The Wet White Shirt

Carol M <>

Rated: G

Submitted: March 2001

Summary: An endearing and waffy revelation story.

The inspiration for this hit me when I was helping Missy with her stories and I just had to write it!

Anyway, the characters are not mine. Well, most of them aren't anyway. They belong to people with a LOT more money than me! I just wanted to have some fun! SSSSS indicates a flashback


Lois laughed. And laughed. And then she laughed some more. She hadn't laughed this hard since… well, she didn't remember ever laughing so hard. Only one person could make her laugh this hard. Clark.

Clark was laughing, too. She wasn't quite sure why they were laughing so hard — the joke wasn't all that funny — they just were. The only problem was that they were in a public place. The other occupants of Melisma's Sidewalk Café were starting to look at them. Lois knew Melisma wouldn't care — she was great — but the night manager didn't know them and they just might get kicked out.

"Clark," she managed to croak, "stop. You're going to get us kicked out of here."

Clark tried to take a deep breath, but he ended up coughing instead.

Lois instantly sobered. "Clark, are you okay?"

He nodded, still unable to talk.

"Are you sure?"

He tried again to take a deep breath and was more successful this time. "I'm fine. Really." He took a sip of his water. "Was that joke actually that funny?"

"No. Actually, it was really stupid. I have no idea why we were laughing so hard." She knew her eyes were just sparkling. She could feel it. And she could see it reflected in Clark's eyes.

She could see Clark's expression change. The teasing light dimmed just a little bit and was replaced by something else. If it wasn't for those danged glasses, she might have been able to read it a little better. He reached out with one hand and covered hers with it. She looked at their hands laying there, looking so right together.

"Maybe it's the company," he said softly. "Everything seems funnier when you're with me."

Lois knew what he meant, but couldn't resist making a comment. He may have sobered up a bit, but she had not. "Everything is funnier? Even Ralph?"

Clark looked down and blushed a bit. "Well, maybe not everything. But everything is more… more… real when I'm with you." His other hand reached out and covered hers. "The sun is brighter. The grass is greener. The sky is bluer. The stars twinkle a little more." He laughed a little and the sparkle in his eyes returned. "And stupid jokes are funnier."

Lois was having difficulty breathing. She knew Clark had feelings for her, but she'd never realised they were so strong. They had been best friends for a long time now and she knew that there was something more between them. She had known that since the first time she'd laid eyes on him, but she had resisted for so long.

"Would you like to know what else I think will be better with you?"


"This." Lois saw him lean across the table, pausing for just a second before she closed her eyes and waited for what she hoped was coming. She could feel his warm breath on her lips, his warm hands on hers. Then there was a light brush of his lips on hers. The electricity in the air crackled around them. Then his lips were on hers again. This time the kiss lasted longer. It wasn't a demanding kiss, but the best kiss she'd ever experienced. It was as though she had been waiting her whole life for this moment.

It seemed to last an eternity but really was only a few seconds before Clark pulled back.

Lois opened her eyes and looked at the man sitting back down across the table from her. "You were wondering what?"

"If kissing you would be… "


Clark laughed. It was a soft, gentle laugh. "Exactly."

"I wouldn't mind if you tried it again." Lois couldn't believe she was saying that. She knew she had feelings for Clark, but that kiss had been absolutely incredible.

"How about we get out of here? Go for a walk in the park?"

"Sounds good to me." Lois could think of nothing better than spending some time alone with… was he her boyfriend? The sparks were there, but they had never been on an official date. Even this wasn't a real date, just dinner after a late night of work. She knew Clark better than anyone, maybe even better than he knew himself, and she could only imagine how much courage he'd had to summon to kiss her, not knowing what her reaction would be. Maybe she could get him to kiss her again.

He stood and walked to her side of the table. "Shall we?" He helped her up and for once she didn't mind a man being, well, a gentleman. It was Clark being Clark and wanting to take care of her. She stood and linked her arm with his.

"Let's go." She looked up at him and smiled. "The park?"

"You're on."

It was only a couple of blocks to the park and the time passed quickly in companionable silence. Clouds were beginning to roll in on the slightly chilly breeze. Lois, ever the sly one, shivered just a little, knowing Clark would notice.

He did. She felt him stop and stopped with him. "You're cold." It was a statement not a question.

Lois tried not to smile. "No, I'm fine really."

"You're cold." Clark took his suit coat off and wrapped it around her shoulders, leaving one arm wrapped around her slim frame.

Lois smiled, leaning slightly towards the handsome man at her side. It had worked like a charm. "That was smooth."


Lois looked around, not realizing she had said that out loud. "Um, well, I meant you were smooth. If I didn't know better, I'd think you'd planned a way to put your arm around me. And you didn't even have to yawn to do it."

Clark chuckled a little bit. Lois could feel the chuckle as much as she could hear it. "You can't tell me you don't like it."

How well he knew her.

"In fact, if I didn't know you, and I do know you, very well, I would think that you planned that little shiver just to get closer to me."

How very well he knew her.

"You flatter yourself, farmboy." She was trying for a light, teasing tone, hoping to throw him off even a little bit.

He just laughed again. They were nearing the fountain in the park. "You know what I'd like to do?"

"What's that?"

"Kiss you again."

Lois stopped and turned. She looked into his deep, chocolate brown eyes and whispered softly, "What's stopping you?"

"You. Are you sure it's okay with you?"

"You know what your problem is, Clark?"


"You talk too much." With that, she stood on her tip-toes, bringing herself almost to eye level with him, and brushed her lips against his.

She saw his eyes smile. She could see them get kind of squinty like they always did, but she had never seen them quite this close before. They reminded her of something, but she couldn't quite put her finger on it and she really didn't care.

"I talk too much? You're the one who's known for babbling, my dear."

*My dear! He called me 'My dear'!* Lois' head was swimming from his nearness. How could she think straight when he was this close to her, even if they weren't actually touching? Standing on her tip-toes was getting a little tiring and she put her hands on his chest to balance herself. Her fingers started tingling. She had never realized just what touching his chest would feel like. Oh, she'd patted it in passing before and cried against it on many occasions, but she had never touched it quite like this. It was so strong, so solid, and, for just a moment, all hers. She had to say something.

"What would you do if I started babbling right now?"

"This." She closed her eyes and felt him lean in. She felt his hands rest lightly on her waist, helping her keep her balance. Then his lips were on hers. This kiss wasn't demanding either, but intense nonetheless. Inside her closed eyes, she could see the brighter sun, the bluer sky, the greener grass and the stars. She couldn't begin to describe the stars that she was seeing. They looked more like fireworks than stars. And there were more of them all the time. More and more fireworks. Soon they were blinding. Her hands were no longer on his chest, but had crept around his neck, finding a home in his thick dark hair.

She felt his arms wrap around her, one hand on her back and the other supporting her neck. He pulled her close to him and her legs could no longer support her own weight. She leaned against him and felt his arms tighten even more as she melted against him.

She didn't even notice when it started to rain.

Long minutes later, they both pulled away at the same time; both slightly out of breath.

"WOW!" The word came from each of them simultaneously.

"Clark, it's raining." Lois looked up and felt the gentle splatter of the spring rain on her face, not wanting to let go of this amazing man that she was falling… She tried to stop mid-thought, but couldn't. This amazing man that she was falling madly, passionately, desperately in love with.

He looked up with her. "Yes, it is. We should get under cover." But Lois was glad when he made no effort to move.

"We should. We're getting all wet."

"You look beautiful anyway."

Why had it taken her so long to realize what she had with him? What she could have with him, if she'd let it happen.

"Your glasses are all wet."

Clark laughed. "I tell you you're beautiful and all you can think of to say is that my glasses are wet?"

"I think they're clouding your vision."

"I've never seen anything more clearly in my life. And…"

Thunder blotted out whatever else he had to say.

Lois clapped her hands over her ears, startled by the loud noise. She heard Clark laugh, and felt rather than saw him wrap his jacket back around her and grab one of her hands. She followed him as they ran towards a nearby building, laughing with him and at his tie flapping in the breeze of his own creation.

When they made it to cover, they stood there, holding hands and laughing.

"See," Clark managed to get out. "Even storms are more fun with you."

Lois laughed even harder until she saw something that made her stop. She heard her own sharp intake of breath, not believing what she was seeing.

There under Clark's white shirt, where his tie would have been had it not been wrapped around his neck, now soaking wet and clinging to his body, was the Superman emblem.

She reached out, her eyes full of fear and surprise. She started to unbutton his shirt, the next to top button, but was stopped by a large hand on hers.

Another hand lifted her chin. When she met Clark's eyes, she saw her own emotions mirrored there.

"Lois, we need to talk."


"Let's go somewhere else…"


"Where we can be alone."

"You're him." Her eyes shifted back and forth from his face to his chest.

"Can we go somewhere, Lois? Somewhere dry?"

Lois nodded, not trusting her voice anymore. Clark lowered his glasses and looked around nervously. Apparently satisfied about something, he picked her up. Still in stunned silence, Lois allowed herself to be flown away from Metropolis.

She had flown with Superman on many occasions, but this time was different. This time it was Clark. This time it was… better?

She'd always thought she was in love with Superman, but something had always been missing. She knew she didn't know the whole man. He never revealed his true self to her, to anyone. She knew that and tried to convince herself that she'd be able to accept it, but deep down she knew it wasn't enough. If she was going to have a future with him, she would have needed more.

Now she knew why she had never had more of Superman. She already had the rest of him, but didn't know it. Clark was Superman. Superman was Clark. The grass is green. Clark is Superman. The sky is blue. Superman is Clark. She was actually amazed at how calm she was, considering her best friend had been lying to her for a year and a half.

Clark had been lying to her. Well, not really lying to her. He had never told her that he wasn't Superman. If he had actually come right out and said it, then it would have been lying. This was omission. Well, at least now she knew that he wasn't habitually late with his movie rentals. He HAD been lying to her. Not about being Superman, but about all of those things that he said were so urgent. Cheese of the Month Club. Please! How stupid did he think she was?

Pretty stupid apparently. Maybe even galactically stupid. He'd played her for a fool for a long time. Why hadn't he told her?

She refused to look at him. He was so close to her that she could feel the warmth coming from his body and that bothered her.

She thought back. She hadn't been very nice to Clark in the beginning. She had made snide remarks to him and generally been a pain. She cringed a little as she remember the 'hack from Nowheresville' comment.

But what about Superman?

Superman had appeared not long after Clark arrived in Metropolis. She hadn't put two and two together — no one had. Who would? Why would they? Clark, mild mannered, easy going, best friend material, perfect husband material — *how did that last thought sneak in there?*, she wondered in surprise — as the larger than life, every woman's fantasy Superhero. No one would believe it.

She grudgingly admitted it wouldn't have been very good for him to tell her. She would have put it all over the front page of the Daily Planet. She closed her eyes and saw the headline — and the Pulitzer Prize it would have won her — "SUPERMAN'S SUPER SECRET!"

No way Clark could have told her then. Not if he wanted any semblance of a normal life. She really couldn't blame him, not then anyway.

But what about later? Why hadn't he told her later? Surely he trusted her now. Didn't he? Yes, he did. She knew it instinctively, but that didn't answer the question of why he hadn't told her.

What would she have done if he had just come right out and said, "Lois, I'm Superman." She knew what she would have done and Clark knew her so well that he would know, too. She would have ranted and raved and kicked him out of her apartment or walked out of his or found some way to leave him standing there.

What would he have done if she had done that? She knew him very well. She *thought* she knew him very well. How well did she really know him? Apparently, not as well as she thought. She never would have guessed that he was capable of keeping a secret of any kind without her knowing about it. He couldn't keep anything from her. She always knew when he was hiding something. Or she had thought she did. How could she never have suspected something like this? The more she thought about it, the more she knew that she really did know him very well. At least the Clark side of him. She knew exactly how he would have reacted after she yelled and screamed and left him standing there.

He would have stood there, head hanging down, hands in his pockets a completely dejected expression on his face, looking like he had lost his best friend — which would have been more or less true. She could see the heartbreak that would have been in his eyes and maybe even tears that would have been there. It would have torn him to his very core. She knew that.

And that's why he hadn't told her. But she was still mad. Very mad.

She barely noticed when they landed on a deserted tropical island.

He was still holding her, cradling her in his arms, when she realized that he was speaking to her.


"I'm sorry." She held herself away from him, fairly stiff, not ready to decide that she was willing to accept whatever Clark had to tell her, to love him no matter what. Not sure if that was what she really wanted.

"I have to tell you the whole story, Lois."

"I want to hear it."

"Are you sure?"

"No, Clark, I'm not. PUT ME DOWN!" Clark obliged her. "Would you mind drying me off real quick?" Clark obliged. "But you know, I don't have much of a choice, do I? What am I going to do? Stalk off? Kick you out? Where would I go? When you said somewhere where we could be alone, I thought you meant my apartment or yours, not some island in the middle of nowhere. You did this on purpose, didn't you? I know you, Clark Kent. This whole Superman thing may have caught me a bit off guard, but I KNOW you!" Lois was pacing furiously across the soft sand. She reached down and took her shoes off and threw them at the dejected superhero. "And don't even think about ducking. I know a little shoe won't hurt you! You're SUPERMAN! Nothing can hurt you." Even as Lois said it, she knew it wasn't true, but it didn't matter to her furious mind. "You KNEW that if you brought me here, I wouldn't have a choice but to deal with you. And if I don't want to, that's just too bad. Where am I going to go? If I want to go anywhere, I have to depend on you to pick me up in those *super* strong arms of yours and fly me off somewhere with you holding me as close as you think you can get away with, because you think that just because you're close to me I'll melt and lose all capability for rational thought."

Tears were streaming down her face. "And all this time, you've been lying to me. Oh, I know you never came right out and told me you weren't Superman, but you have lied to me every single day, several times a day. 'Lois, I'd love to stay, but I have to return an overdue book.' 'Lois, I, uh, I have to pick up my dry cleaning.' 'Lois, I know you're completely gullible and so I'm going to try to convince you that I have to pick up my shipment from the Cheese of the Month Club.' Please, Superman, how stupid do you think I am? I always knew you were running away from me for some reason, because you didn't want to be with me completely. That there was a reason why you didn't want to get too close to me. I just had no idea that you could be so cruel and let me make a fool of myself."

Lois finally looked at Clark. He looked just like she knew he would. Hands in his pockets, staring at the stand, completely heartbroken.

"You never made a fool of yourself, Lois."

"WHAT?! I never made a fool of myself? You've got to be kidding me. I threw myself at Superman. I was completely head-over-heels in love with him and the entire world knew it. How many times did I tell you all about my experiences with the great and mighty Superman? How many times did you try to encourage me that there could be a future there? You were just trying to help yourself. You knew if I was in love with Superman, then I was really in love with you."

Clark couldn't take it any longer. Lois was stunned by the forcefulness of the mild-mannered man's statement. "That's enough, Lois. I know I hurt you and I wouldn't do that for anything in the world, if there was any way I could help it. But I NEVER wanted you to be in love with Superman. I kicked myself every time I encouraged you to pursue him, whether I was Clark or Superman at the time. Superman isn't who I am. Clark is who I am. Superman is just something I can do. I never wanted you to love Superman. I have loved you since the first time I saw you in Perry's office and I knew I had to find a way to stay in Metropolis. My mom made the stupid tights and my parents helped me create the Superman persona. Once it was working and I knew that no one would realize that Clark Kent, Daily Planet reporter, moonlighted as Superman, Man in Tights, all I wanted was for you to love me — Clark. Not Superman. Because I am Superman. Superman is NOT me. There's a difference."

"It's all semantics, Clark, Superman, whoever you are."

"But you know all about how to use words to suit your purposes and you know exactly what I mean."

"Nice try, but you're not getting off that easy. You sat there, in the park and told me you loved me. You even agreed to get a hold of Superman for me. I figured you knew his phone number or something or knew where his hideout was, but not that you would just be talking to yourself. And then you showed up at my apartment and let me gush over you." Lois was going to say something else, but remembered how the conversation had gone.


Lois was curled up on her couch watching TV in her nightgown. She heard the familiar WOOSH and turned to see Superman standing there.

"Superman!" Lois stood.

"I heard you wanted to see me."

"Yes. Please, come in. I'll just put on a robe."

"Unless it's lead-lined, Lois, it's a waste of time."

Lois felt her face turn bright red. "I guess so. Anyway, I'm just trying to figure out… well, there've been a lot of changes going on in my life and I'm trying to make the right, decisions, but I can't until I know… how you feel."

Lois had walked up to Superman, put her hand on his chest.

"Superman, is there any hope for us? You and me? I'm so completely in love with you that I can't do anything else without knowing."

Superman shook his head. "Lois, I do care for you. But…there are things about me you don't know, that you may never know."

"It doesn't matter. I know *you*. And I don't mean you the celebrity or you the 'superhero.' If you had *no* powers, if you were just an ordinary man leading an ordinary life, I'd love you just the same. Can't you believe that?"

His voice took on a strange, almost heartsick tone. "I wish I could, Lois. But, under the circumstances, I don't see how I can."

Lois stared at him, tears forming in her eyes, then turned away. When she turned around again, she started to speak. "Superman…"

But he was gone. Only the flutter of the curtains remained to show he had been there. The tears flowed freely down her face as she looked out the window into the night.


She had hurt him terribly. That comment about loving him with no superpowers would have cut through his heart like a knife. Clark *was* Superman. The ordinary man leading the ordinary life. No wonder he hadn't believed her. She had just finished telling him that she could never have those kinds of feelings for him. She had never understood what circumstances Superman thought they were under, but now she knew. And her comment would have broken Clark's heart into a million pieces. Superman was vulnerable to more than just Kryptonite. He was vulnerable to her. Lois Lane. She had the power to hurt the most powerful being on earth.

That was scary.

"I want to hear all about it, Clark."

"Are you sure?"

"I'm ready to hear it now. I think. This is so much to absorb, but I need to hear it. I need to know why." She sat on the sand, holding his jacket in place, needing that little bit of him close to her.

"Well, it all started about a year and a half ago when I came to Metropolis. No, that's not right. It all started in 1966 when my parents found a spaceship in Schuster's Field. Inside was me — from the exploding planet of Krypton. My parents had found out that they couldn't have kids and then there I was. They thought I was some kind of experiment from the Soviet Union or maybe even our government — I mean it was the height of the Cold War, who knew what the governments were capable of? It wasn't until after I got here and you found the spaceship and the orb that I knew any more than that.

"When I was a kid, I was pretty normal. I didn't float in my crib or anything unusual like that. My powers came on gradually. By junior high I could lift the fridge or the tractor and by the time I graduated high school I could fly and do everything else that I can do as Superman.

"I made it through college without attracting too much attention, but by the time I graduated, I needed to help. I couldn't take just standing by and watching when I knew I could help someone. I moved on whenever someone was getting too close to me, too close to finding out about me. And then I met you.

"I wanted to tell you from the very beginning, but I could just see the headline — 'Superman's Super Secret' right?"

Lois nodded. How could he know her so well?

"You didn't really know me and I didn't really know you. You were completely head over heals for Superman, but that wouldn't have stopped you — at least at first. Once I knew I could trust you, you were involved with Luthor."

Lois cringed. There was no way Clark could have known she had just relived that entire scene in her mind. Or was there? So far tonight he had proved he knew her much better than she thought.

"I couldn't risk him finding out. And after that, well, you were in no emotional shape to deal with all of this."

As much as Lois wanted to yell at him again and tell him that she could handle anything, she knew he was telling the truth. She had barely trusted him, her very best friend, with what she had for dinner the night before, much less with her heart or soul. Finding out that he was Superman would have devastated her and she would probably never have trusted him or anyone else again.

"So, I've been trying find a way to tell you for a while now, but I could never find the words."

Lois sat there, on the sand, staring at the ocean. There was so much to absorb. Clark sat next to her, close but not touching, and for that she was grateful. If he so much as brushed her arm with his, she'd turn to mush, she knew that. Even before she would admit to herself that she had feelings for him, under the right circumstances, he could cause her legs to quiver and her stomach to do flip-flops.

It all made so much sense to her now that he had explained it. But could she forgive him? She was a fool to be in love with someone who could lie to her so callously. But he couldn't lie to her callously. She knew that. There was always something uneasy in his eyes when he told her about the dry cleaners or the video return or the parking meter. She had always thought it was because he didn't want anything to do with her and didn't know how to tell her. But now she knew what it was.

And the bottom line was, she was in love with him.

That was all that really mattered.

Clark interrupted her reverie. "Lois, say something. Please."

Lois looked at him and could feel the tears well up in her eyes. "Clark, I don't know what to say. I know that I should be mad at you. I should be screaming and yelling at you again, telling you that you are the scum of the earth." She stood and started pacing on the sand, feeling it squish between her toes. She pulled his suit coat a little tighter around her. "I should spend at least a month mad at you and not talking to you and trying to convince myself that there was never anything between us. That I never even thought that you were remotely good looking and there was never any spark at all between us. That I was a fool to fall in love with you. That I was a complete and total nutcase. That there was nothing in this world that could be worse than loving a liar. I should move to Africa or Siberia or somewhere far away, but that wouldn't work, because you can fly and you'd be there in no time. And you probably speak the languages better than I could ever hope to. I could fly off to another planet, but is there one? The only other planet we know of that carries humanoid lifeforms is gone. It exploded. Clark, this hurts. It hurts more than anything I can think of, even more than Kryptonite hurts Superma… hurts you. I understand why you didn't tell me, but that doesn't make it hurt any less and I should just walk away from you and never look back." Lois threw her hands up in exasperation. "But I can't. I'm on a deserted island, in the middle of heaven only knows what ocean and since I can't walk on water or fly, I'm pretty much stuck." Lois looked at Clark.

He sat there, his shoulders slumped, his eyes closed. Lois knew she was breaking his heart. She thought she saw a tear tracing a path down his cheek.

"That's what I should do, but I can't." Clark looked up at her, cautious hope trying to shine through the tears in his eyes. "What it all boils down to, is that it's too late. I am already head over heels, hopelessly in love with you and I can't help it. No matter what, my heart belongs to you and it always will."

"Can you live with this, Lois? Can you live with a superhero who isn't really all that super?"

Lois looked at him, sitting there on the sand, and knew that her life was inexplicably, undeniably, irretrievably intertwined with his. There was no way around it. "What do you think, Clark?"

She stood staring out at the waves, waiting for him to respond. She felt rather than saw him standing next to her.

"I know what I'd like to think."

She looked up at him. "What's that?"

"I'd like to think that you'd be okay with all of this and that — someday — I could ask you to spend your life with me."


"Lois, don't answer that right away. I know you need time to absorb all of this."

Lois turned to him and moved in a step closer. They were so close that she could feel the warmth radiating from his body. She looked up and saw the hope and love shining in those deep chocolate pools that he called eyes.

She reached up and removed his glasses. She saw the doubt starting to creep back into his eyes. She had to set him straight.

The best way she knew how.

She stood on her tiptoes. She was almost on eye level with him. She leaned in and her lips gently caressed his.

She couldn't keep her balance and she pressed her palms against his chest to keep from falling.

She could see the questions in his eyes. She leaned in and kissed him again, a little harder this time. She felt his hands rest lightly on her waist. Her hands crept up around his neck, until they were intertwined in his hair. He wrapped his arms around her a little tighter, pulling her close to him. Their lips were millimeters apart, their breath intermingling.

He moved in to kiss her this time. This kiss was different than any of their previous kisses and very different than any other kiss Lois had ever been a part of. This was the kiss of two people completely, hopelessly in love with each other.

Long minutes later, they broke away. Lois looked into Clark's eyes and knew that she wanted to spend the rest of her life in his arms.

Clark smiled at her. "How would you feel about a flight with a certain superhero?"

Lois smiled back. "I think I'd like that. But you know, what?"


"As handsome as I always thought Superman was, you're better looking."

Lois saw the puzzled look on his face. "But, Lois, I AM Superman."

"I know, but someone needs to tell him that that much gel is out. He uses way too much, you know." She ruffled his hair with one hand. "Besides, I like you better with glasses."

Clark laughed. "I'll tell him."

"Does it bother you to talk about yourself in the third person?"

"Sometimes. Especially around you. I've always wanted to tell you the truth. But if I don't talk about Superman in the third person, I run the risk of losing Clark. And that's something I can't do. I can't lose me in a superhero."

"I wouldn't want to lose you. Now, we need a little bit of a superhero. I want to go for a night flight and you flying around as yourself would be a bit dangerous. If I don't get the Pulitzer for exposing your secret identity, then no one else does either."

Clark laughed. "There's something I've always wanted to do in front of you."

"What's that?"

"This." Clark moved out of her embrace and she watched as he loosened his tie. He started spinning and when he was finished, there stood Superman.


"No," he said softly, "wow is what happens when I kiss you." Lois blushed.

"Why don't we just see what happens when you kiss me? But before that… I have another question for you."


"Where do you put your clothes?"

Clark laughed again. He moved his cape so it was tucked under one arm. "My mom put some pockets back here."

"Your suit fits in there?" The three pockets were small, about the size of a tic-tac container.

"Somehow, I can fold them up really small."

"Even your shoes fit in there?"

"Yep, and my boots when I'm not wearing them. I tried to wear them inside my shoes. But, man, they were uncomfortable, so I change them when I change clothes."

"What about when you're wearing shorts? And I know I've seen you with your sleeves rolled up. Do you not wear the suit all the time?"

"No, I wear it most of the time. I don't really get hot, but I hate long sleeves, so I pull the top part down and tuck it in my pants and roll up my sleeves."

"What happens to the cape then? I don't know how your rear doesn't look the size of Montana with all that tucked in your pants." She looked critically at his backside. "And it looks just fine to me."

Clark laughed. "That's why I liked the cape when my mom was making me different costumes — no one could see my rear end! The cape isn't part of the suit itself. See?" He spun for just a second. The top part of this suit hung from his waist. The cape was attached to two straps that wrapped around his shoulders, but Lois barely noticed.

She was too busy gulping down her admiration for the well-formed, now-bare chest. She had seen Clark shirtless before, but for some reason it had never affected her like this. All she wanted to do was run her hands over the washboard stomach.

Clark noticed her speechlessness. "Lois?"

She couldn't tear her eyes away. "That doesn't explain what you do when you're wearing shorts."

"Mom sews a pocket inside all of my clothes that I can't wear the suit under and I stick it there."

"And you can still change that fast?"

Clark opened his mouth to answer.

"Oh, right, super-speed. How…?"

"Isn't that enough questions for now? I'll answer anything you want, but right now, I really want to kiss you. Can I?"

Lois nodded. Faster than a blink of an eye, the stomach she was still staring at was covered by electric blue spandex.

"Someday, you're going to have to show me how you do that."

"The Superman striptease? What would the papers do if they found out? Besides, we've just gotten together. I'm not sure I'm ready to strip in front of you." Clark grinned at her.

Lois blushed. "I said someday. And who cares if the papers find out? Everyone will think they're making it up anyway. Besides, I think you were about to do something else."

"Really? I've forgotten."

"Just kiss me, Clark."

Superman… Clark, stepped directly in front of her and bent slightly to put his arms around her waist. He lifted her off the ground and kissed her.

It was only quite some time later that she realized they were no longer standing on the sand, but floating among the stars.