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You'll Be The Death of Me

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Everyone was sitting around the table, waiting to start Sunday dinner (a big to-do in the Kent household, Lois had learned), waiting for Jonathan Kent. Martha had sighed twice in the last minute and a half, and she was now tapping her finger against the edge of her plate. Lois had never known Martha to be quite so impatient before, so she glanced at Clark, wondering what the deal was.

He shrugged, not knowing either. "We can get started without him."

"We'll wait for your father, Clark."

"START WITHOUT ME," Jonathan hollered from another room, just as frustrated-sounding as Martha was.

"We aren't starting without you!"

"I'll be in in a minute, just start without me!"

There was an awkward silence as Martha glared at the kitchen doorway.

Lois and Clark glanced at each other. "Anything we can help with, Ma?"

"No." She was absolutely dead serious. "Your father buttered his bread…"

"Oh HUSH, just GIVE me a minute. Or start without me."

"Jonathan Kent, we have never ever started dinner without everyone at the table, and we're not going to start now, just because you can't find your glasses."

Lois bit her lips trying not to smile.

"Oh, you've never lost anything!"

"If you put them in the same place every time, you'd know where they-"

Lois erupted into uncontrollable laughter. In a matter of seconds, her face was burning red and she was out of breath, but she couldn't stop.

Clark sighed and rubbed his temples. "Lois." He waited until she actually couldn't breathe any more to speak again. "Lois, it isn't that funny."

There was a long period where she didn't inhale during which Jonathan came into the kitchen, an old pair of scratched up glasses perched on the end of his nose. He looked from Lois to Clark, frowning in a way that let Clark know that whatever was happening, it was probably his fault.

Hands steepled in front of him, Clark just looked up at his father, completely unworried that whatever was so hilarious would actually kill his wife. "I didn't do it."

Finally Lois doubled over and sucked in a breath. Grasping her legs, Lois managed to finally steady her breathing. Eventually she wiped the tears out of her eyes. Still gasping for air, she looked around at everyone. "Sorry. SORRY."

"My word, what was that about?"

Lois shook her head. "Nothing, that was just… funny."

But Martha and Jonathan were staring at her, and she really couldn't escape an explanation of some kind.

"Ok. Well, you know how Clark has clothes stashed around Metropolis. Just in case? Well, last time there was a Justice League thing, he couldn't find his glasses afterwards and had to call me to see if I knew where they were. And… and…" She had to stop and breathe again, or risk bursting out into stomach-clenching laughter even worse than before. "And… and Batman's like… if you put them in the same place every time, you'd know where they were." Her chest started quaking and tears started rolling down her eyes again. "THEY ARE SO MARRIED." Holding her sides, she quaked with silent laughter all over again.

Clark huffed and got up from the table. "Bruce and I are not—I don't even know why you'd say… UGH." With a special petulance that only Lois could bring out in him, he stomped away from the table.

"Clark, you get back here, we're going to-" Martha stopped short when the front door of the house slammed shut behind her boy.

They all stared at dinner on the table for a few minutes, listening to Clark pace back and forth on the front porch. He wasn't even TRYING to hide his agitation.

Eventually the redness in Lois' face subsided, and she was able to keep a serious look on her lips for more than two seconds. "I guess I'd better go out there and talk to him."

"I have no idea why he'd get so upset," Martha mumbled as Lois got up from the table.

"Yeah, we all know he's married to Lois," Jonathan responded.

"No, silly. We all know he loses his glasses. He got it from you."

Lois walked through the front rooms and opened the front door, watching her husband pace for a moment. "I'm sorry I laughed." Actually, she'd more than laughed—she'd completely lost control of herself there for a minute. Her stomach muscles would probably hurt for a week, and her throat was sore.

When he didn't stop with his distracted, back-and-forth movement, she stepped onto the creaking wooden porch and grabbed hold of his arm. "Hey, I said I was sorry."

He did stop, finally, and stared at her. "Why would you even say that?" His forehead was knotted in worry and his lips were pressed tightly together, and she could tell it really bothered him.

"About your glasses?"

"About…the other thing."

Lois shrugged. "I don't know. Probably because you two act like it sometimes. I mean, we're married. But you and Bruce? You bicker like an old couple."

"We do not!"

"Are you going to bicker with me about bickering?" She laughed, lightly this time, instead of the insane, unstoppable hysterics from earlier. "Why're you so defensive about it? I mean, half the Justice League thinks you two are an item."

He'd been staring off across the front yard until she said that, and then his head snapped in her direction, and his eyes narrowed. "Don't even joke about that."

"Seriously? There're polls running on this. According to Guy Gardner, I'm your beard."

"And that doesn't…bother you?"

"Why would it bother me? I mean, even if you two WERE-"

He glowered. "WE ARE NOT."

"Even if you two were—I wouldn't mind."

Clark pulled away from her. "YOU WOULDN'T MIND? DO I EVEN KNOW YOU?"

She could tell he was looking her over with his X-Ray and microscopic vision for any traces of alien spores, psychoactive drugs, even signs of Mister Mxyzptlk's influence. "Clark, calm down. I just mean… I'd understand."

"I really don't know you. When we got married, I meant my vows."

Lois looked up at the porch roof, searching for strength from the heavens, or at least a good way to explain it. "I know that, Clark. I'm just saying—I'd understand. I mean, God. Sometimes, you can cut the sexual tension between you two with a knife." He had absolutely no response to this. She smiled and bit her lower lip for a second. "And it'd be kinda hot."

"Seriously, woman."

"Ok, so it's not a fantasy I've exactly fully disclosed to you yet. I'm just saying, it's there."

Clark grabbed both of her arms. "I swear to Rao. Green Kryptonite, Red Kryptonite, Blue Kryptonite, Lex Luthor, Darkseid, Doomsday…YOU are going to be the death of me. YOU are shortening my lifespan as we speak."

Lois looked up at the roof again, shaking her head. "Come on, look at it from my point of view—YOU have the body of a god, HE is at the peak of human physical perfection… AND he's great in bed… and…"

"Wait, WAIT. I DO NOT EVEN WANT TO KNOW."

"OH COME ON, YOU KNOW HE AND I DATED when you first started at the Planet! You can't possibly think that he and I didn't—oh my god. You adorable, ADORABLE farm boy. I love you so hard right now." She grabbed both of his cheeks and pulled him toward her and pecked his lips affectionately. "YOU ARE SO CUTE."

Begrudgingly, he gave her a hug, gently wrapping his arms around her midsection and lifting her easily into the air so their eyes were level. "There is NO sexual tension between me and Bruce."

Lois pecked him on the lips again. "I love you when you're delusional."

THE END