The Art of Being Clark

By Missy Gallant <>

Rated: PG

Submitted: November 2001

Summary: This story is set a few days after Clark returns from the "dead." Things are trying to return to normal, but according to Lois, things will never be the same…

This started as my response to the fluff challenge from the fanfic list, but somehow along the way, it turned into something a bit more.

Many thanks to my BR's, Kath Roden, Merry Truitt, Carol Moncado, and Jo March for pushing aside their busy lives to help me out. A special thanks to Marnie Rowe for all the hours spent brainstorming over this — you've been just wonderful!!!

This also is my first attempt at something related to TOGOM.


Lois wrung her hands nervously as she watched her partner sitting at his desk from her vantage point at the coffee break area. Since he had returned from the 'dead' a few days ago after being shot by Al Capone's gangsters, she was more aware of him than ever before. Now that she had him back, her insides rolled over in knots every time she came near him. Sleep was a distant friend; she kept turning in her mind what her life would be like without Clark Kent, her best friend and partner. Her conclusion was that she wouldn't have a life; the handsome reporter had ingrained himself in such a way that there was no separating her life from his anymore. He was a part of her and she hoped that he felt the same way.

As to whether Clark Kent cared for her, there was no doubt in her mind that she was important to him. After all, he had literally *died* for her. Thank heavens that Superman had been able to use Dr. Hamilton's procedures on him and bring him back to life. Still, exactly *how* important she was to him was still a mystery to her.

Yet there was the slight problem of how to get her message across to him without making a fool of herself in the process. There was the incidence of him taking back his declaration of love after her disaster of an almost wedding to Lex Luthor. That happened right before she almost admitted to him that there might be something more between them — the same thing she almost did the other night when she had driven him home after the capture of Al Capone and his gangsters. She didn't want to humiliate herself for love's sake anymore, not for anyone, especially her best friend.

The difficulty was that she didn't know exactly how to let him know she was reconsidering their relationship, and more importantly, to let him know she cared. If he *had* died for real, he never would have known. He would have gone to his grave not knowing what he meant to her and now that terrified her. So last night while she was lying awake in her bed trying to plot exactly how to tell him, she'd decided to imitate the master. Who better to teach her how to show him she cared, than the expert himself — Clark.

Many things were obvious now that she had chosen to open her eyes and see all that was in front of her: he always did little things for her — a cup of coffee, the choicest donut in the box, a shoulder rub when her muscles were tired, a delicious sandwich when she was hungry; but most of all, he always made her feel like she was important to him. He never had to say a word to her about how he felt; it was in everything he did.

Now it was her turn to do it for him; that was why she was nervous. And not because she had taken it upon herself to make a pot of coffee, not really. Still, trying to make sense of paper filters and having to figure out exactly how many scoops to put in it — five or six? — was annoying her. All those chores were always taken care of by someone else who didn't have more important tasks to do. She was always busy with things that counted and couldn't be bothered with menial duties that others could do much more efficiently than she.

But she needed to do this by herself. For Clark. She stirred up her courage by watching him for a few seconds. Oblivious to the pressing dilemma that she was facing, he was furiously typing up their notes for today's story. His jacket was slung neatly over the back of his chair revealing a crisp white shirt thinly covering broad muscular shoulders. She bit her lip in contentment but then drew in a deep breath to bring her back to the task at hand.

At last, the coffee was finished — but not before slightly burning her hand — and having proudly poured them both a cup, she was winding her way down the bullpen to present him with her gift.

She laid his coffee cup on his desk like he'd done countless times before, and tried to appear casual about it as she perched upon the edge of his desk. A surprised half grin spread across his face as he regarded her inquisitively for a couple of seconds before returning to his typing.

Lois knew that she had been acting strangely all day and hoped yellow caution flags weren't springing up inside his head as she tried to analyze his curious grin. Earlier that afternoon, she had presented him with the gift of a plain cake donut; albeit a little stale and hard, that was the best she could do considering the time of day, but he'd eaten it just the same.

Now it was late at night and they were just about finished for the day — which didn't explain why she had just brought them both coffee. Decaf had been absolutely forbidden in the newsroom: Lois had led the charge years before he arrived, mowing down anyone who decided that bringing in worthless beverages was a good idea. She was hoping the caffeine wouldn't keep him up later when he went to bed. After all, she was dealing with a man who could eat anything and not gain a pound; surely a little small cup of coffee wouldn't affect him too greatly. But as for affecting her sleep, it didn't matter very much; she was already lying awake at night contemplating her relationship with Clark.

She hopped off his desk after noting with satisfaction that he had taken a rather large sip of his coffee. Straining to see what was on his computer screen, she worked her way around to the back of his chair, placed her hands gently on his shoulders and leaned forward to read what was on his screen. Shifting to lean on her forearm, she pointed at his monitor and said nonchalantly, "Are you sure about this? That's not right."

His muscles jumped at her touch, yet she heard him ask, "Are you editing my copy, Lois?"

"Of course I'm editing your copy. Isn't that what partners do? Shouldn't that have an apostrophe 's' at the end of that possession?"

Feeling his gaze upon her, she concentrated on the business at hand; her lips were firmly pressed together and her eyes were darting to and fro as she read the article.

"You think?" he questioned speculatively after a couple of seconds. "I thought that it was just an apostrophe after to denote possession on a pluralized noun."

"I should know; my name ends with 's' and I've *always* used an apostrophe 's' to let people know what was mine," she stated firmly. "Besides, that's how it's pronounced so that's how I'm…*we* are going to write it."

The air was different between them tonight, Lois mused as she stared at his screen. Instead of wanting to snap his head off as usual in one of their many disagreements, her heart felt soft and yielding now. She was very aware of his large presence and it filled her with joy instead — also relief that he was alive and still able to be her partner… and hopefully more.

"Like Lois's partner… Lois's best friend… Lois's lo…" She broke off her ruminations and looked down at his desk. Seeing her coffee mug, she distracted herself by reaching across the front of Clark and grabbing the cup.

She screwed her face up into a tight grimace and turned away from him after taking a sip. It was awful! Upon swallowing the unusually strong coffee, the inside of her throat and mouth were peppered with grinds, causing her to gulp hard to get them down. Observing as Clark reached again for his cup, she secretly watched him gulp the remainder of his down without a flinch.

He replaced the cup on the desk right in front of her and she could see the bottom covered in black specks. How could he drink that horrible stuff? She frowned a bit then observed him curiously as he responded to her correction of his copy.

"Okay, I'll give you that one. It's not the most popular choice but it's technically correct." A gentle smile rewarded her before she leaned back to rest her hand on his shoulder again.

Her hands froze as she desperately wanted to give him a shoulder rub but didn't know how to begin. The big guy didn't seem very tense. As a matter of fact, the only time he'd ever seemed tense was when *she* was in danger or challenging him in regard to her safety. Clark seemed to thrive on their other disagreements. He would invariably end up with a silly smirk on his face no matter what the outcome of the argument. At first it had annoyed her — she always ended up madder at him, particularly when he was right — but lately, especially the past few days, she had given in a lot sooner than normal. It wasn't worth all the fuss to be at odds with Clark, not after the devastation she'd felt when she thought he had died.

Now as her hands lay on his shoulders, the warmth of his flesh beneath the smooth fabric seemed to be keeping them there like a magnet. Still, it was hard to take the next step. A neck massage was way more intimate than bringing someone coffee or leaning over their shoulder, yet he did that for her all the time and she never complained.

A tentative squeeze to start, then another and soon she was working her way along his shoulders up to his neck. His head dropped down in relaxation, exposing more of his well- groomed and heavily-muscled neck to her.

She worked her way lower down his back, until she could feel him tensing up once more. She must not be doing a good job… this was supposed to be relaxing. Now she could feel him sucking in his breath as she lightened her touch in response. Biting her lip in frustration, she couldn't believe that she was making him tight when he had already been relaxed, but she couldn't give up on showing she cared now.

She slowed her massage to just rubbing the back of his neck, then patted his shoulders before withdrawing her touch.

"All done," he said, smiling, after sending their story to Perry a couple of minutes later. He shut off his computer and twirled in his chair to look at her. His dark brown eyes softened at the sight of her and he regarded her curiously. She returned his gaze with a shy smile, then glanced downward, suddenly feeling very vulnerable.

"I suppose it's time to go home now," Clark finally said, reluctantly.

"Walk me home," she blurted. "I think it's going to be a nice night."

"My pleasure, partner."


The night air had a brisk breeze to contend with; Lois shivered even after taking Clark's arm. Why did the weather have to change so drastically in the past few hours?

"You cold?"

She heard his strong, agreeable voice gently easing her thoughts aside and she nodded her answer. Clark ushered her over to the side wall of the Daily Planet and shrugged his jacket off and placed its comforting weight over her shoulders. The body heat permeating from it did more than surround her with its protecting warmth; it wrapped her heart in security, assuring her once more that her partner was alive and breathing.

The couple of days that she'd believed him to be gone, she couldn't bear to think of his body growing cold and stiff. Clark's touch had always been soothing to her, a balm in her storms. To think that she would have had to face touching him again if they ever found his body… she knew that in order to believe he was truly gone, she'd have had to feel for herself, touch his cheek and see that his life force, beyond a doubt, had vanished. Having to say good-bye to this once vibrant and wonderful man would have been more than she could have handled.

Her throat lumped up and she pushed her morbid thoughts aside. Clark — *her* Clark — was alive and here with her now and his body heat — via his jacket — was keeping her warm. Glancing down at her shoes, she struggled to regain her composure before he could see her distress.

Without looking him in the eye, she reached for his arm again, thankful for the excuse that it was cold to get close to him once more.

The few blocks to her apartment seemed to fly by as they walked arm-in- arm in amiable silence. It did not go without notice from Lois that she was practically clinging to him; well, she *was* clinging to him. Both of her arms and hands were entwined around his one and more than once she had bumped into him by walking too close. This had turned into more than just a simple walk home and she hoped to find the nerve to tell him how she felt once they reached their destination.

This was not working, she thought in disappointment. She'd had failed at most of the little things she wanted to do for Clark tonight. The stale donut, the horrible coffee and back rub; even in editing his copy she thought that he was just going along with her. And once again, he was showing that *he* cared by putting up with her lame attempts to imitate him.

The familiar apartment house loomed in the near distance, only a few more yards and they would be saying goodnight. They arrived at the front of her steps and on impulse, she kept walking.

"I'm going to walk you home tonight," she declared firmly, deciding that seeing him safe in his own apartment seemed like a better plan than her wondering if he had made it home safety. After all, she knew Tae Kwon Do and he was the one who had ended up on the floor of Georgie Hairdo's place, not her.

A small voice reminded her that he had been protecting her and that if she hadn't tried to locate that woman who had stolen her nickels, Clark wouldn't have been shot in the first place. They probably would have slipped away from the club before the gangsters arrived. No, she needed to try to keep him safe now and escorting him to his apartment suddenly sounded like a grand idea.

Her journey was stopped by a solid arm planted firmly on one spot. Her momentum swung her around until she crashed into Clark's chest. His free arm held her back steady as she regained her balance.

"Why'd you stop? Come on! Let's go!" She tugged at his arm.


"I'm not ready to…" <leave you> "…go inside," she persisted.

"Lois, what's this all about? You don't have to walk me home; it's cold!"

"Nothing! This is about nothing!! Can't a woman see her best friend home if she wants to? I didn't think you were one of those chauvinists, Clark," she argued, feeling her emotions on the edge of shattering.

Clark looked around the street, searching for something. "Where's your jeep? Don't you usually park it out here in front?" he asked.

A loud backfire from an old car exploded a few yards away, splintering Lois' final thread of control. Gunfire!! Her best friend and partner being shot down only a few feet away from her! Trapped by the memories of her own emotions, she launched herself at Clark and flung her arms around his neck in anguish.

His arms enfolded her and he picked her up like one would do a small child. Her head buried itself in the strong corded muscles of his neck and she felt her hot tears smearing his flesh. She tried to reassure herself that it was only an old car backfiring and that she was safe and warm in his arms. Something then snapped inside her: this wasn't how it was supposed to be at all! The plan was to *give* back to Clark, not blubber all over him like a baby! Taking a deep breath, she composed herself and ordered with a strained voice, "Put me down, farmboy; let this city girl take you home."

His chest heaved with a resigned sigh, his arms loosened around her and her feet were placed on the ground once more. For an instant, his dark liquid brown eyes were painted with concern and worry, but then he smiled and tucked her arm through his once more. This time his hand lingered on the top of hers as he started them on the walk to his apartment.

The silence between them was a bit more awkward on this next leg of the journey. Clark's hand never left hers and she could feel his eyes on her every so often. He was obsessing over something — again. Well, he wasn't the only one who could obsess; she'd been doing it for days.

He finally broke the silence as they rounded the final block to his place. "Did you park your jeep in another spot? You didn't get a chance to tell me what happened to it."

"It's at the Planet. I just felt like walking, that's all," she stated softly, hoping he wouldn't ask why. "I'll take a taxi tomorrow."

Clark tucked his thumb under her palm and squeezed her hand on his arm gently as he asked her, "Will you let me send for a cab to take you back tonight?" Her resolve was turning to mush at his innocent touch of friendship and suddenly she was scared at the implications that her confession would bring. Things would never be the same; this would be the turning point in their relationship and she didn't know if she wanted to take the chance that he would reject her. Minute possibility, she was sure, especially with the way he was looking at her now, but a possibility just the same.

"I'll be okay," she replied as they walked up the steps to his apartment. "I could use the exercise."

Lois waited while Clark fished his keys out of his pocket. Her insides felt like they were sinking to the bottom of a lake. It appeared her opportunity was slipping away; her nerve was disappearing. All she wanted was to be once again within the circle of his embrace and could tell by the forming lump in her throat that she would lose it again if she stayed around him much longer. What was happening to her? Why was she waffling from wanting to be near him and to wanting to escape?

"Would you like to come inside for a bit? I could make us some tea. Warm up a bit?" he asked hopefully. There was a suspicious line at the corners of his mouth and she knew that he was going to try to get her to open up. If she stayed, he'd insist on taking her home again and she'd be worried about his safety once more. No, it was far better to leave him now and get away before she ended up in tears again; or worse, made a fool of herself in a silly declaration of love. It seemed she was batting a zero tonight and this was way too important for her to screw up now.

Her heart quickened its pace as she drank in his charming good looks, laced with anxiety — for her! God, he was so handsome! Unable to resist, she reached out her hand to touch his face and smoothed the top of his cheekbone with her thumb. "No, I'd better go. It's getting late."

"Be careful," he whispered, his eyes intently studying hers.

"Superman's always within earshot; I'll be okay."

A bit of hurt flashed across his face, but then he covered her hand with his and rubbed it gently. Shifting his weight quickly, he looked away suddenly as though he was battling with some sort of inner conflict and then said desperately, "Lois…"

"See you tomorrow, Clark." She drew her hand away, but the pained expression on his face tore at her insides and she couldn't leave him thinking it was something he did. Immediately, she rose up on her toes to place a hasty kiss on his cheek, then waved him on inside.

Clark threw one more confused look at her, then shut the door reluctantly.

"Lock it," she reminded him firmly through the wood door and listened carefully until the lock could be heard clicking into place.

Noting that she needed to convince him to install a minimum of two more locks, she was comforted by the knowledge that at least she had succeeded in keeping him safe for a while. She sighed in relief, letting her back slump against the closed door for a moment, then started the return walk back. Granted, he hardly ever dangled above the jaws of death on a constant basis like she did, but at least she hadn't gotten herself killed. Second chances didn't come along every day; she couldn't hope to be so lucky next time Clark got himself in trouble.

The wind was picking up slightly and even under the warmth of his jacket, it caused her to shiver. This hadn't gone as planned; it seemed she had only ended up confusing him with her mixed signals. It was hard to believe she'd ever get this relationship stuff right; her parents were pictured in the dictionary alongside the word 'dysfunctional'. No wonder she'd never had an emotional bond that worked; she had lousy role models — except for Clark.

Now she had even made a mockery of his example. The art of being Clark was not easy; maybe she would never get it straight.

Her autopilot had taken her to the front of her place again. She couldn't bring herself to walk up her steps to face her cold, lonely apartment. Even the constant desire to eat ice cream when she was troubled was gone and there was no way she could face staring at the darkness for another few hours. Tugging Clark's jacket tighter around herself, she turned away from the steps and continued her wandering — this time no destination in mind.

The familiar turned into the less recognizable as she wandered her way through her neighborhood and soon found herself a few blocks from the Daily Planet. No, she didn't want to go there again. Clark's desk would be empty and it would further remind her of what life would have been like if he had not come back. Sighing despondently, she realized that now there was the addition of not wanting to work to go with the collection of inadequacies she had developed in the past few days.

Couldn't sleep, couldn't eat ice cream, couldn't express herself properly… what was wrong with her? The brisk night was the only companion she could trust herself with this evening. She knew Clark wouldn't approve of her wandering around aimlessly, but since when had she ever complied with his overprotective insecurities? He should be used to this by now.

How was she going to get through this? How was she going to get past all of *her* insecurities and doubts to face Clark again? He was worried about her, that was a given, and thankfully hadn't pushed her tonight, but sooner or later he'd be wanting some answers about her odd behavior.

And she didn't want to keep putting him off. He deserved better than that. She'd just have find a way to come to grips with herself and deal with it.

She turned down another street and sucked in her breath sharply when she realized where she had ended up. Metropolis Park. This was the very park where Clark had admitted his love for her. How ironic, she thought with a twinge of guilt, that she would find herself at the location where things could have been so different if she hadn't been so blind. Clark had placed his heart on the line here and she had rejected him — the very thing she feared now — alongside a few other well-placed anxieties.

She wandered among the randomly-scattered park benches, traveling over well-worn trails, past the now empty playground.

Approaching the bench where they had sat that day, she closed her eyes and smoothed the backrest with her hand. He had sat to her right and she to his left. He had been so intense and serious and now she was beginning to understand why.

Circling around to the front of the bench, she sat down — almost in reverence to the memory of that day. She drew her legs up close to her body and wrapped the front of Clark's jacket around them. Was this how he'd felt right before he made his confession? Had he agonized over the prospect of being shot down and rejected by her? Come to think of it, he'd had even more reason to be doubtful about her feelings. At the time, she had been contemplating marrying Lex Luthor, and she hadn't given him any encouragement other than thinking about him as her partner and best friend.

Yet why had he declared his love when the odds had been stacked against him? Desperation? Fear? He'd thought he was going to lose her to Luthor; he *did* say later that he would have done or said anything to get her away from the billionaire. Did desperation push you along to do the things that you normally would not do? But then he'd taken it back after Lex had died and the Daily Planet was back in a new owner's hands. Deep down in the quiet stillness of her heart, she knew Clark loved her. He wasn't the type of man to retract something about a subject that he held in high regard.

Then again, maybe he'd loved her too much *not* to tell her — and had he thought that this was his last chance before she committed herself to another man? Somehow, she didn't think she'd have the guts to state her feelings to Clark if *he* was seriously seeing another woman, even if she felt that woman was all wrong for him.

Of course in her opinion, any woman who was not *her* would be all wrong for Clark. Somewhere along the way, the exact moment could not be pinpointed when she had fallen for him — it had been a gradual process. He had slowly peeled through her defenses one layer at a time until it had happened. Her first clue should have been on her wedding day to Lex when all she could think about was how much she was going to miss Clark, and when the name of Lois Lane Kent seemed a heck of a lot more comfortable to her than Lois Lane Luthor. And it was Clark's arms she had thrown herself into when Lex took his fateful plunge towards his death.

So why had she been content to just let them stay friends when her feelings had changed? That answer was a no-brainer — all of her federal disasters had left her scarred with the impression that any relationship that involved commitment, be it parental or romantic, would end in her being abandoned and hurt — so why would she want to risk ruining the only deep friendship she'd ever known?

She was certainly getting close to desperation now, maybe to the same degree that Clark had been on that day. Look at her — sitting here on an abandoned park bench in the middle of the night in the cold. All she needed to be the poster child of despair was to add the ingredients of snow or rain.

A silhouette fell across her face and she looked up to see a very concerned Clark drifting in her directions from the deep shadows of the night. At first she felt relief, but then indignation that he'd risked his safety coming out to find her.

"Clark! What are you doing here? Don't you know it's the middle of the night?" she snapped.

"I could ask you the same thing," he replied immediately.

"You followed me. You were supposed to stay put!"

"You were supposed to go straight home. And since when do you ever stay put when I ask you? Lois, what are you doing? Do you realize how easily I snuck up on you?" He shifted his weight in frustration, his hands thrust into his pockets, and from the light of the street lamp, Lois could see the muscle in his jaw twitching. He looked like she was feeling and suddenly her anger diffused.

Scooting along the bench, she patted the seat next to her, then leaned her frame against him after he sat down.

"So how do you do it?" she asked, welcoming the closeness and the additional warmth of his body heat.

"Do what?" he questioned as he placed a tentative arm around her shoulders.

"Put up with me this whole time… going nuts wondering and waiting for me to get into some sort of trouble that I can't get myself out of."

"One day… one day at a time."

"Does it get any easier? I mean, all this worrying… it's draining." She swung her legs down to the ground and turned to face him.

Clark regarded her for a moment, then wiped a neglected tear from her face. It confused her; she couldn't remember crying.

"No, it doesn't get easier, but I'm learning to live with it. When I consider the alternative of not having you in my life, this little bit of inconvenience is worth it. You're worth it…"

She granted him a small smile, noting that without realizing what he was doing, he was once again telling her that he cared. His sweet touch lingered on her cheek and without a doubt, she knew that she wanted and needed more from him — tonight.

Sitting there she realized all that he had gone through that day here in this park; uncertainty, doubt, fear, but most of all courage by putting his heart on the line and revealing his innermost feelings. This was what she could learn from Clark today. Not how to bring gifts, or give back rubs or edit copies. Sure, those were important, but hiding in fear was not love.

She closed her eyes for a moment and happiness bubbled up inside. Joy, love and respect for the most wonderful person she'd ever known. And now it was time he knew how much he meant to her.

"All day long I've been trying to show you I care for you, by doing the little things that you do for me, but I failed miserably at them."


"No, don't say anything, because I need to feel like I've failed at them — for now. If I think I've been successful then it doesn't mean as much."

Grabbing his hands, she gripped them securely and smiled the broadest smile she could muster. "Clark, I don't know if you feel this way about me any more; I know you took back saying that you loved me, but that really doesn't matter right now. It does, but there's something you need to know no matter what happens between us from here on out.

"I know our relationship has always been difficult to define, but, when I thought about how much I missed you, how much I was going to miss you for the rest of my life, well, I started to think, maybe there's more to our relationship than just friendship.

"I thought I'd lost you a few days ago… forever. Clark, remember what you told me in this very park? When you thought about losing your job at the Planet, saying goodbye to Perry and Jimmy and everyone, you realized something. You realized that you could lose all that and still go on. You told me that there was only one thing that you did not want to live without and that was me. Seeing me every day, working with me, just being with me.

"Clark, I *did* lose you. If only for a couple of days, I lost you and I felt all those things that you feared. It was horrible. It was only after you were gone that I knew how much you meant to me. The worst part was not only was I losing you, but that you didn't know…" Her voice wavered and caught in her throat.

He closed his eyes, brought their joined hands up to his mouth and placed a soft kiss on the back of her hand for encouragement to go on. His eyes opened as he let their hands drift back down and fixed on hers as he waited.

"That I love you." Tears welled up in her eyes yet she smiled through them.

His hands tightened around hers as he looked downward for a moment; when he looked up, the tenderness in his expression amazed her. The love that was welling up inside was being reflected right back at her. She had seen this look on his face before, but only when he thought she wasn't looking. Now it was full and complete and it took her breath away.

Clark opened his mouth to speak a couple of times, but he could only shake his head in wonder. When he finally spoke, a suspicious wetness twinkled in the corner of his eyes.

"Lois, what I said here, at this very bench, was the truth. That day in front of the Planet when I said that I didn't love you and that I was only trying to protect you from Luthor, was because I didn't want to lose our friendship. I didn't want to pressure you into anything. If that was all I could have, then that's what I wanted.

"I've loved you since the first day I met you, that day here in the park, then in front of the Daily Planet. I love you at this very moment and believe I will love you forever."

"Forever, Clark? How do you know?"

"Because it just is; my love… just is."

With a slow tremulous smile, she understood him. This time it was she who reached out to wipe the stray moisture running down his face.

"I love you, Clark," she proclaimed softly, feeling her heart and soul coming unlocked with those three very important words.

"I love you, too, Lois." His hand touched her shoulder and she felt his tender caress smooth over her shoulder and rest on her neck.

"There's one way that you haven't shown me you care…" she said a bit coyly, edging closer.

"Yeah, and what would that be?" His voice imitated the playfulness in hers.

"This…" She touched both his cheeks with the tips of her fingers and drew them slowly towards the back of his neck. Holding his head between her hands, she tugged it towards her face, then kissed his lips lightly before wrapping her arms around his neck and surrendering herself completely to the love and passion inside her.

His lips parted hers and she willing gave him access to the warm depths of her mouth. Whimpering in protest as their contact broke off, she then sighed in delight upon feeling his kisses along the side of her face. Clark's head stilled and she felt his breath in rapid succession in the hollow of her neck.

She held him close and ran her fingers through his hair as she willed her love to spill out, overflowing, into him.

"So I didn't fail?" she asked after pulling a short distance away from him.

"No, not really." "What about the donut?"

"It was stale…"


"Perfectly awful," he murmured, getting closer to her face.

"Back rub?" Her voice lowered in pitch.

'Well, it was wonderful, but it didn't relax me." He grinned shyly, then placed a kiss on the tip of her nose.

"Oh, yeah! So I was halfway successful…" she said distractedly, busy with running her hands along the upper part of his chest.

"Erm… something along the lines of what you're doing to me now…" he said, squirming a bit under her touch.

"Clark? Would you walk me home? I think I'm ready now."

"You're not going to worry when I have to go back to my apartment?" he asked after they both rose to their feet.

"Who said I was going to let you leave?" she asked seductively, slipping her arm around his waist. "I just might have a few more ways to show you how I feel about you…"

His eyebrows shot up on his forehead and a slight crimson blush crept on his face.

"Kissing, silly," she responded confidently. "I meant kissing — for now."