Swear to God, This Time We're Eloping

By Alicia U. <lxu2@cwru.edu>

Rated: PG

Submitted: June 2003

Summary: An impatient Lois comes up with a brilliant idea — rather than risk another wedding disaster, she and Clark can try marriage Vegas-style…if only she can convince him first!


It was a dark and stormy day. Clouds precluded the vision of all of Metropolis's buildings creating a dark, eerie atmosphere over the whole city. The pounding rain and swirling wind added to the overall feeling that the city was caught in a monsoon. Large raindrops slammed into the 'Daily Planet's' windows, sounding like miniature claps of thunder. On such a dreary day, nearly everyone in the newsroom couldn't help but feel a bit of malaise and apathy making it difficult to get any work done. Today even Lois Lane found that her mood matched the color of the clouds.

She had much more on her mind than her current line-up of stories. Nothing was working. Every investigation was hitting dead ends at the same time, and none of her sources were coming through, even Bobby Bigmouth. After six hours of the frustration at accomplishing nothing, Lois had given up for the day. Instead of doing anything productive, she found herself sitting at her desk, staring aimlessly out the window, watching the steady rain fall onto the city. Her mind wandered as she watched the water meander down the windows.

What a week it had been. No, she was wrong; it hadn't been just a tough week. The entire year had seemed almost like a figment of her imagination. So much had happened. She just wanted to forget it all and start over. If there were any way she could go back in time and relive any year of her life, 1996 would be that year. If only she could go back to January 1, 1996, she would try to change all of the events that had happened that had caused her so much pain.

She glanced down at the beautiful engagement ring that Clark had given her almost a year ago, which rested on her left ring finger. That ring felt so familiar on her hand; it was almost like it had been there forever. It just felt right. Not so long ago, he had slid it on her finger for the first time, but in her mind it felt like the ring had been there for an eternity. As she touched the ring and twirled it around her finger as she often did, she realized that her finger felt strangely empty. There was supposed to be another ring on that finger. She should be wearing a wedding ring.

The major event that she would go back and change was her failed wedding day: February 11, 1996. Thinking of what should have been the happiest day of her life made her stomach hurt. In fact, she hardly remembered that day at all. But she knew how horrible it had been from the stories that Clark had told her. Almost the worst thing about everything that had happened was that she didn't remember. It was almost more painful than actually remembering the day in vivid detail. She felt like an entire chunk of her life was missing. Even though she knew everything that had happened and how Clark had felt as those things were occurring, she knew nothing of how she had felt, reacted, or even what she had gone through exactly. It was an absolutely painful thing for her to try to remember because that portion of her life was completely absent from her memory. She would never be able to know for sure exactly what she had gone through. And that hurt her more than anything else.

Even though she had a very scant recollection of the details, one thing was certain. Lois Lane and Clark Kent should have been married that day. Yes, right now, the 'Planet's' top reporting duo should still be reveling in their first blissful months as newlyweds. But it hadn't happened that way at all.

She didn't want to think about what the events of their non-wedding day and the following weeks. The memories were still too painful for her to confront. Alas, it seemed like a life of peaceful wedded bliss was not to be for Lois and Clark. They had certainly been through a lot since what was supposed to be their wedding day. Lex Luthor, clones, amnesia, high school classmates with shrinking potions, and New Kryptonians had all kept Lois Lane and Clark Kent from the happiness they deserved to experience as husband and wife. Each of those things alone might have been enough to drive any other couple apart, but not Lois Lane and Clark Kent. Their love transcended those horrible things and they had survived. In fact, they were still madly in love with each other and, above all else, desperately wanted to be married.

As hard as they both tried to live a normal life, they never succeeded. There was always a new challenge in their way. They had almost lost each other many times. Yet their love was stronger than ever. Their love had survived so many trials and Lois and Clark had grown even closer in the aftermath of each one.

Why did it always seem like fate was working against the couple? If she could just go back and relive the last year of her life, she would have been more careful, more observant. She should have realized that everything about the wedding was going to hell in a hand-basket the second she relinquished control and let her mother do the planning. That should have been a warning that something was bound to go wrong. She should have never turned over control to her mother of all people even though she hadn't really been given a choice in the matter. Her mother had just barreled into the situation and completely taken over everything involved with the wedding planning. With Ellen's involvement, the small, intimate ceremony had turned into the social event of the year.

Okay, her mother wasn't exactly responsible for everything that had happened on her wedding day. How could anyone have known that Lex Luthor would show up at the wedding with a Lois clone? Who knew that human cloning was even possible? But why had she gone alone with him to sign the marriage license? Any number of people could have gone with her: Clark, her mother, her father, Martha, Jonathan, Perry, or Jimmy. The list was endless. There were just so many things that if she had done slightly differently, could have changed her life drastically. She almost wondered what would have happened if she and Clark had been married when Ching and Zara came to Earth to ask Clark to help them save New Krypton. Maybe he would have decided not to go…

She shook her head with determination. No, it wasn't good for her to focus on the past. The only thing that mattered now was that she and Clark had survived all the trials that life had thrown at them. Their relationship was so much deeper because of their experience; she knew that they couldn't waste their time wallowing in their flawed pasts. A lifetime lay ahead of them and she was determined to make the most of it.

Suddenly she reached a conclusion: they didn't have to let the universe make choices for them. Yes, they could change their luck today, right now.

Lost in her thoughts, she didn't realize Clark had come up behind her and was now sitting on the corner of her desk waiting for her to notice him. Since she had been so focused on the vivid images of the past, she hadn't been paying attention to anything going on around her. She hadn't noticed him until he put his hand on her shoulder.

"Lois, Earth to Lois," he said as he waved a hand in front of her face.

Lois looked up and smiled at her fianc‚. It was as if Clark always knew exactly when she was thinking about him, and he tended to show up exactly when she wanted to talk to him. Now was just one of those times. Maybe they had some sort of telepathic connection that drew him to her whenever she needed him.

"You looked like you were a million miles away," he joked.

Yes, she probably had been a million miles away, as he had said. The funny thing was that Clark probably was the only person in the newsroom that wasn't affected by the gloomy day. He was as chipper and cheerful as ever. It was just so typical of him. Even a gloomy day like today couldn't affect his thirst for life. He was the sweetest, nicest man in the world and those attributes showed through wherever he went and tended to brighten up even the most depressing situations.

Superman had been busy all morning, so this was the first time the couple had seen each other since last night. She assumed that everything had gone well for him, though, because he seemed so upbeat. Good, maybe his mood would rub off on her.

"Honey, are you okay?"

Lois silenced him by reaching up to wrap her arms around his neck, pulling his head down to give him a long, tender, needy kiss. She hadn't seen him since the night before, and had been suffering from a bit of Clark withdrawal syndrome. Now she was getting her much-needed fix.

It didn't matter to her that they were in the middle of a crowded busy newsroom at 4 pm. Besides, Perry was away at a budget meeting, so there really wasn't anyone there that would say anything to the couple. Did it ever really matter that they were in the middle of a crowded newsroom in the middle of the day? Was she really worried that Perry would say something? Of course not. She would have kissed Clark anyway even if she had an audience of her boss and 100 people in the newsroom.

"Mmm…" she sighed, happy to feel his lips against hers again.

When the kiss broke, Clark hadn't forgotten about what he had wanted to ask Lois. He pulled away far enough to be able to whisper, not wanting to break the mood, "Hey, what were you thinking about?"

"Oh, nothing," she said dismissively.

Wait. Why had she said that? Just two seconds ago, she had been all set to tell him about her master plan, but now she was blatantly lying. Was she afraid of telling him, scared of his reaction? Did she really think he was going to reject her? He was just as desperate to be married as she was. There was no way he would be able to say no.

Clark raised his eyebrows in disbelief. "Really? I know that look, Lois."

He knew that she was lying, but he wasn't sure what she could be lying about. Was it about a story? Probably not, especially since she didn't have anything open on her computer or any files scattered on her desk. So it must have been something personal. Why wasn't she telling him? If it were something personal, he would bet a lot of money that it involved him in some way. He was always involved. Was she mad at him? No. She couldn't be upset. If she was, she definitely wouldn't have kissed him like that. But the look in her eyes before definitely let him know that something was wrong.

Lois rolled her eyes. Sometimes he knew her too well, almost better than she knew herself. She couldn't hide anything from him. It wasn't like she even wanted to keep him in the dark about this at all. But she didn't want to talk about this in the middle of the newsroom. So she tugged at his arm, and pulled him into the conference room, before she said anything else.

After she closed all the blinds, she grinned at him wickedly and wrapped both of her arms around his shoulders again. This was something that she couldn't just spring on him. Wait, yes it was. It would probably go over better if she just blurted it out, rather than trying to beat around the bush.

So she blurted out, "Let's get married today, Clark."

"What?" he sputtered. She had caught him completely off guard.

Of all the things she could have asked him, this was definitely among the more unexpected. It was probably the most unexpected, actually. He wasn't sure exactly what he had been expecting her to say, but that was definitely not it. Get married today? Was she serious? There was nothing more he wanted in the world than to make Lois Lane his wife. But did she really mean what she was saying?

It didn't look like she was joking. Sure, she had joked about eloping many times before, but she had never looked so intent, so serious before. How would he answer her? Wow. He was definitely surprised. And that was an understatement!

All he was able to give her was a completely unintelligible answer. "Um, uh, um, wa…"

Lois rolled her eyes at Clark. Obviously he hadn't really understood what she was saying and she had caught him off guard. She decided to reiterate, "You heard me, Clark. I want to get married today."

He found his tongue and wondered aloud, "Are you serious?" His heart was beating hard in his chest. Could she be serious? What if she was? What if she wasn't?

Lois rolled her eyes and said, "Of course I'm serious, Clark. I want to get married. Today. I can't take the torture of not being your wife for another day." She looked at him with what she hoped was a pleading expression. She knew that he felt the same way she did. Their engagement had become absolute torture for both of them.

"Today? Do you mean that after we leave work today we just go get married?" he wondered incredulously. She couldn't be serious, could she? It just seemed too absurd to be true.

"Yes." Lois shrugged her shoulders as if she had just said the sanest thing in the world. She knew there was nothing strange at all about her request. "We could even leave right now."

Did he really doubt her sincerity? How often had she not been serious in the entire time they'd known each other? The only thing she wanted in the world, at this moment, was to finally marry the love of her life.

"You want to get married today?" he repeated obviously still stunned by her request.

"Clark, don't you want to get married today?" She stuck her lower lip out in a pout.

Now she had turned the tables on him.

He stumbled over his words, "Well, of course I want to get married as soon as possible. But today? How are we ever going to get everyone to Metropolis, get the license…"

Lois tried to silence him by planting another kiss on his lips. Obviously he didn't yet understand what she was saying. She wanted to get married today; obviously that implied eloping. It was the only way she could see doing it.

When the kiss broke, Clark continued, "How are you planning we do that? It's already 4:00."

Oh, Clark, always thinking of logistics. Lois knew that he was probably assuming that she hadn't planned this as well as she actually had. He should know her better than that. As soon as Lois Lane got an idea into her head, she always made sure to work out all the angles. She had planned every minute detail.

"It's only 1:00 in Las Vegas," she said in a completely matter-of-fact tone.

"Las Vegas?"

Okay, so she was definitely talking about eloping.

"You know, you can fly us anywhere in the world. We could get married in Vegas, or Monte Carlo, or Paris…" She grinned at his surprised look. "And we could do it today, right now."

"Eloping?" he said.

He just needed her to confirm his suspicions. Of course he wasn't opposed to eloping. There had been so much in their relationship that seemed to keep them apart. Published wedding days were not in their favor. If they just ran off and sealed the deal, no one would be able to reverse it. What an interesting idea. Lois's mind definitely worked in mysteriously brilliant ways.

But he needed to be sure that she was completely serious about this. He didn't want her to do anything that she didn't want. Maybe she really did have her heart set on the big, fancy wedding that she had missed out on completely all those long months ago. Although Clois certainly had experienced the whole wedding… No, he refused to think about that day, and the following heart-breaking weeks!

"Yes, Clark," she said as she put her hand on his chest. "Eloping. It's perfect." He was starting to bend; she could feel it.

"Eloping. In Las Vegas." He let the idea swirl around his head for a minute. Yes, it seemed absolutely perfect. At this point, after all they'd been through, the wedding was only a formality. In each other's hearts they definitely were husband and wife. An official wedding was just making legal a union that they had both known for a long time.

He continued, "Are you sure you want to elope, Lois? What about a big wedding? I'll give you anything you want. You know I want to get married right away, but if you want a fancy wedding…"

"Clark, I would not tell you I want to elope if I didn't really want to! The only person that wanted a big, fancy wedding is not here to debate with us. My mother was the one that wanted the doves and the Swiss bell ringers. I just want you."

And she was right. It was Ellen who wanted the fancy wedding. Lois had always just wanted to marry Clark any way possible. She just wanted to be with him for the rest of her life.

He smiled and cupped her face with his hand. Then he said, "And I want you."

She answered, "Clark, you know as well as I do that we are already married in heart and mind, but I just want everyone else to know it, too."

He whispered with his face only inches from hers, "In our hearts and minds we are husband and wife." Then he brushed his lips against hers for a soft kiss.

Lois pushed him away slightly so she could speak, "So let's make it completely official — formal in the eyes of the law. Clark, I don't want to spend another day as your fianc‚. I want to be your wife. Your real, legally married wife."

"And I want to be your husband." Clark didn't even need to think about that answer. It was completely automatic.

"Clark, I want to live with you, to see your face every morning when I wake up, and to have you be the last thing I see and feel before I go to bed." She paused and took a deep breath. Then she whispered, "I want to make love to you." A little louder she declared, "I love you, Clark; I want to marry you. Today. Let's not wait a second longer."

"I want those things, too," he breathed.

But he was still confused. Did she really want this more than she wanted a fancy ceremony? Even though she claimed not to want the large wedding of her mother's dreams, a nagging part of him wondered if a tiny part of her also wanted a big, fancy wedding. He didn't want to make her do anything she didn't really want to do or would regret at any time in the future. Okay, she sounded like she really did want it. And the only thing he ever wanted to do was to make her happy. In his mind, at this moment, he felt that he was put on this Earth to satisfy Lois Lane's every whim and desire.

Clark was confused, and Lois knew it. His high moral standards were coming back to haunt him. Even though she was the one seducing him, tempting him, he probably thought that she was confused and that he was the one trying to convince her. He still obviously felt bad that their first wedding attempt had gone so badly.

She pleaded, "Come on, Clark, let's just do it. We've already tried to have a fancy wedding."

"I know. But…"

"But what, Clark? I do *not* want to try to have another fancy wedding! My mom was an absolute terror. She took over our wedding completely that it almost wasn't even ours any more. You do not want Beverly the horrible wedding planner again, do you?"

"Well, no, of course not."

Clark nodded his agreement. Of course no one wanted to relive that horrible time. It had been an absolute nightmare! And that was even before Lex Luthor had shown up!

"And since the wedding was so public, anyone that hated us could try to ruin it. It was just coincidental that it was Lex Luthor last time. It could be anyone this time. Do you want to expose ourselves to that horror again?"

She was right again. The more publicized their wedding was, the greater the chance for something to go wrong. Plus, the publicity was bound to lead to someone that hated them trying to ruin the wedding. Wasn't that how it always seemed to happen?


"Clark, let's just elope. It makes perfect sense. I want you; you want me. We are absolutely meant to be together as husband and wife. We've already tried the big wedding approach and you see where that got us."

This was his last-ditch effort. If she didn't cave now he would agree that she was serious. She was making so many good points. And she was trapping him with a tactic that she often used to convince him. She always made so many good points that he just couldn't argue with. So it was very likely that she was completely serious.

"I don't know, Lois. Eloping? For some reason it just doesn't seem — I don't know — right."

Lois was ready to scream. Obviously he wanted to elope just as much as she did! What was he beating around the bush for? Was he trying to make her completely crazy?

"Clark, being replaced by a *clone* on my *wedding day* wasn't *right*. This is *necessary*! Plus, if no one knows we are getting married today, we have the element of surprise on our side. If we do it on a whim, no one will know and no one that hates us will be able to disrupt our happiness — at least for today. Plus, there's the extra incentive of not doing it in Metropolis. Everyone that wants to kill us lives in the city, so if we get out…"

"I know, Lois," he interrupted. "You're right. There's nothing in the world I want more than to marry you today, right now."

"Then let's do it. What's holding us back?"

"I don't know," he said honestly. Then he tried one more time. "You really don't want a fancy wedding?"

What on Earth did she have to say to convince him? Did she have to explicitly spell it out for him? She was practically begging as it stood right now!

"Clark! All I want is you. But I might be even happier if you were gift wrapped with a bow that I'd get to unwrap …"

"I could say the same for you," he joked. Then he became completely serious when he said, "Let's do it."

"You're agreeing?" She was shocked. After all that he'd finally agreed.

"Well, yeah. I want to get married today." He grinned at her surprised look. "You know, I just wanted to make sure you really wanted to."

Lois rolled her eyes at him. It was just as she had expected — so typical! He put her interests ahead of his own way too often for his own good. And he hadn't even let her use the best thing she had come up with to convince him. "But you didn't let me use my best argument. Disagree with me again."

"What?" Clark shook his head in surprise. Lois was just full of strange ideas today. As long as he lived, he would never completely understand her. But he wouldn't have it any other way. The element of surprise kept their relationship fresh.

"You heard me." She smiled at him and said, "Please."

"You want me to disagree with you?" When she nodded, he decided to go along with whatever she had planned. If was actually wanted him to disagree again, he wasn't sure what she was planning to do, but he had a feeling that the argument she was intent on presenting would be worth it. "Okay, Lois, no, I don't want to elope with you today," he deadpanned.

"Thank you," she said quickly. Then she changed her demeanor back to fight mode when she said, "Now…" She moved her head right next to his ear and whispered something that made his cheeks turn a deep crimson. Then she said a bit louder, "If you liked that, you'll love the argument I'm saving for the bedroom tonight."

"Let's do it," he said quickly. He could only be a boy scout for so long. "You've convinced me." She'd done more than just convince him to elope with her today. In fact, she had just about convinced him to ravish her on the conference room table.

Lois's mouth turned up into a grin. They were really going to do it! She and Clark would be married by tonight. Who would have thought that a rainy day in Metropolis would lead to such an incredible idea?

"Oh my god, Clark, we're really going to do this!" She reached out and hugged him tightly, almost unable to contain her obvious enthusiasm.

"Lois, I can't believe we're doing this. We're not being too rash, right?" He could think of a whole list of reasons not to do this today. But that list just wasn't coming to him at the moment.

Oh no! He was *not* hedging again! "Clark! We are *not* being rash! It is the farthest thing from rash that there could possibly be! We have the rings…"

"We're really going to do this!" Clark exclaimed.

She was right! There was nothing in the world that he could think of to negate her reasoning. They had already tried the big, fancy wedding route — and it had failed. Plus, they had thought of each other as husband and wife, without the formality, for way too long. Each of her arguments was completely indisputable on its own. So what was he arguing for?

Lois was beginning to get frustrated again. She wondered, "Clark, you don't want to have Lex Luthor and Nigel St. John as our witnesses, do you? Or what about Lord Nor and Zara? Or what about the wedding destroyer and a tabloid reporter from the 'National Whisper'? What else could make our day more complete? This is exactly why we have to elope!"

One more question out of him and she would have to whisper something else in his ear to get him to shut up. Then she would have to kiss him senseless so he even forgot his name and completely lost the power to fight with her.


She continued, "Do you want to wait to be married by some guardian angel that was sent down to marry us in some fantasy wonderland?"

"You really do have a good imagination," Clark said with a smile. He knew that she was just being silly, but half of him almost believed that she was completely serious. Everything that she said had the potential to happen to them. Well, maybe not the fantasy wonderland part.

"My imagination, huh! Clark, I'm not joking. Who showed up at our first wedding? Lex. And right before we were going to have our second wedding, your wife from Krypton showed up. We have to take matters into our own hands."

"Okay, okay, you've got a good point." He paused for a second and put his hands around her neck. "A lot of good points." Then he shook his head at the sheer volume of reasons Lois's mind had come up with to justify getting married today. And it wasn't like he was that hard to convince either. "Let's do it tonight. Do you want to wait until the end of the day or do you want to leave now?"

Lois nodded quickly. She raised her eyebrows and said, "Do you really want to spend another couple of hours here when we could be in Las Vegas getting married?" When Clark shook his head, Lois said, "I didn't think so. The sooner we do this the better. I've been ready for almost a year."

"I've been ready my whole life," Clark answered.

Lois felt a tear come to her eye. Sometimes he really was so dense — like when he got so confused about the concept of eloping. But then there were other times when his words alone could cause her to absolutely melt. Sometimes Clark Kent said the most amazing things. It definitely made up for those lunkheaded moments, indeed. He definitely was a *super* man in so many ways.

"I love you, Clark," she breathed as she leaned forward into his waiting arms.

He whispered, "I love you, too, Lois. And I want to be your husband more than I have ever wanted anything in my life."

"Oh, Clark," she whispered as she felt tears at the corners of her eyes. Sometimes, she couldn't believe just how lucky she was.

Then she tilted her head up until her lips met his in a slow passionate kiss that expressed just how much they loved and wanted each other. They reveled in the feel of the other's lips, their tongues dancing to the tune of a magical song only they heard.

When she finally forced herself to pull away, Lois looked into Clark's eyes and saw that they were glowing with excitement. She knew just what he was thinking. That kiss had erased any lingering doubts in Clark's mind. Now that he was finally convinced that Lois wanted this just as much as he did, he was starting to get into the spirit of their wedding.

By this time tomorrow, they would be husband and wife — for real this time. Her heart pounded with anticipation. This time, nothing could ruin their wedding. Even if they had to go in disguises, no one would know that Lois Lane and Clark Kent were getting married in Las Vegas, Nevada on the evening of October 6, 1996. Today was the last day they would ever be just fianc‚s. In a few hours, they would be husband and wife. It was like the end of a long, painful journey was finally in sight. The goal they'd been striving to achieve for ages was finally going to be reached. It was the best feeling in the world.

Clark almost voiced Lois's thoughts when he said, "We're really going to do this, aren't we? In just a few hours you are going to make all my dreams come true."

Lois nodded and planted another soft kiss on his lips. He could have been talking about any number of dreams he might have had, but she knew that she wanted to satisfy each and every one of them.

Clark looked into her eyes and said, "My imagination is not playing some horribly cruel joke on me, right? This is real. It has to be real," as he reached out to grab her hand. If this wasn't really happening, would his feelings be this intense? Would he have felt the intense connection as soon as he touched Lois's hands if he was dreaming?

"I swear to god, Clark. This time I'm not kidding." She grinned at Clark and squeezed his hands as she said, "It's really going to happen. By this time tomorrow, we'll be on our honeymoon!"

"Hmm," he sighed as his mind drifted to far away places as he was thinking just what they would be doing at this time tomorrow. And what a beautiful thought it was.

Where would he take her for their honeymoon? He could fly them absolutely anywhere in the world. And he would take her anywhere she wanted, and he was looking forward to satisfying that and every other wish his wife-to-be had now or in the future.

However, that mirthful feeling was short-lived. Clark's treacherous mind immediately threw up warning signals. Over-thinking was a bad idea. Why was he always doing that? His annoying logical mind too often overrode his feelings.

What were they going to do about work tomorrow? Were they just not going to show up? If they were eloping, it would be counter-intuitive to tell anyone, even Perry, what they were planning. But then were they going to show up at work tomorrow and tell everyone they were married? Or should they just call Perry tonight?

What was he doing? Lois probably had all this figured out. It seemed as though she had considered almost everything else. He had to learn how to just go with the flow. Lois was right; he obsessed way too much. Everything he was worrying about now was just a minor detail. Get a grip, Kent! But of course he couldn't do that. He needed to know the answers to his many questions before he could be comfortable.

Clark wondered, "Lois, what are we going to do about a honeymoon? Are we coming back to Metropolis after we get married?"

Lois shook her head wildly. "No, no, no. I am getting the honeymoon we planned so long ago. We're going to Hawaii for a whole week of fun in the sun — clothing optional," she said, winking at him suggestively.

He felt his breath catch in his throat. No, he definitely wasn't going to object to that idea. Wow, a week on a secluded beach as a married couple — and this time, there wasn't any chance that a deranged man named Spencer Spencer would ruin their time alone in an island paradise. It was going to be absolute perfection.

"Shouldn't we at least tell Perry we're getting married so we'll be able to take a honeymoon and he won't expect us in tomorrow?"

Of course he wanted the honeymoon that Lois had just described, but he also wanted a job to come back to when they returned. He was fairly sure that Perry wouldn't fire the paper's top reporting team, but his overdeveloped conscience could never let him test Perry's good will.

Lois rolled her eyes and said, "We aren't going to tell Perry that we're getting married until we actually *are* married. He'll be so happy that we finally did it; he'll probably give us an entire month off for our honeymoon! Clark, I don't want to let anyone know that we're getting married until after we've actually done it. That's the whole point of eloping. The more people that know, the more risk of everyone in the world knowing and that means our happiness is in jeopardy. If more people know, someone is bound to ruin our wedding. It's just better for us to do it in secret and then tell everyone after the fact when no one can change what has already happened. Let's just be impulsive this time, Clark. Can't we just do it without asking so many questions?"

Clark raised his eyebrows at Lois. Surely she wasn't serious. She didn't want to tell *anyone*? So, okay, she did have a point about the rumor mill; as soon as one person knew the rest of the newsroom would know. But was that true about the whole world knowing? He wasn't sure. Were they really that important in the scope of the entire world? Even if Lois was right about the rumor mill, he felt like they owed it to at least a few people to tell them what was going to be happening today.

"No one?" Clark wondered suspiciously.

"No one." Now Lois was getting frustrated. Even after she thought she had convinced him, here he was challenging her again. "Clark, that's what eloping is! You should really learn the meaning of the word, Clark." Sometimes he was just such a frustrating lunkhead. But he was *her* frustrating lunkhead.

"But what about our parents, your sister, Perry, and Jimmy? You really want to get married without telling them at all?"

He just couldn't see getting married without their family and closest friends knowing about it. Even if she didn't want a big, fancy wedding as she claimed, he was sure that she would regret it if they got married without their closest family and friends in attendance.

Lois knew Clark was very close to his parents and probably couldn't fathom the idea of their not being at his wedding. As much as she loved everyone that he had mentioned, she knew that they all would understand the couple's motivations. In fact, everyone on that list would give the marriage their blessings no matter how it was achieved. All anyone wanted was for Lois and Clark to be happy. And getting married would make them both absolutely thrilled.

She squeezed his arm reassuringly and said, "Clark, I know your parents will understand. We can even stop and tell them on the way to Vegas if you want. I'm sure they'll agree that this is the best thing for us to do." Then she looked up at him and grinned. "You know, your mom actually suggested this to me a few weeks ago."

"Wait, my mom suggested this?"

Clark wasn't really surprised. His mother was always the pragmatic one. Obviously, she and Lois were thinking along the same lines. She had probably planted the idea in Lois's mind and Lois had run with it.

Sometimes his mother absolutely amazed him. With the exception of Lois, his mother was the smartest woman he knew. When those two got together, there was just no stopping them. They came up with the most incredible ideas — all of which usually involved him in some way.

But he suddenly realized that both his mother and Lois had the right idea in this case. Eloping was undoubtedly the best plan — even if he wasn't completely comfortable about getting married without telling anyone.

Of course, his mother only wanted Clark to be happy. And his marrying Lois would do just that. Clark knew that his mother would love to see his wedding, but if she and his father couldn't be there in person, they would be there in spirit. They would be so overjoyed to see their son finally married to the woman they already considered their daughter.

"Yeah," Lois said with a hint of mirth in her eyes, seeing that Clark's expression of initial surprise that had morphed into one of understanding.

Clark shook his head in disbelief, tinged by amusement. "You know, my mom really does have good ideas."

"She does, doesn't she?" Then Lois kissed his cheek.

Even though Clark was convinced that his parents would be okay with their elopement, he wasn't sure about everyone else on his list of important people in their lives.

"Lois, but what about your parents and your sister and our friends? Shouldn't we tell them?"

"Clark, we're eloping. When you elope, you don't tell anyone, not even your pets!"

Lois shook her head, holding strongly to her belief that no one else should know. Even though she realized Clark was just trying to make sure they weren't going to hurt anyone's feelings, Lois couldn't allow herself to think that way. They'd spent far too long worrying about everyone else. The only important thing for them to do right now was to take care of themselves. They could worry about everyone else later. What mattered was that she and Clark were going to get married. Finally. The rest of the world would have to understand. Okay, maybe her mother wouldn't understand right away, but she would eventually accept it. This decision would affect the rest of their lives, so she and Clark needed to do what was best for them and forget about everyone else.

Then she continued, "Clark, I don't care who is at our wedding. There is only one person I want to be there, and he's standing right next to me."

She had a point — a very good point.

Lois put both of her hands on his chest and continued, "If you really want to, we can stop in Kansas on our way to Vegas and tell your parents. We can call everyone else after the fact, before we leave for our honeymoon." Then she had a brilliant idea. "Your parents could even be our witnesses."

As much as he loved the idea of his parents witnessing his wedding, he couldn't help but feel a little selfish. His parents got to be there and hers didn't? Clark knew that Lois would be happy to have his parents with them for their wedding. She was definitely closer to Martha than to her own mother. It probably wouldn't worry her in the slightest if Ellen and Sam weren't there. But it did bother Clark. He didn't want anyone to be jealous over this elopement. If eloping meant that they weren't going to tell anyone, then they weren't even going to tell his parents.

No, no he didn't want to start the fight about her parents coming to the wedding again. He already knew what her response would be. Now was not the time to challenge her or disagree with her. He had done that too much already today. This was their wedding day not just some random day in the middle of the week. What good would fighting be today? He wanted only happy memories of this day.

Clark grinned at her. He was so happy that he got into the gleeful spirit that his practical side been trying to suppress. His sense of humor had finally overcome his sense of duty. They were eloping today, in Las Vegas, the place most famous for elopements in the world.

He found himself joking, "Okay, but wouldn't you rather have an Elvis impersonator and Wayne Newton as our witnesses?"

After all, they were going to Vegas. And who was more associated with Vegas than Wayne Newton and Elvis? The sudden, intense excitement that they were going to be getting married today — right now — made him feel almost giddy. It was an abrupt mood shift. Maybe it was caused by the knowledge that he had finally completely accepted that this was the best idea. They were getting married!

Lois breathed a huge sigh of relief. If Clark was teasing her, then he had definitely joined her side. He was agreeing with her completely. They really were going to elope! They would be in Vegas getting married before she knew it.

She decided to throw a jibe back at him. "Hey, buster, I'm Lois Lane, not Perry White. I will *not* have Elvis at my wedding! Since you seem to want Elvis at your wedding, maybe you'd rather marry Perry…"

Then she giggled at the shocked and scandalized expression on his face.

"Very funny." Then he grabbed her and pulled her close to him. "Maybe *you'd* rather I married him, huh?" Then he pushed his lips into hers and gave her a hard kiss that seemed to leave her speechless. "Didn't think so." Then he laughed heartily, still amazed that this was really happening.

Lois grinned at her future husband and said, "Come on, Clark. Let's go now. We can leave work a few hours early. It's not like we don't have a good reason. What do you say?"

He couldn't deny her anything now. It wasn't even like they were doing anything at work right now anyway. Besides, this was so much more important than anything else in their lives at this moment. If she just gave him the word, they could be in Las Vegas in about 5 seconds.

A large grin spread over his face as lyrics from a song he had once heard at the Smallville Corn Festival played in his head. Mimicking the lyrics, he sang off key, "Hey, baby, let's go to Vegas. Leave the single life behind. Hey, baby, let's go to Vegas. Bet on love and let it ride."

Lois rolled her eyes and decided to hassle him about that line. She also remembered those lyrics from a song they had heard at the Smallville Corn Festival. Then she remembered who had sung the song and the image of a tall blonde came to mind. She rolled her eyes at Clark and said, "I'm not Faith Hill either, Kent. You really do have a thing for blondes."

It might have sounded like she was jealous, but she was really just kidding. She wasn't trying to accuse him of anything. In fact, she knew that he only had eyes for her — and didn't have a thing for blondes.

"Hey! No I don't," Clark protested.

Lois decided to tease him more. So she said, "Yes you do. Lana, Mayson… Need I go on?"

"Lo-is. You know that I…"

His heart pounded. Had he just ruined the hopes of getting married today? She couldn't be bringing up an argument that had been settled years ago. Obviously he didn't have a thing for blondes. He loved Lois and thought she was the most beautiful woman in the world. Lana, Mayson, and even Faith Hill paled in comparison.

She interrupted him with another kiss. He was so cute when he was trapped and trying to explain his way out of a situation. Sometimes she provoked him just to see this exact reaction — or the make out sessions that usually followed the argument.

"Clark, I know. I'm just kidding." Then she changed the subject. They had spent way too much time in this conference room and it was time for them to get moving. The anticipation of their wedding was becoming too much for her to bear. "Come on, Clark. Are you ready to go?"

"Viva Las Vegas!" Clark said, agreeing with her completely.

He stood up quickly, pulling her along with him. They were really going to do it! In just a few minutes, they would be in Las Vegas. And in only a while little longer, they would be legally married. It almost seemed too good to be true!

They quickly set out from the conference room and made their way back into the newsroom. The couple was filled with a determination to leave as quickly as possible, before anyone could stop them to ask any questions. The sooner they left, the better.

"Let me just grab my stuff and I'll meet you at the elevator," Lois said quickly as she darted back towards her desk.

Her heart was pounding with anticipation and her hands were shaking as she grabbed her purse and a few important things from her desk. She made it to the elevator without being interrupted. It looked like the Planet staff knew not to interrupt Mad Dog Lane when she had such a determined air. In fact, they absolutely avoided her and turned the other way when she approached.

Clark was not quite so lucky. Even when he was in a hurry, someone was bound to interrupt him, it seemed. This time it was Jimmy Olsen. Who else could it possibly be? Jimmy was one of his best friends, but sometimes he was very annoying!

Jimmy came up to him, wondering aloud, "Hey, CK, where are you running off to?"

Clark decided to tell him the truth. After all, Superman did not lie. Besides, it would almost be funny to see Jimmy's reaction to what he was about to say.

He clapped the younger man on the shoulder and said, "Oh, nothing, Jimmy." Then he started to walk away. "I can't talk; I'm in a hurry."

"Oh, big story?" Jimmy wondered.

Clark shrugged his shoulders and kept walking towards the elevator. When he met up with Lois, Jimmy was still behind him. So he said in a very nonchalant voice, "Not really, Jimmy. Lois and I are just going to get married tonight."

Then the elevator doors opened and Lois and Clark stepped on. The doors closed behind them.

"Okay," Jimmy said. Then what Clark had just said sunk in completely. Sometimes it took a little while for Jimmy's mind to comprehend things. "Wait, you and Lois are getting married? What?" When he realized that Clark was no longer there to answer him, Jimmy just shook his head. "Nah, couldn't be. I must be hearing things."

In the elevator, Lois looked at Clark sternly, shocked at what he had just done. He couldn't have just told Jimmy that they were getting married! It might have just ruined the whole plan! "Clark! I can't believe you just did that!"

"What?" He shrugged his shoulders. "I couldn't just lie to him." Then he wrapped his arm around her shoulders before he said, "He doesn't believe me anyway."

"Are you sure?" Lois raised her eyebrows and glared at him.

He touched his ear indicating that he had picked up Jimmy saying something with his Superhearing, and said, "Don't worry, Lois. He doesn't even think he heard me correctly." Then when she didn't seem completely convinced, he whispered, "Superhearing, Lois. He just said, 'Nah, couldn't be. I must be hearing things.'"

"You'd better be right," Lois threatened.

Clark planted a soft kiss on her lips before he said, "Don't worry, Lois," he whispered. "Nothing is going to stop us from getting married today." He hoped he was right. If only he believed what he was saying, his heart would be much lighter.

As Lois thought about it, she knew that she wasn't really mad at Clark for what he had said. She really did want Jimmy to know eventually, but just not right now. On the positive side, now he couldn't even claim that they hadn't told him about their elopement. He would be the only one in the newsroom who had known their true plans. Yet he hadn't chosen to believe them. It was ironic that Jimmy had chosen to ignore the truth. He would probably kick himself when Lois and Clark showed up in the newsroom as a married couple.

The elevator seemed to be taking a very long time to get to the lobby although it didn't make any other stops. Time seemed to drag for the couple as they anxiously awaited the biggest event of their lives. Now that their wedding was in sight, time seemed to crawl.

It had started out as any day would have, but today had taken on an entirely new context. This day had become their wedding day — the most important day of their lives. Even though it wasn't their originally planned wedding day, it would be the only day that would end with Lois Lane married to Clark Kent. They hoped. No, it was definitely going to happen. After this wedding, Lois and Clark would forever be husband and wife.

When the elevator finally reached the ground floor, Lois grabbed Clark's hand and pulled him through the lobby. It wasn't as though she really needed to pull him; he was just as excited as she was. However, as he had learned the first time he met her, she liked being in charge, and he wasn't about to make her relinquish that control. He was more than willing to follow her.

They had made it out of the newsroom — now out of the building — without any serious questions from their co- workers. This was actually going according to plan. No one had challenged them yet, so they hadn't wasted any time. The next hurdle to overcome was getting out of Metropolis. They hoped it would be as easy as their escape from the newsroom.

"We made it!" Lois exclaimed as they walked through the revolving door and out into the pouring rain. The rain didn't bother her, though, because her emotions were on such a high that nothing in the world would be able to rattle her. In fact, she almost felt like dancing in the middle of the pouring rain.

Clark grinned at her, his excitement level reaching hers. He knew she had become a woman with a mission. They had a clear goal, and neither would rest until that goal was accomplished, today. "Yes, we did." He couldn't help himself, so he pulled her close and planted a quick kiss on her lips. "Where did you want to go first?" Clark asked.

"Las Vegas," Lois whispered. Then she remembered that they couldn't really leave Metropolis quite yet. She sighed as she said, "I guess we have to stop at your apartment before we leave. You have the rings." The rings were another of those silly important things that they would need to have before they could get married.

Clark grinned at her as he brought her hand to his face and placed a kiss on her ring finger. Then he whispered, "We can't leave home without them."

"Mmmm, you're right." Lois let her hand linger by his mouth, wondering if he would kiss her again. Smiling, she said, "Let's go, Clark. The sooner we get there, the sooner the honeymoon begins."

He felt his breath catch in his throat at the thought of what was to come. First the wedding and then the honeymoon. His hours of being a very patient man were numbered, and he couldn't wait until they were finally over. He had a super strong will, but even he could only be patient for so long. "Do you want me to…" he made a hand motion that they often used to indicate flying.

"Of course," she said in a very matter-of-fact tone. What else would they do? Oh yeah. "I brought the Jeep, but we can leave it here. We don't want to waste any time." They were on a mission! And they certainly didn't have time to waste on such mundane things as the Jeep.

As they spoke, Lois and Clark made their way towards the closest deserted alley. They both had known what Lois's answer would be. Clark's asking was nothing more than a formality.

"Okay," Clark said quickly. He didn't want to waste the time that it would take to drive the Jeep either. What if there was a traffic jam, or they had car trouble? She was right. He did not want to deal with anything like that today. Flying was undoubtedly the way to go. "Ready?"

That was almost a silly question to ask. Of course she was ready. In fact, she'd never been more ready for anything in her life. Lois nodded. Before she finished, Clark stood in front of her dressed in his Superman suit.

He scooped her up into his arms and quickly took off. The flight took only a few seconds and before they knew it, they were flying through his apartment's back window.

When they landed, Clark said, "I'll just grab the rings." He didn't want to waste any time. Although the rings were securely hidden, he knew exactly where he had put them for safe keeping. The rings were residing in a place very close to his heart.

Lois followed him and said, "Where are they, Clark? You never told me where you put them after you got back from New Krypton."

"I kept them in a safe place." He shrugged. The rings were in the safest place he could think of, but also in a place where he was able to see them several times a day. "Let me show you." He led the way to the secret closet where he kept his Superman suits and said, "I wanted to keep them safe."

"You kept them with your Suits?" Lois wasn't sure what his motivation was. He had probably hidden them in his secret closet for safe-keeping. After all, both his apartment and hers had experienced an unusually high number of break-ins. Neither wanted their rings to be stolen before they had the chance to wear them.

"Yeah." He shrugged. "I wanted to see them every day before I got dressed and think about our future. It gave me the power to go on." Yes, he really was a sentimental softie, but he couldn't help it.

"Clark," she said softly. Sometimes he surprised her with his sentimental side. She had been completely wrong about his motivations. "That is so sweet." Then her voice dropped a bit when she said, "I love you."

"I love you, too, Lois." He grabbed the ring boxes off the top shelf and handed them to Lois before he quickly bent down to kiss her.

Now that Lois had the rings in her hands, she fought the urge to take hers and slip it onto her finger. It had been so long since they had purchased the bands. She longed to feel the cool metal against her finger as she slid it on. But she could wait. It was only a matter of a few hours; it wouldn't be long until she would be able to wear the ring forever.

"Are you ready to go, Clark?" she wondered, anxious to get going. Now they were just wasting time. Even though Las Vegas was known to have chapels open twenty-four hours, Lois didn't want to take any chances.

Just before Clark said 'let's go,' he stopped. His mind traveled to the suit and tie he had work to work. Would they be okay to wear to the wedding? He could get the tux from the back of his closet if she wanted to dress up. The suit he had worn today had been okay for work, but was it nice enough for their wedding? He had absolutely no idea what to wear to a wedding in Las Vegas. His words came out quickly obviously showing his confusion, "What should I wear? Should I change? Maybe I should wear a nicer suit. It *is* our wedding day."

Oh, silly Clark. Did he really think that what he wore mattered to her? All she wanted was to be married. Their clothes were the last thing on her mind. The sooner they got to Vegas the better. She wasn't planning on changing until they got there — if at all. "Don't worry about it, Clark. If we decide we want to change, we can change when we get there."

"So I should bring my tux?" Clark wondered. He was confused. Obviously he was going to have to change out of his Superman suit, but he was just wondering what other suit he should bring.

"Don't worry about it. If we decide we want to, we can rent a tux for you and a dress for me." She grinned when she said, "Or if we want, there are even themed weddings we could choose from. They come complete with costumes."

Clark raised his eyebrows showing his surprise. "Costumes?" Did he really want to hear what Lois was thinking? Probably not.

Lois grinned and said, "They have tons of themed weddings. I don't like a lot of them — little green aliens with big eyes," she wrinkled her nose and continued, "Star Trek, Medieval peasants." Then she shrugged her shoulders. Clark was not going to like this idea, but she thought it was funny. Her giddy mood had taken over. "If we really wanted to surprise Perry, we could dress up as Elvis and Priscilla."

"Well, that would be a good picture to show Perry," Clark said as he shook his head. "But he would be jealous that we didn't invite him." Then he realized that Lois knew a little too much about Las Vegas than someone who had just come up with the idea would. She had clearly done some research. How long had she been planning this? So he changed the subject, and asked in a suspicious tone, "How do you know this? Were you looking it up on the internet, Lois?"

Oops, he had caught her. Should she deny it? He had definitely caught her red-handed. "Well…"

Clark's mouth turned up into a grin. "I knew it! You were!" As much as Lois tried to be spontaneous and tended to dive into situations head-first, she usually did some form of background research. This idea had probably been swirling around in her mind since his mother had suggested they elope.

"You can never be too prepared," she said, and then laughed at his goofy grin. Yes, he did know her well. She did have a tendency to be spontaneous, but she did the research first. Even when she investigated stories, she dove in head first, but only after she had solidly established her leads. It was the same in this case. She had researched all of their elopement options, but she hadn't made her final decision to go ahead with it until a few seconds before she told Clark.

"So you *have* been planning this. What about spontaneity?" he teased.

"It is spontaneous. Even though I did a little research and your mom sent me some web sites to look at, I didn't decide to do it until today."

"My mom sent you web sites?" Clark shook his head in disbelief. After they were married, he would have to call his mom and thank her. Without her pushing, it would have probably taken them much longer to even think about eloping. He was too concerned with his family to even consider the possibility of getting married without telling them. But now that he knew his parents had advocated this type of wedding, he was less hesitant to go forward with it.

"Yeah." She grinned at him and said, "She's been sending me a few sites a day for the last few weeks. I guess she thought that if she bombarded me with them, I might decide that she has the right idea. Do you want to call her to tell her that we finally decided to do it?"

Clark shook his head. "No. If she wants us to elope, then we'll elope." When he saw Lois's surprised look, he continued, "Using your reasoning, if I make a phone call and someone has a tap on my phone and finds out that we're planning to get married in Vegas, something might happen to ruin our wedding."

"You're paranoid, Clark." Lois patted his arm softly.

"You hypocrite," he joked. "Aren't you the one that wants to get married in Vegas instead of the Metropolis Court House because everyone that wants to kill us lives in Metropolis?"

"Yeah, but that's different," she said in a very matter-of- fact tone. He obviously didn't understand the criminal mind as well as she did.

Clark decided not to fight a futile battle, so he changed the subject. "What other wedding themes did you find? The Elvis theme is definitely out. Even if we did invite Perry, I am *not* wearing skin-tight sequined pants."

"Yet you'll wear bright blue spandex?" Lois teased as she lovingly ran her fingers over the soft, silky material that covered his rock hard abs.

"Hey, that's not fair. I only wear the blue spandex suit because my mom made it for me." Clark's cheeks turned a deep crimson. Even though he'd been wearing the Suit for more than three years, he still found himself a little self conscious about its color and material.

Lois brushed her hand over his chest and said, "I think you look great in bright blue. And the spandex clings to your muscles and…" Her hand slowly and deliberately traced a path from his shoulders down his chest and stomach, tracing the outlines of his muscles.

Clark took a deep breath and tried to control his natural reaction to Lois's touch. She was going to have to stop soon if she wanted to get married before… No, she couldn't go any further down his chest. She was heading into uncharted territory.

Lois realized that his breathing had picked up. When she looked down, she realized that the spandex wasn't particularly effective at concealing certain parts of his anatomy. Normally, her simple touch wouldn't have caused such a dramatic reaction, but he was probably anticipating what was to come in only a few more hours. She quickly pulled her hand away from his stomach and grinned. "Not much longer, Clark. Then we'll have a whole week to do whatever we want."

He took a deep breath and tried to control his treacherous body. Again, he cursed fact that he was wearing the Suit. Stupid spandex showed everything! Lois was probably enjoying every second of his torture.

Even though Lois would have loved to continue teasing Clark, she knew they could take this much further as soon as they were finally married. It was only a few hours more. They could hold out until then. She wouldn't look at him in the stupid spandex. That suit showed a lot more than Lois needed to see.

She turned her head away, and decided to answer his question about the other wedding themes as Clark collected himself. She wanted to get his mind, and hers as well, occupied with something, anything, else, and this was as good a distraction as any. "There are a lot of themes we can choose from. What about Camelot? I've always loved the story of the romance between Sir Lancelot and Queen Guinevere."

Clark shook his head quickly. Lois was definitely making a valiant attempt to change the subject. He closed his eyes and pictured Lois in a low-cut gown that showed… No, he had to stop thinking like that or they'd never make it to their wedding.

He had to stop thinking about the night that was to come. They really had a Lancelot and Guinevere wedding theme? The thought was preposterous. "But they were never even married. They were having an affair behind King Arthur's back. Would that be the best way to start out our lives together?"

"Okay, maybe not. But it's still a romantic story," she argued. Her treacherous hand almost reached out to touch him again. If this continued, there was no way she would be able to contain herself until after their wedding. But the important thing to worry about now was the actual wedding. The sooner they were married, the sooner they could start celebrating in ways they never had before.

She tried to rack her brain, trying to remember some of the other themes that were available. One theme stuck out in her mind, but she wished that she had never seen it because of the horrible memories that it brought back. "Oh my god, they have Bonnie and Clyde costumes. We are definitely not getting married dressed as *them*."

Clark sighed deeply. He did not want to think about Bonnie and Clyde on such a happy day — or ever again. They didn't need to be reminded of things that caused them such intense pain. "No, we are *not* getting those costumes." However, Lois had succeeded in quelling his amorous thoughts for the moment.

Lois smiled at him and decided not to rehash old memories today. Their wedding day should be happy, not burdened by painful memories. She changed the subject, "What about James Bond?" She touched his face as she pictured him dressed in a dark suit and driving a hot car. "You'd make a great Bond." Then she squeezed his rippling biceps. "You're much better looking than Pierce Brosnan."

James Bond? Wasn't he a huge womanizer? Why would Lois want to do a James Bond theme for their wedding? Sure, he liked Bond as much as the next guy, but he didn't want to get married dressed as James Bond with Lois as his fling of the week. "Lo-is, why do we need costumes. Can't we get married in what we're wearing?"

Lois rolled her eyes in mock frustration. "You were the one that brought it up, Clark." Then she decided to continue their costume discussion, "Or you could just wear what you have on right now. You can always get married dressed as Superman. Now *that* would be funny."

"Only if you wear your UltraWoman costume," Clark countered. "Don't look at me like that. I know you still have it."

How did he know that? He couldn't know. She sputtered in feeble protest, "What, Clark, no I…"

His eyes twinkled in amusement as he watched her feeble attempts to deny the fact that she still had her costume. "I have x-ray vision. I've seen it in your closet. You're not even hiding it."

Lois sighed with mock exasperation. She kept forgetting that Clark knew things about her that no one else did. Actually, it wasn't a secret that she had kept her UltraWoman costume, but she was just surprised that he had called her on it. "Okay, fine, you caught me. I do still have my costume." Then her eyes lit up with a new idea. "Wouldn't it be interesting if we got married as Superman and UltraWoman?" Then she remembered something else that she had read on one of the web sites she had seen. "Oh, I forgot to tell you. It's actually a theme."

"We're a theme?" Clark wondered aloud, horrified. He shook his head with disbelief. Sure, he knew that people loved Superman, although he never knew why, but he never expected anyone to want to get married as Superman and UltraWoman. It was just too creepy.

Lois laughed loudly at the expression of utter shock on her fianc‚'s face. "Clark! Come on, it's funny. We're not going to get married as Superman and UltraWoman, but I'm flattered that other people like us enough to adopt our Superhero personas to get married. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery."

"Let's just wear regular clothes, Lois. I'm not sure about these costumes." He couldn't believe that anyone would choose to dress up as him for Halloween, much less their wedding. Now that he had been suitably horrified for the day, Clark decided to change the subject. "What else did you find our about Las Vegas?"

Lois shook her head and pulled a stack of papers out of her purse and unfolded them.

Clark looked at the paper with surprise. "You said this was spontaneous, Lois."

"I told you, it was spontaneous to do it today, Clark. I have been thinking about this since your mom gave me the idea."

"That's my mom's handwriting!" he exclaimed when he looked at the paper.

Lois shrugged and said, "Yeah, she gave me this the last time we were in Smallville. She said that it would be quicker to have all the details in one place."

Clark shook his head in amazement. He successfully fought the urge to say, "Go mom!"

Lois read the paper aloud, "Well, to get married in Las Vegas, they claim that 'all you need is a few minutes, a willing partner, and $55 cash'."

"Wow," he said. He knew that the wedding industry was huge in Vegas, but he hadn't realized that it was so easy to get married there. Although on second thought, he should have.

"We can choose to get married in one of over one hundred wedding chapels," Lois continued. "And the bonus is that we don't have to get any blood tests or medical exams, and there's no waiting period to get the license."

"But isn't that true in most states?" Clark asked. In Metropolis, they hadn't needed any blood tests or medical exams either. And he knew that most people didn't go to Las Vegas to elope.

If they had needed blood samples for their license, Clark knew that they wouldn't have been able to get a license. How would he have had his blood taken? Maybe he would have had to claim a religious problem with modern medicine.

Lois shrugged and said, "Well, we can never be too careful." Then she continued reading, "We just need one witness other than the officiator."

Clark remembered what he had said before. "So we have to choose either Wayne Newton or Elvis?"

"I think Wayne Newton is busy," Lois said. "I'm sure it's late enough that he's starting his show."

"Elvis it is, then," Clark proclaimed.

"I'm not joking, Clark. Every chapel has an Elvis impersonator that can witness."

He pointed out something on her paper. "We can even get married at the 'Graceland Wedding Chapel' or the 'Church of Blue Suede Deliverance'. Didn't Perry and Alice get married there?"

Lois shook her head animatedly. "Um, no. We already agreed to have Elvis as our witness. We are not getting married in a place called 'Graceland.' And we are *not* getting married in anything run by Perry's 'Blue Suede Deliverance' cult!"

"But, Lois, don't we want Elvis to preside over the ceremony and Pricilla to be our witness?" It was better than having them dress up as the King and his wife.

"Perry would kill us for not inviting him if we got married by Elvis," Lois argued. Having Elvis as a witness was funny, but having him preside over the ceremony was a completely different story. Lois flipped the pages of the Las Vegas info packet looking at the descriptions of the rest of the chapels. She had to find something better than Graceland. "There are so many chapels. How do we choose?"

Clark pointed at one description that caught his eye. It sounded interesting — something that no one he knew had done before. "There's a drive through chapel."

Lois shook her head. That chapel had caught her eyes, too, but she had quickly decided against it. It would just take too much time. "We don't want to spend time renting a car." She shook her head at her next idea. "I don't think we could walk through the drive through. I wonder if there's a fly through window."

"Cute, honey," Clark said sarcastically. Then something near the bottom of the page caught his eye. It sounded absolutely perfect. "What about the 'Express Tunnel of Love'?"

"Express." She swirled the word around her mind. What could be better than something called 'express' for a couple hoping to get married quickly? "Let's do it. The sooner we get married, the better."

Clark continued reading the description, "It even has a 'romantic ceiling with cherubs and star lights. It's perfect for a unique, yet romantic ceremony.'"

Lois put her finger to his lips and said, "You had me at 'express'. Okay, let's go." She tugged on his arm, hoping to encourage movement. "We have an exact destination now."

"Where do we get the license?" Clark wondered. He knew it was somewhere on one of the sheets, but he hadn't seen it.

Lois flipped the pages and pointed to the part about the license bureau. "We have to go to the Marriage License Bureau on the first floor of 200 South Third Street." She glanced at the information about the 'Express Tunnel of Love' and said, "Oh how convenient. It's right next door to the chapel."

"Perfect," Clark said. It seemed like they had made the best choice for a speedy wedding. It looked like the 'Express Tunnel of Love' catered to the really rushed, the really desperate, or the really drunk. It was good that he and Lois fit two of the three conditions.

"Let's get going." She tugged on his arm and quickly put the ring boxes into her purse for safe-keeping on the flight. "We've wasted so much time already. Did you want to stop in Smallville on the way?"

"As much as I would love to stop, I think it's better if we stop on the way home. Let's not waste any more time," Clark said.

"All right!" Lois exclaimed. They were finally on their way to Las Vegas. "Let's go!"

Clark scooped his future wife into his arms and said, "Okay, The first, and only, Superman Express Wedding Flight is ready for take off, destination, Las Vegas, Nevada. Approximate arrival time," he looked at his watch, "One minute."

Lois wrapped her arms around his neck and rested her head on his shoulder. Then she grinned up at him to show him that she was more than ready to leave. This was it! They were going to get out of the city without any further distractions. It hadn't taken them that long to get ready to leave Metropolis. Lois had first broached the idea to him at about four o'clock and now it was a little after five and they were ready to leave.

He tightened his grip around her and asked, "You ready, Lois?" It was an unnecessary question, though, because he knew that she was just as ready as he was. He'd never been more ready for anything in his life.

"Let's do it," she said with a large grin.

That was all the confirmation Clark needed. Even as she was speaking, Clark had launched them out the window. Soon they were well on the way to Las Vegas. This time he wasn't flying leisurely, enjoying the feeling of holding Lois in his arms as he flew. That could wait.

In less than the predicted arrival time of one minute, Clark landed in an alley behind the Marriage License Bureau. He gently put Lois on her feet, checked to be sure no one could see, and spun into the suit that he had been wearing.

"We're here," Clark said. He couldn't mask his excitement. Here they were, in Las Vegas. They were going to get married in just a few minutes. Glancing over the Vegas skyline, he saw many popular sights, but the only two sights he was concerned with at the moment were the Marriage License Bureau and the 'Express Tunnel of Love.'

"Let's go, Clark. Now that we're here, I don't want to waste any time." It seemed almost impossible to believe that they had gotten out of work, away from Metropolis, and all the way to Las Vegas without anything stopping them — no breaking stories and no disasters in need of Super- assistance. Their luck might be running out. Lois wasn't taking any chances.

He wrapped an arm around her shoulders as they traversed the short path to the License Bureau. When they walked through the door, Lois broke free from Clark's embrace and marched up to the counter where a young woman filing her nails with a bored expression on her face was sitting.

Lois thumped her hands on the counter to attract the woman's attention. Even before the woman looked up at them, Lois said, "Hi." The woman still hadn't noticed their presence. "We're here for a marriage license."

The woman rolled her eyes and pointed to her left. "Line's over there," she said in a bored voice.

"But there's no one in line," Lois said, trying to stay calm. There wasn't anyone else that appeared to be working, so she couldn't even go to a different line.

"Stand in line and wait until I call you," the woman continued. "Can't you see I'm busy?" Then she pointed to a handwritten sign on the counter that said 'I'm Busy.'

"No you're not busy! All you're doing is filing your nails!" Lois exclaimed in anger. This woman was the most incompetent, annoying, stupid…

The woman interrupted her angry thoughts by saying, "And if you would just go stand in line, I'll call you when I'm done."

It looked like Lois was going to claw the woman's eyes out, so Clark decided to step in to diffuse the situation. "Excuse me, miss," Clark said in what he hoped was a calm, good-natured voice. "We know you're busy, but could you please just do us a little favor?"

The woman looked up for the first time at the couple. Her attitude and demeanor changed significantly as soon as she looked at Clark. Lois cringed, thinking that the woman was trying to put the moves on her fianc‚. It was typical.

Clark smiled at the woman, realizing that he had made a breakthrough even though Lois was probably going to kill him over it. Sometimes annoying people on power trips just needed to be treated with respect rather than an acid tongue. "If you want, we'll go back into the line and wait, but we're sort of in a hurry here. We'd really appreciate it if you could do us one small favor."

The woman batted her eyelashes at Clark and said, "Sure, sir, since you asked nicely." She shot a glare at Lois. Then she directed her comment to Clark, "I'd be happy to help *you*."

"Thank you," Clark said as he put his arm around Lois's back to try to get her to settle down. "My fianc‚ and I are trying to get a marriage license."

Even though they were at the Marriage License Bureau, the woman looked genuinely surprised when Clark referred to Lois as his fianc‚. She seemed genuinely surprised that Clark was attached. "Oh," she said dejectedly.

Lois looked at Clark and raised her eyebrows in disgust. Had that woman expected two people at the Marriage License Bureau not to be looking for a marriage license? Was she expecting Clark to see her and give up any ideas of marrying Lois? Yeah right. That was never going to happen. Was the *Marriage License Bureau* typically a great pick-up joint? Maybe since this was Las Vegas, it was.

Then the woman pulled some papers out of a drawer and thrust them onto the counter. "Fill these out," she said sharply. Then she continued, "I'll need to see proof of identification, driver's license, state ID card, passport, from each of you, and $55 cash. We don't accept checks or credit cards." She glared at Lois angrily. Now that she seemed to accept that she had to give Lois and Clark a license, her demeanor became absolutely frigid.

"Can I have a pen?" Lois asked sweetly as she pulled her driver's license and the cash out of her wallet. Then she made a show of stepping closer to Clark and wrapping both of her arms around his stomach under his suit jacket. She was going to leave absolutely no doubt in that woman's mind that Clark was completely hers and definitely not on the market.

The woman handed a pen to Clark and then silently copied the information from their driver's licenses onto another form, probably completely fuming as she did so. Clark quickly filled out the other forms that the woman had given them and signed it. Then he offered the pen to Lois and she scrawled her name as well.

Once his hands were free, he hugged Lois close and planted a series of soft kisses on the top of her head. They almost had the license; their wait was almost over. In a matter of minutes, they would forever be husband and wife.

"We're almost there," he whispered as they waited, still unable to believe that they had come so close to the fulfillment they had craved for so long.

"I know," she answered softly, afraid to talk about it too much, lest she jinx the success they'd experienced thus far.

The end to this long, painful saga couldn't come fast enough. In fact, the wedding itself almost didn't even matter any more. It was almost a chore that they had to suffer through to reach the desired conclusion. Now the only thing that mattered to either of them was that they finally would be legally married. The thing they had learned from the long, painful months of waiting was that the longer they had to wait for something, they more they were able to appreciate it when it finally happened. Neither Lois nor Clark cared that they were getting married in Las Vegas at a place that boasted 'the shortest weddings you've ever seen.' All that mattered was the final consequence of their actions. Soon they would begin their happily ever after as husband and wife.

"Mr. Kent, Ms. Lane," the woman said. "You're all set." She looked at the couple again and sighed. Then she said handed Clark the marriage license and said sarcastically, like she knew that they were one of those couples that would get married in Vegas and then divorced a few days later, "Here you go. Have a happy marriage."

"Thank you," Clark said happily, ignoring the other woman's sarcasm, and quickly led Lois out of the building, wanting to avoid any bloodshed. He had seen the look in the woman's eyes and heard her sarcastic tone. There was no way that Lois was going to let that go without some sort of angry comment. She was probably getting ready to rip that horrible woman apart. Maybe the excitement of getting the license had calmed her to the point where she wasn't going to act out. Or maybe not.

Once they were out the door, Lois finally snapped. "Clark! Who did that woman think she was looking at me like that?" She was completely fuming.

Clark shrugged his shoulders, unsure if he wanted to get into this discussion.

"And she was looking at you like you're a piece of meat!" Lois exclaimed.

"I know," he said. Sure he had been uncomfortable with the way the other woman had been ogling him; it had expedited the licensing process. "But, Lois, who cares? We have the license, don't we? Isn't that what's important?" Clark wrapped an arm around her shoulders and pulled her close.

Lois shook her head trying to clear away her anger. Clark always had a way of making her feel so safe, so secure in their relationship. He was the one man she could be sure never had a wandering eye. Clearly, he had eyes for her and her alone.

Of course he was right. Now they had the marriage license in their hands. In a matter of a few minutes, they would be married; their greatest desire would be fulfilled. She sighed deeply, knowing that any further argument was futile — especially because they were now standing in front of the 'Express Tunnel of Love'.

Her demeanor changed instantly when they opened the chapel's front door and walked in. They had made it! It was like they had finally arrived at the Promised Land. The chapel's lobby had an almost ethereal glow. Could it be real?

No, it wasn't her mind playing tricks on her. They were really at the chapel where they would be married. The strangely bright, heavenly appearance was easily explained; the walls were composed of floor to ceiling mirrors, with more than 10,000 tiny star lights. They surrounded the mirrors, their reflections creating a heavenly atmosphere.

"Clark, we're here!" Lois exclaimed.

Clark grinned at Lois and said, "Yes, we are." He couldn't wait any longer. Now that they were inside the chapel, license in hand, he was becoming almost more anxious than Lois. "Where do you think we register?"

Lois had been surveying the lobby, and had found the registration window. "Over here, Clark." She grabbed his hand, and walked purposefully towards the window.

He followed closely behind her, the license clutched in his hand. As each second passed, his excitement grew. Before they had actually arrived in Vegas, he had controlled his enthusiasm, but now he allowed himself to really believe that they were going to be married — in just a few minutes! And that knowledge caused his mind to race with excitement. For a while, he had thought that this day would never come.

At the registration window, a grandmotherly woman smiled at them kindly. "Welcome to the Express Tunnel of Love. Legal marriages in 5 minutes or less, guaranteed. May I help you, dears," she said.

Lois grinned at her and deadpanned, "We're here to get married."

The woman patted Lois's hand and said, "Well, dear, this is a wedding chapel, so I'm glad to hear it."

Lois opened her mouth to argue with this lady, but she changed her mind. She didn't want to cause any trouble at the wedding chapel — especially not when they were so close to actually getting married.

The woman smiled benevolently at Lois and said, "Okay, dears, do you have your license?"

Clark, who was slightly surprised that Lois hadn't responded to the woman's comment, obediently placed the license on the counter.

The woman behind the counter looked at their license, presumably to make sure it was legal, and said, "We'll be with you momentarily." She pointed to a group of chairs in an alcove directly to her left. "Just wait in the lobby until we call you, Mr. and Mrs…" She looked down at the license and said, "Kent."

Clark looked at Lois, afraid she would take offense to the "Mrs. Kent" reference. The names were like music to his ears, but he had a feeling that Lois wouldn't feel the same way. However, he was pleasantly surprised to see her entire face light up.

"Did you hear that, Clark? Mr. and Mrs. Kent!" She squeezed Clark's hand and continued, "We're getting married!" She knew that he accepted her plan to keep her own last name, so hearing someone refer to them this way did not bother her in the slightest. In fact, it made her heart flutter with excitement.

He couldn't wipe the grin off his face as he took the license back from the elderly lady. Then he looked at Lois and said, "In less than five minutes, we'll be Mr. and Mrs., uh, Clark Kent and Lois Lane."

Before Lois could respond to his last statement, they reached the waiting area and Lois suddenly began to panic. The day had been so uneventful! Of course there would be a roadblock in their way at the wedding chapel.

"Clark, there's a line!" Lois said. She couldn't believe it. There was another couple in the waiting room before them. What were they going to do? Wait? And were they expected to wait *calmly*?

They had waited so long and gone through so much to get to this moment, and now they had to wait again. Did someone out there really hate them? Were they just little pawns in some evil being's diabolically humorous game? She had the strangest sensation in her stomach. It felt like she had been *whammed* by a large tank.

Clark pulled her down onto his lap, as he sat down on one of the chairs in the lobby and tried to calm her down. "Lois, don't worry. There is only one couple in front of us, and the Chapel claims that their weddings last less than five minutes. We shouldn't have to wait very long."

"A lot can happen in five minutes, Clark." Lois shook her head slowly. As she studied the other couple, she said, "Clark, look at those two!" She moved her head to indicate a woman curled up in a man's lap — both fast asleep with four bottles of what appeared to be vodka by their feet. "It's 2 pm here; they're sure hitting the bottle early."

Clark tried to protest, but only said, "Well, it is Las Vegas…"

An evil grin flashed over Lois's face when she said, "Maybe they'll bypass those two and let us go next."

Just as Lois spoke, the elderly receptionist's voice rang out over the room, "Lisa and Alan, we're ready for you."

Neither member of the other couple stirred as their names were called. As Lois had predicted, the elderly woman moved on to the next couple on the list. "Lois and Clark."

Lois didn't waste a second, jumping off the chair and pulling Clark with her. This was it! In less than five minutes, they would be married.

"Come with me, please, dears. Can't waste any time trying to wake the drunkards up." The woman began walking towards another door and Lois and Clark quickly followed her. "Do you have rings? We have a splendid assortment of…"

Lois pulled the two boxes out of her pocket and cut the woman off as she said, "Right here."

"Very good," the woman said. Then she opened the door to the Tunnel of Love. "Please, go through and give your license to Barry. He and Elvis will sign it as your witnesses and then we'll take care of sending it to the state. We *are* a full service chapel." Her saleswoman demeanor softened and she said, "Congratulations."

Clark still had to laugh at the thought of Elvis witnessing for them. Originally when he had suggested it, he'd meant it as a joke. Then after they noticed that just about every chapel in Las Vegas had an Elvis impersonator available as a witness, he just went with the idea. If Perry were there, he would have died. No, he would have wanted to be the witness that dressed up as Elvis if he knew it was an option.

The receptionist practically pushed the couple through the door and slammed it after them. Yes, this place was certainly efficient. Lois and Clark wouldn't want it any other way. Their word of the day was "efficiency."

The Tunnel of Love was in the same d‚cor as the lobby, with thousands of tiny star lights and mirrored walls. A small, bald, antediluvian man was standing behind a pulpit. Elvis — or someone dressed to look like him — was sitting on a chair beside him.

"Look at that guy!" Lois whispered. "He must be 90 years old!"

"Oh, Lois, so what if he's old. He can do the ceremony for us, can't he? And that's all that's the only important thing. It's good to have experience, isn't it?"

Lois raised her eyebrows at her fianc‚'s comment, but decided not to challenge him. It wasn't a big deal. If this man was willing and able to perform their ceremony, she wasn't going to complain — as long as it was legal.

"Welcome," the small, ancient man said as the couple stumbled through the door. "I'm Barry Grande and I will be performing the ceremony." He reached out to shake both Lois and Clark's hands. "May I have the license?"

Clark handed over the license. Barry pulled out an old- fashioned quill pen and scrawled his name on the paper. He handed the pen to Elvis who signed his name under "Witness."

"Sorry to rush, but we *do* have a reputation to maintain," Barry said to the couple. "Please join hands." He wasn't wasting any time!

Lois reached out and Clark grabbed her hands. It was really happening! Even though it wasn't the most romantic wedding he'd ever been to, it was legal.

Without any opening remarks, Barry looked at Lois and said, "Do you…" He trailed off, unable to quite read the license.

"Lois," she said quickly.

Barry smiled at her gratefully and continued, "Oh, yes, right. Do you, Lois, take…"

"Clark," he supplied, not wanting to waste any time.

"Right, take Clark to be your lawfully wedded husband?"

The words, "I do," rolled right off Lois's tongue. They were the two sweetest words that she had ever said in her life. Never before had anything feel so good to say.

Barry smiled at Lois and said, "Clark, please place the ring on Lois's finger."

Clark slowly took the ring box, opened it, and slid the ring on Lois's finger, his hand shaking. The memories of their failed wedding were still fresh in his mind, as was the image of him placing the ring on the Lois clone's finger. But this was real — he was sure that Lois was not a clone.

Lois could no longer contain her tears as she felt the cool gold band slide down her finger. She was wearing a wedding ring and in a matter of seconds, she and Clark would be forever legally bound together. It was finally happening!

Without giving Clark a chance to recover, Barry continued, "And do you, Clark, take Lois to be your lawfully wedded wife?"

"I do," Clark whispered. His breath caught in his throat as he noticed the tears falling down Lois's cheeks. He hardly ever cried, but he could feel the tears of joy welling up in his eyes, too.

"Lois," Barry said, calmly as if he did this every day, "Please place the ring on Clark's finger."

Lois smiled at Clark through her tears and felt all of the tension in her body float away. She quickly opened the ring box and took Clark's large, gold band out. She softly ran her finger over Clark's outstretched hand before she slid the band onto his finger.

Clark took a deep breath as he felt the metal band slide onto his ring finger. He felt himself relax fully, as his eyes connected with Lois's. Finally, they really were a married couple. Any lingering doubts evaporated. No one else in the world could have that particular look of unconditional love for him in her eyes.

Barry spoke again, "By the power vested in me by the state of Nevada, I now pronounce you husband and wife." Barry smiled at them with a twinkle in his eye and said, "You may kiss the bride."

Clark leaned his head down to his new wife and covered Lois's lips with his. They melted into each other's arms, ready to begin their journey to explore this new world together. A world that was so much brighter and more promising than the world they had faced alone.

Their kiss could have lasted an eternity, but they were suddenly drawn back into the real world when Barry cleared his throat loudly and said, "Congratulations. I hope you're very happy together." He touched both of them on their shoulders and gave them a hearty push. "The exit is to my left. Have a nice day."

The newly married couple was stunned to have their first moment as husband and wife so rudely interrupted. Wow, they hadn't been kidding when they used the word 'express'. Before Lois and Clark knew it, they were back out on the street.

"Wow," Lois breathed. "We did it!" The tears of joy were beginning to subside, but the intense happiness remained.

Clark, too, was overcome with emotion, as he grabbed her around the waist, picked her up and spun her around. Then he pressed his lips to hers and they shared their second kiss as a married couple. This kiss was more intense than the first had been, both tongues tangoing with a long pent- up passion.

When they finally came up for air, he rested his head against hers, and looked into her eyes. "We sure did," he whispered confident that they, indeed, were legally married.

"I love you, husband," Lois whispered playfully, as she trailed her hand down his chest. The word 'husband' rolled off her tongue pleasurably. That one simple word had taken on an entirely new meaning. Clark was her *husband* — not her boyfriend or her fianc‚. They were finally husband and wife.

Clark felt his heart racing. "I love you, too, wife," he whispered. Then he captured her mouth with his again, picked her up and twirled around unable to contain his excitement. He couldn't believe how amazing it felt to be able to call Lois his wife. They *finally* did it.

"Let's get out of here," Lois breathed as soon as Clark set her back on the ground. Now that they were married, she was desperate to begin their lives as husband and wife. And they couldn't do that on the busy streets of Las Vegas — at least not without getting arrested.

Clark was just as anxious as Lois to begin their lives together — possibly even more anxious. Without a second thought, he exclaimed, "Hawaii, here we come!" He grabbed her hand and started to walk back behind the Marriage License Bureau, where they had landed initially. It didn't matter that they didn't have reservations in Hawaii or any luggage. They could find somewhere to stay when they got there. And as for clothing, he wasn't planning on wearing much of anything.

"In a hurry, I see, Mr. Kent," Lois teased, as Clark spun into his Superman suit. She couldn't really make too much fun of him, because she was just as desperate as he was.

As Superman, but still wearing his wedding ring, Clark smiled sheepishly at his wife. "Come on, honey, let's go!" Then he grabbed her and swept her up into his arms. "Hawaii, here we come!"

Lois put her hand on his shoulder to stop him. She wanted to start their honeymoon as much as he did, but her conscience was starting to get the better of her. She wanted to spread the good news of their marriage all around the world — starting with its catalyst. "Are you sure you don't want to stop in Smallville first to tell your parents what happened?"

Clark shook his head. Although he did want to tell his parents, other things were more pressing at the moment. He had waited so long, he felt like the wait was going to kill him. Yes, he was just going to explode right there. "No…"

"Clark!" Lois interrupted. She knew that he would regret it if they didn't go to Smallville before they left for their honeymoon. He hadn't even wanted to elope without telling them. "It will just take a few minutes. Even if you don't want to tell them, I do."

"Okay, a *quick* stop in Smallville," Clark agreed. Why did Lois have to make so much sense? This was the one time he wanted to throw caution to the wind and run away with his wife. But she was right. Of course he wanted to share the good news with his parents, especially to thank his mom for planting the seeds of this idea in Lois's mind.

"Thank you," Lois said into his ear. "I love you."

Was she trying to tease him? She had to be deliberately trying to make him lose control. When he took off towards Smallville, he silently hoped that his parents wouldn't be home.

A few seconds after they left Las Vegas, Clark landed in one of the Kents' fields. He put Lois down and quickly spun back into his 'Clark' clothes. Then they quickly walked towards the farmhouse.

Clark still couldn't help but wish that his parents weren't home. However, when his Superhearing picked up his mother's voice, he knew that he had hoped in vain. Even though he would rather be in Hawaii starting his honeymoon, he also knew that he was happy that they were going to talk to his parents.

"Jonathan!" Martha exclaimed. "I think Lois and Clark are here."

"Martha, we did it!" Lois exclaimed when she saw her mother-in-law on the front steps. She started running excitedly towards the porch.

"You did it?" Martha squealed. She started running down the front steps and across the yard to meet them. She called back, "Jonathan, they did it!"

Jonathan's head poked out the door and he said, "Martha? What did they do? Lois and Clark are here?" Then he followed his wife to meet Lois and Clark in the yard.

Lois ran towards Martha and when they met, the older woman enveloped the younger woman in a big, warm hug. "We did it!"

Clark looked at his father, who seemed quite confused about the entire situation. He said, "Dad, Lois and I got married." And when Jonathan still seemed confused, Clark continued, "We eloped in Vegas."

"I got it, son," Jonathan said. He looked at Martha and said, "I was just tryin' to figure out how your mother had a hand in this."

Clark shrugged. Knowing his father, Clark was pretty sure that Jonathan was amused.

Then Jonathan confirmed Clark's thoughts when he reached out to vigorously shake his son's hand and said, "Congratulations, son! I'm so happy for you."

Martha added, "It's about time!" She let Lois hug Jonathan as she hugged her boy. "Congratulations, sweetheart."

"Thank you so much, Martha," Lois said excitedly. "I can't believe we actually did it." She moved back towards Clark. He wrapped his arms around her and pulled her close.

Martha looked from Lois to Clark. Even though she wanted them to stay and talk, she realized that this wasn't what either of them wanted right now. "Shoo!" she exclaimed suddenly. Then she thwacked Clark on the shoulder and said, "Get out of here, you two. I'm sure the last thing you two want to be doing right now is hanging around with two old curmudgeons when you could be on your honeymoon."

Clark started to protest, but Jonathan added, "Have fun, you two."

Then Martha said, "We'll have a big party for you when you get back."

"Are you sure?" Clark wondered. It felt like his parents were throwing them out. Wait, isn't that what he wanted a few minutes ago? Wasn't he hoping that they wouldn't be home before?

"Go!" Martha exclaimed in mock exasperation.

"Bye, Martha, Jonathan. Thank you for everything!" Lois called over her shoulder as Clark spun into his Superman suit, picked her up, and taken off.

"Hawaii, here we come!" Clark exclaimed after they were in the hair. He couldn't wait a minute longer.

Then Lois was struck with another thought, "Wait, Clark, let's go back to Metropolis."

Clark groaned deeply. She couldn't want to go to Metropolis! No way! Now this was just complete, utter torture. "You've got to be kidding, Lois. Can't we just call your parents, your sister, and our friends later?" He hoped that he looked just as desperate as he felt. "Much later."

"That's not why I want to go home, Clark," she said. Of course she wanted to tell everyone she knew that she and Clark were finally married, but that could wait. She had already told Martha, and that was the only person she felt compelled to tell right away.

Clark stopped in midair and shook his head in disbelief. What could Lois possibly want at home? They could have been in Hawaii by now.

"I left something *special* that you bought me at home. I wanted to wear it on our first night together." Lois batted her eyelashes him flirtatiously. She knew that Clark was dying to see her in it, and would not protest to going back to Metropolis for it.

"Is it the something special that I'm picturing?" Clark asked, as a mental image of Lois in the black teddy he had bought her came to mind.

Lois nodded slowly and planted soft kisses around his face as she said, "Mmmm, hmmm."

"Let's go back to Metropolis," he agreed quickly. He decided to savor the feeling of holding his new wife in his arms as he flew back towards the city. Besides, he couldn't fly very fast with Lois doing her best to kiss him completely senseless. It was hard for him to maintain his altitude with such a distraction.

As Lois looked at the ring on her finger, her mind drifted back to the wedding ceremony. It might not have been the most romantic ceremony in the world, but it had certainly been the fastest. "Three minutes. Wow," she said in amazement. "I can't believe we got married in three minutes."

"That was the *shortest* wedding ceremony I've ever been to," Clark agreed and shrugged his shoulders. He certainly wasn't complaining about its brevity. Since the ceremony had been so short, no one had been able to ruin it — not even the ninety-year-old officiator or the Elvis- impersonator witness.

"Well, I guess they don't call it 'express' for nothing," Lois said with a smile. Then she rested her head against his and continued, "I wouldn't have wanted it any other way."

"The ends far outweigh the means," he agreed before he kissed her again. Having her in his arms was too intoxicating for him to think about anything else.

"Clark, they wouldn't even let us say our own vows," Lois protested. She had expected a quick wedding, but she hadn't expected not to be able to use the vows she had written.

"Well, honey, it was an 'express' wedding chapel. I think they cater to couples in a hurry. Remember, we did elope." When he realized Lois was not going to laugh, Clark continued, "Honey, you know, we could just say our vows to each other. The important thing that is we know how we feel."

"Really?" Lois wondered. She hadn't realized that Clark had written his own vows, too. "Right here, right now?"

"Sure," Clark said and kissed her again. Right now, he would probably give his wife the moon if she asked for it. He kissed her again as they floated down. When he felt his feet on the firm ground again, he set Lois down. The only problem was that although he had been aware enough to realize that they were in a secluded area, he had no idea where they had landed.

"Where are we?" Lois wondered as she surveyed their surroundings. "It looks like we're in the middle of a wheat field."

Clark laughed at her ignorance of farming. "Lois, you've been to Kansas enough times to know the difference between corn and wheat."

"What?" Lois wondered in a very confused voice.

Clark rolled his eyes and said, "Honey, this is a cornfield."

"Lois rolled her eyes in response and said, "Corn, wheat, how would I know the difference. They both look the same to me. They're both plants that grow on farms." Then she changed the subject, "Do you have any idea where we are?"

Clark laughed and said, "I have absolutely no idea. If I remember correctly, *someone* was distracting me."

Lois giggled innocently. Then she tried to deduce where they were. "Well, we're somewhere between Kansas and Metropolis. It's somewhere with lots of farms." Then the answer hit her. "So maybe we're in some stupid, boring farming state with a lot of vowels like Iowa or Ohio or Idaho."

"Idaho?" Clark asked incredulously. Lois had to know her geography better than that. Okay, maybe Iowa and Ohio were between Kansas and Metropolis if he had flown a little off track, but *Idaho*? How could she confuse Idaho, the Northwestern state famous for potatoes, with Ohio and Iowa, two Midwestern corn-farming states?

"You know what I mean," Lois said flippantly. The only states that mattered to her were either on the East Coast or the West Coast. She tended to forget most of the states in the middle. Before she met Clark, she almost didn't realize that Kansas had any actual people living there.

Even though Clark sometimes thought his wife was slightly crazy, he decided not to make a big deal of it. So what if she thought all farming states were the same. "I know, honey," he agreed and then he kissed her softly.

"So, now we're in the middle of a *corn* field, even though it's not exactly the most romantic place, do you want to say our vows so we can get out of here?" It felt like something was crawling up her neck. Oh, gross, was it a bug? She slapped at her neck trying to kill the offending insect.

"Okay," Clark said trying to stifle a laugh at his wife's behavior. His wife. It still made his heart flutter every time he thought of Lois in that way. They'd finally done it. She really was his wife. "Do you want me to go first?" At her nod, Clark continued, "I've wanted to do this for a long time."

Lois smiled at him and nodded encouragingly. She knew exactly what he meant since she'd had her vows written for months. But she'd gone over them hundreds of times in her head so she knew them by heart.

Clark took a deep breath and gazed into his new wife's eyes before he began. "Lois, you're my best friend." He grinned at her and was rewarded when she reached out and squeezed his hand. "I've loved you since the moment I first laid eyes on you, when you burst into Perry's office during my interview. It was at that moment that I knew you were the woman I wanted to spend the rest of my life with. And now I give you my heart, my soul, and our life together."

Lois felt a new batch of tears spring to her eyes, as she listened to Clark's heartfelt words. What had she done to deserve someone so wonderful? Oh, now he was looking at her, like he was expecting her to go next. Whoops, she had forgotten that she had to speak.

When Lois found her voice, she began, "Clark, you are so different from any other man I've ever known." The images of the other men in her life, from Paul to Claude to Lex to Dan flashed through her mind. Clark was not only different, but not even comparable.

She continued, "When I'm with you, everything I know about the world turns upside down. Falling in love with you has been so effortless, so natural, just so right. I don't know why I fought it for so long." She did know the answer. It was because she was stupid and pig-headed. Rather than dwelling on that thought, she continued, tears streaming down her face, "Our love is so strong, so pure, so different from anything I've ever felt before. And to celebrate that love, today I give you all the love in my heart forever."

Clark extended his arms and Lois sank into his welcoming embrace. "Thank you," she whispered.

He hugged her tightly and said, "No, thank you. Lois, without you, I have no idea where I'd be in the world. You are my anchor, my strength. You give me the power to go on when I've given up hope."

"Oh, Clark!" Lois sobbed into his shoulder. "I could say the same about you. You've saved me so many times, both literally and figuratively. I don't know where I'd be without you and I know I wouldn't be the person I am today had I never met you."

"Oh, Lois," Clark breathed. "I love you so much."

"I love you, too, Clark," she whispered. And then she decided that she didn't want to spend any more time in a cornfield in the middle of nowhere, when they could be at home celebrating their love. But she knew that cornfields would always hold a special place in her heart after today. "Let's get out of here."

"Okay," he said and, as they started to drift up into the sky. She didn't have to ask him twice. As much as he loved telling Lois just how much he loved her, he did not want the first time they made love to be in the middle of a cornfield. However, he wouldn't protest to cornfield dalliances in the future.

Before they knew it, they were floating above the lights of the Metropolis skyline and then into Lois's apartment. This was it. They were finally home to spend their first night together as a married couple. At this point, Clark had completely given up any hope of going to Hawaii. His frazzled nerves could not take another flight with Lois in his arms, tempting him. Hawaii could wait until tomorrow. Tonight, they were going to stay in Metropolis in Lois's bedroom. He had a feeling she would agree.

"So…" Clark said, nervous about what came next. He understood the biological theory, but he wasn't sure how to begin. This was Lois and him. He should not be so nervous around her. But he was afraid that his inexperience would be a problem, though Lois had assured him repeatedly that it didn't matter to her.

Lois smiled at her new husband, noticing his nervousness, and said, "Let me change into something a little, well, less comfortable, but a lot more sexy." She knew that even though he was desperate to consummate their relationship, he was afraid he would disappoint her. It was something they'd discussed many times. She was sure that if she left him alone for a few seconds, he would overcome it himself.

Without waiting for a response, Lois went into her room to change. Clark found himself alone in Lois's living room — a room normally so comfortable and familiar, but now it seemed completely foreign. What should he do? He decided that since Lois was changing, he should probably change too. But what did she want him to wear? Maybe his boxer shorts? Without any further hesitation, he decided that it was the best he could do. And he quickly spun out of the suit and into his boxers.

As he finished spinning, he realized that Lois was standing in the doorway. "Lois," he breathed gazing at her in that black teddy. "You look…" He tried to think of just the right adjective. For lack of a better word, he said, "incredible," because he didn't want to stare at her with his mouth hanging open.

"You don't look so bad yourself," she said as she walked towards him. And she definitely wasn't kidding. Her eyes lingered on his well-sculpted and utterly delicious chest as she walked towards him. He was the most perfect specimen that she had ever seen.

Clark narrowed the distance between them, although he felt the horrible pangs of nervousness in his stomach. He mentally slapped himself. Now was not the time to be nervous. It was time to let his primal urges take over and guide him to the intense satisfaction that he craved.

Lois started tracing the pattern of the muscles on his smooth, bare chest and felt the palpable desire for this man everywhere in her body. She half-moaned, "We've waited so long, Clark…"

"Too long," Clark growled. He couldn't believe that his patience had lasted so long. There were so many times that he had almost caved under pressure. And now he was about to get the ultimate reward.

"I love you, Clark," she said as she took a step back towards the bedroom, hoping he would follow her.

Instead, he grabbed her by the waist and pulled her close. "Forever." He moved his face closer to hers, ready to kiss her.

"Always," Lois answered. Then she tilted her head up to his and gently touched her lips to his. Their lips met, beginning the journey that they had both dreamt about for so long.

As they kissed, Clark guided them to the bedroom, knowing what they both craved so badly. He slowly laid her down onto the bed and their bodies melted into each other and crested on a sea of passion. They both craved a fulfillment that drove them to each other as they ran on a sea of adrenaline rising on a wave of passion, both reaching levels of satisfaction like never before.


Author's Note: Thank you to my invaluable BRs Tricia and Rivka for their comments and encouragement. Some parts of Lois and Clark's wedding vows were inspired by the vows from STGTTWNK. Finally, the song Clark recited to Lois is called "Hey Baby Let's go to Vegas" performed by Faith Hill.