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A Rose of a Different Color


Disclaimer: These characters do not belong to me, I'm just playing with them for a while. Author's note: My thanks goes out to Pam and Breanna for beta reading this so quickly! 'g> This is pretty much a sequel to A Rose For Superman-the idea tied in so well that I couldn't resist. Just a bit of waff for your enjoyment...

Clark smiled as he put the last piece of tape on the package and turned it over to write her name on it. He wanted to make sure that this present was perfect for his Lois... that she knew what he meant. She had discovered his secret a few weeks ago, and he wanted to let her know exactly how he felt... and what he wanted from their relationship. He didn't just want to be her boyfriend--he wanted to marry her.

Clark picked up the thornless rose that went with the package, grabbed his coat, and left his apartment to walk to Lois's. He walked up to the stairs to her door, put the items down, rang the doorbell, and left at superspeed. He spun into the suit and hovered outside the apartment, watching to see what would happen.

Lois walked to the door and opened it. She was puzzled to see a small package and a single rose sitting there rather than her partner and boyfriend. Mentally, she shrugged and picked up the package. After putting the rose in water, she carefully tore the brown paper wrapping off the box and opened it. She lifted out a wrapped box and carefully pulled the brightly-colored wrapping off of it. It was... a book.

"The Meanings of Flowers" read the title. A place had been marked half-way through. Lois opened to the marked place to find... roses. Her eyes lit upon a highlighted paragraph. She smiled to discover that thornless roses meant love at first sight. Carefully, she rifled through the rest of the book, looking for clues as to who had sent it. A note fluttered out of the back of the book. Lois picked it up and began to read.

"Dearest Lois,

I thought this book might come in handy over the next few days. I love you.

Clark"

Lois smiled as she put the note with the thornless rose. The next few days were bound to be interesting, and she had a feeling that she would be getting more flowers from him.

Clark smiled as he carefully picked out a white rose from the flower shop and paid for it. He knew he could get some time away from the Planet in the next few days to make a trip to the jewelry store, and the rest of his plan was coming into focus.

If it hadn't been for his mother pointing out the old meanings of flowers, he might never have thought of it. Carefully, he tied a note around the stem and walked to her apartment. He left the flower in front of her door and once again left before she answered the door.

With a smile of satisfaction, he spun into the suit and flew to his apartment. If he were extremely lucky, some time in the not so distant future, his home would have Lois there... and they could build their life together.

Lois opened the door and smiled to see a white rose waiting for her. She picked it up, removed the note, and put it with the thornless rose from the night before. She opened the note and was surprised to see only the color of the rose, a page number, and 'love, Clark' written on it in her boyfriend's strong handwriting. She put the note down and picked up the book. Opening it to the listed page, she found that while roses meant love pure and innocent.

A slow smile crept over her face... Pure and innocent? That reminded her more of Clark than it did of herself. He still had a charming quality of naiveté that was almost straight off the farm. Pure and innocent didn't really fit her... but this was Clark; the guy who knew all of her secrets, all of her flaws and failings and loved her anyway. Although at some point, she knew he would want to move past the innocent phase into something more... and it was scary to think that she might disappoint him.

With a shake of her head, she dismissed those thoughts. Whatever he meant by these presents, it was sweet of him to give her roses; she had always loved them. It was strange, she mused, that he hadn't yet mentioned them during the day... They had a date on Saturday night, but although he had mentioned that, he had yet to ask about the roses that had been delivered to her door.

Thoughtfully, she shut the book and breathed in the scent of her roses once more.

Clark whistled as he walked to Lois's apartment, two yellow roses clasped in his hand. Yellow. He was pleased with the idea of giving her roses that symbolized how their relationship had evolved.

Carefully, he laid the roses in front of her door, rang the bell, and left. She knew the meaning of yellow roses well enough--yellow for friendship. Tomorrow he intended to have more roses delivered to her at work... by Saturday, he would have worked up to red... and finally be able to use the ring he carried concealed in the inside pocket of his coat.

Lois sat at her desk in the newsroom, typing furiously. It had been three nights of having roses delivered to her door. As she pounded out the copy on her latest story, part of her mind wandered, wondering what kind of roses Clark would send her next.

The book he had given her was a reprint of one from the Victorian Era, and there were literally dozens of varieties of roses listed in it... not to mention other flowers. Quickly, she finished the story and LAN'ed it to Perry and settled back in her chair to watch Clark.

An unconscious smile stole over her face as she watched him talk on the phone and attempt to type at the same time. Since their mutual declarations of love, she had found herself content to simply watch him in stolen moments at work. It was only Thursday, and for her, Saturday couldn't come soon enough.

"Lois," said a voice at her elbow. She turned to find Jimmy standing beside her with a vase that contained three roses in it. "These are for you," he said, handing them to her and walking away.

Lois pulled out the card and opened it up. "These are Maiden's Blush Roses... I love you, Clark." She reached into her briefcase and pulled out the book, thankful that she had thought to bring it with her. She opened it up to learn that the type of roses he had sent her meant "If you love me, you will find me out." A large smile spread over her face. She had certainly found him out!

Lois walked into the newsroom the next morning to find half a dozen pink roses sitting on her desk. She put her belongings down, picked out the note and opened it up.

"Dear Lois,

You'll find what these mean on page 125. Looking forward to tomorrow night.

All my love,

Clark."

Swiftly, she pulled the book out of her bag and opened it up to the page he had mentioned. Pink roses--love hopeful and expectant. Briefly, she wondered where he was leading her with this... so far, it looked as if he had been playing out their relationship, but where would he go next?

Clark walked up to Lois's door and rang her doorbell. 'I hope this will work,' he thought as he nervously fiddled with his tie. He smiled as Lois answered the door--she was absolutely breathtaking. "Lois," he began, his eyes wide with appreciation, "You look beautiful!" Carefully, he took her coat from her and helped her put it on, his hands lingering a few minutes longer than strictly necessary.

Clark held out his arm to her and was gratified when she took it. Swiftly, he leaned down and kissed her gently before she could lock the door. They maintained a casual banter as they walked to the restaurant for dinner.

Dinner was punctuated by marvelous conversation and even a little dancing. As he held her close in his arms on the dance floor and occasionally stole soft kisses, he was again amazed at the woman who had so completely stolen his heart and captivated him every second of the day and night. It had only been two years since she had stormed into Perry's office and turned his world upside down, but he couldn't imagine life without her... and soon, if he were lucky, he wouldn't have to.As the song ended, he led her back over to the table and asked if she'd like some dessert.

"Not really," she said softly, looking at him through her eyelashes. "I'd rather get out of here... maybe go for a walk in the park?" Gently, Lois squeezed his hand, reluctant to relinquish it for even a second. She intended to find out why he had delivered so many roses... and exactly where he was leading her with them... tonight.

Clark smiled brilliantly and called for the check. Quickly, he paid it and reluctantly relinquishing her hand, helped her into her coat. He kissed her once more as she grabbed his hand and laced her fingers through his.

It wasn't long before they reached the park... and the fountain. Carefully, he maneuvered her into sitting on the edge and pulled out a dozen red roses from the place where he had secreted them a few short hours earlier. Lois looked at him and the roses he held, her luminous brown eyes filled with questions. "Clark--" she began.

Clark smiled and held them out to her. "Lois," he interrupted. "I know you've been wondering about the roses... and I'm hoping that the meaning of those will come true," he said, gesturing to the flowers she held. He knelt down in front of her and pulled out a small black box.

Clark opened it carefully and held it out to her. "Lois," he said quietly, "I love you, and I want to spend the rest of my life with you... Will you marry me?"

Lois tugged him over to her and kissed him lingeringly. She loved him more than anything, she knew she did. She would like nothing better than to spend the rest of her life with this wonderful person... but there was something she wanted to know. "Clark," she began, "I love you... and I want to spend the rest of my life with you."

Clark smiled happily as he stood, removed the ring from the box, and slipped it on her finger. He pulled her up to him, and brought his hand up to cup her cheek, his thumb caressing her cheekbone. Slowly, he bent down as if to kiss her and was puzzled when she pulled back.

"Wait," she said softly, putting her hand on his chest. "There's something I want to know first... what do red roses mean?"

"Love triumphant," he said huskily as he leaned down and swiftly claimed her lips for his own. As the kiss deepened, Lois's arms crept up around his neck and pulled him closer to her. When the kiss broke, Clark slipped his arm around her waist as she leaned her head against his shoulder. As he walked her back to her apartment slowly both stole kisses from the other, content to simply be together at long last.

The End.