By Caryn Dunsmore <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Submitted: March 2004
Summary: When checking his email, Clark is surprised to find an attachment from Lois. Is his relationship with Lois about to change? A sequel to the author's "Getting To Know Me."
Disclaimer: "Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman" and it's characters are owned by December 3rd Productions, DC Comics & Warner Brothers Television, etc. No infringements are meant.
Author's note: Well since I received more than enough pressure from some of you to continue with the next installment, here is Part II of my unintended "Getting To Know" Series. :) Clark finally opens his email. This was a lot of fun to write so I really hope everyone enjoys it and of course feedback is always welcome.
I'd like to thank Tricia for being my GE, your editing and suggestions were great.
"Now get to it!" Perry White, editor-in-chief of the Daily Planet, shouted to his two top reporters, Lois Lane and Clark Kent as they exited his office. As he observed from his doorway, he watched Lois sneak a glance at Clark and like the boy had telepathy, Clark turned and met her eyes.
Perry shook his head as he shut the door to his office; maybe those two were finally figuring out that they were perfect for each other.
Thinking back to the moment he had met Clark, he knew that partnering him up with Lois would be the smartest match since Elvis and rock-n-roll. He realized that he could get past the "Mad Dog Lane" attitude that accompanied Lois on a daily basis to see the woman beneath.
And as he watched them over the last year, he knew his hunch had been dead on. He didn't get to be editor-in- chief for no reason.
Clark Kent would walk on water for Lois Lane or drown trying.
As Lois walked beside Clark she couldn't stop her heart from erratically pounding in her chest or the butterflies that were fluttering in her belly. She took a moment to sneak a glance in his direction as they made their way to their respective desks.
<God, he's so sexy in that suit.> She reflected but her musing was cut short as she realized that he was looking directly into her own eyes.
Even though she'd been caught, she decided she could not or would not break the contact. She wanted nothing more than to drown in those brown pools of his. A minute or more had passed with their eyes still locked on one another. Lois realized then that she was not doing her usual backing down routine. She was letting him look into her soul even if for a brief moment and it amazed her that the intimate connection did not scare her.
Becoming a bit bolder, she gave him that shy smile of hers that only a few people have ever seen. He smiled back bright and beautiful, and it took her breath away. Oh yes, things had changed now.
She inwardly smiled knowing that little over an hour ago she had received an email that changed her outlook on a certain partner of hers. Her sister, Lucy, had sent a questionnaire for her to fill out and as much as she thought it was stupid in the beginning it turned out to be just the opposite. It had made her confront her fears and admit her true feelings about Clark. She loved him. Now if only she could find the courage to tell him.
Once they were standing by her desk, Lois finally looked away, breaking the essence that the web their unspoken emotions had weaved around them.
"So what do you think Clark?" she asked him, being the first words spoken since leaving Perry's office.
Clark stood there blankly, not hearing anything that was just spoken to him. He wasn't daring to let anything break the spell he was in. He was aware of only one thing and one thing only. Lois.
Something had just happened between them. It was more than a look, but what the change was he couldn't put his finger on. He had been staring into the most beautiful pair of eyes that just happened to belong to his partner, and the one woman who had captured his entire being. It was if she dared him to look into her soul.
But he didn't get a chance to dwell on the moment any longer as Lois's voice once more invaded his thoughts, bringing him back to reality.
"I asked you what you thought about Perry's suggestion."
"Oh," he gently cleared his throat, "I'm not sure. But Perry thinks there's a story here. At least it's better than what we've had in the last week."
"I thought I was going to go crazy if we had one more day of non-interesting stories or no stories at all."
"Gee Lois and here I thought you enjoyed covering that dog show yesterday." Clark teased her like he loved to do so much. He knew she loved to tease him just as much. In fact, their bantering was one of the things he loved about their friendship. They had this incredible knack to see who could push whom the farthest, but it was usually done in good fun.
"Just because I was on dog detail," she glared at him, "and you interviewed Gotham City's millionaire Bruce Wayne, doesn't mean I didn't enjoy all those scraggly yippee bunches of fur."
"Lo-is, just admit it." He grinned at her, knowing full well she was still mad about the assignments they were given yesterday.
"Fine, Clark. I enjoyed it as much as a root canal. There are you happy now? I mean, gesh, I thought we were partners but did I get to interview Bruce Wayne?" Lois didn't wait for an answer as she continued her habitual babbling. "Nooo, I had to interview pompous, arrogant, annoying women and their stupid poodles that have names like Poopsie and Schnookams. Who names their dogs that?"
"Lois," he began to defend himself, "you told Perry you refused to do the story. You said and I quote: 'Lois Lane has not and will not do a puff piece on anyone especially a millionaire who just wants publicity.'"
"And you listened to me?"
Clark rolled his eyes, in fact that was all he could do when she was like this.
"I mean, partners Clark. You should have shut me up when you heard me tell Perry that he could take that interview and shove it. I mean, look what happened. I thought partners backed each other up."
"Not when they're committing journalism suicide in front of Perry." Clark mumbled to himself, "That's how you end up with the dogs."
He tried his hardest not to laugh at Lois. Getting the dog show was her own fault. Like he could have stopped her anyway. Hah, that was a good one. Her babbling often, as in the instance they were discussing, got her into trouble.
"What happened to partners?" She was still going full force, "I thought that's what we are. Partners: where one goes, the other goes too. Aren't we-"
"Lo-is!" Clark tried again but lost.
"-partners? Aren't partners supposed to look out for each other? You didn't even try to defend me or change Perry's mind. You let me go and cover a dog show. A dog show, Clark! Me, Lois Lane, top investigative reporter stuck on dog duty."
Clark had to bite his tongue from replying that she was *one* of the top reporters, not *the* top reporter, but he didn't, instead he decided appeasing her was the best course of action. When she finally took a breath, he knew now was the time to utilize the brief moment of silence
"Lois, we are."
"Oh. Well good. Don't you ever forget that."
Clark often was both annoyed and amused by Lois, make that confused as well. Usually she didn't put up a fight when Perry split them up for assignments, unless the story was huge and deemed to be a Pulitzer or Kerth Award winning piece of journalism. But this was nothing of the sort and she seemed upset that they hadn't worked together yesterday.
When they had first started working together, Lois made it known to him daily that they were no way in any form partners. In fact, she had told him once that 'There is you and there is me. But there is no us.' But over time not only were they partners but they became close friends too.
With this new perspective Lois suddenly seemed to have on their partnership, Clark wondered if it entailed any other aspect of their lives together. It was wishful thinking on his part but he wanted nothing more than a permanent, in all sense of the word, partnership with her.
"Ready *partner*?" Lois stated interrupting Clark's musings.
He looked at her; she had already grabbed her purse and jacket, grinning at him with such warm beautiful eyes. The way she was looking at him, he could swear that-nah it couldn't be. Just because he was in love with her and he hoped one day she would feel the same way didn't mean she did.
Lois felt her pulse race as Clark simply smiled back at her. He was shaking his head at her. She knew he had no clue what to ever expect from her. But to her constant amazement, he was always ready for the unexpected when it regarded her.
"Let me check to see if my source emailed me on the Harrison story yet. Then we can go." He logged into his email but seeing the only message he had was from Lois he logged off and straightened back up.
"Not yet," he replied a little disappointed.
"Don't worry Clark. I'm sure you'll get what we're looking for then we can go in and talk to Perry. At least we have this story to keep us busy. Hopefully it will lead to a scandal being covered up by the NIA."
Clark chuckled again. Only Lois would want everything to be as dangerous as a cover-up involving the government.
"Okay let's go."
As they walked side by side up the ramp to the elevators, Clark felt the brush of Lois's hand against his. He looked down only to look into Lois's upturned eyes. She smiled, knowing that they both felt the touch and once again that smile of hers took his heart. But instead of putting a gap between them, Lois moved even closer to him, increasing the closeness.
He didn't know what exactly to think but he wasn't going to complain.
A couple hours and three interviews later, Lois and Clark were each typing up their notes. Not much came out of the story or at least not the intense cover-up Lois was looking for.
Clark finished up his notes, saved them, and LAN-ed them to Perry. Taking a break from work, he looked over at Lois. He often took a moment to gaze at her whenever the opportunity presented itself, but instead of being the watcher he was the one being watched.
When their eyes met, Lois simply smiled at him then lowered her eyes back to her work. He could see her smile still playing on her lips even as she started to type once more. Clark let his gaze linger a minute longer before he turned back to his own computer and logged into his email.
The message from his source was still not in his inbox but the earlier message from Lois was. He smiled seeing her name and immediately opened the message.
To: LL1@metropolis.com, email@example.com
Note: forwarded message attached: [clark.txt]
The email was nothing more than an empty message with an attachment. Clark wasn't sure what the attachment was since Lois hadn't mentioned anything or why it was named 'clark.' He figured however, by the extension of the file name it was notes regarding a story or an idea they had discussed.
He clicked on the file and it immediately opened into his word processor. As he began to read the contents of the file he wasn't sure what to think; it seemed it was a personal file of Lois's, definitely not notes on a story. He wasn't sure he should continue until the answer to #3 caught his attention and all else faded away.
1. FULL NAME: Lois Elise Lane
2. SEX: Female
3. HOME: In Clark's arms.
"What?" he whispered, rereading the answer again: 'In Clark's arms.'
<Did she really mean *my* arms were her home? Was she really talking about me?>
4. HEIGHT: Tall enough to capture those wonderful looking lips of Clark's with my own and kiss him.
5. EYES: Brown (Not exactly the beautiful color of Clark's. His are rich, deep chocolate colored that I could drown in.)
6. HAIR: Brown (I wonder what it would be like to have Clark run his fingers through it as he kisses me?)
Yes, it did seem she really meant him as the next three questions were answered in the same fashion. Clark's heart was beating heatedly inside his chest. He couldn't believe what he was reading. What he wouldn't do to make that kiss a reality.
He slowly continued down the list, savoring every moment of her written words.
7. WHAT'S ON YOUR MOUSE PAD? Superman's "S" Logo in yellow against red background
8. FAVOURITE SMELL: Clark's chest
9. WHAT IS THE FIRST THING YOU THOUGHT OF WHEN YOU WOKE UP THIS MORNING? I hoped there was going to be some kind of news-breaking story that would win me a Pulitzer. (Actually it was neck-n-neck with what tie Clark would wear today.)
When had Lois thought so much of him *Clark Kent* instead of his other identity, Superman? He knew that she had been in love with his other self for a long while now and would have thought all the answers would have contained the name 'Superman'.
Oh, he knew that wasn't exactly fair to himself since he was Superman. But all he ever wanted was for Lois to notice him, the ordinary mild-manner reporter with wild ties behind the superhero powers and flashy suit. And it might just seem she had.
Clark continued on before he let his heart soar too soon at the possibilities this presented.
10. DO YOU GET MOTION SICKNESS? Nope. (Besides, that wouldn't do you go when you were flying with Superman. He wouldn't look too kindly on being puked on).
11. ROLLER COASTERS DEADLY OR EXCITING? Depends, is the Prankster or any other villain on it? Hey, it's just a simple everyday question.
12. FAVOURITE MOVIE: "Love Affair"
<She neglected to say the original version of "Love Affair."> Clark amended to himself, having watched that particular movie at least ten times with her.
13. WORST FEELING IN THE WORLD: Losing Clark in any way.
Lose him? Did she mean as a partner or a friend? Didn't she know that she could never lose him?
14. BEST FEELING IN THE WORLD: Being loved by Clark (hopefully)
<Oh Lois, there is no hopefully about it. How can you not know how much I love you?>
It was true, Clark Kent had fallen in love with Lois Lane the moment he met her. Yes, he knew how ridiculous that sounded, love at first sight, but it was true. He only wished she felt the same way; it was obvious that she felt something by the way she was answering the questions, but he wasn't sure it was what he was feeling.
Clark continued even though he knew that reading this was probably not what Lois had intended but he couldn't get himself to stop.
15. THINGS TO DO ON THE WEEKENDS: Not what I would like to be doing. However, I do get to spend some time with Clark. He invites me over to watch movies and pizza.
16. PEN OR PENCIL? Pen
17. HOW MANY RINGS BEFORE YOU ANSWER THE PHONE? One ring, no more than two. It could be Perry with a Pulitzer winning story or it could be Clark.
18. FAVOURITE FOODS: Chinese (I'll never understand when Clark gets take-out, it tastes so much better than when I do. Need to ask him where he gets his).
<Lois, I'd love to take you to China to that little take- out place. I'd fly you anywhere.>
19. DO YOU GET ALONG WITH YOUR PARENTS? Not really. My father left was I was a teenager. And my Mother is not an easy person to be around, let alone talk to.
Clark knew the background of Lois's family life; she had told him a while ago about her father leaving when she was a teenager and her alcoholic mother. He wished so much she could have experienced the life and love his parents had given him. He was beyond lucky to have two people in his life that understood and helped him cope with his being different.
20. HAVE YOU EVER BEEN CONVICTED OF A CRIME? Uhm, can I skip this one? Okay, but for the record it wasn't *my* fault. Well, wait a minute. It says convicted…never mind. I was only jailed.
21. CHOCOLATE OR VANILLA? DUH! Talk about a galactically stupid question-doesn't everyone love chocolate? (And for the record I prefer CHOCOLATE over Rocky Road!)
Clark had to laugh at some of her answers. She even babbled when she wrote. Somehow that thought didn't surprise him and it made her that more adorable to him.
22. DO YOU LIKE TO DRIVE? Yes and fast
23. DO YOU SLEEP WITH STUFFED ANIMALS? Yes, Clarkie. Okay so it's the teddy bear Clark won for me at the Smallville Corn Festival.
Question #23 stopped him short. He hadn't known she had kept that stuffed bear he had won her. That thought alone made him realize how wrong he had been not to see that she was feeling something for him and it wasn't all about Superman. In fact, she'd only mentioned his alter ego twice out of twenty-three questions.
24. IF YOU COULD BE ANY TYPE OF ANIMAL WHAT WOULD YOU BE?
Suddenly Clark knew exactly what this attachment was when he saw that last question. He had seen it on Lois's computer earlier this morning. He asked her about it and she said it was some stupid questionnaire Lucy had sent to her. So this was *the* questionnaire.
He remembered Lois had been nervous when he had leaned over her and now her actions made sense to him. She was nervous because of the exact content it contained and that he might just see it. But he hadn't, not until now.
And he should stop for more reasons than one. But he couldn't.
25. THUNDERSTORMS, COOL OR SCARY? Cool but I tell Clark I'm scared of them so he'll hold me. It's worked more than a few times now.
Clark smiled at that. Not much scared Lois and he knew for a fact, storms were not one of them. But he would continue to play her game; it let him hold her and that was something he never wanted to give up.
26. WHAT IS YOUR ZODIAC SIGN? Sagittarius
27. EAT THE STEMS OF BROCCOLI? Dipped in chocolate and I might think about it.
28. WOMEN — WOULD YOU ASK A GUY FOR THE SHIRT OFF HIS BACK? I wouldn't have to. Clark's already done that and I know he'd do it again.
Clark had a sudden image of Lois in only his pajama top sashaying around his apartment with her long legs extending from beneath his shirt.
Clark's head snapped up at the sound of his name and the woman whose voice had spoke it. He saw Lois looking at him with an expression that made him guarantee she knew what he had been just thinking. His face suddenly went a shade of red that could rival a tomato.
"Yes Lois," his voice squeaked out, making him slightly cringe.
"You okay? You look kinda funny."
"I'm fine. I, um, do you think it's hot in here?" He tore at his tie, loosening it a little. For a man who never got hot or cold, Clark was sweating. All it took was one thought of Lois and what a thought it was.
"Maybe a little. Why don't you take your jacket off?"
He stared at her, taking clothes off was not a suggestion he needed to hear right now.
"No I'm better now." Clark looked away quickly, pretending to find his computer very interesting.
Lois watched him closely, if she didn't know better she would have thought Clark was embarrassed about something. She shook her head and went back to her own work.
Clark made sure Lois was no longer looking in his direction and forged ahead with the survey. In the back of his mind, an idea began to form, but he'd wait to the end before he put it into action.
29. IF YOU COULD HAVE YOUR DREAM JOB, WHAT WOULD IT BE? I already have it but having the extremely good fortune of working beside Clark everyday, would make any job my dream job.
That made Clark feel good knowing that Lois really did value his work. Not to mention that she'd want to be his partner no matter where they worked.
30. IF YOU COULD HAVE A TATTOO, WHAT AND WHERE WOULD IT BE? Already have one. Where is for him to find out. Believe me, I will let him do an in-depth search because that's what it will take to find it.
"You have a what?!" Clark exclaimed a little louder than he intended.
When he managed to look up again, he noticed the odd looks people across the bullpen were giving him, including Lois. He gave her a crocked smile, hoping she would not ask about the outburst. She didn't. She just shook her head at him instead.
Clark took a deep breath and looked back at his screen. He hoped she had been talking about him finding that tattoo. Where and what were two things he hoped he'd get the chance to answer for himself. The thought of doing an in-depth research with her was more than he could ever thought of, outside of his own dreams.
But as much as he thought that question would be his undoing it wasn't until he read the next two that his heart stopped beating and everything he ever hoped for was coming true.
31. HAVE YOU EVER BEEN IN LOVE? If someone were to have asked me that a year ago I would have said yes, but that would have been a lie. What I felt before doesn't compare to how I feel now. So yes, I am in love.
32. DESCRIBE YOUR DREAM WEDDING: Marrying Clark.
'Marrying Clark'? Did she really write 'Marrying Clark'? His eyes weren't playing tricks on him were they? No, he knew they weren't. And was she saying what he thought she was saying? Was she in love with him? Or was it Superman she was in love with?
Putting away his identity crisis, Clark had to stop second- guessing everything when it came to him and Superman. He wasn't two different people, just two different personas. As he reread #32, he knew instantly that he wouldn't have to worry about his alter ego winning out Lois's heart. He, Clark, already had won it
The thought that Lois hadn't really been in love before him made her announcement that more incredible. That meant that neither Lex Luther, Lois's ex-fianc‚ and a man whom Clark truly hated, not to mention Superman's nemesis nor Claude, a man who used Lois's emotions against her for a story, had never captured her love.
No longer concentrating on the words before him, only the very last question out of the remaining three infiltrated his mind.
33. DO YOU TYPE WITH YOUR FINGERS ON THE RIGHT KEYS? I'm a journalist, what do you think?
34. WHAT'S UNDER YOUR BED? My 7 veils costume, the fire- spitting Godzilla that I found in the sewage dump (which I know Clark set up) and an album full of every story Clark and I wrote, among the articles I could find of his that I happen to come across. Okay so I had Jimmy locate them and I kept them. Sue me!
35. OF ALL THE PEOPLE YOU SEND THIS TO, WHO IS LEAST LIKELY TO RESPOND TO IT: Clark-because he will never see this.
Oh, but Clark will respond to this. In fact, the idea he had been formulating earlier now took on a whole new meaning. He had every intention of replying back but not in the fashion he was going to now as a sudden confidence possessed him.
Clark saved the message, closed it then opened a new message of his own, and immediately began typing.
Subject: Answers for Answers
1. IF YOU COULD BE ANY TYPE OF ANIMAL WHAT WOULD YOU BE? A Horse
2. WORST FEELING IN THE WORLD: Letting this opportunity of us becoming an 'us' slip away
3. BEST FEELING IN THE WORLD: Being loved by Lois
4. HAVE YOU EVER BEEN IN LOVE? Not until I met Lois Lane. Actually *been* is the wrong word, I *am* in love.
5. FULL NAME: Clark Jerome Kent, also known as, Kal-El
Clark reread the typed answer to question #5. Kal-El was Superman's birth name, which also meant it was Clark's birth name as well. He really hadn't planned on telling Lois his secret of being Superman but it seemed the right time. They might as well go all or nothing.
Then second thoughts came flooding into his brain. Maybe he should tell her, not type it in an email. He could easily admit that he was scared of telling her; it was something he'd been keeping from her for a year now. He knew she'd be upset, probably hurt, but if he did it this way maybe it would cushion the blow a little if he let her figure it out on her own. And maybe finding out he loved her too would help.
Taking a deep breath, he hit the <send> button and waited. In about two minutes, Lois would receive his email; she'd realize that he had somehow ended up with her email only to recognize that he'd answered it with some answers she'd only hoped of and some she never expected.
Yes, now things had just changed and nothing could go back to the way it was.
(Or until Lois opens her email)