Seeing Red

By Missy Gallant <>

Rated: PG

Submitted: November 2002

Summary: In this continuation scene of the ending of the episdoe "Whine, Whine, Whine," Lois returns to her apartment and has to decide what to do with a treasured souvenir of Superman.


Lois sighed happily as she plunked her purse and keys on her kitchen table. She kicked off her shoes, then wandered to the refrigerator for a glass of milk. After discovering the milk was sour, she had to settle for a glass of water to quench her thirst. She drained the glass and smacked her lips thoughtfully, slowly tracing her tongue along the outside. Yup! Sure enough, they felt funny. Something she hadn't felt in a very long time. Sort of swollen and well exercised… as if they'd been kissed, and kissed thoroughly.

Smiling dreamily, she thought about the wonderful man who had plundered them so passionately and lovingly. The decision she'd made today had been the right one — Clark Kent was more than just her partner and best friend; he was now her boyfriend.

At last, she'd made up her mind on who she wanted to be with. It had been an agonizing few days as she'd debated, and it had confused her so much as to which one of the three men in her life she was willing to commit to. In the end, it had been quite simple — she needed Clark Kent in ways that neither Superman nor Dan Scardino could ever fulfill. Scardino had been simply a distraction — a way to get back at Clark for all of the times he had run off at the most inopportune moments.

Superman… belonged to the world; she'd thought once upon a time, not too long ago, that she would be able to win the big superhero over. Her love would be enough to make up for all the other worldly differences between them. But that just wasn't to be. Superman had the world to love him and she had been selfish to try to keep him for herself.

She had concluded in the end that it was Clark who needed her. Yes, she loved Clark. He needed her completely, and had even been willing to leave Metropolis so she could be happy. Sort of a deluded way of thinking, but his heart had been in the right place. Thank God that she had stopped him from leaving town. At last, they had stopped running from each other and were willing to take the next step in their relationship. Short of saying the scary words, she and Clark were committed to each other exclusively. There would be no more flitting back and forth between suitors and agonizing over the imperfections of each man. Clark was perfect — perfect for her anyway. Of course he had his faults — running off during intimate conversations seemed to be at the top of the list.

But he hadn't run away tonight.

Instead he'd stayed, worked through their problems and now they were closer than they'd ever been before.

Closer than she'd ever been to any man. Or super man.

Too bad it had taken her so long to see what was right under her nose. She supposed that she'd hung on a bit longer to Superman because he was always just out of reach. He had been beyond her grasp yet close enough for her to keep yearning for him.

Now it was time to put away the fantasies and dreams of Superman. She moved into her bedroom and pulled down her bed covers.

A bit of red material was uncovered and Lois sighed. Yes, this would have to be dealt with also. Reaching under her pillow, she pulled out a bright red nightgown.

Cape red.

She hugged it to her body and sighed. It had been a very sensual experience to sleep in Superman's old cape night after night, the silky fabric hugging her body as she dreamed of the man she fancied herself in love with. It had been so easy to cling to her hero worship of him, holding on to something tangible night after night.

But this wouldn't do now that she and Clark were together. Old fantasies would have to be put away along with any tangible items that she had. Although she had said farewell to him that afternoon, this was her private time to deal with her thoughts. But he would always be her friend and for that she was glad.

<Good-bye, Superman,> she thought as she hugged the former cape to her body. Taking off her clothes, she slipped the nightgown on and felt the silkiness slide down her body in an intimate caress of her skin.

A few months ago Superman had rescued her and Stuart Hofferman after they'd been thrown into the bay in fifty- five gallon barrels. He had taken them immediately to the police station to place Stuart in protective police custody. She had been wet and cold from her ordeal — Superman had tried to dry her with his heat vision but her clothes had gotten too hot from the steam from his heat vision… her clothes had been simply too thick for it to work safely. After slipping her sweatshirt off, to her dismay and every red-blooded male's delight, her white t- shirt was very much see-through.

Superman, in his ever-present hero mode, immediately did a half-spin, divested himself of his cape and handed it to her.

"Here," he had told her. "I have to rescue someone. Keep it."

A half an instant later, he had flown out the precinct's window and was gone. She had kept it in her drawer for a couple of months and had never gotten around to asking Superman if he had meant that she keep just until she could give it back to him or if he meant a forever kind of possession. Finally she presumed that he meant the latter and had decided to go forth with her fantasy plans. After carefully taking all the secret straps and harnesses off the cape, she'd brought the material to a seamstress and had it made into a long flowing nightgown, low cut and very sensual. This was in the hopes that one day she could wear it for Superman when he finally realized that he was in love with her.

But then her relationship with Clark started turning around and she could never quite bring herself to wear it for Superman. Clark had been worming his way into her heart even then… a few months ago. Actually he had all along but it was only then that she was starting to become conscious of it.

She smoothed the material around her body for the last time. Maybe some day she would wear it again, but she doubted that Clark would want to see her in something that reminded him of another man. In all likelihood, this would be the final occasion to wear it — saying good-bye to Superman.

She walked into the kitchen to grab some ice cream to help her contemplate where her life was heading. A noise behind her startled her and she turned around to see Clark sticking his head through her door.

"Hey, I saw your light on and your door was open so I…" His mouth dropped opened at the sight of her. A Superman emblem was embroidered on the back of her bright red nightgown. Lois turned around to face him and his heart nearly stopped.

Her low-cut nightgown clung to her body; the shadows on the fabric played over every curve, emphasizing her perfection. Spaghetti straps, three intertwining together in a lacy pattern on each side, held up the heavy silk nightgown. His mouth suddenly felt like cotton and his knees grew weak with desire. She was absolutely beautiful… in, could it be, his cape? That was impossible! How in the world could she have found his cape to have a dress made from it? He'd been missing a cape for a while and had wondered where he could have misplaced it. Of course! He'd given it to Lois that day at the police station when she'd needed something to cover up her wet shirt.

Suddenly his heart lurched and his stomach got a bit queasy. Lois had confronted him today as Superman and supposedly had ended her pursuit of him. She had told him that there was someone else who needed her and at the time he presumed it was Dan Scardino. Little could he have guessed that she had meant him — Clark. It nearly had blown him away when she had come to him earlier that night and told him that they both needed to stop running away from each other. He had still been in shock from that revelation when suddenly she had launched herself at him and was kissing him passionately.

But it was true. He had been running away from her and had been about to make the biggest mistake of his life by leaving town. After he assured her that he wasn't about to run away from their relationship any longer, they'd spent a couple of hours kissing and talking — mostly kissing, he remembered with a smile. It was only after she'd left that he realized that he was still running away from one very important fact — that he hadn't told her he was Superman. Now he was here to tell her everything… he was tired of hiding this part of his life from her and had decided to get it over with. Sure, he could have waited until the morning, but there would probably be some kind of interruption or excuse as to why he needed to delay. So with determination, he had flown over to her apartment building in the hope that he would be able to catch her before she went to sleep.

"Clark?" Lois's voice intruded into his thoughts and he realized he was staring blankly at her nightgown. It could most certainly pass for a dress but clearly Lois had meant to use it for sleepwear the way it hugged her body so intimately. Suddenly feeling uncomfortable, he diverted his gaze from her body and met her questioning eyes.

"Did you miss me already?" she asked a bit shyly. "I just got home a few minutes ago."

Feeling a bit relieved that she was flirting with him, he answered from the heart, "Lois, I miss you when you leave the room." His eyes held hers steadily as he willed them not to drop down to the tantalizing view a few inches below her face.

"Good, because I've missed *this* already," she replied quickly as she stood on her tiptoes to kiss his mouth firmly.

Chuckling from the wonder of having Lois so open with her feelings, his arms slid around her body, and she wrapped hers around his neck, delighting in the feel of being in physical contact with him once more. They kissed hungrily for a few minutes, reveling in the newness of the next step in their relationship. His hand smoothed her back lovingly but it jarred him slightly to feel the embroidery of the S- emblem on her back. He closed their kiss and pulled away, his breathing still heavy.

"Glad I wasn't dreaming — we're still okay?" he asked.

Lois's hand closed around his and she led him to the sofa. "Why wouldn't we be?" He shrugged his shoulders and said, "I don't know. I've wanted this for so long, I'm not sure how to act around you anymore. Guess I feel like it's all going to disappear or become a big misunderstanding or something."

"Why would you think that, Clark?" she asked, looking up at him. He hadn't sat down yet and was beginning to look a bit uncomfortable. He was also avoiding looking at her directly.

Suddenly she realized what she was wearing and blurted, quickly. "I'd better get a robe on…" She turned to go, but Clark refused to release her hand. "Don't!! What you have on is beautiful — a bit confusing, but beautiful." He sat down on the sofa and tugged her hand until she was seated next to him. "Okay…" Not quite sure what Clark was thinking, she bit her lip, then went for the offensive. "What brings you here this late at night, Clark? We just said our good-byes."

"I decided that I needed to tell you something important about my life, something that I've never shared with anyone before, but now I'm not so sure."

"What, Clark? You have secrets that you're not telling me? Of course you have secrets — everybody has secrets. Not that you should keep them from me anymore. I thought we had gotten past that."

"Not quite, Lois. And it seems you're keeping one from me now." Clark touched the edge of the old cape. "Why are you wearing Superman's cape? I thought you had told him it was over between the two of you."

"It *is* over and how… omigosh, how did you know it was Superman's cape?" He reached around her back and rubbed the Superman emblem. "Here's one clue."

"If you want to know, I was saying good-bye to Superman tonight. I just slipped this on for the last time and was preparing to put it away forever."

"You were?"

"Clark, you're the one I want. I thought I'd made that perfectly clear tonight in your apartment. Superman doesn't love or need me — it's you, Clark, only you."

The fire in her eyes told him she was telling the truth and gave him the boldness to continue.

"You're wrong, Lois. Superman does love you." He picked up her hand and began to play with her fingers.

"How do you know that, Clark? He hasn't told you, has he?"

Clark sighed and decided to plow onward. "That's the reason I stopped by tonight. I had to get everything out in the open. Lois, the reason I know that that's Superman's cape is because it used to be mine."

"Why did Superman give *you* a cape? Was there a costume party I wasn't invited to?" she asked nervously.

"Superman didn't have to give me a cape, Lois… He paused, now wondering if Lois was ignoring the hints that he was giving her or was still clueless. "My mom made it for me."

"Your mom made it for you… " Her voice trailed off as some long ago conversation began returning to her memory.

"Lois, I'm Superman," he stated. "Most of all, Lois, I'm Clark Kent, the guy who's crazy about you, who's tired of running and keeping secrets from the woman he loves."

"Superman?" She reached out with her hand, removed his glasses, then slicked his hair back slowly and reverently while staring into his eyes.

"Lois, I know I've been two people to you in the time that I've known you, but now, I want to be one, the *only* one." At her silence, he chose to continue talking until she was ready to respond to him.

"I've longed for the day when you would care for me as Clark. Superman is what I do, not who I am inside. I've never told anyone this secret before — I've grown up being told that I'd be lower than a lab rat if I was caught. So, Lois, making this decision to tell you my secret hasn't come very easy — at least it wasn't until there was a chance I could lose you and even then I wanted to run away."

Clark realized he was on the verge of babbling and paused for a moment.

"But don't you see, Lois, I could only share this secret with someone who I was sure was going to be in my life forever. I know this is rather soon to be talking about forever with you, but I know deep in my heart that no matter where our relationship goes, you'll be in my life forever. I love you."

His diatribe over, Clark leaned back against the cushions and waited. Lois's hand had dropped down against his chest and she'd been feeling the outline of his Superman emblem beneath his shirt while he was speaking. She was still… too still.

Her lips began quivering and she buried her head into his shoulder. Clark held her close, and tried to sooth her trembling body by rubbing slow circles on the back of her neck.

She sniffed softly against his shoulder, then quietly said, "I should have guessed, Clark. Why didn't I know my best friend was a superhero in disguise?"

"No one guessed, Lois — that was the point of having two identities. In order to have a normal life as Clark, I had to have two completely different looks."

With a heavy sigh, she leaned her head back against his arm to look him in the face, and said, "I treated you so differently when you were Superman. I'm surprised you told me at all." Moisture sprang up in her eyes again and she closed them tightly, her lids squeezing out the tears that pooled there.

"Lois, when I imagined telling you on the way over here, I was expecting anger, or hurt or disbelief, but not tears… anything but tears," Clark said uneasily.

"Are you sure you don't want to throw something at me?"

She sniffed again and answered, "I know I should be mad — mad that my best friend kept such a huge secret from me all these months, and believe me, I've been fighting the urge. But Clark, I've been sitting here thinking… if I do that then that's just another excuse to distance myself from you. All that is going to accomplish is more time apart when I know that I don't want that anymore. I'm tired of the games we've been playing and I can't do it any longer. I love you, too. This is what I want."

She picked up his hand and hugged it to her chest. After tucking her head under Clark's chin, he could feel her tears dropping onto his hand.

"Well… it would make me feel better if you yelled or something," he said desperately. She was still way too quiet for Lois. He lifted her away from his chest and smiled gingerly at her. "Come on… one yell, a good hard poke or something. I want an excuse to kiss and make up."

Suddenly he felt his hand being squeezed hard, really hard, then her pointed finger jabbing him in the chest right in the middle of his S.

He let out a fake yelp of pain. "Ow!"

"That didn't hurt SuperKent and don't think I don't know it." She smiled weakly at him. "It did make me feel better though."

"Good," he replied, then gently fingered the strap on one shoulder. "You know, my cape has never looked better. You're adorable in it… and I hope this isn't the last time you wear it."

"Clark, what are you saying?"

Blushing fiercely, he whispered the next words. "I hope that when we decide to take the *next* step, you won't forget you have this." Feeling bolder than he ever had with Lois, he kissed the skin beneath his finger.

"Hmmm, that's nice… Well, I won't forget, that is, if I get to see if the suit really does come off."

"I think we have a deal," he murmured, placing his first tentative kiss on her neck.

"Are we making up now after our first fight?" Lois sighed as she turned her neck aside as his kisses moved further up her neck. "That was our first fight, wasn't it?"

"Yes, but we'll save those for later. These are just for practice."

He lifted his head and looked into her eyes. They were shining brightly now and she looked happy. He smiled back at her, and then covered her lips gently with his own. Whatever happened from now on, they would handle it together. The running from one another was finally over.