Lois tapped her finger against the phone's screen. The app loaded and she swiped her finger down the screen, forcing it to reload. Nothing new. She tapped the screen again to bring up a different app. As it loaded she tapped her pen against her desk.
She couldn't really explain the new obsession. It just seemed to be the best way to keep up with The Blur's activities was through social media. Obviously, she couldn't be everywhere at once, so having others do her legwork was very convenient. Nothing new on Twitter either.
“Lois?” She glanced up from her phone. Clark's expression made her forehead wrinkle. Why is he always so serious?
“Uh huh?” She looked back at her phone.
“What are you doing?”
“Scouting for my next big story.” She tossed the pen onto her desk and locked her phone.
“From your desk? If someone on the internet is already writing about it, then how could it be your next big story?” He twisted back and forth in his chair. Lois tried to ignore the smile now spreading across his lips.
“For your information, most people don't see the deeper story, or the whole truth, to the things they post online. If something catches my attention, I investigate farther; see how far the story goes.”
“How much deeper can the Blur's most recent save go?”
“Who knows? But if anyone can find out, it's me,” she raised an eyebrow in challenge.
“Fact.” Clark had stopped twisting and was now leaning forward on his desk toward her. “So, see anything worth investigating further?”
“Ugh, there hasn't been any new information in like...” Lois looked at the time on her phone, “Twenty minutes.” She ignored the fact that his grin spread wider, now showing teeth.
“Well then, lunch?” He stood and stretched, waiting for her reply.
Lois glanced down at her phone. Come on alerts! She looked back at Clark and sighed, “Sure, why not?”
The cafe was not as busy as it should have been at noon. Lois frowned, wishing for more excitement. Clark was across from her, examining his sandwich. He had his head tilted to the side; it reminded her of Shelby.
“I um, have to use the restroom.” He almost sprinted to the back of the small space. Lois wondered why he waited ‘til the last minute to go. He was a grown man; it was kind of weird. Another quirk that is Clark Kent. Lois added it to the growing list in her head.
She stabbed a piece of carrot, popping it in her mouth. She couldn't hold back the grin when her phone beeped happily at her. Her eyes lit up as she pulled the phone from her pocket to examine the new data.
“Whatcha lookin at?” Clark slid back into his seat. That was quick. She opened the alert and stared at the picture. Someone had uploaded a new graphic to Tumblr. Nothing new though, just a manipulation, or manip, of a few photos she'd seen plenty of times before.
“Nothing new. I mean, is he taking the day off? Or are crime and accidents on a vacation today? I don't get it.” Lois frowned at her phone before placing it back in her pocket.
“Maybe he's at lunch?” Clark giggled into his sandwich. Lois worried about him. Lunch? Really? She seriously doubted the Blur took time off for lunch. Clark could be seriously dense at times.
“Right. He decided to eat a pastrami sandwich with a friend and just let horrible things occur around him for the hour. Sure.” She scoffed and picked her fork back up.
“All I'm saying is, I'm sure the guy has to eat. And if he chooses to spend that time with a friend, who's to blame him? I doubt that he would just ignore his duties during that time though.” Clark could feel the start of a headache from putting that defense together. It was difficult to defend Clark Kent and the Blur in one statement.
He was worried about Lois too. The Blur, much to his dismay, had become a celebrity. It was all good that he could make people feel safe and inspire them to fight for themselves. He wasn't fond of all the attention, though. Of course, it wasn't as if he had to directly deal with the attention, but he heard about it from Chloe. She told him about the hysteria on the internet. There were groups of fanatic women obsessed with him, “The Blur” him, and they really kind of gave him the creeps.
Lois was picking at her salad, which was very not Lois. Lois was a very stunning woman, but she wasn't one of those women; the kind who ordered a salad and then picked at it. Lois was an eater. If she ordered it, she devoured it, and not always gracefully. Granted, she was usually in a rush to get somewhere, but that wasn't any excuse to be messy.
Clark frowned, Lois hadn't really been out much lately. She just sat at her desk almost the entire workday. He knew she was waiting for something new about the Blur to pop up. He just wished she'd go looking for a story again, the way she used to. He missed seeing the fire in her eyes when she came back to the Planet hot off her newest lead.
There had to be something Clark could do to get Lois back in her own game. They needed a good story to chase. Even as the Blur, he hadn't seen much excitement lately, at least nothing front-page worthy. He frowned. He knew he couldn't just formulate a story, but that idea was very enticing.
“Is your salad not impressive enough?”
“I guess I'm not really hungry after all.” Lois was staring at her plate of practically untouched food.
“You want me to grab you a box?”
“Nah, I would just forget about it anyhow.” She slid off her stool. “I'm gonna head back to the Planet, see if I can't get some work done.”
Before Clark could think of an excuse to keep her there, she was out the front door. He really was hungry. That “bathroom break” save had been on the other side of town. He knew Lois would probably get an alert about it on her short walk back to the office. At least that should put her in a slightly better mood. She always enjoyed the stories that involved fire.
Lois stared at the picture on her phone. The Blur had saved people from a burning apartment building. See, he wasn't at lunch after all. He was on the other side of town saving lives while she and Clark were enjoying comfort foods. Well, Clark was enjoying his food. Lois was too lost in her thoughts to even take a real bite. Her stomach gurgled at her and she sighed. She should have eaten.
She opened an email to find a lead on a new story from her supervisor. Great, now her boss was throwing her story leads. She read over the material and raised an eyebrow. It seemed interesting enough. And the fact that she would get a chance to dig into the dealings of Tess Mercer just added to the appeal. Evidently LuthorCorp was building some self-sufficient tower or something. It seemed like the “Green” act of the century, but Lois doubted the red-head's intentions. Tess always seemed to have ulterior motives for her acts of decency. Lois's stomach growled, loudly.
“I boxed it up anyhow. Thought you'd need it?” Clark dropped the salad on Lois's desk. He looked apologetic. Had she really been that hard on him today?
“Oh thanks. Actually, my stomach spoke up right as I got back and made me regret my decision to leave it behind. Although, I'm wishing I had ordered something a little more filling. She took the top off her left-overs and began shoveling the lettuce into her mouth. Half of Clark's sandwich suddenly appeared on top of her greens. She smiled around her mouthful.
“I know a salad wouldn't fill me up.” Clark's twisted grin made Lois's heart flip, but she would never admit that.
“Whatcha tryin' to say Smallville?” She cocked her head to the side and gave him her best hurt look. When his grin straightened out it was all she could do not to smile.
“No matter. It just so happens, I'm too hungry to argue with you. Oh! We have a new story too.” She quickly forwarded him the email. “Check your inbox.”
Clark shook his head. She was all over the map today. Melancholy, angry, playful, focused. He pulled up the email and read over it quickly. It seemed like a pretty cut and dried story on the surface, but nothing involving Tess was ever what it seemed. He had dealt with her enough to know better. Even though she had made reference to saving the planet on his, and her, first day at the Daily Planet, he had found out that wasn't the whole truth. He knew this tower had to stand for much more than just a breakthrough in energy conservation.
First, he wanted to look into this RAO company. He had never even heard of them before, especially considering they were large enough to set this big of a plan into motion alongside LuthorCorp. This seeming start-up company had made advances in energy that seemed years into the future, and he had only seen the simplest explanation about this new technology in the email.
“Well, I'm going to talk to Tess about this tower thing. See if she'd like to make an official statement for the article.” Lois stood up and smoothed out her skirt. Clark had a feeling she did it for purely torturous reasons. That made him smile. He couldn't deny he enjoyed that particular form of torture.
Clark took the opportunity to call Chloe. She could do some background work on this RAO Inc.
“Hey, Chloe can you do some research for me?”
“Sure Clark. I've just finished up some recon for Oliver. What did you have in mind?”
“Tess has partnered with a start-up company for her newest project, some energy-efficient tower.”
“Okay, not sure why you feel the need to call on Watchtower for this, but for you Clark, anything.” The sarcasm in her voice was not lost on Clark. He didn't really have any explanation to offer, other than the feeling in his gut.
“Something about it just rubs me the wrong way.”