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A Smallville Interlude
By Bratling

It had been a long week.  Clark glanced over at Lois and noticed, not for the first time that week, the signs of fatigue on her beautiful face.  He was thankful that their vacation time started next week.  They both needed the time off.  Lois hadn't wanted to go to a hotel. Instead she had requested to spend their vacation on the farm in Smallville.  Clark smiled softly as he looked at his wife; he could tell that something was bothering her.  He walked over to her desk, picked up her hand, and dropped a kiss in her palm.  "What's the matter, honey?" he asked quietly.

"I'm just tired, Clark," Lois admitted.  "This last week has been so horribly busy with three major stories finally breaking.  And then there's the fact that you had go to Guatemala because of that mudslide."  Lois stood up, put her arms around his neck, and buried her head in his chest.  "I missed you," she whispered softly.  

Clark leaned down and brushed a feather-light kiss over her forehead. "We'll be in Smallville tonight," he whispered.  "As soon as we get out of here, we'll go Superman Express, direct to the farm."

Before Lois could answer, Perry stuck his head out of his office.  "Lois, Clark, the Planet doesn't pay you to stand around playing make-out at the drive-in!  I need your stories right now!"

Lois let go of Clark with a reluctant sigh and sat down behind her computer.  "Coming right up, Perry," she said. "I'm just putting the finishing touches on it right now."

Clark headed over to his desk with a slight grimace; he really wanted to go home.  "Yes, Chief," he answered. "I just have a few more little things to take care of."  Clark sat down, carefully wrote the last sentence of his article and began to check it over.  Satisfied at last, he LANed it to Perry before returning to Lois's desk to wait for her to finish.  A few minutes later, Lois sat back with a sigh of relief as she clicked the button to LAN her article to Perry.  Together, the duo walked into Perry's office.  "Perry, we just sent you the articles," Lois said with a smile.

Perry looked up and grinned at his favorite reporting team.  "Okay, kids," he said, "I'll see you in two weeks.  Get some rest, okay?"  Still smiling, he shooed them out of his office.  Perry shook his head as he accessed their articles.  They were good pieces of work, as usual.  Any one of the three major stories they had submitted this week could win a Kerth.  Perry watched the couple gather their things with a soft smile adorning his face.  He was glad that they had finally decided to take some of their vacation time.  While he advocated hard work, those two just sometimes took it too far.  They needed the rest.  

****

Clark picked up the suitcases and flew to his parents' place to drop them off before flying back to get Lois.  He picked her up carefully and embarked on the flight to Smallville.  Lois snuggled close to her husband as they flew. She was glad to be able to spend time with her husband and his family.  She hadn't seen the elder Kents for a few months and she couldn't wait to hear more blackmail stories about him when he was younger.  Soon they landed in back of the house, Clark spun into his civvies, and they walked inside.  "Mom, Dad," Clark called, "are you here?"

"Lois, Clark!" Martha exclaimed.  Joy lit up her face as she walked out of the living room.  "Glad you could make it!"  Jonathan walked out behind Martha and the older couple embraced their son and daughter-in-law.  

Jonathan smiled and beckoned to his son. "Clark, help me with the bags," he said happily.  Jonathan and Clark walked out to the back porch where the luggage had been set down in a small heap.  The two men began hauling the bags inside.  They talked about anything and everything as they carried the luggage up to Clark's old bedroom and set it down.  "You look tired, son," Jonathan said. He leaned over and gave Clark another hug.

"I am, Dad," Clark said, rubbing a hand over his eyes.  "So is Lois.  It's been a hard couple of weeks and we needed the time away from Metropolis and the Planet."

Jonathan smiled. "You'll certainly get that here... there's even a football game at Smallville High tomorrow night. I've got tickets."

Clark's face brightened.  It had been a long time since he had been to a game, and he loved football.  "Thanks Dad!" he said with a big grin. "I need to tell Lois."

"Don't worry about it, son," Jonathan said. "Your mother is taking care of it."

****

Lois sat at the table in the homey kitchen talking to Martha.  "You look tired, honey," Martha said quietly, leaning over and slipping a comforting arm around  her daughter-in-law's shoulders.

"I am, Martha," Lois said.  She ran an exhausted hand through her short, dark brown hair.  "It's been a rough few weeks; Clark and I haven't had any time alone in a while."

Martha put tightened her arm around Lois's shoulders reassuringly.  "You'll certainly get time to rest and some time alone with that son of mine while you're here," she said with a warm smile.  "Jonathan got tickets to the Smallville High football game tomorrow night; some of Clark's old friends will surely be there."

Lois smiled happily; she loved watching football...with Clark.  She had watched football unenthusiastically with her father as a child, but with Clark it was a whole different experience.  <The last time we watched a game, we didn't really pay attention to the game!>, she thought nostalgically.  They had spent the time in lazy exploration of each other, curled up on the couch in front of the TV.  She knew that such activities wouldn't be possible in public, but she looked forward to stealing kisses from him during the game and cuddling up to her big hot water bottle when she inevitably got cold.

"Lois, honey, will you help me set the table?" Martha asked.  She got up and began to pull dishes out of the cabinets and food off the stove.  Lois got up willingly to assist her mother-in-law in carrying the items through to the dining area and arranging them on the table.  

"Clark, Jonathan, dinner's ready!" Martha called.  Lois and Martha sat down at the table and waited for Jonathan and Clark.

Soon Jonathan and Clark came down the stairs, walked into the kitchen, and joined the women at the table.  Clark sat next to Lois and carefully threaded his fingers through hers...it was nice to simply be together in a place where they could relax and pretend that the outside world didn't exist.

****

Lois and Clark strolled slowly through the soft starshine.  The moon had not yet shown its face, but the stars brilliantly lit the night sky, providing sufficient light to see. They walked along quietly hand-in-hand and stopped occasionally for loving kisses under the starlight.  "Let me show you something," Clark said smiling.  He gently tugged on her hand and led her further toward the apple orchard in the far corner of a field.  

Lois let go of his hand and slid her arm through his.  Every once in a while she leaned her head against his shoulder as they walked.  She was content with their closeness; it had been a few weeks since they had been able to share this simple kind of togetherness in their hectic lives. She yielded to the gentle tugging of his hand on her arm and soon found herself in a small, natural grotto hidden from the world.  

"This is my favorite spot," Clark said. "I used to come here when I wanted to be alone."

"It looks like a great place for...making out," Lois said flirtatiously.  She shot Clark a flirtatious look before continuing. "Have you ever brought anyone here before?  Lana, perhaps?"

Clark looked down at Lois and smiled mischievously.  "Now why would I do a thing like that?" His face was a study of injured innocence as he continued.  "You're the only one I've ever brought here."  He leaned down, captured her lips with his and began to explore the exposed skin of her face and neck with light kisses.  He pulled back slightly before tangling his hands in her hair as his lips once again found hers.

Lois wrapped her arms around his neck, brought him closer to her, and began to explore his mouth.  Lois's tongue touched his briefly as she began to taste him.  His taste was sweeter than chocolate and just as delicious.  Her fingers threaded through his hair as she brought his face closer to hers, further deepening the kiss.  After a few moments, they broke apart, gasping for air.

Clark brought his hand up in a familiar caress. "I love you," he said.  He brushed a soft, gentle kiss across her upturned lips and drew her closer to him.

"I know," Lois said with a soft sigh as she wrapped her arms around his waist.  As the events of the past few weeks caught up with her, Lois yawned, no longer able to hold her fatigue at bay.

Clark looked at her apologetically and said, "I guess it's time to go up to bed."

Lois tugged his head down to hers and kissed him fiercely before letting go.   She smiled widely.  "I'll race ya," she exclaimed in a sudden burst of energy.  "No cheatin'--no superpowers!"  Lois took off in the direction of the house.  Clark soon caught up.  Rather than leave her behind, he grabbed her around the waist, zoomed into the house and upstairs into his room, passing Martha on the stairs.  Martha smiled fondly as the giggling blur passed her, and headed to the living room to sit with Jonathan.

****

Lois sat tucked into Clark's arms as Martha drove the family into town for the football game.  It had been a wonderful day, she reflected.  She and Clark had finally gotten some uninterrupted time to talk, laugh, kiss, and simply glory in their closeness and togetherness.  Clark interrupted her musings by leaning down and stealing a kiss as they pulled into the parking lot of the high school where the football game was to take place. They got out of Martha's car and walked hand in hand in a comfortable silence beside Martha and Jonathan to the bleachers.  They settled in their seats and waited for the game to begin.

It wasn't long before old friends of Clark's began to swing by to say hello...including Lana.  Lois eyed her curiously as she walked up.  Lois had met the alternate universe's version of this woman, but due to the whole Luthor fiasco, she'd never met *her* Clark's Lana.  Lois stood up and held out her hand. "You must be Lana," she said with a sweet smile.  "I'm Lois Kent, Clark's wife."

Clark raised an eyebrow not only at Lois's tone of voice but also at the use of her married name.  Lois hadn't wanted to change her name when they'd gotten married; she rarely used his name except when she wanted to stake her claim on him for the benefit of someone to whom she was talking. The tone of voice was one she didn't use very often anymore, either.  Mad Dog Lane... no, Kent... was standing before his high-school sweetheart.  

Lana ignored Lois's outstretched hand, pushed her aside, and came up to Clark.  "Hi Clarkie," she said with a simpering smile.  Lana leaned in and attempted to kiss him.

Clark ducked out of the path of Lana's kiss, pulled an angry Lois closer to him, and held her in his arms.  Lois leaned back against her husband's broad chest as he started to reply.  "Hi, Lana.  This is my wife, Lois."  He looked down at Lois, smiled, and kissed her softly.

Lois favored him with a small smile before turning back to Lana--nobody was allowed to call Clark 'Clarkie' or kiss him except for her.  Lois didn't appreciate being shoved aside... especially by someone who was attempting to make a play for *her* Clark. Lois determined that Lana would pay.  "Hello Lana," she began in a syrupy sweet voice. "So you're *my* Clark's high school sweetheart? Are you still *single*?"  Lois smiled at the interloper.  Clark belonged to her and she to him...she refused to let this *female* try to get her claws into him. Briefly, Lois considered telling her off verbally.  However, upon looking at her adversary, she decided that a slightly different method would be more... effective.

At Lana's nod Lois turned, threw her arms around Clark's neck, and kissed him passionately.  Clark responded immediately, his arms tightening around her as he deepened the kiss.  A few moments later, the kiss broke and Lois turned around to find a very red Lana staring at them with her mouth hanging open.  Lois pushed Clark down, sat in his lap, and put her arms around him. In response, his arms curled around her possessively.  Lana started muttering about having forgotten something and left as quickly as possible.  

"Well, that vanquished *her*," Lois said with a smug smile spread over her face.  

"Lo-is," Clark groaned, shaking his head.  By now the game had started, so they settled down to watch, stealing kisses throughout the action on the field.

****

Later that night, Lois and Clark wandered in the orchard holding hands and enjoying each other's company.  Clark leaned over and kissed her lingeringly.  "I love you," he said.  "Marrying you was the smartest thing I ever did."  Clark kissed Lois again, this time harder.

"I'm glad I asked you," Lois laughed.

"But I asked first!"  Clark retorted.  He chuckled suddenly.  "I just remembered what Old Billy down at the store said when my mom told him about our courtship."

"What did he say?" Lois asked curiously.

"He said that I chased you until you caught me," Clark said laughingly.

"You got that right, Flyboy," Lois said as she pulled his head down for a kiss.

Finis.