By Xanabee <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Submitted: June, 2002
Summary: One of the perks of being able to fly your wife to a chocolate festival is having her in the kitchen one Sunday morning preparing some chocolate recipes from the trip. Or is it?
Author's notes: I dedicate my first LCFanfic to Periwinkle who is putting together a FoLC Cookbook which idea inspired me to write this WAFFY little piece. A million thanks to LabRat who spend some of her precious spare time BR-ing it for me and who encouraged me to submit it to the Archive. I hope you FoLCs enjoy it as much as I enjoyed writing it. Your comments are very welcome!
Bright sunlight permeated through the curtains into the Kents' living room where Superman had just landed and spun into jeans and sweater. Clark Kent felt on top of the world; he had taken part in a complicated rescue mission in Texas. Luckily no one had been killed or seriously hurt in the raging oil fire and he had been able to return home in time to spend a relaxing Sunday with his wife.
"Lois, honey, I'm home."
His super hearing caught the sound of softly sung lyrics and he raised his eyebrows in surprise. Lois singing… in the kitchen? It was only 11 a.m.; too soon for lunch. Was she having a late breakfast? He quickly pushed open the door and found his wife busy at the counter. She looked up and smiled at him.
"Hi, Clark!" she said brightly. "I can tell by the look on your face that all went well. I didn't hear you come in, or hear the shower run… did you put the suit in the washing machine?"
"I had a swim in the Antarctic before I came home. Clean as a whistle. What are you doing? I didn't know you were planning to fix lunch today?" He eyed the assorted items lying on the counter with trepidation.
Lois rolled her eyes. "Don't look so scared! And no, lunch is all yours. I'm making dessert, with that pure dark chocolate we brought back from Holland. You know, the dark, sweet kind they use for baking? And I need you to do something for me. Could you please go to the little French bakery on Wilson Drive and bring back a brioche?"
"I know what I'm doing, Clark, trust me… now scoot!"
"Oh, okay…" He still looked doubtful but moved obediently towards the door. "Do you want Superman to go or shall I take the Jeep?"
"Jeep's all right, I don't need it that urgently. I have a lot to do first; anyway, the bread comes last."
"A lot? I'm sure —"
"No, I don't need help, now go!"
Lois grinned while she watched her reluctant husband leave the kitchen. Geez, he acted as if she was going to blow up the place! She felt very confident; this couldn't go wrong. She had watched Mariel prepare this delicious concoction and it had looked so easy…
Lois smiled as she thought about their recent visit to Amsterdam. They had worked so hard in the last couple of months that even Perry had ordered them to slow down a bit. Clark had been all for a break; she had protested. A quiet weekend would suffice. "A week." Perry had stated in that stern 'no arguments from you' tone he saved only for her.
'Oh well, not such a bad idea after all,' she had thought on their first day off. It was late October and autumn in Smallville was a beautiful time; besides, it was always a pleasure to spend time with Jonathan and Martha. She had assumed that Clark would want them to visit his parents, but her husband said he had a special surprise for her and had flown her to the Dutch capital instead.
They had stayed three days in a charming little hotel on one of the stately canals. The weather had been exceptionally fine; bright autumn sunlight had gilded the ancient centre of the city while they strolled, handfasted, through narrow streets. On their way to the world famous Vincent van Gogh Museum they had laughingly dodged kamikaze cyclists and lumbering street cars.
They had enjoyed a day time cruise on a canal boat so much that Clark had suggested they also book a candlelight night tour. As the boat softly purred through the dark waters she had been enchanted by the sight of the softly lit facades of the centuries-old mansions situated on either side of the narrow canals.
Clark had chosen Amsterdam because he knew that this was the time the annual chocolate festival was being held. All through the city several restaurants prepared enticing dinners in which cocoa was an important ingredient, followed by luscious chocolate desserts.
The Hilton Hotel — where John Lennon and Yoko Ono had once held their 'sleep-in for peace' demonstration — offered an extensive buffet of all sorts of chocolate confectionery. They had joined the crowd that had strolled along the beautiful exhibits. Lois grinned as she remembered how Clark had smiled at her rounded eyes, her difficulty in choosing and the ecstatic little sounds she had made when tasting the goodies she finally picked out. Well, Clark had done most of the choosing; she had mainly wandered about like Alice in Chocolate Wonderland, chatting excitedly with other chocoholics from all over the world who had invaded the Hilton's beautifully decorated banquet hall.
That evening, they had a good-natured discussion about which chocolate event to visit next. Various confectioneries offered workshops and held demonstrations. Which one to choose? Mariel van Dijk, their gracious hostess, a petite blonde widow in her fifties who reminded Lois of Martha Kent, suggested 'Jordino', just a few blocks away. According to Mariel they had the tastiest and most beautiful 'bonbons' in the city and she was sure Lois would find their chocolate making demonstration very entertaining. And it had proven to be an excellent choice. Even Clark had been engrossed and he had found it equally difficult at the end of the session to decide which chocolate creams to buy to take home.
Back at their hotel, Mariel invited Lois to join her in the kitchenette of her own apartment, situated on the top floor of the narrow building. There were only six double rooms and two single rooms for rent, spread over three tiny floors. The small cosy breakfast room was at street level, overlooking a neatly kept garden. Each morning, Mariel personally served her guests a scrumptious breakfast buffet and offered free advice on where to have lunch and dinner and what sights to visit.
Mariel and Lois were both chocolate lovers and they had hit it off immediately. On their last evening in Amsterdam, Lois and Clark had accepted her dinner invitation and Mariel had offered to show Lois how to make simple but very delicious chocolate desserts.
Clark had taken the opportunity to visit a former collegue of his with whom he had worked years ago at The Borneo Gazette. They had unexpectedly and literally bumped into Rob Smits while crossing a street. The two men had been delighted by their unexpected meeting. The Dutch reporter, now working in Amsterdam at one of the big national newspapers, invited the couple over for a visit at the head office. Lois would have loved to visit a foreign newsroom to see how other reporters did their job. But, sensing that both men wanted mainly to talk about their former stay on the Indonesian island, she told Clark she didn't mind bowing out; she would be glad to spend the afternoon with Mariel instead.
The dessert making session had been fun, with Lois scribbling down recipes and even joining in the preparations. When Clark returned they shared a few glasses of wine with Mariel, who had laid out a tasty buffet. They had a very pleasant last evening in Amsterdam, gazing over the brightly lit city, lazily conversing with their new friend.
The next day they had said their goodbyes, with a tentative promise to return the same time next year, and in the meantime to stay in touch through e-mail.
They had left yesterday in a taxi bound for the airport but in fact had returned home by means of the 'Superman Express'. In the early morning hours, Superman had been called away. Lois sighed. Well, Clark was back now and would soon return with the brioche. She had better stop daydreaming and get to work.
She wanted to do this all by herself and was confident she could manage without Clark's help. Anyway, by making him a tasty snack she wanted to thank him for a wonderful trip. He always teased her about her chocolate addiction but in Amsterdam she had seen how much he too enjoyed the 'heavenly mud' as Mariel had laughingly called it.
Lois glanced at the recipe, muttering to herself. "Hmmm… let's see… unsalted butter — real butter — no margarine… it says here that this will serve four; so what do I do… split it in two? Naah… Clark can easily eat all of it. Okay, here goes…"
Lois lit the oven for preheating. She was busy greasing a baking dish when Clark returned with two freshly baked brioches.
"I bought an extra one, just in case," he said, looking innocent.
Lois rolled her eyes. "Just in case what? Clark, the bread is the only thing I am not going to mess up you know, it's already baked! You're just afraid I'll set the kitchen on fire. Don't you have something useful to do? Like watching a ball game? "
"Nope," Clark said cheerfully. "I haven't seen you cook since Katie Banks was around. Never thought it would happen again. This is much better than watching tv, honey. Besides, we agreed to spend this Sunday together. I'm not going anywhere, and I promise I won't interfere, okay? You go right ahead." Clark sat down at the table with a flourish, grinning up at her.
Lois, looking at his happy face, relented. He really enjoyed these rare, relaxing moments at home. Superman duty had already interfered this morning, who knew how soon he would be called away again. She lovingly mussed up his hair. "You're hopeless. I can see that you won't let up, so you can help me, on one condition. You do what I tell you, and I want no comments from you!"
"Okay," Clark said meekly and chuckled when Lois elbowed him. He stole a quick kiss then said briskly, "What do you want me to do then?"
"You can start with melting the chocolate with this marmalade and butter until you have a really smooth and creamy sauce." Lois shoved the ingredients in Clark's direction and glanced at the recipe. "You have to do it 'au bain marie' though. I'm sure you know what that means!"
Clark grinned and delved into a kitchen cabinet. "Sure do! We even have a genuine 'au bain marie' pot."
"Really? Where did that come from?"
"A wedding present, from the girls in Research. Never thought we would need it though." Clark filled the outer layer of the pot with water and put it on the stove to heat up.
"Very handy," Lois said, "But Mariel told me you can do it with two pots if you don't have the real thing: a big one which you fill partly with water and a smaller one you can hang in it."
Clark chuckled. "My wife, a regular gourmet chef!"
"I wouldn't count on it, I plan to give all these recipes to your mom. This is a one time performance, buster!"
"That's what I was afraid of," Clark said mournfully, putting on his most endearing puppy dog look.
Lois rolled her eyes and demonstratively started to cut one of the brioches into thick, even slices. She then arranged these on the bottom of the already greased baking dish, watched by a tenderly amused Clark. He couldn't stop smiling. She looked so sweet in her seldom used apron. Lois, trying her best to ignore her adoring husband, was now mixing milk and cream in a bowl. She added a few generous teaspoons of her favorite liqueur, then gasped. Oops… the recipe said a few drops…
"Oh no!" she said with a worried frown. "See Clark, that's why I don't cook. I always screw up. Do you think this much will spoil it? We'd better not use this then, I think we have enough milk in the fridge, but I'm sure were out of cream. Could you fl-"
Clark stopped her babbling with a firm kiss on her lips.
"Honey, I'm sure this will taste much better than with just a few measly drops. Relax, it's Sunday, it doesn't matter if we get drunk on a piece of chocolate cake," he teased. "This is supposed to be fun, remember?"
"Yeah…" Lois still looked doubtful but resumed stirring. Clark expertly broke three eggs for her above the bowl then returned to his own chocolate sauce making. When he was satisfied that it was smooth enough he covered the brioche slices evenly with the fragrant sauce; Lois then carefully poured in the milky liquid and liberally sprinkled cane sugar on top.
"Okay, Clark, now it's ready to bake… Mariel told me that this is the kind of dessert you can eat either hot or cold. Did you know that?"
"That's good, because I don't think we'll be able to eat the whole dish. We can save some in the fridge then. Here, let me do this." Clark placed the dish in the oven, closed the door and set the timer for forty minutes.
"That gives us enough time to set the table and prepare lunch. What would you like to eat, honey? A light pasta, a tuna sandwich, soup, a salad maybe…?"
"Tuna sandwich and a small salad is fine, Clark. I'll set the table… gosh, that thing in the oven sure smells wonderful!" Clark leaned over and kissed her lingeringly. "Hmmm… so do you… and I'm sure it will taste equally good!"
Lois kissed him back. "I'm a chocolate dish to you now, Farmboy?" She smiled wickedly. "Well, you will soon be able to compare the two of us… after lunch I'm gonna take you upstairs and treat you to my special kind of dessert. How's that?"
Clark hugged her. "I can't wait," he said huskily. "Making love to you in that tiny hotel was not the best part of our stay in Amsterdam… the walls were so thin you could even hear the other couples on either side breathing!"
Lois wrapped her arms around his neck and planted a soft kiss on his right ear. "Only you, sweetheart, your super hearing sometimes gets in the way… I kinda liked the slow, sweet lovemaking though. Now, feed me first, then we can really give each other a workout. I, at least, need to get rid of all the chocolate fat!"
In complete harmony they prepared and ate a light meal, followed by generous helpings of a delicious hot chocolate dessert. It took them another ten minutes to recover before Clark Kent picked up his wife and carried his very willing partner upstairs.