By Kaytee Shultz
Summary: Lois and Clark go camping and discuss his marriage proposal. A post-revelation story.
This takes place as if Lois knows his identity and has given him a maybe answer to his proposal. Keep in mind this is strictly a fluff piece, and that my writing talent is somewhat lacking. But I just had to get this out of my system. I really hope something like this happens on the show, but I know it probably won't. Hint hint: I read *a lot* of romance novels! ; ) Any comments, positive or otherwise, are welcomed at ILive4Dean@aol.com.
Lois Lane stepped from the elevator, not particularly watching where she was going as she read an article in the Daily Planet, one her partner/ best friend/ boyfriend/ maybe fiance had written and sipped coffee from a mug that read 'Smallville USA' across it.
As she made her way to her desk without looking, her mind taken with the story, someone called her name, but she was oblivious to the world. She sat down in her chair, and crossed her legs, setting her coffee down on her desk.
She jumped, startled, when a large, familiar, male hand passed between her eyes and the newspaper.
"Earth to Lois. Come in, Lois."
Lois looked up at Clark Kent, the writer of the story she was reading. She smiled up at him and said, "I'm sorry, I wasn't listening. I was reading your article. Wow."
"Thanks. Guess what?" he asked, sitting on the corner of her desk.
She eyed him warily. "Your surprises tend to upset me. What is it?"
"I'm taking three days off, starting tomorrow, and I'm going to go camping in a camp ground outside Smallville, around 100 or so miles away from the city. Do you want to come with me?" he asked, grinning happily.
Lois looked doubtful.
"Oh, come on. Please? It'll just be the two of us, under the stars, in the mountains, no city smog, no interruptions. And camping is kind of boring all by yourself." he said.
"I don't know, Clark. I'm not exactly the outdoors type." she said. "But we'll be all alone? No sudden running off?"
"Lois, you know why I run off."
"That's not an answer." Lois commented, taking a sip of her coffee.
"Hey, I've been looking for that cup! Anyway, the people of Metropolis have lived without me before and they can live without me for a week."
She stood up and looked him square in the eye. "You've thought about this, haven't you? It's really hard to leave the city by itself for even a little time for you, isn't it?" She had dropped her voice so that people walking by didn't hear.
"Yes, it is. But I can't promise that if there's a national emergency I won't go." he answered back.
She knew he was teasing. "I can understand that."
"So? You'll go?"
"And you're not doing this to push me for an answer?"
Clark looked at her in disbelief, then rolled his eyes and started toward his desk across the aisle. She reached out quickly and grabbed his arm, knowing that if he didn't want to turn, no force on Earth could make him. But her hand on his arm did.
"I'm sorry, that was unfair. It's just that when Lex asked me to marry him, even though he didn't come right out and push, it was always there. I don't need that kind of pressure. I'm still kind of dealing with the fact that *Superman* wants *me* to marry him." she ended with a small smile.
He sighed, crossing his arms in front of his chest. She rested her small hands on them, realizing accusing him of something he so far hadn't done in the two weeks since he had asked her to marry him and she had given him a maybe answer wasn't a good idea. She knew it was bugging him and she also knew he was trying not to push her with all his might.
Looking up into his eyes, she knew she had been forgiven for both the accusation and the maybe answer.
"Okay. I'll go. I'll have to go talk to Perry." she said.
He smiled. "I already talked to him, and we both have permission to have the week off. We can even leave at lunch."
She raised her eyebrows, her eyes wide. "You *knew* I couldn't say no after a little needling!" she exclaimed, her fingers slipping inside his jacket and touching his ribs through the shirt where his mother said he was ticklish beyond belief. Her fingers didn't move but the warning was there.
He grabbed her wrists gently and held he hands away from his ribs. "Yes, I did. We'll need a car. I could fly us but the luggage and the sleeping bags would be a problem."
"Okay. Now I'm getting excited about this." she smiled.
Jimmy Olsen passed by, saying, "Excited about what?"
"We're going camping for a few days."
Jimmy raised his eyebrows. "Who's all going? Am I invited? I can be ready in a little while."
"Sorry, Jimmy, this trip is just for two." Lois smiled as he walked on, looking like a kicked and dejected puppy. Under her breath she said, "Or three, depending on how you look at it."
His double life was still a touchy subject between them, but they were getting over it. He wasn't used to her knowing and not saying anything when he suddenly took off in the middle of a conversation, and she wasn't used to knowing that the man who was the closest person in the world to her had lied to her about his very identity (identities). But she also knew a relief beyond reason that by choosing Clark, she wasn't losing Superman.
Around two o'clock, Lois opened the door to Clark's apartment and walked inside. "Clark?"
"In here, Lois!"
Lois followed his voice to the bedroom and flopped down onto the bed. She liked the pillows on his bed better than the ones on her own because his were softer and fluffier. His mother had sent them.
"I have a problem." She announced somewhat dramatically, throwing the back of her wrist against her eyes.
Clark was standing in front of his dresser, wearing nothing but a pair of jeans. He was looking for something in one of the drawers, but he turned at looked at her for a minute, grinning at her before turning back. "What is it?"
"I do not own a sleeping bag." she said. "But other than that I'm all ready to go. Since this was your idea, you're paying for the gas."
She puzzled over the big grin that spread over his face. "That works out perfectly because my sleeping bag is an extra big one, it could work for two."
She threw one of the pillows from the neatly made bed at him, and it bounced harmlessly off his back as he pulled an old, faded shirt out of the drawer and slid it over his head.
When they stopped at a gas station, and Clark headed toward the store to pay, Lois yelled out the window, "Clark! If you really love me you'll get me chocolate!"
He glanced over his shoulder for a brief moment, and smiled.
Lois read from a magazine article about Superman, and was laughing out loud when he returned. He got in behind the wheel, and handed her a small plastic bag.
She looked inside and squealed in delight. Pulling out the king size Hershey bar, she exclaimed, "Whoa, you really *do* love me!"
"I also got marshmallows, and some other food for dinner." he told her. As he started the car and started out on the road toward Smallville, he asked what she was laughing at.
"I was reading this article about Superman in this magazine, and in it the writer asked several women what they thought of Superman. One woman, and I'm quoting, said, "He has a body to die for!" Another said, "Not many men can get away with spandex, but he can!" Then a fourteen year old who's life you saved in a fire says, "I am hopelessly in love." Geez, Clark. You know how to make an impression, don't you?" she grinned.
"Can we change the subject, please?" he asked, embarrassment evident on his face.
"Okay, okay. But you have to admit, it's pretty funny." she said, slipping her hand into his free one.
A few hours later, Lois was curled up against him, her head resting against his arm, her hand still in his. They had arrived at the campground, and he had chosen a site that was encircled by trees and somewhat away from the other sites.
He turned off the car, and said, "Lois, we're here."
She opened her eyes and rubbed the sleep out of them, letting go of his arm and getting out.
Clark stayed in, and told her he was going to go pay for the site and buy some firewood. "I'll be back in a minute, okay?"
She waited at the picnic table in the dark for him to return. When he did, it didn't take long for him to start a fire, especially with the help of heat-vision. From the car he got a large blanket and the sleeping bag and the cooler, setting the cooler on the table, and spreading the blanket out on the ground before the fire. She got the pillows from the backseat, and laid them on the blanket. Clark set the sleeping bag off to the side to unroll when they were ready to go to sleep.
They were both pretty tired from the drive, and as soon as they had eaten, they were in the sleeping bag. Lois was wearing one of his old T-shirts that he had at one time or another left at her apartment, and Clark was wearing just a pair of jeans. His arm was curled up behind his head while the other cradled hers, his long fingers stroking her hair lightly. Her head was resting against his shoulder, and her arm was resting across his hard stomach, her bare legs entangled with his jean-clad ones.
About thirty minutes later, he thought that Lois had gone to sleep because her breathing was even, and her eyes were closed. Lifting his head a little, he pressed a kiss on her silky hair, and whispered that he loved her.
She gave an unconscious sigh of pleasure and moved closer still.
It was around six in the afternoon, and they had been following a well-worn path. She suddenly gasped when the sound of rushing water that they'd been hearing came into sight. It was a waterfall and a river, and she couldn't remember a more breathtaking sight.
"It's beautiful, Clark." she breathed.
She took off her shoes and socks, and Clark did the same. She waded in until the water came right up under her shorts. Clark came up silently behind her, his feet floating above the water. He pushed her just hard enough to make her slip and fall in the water. "Clark!" she screamed, her voice barely heard compared to the roar of the waterfall.
She grabbed onto his foot as soon as she stood back up, her clothes clinging wetly to her body, and yanked with all her strength. Surprised and caught off guard, he was pulled down into the water. Thankfully, he had left his glasses at their camping site.
He could easily have stopped himself before he hit the water, but he decided to give her this victory, because, after all, he had snuck up behind her and pushed her.
"Thanks, Clark! Now I'm all wet and you can practically see right through my shirt!" she yelled, trying to keep her anger and not succeeding. Looking at him, she saw that he had already figured that out.
"Like I couldn't anyway." he told her.
She opened her mouth in shocked indignation to say something, but decided to splash him instead.
He swung his arm in the water and splashed back and her initial anger had dissolved into bubbly laughter.
She was about to splash him again when he caught her by the waist and pulled her against him abruptly. She caught her breath, again surprised by the hardness of his body. Looking up into his eyes, she saw something underneath the laughter that made her heart beat faster.
She tilted her head back and parted her lips ever so slightly, awaiting the kiss that would surely come. The water swirled around their legs, and the sun was just beginning to set behind the trees, casting the sky in pastel pinks and purples.
When his lips moved off hers and pressed against her throat, she whispered on a broken sigh, "What *is* it with us and getting soaked at the most romantic moments?"
She tilted her head to the side, closing her eyes. He turned her in his arms, and she gasped when she felt his warm lips on the tender flesh beneath her ear.
He picked her up in his arms and walked back to land. After laying her down gently in the soft grass, he brought himself down on top of her.
She loved the feeling of his body and it's almost- crushing weight on top of her. It seemed to give solidity to the moment.
Clark cradled the sides of her face in his hands, his face directly above hers, just looking at her as if he would never see his fill. Clark slowly lowered his head to hers, and softly feathered light kisses across her face. On her eyelids, the tip of her nose, her forehead, her flushed cheeks, her chin, and finally, he captured her sigh in his own mouth.
Lois couldn't imagine ever feeling this sense of overwhelming love like this with any other man. She couldn't imagine living the rest of her life with anyone else than this one man who had come into her life and changed her subtly over the two years she'd known him.
He felt her body tremble beneath his, and he pulled back and just held her.
Lois's hand slid up and down his back slowly, listening to the sound of crashing water and staring up into his eyes, her heart beating so hard in her chest she was sure he could feel it.
"I never imagined you'd love me after finding out what I did to you. I know it was wrong to play on your emotions, but you wouldn't love Clark no matter what I did because you were so taken by Superman." he told her, barely above a whisper. "It felt good to see love in your eyes when you looked at me, but in the back of my mind I always knew you were seeing the costume and not the man.
"When we started seeing each other, I was thrilled to find out that you did have feelings for me, but I actually was pushing you away, even though I wasn't aware of it. I was afraid that if you found out, you'd never forgive me and I wanted to protect my heart against losing you. If you rejected me after finding out that I had lied to you for two years, even though I never intended to hurt you, I don't know if I would want to keep on being Clark Kent without the most important element in his life."
Lois' eyes widened, and she blinked quickly to clear her blurring vision. In a voice full of wonder, she said, "I never knew that you loved me enough to give up who you are." She reached up and pulled a tiny leaf from his hair that an overhead branch had released over them. As she did this, she decided to let her feelings pour, no matter the reaction. "I was hurt because I thought you didn't trust me enough to share your deepest secret with me. I thought you were the most insensitive man on Earth for messing with my heart.
"I fell in love with Superman because his very image is romantic. He stands for truth and honesty and justice. He's mysterious and he's gorgeous. My mother always told me that I have a very romantic heart and that someday it would get me in a mess.
"I took Clark for granted because he was always there for me, except of course when I wanted to talk to him about how I felt. When I felt the need to tell you how I felt, how important you are to me and how wonderful it feels when other men don't listen to my opinion and you put it above your own, you always disappeared with some lame excuse. I thought it was because you didn't feel the same and were trying to give me a hint. And that's when Dan came in. He gave me the attention you weren't, but it didn't feel, I don't know, right. I couldn't talk to him like I could with you and on top of it he acted like I was a helpless female. He didn't understand me like you do." she told him softly. "Nobody understands me like you do.
"I know it must have hurt you when I looked at Clark as just my friend but looked at Superman like he was the only one I would ever love. I don't know why you don't hate me, you have reason to."
Clark shook his head, and said, "I could never hate you, no matter what you do. I love you because you are unique. From the moment I first met you, I knew you were different. You are the first and only woman who could ever work her way into my heart and bury herself in it without even realizing she was doing it. I love you because I think you're soul is the most beautiful I've ever seen in somebody, or ever will."
She stared up into his eyes and knew without a doubt in her heart he was telling her the truth, and she also saw what was coming.
"I asked you two weeks ago if you'd marry me. You told me to let you think about it. I haven't pushed you for a decision all this time, but it's been weighing heavily on my mind." he told her in a gentle voice.
"I know it has and it means a lot to me that you didn't put any more pressure on me than what was already there. Did that make any sense?" she asked.
"You're saying that just by asking there was a pressure on you to answer quickly."
She sighed in relief that he understood.
"If I asked you again would you give me an answer?"
She was silent, but her eyes said many things.
"Will you marry me?" he asked her, his voice barely above a whisper.
Lois moved her head up toward his, and whispered, "Yes," against his lips before kissing them.
"I brought the ring with me, on this trip. I don't know why, but I had the oddest feeling I'd need it." she said, sitting up in the darkness. The moon was full, and it shone on the rushing water, making it seem like liquid moonlight.
Clark sat up beside her, a finger tucking the hair on one side of her face behind her ear. She took the hand and intertwined her fingers with his. She was tired, hot, and sweaty, but she was also the happiest she'd ever been in her life.
She wanted to tell him how she was feeling, but she couldn't find the words to express it to him clearly, and if she opened her mouth with this much emotion stirring within her, she knew she was bound to babble.
They sat there for awhile, staring at the waterfall. Having prepared in her mind what to say and hoping she wouldn't babble, Lois drew her legs up to her and hugged her knees to her chest, resting her chin down on her arms. She started quietly, knowing he could hear her just as clearly had they had a soundproof bubble around them. "There's something to be said about expressing warm and fuzzy feelings," she smiled, and shivered slightly in the dry- but-cold clothes she'd donned when she woke, like he had. "The bad thing is, I don't know how to very well. You know that it's hard for me to open up, to anybody, and tell them exactly how I feel, to show people that I do have feelings and I can be hurt. I have a warm and loving and affectionate side to me that craves love and attention, but the few times I've opened up and shown that side of me to anybody, they tend to think it's an act. I've finally opened up completely to you, and it feels wonderful. I put the whole betrayal-lying- lame excuse-dual identity thing behind me, and I'm happy and I feel loved. I'm glad that everything is out in the open between us and I feel I made the right decision in getting over this and trusting you with my heart. Just take good care of it, okay?"
"I promise. I'm proud of you, because I *do* know how hard it is for you. You could have just given up when I told you that I'm Superman and permanently shut me out, but you went ahead and reached out, knowing I had hurt you, anyway. Not many people have that strength." he told her, reaching out his hand with the palm up. She looked at it, then into his eyes. Placing her hand, her left in his, she smiled at him, her eyes glittering partially from the moonlight, partially from the tears, but most of all, they were shining with love.
"So what happened?" Perry asked them as Clark sat down at his desk and Lois perched on top.
"Oh, nothing much." she said, holding out her left hand as if to examine her nails.
Perry White saw the gorgeous diamond ring on her third finger immediately. He hadn't known that Clark had asked her three weeks ago. "When did this happen?" he exclaimed as he took her hand and examined the ring. He whistled. "Boy, Clark, you sure know how to pick a ring."
"Well, he asked me a few weeks ago, but I gave him a maybe answer." she said.
"Superman's gonna be crushed, honey." he smiled, hugging her and feeling like her father. Then he shook Clark's hand.
"Congratulations!" he told him before one of the other reporters called for his attention.
Within five minutes word had spread. Maggie from the gossip and decorating section came over and hugged Lois, then examined her ring. "Oooohhh! That's one of the most beautiful rings I've ever seen! And it's even prettier than the one Lex gave you, because that diamond was so big it was gross. Hey, since it looks like you're not going to be needing Superman in a romantic sense, can I have him?"
Lois paused and seemed to think about it, and then said, "Sure. Go for it."
Throughout the day both Lois and Clark were bombarded by well-wishers and hardly got any work done.
After work that night, when hardly anybody was still in the newsroom, Clark was waiting for Lois to get off the phone with her mother.
"I'm sorry I didn't tell you right away when he asked the first time, Mom. Yes, he did get down on his knee the first time. In the pouring rain." Lois said, taking her shoe off and shaking something hard out of it before putting it back on. "Mom, I don't know when we're going to get married. We've been engaged for only five days now!"
Lois got off the phone about fifteen minutes later and came over to where he was leaning against the front of his desk facing hers.
"Mom wants to know when, where, and how expensive we're going to get married." she said. "I told her as soon as I know I'll tell her. I swear, she's almost as happy as I am about this."
"So, my little fiancee, what do you want to do tonight?" he asked, looking at his watch. "It's only seven thirty-three."
A thought had apparently come to mind by the look on her face. "Why don't we go to Paris for dinner? I've never been there and I think I want to use some of my frequent flier miles I've saved up from a certain man in blue spandex." she said, leaning in to him with her hands on his chest.
"I think that could be arranged. I know this one little place and it's name, when translated, means 'waterfalls'."
"There we go again with water." she commented before she reached up on her tip-toes and kissed him, expressing some very 'warm and fuzzy feelings'.
C'mon, pour on the attention! I don't care if it's positive or negative, I'd like a little feedback, people! Maybe I should change my name to ILive4Attention…