Title: Man of Ink
Author: Jessi Untalented
Rating: PG-13?
Disclaimer: Not mine, yada yada yada.

Okay! So this is just a goofy little idea I got randomly while thinking about tattoos. I don't think it's all that well written, and I'm sure there are plenty of mistakes since I havn't had it BRed or anything.

But it's nearly 6am, I haven't gone to bed yet, and I just want to get this off of my chest for a bit. Maybe later I'll go back and fix things.

This takes place sometime around the middle of first season, I suppose. I've taken liberties with the public knowledge of kryptonite.

Man Of Ink

Two drinks ago he had realized this was a really bad idea.

It had seemed like a good idea at the time, as these things often do. It started as a perfectly innocent invitation from his Daily Planet coworkers. They went to the pub every other Friday to socialize and unwind after a demanding work week, and figured he would like to come along for once.

He usually would have politely declined their offer, but tonight had been different for a few reasons. He usually would have been busy with his Superman duties, making the rounds and ensuring safety for the citizens of Metropolis, but thanks to a sudden and unexpected exposure to kryptonite, he didn't have to worry about that tonight. Due to that same sudden and unexpected exposure to kryptonite, he wasn't in the highest of spirits. So an outing with his Planet friends seemed like just the thing to take his mind off his bleak mood and the cries for help he wouldn't be able to hear.

Besides, she was going, and that was always enough reason for him.

Lois.

His partner.

His friend.

The spring in his step.

The twinkle in his eye.

The air he breathed.

The woman who was currently, and quite contentedly, drinking him under the table.

He had known two drinks ago (or was it three now?) that he should have put a stop to this whole thing. Just one look at the smug expression on his adversary's face told him that he couldn't stop now, however. He was in this for the long run.

"Had enough, Clarkie?" Her question ended with a suspicious hiccup, her voice possibly just a little too high and a little too slurred.

He harrumphed, narrowed his eyes, and set another beer in front of her. Just because the room was beginning to spin didn't mean he was going to give up. It wasn't very long ago that he had finally won her respect, and he wasn't going to loose it now. She could tease him, taunt him, and even scoop him, but she wouldn't win this one. So what if he had never even been tipsy before? So what if alcohol had never even affected him before? He could handle this. He was a man. Heck, he was Superman. Even if he wasn't so super at the moment.

He had an inkling even at the beginning, when Lois and proudly declared she could out-drink him any day, that maybe this was a challenge he shouldn't stand up to. But who was he to disappoint? She obviously wanted a chance to prove herself, and maybe he could take a chance too. Maybe, for once, she would let him prove himself.

She eyed the beer sitting on the table in front of her then raised her head to give him a gaze so scrutinizing he actually squirmed in his chair. Obviously pleased with his discomfort, she smiled warmly and popped the top off of the bottle. "Whaddya say we raise the stakes a little, Clarkie?"

He glanced around the room from his perch on the teetering stool, momentarily willing his surroundings to stop tilting so he wouldn't feel so dizzy. Her question swam around in his brain for a while before he actually comprehended it, and he returned his gaze to her with a sly grin. "Whaddya have in mind?"

"Last drink!" she declared proudly, shooting her arm out so suddenly she almost fell off of her own stool. He reached out quickly to steady her, the empty bottles on the small table between them clanging and wobbling for a dangerous moment before settling again. Oblivious, she held up her index finger to signal that there was only one more drink to go, and would have gouged out his eye if it hadn't been for his glasses. She fumbled for a moment before her fingers wrapped around his tie and she tugged him closer across the table. "Last drink... and the loser has to do anything the winner wants!"

"Anything?" Clark asked dubiously, even in his swirling mind warning sirens were going off.

"Anything!" She said perkily, letting go of his tie to pat his cheek in a reassuring manner. "But just one anything! So you better make it good."

He sat back heavily on his stool and thought about it for a moment. The anything Lois told him to do could be... anything! That was a scary thought, pertaining to Lois. Lord only knew what crazy schemes she was already cooking up for him. But at the same time, there were a few "anythings" he would give his right arm and all his superpowers to have Lois do to...er... for him...

Not that he would take advantage of a situation such as this to get one of those things. He was a gentleman. He was Superman, after all.

Hey, that's right, he was Superman! He could see through anything (well, except for lead). He could hear conversations from a block away. He could bend steel with his bare hands. He could lift satellites into orbit. He could fly! He could certainly down a beer faster than the considerably smaller woman sitting across from him.

With a flick of his wrist, he popped the top off of his own beer and let it clink to the floor. He lifted the bottle up with a confident, ear-to-ear grin. "You're on!"

She lifted her own drink to tap against his in concession, hollered out the usual countdown from three, then tipped her bottle up and poured the liquid down her throat before he had even taken a swig, leaving him wide-eyed and slack-jawed in her wake.

"There!"

Her excited squeal snapped Clark's attention away from the feel of her arm wrapped around him as they stumbled down the sidewalk together, to the bright neon signs adorning the grime-darkened window of the tattoo parlor in the back of a nearby alley. He stared at it a moment, trying to make sense of her sudden enthusiasm for one of Metropolis' seediest hovels. "There?"

"There!" She repeated, this time curling her hand around his forearm and tugging him forward into the alley. "That's your anything... you're gonna get a tattoo!"

He froze, rooting himself against her attempts at getting him inside. He suddenly felt all too sober. "A tattoo?! Lo-is!"

She halted in front of him, her delighted expression turning into one of annoyance that she had to remind him of the bet they had made a few hours ago. "Are you backing out of our deal, Kent? Because I never took you for a liar."

"I'm not a liar!" A liar? Superman wasn't a liar. "I just... A tattoo?!"

"Yes, a tattoo, and I get to pick out the design," she stated firmly, giving him another tug in that direction. When he still didn't budge her features softened and he knew he was in real trouble now.

She let go of his arm and slid her hand along his shoulder, then downwards across his broad chest to grab his tie again. This time there was no table between them, and she was able to get him much closer. Pressing her body against his, her lips mere inches away from his own, she all but purred, "For me, Clark? You'll do it just for me, wont you?"

Oh, god. How did she affect him like this? The feel of her, the scent of her, the tantalizing closeness of her curves pressed against him. She clouded what little of his senses the alcohol had left unmarred. He would never be able to deny her of anything. Not when she was this close, not when she smelled so good, felt so good. "For you, Lois. Just for you."

And then she was gone, the loss of her warmth against him nearly stopping his heart as effectively as the beaming smile she gave him. Obviously satisfied she had convinced him, she turned and sashayed into the small, dimly-lit shop.

He had made the right choice, he was sure. Anything to see her so happy. He would tattoo his whole body if it made her smile like that again. He was sure, even as he entered the smoky, somewhat smelly parlor. He was sure, even as he was greeted with the unimpressed glares of the mean-looking patrons, any number of which he was sure could snap his neck with barely a thought. He was completely sure he had made the right choice...

...Until he joined Lois and saw the pattern she had already picked out for him. No one even seemed to notice his horrified look as he stared down at the familiar red and yellow 'S' shield she was already planning to get inked onto his bicep.

A Few Weeks Later

"Word is, this is the same group that held up that bank a couple weeks ago... the ones with kryptonite." The whisper between the rookie cops closest to Lois might have gone unheard by the rest of the press standing out front of the Metropolis Bank, but it hadn't escaped her attention.

Cold dread crept over her. Of course it was the same group with kryptonite! That's why Superman had been in there for nearly half an hour. They had all seen him stop numerous bank robberies. He would swoop in, tie the robbers up, and deliver them into police custody before they even knew he was there. It should never take him this long to get the job done.

She knew only one thing now, that she had to help him. She wasn't getting any information waiting outside of the police barricades, anyway, and she was getting tired of waiting for Clark to come back from his "urgent" trip to the bathroom. She was beginning to think her partner had a serious bladder condition.

With everyone's eyes on the main doors, it wasn't hard for Lois to sneak around to the alley behind the building. There was a door into the bank somewhere back here, she knew...

A-ha! With a triumphant smile she hurried towards the door, reaching out to the handle, when it suddenly opened of its own accord. A bright blue and red figure stumbled out and landed in a heap on the ground at her feet with a groan.

"Superman!" She gasped, immediately dropping down next to him and assessing his condition. He looked a little beaten up and a little woozy. There were a few bruises on his face and a gash across his right cheek, but apart from that and a few tears in his normally flawless suit nothing else seemed to be wrong. "Are you okay, Superman?"

He looked up at her for a moment, confusedly, as if trying to recognize her, then visibly relaxed. "Yes, Lois, I'm okay."

She breathed a sigh of relief and reached out to help him sit up. "So they are the same group as the last bank robbery? I'd hate to think more than one had kryptonite..."

"Yes, they're the same," he confirmed with a nod. He sat for a moment longer before standing up with a little help from her. "Luckily they don't seem too interested in anything but robbing banks and roughing me up a bit..."

He trailed off as he realized she wasn't paying attention to anything he was saying. He followed her gaze, down to the place where a tear in his suit exposed his upper arm, and the symbol there.

"Superman, why do you have the same tattoo as Clark...?"

-End-