By Melissa L. Dore (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Summary: As she cuddles with her cat, Elroy, Lois recalls Clark entertaining the newsroom with his account of Superman vs. the washing machine. Seems Superman isn't so super when it comes to laundry. :-)
Lois flopped on her couch. She couldn't stop giggling. Clark's pink shirts! They were starting to fade now, but everyone grinned when he wore them to work. That usually meant Perry had kept them so busy there was no time to do laundry. So, out came the pink shirts.
Elroy jumped on Lois's lap, curious as to why Mom had that silly look on her face, while his dinner plate was empty. But then, Mom was warm…and she was petting him.. purrrrrrr.
Lois felt Elroy settle in on her chest. His purring motor was in full swing, and she could feel his purrs relaxing her muscles.
"Umm, who needs an electronic massager when a cat does a better job?"
As Lois relaxed, she remembered the first time Clark wore one of his pink shirts. They were bright pink then, and when Clark entered the newsroom, everyone's jaw dropped.
Perry walked out of his office, saw Clark's shirt and rumbled, "Great Shades!". That started the snickering and the passing of e-mail messages through out the newsroom.
Lois thought Clark took the ribbing very well. Finally Jimmy got up the nerve to ask:
"Ah, CK? Why are you wearing a pink shirt? Is it for a stake out in a retro '80's club?"
Clark looked up from his computer.
"No, Jimmy. It's just that I didn't have time last night to do laundry, and all I had was this shirt, and three others just like it."
Lois jumped into the fray.
"And why do you have four bright pink shirts?"
"Superman did the laundry."
"Say what!", hooted Jimmy.
Clark leaned back in his chair, and explained.
"Remember that whole fiasco with Top Copy? When they found Superman's extra suits in my closet? Well, as he can't just stroll into a laundry mat, and bombs do stain, I offered him the use of my washer and dryer."
Clark shifted in his chair.
"Well, I was working on a hot story a couple of weeks ago, and didn't have a chance to do my own laundry. Superman flew in and asked if he could do a couple of loads. I said, "Go ahead." and went back to working on my story.
"I heard him throw his extra suits in the machine, and then he must have seen my pile of laundry.
"'Clark', he said. "How about I wash your clothes as well? It's a slow night, and you've been kind enough to let me use your machines."
"'OK', I said.
"That was the last I thought of it. I heard him humming, and he asked to use my shower, something about a sea rescue and the oil was adhering to his skin. He promised to clean up the oil, so I said go ahead.
"He did two loads. It was after the second load I heard a quiet 'whoops'.
"Superman came out of the laundry room with his hands behind his back.
" 'Ummm, Clark?', he mumbled. 'I'm sorry about your shirts.'
"That got my head out of my story. 'Shirts? What about them?', I asked warily.
"With that, Superman pulled his hands out from behind his back. In one hand was a wet cape, in the other, my white oxfords, now bright pink. He was really embarrassed, mumbling about how he didn't know that his cape would run, and he forgot about separating colors and whites. He tried to use a light heat vision on one of the shirts, in hopes of vaporizing the dye, but all it did was burn a whole in the shirt."
"That's why I have pink shirts."
Clark had looked around the room. Lois and the others sat in silence. Superman didn't know how to do laundry. It seemed… strange. He could save a planet, but not Clark's shirts.
Lois started laughing. Everyone did, including Clark.
It just seem to make Superman a little more human.
Elroy's kneading of her chest brought Lois back to the present. She looked down on her oversized pear shaped friend.
"You can knead your paws Elroy, but not there. OK?", Lois said as she moved her cat's paws.
Elroy gave up kneading and stretched out on Lois again, his body covering her entire torso. Again he started to purr.
"Elroy, what ? You don't want food? This is a first!"
Elroy looked her in the face, and snuggled in. Lois, who's feet where still aching, rubbed his head absently, and soon followed him into dreamland.
Lois looked at Clark. Why was he clutching that duffel bag so nervously? It was wiggling! She opened her mouth, but no words came out.
They were sitting at a round outdoor table. The bag was between them, it was still squirming. Lois and Clark just stared at it. It just bulged and wiggled. Finally the zipper started to peel open. A kitten popped its head out.
Then another kitten, and another and another, until it seemed the whole area was filling with kittens! Calicos, tabbies, tuxedos, and solids. All popping out of the duffel bag. There must be at least 50 or 60 cute little kittens.
All of them start playing with Lois and Clark's feet, but Clark is still watching the duffel bag. The kittens are playing on it, and are trying to drag something out of it. Clark keeps trying to stuff it back into the bag, but to no avail.
Finally, the kittens drag out a huge piece of red cloth with a bit of yellow on it. All the kittens grab an edge and zoom the cloth down to the lake. Lois tries to stop them, because the kittens can't swim, but it's too late.
The kitten's zoom into the air with the cape flapping behind them. Lois just stands and stares. She looks at Clark. Clark is watching the cape fly out of sight. Slowly he looks at Lois with apprehension and mouths the words, "sorry".
Lois walks over to Clark and hugs him, at which point they start kissing, and Clark's lips slide over to her ear and he starts to…snore?!?
Lois's eyes fly open. She's in her apartment, and there's Elroy, snoring in her ear. Elroy senses her wakened state and does the obvious, demands his dinner.
Groggily getting to her feet, Lois wanders over to the kitchen, and makes Elroy his meal. As he eats, Lois tries to remember her dream…
Wasn't something about letting the cat out of the bag?