Lois and Clark Vignettes Collection
This collection of vignettes won the Fanfic of the Month in April 2007 on LaneKent.
The constant sound of shrilling phones echoed around the cubical walls of the second floor of the Daily Planet newsroom. Lois Lane leaned back in her chair, saved her file, and locked her computer. Standing up she rubbed her eyes and grabbed her coffee cup, yawning. After being up until Four AM following cryptic clues on the whereabouts of Metropolis’s golden hero she was exhausted and sick of looking at her article. Mostly because the one thing she knew she couldn’t print kept interfering with every waking thought. Last night after she’d climbed over a giant rubble pile that used to be the main headquarters of Luthorcorp’s human resources building, she had smashed her hand between two large pieces of debris. Out of nowhere, he landed in front of her…the Man of Steel wearing his ultra sexy dark blue leather suit w/ turtleneck top and red and gold S on his expansive chest. Dark red cape flapping around his heavy combat boots, he adjusted his large aviator shades and asked in a deep voice, “Does it hurt?” She said nothing but nodded. Slowly he reached over with his large hands and engulfed her palm in his. Gently his large thumb massaged the soft skin between her thumb and index finger. Lois thought she was going to swoon from the pleasure of the feel of his touch. As quickly as it began it was over and he was gone in a flash with no explanation.
Lois could still feel phantom traces of his touch on her skin. She shivered at the memory.
She yawned and glowered at the empty coffee pot. Completely familiar with the layout of the kitchenette she blindly put coffee into the filter and started up another pot.
She turned around and leaned against the counter and closed her eyes, inhaling the comforting, rich aroma of freshly brewed coffee. Suddenly the smell was punctured by another familiar scent – Old Spice Red cologne. Feelings of security, warmth, and irritation filled her senses as she muttered, “What’re your doing, Smallville?”
“Just looking for coffee,” Clark Kent responded.
Lois opened her eyes and stared at her long time bumbling friend and fellow reporter. Her eyes scanned his tall, muscular body and saw that he was wearing a slate grey oxford shirt under a nicely tailored pinstripe charcoal grey suit. No tie. She noted that he had the top three buttons open revealing a chiseled V at his neckline. Her eyes moved up to his face, they scanned the familiar cleft in his chin, perfectly formed cheekbones, and uncomfortably soul searching slate blue eyes. She noted that they were lined with red streaks.
“I see you didn’t get much sleep either, huh?” she asked.
“No, I had a late night,” Clark said, boring his probing eyes onto Lois’s face. His eyes lingered over her grey eyes, her pouting lips, and then her wavy blond-brown hair.
“You must be losing your touch, Smallville I didn’t see you at one single crime scene last night. Really, Clark, you should just stop trying to chase Superman’s stories, you won’t ever get a byline if you’re three steps behind me,” Lois advised, nursing her empty cup.
A small smirk flickered over Clark’s face and he said deadpanned, “Maybe I just prefer the view better from there.”
Lois suddenly felt her heart plunge into her shoes and her eyes widened in shock. A large smile formed on Clark’s face as he gently grabbed the cup out of Lois’s hand and put it along with his on the counter. He took her hand in his. Immediately, Lois noticed how his giant hands dwarfed hers. His thumb delicately moved across the soft skin between her index finger and thumb. Lois bit her lip as tingles of strange and unexpected longing filled her body causing it to feel unbalanced.
“What…what,” she muttered and then coughed. “What are you doing, Clark?”
He leaned in further, the smell of his musky cologne filled her nostrils and she felt her head swimming. With knees quaking she tilted her head towards his face and stared with confusion as he smiled, reached behind her into a cupboard and pulled out a carton of sugar. He released her hand and poured some sugar in each cup – Lois’s extra high.
She furrowed her brows at him. “What was that?” she demanded, wondering if Clark had been up to his usual tricks from the past and had switched his obsessive girl watching habits from Lana to herself. Had he seen her with Superman last night?
Clark stared at her with confusion. “I heard you typing up a storm today and thought you could use a little massage of your typing hand. That’s a main pressure point that I just massaged for you. Your hand should be less tired now and you’ll be able to finish typing your story.”
Feeling completely awake now she stared at Clark like he had six heads, she didn’t know what just happened but her knees were still quaking. He swooped around her and grabbed the newly brewed coffee and filled both cups. Gently he placed her mug back in her hands, grinned and said, “I’ll talk to you later Lois.”
Lois watched as Clark dug his right hand into his pant’s pocket, raised his mug towards his face, saluted it her way, and retreated towards his own cubical. An alarmingly strange thought entered Lois's mind as she stared at his broad back. She sized him up and felt her heart pound furiously in her chest. She made a phantom step to chase Clark down but common sense kept her grounded to her spot.
Suddenly a laugh escaped her lips and she shook her head. She muttered to herself, “Girl, you definitely need some sleep. Anyone who would actually entertain the thought that Clark Kent is Superman has to be completely sleep deprived.”
Shaking her head she blindly walked back to her cubical and out of sight. From the hallway, Clark watched her head as it bobbed over the cubical tops before it dipped back into her secure cubby hole. Quickly he snapped off his supercharged hearing flashed a large grin that would’ve lit up the darkest corners of the galaxy and with a lighter step returned to his cubical to email his completed story regarding last night's adventures in to Chief Editor Perry White. He grinned, knowing that she would be furious at him for scooping her, yet again.
He couldn’t help himself, he liked her full of fury, if he she continued to flat out deny her true feelings for him, he'd have to settle for the next best thing.
Lois stepped out into the cool morning sun nursing her cup of coffee and squinted against the brilliant rays of sunlight that bathed the Kent farm in its usual warm glow. A brisk morning breeze kissed her face and hands causing her to shiver and huddle up in her tan jacket. She felt a pressure at her knee and looked down to see Shelby nuzzling his soft red head against her leg seeking a head rub. She violently sneezed and started walking away from the Kent’s overly friendly golden retriever.
She sucked down another large gulp of coffee hoping that caffeine would soon erase the sleepy cobwebs from her mind. Her large grey eyes scanned the yard wondering where Smallville had disappeared to so quickly after breakfast.
She groaned, “Probably up in his loft Lana longing. Come on Sneezy, let’s go find Dopey.”
Happily Shelby wagged his long fluffy tail and raced ahead of her towards the barn. Lois inhaled the reassuring smells of fresh horse manure, fresh sawdust, and engine oil that permeated each corner of the building. All of the scents felt homey to her and she immediately associated them with the Kents. She trudged up the stairs to Clark’s fortress only to find it empty. A strange pang of disappointment filled her chest as she looked around for any evidence of recent activity up there.
“Oh shocker,” she said, spying a turned over photo that rested on the trunk in front of Clark’s red couch. She plopped down onto the sagging cushions and flipped over the photo. Shock coursed through her body as she realized it wasn’t a photo of Lana in the frame, but of herself. She put down the coffee cup and turned the frame to face the light that shined in through the window and saw that the glass had traces of fingerprint smudging along the traces of her cheekbones in the photo. The fingers that made the smudges were large…Smallville’s fingers.
Her brows furrowed in confusion. Suddenly she heard a noise in the barn, put the photo back down exactly as she found it and snatched up her coffee, leaning far away from the coffee table as she could. Heavy footsteps thundered slowly up the stairs and Clark appeared. He stopped mid-step as he spied Lois and his eyes widened with surprise.
Quickly recovering from his surprise, he gruffly greeted her, “Lois.”
“Hey Smallville, where did you run away to?” Lois asked, sizing up the farm boy. As usual he was dressed as the poster boy president for the local Hicks-R-Us club. His blue eyes flickered briefly towards the picture and then quickly looked elsewhere trying to avoid thinking about it. He noticed Lois was wearing a tight, low cut t-shirt under her red jacket. She looked good in red.
“You know, I had chores to do,” he evasively replied, tearing his eyes off of his housemate. Wearing his heavy work boots, faded blue jeans, a blue flannel plaid shirt, and his favorite red jacket, Clark walked over to the loft window and sat down on the open ledge gazing out at his family’s herd.
“What’s wrong, Clark?” Lois asked, gently.
He frowned. “Why do you ask? You never care how I’m doing.”
Lois immediately felt hurt by his biting tone and her defensive instincts kicked in and she zinged back, “True, who would believe that someone with a log for a brain would have any feelings, right?”
Clark smirked and blasted back, “Right, rather like nosey sister-wanna-be-types.”
“Sister-wanna-be? Smallville if there was anyone out there that I could choose to be my brother trust me it would NOT be you,” she spat back and stood up. Shelby who had laid down on the floor perked up his ears at the movement.
Stuffing his hands into his back pockets, Clark walked over towards her and blocked the exit with his massive form. “Are you so certain of that? Why do you always end up staying at my house, Lois? There are plenty of other folks out there who you could choose to torment with your charm and grace and yet you always end up here,” Clark sneered, voice full of irony.
Lois put down her coffee cup and balled her fists onto her sides and stuck out her chin defiantly. “You want me to leave Smallville? Fine, no skin off of my nose.” She lowered her face to hopefully hide the giant lump that had just formed in her throat. Without looking at his face she made to move around him to flee the barn.
Clark’s shoulders drooped in shame and he shot his hands out of his pockets and placed them onto her shoulders immediately preventing her retreat.
“Lois,” Clark said in a soft, almost childlike way.
“Uh huh?” she asked, evading his eyes.
“I’m sorry. I don’t know why I said that,” he said. He took one hand off of her shoulder and lifted her chin so that their eyes would meet.
She stared into his probing slate blue eyes and thought she saw a war being waged behind them. He quickly averted his eyes, dropped his hands and turned his back to her and added, “I don’t know why I always do that. Why do I attack you? You were just being nice and I got all nasty on you.”
Lois walked around him and saw him massaging his forehead. She then thought of the photo again and a small, sly smile spread across her lips. She punched his arm and grinned at him. “Don’t sweat it, farmboy. I know that’s just your way of sharing your brotherly love for me.”
Clark narrowed his eyes at her and gave her a dubious smile. “Come here a minute,” Lois commanded. She walked over to his desk and pulled out two pads of paper and two pens. “Here, now we’re going to do an exercise here. Don’t overly stress out because the muscle I want you to exercise is your brain, OK?”
He flashed an annoyed narrow eyed smirk her way.
“Ok, on that paper, write down the first ten words that come to your mind that you think of when you think of yourself,” Lois commanded. “Just let freeform thinking take over your hand motions – only use descriptive words.”
“This is stupid,” Clark stated.
“Do it or I’ll make your list for you,” she threatened.
He rolled his eyes and quickly jotted down some words: dependable, strong, trustworthy, secretive, caring, outsider, lonely, brave …“I only got eight.”
“Fine. Ok, now write down the words that you would use to describe what you’re looking for in your soulmate,” Lois shot back. “And no writing Lana ten times.”
Clark arched a brow wondering where this “exercise” was going. Knowing it would do no good to argue with Lois, he groaned, and began scribbling, Trusting, caring, strong, dependable, honest, funny, sexy, intelligent, feisty, and loving.
Quickly Lois snatched the paper out of his hands and threw hers into his giant palm. “Ok, no secrets between us, Smallville, let’s see what each other wrote.”
Clark scanned her list of attributes that described herself and he felt confusion come over him: Trusting, caring, strong, dependable, strong, funny, quick thinker, intelligent, feisty, and loving. Her description for her soulmate: Heroic, dependable, strong, trustworthy, secretive, caring, funny, lonely, brave, humble, and generous.
“Our lists are nearly identical,” he stated.
“Huh, really?” she peered over his arm and grinned. “Very similar. Interesting Smallville, isn’t it?”
She lifted her brow towards him and shrugged her shoulders. “Guess we’re more alike than we like to think. Maybe that’s why we always rub each other the wrong way.”
“Maybe,” he said, scanning the lists again.
“I’ll see you later,” Lois said and retreated from Clark’s fortress.
Clark’s eyes stopped on the three words that Lois added to her list that she added for her soulmate – funny, heroic, and humble. He supposed those are could be words that might be used to describe himself, however he’d never think to use them to describe himself. He also highly doubted Lois thought he was funny – amusing or comical maybe but certainly not funny. However, the thought that Lois might see him in that way made him grin and his heart skipped a single beat. Then he frowned. “She meant her soulmate, idiot, not you. Besides, why do you care what she’s looking for in a guy?” he thought. He exhaled and plopped down on the couch. His fingers then picked up the picture frame and he gazed at Lois’s photo. Shelby whined at his feet and wagged his tail.
“It’s a good thing she didn’t see this, otherwise I might have to read these answers differently,” Clark confided to his dog.
Shelby happily wagged his tail and winked. Clark stood up and placed Lois’s photograph onto his desk beside his photos of Chloe and Lana. His eyes scanned the faces of the three women in his life knowing that they couldn’t be more different. His eyes wandered back to Lois’s picture and something that she’d said to him recently came back to him, “Maybe after you empty the bank you’ll realize that you weren’t saving for a bike, but a Harley.”
He recalled his times on Red Kryptonite, a large part of him certainly loved riding motorcycles and the freedom that came with them. Lana was always terrified of him when he was on the motorcycle – scared of that darker side of him that he struggled to come terms with every day of his life. He needed a woman who’d be willing to fully embrace that darker side of him, take the good with the bad and not judge him.
Why did Lois know him so well? Better yet, he wondered, why did he care what she thought?
The mouthwatering aroma of garlic encrusted roasted lamb mingled with the fresh scent of pine in the Kent house on Christmas Eve. Clark sat by the fire and stoked at the embers producing crackling pops as he churned to life the vibrant, hot coals that were hidden behind the newly added log.
He shut the grates on the fireplace and glanced towards the kitchen, Lois and his mother were happily chattering away while they prepared dinner together. Clark sighed lightly at the sight of them working together. It was almost as if they were mother and daughter the way that they worked in such harmony together. Clark was beyond happy that his mother was home from Washington DC where she’s now serving as Kansas’s US Senator. Shelby, the family Golden Retriever, lay on the kitchen floor hoping something would fall his way his long feathery tail thumped out a constant beat.
Clark felt a tug on his left arm. He turned around and found himself staring at the impish smile of Lucy Lane. Three months ago Lois and Clark had gone on a wild adventure to bring Lucy back from her life on the moral edge. Since then she and Lois had been staying at the Kent Farm while his mother was off in Washington.
The house felt warm and full with the two Lane girls flittering in and out of his daily existence. Lois and Lucy both paid rent to the Kents and Lois helped by cooking…a duty Clark often found himself grateful for having a lead lined stomach.
“What’s up?” Clark asked.
Lucy curled her hand around his ear and whispered, “After presents, take Lois out on the south porch and look towards the field.”
The younger girl rolled her eyes. “Just do it!”
Clark shrugged and nodded his head. The four sat down for dinner and in the spirit of the holiday, Clark didn’t even mention the rubbery quality that Lois managed to bring out in her mashed potatoes. She stared gratefully at him as he choked down three helpings of them, chasing them with copious quantities of fresh milk.
Throughout dinner Clark cast flickering glances in Lois’s direction. She sat in the chair to his left. She was wearing a cozy red v-neck angora sweater and had styled her brown hair into loose curls that danced around her face. She wore a light dusting of makeup that only enhanced her natural beauty.
Since the summer and Lana’s death, Clark had spent a lot of time contemplating his feelings. One thing he had come to realize was that by the time of Lana’s wedding, he wasn’t in love with her anymore. His desperation to save her from the mess she was getting herself into stemmed from his feelings of inadequacy in being able to help her get out of a dangerous situation. What was the result? She died in a violent way. Only time had allowed for Clark to come to some sort of an acceptance that it wasn’t his fault that she was dead. It was Lois who had gotten him through the toughest parts of his grief. She had been his rock, taking him off on adventures to chase down her crazy news stories to get his mind off of brooding.
She always made him laugh and remind him that life could be filled with joy again.
He glanced up at Lois as she took a drink of her Chardonnay. Her hazel eyes turned his way and she smiled at Clark. She then did something unexpected, she reached over and curled her fingers over his large hand and gripped it tightly. A broad smile spread over her lips. Clark’s brows furrowed in puzzlement, not understanding the gesture. Not that he minded, in fact he liked it, so much so that he lightly brushed his thumb against the tips of her fingers. He thought he detected her flush before she removed her hand and looked towards Martha and questioned her on the status of a new bill making its way through Congress.
Clark glanced quizzically in Lucy’s direction for any insight over what just happened but she just buried her head in her water goblet.
After the dinner dishes had been cleared and warm eggnog had been passed around they sat down to open presents. Clark sat under the tree with Shelby at his side and distributed gifts. They opened the gifts one at a time to help extend the evening’s festivities. Martha had gotten a nice scarf and hat set for Lucy and a new light blue fuzzy sweater for Lois. The girls in turn had given Clark’s mother a lovely desk set for her Washington office. Lucy gave her sister a large makeup kit and Lois gave her sister a watch, “So maybe you can be on time once in a while.”
Clark got a pile of new clothes from his mother and he gave her a new wool pea coat.
Clark and Lois found themselves as the last members of the group to exchange gifts. Lois slid off of the couch and crawled over Clark to locate her gift for him that was under the tree somewhere. Blood raced up Clark’s face as he found himself staring right at Lois’s shapely rear end. Finally she snapped herself out from under the tree holding a thin box. She sat down next to him and brushed her bangs out of her face.
A lopsided smile flashed over her face and she said, “Your Mom helped me with this, so I can’t take all of the credit.”
“Yes you can, Lois. It was your idea and you put all of the work into it,” Martha insisted from her rocking chair.
Clark glanced uncertainly between the two. “Can I open it now?”
Lois rolled her eyes and reached over to help him. He smirked and brushed her grabby hands away and reassuringly advised, “I can open a present on my own, Lois thank you very much.”
“Let’s see if you can get through Lois’s ten miles of tape that she usually puts on her gifts,” Lucy taunted.
“Yeah well you know with a sister like you who used to always try to unwrap all of her gifts days before Christmas, I had to learn to take drastic measures to protect their integrity,” Lois snapped back, with a large smirk.
Clark’s mouth jerked upwards in a smirk as he tugged unsuccessfully at the wrapping paper. “What did you do, use a whole roll of tape?”
Lucy threw him a sharp nail file that he used to slice through the unforgiving tape. He found a slim white box hiding inside.
He arched a brow at Lois and rattled the box. “I don’t think it’s a tie.”
“Good guess, Smallville, I somehow think that would clash with your plaid,” she teased.
“Hey, I’m not in plaid today!” Clark objected.
Lois eyeballed him wearing his favorite dress clothes of a light blue chambray shirt and khakis. “You do look presentable for once I’ll give you that Smallville.”
“Gee thanks, Lois,” Clark replied, smirking.
Lucy began to bounce on the couch. “Will you just open the damned box already?”
Laughing, Clark popped open the top and found an envelope inside. His brows knitted together in confusion as he saw it was addressed to him with the return address being from, “Metropolis University?”
A broad smile spread over Lois’s face and her hazel eyes filled with delight. “Open it.”
Using the nail file to carefully open the envelope, he found a series of financial aid letters and an acceptance letter. “I’m accepted into Metropolis University?”
Lois nodded her head and pointed to a part of the letter. “We signed you up for their online program. So you can work on getting your degree while you’re doing your farm work. It wasn’t hard to get you reinstated there, you’d already been accepted before.” She dug into her back pocket and brought out another envelope and handed it proudly to Clark. He opened it up and found a list of websites. She tucked her chin over his shoulder and pointed to the items on the list. “These are sites for all sorts of scholarships dedicated to assisting returning students and these are specifically to help out farming students.”
Martha leaned forward in her chair and beamed at her son. “Also, I pulled a couple of strings and got you on the Pell grant list, so your loans should be quite low.”
Clark felt hot burning tears threaten to rise in his eyes. He’d just recently been thinking to himself how much he would’ve loved to return to school, to give him something of his own that he could feel accomplished in. Financial restraints from a poor harvest season had shut down any such thoughts. He cast his large green eyes in Lois’s direction and felt a lump form in his throat.
“Thank you,” he managed to say, put aside the papers and reached behind him. In one swift movement Lois was suddenly in his lap and crushed into his chest in a tight embrace. Over Lois’s shoulder he mouthed “Thank you” to his mother. Lois’s arms snaked up around his neck and Clark felt a thrill surge through his body as her long fingers lightly toyed with his thick dark brown hair.
Lois brushed her cheek against his and pulled herself out of his arms. “My turn!”
Clark grinned mischievously and extracted a heavy box from under the tree and handed it Lois. “I see that you had Lucy help you wrap this,” she said, noting the neatly taped sides and expertly placed ribbons and bows.
He shook his head disapprovingly at her for guessing correctly. Lois removed the large bow and immediately plopped it on top of Shelby’s head. The dog wagged his head happily. She ripped off the paper and found a non-descript cardboard box.
“Exciting, Smallville,” she said.
Quickly glancing at the very heartfelt gift that Lois had given him, a small look of worry crossed his face as she dug open her box…and pulled out a pile of vintage cookbooks. She immediately pulled aside one that was dedicated to cooking meats and stared deeply at the cover. Clark glanced at her curiously as she got very quiet.
“You don’t like them, do you?”
Clark’s heart began to race as he saw her eyes suddenly fill with tears. “Oh man, I’m sorry Lois…It wasn’t meant as a gag gift or any—“
“Shut up, Smallville. That’s not it,” Lois said. She took the book and held it up for Lucy to look at. Lucy shrugged her shoulders. “You don’t recognize it? This was one of Mom’s cookbooks.” Clark gazed at his friend as she choked down her own lump in her throat. She forced a smile and said, “Mom was always the best cook and made the most delicious roasts. I can’t tell you how many nights I sat watching her cook using this cookbook. I always tried to cook like her after she died but I could never get the recipes to come out right.”
Clark reached out and brushed a clump of hair out of her face and tucked it behind her ear. “You were just a little girl, Lois.”
“I know, doesn’t make it hurt any less though. We lost the book in one of our moves. I’ve always wanted another one but could never remember its name to replace it. Where did you find this?” Lois asked.
“I got them all at a vintage book store in Metropolis. I don’t know why but that one called out to me,” Clark explained.
Lois was about to lean forward to give him a hug when he stilled her move with a raised finger. He then stood up and moved around the tree and found a small box buried deep in the back branches. Clark then sat down across from her and said, “I’ve got one more for you.”
Her eyes narrowed as she looked at the box and felt its lightness in her hands. “You didn’t have to…”
“Just open it, Lois,” Clark demanded. His eyes flickered to his mother who looked as confused as Lois.
Looking at the unevenly wrapped package she pointed out, “This one you wrapped.”
He grinned. “Well now you know why I hid it in the back of the tree.”
She laughed and ripped off the paper and found a four inch white paper cube jewelry box hidden under the paper. “Clark, what…?”
Nervously Clark bit his lip and waited for her to open the box. She gulped and removed the lid and found a layer of cotton that she removed. A gasp escaped from her lungs as she stared at what was inside the box. Clark noticed that her hand suddenly began to shake. He couldn’t help but feel nervous as well.
Lois’s eyes whipped up from the box and she glared in his direction. “What the hell is this, Clark?”
That certainly wasn’t the reaction he was expecting. “What does it look like?”
“Something you can’t afford!” she barked and slammed the box down. She jumped to her feet, startling Shelby, and raced out of the house.
Clark picked up the box, grabbed his winter coat, and followed her outside. He found her huddled against the south porch.
“Return that Clark, you can’t afford it,” Lois ordered as she suddenly felt the weight of Clark’s coat fall over her shoulders.
He gently turned her around and looked into her eyes. “I didn’t buy it, Lois. It’s a family piece.”
She glared at him and demanded, “Why in the hell would you give me a family heirloom?”
Clark pulled the item out of the box and held it up for her to see. It was a silver Native American bracelet with a square piece of turquoise resting in the center of a curved band covered with intricately designed silver twists. He picked up her arm, moved aside her sweater sleeve and put the bracelet on her arm. She stared at it like it was poison.
His large hand then moved up to the side of her face where he thumbed away a tear that threatened to cascade down her face. “That’s Mrs. Kents I can’t take it.”
“Actually it’s mine, not hers,” Clark reassured. He bore his green eyes into hers and explained, “It’s one of the few possessions I have from my biological parents.” Lois’s eyes filled with alarm. He immediately placed a thumb over her lips to still them from protesting. “I’m a man and have no need for a woman’s bracelet, Lois. The style is bold and yet delicate – just like my best friend. I didn’t come to this decision lightly, Lois. There are few people on this earth who I trust my life with and you’re one of them. The only other people who I feel that way about are my parents.”
She held up her arm and waved the bracelet in Clark’s face. “This should be saved and given to your future wife or a daughter or someone Clark – not a screw up friend like me!”
“Screw up?” Clark’s brows shot up. “Hardly. Lois do you realize every day since I’ve known you, you’ve saved me. You save me with your straightforwardness, your bluntness, your passion, and your conviction. You’re the reason that I haven’t drowned in my brooding.” He curled his hand under her head and cupped her chin. “I didn’t just blindly decide to give that to you Lois. In fact, I believe it was meant for you…no, I KNOW it was meant for you.”
Lois probed his eyes for a deeper explanation. Clark gulped as he could see that she wanted a broader reason for him offering up such an extravagant gift. He was saved by a sudden explosion of light from the corner of his eye. Both Lois and Clark turned as one and stared out at the field and saw it filled with light up Christmas decorations and the fences were lined with twinkle lights.
“Lucy?” Lois asked.
“Typical. She gets her biggest ya-yas out of Christmas lights,” Lois explained. Clark rolled his eyes slightly and then happened to look at the porch roof, it was completely lined with boughs of mistletoe. His eyes immediately darted towards the kitchen window. Lucy beamed conspiringly at him, flashed him a thumbs up, and began to giggle. He then saw his mother shove the curtain shut over Lucy’s face giving them privacy.
Clark looked uncomfortably back at Lois who was again gazing at the bracelet. In a small voice she admitted, “No man has ever given me jewelry, Clark. Not even my Dad.”
The weight of her reaction hit Clark like a ton of bricks, no wonder she was so terrified by the present.
“Clark, jewelry means something beyond friendship,” she said in a husky voice.
He gulped and nodded his head.
She shook her head. “This is wrong I mean you’re still getting over losing Lana.”
“Yeah, I could tell you were thinking about her at dinner, that’s why I took your hand, just to let you know that it was Ok and that I understood,” she explained.
“I wasn’t thinking of her, in fact, I barely thought about her today. Lois I’ve come to realize that I loved Lana, but I hadn’t been ‘in love’ with her for a VERY long time,” Clark admitted.
She appeared utterly unconvinced.
Clark pulled a Lois and invaded her personal space. “You see, Lana had been my whole world and then one day this amazing girl came into my life and took my relatively normal existence and punted it right into the middle of a twister leaving me in a state where I never knew up from down. This woman knows me better than anyone else, she makes me laugh like no one else does, and has this amazing ability to chase my blues away. Lois, I may have loved Lana when I was a boy, but I’m no longer a boy.”
She squinted in his direction. “What are you saying, Smallville?’
He decided to let actions speak louder than words. Dipping his head slightly he flickered a permission seeking glance in her direction. When she didn’t jerk her head away he lightly kissed her lips. A jolt surged through the both of them at the contact. Clark grabbed hold of his coat and secured it around Lois’s shoulders. He then reached underneath it and wrapped his arms around her waist and pulled her tightly against his body. Lois’s arms wrapped around his waist and she suddenly realized he hadn’t been wearing a coat. Clark’s tongue lightly flickered between her lips seeking permission to enter her mouth and made her forget all about his being cold. Lois didn’t understand what was going on, her mind completely blurred into a dense sea of foggy bliss. As her hands traveled up and down Clark’s back she suddenly realized how huge and hard his body was as they lightly tasted each other’s mouths exploring and lightly teasing each other with their tongues. As Lois felt his hands toying with her waistband and his fingers lightly sliding inside her pant’s waistline she silently cursed herself for giving up her Talon apartment – who cares if she had been paying Lex Luthor rent? They couldn’t have any privacy with Martha home. That thought suddenly jerked some sense into her. What the hell was she thinking?
Clark pulled away from the kiss and gazed deeply into her eyes.
Her knees lightly quaked from the effect that the kiss had on her body. She pursed her lips together and managed to get out, “Well done.”
Gently, Clark chuckled and crushed Lois against him. “Aren’t you freezing?” she asked.
“How can I be with such a smokin’ hot babe like you in my arms?” Clark playfully asked.
Lois slapped his backside and Clark laughed. “Careful there Miss Lane, I might like that.”
She arched a brow at him and offered him a smirk. “Well if you’re telling me that you like bossy women I guess that might just go with the territory.”
“Aye aye, sailor, whatever you say,” Clark replied and found himself overcome by a fit of giggles at Lois’s appalled expression. Quickly Clark took her hand and he raced her into the barn. They were up the stairs to the loft in moments and Clark greedily descended upon her lips again.
Lois forgot about the sanctity of the barn for privacy, but it was a bit cold out for them to do much beyond serious making out. She pulled away from him and examined his features. He was smiling deeply at her and she felt her heart melt. Lois’s fingers reached up and etched the crinkles on his face. “I did that?”
“Brought that smile back from hiding?”
“Um huh,” Clark grunted.
“It’s beautiful, you know. You should do it more often,” Lois replied. Her eyes suddenly grew wide as she realized what she said.
Clark gazed deeply into her hazel eyes. He could see uncertainty lurking there. He knew how she felt. This was weird and exciting at the same time.
“Lois we should take things slow, you know? There are things I need to tell you before we get too deep.”
“Things?” Lois asked, arching a brow in his direction. He watched the wheels churn in her head and the gears snapped together. “Awww the mysterious Clark Kent secrets that Lana was always so fixated upon.”
Shifting uncomfortably on his feet Clark asked, “How did you know about that?”
“She told me…actually she whined to me over and over again how you were always keeping something from her and she hated it,” Lois bluntly stated.
He knit his brows together and asked, “What about you?”
“What about me?”
“Are you resentful that I might have secrets and keep them from you?”
Lois moved out of his arms, grabbed a thick blanket off of the couch and wrapped it around Clark’s massively broad shoulders. She let out a long breath that plumed into vapors in front of her face. “Actually it’s rather refreshing. You know, I know you so well it makes it kinda interesting that you’ve got something going on in that noggin of yours that I’m not aware of.”
“It doesn’t bother you?”
She smirked deeply at him and replied, “No way. We all deserve to keep our secrets private, Clark. When you’re ready to tell me, I’ll happily listen, and be supportive. Until then, you can just keep your secrets to yourself.”
Clark wasn’t expecting that as an answer. He chewed the inside of his mouth and studied her lovely features. Should he just get it out of the way and tell her? Somehow he knew she would take the news well – but it was Christmas, he didn’t want to run the smallest risk that he was wrong and end up spoiling everyone’s holiday.
Lois stared at her bracelet and traded the silver swirls with her finger. She pointed to a symbol on it and asked, “Any idea what this means?”
He flickered a glance at the Kawatchi symbol for “soulmate” and he shrugged his shoulders. “No idea, Lois.”
She shrugged and grinned at him. “So are you going to keep it?”
“Well it IS Christmas. It wouldn’t be very nice to just give it back to you,” Lois answered.
Clark moved over to her and said, “Thank you for your gift, Lois. It means so much to me.”
“Yeah well you were always better in school than I was. I had a feeling you missed it,” Lois answered. She then rubbed her nose and said, “It’s getting cold out here, why don’t we go inside and defrost?”
“Sure,” Clark said, following her down the barn stairs. “By the way, Lois, what major did you sign me up for?”
A large smile crept over her lips, she spun around, and looked up into the face of her closest friend. “Why the most noble of all majors, naturally!”
He glanced suspiciously at her.
Clark’s eyes widened with surprise. “Journalism?”
Lois turned and raced towards the house, over her shoulder she shouted, “Don’t ask me why Smallville, but I think that empty desk that’s across from mine will have your name on it one day.”
Clark stopped in the middle of the barn and watched Lois run towards the house. His eyebrow darted upwards. The thought of working side by side with Lois Lane at The Daily Planet was enticing. He still had the farm to take care of though and he had to take down Lex Luthor and his army before he could think about seeking a new career.
And before he did that, he had to make good on his promise to his father to return to the Fortress and complete his training. A shiver ran through his cold impervious body that had nothing to do with the outside temperature. He heard the chimes on the porch tinkling in a light breeze that was blowing from the North. Clark sniffed the air and could smell snow.
Suddenly Lois’s voice called out to him, “Stop standing there like a crash test dummy and get inside before you freeze to death, Smallville!”
A large smirk spread over Clark’s face and he dashed towards his house. The future could wait, tonight he would simply enjoy all of the pleasures and comforts available in the present with the most beautiful woman in the universe at his side.
Yin (the receptive, feminine, dark, passive force) and Yang (the creative, masculine, bright, active force) are descriptions of complementary opposites rather than absolutes. Any yin/yang dichotomy can be viewed from another perspective. All forces in nature can be seen as having yin and yang states, and the two are in movement rather than held in absolute stasis.
Clark stared in the window of the holistic shop and watched its store owner flit around watering and pruning the plants that generously decorated her store. Even from outside he could smell the incense that must permeate every corner of the store. He looked up and down the street, trying to decide if he should change his mind or not about going inside.
The door suddenly opened and the dark haired woman smiled at him and said, “I promise I don’t bite, Clark. Come in out of the cold.”
Immediately he knitted his brows together in confusion and followed the woman inside. “How did you know my name?”
“A face like yours is hard to forget, plus you have a wonderful first name that is barely ever used for naming young people these days. Do you know what it means?” the woman asked.
Clark shoved his hands deeply into the pockets of his red jacket and studied the rows of tiny vials that lined the shelves of the store. “What name?”
“Clark – it’s a derivative from the Old English term Cleric or in modern terms can be interpreted as scholar,” she explained, her slanted brown eyes studied Clark as he digested the information.
He plucked a small vial of Depression lifter off of the shelf and put it back. He turned to the woman and said, “It’s a family name, I don’t think my parents put any deep thought in giving it to me. Besides, I’m a farmer, not a scholar.”
The woman smiled. “Perhaps…perhaps not.”
Clark turned his penetrating green eyes in her direction and asked, “Cleric was a term used for priests long ago as well, correct?” He smiled. “I’m hardly a priest.”
“Are you not wise? Don’t people look up to you or come to you for emotional guidance and do they not trust you with their darkest and deepest secrets?”
Visions of his superhero friends flashed into Clark’s mind. He also thought about Lois and how she often found herself confiding things to him that he was quite certain she had no intention of sharing with him. He then remembered the many nights that he spent comforting Chloe when she stressed and worried over what her meteor freak ability might be. His eyes widened in alarm and then narrowed into slits. “How can you know that?”
The woman moved behind her counter and put down her water jug. She then began dusting her shelves and replied, “You have a calming presence…but even more than that your aura is one of great power and leadership…although it is a bit murky. Something is holding you back from reaching your full potential.”
If Clark had been somewhat freaked out by the woman before he was now positively spooked by her uncanny insightfulness into his soul. She seemed to notice his great distress and merely smiled. “Now now, don’t close up on me…you must know that there are people in this world who are, shall we say, a bit clairvoyant?”
“I’ve heard of them but I’ve never actually met one. So you’re the one who was responsible for Lois’s love trip last Valentine’s day?”
“I was a bit surprised to find out that you both were less than receptive on the results. You two are perfectly matched for each other,” the gypsy slyly answered.
Clark laughed, “Me and Lois? You’ve got to be kidding.”
“Why? Because she’s loud and bossy?”
He stopped himself from completely protesting and instead answered, “She’s just not what I’ve ever imagined my soulmate would be, you know?”
The woman’s dark eyes twinkled. “Let me guess you picture yourself with a sweet, caring, and understanding woman who’ll never argue with you and will happily spend hours listening to you drone on and on about your deep thoughts and worries?”
The Kryptonian stopped circling the store and stared at the woman. “I had a woman like that – she was perfect for me.”
“Really? And what happened to her?”
The gypsy lowered her eyes and then walked around her counter. She guided Clark towards the far corner where she had a poster display. She flipped through the frames and stopped on one with a large black and white Yin/Yang symbol on it. “Do you know what this is Clark?”
“It’s a Yin Yang symbol.”
“What does it mean?”
He shrugged his broad shoulders. “Something about opposites.”
“The Chinese believe that everything in this world exists because it has an opposite force that is keeping it in balance. You cannot have fire without water, life without death, light without darkness.”
“Ok,” Clark said, not quite getting why he was suddenly getting a lesson in Asian philosophy.
She pointed to the Yin side. “This side represents the feminine part of the duality of nature – it is dark, reactive, and passive. Whereas the Yang is masculine it is bright, creative, and active. Which side do you believe you belong on?”
Naturally, Clark pointed to the Yang side.
The gypsy shook her head sadly. “Sorry, you exude Yin energy, Clark.”
“I’m not female!” Clark protested, appalled.
She laughed. “It’s not literal, Clark. But just listening to you, you over think things before they happen and then decide to react after much contemplation, correct? You’re prone to brooding. You have Yin energy to you and from what I described to you of this “dream girl” of yours she would also be a Yin. Two Yin energies would throw your relationship completely out of balance. You would have too much heart in it and not enough reason. When you were with this woman, did you two fight a lot or seem to make each other miserable?”
Clark suddenly felt like fleeing, this woman eerily knew way too much about him. “Maybe.”
The woman put her hand on his large bicep and asked, “Tell me about Lois.”
“Lois? She’s…everything Lana wasn’t. She’s bold, daring, she throws herself headfirst into situations without thinking about her own personal safety or for others, she acts on her heart, and she’s forthright.”
The gypsy grinned. “Lois is Yang energy. She is the aggressor. How do you feel when you’re with her?”
“Frustrated,” Clark answered staring at the Yin/Yang poster. He saw that the woman wasn’t about to take that for an answer. “She sees right through me and usually can stop me from brooding – was that the answer you’re looking for?”
“You are all heart and she is all head – that is what I saw on Valentine’s Day when I saw you two together. Tell me – did anything come of the elixir?”
Shifting uncomfortably on his feet, Clark shrugged his shoulders, and awkwardly massaged the back of his neck. The gypsy read his reaction like an open book and she beamed. “I told you!” The woman bounced away from him and retreated behind her counter again looking for something.
“But Lois drives me crazy! Why would I ever want to be with her?”
“She makes you feel good, doesn’t she?”
“Maybe,” Clark admitted, looking down.
“Why does feeling joy bother you so much? You should want to experience happiness and not misery in your life. I think that might be the cloud that’s hanging over your aura - you enjoy wallowing in your misery too much. You need to lighten up some and live a little,” the gypsy suggested.
Clark gawked at the woman.
“So what did you come here for, Clark?” the woman asked.
He shrugged. “Honestly, I don’t know. Maybe I just wanted to see why you tried to set us up last year.”
The gypsy flicked her long dark brown hair off her shoulder and tilted her head slightly. “And why would you want to know that?”
Clark didn’t reply and began circling the store again.
“Tell me Clark, what sort of men do Lois like dating?”
“Ones who’re nothing but trouble,” he snapped sharply.
The woman giggled. “Spoken like a man in love.”
Clark rolled his eyes. “Seriously, you have us pegged wrong.”
“Do I? Then why are you obsessing over Lois?” He glared at the woman. She arched a brow at him. “A man who is prone to deep contemplation does not waste energy scrutinizing people who don’t mean a lot to him.”
He laughed softly. “I’m not in love with Lois.” He found himself looking at a vial of love elixir and memories of the feel of her lips crashing hungrily against his resurfaced. Briefly he experienced the thrill of holding Lois in his arms. A feeling of alarm filled mind as he realized that whenever Lois entered a room, he watched her every movement like a hawk to prey, and when she left he often felt like someone had turned the lights out on him. He whispered, “Am I?” His eyes widened in startled alarm and he stared at the woman. “Am I???”
“What does your heart tell you?”
Clark suddenly felt as though the room was spinning, all sound blurred in his mind, and he became light-headed. He gripped hold of the window ledge closest to him for support as he nearly lost control of the use of his legs. The gypsy was at his side and assisted him over to a squashy chair that sat in the corner of the store. She immediately pushed his head between his legs and massaged a pressure point between his shoulder blades.
Slowly, Clark sat up and stared earnestly at the gypsy. “You must think I’m an idiot.”
“Hardly. You’re a man in love who just needed a little nudge to realize it,” the gypsy said, smiling into his confused face. She lightly brushed her index finger under his chin and said, “It was written all over your face when you were standing outside my store. Your poor heart was adrift and just needed guidance to find the shore, that’s all.”
Clark lowered his eyes and studied the patterns of the blond wood on the floor and knitted his long, thick fingers together. “I know she doesn’t feel the same way. She’s the most stubborn person on the planet. It would take a boulder landing on her head with my name on it to even startle her into maybe seeing me as anything other than a simple farmer.”
“Aw I see we’re back to your other conflict – that which clouds your destiny and is preventing you from becoming your true self. At this point we part ways, I cannot further assist you. You will need to figure that out on your own. I have a feeling that Lois likes confident men, am I correct?”
Slowly, Clark nodded his head.
“Find your confidence and Lois will find her way to you. She deeply cares for you – I think she just needs that final push to have her fall for you and only YOU know what that trigger is,” the gypsy explained.
He barked an unconvinced laugh. “How am I supposed to know what that is?”
“When the time is right, you’ll know.” The woman stood up and retreated behind her counter.
Clark stood up, offered her a small smile and shoved his hands into his back pockets. “I feel like I owe you something for a therapy session.”
She grinned. “Not necessary. Perhaps a tube of red lipstick for your lady love?”
Blushing, Clark walked over to the display of incense filled a bag with sticks and paid for them.
“You don’t really seem like the incense type, Clark.”
He smirked. “I’m not, but Lois is…these are just regular incense right? No hocus pocus qualities to them?”
The gypsy giggled. “Just plain old incense…you’ll have to make up your hocus pocus for yourself.”
He walked to the door and gave her one last glance before leaving and said, “That’s the way I prefer it anyways. Thank you for all of your advice.”
“Anytime, Clark,” the gypsy said, waving him out the door.
Clark stepped out onto the street and fingered the incense sticks and stared up at the sun…the sun that nourished his Kryptonian blood and enhanced his abilities making him different than anyone else on this planet. For all that he could literally move mountains with his own physical strength, his heart often left him powerless.
He thought about the gypsy’s theory about Lois being the Yang to his Yin and he had to admit that it made sense in a strange way. He realized that somehow Lois was always able to cut right to the heart of his worries, tell him exactly what he needed to hear to find a solution, and help him to move forward. Lana never did that. In fact, Lana only further contributed to further muddling his frustrating thoughts and enhanced his need to brood. An old adage came into his mind, “Opposites attract.” There was no truer way to describe why he and Lois remained as friends even though on the surface they appeared to have little in common. He wandered aimlessly along the streets of Metropolis half-heartedly window shopping as he muddled through his new thoughts. Clark felt reluctant to return home to Smallville…where he knew he would run into Lois.
Lois Lane…he envisioned her brown hair, shapely, tall body, and bewitchingly beautiful hazel eyes. His heart fluttered in his chest at just the thought of her. Clark rolled his eyes skyward and muttered to no one in particularly, “Oh no, I’m in love with Lois Lane.”
He had no idea how a single emotion could fill his soul with dread and joy at the same time. Smirking he realized that was Lois in a nutshell - always driving him into a tailspin of conflicting emotions. The difference was that usually once the storm cleared he usually felt calm, relaxed, and happy. Maybe that was what a real soulmate was, someone who was willing to take all of your bad energies and instinctively knew how to convert them to good ones and vice versa. Lois always managed to see him at his worst and never backed away from him but was always there to help him through the darkness and back towards the light. He wondered how he could’ve been so blind for so long regarding his feelings for Lois. The more he thought about it, the more he realized that he’d always known that there was something special about her and that he was always drawn to his best friend.
Clark knew that Lois Lane would always frustrate him to no end – but at least now he understood why; his soul was lonely for her to be constantly at his side to make it complete. With a broad smile across his face, Clark ran home with a lightness in his step and hope in his heart.
Clark arrived home from his trip into Metropolis and immediately plunged himself into his farming chores. He found that hard physical labor helped to loosen the conflicting and confusing thoughts regarding his newfound feelings for Lois Lane in his mind. The cows had burst through the south eastern fence again and Clark spent the afternoon plunging new fence posts into the ground and repairing the broken railings. The more he worked the less frustrated he felt. He still didn’t quite understand why out of all of the women on earth, he had to fall in love with the more incorrigible of all of them. As he made his late afternoon rounds of feeding the animals for the night his superhearing detected the sound of Lois’s car engine as it made its way towards the Kent farm.
He gulped and continued to work. His heart raced as she pulled up into the driveway and it took her a few minutes to go into the house. Clark watched Lois from afar struggling with juggling three grocery bags inside. His big green eyes rolled towards the sky and he studied the cloud formations that were beginning to darken as the sun started to set. He knew that he couldn’t hide from her for long; he’d have to face her and deal with the feelings that he’d been repressing for many years for his beautiful best friend. Heart hammering in his chest, he finished feeding the animals, confirmed they were all locked down for the night, called out to Shelby, and headed towards the house.
Ever since last Summer Lois had been living with him at the Kent farm, there was no way after Lex had killed Lana that she would continue to pay rent to that slimeball. And after quitting THE INQUISITOR and getting a low paying job at the SMALLVILLE GAZETTE, Lois wasn’t exactly rolling in dough. The rent at the farm was right as she continued to hone her craft at a real newspaper. Clark was proud of her for quitting the tabloid paper and he knew that the time would come soon when her portfolio would be robust enough that she’d be able to apply for a reporter position at THE DAILY PLANET. A smile crept over his face at the thought. Lois was tenacious. He knew that was her goal and that one day soon she would achieve it.
He opened the door and Shelby barged inside the house. The golden retriever immediately dashed to Lois’s side and flashed his favorite human a wide, happy grin while thumping his long tail in a happy beat against one of the kitchen table’s legs.
“Hey Sneezy!” Lois greeted the dog, and then she exploded out a large sneeze. There was a large pot boiling on a low simmer on the stove and Lois had the Kent old fashioned radio turned onto the golden oldies station…something Clark immediately thought was odd considering her tastes in music usually ran towards 80’s heavy metal rock. He found the music choice to be a pleasant surprise as Wilson Picket’s voice filled the room.
The smile that had been on Clark’s face flashed with merriment, but then fell when his eyes examined the state of the kitchen. He washed his hands looking over his shoulder he saw food all over the place. Lois was obviously working to put together dinner for them. Furrowing his brows, he reluctantly asked, “What are you doing, Lois?”
“What does it look like, Smallville?”
Clark turned around and leaned against the sink and studied the debris. He arched a brow in her direction. Wearing one of Martha’s yellow aprons over her pale blue t-shirt and jeans, Lois had three large flour streaks caked over her left cheek. She puffed out a large breath and her bangs plumed upwards and out of her eyes. Clark thought the simple gesture was adorable and beamed a lopsided smile.
Lois nodded towards a covered bowl next to him. “I’ve got some steaks marinating in there if you want to get the grill ready.”
A bolt of terror coursed through Clark’s body as he suddenly worried over what he might find in the dish. “I didn’t know you knew how to marinate meat, Lois.”
“Yeah well, how hard can it be, right?”
Brows knitting together in confusion, Clark lifted the plastic wrap and studied the meat inside of the bowl. He assumed what he was looking at was meat. “Lois?”
“What did you do to these steaks?”
“I blackened them for you – don’t you like blackened steaks?”
“Usually,” he agreed. Clark scratched his head and realized that she had completely caked the steaks in black crushed pepper. He put a finger on one of the steaks to try to brush some of it off and sharply pulled his finger away in confusion. “What else did you put on these?”
“Well you know, I thought that the pepper might fall off on the grill so I first covered them first in honey.”
Quickly, Clark turned away from Lois so that she couldn’t see his face as his expression shifted from disgust to disbelief to horror. “Honey and pepper.” He tried his best to stop from bursting out laughing. “That’s an interesting combination of tastes, Lois.”
“Sweet and spicy, right?”
He turned his eyes in her direction and felt his heart melt at the very pleased expression that played over her features. Clark had no idea what to do about the ruined meat, but he decided that he just couldn’t let this pass – otherwise he might be forced to endure such a strange combination of tastes again in the future. “Lois, come here.” She stopped whatever she was doing and walked over to his side. As gently as possible, Clark explained, “Generally peppering a steak is called a ‘rub’ not a marinade. Marinating meat involves soaking it in some sort of a liquid that will infuse itself into the fibers of the meat to enhance its flavor.” He threw open a cabinet and pointed to a couple of bottles of teriyaki sauce. “You can usually just pour a bottle of that over it – or a bottle of salad dressing – a vinegar based dressing, not a creamy one. Or maybe some wine…that’s marinating meat.”
Lois arched her brow at him. “Thanks for the lesson Bobby Flay. What’s the matter with what I did?”
Clark rolled his shoulders. “I’m just worried that the honey and pepper will easily burn and cook the steaks unevenly,” he replied, biting back his tongue in adding how strange they might taste.
“Well that’s why you’re the grill master, right? You’ll make sure that doesn’t happen!” Lois happily stated and returned to the table. Clark let out a long sigh and sauntered over to the table and examined the ingredients that were scattered all over.
“Making a pie?”
“Yep,” she replied, patting a round of dough into a pie plate. Clark could see it was slightly lumpy and had a strange brownish tint to it. He plucked off a small nub of leftover dough and tasted it. It was very buttery and slightly spicy.
Lois flickered a glance in his confused expression. “I added some spices to the crust – you know give it a little more taste.”
“Yeah! Do you like it?”
Clark arched a brow inquisitively in her direction. “What kind of pie are you making?”
A feeling of relief filled Clark’s chest, for once her strange ingredient choices might actually wield a combination that might be edible. “It tastes good.”
Lois rewarded Clark’s compliment with a smile that would’ve chased away the clouds on a rainy day. He suddenly felt a giddiness overcome him and he smiled back at his gorgeous roommate. The smile faded as he watched her dump her peach chunks into the pie.
“Aren’t you going to cut those up further?”
Clark reached across the table and plucked out a half of a peach that Lois had just deposited into the crust. “You’ve got to slice them up, otherwise they won’t bake evenly.”
“Since when did you become the Martha Stewart of baking, Smallville?” Lois asked, her voice lilted in a slightly perturbed manner.
“Sorry, it comes from years of helping my Mom bake pies for sales over the years.” Clark crossed his arms over his chest and stared at her.
She rolled her eyes. “Fine!” Lois picked up a peach half and immediately positioned her knife to chop it in half lengthwise.
Quickly, Clark sidestepped behind her and breathed into her ear, “That’s the wrong way to slice.”
He sensed Lois’s anger boiling towards the surface. Lightly grinning, he moved his arms around her body and around the outside of her arms. His large hands completely engulfed hers and he gently laced his fingers between hers.
“What are you doing?” Lois uncomfortably asked. She stared at his large hands and had never realized how huge they were before. Clark wrapped his fingers around the knife and positioned her hand to turn the peach around. “Don’t even think of going all Bishop on me, Smallville.”
Clark squinted his eyes in confusion. He heard Lois sigh. “Aliens? Come on Clark, really you need to expand your film horizons.”
“I’ve seen Aliens, thank you very much, Miss. Ebert,” Clark snarked back. Then softly he added, “Don’t worry, I won’t hurt you. Now watch – you want to slice the peaches this way and you want the slices to be about a half an inch thick.”
Lois’s hands tingled as Clark’s large fingers directed hers to holding the slippery peach half and together they cut the fruit into slices. The room filled with the scent of the freshly cut fruit, but her nostrils also were filled with Clark’s scent – a mixture of intense aftershave that had spiked after coming to his skin’s surface from sweating, dirt, and faint perspiration. Clark had her trapped against the table, his body completely blocked any and all possible exit. She felt heat radiating from his expansive chest into her back and realized that his thighs were gently rubbing against the back of hers. His long arms were golden in color from daily exposure to the sun.
She had no idea what was going on, but she suddenly felt slightly light headed. Clark picked up a slice and delivered it towards her face. His hot breath suggested in her ear, “Here taste.”
Obediently Lois opened her mouth and gently took the peach from his fingers and began to chew it. The sweet juices danced over her taste buds. As she lightly chewed she felt his free hand move to her stomach and he rested it there and pulled her body back fully against his own. She leaned her head back against his chest and forced down a swallow.
Lois heard him lightly inhale the smell of her hair. She furrowed her brows in confusion as Clark softly explained, “You’ve got to keep the slices small, but not too thin. If they’re too thin they’ll dry out and burn, but you want them just thick enough they’ll evaporate some of those wonderful juices into the pie and still keep their shape.”
Lois realized she was clenching the knife. She put it down and slowly turned around to face her captor. Clark didn’t remove his hand but repositioned it behind back. Lois stared up into her friend’s eyes. Normally she could read him like a book, his eyes usually carried his heart on his sleeve. She found herself confused by what she was reading right now. They appeared to be filled with something that she didn’t understand. Why would he be looking at her like that ?
She cleared her throat and glanced uncertainly up in his direction. Both of them suddenly heard the radio begin a new song. Moon River filled the air and a large smile cracked over Clark’s face. “My parents loved this song, I think it was their song.” He stepped away from Lois and offered her a hand. “Will you dance with me?”
Quickly, Lois crossed her arms over her chest. “What’s wrong with you?”
“It’s just a dance, Lois,” Clark nudged. “I promise I’ll try my best not to stomp on your toes.” He flashed her one of his best pleading puppy dog expressions.
Lois rolled her eyes and put her hand out. Clark gently wrapped his arms around her waist and Lois locked her sticky fingers behind his neck. They gently rocked in time to the song. At first Lois was somewhat tense but as the song progressed she relaxed and nuzzled her cheek against his chest. Clark suddenly felt something wet on his chest, he glanced down and saw that Lois was crying.
“What’s the matter?” he inquired.
“I just had a memory emerge Clark – one that I’d forgotten. This was my parent’s song too. Dad was stationed in Japan, I was four, and Lucy was just a baby. I remember I was in the living room playing with her and this song came on. My Dad did pretty much what you just did…my mom was cooking and he pulled her into his arms and I saw them dance together. She was so beautiful, Clark,” Lois explained. She looked up at his face and gasped. “Oh god, that’s why I can never finish watching Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Clark – every time I hear this song I get filled with this strange sense of longing and I can’t watch it.”
Self conscious, Clark offered, “I can turn it off if you want. I don’t want you to be unhappy.”
Her hazel eyes probed his face. “I used to feel that way Clark. It’s a nice song, isn’t it?”
Clark beamed down at her. “Yes, Lois. It’s a lovely song. Our parents had good taste in music.”
She saw him staring intently into her face. “What are you doing, Clark?”
“I’m burning a memory into my mind.” He closed his eyes and inhaled the air. “One that smells of fresh peaches and exotic spices.” He opened his eyes. “And one where I’m holding the most beautiful woman in the world in my arms…even if she does have flour on her face.”
Quickly, Lois snapped a hand down from around Clark’s neck and brushed it self-consciously against her cheek, her eyes dropped to the floor. In a strangely shy voice she asked, “You think I’m beautiful?”
“Yes Lois…every day since I first met you,” Clark said.
Unable to control her eyes, Lois looked back up into Clark’s face and saw that strange expression again. She didn’t understand it but her chest felt like it was going to crack wide open from her rapidly palpitating heart. “Clark….” Her fingers moved up to his chin and delicately traced the outline of jaw. They traveled upwards towards his large full pink lips.
She suddenly felt the fresh burn of tears threatening to escape. Before she could avert her eyes again, Clark dipped his head down past her fingers and gently brushed his lips against hers. His hands moved protectively around her back and crushed her against his large frame. For both of them the world melted away around – neither existed any longer as an individual. They became one as years of pent up emotions and hidden desires crashed to the surface. Lois barely realized that she had parted her lips, inviting Clark further access. Not wasting any time Clark took advantage of the opening. He covered her lips entirely and gently flickered his tongue against her teeth and then into her mouth. He could taste remnants of the peach in her mouth and it only further excited him.
Lois’s hands immediately grabbed both sides of his face and she pulled him closer towards her face and deepened their kiss. Clark lifted Lois up and sat her up on the free end of the kitchen table. She immediately locked her legs around his waist. Both suddenly felt that their lungs burning in need of air. Clark let go, inhaled much needed air into his lungs, and then he plundered her neck, gently suckling and kissing the tender, silky skin of her throat. His lips moved upwards under her chin, he nipped her chin, and opened his eyes to see her reaction. Her eyes were clouded with desire. He could feel heat radiating from every corner of her body. Lois threw out a hand and grabbed a peach slice and put half of it into Clark’s mouth. She grinned delightfully and bit off the other end of it. They playfully tried to eat their slices while their lips were locked in a sticky hot kiss.
Lois pulled her lips from Clark’s and giggled as his lips immediately pouted in protest. Her hazel eyes danced with delight. “Now THAT is what I call a memory, Smallville.”
The side of Clark’s mouth hitched into a lopsided grin as Lois bounced off of the table and returned to her spot and began slicing up her peach halves again. She arched a brow in his direction. “You’ve got some grilling to do. I shucked some corn over there, you can put those on the grill too.”
Clark sighed and melodramatically stated, “The thrill is gone.”
He walked around her and attempted to wrap her in his arms again, but she quickly snatched up a kitchen towel and snapped it in his direction. “Aren’t you hungry, farm boy? Come on now…get to work with the grilling.”
Defeated Clark nodded his head and turned his back to Lois and started to gather up the food to take outside to grill. He suddenly felt a warm hand stroke the side of his face. Lois’s fingers played with his ear. Leaning backwards so that she could have access to that side of his face, Lois whispered in his ear, “Get to work, you’re going to need your strength tonight.”
Clark’s eyes widened and he spun around to see Lois strut back towards making the pie. “Really?”
“Yeah Smallville. I’m in the mood…to watch Breakfast at Tiffany’s it’s a pretty long movie,” she replied. Lois burst out laughing at the disappointed look that crossed over Clark’s face. She walked up to him and smiled. “There isn’t anyone I’d rather watch it with. Besides, I’ll probably be all weepy and vulnerable at the end of it and I’ll be putty in your big, strong arms, Smallville.”
“Weepy and vulnerable? That’ll be the day,” Clark responded.
“You never know, it could happen,” Lois teased.
Clark smiled at her, grabbed the food to barbeque, retreated out onto the porch, and fired up the grill. He shouted, “Hey Lois, come out here!”
The door slammed open. “You know I’m never going to get this pie…whoa.”
They both stared at the sunset. It looked like someone had set the clouds on fire they were so vibrantly orange. Lois’s breath caught in her throat.
Clark slipped his arm around her waist and pulled her beside him. He whispered into her hair. “You see that? That isn’t even a tenth as beautiful as you are to me.”
That strange unsteadiness came over Lois again as she stared into his eyes that looked dark in the orange evening hue from the sunset. “Are you trying to make me fall in love with you, Smallville?”
His mouth hitched upwards into a smirk. “Maybe.”
Lois reached out and playfully pounded him on the upper bicep. “Well just stop it. I fall in love with whom I want and when I want.” He carefully watched her expression and saw that she was scared. He realized that he should stop while he was ahead. He lowered his chin and nodded.
Clark watched her retreat into the house with Shelby at her feet. He heard her sneeze once she got inside. He pulled off the plastic from the bowl and arranged the steaks on the grill. He knew that they would taste weird, but he didn’t care. He could still feel phantom traces where her lips had kissed his and he could smell her scent on his blue t-shirt. If Lois wasn’t ready for them to move forward, he could wait…Clark excelled at being patient. The last thing he wanted was to push her away.
He suddenly felt as if someone was looking over his shoulder. Clark spun around and saw Lois peeking out at him from inside the kitchen. She smirked in his direction and ducked back out of sight. A megawatt grin spread over his face as he flipped the steaks. Perhaps he wouldn’t have that long to wait after all. Something told him that whenever they did complete this dance that they’d gotten used to performing that they would both be swept up into something that was larger than either one of them could ever imagine. The gypsy had been right about one thing that Lois did something to him that no other woman had ever done before – she made him HAPPY. If Lois Lane ever did decide that the time was right and that she would grant him the honor of having her heart – that would be the greatest weapon at his disposal. For if Lois ever did give her heart to him, no enemy would ever stand a chance against him because nothing in this universe would ever stand between him and the one woman who made his heart feel this light and full of joy.
She was his air and wind. She was his strength that allowed him to move mountains. In short, Lois Lane simply was the most powerful woman on the planet…she was able to chase Clark’s blues away and because she was his sun. Clark was willing to wait a lifetime to experience that kind of love and he was willing to risk a few stomach aches from Lois’s bad cooking to reach that place in their journey. If he’d learned anything from his teen years, it was that love wasn’t perfect and that you had to accept a person for their flaws because they allowed you to truly appreciate your loved one’s greatest strengths. Lois wasn’t perfect – but she was his perfect match his yin to her yang. He knew that he was imperfect as well. All that he knew for certain was that when they were together none of that mattered for when he was with Lois Lane, he felt like a complete person instead of an outsider. He could only wonder how long it would take for her to realize the same thing.
He glanced up at the now black night and watched a star shoot across the horizon. He closed his eyes and made the one wish that his heart desired more than anything upon it.
“Hey Smallville? How much longer with those steaks and corn?” Lois called out through the screen door.
A smile spread over his face. “You can’t rush perfection, Lois.”
“Whatever,” he heard her mutter.
Clark chuckled. For all that he was the most patient person in the universe, Lois Lane was not. He examined the steaks and realized that they were as ready as they’d ever be. Piling everything onto a large platter, Clark headed into the house knowing that he didn’t want to waste one more minute away from Lois and run the risk of missing that moment when his greatest wish would come true.
Clark stared at his cell phone in disbelief, he couldn’t have imagined that this day could’ve gotten any worse, but he was wrong. He stared one last time up into the sky where the last phantom disguised as his alter-ego self had made his grand exit after narrowly escaping from what should’ve been a fatal blow from Clark’s super punch. A part of Clark knew that he could’ve chased after his bizarre and strange enemy into the sky, but his lifelong fear of extreme heights and uncertainty about his destiny kept him grounded.
Running his hand through his mess, dust covered, dark brown hair, Clark gulped and examined the carnage left behind in the wake of his battle with Bizarro. Reveres Dam was busted and parts of Smallville were now flooded under ten feet of escaped river water. And a local forest preserve was incinerated from Clark’s failed attempt to heat vision his arch enemy, and his clothing was ripped into shreds. Alright, he knew that the last bit wasn’t tragic, it was, however, something that needed addressing before he made his way to the hospital where, as per Jimmy’s message, Chloe lay in critical condition.
Ten minutes later after superspeeding home, changing, and feeding Shelby, Clark arrived at the Smallville Medical Center and wove his way through crowds of distraught flooding victims to the main desk. The handsome one time local football hero was able to charm the frantic admitting nurse into giving him Chloe’s intensive care room number.
As he made his way through the halls his heart filled with the all too familiar sensation of intense guilt as he passed one person after another who’d lost many of their belongings in the flood. Had he been more careful in his duel with the Phantom, this misery could’ve been avoided. Clark thought about a comment he once made to his mother who called him a hero, he shot back to her, “Heroes don’t put the world in danger on an annual basis.” He sighed knowing that he would have to spend much of the next several months helping his fellow neighbors to regain a part of their old lives after this mess that he had created.
The 6’4” Kryptonian found himself in front of Chloe’s room. He was a little surprised to find her alone and assumed that Jimmy was off talking to her doctors. Quietly he opened the door and shut it behind him. His petite blond friend lay asleep in her bed. Her coloring was very pale. Chloe had IV’s sticking out of both arms, a respirator pushing air into her lungs through her nostrils, and was surrounded by medical machines recording her vitals. He stood over his friend with his eyes full of pain and remorse. Clark had no idea what happened to her all he could assume was that she somehow got caught up in the flooding disaster. His heart again constricted with guilt.
“I’m sorry, Chloe. I never meant for you to get hurt,” he softly said, his heart aching over the all of the misery that he’d endured for the day, Lana telling him that she was leaving Smallville, then learning about her death, his failure at catching the last phantom, the dam break, and now Chloe’s critical condition, he didn’t know if he could take any more bad news.
A soft voice answered his comment, “Just like a superhero, taking the blame for everything onto your own shoulders...even when you had nothing to do with it.”
“Chloe?” Clark’s voice filled with happiness as he saw his friends blue eyes flutter open.
Gingerly Chloe raised a hand and pressed it against her temple. She glanced suspiciously around the room. “What am I doing in the hospital?”
“I don’t know, Jimmy called and only told me that you were here,” Clark offered.
“Jimmy? He’s back?” Chloe asked, her confused eyes suddenly alit with joy.
Clark smiled softly. “I don’t know, I haven’t seen him. What do you remember?”
All traces of joy fell from her face. Clark saw her eyes immediately filled with tears and her lower lip began to quiver.
“Chloe? What’s the matter? Oh, you must’ve heard about Lana,” Clark said, his own heart momentarily stilled in pain.
Clark froze, realizing she had no idea that her best friend was dead. “Oh no, I thought you heard.”
“Heard what?” Chloe demanded, her eyes filled with panic.
Clark choked out, “She’s dead, Lex killed her. He put a bomb in her car. Lionel saw it happen.”
Chloe sat in stunned silence. “How are you doing?”
“I think I’m still in shock,” Clark admitted, he reached over and took her hand as he saw the weight of the news sink in. “I’m sorry to be the one to tell you.”
Tears fell from Chloe’s eyes and she wailed out, “First Lois and now Lana? I can’t take any more of this Clark!”
Her eyes widened at the instantaneous reaction that her statement made on Clark. His pained features suddenly froze into a veiled mask of panic. He swallowed, and in a very hollow sounding, small voice he asked, “What about Lois?”
“She’s dead, Clark”
Chloe watched her friend’s eyes widened and flooded with disbelief. He violently shook his head back and forth in denial. “No, that’s not possible.” His face contorted into a pained grimace and he collapsed into a chair that sat beside her bed.
Looking at her friend with confusion over his reaction to the news, Chloe asked, “Are you ok?”
“What do you mean she’s dead?”
“You didn’t know? She went after Lex. I found her at Revere’s Dam. She got into some sort of a fight with a security guard and she got stabbed in the gut. When I found her she…” her voice trailed off as she saw her large friend’s hands suddenly cover his face and rake violently through his hair.
When he looked at her again his eyes were dense with heartache. “How can this be happening? It was a day just like any other this morning. Now both Lois and Lana are gone?”
“Hey, put your head between your legs, Clark. You look like you’re going to pass out,” Chloe ordered.
Obediently, Clark complied and sat in stunned silence as a myriad of emotions crashed through his mind and heart. Somehow the battle with Bizarro had managed to take the edge off his pain over the news of Lana’s untimely demise, this news was completely unexpected and very unpleasant. Clark kept envisioning his leggy friend’s lopsided smile and how her voice would happily chirp out her favorite nickname whenever she needed his attention. He felt a fresh round of tears threaten to crash to the surface as his mind violently tried to deny the idea that Lois was dead.
An unknown sound suddenly began pumping a melody into his ears. The door to the hospital room opened and before he could raise his head to see who had caused Chloe’s breath to sharply intake, he heard the most beautiful question in the world ask, “Jeez, who died, Smallville?”
Clark shot out of the chair like a cannonball and drank in the sight of his bedraggled and obviously still breathing friend. Before she could react, Clark crossed the room in three large steps and snatched up Lois tightly wrapped her in a strong, warm, unyielding embrace. Chloe watched her cousin’s reaction as she attempted to figure out what to do with the cup of coffee that was glued into her left hand. Realizing that Clark wasn’t about to let go and even more importantly she felt that he was slightly shaking, Lois wrapped her arms around his expansive back (hoping she wouldn’t accidentally douse him with her coffee,) and pressed her cheek into his shoulder.
She whispered to him, “What’s wrong, Clark?”
He pulled away and stared into her face. Lois had never seen a more relieved and happy smile on Clark’s face before. She had forgotten what that handsome smile looked like after months of Clark moping over Lana’s doomed marriage to Lex. It was a pleasant change. Clark saw that Lois’s mascara and eyeliner had created streaks down her face that tracked through dried blood and dirt stains. Lois’s light brown hair was tangled and sticking out in every direction. Clark never thought she looked more beautiful. His green eyes then traveled down her clothing and he saw the caked blood that was all over her shirt and jacket.
“Chloe said you were dead. Whose blood is that?”
The sound that Clark had detected before Lois’s arrival, quickened. Lois shot glances back and forth between her cousin and her large best friend. She extracted herself from Clark’s arms and handed him her coffee. He absently took the cup as she lifted her shirt up to show him her stomach. “It’s mine, Clark. I got stabbed it the gut.”
His eyes screwed together in confusion. Arching a brow he knelt down at the knees and examined her bare stomach. Tentatively he put his fingers out and pressed them against her flawlessly smooth flesh. Uncertain over what he was looking at he activated his x-ray vision and attempted to find any traces of a knife wound. Her organs appeared to be completely in tact.
Carefully he stood up as she lowered her shirt and met his eyes. He saw that she was very confused. Lois gulped. “I don’t know what happened Clark. One minute I was lying on that dam tunnel floor bleeding to death, the next I woke up and found Chloe near death on the other wall next to me and my stomach was completely healed.”
Clark whipped his neck around and stared earnestly at his bedridden best friend. Lois grabbed her almost forgotten coffee from Clark and took a large swallow as Clark perched himself on the side of Chloe’s bed and asked, “What exactly do you remember when you found Lois?”
Chloe’s brows knitted together as she tried to recall anything unusual. “I don’t know Clark. I was begging her not to leave me. I held her in my arms and began crying over her body. That’s all that I remember.”
Confusion suddenly brightened as comprehension set Clark’s face ablaze with utter joy. “You did it, Chloe.” He grabbed her hand and beamed in her direction. He quickly reached behind him and snatched up Lois’s free hand and held it tightly. Her brows screwed together in puzzlement over why Clark was so touchy feely all of a sudden.
Clark’s attention was turned back to Chloe. “Don’t you see, Chloe? You healed Lois!”
The female cousins shared a bewildered look and then both stared at Clark like he had six heads. Clark pulled Lois around him and she sat down in the chair that he had vacated before she entered the room. “I’d like my hand back, Clark.”
Ignoring Lois, Clark stared at Chloe and stated, “Healing…it must be your ability. How else can you explain it? Lois doesn’t have a mark on her – anywhere…” he stared at her hoping that she would get the implication that he had x-rayed her. Chloe slightly nodded her head. Clark continued, “She was at death’s door, or dead, you weren’t. You then must’ve done something that caused your life energy to jump into hers.”
Lois tried to release her hand from Clark’s vice-like grip but was unsuccessful. Lois asked, “So why is she fine then?”
“How long ago was this?” Clark asked.
“Probably five hours ago,” Lois stated and chugged the rest of her coffee, wishing it was something a lot stronger.
“I don’t understand, does this mean I can’t die?” Chloe wondered.
Clark raised his eyebrows and shrugged his shoulders. Chloe suddenly caught Lois’s eyes shifting back and forth to Clark clinging to her hand and back to her handsome captor.
Chloe grinned. “Clark, she’s not going anywhere, you can release your prisoner now.”
Slightly baffled over what Chloe was talking about, Clark then realized that Lois’s fingers were wiggling in his hand. He snuck a sheepish glance in Lois’s direction, felt his cheeks burn hot, and then quickly released her hand.
The door suddenly crashed open. Three suitcases and a camera bag were unceremoniously dumped into a pile on the floor of the room. Jimmy Olson shouted, “Chloe! You’re alright!”
Chloe’s eyes lit up like it was the Fourth of July at seeing her boyfriend’s relieved face. Clark bounded off of the bed to give Jimmy room to race past him and throw his arms around the patient.
“I got here as soon as I could. Lois called me and I was on a plane before my editor could say boo. I see you got my message, CK, good to see you here,” Jimmy said and then turned all of his attention back to Chloe.
Both Lois and Clark averted their eyes and found themselves somewhat uncomfortably shifting on their feet beside each other.
Clark cleared his throat and said, “You know with all that Lex has done you both really shouldn’t be paying him rent anymore.”
Lois’s eyebrow arched upwards and she looked deeply into his eyes. Her mouth opened and closed a couple of times like she wanted to say something.
“If you’re trying to tell me about Lana I already know, Lois.”
Her eyes filled with compassion and she smiled at Clark. “How are you holding up?”
As he examined her large probing hazel eyes, Clark couldn’t believe what an utterly strange day he was living. In the span of a few minutes he went from believing he lost two women of the most important people in his life, to having one of them miraculously delivered back safely into his arms. He heard that sound again and as he fine tuned his superhearing he finally recognized what he was hearing – it was the sound of Lois’s healthy heartbeat. He suddenly realized that it was the most beautiful music that his ears had ever heard.
“Let’s just say that for a while there, I thought my entire life went black and all joy had been stripped away from it,” Clark replied.
“Don’t worry, Clark. The sun will come out again and chase those dark clouds away. It’ll just take time,” Lois answered, reached down and gave his right index finger a big squeeze. Clark grinned, it was probably the closest thing to a hand hold that he’d ever get from Lois Lane.
From behind them, Chloe chirped, “You know Clark, now that your mom is in Washington, maybe Lois can move back onto the farm with you.”
Clark turned and saw both Jimmy and Chloe sharing matching conspiringly megawatt grins.
“Sure, he’d like that…all of the more chances to spy on me and rifle through my underwear drawers,” Lois countered, arching a brow in his direction.
He pursed his lips together and rolled his shoulders uncomfortably. “You know I wouldn’t do that, Lois.”
“Right! I mean why do that when you can barge straight into the bathroom and catch me naked, right?” Quickly, Lois turned around and stormed out of the room.
Clark threw Chloe and Jimmy a mystified, guilty, and annoyed smirk and called out to Lois as he quickly followed her out of the room, “You know YOU’RE the one who opened the door like that, it wasn’t MY fault that I happened to be the one standing there to see it!”
Jimmy and Chloe began to giggle as they heard Lois shout back, “Pervert!”
“See I told you that they have chemistry,” Jimmy said, laying his head onto Chloe’s chest, he gazed into her eyes adoringly. “You know I heard that there’s a vacancy in my apartment building – a nice four bedroom apartment just opened up.”
“What would I need with four bedrooms?” Chloe asked.
“Well one as a guest room, for you know whenever Lois needs get away from Clark…one for your office, one to turn into my media center, the extra bathroom can get converted into a dark room, and then our bedroom.”
“Jimmy Olson, are you asking me to move in with you?” Chloe asked, biting her lower lip and peaking her eyebrow in his direction.
“How else do you expect me to keep an eye on you, Bright Eyes?” Jimmy asked.
“What about your budding career as a traveling photographer for the paper?” Chloe asked, her eyes suddenly filled with worry.
“Let’s just say that the life of a roving, roaming photographer isn’t for me. Besides, why would I want to travel the world when I’ve already found the most beautiful woman on earth; even the seven wonders pale in comparison of her magnificence.” Chloe beamed and giggled. Jimmy smirked, “Ok so that was a corny, wasn’t it?”
“I like corny,” Chloe replied and gave then gave him a kiss.
When he pulled away, he said, “You know, I think you might be surprised by those two living under the same roof. Call it a hunch, but I can swear that if you listen hard enough, you can hear their wedding bells ringing in the near future.”
Chloe balked. “Hunch huh? Trust me, you couldn’t be any further off of the mark there, Jimmy. Stick to taking Pulitzer quality photos and leave the investigative reporter duties to me, Ok?”
Jimmy grinned and couldn’t help but recalling the words that the gypsy told him back in February, I have a feeling that Lois and Clark’s destinies are more entwined than they realize. He couldn’t help but think that perhaps he’d just helped to push destiny a little closer to happening for their friends since they both seemed completely oblivious to making it happen on their own. Jimmy decided that he would continue to nudge them along with or without his girlfriend’s help. He might not be clairvoyant like the gypsy, but his photographer’s trained eye could spy love a mile away and with those two you had to be wearing lead shielded blinders not to see the sparks that crackled around them whenever they came in close proximity together. He just hoped that he could help them to remove those blinders before either one of them or any innocent bystanders got burned.
The late summer sun hid behind a thick layer of dark grey storm-clouds that threatened to break loose a thunderstorm upon those gathered for the funeral of the late Lana Lang Luthor.
Oblivious to the impending possibility of getting drenched, Clark stared at the casket that was covered in purple irises…Lana’s favorite flowers. He tried to gulp down a heavy lump that lately was permanently lodged in his throat. It stung of guilt and dismay. He still didn’t understand what happened, one minute Lana was telling him that she was leaving Smallville and Lex and the next she was dead. It felt unreal. For the thousandth time since arriving to the cemetery he glanced at the widow. Lex stood at the head of the casket with his head lowered and tears streaming down his face. How in the world he managed to get released from jail was beyond Clark. How could he even dare to show his face here when he was under suspicion for Lana’s death? Anger roiled in Clark’s gut as he contemplated the unpleasant thought and cursed the advantages that money could afford.
Clark failed to hear the minister’s kind words about the senselessness of losing someone so young; he didn’t need a holy man to tell him that, he already knew that there seemed to be no logical reason why Lana had to die this way. He was happy that he had been able to convince Lionel that Lana should be buried in Smallville next to her parents instead of in the fancy and sterile Luthor graveyard in Metropolis. Clark found the smallest bit of comfort in knowing that she was finally at peace and was at rest with her parents.
The old nagging guilt of his arrival to earth and the meteor shower that followed was responsible for taking Lana’s parents away from her returned and hit Clark like a ton of bricks as his eyes wandered towards their gravestones. He hated himself for having been responsible for making her an orphan – even if he wasn’t directly responsible.
Suddenly the crowd began to disperse and he realized that the ceremony was over. Clark gently laid a bouquet of extra irises on her coffin and stood up. He felt lost and feeling very alone.
A deep rumble of thunder grumbled in the distance. Clark suddenly felt a warm hand slip into his right hand and a soft feminine presence invaded his personal space.
He turned and looked down at his brown haired friend. She gently placed her left hand onto his bicep and rested her forehead against his arm. Clark felt her strength and for a moment believed that she was trying to share it with him. That thought made him almost smile. He never knew how it was, but Lois always seemed to instinctively know what he needed. Lightly he placed his left hand over hers and squeezed.
Lois tilted her face towards his and gazed into Clark’s green eyes. The grey clouds reflected in them making them appear almost steel colored.
“Hey,” she said. “I’m sorry, Clark.”
He nodded his head and looked around. Everyone had left except Lex. For a moment they stared at each other. Lois felt the animosity between the men crackle like static jumping off of live exposed wires. “This isn’t the time or place Clark,” Lois wisely stated. She reached up and gently forced his chin to look down at her.
Clark saw deep and genuine concern in Lois’s hazel eyes. He let out a deep breath and nodded his head again. He forced himself to turn his body so that his back was to Lex and the grave. Lois continued to scrutinize his eyes and she asked, “When was the last time you visited you Dad?”
The guilt that had been writhing in Clark’s gut over Lana’s death magnified. He choked out, “Too long.”
Lois flashed him a small, encouraging smile and said, “Come on, let’s go see him. I’m sure that he misses you.”
Still holding his hand, Clark allowed Lois to lead him away from Lana’s casket and they walked towards the western plots of the cemetery where Jonathan Kent was buried. “You know, he can’t really hear me Lois.”
“The dead hear everything, Clark. That’s what’s so nice about them, they’ll listen to anything that you have to say, but they are at peace themselves so they don’t have any reason to judge you. They are also completely incapable of revealing to anyone any secrets or burdens that you might feel the need to tell them,” Lois explained. She left that statement ominously hanging. “It’s quite cathartic talking to the dead, actually.”
Despite his grief, Clark felt the side of his mouth quirk upwards into a smirk. He shook his head. “I don’t get you, how do you do that? How is you always know what I’m feeling or thinking?”
Lois sighed. “How many times do I have to tell you that you’re just not that complicated, Smallville? I can read you like a book.”
Slightly amused, he couldn’t help but think that Lois somehow managed to miss the first part of the book and jumped right into the middle act of a play that was set in motion long ago. Even without knowing how the story began, she intuitively always had a very solid grasp of the overall tale. He didn’t know how she did that, or how it was that out of all of the people in his life, she seemed to care less to know the content of those first chapters and was happy to just sit back and watch the play as it continued to unravel.
They finally arrived at Jonathan’s grave with the large carved angel looming behind them. Lois gently swung their arms. She smiled and said, “Hello Mr. Kent. It’s Lois and Clark. It’s been a long time since we’ve been here to see you. I’m sorry for that. Anyways, I’m sure that you and your son have a lot to talk about and knowing me if I stay around here I’ll certainly take over the entire conversation. So I’ll just give you two some time alone. I’ll be back to say goodbye though.” Clark glanced at her and gave her hand a single tight squeeze before they simultaneously let go. Clark watched Lois leave. She shoved her hands into her coat’s pockets and walked a fair distance from the grave to give Clark complete privacy. His heart constricted strangely in his chest and he smiled at her shrinking form as she stopped to examine a couple of the older more intrictae headstones that were sprinkled throughout the cemetary.
He then ripped his eyes off of Lois and turned back to his father’s grave. He sheepishly looked to the ground and shuffled his feet. “Hey Dad. I’m sorry it’s been so long since I’ve been here. I don’t know why I haven’t been by to see you, it was selfish of me. I’m sorry.”
Clark’s green eyes read over the words on the tombstone “Loving husband and father.” As his eyes reread his father’s name a heavy weight pressed against his heart and he felt a swell of tears threaten to break loose. “Oh god.” A lone tear escaped and traveled rapidly down his face. He quickly inhaled a lungful of air and dropped onto his knees in front of the headstone. “You’re really dead, aren’t you, Dad? I know that’s a weird thing to ask, isn’t it? I mean I was here last year when we buried you, but I think a part of me was somewhat convinced that you had just moved away or something.” Clark’s voice caught in his throat. “I miss you, Dad.”
As he looked around the graveyard a horrible thought entered his mind as disjointed memories from the previous year crashed around in his subconscious and resurfaced. He connected the dots of several stray thoughts and threw his hand over his mouth. His eyes grew wide as a horrific realization dawned on him. “This is all my fault, Dad. You’d be alive today if it wasn’t for me and that one selfish decision I made a year ago.” He didn’t think that he could feel any guiltier than he had in the days after Lana’s death, but now the pain of culpability swelled to a nearly intolerable rate over his soul and threatened to overtake all of his senses and drown him in a well of self inflicted pain.
Violently he shoved his hands through his hair and tears streaked down his face. Somehow he found the voice to say, “Do you know why I’m here today Dad? I came for Lana’s funeral. She died, Dad in a car explosion that Lex caused. She died in just about the same way that she would have the first time around last year before I went to Jor-El and begged him to turn back time to save her life. I then lost you instead. She died anyways, Dad.” He wiped his nose and said, “I let you die for no reason, Dad! She was supposed to die back then and because I couldn’t deal with the pain of losing her then I ended up losing you instead. And now she’s dead and there’s nothing that I can do to fix it. I never completed my training, I haven’t restored the fortress, and I haven’t spoken with Jor-El in eons. I failed, Dad. I failed that test that Jor-El put in front of me. I was supposed to learn from the pain of losing Lana and instead I lost you. Now, I have neither of you in my life and I can’t avoid the pain.”
Clark lowered his head and tried to get a hold of his emotions. He thought about his behavior over the last year and felt his cheeks burn. Sheepishly he glanced at his father’s headstone. “I miss you, Dad. I needed…need you in my life. I’ve done some things this year that I know you wouldn’t be proud of me for doing…in fact, you’d probably be very disappointed in me. I won’t go into what it was that I did, mostly because I have a feeling that you already know what I did – or at least wanted to do.” He hung his head low and closed his eyes tightly shut. “I think that somewhere along the way, Dad, I must’ve missed one of the lessons that you taught me on how to be a man.”
Unable to hold back his emotions any longer he allowed a large series of sobs to wrack his body. A part of him acknowledged that he never truly allowed himself to fully grieve for his own father’s death and perhaps a part of that grief had clouded his actions over the past year. No matter the reason, he couldn’t blame anyone but himself. Once he got control of himself again, a strong voice announced, “I promise you, Dad, I’m going to do everything that I can to be the man that you trusted me to become. You’re alive inside of me and I plan to teach Kara everything that you ever taught me about humility and compassion and strength and honor. I promise you, I won’t stray again, Dad.”
He suddenly realized that his father probably had no idea what he was talking about. He quickly explained about finding his cousin who’d been in stasis all of these years. “She’s a royal pain in the backside also, Dad. Maybe she’s the right person to give me a big kick to set my life back on track.”
“I thought that was my job,” a voice snarked from behind him.
Clark quickly wiped away any stray tear trails that might’ve still existed on his face and he turned towards Lois. She had her hands planted on either hip and was smirking at him with her head cocked to the left. He thought she looked adorable.
Her smirk dropped and she asked, “Do you need more time, if so, I can go for another walk…”
“Don’t go, Lois. I’ve said what I need to,” Clark replied and stood up. He brushed the grass off of his dress slacks and again turned towards his father’s headstone. “I promise Dad, I won’t wait so long before my next visit.”
“Sure you won’t, I mean, you’ll need some male company now that you’ve got your teenage cousin living with you, right?” Lois asked, grinning.
For the first time all day, Clark let out a small laugh and smiled at Lois. Up above the clouds broke and their plot of the cemetery suddenly lit up with bright sunlight chasing away the shadows and gloom. Lois hooked her arm around his elbow and said, “Come on, Smallville, let’s go back to your place and see what damage Kara has done. I’ll cook you both a homemade meal.”
Clark whipped his head fearfully towards Lois and saw that she was serious in her offer. Quickly he replied, “Now Lois, really you don’t have to do that.”
She rolled her eyes at him. “Nobody has died from my cooking yet, Clark, scout’s honor.” She chirped a goodbye to Jonathan and dragged Clark back towards the lot where his truck was parked. “Ok I did once put the General in the hospital…but I was nine, how was I supposed to know that uncooked, old eggs were bad to use in cooking?”
Clark’s eyes widened in horror and he exhaled deeply. He half listened to Lois as she chattered on about the ass whooping she got from the General when he regained his strength.
As they approached Lana’s grave again, Lois asked, “Do you want to say goodbye?”
Remembering the oath he made to his father, Clark shook his head. “I’ve said my goodbyes.”
“You have to let go, Clark. I know you, you’re probably beating yourself up and finding a way to blame yourself for this. It wasn’t your fault, it was Lex’s fault that Lana died,” Lois staunchly stated.
“I know that,” Clark answered.
Lois squeezed her elbow against his and shook his arm. “We’ll get him, Clark. I promise you, he’ll answer for all of his crimes and for all of the pain he’s caused for so many people…Chloe’s mom, Lana, Wes and the countless other faceless people who he’s probably still hurting.”
Clark studied Lois’s stern expression and nodded his head. “You’re right, if he gets off on this, we’ll still get him.”
“Partners in pain, right?” Lois asked.
Unable to help himself he smirked at his companion and grasped her hand, nodded and agreed, “Partners.”
Written for my partner Deenise for DI's Ficstraveganza 07!
Clark loosened his tie and cringed as his dress shoes squeaked under his feet as he walked down the long marble hallway of the Metropolis Hilton towards its exit. His head hurt from listening to one too many of Metropolises finest sucking up to his Mom at the last minute charity fundraiser that Lionel put together to help showcase his mother as the great humanitarian Senator. Co-sponsored by Queen Industries, the event which raised a quarter of a million dollars to help a network of independently funded halfway houses in Suicide Slums was a rousing success. That was until Oliver’s phone rang and he was called away on business…on Christmas Eve.
His long fingers patted his pocket to assure that Oliver’s gift to Lois was still securely in place and Clark quickly made his way out the hotel and super-sped towards Oliver’s clock tower apartment. Using his x-ray vision, Clark could see a lone figure wandering aimlessly in circles inside Oliver’s apartment.
She had left early for “stomach cramps.” Clark, however, knew better. After a particularly embarrassing query that Lois had made to the Mayor’s wife asking her when the baby was due and getting back a snarl that the woman was NOT pregnant, the star reporter for the Inquisitor felt her social stock plummet faster than a sorority girl's morals during Mardi Gras.
Clark ruffled his fingers through his wavy dark brown hair and sighed. If Lois felt bad about making Martha and Oliver look bad at the party, he hated to think how she was going to react when she finds out that she got stood up on Christmas Eve by her boyfriend.
Exhaling deeply, Clark marched into the building like a death row inmate taking his final walk to the electric chair, entered the elevator, and prepared his ears for the sting that would surely come from Lois’s verbal tongue lashing against Oliver. The elevator stopped on the top floor and Clark felt his palms go slick. He took a deep breath, closed his eyes, and threw open the gate.
Christmas carols danced off of the walls of the room and Clark’s eyes widened at the massive ten foot tree that stood in front of the balcony. Oliver’s entire apartment was filled w/ garlands and twinkling lights. In the center of the open room was Lois. Wearing a long, form fitted red velvet evening gown, she held a champagne flute in her right hand and was spinning in circles. Lois's hair was twisted up in the back w/ just a wisp of her bangs brushing against her lovely face.
“Ollie it’s BEAUTIFUL!”
Clark gulped and arched a brow. He uncomfortably coughed.
Lois stopped twirling and immediately grabbed her head. “Oh head rush…” Clark could see her vision swimming and then she forced her eyes to focus on him. “Smallville,” Lois said, smiling. “What are you doing here? Ollie still trying to smooth over my social flub?”
A small grin spread on Clark’s face and he replied, “A well placed donation to the Mayor’s re-election fund seemed to have settled that nicely.”
Slightly wobbling as she made her way over to a table that held 2 chilled bottles of Dom Perignon (a third lay on it's side empty) Lois filled up her flute and toasted the ceiling. “To Ollie and his billions, may he never learn that staying with me will likely end up turning him into a pauper.” Clark felt a tug in his chest as she hiccupped and attempted to hide a sad smile that plastered over her face.
“Lois,” he said softly. Shrugging he offered her an encouraging smile. “I think Oliver understands, I mean it’s not like you grew up in these sorts of circles. Besides, he can use having someone in his life who helps him to not take things so seriously.”
“Nice try, Smallville. Thanks for the pep talk but that still doesn’t erase what I did.”
“Everyone will get over it, Lois. Stop beating yourself up.” Clark grinned. “It’s Christmas, no one holds a grudge on Christmas.”
Reaching down, Lois hooked off her heels and tossed one onto the floor. “GOD that feels better. I swear, I’m better equipped to wear combat boots than these things.”
“Well I think if you had worn combat boots with that dress that would’ve scandalized folks for far longer than your one small social faux pas,” Clark replied with a smirk.
A large bright smile spread over Lois’s face and she burst out laughing at the absurdity of Clark's remark considering that the was the most fashionably challenged person that she knew.
Clark couldn’t explain why but his heart nearly exploded at the pure joy on Lois's face. She positively radiated the room and for a moment, she was the brightest most beautiful thing in the room. The twinkle lights captured the green in her hazel eyes and they positively sparkled. Somehow Clark had the strangest feeling that this would be one of those memories that found itself permanently burned on his brain. Then he remembered why he was here and his grin fell as his heart constricted in his chest.
Immediately Lois sobered up, downed her champagne, and refilled her glass. She hiccupped. “Here’s where the second shoe falls.” She dramatically dropped her second heel. “Where is he, Clark?”
“He got called away on business and had to go to Tokyo,” Clark reported as gently as possible.
Tears immediately sprung into Lois’s eyes and Clark could tell she was fighting to control them. “Damn. Why can’t I have at least one good Christmas? I’m cursed, Smallville, you know that? This is all my fault.”
“What do you mean?” Clark asked.
She turned bloodshot eyes in his direction and said, “When I was five I had a hissy fit Christmas morning because I woke up and found a pile of Barbie dolls and a Barbie Dream House under the tree for me instead of the new bike that I wanted. I yelled at my mother that I hoped she’d just die…and then she did. All of my Christmas's have been crap since then.”
Clark felt his heart rip in two and in a split second grabbed Lois as she collapsed into a limp, sobbing mess into his arms. Lightly he brushed her bangs out of her wet eyes and gently rubbed away her tears trying desperately not to smear her makeup.
“Hey, you were a child, how could you have known your mom was gravely ill?” Clark placed his chin on her head and felt her left hand fingers dig deeply into his back as she leaned heavily against him for support. Her muscled, small frame wracked with sobs as Clark realized that Oliver’s abandoning her was likely just the recent in many years that Lois was left alone for the holidays. He certainly knew that her estrangement from both her father and sister most likely attributed to many lonely Christmases.
Silent Night filled the room and Clark swayed his charge back and forth in time to the carol. “You’re not alone, Lois. Remember you will wake up tomorrow and Chloe will be there for you to celebrate with.” When she didn't respond he added, “And my Mom already told me that she's completely incapable of cooking a holiday meal for three, so you and Chloe are invited to join us.”
“Three?” she asked, rubbing her nose with her thumb and then downed the rest of her champagne.
“Yeah, Lionel's coming.”
Lois snorted. “Burn on Lex, huh?”
“Yeah, well he's got his own Merry Christmas this year,” Clark replied coldly.
“How Lana could want to spend Christmas with Scrooge is beyond me,” Lois stated and shrugged her way out of Clark's arms. She tottered over to the champagne.
“Haven't you had enough?”
“Maybe...you, however, have NOT had enough,” Lois barked, picked up a second flute and filled it along with hers. She unevenly spun around and put the glass in Clark's hand. “No going on Puritan on me either, you're sharing in a holiday toast Smallville.”
Clark choked on his explaining that he didn't drink because alcohol didn't affect him. Instead he asked, “So what are we toasting?”
Lois's eyeliner had smeared and she now had long dark streaks running down her face that were blended with the sparkling eyeshadow that she'd applied for the party. For a brief moment Clark was briefly reminded of when she, Chloe, and Lana were possessed by the spirits of witches. He recalled how aggressively sexy all of the girls were, particularly Lois. Perhaps that was why he suddenly became very nervous as she moved closer towards him. His eyes inadvertently rested upon her ample cleavage that was barely restrained in her gown's bodice. As he examined her gown which had one small strap that went up over her right shoulder, he realized that there was no way she could be wearing a bra under it. He reached up and undid the first button of his shirt and released a slow flustered breath.
“Is it hot in here?” he meekly inquired.
Ignoring Clark's reason for being distracted, Lois unsteadily raised her glass and declared, “A toast! To Clark Kent!”
Thrown off, Clark ripped his eyes off of Lois's cleavage and stupidly blurt out, “Huh?”
“To Clark, the best pal a gal could have – he's honorable, sweet, a great listener, and takes it as good as he can give it. May he find a love that he deserves, not what he thinks he wants.”
Clark smirked and then narrowed his eyes. “Did you just call me Clark Kent?”
“Shut up, Smallville...now toast me or else!”
Clearing his throat several times Clark stared at the ceiling as if in deep concentration on the subject matter. His gaze was shattered as Lois punched him in the stomach. “Come ON!”
“Never make a drunk woman wait, eh?”
“Got that right, farmboy. Come on, I'm thirsty.”
A large smile spread over Clark's face and he raised his flute and declared, “To Lois, a woman who wants the world to think she's made of porcupine quills, but I know under that prickly exterior exists a scared, insecure woman who's waiting for the right guy to come along and sweep her off of her feet...and then give them a deep massage after a long day of work.”
Lois bit down on the edge of her glass, flickered her hazel eyes at Clark and grinned. “Damn straight, Smallville!” She then raised her glass to him and they chimed the rims together. The sound made them both jolt their eyebrows upwards. “Real crystal...who knew it sounded like that, huh? Bottoms up, Clark.”
They both drank their bubbly. As Lois put her glass down she slumped to the floor nearly unconscious. Taking that as his cue, Clark located her overcoat, put her shoes back on her feet, wrapped her up in her coat, and super-sped her home.
Chloe and Jimmy hadn't returned yet from his Christmas eve celebration with his family. Clark gently rolled Lois out of the coat and onto her bed and removed her shoes. For a moment he contemplated taking her velvet dress off and changing her into PJs, but even he knew that she would figure out how that had happened and would clobber him and accuse him of wanting to see he naked again. Instead he searched in her dresser and located a pair of flannel PJs and put them on the edge of her bed so that if she got up in the middle of the night she could change into them. Snoring loudly in her drunken state, Lois emitted an almost visible cloud of alcohol that came off of her breath. Clark looked around the apartment, located their trashcan, super-sped their trash out to the alley, returned, and put a clean bag in it. He then placed the trash can by her bed...just in case.
He also poured her a tall glass of water and put it on her nightstand alongside a large bottle of aspirin. Clark then turned on the Christmas tree to give the apartment some light in case she had to stumble to the bathroom. His eyes briefly looked over the tree and paused on a woodsman Santa Claus wearing a red and white plaid shirt as he looked at the ornament's baseball cap, he could see in Lois's hand she'd written “Clark” on the cap. He saw a golden retriever ornament next to it with a sign on it that read “Shelby.” He smirked and shook his head.
Taking one last look at Lois he saw that she had already shrugged her comforter off of her shoulders and was shivering. He sighed. She needed her flannels on. Chewing on the inside of his cheek he threw her covers off and trying not to pay too much attention to what he was doing, pushed her dress up to her waist, and then pulled her pajama bottoms on over her purple spotted underwear.
His earlier assessment that Lois likely wasn't wearing a bra with her gown surfaced again in his mind. Quickly Clark squeezed his eyes shut and thought, Don't look...don't look... His large fingers fumbled at the zipper at the side of her dress. His unconscious charge snored loudly into his ear as her head lolled against his left shoulder. Finally Clark unzipped and unhooked her dress. Because of the single shoulder strap he was certain that he wouldn't be able to pull it off in any other way than over her head. Squeezing his eyes shut, he pulled it off, and Lois flopped backwards onto her bed her chest fully exposed.
“Oh crap!” he whispered. For a few seconds he stood utterly transfixed and glued in a single spot, frozen and unable to rip his eyes off of her body. He moaned as his body responded to the sight. Lois groaned in her sleep which jolted him out of his stupor and forced his eyes off of her round breasts. With shaking hands he snatched up her pajama top, lifted her up with one hand and tried to ignore the sensation of the feel of her breasts as they crushed against him. He forced the top over her head and sighed with relief. He then realized in horror that her arms hadn't made it through the arm sleeves. Clark was going to have to unbutton it and put it on like any other flannel shirt. Clark's breathing became shallow as he unbuttoned the penguin covered flannel night shirt and wiggled her arms through the sleeves. He fixated his eyes on the ceiling as he then buttoned it up without looking...much.
Fearfully he looked at Lois to see if she'd awakened and was grateful to hear that she was still sawing logs and oblivious to the whole embarrassing ordeal. He released a long sigh of relief and tucked her legs back undercover and snuggled the comforter around her shoulders. In her sleep, Lois seemed to notice the warmth for she smiled.
He froze when his super-hearing activated and she muttered, “Thanks, Smavill...”
Clark reached into his pocket and pulled out Oliver's small package for her and put it on her bedside where he knew that she would see it in the morning.
Gulping, Clark whispered, “Merry Christmas, Lois.” Not quite sure why he was compelled to do so, he lightly kissed her forehead before super-speeding home.
Sunlight assaulted Lois's eyeballs and felt like a thousand pin needles being stabbed into her retinas at once.
“Ohhhhh,” she groaned as her head immediately began to throb. Her eyes focused and she saw Jimmy and Chloe sitting on the futon. They were both grinning in her direction.
“Merry Christmas!” they both shouted in unison.
Lois's head exploded at the sound. “Ugggggghhhh! Please tell me there's coffee.”
“Of course there's coffee Lois, right next to a giant bottle of Advil – although there's some aspirin there already for you,” Chloe replied. Both she and Jimmy sat on the couch grinning like a pair of naughty elves.
She looked at her floor and found mud tracked all over it, her velvet dress was thrown into a pile alongside her crumpled overcoat, and a trashcan next to her bed was full of vomit.
She fell back onto her pillow. “Charming.” Throwing back her covers, she cautiously stepped into her bunny slippers and happened to spy her shoes. She picked one up and closely examined it – they didn't have mud on them. She picked up the bottle of aspirin and glass of water and chugged a large handful of the pills while she contemplated the mess around her feet.
If that wasn't confusing enough, she glanced at her PJs her top was blue decorated with penguins and the bottoms were red with snowflakes. She also noticed that the buttons were all off by a couple of holes.
“Alright,” she gingerly declared. “I'm NEVER drinking again...this time I swear that's the truth.” Lois wandered into the bathroom, her stomach churning from too much alcohol that was still in her system. She correctly buttoned her shirt and brushed her teeth three times before re-emerging. Nursing her coffee she swallowed some more drugs and sat down on the floor next to the Christmas tree.
“What do you remember about last night, Lo?” Chloe teased.
“I made an ass of myself at the fundraiser...what else is new, right? I then went to Ollies...he had the place decked to the nines...he had champagne waiting...I of course helped myself...and...”
Chloe watched Lois as she searched her memory for any traces of what might've happened after that when there was a knock on their door. It opened and Clark popped his head inside. He was wearing his red jacket with a blue and white flannel shirt underneath. Tucked under his arm was a brown grocery bag.
“Hey Clark, Merry Christmas. What are you doing here?” Chloe asked.
“I ah...came by to see how Lois was doing,” Clark offered. Nervously he put the bag down in the kitchenette area and began pulling stuff out of the bag. All of the while he kept hoping that Lois woudd have no memory of his changing her into her pajamas. When he turned around and saw her mismatched nightclothes he saw that as his opening. “Gee Lois, did you get changed in the dark?”
Still frowning, Lois finally let go of trying to remember anything, shrugged and admitted, “Must have. Did you bring me home?”
“Yeah...don't you remember, Ollie had to go to Tokyo.” Clark walked over to her nightstand and retrieved her package. “He wanted me to give this to you.”
Chloe's blue eyes lit up. “Ohhh small box from a billionaire! Open it Lo!”
Lois shrugged, ripped off the paper to reveal a small blue Tiffany's box. She cracked it open and inside was a pair of large diamond studs. They sparkled so brightly, they almost hurt her eyes.
She handed the earrings to Jimmy and Chloe. “Whoa, those must've set Oliver back a mint,” Jimmy stated.
“How many carets do you think they are?” Chloe asked her boyfriend.
“I don't know,” Jimmy said.
Chloe examined her cousin and noted her lack of enthusiasm. Lois saw Chloe's scrutinizing glare and responded, “I guess I'm just not much of a diamonds kind of a girl.”
Clark sat down next to Lois and offered her the most beautiful thing in the world...a tall Bloody Mary. “Oh Smallville, you shouldn't have!” Lois beamed and chugged down the drink. When done gulping the large glass down in a few swallows, she rested her head on Clark's shoulder. “I feel like hell.”
“Just don't barf on me, okay?” Clark pleaded.
Lois smiled and chuckled. “Already did that last night...thanks for thinking of putting the trash can by my bed.” She glanced up at her bestfriend and asked, “After the party, I didn't do anything too stupid last night did I?”
“No more than usual,” Clark snarked. He then laughed as Lois chucked his arm. Clark lightly wrapped his arm around her shoulder and gave her a small squeeze as he realized happily that she remembered nothing. Launching to his feet, he suddenly saw his muddy prints on the floor.
“Don't worry, we'll get them later, Clark,” Chloe said.
Clark smiled. “You all are invited to our house for Christmas dinner – Mom bought a giant ham that even I can't eat in one sitting.”
“Sounds great Clark,” Chloe chimed in.
“Me too?” Jimmy asked.
“Of course you're invited Jimmy,” Clark answered.
“Whoa...I get to finally taste Mrs. Kent's legendary cooking,” Jimmy said, happily.
Leaning over, Clark whispered into Lois's ear, “There's more mix over there.”
“Thanks, Smallville,” Lois answered and immediately got up to make herself a second drink.
Clark then left the room waving at all of them.
When the door closed behind them, Jimmy studied Lois and the evidence left behind for the evening and wondered, “You don't think that Clark changed you out of your dress last night, do you?”
Lois immediately spit out a large mouthful of her Bloody Mary mix into the kitchen sink. “Dear god I hope not...” Her eyes suddenly narrowed as a flicker of a memory surfaced.
“What is it Lois?” Chloe asked.
The memory as quick as it came vanished...it wasn't a memory as much as a feeling...a sensation that someone was looking out for her last night and did so with a lot of caring and love.
“Nothing,” she said. After washing out the sink she gathered up some clothes. “I'm going to take a long shower, then I'll clean up that mess.”
After the water turned on Jimmy sat smiling brightly next to Chloe. She smirked. “What?”
He grinned and in his mind's eye he kept overplaying how sweetly Clark treated Lois. He was acting like... “a man in love.”
Knowing how protective Chloe was of Clark he shrugged it off. “Nothing, just thinking I'm lucky to be a man in...”
Chloe quickly kissed Jimmy so that he didn't end up entrapping himself into saying something that he might not be ready to say yet.
Jimmy smiled as their kiss deepened. When they parted, Chloe snuggled into his arms and Jimmy found his eyes wandering over to where Clark had put the water and aspirin out for Lois. Silently he made a New Years Resolution to himself...if Oliver completely screwed things up with Lois, the gloves were coming off, he would do everything in his power to get those two to admit their feelings for each other. Jimmy thought, And if I can do that...it can be happily ever after for me and my Bright Eyes.
Outside, Clark leaned against the wall of the Talon and he closed his eyes. He filtered all sounds out from around him and focused on one noise: Thump...thump...Thumpthump...thump... Once he was certain that there was no stress coming from the sound of Lois's heartbeat, a sly grin spread over his face. He'd received the greatest holiday gift of all, one that he would treasure for his entire life. Whistling “Jingle Bells” Clark super-sped home with a mile wide grin plastered on his face.