Author's Note: If you enjoy this story, please review so that those who only read stories based on the number of reviews may find this and enjoy as well. Thanks.
And don't forget to read part 2, Lois' side of the story.
"Do you drive?"
He hadn't been expecting that question. Maybe 'How could you', 'Who do you think you are', but 'Do you drive'?? That definitely was not on the list of things he thought she'd say once she started speaking to him again. If she started speaking to him again…
They were the longest three days of his life. When he'd been back that very first day, he thought nothing could hurt him worse than seeing Lois with someone else, but now…
Though he was glad that random office supplies were no longer being hurled across the aisle every time he opened his mouth to speak to someone. And Lois had great aim too. It had never hurt, but it had become annoying. That battery powered pencil sharpener had broken his favorite coffee mug and many of his open files had ended up as paper towels.
Two days after finding out, she still hadn't spoken one word to him, not even a grunt. At least when she was throwing things she was communicating something. He wanted to talk to her, needed to talk to her for both their sakes, but she just was not having it.
Before, they were partners and they were friends. Now he wasn't even sure they were still partners either, regardless of Perry pairing them up again. And he missed being able to talk to her, and not just to hear about Jason either. He'd take getting staplers and wireless mice thrown at his head over getting the silent treatment any day.
Lord knew she had a right to be angry; he couldn't blame her for that, but he did begin to wonder if she'd ever get over his betrayal. So today, when they'd been forced to work together, he didn't know what to say, if he should say anything at all, or if he should just wait and follow her lead. He had chosen the latter, dragging his wheeled chair across the Planet floor and over to her desk, silently sitting down next to her as she pulled notes out from a file on the small shelf behind her monitor. His heart quickened and he began to find the silence uncomfortable. It had been a long time since he hadn't known what to say to Lois Lane.
Her resigned sigh was barely audible to him; his thoughts plagued him and his heartbeat thundered in his ears. They all went away when she spoke those three words.
"Hu-what?" Out of all the questions she could have asked him…
She never even turned to look at him; her eyes were focused on the computer screen. Directing the cursor with her new mouse, she double clicked on a file. "Do you drive?" she reiterated. "I know Super you doesn't need to, and Clark doesn't have a car, but can you drive?" His mouth was still hanging open as he gaped at her. She quickly glanced at him before turning back to what she was doing. "Do you have a license?" She was trying to keep the irritation out of her voice.
He just stared until Lois' scowl snapped him out of his trance. His mouth closed and a crease formed on his forehead in the few seconds his brain tried to put a response together. For all that work, he could only manage one word. "Why?"
He could tell he was testing her patience by the way her lips pressed together. Lois was literally biting her tongue. She clicked on another folder before answering, and when she did, her tone was flat. "Would you'd rather I snapped at you?"
"No," he replied in a high voice. And he wasn't even pretending this time. He cleared his throat and his voice lowered. "That was really random is all." And the weirdest question he'd ever been asked.
When she fully looked at him, he suddenly felt naked and exposed, and he wasn't sure why. Probably because it was the first time she'd really looked at him since finding out, not looking at his shoes, not rolling her eyes after meeting his from across the conference room, and not throwing something at the back of his head. Or the front. Or maybe it was because she was finally having a conversation with the real him, the original one from days ago notwithstanding. Whatever the reason, he found it kind of frightening.
"Clark," and when she said his name, she said it with a certain heaviness. Whether it was because she knew his true identity or because she was going to tell him something serious, he didn't know. He didn't have to wait long to find out. "This isn't easy for me to deal with. Personally, I enjoy a good grudge, but it's not doing anything for me right now. I just want to get my work done and go home." She flipped open the folder she had laid on top of the keyboard. "Besides I have the rest of my life to hold it against you."
That last part was a joke. At least he thought it was. At any rate, Lois was right. They could talk about it later. As bad as he wanted to clear the air, the middle of the office was not the place. And there was that whole thing with the supplies and using his head for target practice…
"If that's what you want, Lois."
"It is." She chanced another glance at him before handing him several sheets of paper from the folder. "Our article from last week. Perry wants a follow up on the Mendelson attack." There was red ink all over the page, Perry's scribbled comments and suggestions hidden within the chicken scratch that was his handwriting. He must've been yelling at someone when he wrote it; it was almost legible. "He wants the story told from a different perspective and, well," her voice lowered as she reached over for a pen, "you know what that means."
He did. Anytime Perry wanted "another perspective", it usually meant Superman's. He chuckled. "Yeah." When he looked back up at her, her focus was back on the file, flipping through the printed notes with one hand while the other held the pen in place between her teeth.
"At least now you'll be easier to get a hold of." Was that a smirk? A smile? He couldn't tell; if it had been there before, it sure wasn't now because Lois started rattling off her own suggestions. "First I think we should talk to Detective Ratner again. He hates us but I figure with a little Superhelp, getting what we need shouldn't be a problem. I was also thinking that…"
For someone who'd been cursing his very existence 48 hours before, Lois was very comfortable using his means to her ends. He decided not to let it bother him; things could be so much worse.
He was just glad she was talking to him again.
Much thanks goes out to HadrienAsbury. This all started because Lois was driving. (Remember that? teehee)