Author's notes:

I am trying to get back into writing. I figured a short fanfic would be a good exercise. This story is not in any continuity and there is no real pointto it.The photo given so much thought to is briefly mentioned in one of my previous fics entitled"Friends and Lovers." Constructive criticism is always welcome. If you see any major (or even minor) mistakes, please send me an e-mail so that I may correct them. Thank you for taking the time to read and respond to this.

Disclaimer: DC owns what they own, and I own what I own. They do not intermingle for profit.

Over Ice Cream Floats

He unlocked the door as casually as anyone would—like a normal person just coming home from a long day's work. 'But he is normal—just a little different—everyone is different—it's normal,' she thought as he opened the door and stood to the side ushering her in—ladies first his Pa always taught him. She smiled as she passed him, entering his apartment. It had not changed since the last time she was here. The couch and chairs were all in the same place, squared in the center of his living room, an attractive coffee table drawing them all together. The various shelves were adorned with books—all of which he had read—and various awards he had won. Decorative frames holding photos of friends and family hung on the walls or sat on tables or shelves—constant reminders of those he loved. He had good taste, she always noted that when she saw his home.

He took her coat and hung it next to his on the coat rack by the door. Like a good host, he escorted her towards the couch. "Would you care for anything? Water, juice, hot tea, an ice cream float?"

"An ice cream float sounds wonderful. Thank you." He smiled at her reply—always so polite—and went to the kitchen to gather the ingredients. She looked around his home once again, taking in each detail that made it so warm and welcoming. The love that filled this amazing man's life was obvious in the faces of those photographed. She looked again at the photo of his parents—as she did every time she was here. Their smiles were filled with the love and hope of two parents for their child; their small farm house in the background as inviting as if you were standing outside it. Another photo showed him with his friends and co-workers at a Christmas party in some year past. She found another photo—a new edition—of three smiling people. The young woman pictured sat perched on a fence rail, two men leaning against the fence to either side of her.

"Here we go," he announced as he walked in with a tray of tall glasses, a liter of root beer, and a gallon of ice cream.

She turned to him, laughter in her smile, "Donna and I have this picture on our mantle, as well. I wonder if Bruce has his displayed so prominently." She joined him at the coffee table and helped him as he prepared the ingredients for their ice cream floats.

"I doubt it," he said as he scooped ice cream into their glasses. "He's probably got it shoved in some file somewhere waiting for a time when he will need to use it against us—photographs give awful paper cuts, you know." He winked at her as he poured the root beer over their ice cream. "Here you go."

She took the float from him as she laughed lightly at his joke. "Mmm…how do you make them taste so good?"

"Heh, that's my secret." He winked again as he tasted his float, a look of utter happiness over taking his face as he relaxed in his chair.

She grinned as she sipped her float—how utterly human this alien is, how simple it is for him to transfer from one of his roles to another, and to remain so simply human in all. She pondered at his abilities and personality. He was truly a simple farm boy from Kansas living in a city and a world so much larger than him, and yet…remains ever vigilante, ever ready to help…how she loved him for all those things that made him the man that now sits across from her, how she loved him. She caught herself staring, and looked quickly away.

He looked up from his float. "So how are you enjoying Metropolis?"

"It is wonderful as always," she said, jerking her eyes back up from the floor, hoping that he had not noticed her staring or guessed her thoughts. "There are so many new things to see here. I hope that before I return to New York I will be able to see them all."

"Well, if you like, I'd be more than happy to show you some of the sites."

"I think I would like that very much, thank you." She said, feeling a little color enter her cheeks.

His smile grew larger as she answered. How long had they known each other and yet still she remained so formal—friendly, but yet reserved, as if afraid to let her guard down or unsure of what to do if she were not so formal. He looked over to the photo he had seen her looking at earlier—the one of the two of them with Bruce. She had been so much more relaxed that weekend. It had been a hard couple of months on all of them, and Clark had insisted they all visit the home he grew up in and found so much peace in. It had been his hope that the peace he knew there, along with a little help from his parents, would help them put things back into perspective—to help make their friendship stronger. It had been an interesting weekend filled with new experiences for all of them. His parents loved meeting his two best friends, and had been more than welcoming to them. Diana, as he remembered, was relaxed there, but still a little reserved. She hadenjoyed herself fully, he thought, though—the horses, she loved the horses, and the chickens she had laughed at as they pecked their way across the yard. When his Pa had gone to work on one of the tractors, she had been even more interested—wondering how it worked and was put together. She had spent most of the day in the dirt beneath the tractor, helping him fix it. He remembered the smile she wore that day as his Pa explained every aspect of the tractor to her—along with the various farming methods he used, and a near detailed list of all the crops he grew and the irrigation and care he gave to each. The photo had been taken on the last day of their stay. They had been leaning on the fence, telling jokes and stories as they laughed, when his Ma came out with the camera and insisted on taking their picture for one of her photo albums. When she developed the film, she had been sure to make enough copies that each of the three of them would have one. Clark had framed his immediately. His smile grew again as he remembered his Pa's comment after his friends had left, 'She's a lovely girl, Clark, she's friendly, intelligent, and beautiful. So what are you waiting for, son?" He looked away from the picture and noticed her watching him. Their eyes locked for a few minutes before they laughed at the awkwardness.

"Would you like another?" he asked, as she sipped the last of her float through the straw. He fixed them another as he pondered the course of his thoughts. What was he waiting for? She was just as amazing as the media said, but he knew the reasons why far better than they did, he thought—and every reason made him love her more. Handing her the glass he asked, "If you are free the rest of the afternoon, why don't I show you the new sights to Metropolis? We could catch a movie and maybe get dinner, too?"

Her face lit up as she heard his invitation, "I'd liked that."