By bobbart - Bob Bartholomew
Submitted: March 2011
Summary: Feeling lonely, a college age Clark Kent stops at a Valentine's Day dance in Metropolis. He encounters a young woman in the midst of one of the greatest challenges of her life. Fate combines with a little magic make this much more than a chance encounter.
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Disclaimer: This is a fanfic based on the television show, Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman. I have no claim on the pre-existing characters whatsoever, nor am I profiting by their use. The new story elements are mine. No infringement is intended by this work.
Time frame: Before Series
This is for Beverly.
Save This Dance for Me: A Lois & Clark Valentine's Day Fairy Tale
I love dances. I love the music and the motion. When I'm moving around the floor with a partner in my arms, I don't feel like an alien from a dead planet. For a while, I feel like I belong. At least it's easy to pretend.
I'm not sure why I stopped in Metropolis tonight. I was heading for Paris when I felt a sudden urge to be with other people my own age. That's not unusual. Because of my differences, I often feel very alone. Being in a lively social setting makes me feel more connected. For a little while...
I've been dancing with various partners for over an hour. The girls are all nice and, as usual, most of my dance partners have been blonde. For some reason I always feel more comfortable if the girl I'm with is either a blonde or redhead. I've never felt comfortable with brunettes. I don't understand why. Generally I don't find dark-haired women less attractive. In fact, it's just the opposite. But when I've tried to spend any time with them, something always feels wrong. No matter how nice or attractive the girl, if she has dark hair, we just don't seem to fit.
Tonight I'm going to test that rule again. Twenty minutes ago, I saw the most beautiful girl I've ever seen. She's alone in one corner of the room. In the past fifteen minutes, I've seen several guys approach her. In every case, she brushed them away. At least twice, she'd gotten rather... direct... in her refusal of their invitation to dance.
As I'm watching, she drives away another one. Somehow, I just know it's my turn. I start out for her. She spots me as soon as I start her way. She isn't even pretending to look at anything else. I'm not sure why she's here. She looks so sad. Still, her gaze carries an intensity that I don't remember ever seeing before. Is there interest also? I can't tell. Despite the look she's giving me, I fear that she'll say no if I ask her to dance.
It's probably a good thing that I don't have any pick-up lines. Based on my eavesdropping on the other guys that have approached her, she'd already heard them all. I'm a fool for thinking I'll do any better, but there's something about her – something magic. I have to try.
He's heading my way. Did he catch me staring at him? I don't see how. He's the cutest guy here, but from the time I first spotted him 30 minutes ago, he's only danced with tall blondes. He's probably a jerk. Guys that look like that usually are.
He's almost here. He's deciding on what pick-up line to use. I've been approached by enough guys to know that look. There's a voice deep inside yelling at me to take whatever stupid line he offers and go with it. Tonight I'm going to ignore the voice. It won't go well, especially not tonight. I'm not here to make friends, I'm here to say goodbye to Metropolis. I should never have let Jamie talk me into going out tonight. I've burned my bridges and it's time for me to leave.
"Hi," he says.
Even though I've been watching him move around the room, tonight I can't generate any enthusiasm. I just stare up at him.
"Would you mind if I brought over a chair?" he asks. That's not the line I expected. He's nervous but hopeful. He's sure I'm going to say no, but he presses on. "I can see that you want to be alone. Whatever it is that has you so down, it might help to talk."
Is it that obvious I'm depressed? The voice inside is yelling again, and his line was surprisingly inoffensive, so why not? "Sure," I say.
His face just lights up. He's too good-looking to be anything but bad news. Still, he doesn't feel like bad news. He scurries off and in no time, he's on his way back with a chair in hand. I'm amazed he found one. I'd have bet that every chair in the place was already occupied.
"I'm Clark Kent," he offers as soon as he's seated.
"Lois," I reply. I don't give my last name to a guy I just met. It doesn't matter how good he looks.
He looks at me seriously for a second. I think he picked up on my lack of a last name. After only a second or so the smile returns. "It's nice to meet you, Lois. I'm sorry you're feeling down. I really do wish I could make it better."
His face seems to transform. I'm sensing that he genuinely wants to help. How is he doing that? Suddenly I realize that we've just been staring at each other for several seconds. Something about him makes me feel comfortable – safe even. Then I shake my head. "Are you a vampire?" I ask. That startles him. He even looks good when he's confused. "You sure seem to have the whole hypnotic gaze thing down," I explain.
That triggers the first real smile I've seen. I thought he'd been smiling before, but I was wrong. Ok, no fangs, but that smile should be registered as a weapon. How is a girl supposed to keep her defenses up when she gets hit by something like that?
"I may not be perfect, but I'm no vampire," he replies. Then he looks around the hall as if searching for someone. "I'd be happy to take the mirror test, but there doesn't seem to be one handy. It's dark outside or I'd show you how much I like the sun. So unless you have some garlic, I think you're going to have to trust me, at least for now."
"Fine," I say with a smile of my own. "I'll be keeping my eyes open for a mirror. In the meantime, I'll feel better if you keep your distance from my neck."
He's really good with that smile. Then I see his eyes dart to my neck and I feel my own pulse quicken. Maybe I don't want him to keep his distance after all.
She's amazing! I've never felt anything like this before. That neck remark nearly doomed me. Her comment drew my eyes to her exquisite neck and all I could think was how much I wanted to kiss that smooth skin. I had to force myself to be casual. She let me sit with her. I'm afraid that one false step and she'll give me the boot.
I'm about to agree to keep my distance from her neck when I realize that might be a promise I can't keep. I'd better change the subject. "So, Lois, why are you so sad tonight? Is there anything I can do to make things better?"
There goes her smile. Now she looks sad again. "Unless you can roll back time a few weeks, I don't see how you can help."
"What happened?" I ask.
She takes a long time before she answers. "I am... was... a journalism major at Metropolis U. Two weeks ago I finished an exposé on performance enhancing drugs in the athletic department..."
"That was your story?!" I exclaim. "It was picked up by the wire services and I saw it on the national news. I thought it was by a woman named Linda King."
Her face turns dark and now she looks like she's about to tell me to get lost. I hold my breath as I see her work to regain her composure. After a moment, she continues. "That story was mine. Linda King was my roommate. The night before I was going to file the story, I told her all about it. I thought she was my friend." I can hear Lois starting to choke up and she pauses again.
She looks to be on the verge of tears, but after a few seconds, she continues. "The next morning I overslept. Someone... Linda... turned off my alarm clock. When I woke up, I had to rush to get to my morning classes. Later, I went back to my room to take my story to the paper, and I found that it and all the supporting notes were gone. When I reached the newspaper office, I discovered that Linda had turned it in as her own. She'd taken my notes and recopied them in her own writing. She also had all of the documents I'd collected during the investigation. I had no evidence and she had the backing of the editor. They said that the story was too good for any freshman so it had to be Linda's."
"What about your sources?" I ask. "Surely they would back you up."
"No. I promised them I would keep them secret. If any of their identities got out, they could be in danger. I won't do that."
"I understand," I reply. "You made a promise to a source and you feel obligated to protect them."
She's giving me a, 'How would you know that?' look. "You probably won't believe this..." I offer "...but I'm interested in journalism myself. I'm taking this year off to see some of the world and was planning to start college next year."
At first her look is skeptical. Then she seems to decide to give me the benefit of the doubt. "Well, do yourself a favor. Never trust anyone with your story."
"I'll remember that. And so will you – next time."
"There's not going to be a next time," she says in a morose tone. Now she's looking at the floor.
"What do you mean?"
She takes a deep breath and starts again, but her eyes never leave the floor. "First I moved out of that apartment. There's no way I was going to stay with Linda. I was lucky on that part because another friend, Jamie, is letting me stay at her place for a while. Then, I was so sure people would see that it really was my story, that I made a huge stink. I ended up getting kicked off the newspaper. After that, I couldn't stand having everyone whispering about what happened everywhere I went, so last week I dropped out of school. Now I have no home and no future." Now she looks up at me. "You said you wanted to help. Any suggestions?"
Looking into her eyes, I feel my heart being torn apart. I know nothing about this girl but the pain is unbearable. I want to comfort her any way I can. "You can't give up," I try. "You had a story stolen. But it was your story." Then I get an idea. "Where did the story come from? Was it pure luck?"
Her eyes turn hard. "No! I worked my butt off for that story. I dug out the evidence. I made the contacts. It was a lot of work."
I can't help but smile. She has a fire the likes of which I've never seen before. "Good," I respond. "Then you can do it again. Sure, you got the short end this time, but your talent got you that story." I risk reaching out and as gently as possible, I place my hand on hers. "Your talent can get you another one."
They're going to kick us out soon. Where has the evening gone? Since Clark first touched my hand, it's all been a blur. I'm sure he was only trying to cheer me up. His pep talk was already doing a good job, but nothing prepared me for the feeling that swept through me when we touched.
Even now, after having been in almost constant contact for the last three hours, I can't get enough of him. Maybe he is a vampire. What else could explain why it feels so good to be with him? If this is what it feels like to be with a vampire, I understand why the women in the movies always do whatever they want.
It's going to be over soon. He told me that he was only passing through Metropolis. After tonight, he'll be on his way and I'll get started on putting my life back together. Not only has Clark given me the best date of my whole life, but now I find that I'm ready to put the Linda mess behind me. He was right, I did it once and I can do it again.
The music's ending. This was probably the last slow dance of the night. I feel something brushing against the side of my neck. Is it possible...? Then the feeling resolves itself to the gentlest kiss. I can't tell which feeling is stronger. Do I want to stroll into the sunset with him or do I want to tear his clothes off? I think both. I feel another feather-light kiss and now I'm sure... forget the sunset; I want skin.
"I thought my neck was off limits for the night," I tease.
I feel another kiss. "It wouldn't stop calling to me," he whispers. "I almost made it but I was weak." I feel still another kiss. He's really good at this.
Somehow our feet have continued to move so we at least meet the minimum requirements for dancing. Then the music ends and the lights get extra bright. It's time to go.
Almost before I know it, we're out the door. There are two other couples and exactly two cars in the parking area. I find Clark looking at me. "Lois, how did you get to the dance tonight?"
"I came with my friend, Jamie. She left over an hour ago. I told her I'd be fine. I thought... I thought you'd give me a ride home."
"I'm sorry, Lois. I... I got a ride here myself."
I drop Clark's hand as I feel anger and irritation surge forth. "Great! It's after 1:00 a.m. and we're stuck." We're next to a curb so I sit down and bury my head in my arms. "I knew this was too good to be true. Besides, I... I can't see you again."
I hear Clark beside me. "I'm sorry. Please don't be upset. This has been the best night of my life. Being with you is... magical. I... I can't imagine this being the end."
That's how I feel too. Could this be love? No. I can't let it. "This isn't Paris." I mutter.
Clark is quiet for a long moment. "Paris?"
"Yeah, Paris." I look up at him. I see the curiosity mixed in with the fear that goes with dashed hopes. I feel like I owe him the rest. "I'll tell you a crazy story. When I was ten, my mom took me to a fortune teller. This woman didn't dress funny or use a crystal ball or anything like that. She just held my hands and looked in my eyes and told me things that would happen to me. I was ten and I believed everything she said." He's eyeing me skeptically, but I press on. "I remember every prediction she made that day. She was specific and very detailed." I pause for a second remembering some of the things she predicted that day. "So far, everything she told me that day has come true."
"You're kidding?" he interrupts.
"No. I'm no fool, but over the years, I've had to accept that what happened that day is outside of my understanding of how the world works. I don't normally believe in hocus-pocus, but everything she told me – and I do mean down to every detail – has come true."
"Wow. But what does that have to do with Paris?" Clark asked.
I swear I see love shining back at me through those brown eyes. "Because the very last thing she told me that day was that I'd meet the love of my life on Valentine's Day and that my love and I would watch the next sunrise from the top of the Eiffel tower."
I look away quickly and now I'm talking to the ground. "I've felt things tonight that I've never felt before. But I'm not ready to give up on that dream. You've been so good tonight. I feel so much better than I did. Because of you, I think I can move on now. Clark, as magical as tonight has been, we aren't in Paris."
I look up to see a smile brighter than any I've seen tonight. Doesn't he understand that I'm dumping him? I know it's foolish and I'll probably never be in Paris on Valentine's Day, but I've carried that dream since I was a little girl. I've always felt like my perfect love was out there. I want the chance to meet him. I can already tell that if I spend any more time with Clark, I'll never be able to let him go.
I'm about to explain that we have no future when he stands up suddenly. He reaches out to help me up. "There's something I need to show you."
I take his hand – it feels so good – and he helps me stand. "What could you possibly show me?" I ask as I look around.
He's still smiling but there is an air of something else behind the smile. "Did you know that sunrise in Paris is in 45 minutes?"
"So?" I ask.
He looks around for a moment. It's as if he's making sure we're alone. Then he steps closer and before I know what's happening we're in an embrace. "I have to tell you two things."
He's nervous for the first time in hours. "Go on," I say.
"Lois, I don't know how this happened, but I love you."
I can feel a joy welling up inside of me. That's just going to make it harder to tell him I'm waiting for someone else. But in that instant I pull him tighter. I just want to hold on one last time before I send him away. "Clark, I..."
"Lois," he cuts me off. "There's something else."
Honestly I'm happy for the excuse. Why would I give up the magic I've found tonight for a little girl's fantasy? Finally, I simply ask, "What is it?"
"I'm the love of your life," he says simply. Suddenly the ground is falling away and we're soaring out over the ocean. I should be afraid but I'm not. Then I hear Clark's voice. "We'll be in Paris in plenty of time to see the sunrise."
Valentine's Day is Feb 14 in the US and most of Europe including France.
Going into this story I wasn't even sure it was celebrated in France.
Sunrise in Paris on Feb. 15 is within 1 minute of 8:00 a.m. local time every year.
That is 2:00 a.m. east coast US time.