Lefu lay sick and dying in her bed. She coughed up blood and her breathing was labored. She was in Japan, waiting to die. Lefu closed her eyes and opened them to a shining ball of light at the foot of her bed. A melody sang into her mind and she nodded in consent, letting out her last breath. The light enveloped her as she passed. Lefu's eyes snapped opened and gasped out a deep breath. She sat up quickly and walked away. Once outside, wings emerged from her back and she flew out into the night.
"You sound like a promising candidate. I'll team you up with Clark Kent to see how you do on the field. Writing articles in Japan is different from the US of A. You'll see," the editor said with a laugh. Lefu smiled and adjusted her thick black rimmed glasses, her dark blue eyes peeking out from behind contacts to hide their strange yellow and silver blue eye colors. The duality of her eyes tend to raise a few questions. Lefu stood up to shake the editor's hand as he led her out of his office and towards Clark's empty desk.
"You two should be sharing desks. He should get back from lunch soon so just hang around." The editor smiled and patted Lefu on her shoulder before leaving. Lefu laughed and sat down in the chair beside the desk. Her hair was pulled into a harsh bun and she even went so far to hide her figure behind unflattering clothes with dull colors. It was the perfect disguise for her nightly activities. Lefu swung her feet to and fro, observing her new place of work. It was like any other newspaper room, rows of desks messily filled with various office supplies and papers. Lefu sighed and sunk back into her chair twirling her thumbs. She looked up when a tall man blocked the sun from her.
"I'm sorry, but who are you?" Lefu stumbled as she stood up, rubbing the back of her neck in embarrassment.
"You must be Clark Kent. I'm the new reporter that's transferring over from Japan. It's nice to meet you," she said, her melodious voice making Clark's eyes widen in surprise. He smiled smoothly and held his hand out for a handshake. She took it and grasped it firmly, trying not to grasp too hard to bring suspicion to her strength.
"It's nice to meet you. The editor told me about you working with me. I didn't expect you to be in town until tomorrow in all honesty," he admitted. Lefu chuckled and shook her head.
"I'm sorry. There was a canceled flight and I came early. I did call ahead but you where already out on lunch," she said with a smile. Clark motioned for her to sit back down and looked her over. Lefu smiled smugly inwardly to herself, confident that she looked exactly how he saw her, a young introverted clumsy woman.
"Yes, what did you say your name was again? I couldn't recall," he said apologetically. Lefu shrugged.
"It's ok. My name is unusual. My name is Lefu Azriel. Please, just call me Lefu," Lefu lied smoothly. Clark smiled kindly, his eyes seeming to shine in mirth.
"Lefu, what a pretty name. I read some of your stories that you've written in Japan. It's a shame that all of your stories are so tragic," he commented. Lefu huffed involuntarily; Clark rose in eyebrow in question.
"Ah, sorry," Lefu rubbed the back of her neck in embarrassment, avoiding his eyes, "There are approximately 6,446,131,400 people on the planet, and the death rate was approximately 8.78 deaths per 1,000 people a year. That works out to roughly 56,597,034 people leaving us every year. That's about a 155,000 a day. I feel like that number deserves a little attention. Don't you?" Lefu smiled up at Clark. His light blue eyes flashed but he smiled in return.
"You're quiet the math wiz aren't you? I wonder what else you could do. I tend to focus my articles on crime instead of death. When working with me, we can interchange our articles and see how that goes. How fast can you type?" he asked. Lefu pouted, thinking to herself.
"I'm not sure. I never tried to count it. I can show you if you'd like?" Lefu offered. Clark looked confused but stood up and let her sit at his desk. Lefu pulled up a blank word document and started typing, her fingers flying over the keyboard. Clark involuntarily gasped and watched in amazement. After a minute, Lefu scrolled through the document and looked back at Clark, smiling innocently.
"About this much I guess. Oh, and I think this should work for my first article, if you'd like to look it over?" Clark laughed and they swapped seats again. He scrolled through what she typed and whistled in appreciation.
"This is amazing! When did you find the time to looked into this crime?" he asked to himself. Lefu tapped her chin thoughtfully.
"Just before I came here. I found a lead and checked it out. Sad, the man had already died but asking around and looking at the scene told me a lot about what happened," she said and looked down in embarrassment. I think I over did it. I have to slow down a bit, she thought to herself. Clark sat back in his seat, watching her.
"That is impressive. If you keep this up, you'll do fine. I'm not sure what else I can tell you except how things work around here. I think the chief expects us to work together more on investigating and writing together instead of doing our own thing," he said. Lefu looked up in alarm, her eyes widening in surprise. That wasn't what she wanted to hear but then again, America is different. Lefu smiled and nodded in agreement with him.
"That sounds great. What should we do then?" she asked. Clark smiled smugly.
"First, you can get me a cup of coffee while I write up my article. I shouldn't take long either," he said confidently. Lefu chuckled and gladly stood up to leave him to it. When she returned, she watched his broad back in curiosity from the doorway. He dropped a pencil that rolled under his desk. He looked both ways to make sure no one was watching and lifted the whole thing like it was nothing. He reached down and grabbed the pencil and set it back down, continuing to type as fast as her. Lefu lifted a brow. There's more to this boy than meets the eye, she thought to herself in amusement. Lefu walked through the door and stumbled with the coffee, splashing a bit on her white shirt. She cried out but recovered and apologized to Clark as she set the coffee on the desk beside him.
"I'm sorry! Did I get any on you?" she said, frantically dabbing napkins where a small drop landed on his leg. Clark got up and grabbed napkins and snatched Lefu's hands within his own.
"Are you ok? That coffee was hot!" He covered her hands in napkins, pressing it tightly within his grasp. Lefu blushed and stammered.
"N-No, I'm ok. It's fine really," she said, flustered. Clark let out a breath in relief and removed the napkins to inspect her hands, gently prodding them.
"That's strange, your hands aren't even red," he mumbled. Lefu snatched her hands back from him and hid them behind her back.
"I'm used to handling hot water so it's fine. I'll be right back. I'll wash my hands," she said with a smile. Clark sat back down and Lefu rushed to the bathroom, as fast as any human would normally go. She shut the door behind herself and sighed.
"Too close," she mumbled and washed her hands. She ran cold water until her skin felt like icicles then wiped them dry. By the time she sat back down beside Clark, he was already proofreading his article.
"That was fast. I think we'll work good together," she said off handedly. Clark smiled back at her.
"Sure, so long as you can keep up," he teased. Lefu smiled fiercely, her eyes flashing.
"Is that a challenge you've just issued? If so, I gladly accept," she stated firmly, her melodious voice deepening just slightly. Clark laughed, his eyes flashing as he returned a fierce smile in return.
"It's a deal. I have to warn you though, I am fast," he said with a smug tone. Lefu laughed.
"So am I. Don't complain when I leave you behind in my dust," she teased, her tone of voice turning back into a higher tone for her disguise. They laughed good heartedly and discussed a case. They agreed to meet up after work to do a stake out. Time passed quickly in relative silence as they took turns typing on the computer, writing various articles. Lefu left first, waiting downstairs. Clark had a coat on over his plain blue suit and fedora, cleaning his glasses. He glanced down at Lefu's attire in confusion.
"Aren't you cold? You have to be freezing!" he commented. Lefu looked down at herself and back at him in confusion.
"I don't have a coat. I haven't exactly gone shopping," she lied. Clark looked a little suspicious and took off his coat. He wrapped it around her shoulders to her surprise. She could smell him off his coat, jasmine and cedar.
"Here, this should keep you warm. I don't want you catching a cold the first night out on assignment," he said with a smile. Lefu blushed and nodded, clutching his coat closed over herself. It was still warm from his body heat.
"Thanks. I'm not used to someone being nice to me," she commented and smiled. Clark chuckled and flagged down a taxi. They got in and instructed the driver where to go from there. Lefu's eyes where glued to the window, watching Metropolis pass by her. She felt happy. It was a new experience for her. Usually she just flew everywhere. Clark laughed, drawing her attention back to him.
"Never been in a taxi before?" he asked with a smile, his blue eyes twinkling with his laughter. Lefu smiled and shook her head, turning back to the window.
"This is different. I like it," she said quietly. They remained silent, enjoying the ride and Clark paid the driver. They walked towards an alley and waited at the mouth of it.
"Our lead said that the exchange is supposed to happen here," he whispered to her, breathing into his hands. Lefu cocked her head in question.
"Are you cold?" she asked. Clark smiled at her and shook his head.
"I'm fine. My hands are just a little chilly," he said off handedly. Lefu grabbed his hands in her own and rubbed them.
"This should warm them up. If you'd like, you can use the pockets of your coat. It'll make it look like we're a couple escaping into the alley for alone time and not look so suspicious," she said with a shrug. Clark's brows rose in surprise.
"I think I'll be fine, thanks," he said, looking around them to avoid her gaze. She shrugged.
"Up to you genius. I mean, it's not like those people are staring or nothing…" she let her comment trail off, motioning to people looking at them with her chin. Clark glanced back and smiled down at her, slipping his hands into the coat pockets. It brought them close; Lefu brought her hands up to rest on his chest to steady herself.
"If I didn't know better, I'd think you were taking advantage of this," he said with a chuckle. Lefu smiled and shrugged.
"Well, this job seems to have its perks. Having a good looking reporter taking care of me is a big plus right now," she teased with a chuckle. They both went silent as they spotted a car pull up across from them. They watched out of the corner of their eyes. They stepped away from each other and Lefu stepping in front of Clark.
"I think we should-" Lefu said, cutting herself off as she turned and saw Clark was not there. She smiled. "Works for me."