By Kathy Brown <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Submitted: September 3, 2001 (it's my birthday — send comments! <g>)
Summary: After rescuing Clark — for the second time in a week — from Kryptonite carrying villains, Lois really needs a drink to unwind. And there's no one that she'd rather drink with than her best friend and partner.
The author wishes to state, for the record, that she doesn't want to encourage under-age readers to try this at home, nor has she ever gotten sick in anyone's bushes on her way home from a frat party. In regards to room spinning and subsequent hangovers, she takes the Fifth. ;)
"Yeah, Mom … I'm doing OK." Clark Kent grimaced as he shifted slightly on the couch, holding the phone gingerly to his ear. "No, no, my powers aren't back yet. To be honest, I'm really not expecting to get them back for at least a couple of days. The chunk of Kryptonite wasn't big, but I was in the room with it for so long … yeah, close to 36 hours."
Clark finally gave up and switched the phone to his other ear. "Exactly — plus I've never been exposed to it twice so close together before. Tuesday with Johnny Corbin was bad enough, but to have *another* psycho come up with a piece yesterday …" Clark nodded as he listened to his mom on the other end of the line. "Uh huh … at least the police recovered this piece … it's in STAR Labs under lock and key. No, I don't think anyone suspected anything." Clark laughed. "Trust me, Mom, one look at me and no one would believe I'm Superman!"
Just then, Clark heard a knock. "Hold on, Mom, someone's at the door." He rotated the phone away from his mouth. "Who is it?" he called loudly.
"Lois!" came the muffled reply.
"It's open!" Clark slipped on his glasses as he put the phone back to his ear. "Hey, Mom? I've gotta go … Lois is here." He waved his partner in as she entered the door. "No, she's fine." Clark grinned at Lois and whispered, "my mom". "Are you kidding? She's in better shape than me … took out two guys, big ones, too. I would have been dog food if she hadn't been there."
Lois grinned in return. "Don't listen to him, Martha!" she called out from the landing, loud enough to be heard over the phone. "He did just fine … he gave as good as he got!"
Clark chuckled. "Uh huh … OK … I love you, too. I'll call you soon. Bye."
As soon as Clark hung up the phone, Lois pointed to the door. "Why was this unlocked?" she demanded.
Clark shrugged helplessly from the couch. "Uh … sorry … I guess I forgot."
Lois rolled her eyes and pointedly turned around to fasten his deadbolt. "Door! Locked! No criminals … get it?"
Clark started to laugh, wincing through the pain. "If any criminals come, they can take everything … I'm too sore to defend myself."
She smiled sympathetically and walked slowly over to the couch, limping slightly. "Don't take this the wrong way, Clark, but you look like hell."
Clark laughed, watching as Lois set the paper bag she was carrying on the coffee table and lowered herself gingerly onto the other side of his couch. "Don't take this the wrong way, Lois, but so do you."
Lois chuckled, taking a deep breath. "We're a pair tonight, huh?"
"Yeah." Clark took in the swelling under one of her eyes and the cut on her chin. She looked better than he did, but even if she hadn't, he still would have considered her beautiful. "So what brings you here? Not that I mind having you here, of course, but when I left you at the police station a couple of hours ago, you said you were heading straight home. I figured you'd be soaking in a hot bath by now."
"I went home for awhile. I called Perry, by the way, and told him what happened. He said we could take tomorrow morning off since we phoned in the story from the police station."
Clark gave a lopsided grin and repositioned the icepack he had been holding against his cheek. "That was big of him."
Lois grinned back. "Yeah, he probably just didn't want us bleeding all over his newsroom."
Clark motioned over to the bag on the coffee table. "What'ya bring?"
"Ah!" Lois exclaimed, reaching slowly for the bag. "This has been kind of a sucky day, don't you agree?" At his nod, she continued. "So I was sitting at home thinking I *really* needed a drink … and since there's no one else I'd rather drink with than you…" She produced a bottle of wine from the bag. "You wanna get some glasses or should we just drink from the bottle?"
Lois poured them each a glass of wine. "A toast," she announced.
"A toast," he agreed. "To what?"
Clark raised an eyebrow in amusement. "To you?"
Lois grinned as she took a drink. "Yes, to me … for saving your butt twice in the same week."
Clark laughed. It was true. First a Kryptonite-powered Johnny Corbin had grabbed him up off the street as bait to lure Superman, then the very next morning, before he had even fully recovered, another group of thugs somehow obtained a different piece to use as insurance against a Superman rescue as they tried to take their revenge on the reporter who had exposed their crimes. What were the odds?!
This time, however, he'd been held for nearly a day and a half before Lois had tracked down his location, and their escape hadn't gone quite so smoothly. But still …"What would I do without you?" he laughed as he joined her in the toast.
"Pray you never find out, Kent," she replied, a twinkle in her eye. She sat back against the arm of the couch, studying him. "They did do quite a number on you, didn't they?"
"Yeah, well, criminal logic … get out of jail, beat up the reporter who helped put you there, go back to jail. I mean, you can totally see where the guys were coming from." He rolled his eyes.
Lois chuckled. "I guess that's why we're not criminals… not logical enough."
"I guess." Clark held out his glass for a refill as Lois poured. "So how's your arm doing?"
Lois pulled up the sleeve of her t-shirt to expose the series of dark bruises that had formed on her upper arm where one of the men had grabbed her. "It looks worse than it is."
Clark shook his head in amazement. "You can actually see the finger marks." He took her arm and rotated it carefully. "And your leg?"
She waved off his concern. "Sore but not too badly bruised. How about your ribs?"
"Like you said, looks worse than it feels. But I didn't know skin could be so many different colors at once!"
"Ooo, let me see."
He sat back and lifted the hem of his t-shirt, exposing his chest, then laughed at the look on Lois's face.
"Geez, Clark! That looks horrible!"
"Doesn't it, though?"
Lois shook her head. "Matches your face, though," she added with a half smile. "Your right eye is a *very* becoming shade of purple. I still can't believe your glasses didn't break when they went flying across the room."
"Titanium frames; indestructible. You think the scratch protection warranty on the lenses applies when you get punched, though?"
"Oh, I think you can definitely make a case for that."
"Glad to hear it."
"So what kind of drunk are you, Clark?" Lois asked as she finished another glass of wine.
"What do you mean?"
"You know, some people get sleepy, some get aggressive, some get silly. What kind are you?"
Clark furrowed his brow, and took another sip. "Actually, I have no idea. I've never been drunk before."
She looked at him skeptically. "Tell me another one."
He laughed. "No, seriously. I mean, I enjoy a couple of drinks now and then. But I've never been *drunk*. I have no idea what it feels like." Of course, the fact that he wasn't physically capable of being drunk had a lot to do with it, too, but he didn't mention that.
Lois studied him for a moment, then glanced over at the now-empty bottle she had brought. When she looked at him again, she was grinning. "Well, it sounds like a good time to get you drunk then."
Clark gaped at her. "Lois! I'm in no condition to go out drinking."
"Who said anything about going out?" she asked him with a gleam in her eye. She hopped off the couch and walked — a little unsteadily — over to his wine rack. "We can open one of these."
"You're already drunk," he pointed out as he watched her sway.
Lois turned around and grinned. "Just tipsy. And you are too, even if you won't admit it. You're slurring."
"I am not!"
"Yes, you are!"
Clark started to disagree, but he let himself consider this for a moment. He had to admit, he did feel a strange warmth inside of him. And they had finished the first bottle pretty quickly … maybe it just hadn't caught up to him yet. "Well …"
Lois caught the hesitancy in his voice and smiled triumphantly as she set the second bottle down on the coffee table. "Haven't you always wondered?"
Clark nodded despite himself. He really always had wondered … and it did feel really, really good to be here with Lois like this. But he hadn't really associated it with the wine … until now. "What if I make a fool of myself?" He certainly had seen a lot of people do that before.
Lois poured them each a glass from the new bottle. "I'll take care of you." She smiled as she handed him his wine. "Besides, I'm not talking about frat party drunk where you get sick in someone's bushes on your way home—" At Clark's raised eyebrow, she continued quickly. "Er, I mean … I just have a good buzz going right now, and I want to keep it for awhile. It feels good to let go after the week we've had."
"A good buzz … how do I know if I have that?"
"How do you feel?"
Clark sipped his drink and rolled it around in his mouth as he considered this. Finally, he swallowed. "I feel … warm." At her grin, he continued with one of his own. "My bruises don't hurt as much, I keep smiling … and I feel kind of relaxed."
Lois grinned as she took another long drink from her own glass. "Sounds like a good buzz to me."
"So, how'd you find me, anyway?" Clark asked as he gave them each another refill.
He had no idea how it had happened, but somehow the second bottle had disappeared nearly as quickly as the first. This time, though, it was him who had gone for another bottle. He had no idea what had gotten into him, but he felt good … really good. And hearing Lois's giggle as he had made his way unsteadily over to the wine rack had only encouraged him. He didn't seem to be able to stop grinning. They had been teasing and laughing and just talking about nothing all evening. And it made him feel fantastic. Not to mention the fact that the more Lois drank, the more excuses she seemed to find to put her hands on him. And she didn't seem to mind that he was returning the little flirty touches, either. No, he was in no hurry for this evening to end.
"Actually, once I realized that it had to have been one of the guys you put away coming back for revenge, it wasn't that hard. I just went through the list of recent jail releases until I found Baker's name. The house he had you in was actually listed under his name in the Yellow Pages."
"I'd still like to know where he got the Kryptonite," Clark commented.
"Well, at least Superman didn't show up. Though come to think of it, I wonder why he didn't? I haven't seen the big guy for a couple of days."
"Maybe he's on vacation," Clark suggested with a grin.
"Good timing," she groused. "You could have been really hurt."
He waved his arm clumsily. "Ah, who needs 'im? I had you."
Lois laughed and lifted her arm to flex her bicep. "Super Lois!"
"You better believe it … hey, that's pretty good." Clark leaned over and wrapped his fingers around her upper arm to feel her muscle. "Nice definition."
Lois felt her skin tingle where he was touching it. "Thanks." Draining her glass, she set it down on the table and turned back to Clark. "Let me feel yours."
Obliging, Clark lifted his own arm and flexed. He couldn't help but smile as he watched Lois's eyes pop. "What'd'ya think?"
"Wow." Lois reached over and pushed the sleeve of his tan t-shirt higher up on his arm. The bulging muscle moved under her fingers as Clark slowly rotated his forearm. "Show off," she chastised, even as she wrapped her hand around it and admired it, encouraging him. She ran her fingernails up to his shoulder, then back down, tracing the hardness of him. "It's so unfair, you know," she finally said. "All that testosterone."
She removed her hand from his arm, noting with a little thrill the disappointed expression on his face as she did so. "It's true … all that testosterone in your veins, it gives you these great muscles. I can work out forever and never look like you."
Clark raised an eyebrow. "Trust me, I wouldn't want you to."
Lois couldn't help but laugh. "That's not what I meant … look." With barely a thought, she reached over and grasped the hem of his t-shirt where it draped over the front of his jeans. She pulled it up, exposing his mid-section. "Look at your abs … they're wonderful. Flex 'em."
Blinking in surprise at her actions, Clark did as he was told. He didn't know if it was the increasingly bold touches of her hands on his body, or the alcohol that was encouraging him, but he was suddenly feeling very masculine. He wanted to show off for her, and delighted in the way she was responding to it.
Lois ran her hand over his stomach, and he tightened his muscles even further, even as he stifled a groan of pleasure.
"See!" she exclaimed. "Look at that — a six pack! You have the most incredible body!"
Clark looked Lois up and down, noting the way she was kneeling on his couch, and he craned his head slightly to enjoy the feminine curve of her hips through her tight jeans. "Lois, *you* have a great body," he said with husky appreciation.
If she had noticed the heated tone in his voice, however, she was too far into her own train of thought to be derailed. "But I can't get muscles like yours. Look." She straightened her back so that she was kneeling upright, then lifted her shirt up a little and pushed the waist of her jeans down to expose her belly.
Clark felt his mouth go dry. Without taking his eyes from her stomach, he drained his entire glass of wine before setting the empty glass down on the table. He almost missed the rest of what she was saying.
"I do a thousand crunches a week, and I can't get my abs to look like yours. I mean, they're strong, but I still have this little layer here."
Clark almost forgot to breathe as Lois ran her fingertips over the gentle curve below her navel. He could almost feel the softness of her skin under his own fingers … taste the saltiness of her skin on his tongue … He tried desperately to gather his quickly scattering thoughts.
"But you're not supposed to look like me," he finally got out. "You're strong and healthy — you can take down grown men with a roundhouse kick." He swallowed again. "But you're also so feminine. So curvy … and soft and … wonderful." He motioned with his hands in a vaguely sexual way as he leaned back against the arm of his couch, facing her. "You're perfect."
Lois looked up from where she'd been studying herself, and regarded him through her lashes. "You really think so?" she asked in a little voice.
The open innocence on her face made Clark feel safe and protective, all at once. "Yeah," he murmured. "Absolutely perfect."
To his surprise and delight, Lois giggled again and crawled over to him. She cuddled up next to him, running her hand over his chest. "I think you're pretty perfect, too."
For the millionth time, Clark stifled a groan. The more Lois touched him, the more the warmth that had been relaxing him earlier began to have the opposite effect. With a pleased sigh, he pulled her into his arms and let his hands roam over her back. Vaguely he wondered where he was getting the courage to touch her like this, but it was clear that she wasn't stopping him. In fact, she was cuddling in closer … nuzzling against his neck as if …
Unfortunately, at the same moment he looked down, Lois had lifted her head to look up, and her head roughly bumped into his still-sensitive chin.
"Uhhh!" Clark groaned, putting a hand quickly to his jaw. The wine had dulled the pain, but the sharp sting of their collision brought it all back.
"Oh, my God, I'm sorry! Clark, are you OK?" Lois scrambled to sit up, concern heavy in her face and voice.
To her relief, however, Clark just started to laugh. "I'm fine, I'm fine. I just forgot how much it still hurts."
Lois relaxed as she saw that he wasn't angry with her. "Let me see," she whispered as she gently pulled his hand away. The jawbone was still a little swollen, but no more so than when she had first come over. Glancing up, she noticed how Clark had settled into the couch, and how his eyelids had lowered as she gently touched his wounds. "I'm sorry," she repeated, then pressed a tender kiss onto his jaw. "Does that make it feel any better?"
Clark blinked, then nodded, the corners of his mouth turning up slightly. "Mmm, much." He turned his head slowly, surprised at how the heaviness of the drink was settling into him once more as he relaxed. "Though my cheek still hurts a little …"
Lois's eyes danced. "Oh yeah?" She kissed him softly on his bruised cheek, then again on the edge of his black eye, just under the rim of his eyeglasses. She smiled against his skin as she heard him moan softly. "Anywhere else?"
"Mmmm," Clark sighed, his eyelids at half-mast. "I was kind of bleeding earlier … over … here." He lifted a finger and touched it to the corner of his mouth.
Lois remembered the trickle of blood that she had helped him clean up earlier this evening. "Hmm, yes, I remember now …" She kissed the corner of his mouth once, then again. As she leaned in to kiss it a third time, however, Clark turned his head so that she would kiss him more fully on the mouth. "Mmmmm," she sighed happily, then smiled as he echoed her.
Lois wasn't quite sure how many kisses it had taken before they'd wound up sprawled on the couch instead of sitting on it. But then again, she wasn't sure whether it was the wine that was making her feel so light-headed, or the amazing kisses that Clark was giving her.
They had drunk the wine quickly, and the effects were obviously still catching up with them. Clark, especially, seemed to have gone from tipsy to drunk very quickly, though to her delight, he was delightfully cute in this state. Where before, he had been able to force himself to have a fairly normal conversation, for the last several minutes his speech had been limited to the romantic sweet nothings he was cooing in her ear.
"Mmm, feel so good," he murmured. "Wonderful …"
Lois lifted her head so she could look at his face. "You like this?" she asked playfully.
"Oh, yeah," he responded with a lazy smile.
Lois laughed out loud as she noticed the unfocused expression in his eyes. It was just as well they had stopped drinking because she was pretty sure Clark had reached his limit. She brushed his hair back away from his face, where it kept tumbling over on to his forehead. "Are you going to remember this in the morning?"
Clark nuzzled his nose against hers affectionately. "Well, I certainly hope so … I've been dreaming of doing this with you for a long time."
Lois tilted her head to one side, allowing him greater access to her neck as he began to kiss his way in that direction. "Oh really? And just how long has it been since you've done this with someone?"
"This?" She could feel Clark smiling against her skin. "A very long time."
Lois pulled her mouth away from where she'd just laid a kiss on his temple. "Clark … oh … um, just so we're clear … ah, that feels good … we're not going to, um, you know … "
"We're not?" he mumbled against her skin, slurring a bit.
"No … we're not … because, ohhhh, um, because we're not exactly sober and thinking clearly and we don't want to, ummmm, do anything we'll regret later …"
If Lois had been expecting Clark to act like the dozens of other men who had hit on her while drunk, he once more proved why she trusted him enough to put herself in this situation. He pulled back to look at her with a smile. "OK."
Lois blinked. "OK?" That was too easy …
Clark looked at her hopefully. "Can we keep kissing though?" He smiled warmly. "I really like kissing you …"
Lois laughed out loud and brought her mouth to his, rolling him to his back so she could lie on top of him on the couch. "Just keep doing what you're doing, farm boy."
Clark startled several moments later — or at least what felt like a several moments later; time seemed to stand still when he was with Lois — to the sound of a knock on his door. "What's that?" he wondered aloud.
"Someone's at your door," Lois answered with a giggle. She was still lying on top of him on the couch, but rolled off when he started to sit. "You want me to get it?"
"No, I'll get it .. geez, it's almost midnight … who can that be?" Leaving Lois on the couch, Clark stood, then promptly swayed as he tried to get his balance. He grinned at Lois as he heard her laugh. Now why had he gotten up again? He took a step back towards Lois with an eager smile, but another loud knock reminded him why he had gotten up in the first place. "Oh yeah … the door."
"Ask who it is before you open it," Lois reminded him.
After taking another second to steady himself, Clark made his way to the door, using the banister to help him up the three stairs on his landing. "Who is it?" he called, grinning deliberately at Lois. The answer from the other side of the door made him pause briefly in surprise before opening it, however. "Mayson? What are you doing here?"
Mayson Drake walked into through the open door. "I'm sorry it's so late, Clark. I was driving past on my way home from working late, and I saw that your light was still on. I heard what happened to you …" She looked at him tenderly and reached out to tentatively touch his bruises. "Oh, your face! You poor baby, let me come in and help you."
From the couch, Lois set her jaw. 'Yeah, I'll just bet she wants to come in.'
Mayson took the three steps down into the apartment, then froze when she saw Lois.
Lois couldn't help but notice the disappointed and suspicious look on Mayson's face, and she cast a quick glance at Clark. If Mayson was Clark's girlfriend, he'd surely be acting guilty and worried by now, drunk or not. But to Lois's delight, she found that Clark was just grinning happily back at her, seeming to only have eyes for one woman in the room — and it wasn't the one who had just walked in.
Lois suddenly remembered the things he'd just told her on the couch — that he'd been wanting to kiss Lois for a long time, which meant he *wasn't* serious with Mayson … and that he hadn't kissed anyone like that in a long time, which meant he and Mayson *hadn't*! Confident once again after the realization, Lois just smiled with exaggerated sweetness towards the other woman. After all, there was no reason to gloat.
"Hello, Mayson. Clark and I were just … celebrating our latest story."
Mayson had narrowed her eyes, but they opened wide when she saw the three wine bottles sitting on the coffee table. She turned towards Clark, shocked. "Are those empty??"
Lois, stifling a laugh at Mayson's stunned expression, got off the couch and stood possessively next to Clark. OK, so maybe she would gloat a little.
"Um … I think the last bottle still has some in it; we just opened it." Clark had been pretty quiet since Mayson came in, but at the mention of the wine, he perked up. "Wanna drink?" he asked his newest guest brightly.
Mayson looked between them. "Clark Kent!" she exclaimed. "You're drunk!"
Clark blinked. "Drunk … nah." He paused. "I think … *wasted* … might be more accurate."
Lois burst out laughing, which quickly brought Clark with her. "Blitzed," she added on a gasp.
They traded terms back and forth, laughing harder each time. Mayson just stared in disbelief. "I can't believe you two are still standing!" she finally exclaimed, her disapproval obvious.
Clark stopped laughing abruptly, and his eyes were heavy as he turned to Lois with a slow, sexy smile. Seemingly oblivious to their guest, he began to nuzzle his partner's ear. "We were lying down a minute ago … Lois, why aren't we lying down now? I liked that." The final statement was said in husky voice, leaving no doubt as to what they had been doing.
Lois grinned to herself. If Mayson's eyes got any bigger, they'd pop out of their sockets. She felt a rush of satisfaction … take *that*, Ms. Assistant District Attorney; I'll teach you to cut in on me when I'm dancing with Clark! Lois took Clark's hand, holding it away from where it had begun to quest under her shirt. "Mayson knocked, Clark, remember?"
"Oh … yeah …" He looked up at Mayson again. "That's right. And why did you say you were here again?" His emotions were all over the board … this time, he looked endearingly confused.
Mayson just gave an exasperated sigh. "I wanted to be sure you were all right," she explained. "But I can see you're just *fine*." The last line was delivered while looking daggers at Lois.
Lois just shrugged innocently.
Mayson backed towards the stairs. "I'm leaving … you two can sleep it off. But don't *drive* anywhere, either of you."
Clark wrapped Lois up in his arms from behind. "You're not going anywhere, are you?"
Lois patted his arm affectionately, but she couldn't resist a parting jab. "Thanks for your concern, Mayson, but neither of us is going anywhere."
Mayson just made a sound of disgust and turned on her heel. "Good night!"
After relocking the door following Mayson's abrupt exit, Lois returned to the living room to find Clark half-asleep on the couch. With a smile, she took his hand and tugged him to his feet. "Come on, big fella … we better to get you to bed before you pass out."
"I'm all right," he protested mildly, but he followed her to the darkened bedroom obediently and immediately climbed onto the bed, dropping his glasses onto the nightstand as he did so. "I just need to lie down for a minute … I'll be fine …" As soon as he laid down, however, he changed his tune. "Oh yeah …" he groaned as he sank deeper into the bed. "This feels good."
Lois just chuckled and climbed over him to reach the other side of the bed.
Clark rolled to his side to face her. "Isn't the room supposed to spin?"
He gave her a sleepy grin. "I thought when you lay down when you're drunk, the room is supposed to spin."
Lois laughed and pressed a quick kiss onto his mouth. "Count yourself lucky."
Clark gave a sigh of pleasure and kissed her back. "Oh, there we go; now the room is spinning."
He kissed her again. "Mmmm, definitely … next time I'll just skip the wine. This is better."
"You're a pretty smooth talker when you're drunk."
"Think I'd have the guts if I were sober?"
They traded delicious kisses back and forth until Lois found herself wondering if joining him in bed had been such a good idea. Their denim-covered legs had intertwined as they kissed and Clark's fingers were tracing the most wonderful patterns on her back. When he finally brought a large hand down to caress her hip, she realized that he wasn't the only one feeling the room spin.
"Maybe we should … um … "
"… you know … go to sleep …"
"I mean, not that I don't like this, but … well, you know."
Lois pulled back to look at him. He was sound asleep, face down in the pillow, snoring softly.
"Gee, I wish he'd obey me that quickly all the time."
Lois woke up first the next morning. She hadn't really slept deeply all night, but one look at Clark proved that the same couldn't be said for him. He was still in the exact same position he'd been in the night before, though he wasn't snoring anymore. Lois started to smile, then winced as she felt a dull ache behind her eyes.
Getting out of bed gingerly, she groaned softly in displeasure as the effects of yesterday's fight — and last night's wine — made themselves known to her body. It was just as well she and Clark had the day off today. She was going to go home and go right back to sleep.
In the bathroom, Lois relieved herself, then splashed cold water on her face. She felt mostly OK … she'd had much worse hangovers. Thank goodness she had gotten out of bed in the middle of the night to take some of the aspirin she kept in her purse — she couldn't imagine how awful she'd feel if she hadn't. It was too bad she hadn't been able to wake Clark to take any, but at least she had tried.
When Lois returned to the bedroom several minutes later, Clark had rolled over to his back and was covering his face with his hands. And groaning.
"How do you feel?" she asked sympathetically, sitting down next to him on the edge of the bed. She noticed that he had already put on his glasses.
"Like I was hit by a truck," he responded, his voice muffled. He removed his hands and fixed her with a bleary look. "What happened?"
"You were kidnapped and held captive overnight by four goons … then I found you and we fought our way out … then I came over with a bottle of wine, and we got drunk."
Clark gave a short laugh at her explanation, then stopped abruptly and put a hand to his head. "No, I remember all of that … I just didn't expect to feel this bad today."
Lois smiled. "Welcome to your first hang-over. Take a few aspirin, drink plenty of water, and sleep a lot. You'll feel better."
"Did you stay here all night?" At Lois's nod, Clark's eyes opened wider. "Oh, my God, we didn't— Did we?"
Lois laughed out loud at his panicked expression. "No … Clark, we didn't. We just slept … well, actually, you kind of passed out." She couldn't help but tease him a little.
Instead of responding, though, Clark just sat up quickly. "Can you move? I gotta go."
Lois blinked and scooted out of his way as he got out of bed. "Where?"
"Bathroom," he responded as he stumbled his way to the door.
"Do you need any help?" she asked, concerned.
Clark put his hand on the doorframe to keep himself steady as he lurched into the little room. "Not unless you wanna hold it for me," he mumbled.
Lois was already sitting at Clark's kitchen table eating a piece of dry toast when he finally wandered out of the bathroom. "Feel any better?" she asked him as he sat down heavily in the chair next to her.
"A little, yeah," he replied. He made a look of displeasure as he licked his lips, though. "I feel like I have cotton in my mouth."
"That's normal," she assured him. "Brushing your teeth will help a little." Then Lois looked at Clark a bit sheepishly. "Uh, actually … I kind of already used your toothbrush this morning. I'll buy you a new one."
Clark gave an amused snort. "Don't worry about it, Lois, really."
"I'm sorry, but I just had to brush and you didn't have any extras—"
"Lois! Seriously, I don't mind." He chuckled. "I spent half of last night with my tongue in your mouth … you think I care about sharing a toothbrush?"
"Wait, don't answer that."
"So, what kind of drunk am I?"
Clark picked up the last piece of toast on her plate and tentatively nibbled a corner. "You asked me last night what kind of drunk I was, but I didn't know. So what kind of drunk am I?"
Lois chewed her food thoughtfully as she sat back and studied her partner. Finally, she swallowed and fixed him with a knowing smile. "An affectionate one."
Clark blushed and ducked his head. "Oh, boy."
She patted his arm. "You were fine; it was fun." And with that, she stood up. "But now I really have to go home."
She gave him a sleepy smile. "Just walk me to the door, Clark."
Clark stood up and followed her through the living room. "You sure you're OK to drive home?"
"Yeah, I'm fine. I just want to go back to bed. And I *know* you need to."
As they reached the door, though, Clark stopped her. "Um, Lois … about last night …" At her questioning look, he continued awkwardly. "I mean, I know neither of us feels great right now, so maybe this isn't a good time to ask but …" He hesitated for another moment, then plowed ahead. "But, um, in a couple days … this weekend, maybe … would you like to … go out to dinner?"
"Like a … date?" Lois asked.
Clark swallowed nervously. "Yeah."
After a brief moment of hesitation, Lois grinned. "I'd love to." On impulse, she stood up on her tiptoes and pressed a quick kiss to his cheek on her way out the door. "Call me tonight."
As Clark watched his partner hurry down the front walk to her car, he couldn't help the excited smile that spread across his face. He put his hand to his cheek, still feeling the tingle from where she had kissed him. Suddenly, he felt pretty darn good.
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