A Whole New World

By IRC Round Robin

Rated PG-13

Submitted August 1998

Summary: No A plot at all <g>. Just Lois and Clark on a mini-vacation exploring the world and each other in celebration of the anniversary of Clark's arrival on Earth.

An IRC Round Robin by Chrispat (cp13607@aol.com); Eraygun (Eraygun@aol.com); Mackteach (Mackteach@aol.com); Nekanuq (Nekanuq@aol.com); Zoomway (zoomway@aol.com); Missytoo (Missytoo@mindspring.com); ChiefPam (jernigan@compuserve.com)



Clark reclined on the bed watching Lois pack for their long delayed honeymoon trip. They had a whole week off and had decided to make a quick trip around the world, courtesy of Superman Express. Lois opened her lingerie drawer and glanced over at Clark with a mischievous smile.

She slowly removed various bits of lacy silk and satin, holding each piece up for his inspection. "What do you think? Should I take all this?" Lois laughed at his look. "Okay. I won't tease you any more…at least not now." She leaned over and gave him a peck on the cheek. "I'm really looking forward to this. Just you and me four whole days?"


Clark grinned in response and pulled her down on the bed next to him. "We've earned this vacation, honey. We've both been working nonstop for the last couple of weeks."

Lois nodded and moved closer to Clark, resting her head on his chest. "I know, I've barely seen you the last few days," she sighed.

"We could take some time to become reacquainted if you'd like to take a break from packing."

Lois giggled, rolled off the bed and began tossing items back in her suitcase. "Uh uh. As much as I *loved* our honeymoon, this time we are leaving the bedroom."


Clark pouted in mock-disappointment. "Do we have to?"

Lois stared at him. "Yes we have to! You promised me that we would. And everyone knows that Superman never breaks a promise …"

Clark sighed dramatically and fell back even more into the pillows. "Ack! Done in by my own image and reputation … the horror of it all!"

Lois laughed, shaking her head at Clark's histrionics. "You're looking forward to this as much as I am …" She pointed a pair of her lacy undies at him. "And *don't* try and tell me otherwise." She continued to pack.

Clark chuckled and came to a sitting position on the bed. "Guilty as charged." He watched Lois pack a burgundy bathing suit. "I can't wait to show you some of the places I've been, honey."

"Don't forget that we're going to some places *I* want to visit too …"

Clark came off the bed and walked to stand behind his wife. His arms encircled her waist and he hugged her to him. "Anywhere in the world is fine with me, Lois … as long as I'm with you …"

Lois smiled and placed her hands over his. "Me too." She turned in his arms, her hands coming up around his neck. "Now … I have a favor to ask …"

Clark leaned down and began to nuzzle her neck. "Anything …" he murmured against her skin.

Lois squealed in delight before giggling at the ticklish feeling Clark was giving her. "Le … le … um, let me … um, finish packing." She closed her eyes reflexively, melting against Clark.

Clark smiled and moved his head away from her soft skin. "If you say so. Who am I to argue with Ms. Top Banana?" He reluctantly released Lois. "I'm gonna go do some work downstairs … you're too much of a distraction." He walked toward the bedroom door.

As Lois watched his retreating back, she smiled and whispered. "Ditto."


Clark turned in the doorway, hearing her whisper, the word never sounding more sexy than it did right then.

"Lois? I have a favor to ask, too…" he said softly.

"Anything," she said, her knees turning to jelly at the low burr in his voice.

He moved back into the room. "Before we leave, I want to take you around the world one more time." The smile that spread over his face turned into a rakish grin.

"Please," she said, and they were in each other's arms again.



Afterward, they lay there in the silence, enjoying the feelings of completeness.

As Clark ran his hand through his hair, he heard Lois' soft giggle. He turned to look at her, a smile twitching at the corners of his mouth. "What?"

"Oh, I don't know … it's just that …" Lois' voice trailed off as she tried to find the words.


Lois looked into his eyes. "It's nothing … just that with how often we seem to be undressing each other … I'm amazed that we did enough work to justify a long weekend."

Clark chuckled. "Trust me, honey. Perry knows how important it is to keep his reporters … happy." He turned onto his side and quickly kissed her. "Besides … neither of us had taken any sick days, so we've earned it."

Lois smirked. "Easy for you to say, Mr. I-Don't-Get-Colds-Unless-There's-A-Kryptonian-Virus-Around."

Clark chuckled and moved his hand across her midsection. "Well, let's just see if I can help you build up your … immunity."

"Oh! Is it … inoculation time?"

"Mmm hmm. After all, you're taking a trip around the world … gotta make sure your shots are all in order …"

Lois giggled and pulled his head toward her. "Make sure you give me the … prescribed dosage."

"Oh, absolutely." Clark closed his mouth over hers.


They were late leaving, but picked up a tail wind on the way to their first destination, and made up for time not lost, but well-spent.

They arrived in the dark, the lights of a foreign city below them, and Clark looked for a suitable place to land inconspicuously.

"Here, we are, milady," he said, setting Lois down.


Lois stood on a balcony, a slight breeze ruffling the collar of her blouse. She leaned her head against Clark's shoulder and sighed. "It's beautiful. We never did get that trip to Paris for dinner," she said, and then looked up into his eyes. "You were going to propose to me here, weren't you?"

Clark crooked his arm so that he could pull her closer, and stroked her hair. "I guess I hoped it would be … inspiring."

She wrapped an arm around his waist, hooking a thumb in the yellow belt of his costume. "I guess I spoiled it when I jumped the gun and did the proposing," she said as she looked down as the 'City of Lights'.

"Don't ever think that, Lois," he whispered. "Nothing ever touched me more than that night. I could hardly speak." He kissed the top of her head. "You looked like a little girl. My heart knew better though," he laughed.

She nuzzled her head against his shoulder. "I was scared," she confessed. "I knew what I wanted, and it was a 'now or never' thing."

Clark shrugged. "You just wanted your own way."

Lois laughed and nudged him. "That too."

"Come here," he said, and lifted her back into his arms and flew her to the top of the Eiffel Tower.

Lois felt her breath catch. "I was hoping you'd do that."

"I know," he said matter-of-factly.

Lois laughed again. "So I get my own way telepathically, too?"

"It's not telepathy, it's that 'Danger Mouse' complex you have, Lois. But Everest is out."

"Ah, shucks."

He quickly, impetuously kissed her. Lois felt herself almost losing her balance, but needn't have worried; they were floating again. Clark wasn't always easy to figure out. She was usually the one who had to make the first move, but sometimes … the boy scout had some nice moves of his own.

After the kiss, Lois just hugged him. It was that connection to him that stopped any ache. His warmth, kindness, love, it was all in his embrace, and she held on tight as they began to move to their next destination.


Lois felt happy and free in Clark's arms, enjoying the scenery beneath them. He flew southeast toward the Rock of Gibraltar. Lois was fascinated as they flew above the beautiful waters of the Mediterranean and followed the wind currents eastward. He avoided the major islands, instead choosing a tiny island east of Sicily.

He landed gently in the gray pre-dawn light and they watched breathlessly as the sun slowly rose in the east.

"Clark, where are we?"

"Well, when I was in college, I read about this place. Santorini is a very small, island now… but about forty years ago, it was bigger. Until the volcano exploded. There's plenty of good food, and friendly people, and not a lot of tourists.. so naturally, I wanted to see for myself how beautiful it was."

Lois looked around, seeing the rugged, yet beautiful terrain of the tiny island. Small whitewashed buildings dotted the rocky hillsides all the way from the sea. She decided that whatever Clark had in mind, it must be wonderful. The deep blue water and the black, rocky soil seemed like something out of a travel brochure..

Clark quickly looked around and spun into his everyday clothes. Slipping his sunglasses over his eyes, he took her hand. "Come on, they'll be expecting us."

He led her down the rocky path, watchful to see that she stepped carefully. Finally he smiled and deciding the last thing he needed was a bride with a twisted ankle, he scooped her up and proceeded to carry her down the hill.

He strolled into the village, refusing to put her down even when she began protesting that everyone was staring at them. He grinned, shouted something to the onlookers, and received a hearty shout back.

She looked at him suspiciously. "Clark, what did you say to them?"

"I just said you were too beautiful a nymph to let loose once I'd found you…"

He finally put her down, but took her hand, and lead her down the small, crowded streets to a tiny building sitting on the very edge of the rocky cliffs. They walked into the small entrance, and Clark spoke briefly to the man behind the desk.

The man smiled in welcome and handed him a key, then looked around for their bags.

Clark held up the one small bag he'd managed to hang onto. The older man smiled, and said something that made Clark laugh.

They followed him upstairs to a small, sparsely furnished room. Clark thanked him and tipped him, and the man smiled and tipped his hat to Lois. After the door closed behind him, she looked around the room.

"Clark, the only furniture in the room is a dresser with a mirror, and that … that… "

Her breath caught in her throat as she realized the bed was carved out of the very walls.. in fact, the entire room had been carved out of the rock, and whitewash was the only decoration. The mattress was thick and inviting, with mosquito netting above it. Everything in the room was white, except the dresser.


Clark smiled at her. "You like it?"

"It's.. like some .. fantasy. You've been here before?"

"Yes, I worked on a fishing boat for a while.. even helped build this hotel. I told them I'd bring my bride back here someday."

"So what did he say to you downstairs?"

"I told him this was all we brought and he said you were too beautiful to wrap in anything but satin sheets. I must say, I had to agree with him."


Lois looked around. "I don't see any satin sheets, Clark."

Clark looked around innocently. "No?"

Lois smirked and crossed her arms. "No."

"Well, we'll just have to remedy that, won't we?"


Clark smiled. "OK … me. Let's see …" And with that, he yanked down the mosquito netting.


"Feel it, honey."

"It?" Lois' mind raced with the possibilities of what "it" could be.

"The netting, honey. Feel it."

Lois eyed the netting suspiciously, not sure if Clark was teasing her or not. Sensing her hesitation, Clark smiled encouragingly.

"Trust me, Lois."

The low huskiness in his voice convinced Lois that Clark wasn't playing a joke on her. She touched the netting tentatively, fully expecting to feel a rough and scratchy texture.

Her eyes widened and she looked at Clark with surprise and delight. "Clark! It's so soft …"

Not anymore, he thought, but then realized that she was talking about the fabric that her hand was now caressing.

He cleared his throat. "I know it's not satin, honey … but will this do?"

Lois smiled as she continued to caress the satin smoothness of the mosquito netting. So soft, she thought, so luxurious. I wonder how it would feel against …

Clark's question caught her attention. "Do? Do what?"

Clark's smile broadened as his mind thought of the possibilities. "To wrap you in … will this do?"

Lois considered Clark's question. "For now … but, later …"

Clark raised an eyebrow. "Later?"

"I still want the satin sheets," Lois finished.

Clark chuckled. "Deal." Still holding the netting in one hand, he pulled Lois into his arms. Fixing his gaze on her bright eyes, he cautioned her. "Hold on."


Clark raised his head and looked into her eyes. "God, Lois … what you do to me …"

Lois smiled tenderly, seeing the love shine through his eyes. "Only giving back what you do to me, love."

He smiled and kissed her, breaking off unexpectedly as he tried to stifle a yawn. "Whoa … sorry about that."

Lois chuckled softly. "It's okay, honey … let's take a short break before moving on."

Clark nodded and pushed one of the stones in the wall by his head. To Lois' surprise, part of the wall opened. She peered around the door and saw a linen closet.

"Satin sheets!" She turned to look at Clark. "You knew about this?"

Clark grinned and nodded. "Yup. Remember? I told you I helped build this hotel."

Lois nodded absent-mindedly, her hands reaching for a set of red satin sheets.

She turned to Clark, a playful grin on her face. "Did you bring the bag that has the camera in it?"

Clark frowned. "I think so … why?"

"Oh, I was just thinking … red satin sheets … me wrapped in them … you with a camera …" Her voice trailed off and her eyebrow twitched suggestively.

Clark's eyes widened even as his grin did. "Suddenly, I'm not so tired … shall we … use up the whole roll of film?"

"Sure … and after …" She paused for a moment, grinning lecherously at her husband. "Well … I think you'll be recovered by then …"

"Count on it …"

"One …" She moved toward the bed, satin sheets in hand.

"Two …" Clark continued, searching for the camera.

"Three …" Lois turned as she heard the rapid click of the automatic shutter.

"Clark! There's 27 shots on that roll …"

Clark chuckled and continued taking pictures.



"Wow, Clark…" Lois sighed happily, wrapped in satin sheets, cuddled in her husband's arms. "That was … amazing."

Clark smiled, feeling like the luckiest man on Earth — on any planet, really. The past two hours had been nothing short of spectacular, as they'd been able to concentrate solely on each other. No Superman distractions, no reporter phone calls… just the two of them and a very nice bed.

Lois stretched slowly, luxuriating in the feel of satin slipping over her bare skin. "So… where do you want to go next?"

"You're ready to travel again?" He quirked an eyebrow at her. "I thought I was the one who didn't need recovery time."

She laughed huskily. "Oh, I'm feeling all energized now, for some reason. Invigorated. You know, vigorous exercise is *so* healthy…"

He reached for her, but she slipped away. "Oh no, you don't." She grinned at him from the side of the bed. "I want to see the world."

"Oh, okay," he sighed theatrically. "But after that… " he leered playfully, "after that, I get to make the earth move again."



Lois snuggled comfortably in Clark's arms as they took off from a secluded spot on the island. Very quickly they were back over the Mediterranean and the sound of Clark's heartbeat soon lulled her to sleep. When she awoke she found herself in shadow of the Great Pyramid.

"Welcome back, sleepy head."

Lois yawned. "What do you expect after these vigorous workouts I've been having?"


Lois wriggled closer, looking around her as Clark flew by the pyramids. His grip suddenly tightening on her caught her attention.


"Look straight ahead."

She turned and looked. Her mouth opened in surprise and awe as the head of the Sphinx loomed closer and closer. Clark stopped a few feet in front of it, hovering as the ancient monument filled Lois' field of vision.

"Oh wow …" was all she managed to say as Clark softly whispered the history of the statue in her ear.

Clark slowly moved around the Sphinx, allowing Lois a view that probably no one else had ever had. Pulling her gaze away from the ancient stonework, she placed a soft kiss against Clark's lips.

"Wow …" she murmured again. She leaned back and looked into his eyes. "It's incredible."

Clark smiled softly, knowing that after everything they had been through it took something very special to leave Lois virtually speechless.

"Now you know how I feel every time I look at you."

Lois smiled tenderly and placed her hand against his neck, feeling his steady pulse against her palm. "Spaceman, you say the nicest things."

"I'm only telling the truth, Lois."

They stared for a moment longer into each other's eyes, their mutual love shining brightly.

Turning away from the Sphinx, Clark asked. "So … where to now? The Congo? The Sudan? How about Mount Kilimanjaro?"

Lois thought for a moment. "Maybe we can come back to Africa some other time. How about …" She whispered in Clark's ear, her smile widening as she spoke.

Clark grinned back at her. "As you wish …"

With a final look back at the Sphinx, they flew off to the east.


Lois rested her head against Clark's shoulder. She felt exhausted, but the excitement level was a good counter-acting tonic.

"You think von Daniken was right?" she asked after a moment.

Clark smiled. "Ancient astronauts building the pyramids?"


He thought a moment. "Nah, my dad said only humans would build in the middle of nowhere."

Lois laughed. "Hey, I should have asked to visit that Nigerian princess who taught you ballroom dancing."

Clark glanced and caught her eye. "Jealous?"

Lois tried to look uninterested. "No, just curious."

"Well, she was quite beautiful, actually."

Lois frowned. "Really?"

"Yeah," Clark said wistfully. "She was kind of short though, about four foot three. Then again, she was only nine and had to stand on my feet when we danced."

"Ah," Lois smiled. "You were irresistible to nine-year-olds."

"I think I just looked lost, and she was so serious, but lonely. She felt sorry for me when I said I never learned to dance, and told me that a gentleman should at least know the basics."

Lois kissed along his jawline. "She taught you pretty well as I recall. Though we don't dance as often as I'd like."

"That's because you don't fit on my feet as well, honey." The last comment got Clark's ear nipped harder than Lois had initially intended.

"Ouch, sorry," Clark said, and started descending.

Snow capped peaks were at eye-level, and Clark flew by them very close. Lois laughed as she dragged a hand through the snow, watching it drift down in flaky balls. Clark loved watching her. Clark loved her…period.

As they descended, the air warmed and the snow became scarce. Dark outcroppings of rocky terrain started to fall away as well, and they ended up under the canopy of a steamy forest. Rangoon in May was a hot, breathless place.


Clark set her down gently, careful to let her get her balance on the soft earth. After spinning into shirt and slacks, he took a moment to look around, curious about the utter silence of the place.

"What's wrong?"

"Shhhhh, there's no noise.. this isn't right." He listened closely for moment or two more. "I guess they're quiet because of us.. let's hope so." He held her hand a moment, and then kissed it. "You feel like a hike?"

"How far?"

"Oh, just up that ridge." He pointed to a peak in the distance.

"I don't know if I can go that far…"

"Well, let's see how the walk goes, and if you get tired, you tell me, okay?"

"What's up there?"

"You'll see."

He smiled mysteriously. She decided to let him surprise her. He was the only man in the world that could get away with it. Somehow, that seemed only right.

They walked carefully through the dense jungle, avoiding suspicious-looking plants, and stepping carefully to avoid anything dangerous. The birds eventually began their usual chorus of calls. Lois was enchanted at the peace she found there.

She sighed, tiredly, and Clark gave her a careful inspection. The light sheen of sweat that ran down her neck, and into her blouse caused it to plaster itself provocatively against her body.

He decided it wouldn't do to have her totally exhausted by the time they arrived at their destination. He reached out and picked her up, smiling when she giggled at him, then tucked her head under his chin. He floated them upwards, carefully maneuvering through the canopy overhead, and flew them to the small clearing on the top of the distant hill he'd pointed out before.

In the clearing was a small spring surrounded by exotic flowers and vines growing amongst the rocks.

"Is this the surprise?"

"Yes… I was here once before, and thought it would be a magical place to make love, someday."


He looked deep into her eyes. Lois gasped, continually surprised at the depth of his love for her. "And … 'someday' is …"

"Today," Clark finished for her before his mouth captured hers.

Her hands came up between them and eagerly went to the buttons on his shirt. They seemed to come undone of their own volition, the buttonholes well-used by now.

They moved apart and quickly finished undressing. As Lois stepped out of her pants, she looked at Clark, thinking that all that was missing was his fig leaf.

"So's yours, honey." Clark's desire was evident in the huskiness of his voice. Lois smiled, realizing that she had voiced her thought out loud.

Still smiling all the while, Lois walked toward him, the natural sway of her hips causing Clark to lick his suddenly dry lips.

"What's the matter, Clark? Need something to drink?" Lois teased, knowing full well the effect her short walk had on him.

All Clark could do was nod. He swallowed convulsively, finding his voice.

"Honey … if you had been in the Garden of Eden … the devil himself would have eaten that apple …"

Lois stopped, a bit surprised at his words. Then she smiled, chuckling softly, the sound doing wonderful things to Clark's insides.

"You really do say the nicest things, Clark …"

She looked at him, mischief and love twinkling in her eyes. "Want to take a bite?"

Clark groaned and closed the gap between them at superspeed. His head leaned toward her throat, lightly nipping at the tender flesh, feeling the quickening of her heartbeat against his lips.

Lois clung to him as he pulled her tightly to him and floated them gently off the ground. They shifted in the air until they were horizontal and then Clark lowered them carefully onto the mossy ground, the softness cushioning Lois.

She closed her eyes and gave herself over to his loving ministrations.


When she returned to her senses, she felt Clark's strong arms around her, his long eyelashes lightly brushing against her collarbone. She wrapped her arms around him and hugged him to her.

Clark moved in her arms until their gazes were level and Lois saw the brief look of concern that crossed his handsome face.


"Hi yourself, big guy."

"You okay?"

Lois smiled. "Never better." She reached up and caressed the side of his face. "Thanks to you."

Clark smiled. Turning his face into her hand, he tenderly kissed her palm. "My pleasure."

Lois giggled. "Mine even more."

Her hand curled around to the back of his head and pulled him down toward her. Just as they were about to kiss, Clark pulled back as Lois yawned.

He grinned. "Tired?"

Lois nodded. "A bit. Hungry too."

Clark kissed her forehead. "Rest a bit, I know just where to take you for food."

Lois nodded again, already half asleep. Clark shifted off her and held her in his embrace, watching as she drifted off.


A few hours later Lois found herself dodging bikes and pedestrians on a busy street in Shanghai.

"I will never complain about Metropolis traffic again," she said as she made it to relative safety on the sidewalk.

Clark chuckled. "It is a little intense here. But you get used to it." Taking her by the hand again he led her past the busy market area.

"So where are we going now?"

"Well you said you were hungry and I thought you'd appreciate a visit *here*," Clark replied, indicating a small restaurant.

Lois eyed the place carefully, then she smiled. "This is it, isn't it?"


"Well, I hope the food hasn't changed in four years. I really loved those dumplings."


They walked into the restaurant and Lois inhaled and then exhausted the air with an appreciative sigh. "It smells wonderful."

He held out a chair. Other couples looked up at the obvious 'westerners'.

"I guess we kind of stick out," Lois whispered.

"I could spin into the costume and take the onus off you, honey."

"Sit down and shut up," she laughed. "Remember what I can do with chopsticks."

A waiter handed them a menu, bowed, and then departed.

Lois raised an eyebrow. "Well, maybe if I just point I'll hit something I like."

"I can order that assortment I ordered way back when you couldn't stand me."

Lois lowered her menu. "I could stand you. I just hid it well."

Clark nodded and chewed the inside of his cheek. "Uh huh."

"I did like you," Lois said defensively. "But I didn't want you to know I liked you because I could tell you already liked me, and by 'like' I mean 'like', not *like*, the way I think you—"

Clark raised a hand. "Honey, it's okay, really. You don't have to explain…please," he smiled. "Besides, as long as I rattled your cage when I was wearing that towel—"

"Oh, God," Lois said, and put the menu over her face.

"You can put the menu down. I can see right through it, and you're a lovely shade of red."

"Clark, you acted completely innocent. What a faker!"

"I just didn't want to take advantage of the moment. Your large appreciative eyes and that small spot of drool was thanks enough."

"I hate you."

"I know," he sighed. "But you'll get over it the next time I'm in a towel."

Lois laughed loudly, noticed she'd drawn the crowd's attention, and turned it into a cough.

"Want me to pat your back, honey?"

"You're asking for it."

"I'm *counting* on it."

Lois reached across the table and took his hand. "If I haven't said it lately, I like you a lot, Clark Kent."

Clark lifted her hand to his lips. "I like you too, Lois Lane," he whispered, and kissed her hand.

Lois looked at her husband thoughtfully. "I didn't think I'd ever have fun being married."

"I always knew we'd have fun, assuming I could get you to the altar."

"It was long before the altar, Clark. I started having 'fun' with you even when I was still pretending I couldn't stand you."


"If something's not fun, it's not worth doing."

She leaned over and kissed his cheek, then rubbed at the lipstick smear she'd left behind. "You got that right, mister. I'm tired from all the *fun* we've had today.. think we could get the food to go?"

He smiled, and signaled for the waiter to approach their table. The man took Clark's order, and smiled at Lois.

"Okay, what did you say?"

"I said that the pretty lady had the airplane disease, and we were going to go back to our hotel."

"Airplane disease?"

"Jet lag, Lois."

"Oh," she smiled. "So I've got a love hangover, and we should just call it' Clark Lag' ?"

He grimaced at her. "Ugh, no.. we should think of something better than that." He picked up her hand, and rubbed a thumb across the palm. "You can't think of anything?"

"Not right now when you're touching me, I can't."

"You feel like going back to Santorini for the night, or do you wanna stay here?"


"Actually I've got someplace else in mind."


Lois watched as Clark spread his cape out on the sand of a deserted beach and neatly arranged the bamboo baskets of takeout food. The moon was just beginning to rise and she shivered as a slight breeze came off the water.

Clark looked at Lois with a trace of concern. " Are you cold? Would you like me to light a fire?" "No I'm fine," she said snuggling closer into his welcoming arms. "It's just a ploy I use to get attention from you."

Clark laughed. "Let's eat, and I can promise you all the attention you could possible want."

They sat beside each other, and Lois gazed up at the night sky. "I always wanted to go to Tahiti," she sighed.

"I remember."

"I told you? When?"

"At the Bachelor's Auction my first year in Metropolis."

Lois blushed. "I did? I don't really remember much about that night. Not after I lost *you*, anyway."

"You never lost me, Lois. I was always yours and I always will be."


Lois looked at Clark, her love and unshed tears of happiness making her eyes bright in the evening. "And I'll always be yours, Clark."

They leaned together and sealed their vows of love with a kiss, moving into each other's arms and lying back against the white sands of Papeete's beach.

Breaking off the kiss, Lois laid her head on Clark's shoulder, her hand lightly roaming over his chest, feeling his warmth even through his shirt.

They looked up at the stars. Unhampered by city lights, their brilliance made them appear to be diamonds against a velvet background.

Lois sighed contentedly. "This has been wonderful, Clark …" Her voice trailed off into another sigh as she snuggled closer to him.

Clark curled his arm around her shoulders, pulling her closer. "'Has'? Who says that it's over?"

Lois raised her head and looked at his profile. "It's not?" A slow smile began to spread over her face. God, this man was full of surprises.

Clark answered her growing smile with one of his own. "I've always wanted to take a moonlight swim in the Pacific Ocean."

Lois' smile faltered. "But, we don't have the bag that has my swimsu —"

Lois' words were cut off as Clark quickly and effortlessly scooped her into his arms. He walked purposefully toward the beach's edge.

"Who said anything about a suit?" And with those words, he walked straight into the ocean, the splashing that his stride made accompanied by the squeal of delight from Lois.

"Clark!! Our clothes …"

Clark used his super vision and hearing to do a quick scan of the area. "Take 'em off, honey. There's no one around." When Lois looked at him still unconvinced, he quickly added, "Besides, with me around, they'll be dry quicker than you can say 'Extra starch around the collar'." He winked and gave Lois 'the look.'

Lois sighed. "Now, how can I resist when you give me your 'lost puppy dog' look?"

Clark grinned. "My point exactly. Here, let me help you."

His arms came out from under Lois and she floundered for a moment before relaxing and letting the salt water carry her weight, her feet barely touching bottom. Clark made quick work of her blouse and pushed it off her shoulders, its tail floating atop the ocean.

"How do I know you won't just let my clothes drift off on the ocean currents?"

Clark raised his eyebrow in mock surprise. "Now would *I* do anything like that?"

"Yes, you would."


"I'll make you a deal. I'll take off the rest of my clothes once I see that you're completely —"

Clark rose out of the water and quickly spun. He slowly floated back down into the water, allowing Lois to see that he was completely -

" — naked." She sighed. "You have *got* to show me how you do that."

Clark chuckled and reached for her hand. "Come on, honey. You can undress on the beach. *Then* we'll go skinny-dipping."

Lois nodded and let Clark scoop her back into his arms and walk back to the beach. She quickly undressed, her skin shining with a silvery sheen in the moonlight. Tossing her shoes onto the pile of clothes, Lois turned and looked at Clark, a look of playfulness and delight on her face.

Holding his hand out to her, Clark smiled, his heart filled with love for this woman. Without hesitation, Lois placed her hand in his, and with a wild whoop of abandonment, they ran toward the surf and into the ocean.

They laughed and swam in the warm sea, splashing each other in between kisses and caresses. Lois floated on her back for a while, looking up into the starry night, glad that Clark was with her instead of on one of those specks of light. She sighed, hoping that Zara and Ching were as happy as she and Clark.

Her thoughts were interrupted by the loud splashing of her husband. She turned her head and saw a look of almost boyish delight on his face. He looks so carefree, she thought. I wish we could stay here forever.

As if he read her mind, he placed a kiss on her lips, the salt water mixing with the lingering taste of dim sum. Unusual, he thought, but then that's what makes Lois so unique. He deepened the kiss momentarily, delighting in her responsiveness. He broke the kiss off and looked into her eyes glistening brightly in the darkening night.

"I would love nothing more than to stay on our own private island with you, but …" His voice trailed off.

"Yeah, I know. The world needs you. Besides, how long could we really live on a diet of bananas-on-a-stick?"

Lois smiled tenderly, her hand reaching out to caress the side of his face. Shifting her weight, she floated toward him, her lips capturing his and cutting off any retort he could have made.

Clark returned her kiss, knowing full well that neither of them would have stood the simple life on an island for longer than a weekend. It just wasn't them. It would have been too … normal. No adventure, no evil villains, no investigative stories to uncover. No, somehow, "normal" just didn't describe their lives.

Clark broke off the kiss and murmured against her lips. "You once asked me how long I could hold my breath …"

Lois smiled. "And …?"

"A very long time …" With those words, his mouth closed over hers and he pulled them both under the surface of the ocean.

The sudden silence that enveloped her momentarily surprised Lois and she hugged Clark to her, his solid body reassuring her.

Floating upward, Clark broke the surface of the water, Lois taking rapid gulps of air beside him. Sweeping her hair out of her eyes, she turned to Clark. "You really *can* hold it for a long time!"

Treading water, Clark grinned. "Uh huh."

Lightly splashing some water at him, Lois returned his grin with one of her own. "What else can you do?"

Clark raised his eyebrows and laughed wickedly. "Mwa ha ha." He reached out for Lois, but stopped at her next words.

"Do you know that we've made love six times today?"

"You've been keeping track?"

"Sure. Twice before we left, twice at that hotel in the Mediterranean, and once by the spring in Rangoon."

"Um, honey? That's only five times."

"I was counting this time too."

Clark frowned. "I don't know, Lois. You've kind of worn me out. I never knew that you were so insatiable."

At Lois' pretty pout, Clark's frown turned into a grin. "But, if you insist …"

Lois grinned and launched herself at Clark, her arms wrapping around his neck. Her sudden movement threw him off balance and they again disappeared beneath the surface of the water.

Clark held her to him and as quickly and carefully as he could, rolled over so that Lois came to the surface of the ocean, and he was slightly below it. He levitated slightly so that she was just skimming the surface of the water, confident now that neither of them would now drown.

"Cl … Clark?" she gasped breathlessly.

"Hmmm?" Clark murmured, the word vibrating against her.

"Um … oh … re … remind … me … ah, god … to …" Lois' words collapsed into an incoherent moan of pleasure.

Clark raised his head, his eyes not completely focusing. "Huh?"

Lois' mind cleared for a moment. "Remind me … to call about waterbeds … "



Lois felt drowsy as Clark buttoned her blouse. She had attempted it herself, but between the sun, the water and Superman, she was beaten. His heat vision had dried their clothing nicely though.

Lois smiled down at Clark as he knelt to fasten the last button. "You know," she said airily. "You'll be a good father, Clark." She stroked his hair. "You're patient, and you can button from the front."

Clark laughed. "It's not exactly brain surgery, honey," he said, rising from the sand and brushing his knee. "Besides, I've gotten good at unbuttoning from the front, and so I just reverse the process."

Lois stretched her arms out to him, "Hug."

Clark hugged her to him and smiled. "Isn't this where you call me 'lunkhead'?"

Lois laughed, tickling his ear. "Do you remember everything?"

"Everything worth remembering, and so my memory starts about five years ago."

Lois pulled back and looked up into Clark's eyes. They had that 'look'. They were slightly glazed, his heart was full of emotion. She drew a finger along his jaw. "Let's go home, Clark," she said softly.

Clark lifted her gently. "We've got vacation time left. You don't want to make any more destinations?" he asked as they drifted upward.

"It's funny you should word it that way — 'make a destination' — because that's what we've done."

Clark looked completely perplexed. "We've made a destination?"

Lois smiled her crooked smile, that grudging smile that betrayed her every time. "Utopia."

The couple suddenly lost altitude rapidly.

"Clark!" Lois shouted just as they skirted the shoreline and landed back on the beach, or rather, crash landed.

Lois stood and rubbed her rump. "I guess that was bad timing, I should have waited … Clark, honey, are you all right?" she said, hurrying to where he seemed content to stay crumpled, his head bowed slightly, as if the wind had been knocked out of him.

He finally glanced up. The glaze in his eyes had spilled to his cheeks. Clark was not a man who cried easily or openly, but he was crying now.

Lois knelt in front of him and took his hands. "I'm sorry I told you that way."

Clark shook his head, tried to speak, but couldn't. He threw his arms around her and they both cried. After a long moment, Clark took a deep breath. "I love you," he said, and then laughed, even as the tears flowed again.

Lois mirrored his words and actions. She was a goner seeing him this vulnerable and moved. She hopped into his arms. "Let's go home, but maybe via Kansas?"

He kissed her as they rose into the air. "I think that's best. Only I could catch my dad if he fainted."