By CarolM <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Rated: PG -- 13
Submitted: April 2008
Summary: What happens when Lois agrees they should share... A story set during the episode "Honeymoon in Metropolis."
AN: Thanks to Alisha for beta'ing this, even if it was after the fact ;).
Some lines are taken directly from "Honeymoon in Metropolis" which I did not write. The characters aren't mine either...
"Chief, I was just thinking..." Lois paced in the area around her desk, fiddling with her fingers, hoping desperately that he'd go for her plan.
Perry rolled his eyes. "Let me take a wild guess: you want the Daily Planet to put you up in the Honeymoon Suite until we figure out exactly what's going on in Apocalypse Consulting."
Lois grinned at him. "Thanks, Chief."
Perry held up one hand. "Now, hold on a minute. We're talking a major surveillance operation here."
Lois' face grew more animated. "Perry, this is major. A Washington VIP selling highly classified information."
Perry sighed, resigned to it. He knew if Lois wanted something badly enough, she'd find a way to get it, but she couldn't do this alone. "Okay, you guys have got three nights."
Lois' mouth dropped. "Guys?"
Perry nodded. "You and Clark."
Her face showed only disbelief. "Did you say 'Clark'?"
Clark grinned. "I heard him say 'Clark'."
Jimmy winked at him. "He definitely said 'Clark'."
Cat's sultry voice joined the conversation. "Definitely."
Lois was adamant. "Chief, I am not sharing that Suite with Clark. How would it look?"
Perry grinned. "The Honeymoon Suite? Natural."
Lois was growing desperate. "But..."
"Lois, think it through. No hotel's going to sit still for us using it as a base for spy operations. You need a cover. What better cover than honeymooners in the Honeymoon Suite?"
Her tone grew even more desperate. "But..."
Perry tried logic. "Besides, how are you going to manage 'round the clock surveillance all by yourself?"
Clark grinned again. "It would be business, Lois. Strictly business."
Perry turned to his office. "That's the deal. Take it or leave it..."
Lois gave a resigned sigh. "I'll take it."
"Good. Now we'll get you two set up with rings and surveillance equipment."
Clark smiled at Lois and pointed a warning finger at her. "Just don't try anything funny."
She rolled her eyes. "Don't worry."
Several hours later, they were setting up the surveillance equipment. He'd carried her over the threshold. She'd threatened to kill anyone who made another newlywed joke and so he'd kept his piece. Jimmy had come in with their equipment and on his heels was Cat, who had obviously known her way around the room. Somehow seeing her name carved in the table top surprised none of them.
Now, here they were, setting up cameras and other paraphernalia and chatting amiably. Clark wondered idly how they were going to decide who got to sleep in the big bed behind them. He supposed he should be the gentleman and let Lois, but he'd have to give her a hard time about it first.
As they chatted, Clark's superhearing cut in. A quick peek over the top of his glasses showed the maid coming with more towels. He quickly grabbed the scope and tripod, threw it on the bed, pulled a blanket over it and...
Lois interrupted his activity. "Are you insane?"
Clark heard the door begin to open. The surveillance equipment was still visible. Without thinking any further, he grabbed Lois and gently laid her on the bed. His mouth covered hers and after a second or two, he felt her respond to his kiss. Her arms wrapped around his neck and her lips matched his, beat for beat.
The door opened and a voice barely pierced his consciousness as he continued to lose himself in the kiss. "Towels? Yah? Oops. Sor... ry."
Clark continued the kiss for a few more seconds as the door to the bedroom and later the suite itself shut and then pulled back. He was breathless. He had kissed Lois a time or two, but nothing like that. He rolled off her and then sat up, trying desperately to pretend it hadn't affected him like it had.
He could hear Lois' breathing and noted her increased heart rate. Maybe she had felt just a little of what he did whenever he was near her.
Lois tried desperately to gather her wits about her. For a split second, she had been furious with Clark for kissing her like that, but then... Then she remembered what a good kisser he was and before she knew it, all rational thought had flown from her head. She'd barely noticed when the maid had come in. Clark must have heard her and that was the reason for the kiss.
But, wow, he was a good kisser.
She managed to compose herself enough to speak. "Doesn't anybody knock around here?!" she protested. "I swear, I'm going to have to call management and complain. Imagine if we were really on our honeymoon! That could have been really embarrassing!" She stood and walked to the window, hoping that Clark wouldn't notice the flush that she had felt creep over her face.
"I don't think that's a good idea, Lois. We want to keep a low profile while we're here. We don't want to give anyone a good reason to think we're anything but a couple of newlyweds."
She sighed. Why did he always have to be right? She nodded. No sense in getting thrown out now, but later... once this was all over, she'd give the manager a piece of her mind. For now, however, they needed to get that stuff all set up.
Clark busied himself by making sure their cameras and recording devices were as inconspicuous as possible. He had set some of the equipment actually on the window sill and covered it with the curtains. Satisfied that he'd done the best he could, he moved back to the couch, grabbing the remote as he went. "Want to watch a movie? I think Die Hard's on tonight."
Lois shook her head. "I'm going to bed. You've got first shift. Wake me when our friends across the way show up."
Clark grinned to himself. Here was his chance. "Wait a minute. Aren't you forgetting something?"
She looked thoughtful for a moment, then shrugged. "What?"
He grinned again, but this time at her. "This *is* our first night alone together."
He reached into his pocket and pulled a quarter out. "So, we flip for the bed."
Lois rolled her eyes. "How about... I get the bed, I lend you a pillow."
He smiled at her again. "How about we alternate nights?"
"How about we don't?"
He decided he could go for one more, just to see her reaction. "It's a *big* bed. How about we share?"
Lois opened her mouth as though to make a sharp retort then closed it. "You know," she sighed. "You're probably right."
Clark did a double take. "I am?"
She nodded. "That maid walked in without any warning and if someone else does and finds you sleeping out here... Well, that might invite a lot of questions we really don't want to answer."
Clark stared at her. "Are you sure? We could always say that we had a fight."
"No. We're both adults. We can share a bed, even a round one, without a problem."
Clark stood. "If you think that really is the best way..." He grinned at her. "I'll even sleep on top of the sheets."
She rolled her eyes. "That's not necessary. Besides, I turned the air way down in here last night and it's pretty chilly in there. You'll get cold."
Clark doubted that was going to be a problem and was sure that his invulnerability had nothing to do with it.
Lois walked into the bedroom more than a bit apprehensive. Why had she decided that the best plan of action was to share the bed? What on earth was she thinking? She was going to be about as intimate as two people could be with her gorgeous, great kissing partner. At least, as intimate as two people could be without doing... that.
His voice startled her. "Lois, why don't you take the bathroom first and brush your teeth or whatever?"
She nodded. "Fine. Since we're not alternating nights in the bed, we can alternate there. I'll get ready for bed first tonight and you can tomorrow night." She turned and headed to the bathroom. It seemed smaller than she would have thought and only had one sink. Shouldn't a honeymoon suite have two? Part of her had a sudden urge to take a shower, just to postpone climbing into bed with Clark.
Actually, one part of her brain reminded her, he'd be the one doing the climbing. She'd be in bed while he did whatever it was guys did to get ready for bed.
She brushed her teeth on autopilot and then washed her face and put some moisturizer on. She grimaced slightly. Well, Clark had seen her without make up before and he hadn't run screaming so... she must not be as scary as she thought she was.
She pulled her hair up into a ponytail and took a deep breath. This was it.
That's it. This was it. This was Clark. Her best friend. It really wasn't a big deal at all.
Clark sat on the edge of the bed. He could hear, without even trying to, the water running in the bathroom. How had he managed to get himself into this mess? A little harmless fun over who would get the bed and now they had to share.
Sure, there were worse things in life than sharing a bed with a beautiful woman -- not that he actually knew what that was like, he never had shared a bed with a woman, beautiful or otherwise -- but certainly things like nuclear explosions and impending death by asteroid would be worse. He'd survived the nuclear reactor to end the heat wave, he could survive this. Piece of cake.
Yeah, and there were pigs flying by outside the window too.
As long as tonight didn't entail a major emergency and he didn't float in his sleep, it would be okay.
And if he was *really* lucky, hell was freezing over.
Lois emerged from the bathroom to find the door to the living area open. "Clark?" she called.
"I'll be right there. I'm just checking everything one more time."
"Okay." She pulled back the comforter and slid into the satin sheets. She tried not to think about how she had lain here earlier in the day, feeling Clark's body molded to hers, feeling his lips on hers. Even though it was only pretense, she'd never had a better kiss. Ever.
She rolled over and closed her eyes. Maybe Clark would buy that she was asleep before he came back in.
Clark walked through the bedroom, where he could make out Lois' body curled up under the blankets, and went in to the bathroom.
He brushed his teeth -- they were as invulnerable as the rest of him, but at least he'd have minty breath -- and splashed some water on his face. He frowned as he realized the front of his hair was wet. A quick blast of heat vision dried his hair and then he gave his chin a once over so that the stubble disappeared.
He turned to the door and took a deep breath. This was it. Though it wasn't exactly how he'd dreamed of it for the last six months, he was about to go to bed with Lois.
He walked across the room, listening to her breathing. It was pretty obvious that she wanted him to think she was asleep, but her rapid heart rate told him that she wasn't.
He slid into his side of the bed, and rolled so that his back was to Lois. He'd do his best to make sure she wasn't uncomfortable, even if he didn't think he'd get any sleep at all tonight.
Lois tried to roll over, but a weight on her waist prevented it. Where was she? She looked around. The honeymoon suite. Why couldn't she move? Her hand moved to her waist to see why and felt an arm. An arm?
It came back to her in a rush. She and Clark were sharing the bed in the honeymoon suite.
She vividly remembered him crawling in bed and that he faced away from her -- she was sure so that she wouldn't be uncomfortable -- and then she'd heard a whispered 'Good night, Lois' and... he must have rolled over sometime in the night. It was still night, she could see that. Though the curtains were drawn tight, there was no light coming from the cracks that inevitably existed. There was a glow coming in but it was a florescent glow from some sort of outside lights rather than the morning sun.
She could feel his body molded against hers as they spooned. She'd never spooned with anyone before. She and Joe had had some pretty heavy make out sessions in high school, but they'd never actually taken things very far -- the relationship didn't last long.
Then there was Claude. They'd... been together three times before he stole her story. Three nights in a row. He'd been playing her all along, she was sure. After... it was over, he'd rolled off her and left pretty quickly. Always using the excuse that her sister would be home anytime even though she'd assured him Lucy was out of town for the week, he'd left within minutes each time. That should have told her something.
Very few of her other dates -- interviews Lucy had called them -- had resulted in more than a chaste kiss on the cheek and many not even that.
And so this was the first time she'd ever truly *slept* with someone and she was finding it to be... quite comfortable. And safe. She'd never felt this safe, not even when flying with Superman.
Superman. That caught her off guard. Of course, she was safe with Superman. But this was Clark. He was a rock when she needed one. He'd taken her in his arms more than once. And he'd been a perfect gentleman during the pheromone fiasco. Many lesser men would have taken advantage of her.
Suddenly, it hit her. She could wake up every morning like this for the rest of her life and she'd be okay with that. She felt safe and secure and somehow knew that she'd sleep better than she ever had while wrapped in Clark's arms.
The arm shifted as Clark rolled onto his back.
She took the opportunity to roll to her other side. Her brows knit together as she realized that he was still wearing his glasses. That couldn't be comfortable. She reached out and gently removed them, turning to put them on the side table. She turned back to her partner and as she did, the sheet slipped further down his body, revealing a near perfect chest and the top set of six-pack abs.
How on earth did he manage to stay in such good shape when he ate worse than most eight year olds? He ate more snack cakes in an average week than she had in her entire life.
He let out a soft sigh and a small smile graced his lips. He looked so at peace like this.
And so familiar.
Not quite like Clark, but she couldn't quite put her finger on who he reminded her of.
She squinted and twisted her head to one side just a bit trying to place him.
After a minute she saw a hint of Superman.
Well, that was ridiculous. Sure, they had the same general coloring and were almost the same height, but that was it.
Clark shifted again in his sleep so that he was back on his side, facing her.
And then the strangest thing happened.
He just lifted up off the bed and hovered there about 18 inches above the mattress.
Lois stared and then waved one hand underneath him to make sure that there were no strings or any other explanation.
There was only one logical conclusion.
Clark was Superman.
Clark felt himself flop back down onto the bed. Morning always came too soon.
He slowly realized that this wasn't his bed -- it was round for one and the sheets certainly weren't the ones he was used to home.
He was sleeping with Lois.
His eyes shot open.
He was sleeping with Lois and he'd been floating.
He heard the voice before he saw her.
He turned to face her, realizing that his secret was long gone. Not only had he been floating, but his glasses were missing. "Good morning."
She was sitting in the big chair across from the bed watching him.
He rolled over and sat up at the same time. His feet came to rest on the floor and he stared intently at the spot about 3 feet in front of him. "Anything happen last night?" he asked, avoiding the topic he knew was sure to come up.
"Depends on what you're talking about."
"Across the street."
He could almost see her shrug. "I haven't checked yet."
"What about here?" He raised his eyes to meet hers, certain she would see his fear and trepidation written in them.
"It was..." she paused for a moment, "...enlightening."
He chuckled softly. "Somehow, I think that's probably the understatement of the year."
She smiled at him. "Probably."
"Are you mad?"
She shook her head. "No."
"I was, but I'm not anymore."
"I almost woke you up to yell at you, but I know you're not supposed to wake up someone who's sleepwalking." She shrugged. "I wasn't sure about sleep levitating."
He grinned. "My mom could probably tell you. Though, the phone's made me lose altitude in my sleep a time or two and there's never been any serious repercussions."
"Your mom," she said slowly.
He nodded. "My mom. Martha Kent."
"She's not from Krypton, is she?"
He chuckled. "No. My parents are just ordinary farmers from Kansas who happened to find a spaceship in the middle of a field one evening."
"She made your suit."
It wasn't a question, but he answered anyway. "Yes."
There was silence for a minute, then Clark stood. "Um, Lois, I really want to talk to you about this, and I may be made of steel, but my bladder's not."
She gestured towards the bathroom. "Be my guest."
He closed the bathroom door and rested against it for a moment. This was going to be the longest day of his life.
Superman had to p... relieve himself.
Lois smiled wryly to herself at the incongruities between the man she knew and the superhero she admired.
She'd never thought about it before, but of course Superman had to... do those things. She'd imagined his lair in the arctic somewhere, but it never had indoor plumbing -- or outdoor plumbing for that matter.
But there was no lair in the arctic. Well, probably not. But now she knew where Superman went when he wasn't doing 'super' stuff. He was with her.
She heard the water running and took a deep breath. He'd be back out in a minute and they'd have to talk about this and what it meant to them.
She'd fallen asleep last night contemplating a relationship with Clark. Was that still something she wanted?
Before she'd realized he was Superman, she'd been reveling in the feeling of safety in his arms. Thinking about how she would like to wake up like that every morning and how well she would sleep every night.
She'd been getting ready to admit to herself that she was falling madly, desperately, completely, hopelessly in love with Clark Kent.
Where had that thought come from? Had she really been ready to admit that she was falling in love with Clark?
Deep down, she knew it was true. She was falling in love with Clark Kent. The pheromone thing had opened her eyes to her physical attraction to him and the kiss yesterday had further confirmed that. And the way he'd reacted to her when she was throwing herself at him... her first thought had been that he hadn't been attracted to her, but then she'd remembered the next morning, as she was fighting off the 'hangover' that came after the pheromone had worn off. Something along the lines of 'Take me, I'm yours'. So, yeah, he was attracted to her too.
He was definitely good looking. She'd realized that from the first moment she'd stopped to take time to look at him the day after they'd first met. *She* of course was immune to a pretty face, or so she'd thought. But Clark was so much more than just a pretty face. He was kind and generous and compassionate and had a body to die for.
At least now she knew why he could eat all that junk food. Flying probably burned a lot of calories. Walking through fires probably did too.
But there was so much more to him than a great body.
He was smart -- smarter than she was many times, and that was something that pained her to admit more than she would ever let on. He was gentle. He was the last true Boy Scout and his powers had nothing to do with that. He would be the same caring Clark whether he was born on Krypton or in Kansas.
And that was what it all really boiled down to. She loved him. Powers or not, she loved him.
His voice interrupted her musings.
She looked up to see that he was sitting back down on the bed. He had pulled a T-shirt on and one part of her mind noted that it made his arms look incredible.
But a relationship was more than just arms and a chest and a great six-pack.
His head suddenly tilted to one side, a gesture she was increasingly familiar with. "They're back."
"What?" She was puzzled.
He stood and strode to the window. "They're back."
Lois sighed. This conversation was going to have to wait until later.
She picked up the binoculars and watched for a minute then turned to hand them to Clark. He was standing so close to her. She could feel the warmth radiating off him. He hadn't put his glasses back on and was staring intently across the street.
"I guess you don't need these."
He quirked a half smile at her. "No, I don't."
She sighed. This was going to take some getting used to. "Would you mind telling me what they're saying?"
"Harrington is saying something about system specs and that he'll have dates and stuff for the testing later this afternoon. Roarke is asking him about a new vote. Harrington said he can't initiate a revote until the test results are analyzed and the plan rejected. Roarke says he bought insurance, namely Harrington. Harrington says Roarke doesn't own him."
Lois winced as she saw Roarke throw Harrington against the wall.
"Roarke says he owns Harrington lock, stock and reelection fund. Harrington says he wasn't sure Roarke could pull it off. Roarke guarantees it and says Harrington doesn't want to find out what will happen to him if it doesn't." They watched Harrington leave. "And now Roarke's laughing and it's a pretty maniacal laugh."
Lois turned to look at him. "Clark, what would you say if I said that I don't have a clue what they're talking about, but that, whatever it is, it's even bigger than I originally thought."
He nodded. "I'd say... you're absolutely right."
The talk had to be postponed as they spent the rest of the day trying to discover what it was Roarke and Harrington had been talking about. Cat went off to stick to Harrington like 'super glue'.
Lois and Clark eventually ended up back in their suite, stacks of paper on all sides.
Lois finally set her stack down. "I don't suppose you can make this go any faster."
Clark looked at her, surprised. "Yeah, I guess I could." He grinned and then winked. "Don't move." After she nodded, he turned into a blur, flipping through stacks of paper and, after about 4 seconds, sat back down. "Nothing."
She sighed. "At least it didn't take us all night to figure out that this big stack of stuff is nothing." She looked at him. "And that was pretty impressive. You could come in handy, you know."
Clark's face became serious. "There's more to me than superpowers, you know."
She nodded. "I know. You're..."
His head shot up. "They're back again.
She smiled at him. "See. Handy."
He rolled his eyes. They stared out the window across the street. "Tell me what they're saying, flyboy."
Clark cocked one eyebrow. "Flyboy? What happened to farmboy?"
She shrugged. "I dunno. But start 'reading lips', would you?"
Clark shook his head. "Okay. Roarke wants to know if the test is going to be postponed. Harrington says no because the weather's good, the naval ships are in position. It's happening at dawn, the day after tomorrow. Roarke thinks the test will fail and then his system will be approved. Harrington says there will be delays while they figure out what went wrong this time. Roarke doesn't like that. Harrington is trying to placate him. Roarke says after what goes wrong this time, no one will want modified proposals. Harrington wants to know what's going to go wrong. Roarke... well, I guess it's on that video tape."
The shutters were closed and Clark muttered. "Lead lined."
"What?" Lois looked at him, strangely.
"The shutters are lead lined. I can't see what's going on."
"That's odd. What about the walls? Are they lead lined?"
Clark blinked. The thought hadn't occurred to him. He focused on the wall next to the window just in time to see a simulated wave take out all of downtown Metropolis. "Wow."
He told her what he'd seen.
"Clark this is huge."
He nodded. "But what are we going to do about it?"
Lois sighed. "I don't know."
The fax machine beeped and began to put out paper. Clark took the first sheet off. "Here's the voting records Jimmy was digging up."
"Why don't you look those over? I want something to drink and there's no way the Planet will pay for something out of the wet bar. We can't drink on duty and there's nothing good *and* nonalcoholic in there anyway."
"Sure, go ahead. I'll be right here."
Lois grabbed her brown bag that doubled as a purse. "I'm going to hit the convenience store across the street. It's still highway robbery, but the fresh air will do me good too."
Clark looked up from the paper. "Are you sure you don't want me to go get you something?"
Lois smiled shyly at him. "No." She grew bolder and winked at him. "I am going to send you for take out later though."
Clark laughed. "Just name the country."
Lois grabbed a Snapple from the cooler. Just what she needed. She snatched a couple Double Fudge Crunch bars for good measure. It had been quite a day. She needed time to think and she hadn't gotten much sleep the night before -- maybe two hours or so before the biggest revelation of her life kept her up the rest of the night. At least the hotel had decent coffee. She was sure she was going to need it in a little while.
As she dug through her bag, she noticed her handheld scanner and a thought occurred to her. She rooted around a bit more and found her lock pick set. She would go over the offices and see what she could find.
And she wouldn't tell Clark. She needed to do this herself. Sure, having Superman help would be handy, but she was Lois Lane and she needed to prove to herself that, even though his help would make things easier, she could do this.
"Clark Kent, what are you doing in the honeymoon suite of the Lexor Hotel?"
Clark continued to flip through the papers in his hands as he talked to his parents. "I'm here with Lois. How did you find us?"
"Perry White gave us the number," came the reply from Jonathan.
Martha was tentative as she asked her next question. "Lois and you? Is that... does everyone know?"
Clark was still lost in thought as he answered. "Oh sure, Mom. No problem. We're registered as husband and wife."
Jonathan and Martha shared a stunned look, but Jonathan was the one to voice the question. "Clark, is there anything... you'd like to tell us?"
"Not really. Things are going pretty smoothly, assuming Lois keeps her end of the bargain and lets me go first tonight." Clark didn't really care about their bathroom arrangements, but he wouldn't let Lois know that.
Jonathan and Martha nearly dropped their phones.
"I... that would be... I'm sure she will, Clark," Jonathan managed to croak out. "But, um, Clark... a gentleman always lets a lady go first."
"She went first last night, Dad." Clark was paying little attention to the conversation and concentrating on the paperwork Jimmy had sent over.
His parents shared a wide-eyed look. Martha started to question him further. "Honey? Um..."
"Listen, Mom, Dad, I do need to talk to you guys about some things, but I don't want to do it here. Once we check out and get home, we'll talk more." His head popped up. "Hang on."
He peered out the window and saw Lois sneaking through the offices across the street. "Lois," he muttered, the phone still in one hand. "What are you doing?"
He saw Roarke and the sidekick heading towards the door. "Mom, Dad, I gotta go. Lois needs me." He hung up without as much as an actual good-bye.
Jonathan and Martha each hung up their phone and then looked at each other in stunned shock. Jonathan was the first to break the silence. "Why didn't they invite us to the ceremony?"
Martha shrugged. "I don't know. It sounds like it all happened pretty quickly. Maybe he'll at least bring her out here for a visit sometime soon. I liked her when she was here for the Corn Festival. We've talked on the phone several times since then, but she never mentioned anything like this was in the works. And Clark certainly would have unless it happened too fast."
Jonathan nodded. "I suppose he's told her about himself."
Martha patted his arm. "You knew he'd have to tell someone at some point. He's always wanted a family and it hardly seems likely that he'd get married without telling his wife about himself."
"It'll be okay, honey."
Martha grinned slyly at him. "So, Jonathan, they're celebrating their wedding... Surely we can do a little celebrating of our own?"
Jonathan kissed her softly. "You know we don't need an excuse to do that."
Martha laughed. "I know, but we should celebrate anyway."
She pulled her husband of so many years towards her and kissed him like she had so many times in the past and was glad her son had finally found someone he could share everything with.
That was certainly cause for celebration.
By the time he got over there, Lois had heard a noise and was hiding in the closet. Clark tried desperately to find a way to get her out without the bad guys seeing either of them, but nothing came to him that wouldn't involve the serious rearranging of paperwork on the tables.
Finally, in desperation, he zapped one of the fire sprinklers. Roarke and his sidekick left, muttering as they went.
"Lois," Clark hissed. "Come on."
She exited the closet with her bag over her head. "What was that about?"
"It was Roarke and his goon. We gotta get out of here before the fire fighters show up."
"No, we don't."
"Yes, we do."
"No. You're Superman, it wouldn't be unusual for you to be here. You can tell them there's nothing going on."
"What about you?"
"I'm a reporter, I was nearby. I heard the alarm."
Clark rolled his eyes. "Sure."
Lois put her hands on her hips. "Listen, boy scout..." She ignored Clark's raised brow. "...we have to figure out what they're doing." She waved in the direction of the filing cabinets. "Do your super thing and see what you can find. Can't you turn the sprinklers back off?"
Clark shook his head. "No, I can't. The fire fighters will have to do that." He lifted his head and tilted it to one side. "They're on their way. They'll be here any minute."
Lois sighed and grabbed the file lying on the desk in front of her, shoving it in her bag as she headed towards the door. "Then let's just get out of here before they show up."
She exited the office and stood in the relatively dry hallway. "Coming?"
Clark closed the door carefully behind him and turned to look at her. "We still could meet them coming up the stairs and the elevators are shut down."
She rolled her eyes. "No, we won't." She put one arm on his shoulder and leapt lightly, trusting him to catch her. "Take us out another way." She shivered. "Then back to our room."
Clark sighed and sped them away.
Neither noticed the credit card lying on the ground in the office.
Clark landed them on the roof of the Lexor. "I've always wanted to do this in front of you."
Lois looked at him, puzzled. "What?"
"This." He brought his arms up and spun. By the time he was done spinning, he was back in his jeans and T-shirt.
"Wow." She stumbled back. "Clark, we need to talk."
"I know." He sighed. "Do you trust me?"
She gulped and then nodded.
She glared at him as he looked her up and down intently then realized that she suddenly felt warm and that steam was coming off of her. "What are you doing?"
"Warming you up."
She looked puzzled.
"Come here." He held out an arm and she cautiously stepped into his embrace. He wrapped his other arm around her and in literally seconds, she was standing in the middle of their living room suite.
She couldn't even say wow this time.
Instead, she sneezed.
Clark looked at her chagrined. "Bless you. I'm sorry. I should have dried you off before zipping through the night air." He nodded towards the bedroom. "Why don't you go take a nice hot shower? Or better yet -- a bubble bath. That'll warm you up even better."
She sighed. "A bath sounds really nice. That heat gizmo of yours was nice, but it's not a bubble bath."
He chuckled. "No, it's not."
She smacked his chest lightly as she walked past him. "Come on."
"We're taking a bath."
"Together?" he managed to squeak out.
She laughed and muttered under her breath, "Who would have thought Superman could squeak?" She shook her head as she walked towards the bedroom.
"I do not squeak." Against his better judgment, he followed her.
"I did not."
Lois sighed and rolled her eyes. "Fine, you didn't squeak, Super Mouse." She turned to face him. "But you are going to take a bath with me. We're married remember?"
"Isn't that taking a bit far?"
"We'll wear swimsuits, Clark. We'll put enough bubbles in that no one will notice. And you'll give us enough notice to start making out and thoroughly embarrass anyone who dares walk in on us."
Clark sighed. "Fine. Why don't you take you stuff to the bathroom to change and I'll start getting the tub ready?"
Lois nodded and dug through the drawers until she found her swim suit -- what had possessed her to bring it, she'd never know; she hadn't planned on getting in the tub with Clark -- and then went to the bathroom.
Clark flew up the stairs, to his apartment, grabbed his swim trunks and returned to the hotel suite before the water had even heated up. He checked it then plugged the drain and added bubbles. He'd never actually taken a bubble bath so he wasn't sure how much to put in, but he figured a 'glug-glug' ought to do it. He supersped into his swim trunks and settled into the tub watching the water intently as it inched over the top of his legs.
He looked up as the door to the bathroom clicked open. His relief was palpable when Lois emerged in a fairly modest two piece suit. Not too low cut, not too high cut and the top wasn't of the bikini variety but rather more of a tank top that covered most of her stomach.
And she still took his breath away.
She threw a couple of towels nearby as well as the robes she'd taken from the hooks in the bathroom. "I guess you don't really need a towel do you? You can spin dry or something right?"
Clark laughed. "No, but I have burned a hole in a towel or two when I try to dry off too fast."
He heard her heart rate increase a bit at that comment.
He held out his hand to help her into the tub. "I really have no idea about bubble baths. I hope I got the bubbles right. And I really don't feel the heat, so I hope it's not too hot."
She shook her head. "It's perfect right now, but it'll probably cool off before too long."
Clark grinned at her. "I can heat it back up."
Lois laughed. "See? I knew you'd be handy to have around."
Clark grew serious. "I said it before and we got interrupted, but there's a lot more to me that heat vision and flying, Lois."
She nodded. "I know."
"And I don't mean the hearing thing or super speed."
"I know. You're Clark Kent. You were raised in Kansas by Jonathan and Martha Kent, who probably used some sort of surreptitious means to make your adoption look official because they couldn't just announce they found a baby in a ship. You grew up, became super and after college travelled the world. Probably because you couldn't not help and someone would get suspicious and you'd move on. While I wasn't sleeping last night, I remember hearing about some odd occurrences at Midwestern while I was in college. I think I even remember seeing you play football against U of M one time. You moved to Metropolis to get a job at the Daily Planet because it's been your lifelong dream, but again, you couldn't keep from helping and within a couple of days you were afraid you'd have to move on again. But by then you didn't want to leave your dream job. So you and your mom, and probably your dad though I bet he was at least sort of against the idea, concocted this crazy idea for a flying man in tights who was 'here to help'." She shrugged. "The rest is history."
Clark laughed. "That's about it. How'd you figure it all out? I expected to have to explain the whole thing to you."
She shrugged. "I'm an investigate reporter. As you've told me repeatedly, I make intuitive leaps of logic that you can barely follow. This was nothing. And I've had about..." she glanced at the clock. 8 pm. "...18 hours to figure it out."
"Well, you did a pretty good job. Is there anything else you want to know?"
"Why were you sent to earth as a baby?"
Clark sighed. "I have no idea. When we were investigating Bureau 39, I found some stuff at that warehouse on Bessolo Boulevard. My ship and this globe. Apparently, someone dug up my ship a long time ago. Dad had buried it on the farm, but when we went to look for it, it was gone. It was there. I'm still kicking myself for not going back sooner and getting it. I was able to stick the globe in my pocket without you noticing. I took a file on Smallville too. I'm sure there are other copies around. That Thompson guy had one."
"How do you know?" Lois asked, shocked.
He pointed to his eyes. "I x-rayed his briefcase, but I couldn't figure out how to get it. Anyway, I grabbed the globe and the file. The file was pretty much what you'd expect. Unexplained meteor in Smallville, someone thought they saw something... I think some of the folks from the area might suspect something, but I doubt they'd guess the truth. There were some strangers in town the day my folks found me. They even stopped by the farmhouse. Mom and Dad said that he was dad's cousin and his girlfriend and they'd gotten in a bit of a... ah, predicament and gave me to my folks to raise."
"Who were they?"
Clark shrugged. "They never did find out the names of the couple, but Mom said the guy looked awfully sick so maybe something happened to him. They really weren't too concerned with finding them though -- if they came back to Smallville, it would disprove where I came from."
"So this globe... what is it exactly?"
"I don't know. When I picked it up, it showed a map of earth and then a map of another planet that I knew was Krypton. I have no idea how I knew it. I'd never heard the name before, ever. My parents had never heard of it. It wasn't like there was an audible voice or even a voice in my head. I just knew. Like when you remember something you'd forgotten. As for why... I have no idea." He sighed and scooped bubbles absent mindedly. "Maybe custom on Krypton meant that you sent your oldest son to some planet far, far away. Or maybe you sent your spare."
"You know -- the heir and the spare. Not that I think I'm royalty or anything, but maybe it's some sort of paternalistic society that practices primogeniture. My big brother got everything and I got sent to live on another planet -- or maybe just sent into space and I got lucky and landed on a planet with people who looked like me. I mean really, how well would I have fit in on Klingon?" He shook his head sadly. "For all I know, they didn't want me."
Lois stared at him, wide-eyed. "Or maybe they saved you."
"From what, Lois? A life being loved by my parents?"
"That's just it. You don't know. Maybe there was an imminent civil war and you were some kind of crown prince who was likely to get killed, so they sent you somewhere safe. To a life where your parents love you very much. Or maybe there was a catastrophe in the offing. Maybe..." she thought for a second. "Maybe the planet was going to explode and they couldn't save themselves but they managed to save you. Maybe the sun was going to go all quasar on them or something."
"I think you mean supernova, Lois. A quasar is sort of like a black hole at the middle of a galaxy. An exploding star is a supernova."
Lois rolled her eyes. "Whatever. You know what I mean."
"I guess it's possible, but..."
"It's the not knowing that kills you?"
He smiled. "Something like that." He aimed a bit of heat vision at the bubbles. "No sense in waiting until it's cold." He took a deep breath and blew it out. "I'm not holding out for the tear-jerker reconciliation though."
"You don't even know where to begin looking for your roots. It's been an emotional roller coaster for you hasn't it?"
"That's an understatement. I don't have any unrealistic expectations though," he said finishing Lois' list of things that happen to adopted kids.
"Are you sure?"
He shrugged. "I don't think so."
"Do you want to know what happened on Krypton?"
"I don't know. No, I don't." He glanced at her and saw the look she was giving him. "Okay, I do. I want to know why a tiny infant was sent into space. Why did they send me away? I'm a good person right? I would have been a good son to them." Tears threatened.
Lois laid her hand on his shoulder. "I know you would have, Clark, and I won't pretend to know why you were sent here, but I'm glad you were. If your parents, for whatever reason, hadn't put you in that ship and sent you to Kansas, I would never have met you. Both of you. Do you know how many times I would have died since I met you -- if you hadn't been there?"
"You wouldn't have been thrown out of that plane if it wasn't for me."
"But you saved me then and I don't even know how many other times."
Clark sat there, quietly contemplating. "Maybe I do have unrealistic expectations, but not in the sense most adopted kids do."
"What do you mean?"
"I mean, all my life, I've wondered where I came from. I've wanted to put down roots, to get married..." He paused. "To have kids. I love kids. I want kids of my own. Is that realistic?" He shrugged. "For most adopted kids? Probably. For me? I doubt it. First, if I could find someone who loved me enough to marry me, given my rather unusual second job that could require me to miss important occasions, to run out in the middle of conversations, to be gone for days at a time in the case of a major disaster... Even if I could find someone like that, who could also accept the fact that I'm an... alien..." He took another deep breath. "The fact remains that I am an alien. I'm not from here. Who's to say if I could even father children?" He paused. "It's a moot point right now anyway." He played with the bubbles some more.
"My parents have that kind of love. They loved each other no matter what; they still do. When they found out they couldn't have kids, they went through a really hard time and I guess most folks expected my dad to leave my mom. I'm not sure why. I guess it was still that day and age when all fertility problems were considered to be the woman's problem and if Dad wanted kids to carry on the family farm... It's been in his family for 6 generations, but he loves Mom more than he loves that farm. They mortgaged it to the hilt to try to adopt a baby but it never happened. They were too old. Their income was too unstable. Ironically, they had too much debt because of those mortgages. Through it all they loved each other enough to take in a strange visitor from another planet. At the time, they thought I was a Russian experiment and they still took me in and protected me from the government agents who came to Smallville a few days later.
"So, I know that kind of love exists, but I don't know that it's in the cards for me. Flying aside, first I have to find someone who loves *me*, Clark. Then tell her that I'm Superman -- because I don't want a woman who loves Superman but not Clark -- and hope that she can live with the fact that I'd been lying to her every time I ran out on a dinner date to return a movie or meet a source or pick up a prescription. That she could live with the fact that I'm not human and may not be able to ever give her children. Sure, me and this fictitious woman could adopt, but, so help me, I want to have children of my own."
By this point in his soliloquy, tears had silently begun to slip down his cheeks. He'd never been so open with anyone about his origins, about his hopes and dreams. Sure, his parents knew he wanted a family, but not how badly. He'd never discussed the possibility of infertility with them, knowing it would likely dredge up bad memories. He'd never told them that he was afraid he'd never find a woman to love him because of his differences.
He was sure that they knew, on some level anyway, but not how deeply he was affected by all of it. How many nights he spent either staring at the ceiling over the years, or now, patrolling the skies as Superman, pondering these very things.
"Who's to say there's not already a little Clark running around out there?"
"Lois, what on earth are you talking about? There are no 'little Clarks' anywhere."
"Hear me out. So, you've had girlfriends, I know you have. You manage to tick one of them off because you didn't tell her about yourself, but abruptly ended the relationship and moved because someone got to close. Sure you either used protection or she was on birth control or you thought she was but she thought she could get you to marry her if she was pregnant or something like that. So, you break her heart and move to China. Either she can't get a hold of you and doesn't know how to reach your parents or she's so mad that she doesn't even try and is raising little super Clark out there somewhere without you. Maybe you should look into it. Maybe it could put that part of your mind at ease."
She chewed on her bottom lip. "Of course, that would raise a whole other set of questions if there was a little Clark or Clarkette somewhere -- the whole absent parent thing, which you, of course would never do if you knew you had a child, but that child wouldn't know that. Zap the water again, would you?" She noted absently that he did and she sank a little deeper into the waning suds. "I think it would be better to know than not know though. I mean, if the kid were to have your powers..." She felt a finger on her lips.
"Lois, there is no little Clark or..." he raised a brow. "...Clarkette out there anywhere."
"Clark, surely even you know that the only thing that's 100% effective is..." At the look on his face, she stopped. "Oh. Oh my. Not even Cat?"
He shook his head. "Especially not Cat. She made it sound like something happened between us, but nothing did. I couldn't risk exactly what you're talking about. Sure, I dated. Even seriously a few times. And some of them were beautiful women who wanted to do... that. But I decided a long time ago that I didn't want to do... that unless it was with someone who knew all about me, who accepted me for who I truly am and could live with the idea that I probably couldn't give her children." He shrugged. "Not that I'm necessarily planning on waiting until our wedding night or anything like that -- I mean I guess we might, but that's a decision I'd have to make with her -- whoever 'her' is -- once I find her." He stopped suddenly. "And people say you babble. I've monopolized the conversation for how long now?" He looked at her intently. "You don't ever have to repeat any of that."
"I'm not planning on it. But Clark, I don't think your expectations are unrealistic at all. The biological child thing, maybe, I don't know, but the rest of it... not unrealistic at all. Any woman would be lucky to have you and for you to love a woman... you'd move heaven and earth for her if she asked -- and you could too, if you wanted."
He nodded. "I would."
"And there's no one in your life who made you feel that way? Who makes you feel that way?"
Clark thought for a moment, trying to decide how to answer that question. "There is. Or was. Or something. I fell in love with a woman the first time I saw her, but she's never seen me as more than a friend or a spandex clad superhero." He carefully avoided her gaze.
"You mean me, don't you?" she asked quietly.
Clark nodded slowly. "It's okay, Lois. I don't expect any of that from you. I know you see us as friends and that's fine. I can live with that. Someday I'll move on and you'll find someone and maybe I will too, but I'm not under any illusions that..."
Lois moved swiftly, sliding quickly through the water and covered his lips with hers. She took his face in her hands and settled herself on his lap as she continued to kiss him.
After long minutes, she broke away. "I do love you, Clark. I think I always have."
Lois rested her forehead on Clark's. How could she convince him that she loved *him*, all of him and not just the part that moonlighted in spandex?
Clark sighed and pushed her away. "Sure you do, Lois. I spill my heart to you and you get what you've always wanted... Superman."
"No, Clark. That's not it at all." She rested against the opposite side of the tub. "You probably won't believe me but... the honest to God truth is that last night, when I realized you were holding me while we were asleep... I felt safer than I ever have in my life. Even safer than flying with Superman and that really made me think. Deep down, I know I was about to admit to myself that I have feelings for you, but..." She sighed. "You know my history with men." She raised a hand. "I know you're not like them, not at all, but it doesn't make it any easier for me to risk my heart. Because, I know, that if I let myself love you like I think I could... it's a forever kind of thing, Clark, and if something ever happened between us and it didn't work out... that I don't think I'd survive."
Clark sat silently and started in the general direction of the front door.
"You know when I first realized I was attracted to you?"
Clark shook his head.
"When we danced."
He finally looked at her. "When we danced?"
"I wasn't nearly as disappointed as I let on that you cut in at the White Orchid Ball. I mean, I was disappointed in the sense that I wanted the interview with Lex, but... that's why I left so quickly. I couldn't let myself get distracted by a pretty face."
At Clark's outraged look, Lois laughed. "Oh, I know now there's a lot more to you than just a pretty face, but at the time..."
This time Clark groaned. "Lois, would you mind not referring to me as 'pretty'?"
Lois giggled. "Fine. You were just another handsome guy who would probably sleep with me and steal my story, just like the last time, and I couldn't let that happen. So I pushed you away and made you think I was mad at you, which was only partly true. The next time, I realized that I was attracted to you was when we found Platt. The way you stood up to that cop... it made me realize that you were a lot more substance than fluff. And you're the only person that I could ever stand to edit my copy."
She chewed thoughtfully on her bottom lip. "You know, though... Clark, it's really not fair of you to want someone to love you for only Clark."
Clark rolled his eyes. "What are you talking about, Lois? I am Clark. I have been since my parents found me. It's my mother's maiden name."
"I'm serious. 'Clark Kent' is the guy who goes out for pizza and beer or stubs his toe and wears glasses. Superman is the guy in Spandex who saves the world. Just Clark... well, he's something else all together. That's one of the first things I noticed when I took your glasses off, even before you floated and I realized who you were. Without those," she pointed to the glasses sitting on the edge of the tub. "You're not Clark Kent, but you're not Superman either. You're you. The guy who gets me coffee and edits my copy and sent me to the Sewage Reclamation Facility and probably uses the vision gizmos in pursuit of a story or to reheat cold pizza or a cold tub." She gestured towards the water. "Do you mind?"
Clark sighed and she felt the water reheat.
"See? Right now, you're not Clark Kent, you're not Superman, you're just you. Asking a woman to love Clark Kent isn't any more fair than asking a woman not to love just Superman."
Clark sat silent for a few moments. How in the world had she managed to turn everything upside down again?
And the worst part of it?
She was right.
He'd never thought of it like that before, but she was. Asking someone to love only Clark was just as unfair as asking someone to love only Superman.
And she was saying she loved all of him.
Could he believe her? Did he want to?
The second question was much easier to answer than the first. Of course, he wanted to believe her. That kiss... his insides were still quivering like a bowl full of Jello from that kiss.
But could he?
Had Lois ever been untruthful with him?
The technical answer to that was an unequivocal yes. She'd lied to him about stories, especially the early Superman ones. She'd lied to him when she'd pushed him away, but if he believed her now that was only because she was scared.
So when it came to things that really mattered, had she lied to him?
The answer to that was no. She'd been Superman's staunchest supporter during the heat wave. She'd actually begun to trust him, -- Clark -- to let him be her friend.
She'd started to trust him with her heart.
Could he trust her with his?
She moved so that she was half standing half floating directly in front of him and put her hands on his shoulders. "Do you think you can ever believe me? That I love you?"
A knock on the door interrupted their conversation. "Who is it?"
Clark gazed towards the door to the suite. "Perry, Cat and Jimmy."
Lois sighed. "You think you can make this look less..." She waved a hand at the tub. "...whatever real quick?"
Clark nodded and before she could blink, she was dry, with a robe wrapped around her and Clark was in jeans and a T-shirt, hair done and glasses on. He had set her next to the bed. "You stay here and get dressed. I'll stall."
She nodded. Why were they always getting interrupted?
Clark closed the door to the bedroom behind him. With a 'whoosh', he made sure that notes and other things that indicated they were hard at work were very visible.
He then opened the door and welcomed their boss and coworkers inside.
Cat glanced around and raised a brow. "Where's Lois?"
"She's in the bathroom. She got the fire sprinklers turned on across the street and went to take a shower, but it's been a little bit so I'd imagine she'll be done soon."
Perry sighed. "You never know what it's going to be with that girl."
Clark grinned. "Nope."
Lois opened the door and walked out of the bedroom. Her smile included all of them. "Welcome to our love nest."
Clark groaned. Perry laughed. Jimmy stared at his feet. Cat snorted.
"Sure, Lois." Cat immediately went back to the seat she'd staked out the day before and turned the massager on. "So sprinklers, huh?"
Lois rolled her eyes. "Clark, did you find anything in that file I snagged?"
Perry raised a hand. "Lois, do I really want to know?"
She shook her head. "No, not really and the tape was screwed up anyway so we're not really sure what happened."
Clark was amazed. She thought so quickly on her feet. Surely she could help him come up with some better excuses. The meeting a source, return a video and get a prescription ones were getting really old. "Yeah. She snuck in, but the sprinklers came on. She grabbed a file and came back." He shrugged. "I haven't looked at it yet. I figured she'd box my ears if I did."
"Got that right, farm boy." She held out a hand. "Where is it?"
He sighed and handed it over.
Lois opened the folder. "Tsunami. What's that?"
Cat had the answer. "Japanese seafood, right?"
Clark rolled his eyes. "No, Cat. A tsunami is a tidal wave. Sort of. Technically, it's not a tidal wave because the..." He sighed. "It has to do with wind. So, not a tidal wave, but not a good thing. Basically, something happens, like an underwater earthquake or volcanic eruption or rock slide and it creates a giant wave. Out at sea, a ship probably wouldn't even notice it, but as it gets close to shore it sort of sucks up all the water and then rolls in destroying everything in its path for however long it takes to crest. Some tsunamis are only a few feet high and are only noticed because scientists measure these things. Others will finally run out of steam further inland having decimated buildings and people and everything else in its way."
"But it's Japanese sea food too, right?"
"No, Cat. There are a lot of Japanese restaurants named Tsunami but it's not the name of a dish. And this is a lot more serious than that."
Lois chewed thoughtfully on her bottom lip. "Clark, remember the tape they showed?"
Clark's eyes grew wide. "A wave took out half of downtown Metropolis."
Clark exhaled slowly. "Wow."
Perry stood. "Well, we need to get a hold of Superman and anyone else who might be able to figure this thing out."
Clark looked at him. "What can Superman do?"
"Well, for one, I think the military would be more likely to listen to him than you, son. You and I both know that the boy in blue carries more weight than we do."
Clark nodded. "Yeah, he does. Let's finish up here and we'll find him."
Perry looked sternly at Lois. "And no jumping off a building."
Lois rolled her eyes. "No need to jump, Chief. Just stand on the roof, and yell 'Help, Superman'." She winked slightly at Clark. "Right, partner?"
He looked at her quite seriously. "That is the safer way."
"Okay. Let's get out of here and see what we can do. Cat, you stake out Harrington's place. Jimmy, do your computer thing. Lois, Clark... well, do whatever you two do to get a hold of Superman without dangling over the jaws of death to do it."
"Well, Roarke and Harrington and the goons are under arrest. Superman was able to convince the Navy not to conduct the test. The story's on the front page of the Planet. And, they think Roarke is going to implicate 'the Boss' soon."
Lois stuck her plastic door key in the slot. "I wonder who it is."
Clark sighed. "I think I have a pretty good idea."
She stopped and looked at him. "Who? And why didn't you tell me?"
Clark shrugged. "*I* don't *know* anything. Superman has heard and seen some things, but has no evidence. And you wouldn't believe me if I told you."
Lois glared at him. "Spill it."
Clark sighed. "Luthor."
"What? Clark, that's ridiculous." Lois turned back to the door, but stopped short of opening it. "Well, okay. If you told me that, I probably wouldn't believe you, but Superman has resources the rest of us don't." She pushed the door open and started to walk inside, but stopped when she saw the place had been ransacked.
Clark suddenly appeared in front of her, reaching under the sofa. He pulled out what could only be a bomb and enveloped it in both of his hands. There was a popping sound and wisps of smoke snuck out of the openings between his fingers.
Lois' mouth worked open and closed several times. Finally, she managed to squeak out a small, "Wow."
Clark's mouth was set in a hard line. "Someone wanted us dead. That was triggered by the key in the door. Whoever it was figured that by the time it went off, we'd be over here. But we stood outside for a minute so..." He tossed the bomb remnants onto the couch and looked around. "No fingerprints." His head went up and suddenly Superman was there.
His cape billowing behind him, Superman walked towards the door. "Inspector Henderson," he said as the man walked in. "There was a bomb under the couch. I was able to contain the detonation, but the remnants are over there. I've looked around the room and there aren't any fingerprints at all."
Henderson nodded. "Roarke is singing like a canary. He said they'd been over here after they found your credit card, Lane."
Superman pushed the door slightly to reveal Lois' card stuck to the back of the door with a knife.
"I was wondering where that was."
Henderson sighed and looked around. "Where's Kent?"
"He was finishing up at the Planet. He said he wouldn't be more than a few minutes behind me. I ran into Superman and he offered to check the place out with me, just in case. I'm awfully glad he did."
Superman nodded. "I better be going though. Unless there's anything else, Inspector?"
Henderson shook his head. "Just find Kent."
Superman nodded. "I will. If you'll let the management know, I'd be happy to help clean up the mess later so they can get their room back to normal once you're done with it. I'll stop back by in a bit."
"I'll tell them. Thanks."
With his characteristic 'whoosh', he was gone.
A few seconds later, Clark rushed in. "What's going on? I saw the cop cars downstairs and thought I heard Superman..."
Lois realized how easy it was to believe Clark and Superman had actually been in the same place at the same time.
Henderson sighed. "Your partner can fill you in. Superman said there was no evidence here and Roarke already admitted to having done it and signed a confession, with his lawyer present no less."
Lois' eyes narrowed. "Is he getting a deal?"
Henderson looked at her sharply. "What are you talking about?"
"He's giving you 'the Boss' isn't he?"
Henderson nodded. "Yes. But that's not for print."
Lois shook her head. "Of course not. But we get the exclusive."
Henderson rolled his eyes. "Of course you do, Lane."
Lois moved to stand directly in front of him. "Who is 'the boss'?"
"I'm not telling you that."
"It's Lex Luthor, isn't it?"
She stared him straight in the eyes and saw his pupils dilate slightly.
"Whatever gives you that idea, Lane?"
"I'm right, aren't I?" She stared at him for a long moment. "But I suppose you can neither confirm nor deny that, can you, Henderson?"
"Lois, I can't confirm anything."
She nodded. They'd used that trick a time or two in the past. She'd ask if he could confirm or deny something and he'd only use one of the two words in his response. The word he used indicated what he was doing. In this case, he was confirming Luthor as 'the Boss' without actually confirming it.
The first time he'd done that to her, she'd fumed until her own leads had taken her to the same end and it had finally clicked that he had been denying something in order to send her in the right direction. She'd wasted two whole days on something he'd already denied. Since then, she'd paid much more attention to how he worded things with her.
She sighed and moved back. "That figures. Typical government cover-up."
Henderson rolled his eyes. "Believe whatever you want, Lane. I'm outta here." He stopped at looked directly at Clark. "And tell Superman that I'm sure the hotel won't mind if he helps clean up a bit."
Clark nodded and locked the door behind Henderson.
Lois sighed and sat in one of the chairs that hadn't been destroyed. She had to brush aside some stuffing from the couch first, but the chair itself was intact. "Do you think he knows?"
Clark shrugged. "I don't think so. He knows I know how to get a hold of Superman is all."
Lois closed her eyes and sighed. She felt a rush of wind and when she opened her eyes, she was unsurprised to see the room was clean.
Clark sank wearily in the chair opposite her and put his feet on the coffee table. "I didn't do the bedroom yet. I thought you might want to get, er, your things first."
"Thanks." She sighed again. "I'm sorry we got interrupted, Clark."
"Me, too, but I'm glad we stopped the destruction of downtown Metropolis."
She nodded. "Clark..." She stopped unsure of what exactly she was going to say. The emotion of the last few days came over her and tears sprung to her eyes. "I love you, Clark. I don't know how to convince you that I love all of you and not just the super part, but I do."
"I believe you." The answer was quiet. "I don't know why, but I do." He sighed. "You made a valid point last night about the whole loving one part of me but not the other. I'd never thought of it that way before and you were absolutely right."
He stood and crossed the room to stand beside her chair. He held out a hand and she took it. He pulled her into his arms and they just stood there for a long time.
"So now what?" Lois sighed, resting her head on his shoulder, reveling in the feeling of his arms around her.
"I never did send you for takeout last night, did I?"
Clark chuckled. "Wherever you want."
A thought occurred to Lois and she pulled back, but not completely out of his embrace. "You fink!" She smacked his chest with one hand.
"What?" Clark was puzzled.
"When we were working on the Messenger thing... you brought Chinese from China, didn't you?"
Clark nodded, feeling only slightly guilty. "Yeah."
"Are languages one of your super powers too, or is a good horse really part of the family?"
Clark laughed. "I have an eidetic memory and a... gift, I guess you'd call it for languages. I remember pretty much everything I see or hear. So I can read, write and converse in a lot of languages."
"How many?" Lois narrowed her eyes at him. "Truth, Clark."
He grinned sheepishly. "347."
Lois gulped and rested her forehead against his chest. "Wow. I barely passed French in high school. Why do you think I did a foreign exchange thing in Ireland? I figured I could handle that."
Clark laughed. "A good horse is like part of the family, you know."
"You would know, farmboy."
"That article you gave Perry -- the one about the geckos... what language did you write that in?"
"It's an Austronesian dialect."
"Austronesian languages are spoken in parts of Southeast Asia and the Pacific islands."
"Why didn't you give Perry something written in English?"
Clark threw back his head and laughed. "I was lucky I was *speaking* English, Lois. I was in an interview with *Perry White*, venerable editor of the Daily Planet, reporting *legend*. I practically broke his hand when I shook it because I was having such a hard time controlling myself."
"Well, you made quite a first impression on him. He was chewing paava leaves for weeks. He said you gave him the idea. Something about New Zealand..." Lois trailed off. She really hadn't paid that much attention.
Clark chuckled again. "New Guinea. A tribe in New Guinea uses paava leaves to help with blood pressure problems." He used one finger to lift her chin so that he could look straight in her eyes. "And then this brunette whirlwind came in, and I'm lucky she didn't literally sweep me off my feet. It was all I could do not to float right then and there. I was actually a foot off the ground the first time I saw you at the ball."
"You were?" Lois asked softly, amazed by the look in his eyes. A look of what could only be described as love.
He nodded. "It's a good thing Jimmy isn't an investigative journalist yet. You looked beautiful," he finished huskily.
Lois smiled. "Thank you. I really wasn't very nice to you that night. You were my date or escort or whatever term I wanted to use and I didn't even dance with you."
Clark released her from his arms. "There's no time like the present to rectify that."
He flickered in front of her and she heard the soft strains of 'Fly Me to the Moon'. He held out one hand and bowed slightly at the waist. "May I have the pleasure of this dance?"
She nodded as she took his hand and stepped back into his arms. "I love this song."
"I know," he whispered. "I heard it playing when I flew over the other night. You were singing with it."
Lois blushed. "I'm not singing tonight."
"Will you sing for me some other time? You have a beautiful voice, you know?"
She nodded. "So... Nigerian princess, huh?"
Clark looked puzzled at her sudden change of topic. "What?"
"A Nigerian princess taught you to dance, right?"
"Yes. But Lois?"
She looked at him quizzically.
"This isn't dancing," he whispered softly in her ear.
"No?" she whispered back.
He floated them a foot off the ground and began to twirl her around the room. Her gasp made him smile.
"She didn't teach you this, did she?"
Clark smiled at her. "No. I thought this up all on my own, but it seems the most natural way to dance with you."
Lois laughed softly. "Clark, only you would think dancing in mid-air is 'natural'."
They continued to twirl around the room, silently enjoying the feel of being in each other's arms.
All too soon, the music came to an end and Lois pulled back slightly, but not too much, because they were still in midair.
Clark gently laid one hand on the side of her face and lowered his lips onto hers. Her arms slid around his neck and he wrapped both of his around her and pulled her closer to him.
Long minutes later, Clark finally lost altitude landing on the couch with Lois lying on top of him. She laid her head on his chest.
"Wow," she whispered breathlessly.
"Yeah," Clark whispered back. "Wow."
She giggled. "You know for two people who make their living with words, we're not doing so well."
Clark gently caressed her back with one hand. "You take my breath away, Lois. I can barely breathe when you kiss me like that much less string two coherent words together."
"Um, Clark." She leaned up so she could see his eyes.
"You kissed me."
"Oh. Right." He winked at her. "Okay. When *we* kiss like that... I can barely breathe."
"You mean when we kiss like this?" Lois pushed herself slightly forward so that she could reach his lips and kissed him again.
Clark moaned and wrapped his arms tighter around her, tangling one hand in her hair. After a long moment, he loosened his grip on her slightly, running the other hand up and down her back.
On one such trip, his hand incidentally slid under her T-shirt. He heard her gasp slightly as his hand came in contact with the soft skin of her lower back.
With another groan, he pulled back from her. "Lois, I think this is where we need to stop."
She rested her forehead against his. "What if I don't want to?" She kissed him again lightly.
He gave himself over to the kiss, but only for a brief moment. "Not yet, Lois."
Clark groaned and in a blur had rearranged them on the couch, so they were sitting, her back to his chest, his arms wrapped around her. "Not yet, love." He kissed her hair. "I love you, and God only knows how long I've dreamed of making love with you, but not yet."
"Why not, Clark?"
"You really want to jump straight in the sack with me? We haven't even been on a date yet."
Lois sighed. "You're right."
He kissed her hair again. "I know."
She twisted so that she could look him in the eye. "I do want to jump straight in the sack with you."
"Okay, that's not how I would have phrased it but... yeah." She kissed him softly, then settled back into the circle of his arms. "Clark, I've... slept with other guys. Okay, not really. I've... had sex before. A couple of times. But I've never actually *slept* with anyone before until the other night. I mean, I've only ever *slept* with you, but that's not the point. I told you about..." She took a deep breath and went on. "... Claude. We went out a couple of times, I told him I loved him, he... had sex with me. Three times and then he stole my story and told everyone what a cold fish I was and how I wasn't worth the time." Tears threatened.
Clark tightened his hold on her slightly, wishing desperately to meet the creep in a dark alley. He wasn't sure exactly what the relevance was, why Lois was discussing in some detail her sexual history, but he was sure there was a point somewhere.
"There's been... a couple of other guys over the years. In high school, a couple guys in college, but we never had sex. The minute I told them I loved them or thought I loved them, that was the only thing on their minds and that wasn't something I was ready for at that point. I thought I was with Claude but..." She shrugged. "I told you I loved you and a tiny little part of me was thinking 'here it comes, Clark's going to want to have sex with me'. And that thought didn't scare me in the slightest. And here you are, saying you want to wait. Which is fine," she was quick to add. "You told me all the reasons why there aren't any little Clarks or Clarkettes running around out there and I understand them and I respect them and why you would want to wait, but this is the first time in my life that I've told a man that I loved him and he loved me back."
She studied his hands, her fingers running gently over the arms that held her.
"And I do love you, Clark. Any other man would have had sex with me last weekend while I was under the influence of the pheromone." She smiled slightly. "Well, any other man would have been under the influence of the pheromone too, but that's beside the point. If I'd gone to anyone else's house, done the..." she cringed. "...dance of the seven veils after throwing myself at him all day for two days while I was half drunk or something and we probably would have... you know, several times, but you... you were a perfect gentleman. At least until the next morning when you said if I wanted you, you were mine."
"I don't think I would have gone through with it," he told her quietly.
"I know. And you backed off immediately when I made it clear that I was no longer interested." She sighed and snuggled slightly back into his chest. "Though looking back, I have no idea why that is. But the fact remains... right now, I would like to -- as you so eloquently put it -- jump in the sack with you."
Clark laughed slightly. "Believe me, part of me would like nothing more than to do that, but if it's all the same to you, I think I'd rather wait until we can make it special. Perfect."
Lois giggled. "Clark, we're already in the honeymoon suite."
He laughed with her. "But we're not married. We're not even engaged. We haven't even been on a date yet."
"Do you want to wait until we get married?" Lois asked quietly, then threw up her hands in exasperation. "Can you believe this? Me. Lois Lane. Talking about getting married."
Clark smiled. "I won't tell," he whispered conspiratorially. "No one would believe me anyway."
She smacked his arm lightly.
"I don't know about married, but maybe until we're engaged at least."
"It's that old-fashioned Midwestern values thing, isn't it?"
"No, not really. Just something I promised myself a long time ago -- that I wouldn't take my sexuality or that of my partner lightly and though I never actually articulated it, I always figured we -- whoever the other half of 'we' was -- would wait at least until we were engaged, if not married." He grinned wickedly. "However, since I *can* fly and Vegas is open 24 hours, I was never planning on a long engagement."
Lois laughed. "I bet you weren't." They sat in silence for a minute. "So we wait?" she asked quietly.
"If that's okay with you."
She nodded. "It's sweet, really. It's nice to know that you respect me -- respect us. It's probably going to be frustrating as hell and require a lot of cold showers, but..."
"I was already planning a trip or two to the Arctic for a swim."
"Superman's cold shower, huh?"
He nodded. "I took a few trips last week during the pheromone debacle."
"So... waiting... it's not because you don't want to?" Lois voiced the fear that had been niggling at the back of her mind since the kiss stopped and conversation started.
"Lois, you have no idea how much I want to, but I want to wait until we're both sure -- until we're in a fully committed relationship, committed to each other for life, even if we haven't actually taken vows yet."
Lois opened her mouth to say something but was stopped by a knock on the door. "Who is it?"
Clark glanced at the door. "The manager."
Lois stood to open the door and Clark picked his glasses up off of the floor where they'd landed at some point during their make out session. Lois glanced at him to make sure they were firmly in place then opened the door.
"Can I help you?"
The gentleman shifted nervously on his feet. "Mr. and Mrs. Kent?"
"May I come in?"
Lois stood aside as the gentleman walked in and then shut the door behind him. She moved to stand by Clark.
"Um... Mr. and Mrs. Kent, I would like to apologize for what happened earlier today. It is not standard for our hotel, I assure you."
Clark smiled at the man. "It's okay. Nothing is missing and no one was hurt."
"Still... We'd like to make it up to you. We'd like to offer you the honeymoon suite for the rest of the weekend -- another three nights -- as a way to make it up to you."
Lois looked at the floor and Clark cleared his throat nervously, then he spoke. "That's very generous of you, but... um... we're not actually married."
He looked puzzled. "You're not?"
They both shook their heads.
"But you registered as 'Clark and Lois Kent', correct?"
"Then that's a problem."
"There's an old New Troy law... it was just brought to my attention yesterday actually. The Metropolis Star did an article on it last week and my night manager researched it to make sure so that we can warn people..." He took a deep breath. "There's an old New Troy law that says if a couple registers at a hotel as a married couple, then legally, they are married."
"WHAT?!" the two reporters exclaimed.
He nodded. "I'm afraid so. It's a legally binding marriage. Just as if you'd flown off to Vegas."
Lois and Clark shared a look at that.
Lois was the first to speak again. "So, legally, I'm Clark's wife?"
The manager nodded. "Yes, ma'am."
She pressed. "So, if we didn't want to be married anymore, we'd have to get a divorce?"
He shrugged. "Either that or an annulment I suppose -- if you meet the criteria for that, but don't ask me what the criteria are. I just know that you have to meet certain requirements for an annulment instead of a divorce." He took a deep breath and let it out slowly. "Anyway, the room is yours for the weekend if you want it." He turned to let himself out. "Um... have a good night." He shut the door behind him.
"Wow." Clark was the first one to speak.
Lois turned at grinned wickedly at him. "So, Mr. Kent. What was that you were saying about wanting to wait until we were engaged or even married?"
"Lo-is," Clark groaned.
She shrugged, the picture of wide-eyed innocence. "What? I just found out that I got married this week. And I'm in the honeymoon suite of the Lexor Hotel with the man I love, the man I've just realized this week that I want to spend the rest of my life with." She closed the distance between them. "It's legal. I'm your wife." She reached out and ran a finger down his chest, stopping to grab the stomach of his T-shirt and tug her towards him. Her voice dropped an octave. "You're my husband." She felt his hands on her waist, holding her lightly against him. "And I want to make love with you on our honeymoon."
He grinned down at her. "Well, when you put it that way..." One hand came up to stroke her face. "Are you sure about this, Lois?"
She nodded. "I've never been more sure of anything in my life," she whispered.
"The bedroom is still a mess. Do you want me to go clean it up real quick?"
Lois glanced through the door at the other room. "No. The only thing in there I care about at the moment is the bed and it's rumpled, but otherwise looks like it's in pretty good shape."
Clark grinned down at her. "It is a big bed..."
She giggled. "... how 'bout we share?"
"Exactly what I had in mind," he whispered huskily as he lowered his mouth to hers and wrapped his arms more tightly around her, lifting them both off the ground and floating them towards the room where revelations had taken place and now dreams would come true.