Go With Me on This One

By Sheila <ethanseth@msn.com>

Rated: PG

Submitted: April, 2006

Summary: Lois and Clark are involved in a game of make believe again. But how much of it is really pretend?


Lois entered the Daily Planet and made a beeline for her desk. She just got past the mob of reporters that had arrived for the reporters' convention, which was being held in Metropolis this year. It was Monday and the convention would go on through Thursday. Lois hated the reporters' convention more than most things in her career. For the most part, it became a drunken party and people from her past seem to always show up, like Paul Tenney…and Linda King. Already, she wanted it to be over.

Lois's feet were killing her. She had had to walk what seemed like miles to meet Bobby Big Mouth this morning for information. She decided right then that she would never do that again in two-inch pumps. She had a one-track mind right now—get these shoes off—as she plopped down in her chair.

Lois noticed not for the first time lately that Clark was so handsome sitting there at his desk. His broad shoulders in that white shirt and crazy tie, his beautiful smile, his gentleness, and especially his small-town, boyish manners just made her finally realize that she really was attracted to him, maybe even more. But she didn't want to risk their friendship, which meant more to Lois than anything.

Clark sat on the phone talking with Matt Young. He noticed his partner's scent and her heartbeat as she approached the newsroom. She was so beautiful and seemed to become more beautiful with maturity. She could always take his breath away. He had been in love with her since they met and had actually almost jeopardized their friendship once by telling her and almost proposing to her. She didn't reciprocate those feelings, so their friendship had taken a hit, with the help of the peripheral situation at the time. Slowly, their friendship had recovered, and with prayer and time, Clark hoped that Lois would one day love him the way that he loved her.

Lately, though, Clark thought that he and Lois were becoming closer. Not romantically, but closer friends. He hadn't thought it possible for them to grow closer without changing the status of their relationship. But Lois didn't hold her feelings back anymore. She would now open up to him truthfully about anything except one thing…her feelings for him. That was a subject that they danced around, and Clark being Clark, he didn't demand that she go there. With patience, hopefully one day she would tell him what he wanted to hear.

As Lois kicked off her pumps and rubbed her right foot, she looked over at her best friend and partner of three years, Clark Kent. He seemed to be just finishing up a phone call. She needed to fill him in on her meeting with Bobby Big Mouth. Clark would have usually gone with her but he stayed back in the office to tie up another deadline in the names of Lane and Kent.

"Yeah, Matt…I'm sorry about your hotel reservation but you can stay for the week if you need to…sure…well I don't actually have a spare bedroom…it's my couch…sure you're welcome…see you this evening…bye."

"Plans?" Lois inquired just as Clark hung up his phone.

"Uh…no…well, sort of…that was an old college mate of mine, Matt Young. He's here for the convention and his reservations got screwed up so…"

Clark was interrupted by a mob of reporters who seemed to be headed for Lois's desk.

"Lois Lane!"

Lois spun around in her chair.

"Yes? Oh, hi Linda…Paul," Lois said sarcastically. What she really wanted to do was crawl under her desk right now. Of all people to drop by, Linda King and Paul Tenney had to.

Clark's eyes stretched above his glasses. He knew immediately who Linda and Paul were. Lois had told him on a previous occasion of her little adventure with Linda and Paul.

"Well, Lois…successful reporter, huh? Well, you're what? 29? 30? Tick-tock, tick-tock! And what? No husband or kids, huh? I'll bet you don't even have a boyfriend. Does anyone even ask you out or are you still calling your interviews dates? You see, Paul and I got married and we're trying for a baby, now. Right, Paul? We just wanted you to hear it from the horse."

"But Linda, baby, Lois wouldn't know anything about starting a family. You'd have to do more than just lie there." The entourage started to laugh at Paul's innuendo.

Lois could feel the colour rising in her cheeks and the tears starting to burn the corners of her eyes. Just then Clark walked up behind her and gently placed his hands on her shoulders.

"Honey, you okay?" Clark asked as he leaned down closer to her ear. He had nothing but love and sincerity in his eyes for her. He had already hopped to a game of pretend just to rescue his partner.

"Yeah," Lois said simply in almost a whisper.

"Ah, Lois, who is the tight end and what have you got on him to make him so…caring? Surely he's just a concerned co-worker. He wouldn't actually be interested in you…would he? Paul, you mind if I see if I still got it?"

"No, go ahead. We already know that Lois ain't got it!" The entourage broke out in laughter again. At this point Lois had turned to face Clark as he knelt in front of her. He could see her fighting tears.

Angry, Clark stood up. "Paul and Linda, Clark Kent. I'm Lois's…"

"Husband! You see Linda, Clark and I are married. I'm actually Lois Kent. Lane is just my professional name…" Lois chimed in as she schooled her emotions and stood quickly next to Clark.

Clark and Lois exchanged looks briefly before Clark continued on. Clark had given Lois that very subtle look of agreement, indicating that he was on board this flight, as they had done many times during their partnership when one of them got put in a tight spot. With that encouragement, Clark held Lois to him, protectively, around her small waist. Then he made his way in front of her.

"Why don't you get out of here and leave us? You see, when you upset her, you upset me, and trust me, you don't want to suffer my wrath," Clark continued with clenched teeth.

Lois noticed that little thing that his jaw did when he was angry.

"Why, Clark," Linda said as she made her way to him and laid her hand flirtatiously on his chest. "I'll just bet that under that shirt…"

Clark quickly pushed Linda's hand away and said, "Just for the record, you don't have it! Now leave or…"

"What in the Sam Hill is going on in my newsroom?" Perry demanded in his most angry southern voice. But by now the entourage had started to exit.

"Nothing, Perry!" Clark yelled back as he led Lois by the hand into one of the conference rooms. He knew that her resolve was quickly fading.

Once the door closed to the conference room, Lois turned to Clark as if she were trying to find her words to say something, but her control vacated. Eyelids and willpower that had been dams just moments ago lost their battle and the tears flowed. Clark just stood there and held Lois until her cry was done. After a few minutes, Lois dried up and looked at Clark. It broke Clark's heart to see Lois look so defeated.

"Clark, thank you but I'm so sorry for dragging you into…"

"Shh…Lois. It's okay. I don't mind." Clark hugged her to his chest again and smiled to himself. It would be a dream come true to pretend for a week that he and Lois were married. Maybe he could convince her that it wasn't such a bad idea and that they should make it a permanent arrangement. He could prove that he would really be a good husband and love her the way she deserved to be loved. Loving her took no thought or rehearsal at all. "How do you want to play this?"

"I know you don't want to be marri…I shouldn't have told them that…"

"I go with my partner, Lois. You know that." Clark tilted Lois's chin up to look at him. "Now, tell me what you want to do and my part in this. Right now I'm so angry at them…for being so…cruel."

"Okay. Will you go with me on this one…this marriage thing?"

"Of course." Clark hugged Lois to his chest again and silently thanked God for this opportunity. "We need to settle a few things though, so that our stories are consistent, like where will we live? Where and when did we meet? When did we get married?"

"Well, we can just tell the truth about how and where we met. Since your apartment is slightly bigger and my couches are so uncomfortable, we can live at your place…"

"Oh! Matt is staying on my couch this week. But we can't stay at your place if we're married and he and a few of the others already know where I live. But, sleeping arrangements…" Clark sat in deep thought for a moment.

"Clark, I don't mind sleeping in your bed…with you. After all we are supposed to be married and Matt would definitely pick up on something if one of us slept on the floor or in the loft. That is, if you're comfortable with it." Lois's cheeks turned bright red with embarrassment.

"Yeah, you're right. Are you okay with that? I'm comfortable with it. You know you can change your mind. Anytime."

"I know, Clark. Thank you."

The day came to an end rather quickly. Clark shut down his computer and tidied up his desk. Then he walked over to Lois's desk and perched on the side as she shut down her workstation for the day.

"Ready, Mrs. Kent?" Clark asked as he held out his hand for Lois to take.

"Ready, Mr. Kent." Lois smiled fully for the first time today since her—their— visit from Linda and Paul.

Lois and Clark adjourned from the Daily Planet together at about 6 o'clock, only after filling Perry and Jimmy in on the charade. Perry laughed within himself. He knew that his dream team was in love but danced around admitting it. Maybe this would make them see that they were meant to be.

Clark walked Lois to her Jeep and told her that he had an errand. He would expect her at his apartment in an hour.

Lois detoured to her apartment to get a few things before Matt would arrive, to make it look as if she lived in Clark's apartment. She showed up on Clark's doorstep what would be about an hour before Matt.

Once inside of Clark's apartment, he led her to his bedroom and showed her her designated drawers for her belongings. As she finished unpacking her things, Clark led Lois to sit beside him on his bed and held her hand. He had something to say.

First he reached in his suit pocket, pulled out a purple velvet ring box and opened it. It held two gold bands, a large one and a small one. Clark removed the small one and placed it on Lois's left ring finger and she placed the larger one on his left ring finger.

"Clark, you didn't have to…"

"We want to look convincing. And besides, I wanted to."

Lois smiled and agreed.

Then Clark gently grasped both of Lois's hands and looked in her eyes. After a few moments, he finally started to talk. Lois knew better than to interrupt once he got going.

"Lois, you're my best friend and I should have told you this sooner, especially after…but…well…I'm Superman. I thought you should know just in case I have to leave during the night…with you right beside me…well…"

"Clark? How could you? Why did you wait so long to tell me? Did you trust me that little? Did you think I'd make a headline out of it?"

"I've never told anyone, Lois. Only my parents know. I didn't tell you because I didn't know if you would still accept me or think I was repulsive, or…and I didn't want anyone hurting you to get to me. I'm an alien, Lois. I…please don't be too angry with me."

Clark had decided that it was best to leave out the part about wanting Lois to fall in love with him…Clark…and not the super hero.

"Clark…we don't have time for me to be angry with you right now. We'll sort it out later. Matt will be here soon. All those lame excuses…"

Clark took the gift horse and galloped away on it. He knew that Lois's wrath was much worse than his could ever be.

Soon Matt was knocking at the door. Clark reached out for Lois's hand and she took it.

"Are you ready?"

"Yeah, I guess so."

Clark answered the door and invited Matt in. They did the male embrace while shaking hands thing. Matt was a tall, good-looking, brown-headed guy. He was buff, but not as buff as Clark. They had obviously played football together. Matt had blue eyes and a nice smile as well.

"Matt, this is my wife, Lois. Lois…Matt Young."

"Nice to meet you Matt," Lois said smiling.

"Nice to meet you, too, Lois…Lane? Lane and Kent?"


"Kent, you've been holding out on me, man. You never told me that you had a wife or that she was so beautiful," Matt continued as he kissed Lois on the cheek.

"She is beautiful, isn't she?" Clark gently glided his fingers through Lois's silky hair and looked into her eyes.

Lois just smiled. Clark always knew exactly what to say to make her feel…loved?

"Well, Matt, make yourself at home. It's not much, but…it's enough for the two of us right now."

"You guys gonna start trying to have kids soon?"

"It depends on Lois. We haven't really talked about it yet. And besides, we've only been married for a couple of months."

"It's just that a kid would get so much love from you two. You have so much love for each other. Stevie Wonder…anyone can see that. I mean, I'm an adult and I'm feeling loved just being around you two." Matt giggled.

"Maybe, we'll see." Clark laughed in spite of himself. Was he that obvious?

Matt, Clark, and Lois talked for a while as Clark made and served dinner. He whipped up one of his pasta dishes that was one of Lois's favorites. Most of the time Lois just listened as Clark and Matt played catch-up.

"Clark, I'll clear the dishes. You and Matt go and have some male bonding time." Lois kissed Clark on the cheek as she walked by him with an armful of dishes after they were done.

"Honey, you sure? I can take care of them…"

"Go! You cooked."

Clark did as he was told. Lois was taking to this wife part pretty quickly which was much to his satisfaction. He just didn't want her to explode on him later for feeling stereotyped.

Before long Matt was dozing off and they all decided that they should call it a night. Clark brought out covers and an extra pillow for Matt. He was actually allowing Lois time to get comfortable. Shortly thereafter, Clark returned to the bedroom. Matt was already sound asleep. His snoring was very audible.

Clark stood on the side of the bed closest to the doorway in his sleeper shorts and a tee shirt. He wasn't wearing his glasses. He wasn't hiding from Lois anymore. Lois stood on the opposite side. They were both sort of suspended in animation. Neither was looking at the other. Finally, after what seemed like an eternity, Clark got Lois to look at him and silently asked Lois if she was sure about this. She in turn reached out her hand to him. Clark came around to Lois's side of the bed and pulled back the covers. Lois got in with her silky white gown on. Clark then pulled the covers up to her chest and then squatted beside her.

"Lois, are you sure? It's not too late to change your mind, you know."

Lois grasped Clark's hand and kissed it. Then she answered simply, "I know. Yes, I'm sure."

Clark went around to his side of the bed and climbed in. He was very nervous about this. It was going to be a long night with Lois sleeping right next to him. All of his senses were on edge. She was nervous too. He could hear her heart racing.

They lay there in the dark for a few minutes in silence. Clark was on his side of the bed and Lois on hers. One was not touching the other. Clark knew that Lois wasn't asleep. He could tell by her breathing and her still-rapid heart rate.

"Lois, honey…" Clark whispered. He rolled over towards Lois and gently touched her shoulder.

"If this makes you uncomfortable…"

Lois turned to face Clark and get closer to him. He responded by cuddling her with both arms. Lois then replied, "No, just…perfect. Clark…?"


"You've called me honey a few times when nobody was around…"

"I'm sorry. I'll try to be more careful…"

"No. It's okay. I just wanted to tell you that you've gone above and beyond already and you don't have to do that. I know that this is just for a few days."

"I know. Now get some sleep." Clark held Lois in both arms, cocooned facing him. He kissed her on the forehead and said goodnight.

Lois slept more restfully that night than she had in a long time. She awakened briefly once when Superman made a departure. She even got to see Clark spin right before her eyes for the first time. She couldn't get comfortable again until he returned. He simply said, "Robbery," as he climbed back into bed, gathered Lois in his arms again, and went back off to sleep.

Lois awakened in the morning disoriented. She was engulfed in a warm, soft pillow against her back. As her eyes came into focus, she remembered being in Clark's bed; therefore, the pillow must be Clark. It just felt so right. He seemed to awaken at the same time.

Clark awakened with Lois in his arms. This felt so right. He breathed in the scent of her hair and it made him almost high. He lay there for a moment, not wanting to wake Lois, not wanting the moment to end. But, too soon later, she stirred.

They got up, somewhat awkwardly, and got ready for work. Matt was already gone. He'd wanted to meet some of the guys for breakfast.

After Lois and Clark dressed and ate breakfast, they headed on into the Planet.

The first full day at the Planet of Lois and Clark being "married" went like any other normal day in the lives of Lane and Kent. Nothing seemed different to the average onlooker. But Perry, on the other hand, could tell that a major breakthrough had happened with Lois.

Clark had been designated between the two to attend the conference, for a couple of reasons. First, so that Lois didn't have to deal with Linda and Paul, and second, no one would miss him when Superman was needed. Earlier on, Lois had covered for a Superman departure. It almost came naturally. Clark was surprised that Lois's excuses were far better than his.

Tuesday night, Matt was out late partying with the crowd. Lois and Clark went home but promised everyone that they would attend the dance on Wednesday night.

All of Wednesday, Lois had been trying to find reasons not to attend the dance. Clark noticed that she seemed fidgety and nervous. On one of his breaks from the conference, when he returned to the newsroom, he took Lois by the hand and led her to one of the vacant conference rooms.

"Sweetheart, what's wrong? Why don't you want to go? I mean, we don't have to but…I'd like to show you off." Clark smiled.

"Oh, I don't know. Those dances are just so juvenile. Everyone will be drunk and belligerent. I'm just not…"

"Paul and Linda will be there and probably try to hurt you or embarrass you…let me know if I'm getting warm here."

"Oh, Clark…I just…"

"Go for me, Lois, and if things get out of hand, we'll leave. Just tell me. I'm dying to see you in that black gown." Clark smiled jokingly but meant every word.

"Well, okay then…but if I say…"

"Then we'll exit. I've gotta go, honey." Absentmindedly, Clark sweetly kissed Lois on the lips and ran out. He left Lois standing there with her hand on her lips. "Wow," was all she could say.

When Clark got to the elevator, he realized what he had just done and thought that maybe he had crossed the line. It had been wonderful while it lasted and she did respond. He'd just have to wear his bulletproof jacket home. He smiled to himself.

Later that evening, Lois and Clark were at home getting ready for the dance. Matt had already gone with some of the guys. Lois was wearing a black evening gown with thin straps and Clark donned a black tux. After adoring Lois from afar as she stared at herself in the full-length mirror, Clark came up behind her to place her pearls. Then he said in almost a whisper, "You are so beautiful."

Lois could feel his breath on the nape of her neck right at the lobe of her ear.

Clark's hands gently lingered on her shoulders for a few seconds. Just before he retreated, he lightly kissed Lois on her shoulder.

Lois turned to face her handsome partner with a fresh sheet of tears forming and simply replied, "Thank you." Then, after gaining her composure, she said, "You are just so handsome in that tux. I'm glad that I'll be the woman on your arm tonight." Lois smiled. "Linda will really show her claws tonight. She'll probably want to chew off one of her paws when she sees you."

"It's not Linda that I want to be with."

Lois stiffened and stared Clark right in the eyes. His mind was saying to him, "Uh ooo…splat!"

In an attempt to redeem himself, Clark stuck out his arm and said, "Ready?"

"Yeah, let's go."

The dance was uneventful, for the most part. Perry and Jimmy and the entire Planet staff were there. But it wasn't long before the resident feline appeared.

"Well, hello, Mrs. Kent and Clarkie."

"Hi." Clark started to pull Lois away to the dance floor.

"Oh, Lois, mind if I cut in?"

"Linda, I mind," Clark interjected.

"Fine!" Linda said as she stormed off.

Clark and Lois danced with Clark holding her close, his fingers mindlessly wandering over her soft bare back. Lois laid her head on his chest. Clark seemed in deep thought but then finally started to speak.

"You're so beautiful. You've taken my breath away a few times tonight. You don't ever have to worry about losing me to Linda…or anybody for that matter. I love you. You're the only woman that I want to be with." There, he'd said it.

Lois's rational mind shouted, "Danger!" But she tried to remain calm. She snuggled closer to Clark and just breathed in his scent. She didn't quite know what to say. After all, he didn't really feel that way. It was all a part of the grand charade.

"Um…Clark…I've got to go to the ladies room."

"Okay. You okay?"

"Yeah, sweetheart, I'm fine." Lois stood on her tiptoes and kissed Clark on the lips. "Stay put, Kent." He just smiled.

Clark's was praying that he hadn't scared Lois off…again…with that declaration. But for some reason it had come tumbling out and he needed her to know how he felt. It may be to his advantage if she thought the declaration to be a part of the grand charade. Suddenly his super hearing picked up on Lois in the bathroom. Oh no! Linda King in the bathroom, with Lois, alone! God, he hoped that Lois wouldn't let Linda get to her.

Lois entered the bathroom and there, sitting fixing her makeup, was none other than Linda King. Linda turned in the direction of Lois's footsteps. Before she could say anything, Lois spoke through clinched teeth.

"Don't start with me, Linda! I'm going to use the ladies room and then I'm leaving."

Then tears ran down Linda's face. Lois looked up to the heavens and mumbled, 'I know I'm gonna regret asking this.'

"What's wrong, Linda?"

"Paul…I just caught him in the vestibule with Sam, the weather girl from the STAR. They weren't just making out Lois. He had her gown up around her waist and he was…"

"Linda, I'm sorry, but think about how you got him."

"Yeah, you're right, and I'm sorry for that."

"You did me a favor because otherwise, I probably wouldn't be with Clark."

"Oh, yeah, Clark. Face it, Lois, I'm the one who should be with Clark. I'm blonde and blue, you know rocky road and you're brown and brown, you know, vanilla…plain."

"It's not the outside, Linda. It's what's in here," Lois said as she placed her hand on her chest. "Clark knows me better than I know myself sometimes. He is my partner and he still loves me. Obviously with Paul, it's all about…" Lois wandered off with the wave of her hand.

"You think Clark and I could go out as friends sometimes? I mean, if he turns me down then you've proven your point, but he won't. He'd have to be dead or gay…or Superm…no Superman couldn't even resist me."

"Listen to yourself! You're doing the same damn thing! Stay away from Clark! He's my husband and I'm more in love with him more than I've ever been in love with Paul or anybody else. And he's in love with me. Don't you dare! He would never be interested in you anyway."

"How can you be so sure Lois?' Linda giggled facetiously to herself.

"Because he doesn't lie down with stray dogs. He's afraid of catching fleas. Now I'm going to pee and then I'm leaving. I wish you and Paul well. You deserve each other."

Clark had heard the ladies room conversation and smiled to himself. Lois had said that she was in love with him. Could it be real or was it a part of the facade? He didn't want to get his hopes up. Mad Dog Lane…er…Kent…had handled things with Linda without allowing Linda to get to her. And Paul, that oxygen thief, had problems. Clark headed towards the ladies room.

Lois walked past Linda and just shook her head as she exited the ladies room. When Lois opened the door she ran right into Clark.

"Clark, sweetheart, can we go home?"

"Sure, honey." Clark placed his arm around Lois's waist and guided her out, heading for home. He was so proud of her. At that moment, he realized something that he didn't think possible. He loved Lois more.

As they left the dance, with Clark's arm possessively around Lois, he started talking. "I heard you and Linda in the ladies…or should I say cat room…" He pointed to his ear briefly. Lois understood the gesture.

"I know. Can you believe her…?"

Matt had told Clark that he'd be out late again and not to wait up for him. So when Lois and Clark got home they went to bed. They laid there in dark silence facing each other for the longest. Finally Lois spoke.

"Thank you, Clark."

"For what, honey?"

"Being there for me, giving me strength…support."

"You're already a strong woman without me."

"Oh, Kent. One day I'll explain all of this to you."

Clark stretched out his arm to welcome Lois to his chest and she accepted. She eventually drifted off to sleep with Clark cuddling her there. Clark, on the other hand, didn't find sleep so easily. He was dreading Thursday…tomorrow…the last day of the conference. Friday everyone would be gone and their pretense would be over. He'd be back to sleeping alone…forever…maybe.

Superman was needed a few times during the night and Clark hated leaving Lois. She didn't seem to sleep well when he left her. The second time he returned, Lois cuddled back into her human cocoon and mumbled, "I love you."

Clark responded, "I love you, too, more than life."

Lois didn't seem to be fully awake. She was probably just dreaming, but nevertheless the little sleepy exchange made it harder for him to leave her the fourth and fifth times that night.

Matt left at noon on Thursday after the conference closed. Clark had asked Lois to stay on Thursday night. His excuse was that there might still be reporters, namely Linda and Paul, lingering through the weekend. She agreed.

Lois had wanted to stay the extra night but couldn't come up with a valid excuse so Clark's excuse was welcomed.

Thursday night, Clark made a special dinner for his and Lois's last night as husband and wife. He made a Mediterranean shrimp dish over ziti pasta, with grated sun dried tomatoes and artichoke cubes, which was another one of Lois's favorites. They had a white wine from Italy that Superman went for while dinner was in progress. After dinner they talked until late. Perry had given them a three-day weekend because of having such a busy week. At least that's what he told them. Truth be known, he was giving them time alone to…well…work through things.

At about ten thirty, after Clark showered at super speed, he ran Lois a bath. When Lois was done with her bath and donned her gown, Clark had her lie down prone on his bed while he gave her a massage. It was like an out of body experience for Lois. He applied slight heat vision in tense areas. It felt so good. Now Lois knew what he'd been doing all those times before she found out that he was Superman.

Speaking of…Superman, they had to get past that bombshell.

"Lois, are you mad about Superman?"

"Good thinking, Kent. Ask when you are doing such wonderful things to my body and I can't get mad at you. Did you plan that?"

"Nope. Improvised on the spot." Clark chuckled.

"I'm not mad. You've been too wonderful to me, Clark. And I understand why you did it."

"You do?"

"Yeah, I do." Lois looked back at Clark and smiled.

Finally Lois and Clark got under the covers and settled in, facing each other. After a long silence, Clark leaned over and kissed Lois on the lips thoroughly.

"Wow! What was that for?" Lois asked after the kiss.

"I guess…because it will be our last kiss…as husband and wife." Clark giggled a little as if he had just made a joke, just to lighten the mood, but he meant every word. Lois snuggled into Clark's embrace.

"Thank you, Clark. I put you in an awkward position and you almost had to help me…or humiliate me."

"Trust me, Lois. I didn't do anything that I didn't want to do."

Lois and Clark talked until much later, with Clark making delicate circular motions on Lois's back, arms and shoulders. Eventually they were off to sleep. Clark held Lois all night. Superman wasn't needed. There was a God smiling down on them from heaven!

Lois awakened to Clark watching her sleep on Friday morning. It was nine thirty.

"Hello, sleepy head."

"Hello. I must have really been tired. Why didn't you wake me?" Lois stretched like a cat.

"I guess I didn't want it to end." Clark smiled a sad smile.

"I guess I need to get up and get my stuff." Lois wasn't looking at Clark. She had dreaded this day. She had wanted this facade to be real so badly. She needed to get some emotional space. "I'm gonna run home and put on some jeans and then I'll be back for my stuff, okay?"

"Sure. I'll be here unless…" Clark made the Superman flying motion. "But don't leave before I get back if…you know…Superman is needed."

Lois was then up and out of bed. She thought, 'No need to prolong the inevitable.'

Much later Lois entered Clark's apartment with the key that he had given her earlier during the week. He hadn't even acted like he wanted the key back. It was dark and quiet. She thought that Superman must have been needed. Lois then entered Clark's bedroom to find him sitting on the window seat staring out the window. He seemed so preoccupied that he didn't seem to be aware of Lois's arrival.



"You okay?"

"Yeah, honey. I'm okay. I was just thinking. It's the first time all week that I've been alone long enough to think." Clark never turned to face Lois from the window.

"I guess our little game of pretend is over. I'll just get my things and give you back your space," Lois stated, almost as if to no one in particular. Clark's inference sort of stung at her a little. He was obviously ready for her to leave.

"Clark, I just want to thank you…for this week…for improvising on the spot. You rescued me yet again. You always knew exactly what to say…what to do."

Clark never acknowledged that Lois had spoken. He kept looking out the window.

"I just hate that when you do finally get married, everyone will think that you have been married before and that you failed at it and got divorced and…you can tell them that it's my fault…and you would make a wonderful husband…and she would be so lucky…"

Clark finally turned his face to Lois and reached out his hand to her. What Lois saw tore at her heart. Clark's eyes looked glazed over with a fresh sheet of tears. She responded by reaching out her hand to him and made steps towards him. Somewhere halfway, they closed the distance until Lois was standing right in front of Clark. He then stood facing her and held both of her small hands with his much larger ones.

"Lois, honey, it was never pretend for me." Clark bore into Lois's doe brown eyes almost as if he could see her soul. "And don't even think about what people are going to think because there is only one woman that I will ever want to spend the rest of my life with, and she's standing right in front of me holding my hands." Clark smiled. "Be my wife, Lois."

"Clark, I'm a big girl now and I can handle my college associates. You don't have to protect me anymore…"

"Lois, I meant what I said on Wednesday night as we danced. I love you. It wasn't just a part of the charade."

"Oh, Clark…" Lois had to fight back tears.

"Are you in love with me, Lois? Because I am so very much in love with you."

"Yes, I am…so much in love with you, too, and for so long…I think from the beginning. I'm just so scared, Clark." Lois's tears started to fall.

"Lois, honey, I'm afraid, too. I've never done this before. But I will never hurt you. I don't have much, but everything I have…I am willing to share with you. I promise to take care of you and protect you. And we have no more secrets now."

Clark held Lois securely to his chest and smiled to himself, in the way that only Clark could. Lois held on to him like a lifeline. After a few moments he pushed Lois back enough to look in her eyes and asked again. "Will you marry me?"

"Yes, Clark. Yes!"

Clark looked down at Lois as he held her face gently in his hands and initiated the most loving kiss.

A few moments later after the kiss ended, Clark took Lois's hands again and led her to sit with him on the window seat.

"Lois, why didn't you tell me before now that you loved me…that you wanted more than just friendship?"

"I was afraid that you wouldn't feel the same way. I mean I'd had my chance. And we had such a wonderful friendship and I was afraid of losing it. Why didn't you tell me?"

"I was afraid of rejection…again. I wasn't even sure of what you would say today. I just went for it. I thought that maybe you felt something after this week…but then I thought that maybe it was a part of the charade."

"No. It was real. It was all real…for me…the whole time. I was dreading coming back over today to pack my things because I didn't want it to end. I got used to falling asleep in your arms and waking up next to you. It felt so wonderful."

"Like I said, Lois, none of it was pretend for me."

After a long moment of silence, Clark continued. "Even Matt could see that we were so in love with each other and he'd never even met you. I guess we were hopeless, huh?"

"I am so happy about it, though." Lois looked at Clark sitting beside her with so much happiness. "What do we do with these?" Lois asked as she removed the gold band from her finger.

"You can keep it but I have another one for you. It's a little bit nicer." Clark got up abruptly. Lois just watched him. He went over to his bedside table and opened the drawer. He removed a black velvet box and came back to Lois. Down on one knee again, Clark asked, "Lois, will you marry me?"

"Yes!" Lois responded simply as she held out her left hand for Clark to place her engagement ring. It was a beautiful 1-karat, emerald-cut solitaire on a simple platinum setting. Tears slid down her cheeks again…happy tears.

"Did you just…how long have you had this?"

"I've had it for two years, praying that one day you would love me enough to marry me. I guess I bought it…I was going to propose to you in the park that day when you told me that…well…you know."

"Clark, I'm so sor…"

Clark quieted Lois's apologies and her sobs with kisses…of promise.

Three days later, on Monday, Judge Dean Cain, a friend of Lois's, married the happy couple at the Metropolis Courthouse. They'd wanted to marry as soon as possible.

After a couple of weeks' honeymoon, Lois and Clark would return to the Daily Planet as full partners. Perry was so proud of his reporting couple. That extra day off for the dream team did actually pay off.