By Kelly Feenstra (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Summary: Employees of the Daily Planet are treated to a weekend camping trip, and Lois hopes it will bring an opportunity for her to get closer to Clark.
Thank you to my beloved triplet, Jenn, for being so encouraging, and to Diane Elliott, for always being a friend. :)
Lois Lane walked up behind her partner, Clark Kent.
"What's going on, Clark?" He turned his head to look at her.
"Perry is assigning everyone to a tent."
"As long as I'm not in Cat Grant's tent, I'll be happy." Lois responded dryly. Her partner just chuckled.
Every summer the Daily Planet offered a weekend camping trip. A different group of employees was invited each year, and this was Clark's first time. Lois, having worked at the Planet longer, had been on the trip once before.
"Okay, kids. Does everyone know who their roommates are?" Perry began walking toward the bus.
"Oh, wait. Clark, did you hear who I was with? I didn't…" Lois was interrupted by a smooth, silky voice.
"Lois, you're with me. I'm sure you and I will get along just fine! Ha ha!" Cat smirked at Lois as she ran her hand along Clark's arm.
"So, Clark. Interested in a midnight swim tonight?"
Clark shifted uneasily as Lois huffed away with a scowl. "Uh, Cat. I'm really sorry. I don't think I…"
Cat rolled her eyes. "Why do I even bother with you?" she strutted away.
Inside her tent, Lois unrolled her sleeping bag next to a copy editor named Shelley.
"Oh, hi, Lois! I'm glad you're in my tent!" Shelley smiled. Lois smiled back.
"Thanks, Shelley. I'm glad to know _someone_ around here likes me!"
Shelley frowned. "Lois, I don't know what you are talking about! All the girls like you!"
Lois smiled wryly. "You don't have to pretend. I hear what's said about me."
"Aw, who cares what they say? They're just jealous."
"Jealous? Of me? Yeah, right."
"No, I'm serious! They're jealous because of Clark."
"What does Clark have to do with any of this?"
"Don't play innocent, Lois. Don't tell me you haven't noticed that he's madly in love with you!"
"Clark and I are just friends!"
"Try saying that when you two are together."
"Well, we are very close. Best friends. Nothing else though! He is definitely not in love with me." Just then two other women entered the tent talking, but as soon as they saw Lois, they became silent. Lois looked at Shelley.
"I'm going to check out the lake. I'll see you later." she brushed past the staring women as she exited.
The campground was lively. A photographer named Jeff was playing his guitar and others were sitting around him playing cards. A campfire was already going even though the sun had not yet gone down, and people sat around it, laughing and telling stories.
Lois buttoned her sweater and headed toward the lake. When she reached it she found an old log to sit on where she could watch the sunset. The last of the daylight was reflecting into the dark water, making it look almost golden. The sky was an array of colors: pink, purple, orange, and yellow. The clouds spread across the sky. The wind ruffled the leaves of the huge trees that surrounded the lake. Lois was amazed at how different this was from the big city. It seemed so impossible that this place could exist in the same world Metropolis did. Despite the beauty and peacefulness she was engulfed in, her heart troubled her. In her mind, she kept repeating what Shelley had said.
"Don't tell me you haven't noticed he's madly in love with you!" Lois shook her head. It wasn't true. No one had ever fallen in love with her. She convinced herself long ago that there was nothing lovable about her. She was a tough, worldly wise, working girl. She tried to think of every time she had been rude or cruel to her partner, but there were too many to count. He respected her as his partner. That was all.
She dug her heel into the dirt. She was angry. Angry because Shelley had put the idea into her head that Clark loved her when it was impossible. Angry because she had pushed him away for as long as she'd known him. Angry because she was in love with him and too stubborn to do a thing about it. Her thoughts were interrupted by the sound of a twig snapping behind her. She whipped around, and standing there before her was Clark.
"Hi! I thought I saw you going in this direction." Clark smiled as he walked over to sit down beside her. Lois' heart started beating faster. That always seemed to happen when he was nearby. He was so different from any man she had ever known. Whenever they talked he looked deep into her eyes, as if he was searching her soul. It was almost as if he cared about what she had to say. It was as if he wanted to be with her. But that couldn't be. Lois longed to tell him what was in her heart, but why even bother? He wouldn't care. She was just his friend, his colleague.
"Was there something you wanted?" she couldn't bring herself to look him in the eye. She was afraid she would give her feelings away if she did.
"Oh, no. I just thought you might want some company out here. It sure is beautiful."
"Yes, it is." she paused, groping for something, anything to say. "Let's go for a walk around the lake"
He looked a little surprised, but agreed. He stood and then took her hand to help her up. Lois felt his hand tighten around hers and she caught her breath, but then he slowly let go. They began walking, bodies only inches away from each other. Lois kept her hand out of her pocket in the hopes that he might take it again, but he didn't. They were both completely silent The only sound was their feet against the ground. Suddenly, Lois tripped. As she began to fall she grabbed for Clark. Her momentum was too strong and he fell to the ground on top of her. They both started laughing, but the laughing diminished as they looked into each other's eyes. This time Lois couldn't pull her gaze away. He was so close. His lips were just above hers. Unsure of what he would do, but also unwilling to let this moment end, she wrapped her arms around his neck and lifted her mouth to his. She couldn't think of anything else but the feel of his body against her, his soft lips on hers, his hands caressing her. He moved his head down to kiss her neck. She could hear him whisper her name. She called his name back and he met her lips again. This kiss was even deeper and more passionate than before. The longing she felt inside made her ache for more. She wanted him more than she had ever wanted anything, but for some reason, before she could continue, she needed to talk to him. With as much willpower as she could muster, she pulled her mouth away from his. He continued to kiss her neck as she turned her body to get out from underneath him.
"Clark." she whispered breathlessly as she moved into a sitting position.
"Hmm?" he sat up as well and leaned over to kiss her mouth.
"Clark…we…have to…stop." she said between kisses.
"We do?" he continued to kiss her.
"Yes." she kissed him back a few more times but then held her arms out to keep him back. He opened his eyes and saw that she was serious, so he reluctantly pulled away.
"Clark, I guess you know by now how I feel about you." He didn't answer but his eyes seemed to be shining as he looked at her. She continued. "I think you feel the same way about me."
He finally spoke. "Lois, I'm in love with you. I have been for as long as I can remember." He leaned closer to kiss her cheek and then nuzzle her neck softly. She closed her eyes and reached up to stroke his hair. She had never experienced a more blissful moment than this. She was almost afraid of the passion she felt. He began kissing her again, more intensely than before. She was allowing herself to kiss him back, to let him touch her. She slowly reached her hand up and removed his glasses. She felt him hesitate in the kiss when she touched his face. She wondered why, but then shook the curiosity from her mind, until she noticed something about the feel of his face, the way he kissed her, the way he held her… Something was incredibly familiar.
"Clark," she whispered, keeping her eyes closed. She had a strange feeling that she knew what she would find when she opened her eyes, but just as she was about to, she heard someone calling her name. It was a far off voice, but it was distinctly calling her. It got louder and louder.
"Lois. Lois! Wake up! We're here!"
"Huh?" she opened her eyes to find herself sitting next to Clark inside a bus.
"We're at the campsite!" he smiled at her. "You were asleep for a long time! You must have been having a good dream, too. I don't think I've seen you smile that much while you've been awake!"
Lois elbowed him playfully.
"And what were you doing watching me anyway, Clark Kent?"
He shrugged his shoulders innocently.
She looked at him and giggled.
"What's so funny?"
"Nothing. Nothing's funny. It's just that you're right, I did have a good dream. A really good dream."
"Yeah? You'll have to tell me about it sometime. But right now we have to set up the tents." He stood up and made his way out of the bus.
Lois watched him go and sighed.
"Oh, well. It was only a dream." When she stepped off the bus, someone had a stereo set up and a Disney CD was playing. When Lois heard the words to the song, she couldn't help but look in the direction of her partner. And she hoped…
"A dream is a wish your heart makes
When you're fast asleep.
In dreams you will lose your heartaches.
Whatever you wish for you keep.
Have faith in your dreams and someday
Your rainbow will come shining through.
No matter how your heart is dreaming
If you keep on believing
The dream that you wish will come true."
"Hey Clark. Do you want to go on a walk tonight?"
"Sure, Lois. I'd love to!"