[personal profile] ardensregina
Title: Driver Picks The Music
Fandom: Smallville
Rating: PG
Spoilers: Bride
Word Count: 1,645
Disclaimer: Smallville and its characters belong to the WB, the CW and DC Comics, not me. I also didn't write any of the songs briefly quoted herein.
Clark and Lois get stuck in traffic during a storm, and we find out how Lois works to dispell awkwardness.
Author's Note: Written for the Christmas challenge at [livejournal.com profile] 12days_of_clois.This wasn't going to be this late, I swear! Somehow Christmas snuck up on me this year and bam! suddenly I need to get this done. So it's unbeta'd, just because I was on a time constraint. And, yes, that is a Supernatural shout out, if anyone was wondering. Merry Christmas!

“Major traffic on all roads heading out of the city, reporting delays ranging from thirty minutes to three hours. And those are only going to get worse as the snow starts falling harder, so if you’re leaving Metropolis, I suggest you get out now. The storm’s here, folks, it’s gonna be a white Christmas. Have a merry one. For METROQXZ traffic, I’m Cindy Strothwise.”

“You hear that, Smallville? You better be done with your copy ‘cause this boat’s leavin’.” Lois Lane called as she strode across the aisle of the bullpen to Clark Kent’s desk and looked at him expectantly.

Clark just looked at her with a good-natured smile and said, “Lois, we work together every day and I can’t seem to get rid of you in the off hours either, but could we please keep the commute a solitary exercise?”

“Any other day, sure, but today I’m going to do you a favor I’ll probably regret and give you a lift. You know you don’t want to take mass transit tonight; there’ll be about a million people on it. Besides, you can keep me company. Think of me and all those hours and hours I’m gonna be sitting in the car without a single person to torment.”

“So you think I’m going to willingly submit myself to hours and hours of sitting in a cramped car with you there to bug me?”

Lois noticed that while his voice did sound amused, there was also a note of something else in it. Was that something desperately looking for a way out of driving back to Smallville with her? Ever since she had returned from Star City when Jimmy’s recovery was coming along well enough that she could let herself leave him, her banter with Clark had regressed from the friendly familiarity she had become used to recently back to the merciless teasing on both sides that Lois had thought had been left behind with their first few years of acquaintance. And she wasn’t going to pretend it had nothing to do with their…moment at her cousin’s wedding. Nearly kissing him only to be interrupted by the arrival of his ex-girlfriend (who didn’t seem to be leaving again, much to Lois’ chagrin) had obviously had a damaging effect on their relationship. And Lois didn’t like it; she was going to put things right, even if that meant spending the most awkward several hours of her life alone with Clark in a traffic jam.  “Look, Smallville,” she said sharply, “you need to get home. I’m offering you a ride. You should really take it. Simple as that.”

Clark just looked at her and Lois found it difficult to read his expression, although she could perceive a slight change in it. “Fine, Lois,” he let our an exaggerated sigh, “I’ll go with you.”

Lois smiled tightly and noticed the size of his biceps as he stood up and reached for his jacket. Oh boy. This was gonna be a long trip.


“Oh mother / tell your children / not to do what I have done—”

“Womanizer womanizer / he’s a womanizer—”

“But it’s time to face the truth / I will never be with you—”

“Lois! Pick a station and stick with it please!”

The snow was starting to fall as Clark finally lost his patience with Lois’ incessant adjustment of the radio dial. They were only twenty minutes into the trip, not even out of the city and already he couldn’t stand it any longer. It could have been because he was used to a five second commute and hadn’t quite anticipated sitting in the traffic jam of the century while becoming acquainted with every radio station streaming in Metropolis, but he thought it probably had more to do with his companion. He had been this close to kissing Lois and then Lana had to have the worst timing in the history of the world ever. Of course, there had been that knee jerk pang of emotion when he had first set eyes on his childhood sweetheart, but it had faded almost immediately when he’d seen the look on Lois’ face. And then everything had gone straight to hell and she’d run off to care for Jimmy before Clark had gotten a chance to explain. Now, she was back. And it just wasn’t the way it had been before; he had spooked her. He had to make it right and this presented the perfect opportunity, but how to breech the topic?

But Clark didn’t have to worry about that too much, because Lois was already on that. “So, Clark,” she said, “about that…thing that happened at the wedding.”

“Yeah?” Clark tried desperately not to seem like he’d just been thinking of that.

“When you were about to kiss me.”


 “Well, I mean, wedding’s do funny things to people, right?” Their gazes met and it was as impossible to tell what either of them were thinking as it was which one of them looked more petrified. “You get all sappy and then you feel like your inadequate ‘cause you don’t have a ring on your finger and then you latch on to the first available person who comes along.”

Clark nodded. Maybe the best thing to do in this situation was to just get things to go back to the way they had been, not take the next step forward. “So we were just getting caught up in the single blues that night, it didn’t really mean anything.” He swallowed, trying to fight back all the emotion that was screaming otherwise.

“Exactly,” Lois said and they again settled into awkward silence peppered with the constant change in radio stations.


“Simply having a wonderful Christmastime—”

“Santa baby, there is one thing I really do need—”

“They’re singing deck the halls—”

Great. Now she couldn’t find a station that wasn’t playing Christmas songs. Lois hated Christmas songs. Did they have to be so cheery? And changing the station every three seconds was the only thing keeping her from having to concentrate on the supreme awkwardness that this trip was becoming. Why had she thought getting Clark to come with her had been a good idea? How could she have been this dumb? It had been a horrible idea, he was just sitting there, being all Clark-like and she had to pretend like that wasn’t affecting her brain like it really was. He wasn’t interested. He had Lana back now and, okay, so Lois hadn’t definitively heard that they were back together but they were Clark and Lana, the King and Queen of the On Again Off Again and now that she was back, obviously they would be back on again. Lois had been foolish to think that maybe Clark could forget about Lana and fall for her. He would never be able to forget about Lana.

“Jingle bell jingle bell jingle bell rock—”

“Something in the way she moves—”

Lois reached to change the station one more time, but paused when she felt a warm, masculine hand on top of hers. She looked up to see Clark staring at her very seriously. Then his mouth twisted into a slight smirk. “Lois,” he said, “if you change the song one more time, I’m going to relinquish your radio privileges.”

“Oh, you’re going to relinquish my radio privileges?”

“I don’t want to leave her now / you know I believe in how.”

“Yes. Yes, I am.”

“Please, Smallville. I’m driving.”

Clark snorted and gestured to the completely stopped traffic. “I’d hardly call this driving, you might as well be in park. And I can reach the controls just as easily as you can from here.”

Lois muttered something that sounded very much like “driver picks the music, shotgun shuts his cakehole.”

Clark wasn’t sure he’d heard her correctly, despite his superhearing. “What?”

Lois shrugged it off. “Nothing,” she said, “just this show I watch.” Then all her pent up frustration seemed to bubble to the surface at once. “And can whatever the hell is causing this damn traffic to be here please get out of the way now?” she screamed, “Christmas Eve is tomorrow! I have things I need to be doing other than sitting in the car with you.” The last word was said with such venom that Clark looked at Lois in alarm, but she ignored it, just continuing. “And, I mean, I’m sure you and your girlfriend are as busy as I am.”


“You’re asking me where my love go / oh I don’t know I don’t know / you stick around now it may show / I don’t know I don’t know.”

“Yes, Smallville. You’re girlfriend. Lana.”

“No.” And from the way he said it, with such shock and surprise, Lois knew he was telling her the truth. “Lois, Lana and I aren’t getting back together.”

All the fight had gone out of her. Now, Lois was all meek. “Really?”

“Yes. Really. That’s gone on a long enough, don’t you think? We’ve grown so far apart; we’d never work anymore. And I agree with what you said I few weeks ago. I need to get out of my wheelhouse, find out who else is out there.”

He was looking at her so intensely that Lois had to look away. It was all too much at once. But she felt as though a great weight had been lifted from her and suddenly the snow seemed whiter than it had before. She took another glance at Clark, who was looking back at her, wearing an expression that seemed to encompass happiness, amusement and affection.

In front of them, the cars finally started to speed up. It looked like they might actually have been going 30.

“I don’t want to leave her now, you know I believe in how.”

In case anyone was wondering, here are the songs I included here:
House of the Rising Sun - The Animals
Womanizer - Britney Spears
You're Beautiful - James Blunt
Wonderful Christmastime - Paul McCartney (and don't knock it!)
Santa Baby by Joan Javitts, Philip Springer and Tony Springer
Christmas (Baby Please Come Home) by Darlene Love
Jingle Bell Rock - Bobby Helms
Something - The Beatles

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