Summary: Lois knows Clark's secret, and they seem to be an item, but Lois notices that Clark is emotionally and physically distancing himself from her. While she agonizes over the problem, Martha calls to lend a sympathetic ear.
Clark was late again, as usual. Lois sighed as she put the food back in the oven to keep warm. She walked over to her window and sighed up into the night sky.
"Where are you tonight, Clark?" She whispered.
Lately it seemed they never had time alone together. Sure they saw each other at work, but they'd been so busy recently with the strange goings on with Intergang, that they hadn't had time to just be a couple.
When they'd first started dating, Clark had tried harder to be around. Now, he didn't seem to try as hard. Now that he didn't need to invent 'ridiculous' excuses, he didn't even bother giving her any excuses. Clark hardly ever showed up for dinner anymore. They hardly even dated.
Lois frowned. Maybe she was old news. She'd asked him that once before, but maybe it was finally true. Oh Lois…there you go again feeling sorry for yourself. She sniffed as she reached in the freezer for the chocolate ice cream. Maybe they should move in together. At least then, she'd see more of him, and have him to herself late at night. She could fall asleep in his arms, like she usually did now, but know he'd be there in the morning. Live together?! She couldn't even get Clark to visit! Get a grip, Lois!
A lot of times now, when Clark finally did show up, it was so late, that when they sat on the couch to discuss things, she'd fall asleep. And of course Clark would be gone in the morning. That was another thing. He never stayed the night, not even just to hold her. Clark never made any advances toward a more intimate relationship either. Lois sniffed again and took another spoonful of ice cream. Maybe he really wasn't interested anymore.
True, she'd only found out a few weeks ago, about Clark's being Superman, but things had been going down hill since then. They should be getting closer now, not farther apart. Lois blamed herself. She looked down at her empty ring finger and another tear fell. She had told Clark she wanted to think about everything before saying yes to his proposal. After all, she'd just realized that Clark and Superman were one and the same. This took some getting used to, didn't it? She still felt shy seeing Clark as Superman. She couldn't even look Superman in the face yesterday after a hotel fire. She was afraid she'd reveal her love and longing for him and jeopardize his identity, so she'd left without getting an interview. She knew Clark could write it up later.
She looked down at her empty ring finger again and sniffed. She'd blown it. She hadn't said yes when she could have, and now , it seemed, Clark had changed his mind.
Just then the phone rang. Lois knew it probably wasn't Clark. It would be faster for him to fly to her window, than to make a call. Of course, he might call if he wasn't going to come over. Then he wouldn't have to face her when he told her. Coward!
"Hello?" Lois tried to sound casual.
Lois smiled and sighed. Martha always seemed to know when she needed her.
"Hi Martha." Lois said relieved.
"Honey, Jonathan thinks I'm crazy, but I felt you needed to…talk." Martha's voice sounded hesitant.
Lois pushed the ice cream to the side and smiled, wiping a tear impatiently away.
"How do you do that? Clark always said you had a special radar yourself."
Martha chuckled then said worriedly. "Oh honey, something is wrong isn't it?"
Since Lois had found out about Clark, she and Martha had become close. Closer than she and Clark had been lately Lois frowned again.
"Oh Martha." Lois' voice broke.
"Lois, what is it?"
Lois explained how little she saw of Clark now, and what she was feeling.
"Do you think he's tired of me? Or changed his mind? We never see each other, except at work, but that's not the same is it? And even when he does come over, it's usually so late I fall asleep. I do love falling asleep in his arms but I'd…Oh I mean I fall asleep on the couch in Clark's arms…while we're talking…" Lois started to babble.
Martha smiled on the other end of the phone. She loved Lois, and wouldn't mind in the least to find out that Lois and Clark had finally found the happiness they deserved together.
"Lois, of course Clark isn't tired of you. Honey, he loves you!" Martha reassured her.
"Martha…" Lois bit her lip hesitantly, but had to ask someone.
Martha heard the hesitancy in Lois' voice.
"What is it, Lois?" She asked softly.
"I don't think…that is…I don't think Clark does love me anymore." Lois swallowed. Could she go on?
Martha sensed Lois had a reason why she felt this way, and needed to talk about it.
"Why do you think that, honey?" She asked gently.
"Well…he…oh this is so difficult. You're his mother after all, an…an…" Lois let out a deep breath and just said it. "He doesn't want me." she cried.
Martha finally understood what Lois was trying to say and she smiled.
"Oh…I can't believe I just said that!" Lois wailed and buried her face in her hand.
"Lois…sweetheart, it's OK. I'm glad you feel you can talk to me. Honey, you know I want the best for the two of you. Lois…you know Clark's different. He's always seen intimacy and honesty as going together. Talk to him, Lois. Have you told him how you feel about his now being Superman. Knowing Clark, he's waiting for a sign from you."
Lois sniffed again and straightened. It made sense.
"You really think so?" She smiled.
" I think you two just need to talk. It sounds like you both are still trying to work through your new feelings and haven't had time to talk to each other about them. Lois, sometimes when Clark doesn't know what to do, he puts more effort into helping others as Superman. Don't let him do that this time."
Lois smiled relieved. She felt so much better now.
"Oh, Martha, thank you. I will. I don't know what I'd do without you."
"I'm so glad I can help, honey." Martha smiled.
Lois hung up and wiped her eyes again.
Clark flew to Lois' window and landed on the open sill. He started forward and saw her in the kitchen with the 'chocolate'. Clark winced knowing Lois ate chocolate a lot when she was upset. And she had a right to be. Clark was frustrated with the relationship, or lack of it, too. He missed her so much. He missed their teasing and laughing. He missed the way they talked and argued a story . Even their partnership, lately, had been strained. He realized he missed his best friend, his partner, and his girlfriend. Clark frowned and looked determined. Not any more! He was going to change all that. Lois came first! They had to talk. He'd given her enough time to come to terms with everything. He sucked in his breath hoping he could handle her decision.
He watched her for a minute, before she noticed him. She was so beautiful, he thought. She was wearing black form fitting jeans and a red cropped sweater that emphasized her perfect figure. He would have loved her had she been wearing a sack, but the outfit did raise his temperature, which made him elevate slightly before he caught himself.
Lois looked up and saw Clark leaning in the door way to her kitchen. She swallowed, and caught her breath. He was so handsome.
"Hi." Clark said softly.
"Hi." Lois smiled back shyly.
Clark had already changed into jeans and a blue shirt. He also had on his glasses. His hair fell over his one eye, and she smiled. This was her Clark. At least she hoped he was still hers.
He glanced at the chocolate ice cream and looked up hesitantly.
"need to talk, I know." She finished for him.
Clark smiled gently and putting the ice cream away, he led her to her couch.
"Lois…" Clark started and then looked strange.
"What's that smell?" he asked.
"What?" Lois looked confused. Then she shot up. Clark's food in the oven!
Clark beat her to the oven, and pulled the hot, now smoking pan from it. He put out the flames with his breath.
Lois looked from the burnt, smoking pan to Clark's calm face, and burst into tears.
Clark dropped the pan in the sink, blew out the smoke in the oven, and took Lois into his arms.
Lois broke down. The strain lately, of everything, was too much for her. Her new feelings for Clark, realizing who he was, the proposal, and their strained relationship, and now… she couldn't even cook Clark a decent meal!
Clark held Lois' sobbing body hard against him. He looked grim as he lifted her into his arms and brought her back to the couch.
Clark let her cry and just held her. She needed this. If they'd only talked or shouted or gotten this all out before…
"I…I can't even cook for you. No…no wonder you don't show up…for…for dinner." She continued to cry into his chest.
"Oh, Lois. I'm sorry. This is my fault." Clark said against her hair, near her ear.
Finally Lois calmed down. She could hear Clark's steady, reassuring heart beat under her and this calmed her. His arms held her warmly and safely to him. He slowly kissed her head where he was leaning against her ear.
"Lois." Clark started, and handed her a tissue. "I guess it's time we really talked about…well, everything. I thought you needed more time, but maybe you don't."
Lois raised her head. "More time? For what? Clark, what's wrong? I know it's been crazy at the Planet, and …in the streets, but…Clark, are you tired of me?" Lois finally asked.
"Lois! No! Lois, how could you think that? I…"
"I know now why you go off all the time, but it seems as if you don't even try to have time for me anymore. " Lois sniffed.
Clark met her large, beautiful brown eyes and sighed. Then he looked down. It was true. He had been avoiding her lately. He was afraid of what she might have decided about them now that she realized the strain and isolation she'd be living with.
"Lois, I have been avoiding this talk. But you seemed like you needed more time to think all of this over. Lately it's been so strained between us, I wasn't sure you…wanted me around." Clark finally said. Here it comes, he thought, she was going to tell him it was too much for her, his crazy life.
Lois frowned. "Clark, you thought…oh, Clark, I don't need time away from you. I need time with you! When we're together I feel you're tense, like you don't want to be with me." Lois admitted, and bit her lip.
"Not want to be with you? Lois, don't you know how long I've waited for you to see me…Clark." He stressed.
Lois looked into Clark's eyes and saw all the doubt, strain, and pressure he had been feeling these past weeks too. She gently put her hand on his cheek.
"Oh, Clark, I do see you. I love you. I need to be with you. Don't you know farm boy, before you I was alone and didn't really know it. Now, I feel like that again, but this time I know what I'm missing. I miss you, Clark." Lois admitted looking up at him with so much love.
Clark sighed and taking her hand from his face, he kissed it.
"Lois…" He whispered with emotion. "I want to be with you too. I've missed you, partner. I've missed you as a friend, and I've missed …well…us." He smiled, relieved. She still wanted him. He hadn't blown it.
Lois didn't need to say it. Clark leaned down and gave her what they both needed. He captured her sweet, trembling lips and they both sighed. It was like the life flowed back into both of them. The electricity flowed and they were stunned. Lois felt them floating and smiled against Clark's mouth. He did want her. Clark smiled too, and pulled Lois closer.
Lois couldn't get close enough. She needed to feel Clark's warm skin against her. She slid her hands up under his loose shirt, and felt him suck in his breath, as her cool hands touched his hard stomach.
Clark stiffened and they slowly lowered back to the floor.
Lois felt Clark's rejection and all of her insecurities resurfaced. She pulled away and backed up.
Clark saw the look of hurt on Lois' face and cursed himself. "Lois…" He tried to explain.
Lois was afraid to hear that he didn't want her that way. She turned around and headed for the kitchen. "It's OK, Clark. I guess I'd better clean up this mess…"
Clark placed a hand on her shoulder and turned her around. "Lois, don't …Lois, it's not that I don't want to. God, I've wanted you since I first saw you." He smiled.
Lois frowned not knowing why he'd stopped then. Her eyes suddenly widened and she paled. "Clark…I never thought…you can't…" Lois' voice trailed off. She'd been so selfish. After all, he'd always pushed away her advances as Superman.
Clark, realizing what conclusion Lois had drawn, smiled.
"No, Lois, that's not the problem. Believe me, that's not the problem." He said with an amused half smile, and a hot but amused twinkle in his eye.
Lois saw his hot look and blushed. She was relieved.
"Then…" Lois didn't know what to say.
Clark still held Lois by the shoulders and led her back to the couch. He sat and pulled her onto his lap. He wanted to hold her. Lois cuddled into him and sighed. As long as Clark held her she didn't care about anything else.
"Lois, I'm afraid." Clark admitted gently.
Lois' head came up and she met his worried eyes. "What? Why?" she asked softly and hugged him tighter.
"Lois, I still don't know a lot about , well, my past. I mean as Superman. I don't know if I can die, or if I will age normally, or if…I can…have children." He finally admitted and let out his breath.
Lois thought about all he'd said quietly for a second. Then she met his eyes again, and the love and warmth in them made Clark suck in his breath again.
"Well then, we'll just have to cross those bridges when we come to them. Oh, Clark, don't you see, none of that matters. We were meant to be. I never thought I'd find a man I could love or trust. I fell in love with you first as Superman, and I trusted you completely as Clark. I was born to love you, Clark Kent." Lois stated seriously, looking intently into his agonized face.
"Lois…" Clark swallowed, too filled with emotion to go on.
Lois saw the lone tear run down Clark's cheek and her heart ached for him. God, he'd been living with this fear all of his life, alone. But not any more!
"Clark. We'll deal with whatever happens together. You'll never be alone with all of this again." Lois promised in a whisper.
"I love you, Lois Lane. I have from the moment I met you. I didn't even know I could love a woman until I met you." He admitted with such love in his eyes.
"Clark." Lois' voice throbbed with emotion. "Ask me again."
Clark smiled, knowing instantly what she meant. He swallowed with his own emotion, and pulled the ring from his pocket.
Lois looked down and realizing he must have been keeping it with him all these weeks, looked up into his eyes and smiled.
Clark got on his knee again, and met Lois' eyes.
"Lois, will you marry me?"
Lois smiled . "Oh yes, Clark."
Clark slipped the ring on her waiting finger and their eyes met with shared joy.
Suddenly Clark felt a large weight lift from his shoulders. Lois finally knew everything. She knew he loved her, she knew every one of his secrets, and she still loved him. He felt free. Free to finally love Lois completely. With hot eyes that burned with passion, Clark lifted her up from the couch and stood.
Lois took one look at Clark's eyes and melted. She gasped and goosebumps rose up her whole body. Clark wanted her, completely.
Lois smiled and that was all Clark had been waiting for. He carried her into her room and laid her gently on the bed. When he slowly followed her down, Lois sat up and removed his shirt. She sighed as she ran her hands over his warm, hard chest muscles. Clark gasped, and their eyes met.
The telephone ringing awoke the entwined couple. Clark, forgetting he wasn't in his own apartment, answered it.
"Hello." He said groggily.
"Clark?" Martha's voice sounded surprised.
"Hi mom." He smiled. Then realizing where he was he shot up in bed.
He looked down at Lois ,curled into his side, but now wide awake, and saw laughter in her eyes.
"OK, mom, I'll tell her." Clark said with a blush, and hung up.
Lois looked so good in the morning.
"I've dreamed of seeing you just like this." Clark whispered as he took her into his arms again.
Lois kissed him deeply and snuggled into his big body. " Me too." she admitted with a sigh. "What did your mom want you to tell me?"
Clark smiled down at her. "She wanted to know if you were OK this morning after your talk last night. But she said she had her answer and she'd call you back at a more convenient time." Clark answered with laughter in his voice.
Lois blushed but giggled. "I'm going to have the best mother-in-law in the world." Lois said and pulled Clark down for another kiss.