By Crocton Dee <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Submitted: March 2003
Summary: After pushing Clark into a date with Mayson, Lois comes to regret the decision and schemes to get him back.
Lois slammed her door shut and ran to her refrigerator. Where was it? Ah there, thank god she still had some Rocky Road left. She grabbed a spoon and flopped down on her couch. She started to cry even before she had opened it. God, how could she have been so stupid? She stuck a spoon of ice cream into her mouth.
She tried to avoid thinking about this afternoon, but Clark's hurt face kept coming back to her. Why couldn't she have controlled her temper? "Fine Clark go out with Mayson. I guess you care more about having a good time then doing your job!!" Her words echoed back to her. She remembered the startled faces of the newsroom looking up as she stormed away, leaving an injured Clark behind.
It had not been a big story; she did not need to yell at her partner. She knew she had because he was going out with Mayson. This was not fair to Clark either, she had told him to go. Still, it irritated her for no good reason. Why should she care what her partner did with his own time? It is not as though they were an item. Well, they had had that one date and it had been perfect…at least until she slammed the door in his face. Lois groaned and ate some more ice cream. Why had she done that was a better question? She still was not sure. The situation had scared her; it was a new side of Clark she was seeing. Well, that was not true, he was still that same wonderful guy, but he wasn't her partner anymore, he was…somehow different in a way that Lois did NOT want to consider. Instead she had hurt him. Lois grimaced, he deserved better. He put up with her on a regular basis and Lois knew that was not easy. She loved him for being so patient with her. Whoa? What had she just thought? She LOVED Clark?
Lois jumped to her feet. Where did she come up with that? She didn't love Clark. They were just friends…who dated. She couldn't love him they had only gone on one date. Then again they had seen each other practically every day for over two years. They really did know each other well. She sat back into the couch and smiled. She was closer to Clark than she had ever been to anyone else. He was always there for her and she…no, she couldn't be in love. She would know it, right? <<It would explain why you were so upset over Mayson>> a little voice said. She shook her head and thought about it. It only took a few seconds; she DID love Clark!! Wow! "I love Clark," she said aloud to herself. She liked saying it.
She needed to tell Clark! She couldn't tell him now he was out with Mayson. She sat back down on her couch. Tears started to well up in her eyes. Clark didn't love her! He was out with another woman. Wait, he had asked Lois out first, she was the one who slammed the door in his face. He had even asked her about Mayson, she had practically forced him to go out with her. Stupid Lane, really stupid. Lois started to cry. She had the perfect man and then let him get away. Maybe she could get him back. She needed to talk to Clark. Great she couldn't talk to her best friend, because he was the problem, or the answer. Either way she had to go it alone. That was fine; she had done that before. She paused, it had been a while and she really liked working with Clark. <<Maybe that is why you love him>> the voice said again.
"Yes! Yes! Yes!" Lois let her frustrations go. "I admit it: I love Clark Kent! There I said it! Now tell me what to do!" The little voice was quiet. She banged the coffee table in frustration. Well, the first step was to put the ice cream away. If she wanted to get Clark she needed to keep herself looking good. Lois frowned; she was not exactly sure how to win a man. She giggled, that was one on which even Clark could not help her. She considered what to do.
Suddenly a light dawned: she could call Cat Grant! She only lived a few hours away in Gotham. SHE would know how to help Lois win Clark back. She hurried to her desk to find her number. "Look out Mayson Drake," she mumbled under her breath.
Monday morning Clark whistled as he came down the ramp of the Daily Planet. He had had a good weekend. His date with Mayson had been fun. It was unusual for someone to have interest in him, rather than Superman, as Mayson obviously did, but he liked it. He frowned slightly as he considered that Lois had pushed him; she still seemed hung up on Superman. He thought their date had been nice, but then she slammed the door in his face. He shook his head. Lois was so hard to figure out, that was why he loved her so much. He wondered what he was doing with Mayson if he already loved someone else. He supposed it was frustration, which he did not like to hear himself think.
"Hey CK!" Jimmy bounded up to Clark. "Did you hear about Brandon?"
"John Brandon, our star center?"
"Oh right, the Metropolis Buffaloes." He and Jimmy were going down to see Jack at Gotham to watch the basketball game between the Buffaloes and the Black Bears.
"Yeah, Brandon sprained his ankle Saturday, which means that Jack's gonna win our bet. Worse yet he will be able to laugh at us all through the game," Jimmy whined.
Clark laughed, "Well it will be good to see him either way."
"Yeah but it would be better to win."
Clark sat down at his desk. "I should be angry at you for talking me into this bet."
"Please! With Brandon we would be a lock!"
"A lot of good that does us now."
"Clark!!" Perry called out from his office. "Get up here!"
"Yeah right," Jimmy smirked.
Clark hurried up to Perry's office.
Lois came in fifteen minutes late and wondered if she looked as uncomfortable as she felt. Cat had been more than willing to help, actually coming up for a visit. So now she was wearing a skirt that hung at mid thigh, much shorter than she normally wore. Add to that the fact she was wearing a sheer shirt (and that was all) under her jacket, with several buttons open. Lois felt almost naked.
Clark though, was nowhere to be seen. She asked Jimmy who told her he was out on assignment and would not be back until the afternoon. Lois cursed inwardly and hurried off to get the change of clothes she kept at the Planet.
Lois had lost herself in thought on her story when she looked up and saw Clark working diligently away at his computer. She stood and walked over, trying to remember to sway her hips the way Cat suggested. "How was your weekend Clark?"
"It was good." Clark did not look up from his screen.
She leaned against his desk, purposely letting her skirt ride up her leg. "Well, what did you do?"
Clark looked up and Lois was happy to see his gaze catch her leg. "Not much special, just relaxed at bit, you know."
"Then why was it good?"
"Ahh…" Clark stammered. He did not want to tell her because of his date Mayson. "I was getting a little worn down, I was just happy to loaf around for a couple of days." Which was true, Superman had been in high demand last week, but the world had seemed to take care of itself for the weekend. He had even felt safe enough to fly home for a dinner with his folks.
"What? Clark Kent what would your parents say? You should be up with the chickens. Where is that farmers' spirit?"
Clark looked mildly surprised. "Well even farmers need a day off. What's with all these questions?"
"I'm just curious about you. Shouldn't a partner care how her friend is doing?"
"Okay, you seem pretty happy today, what did you do?"
Lois' smile vanished as she did some quick thinking. She had sent all weekend thinking about Clark, but she could not tell him about it. "I.uh.cleaned." She said the first idea that came into her head. "Yeah, I cleaned my whole apartment."
"And this made you happy?"
"I'm happy…because I'm done." She smiled, that was a pretty good answer consider how much she scrambled.
Clark looked at Lois. He was pretty sure she was lying, but could not figure out why. Besides who was he to intrude? "Well that's good. If you ever service you car, call me over for the fun."
Lois playfully punched his arm. "Well at least I was productive."
"How about being so now?" Perry interrupted as he came up to his best reporting team.
Lois could have wrung his neck, but quietly went back to her desk.
Clark watched her go. He was a little confused. He had expected her to be upset with him, or at least shy after how they parted terms last Friday. He twinged slightly at the memory. He still did not know what had angered Lois. He smiled; even as well as he knew her there was still so much mystery to her.
Lois was busy at her desk. She rushed to finish her piece as she thought of a way to ask Clark out for dinner. Maybe she should just start with a quick dinner. "Lois, can I see you in my office!" Perry called. <<Of all the rotten timing. >>
She stormed into his office. "What is it?"
"What was that look you gave me before?"
The question caught Lois off guard. "Well I…"
"It's not trouble with Clark is it?"
"No! I'm just-" She caught Clark leaving out of the corner of her eye. She sighed. "Perry can I talk to you as a friend?"
Perry's face softened. "Sure honey, what's the matter?"
"There is no problem, its just… I was trying…to talk…to Clark about…a delicate issue and you interrupted!" Lois let out some of her frustration of the last few days.
Perry laughed and hugged her. Lois suspected he knew what she meant. "Well that's fine. Tell you what. I will assign the two of you together tomorrow. How's that?"
Lois broke into a big smile. "That is perfect." They hugged again and Lois hurried home.
Tuesday Lois decided to wear her normal clothes. She felt uncomfortable in the clothes Cat had picked. Clark had asked her out the first time without her throwing herself at him. Maybe she would wear them for a date.
Lois was so excited that she actually got to work early, even ahead of Clark. Her eyes stuck to Clark as he came strolling in right on time. He caught her looking at him and smiled. She blushed and looked away. Intrigued Clark moved over towards her. Lois saw him coming and blushed even deeper.
"Good morning Lois. You seem to be in a good mood today."
"Uh…yeah," Lois stuttered. Why was she suddenly getting tongue-tied? This was not making a good impression!
She was amusing Clark. It was new to see Lois without words. He wondered what was on her mind. "So what has put you in such good spirits?"
Lois' mind scrambled. She considered saying because her apartment was clean, but did not think he would buy that again. Thankfully Perry bailed her out of trouble. "Lois! Clark! Get in here!!"
"Coming Chief!" Lois rushed to his office, leaving a curious Clark in her wake.
Clark had just entered the office when his super hearing kicked in- a siren down at the docks. "Ah wait I need to go…get some gum! I'll be right back!" He turned and ran out to the stairs.
Perry looked at Lois in astonishment. "What?"
Lois shook her head. Why was he always doing that?
Lois did not end up working with Clark. Shortly after he had left, a story came in about a boat accident at the docks. A freighter had pushed a cruise ship into a warehouse. A fire had broken out, but by the time Lois and the rest of the press had arrived Superman had already gotten everyone to safety. Still Lois had to stay around to hear why the crash had occurred. Superman also flew around to make sure the warehouse would not collapse and boats would not sink. Then he gave a quick interview.
Clark was about to fly away when he saw Lois looking glum. He came over to see if he could help. "Are you okay Lois?"
He pulled Lois out of her thoughts. "Huh?"
<<What is with Lois? >> Clark thought to himself. "You look a little down."
Lois looked at Superman. Now that she realized she loved Clark she saw Superman totally differently. She did not feel that strong attraction to him that she did before. He was no longer the godlike figure she had always seen him as. She blushed when she remembered how she used to throw herself at him. She frowned when she realized Clark could remember that too. What if he thought she loved Superman!?!!
What did Superman think? She valued him as friend now, but did not feel for him what she felt for Clark. She did not want to hurt him. "I am okay, just a little distracted."
"I can help somehow?"
"Not really." She smiled. Lois was pretty sure Superman did not want more than friendship, but did not want to deal with this issue until she and Clark were together.
Clark frowned; some issue was clearly on her mind. He figured she would tell him (as Clark) when she was ready. "Okay, I will see you later." He leapt into the air.
Lois watched him rocket away, but her thoughts were already returning to Clark. She puzzled over what to do. Now that she realized she wanted to be with Clark he was suddenly nowhere to be found. He did not return until late afternoon, when Lois was putting the finishing touches on her story. She rushed to finish her article and get a chance to ask Clark to dinner. She gave her story to Perry and was coming out of his office when she saw Mayson at Clark's desk. She started over to them, but paused. Looking jealous would not help her. Fuming she went to the restroom to avoid the scene.
Clark for his part was not exactly enjoying himself either. It had been a busy day; after leaving the dock he had come across a four-car pileup on the freeway and had to fly a woman to the hospital. Then, while trying to make his way back to the Daily Planet, he had to stop a drive by shooting. Finally getting back to the Planet he had to hurry to write up his story. He was just about to proof his article when Mayson appeared.
"Hi Clark." She seemed a little nervous.
"Oh hey Mayson, how are you doing?"
"I am doing well. I just thought I would stop by to say that I had a wonderful time on Friday."
"I had a good time too."
"Really?" She smiled. "I was wondering if you wanted to get dinner, if you're not too busy," she amended seeing numerous papers on Clark's desk.
As if to drive the point home, Perry yelled out from his office. "Clark! Where is that piece on Superman you promised me?"
"Coming Chief!" Clark called back. He turned back to Mayson just in time to catch Mayson frowning. He realized it was about Superman. He sighed inwardly. As much as Lois chased Superman Mayson disliked him, for no reason he could discern. Again he wondered what he was doing with her. Still it made it easier to say. "Actually I am busy tonight."
Mayson looked crestfallen. "Oh."
It took Clark a moment to realize she thought he was going out with Lois. She turned to leave and he took her arm. "I am going to a basketball game with Jimmy."
"Oh, then give me a call." She still seemed disappointed.
Clark felt a twinge of guilt so leaned in and gave her a peck on the cheek. Mayson did not speak, just smiled and left. Clark hurried to finish his story and find Jimmy.
Unbeknownst to Clark Lois had been coming back (figuring her partner would have gotten rid of that distraction by now) to the newsroom and saw him kiss Mayson. She turned and retreated a second time, her nagging worries starting to grow. When she figured it was safe to come out again both Clark and Mayson had left. Lois went home to another round of crying and Rocky Road. She called Cat again too.
Lois came into work feeling confident. She had had another talk with Cat, who had encouraged her to be more forward. Mayson had come all the way from downtown and had gotten a date. She was determined to ask Clark out today. To her surprise Clark was not at his desk yet. She turned on her computer and checked her email. No Clark. She called a few sources and got some coffee. Still no Clark. Curious, she went up to see Perry. He was busy proofing some copy when she tapped lightly on his door.
"Have you sent Clark out on assignment?"
Perry looked up, "Now honey you know I would not do that. I will get the two of you together today, I promise."
"I'm not upset about that, it's just that's he's not here yet."
"Oh?" Perry stood and looked out onto the newsroom floor. No Clark. "Maybe he is sick. Not like him not to call."
Lois should have thought to call Clark's place. He was never sick; it had not occurred to her. He was overdue; he had come to take care of a very sick Lois numerous times. Lois smiled at the memory of him being so patient with her and taking care of her. How could she not be in love with him? She was lucky to have him after all that she had put him through over the past few years. Lois winced when she thought of how much she had yelled at him all those times he had come. She had been crabby and sick, but he had come without asking and stayed. As she picked up the phone she decided that if he was sick she would rush right over there. Unfortunately there was no answer at his apartment. <<Where is he? >>
"Geez I'm sorry CK," Jimmy said again as they got in the elevator.
"It's okay," Clark repeated for what seemed like the twentieth time. He had enjoyed seeing Jack and the game had been fun, actually being close until Gotham won it at the end. They had hung out with Jack for a while before driving back. That was where the trouble had started. Jimmy had taken a wrong turn and they had ended up in the next state. By driving all night they had managed to get back only about a half and hour late for work, but the trip had even rumpled Clark.
"I'll get you a coffee," Jimmy said they exited the elevator.
Clark just nodded as he made his way to his desk. He started to sort through his business of the day.
Lois came back from the supply room and smiled when she saw Clark. She started towards him to say hello, but stopped. <<Aren't those the clothes he was wearing yesterday? >> She had to think, but yes they were. <<Oh my God! Clark spent the night with Mayson!!>> Lois felt herself start to cry and ran to the bathroom.
Jimmy had just come with his coffee when Clark heard a cry for help. He sighed; somehow he knew it would be a busy day.
Perry watched Clark suddenly get fidgety while talking with Jimmy and hurry away. Where was he going? Well, he would be back soon and Perry would send out his best team to look into the sudden retirement Metropolis' highest-ranking judge. One of Perry's sources suggested drugs played a role. For that matter where was Lois?
The young man came hurrying up, "Yeah Chief?"
"Where did Clark go?"
Jimmy frowned. "He said he had to water a plant. I didn't quite get it, some sort of exotic flower. He was in a big rush to do it." Perry cocked his head at Jimmy. "Seriously!"
"Well go get Lois and tell her to see me."
Jimmy hurried away. He wondered if there was more going on than he knew. If he ever told Perry that he had to go water a plant he would flip, but Clark was always being weird that way. Lois told him yesterday he had left a meeting to buy some gum. Buy some gum!? If anyone else dared to do that to Lois…Jimmy shivered, he did not want to think about that. He did not really blame CK. Jimmy liked him, heck everyone liked him, but boy he was weird. Nice guy, funny, smart, down to earth, but weird. <<Where is Lois? >> While thinking about Clark he had wandered around the whole office and no Lois. Someone from the city desk asked him for some supplies and he hurried off on his new task. Lois would turn up eventually.
Lois dabbed her eyes. She had been crying for a while now and she was running out of tears. She had never felt worse. She had had her chance and unknowingly let it slip away. Lois sat feeling lost and alone. Much to her chagrin the door to the supply closet opened and Jimmy entered.
"Lois! There you are! What are you doing here?" Then he noticed the tear tracks on her cheeks. "Are you okay?"
Lois finally broke. "Clark doesn't love me!" she wailed.
Jimmy took her in his arms as she sobbed on his shoulder. "What are you talking about Lois?"
"He went home with Mayson last night."
"No he didn't; he spent all night with me."
Lois pulled back and looked at Jimmy in surprise. "What?"
"We went to Gotham to see Jack and catch a basketball game. We got lost on the way back. We did not get back until this morning, that was why Clark wasn't at home."
Lois remembered hearing them talking about a game last week. She looked at Jimmy. He had not shaved and when she thought about it he was wearing the same clothes that he had worn yesterday too. She gave Jimmy a huge hug, squeezing the breath out of him. "Thank you!" She turned to leave, "uhh Jimmy, could we keep this between us?"
Jimmy smiled. "My lips are sealed."
She reached out to squeeze his arm. "Thanks." She turned to leave.
"Oh Lois, Perry wants to see you."
She frowned, but nodded as she went out the door.
Jimmy shook his head as he delivered the requested supplies and took some copy downstairs. Lois Lane LOVED Clark Kent!! She had even cried!!! Jimmy never thought he would see it. He doubted anyone would believe him if he told them, but he had promised not too. The person whose reaction he would most want to see was Clark's. They had talked about women in general and Lois in particular, but Clark never let on Lois had an interest. It was possible that Clark did not know. Jimmy certainly hadn't.
Jimmy spent the whole morning in a state of shock. He was still deep in his thoughts when Lois grabbed his arm as he hurried past her desk.
"Do you know where Clark is?"
"He left to go home and water his plants."
Lois frowned, "what?"
Jimmy shrugged. "That's what he said."
"When was this?"
"Right at the start of the day."
"He has been watering his plants for four hours?!" Lois was incredulous. She thought for a minute. "He hardly has any plants!"
"You'll have to ask him." Jimmy hurried away. Lois may be in love, but he still did not want to be the object of her wrath.
Clark was having a long day. It seemed as though all of the criminals in Metropolis knew he had been up all night. He had spent all morning picking up muggers, pickpockets, and other small time hoods. It was after lunch already and he had been working all day. He was probably going to hear it back at the office. He could not even remember the excuse he gave to leave this morning. He landed at the courthouse for the seventh time today, this time with two men he had caught running a craps game on the street, but using coke instead of money. That they had both been armed with automatic weapons did not help their case. The cops took the men from him and prepared to get his statement.
"Busy day Superman? This is what six times today?"
"Seven. Would you put the word out on the street that they could do me a favor by spacing themselves out a little." Superman had slowly begun to develop a rapport with the police. He was there so much that they had become familiar enough with him to lose their hero worship. It was one of the few places Clark could relax while being his alter ego.
"Hey Drake, you guys will have lots of work this week thanks to Supe' over here."
Clark turned around to see Mayson. She seemed to still herself. "Thank you for your contribution to stopping crime in Metropolis." Her tone and manner were icy cold, and she went on her way quickly.
"Jeez, what's with her?" One of the flatfoots asked.
Clark did not respond. It had been a while since he had brushed into her as Superman; he had forgotten how much she disliked him. He knew he had to break it off with her. As much as it hurt that Lois preferred his spandex identity to Clark, he could not date someone who did not like all of him. He listened, but finally did not hear any calls for help. He figured he might as well do it now. He did not want to string her along.
He changed into his suit and made his way to Mayson's office.
She smiled when she saw him. "Clark! How are you doing?"
"I've been better." He was somber.
She stopped, "what's wrong?"
"You didn't see me just back there did you?"
She frowned in confusion. "No, back where?"
"When you were speaking to Superman."
Her face contorted slightly. "What about it?"
"You know that he is one of my best friends."
"Look Clark, I like you, but I can't change my feelings toward Superman just because he is your friend."
They were silent for a moment. "I know." Clark spoke very softly.
Mayson knew what he was saying instantly. "So this is it?"
"I'm sorry." Clark felt awful.
Mayson saw it and hugged him. "It's okay. You were honest, right from the beginning. Besides I can respect standing by a friend. You are an honorable man; it is part of why I like you. I guess it just wasn't meant to be. No hard feelings?"
"None." They hugged again. Clark left quietly. Mayson had made it easy for him, but he still felt low. He knew he had to, but he could still see the hurt on her face.
Lois was getting a little frustrated. Clark was never around. This was the third day in a row this had happened. She had slipped over to his apartment, but he was not in there. She had considered breaking in to count the number of plants he had. She decided against it, but only after some serious thought. It had been a slow news day. She ended up doing a follow-up piece. She frowned, Superman was busy today she knew, but Clark was covering that. She wondered if being in love with Clark was costing her her edge. No, loving Clark was fine; not being able to talk to him was driving her up a wall.
She sat at her computer working on her romance novel. She had finished her story and was waiting for Clark to come back. The Planet was beginning to empty. She wondered where Clark was. She saw Perry lock up his office.
"You're going? What about Clark's Superman story?"
"He called that in two hours ago."
Lois fought the urge to scream. It was not easy. She checked her watch; it was almost seven. She could go over to his place and maybe order a pizza if he had not eaten yet.
"He wanted to come in, but he sounded burned out. Jimmy went home at noon. I told him just to feed the info to me and I would proof it, that's what I've been doing." Perry continued, oblivious.
Lois fought back a second scream, but decided to let him get his sleep. She went home frustrated, but not upset. She was going to ask Clark out on Thursday no matter what.
Clark was feeling refreshed as he came to work. It had been quite a week, but last night not a single call for help had disturbed his sleep. Metropolis seemed to have quietened for a while. For better or worse he had dealt with Mayson and this left him open for Lois to frustrate him some more. He shook his head, why did he do this to himself?
He saw Jimmy. "How did you sleep?"
"Would you believe I was dead to the world for sixteen hours?"
Clark laughed, "I was down for about twelve."
"I still can't believe you worked all day."
Clark shrugged. "If I could not have done it I would have gone home."
"I guess, oops," Jimmy looked down at the package in his hand, "I have to go."
Clark made his way to his desk. He went through his morning routines, seeing if there was any pressing business for him, and sighed thankfully when there was not. He glanced up to see Lois arriving at his desk. Boy, it seemed as though it had been a while since he had spoken to her. He wondered how she was doing.
Lois was hurriedly getting her act together to go talk to Clark before he needed to go buy a new tie or whatever. He was here now; she would ask him out now.
She whipped around to see Clark standing there. He handed her a cup of coffee. "Oh thank you, that was sweet of you." <<What!? Don't say that! He gets you coffee all the time, he will know you are thinking about him!>> Clark looked a little confused. She smiled weakly, "I uh, really needed it this morning."
"Are you okay Lois?" He sounded concerned. He probably was, which was nice, but she wanted him to love her, not worried for her as though she was his little sister.
"Yeah, I'm fine, why wouldn't I be?"
Clark seemed to pull back a bit. "Sorry, just asking."
Lois realized she had come across angry. <<Wonderful. How about getting a date?>> She frowned, how was she going to ask him out now? "What, uh, are you up to?" Why couldn't she talk straight? She was not going to get a date this way. She felt tears starting to form; she needed to get away.
"It's been a little crazy, I-" Clark's phone ringing cut him off. He turned, "do you want to get together for dinner to catch up with each other?"
"Yes!" Lois half-shouted for joy. She caught herself. "That sounds great. Pick me at 7:00?"
Clark sounded a little surprised, "Sure, 7:00 it is."
Lois could not believe her luck as she watched Clark go. She had flubbed up badly, but Clark had asked HER out again! "Yes!" Lois whispered to herself. Now she had to think of what to wear. Maybe she could call Cat.
Clark could not believe his luck as he hung up the phone. It had been Bobby Bigmouth with a tip, but his thoughts were far from that. He had been mentally crossing his fingers that Lois would want to go out on a 'friends' date, figuring that since she had slammed the door in his face on their date she would not want another serious date so soon. To his shock she had made just a casual dinner into a real date. His super- hearing had even picked up her saying "yes" as he walked away. She had seemed distracted as of late and wondered if this was playing a part. He quickly put that off to think about a more pressing worry, where was he going to take Lois to dinner. He thought about whom he knew in the restaurant industry that could get him a table on such short notice. He called a friend of his who owned an upper scale restaurant in Chinatown and got lucky. No problem for a table for two, it was only Thursday. Clark would have been out of luck if it was Friday. Now he could turn his mind on to what to wear and why Lois was acting so funny.
"Lois! Clark! Get in here!" Perry called. Those thoughts would have to wait.
Lois was still struggling with what to wear as she came into Perry's office. She had called Cat at the Gotham Gazette, but they did not expect her back until the afternoon.
"What's up Chief?" Clark asked.
"I have a lead I want you two to follow up. You both know that Joe Rigan retired in the middle of his term last week, and I have reason to believe that he left to avoid being caught on drug charges. See what you can get." He handed over a folder that contained his info. <<Oh no! >> Lois thought, <<He is assigning us together. I don't need that now; I need the day off to find a dress. >>
"Okay Chief. Bobby Bigmouth called with a lead just this morning." Clark volunteered.
"What? Why didn't you come to me with it?"
"Sorry Chief, my mind was elsewhere."
Lois giggled softly to herself. For all the distraction Clark had been for her lately she was glad to see him get a little of his own medicine. He apparently heard her because he shot her a look as if to say 'very funny.' Lois blushed when she realized she, or their date, had been what he was thinking about instead of the story. Clark saw her blush too, and raised a questioning eyebrow as he smirked. She turned away.
"Well go get me that story." Perry interrupted their thoughts.
"Right Chief." Lois hurried out of the office. Clark picked up the folder and followed.
Perry watched his best reporting duo head to the elevator. He had many concerns. He had not missed their little exchange. He hoped this worked out, if they ended up hating each other the Daily Planet might lose one or two of its best reporters. He also worried about his friends. Lois was both a son and daughter to him. Clark reminded him of himself as a young reporter. Either way Perry was going to have to watch their work; people in love did not always produce the greatest copy.
Jimmy came hurrying in with some copy. "Jimmy have you noticed any odd going-ons between Lois and Clark lately?"
Jimmy looked up surprised. Of course he had, but he had promised Lois he would not tell anyone. "What do you mean chief?"
Perry looked at him and he sensed that Perry knew he was hiding some information. "I mean have they been acting differently then they normally do."
"I couldn't really say."
"Let me ask it this way, do you think they will work out whatever is between them?"
"Yeah, they'll be fine."
Lois wondered if Clark felt as uneasy right now as she did. They were driving to see Bobby Bigmouth and Clark was flipping through Perry's file. Why was she so uncomfortable around her best friend? She kept thinking about their date tonight. She needed to get ready. She also had worries she was going to sound stupid today. She silently cursed at her luck. She glanced at Clark who focused on his reading. Of course Clark would be fine, he always was. <<Wait; don't get angry with him again for no reason. That was what caused all this trouble. Besides I have counted on him being calm in the past. He is being professional, that's one of the features I like about him. >>
Clark looked over at her. "What?"
"What is that goofy grin you are giving me?"
Lois flushed; she had not realized she had been smiling. "I.uh.don't know, my mind was wandering."
Clark looked dubious and she turned away. He wondered what he should make of Lois' odd behavior. He had not seen that much of her since she shouted at him last Friday, but ever since there had been a different quality about her when she was with him. It seemed familiar, but he could not place it. He glanced at her and found her focusing intently on the road. He shrugged and went back to reading.
Lois was dying on the inside by the time she pulled up to Bobby Bigmouth's place. How was she going to make it all day? She had to stay professional around him. Besides he and Mayson were still a potential couple. It would be a bad idea to make her feelings obvious, especially since she pushed him towards Mayson in the first place. She listened with half an ear as Clark gave a brief account of what was in the file. <<Focus!!>> She shook her head as Bobby Bigmouth opened the door.
Lois sure seemed out of it Bobby thought. After giving him his food and turning on her tape recorder, she just sat there quietly. She was usually the one asking questions, with Clark just covering for leads she missed. Instead Clark was asking today. It was a surprise to Clark too he could tell. When Bobby had first finished giving them his story they had both waited for Lois. Eventually Clark started asking. He had a different interview style then Lois. While Lois was a more direct hard line questioner, Clark came across nicer, more interested in you. He was looking for Bobby's impressions, not just the facts. Eventually, as they finished, Lois piped up with a few questions.
They all stood as the reporting duo left. Clark extended his, "Thanks Bobby, this should help a lot."
"No problem, Clark." Bobby watched as Clark left. Lois collected herself and realized her partner had gone. "Are you okay Lois?"
She grimaced, "Is it that obvious?"
"You don't seem yourself, is there some problem?"
"I'll find out at 7:00 tonight."
Bobby shrugged, he could not figure out Lois.
Lois hurriedly made her way to her Jeep where Clark was waiting with a big grin on his face. She could not know he had heard her exchange with Bobby. She was curious why he was smiling, but did not trust herself to talk with him now. <<When will this day end? >> She moaned to herself. She focused on being professional, not wanting Clark to know how she felt yet. "Where do you think we should start?"
"Well, Bobby indicated that Rigan's cocaine addiction was common knowledge on the streets, maybe we should try to track down his dealer, see if he was blackmailing the judge. If this was going on for years, what changed to cause him to retire?"
"Maybe his conscious finally caught up to him."
"You could be right; we might want to check the records to see if he put anyone away for cocaine recently."
"You should ask Mayson." Lois did not want Clark to think she was jealous of her rival.
"That's probably not a good idea."
"Why? Did you have a fight?"
"We called it off."
Lois could not help her sharp intake of breath and she knew Clark could probably hear. They stopped at a red light. Clark could actually hear her heart beating faster too. "I'm sorry."
"Are you really?"
Lois looked over at him. He looked serious and Lois suddenly felt he knew more of what was happening then she thought. She blushed and looked away. "No."
Clark picked up her hand and kissed it. She gasped despite herself. Her skin burned where his lips touched. <<How can one little kiss do this to me? I am going to die tonight>> She almost did not catch Clark say, "Neither am I."
"I never really thought I was going anywhere with her, I sort of felt pushed into it. I am sorry I hurt her, but better now then farther down the line."
Lois' heart stopped, she tried to talk, but could not at first. "Sorry about that." She was cheering on the inside (Clark did prefer her), but could hear the pain in his voice and for once wanted to be there for him as he always had been for her.
"It was not just you, my whole life made me."
"What do you mean?"
"I don't know. I like it here in Metropolis, but my life feels incomplete. Sometimes I feel as though I'm spinning my wheels." Clark sounded frustrated. He was it seemed as though he never made any headway with Lois, Superman was always in demand, and while he liked his job it could not cover for the shortcomings in his life.
Lois did not know what to say. Clark had always been a rock, even in the worst of times. She had always been able to count on him, but now she suddenly saw that he was hurting. She wanted to help him, but did not know what to do. She reached over to rub his arm. "Maybe you will find what you are looking for."
Clark looked at her, and she smiled. Clark smiled back and surprised himself by leaning over to give her a quick peck. He had expected an angry reaction, Lois only looked a little surprised and serene.
Lois almost melted on his lips, fire bursting out in her heart. She had never felt this way before. <<How could I have missed this for so long? >> The horn of the car behind them shocked her and they pulled away. Lois blushed as she put the car in gear.
Clark laughed. "I guess we have some work to do."
"You think?" Lois said dryly. She was not really paying attention. What did what he had said mean? Did Clark want her? It seemed that way. At least they were close to each other still. She could breathe easier now. Sure, there were many issues to resolve, but maybe they would all fall into place.
"So what do you want to do now, search for a blackmailer or for a case that might cause guilt?"
"Maybe we should interview Rigan first. I know he won't break, but it may pay to get him on record now, he may decline an interview if we find material later."
Ex-judge Rigan was quiet and restrained in the interview. Lois asked him why he had resigned, and he only answered "personal reasons." Clark had taken a softer tact, asking about him his cases, what he liked and disliked about being a judge, making it sound as though he was doing a human- interest story. Lois sat back; she could tell that Clark was getting somewhere.
"So now that you are retired is it easier to relax, not having do see young people as criminals, teenagers brought in a drug charges or muggings?" Clark asked as the interview wound down, keeping his body language casual.
"Actually I have not handled light crimes such as that in years, I've mainly dealt with homicides or class action suits against businesses, but yes, I am glad not to hear those stories anymore."
"Homicide and business, did you ever deal with organized crime?"
"Sometimes, but Judge Fields often handled those cases."
"I see. Well thank you for your time." Clark stood and everyone shook hands.
Lois checked her watch as they left. "Do you want to get some lunch?"
Clark was not sure what to think. He was enjoying his time with Lois (what else is new), but she seemed distracted. He was too (by her behavior). He wanted to know what was on her mind. She had not even spoken to Superman the other day. Lois always had been honest with Superman before. He had tried to bring up their relationship, but Lois had quickly steered the conversation away from that.
Lois hoped she sounded at least somewhat rational. All throughout lunch she had been remembering the kisses, and imaging jumping across the table and grabbing Clark. She had even mentioned it aloud she realized at one point because Clark had asked her about them, much to her horror. She had hurriedly changed the subject. She tried to focus on the conversation, but to no avail. She kept replaying the kiss over and over again, cursing that it had to end. <<How am I going to survive until tonight? How am I going to survive tonight? >> Speaking of tonight she still did not know what to wear. She had to finish this stupid story soon and get ready.
"Say Clark, why don't we just do a retirement piece today? That way we can dig tomorrow after everyone thinks they have a successful cover up."
Lois suddenly switching to the story startled Clark. "But then we lose our cover for why we are digging."
"Oh come on Clark! Let's do this piece and take the afternoon off."
"Is this Lois 'MadDog' Lane I am talking to here? I do not think I ever seen you take a day off."
<<That's because I never had anything more important than work to do until now Clark! >> Lois stumbled for an answer. "Ah, I just think we should have a retirement piece in case it takes more than a day to crack this, my senses tell me this story will need a lot of leg work."
"All the more reason to keep working. Sure, we write the retirement piece, but we keeping digging today."
Lois was scrambling for an idea. "If there is a story here, Rigan may be trying to hide the evidence. If the press cools, he may slip up."
"Lois are you okay?"
"I'm fine." Clark made a face. "I'M FINE. Really." Then she had a great idea. "We can keep digging quietly with people we trust. We should ask Superman if he has any news." Superman was always hard to find, unless someone was shooting at Lois, and Clark always found him on his own, which meant Lois could have some personal dress finding time.
"Superman? We never use him as a source."
"Well maybe we should start. Can you find him?"
"Lois what is this!? Since when are you interested in any tactic other than going full force after the story?"
"Sometimes situations call for unusual strategies," Lois said primly. "We should go find Superman." She got up and left the restaurant.
Clark could tell there was some problem on Lois' mind. She would tell him in her own time he knew, but he found it very exasperating right now. Use Superman as a source! How was he going to work that? Actually it turned out to be rather easy, Lois suggested she write the retirement piece while Clark tracked down his alter ego. Clark grudgingly agreed and started to figure out how long it would take him to "find" Superman. He considered doing some digging as Superman, but decided he did not want to change Superman's relationship with other people. It was just as well, because shortly thereafter Clark's super- hearing picked up a police radio report about an apartment fire in a poor part of town.
Lois rushed to get her retirement story out and gave it to Perry. She hurried out of the office before Clark could get back; she needed some time alone to shop. Once she was safely away from the Planet she found a pay phone and called Cat Grant. She breathed a sigh of relief when she heard the familiar voice on the other end of the line. "Cat, I have a date, now where can I find a dress to knock Clark's eyes out?"
Thankfully Superman easily snuffed the fire and no one was seriously hurt. Superman rocketed away. Clark spent the rest of his afternoon digging once he found that Lois was out of the office. His contacts on the street gave him a name for Rigan's dealer: Sonny McMichaels. Checking his records against Rigan's cases came up with a lead, Sonny's lawyer from his last court proceedings, Arlow Wallace, was now representing a real estate developer in his defense of a fraud lawsuit that was to go before Rigan, until he suddenly retired. Clark typed up his notes and wrote a preliminary story that he emailed to Lois. He left work early to get ready for his date. Oddly, Jimmy wished him good luck for no reason as he left.
Lois checked the clock 6:30. She had been rushing around all afternoon, but now she was done with plenty of time to spare. She was ready, her apartment was clean (in case Clark came in after dinner), and she had a great dress. Cat had recommended a little place. The dresses there had certainly filled the description Lois had made, but more so than she was willing to wear. Serious searching led Lois to one of the most conservative dresses in the place, although Lois was not sure if she could wear it. She took a deep breath and followed Cat's advice: you can always go one step more extreme than you think without upsetting a man. Now she was wearing a black sequined dress. It hung just below her right knee, but on the left it was so high up her thigh she was afraid to bend much. She did not have much leeway up top either; it was so low cut she worried about popping out of it. There was no back the dress at all, it wrapped around her neck and only covered the very front of her body above the waist. She felt nearly naked and wondered if Clark would be able to tell it was so tight it was all she was wearing.
She wondered what Clark would think. Now that she was ready she had half an hour to worry. She desperately wanted the night to go well; she loved Clark so much she needed him. She almost blew it once; she would have to be careful. All that had to happen tonight was she needed to make sure Clark knew she wanted a relationship. She looked at the dress <<if this doesn't make it clear to him he will never get the message>> she mused. What if the dress was too much for him? He was a country boy, would he think that she being to forward and throwing herself at him? She felt uncomfortable in this dress…surely Clark would think it was outrageous. Lois panicked; she needed to find another dress. There was a knock at the door. Lois wanted to scream, no going back now. She opened the door.
Clark was there looking good in an off-gray suit holding flowers and a small box of chocolates. Lois smiled slightly at his gentlemanliness, but was still nervous. "Hi Lois I reserved a table at the Great Mountain…" His voice trailed off as he saw the dress. "WOW!" Lois felt mortified as she stood there watching his eyes lingeringly trail over her figure. "You look magnificent."
Lois finally let out her breath. The idea of going out in public half naked still terrified her, but that Clark liked the dress made it worth it. <<Thank you Cat Grant! >>
Clark deliberately shifted as he helped Lois into her jacket. She was having quite an effect on him. He had never seen her dress so sexily; her body was amazing. He knew he would be struggling not to stare all night. Their relationship situation was certainly looking better.
Clark was able to relax and they had a fun conversation in the cab. He decided not to bring up the story. He enjoyed being with Lois outside of the office. He had settled somewhat by the time they got to the restaurant, but once Lois' coat came off his temperature rose again. He had always known she was good looking, but the dress made her look stunning. No one had ever turned him on so much before in his life. She was having a huge effect on him without knowing it. He was still thankful even as he was uncomfortable thinking about not letting on all night- Lois was sending a clear message.
Lois shivered, in part from the unusual breeze on her back, and from the looks she was getting. She was thrilled though, their date had started well, and even though he was trying to hide it she caught Clark looking over her body. It made her uncomfortable, but she enjoyed the attention. Once they took their seats and ordered Clark seemed to return to normal. They made pleasant conversation and the tension of Lois' week slowly eased away. Eventually the subject turned to Clark's travels and Lois listened, wrapped in his stories. She started interrupting him to ask questions.
"Lois, this is not an interview," Clark chided.
She smiled, knowing he was right. She had been unconsciously grilling him. Before she knew him she never would have admitted it, her work was her life, but thanks to his intervention into her life she was able to put the Planet behind and enjoy her date. "Sorry, I was just curious. I have never taken any trips the way you have. I wonder if I should have traveled the way you did, it must have been great."
"I would not trade the experience, but I am glad I am not doing that anymore."
"Really? Why? I would think you would have loved that exotic life."
"I did, but I was lonely. I was used to knowing everyone in Smallville, and suddenly I did not know anyone. I could never really make close friends because I was always on the move. That is why I settled here."
"I never would have thought of that. I should have though, I bet family and friends are the biggest parts of your life."
"They're not to you?"
"I don't know, I guess they are now, but not always. Before you knew me I was a machine on the job."
"That's hard to believe."
"Ha ha. No, seriously, I never would have taken the time out of my life to enjoy a date this way before I met you. That is one of the best results of our friendship for me. You changed my perspective so I enjoy life more."
Lois' words surprised and moved Clark. "Thank you, I had no idea I had had such an effect on you."
"Knowing you has made me a happier, and I think a better person. I never really understood what I was missing until I met you." Lois realized how personal her speech was becoming. "I know I sometimes still lose my temper, the way I did last Friday, but I really value having you in my life, and I want you to know that." Lois felt her eyes beginning to moisten.
Clark took her hand and gave it a squeeze. "Don't think that it is a one way street, our relationship is incredibly important to me too."
Lois wiped her eyes. "Thank you. I didn't mean for this to get so involved, I think I better go freshen up." She rose and hurried away. She splashed some water on her face. Clark certainly knew what she was thinking now. She calmed herself and came back to find her food and arrived. "So what is on your mind?"
Clark seemed flustered. "Ahh…my thoughts were just wandering a bit, sorry."
This confused Lois, then she remembered him watching her come back to the table. The dress! She was making Clark uncomfortable. Smiling on the inside she leaned over the table, giving Clark a view straight down her top and looked innocently into his eyes. "So how have you been lately? We hardly saw each other this week."
Clark was in a bad spot. Lois wanted to talk, while she was unknowingly giving him the view of a lifetime (that Lois might be teasing him never entered his mind). As if keeping his eyes on hers was not hard enough he still had her comments from before to review. She suddenly seemed very serious, and it made Clark happy to hear it. His mind was just not up to chatting on his week on top of that. "Oh just spending all night lost in a car with Jimmy and some busywork as Superman."
Lois giggled. "Busy work AS Superman? You need to keep yourself straight from your stories Clark."
"Yeah," Clark smiled, "I don't know where that came from." <<Boy that was close! Thank goodness Lois is in a good mood and not suspicious. I have to focus on what I am saying. >> "Other than cleaning how was yours?"
"Cleaning?" Lois did not understand. <<Oh! Right that cover story!>> "That seems so long ago now. It has been a long, frustrating week."
<<Well, so much for staying away from the personal>> "I wanted to apologize for yelling at you and make it up to you, but you were never around."
"Is that why we are here? Because you yelled at me?"
"No!" She took his hand. "I'm here because I want to be with you."
Clark smiled, letting her know he understood. Their conversation turned back to the more mundane. Lois was able to relax and enjoy the company of the man she loved and tease him a little to boot. Clark was having a harder time of it. Besides Lois' repeated unintentional flashes she kept touching him here and there. It was torture, but he did not want the night to end. He suggested they go for a walk in the park once they finished. He regained some self control once Lois was back in a jacket.
Lois was more than happy to extend her date with Clark. They walked along holding hands without speaking. "Does this remind you of home here?"
"Hmm? Not really. Back home you could walk forever without seeing anyone it seemed. Here I can still hear traffic. It is a nice change though."
"It is funny, before today I never realized you missed home so much. You are always so affable; I guess I forget you have your problems too."
"Thank you, I guess."
She laughed and poked him. "That's not what I meant. You have a strong spirit, which is one of the reasons I am attracted to you. You are always there when someone needs you."
"Thank you, I always try."
"But you don't like here much do you?"
"That's not entirely true. I like it at the Planet. I enjoy all the different types of people here. The crime and the pace of the city are not what I expected."
"Are you thinking about moving back?"
"Not really. I am happy here, I just want a little more."
Lois kept walking while Clark glanced sideways at her. He was not sure what to make of where she was going with the conversation. "Are you saying you would miss me?"
"That is obvious after what I said at dinner, of course I would miss you terribly." She squeezed his hand. Clark let go and put his arm around her. She obliged and leaned in close. "Wouldn't you miss me?"
"More than you would know."
They were at Lois' building now. "Want to come up Clark?" Clark did not need a second invitation.
He felt strange going into Lois' apartment this time. He had been there a hundred times before, but it was as though it was his first visit. The mood of the evening gave it a new feel. Lois slipped off her jacket and hung it up to make the transition complete. <<Every time I see that dress it kills me. >> Clark smiled bravely and hung up his own coat.
"Can I get you a drink?"
"Sure, just water please."
Lois went to get two glasses. When she came back Clark was still standing by the door. "You can come further into my apartment if you want," she joked.
"Sorry." Clark moved in to the living room. "I was just thinking that it was funny that it took a fight and us being apart for a while to have us admit how much we mean to each other."
"Not really, they always say 'absence makes the heart grow founder.' I only realized how special you were to me after I yelled at you for going out with Mayson. I spent all weekend thinking about us."
"I didn't think you were really happy about cleaning you apartment."
Lois giggled slightly at being caught in her lie. "Very good Dr. Holmes."
"You taught me well, besides I know you too closely to believe that story."
"Very funny. I guess you are right though. I never realized how close we were until last weekend. I never let anyone get close to me before you did."
"Is that why you lost your temper?"
Lois thought for a moment. "Subconsciously yeah, I think I was hurting that you were going out with someone else. Is that what you thought?"
"No, I was not really sure. You pushed me to go out with her, and then you screamed at me. It confused me some, I was worried that you were testing me and were upset I did not refuse."
"I'm sorry about that; I couldn't have handled it much worse."
"Don't worry, it's in the past now. We're here talking now, no harm was done."
"Thanks." The conversation was making Lois a little uneasy. She turned to get her glass of water from the table to cool herself some. She caught Clark's eyes come back up to hers as she turned back to him. She slyly shifted to cause her skirt to ride up just a tantalizing bit higher. Clark's eyes bugged out a little and Lois took a drink to cover her grin.
"Lois, can I ask a personal question?" She nodded as she kept drinking. "I know that this date is not happening as penance for Friday, but that dress…" he gestured uncomfortably trying to find the words.
Lois choked on her water. "Clark!!" She felt her cheeks break into a serious blush. She could not believe he had just come out and asked her that way. It was amazingly embarrassing.
It seemed embarrassing for Clark as well, because his face also turned red. "I didn't mean that you were going to-"
"Clark!!!" Lois cut off his sentence. She played with her hands and looked at the floor. "I know what you meant. No. Well, I wanted to attract your attention sure, but not because of Friday…I can't believe you asked that!"
"Sorry, it's just that I have never seen you wear any dress even half as revealing as this before."
"Clark, you see me at work. I would never wear this at the Planet."
"I have seen you in other places. You certainly did not wear this for our first date. You're right I shouldn't have said that. I apologize, I just was a little distracted, and you have been unconsciously showing me more of yourself than you realize."
Lois laughed. "Well, to be honest that was pretty intentional."
"What!?!" Clark looked at her in disbelief.
"I told you I was trying to get your attention." She smiled and spread her hands. Clark stared at her for a minute and then grabbed her, pinned her on the couch and kissed her for all he was worth.
"It worked Lois, I love you." Lois struggled to get her breath back and her heartbeat under control. Her life had finally fallen into place. She kissed him again and thrilled at the feel of his lips and body against hers.
"I love you too." She finally got out when she came up for air. Clark's glasses had fallen off, she noticed. He looked different without them. She wiggled around underneath him, rubbing against a bulge in Clark's pants. They both looked at each other, but rather than be embarrassed they both just laughed. They both sat up and Lois found his glasses and handed them to him. He started when he realized he was not wearing them. He went to put them on, but Lois stopped him, taking them from him and putting them on the end table. "I don't think you are going to need them now." She stood up and extended her hand to Clark.
"Lois are you sure you want to do this? I mean it's only-"
Lois put a finger to his lips and then kissed him. "I have wanted this for a lot longer than I ever knew." She stood and walked to her bedroom door. She turned back and was happy to see longing in Clark's eyes as they followed her. She reached behind her neck and unfastened her dress, pulling the front down to the waist. "Come to bed Clark." In her eyes Clark saw a look that she previously reserved for Superman.
The sun hit Lois' eyes. That was unusual; normally she was up before dawn. She looked at her clock and grimaced. She must have forgotten to set her alarm the night before. She hit her pillow in frustration. To her shock it moaned and moved. She looked down and saw her pillow was in reality an impressive chest. Clark!! Memories of the night before came rushing back. They were both still in her bed where they had collapsed after a long series of amazingly passionate love making sessions. No wonder she felt so wonderful. She smiled and started to kiss Clark's chest. He groaned and moved beneath her.
"-ois," he sighed, still asleep. Pleased to hear her name Lois continued kissing. "-ois." <<Come on Clark pronounce the "L.">> She started to kiss downward on his stomach. "- ois." He was fidgeting more now. She kissed him a little more. "LOIS!!" He bolted upright as he awoke.
"Good morning sleepyhead." Lois beamed. She scooted up to receive a kiss from her new lover.
"What were you doing?"
"No more than I did last night, which I do not recall you complaining about." Clark rolled her over and kissed her. "So how are you this morning?"
"The best I have ever been. I just woke up with the woman I love in my arms, well sort of."
Lois still thrilled to hear that he loved her. "No need to be vulgar. I love you too." They kissed again.
"Well that dress was definitely a good idea."
Lois giggled. "You would not believe how much worrying I did about it, I felt almost naked in it."
"Trust me I know. It had quite an effect on me."
"I figured that out last night."
"Do you want a little more proof?"
"That's okay, I still need some recovery time from last night."
"Not too much I hope." Clark slid his hands down her back.
She jumped. "Well…" Her alarm clock caught her eye. "Oh Clark we're late for work." She got out of bed.
Clark grabbed her and with a squeak she flopped back down on top of him. "That hardly sounds very romantic. We could always call in sick."
Lois seriously considered it. "Come on Clark. We have all weekend, I could not do what we did last night all day and survive, I really do need to recover a bit."
Clark's whole demeanor changed. "Are you alright?"
"Better than alright. Come on, I promise I will make it up to you tonight."
They got up and separated so Clark could go home and change. Even though he had to travel across town he was still there before Lois she noted with amazement. He seemed perfectly normal too. If she did not know any better she would never have guessed his night had been out of the ordinary at all. "Good morning Lois." He handed her a cup of coffee.
"Yes it is." She accepted the mug. "So did you find any news about Rigan?"
"You are a lot more interested in him than yesterday."
"Yesterday I had more important concerns to plan for."
"Yes really. You can wipe that smug grin right off you face Mr. Kent we have a job to."
Once Clark had filled her in on the details he had uncovered she wanted to rush over to Rigan and present their material. Rigan admitted it almost immediately, he knew his impartiality as judge would be compromised and he resigned. Lois wanted to nail him to a wall in her story, but Clark wanted to go with a different angle: an honorable man brought down by addiction. They had haggled for a while before coming up with a compromise piece. Lois put the finishing touches on the story to find Clark had pulled another of his disappearing acts. She would have to remember to press him about why he was always doing that. Now that they were together she was sure he would not keep any secrets between them. Lois' mind started to wander, as she thought about them together. She blushed slightly at the memories of last night, and they were going to spend all weekend together. Suddenly she realized she could surprise Clark again. That store Cat recommended sold lingerie too. Casting a furtive eye around the newsroom to make sure her man had not returned she left for the shop.
She found the perfect item, a see-through burgundy teddy; if anyone could call the few wisps of cloth she bought a teddy. Humming to herself Lois was suddenly jarred by two men forcing her into an alley.
"Now listen good lady, because I never say things twice. We represent a powerful man and he doesn't like the attention you and your partner have been giving to a simple retiring judge. So unless you want to lose those looks of yours you will leave Judge Rigan alone, got it?"
Lois normally would have been a little scared, but as the thug was talking a familiar figure of blue and red appeared hovering in the air above and behind the two men.
"Yes did you get that Lois?" Superman asked.
The two pug-uglies spun around. One just started cursing, but the other ran. Superman landed and took hold of the one staying still.
"First of all the alley is a dead end. Second of all I am faster than a speeding bullet remember?" The goon stopped to look around and ran towards a door, trying in vain to get it open. "Where does he think he is going? Back in a moment." Superman rocketed off and momentarily returned without any company. "Are you okay?"
"Of course." Superman made to fly away. "Wait!" He turned. Lois chose her words carefully. "Superman, I know in the past I have acted a little odd around you. I mean we are friends, but I was trying to lead us somewhere else. But now-"
Clark realized that she was no longer looking at him with the smoldering passion she used to give him in the suit. She was looking at him as she normally did, when he was Clark. Come to think of it she had been looking at her partner more romantically all week, which was what seemed so different! He realized where she was going. "Clark already told me."
"He did?" Lois did not hide her surprise. Superman nodded. "Well that makes my life easier. So we're friends?"
"Of course." They hugged and Superman flew away.
Clark was waiting for Lois at the Planet when she returned. He had known it was serious, but had had nagging doubts until she approached him as Superman. Now he could not wait for the weekend to start.
"There you are."
"What's that you have?"
"If you are good tonight, maybe you'll find out."
"Well, let's get going."
"We still have to hand in the Rigan story."
"I found your copy on my desk. It looked good so I gave it to Perry."
"We make a great team."
"In more ways than one." Clark leaned into Lois.
"Hey guys what are you all doing for the weekend?" Jimmy appeared.
"Oh just relaxing it's been a long week," Lois answered.
"That's cool. See you Monday."
"So what are our plans?"
"Well since it's Friday and we do not have any reservations I thought you could come over and I would cook."
"That sounds lovely. Shall we go?"
Clark heard the distant sounds of sirens. "I actually have to buy a few items for dinner. Tell you what, why don't you go home and put an overnight bag together while I go shopping."
"An overnight bag? Just what are you thinking Mr. Kent? This hardly seems appropriate for a farmboy to be suggesting."
"After last night, Lois, I hardly can be considered a farmboy. Besides I was given certain promises this morning."
Lois tried to hide her giggle but failed. "All right Clark, but only because I love you."
Clark answered the door and Lois smelled some delicious smells wafting in the air. She dropped her bag and stepped into Clark's open arms to exchange a deep kiss. She felt his hands run down her sides and she swatted them away. "After dinner Clark, I need some food for energy." She was wearing a simple blouse and skirt, but had the teddy on underneath to surprise him later. She expected he would approve. She smiled as Clark pulled a chair out for her in that gentlemanly way of his. "You know it is funny. This time last week I came home in tears because of what I done and did not even know why. Here a short week later I am sitting down for a meal with the man I love, and who I know loves me in return."
"Patience Clark, we have the whole weekend ahead of us."