By Kaethel <Kaethel@wanadoo.fr>
Submitted November 2000
Summary: A game of cards to while away a boring stakeout turns into a steamy — and hilarious — interlude for Lois and Clark.
This story was posted long ago on the fanfic list and Zoomway's message boards, after a long sojourn in the depth of my hard drive <g>. I wrote it a little over a year ago, after I'd been goofing around with an online friend about playing some games with Clark. ;) The idea wouldn't leave me until I'd put it on paper, so here it is. It's set during Season 2, after TOGOM but before The Phoenix, and it's dedicated to all the gutter minds I know (and there's a lot of them!). :P~~~
A big thank you goes out to Susan, LabRat and Elena for their thorough beta-reading, and to my test-readers Chiara, Sarah and Nicole. Big thanks also to Wendy, who pushed me to send this piece of fluff to the archive, and even volunteered to edit it. You guys all provided great encouragement :)
Feedback and constructive criticism is more than welcome at Kaethel@wanadoo.fr. ***
"Clark, I'm terribly bored." Lois slapped shut the magazine she'd been flipping through without really reading it.
Her partner looked up from the surveillance equipment he'd been checking on for the fifth time that night. "What is it, Lois? You don't find…" he cocked his head to the side to read the headline of her magazine "… 'Spice up your love life: 100 tips to seduce him' interesting?" he teased.
She gave him a wrathful look. "This article is completely worthless," she growled. "The woman who wrote that gives all the cliches, from the good ol' strip-tease to the 'buy him a whip for his birthday' trick. The whole magazine isn't worth anything, anyway. I'm sure it's not a good way to seduce your lover."
"I know what you mean, Lois, and I agree with you on the whip part. But the strip-tease can be a good idea if you want to throw some fantasy in your relationship."
"It's not one of *your* secret fantasies, is it, Clark?" Lois grinned smugly, wondering if she could embarrass her partner — who looked *so* adorable when he was uncomfortably shifting like he was just now.
"Well… I… no!" Clark tried to ignore his sudden interest in the scene he had pictured in his mind: Lois, dancing in front of him — and only him — and slowly and sensually peeling her clothes off, throwing them at him while moving her body temptingly. He mentally slapped himself and ordered his brain to take a cold shower.
"See? Told you they were writing stupid stuff. If I did a strip-tease in front of you just now, you wouldn't be turned on at all," she said mock-innocently, watching his every reaction from beneath her lashes.
Clark struggled, close to surrender. Make that a *freezing* shower. His breathing began to be shallow and rough. Pearls of sweat appeared on his forehead.
Lois understood perfectly the trouble she was causing Clark, and she purposefully ignored it. "I wonder if this stupid woman has ever met a *real* man. You know what I think? I think you should write to her, tell her what seduces you."
<Okay, Clark, calm down and think. Lois is up to something and I *know* I don't like the looks of it.> He took a deep breath and tried to get back under control, to ignore the effect this woman could have on him.
Lois was struggling not to giggle. Her partner had the cutest confused look she had ever seen on him. But she decided to give him a rest for a while, just to allow him to catch his breath. Besides, she preferred not to push the game too far, because she knew she was playing with fire here, that she shouldn't tease him the way she was. She should remain the cold partner she'd always been to him during the first months of their partnership.
But she'd come to realise Clark had found his way into her heart, and he'd quickly become a real friend to her, someone she really cared about — maybe more than she'd first imagined, she thought, remembering her distress when she'd thought he was dead.
She shifted her attention back to the building they'd been watching from the hotel-room and wondered if they'd come for anything at all. Maybe their source had been wrong in assuming there would be a drug deal that night. "I wonder why nothing's happening. Think they called it off?"
"I don't know," Clark finally muttered, resurfacing from a near-drowning state. "I think it might be a while before they show up, it's not even ten yet. Maybe they set up a later meeting, so that they could be sure nobody would see them…" He trailed off, realising that Lois was once again lost in thought and certainly not listening to what he was saying. "You're still bored, huh?" he asked with a knowing smile.
"Oh yeah, bored to death…" She sighed, wondering why they'd come here in the first place. The atmosphere strangely reminded her of the previous stakeout they'd had in a hotel room, when they'd been spying on the corrupt Congressman Harrington. <Except that it was a luxurious suite in the most beautiful hotel in town, with a Jacuzzi, satin sheets and a comfortable couch,> she corrected with another heavy sigh. A sudden playful grin spread on her face and she switched her attention back to her partner. "Clark, have you brought the cards this time too?"
"Well, I was wondering if you'd like to play poker with me."
"I thought you never played on assignment."
"Poker isn't about playing, it's about winning or losing."
"I'm not sure I see the difference."
"Never mind, give me your cards."
He complied and observed her as she shuffled and dealt them. He shook his head. This woman would never cease to amaze him. But after all, contradiction wasn't something that easily bothered Lois — and he loved her all the more for that fact.
After fifteen minutes of play, he was already losing badly. Lois took one look at his frustrated face and took pity on him. "Clark, I know what you need. You need motivation, something to make you want to win."
He raised a doubtful eyebrow at her. "Lois, I don't have any money with me."
"You mean you brought a set of cards but *not* your wallet?"
"Well, I… yeah," he admitted.
"Oh-kay. We'll have to bet on other things, then."
"Like what?" he asked warily. She had that look on her face that said she was determined to get something, no matter the cost. The look of a cat ready to pounce on a mouse. And he hated being the mouse.
"I don't know… stuff… things you'll do if you lose."
"Ah, okay," he said, slightly reassured. "Feeling playful tonight, Lois?"
"Maybe…" <If you only knew, buddy!>
<Two can play this game,> he thought. "So if I win, let's say you'll come to my place tomorrow night. I'll be waiting for you, everything'll be set…" he hesitated and observed her carefully. She didn't seem taken aback or scared by what he was saying, much to his surprise, so he went on with a husky voice "I'll be lying on my bed, so all you'll have to do is — "
<All I'll have to do is what?> she thought wildly <Jump on you? Strip you? Kiss you all over?>
" — do my laundry," he finished with a mischievous grin.
She gasped. Now that was something that didn't fit too well with the thoughts she'd been having just now. Laundry? Who did he think she was? His wife?
Clark was broadly smiling at her.
She chuckled, deciding it was part of the game and it was only fair, after all. "Okay," she said slowly. "And if *I* win, you'll…" <Spare him for now, Lois, this'll make the feeling of victory even better> "… bring me home-cooked meals for two weeks." <That's already good, let's play harmless first> ***
Clark had lost twelve games of poker, and he didn't see what else he could bet. He already had to do her laundry for two months, her cooking for three years, wash her dishes for six years… At this rate he would have to live with her full-time to do so — which wasn't such an unpleasant prospect after all.
"Okay," Lois interrupted his train of thought. Now it was time for step two — stop the harmless part of the game. "I don't know what else you can bet now, except this shirt of yours." She paused, taking a few seconds to undress him with her eyes. "You know, I really like that shirt. How about if I win, you'll give it to me?" she gestured toward the denim garment to illustrate her point. <Yes, I like it — and what's beneath it,> she mentally added.
Clark sucked in his breath. What?! Had he *really* heard what he'd heard? She wanted him to bet his shirt? What *was* that? Strip-poker? Ah… maybe it was… No. Uh uh. No way. That couldn't be, she couldn't be thinking about *that*… could she? As he watched her grinning but somewhat-short-of-confidence face, he began to have some doubts. What if she really was serious about this? What if it meant something more than just a way for them to occupy themselves? He wanted to find out. Even if it killed him. "Okay," he warily answered after an awkward silence during which Lois had done all she could to keep staring right at his face. "But if *I* win, you'll…" <You can't say *that*, Kent! Sure I can.> "… kiss me," he said daringly.
The playful grin disappeared off Lois's face to be replaced by a blank expression. It was her turn to be embarrassed. That was practically a declaration. <Well, isn't it what you were looking for?> her little nagging voice enquired dryly. <No, no, no, don't start imagining things, Lois. Take a deep breath — make that two breaths — where's the risk, anyway? He's a lousy player, you'll win, he'll have to take off his shirt.> "It's a deal," she finally said, forcing the grin to reappear on her face.
Clark was delighted — and suddenly very worried. What if he won? Or worse, what if he lost? His palms were beginning to sweat and he had difficulty concentrating on the game. If he won, she would kiss him, but he wasn't sure he'd be able to stay in control and keep the kiss just friendly. And if he lost, he'd be half-naked in front of her, which would make feel him very vulnerable. He wouldn't feel comfortable and -
"Clark, it's your turn to play," Lois interrupted his reverie.
They played on and he lost again. Lois smiled broadly. "Give me your shirt, buddy!"
"Do you want it now?" he asked reluctantly.
She rolled her eyes. "No, you'll just give it to me next year. Of course, I want it now. Tomorrow you'll have forgotten and you won't give it to me."
<How could I *ever* forget that? Even in fifty years I'll remember this moment.> He began to unbutton his shirt, slowly, revealing another piece of naked flesh with each second that passed.
Lois's breathing accelerated. The silence in the room was unbearable, the air was suddenly hot and moist, and she was feeling a lot warmer than a few minutes before. One last button and he peeled it off, handing it to her matter-of-factly. She couldn't help but gasp at the sight of his perfect body, and she absently took the shirt while her eyes traced a path from his shoulders down to his nipples and firm belly muscles while unconsciously pressing Clark's shirt to her breasts.
Clark was looking at her, a concerned look on his face. "Lois?" he hesitantly asked "Are you feeling okay?"
"Never better," she whispered huskily, still not taking her eyes off his chest. This guy had the finest male figure she'd ever seen. <Clark, why are you hiding beneath a suit?> He could walk into the office stark-naked and she wouldn't mind — if she survived the sight. She shook her head to try and get back some composure. "Okay, where were we?"
"What's your next bet?"
Lois clamped her hand over her mouth and opened her eyes wide, realising she'd been speaking that one out loud. "That is… if you want. It's just a game, Clark, and you've got nothing else to bet. If you want, we can play another game, or just forget about the bets, or we can just concentrate on the stakeout and get bored."
"You actually want to play strip-poker with me?" Clark asked doubtfully.
"Yes. I mean no. I mean yes. I mean if you want. It's just something to keep us occupied."
"Okay." He grinned.
"Okay." She smiled back, slightly calming down.
"So, in that case, I'm going to bet on your t-shirt."
"My t-shirt, mmh, mmh… my t-shirt?"
"My pants against your t-shirt, fair enough?" This could actually be fun; Lois was trapped by her own trickery. Plus, if she wanted to play such games with him, that probably meant she thought of him as more than her best friend — or was she just attracted to his body? No, that wasn't like Lois… or, was it? But the teeny tiny part of his brain that told him to run away as fast as he could was overwhelmed by his eagerness at the chance to finally become more than a friend to her. He put all thoughts of escaping aside and concentrated on the game instead.
But once again, he lost… and had to take off his pants, which was making him rather uncomfortable. *Really* uncomfortable.
"Get up, big guy!" Lois laughed nervously.
He obeyed and reluctantly fumbled with his belt. Lois's gaze darkened in anticipation, but he suddenly stopped, looking down at her. "What if you did it yourself, Lois?" he playfully asked, knowing full well that she would feel outraged and call it off, which would save him — if he could still be saved.
But she didn't yell. Nor did she say a word. She just got up and stood very close to him, forcing herself to look into his eyes as she unfastened his belt and unbuttoned his pants, which fell to his feet.
Clark was dazed. The only things he was aware of were her lips and the sudden urge he felt to forget about everything and give in to the temptation of kissing her.
But she pulled away before he had the chance to do it and she sat back on the floor without saying anything. He sat back down in front of her, missing the fact that her hands were trembling.
"So, you only have your boxers left, but I know you won't take those off, so I'm going to bet on your glasses."
"My…" he trailed off, an appalled look suddenly crossing his face. <I'd almost rather take off my boxers than my glasses.>
"Yes, your glasses, you know, those things that are constantly on your face!"
"Your glasses are no big deal, Clark."
"Lois, maybe we should just…" <Just what? Call it off? Kent, are you *insane?* The woman you love wants to see you naked, and that's one of the most exciting things you've ever done, if not *the* most exciting thing.>
"Maybe we should just what?"
"Nothing. Okay, my glasses." <Not your glasses, you idiot!> "And if I win…"
"Clark, you won't win."
"I said, if *I* win…" <Your only solution is to spoil her concentration, come on, say it!> "… you'll take all your clothes off."
She gasped in surprise at Clark's sudden boldness and paused for a few seconds, trying to decide if she liked that. This had all started as a game, and it had stayed that way as long as she'd been in control. But now that Clark was playing with her nerves as much as she was playing with his; this was turning more into a seduction. <And? Isn't it about time? Maybe it would be a good idea to start admitting there's something more than friendship here.> Okay, she could do that. Maybe it would lead them to talk. They had let things wear off after Clark had gone back on his declaration of love, but now she was pretty sure he'd been lying back then. A slow but timid smile crept up on her face. "So you want me to strip, huh? That's been on your mind from the beginning, hasn't it?"
"Yup," he answered with a mischievous grin while trying to hide the flush that was creeping up his face.
"Your glasses against my clothes, don't you think it's a bit… unfairly matched?" she asked, another wave of worry washing over her.
"Nope, but like you said, I won't win."
"True… okay, let's play," she said, dealing the cards, more to distract herself from the worry in her than for the actual purpose of playing.
And much to her relief, she won again. But as she looked up, Clark was so pale she thought he was about to faint. She rushed on his side. "Clark, are you okay? Are you feeling dizzy? Do you have hypoglycaemia? Maybe I've got some sugar in my purse, let me look…"
He looked up at her, and, on impulse, reached up and kissed her. She kissed him back, letting months of pent-up passion overwhelm her. After a few intense minutes, he shifted, scooped her up and gently deposited her on the bed before lying atop her to continue what they had begun on the floor.
But she put her hand on his chest, stopping him. "Clark, take your glasses off, you can't cheat."
"Don't be afraid, Clark, I won't hurt you," she added, reaching up to take them off his face. "See, it wasn't that difficult. You could have done that sooner, it would have been a lot easier. I wouldn't have yelled at you. Naked truth sure is better."
She just smiled and kissed him. Her Clark… her own private Superman… And he was a lot better at that than at playing poker…