By Saara B. <SaaraGS@aol.com>
Submitted: March 2003
Summary: What does Clark do with his wedding ring when changing into the suit?
Firstly and most importantly, I'd like to thank to my beta- readers, Laura and Barb — your comments and suggestions were very helpful! :-)) — and everyone on the LCFic list who sent me such encouraging feedback. This is the first fanfic story that I've published anywhere, and if it hadn't been for you all, it would still be sitting on my hard drive.
The story deals with a similar subject as Wendy Richards's wonderful story "A Ring On His Finger" (thank you, LabRat, for pointing it out to me! ;-)), but I decided to try and explore it from a slightly different angle. Would Clark really be so willing to take his wedding ring off again when changing into the Suit?
The story is set a couple of days after STGTTWNK, but it doesn't fit into the continuity of the subsequent episodes. Sorry for that…
Questions, comments, suggestions and constructive criticism are of course always very welcome.
DISCLAIMER: The characters belong to whoever owns them (certainly not me!), no copyright infringement is intended, etc. etc. etc. This story was written just for fun and not for profit.
"Mmmmmm…," Lois sighed dreamily. It had been such a wonderful dream that she didn't want to wake up. She and Clark stood in front of a kind, elderly man. They were about to recite their vows… She dreamed that they had a small reception with their families and friends, then they had made love all night… No, Lois definitely didn't want to wake up from these dreams yet.
She tried to turn around on the big bed, but realized that a strong arm lay across her stomach, pinning her down. As she reluctantly opened her eyes, a blissful smile crossed her face. It hadn't been a dream at all, she recalled. She *was* married to Clark Kent, they were on honeymoon at the Lexor Hotel, and they *had* made love all night. In fact, she thought with a blush, they had made love most of the last five days — <but then again, isn't that what newlyweds are supposed to do on their honeymoon?> Lois thought.
She squirmed a little and looked at the clock on her nightstand. <Nine-twenty already! Well, never mind…>
"Mmmph," came a sound from the other side of the bed. Clark was lying flat on his stomach, his left arm still draped over her.
"Ssh, its all right," Lois whispered. "Go back to sleep."
Slowly, Clark opened his eyes and squinted at his beautiful wife. A smile spread across his face. "Morning, honey," he said.
"Morning, sleepyhead," Lois replied and wiggled over closer to him.
Clark put his arms around her and gave a small sigh of contentment. He also felt like he was in a dream. At last, after all they'd gone through, he was finally married to Lois Lane, the love of his life. He felt infinitely blessed.
They lay in each other's arms for another couple of minutes. Finally, Lois whispered, "Wow. I never thought it would happen, but I think I've actually done it."
"What?" Clark mumbled.
"Tired out the Man of Steel," she said wickedly.
Clark opened one eye and looked at her mischievously. "Oh, you think so, huh?"
"Yeah," Lois replied and started planting butterfly kisses on his throat. "Or can you think of another reason why he would fall asleep again on me now without making love to me first?"
Now, that was something Clark couldn't leave unanswered. With one swift movement, he turned over on his back and pulled Lois on top of him. With mock irritation in his voice, he said, "Falling asleep again, am I, huh? I'll show you just how wide awake I am!"
Lois giggled and continued to lavish those little kisses on him. By now, she had worked her way down to his chest and was slowly approaching his left nipple. This drove him wild; she knew it. <Oh, but I'll get back at you in no time!> Clark thought with a grin.
They continued to caress and kiss each other for what seemed like an eternity.
Slowly, however, Lois's ministrations came to a halt. She sat up, still straddling him, and looked at him thoughtfully.
"What's the matter, honey?" Clark inquired.
Lois hesitated slightly before she answered. "You know, talking about… you know who…," she said and made a 'flying' motion with her hand. "I couldn't help it, I was just wondering… he hasn't been seen around for a while now, has he? As much as I hate to say it, but don't you think it might be a good idea if he showed up again sometime soon, so that the people know he's still around?"
That did it. Clark suddenly felt a pang of conscience. Lois was right, of course. They'd been holed up in this place for almost a week, and obviously he'd had other things on his mind than his alter ego. Fortunately, the city had been quiet. There hadn't been anything the emergency services hadn't been able to handle on their own. Still, Clark thought, didn't he deserve a break sometimes? Or at least now, on his honeymoon? Clark couldn't suppress a groan.
"Sorry, Clark, I shouldn't have mentioned it. I'm sorry," Lois said.
"No, no, Lois, don't apologize," Clark said. "In fact, I think you're right." He sighed. "As much as I hate to admit it, the criminal element in Metropolis *is* probably wondering by now what happened to their nemesis."
Lois climbed down from him and scurried over to her side of the bed again. <So much for lovemaking this morning,> she thought. Now that she had reminded Clark of his alter ego, his responsibility was nagging at him. She could see it in his eyes. With another big sigh, Clark threw back the covers and got up.
"I think I'll just fly a quick patrol over the city and show myself for a short while. That should take care of it, I guess."
Lois began to regret what she had said. But then again, this was her Clark: always reliable and responsible. "Well, if you feel you have to…" she said reluctantly.
"Don't worry, honey, I won't be long, I promise. And when I return," he continued with a lascivious smile, "I'll show you just how much energy I still have in me. Tiring me out, huh? Not by a long shot, just you wait and see!"
Lois couldn't help but grin widely. She had hit him there, she thought. Well, as long as he was living up to his promise, she had no intention to complain…
Clark picked up a few items and headed for the bathroom. A quick shower later, he emerged, wrapped in a towel and drying his hair with another.
Lois felt a sudden rush of heat. <Why did he have to come out of the bathroom like this? Surely he must know what he's doing to me…> She got flustered as she watched him rummage through his travelling bag, barely managing to keep his towel in place. She saw him spin; when he came to a halt, he was standing there in the Suit.
As he ran his hands through his hair to slick it back, he caught a glimmer on his left hand. He stopped.
The ring. His wedding ring.
Clark stood and looked at it thoughtfully. They had been through so much, until Lois had put it there at last.
Suddenly, it hit him. Whether it was the blue spandex encasing his arm that now seemed to clash with the gold, he didn't know, but… how was he supposed to explain the ring when he went out now in the Suit? It wasn't as if he could just pretend it wasn't there. People were bound to notice, and it would only be a matter of an hour or two until the tabloids would be all over him. No, he couldn't risk that. What if someone made the connection to Lois?
Well, the only way to avoid that was simple. He just had to take the ring off and put it in his pocket, and everything would be fine.
Except that it wouldn't. <No way,> he thought firmly. <After all it took me to finally get it there, I'm not gonna take it off again just like that!> Especially not here, right in front of Lois…
Lois was watching Clark from her bed. She wondered why he was still there.
"Come on, Clark, go already!" she said. "The sooner you're back, the sooner we can get back to…" Then she looked into his eyes and saw the conflicting emotions in them as he stood there and examined his hand. Worry, fear, a sudden determination, until finally, his shoulders drooped as he whispered softly, "I can't do this."
Lois furrowed her brows. Something was bothering him, that much was obvious. "What's the matter, Clark? What can't you do?"
"Oh, Lois," Clark sighed and moved over to sit on her bed.
He looked at her tenderly and took her left hand in his, turning it over and stroking her ring with his thumb.
"What's wrong, Clark?" Lois was getting worried now.
Clark pointed to the ring on his hand. "I just can't bring myself to take it off, honey. Not after everything it took to get it there."
Her first reaction was a slight pang, despite herself. Why would he even *think* of doing that?
She knew the answer, of course. It was too dangerous. Superman wasn't married.
Clark sighed again and said quietly, "Lois, what do I do? I can't go out as Superman with this ring still on, can I?"
Lois giggled and replied, "Well, one thing's for sure, the tabloids would love it."
"Yeah, I bet they would," Clark said glumly. He looked at his hand again, then back at Lois. "They'd hunt us down in no time. I can't risk that." He paused, then continued, "Still, I have no intention of taking this off again, *ever*. So, you see, I'm stuck."
Lois's eyes shone with love at his words. That was so like Clark. He was apparently so committed to their marriage that he clung to its symbol for dear life. Her heart filled with warmth at the thought. It pleased her to no end that Clark hadn't taken this symbol of their love lightly and just stuffed it in his pocket somewhere.
"Maybe we can come up with a convincing explanation, Clark?" she suggested helpfully.
"I can't think of any," Clark replied. "No matter what I tell the public, the tabloids are going to chase after anyone they think might be Superman's wife. They won't stop until they're convinced they've found her. It wouldn't be fair."
"I appreciate what you're trying to do, Clark, but we can't risk exposing your — our secret."
Clark looked up at her words. Lois's understanding never ceased to amaze him. It was *their* secret now, not just his. They were in this together, whatever the outcome.
"So, Clark, before we waste any more time, just take it off and fly your patrol. I'll keep the ring safe for you until you get back."
Clark's eyes lit up with renewed love. "What have I done to deserve such a wonderful wife?" he said, smiling.
Lois didn't know what to answer, so she just grinned and swatted his chest. "Come on, flyboy, hurry up, or else the day will be over before we know it!"
Clark couldn't help but chuckle. He grew serious again, though, as he slowly raised his hands, solemnly took off his wedding ring, and gently put it into Lois's hand, closing her fingers over it. After placing a kiss on her closed hand, he got up and walked to the window. Looking back at Lois, he said, "We've definitely got to talk about this some more later on. I can't *always* give it to you when I'm needed elsewhere, you know. You might not be around."
Lois dismissed him with a wave of her free hand. "We'll find a safe place, don't worry. Now, go."
Clark looked at Lois once more, trying to convey all his love with his eyes. He took a deep breath, turned back to the window, drew back the curtains, flung the window open, and disappeared in a streak of red and blue.
Gazing dreamily after him, Lois settled back into her cushion and gently placed the hand that held her husband's ring onto her heart. After a while, she slowly drifted back to sleep, vowing that, yes, somehow, someway, they would find a way to keep their love safe.