Clark is wrapped around her, head against her stomach, body wracked by sobs. Lois runs her hand through his hair, watching the family he's just saved by killing Zod finally move away to leave the building. Soothing words and sounds escape her. She has no idea how much time passes; he clings to her as if she is the only thing that can keep him from drowning in his grief and she keeps on stroking his black hair, offering what comfort she can. His tears eventually dry up but his arms remain secured around her.
"Clark?" she calls. There's no one around so she can risk uttering his true name. Because the man who's just broken down in front of her is not the alien Kal-El, the one who's already been nicknamed Superman, but the boy who's been raised on a farm in Kansas, Clark Kent.
"Lois, I'm so sorry."
"It's all right, Clark. He left you no choice."
"Thou shalt not kill," he murmurs against her stomach.
"Yes, but sometimes, you must. Sometimes there is no other way. Do you think you can get up now?" It's probably better not to let him wallow in his grief too long.
Silently, he rises and he's back to towering over her again. Normally, she hates that, which is why she wears high heels as often as possible but with Clark, there's no sense of threat, no power play. He has nothing to prove; she senses he's not the kind of guy who would enter in a dick-measuring contest with her.
"There are so many people trapped, crying for help. I must go."
"You don't have to do it alone. Clear the roads so more rescuers can get here. Point them towards those they can save without your help."
He nods and she catches his hand before he can fly out, giving him her address.
"Stop by for a meal or a shower," she replies in answer to his raised eyebrow.
He quirks a smile, between mischievous and adorably boyish, and then he's off.
Lois doesn't see Clark for several days. She knows what he is doing, of course. His nickname and his actions are on everybody's lips these days and how could it be different? She's extremely busy herself, writing articles that cover her experiences during the crisis, articles that the military goes over with a fine-toothed comb to make sure she doesn't reveal more than she should. She of course tells them nothing of what she found about him and they know they can't force her, lest they expose themselves to Kal-El's wrath.
The Planet has had to relocate their offices while Downtown gets cleared up and employees are encouraged to work from home if they can. She strives to do that as much as possible in order not to miss Clark when he stops by. She doesn't doubt that he'll take her up on her offer, though she actually has no idea how much sleep or food he needs. Lois thinks of calling Martha Kent to ask if she's seen him since he removed his starship from her barn, but she's worried her phones might be bugged so she doesn't.
When Clark finally shows up at her place, it's near midnight. He lands in her living room with a flutter of cape, with a sheepish smile on his face. Pushing her laptop off her knees, she stands and steps round the coffee table and into his arms. Their kiss is far more passionate than any of the two they've shared before, before his fight with Zod.
"Lois, how are you?" Clark says when she's finally allowed him to pull away.
"I'm well. How are you?"
"I'm fine. Mum sends greetings."
Lois smiles. Of course, Clark would have been to see Martha. From what little she's observed, she can tell they're extremely close and how much they love each other.
"How is she?"
"She's helping around Smallville. I've removed the truck from the house and rebuilt the walls and roof at the farm. The barn will have to wait but I couldn't leave Mum without a roof on her head. "
"Of course." If Lois ever has children, she hopes she can build a relationship with them like the one Clark shares with his mother.
"And I came back with this." He gestures towards a duffel bag he's dropped near the window.
"What's this?" she asks, going over to close the window and the shutters so that they can have privacy.
"Some essentials. You know, underwear, toothbrush, the like. You don't mind?"
"Not at all," she replies, turning back to him, a smile on her lips. "Are you hungry?"
"A bit," he says.
She serves him leftover pasta because when she is swamped with work, she tends to fall back on her old student habits. He asks about her and she fills him in on what has been going on for her. When he's done eating, he asks where her bathroom is. She knows he could find out for himself and appreciates his politeness. As she quickly clears the table, she hears the shower running. She turns all the lights in her apartment off but for the lamp on her bedside table. She briefly hesitates on what to wear to bed and finally settles on pajamas pants and a tank top. Anything sexier would make her look desperate and anything more fancy would, she feels, run contrary to the friendship they share.
However, when Clark appears in the bathroom doorway in nothing but tight black boxer shorts, she feels overdressed and tells him as much jokingly.
"Do you want me to put on a shirt?" he asks with a frown.
Lois lets her eyes wander over his broad chest, covered with, in her opinion, just the right amount of curly black hair. "No need if you don't want to," she whispers breathily. Clark blushes at her reaction, but lies down on the bed without covering up. She can't help yawning, the fatigue and worry of the last few days finally catching up to her. She settles besides him, drawing the duvet over both their bodies.
"Good night, Clark," she says, laying her hand over his heart.
"Good night, Lois." She can hear the smile in his voice.
Lois is woken up the next morning by Clark trying to extricate himself from her as, during the night, she's shifted to sprawl all over him. She smiles against his chest, happy that he is still here.
"Hello, Lois," he says, his voice gentle.
"Good morning, Clark," she replies, hugging him tighter.
"I have to go. I'd rather stay here with you, but I have to go."
"I know." She sighs over his heart. "I'll let you go in a minute." He chuckles, his chest rumbling under her ear. They both know she couldn't keep him here if he wanted to leave. Delicately, he runs his hands through her hair, and she's reminded of having done the same for him.
"Will you be back tonight?"
"I'll do my best." She knows it's all he can promise and that is enough.
The next few weeks are more of the same. Clark doesn't stop by every night, but when he does, they share passionate kisses and sleep in each other's arms. Clark doesn't seek to get more from her. In the beginning, that surprised her. Most of the men she's dated tried to get into her pants after the second date, if not after the first. Now, she wonders if Clark actually feels sexual attraction towards her. For all that he looks human, he is not and they are from different species. She has yet to bring up the subject with him. She's afraid to break what they have, which is more perfect than any relationship she's ever been in, but she can only masturbates to thoughts of him for so long before she will strip down in front of him and beg him to do something about it. And she'd rather it didn't come to that; she values her control too greatly. However, she decides to wait until the cleanup is over.
Lois goes to Smallville, ostensibly to report on the destruction and rebuilding taking place there. Well, she does actually write one hell of a report, judging by Perry's face, if not also by her own impression. But she does take the opportunity of being in Kansas to visit Martha Kent. The older woman hugs her as if they've been friends for decades. Clark has clearly taken the time to stop by the farm several times and he's told Martha a lot about her. Talking to Martha is never awkward, not at all like speaking to the mothers of previous boyfriends was. Lois thinks Martha is relieved to finally be able to talk to another woman about her son without having to hide anything. And it's a relief for Lois too to talk about her relationship with Clark, even if it is to his mother. In a rare moment of weakness, she brings up their sexual relationship, or lack thereof. Martha gently rebuffs her, telling her with a smile to talk to her son. Lois knows there's no hard feelings between them when Martha gives her several jars of preserve to take back home with her.
For the first time, Clark is in her flat before Lois comes home. She drops her bag and removes her heels with relish, refusing to wear those torture devices any longer than she has to. Clark smiles at her as if she is the most beautiful thing he's ever laid eyes on. He's had time to change. He's always Clark to her but still it helps to talk to him as a man when he's wearing jeans and a t-shirt rather than a tight bodysuit and a cape.
"Go take a bath; I'll make dinner," he offers.
"Thanks." She stops to give him a quick kiss on the cheek as she passes him.
She gratefully sinks into the hot water, the rose-scented salts she generously poured in helping her unwind. She can hear Clark tinker in the kitchen as she leans back against the side of the tub and closes her eyes. She's not quite sure how much time has passed when Clark knocks on the door, but her skin is already wrinkling.
"Dinner will be served in half an hour," Clark says through the door.
"Okay, I'll be there."
Clark turns out to be a surprisingly good cook but thinking on it, Lois decides she should have expected it, seeing as he grew up with Martha Kent as his mother. She's a sensible woman and would have made sure her son could not only cook, but cook well. He tells her the bulk of the clean-up is over and that he now wants to take care of Clark Kent's life, that he has been thinking about what to do when he's not saving the world. When he runs his idea by her, she instantly sees how perfect it is, even though it means their lives will become hopelessly entangled and part of her is frightened at the idea. Still, the next day, she helps him with his CV and to craft a work history and references that she knows should get him a job at the Planet. He gets an interview and then a job.
Two days before he is scheduled to start, before she has to meet him and pretend she doesn't know him, she brings up the subject that's been on her mind for weeks now.
"Clark, those weeks with you have been great, amazing even." She swallows and he waits her out, giving her time, though a frown mars his forehead now. "Do you not want me?" she finally asks bluntly.
"Of course I do!" He seems shocked that she could think he doesn't find her attractive. "I want you very much." He looks into her eyes. "I've never had sex, Lois. Because I've always wanted it to be with someone who would know all of me. You do, but I'm scared of losing control and hurting you."
She moves from sitting next to him to sitting on his lap, taking his face in her hands. "Then we'll just have to take things slowly and if it's too much for you, we'll stop."
"Just like that?" His hands have settled on her hips.
"Yes, just like that. I love you. Nothing's gonna change that."
Clark stares at her, looking slightly incredulously. "You love me?"
"Of course, I do. What's not to love?" she answers, tweaking his nose playfully.
He bats her hand away and kisses her deeply. She feels as if he's trying to drink her all in and she grinds against him. "I love you too," he says against her lips, breaking away only long enough to whisper those words. He stands up, lifting her up as if she weighs nothing, and to him she must.
Once in the bedroom, he actually takes off, flying them horizontally over the bed. She could sit up if she felt like it. Clark looks at her with this mischievous boyish smile of his, looking as if he is both proud but also sheepish over the display. Slowly, he settles down on the bed and then immediately rolls them over. Clark sits back, fingering the hem of her shirt. "Can I?" he asks. She nods. He peels the garment off slowly; his hands on her skin feel as if they're burning her. She knows that's not actually the case but there is something incredibly erotic in how slowly he takes things.
First he kisses the hollow of her waist, then her inner left elbow, and she quickly loses track of where he is touching her as she's so lost in simply feeling. It's been a couple of years since her last relationship and she finds herself incredibly responsive to someone else's hands on her and Clark hasn't even touched her breasts yet. "Clark," she calls, bunching his shirt in her fists. He mumbles something against her stomach, where he healed her, before sitting up again, leaving her bereft. He quickly divests himself of his shirt. It's not what she was asking for, but she's hardly going to complain. She digs her fingers under the waistband of his jeans.
"Do you feel in control?" she asks. After all, she's supposed to be making sure he stays in control, even though she's clearly been doing a poor job of it, simply abandoning herself to the sensations he caused.
"Yes", he replies, looking at her in wonder. "I love you," he says again.
"You're incredible," she tells him. "Take those off," she says, tugging on his jeans.
"You're bossy." He's grinning as he teases her. She's never seen a man more happy to go to bed with her and her hearts swells with even more love for him.
"I love you, Clark." She has to tell him. Every time she feels so overwhelmed by her love, she vows to tell him. By trade and experience, she knows words matter and these more than most.
He's now as he is every night, just in his tight black boxers. He gestures towards the casual pants she's wearing. "You too. Fair's fair." She loses no time in complying. They're both standing near the bed and he gathers her in arms again, his hands running up and down her back. With each pass, he fingers the clasp of her bra.
"You can take it off, you know."
Without a word, he does so. Before touching her, he takes his time looking at her, eyes flitting back up to meet hers. Then he cups her breasts with reverence, thumbs over her nipples, and she wants to melt into him. "Clark," she moans. Her breasts have always been extremely sensitive. He kisses her, tongue sliding against hers, and once more they're in the air. She locks her legs around his, even though she knows he'd never let her fall. She feels the mattress against her back again and loosens her hold on Clark. When his mouth alights on her breast, she digs her nails into his shoulders.
When he stops paying attention to her breasts, she's near the edge, panting loudly, Clark looking at her in wonder once more. "I think you're incredible too," he says. "Thank you" is all she can think of replying because how can any man make her feel so special? He's like a god and yet he's the one making her feel like a goddess. He fingers the edge of her panties. "Yes, please." She doesn't care that she is as good as begging now. Clark smiles blissfully at her and settles between her legs. Lois quickly realises that despite his inexperience, he clearly knows his way around a woman.
When she comes down from the high, Clark is looking at her in wonder once more. "You're so beautiful," he tells her.
"Come here, you." He obliges and she kisses him deeply. She pushes against him; he understands, rolling them over until he's on his back. She sits up, settling down across his hips. He's hard and when she grinds down, his breath hitches and he pushes back up against her.
"I've got you," she says, trapping his hands near his head with her own hands. "You can't go away now." She's damn near giggling.
"I don't ever want to go away, Lois." Still holding onto his hands, she leans down to kiss him.
"Don't move," she murmurs against his lips. "Don't do a thing. Let me take care of you."
And so she moves down his body, removing his boxers. There are no surprises waiting for her underneath; he's built like any other human male, if more largely endowed that the men she has dated in the past. She wraps her hand around him, his skin soft and warm over hardened flesh.
She chooses not to tease him.
"I'm taking birth control and I'm clean. I'm guessing you are too. But if you'd rather we use a condom, I have some." She sees him considering the matter.
"No condom. I've never contracted any Earth illness and I've never infected anyone with anything."
She smiles at him, getting one of his own lovely smiles in return. It's been a while but her climax has prepared her body for him and she slowly lowers herself onto him. His eyes never leave hers. When she's taken as much of him in as she can, she stops moving. "All right, Clark?" He looks at her with so much love in his eyes that she has to close hers to keep sudden tears from rolling down her cheeks. She starts to move, bracing herself against his chest.
"I love you, Clark," she says, opening her eyes again. He's breathing harshly, bucking his hips minimally against her. She speeds up, understanding he needs more friction. She rubs his nipples with her thumbs. His hands fist in the pillow under his head. Leaning forward, she takes his hands in hers, fingers sliding against one another. "Let go, Clark," she says, starting to move as fast as she's able. It doesn't take much more time for him to stiffen under her. He comes with a harsh cry, flooding her insides with warmth.
"Oh Lois, I... Thank you so much. I love you."
"See, you didn't hurt me. Next time, we're trying it with you on top."
She moves to look into his eyes. "You want there to be a next time, right?"
"Yes, of course. I... You want that too?"
"Yes." And she kisses him with all the love and desire that she feels for him.
Lois knows she's working too much these days but there are so many stories to tell. Clark is spending the night before he starts at the Planet at his own apartment, the one he got solely so he could have a Metropolis address when applying for a job at the Daily Planet. Why they decided it would be a good idea, she can't remember now as, despite her exhaustion, she tosses and turns, missing his presence in her bed. She wants his arms around her and his lips somewhere on her skin.
At 1am, she's had enough and calls him.
"I can't sleep," she tells him, skipping any polite greeting.
"Lois." She can hear the smile in his voice.
"Can't sleep either?"
"Actually, I was asleep."
"You don't sound like someone who's just woken up."
"I wake up fast."
He's always woken up before her, she realizes. It makes her want to watch him sleep, watch him wake up with the sun filtering through the blinds casting rays of light on his face. She sighs, wanting him beside her.
And then there's a knock at her window and there he is in his Kryptonian suit, his cape rippling behind him.
"Did you just hang up on me?" she says in mock outrage, noticing the dial tone her phone now emits.
"I can always fly back to my place." He's grinning again, in the way that always makes her want to kiss him senseless.
"Get in here!"
His suit ends up in an undignified puddle on the floor.
With him in bed with her, using his broad chest as a pillow, Lois finally feels drowsy. Clark is lightly stroking her back and it's not long before the motion lulls her to sleep.
"Welcome to the Planet," she tells him, with Lombard and Perry still nearby.
There's a twinkle in his eyes that says "you didn't just say that to me", but she couldn't help the joke.
Now that they are both here, she can start a public relationship with Clark Kent from Smallville, Kansas, without anyone – except for Martha Kent, of course – knowing that they've been together for weeks, no one suspecting that he is so much more than that. But to her, his being Clark Kent is the most extraordinary part of him. The other Kryptonians were as strong as he is and Zod even figured out how to fly in short order. (It should perhaps scare her a little, how fast she's come to think of flying people as mundane.) But a man like Clark Kent from Smallville, Kansas, is a one-in-a-million kind of man and for that she's forever grateful that their paths have crossed.