Sunday, February 01, 2009

First Kiss

Clark/Chloe futurefic
Rating: PG
Disclaimer: These characters belong to the CW and DC Comics, not to me.
Written for Chlark 24/7, "Kisses."
Sequel to First Meeting.

"Can I have a kiss?"

At the words, Lois Lane looked up, startled. Clark Kent was standing next to her desk, looking awkward. He always looked awkward. He was a big guy, but he tended to huddle his broad shoulders in on himself, which gave him a geeky look. The dark-framed glasses he wore only added to that impression.

But despite the fact that he was a geek, and despite the fact she'd never been into geeks, she had to admit he was pretty cute.

Well, she'd admit it to herself, anyway. She'd never in a million years admit it to him.

They'd been working together for a month now, ever since her boss Perry had saddled her with a newbie partner, retribution for a story she'd written that had almost gotten the Planet in hot water with LexCorp. She was still pissed about it, because she didn't like having a partner. Lois Lane worked alone.

And yet... well, as partners go, this guy wasn't bad.

True, he couldn't walk across the room without tripping over something, and true, he had a way of cowering or even outright running away when something scary was going down. But he was a pretty good writer, with a good nose for leads, and he was really kind of sweet. She couldn't deny she liked working with him.

But he had a way of saying really odd things. Like the first time he'd met her, when he'd inexplicably told her he loved her.

Or now.

"I beg your pardon?" she responded, blinking up at him.

"A kiss," he repeated, shoving those huge dark glasses up on his nose. "Could I have a kiss?"

"Um..." She leaned back in her chair, crossed her arms over her chest, and frowned at him. "Sorry, Kent, I don't make a habit of kissing my coworkers."

His cheeks flamed red. "Uh," he said. "Oh. No. I meant, well, the, uh, jar..."

He stammered into silence, and pointed a big finger at her desk. Lois glanced down, and saw the jar full of Hershey's kisses she'd put there for Valentine's Day, which was coming up later in the week. It was her turn to blush.

"Oh," she said. "You meant... well, of course you did. Help yourself to a kiss, Kent."

He reached into the jar and grabbed a kiss, and then fled, his cheeks every bit as red as the kiss' crimson foil wrapper.

*****

It had been a month, and she still hadn't really noticed his existence.

Clark unwrapped the kiss and moodily popped it into his mouth. He'd known "Lois," who'd been previously known as Chloe Sullivan, since he was thirteen. They'd been best friends ever since middle school, and after college, they'd become lovers.

But that had been short-lived, because his "father" Jor-El had called him to the Arctic to complete his training. Jor-El had changed Chloe's identity and wiped her memories to protect her, for fear that she'd be in danger from his enemies if anyone knew they shared a long history.

And now the most important woman in his life had no memory of him. None whatsoever.

Clark dropped into his desk chair, which creaked beneath his weight, and sighed. This was killing him, damn it. Chloe had been such an important part of his life for so long, first his best friend, and then his lover.

And right when he'd finally realized she wasn't just his best friend, but his true love, his soulmate, she'd had all her memories of him ripped away.

He remembered Jor-El's stentorian tones: You will have a second chance.

This was his second chance. And he was blowing it.

He'd figured Chloe-- no, Lois-- would be drawn to him. They'd been friends forever, so clearly there was sort of a natural bond between them, and he'd counted on them quickly redeveloping the warm, close friendship they'd always shared. He'd figured it would be easy to win her heart back.

But he hadn't reckoned on the years that had passed while he'd been away for his training. Chloe wasn't the sweet, loving girl he'd known any more. She'd rediscovered the ambition she'd possessed in high school, and built on it, becoming tough and gritty and hard. She'd worked her ass off to become the Planet's top reporter.

He was proud of everything she'd accomplished. But there was a certain hardness, a certain brittleness, to her now. She didn't have that underlying sweetness he remembered. She was tough as nails, driven by ambition, and he wasn't sure she had a heart to win any longer.

He glanced over at her. She was studying something on her screen, frowning. Working on her next story, he figured.

"Hey," he said. "What did that computer ever do to you?"

She glanced at him, that look of concentration still on her face, then flashed a wry smile.

"Just trying to figure out how I can get an interview with this Superman guy," she said.

"I think maybe he doesn't want to be interviewed," Clark said mildly. "He's been pretty obvious about avoiding the media."

"Still, I'm determined to get the first interview with him. He's my story, after all. I wrote the first article on him. I've been interviewing people all over the city, trying to get more leads. And now I want to meet the man himself."

Clark nodded. It was Chloe-- Lois-- who'd dubbed him Superman. He'd been a little worried that she'd link the two of them together, because she was certainly smart enough to figure stuff like that out, but so far, she hadn't. Even so, he didn't want to test his "secret identity" by meeting her face to face.

She'd clearly forgotten his existence. She stared into space a moment longer, looking thoughtful, then smiled. "I have an idea," she said, and got up, then walked briskly away.

Clark got up and went after her, because when Chloe smiled like that, trouble wasn't far behind.

*****

It was breezy up on the roof. The golden globe turned slowly overhead, gleaming in the afternoon sunlight. Lois walked across the roof, toward the edge.

"Hey." A voice she knew well spoke behind her. "What are you up to?"

She glanced back over her shoulder and smiled. "I'm going to get that interview with Superman," she said, and began to scramble up onto the ledge of the roof.

Suddenly he was right behind her, holding her arm in a surprisingly tight grip. "Are you crazy?"

"Probably," she answered, shrugging unconcernedly. The breeze whipped her long dark hair into her face. "The best reporters usually are."

"No, Lois." He dragged her away from the edge, none too gently. He was stronger than he looked, and although she dug her heels in, it didn't have much effect. "You are not going to-- to--"

"Superman is based somewhere in this area of the city," she said reasonably. "I know that from all the interviews I've done. Plus, he seems to have this ability to hear almost anything. I figure if I call his name and jump... he'll catch me."

"And if he doesn't, you'll be a grease spot on the pavement. Don't be an idiot, Lane. There's a fine line between pursuing a story doggedly and being insanely reckless, and you're on the wrong side of that line. Trust me."

She sighed. What a pain this guy was. "Fine," she said, a little crankily, and tried to pull away from him and head back for the stairs. But he didn't let her go.

"Promise me you won't try this again," he said, staring at her.

She looked up, into the brilliant green eyes behind the thick glasses, and a shock of recognition hit her. And not for the first time. Every time she looked right into his eyes, something warm and sweet unfurled inside her, a feeling that she'd known this man for a long, long time, that they meant so very much to each other...

Clark, she thought with a sudden anguished affection. Oh, Clark.

Intellectually, she knew that weird feeling was crazy and illogical. She'd never met Clark until he'd shown up in the bullpen a month ago. And he was nothing to her. A colleague, a partner of sorts, a casual friend. Nothing more.

And yet she couldn't look away from those brilliant, beautiful eyes.

He bent toward her, very slowly, and she found herself lifting her hands, clutching his arms. Beneath the too-large suit, his biceps felt like iron.

"What are you doing?" she whispered.

His mouth curved in a slight smile.

"Helping myself to a kiss," he answered, very softly.

And then his mouth was on hers, and her eyes drifted closed, and in her head she saw quick flashes of images, echoes of so many other kisses, kisses in file rooms and on a crowded dance floor and in the loft of a barn and in the darkened basement of the Planet...

And then he lifted his head, and the images blew away like smoke on the wind, the way dreams faded away when one awakened. She couldn't remember a single one of the images that had filled her head.

All she knew was that kissing him had left her feeling very, very confused.

He stood there for a moment, standing tall and straight. For an instant he didn't look like the geek she knew at all, but like a strong, confident, almost arrogant man. And then he seemed to come back to himself. Suddenly he hunched his shoulders, folding in on himself and growing smaller and less impressive right before her eyes.

"Sorry," he said, very meekly. "I, uh, I guess I really, uh, shouldn't have..."

She blinked at him, because for the first time she had the impression that all the uhs, all the awkwardness, all the geekiness, was just an act. Why any guy would want to act like a dork, she didn't know. But she was suddenly certain she'd caught a brief glimpse of the real man as he'd kissed her.

And the real man was very definitely not a dork.

"It's okay," she said, and brushed past him. "Forget about it. I already have."

Which was an arrant lie, but he didn't need to know that.

His hand captured her wrist, pulling her to a stop. "You still haven't promised," he said.

She looked up at him, smiling a little. "I promise," she answered. "I won't fling myself off the roof to see if Superman catches me."

"Thank you," he said, and let her go.

Back in the bullpen, she headed for the copyroom, then turned and watched Clark surreptitiously as he stumbled his way to his desk. He tripped on the way there, knocking over a jar of pens on someone else's desk. Mumbling apologies, he bent to pick them up, and promptly knocked an open can of Coke over, so that it poured all over the other guy's keyboard.

It really is all an act, she realized, watching him. Every bit of it. He's not really a blundering fool. He just wants everyone to think he is.

She still couldn't imagine why a man would want to present himself as more dorky than he really was, but there was no doubt in her mind that she was right. She was Lois Lane, and she trusted her gut. Her reporter's instincts were aroused, and she resolved to keep an eye on him.

Now she had two mysteries to solve.

Superman... and Clark Kent.

-The End-

18 comments:

christina-kat said...

Superman... and Clark Kent.
If she starts from the second he will find the first!

What a great story!

chloista4ever said...

OMG I LOVE YOU ELLY! That was amazing :-)*grinning like an idiot*

Inked said...

Love this AU and the kiss was epic :D

Anonymous said...

OOOH I love this story. Please write more soon. Deborah

fersuregurl said...

I like this a lot!! Hope the sequel is coming soon :)

Anonymous said...

LOVE! NEED MORE.

Work is boring, your stories are more or less what gets me through.

Please continue this.

Anonymous said...

I love all of your stories and I have often spent a few hours each day sifting through all of the different stories you have written.
I dunno if you planned on continuing this or if it was just a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants moment, but I would love it if you did!

-T

shop-gal08 said...

I love the sequence of memories Chloe recalls when he kisses her! You should continue this.

Thanks for sharing.

writrgurl said...

Elly! Dang it, you can't just leave this story here! You really have to add to it :p This is a first chapter to a big fic, not a one-shot, trust me.

It was very exciting, I loved it.

Anonymous said...

Yay for you making this into a series! Super excited!

Anonymous said...

Oh, very nice. Really enjoyed this. I love how she has two mysteries to solve and how he wants a kiss disguised as chocolate. Yum! :-) -Meka

DeeDee said...

Aw, poor Clark. He needed that kiss so badly! He must be missing her like crazy…having her so near yet so far must be torture.

And yay for Chloe/Lois, who KNOWS that Clark is as much a mystery as Superman is. There has to be more to this story, there HAS to!

Awesome stuff, Elly!

Regards,
Dee.

Amy in Santa Monica said...

Oh Elly, this is really good. I am fantasizing that you will stretch this out for many, many delicious chapters so I can savor each one for a long time! Thank you for picking up on this one again. :-)

bkwurm1 said...

This story is really engrossing, I hated to reach the end. I hope you might feel inspired to continue, maybe first dance,first fight, first night, first cup of coco by the fire, I'm not picky and there are so many possibilities.

Anonymous said...

Wonderful! You've taken the comic-book canon and aligned it perfectly with the "Smallville" mythos. I'm really interested in where you're taking this, and I hope you write some sequels. Where you ended it just cries out for more.
Sincerely, IolantheAlias

Anonymous said...

This is even better (if that's possible) than your usual stellar pieces! I hope you continue the story!

Sarah

meanjody said...

I love how much smarter she is in a short time than Nois :)

RJChasez said...

Re-read this... brilliant. I'd love to see a follow-up eventually. :D