Submitted: September 2003
Summary: When Lois confronts Clark about not showing for an important event in her life, he tells her something she never expected. Will she take it in stride or issue him an invitation he can't refuse?
Here's another little something that was inspired by a song. (huge groan) They (songs) really do make for great inspiration. This song was written by Brad Crisler and Rodney Clawson and sung by Rushlow. I've included it so that appropriate credit can be given for the lyrics. Once again, I've taken chucks directly from the song itself. So a huge thank you to the writers and singers; hopefully they won't get too upset that I've borrowed their toys to play a while.
All other disclaimers apply. I've borrowed from DC Comics as well and the rest is just me being extremely bored.
"I CAN'T BE YOUR FRIEND"
Writer(s): BRAD CRISLER and RODNEY CLAWSON
*THIS MIGHT COME AS QUITE A SHOCK
BUT I'VE GIVEN IT A LOT OF THOUGHT
THIS THING THAT'S COME BETWEEN US, CAN'T BE IGNORED
I'VE TAKEN ALL I CAN
THIS IS WHERE IT'S GONNA END
I CAN'T BE YOUR FRIEND ANYMORE
AND I CAN'T BE ACCUSED
OF NOT BEING THERE FOR YOU
HOW MANY NIGHTS HAVE YOU SHOWN UP AT MY DOOR
I HOPE YOU UNDERSTAND
THAT THIS WASN'T IN MY PLANS
BUT I CAN'T BE YOUR FRIEND ANYMORE
IT'S KILLIN' ME TO KNOW YOU
WITHOUT HAVIN' A CHANCE TO HOLD YOU
AND ALL I WANNA DO IS SHOW YOU
HOW I REALLY FEEL INSIDE
YOU CAN RUN TO ME, YOU CAN LAUGH AT ME
OR YOU CAN WALK RIGHT OUT THAT DOOR
BUT I CAN'T BE YOUR FRIEND ANYMORE
SO BABY NOW IT'S UP TO YOU
DO I WIN OR DO I LOSE
WILL MY HEART FLY OR LIE BROKEN ON THE FLOOR
OH TAKE ME AS I AM
I WANNA BE YOUR MAN
BUT I CAN'T BE YOUR FRIEND *
Dodging bullets was a piece of cake; swallowing bombs was easy. But this… this was threatening to kill him.
Clark was finally able to close his opened mouth, but unable to tear his eyes from his partner's retreating back. She'd just told him the most shockingly devastating news he'd ever heard. Lois Lane, his beautiful, wonderful partner, the woman he loved, had just told him that Lex Luthor had asked her to marry him. And to make the entire situation worse, she'd said yes.
She'd said yes to an invitation to get in bed with the devil, Clark thought as his mind tried to process this news. How could she possibly be considering such a thing?
Telling him had been painful, cruel even. He couldn't fault her for it though. After all, she wasn't aware that he was in love with her, had been since about two seconds after he'd met her. She didn't know how many nights he'd longed for her to come to love him as he did her. Lois was completely ignorant of the days he spent trying to convince himself to forget her. And she certainly had no way of knowing that asking him to come to a dinner party, because he was her best friend, was about to kill him.
No longer able to stand being in the same room with her, Clark shot to his feet and fled the building. He had to get away and think. He had to figure out just what he was going to do if Lois followed through with this marriage.
When flying failed to calm his nerves, Clark had gone back to the relative quiet of his apartment. After having changed into a pair of sweats, he'd nearly paced a hole in his living room floor. How could Lois be considering marrying Lex Luthor? Didn't she know he was a monster in sheep's clothing? He just had to find a way to convince her this was ridiculous.
His front door flew open with a bang, causing Clark to stop in his tracks. Lois slammed the door shut again, then descended his steps in full rant mode.
"Where the hell were you tonight? You knew it was important to me for you to be there. And where did you go today when you left the newsroom? You never came back." She crossed her arms and tapped her foot impatiently as she waited for his answer.
The dinner party! He'd completely forgotten about it. Good thing too. There was no way he'd have been able to sit through dinner in the presence of Lois and her *fiancee*.
"Clark, you know how much you mean to me. I could have used your support tonight. I wanted my friends to share this happy occasion with me."
That was it. He'd had enough.
"Happy?! You think this is happy news?" he almost shouted at her.
"Of course this is happy news. I'm getting married!" Not one to back down when challenged, she gave as good as she got, standing toe to toe with him in a face off.
In one instant the entire past year flashed before Clark's eyes. All the stakeouts together, all the pizza shared at one or the other's house, their talks and their arguments: it all came to him in a rush.
"Clark." Lois softened. "You're my best friend and I want you to share this with me." She turned away long enough to fish something from her purse, which she'd dropped to the chair beside the stairs when she came in, then held out the paper to him. "This is your invitation. I want you there; I *need* you there."
They already had invitations?! Luthor certainly wasn't wasting any time on this. He figured the billionaire wanted to get her to say 'I do' before she had too much time to think about it. Unless…
"How long have you been planning this?" he asked, still not reaching out to take the card.
"He asked me about three weeks ago. I only accepted a week ago, but we decided to just get it over with." She had the good grace to look embarrassed. "I didn't tell you because I know how you feel about Lex."
"And yet you're asking me to come to the wedding!" Clark was mortified. How could she? She'd plunged the knife in and turned it sharply.
"Yes! I'd be crazy not to invite my best friend," she told him incredulously. Didn't he know that's what friends did? Shared in each other's lives?
Clark stared at the paper she shook at him for a long moment before he took a deep breath and looked at her.
"This might come as quite a shock, but I've given it a lot thought. In fact, that's all I've done since you told me this afternoon." Clark's voice was calm and low as he turned to walk to the other side of the room, putting much needed distance between them. "This… this *thing* that's come between us can't be ignored."
"This *thing*?! My wedding is a thing?" she asked him, almost in a shout.
"For so long I've watched you from afar and I've taken all I can. This is where it's gotta end."
"Clark, what *are* you talking about?" She placed her hands on her hips, her expression clearly telling him she thought he'd lost his mind.
He could only look at her for a long, pain filled moment before he almost whispered, "I can't be your friend anymore."
The color looked as if it drained from Lois' face when his soft words were uttered. Her arms dropped to her sides, the invitation falling silently to the floor.
"And I can't be accused of not being there for you. How many nights have you shown up at my door?" He turned his back to her, studying a spot on the wall. This was probably the toughest thing he'd ever done in his life, but he just couldn't stand another minute of hearing about Lex and *the* wedding.
"Why, Clark?" she finally managed to ask.
He met her eyes again, fighting desperately to stop the tears threatening to spill from his. "It's killing me, Lois, to know you and never getting a chance to hold you. You have to have known how I felt about you. I've been patient and I've been understanding and I've stood back when all I wanna do is show you how I really feel inside."
"Lois, I'm in love with you. I have been since I've met you. Don't say you didn't know?" He pleaded with her to understand.
She dropped her eyes from his, not wanting to talk about this. "I guess I knew that you… were attracted to me."
"Attracted? Lois, I live to see you each day. It's all I can do to leave you. I want you to know me and love me the same way that I do you. I think about you all the time. I dream about you. I want to make you happy. You keep asking me to be there for you. I have been there. I'm always there. You want me to be your best friend now… now that you're getting married to another man. And not just any man. Just how close do you think we'll be once that happens? Can't you see that would kill me to have to stand by and watch that happen?"
She stared at Clark for what seemed like hours, then blinked and glanced down at the floor. "What do I do here?" She wasn't sure why she'd accepted Lex's proposal and if she was truthful, she'd have to admit that she'd always thought of Clark as hers… that he would always be there for her. Even her irrational side could understand his not wanting to be a third wheel to the woman he loved and her husband.
"You can run to me, you can laugh at me, or you can walk right out that door, but I hope you understand this… telling you this was never in my plans… I'm sorry," he told her with a strained voice, then almost whispered, "I can't be your friend anymore."
"Clark…" she choked out as a lone tear escaped down her cheek. She might not love him the same way he loved her, but how could she bear to lose him?
"Lois, it's up to you. You hold all the cards here."
"Do you see this as a game? Do you win or lose depending on what I say?"
"No, but my heart will fly or lie broken on the floor." He looked up at the ceiling as if asking a silent prayer before his eyes met hers again. "I just want you to take me as I am, as I truly am."
"That's completely and hopelessly in love with you. That's living to make you happy. That's waking up each day with you as my first thought and then the last thought before I go to sleep." He took a step toward her. "I want to hold you and take care of you and be your everything. I can be your man. I *want* to be your man, but I can't be just friends anymore."
Lois wanted to die. How would she ever make it through a day without Clark? Is this what he'd felt like when she'd told him about her impending marriage? If he loved her like he said he did, her news must have felt a little like this. So did that mean that she… loved him? Of course she did. Best friends were allowed to love each other. But dammit, this hurt worse than losing your best friend!
Her tear filled eyes met his and she could clearly see just as much pain in their depths as she felt. With a gasp, she stepped forward and flung her arms around his neck.
Clark nearly lost his balance when she grabbed him. He recovered easily and, as always was the case when he had Lois in his arms, he pulled her into his protective embrace.
"I don't want to lose my best friend," she gasped out.
"Lois," he breathed as his hand lifted to cradle her head.
"I'll tell him no. I won't marry Lex." She pulled back to look at him. "And I'll pick you up at seven tomorrow night."
Her abrupt change from a sobbing mess to all business stunned Clark into silence. By the time he was able to speak, he realized Lois was half way up the stairs. "What?"
"Seven. Be ready," she ordered as she snatched open the door.
"Our date. You said you hoped I understood. I do. And if we can't be friends, then I sure as hell better find out just why you think you could be my man." She thrust her chin out, huffed her indignation, and pulled the door closed after she'd stepped through.
Clark was left standing in shock. In a matter of minutes she'd gone from being Lex Luthor's fiancee to being his date for tomorrow night. Did she have any idea what she was doing? And what about Lex? The wedding? What exactly did all this mean?
He glanced down at his watch and groaned loudly. And what was he going to do for the next nineteen hours?!!
—Enough (for now)—