By Kaytee Shultz
Summary: Lois sneaks away for a few hours every day, without explanation, and it's driving her fiance crazy.
NOTE TO READERS: I came up with this while going through my Lois and Clark card binder. Studying this card, a thought came to my mind and I decided to right a quickie about it. This has no real plot, thus 'quickie'. Hope you like it! Comments are welcomed at ILive4Dean@aol.com!
Clark Kent looked up from the basketball game he was watching when Lois Lane entered their apartment. She was struggling with three grocery bags, and he hopped up from the couch and sped to her before she could take a step down the stairs and took them from her.
"Thanks." she said wearily. She followed him to the kitchen area and when he sat the bags down on the counter, she wrapped her arms around his waist and stepped into his hug. "I should have known better than to go shopping on payday. A human being can wait in line for only so long, Clark." she said, resting her cheek against the side of his neck. "I haven't seen you all day. What have you been up to?"
"I saved three people and a cat from a fire. Stopped a car from driving into a store when the brakes shot. Stopped three thugs from mugging an old woman. And a caught a purse thief. No biggie." he said, releasing her from his hold.
"Wow, sounds like you had a very relaxing day off." she commented, pulling open the freezer door and setting her double fudge caramel chocolate ice cream in it and shutting it again.
"Tell me about it. What've you been doing all day?" he asked, helping her with the groceries.
"Not much. Slow news day. I tried to teach Jimmy how to play chess, but he was hopeless." she said, smiling at the memory of beating him seven times in a row. "Did you cook anything? I'm starving."
"No, because I didn't know when you'd get home. Do you want something special?" he asked.
"Spaghetti?" she said hopefully. "I even bought the stuff for it."
"It'll take a while." he warned.
"I'm willing to wait." she said, pulling open the fridge door and taking out a diet soda, then shutting it and walking wearily to the bedroom, kicking her heels off as she went.
When she came back out, she was wearing one of his T-shirts and a pair of loose denim shorts. She had pulled half her hair up and out of her face, and washed her makeup off.
She went over to the counter, and he helped her up to sit on it beside the stove, where he was standing, stirring some red stuff. She grinned, saying, "Just think, Clark, a year ago I would have died before letting Superman see me wearing something like this, let alone no makeup."
"My, how things have changed." he commented, grinning back. "By the way, we need to do a new answering machine message. Now, that's going to be a change. I haven't made a new message since I've lived here."
Lois gave him a strange look.
After awhile of watching him, she said, "Clark?"
He didn't look up, but said, "Hmm?"
"You really don't like my cooking, do you?" she asked him.
That got his attention. Looking up at her, he said, "It's not the worst I've ever had."
She hit his arm. "I'm serious, Clark."
"I know you can't cook. But that doesn't matter because I'm not marrying you for your cooking." he told her.
She looked at him for a minute, then said with a half-grin, "Nice answer."
"I thought so." he said, and she hit him again harmlessly.
The next morning, Clark woke up before Lois and started the coffee, and breakfast. When the clock read seven oh two, he went to the bedroom and sat down on the bed next to her. Tapping the tip of her nose with his finger tip, he said, "Lois…c'mon, it's time to get up, hon."
She was on her side, and when she didn't move or open her eyes or show any signs of ever waking up, Clark got up and put one hand on her hip and one hand on her shoulder, and shook her just enough to wake her up. "Quit it! I'm up already!" she giggled, rolling over on her back.
"You're awake, not up." he smiled down, and tickled ribs through the cotton nightgown, making her double up and almost choke on her laughter. Swinging her legs over the side of their bed, she stood up. "I'm up, okay?" she grinned up at him. Since she was barefoot, he was a head taller that she was, the top of hers barely reaching his chin.
She sniffed the air, and said, "Ooooh, bacon and eggs! First, I need coffee, though."
"Already done and waiting in the coffee pot."
She walked over to the closet, and opened the door, and started searching for something to wear. He left the room, and by the time she got dressed in a bright blue suit, curled her hair, brushed her teeth, put on her makeup, found heels to match, and spritz a little perfume on, breakfast was completely ready and waiting on the table, along with toast buttered just the way she liked and a fresh cup of coffee, without real sugar or real cream in it.
He was just sitting down with his plate, having fixed hers first, when she sat down. "Wow! Most of the time when I make breakfast, usually at least one thing is burnt!"
"I am definitely going to be the cook between us." he smiled, giving her the best parts of the paper first.
"Well, you never know." she said non-commitedly, making him wonder what she meant for a moment before dismissing it.
After a rather boring day at work, Lois said she'd meet him at home in about three hours.
"Where are you going?" he asked.
"Oh, uh, something to do with the 'Cheese of the Month' Club" she said with twitching lips.
He knew without a doubt that he couldn't ask her again without getting that *look* because he used lame excuses on her when he had to explain running off to be Superman.
"Don't eat, I'll bring home pizza." she said and, kissing his cheek, went the opposite direction he was going.
He thought about following her, but he didn't want to risk her anger, especially since she had just gotten over being the most angry she'd ever be in her whole entire life with anybody she'd ever met, including her father.
He watched television for awhile after changing clothes, but his mind was on Lois and what she was doing.
Finally, a key turned in the lock and Lois walked in with a pizza. "Hi. Sorry I'm late, but I had to wait for the pizza to be made. I got half mushrooms, half extra-cheese. Are you hungry?"
Clark watched her closely for a moment, then said, "Uh, yeah, I am."
Over the pizza, Lois tried to start several conversations. Then finally, she said, "You want to know where I've been, don't you?"
"Yes, I do."
She smiled. "Too bad. You'll find out soon enough. Don't worry about it, Clark, okay? I'm not in any trouble or anything."
This eased his mind, until it happened every night for the rest of the week. On Friday, Clark reasoned with himself about following her. "She followed me when I had to rob that jewelry store. I think it's only fair that I can follow her."
He trailed her from the sky, soaring so high that she would never have been able to see him. He saw her only by telescopic vision. But she constantly kept looking up into the sky or behind her as if she knew he were following her.
She stopped in front of a building to talk to a man, and Clark immediately recognized him as Dan Scardino.
He tried to listen to their conversation, but there were three going on close to them, on top of the steady stream of honking horns. But he made out her bubbly laughter, and he saw her hug him.
That night, Lois came home later than usual. "Hi." she said in greeting. "I hope you haven't eaten, because I brought home some Chinese food."
"Oh." was all he said.
She picked up on that immediately, but made no comment about it because she knew what it was that was bugging him.
She sat down on the couch next to him and spread the white containers out on the coffee table. She touched his arm to hand him some chopsticks, and felt him stiffen beneath her touch. She handed them to him, and they ate for the most part in silence.
In bed that night, Lois was tempted to tell him what she had been doing for three hours each night, especially when her leg brushed against his when she turned and he turned over on his side facing the opposite direction.
She decided she'd show him tomorrow.
The next day she had the day off. Clark didn't. She figured that he'd get home around five-thirty, give or take a rescue or two.
She started putting her new found skills to work around ten in the morning, thinking of clean-up time and dressing time. She cranked the stereo, listening to a soft rock station while she slaved away on a labor of love.
When Clark unlocked the door and walked inside, his jaw about hit the floor. There was a delicious aroma in the air, and on the table was a lace tablecloth. The table had two fine-china plates covered with food, two champagne- filled fluted glasses, and he recognized the soft music playing on the stereo as the music that was playing at the restaurant where they had their first date.
Lois, who had just lighted a single candle in the middle of the table, looked up and smiled somewhat nervously at him. "Hi."
She was wearing a dress he'd never seen on her before. It was black and snug fitting with spaghetti straps and a slit up to her right thigh. She had swept her hair up in a French twist with a small lock falling across her forehead and to the side, exactly like when he had first seen her dressed up two years and a half years ago. She was barefoot, and her toenails were painted deep red. She had a gold anklet around her ankle, a gold strand around her wrist, a gold chain around her neck, tiny gold hoop earrings, and he noticed that the pins holding her hair up had a ball on the end that was gold.
"Hi." he smiled back, forgetting Dan and forgetting the missing hours each night just at the sight of her. She was gorgeous, probably the most beautiful he'd ever seen her.
"Well, sit!" she said, nervously toying with her engagement ring.
He walked down the stairs, and sat down across from her. The candle was lower than he thought, and her face glowed in the flickering light, her eyes glittering.
He looked down at the steak and broccoli and a baked potato with sour cream and butter melting in it. "You did all this?"
She nodded, her smile growing by the minute. "Didn't burn a damn thing, either. Now, that was tough." she said.
"You actually cooked this?" he asked in disbelief.
"Yes, Clark! It's not that hard to believe. Especially with the help of cooking classes. This is somewhat of a simple dinner, but I didn't want to try and do something really hard and have it turn into a disaster. We've been working on this dinner all week long. It's a beginners class." she said, trying hard not to start babbling.
"Is *that* what you've been doing at night? What does Dan have to do with this? And why were you hugging him?" he asked, and then realized that by saying that he gave it away that he had followed her.
He smile didn't fade in the slightest degree. "I knew you'd follow me. It's only fair, seeing how I followed you. But, of course, that was after getting the run-around for two years, not just one week."
Lois laughed. "Dan was in the class, too. It seems his new girlfriend doesn't like spicy food. He hugged me when I told him we we're getting married. I told him to expect an invitation in the mail soon. I hope you don't mind."
The feeling of relief that washed over him was almost overwhelming. Taking her hand across the table, he said, "I am so sorry for acting like a child. I don't deserve this. Or you, Lois."
"You acted like a child because you love me and it drove you up the wall that I was doing something you weren't a part of and I wouldn't share it with you." she said with a gentle smile. "Sound familiar?"
"Now I know how you felt all those times I gave you some lame excuse." he said, understanding the irony.
"What, like "Cheese of the Month"? That has to be the lamest excuse I've ever heard. And still I chose you, cheese and all." she smiled.
He shook his head, saying, "You are an amazing woman, Lois."
"I know, aren't I though? Eat something, don't just look at it!" she told him.
Clark cut into the steak, and took a bite. She was practically on the edge of her seat, waiting for a decision.
"Lois, this is absolutely wonderful." he told her.
She smiled brightly, absolutely delighted. "And I'm sure you're not biased or anything, right?"
"Oh. Right." he smiled back. "I'm serious, Lois. This challenges even my mother's."
"That's going a little far, considering she's been doing this for years and this is my first."
"Why did you do this? If it's because I made fun of your cooking…Lois, I was just teasing you."
"You know, all my life my father has drilled into my head, along with Lucy's, that part of a woman's place is in front of a stove. So I guess I never bothered correcting my bad cooking to spite him, and because I could live with it. There would always be a TV dinner, somewhere." she told him, taking a bite of her potato. "But when you said you knew I couldn't cook and it didn't matter to you because that's not why you want to marry me, I thought, "For a man like that, boring cooking classes are a tiny price to pay, if it'll make him happy." And, then again, Superman isn't just any man. And neither is Clark Kent. I did this because I thought it would make the two of you happy, because I love you both. Kind of like a bonus."
After they finished dinner, Lois got up and took their plates to the kitchen, then returned with two smaller plates with a piece of chocolate cake on each. The plate she set in front of her chair had a quite smaller piece of cake than the one she sat in front of Clark. Sitting back down, she said, "Okay, this isn't exactly made from scratch, but I made it none the less."
"This is really good, Lois. I think you're going to be a great cook. But if you think this is going to make me love you anymore, it's not." he told her, trying hard to keep a straight face while she went on the defensive.
She got up and stormed around to him. She was starting to speak and pointing a finger at him with one hand on her hip and one finger pointing at him. When he stood up and pulled her to him abruptly, she looked up into his eyes, startled. She lost her train of thought when he whispered, "I can't possibly love you anymore than I do right now."
Her eyes glistened with unshed tears in the candlelight, and her anger melted away like the candle's wax. He held her tightly against him, and she felt air beneath her bare feet. "I love you so much, Clark." she whispered, not in the least scared to be swaying to music three feet off the floor. "Before you showed up, farmboy, men weren't my favorite people. All of the ones I let in hurt me. Even my own father. I used to push you around because it made me feel somewhat better. But your charm and your intelligence and your warmth and your extreme gentleness and, I must admit, your body, attacked my defenses and you pushed your way in, whether I liked it or not. But I like the woman I've become since you entered my life. I'm more happy and open and I like it that way." she told him.
Bending his head to kiss her, he said, "You have changed since I first met you, and in my humble opinion, I like this Lois better. And you're not the only one who changed. I'm not so-"
"Naive, boyscoutish, clueless? Overprotective, perhaps?" she grinned.
"I get the picture, Lois. I'm still, in your opinion, 'overprotective'."
They swayed to the music in silence for awhile, her head down against his chest. Then she said, "I've always loved dancing, but most of the guys I dated didn't. That's another point in your favor. And the dancing on air thing is a definite plus."
"This isn't the only dancing I can do, Lois." he told her.
Clark whispered something about the 'horizontal lambada' in her ear before his lips found the tender flesh beneath her ear. She giggled, and he reached up, with one arm still wrapped around her waist, and unzipped the back of her dress as slowly as they floated toward the bedroom.
To those of you who the 'horizontal lambada' ending went over your head, watch the pilot, if you have it on tape. ; )