By BanAnna <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Submitted: January 2003
Summary: This story begins with some of the final lines of House of Luthor, and then rewrites the ones that follow based on the question: What if Clark had let Lois go first?
The usual disclaimer applies: characters, some dialogue and the first part of the scene belong to DC Comics, Warner Brothers, December 3rd Productions, and probably some other people. The ideas expressed and the rest of the dialogue belong to me.
"I've never seen anything so beautiful in my entire life," Clark said, looking at the Daily Planet logo, but implying his statement's double meaning with a glance at his partner.
Lois glanced back and forth between Clark and the huge globe, then dropped her arms — and her guard — from their closed-off positions. "You never gave up on the Planet, on your friends… on me," she said, slowly moving toward him.
"I couldn't," he replied. "You just named probably everything in this world that's precious to me."
"I don't think I have ever — will ever meet anyone quite like you."
"Lois -" "Clark -" they both began at the same time.
"No, let me go first," Lois said before Clark could continue.
"All right," he replied, his mind racing with the endless possibilities of what she might say.
"Clark… I lied to you," she said, looking at the ground, ashamed. Not noticing his confused expression, she continued, "I mean, you've always been so honest with me, well maybe not always, but most of the time — I think. I mean, I guess I wouldn't necessarily know if you had lied to me, but I don't think you have. Well, at least not very much -"
Clark interrupted her babbling with his confused questions. "Lied? Lois, what are you talking about?"
She began slowly, still not looking at him. "The other day in the park… when you told me that you loved me, and I said that I didn't feel that way about you." Now she looked up into his deep brown eyes, searching for his reaction. His furrowed brow softened slightly when her eyes met his, so she continued more boldly. "I lied. I do love you, Clark. That's what I really meant to say. I didn't want to admit it because I was afraid of losing our friendship, but after you stuck by me these last few weeks, now I know that I don't want to lose… us." With that last word she placed her hand gingerly on his chest and waited anxiously for his reply.
He looked back at her and his small smile became a more serious expression. He reached up to cup her cheek in his palm, then paused to look deep into her eyes. After a moment, he closed his eyes and lowered his lips to hers.