Chipped Armor

Jocelyn Brant <>

Rating: PG

Submitted: November 2003

Summary: This tag-on to the episode "The Rival" follows the events of Clark returning to the Planet, and addresses some issues between our favorite duo which were mentioned in the author's first story, "Fractured Ego.

Author's Notes: I'd like to thank my amazing Beta Readers on this story: LabRat, farneygal, and Kaylle who have provided much needed grammar changes, and comments on sentence structure that I would have overlooked, no doubt. Thank you guys very much, I greatly appreciated your suggestions and comments.

Disclaimer: No infringements in intended, as these characters are the property of DC Comics, and have been used with permission by Warner Bros. I have no claim to these characters, only to a portion of the following story. No profit is being made on my efforts.


The succinct knocks on Clark's door reverberated throughout the small industrial loft. His eyes flew open, and he turned his vision towards the door in order to view the person beyond it.

Lois Lane stood with her hand poised to knock again in three or four seconds, if he didn't get to the door by then. She wore no makeup, and her hair was pulled into a tight ponytail; she wore sweatpants and… Clark did a double take: she was wearing his Mid Western U sweatshirt.

"I knew she took it," he whispered with a small shake of his head and a broad grin. He rose from the couch, which he had been pleasantly dozing on before Lois decided to pay him a visit.

"Open this door, Kent!" she demanded, followed by another three harsh knocks, and Clark could have sworn that he could hear the door splinter under her 'tender' ministrations. He trotted towards the door and paused before opening. He watched her, and just as she was about to pound again into the wood of his door, he pulled it open to reveal her.

"Good. You're home."

"What can I do for you, Lois?"

"Well, for starters you can…" Her sentence trailed off as her eyes finally took in his state of undress. A pair of boxer shorts hung loosely on his slender hips, and his chest was left bare, allowing Lois to take in his sun- soaked pectoral muscles and his well-toned abs. Her mouth fell open on a drawn-out breath, and she licked her lips quickly. Clark shifted his weight on his feet, dislodging Lois's concentration. Her eyes shot up to his, and she narrowed her gaze at his amused expression. "You can put on some clothes, Mr. Hard-Body," she finished sardonically.

When he turned to follow her orders, she stepped in front of him. "Never mind," she continued. "We don't have time."

"Have time for what?" Clark looked down at her, his left eyebrow quirked in polite confusion.

"We're going to talk — well, actually, I'm going to talk, you're going to listen." She took a deep breath, her eyes closed, and then released it and opened her eyes. He stood in front of her, hands on his hips, ready to take on any challenge she was likely to throw at him. She didn't think she would be able to get everything out with him standing so close to her. "Take a seat, please."

He chuckled a bit before heading in the direction of his couch and sitting down comfortably, throwing his arm over the back. She rolled her eyes at his nonchalant display. She began a slow pace in front of him, finding the methodical movements allowed her to concentrate more readily.

"I…" She let out a wave of air as she huffed, trying to get her thoughts in order. "I'm sorry."

"For what?"

She paused in her pacing, and turned to face him. "I'm sorry that I ran out on you… the other day." She bit gently at the corner of her mouth, and watched him sitting there. "There's something I have to tell you."

Clark brought his arm from the back of the couch to clasp his hands together, giving her the impression he was focused and waiting patiently for her to continue. She gulped down a breath, knowing that if she didn't say what she had come here to say she was more of a coward than she had originally presumed.

"I lied to you." Her voice was steady, but her hands shook unceremoniously. She swallowed again, more harshly this time, and met his gaze with slightly wavering eyes.

"What did you lie to me about?" He wasn't sure where this was going, but sat patiently waiting. She continued her pacing, this time more quickly and with less purpose. She stamped a circle around his coffee table before replying to his question.

"I told you to forget it."

His mind flashed back to their conversation two nights before, when she had discovered his plans about smoking out the truth of their unprecedented scoop dilemma. She had been seconds away from revealing, Clark was sure, that she needed him. But he had unknowingly interrupted her, and then she had been too angry to continue. She had been so livid that she had revealed that she had been "feeling all these feelings for nothing". When prompted she had denied it. "Forget it; I'm not feeling them anymore." Now she was telling him… she'd lied.

"Lois, I don't want to assume… can you just say it?"

"No! If I could do that, I would have done so already, don't you think?" Content with her logic, she crossed her arms over her chest, and pivoted to face him, shooting an expectant look in his direction.

"Lo-is." At her expression, he sighed. "Okay."

He considered her for a second, and Lois had to plead with her body to not squirm as he did so, as his eyes wandered over her and finally rose to her eyes. He blinked then opened his mouth to respond.

"I'm feeling something," she said. He closed his mouth and stared at her.

"I thought I was supposed to guess."

"You were taking too long."

"You didn't give me a chance."

"I gave you more than one."

"Can I kiss you?"

"Yes, you can."

He was on his feet and cradling her head in seconds. She had barely a moment to draw in a breath before his lips descended on hers, and she was left virtually breathless, once again. His fingertips caressed her cheeks and temples, as his lips slid gracefully over hers. Never had another person's lips felt more like velvet, and tasted more like coffee, chocolate, and other delicious favorites of Lois'. She whimpered as he slanted his lips across hers, his tongue sliding through his now open mouth to touch tentatively to her lower lip.

She opened her mouth on a groan and sighed. His tongue needed no further invitation, and swept the expanse of her mouth, seeking out the small crevices of liquid heat that lay within. Lois met his tongue with her own, bringing her once idle hands up to grasp at his forearms.

She dropped her head, the intensity of their the moment finally too overwhelming to handle. They were both breathing rapidly, and heavily, and it only seemed to fuel the ignited air around them. The sounds of their breathing were more like the soundtrack to a scene of expert sex in any one of the million Hollywood movies out on the market. Her forehead was pressed to his chest, and his hands caressed the nape of her neck.

When she brought her head back up her lips glistened in the light from his kitchen, as it cast a glow into the mostly dark room. She swallowed harshly, and turned her focus to his chest, where her left hand now rested decoratively.

"I don't know what to say," Clark murmured, filling the silence with something other than labored breathing.

"I need to leave," Lois whispered, dropping her hand, and heading towards the door.

"Don't be scared… Lois," Clark told her. She turned to face him.

"I don't need you to tell me what to do." Her tone wasn't angry or bitter, but steady and neutral. She raised her hand to her throat, feeling the frantic rhythm of her pulse slowly fade. "I'll see you tomorrow, Clark."

She walked to the door, but hesitated with her hand over the doorknob. "If I were smart, I'd open this door and immediately ignore everything that has happened tonight."

"But…" Clark prodded. He held his breath, praying she'd turn around, run to him, and cover him in soft kisses. He was glad he could hold his breath for a long time, as Lois didn't respond for several minutes.

"But, being smart is so over-rated." She turned and with such determination and purpose, she was in his arms, looping hers about his shoulders, and kissing his lips in a kiss that rivaled the one before.