By Alicia U. <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Submitted: December 2004
Summary: Clark's birthday finds Metropolis under a blanket of snow and Lois searching for the perfect present for her fiance. This story is the fourth in a series starting with "Let is Snow," and continuing with "Let it Keep Snowing" and "Let it Snow Forever."
Happy Birthday, Tricia! I hope you enjoy this story. And, also, Happy Birthday to me!
This is the fourth in a series of 'Let it Snow …" stories starting with "Let it Snow", "Let it Keep Snowing", and "Let it Snow Forever".
When the elevator doors opened, Lois's gaze immediately drifted across the bustling newsroom, looking for her partner. "Where is he?" she muttered. He wasn't sitting at his desk nor getting coffee nor talking to Jimmy. If he wasn't at work yet, she'd bet Superman was on duty. Such were the trials and tribulations of being the world's resident superhero. He never got a break. Not even on his birthday.
She glanced up at the international news ticker and sighed. Nothing about Superman. Lois shook her head woefully and continued towards her desk. Clark worked too hard, and she couldn't do anything about it. It wasn't like Superman could abruptly stop helping people whenever he felt like it. Still, he needed a break.
"Lois, where's Clark?" Perry White's deep, drawling voice rose across the newsroom, causing her head to jerk up suddenly.
What was this, interrogate Lois day? She couldn't even stop by her desk to take her coat off or put her briefcase down before someone asked her about Clark. Now that she knew what he was doing, if not where he was, it kept getting harder and harder to come up with plausible excuses. No wonder his stories had gotten so … out there after a while. She distinctly remembered him telling her once that he had to go home to receive his 'cheese of the month club' shipment. Crazy. Yet she'd never really questioned him. Still, it had been so much easier when she'd honestly had no idea where he was. She could stare blankly with ire and spit out an angry comment or two about him. Now it was different.
Now they all automatically assumed she'd know where he was. "I don't know, Chief." At least that was partially honest. Then she smiled. "Who am I, his keeper?" Everyone probably thought she had woken up with him this morning. Perry would never admit it, but it was exactly what he had assumed. As hard as it was to believe, she and Clark weren't sleeping together — not that it was any of their business. She knew how the newsroom gossip mill worked. No one would believe the truth. Lois and Clark hadn't spent the night together. At least not yet. But soon. As strange as it was, they hadn't even really talked about it yet.
"Oh," Perry said and looked at his hands contritely.
She put a hand on her boss's and laughed. "I'm just kidding, Chief. It's his birthday, so he slept in a little."
She sighed softly. Clark never had the luxury of sleeping in, or even taking some much needed time off, because the world needed its Superman. Filled with new resolve, she decided it was time to stop worrying and start working. If Clark had to be Superman on his birthday, then who was she to say he couldn't?
Perry laughed. "After that expos‚ you two kids gave me yesterday…"
Lois interrupted, "… he's still trying to recover."
"Well, tell him when he gets here that I said you two kids can have the rest of the day off." He turned on his heel and strutted back towards his office. He muttered, "After that story about the school board conspiracy …"
"Chief …" She let her voice trail off because she didn't want to argue. It wasn't like she was going to refuse the afternoon off, especially if she got to spend it with Clark.
When Perry had disappeared into his office, she finally took her coat off and sank down into her chair. She flipped on her computer and grabbed a file folder from her desk. She had a little bit of work to do before Clark got there. As she flipped through the many pages of research, images of Clark played through her mind. Why couldn't she concentrate? Did Clark really take up her every waking thought when she wasn't with him? When she didn't know where he was, she couldn't help but worry about her fianc‚.
Fianc‚. She let the word dance around her mind. Fianc‚. As hard as it was to believe, she and Clark had been engaged for two whole weeks — the best two weeks of her life. She glanced down at her ring and felt a goofy grin cross her face.
Clark. She sighed deeply. Why did she miss him so much? She had seen him less than eight hours ago when he had left her apartment last night. Still, eight hours without him seemed like an eternity. She ached to see him step off the elevator and flash her that crooked smile she fell in love with over and over again every time she saw him.
At this point, concentrating on the story was out of the question. At least she could admit that to herself. She couldn't do any work until he got back. At least not today. She opened her briefcase and took out a brilliantly wrapped package, complete with a shimmering curlicue bow. The saleslady had outdone herself in the giftwrap department. But all the marvelous wrapping skills would mean nothing if Clark didn't like the gift. God, she had agonized for so long, but now that the day was upon her, a simple tie didn't seem like enough. Sure, Clark wasn't very discerning about his neckwear, and he would probably adore the gift — especially since it had come from her — but a tie was so impersonal. Meaningless. Even punctuated by a kiss, it wasn't the perfect present for the love of her life. Why was she thinking about this now? Why in the world hadn't she realized this two weeks ago when she still had time to deal with it?
Okay, so it wasn't like she could run off to the store to get something better. Not at the beginning of the workday. Certainly not on his birthday. Well, they did have the day off. But Perry hadn't given it to them so she could shop.
That was what she got for procrastinating. She had been too indecisive and had settled for something less than her ideal.
How could she show him how much he meant to her and not make it seem clich‚? Sure, he would like the tie. Sure, he would welcome the kiss. Sure, he already knew how much she loved him. But she wanted to give him something more. Something with significance. At least, she did have the entire afternoon to figure something out.
She closed her eyes and sighed deeply. What could she give him that symbolized their relationship and the depth of her feelings for him?
When she opened her eyes, she looked straight out through the large window in the newsroom. She gasped in surprise when she saw tiny white crystals falling from the heavens.
A snowstorm on the last day of February in Metropolis? Strange, but not impossible. This winter had been the snowiest in recent history in Metropolis. Hence, every major event in their relationship had happened during a snowstorm. Revelations, questions, and celebrations. Given their history, snow was a better birthday present than a tie and even better than a kiss.
Maybe Mother Nature had decided. Like the Christmas blizzard that had led to a declaration of love and the New Year's snowstorm that had led to a major revelation or the Valentine's flurry that had led to a proposal, something big would happen today. Lois nodded and felt a smile spread across her face. She had the perfect birthday present.
Suddenly, the elevator bell dinged, and Lois instinctively traced her gaze to the opening doors. Her heart fluttered when she saw that wonderful crooked grin he reserved for her. "Happy Birthday, Clark," she whispered, knowing he could hear her.
His grin spread widely across his face, and he quickly crossed the distance to her desk. He gently brushed his hand across her back and leaned down to kiss her. "It's snowing," Clark whispered into her ear.
Lois smiled against his kiss and whispered, "I called Mother Nature for your birthday."
He pulled away and chuckled. "Tell her, 'Thank you,' for me."
"Oh, you're welcome," she answered. She put her hands on each of his shoulders to force him to look her in the eyes. "Where were you? I was worried about you," she admitted, a little ashamed of herself.
"Fire," he said softly. Then he leaned down and kissed her again, pressing his lips against hers, first gently and then with greater force and need.
She pulled away and asked, "Is everyone okay?" Then she tugged on his tie and pulled him down to kiss her again.
When the kiss broke, he nodded. "Abandoned warehouse in Suicide Slum. It took a while to contain it, but no one was in the building. Sorry it took so long. I had to go back and take a shower before I came in." He wrinkled his nose distastefully. "I smelled horrible."
"What, you didn't think I'd still kiss you if you smelled like smoke?" she teased.
He shrugged. "Well, not if I smelled like burnt garbage."
"Yes I would," she declared. "Remember last week? You smelled like horse manure, and I still kissed you." She shook her head. "I might have held my nose, but I still kissed you."
"Yeah, what's wrong with you?" He shook his head in a teasing manner. Then he grabbed her around the shoulders and pulled her against him.
Lois playfully swatted him on the chest. "I am madly in love with you, Clark Kent. That's what's wrong with me."
"So, love is blind, deaf, and apparently lacking the sense of smell?"
"Something like that." Lois shook her head. "Come on, let's go to lunch, Birthday Boy."
"I just got here," he said softly. "Do you want to get some work done before we leave?"
"Come on, Clark. It's your birthday." She stood up and let him help her into her coat. "You deserve an extended lunch. Besides, it's almost eleven o'clock. I've been here for almost two hours." She sighed. "God, two hours, and I got absolutely nothing done."
He shook his head, already following Lois towards the elevator. "So, you're saying it's okay for a man and his fianc‚e to play hooky on his birthday?"
Lois flipped her head mockingly. "Oh, Clark, there's still so much you don't know about the art of journalism."
"Obviously," he said softly as the elevator doors closed in front of them. "Good thing I'm engaged to the master."
"You chose Luigi's on purpose, didn't you?" Clark asked. The couple was seated close together in a small, circular booth in a back corner of the restaurant near the window. Even though the small Italian restaurant was starting to fill up for lunch, they still had a little privacy.
She batted her eyelids mock flirtatiously. "I don't know. Why would you think that?" It wasn't like she had deliberately planned their whole afternoon or anything. How was she supposed to know that pasta was a kind of aphrodisiac for him? And so what if she had forgotten to tell Clark that Perry had given them the rest of the day off? She scooted a little closer to him and pushed her plate towards him. "Here, you can have the rest of this."
"Oh, my mom called early this morning," Clark said after he had eaten the last pieces of pasta off Lois's plate. He scooted a little closer to her and wrapped his arm around her shoulders.
Lois took a bite of her chocolate cake and seductively licked the remnants off the fork. Then she smiled at him. "Oh yeah?" She made sure her breath played against the sensitive skin just below his earlobe in a way she knew drove him crazy.
He coughed slightly, and Lois knew he was enjoying the show she was giving him. Chocolate cake was a little much for lunch, but she had a plan. "She wants us to come out to Smallville tonight for a birthday dinner," he choked.
"Oh, that's great." Lois smiled and covered his hand with hers. "I love your parents." Then she deliberately took another forkful of cake. "Do you want some, sweetheart?"
He nodded wordlessly, so she took the piece of cake in her mouth and leaned against him. She captured his mouth with hers, and shared the taste of the rich dessert with the man she loved. He wrapped his arms around her and pulled her closer so she was almost sitting on his lap. Lois tangled her fingers through his hair, and pulled his head closer, deepening the kiss.
"Lois," Clark gasped when their lips came apart. "We should get out of here."
She pulled away and pouted. "You don't want to finish the cake?" She stuck her finger into the frosting and brought it up to his lips. "Are you sure?"
"God, Lois," he growled. His eyes were fogged with desire. "Don't do this to me."
"Okay, we'll get out of here," she agreed, and took the last bit of cake on the fork. He opened his mouth when the fork approached, and she fed him the sweet treat.
He swallowed the cake, then he said, "I don't know if I can go back to work after this."
"We'll take the scenic route," she whispered into his ear. Her mouth was perched just inches from his face, but she refrained from continuing her seduction in the restaurant. "Back to your apartment."
Clark shook his head and pushed himself back. "To my apartment?"
She grinned. Yeah, that had the exact effect she was going for. "Yeah, didn't I tell you? Happy Birthday! Perry gave us the afternoon off."
He stopped for a second. "He did?"
Lois grabbed his hand and pulled him up from the booth. "Yeah, don't worry. He'd give us anything after that school board story." She gave him a quick peck on his cheek. Now she knew exactly what she was going to give him for his birthday. They had the afternoon off, they'd just eaten pasta, and it was snowing. What more could she ask for?
"I thought we'd take a detour through Centennial Park," Lois said softly as they walked down the sidewalk just in front of the restaurant. She squeezed his hand and moved ever so slightly closer to him so that their sides brushed against each other. Tiny snowflakes fell in their hair and at their feet. Three inches of snow had already fallen on the city, creating a winter wonderland.
He nodded. "I'd love that."
"I love you," she said. She stopped walking and turned to face him. Then she ran her hand down the front of his jacket before she leaned in to kiss him.
He wrapped his arms around her back and pulled her to him. "I love you more."
She struggled out of his embrace and took a few steps away from him. "There's no way you can love me more."
"Oh yeah?" he challenged.
She shook her head. "Impossible. I will always love you more. I love everything about you."
He wrinkled his nose. "But I love everything about you, too."
This was a stupid argument, but it was so much fun at the same time. "Clark, I love that you are different from every other man in the world. I love the fact that you can turn my world upside down without even trying. I love that you love me so much." She took a deep breath. "I love that you're my best friend."
"How can I argue with that?" he moaned. "I love that you're my best friend, too. You drive me wild and keep me sane. Lois, you're the woman I was born to love." He looked down at the snow-covered path, and drew a small heart in the snow with his toe.
"Oh, Clark," she whispered. He had the knack to melt her heart, even in the snow. Before their mood got too serious, though, Lois reached down and picked up a handful of wet snow. She wasn't exactly sure what possessed her to break their loving moment. Soon, she had worked the snow into a ball and gently lobbed it at her fianc‚, who was standing a few feet in front of her, leaning down, adorably oblivious to what she was doing.
"Hey!" Clark exclaimed when the snowball hit him on the back of the head. "What did you do that for?"
Lois bounded a few steps towards him and smiled. "Because I love you more, and you were cheating."
"Cheating?" He ran a hand behind his head, causing a large clump of snow to fall out of his hair. "How was I cheating?" He threw his hands up into the air. "And how was this not cheating?"
"It wasn't," she declared.
"Because it's my game!" Clark had to know that by now. It was her game, and she made up the rules! Then she picked up another handful of snow, this time not bothering to make it into a ball, and dumped it over his head. "This is cheating."
"Lois!" He bent down and grabbed some snow of his own. "If this is how you want to play it …" He grabbed her from behind and smashed the snow into her face.
"Hey!" She pushed him back into a snow bank on the side of the path. Somehow, he lost his footing and fell directly into the snow.
"Lois!" he exclaimed. Once he realized what had happened, he reached out and grabbed Lois's legs, pulling her on top of him. "I still love you more," he said softly, his face mere inches away from hers.
"No you don't," she declared, her face moving ever closer to his. Before their lips met in a snowy kiss, she whispered, "You'll always be mine, snowman." Covered in snow, he looked just like the snowmen she and Lucy had made as children.
He brought a hand behind her head, and pulled her the rest of the way down to him. Their lips touched, first softly, then with a passion that had been burning deep in both their souls.
When they finally pulled apart, Clark said, "Snowman?"
Lois arched back, and nodded. "Mmm-hmmm." She leaned back down to kiss him again. Just a few months ago, she could never have imagined being this blissfully happy. Her life had been invigorated from his first touch. Now, she almost couldn't remember what she had been like pre-Clark. Straddled across her partner, her friend, her love in the cold winter snow, Lois knew instantly that this was the way she wanted to spend every moment for the rest of her life. "Happy Birthday." Lois leaned down until her face was so close to his their lips were separated by only a few millimeters again.
This birthday would be perfect. When they got back to the apartment, she would give him the tie. She would give him another kiss. Even more importantly, she would give him herself. Forever.
Clark Kent was her love, her eternity — her living snowman.
Note: I'd like to thank Chris Carr and Mols for beta reading this story for me :).