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The Truth About Men and Women 43/74


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 Forty-Three

Lois had been able to tell from the look Clark had given Lex after dinner that he wanted to have a serious talk with his brother, so she had stalled as long as possible with cleaning up the kitchen. Lena had helped by bringing in the dishes and chattering away happily.

“So, Aunt Lois, when you and Uncle Clark get married ...”

“Sweetie, he hasn’t even asked me yet. And it’s only been a couple of weeks.”

“But you’re going to, right?”

“If he asked me I wouldn’t say no,” she said, not wanting to commit herself to any other answer and disappoint the girl.

The truth was, she really had only been dating Clark a week or so and things had been moving very quickly. She wanted time to enjoy being with him before the pressure of an engagement, then a wedding. She knew she loved him, and that he was the one she wanted to be with the rest of her life, but it was still way too soon to be thinking about marriage, never mind discussing the things they’d been discussing that morning.

“But when you do,” Lena continued, “would I get to be in the wedding?”

“Now, Lena, do you really think we’d leave you out of something like that?”

Lena grinned. “I guess not.”

“Hey, you know your Uncle Clark and I love you very much.”

Lena came over and wrapped her little arms around her in a hug.

“I love you too, Aunt Lois. Can I tell you a little secret?”

“Sure honey.”

“I like you lots more than the other girls Uncle Clark’s gone out with.”

“You’ve met some of them?” Lois asked.

“A few,” Lena said, grabbing a grape from the fruit bowl she’d just put on the table. “And they’re not nearly as nice as you.”

“Well, honey, I’ll take that as a compliment.”

Lois went to the fridge and took out a pitcher of juice.

“Can I have some?” Lena asked.

“It’s may I,” Lois corrected. “And yes.” She found a couple of glasses and poured a glass full each, moving to sit at the table to drink.

Lena started to pull a chair out beside her, then changed her mind and sat in her lap.

“Can I tell you something else?” she whispered.

“What, honey?”

“I was scared. When Uncle Lucas ... when he hurt Mommy ...”

“Sweetie, it’s okay to be scared. It was a scary situation.”

“I don’t like Uncle Lucas. He’s mean.”

“Yes, he is,” Lois said, rubbing the girl’s back. “But you know what, Uncle Clark and your daddy are going to make sure Lucas can’t ever hurt you, ever again.”

“Because he’s in jail?”

Lois didn’t quite know how to answer that one. Sure, Lucas was in jail, but anything could happen. He had, after all, been working with Intergang. There was a good chance that he might use someone to try to get at Lena. But she knew Lex and Clark would do everything in their power to make sure that didn’t happen. As would Oliver and Bruce and every other member of the Justice League.

Lena looked up at her, expecting an answer. To Lois’ relief, Clark walked in grinning at the two of them sitting at the table. He swiped Lena’s half full glass of juice and took a huge gulp of it. Lena scowled up at him.

“That’s mine, Uncle Clark! Get your own!”

Clark’s expression was priceless. He slowly lowered the glass, a wicked gleam in his eye.

“Is that so, squirt? Well, in that case ...” He lifted the glass to his mouth once more, pretending to take another huge swallow. Lena squealed.

“That’s mean. Gimme it,” she said, leaping up from Lois’ lap and trying to jump up to take it from him. Clark laughed and shifted the glass to his other hand, holding it up high.

Lena made a frustrated growl, still trying to get it from him. She squealed again when he scooped her up, putting the glass on the counter, then turned her upside down.

“Nooooo!” she giggled.

“Clark, geez, she’s just had her dinner!” Lex admonished him.

Clark threw his brother a look, but let Lena down, handing her the glass and patting her on the backside.

“Scoot, shortstuff.”

Lena finished her juice, putting the glass on the table. Then she turned and poked her tongue out at him. Clark pretended to growl, making a face at her. Giggling, Lena tried tickling him until he grabbed her, squeezing her and pretending to bite her.

Lex looked at Lois, sighing and shaking his head.

“Kids!”

Lois laughed. It was good to see Clark looking so relaxed and having fun with his niece. Especially after what had happened a few days ago.

She watched as Lex began to fill up the coffee pot and put it on to percolate.

“Don’t forget to change the filter,” Clark told him.

“Oh. Yeah.”

Clark rolled his eyes, grinning at Lois. “Hopeless!”

Lena jumped on him again, making him fall to the floor and he laughed, rolling her over and tickling her until she squealed.

“Clark!” Lex said in exasperation. “I thought we had a game?”

“Yeah, yeah, coming.” Clark got up with Lena in his arms and looked at Lois. “Are you coming?” he asked.

“To watch Lex beat your a... butt at pool?” she said with a quick glance at Lena, who hadn’t seemed to notice the little slip.

She followed Clark down the hallway into what was clearly the games room. In the middle was a pool table, but there was also a television in the far corner where a game controller was set up and a couple of comfortable armchairs.

Clark dumped Lena in one of the armchairs, turning it around so Lena could watch the action. Then he looked at Lois. She took the hint and sat in the other armchair. Clark leaned over, his hands on the arms as he kissed her quickly.

“Hey!” Lex said sharply. “None of that! Get your butt over here, little brother.”

Clark smirked down at her, then straightened up, going to grab the cue stick off Lex. He moved around to the top end of the table.

“So,” Lois said, “what are the stakes, boys?”

Lex raised an eyebrow at her. “Stakes? Miss Lane, you wouldn’t be encouraging gambling in front of my impressionable daughter, now would you?”

Lois laughed. “Worth a shot,” she said.

“Speaking of shots,” Clark grumbled, “c’mon Lex.”

As Lois watched, they both lined up a ball at the top of the table, hitting them square in the middle. The balls rolled quickly down to the bottom end, hitting the rail cushions, then rolled back the other way. It was clear who was going to win as Lex’s ball hit the top cushion first.

“You break,” Lex told Clark.

Clark shot him a dirty look. Sinking balls on the break took skill. Lois had wondered if Clark’s abilities would give him an advantage but judging from the way Lex was smirking at him, she guessed that wasn’t the case.

Clark lined up the cue ball and narrowed his eyes at the set-up. The fifteen coloured balls were sitting in a triangle shape at the bottom end of the table.

“No x-raying now,” Lex snickered. “You can’t cheat your way out of this one.”

Clark was getting ready to take his shot when Lex bumped the table. Lois suppressed a giggle.

“Don’t smash the ball now,” Lex said with a smirk.

Clark stood up and glowered at his brother.

“Lex?”

“Yes Clark,” Lex said, putting on an innocent look.

“Shut up!”

Lena giggled and Clark shot her a look as well.

“Not helping squirt.”

“Don’t worry Clark, she’s laughing at you, not with you.”

“Lex, zip it!”

Oh, this was going to be fun, Lois thought. Lex was quiet as Clark took his first shot. Two balls were pocketed on the break. One a solid, the other a stripe.

“That’s too bad, Clark,” Lex said. “Looks like you lost on the break.”

Clark glared at him. “What? Oh, come on, Lex.”

“My table, my rules. And my rules say if you pocket both a solid and a stripe you lose. Rack ‘em up little brother.”

Clark growled under his breath, but racked up the balls again. Lex smirked at him as he came around the table.

“Back up and let a pro show you how it’s done,” he said.

“Pro cheater,” Clark mumbled.

Lex looked at him. “What was that?”

“Just take the shot!” Clark sighed.

Lois continued to watch for the next half hour, laughing at the way the brothers tried to one-up the other. If Lex wasn’t deliberately interfering with the table, Clark was. And she wouldn’t have been surprised if he’d used his super-speed or something at one point as the table shook just as Lex was taking his shot, making him miss, yet Clark was standing on the other side of the room.

By the time Lois went to pour them all coffee, Lex was up two games and Clark had won one. Lena had gone to find Minnie and had settled down in the armchair with the kitten on her lap. She’d dozed off a few minutes earlier.

Just as she began pouring the coffee, there was a knock on the door. Knowing the men were deep in their game, she went to answer it.

“Mayson.”

“Hi, Lois. Is Lex here?”

“Yeah, him and Clark are playing pool. And trust me, they play dirty.”

“Well, there’s something I need to discuss with him. With all of you, actually.”

“I think they’re just about done with this game,” Lois said, hearing Clark’s yells of triumph, guessing he was close to winning another one. “I was just making coffee. Would you like one?”

“Thanks. I would.”

Mayson followed her into the kitchen, looking around her.

“This is a nice place,” she said.

“Yeah, Lex bought it when he came back from Europe.”

“Oh, that’s right, he spent six years there.”

“It was right after he found out about Lena. I think he took her there to protect her from Lionel.”

“I’m not surprised,” Mayson commented as she sat at the counter. “I’ve been looking through some of the papers Lex gave to me. On the experiments Lionel was doing with people who were meteor-infected. There’s quite a long list.”

“Yeah, Lionel was quite a bastard from what I’ve been told. You want cream and sugar?”

“Just cream, thanks. I’m sweet enough,” Mayson grinned. “So, is it just Lex and Lena, or does Clark live here too?” She frowned. “Oh, wait, I forgot, he has an apartment downtown.”

“Yeah, but he stays here sometimes. Just to help Lex out.”

Clark and Lex came in, mocking each other.

“Thought I heard voices,” Lex said. “Hello Mayson. I didn’t expect to see you.”

“Hello, Lex, I’m sorry to disturb you on a Friday night.”

“That’s okay. I was just kicking Clark’s ass.”

Lois noticed Clark’s crestfallen expression. She guessed that Clark had celebrated too soon as it was obvious Lex had won the game.

“He cheats,” Clark mumbled.

Having watched both of them through the games, Lois could debate that it was like the pot calling the kettle black. Clark must have noticed her expression.

“What?” he asked.

“I’m not saying a word,” she said.

“Fine. Then how about you and me in a game?”

Lois snorted. “I bet I can beat you. I’ve been taught by army grunts since I was a kid.”

“Then put your money where your mouth is, Lane.”

“Uh, before you do that,” Mayson said quietly. “We need to talk. As you know, the arraignment was today, and ...”

“Daddy!”

Lena came in, holding the kitten and rubbing her eyes. She stopped when she saw Mayson.

“Who are you?” she asked.

“Honey, this is Miss Drake,” Lex said, gathering his daughter into his arms. Lena pressed her face into her father’s chest and looked at Mayson with one eye.

Mayson smiled gently. “You must be Lena. I saw you at the service the other day but we didn’t get a chance to meet.” She was looking over Lena. “Is that your kitten? It’s beautiful.”

“My daddy got her for me today,” Lena said.

“I wish I could have a kitten,” Mayson said wistfully. “But I can’t have one in my building.”

“How come?” Lena asked, interested in spite of her shyness.

“My building manager doesn’t like cats.”

“Is he mean to them?”

Mayson nodded. “I had a cat when I was growing up. We had a little house in Connecticut. He was a big ginger thing.”

“What was his name?” Lena asked.

“Sparky,” Mayson laughed.

Lois watched the conversation between Lena and Mayson. She had to admit it was very clever of Mayson to use the topic of the kitten as a way of connecting to Lena. Not that she thought Mayson was making things up. From the look on the other woman’s face, Lois could see that she did like cats. Lena had approached Mayson with the kitten in her arms and was letting her stroke it.

Lex was looking at the clock.

“I think it’s time you were in bed,” he told his daughter.

“But Daddy ...” Lena began to protest, turning a pleading look on her father.

“No, Lena. Bed. And no, the kitten cannot sleep with you. It’ll have to sleep in the laundry.”

Lena pouted. “But she’ll get lonely in there.”

“And I’d rather that than her have an ‘accident’.” He put an arm around his daughter and prodded her gently. “Give your uncle and aunt a kiss goodnight and go brush your teeth.”

Reluctantly Lena did so, still hugging the kitten as if it was too precious to let go. Lois hugged Lena and kissed her on the cheek, then watched as Clark did the same.

“’Night squirt,” he said.

Lena turned and looked at Mayson. “’Bye,” she said. “It was nice meeting you.”

“Same here, Lena,” Mayson smiled.

Lex looked apologetically at Mayson.

“I’ll just get her settled for the night. I won’t be long.”

“Take your time.”

Clark poured himself a cup of coffee.

“So how’s the case going, Mayson?”

“We have enough evidence to put Lucas away for a long time,” she answered, sipping her own coffee.

Lois listened as Clark and Mayson chatted. Clark kept it to the business at hand for a while, until it turned to more personal matters. She wondered if Clark was trying to get information out of the woman, knowing of her interest in Lex. She could understand that Clark was just trying to be protective of his brother, but Lex was old enough to protect himself against any would-be gold-diggers.

She supposed that even though Clark had slept with the woman, his involvement hadn’t stretched to knowing too much about her personally.

As Mayson excused herself to find the bathroom, she sidled up close to him.

“Don’t you think you’re being a little too, um, personal?”

Clark frowned at her. “What are you talking about?”

“You don’t have to give her the third degree!”

“You saw the way she was looking at Lex. She’s definitely interested in him. I just don’t want him to get hurt again.”

“And that’s up to Lex to worry about.”

“Lex would do the same for me.” He frowned. “Actually, Lex did it for you.”

It was Lois’ turn to frown. “What do you mean?”

“He kept telling me to keep it professional between us.”

Lois nodded. That she could understand. There had been moments when, soon after learning that Lex had taken over the Daily Planet, she had considered resigning. She had, after all, thought that Lex was tarred with the same brush as his father. And Clark’s behaviour toward her had been, for want of a better word, aggressive. His reputation hadn’t exactly been one of the things that had endeared him to her.

“I get that,” she told Clark finally. “But there’s a big difference between you and me and him and Mayson. Besides, he hasn’t even asked her out yet, so just back off, okay?”

Lex and Mayson came in, obviously having met out in the hall. Mayson was complimenting him on Lena and Lex was smiling broadly. He clearly loved anyone praising his daughter.

The conversation turned serious as Lex poured himself a coffee and offered Mayson a second cup, which she took with a smile.

“What can we do for you, Mayson?”

“Well, firstly, I thought you’d want to hear the outcome of the arraignment. Lucas has been held in custody. The judge decided he was a flight risk.”

“Who’s the judge?” Clark asked.

“Sinclair.”

Lex winced. “Yeah, I’m not surprised then. The woman is incorruptible.”

Lois snorted. Incorruptible wasn’t the word, she thought. Joan Sinclair was known as a barracuda in all circles. She was a tough woman and an equally tough lawyer who had risen to the judgeship with a reputation for having won most of her difficult cases. Those she had lost had been through no fault of her own.

“You said ‘firstly’,” Clark said. “What’s the second thing?”

“Well, word has it from the prison that Lucas has already met with someone to get rid of the witnesses. Namely you three. It’s a lost cause. There’s enough evidence on Lucas that we can get by without witness testimony.”

“That’s comforting,” Lois commented.

“Sorry,” Mayson said with a little grin. She bit her lip, looking as if she wasn’t sure how to broach the next subject.

“What is it?” Lex asked.

“Well, there is a little problem. Judge Sinclair has been reviewing the case and she has some concerns about the Blur’s involvement. As well as Green Arrow and Batman. She’s one of these people who doesn’t like the idea of masked vigilantes.”

Lois frowned at her. “Well, the Blur has done a lot of good in this city.”

“That’s all very well,” Mayson said, “but the point is, The Blur hides himself in the shadows. We don’t know who he is. I mean, is he just someone who shows up when you need him? Does he have a name? Or is he, you know, just a figment of people’s imagination? Something people make up to explain something that can’t be explained. Look, I’m not saying it could hurt our case, but it wouldn’t hurt either if he at least came forward. The same with Batman and Green Arrow. I’m not asking them to unmask themselves. Just answer a few questions we’d like answered.”

Lois risked a glance at Clark. This was one of the things she feared. Clark was recognisable. If he came forward as the Blur, neither of them would have any privacy. Sure, as a Luthor, Clark’s life was pretty much an open book already, and his cable show saw to it that he had a following, albeit a small percent of the population, but a following just the same.

Next

Comments

( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
ctbn60
Feb. 16th, 2012 03:41 am (UTC)
Hm I wonder if mayson would be a good match for Lex. I wonder if the heros will come forward! Should be an interesting chapter if they do.
phoenixnz
Feb. 16th, 2012 04:02 am (UTC)
Where Mayson and Lex are concerned, it is early days. Lex has only just decided to start dating again. As for the heroes coming forward, we'll see.
eternal_moonie
Feb. 16th, 2012 09:35 am (UTC)
Absolutely LOVED this new chapter sweetie! <3
phoenixnz
Feb. 16th, 2012 06:49 pm (UTC)
Thank you honey.
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )

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