By COREENC <COREENC@aol.com>
Summary: Clark is leaving for a two-week vacation in Smallville, and it bothers Lois more than she would have imagined. She's definitely stopped thinking about him as a brother. When Clark returns from Smallville, he has two surprises for her.
NOTE: This story takes place as if Mayson had not died, and Lois and Clark had not yet gone on their first date. What can I say, I live in my own little world. I would appreciate any feedback. I have never written any fanfic before, and it took me forever to finish this story. (Did I mention that I want feedback from you? Yes, YOU :^)
It was a slow news day, and Lois stared blankly at her computer monitor, wishing the story to write itself. "Clark," she said swiveling to face her partner's desk, "How's your story going?" "Not well," Clark responded, "I just can't seem to concentrate. I guess I'm just looking forward to my time off." Lois frowned at his last statement. Clark had told her that he was taking two weeks off to help his parents on their farm in Smallville. Just because he was excited about his upcoming vacation, didn't mean that she had to be. She wasn't looking forward to her partner being gone that long. Lois was a woman who was known for knowing what she wanted, and getting it, but right now, she didn't know what she wanted. She found herself frequently daydreaming, but instead of thinking about Superman, she found herself thinking more and more about Clark. It confused her. They were friends, best friends, but nothing more, weren't they? But she couldn't deny that she was no longer thinking about Clark as a brother!
It had been a long day as Clark entered his apartment. He was exhausted, but he still felt good. He was really looking forward to spending time with his parents. Clark smiled as he remembered how forlorn Lois had looked when he reminded her about his upcoming vacation. He wished that he didn't have to leave her for so long, but as his mother had quoted on the phone earlier, absence makes the heart grow fonder. * It better * he thought. Besides he could always drop in on her as Superman to make sure she was doing alright.
After enjoying a light TV dinner, Clark moved around his apartment at superspeed packing his suitcase. After doing it so many times in his lifetime, Clark had become rather adapt at packing. He had gotten to the point where it took him only 10 seconds to pack his entire suitcase, AND clean up the mess he made in the process. Just as he was about to leave, he heard a knock on the door. He lowered his glasses and peered through the door. It was Lois. He had to laugh at the way she was trying to balance a pizza, a bottle of pop, and knock on the door at the same time. As he opened the door, Clark caught the pop bottle right before it hit the floor. "Good reflexes Clark!" Lois exclaimed. "Come in, I was just getting ready to leave."
"Oh, when is your flight?"
"Um, I'm not sure."
"What do you mean you're not sure? Isn't it written on your ticket? Let me see." She held her hand out.
"I don't have a ticket. Uh, I mean I don't have my ticket here. It's reserved at the airport." Clark responded, quickly covering his slip. He breathed a sigh of relief when Lois set the pizza on the living room table and sat down on the couch, dropping the conversation. He went over and grabbed a slice of pizza and sat down next to her. "So, what brought you over her?" He inquired as devoured his piece of pizza.
"Oh, I just wanted to say goodbye. After all, you'll be gone for two weeks. Not that that's really all that long or anything, but I guess I've kinda gotten used to working with a partner, and it'll be weird not having you around, and-"
"Lois, you're babbling."
"Sorry, I guess I just wanted to say that I would miss you." She looked expectantly at Clark.
"I'll miss you to Lois. I promise to call you, okay?"
"Well, I'm not really sure how things are right now mom." Clark was sitting with his parents at the kitchen table on their farm in Smallville. "She told me that she would miss me, which is pretty unusual for Lois. She never admits how she feels to me. We've been spending alot more time together, but only as friends."
"Son, I think you just have to let her know how you feel. Maybe she feels the same way." Jonathan felt bad that he couldn't give his son any better advice. Clark's duel identity only made the situation more difficult for him.
"Superman's a whole different problem." Clark said, as if sensing his father's thoughts. "Every time Lois and I start to talk about our relationship, I hear someone who needs help. I just feel so helpless when I see her face fall every time I make some stupid excuse to leave."
His parents glanced at each other. They both knew that sooner or later Clark was going to have to tell her the truth about himself. The problem was figuring out how to do that without losing her forever. "Lois' birthday is in a week, I have to find something special for her." Clark commented as he headed for his bedroom.
Back in Metropolis, Lois sat on her couch flipping through channels. *Over 60 channels, and there's nothing on!* Lois turned the TV off and headed into the kitchen. She heated up a piece of pizza that was left over from the day before. As she waited, she couldn't help but think about Clark. * Stop it!* she told herself. *He's not spending every waking moment thinking about you.* But she couldn't help it. She let her thoughts wander. She remembered with a smile the time Perry had them on assignment in a honeymoon suite. Clark had heard the maid coming in, and had thrown her on the bed and kissed her. Closing her eyes she could almost feel the weight of his body pressing against hers as he kissed her . He was so passionate, yet so exquisitely tender. The way his hands seemed to gently caress her face, it was as if he thought she would shatter if he wasn't careful. She could feel her lips tingling at the recollection. The sound of the microwave buzzing startled her out of her daydream. With a sigh, she grabbed the pizza, and flopped back down on the couch .
The Fortress of Solitude. The name reflected what Clark felt. He felt so lonely. He knew he had his parents, but there was a part inside him that even they couldn't fill. There was only one person capable of filling that void. Lois Lane.
"Why does every thing have to be so complicated!" Clark muttered to himself. *If I was normal, I wouldn't have this problem.* He could almost hear his mother gently reminding him that he had to stop thinking of himself not normal. In all honesty, it wasn't his Kryptonian biology that had come between them. It was his own dishonesty, which was, ironically, a human characteristic. *I have to find a way to tell her. And I'd better do it soon.* After a moment of thought, Clark flew back to his house.
"Lois!" Perry's voice thundered through the newsroom. "I need you to get on this now."
"What Perry?" Lois asked as she looked up from her computer monitor. Perry glanced down at her monitor. "I think you should work on your typing skills Lois." Lois looked at the screen and noticed that her fingers hadn't been in the right position. The screen was filled with letters that made absolutely no sense. "Sorry Perry. I guess I wasn't paying much attention." Lois replied sheepishly. "Then I'll tell you again. I need you to go down to the courtroom and talk to Mayson about the Senator's trial. I need the story in the evening edition."
"Perry, can't you send Jimmy, or someone else?"
"No. I want you to go down there and get the scoop. Understand?"
"Yes. I'll go now and get it over with."
"That's the spirit Lois."
Mayson spotted Lois walking towards her in the hallway. "Lois! Don't tell me, you want information about the trial?"
"Of course, why else would I come down here?"
"I don't know, maybe to say hi. Anyway, I can't tell you anything about the trial. It's confidential." Mayson began to walk away. She stopped abruptly and turned to face Lois. "How's Clark doing?" She asked." He's away on vacation." Lois replied looking down at the floor. Mayson stared at her for a moment. "You miss him, don't you?" Lois' head snapped up. "What makes you say that?" Mayson smiled, "I can see it in your eyes, it's the same look that I see in the mirror so often. Clark's a great guy, don't push him too far away, or you might lose him forever." With that Mayson turned and walked down the hallway, and into the courtroom.
*Why can't I just admit that I love him* Lois thought as she drove home. *Mayson was right, all I have done is push him away for all the time I've known him. There's no possible way he could ever love me.
Clark sat on a couch in the living room with a pad of paper. He was a reporter trying to organize his notes. Except there was nothing normal about these notes. He was trying to figure out the best way to tell Lois that he was Superman and that he loved her. It wasn't working. He couldn't even read his writing, much less organize it into coherent thoughts. Clark tried to put himself in Lois' shoes. *If I found out that someone was hiding something that big under my nose, I'd feel really stupid. I mean I'm a investigative reporter, I should have known* "Of course," Clark said out loud, "That only makes it even harder." Clark was deep in thought. He could hear music in the background, it was very relaxing. As he listened to the words, he was reminded of Lois and himself. It was a beautiful song.
What if the prince on the horse, in your fairy tale,
is right here in disguise?
And what if the stars you've been reaching so high for,
are shining in his eyes?
Don't look at yourself in the same old way
Take another picture.
Shoot the stars off in your own backyard,
don't look any further, and you will see.
It's the stuff that dreams are made of.
It's the slow and steady fire.
It's the stuff that dreams are made of,
It's your heart and soul's desire.
Lois sat on her couch eating out of her rocky road ice cream container and clutching the teddy bear that Clark had won for her. She couldn't believe how much his absence was affecting her. They had never really been apart for a long period of time. She loved him, though it was extremely difficult for her to admit, even to herself. She just wished that he was there right now, so that she could her his voice. His voice had such an powerful effect on her. She could always feel her heart beat faster he leaned close to her to tell her something in private. Just as she was about to get up to go to bed, the phone rang. "Hello," she said wearily.
"Long day, Lois?"
"Clark!" Lois exclaimed, doing a very poor job of hiding her enthusiasm.
"I just called to see how you were doing. How was your day?"
"Nothing out of the ordinary. Did you do anything interesting at your parents?"
"Well, I helped my dad with alot of the harvest chores. He's in really good shape, but it's quite a big job for just my parents."
"They're lucky to have such a wonderful son. I must admit, it gets pretty boring around her without you constantly getting me into trouble."
"Me!" Clark exclaimed, trying to recall even one time that he had gotten them into trouble. "As far as I remember, you're the one who seems to have a nose for trouble." Clark teased.
"Details, details, but you must admit, your life would be pretty boring without me." Lois found herself eagerly waiting to see what he would say to that.
"I couldn't imagine my life without you Lois." Clark replied tenderly, causing Lois' heart to melt. "I have to go, but I promise to call you tomorrow."
"Oh," Lois said, sounding extremely disappointed. Clark picked up on this immediately, "Well, I can talk for a few more minutes if you'd like."
"Please, I'd really like that."
"Anything for you Lois."
*I didn't know it would be THIS hard to find the perfect gift for Lois!* Clark had been to specialty gift shops in China, Sweden, France, Spain, and several islands in the Bahamas. *If only I knew what I was looking for.* Clark was walking down a street in Switzerland, trying to decide what to do next when he passed the window of a blown glass shop. He stopped and looked in the window. A neon sign in the corner caught his eye. It read "Free Engravings." Clark immediately thought of the song he had heard earlier. It would make the perfect engraving on Lois' present.
He entered the shop and looked around. After a few minutes, he found what he was looking for. It was a beautiful crystal heart wall hanging. It was about eight inches wide with beautiful 24 karat gold wire arranged decoratively around the border. It was lightly frosted and about a centimeter thick.
Clark approached the counter and asked the man if he could do engravings in English. The man replied that he could, and Clark wrote down what he wanted engraved and where. It would be ready the next day.
"It sounds lovely, Clark." Martha told her son. "When are you going to give it to her?"
"I'm not sure. I told her I'd call her tonight, so I'll make plans then. I just wish I knew how she felt about me. Martha and Jonathan just looked at each other. "Clark, I don't think that you really have to worry about that. I can hear it in her voice. She misses you a lot, and her feelings are a little deeper than friendship. Women can just sense these things," she added when Clark gave her a disbelieving look. "Trust me, Clark."
*You can do this!* Lois tried to tell herself. All day long she had been trying to get up the courage to ask Clark to come over her house for dinner when he came back. *This is ridiculous, he's been over here for dinner countless numbers of times.* But, inside she knew why she was so hesitant. This would be the first time that it would be more than just friends spending the evening together. She was nervous of things not working out, or maybe she was more nervous of things going well. She didn't have a very good history with past relationships. Now that she had found such a good friend in Clark, she didn't want to lose that. She had never felt so safe or loved than when she was with Clark. She could tell that he cared about her. Whenever she talked to him, he looked into her eyes, and he always listened to what she had to say. He was always so considerate, always putting her first. She knew she couldn't ask for anyone better. Deep down, she was afraid that she could never be good enough for him. She had never shown Clark half the attention that he had shown her. She just wished he would take her in his arms and never let her go. *Ha* she thought, *like that MIGHT happen. Well, I can always dream about that!* Lois sighed as she imagined Clark walking through her door and gathering her into his arms. Just then the phone rang.
"Hello." Lois said breathlessly.
"Hi, Lois. It's Clark."
"Hi, Clark! I was just thinking about you." Lois said before she could catch herself.
"Oh really, only good thoughts I hope." Clark teased, though secretly, he was thrilled that she had been thinking about him.
"Yeah, wouldn't you like to know. Actually I was wondering if you would like to come over to my house when you get back. It's my birthday, I'm sure you didn't forget or anything like that," Lois said accusingly. "But I thought it would be nice if we could have dinner together."
"That sounds wonderful, Lois. There is nothing else I would rather do. And don't worry, I didn't forget your birthday. In fact I already got your present. Tell you what, I'll bring over dinner, okay?"
"I'd like that. I could try to cook, but I'd like to actually be able to eat this dinner. What did you get me?" Lois asked curiously.
"I can't tell you that!" Clark said shocked. "You'll just have to wait and find out. I'm sure that you will like it."
Clark couldn't believe his luck. Lois had asked him over for dinner, so now he had the perfect opportunity to give her the present, and tell her the truth. It was only one more day until he had to return to Metropolis. He thought about what his mother had said earlier. He became more sure that Lois felt the same way he did. He had to think of the perfect way to tell her. Presentation is everything, he had always heard. Well, this was the biggest, most important presentation of his life. Everything had to be perfect.
It took her over an hour to clean her apartment. She wanted everything to be perfect tonight. She knew of course, that tonight couldn't possibly be EVERYTHING she wanted it to be. But she couldn't help but hope.
It was much harder for Lois to figure out what she wanted to wear. She finally settled on a long black dress. It was rather low cut, and had spaghetti straps. She put her hair up in a French twist, and left just a few tendrils dangling down to frame her face. *Let's just see what he thinks of this!* She thought to herself, while putting the finishing touches on her make-up.
Clark had just finished cooking dinner. He didn't want to just bring take out food. He wanted to make tonight special. He picked out a black suit, and a tie with tiny, red hearts all over it. He bundled the dinner up and flew over to Lois' apartment.
When he arrived on Lois' steps, he couldn't help but take a peek in. He could see that Lois had the dinner table elegantly set up, minus any dinner, of course. There were two candles lit and standing on the center of the table. *Wow*, thought Clark. He set the dinner down on the steps, and flew off. Several moments later, he returned carrying a large bouquet of red roses. He let out a deep breath, and rang the door bell.
Lois answered the door seconds later. She opened the door slowly. She looked stunning. Lois smiled, she knew exactly what Clark was staring at. He didn't look bad himself. She took a moment to admire the way he looked in his black suit. She noticed with a smile that his tie had little hearts all over it.
Clark recovered himself, and gave Lois an admiring smile that made her heart skip a beat. "Happy birthday, Lois." He said as he gave her the bouquet of roses. "You look absolutely breathtaking." He whispered, as he twirled a silky tendril around his finger.
Lois didn't know what to say. His eyes held hers captive, as he seemed to look deep within her soul. Finally, regaining her composure, Lois moved to allow him to enter the apartment. "Come on in. I already set the table. The roses are beautiful, I've never seen any so red." She said as they moved into the kitchen.
Clark smiled, and began to set the food on the table. "I still have two more things for you, Lois." Clark said with a mischievous grin. Lois' eyes lit up.
"Where?" She asked excitedly.
"Uh, uh. Not until after dinner." Clark teased her.
"This food is delicious, Clark." Lois commented as she took another bite. "I didn't expect you to actually cook something. I was just expecting take out food." Lois was incredible happy.
"I just wanted things to be special for your birthday, Lois." Clark couldn't believe how well the evening was going. He hadn't let himself believe that things would go so perfectly. He had never seen Lois so beautiful. Every once in a while he would look up and catch her staring at him. It was the same adoring look that he used to see in her eyes as Superman. * I could definitely get used to this.*
"Penny for your thoughts, Clark." Lois interjected into his thoughts. "You've been staring at your plate for the last five minutes. Not the company, I hope."
"I'm sorry, Lois. I was just thinking." He lapsed into silence again.
Confused, Lois waved a hand in front of his face. "Earth to Clark. You're doing it again."
"Sorry, I was just thinking about how much I was enjoying dinner, and the amazing company."
Lois couldn't help but smile at him. She was enjoying dinner as well.
Lois sat next to Clark on the sofa after they finished cleaning the kitchen. He had insisted on helping, even though she told him that she could handle it. Lois was relishing all the attention he was giving her. She wished that the night would never end.
"Hey, you said that you still had two more things for me. Where are they?" Lois asked with unmasked anticipation. Clark smiled as he pulled out the wrapped gift from a bag next to the couch. It was wrapped so elegantly, that Lois was afraid to rip the paper. She carefully undid the tape and slid the box out. The name on the box was not one she recognized, nor in a language she recognized. She looked quizzically at Clark who simply told her to open it. Lois gasped as she removed the tissue paper to reveal the crystal heart. It was the most gorgeous gift she had ever received. Just as she was about to turn to thank Clark, she noticed the engraving:
"What if the prince,
on the horse, in your fairy tale,
is right here in disguise?
And what if the stars,
you've been reaching so high for,
are shinning in his eyes?"
A tear began to form in Lois' eyes. She looked into Clark's eyes. The love she saw there took her breath away. "Clark, I, I don't know what to say. I don't think I quite understand what you're trying to say."
"I know, Lois. This is really hard for me to say. I have been trying to get up the nerve to tell you this for a long time now. Actually, I have two very important things to tell you." Lois was thoroughly confused at this point. "Lois, I need you to really think about that inscription."
Lois stared at the inscription. Suddenly something clicked in her head. *No, that can't be. It's impossible.* "Clark -" she began.
"It's true, Lois. I AM Superman. I wanted to tell you earlier, but it was never the right time. I knew you loved me as Superman, but I wanted you to love me as Clark. Superman's not a real person, Lois. He's just a disguise. If I told you any sooner, I never would have known if it was really me that you loved." Clark finished as he looked at Lois helplessly.
Lois had a hard time registering the events of the last few minutes. A thousand thoughts were running through her head. She felt angry, hurt, elated, and confused at the same time. On one hand, she was hurt that Clark had put her through such agony, trying to choose between the two of him. But on the other hand, she was elated that she didn't have to give up Superman. Things began to all fall into place in her mind. All Clark's mysterious disappearances, offhanded comments that had made no sense at the time, all the times he had saved her life, and all of her confused feelings. But above everything else, she knew that she loved him, and that she didn't want him to ever leave. The love and desire she saw in his eyes when she finally turned to look at him melted any remaining anger away.
She looked deep into his eyes, communicating her acceptance without the need for words. After a pause, she was reminded of something. "Wait, you said you had TWO more things to give me. What's the second?"
Clark grinned. "Close your eyes."
Lois closed her eyes, but couldn't resist opening them just a little.
"Well, if you're going to play that way, then we'll just have to use this." Clark said as he tied a blindfold around Lois' head.
"Hey." Lois protested ineffectually. Lois stopped struggling as Clark lifted her effortlessly into his arms and walked out onto the balcony.
Lois moved closer into Clark's arms, as they soared into the night sky. Clark tightened his arms around her to shield her body from the cold. "Where are we going, Clark?" Lois asked.
"If I told you then it wouldn't be a surprise, would it?" Lois hit him playfully on the chest.
When they finally descended, Lois could feel the tropical warmth. Clark turned her around and removed the blindfold. When she opened her eyes, Clark was gone. *Some surprise* she thought. As she turned around, she gasped at the view in front of her. The sun had just begun to set over the ocean. She could hear the sounds of birds in the background, while the water splashed up against the beach. Lois stood transfixed as she watched the majestic sight.
"Surprise." she heard a voice whisper from behind her, as Clark wrapped his arms around her. She sighed, and leaned back against him. "I love you, Lois." Clark whispered into her ear, as he pulled her closer to him, and kissed her neck. A small moan escaped from Lois' lips. She turned around in his arms, to face him. The love and desire she felt from him caused her to melt into his arms. She had never felt more complete, or more loved than at that moment. Time seemed to stand still, as he held her close and stroked her hair. Clark pulled away for a moment and bent down. As he stood up, Lois heard music begin to play softly.
"Would you care to dance?" Clark asked gallantly.
"I would love to, my prince." Lois giggled.
As Clark pulled Lois back into his embrace, they floated up above the ground and began to sway to the music. He looked into her eyes with undisguised adoration.
"I love you too, Clark." She said as he cupped her face in his strong hand. He drew her lips to his for just a touch of a kiss. They stared into each other's eyes for a moment before their lips came together again in a rush of passion. Lois had never felt such an incredible feeling of desire before. She couldn't stop kissing him, not that she would have anyway. The deeper he kissed her, the more she wanted. She wrapped her arms around his neck as she pulled him closer. He ran his fingers through her hair as he proceeded to run them up and down her back. Lois shivered as his touch created such a powerful effect on her body. Her head fell to the side, as he kissed her neck, and nibbled lightly on her earlobe.
Hours later, Lois laid with her head on Clark's chest. His strong arm holding her body tightly against his. She sat up and looked at him. "Clark, you said earlier, that you had TWO very important things to tell me." Lois looked at Clark expectantly.
Clark stood up, and held his hand out to help Lois up. "You're right, Lois. I do have something else very important to tell you. Or ask you rather." With that, Clark reached into the pocket of his jacket and opened a small box containing the most exquisite diamond ring that Lois had ever seen. Clark looked directly into her eyes. "Lois, I love you more than life itself. You're my whole world, and my life could never be complete without you. Will you marry me?"
Lois flew into Clark's arms. "Yes. I will marry you, Clark Kent. I love you too." They rocked back and forth in each others arms for several moments. Lois pulled away to look at Clark. "You know," Lois began, "I don't think I remember ever having such a wonderful birthday." Clark smiled as he covered her mouth with his own.
(Now there's gotta be something you want to say to me. Like this was the best, most incredible story I have ever had the pleasure of reading. Or, I would never read this story again, even at gunpoint. Come on. I want to know what you think!)