By Sarah Luddy <meerkat_comments AT aslandia DOT net>
Submitted: April 2002
Summary: A short fic about what might have happened if Clark hadn't been quite so clueless in the episode "Resurrection," and if Dan had given Lois and Clark just a bit more time alone together.
Author's Note: This is a birthday present for Pam, Marilyn, and Anne, all of whom have birthdays this month. Pam suggested a birthday present in which Clark showed a bit more backbone in all things Scardino. *grin* I thought, why not make him a bit less dense, too, and give him and Lois a bit more time before Scardino walks in? Just a short little vignette to see what might have happened. Warning: Fans of Lois/Scardino relationships will probably want to avoid. :)
"Am I yesterday's news?" Lois asked.
Clark stared at her, astounded. Suddenly, as if a light had been flicked on over his head, he glanced around the room, taking in the low lighting and candles, the soft romantic music playing in the background, and the skirt Lois wore that showed off her lovely curves. The stage almost seemed…set for seduction. And he hadn't even noticed. Talk about missed opportunities. But why *now*?
"What?" he asked, stalling for time.
"You know," Lois said hesitantly. "Stale, old." She paused. "It's been over a week since our first date…and…our first kiss. And…you haven't said a word about it. It's like…it never happened."
Clark heard a strangled moan, and realized it had come from him. He stood up quickly and walked to the window, running a hand through his hair. How could he possibly respond to that? Of course Lois wasn't old news, but was it fair to her, or to Mayson, to go to her now?
"Lois, I had a great time on our date," he started. Almost immediately he regretted his words at the disappointed look on Lois's face. Of all things their date was, it wasn't just "great." "The most wonderful night of his life" might be more appropriate.
He sighed and walked back to the sofa, turning halfway to meet Lois and taking her hand. "That sounded weak. I guess what I mean is that…well, you remember what happened at the end of our date."
Lois flinched and nodded.
At least she understood a little. "Mayson was in love with me, and-I guess I haven't quite recovered from her death."
"Did you love her?" Lois asked, not meeting his eyes.
"No," he said quickly. "You're the only one I-" He paused. Was it time to take a risk? From the look of things, Lois seemed eager to continue their relationship. But wanting a relationship was still very different from being in love, and Lois was probably still skittish enough to run the other way if the L-word was mentioned. "The only one I care that way about."
A slow smile started to cross Lois's face, until she gave him a dazzling beam. She leaned forward to kiss him. Clark let himself taste her sweet lips for only a moment before pulling back. "Lois, I-I can't," he said.
Lois quickly jumped up. "Of course not," she said quickly. "I don't know what I was thinking. I mean, it's not like we're really dating, only that one time, and we've only kissed once. I don't know why I was practically trying to jump you, but Clark, I just don't understand why you're pulling away from me and I don't know what to do, and maybe I'm a little scared of all this but I definitely know I don't want to lose you."
She started around the couch in the direction of the kitchen, but Clark grabbed her hand. "Lois. It's not you, it's me."
She gasped, then covered her mouth to hide her reaction. "Yeah, like I haven't heard that one before," she said, brushing at her cheek.
What was wrong with his mouth today? It seemed to be full with lines that made perfect sense but sounded like stereotypical break-up lines when they came out.
He had to explain himself, and he had to do it without letting his mouth say anything else bound to earn him lunkhead status. "Well, with everything that happened with Mayson," he said slowly, thinking out every word before he said it, "I've been feeling really guilty. It just seems a bit soon to immediately start dating you."
"It's not just that, is it?" Lois said, sitting back down next to him. "You're feeling guilty over not saving Mayson. And you blame me, don't you?"
Clark was taken aback. "Blame you? Why?"
"Because you allowed yourself to be distracted by kissing me," she said matter-of-factly, "and you didn't hear the bomb in time to save Mayson."
He was silent. How to respond to that? Wait…hear the bomb?
"I guess you get used to being able to protect people, being invulnerable and all. But you can't save everyone, you know."
"Lois…" he said slowly. "You…know?"
She froze for a moment, and then nodded reluctantly. "Yeah. I've known for…well, since shortly after you started at the Planet."
She had to be kidding. "What gave it away?"
"Well, I *am* a prize-winning investigative reporter," she said.
He raised an eyebrow.
"It wasn't anything in particular. The resemblance between the two of you, your disappearances every time there was a crisis, when you didn't seem particularly lily-livered at other times. I was suspicious for a while, and then I just…knew."
"But why didn't you say something?" he asked, absolutely confused. She'd known all this time, and never told him? He'd never known Lois to keep a secret for five minutes, much less a year and a half.
"For a while, I was too angry to," she admitted. "Then, I gradually realized why you were doing it, and…I couldn't be angry anymore. I was hurt that you didn't tell me, but eventually I realized you simply didn't know how. Though you could have told me many times, you big lunkhead."
"You aren't mad?" he asked. It seemed incredible, yet…here they were, calmly discussing the fact that he was Superman as if it was no big deal.
"Not anymore. I'm glad that you know I know now, though. It was such a pain pretending I was clueless."
"Then why did you?" he asked. He would have expected Lois to confront him, maybe beat him over the head with a pot or something, knowing it wouldn't hurt him. But to keep silent for so long…why?
"Because I didn't want to deal with it. At first, I didn't want to share the intimacy that a shared secret implies with a 'farmboy.' And later…I guess I was worried that sharing your secret would force us into a relationship that I wasn't ready for."
Did that mean that she was ready for a relationship now? "And now?"
"And now…" Lois swallowed, and he watched the graceful lines of her throat. "I could say it slipped out, but I guess it wouldn't have if I didn't want it to. But we did go out on a date. I thought we had a relationship."
He touched her arm gently, and she turned towards him, tears shimmering in her eyes.
"Clark, do we have a relationship? Or are you going to let guilt over Mayson spoil what we have?"
In answer, Clark lifted her chin so that their eyes met. He bent forward and kissed the tears that were beginning to fall from her eyes. Lois gave a tiny moan that he hoped was from pleasure. "Oh, Lois," he whispered. "I can't believe I almost lost you. I would have regretted it for the rest of my life."
"Then show me," she whispered back, stroking his face with cool fingers that nonetheless set him on fire. She stroked a lock of hair back from his face, then cupped her hand against his cheek. He allowed himself to lean into her caress, letting the familiar tender feelings of love he'd harbored for her for so long sweep over him.
He watched Lois's tongue flick across her lower lip in a probably unconscious invitation, but something in him still made him ask, "May I kiss you?"
Lois opened her mouth to respond, then simply nodded. Hardly daring to believe his luck in being here and about to kiss the woman of his dreams… A small voice inside his head reminded him to stop thinking and just kiss her. And so…he did.
Their lips touched, and it was as if a hidden longing inside each, a piece that had been missing from each of their lives, had suddenly been satisfied. At least, Clark hoped that Lois felt the same way, because this sense of magic couldn't possibly be all on his side. And then he lost himself in the kiss, and stopped thinking in poetic lyricism.
The stirrings of warmth he'd first felt when Lois touched his face were nothing compared to the heat that coursed through him as he deepened the kiss. He felt her smile, and the burst of humor was contagious. He lightly tickled her ribs, and delighted in feeling her giggle into his mouth. One arm, of its own accord, wrapped around her waist to caress her back and pull her closer. The other gently explored her soft skin, lightly skimming across her stomach. She sighed at the touch, and he broke the kiss just long enough to plant kisses across the rest of her face before gravitating towards her mouth again for a deep, satisfying kiss.
Dan whistled to himself as he jogged down the hall to Lois's apartment. Raising one hand, he knocked on the door, and was somewhat surprised to see it open slightly. He frowned, planning to remind Lois to lock her door if she intended on being safe in this city.
But there was no answer to his knock. He held the doorknob so the door wouldn't open further and knocked again, but still nothing.
Deeply worried, he pushed the door open, and was met with the last sight he'd expected to see. Lois was locked in a passionate embrace with her partner, Clark Kent. And from the looks of it, they were far more than partners.
He cleared his throat. "Ahem." The lovers didn't show the slightly reaction, so wrapped up in each other they were.
He sighed and cleared his throat again louder. Still no response.
"Excuse me," he said, slightly revolted at the sight of Lois's clothing coming undone.
Yet again, neither seemed to hear him. Finally, he threw his hands up in disgust and left, slamming the door behind him. He marched out of the apartment and down the hallway. As he headed back for his car, he cursed the luck that had sent him into that apartment at that moment. Surely some Evil Fate had had a hand in it.
"Did you hear something?" Lois asked as a slam resounded through the room. She pushed him away just enough to listen, but no other sounds followed.
"I wasn't paying attention," Clark said. His breathing was heavy, and Lois smiled to think that that was her fault.
"Actually…" she said, standing up, "do you smell something?"
"It smells like burning," Clark agreed.
Oh, no! The one time she'd tried to cook something special for Clark, and she'd burned it. Not, of course, that this was unusual, but still. "The souffle!" she burst out, starting towards the kitchen.
Clark grabbed her arm and pulled her back to the couch. "The souffle can wait," he whispered. And so it did, burning away merrily as they kissed…and kissed…and kissed.