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It starts because Clark’s in the bathroom.

Lois, by contrast, is still sprawled on their bed, with the sheets completely twisted around her.  She’s not exactly a morning person, especially on Saturdays when she doesn’t have a deadline for getting up.  Clark, on the other hand, takes a sadistic delight in being disastrously cheerful when he wakes up at it’s-barely-light-out-o’-clock.

She’s on the verge of drifting back to sleep, but that doesn’t stop her from mumbling a few choice words about Clark’s habits.  

Lois barely remembers it, but three hours later (when she can actually claim that she’s not a zombie), she’s spooning oatmeal into her mouth when Clark says, “So I guess if I’m a hyperactive Kryptonian farmboy who has no business being this cheerful in the morning, then I shouldn’t be awake early enough to make you coffee.”

Lois pauses with her spoon halfway to her mouth, staring.  “… you use your superhearing to listen to my early morning rants?”

She feels like slapping herself on the forehead the moment that she asks that question.  Of course he does - he flies halfway around the world to save her ass, sometimes.  There’s really only one feasible way he would even know that she’s in trouble.

Clark smiles a little bashfully.  “I think it’s adorable.”

Lois waves a hand around her face.  “Clark, I am the personification of hell in the early morning.  There is nothing adorable about this.”

But he’s still got that grin on his face.  Lois rolls her eyes, but she feels a mirroring grin creeping up on her.

That morning is brushed off in her mind, until a few days later.  

Lois is digging through some papers in one of her desk drawers, scowling when she can’t find the form she needs.  What’s she going to do?  Tell Perry that her dog ate it?  What dog?

“That’d go over well,” she mumbles under her breath.  “Guess what, Perry?  That form that you wanted me to fill out took a trip to Mars.  Sadly it didn’t leave a paper trail.”

There is a very, very loud snort that comes from the copy room.  Lois raises both eyebrows, turning her head in that direction, just in time to see Clark peek his head around the door frame to laugh at her.

Lois mock-scowls at him.  Damned super hearing.

But it begins to happen more - whenever she talks to herself, or makes snide little comments behind people’s backs (only when they really deserve it), Clark will show up a few minutes later with a chortle and a knowing look.  It should probably creep Lois out a bit that he always hears what she’s saying, but she surprises herself by not having a problem with it, and she knows he would stop if she asked him to.

She decides to test it further when someone is interviewing him live - he’s just stopped a train crash, and is gracefully answering a few questions about the incident.  He’s also speaking with the mayor of the town where the train was saved, and shaking his hand.

Lois is alone, in their apartment, so she thinks it’s safe to say, “I bet he has dead-fish hands, Clark.  Tell me he does.”

His response is immediate: he looks straight into the camera for a blink, giving her an admonishing look.  It’s the one she gets when she stops really pressing for answers and starts making subtle digs at the people she’s interviewing.  It happens.  Lois knows she isn’t perfect.

The next time it happens, she decides, out of the blue, to tell a joke.  It falls a bit flat, because she doesn’t get an immediate response, but it’s worth it when he shows up an hour later with a red face.

“The police chief thought I was laughing at him,” he tells at her.  “Could you maybe have timed that a little better?”

Lois just smiles sweetly.

There are times when it… helps.

She always makes sure to check the news, so that she isn’t distracting him from something important.  But even Lois Lane - star reporter of the Daily Planet - has her darker moments, and those are the moments when she’ll sit out on the balcony while he’s out doing his superhero thing, and just talk.

She’ll ramble about whatever’s on her mind, but eventually it’ll get to the heart of what’s bothering her.  Sometimes it’s her frustration with Lex Luthor and his growing influence, sometimes it’s about when some tragic event forces her to re-evaluate her faith in humanity.  Sometimes it’s worry for her sister, who she knows does even more crazy stuff than she does.  Sometimes it’ll be about the fear catching up to her - because Lois is brave, but she’s not fearless.

People would probably think that she’s crazy if they knew.  Sometimes, even Lois thinks that she’s crazy.  But then Clark comes back, a few minutes or a few hours later, and wrap her up in his arms, and she knows -

She knows that he's heard her.  She knows that he understands.