By Wanda Detroit <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Submitted: November 2003
Summary: It's Clark Kent's first Christmas in Metropolis. He attends the Daily Planet's Annual Christmas Gala… but where is Lois? Clark is in for a big surprise!
This is a response to LabRat's Christmas Carol Challenge! Since Labby said that Christmas *songs* were also acceptable, I simply *had* to represent my favorite Christmas song. A special thanks to Julie Stars who was a great Beta Reader! Enjoy! Feedback is greatly appreciated!
Clark Kent peered at his reflection as he walked by a building with dark-mirrored windows. He strode past, adjusting his bow tie before turning in towards the doorway of the country club. He wasn't sure what to expect, a newcomer to the city of Metropolis, and to the traditions of the Daily Planet staff. Apparently, the annual Christmas Gala was a pretty big deal.
It was Jimmy Olsen who reminded Clark to wear a tuxedo. This was a black-tie affair.
"Do I have to… get a date?" Clark had asked shyly. In the back of his mind, he wondered if Lois would accept his invitation.
"Nah, C.K. People who are married usually take their spouses. But as for us, we're all friends. We usually have a great time just going stag."
Clark thought it sounded like a good time. He wondered if Lois was looking forward to seeing him as much as he was anticipating seeing her. He could just imagine her in an incredibly elegant gown, looking ever-so-lovely. Clark entered the room confidently, deciding he'd definitely have to steal a dance or two from Ms. Lane.
The Planet had rented a stunning room, and its soft mauves and grays were now enrobed in evergreen garlands. Red candles flickered on all of the tables.
Cat Grant, wearing next to nothing, was the first to greet Clark. Slipping her arm through his, she escorted him to the punch, where they each poured a drink. Clark scanned the room, and was surprised to find that Lois was nowhere to be seen.
Being attached to Cat was making Clark a bit uneasy. As soon as he spotted Jimmy, he was able to gracefully break away, much to Cat's disappointment. He shook Jimmy's hand cordially.
"C.K., you make these penguin suits look good, buddy!"
Clark laughed. "You don't look so bad yourself."
He and Jimmy mingled for a few minutes, greeting their friends and co-workers. Clark was looking for one person in particular.
Finally, Clark summoned the courage to ask what he'd wanted to know since he'd arrived. "Jimmy… where's Lois?"
Jimmy laughed. "Oh! Wait until you see!"
"She's here all right." The smirk didn't leave Jimmy's face. There was an inside joke going on here; Clark was definitely feeling out of the loop.
A half hour had passed. Still no Lois. The party was already in full swing.
Perry White stood up, tapping a spoon against a wine glass to get everyone's attention. Everyone gathered around, Clark and Jimmy filling in spaces that were front and center in the semicircle that had formed in front of Perry.
"Ladies and gentlemen. Thank you all for coming to the sixteenth annual Daily Planet Christmas Gala. This is the time of year when I like to go home, put on Elvis' Blue Christmas album, and think about the important people in my life. Believe me, every one of you, whether you're in the mail room, or writing headlines, are an integral part of this newspaper. More than that, we are a family, a community. I value everyone here more than I can say," the Chief stated. "I see many faces that have been here for a long time." Perry nodded to a gentleman, acknowledging him. "I'll be sad to see some of our familiar faces retire next year. But there are some new faces in the crowd this year, too." Perry smiled warmly at Clark.
The crowd applauded Perry's speech. 'Why is Lois missing all of this?' Clark wondered.
"Anyhow," Perry continued, "before I get too mushy here, let's continue with the festivities. We couldn't have our Gala without the annual entertainment, now could we?"
His comment was met with applause, and loud laughs and hoots from the crowd.
"For those of you who have never been to the Christmas Gala, allow me to explain. The 'entertainment' is our 'booby prize' to honor our latest Kerth winner. He or she has to give a performance that's both embarrassing and all in good fun. Without further ado, here she is, folks. The lovely Miss Lois Lane!"
Another round of applause was cut short by the sound of piano music. From behind a closed door, Lois emerged. Clark's jaw dropped.
She was dressed in form-fitting red crushed velvet. It was a short, strapless number with white faux fur at the top and the bottom. A wide, black belt and black knee-high boots gave the impression of a 'naughty Mrs. Claus.' Long white gloves and white maribou-topped thigh-high stockings completed the look. It left little to the imagination. In fact, Clark speculated, Lois might have been wearing even less than Cat Grant!
"Santa baby, slip a sable under the tree, for me. I've been an awful good girl, Santa baby, so hurry down the chimney tonight," Lois purred. Her voice was perfectly on key. It was also extraordinarily sexy. Clark was having a hard time finding his own voice. Jimmy was whistling loudly, as were other men in the audience.
The way she moved, Clark could have sworn she had been an exotic dancer in a past life. She punctuated her number with teasing bumps and grinds, her hips swiveling in a fluid motion. 'God help me!' thought poor Clark. Lois was snaking her way into the audience, working the crowd. Clark was definitely in trouble.
"Think of all the fun I've missed; think of all the fellas that I haven't kissed." Lois pouted, nose to nose with Perry. Perry laughed heartily along with the rest of the Planet's employees.
Flirtatiously, Lois picked on Jimmy next. "Santa baby, and fill my stocking with a duplex, and checks. Sign your 'X' on the line, Santa baby, and hurry down the chimney tonight," she sang, slipping her palms under his jacket. Jimmy grinned ear to ear and blushed visibly.
Clark was getting nervous. He was discovering that his 'sensible' partner was something of an actress. She played buoyantly with other men in the audience with reckless abandon. He had to admit, she was hilarious. She was also dangerously attractive. Clark started to think that he was safe from one of Lois' teasing embraces, when suddenly—
There she was. Her arms wrapped around his neck. Her brown eyes looking deeply, deeply into his. He was stunned. She was so beautiful. She was about to close her number. "Hurry down the chimney tonight. Hurry down the chimney toniiiggghhht!" she crooned, leading Clark to dip her. He lowered her as the piano music faded out, elegantly finishing her borderline- burlesque number. When he raised her again, she was greeted with ecstatic applause and well-deserved laughter. Lois beamed.
Her arms still lingered around Clark when Jimmy pointed to the ceiling above the couple. A tiny green plant, festooned with a red ribbon, hung overhead. Lois grinned, the crowd urged her to go for it.
She shrugged. "I don't know. Can you handle it, Kent?" Before he could answer, she turned to face him and planted a kiss on his lips. She hadn't *intended* for it to linger.
But linger it did! Something happened under that mistletoe; something magical. The audience whistled at them; Jimmy shouted, "You two better come up for air!" …but Lois and Clark barely heard them.
It was going to be a very Merry Christmas, indeed!