By Peace <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Submitted October 1998
Summary: When Clark strands her yet again, Lois seeks comfort in the arms of another. So why is she still thinking about Clark?
Lois was happy. Life was looking better and better. Last night when she'd stopped Clark from moving away from Metropolis, when she'd pushed Dan Scardino out of her life once and for all, and had gone to Clark and kissed him with all the passion in her soul, he had looked in her eyes and said, "I'm not gonna run, Lois. I'm ready to take the next step, if you are." And then he'd kissed her, a kiss that had reached into the depths of her heart, and it had taken ever bit of willpower she had to keep from throwing him on the floor and taking him — right in the middle of the packing boxes. But she wanted their first time together to be sweet and special — and for all his brave words about taking the next step, Lois had the feeling sex would have been a step or two beyond where he was ready to go.
Tonight was going to have to be a quick dinner together, because she had notes to go over and had to get to bed early tonight — alone — to be up in time for an early morning press conference with the mayor. So it wouldn't be tonight, either — this was not going to be rushed, any more than it was going to happen in the middle of packing boxes. But tomorrow was Saturday, and tomorrow… oh, Clark had just better watch out tomorrow! The thought of it made her snuggle happily against his shoulder as they waited for the elevator that would whisk them out of the DP newsroom, and then with a wicked gleam in her eye, she reached up to whisper in his ear, just to hint at what was in store for him tomorrow.
Her position by his side, with her lips against his ear, kept her from seeing how his eyes drifted shut at her words, how he chewed on his lower lip and struggled for composure. Unfortunately, it also prevented her from seeing the anguish on his face when a fire alarm that only he could hear invaded his supersenses, followed quickly by another and then another — a three-alarm blaze, only slightly cooler than the heat between them at that moment. Lois felt him suddenly pull away from her.
"Lois, I'm really sorry — you have no *idea* how sorry! — but I've got to…" He trailed off struggling for an excuse, trying not to see the disappointment in her eyes. He reached to pull her back into his arms. "I *sorry*," he whispered insistently.
Lois let him hug her, standing stiff and unresponsive, then shrugged him off, feeling as if she'd just been doused with ice water. "Whatever." As he rushed away from her (she refused to see where he was going), she turned to the tall young intern in Research who had just walked up, saying clearly, "Quinn, what are you doing for dinner tonight?"
Quinn couldn't believe his luck. Lois Lane — *the* Lois Lane — the best reporter in the Planet — hell, the best reporter *on* the planet — was making a pass at him. She had let him take her to dinner at a cozy Italian restaurant where she'd flirted with him all evening, touching his hand, staring into his eyes, laughing at his jokes — even the really lame ones. And now she stood in the doorway of her apartment, inviting him in for a drink.
He'd heard rumors that she and her partner Kent were on their way to being an item, but then Kent had been seen with some blonde, and some government guy had been hovering around and Lois hadn't chased him off — the grapevine didn't quite know what to make of all that, but it was suddenly much less certain of Lane and Kent being LaneandKent.
"Well?" Lois asked, a little impatiently.
Quinn decided that if Kent had been fool enough to let her get away, so much the better for Quinn. He stepped inside and watched as she shut the door behind him.
She started towards the kitchen, asking, "What do you want?"
That got her attention. She faced him, a tiny, wry smile on her face. "A man who knows what he wants. How refreshing."
She walked towards him and let him take her in his arms. When he leaned down to kiss her, she closed her eyes and tried desperately not to think about-. She wound her arms around his neck and pressed her body against his… Clark was so big and strong and warm and… and this is Quinn, not Clark, his name is Quinn! Oh, God, what am I doing?
She pushed away abruptly, suddenly horrified at herself. She'd intended to punish Clark a little for stranding her, but she'd never intended for it to get this far. "I can't do this," she whispered. She looked up at Quinn, her eyes swimming. "I'm sorry — I didn't mean — you're just not…"
She nodded silently, somehow not surprised that he knew. She walked towards the door and opened it for him. "Please leave."
A little stunned by the sudden turn of events, Quinn followed Lois to the door. He stopped beside her, reaching out to brush away a tear that rolled down her cheek. "Does Kent have any idea how lucky he is?" he whispered. Before she could say anything, he answered himself. "No, of course not. If he did, he would be here and I would have eaten cold pizza in my apartment this evening." His voice grew rough. "So why are you sending me away? So you can sit here and cry over him? What a waste!"
Lois didn't respond. She'd been through this all just yesterday with Dan — how could she have been so stupid as to let it happen again? The tears fell more freely now, as she flushed in shame. "Please. Leave."
Quinn shook his head as he walked through the door. "What a waste," he repeated. "Call me when you get over him, huh, doll?" The door slamming behind him was his only reply.
Lois turned back to the living room, trying hard to stifle the sobs she felt building in her chest, but they would not go away. She finally landed in a heap by the sofa, sobbing aloud.
A sudden tapping sound interrupted her pity party. She looked around the room, sniffling, trying to locate the source of the tapping. Finally she looked at the window. Superman's concerned face stared in at her.
No. She would not make the same mistake three times in a row. "Go away, Superman," she said, without bothering to rise from the floor. She knew he would hear her. She put her head down on the sofa with a sigh. "You're not Clark, either."
It was a shame really, that she put her head down as she said that, because she missed the look of shock that became sheer unbridled joy at her words. Superman shot skyward, bouncing off a couple of clouds before returning a split second later to her window. He tapped again, insistently.
Lois looked up. "What?" she asked impatiently. Something about the look on his face made her get up and cross the room to open the window.
He glided easily inside, landing lightly before her. "Actually, I am," he said.
Lois shrugged, an open-handed, 'playing along' gesture. "Actually, you are what?" she asked, not really caring.
"Actually, I am Clark." Amazing how easy it was to say it like that. He could never quite envision a scenario where he stood before her as Clark and said, "I'm Superman." It always sounded pompous or arrogant, like there ought to be superhero cartoon music playing. But this… this was just telling the truth.
Lois blinked up at him. Superman had never been one for silly games, had never toyed with her emotions. She stared into his eyes, remembering how she'd stared into Quinn's, catching herself looking for Clark in Quinn's eyes. Silly of her to think she could look into one person's eyes and see another. Silly to think she could look into Superman's eyes and see Clark. Silly… "Clark?"
She took a tentative step forward and suddenly she was in his arms — Clark's arms — Clark who was big and strong and warm — Clark whose kiss made her so weak in the knees that he had to catch her before she could fall. "Clark…" she sighed against his lips.
"Yes," he whispered back.
"Make love to me."
"You have a press conference with the mayor tomorrow morning," he protested weakly.
"Ralph can cover it." She nuzzled his neck.
"And you wanted this to be special…" He couldn't think why he was offering her excuses.
"It will be," she murmured, pulling out of his arms. She took his hand and led him to the bedroom. "It will be."