A Friendly Little Game of…

Carol M <carolmfolc@gmail.com>

Rated: G

Submitted: August 2001

Summary: Lois finds out more than she bargained for during a game of 'Truth Or Dare.' But how will she react…?

This just kind of came to me one night when I was bored and then took on a life of its own.

Thanks to everyone who commented on this and begged for the epilogue. This is for you!

The characters, etc. aren't mine. They belong to others with more money and influence! *sigh* Too bad it's not me! Anyway, I just wanted to have some fun!


"Clark, could things be more perfect than this?"

"Mm, I don't know. I doubt it."

Lois leaned her head back against Clark's strong chest, enjoying the feel of his arms wrapped around her as they stared at the sky and just loved being in the company of her… Well, she wasn't actually sure what Clark was to her. They had gone out on a couple of dates, shared a couple of kisses… <Face it, Lois. Those were more than just kisses. They were absolutely incredible, absolutely…>

<How many guys have you kissed that left you standing in the middle of the sidewalk while running off to try to save his ex- girlfriend-wanna-be from an explosion?>

<Stop!> she commanded herself. <So Mayson's car exploded. So what? Clark wanted that kiss as badly as I did and you know it.>

<But he was drawn away by the explosion much sooner than you were. He couldn't have been THAT into it.>

<Stop it!> The command she gave herself was much more stern this time. <You have this INCREDIBLE guy who falls all over himself to bring you coffee, puts up with your wild ideas and crazy schemes, knows all of your little secrets, and is madly in love with you anyway. What more do you want?>

<I want to know all of his little secrets. He's keeping something from me and I don't know what it is.>

<It's driving you nuts, isn't it?>

<What do you think?>

"What do I think about what?"

"Huh?" Lois turned slightly in Clark's arms.

Clark grinned at her.

<I wish he wouldn't do that! How can I think when he smiles?>

<I've got to agree with you there.>

<Shhh — I'm trying to listen to him.>

"See you said, 'What do you think?', but I don't have any idea what you're talking about, so I said 'What do I think about what?'"

"Oh, right. Um…" Lois thought quickly. "What do you think about a little game of, say, Truth or Dare?"

Clark raised one eyebrow. "I thought we just agreed that this is perfect and now you want to go play Truth or Dare?"

Lois shrugged. "Sure. Why not?"

"Well, I was enjoying this very much as it was, but if you think you can win a game of Truth or Dare with me, then…"

"You should know by now that I don't like to lose, Kent."

"I know. So do we play here or what?"

'Here' was the steps of his apartment building.

"That depends. Got any secrets you don't want anyone else to know?"

Clark paused for a moment. "You're the only one I want to know all of my secrets."

"Well, then, we better go inside because I am determined to get them all out of you tonight."

Clark chuckled. "We'll see about that." And he took her hand and led her inside.


Clark settled himself on the couch. "So, how exactly do we play this?"

Lois sat beside him, legs barely touching. "I say we play a little different than usual." She picked up the cards they had used the night before to play poker. "One hand. Winner asks a question. Loser either answers or takes the dare." She shrugged. "Course that means you'll be answering most of the questions."

Clark laughed, "We'll see about that. Now, deal."

"Yes, sir."

Within minutes, Clark had lost the first hand. He leaned back on the couch. "So, what burning detail of my life are you the most curious about?"

<Good question, Lois. What do you want to know the most about him? You know all about his childhood, don't you?>

<I think so.>

<So what else do you want to know?>

"Lois. Earth to Lois."

She finally noticed the hand waving in her face. "I was thinking. We'll start with something easy. Um…"


<I'm thinking, I'm thinking!>

"How about… Softball question. What's your idea of a perfect date?"

<Good one. Not, 'So, Clark, what's the big secret you won't tell me?' or 'How can you get a hold of Superman so easily?' but 'What's your idea of a perfect date?' Please!>

"Well, let's see. My idea of a perfect date." Clark thought for a moment, as though debating. "My perfect date would be with you."

Lois blushed.

"If I could, I would take you to dinner in… Milan, at this little Italian restaurant I know. For desert, we'd go to… Belgium, where they have the best chocolate truffles. And after that, we'd go to a little deserted island in the middle of the ocean somewhere and watch the stars without the city lights in the way."

Lois rolled her eyes. "And how exactly would we get all those places?"

Clark grinned.

<Not the grin again!>

"I said, 'If I could'. Besides, only one question per hand of poker."

"Fine. Your turn to deal."

Clark groaned as minutes later, he waited for another question from Lois.

<What now, Miss Brilliant?>

<I don't know. I'm thinking!>

"Um, let's see. That Chinese food you brought me that first night we worked late together. Where'd you get it?"

For just a second, she thought she saw fear in his eyes. Then that brilliant smile lit up the room. "Dare."

"What?" <What is he talking about? He'd rather take a dare than tell me where he got some Chinese food?>

<It was pretty amazing Chinese food.>

<Oh. Stop it!>

"So, Lois. What's my dare?"

"Um, let's see. I dare you to… take your glasses off."

<Brilliant, Miss Investigative Reporter.>

<What? I've never seen Clark with his glasses off and I'd like to get a better look at his eyes.> She gave an internal shrug. <Deal with it!>

Clark looked a bit uncomfortable. "Uh, Lois. How am I supposed to be able to see then?"

She grinned an evil little grin. "If you have trouble seeing your cards, I can help you."

"Right. Um, okay. Off with the glasses." Lois saw Clark take a deep breath and then reach up and remove his specs. He looked more than a little uncomfortable.

<What is his deal? It's just glasses.>

<But LOOK at those eyes. I could drown in those pools of chocolate!>

"It's your turn to deal."

She shook herself out of her internal musings. "Right." <Leave me alone, or I'll never make it through this!>

<Whatever! Something about him looks familiar without his glasses.>

<You're probably thinking of Superman. Everyone knows they look a lot alike and Superman doesn't wear glasses.>

<Whatever happened to that little obsession anyway?>


She quickly shuffled and dealt the cards. And she quickly lost.

Clark laughed.

She grimaced. "You're going to enjoy this aren't you?"

"You better believe it." He leaned back against the couch, squinting just a bit without his glasses, and propped his feet up on the coffee table. His fingers were laced behind his head. "I may not get this chance very often."

"You won't," she assured him. "Now, what's your question?"

"What is your idea of the perfect man?" There was a gleam in his dark eyes.

<Oh, great. Now what? Do you compare him to your ideal in Superman? They say women want someone like their father…>

<Quiet! I don't want anyone like my father. I want someone like… well, Clark.>

<Don't tell him that!>

<I'm not planning on it!>


"My idea of the perfect man…" There was a faraway look in her eyes. "Let's see. He needs to be strong. Not necessarily physically strong, but have a strong character. I have to be able to trust him."

"Do you trust me?"

"One question at a time, Clark."

<Do you trust him?>

<Of course, I do. Now leave me alone.>

"He has to be honest. I can't deal with anyone who isn't honest with me. And, of course, good looking is a must. Flying would be a definite plus, but I gave up on the Superman dream a long time ago."

"You did?"

<You did?>

"Yes, I did. Superman isn't the kind to settle down, so what's the point in a pipe dream?"

<But you wouldn't mind flying with him.>

<Of course not. He can still rescue me, after all.>

<Someone has to.>

<Stop it.>

<Okay, so say you do fall madly in love with Clark — you know it's a real possibility, so don't start — and get married and live happily ever after, are you still going to harbor these little fantasies about good ole Supes?>

<Will you leave me alone?>


"Your turn to deal."


<What is it about him without those glasses?>

<Oh, for Pete's sake. Leave it alone.>


"Are you ready? To lose again?"

Clark just grinned again. "We'll see about that."

A few minutes later, Clark was sitting back, waiting for the next question from Lois.

"Okay. So I gave you a couple of easy ones, now for something a little harder."

Clark groaned. "What now?"

"How do you get a hold of Superman?"

"Excuse me?" There was a stunned look on Clark's face.

"You heard me. You know Superman trusts me, too, so why would he care if I know how to get a hold of him on a moment's notice? So, how do you get a hold of him so easily?"

"Lois, I can't tell you that." He seemed genuinely apologetic and more than a little uncomfortable. "So if you're going to stick with that question, I'll have to take the dare."

<See, you should have known he wouldn't tell you.>

<Really? Watch this.>

"Okay, your dare. Get a hold of Superman. Right now."

"Lois." There was a warning in his tone.

She sighed. "Fine."

<Smooth one. What were you expecting?>

<Oh, leave me alone.>

"Okay, since you won't tell me or show me how you get a hold of Superman, you have to… take off your shirt."

"Lois, this isn't strip poker." A mischievous grin spread across his face. "Is it?"

"No, but that's still your dare."

"It's not much of a dare." There was something uncomfortable in his exposed eyes.


<So you want to see that six-pack again, don't you?>

<What's so wrong with that? He is my, well, something…>

<I think the word you're looking for is 'boyfriend'.>

<Stop interrupting. I'm allowed to ogle a little bit.>

<So ogle.>

<As soon as he takes his shirt off, I will.>

"Uh, Lois. I've, uh, got to go to the bathroom. I'll take my shirt off when I get back."

"No chance, mister. Off with it. Now. You can go to the bathroom in a minute."

"But, Lois." Clark did look a bit ancy. "They say if a guy holds it too long that he can get a bladder infection or it can affect their ability to have kids later. Didn't you see 'Liar, Liar'?"

<What a line! What is his issue with taking his shirt off?>

"Oh, please, Clark. Just strip. Now."

"Lois." He used his best puppy dog eyes.

<He's almost begging you to not make him take his shirt off. Wonder why?>

<He's modest. He'll get over it.> Another mental shrug.

"Those eyes won't work on me, mister. You have to…" She stopped in mid-sentence because her lips were otherwise occupied.

<Where did this come from?!>

<Shut up and enjoy it!>

<What about the shirt?>

<It can wait.>

Lois gave herself over totally to the kiss. Clark was on one knee next to the big chair, one hand cupping her face, lips covering hers gently. She reached her hands up to hold his face, loving the feel of his lips on hers.

<He's trying to sidetrack you!>

<Who cares?>

The kiss deepened and it was some time before the two finally pulled back.

"Uh, Clark. Wow! I don't know what to say. What was that for?"

"Because it might be the last kiss I ever give you."

"What? Why?"

<Uh oh. Here's another guy who's about to leave you.>

<Clark won't leave me. I know he won't. Don't I?>

<Well, I wouldn't be so sure. He doesn't sound so positive at the moment.>

<Let him explain.>

<It better be a doozy.>

<This is Clark Kent. He can't have too many skeletons in his closet.>

<That's what they said about…>

<Just stop already. Please.>

"Well, Lois there's something I've wanted to tell you for a long time and you've really given me no choice." He hurried on. "Not that I don't want to tell you, really, but since you're making me take my shirt off…"

"What? You can't eat like you used to and your six-pack doesn't look quite as nice as it used to?"

<You realize you said that out loud, don't you?>


Clark stood and started pacing nervously around the room. "I'm not really sure how to tell you this so…"

He pulled his tie off and started to unbutton his dress shirt as he paced. He only unbuttoned the top button and then paused, pulling his shirt out from his suit pants.

"Clark, what is the big deal? I've seen without your shirt on before."

"I know, Lois, but this is different."

"Why? Because we've decided to see if there's something between us?"

<Yeah, that's it, Sherlock. He's nervous that you're going to jump him as soon as you see some flesh.>

"No, Lois, that's not it. It's just that…" He stopped for a minute, fingering one of the buttons in the middle of the shirt. "Why is this so hard?" he asked the ceiling.

<That's what I'd like to know. It's just a shirt for crying out loud.>

"I really should have changed earlier, when we got back here, but since you didn't have anything else to change into, I figured I'd keep my suit on." He took a deep breath. "Both of them."

<What is he yappin' about?>

<I have no idea.>

He slowly unbuttoned the shirt, starting at the top.

<Uh, Lois, sweetie, what exactly is that under his shirt?>

<Um, I'm not sure. It looks like… it can't be… but it looks like something blue. Electric blue. Superman blue.>

<Why is Clark wearing Superman blue under his dress shirt?>

<I'm not sure.>

Clark finished unbuttoning his shirt and pulled it open. There, on his chest, was the yellow and red Superman symbol.

"You know, Clark, even when I was a card carrying member of the Superman fan club…"

<When you were? You still are!>

<Well, Clark doesn't need to know that!>

"… I didn't wear a Superman T-shirt under my clothes."

<Well, except for that once…>

<Oh, stop!>

"It's not a T-shirt, Lois."

"You're wearing one of his suits?"

<Sheesh, this guy needs more help than you do!>

"I mean, I know he keeps them here and all, but isn't that a bit presumptuous of you?"

Clark ran both of his hands through his hair. "What I'm trying to tell you, Lois…"

<Um, Lois, I hate to interrupt, but without his glasses and his hair pushed back and that suit on…>

<I see it. I see it. He looks just like Superman.>

<You don't think…>

<I don't think what?>

<Could Clark be…>

<No way.>

<He's wearing the suit.>


<He looks JUST like him.>

<It can't be…>

<Remember that big secret?>

<Big? This is HUGE!>

<Ask him.>


"Um, Clark." Lois stood and started walking around. "They say the only stupid question is the one you never ask, so I'm going to ask anyway. Um, are you… Oh, I can't believe I'm about to say this. Um, are you…"

"Yes, Lois. I am."

"You don't even know what I'm about to say."

<He thinks he's so smart.>

<He IS smart.>

"You were about to ask me if I'm," he paused and took a deep breath. "You want to know if I'm Superman."

<Okay, so he IS smart.>

<Told you.>

"Okay, so that is what I was going to ask."

"And I answered you."

<He did, didn't he?>

<He did. He's Superman.>

<Clark Kent is Superman? Forgive me if I still have a hard time believing it.>

"Forgive me if I have a hard time believing you."

"I understand. It's got to be hard for you to accept."

<Tell him to prove it.>

"Prove it."

<Not the grin again! I don't care if he did just tell me this huge secret, I can't think when he smiles like that!>

"That wasn't the dare, Lois. The dare was to take my shirt off." He quickly pulled the shirt the rest of the way off and she saw the top of his cape attached at the shoulders further solidifying his existence as Superman.

<He looks kinda goofy, standing there — Superman from the waist up, Clark Kent from the waist down…>


<Get your mind out of the gutter. I'm talking about the dress pants.>

<Oh, right.>

"What are you talking about, Clark? Or should I say Superman?"

"Clark's fine. And what I mean is, you won a hand of poker. The dare was to take my shirt off. I did. I even answered a question — in fact, I think I answered the original question as well even though I took the dare — so you don't get another one just yet."

<He's stuck on a game! We're having difficulty dealing here and he wants to play more poker?>

<So it's 'we' now?>

<It's probably the only way he thinks he can win. If we're distracted.>


<We're in this together, you know.>

<I know. I'm just so used to you badgering me.>

<Well, don't get used to the cooperation. It won't last long.>

"Fine, another game of poker. Whose turn is it to deal?"

"Uh, mine, I think."

"Right." She sat on the couch again, more uncomfortable than ever before.

<And you still don't get to see that flesh.>

<What are you talking about?>

<You were all ready to do some ogling and now you don't get to see that six-pack you dream about. You're getting gypped.>

<You're right. I am getting gypped.>

"Uh, Clark."


"Part of the deal was you take your shirt off. And your top half is still clothed."

If she thought Superman couldn't blush, she was wrong.

"What's wrong with that?"

"When I said 'take your shirt off', I expected to see flesh. I want flesh."

<You want to ogle.>

<Like I said before — so?>

"Flesh?" One of Clark's eyebrows was raised.

"Yes, flesh. And especially now that I get to have my brain muddled with this whole Superman business, I want my pound of flesh." Lois shrugged.

<Like seeing his bare chest and stomach is going to unmuddle your brain?>

<But if it's going to be muddled, at least I can ogle at the same time.>


"Okay." Clark stood and a sudden grin appeared on his face. Lois sat there and watched as Clark began to spin.

<What is he doing?>

<Who knows.>

She watched as the spin slowed to a stop and there stood Clark, Superman suit hanging limply from one hand, dress pants firmly belted in place, chest fully exposed.


<Yeah, WOW!>

"How exactly did you do that?"

"Do what?" Clark asked with an innocent grin.

<Put the teeth away, mister… but leave the chest out!>

"Th… that spin thing."

"It's how I change in and out of the suit — and I think I just proved the whole Superman thing."

"Well, yeah."

"You got a lot more than you deserved out of that one hand."

<He's right.>


"So I think I should get a freebie."

"There's no such thing as a freebie, Clark."

"Okay, I answered the original question, took the original dare, took the second dare *and* answered another question. I think it's only fair that I get another question."

<Don't give in, Lois.>

<He's got a point.>

<So what? Heaven only knows what he'll ask.>

<He did just answer some pretty big stuff, I guess I should too.>

<Aren't you mad?>

<I'm still numb. Mad'll come later.>

"Fine. Ask a question, but you better make it a good one because it's the last chance you'll have."

"Gotcha." Clark just sat there for a minute.

<Oh, great. I told you this was going to be a doozy.>

<Yeah, well, it was only fair. Besides, I'm not a superhero in disguise, so there's not much I've hidden from him.>

<And yet, he still loves you. That's gotta count for something.>

<It will. Give it time.>

<And you can still get those flights with Superman — anytime you want.>

<Good point. But let's get back on track here.>

"Okay, Clark. What's your question?"

She could see Clark take a deep breath and stare at his hands. All she could do was marvel at his physique.

<So that's how he does it!>

<Does what?>

<I've had an epiphany.>

<So spill it.>

<Clark can drink all that fat and eat all that junk food and still keep the body of a god because he's Superman.>

<Oh, right. That. Well, at least I don't have to be jealous of his metabolism anymore.>

<Shh — I'm trying to listen!>

"Is there any chance for… for us? That I could be that perfect guy for you… after all this?"


"Is there any hope for us?"


Clark stood and started pacing. "You said that you wanted a man who is strong, not just physically, but of character. I've got the physically strong thing down, but I'm not so sure about the character anymore."

<I would have thought he had the strongest character of anyone I know, even Superman.>

<But he is Superman.>

<Then, they've both been lying to me.>

<There's only one of him.>

<You know what I mean.>

"You want someone you can trust and you could trust me, but after all this, I don't know if you think you can anymore. I've been honest with you about everything — everything but this."

<He's got a point. He is the two people you thought you could trust.>

<But they've both lied to me. Repeatedly.>

<Not intentionally.>

<What do you mean? How many videos has he returned in the last year and a half? And if he's Superman, he really doesn't need all those prescriptions, does he?>


"I'm not so sure about the good-looking part, but you really seemed to want to see me shirtless, so that has to mean something."

<Oh, if he only knew…>

<How does he *not* notice the women who stare at him every time he walks by?>

<Beats me.>

"And I *can* fly."

<He's got a good point.>


<So you don't have to give up that Superman fantasy after all. He's practically begging you.>

<*Clark* is practically begging.>

<But Clark *is* Superman.>

<Your point?>

<*Superman* is practically begging you to consider him good enough for you.>


He stopped and looked at her. "So, is there a chance?"

<Yeah, Lois. Is there?>

"I don't know."

<What are you talking about?>

<I mean I just found out that Clark and Superman have been lying to me.>

<But you're still incredibly attracted to him.>

<So was Cat, but that doesn't mean they were right for each other.>

<Of course, Mayson was, too.>

<And that was *definitely* not a match made in heaven.>

<Got that right, but what about the two of you?>

<What about us?>

<Oh, so there is an 'us'? I thought so!>

<You tricked me!>


<Haven't I told you to leave me alone?>

<Look at him standing over there, looking like a little lost puppy with those eyes…>

<I thought you couldn't stop ogling his chest.>

<Well, his head's drooping so far it's all part of the same view.>

<He does look pretty pathetic, doesn't he?>

<He does. It all boils down to one thing, doesn't it, Lois?>

<And what's that?>

<Can you live without him?>

"I just don't know."

"Um, well, then why don't I go?" Clark pointed at the window. "You can stay as long as you like and I'll leave you alone until you're ready to talk or pummel or whatever."



<Pummeling Clark could be fun.>

<It could.>

<Of course, usually what happens is you come over upset about something, pound on his incredibly well-defined chest while you wail over some poor sap or other until he finally gathers you into those muscle-bound arms of his and lets you cry against said chest.>


<And you'd never be able to straighten all this out if you were that close to him.>

<Right again.>

<But, you don't really want him to leave do you?>

"Clark, wait."

He had started to walk towards the balcony, but turned, a glimmer of hope shining from his eyes.

<Look at that face!>

<I'm trying not to.>

<Looking at the chest again, huh?>


"I don't want you to go."

Clark looked at her. "Are you sure?"

Lois nodded. "I thought we had a game to finish."

"You still want to play?"

"It's not like you'll win."

"True. But I refuse to take off any more clothes."


"Fine. But I'm not taking any off either."

"I thought you weren't going to lose."


"I'm not. I just don't want you getting any ideas."

<Nice try.>


<Trying to be flippant, weren't you?>

<Well, maybe.>

<You're afraid that he's going to try to take advantage of you, just like so many other guys. Especially now that you know even your best self-defense moves couldn't hurt him.>

Clark had a serious look on his face. "I would never try to take advantage of you, Lois."

"That's not what I said."

<But he knows you.>

"But I know you, Lois. You're afraid of one more guy trying to take advantage of you. But, Lois, I would never do that to you."

"I know that, Clark." She took a deep breath. "Now, let's play." She quickly shuffled and dealt.

Clark sighed as he sat down.

<He'd rather be talking.>

<He'll have plenty of opportunity to talk. He's not winning another hand.>

An hour later, they were still sitting there — Lois on the couch and Clark in the big chair. He had lost so many hands in a row they had lost count.

<I'm surprised you could keep your eyes off his body long enough to win a hand.>

<Well, I did.>

<I don't think he was really trying.>

<That's beside the point.>

Lois now knew everything about his childhood, about what growing up and learning to use his superpowers had been like.

Finally, Lois stood and walked into the bedroom to stare out the window.

<Are you avoiding him?>


<Are you sure?>

Lois sighed. <No.>

<He's madly in love with you, you know.>

<I know.>

<And you love him.>

<Are you sure?>

<I know everything about you, remember?>

<How could I forget?>

<And you love him.>

<You're right. I do.>

<Can you live without him?>

<No, I can't.>

<So the question is, can you live with him?>

<Living together is pushing it a bit, isn't it?>

<That's not what I meant and you know it.>

<I know.>

"Is there something I can do, Lois?"

"I don't know, Clark."

<Yes, you do.>


<You want him to walk over here, stand behind you, put those big, strong arms around you, and just hold you for a while, don't you?>

<Well, there is that.>

"There is one thing, Clark."

"Anything for you."

<You'd be crazy to let this guy go.>

<I know.>

"Could you just stand here with me and hold me for a little while?"

"Of course."

Lois could feel Clark move behind her and wrap her securely in his arms.

<Gotta love the feel of that chest back there.>

<It is really nice.>

<Just enjoy it.>

<I will.>

"Can I ask you something, Lois?"


"What are you thinking?"

"How much I like…"

<Don't tell him about the arms!>

<AHH! Thanks for stopping me!>

"How much you like what?"

<Oh, forget it.>

"How much I like being here with you."

"Even after you found out my big secret?"

Lois nodded. "I don't have to give up on my Superman fantasy after all."

"I'm more than just Superman, Lois."

"I know."

"Superman's what I can do. Clark's who I am."

"I know."

"You do?"

"I know you, Clark."

"You do?"

"Of course I do. You have been my best friend for a long time now, and I've known for a long time that you were hiding something from me, but I've always known that you always look out for me and my best interests, even when you're annoyingly strait- laced."

"Who, me?"

Lois smiled. "Yes, you.

"Can you live with this, Lois? It's something you can't tell anyone."

"Or they'll dissect you like a frog."

<I never knew Jonathan could be so morbid.>

<He's just trying to protect his son.>


"I bet your dad wasn't too happy when you decided to become Superman."

"Not really. He understood my need to help, but didn't want me to end up in some lab somewhere."

"Turns out he worried for nothing."

"Not really. How many times have people come after me with Kryptonite?"


"And how many times have you helped to save me?"

"It's the least I could do after all of the times you saved me."

<You realize everything you ever said to Clark, you really said to Superman and vice versa right?>



"Oh, Clark." Lois turned in his arms, tears shining in her eyes. "It was you I told I could never love, and you I told I'd love with no superpowers."


<Oh, my! I had forgotten about that!>

<But it's true.>

"I can't believe how wrong I was."

Clark grinned. "Which time? When you said you could never love me or when you said you'd love me with no powers? Because that's who Clark Kent is."

<Not the teeth again!>

"When I told you I could never love you."

"You mean it's possible?"

"It's more than possible. I *do* love you, Clark. I just don't know why it took me so long to admit it from myself." One hand rested on his still bare chest.

"Do you mean that?"

"I do."

He grinned again. "It's a bit early for that, isn't it?"

"Yes, it is."

"I'm going to ask, you know."

"I know."

<You do?>

<He loves me. He's going to propose someday.>

"And I'm going to accept."

"You are?"

<You are?>

"Someday. I love you, Clark. I can't imagine my life without you. I can't imagine my life with someone else."

"Me either."



<Then that really wasn't the last kiss!>

<You're right!>

<Better make sure he realizes that!>

<Oh, he will!>

"And Clark?"


Lois didn't say another word, but left one hand on his chest and with the other pulled his head towards hers. Their lips met and the rest of the world seemed to disappear as they lost themselves in the kiss.

<Um, Lois.>

<I'm busy.>

<You realize you're floating in mid-air with Clark, don't you?>

<Isn't it wonderful?>

<Finally. We agree on something!>

<It's about time.>


"Clark, dinner was delicious."

"I'm glad you enjoyed it."

Lois placed a kiss on his cheek as they flew through the air over the Pacific.

"And dessert was out of this world."

"I'm glad you suggested we try out that perfect date of mine."

"Who am I to turn down dinner in Milan and dessert in Belgium?"

"And a trip to a deserted island with a certain, ah, super hero?"


<I told you Clark being Superman could be a good thing.>

<And I listened to you didn't I?>

<For once.>

<Well, it helps that you were right this once.>

Clark landed them gently on the sandy beach of a small island.

Lois watched as he spun back into his civvies.

<I never tire of watching him do that.>

Clark grinned at her and pulled her into his arms. "I hope not."

"I said that out loud, didn't I?" Lois smiled back up at him.

"You did." He kissed her and then took her hand and they walked down the beach.

For an hour they talked, sometimes walking, sometimes sitting close on the beach, sometimes with their arms wrapped around each other. There were gentle kisses interspersed with their words.

<I love being here with Clark like this.>

<It is pretty wonderful, but isn't he acting kinda funny?>

<You noticed?>

<Yeah. Wonder what it is.>

<Maybe he's upset about something.>

<No, he would have told me.>

<Because he tells you everything?>

<He does now. And his excuses for running off are getting better, too.>

<They couldn't have gotten any worse, Lois.>

"So, uh, Lois. There's something I want to talk to you about.

<You do realize what's about to happen, don't you?>

<Um, yeah — I think so.>

<He's going to propose.>

<I know.>

<And what are you going to say?>

<I don't know?>

"So, um, we've been dating for a while now."

<Sure. That'll go over well.>

"And you know how I feel about you."

<Here it comes.>

He looked at his feet, drawing circles in the sand with his bare toes. "And I think I know how you feel about me."

<You love him.>

<I know.>

<And when two people are in love, they get married.>

<But me? I never even pictured myself married…>

<…until you met Clark.>


<So what's the problem?>

<Am I ready to get married?>

<You don't have to be. It's not like you'll get married tomorrow.>

<True. But if we're engaged, then won't he want…>

<This is CLARK, Lois. He'd never push you for anything.>

Clark turned and looked deep in her eyes. "I love you, Lois. Very much."

"And I love you, Clark."

<I'm not ready for that though.>

<Like I said. Clark would never push you.>

<I *know* that, but after the Claude fiasco…>

<Clark knows all about that and he understands.>


Suddenly, the skies opened and rain poured down on them. Lois looked up and laughed, opening her arms as though embracing the downpour.

Clark looked up in annoyance. "Come on! Give me a break!" Lois laughed, enjoying the look on his face. "Do you want to go back?"

"If the earth opened up at my feet, I wouldn't move until I'd said this," Clark said. He knelt in the sand. "Lois." He pulled a box out of his pocket and opened it. "Will you marry me?"

Tears were mixed with the rain running down Lois' face.

<What are you going to say?>

<Look at that face. Those eyes. That smile. How can I say no?>

<Is that a good reason to say yes?>

<I love him and he loves me and for now that's all that matters.>


"Huh?" She shook herself out of her trance and looked at Clark. There was water dripping from his hair and glasses. She thought he looked like a little puppy.

"I just asked you to marry me."

She smiled at him. "I will."

"Do you mean that?"

<Not the puppy dog eyes!>

Lois laughed. "Would you rather I said no?"

Clark laughed with her. He picked her up, arms wrapped around her waist. Her arms wrapped tightly around his neck as they laughed together in the rain. His lips found hers.

<Uh, Lois.>

<I'm busy.>

<Don't you think you ought to put the ring on?>

<Good point.>

She pulled back from Clark, only to find they had floated out over the ocean.

"What is it?" The look on Clark's face was priceless and sent Lois into another fit of giggles.


"You looked like you were afraid I had changed my mind."

She could see Clark swallow hard. "No, that's not it at all."

<You see the power you have over Superman?>

"Right. I was just wondering…" She held out her left hand. "Isn't something missing?"

Clark smiled at her. "You mean something like this?" He gently placed the ring on her finger.

"Exactly. Now if you wouldn't mind floating us over to the beach, we can kiss again."

"What's wrong with kissing here?"

"I know that when we kiss, you tend to be a little distracted and I don't want to fall in the ocean."

<Uh oh.>


<Did you see that twinkle?>

<It is scaring me a bit.>

"The only way you'll end up in the ocean is if I drop you there on purpose."

<He wouldn't!>

"You wouldn't!"

<That look *is* pure evil.>

"Wouldn't I?"

<Better distract him.>


<How do you think?>

Lois pulled Clark's face down to hers and made him forget all about dropping her in the ocean.

<See, I knew you'd figure it out.>

<I'm busy. I'll call if I need you.>

<That's what they all say. And I'll never hear from you again.>

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