By Katie Sizer <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Submitted May 2002
Summary: In this 30-minute challenge story, we see what might have happened during Lois and Clark's walk home at the end of the episode "Witness."
Okay, this one is in response to the 30-minute challenge. Thank you for starting it off, Wendy!! :) It sets off at the end of Witness — what if we'd seen Clark walk Lois home, instead of just fading to black when they got in the elevator? And special thanks to my GE, Erin Klingler, for her kindness and for being so great to work with!
A 30-Minute Episode Extension Challenge Story: Witness
The elevator doors closed, leaving the pair away from the evening bustle of the newsroom. The elevator was almost silent, except for the quiet breathing. Somehow, the silence didn't seem awkward; there didn't seem to be a need for words. Each was lost in their own thoughts about the events of the past couple of days, realising just how far their relationship had come on.
Lois thought about how she'd almost died several times in the past few days, and shuddered, suddenly imagining just how her partner would feel if something happened to her. They hadn't known each other for a long time, but they'd still worked alongside each other long enough to become friends, and to gain trust. She was surprised at just how easy it had been for her, Lois Lane, to trust Clark.
But then, he'd made it so easy for her. He was always the perfect gentleman, whatever the situation, and always did his best to make her feel better, no matter how low she was feeling. And he stayed with her; well, apart from those mysterious disappearances occasionally, but for the most part, he didn't leave her when she was in need of a friend. Especially when she'd almost been killed by Sebastian Finn. She recalled how Clark had held her tenderly on the kitchen floor, and soothed her until her fear had slipped away.
She gripped his arm tighter and wished the elevator would hurry with its descent. She wanted to talk to Clark, but somehow striking up a conversation in the elevator after they'd already been silent for this long didn't seem right. Best just to let it wait until the walk home. It would take at least an hour to get to her apartment; plenty of time to enjoy Clark's company, she mused.
A moment after she'd tightened her hold on his arm, she felt it slip away from her, and a sudden feeling of loss came to her, to be banished by the feel of his arm moving to hold her closer to him. She looked up at him and smiled, grateful for the extra warm and reassurance that he was still with her. He smiled back, one of his winning smiles that, despite her best judgments, always made her think that he was quite a handsome man.
Suddenly, the elevator came to a still, and they walked off, Clark's arm still around her shoulder. She drew herself closer to him, and they walked out of the Daily Planet building still in silence, but both wondering who was going to be the first to talk.
Lois decided that she should go first, as Clark was probably waiting for her to do so, and ever the gentleman, wouldn't want to stop her from saying something.
"Clark… while we were on the elevator, I did some thinking — about us, and how we've become so much friendlier towards each other since we first met," she started, a small smile creeping onto her face.
"We certainly have, Lois. I still remember all the things you called me in our early days of working together," he smiled, letting her know he hadn't taken offence. "I've been thinking about that a lot recently too, especially these past few days."
"That's just what I was going to say! I don't know whether you've been feeling the same as me, too, but I feel so safe with you, Clark. I've never been able to trust anyone as much as I can trust you right now, and we haven't even known each other all that long. You're the best friend I've ever had. I just wanted to let you know that," she finished, shying her head away with embarrassment at her revelation.
"Oh, Lois… it means so much to me that you can say that," he told her. "I want you to feel safe with me. And yeah, I feel the safe about you too. I've never had a friend like you before."
His grip on her shoulder tightened, and he squeezed her into him, enjoying the closeness between them. He'd hoped when she'd started to speak that she was going to say she'd had more than feelings of friendship for him, but told himself he was wishing for that far too early.
They walked a long way after that in silence again, lost in their own thoughts about the short conversation they'd just shared. The evening got darker, and colder, but neither one noticed.
An hour or so later, they reached Lois's apartment. She made no move to leave Clark's embrace, and stood still with him for a time. Reluctantly, he told himself he had to let her go in, no matter how much he wanted her to stay with him. He looked down at her, and grinned. "So, how do I rate as your bodyguard, Lois?"
"I told you, you weren't my bodyguard, Clark!" she laughed, hitting him playfully. But at his insistent smile, she continued, "But I'd say you were definitely A-plus! You've kept me safe, warm and entertained. The best bodyguard I could ask for — and you're free!"
Clark laughed and gently kissed her forehead, letting her slip out of his arms. "Goodnight, Lois. I'll see you in the morning."
"Goodnight, Clark. Thank you for walking me home." She smiled and turned her back to him, her wide, happy smile unseen by him.
He turned to walk away and whispered to himself, "Take care, Lois."
Sighing, he began to walk back to his apartment, sure that all he would dream of that night was the feel of Lois pressed so close against him while they were walking.