncle Clark is the bestest uncle in the world and he and aunt Lois are gonna get married someday.”

“Lena!” Clark said. “I haven’t even asked her yet!”

The older couple were watching them, laughing at the combined reactions.

“But you are, cause you love aunt Lois, and she loves you,” Lena pointed out.

Clark didn’t fail to notice the ‘aunt’ she’d tagged onto Lois. She clearly was determined to make Lois a part of the family, whether she wanted to or not. Although, Clark could tell by the way Lois’ eyes were twinkling that that wasn’t a problem.

Martha was still chuckling.

“Honey, I think you should leave that to your uncle, hmm? And I’m betting you’re hungry.”

Lena nodded, taking the older redhead’s hand. “Yep. I’m always hungry.”

“Well, I think we can find something to fill that hole in your tummy.”

Jonathan was still laughing merrily. He looked at Clark. “Don’t worry. Martha’s great with kids. She’ll look after Lena.”

“Thanks. She didn’t want to stay with the housekeeper. After what Lucas did to her and her mom yesterday, I don’t really blame her for wanting to be close to us.”

“I’m sorry to hear about Helen,” Jonathan said. “Did Lena ...?”

“I’m not sure how much she did see, but she knows her mother’s gone.” Clark sighed. “It’s going to be hard for all of us for a while. Lex said Lena’s having nightmares.”

Jonathan nodded.

“Still,” Clark continued, “I’m glad she seems happy enough with you. Lena doesn’t usually take so well to strangers. She can be a little shy sometimes.”

“She’s a good kid,” Jonathan told him. “Look, it’s gonna take time. Kids are very resilient. She’ll bounce back. Just be patient with her; let her know she’s loved.”

“That’s not hard to do,” Lois smiled. “I’ve only known her a couple of weeks and I love her already.”

The blonde man smiled back at her. “Looks like it’s mutual, ‘aunt’ Lois.”

Lois chuckled and nodded. “Well, she was the one who told me that Clark ‘liked me’.”

Clark laughed. “Yeah, I bet she did. Lena’s nosy when she wants to be.”

The Kents’ son still looked warily at him. Clark decided it was time to clear the air with the younger man.

“Look, I know I haven’t given you any reason to trust me, but your parents were telling me you’re studying for a masters in business administration with a minor in sports. I can’t promise anything, but I could have a talk with my brother about an internship. Maybe with the Metropolis Sharks.”

“Yeah, Dad mentioned something about that. I appreciate it, but I’d like to pull my own weight.”

“This wouldn’t be a hand out,” Clark assured him. “You’d have to compete for it. But if your GPA is good, I think you’d have a good chance. If not, we have a few contacts we could put you in touch with. All you’d need is a recommendation from your professor.”

“I really think you should at least consider it, son,” Jonathan said. “Opportunities like these don’t come around very often.”

“It’s not just that, Dad. It’s the fact that they’re Luthors.”

“And if there’s one thing I’ve learned from your mother, it’s not to judge people by their name. Clark here may be a Luthor in name, but he’s a good man. So is Lex.”

“That’s not what you said a few years ago.”

“And I’ve had cause to change my mind,” his father said firmly.

“And trust me, I wouldn’t be with Clark if I thought the same,” Lois told him.

Clark nodded. “Look, from what Lois has told me, you’re about as close as brother and sister, and I know how much you care about her. I want you to know that I love Lois. I will never do anything to hurt her. Not if I can help it. And Lena may have jumped the gun, but I want to marry this woman. If she’ll have me.”

Lois looked at him. “Is that a proposal?”

Clark grinned. “Call it a promise.”

Lena came back out, eating a banana. Clark grinned at his niece.

“We have to get to work, squirt. Be good, okay?”

“I’m always good,” Lena insisted.

“Yeah, right!” he said, ruffling her hair. She pushed his hand away, grinning. He bent and hugged her. Lois followed suit.

Clark left his cell number with the Kents.

“Just call me if she gives you any trouble.”

“She won’t,” Jonathan laughed. “We have had some practice at this.”

Clark drove away, grateful that the older couple were happy to help out. He did worry about Lena, especially after the events of the last few days. But Jonathan was right. Kids were resilient and he had no doubt Lena would bounce back eventually.

Their first stop was the police precinct to give their statements. J’onn came in on the interview, which Clark figured was to make sure that they didn’t say anything which gave away anything about Clark’s abilities.

It was almost lunchtime by the time they got to the Planet. Lex had left a message on Lois’ email to tell them to come straight to his office when they got in.

Clark wasn’t surprised to see Mayson Drake sitting in Lex’s office chatting with him. It didn’t seem like they had been discussing the case much at all, however.

“Hi Mayson,” he said.

“Hi. Lex told me you were dropping his daughter off with friends.”

“Yeah. We just spent the last three or so hours down at the police station giving our statements.”

Mayson rolled her eyes and snickered. “You have my sympathy. They do like to make sure they’ve dotted their i’s and crossed their t’s.”

“John Jones mentioned there might be a couple of cops on the hit list,” Lois commented.

“Internal Affairs is investigating, but yeah, we think so.”

“So was Lena okay with the Kents?” Lex asked.

“I think she’ll be fine, Lex. She seemed to like them.”

“Good,” he said, sighing in relief. “That’s one load off my mind.”

“How did Lucas find out about Helen?” Clark asked his brother.

“Turns out Lucas had someone in Dad’s office. Lionel was keeping tabs on Helen – I guess because of the meteor ability she had.”

“Do you know what it was?” Lois asked.

Lex shook his head. “But Helen’s reasons for giving me full custody of Lena make a lot more sense now.”

“I’m so sorry about your ex-wife,” Mayson said.

“I did care about her,” Lex sighed. “We kept in touch, mostly because of Lena. She always wanted to know how she was doing.”

“So what happens now?” Lois asked Mayson.

“Well, Lucas will be going up for arraignment tomorrow and we’re going to oppose bail. Given his list of crimes, I hope the judge will grant us that.”

“Me too,” Lex said. “The last thing I want is Lucas out on the streets. It’s been bad enough the last few days with Lena so unsettled.”

“We’ll do our best to ensure Lucas stays behind bars,” Mayson promised. “Anyway, I should get back to the office and work on the brief for the hearing tomorrow.” She stood up, grabbing her briefcase.

“Keep me posted,” Lex told her.

Mayson left with a polite nod to Clark. He nodded back. It was clear that Mayson was not interested in him at all, which suited him just fine. His sleeping with her was in the past and it was going to stay that way.

“You guys are going to keep following the story, I take it?” Lex asked.

“Of course,” Lois answered.

“Good. I want you at the bail hearing tomorrow then.”

“We’ll be there,” Clark promised.

Lex sat back with a heavy sigh. “I don’t mind telling you this whole thing has had me on edge the past few days.”

“I’m not surprised, Lex,” Clark told his brother. “But with any luck it’s over.”

“Well, not quite. Lucas may still try something,” Lois said.

“Oh, don’t say that,” Lex told her.

Clark looked at Lois askance. “Yeah, what’d you say that for?”

“Well, knowing Lucas, he’d probably do something to try and get out of it.”

“The evidence is pretty solid,” Clark replied.

He had to admit though that the thought did make him a little uneasy. Lucas was a Luthor, and Lionel had managed to wriggle out of things before. Although Lionel had never done anything on the scale Lucas had done. He’d always covered his tracks. Yet, Lucas had been fairly blatant about it.

They spent the afternoon working on follow-ups to the story, until Clark received a call from the station running his cable show.

“About time you hosted another segment, Luthor,” his producer said.

“Yeah, yeah.”

“No. I want you in the studio, unless you’ve become so big-headed you think you don’t need us no more? I mean, now that you’re a bigshot reporter.”

“Okay, fine, I’ll be there at eight.”

Clark hung up and looked at Lois. He really had neglected his show, despite the fact that they had a few episodes he’d already taped. What had made the show work for itself, however, was the live segments where he would take calls from viewers, mostly women, and banter with them on the air.

But he wondered sometimes if his show was just another way of him putting up a wall and keeping people, women especially, away. It felt as if it wasn’t something he needed any more.

“Who was that?” Lois asked.

“That was the producer of my show. He wants me to host another show. I really should. At least to placate them. But I was thinking – maybe I should stop with the show.”

“What about your column?”

“I think I could still do that. I mean, I only started the column as a favour to Lex. To sell papers. It’s just ... I don’t think I need the show.”

“How do you think the network will like it?”

“They probably won’t, but I always knew it wasn’t going to be forever. So, do you want to come and watch me at the studio?”

Lois grinned. “Sure. I think it’ll be fun.”

“So, I’ll go pick up Lena from the Kents. My car’s still downstairs. Do you want to follow me in my car? We can have dinner at Lex’s. I can call Mrs Hendricks and let her know to cook extra.”

“That sounds like a plan. I wanted to talk to you about something, anyway.”

Clark looked at her, cocking an eyebrow. “Oh?”

“Just something I’ve been thinking about ever since we came back from the fortress. Actually, since we talked last night.”

Clark grinned. “We did a lot more than talk last night.”

“Cute!”

“I try!” He picked up the keys to the BMW and handed her the keys to his car. “So, let’s get out of here.”

Lena came running out to meet him when he got out of the car. She had chocolate on her face.

“Uncle Clark, Uncle Clark! Aunt Martha makes the best chocolate chip cookies in the world. You gotta try them.”

“Oh, so it’s Aunt Martha now, is it?”

“She’s awesome!” Lena beamed, grabbing his hand and dragging him into the house.

Jonathan was chuckling as he entered the kitchen.

“Lena talking about Martha’s cookies?” he asked with a knowing grin.

“Apparently they’re the best in the world.”

“Then you haven’t tasted my apple pie,” Martha grinned.

“Pie?” Clark dearly wanted to smack his lips.

Jonathan laughed. “Martha, I think you said the magic word.”

“Martha’s apple pie is a legend in Smallville,” Lois grinned behind him. “Just ask Chloe. I think it won the top prize at the county fair every year.”

“Well, almost,” Martha smiled. “I made some today, in fact. Why don’t you take some home with you?”

“Thanks,” Clark answered. “I’ll take you up on that.” Clark turned back to Jonathan. “So, how was she? She wasn’t too much trouble?”

“Not at all,” the older man said, ruffling Lena’s hair. “We had a great time today, didn’t we Lena?”

“Yup. They even have a dog. Do you think if I asked, Daddy would let me get a dog?”

“I don’t know, honey. Dogs take a lot of looking after.”

“But I’d take care of it,” Lena said with a pout.

“You’d have to talk to your dad,” Clark told her, unable to resist her when she stuck out her bottom lip.

“Now, Lena, a dog is a big responsibility. And you’d have to play with it and take it for walks all the time,” Jonathan said kindly. “You know you can always come and play with Shelby when you want to.”

“I guess it wouldn’t be a good thing,” Lena said. “Not when Daddy has to go away a lot.”

Clark figured it was best to drop the subject. He was sure it would come up again at some point, but he doubted Lex would allow it.

“Well, come on squirt. Get your stuff together. Your dad will probably be home soon and Mrs H will have dinner ready.”

“I’m just gonna go out and say goodbye to Shelby and Clark,” she said, running out the door, leaving Lois and Clark laughing.

He turned back to the older couple.

“You have no idea how much we appreciate your help today. She seems better already.”

Jonathan clapped him on the shoulder.

“Like I said this morning, son, it’ll take time, but she’ll bounce back. And you’re welcome to bring her by any time.”

“Thank you. That means a lot. I hope you’ll accept an open invitation to come to dinner some time.”

“We’d love that,” Martha smiled, handing him a carton. “Here’s a couple of pies. From what Lena tells me, you would probably manage to eat one by yourself.”

Lois laughed. “Your reputation precedes you, Clark.”

He mock-growled at her. “Hey, no making fun.”

Lois hugged the older couple as Lena came back in, followed by a golden retriever. The dog barked happily. Clark bent down and pet the animal.

“Hey boy,” he said. Shelby yapped and licked his nose, making Lena giggle.

As he drove to Lex’s with Lena in the car, he glanced at her. She certainly did seem to have more energy. And she was a lot happier. She talked non-stop about the fun day she’d had playing with the dog in the small yard and helping ‘Uncle Jonathan’ in the store. She really had taken to the Kents.

Clark had read a lot about animals being used in therapy, and he wondered if it would be a good idea after all to get a dog. Maybe a small dog that she could bring with her to the apartment when her father was away on business. If it had helped take her mind off what had happened to her and her mother, then there had to be something in it.

He would have to talk to Lex.

Next

Comments

( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
ctbn60
Feb. 5th, 2012 10:54 pm (UTC)
It's so nice that the Kent's took to Lena like that and she to them. Fantastic chapter honey!
phoenixnz
Feb. 5th, 2012 10:58 pm (UTC)
It is nice - they've practically adopted her, which is something she needs, I think.
eternal_moonie
Feb. 6th, 2012 11:08 am (UTC)
Absoluitely AWESOME new chapter honey!
phoenixnz
Feb. 6th, 2012 05:11 pm (UTC)
Thanks hon.
theclexfactor
Feb. 8th, 2012 12:29 am (UTC)
Love it love it love it.
phoenixnz
Feb. 8th, 2012 06:15 am (UTC)
Thanks, I'm so glad you're still enjoying it.
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )

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