By Laura S. <firstname.lastname@example.org >
Submitted October 2007
Summary: She's doing it again. This time, Clark Kent can't stand it any longer. There's only so much a man can take, even a super man.
You know, it didn't really hurt too much unless he breathed. He could manage this kind of pain, because really, he was Superman. Tough and brawny, he shouldn't be undone by the small and fiery Lois Lane. But she really was an expert at that sort of thing. That whole dagger-to-the-heart kind of thing. And it wasn't even like she was cold and calculating about it. The worst part was that she had no idea she was slowly killing him.
Well, probably not literally since so far, only Kryptonite had been able to do that, but definitely emotionally and mentally. And yet she sat there so innocently. Pushing back and forth on that rolling chair, a pencil tucked casually behind one ear.
She had to be aware of the pain she was inflicting on him. He was only a few feet away. An arm's reach, really. How could she not see? Then, in a blinding moment of clarity, he understood why. In his pain-clouded daze he had almost allowed himself to forget.
He wasn't sitting there in blue spandex. He looked down, just to be sure. His underwear was not sitting on the outside of his dress pants and a quick wave of his hand ensured that his hair fell soft and naturally across his forehead.
*That* was why she was oblivious to his mental anguish.
So he should probably just suck it up. She was just doing a thing she did nearly every day. To postmen and to the janitor and to Perry and even to Jimmy sometimes, if it was a good day. Sometimes she even did it to him. Of course, he was usually sporting some blue and red colors when she decided to spring it on him, so he was generally ready.
But in a typical Lois Lane fashion, she had sprung it on his unassuming, mild-mannered alter ego and it just wasn't fair. He didn't have the suit to hide behind. He was just an ordinary man with good hearing and a decent bench-press.
Okay, more than decent, and he could do a bit more than hear well, but it was all the same, really. It wasn't like it set him apart from anyone. Except for the whole dashing off at a moment's notice to save the world and help little old ladies cross the street. But he did that as Clark, anyway. At least the little old lady thing. Lois always shook her head and blew out exasperated sighs when he did this, but sometimes he'd catch her giving him a small smile behind the thick frame of her hair.
He gritted his teeth and told his heart to shut up and focus. As the mental torture subsided to dull throb, he finally focused his eyes on the paper in front of him.
Lois turned a couple seconds later and then, suddenly, without warning, before even Superman could erect his stone-steel-titanium-diamond defenses, she did it again.
She was reaching over to run her fingers over his cheek, but that wasn't it. That, at least he was used to. They had an oddly physical, platonic relationship. Not that he was complaining.
Okay, it felt wonderful and his mind automatically came up with, and rejected, about fifty thousand possible reasons why something would have possessed her to touch his face. (He had forgotten to shave? He was slowly turning an alien green? She wanted to slap him?)
His bewildered, plaintive expression must have shown clearly on his face, because Lois hastened to explain.
"You had some crumbs on your face." She pointed to the half-eaten blueberry muffin in front of him. It sat stoically and innocuously; a traitorous muffin.
That was extremely embarrassing. His hand was up in a flash, scrubbing his face vigorously.
And she did it *again*. Couldn't she wait until he had built up some resolve first? He felt like his life was like Jimmy's many video games. If he stocked up on ammo he generally did okay, if he didn't, he was toast. But no, he was dealing with Lois Lane. When had she ever shown him mercy? She was hardly the kind of person who would wait patiently as his video game doppelganger hunted for ammo and shields. In all fairness to her, she had no idea what she was doing, but still, the principle of it was the same, right?
Well that was it. The last straw. She had done it too many times and he simply couldn't cope with it any longer.
His eyes must have taken on a maniac gleam that mirrored his lunatic thought process, because she was staring at him like he had started spouting off the Declaration of Independence in Mandarin Chinese.
"Clar- Oomf!" Her words were quickly cut off by Clark's mouth as he grasped her shoulders and pulled her toward him. And then they were kissing; rough, hard, and fast.
Perry White and Jimmy Olsen, seated at the opposite end of the Table, looked up, slack jawed. The sandwich in Jimmy's listless hand dripped a steady stream of mustard down his palm, but he didn't even notice.
When Clark finally released her, Lois was torn between kicking him in the groin and telling him she'd do anything for a repeat performance. She compromised with a rough "what the hell did you do that for" which didn't actually sound quite as menacing as she had intended.
Clark shrugged, adjusting his glasses and blinking owlishly. "You did it too many times; I wasn't ready."
"Ready? What are you *talking* about, you green horn, spastic…" Her tirade was cut off by his hangdog look. She continued in a softer voice. "na´ve, presumptuous, sweet, charming, *insufferable*…excuse for mankind?"
Clark grinned widely at her description of him and raised his shoulders again in a martyr's shrug.
"You smiled at me."