By emilystarr1 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Submitted February 2001
Summary: Clark's got a secret admirer this Valentine's Day who really wants his attention … wonder who it could be?
Thanks to all the readers on Zoomway's boards and the fanfic list who were so encouraging and helpful with this story!
A brisk mid-winter wind set the new-fallen snowflakes to dancing around Clark Kent's legs as he hurried home. He smiled with the self-assured grin of someone who has gotten his girl a really great Valentine's Day present. Even after thirty years of marriage Clark still thought of Lois Lane as his 'girl' — and she never complained. Clark compulsively reached into his pocket for the fiftieth time to run his fingers over the black velvet box that held the outrageously large sapphire ring that he had been saving up for since last Valentine's. Lois and he had been dandering through Metropolis and she had suddenly pressed her face up against the window and breathed, "Oh, Clark. Look at that. Isn't it gorgeous? It's what I always imagined diamonds would look like, before I actually saw one. I always thought they would be blue." She had laughed lightly, grabbed his arm, and dragged him away onto the next shop. But Clark had made a note of the store and had come back a month ago, when he could finally afford the thing. Luckily Lois had never seen the price. And very luckily it had still been there —at least, one very much like it —and Clark had asked them to hold it for him until today, when he got the final paycheck he needed to pay for it in full.
Of course, that wasn't all she was getting. They were going to take a long-awaited 'honeymoon' to Hawaii — thanks to "Superman Express." And, of course, Clark had gotten her roses. Purple ones. Ever since that fateful Valentine's Day so many years ago, neither Lois nor Clark had forgotten to get each other roses. And there always had to be at least one purple one …
Clark swiveled around in his desk chair, surprised. A very young looking delivery boy had effectively snuck up on him, impressing Clark immensely. He really must have been concentrating on his work! He'd have to watch that in the future —he didn't want to miss a call for help simply because he was working on a particularly engrossing story.
As Clark stared rather confusedly at the boy, his eyes took in his surroundings. The only light came from his desk lamp and computer screen —there wasn't a sound in the building except for what must be some mice scuttling around in the basement —even Perry had gone home! When you outlasted Perry White you knew you'd been working too long.
But how had Clark not noticed all the comings and goings around him? Wouldn't the Chief have called a goodnight? Had Clark fallen asleep? No, but — Clark sighed regretfully — he *had* been having that daydream again; the one where he and Lois were at some Planet shindig and she had stepped out on to the balcony that was conveniently there (though he'd never been to any party that had a balcony since he came to Metropolis) and he had followed and then she turned and looked at him with that same light in her eyes as when she looked at Superman and said —
Oh, great. Now the kid was looking at him as if he was crazy. Which, he supposed, he was. He had to get Lois Lane out of his head for good, and that was that! No more mooning over her when she made it perfectly clear that day after her almost-wedding to Luthor how she really felt about him. But Clark couldn't seem to entirely give up hope. Especially today. Clark, at that moment, felt as if he would love Lois Lane and, no matter what deterrent, he would keep on doing so. St. Valentine, Clark supposed wryly, would be proud.
"Yeah — is everything all right?" After a too long open-mouthed silence, Clark finally acknowledged the delivery boy's presence.
"Oh, everything's fine," the kid replied, seeming relieved that the guy he was talking to wasn't a nut after all. "Just got a delivery here you've got to sign for, that's all." He handed Clark a clipboard, which Clark hurriedly signed, and then the kid bent down to the bag at his side and pulled out a huge bunch of yellow and mauve roses.
Clark stared at them dumbfounded for a moment, then called the retreating boy back.
"Hey! How'd you know I was here?"
"Didn't," he replied with a grin. "But the lady who hired me gave me very specific directions and told me to get these to you tonight no matter how long it took. She's a hottie, whoever she is." This stated with a wave as the elevator doors chimed open and he disappeared within them.
"A hottie, huh." Clark muttered amusedly to himself as he studied the beautiful roses in his hands. His eyes caught a flash of white nestled among some velvety purple petals. Clark reached down and carefully extracted a stiff white piece of paper with some bold-faced typewritten words.
<YELLOW —FOR FRIENDSHIP. AND PURPLE FOR SOMETHING INDEFINABLE BUT UNDENIABLY SWEET. YOUR SECRET ADMIRER. >
Clark was puzzled —and incredibly flattered. No woman before had ever gone to such lengths to get his attention. It was definitely a nice way to celebrate the holiday —actually feeling attractive and desired. If only it could be Lois who was sending it! But only that day she had gone off on one of her tangents about how every holiday had been commercialized and that Valentines Day was the worst of them all, created only to further worship the well-liked and punish the unpopular.
Clark was racking his brain for who it could be when his fingers relaxed and he dropped the card. It fluttered easily to the floor, suggesting the first snowflake of the season, taking its time before finally resting in its chosen spot. Clark bent to pick it up and noticed that there was a smaller print on the back, right in the middle of the paper:
<"follow the yellow brick road">
"Follow the yellow brick road"? What on Earth did that mean? Clark, intrigued, raised his head again to check for any signs of life around him. There were none.
His story forgotten, Clark rushed to grab his coat and sprinted for the elevators, never thinking to even turn off his computer. He kept pushing buttons impatiently until he finally arrived in the lobby of the Daily Planet; and he barely remembered to lock the doors securely behind him.
Once outside, Clark discovered a block, about the size of his foot, drawn in yellow chalk in front of the big double doors of the Daily Planet. He snapped his head in both directions and soon saw another yellow block about five paces to his right. Clark grinned, enjoying the fun and mysterious feel his admirer had set up for him. Even though he knew full well it wasn't who he wanted it to be, Clark was excited to find out who his mystery woman was.
It didn't take Clark long to realize where his yellow brick road was leading — right to the front door of his own apartment. Clark, feeling slightly anxious, did a quick check around from outside. There was definitely someone in his apartment; he could hear the soft breathing and rapid heartbeat of someone hiding in the darkness. He couldn't make out any features, though. Although he felt slightly wary — since obviously someone had broken into his apartment — Clark decided to just walk in as if he didn't know someone was there. Hopefully whoever it was didn't have Kryptonite. And hopefully they hadn't discovered his stash of Superman's suits. Though Clark couldn't guarantee the latter, he was quite sure there was no Kryptonite around — no telltale nausea or weakness.
Clark cautiously unlocked the door of his apartment and entered. A familiar sweet scent assaulted his senses, and for a moment he looked around confusedly. "Hello? Anyone there?"
The sound of a match being struck drew Clark's attention over to his left. There stood a woman, her curves illuminated by the soft, flickering flames she held in her hand. After a moment she walked a few feet, to his living room table, and began lighting candles there. After a few moments, she turned around, now fully illuminated. Clark was stunned, and for a moment couldn't speak.
There was a slight laugh in her voice as she smiled shyly and spoke. "I hope you don't mind, I let myself in with the key you gave me." She explained. "I — I'm not very good at these big, romantic gestures, but I thought you might like it …" She let her voice trail off, hoping he would jump in with reassurances. Clark noticed, as she went around the room lighting more candles with the first, that her small hands were shaking ever so slightly — and this was more endearing to him than any grand, majestic gesture could have been. She turned towards him again, and Clark noticed that there were yellow and purple flower petals scattered about the room.
"I made dinner, too." She stated happily, gesturing awkwardly towards the kitchen. "I think I'm getting better. I called your Mom for help a couple times, and she walked me through the hard parts. You know, your mom is a really great woman. I mean, I'd never expect my mother to —"
"Lois," Clark gently interrupted her. "Why are you doing this? I thought —"
"Oh, Clark," Lois sighed. "I know this is probably a case of too little, too late. I honestly respect that you said you had no feelings for me, but I think the past few months have brought us even closer. So many things have happened to both of us, and … it's sort of taught me that I can get through anything. As long as I have you." Lois slowly walked towards him, then rested her palms gently on his chest as she gazed searchingly into his eyes. "Clark, I know you probably don't want to hear this, but I can't help how I feel. And I —" Here Lois stumbled over her words. "I really think if you look deep down inside, you'll see — I mean — what I guess I'm trying to say is —Clark, can't you at least give us a chance?"
Clark had been too amazed for speech, so he had let Lois go on. But now joy dawned on his face and he lifted the woman of his dreams up and swung her around.
"Are you serious?" He demanded, laughing. "Lois, I've been in love with you since the day you walked into my first interview at the Daily Planet!"
"But — I thought — last summer, you told me you'd only said those things because you wanted to keep me from marrying Lex —"
"Oh, Lois, I was lying. I couldn't bear the thought of losing you, and I thought you would only accept me as a friend."
Lois stared at him a moment. Then, hesitatingly, stepped forward and gently put a hand on each side of his face. She just stood there a moment, warm palms against warmer cheeks, staring into the chocolate depths of Clark's eyes. Then she slowly pulled his face to hers, and they indulged in a long, slowly sweet kiss.
"Oh, Clark," Lois murmured. "I've wanted so many times to tell you this, and now we've wasted so much time —"
"Lois, you couldn't have picked a more perfect time. And I love the way you chose to tell me!"
Lois giggled, slightly relived that the heavy mood of a moment before had lightened. "I was hoping you'd like it. I've been pacing here for hours, just quaking. For a while, after the kid I hired told me you weren't at your apartment, I thought I'd just have to give everything up. But then I decided to set everything up here instead of at my apartment, and told the kid to draw the blocks as he walked from here to the Planet. I had a feeling you'd be there. Hungry?"
"Starving," Clark replied gratefully, though a little apprehensive about what Lois had cooked. Lois bustled around his kitchen, moving easily in the now familiar room. The table had already been set, and Lois brought two plates over, heaped with food. There were chicken breasts covered with seasoned breadcrumbs and a creamy looking fettuccine Alfredo. Clark rather nervously brought a fork laden with food up to his lips — and exclaimed in surprise.
"Lois! This is *fantastic*!"
Lois grinned, looking very pleased with herself. "I told you I was getting better."
Clark couldn't help himself from adding innocently, "You also mentioned something about my mother helping?"
Lois flashed him a dangerous smile, and they continued eating.
Later, as they sat together on Clark's couch lazily sipping wine and talking, Clark reached out shyly, still unsure of his standing, to take Lois's hand. Lois smiled.
"So," he began, shifting to get a better view of her face. "I'm curious about something."
"Yellow roses were for friendship, right?"
Lois grinned. "Yeah. And to make up for the ones that I ruined by tossing in the garbage that time."
Clark laughed. "But the purple ones — you said they were for 'something indefinable but undeniably sweet.'"
"Yeah." Lois replied, a question in her voice.
"So what did you mean?"
Lois blushed. "Well, it was a little bold of me …"
"Lois Lane? Bold? Never!"
Lois playfully punched him on the shoulder, still feeling the euphoria of a shared attraction with Clark. "Well, anyway, I was referring to … to how I felt about you. To us. *We're* what can't exactly be defined yet, but still wonderful to experience." Lois dropped her eyes to stare fixedly into her wine glass.
Clark gently set his glass on the coffee table in front of him and drew Lois's out of her hand as well. Then he gently cradled her face in his hands and bent down to softly touch his lips to hers. As they embraced, if any of them had bothered to look up, they might have seen snowflakes beginning to fall outside Clark's window, looking remarkably like soft rose petals fluttering in the wind.