By Sue S. <sistersuze (at) gmail.com>
Submitted: May, 2012
Summary: This is a WAFFy continuation of “Witness.” It picks up right after Lois asks Clark to walk her home.
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This is fluff, pure and simple. I had an hour to kill at work this afternoon and this is what happened. I realize I’m using characters that don’t belong to me, but since I’m not getting paid for writing this, it seems like maybe the lawyers could let the copyright infringement rules slide.
A light snow was falling as Lois and Clark left the Daily Planet. Lois told herself she was only holding Clark’s arm so tightly because the sidewalks might be slippery, but the truth was she that enjoyed the possessive nature of the gesture. They turned north on 24th street and headed in the direction of Centennial Park.
“What are your plans for Christmas?” Lois asked.
“I’m flying to Kansas on Christmas Eve to spend the weekend with my folks.”
“That sounds nice,” she answered. Deep down, though, a little spike of disappointment shot through her. Not that she’d ever admit to anyone that she sorta, kinda had hoped Clark would be all alone in Metropolis for the holiday. She’d had a particularly vivid dream the night before that had featured saving Clark from a lonely Christmas morning. Now, with only one day left before he went home, she suddenly found that she already missed him.
“What about you?” Clark asked. “What are your plans?”
Lois shrugged and unconsciously tightened her grip on his arm. “Oh, I don’t know. I always say I’m going to take the day off, but I usually end up at my desk by mid-morning. You’d be amazed how much you can get done when the newsroom is practically empty.”
He shot her a knowing grin. “Christmas is a slow news day, isn’t it? What do you work on?”
“I clean out my drawers and organize my desk. I give a proper sendoff to the plant I’ve managed to kill that year. Then I can bring a new plant to work on January 1 and get started on ignoring it to death.”
“Have you ever considered getting a fake plant?”
“Sure. But where’s the fun in that?”
“Wow, a real plant killer.” Clark shook his head in mock horror. “I’ve heard rumors about people like you — I just didn’t want to believe they were true.”
“Oh, the rumors don’t even come close.” Lois answered with a laugh. They had reached an intersection and had to wait for the light to change. Now that they weren’t moving it seemed a lot colder than when they had left the Planet. She shivered a little and moved closer to Clark. “I, uh,” she started hesitantly and cleared her throat to find her voice. “I’ve been meaning to thank you, Clark, for saving my life the other day.”
“I’m just glad I was there.”
“Me, too.” Lois hesitated for a moment and then decided there was never again going to be a better time to bring up this topic. “I’ve been thinking about that. How is it that you just happened to be outside my apartment at six o’clock in the morning?”
The light changed and they moved to cross the intersection. Lois waited, but even after they reached the opposite sidewalk, Clark still hadn’t answered her question. She decided to try another tack.
“How long were you out there?”
Clark shrugged. “Not long,” he said, so quietly she almost didn’t hear him.
“You didn’t spend the whole night outside my apartment, did you?”
He shook his head. “No. Not the whole night.”
Lois’ instincts told her that while Clark might not have been out there all night, he had to have been there most of the night. It had been freezing that night, at least as cold as it was now. If anyone else had just semi-confessed that they had camped outside her apartment in the bitter cold it would have felt creepy and stalkerish. Somehow the fact that Clark had been right about someone trying to kill her made it possible for her to forgive his overzealousness.
“It was really cold that night.”
He nodded but didn’t elaborate.
Lois gave his arm a squeeze. “Thank you.”
They had reached the south end of Centennial Park. It was Lois’ favorite part of the sprawling urban parkland. Snow was still lightly falling, framing the long row of bare elm trees that stretched out before them. Only a few other walkers were braving the elements tonight, but they were so far away that it almost felt like the park belonged only to her and Clark. Lois tipped her head, letting it rest against Clark’s shoulder as they ambled beneath the natural canopy.
“I’ve been trying to think of something to get you for Christmas. I mean, what do you give to the guy who saved your life?”
“Three times,” Clark pointed out with a grin. “I saved your life three times in a single twenty-four hour period.”
Lois lifted her head from his shoulder in mock-indignation. “Says you. The way I remember it, you only saved me twice. Be happy with twice, Clark. Not even Superman has saved me twice in one day.”
“I’m sure he would if you needed him to.”
“Don’t change the subject. I was asking what you wanted for Christmas.”
“I think your being alive is present enough.”
“You do realize that there are still three more days to go? It’s not out of the realm of possibility that I won’t make it to Christmas. I could get struck by lightening or get hit by a bus or eat some mistletoe in the next three days.”
“Why would you eat mistletoe?”
“I’m not saying I would. I’m just saying it could happen.”
“But why mistletoe?” he persisted.
“Because it’s a poisonous little plant that people string up all over the place for the holidays. It’s everywhere, Clark. There’s some hanging up right now outside Perry’s office. I have to be careful not to go past it when Ralph’s in the vicinity. Did I ever tell you that he kissed me a couple of years ago at the office party?”
Clark wrinkled his nose in disgust. “He did?”
“Be glad you’re not female or I’m sure he’d try and nail you, too.”
“Would it disgust you if I took advantage of some mistletoe?”
“To kiss Ralph? Yeah, I think that would disgust me.”
He laughed. “No. To kiss you.”
“Oh.” Her heart began to race at the thought of kissing Clark. “Uh, no. I don’t think so. That would be okay.”
“You can consider it your present to me, if you’re still determined to give me something.”
Her excitement at kissing him diminished as she fully comprehended how it was going to happen. Tomorrow morning at work he’d give her a quick peck on the cheek outside of Perry’s office. Maybe he’d kiss her lips, but it wouldn’t be nearly as romantic as the dreams she’d had about him. Any enthusiasm she’d had for the idea left her as swiftly as it had arrived.
“Are you sure you wouldn’t rather have something, I don’t know, more tangible?” she asked.
“Really? That’s all you want for Christmas? A kiss outside Perry’s office?”
“Actually, I wasn’t thinking of the mistletoe outside Perry’s office.”
“Come on.” His free hand patted hers. “We’re almost there.”
They had reached the stairs that led down to the fountain in Centennial Park. A solo saxophonist was playing “Silver Bells” as they passed through the arcade beneath the terrace; the music echoed off the beaux-art tiles. Lois saw it then, hanging from the middle arch framing the fountain’s plaza, a large sprig of mistletoe. She was suddenly nervous at the thought of kissing Clark. What had she eaten for lunch?
“What about here?” Clark asked and turned to face her beneath the mistletoe.
Her heart pounding with anticipation, Lois could only nod.
Clark’s hand touched her cheek. He wasn’t wearing gloves and yet his hand was warm against her skin. His fingers stroked into her hair and her head tipped back in response. Clark started to lean closer and Lois closed her eyes. In the expectant seconds as she waited for his kiss, Lois remembered the solid comfort of Clark’s arms around her as he slowly rocked her on her kitchen floor. There was no one else like him, no one else who had ever made her feel that safe and cherished — not even Superman.
Lois sighed at the soft touch of his mouth on hers. He took her lower lip between his in a sensual pull that made her entire body feel heavy. Their breath mingled and then he was leaving her, lifting his head.
“Merry Christmas, Lois,” he whispered. A snowflake landed on her cheek and he brushed it away. The tenderness of that faint caress sent a wave of longing through Lois that wasn’t at all sexual. She simply didn’t want to lose this moment and the way being this close to Clark made her feel.
She managed to give him a shy smile and a breathless, “Merry Christmas, Clark.”
Clark half-turned and offered her his elbow. Lois took hold of his arm again and they walked together into the plaza as snow started to fall in earnest. She already knew what she was going to give him for Christmas next year — assuming she could wait that long before kissing him again.