By Joy N Sowell

Rated PG

Submitted March 1999

Summary: Lois reflects on her past — her family, and her "federal disasters" — and concludes that she's just not lovable. Clark disagrees, and says so — and also helps her to understand why she keeps getting him mixed up with Superman in her mind.

Background and disclaimers: I wrote this story in response to a post to the list. The idea is Pam's, the story is mine, and the characters belong to their owners. Yada yada yada.

Pam wrote:

No wonder her life was "basically about work", and specifically about being the best, because she thought that was all she had to offer the world. As soon as anyone *really* knew what she was like, they'd reject her. Clark's support and friendship must have been a *very* strange experience for her, so I guess it's not surprising that it took her that long to be able to accept it.

That'd make an interesting twist to a fanfic, actually (not that I have time to write it <sigh>): Sometime late first season or early second, Clark confesses both his hobby in tights and his love for her. She's able to work through the Superman part, but refuses to believe she's loveable … it'd be interesting to see her in on the secret, but not yet kissy-faced …


Lois is at her desk at the Daily Planet lost in thought. She has just LANed a story to Perry exposing Lex Luthor for the psychotic sociopath that he is. It has been a long day.

Well, the gall of that man. He would assume that she would marry him just because he asked? HA! Have children with him? HA, HA!!

She reflects back on her life. When did she become so driven and so focused on her work in lieu of a personal life?

She remembers being about four, and reading the kids' section of the Daily Planet every weekend. One Sunday, she was excited about an article that she had read about women doctors. She wanted to ask her dad about it. She walked up behind him while he was on the phone with his buddies. He was telling him how he wished that he wished that he had a son, because he didn't understand how to relate to an inquisitive daughter. "She'd rather read the paper than play catch," she heard him say.

Eleven years later, she came home with her report card. She was excited because she had the highest grade in the class. It was tenth grade, and she had gotten a 98 in Algebra II. When she told her father her good news, he just looked at her with disappointment in his eyes. "Well, Lois, that means that there are still two more points for improvement." She felt like she had just been kicked in the stomach.

Her mother cared more about drinking than in taking an interest in her two daughters. 'If I work harder,' Lois thought to herself at these times, 'If I'm a good enough daughter, maybe then she will learn to love me. If I had done something different, maybe she wouldn't have started drinking, or at least not so much, in the first place.'

When she was in college, she became focused on her studies, especially her Journalism studies. One boyfriend went off with her so-called best friend, and a couple of other guys lost interest when she wouldn't sleep with them right away.

Then there was Claude.

Claude, the creep. He was the first boyfriend she had as an adult, or rather as an out-of-college, on-my-own, world-watch-out adult. He wined and dined her. He spoke to her in a very sexy French accent. He had said that he loved her. He had slept with her. In the morning, when she woke up, he was gone, and so was her story. He won an award for that story! She had been used. She vowed to herself that it would never happen again.

Then came Lex.

This morning, she received a call from Bobby Bigmouth. When she met him with a dozen doughnuts, he told her that he heard that Luthor was not the guy that everyone thought. She did some checking and discovered that Toni Baines worked for him. They were reportedly involved just before her untimely death. Miranda had even told someone that she had worked for Luthor in exchange for a reduced sentence.

Lois went to the LexCorp office to ask Lex a few questions. When the receptionist tried to stop her, Lois assured her that, since she was Lex's girlfriend, he would not mind the kind of surprise Lois had planned. The receptionist blushed, and Lois went down the hall to his office.

When she heard voices inside, she stopped and listened. She was appalled at what she heard. Lex was telling his personal assistant, Mrs. Cox, that Lois would be a willing pawn in his quest to destroy Superman. He told Mrs. Cox that he was sure that Lois would marry him. He said that he had a plan to keep her from being so independent. When Mrs. Cox inquired as to what he would do, Lex drew a long puff from his cigar and said that he would need an heir, and that the beautiful Ms. Lane would provide one willingly; if she didn't, well, he would kidnap her parents and her sister until she did.

Lois decided that now would not be a good time to see Lex after all. Better to let the world read about it in the morning edition, while Lex wakes up in prison.

Then there is Superman. She loves him, but his attitude towards her is inconsistent. She sees the tenderness in his warm chocolate eyes, the same tenderness she sees reflected in the eyes of her friend and partner, Clark. When Superman was under the influence of that pheromone complex, he did say that he loved her.

His kisses affect her like none have ever before, except for the few times Clark has kissed her. Other times, though, he seems distant. He belongs to the world; she could never truly be a part of his life. He always has to run off to save the world or some person.

Clark's always running off with some lame excuse, but at least he always comes back. Why? Why does he put up with her? Why does Clark seem so concerned about her? She has noticed how he looks at her when he doesn't think she's watching. She doesn't deserve him. He is always there with a smile or a hug. She felt safer in his arms than she ever imagined, even safer than when she was in Superman's arms.

'Superman? Why is it that when I think of Superman, I automatically think of Clark, and vice versa? They have similar builds. Superman is a god in a cape, but Clark … Clark is an absolute fantasy in a towel.'

(Clark enters the newsroom and sees his partner and the love of his life staring at a blank computer screen. He notices the look upon her face, and it breaks his heart).

CK: Lois?

LL: Clark, I'm so glad you are here. I could really use a friend right now. (She shows him the story that will run on the front page and about the thoughts and memories that she'd been having, except for the ones concerning Superman and himself). I don't even know why I bother. All of my relationships end up as federal disasters. I guess I'm just not meant to have someone love me.

CK: Lois, *I* love you.

LL: Oh, Clark. You are my best friend. You have been there for me when no-one else has. You have never tried to use me and you have put up with me when I know I didn't deserve it. I love you for that. But, I mean, I'm just not exactly Webster's definition of lovable. I'm a hardened, mad-dog, once-bitten-twice-shy reporter, who has a reputation as anything but prom queen.

CK: Lois, I want you to listen, and listen good. You are an intelligent, attractive, talented, and utterly amazing woman. You care for people; that is why you do what you do so well. I think you are lovable.

I have something that I have been wanting to tell you for a while. I know that I can trust you to not tell a soul. Several weeks ago, you mentioned that you thought that I didn't tell you my biggest secret. You were right. I've been trying to work up the courage to tell you since the other day when those terrorists were holding us hostage here. Come on, Lois, let's get out of here. This is not the place I want us to be for this discussion.

LL: You tell me you have this huge secret and then you expect me to wait till we leave to tell me? You are out of your mind, Kent. We will be alone here for at least the next hour. Tell me now. Please.

CK: Lois, you have to understand why I didn't tell you sooner. You have to promise to let me explain after I show you. Okay?

LL: I promise.

CK: Good. (He takes his glasses off, and smoothes back his hair). Lois, do I remind you of anyone? Maybe someone who flies?

LL: You *are* Superman! Now, it makes since.

CK: What makes sense?

LL: I was thinking earlier. I couldn't help but think of Superman when I was thinking of Clark, and vice versa. I know I should be angry, but I'm relieved.

CK: Relieved?

LL: Yes. I thought I was losing my mind. Clark, why?

CK: In the beginning, it was a way to help people, while maintaining my personal life. As we got closer, I wanted to tell you, but the time was just never right.

Lois, all of my life, I have dreamed of meeting someone, getting married, and having a family. However, every place I went, I felt left out. That is, until I came to Metropolis. You made me feel welcome. You make me feel like I belong. I know that you are the person with whom I want to share my life. I love you, Lois, all of you, with all that I am.

LL: Clark, you *do* belong. I understand about you not wanting to tell anyone. I want you to know that your secret is safe with me. You also need to know that my whole life has always been about being the best. Being the best daughter I could be, so that my father might love me even though I wasn't a boy; being a good student; and being the best reporter anyone has ever seen in order to avoid the complications of a personal life.

Clark, I have feelings for you that I have never had for anyone. I don't know what to do.

CK: Then say you love me and that you'll go out with me.

LL: Clark, I *do* love you, but I'm not ready to do anything about it yet. I need time. I understand about Superman; now I need you to understand about me. I need to feel like I deserve you.

CK: Lois, if time is what you want, you can have it. I'll be here for you whenever you need me.

LL: (Hugging Clark). Thanks, partner.

CK: Any time, partner. Hold that thought. (He zooms out of the building and comes back a few minutes later with two wrapped boxes).

LL: What are these?

CK: Open them and find out. (She opens the first box. It is a copy of the current Webster's Dictionary). Look up the word "lovable". (She does, only to see her picture taped to the definition).

LL: Clark?

CK: Now, before you say anything, open the second box. (She opens the second box. It is a beautiful watch). Read the inscription on the back.

LL: "April 1994 — Infinity"

CK: I'm giving you all the time in the world.

LL: Thank you, for everything. (She gives him a kiss on the cheek, and a hug).