A Bug By Any Other Name

August 29, 2016:

Clark visits a very sick Lois.. Kent has his suspicions and promises to follow Lois on her investigation.

Lois' Apartment


NPCs: None.

Mentions: Perry


Mood Music: [*\# None.]

Fade In…

Clark stopped by to check in on Lois when she didn't show up around the office that day. Clark's stepped back from daily reporting, focusing on feature pieces and his novels. He realized he could never compete with Lois in that regard and, frankly, it made his life easier when he stopped trying. Plus, this role leaves his schedule more free to pursue his outside interests, like saving the world and woodcarving.

He knocks on the door firmly, "Lois?" he calls out. He knows she's home because he can hear her heartbeat. He has a key to the apartment, but doesn't use it except with permission because he's Clark and that's just the kind of person he is.

Lois was working. Well, a few days ago she was working. She had caught a lead on a case that she was working on, which was quiet as kept, a little nudge here and there to the right people and she had all the information she needed to start an article. After that, well… and a few drinks or something or other later, she was home with a nasty headache and a horrible stomach bug that just wouldn't quit.

Hence her taking a few days off.

A week, more like.

He could hear her heartbeat flutter, though it was strong, and it became increasingly louder as she moves to answer the door. The vision of her was something out of a horror magazine for women, bleak.. pale skin. Dull eyes, and messy hair. There were even rings around her eyes due to lack of sleep. And she smelled like.. well. Someone who had been throwing up and covered with a crap ton of toothpaste, mouthwash, pepto, tea and ginger ale.

"Clark.." She says, clearing her throat with a slight cough. "Why didn't you just use your key?" There were no hugs given, she felt like hammered goat shit.

Clark Kent clears his throat, pushing his glasses up as if he needed them. Old habits. "You weren't expecting me. I know we're getting back on track, but that doesn't give me license to just break into your apartment, Lois," he says.

He comes inside, "I see you've been going at your usual diet. I'm going to make you actual food," he says, showing the brown paper bag he brought along. "A little something wholesome to help you get back on your feet," he says.

"Perry's also wanting at least something he can publish before Wednesday because, and I'm just quoting him here, "I'm not paying her ridiculous salary to write one story a blasted month, no matter how good it is!"

"Hrnnng." Yes. That was a growl. A growl as she keeps the robe tucked around her body as if it were her armor. "My usual diet? What the hell is that supposed to mean?" Irritation was one of the symptoms, but at least he could probably tell that she was running a fever. This wasn't an ordinary fever, but she was still up and moving like anyone else would aside from the headache.

"Please.. please tell me you've brought some tequila. Or ginger ale. Or some soup.. or.. something." Her hand reaches up to rub lightly at her temple, carefully lowering herself down upon the couch with a little lean over to snag a pillow. "And tell Perry I'm working on something, I'll have it on his desk Tuesday morning.."

Clark Kent raises an eyebrow, "You know perfectly well there's no tequila. There IS ginger ale. And I'm making you a simple potato casserole - it's hearty and filling, but very mild, so it'll be easy on your stomach," he says. "And by your usual diet, I mean that your average vegetable intake is eating the celery in your Bloody Mary," he smirks. "That or as much Big Belly Burger as you can carry."

"And you can tell Perry yourself, when we get you to the office tomorrow morning. In the meantime," he says, passing her a can of ginger ale, "I suppose I could do soup if you really prefer it…just take me a second to dash to the store."

"Tequila is found in most cough medicines, just so you know.." Lois corrects, patting the pillow down in between her legs as she grabs the other to lean upon the back of the couch. Most of what he planned to cook seemed really, really horrid. One would nearly consider just throwing themselves from the balcony with the way that she looked at that moment.

"I just need something light, Clark.. I really don't feel good." She seemed a little saddened at that. "I don't even think I'm going to make it in tomorrow. I don't want to infect anyone with whatever I got." She frowns sadly. "And really, if you had an issue with my drinking, then why bring it up when I can't really verbally defend myself.." Without puking.. without puking.. without puking…

Clark Kent considers, "Then I will get you something light. Perhaps a pita pocket," he says, "With some ranch and tomatoes, a little grilled chicken. They have some good ones at the grocery store down the block," he says.

"Last I checked, hangovers were not contagious. Drink some water," he says. "And I'm not having an issue with your drinking - you're having an issue with your drinking, which is why you're throwing up. I'm just suggesting that, perhaps, drinking less cough syrup will result in a better outcome for you."

Lois closes her eyes, inhaling deeply then slowly exhaling. Okay.

"Clark.." She says, holding one hand out, her fingers pinching together then opening just a little. "You're about -this- close from getting tossed out on your ass.." She huffs a little, mashing her pillow in between her legs then releasing, tossing it upon the floor with a slow sliding stand from the couch.

Hoooboy, that anger was just enough to send her staggering, the quick rise making her dizzy, her hand clutching her stomach as she swallows down the little bit of spit that tries to come upright. "I'm going to my room."

Clark Kent nods, "Lay down if you need to," he says, clearly unperturbed by her threat. If she asked him to leave, he would, of course, but he suspected she was mostly just in a grouchy mood. This wasn't an unusual occurrence.

He does dash out while she's in there, quickly getting supplies for some light sandwiches (and yes, some warm soup from a Panera on the way back), returning and setting things back down on the counter.

He rolls up his sleeves and loosens his tie, busying himself cleaning up the living room until she's ready to come out again.

Lois really wasn't used to him being here. That's why when she went into her room, she sat down upon the bed, flopping pillows and every thing else onto the floor in a fit of mild anger. "No.. fricking.. wonder!" She says loud.. though she does stop to clutch at her head, the feeling that something was crawling through and burrowing into her brain has her letting out a wordless scream of agony. Well, wordless and soundless.

She could even hear it. Like a corkscrew, something crunching through her inner ear that has her flinching awkwardly and lifting a knee. She tries to breathe through the pain, first letting out a little squeak, then huffing through her nose to bear. She wasn't even aware that he had left, but her senses now were so sharp that she could literally smell the soup and sandwiches from the other room.

Clark Kent finally knocks on her door, quietly, "Lois, I hate to bother you, but I did get you some soup and it's going to get cold. I can warm it up for you, of course, but I think you'll like it," he says.

"C'mon, you can tell me about the story you're working on."

Hearing him knock causes her head to hurt worse. But soon the pillows were kicked up into her hands and laid out upon the bed, Lois quietly crawling towards them to rest her head against. "I don't want it hot.. warm is just fine.." She was quiet, naturally. But the prospect of talking about the greatest mystery that she's ever come across positively lit her up.

In a glow that would make her sick.

She waits until he was close, then slowly sits upright, her entire body near shaking from her previous bout of pain. "Sit behind me? This is going to be a doozy.."

Clark Kent makes his way in carefully, bringing the soup with him and coming to sit down behind her. He strokes a hand slowly over her back. "Lois, I…I hadn't realized…" he admits, then chastises himself. Judgmental and self-involved of him to have assumed. He's ashamed for a moment, but doesn't have time to wallow in it. Lois needs him now.

"Tell me," he says. He detects a strange sound, something unnatural inside her, but he doesn't want to frighten her. He keeps one ear to her tale while he tunes the other to the noise within, honing in on it carefully.

She shakes her head. "You're a dum-dum, Smallville." At least she was over her little batch of anger. And it was mostly because he stayed there with her after she yelled at him. She really didn't want him to leave.

"Well, this started two years ago.." She confesses. "Before I returned to Metropolis. I was overseas doing work with my dad.. nothing to do with the story when there was.. something happened.." Her head was hurting, but she was so lost in thought that she ignored the sound boring into her flesh. "Like.. I can't.. tell.. I can't but.." She stammers slightly, one eye at a full wince. "These people. Like.. and.. green. Blue.." Her head lulls back, full on pressed to his chest, her body nearly hot like fire as she begins to twitch harshly, her mind glitching near rapidly.

"Sleep. Peas. One. Two. Gang. Two.. Lane. Murder. Murder."

Clark reacts as quickly as he can, "Lois. Lois! LOIS!" he says.

He quickly turns and lays her down as he moves to examine her. He combines his microvision and his X-ray vision, searching through her head to try and find the source of the trouble. When he discovers the invader in her ear canal, he grits his teeth in barely suppressed anger.

"Hush, hush, it'll be all right, I'm here, I've got you," he murmurs. He removes his glasses, setting them on the nightstand as he peers into her ear and, very carefully, aims his heat vision, creating the thinnest possible heat-laser, knowing if he misses by even a millimeter, he'll take her hearing and possibly do worse.

Luckily for her, he's Superman.

That thin line of heat was just enough for it to neutralize the bug. Sadly for the both of them, as soon as that little bug was zapped it evaporated into a tiny little pile of ash. By then, Lois' eyes were rolled into the back of her head, her teeth clenched and grit, her body nearly seizing within his strong grasp. It takes her close to a few minutes to calm down, her feet dragging against the bed, kicking, body wanting to thrash about to fight against the fever that had built but thankfully, it wasn't aloud.

And after a few moments, she stops.

It could have been a full hour or two before she comes to, but once she does.. she felt better. There was no headache, no grinding sound within her ear, no need to take a knife to jam it right through her eardrum to swirl and sizzle her brain. But she was tired, and with a slight yawn and a stretch, her looks around blearly. "..Paper Industries..? Huh.." Her eyes flutter a little, still bleary and tired. "I didn't mean to fall asleep.."

He's cradling her in her lap when she wakes. When she does, he lets out a breath he'd been holding for…well, longer than any human could have held their breath. That sigh of relief runs through him as he closes his eyes, keeping his own from stinging with a quick brush of his fingers and then another down to stroke across her cheek.

"I know you didn't. But you're feeling better now, right?" he says. His glasses are still off, his famous curl laying across his brow, a reminder that, though she always calls him Clark, Superman is also always there.

Lois smiles a little, drawing her feet up enough to rest upon his thigh. He seemed a lot larger this way, with the glasses off, relaxed and in his confident demeanor. But really, he was just the same ol' Clark. Even if he had a different name that he went by. She was still his big bumbling idiot who had a mom who could cook like a demon.

"I am." She admits.

"But that's the big story.. I.. really can't tell that to Perry just yet. I do have something for him, a puff piece, at least." She smiles gently, then lifts her chin to lightly press a kiss against his jawline. "I love you, Kal. Now where's the food.. I smelled it earlier. Could eat a goddamned horse.."

Clark Kent considers. She hadn't really told him the story, although it probably felt as though she did. But if he asked her to go over it again, she might be confused. He wouldn't lie to her, but he was worried about her and this investigation, "Maybe I can come with you as you investigate further? I have a few columns banked for a rainy day and it's been a while since I stretched my reporter legs," he says innocently enough.

"Don't worry, I don't want a byline," he teases, "And I love you, too, Lois. Always," he says, kissing her at the corner of her mouth and then taking her hand to lead her back into the living room, "Let me get your food."

"As a little bit of backup?" She asks quietly. She didn't seem put off, her mind was working as it usually does, especially when she gets -that- stare. "Actually, that could work out." She murmurs softly. She was already planning her next step. "In fact, I have just the place where you could go."

As they stand from the bed, she smiles towards him, then immediately rushes forward to close the door in front of him. "You don't want a byline, good. I'd out penn you any day. However, I have an idea. How fast can you get published? I need you to write a quick fictional mystery. Something that'll catch someones attention. Something that you could put in.. say.. The Daily Bugle under the Entertainment section.. just a short work." She grins then, leaning against the door. "What do you say, Smallville?"

Clark Kent smiles, "I can pull a string or two - I actually cultivate relationships with the editors so that I can get things out of them, instead of just giving them the one finger salute," he smirks, bringing her the soup and making her pitas. Since she seems hungry, he loads them up well, with plenty of chicken and veggies.

"What kind of mystery are you wanting?" he says, eying the love of his life with a mingling of outright admiration and wary familiarity.

"Nya nya.." Lois teases. She doesn't blast her relationships, at least not outright. If they were involved in something illicit, the truth usually sets their relationships free in a telling piece which sometimes leads to an arrest or two. Though, her problem, it was also not.

She moves to slowly climb atop of the counter, her legs swinging idly, her head leaning forward as she was set to thinking. "You let me worry about that." She makes a slight little noise, then motions him closer with a little wiggle of her finger.

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