By LaraMoon <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Submitted: June 2007
Summary: For some time now, Lois has had suspicions about Clark having another, secret, identity and she's been trying to find out exactly who he is ever since. Will her latest ploy work or will she discover something she wasn't expecting instead?
This is the seventh story in my "Clark Kent is Batman… NOT!" series. *g* It follows the sixth story only alphabetically. Time wise, it would take place between the 2nd and 3rd stories — before Lois finds out that Clark is really Superman.
Even though the title makes it look like this is placed during GGGoH, it's… NOT! *lol* It's actually set right after Man of Steel Bars. Hey, this is a series that's all about getting the wrong idea, isn't it? You do have the right idea, though, if you're thinking this will involve Green Arrow. It most certainly does.
You may recognize elements from another story in this one. I'll let you guess which one. Check the Bottom Dweller's Notes at the end for the answer, in case you can't identify it. hehehe!
With thanks to Jessi for answering some of my seemingly crazy questions! ("What's the name of the place you keep sheep in?" LOL!)
"Ah, come on, Clark! You have to come!" Lois said, with this pleading look on her face that Clark would have given anything to have been able to resist, even just once in his life.
He hated these gatherings. Nothing would have pleased him more than never having anyone ask again if he'd like to come along. No matter that his colleagues thought it was the best way to spend a Friday night, "Beer Night" was not Clark's idea of fun. Nowhere near.
But Lois had been insisting for several long minutes now and he knew better than anyone that she wasn't going to give up. There was no way Lois Lane would ever invest any effort in anything that wasn't going to pay off. Resistance, as the saying went, was futile. Besides, Lois had a point — they had something to celebrate. They'd managed to crack a big story. A really big one. And while Clark would have preferred a more intimate celebration, he knew that Beer Night was probably the only sort he was likely to get. So, reluctantly, he agreed.
"Yeah, OK. I'll go," he told her, causing her to smile brightly. Clark recognized this as her I-always-get-my-way smile. He chuckled softly. There was nothing he was more deeply convinced of than the fact that, now and forever, Lois Lane would always get her way with Clark Kent. Nothing, in the entire universe, was more certain than that.
A few short minutes after five o'clock, they left the Daily Planet for their favorite watering hole; a large group of employees heading there together, like so many sheep to the fold.
As he walked along with them — Lois tugging at his sleeve any time she felt he was dragging his feet — Clark found himself hoping that the evening would be over very soon. If he had to make himself into the most boring person in the world so they'd get out of there sooner, he would. Anything so he didn't have to sit there all evening and watch Lois get drunker and drunker by the hour, until such time as she was plastered and she'd let him take her home.
He sighed as he recalled the last time he'd gone along with the others on Beer Night. He had had to sit idly by and watch Lois drunkenly make passes at a waiter, who it so happened had actually had a thing, not for her, but for *him*. Once they got to the place, Clark found out — with much relief — that said waiter had tonight off.
Lois quickly chose a small table, somewhat out of the way, and made plenty certain that no one would sit there other than she and Clark. Seeing as though she appeared to be ready to bite anyone who dared come within two feet of the table — unless they came bearing the drinks she'd ordered, of course — people gladly kept away.
Puzzled by her behavior, Clark risked asking her what this was about. Lois gave him a sugary sweet smile and explained that she just wanted to be able to have a bit of a private celebration — they were the ones who had exposed the criminals, they should be entitled to celebrate that victory by themselves. Even though her story had an obvious plot hole, Clark decided to let it go. So what if Lois had a hidden agenda? If it meant being able to spend time alone with her, he was open to just about anything.
It wasn't long before he finally understood why she had picked that particular table. It was right next to the dartboard. And while she never usually played darts, Lois had somehow gotten it in her head that they should have themselves a little competition. The reason behind it escaped him completely, but seeing as though she was as likely to let that idea go as she had been with them coming here in the first place, Clark gave in. He was quickly rewarded by one of Lois' patented I-will-totally-own-you smiles, which he knew would soon be followed by one of several I-love-to-win smiles. Because he was going to let her win, of course. Mostly so she would flash that smile at him, in fact.
They played a few games, all of which Lois won by a landslide, Clark having purposely thrown his darts everywhere but on the board. Lois kept smiling victoriously after every throw, but she was now starting to get seriously annoyed at Clark for being so inept.
"Oh, come on, Clark!" she berated him. "Surely you can do better than that! Put a little heart into it… Give me a run for my money, at least! Don't pretend you don't know how to play. I know you can!"
Clark was about to give her one of his half-baked excuses — in this case, that his hand-eye coordination couldn't possibly be as good as hers, seeing as he wore glasses — when a tall blond man walked up to them.
"I'm sorry, Miss," he said, a blinding smile on his face. "You're obviously way too skilled to waste your time playing against an opponent whose abilities are so sub par." He gave Clark a condescending look, to which Clark responded with a slight sneer. "Allow me to show you what a true challenger should be."
Clark rolled his eyes. Could the man possibly be less obvious about trying to pick her up, he wondered? Seeing that Lois was now looking at him with that pleading look again, he handed her the darts he was holding and went to sit down at their table. Perhaps if Lois won this match, the guy would just leave again?
Lois handed the darts to the man, but he refused, saying he had his own. He was an avid player, it seemed and he had had a set of darts custom made, complete with his family crest engraved on each one. Clark shook his head. Apparently, this guy had more money than he knew how to spend. Personalized darts, what a silly idea!
They played a game, which the man easily won. This guy was clearly very good at this, Clark realized. Lois asked for a rematch and, with a much too charming smile, the man agreed. Clark knew he was going to have to help Lois out a bit if he had any hopes at all of her winning. The man was much too good for her to be able to beat him all by herself. Fortunately, Clark had an ability that was just perfect for this occasion.
They played a second game, which — thanks to Clark's help — Lois won. The man walked over to the board and grabbed his darts, looking at each one as if he'd never seen them before. Disgruntled, he asked that they make this a two-out-of-three. Lois readily accepted.
They played a third match. Lois won it, too. Clark had helped, of course. This time, when the man went to pick up his darts, he put them back into the little wooden box he had taken them out of, grumbled something about the dart obviously being in need of adjustments before and walked off without so much as saying goodbye.
As he went past him, Clark caught a good glimpse of Lois' challenger. Immediately it became clear how and why he had been able to afford a set of custom made darts. He was one of the richest men in the country!
"Clark, do you realize who that was?" Lois asked, upon returning to their table. She looked somewhat annoyed, the reason for which Clark could not put a finger on. She should have been elated, having beaten the man twice. She should have been nothing but victorious smiles, but she wasn't anywhere close to smiling.
"That was…" she began.
"Oliver Queen," Clark said, finishing what he expected was her thought. He was wrong.
"Green Arrow," she said, simultaneously.
They looked at each other, eyes wide. "What?" they asked one another.
"Are you sure?" Lois asked first. "Oliver Queen?"
"Well, yeah," Clark confirmed. "Didn't you recognize him? He's been front page news on the West Coast for a few weeks now."
"Oh, I… um…" Lois' cheeks grew a deeper shade of red. "I didn't notice his face too much," she admitted.
"I see," he said, sighing. "You think he's… Really?"
"Green Arrow? Oh yeah, I'm sure he was. The darts were his particular shade of green, for one thing. And he seemed to blame the darts for his loss, which, you know… any normal guy would have blamed on how many beers he's had, not look at the darts as if they'd been tampered with. Besides, the guy looked like he'd never lost a single game in his life, let alone two in a row. I just know I'm right about this. Besides, who in their right mind has darts custom made?"
"Someone with too much money in their pockets?" Clark shrugged.
"Yeah, that. But I mean… it would have to be someone with a particular fondness for feathered projectiles."
"If you say so," Clark agreed. Perhaps she was right, after all, he thought. She might not be able to see through his own secret identity, but that didn't mean she couldn't see through anybody else's. Lois had a keen eye and if anyone could figure out these things, it was certainly her. In a way, he was lucky that she was so enthralled by Superman and paid very little attention to himself, else she would have realized the subterfuge a very long time ago.
Having excused herself, Lois headed over in the direction of the washrooms. But once she got there, she made a beeline for the pay phones. She stuck a quarter in the slot and quickly dialed her sister's phone number.
"Hey Luce, it's me," she said as soon as her sister answered. "He's not Green Arrow either."
"Huh? What? Lois, what are you talking about?"
"Clark is not Green Arrow. I was wrong," she explained.
"Ah. And you're still sure he's not Batman?" Lucy asked.
"He said he wasn't. I believe him," Lois answered flatly. "Clark isn't Batman. He's not The Flash and I'm absolutely sure now that he's not Green Arrow either. Just tell me… Who's the next possible name on the list again?"
"There is none," Lucy told her. "Unless you count the web-slinger that you keep insisting doesn't exist."
"Because he doesn't!" She sighed. "How could there be no more names on the list? There has to be! How about that Nightwing person? You think there's any chance it's him?"
Lucy sighed. "You know Lois… I think maybe you're ruling out the obvious, here."
"What? That Clark Kent is really just… well, plain old regular Clark Kent?"
"Wow — you say that like it's a bad thing," Lucy said, slightly surprised.
"Huh? What's that supposed to mean?"
"Oh, come on… Lois! Have you seen the guy? I mean, really seen him? For one thing he's… oh, he's just totally dreamy and it's not impossible he might be S…"
"Yeah, right!" Lois interrupted. "Dreamy! You're out of your mind, Luce!" She snorted loudly. "I gotta go… I've just had an idea. I'll call you back soon."
When she got back to their table, Lois had a strange expression on her face. As she sat down in her chair again, she looked Clark straight in the eyes and put forth a new challenge. One that, she believed, might help her find out whether or not her mild- mannered partner hid anything except poor taste behind that ridiculously loud tie of his.
"Arm wrestling, Lois?" Clark asked, stunned. "Are you out of your mind?"
As he would soon find out, though, she wasn't kidding one bit. Just about drunk and out of her mind, perhaps. But definitely not kidding.
He took a deep breath. Things like this were precisely the reason why Clark Kent no longer joined his colleagues on Beer Night.
Bottom Dweller's Notes:
If anyone wondered, yes, Oliver Queen and Green Arrow are the same person. :)
In case you haven't caught on to the not-so-subtle hints, some concepts and ideas have been taken directly — and deliberately — from another of the author's stories. That story is Wrestle Me This (http://www.lcfanfic.com/stories/2006/wrestle.txt) How cool is that? *vbg*