By Nancy Merckle (email@example.com)
Summary: On the anniversary of their "almost first date," Clark nervously prepares to ask Lois to marry him.
The news day had been rather hectic, so Lois wasn't really surprised when Clark reminded her that today, was the one year anniversary of their 'almost first date.' While the date was marked on her calendar, she had been too busy to glance at it more than twice today. The significance of the date had unexpectedly slipped her mind. They did have a date planned, but she didn't realize he was planning something special to celebrate the occasion.
With Clark's reminder, Lois thought back to the same time last year. It had been a trying period, with the return of Lex Luthor, and rehashing all of the inherent emotions that returned with him. She realized quickly that she didn't have feelings for Lex anymore, but convincing Lex of that fact was what had really gotten her into trouble. Once Lex was behind bars, it had taken both she and Clark almost two weeks to finally get the nerve to go out on their first date. There was just too much riding on the slim chance that they might not be able to handle this kind of change in their friendship.
Now that they had survived almost a year of going out, and were gracefully handling all of the extra stresses that dating put on their working relationship, Lois could tell something was up. Even through the heavy work load, she noticed he was acting a bit weird, even for Clark. Their relationship outside work had grown to the point that she could easily recognize when something was up with him, especially if she concentrated on it. This particular time the fact that something was up, stood out to her more clearly than his first impression shouted 'farm boy from Nowheresville'.
Clark hummed as he dressed for their date. He was optimistic that this celebration of the anniversary of their 'almost' first date would open the door for his second plan. He was a bit apprehensive about wanting more from their relationship, but he was after all, in love with Lois.
Following her edict for no Chinese food to remind her of how ill she had felt that night, Clark had made reservations at The Brass Duck. It would be an elegant evening dining, followed by whatever they decided to do. He loved some of the spontaneous things she had gotten him into over the past few months, bowling, stargazing in the park, and even ice skating. Actually he didn't like everything she suggested, but did try to be a good sport and went along with most of it. He drew the line when she suggested sneaking into the Lexor Hotel for a midnight swim. He hoped tonight he could suggest something a little quieter and in a more romantic setting.
Clark was as nervous about tonight, as he had been that first time he asked her out. Actually, if he really thought about it, he was even more nervous. This was to be a night that would shape his future. He planned to ask Lois to marry him. Remembering how she responded to his asking her out that first time, he didn't expect to get an answer tonight other than 'she'd think about it'. He was ready though, just in case she surprised him with her answer.
He fingered the little box in his pocket containing the diamond engagement ring, gathered his courage and knocked on her door. When she opened the door, she was dressed to the nines. The blue crushed velvet dress she wore neatly matched the navy blue suit he had chosen. He was also wearing her favorite tie, the one that had what looked like eggplants on it.
"You look wonderful," Clark told her as he ushered her to the cab he had waiting downstairs.
"Lois, this has been a very special evening with you. I'd like to make it a little more special." Clark paused giving her a chance to unlock the multiple locks on her door.
Lois opened the door, and entered her apartment. Clark followed. "Clark, what do you have up your sleeve tonight? You've been acting a bit strange since dessert. By the way, that chocolate cheesecake was delicious. Thank you for suggesting it."
Whenever Lois didn't know what to say she filled the silence with a bit of babbling. Clark thought it was one of her endearing traits, most of the time. He took both of her hands and led her to the couch. "Let's sit here for a few minutes?" He tried to calm himself, but his heart rate was still racing. 'This is it', he thought as they both sat down on her couch. As much as he had thought about it, planned it, agonized over it, that one question was still stuck in his heart, unspoken.
Lois looked at him and could see he was perspiring for only the second or third time she'd ever noticed him sweating. 'Oh my, he's going to ask me' she thought.
Clark looked into her eyes and found the courage he needed to push onward. "Lois, I love you. Will you marry me?" Clark saw the expression on her face change from encouragement to shock.
Lois smiled. "I don't know what to say Clark."
"It's OK Lois. I know this is a bit out of the blue, and you need time to think about it."
"Yes, time to think." Lois thought back to when Lex had asked her to marry him. This wasn't the same. She was unsure of her feelings then, and had this dream of possibly having a relationship with Superman. Over the past year, she had come to realize that the most she could hope for from Superman was a stolen moment here and there. He would be ever speeding off to help someone. Clark, on the other hand, was her best friend and work partner. True, he wasn't always around either, but with Clark she could have the more permanent relationship that she could not get from Superman. She was still concerned about how their work would be affected if she accepted his proposal. There would be more difficulties to face on a professional level as a result of their engagement and eventual marriage. But the truth of the matter was she did love him. She had even admitted to Perry that she couldn't envision her life without him.
To Clark, it seemed like hours had passed since the fateful words had been uttered. Still she hadn't said no, and it was obvious that she was thinking about his proposal.
"Clark, I don't know that I'm ready for this …"
Clark clearly heard the 'but' coming; she was going to turn him down. It saddened his heart, and he knew that if he wasn't very careful that she would see his disappointment.
"But," she paused waiting to feel the confirmation of her statement through her own emotions. "I am in love with you … Yes Clark, yes, I will marry you."
Now it was Clark's turn to be completely surprised. She had said yes, and almost right away. He couldn't believe his good fortune, and wasn't willing to press his luck with that other confession which would still need to be made before they actually tied the knot. He reached into his pocket and pulled out the little case. "I love you, Lois." He kissed her before handing her the box.
Smiling again at his admission, she opened the container to find a diamond engagement ring. To her it was the most gorgeous engagement ring she had ever seen.
Clark slipped the ring out of the box and onto her finger. He pulled her into an embrace, and kissed her. "Lois, you have made me the happiest man in the universe tonight," he told her before kissing her again. They sat on the couch in the middle of her living room embracing each other, and sharing kisses. Slowly as the happiness of Lois' acceptance of his proposal, was assimilated by his brain, his subconscious slowly levitated them over a foot off the sofa.
Lois opened her eyes, and noticed that her perspective was off and she was floating a foot or two above her sofa. "Clark, open your eyes and tell me what's going on."
Clark opened his eyes and realized he was floating. Clamping them shut again, he slowly lowered both Lois and himself back to the couch. "I guess there's something I forgot to tell you." He said simply, backing out of the embrace and straightening his glasses.
Lois reached over and removed his glasses. A smile crossed her face. "So that's how you got so many scoops from Superman."