A Typical Day at the Office (Lois's point of view, see Ch. 2 for this scene from Clark's perspective)
Her fingers skimmed the surface of the keyboard in front of her, but Lois wasn't actually typing anything. She was supposed to be writing tomorrow's headline story, but it wasn't happening. Nothing had happened today that she felt remotely inspired to share with the readers of The Daily Planet. Yes, she'd interviewed the man who crashed his car into the guardrail by the interstate. She'd also called to get details about the Metropolis contestant who was appearing on some new reality television cooking series. Neither story was going to change any lives.
Where was Clark? She hadn't seen him in the office in hours. He ought to be sitting at his desk across from her so that she could make him share in her frustration. Of course, he probably would just smile and give her some Smallville platitude. For all that he spent most of his time seeming twitchy and awkward, he never really seemed anxious about paper deadlines. He actually had an annoying habit of being reassuring. She heard the ding of the elevator and turned around to see him coming onto the floor. Finally! It didn't seem like The Planet was really all there without him.
"Clark, where have you been? There is apparently nothing going on in Metropolis today, and somehow Perry seems to think that I'm going to come up with some amazing headline out of nowhere. Does he think Pulitzer prize winning stories just drop out of the sky?" Lois turned back to her blank computer screen as Clark folded his jacked over his chair. It was true that perhaps she would like to see something… or someone… drop out of the sky.
"Hey Lois, nice to see you, too. How've you been today?" He was always so polite. What was the point? They were already talking about how the day was going. As Clark settled into his desk, he picked up his phone to check his messages. "I see you've texted me once or twice."
Lois was fully aware that she had sent a couple of messages to Clark's phone. The office wasn't the only thing that felt more complete with Clark around. "Smallville, the purpose in having one of those handy devices is that you can answer me even when you're not in the same room. It's living in the space age, isn't it?" Based on experience, she knew that Clark wouldn't remember to check his messages if they flashed across a billboard in front of him. Sometimes she wondered how he survived. Maybe those glasses just weren't thick enough.
"Did you need anything, Lois? None of these messages actually seem to ask a question." Clark set his phone back on the desk, and turned to look at her. While sometimes oblivious, she thought that maybe that was sarcasm, which was the closest Clark ever came to a biting remark. She really did want to know where he had spent the day, but if she stopped to figure it out now she would be wasting an opportunity to escape from a seriously boring headline.
"Clark," Lois answered with a brilliant smile, "I just thought that maybe you wanted a chance to write an amazing piece for tomorrow's paper! It just screamed 'Clark Kent,' and I even went ahead and did some of the leg work for you." With an encouraging nod, she passed a notebook across the desks to him.
He reached out for it, and for the briefest of moments his fingers brushed across hers. Out of nowhere she felt the touch like a brand. The heat seemed to run straight through her. For some inexplicable reason she felt the urge to keep her hand in his. Her eyes flew up to his face, but he hadn't seemed to notice the moment. Lois jerked her hand back, and he started reading the details on the cooking show contestant.
It wasn't the first time that contact with Clark had lit her up like the Empire State Building, but she wasn't willing to go there. She wasn't into the Farm Boy type, and even if she was, it wasn't going to happen. She may tease him on the regular about his Boy Scout routine, but in reality he was the best partner she'd ever worked with. In fact, he was the only partner that had ever lasted. For some reason people continually complained that she was demanding and difficult to work with. Was she supposed to be blamed for having high standards?
Not only was Clark a decent writer, he was easy to collaborate with and sometimes even made it worth sharing a byline. Also, he was good at correcting her spelling mistakes, which weren't exactly infrequent, without being a pain. In the end, she wasn't screwing up the longest functioning relationship she'd ever had because of a few random sparks.
"Gee, Lois. Thanks for the story. Are you sure you don't want to keep it for yourself?" He looked at her with innocent eyes, and Lois couldn't actually tell if he was serious or teasing her. No matter what he said, Clark always seemed so sincere. Did it make her a bad person to leave him with that headline? It was probably going to end up on the front page, after all, so it was okay, right? Right or wrong, there was no way she was keeping that story.
"No, you have at it." Whether he was kidding or not, Lois decided to make a run for it before he could hand it back over. She turned off her monitor and grabbed her purse, then pushed back from the desk. "Perry needs that ASAP if you don't mind." She stood up quickly and made a bee-line for the elevator.
Good stories didn't create themselves, well, actually, maybe they did. But they didn't do their own press. If she was going to find something worth writing about, she needed to start looking. Clark was way better at the home-town angle than she was anyway, so Perry was better off with Clark's take on the Metropolis home-chef turned possible reality show star. She needed to get out there on foot and find something she could sink her teeth into.
Turning as she entered the elevator, Lois slammed her hand out to keep the doors open.
"Oh, and Clark?"
"I figure I gave you a good bit of finished work on that story, so be a pal and make sure I can find my name on the byline."
"Oh, of course Lois. And thanks again!" Clark already seemed buried in the work. Still not sure if he was serious or not, Lois let the doors to the elevator close shut. There was no such thing as a slow night in Metropolis, and she was going to go find a real story. The night was young. Maybe she'd even find time to head up to the roof of her building and see if a certain hero was around to take a late night flight. There was a chance he'd even run across something today that Lois could use in a story.
Come to think of it, she never did figure out what Clark spent his day doing, but if it'd been important he'd have filled her in. She'd ask him again when she saw him tomorrow.
Continue to Ch. 2 to read this scene from Clark's point of view.