A/N: Okay, folks, I'm always willing to try something new, so I thought I'd take a shot at writing my first bona-fide songfic. I listen to…ehm…an eclectic playlist when I write, and there are a lot of songs that inspire me. Usually, these just get me to write something in that tone or with that theme, but…well, I thought I'd see how writing a fic around the actual song!

(If you liked this, I've written a new story, If Only which is a companion piece to this one, from Lois's point of view.)

The Man in Love with Lois Lane

I'm not the hero
Who'll always save the day
Don't always wear the white hat
Don't always know the way

Clark stifled a yawn as he leaned forward to switch off his computer. With a glance at his watch, he let out a groan as he realized he'd have to be back at work in only a couple of hours. Everyone else had gone home ages ago; he'd had to wait until it was all clear to speed through a few things that had fallen through the cracks due to the not-infrequent calls for Superman.

Considering the time, he knew he should probably fly home as quickly as possible to get as whatever sleep he could. However, he decided against it; the weather outside was perfect, and he could certainly use some time to clear his head.

As he grabbed his coat and headed to the door, Clark found himself glancing over at Lois's empty chair. It was an unconscious habit; he found himself doing so every time he walked through the newsroom. He just couldn't help himself – he could be standing in the middle of a crowd, at the news event of the century, and he'd still find himself looking around for her.

If only she knew who he was. Of course, a sardonic voice in his head reminded him, he hadn't exactly gone out of the way to clue her in to the fact that he was Superman, but that wasn't what he meant. He wanted her to know who he was. The two of them had known each other for years, and while there were times he thought she saw a clearer image of him than anyone else he'd ever known, there were other moments when he didn't think she saw him at all.

After all, if she truly did see him clearly, how could she fail to notice that he was hopelessly in love with her? He loved her so much, he'd tried to show her so many times, but she never seemed to see it. He just couldn't figure out what he should do. Should he continue to keep his feelings a secret, until the sight of her hurt too much to breathe? Should he come out and tell her? But what if she didn't feel the same? He couldn't bear to lose her, and he knew her well enough to suspect she'd pull away from him if she had any idea how he felt.

I may not even be the dream
You wanted to come true
But I'll always be the man
In love with you.

And he knew he wasn't the man she wanted. At least in that respect, he never fooled himself into thinking otherwise. She may have thought that what she really wanted was Superman, but he knew differently.

What she wanted was a man who would never let her down. A man who would never make her cry. Lois was fill of contradictions; she took risks with her life almost every day, but that was as far as her recklessness went. When it came to her heart, she was categorically unwilling to take a chance, to give anyone the chance to break it.

I'm not the key
That opens every door
I don't have the power
To give you all you want and more

He couldn't swear that he'd never hurt her. Not even he could make that kind of promise. He adored her, but there were still times when they just didn't see eye to eye. There were times she drove him crazy, times when she terrified him, times he wanted to shake some sense into her. Of course, he'd bet a year's worth of paychecks that there were just as many times when he made her feel the same way.

There was no way he could guarantee that a life loving him would be without the occasional moments of sorrow. If she loved him, he knew there would likely be moments when he'd unintentionally hurt her, moments he might even make her cry – though he'd give anything in the world to do otherwise.

But when you're needing something special
You can hold onto
I'll always be the man
In love with you

He could only promise to be there for her when she needed him, to dry the tears she shed, to be a hand to hold when she felt lost and was reaching out for something to grab onto. If only she would let him.

Distracted by his thoughts, Clark was unsurprised to find that he'd taken a detour on his way home and was now standing in front of Lois's apartment. Gazing up, he saw that all the windows were dark; she was no doubt still in bed. He smiled as he imagined the scene in the bedroom a few stories above – Lois Lane, dead to the world as she snuggled up under the covers, dressed in her favorite pajamas, her hair a mess, that uncharacteristic (but still oddly fitting) pair of bunny slippers lying at the side of the bed.

Resisting the urge to use his abilities to see if the reality lived up to his imagination, Clark closed his eyes and fully pictured the scene. She'd probably drifted off to sleep while she worked, so there were likely various sheets of paper scattered across the bed. A forgotten mug of coffee was no doubt sitting on the nightstand (he chuckled when he imagined her waking in a few hours and unconsciously reaching for the mug, only to scowl when the ice-cold liquid crossed her lips).

I never could work miracles
There may be others who can do what I can't do
But no one else could be as good as me
At loving you

The smile was still on his face when he opened his eyes once more. She was so close; he could hear the steady beat of her heart. At moments like this, it wasn't hard to believe he could cross the distance between them. If only he had the nerve to take a chance and tell her how he felt. More than anything, he wished he had the power to hold her in his arms as she slept.

But of course, he had to acknowledge that, even though he was Superman, he wasn't perfect. As she was only too willing to remind him, he couldn't save everyone. He couldn't solve the world's problems. He couldn't even tell the woman he loved how he felt, no matter how often he dreamt otherwise.

So when the world won't turn
The way you wish it would
And the dreams you have don't come alive
As often as they should

With a resigned sigh, Clark chastised himself for being foolish. It was foolish of him to stand outside Lois's apartment in the middle of the night and dream of things that couldn't be. There was no point in torturing himself; he knew Lois would never see him the way that he saw her. Besides, how could he complain about what he didn't have when he already had more than he'd ever dreamed?

It may not have been exactly what he wanted, but he did still get to be there for her. He got to be her partner, to spend his days as the man by her side, to spend his nights as the voice on the other end of the phone when she needed someone to talk to.

Remember that there's someone there
Whose heart is always true
I'll always be the man
In love with you

"Good night, Lois," he whispered as he turned away from her window. Stuffing his hands in the pockets of his coat, he strolled away, staring at the ground as it passed beneath his feet.

No, it wasn't what he wanted, but he would take what she was willing to give him. Still, even though he reminded himself that he was being foolish, he couldn't help but hope that maybe one day, he would find a way to tell her how he felt. Maybe he would finally be able to convince her that he would always be there for her, loving her, waiting for her to give him a chance, waiting for her to see him for the man he was. The man who would always love her, no matter what.

Remember that there's someone there
Whose heart is always true
Someone there to help you make it through
I'll always be the man
In love with you