By David <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Submitted April 2006
Summary: And everything is different, but it's not.
A quick note about the timeline — this is set pre-relationship. Possibly late season one, early season two.
And now… Big thanks to Nicole, who got one paragraph and pestered me until this was written and then sent me a file with more comment than fic. <g> Big, big thanks to Sara who, against explicit instructions (!), stopped writing to BR for me, and a *huge* thanks to Sorcha for the title. :)
Also, a huge thank you to LabRat for GEing faster than anyone could ask for more. <g> Thanks, Labby. :)
"Because I love you, Lois," he says. "Am in love with you, and I can't bear to see you get hurt."
And that's it.
Her breath catches in her throat, her protests die on her lips, and the argument is over. Finished in a faltered heartbeat, faster than it began.
She's quiet, her eyes wide with shock and he just smiles, patting her on the shoulder, like he always does.
And then, "I'll see you at work tomorrow." And he leans over, kisses her cheek, and he's gone, just like always. Like he hasn't just changed everything.
The newsroom is exactly the same.
The ding of the elevator as it reaches her floor. The light filtering in the large windows. The wilting plant beside her desk. The warmth of the freshly printed newspaper beneath her hand. The dark ink that stains her fingertip as she runs it over their shared byline.
The same, only… not.
Exactly the same, only… different. Because everything is different.
The coffee, when he brings it to her, tastes the same… His smile as he places a donut on her desk… Exactly the same, only different too. His face, his hair, his eyes, unchanged, but different.
Familiar and yet completely different.
His scent as he leans over her shoulder to read the screen. The relaxed curve of his shoulders. The warmth of his arm brushing her back… New, different, like he hasn't done it a million times.
Her Clark, who brings her coffee and pats her shoulder and kisses her cheek… who *should* be different. Because he's not just her Clark who brings her coffee and kisses her cheek…
He's her Clark, who loves her. And he should be different, but he's not.
He's the same. Exactly the same…
Right down to the timbre of his voice as he talks about the staff meeting she missed. As he doesn't mention their argument from the night before. As he doesn't say 'Because I love you, Lois.' The thunderous roar of everything that's unspoken between them… Exactly the same, only different, because now she's listening. Because now she hears it. Because now she understands.
He's her Clark.
Her Clark… who loves her by bringing her coffee, holding her hand, kissing her cheek…
Her Clark, who's loved her the whole time.
And when he asks her about her source she just smiles and answers him, because everything has changed, but it hasn't.