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Rules of Battle

Chapter Text

***

Previously On Rules of Trust

“I’ll fly you home,” Clark offered.

“I appreciate the offer, but that would prove to be a problem in the morning when I need to drive to work,” she pointed out.

“I can come back for the Jeep,” he pointed out, running his hands up her sides. “It’ll only take a few minutes.”

“And when someone takes a picture of Superman flying my Jeep to my apartment?” Lois prompted, looking back at him with a teasing smile.

“Probably not a good idea,” he conceded, leaning in to kiss her.

“Probably not,” she agreed, smiling back at him. “So…” she fingered the collar of his dress shirt, folding the flap of his collar where it had come unfolded earlier.

“So…” he repeated, looking down at her with a smile.

“I guess I should go home. Get some rest,” she whispered softly, still not making a move to leave.

“Yeah,” he smiled at her. “I guess you should.”

“So, tomorrow?” she whispered, sliding down from the counter to stand in front of him.

“Tomorrow.” He leaned in to kiss her.

***

Two Months Later…

Lois stared at the one-hundred-and-seventy-five-foot wheel in front of her with a sign that read, “Niagara Falls Sky Wheel.” The sound of the nearby falls could be heard in the distance amid the chatter of children running and playing around the theme park. When Clark had said he had a surprise for her, she didn’t imagine the surprise being a theme park at Niagara Falls.

It had been two months since he’d let her in on his secret. Two months since she’d taken a chance and said ‘yes’ to what her heart had been pushing her to do since the fallout from her failed wedding to Lex. Though they worked together for over a year each date proved to reveal something new and different the other hadn’t known.

One of her biggest fears about starting a relationship with him was that things would change between them. He was her best friend—the person she thought she knew better than anyone—losing his friendship wasn’t an option for her. That was one of the reasons she’d fought so hard against admitting how she really felt about him. It had come as quite a shock to discover that the man she’d fantasized about for nearly a year had been the same man she’d been working side by side with and joking around with.

After her initial shock had worn off, they’d agreed to try and adjust to the bombshell he’d dropped on her and the change in their relationship slowly. They’d agreed to take things slow, but that proved to be more difficult to follow through with than either of them had anticipated. Less than twelve hours after their first date and neither of them seemed to be succeeding on keeping their hands to themselves. Jimmy and Perry had figured out what was going on before the week was up.

She smiled to herself, recalling the very heated make-out sessions on his couch from the beginning of their relationship. They’d come very close to pushing the envelope and giving into the temptation to make that leap in their relationship to satisfy the more physical urges, but Clark had been quick to put the brakes on when things got too heated. Looking back, she was grateful he had. Her past relationships had begun with moving things to the physical side of the relationship almost immediately. Her last experience with Claude had left her uncertain of herself and created a mental stigma against getting involved with anyone at work. It had taken her almost a year to allow Clark to get close enough to consider him a friend after what had happened with both Claude and Lex.

She’d never felt that pull toward Lex that she constantly felt with Clark. If she was honest with herself, she hadn’t felt it with Claude or Paul either. It was lust and infatuation that had drawn her in, but neither man made her weak in the knees the way Clark had. The closer they got over the past few months the deeper her feelings grew. She knew she loved him and had been in love with him for quite some time—even if she wouldn’t admit it to herself until recently.

It had been a hectic few months with the fiasco of dead criminals being resurrected by Dr. Hamilton and Molly’s ex-fiance coming back from the dead to try and hold the world hostage. Then there had been the incident last month with Clark’s powers being transferred to William Wallace Webster Waldecker. It had taken them two days to track him down, and a long heart to heart talk with Clark seemed to not persuade the man he couldn’t charge people for his saving them.

What did help was the reminder of everyone that had come after Superman since his arrival and everyone that had used his friends to get to him. That got the man’s attention. Low and behold at that very moment his sister, Wandamae had just been attacked and almost kidnapped. Thankfully Clark and Waldecker had shown up in time to stop it, but unfortunately, the attempted kidnapper got away.

With some experimentation and research from STAR Labs, they were able to reverse the transfer and return Waldecker to normal. Waldecker was able to provide a brief description of a woman that had tried to bribe him into letting her take his superpowers. That was two weeks ago, and as of yet, they hadn’t been able to track down the mysterious woman or match the description Waldecker gave them with anyone in the system. It was like she had disappeared into thin air.

“The view from the top is amazing,” Clark said, wrapping an arm around her waist from behind and pulling her to him.

She smiled back at him, pulling herself back to the present and looking toward the large white and gray wheel that was slowing down. “I haven’t been to one of these things since I was a kid,” Lois said as the group of passengers exited the Sky Wheel and the gate in front of them opened for their aisle.

“Come on. It’ll be fun,” Clark whispered, leaning in to kiss her cheek before leading her to the carriage with tinted glass walls all around it.

“Watch your step,” the attendant instructed as she stepped inside.

There was a bench to sit on and a white metal pole in the center of the carriage. The walls and doors were covered in tinted glass, allowing a three-hundred and sixty-degree view around the park. “Wow,” she gasped as the sliding door closed, and the lock clicked. She felt the carriage begin to move and reached out for the pole, smiling when her hand brushed against Clark’s.

He pointed to the right corner and said, “If you keep your eye right there you’ll see the falls the whole time.”

She followed where his hand pointed. Sure enough, the majestic Niagara Falls could be seen in the corner as they rode up the wheel and came to a stop halfway up the wheel, waiting for the next passengers to be loaded on.

“Pretty incredible, huh?” Clark asked next to her.

“It’s gorgeous,” she breathed, watching the colored lights reflect off the water that tumbled down in harmony. The sun was beginning to set, and the final gaze of the sun’s orange and yellow rays reflected off the water as they began to move again.

***

Lucy Lane set her suitcases down on the pavement, looking up at the familiar brick building with a sigh. It had been nearly a year since she’d been in Metropolis, but she missed it. She turned back to the cab driver who was helping pull the last of her luggage out of the trunk.

“That’ll be twenty-eight-fifty.” He said with a heavy sigh as he handed her her last bag.

“Right.” Lucy looked in her purse and began to rummage inside for the fifty-dollar bill she’d stashed in there earlier. “I had it…” she frowned, digging a little deeper until she found the green bill folded in the bottom pocket. “Ah-ha.” She proudly pulled out the fifty-dollar bill and handed it to him.

He counted out her change, and she returned a five to tip him. He nodded his thanks and walked back to the driver’s side of the cab to leave.

Lucy grabbed her bags and headed inside. Hopefully, Lois was still on the first floor.

***

After an afternoon at the Niagara Falls theme park and finishing the evening with a ride on the Sky Wheel to watch the sunset, Lois and Clark enjoyed a light dinner at one of the local restaurants before returning to Metropolis. Lois rested her head against Clark’s shoulder as he flew them through the night sky. The stars looked close enough she was sure she could reach out and grab one. The moon’s pale yellow light reflected off Clark’s cheek as they flew over the city lights of the city she’d called home for so long.

Her body shivered against him, and he whispered in her ear, “You cold?”

“No,” she shook her head as she saw the familiar streets below. “Thanks for today. It was nice to get out of Metropolis and do something fun.”

“I’m glad you had fun.” He smiled at her. “That’s one of my favorite views. The way the light hits the water right when the sun is setting.” They came in to land a block from her apartment in the familiar looking abandoned alleyway.

Lois looked around to make sure the coast was clear before nodding to him. “We’re good.”

He took her hand in his and walked with her toward the red brick apartment building. “Maybe we can make a trip back up there one weekend and check out some of their other attractions?” he suggested.

“Yeah, I’d like that.” Lois smiled and nodded before teasing, “If I don’t have any other plans, that is.”

“Of course.” He grinned back at her.

She felt butterflies in her stomach when he smiled at her. The closer they had gotten over the past few months the more she had moments like this. He was no longer just Clark, her friend, but Clark her boyfriend. The guy she wanted to spend her spare time with and kiss senseless. They’d promised one another that things wouldn’t change between them, but they had. They’d changed in a good way. There was that pull again.

They walked up to her apartment, and she pulled her keys out to unlock the several locks on her door and turned back to him. There were those butterflies again. “Thanks again for the, uh…” she caught her neighbor across the hall stepping out of her apartment to take her trash out and quickly covered for herself. She made a flying motion with her hand and took a step toward him. “I had a really nice time.”

“Me too,” he whispered, leaning in to kiss her.

She smiled against his lips, feeling his hand cup the side of her face. She ran her fingers up the front of his dress shirt and murmured, “Do you want to come in for…uh, coffee?”

He chuckled against her lips, “Since when do you have a coffee maker in your kitchen?”

“We can get some...from the cart down the street.” She purred mischievously, fingering the hair on the back of his neck as she felt the wood frame of her door against her back. “Or we could just keep doing this,” she whispered breathlessly.

“I like doing this,” he whispered in her ear, moving his attention to her jawline as she looped her other arm around his neck.

“Me too,” She murmured against his lips, reaching behind her for the knob to her door. Before she could turn the door handle, she felt the solid wood against her back give away. “Oh!” she gasped as Clark caught her. She leaned against him to see her front door open with her sister in the doorway. “Lucy?”

“Hi, Clark, Lois,” Lucy’s cheeks blushed with a crimson red, looking between Lois and Clark.

“Hi, Lucy,” Clark managed at the same time Lois interjected, “How’d you get in here?”

“You gave me your keys.” Lucy shrugged.

“Uh, Luce, wh-what are you doing here?” Lois stammered, running a hand through her hair self-consciously as Clark released his arms around her and cleared his throat nervously.

“My roommate doesn’t get back in town until morning. I figured I could just stay here for the night, but…” Lucy explained, stepping aside for Lois and Clark to enter her apartment. She glanced between them with a knowing smile, “Boy, a year certainly changes things, doesn’t it?”

“Yeah,” Lois sighed, sharing a look with Clark. “So, how long are you in town for?”

“At least until I’m done with college,” Lucy said, walking back toward the kitchen. “By the way, you might want to run to the store sometime. There is like nothing in here to eat.”

“I’ve been a little busy,” Lois said hurriedly.

“I noticed.” Lucy teased, pulling out the Chinese carton she’d been eating from earlier. “I ordered some Sesame Chicken if you want some.”

“I’ve got to get going,” Clark whispered in her ear.

Lois looked at him in surprise then nodded when she realized what he was referring to. He really had to go. She nodded, “I’ll see you tomorrow.” He leaned in for a quick peck and was out the door before Lucy could respond.

Lucy glanced at the door that had just closed behind Clark then back at Lois. “So, you and Clark, huh?” She gave Lois an impish grin.

“Don’t start,” Lois warned, throwing a pillow from the couch at Lucy.

***

Clark flew toward the alarm that had caught his attention on the corner of Division and Wright Street. An armed officer stood in position outside the jewelry store with his weapon drawn on a man in a dark green jacket. “Okay, pal, drop the ice!”

To Clark’s surprise, the man advanced toward the officer, and the officer opened fire. “Back off man. Just back off!”

The bullets bounced off the robber, and Clark heard the feedback from the police radio echoing from the robber’s head. Concerned, Clark used his x-ray vision on the robber as he came in to land. He looked at the robber in surprise then back at the officer. He used his x-ray vision to confirm his suspicions.

“Stop!” Clark warned the officer, ordering him to stop firing. “It’s a robot.”

“A what?” the officer looked at him in surprise.

Clark aimed a blast of heat vision at the robber’s feet, and the officer looked in surprise as metal pooled at the robber’s feet. “He’s a robot….or it is,” he corrected himself.

“Four thirty-one Metro, requesting back-up at 321 Division street.” the officer spoke into the radio. The robotic man slowed down as he stood in place.

“You might want to page STAR Labs while you’re at it,” Clark instructed.

“A robotic thief. Now, I’ve seen everything,” the officer mused to himself.

***

TBC...