By C. Leuch <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Submitted: November, 2001
Summary: Lois Lane decides to take her prudent partner on a new, exciting adventure, but Clark Kent has a surprise in store for her.
This piece of fluff was directly brought about by Crystal's fluff challenge on the fic list. It really doesn't have an a-plot, but that's the point. Feedback is always welcome!
People bustled around Lois as she glanced up into the perfectly clear blue sky. The sun hung high in the sky, casting its rays toward the earth, glinting off the metal of the bridge. She really couldn't ask for a better day to do this. Around her, the wooded hillsides sloped down infinitely toward the bottom of the gorge that the bridge spanned. The autumn colors made them almost seem to be on fire, and Lois couldn't help but smile. Yes, it truly was a perfect afternoon.
She looked to her left and saw more attendants bustling around her partner and recent boyfriend, Clark Kent. When Lois had decided to do a series of articles on thrill seekers, she had decided that the best research would be to participate in a few of their activities herself. Deciding that it would be a fun date, she had invited Clark along, thinking that she would have to drag him along kicking and screaming. Clark didn't fit the profile of the typical thrill seeker by any means, usually preferring to stick to the straight and narrow, follow the safest course of action, and be a general stick in the mud. Not that what he did was boring by any means, she thought as her mind reviewed some of the things he had done with her. He was just more traditional. And he even hated flying. So it had come as a total shock when he had immediately consented.
"Are you ready?" he asked her, interrupting her thoughts. She looked down at her feet and saw the cord tied there, realizing that her attendants were no longer buzzing around her. His cord was also firmly attached to his feet, she could see. She glanced back toward the road and saw the master jumper nod his head once.
"Whenever you're ready," he said, his voice confident. "Just do it as we practiced."
"Right," said Lois under her breath. She looked toward Clark for a boost of confidence and he gave her a smile. It was the patented Kent smile, the one that always seemed to say that everything would be okay, the one that made her heart flutter. He reached out and took her hand, giving it a short squeeze.
"Having a sudden fear of flying?" he asked, a mischievous sparkle in his eyes.
Lois took a deep breath and shook her head vehemently. "I've flown with Superman dozens of times. Why should I be afraid of flying? I mean, granted, you're not him, but this is just as safe. Right?" The last word was somewhat uncertain, but Clark gave her an amused grin and nodded.
"Right. So, what are we waiting for?"
Lois took a long look down, over the side of the bridge, to the thin ribbon of water that flowed hundreds of feet below. No, this was nothing like flying with Superman, but at least Clark would be by her side the whole time. It somehow felt better knowing that her fate would be his as well. "On three," Lois said, bending her knees in anticipation.
She counted down the numbers, all the while trying to calm the butterflies in her stomach. As she finally hit three, she jumped up into the air in concert with Clark, and let gravity take hold. The feeling of free fall was incredible. She thrust her free arm out to her side, feeling almost like a giant bird, soaring though the air. But the longer they flew through the air, the faster they fell, and Lois found herself having to force her eyes to stay open. The bottom of the gorge approached faster and faster, until suddenly she felt a tug on her legs, and her fall was reversed.
Lois let out a yelp as she started to rebound. The feeling was much more intense than any roller coaster she had ever been on, and even more so than any ride she had ever been on with Superman. Her partner, however, was eerily quiet. She turned her head to look at him, and was just in time to see his glasses falling off his face. Breathless, she wanted to yell out, but Clark had somehow managed to thrust his free hand out in time to prevent them from tumbling to the creek, never to be seen again.
It was strange to see him without his glasses, she thought as they flew upward. Strange, yet…he looked oddly familiar in a way. It was probably just her imagination, she thought as she tried to enjoy the surrounding scenery. She tried to look past Clark, but as they started falling again, she found her eyes drawn toward his face. The wind buffeted his hair, plastering it down on his head. Yes, he did look familiar indeed. Flying through the air like this, he sure looked a lot like…
Lois's eyes went wide as she made the connection. She was aware of a gasp escaping her lips, and it drew the attention of her partner, who suddenly became aware of her eyes on him. Clark gave her a smile, and as they hit the bottom of their fall once again, he looked toward the hand that held his glasses. As he turned back toward Lois, he winked, and Lois felt her heart rate increase. He knew that she knew! And he didn't seem mad at all. In fact, he almost appeared amused. Maybe that was why he had agreed so easily to this excursion — maybe he wanted her to know.
The world flew by around Lois on their second rebound, but she found herself ignoring it unashamedly now in favor of Clark. She tried to search his eyes, looking for insight somehow into his personality, into the whys and hows, and the reason that he hadn't told her about himself before. But all she received was the mischievous sparkle, and the loving smile that he always seemed to give her anymore. As they hit the top of their arc for the second time, she felt his hand tighten around hers, and suddenly, the feeling of weightlessness that had lasted a fraction of a second the last time around seemed to stretch out, one, two, three seconds, before they started falling again.
Lois didn't know what to make of the revelation at first. She found herself staring at him in shock, but as usual, she just got a smile in return. Maybe she should be mad. He had been deceiving her for quite some time, after all. And, even though he could probably see how traumatized she was, he had shown off for her just now. Yes, she should be very mad. But for some reason, she started drawing his falling body closer to hers, twisting around and reaching for him with her free hand. After a moment, they were wrapped around each other, their mouths drawing closer until they finally met in a deep, profound kiss. They fell and rose, each time in smaller and smaller cycles, until they were merely bobbing at the end of the bungee cord, remaining entwined the whole time. As the rope was being hauled in from above, they finally separated.
"I thought you were afraid of flying," Lois said, although there was no accusation in her voice. She was curious, that was all.
Clark smiled shyly, tightening his arms around her. "Only when I'm not at the controls," he said, and Lois found herself smiling, too. Now that the cat was out of the bag, she could tell that things would be different between them. The Man of Steel, the same man that she had always seen to be confident and strong, was now right in front of her, seemingly shy and fragile all at once. Clark was not flawless, which meant that Superman wasn't, either. But somehow she liked it better that way. There was less pressure, she supposed. And she could have both of the men that she had wanted so badly.
Lois let herself revel in their closeness in a way that she had never done before. "You're not at the controls right now," she said teasingly. Immediately they floated upwards, eliciting a giggle out of her.
"You only think so," he replied, and Lois found herself considering the possibilities of what could be in the future. The whole world was theirs, if they wanted it. What a wonderful thought. This new step in their relationship had all been brought about by his revelation, and she couldn't imagine how it could possibly get any better.
"You know, I had been wondering all week why it was that a great admirer of the mundane such as yourself would agree to go with me on this," she said as she started to play with his hair.
The amusement fled from his face as he turned serious. "I guess I just wanted you to go flying with the real me for once, and let whatever would happen, happen."
"I must say, flying with you was an honor. You could say it's twice the thrill of flying with Superman alone," she said. The bottom of the bridge was quickly approaching, and in a matter of moments, they would be back on top with everyone else. It would seem almost strange to step out of the private world that they had created for themselves during this jump and get back into the real world. There were expectations, there were things that would no longer be. Clark would have to be Clark again, not this wonderful combination for personas that she saw in front of her now. She supposed that they could always come back to their private world when they were alone again, but she just didn't want to wait that long. It felt too good being here with him, now.
"Would you like to try this again sometime, without the rope?" he asked quietly, with anticipation, as he slipped his glasses back on. Lois couldn't help but smile.
"The sooner the better," she said, giving him one last kiss before the rope came to a halt. Above them, their instructor stuck his head over the railing, telling them how they would be helped back onto the bridge. Lois and Clark let each other go and followed instructions. Once on top of the bridge again, they stood apart as they were disconnected from the ropes, but Lois locked eyes with him, and she could feel his thoughts, his longing. There was a new awareness inside of her for him, and she that the moment they were finally detached, they would be back in each other's arms.
The waiting was hard, but finally everything was taken off and hauled away. The instructor and the support staff loaded everything into their vehicles and started to leave. Lois stood hand in hand with Clark, waving as they left, until they were finally alone. After a long kiss, Clark tugged her toward the railing again, gesturing for her to climb up.
"You said the sooner the better. Are you up for it?" he asked.
Lois looked at both ends of the road, making sure they were truly alone, before climbing up to where she had launched herself off before. She never broke contact with Clark as he climbed up beside her. Once again, she looked down to the creek below, but this time she felt absolutely sure about herself. The only butterflies came in response to the fact that this was Clark she was flying with.
"On three," she said, bending her knees. As she reached three, they pushed off from the bridge yet again, hand in hand. Once again, she stuck her free hand out to her side, but this time, instead of the ground approaching, it fell rapidly away. They soared together, hand in hand, above the trees. She laughed as they flew, the birds around them regarding them with strange looks. Nothing in the world could possibly feel like this. And the view, she thought as she scanned the trees that stretched out below them, was spectacular. She looked toward her partner, the Superhero that everybody in Metropolis knew, yet only she truly knew. Absolutely breathtaking.