By Alicia U. <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Submitted: June 2000
Summary: A companion to the author's earlier story, "Basketball," but told in Clark's voice. A WAFFy revelation story.
This story is a companion to my story "Basketball— A Lois and Clark Valentine." Since the first story is told by Lois, I thought this story should be told by Clark. I hope it works the way I want it to.
As I flew home after helping the fire department put out a large apartment fire, I did a few barrel rolls in the air. Nothing could dampen the feeling of contentment I was feeling at that moment as I flew home at a leisurely pace. Lois had told me that she loved me. She loved me for the whole me, not just for Clark, her partner at work, or for Superman, the hero in the blue tights she had worshipped for over a year, but for me, the amalgamation of both personalities. Lois didn't find out about my secret exactly the way I had planned, but now that she knew about it, and especially that she was okay with it, I was overjoyed.
It all started yesterday morning. It was unseasonably warm for a February morning in Metropolis, so my buddy, Jimmy, and I planned to play a quick pick-up basketball game after work. Ever since I first started working at the Daily Planet, Jimmy and I have played basketball once a week whenever the weather has been warm enough. That weekly game is something both of us look forward to. The two of us have almost no time to spend together since we both lead atrociously busy lives, but we try to make time for, as Lois puts it, "male bonding." I always let Jimmy win our games, though, because if I exercised my true abilities people would, quite possibly, make the association between Clark Kent and Superman. To prevent this, ever since my powers first started to develop, I have hid my powers from everyone so no one will ever make a connection, or, as my dad always used to say, the government might drag me off to a lab and dissect me like a frog. If I ever do anything athletic, I have to pretend to be the most uncoordinated man alive. In fact, Jimmy can't believe that I played college football for a division one college. Even then I hid my true abilities and only performed at a level where I would not hurt anyone.
When Jimmy and I were by my desk planning to meet for our game, my girlfriend, Lois, overheard our plans and invited herself to play with us. I didn't mind, of course. Lois and I hardly get to spend any time together away from work because of our demanding jobs and my Superman activities. I could already tell that it was going to be time to tell her about Superman soon. In the few weeks that we had been dating, I could feel her growing exasperation with my frequent disappearances. Unfortunately, I usually heard calls for Superman while we were in the middle of important discussions or out on dates. I wanted to get on her good side before I sprung the news on her, so I had been going along with everything she had suggested for the past week or so, no matter how outlandish it seemed to me.
I immediately agreed to let Lois join us for our game, but I could tell that Jimmy was less than enthusiastic about the situation. However, he kept his thoughts in check until after Lois had left. But after she was out of earshot, Jimmy snapped.
He paced around my desk while ranting, "CK, why did you invite Lois? Come on, this is supposed to be guys only. Have I ever invited one of my girls to play with us? No. Why should Lois get special treatment? Besides, have you ever seen Lois do anything athletic before in all the time you've known her?"
I shook my head, wondering where Jimmy was going with that statement. I didn't care, though. Lois wanted to play basketball with us, and far be it from me to deny her, especially with the news I was about to spring on her.
Jimmy continued, in an even more hostile voice, "You know why you've never seen Lois doing anything athletic? A few months before you came here, we had a picnic for all of the Planet employees and their families, and we had a big softball game. Lois obviously hadn't played softball for a very long time, if ever, because she wasn't even sure which hand the glove went on. But you know Lois, she tried to hide her ignorance, and she dove right into the game. In fact, she somehow managed to convince people that she was a shortstop."
I laughed, picturing Lois playing shortstop with the mitt on the wrong hand.
Jimmy continued, "The first play of the game, Perry hit a screaming liner right toward the shortstop, and Lois stuck her glove out, trying to protect herself from the ball." Jimmy acted out the scene as he spoke. He moved his left hand protectively in front of his face and his eyes looked like those of a deer caught in headlights. "The ball hit her in the glove, but she had it turned the wrong way. And then SMACK!" He used his right hand to illustrate the trajectory of the ball. "It hit off her glove, and then it hit her square in the cheekbone."
I grimaced with pain as I recalled a similar thing happening to me when I was six years old. "Ouch, that had to hurt."
Jimmy nodded solemnly. "Yeah, but you know Lois. She never even admitted that she had gotten hit. We tried to make her go to the doctor to see if she had a concussion, but you know Lois."
I groaned, since I knew exactly what he meant. I'd had too much first-hand experience in that area.
Jimmy perched on the corner of my desk as he finished the story. "You know how stubborn she can be when she's trying to prove a point, so she stayed in the game, but she never tried to field another ball. That bruise sure turned into a monster shiner, though. Every time one of us tried to ask her if she was okay, she would just glare at us and snarl. That's when we learned never to invite Lois to do anything athletic again."
I rolled my eyes. I couldn't believe they would exclude Lois from all of their activities just because of one mistake on the softball field. "Jimmy, maybe softball's just not her game. I remember her telling me that she was on the tennis team in college, so I'm sure she has skills in other areas."
Jimmy muttered, "And I'm sure you know those, don't you, CK." He elbowed me conspiratorially.
I fought the urge to snap back at him. It was very hard, but I controlled myself. Lois and I had never done what Jimmy was implying we had, and I would never tell him the truth, that Clark Kent was a twenty-eight year old virgin.
When I didn't respond to his comment, Jimmy rolled his eyes and walked back towards his own desk. He turned around and shouted, "Don't say I didn't warn you, CK. She's not *my* girlfriend."
After work, Jimmy and I changed into our athletic gear and met at the court across the street from the Planet. Jimmy had brought the ball, and we started to warm up as we waited for Lois. After fifteen minutes, we both were considering starting without her. Actually, Jimmy had wanted to start without her as soon as we got there, but I convinced him to give her a chance. It wasn't easy to convince him, though.
As soon as Jimmy and I had given up on her, I spotted her walking towards us. She was dressed in a pair of jogging pants and a tight tee shirt with a long sleeved shirt underneath. Her hair was tied back with a few stray wisps flying awry around her face. Those locks surrounded her soft face and accentuated her beautiful eyes. I froze as soon as I saw her, and I could have sworn my heart skipped a beat. She looked so beautiful, almost angelic. Her form-fitting tee left little to the imagination. That shirt accentuated her luscious, womanly curves so well that when I looked at her, I had to use all of the Superstrength in my body to control the urges I felt when I saw her. In fact, I wasn't sure if I would be able to walk without having to hunch over, or even talk in complete sentences around her, let alone play basketball with her. I had to pinch myself because I couldn't believe she was really my girlfriend. I wasn't sure what I had done right, but I sure had done something for Lois to even give me a second look. In fact, I think a little ball of drool might have been hanging from the corner of my mouth as I watched her beautiful body slink towards the court.
I fleetingly wondered if Lois noticed I was staring at her not really caring, though. Jimmy obviously had both noticed her outfit and that I was staring. He let out a low whistle, and his chin dropped. He whispered, "Holy cow! CK, you're too lucky."
I ignored Jimmy's comment because I probably wasn't meant to hear it, instead I directed all my attention towards Lois. She had stopped cold also, and seemed to be undressing me with her eyes, not that I minded. She seemed frozen in place just like I had been a few seconds before. I have to admit, I had probably made a mistake in my choice of attire. It was only 50 degrees outside, but since I don't feel the extremes of hot and cold, a tank top and a pair of shorts were my clothing of choice. I had realized that I had made a mistake when I saw that Jimmy was dressed in a sweatshirt and a pair of jogging pants. However, it was too late for me to run back to my apartment to grab some new clothes, even if I could have made it there and back in a matter of a few seconds.
When I could control my body again, I approached Lois and wrapped my arm around her shoulders. It felt so good touching her; even though I'd touched her like this more times than I can count, somehow this time it felt different, almost like both of us knew that this was where we wanted to spend the rest of our lives.
Lois looked up at me with a confused look in her eyes. I wondered what I could have done wrong or what she could be worried about. That look passed as soon as it came, so I forgot about it until later that night.
When Lois smiled up at me, I exclaimed, "Lois, you came!" Then I led her over to the court where Jimmy was making a show of shooting lay ups. It was almost as if he wanted to impress Lois with his basketball prowess. Either that or he wanted to show Lois just what she was up against, possibly to make her consider leaving. I knew that I'd have to make this up to him soon. I feel bad for Jimmy sometimes, it seems like he feels like an outcast sometimes, and I sure know what that feels like. So I usually make special time for him, and I tried to spend a lot of time with him. But now Jimmy had to understand that I might not have as much time for him because Lois is a big part of my life, and I've fought so hard for her. Jimmy is a great friend. The two of us have spent some good times together, but Lois is something more. She's my best friend, and she's also the love of my life.
When we got to the court, I turned to Lois and smiled. "Okay, Lois, you're on my team, I guess. You and me versus Jimmy, okay?" As she nodded, all of my senses were assaulted by her closeness. I breathed the scent of her shampoo, I felt the soft, smooth skin of her neck against my bare arm, and I was still awed by the sight of her in that outfit. I was on such a sensory overload, a comment slipped out of my mouth that I would have never dared say except in such a relaxed atmosphere. "Even though I want to play you man-to-man." I could tell that Lois was taken aback by my comment, and I immediately regretted saying anything.
Lois, however, recovered quickly and seemed to find it humorous. She quickly retorted, "You'd better watch yourself, Kent," and then she giggled coquettishly.
She had tilted her chin up and opened her lips in an open invitation for me to kiss her. Jimmy noticed this too, and he coughed audibly trying to tell us that he was still able to witness everything that was going on. When Lois and I turned to look at him, he said, "Well, Lois, CK's not that good. I always kick his butt, so he probably needs your help."
I could tell that Lois wanted me to defend myself to Jimmy, but he and I both knew that he was right. Instead, I grinned widely at Lois and merely nodded in response. "I know, I'm pretty bad. But together we're going to win. Because now I have my secret weapon." I know it sounded corny, but I wanted Lois to know that I really wanted her on my team.
Lois rolled her eyes in response, probably seeing the cornyness of my last few remarks. Sometimes I can't believe how tongue-tied I get around her. It's like my brain turns into mush and my mouth becomes full of cotton. Lois almost didn't catch the pass Lois threw to her, and then he said, "Here, Lois, take a shot from anywhere. Let me see what I'm up against." Then he winked at me, almost like this was going to prove to me that I shouldn't have invited her.
To Lois' credit, she took a challenging shot. She shot from behind the three-point arc, but that didn't make her shot look any prettier. I had never seen someone shoot with two hands before. Well, I had, but it was when I was in the third grade. She pushed the ball with both of her hands up and towards the basket. Jimmy laughed and I stared in disbelief when the ball didn't even get half way to the basket. I thought I sucked it up well, though, when I said, "Thank God she's on my team, Jim. You're in trouble now!" Then I grabbed her hand pulled her close to me.
I am not very competitive, and I believe that everyone should get a fair chance to play, so when we played, I passed the ball to Lois at every opportunity. I didn't care that Jimmy stole the ball from her every time, I could tell she was having fun planning how to get by Jimmy. Every time she caught the ball, she got this look of determination in her eyes, almost like she had a fool-proof plan to get past Jimmy, and nothing was going to stop her. Unfortunately, every time, Jimmy was able to stop her well thought out plans.
The game had been going well, or as well as it could possibly go with Jimmy leading 10-2. Lois had started to get a lot more confidence in her skills because she had scored our two points, and she had made a successful move on Jimmy. Now I guess she thought she was indestructible. That was when it happened. I passed her the ball, and she was in a good spot at the top of the key. Jimmy was giving her a little room to dribble and she had a free pass back to me. Unfortunately, Lois decided that she wanted to take it herself. She turned around and dribbled, but then her foot got caught with Jimmy's. I had a pretty good look at it from where I was, but it happened in a split second, so I didn't have enough time to help her. She screamed as her foot turned almost upside down and I was at her side almost before she hit the ground.
I immediately yelled to Jimmy to get some ice. I knew that we had to contain the swelling, and the ice would help with that and it might numb some of the pain away. I needed to find out if her ankle was broken so I'd know what to do for it. I panicked and pulled my glasses down to x-ray it. I breathed a sigh of relief as I muttered, "Not broken, thank God."
Lois gave me a strange look, even through what I thought was her pain induced haze. Her face was twisted in pain and tears flowed openly. I knew that she had to be in horrible pain for her to show her pain. In the year and a half that I've known her, this was the first time I'd ever seen her admit defeat so easily. That's when I knew something was terribly wrong.
Soon, Jimmy ran back to us with the ice, and I gently helped her take off her shoe and sock, then I packed it around her foot. I tried to be as gentle as possible, but I could tell it still hurt so badly. Every time I touched her, her face screwed up in pain and she let out a soft yelp that was probably inaudible to anyone without Superhearing. Every time she grimaced, it felt like my heart was tearing in two, almost like it was being torn from my chest. It I had never invited her to play, this would have never happened.
"Clark, it's not your fault," she said with pleading eyes. "You're making me feel worse when you blame yourself."
I couldn't help it, though. She would be fine right now if I had never decided to play basketball today.
I used Lois' sock to tie the ice to her ankle, and she sighed when the cold ice hit her throbbing foot. I hoped the ice would do its job and numb her foot.
"CK, shouldn't we take her to the hospital to get it x-rayed?" Jimmy wondered. He was obviously blaming himself too. It was his foot that had caused her to trip, but he had also warned me that Lois was not the world's best athlete.
I nodded slowly, not wanting to blow my cover. "Maybe we should, Jimmy. I don't think it's broken, but we can never be too careful."
"I'm so sorry, Lois. I didn't mean to trip you," Jimmy said with a pleading look in his eyes begging her to forgive him. I hoped she would forgive him quickly and put him out of his misery. But I knew that I would never live this down. Jimmy would tease me forever about bringing Lois to play basketball with us. Oh well, I wasn't really concerned with Jimmy at that point. My entire mind was focused on Lois and getting her somewhere that could make her feel better.
Lois seemed almost fed up with Jimmy when she growled, "It's not your fault, Jimmy. Don't worry about it any more. Let's just get this ankle x-rayed and get it over with."
I nodded, wanting Jimmy to leave us alone. He had done enough damage, and I didn't want Lois to kill him. "Yeah, Jimmy, why don't you just go home. I can drive Lois over to the hospital for the x-rays."
Jimmy seemed as anxious to get out of there as we were to have him leave, but he still looked like he wanted to show that he was a good guy. He said, "Okay, CK, just let me help you get her to the car. It's a pretty long walk back to the parking garage."
Lois jumped in to the conversation at this point. "It's okay, Jimmy. I found a meter on the street. See, I'm parked right up there. I think I can hobble up there if you guys just help me up."
I could tell from her subtle arm movements that she wanted me to scoop her into my arms and carry her up to her car. And I was all too happy to oblige. I said, "No, Lois, I don't want you to put any more weight on that ankle. I'll carry you to the car. You're not heavy."
Jimmy's eyebrows nearly jumped to the top of his forehead. "Are you sure about that, CK? Sometimes you have trouble carrying your own briefcase." I had to laugh at that comment. Maybe my act really was working.
For some reason, Lois also giggled at that comment. I don't know why, though. It was like she had some secret joke that no one understood but her.
I answered, "It's okay, Jimmy. She's not heavy. Could you just grab the ball?"
Then I bent down and scooped her into my arms effortlessly. It felt so good to have her in my arms, but I would have enjoyed it so much more if it were under different circumstances. Still, I had trouble concentrating while I was walking. I wanted to plant kisses all over her face, so I satisfied my urges temporarily by planting a soft kiss on her cheek and saying, "It's okay, Lois."
As I slowly made my way to her Jeep, I had to concentrate very hard just to make it all the way to the Jeep. She breathed softly on my neck, and I thought I would go wild. Her soft skin rubbed against my bare arms, and I thought I my knees would collapse from under me. Then when she shifted in my arms, I hoped she wouldn't be able to feel just how excited her movements made me. I was ashamed of it actually because here she was, hurt in my arms, and all I could think about was how good she felt in my arms.
Our walk was over too soon because we reached her Jeep in a matter of seconds. She handed me her keys and I helped her into the back seat. I helped her elevate her ankle on her gym bag, and when I was sure she was comfortable, I climbed into the driver's seat and we were off. I wondered, "Lois, are you okay? How are you doing back there?"
I turned to look at her. Her ankle had swollen to the size of a grapefruit and it had turned a purplish-red color, but she valiantly nodded her head and smiled a smile that I knew was forced. She said, "Sure, Clark, I'm doing as well as can be expected," through gritted teeth. I took that as my cue not to speak the rest of the ride to the hospital. However, I did extend my hand back to her and she grabbed it like a life preserver, and she clung to it the rest of the ride.
The whole time we waited for Lois to get her x-rays, I couldn't leave her side. I wanted to make sure she was comfortable and that she had someone to talk to and wasn't bored out of her mind. I tried to keep her in a light mood by telling her jokes and stories because I knew how impatient she was, and this hospital was taking forever. Okay, maybe it wasn't forever, but I know that Lois thought every minute felt like an hour because she told me that more than once.
When they finally took Lois back for her x-rays, I decided that it would be a good idea to change back into my work clothes. People had started to look at me strangely because I was dressed in a tank top and shorts in the middle of winter. In fact, Lois had looked at me strangely, too. I darted into a nearby bathroom and changed back into my pants and dress shirt.
An hour later, when we could finally leave the hospital, we found out that Lois' ankle was, indeed, as I had suspected, not broken. It was, however, a nasty sprain, and the doctor recommended that she see an orthopedic specialist to make sure she hadn't torn any ligaments. They gave her a pair of crutches, which they told her to use for a week, and an air cast, which they told her to use until the swelling subsided. But, knowing Lois, I knew that as soon as she got home, the air cast would come off.
Lois' face fell when the doctor told her not to go to work for the next two days. I knew this hurt her almost more than the sprain did. We were in the middle of a big story, and we had been so close to getting the story. If I hadn't been there, I know she would have neglected the doctor's orders and gone to work tomorrow. But I hope she knew that I'd do everything in my power to let her into the action with me, even from her immobilized position.
When we got back to her apartment, I helped her as she walked on her unsteady crutches. I wanted so badly to scoop her into my arms and carry her, but I realized that I would not be there for her all the time, as much as I wanted to be. She was going to have to be able to walk around on those crutches by herself.
After Lois collapsed onto her couch, I hurried into her bedroom and gathered a few pillows and her down comforter. Then I made her a bag of ice, and I helped her get settled into the couch. Her foot was elevated on two of the pillows, and I helped wrap her up in the blanket. Then she begged me to keep her company on the couch. She said that the ice was making her cold and she wanted me to warm her up. I didn't need any more invitation than that, so I gently lifted her upper body up and slid underneath. She used my lap and chest as a pillow, and we lay like that for a long time. I'm not sure exactly how long, but it seemed like an eternity. Neither of us wanted to move from that spot for anything. It was so cozy and loving, we wanted to stay that way for the rest of our lives.
Finally, Lois broke the silence, "Clark, tomorrow's Valentine's Day. Everything I had planned is going to be ruined because I can't walk." I pushed a lock of hair out of her eyes and shook my head. But she continued, "It was going to be so perfect. We were going to have a romantic dinner at La Trattoria, and then I was going to invite you back here. Then I was going to tell you exactly how I feel about you."
I swallowed audibly. She was going to tell me how she felt about me. I hoped the she felt the same way about me the same way I felt about her. But it would be almost too good to be true. I took a deep breath and whispered, "Exactly how you feel about me? How *do* you feel about me?" I hid a smile when I said, "Lois, don't worry about it. My perfect Valentine's Day is one that I spend with you." I wondered if she knew just how true those words were. Did she realize that I'd been waiting to spend a Valentine's Day with her ever since the first moment I'd laid eyes on her? I hoped she knew just how deeply my feelings for her ran.
I nearly jumped for joy when Lois whispered, ""Oh, Clark, I've been wanting to tell you this for so long, but it's just never been the right time." I wiped away a tear that had fallen down her cheek, and our eyes met. Then and there, when I looked into her eyes, I realized that she loved me just as much as I loved her. She loved me with all her heart, her soul, and every muscle in her body. She looked at me with such love radiating from her eyes that I thought we would both explode. She finally whispered huskily, "I love you, Clark Kent. I think I've loved you for some time now, but I was trying to fight it so hard."
If Lois had looked into my eyes, she would have seen a stray tear fall. I had waited so long to hear her say those words, the words I never realistically believed she would say. I'd been waiting for her to say those words since the day we met.
I bent down and captured her lips with my own. Our kiss started out timidly, but then it erupted into the most passionate kiss I had ever shared with anyone. I felt a bolt of electricity pass between us as soon as our lips met. She opened her lips slightly, inviting my tongue to enter her mouth. We explored each other's mouths for a long time, getting to know each other in new ways. Our hands explored each other's bodies, finally having the chance to do what we'd both been longing to do for such a long time. I slipped my hands under Lois' shirt and came in contact with the smooth, silky skin of her stomach, and at the same time, she started to unbutton my shirt. Warning bells went off in my head as soon as she opened the first button. I wanted to tell her about Superman, but I didn't want her to find out this way. Lois stopped when I laid my hand on top of hers. She covered my hand with her other hand and said quietly, "It's okay, Clark, I know."
My breath stopped in my chest. I didn't know what I should say. What did she know? Did she mean what I thought she had meant? I backed away defensively, knowing that she would probably get the wrong idea. "You know? Know what?"
Lois reached up and pulled my glasses off my face. Then I knew that she knew my secret. Now I wondered just how she would react.
She kissed the tip of my nose and whispered, "I know you're Superman, Clark."
I pleaded, "Lois, I was going to tell you tomorrow…" knowing I sounded pitiful and insincere and praying that she would forgive me someday.
Lois cut me off and flashed a lopsided grin. "Clark, I'm not mad. I realize you have your reasons for not telling me. In fact, some of the ones I've come up with make sense. I mean, if I knew, I'd automatically become a target, someone else to use to get to Superman. And before you got to know me, I was just another reporter who would stop at nothing to get the Superman story. It makes perfect sense."
I stared at her slack-jawed. She had taken the words right out of my mouth, but those words sounded so insignificant and stupid coming from Lois. Now I wondered just what I had been thinking keeping this wonderful woman out of my life. I should have let her in on my secret so long ago.
I shook my head violently. "Lois, you were never just another reporter. I always knew you were the woman for me. I've loved you since the moment I set eyes on you, and I knew you'd be the one I'd tell about myself. I'm just sorry you had to figure it out on your own."
Lois interrupted me with another kiss, and I was all too happy for the interruption. I still couldn't believe how rationally Lois was behaving with this new information. I always thought that she would take the secret the wrong way, that she would be upset with me for not telling her sooner.
For the rest of the night, we alternated between kissing and telling childhood stories. Each time our lips met, I could swear that I heard fireworks in the background. I knew this was where I needed to be for the rest of my life.
Much later, I heard a fire alarm, but I didn't really want to leave. I realized that the fire department needed help, so I reluctantly broke away from Lois. This time I was finally able to tell her the truth about where I was going. After I changed into the suit, and was about to fly out the window, Lois called me back, and we shared a soul-shattering kiss. I promised I would be back to check on her tomorrow, Valentine's Day. As I flew out the window, I heard her whisper, "I love you, my love, my Valentine." I hid a smile as I quickly flew to the fire scene.