Summary: After not objecting to Lois dating Dan Scardino, Clark has a change of heart. He rushes over to Lois' apartment, hoping it's not too late.


Clark stormed into his apartment and slammed the door. He had not thought he had slammed it with super strength, but the dangling hinges and buckling crack running through the middle told him otherwise. He shook his head, "What's the matter with her!" he shouted, and then threw himself on the sofa. "Some Mel Gibson wannabe starts throwing him- self at her, and she falls for it?" Clark began fumbling with a cushion, aggravated by its lack of cooperation, he sent the offending cushion sailing across the room. It managed to knock every standing object off his kitchen counter.

He sat up. Reclining only seemed to make him feel tenser. "Okay, so I haven't been Mister Attentive lately, is that any reason to dump me for some guy who calls all the time, brings her gifts—" Clark stopped himself. He had been inattentive. It's true that his grief over Mayson's murder, and his inability to save her had caused him to turn inward, but had he been that bad? "Yes," he whispered. He, above all people, knew how much Lois needed and wanted reassurances, and definitive statements. She was like Eliza Doolittle, 'Don't speak of stars burning above, if you're in love…show me!' Show me? "What have I shown her lately?" He asked himself.

Clark closed his eyes and remembered the various times Mayson had come to call on him at the Planet. How he had waffled and vacillated about giving a straight answer. Had Lois noticed. Of course she noticed! Lois had approached him about Scardino, but was she really asking his permission to date him, or was she asking him to stop her, to tell her not to go out with him? "Show me!" Clark shouted and sent what was left of his door splintering into the hallway.

He reached her apartment moments later and quickly subjected it to his x-ray vision. He breathed a sigh of relief when he did not see Scardino. Lois was still putting finishing touches on her make-up. He knocked on the door, and held his breath. Lois opened the door. "You're early—" She saw Clark, and then a smile flashed across her face, but faded quickly. She began to swing the door closed, but Clark caught it, and pushed it open. "I thought I asked you not to let that happen again."

"What happen?" she asked angrily as she strode back into the apartment.

He caught her shoulders and turned her around to face him. "Not to slam the door in my face," he said softly.

Tears of anger and hurt were in her eyes. "Sometimes you don't even have to have real doors to get one slammed in your face, Clark!"

"I'm sorry, Lois. I haven't been myself lately, or maybe I've been too much myself lately…I don't really know." He said, and felt the words catch in his throat. "Please don't go out with Dan tonight. I just don't think I could take it if you did."

Lois' head fell against his chest as she began to cry. "Why couldn't you say that this afternoon when I needed to hear it, Clark?"

He wrapped his arms around her and began rubbing a hand rhythmically across her shoulders. "Because sometimes a goody two-shoes is almost indistinguishable from a jerk if the circumstances are exactly right."

Lois laughed against his chest, and then looked up into his eyes. "It's not easy being perfect."

He pulled her in closer. Their lips touched in the manner that had been so brief and telling many weeks ago. A kiss that was more like a taste, or a sip of wine, and like when sampling an excellent wine, their lips parted a moment, to savor the taste. So transfixed by the vintage of the small kiss, neither Lois, nor Clark heard the approaching foot- steps of Dan Scardino.

Scardino stepped through the still gaping door, a bouquet of red roses and carnations clutched in his hand. He took in a breath to call Lois' name, but as he turned his head, he finally noticed the couple. Unconsciously he held the breath he had summoned to call Lois' name, and studied the couple before him. They seemed curiously sensual. Their bodies were touching, but their lips were inches apart. Scardino looked at Kent's face. Clark looked so…innocent. How could a grown man be so mesmerized by a mere kiss? Yet, there was Lois, just as deeply moved, but not looking nearly as innocent.

Lois, as if she had eavesdropped on Scardino's thoughts, gave a small sigh of satisfaction and then hungrily placed her mouth over Clark's. Scardino, despite all he stood to lose tonight, smiled. Lois' passionate invasion of Kent's mouth made him feel as if he were watching the seduction of a virgin, and perhaps he was. Clark's hands moved up to either side of Lois' face, holding her captive within the kiss. After a mutual inrush of excited breath, Lois moved her arms up around Clark's neck, holding him captive as well. As the kiss progressed to brief glimpses of tongue, and the sound of sweet moaning, Scardino turned away.

Lois had decided, and there was nothing more that would profit him by trying to change her mind. He laid the flowers down as a memo to Lois that he had kept their date, seen the score, and needed no further explanation. As he gave his bouquet a last glance, he figured it would probably not be noticed until sometime the next morning.