Chloe Sullivan sat in the apartment, over the Talon, which she shared with her cousin, Lois Lane. She sat on the sofa, with the lights out, watching it rain – again. It seemed like it had been raining all month. In reality, the weather had settled into an odd cycle; raining on weekends, often all weekend, ruining any and all plans.
The weather matched her mood, bad: a rough week at work, car problems, no boy friend, and an insane cousin.
She could hear her cousin tearing her room apart, looking for who knows what. It had been going on all afternoon. The one time she had dared to stick her head into the room had earned her a cussing out, but not before she had overheard Lois mutter, "Smallville", with so much vehemence that she was alarmed.
That had occurred two hours ago and the slow steady rain that had started yesterday, had become a raging storm as night had fallen.
She was sitting there wondering if an eleventh beer would dull the ache of her week when Lois stormed out of her room.
"Have you seen my umbrella?"
Chloe sat there staring at her for a minute, and then answered, "You going somewhere?"
"I'm going to straighten the idiot out!"
"Because she's not right for him! Because she's turned him into a vapid zombie! Because she's not giving him my phone messages!"
"What business is it of yours?"
"I… I spent too much time getting him out of his broody state to sit by and allow her to ruin all my work!"
"Are you talking about Lana?"
"Who else could ruin my… our Farm Boy?"
"Apparently anyone with the initials, L. L." Chloe muttered.
"What was that, Cuz?"
"Lois, Clark broke up with Lana two weeks ago."
"He realized that he wasn't in love with her."
"Then why's he so broody?"
"You'll have to ask him, Cuzzy."
'Cuzzy?' Lois thought, and then she noticed the dead soldiers on the floor by the sofa. "Did you drink all those?"
Chloe looked at the floor and smiled, "Nope." She quipped as she dropped the empty bottle that she had been holding. "Now I Have."
Lois shook her head and walked into Chloe's room, and shoved Chloe's car keys and spare keys into her pocket. Exiting, she stated, "I'm going to go see Smallville."
"Put your bikini on, you can swim there."
She stared at her drunken cousin.
Having stretched out on the sofa, Chloe yawned. "You'd have his undivided attention," she said, then muttered, "Not that you need the help."
Lois picked up the light blanket that Chloe had knocked from the back of the sofa, and spread it over her cousin. She brushed a few stray hairs out of Chloe's face and asked, "What are you trying to say."
It was too late for answers, as Chloe closed her eyes and was out. Lois bit her lip and made a decision.
Clark Kent was sitting in his loft staring out of the window, watching the storm, thinking about the freedom he felt without Lana in his life. He hadn't realized, until lately, how much of his life he had wasted on a fantasy… No! Not anymore. He needed to get Kara used to living on earth while keeping her identity a secret. Then he could leave and train at the Fortress. He didn't need a romance to complicate his life, but if the right woman…
Ah, who was he kidding? The chance that she thought of him as more than a waste of a human being was remote at best.
He stepped back, closed the window, turned off the lights, and sped across the yard to the farm house.
Lois stepped back, then retreated to her room, there was something missing – well, a few things.
Shutting her door, she sought her cell phone. She found it in yesterday's jeans, scrolled down to the F's, located the moniker she wanted, and then she pushed the 'send' button.
"Hey, Smallville, in your flannel pj's yet?"
The brakes squeaked as he came to a stop in front of the Talon. He struggled to get his rain coat on, grabbed his backpack, and forced himself to jog at a Norman speed around to the rear entrance where he knew she would be waiting.
The beat of her heart was evident as he stood at the door knocking. He could hear it on the other side of the door, where she was pretending to not be.
After a couple of minutes, ten according to Clark, she threw open the door.
"Hey, Smallville, been waiting long?"
He just grunted as he stepped past her.
"I got down here as quick as I… HEY!" She yelled as his wet rain coat slapped against her, when he took it off. "Watch it, Farm Boy!"
"Sorry." He replied, not quite believably.
She crossed her arms and stared at him through an arched eye brow.
"W-Why?" He stuttered, "Why did you call and why…"
She cut him off with a quick turn and flip of her long hair. "Keep up, Smallville…" she ordered as she stalked off, "…and be quiet!"
'Unbelievable!' He kept to himself, as he obeyed and followed her up to her apartment and into her bedroom.
Once she had closed her door he asked, "What's going on?"
"Doesn't that concern you?"
"Of course it does. But isn't this a case of the pot calling the kettle black?"
"Are you calling us fat?"
His brows knit and through clinched teeth he growled, "Lois!"
'Assertive, Farm Boy,' she thought, 'Nice. But I'd better put him in his place.' "I drink socially. Granted, I am good at it and I enjoy it. The difference is that she's drinking alone and getting sloshed whenever she isn't busy."
"And your plan…?"
"A prank, to show her the consequences."
Clark crossed his arms and bowed his head in thought. 'Chloe is my best friend and I love her, but there is so much that can go wrong with this plan. And this is Lois…' He raised his head, looked her in the eyes, and knew he wouldn't listen to his better judgment. "What do you want me to do?"
She nodded to his backpack, "Is that what I told you to bring?"
"One change of clothes, as requested." He replied as he held it out to her, "No plaid."
"And yet you still wore…" she tartly observed, "…that."
"What I wear is none of your concern."
"Just trying to help... It's not my fault if you can't take a few thousand hints." She defended as she dumped the contents of the backpack on her bed. "Where are the shorts?"
"Boxers, briefs, g-string: you know - underpants."
"Tomorrow's wash day, all my 'shorts' are in the hamper."
"All of them?"
"Yes, all…" He noticed where she was looking, "No, Lois!"
"I need them, Smallville." She said as she advanced toward him, not raising her gaze from his belt buckle.
"Not gonna' happen, Lois!"
"You're not going commando, are you, Smallville?"
At his blush she continued. "You know when I call you, Smallville, it's a misnomer. Clark Commando." She teased, "Commando Clarkie, I like it." She purred.
"I'm wearing shorts!" he blurted out.
"I want them… now!"
"If you don't give them, I'll just have to take them."
The morning sun bore through her closed eyelids causing her to scrunch her eyes and jerk her head back. This action caused her brain to scream in protest, evoking a groan from her leaden mouth.
She wondered who had stuffed her mouth with cotton when she smelled coffee. With another groan, she sat up and grabbed her head. Resting her elbows on her knees, she supported her heavy head and slowly opened her eyes.
The first thing she saw was blurry and white. As her vision cleared, she realized that she was staring at her own thigh. Her eyes widened as her gaze strayed… to her own nudity.
She grabbed at what she had used as a pillow, only to find that it didn't cover her. Holding it up, she realized that she was holding a pair of jeans, large jeans, obviously men's jeans. She dropped them and tried her best to burrow into the sofa's cushions and disappear.
The fear she felt intensified when she heard someone approaching. She grabbed at her blanket only to pull back a pair of men's blue boxers. With a gasp, she threw them down and grabbed the blanket, pulling it over herself – willing herself to disappear.
Lois looked down at her cousin as she cowered beneath the blanket. She pulled a stool over, sat down in front of the couch, and leaned forward.
A muffled, "Lois?" came as a reply.
"Who else would it be?"
Chloe pulled the blanket down from her head and nervously looked around, "The man."
"I don't know…" came her scared reply, "…his clothes are here."
"No strange men here, Chloe."
"But… did you run him off?"
"Don't you remember?"
"His clothes are on the floor."
"Did you have a one night stand?"
"I don't remember." Was the only answer, Chloe could give as tears threatened to start falling.
"You got drunk last night, didn't you?"
"Yes." She sobbed, burying her face in the blanket.
"Why have you been getting drunk?"
She looked at her cousin and lied, "I like it."
"No you don't. What's the real reason?"
"Things have been crap lately. The job sucks now that we have a new editor. No more Jimmy. My car's in the shop. Lana's as distant as ever, now that she and Clark broke up. I just want to forget."
Lois sat beside her cousin and hugged her, "There was no man last night."
Chloe looked up at her.
"I arranged for all this."
With a sniff, she asked, "Why?"
Lois looked away for a moment then turned back. "I wish someone had cared enough about me to set me straight before…"
"What are you saying?"
She handed her cousin her cup of coffee and as she took a sip she said, "Bad things happen when you are out of control, I don't want you to go through what I did."
After a few cups of coffee and some heart felt discussion, Chloe felt better and closer to Lois than she had ever felt before.
"Where did you get the clothes, Lois?"
"I borrowed them."
"OK. Then where did you get the flannel shirt you're wearing?"
She looked down, "Just the spoils of war."
"Any battle field I know?"
"Does it matter?"
"No, I guess not." She pulled the blanket closer around her. "I think I'll get cleaned up."
"Not a bad idea, little cuz."
"Do I smell that bad?"
"I'll cleanup in here while you're using the bathroom."
She accepted Lois' avoidance of the issue and left the sofa. As she passed Lois' room going to her own, she paused to look back at her cousin in her 'spoils of war' flannel shirt. Chloe couldn't help but to look back into her cousin's room and smile at the sight of Lois' sleeping POW.