Sardines a la Carte

By Jennilyn Lazo (

Summary: Lois and Clark are going nowhere fast. A young relative of Clark's, Samantha, decides to get rid of the Scardino problem.

[Note: This story involves Samantha — Clark's sister. She was introduced in an earlier story of mine — "Something Lost, Something Found". Please refer to that story if things seem unclear here. I know many of you are interested in Sammy's past. So am I. ;-) But I just wanted to see what would happen if she, too, was involved in this Scardino thing. In a way, at times she might represent us — what we'd do, what we'd say to try and make things right. Thanks to Gloria B. for putting up with my incessant babbling. ;-) ]


She could feel the rage burning up inside of her as she paced back and forth in the kitchen. She knew better than to get involved in her brother's problems, but to her, this was certainly no exception.

The first date. Clark had been thrilled to finally go out with Lois, as more than just friends. It was something he'd always hoped for, something he's always dreamed of. And the kiss. Boy, was Clark on cloud nine or what, she thought to herself. She smiled as she reminisced at seeing her brother finally get what he wanted — what he deserved. But her smile slowly faded as the pain and anger began to seep in.

Mayson. Sammy hadn't really known Mayson. But from the few times they had briefly talked, from what Clark had said about her, she seemed…alright. She hadn't taken an instant liking to her, just like she had with Lois. Even though, Mayson definitely stood out, because she had one quality that Lois didn't — loving Clark for himself. At first, Sammy disliked Mayson, because she had seen her as a wall between Lois and Clark — a barricade that prevented them from growing closer. Indeed, Mayson had been a delicate subject to talk about.

But as Sammy heard Clark's painful story of how Mayson had died in his arms, as she sadly watched her casket being surrounded by all of the mourning family members, she had a change of heart. It was these series of events that led her to realize that Mayson hadn't been an intrusion — but a person in pain. She had really loved Clark, but Sammy understood that since she hated Superman, a relationship could have never worked out. Her last word had been "Resurrection", and Clark had spent several days with Lois trying to crack the case. However, this new story brought an unexpected — and unwanted — twisted. Daniel Scardino.

Scardino. That one word started up a fire in Sammy that even the Niagara Falls couldn't put out! And she knew it would never be put out until this whole Scardino situation was resolved. He's got some nerve, she angrily thought. From the moment he opened his mouth that day in the Planet, she knew he was trouble. For the past couple of days, she had been hanging around at the Planet, just doing simple errands for the workers. They all didn't mind, because she was usually in good spirits, and they'd share a laugh or two. But ever since that day he walked in…

She hated Scardino with a passion, because in her eyes, he was the barrier between Lois and Clark. Because of him, they hadn't moved a step ahead in their romance, but, thankfully, not a step back…yet. Sammy knew she was overreacting, but she couldn't stand to see Lois and Clark's relationship go down the drain.

Scardino always seemed to pop up wherever Lois was, and constantly tried to sweep her off her feet. He even offered to take her out on a date. That got Sammy started. What bothered her even more was Lois's reaction, not to mention Clark's. He hadn't said or done a single thing to let Lois know he didn't want her going out with Scardino. That left Lois to actually consider on taking up the offer. But deep down, Sammy knew that they were both scared, confused — and lost — in their feelings for each other. She wanted to help steer them in the right direction, but didn't know how she'd do it.

She only knew she had to.


She was startled as she heard the front door slam. "Clark! Didn't Mom ever teach you not slam doors?" She half expected to see at least a smile. She winced as she realized what was really on his face.

Not a smile. Not a frown. But tears. And they were still gushing down his face. As he took off his glasses, Sammy hurriedly gave him a box of tissues. "Ohhh…Clark. W-what's the matter?"

"L-Lois." He landed with a thud on the couch. "S-she's going to go on that date with Scardino." His voice was barely audible, just above a whisper. The way he looked and acted, you'd think there was Kryptonite in the room.

"WHAT??" This was too much for her. ""Wh…I mean who…WHY??"

"I'm still trying to figure that one out." He sighed a heavy sigh. "I don't know, Sammy. I really don't know."

"Um, do you wanna, um, talk about it?"

He looked to her with grateful eyes. There was so much he wanted to say, so much he wanted to get out — but not just yet, he decided. "Yeah, but later, please?? I'm still trying to get over it."

"Oh, I see. I'm too young for all of this, right? That's it, isn't it? Look, if you don't want to tell me any of this, then—"

"No, no, that's not it! I just need time to cool off, get settled down. I mean, look at me!"

Yeah, he sure does need to rest, she figured. "Okay, big brother, whatever you say. Whenever you're ready to talk, just let me know."

"Thanks, Sammy."

"Hey, no prob." She proceeded back into the kitchen.

Clark shook his head as the tears stopped falling. He felt somewhat better. "Think I should give Mom and Dad a call?"

"Can't," came Sammy's voice.

"Why not?"

"Don't you remember? She had that reunion thing to go to. They went to that place in California. What's it called? Oh, yeah, Warner Brothers Studios. Hey, isn't that where that Dean Cain and Teri Hatcher work?"

"Yep." He chuckled as he thought of how fascinated Sammy was with these things.

"Awesome! They look so cute together when they act."

"Yeah, they do…" Clark's voice trailed off. They looked cute together…like a couple…that's what Sammy had said about…him and Lois…

"Hey, I'm sorry if —"

"No, it's okay, really." He stopped as he saw something on the table. "Hey, what's this?" he asked as he picked up a couple of VHS tapes.

"Tapes. Duh." She smiled as she approached him.

"I know that. Tapes of what?"

"TV shows."

"What TV shows?"

"Your questions just keep on coming, don't they?" she replied, giggling. "There's two of 'em: 'Moonlighting' and 'Remington Steele'."

"What kinds of shows are those??"

"They're really cute shows. I love to watch them!!"

Clark smiled for the first time since he had come home. "You watch too much TV." He placed the tapes back on the table.

Sammy's smile faded. "And you watch too little." Maybe this is one way I can get through to him…

"What's that supposed to mean?"

"Nothing. I just think maybe you should take a look at these shows. You might be surprised at what you find."

Clark shook his head in disbelief. "Nothing that happens on TV could ever happen in real life. It's all made up."

"Really?" she replied, in a sarcastic tone.


"Um, I beg to differ."

"Go ahead, prove me wrong."

"Sure. Take these two shows for example. 'Moonlighting' and 'Remington Steele'. They're about these two people — a man and a woman — who work together. Yep, they're partners." She quickly glanced at him.

He winced as she said "partners".

I'm getting there, she thought. "Anyways, it's weird, because when they first meet, you'd think they'd never get along or something. I mean, they kept bickering, and fighting — Geez! Well, because they work so closely together, and spent so much time together, they became friends. Get me so far?"

"Yeah, I do." He had a hint of where she was going, but couldn't believe it himself…

"Well, as time went by, they learned to accept each other, work with each other — trust each other." She paused and sighed. "And to love each other. That's why I think it's a great show."


"Clark, think about it. Two people meet, as if almost by fate. They hardly get along — you'd think they'd have ripped each others throats out by now! But they became friends, best friends — and something more. It's really a beautiful story, isn't it?"

Clark looked at her as if she had transformed before his eyes. Sammy had just outlined his relationship with Lois. It was painful, but it was true. All he could do was nod.

"But hey, it's only on TV. So, like you said — I guess it could never happen in real life, huh?" There was still a hint of sarcasm in her voice.

He didn't nod or shake his head. He just sat there, thinking about Sammy's words, and beginning to doubt his own…


"Hi, Lois? It's Sammy."

"Hi, Sammy. Why are you whispering?"

"Can't say right now. Listen, can I drop by later? I need to talk to you.

"Is it important? Is it a story or something?"

"You could say that…" Yeah, your life story. "No, not really. It's just something that's been on my mind. Please?"

"Well, I've, uh…got plans at eight. Could you come before then?"

Sammy looked her watch. 5:00. "Will do. Thanks a lot, Lois. I owe you one. Bye."

"Anytime. Bye"

"Were you just talking to Lois?" Clark just entered the kitchen.

Uh-oh. Think fast. "No, I just called Loews — the Theatre. Just wanted to see what was playing."

"Hmm. Okay." He had in his hands a bunch of papers. "Hey, Sammy, what are these?"

"Papers." She smiled again.

"Not again," he replied, grinning. "Really."

"Okay. Actually, they're stories."

"You write?"

"Yes, I do." A puzzled expression crossed her face. "Why?"

"I just thought that you had better things to do. Ya know, besides writing." When he saw the expression still there, he continued, "Really. That's why."

"Okay. Ya see, I belong to this club called FanFiction — it's accessible through the Internet. You know, through computers?" She had a large grin on her face.

"Yeah, I know THAT." He smiled back. He loved it when she was sarcastic. It reminded him of…"Oh, so that's what you do in your spare time at the Planet."

"Yup. Anyways, it's a club that's devoted to writing stories about those two shows I told you about. It's really fun cuz you get to use your imagination."

"But why would you want to do that? Aren't you satisfied with the show itself?"

"Well, not all the time. The road to romance starts off with a rocky beginning. There's gonna be bumps, especially in TV shows. We just like to flatten them all out with our stories."


"Yeah. I'm not the only one that writes. Take a look."

Clark shifted through the papers. "Zoomway…Rhen…Leigh. Jijib…Debby…the Songster…who ARE this people?"

"They're writers, too."

"What exactly do you write about?"

"Well, something that we think is bad might happen to the characters, so we write about it. What I mean is that we write about what we want to happen on the show, what we wish would happen."


"In fact, I'm working on another story. The newest episode for 'Remington Steele' has this guy coming between the couple." She couldn't help this small white lie. "Sounds familiar, huh?" Actually, there was more to HER stories than Clark would ever know…at least for now.

"Yeah." He put the papers back on the table. "Listen, Sammy, I don't want to talk about this now."

"Then WHEN will you??"

"I don't know! Just later, alright?"

"No, Clark, it's not alright."

"And why not? She's the one who said yes to him in the first place." He took a seat on the couch. Tired. Confused. And hurt. "Why did she have to say yes?"

"Because she's not sure how you feel about her anymore." She took a seat across him.

"What do you mean?! She should know by now! I mean the date, the kiss…what else does she need?!"

"Look, Clark, do you love her?"


"Then TELL her!!" She stood up and started pacing. What could she say to make her brother understand? "Clark, the one thing that can ruin a relationship is not telling the other how you feel. Don't you get it?."

"Yeah, I do." He turned away. "There's something else I have to tell you."


"I let her go on the date." His voice choked.


Sammy's jaw dropped. "You what?" she whispered. Sighing, she replied, "And you wonder why she said yes."

"No, wait a minute here. I had to. I wanted to let her know that I wasn't forcing her into this relationship. And also to make sure she really did love me." A tear fell down his face. "I guess I was wrong, because she had her eye on Scardino the whole time…"

"Whoa. Wait a sec. Let's recap here. Did she ever say she thought Scardino was cute?"


"Okay…did she ever say she wanted to go out with him?

"No, but.."

"Did you say that you didn't want her going out with him?"

"No, but.."

"And did you ever tell Scardino to stay away from Lois?"

"No, but…"

"See — that's my point!!"

"WHAT is?"

"Clark, you're not saying anything to both of them how YOU feel about this!! Look, God gave you a mouth — use it!! Whether it's "Stay away from her, Scardino" or "I love you, Lois" — I don't care. Just say something!" Looking down, she glanced at her watch. 5:45. Gotta go, she thought. She went to get her jacket. "You're leaving?? You're the one who wanted to talk in the first place!!" He couldn't believe it. Where was she going?

"Look, Clark. I've tried — I really have. I've sat you down, and talked with you. I've said this before, and I'll say it again: You've got to say something to her. Tell her how you feel."

"And WHAT are you gonna do if I don't?"

"Clark, there's nothing else I CAN do!! I've talked to you, I've tried to get it into your head about what to do. At this point, Lois is in a very vulnerable position."

"And why is that?"

"Look. Everything you've told me is true — but it's YOUR side. Did you ever think about how Lois feels? Huh? Did it ever occur to you that she felt confused also, when you actually told her to go with Scardino?"


"I totally understand your thinking. But ya gotta see HER side, too. Maybe she was expecting you to tell her no, or to tell Scardino off. That's what a relationship is all about — it's gotta come from BOTH sides, cuz it involves the thoughts and feelings of TWO people."

Her words hit him hard — because they were true. He hadn't thought about what Lois must have been feeling. There was one more question. "Do—do you think there's still a chance?"

"Clark, there's ALWAYS a chance." She paused.

"All ya gotta do is take it."


"But I'm afraid to…because there's so much to lose."

She sighed. She just had to convince him to tell Lois. "Clark…I love ya — I really do. So, as your sister, and as your friend, I'm gonna tell ya this. If you don't tell Lois how you feel NOW…you just might regret it for the rest of your life." Maybe she was being too dramatic, but her words were certainly doing their job.

Seeing she had said enough, she grabbed a little package, and approached the door.

"What are you gonna do now?"

She couldn't say she was going to meet Lois. "I'm gonna

leave you alone. So you can do some thinking — some really

heavy thinking. And you know what about."

"You know, Sammy, I think you're making a big deal out of this."

"What?? Clark, this Scardino guy is worming his way into Lois's life! I mean, he keeps sending her stuff, asking her out, trying to save her life. He's coming in between you two, and you're not doing a thing about it!!" She couldn't take it anymore, and turned to the door.

Clark became angered. "I think you're taking Scardino too seriously."

She didn't know how to take it. Turning around, she said the first thing that came to her mind.

"Good. At least one of us is."

Before Clark could say anything else, she was already out the door. All too late, he realized she was right. He had to do some heavy thinking. And he had to tell Lois how he felt. But the same question kept running over and over in his mind — how? He thought, and thought, and thought until his head hurt. Nothing.

He went to get a glass of water. But stopped as he neared the kitchen table. As he took a seat, he grabbed the stack of papers. He found himself doing something he should have done before — reading them. The stories. Stories so imaginative, so interesting — so true. He felt could really relate to these stories. He remembered what Sammy had said: "Fate…strangers… friends…best friends…more…". "But it could never happen in life, right?"

"Wrong," he whispered. "I was wrong." These stories were more real than he had thought.

Sammy had been right all along.


On her way to Lois's apartment, Sammy contemplated on what she'd say to her. She'd definitely had more than a mouthful to say to Clark. But she also thought about what Lois had told her — about how Scardino tried to romance her, about how Clark seemed to ignore her, of how Scardino broke into her apartment. The guy can't be that desperate. "Good thing she whacked him with that plunger," she said to herself.

She opened the door and entered the building. She took a look at the directory, just to make sure which apartment she was in: Lane, Lois…501. "501?? I could've sworn the last time she was in 105. Doesn't she ever stay still??"

Knock. Knock. Sammy took a deep breath, and prepared for the wrath of Lois. Indeed, she knew it would not be a pretty sight. She glanced at her watch. 6:30. Oh boy, she thought.

The door opened. "Hi Sammy! Come in!" She noticed what Sammy was holding. "Hey, what's that?"

"Oh, nothing important. Just promise you'll open this before the night ends, please?"

"Okay, I promise." She took a seat. "So, what did you want to talk about?"

Sammy ignored her question. She noticed Lois was wearing a burgundy dress…and instantly thought of Clark. "I like your dress. Burgundy looks cool on you."

"Thanks. It's just something I threw on. Actually I kinda bought this last minute…before…" Before one of the greatest dates in my life, Lois thought.

"I know. It's a woman thing. But it's only 6:30. Why ya so early?"

"Because…um…I don't want to be almost late, like the last time…" Like the last time I was with Clark, she sadly thought.

"Yep, another woman thing." Sammy nodded knowingly. "Must be some kind of plans for you to be dressed really nice like that, huh??"

"Actually, I'm just going out…"

"With Scardino," Sammy said bitterly.

Lois shifted uncomfortably. "Yeah," she whispered. She had to change the subject. "So, what's in the package?"

"Hmm…Lois and Scardino. Scardino and Lois. Is it me, or does it lack that certain 'ring' to it??"

"Sammy —"

"But Lois and Clark…now THAT sounds a whole lot better…"

"Wait —"

"Or maybe just Lois. I mean, that's how things might end up after this whole thing is put to rest…"

"Listen, Sammy — I thought we were supposed to be talking about something important??!"

"Lois, we already ARE!"


Lois opened her mouth to say something — but nothing came out. She silently rethought their conversation. "Look, Sammy, I've already made up my mind. I mean, there might be something here. Dan's sweet…nice…caring…"

"Annoying…irritating…a pain…geez, Lois. I mean — the guy broke into your apartment!! I'm just glad ya wailed him with that plunger…"

"I think I might've hurt him. Anyway, that was a sign of how he cares…he was worried about me! Like I said, I've found a sweet, nice, and caring man. Why can't you be happy for me, Sammy?"

"Because you can find those same things in Clark," she replied in a small voice. It was strange hearing Lois's side of it.

"Clark…" Lois winced when she heard that name. "If you knew how painful it was when he was ignoring me. It felt like we were drifting apart. It really hurt my feelings…"

"Well, he's got feelings too, ya know. I mean, it's obvious he's jealous, that he's hurt, that he doesn't want you going out with that detective guy. Maybe he hasn't been TELLING you all this, but you can sure SEE it!"

"But Sammy, he didn't make another move even after a week had passed since…since our first date…and our first kiss!"

"How could he?? First of all, Mayson died. They were really good friends — and I promise you, that's ALL they were. He was taking it pretty hard. I mean, how would YOU like it if a really good friend died in your arms??"

"Ohhh…" Lois could barely speak. She hadn't thought about it that way. But now that she did, she could really relate to that, as she remembered what it felt like that night…when Clark…was shot…and died in her arms… It was that night that she realized that maybe they weren't just good friends…anymore…

"Second, let's recap here, shall we? You had your first date — which you said was great. Then, you two shared a kiss — which you admit was more than great. Now, this Scardino guy walks in, and suddenly you lose your feelings for Clark?"

Lois became angered. "No, I did NOT lose my feelings for Clark. He's the one who told me to go on the date, so it seems that he may be losing his feelings for me. Besides, the way I see it, our relationship has come to a halt. And I think this is the only way to prove our relationship is true.."

"How? By going out with this GOOF?"

"He's NOT a goof! Look, Sammy, I'm sorry if YOU'RE not happy with what I'm doing. But at the rate it's going, I think this is the only way I can save the relationship…"

"Yeah, well, I think if you wanted this relationship to work, you'd MAKE it work."

"And I think I've made mistake trying to talk this out with you. I can't make you understand this — you're just a kid!!"


Sammy looked to Lois, and felt tears coming to her eyes. "Just a kid, huh," she whispered. Those words hurt a lot, because she thought Lois could see past her age — that there was more to her than just a young face. "Just a kid," she repeated.

"Oh, Sammy, I — I mean, you're only fourteen…"

"That's it?? My age — is that all you see in me? If it is… you're missing some things…cuz there's a lot more to me than that…" The hurt was obvious in her voice.

"But you're only fourteen…"

"Age doesn't matter. What matters is what's in here." Sammy pointed to her heart. "It's what you feel that counts."

"But what about here?" Lois asked, as she pointed to her head. "I mean, I've had more experience than you, so I know a lot more…"

That burst Sammy's bubble. She spoke angrily. "I may not know lots of things — like why you're interested in Scardino, or why we're put on earth, or why the sky's blue…" Her voice softened. "But I know enough to say that you're making a BIG mistake by going on this date."

"Sammy, why are you saying all of this??!"

"Why?? Cuz…cuz…I can't believe you dumped Clark for Mr. Sardine Head!!"

"Don't start calling him names…"

"Why not?"

"Look, just don't."

"Daniel Scardino—boring!! But how 'bout Danno the Manno, or the Great Sardini, or…"

"Sammy — why are you doing this?? This is childish and immature!! I mean — only KIDS do this!!"

"But I'm just a kid — remember?" Sammy said in a small, quiet voice. She hadn't meant it sarcastically, but truthfully, to show how much those words hurt her.

Lois didn't what to say. "Look, Sammy, you don't know what I'm going through — what I'm feeling."

"But I know what it feels like to be in pain. Physical AND emotional pain." Sammy looked down. She hadn't thought about using her past as an example, but since it had come to this…


"How do you think it felt to live on the streets? I can tell ya it wasn't the best of times. And every time I saw Scar — do you know how many times I had the urge to run up to him, and just kill him?" Hmm, Scar…Scardino…must be a pattern, she thought. She sniffed, and took a breath. "And do you know how it felt…to watch Betty and Mike…in the hospital…just die??" She sniffed again. "It really hurts to lose someone you love."

All Lois could do was nod, as she caught the meaning in her words…Clark. "Must have been really hard…and painful," Lois said sympathetically.

"You're damn right," Sammy whispered. She now could barely speak — for a change, Sammy thought to herself. That really was a painful part of the past, but somehow, she felt she was living it all over again.

"Ohh…Sammy…I.." She didn't know what to say. Sammy had shown her a different side to the situation — Clark's side.

She wiped her eyes. "Look, Lois, I—I'm sorry for the…uh.. outburst. Really." She stood up. "Anyways, it's obvious now that ya hafta choose between Clark and Scardino…"

"Yeah," Lois whispered. She watched Sammy walk to the door.

"I really don't know what you're gonna do. But I DO know if you make the wrong decision, you're gonna hurt someone we BOTH love. I know I do." She paused, thinking to take a risk. "And I know you do, too." She opened the door, but she turned around to say something else.

"But then again, I'm just a kid, so how would I know these things, right?" With that, Sammy was out the door and gone.

Lois was still sitting down, with Sammy's words still sinking in.. She realized what she had gotten herself into, and knew the important choice she had to make.

"I love you, Clark," she whispered to herself. Now if she could only bring herself to say it to him in person. Life was tough.

And she thought choosing between Rocky Road and chocolate ice cream was hard enough…


Sammy gave a huge sigh of relief as she waited in the elevator. It was a really painful conversation to go through, and she hoped that it made Lois rethink the situation over. She was glad it was over. Glancing at her watch, she realized it was already 7:15.

The elevator doors opened, and Sammy walked to the door. She thought of how Lois had defended Scardino, and was thankful that calling him names was the ONLY bad thing she had said about him…

Thank God it's still light out here, she thought to herself, as she stepped out the door. Talking to those two had really taken a lot out of her. But she realized she'd do a lot more talking when she noticed a familiar figure coming her way.

"Speak of the devil," she said to herself.

Sammy stopped where she was as the figure neared her. It was none other than…Scardino himself. This is my chance. Make it good, she thought. She calmed herself down when he was only a few feet away.

"Hey, kid, whatcha doing here?? Dan asked. He was obviously excited, and didn't keep anything in.

"I woulda asked ya the same thing." She stared coldly at him. "Wait a minute—you're happy, and smiling. Something's gotta be wrong here."

"Yeah, I'm happy — and I got every right to be."

"And why would that be?"

"Cause…I'm going on a date with Lois!! Ha!!" He loved to taunt her, because he knew how much she had worked to keep him and Lois apart. He also knew how hurt she'd be if he and Lois went out. He was loving every minute of this.

"Oh. Woo-hoo," she replied sarcastically, twirling her finger.

"Glad you're excited." Boy, did he love to see her plans get ruined.

"Yeah, whatever," she muttered back.

"Do I detect some hostility here?" he asked, smirking.

"Yup — and whole lot of it."

Her eyes never left his. Dan felt like they were burning a hole into his head. He shifted uncomfortably. "Anyways… you still didn't answer my question. WHY are you here??"

"Oh, just talking with Lois. Ya know, it's only about 7:30.

Lil' early for eight o'clock plans, don't ya think?"

"Wha…how'd ya know??"

She shrugged. "Like I said, talking with Lois."

"Yeah, well…I was thinking maybe we could leave earlier. Ya know, more time to do things." He fixed his hair.

Sammy shook her head. "Don't EVER rush a woman…"

"Whatever. I know why you're here. Probably trying to get Lois to go out with Clark, right?? Well, let me tell you — it ain't gonna happen."

"And why is that??" Sammy could feel her blood boiling…

He had a 'macho' expression on his face. "Why would she go out with Clark when she can have a man like me??"

"Cuz…cuz…you ain't half the man Clark is!!"

The nerve of this guy…Sammy knew she was in for it now. Something inside of her exploded…at this point, if she decided to open her mouth…there was no telling what would come out of it.


He spoke harshly. "Excuse ME?? I'M half the man Clark is??" He made a fist. "Listen, has he ever told me to stay away from Lois??"

For once, Sammy hesitated. She knew where this would be going — she had the exact conversation with Clark. She started thinking quickly for a counter attack. "Nope."

"Uh-huh. Did he ever tell Lois to stay away from me??"

"Nope again." What am I gonna do, she thought.

"Ah, I see. And tell me, has he ever confessed his feelings, like I have?"

"No, not exactly…" At least Clark doesn't break into apartments and send screwed up presents, she bitterly thought.

"I mean — has he ever told her he loved her??"

She sighed, and shook her head. "No. And I suppose YOU have??"

"Not yet. But I will — tonight."

You're not the only one who'll do some 'fessing up, she hoped, thinking about Clark. Where was that guy when you really needed him? "What's your point??"

"It takes a MAN to show — and tell — his true feelings. And since Kent hasn't said anything yet…" He smiled triumphantly. "Well, I rest my case." He shrugged and turned to the door.

That's it — you asked for it. Ssssomebody stop me, she thought. She had no control over what came next out of her mouth.

"Sooo…tell me, how's Jenna??"


Jenna…Jenna…those words hit Dan hard. He winced as she said her name, as the loads of unbearable memories came rushing back. He bit his lip as he turned around. "How…how…" His voice was only a whisper.

Sammy glanced up. "Talking with Lois, remember?"

"Yeah." His fist started forming again. "Leave her out of this," he whispered roughly.

"Hey, man, I just asked a question. How is she??"

"She's dead, alright?? Dead." He took a seat on the steps.

Sammy marveled at how a simple word transformed him before her eyes. She couldn't believe the same man whom she hated so much was actually breaking down and crying…

"Who was she?" True, Sammy had been enjoying this at first. But at this point, she decided to take things seriously for a change.

He looked at her, deciding whether or not to tell her — to just get everything out. He wasn't sure, but saw how seriously Sammy was taking this. What a first, he thought. He spoke slowly.

"Jenna was my partner. But we were more than that. She was great. With her cheerful eyes, and a cute smile, she could bring anyone's spirits up. She was known for speaking her mind — which explains why she'd sometimes get into trouble." He smiled as he remembered these things.

"Did you love her?" It was certainly strange seeing this side of him.

"Of course I did. She was all I ever lived for. And then…"

"She died," Sammy whispered.

"Yeah." He was glad he let it all out. But then his voice grew harsh. "That's it. That's my story. Now leave her out of it."

"Sorry — no can do." She shook her head.

"And why not?? She's got nothing to do with what's happening now!!" He rose to his feet.

"Wrong. She's got everything to do with it."

He spoke angrily. "What the hell are you talking about??!"


"Listen, Scardino. And listen good." She bit her lip nervously. "How did it feel to lose Jenna, huh?? How did YOU feel when you lost your partner, your best friend??" Sammy came close to crying as she remembered her past. "And how did it feel to lose someone you love??"

"It HURT!! Okay?? It hurt…" He sat back down, and put his face in his hands.

"Yeah. It hurts. It really does." For once, she could actually relate to what he had gone through.

"What's your point?" he whispered back.

"My point is — Clark is going through the exact same thing. Don't you understand?? You knew these two were going out, yet you still pursued Lois. If you go on this date tonight…"

"What?" he said, impatiently.

"Clark might lose someone that HE loves." She sighed a heavy sigh.

"Well, that's HIS loss."

"Ya just don't get it, do ya…" At this point, she thought there was no way she could get anything into that hard head of his…

"Get what?"

"Look. You might not think I mean this — but I do. I really am sorry about what happened. I really am. Now maybe you couldn't save a relationship THEN, but —"

"But WHAT?" He didn't understand what she wanted.

"But you can save one NOW!!"

"And just what do you want me to do?"

Sammy's voice softened, but still remained tough. "Just

back off a little. Don't go on this date…"

"What?? I can't believe it! You want me to throw away MY date?? I've worked hard for this, and you're telling me to throw it all away??"


"Then what??"

"I'm asking ya to have a heart. C'mon, show me that I'm wrong. Prove to me that there's a heart lurking somewhere in that grown up…but somewhat mentally deficient…body of yours…"

His hands were still in fists. "I don't know…"

"Fine. All I know is if the same thing had happened to you and Jenna…you sure wouldn't want that other guy with her."

"You're right — I wouldn't."

"Proves my point."

"And what's that?" This girl is full of it, he thought. But it all made sense to him.

"It takes a MAN to do what's right." She sighed. "I rest MY case."

Dan didn't say anything back. He sat there, thinking about what she said. He loved this whole competition thing with Clark, and now, it seemed as if he was going to win. But something pulled him back…who knew, maybe it was Jenna herself…

She looked at her watch. It was 7:55. She got up to go. "Well, it's five to 8. If ya don't hurry up, you're gonna miss your lil' date…that is… if you do go on it…"

"Ya know, you're not even involved in this whole thing. But you still go through all this trouble. Why? It's really none of your business…"

"Another lesson for ya." She stared coldly at him again. "When ya deal with Clark — ya deal with me, too. What's his business is my business also." After saying that, she turned around.

"You're just like your brother, you know that?" he said coldly.

She turned around, with a what's-that-supposed-to-mean look on her face. "Yeah, I DO." But that look was replaced with a smile.

"And I'm damn proud of it."

She was gone.


Taking a long awaited sigh of relief, Sammy walked back home. Boy, did it feel good to let it all out or what. Actually getting the courage to say all of that in front of him was more than Sammy could ask for.

As she rounded the corner, she noticed another familiar figure walking up to her. "What the…Clark!!"

"Sammy! What are you doing here?"

"Uh…that's not important. What's important is what YOU'RE doing here…so?"

"I think I've finally found a way to tell Lois…" Thanks to the stories, he thought to himself. They had given lots if ideas, but mainly — courage.

"That's great!!" She gave him the biggest bear hug. She was excited — she felt like she was going to explode again.

"And I think I'm gonna tell her — "

"Clark — I'm sorry. But if I were you, I'd stop thinking, and get your butt over there as soon as ya can! Or else…"

"Okay." He smiled. "Um, Sammy — one more thing."

She turned around. "Anything."

"How do I even start to tell her?"

The dreaded question. She honestly didn't know what to tell him. But she thought hard, and came up with an answer.

"Just open your mouth, and let your heart speak."

Clark nodded, "Thanks." A quick hug, and in a blur of speed he was gone.

On the way home, Sammy hoped for the best. She could only imagine what would happen when those three people would confront each other. Maybe what she wanted wouldn't happen…but she'd make it happen…if she wrote a story about it…

Lois and Clark. Those two were meant to be together, and they don't even know it, she thought to herself. All the more they'll appreciate it at the end.

"Love finds a way." She didn't know who had said it, or what it meant.

But she knew that love would have a heck of a time finding a way to get to those two…


Dan approached Lois's door. He was still shaken from the conversation he had with Sammy. Until that day, he had never really talked about Jenna. Sure he had mentioned it to Lois, but he hadn't broken down and cried. He was also surprised that Sammy hadn't started to make fun of him. Instead, she had given him something to really think about. True, if he and Jenna were in the same position, he sure wouldn't want that other guy near her. But Dan still stood his ground.

He was about to knock on her door, but hesitated as he heard steps coming toward him. His hand dropped as he recognized who it was. "Hey — Dad," he smirked. "Whatcha doing here?"

"I would have asked you the same thing, but I already know." Clark was ready for anything that Scardino would throw at him.

"Yeah, well…" He fixed his collar. "Guess I'm the lucky guy now, huh?"

"Really?" Clark replied, with a hint of sarcasm.

"Yeah…after all, I'M the one going out with her now." Ooh, it felt good to rub it in, Dan thought happily.

"Well, while you're here for that, I'm here to talk with Lois." He stared coldly at him.

"Hey, Kent, this is my time with Lois. If you want to talk with her, that's your business. But when you do it on my time, that's MY business…sound familiar?"

Clark nodded slowly, his gaze still on him. "Nice one, Scardino. But, I think we should let Lois decide what's good for her."

"I guess that would be me," Dan replied, grinning.

"And why is that?"

"Face it, Kent, I'm the one who really loves her. I'm the one going after her, making the moves, saying how I feel. Sorry, man, but I win this one. So — bye." He gestured for Clark to leave. His hand was about to knock…

…when it was stopped by the strong hand of Clark. Clark took a step toward Dan, until their faces were mere inches apart. Staring hard, he spoke slowly — and meaningfully.

"I love Lois more than you'll ever know. More than you ever will." He let go of Dan's hand, and gestured for him to knock.

Upon hearing those words, Dan hesitated. Not that he was afraid, but finally realizing what Sammy had meant by her words. He finally hit the door.


"In a minute." Lois, who meanwhile had been eating a tub of — chocolate — ice cream, among other things, was suddenly up and about — fixing her hair, putting on lipstick and other finishing touches. "Oh, forget it. He'll see me like this whether he likes it or not," she said to herself. Weird, I didn't have this same attitude when I went out with Clark…

She finally hopped to the door with one shoe one, and quickly slipped on the other. As she opened the door, she was only able to see Dan's face. "Hi, Dan," she said with a smile.

"Hi, Lois. Y—you look great!!" His eyes lit up with excitement. "I like burgundy on you."

"Thanks, actually, I wouldn't have even thought of burgundy if it wasn't for…"

"For what?" He sensed something was wrong.

"For…for Clark..," she whispered. Her smile faded a little. Little did she know that just a few feet beside Dan, opposite the direction she was facing — stood Clark. Little did she also know how he had winced as she said his name.

Dan's smile somewhat lessened when he heard Clark's name. Not only that, but also upon seeing Lois's reaction to the name. He cleared his throat. "Um, Lois…I think we need to talk…"

"Yeah, we do."

It was neither Lois or Dan who said this.

It was Clark.

Clark's face came into view. At that moment, Lois wasn't sure what she felt — anger, happiness, sadness. But she knew she felt one thing. Relief. Why relief, she asked herself. She had yet to find her answer.

For a couple of minutes, no one spoke a word. They were all just there, giving each other nervous glances.

Dan broke the ice. "So, Lois, let's chat." He immediately stepped into the apartment, and hopped onto the couch.

"Yeah," she whispered. Oh God, she thought. Just what I need. A showdown between the two guys in my life. Maybe that's why I'm relieved…I can finally put this to rest, she decided. But she noticed Clark was still outside. "Clark??"

He managed a smile. "Can I come in?"

Lois nodded. She understood — she had never actually let them inside. At least Clark asked, a voice inside her head said. So he's polite — you know there's more to him than that. She sighed as she closed the door. "So, what were you two planning to talk about?" she asked, taking a seat.

"As I recall, I think Kent here was the one who had to do the talking," Dan said. He glanced at Clark. "Be my guest," he offered, with a look in his eyes as if he were challenging Clark.

Clark took a deep breath. He had wanted the whole moment of telling Lois how he felt to be one of the most special in his life. Now, it was ruined, because the whole situation just wasn't…right. But if it meant saving his relationship with Lois, then he'd have to do it. He took a seat next to her, and spoke softly.

"All my life, I've wanted to tell you something. I didn't know how, I didn't know where…" He sighed. "But at least I know it's time." He caressed her face, and then gently held her hand.

Afraid of her reaction, Clark closed his eyes, and took another deep breath. All he had left to do was say the words he longed two years to say.

"I love you, Lois. I have since the day we met at the Planet. I've always loved you…and I always will."

He opened his eyes…only to find Lois looking at him. Not blankly, or coldly, but…as if she were looking at him in a new light. Realizing how things between them had changed, how much he meant to her, how much they had gained — how much they could lose.

She opened her mouth to say something…


"Bravo!! Great performance."

Lois and Clark glanced at Dan, who at the moment, was cheering them and clapping.

Clark couldn't believe how Dan was just there, mocking them. This had been a precious such moment, and he was ruining it. Taking deep breaths was all Clark could do to keep himself from going there and slugging Dan.

Dan stood up, cleared his throat, and walked to Lois. Flashing a smile, he said, "Lois, I love you. You're one of the best things that walked into my life, and I want you to be a part of mine."

At this point, Lois was in a state of confusion. She knew Dan had felt something for her, but it never occurred to her it would be something this strong. As for Clark, she really hadn't expected those words to come out of his mouth. She was absolutely speechless.

Seeing he could do or say no more, Clark abruptly stood up. Clearing his throat, he said, "Well…um..that's all I had to say. If you excuse me, I'm sure you two have better things to do." He took one last look at Lois, and then headed to the door. There was so much more he wanted to tell her, but he just couldn't — at least not in front of Dan.

She saw the longing in his eyes. The want to tell her more. She didn't want him to leave — again. Even if he wanted to leave, she just wouldn't let him…not this time. She grabbed Clark's arm. "You're leaving — NOW?"

Dan shook his head and smiled smugly. "Tsk, tsk. You tell a woman you love her, then you mysteriously have to go." He hoped that this would prove to Lois that he, Dan Scardino, was the right man for her.

Lois felt tears come to her eyes. "I — I thought you loved

me, Clark…"

"Lois, I do love you."

"Then why are you leaving?"

"You said you were gonna go on this date, didn't you?" He took her hand in his. How could he possibly tell her the mix of emotions he was feeling?? "Lois, I really love you. But I can't force you to love me back…"

She managed a smile. "Who said I needed forcing??"

Realizing what she meant, Clark returned the smile. Both of them discovering they belonged together…and not torn apart… lost in each other's eyes…in their own little world…until…


"I can't believe you're falling for that…" Dan's fists were forming again.

"What are you talking about, Dan?" Lois asked.

"Everything he's saying!" He took a step closer to her. "Lois, can't you see that I'm the one who really loves you??! I've been sending you presents, looking out for you, making time for you. And he's been there just sitting and watching on the sidelines! He didn't even stop me — is that a guy who loves you?" He sighed. "I'd do anything for you, Lois."

"So would I, " came Clark's voice.

"Prove it." He took a menacing step closer to Clark.

Clark reluctantly let go of Lois's hand, and approached Dan. "I love Lois enough that I'd do anything for her. Anything to make her happy. Even if it means…giving her up…to someone else. I care more about her happiness. That's something that I'd do…because I love her that much…"

Dan opened his mouth…but failed to say anything. So, that's what Kent's sis was talking about, he realized. He loved her enough to let her go out with me. More memories rushed into Dan's head. He looked at Clark, and said, "You would?"

Clark nodded slowly. "Yeah," he whispered.

"That's funny," Dan replied.

"How so?"

"Cause there was a time that I would have done the same thing for Jenna…" He winced.


"She used to be my girlfriend…long story…" He ran his hand through his hair, not knowing what to say. "I guess when you're in love…you care more about the other person than…I guess — yourself, huh?"

Clark glanced at Lois. Smiling, he said, "You sure do." Lois came to him, and took his hand. She said, "Dan, look, I'm sorry that I led you on like I did. It wasn't fair — to any of us."

Dan lowered his head. I guess if I can't win this one, I'll just end it with a bang, he figured. "Look. I really didn't know that you two…loved each other the way you do." He paused, as he thought of Jenna. "I've already lost someone I loved . And lemme tell ya, it ain't a pretty sight. But like I say, life's too short. Spend it with someone you love."

He approached the door, but turned to Clark. "You're alright, Kent. Just need a lil' more of a backbone…and use your mouth, too. Lois…what can I say?" He flashed a smile. "Stay the same. Sorry for the inconvenience you two. Take care."

He opened the door, and was already in the hallway when Clark said, "Oh, let me ask you something."

Dan turned around. "Shoot."

"Why the sudden change of heart??"

Dan smiled — there was only one answer. "Let's just say you've got a hell of a sister." Turning back, he walked into the elevator, and was gone.

Clark looked back at Lois. "I sure do," he whispered.


They went back into the apartment, still holding hands. "So…" Lois said. She had the biggest smile on her face.

"So…" Clark's voice faltered.

"What's the matter??" she asked, worried.

"Lois, I'm glad I finally told you how I felt. But I wanted it to be so special…face it, it was ruined…"

Lois thought for awhile. "You know, Clark. I'm still in this dress…and since you're dressed up yourself…how about dinner??"

"You mean…another date??"

She ran her hands up his strong arms. "Yes. We can relive the moment…this time, with your eyes open." She felt his strong arms wrap around her.

He smiled at her. "Anything for you."

It was time. "I love you, Clark Kent." She finally said the words she too longed to say. As their lips met in a kiss, they released the feelings in them both that they had tried to ignore so long ago…


"Hello? It's me, Sammy."

"Hey, 'sup Lois?! Wait a minute — aren't you supposed to be on a hot date with a certain someone??"

"I will be…Clark's taking me out again."

This news stunned Sammy. "Wha…how…whoa! What happened?"

Lois smiled. "You tell me."

"Okay…so I might have done something to Clark to make him go over there…and maybe said a few…words of wisdom to Scardino. Sue me."

Lois laughed. "Thanks, Sammy. Really."

"Hey, no prob. My pleasure," she replied, thinking of her interesting conversation with Scardino.

"While I have you here, can I ask you something?"

"Go ahead."

"Out of curiosity, what would you choose — Rocky Road or chocolate?"

"Oooh, Lois…don't make me think…one's brain can only take so much…"

"C'mon, please?"

"Hmm…okay." She sighed, thinking. "That's a toughie. Weird, but a couple of days ago, I'd say Rocky Road."


"But then I realized that Rocky Road would be nothing without chocolate. In fact, some flavors wouldn't be anything without chocolate…"

"Doesn't chocolate ever get boring?"

Sammy had no idea about Lois's real meaning. "Not at all! Remember, Lois — Rocky Road already has its own toppings, and you can't change that. In fact, THAT would be boring. But with chocolate, you can have a variety of things on it…and you know it's always gonna taste good."

"Mmm…that's true. But wouldn't chocolate always be there?"

"Yup. That's why you should enjoy it to the fullest — while you can. Who knows…there might be a chocolate shortage some day…"

"Oh God…I'd really miss chocolate…"

"Me, too…ooh, Lois, I gotta go."

"Sure. Why?"

"I have a sudden urge to go to Fudge Palace." Sammy smiled and giggled.

Lois laughed, too. "Sure thing. Have fun."

"Believe me — I'll have fun…and I have a feeling I won't be the only one."

Lois glanced back at Clark, who at the moment, was sitting on the couch. "You bet I will."

"Cool. Say hi to Clark for me. Bye."

"Bye". Click.


"Are you done?"

"Yeah. Actually, I was talking to Sammy. She said hi."

Clark nodded. For once, he hadn't used his superhearing. It's weird, he thought. His hearing seemed to have a mind of it's own — always switching 'on' and 'off' by itself.

"Listen, Clark. I just wanted to know…did Sammy kinda talk to you??"

He immediately knew what she was talking about. "Yes… is it safe to ask if she talked to you?"

Lois smiled. "Yes, she did." They exchanged knowing glances.

"Scardino," they said in unison. They both laughed.

As Lois reached for her purse, Clark noticed something. "Hey, Lois, what's that?"

He was pointing to the package. "Oh my gosh, I almost forgot."

"Forgot what?"

"Well," Lois explained, "when she came here, she brought this little thing. She made me promise to open it tonight. I wonder what's in it."

"Should I take cover?" Clark joked.

Lois smiled. "Oh, look, here's a card.' She took it and read it out loud to Clark:

"'Sup Lois?!

If your Tae Kwon Do skills ever fail you…just reach for this.

Love ya,

Sammy "

"Oh, I see. More female bonding stuff, eh?" he grinned.

Returning his smile, Lois opened the box. And started to laugh. "Oh, Sammy, how'd you know?" she said to herself.

"Well?? What is it???" He sounded like a kid opening presents at Christmas.

As she showed him the gift, Lois couldn't stop laughing, as Clark stared at it, dumbfounded.

It was a plunger.


THE END…of Scardino…

THE BEGINNING…of Lois & Clark.