Lois laughed and shook her head in disbelief as she stepped onto the curb in front of the movie theater. She ran into him everywhere.
"Get stood up, Smallville?"
Clark turned and faced her with disdain clear in his expression. He had been standing alone near the curb facing the building when she walked up next to him. "Actually, I'm here with a girl."
Lois smirked. He had said girl… not date. "O-kay," she said lightly.
Clark's jaw tensed as he crossed his arms. "What about you? Are you hanging out with all your friends?" He turned his head to glance around. "Oh, wait. You came alone."
Lois lifted her jaw. "I'm meeting somebody… you know, when you have your own car, you can do that."
"Hey guys!" Chloe called as she walked up between them. She wrapped an arm around both; three tickets were hanging from her right hand. "I bought the tickets…" Chloe spoke quickly to avoid the fallout that she was sure was going to take place once Lois and Clark realized that the three of them were going to be hanging out that night. "…but the first one was sold out, so we're going to the 9:00 showing."
Lois raised an eyebrow at Clark.
Here with a girl? she silently challenged.
He returned with a forced smile and turned to face Chloe. "Sold out?"
"Yeah, I guess everyone wants to see a woman in tight leather kick ass… again," Chloe responded with a grin. She unhooked herself from her friends. "So, what do you say we go get something to eat?"
Seated at a booth at Bulldog's, a pool hall near the Met-U campus, Clark's head swiveled back and forth as he tried to follow the conversation the cousins were having on the other side of the table.
Just as their waitress returned with their drinks, Chloe's cell phone chirped.
"I'll be right back," she announced, jumping up from her seat and heading towards the front door.
Lois leaned back into the booth cushion and sipped her drink. Clark felt her gaze and meet it.
"So… you like chicks in leather?"
Clark's ears turned red. "Chloe picked it… The first movie was pretty good… lots of action." he stumbled.
Lois laughed at his discomfort. After a few seconds, Clark joined in. Her smile was contagious when genuine.
Chloe walked back to the table, finding both Lois and Clark looking at menus. "I really hate to do this," she began. "That was work. I have to go."
Lois looked up with a frown. "Kahn is really making you work for your money, isn't she? Poor baby."
Chloe smiled and perched on the seat next to Lois. "Yes she is," she pouted, milking her cousin's sympathy.
Lois's gaze narrowed, recognizing the tone in her voice.
"Can I borrow your car?"
Lois's eyebrows rose. "My car? You mean my new car? The car that will eventually become my home when I can't afford insurance and rent…"
Clark shook his head. "I don't think a car is considered new after you've had it for a year," he offered.
Lois sent him a hard glare before turning back to Chloe.
"What about the Ladybug?"
Chloe implemented her best puppy-dog look. "This is for a stakeout, Lo. Everyone recognizes my car. It'll blow my cover!" She grabbed one of Lois's hands. "This could be my big break."
"I thought the last time I helped you was for your big break."
Chloe shrugged meekly. The thing about breaks was there was always one bigger. "I'll fill it up with gas, I'll even wash it! Not a scratch, I promise!"
Clark picked up his menu to hide his smile. He knew Lois wouldn't be able to deny her cousin.
Lois released a deep sigh. "Chloe…"
"Please?" Chloe inserted.
Lois pulled the keys from her jacket pocket and held them aloft. "Not one scratch."
Chloe grinned and leaned in to kiss her.
"Here are the keys to my car," Chloe said, trading key rings with Lois. "And here are the movie tickets. No reason for you guys to not enjoy just because I have to work."
Clark's smile faded. "Uh… maybe I should come with you, Chloe. I bet you could use some company…"
"No!" Chloe exclaimed. "I mean, no," she repeated in a calmer voice. "Thank you, though. Hey, enjoy the movie! I call you both later."
Lois and Clark watched as she slipped through the aisles and disappeared out the front door.
Lois sighed and jumped up from the table, grabbing her jacket as she stood.
Clark's eye widened in bewilderment. "Where…?"
Lois dropped a few bills on the table to cover their drinks. "It looks like we're stuck here for a while… might as well have some fun," she told him with a smirk.
Clark had no choice but to follow as she darted away. When he caught up to her, she was chalking the end of a pool cue.
Her eyes narrowing seductively, she reached for another cue and tossed it to him. "You up for a challenge, Farm Boy?"
Lois laughed as Clark scratched on his break shot.
"Cheater," he grumbled as Lois retrieved the white ball and placed it back at the head of the table, setting up to start the game.
"I didn't do anything," Lois smiled innocently, winking at the girl that had brushed Clark when he was about to shoot. She would have to send her a drink.
Clark sighed and prepared to lose his fifth game in a row. Once Lois had control of the table, she was deadly accurate.
"Let's make it interesting," Lois said, leaning into strike position. She was peering at the colored balls through one eye. "I'll do mine, then yours. One. Corner pocket," she announced as she sent the white ball toward the mix.
She gave him a victorious smile as the named ball fell into its assigned pocket. "It's all in the way you hold the stick…" She moved to another position.
"I know how to play," Clark protested.
"Two ball. Side pocket, off the rail." Lois turned to face him, not even watching as her shot was executed perfectly. "Watching Lex Luthor play, and knowing how to play are two different things."
Clark perched on the edge of a stool, preparing for the lecture.
"Three. Left corner." Lois gave the stick a hard shove, twisting her wrist just as made contact with the cue ball. "Billiards, my dear Watson, is a Gentleman's game. Skill and Poise… Four. Right side, and Five, far right corner… Not brute strength. Gentle."
Clark rolled his eyes as the balls rolled to their pockets as if trained.
Lois noticed the expression. "Feeling left out? Tell you what, you call the next one."
Clark stood and studied the table. "Six. That corner," he said, pointing to the pocket nearest her current position.
The cue ball was in between the six ball and the pocket. It was an impossible shot.
Lois looked at him thoughtfully for a few seconds before getting into position. She hit the cue ball towards the rail, causing it to ricochet back towards the six ball, kissing it and sending it towards the correct pocket. As the six ball fell in, the white ball rolled into the opposite corner.
Lois walked over and pulled the white ball from the pocket and handed it to Clark. "Your turn."
Clark took a moment to size up the table, trying to find a good spot to aim for the seven. As he positioned his stick, he glanced around looking for any more of Lois's accomplices.
He grinned as the seven ball rolled into the side pocket.
Lois patted him on the back. "Nice shot. Too bad you didn't call it. Eight. Far corner." She pushed him out of the way with her hip and took position.
Clark released an amused chuckle as Lois continued to put the balls away with ease.
"As I was saying," she said, continuing to move around the table. "It takes finesse… Thirteen. Side pocket." She put the stick behind her back and shot. "Intelligence… Fourteen. Corner."
Clark blew a short breath.
"What the…?" Lois exclaimed as her ball suddenly moved off its path.
Clark smirked and looked at his watch. "Lois, we've got to go!"
"What?" she asked still studying the table in puzzlement.
"The movie," he said, taking the stick from her and placing them both on the table.
"Oh! Yeah, okay." She realized that time had slipped by her as they played. "Let's go."
As they made their way toward the exit, their waitress stopped Clark and handed him a plastic bag. His brow creased as he smelled the aroma coming from the Styrofoam containers. They had never gotten around to ordering.
"We didn't order…"
The waitress smiled. "Your friend did before she left. The blonde one? She asked me to pack it up for you."
"Oh." Clark looked for Lois but she had already stepped outside. He reached for his wallet, but the woman shook her head.
"It's already taken care of. Excuse me." She smiled and headed for one of her tables that needed attention.
Lois lifted the hood of Chloe's car and waved at the smoke that was rising from the engine area. Clark stood next to her with his hands in his pockets.
"It would break down in the middle of nowhere," she muttered, tempted to kick the tires of Chloe's precious bug. Why couldn't she have picked a restaurant closer to the theater, she wondered silently.
"So what do you think?"
Clark shrugged. "I don't know. My dad is the one who fixes stuff. I usually just hold stuff and hand it to him."
Lois shook her head, and leaned under the hood. "Useless," she muttered under her breath.
"What was that?"
Lois's mouth formed an "O". "Uh… I said 'you should see this…'" she covered.
Clark wasn't buying it. He grabbed her by the waist and pulled her from under the hood. He picked her up, his arms tight around her midriff. "It sounded more like useless," he said, mocking an annoyed tone. "I thought you liked it when I picked things up."
Lois squirmed. "Put me down."
"Or what?" he asked, walking toward the side of the road.
Lois leaned so she could look at his face over her shoulder. "Don't you dare. Clark… I swear, I will kill you…"
Clark had a feeling that if anyone could find a way to do just that, Lois would, but he was willing to tempt fate anyway. "You said to put you down," he said apologetically as he dropped her into a puddle.
Clark choked back a laugh as Lois stood fuming in dirty water up to her knees. She turned to glare at him.
"It was a joke," he protested with his hands up. "Not too funny, I guess."
Lois sucked on her teeth and climbed out of the ditch. Her expression suddenly shifted to amusement and she placed her hands on her hips.
Clark watched her warily. "You started it, you know… with that girl at the bar pinching my…"
"I know," Lois replied simply, pulling off her wet shoes.
"And then, you were showing off…" Clark rambled, taking a step backwards.
"Umm hmm," Lois mumbled, unclasping her jeans.
"What are you doing?" he asked, his voice jumping an octave.
Lois arched an eyebrow. "They're wet."
Clark cleared his throat as he tried to look anywhere but at the slow reveal of leg as she stepped out of her pants.
"Would you pop the trunk?" Lois asked wringing out the legs of her jeans.
Clark nodded, unable to form a coherent sentence and walked to the driver's side of the Beetle. He bent down and pulled the latch for the trunk release.
Lois shook her head as she sifted through the items in Chloe's trunk. Instead of the usual arsenal of weaponry and spy gear, the trunk held a pillow, a couple of sleeping bags, a small blanket, and a picnic basket filled with champagne and chocolates.
The girl was thorough, Lois thought. She had to give her that.
She pulled the blanket out and wrapped it around her waist like a bath towel. Choosing to ignore the rest of the stuff in the trunk, she threw her jeans inside and shut it.
She walked around to the passenger side of the car and slid inside. "We might as well eat," she called to Clark, who was still standing in the driver's side door.
"Yeah, okay," he agreed, getting into the car. He was still worried. She wouldn't let him off that easy.
Lois pulled the bag of food from the backseat, handing him one of the containers. She opened one of the Wet Wipe packages and cleaned off her hands. She then pulled some antibacterial soap from her purse. She tended to need that from time to time given the situations she got into.
When they opened their food containers, Lois reached over and took the pickles from Clark's burger. In turn, he stole her bacon slices.
Clark tried to focus on eating, attempting to ignore the fact that the split in Lois's blanket was revealing a lot of thigh.
"Im sor…" he began.
Lois cut him off with a raised hand. "Don't apologize," she instructed. "I'll let you know when you're sorry."
Clark laughed. He had a feeling that she would.
"So, when do we tell Chloe that all of her setups are to no avail?" he asked. Chloe had been subtly trying to play matchmaker for two months now… since the auction she had gotten Lois to take part in.
Lois turned to look at him with a slight smile playing at her lips. "I kind of want to see what else she'll think up. I mean, she sabotaged her own car to get us to break down… maybe we'll get a cruise by the time she gives up this whole 'Intervention' nonsense."
Clark sighed, but the grin remained on his face. While he wanted to go public with his and Lois's relationship, there was something special about being able to sneak away without the pressure of other people's expectations weighing on them. He had a feeling that it was that type of pressure that led to his unrealistic expectations when he was with Lana.
This time, with Lois, it felt… well, right.
Lois smiled. She had the uncanny ability to read his thoughts. She leaned over and placed a kiss on his lips, before returning to her fries.
Clark's grin threatened to split his face. The revelation to Chloe could wait a little longer.
"So what's wrong with the car?" he asked.
"Gas cap. Nothing major- I fixed it before you went Cave Man on me."
Clark flinched. He had hoped she had started to forget about that.
"So were not stranded?"
"No… but we're definitely not going to make that movie," Lois answered putting away the remnants of her meal.
"Are you disappointed that we won't be seeing Charlize in leather?" Lois asked, tilting her head to the side.
Clark let out an involuntary groan as her motion to face him caused her blanket to shift again. She laughed at his response.
Clark met her gaze. "No. I'm kind of partial to cotton anyway."
Lois smiled. "I thought so." She secured the blanket around her waist, leaving Clark only his imagination. "Date's over. Take me home."
Clark laughed and reached to start the ignition.
He wondered what Chloe had up her sleeves for the next weekend… whatever it was, it was all right with him.
A/N: Response to Divine Intervention Challenge #1: Chloe Sullivan Matchmaker. There are some other great ones over there, so check them out. Link's on my website