when you're not saving the world. man of steel. clark kent/lois lane. For all her bravado, she also doesn't want to paint a red mark on her forehead that says hey I'm Superman's girl Friday, if you want to get to him you'll have to go through me first. She's obstinate, not suicidal. Lois and Clark work the whole dual identity thing.
(also posted on my tumblr.)
"You have a thing for the new guy," Steve Lombard teases once Clark's seated at his desk a few feet away. "You were making goo-goo eyes at each other. And it was disgusting."
She shakes her head and tries to focus on the stack of paper askew on her desk, but she can't help the small smile tugging at the corners of her lips.
"And what if I do? He's charming. It's great to finally have that kind of guy around here." Lombard ignores the jab but finally leaves with a whatever.
When she looks up she sees Clark smiling at her, pointing to his chest and mouthing I am? and she tries her best to glare, which makes him smile even more.
(whether they are from this planet or not.)
What makes it great, Lois thinks as she watches him emerge from the elevators and into the bullpen, is that he doesn't try to blend too far in the background and make an idiot of himself, or fundamentally changes who he is. He's friendly but doesn't make a big deal out of trying to be everyone's best friend; he's not a goof like that new Olsen kid, who doesn't seem to be able to walk without tripping over his shoelaces (how this one can be a photographer is a mystery, and by the way I take pictures just fine, Perry), or who gets his fingers stuck in drawers and bumps into desks on his way out because he is that clumsy.
Because what's the point of trying not to get noticed if everyone laughs at you?
Clark Kent is not the bullpen's champ, but he's not the village idiot either (because who would believe that he's a capable reporter, then?). He's just a regular guy among a dozen others, appreciated by his co-workers all the same. People who know him joke about how he looks like Superman, but that's pretty much it. (Stop it or it'll get to his head, Lois tells her colleagues teasingly once.
She doesn't miss the amused smile on his face from across the bullpen.)
After all, there's always that person that you could mistake for someone famous.
So what if it happens that the guy who looks like Superman is Clark Kent? Why deny it and not turn it into the house running gag instead of him trying to be someone completely different and eventually slip up?
Make him someone who belongs, not some creepy freak.
(and then, a vast majority of people are more bound to know about Superman than hear about a newspaper reporter, even if that reporter is from the Daily Planet.
The world is a huge place, with many people. Only a minority will ever be aware of Clark Kent's existence.)
She really thinks that he's doing his job right, for a guy who has zero experience in reporting. But he's eager to learn; he asks good questions, thinks out of the box and doesn't give up easily.
She sees both sides of the same coin; Superman and Clark are not really different, even if one is a superhero and the other a reporter.
Once, she's asked him about his birth name and how he felt about, and he said, "Kal is not my name, not really. I was born Kal but I was raised as Clark. I'm just an adopted child who was given a name because my parents did not know anything about it when they found me. I am Clark Kent, even if I was born on another planet."
And it makes sense, really. He may not be human, but he's been raised as one and you can't erase 33 years of that only because you find out that you're an alien.
You just live with it.
(you learn about your biological parents' legacy, but you don't forget about the ones who raised you and loved you as their own.)
And just because he flies around in a tight blue suit and a red cape doesn't mean that he feels as if he was better than everyone else; he's flawed just like the rest.
(and then, when in the middle of the night she wakes up and sees him sitting by the foot of the bed, hunched with his head down and shaking because sometimes after a day fighting floods and fires and crime-lords he loses his focus and all this noise in his head hurts, she sits next to him, cradles his face in her hands and kisses his furrowed brow.
Focus on my heartbeat, Clark.
For all the powers the yellow sun gives him, he's also a man with his doubts and fears.
He's no different than the human race.)
She loves the man and what he stands for, not the suit.
She loves that, even though he can do all of these amazing things like saving the world and be Earth's champion, he enjoys everyday things like watching football on TV and eating pizzas. (it makes her smile that people think Superman is above these trivial things when he's everything but.
Of course he would have a soft spot for the Kansas teams whenever they are on TV. His favorite pizza is pepperoni but he can also make some mean PB&Js.)
And it doesn't surprise their co-workers that the both of them get along, even if they want to keep their relationship on the down-low. (most of the time; sometimes they argue about her knack for getting into sticky situations right in the middle of the busy bullpen but she makes it perfectly clear that she got into them long before him and Superman showed up in her life and that she made it out of them just fine.
They learn to be lovers as well as friends; both are not an easy task but they want to make it work because it's worth it. They met in the most formidable situation that could ever bring two people together and there's this inexplicable bond between them that's far beyond his comprehension, the way his heart could burst out of his chest just by looking at her.
But in the end, he knows she doesn't need him.
She loves him, but doesn't need him to be who she is.
The same goes for him; with or without her thrown into the mix, he would have done what was needed to be done.
But then, they could also say that to have the person that you love by your side makes you stronger than you could ever be on your own.
She knows his secret.
So what? At least he doesn't have to lie to the woman he loves and play with her feelings.
And then, she's really not the swooning type that falls for a guy with a cape.
If you have strong beliefs about what's right and stand by them, even if it means that you have to make tough decisions and have to live with the consequences and accept them, then you're her type of guy.
She also understands that, even without his powers, Clark would still be that kind of guy. It's not a matter of having superpowers; it's how you use them. What cause you feel is worth fighting for.
So yeah, she's Superman's friend and she's been the first to ever get an interview (if the readers could have seen them sitting at her kitchen table in the middle of the night, trying to decide what to tell and not tell, they wouldn't have believed their eyes) but that doesn't mean she's making it easy for her by being his go-to girl for everything, which would only be suspicious and they both don't want that.
(for all her bravado, she also doesn't want to paint a red mark on her forehead that says hey I'm Superman's girl Friday, if you want to get to him you'll have to go through me first. She's obstinate, not suicidal.)
And this is also why, despite the suit and the cape and everything else, she sees Clark, not Superman.
It's been a long day, for both of them, but when she finally turns her laptop off and calls it a night, he slips his hand under her t-shirt. She lifts an eyebrow at his blatant move but then she realizes his fingers are brushing the scar on her abdomen and that he's furrowing his brow, again.
"You know that it doesn't hurt anymore, right?" she says with an indulgent smile. "Stopped hurting a long while ago."
He brings his lips to the marred flesh and she buries her fingers into his hair. "I know. But I did that to you."
"Well, it saved my life. You thought quickly so I'm not going to complain. So what if I have a scar? Just because you get to see me naked doesn't mean that I'm flashing some skin to everyone, you know. Well, except for that one time undercover at this sleazy club. But it made for a good article."
He laughs against her skin and it's good to hear the chuckle escape his throat, which means his dour mood has been lifted, if only for a little bit. (he's always worrying so much.)
She tugs on his arm and he comes back at eye-level. She throws a leg over his, snuggles into his chest and focuses on the way it moves up and down beneath her cheek as he breathes.
"You're warm," she says, lost in her thoughts. "That'll be very handy for winter nights."
"Gee, thanks," he replies dryly and she laughs.
She props herself up on his chest, her eyes twinkling. "I think we make a pretty good team, though."
He realized a long time ago that she's an extraordinary woman, but somehow it hits him all over again. Despite his superpowers, it always leaves him breathless and a little bit dizzy to try and keep up with her.
And he wouldn't want it any other way.
"The best in town."