By Emerald Shine (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Summary: A continuation of the episode "And the Answer Is …" in which it doesn't take Lois a long time to give Clark an answer.
(the after-story to "After the Rain")
Please don't ask about the title!! <g> I needed something that would go with rain…
Special thanks (and an apology for the time it took) to Kar-En, for encouraging me to write this! This one's for you Kar-En… Also, thank you to my 'triplet', Kelly Feenstra, for reading all this beforehand, and for being such a terrific friend! (and sister!)
This takes place after ATAI, and after my story, "After the Rain". It is total fluff, but I had fun writing it! ;) All comments, critiques, whatever, are welcome and very much appreciated. :)
They'd gone to Clark's place, Lois and him, after their magical moment in the park. To them, their existence seemed to take place inside a dream bubble — untouched, unharmed, and able to take solace in the stillness of the night. The rain had stopped, the storm had gone, and all that remained was the dewdrops to fall. Lois and Clark understood and needed each other. Forever.
Lois' head lay against Clark's chest, and she could feel the warmth and love of his arms wrapped around her. For the seemingly millionth time that night, she touched the diamond engagement ring resting so perfectly on her finger, and smiled into the moonlit room. Clark kissed the top of her head, and she looked up at him. In her whole life, there had never been another man she could get so angry, frustrated, or exasperated with, yet at the same time, love so much. At least now, she knew. Knew everything there was to know about Clark Kent — and how much he needed her; how much she needed him.
The last several days hadn't been easy, but they could be put behind them. Maybe there would always be reminders of some of the pain, but that was okay with her. If it hadn't of been for some of the difficult decisions both of them had needed to make, they might not be here — together — at this moment.
Lois had figured it out by herself, and she guessed that, subconsciously, she had always known. It had taken a little — or maybe a lot — of doing for her to realize Clark and Superman were one and the same… Yet, they weren't. Clark was Clark. Superman was the image the world took comfort in believing in. Slowly, that was dawning on her, and for once she wasn't confused. She loved Clark. She'd do anything for him — she'd almost died for him. But then, there wasn't anything he wouldn't do for her. He'd proved it time and time again.
Clark gazed down at Lois, who — just a moment ago — had been sleeping contentedly. He was still having a difficult time comprehending just how everything had resolved itself. Lois knew his biggest secret — and she didn't seem upset. At least, not yet. Then, she'd said she would marry him! Together, forever, they would remain. Just to be with her… They both drifted off to sleep, waiting for night to become day.
Over breakfast in Clark's kitchen the next morning, Lois had an amusing thought. Clark noticed her expression and grinned in mock fear. "Uh oh. I know that look!"
Lois shot a mischievous glance his way. "I was just thinking…"
"That's what I was afraid of…"
Lois swatted at Clark, and they both laughed. "Well? Aren't you curious of what about?"
"Experience has taught me this could be dangerous!" he squeezed her hand affectionately.
Ignoring his comment, she continued. "I thought maybe we could play a little… game… at the Planet."
"Now Lois, you know what they say about mixing business with pleasure!" his eyes sparkled merrily.
"You are awful!" she kissed him, then went on. "I think it would be interesting to see how long it will take Jimmy and Perry to notice we're engaged! Couldn't you imagine their faces?"
"Hmmm…" Clark mused, and shot the mischievous glance back at Lois. "That could be fun!"
After a stop at Lois' apartment for her to get ready for work, Lois and Clark arrived at the Daily Planet. Other than seeming a bit happier and giddier than usual, they kept a fairly normal front, as if no life-shaping event had occurred the previous night. Hand-in-hand, they walked to their desks, making jokes like at breakfast.
Jimmy noticed Lois and Clark's behavior, and smiled to himself. Finally, they seemed to be getting it together. He wondered how the Chief would take this. On the one hand, lately when Lois and Clark had been fighting, or rather, disagreeing on just about everything under the sun, Perry had been trying to give relationship advice to Clark. When that hadn't worked, and the would-be couple had been completely out of synch, Perry had swore that he just wanted to be with Elvis, get it over with. So maybe he'd be happy that things were working out. On the other hand, he had this grave fear that their relationship would blow up in their faces and throw the whole newsroom off. Something about another reporting team on their way to a Pulitzer… Jimmy shook his head. Surely Lois and Clark were the most dynamic duo in the history of journalism! Between them, they had four Kerth awards. But still, they _had_ been late for work…
Lois and Clark were seated at their desks, chatting animatedly about… Well, Jimmy wasn't quite sure what about. He crossed the newsroom to Lois' desk, leaned on it and looked at his two good friends. Clark got up from his desk and stood behind Lois. Jimmy thought he saw Lois trying to smother a grin. What was with these two?
"Hey guys, how's it going?" Jimmy asked.
"Super!" Clark remarked, not missing a beat.
Lois swallowed a giggle. She had the sudden urge to whack Clark in the head, but lovingly. "Uh, never better!" she choked out.
"Really?" Jimmy said, wondering briefly just _what_ had been put in the coffee this morning. "Well, I'm glad to hear it, 'cos Perry could very well be on the warpath. You're late!"
Jimmy noticed Lois had turned around in her chair to look at Clark. He gave them a strange look. "Guys?"
Lois swiveled back. Propping her head up with her left hand, she laughingly replied, "Mmmm?"
"I just said that you're…" The sentence died from his lips. If he was seeing correctly… "You're… engaged?!?!"
"Looks like we have our first winner!" Clark teased, reaching for Lois' hand. "And what does James Bartholomew Olsen win?"
"James! You have the option of answering this question: Will you be our Best Man?" Both Lois and Clark watched a momentarily stunned Jimmy.
"I-I-Yeah! It would be an honor!" he started to back away, mumbling in shock to himself, "Married. Lois & Clark…" He stumbled into Perry's office, returning a moment later with a confused Chief.
"Lois? Clark? This will only take a minute. Jimmy came bumbling into my office, babbling incoherently about 'Lois & Clark… lunatic… wedding?'! Now what in the Sam Hill…" Perry stopped abruptly when the brilliant flash of the ring caught his eye. "Well, I'll be! I think this calls for an announcement!"
Lois and Clark got up from their desks, arms around each other's waist, smiling at each other.
"Gather 'round everyone!" Perry called out to the newsroom. "I've got a very important breaking story for y'all!" The usual din of the Daily Planet silenced as they all waited expectantly. Perry continued. "This concerns two of our very own reporters. Let's congratulate Lois Lane and Clark Kent! They're getting married!"
The newsroom erupted into cheers of "congratulations!", and Jimmy snapped a picture of the two of them looking so much in love. It was so unbelievably wonderful. This was actually happening!
Martha Kent was bustling around her kitchen in Smallville, trying to finish some last-minute details of the fabulous meal she had cooked up. She and Jonathan had invited Clark and Lois out for a visit, but Clark had said they could only stay for dinner — hinting they'd be using their holidays for other things. Martha paused in her work, a thoughtful expression spreading across her face. She wondered if this meant Clark had told her? She hoped Lois was feeling better, after her near-death experience. And she really, _really_ hoped Clark had told her… Martha cleared her mind. She had things left to do.
Jonathan came up behind her and helped to finish with the cooking. Suddenly, the back door swung open and they heard the laughter of a happy couple. Turning around, they saw only the front page of a newspaper, held out by Lois and Clark. The headline proclaimed:
CITY'S TOP REPORTERS TO WED
and underneath the caption was the picture Jimmy had taken. Martha and Jonathan stared at each other, surprised, but pleasantly. Lois and Clark dropped the newspaper, and watched Martha and Jonathan's reaction.
"Jimmy and Perry made it," Clark explained. "We thought it would be a great way to tell you!"
"Well, congratulations! This is wonderful!" Martha and Jonathan couldn't have been happier.
Martha remembered her previous thoughts, and turned to Lois. "How are you feeling, dear?" she asked with concern.
"Much better, thank you, Mrs. Kent… Mom?"
Martha hugged Lois while Clark watched them with a smile. "So Mom," he asked, "what's for dinner?"
After dinner, Martha pulled Clark aside. "Son, this has been bothering me for awhile… Have you told Lois about you — the _other_ you?"
To her surprise, Clark grinned. "Yes Mom. But I didn't actually have to tell her!"
"She figured it out on her own. Somehow, she just… knew!"
Martha was relieved. There would be no more secrets, and no more lies.
Over dessert, they talked about the wedding. Lois and Clark wanted a late summer wedding — outdoors — and in Smallville. The next couple of months would be busy. There was a wedding to plan!
After dinner, Clark and Lois took a walk in the fields. It was wonderful, just the two of them — Clark's arm around Lois' shoulder and Lois holding his hand, just like the previous night in the park. For a long while, they simply stepped in silence, enjoying being together. It was Lois who spoke first.
"Clark," she said, not really looking at him as they continued to walk, "last night, when I was at your place, I did some thinking."
Clark stopped and looked deep into her eyes. He touched her cheek with his hand. Lois smiled. They sat down against a tree, and she went on.
"I couldn't help but wonder, after realizing that you are Superman, where that would leave me? You have two lives, Clark! You… you help humanity! It takes up a lot of your time, and I realized, well…" her voice dropped to a whisper, "that I might finish second to that in your life." Lois looked away, ripping a blade of grass to shreds.
Clark took a deep breath. He'd had a feeling this was coming, and he knew he had a lot to make clear. Especially his feelings where Lois was concerned. "Lois, don't _ever_ think that!" he placed his hand under her chin and tilted her face his way. "I love you! You come first in my life — now and forever. I would do anything for you! I'd even… I'd even give up being Superman…" The last part had been the hardest to say, but it was true. His feelings for her — they were more than words could ever say.
Tears shone bright in Lois' eyes. "Oh, Clark," she whispered. She wrapped her arms around his neck, and he bent his head over hers. The kiss started out gentle and soft, but soon grew long, deep, and emotional. Lois knew that this was _definitely_ something she could handle for the rest of her life. Clark felt the same way.
Later, they just sat there, Lois' head resting against Clark's shoulder. He noticed she was starting to fall asleep, and realized that it _was_ getting late.
"Lois," he said softly, "I think it's time to go back."
Lois looked at him sleepily. "Mmmmmmm…" was her reply.
He took her in his arms and began the flight home to Metropolis. Lois slept most of the way.
For the second morning in a row, Lois found herself awakening in Clark's arms. *Not bad* she thought. *More like… a dream come true?* Quietly, she slipped out of bed, tiptoed into the kitchen, and made some coffee. *Home* she thought, looking around. It was certainly _like_ home, only minus the fish. That could be changed, however. She sat at the table drinking her coffee, staring off in deep thought.
That was how Clark found her. Kissing the top of her head on the way to the pot of coffee, he cheerfully greeted her. "Good morning, beautiful. Sleep well?"
*Beautiful.* It was amazing the way their relationship had changed in the past two years. Clark had some old-fashioned values, but now that they were engaged… "Clark, what do you think about living together?" she blurted out.
He gave her a teasing look. "Well, I'd say that when two people are married, it's generally a good idea…"
"Clark! I'm serious! Now that we're engaged, and considering I've spent the last two nights here…"
"Lois, I'd love for you to live here! Actually, I kind of thought that decision had already been made, because like you said, you've spent the last two nights here!"
"Really." He leaned over and kissed her, a slow, leisurely good morning kiss. She kissed him back, and it grew more intense, until finally, she had to come up for air.
"So when do I move in?" she asked breathlessly.
"As soon as you're ready to. Maybe I can help with the packing. Superspeed _does_ have its advantages, you know!"
"Cute, Kent." Lois mumbled happily. "Well, we can start later on, maybe after work. Perry's letting us go early."
"Consider it done!" Clark took a sip of his coffee.
*Clark makes the cutest mover* Lois thought gleefully to herself. And he was right — superspeed _did_ have it's advantages. After Lois had given him a good idea of what she was taking, he was done in ten minutes!
Lois reflected over the past several days. She had been so busy! She hadn't even told her family of the engagement yet. Picking up the phone, she dialed Lucy's number.
"Hey there little sis! I have some news… Yes, I'm fully aware that I'm a reporter, thank you very much… No, this isn't about a story… Lucy! Quit babbling!"
Clark heard this comment and grinned. Lois noticed this and started to glare at him, but couldn't contain herself and instead broke into a fit of giggles.
"… What?… No, I'm _not_ on medication… I'm perfectly sober… I ran out of chocolate ice cream last week, Luce… Yes… No… Arrrggghh! I can't take it anymore!… I'm getting married!… Lucy? You still there?… Oh. Is the phone still in one piece?… That's good… Actually, we just set a date. September 17th… I know. Lots to do! But we wanted an outdoor wedding… No, of _course_ not in Metropolis! Yeah Luce, right on the astroturf!… In Smallville!… Yep… Uh-huh… Right!… Small. Family and close friends… Ooh… Yeah, that'll be great! Thank you so much!… I want you to be my maid of honor… Okay!… Yeah, I know… Oh, geez! I've got to go!… Moving into Clark's… Like we're moving at superspeed? If only you knew… I'll see you tomorrow! Two o'clock?… Okay… I'll tell him… Bye!
Lois looked at Clark, smiling happily. "Ready to roll?"
The day of the wedding had finally arrived. The last several months had been quite hectic, what with all the planning. And Clark _still_ hadn't told Lois where they were going for their honeymoon, though Lois had a pretty good idea. She had caught Clark looking through a brochure for a remote island in Fiji…
The setting was like something out of a fairy tale. Smallville was at its best and brightest in these last few days of summer. The brilliantly coloured wildflowers were in bloom, the soft grass was a lush green, and the birds chirped a merry melody. They couldn't have asked for a more perfect day — the sky was a bright azure, with puffy white marshmallow clouds scattered lazily here and there.
The ceremony was about to take place. The only damper was Lois' father hadn't been able to make it on such "short notice", and Clark noticed that Lois wasn't too upset over that. He remembered her telling him that he was always disappointed that he never had any sons. Perry would be giving her away.
Clark stood under the magnificent archway which had been constructed for the occasion. It was decorated with the same gentle pink baby roses as were in the bouquets. Jimmy stood off to the side.
The music struck up, and Lucy walked down the aisle until she reached the archway, then moved to the side. Then came the moment they had all been waiting for — the bride. Clark's breath caught at the sight of her. She was so incredibly beautiful.
The bodice of Lois' dress was sleeveless, with a high neck and embellished with tiny, iridescent beads. The skirt was made of flowing, almost gauze-like material, and reached to the bottom of her ankles. Her luxurious dark auburn tresses were in loose waves, and in place of a veil was a crown of miniature white roses. She was absolutely radiant.
Their eyes locked. As Lois was escorted up the aisle by a bursting-with-pride Perry, their gaze never once even wavered. Clark was in such awe, he barely heard the minister until it came time for the all-important question:
"Do you, Clark, take thee Lois to be your lawful wedded wife? To have and to hold, to love and to cherish, in sickness and in health, till death do you part?"
Looking deep into her eyes, Clark lovingly pronounced the words, "I do."
"And do you, Lois, take thee Clark to be your lawful wedded husband? To have and to hold, to love and to cherish, in sickness and in health, till death do you part?"
Lois' tone was soft and emotional. "I do."
"The rings please."
Moments later, Lois and Clark heard the words they had secretly been waiting so long to hear. "I now pronounce you husband and wife. You may kiss the bride!"
And that is exactly what Clark did. The beginning…