By Catherine Bruce <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Submitted: April 2008
Summary: There's nothing worse than standing around in the middle of winter in tights when you have no superpowers....
Author's note: Wouldn't you know? The one time in ... *checks* three months that I decide to write a story, my usual beta is on vacation! How selfish ;) (LaraMoon! I's just teasin'!) Fortunately, Saskia swooped in, long blankie-cape billowing in the wind, and beta'd this for me faster than I could say 'Waaaaaaaaaah I wrote something and have no beta waaaaaaaaaah!' *hugs!*
This little ditty came to me this morning while I was standing outside at the unsightly hour of 0700 waiting for formation ...
And he'd thought the pain from Kryptonite was bad.
Now, lying in that alley, surrounded by a blanket of white, he found a new level of badness that seeped in through the despairingly thin blue spandex, invading every cell in his body. A strong ache settled deeply into his bones as his entire body shook almost uncontrollably. His hands felt numb, slipping on the ground beneath him as he tried to stand.
And his feet ... man, did his feet hurt!
A loud sound echoed repeatedly, bouncing off the brick walls of the old buildings surrounding him. Finally, he managed to pull himself up, trying to regain the use of his unbelievably numb legs, before turning to find the source of the noise. He could not help the grimacing grin that spread across his face at the sight of his wife rushing down the narrow path, her heels beating a strange staccato onto the narrow cobbled path that had begun to slush.
Ouch. It even hurt to smile!
"Clark, are you alright?" Lois asked in a frantic whisper as she reached him, bracing her hand against his chest as she placed the other against the side of his face. He gasped as the heat of her skin melted away the sharp tingles, and reached up to press her fingers more firmly against him.
"Y-yeah," he managed to stutter out through chattering teeth. "A-all things c-considering."
She "tsked" sympathetically as her hands worried over his face, pushing back his hair that had stuck up in all sorts of disarray after his spectacular fall. "You didn't break anything, did you?"
"No," he murmured softly, mourning the loss of her warmth in one place on his body as he rejoiced at the warming of another. "Only my pride," he amended.
He marveled at her then, not sure how it was that she was able to endure this horrible sensation. It ate at him, clawing through his system with a bestial savagery, making him want to curl up in a tight ball and never move again.
"You don't look alright," she admonished with barely-concealed worry as she pressed her body tightly against his side, wrapping his arm around her shoulder for added support.
Every square inch where his body met hers rejoiced while the rest cried out in jealousy. He tried to take a couple of steps along with her before he stumbled, landing hard on one knee, nearly bringing her down with him.
"Clark!" she snapped, unable to keep the worry at bay any longer. "What is *wrong* with you?"
He wrapped his own arms tightly against his chest, burrowing his hands as far as he could beneath his biceps. He looked up at her, wild eyes wide with wonderment. "How the heck can you *stand* this?"
"Stand what?" she demanded, almost petulantly.
"I mean, before, sure, I could feel it. But it was like looking outside through a window during a rainstorm. Now, though, it's like I'm actually *in* the rain, and I gotta tell you, Honey, I'm not liking being wet one bit!" He was rambling now. He knew he was, but he could not stop it.
"Come on, Clark. You're really starting to scare me."
"I know, I know, I'm sorry," he said, using her to regain his footing once more. Even the throbbing in his knee was more enjoyable than ... than *this*. "*Tering zooi* it's cold!"
Lois just stared at him for a moment before she let out a bark of relieved laughter. He found her amusement of his situation rather discomfiting, and had to fight hard not to harrumph. Then he forgave her as she wrapped her arms around his upper body, draping as much of her coat around him as she could.
"My poor big baby," she cooed teasingly while rubbing at his upper arms before planting a warm, wet kiss against his cheek.
The lingering feel of icy cold against the moist patch was almost enough to make him wish she had not done that. Almost, but not quite.
Slowly, so that his legs could move stiffly against the cold, she led him to the Jeep. "You've never really lost your powers during the winter before, have you?"
"Nope," he admitted, concentrating on taking one step at a time. "At least not in the middle of one of the *coldest* winters in New Troy history!"
"Well, then, let me show you how I can stand cold days like this," she said with a hint of promise in her voice.
His eyebrows rose at the lilt in her voice. "Oh?" he asked innocently, "how is that?"
Later, after a nice hot shower, Clark found himself wrapped snuggly in a large thick blanket before a roaring fire. Lois came in from the kitchen, holding two steaming mugs. Almost reluctantly, he lifted the end of one side of the blanket, silently urging her to hurry as a gust of air struck mercilessly against his side. While he was relatively warmer now than he had been earlier, the wraith-like remnants of the frosty air remained buried deeply in his bones.
Fortunately, Lois was soon spooned against his side. Her heat seemed to seep into every pore, and he greedily drank it up. "What have you got there?" he managed to ask as soon as he was warm again.
Smiling with a deviously childish glint in her eyes, she handed him a hot mug. The raw sensation of touch nearly caused his suddenly singed fingers to drop the mug into his lap, but he managed to juggle it without spilling a drop. "It's my secret recipe!" she informed him in a conspiratorial whisper.
Cautiously, he peered into the steaming brew. Or, at least, what he could make of the stuff past the dozens of tiny, floating marshmallows. "Looks like hot chocolate to me," he pointed out absently.
Lois stuck out her tongue, causing countless pleasant flip-flops in the pit of his stomach. "Yes, but it's *my* recipe."
Chuckling, he took a sip without fear. If there was one certain thing in his life, it was the fact that his beautiful wife would never ruin something made of chocolate. Forgetting for a moment that his taste buds were not enhanced, the heat scorched his tongue and probably left third-degree burns all the way down his esophagus.
After grumbling at his wife, who had dissolved into giggles against his shoulder, he took a more cautious sip.
The combination of hot chocolate, a hot roaring fire, and the very hot body of his wife snuggled against him dissolved any lingering bits of cold. With a contented sigh, he snuggled back into the cushions as he realized that once again, she was right.
While he would not want to do it every day, freezing his butt off was worth the thick blanket of warmth he found himself in.