Submitted: March 2020
Summary: In response to the Kerth Challenge #2 I was inspired to write a story based on the song “You Got Me” by Colbie Caillat. Lois explores the source of her frustration with her partner after an argument. Set during the Season 2 episode “Church of Metropolis.”
Story Size: 3,200 words (18Kb as text)
That was the only way to describe the rising emotions inside Lois Lane as she watched the scene unfold before her eyes. It wasn’t the first time she’d watched her partner receive advances from the female persuasion. It certainly wouldn’t be the last.
<<“Mayson Drake, Deputy DA.”>>
This felt different though.
They had all whistled through her life and disappeared shortly after.
<<“Whatever I saw, I’ll tell in court, Ms. Drake.”
“Mayson…Call my office in the morning so we can arrange a deposition. And if you need to reach me during off hours, my home phone’s on the back.”>>
It was innocent.
She didn’t read too much into it until she found herself fighting tooth and nail on every point in order to convince him to look past a pair of heels and an oversized chip that seemed to be permanently in place on the ADA’s shoulder.
<<“Clark, she’s dirty.
“Show me the proof.”>>
Since when did she have to prove her theories to her partner?
That wasn’t how it worked.
It was the first time she found herself standing opposite of Clark and questioning just where his loyalties lied.
<<“I’ll tell you what’s different, when Snell bats his eyes, you don’t get quite so giddy.”
“Wait, wait, are you jealous or something?”
Of what? We’re friends, we’re partners, what you do away from me is... is...”
“Whatever you do. I don’t care!”>>
She fumed angrily as she tumbled through her inner thoughts, wondering just when it was that she had crumbled. She felt it the moment the words came out of her mouth and continued to fume as she continued the argument out of reflex, wondering just when it was that she had allowed herself to rely on Clark Kent in such an overpowering way.
It all boiled into one as she wagged her finger at him, feeling the white hot anger stemming behind her venomous words, shooting daggers at each flimsy excuse he gave for why his stupid girlfriend couldn’t possibly be involved with Intergang.
<<“But you’re not saying stay on track. You’re saying stay away from your girlfriend.”
“She’s not my girlfriend.”
“Whatever she is, she’s got you finger-wrapped and blindfolded.”>>
She reached her hand up to swipe the tears that had escaped in her fury as she stared at the door Clark had disappeared through.
How had she gotten here?
Fighting over her place in her partner’s life?
Jealous of what?
She wasn’t even sure.
Time and time again she came face to face with these uneasy feelings. Each and every time she dismissed them. She was possessive over her friends. She just wanted what was best for him. But truth be told, she knew the root of it all was how she felt. Really felt.
The truth had been staring her in the face since last summer.
She had struggled through the darkest hour in her and Clark’s partnership, wondering if they would ever get back to where they had been before. Things had come together with a rocky jolt after the Planet’s rebuild and the quiet shove she had been given by Perry to get back to it.
The unresolved issues that remained seemed like a minuscule thing to fret over when there were stories to chase and criminals that continued to test the patience of every Metropolis citizen.
<<“I have been in love with you for a long time. You had to have known.”>>
<<“I would have said anything to stop you from marrying Luthor.”>>
There was so much left to unpack regarding the conversations that had taken place so many months ago. The longer she let it lie the further and further they would drive one another apart. It might not happen today, but it could happen.
Mayson wasn’t right for Clark.
She knew that.
She was professional and driven but seemed to exemplify the stereotypical female in every romantic comedy of the driven professional who just can’t find happiness without a man in her life. She was the one to make the first move and from what Lois could tell, Mayon continued to be the one pursuing Clark.
Whether it was reciprocated or not she wasn’t sure.
It was a subject she’d never been brave enough to broach with Clark. Sure she’d shared the occasional ‘what was I thinking’ relationship story, and he had let his own occasional tales of past experiences slip into conversations here and there over the last year, but neither of them had really broached the subject of whom the other might be interested in. She was content to continue with the status quo and would have done so had the conversation in the park never happened.
Now it was different.
She found herself questioning each and every touch and glance and wondering which version of the truth she could trust. The heartfelt declaration he’d given her in the park, confessing his hidden love for her? Or the quick shrug he’d offered her as he tried to push things back to the status quo of just being friends?
Each laugh. Each hug. Each touch. She found herself wondering about the burning questions that remained in the back of her mind for months.
Now here she was faced with the possibility of losing her best friend once more, and the thought of that terrified her and shook her to the core. She could sit here and sulk about just how unfair she thought Clark was being or find a way to blame Mayson – not that she was innocent in this disaster either. She knew she was equally to blame. Clark was her best friend and losing that – losing him – terrified her more than any life-threatening situation she had jumped into over the years.
Summing up the strength to swallow her pride, she took a deep breath and swallowed the hard lump sitting in the back of her throat. It was time for a change. It was time for the truth. The truth of just what her partner meant to her.
She raced through the newsroom and up the steps, spotting Clark as he stepped onto the elevator, calling out his name as she frantically pushed her way past Jimmy and a few of the interns standing in her way in order to hobble onto the elevator car. A split second later the elevator doors closed, and she turned to him with a shaky breath.
“We need to talk.”
“Lois, I don’t want to hear it. I’m …”
“Just stop!” she ordered, reaching over to pull the emergency stop, jerking the elevator car to a halt as she did so. “I am done talking about Mayson, and I’m done talking about this stupid story and everything else.” The corners of his mouth creased to form a question, but before he could vocalize the hint of a question that was sitting on the tip of his tongue, she interrupted him with a formidable “I want the truth.”
“Truth?” He looked like he’d been slapped with a ton of bricks as he looked down nervously then back up again, offering her an uncertain chuckle. “Wh…”
“Don’t.” She wagged her finger at him. “I am done. You don’t get to just storm out on me and shut me out for someone you haven’t even known a week. Okay, you just don’t.”
“I am not shutting you out, Lois,”
“Really?” Lois scoffed, pacing around the elevator car. “So you just happen to start going against every angle I suggest that hints at Mayson being involved with Intergang…” He opened his mouth to argue and she glared at him. “I’m not done yet! You start going into protective mode right after little Ms. My-Home-Number-Is-On-The-Back-And-I-Don’t-Return-the-Victim’s-Calls is leaving your apartment?”
She shook her head in disbelief. “Look, it’s none of my business. You want to do… whatever it is you’re doing that’s highly unethical given you’re supposed to be a witness in my Uncle Mike’s case – go for it. I don’t care.”
“It’s not what you’re thinking,” Clark responded carefully.
“Really?” Lois gave a mock surprised expression. “Let me guess, there’s a perfectly reasonable explanation?”
“So, you’re not involved at all with the District Attorney that’s supposed to be prosecuting my Uncle’s case?” Lois challenged, arching an eyebrow at him when he didn’t respond. “That’s what I thought.”
“It’s not like that.” Clark shook his head.
“Of course not.” Lois gave him a glare. “You’re just shutting down any evidence I bring you that little Ms. Perfect is involved with Intergang.”
“I am not,” Clark argued. “I just know that Snell…”
“Fine,” Lois shrugged him off and scowled back at him as she fought to keep the festering emotions within her from boiling over. “Let’s say you’re right and this Martin Snell is involved with Intergang. What now? Unlike your hunch about Snell I actually have evidence we need to question Mayson on regarding her relationship with Bill Church. But see, I can’t if my supposed partner can’t even back me up!”
He let out a low sigh, running his hand across his forehead. “I do back you up, Lois.”
“It certainly doesn’t feel like it lately,” Lois remarked quietly. “Hasn’t really felt that way in awhile.”
“Lois…” He reached a hand over, and she brushed him off.
“No,” Lois shook her head, waving him off. “You know I spent months trying to crawl back to where I was professionally after everything that happened this summer. I worked the dog shows and the stupid obituaries and everything that I had been handed in order to earn the respect of my peers back. But no matter what I can’t seem to break down this Fort Knox security system you’ve put up to shut me out.”
Clark looked down nervously, fiddling with his tie. “I thought we said we weren’t going to talk about what happened this summer?”
“You said not to talk about it,” Lois corrected.
“I thought it would be easier,” he replied quietly.
“For who?” Lois asked, crossing her arms over her chest and shaking her head. “I mean, I don’t even know what to think anymore.”
“I’m not shutting you out,” Clark said carefully.
“It certainly feels that way.”
“I said a lot of things I shouldn’t have last summer. I am sorry for that.”
“Why do I still get the feeling you’re not being completely honest with me?” Lois asked.
“What makes you say that?” Clark asked nervously, alternating his weight between his two feet.
“Either you know what I mean, or you don’t,” she said, feeling a boldness she had never felt before in any past relationships rush through her.
“I am being honest,” Clark replied carefully.
“And the confession at the park?” Lois challenged, arching an eyebrow at him. “That was… just a story?”
“Uh, yea, um…” He looked down, unable to keep eye contact with her as he mumbled a quick, ‘yes’ to her.
“I want the truth,” Lois repeated, stopping in front of him.
“Lois…” He looked up, biting his bottom lip.
“I’m tired.” She let out a low breath, “I am so sick and tired of walking on eggshells and trying to act like everything is fine. It’s not fine. It hasn’t been fine in months, and I think a lot of that has to do with the fact that you keep lying to me about a certain conversation we had a few months ago.” She tightened her jaw and whispered, “Am I getting warm?”
He was quiet for a long moment and looked back at her in disbelief. “I never realized you felt that way. I’m sorry.” He reached over to take her hand in his palm. She contemplated pulling back for a moment but dismissed it for now, enjoying the soft touch of his hand around hers.
“I just want my friend back. Whatever that looks like. I don’t care. I can’t sit here and pretend like everything is fine when there continues to be this wall… that’s never been there before.” She felt a hard lump in her throat as she looked back at him with uncertainty. “Am I crazy?”
“No,” he shook his head. “You’re right. Things haven’t been the same… We’ve both had a lot to work through. I guess I never realized I was pushing you away.” She was quiet, wondering silently if this was the final breaking point that would make or break their partnership or possibly what remained of their friendship. “Everything that happened this past summer. I lost my best friend. I guess I didn’t want to take a chance of losing her again.”
“Kinda hard to do that when you keep pushing me away,” Lois responded softly.
“You’re right.” He nodded, taking a breath.
“I don’t like Mayson,” Lois blurted out. “I think she’s clingy, and I don’t think she’s right for you.”
“Is this your expert opinion?” Clark asked with an amused expression.
“I also don’t like the fact that she’s putting my uncle’s case in jeopardy to do… whatever it is she’s trying to do.”
“Lois, it was a deposition.” Clark let out a heavy sigh.
“Just a deposition?” Lois challenged, arching her eyebrow at him. When he didn’t respond, she shrugged. “That’s what I thought. Look, I don’t like her. I especially don’t like the fact that she despises Superman – a friend of both of ours who helps protect this city and has rescued both of us more than once. I don’t like that she won’t return my uncle’s calls when he’s the victim here who is scared and doesn’t know what to do, and I especially don’t like the fact that I saw her leaving your apartment when I know he spent three hours trying to get someone from the DA’s office to give him some answers. I mean, really?”
“Okay,” Clark said calmly, placing a hand on her shoulder.
“Okay, what?” Lois asked, feeling a tear trickle down her cheek.
“Okay, I trust you,” Clark said softly, placing another hand on her other shoulder. “If you despise her that much then… experience tells me to trust your gut. We’ll look into the Intergang angle.”
Lois frowned. “Are you going to stop hating me?”
“I don’t hate you. I could never hate you,” Clark reassured her.
Lois bit her lower lip feeling as if the emotions she was holding back would knock her down and drown her right there in the elevator car. A single tear escaped her eye and trickled down her cheek. She let out a hoarse whimper and added with a heavy heart, “I think I might be in love with you.”
With that, she reached her hand over to release the emergency stop, refusing to look his way as the elevator hummed to life and stopped at the next floor. A crowd from the marketing department stepped on, and she found herself suddenly grateful for the intrusion as she pondered just how to process the confession that had escaped her lips moments ago.
Was that what this was?
The soft ping from the elevator reached her ears, and she watched with dismal disappointment as the elevator car emptied and looked over to see Clark standing in the corner with an uneasy expression on his face. She glanced at the panel where four more floors were left to go before they arrived on the lobby floor. The elevator doors closed, and the elevator hummed before being rudely halted with a tug of the emergency stop. Only this time it wasn’t her that pulled it.
Lois was quiet for a moment before she added cautiously, “They’re gonna call maintenance on this elevator.”
“Let them,” Clark said with a shrug, turning to face her.
“I don’t want to talk about it,” Lois said, turning her head away to avoid his questioning gaze.
“That’s a pretty big statement to just put out there,” Clark said carefully.
“You would know,” Lois found herself responding. “And I still don’t even know which version was the truth.”
“Version of what?” Clark asked.
“The confession of love at the park. The confession in front of the Planet. Who knows which one is real.” She shook her head.
“Lois…” Clark began to interrupt.
“I don’t want to talk about this anymore,” Lois cut him off.
“Lois…” He reached his hand over to cup her cheek and whispered, “You and I both know which confession was real.” Before she could press him further, his lips found hers in an electrical storm of pent up frustrations from the last few months. She let out a low moan as her hands moved to both sides of his face, exploring every inch of his face with her fingertips.
“I love you, Lois,” he murmured against her lips. His hand moved down the side of her face, outlining her neck and the frame of her face as his lips devoured hers. He cupped her cheek for a moment before running his hand through her hair. “I’ve always loved you.”
There it was. The Confession. She couldn’t hide from her feelings any longer any more than he could from his. No more running. No more hiding. No more lying to herself. No more...
The passion she’d felt from the time their lips first met moments ago multiplied tenfold as he poured his soul into the act of kissing her.
“Really?” Her hands buried themselves in his hair as his lips grew more and more insistent against hers.
“Really,” he whispered back, and it felt like a floodgate had opened. “I love you Lois Lane. I’m not going anywhere.”
Relief washed over her as she stared back at him, resting her forehead against his, feeling a mixture of joy and relief fill her mind as he held her to him. She caught a glimpse of the blinking red light on the elevator panel.
“As unbelievable as all of this is I think if we don’t release the emergency stop we’re going to have some uninvited guests come in here and end up in Perry’s office for the rest of the evening.”
“Oh, right!” Clark reached over to release the emergency stop and the elevator hummed to life. He then turned his attention back to Lois. “So…”
“How about some coffee?” he asked as the elevator car arrived on the lobby floor. “I know this great place… kinda homey. Offers great conversation along with a selection of your favorite blends… and less prying eyes.” He glanced around the lobby at the questioning gazes they were receiving from the maintenance guy standing by the elevator.
“Probably a good idea,” Lois agreed with a giggle. “Let’s get going, partner.” She let out a sigh, “See, now doesn’t it feel so much better not to lie to me?”
“Well, actually about that…”