With love for L2 – happy belated birthday, my dear!
Lois woke up slowly, a bar of sunlight striping her face. Her head felt like it was stuffed with warm cotton, her mouth tasted stale with an odd chemical flavor, and she drifted back off again several times before finally waking all the way up. The moment she did so, wincing in the light, she recognized that chemical aftertaste. Rohypnol, Lois thought, her temper starting to boil. Some idiot at a college party had tried slipping her a doctored drink once, and her friends had looked after her then. She’d never forgotten how it felt to wake up the next morning with a woozy head and a gaping hole in her memory.
Well on her way to furious, Lois closed her eyes again and racked her memory for any hint of who might’ve done this. She, Perry, and Clark were in Las Vegas for a media conference; Lois’ idea of hell, but if she couldn’t scare up a scandalous story in Sin City, what kind of reporter was she? Besides, while Perry was in the convention hotel, he’d booked his star reporters into a glitzy nightmare called the Crystal Palace, exactly the kind of themed monument to excess that made Lois hate this city. Perry claimed he’d been forced to send them anywhere with a room, but Lois knew he was just needling her, which made her even more determined to bring home a front-page headline from this fiasco.
Of course, Las Vegas being what it was, she’d managed to nose her way around a racketeering scheme within hours of arriving. Her contact had agreed to meet in the hotel bar; the place did have good security thanks to the casino on the ground floor. She’d brought Clark with her mostly to aggravate him – he was as appalled by Vegas as she was, and misery did love company. The last thing she clearly remembered was Clark excusing himself from their table for a moment, her contact ordering them all a round of drinks, and then Clark returning. After that it was a blur. She could guess, however, that her contact had spiked her drink, hoping to confuse her memory and perhaps embarrass her into leaving the story alone.
Frustrated, she sat up, planning to light a cigarette and pace until some of the details came back. But as she moved an arm snaked around her hips and pulled her back down. Lois froze for a second, wide-eyed. Until that moment she hadn’t realized she wasn’t alone.
Lois exploded out of the bed, whirling to face it with murder in her eyes. Whoever had taken advantage of her was about to get a big surprise…
…only Lois was the one surprised. She knew that handsome face, that mouth curved up in a grin of utter satiation, the unruly lock of hair falling forward almost into eyes that would be deepest royal blue, if they were open. What the hell is HE doing here? And holy shit, I slept with Superman. I slept with Superman. I slept with Superman. And I can’t remember a frikkin’ minute of it!
Trying to gather the shredded remains of her composure, Lois looked away, her hand clasped over her mouth to keep those incredulous thoughts from bursting out. Her gaze landed on a sheet of paper lying on the room’s desk: fancy embossed stock, with a gold border. Some type of certificate, and sure enough, the header read “Certificate of Marriage”.
MARRIAGE?! Lois gasped, and rushed over to snatch it up. Oh God, she’d married Superman, it was all over the tabloids by now, she’d ruined her reputation and his in a single thoughtless act…
Instead the name on the certificate alongside her own was Clark Joseph Kent. Lois felt her heart stutter; this morning was pure madness. How on earth had she married Clark and slept with Superman? What else had she done while under the influence of the drug? Shot Lex Luthor, outed Batman, what?
She turned her back on the document to stare at her lover. A thought was teasing the back of her brain, but she couldn’t quite grasp it. Something about two and two adding up to five… Lois froze, realizing that those were Clark’s glasses on the nightstand, and Clark’s suit crumpled on the floor.
Clark Kent. Superman. The same man, but the glasses changed the color of his eyes, making them look a washed-out grayish blue. The glasses’ frames and the different hairstyle seemed to alter the structure of his face, too. And who would have guessed that muscular chest was underneath Clark’s ill-fitting suits? Shock and confusion turned rapidly back to outrage.
Clark was enjoying a dream in which he’d said and done everything he ever wanted to do regarding Lois, and some things he’d never even imagined before, when he was abruptly awakened by a soft object smashing into his face.
He sat up, blinking, and realized he’d been struck by a flying pillow. The source of the attack was standing at the foot of the bed, wrapped up in a bathrobe and glaring at him furiously. Oh, and he was lying here naked in rumpled sheets that smelled of Lois … and of sex. Clark’s stomach dropped straight through the center of the earth at the revelation that his dream had evidently been real.
“Yeah, that look on your face? That was me five minutes ago,” Lois snapped. “Hi, good morning, what the hell happened last night?”
“Um…” Clark stalled, grabbing for his glasses.
“Oh, I already figured out who you are, you can quit with the disguise. Enough about that; we’ll deal with that part of it in a few minutes. For right now, just please explain this to me.” Lois shoved a piece of paper under his nose, and Clark took it automatically.
“Oh my God.” It was a marriage certificate. With his and Lois’ names on it. Memories came flooding back, of ordering a taxi driver to find an all-night wedding chapel, the ceremony officiated by a woman dressed as Elvis. And then coming back here, and… He looked up at Lois with panicked eyes.
She crossed her arms and stared at him. “What?”
“We, um, well…” Clark stammered.
She glanced at the robe, then at him. “We slept together. I’d noticed. How?”
More ways than I knew existed, but that’s not what she’s asking. “Ah, I think you might’ve had a little much to drink…”
Lois’ acidic reply cut off his sentence. “I had one drink, but I think that asshole we were meeting put something in it. You were the only other person close enough, and I doubt you’d do something like that. What I want to know is why you thought it was a good idea to take advantage.”
He bit his lip, thinking. After a moment to think, Clark could remember everything he’d done last night, and most of it was very unlike him. The only other time he’d ever been that out of control was under the influence of a specific type of kryptonite… The image of the hotel’s fancy drinks glasses flashed in his mind, and he groaned. “Lois, this is the Crystal Palace. Everything’s part of the theme, even the glasses. They’re made out of some kind of red crystal. It must be red kryptonite. I thought it tingled when I touched it, but then I thought it was just cold. Oh, no…”
“Red kryptonite?” Lois queried, still tense and wary. “I thought kryptonite was deadly.”
“Some of it is,” he replied. “Some just has strange effects. Red is one of those. It … um, it makes me … it pretty much takes away my inhibitions.”
“Oh, great. So I got it on with Drunk ‘n’ Horny Superman. Who also happens to be my very best friend with a very big secret, Clark. Lovely. At least it was me and not some random blonde.”
“It would never have been anyone else,” Clark shot back, stung. “Red K doesn’t change who I am or make anything I said to you untrue…”
“I don’t remember anything you said to me!” Lois snapped. “So a few hints would be appreciated! As a matter of fact, you can give me the rundown on last night while you’re at it, since I don’t remember any of it.”
Clark groaned and buried his face in his hands. “Um, well… We, uh, we left the hotel bar and went into the casino, and played the slots for a while. And we lost all the money we had, so I went to an ATM, and when I got back some guy was flirting with you, and, um, I shoved him. Across two aisles of machines. And then we left the hotel and, uh, went to a club.”
“A club. Us.” Lois shook her head. “Why are my toes not sore?”
“Because I didn’t remember to step on your feet,” he replied miserably. “And, um, we drank some more. And danced. And ItoldyouIloveyou.”
She could only blink at him, saying, “What?” in a faltering tone. This was probably too much for Lois to take in, but once he’d started telling the tale, Clark found he couldn’t stop.
“You said … you loved me too. And you kissed me, at the club. We … we wound up in a private room…” Clark cringed from the memory, his hands on her thighs lifting her to the table, her mouth greedily devouring his lips, his neck, his chest. How could she not remember that, even with drugs? Taking her right there, with only a few feet and a thin wall separating them from the dance floor, matching his rhythm to the pounding beat of the music, her cries almost loud enough to be heard over the thumping bass.
“Holy shit…” It seemed to Clark that she stayed silent for an eternity, just staring at him in shell-shocked disbelief. He’d never seen her eyes that wide. It wasn’t necessarily a negative response; rather, this was clearly not what she had expected. She took a deep breath, her eyes still on his when she asked with uncharacteristic caution, “Why do I get this feeling like...?”
“We did,” he confirmed miserably.
“Oh my God,” Lois groaned, and collapsed into a chair. “What else? When did we get married?”
Clark scanned his memory again. “Uh, that was after the club. While we were in the cab, and, um, I was telling you how much I’d always loved you, and you were saying you’d never realized that, uh, I could be so, ah, f-forceful … and that you really, um, liked seeing a whole new side of me, and, well… Eventually I said we should get married, we’re so in love and so perfect, and you said it was a great idea, and I told the cabbie to find us an all-night wedding chapel. And he did.”
She lapsed back into her stunned gaze and silence then, those hazel eyes seeming to look right into him. Something, anything would be better than trying to figure out what was going through her head. He knew it couldn’t be good; under the circumstances, he knew he was damn lucky she hadn’t started throwing things at him. Finally, in the deep quiet that had grown after his last admission, she spoke carefully, “Were you still in the glasses then?”
“Yes,” Clark told her quietly. He decided to leave out the details of the ceremony – the Elvis impersonator who’d performed it, and the way they’d both snickered throughout the ceremony. Especially the way he’d picked her up to kiss her.
Lois sighed. “God, I can’t believe I didn’t see it, after all this time and after all that, I can’t believe I didn’t know…”
She sounded so upset with herself that Clark decided to go on in hopes of distracting her. “So, um, after that we came back here. And, well…”
“We had sex again,” Lois said brusquely.
“Three times,” Clark replied.
Her jaw actually dropped at that, and Clark closed his eyes, wincing. “Okay, now I have to get a shower,” Lois groaned. Clark cradled his head in his hands, wishing Perry had picked any other hotel. If not for the red k, he wouldn’t have said the things he’d said, or done the things he’d done, and he wouldn’t be sitting here watching his friendship with Lois burn to the ground.
One more memory occurred to him. “While you’re in there, Lois, could you get my shirt out of the tub?”
Lois slipped off her robe in the bathroom and froze as she glanced in the mirror. At the side of her neck was a purplish shadow. She turned to look over her shoulder, and saw a large bruise on the back of her neck, just where she liked to be mouthed or even bitten. And that was definitely the mother of all hickies.
As she looked at her profile, she saw another bruise at the side of her breast, and still another on her thigh. “Jeez! Clark! Why the hell do I look like I’ve gone ten rounds with freakin’ Pacquiao? How did I get so damned bruised up?” He didn’t reply immediately, so Lois called out, “I’m waiting for an answer, Clark!”
His reply sounded muffled, as if he was still hiding his face. “The ones on your neck and your, um, chest, aren’t really bruises. They’re, uh, b-bites. Love-bites.”
“And my legs?” A part of her was enjoying his discomfiture. If she had to deal with this awkward amnesiac mess, he should be uncomfortable too. It was only fair for them to share the humiliation, especially considering all they’d shared last night.
“Spill it, Clark.”
“What do you mean, which ones?” Lois turned, looking more closely, and saw that the insides of her thighs were lightly bruised as well. And when she looked over her shoulder, she discovered two perfect imprints of Clark’s hands, one on the curve of each buttock, positioned so that she had a clear mental image of him reaching down, grabbing her roughly, and lifting her up to a more convenient height. “Oh for the love of…! Dammit, Clark!” In spite of her furious tone, Lois could almost see his fingers there, pressing hard into her skin, and it sent a shiver down her spine.
Very faintly, she heard him murmur, “You didn’t mind last night…”
“Yeah, and I was drugged out of my mind last night, too! Jeez, how in the hell did you do all this?”
“Uh, some of them are from when we came back here after the wedding. In a limo. With, um, a barrier between us and the driver, you know. And some of them are from where I picked you up so I could … well … that was in the elevator.”
“The limo AND the elevator?” Lois shouted back incredulously.
“We, uh, didn’t finish in the elevator,” Clark returned miserably. “It stopped on the sixth floor and, um, the older couple who were waiting for it, um…”
“Please tell me we didn’t give anyone a coronary,” Lois groaned, leaning against the door.
“No, they, uh, encouraged us. Cheered, really. And the man, um, whistled. After that we came back here, and that’s why the headboard’s cracked and my shirt was in the tub.” By now he sounded simply defeated, like he’d realized no amount of hemming and hawing was going to stop her search for the truth, so the best course of action was to give up the details as flatly as possible.
Lois let her head fall back against the door. This was utterly and completely bizarre. By all evidence, she’d spent last night fucking the hell out of her best friend and her hero, who happened to be the same person. And now she couldn’t remember more than brief flashes of it.
Irritated with herself, him, that jackass contact, and life in general, Lois stepped into the shower to get cleaned off. The hot water soothed her, setting up an entirely different frame of mind. As she lathered up, every bruise and bite mark made itself known, not so much as pain but as heightened awareness. By the time Lois rinsed the last of the conditioner out of her hair, her aggravation had gone down the drain too.
She was left with her insatiable reporter’s curiosity. What had it been like? The evidence suggested it was amazing, but she would really prefer to remember it all. Nothing was more annoying than realizing she’d missed out on something this important.
As she stepped out of the bathroom, Clark came toward her. He looked utterly dejected, saying in a resigned voice, “I went ahead and ordered room service breakfast while you were in there. It should be up soon.”
“All right,” Lois said distractedly. Now that she wasn’t so angry with him, she could actually feel sorry for the poor man. He’d finally gotten her, and not only couldn’t she remember it, she had been furious with him. His actions under the influence of kryptonite weren’t his fault, after all, any more than hers under the influence of Rohypnol.
Room service, though – that gave her an idea. When it first occurred to her, she dismissed it as ridiculous, but Lois’ devious mind wouldn’t let go. And after all, it was a way to find out what she’d missed, a way to fill the nagging gap in her memory. Unaware of the wicked smile slowly curving her lips, she picked up the phone and called the front desk. “Hey, this is 603. I have sort of a weird request, but this is Vegas. I really like those red crystal glasses down in the bar. Could you send up a glass of orange juice in one of those? … Thank you.”