Timely Return

By Franny

Summary: A revelation vignette.


She found the most noisy, harsh music to listen to and turned it up, shutting out the world, ignoring the reality that Superman could and upon hearing loud thrashing music, probably would, force himself in, especially since he knew Lois was traumatized.

She expected red and blue when she looked up after a soft tap on her shoulder, but it was Clark instead. He turned her back over and lifted her upper half to him and she lay her head limply on his shoulder as he hugged her tightly. He didn't turn down the music, though he wanted to talk to her. Not being able to imagine how she must be feeling after the events of the day, he didn't want to impose on her unusual coping environment. With no lights, the street lamp lent some of its shine to show Lois's tear-stained face, as she lay on her bed in her work clothes, looking a mess.

"mm, can you … turn that down, for me, please?"

"Yeah, sure Lois". He let her go and she turned back to lie on her stomach.

The bed bounced a little when he left and when he returned to sit and look at her.

"Thanks…" she mumbled and hid herself deeper into her pillow.

Having hoped that he would do what he did, she winced a little when he stroked her hair and back.

"Are you going to be OK?" he asked.

"Um, yeah, I will," she sat up somewhat, wiping her face and looking embarrassed for herself.

"You have to leave?"

"No! I just, kind of, wanted to get some idea of what's going on in there," he said softly, brushing the hair out of her eyes. Feeling a little more relaxed, she took his hand and grasped it with both of hers on her lap. The sweet mood of their first "date" the day before returned subtly, especially when she saw that familiar and pulse-rising twinkle in his eyes. Why the memory of the return of someone equivalent to Satan himself had to insert itself in-between such a sweet day and this evening, she didn't know.

"Clark, I'm *so* glad you're here. I wanted to be with someone in case he tried to get to me… Funny, I thought you'd be Superman when I turned around, because I locked… Clark, how *did* you get in?"

"Uhhh, I uh.. saw … Mr. Truesewski … on my way, and he opened it for me…" Clark *hated* lying at a time like this.

"Mr. Truesewski was up and walking around at one am? That's crazy! Well, maybe he couldn't sleep either…"

Clark just stared blankly, relieved from suspicion.

"Lois," he wanted to start… "I'm…", wait, he told himself. Not right now, but maybe tonight. It's peaceful here and she's already numb after the shock of seeing *him*. Maybe… in a couple of hours…

"Could you do it?" Lois asked.

"Hmm, what?" Clark asked, startled.

"Could you spend the night, I meant to say… It looked like maybe you were thinking about something, and I thought it might be that."

"Stay over? Yeah, yes, definitely, uh, I mean, whatever you want, uh, …well, you know what I mean, I just -"

"Clark," Lois smiled, "thanks. Thank you very much. I almost had a little flashback from the other evening there…" she patted his arm.

"Yeah, I guess I was a little nervous…" Clark laughed and looked down at his hands. It was his turn to blush. Hopefully it wouldn't plague him like it did during their date…

"I'm glad it was you after all, Clark. You're so considerate of me, it makes me feel like the most special person on the planet."

"You are… you really are," he whispered, leaning over her as she rested in a half sitting position on her elbow.

"Even more than Superman," she continued, apparently working her thoughts out, "… because, he's so unavailable and hard to get to know. It must take all his time, being a hero. He lives a totally foreign lifestyle and he has been trying to turn me away nicely, well, for the most part."

Clark's look of confusion prompted her to explain:

"No, well, you see there was just this one incident where I thought he could have been less rude… just he, oh Clark you look so shocked! He just, it was the day I accepted Luther's proposal because Superman turned me down, flatly stating that he didn't believe I loved him, and by the way I can see through your …, he was just rather blunt…"

Clark looked down and bit his lip from the memory. "Sorry about that…"

"Why are *you* sorry? You certainly had nothing to do with it… unless…"

Clark looked up sharply. "Unless what?"

"Unless … you were sort of still mad at me, and you saw him … and well, maybe vented…" she looked at him, expectantly.

"No, no, no… I didn't do that. Maybe he was afraid of being hurt, too… like you said, you don't really know him too well, he is probably painfully aware of that."

"I still really *really* care about him, and I know he cares about me in probably the only way he knows how… I wonder if there even is marriage on Krypton… Well at any rate, if things were going to happen between us, I've given him more than plenty of chances, and caught quite a few drafts in the process, I'm surprised I'm not sick every week…," she stopped her ramble and looked up at him, "But you… Clark?""


"I've never felt so comfortable with anyone all of my life. I mean that…"

They both gulped at the same time, and he blinked nervously as they leaned together to meet in a -pause- that ended with soft kiss. Then he hugged her tightly before facing her again. She held his face and put all of her energy into communicating a great love for the man known as Clark Kent.

Overwhelmed, Clark pulled away, keeping his eyes closed so as to hold onto his concentration on what he *had* to do. For her sake, he had courage.


"What is it Clark? Is something wrong? Did I go too fast?"

"No, NO. " he laughed, then recovered his serious tone. "Uhhh, actually, I … " he breathed deeply. "Everything is fine. Just right, in fact. Right now is the perfect time for me to tell you a secret vitally precious to me…"

Through the bedroom window we see Clark explaining something, complete with hand gestures, and hand-holding. Lois appears to be in a daze, at times shaking her head, but mostly gazing at him as he spoke. She lets go of his hand to make gestures herself, as she verbalized her confusion, and he just leaned in and grabbed her around her waist, lifting her, entranced, into the air.

Clearly, he mouths, "I love you."