Presents

By SinginDrew <SinginDrew@aol.com>

Rated G

Submitted March 2000

Summary: No one could ever call Lois Lane a shopaholic. And when she has to find the perfect gift for Clark, her boyfriend… no, not her boyfriend, not just a friend… In this story Lois has to find the perfect gift, and though it's not easy, it's still fun and sweet.

This story is not set in any particular time frame except for after their almost first date. I've used experiences from all over the place, so don't get too picky about time frames. Enjoy the story and feedback is definitely a plus!!!

***

Presents

It was Christmas Eve and Lois Lane, award-winning star-reporter for the world-renown newspaper The Daily Planet, was at her wits end. Clark had expressed his deep caring and emotional need for her in his life and Lois didn't know if she was ready to open up and risk the chance of losing her heart and her pride if it didn't work out.

***

"C'mon Lane! You know you care for him! Why else would your heart do somersaults every time he walks into view? Every time his name is mentioned, you know you get a goofy grin on your face and try to hide it!" Lois chuckled at this last remark of hers as she enjoyed her morning cup of coffee at her kitchen table. She could still smell faint traces of his cologne from the previous night when he came in with her to watch Christmas In Connecticut. Nothing really happened before or after the movie. But during the movie, Lois just felt this kind of peace flow through her when she leaned against him and settled in for the movie. Their hands ended up being intertwined by the end of the movie, but neither of them commented on that. He thanked her for entertaining him for the evening and left. Lois wondered what would have happened if she had just squeezed his hand. Would he squeeze back? Would he look at her with the burning she at times had felt?

"Listen to yourself! What is coming over you?! Just because one admittedly good-looking guy tells you he doesn't want to live without you, you turn to mush like some mooney-eyed cheerleader! Get a grip!"

But Lois couldn't get him out of her mind. His Christmas present had been foremost on her mind for the last two weeks. She started leafing through a store catalog as she tried to get ideas about what to get Clark for Christmas. Clark had been teasing Lois since the day after Thanksgiving saying he has had her gift all wrapped and under his tree and it was the most perfect gift she could ever want.

"Gee, no pressure there!" She didn't know whether or not to get him a nice romantic gift, or else stick with an old stand-by. Her mother used to buy ties for Lois' father and say they were from Lois and Lucy. That was usually a pretty good stand-by.

There was another issue Lois was also wondering about. Clark was definitely not materialistic, but if he spent a lot of money on her present, she would feel extremely guilty about getting him something, well, not expensive.

"Wait a minute, didn't he say a while back that he needed new sheets since the ones he had were getting worn out?" she recalled as she flipped through the bedding section.

"But then he'll think all I want is to get into his bed! Lois thought irrationally. Oh… But I really must have it bad if I'm remembering things he asked for two months ago!"

Lois had called Perry earlier in the morning to tell him she was taking the morning off. She didn't let him know it was to do her Christmas shopping although he had probably guessed. Lois actually felt she earned the time off. Especially since she and Clark had snagged the latest scoop on the Holiday Highwaymen. The Holiday Highwaymen were a band of thieves who would sit by the side of the road with a flat tire. When some kind, unknowing stranger would pull up to help the distraught driver, the rest of his cohorts would jump out and steal the drivers wallet and any Christmas presents they could find in the vehicle. Lois and Clark had helped the police figure out the next place the group might be hitting according to their past encounters. All that was left was to wait while the police were on stakeout of the assumed area.

But back to the matter at hand: Clark's Christmas present. Jimmy's present was simple: he said he needed new lenses for his camera. Can't get much easier than that! Even Perry's gift was easier than Clark's: Lois found a framed picture of Elvis that would be perfect for his office. Their gifts were quite simple to find and represented them so well. It was Clark who was giving Lois the most trouble!

Lois got out her pen and notepad and started making a list of all the stores she wanted to hit in the order they should be hit so as to not lose any time before she had to go in after lunch. By the time she was done, it was ten o'clock.

"Three hours is plenty of time to find something for him. He can't be that hard to shop for!"

After her list was fully prepared (well, as fully prepared as she thought she could be!), Lois darted out of the house and headed down the block where her Jeep was parked. One of her fellow tenants had had a Christmas party the night before and conveniently forgot to tell his friends not to park in the reserved spaces. After a long debate, Clark had finally convinced Lois to let it go and walk inside or else they'd miss the movie. Reluctantly Lois had circled the block again and parked in the first spot she saw, which happened to be three houses down but since she was with Clark she didn't mind the walk.

In the morning, she started to mind!

"Why is it, when I'm with him, he can make any issue the most trivial thing. But by myself, it gets all blown out of proportion? How does he do that?" Lois queried in an almost angry tone.

***

Lois' first stop was to Grant's Appliance. Lois had noticed the phone by Clark's couch had mysteriously disappeared so she decided that a phone might be appropriate. Lois walked in and started looking at the different phone models when a clerk walked up to her.

"Hi there! I'm Stacy. Can I help you find anything?"

Lois, slightly bewildered by actually seeing an employee walk up to a customer in a store, answered the young woman's question and asked about the different features on the phones.

"Well, the one in your hand has built in caller ID, and an answering machine. There is no way he'll forget to call with both of those built into the phone!" Stacy joked.

Lois thought about the woman's joke. *If I get Clark a phone for Christmas, he's gonna think I want him to call me all the time and then he'll think I'm clingy.'

Lois high-tailed it out of that store and walked up the street to the next store on her list. By this time it was already 10:40.

The new store held an amazing array of office supplies that Lois remembered from their supply cabinet. "Now what would I think if on Christmas morning I opened a package of pencils?" That was the end of that store. 10:58.

Next was the music store. Pearl Jam had a new CD out that Clark didn't have yet.

"It's pretty bad that I know his entire CD collection! But I guess it does help that he keeps them all in alphabetical order." Lois rationalized again.

Lois remembered how she and Clark were supposed to go see Pearl Jam for their first date, but ended up having to work. Their almost-first-date was nice, 'but I don't think I should rub it in Clark's face that we didn't actually get to go out. I think he still feels bad about it.'

Lois exited the store with three CD's for herself and crossed the street towards the department store. 11:32.

On the way, Lois walked by a sidewalk vendor selling flowers.

"Flowers?" Lois wondered. "No. Too girlie."

"What about a nice bottle of wine?" She thought as she passed by a cute little shop selling vintage wines. "All Clark and I do is drink when we're together. It's amazing he doesn't think I'm a drunk!" Lois hurried past that shop. 11:39.

Lois entered the departments store and immediately headed for the men's department. The first thing that caught her eye was a beautiful silk tie that she would have loved to see him in, but then the thought entered her mind, "Doesn't he have enough ties?" She scratched that idea. 11:44.

After trying to describe to the attendant for nearly an hour how Clark looked and trying to figure out his size, Lois gave up on buying Clark clothes. The attendant seemed to think Lois made up this marvelous looking man she was intending to buy clothes for.

Finally Lois realized "What's the point in buying something if he's just going to have to take it back anyway? Then he'll also know how much I spent on him!"

The thought of a gift certificate flashed through Lois' mind, but that got nixed right away. "The amount is always so hard to decide, and there's really no thought involved in it, either." 12:33.

Lois was beginning to get worried. She was almost out of ideas. She decided to run by the housewares department and check out some of their selection.

"If anything, I can get him a nice vase or, if worse comes to worse, a chia-pet!" Lois thought as she passed by the box containing the porcelain animal that grows a plant out of it's back that can be trimmed and shaped.

Lois started picking up different household goods but didn't feel any of them fit into Clark's apartment. She had to admit, the man did know how to decorate.

"But what if I get him something for his apartment and he thinks I don't like his style of decorating? Then I'll really have insulted him!"

Finally, Lois turned to leave empty-handed when she saw it. She saw exactly what she knew would be the perfect present for Clark. She picked it up, paid for it, then dropped it into her purse and turned to head to work. If she didn't hurry, she'd be late.

Walking in to the Daily Planet, Lois knew she had a huge weight lifted off her shoulders. She passed by Clark's desk and her heart began to race as she realized he wasn't anywhere in sight. She quickly looked around and remembered that he was out getting the newest police report on the Holiday Highwaymen.

To pass the time, and since Lois knew she wouldn't be seeing either of them tomorrow, Lois handed Jimmy and Perry their Christmas presents. Jimmy was extremely excited, although Lois couldn't figure out why. That's exactly what he had asked for! And Perry immediately hung up the picture in the exact place Lois figured he would.

As Lois walked out of Perry's office, Clark walked up to her desk and set down a piece of paper. Lois' heart belly-flopped when she realized that from this vantage point she could see him but he couldn't see her. Just as Clark grabbed his coat and prepared to leave again, Lois regained her composure and called out to him.

"Clark!"

"Oh! You _are_ here! I was beginning to get worried!" Clark called as he walked in her direction. He was just about to scour the city for her. He hadn't heard from her in over 12 hours and was beginning to get worried. Usually, he was in constant knowledge of her whereabouts, whether it was by phone or by Superman. And he knew from her past, that if Lois couldn't be found, she usually needed help!

"You were?" Lois quietly asked, filling with joy at the thought of him worrying about her. That was definitely not something she was used to hearing from other men!

She walked over to her desk with him and picked up the piece of paper he had set on her desk.

"What's this?" she wondered.

"That's the-"

"It's the story." Lois stated with building frustration. "I've been gone for three hours and you've already got the story wrapped and ready to print!"

Clark could see by the look her eyes that Lois was hurt because she didn't get to participate in probably the biggest story of the season. Which he definitely understood, but he didn't know what she wanted him to do about it. When the story broke, he han't wanted to interrupt her because she had finally taken one of her well-deserved vacation days.

"I tried paging you. I never got a call back so I went with it."

Lois went to check her pager and sure enough, the battery had died. She had been wondering why there was no big emergency during her little shopping spree.

"My pager died. Wonderful!" Lois put down the rejected pager and took another look at Clark's article as he began to sit down at his desk. That's when Lois noticed her name on the by-line as well.

"Clark? I think there's something wrong with this article." She announced to him as she casually walked over to his desk.

"What? What did you find?" He asked as took the article out of her hands to scan it for himself.

"Why is my name on there? I had nothing to do with this one. You found the information, you researched it, and… you did a really good job." Lois barely choked out.

Clark knew how hard it was for Lois to give compliments so he took her last remark to heart, even if it was barely audible to even him!

"Well thank you. But, we're partners. Together on everything." he said, giving her a sincere look that Lois was afraid held so much more than she thought she could feel. She hoped that one day she could reciprocate his feelings, but right now, his intense gaze, which melted her heart, made her feel inferior so she had to change the subject.

"Well, so what are you doing to celebrate the holiday?" Lois asked.

"Well, tomorrow I'm going down to Smallville to spend Christmas Day with my folks-"

"Oh that'll be nice." Lois interjected.

"But tonight… I was hoping, well, that you and I could get together to exchange our gifts." Clark sent out the invitation. Now it was just a matter of Lois accepting…

"I think we could do that. What time?" Lois answered, trying to keep as cool an exterior as possible.

"How about seven at your place? I'll bring over something to eat and a nice bottle of wine. I think they're going to show 'It's A Wonderful Life' on TV tonight," Clark proposed.

Lois checked her watch and affirmed their plans. But if he was coming over, she had some major preparations to make, so Lois jetted out of the newsroom and headed home.

***

Lois scoured through every box she had in her entire apartment to complete the finishing touches on her present for Clark. She finally got everything put away and herself ready right when Clark rang the doorbell. Lois answered the door looking exquisite in a simple black dress with spaghetti straps and an open back. Clark could barely keep his jaw off the floor. But Lois knew she felt the same about him. He walked in wearing a gorgeous charcoal suit with the silk tie Lois had been looking at in the department store. 'It's a good thing I didn't get him that!' Lois quickly thought.

Lois rushed Clark inside, took the food and wine from him and set it on the table. Clark still held on to Lois' present though. Lois noticed and asked him if he was going to carry it around all night. Embarrassed, he placed it under the tree and joined Lois at the dinner table which was adorned with lit candles and the Italian food Clark had picked up from Giordanno's. Each ate as much as they could, but were both too excited about giving the other their "perfect present" they couldn't wait anymore.

Finally, Lois said "How about we do presents now?" with as much nonchalance as she could muster.

"Yeah. That sounds like a good idea." Clark agreed with mirroring emotions.

Both got up from the table and nearly knocked each other down as they raced to the tree to give each other their present first. Surprisingly enough, Lois beat Clark to the tree and handed him his gift first which was wrapped in a small box.

"But wait! You can't open it yet." Lois told him sternly.

Clark looked at Lois, both befuddled and amused.

"You have to wait until I'm out of the room. Promise?" Lois asked hopefully.

"Yeah, sure. Tell me when." Clark replied.

Lois left the room and told him to go ahead. Clark finally got the box unwrapped and open and pulled out a beautiful silver picture frame with an envelope taped to the front. Clark pulled off the envelope to reveal a picture of he and Lois right after they had re-modeled her bathroom together 5 months ago. Both were in raggedy sweat pants and old T-shirts which were covered with paint. But neither of them could have looked happier. Clark opened the envelope and took out the letter contained therein. It read:

Dear Clark,

I tried to find you the perfect gift. I couldn't think of anything more perfect than the two of us together, close, comfortable, and happy. And that makes everything perfect.

Love,

Lois

PS I love you.

Clark started to get tears in his eyes when he took another look at the picture and then saw Lois walk out of her room wearing the same sweat pants and T-shirt as she was in the picture. She looked just as beautiful but had a tentative smile on her face. Clark walked over to her and with a renewed confidence, kissed her like he had been longing to kiss her since the day they met and literally lifted her off her feet. Lois returned his affection with everything she had and then some. Finally Clark broke away from the embrace.

"I haven't given you your gift." He stated slyly.

"Oh, Clark you really didn't-" He interrupted her with a swift kiss which quickly did its duty. He handed her his gift and watched as she began to open the beautiful wrapping. Lois slowly began to pull out the same beautiful silver picture frame with an envelope taped to the front. She looked at Clark questioningly and then began to pull the envelope off the frame and saw the exact same picture that was in her frame. She drew the letter out of its container and began to read.

Dear Lois,

The perfect gift would not do for you. The only thing perfect in my world is you. And the only thing other thing I could think of is the two of us together, close, comfortable, and happy. Nothing is as perfect as that.

Love,

Clark

PS I love you.

Lois had tears running down her cheeks when she finally looked up to catch Clark's eye. But he wasn't there. Lois turned around to see him emerging from her room wearing the same sweat pants and T-shirt he was wearing in the picture. Lois ran over to him and embraced him again realizing at that moment that this man meant more to her than she had ever felt about anyone.

Lois broke off the embrace and looked Clark straight in the eye.

"Clark, I love you. And I need you in my life, to be together…(Kiss) close…(Kiss) comfortable…(Kiss) and happy." Lois said with as much emotion as she had left in her. They worked their way over to the couch to enjoy the rest of the evening watching the movie and holding each other close.

After the movie, Clark looked deep into Lois' eyes and couldn't believe how wonderful that experience was. Not only was he in love with a beautiful woman, he found out she was also in love with him. He had one thing left to tell her, "but not yet. Don't ruin tonight. Tonight it's just her and I being together, close, comfortable, and happy."

THE END

Feedback would be greatly appreciated!!!

Singindrew@aol.com