Late Night in the Grocery Store

By Shawn V. <>

Rated PG-13

Submitted October 1998

Summary: Set right after "The Phoenix," Lois and Clark are doing some serious thinking about their "almost first date." But are they more in tune than they thought?

This story is set right after "The Phoenix." I borrowed some characters from WB and ABC, threw 'em into a blender, along with a funny plot, and this is what came out. I hope you enjoy this little short story!

By Shawn V. (, Kirshnera on IRC)


It was three o'clock in the morning. The moon was new, and did not illuminate the city of Metropolis. Fortunately, the people of that busy city did not have to depend on the moon for lights. There were street lights, headlights, and the lights from buildings. Only during a blackout could one even see the moon and stars.

It was pitch black in Lois Lane's bedroom. She wasn't sure whether her eyes were open or closed; it made no difference in the amount of light reaching them. But she was awake. Although her body was tired, she could not fall into even a troubled sleep. Her mind was far too upset to consider taking a break from her problem.

She had just had her first almost-date with Clark. It couldn't exactly be called a date, as it wasn't quite quality time they'd spent together. They had been on a story, in a houseboat. What earned it the "almost-date" status were the emotions that it had provoked. They had dwindled to mostly confusion by this ungodly hour, but she could remember clearly everything that she had felt.

The nausea, yes, she remembered that, but that was the only feeling that hadn't had anything to do with Clark. In fact, if she hadn't had that to distract her, the other emotions could have taken over and changed her entire evening. She remembered the nervousness at the beginning of the evening, when she and Clark had decided to make this their "almost-first-date." She had felt kind of silly about the whole thing, and slightly apprehensive.

When that bulb had blown out, and she and Clark had taken an inadvertent tumble to the sofa, she had been startled and awed. She remembered the delicious amazement she had felt, lying on top of Clark, touching him with her entire body. And she had spilled champagne on his shirt. The wet fabric had plastered itself to a powerful, slightly rounded pectoral. She hadn't been able to stop herself from touching his chest, stroking it just a little. He had looked a bit surprised and slightly apprehensive, like he couldn't believe she was touching him. It had been a tense situation. All Lois wanted to do was to kiss him, to melt into him, but she stopped herself, and the moment was gone. She had pulled back, embarrassed. And Clark had appeared to be feeling everything she had, from to surprise to desire to embarrassment.

Then there was the feelings brought on by changing clothes. When she'd gotten a glimpse of Clark's masculine silhouette through the frosted glass door, stripping off clothes that had hidden his muscular form, there could be no mistaking what she'd been thinking. So close after having contact with that body, the sight brought back the poorly-quelled desire she had felt for him, and more champagne had suffered.

Later, she had felt bad due to some nasty Chinese food from Ralph's Pagoda. It was too bad she couldn't sue them for food poisoning. That wasn't what had made her sick— Clark had eaten the same things and he was fine. It must have just disagreed violently with her stomach. Clark, being Clark, could consume just about anything without suffering adverse affects.

She had been laying on the couch, overcome by the churning pain. Clark had come over to gently rub her stomach. It made her feel better than any medicine would have been able to. It also made her wish she wasn't feeling so bad, because then she could enjoy it in a different way. And then, he had picked her up and carried her to the bedroom. She remembered feeling small and vulnerable, leaning her head into his neck, feeling his warm skin, cuddling with him while they traveled that short distance.

When he had put her down in the bedroom doorway, she had reached out one hand to rest on his firm stomach. She had just needed to touch him for a little longer. She had wanted him to take her in his arms and just hold her, safe and warm, if not quite comfortable. But she had also wanted to go into the room, lie down, and try to sleep. In the end, the latter choice won out, as Clark backed off. She closed the door, wondering about the incredible electricity that had made itself known that night, but too tired and sick to ponder it for long.

And now it was the time to think about those things, all the emotions she had felt, all the emotions that she had seen Clark feel, all the events that had happened. Was she in love with Clark? She had thought so once, after almost marrying Lex Luthor. Later she hadn't been so sure. But now …

She couldn't deny what had happened during the almost first date. And then there were her private fantasies, which always were clear windows into her mind, as they were for herself alone, and she never censored them. It had gotten to the point where sexual fantasies almost unwaveringly involved Clark. There were far more "Clark" fantasies than there were "Superman" fantasies.

But Clark had told her that he didn't love her. That he would have said anything to keep her from marrying Luthor. What about that?

She had to think a moment to come up with an answer to this. He *had* said that he loved her before. Obviously, one of the times he was lying. Was it when he said he loved her, or when he said he didn't? She thought back to different incidents, evidence of Clark's feelings.

Exhibit A. Mr. Makeup. When Lois had witnessed a murder committed by Mr. Makeup, Clark had tried to protect her from the man. He had attempted to stay at her apartment, but she had shot that thought down like the Red Baron of Suspicious Motives. And then he had stayed outside her apartment all night. He had been truly concerned about her.

Exhibit B. That kiss in the honeymoon suite of the Lexor Hotel. It had been to distract the maid from their surveillance equipment, Lois knew. But it had also been more than that. Lois knew the difference between acting and reality, and that was reality. She could tell that he'd felt something. And the look in his eyes when he had pulled away had left her breathless. It had clearly said that he didn't want to stop, but he felt he had to.

Exhibit C. When Lois was under the influence of a pheromone compound. She remembered going to his house, intending on doing the dance of the seven veils for him, certain that it would finally make him crack. As she was going in, Clark had said to her, "You don't know how many times I've thought about this. Dreamt about this! Well, something like this." He had wanted her. She knew that. But he felt that he couldn't take advantage of her when she wasn't in her right mind. That indicated love.

Exhibit D. The look on his face when he said he loved her. There could be no mistaking that he was telling the truth then. Lois occasionally had a sort of a sixth sense about that sort of thing, and she knew he was being totally honest with her.

And that was it. He loved her, there was no doubt about it. Now it was back to the first question. Did she love him? It seemed that she did. Everything that she knew, from the tender way she thought about him, to the way she felt better when he was around, to the way his touch made her feel, pointed to that fact.

So now there was a new question. What was she going to do about it?

"I'm not going to do anything just yet," Lois replied to herself. "I need something to help me think." She went into her kitchen and opened the freezer. Nothing. The release that she sought in choco chocolate monster chip ice cream would not be found. She frowned. Shopping time!


At the same time that Lois' thoughts completed their course, ending with ice cream, Clark was also pondering. He wasn't lying in bed awake, though. He was floating in the cloudy area of Earth's atmosphere, that silent, lonely place between the Earth and the stars.

His thoughts were only about one thing. Or rather, one person. Lois. Did she love him? He had never seen her act the way she did on their almost-first date. Or had he? The way she had been nervous around him, seemingly amazed by his presence, reminded him of the way she had acted around Superman when she first met him.

It wasn't quite the same. With Superman, she had been truly awed and almost groupie-like. She wasn't like that around Clark, thank God. But she had been nervous, there was no doubt about it. And the way she had suddenly gone all quiet and her heart rate more than doubled when she had fallen on top of him, well, that proved something! She had apparently sacrificed being comfortable with him for a stunning sexual tension. He could sense her admiration, her wanting to be with him, to touch him, just the way he had sensed it as Superman.

Unbelievable. He needed to get something to help him think. Choco chocolate monster chip ice cream. Yeah, that's the stuff. On the way to the grocery store, he reflected that he seemed to be not only in love with Lois, but also turning *into* Lois. Apparently her chocolate ice cream habit had rubbed off on him.

He got into the store, walking in as Clark, so as not to startle the graveyard shift cashiers, and moved purposefully toward the ice cream freezer. There was one carton of choco chocolate monster chip ice cream left. He opened the freezer door and reached for it …


Lois pulled into the grocery store parking lot a second after Clark had landed. She walked hurriedly into the store and toward the freezer. The last tub of choco chocolate monster chip ice cream sat there, beckoning her. It was right on the line between the two doors, and she opened the door on the left to get at it. So intent was she on getting the ice cream that she didn't notice who was opening the door on the right.

She didn't notice him, that was, until she realized that she couldn't retrieve the ice cream. She looked up to find that the reason it seemed to be stuck was that another hand was pulling it the opposite way. She looked at the owner of the hand just as he met her eyes.



Neither could believe their eyes. "What are you doing here at three-fifteen in the morning?"

"I just … wanted some ice cream," he explained. "What's your excuse?"

"The same thing! Wow, this is really strange."

Clark glanced at the ice cream, which they were both still holding. It must be a sign that tonight was the night to talk. "Lois, um, do you want to come over to my place … for some ice cream? I think we need to talk."

"Sure. I think we need to talk, too."

They walked to the cashier, and Clark purchased the ice cream. Then, they left the store and got into Lois' Jeep. They drove back to his apartment, silent. Both were still rather in shock in finding each other in the same place at the same odd time for the same unusual reason. They were both nervous about what to say to each other.

In only fifteen minutes, they were sitting at Clark's kitchen table across from each other, sharing the tub of ice cream. The kitchen light was the only one on. It was dimmed so that the scene was rather dark. The night sounds penetrated the windows, and the blackness surrounded them, creating the illusion of intimacy.

"So," Lois said, her voice quiet, "what do you want to talk about?" She spoke slowly, unsure of what he was going to say.

"Lois, I have a … confession to make. Do you remember that day when I told you I loved you?"

"How could I forget?" she whispered. Her mind reeled with hope.

"I was telling the truth. I didn't mean it when I took it back." He said the words quickly, immediately digging his spoon into the ice cream. He didn't dare meet her eyes.

Lois closed her eyes for a second. She had been right! He did love her! "Clark, I knew. Not right away, but I was thinking about it. Just a half- hour ago, in fact, and I realized that you hadn't been lying to get me away from Lex."

"Really?" he asked, amazed.

She smiled a little. "Really." She took a spoonful of the ice cream. "I've been up all night, thinking, trying to decide if you loved me or not, and … if I loved you."

Clark looked at her, apprehensive.

"And both answers turned out to be the same. Yes." She dropped her spoon onto the table and took Clark's hand.

He looked at her, stunned. "Do you mean it?"

"Of course I mean it," she said softly. "I love you." They leaned in close to each other for a chocolate-flavored kiss across the table.

After only a second, however, Clark broke away. Lois was confused for three seconds, then hurt for another two, but then realized what was happening. Clark stood up and drew her into his arms. A sweet kiss across the table was nice, but nothing beat a full-body embrace.

Lois sighed as Clark held her the way she'd wanted him to. His tongue gently probed all the areas of her mouth, and his hands pulled her ever closer. She clung to him, returning his kiss with the passion that had been building up ever since they hadn't kissed on that houseboat couch. Clark's lips left hers and traveled down her jawline and neck. She let her hands move a little bit, discovering hard, smooth muscles. She pressed her body into his, as if they were melting together, never again to be separated.

They were both feeling the same thing— an intense desire to be touched, just to embrace so closely that it almost hurt. Lois had needed to feel Clark up against her, his strong arms binding him to her. Clark had needed to hold Lois, to be able to finally know that she loved him, that she was his. And now, both of those needs were fulfilled.

But something was still bothering Clark. He hadn't totally been honest with Lois. He needed to be. He pulled back a little bit.

"Clark? What's wrong?"

"There's something else I need to tell you."

"Something bad?" The look on his face scared her. She didn't think that she could handle something driving them apart now.

"I think you'll see it as something good eventually, but I'm afraid hearing won't be too pleasant. That's my fault. I should have told you this a long time ago, but I could never get up the courage. It's something I've never shared with a soul, and I've been so used to keeping it hidden, it's hard to let it out."

"What is it?" She was starting to panic.

"I … I'm … I have this … other job," he began.

"Other job?" Lois asked. All sorts of horrible things ran through her head. Whatever it was, it was apparently not something too great.

"Yeah, it's sort of a … vigilante thing."

She relaxed a little. "Vigilante? What do you mean by that?"

"I, well … maybe this will help." He reached up and took off his glasses and smoothed back his hair.

Lois' eyes widened. "This is a job?" she asked, breathlessly.

"That's how I've always seen it," he replied.

"Oh. Oh, Clark. This is … incredible. I almost can't believe it, but it makes perfect sense. Why didn't I see it before?"

"Well, I … "

"I'd always thought you were similar, and you did always kiss nearly the same way, but you act a lot differently … "

"Superman is more formal. I try to change my voice to be more intimidating, to match the persona. And the body language is different, I guess, although that was more born of being embarrassed about wearing the suit. It was kind of defensive, but it comes across as tough."

Lois smiled a little at that, but the gears in her mind were still whirring. In just a couple of seconds, one of her good friends had disappeared, and she'd just gotten a whole new perspective on her best friend. This man, the guy who rolled his eyes and listened to her babble, who went to football games and cheered for the Bills even though she *knew* the 49ers were going to win, who sat up with her late nights working on a story, who let himself be pushed around by his friends, was actually Superman. It seemed that the man of steel wasn't quite what everyone thought he was.

Everyone but her. She was the one he had chosen to share this with. She suddenly realized just what getting Clark entailed. He had just given her all of him, one hundred percent. At first, she felt overwhelmed, but it sank in in only a few seconds. She loved him, and no matter what he did in his spare time, she still would.

Not to mention the fact that she still had retained a purely sexual interest in Superman. Who wouldn't? And the thought that she didn't have to give that up to have what she wanted more pleased her immensely. It was like having to choose between chocolate and fudge swirl ice cream. She'd readily give up fudge swirl for chocolate, but she'd miss not having it. And then, after she thought she'd never taste fudge swirl again, somebody told her she could have it and chocolate! So she could have Clark, who she loved, *and* she could fulfill her Superman fantasies!

She threw her arms around Clark, who had been watching her uncertainly, and pulled him close again. "Oh, Clark, this is incredible!"

He hugged her back. "I'm glad you think so."

"Am I the only one who knows?"

"My parents know, naturally. Other than that, you're the only one. You're not mad?"

"Mad? Why would I be mad? Here I was thinking that I'd have to give up lusting after Superman because I had fallen in love and lust with Clark, and now I find that you're both the same, and I don't need Superman, because Clark's got everything he's got, combined with everything Clark's got, and … I'm babbling, aren't I?"

Clark laughed. "Yes. Don't ever stop!" He pulled her crushingly to his body, making her sigh with pleasure. She kissed his shoulder and neck, then all the way up to his lips for another passionate encounter with his mouth.

Their entwined bodies rose off the kitchen floor and floated toward the bedroom. Lois gasped in surprise at the motion. It was the final factor that combined Clark and Superman in her head.

"Clark, this is it, isn't it?" she mumbled, then suddenly pulled away just far enough to look into his eyes while retaining the death grip on his body. "I've fantasized about this since I met you … both of you."

"Lois, me too. Are you ready?"

"Yes. I love you."

"I love you."


As always, comments are more than welcome. Please visit my website at for my fanfic and some other stuff.

Peace, Love, and Superman,