By EditorJax <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Submitted: December 2007
Summary: Assuming that Lois and Clark had a good date following "Individual Responsibility," she would have felt extremely betrayed by his running off at the carnival the following weekend. But what really happened that night? A 2007 Ficathon story.
Previously on "Lois and Clark" …
Clark took a step toward her. "Say you'll go out with me tonight and I promise you I won't disappear."
Lois looked at him for a long time, her heart finally winning the silent battle with her head. "Alright," she said softly. "You can pick me up at seven. But you've got to promise you won't disappear."
He nodded, barely breathing as she looked up at him from beneath her long eyelashes.
She smiled tentatively. "And you'll be there at seven."
Their eyes met and he smiled as she added, in a low, sexy voice, "And 7:01. 7:02." She wound her arms around his neck, bringing their bodies close enough that her perfume flooded his senses. "7:03. And 7:04. And …"
"So, Lois is coming over for dinner, huh?"
Clark could feel his mother smiling through the phone as he cradled the receiver against his shoulder and balanced a pot of boiling water with his other hand. "Yep. I wasn't sure she'd agree, but she'll be here in fifteen minutes."
"What are you making?"
"Chicken piccata and a salad of mixed greens with walnuts, gorgonzola and a raspberry vinaigrette." He grabbed a cutting board and began chopping and tossing the ingredients at super speed. "Oh, and I was putting out a fire in Los Angeles so I zipped up to Napa and picked up a great chardonnay."
In the kitchen of their Kansas farmhouse, Jonathan and Martha exchanged a look. Their son clearly had it bad if he was cooking with mixed greens, let alone any form of vinaigrette. As Superman, he had access to the world's finest ingredients, but he still was a guy — and a meat-and-potatoes kind of guy, at that.
"Chicken piccata, eh?" Jonathan winked at his wife.
Clark missed his father's amused tone. "Lois loves it."
Martha was delighted. "So if she's coming over for dinner, things must be going well."
There was silence.
"I don't know," he finally replied, all traces of his breezy tone gone. "Things are … complicated. She's been so angry at me lately." He sighed. "Not that I can blame her, though. Every time we start to get close, I have to run off, and she has no idea why. And given the way I acted during my exposure to red Kryptonite, I'm surprised she's even speaking to me."
His next statement was almost a whisper. "I'm afraid I'm going to lose her."
"Oh, Honey, you aren't going to lose her," Martha said empathetically. "She's crazy about you."
"Lois is a smart woman," Jonathan added. "She'll make the right decision."
"And what if she decides that Dan Scardino is the right decision?"
His parents glanced at each other, unsure of how to reassure their lovesick son.
"Just be patient with her," Martha finally said. "Good things come to those who wait."
"I hope so," Clark said. "I better go; she's going to be here any minute and I've got to get changed. Thanks, Mom. You too, Dad."
As he hung up the phone, he couldn't shake the nagging thought that maybe he *wouldn't* be the one.
But if that were the case, it wouldn't be for lack of trying. Not by a long shot.
As Lois pulled up outside Clark's apartment, she turned off the ignition but remained in the safe confines of her Jeep.
She had been surprised when he had called and asked her to come over to his apartment, but she was willing to give him the benefit of the doubt after he had finally opened up a little. That afternoon, he had admitted that her going out with Dan *did* bother him.
It was funny, she marveled, she had been so angry with him earlier in the week, but he hadn't given up. Clark never gave up when he wanted something. She had known it since the day he had shown up in Perry's office with *her* theater-razing piece — one that he had written a thousand times better than she would have, she had grudgingly admitted to herself — and landed himself a job. But now, two years later, things were different. He wasn't looking for a chance from Perry. He wanted a chance with her.
Lois would be lying if she didn't admit that she wanted to be with him, too; but the idea of giving her heart to a man, even Clark, scared her. His continual disappearing act was continually threatening to tear their relationship apart, but her own fears weren't far behind.
After a few more moments of stalling, she got out of the car and slowly walked up the stairs to his apartment, nervously smoothing an imaginary wrinkle in her outfit. He hadn't specified what they would be doing so she had opted for a fitted cashmere sweater in a deep shade of violet and black slacks.
She knocked once and he opened the door immediately, dressed in a gray button-down shirt and tan slacks. A dishtowel was slung over his shoulder.
"Hi," he said, his face breaking into a grin. "Wow … you look incredible."
She blushed. "Thanks. You look really nice, too." Reaching over and plucking the dishtowel off his shoulder, "Static cling?"
He leaned in to kiss her cheek. "I hope you're hungry."
"I'm starving. Where are we going?"
He took her hand and was pleased when she didn't pull away. "To the kitchen."
She stepped into the apartment and caught a whiff of the fantastic smells coming from the kitchen and the lit candlesticks adorning the table. Her eyes widened. "Oh wow, you're cooking?"
He looked into her eyes, their hands still entwined. "Only the best for you, Ms. Lane."
She stood in the kitchen doorway, watching him drain the noodles and distribute them on two plates. "Is there anything I can do to help?"
He shook his head as he artfully added the chicken and sauce to the bed of pasta. "You're the guest."
She took a sip of wine. "This wine is fantastic. Where did you get it?"
"Oh, I don't remember," he said, forcing himself to continue looking down at the counter. "But I'm glad you like it."
"You know, I was thinking." She took another sip. "About Superman."
He fought a groan as he carried the salad bowl over to the table.
She followed him and slid into the chair he pulled out. "Seeing what that red Kryptonite did to him … I was really worried." She shuddered. "Who knows what other forms of that nasty rock are out there just begging to fall into the hands of the wrong person."
He returned with the plates and set one in front of her before taking his own seat in the chair next to hers.
"This looks fantastic. I can't believe you went to all this trouble, Clark."
"It was my pleasure," he said, hoping she would change the subject, but at the same time, secretly pleased by her concern for his alter ego.
"The thing is," she continued, "maybe you and I help him."
He paused, his fork halfway to his mouth. "Help him how?"
She shrugged. "Maybe we could talk to Dr. Klein and see if he could come up with an antidote to Kryptonite."
He chose his words carefully so as not to squelch her enthusiasm. "Do you think it would even be possible to create an antidote to a meteorite that isn't even native to Earth?"
She started to cut up her chicken. "I don't know. I hadn't even thought it through. I'd just hate to see him go through that again."
"I'd hate to be in that position," he said truthfully.
"I guess …" Her voice got softer. "He's not so perfect after all."
Clark couldn't believe what he was hearing. "What?"
Lois looked a little sad. "He's not invincible." She took a bite of salad. "I don't know … he just seemed so much more human and not as …"
"Virtuous," he suggested with a touch of sarcasm.
"Well …" She shrugged. "I guess there isn't such a thing as perfect man after all." She took a bite of pasta and visibly swooned. "But anyone who cooks like this is pretty amazing."
Clark stood at the kitchen counter, scooping the piece de resistance of their romantic meal into two crystal goblets. He could hardly wait to see her reaction, and she didn't disappoint as he set the chocolate mousse on the table.
"Oh, wow," she said softly. "This is amazing."
"I thought you'd like it."
She smiled shyly. "You spoil me."
"That's the idea."
Her eyes twinkled. "If you keep this up, I just may have to stay forever."
CRASH! The goblet sitting to the left of Clark's arm fell to the floor and splintered into a million pieces.
He laughed nervously, her casual words kicking his pulse — and his imagination — into overdrive. "Oops."
She smiled at his flustered expression and slid her goblet toward the middle of the table. "We can share this one."
"I don't want to deprive you, though."
She picked up the spoon and took an exploratory bite. "Oh, God. Clark, this is incredible."
He looked pleased. "I know what you like."
"What else do I like?"
"You like chocolate éclairs." He took the spoon and fed her a bite of mousse. "And you like Thai food … and romantic comedies … and double-fudge crunch bars, of course." He thought for a minute. "I know you like pink cotton candy, and red wine and watching CNN for hours on end."
She leaned in close. "You're forgetting something."
"I'm sure I am," he said softly as he slid another spoonful into her mouth and smiled as a blissful expression crossed her face. "There's so much I have yet to learn about you." He noticed the intense look in her eyes,"So tell me."
She reached out and touched his face. "I like you, Clark." Her voice became even softer. "I like you a lot."
"Do you?" He was barely breathing as he waited for her response.
She nodded, almost shyly.
He was almost afraid to ask. "What about Scardino?"
She leaned in closer. "What about him?" She scooped up a bit of mousse and fed it to him. "I'm here with you, aren't I?"
Clark couldn't hide his grin as he took the spoon back. "My turn."
His uttering of those two simple words sent a shiver down her spine as he slid a spoonful of the decadent dessert into her mouth.
She sucked in her breath as he reached over and gently wiped away a bit of chocolate from above her upper lip.
"Sorry, I got some on your face."
They stared at each other for a long moment.
And then, before he could figure out whether he was dreaming or this was actually reality, Lois leaned in and licked the chocolate mousse off his thumb.
OK, he was definitely dreaming. "Lois?"
She held his glaze. "Yes, Clark?"
He didn't respond as they continued a soulful tango with their eyes.
Finally, Lois snapped back to reality. Had she really just done that? It was time to get out the door, quickly, before she made any other impulsive decisions that could come at a high cost — her dignity, or, given the way they were looking at each other, her clothes. "It's getting late. I'd better go."
Clark let out an audible sigh. "I guess you'd better."
They rose from the table and he walked her to the door, resisting the urge to stroke the soft cashmere covering her back. They already were dancing a little too close to the fire as it was.
She had opened the door and was about to step onto the porch when he cleared his throat. "Lois? I was wondering if you have plans this weekend."
She turned around. "Not really … do you have something in mind?"
"I was wondering if you'd like to go to the Planet's carnival with me." He smiled a little self-consciously. "I know it isn't anything big, but I think we'd have fun."
She smiled. "I'd love to. Maybe you can win me a friend for the bear you won me in Smallville." With a wink, "As long as you don't strand me at the top of the Ferris wheel to go return a library book."
Her expression turned serious. "I'm sorry, Clark. I shouldn't have said that. You kept your promise tonight." She reached up and briefly touched his face. "And I had a wonderful time."
"I'm glad," he said huskily.
She glanced down at her watch and then back up at him, her brown eyes dark with emotion. "Here I was worrying about where you'd be at 7:01 … It's 10:31 and you're still here."
Without a word, he leaned in and kissed her, his arms sliding around her waist as she wound hers around his neck. He could taste wine and chocolate as his tongue slipped into her mouth, eliciting a moan as she succumbed to his sweet caress for the first time.
Their lips still touching, his voice was a whisper. "Some things are worth staying for."
The door closed.
Author's Note: This is a 2007 Ficathon story. The requested elements were Lois and Clark romance, Jonathan and Martha in some form, and discussion of a cure for Kryptonite poisoning.