By Wanda Detroit <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Submitted: June 2004
Summary: Clark decides to share one of his favorite pastimes with Lois. Will she catch anything?
This is a very fluffy piece that was inspired by my dad's love of fishing. Thanks to Emily Hanson who brainstormed with me. Also, thanks to my super Betas, Stopquitdont and Julie Stars, without whom I never post anything! Feedback is welcome. Enjoy!
"I can't believe I let you talk me into this, Clark!" Lois Lane grumbled, trudging through knee-high grass alongside the riverbed. A wide-brimmed green hat that was several sizes too big kept falling forward, covering her eyes.
"Careful, Lois. Easy," Clark said, taking her hand. She'd very nearly tripped over a rock.
It didn't help that she was wearing thigh-high rubber wading boots and carrying some ten pounds of equipment and a long fishing rod over her shoulder.
"You can set the tackle box down there," Clark explained once they'd reached the edge of the river.
"I don't know if I'm going to like this, Clark." She frowned, setting her equipment down.
Clark offered her a smile. "Sure you will. Fishing is easy. And it's also relaxing and fun."
Lois slapped a mosquito that had been buzzing around her ears. "Relaxing and fun to someone who's invulnerable to bugs," she mumbled, annoyed.
Clark shook his head, laughing. The stream was beautiful. Clark hoped Lois was noticing how lovely it really was. It was quite a walk from his parents' farmhouse, and he remembered fishing there as a child. It was every bit as untouched and peaceful as he remembered it to be. There were crooked old trees lining the riverbed, casting shade in some places. A fallen log across the river offered a good place for fish to hide.
Clark looked at Lois, who was frowning and still slapping the bugs that were assaulting her arms. Her hat had fully fallen over her eyes. She looked awfully cute, he had to admit. He stepped closer and tipped the hat up to reveal the pretty—yet annoyed—face of his girlfriend. He planted a gentle kiss on her lips and her expression softened. "All right," she said with a grin. "Let's give this fishing thing a try."
"Okay. Let's sit down." Clark sat on the river's edge and Lois followed suit. "First we have to bait our hooks."
Lois made a face. "I was afraid you'd say that."
Clark withdrew a soil-filled Styrofoam container from his tackle box and took off the lid. Inside, Lois could see sizable worms wriggling through the soil. She grimaced as Clark picked a worm out of the container and threaded it onto his hook.
"Ew, Clark, that is *so gross.*"
Clark shrugged. "I take it you don't want to try it yourself?"
Lois wrinkled her nose. "I think I'll pass." She watched, in disgust, as Clark put a worm on her hook for her. She frowned as it dangled on monofilament before her eyes, still wiggling.
"Don't look at it, Lois. Come on." Clark offered her his hand and led her into the stream. Both were wearing waders so that they could stand nearly thigh-deep in the river without getting wet.
Lois stepped uncertainly, unsure of the grips the boots provided. Once out there, she became a little more confident. She smiled. "This isn't so bad."
"See? I thought you'd like it." Clark grinned and demonstrated how to cast. "Aim for near that log. There are always fish hiding out under there."
Lois carefully copied Clark's motion, casting the bait near the log. She beamed happily as she began to reel it in slowly. "Clark? Clark! I think I've got a bite!"
Clark was right beside her. "Tug back a little, Lois! That's it! That'll set the hook in the fish's mouth. Now reel it in!"
She was quite excited as she reeled furiously. Her rod was bending over rather dramatically.
"Looks like a big one, Lois!" After a moment, he realized nothing was happening. "Hang on… I think you may have just gotten your hook snagged on the log." He waded over, found the hook easily with his telescopic vision, and released it for her.
Lois frowned. "Well, *that* was a big disappointment!"
"Honey, it was your first try. You'll do better, I promise."
Lois stayed right there in that spot, casting her bait right near the log. Clark caught and released three sunnies in a row. Lois hadn't even had a hit. She'd pulled up a wad of weeds, but that was the best she'd done so far. It had been almost an hour, and her bare shoulders were getting red from the sun. She was as determined as ever to catch a fish before leaving that river! She'd have to try another tactic.
There was a shaded spot that was calling her name. She waded in that direction, deciding she'd cast towards the other side of the log, at the same time giving her sunburnt shoulders a rest from the hot midday sun.
"Careful, Lois," Clark called. "There's a—"
"—hole…" Clark cringed for a second, then hurried over to grab her arm, hoisting her into a standing position once more. She was drenched and fuming; her boots had filled with water, and felt heavy and clammy. She coughed and sputtered as Clark helped her over to the river's edge, lifting her onto dry land. He unstrapped her hip boots from her belt, yanked them off, and poured the water out. Lois looked furious. In fact, she looked so cute being furious that Clark couldn't help but let a small laugh escape his lips.
That was a mistake.
A *big* mistake.
Lois splashed him quite vigorously so that he was nearly as soaked as she was. She smiled, satisfied. Revenge was sweet.
Clark held up his hands in surrender, grinning ear to ear. Lois had to smile, too. Clark looked so at home out here, surrounded by nature. He wasn't wearing a hat, since the sun couldn't burn his skin. He'd chosen not to wear his glasses today, considering they were in backwoods Smallville, on the edge of his parents' property. His hair was wet and falling across his forehead a little, drops of water beaded up on his shoulders and arms. They were both wearing tank tops, because it was one of the hottest days of the year. Lois regretted wearing one, as she scratched the mosquito bites that dotted her arms irritably; she should have opted for something more protective. She was glad, however, that Clark was wearing his; he was quite a sight to behold in a damp white tank.
Slowly, Clark ventured closer, fearing another splash-attack from Lois. When none came, he closed the gap between them, leaned close, and kissed her enticingly. "Want to give fishing another try?"
Lois nodded. With *those* lips, he could convince her to try just about anything.
Gently, Clark helped her back into her boots and waded with her to a safe spot in the shade. "Perfect!" Lois announced. She was just about to cast when she noticed her bait was missing. "Clark…? Could you put another worm on there for me?" she asked sweetly.
He laughed. "You know, this is the first time I've ever seen you *not* want to try something yourself!"
"Oh, come on, Clark. Pleeeease?" She gave him the big, brown puppy-dog eyes.
He melted. That tactic was not fair. It worked every time. "All right, stay right there. Just let some line out, I don't want you to fall in that hole again." Clark took her hook and headed to the river side. He baited her hook with his back to her and, concealing the bait in his hand, he let it go right near the log. "Don't cast, Lois. Just let it sit there for a minute, then reel it in real slow… I see some fish down there…"
He had a strange, expectant little smile on his face.
"What's that grin about?" Lois questioned, smirking.
Clark shrugged. "I have a feeling you're going to catch something this time." He switched from his spinning reel to his fly rod, and began expertly casting in the opposite direction, the neon-colored line dancing elegantly overhead.
"Showoff," Lois muttered, looking at her pathetic rod that hadn't budged since she'd snagged the log an hour earlier. Ever so slowly, she reeled her line in. She was almost ready to give up. Her sunburn was prickling uncomfortably, and her bug bites were itchy. Her socks were soggy beneath her boots. Not to mention the fact that her stomach was starting to growl…
Lois reeled the line in further. Something glittered at the end of the line; she could see it just beneath the surface. What had she snagged this time? Reaching out her hand, she cupped her hand to capture the object that was tied securely to the end of the line, the hook having been removed…
Her jaw dropped. "Clark—!" she gasped. A diamond ring sat in the palm of her hand.
Clark was at her side as fast as he could make it there. He was beaming. He took the ring, still wet and tied to the fishing line, and held it up to her. "Lois Lane, will you marry me?" he asked, his heart pounding with love for the woman before him. His eyes searched hers.
"Clark, yes… Yes!" she exclaimed excitedly, happy tears springing into her eyes. She watched as Clark removed the line from the ring and slid it onto her finger.
"I love you," he murmured, sealing it with a kiss. He laughed a little when he pulled back. "I'm sorry you didn't like fishing all that much," he said, helping her to the river side.
"Hey!" Lois exclaimed, looking down at her new ring. "Who said I didn't like fishing?" All thoughts of sunburn, and bugs, and soggy boots, and hunger pangs had vanished… Her only thoughts were consumed with the beautiful man beside her, holding her hand. "You might have caught three fish, but I think I got the catch of a lifetime…"