By Renate Brink
Summary: An alternate ending to the episode "Metallo" — the phone conversation that should have taken place.
If Only … By Renate Brink (Hey! … that's me! <G>)
This is the phone conversation that should have taken place at the end of Metallo (which is when my story takes place) - so - sit back and image that instead of hanging up, Lois waited an extra ring or two …
The hand that held the receiver was hovering over the phone base, about to drop it into place, when Lois heard a small voice saying, "Hello?'
She quickly put it back up to her ear. "Clark? Hi! I … didn't wake you or anything, did I?" She closed her eyes and held her breath without noticing that she was doing it, waiting to hear his voice.
"Um … no, actually, I just came in from … a walk. I couldn't sleep so I … was walking." He hesitated for another moment. "Lois? Is something wrong?"
How could she tell him that she just wanted to hear him speak? How could she say it without being scared or scaring him? She looked up at the ceiling, playing with the phone cord and answered, "I … just wanted to check in and see how you are …" her voice sounded hollow to her. She changed the subject. "I was just thinking about something that Superman had said earlier…" the sentence trailed off to silence.
"Well, are you going to let me in on it, too? Or am I suppose to guess?" She could hear the slight amusement in Clark's tone.
"He said we were very lucky to have each other … as friends … I mean … he meant as friends - best friends …" She stammered.
"Is that what he said?" Clark asked quietly.
Lois stood up and slowly moved toward the window, carrying the phone with her as she walked. "Well, something like that," she answered. She looked out at the stars for a moment and then said with a sigh, "Well, I guess it's late and you probably want to get to bed so I guess I'll go see what's on the tube …"
"Lois? Would you like some company? I could bring over a Scrabble game or maybe Trivial Pursuit …" He wanted to see her again without the cape and boots.
She spun around to face her bed and cradled the receiver close to the hollow of her neck with both hands. "Clark! Could you? That would be so great! I've got so much on my mind tonight, I doubt if I could go to sleep anytime soon. I'd love the company … but Clark? Could you bring a deck of cards? I want to play … Hearts with you."
"Hearts? Lois, I can't think of any game I'd rather play with you." She heard his smile and imagined his face in her mind.
She smiled in return and said, almost to herself, "That's so nice … sweet … heart …"
"What was that?" He asked, puzzled - "I didn't catch what you said …"
Still smiling, Lois answered, "Nothing - I was just thinking out loud."
"Well, save those thoughts. I'll be there in a flash."
Lois said good bye and slowly dropped the receiver back into it's cradle and began to get dressed with energy that, a minute before, she didn't know she had.
Clark paced back and forth in front of her building, cursing himself for making it there in record time. He didn't want to look too anxious but, at the same time, he wanted to be with her, in her presence. He waited as long as he could and, when he felt a safe amount of time had passed, he rang her doorbell.
Lois answered the door before the bell stopped reverberating. He smiled and silently slipped the cards from his jacket pocket and handed them to her in greeting.
Something was different. He sensed it in the way she looked at him, in the way she smiled. He was suddenly filled with the notion that coming here tonight was the single best decision he had ever made and he didn't even exactly know why. He took off his jacket and hung it over a chair.
Lois took him by the arm and led him further into the living room. They both sat down at the same time but Lois repositioned herself just a little, allowing her thigh to rest as lightly as a breath against his. He was very aware of that feather touch.
No one had said a word. Lois finally ended the pantomime by saying, "I thought we'd sit and talk for a while, if you don't mind." She had been watching him. She hadn't been sure if she should pursue this tonight but she, too, was aware of his leg next to hers and she noticed with some pleasure that he hadn't moved away.
"What would you like to talk about?" He asked, looking down at his hands and then looking up at her expectantly.
She leaned forward and lightly brushed a lock of hair off his forehead with her fingertips before resting her hand on his shoulder. She said softly and seriously, "Us. I think I'd like, very much, to talk about us …"
He reached out and traced the frown line on her forehead. "Us, Lois? Us - co-workers … us - partners … us - friends?"
She could see that he wasn't about to make any brave leaps of faith so she decided that he needed a final push. She slowly and deliberately moved till her face was mere inches from his and whispered, "Yes …" and then gently but firmly she began kissed his lips.
Clark responded naturally … moving into the kiss and hungrily giving as good as he was getting. He put his arms around her and pulled her tenderly to him. Lois slid her arms around his neck. They came as close to melting as two people kissing can.
Finally, their lips parted. Clark took a breath and smiled slightly and said the only thing his brain was capable of producing after that kiss … "Oh! That us!"
THE END …