Thanks to Djinn for the beta.

About Farm Boys

by Athena Phoenix

I'm losing him.

Lois blinked, her eyes suddenly burning.

She had been typing the same sentence, she now realized, over and over for the past ten minutes. "There was no immediate comment from the Pentagon, but knowledgeable sources in Star Labs, a major contractor…"

Ten minutes. The same damn sentence.

I'm losing him.

She shut her eyes, wiped them with her sleeve.

I'm losing my Boy Scout. A bitter, cynical smile creased the right side of her mouth.

Maybe you deserve to lose him, came that horrible voice in her head, the one that had told her she and Clark would never work, could never work, that he was too cornball, too small-town, too goody-goody…

too good for me.

It hadn't happened overnight, she realized. They had been drifting apart for a while. At first, she had – surprise! – blamed him.The whole Justice Lords thing had made it easy to categorize him, file him away. Dangerous. Power hungry. High-handed.

Bull. It was as if… as if she couldn't switch off her reporter mode. Couldn't just talk to him, enjoy his company…

enjoy a damn picnic.

She had wondered, later, how on earth she could have become so jaded that being flown to the top of a bridge towercould have become an occasion for ridicule. Where the hell should he have taken me? Where could he have taken me that I wouldn't have thrown it in his face? A restaurant? Like I wouldn't have made a crack about his being staid. The movies? "Wow. The movies. I never would have thought of that, Smallville."

It's a habit. A habit I've gotten into. It's not what he does; it's anything he does.

Her eyes dropped to the floor, idly taking in the crumpled pieces of papers – receipts, memos. Kleenex.

Her face flushed as she remembered her whispered bravado on their wedding day – "Now you're mine, Smallville." He had smiled, his eyes flashing mischievously, his frame shuddering slightly as he had – no doubt – visualized all manner of games involving that little phrase, whispered in the dark…

And yet... Lois knew, just knew, that she had been less than stellar that first night. She had assumed that of course she was his first, and that of course he would be enraptured –no, overwhelmed by her womanhood, her wiles, her… "sophistication."

But for some reason – maybe because it had finally registered in her tough noggin that she was marrying Superman – it was she who had been tentative, shy. Had Clark been courting a sweet, demure woman, the archetypal farm girl who was the butt of so many of Lois's smug comments about "the simple life", such a performance might have been endearing. But coming from a woman whose entire seduction strategy had been based on amused condescension, it had been incongruous. She thought she could read his mind: Oh, is that why you acted all this time like you were doing me a favor?

He had made light of it, chuckled about her "getting the part". But there had been disappointment in his eyes – made all the sadder because she knew he wouldn't have cared how good a technical lover she was, had she made the whole thing less of a contest to begin with. And – it made her sick to think – maybe he'd had better? The way Diana looked at him sometimes, when she didn't realize Lois was watching… Lois was sure it was just her imagination. Most of the time, anyway.

An impossibly tall goddess, with a voice that makes me think of sex, wrapped in a glorified flag swimsuit, and… me. Some contrast.

I wonder if he still loves me.

"Mr. Kent, knowledgeable sources in the subconscious state that you have decided that Lois Lane Kent is just too much of a pain in the ass to put up with. That you consider her 'selfish, self-absorbed, self-righteous, self-involved, self-flagellating, etc.' Would you care to comment on these allegations, or are you too busy ogling Diana of Themyscira to care?"

What would he say?

Would it be stupid just to… ask?

She looked again at the screen, hit the Save button compulsively one more time, then made her decision.

The League communicator connected her instantly.

"L- um, Ms. Lane? Is something wrong?"

"Hello… Superman. Are you busy?"

She could sense him frowning in confusion. "N-no, not really. It's just, you know, monitor duty. Batman is off in the lab checking on… something, God knows what. Pretty boring, except Flash is teaching Diana how to play "God of War". She's really getting into it – didn't know Ancient Greek had so many bad words in it – at least that's what I think those words are. I hope she doesn't lose, for the sake of Wally's Playstation… Diana, for God's sake, it's just a game, all right?" He was laughing, but cut himself short when he picked up Lois's sob, too low for a human ear to hear.

"It's okay." Lois's voice was brittle. "I can call you back."

"Lois. Wha—"

She closed the communicator, cutting his voice off mid-word.

Seconds later, a low buzzing sound, a pop , and Superman materialized in a beam of light.

"Lois?" His voice sank to a whisper when he saw her, sitting at her desk, her hands covering her face. A flash of red, and she felt his hand touching her hair, slowly stroking it, parting her balled-up hands.

She looked up at him, blurrily, through tears, but was unable to speak.

He kissed a tear away from the corner of her eye, and a sad smile suddenly appeared on his face. "Yeah, we really ought to talk," he said, answering her unasked question.

The End (?)