By EditorJax <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Submitted: December 2007
Summary: After a few drinks, Lois may not remember much about this stakeout in New Orleans ... but is it possible that she's actually more intoxicated by her partner's presence?
While many of her peers majored in alcoholism, Lois Lane had spent her four years at the University of Metropolis working toward her goal of becoming the youngest journalist in history to win a Pulitzer. And as a result, she was about one daiquiri away from needing her partner to carry her back to the hotel.
To the bartender, it was just another night on Bourbon Street, with just another woman who didn't know her personal limit. To Clark Kent, it was a somewhat entertaining, slow-motion car wreck that he was powerless to stop.
He smiled as she moaned a little. "You don't have to finish it."
"I'm only on my third." She hiccupped and then took a long drink from the frighteningly tall glass in front of her. "I'm fine."
"You won't be in the morning."
She tilted the glass toward him. "Touché."
Clark fought the urge to laugh. As they waited for Reese and his men to emerge from the restaurant across the street, he had indulged in two daiquiris himself -- but alcohol had no effect on the man of steel. He had realized too late that he should have stuck with water; it may have discouraged Lois from trying to keep up with him. Actually, he should have picked a different location altogether for their stakeout.
After all, they were *working*. Perry hadn't sent them there for a night of cheap liquor and jazz. They were supposed to be tailing Clayton Reese, a former LexCorp executive who was suspected of using the Port of New Orleans to smuggle drugs from South America up the Mississippi River.
Reese had family in nearby Baton Rouge, so he probably figured no one would be the wiser about his trips to the South. No one but Lane and Kent, that is. After a bust had gone down in a warehouse near Hobbs Bay, Lois and Clark had received a tip from Bobby Bigmouth about where the drugs were originating, and decided it was worth checking into. A persuasive speech to Perry and two business-class tickets on American Airlines later, here they were in the Big Easy.
Now, Clark watched as Lois sat on a stool in black pants and a cranberry satin halter top that tied beneath her glossy brown hair.
God, she was just as intoxicating to him as the rum was to her.
She was looking at him intently, her full lips wrapped around the lime-green straw as she moved another step closer toward professing her love to him and everyone within a 100-foot radius. "Lois? Are you OK?"
"That shirt looks good on you." She gave him a sultry smile as her eyes swept over his olive-green button-down shirt and down to his tan slacks. "It matches your eyes."
"My eyes are brown," he said, his face flushing as he fought every impulse in his body to lean over and kiss her. They had been playing this game for weeks, since he had come to spend Christmas with her and they had ended up holding hands as they watched the snow fall.
She leaned in for a closer look. "You're right." She paused, a concerned look on her face. "Were they always brown?"
He plucked the frothy drink out of her hand. "And I think that's the end of Happy Hour for you, Ms. Lane." She started to protest, but he flashed a disarming grin and took a sip. "What flavor is this?"
"Mango, I think." She giggled a little. "Or maybe passion fruit." She thought for a moment. "Yeah, it's passion fruit. My first one was mango. Or maybe it was the second."
Just then, she saw a group of well-dressed men come out of The Bombay Club. "Clark, there they are."
Even after her one-woman tailgating session, Lois was still on her A-game, and after taking a large gulp of water, she hopped off her barstool with remarkable coordination. "Let's go."
Clark had barely plunked some bills down on the table when he was dragged out of the bar.
"Lois, I needed change."
"Too bad," she hissed, keeping a vice grip on his hand as she darted around a group of scantily clad college students. "I'm not losing Reese over two bucks."
She stopped in the middle of the street to give him a smirk. "I'll tell you what, Clark; when we win a Pulitzer for this story, the first thing I'll do is give you your ten bucks."
He knew when to press the issue, and this was clearly not one of those times.
Not with Reese and his goons stopping a few hundred feet away and beginning an animated conversation with a well-dressed man who had joined them.
And not with Clayton Reese staring in their direction.
Clark held his breath as he waited to see what the man would do. Fortunately, he turned back to his conversation, but an unsettled look had crossed his face.
Lois emerged from the souvenir store with a large yellow plastic bag in her hand. Standing on tiptoes, she couldn't see Clark anywhere. Hadn't he just gone into the shop across the way? And why did they need disguises, anyway?
She made her way through the throngs of revelers, the smell of alcohol and urine permeating her nostrils, and onto the sidewalk.
Just another night on Bourbon Street had become her own personal hell. Story be damned, all she wanted to do was go back to the hotel, strip off the clothes that were going straight into the garbage can, stand under the scorching water and scrub away the grime of Mardi Gras and the hangover that was already threatening to emerge.
"Clark?" She tried to keep her voice low in case anyone heard her. "Clark?"
Where had he gone?
Just then, an arm grabbed hold of hers, propelling her backward into the darkness. She opened her mouth to scream, but nothing came out.
"It's OK. It's just me."
She whirled around in the narrow alley to see his expression change from amusement to consternation.
"Clark! My God, are you trying to give me a heart attack?"
"I didn't mean to scare you, but I saw one of Reese's men hanging out across the street and I was afraid he would see you."
His face clearly illuminated by a dusty light hanging over the back entrance to a well-worn dive, she could tell he was sorry.
"Here," she said, holding out the bag. "I got this for you."
He opened the bag to pull out an emerald green and gold feathered Mardi Gras mask. "Lois!"
"Well, I don't know what kind of disguises you were expecting to find in the French Quarter." She grinned. "Just put it on."
He obliged and she wound several strands of beads around his neck to complete the look. "There. You look like a tourist."
He laughed. "And you?"
With a flourish, she pulled out a sparkly silver wig and pulled it onto her head, deftly tucking her brown hair up into it. Clark burst out laughing as she added a mask made of purple, silver and royal blue feathers.
"Well, I think it's safe to say we aren't in Metropolis anymore."
She gave him a smirk. "Good. Because we sure as hell aren't in Kansas, either."
Back out on Bourbon Street, they stood in the middle of the street, trying to figure out which way Reese and his cronies had gone.
Clark scanned the crowd as Lois walked a few steps in front of him. Spotting anyone during Mardi Gras was not going to be easy -- or so he thought.
A movement a few hundred yards away caught his attention. Reese was headed toward them, and he looked furious. He quickly X-Rayed him and was horrified to see the man had not one, but two guns on him.
The jig was up. They were dead reporters walking.
"Lois," he said in a low voice.
It was all he needed to say. She sucked in her breath sharply as she turned to see the tall man approaching. What the hell were they going to do?
Just then, she heard male voices calling from the balcony of the Hotel Sonesta.
"Give us a peek!"
"Want some beads, baby?"
"Show us your ..."
"Let's get out of here," Clark hissed.
Before he knew what was happening, Lois had lifted the hem of her shirt and flashed the men on the balcony.
She was greeted with cheers, a shower of multicolored beads and a look of abject horror on her partner's face.
Clark had no clue what had possessed her to do that, but he did know two things. One, his pants were becoming unbearably tight, and two, her little ploy seemed to have worked.
Reese walked right by them, her actions seemingly having convinced him that the gorgeous woman was, in fact, just another tourist and not the tenacious Lois Lane.
A triumphant look on her face, Lois leaned down to gather her prize, giving Clark a great view of the way her black pants fit across her backside. He swallowed audibly as she wound the strands around her neck.
"What on Earth ..."
She looped a strand of gold beads over his head and laughed at his expression. "Relax, Clark. It's Mardi Gras."
"I *cannot* believe you just did that."
She shrugged. "A little flesh is nothing when you consider the alternative."
"Being turned into gator food."
"Very true." He couldn't resist pulling her into his arms and hugging her tightly. "You're really something, Lois."
She looked up at him, intending to make a teasing remark, but what she saw took her breath away. The mask covering his face made his dark chocolate eyes stand out, and they revealed desire. Raw desire.
Their bodies pressed together, she could feel his heartbeat quickening, beating almost as fast as hers.
He caught her looking at him and a slow smile stretched across his face as he tightened his grip.
Maybe tonight wouldn't be just another night on Bourbon Street, after all.
Author's note: This is a 2007 Guess the Author story. We were asked to include some sort of disguise.