By Tank Wilson
Submitted: August 2003
Summary: Lois isn't about to let her partner get away with falling asleep on her in this rewrite of a certain moment in the episode "That Old Gang Of Mine." ;)
Notes: I wrote this for a couple of reasons. First, it's a slightly different take on TOGOM (the single most fanfic adapted episode ever). And I also had to show the gentle readers that I could write fluffy, waffy, romantic drivel with the best of them (well maybe not the best of them). But this is for those who mistakenly think that all I can write is whams. Actually I'm the king of happy endings… really!
As always, all characters are trademarked and copyrighted to their respective owners. Any and all feedback is welcome at TankW1@aol.com
The silver Jeep pulled away from in front of the Daily Planet. Lois Lane turned and favored her partner, Clark Kent, with a shy smile.
"Clark," she began just a bit hesitantly. "When I thought you were gone, I did some thinking about my life. You know, what it would be like without you in it." A blush touched Lois' cheek. "I know what you're thinking. Gee, Lois, how self-centered can you be? But, just hear me out."
Lois took a quick look over at her worn-out partner. He looked beat, but then he'd been through quite a lot over the last twenty-four hours.
Lois took a breath and plunged ahead. "I know our relationship has always been…difficult to define. But, when I thought about how much I missed you… how much I was going to miss you — for the rest of my life. Well, I started to think — maybe — there's more to our relationship than just friendship?"
She turned, not quite sure as to what Clark's reaction was going to be. What she didn't expect to find was her partner sound asleep in the seat next to her. How dare he!
He jerked awake, looking around in dazed confusion. "What? What's wrong?"
Lois frowned at him. "Dammit, Clark, I'm pouring my heart out here. The least you could do is stay awake."
Clark gave Lois a sheepish smile. "I'm sorry. What did you say? Was it something important?"
Lois' eyes narrowed and her lips drew into a tight line. "Oh, just forget it. I guess it wasn't… "
She suddenly pulled the jeep over to the side of the road and turned off the engine. Tears were in her eyes as she turned toward Clark. He was startled by the emotion he could see in her face.
"Yes, yes it is important. Clark, I just endured the worst day of my life. A day I hope I never have to face — ever again. I thought I had lost you — forever. I thought you were dead. Killed because of me." More tears found their way down her cheek.
Clark reached out and took her hand in his. He gave it a squeeze. "Lois, you had no way of knowing. You can't blame yourself."
She shook her head, causing her still cement- streaked hair to move erratically about her face. "Don't talk, just listen." She glanced up at the roof of her vehicle, biting her lip, as she tried to gather her thoughts. "I don't think you can begin to understand what I went through. Not unless you've experienced it for yourself. Not until you have to suffer through the loss of the most important person in your life." She could see the shocked confusion in his eyes but she hurried on, not letting him speak.
"It was like nothing I'd ever experienced before. I kept seeing you falling to the floor in my mind, over and over, and it was like someone twisting a knife in my gut. It was a physical pain that I knew wouldn't go away. The thought that I'd never see you again was almost too much to bear. It was as if a part of me had been torn away and only emptiness was left."
A car sped by on the street, honking its horn at the motionless vehicle. Lois ignored it. "I cried myself to sleep last night. Not that I got all that much sleep. The nightmare of earlier in the evening just kept replaying in my dreams. But do you know why I cried myself to sleep?" she asked through a veil of new tears. All Clark could do was shake his head. "Because I was forced to face some feelings I hadn't allowed myself to acknowledge before. Feelings that had been growing for quite some time, but instead of acting on them, I denied them."
Lois grimaced as she slowly shook her head. "They say you never really appreciate what you have until it's gone. Boy, was that an understatement in this case." She turned and held his eyes with her own. "And do you know what was the worst part? I'd never told you. You'd died without knowing."
Clark grabbed her other hand and gently held them to his chest. "Without knowing what, Lois?"
"This." She leaned in and pressed her lips against his. It was a demanding kiss. One that cried out to be returned. And it was.
She pulled back, smiling through her tears. "I love you, Clark Kent, maybe I always have." She had to turn away. "I know you don't feel the same way about me, that you just think of me as a friend." She sighed. "But I can live with that if I know you'll always be a part of my life." She turned back to face him. "Please, say we'll always be… friends."
This time it was Clark who shook his head slowly in frustration. "Oh, Lois, how foolish have we been?" He quickly sought and recaptured her eyes. "I've been in love with you since the first moment I laid eyes on you. When you barged into Perry's office that day, something inside me just told me that you were special. I don't think a day has gone by since that you were ever out of my thoughts."
Lois' brow furrowed as she listened to her partner's declaration. "But, but you said that you didn't really feel that way about me," she countered. "That day in front of the Daily Planet. You claimed you just said you loved me to stop me from marrying Lex."
Clark was slightly bemused. "And you believed me? Lois, you've always told me what a bad liar I was. How could you not have seen through that one too?"
Lois' expression was one of timid hope. "So, you do love me?"
"With all my heart."
"Why?" Lois frowned.
Lois was shaking her head back and forth again. "Why do you love me? I'm not exactly the most lovable person around. I'm obsessed with my job. I have very few friends. I take advantage of people, if it suits my needs." Lois reached up and traced her fingertip along Clark's cheek. "I must have hurt you very badly when I rejected your declaration of love in Centennial Park all those months back."
Clark shook his head in denial. "Lois, you are the most amazing woman I've ever known. You are brilliant and dedicated. You are fiercely loyal to your friends. But most of all, you are passionate. You see something you want and you go after it all guns blazing. You never do anything halfway." Clark grinned, and gave Lois a wink. "It doesn't hurt that you're a beautiful woman with a killer body, either."
Lois blushed, and smiled back. "Thanks, you're not so bad yourself, you know." They shared a companionable laugh, then Lois suddenly grew very quiet.
She stared straight ahead, looking out her front windshield for several silent moments. "Marry me," she said, when she finally spoke.
"What?" Clark was thunderstruck.
She turned and faced him, a look of determination on her face. "Marry me. You say you love me, and I love you, so marry me."
She grabbed his hands again and held them tightly. "Look, I know I'm not making any sense to you, but believe me, in my own mind I've finally come to my senses. I was extremely lucky this time. I thought I'd lost you, but I got you back. Maybe next time I won't be so lucky." She waved her hand at his expression. "I'm not talking about the possibility of another gangster's bullet. But I don't think I could deal with it any better if I lost you to the next Toni Taylor, or Linda King that comes along and decides she knows her mind better than I do."
Lois let go of Clark's hands and flopped back into her seat. "I can't believe how stupid I was, to keep denying how I felt. I'd keep telling myself that it didn't matter to me what you did on your own time, but that was a lie. It did matter, if it was time not spent with me. I was jealous, I can admit that now."
Clark snaked his arm around her shoulder and pulled her closer to him. "Lois, I admit that it was flattering to occasionally have an attractive woman express an interest in me."
Lois cocked her brow at him. "Occasionally? You really are clueless sometimes, aren't you."
Clark rolled his eyes. "The point is, Lois, that no matter who may or may not be interested in me, there was always only one woman that I was interested in… you."
Another tear snuck out of the corner of her eye as she smiled. She ducked her head, allowing her hair to hide her face. Her voice was barely above a whisper. "So, does that mean that you will marry me?"
Clark placed his finger under her chin and tipped her head up until she was looking at him through misted eyes. "Lois, there is nothing I'd rather do than marry you, but I think we've both been through a lot this past day, you especially. You thought you lost someone important only to miraculously get him back. You don't want to make such an important, life- altering, decision based on your relief that I'm alive. You need time. Time to get some perspective, to examine your feelings under less stressful conditions."
"No I don't."
She reached up and pulled his head down to hers. The kiss was long and deep. When they finally broke, it was Clark who was gasping to catch his breath. "So, do you want to marry me or not?"
Clark threw up his hands in an admission of defeat. "Tell you what. There are still things we need to talk about." He held up his hand to forestall her protest. "Why don't you come over to my place tomorrow night for dinner? I'll fix us something nice, then we can discuss this new relationship that we seem to be considering, in a calm and rational way. And if, after we've said what we have to say, you still want to marry me, we can set a date. Sound fair?"
Lois eyed Clark suspiciously. "Welll, I guess so. But I still don't know why you want to talk about it. Either you want to or you don't. Nothing you can say will make me change my mind… unless it's you don't love me." Lois frowned. "It's not, is it?"
Clark shook his head vehemently. "No, that's definitely not it." Clark smiled and placed his palm against her cheek. "But I think it would be a good idea if we got everything out in the open, as they say."
"Okay," she said, still eyeing him with suspicion.
Lois resettled herself into a driver's position in her seat. "I guess I'd better be getting you home so you can get some much needed rest."
Clark shook his head. "I'm not tired anymore."
Lois gave Clark a sly smile. "Really? Is there something else you'd like to do?" Clark nodded.
As one they leaned toward each other. Within moments the newly acknowledged lovers had the privacy they desired as the windows of Lois' jeep quickly steamed up so that no one from the outside could see in. Not that they were aware of the rest of the world at the time anyhow. They were much too busy with other… more pressing concerns.