By Jocelyn Brant <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Submitted: November, 2003
Summary: Another trip to Smallville, because Lois just didn't get the full "country" experience the last time. We're sure she'll like the country.
Disclaimer: No infringements are intended, as these characters are the property of DC Comics Inc., and have been used without permission by Warner Bros. I have no claim to these characters or to the town of "Smallville", as that is also credited to DC Comics Inc. No profit is being made on my efforts.
Author's Note: I have no idea where Topeka, Kansas, is, but I needed a reason for them to be in Kansas, and so I figured a Secretary of State scandal would work wonders! Apparently the SoS exists in Topeka, so for the sake of this story, Topeka is near Wichita.
"Lois, so the corn festival wasn't your thing. That doesn't mean Smallville has nothing to offer," Clark rationalized. Lois shot him a defiant glare as she relaxed further into the passenger seat of their rental car. "You just have to visit it more often to get the full spectrum of the country."
"That's funny, Clark," she said, sitting up from her seat and fixing him with an 'incredulous Lois' look, "because, I don't think I do."
"Lois," he sighed, "you're here now, you might as well enjoy it. Who knows, maybe it will be you begging to stay by the time the weekend's over."
"Your optimism is noted," she settled back into her seat, closing her eyes as they stopped for a passing train, "and promptly ignored." Clark's restrained chuckle carried through the cab of the rental car.
He drummed his fingers on the steering wheel, waiting patiently for the train to actually appear. The lights signaling its arrival had been known to go off in this area a few times without any train to speak of. But Clark was content to just wait here, enjoying the surrounding trees of this back-road entrance to his hometown. His fingers continued to drum a nameless beat, heedless of Lois Lane's forthcoming outburst.
"Will you desist, please?! If it's not that incessant dinging of the rail road crossing signal, it's your fingers hammering without a purpose on the steering wheel!"
"Uh." he stopped the drumming instantly. "Sorry, Lois."
"Why don't you put on some music or something?" she replied, trying to appease him somehow since her outburst now seemed slightly unwarranted.
"No, Lois, that's okay. We get bad reception out here, anyway, and I'd much rather just sit and watch the wind rustle through the trees, or the faint muffle of cows mooing in a pasture nearby. It's-"
"Fascinating, truly. I'm going back to sleep."
Clark sighed. He hoped she wasn't this way the entire weekend; he knew first hand that a bored, annoyed Lois was no fun at all.
The lights finally went out, and the dinging of the signal stopped. The gate lifted, and Clark drove forward. Lois settled fully back into her seat, the car's progression along the dirt road providing a lulling rumble to fall asleep by.
Within minutes, they were at the Kent residence. Clark nudged Lois slightly, attempting to awaken her easily from her nap. She came awake quickly, and in seconds was out of the rental car stretching. Taking a deep breath, Lois pushed her arms over her head. At Clark's amused look, she coughed a bit.
"This dusty air is making my nose itch," she complained.
"Admit it, Lois," Clark said, taking a step towards her. "You like this place. The idea of spending a weekend here is filling your heart with anticipation. You're counting down the minutes until you can milk a cow, or go two- stepping." He stepped closer to her, and smiled mischievously down at her. He leaned forward, his lips coming closer and closer to hers, "Admit it," he whispered. She tilted her head up to receive his kiss.
"Never," she whispered, ducking her head. "Come on, Clark," she said more cheerfully, the seductive tone completely gone from her voice. "Pick up our bags and we'll go in and say hi to your folks."
Clark shook his head; she was a mystery sometimes, but he was always coming closer to figuring her out. He picked up a couple bags easily, a smile present on his face.
"Lois, I've got Clark's bed made up for you," Martha Kent informed her. "Clark, why don't you take her bags up there, while I get Lois something to eat — you must be starved!" Lois smiled appreciatively at Clark's hospitable mother. Clark hefted the bags dramatically, muttering something about women who over-pack. As he ascended the stairs he shot Lois a look over the heads of the elder Kents. When she caught his eye, he blew her a kiss, and she felt a deep crimson blush work up from her neck to her cheeks.
Such was the nature of their relationship. It had taken an interesting turn after their stay in the Lexor Hotel; when Lois called Clark, after their disastrous stay at the exquisite hotel in the honeymoon suite, they talked briefly. But Lois had something else she had wanted to say, but hadn't had the courage to say so over the phone. Gathering her will power she'd driven over to her partner's apartment, and paying no attention to the hour, called out his name from behind the front door.
He had come to her call as soon as he had heard it, fearing the worst where Lois was concerned. When she was admitted into the apartment with nothing else on besides her silk pajamas, she pivoted towards him, a resolute look in her eyes.
"When you kissed me, I felt something, and I want to feel it again," she told him simply, deciding not to waste time. He had stared at her blankly for a minute before a look of pure, unadulterated desire washed over his features. He was kissing her within seconds.
Her lips were anything but idle beneath his, moving over his in a manner that spoke of passion, affection, and desire. Her hands slid up his chest, reveling in the fluttering she swore she could feel coming from his heart. Her fingers then scaled his chest and shoulders, before sifting in his hair at the back of his head.
His hands were also not idle, and had held her head at her cheeks. He had darted her with his tongue and she'd responded with a small sound in the back of her throat, her mouth opening on a silent gasp. Their tongues slid over each other, and Lois could have done nothing but hold on to his shoulders then as her knees weakened to an embarrassing jelly texture.
"This is what I wanted," she had murmured breathlessly, and he kissed her slowly and softly this time, though no less passionately. After several kisses exchanged between breathless mumbles of incoherent endearments, Clark had pulled back.
"I'm not going to push you," he declared gallantly. Her lips curled in a small smile, as her hands fell away from his shoulders. She stood then on her own feet, her appendages more concrete, and reached for his hand. She had guided him into his bedroom, refusing to dignify her inner voices with any type of response to their 'you're making a huge mistake'. She knew Clark as no one else did, and it had felt right. It hadn't been a Claude repeat, because Clark was incapable of hurting anyone; their run-in with Jason Trask again while in Smallville proved that. When faced with hurting someone, Clark always made the right decisions.
Returning to the present from her escapist fantasies, Lois saw the pleased looks on Clark's parents' faces. "We're so glad you're here, Lois," Martha beamed. Lois felt the blush return ten-fold, and followed, head down, as Jonathon and Martha moved to the kitchen.
"Well, Lois," Clark asked Lois later that night as they sat watching TV in Clark's parents' living room, "Are you having fun, yet?" She was cradled in the secure loop of Clark's arms, and buried her nose into his neck, taking in a deep lungful of his scent. Her hands gripped his shirt- front, and she kissed his throat lazily.
"We haven't done anything yet," she murmured. Clark chuckled, the sound coming out more as a rasp than a laugh.
"I don't know if I should be offended by that comment," he breathed. She continued to brush her lips over his throat in a non-concentrated fashion. Her tongue scraped the slight stubble of the column of his throat, and he almost seemed to purr in response.
"Mmm," she sighed, "this show is great. I love Three's Company." With that, she pulled back and rested her head comfortably on his shoulder. He ran his fingers through her hair and tickled her neck slightly.
"Well, just think," Clark said, the right amount of oxygen having returned to his lungs, "by this time tomorrow, you will be able to say you've milked a cow."
He felt her stiffen, and was only given a second to prepare himself for Lois's abrupt movements as she sat up straighter and turned to pin him with a disbelieving look. "I hope you're joking."
"C'mon, Lois," he teased, "it's easy! You'll have fun, I promise." He leaned forward to capture her lips, but she was already standing up from the couch.
Faking a yawn, she uttered a quiet, but pointed, "I'm tired," and sauntered off to the stairs. Clark stood too, and followed behind her as she quickly scaled the stairs effortlessly, not appearing tired at all. He caught her wrist before she stepped into his room.
"Lois, it's the country experience," he explained, leading her into his bedroom.
"Cows and Prada don't mix, Clark," she whispered, aware of the couple sleeping in the room down the hall.
"You didn't bring sensible shoes for the country?" he asked dubiously. She shook her head, and stepped towards the bed, pulling back the covers and sliding in. Clark followed suit, and curled behind her, spooning his body to hers perfectly. It was a narrow fit, but Clark enjoyed the challenge.
"Shoes, or clothes, really," she continued, "I wasn't exactly expecting a detour to Dairy Land when we finished up the Secretary of State Scandal."
"No worries, we can go into town and buy some new clothes," he whispered to her neck. "I bet you're just dying to show me off; show everyone that you landed the Smallville Hunk."
"Show everyone? Not so much than deny any allegations to the like." She kissed his forearm affectionately, where it rested across her chest.
"Tomorrow, do you think we should tell my parents that we're." he left the sentence unfinished, sure that Lois would get the point. She settled into his embrace, and laid her head partly on his upper-arm, and partly on the pillow.
"Nah, I sort of like this sneaking around, stealing kisses on the patio, catching you watching me knowing you're trying so hard not to." He could feel her skin pull as she smiled against his flesh, "What right do I have to take that away from you?"
"You're evil, Lois Lane," he whispered sleepily. They were both asleep within minutes.
"Okay," Lois ground out between clenched teeth, "how do you do this, exactly?"
"Simple," Clark replied, bending at the waist over her as she sat stiffly on the milking stool, "you take the udder between your thumb and forefinger, and pull." She did as she was instructed, a bit harsher than was necessary and was prompted by Clark, "gently."
"Don't make me spray you, Kent," she said, taking his advice to go gently. When the milk came out, her eyes went wide and she turned around to give him a delighted smile. "I did it!"
"See?" He kissed her lips, "it's easy."
"Wow," she said softly, "I never knew a squirt of milk could carry so much accomplishment."
"It doesn't, but you're from the city," he teased, making the line sound sympathetic. She glared half-heartedly at him, and repeated the milking procedure. She was so transfixed by her new found ability that it was taking a long time to actually fill the bucket.
"Lois, why don't I take over?"
"What? The city-girl can't milk a cow without her farm-boy boyfriend stepping in to take over?" she challenged. He smiled warmly at her, and gently nudged her out of the seat.
"No such luck, darlin'," he drawled dramatically, "you's was just takin' too long." She rolled her eyes, but acquiesced. She watched as he deftly milked the cow, not nearly as impressed with the task as Lois, but more efficient.
She draped her self over his hunched back. "You know, Clark," she began, "though I'd never trade the conveniences of city life, there's something to be said about the quiet solitude afforded to people in the country. Who would have thought, Lois Lane, number one journalist in all of New Troy, hell, the world, spending a quiet morning with her boyfriend milking a cow?"
Clark stalled his ministrations and whispered, "Is that what I am, your boyfriend?" She straightened, and he turned on his bottom to face her, his head level with her flat stomach, as he peered up at her down-turned eyes. "I mean, it's not like we've made any sort of commitment to this. relationship, I guess."
"Well," she replied, cautiously, "what do you think you are?"
"I. I'm not sure, but I know I'm more than just your lover. A lover almost seems impersonal, but we're intimate in ways that aren't sexual too. "
"So. what's your conclusion?" she encouraged.
"That I'm your boyfriend?" he asked hopefully. She smiled sweetly above him, and he lifted his arms to hug her middle, careful to not sully her clothes with his wet hands, and laid his head on her stomach. She rested her hands on his head, delicately petting his hair. "I just wasn't sure," he continued, "people throw around the words 'boyfriend' and 'girlfriend' all the time."
"Am I your girlfriend?" she asked steadily.
"Would you like to be?" He didn't lift his head to see her eyes; he didn't want to scare her with the intensity he knew to be in his.
"I'd like that," she whispered, "very much." He stood then, resting his upper-arms on her shoulders and crossed his forearms behind her head, then kissed her soundly on her curved lips.
"Well, darlin', I gots me a cow to milk.yonder." He added the last word with shifty, unsure eyes.
"Yonder?" she laughed.
"I don't know, do they say that?" he shrugged.
"You're the farm boy, Clark, not me," she giggled, as he returned to his rightful position on the milking stool.
"You're definitely not a boy."
"Oh, nothing gets past you, Kent," she countered sarcastically chuckled as she headed towards the house, leaving him to his duties.
"Oh, Clark," Martha Kent gushed, as she, Clark, and Jonathon cleared the table and did the dishes later that evening. "Your father and I are so happy for you and Lois."
Clark stalled the scrubbing of a dinner plate, and swallowed deeply. "What do you mean?" he queried.
"Your relationship, of course," Martha replied matter-of- factly, confused at her son's reluctance. Jonathon patted his son's shoulder, and smiled at him encouragingly.
"Clark," his mother replied, "you can fool the world into think you're," she mouthed the word, 'Superman', "but you can't fool your mother when it comes to matters of the heart; your heart, especially."
"Your mother's right, son," Jonathon chimed in. "We see the way you and Lois look at each other, as though you two share some sort of secret. At supper, you both could hardly contain a grin when looking at the other."
"When Lois and I were in town today," Martha explained, "she was walking on air, I could've sworn." Lois and his mother had gone shopping in town, his mother claiming that the ladies needed to get away from the "burly men hustle- and-bustle", which was Martha Kent's version of 'Girl Talk'.
"Well." Clark edged. His voice went quiet, secretive, as he continued, "we're trying to keep it a secret for a little while." He wasn't afraid of Lois hearing him from upstairs in his bedroom, working on her laptop, but if she did he didn't think she'd mind, exactly. She hadn't been adamant about their keeping it from his parents, just that she enjoyed the "sneaking around" aspect of the relationship's secretive nature.
"Oh," Martha tipped her head up in understanding, "I see. We're very happy for you both; you're clearly a magnetic pair."
"But, Clark," Jonathon lowered his voice to not disturb the private nature of his following question, "Is she aware of your moonlighting capabilities?" Clark straightened his back and squared his shoulders. Ah, yes, the old Superman problem. If Lois still didn't harbor a small crush on the super-hero, Clark probably wouldn't have hesitated.
Well, he would have, but it wouldn't have stopped him from trying.
It was a celebrity crush, really, and Clark knew that she had chosen him that night. Not the man in blue spandex, and not the billionaire lunatic. Him. For all Clark's flaws and mediocrity in comparison to a super-hero and the third richest man in the world, she had chosen him. It was a fascinating decision, one he hadn't examined too closely for fear its fragile strands would part and he'd be left with brute reality.
"You haven't told her." It wasn't a question, but a statement. Martha wasn't trying to be accusatory, but Clark felt like it was an accusation. "Clark," she continued sympathetically, but determined, "you can't keep her in the dark on this any longer."
"I know," Clark murmured. "And I will," he continued, lifting his chin with a decisive measure, "tomorrow."
"How have you been handling your disappearances this past week, in Topeka?" Jonathon questioned. He'd seen Clark on TV giving some interviews about fairly tame events that had happened around the world.
"The usual. lame excuse." Clark was embarrassed by his actions; Lois deserved better than this.
"And this past weekend?"
"I had decided not to pursue any minor events; ones I thought could be handled by the proper authorities well. There hasn't been anything more serious."
"Well, tomorrow," Jonathon smiled encouragingly, "you can leave the chores to me, and take her for a walk or something."
"Thanks, Dad," Clark returned the smile.
Martha finished putting the last dish into the cupboard, and turned to give her husband a decided look. He focused on her expression, than understanding dawned. "We're going to bed, Clark," he said heading towards the stairs. "Good night."
"Good night," Clark replied, taking a seat at the kitchen table to think. He knew telling her would be difficult, but it was better this way. If he kept her out of the loop any longer, he knew she'd be more than just angry. This was preferable to having her hate him, and by extension, leave him.
"Tomorrow," he murmured.
"What's tomorrow?" a lyrical voice inquired. Clark looked up and saw a vision in silk. Her ebony hair was pulled back into a tight ponytail, and her silk slip shone with the gleam from the overhanging light in the kitchen.
"We're going to go for a walk," he responded cheerfully. "I'll show you the benefits of a Kansas sky, and the golden grain fields."
"What about your allergies?" she asked, her concern evident as she walked to him, and put her arm about his shoulders. She looked down into his eyes, and he could see the worry in her chocolate spheres. This was another thing he had lied to her about, and he was determined to make things right.
"There's nothing to worry about," he said, pulling her to sit on his lap. "Did you have fun in town today?"
"I saw Sheriff Harris today," she told him. "She asked how you were. when our wedding was going to be." She rolled her eyes.
Clark laughed, and pulled her tighter to his chest. "Do you think she saw something we didn't?"
"Doubtful," Lois scoffed, "we barely knew each other then."
"True," Clark agreed, "but maybe she saw your inability to keep your hands off me at the corn festival." Lois shoved his shoulder.
"I'm going to bed," she finished on a chuckle. "Are you coming, or was sneaking out at quarter to four this morning a bit too much?"
"I'll be there in a minute."
She leaned down and captured his lips. She felt instinctively that something was bothering Clark, and she tried to convey in her kiss that she was there for him if and when he need her. When she pulled back, she gazed deeply into his eyes. She didn't know what it was in his expression that prompted her next words, but it felt good to finally release them from inside her head.
"I love you," she whispered, before kissing him briefly on the lips. He stared, astonished at her admittance, and barely had time to react before she was climbing the stairs to the second floor.
"I love you, too."
"I know," she said without turning around, continuing up the stairs.
"You know, Clark," Lois said dreamily, swinging their entwined hands, "I don't mind the country when it's like this."
'This' was the setting sun casting a glow onto the clouds, filling the sky with an iridescent coral color, and enflaming the fields they strolled through at the moment. Clark watched her face as she stepped over a puddle from a fallen rain earlier that week that hadn't been absorbed yet. She hopped giddily, and tugged Clark along.
They had been walking all day; they had visited Smallville Town Square and eaten ice cream in the park. Clark had kissed a dollop of chocolate of her chin, as she giggled at the absurdity of the situation: Two adults eating ice cream like school children.
They had talked about everything as the walked along the deserted road and through pastures. When they passed a grazing cow, Clark turned to Lois, but she stopped his forthcoming words with, "It was an accomplishment, not a switch in careers."
She had told him about her father's disappointment in not having a boy, and her desperate attempts to make him proud. She told him of her mother's alcoholism, and how she had run away from her family at 17, needing to get away from the tragedy that had befallen them after her father's affair. He had laid his arm on her shoulders, trying to give her comfort as she recounted the events of her less than ideal childhood.
She told him more of what had happened with Claude, and how she knew that it would be different with Clark. He had kissed her then, confirming her declaration, and then proceeded to tell her about growing up in Smallville.
She had laughed gaily at his anecdote about his first cow- tipping experience. "It's one country-tradition I don't intend to repeat," he concluded, as their mutual laughter subsided.
Now, they moved toward a dry patch of tall grass. Clark laid out his windbreaker on the ground, and Lois had done the same. Clark sat with his legs crossed, and pulled her down to sit on his lap. He wrapped his arms around her from behind, and held her as they watched the sun dip behind the hills in the west.
"So she took her love," Lois began to sing softly, "for to gaze a while, among the fields of barley."
"This is grain," Clark teased lightly, kissing her cheek briefly.
"In his arms she fell as her hair came down," she continued, ignoring his remark, "among the fields of gold."
"I have to tell you something," he said after a long period of silence.
"I thought so," she whispered. His arms tightened a fraction, as her body stiffened slightly.
"I've been thinking of telling you for a while, but I didn't know how to." She turned in his embrace, and watched closely as his expression saddened. "I'm sorry for deceiving you."
Her eyes were wide and wary, a pang of dread settling in her stomach. She felt tears well up at the ideas that sprang to her mind. He had lied; he didn't love her. He had tricked her, pulled a "Claude", and he was now feeling remorse for it. But she held her tongue, not wanting to voice any false accusations, praying to whatever higher power existed that they were false accusations.
She trembled for a moment, releasing a sigh of relief. She closed her eyes tightly, and bit her bottom lip. Finally, after a long pause, she took a deep breath and opened her eyes. "Is that all?" she breathed, with a small smile.
Clark didn't move, for fear jostling her would bring her into a proper state of mind and bring on the wrath of her hatred. She watched his eyes, and her expression darkened. She leaned forward and kissed him.
When they broke apart, Clark's brow furrowed in confusion. "You're not mad?"
"I'm puzzled as to why you hadn't told me yet," Lois replied, "but I'm not mad; relieved, in fact. I thought you were going to tell me. never mind, it's not important."
Her eyes roamed over his features, putting together all the pieces she had accumulated over the past year: his strong cheekbones, his fuller lower lip and thinner upper lip, and his dark, entrancing eyes. It all fit, and Lois was surprised she hadn't seen the truth behind his horn-rimmed glasses. Her fault, mostly, not his.
She turned back to face the nearly disappeared sun, dusk setting in and enchanting the atmosphere with an auburn hue. Clark rested his chin on her shoulder to watch the quickly receding sun.
"You remember me when the west wind moves," she sang again, "among the fields of barley. You can tell the sun in his jealous sky, when we walked in fields of gold."