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A Rose for Superman

Disclaimer: These characters don't belong to me... I'm just playing with them for a bit. Any other resemblance to any other work of fiction or any people living or dead, is purely a coincidence.

Author's note: Well, there was an idea posted on Zoom's boards a little while ago as a challenge... I can never really resist a challenge and the muse was in need of a short break from my WIP, so I kind of let the idea take over and wrote this short little piece of fluff. If you're looking for angst, whams, and a-plots, you won't find them here.

Clark glanced across the newsroom to where Lois was sitting and smiled. As he watched her talk to a source on the phone he couldn't help but think how beautiful she was. They hadn't been dating for long, but he was beginning to think it was high time he let her in on the secret. She deserved to know, and he couldn't put it off any longer. After all, she had been his best friend for almost two years. Now that things had finally changed between them and he was seriously considering going shopping for a ring, he couldn't afford not to tell her.

Clark stood up and walked over to her desk. He waited patiently while she finished the conversation and hung up the phone. "Lois," he began. "I was wondering if, maybe, after work, you'd like to come over to my place. We could watch a movie and order a pizza, or maybe I could cook...?"

Lois smiled at Clark, her thoughts racing. She didn't have any plans for the evening and there were few things she liked better than simply hanging out with Clark. Since they'd started dating, they'd had few casual evenings spent in one another's apartments, but she found that she missed going to his place at any time of the day or night because she knew that she would always be welcome there. Things were different now, but there was no reason that she shouldn't just spend an evening relaxing and watching a movie at his place. "I'd like that," she said softly, "But you have to promise not to run out on me again."

"I think I can promise that," he said, leaning toward her slightly, "But," he said with a slow smile that made her melt inside, "you have to promise that Dan won't barge in again."

Lois stood, walked around the desk, and took his hand in hers. "Okay Clark," she said quietly, "I promise."

Lois parked the jeep in front of Clark's apartment. Clark quickly got out, walked around the car, opened the door, and gently took her hand to help her out of the vehicle. Hand in hand, they walked to the door and entered the apartment. "I'll go start dinner. You know where everything is, and you can change into some of my sweats if you like," he said. Greatly daring, Clark leaned towards her and brushed a soft kiss against her lips before releasing her hand and heading towards the kitchen.

Lois tucked her hair behind her ear and slowly began to head towards his bedroom for the promised sweats. She paused for a moment and looked at Clark. A tiny smile tweaked at her lips as she admired the view. She still wasn't sure how she felt about him, but he really was easy on the eyes. She still had feelings for Superman, and then there was Dan....

Quickly, she shook herself out of her reverie and again headed toward Clark's bedroom, intent upon changing out of her work clothes. They simply weren't comfortable for hanging out in. Lois walked over to the dresser and pulled out the top drawer where he kept his t-shirts. She fumbled through them for a few minutes until she came across an old 'Smallville High' shirt. She pulled it out of the dresser, caressing its faded lettering, and set it down on the bed before she started to look for some sweatpants.

Lois knelt down in front of the dresser and pulled out the bottom drawer. She rifled through it for a few minutes and quickly found the smallest pair he had. She pulled them out and just as she was about to close the drawer, she noticed something peeping out from underneath a stack of clothing. Carefully, she lifted up the clothes and pulled out a heavy battered book of poetry.

A long green stem poked out from in between some of the pages. Lois looked around quickly to make sure that Clark was still in the kitchen before opening the book. She was surprised to find a dried rose pressed in between Browning's "How Do I Love Thee" and Lord Byron's "She Walks in Beauty Like The Night"... As she read the poems, she wondered why on earth Clark had pressed a rose in between the pages... and why he kept the book hidden underneath a pile of clothes.

Lois finished reading the poems and took a closer look at the flower. Upon closer examination, she discovered that it wasn't quite dry yet. It still had a little fragrance left to it, just like the ones Clark had given her the night she went as his date to the Kerth awards. In fact, if she didn't know better, she could have sworn that it came from the same bouquet, but she had only given away one rose from the dozen he had given her, and that was to... Superman.

Thoughtfully, Lois put the rose back between the pages and returned the book to its hiding place. She changed clothes quickly and walked into the kitchen. Silently she walked up behind Clark and slipped her arms around his waist.

Clark put the spatula he was holding down and turned around in her arms. "Hi there," he said softly. He reached out and cupped her cheek in his large hand. He could never get over how... breathtaking she looked wearing his old clothes. She was always beautiful, but somehow her beauty was intensified whenever she slipped into something that belonged to *him*. Hesitantly, he leaned down and captured her lips with his.

Lois's arms slid up around his neck and her eyes fluttered shut as she pulled him closer to her deepening the kiss. There was something... familiar about this. The kiss held a little of the lure of the forbidden, a kiss stolen despite the two willing participants. It was like... the kisses she had shared with... Superman. They parted slightly a few moments later. She carefully let go of him and caught his hand, lacing her fingers through his.

"Clark," she began, "I don't think I'm hungry for stir-fry just now. Can we go into the living room instead?"

Clark smiled at her and removed the pan from the heat. "Sure," he said.

Lois tugged gently on his hand and led him into the living room. As he sat down on the couch, she studied him through down swept eyelashes. She sat down next to him and cuddled close, thinking furiously. She knew what Clark's physique was like--she had seen him clad in nothing but a towel after all... and the uniform Superman wore left little to the imagination. Mentally, she compared the two. They were practically identical except for the glasses and the hairstyle.

Momentarily, she felt a flash of anger for his deceit; after all, he *had* been lying to her for as long as she had known him. But didn't he have reason to? After all, the woman she had been a year and a half ago would have had no compunctions about turning his life into a Pulitzer prize winning story. Her thoughts jumped back to the rose in his dresser drawer. He had kept it, even though it could give him away-- had given him away. He loved her in both guises--he had to; he had kept it.

Silently, she lifted her head and asked for a kiss. As his lips touched hers, she wondered why she had fought falling in love with his Clark-half for so long. She knew who he was--Clark Kent, the adopted son of a Kansas farmer who happened to be from another planet. After all, she *had* seen his baby pictures. All thought flew from her head as his tongue swept across her lips, requesting entrance. She opened her mouth under his and explored the warm cavern of his mouth even as he explored hers.

The kiss ended as sweetly as it had begun and she looked up at him through her long, silken eyelashes in a glance guaranteed to make his heart race. "Clark, Kal-El, Superman--whatever you call yourself," she began quietly, "I love you; all of you."

Clark looked at her, startled. "How did you find out? How long have you known?" he asked.

Lois smiled at him serenely. "Since a few minutes ago qo when I found the rose. And then there was the way you kissed me in the kitchen...."

"You aren't mad?" he asked fearfully.

Lois brought her hand up to brush away the lock of hair that was forever falling forward onto his forehead. "Not really," she admitted. "After all the times I must have hurt you, you kept the rose. It was part of a present you gave to me, and I gave it to another man." She looked at him soberly. "That must have hurt. I decided that you must love me if you kept it. If you can forgive me then I can forgive you."

Clark stooped down and kissed her gently. "I love you," he began. " What I said that day in the park was true. I have loved you since the day you barged into my interview with Perry, and the closer we've gotten, the deeper my love has become."

Lois reached up and sealed her lips to his, her tongue requesting entrance to his mouth. She smiled around the kiss. This was *her* Clark, and she intended to keep him around.

Clark broke the kiss a few moments later and rested his forehead on hers. "I'm not sure I know how to breathe without you anymore," he admitted softly.

Lois slid her arms around his neck and hugged him tightly. "Don't," she began quietly. "I remember what it was like when I thought you had died; my world was a much darker place. I don't think I can live without you, either... and I don't want to try." Lois reached up to caress his face.

"What about Dan?" he asked.

"I only went out with him because he didn't run off like you. Now that I know why, I really don't mind so much." Lois sought his lips with hers and kissed him softly.

Clark picked her up and cradled her gently in his arms without breaking contact with her lips. Slowly, the kiss ended. "I love you," he said quietly.

"I love you, too," she murmured.

Clark captured her lips with his once more. It was a kiss filled with promise, a kiss both of an ending and a beginning--the ending of two separate lives and the beginning of one to be spent... together.

The End... or the beginning?