By Paul-Gabriel Wiener <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Submitted January 2002
Summary: A response to the "write a bit of happy fluff" fanfic "challenge." Superman goes flying for fun, and gets "high on life." The result is an ending that surprised even the author.
"Wow! Thanks, Superman!"
I smile at the star-struck girl and get ready to take off. As she stands there, stunned, the cat I've just de-treed drops, unnoticed, from her arms. I catch it, then return it to her, again. I make sure she and the cat get back inside their house before flying off, still smiling.
It's been a long week, but today has been easy. As I make my way back to the city, I focus on my ears, listening with all my concentration. Nothing. No bank robbers. No maniacal villains. No muggings. Not even another cat in a tree within a hundred miles. Just the normal hustle and bustle of city life.
I drift higher, stretching lazily. I float amongst the clouds, heading nowhere in particular. It should be cold up here, I suppose, but I don't feel cold. Just the warm embrace of the sun's nourishing rays. I'm still smiling, of course. Some days, life is really rough. Days like today, though… aaaaaaaahhhhh. The only way things could possibly be better was if I was here with…
Lois. My ears pick up the sound of her heartbeat. I'd know that rhythm anywhere. I roll over and look down. I'm floating above her apartment. Apparently, my wanderings weren't as aimless as I'd thought. I laugh at myself, but I don't mind.
I let myself drift down to her window. Some part of me realizes that Superman shouldn't be seen with a goofy grin on his face, but right now, I don't really care. It's a beautiful day in the neighborhood, and look who is my neighbor. She's curled up on her couch, reading something. A romance novel. I chuckle to myself, but I'm not that surprised. She's dressed in a worn-out pair of sweat pants and an old T-shirt. She doesn't seem to have any make-up on, and her hair, recently washed and dried, though not yet brushed, is in complete disarray. She's the most beautiful creature on the planet.
I tap softly on the window, and she looks up, startled. The expression on her face when she sees me floating there is absolutely priceless. Her heartbeat changes from a gentle beat to a wild, skipping dance. She's at the window almost before her forgotten book hits the floor. "Superman! What are you doing here? Not that I don't want you here, but—"
I cut her off before her tongue gets completely away from her. I love to hear her babble, but right now, I have other things in mind. "It's a beautiful day out, Lois," I say, stretching my arms out and spinning in mid-air. "There's no one in need of rescue, and there's a cloud up there shaped like one of the Keebler elves." She looks at me strangely, then looks up and laughs. An impulse comes to me, demanding attention and backed by an army of whimsy. I give in to it. Why not? "Do you want to come flying with me? We can go wherever your heart desires."
She looks at me, wondering. I can almost see the thought go through her head. "He could ask anyone in the world," she's clearly thinking. "Why me?" She looks into my eyes, and reads the answer there. "Why, Superman," she asks, her own eyes shining, "are you asking me out?"
THAT sets off more than a few warning bells in my head. I have to be careful here. If I say yes, Clark Kent's life will be ruined. If I say no, Lois Lane will be miserable. "I'm sorry, Lois. Much as I'd love to, Superman can't go out on dates. You'd be an instant target for every thug in the city."
She looks up at me, the twinkle in her eyes clouding over. I hate to disappoint her, but… "It must be very lonely for you." Hmm. I've just dashed her hopes, and she's worried about me. Only Lois.
"Not really," I hear myself say. "Only when I'm in the Suit." Her eyes widen as she takes THAT tidbit in. I curse myself. How could I have been so careless? Note to self: "Do not attempt to operate heavy machinery, such as your big mouth, while under the intoxicating influence of Lois Lane."
Times like this, I wish I had some way I could just MAKE her forget… Touch her, and take the memory away. No, that wouldn't be right. It would be an invasion of the worst kind. Hopefully, though, she'll take me up on my offer to go flying before my whimsical mood is gone completely. Flying is such an incredible experience. If she has half as much fun with it as I do, she might get lost in the experience. There's more than one way to make her forget. "Later, Lois," I beg. "Please? We can still go flying."
"Later. You promise?" Well, a guy can hope, anyway. That gleam in her eyes tells me that Lois Lane, ace reporter, has made up her mind to follow up on this one. I shouldn't be surprised.
"Later. I promise."
That settled, she grins, and jumps into my arms. Then, as I cradle her against my chest, she notices her sweat pants, and remembers… "Oh my God. I'm a mess—"
"Don't worry, Lois," I assure her as we climb to a safe altitude. "The only one who can see you up here is me, and I find you beautiful no matter what you're wearing."
"Really?" she asks wonderingly.
"Really," I reply steadily. She sighs happily and lets it go at that. I carry her up into the clouds, letting my aura protect her from the cold winds. The sun shines down on us. We twirl and dance through the sky. We fly through the unsuspecting elf, laughing.
They say that laughter is the language of the soul. Our souls laugh, and sing, and talk, reveling in the sheer joy of recognition and reunion. They dance like the long-lost friends that they are, heedless of our respective costumes. Our souls care no more about my electric blue tights than they do about her drab sweat pants.
Moisture from the clouds sticks to us. Her skin glistens with it. The city spreads out beneath us. The whole world is at our feet. "Clark," she breathes. I don't have to ask how she knows. Our eyes meet, then our lips. The world can wait. Everything can wait. For the moment, life is perfect.