This is for James, for his birfday. He's Sooper, so he's my fav'rit.

Semi-sequel. May wanna read Parallel Lives first, I dunno. I don't judge.

Standard disclaimers may apply. But only if they say please, and only if they ask in a grammatically correct manner.

Parallel Surprise

Lois kept pushing her husband towards the front door of their apartment (ok, she wasn't actually making any progress, but she was trying awful hard). Unfortunately, he knew her, and so he wasn't going without a fight. "It's a surprise! You'll like it!"

"I don't like your surprises, honey," he said in mock patience.

She gave his rump a nice pat. "Come on, don't be a mountain. Just pick up your feet and start walking towards the door. I promised you would be waiting down stairs so he wouldn't have to park."

Arms folded over his chest, Clark Kent rolled his eyes. "I have a really, really, REALLY bad feeling about this." However, he did allow himself to be directed towards the door. "And just who am I meeting?"

Grabbing his jacket, she thrust it at his chest. "It's a surprise!"

Clark arched an eyebrow. "So I'm meeting someone who's a surprise in order to get my surprise."

Lois shot him an innocent grin, then opened the door for him. "Yup. That'd be the long, and the short of it, Smallville. Down in the lobby. Mush."

Taking one step through the threshold, he paused. "This isn't going to be like last year, where an evil bald clown popped out of my cake, is it?"

"I had NOTHING to do with that clown! Just let it go!"

"Fine, fine."

As soon as he'd shuffled far enough out into the hall, Lois slammed the door on his face. Actually, she'd had a lot to do with the evil clown from another planet popping out of his birthday cake. But that had been because she had been looking for a unique birthday present for the guy who had everything, but how was SHE supposed to know that the Martian artifact was really an ancient teleportation device?

And why did he always suspect HER of wrong-doing in these situations, anyway?

Watching the cars creep past in mid-afternoon traffic, Clark wondered what he was supposed to be waiting for. With any luck, Lois had found a device to bring aliens other dimensions, instead of just planets, to shake up his party.

Never a dull moment, that was for sure.

A black car stopped in front of the apartment building, complete disregard for how he was holding up traffic. Oh no. She didn't.

Before even taking a little x-ray peek into the car, he knew it was Bruce. Only Lois could get Bruce into Metropolis.

Maybe he should have just asked for another evil clown.

"Get in," Bruce ordered in a conversational tone, the windows still rolled up.

Wincing at the horns beeping behind them, he did as he was told. "I don't know what Lois told you--"

"We are going to have FUN today," Bruce said lightly, turning at the next intersection.

Clark slouched in his seat, overcome by worry mixed with dread. Lois had done it again. "Should I check for pods now, or later?" he muttered to himself.

An evil smile spread in a thin line across Bruce's face. Great. Bruce and Lois conspiring on anything was like getting two of the universe's masterminds together for a brainstorming session. "Today, we're going to learn all about parallel parking."

When Clark came back through the apartment door at dusk, the top two buttons of his shirt were undone, his coat was being murdered in his death grip, and his curling locks of mussed hair were sticking straight up.

The lights were out, Lois was sitting on the sofa, waiting patiently for him. "Next year, can I just have another demonic clown?"

She laughed at him. "But you know how to parallel park now, don't you?"

He tossed the jacket onto the arm of the couch. "Yeah. No x-ray vision, no help, three backups and no hitting the curb. If the fate of the world ever depends on my ability to parallel park, it's a slam dunk. How in the WORLD did Dick learn how to drive with that man, without becoming a neurotic mess? I want my cake now."

Lois patted the sofa next to her. "Why don't we have a couple of minutes together."

"Honey—Bruce. Car. Alone. Five hours. Cake. Milk. Now."

Her head tilted back, and an evil laugh came out of her mouth. "God, I'm SO good."

Just then, the light flipped on, and twelve people popped out from behind several pieces of furniture. "SURPRISE!" Ollie and Carter were behind the same sofa and no blood had been spilled, which was a little weird, especially with Dinah standing alone behind a huge urn Lois had insisted the dining room needed just last week.

Karen, Diana and Zatanna were behind the island in the kitchen, Kon and Kara were shaking off the edge of the dining room table cloth, he'd be talking to them later.

Dick Grayson, Wally West and J'onn practically fell out of the bathroom all at the same time, and his parents casually exited his den.

Of course, Bruce managed to beat him up here, and stepped from behind the thick red drapes that covered the sliding glass door to the patio.

Lois' grin was almost maniacal.

Clark moaned, because he knew what was coming next: The dance.

Sure enough, Lois hopped off the couch and did her little dance of triumph, shaking her backside at him. "I did it, I did it," she sang to herself. "I got you, I got you!"

Wally and Karen were trying not to laugh. Carter and Ollie knew better. They just folded their arms over their chests, knowing it was best to let Lois get it out of her system.

"I got you, and there's nothing you can do about it!"

And sure enough, she had. Of course, she'd had to emotionally wear him out with five hours of Bruce's ornery, exacting, demanding instruction before he'd walk into the apartment and neither suspect nor care that she was plotting something more diabolical and wouldn't bother concentrating on any input he might be receiving from his superior senses that may confirm that.

"I got you..."

Wally was wiping tears from his eyes, and eventually couldn't hold it back. Lois was just not going to stop dancing. "She got you good. And no one said Dick wasn't neurotic, BTW." He winked at his best pal.

His mom was already opening the box of cake, and Lois still wasn't done with her dance. Not only that, but she'd never ever ever let him live this down.

Clark smiled at his "work" friends, then grabbed his wife's shoulders, and tried to keep her from bobbing up and down. "Yes, honey. I admit it. You got me. I was surprised. You whipped me, fair and square."

Lois stopped dead in her tracks. "Dammit, Smallville. Why'd you have to take the fun out of it?"