By Michele Garnier (Bizarra@AOL.com)
Summary: After he saves someone from drowning, Superman lets Lois talk him into drying his suit at her apartment.
(for the Chocolate Poolies :-p)
After months of avoiding Lois as Superman, Clark finally (after enduring weeks of nagging) consented himself to an interview. He wondered just what type of interview she had planned as he lowered himself to her window and tapped on it.
Lois appeared at the window wearing a flattering (*Extremely flattering*, Clark thought) bathing suit beneath an open terry cloth cover-up and a smile. She pulled open the window and let him in.
"Hi Superman. Come in." she moved aside to let him step into the living room.
"You look, uh, com…comfortable." said Clark, feeling exactly the opposite.
"Oh," she giggled nervously, "I, uh … it's a nice day, so, uh, I thought we could go to Hobb's beach.
I packed a lunch. I didn't know what you liked to eat, so I got some chicken. It's not mine, er, I didn't cook it. I mean…"
"Lois …" Clark said, stopping her stream before it flooded. "The interview?" He finished, beginning to wonder if this hadn't been a set-up.
"We can do that after lunch." she answered grabbing the basket and her keys.
"Lois, do we really want to go to someplace so … public? The National Whisper…"
"Has us married and living in Tahiti. Did you see that? Ugh, I would never wear that dress."
"It's a free country, Superman. I can do the interview wherever I want. If people want to believe those stupid rumors then let them." She said walking to the front door. "Besides, as Bonnie Raitt says, 'Let's give them something to talk about'."
As if his arm had a mind of it's own, Clark reached out and grabbed Lois' arm pulling her to him. He'd pulled her so abruptly she fell against his body.
Looking slowly up to his face, Lois swallowed audibly.
Clark for his part was wondering why the hell he did what he just did. Well he knew -why- he just did it, but why - now-. *I was just getting Superman out of her system.* he thought.
"We…can go …" Clark pointed to the window, mostly to get his mind off the woman who was still leaning against his body. He backed away, wanting to separate himself from her touch before wearing this costume *really* became embarrassing.
"Oh …" Lois was too consumed with emotion to really comprehend what he was saying. He could take to her Mars right then, and she'd willingly go with him.
Clark picked her up and holding her in his arms, flew out the window. *Great*, Clark thought, *Now, I have Superman to worry about again. Smooth one, Clark.*
*Get a grip, Lois.* She looked down to the ground slowly going by underneath them and then looked into the face of the man who held her. And for the first time noticed his resemblance to Clark Kent. *Clark? Why am I thinking about him now?*
Lois then noticed that they flew over Hobb's beach, and started to land at a quiet spot to the north of the public beach area.
Clark found a somewhat secluded spot where they could be partially cut off from the regular beach goers. He didn't really feel comfortable socializing in the costume. He stuck out like a proverbial sore thumb, for one thing.
There were few people where they were so he felt more comfortable. He stood Lois on the sand and watched as she set the basket down. She walked over the rental area and rented two loungers.
While she was gone he set about to emptying the picnic basket and preparing lunch. By the time she returned he had everything ready.
She sat the chairs down and he sat while she took the cover- up off revealing a one piece, low cut, backless, maroon swimsuit. Lois sat, making herself comfortable, not realizing what she was doing to the man sitting next to her.
Clark, for his part, was trying with every superpower he had to concentrate on the waves hitting the shore. It wasn't working.
"Chicken?" Lois said holding the plate towards him.
Clark suddenly realized she had spoken to him. He turned towards her seeing the plate of legs, thighs and breasts she was offering. *Get a hold of yourself Clark before you do something you'll really wan…regret.* Clark's inner voice told him. He grabbed a wing.
"You sure you don't want more?" Lois asked, innocently, unaware what was going on inside his mind.
"Ye …uh, no thanks." Clark answered, eating the wing in two seconds. Leaning back in the chair, Clark closed his eyes and wondered where the hell his self control went.
They ate in silence, Lois suddenly becoming aware of how sexually charged the moment was. She risked a side glance at the Man of Steel sitting next to her. *He is really sexy …*
Lois' mind began to wander in a direction that really didn't surprise her. She closed her eyes and let it wander where it wanted.
*Suddenly he was kissing her, and slowly moving his hands over her back. He slowly began to slide the strap of her swimsuit off her shoulder. Lois opened her eyes to look into his face, and he wore a pair of glasses…*
Lois sat up suddenly, wondering where that thought of Clark had come from. She glanced at Superman sitting next to her. He was guzzling down a bottle of water as if he hadn't drunk in years.
"Maybe … Maybe we should get that interview started." Lois told him, trying to clear her thoughts.
"Yes! Good idea." Clark said, a little too quickly. He hoped she didn't notice.
Lois bent down to get the notebook she'd set in the picnic basket. Unknowingly she gave Clark a rather generous view down the front of her bathing suit.
*Oh, lord, help me.* Clark thought as he truly hoped by this time to hear a cry for help.
"Ok," Lois started, "Now that you have been in Metropolis for a while, would you consider the crime rate to be lower than it was when you arrived?"
Clark, glad to get his mind on something else answered, "Well, I think it does seem a little lower, but I am only one person so, I can't contribute that to me."
"What about the recent return of Lex Luthor? Are you worried that he'll break out of prison?" She continued, writing down everything he said.
"Of course, I worry." *I worry about you.* Clark thought.
Suddenly a scream could be heard from down the beach. They both looked in the direction of that scream, but only Clark could see that a shark had just swam past a swimmer and turned around, closing in for a snack.
"Shark! I'll be back." With that he took off like a rocket toward the attack and dove into the water.
Lois ran closer to the scene hoping to catch a glance of her second favorite (*second?*) man in action.
Clark headed off the shark and pulled the swimmer out of the water. As he set her on the beach he yelled for everyone to get out of the water. He then dove back in to take care of the problem. He gently, so as not to drown the shark, turned it around and guided it back to sea.
He decided to swim back, the cold water soothing his tangled nerves.
Lois stood on the beach watching for Superman, her hand on her brow, shading her eyes from the afternoon sun. She felt an urgent tapping on her shoulder. Lois turned to find Talia Shropshire, the leading reporter (if you can call it that) for the National Whisper standing behind her.
Lois rolled her eyes and spoke evenly, "Talia."
"Tah-leeah," the woman corrected.
"Whatever. Why are you here?" Lois asked, not really caring.
"Well, I see now how you get all your scoops on Superman."
"Hasn't Princess Di made anymore prank phone calls?" Lois said sarcastically, hoping 'Tah-leeah' would go away.
"Well actually, I kind of like it here in Metropolis. You're here, Superman's here, what more scandal do I need? I mean anyone with half a brain can see what is going on with the two of you." Talia, answered meeting Lois' sarcasm.
"There is nothing going on between Superman and me! We are just friends!" Lois denied rather quickly.
"Yeah, right. And Elvis was last seen at the Metro- mart." Talia, replied enjoying watching Lois squirm.
Lois huffed and started to walk off, mumbling something about "slander" as she walked away.
Talia laughed, took out her pen and notebook, and walked back to her lounger. "You don't know the meaning of the word, slander. Yet."
Lois mumbled as she stomped back to the loungers that she and Superman had earlier occupied. " Chyeah, something going on between Superman and me. Hah!" She reached the lounger she had used and sat hard, pulling the cover-up over her lap. "In my dreams." She looked up just in time to see that Superman had come out of the water and was making sure the swimmer was uninjured.
*Oh god, what a body.* Lois thought as he started to walk toward her. He had brushed his wet hair back, but one errant curl seemed to want to lay over his forehead. Lois let her eyes rove over his body as he walked. *Geez, dry that costume doesn't hide much. Wet, it doesn't hide a thing.* Lois' mind was beginning a downward spiral that she didn't quite know how (or if she wanted to) stop. *Get a grip Lois, you're acting like a fifteen year old!*
Clark, as he was walking, could feel Lois' gaze on him. He started to feel a tad self-conscious in the wet costume. He wanted to wrap his cape around him, but that was just as wet. He wanted to fly away, but knew he'd never hear the end of it from Lois tomorrow. So he stayed and walked up to her.
Lois stood, clutching the cover-up in her hand, as he walked closer to her. "Do you want … we could finish the um, interview at my place." She told him, hope in her voice. Something was happening here and she didn't want him to fly away without figuring out what it was.
"I need to get out of these wet clothes. *Great suggestion Clark. Try again.* I mean, I should go find something dry to put on." Clark said, wanting to get out of this situation.
"Well, I have a dryer. I could dry your clothes for you and we could finish the interview while they are drying. I probably have something that you could wear in the meantime. Er, I mean, I like to wear oversized stuff, You might fit into something." Lois said quickly, not giving him a chance to leave.
"Ok." *Okay?! Clark what are you doing?!* He helped Lois gather up their things and after she took the chairs back, scooped her into his arms and flew off, toward her apartment.
While Lois fantasized in her mind what it would be like to make love in mid air, Clark was giving himself a stern talking to. *Clark, are you crazy? She's going to find out if you don't leave before she can see you in street clothes.* Clark answered his own thought, **But would that be a bad thing? I mean, I want her to know sooner or later.**
Lois sighed in his arms, a passionate sigh. *Clark, leave before you get in too deep.* He saw her window and adjusted his altitude accordingly. He looked at Lois, who lay with her head on his arms, a contented smile on her face. *Oh, hell …* "We're here." He told her as he flew into her apartment.
Clark flew through the window and set Lois on her feet. They stood staring at each other, neither wanting to move.
"Um, I … I'll get you something to wear." Lois tore herself away from his gaze and walked backward into her bedroom. "You won't … don't go away. I'll be right back."
"No, I'll still be here." *You will?* Clark took a deep breath and started to sit on her couch when he remembered he was soaking wet. He pulled his cape off and walked into the kitchen to wring it out in the sink. **Yes, I will. I'll still be here. I'm tired of leaving. Tired of running.**
Clark walked into the living room as she returned with clothes laid over her arms. While gone, she'd changed into a pair of shorts and a tank top.
Holding out a pair of black sweat pants, she said "These are Clark's. I forgot I had these. He and I were on a stakeout and, well, I …"
"Leapt before you looked?" Clark interrupted her. **Three seconds after I told you not to go that way.** he added with his thoughts.
She giggled and rolled her eyes, "Yeah."
"Um, well anyway, here. They should fit you. You look about Clark's size. Put these on and I'll dry your clothes." She said as she handed the clothes to him.
Clark handed her the wet cape and walked into the bathroom to change the rest of his clothes.
*Are you sure you really want to do this?* He looked into the mirror and noticed that his hair was drying and beginning it's natural habit of hanging over his forehead. As if hanging on to what remains of his secret, he used the water to slick back the hair. He put on the sweats and the Tshirt, and started to leave the bathroom. He found that he couldn't turn the doorknob.
*Oh, C'mon, Clark, it's not like you are walking to your death.* **I can't** Clark walked back and sat on the edge of the bathtub. *Well you can't sit in the bathroom the entire time your clothes are drying!* He sat on the tub while his inner-voices battled with his will. **I'm afraid.** *Afraid of what?! That she'll never want to see you again? She loves you, dummy. Just get off your butt and go face the music.* Clark took a deep breath and opened the door and slowly walked out.
Lois was bent over the dryer getting a load of clothes out of it. *Oh, geez,* Clark thought as he walked up to her.
"Here." He handed her his wet costume.
Lois looked up briefly, "Oh. Thanks, Clark." She froze, realizing what she just said. She looked up slowly, first at the costume which they both held. Her gaze went up his arm, to his chest, seeing the brown Tshirt he wore, then finally to his face. Lois dropped the costume as if it had bitten her.
The shocked look on Clark's face, no doubt, mirrored her own. **Say something, Lois.** Clark thought.
Lois breathed deeply, and dealt with it as she deals with any other shock. She switched to automatic. Bending to pick up the costume, she threw it into the dryer along with the cape and turned it on. After that she walked in the kitchen as if nothing happened.
Lois grabbed two glasses out of the cabinet, opened the freezer, and filled them with ice. She opened the refrigerator and grabbed a soda.
"Do you want anything to drink?" she asked Clark who had followed her into the kitchen.
"Um, sure." He answered, unsure of what she was feeling.
Lois stood then, and slammed her head on the freezer that hadn't yet closed itself. "Owww.." she said as she put her hand on the sore spot.
Clark moved to her and put a reassuring hand on her shoulder. With his free hand, he looked at the area where she'd hit her head. "Are you OK?"
Lois looked him into the eyes and realization snaked it's way down her spine. "You … You -are- Clark, aren't you?" She asked tentatively, backing away from him.
He answered "yes" with his eyes. "We need to talk." he said as he pulled her to the couch.
"You lied to me." Lois said, as she sat numbly on the couch.
"Only to protect you. I never meant to hurt you. But, now that you know, I think you should know everything." Clark sat beside her and took her hands in his. "I don't know where to start."
"Maybe … you should start at the beginning." She said through tears that were threatening to start.
"Tell you what, interview me, Lois Lane. Ask me anything. No more secrets."
Lois smiled, a half smile. "OK, Who are you, really."
"Really, I am Clark Kent. I was raised on a Kansas farm by Jonathan and Martha Kent. Pretty boring actually." Clark smiled.
"But Superman, um, -you- are from Krypton?" Lois asked, confused.
"Lois, do you remember that globe that was stolen from my apartment last year?" He asked. Lois nodded that she did.
"My Kryptonian father, Jor-El, recorded hologram messages within that globe to tell me who I am. Until last year, -I- didn't know who, or why, I was." Clark hesitated not realizing the impact of that statement until just then.
"Why … are you here, o-on Earth?" Lois prompted, wanting him to continue.
"My father was a prominent scientist on Krypton. He was warning people that the planet was dying. They were experiencing massive quakes and volcano eruptions, but no one believed him. He and my mother, Lara, built a rocket that was just big enough for me. Their only son. The planet destroyed itself as I was leaving the outer orbit.
"Clark …", Lois was openly crying now, "Why couldn't they save themselves, too?"
"Because Krypton gave off a natural radiation that when missing is deadly to Kryptonians. If they had left, they would have died within minutes." Clark answered feeling himself get choked up, as he always did when he thought about his parents dying so that he could survive.
"But, you weren't killed." Lois asked, confused.
"I had never been exposed to the atmosphere, and therefore the radiation. Since I grew up on Earth, the radiation has the opposite effect on me." He explained.
"Kryptonite." Lois realized. It saddened her to realize that remnants of his own planet could kill him. "Why earth? Is this where your rocket just happened to land?" she asked, now needing the information.
"No, Jor-El chose Earth because it was the planet with the most compatible inhabitants and atmosphere. I would never be out of place here. The landing in Kansas was, I don't know, destiny? Mom and dad never questioned why they found a baby in a rocket ship. They just took me home and raised me. Even when my abilities became obvious, they never thought twice about giving me a home."
Clark laughed at a memory that suddenly popped into his head, "I never will forget the look on mom's face when, rather than crawl under the truck to get a baseball, I picked it up."
Lois smiled at the picture that must have been. "What, uh, do you have a Kryptonian name?"
Clark smiled, and nodded, "Jor-El and Lara named me Kal-El.
"Kal-El." Lois repeated, trying the name on her lips. "It fit's you." She said, caressing his face. "You should use that instead of Superman."
"There are two reason's why I don't. One, I want to keep my Kryptonian name for myself. And, Superman is special to me because it came from you." Clark told her quietly.
"But you should honor your mother and father." Lois suggested.
"I do Lois, every time I put the suit on."
"You do?" She asked, puzzled.
"Yes, the emblem on the front and my cape. It's the seal of the house of El. The 'S' symbol is Kryptonian for El." Clark explained. "Lois, can I ask you something?"
"Sure." she said, scooching a little closer to him on the couch.
"Why aren't you yelling at me right now?"
"I don't know. I should be, but I never even thought of getting mad." Lois answered, wondering that herself. She had every right to be angry. She'd told 'Superman' a lot of personal things. She'd told Clark a lot of personal things about 'Superman'. And now she finds out they are both one and the same. Yes, she should be angry. But she wasn't. And she had no idea why. *Because you're in love with him, Lois.*
Clark put his hands on the sides of Lois' face and caressed her cheek with his thumbs. He leaned up and kissed her. "There's one thing I haven't told you."
"Oh? What?" Lois asked confused.
"I love you." Clark told her as he kissed her again.
Lois pulled back and looked Clark in the eyes. She put her hands to his face and traced every contour. She closed her eyes and let her hands see him. Clark closed his eyes as a wave of desire passed through him.
Lois thought, as her thumbs passed over the bridge of his nose and to his cheeks, that everything made sense now. His disappearances, his somehow never being around when Superman was saving the day. When her hands reached his mouth, she traced his lips slowly with her fingertips.
She'd kissed those lips when she thought it was someone else. She'd kissed them when she knew it was Clark. She never realized until now that the kisses were the same. Lois leaned slowly forward and replaced her fingers with her own lips, as if wanting to prove her point.
Clark accepted her kiss gladly, threading his fingers through her hair. He kissed her deeply, passionately …freely, his two 'personalities' finally blending to one in Lois' presence.
"Clark …," Lois whispered against his lips, "you said that your father chose earth because of it's compatibilities. Are we … compatible?" She lost herself again in the kiss.
To answer her question, Clark picked her up and carried her into the bedroom. Neither of them heard the dryer buzz the completion of it's cycle.