By CarolM <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Submitted: November 2007
Summary: When Lois finally realizes that Superman is unattainable, but that Clark, her best friend, is right there, ready and willing to be a big part of her life, she decides it's finally time to have The Talk. But will something — or someone — else get in the way?
I wrote this years and years ago. Then Rat offered chocolate to any Carol Fic that showed up so I figured I better submit it!
This was originally written as a birthday fic for Missy [Happy Birthday again!]. After this sat on my hard drive for ages, Kaethel told me I had to finish it, so I worked on it all day one day and then sent it to Annie to BR for me.
This is for you, Missy. Thanks for being such a great friend and I hope you had a great birthday.
This is set mid-season 2. There are a couple lines from the series in here and the credit for them belongs to the series writers, not me. The characters aren't mine either, but what the heck, I had fun.
Superman landed in front of Lois Lane, knowing that if he didn't he'd hear about it later. Not as Superman, of course. She was too infatuated with him to say anything cross, but Clark Kent would surely hear the whining if Superman didn't give Lois at least a quote or two. Thinking about himself in the third person was really getting old and had his mother worried about him. He sighed. He'd give her what she wanted and then return as Clark and 'help' her write the story.
Twenty minutes later, he was doing just that. He sat in the chair next to her desk and watched as she typed furiously. When she got on a roll, she could type almost as fast as he could. She mumbled under her breath as she typed and only his super-hearing allowed him to understand what she was saying. Finally, he let out an exasperated sigh.
"Are you done?"
She looked up at him with wide-innocent eyes. "What are you talking about? *We* are working here."
He rolled his eyes. "*WE* are not working. I'm sitting here, trying to listen to you mumble under your breath as you type our story. I'd love it if *we* were working."
She rolled her eyes and turned the screen to face him. "Would you like to edit this now?"
He rolled his eyes back at her. "Sure. That's all I seem to be good for anyway."
"That's not true!" Lois protested weakly. She knew that she had taken over the story once they returned to the newsroom, but Clark had even admitted that he hadn't seen the actual culmination of their week of investigating yet another part of the seamy underbelly of Metropolis. He had disappeared yet again, so she really didn't mind writing that part of the story herself. And since she was typing anyway… There was no point in both of them getting carpal tunnel syndrome. She only grudgingly admitted that he had done just as much work as she had up till the end. And then he had gone to call the police and didn't see the Superman rescue.
The more she thought about it, the more she realized he was never around for the actual rescue. He was *always* calling the police. She shrugged internally. Some people were just a little squeamish. She figured that Clark must be one of those people who always needed to get out of a tense situation. It would certainly explain why they never had this big conversation they both knew that they desperately needed.
There was a completely undeniable attraction between them. She knew it, and she knew that Clark knew it as well. Of course, Clark was completely in love with her and she knew it, so it only made sense that he was attracted to her. It was her attraction to him that didn't make any sense. Sure, he was good looking. And he was well-built. She'd give him that. But she'd known that practically since she'd first met him. The day he had opened the door with nothing but a towel on had showed her that he had a physique like few other men. In fact, only Superman had a better physique than Clark, as far as Lois knew, anyway. Not that she spent her days studying members of the male half of the species, but she had seen her share of good-looking men, and while Clark was definitely one of them, none of them had ever affected her like Clark did.
Her thoughts were interrupted by Clark putting his reluctant stamp of approval on their article.
She sighed as she LANed the story to Perry and began to gather her things. Maybe she'd get Clark to talk to her tonight. The times she let herself remember the couple of kisses they had shared were almost too much for her. Even though they had always been under false pretenses — like when they were on their 'honeymoon' — they just made her want more of those amazing kisses. In fact, she let herself think about those kisses even less than she let herself think about Superman's kisses. Maybe it was because Superman was unattainable — she was able to admit that to herself now — and Clark was right here, ready and willing to be a big part of her life. And if they had that talk, maybe there would be more of those kisses afterwards. She sighed. Or maybe not.
"Are you ready yet?"
Lois shook herself out of her brown study. "Sure. Let's go."
Lois continued to be in a funk as they ate a quiet dinner at a small sidewalk cafe. Clark noticed that something was wrong and tried to respect her space. If she wanted to talk, she would. If not, it would be a long night. A very long night. And if he got called away to some rescue or other, it would be a long week. He sighed as he pushed his coleslaw around in the little cup. He wasn't hungry — there was a real shock — and he couldn't bring himself to eat for the sake of eating tonight.
"Well, aren't you two just a bundle of laughs this evening?"
Lois and Clark both looked startled at the voice from their past. Lois was the first to recover from her shock. "Cat! I haven't seen you in forever." As much as Lois hadn't really liked Cat or her style, she was almost a breath of fresh air in the evening that was quickly becoming stale.
"Oh, well. I decided that I had better things to do with my life — like marry a multi-millionaire. You should try it, Lois. Oh, wait — you turned that down at the last second, didn't you?"
"Cat." Clark's warning tone got through even to Cat.
"Chill out, Clark. So how long have you two been together, now?"
Lois thought there was something odd about the way Cat had phrased her question but answered anyway. "We've been partners for over a year now."
"No, I mean you two… together…" A light went on in her head. "You two still aren't together? There was an office pool two weeks after you showed up, Clark. I guess my day is long past so I didn't win."
Clark sighed. "No, Cat, we," he pointed to himself and Lois, "are not together. We're friends and partners, but that's it."
*That's it?* Lois asked herself. *Friends and partners? Is that all I want out of this? Isn't there something more here? I know Clark finds me attractive and he can kiss…* She shook her head. *What am I thinking? Clark is my best friend, no more.* She heard Cat ask her a question. "I'm sorry, Cat. What did you say?"
"I asked how Perry was."
"He's good, but things are tough for him and Alice right now. And Jimmy's fine, too. He's dating my sister and they're very happy."
The three chatted for a few more minutes and then Cat left in a long, black car that pulled up to the sidewalk.
Lois stared into her soda, waiting for Clark to say something, or to make some excuse to leave. When nothing happened, she finally spoke. "Clark?"
"You know we need to talk, right?"
He sighed. "I know we do."
Ten minutes later they were in Clark's apartment.
Lois sat on the couch watching Clark pace around the room. Suddenly, he got a faraway look on his face. The one he always had right before he had to return a movie or pick up a prescription.
"Library book, Clark?"
"Huh?" He turned to look at her. "No. No library book. Or movie. Or prescription. Or Cheese of the Month Club pick up or anything else. No more excuses. But I have to go. For just a minute. I promise I'll be right back. Is that okay?"
Lois nodded silently.
Clark caught Lois' eye and spun into his Superman suit, paused for just a second, and flew out the window.
Lois just sat there and stared at the spot where Clark — no — Superman had been just a moment before. Clark stood there, told her no more excuses and then… then…
It was too much for her finite mind to comprehend. She stood, never taking her eyes from the spot where the transformation had taken place.
The ringing phone jarred her back to some sense of reality. At least enough to answer the phone.
Lois snapped out of her funk a little further. "Martha. There's something I have to tell you."
"What is it, honey?"
"Um, Clark is Superman." Lois figured Martha knew, but there was a chance…
"Oh, I know that."
Lois continued on as though she had said nothing. "He just stood there and said 'No more excuses, Lois' and then did this spinny thing and there was Superman. And then he was gone."
Martha laughed. "That's what he does, Lois. I admit, it's a little freaky the first couple of times, but you'll get used to it."
"Get used to it?" Lois repeated slowly. "Get used to it? I guess you would."
"Oh, yeah. Before he learned the spin thing it took him forever to get in and out of the suit. I had no idea it would be so hard when I first made it for him."
"'My mother made it for me.'" Lois repeated the words softly to herself. "*You* made it for him."
"Well, yes, who else would have?"
"On the shuttle, he said his mother made it for him. How could I be so dumb?"
"Dumb? Lois, you're anything but dumb."
"No. I am. I mean, the clues were all there and all I could say was that Clark was the before and Superman was the way, way after." A silent tear stole down her cheek. "They both showed up at the same time. They looked… look very similar. Clark just wears less spandex. I've even been kissed by both of them. And I still didn't know. He must think I'm stupid. *I* think I'm stupid. Galactically stupid."
"You're not stupid, Lois. And I know Clark doesn't think so. He loves you, honey. Otherwise he wouldn't have done what he did."
"Clark loves me? Yeah right."
"He does Lois. Very much. That's the whole reason that he came up with the idea of Superman. An idea you gave him when you suggested he bring a change of clothes. He wanted to stay in Metropolis to be close to you. It was the first place he felt at home in a very, very long time and he wanted to stay.
"But he had to help too. That was why he always had to leave every place he'd been. He couldn't *not* help when he heard someone in trouble. Someone would see something and he'd have to move on for fear that his secret would come out. And Jonathan had pounded it into his head for so long that if anyone found out about his secret, then the government agents would take him away and dissect him like a frog. So that's where the suit came in. It was a way to stay close to the woman he was falling in love with.
"I knew it the first time he mentioned you. My country boy was head over heels in love with a city girl. I prayed that she would be good enough for him and not use him and throw him away like city girls sometimes do." Martha amended her statement. "Like any girl sometimes does. We have country girls like that too, you know. Now that I've gotten to know you, I know that you are plenty good enough for my son and that you love him too."
Lois finally spoke. "Love Clark? What makes you say that?"
"Because you do, Lois. I know you don't realize it yet, but a mother knows. Even though I'm not your mother, I feel we've gotten close the couple times you've come here and we've seen you in Metropolis and I know you love my son."
"And Clark loves me?"
Lois turned at the voice behind her. There stood Clark, in blue jeans and a soft flannel shirt. Something was missing. Something she couldn't quite put her finger on. Then it hit her. He wasn't wearing his glasses.
Without taking her eyes off of the man in front of her, she spoke into the phone. "Martha, Clark's back."
"Bye, Lois. Almost thirty years and you're the first woman I've been able to talk to about my boy. I'll talk to you later."
"Bye, Martha." Lois reached behind her and tried unsuccessfully to hang up the phone. Clark finally walked over to her and took the phone from her hand and placed it on the hook.
Lois took a deep breath with Clark standing so close to her, his shirt brushing her cheek as he reached behind her. She could smell the masculine scent that belonged to him and him alone.
She turned to look up at his face, his jaw so close to her face. One hand reached up to touch the side of his cheek.
He turned to look at her, their breath intermingling, their hearts just a beat away.
"I love you, Clark." Lois' voice was barely over a whisper.
He dared not believe it and she could see that in his eyes.
"I love you. I just this moment realized that I love you. Your mother has known it all along and she was right. I love you, Clark."
"I love you, Lois. I think I always have, even before I knew you. It seems as though I've loved you since before I was born." He spoke as softly as she did and pressed his cheek into her hand.
"I know. And you're okay with that?"
"I am now." Looking up into those deep, chocolate eyes, how could she be anything but okay? How could she ever want to be anywhere but close to him?
"Where do we go from here, Lois?"
"Well, we date for a while, then you propose and then we get married."
"Is that how it works?"
Lois tried to nod, but found her face touching his. "But first you kiss me."
"That I can do." Clark crooked a finger under her chin and lifted her face the millimeters necessary to place his lips on hers.
With that, their world spun into a multi-colored web of red, gold and electric blue as they lost themselves in the depths of their love.