By Tracey <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Submitted May 2001
Summary: What might have happened if Clark had accompanied Lois home after Bill Church's party, instead of showing up at her apartment later as Superman? In this WAFFy rewrite of the ending of the episode "Church of Metropolis," the author shares her version of what could've been.
This little vignette is a rewrite of the end of 'Church of Metropolis.' Suffice it to say that I wanted to see more of what went on at Bill Church's party, and I was never happy with that Lois/Superman dance, as beautiful as it was. So, once again, I did things my way <g>. Thanks to Helene for beta- reading; her comments and suggestions were awesome! Usual copyrights apply: characters are property of DC Comics, TNT, etc., and any reference to any other story is accidental on my part. Comments welcome and appreciated at email@example.com
"Here you go."
Lois turned, immediately recognizing the voice of her partner and best friend, Clark Kent. She smiled at him, watching him as he slid into the vacant space beside her and handed her a glass. She accepted it with a murmured thanks and raised the tangy punch to her lips. They sipped their drinks together before Clark spoke again.
"It's nice, isn't it?"
She looked over at him. "The party or the punch?"
"Both." He grinned, waving his arm in a sweeping gesture towards the dance floor. "I mean, everything. It's nice."
"Mm-hmm," she agreed, surveying the open ballroom, the twinkling lights, and the coterie of well-dressed partygoers. The dance floor was crowded, the food delicious, and the night clear and bright. Everyone looked as if they were having a great time. Even her Uncle Mike was here tonight; he had been asked by Perry and Bill Church to cater the charity ball that was being co-sponsored by the Daily Planet and Cos-mart. Even though Lois didn't trust Bill Church as far as she could throw him, she had to admit that the party was doing wonders for her uncle's business.
"Your Uncle Mike looks like he's really having a good time," Clark commented, almost as if he had read her thoughts.
"Well, after everything he's been through the last few weeks, I'm glad things are starting to look up for him," Lois replied, observing her uncle as he chatted with several well-known businessmen on the other side of the room. "He deserves it."
"He certainly does," Clark agreed, lifting his glass to his lips. It was clear by the expression on his face that he was remembering their recent run-in with Baby Rage and Intergang. Thankfully, Baby Rage was now in jail; however, Lois and Clark still had not been able to collect enough evidence to take down the newest crime organization in Metropolis. Lois was convinced that it was just a matter of time, though.
A comfortable silence fell between the two partners as they stood next to each other, watching the couples on the dance floor move in gentle time to the music. The hum of chatter from the crowd floated around them, snatches of phrases and conversations drifting to their ears. Lois sighed, for a moment forgetting about the stress of the past few days, namely their suspicions about Bill Church and the introduction of Mayson Drake into their lives.
She wasn't sure quite why, but just the mention of that woman's name put her in a bad mood. Okay, so that wasn't totally true; she did know that it had a lot to do with Mayson's interest in Clark, but what she didn't know was why that bothered her so much. She kept trying to convince herself that it didn't matter that Mayson liked Clark, but so far, it wasn't working.
Craning her neck, she found herself scanning the crowd, curious to see if Mayson had arrived yet. At first, there was no sign of the assistant DA, but just as Lois was about to focus her attention back on Clark, her eyes fell on a beautiful blonde woman walking through the entrance of the room.
Clark must have sensed the sudden shift in her mood. He looked over at her, her name a question on his lips. "Lois? Are you okay?"
She only vaguely heard him. She was instead concentrating on Mayson, who had apparently spotted them and was now snaking her way across the room. Knowing her, it probably wouldn't be long before she ran right up to Clark and asked him to dance.
"Lois?" Clark asked again, concerned now.
She snapped to attention, and the next words out of her mouth had barely had time to form into a thought before they were thrust into the air. "Dance with me."
"What?" He looked slightly taken aback and more than a little surprised.
She rolled her eyes. "What, am I speaking another language? Come on, let's go." Lois reached out, and he took her hand quickly, almost as if he was afraid that she would change her mind. He set his cup down, and they made their way onto the dance floor.
Lois didn't stop to analyze the reasoning behind her sudden decision to ask Clark to dance; she didn't have time to anyway, for in the next instant, the music began again, and she was being swept into Clark's arms. Out of the corner of her eye, she saw a disappointed Mayson Drake stop her advance, abruptly turning and heading toward Bill Church, who was standing along the sidelines.
Just then, Lois felt Clark's right arm come around to encircle her waist, while his left hand reached and clasped her own. She gasped softly as the movement drew their bodies closer together—then quickly disguised it as a cough and hoped that he hadn't noticed. She didn't want to admit it, but it felt really good to be held against him this way.
She looked up at him, noticing that his eyes were bright behind his glasses, and he looked as if he was truly having a good time. His happiness must have been contagious, for soon she found herself smiling broadly back at him, unable to take her eyes from his. Anyone observing them would have immediately assumed that they were a couple, simply from the way they were looking at each other. Lois tried to bring her lips back into a straight line, but the smile on her face wasn't about to budge.
Moments passed as he held her; just how much time, Lois wasn't sure. They danced together, no words between them, with only the warm melody of the music surrounding them. It occurred to Lois that she rarely had the chance to be this close to Clark. Now that she was, she took the opportunity to study him in a way that she couldn't during the course of a workday.
Tonight marked the second time she had seen him in a black tuxedo, and the effect was no less stunning the second time around. Not that she would ever admit it to him, of course. As she had told Perry earlier in the week, Clark was her best friend, and she wouldn't do anything to wreck their friendship. But as she herself had once said, he was a man, and she was a woman; she was allowed every now and then to appreciate her partner's obvious good looks.
Just as she was in the process of appreciating them, however, she felt a tap on her shoulder. Lois finally tore her eyes from Clark's.
"Excuse me, Lois, but do you mind if I cut in?"
It took an immense amount of self-control not to turn her head and completely ignore the woman. That was Lois's first impulse, and oh, how she wished she could. Immediately following that, her next impulse was to tell Mayson to wait her turn and then dance away with Clark still firmly planted in her arms.
Unfortunately, she knew that neither of those scenarios was likely to happen. She had no claim on Clark whatsoever, and because of that very reason, she couldn't turn Mayson down without arousing suspicion about the nature of her feelings for Clark. This charity ball was full of reporters anyway, and the last thing that Lois needed was to have everyone gossiping about her and Clark's relationship.
'Clark can dance with anyone he wants. Clark and I are just friends,' she chanted over and over in her mind. Resolutely, she thrust his hand toward Mayson's—figuring that the faster she let go of him, the easier it would be—and began to back away. "Of course not," she forced out, pasting a smile on her face. It was small consolation that Clark's arm lingered on her waist, as if he wasn't really too keen on letting her go either. She caught his gaze one last time before she let go of him totally, finding the same regret and disappointment in his eyes that she was sure were evident in her own, no matter how hard she tried to hide it.
Lois nodded almost imperceptibly, telling him without words that she understood, and that it was okay. *They* were okay now, and that was the important thing. She took a few more steps back, turning her head so she wouldn't have to watch as Clark took Mayson in his arms.
She was thinking of heading over to talk to Uncle Mike for a little while, but before she could even take her first step in that direction, she found herself being swept up into another pair of arms. "I must warn you—I dip suddenly, and I dip deeply," came a low, gravelly, very familiar voice.
Lois laughed out loud as she looked up at her editor in chief. "I'll stay alert." She grinned. Leave it to Perry to know just when she needed a little cheering up. Knowing him, he had probably been watching the entire scene between her, Clark, and Mayson.
"Are you two all right?" he asked as he twirled them in time with the music.
Yup, he had been watching her and Clark. "We're fine," she replied. "Mayson's not really so bad. She's a little pushy, but she's obviously so desperate, who can blame her." Lois finally found the courage to peek over Perry's shoulder and glance at the dancing couple. Mayson was leaning into Clark, her eyes almost closed and her cheek very near to his.
Lois couldn't help herself; that piercing feeling of jealously was back. She wanted to look away, but for some reason, she couldn't. She watched as Clark took the lead, moving the two in a small circle and swaying slowly to the music.
Then, almost as if he had sensed her watching him, Clark glanced up and met Lois's eyes across the dance floor. Locked in that connection, the world around them dimmed for a moment, and all they saw was each other.
In reality, it was only his lips that had shaped the phrase, but, lost in their connection the way she was, she heard his voice as clearly as if he had been standing beside her. She knew that he was apologizing for Mayson's interruption of their dance, but there was really no need. She shook her head slightly and gave him a small smile, which he returned. He held her gaze for another instant, then almost by mutual agreement, both partners broke away at the same time.
Lois closed her eyes briefly, amazed at the power of simple eye contact. She focused her attention back on Perry, a smile on her face. "I think what you said is right; no matter what happens, I'll never lose Clark." And she knew that it was true, too. Even with Mayson Drake in the picture, Clark would never stop being her friend and her partner.
She squealed suddenly as Perry chose that moment to dip her to the floor. "I warned you," he reminded her, smiling. Lois giggled in return, momentarily forgetting about her previous thoughts of Clark and Mayson.
"Are you sure that I can't coax you into one more dance?"
"No, thank you, David. Really, I think I'm going to sit this next one out," Lois said as she gracefully bowed out of the embrace of David Wellington, a young executive at LNN. "Thank you for the dance, however."
"It was my pleasure," he replied, and she tried not to notice that his hand lingered on hers just a second longer then necessary. She gave him a quick smile and slid away. David was a nice guy, but she just wasn't interested in him in a romantic way.
She turned and walked back towards the table where Perry and Jimmy were seated. Spying an open seat beside Jimmy, she slid into it with a grateful sigh.
"What's wrong, Lois? Too many dances?" Jimmy asked, grinning.
"Yes," she groaned, reaching down to rub her tired calf muscle.
"Must be nice," Jimmy grumbled, more to himself than to her. "I mean, sheesh, you and Clark haven't sat down all night."
Lois closed her eyes briefly at the mention of Clark's name. She had been trying all night not to look in his direction; that was one of the reasons that she had accepted the invitation of anyone who had asked her to dance. Her philosophy was that if she kept herself busy—kept talking, kept dancing—maybe she would forget that he was even in the room.
How could she forget? No matter where she turned, he was always in her line of vision. Her eyes seemed to gravitate toward him, finding him wherever he was on the dance floor. And each time, try as she might, she couldn't stop the pang that shot through her heart at the sight of Mayson in his arms.
Was it wrong to feel this way? she wondered for what seemed like the thousandth time tonight. Was it wrong to wish that, just once, he would stop dancing with Mayson and walk back over to her? They hadn't spoken since the dance that the assistant DA had interrupted, and that had been at least an hour ago. She couldn't even count the number of times that she had been tempted to cut in on Mayson and Clark's many dances since then, but there was just something that wouldn't let her—maybe it was pride, or perhaps even a slight fear of rejection. What if she asked to cut in and Clark told her he'd rather dance with Mayson? She couldn't even imagine how much that would hurt, and there was no way that she was going to needlessly subject herself to that kind of embarrassment.
"Well, I think I'm going to call it a night," Jimmy said, interrupting her thoughts.
"Yeah, me too," Perry agreed, and they both rose from the table. Perry looked over at Lois. "Honey, do you have a ride home?"
Lois gave one last glance at Clark. Mayson was leading him towards an empty table, and Lois had a feeling that they would probably be there for a while…and perhaps even leave together. That horrifying thought was the last straw, and she stood quickly. "Well, I came with Clark, but I don't think that he's ready to go just yet. So if you wouldn't mind taking me home…"
"Of course not," Perry told her. "You just go get your coat, honey, and we'll be waiting by the car."
"Thanks, Perry." She smiled at him, but she knew her smile didn't reach her eyes. He just nodded, and she watched for a moment as the two men walked off.
Lois sighed and began walking towards the coat check. She wasn't more than halfway there when she suddenly realized that her feet had veered off course, and she was making her way directly toward Clark and Mayson.
Clark looked up when she came near. "Sorry, I don't mean to interrupt," she rushed ahead before he could say anything. "I just wanted to say good night."
"You're leaving?" Clark sounded surprised.
"Yeah, I'm pretty tired, so I'm just going to go home and go to bed," she told him.
Clark glanced at his watch. "I hadn't realized it was getting that late," he said, looking over at Mayson. "I should really be going, too."
"Clark—" Mayson started to object, but Lois cut her off.
"No, it's okay, Clark. Perry and Jimmy offered to take me home, so you can stay if you want." The words almost stuck in her throat. She didn't want Clark to stay here with Mayson, but she certainly wasn't going to let him know that.
"Well, it is late, and we do have to work tomorrow," Clark said, flashing Mayson an apologetic smile. "I think I'm going to go home, too. I enjoyed tonight, though. Thank you."
"I did, too," Mayson responded, looking adoringly at Clark. Lois clenched her teeth and turned resolutely away so she wouldn't have to witness the rest of this oh-so-touching good- bye.
"Well, thank you again. Good night, Mayson," she heard Clark say. Mayson returned the farewell in that same sweet voice, and Lois was glad when they were finally able to walk away from the table.
Once they had made their way across the room, Clark turned to Lois. "Would you mind if I walked you home?" he asked softly, almost hesitatingly.
"Oh, no, you don't have to." She knew if she met his eyes he would be able to tell that she was lying, so she kept her eyes on the floor.
"No, I want to," he insisted.
"Okay," she said, pretending to relent. He smiled at her, and, on impulse, she slipped her arm through his as they walked out onto the street.
"Well, we're here. I still don't know why you feel the need to walk me all the way to the door. You and your gentlemanly behavior," Lois teased as she inserted her key and unlocked her apartment door.
"I've told you before that when I walk a woman home, she gets door to door service," Clark reminded her, giving her a sweet smile.
She rolled her eyes. "Oh, please." She walked inside, flipping on the light. She had just deposited her bag on the living room table when she noticed that he was no longer following behind her. "Clark, is there a reason you're still standing in the hallway?"
He scuffed the toe of his shoe along the carpeted hallway. "I just wasn't sure if…well, you know…"
"You could come inside?" Funny, she'd just assumed that he would. It wasn't like this had been a date or anything. And since he'd been such a good friend, walking her home like he had and everything, didn't he deserve to come inside for a minute? And they really hadn't spent much time together at the party, so she had been hoping that he wouldn't rush off… "Oh, Clark, of course you can. Do you want something to drink?"
He took a tentative step inside. "Yeah, that'd be great."
She gestured toward the couch in the living room. "Make yourself comfortable. I'll just be a sec." It felt kind of strange, telling him that. Wasn't that something she would usually say to a date? Of course, there hadn't been many of those lately…To stop that train of thought, she slipped off her high heels and ducked into the bedroom to put them away. When she reappeared in the kitchen, she saw that Clark was sitting on the couch. "What do you want to drink?" she called, praying that she actually had something to offer him.
"Whatever you have," Clark called back, and Lois had to smile. How well he knew her. And whether she gave him wine or water, she knew that he would accept it graciously and not say anything; it was just the type of person he was.
She opened the refrigerator, her face twisting into an interesting expression as she inspected its contents. "Well, you have your choice: cream soda or cream soda," she sighed, laughing at herself.
"Hmm." He pretended to be deep in thought. "It's a tough choice, but I'm going to have to go with cream soda," he told her with mock seriousness, somehow managing to maintain a straight face.
She had to giggle at his antics. She knew that cream soda was more her favorite than his, but it was just another testament to their friendship that he was willing to drink it because she liked it. "Okay."
Lois was just pulling the glasses from the cabinet when she heard his voice. "I had a good time tonight. The party was fun," he commented, his head turned toward the kitchen.
She nodded, signaling that she had heard him, but she couldn't really agree. She had spent most of the night dancing with old businessmen and watching Clark and Mayson, so it wasn't exactly the best time she'd ever had. "Yeah, it was okay. The band was good," she offered, glad she could say that truthfully.
"Yes, they were," he agreed. Then he paused, as if thinking. "Do you remember when they played 'Fly Me to the Moon'?" he asked.
Lois glanced at him curiously as she poured the bubbly gold liquid into the glasses. "I remember. Why?"
"No reason, really," he started, then stopped, as if afraid to go any farther.
"Clark…" she warned. He knew that she couldn't stand when people started to tell her things and then stopped like that. It was the reporter in her; she always needed to know the rest of the story.
He cleared his throat. "Well, it was just that I was thinking about you while it was playing, that was all." Lois didn't have to look up to see that adorable blush cross his cheeks; she could hear it in his voice. "I remember once that you told me that it was one of your favorite songs, so when they played it, I immediately thought of you."
"You remember that?" Lois couldn't keep the surprise out of her voice. It felt good, though, to know that he remembered those little things about her. He probably did know her more intimately—not intimately in that way, of course, Lois corrected with a faint blush—but he knew her in a way that no one else did. Even Lucy didn't know some of the things that she had shared with Clark.
"Aren't best friends supposed to know all sorts of little things like that about each other?" he asked, grinning.
"I suppose," she answered, a smile playing across her mouth. After the rocky week they'd had, she loved hearing him acknowledge the closeness of their relationship. She brought the glasses of cream soda back into the living room and handed him one.
"Thank you," he said as he took the glass.
"You're welcome," she replied in return. She straightened, standing by the couch awkwardly, unsure of her next move. Should she sit down beside him? With Clark's large frame, though, the couch suddenly looked awfully tiny and way too intimate. But if she didn't sit there, she would have to go and sit on her other loveseat—then it would be obvious to him that she was uncomfortable sitting next to him. How should she handle this one?
But if she sat next to him, as she had hundreds of times before, would she truly be uncomfortable? Finding the answer surprisingly easy, she slipped by the coffee table in one decisive move and sat down beside him.
There was a moment of silence as they each sipped their sodas. "Hey, Clark." Lois turned to him, reaching down to place her glass on the coffee table in front of her.
"I was just thinking that we could listen to 'Fly Me to the Moon' while we finished our drinks," she told him. "I have the CD, and anyway, now that you've mentioned it, I'm in the mood to hear it again," she added.
"Sure," he agreed, and she rose from the couch to find the music. Within minutes, the first few strains of the familiar, beautiful song began to float through the air of her apartment. She returned to her seat next to him on the couch, her mission now accomplished. Lois took a deep breath, letting the notes that she had grown to love wash over her, seeping into her skin like warm sunshine.
Clark must have heard her contented sigh because he answered her with one of his own. "You know, I love this song," he murmured, more to himself than to her specifically.
"Do you?" It seemed right to her, somehow, that he would love the same song that she did. Funny how she'd never known that before. She wondered for an instant what other things she had failed to discover about the man who was sitting so peacefully beside her.
"I was just thinking," she began, the words flowing from her before she could stop them, "that for all the time that we've spent together, I really don't know that much about you. What kind of music you like, what your favorite color is…" She sat up straighter, wondering where these thoughts were suddenly coming from.
Clark smiled at her, a little secretive tug at the corners of his mouth. "There are definitely things about me that you don't know yet, Lois."
"Then tell me," Lois whispered, surprising even herself with the request. Her words had been just a bit more passionate than she had intended, but she could do nothing about it now. What was it about Clark that made her want to know everything there was to know about him?
Clark looked at her a little strangely for a moment, almost as if he were making up his mind about some big decision. "Clark?" she asked hesitantly. "I mean, if you don't want to, it's no big deal. I really shouldn't have asked. You have a right to your privacy—I was just…" She trailed off, unsure now and hoping that she hadn't made him uncomfortable.
"No," he assured her quickly. "I'm really…I mean, I'm glad that you want to know." His brow was still furrowed, however, and he looked deep in thought.
"What are you thinking about?" she asked softly.
"It's nothing," Clark answered, clearing his features until they were back to the wide, open expression to which she was accustomed. "I mean, I guess I was just thinking about the evening, was all."
"Oh," was all Lois could think to say. Here he was, in her apartment, talking to her, and all he could think about was how he spent the evening dancing with Mayson Drake? The thought made her almost sick to her stomach. She refused to let that bother her, though, and set out to correct the conversation. "I wish that we could have gotten the chance to dance more than we did," she casually added, hoping to steer his thoughts back to her and the dance that they had shared.
"Yeah, I wish we could have, too," he agreed, and his tone was just a little wistful, a fact that Lois was quick to catch.
It was that touch of wistfulness that made her next move easier. She couldn't believe she was going to do this. "Well, you know, since we didn't get to dance much earlier, and we do have the music here…"
He looked up sharply. "What?"
She blushed, suddenly embarrassed at her suggestion. "I mean, if you want…we could…" Lois couldn't finish the sentence. What was she doing? Practically begging Clark to dance with her, right here in her living room? She was going crazy. That was the only explanation: temporary insanity. "Never mind. It was a dumb idea." Without meeting his eyes, she brought her glass to her lips and concentrated on sipping the cream soda.
It was her turn to look up sharply, though, when she felt him lay his hand softly on her arm and heard his quietly spoken answer. "Lois, I want to."
"You what?" She wasn't even sure that she had heard him correctly. Did he even know what she had almost suggested? Did he mean what she thought he meant now? Lois pressed her fingers to her temples. Oh, boy—she really was crazy. She wasn't even making sense to herself. All this thinking in circles was beginning to hurt her head. She repeated her question, as if needing reassurance of his intentions. "You what?"
"I want to dance with you." Clark smiled and set down his cup. "Here, now—to this song." He stood, reaching for her hand in much the same way that she had reached for his earlier in the evening.
Wordlessly, she followed. As soon as she was on her feet, she lifted her eyes and her gaze collided with his. She shivered in anticipation, eager to feel his arms around her. She remembered all too well the way it had felt earlier at the party, and she wanted that feeling again. She took a step closer to him, forgetting now that she was only supposed to be his best friend. Lois knew that her face was flushed, but she couldn't do anything about it. The air seemed thicker to her, too, making it more difficult to draw a proper breath. Or perhaps it was just the fact that her hand was still enfolded in Clark's…
He reached for her again, pulling her, and her breath caught in her throat. Just a little closer and she would be pressed fully against him…
Then, suddenly, he stopped. Confused, she searched his face. As she watched him, his eyes seemed to unfocus slightly, taking on an almost faraway quality, and he took a step back.
Oh, no. Her first thoughts were scrambled into one embarrassed heap, blazing across her mind and heating her face. She should have known better. Because she was his best friend, he was just being nice when he'd said that he wanted to dance with her. Humiliated and blinking back tears, she shrank back from him as well, dropping his hand—which had become slack on hers anyway—and moving towards the couch.
"Lois? What's the matter?" She heard the questioning note in his voice, and she felt like screaming. Now he was going to act like she was the one backing away? No way—he had been the one to step away first.
"Look, Clark, if you didn't want to, you could have just said no," she told him flatly. "It's no big deal."
"Oh, no…" She saw realization dawn in his eyes. "No, that's not what I was doing!" he exclaimed. "I was just going to start the song again. See, it's over now," he explained, motioning towards the stereo. They both listened as the last few notes died away, and then the room fell silent.
"Oh," she whispered, feeling a bit sheepish and more than a little foolish. She had been so caught up in the prospect of dancing with him again that she hadn't even noticed that the song was almost over. With relief, she watched him now as he crossed the living room and bent over the stereo to start the song again. He did want to dance with her; in fact, he wanted to make sure that they had a full dance together. The thought warmed her heart, and she smiled shyly at him when he appeared in front of her once again.
"Dance with me," he whispered huskily, echoing her words from earlier in the evening. She knew instinctively that he had chosen those words for a reason, and the meaning they carried was not lost on her. It was almost as if by reiterating her words, he was bringing them back in time, to a place where Mayson had not yet interrupted them, erasing those memories and asking her to start over with him.
/Won't you fly me to the moon?/
"Yes," she whispered back, stunned by the look she saw in his eyes. He took her in his arms the same way that he had before, but there was something different about this dance; Lois could feel it. This time the romantic tension between them was more potent than it had ever been, and even Lois couldn't deny that. Yes, two best friends danced to this song, but as the lyrics whirled throughout the living room, passion grew from friendly affection and merged into one even stronger emotion. Lois could almost feel it spreading through her body, down through her limbs and settling, finally, in the deepest recesses of her heart.
It was then, as she melted into his gaze, that she realized that she had been deceiving herself for a long time now. This is what she had wanted from Clark all along; this was why she had been so critical and so jealous of Mayson. She didn't want another woman to touch Clark the way she was; she didn't want to see anyone else hold his hand or slip one arm around his shoulders the way she did now. Their bodies fit together as if made for each other, and Lois couldn't help wondering if the feeling would carry over to the molding of their lips.
/Darling, kiss me…/
Did she dare? How much would a bold move like that change their relationship? But, she considered, hadn't their relationship already been permanently altered by this dance? She knew that she would never think of him in the same way, and she was pretty sure that his perception of her had been changed as well. So, if they couldn't go back, didn't it make sense that they move forward instead?
"Clark," she whispered, intending to tell him about her newfound musings; however, in the instant his eyes met hers again, she saw that there was no need. He was thinking the same thing, and he wanted it just as badly. Taking one deep, fortifying breath in an effort to calm her racing heartbeat, she slowly raised her face to his.
/In other words, I love you…/
The music was still swirling around them, draping both bodies in a blanket of romance that only served to enhance the wondrous feeling of his lips caressing hers. Their kiss was warm and gentle and infinitely sweet. She smiled softly against his lips when she realized that he tasted mostly of the cool cream soda he had been drinking moments before, mixed with his own unique flavor. She knew now with absolute certainty that cream soda would remain her favorite for the rest of her life, for she would always associate it with this moment and the taste of Clark's mouth. The kiss continued, passionate, but not overly so, heady without being overpowering.
Long moments passed before they finally relinquished their hold on each other, pulling apart slowly. Lois ran her hands across the width of his shoulders, wondering just when she had put her arms around his neck. She pressed her lips together and took a deep breath, praying that she would find the right words in this situation. Just how did one go about telling her best friend that she loved the way he kissed?
Lois was relieved to see that Clark seemed to be having a similar reaction. "That was…" He cleared his throat, seemingly at a loss for words, and Lois sympathized with him. She knew exactly what he was going through.
She grinned, wanting to break the tension. "Well, that was another thing that I didn't know about you," she teased, catching her thoroughly kissed bottom lip between her teeth.
Her teasing tone had been just the right thing to do. He broke into a smile, and the small amount of awkwardness between them dissipated. "See, you learned something new," he murmured, tightening his arms around her, a move that had Lois anticipating another experience much like the first.
He didn't disappoint. This time his kiss was more assured and confident, and Lois sighed a little against his mouth, trying to remember why in the world she had fought this for so long. "Hmm, anything else you would like to teach me about yourself, Mr. Kent? So far, I've thoroughly enjoyed this little lesson," Lois murmured, pressing little butterfly kisses against his lips.
"Well, let's see…" His answer was slow in coming because he was so caught up in returning each and every one of those pleasant kisses that she had given him—not that she was complaining, of course. "What if I told you that I knew an even better way to dance?" he finally managed to get out.
His question, instead of making her curious, suddenly struck a nerve. She pulled back from him, a little ashamed of herself. "You know, I didn't even know that you could dance. I never bothered to ask," she admitted sadly, her eyes downcast. There had been so many times in the last year and a half that she had just dismissed him as a country hack from Nowheresville. She had never taken the opportunity to learn more about him. She was sorry for that, but before she could tell him, he was already reaching for her again.
His eyes twinkled as he tucked his finger under her chin and tilted her face up to his. "Well, Lois, to tell you the truth, this isn't dancing."
"It's not?" There was laughter in her voice, along with a little disbelief. What in the world had he meant by that statement?
"No," he emphasized, still smiling. "*This* is."
And then she was floating—not just metaphorically this time, as she had when he'd kissed her, but quite literally! Both of her bare feet were a good six inches off the floor, and she wiggled them experimentally, her confused mind wondering for a split second just how he had managed to pull off a trick like this.
She looked down at her feet, then back at him in complete amazement. "Clark!" This was no trick at all! They were really floating in mid air, right in the middle of her living room! Her jaw dropped as everything fell into place, and although she tried, her thoughts were not turning into coherent sentences. "We're…we're…and you're…you're…"
"Yeah," he answered, somewhat sheepishly, and he looked like he was bracing himself for something. "I am."
"But…but…" Oh, this was just no good at all! How was she going to talk to him if she just kept repeating the same words over and over?
He seemed to understand her dilemma, and he leaned over to whisper in her ear. "Lois, I've dreamed of dancing with you like this for so long. Just finish this dance with me, please?" he pleaded softly. "Then we can talk." He nipped gently at her earlobe. "I promise."
Lois shuddered at the feeling of his mouth and the sound of that deep voice vibrating against her ear. This man certainly didn't play fair, that was for sure. Although, what he'd said did make sense…surely it wouldn't hurt just to finish this dance? It seemed so important to him, and if she was honest with herself, she loved the feeling of being suspended in the air like this, knowing that his arms would never let her fall. She wanted this dance to continue as much as he did. She nodded slowly.
He started to lean down to kiss her, but Lois eluded him, finally finding her voice. "I suppose you're going to tell me that this is just another one of those new things that I learned about you tonight, huh?"
"You did say you wanted to know." He grinned playfully at her and placed a kiss on her cheek. "And I did warn you." Another kiss landed on her other cheek.
She wanted to give him a fierce look to let him know that he wasn't off the hook just yet, but he was too fast for her. His lips closed over hers, and upon that first contact, Lois decided that they could discuss this newest development later— much later. She moaned softly as their kiss became more intimate. She had more important things to concentrate on right now.
/Fly me to the moon…/