By Laura S. <email@example.com>
Submitted October, 2007
Summary: Lois Lane thinks she can take on Clark Kent in a game of hoops. She's probably right.
"What's that, Lane? You honestly think you can beat me?"
Clark raised an eyebrow as he looked across his desk at his partner. She was swinging a duffel bag from her fingertips, looking deadly and beautiful.
"Kent, you can't even open a Yoohoo. How are you going to manage a whole basketball game?"
Raising his hand to rest his chin on, Clark smiled. "I played a little ball in high school."
Rolling her eyes, Lois grabbed a pen from the mug on his desk and pilfered his notes. "Yeah, in between editing papers at the Smallville Gazette. There is no question about it. I could beat you in basketball." Lois idly started doodling on his neat, precise notes.
"So that's why you brought your duffel bag? Is this your game face?"
"I know you keep your gym clothes in the downstairs locker. And I also know that you have no plans tonight."
Clark snatched back his notes before Lois' drawings made them completely illegible. "Now why would you think I have no plans tonight? It's a Friday. I'm a single, fairly decent male. The question is why wouldn't I have plans?"
"Fairly decent is a stretch, Kent. Besides, that is a question. Why wouldn't you? But I already checked your daybook. You don't."
Scandalized, Clark looked down at his desk. "Lois! That drawer where I keep my daybook is *locked.*"
"Yeah, and you don't keep anything juicy in there, either," Lois paused, a disappointed look crossing her face. "You're so boring." Her face brightened after a moment. "But I did find something interesting in there."
Clark eyed her warily. "What?"
"Oh, nothing," Lois said, leaning up from his desk. "So I'll drive you to the park by my apartment after work, okay? We're going to have our one on one game there. Lucy keeps telling me playing basketball is a great way to meet guys. Maybe we'll find some."
"We? Lois! I do not want to play basketball with you to help you pick up men!"
Lois threw him a look over her shoulder as she went to sit back at her desk. "Oh, come on Clark. I'll even share if we find any."
"Lois!" Clark hissed, his face turning red. His chair nearly toppled backward as he jumped up and strode over to her desk. "Lois, do you think I'm… gay?"
Lois smothered a laugh as she shook her head. "No, of course not. I just wanted to rile you up a little."
Heaving a sigh, Clark straightened and folded his arms across his chest. He tried to look menacing, but Lois just let another giggle escape her tightly sealed mouth. He walked stiffly back to his desk, battling his own rueful grin.
"Clark?" He turned at her honey sweet voice, instantly suspicious. "Of course you're not gay. I found that Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition in that locked drawer of yours." Lois gave him a wide-eyed doe stare before turning back to her work.
"Swimsuit Sports Illustrated? Way to go, CK!"
At Jimmy's voice, and Lois' snort, Clark buried his head in his hands. He opened his eyes, still under the protective cocoon of his arms, and found himself face to face with the doodles Lois had done while at his desk. There was a female stick figure twirling a basketball on one finger as she triumphantly stood on top of the male stick figure. A large trophy, as big as the stick figures themselves, floated in space somewhere beside them and the male stick figure had little x's for eyes. Shutting his eyes, and torn between humiliation and humor, Clark raised his head and met Lois' eyes across the room.
"You, me, basketball after work, Lois. It is so on."
"So you talk a good game, huh?" Clark asked as he greeted her outside the Planet building. He had changed earlier in the men's room, now dressed in a hunter green T-shirt with cutoff sleeves and black basketball shorts. Lois eyed him up and down, a fact which unnerved him so much, he nearly missed her reply to his good-natured taunt.
Besides, he couldn't really pass up the chance to admire her either. She had changed for the game and was now dressed very alluringly in indecently short shorts and a white tank top that was not doing much of a job keeping her covered. If the shirt was that see-through now, he couldn't imagine what it would look like if she actually worked up a sweat.
Exhaling a powerful breath that sent a car across the street nearly skidding into a light post, Clark jogged to catch up with her, forcing his brain to keep to the matters at hand. They climbed into her car and battled for control of the stereo as they drove to the park. Clark took advantage of his excellent peripheral vision to surreptitiously check her out as she drove. They were mindlessly chatting, and the fact that he could speak and still utilize a large portion of his mind categorizing every detail of how she looked in that outfit sent off a happy starburst of excitement in his mind.
"-and so those are the colors I'm thinking of for my new couch. What do you think, Clark?"
"The black, probably. It's less see through."
Lois gave him an odd look and pulled into the park. "I guess. You're so weird, Clark."
Well, he could sort of hold a conversation.
She faked to the left, sweat dripping down into her eyes as she tried to maneuver around Clark's solid body. Lois grinned as she spotted an open spot underneath his arm. She dove through it, dribbling up the court to score a basket.
"In your face, Kent!" she crowed, performing her own, odd version of a victory dance.
She looked adorable, and Clark had to fight to look stern. "Yes, and except for the traveling and double dribbling, it was excellent."
"Oh come on, you know we don't play by those rules."
Clark gave her an incredulous look as she tossed the ball to him. "And just who have *you* been playing basketball with lately?"
Lois grinned and counted out their points. "So Lois, 12, Clark, 8."
"I hardly think that last basket counted, Lois."
She just nodded. "It did."
"And on the one before that, it's also illegal to use me as a stepping stone to the basket."
Lois shrugged. "So? You were amenable to it at the time."
She had a point there. He had nearly suffered a heart attack when Lois sprang out from behind him, jumping onto his back. Her legs had tightly circled his waist, and he instinctively sent one hand behind him to steady her back and one to loop around her legs. Then, under her imperious command, he had dutifully trotted over to the basket so she could make her shot.
But she was right, he hadn't minded. In fact, he had a tough time letting her down. Every instinct in his body urged him to keep her there, giggling into his hair and smelling like sweet summer. She had thrown her arms around his neck after her shot, resting her chin on his shoulder. "How'd you like that shot, Kent?"
Her soft voice in his ear nearly sent him over the edge, but he managed to keep his tone light as he turned his face a little to better see her.
"Honestly? I think there was a little cheating involved."
Laughing at this, she tightened her arms around his neck and gave him a squeeze. "No, no. Not at all. All basketball players do this."
He hitched her up a little as she slid down his back, keeping her in place. "Do they? I'd sure hate to be the guy carrying Shaq."
"Silly, Shaq isn't the one being carried. He's the one doing the carrying."
"Lois, I don't think schlepping any of those guys around would be a piece of cake, Shaq or no Shaq." He smiled as the twilight fell around them. "In fact, you're no walk in the park to carry either."
"You did not just say that!" Lois squealed in his ear. "I don't weigh that much."
"It's like carrying a moose," Clark said solemnly. He made a show of struggling, pretending to drop her. His heart beat a little quicker in his chest as she instinctively tightened her grip around his neck and waist.
They laughed for a moment, before Lois quieted. "I'm not that heavy, right Clark? I'm not hurting your back?"
Clark was incredulous at the sharp switch of tone. "Lois! You're a veritable sparrow. I was just joking around with you earlier. You know you're light as a feather."
"Psych!" Lois hopped down off his back and ran after the ball, leaving him gaping at her retreating form.
And that was how they had gotten to the current score, 12 to 8.
"How about we make this interesting?" Lois began, running around Clark in circles to try and steal the ball. She shoved a hand under his arm, and he clamped his arm down, trapping her there.
"Ew! Gross, Clark! You're sweaty! Let go!"
Clark rolled his eyes and released her arm, knowing for a fact that he didn't sweat. Lois on the other hand… He took a moment to survey her. His hypothesis had been correct. It was completely see through. In fact, he could just make out the wording on the tag…
And suddenly, the warm weight of the basketball was out of his hands and Lois was off like a shot.
"14-8! I win!"
"When did you decide we were playing until 14, Lois?"
Lois beamed at him. "It's getting too dark to play. Sorry, bud. You just got beat by a girl."
Clark gracefully conceded defeat. His pride had been tarnished, but he could still feel the comforting weight of her on his back, and the warm breath against his ear. The sweet smile graced his face before he could even think to pull it back.
"What do you have to smile about, Clark?" Lois looped her arm through his as the walked to the car, the basketball under Clark's opposite arm. "You lost. And you're buying me dinner. Someplace nice. I'm not a cheap date."
Looking down at her dark head, the smile widened.
"Of course you aren't. But on the contrary, Lois Lane, I think I won."