Author: Krys Yuy
Summary: What is it about Lois Lane? Clark's thoughts during the dunk scene in Façade (4x03).
Pairing/Characters: Clark, Lois, Clark/Lois hints
Word Count: 1,285
Disclaimer: I own none of the characters used. This fic is purely for entertainment purposes only.
Author's Notes: Written for the June Fanfiction Challenge at Summer of Clois on LiveJournal. I wrote in present tense, which I like to do when I'm feeling experimental. I tried to have a certain rhythm in the piece, but I know it's still a bit rough in spots. Sorry about that – I got a bit lazy. It was also rather nostalgic re-watching the episode and then writing this. Anyways, not much more to say except please read, review and enjoy!
There is nothing but the familiar when you grow up in a town like Smallville. Everyone knows everyone, and everything about everyone, and Clark thinks his is the only secret the town does not know. But despite the fear someone could discover who he truly is, he knows nowhere he would rather live than this small community so dear to him and his family.
The familiar is comfortable. Safe. Clark knows what to expect in Smallville.
But like a tornado, Lois Lane crashes into his life and everything he thinks he knows becomes… unfamiliar. She is not like the other girls he's known all his life.
Lana is sweet – the girl next-door and oh-so-delicate that he's afraid he'll break her. She's perfect and beautiful and he can never really hold on to her. She slips through his fingers like water and sometimes he wonders if it's the universe trying to tell him something.
Chloe is much the same in the sweet sense, though her curiosity and spunk is something she has in spades in regards to Lana. She is his best friend – reliable and good-natured and always there when he needs someone to talk to. She has become his closest confidante since Pete left, though the secret of his origins is one he will never confide.
Both girls are kind and it's easy to talk to them. And like Smallville, they are safe. Familiar.
Lois is not.
Clark does not know what to make of her. The chaos that is Lois Lane threatens to engulf him and sometimes all he wants is her gone because she confuses him, muddles him, infuriates him.
They don't have anything in common and Clark wants her to leave because he's afraid he might break something around her in his frustration, exposing his secret. It was a close enough call a few days ago when he had supersped to the side of the barn, catching his own football and throwing it through the hanging tire. He's noticed her tendency of popping up at the most inopportune times. Their only common link is their affection for Chloe. Unfortunately, it is not always enough. And Clark knows this is true when exasperated hazel eyes meet his.
She is not impressed by him. She sees him as a simple farm boy – a geek – with nothing more to offer.
It's a hard pill to swallow. He tries to be a good person, the son his parents brought him up to be. While not in the popular crowd, Clark knows that most people genuinely like him. But she acts like he is something small, ordinary.
Every time she rolls her eyes or hits him with an insulting remark, he is struck with the urge to prove himself. He is more than what she sees. Some part of him can appreciate the irony. He is usually thankful when people never give him a second glance. Staying under the radar means his secret is safe. Lois, however, rubs him the wrong way.
It makes him want to show her what exactly he can do.
Still, Clark thinks it will be easy to cut ties with this girl, this almost-woman with fire in her eyes. It would be simpler if she was all bark and no bite, but he grudgingly knows there's skill to back up her attitude. But she is also unpredictable with a penchant for trouble. He's eager for the day when she'll be a memory and he'll hear only snippets of her from Chloe.
Though with her going to Smallville High for those last elusive credits, it seems he's stuck with her for a few months yet. He envisions endless days of teasing and mockery, especially now that he's made the football team. Her cocky grin as she accepts the football from Coach Teague makes him want to knock her down a peg or two.
He swings his legs on the seat suspended above the water tank. "You sure you're up to the challenge?" he asks. He smiles cheekily for good measure and knows the offhand dig at her abilities gets to her when her eyes narrow.
"The real question is – are you ready for me?" she retorts, drawing her hand back.
For a split-second, he almost believes he underestimated her, but the football lands right of the target and he chuckles. Sometimes she is all talk, he decides. But she doesn't seem deterred as she takes another football from the coach and smiles again, even more brazen than the first time. There's nothing to be smug about and he gladly reminds her of this fact.
"Come on, Lois, didn't those guys on the base teach you anything?" he asks teasingly, arms crossed.
Lois raises her eyebrows at his question, grins. "Wouldn't you like to know," she replies, the football gripped between both her hands.
Clark unfolds his arms and holds out his hands towards the target, inviting her to try again. He's sure she's learned plenty, but it seems none of those lessons extends to a perfected throwing arm… or manners, he adds dryly.
With the football in her right hand, her left index finger points to the ground and Lois continues, "Doesn't matter, 'cause you are going down."
He rocks back on the hanging seat, arms crossing again. He doesn't quite believe her and his smirk shows it. "That'll be the day," he replies. His grin widens when he sees her eyes spark at the dare in his tone. Something deep inside responds in turn, exhilarated by the challenge in her hazel gaze.
"Dunk, dunk, dunk, dunk!" The cheers and shouts of his fellow teammates and the rest of the school population reverberate around them, but surprisingly, they are nothing but a dull roar in the back of his head.
He only sees Lois.
She draws her left hand back slowly and then lets the ball soar. He watches it smugly before he realizes its course will hold true, and all he can think as he feels the seat give way beneath him, his arms flying up and the cold shock of the water is:
I'm never going to live this down with her around.
Damn. Clark rolls his eyes, but he can't stop his smile as he emerges from the shallow bottom of the tank, even knowing she's won this round. It doesn't feel like defeat. Instead, there is something else in the air, something he can't quite place. Something new. Unfamiliar.
It's there in the way she grins at him, carefree and happy, pleased with her victory and ponytail swishing merrily behind her back.
A tiny seed plants itself in the depths of his heart and he grins back at her, unaware.
He thinks maybe she is beautiful as she runs up to him with her swinging ponytail, dressed in a light blue tank top and dark jeans. She ruffles his hair impishly with both hands, smiling wider if that's possible, and he shakes his head, reflecting resignedly that this will likely not be the last time she pulls one out from under him. He's still grinning though, and some tiny part of him can't wait.
Lois tosses her hair, quite elated by her triumph, and runs away laughing before his splashes of water can catch her. Her laugh has him laughing too and he playfully tousles his own hair, imagining he can go on and on feeling like this, this way he's never ever felt. He feels free in this moment, freer than anything and he doesn't want it to end.
Lois Lane is unfamiliar.
And, he thinks, letting her infectious grin wash over and warm him, that the unfamiliar is not so bad.