By Tracey <email@example.com>
Submitted August 2001
Summary: In this WAFFy vignette, Lois's jealousy over Mayson is getting to Clark, so he decides to do something about it.
Well, you guys are going to have to blame Helene for this one <g>. She needed a little cheering up one day on IRC, so I wrote a little something for her in hopes of doing just that. It takes places during 'Church of Metropolis,' and I'm sure that most of you will recognize the scene. Thanks so much to Helene beta-reading (even though she didn't have to!) and for all her terrific suggestions and comments. Also, special thanks to Wendy for writing an "aggressive" Clark in her story, 'Second Thoughts' —he was inspiring, Wendy ;) Usual copyrights apply: characters are property of DC Comics, TNT, etc., and any reference to any other story is accidental on my part. Comments are welcome and appreciated at firstname.lastname@example.org
"Clark, she's dirty!"
To emphasize her point, Lois slammed her fist down on the conference room table. This was so frustrating! Clark was so dumb sometimes! She knew that Mayson Drake, Metropolis's assistant DA, was hiding something. It was obvious—well, at least it was to Lois. No one could work that closely with Bill Church and Martin Snell and not be involved in something fishy.
Okay, true, she didn't have any proof. And true, Mayson hadn't actually done anything yet to justify Lois's suspicions. That didn't matter, though. Mayson was guilty, and Lois didn't want Clark to have anything to do with her.
"Show me the proof," Clark threw back at her as they squared off across the long oak table, almost as if he had read her thoughts. He knew just as well as she did that she didn't have any evidence against Mayson.
Lois glared at him, hating the fact that he knew just where her weakness was. That was the trouble with her partner: he was as sharp as she was—perhaps not as ruthless, but he knew where to strike to get to the heart of the matter. Seething, she pulled the only retort she had and tried to make it sound as condemning as possible. "You don't have any proof on Snell, and you're willing to go after him," she spat. There, he couldn't say anything about that—that, too, was the truth. They didn't have anything concrete yet on Martin Snell, yet Clark had made it very clear that he thought that Snell was the guy to nail. To Lois, that just meant that Clark didn't want her to look too closely at his *girlfriend*, Mayson Drake.
Clark opened his mouth to refute her claim—tell her he did have proof on Snell—but quickly snapped it shut. What could he say? 'Look, Lois, I know Snell's guilty because he threatened Superman. And since I'm Superman…' Oh yeah, that would definitely make things better. "That's different, Lois," Clark defended himself. "I told you…I have…a source." It was a weak defense, though, and Lois jumped right on the opening he left her.
"I'll tell you what's different." Lois poked a finger at his chest, angrier than ever. "When Snell bats his eyes, you don't get quite so giddy."
Clark rolled his eyes. Why did everything have to come back to his relationship with Mayson? "Wait, are you jealous?" he asked, wanting to rile her even more because of her implication that he would let his feelings for a woman cloud his professional judgment.
Lois was taken aback. How could he even think that? There was no way she was jealous of Mayson Drake. It was preposterous— laughable really. "What? No, I am not jealous," she shot back, ignoring the prick of conscience that told her she was lying. "We're friends, and we're partners. And whatever you do in your own time is…"
"…whatever you do." She waved a hand in the air. "I don't care. Except when it affects our *job*." Yes, it was better to bring this conversation back to the workplace. There were too many things that could come to the surface if they delved into personal feelings.
Clark would have laughed if he hadn't been so angry with her. Not once since the day he met her had he allowed Mayson Drake to affect his job. Just what was Lois talking about?
And if she wasn't jealous, he wasn't Superman. He wasn't blind; he could see it in the way she talked—or in this case, yelled—and in the way she acted. Every time Mayson's name was mentioned, the claws came out, the hackles rose and she ready for battle. "How is it affecting our job to say that I disagree? Say that you have no proof that Church is the head of Intergang, and therefore, no proof that just because Mayson worked for Church, that she's part of Intergang. We've got to stay on track."
His last comment struck a nerve. She was on track! In fact, she was the only one in this room who was! Mayson Drake was involved with Intergang, and she was going to prove it. The only reason Clark was so oblivious to the whole thing was the fact that he and Mayson were…well, whatever they were. And she didn't like that, but she wasn't sure why she didn't like it. "But you're not saying stay on track, you're saying stay away from your girlfriend!"
Somehow, Clark resisted the urge to pick her up and shake some sense into her. "She is *not* my girlfriend," Clark emphasized, exasperated. Lois had no reason to think that he and Mayson were any more than casually dating—and even if they were, Lois had no right to stand there and yell at him because of the choices that he made in his personal life!
"Well, whatever she is, she has got you finger-wrapped and blind-folded!"
That did it. He was tired standing here and taking this from her. He was tired of her acting jealous, and then not being able to admit that she actually was. He was tired of her looking right at him, working with him everyday, and not being able to see how he felt about her. Even Superman had a breaking point, and he was fast approaching his. "If anybody's blind around here, it's you!" he yelled back at her, his frustration making his voice more harsh than it should have been.
Lois looked confused at his outburst, but didn't back down in the least. "Well, what is that supposed to mean? I'm the one who's blind? You're the one who can't see that Mayson Drake is a criminal!"
Clark closed his eyes briefly, trying to gather some control. Why did she have to constantly push him? Usually he didn't mind sparring with her a bit, but this was just too much. She was deliberately ignoring their real problem, preferring to blame everything on Mayson. Well, he wasn't having that anymore. Their problem had been simmering for a while now, but the introduction of Mayson into their lives had just brought everything to a head. He sighed.
Their argument was not about Mayson Drake.
"Lois, you know as well as I do that this has nothing to do with Mayson," Clark said wearily, running his fingers through his thick hair.
"Then what does it have to do with?" she shot back.
"Us," he said quietly. "It has nothing to do with Mayson, but everything to do with *us*."
Lois raised her eyebrows sarcastically, but Clark noticed that she immediately crossed her arms defensively over her chest. "Oh, really. Well, by all means, do tell."
He snippy tone was the last straw for Clark. He turned the corner of the conference room table, reached out his arm, grabbed her and dragged her back to the farthest corner of the room.
"What are you doing? Let go of me." She tried to pry his fingers from her arm, but he didn't budge. "Clark!"
He stopped. "Lois, listen to me. There is no way that I could be letting my feelings for Mayson Drake get in the way of our story, because I have no feelings for Mayson Drake." As he went on, the tone in his voice grew more passionate, more reminiscent of a man pushed to the edge of his control. "Are you hearing me? Nothing. There is only one woman in this world that I have those kind of feelings for, and she's standing right in front of me." He heard her gasp and saw her jaw drop, but he continued anyway. If he was going to get it all out in the open, he wasn't going to stop to have her ask questions.
"There is only one woman in this world that I love like that, only one woman that brings out feelings in me that I can barely control." He paused for a split second, met her eyes, then steadily forged ahead. "And there most certainly is only one woman in the world that makes me want to do this." Quickly, before she could offer any protest, he wrapped one hand around the back of her neck and bought her mouth up to connect with his.
Clark swallowed her surprised gasp, pulling at her lips with a quick, passionate intensity, intending to show her that he meant exactly what he'd said. She was the only one that he loved, the only woman that stirred him in ways he'd only imagined of before he'd met her. His hands came up to cradle her face as he kissed her, and with one last sweep across her lips, he stepped back and released her altogether.
He had only intended to prove a point, but his swift decision hadn't left much time to ponder the consequences of his actions. The air seemed to have stilled around them, and the harsh intake of their own breathing was the only sound in the room. He opened his eyes warily, inwardly still trying to calm his racing pulse. He took a deep breath, searching her eyes for some clue as to what she was feeling.
Lois stared back at him, her lips parted and her breathing still slightly irregular, matching his. Her cheeks were flushed with a soft pink and there was a definite candied glaze over her normally sharp eyes. Clark had never seen her more beautiful, and the urge to lean down and find her lips again— this time in a much slower, more exploratory manner—was hard to ignore. But before he could, Lois seemed to finally come back to reality.
"Lois?" he asked hesitantly, his voice softer than before.
She blinked a few times, almost as if trying to bring her surroundings back into focus. Finally, she opened her mouth to speak. "I…I can't believe you did that," she stammered, her voice shaky.
"Yeah, me either," Clark muttered underneath his breath. It definitely hadn't been one of the brightest ideas he'd ever had. Well, at least she hadn't slapped him yet, he thought ruefully. He ran his fingers through his hair and sighed, stepping back from her even more. "Look, I'm really sorry. That probably wasn't the best way to tell you how I felt, and I shouldn't have kissed you. It's just that—"
"Just that what? You thought that you could just kiss me and I would fall at your feet like some moony-eyed cheerleader?" Lois interrupted, gesturing toward the floor. To anyone else, she would have sounded angry, but to Clark—who knew her better than even she realized—she sounded scared. He heard the tremor in her voice that she tried to disguise with defensive anger, and he wasn't buying it. She had been caught off guard, and Lois hated that. She hated the feeling that she wasn't in control of the situation around her. But more than that, Clark knew, she hated not being in control of her emotions.
And it was his opinion that she hadn't been in control of her emotions, at least for the several moments that he had been kissing her. Though not experienced by any means, Clark knew when a woman kissed him back, and Lois certainly had. He'd felt her respond to him, perhaps not at first, but soon after that, he'd felt her lips cautiously begin to press and explore against his own.
"What gave you the right to do that? What were you thinking? Maybe that was your problem, huh, Clark? You weren't think—"
Lois' outraged voice brought him back to the present, and he realized that his introspection had allowed her to build up a full head of steam. Her voice was raised at him, her eyes flashing as she reamed him.
"Lois." Clark stopped her by putting two hands on her arms, intentionally keeping his voice even. It wouldn't do any good to get back into a screaming match with her. "It wasn't like that, you know that. You have to know that I wasn't exactly planning on doing that when we walked in here." He dropped his arms and took a few steps back, finding a chair at the table and pulling out so that he could sink down into it.
Lois watched him back away with an almost visible look of relief. His close proximity, as well as the way he had placed his hands on her arms, had only served to re-establish a physical link between them, and the feelings that had swept through her at that simple touch had astonished her. That in itself was a blatant reminder of just how recklessly she had surrendered to his kiss only moments before, and that was a reminder that she definitely did not need right now.
"Then why did you?" She tossed the question into the air, almost in a desperate attempt to keep the conversation going, to keep them talking, just so she wouldn't have to actually think about what had just taken place.
Clark had kissed her. Kissed her until there wasn't a thought in her head, besides the need to be closer to him, to explore the impulse inside her that had made her a willing, eager participant in their kiss. And that was what scared her the most: that he had the power to make her respond like that. No man had ever made her feel the way she was feeling right now with just a kiss, but he had made it look surprisingly easy.
Even now, looking at him sitting there, his head in his hands, she realized with a shock that she wanted him to kiss her again. And again, and again, and then again after that. She shook her head, wondering just how they would ever survive this. She brought her hands up to press against her hot cheeks, almost mirroring Clark's own position.
Clark raised his head just in time to see her drop hers. He'd made such a mess of things. "Lois," he began, standing up from his chair, "listen. You asked why I kissed you, and the truth is, I don't really know why I chose that particular moment. I guess I was just kind of…fed up with the way you kept insinuating things about my relationship with Mayson." He kept his voice calm, measured, trying not to inflame her further.
He shouldn't have worried. Lois took a deep breath and let it out shakily. "I know," she whispered quietly, looking at the floor.
"I said I know, Clark." This time she looked directly at him. "I know I was making some inferences about your relationship with Mayson that I had no right to make, and I'm…I'm sorry about that."
Clark tried not to look taken aback, but it wasn't often that Lois Lane admitted that she had been wrong. He didn't know what to say. 'Apology accepted' sounded too formal and a bit condescending, and 'thank you' sounded like he had expected an apology from her. In the end, he remained silent.
She took a few steps toward him and continued, this time looking a bit unsure of herself. "Clark, did you really mean all those things, though?"
"All those things you said," she blushed, "about how I was the only woman that made you want to…that made you feel like…" She trailed off, unable to complete her sentence.
"Yes," Clark said softly, watching her intently. "Every word."
"Oh," she whispered, and it was her turn to look taken aback. Clark really felt that way about her? His words, which previously had been lost to her in the heat of the moment, came drifting back to her ears.
'There is only one woman in this world that I love like that…'
'Only one woman that brings out feelings in me that I can barely control…'
'And she's standing right in front of me.'
For a brief moment, she closed her eyes, amazed at the sweet, warm feeling that rushed through her body as she remembered his words and the passionate tone in his voice as he'd said them to her. It was such a heady feeling to know that she could evoke such powerful emotions in the amazingly handsome man that stood before her.
But she didn't want him to feel that way about her, did she? He was her partner, her best friend, and the only person that she could ever stand to work with. In fact, she'd even said that to him once, when he'd claimed to be in love with her shortly before her aborted wedding to Lex Luthor—a memory, not yet a year old, which still shadowed her everyday life and haunted her dreams.
But suddenly, another thought slipped into her mind. After the Luthor fiasco, she had been ready to tell Clark that she felt more for him than mere friendship. Could this be the chance that she had been waiting for? Clark had just told her that he had been lying to her that day outside the Planet when he'd said that he wasn't in love with her—well, he hadn't said it in so many words, but he had just told her that he loved her, so wasn't that the implication? Lois sighed, wondering for a moment just when her relationship with Clark had become so complicated. She looked over at him, noticing that he was looking decidedly uncomfortable.
Clark glanced at the floor, and then back at Lois. He'd just told her that he'd meant every word that he'd said earlier, that she meant everything to him, and she had yet to respond. The suspense was driving him crazy, but at the same time, he didn't want to push her. This situation was too delicate, too important for him to mess up now. It had the potential to make or break their relationship, on a romantic level as well as on a platonic one. He had to be patient, give her time to digest this latest development between them and react to it.
For one long moment, there was silence as they each tried to gather their thoughts. Finally, Lois broke it with a tentative question.
"So you really…love me?"
Clark stared at her with what could almost be described as a stunned expression. He couldn't even remember a time that he hadn't been in love with her. From the moment she walked into Perry's office, she'd been everything he'd ever desired and dreamed of in a woman. Meeting her eyes, Clark smiled ruefully. "Completely and totally, forever, officially head-over- heels. I'm so in love with you, Lois Lane."
"Wow," she murmured. He sounded so sure of himself, so sure of his feelings for her. Could she ever feel that way about someone, be that sure of her own feelings? Could she ever be that in love with Clark?
And then suddenly, clearly, decisively, it hit her.
She already was.
Smiling tremulously, she stepped closer to him until she was positioned right in front of him. "Say it again, Clark."
He was captivated by her, his eyes never leaving hers as he repeated the requested words. "I am so in love with you, Lois Lane."
She shivered, the words producing an electricity in the air unlike anything she had ever felt. She tilted her mouth up until it remained only inches away from his, teasing and torturing both of them. Her eyes closed and her hands went to his hips, steadying herself against the weakening of her knees. "Again," she whispered.
"I am…" He leaned down and closed the distance between their mouths with a soft brush of his lips. "…so…in love…" One more gentle kiss traced the bow of her upper lip. "With you," he finished on a shaky breath.
And although Lois tried valiantly to hold them back, warm tears collected behind her eyelids as Metropolis's toughest investigative reporter found out, for the first time, just what it felt like to be loved. She fought to find the words to tell him how she was feeling, but there were none. All she could do was show him, and so it was with this thought that she pressed forward, her mouth finding his, and kissed him with all of her heart and soul.
After several beautiful moments, they finally parted, but only slightly. Clark leaned his forehead against hers, their breathing deep and their eyes closed.
"You know what?" Lois murmured, nuzzling her nose against his.
"I was just thinking," she said, her lips curving into a smile, "that I could definitely deal with it if all our fights end up like this."
He looked down at her and grinned, his smile happier than she had ever seen it. "I think I could deal with it, too."
She returned his smile. "But you know what else we have to deal with, Mr. Kent?"
"What's that, Ms. Lane?"
Locked in his embrace, she knew that he was expecting her to say something about their budding relationship, but there was something else she was thinking of, a thought that had been hanging around the back of her mind ever since he had first kissed her. "We're going to have to deal with…"
"What?" he prompted.
She grinned at him. "All those Daily Planet employees who I'm absolutely certain have their faces plastered to the glass windows of the conference room as we speak."
With a quick check over her shoulder, he confirmed that she was right—activity in the bullpen had pretty much come to a complete standstill. Clark laughed out loud at Jimmy's thumbs- up sign and Perry's quick wink, and then, flashing his colleagues a huge grin, he drew Lois a little tighter to him, his lips already swaying toward hers. "Yeah, well, we'll deal with them…"
"Later," they both said in unison as Clark dipped down to meld their mouths together in yet another passionate kiss.