By Morgana <Cynthia.McCoy533@gmail.com>
Submitted: March 10, 2019
Summary: This story is a brief follow-up to an earlier one called “Summer.” It would help reading that fic to understand what takes place here. Just a pleasant autumn Saturday afternoon in Metropolis for Lois and Clark. It is a time to relax and talk about things other than deadlines, headlines and criminals.
Story Size: 2,195 words (13Kb as text)
Legal Disclaimer: No financial compensation is received for this story. All the main characters belong to December 3rd productions.
This story follows after the author’s “Summer.”
“Oh, just smell the crispness in the air! Spice pumpkin lattes, colorful falling leaves and the Metros in the World Series makes Autumn my favorite season!” Lois said as she walked down the street sipping from a large paper cup.
Simply looking at his companion warmly dressed in a blue jacket, jeans and a cream colored turtleneck sweater, Clark Kent could not help but smile. She was all energy and motion, a little tornado that lit up his life. Ever since the Ice Cream Social last summer they had drawn closer. His personal definition of their relationship was; they were less than a couple and more than friends. The bond between them was strong enough that when Lex Luthor asked her on a date, she politely, but firmly refused.
Clark had more than a sneaking suspicion Mad Dog Lane had her own misgivings about the man who dressed in expensive Savile Row suits and wore Tourneau Patek Phillippe watches had a very dark side indeed. In his alter ego as Superman, he intended to put an end to Luthor’s rule over Metropolis’ criminal element. But this afternoon, he put any further thoughts about the billionaire far away and concentrated on the lovely woman by his side.
He took his father’s advice seriously and no longer visited her at home – even after stressful and difficult Superman rescues. He even went so far as to stop providing Superman exclusives. It pained him to see her expression of dejection when, as Superman, he gave direct quotes to other reporters and news media outlets. The results were two-fold: Lois and Clark, the ‘Hottest Team in Town’, were known for more than their connection to Metropolis’ most famous resident and Lois stopped following the Man of Steel with near groupie adulation.
Gradually, Lois’ emotions about him as Clark were no longer confused and split into many directions. This one small change allowed their relationship to grow naturally over the last few months. He did little things to show he cared, like bringing delicious grilled veggie sandwiches and hot coffee when they were on stakeouts. It was much better than cold pizza and flat cream soda.
She made some unexpected changes as well, there were no longer arguments when he edited her copy. Instead of barging ahead on an interview, she respectfully listened when he asked the interviewee insightful questions. Lately she had been placing coffee, with a frosted donut on his desk whenever he came in late for work.
Still, if they were to grew any closer, he and Lois needed to sit down and have an uncomfortable conversation about a very serious subject. Maybe he could take her to Smallville in mid-winter for dinner with Mom and Dad. He should ask her today, just in case her family had plans …
Suddenly his thoughts were interrupted by a sharp tug on his right wrist.
“Oops! Looks like Dax found another place to sniff!” Lois said with a chuckle. “At this rate we won’t get very far!”
Clark sighed good-naturedly. “She likes to go at her own pace. Jake takes her on long walks when he’s home, but sometimes the airline calls him to cover for another pilot and poor Dax used to suffer for it.”
“Yeah, until your neighbor suckered you into pet sitting jobs while he’s flying off to exotic places!” She said with a snicker.
A crooked smile touched his lips. Oh if only Lois knew. He had visited far more unusual and mysterious places than Jake Nordahl … and he didn’t have to ride in a giant aluminum canister to get there!
Shrugging his large shoulders he responded. “It’s okay. I like having Dax around. She sweet, friendly and a good companion on quiet nights. Besides, who wouldn’t want to take care of a yellow Lab?”
At that moment a mother with two small children, a boy and girl with hair as blonde as Kansas wheat, came up to them. The woman asked shyly, “Excuse me sir, can my son Ethan pet your dog? He’s been talking about him ever since we came out of the bakery.”
Clark smiled and said. “Sure he can! Her name is Dax and she likes people, especially children.”
With a toothy grin as wide as it was beautiful, the boy approached the gentle yellow dog and with quick happy strokes, petted her head. “Oh! Her fur is so soft and pretty! I like you Dax!” he chirped.
The little girl joined her brother and suddenly the two were petting and rubbing the dog all over. Dax cheerfully responded to the attention by wiggling her rump while thumping an enthusiastic tail against Clark’s leg.
Lois stood back and watched thoughtfully, the children were adorable, polite and well-behaved. With his gentle, patient manners, she could easily imagine Clark as a father someday. But could she ever be such a good mother? Children took a lot of work, she remembered how difficult it was for her parents when she and Lucy were young. How to juggle two cardiac surgeons’ schedules yet maintain a positive family life? Somehow, with tenacity, determination and love they did it.
Getting a Pulitzer prize before hitting the big 30 was originally a much cherished goal. One that had been placed in her college yearbook in bold type. So far, three Kerth awards and one Merriweather were prominently displayed in a specially designed wooden cabinet at home. A tiny light shone on each prize, making them glow with an almost inner fire. There was even a distinct space set aside for the much coveted Pulitzer. Occasionally, whenever work was overwhelming, she wanted to chuck it all to become a novelist. One glance at the cabinet reminded her of that elusive goal.
Lately, looking at the cabinet didn’t bring up those emotions.
She never imagined a serious relationship, marriage, and possibly children, until meeting Clark. Ever since the Kent Ice Cream Social she felt not only a strong attraction for him, but the warmth of friendship as well. They were friends, good friends and they helped each other. He warned her about Lex Luthor and after doing a little sleuthing, she had come to discover he was not the generous philanthropist and helper to Metropolis that his marketing team tried so diligently to make him out to be. On the other hand, Lois had protected Clark from his former girlfriend, Lana Lang, who only wanted him for arm candy. Lois was never so happy to see anyone leave the newsroom than that sneaky redhead!
No, there was more to their friendship than meets the eye. It only took a big yellow dog and a couple of sweet little kids for her to glimpse at the future. After all, you can’t snuggle up to a pile of plastic on a cold winter’s night.
The kids continued petting Dax until their mom, who was carrying a large canvas shopper’s bag that was full of groceries and baked goods said, “Okay guys, its chilly and we have more errands to do before Daddy gets home. Thank the folks for letting you pet their doggie.” She pointed her chin to an SUV indicating it was time to go. Her daughter reluctantly let go of Dax, went over to her mother and stood obediently waiting while she opened the car door and slid the grocery bag inside.
“Thank you mister.” Ethan said and gave Dax a big hug before joining his family.
As they climbed into the vehicle, the little boy could be heard saying to his mother, “That nice man’s wife was real pretty.”
Lois and Clark looked at each other, their faces blushing beet red. Speechless, they stood there until the car drove off. Then Lois broke the silence by bending down and playfully shaking her finger in front of Dax’s nose and said teasingly, “It’s all your fault! Labs are such lovable dogs, people see a couple walking one and immediately think they are a family.”
The dog’s only response was to furiously wag her tail and then walked around Lois to approach a fireplug … while wrapping the thick cloth leash around her legs.
“That dog! That dog!” she groaned, while Clark disentangled her.
They waited for Dax to finish her business and then walked in companionable silence down the street, making their way to Centennial Park. Lois continued sipping on her mocha latte, deep in thought. Clark was also contemplating matters, this was the perfect opportunity to find out exactly where he stood in Lois’ life. If it was positive, he would ask her to come to Smallville and then …
Again, his thoughts were interrupted when Lois discarded her empty cup in the trash and said abruptly. “Clark, it was funny how that little boy … Ethan, thought we were married. What … what do you think about family life … and marriage?”
He was so stunned by the question it took him a moment to reply. “Uh, its great! I’ve always looked forward to having a family of my own. My parents were excellent examples of a good marriage, although my grandmother kept saying mom was wasting herself marrying a farmer. For a few years it was tough because she couldn’t conceive, but then I came into their lives. Sure raising a child is a challenge, but they stepped up to it willingly. That’s the kind of family I want. What about you?”
Before she could answer, they came to a bench sat down. “As you know Clark, my parents went through a rough time in their marriage. Daddy nearly had an affair with one of his surgical nurses, but thankfully he appreciated who my mother is and didn’t pursue it. That taught me an important lesson, to value the ones I love. Dad knew if a surgery went wrong and he needed someone to lean on, mom would be there. Our work as reporters is very rewarding, but there’s more to life than chasing the bad guys. I want to be honest Clark, I’m scared because we are work partners, but having a relationship with you is worth the risk.”
He could believe his ears, Lois wanted to take their relationship a step farther! He wanted to kiss her than and there, but again he was interrupted by the lady herself.
Her eyes lit up with an impish gleam. “So Kent, what did you think of that little boy’s comment?”
He answered by wiggling his eyebrows. “Why Ms. Lane, don’t you remember the old saying ‘out of the mouths of babes’? It is apparent to me the young man is highly intelligent and has great taste!”
Lois said a little wistfully. “He was a charmer, that one. I wonder how he’ll ask a girl out on a date when he’s old enough?”
Clark answered, his voice in a quiet, low rumble. “He’s going to have to wait a few years, but I want to ask my girl out for dinner tonight. Uh, after I take Dax home.”
She looked at him with questioning dark brown eyes. “Dinner? We’ve had dinner together countless times.”
He thought about Martha’s suggestion months ago. Take her out to dinner at a fancy restaurant with candles and linen napkins …
“Yes, dinner, someplace special to celebrate today. I was thinking of Carbone’s.”
Lois’s eyes grew wide with excitement. “I love their food! Walking in there is like entering the movie version of a classic Italian restaurant—tiled floors, leather banquettes, tuxedoed waiters, and white tablecloths.”
Her best friend smiled, mom was right. “Exactly!”
“Oh Clark, this is so exciting! I’m so happy! Autumn is the best time of the year!”
Sitting on the bench, Clark’s arm was wrapped around her and despite the autumn chill, they were not in the least bit cold. Now they were truly dating and looked forward to more delightful days like this.
They talked for a while longer. Eventually they got up and holding hands, reluctantly started back for their separate homes to get ready for a special date … their first as a couple. Dax walked along at a very obedient stride, as if the dog could sense something different had just taken place.
When they parted, Clark watched as Lois turned the corner and headed back to her apartment. He was so joyful, he contemplated whether an invulnerable heart could beat so fast from happiness that it escaped his chest?
There would be this date, than another and another until it led to a familiar farmhouse in Smallville and a very important discussion. But he wasn’t worried, not at all. Today was the beginning of a new life for them.