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The Truth About Men and Women 62/74


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: Yes please
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 Sixty-Two

Clark yawned as he rolled over in bed. It had been a late night. There had been a six car pile-up on the I-90 and he’d been kept busy for an hour helping emergency workers pull people out of the wreckage. At least two of the victims had been killed instantly and another had died on the way to the hospital. Despite knowing that there had been nothing he could do except what he had been doing, Clark still felt as if he could have done more.

He glanced at the clock. It was ten and he’d slept in. Yawning and stretching, he sat up, scratching his head and messing his hair. Lois had clearly already gone to work, since her nightgown was on the chair beside the bed. He got up and went to shower, emerging less than five minutes later, showered, shaved and wearing a sky-blue silk shirt and black pants.

Going out to the kitchen, he noticed a newspaper on the counter, along with a note.

You looked so cute, I didn’t want to wake you. I’ll tell Perry you have a migraine and you’ll be in once the meds kick in. He’ll understand. I love you. PS: The story about the pile-up’s below the fold.

He grinned. That was Lois. Always thinking ahead.

Clark picked up the paper and skimmed through the story on the pile-up. There was the usual ‘just the facts ma’am’ report about the crash and the number of victims. He sighed, still wishing there could have been something he could have done to prevent it, but then he read a couple of quotes: one from an emergency worker and one from the family of one of the dead.

The Blur worked like a dynamo. He didn’t stop for anything, just assessed the situation and did what he could. There’ll be a lot of people who get to be with their families tonight because of what he did. I know some people might ask why he didn’t get there sooner, or stop those people from dying, but you know, not even the Blur can be omnipotent. It’s one thing we have to get used to in our jobs. It sucks, but we know we can’t save everyone.

My wife was one of those who died, said another man. I could be selfish and ask why the Blur didn’t save her when he saved so many others, but even I know he’s not God. He’s probably asking himself that very same question, like why didn’t he get there sooner, or should he have done things differently. I just want him to know that I know if it had been possible, he would have saved her, because that’s just who he is. I have to go home to my kids and tell them their mother won’t be coming home, but I don’t blame the Blur. Even superheroes can’t win them all, but at least they’re out there trying.


Lois looked up from her desk when he came in and she got up and hugged him.

“Are you okay, sweetie?” she asked.

“Yeah.” He sighed, sitting down on his chair, pulling her into his lap and burying his face in her soft, sweet-scented hair. “I just hate losing someone.”

“I know baby,” she said softly.

They held each other, content to just sit there quietly. Clark took comfort in her warmth and the gentle way she stroked his arm. What was it about Lois that helped to make it better, he thought.

There was a knock on the door and Clark looked up at his brother. Lex’s smile was full of gentle concern.

“You okay?”

“I’m fine, Lex. Just a little ...”

Lex nodded, sighing. “Yeah, I know. Sometimes I hate it that you feel like you have to bear the whole world on your shoulders.”

“Well, what good is having my abilities if I don’t use them to help people?” he said philosophically. Lionel, of course, would have thoroughly disagreed with that philosophy, thinking he should use his abilities to gain power over others.

Lex shrugged. “Anyway, Perry told me there have been a few messages for you. Well, for the Blur. There have been some negative, but a good seventy-five percent of them have been supportive. Ever since your story on Edge and his connection to Slade in Vietnam came out, the paper’s had more comments in support of the Blur than ever.”

Clark smiled at that. It had been a little crazy for a while. The papers General Lane had given them had not only proved that Edge, Slade Wilson, Jason Trask had worked together on special ops in Vietnam, but their team had been under the command of Ed Burke, who had then been a colonel. Not only that, but they’d also been able to prove the connection to Ray Sacks.

The papers had also revealed that the team had been under investigation for a number of crimes including racketeering and smuggling, although the charges had never been able to be proven. Still, the evidence, once it was all added up, was damaging enough that Ray Sacks had decided to turn State’s Evidence in order to get a plea bargain. He’d confessed not only to killing Slade, who had been trying to blackmail Senator Burke into protecting him, but also in trying to frame the Blur.

J’onn had told Clark and Lois that Slade had been afraid once the truth came out about Project Ares that investigators would dig a little deeper and find out they’d been hoping to use Clark’s DNA, along with those who had been exposed to the meteors, to clone themselves their own mutant army.

It had been Lionel who had started the whole sordid mess. When he had learned he was dying from liver disease, he had hoped to use Clark’s blood to develop a serum which would extend his life expectancy. The trouble with the type of disease he had was that it was unpredictable. He really had no idea how long he had but had assumed he was living on borrowed time. When the serum, which, as they’d earlier discovered from Lionel’s papers, was called CL-89, had failed to give Lionel what he needed, he had taken it one step further, creating a clone from Clark’s DNA, combined with Lionel’s. The clone itself had not proved to be completely viable, due to some failure in the process, but its organs had been harvested and Lionel had forced Dr Scanlan to perform a liver transplant. Combining his own DNA with Clark’s had ensured he would never have to take anti-rejection medication.

Then Lionel had been murdered by Lucas, who had sought to take Lionel’s cloning research one step further. He’d gone to Morgan Edge for help to finance the project and Edge had approached his old Vietnam buddies, knowing Slade had been trying to recruit those of the super-powered persuasion to be the poster children for the war against terrorism.

There had been so much information Clark and Lois had turned it into a series of stories, published over a week. Lex had quietly congratulated them, telling them the Daily Planet had had its biggest circulation in more than ten years.

The Blur, or soon-to-be Superman, currently had the biggest following of any of the superheroes. The time was ripe for him to step into the light.

“So when do you plan on having your ‘coming out’ party?” Lex answered with a smile.

“Geez, Lex, don’t make it sound like ...”

“Well, you’re the one who wanted to use such bright colours for your uniform. Not to mention the tight fit.”

Lois grinned. “Lex, don’t tease,” she said.

Clark squeezed her gently, glad she was sticking up for him.

“Yes, Lex, don’t tease.”

Lois turned back to him. “Look at it this way, honey, when people see you in that outfit, at least they’re not going to be looking at your face.”

“Lois!”

She giggled and he growled at her, silently vowing he was going to get her back for her teasing later.

Lex grinned. “Face it, Clark, she’s got you twisted around her little finger.”

“She does not,” Clark protested.

“Sure, little brother. Whatever you say. You didn’t answer my question.”

“I still have to find someone to make the uniform.” He glanced at Lois, but she shook her head.

“I’m a reporter, not a seamstress,” she said. “Sorry honey, but ...” She stopped mid-sentence, looking thoughtful. “What about Martha? She’s good at sewing. She used to make all her own clothes. Well, except the jeans and stuff.”

Clark bit his lip. He liked Martha a lot, but he didn’t know if it would be appropriate to ask. It would mean having to bring both her and Jonathan in on the secret and he wasn’t sure if he wanted to place that burden on them.

“Why not ask Bruce?” Lex suggested.

Clark shook his head. He’d already asked Bruce about the Batman outfit but Bruce had told him there wasn’t very much to it. Certainly nothing on the scale of what Clark would be needing.

Lois spoke softly.

“Honey, I know you worry about it being too much of a burden for Martha and Jonathan but who else could you trust to make it?”

She was right. They needed someone they could trust since this wasn’t something they could leave to a stranger.

“All right. We’ll go talk to them tonight,” he said. He looked at his brother. “Was there something else?”

“Yeah. Lucas’ trial is coming up.”

Lois frowned. “So soon? I figured it would take a few months at least.”

“Well, with Ray Sacks’ confession and the DDS stepping in to investigate all the goings-on behind Project Ares, Mayson thought the sooner the better. By the way, I heard they were pleased with Maddie’s testimony.”

Maddie had been asked to testify when the DDS had learned she had been one of the test subjects in Project Ares. The agents who had interviewed her had been curious about her abilities, and concerned when they learned her father had murdered her mother and her foster mother, then tried to kidnap her.

Clark had coached her on what to say to the agents when they began asking questions on his relationship with her and she’d been careful not to reveal anything which might suggest he was the Blur. In the end, the agents had only been interested in what had been planned for her in the project and had asked few questions about Clark.

Maddie had got her GED and was now working part-time for Luthorcorp as an intern. It wasn’t what she wanted to do with her life, she told Clark, but it was something to do until she decided whether she would go to college or if she would take a year and travel the world.

“Anyway, Mayson told me Lucas has been asking for you.”

Clark scowled. “Yeah? What does he want?”

“If I know Lucas, I’m sure he’s going to try to blackmail you. Or something.” Lex looked worried.

“Lex, we talked about this. I am not going to do something underhanded just to stop Lucas from blabbing. You know that’s what he expects me to do and I’m not stooping to his level.”

“I know that, Clark, but you can’t just let it slide.”

“What about what you were saying the other day about Lucas having power?” Lois said. “I mean, it would be an empty threat, since you know Lucas isn’t going to reveal the truth to all and sundry.”

“Maybe not,” Clark told her, “but he could still send people after you. Or Lex and Lena.”

“So why hasn’t he done it before now?” she asked.

Lex looked thoughtful. “I have a little theory about that. I’ve heard on the grapevine that Lucas isn’t exactly popular at the jail. It may take time for him to ingratiate himself with some of the inmates. Especially if he wants to keep the information about Clark secret.”

“I just don’t get it,” Lois sighed. “He knows about Clark, Morgan Edge knows about Clark, so why wouldn’t they use what they know to get themselves out of jail?”

“The only thing I can think is that they have something bigger in mind,” Clark mused.

“Well, there’s only one way to find out,” Lois said. “We go to the jail and talk to him.”

Clark looked at her as she got up off his lap, missing her touch already.

“And say what? Lucas, great to see you, what are you planning on doing, since you know my secret?”

Lois frowned at him. “Subtle, Luthor.”

Lex leaned on the doorframe, watching as Lois gathered her things, clearly ready to storm the gates of the prison.

“They’re not just going to let you in. Even family has to wait for visiting hours.”

Lois glanced at her watch. “It’s almost visiting hours now. And we are family. Technically.”

Clark sighed, knowing when Lois got something into her head there was no stopping her. He looked at his brother and shrugged. Lex just grinned.

Unlike the state penitentiary, the jail held mostly inmates convicted of minor crimes or those prisoners awaiting trial who were denied bail. Since Lucas had been charged with murder, among other things, he’d been considered a risk to society, so had been refused bail.

Lois clearly knew her way around the guards as she quickly managed to talk her way into the block where Lucas was being held. It was clear Lex had been telling the truth about Lucas’ lack of popularity among the other prisoners. He had a bruise under his eye and a cut on his arm.

He turned and smirked at them.

“Wondering when you’d show up little brother. I wasn’t exactly expecting Lane though. I hear congratulations are in order.”

Clark ignored him. He hated Lucas. When Lex had learned he had a half-brother, he had searched the country for some sign of him, even though Lionel had told him that Lucas had died before his first birthday. Clark had understood Lex’s need to find him, but a big part of him had been jealous. Lex finally had the brother he always wanted. Clark was only adopted, so that meant he wasn’t really Lex’s brother. That hurt more than anything.

When Lex had finally found Lucas and brought him to Smallville, the resentment Clark had pushed down deep finally came to the surface. It had resulted in one of the worst fights they’d ever had. Clark had told Lex he didn’t trust Lucas and Lex had responded by saying that Clark was just jealous.

“Maybe I am,” Clark spat, “but I still don’t trust him. He’s hiding something, Lex.”

“You’re one to talk about hiding things, Clark,” Lex returned. “Besides, maybe you just can’t handle the fact that I finally have a real brother. Face it, you hate him because he’s my real brother and you’re not even close to being related. You’re not even human!”

Clark had stared at Lex, stunned that his brother would even say something that cruel to him. Ever since he’d learned the truth about himself, all he’d ever wanted was to be normal, and now Lex was throwing that back in his face.

Lex seemed just as shocked at what he’d said, his face white. He stuttered as he spoke.

“Clark, I didn’t mean ... that wasn’t what I ...”

“No, Lex. You made yourself very clear!”

Clark had sped away to the city, losing himself in one of the nightclubs which ignored his age in favour of the money he waved in their faces. He didn’t return to Smallville for a week, and only after he heard that Lex had thrown Lucas out on his ear. His brother had realised that Clark had been right all along and had left more than a dozen messages on Clark’s cellphone apologising.

He looked up at Lois’ nudge. Lucas was smirking at him.

“What do you want, Lucas?”

“Now, is that any way to speak to family?” Lucas asked.

“You’re not family. You just share Luthor blood with Lex. What ...do ... you ... want?”

“What does everyone want? How about my life back?”

“You murdered Tess and Helen and you kidnapped Lena. You deserve to be shot by a firing squad you shitty little Judas,” Clark said angrily.

“Oh now, let’s not forget that Judas betrayed Jesus for ... how much was it? Thirty pieces of silver? Tell me, where would Jesus be without Judas? Would people have even cared if he’d just died an old man, still preaching?”

“Spare me the religious philosophy!” Clark snapped. Lois put a hand on his arm, trying to get him to calm down.

“Well, I want more than thirty pieces of silver,” Lucas told him, his eyes almost black with sheer hatred. “I wonder if the government would let me go if I gave them ... oh, I don’t know. You?”

“You wouldn’t have the guts,” Clark seethed. “You’re nothing but a coward and a liar, Lucas. Besides, why would the government care one iota for what you have to say when they have bigger fish to fry?”

“Oh, you’re talking about Senator Burke. Yeah, the man was just lining his own pockets, thinking he could retire with a nice little nest egg. I guess every guy has his price. What’s yours, Clark? What would you do to protect the ones you love?” He leaned against the wire. “I’ll tell you, shall I? You’re going to make them drop the charges against me or I’m going to make sure a few words get dropped in the right ear. Just enough to make them curious about the little boy that Lionel Luthor adopted all those years ago. Don’t think I won’t.”

Clark wondered if Lucas would really do it. As much as he wanted to believe it, he knew the government would be very interested if Lucas suddenly decided to tell them Clark was the Blur. Not only would he be brought in for questioning but there was a good chance they would want to study him, and they would threaten not only Lois’ welfare but also Lex and Lena’s.

He paced the living room angrily, ranting. Lois stood watching him, not saying a word, as she had been doing for the last hour since they’d arrived home. Maddie had come in a few minutes earlier and she was also staring silently at Clark. Lois sighed and shook her head.

“He’s been like this ever since he talked to Lucas at the jail.”

“Lucas is a lying, snivelling coward and you shouldn’t believe anything he has to say,” Maddie answered.

“If only it were that easy,” Lois sighed.

Clark stopped pacing, looking up at them. The two women stared back at him.

“What?” he asked.

“What?” Lois answered back.

He resumed his pacing, still angry, even knowing that this was exactly what Lucas wanted. He had wanted Clark to fear for his family, for his freedom. The question was, how much of it had been a bluff?

“Honey, I know you’re angry, but you can’t let him win.”

“He knows enough about me that it could be potentially damaging.”

“So we find more on him,” Lois said. “Enough to damage his own credibility.”

“And what if he decides to tell them to investigate my adoption? You know if they do, they’ll find anomalies.”

“What about the way Lucas was farmed out? I mean, we looked into Metropolis United Charities. The only thing it’s going to tell the authorities is that Lionel was into some dodgy dealings. It’s not going to prove that you’re an al ... intergalactic traveller.”

“What about the fact that I’ve never had a single blood test?”

Maddie frowned. “That sounds weird. I mean, when I started high school I got a look at my file and they had some medical records.”

“Do schools do that?” Lois asked.

Maddie shrugged. “Mine did.”

Lois looked back at Clark. He thought for a minute, then snapped his fingers.

“Lionel did get a doctor to mock up some medical files for me.”

“So, then we just have to prove that you’re just an ordinary guy,” Lois said. “That there really is nothing special about you. We’re doing that,” she added. “I mean, with the glasses and everything.”

And what better way, he thought, than to introduce the world to Superman. Lois would cover for him, like she always did when he had to go off on one of his missions.

If it worked, Lucas would just be seen as another crackpot telling tales to secure his freedom. Of course, Clark thought, that didn’t stop Morgan Edge from spilling either, but then again, Edge had always had an axe to grind with the Luthors.

“Honey, don’t you think it’s time we started dinner?” Lois reminded him. “We’re having guests, remember?”

He’d forgotten they’d invited the Kents over for dinner. Maddie had been looking forward to seeing her friend again. There was more than a hint of budding romance, but Clark had cautioned her about moving too fast. Still, CK, as Maddie had taken to calling him, seemed to be a good kid. He was smart and sensible.

Maddie had gone to her room to put her things away and had returned to switch on the tv, since Clark had calmed down considerably.

Clark glanced at the clock, realising he had about twenty minutes to get dinner started before the Kents arrived on the doorstep. If he was going to talk to Martha about sewing the uniform, he figured he should at least offer something by way of a bribe.

“So what are we going to make for dinner?” Lois asked.

Clark found himself grinning in spite of his earlier mood. Since he’d been teaching his fiancée to cook, she had taken to it with gusto. He glanced in the refrigerator. There was some chicken he’d brought out of the freezer to thaw early that morning, thinking of making a casserole. There should be plenty there, along with some salad.

“Well, we want something that’s not going to take too long to prepare and will cook while we talk to the Kents.” He again glanced in the fridge and found some gourmet cheese. “Hmm, how about some parmesan-crumbed chicken with taleggio stuffing?”

“What’s taleggio?” Lois asked.

“It’s an Italian rind cheese. It melts great.”

“Ooh, sounds interesting. Okay, what do you want me to do?”

He began pulling ingredients out and handed her some garlic. She grimaced, then sighed.

“I get it. Chop the garlic.”

“Just a couple of cloves, honey. We don’t want it to overpower the dish.”

“But it’s an Italian dish, right? Don’t Italians love their garlic?”

“Sure, but so do a lot of other cultures. People believe garlic has a lot of healing properties.”

He continued preparing the chicken, glancing at her working now and then. She’d roughly chopped the garlic.

“Okay, that’s plenty,” he said, handing her some fresh thyme and parsley. “Chop that as well.”

He took a large knife and sliced a pocket in the chicken, then mixed the taleggio with the garlic and herbs, filling the pockets with the mixture. He mixed breadcrumbs with parmesan cheese, a small amount of parsley and salt and pepper, then dipped the chicken fillets in egg, then the breadcrumbs.

“So what now?” Lois asked.

“Now we put it in the oven with some oil and butter to bake for about 25 minutes, then we add cherry tomatoes.”

“Mmm, my mouth is watering already,” she said. “I’m really beginning to like this cooking business. Although, maybe it’s only because I’m cooking with you.”

“Is that so bad?” he said, washing his hands, then wiping them with a soft towel.

“No,” she answered softly.

He grinned, wrapping his arms around her waist, kissing her.

“I’m sorry I got so wound up before,” he told her.

She shrugged. “You’re entitled. Besides, Lucas is a creep. I don’t blame you for being sore at him.”

“I worry,” he sighed, pressing his forehead gently against hers. “I worry that I can’t protect you.”

“Stop beating yourself up,” she said, then smirked. “That’s my job.”

“Ha ha, very funny,” he returned sarcastically.

Lois hugged him.

“Sweetie, there’s always going to be some guy like Lucas. What are you going to do? Wrap me in cotton and keep me in a glass cage? I’d go nuts and so would you. The reality is, I could get hurt by any number of things, all completely unrelated to Lucas or anyone else who claims to be your enemy. No matter how much you try to protect me.” She kissed him back.

“Honey, I love you and I know that you worry, but it’s just going to drive you crazy if you keep this up.”

Clark heard the buzz from the intercom and Maddie called out.

“I’ll get it!”

Lois turned her head to glance in the direction of the door. Clark estimated he had about five minutes before the Kents would be knocking. His lover turned once more back to him.

“I tell you what,” she said. “After dinner, and after Jonathan and Martha have gone, how about we go fill that big tub and have ourselves a nice bubble bath.” She ran her finger down the centre of his t-shirt. “And maybe afterwards, sailor, you might get really lucky.”

Oh, this was not fair, he thought as she turned and walked out of the kitchen. She’d barely touched him and he was already hard with anticipation of what she had planned for him later that evening. Lois Lane was a wicked, wicked woman.

Next

Comments

( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
eternal_moonie
Aug. 31st, 2013 09:44 pm (UTC)
Another AWESOME new chapter of this AWESOME EPIC story!!

She sure is a wicked woman!!
phoenixnz
Sep. 1st, 2013 12:58 am (UTC)
That she is. Glad you enjoyed the chapter Jan.
ctbn60
Aug. 31st, 2013 11:42 pm (UTC)
The Kent's are a very logical choice. Can't wait to see at ou do about the Lucas problem. Great chapter honey.
phoenixnz
Sep. 1st, 2013 12:59 am (UTC)
I'm glad you like that I chose the Kents. As for the Lucas problem, all I'll say is, it will present itself very soon, and Clark will have nothing to do with it. :-D
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )

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