By Sara <email@example.com >
Submitted: January 2004; written November 2003
Summary: Clark prepares for a magical date with the woman of his dreams. But not everything is as it seems.
Author's Notes: Well, I'm just kicking myself that I haven't submitted this one sooner. Other stories muscled their way to the front of my hd, and this sort of got lost in the fracas, so it failed to come to my attention until I dusted off the song it was inspired by and that metaphorical light bulb just about exploded <g>.
This was originally posted on lcficmbs.com in November as a birthday present for Saskia and Elena, two lovely [and evil, but then you knew that already ;)] people whom I'm very lucky to count as friends. I would have liked to have written them one each, but unfortunately, the Muse wouldn't co-operate :( so this little piece of fluff was born.
For anybody unfamiliar with Sas or El's personality [or my writing style, come to think ;)] well, just remember when I said they were evil ;) Good teachers, too.
Muse-ic: *When I Fall in Love*, by Celine Dion and Clive Griffen, from the movie *Sleepless in Seattle*. Much thanks to MissyG, my wonderful beta and 'Mom' ;) and to LynnM, my archive GE. Thanks also to everybody at the MBs who came up with a few inventive phrases to describe this story, and distributed thwappings and congratulations and general 'noooooooooooo's' as they saw fit ;) Feedback is, as ever, welcomed and appreciated.
Evil? Moi? No, not really. They made me do it.
The hissing of a struck match was the only sound in Clark Kent's apartment that night. Leaning forward, he lit the last candle on the little table, smoothing the tablecloth and adjusting the single white rose he had placed in a glass vase. Satisfied, he leaned back, and, shaking the match out, went to check on the pasta.
It was simmering nicely in the pot, just like the last time he had checked on it. Clark took a deep breath, giving the mixture a poke for good measure. He had to loosen up. For goodness sake, what was she going to think if he managed to drive himself crazy before she walked in the door?
He glanced down quickly at himself. He was wearing his Smallville U sweatshirt, corresponding with a light blue pair of chinos. Perfectly normal for him. Relaxed, non- fussy, regular…*boring*.
He made a dive for the bedroom, panicking suddenly. Good grief, he was a mess! What was he going to wear?
He growled suddenly, banishing the feminine thought as quickly as he could. He was *Superman*, for goodness sake!! This was just clothes — nothing compared to a raging forest-fire, or an oil spill, or a criminal mastermind bent on taking over the city. Clothes!! Nothing to get stressed about, and *certainly* nothing to panic about! She probably wouldn't even notice!
The knock on the door came promptly at eight — perfectly punctual as always. Clark gave himself one last once-over, swallowing the sudden, ill-at-ease feeling that had settled in the pit of his stomach. A black, open-collar shirt and a pair of charcoal trousers. Not too dressy, not too casual. Perfectly adequate.
His glasses! He made a hasty dive back into the living room, cursing his luck. He hadn't let her in on his secret yet — and his glasses were imperative for his disguise.
Fumbling, he managed at last to get them on and bounded back up the few steps leading to the door. Wrenching at the doorknob, he managed at last to get the thing open, letting the night swirl into his apartment.
He drew his breath at the vision who stood framed in the doorway. Dressed in a simple, yet elegant, black dress, with her glossy hair piled up on top of her head, she looked…she was…
"Beautiful," croaked Clark, then blushed at the unusual greeting.
//Smart, Kent, real smart. Way to go.//
But she was smiling, albeit a little hesitatingly, and her eyes were quickly scanning over his own choice in clothes.
"You don't look too bad yourself, Mr. Kent," she murmured teasingly, a slow smile lighting her face. Clark felt himself blush. Yep. Definitely — perfectly adequate.
His mouth was still slightly dry, and he was sure his eyes were boggling at the sheer radiant beauty beaming out of her. She was just…just so…and she had done this for *him*!
A smile quirked the corners of her mouth, and he raised his eyebrow inquisitively. What had happened to amuse her?
She leaned forward, slightly.
"Aren't you going to invite me in?"
Clark's bottom jaw dropped open. He had been staring at her like a love-struck teenager while she shivered outside on his porch, on a freezing winter night!
"Oh, I'm so sorry!" he exclaimed, embarrassed, ushering her in hurriedly. Taking her wrap from her, he hung it neatly on the rack and followed her down the stairs.
She inhaled deeply, a huge smile on her face as she gazed at the romantic scene he had created.
"Clark, it smells wonderful," she said softly, glancing at him from under her eyelashes. His heart fluttered as he gazed into her opaque eyes.
"It's…ahm…" His voice was suddenly high-pitched, and he cleared his throat, conscious of how adolescent he must sound. For goodness sake, he wasn't asking her to the Senior Prom! This was just dinner, at his apartment, something they had done a million times before!!
"It's…fettucini," he choked, finally. "And angel hair. With…cheese and a white wine sauce."
She smiled softly, and Clark's heartbeat skyrocketed at the sultry look in her eyes. Leaning forward slightly, she raised her head and gazed into his eyes, moistening her bottom lip with her tongue. Clark stared at them as if fixated, the reflected light bouncing off of them almost blinding him. Her eyes were burning into him, and he dipped his head slightly.
The shrill whine of the timer cut abruptly through the romantic web that had been woven around them. Clark flinched instinctively and, smiling apologetically at his guest, went to turn it off and serve their meal.
"I was going to say, before we were so rudely interrupted…" she murmured, coming up behind him and slipping her arms around his waist, "…that it sounds — and smells — wonderful."
Clark almost choked as her breath tickled his inner ear, his stomach muscles contracting sharply at the brush of her arms against them. The serving spoon hit the side of the pot with an almighty clang, and he steadied his hands, suddenly breaking into sweat. One more word, one more movement, and their entire meal would end up on the floor…
She had evidently noticed, because with a whisper of silk and a breathy giggle, she was gone from him. He concentrated on transferring the contents of the pots to the plates without fault. He dumped the various containers into the small sink beside him and turned around, the two plates in his hand.
Only super-reflexes kept him from dropping them both as he became aware that the main light in his apartment had been extinguished, leaving only the seductive glow of the candle he had lit earlier. The piercing silence of the place was broken by the soft strains of a CD she had evidently started, and Clark swallowed at the romantic atmosphere.
An atmosphere that *she* had created. She had made the first move — heck, she had made *all* the moves — and she was obviously trying to tell him that she had felt the shift in their relationship just as keenly as he.
She reappeared suddenly, shyly tucking an errant lock of hair behind her ear, and he smiled, noticing that she had taken her shoes off. The gesture somehow made him feel even more aware of her presence, and he gulped, setting the plates on the table quickly.
"Now, m'lady…dinner is served." He winked broadly, trying to disguise the emotions cascading through him. She smiled shyly back, and he rushed to pull her chair out so that she could sit down.
Dinner was…special. His guest was enchanting, entertaining, witty and well versed on current affairs. Her intelligence made for stimulating debates, and Clark's eyes glowed even brighter as she laughed, delighting in the knowledge that she was having a good time. The conversation crackled and sparked, and Clark wasn't sure if the fireworks exploding behind his eyes were from the liveliness of the meal, or from the two glasses of wine he had drunk so far.
He smiled and shook his head. He was Kryptonian — wine didn't affect him. It had to be her.
Emptying the last of the bottle into her glass, he smiled gently at her.
"Go ahead into the living room. I'll just wash up."
She half-rose, but then paused, looking at him thoughtfully. "Clark, you've done all the hard work here. At least let me compensate you a little for this evening — it'll only take me a minute."
"No, no, I wouldn't dream of it," he protested, guiding her gently into the main room of the apartment. "There's only a couple of plates and glasses — everything else has already been done. Go ahead and make yourself comfortable."
He watched her surreptitiously as she made her way around his apartment, fingering the different items displayed on his cabinets. She ran a careless finger over the football he had kept from his playing days and picked up a picture of his parents, smiling. He grinned as well, happy in the knowledge that she liked them, and they, her. It was…perfect.
She had told him that she loved him, and he had responded in kind. The torments and insecurities of a past life behind him, he had embraced the idea of having a relationship with her whole-heartedly. The emotions that had cascaded through him while they were having dinner were not to be sniffed at. If not true, everlasting love, then certainly…a spark. A candle to her flame. A beginning.
New beginnings. Wasn't that what their relationship was all about?
He rinsed the last plate off and swiped at it half- heartedly with a towel, before leaving it to sit on the draining board. He wasn't in the mood for chores — and besides, she was waiting for him.
Waiting for him. Clark swallowed as he saw her, sitting on the sofa, her eyes luminous. Beckoning. Waiting.
He smiled brightly, feeling his cheek muscles ache, and went over to take a seat next to her. She immediately shifted closer, despite the ample space on the sofa, and Clark's throat began to constrict. If she wanted to take things further, take another step…maybe even go the whole way…he wasn't sure if he'd be able to handle it. She looked so beautiful, and he'd been having such strong feelings for her all night…
She took his hand, threading her delicate fingers through his strong ones, turning his palm over on her leg to inspect every inch of it with her fingers. Clark swallowed dryly, the heat from her skin searing into the back of his hand and leaving its mark there, branded forever. The already knee-length dress had ridden up slightly when she sat down, providing evanescent, tantalising glimpses of her lower thigh.
Bending down, she caressed his palm gently with her lips, and Clark's breath caught in his throat at the simple, yet erotic gesture. His other hand crept up to brush through the few silky strands of hair framing her face before cupping her cheek in his fingers. She was so beautiful…
Her lips were parted softly, her eyes dark with desire, and Clark groaned in the back of his throat, begging silently for willpower even as his lips found hers in a caress that was as heady and passionate as it was gentle. His lips stroked against hers, his tongue reaching out to tease at her teeth, and somewhere in the dim recesses of his mind, he became aware that she had shifted closer to him. Her knee was now pressing firmly against his thigh, sending out lightning bolts of fire and energy, while one of her hands stroked his chest gently through the light cotton of his shirt as its mate buried itself in his hair.
Catching his breath in a long, drawn-out sigh, Clark lifted his head and ended the kiss, his thumbs stroking rhythmically along her cheekbones. Her eyes looked just as dreamy and love-struck as his felt — her lips were swollen and flushed, a constant reminder of what had taken place between them.
Clark swallowed. Yep. Definitely…strong feelings.
Forcing himself to keep his tone light, he murmured, "Why madam, I had no idea…"
Her eyes flicked open, shocked, to his face, before the fact that he was teasing her registered. A smile quirked the corner of her mouth as she struggled to keep a straight face while answering.
"Well, Mr. Kent — I'm just full of surprises." She winked, lowering her voice a semitone so that it came out even huskier than before.
"I'll bet," Clark murmured under his breath. Ducking to avoid the teasing swipe of her hand, he jumped up from the sofa, suddenly feeling re-energized. A quick swivel of his heel turned him around to where the CD rack was. He scanned it quickly, locating his choice and slotting it into the machine.
He held his voice as the opening strains whispered into the room.
<When I fall in love…>
He turned to his beautiful companion and smiled, holding his hand out.
"May I have this dance?" he asked softly.
She came readily to him, fitting into his arms as if she had been born to do it — their bodies, moving together so slowly, so exquisitely, felt like two halves of the same whole. Clark moved his head slightly so that his cheek brushed against her hair, closing his eyes as a shiver of desire bolted down his spine.
They danced in silence for a while, the melody of the song the only sound in the apartment, aside from that of their united breathing. Her hand was warm on his back, his hand on her waist.
"Well, Mr. Kent…" she breathed at last, "…dinner was wonderful, but I did think that there was something rather important missing…"
He woke from his semi-dream state, blinking in surprise at her words.
"Name it," was his prompt answer. "I'll get it for you, whatever it is."
She looked at him, her eyes wide and bright. "What would you do if I told you that it was the moon?"
He gazed at her face, full and lovely in the soft light. The answer flowed out of him, smooth and truthful.
"I'd fetch it for you," he whispered throatily, and her eyes grew misty.
"Wow," she murmured. "I just might hold you to that one day." They grinned at each other, their eyes bright in the mutual understanding of their bond.
After a long pause, she cleared her throat roughly.
"Well, um, even though that was nice…I was going to say that the only thing that was missing…was dessert."
Clark's throat constricted as he gazed at the woman he loved. "Oh, I don't think that'll be a problem," he growled roughly, taking her lips in a passionate kiss.
She responded in kind, her fingers stroking fire and heat through the soft cotton of his shirt, her mouth working sensual magic on his. Her tongue explored the contours of his lips gently, before slipping inside his mouth and tangling with his, guiding them in their own erotic dance.
Clark moaned into her mouth, bending down slightly and scooping her up, to carry her into his bedroom. Setting her gently on the floor, he paused, uncertain, and broke the kiss.
"You're sure you want this?" he asked anxiously, toying with her hair.
She smiled at him. "Positive."
Later, she snuggled up against him like a sated cat, winding her arms around his waist and smiling sleepily up at him.
"That was…perfect," she whispered, her eyes full with happiness.
"Mmm," he responded, leaning down to once more take those cherry lips with his, before tucking her head back under his chin and rubbing her back in a circular motion.
"I love you, Clark," were her last words before she slipped quietly, softly into repose.
"I love you, too, Mayson," he whispered softly, tucking the bedclothes in around her. "I love you, too."