Disclaimer: I do not own any of the characters of Smallville. They belong to The CW. I'm merely using them as a creative outlet.
Summary: AU - What if Oliver had listened to Clark in "Bride" and stayed behind so Clark could go with him to track Lex after the wedding?
The Moment He Knew
Chapter 1 – Caught Red-Handed
Clark Kent had never really thought about Lois Lane. Of course he'd thought about her but never the way he thought about her now. She wasn't just an annoying giant thorn in his side placed on this earth to antagonize him. She was sassy, talented, charming, and had a sense of humor that could knock you on your ass if you weren't prepared (he wasn't most of the time). She had class, and a knack for getting herself into trouble, which reminded him of Lana almost, except Lois was a lot more capable of getting herself out of trouble. She had always been there for him. She was brilliant. She was independent. She was one of his best friends. She was beautiful.
When he saw her he couldn't help but smile even if he got crap for it. It started a bantering war that ensued the whole day without interfering with either's work load at the Daily Planet. It was easy, natural. It wasn't the same when she wasn't around, and she hadn't been around a lot these days because of Chloe's wedding.
Finally, there was only one day before the big event and it was like Lois Lane had disappeared and been replaced by "The General," the affectionate name she used for her father. She was flitting from place to place giving people military nicknames and doling out chores like a professional party planner. He was immensely amused by this, but tried to stay out of her way as much as possible as he already knew his role in the assembly of the Olsen/Sullivan Dream Wedding. He could do it properly without her nagging. Unfortunately, he was caught staring a little too long.
"Caught you, red-handed, Kent," Oliver Queen exclaimed quietly, not wanting to draw any undue attention from Lois either.
Clark's forehead crumpled in confusion as he looked at his friend, "What do you mean, 'you caught me'?"
"You've been standing here with your arms folded over your chest following Lois' every move for precisely," Oliver looked down at his watch, "two minutes and counting."
"I wasn't staring at Lois! Why would I stare at Lois?" Clark asked, genuinely confused.
Oliver shook his head in frustration, "Two of the smartest people I know and they can't even figure out the simplest thing." Oliver rubbed his temples, trying to assess how to proceed. "Clark, when you look at Lois what do you see? Describe her for me, but include character traits not just looks."
"What's the point of this Oliver?" Oliver gave Clark a very stern scowl and he answered the question as best he could.
"Well . . . She's annoying," Oliver gave Clark a pointed glare that said 'try harder.' Clark thought long and hard and finally came up with an answer, "She's a little bit of everything."
"That's a start," Oliver was pleased by the answer, but had to know just a bit more before he would quit for the day. "It's a bit vague though. Can you clarify a little?"
Again, Clark took a long time to answer. "She's like a candy bar. You've stayed up for days staking out a story without food or drink and, finally, you're done. So you're searching for something, anything to eat, but all you can find is a Snickers bar. The whole world fades away except for you and that Snickers bar, and on some level you know that it's not the healthiest meal but you need that Snickers bar like you've never needed anything else before in your life and as long as you have the Snickers bar you'll be okay because it'll satisfy your hunger – one of a human's baser needs. Then, suddenly, you can't eat the Snickers bar because it represents something you know that you can't live without. You can't eat the symbol of one's primal need to vanquish hunger and sustain life. Plus, you kind of like having it around so you find something else to eat, and keep the Snickers bar in your pocket with you just in case you ever get hungry again. In essence, she gives me cavities."
"That was . . . descriptive. It almost sounds like you have a little cru.."
"Do NOT say I have a crush on Lois," Clark barked with animation. "Just because I implied that I need her around doesn't mean I have those kinds of feelings for her! She's one of my best friends."
"Whatever you say, Kent," Oliver shrugged, a smug smile on his face. "I'll be there when you figure out how you really feel about her."
"We've got bigger problems right now Oliver."
"We've been spotted."
Sure enough, Lois Lane was marching toward them both with a look of determination and domination on her face. If there could be a look that personified 'divide and conquer,' that would be it.
"What are you two slackers doing up here chatting while the rest of us are working our asses off down there to turn this beat up old barn into a "dream palace of love" for Chloe and Jimmy?" She demanded, all business.
"No offense Lo, but you don't have much ass to lose," Oliver said jokingly.
Lois gave him one of her many 'if looks could kill' glares. She handed him a walkie-talkie and an order, "Your code name is 'man in tights'."
"Technically, they aren't tights," Oliver pointed out, quickly picking up on her Green Arrow reference, "they're leather and comfortable. Tights are not comfortable."
Lois and Clark both cocked their heads in a "how the hell would you know?" stare. The blush that colored Oliver's face was very faint but still noticeable. Oliver Queen did not blush, but he couldn't help thinking back to the days when his mother made him participate in every school play that ever transpired during his elementary school education. Unfortunately, tights had often been a costume requirement.
"Elementary school plays!" His explanation burst out of him in a self-conscious manner, which was rare for the young billionaire. Two seconds later he was back to normal
"Fine, make it 'man in leather tights'." Lois gave him a push and an insistent glare and Oliver walked away grumbling obscenities. Clark chuckled at his friend's plight.
"I don't know what you're laughing at," Lois said, sternly. "You're next."
"Oh no, I'm not. This is my property, my barn and I already know my part in the planning, which I've already finished; therefore, I don't have to have a ridiculous nickname and be bossed around by a spider monkey on speed."
"But Clark there's still so much to be done! Can't you help pick up the slack? I promise I won't give you a code name." Lois batted her eyelashes at him in an unintentionally seductive manner, "Smallville doesn't count."
Clark's heart thumped a bit harder in his chest, effectively melting his resolve. He couldn't say no to her when she looked at him like that. Brash, abrasive, and controlling as she could be, he couldn't deny her, so he came up with a plan instead.
"I think that what everyone needs is a break. You're putting everyone into overdrive Lois. It isn't your fault – it's just who you are. Give me your list, and I'll look it over while everyone takes some time for themselves. If I were you I'd take everyone to that tall oak as far away from the barn as possible. It's got shade and cool grass to sit on, and I'll have Mrs. Henney come and bring out iced tea and cookies."
"That might work. I have been putting a little pressure on everyone. Maybe I can get more work out of all of them if they take a break."
"A little pressure Lois?" Clark cocked an eyebrow at her.
"What?" She asked, innocently. "It's good to push people. It brings out the best in them. Where on this earth would you be if I hadn't pushed you? Not at the Daily Planet, that's for sure."
"There's no dealing with you woman!" Clark sighed, and then chuckled. It was just like Lois to take credit for his individual endeavors; though, if he was really honest with himself he'd have to admit that she did have a little bit to do with his success. "Go relieve your staff!"
"You know you love me, Smallville," she said as she walked by and winked. Their hands brushed as she passed and goose bumps formed on both Lois and Clark's flesh, despite the warmth of the day.
Clark gulped, then suddenly found it very hard to swallow when he thought about grazing her hand. He forced himself to recover quickly and set himself to the items on Lois' list. It took a whole three seconds for him to finish in super speed. He was a perfectionist after all. He disappeared to his room and waited for the reaction that would no doubt be a relief to Lois' staff but also an irritating buzz kill and an exciting new mystery for Lois to solve.
An hour later, when the crew returned to find all the work done, they sagged with relief. To Clark's surprise, Lois was the most relieved. When she caught sight of Clark she rushed over to him and threw her arms around him joyfully.
"You're a miracle worker, a saint!" She cried. "How did you do it?"
"Well, I had 'man in leather tights' help," Clark smirked and shrugged. He loved seeing her this way. Vulnerable. She never let her guard down except on a very rare occasion. "Off with you woman!" Clark said, playfully. "Don't you have girly things to do?"
Lois rolled her eyes, her gratitude for his earlier feats obviously waning. "That's twice in the past two hours I've allowed you to call me woman. Try it again and you'll get a mouthful of stiletto."
The fire in her eyes had returned and Clark believed that she fully intended to do exactly just what she'd threatened. Clark pretended to cower, then dazzled her with one of his famous Kent smiles, baby blues sparkling like mad as a crack in the roof let in a brilliant ray of light that bathed him like a Greek God. Lois nearly melted into a puddle right there.