A Cut Above the Rest

By Matrix

Rated: G

Submitted: April, 2006

Summary: Have you ever wondered just why Lois suddenly changed her hairstyle? Was it her decision, or was it an accident? Here's a look at what might have happened. A story set in season 3 just after the episode "Ordinary People."

All characters and settings are the property of DC Comics, Warner Bros. and whoever else can legally lay claim to them. No copyright infringement is intended. This story was written purely for fun, not for profit, but the story is an original idea and belongs to me.

I want to say a thank you to both Nan and Suz for being beta readers for me. My story wouldn't have been ready to post without you. And a thank you to Janet, who gave my story a once over for the archive. Your work is appreciated.


Lois glanced down at her watch and grimaced as she stepped out of the elevator and headed towards her desk. She wasn't *that* late but she was late enough. Maybe she could get to her desk before anyone noticed. No such luck, she realized, as she saw Perry making a beeline straight for her. She braced herself.

"Lois, so nice of you to join us this morning," Perry chided her, and then paused as he took a second look at her hair.

Lois' hair was pulled back neatly into a low ponytail held by an attractive silver clip. There was certainly nothing wrong or even unprofessional about the way she had chosen to wear her hair today, however, it wasn't *exactly* her choice either. She knew why Perry had taken a moment to give her a second look. She hardly ever wore her hair this way. Well, that wasn't *exactly* true. She wore her hair this way at home, when she was cooking or cleaning and didn't want it to get in the way. Oh, yes, there was even one evening that Superman, well, Clark, actually — Lois smiled at the thought — had come by to check on her and seen her in all her glory making dinner in her comfy clothes with her hair back in a ponytail. She had quickly taken the ponytail out, though. It wasn't really the way she had wanted Superman, er — Clark, to see her; well she hadn't known it was Clark back then, anyway. Pulling her hair back just wasn't Lois' style. She preferred her straight, smooth bob for work. It fit her personality and her business attire.

"Lois, is there a problem this morning?" Perry asked, raising his eyebrows slightly.

"No, no problem, Chief. Just a little out of sorts this morning," Lois quickly responded, not wanting to expound any further. What good would it do to explain to Perry that she hadn't had a chance to get a haircut in weeks, maybe closer to several months? After all, how was a girl supposed to fit anything into her schedule in between discovering a startling revelation about your boyfriend, and best friend, that oh, yeah, by the way, just happened to be the most powerful being on Earth. Not to mention he was not from Earth. Oh, and then there had been that little romantic getaway to a tropical island which had turned out to be a disaster — she still had mosquito bites that weren't healed yet — and almost being killed twice because she was Superman's girlfriend.

Everything had turned out all right in the end, of course. Clark had been able to revive her after having frozen her at her own request and they had saved his parents, and that little incident on the island had turned out all right as well. But when Clark had flown her back to her apartment, and she took one look in the mirror at her bedraggled appearance and long stringy hair, she realized she was way overdue for a trim. She wasn't growing her hair out, after all. Long hair was just way too much trouble, especially for a busy reporter. Lois paused in her thoughts, realizing she had been babbling to herself — now there was a new one — and Perry was still standing there looking at her.

"I'm sorry Chief. Just a little trouble getting around this morning. It won't happen again." No, it wouldn't, she thought, because now that things had calmed down — well, sort of, she and Clark still had a lot to sort out — she would get a proper haircut and be back in business.

"Well, all right then. We have a staff meeting in five minutes. I still expect you two to have all your notes together on your story and be ready to present them pronto. Being late is no excuse."

"They'll be ready," Lois promised as she quickly continued on to her desk. She sat down and began grabbing papers left and right, trying to sort her notes on her story and get them in a presentable order. Out of the corner of her eye she saw Clark walking up to her desk. She scrunched her nose slightly and bit at her bottom lip. Please don't say anything about the hair, Clark, she thought. Clark had teased her before about having an image to uphold. She turned to face him and put on her most cheerful smile.

"Morning, Clark."

"Morning, Lois," he replied, bending over her and handing her a cup of coffee. He gave her a light lingering kiss on the cheek that sent playful little feelings all through her. "It cooled off a little bit since you hadn't gotten here yet, but I *warmed it up* for you," he said, emphasizing what he had done by tipping his glasses down on his nose slightly.

Lois smiled warmly at Clark and realized this was just one of the things she loved so much about him. He was just so thoughtful when it came to her. Lois had lost count of the number of times that Clark had gotten her coffee for her or had it ready and waiting for her. It was just one of the many small ways that he showed how much he cared for her, and Lois realized how often she had taken those little things for granted.

"Thank you. Has Perry been on a rampage?"

"No, not too bad, actually. He's just a little grumpy because it's a slow news day. You know, we just brought him the Spencer Spencer story and we got to bask in his praise for what, a whole two hours, maybe, before we were on to our next assignment?"

"Well, you know, you're only as good as your next story," Lois said with a smile.

"Yeah, you don't have to remind me," Clark said, returning her grin. "So you want to tell me what happened this morning? And why you're sporting *this*," he asked, swatting a finger at her ponytail, causing it to swing, "new hairstyle?"

"Oh Clark, we've just been so busy lately. You know, your parents getting kidnapped, you proposing to me, me finding out you are," Lois paused and mouthed, "Superman," then she continued on in a normal voice, "and me almost being killed, *twice*."

Clark winced visibly at her verbal assault, and Lois felt a twinge of guilt for coming off irritated at him. Then she realized he looked like he still had a big question mark written across his face.

"I haven't had time to re-schedule my hair appointment that I missed," Lois rolled her eyes at him, finishing her explanation. "My normally scheduled appointment was for the evening that I instead chose to follow you to Mazik's jewelry store and then proceeded to watch you rob it. Then I rescheduled my appointment for the day that we ended up taking our not-so-perfect trip to paradise," she said as she stood up and gave him a playful pat on his cheek. She noticed a small bit of cinnamon powder, probably from his morning donut, by the corner of his mouth when she did that, so she leaned in and gave him a quick kiss to take care of it.

"Mmmm, Cinnamon. Not as good as chocolate, though," she said teasingly. Clark blushed just noticeably and felt his face for any more crumbs.

"Don't worry, I got it; if you don't quit rubbing your mouth, though, people might think you didn't enjoy my kiss," Lois said, smiling playfully as she flirted with him.

"Hmm, never. Maybe I should leave a few crumbs there more often," he flirted back.

As much as Lois was enjoying this little banter, she realized she would never have her notes sorted in time for the staff meeting. Just then Perry stuck his head out of the conference room door.

"Uh, I don't mean to interrupt your conversation with actual work, but would the two of you care to join the rest of us in here?" Perry questioned grumpily as he stepped back inside, closing the door. Lois gave Clark a panicked look.

"I haven't had time to sort my notes on our story yet!" she said, grabbing a handful of her papers and holding them up in the air in an exasperated gesture.

"Here, give them to me. We worked on this story together and I think I can sort your notes for you a little faster than you can," Clark said as he looked around to make sure no one was watching. At super speed, he scanned and flipped through all the typed pages and smaller pieces of paper, and shuffled them around back and forth until he set the small pile in Lois' outstretched hands.

"Thanks. It's times like these that I can see how handy you are to have around," Lois said with an impish grin. She turned and headed towards the conference room. Clark followed right at her heels.

"You can thank me later by going to lunch with me."

"Oh, Clark, I'm sorry. I can't. I rescheduled my hair appointment for lunch today. Dinner?" She asked him hopefully.

"Dinner," he agreed.


Nothing of too much interest came out of the staff meeting. Clark had been right; it was definitely a slow news day. As Lois walked back towards her desk she noticed she had a voice mail. She sat down, grabbing her phone to check it as she turned her computer on. There was only one new message for her.

"Hi Lois. This is Brandi, the receptionist at Metro Chic hair salon. I'm sorry; I've been out of town for the last couple of weeks. Stacy, the temp they hired to cover for me while I was gone, told me when I got back this morning that you had called and rescheduled your haircut for lunch today. See, the problem is that your hairstylist, Cassie, doesn't work here any more. She gave notice right before I left to go on my trip. I meant to call you before I left to let you know but I must have forgotten. Stacy should have told you that when you called back to reschedule. Temps are so inefficient sometimes. Anyway, I'm sorry. I can still get you in at lunch today but it will have to be with someone else. Give me a call; you've got my number. Thanks. Bye!"

Lois felt her heart skip a beat. Cassie was gone? Just like that? How could she leave just like that without telling Lois? She had been cutting Lois' hair for, well, how many years had it been? She had cut it ever since Lois had worked at the Planet, anyway. She knew just what Lois wanted and always got it perfect. What was she going to do? The thought of having to go to a brand new hairstylist made Lois uneasy and slightly nauseated. She remembered the first time she had Cassie cut her hair. She had been so nervous. The simple bob haircut that she wore might not look like a difficult cut, but it could be. If they didn't cut it with just the right angle it didn't want to turn under like it was supposed to, and instead would try to flip up on her. She liked her hairstyle. It was very, well, her. It was quick and easy to fix which was good for a busy reporter, but it also had a no-nonsense business look about it. Lois flipped through her Rolodex and pulled up Brandi's number. Maybe Cassie had just gone to another hair salon in Metropolis and Brandi would have her number. If so, as much as Lois liked the convenience and close proximity of Metro Chic and the other people who worked there, they catered to her so much, she would just have to change salons and follow Cassie.

"Metro Chic. This is Brandi. How may I be of service?"

"Brandi, this is Lois. Cassie is gone? Gone as in moved across town to another hair salon?" she asked hopefully.

"I'm afraid not. Gone as in eloped with her boyfriend who moved to Buffalo and took her with him."

"Oh my god, you're kidding!" Lois said incredulously.

"No, I'm afraid not. It was very sudden. She called me the day before I left on my trip and said she was in Las Vegas on her honeymoon. She said she wouldn't be coming back to work because her boyfriend, now husband, who had played football as a running back in college at Metropolis U, had just been signed on to play with the Buffalo Bills. She was moving to Buffalo, New York, that weekend. Apparently, when he got the good news, he celebrated by asking her to elope to Vegas with him. It's a real shame. I mean, I'm happy for her and all, but she was the best stylist I had. I hate to lose her. Anyway, I meant to call you but of course I was sort of thrown for a loop by the whole thing and I was leaving to go out of town the next day. I had to scramble to find stylists who could cover all of Cassie's appointments until I could get back. I can still get you in today, Lois, but it will be with Deidre. She's fairly new but she's also really good. She is on the cutting edge of the hair fashion trends — no pun intended."

Lois sat there contemplating what to do. The Buffalo Bills? Wasn't that one of Clark's favorite teams? She couldn't remember. It wasn't like she and Clark discussed sports that often. That was more of a typical Clark/Jimmy conversation. Hmm, Buffalo was several hours from Metropolis, wasn't it? Or was it closer? She briefly considered checking on it and then stopped herself. Lois, get a grip, she told herself. You can't follow your hairdresser to another city, let alone another state. But a new person? Oh well, whoever she went to now was going to be new.

"Lois? Lois, are you still there?"

"Yeah, I'm here. Okay, Deidre it is, then."

"Great, Lois. I know how you hate change, but trust me, Deidre is great. You'll love her. See you at lunchtime."

"Okay, bye, Brandi." Lois hung up her phone and sat there pouting slightly. She just didn't understand some women. How could you just up and leave your home and friends and a good job with people who counted on you, for a guy? Even if he was going to play for the Buffalo Bills, she thought sarcastically. The thought irked her a little. She knew she was being silly, but independent, hard working ace reporter Lois Lane just had a little trouble wrapping her mind around that one. Especially since she had been experiencing her own kind of relationship problems recently. Oh, Clark hadn't asked her to give up her career or move or anything like that. Oh no; she had just managed to figure out that he was living the life of two people and had been ever since she had known him, and had lied to her about it the whole time.

Clark picked this inopportune moment to walk up to her desk. "Hi, sweetheart, why the long face?"

Lois looked up at him, eyes flashing, and all she could manage to spit out as she got up and stalked off was, "Men!"

She heard Clark start to follow behind her and then stop. When she realized he wasn't going to follow her further, she turned around and followed him back to his desk. It must have been apparent by the look on her face that she had more to say; Clark looked like he was physically bracing himself on the chair.

"Did I say or do something?" Clark started, but Lois interrupted him.

"I'm just frustrated with men in general. You all expect us women to be so flexible, and forgiving, and willing to support your every whim and decision," Lois said, beginning her rant. She knew she was being unfair to Clark. She was mad about Cassie, but she still had some feelings about her own situation with Clark lying dormant that she hadn't completely come to terms with yet, and they were just fueling the situation.

She stopped and looked at Clark's face; it was wounded. He looked like a puppy who had just been gruffly scolded. The look melted through her anger and softened her.

"I'm sorry." She took his face in her hands and kissed him tenderly on the lips. She continued, "It's not you. I mean, it is to a certain extent. I guess I still have a little hostility pent up over coming to terms with our situation and relationship. There's still so many things I have yet to consider and make a decision about, and sometimes I feel like my whole world is spinning out of control and," Clark put his finger up to her lips and interrupted her.

"Lois, you're babbling."

"I know. See, something like this just shouldn't make me so crazy."

"Something like what?" Clark asked and Lois realized she hadn't actually told him what she was really upset about.

"My hairstylist quit."

"Is that all?" Clark asked innocently.

"What do you mean, 'is that all'?" Lois said, her eyes flashing. "I've only been going to the same stylist since I started working at the Planet.

"I'm sorry. I won't pretend to understand how upsetting or stressful that news is for you, especially since I don't go to a stylist." That comment made Lois pause for a moment. She couldn't help but let a smile break out across her face.

"No, I guess you wouldn't, would you? Your hair would break every pair of scissors they owned," she acknowledged, still smiling.

"There — now there's the smile I know and love. But come on, that can't be the only thing that got you worked up."

"No, you're right," Lois said, feeling herself getting somber again. "We need to talk. But right now I've got to get to an interview with our lead and get finished so I don't miss my re-rescheduled hair appointment with Deidre, my new hairstylist. We can talk more tonight over that dinner you promised."

"Okay, sounds good to me. And don't worry, I'm sure Deidre will do a great job on your hair. You're probably worrying for nothing."

"I hope so."

Just then Clark tilted his head up as if he was hearing something.

"Something's happening, isn't it?" Lois asked him.

"Yeah, I've gotta go," he said, reaching for his tie.

"Go. I'll make an excuse to Perry. See ya this afternoon," she said, giving him a quick kiss on the cheek. She watched him dash off and whispered, "Be careful." She knew he would hear her.


Lois threw open the door to her apartment, not bothering to close it behind her. She flopped down on her couch, grabbed a pillow, and snatched a tissue from the box next to her lamp. After wiping her eyes to get all the tear-smudged mascara off and gingerly blowing her nose a couple of times, she sat there in silence contemplating what had happened. She reached up almost painfully slowly to feel the back of her hair. When her hand got there she stopped, almost afraid to touch it again. It made her stomach hurt. How had it gone so wrong? Well, she knew how it had, and it was actually partly her fault. Who was she kidding? It was mostly her fault. Oh, why had she grabbed for her cell phone? In the middle of a haircut, no less! She had forgotten she was dealing with someone new who wasn't used to the interruptions that Lois sometimes got in the middle of a haircut.

Lois grabbed another tissue and again blew her nose. Cassie had been so good. She knew to watch for things like that. At first, everything had gone so well with Deidre. She and Deidre had seemed to hit it off wonderfully. Especially after Deidre had mentioned that she loved Lois' stories and that they were the first ones she read upon opening her paper. Lois had glowed with pride at the compliment. Deidre had also complimented her on her hair style, saying that it was a good one for a busy woman on the go, and assuring her that it would be no problem to cut.

But then in the middle of things Lois' cell phone had rung and without thinking, she'd just reached down and grabbed it, like she always did when Cassie was cutting her hair. That proved to be a costly mistake. Deidre had been in mid-cut and the abrupt jerking that had resulted from Lois grabbing her phone had caused Deidre to make an unrepairable cut to her hair. What was worse was that the phone call had turned out to be a wrong number.

"Ahhhhhhh!" Lois screamed into her pillow.

Deidre had been so apologetic, so sorry for what had happened, even though she couldn't be blamed. She couldn't have known that Cassie expected, even anticipated, the numerous little challenges that Lois presented to her hair cutting skills each time she cut Lois' hair. After all, this was Deidre's first experience cutting Lois' hair.

Hesitantly, Lois felt the back of her hair again. It was gone. It was all gone. Her cute little bob was gone. Deidre had done her best to salvage the haircut and turn it into something livable. Actually, according to everyone else in the salon, she had done more than just that. She had given Lois a great haircut. It was short and sassy, and definitely trendy. But it just wasn't Lois' cut. It was too drastic and too new. It was just too much for her to be able to accept right now. She'd had her bob cut for too long. A thought hit her. What if everyone thought it looked horrible, or ugly, or stupid? This brought a new wave of tears.

Lois got up from her couch and grabbed a tissue as she walked over to her phone. She was not going back in to work today. She just couldn't face everyone. She had enough from her notes and her interview to write up a preliminary story from home. She could LAN it in to Clark to let him edit it for her and put his spin on it, and he could turn it in to Perry.

Clark. Oh no, what would *he* think of this new style? Beside her own opinion on it, she probably valued his the most. After all, he was her best friend and her significant other. She wanted to look good for him. What if he hated it? Ugh! She was ready for another primal scream. She was supposed to be having a romantic dinner with him tonight. They were supposed to talk and get some things out in the open and enjoy one another's company. Well, she certainly couldn't do it tonight. Not like this. She didn't want to go anywhere or see anyone. She knew what she needed to do. She picked up the phone and dialed. Then she tried coughing a few times and waited to blow her nose again because the stuffiness should help.

"Perry? Lois." She began doing her best to sound as bad as she could. "Yes, I know, I sound awful, don't I? No, I have no idea. I started feeling really bad during lunch today. And it's just gotten worse since then. Where am I now? I'm at home. I came home and sat on the couch and just couldn't get myself to get back up again. I can't even touch my head — it just hurts too much. Oh, but I really hate not to come back in. I've got so much I need to get done. Yes, it wouldn't do for me to get myself down and have to miss more work because I pushed myself too hard. Listen, I was thinking. I should be able to write my story from home. I have all my notes and my tape of the interview today. Why don't I write it up and send it to Clark? He can add to it with his notes and edit it and send it on over to you when he's done. Oh, thanks, I really appreciate it. Yeah, I'll get some rest. Thanks. Oh, and Chief, would you please let Clark know I'm not feeling well and that I'll send my story to him? I really don't feel like talking to anyone else. Thanks. Yeah, hope to see you tomorrow morning too."

Lois hung up the phone. Yeah, she thought, if I could grow my hair about six inches tonight, I would love to see you tomorrow. She definitely didn't want to talk to Clark. She knew she wouldn't be able to hold it together so well talking to him on the phone.

Lois blew her nose again and walked into her bathroom to survey the damage once more. When she finally managed to look at herself in the mirror she sighed. It really wasn't so bad. It was kind of cute, even. But she started to sniffle again; it just wasn't her, especially the way Deidre had styled it. Well, at least she could deal with that part. Drawing a hot bath, Lois walked back into the living room and grabbed her work bag. She'd relax in a nice hot bath and review her notes and get them worked into a story. Then after she washed her hair and tried to style it the way she would do it, she could type up her story. She gathered her stuff up and headed back to the bathroom. The steam coming up from the hot water looked and felt so inviting. Yes, she'd feel better after a good soak.


Clark came back to work several hours and several emergencies later, danger handled and disaster averted. He walked to his desk, glancing over at Lois' desk and realizing that it looked like she hadn't ever come back after lunch. He was headed towards Perry's office when the Chief came out, meeting him halfway there.

"Hi, Chief. Have you seen Lois this afternoon?"

"She's not here. She started feeling sick after lunch and called me from home. She sounded awful. You know she has to be sick to not make it back in to work. She's almost as bad a workaholic as I am. Ah, heck, who am I kidding? She may be worse," he admitted with a crooked but proud grin on his face. "She said she was going to finish her part of the story from home and send it to you for you to finish up."

"Okay, I'll check my computer and see if she's sent the story yet. I'll get it finished up and sent to you as soon as possible."

Lois was sick? That wasn't like her at all. She was never sick. Or at least she never let it show, anyway. Except for that one little episode with the food from Ralph's Pagoda. Clark smiled at the memory. Even with that little bump, the evening had been wonderful. But it just wasn't like her to just get sick suddenly like this.

"Hey, Chief," Clark called out, "did she say what was the matter?" Maybe she had eaten something bad at lunch, he thought.

"Uh, I think it's her head. I remember she said something about not being able to touch it because it hurt too bad."

Her head, Clark wondered, or her hair? Was she really sick, or had her hair appointment brought this sudden illness on? He decided he'd better go check up on her, but first he'd better see if she'd sent that story to him yet. If she had, he could get it written up and sent to Perry in no time, as long as no one was watching him, and maybe Perry would let him off early for the afternoon. Then he could go check on her. Clark headed back to his desk on a mission.


Lois had given her best attempt at styling her hair and was pretty pleased with the results. It looked much better this way than the way Deidre had styled it. It had been much too poofy and had way too much hair spray before. She had sent her story off to Clark over an hour ago and after that had promptly gotten comfortable and had set about trying to find a double fudge crunch bar to eat away her sorrow with. At first she had thought ice cream, but when she looked in the freezer she remembered she had eaten all of it up the night she had discovered Clark's second identity. After looking in all her usual hiding places, though, she couldn't even find one morsel of chocolate in her whole apartment. Then she remembered she had gotten a new supply of double fudge crunch bars not too long ago and hadn't brought any of them home with her yet.

Lois had just decided to make a quick trip to the convenience store for some chocolate ice cream when there was a knock at the door. Who could that be? She walked to her door and looked out the peephole and was mortified to see Clark standing there. Oh, no. What was he doing here?

"Lois? It's Clark. Open up. Perry said you were sick. Is there anything I can do?"

Lois hesitated to answer the door and instead tried to see if she could get him to go away.

"No, Clark, really, I just need some sleep. I wouldn't want you to catch…" Lois started to say 'catch what I've got' and then realized that would be impossible for the Man of Steel.

"Lois, you know I can't catch your cold. Now open up. Let me see if I can make you feel better. You let me take care of you once before when you were sick."

The thought of that night and the food from Ralph's Pagoda made her smile despite herself. It was obvious Clark wasn't going to give up. She sighed mightily, dropping her shoulders in defeat, and began unlocking her door. She stepped around behind the door as she began to open it.

"Lois? Why are you hiding behind the door? I've seen you sick before. It can't be that bad. Come out here."

"Oh Clark, it's worse than you think," Lois said as she walked around from behind the door. The shocked look on Clark's face made her want to turn around and walk back behind the door again. She started to do just that and Clark grabbed her arm.

"What happened?"

Lois took a deep breath and it all came spilling out in one long continuous sentence.

"Oh, Clark, it's a long story, and it's partly my fault, and now I look hideous. I'm sure you hate my hair, and everyone at work is going to look at me funny, and no one's going to take me seriously, and I've been crying ever since I got home so I'm sure that not only is my hair awful but I've got a face to match, and I'm out of ice cream and don't even have one double fudge crunch bar!"

By the end of her little rant Lois was sobbing with her head in her hands, and before she knew what was happening there was a *whoosh* and Clark was gone. Gone? Where had he gone? Was it so awful that he couldn't even look at her? Oh god! She was just getting ready to start into another crying jag when there was a *whoosh* again and he was back. Standing in front of her with not one but two double fudge crunch bars in his hands.

"I x-rayed your desk and found your stash. Here, why don't you come sit down with me on the couch and open up one of these and tell me what happened."


After thirty minutes of tears and both double fudge crunch bars, she was done. Clark had pulled her in tight to hug her and had waited until she had stopped crying to pull back. He reached out and slid his hand up her cheek the way he had when she realized he and Superman were one and the same. He used his thumb to wipe away a tear next to her eye.

"Lois, you should know I love you no matter how your hair is cut. I love you just the same."

A previous conversation came back to Lois' mind, when she had proposed a dilemma to Clark about his *wife* cutting her hair and dying it red and it looking awful. Would he still be truthful to her, and what would he say? He had said he would tell *her* the truth. That he loved her, and that if she was happy with it, that was the important thing. But, Lois thought, what if *she* wasn't happy with it?

"So you love me, but you don't like it, do you." It was a statement, not a question.

"Actually, it's kinda cute. It's spunky but it's also a little sexy. I loved your bob, but this cut could definitely grow on me."

"Really?" she asked, looking up at him through eyes sparkling with tears. She smiled at him.

"Really," he replied, drawing her close to kiss her. He kissed her long and deep and pulled back to look at her haircut again. He smiled lovingly at her. "And I think it looks very professional. I bet you even get several compliments at work tomorrow," Clark said. He looked down at his watch. "Listen, I don't know about you, but in between emergencies I didn't get to eat lunch. Why don't you tell me what kind of dinner fare you might be craving and I'll see what I can do to oblige you," Clark told her as he pulled suggestively at the knot in his tie.

"Anything?" she asked.

"Anything," he answered.

Normally she didn't like him running off to fulfill her every whim, but after what she'd been through today, being catered to sounded pretty good to her.

"Okay, how about some good Italian? Pasta always puts me in a better mood."

"Hmmm. I'll have to remember to tell you sometime what pasta does to me," Clark said as he looked at her suggestively. "Okay, pasta it is. I will be back before you can pop the cork on that bottle of wine," he said, pointing to the bottle sitting on the table. Now where did that come from, she wondered? He must have brought it back when he brought the chocolate.

"Good. And then we can talk about some other things," Lois reminded him.

"Yeah, there's that," he agreed and then with a *whoosh* he was gone. Lois looked out the window after him and smiled. Yes, they definitely still needed to talk. There was a lot to talk about. But it was times like this that she wondered how she had been so fortunate to find someone like Clark. He was definitely a cut above the rest. With a newfound confidence, she set off into the kitchen to get the table ready.