By symbolicangel <email@example.com>
Submitted: October 2007
Summary: After having Lois slam the door in his face after their first date, Clark gets brave enough to ask for another one. Will this one work out better?
I do not own Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman (although, I wish I did!) This story was written for pure entertainment purposes only. I've made no money from writing this story. Besides, feedback from you awesome FoLCs is so much better! Thanks, guys!
This story was written for the ficathon, as requested by Sara Kraft (details of the request are at the bottom.) I want to thank Sheila and cookiesmom for beta reading this story for me, and I want to add a special thanks to Sheila for suggesting the title. I'd also like to thank Erin for editing this story for the archive, and Laura and Selinde for organizing the ficathon. It was a lot of fun!
Most people would say that Clark Kent was a man of action. If he wanted something, he went after it. If someone needed him, he went to help them. He was not a person who sat unmoving while the world passed him by.
So why he was doing exactly that—sitting idle, motionless, and completely still at his desk—was a mystery to Clark. As he sat frozen in his chair, the busy newsroom was erupting around him in normal, everyday frenzied fashion.
And at its center was Lois Lane.
Clark's heart thumped a crazy beat as he watched her. For someone who could fly and leap tall buildings in a single bound, he was hard pressed to take a chance when it came to Lois.
Clark Kent was essentially a coward when it came to matters of the heart.
<You're being too hard on yourself,> his inner coward whispered.
But he wasn't, not really. When had he ever *really* taken a chance when it came to Lois? Sure, he'd told her how he felt about her when she had considered Lex Luthor's marriage proposal. But he hadn't told her the one thing that would have swayed her decision the most—that he was Superman.
Instead, he'd hidden under layer upon layer of hurt and anger, ignoring the fact that the woman he loved more than life itself was about to marry the most dangerous criminal mastermind he'd ever known.
And several months later, after the foundation of their friendship had been rebuilt, he'd finally gathered the courage to ask her out. They'd managed to have one incredible, uninterrupted date before everything had gone downhill. As each day went by, his continual disappearances and related lies had pushed her away little by little, leaving the tension between them so thick you could slice through it with a butter knife.
Clark really hated himself sometimes.
If he could only get her to agree to go out with him once more—if he could only prove to her that he could be trusted and relied upon not to disappear *every* time they were together—maybe the tension between them would dissipate. Maybe that heart-breaking look she got in her eyes whenever he was within three feet of her would finally fade.
Maybe he'd find enough courage to finally tell her that he was Superman.
Needing to distance himself from that last thought, Clark continued to watch his partner intently, as he often did, and tried to piece the puzzle together. He'd been trying to solve the mystery that was Lois Lane since the day he'd met her. She was a walking contradiction. Their co-workers had named her "Mad Dog Lane," and Clark was still trying to figure out how someone so high-maintenance and demanding could be so soft and gentle around the edges. She was fire and ice, all rolled into one amazing woman.
And at the moment she was completely immersed in her work, her fingers flying over her keyboard with a speed rivaling Superman's. A small smile touched his lips at the mere sight of her. His partner was brilliant. Clark had known it the moment he'd met her. He'd been interviewing with Perry when she'd come barreling through the editor's door, a gigantic ball of blazing spirit, all wrapped into the most beautiful and enchanting woman he'd ever laid eyes upon. Clark had been to the ends of the earth—he'd swum alongside the dolphins in the bluest of seas, and he'd even greeted the moon—but never once had he seen a more beautiful sight.
That one amazing moment had left him awestruck. Later, after he'd been hired on at the Daily Planet, he'd been unable to stop himself from being pulled along for the ride, gladly following as she uprooted everything in her wake. When Lois Lane was on the trail of a hot story, she tore down the path after it like a raging tornado.
Nothing on earth had the power to stop her—least of all him.
Everyone thought that Superman had no weaknesses. If they only knew that this tiny, vibrant woman could bend the Man of Steel to her will just as surely as he could bend metal in his hands. Lois Lane had more power over him than kryptonite. It was a terrifying thought.
<Take a chance, Kent,> the voice of his heart urged him.
Clark grabbed ahold of his courage and stood up from his desk before willing his feet to move across the busy bullpen of the Daily Planet. He reached her desk only seconds later and took a deep breath, trying to calm his galloping heart.
Why did asking her out on a date have to be so nerve wracking? "Lois…how's the story coming along?"
<Coward! Coward! Coward!>
"I'm almost finished, Clark." Lois was so focused on typing that she didn't even look up.
Grateful for the momentary reprieve, Clark stood silently as he watched her work. Surely, asking her out could wait a few more minutes while she finished what she was doing. Finding that old habits die hard, Clark soon found himself leaning over her shoulder, silently reading what she'd already written.
"That should be 'a *spokesperson* for Metropolis General Hospital issued a press release.' Hospitals can't issue press releases," he told her, not stopping to think about the consequences of his words.
Lois suddenly stopped typing, and Clark stepped back a little as her head swiveled in his direction. Her eyes landed on him for the first time since he'd approached her. "How many times have I warned you not to edit my copy, Kent?" Her gaze was fierce. He'd have to be blind not to see the warning that glinted in her eyes.
Clark sighed, realizing that she was still angry with him for disappearing on her that morning. He wanted to throttle his alter-ego. Once again, someone had needed Superman at the most inopportune time, and there was little that Clark could do about it.
<You could tell her the truth,> an annoying little voice in his head pointed out rather smugly.
Clark chose to ignore the voice and decided that a change of subject was needed instead. "So…got anything interesting going on tonight?"
The document on her computer screen attracted Lois's attention again. Her fingers resumed their dance across the keyboard as she absent-mindedly shook her head. "No, nothing special. I'll probably just curl up in front of the TV or something."
Clark swallowed nervously, knowing that there was no better time than the present. "Would you like to go out tonight?" He held his breath, hoping that things would go his way for once.
"You're asking me out on another date?" Her fingers stilled over the keyboard, and her eyes shifted back to him in disbelief. "Are you sure that's wise? I mean, going out on a date usually requires that two people actually spend time together."
Clark winced, noting the bitterness in her eyes. "Lois, I know that things between us haven't exactly been great. There's been a lot of tension in the air…I'd really like the chance to clear it."
"It's kind of difficult to clear the air between us when you're always running off," she pointed out.
"I know, Lois. But I won't run off on you tonight, I swear." Nothing short of an apocalypse could take him away from her tonight.
"I don't know, Clark. Are you sure that you won't suddenly have a library book that just *has* to be returned? I know how anal you are about those late fees—spending an entire evening with me couldn't possibly be more important than ten cents."
Clark sighed, his heart sinking. He wanted to squirm at the look of pure fury that rested in her dark eyes, but he felt pinned motionless by her gaze. She was angrier than he'd realized. Clark knelt down, so he was face to face with her, and his eyes caught and held hers. If anyone had a right to be angry with him, it was Lois.
"I know that you're angry with me—and you have every right to be. I know that I've left you in the lurch countless times with very little or no explanation at all. But Lois," Clark's voice softened, and he paused long enough to swallow past the lump that had suddenly gathered in his throat, "I've been doing a lot of thinking, and I realized that I can't keep dancing around my feelings for you. I have to meet them head on."
Clark stared into her eyes as he held his breath. <Please don't say no.>
"I don't know what to say," she finally said. Clark's heart leapt in his chest as her gaze visibly softened.
"Say that you'll go out with me tonight. Please, Lois," he began softly, his hand moving to cover hers on the desk, "give me another chance. I promise that I won't run off in the middle of our date." His eyes held hers intently, willing her to see how much she meant to him.
"You promise, Clark? Are all of your library books returned? Your stove is turned off, and your house is locked up tight? All of your videos have been returned, right?"
Clark smiled at her hopeful tone. "I swear, Lois, I won't go anywhere tonight unless it's with you."
She smiled back at him, and the leftover hurt and anger disappeared from her eyes. "Okay, you can pick me up at seven."
"I'll be there," he assured her, his grin turning into a brilliant smile.
"You'd better," she told him playfully. "And you'd better be there at seven-oh-one." Lois's voice became a whisper as she leaned closer.
Clark fought against the urge to close his eyes as the sudden feel of her breath teased his senses. Her intoxicating scent floated around him, and he swallowed hard as the urge to gather her into his arms became overwhelming.
"And seven-oh-two," she continued as her face inched closer still, "and seven-oh- three…" Her voice was breathless, barely above a whisper as her lips neared his.
Clark finally gave in and allowed his eyes to drift shut. Anticipation washed over him as he waited to feel that first blissful touch of her lips on his. The memory of what it felt like to kiss her, to taste her, blazed in his mind. He would go crazy if he didn't kiss her again.
"Okay, you two! This is a newsroom, not a kissing booth!" Perry's voice suddenly boomed nearby. Lois jumped back, her cheeks turning an endearing shade of pink.
Clark cursed Perry's timing. If it wasn't Jimmy, it was Perry.
"Do you have that story for me yet, Lois?"
"Sure, Chief. I just have to send it to you. Give me a second." Lois quickly turned back to her computer, and her fingers once again flew over the keyboard. She sat back in her chair a few moments later, a satisfied grin on her face. "There, done!"
"Great. Now why don't the two of you get on out of here? I'm sure that you can think of a better place than the newsroom to spend a little quality time together." Perry's eyes sparkled at them. "I can put the paper to bed."
"You don't have to tell me twice," Lois muttered as she shut down her computer. Perry sauntered off, leaving the two of them alone again. Clark silently waited while she gathered her briefcase. "So, I'll see you at seven?" she asked as she stood up.
Clark nodded, his heart skipping at the realization that she was actually going to give him another chance. "I'll be there, Lois."
There was no way he was going to mess this up!
"Seven o'clock on the dot. Very impressive," Lois said as she opened the door. Her eyes traveled the length of his body, and her heart raced at how gorgeous he looked standing there in her doorway. The dark charcoal suit fit his tall frame perfectly, emphasizing his well-built body in all the right places. If she had her way, she'd skip dessert and just have him. Chocolate had nothing over Clark.
Lois was trying to regain control of her hyperactive pulse when she realized that he wasn't immune to her, either. Clark's eyes widened, and his appreciative gaze slowly drank in the sight of her. Her cheeks growing warm, Lois thanked her lucky stars that she'd splurged on the short burgundy dress she was wearing. It had been a spur of the moment purchase—a purchase which had sat untouched in the back of her closet for the past week.
Clark's eyes shifted back to hers, and Lois's breath caught in her throat upon seeing the heat in his gaze. She reined in her overactive hormones. Tonight was not the night to even think about acting on her feelings. Clark had a lot to prove.
"You look amazing, Lois." Clark offered her his arm an instant later. "Are you ready?"
"I'm ready, and for the record…you don't look so bad yourself." Linking her arm through his, she asked, "You want to tell me where we're going?"
"That is for me to know, and you to find out," he told her, his tone flirtatious. "No, actually I thought that you might like to try that little jazz club down the street. I hear that the music is great, and apparently so is their menu."
"Carter's Jazz Club?"
"That's the one," Clark answered as they left through the front door of her building.
The cool evening breeze ruffled their hair, and Lois couldn't help but breathe in the calming scent of the air. The smell of the air reminded her of something she couldn't quite put her finger on, but whatever it was, it left her with a feeling of contentment.
"It's a nice night out. How do you feel about walking?" Clark asked as he unhooked their arms before taking her hand in his. Lois let out a small sigh, a feeling of warmth radiating through her at the simple touch of his hand.
"I agree. It's the perfect evening for a stroll."
Companionable silence fell upon them as they started down the street. Lois gave Clark's hand a gentle squeeze. Excitement bubbled up inside as she wondered what the night ahead would hold for them. She knew what her heart was hoping the night would bring. The memory of his kiss lived in her subconscious mind, plaguing her every waking and sleeping moment—it plagued her twenty-four hours a day. She couldn't escape it, and she was dying to repeat the single most blissful moment of her life. But her mind cautioned her, reminded her that even during their first real kiss—a kiss so soul shattering that it haunted her dreams—he had disappeared without explanation. Things had gone downhill from there. His disappearances and lame excuses became more frequent, and she was left with the notion that slamming the door in his face at the end of their first date had been the right thing to do.
Clark squeezed her hand in return, bringing her attention back to the present. "Are you warm enough?" he asked, his eyes roaming over her short burgundy dress.
"Yes, I'm fine, thanks." Surprisingly, it was the truth. The air was warm, the weather unusually mild even for spring. Lois forced her wandering mind onto a more cheerful thought—the night and all of its endless possibilities that lay ahead of them.
It wasn't long before they reached their destination. Soft jazz music drifted out through the open doors of Carter's. Lois guessed that someone had probably left the entrance open in order to tempt people into entering the club. She liked the place immediately. The club was small and the lights were dimmed. She couldn't help but like the intimacy of the place. The atmosphere was inviting, and Lois could imagine an advertisement for the club with the catch phrase "let Carter's be the place where you fall in love" in bold type on the front. The live jazz band was staged in the corner of the room, and a small dance floor took up the space in front of the stage. Small tables, lit with floating candles, were strategically placed throughout the rest of the club.
"So, what do you think?" Clark asked.
"I like it. I'm glad we came here," she told him just as they were being ushered to a table by the club's hostess. Lois grinned as Clark pulled a chair out for her, and her eyes twinkled at him flirtatiously. "Thank you."
"You're welcome," he told her with a brilliant smile. Lois's heart jumped as he took the seat across from her. How had she managed to work with him and his gorgeous smile for so long and get any work done?
The hostess left them with a couple of menus, and it wasn't long before the waitress came by their table to take their drink orders. Deciding that a glass of wine sounded like a good idea, Lois's eyes followed the waitress as she made her way through the club before disappearing through a door in the back. Suddenly feeling nervous, she picked up her menu and perused the entrees.
"The pasta entrees look promising," Clark said after a few moments of silence. His voice was low, and the sound of it caused little ripples of desire to flow through her. Maybe it was the club's intimate atmosphere, but his voice sounded lower than usual…sexier even.
She was in trouble if she was turned on by the simple mention of pasta.
Lois put her menu down, having decided on pasta primavera. Her eyes met his over the candlelight and time seemed to stand still. The air between them sparked with electricity, and Lois could practically feel the heat in his eyes. A warm sensation was gathering low in her belly. Her eyes were suddenly drawn to Clark's mouth, and the memory of what it felt like to kiss him rushed into her mind again. At the thought of those lips on hers, the heat in her belly spread like wild fire until it flowed through her veins. No way in hell would she slam the door in his face *this* time.
The waitress chose that moment to come back with their drinks, and Lois felt disappointment wash over her as the spell was broken. "Have you had enough time to decide?" the waitress asked with a polite smile.
Both of them nodded before giving the waitress their orders. She left them alone again only moments later. Lois took a sip of her wine and swallowed nervously as her gaze found Clark's again. The heat had not left his eyes; in fact, it had only intensified.
"It will probably be a while before our dinner is ready," he murmured. "Would you like to dance?"
Lois nodded, her heart dancing for joy in her chest. She'd give anything to be in his arms. Clark took her hand before leading her out onto the dance floor. Lois let out a satisfied sigh the moment his arms cocooned her in his embrace. He held her gently, and Lois's pulse quickened as she breathed in his scent. The evening couldn't get any more perfect. The past few weeks of hurt and anger at his constant disappearances melted away into nothingness.
Time seemed to stop as they swayed to the soft music, and Lois pulled him even closer, needing to feel every inch of him against her. She couldn't get enough of him. The smell in the air combined with the heat of his gaze had lowered her guard, and in its place was pure need. As Lois swayed in his arms, she finally allowed herself to acknowledge the truth. She wasn't just attracted to her partner—she was deeply in love with him.
Even thinking those words into existence was scary, especially considering that her relationship with Clark had been more than a little rocky over the past few weeks.
"Please don't break my heart, Clark. I couldn't handle it." The whispered words slipped from her mouth before she had time to think about it. Her heart pounded in her chest as she waited in terrified anticipation for his response.
Clark tightened his arms around her, and his breath tickled her ear. A delicious chill traveled down her spine at the sensation. "God, Lois, I love you…so much," he choked out, and Lois didn't have time to think about why he sounded so…scared.
His declaration of love was still ringing through her mind when his mouth suddenly caught hers in a kiss. His kiss was hesitant at first, but he soon lost all control the instant she started to kiss him back. A blissful moan escaped Lois as his kiss became hungry and intense with passion. All conscious thought fled her mind as pure desire took over. She opened her mouth to him, yearning to explore him more thoroughly. Their tongues met and tangled as their arms tightened around each other. They kissed for what seemed like forever, both heedless of their surroundings.
If Clark made love as well as he kissed… Lois suddenly pulled back at the thought, startled by where her thoughts had roamed. Clark stared back at her, his dark eyes dazed and filled with obvious desire.
And she fell into those gorgeous eyes of his, drowned in their depths as his words repeated themselves over and over in her mind.
<I love you…I love you…I love you.>
Lois opened her mouth to tell him that she loved him too, but the words wouldn't come. Something was niggling in the back of her mind, something that was telling her to remain cautious. Clark had the power to break her heart, and that terrified her like nothing else ever had.
Clark's eyes widened suddenly, and Lois wondered why he looked so stricken. "I'm sorry, Lois. I didn't mean to let that slip so soon. It's probably the last thing you were ready to hear."
Understanding dawned, and Clark's frightened deer-in-the-headlights look suddenly made sense. He hadn't meant to tell her that he loved her. In fact, he probably believed that she didn't return his love. How could she not tell him?
Lois swallowed her fear and gently held his face, his skin warm and soft between her loving hands. "Clark, I love you too. As much as it terrifies me to admit it to myself, let alone to you, I had to tell you the truth. I don't want you thinking that your love isn't returned."
Upon hearing her words, Clark's face lit up with the most amazing and heart-stopping smile she'd ever seen. Unable to hold back—and not really wanting to—Lois pulled him into another kiss. As the music filtered through the small jazz club, they lost themselves in each other completely.
Dancing while kissing the man you loved was seriously underrated.
"That day outside the Planet, when you told me that you weren't in love with me…you were lying, weren't you?"
Clark was almost finished with his dinner when her question caught him completely off guard. He put his fork down before returning her intense gaze. The memory of their dance was still fresh in his mind, and the taste of her kiss still lingered on his lips. "Lois…you weren't ready then. I realized it too late. What you needed more than anything was your best friend."
"So you lied to me then?"
Clark looked away guiltily. He'd lied to her so many times he'd lost count. "Would it help to know that I crossed by fingers behind my back?" he asked, hoping that his teasing tone would lighten the mood between them.
Lois laughed, the sound warming his soul. "You are such a farmboy, Clark. And I mean that as the highest form of a compliment. I think that you're probably the most honest and decent man I've ever met."
The guilt inside him grew, sitting in his gut with the weight of a semi. Clark only had to look in a mirror, and he knew that he'd find the lowest form of life to ever walk the earth. The woman he loved more than anything had just told him that she believed him to be honest and decent—and he was in the habit of lying to her on a daily basis.
He should tell her. Cowardice was the only thing holding him back from telling her everything right then and there.
Well, that and a busy jazz club.
The evening had been wonderful. His imagination couldn't have conjured up a better night—it had been perfect. And it wasn't even over yet. The last thing Clark wanted to do was ruin it with the truth. And no matter how much he tried to convince himself otherwise, Clark knew that the truth was going to devastate her. She had opened herself up to him completely, had given him her trust and faith when he didn't deserve it. He didn't deserve her.
"Are you okay, Clark?"
Clark was brought out of his thoughts, and the concern in her eyes made him feel ten times worse. "I'm fine. It just upsets me sometimes when I think about what happened—when I think about the fact that you almost married Luthor." It was a half-truth. Thinking about her near wedding to Luthor *did* upset him, but it's not what had him so down at the moment. He was tired of spinning a web of half-truths, tired of deceiving her.
"I'm sorry, I didn't mean to put a damper on our date by bringing it up—I guess I was just curious. So when did you know?"
"That you loved me."
Now that was a question he could answer honestly and without hesitation. "I knew the first day I met you."
"Wow…I mean…wow." She stared back at him with something close to amazement in her eyes. "I wasn't expecting that, Clark. So it happened, just like that, huh?"
Clark grinned at her. "I've visited many places on earth, and never once have I met anyone like you." He looked at her, his gaze unwavering as heat ignited between them once again. "Lois, all you have to do is walk into the room, and I come undone inside. The mere presence of you affects me like nothing else ever has." Clark's heart thundered in his ears as his words hung between them. Never before had he been so open or honest with her about his feelings. "I knew the moment I first met you that my life would never be the same."
Lois's dark eyes were intense, and they had a hint of passion in them as she returned his lingering stare. "I don't think anyone has ever said anything so beautiful to me. Clark…you're an incredibly kind and special person—you give of yourself so freely. You've been there for me so many times that I've lost count. I feel very fortunate to have met you. Since meeting you, my life has changed for the better. I couldn't imagine my life without you in it."
Clark was deeply touched by her words—deeply touched and deeply guilt-ridden. She deserved so much more than what he'd given her. She deserved a man who didn't hide half of himself from her.
And if it was the last thing he did, he was going to give her that man.
Dessert arrived a few moments later, and Clark watched, transfixed, as her eyes drifted blissfully shut at the first taste of rich chocolate. Her reaction ignited a fire in the core of his being, and his mind immediately went back to another time—the time of their first date.
At that moment, Clark knew that he had to keep this incredible woman in his life. Soon—he promised himself—soon he would tell her everything. And he would beg and grovel until she forgave him.
Butterflies started to flutter in her stomach as they neared the front door to her apartment. The evening had been more than perfect. Lois felt like she'd fallen in love with her partner all over again.
She reluctantly let go of Clark's hand in order to fish the keys to her apartment out of her purse. She found them a moment later, and then her eyes met his. "I had a wonderful time, Clark. The evening was…perfect."
He smiled before stepping closer to her. "You're not going to slam the door in my face again, are you?" His tone was light, and she couldn't help but notice the teasing glint in his eyes.
"No, I won't slam the door in your face. I figure, why ruin a perfectly good evening?"
His eyes suddenly darkened, and the teasing smile left her lips as his mouth neared hers. Lois counted the seconds before he claimed her lips with his own. She could feel her control slipping, leaving her weak in the knees as they kissed with abandon. Clark tangled his hands in her hair, eliciting a low moan from her. He stepped forward, gently coaxing her backwards until her back rested against the smooth door to her apartment. The keys fell from her hand, forgotten, as his mouth assaulted hers in the most pleasurable way. She'd never been so thoroughly kissed, had never felt so thoroughly…loved.
Several long and blissful moments later, Clark broke their kiss and leaned his forehead against hers, his breath coming in quick and shallow gasps. It was an exhilarating and empowering feeling to know that she could so easily take his breath away.
"I guess I should go," he whispered a few moments later, his voice reluctant. "It's getting late, and we both have to work in the morning."
She nodded, wondering how pathetic she was for feeling so excited about seeing him at work the following morning. She'd never been the type of woman who needed a man around to fulfill her, but the closer she got to Clark, the more she ached to be near him.
"I'll see you tomorrow then." Lois gently touched her lips to his, sighing in contentment as tenderness washed over her.
She was in trouble.
"Goodnight, Lois. Thank you…for giving me another chance."
She smiled as her heart beat a crazy tune in her chest. "Don't blow it this time." She gave him one last lingering kiss. "Goodnight, Clark. I'll see you in the morning." He hadn't even left yet, and she was already missing him.
She was in *big* trouble.
Clark had been lucky. He'd managed to get by a *whole* week without so blatantly disappearing on Lois. He'd become more creative in his reasons for leaving, often using the excuse that he was going out to get her a cappuccino, or something to eat. And he was careful to remember to bring back the promised items.
Today was his unlucky day, it seemed. They'd been on another date—another wonderful date—when Superman had been needed, and Clark hadn't had enough time to come up with a reasonable explanation for his disappearance. To make matters worse, the man he'd saved had kept him away from Lois long enough to spark the worst of her anger—and if that wasn't enough—the man whose life he'd saved was now trying to sue him.
Clark shook his head sardonically, scolding himself for believing that the fates were finally giving him a break.
Now he sat by himself in his darkened apartment, feeling alone and dejected as he stared at the note in his hands.
"Forget it" was written in his partner's familiar scrawl.
They'd been sharing a tense lunch together when he'd disappeared without explanation yet again. He hadn't been gone long, but apparently, it had been long enough for Lois.
Clark felt his heart shatter in his chest as the words on the note swam before his eyes. The little piece of paper fell from his hands just as his tears started to make their way down his cheeks. Ignoring the tears, Clark sighed before resting his head in his hands.
How could she tell him to forget it? If she thought that she could be so easily forgotten, then she underestimated his love for her. "Forgetting it" wasn't an option, and neither was keeping the truth from her any longer. It was past time that Clark swallowed his pride and fear and told her that he'd been bringing capes back into fashion in his spare time for the past two years.
<Spare time…now there's an understatement if I've ever heard one,> he thought bitterly. Superman was overtaking his entire life. He didn't have spare time—he didn't even have time to date!
God, what if she wouldn't forgive him? What if he'd never get the chance to hold her again, to kiss her…to fly with her again? He longed for her to know him—really know him. But what if it was too much to ask? What if he lost her forever? He didn't know what he'd do without her.
Clark swallowed his fear and forced himself to his feet. It didn't matter what the consequences were. Lois deserved to know the truth. She deserved better than him, but he was hoping that she would take him anyway.
Clark spun into the famous spandex suit before taking to the skies. His mind was consumed with thoughts of Lois as he flew, and he reached her apartment in record time. He stopped suddenly as he caught sight of her. She was about to enter her apartment building, and without thinking, Clark swooped down, landing on the sidewalk next to her.
"Superman! You startled me." Her eyes were wide, and Clark clearly saw the surprise in them at seeing him materialize in front of her so suddenly. "Is something wrong?"
Clark wanted to kick himself. He should have changed first. He hadn't planned on talking to her as Superman. But here he was, standing in front of her in all of his red and blue spandex glory, and the only thing he could think about was pulling her to him and kissing her senseless.
Terror grabbed ahold of his heart at the thought that once he told her everything, he might never get the chance to kiss her again. "Lois…uh, everything is fine. I was just in the neighborhood when I spotted you."
"Oh, well…I was just getting ready to go over to Clark's when I realized that I won't get very far without my keys." A sheepish smile lit up her face, and Clark couldn't help but grin back.
"I could fly you there." Clark's heart started to tap dance in his chest the second the words escaped his mouth. There was no going back now. He would fly her to his apartment, and then he'd ruin the best thing that ever happened to him by telling her the truth.
"I can never pass up a chance to go flying with you," she told him.
Clark only hesitated a second before scooping her up. They were airborne an instant later. Lois's eyes lit up as the city glittered below them. The wind caught her hair, and the scent of her shampoo seemed to fill the air for miles. Clark closed his eyes briefly, allowing the smell to wash over him. It amazed him that while alcohol had no affect on him whatsoever, it only took one whiff of Lois Lane's shampoo to make his head swim.
"Do you mind if we just fly together for a while first?" he asked, knowing that he was playing with fire by delaying the inevitable, but he couldn't bring himself to end this moment just yet. She felt too good in his arms—smelled too wonderful.
"No, not at all. I've never really had the chance to fly with you unless you were saving me. I must say that this is a much more pleasant experience—not that I'm ungrateful for all the times you've saved me. I've enjoyed flying with you each and every time you've gotten me out of trouble, but a near death experience does kind of put a damper on the sights."
Clark chuckled, immediately recognizing that she was nearing babble mode. "I imagine it would. So tell me, Ms. Lane, where would you like to go?" he asked, hoping that she would name some far off place at the edge of the earth if it meant that he could just hold her for a little while longer.
"It doesn't matter. No, wait…I want to see a place that is special to you."
"What if I don't have a special place?"
"Come on, Superman," she coaxed, "*everyone* has a special place they like to go—you just have a larger playing field to choose from than most people."
"So where's your special place, Lois? Where's the one place you always go to just get away from it all?"
"Clark's apartment," she answered without hesitation.
Clark's heart soared at her words. "And what's so special about Clark's apartment? I do have to admit that I like the decor, and he does have a more comfortable couch…wait, that's it, isn't it? You like his couch."
Lois laughed at his teasing words. "The couch is a bonus. But what it really comes down to is…he's always been there for me. Whenever I needed a friend, or someone to rant at, or someone to share a movie with, Clark was always there for me. When I feel sad or scared, he's always the first person I think of." Lois's eyes met his, and Clark hoped that his face wouldn't give him away. "He's a lot like you, Superman."
<He *is* me, Lois.> Clark opened his mouth, knowing what he wanted to say, but unable to say the words. Instead, he said, "So…you want to see where I go when I need to get away from everything?"
Lois nodded, and Clark started to gain altitude. "You seem different tonight, Superman."
"That's because tonight *is* different, Lois. I want…I *need* to tell you something."
"I think I know what it is. But you need to know that Clark and I—"
"I know, Lois," he cut her off. "I'd never do anything to get in the way of the two of you. And that's why I need to tell you something. But first I want to show you…" Clark paused as they drifted up through the clouds, "…this."
Lois's eyes widened as the full moon came into view. Thousands of stars glittered in the dark heavens above, and she felt like they were dancing on the clouds. She'd never seen anything so breathtaking or amazing.
"Beautiful?" Superman's voice was deep, and Lois's heart thudded nervously in her chest as his dark eyes held hers. He'd said that he would never do anything to come between her and Clark. She knew that they were good friends. But the way he was looking at her just then…
The look in his eyes was familiar. Lois felt something niggling in the back of her mind again. It had been niggling at her for weeks, always there, but remaining just out of reach.
"Sometimes I come up here just to think." The sound of his voice jerked her out of her thoughts. "I see so much everyday. I see the good in people…but I also see the bad. I deal with an unbelievable amount of evil, and it invades this planet on a daily basis," he said softly, his eyes falling downward. Lois followed his gaze and saw the amazing view of the earth through a break in the clouds. He had brought her up there, had wanted to share this with her, and she felt like he had placed the earth at her feet.
In the total silence of the moment, Lois was suddenly certain that her life was about to change. Superman had said that he wanted to tell her something, and she was guessing that it was something important. Lois had always considered Superman a friend, and it wasn't too long ago that she'd longed for more.
Things were different now. She'd fallen in love with Clark, and she had to find a way to get through to her partner, to show him that he could trust her with whatever it was that he was hiding.
"Superman, I'm really happy that you shared this with me. You are one of my closest and dearest friends, and you always will be. But right now I really need to see Clark. Things have been tense between us, and I need to find a way to make it right."
Superman smiled at her, nodding. "I understand. I'll take you back now."
"Didn't you have something important you wanted to tell me?" she asked, her curiosity getting the better of her.
"I do, but it can wait a little while." Superman started to descend, and before long the moon and stars were once again hidden above a layer of clouds.
An unsettling feeling came over her as they started back toward Metropolis. Superman was acting so strangely, yet something was so familiar about him. Lois shook the thoughts from her head as Clark's apartment came into view only moments later. Superman landed on the balcony with ease and familiarity, and Lois suddenly got the impression that he was used to coming and going by way of the balcony.
"You must visit Clark often. Do you always drop in like this?" she asked as they entered Clark's apartment. It was dark and silent inside. Lois felt disappointment flood her at the realization that her partner wasn't home. She hated the distance that had grown between them, and was aching to bridge it as soon as possible.
Superman came to a sudden stop once they reached the living room. Switching on a lamp, he took her hands in his. Lois looked up at him, startled by his actions.
What in the world was going on here?
"Lois…I need to tell you something."
Lois took a mental step back at the look of terror that rested in his eyes. Dread settled in her stomach as he stared at her. "What is it? You look terrified." Lois's heart pounded as she waited for his response. Something had him seriously spooked.
Superman let out a shaky breath. "I *am* terrified, Lois. Excluding the times when you hung over the jaws of death, I've never been so scared in my life."
"Superman, you're trembling! What's wrong?" Lois was really starting to get scared. He was Superman—the strongest man on earth—yet he was trembling in fear right before her very eyes.
"Lois, I told you once that there were things about me that you didn't know. It's time that I told you those things. I…I…"
His eyes fell to the floor for a moment before coming up to meet hers again, and Lois could still see the fear that rested in them. Something became familiar about his gaze, and the dread in the pit of her stomach grew.
The last few missing pieces of the giant puzzle suddenly fell into place, and it all came together to form one startling clear picture in her mind. Recognition dawned as Lois stared at him, and she could see Clark's terrified eyes shining through the facade he'd so carefully constructed.
His eyes widened, and Lois could tell that he knew she'd figured it out. She stared back at him, stricken as his betrayal pierced her heart—pierced her soul. "Why?" she cried hoarsely. "Why did you take me flying tonight? Why didn't you just *tell* me?"
Clark took in a shaky breath, his eyes moving heavenward. Lois got the impression that he was asking himself the same questions. "I hadn't planned on taking you flying tonight. But when I had you in my arms…I guess I couldn't help it." He paused, exhaling on a shaky sigh. "I know that it was a selfish thing to do, but I wanted to fly with you once last time before I told you everything—before I finally told you the truth."
"So you wanted to show me the world one last time before yanking it out from under my feet? Is that it?"
"No! Lois, I…"
"I can't talk to you while you're dressed like this. I…I mean…I don't even really know you!"
A look of determination crossed over Superman's features, and a split second later he started to spin. Lois gaped at him as he stood before her, Superman having suddenly disappeared to reveal Clark instead. He took his glasses off before his eyes fell on her.
"Lois, you know me better than anyone. And now that you know everything, I no longer need these," he said, indicating the glasses in his hands. "I don't know if you can find it in your heart to forgive me, but I am done hiding things from you, Lois, and I'm done running."
"Why didn't you just tell me, Clark?" she asked sadly. She'd never felt so hurt as she did at that moment. She'd given him her heart and her trust, and he'd been lying to her all along. He might have given her his heart, but he hadn't given her his trust. "You know what hurts the most? It really hurts that you didn't trust me enough."
"No, Lois, that's the thing," he started, his expression earnest. "I *do* trust you…I trust you with my life, and I trust you with this secret. I know that you would never tell anyone."
Lois's vision blurred at she tried to hold back her tears. "But you didn't trust me with your heart. You gave it to me, but you didn't trust me with it. You didn't trust that I would understand—that I'd be able to forgive you for lying to me for two years."
"Well…can you?" he asked, his tone and his eyes full of apprehension.
Lois stared at him as her tears finally fell. "I told you a week ago that I can't imagine my life without you in it. I love you, Clark. I fought against loving you for two years because I was scared." Lois moved closer to him, her hands longing to touch him, but she held back. She was far too hurt and upset to allow her traitorous body to reach out to him. "I understand fear all too well. It makes us do crazy things."
As Clark's eyes held hers, she could clearly see the confusion in them. "So…you're not mad?"
"Give it time, Clark. I'm sure I'll be plenty mad later. Mostly, I'm hurt. I'm hurt that you felt the need to hide such an important part of your life from me for so long."
"God, Lois, this is why I was so afraid to tell you. I was scared of seeing the hurt in your eyes—scared to see it and know that I was the cause of it. I promised myself that I would never hurt you, but I guess deep down I knew that it was a promise I wouldn't be able to keep." Lois's eyes drifted shut as the palm of his hand slid along her cheek before tangling in her hair. "Lois, I love you so much, and I'm sorry that I hurt you. I'm sorry that I hid myself from you for so long." Clark's voice was barely above a whisper, and his breath danced across her face as he leaned closer.
As their lips met, Lois knew that she should be angry. She should be ranting at him, maybe even throwing things at him. At the very least, she should push him away. He'd lied to her for two long years, and he had even manipulated her on a few occasions, she suddenly realized. But she couldn't muster up the anger. Instead, her arms pulled him closer, and they were soon locked in a tight embrace as their kiss grew in passion. The only thing that mattered to her at the moment was that she finally knew why he'd been disappearing so often, and she was relieved to know that it wasn't because he was commitment shy.
Clark loved her. She knew it as surely as she knew that her byline would grace the front page of the Daily Planet's next edition. Some things were just a given.
Clark Kent loved Lois Lane. And as she opened her eyes and found that they were suspended three feet above the floor, she couldn't help but grin at him. "Now *this* is dancing."
Clark laughed, and the butterflies in her stomach started to flutter as the music of his laughter filled the room. "Yes, it is," he said softly. As his lips found hers again, Lois knew that the word "dancing" had taken on a very new meaning.
Sara Kraft requested a story with the following:
1. L&C on a second/third/fourth date (something early, at least)
2. Dancing! (preferably by L&C ;)) 3. Just a pinch of angst — like a revelation or almost revelation.
Two things she didn't want was Dan or Mayson, so I chose to just pretend that they never existed in this story. As you can see, our favorite couple had plenty to work through without them in the way!
Thanks, Sara, for the wonderful request. I would never have written this story without it.