By Round Robin
Summary: Clark anticipates a dinner date with Lois that turns out to be a real date. A multiauthored tale written by Renee Charles, Jennifer Secrest, Jennilyn Lazo, Julia Sen, Poison Ivy, Cassie Zistl and Stacie Taylor.
Note: There is a small bulletin board on Prodigy (called Jane's Brain BB) that's just for girls, and on that very same board there is a *very* small L&C club. We were bored <G>, and decided to do a group Fanfic, where one person would start, and we go in order finishing it.
It was a cold and rainy Tuesday, and Lois Lane was lonely. Clark was in Smallville for the day because his parents needed him, and she was stuck in Metropolis. ALONE. She picked up the phone, perhaps to call Lucy, but decided not to.
Going to the refrigerator, she opened the door and took out some ice-cream. Chewing thoughtfully, she smiled. Picking up the phone, she dialed the memorized number of her partner/best friend/sort of boyfriend.
"I'm not home right now, leave a message."
"Clark, it's Lois. Call me when you get back, I was thinking dinner."
Clark was home already, that was one of the virtues of flying Superman-style. He grinned. So Lois was thinking dinner, huh? Well, he might just go! He spun around, out of the costume and into the shower, and into a pair of jeans and a gray T-shirt. Then he picked up the phone.
"Clark!" She sounded delighted, and Clark's heart tripped excitedly.
"Dinner, huh. You cooking?" He teased her lightly, chuckling.
"You! No, we'll order. You coming?"
"Wouldn't miss it."
Jennifer Secrest (KGTC59D@prodigy.com)
"Well would you mind picking something up on your way over here?"
"No. So what do you want?," asked Clark.
"Okay. Be over there in about an hour."
And with that they both said their good-byes for that point in time. Then Lois walked over to the refrigerator and started to get something to eat.
"Lois, you idiot. Clark's bringing something over. Here I go talking to myself again." She rolled her eyes. "Wow! Fifty-five minutes left. I better hurry and get into the shower before he comes over!" She couldn't believe how childlike and nervous she was getting! It was almost pathetic.
Back at Clark's apartment, he pondered the FOOD question.
"Could get pizza. No. Try again. Italian. Wrong. Hamburgers. YEAH, RIGHT!! Chinese. Yeah, that'll do. Now, where to get it… Maybe I'll go to that little shop in China Town."
Meanwhile, at Lois's place, Lois was pacing _and_ talking to herself. "Okay Lois, what *will* we wear?? Pants? No, Clark will probably be wearing something nice. A dress. Okay. What color? Black. No. Red? Yeah right. Burgundy?? Bingo! I should hurry. Only about twenty minutes before Clark gets here, hell, maybe I'll make him wait. No. Not this time. Oh!"
"Oh hi, Clark!" There stood Lois in a short burgundy dress, and Clark in jeans and a gray Superman shirt.
Lois and Clark stood there for a minute, eyes wide open and staring at each other. It was Lois who broke the silence.
"Well," she said, giggling nervously, "I guess we kinda got our, um, signals mixed up. I could go change, it'll only take a minute…"
Clark stopped her babbling. "It's okay, Lois, don't worry."
"Okay, well, um, come in!"
Clark followed her into the apartment. "Well, here you go, I brought some Chinese."
"Oh great." All of a sudden, Lois looked up and noticed Clark's shirt. "A Superman shirt? Where did you get it?"
Clark looked down in horror. How could this happen?! The shirt had been a birthday gift from his parents as a joke and in his haste and nervousness over the sort-of date, he had simply pulled something out of his closet.
"Uh, it was, uh, a…gift! Yeah, a gift! From Superman. Kind of a joke."
"Oh, well, I like it."
Clark grimaced. This was yet another reminder of the appeal Lois had once found in his other persona. Maybe their relationship hadn't progress quite as much as he'd originally thought. Maybe it was back to square one. Well, if he was going to make it through the evening he'd have to put thoughts like that behind him.
"Hello? Earth to Clark!" Lois shook her spaced-out partner.
Lois' touch brought Clark back to Earth.
"Oh! Yes, Lois?"
"What about dinner? The food's getting cold."
"Oh, sure." Clark waited until Lois was looking away before quickly reheating the meal with a glance.
Lois went to turn on the TV as the couple moved dinner in front of it. "Mentos Fresher, Mentos fresh and full of life…" Lois rolled her eyes. "How lame," she said, and the two started laughing.
Jennilyn Lazo (RFDG32B@prodigy.com)
"Oops!" For about the umpteenth time, Lois dropped her chopsticks. "Mmm, this is good. Where'd you get this again?" she asked, in-between bites.
"Oh, that new place, Ralph's Pagoda." Clark chuckled to himself. If only she had known that he actually flew to China to get this great food…
"Uh-huh." Lois was busy, literally digging herself into her food. It was simply delicious, and she was thankful she didn't have to cook. For Clark's sake, at least.
When they had finished, Clark helped her put away the dishes. "Gimme a minute — I wanna change into something more comfy," Lois called from her room.
"Okay." He almost wished she wouldn't change. He'd miss seeing her in burgundy… she looked great in it. Clark sighed as he sat back down in front of the TV. And almost did a double take.
"Whoa… why is Lois on TV?" he asked himself. Then, he realized he was wrong. It was that Teri Hatcher lady. Boy, did those two look alike!!
"I'm back," Lois said softly. She took a seat next to Clark. She looked more relaxed in a pair of jeans, and a burgundy shirt. She still looked great. Sighing, Lois said, "What a way to begin a date."
Clark glanced at her, with a questioning look on his face. "Is…is this a date?" He honestly didn't know, thinking a flame in her heart still burned for Superman. Time passed before Lois answered.
"Well…sure it is.." she said, hesitantly. For some time, she had been thinking of how she felt for Clark. She tried to deny it for so long, but not anymore. Something else existed between them. Something else other than friendship. If any time as right to tell him, it was now. "Don't you think so?"
"Um, well…what about Superman?" Clark mentally slapped himself. He'd have to stop bringing up his alter ego like this…
"What about him?"
"Do you…" Clark couldn't face it anymore, and lowered his head.
"No, I don't." She knew exactly what he was talking about. Gently lifting up his face, she softly said, "Clark, I thought I loved him. But thinking and knowing are two different things." Smiling, she added, "I *knew* I loved you."
Silence. No words were needed. This time, the signals they both sent were definitely not mixed up. Clark opened his mouth to say something, but Lois stopped him.
She went to her window, which was open. Looking through as if for one last time, memories ran through her mind how she would always leave it open for a certain flying visitor. She'd have to put an end to those 'little girl dreams'. She'd found her Prince Charming. With a wistful look in her eye, Lois whispered, "Little girls have to grow up one day, huh, Superman?" She closed her window.
Clark heard her murmuring, and smiled. It meant a lot for him to hear her say that.
Julia Sen (DMVM29F@prodigy.com)
As Lois sat back down on the couch, she said to Clark, "My feelings for Superman were more like a dream. It is an impossible relationship. He's a superhero and I'm a reporter. Every one has fantasies. I have to face reality. There's someone else in my life."
Clark lowered his head, a puzzled look on his face. He had thought she loved Superman, but he was wrong. "Who is it?," he thought out loud thinking of Lois's ex, Dan Scardino, who he detested. He knew it was him, she said it was him, but he had to be sure…
"You, silly," she answered, giggling. So Lois did have feelings for him. He lifted his head, a smile forming on his lips.
"Lois," he told her. "I feel the same way about you." All of a sudden, Lois brushed her lips against his. "Lois," he replied, returning her kiss. Lois untangled her arms from around his neck.
"Little girls have to grow up one day, huh, Superman," Lois repeated, whispering. She rose and locked the window with a sense of finality. From behind her, she heard Clark as, "What'd you say?"
"Oh, um, nothing, Clark," she answered, even though it meant so much more. "Nothing at all." Feeling a bit like the grown -up Wendy at the end of Peter Pan, Lois strode back to the couch, sighing wistfully for the fairy tale she'd given up. She scooped the clicker off the coffee table and settled herself on the sofa and in Clark's arms. She flipped channels until she found "West Side Story" on A&E. It was about halfway through, when Tony and Maria were having their 'wedding' at the bridal shop where Maria and Anita worked. From the TV's speakers, Tony's amorous words in song flowed to Lois and Clark's ears;
"Make of our hands one hand; make of our heart one heart…"
"Oh, I love this movie!" she exclaimed. "Do you want to watch it?"
Clark himself had never seen it, but if Lois liked it, he was willing to give it a try. "Sure." Clark explained that he'd never seen it before. Lois quickly and quietly explained the Romeo- and-Juliet-of-the-50's plot, and the two watched in silence therein.
An hour later, the movie was almost over. The Jets and Sharks had finally resolved their differences, though at the cost of 3 lives. She pressed the stop button, and stretched.
During the movie, Lois had stretched out until she was lying on the couch, her upper body in Clark's lap, her head rested on the armrest. She sat up, wiping tears from her eyes quickly. She would feel silly if Clark saw her crying over a movie. She stood up and stretched, leaning back and extending her arms above her head. As her arms went up, the hem of her shirt slid up a bit too. Clark couldn't help but admire her slim stomach, and wonder just how high the shirt was going to climb.
At last she dropped her arms to her sides, snapping Clark out of his zone. "Um, my legs and arms are all stiff from sitting still so long." she said. Clark stood up and agreed. "Mine too." He quickly glanced at the VCR clock. "It's only 9:30. You want to take a walk and loosen up?"
She smiled. "Yes, I think I'd like that very much." Before leaving, Clark helped Lois turn off the lights and lock all the windows in her apartment. Then he grasped her hand in his and off they went into the night.
Once out of her apartment building, they set no particular course, just strolled along, hand in hand, and in silence. Lois had always been a chatty person, and found the silence uncomfortable and somewhat eerie. In search for a topic of discussion, her mind eventually grasped purchase.
"So," she began, "how'd you like the movie?"
Clark paused before answering, choosing his words carefully. "It was … okay."
Lois laughed softly. "Just 'okay'?"
"Actually, I don't blame you. I've seen that movie a dozen times, and I never get sick of it."
Clark was tempted to say 'and you still cry at the end,' but wisely held his tongue.
"But I've never met a guy who doesn't find the singing, dancing, and romance anything more than nauseating!"
Clark laughed out loud. "Lois! It wasn't 'naus—'" but he was cut off by a shrill scream. The two looked around searching for the scream's mother. At last they found her. In the window of an apartment a few feet in front of them, Lois and Clark saw, to their horror, a man holding a knife, advancing at a woman who wasn't in their line of sight but was quite auditory.
Several voices conflicted in Clark's mind at once. *If I don't do something—**But the police—**If you go as Superman, then Lois—**But if you don't do something, and someone dies—**you can't let her die!!* Eventually, Clark's instincts won out. He grabbed Lois by her shoulders and pulled her into an ally.
"Clark!" She cried out in shock and offense. "What are you doing?? Clark!"
"Shhh!" he hissed.
Lois looked into his eyes, deciding to wait for an explanation before DEMANDING one.
"Lois," he began, "I'm going to do something that's going to shock you. I'm begging you not to ask me about it until later. Okay?"
She nodded, too shocked and even a little scared to argue. Insensical blather slithered untapped through her mind.
*Is he going to hurt me? Is that it? Is he in cahoots with that terrible man in the window and he's going to kill me too?*
Of course, Clark did nothing of the sort. Instead he kissed her briefly, whispering "I love you, Lois." Then Clark stepped back and before Lois's astonished eyes, he spun around like Jim Carrey in The Mask. When he stopped, Superman stood before her.
*No, not SUPERMAN,* her mind corrected. *CLARK!! CLARK IS SUPERMAN!!!* The shock was too great, and Lois screamed. Lois wasn't even sure if Clark/Superman/whoever the hell that man was, because that man had flown off before she even opened her mouth. Clark had flown off to save a perfect stranger's life, even though he knew he had most likely destroyed a perfect relationship with the first woman he ever had truly loved with his heart, mind, and soul.
Cassie Zistl (JHRY33B@prodigy.com)
After rushing the man and woman to the police station to tell their story, Clark flew back to the alley only to find that Lois was gone.
"GREAT!" he yelled to the pigeons on the sidewalk. "Lois is gone, maybe even forever." Clark sighed and dropped his head into his hands, wondering what to do now. He could go back to Lois' apartment and try to explain things, but who knows how much good that would do. On the other hand he could just let things settle for a few days and see what happens.
No, he couldn't just let things settle. He knew what he had to do. After glancing around to make sure no one was watching Clark spun back into his "Clark" clothes and started the long walk to Lois' apartment.
Standing around in an alley at night was sure no picnic. Lois decided to go back home for fear of getting mugged, *even though she could handle it, she had taken tai kwan do classes* and after all, Lois Lane waits for no man. Even if he *is* Superman.
Once in her apartment, Lois immediately headed for the freezer and her double chocolate chip ice cream. Grabbing a spoon from the dishwasher (yes it is a CLEAN spoon) she collapsed onto the couch pondering this whole "Clark is Superman" thing.
*So Clark is Superman. Superman is Clark. Why didn't he tell me before? He's my partner! My best friend! I … I even love him. Whoa, no way, I can't love him. I mean he lied to me. Not just a little white lie like, like he doesn't know how to use a dish washer. No, this is something pretty major."
"But Lois!" Clark sounded really desperate.
"Just give me time," she said. She turned the volume up loudly on the TV and continued watching West Side Story from the part where she and Clark had left off. Lois wasn't sure what time it was when the tape began at the part when Tony and Maria are on the balcony, and before Tony dies, Maria says "Te Adoro, Tony". Lois found this very romantic, and always gets choked up every time she watches this scene.
She was just finishing with that part and wiping her eyes when the doorbell rang, and she heard a delivery man's voice say, "Package for a Lois Lane?"
After the delivery man left, Lois carefully opened the envelope enclosed with the flowers. The letter was in Clark's handwriting and said,
Te Adoro, Lois
Lois smiled to herself, and decided to do something. She picked up the phone and dialed Clark's number.
The phone rang once, twice, and the familiar answering machine clicked on. Teary eyed, Lois hung up. *Where could he be, it's not as if he's Superman! Wait a sec, he is!* She had never been more frustrated in her life. His answering machine should say "Hi! I'm out saving the world right now, so I can't come to the phone. If it's REALLY urgent, scream and I'll get right to you."
Lois sighed. *How am I ever going to get used to this?* Picking up a pillow, she threw it across the room. "Darn you, Clark Kent!" A gust of wind was her answer as Clark flew into the room.
"We need to talk," he said, and the earlier desperation was gone from his voice. His voice held business like contempt, but his eyes shone something different. She could see that he wanted her to understand, to forgive him. But she wasn't ready, not just yet. Her heart sped up at the passion in his eyes, but that still wasn't enough to make her let down her guard. Lois let out a grunt of rage and heaved another pillow at him. It bounced off his spandex clad shoulder.
"Argh! Take off that suit, it makes it REALLY hard to talk to you!," she screamed, enraged. "Do you know what you've done to me? All the lies, the excuses, the cover up jobs? You're my best friend, and you lied so easily to me, like I don't matter. As if it wouldn't hurt me or something. As if I don't mean to you what you do, er, did to me." Lois blanched at her slip of feeling toward him.
Clark's brown eyes lit up with anger. "Do you think it was easy for me? Running out on you, not telling you? Almost losing you to that damn Agent Scardino? Do you have any clue what that felt like? A week after our first date, and you're already looking at somebody else?"
Lois cut him off. "Looking at somebody else? No. Dan meant nothing to me until you started running off." She angrily pushed her hands through her hair. "I only looked at Dan because he would look back."
"It wasn't a problem of me not looking, believe me, Lois, if I could, I'd look forever. There WAS a reason for me running, you know that," he said, his voice took on a pleading tone again.
Lois's eyes softened for a moment, but then she regained her angry glare. "Ah yes. The reason," she said in a sarcastically sweet voice. "Just when WERE you planning on telling me this 'reason'. Clark, we were getting closer. You could have spared me lots of grief, but oh no, don't tell Lois! Did you think I was stupid because I couldn't see past the spandex? Which, by the way, is REALLY getting on my nerves."
Clark rolled his eyes. "What would you like me to change into?"
"Don't tease me, farmboy, I'm NOT in the mood."
He spun around, and changed into Clark again.
Lois sighed. "Now I can yell at you," she said, nodding.
*Lois, what were you doing before stuff? He's Superman! SUPERMAN! Well, that explains why I was in love with both of them. Stop it, I can't be in love, can I? After all the lies?* She let out a howl of rage, totally frustrated. Lois was not used to being confused, but she was. *How can I love him after he lied like that? How could I have loved both at the same time and why didn't I realize? Why didn't I KNOW?*
Just then the doorbell rang, interrupting her jumbled train of thought.
"Lois? Are you in there?"
Stacie Taylor (RBZF27B@prodigy.com)
Lois wondered whether she should open the door and have to see Clark. Come to think about it, she really didn't want to see him. She didn't want an explanation, there was too much she needed to think about.
*Well, that's a first. No explanation-ME? I guess love does that, no, I just guess today has done some pretty weird things for me because I can't love him. But I do…*
After about two seconds, Lois decided she definitely needed to think things out before she became more confused with other excuses.
"Lois, I know you are in there! You better be in there…" Clark's voice trailed off, sadly.
"Clark, I'm here, but I need time to think things over. Please, I don't want any explanations at all, just when I feel the time is right, I'll call you?"
"Talking. Now I'm yelling." Clark sighed, this was not going how he would have hoped. He shrugged. "Lois, if I hurt you in any way, I'm sorry. But I can't change what I've done." Clark felt the oddest sense of deja vu. He shook it off.
"Well, Clark, Superman, whoever you are, how can I ever trust you again?"
"Lois, Superman is what I can do. Clark is who I am. I really wish I could make you see that."
Lois looked puzzled. "Have we done this before? Never mind. Answer me. How can I trust you?"
"Lois, I did this for your sake."
"Don't patronize me."
"I'm not patronizing you. If you knew and somebody knew that you knew, you would have been a target. Come to think about it, you were anyway!"
"But you always ended up saving me. What a joke this must have been for you, you couldn't have me as Clark, but you managed a couple of kisses anyway as Superman! You must have been laughing at me all along. I mean, I told you as Clark about Superman, I ignored you, and when I finally decided that you as Clark were my best friend, I STILL couldn't figure it out. Some investigative reporter I am."
"Lois, you're the smartest woman I know. I didn't mean to hurt you. But what I'm trying to say is that both sides of me, all of me, love you." He looked at her, with his sad puppy dog look she had grown so fond of.
Lois's heart sped up a notch, but she kept silent.
"Now that you know, you know there are reasons, and it's not because I'm ignoring you. You also know that this is a dangerous secret to me, you, and my family. If somebody knows, they could kill you. And then I'd lose you forever, and no superpower can help me heal from that. If you hate me, I'll understand, and if we can't be friends, I understand too. But I want you to know that I'll love you anyway, I'll love you forever."
She opened her mouth to argue again, but no sound came out. Her thoughts were still in a jumble, but she understood somewhat his conflict.
Clark turned as if to leave. Lois leapt up from her seat on the couch.
"Wait. I understand how hard this must have been on you, and your family. It must have been torture not being able to tell, able to share."
"I was able to tell, somewhat, to you." Clark turned again. "I'm truly sorry, but think of the bright side. You know now!"
Lois couldn't help herself from giggling.
"Am I forgiven?" Clark asked, hopefully, giving her that sad look again.
"Not yet." she said, stubbornly.
He shrugged, crossed the room and kissed her softly on the lips. "Now?" he asked.
"Now," Lois agreed, took his hand and led him back to the couch.