Title: On and Under
Sheets of White This won't be as
descriptive as some of my other work, simply due to the fact that
there are more characters. There's much more dialog too.
Please tell me how it comes across because I'm still very wary of
using too much of it.
Summary: Jimmy invites Clark to go on vacation with him and Chloe. Chloe invites Lois along. Steamy goodness ensues.
This won't be as descriptive as some of my other work, simply due to the fact that there are more characters.
There's much more dialog too.
Please tell me how it comes across because I'm still very wary of
using too much of it.
Clark pushed the button on the machine and waited for the coffee to fall. He had slipped a few quarters in, but it seemed to be taking slower than normal. The basement of the Daily Planet was almost empty. He was waiting for Chloe, but she was out at the moment.
Turning around, he greeted Jimmy warmly. "Hey Jimmy." He shook the man's hand. It was strange, ever since Lex and Lana's wedding both he and the photographer had become good friends. Jimmy had to first get over the jealousy towards him, but in do time that had occurred. It made him happy that Chloe had found someone who really loved her the way she deserved. "Do you know if Chloe should be back soon?" He asked.
"She should be, but she had some things to take care of." Jimmy replied.
Clark nodded. An awkward silence settled over them as he finally saw the coffee enter the paper cup. Sighing in relief he grabbed the coffee and took a wary sip. "So?" He said a second later.
"So." Jimmy responded, rocking back and forth on his feet in uneasiness. "Clark?"
"Yeah?" He could tell the man was nervous, scared even. "Something wrong Jimmy?
"Well," Jimmy began, rubbing the back of his neck with his hand. "I know we've had our differences, but I think we've become pretty good friends."
"And?" Clark asked wearily. Something about the man's tone of voice had him worried. "If this is about Chloe, I've told a number of times that we're just good friends. I would never impose on your relationship. I-."
Jimmy cut him off as he laughed a little. "No C.K. It has nothing to with that. Though, it's reassuring to hear." He smiled and continued. "Actually, I was wondering what you were up to next week?"
Clark frowned and looked at the photographer. "The usual I think, farm work. Why?" He frowned even deeper as Jimmy continued to rub the back of his neck nervously. "Something wrong Jimmy?" He asked seriously.
"No, no." Jimmy replied quickly. "It's just well, I uh-well Chloe and I are going on vacation."
"That's great." Clark exclaimed. "I hope you have a great time."
Jimmy fidgeted nervously in front of the large man, his eyes falling to the floor as he finally made up his mind. "That's the thing you see, we want to have fun, but Chloe insists that we invite another couple to go with us."
Clark's eyebrows shot up in surprise. "So you're asking…" He let his words trail off, his mind still wrapping around the idea. "I don't have a girlfriend Jimmy. I don't think I'm the person you're looking for." He pushed himself past the smaller man as he went towards Chloe's desk.
Jimmy followed after him pleading. "Come on Clark, Chloe and I don't know any other couples, but we each decided to ask a friend if they would go with us."
He sat in Chloe's chair and leaned back. "I appreciate the offer, but come on Jimmy, you know full well who Chloe is going to ask to come with you. I don't know if I could take a whole week with that woman. I'm liable to strangle her on the way there." He rubbed his hands together in a defense gesture.
"Well," Jimmy began. "Lois isn't that bad." He said with his most pleading tone of voice.
Clark sighed heavily as he leaned forward and rested his elbows on the desk in front of him. "I'll agree, Lois isn't that bad, but only in small doses." He quickly said, still trying to find a solid reason not to go. "A whole week would either give me a heart attack or land me in jail for attempted murder." He chuckled, resting his head in his hands.
Jimmy couldn't help but laugh at his larger friend. "Come on Clark, just come. Chloe won't come to Aspen unless we both take a friend." He was pleading once again.
"Aspen?" Clark asked wearily.
"Yeah C.K. Ski trip to aspen." He exclaimed excitedly.
Clark groaned as he fell back into the chair and leaned on it heavily. Rubbing his eyes with the back of his hands, he let them fall, dangling down to the floor. "Fine, I'll go, but you or Chloe are going to have to sit between Lois and I on the plane or we'll be tossed off by airport security."
"Actually." Jimmy said out the side of his mouth.
Sitting up in the chair, Clark glared at him. "Please tell me we're not driving?" He asked with wide eyes.
"Actually." Jimmy said again.
"Quit saying that." Clark replied, falling back in the chair in exasperation.
"It's only a twelve hour drive." Jimmy said in return, as if it was another reason. "I'll even let you sit in the front of rental car."
"Rental car?" Clark asked.
"Chloe didn't think she could squeeze four people in her bug." Jimmy replied with a sly smile.
Clark nodded numbly. Why did he agree? He asked himself. Did he have a death wish? No, he was fed up with Smallville and he knew it. It was good idea to get out of the state for a while so that he could focus on getting some relaxation. God, how badly he needed a week of relaxation. "I can't ski." He said suddenly, looking up from his sitting position to watch Jimmy grin wildly.
"Me either, but Chloe said she would teach me. Maybe she'll give you a few pointers."
He shook his head in frustration. "I know Chloe will, but its Lois I'm worried about. That woman knows how to ski, and she's going to make endless sport of me."
"Come on C.K. It can't be that bad?" He said with a soft smile, trying to lighten the mood.
"You have no idea what you've gotten yourself into." Clark said, looking at his smaller friend. "This is going to be fun for both you and Chloe, but this is going to be torture for me. A whole week around that woman, god, just kill me now." He said in finality, looking to the roof.
"What woman?" Chloe asked, walking up to her desk and dropping her purse on it. She quickly kissed Jimmy hello and stood beside him with her arm wrapped around his waist. "So I'm guessing Clark has decided to go on vacation with us?" She asked with a tight smile.
"Yep." Jimmy replied with cheery voice. "It seems that he is going to have a problem with our other guest though." He almost laughed, but held it back after looking at the death glare Clark had directed at him.
"Lana?" Chloe asked with a chuckle.
Clarks head shot up in surprise, his knees banging on the bottom of her desk and he got to his feet. He feigned pain and rubbed his knees. "You invited Lana?" He asked in complete shock.
Chloe laughed through her wide smile. "No, but you see, it could be worse."
With a grunt of annoyance, he walked from behind her desk and threw his still half filled cup of coffee in the trash. It had gone cold. "Very funny Chloe." He said as he walked by both of them and towards the stairs.
"Clark!" Chloe called out.
"What?" Clark asked, turning around as he went up the first step.
"Have your things packed and ready for nine tomorrow morning." she finished, her smile even wider than before.
"Tomorrow?" He asked in complete surprise.
"Yeah! Tomorrow!" She said with emphasis.
Clark just shook his head and walked up the remaining steps, all the while muttering to himself that he was heading for his death bed.
"I think it's a wonderful idea." Martha said with a smile. "You need a vacation." Her eyes followed her son as he packed his clothes into a bag. She stood at the doorway of his bedroom as he franticly searched for his boxers. "They're in the laundry room." She said a second later, walking into the room to help him. "You don't leave until tomorrow morning honey, why are you so jumpy?"
Clark threw his hands in the air and gave up. "Lois!" he exclaimed in a heated hurry.
"Lois?" Martha answered, one eyebrow rising slightly. "What about Lois?"
He had moved past his shouting and was searching through his closet for other clothes. "Isn't it obvious?" He asked, not bothering to turn to talk to his mother.
"Clark?" She asked tenderly, concerned about his present attitude.
He grabbed all his jeans and stuffed them into the bag. "What?" He asked, finally unable to take his mother's stare.
"What's wrong?" She asked.
Clark shrugged, but answered. "We're going to kill each other. Ever since that day," He saw his mother's confused look. "and you know what day I mean." He said with authority. "We've been at each others throats even more."
"Why do you think that is?" Martha asked, standing up and helping him at the closet.
"I don't know mom." He said in defeat, unable to find what he was looking for.
She smiled as she moved him out of the way and found his nicer clothes. Fishing out a few dress shirts and a pair of black slacks, she opened the shirt and draped the pants over the hanger. "I think she's still having trouble coming to grips with what happened on Valentines Day." She said with a sad smile. Holding the hanger with the shirts and the slacks in one hand, she reached with her other into the back of the closet and pulled out his black leather jacket.
Clark didn't know what to say really. In fact, the more he thought about the more he worried he was getting about the trip. "I don't think I've really thought back on it that much."
Martha walked over to his bag and put his jacket in it. "That's because you've had Lana on your mind." She neatly set his dressier clothes on the bed so they wouldn't wrinkle.
"I know." Clark replied softly, as if he had been defeated. "I just can't help but feeling selfish about it. I keep thinking that I should have been there for Lois. I know she didn't take it very well."
"Come on honey, do you think that Lois would be affected that dramatically?"
Clark sighed as he watched his mother walk past him again to go rooting through his closet. "Normally no, but the way she acted in the loft after, well, it has me worried."
Martha smiled again as she lifted out his black motorcycle boots and handed them to him.
A sour expression came over his face as he held the boots. He looked up to his mother, who was smiling wide. "I don't think so." He said.
"You're going to a high class resort town; I'm not letting my only son walk around dressed like he's fresh off the farm."
He frowned at her again. "I knew Lois always had issues with my wardrobe, but you too mom?"
Martha rolled her eyes and grabbed another dress shirt from the closet. It was the black one he had usually worn while on red Kryptonite. "I have no problem with your wardrobe when you're at home honey, but you have to dress appropriate when you go places. Flannel and jeans are okay when you're in Smallville, but in Aspen they aren't."
Clark laughed suddenly as he still held the boots in his hands. "I could swear that you're only saying that because you need to protect your image as state senator."
She glared at him, but replied in turn. "No, just motherly advice." She replied, walking past and dropping the shirt on top of the other ones. "I think I have a hanging bag for your dressier clothes." She said as she walked out the door and towards the hallway closet.
Sighing heavily, Clark lifted the leather coat out of the bag, his plaid shirts and jeans visible underneath. His mother was right he realized. Wearing darker colors didn't make him Kal, red kryptonite did. Plus, he could never refuse his mother; she had given him so much already. Setting the coat aside for the morning, he dropped in his deodorant.
Martha came back into the room with a long bag. She placed his dress clothes in it and hung it on the hook that was attached to the back of the door. "Oh, grab your dress shoes from the closet would you dear?" She asked as she turned back around.
Clark did as he was asked. Dropping the clean shoes into the bag as well, he moved his shirt a little to notice a small bottle of cologne. "Mom!" He said in anger. "What are you doing to me? Do you want me to take a piece of Red-K with me?" He asked, finally fed up.
She went to his bed, leaned over and looked into the bag. "Don't raise your voice, Clark." She said sternly. "No, but you have to be presentable, like I said before. Smelling good is a part of that."
"Come on mom?" He argued painfully. "That stuff is really strong." His pleading wasn't working though. His mother was standing their and smiling her devilish grin. "Fine, I'll take, but I won't promise you I'll wear it."
"Thank you." She replied, zipping up the bag for him and leaving the room.
Clark sat down on his bed and fell back onto the length of the mattress. "Why me?" He asked to no one, his voice dry and hoarse. Now that Lana and he were past history, she deciding who she really loved, he had nothing but time to think about Lois and the upcoming trip. Every time he thought back to the day of fun they had enjoyed, he couldn't help but think at just how much he had actually enjoyed it. If she had remembered it, he knew for a fact that she would be almost as nervous as him.
Lois sat in the back seat of the SUV as they drove away from Smallville. Her eyes squinted as she noticed they were going the wrong way. "Chloe?" She asked.
"Yeah?" Chloe asked; her hair cut neatly at the shoulders as her head turned around.
"Why are we going the wrong way? I thought you said Jimmy's friend was going to be picked up on the way there?" She looked around the landscape nervously. She wasn't nervous about meeting someone new, but she got a very bad feeling about what was happening.
Jimmy answered her. "Well, it's a little bit of a back track. Then we'll be on our way." He gripped the steering wheel a little tighter as he gave his girlfriend beside him a worried look.
Lois looked at the two of them. There was some kind of silent communication among them that had her worried. "What's going on you two?" She asked, her suspicion rising to new levels.
Chloe looked back at Lois and then to Jimmy. "Don't get mad Lois." She said softly. It wasn't going to work and she knew it, she wasn't going to take it well.
"You didn't?" Lois shouted at Jimmy, finally putting the pieces together.
"I'm sorry Lois." He said. "I had no other choice."
"Of course you had another choice!" She shouted once again, sitting back against the seat in exasperation. "You didn't have to take anyone else at all. It could have been just the three of us." She said more quietly, resigned to the fact that she was going to be stuck with a stumbling and brooding farm boy for a week.
Chloe smiled as she watched her cousin give up. She never did it so quickly, but she knew the reason for it. Lois had been incredibly uncomfortable about Clark of late, their Valentines romp still weighing heavily over her. "It's going to be fun Lois, and don't worry about Clark, he was reluctant to come along when he found out you were coming too."
Lois was a little surprised by her cousin's words. "You mean he actually agreed to come along even after he knew I was coming?"
"That makes no sense Chloe. He knows I'm going to make sport of him the whole week. There's no way he'd agree to come when he knows that." She smiled a little. Having her favorite punching bag might keep things interesting, but they might also make things disastrous.
Chloe shrugged and turned back to the window. "I think Clark's had his fill of Smallville drama. I think he just wants to get away for a while."
Lois sighed as she felt it all come crashing into her at once. She was leaving with them on vacation to specifically get away from Clark. There was an awkwardness that had erupted between the two of them of late, and she knew there were some feelings there that scared the living hell out of her. All she wanted to do was ignore it and hopefully let them pass with time, but now she had to spend a week around the one man she wanted to get a thousand miles away from. Clark was probably going to be a wreck, bumbling and stumbling for words the whole week. She would have to teach him how to ski too. She knew it. He'd likely bring down the whole mood with his dreaded brooding and spiteful hate towards Lex and Lana's marriage.
"You're both our closest friends and we know you both need a vacation." Chloe said as they pulled into the Kent driveway.
"I know Chloe, but apart from each other." Lois replied in defeat. "This is going to be a nightmare." Her head rolled to the side to stare out the window to the house where she new a plaid clad farm boy would come out of.
"Clark! They're here." Martha shouted up at her son.
"Coming!" He shouted back, slipping his toothbrush in a bag and bounding down the steps. He had his black boots on and his leather jacket, much to his chagrin, but his mother had insisted on it. He had a pair of his riding jeans on too, black ones. "Mom, I really hate dressing like this, it brings back painful memories."
Martha regarded her son as he bent over and slipped the small bag in his hand into his the larger luggage bag. "You have to get your head out of the past. Enjoy yourself and don't worry so much about what you're wearing."
"I'll try." He said with a weak smile. He wrapped his mother in a hug.
She took the opportunity, with her hands around his back, to open up the cologne bottle behind his back and drop a bit into her cupped palm.
"What's that smell?" Clark asked, pulling away from his mother.
"Here." She said, dropping the bottle on the counter and rubbing the liquid on his neck for him.
"Damn it Mom." He exclaimed heatedly. "What are you doing to me?" His eyes didn't betray the anger he was feeling.
"Shh." Martha warned him. "Watch your mouth Clark Kent." She said in a grave tone. Finishing with the cologne, she put the lid back on the battle and slid it into a side pocket on the luggage bag. "Have fun." She said, holding him out at arms length.
Clark sighed heavily and nodded. "I'll try." He said weakly, smiling pathetically.
"Don't forget your sunglasses." Martha said suddenly, handing him a pair of dark shades. "It's sunny on those ski hills, and you need to keep from damaging your eyes."
He took the glasses from her and frowned. "I don't really need them." He said, almost half way out the door.
"I know, but you still have to make it look like you're the least bit human." She chuckled, watching him put them on.
"How do I look?" He asked, lifting his head up.
"Like Kal." She smiled.
Grumbling, he said goodbye to her again and left. Martha stood there watching him go down the porch steps. Her smile got even wider as she could only hope her plan to get him to loosen up would work. The clothes were only the beginning; the rest was up to Chloe and Jimmy. She would have to make sure to call Chloe later and fill her in.
Lois's eyes widened as she watched a tall dark figure come out of the house and stride down the porch steps with acute precision. "Whoa." She said in amazement, rubbing her eyes to try and make sure that what she was seeing was real.
Chloe looked over at the house, her eyes finding what Lois was reacting to. "Whoa is right." She exclaimed.
Lois couldn't believe her eyes. Instead of the plaid clad hick known as Smallville, a dark ominous figure had exited the house. He wore a leather coat and dark jeans, the dark shades on his face making him look dangerous and evil. She instantly realized that she had lost her biggest fodder for teasing him. "Damn." She said, still watching him as he walked towards the vehicle. Her eyes never left him, everything around him seeming to slow down as she focused solely on the sway of his body. He held his luggage bag out in one hand, and his tuxedo bag draped over his shoulder in his other. His steps were a little angled. The problem was, to her, it looked like he was on a mission to kill, and it aroused her immensely. She always knew she had a penchant for the bad boys, but never in a million year did she think Clark was capable of looking like one.
She shook her head and ripped her eyes away when she realized he was getting closer. She hoped furiously that he hadn't caught her staring. Kicking herself mentally for thinking such unholy thoughts about the farm boy, she stiffened her back and put on her mask of steel. The back door to the truck opened and the wind brought in a strong smell of cologne. Her spine and extremities tingled as she drank in the manly aroma.
"Lois?" Chloe asked, worried at her cousins steel cold eyes and stiff back. "Are you okay?"
Looking up to the passenger seat, she glared at her blond haired cousin. "I think I told you no earlier." She said as the back door slammed closed.
Smiling weakly, Chloe opened the door and got out. "Hey Clark." She said with cheery tone, her eyes blinking over and over again to try to keep from staring.
"Hi Chloe." Clark responded, his sheepish smile evident for everyone to see.
Chloe closed the door so that the others couldn't hear. It was getting close to March, but the snow was falling lightly around them. "What's with the clothes?" She asked in a worried tone.
Clark sighed and rolled his eyes. "Mom, she insisted I dress a little nicer."
Taking a sniff of the air, she frowned even deeper. "And the cologne and the shades?"
"Mom, and mom again." He said with a sigh.
"Well, you can sit in the front seat, Lois isn't too happy since she found out that you were coming along with us." She opened the door for him.
"You have to be kidding Chloe, you didn't tell her I was coming?" He looked at her with the most disapproving stare he could construct.
"We didn't know how else to get her to come." She replied, holding the door open even wider. "Get in." She ordered, a tight smile tugging at the corner of her lips as she tried to mask her stupidity from him.
Shaking his head, Clark opened the back door for her instead of entering the front one. "After you." He said with a fleeting grin.
Rolling her eyes to the sky, Chloe said. "Always the gentleman." She laughed a second later as she entered and closed the door.
With a nervous step, he got in and closed the door. Reaching over for his seatbelt, he looked over to Jimmy and nodded.
"Nice jacket Clark." Jimmy said, not too sure what else would seem appropriate. He had seen Lois's reaction and his was almost the same, complete surprise. Clark looked like a man who could kill, his leather jacket signaling his intent. He knew it was still his friend behind the glasses and the coat, but it was still an unsettling image. He was actually even more surprised by Chloe's calmness. She was never one to pass up the opportunity to prod Clark about anything that might irk her curiosity.
"Nice to see that there's still a gentleman behind those glasses." Lois said suddenly, mockingly, trying to get him to feel uncomfortable. The quicker she jumped on him the quicker he left her alone. She would win quickly, and then he would get distant for a good chunk of time. It backfired though, it only led to him turning his head and taking off his glasses. Instead of his usual comeback, he just stared at her with his bright blue eyes. He smiled a second later at her, her neck starting to feel incredibly hot. She ripped her gaze from him and stared back out the window. The feelings she fought so hard to contain were slowly creeping back to the forefront of her mind, and she hated it.
Clark smiled to himself as he turned back to the window and put his sunglasses back on. He knew Lois could take him verbally, there was no doubt in that, but he had seen the way she had stared at him when he came walking from the house. He had the upper hand for now, and he knew how to use it. He would continue to, no matter how bad and uncomfortable he felt at doing it. She had surely done enough to him in the past to warrant a few unsettling gazes from him.