A little while later, Lois shuffled back to the door to let Oliver in. He was loaded down with bags, and made a second trip down to his car to get the rest before Lois could stop him.
"Okay." Oliver rummaged through one of the bags. "Here, for warding off more bad luck." He handed Lois a furry key ring and she grimaced. Oliver laughed at her expression. "It's a rabbit's foot."
"I know what it is." Lois looked up at him. "Why is it green?"
"They dyed it that color. Come on, play along." He turned back to the bags. "I have stuff for lunch and the makings of the Queen family's famous chili…"
"I don't eat chili." Lois groused, sidling over a little closer to Oliver. He turned and shook his head, his eyes teasing.
"And you wonder why you have bad luck. Today, you eat chili." He nodded matter of factly. "Moving on...there's rice pudding here someplace, and video games…"
"Rice Pudding?" Lois pushed into one of the bags, and Oliver snatched it away.
"Nothing doing. Scram. Oh, wait." He reached into another bag and pulled out a styrofoam to go cup. "Black eyed peas."
"Those are only good luck on New Years Day." Lois protested, and Oliver handed her the cup, fishing a white plastic spoon out too.
"Good luck whenever you need it, and you NEED it today, don't you?" He replied simply. "Why are you making this difficult?"
Lois scowled and took the cup. "Fine. Why can't chocolate be lucky?"
"Aww." Oliver pouted a little and then laughed. "Go put your movie on." Lois turned and walked out into her living room, settling down on her couch and turning the movie back on. The sounds of Oliver fussing around her kitchen were comforting, and Lois had to smile. She opened the container of peas and the smell, redolent of smoked ham, made her mouth water.
"Where did you find black eyed peas?" Lois asked, and Oliver shrugged, putting
what looked suspiciously like half a chocolate cake in her refrigerator, along with a block of cheese and sour cream. He'd already unloaded a jug of lemonade, a bottle of some kind of soda, milk and salad things into it. Two large onions and chop meat sat on the counter next to cans of chopped tomatoes and bundles of fresh herbs and a large clove of garlic. A bag of actual rice was on the table, and Lois wondered how exactly Oliver planned to cook all of that in her barely efficient kitchen.
"Have you ever actually gone to your local grocery store? This is deplorable." He replied, shaking his head at the emptiness of her refrigerator. "Bottled water, nail polish and an orange." Oliver grabbed the chili ingredients and put them in the refrigerator too.
"I eat breakfast downstairs. Mrs. Kent likes to feed me, too." Lois took a spoonful of the peas and chewed it thoughtfully, savoring the saltiness of them. "These are good."
"Of course they're good." Oliver rolled up all the white bags and put them under Lois' sink. He grabbed a brown bag that read "Fordmans" and winked. "I'll be right back."
Disappearing into her bathroom, it only took a minute for Oliver to reappear, his white dress shirt and brown suede sports coat had been replaced with a deep green sleeved baseball jersey that made him look like a college kid. He'd taken off his boots too, and Lois smiled to see his pristine white socks. "Okay. I'm making popcorn and I'll be right back."
"You look comfortable." Lois said, and Oliver nodded. "You look like you're planning to stay all day."
"I am." Oliver replied ambiguously, getting out Lois' largest pot and giving it a quick rinse in the sink. "Mrs. Kent was nice enough to give me some bacon grease…"
"What?" Lois set her peas down and stomped into the kitchen. "There's microwave popcorn in the cabinet…and wait Lana left me pots?"
Oliver put his hands on Lois' shoulders and turned her around. "Go. Watch. Your. Movie. You're going to have to trust me."
"I'll trust you, but when I don't fit into my clothes tomorrow, you're in big trouble." Lois sulked and Oliver nodded, gently pushing her out of the room.
"Yeah, I'm really worried about that. See how concerned I am." He laughed and walked back to the stove. "So, Friday the 13th always an issue for you?" The scent of the melting bacon grease filled the apartment and Lois felt like she'd been transported to Martha Kent's kitchen on a Sunday morning.
"Yes." Lois nodded, stirring her black eyed peas, while Oliver dropped a large spoonful of butter into the pot and stirred it while it melted. "I thought I'd outgrown it."
"Uh-huh." Oliver poured the unpopped kernels into the melted butter and grease, liberally sprinkled them with salt and covered the pot, giving it a shake. "It's just a superstition, you know."
"A superstition that destroyed me today." Lois replied and Oliver shook his head.
"You needed a day off. That's all. All the rest of it came from being stressed out." The corn had begun to pop, and Lois sighed, sniffing the air happily. "Finish your peas."
"Right." Lois took a spoonful of the peas and chewed them. "So you had nothing else to do today? No corporations to raid or anything? No polo games or other things billionaires do on Fridays?"
"I cleared my schedule." Oliver shook the pot, which had been completely filled with popcorn. "Besides, you were so pathetic on the phone earlier. What kind of Robin Hood would I be if I left Maid Marian in distress?"
"Oh." Lois smiled into her peas, and then shrugged. "It would have gone with the theme of the day. It's not "Murphy's Law" around here, you know, it's Lane's Law."
"Really?" Oliver was dumping the popcorn into a paper bag that he'd folded the edges down on to make a bowl of. "Lane's Law. 'What can go wrong, will go wrong?"
"Yes." Lois replied. "Exactly."
"Huh." Oliver nodded, pouring himself and Lois a glass of lemonade each. "You should plan things backwards or something. Plan to do things wrong."
Lois set her cup down and stared at Oliver. "And what does that do?"
"Planning to do things wrong means – if what can go wrong will – that you'd be doing things right most of the time then. He padded over to the couch, handed Lois the popcorn and sat down on the couch. "Okay, bring on the chick flicks."
"You're really serious about staying with me all day in my Friday the 13th exile?" Lois asked and Oliver nodded, sitting back on the couch, and stretching his legs.
"You better believe it. I'm making chili, and in an hour you're going to throw salt over your shoulder. It's going to be great." He stretched his arms out on the back of the couch, and Lois shifted over shyly until she was beside him. Oliver said nothing, but he smiled as Lois snuggled in beside him, covering them both with a knitted comforter that she'd inherited from her grandmother. "Oh." Oliver reached into his pocket and pulled out a poptop from a can. "This is yours."
Lois took it, and looked at it. "Why are you giving me this?"
"It's from my unlucky bow shot the other night. I snagged the poptop instead of the whole can." Oliver said, looking at the television, where Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks were sparring over a large turkey. "Remember? You said if I hit the can, you'd let me kiss you."
Lois closed her hand around the little piece of aluminum and smiled. "Right. And you did. So, not so unlucky, except you didn't get kissed."
"I know." Oliver nodded, putting out his bottom lip a little, as if giving the matter serious thought. "But you said aim higher. I agree with you. I thought there should be more involved in a first kiss than hitting a can with an arrow." He rolled his head toward her on the back of the couch. "How'm I doing?" He didn't grin, but his eyes danced with good humor, and Lois felt the urge to kiss Oliver nearly overwhelming.
"Not bad. For a start." Lois grinned, and settled her head on his shoulder. "I'll let you know for sure later. After chili."
"You've got a deal." Oliver nodded, putting his arm around her, loving the feel of Lois beside him.
"Clark, I don't know, Lois didn't sound very good, and you teasing her isn't going to make matters any better." Chloe objected as Clark ascended the steps toward Lois' apartment, his mother's large dutch oven filled with apple dumplings, Lois' favorite. It was nearly five o'clock and Martha Kent had sent her son and Chloe over to the Talon to check on Lois and deliver her feel good offering as well as possibly shake Lois from her self imposed exile.
"I'm not going to tease her, Chloe." Clark grinned. "I'm giving her the food Mom sent and telling her we found her car. That's it. Then we go, the Planetarium awaits." He sniffed the air. "Something smells great."
"It does. Is that chili?" Chloe smiled, her forehead creased in the lines that meant she was puzzling something out. "I noticed a very expensive car outside, Clark. If Lois has company…"
"We need to knock and find out who it is." Clark said agreeably, and Chloe began to speak and then shook her head. She gestured toward the door, grinning broadly. Clark knocked twice and the door opened. Lois, looking bright eyed and contented waved them in.
"Hi, cousin, Smallville. Oliver and I were just getting ready to watch "Elizabethtown". Want to join us?" She asked, taking the pot of apple dumplings from Clark gratefully. "OOH…I love your mom's dumplings."
"Yeah." Oliver winked at Clark. "Besides, you just gave her good luck, coming into her house."
"I did?" Clark asked, and Oliver nodded.
"Inviting a dark haired man into your home is always good luck." Oliver told him, and Clark's eyes widened, remembering the conversation he and Oliver had earlier that day, while Martha had been scooping bacon fat into a cup for Oliver to bring here. Oliver's day had been engineered to restore Lois' lost luck, while Clark went on a search for her car. She certainly seemed happy, and Clark had to give Oliver credit for pulling Lois out of the grumpy spiral she was headed in.
"Right." Clark grinned and bowed a little in Lois' direction. "Glad to help. What's for dinner?"
"Chili, and rice. Oliver made enough for an army…or just you." Lois eyed Clark. "If you're staying."
"We're staying." Chloe replied, grinning broadly. "Is there stuff for salad?" Oliver nodded and Chloe giggled a little. "Okay, I'll make salad. This is fun. Clark's got good news for you, Lois." Chloe nodded at Clark and he rolled his eyes at her. So much for the Metropolis Planetarium laser show, again.
"I doubt Smallville could tell me anything that would be considered good news." Lois replied dramatically. "What?"
"I found your car." Clark said, and Lois opened her eyes wide, her mouth open in shock. "By the Hobart farm. No damage done. The sheriff said it looks like kids took it for joyriding, but they're going to search it for prints just in case."
"I can't believe it!" Lois squealed, throwing herself at Clark and hugging him fiercely. She turned and smiled at Oliver brightly, as Clark quickly released her. "You did it."
"I've been here the whole time…Clark found your car." Oliver stood, and walked up to Lois, taking her hand in his. "I've been here helping you with your luck. How do you feel now?"
Lois looked around at her cousin and their friends. "I feel lucky." She looked up at Oliver and smiled. "Thank you."
"You're welcome." Oliver brought her hand to his lips. "My lady."
After Clark and Chloe left, most of Mrs. Kent's apple dumplings gone and the rest of the kitchen debris had been cleaned up, Oliver and Lois were back on Lois' couch. Chloe had gathered her things to stay out at Clark's house that night, and everything was quiet, except for the television. They were watching the last movie of Lois' Friday the 13th ' marathon, and Oliver had smiled at the title. "His Girl Friday." It would be a long time before he'd not think of Lois whenever he saw that movie, but tonight, all that mattered was that she'd rallied from her early morning fiasco, and that they were together.
Lois sat beside Oliver, twirling her green rabbit foot key ring on one hand thoughtfully while they watched the movie. Having him there felt very normal and right, and Lois stopped twirling her key ring and snuggled closer, resting her head on his shoulder and letting her eyes drift shut peacefully. They fluttered open again, and Lois looked up at Oliver who was watching the black and white movie intently, a small smile playing on his lips at Rosalind Russell's razor sharp and lighting quick repartee with Cary Grant.
"Were you really born on Friday the 13th?" Lois asked and Oliver nodded.
"Yes. Friday, June 13th . 1980. Want to see my driver's license?" Oliver made to reach into his pocket and Lois stopped him. She looked up at him again, and Oliver was smiling down at her. "What?" He asked, his voice soft, and for the first time, not even remotely teasing.
"Your mother was right. You are lucky." Lois said, leaning forward to kiss Oliver soundly. He pulled her closer and kissed her back as Rosalind Russell and Cary Grant taunted each other on the tv. The kiss broke and Lois settled her head on his chest and drifted off to sleep, smiling. Oliver looked down at her and smiled, too, whispering a reply as Lois sank a little more deeply asleep.
"I am now, My Lady. I am now."