Chapter 1 – That thing that ends up with "ship"

"Oh, crap."

Definitely, cooking was not one of Lois Lane's skills.

And so wasn't dealing with the oven, apparently.

"Oh man, that cannot be good."

It was a Saturday afternoon, and Mrs. Kent had left to buy some groceries, enjoying her senate-free-time. She had, however, left Lois, who doesn't turn down a challenge when there is one, in charge of dinner. She was alone at the Kent's house now, except for Shelby, who was sitting beside her, looking at the oven and at Lois, whining.

"Yeah, I know, boy, it's her new oven, Mrs. Kent is going to remove my organs, put an apple on my mouth and bake me."

Lois watched helplessly as the oven kept getting hotter and hotter.

She was planning to bake a pork for their dinner, since Mrs. Kent had invited her over. But once she turned the new oven on, she had no idea of how to turn the thing out again. She pressed every button she could find, but it was useless. The oven was so hot now Lois couldn't even touch it anymore.

She was starting to be scared now. What if the thing just blew up in front of her?

Fighting against her own nature, she ran to the living room and did something she didn't like to do.

She dialed a certain cellphone number.

"Hello?"

"Smallville, I'm in trouble."

Lois could practically see Clark's face frowning.

"Lois, what---"

"I don't have much time to explain, so shut up and listen before the whole house goes through the air. The oven is getting hotter and hotter and I have no clue how to make the damn thing stop, it's so hot I can't even touch it, what the bloody hell do I do?"

"Have you tried to press the 'OFF' button?"

Lois rolled her eyes.

"Are you deaf or what? I just told you I can't touch it without setting my fingers on fire."

She heard an annoyed breath on the other side of the line. "Here, go there and take Shelby out of the house, I'll be right there."

Lois frowned. How could he be there?

"What do you mean? Aren't you on Metropolis---"

But all she heard was the sound of a mute line.

Damn it.

Lois ran to the kitchen and called "Come on, Shelby, I got to get you out of here."

Shelby whined. Lois pulled him by the collar. The dog refused to go.

"Hey, do you want us to eat fried-Shelby at dinner? Come on, let's get out of here!"

Seeing that Shelby wouldn't move, Lois went for the kill.

"Okay, here's the deal, doggie. I'll give you two whole beefs if you leave with me now."

Shelby sniffed up at her, interested.

"Allright, here we go, come on…"

About to leave with him, Lois gave one last look to the oven.

"Oh no."

It looked about to explode.

"Shelby, run!!!" she yelled.

It all went by too fast for Lois's brain to process.

At the same time she heard a 'BAM', she felt two arms wrapping around her and pulling her against a big and strong torso.

After a fraction of second, the tall man let go of her, still holding Lois's shoulders.

"Lois, are you allright?"

She tried to calm herself down, her breath slowing down.

"I'm fine, Smallville." she assured him, looking at the scorched oven and the pieces of what once was a pork all around the kitchen. "Oh no. Your mother is going to kill me."

"I seriously doubt Mom is capable of murder." said Clark looking around as well. "However, this place is a mess." He looked back at her. "Are you sure you're allright?"

"I'm fine, Farmboy, I'm not as fragile as this pork." she made a face, pointing to a particulary big and toasted fragment on the wall.

"You are crazy, that's what you are! Mom left you alone for a few minutes and you already blow up the kitchen!" exclaimed Clark. Lois narrowed her eyes.

"Hey, for your information, she's gone for more than an hour now. Besides, I didn't blow the kitchen. The oven did it."

"Of course, and who turned the oven on?"

"That's not the point. The point is, you're going to help me clean this mess." She demanded, pointing a finger to his chest.

"I'll sure won't." he refused, crossing his arms.

"Yes you will, or I'll tell your Mom YOU turned the oven on."

"Oh, sure, because I'm the one who can't cook."

He was insufferable. Lois had no argument to reply that one, so she just punched him.

"Shut up and help me here, Smallville, after all, I did save your dog."

"It was the least you could do after hitting him that time." he teased. Lois felt that already usual irritation, that took over her every time he teased her.

"You are an ass, you know that, Kent?"

"Oh, how sweet of you, Lois. Now come on, let's clean this disorder."

-------------

"So, the pizza was the greatest idea I've ever had."

Clark looked at Lois and laughed, as she attacked one piece of pizza. Mrs. Kent had arrived a few minutes after the oven blew up, and she had sent them out of the kitchen so she could clean it by herself, without forgetting, of course, to tell Lois it was not a big deal, and that, with time, she would learn how to deal with the oven.

Now, Mrs. Kent was upstairs taking a shower, and Clark and Lois were at the living room, eating the leftover pieces.

"Good thing you paid for it." said Clark.

"Well, it WAS the least I could do after causing a pork-shower all over the kitchen." Clark choked on his food with laughter at her statement. "Jeez, Smallville. Looks like the biggest pig, however, is still alive." she said, looking at him with a 'eww, gross' expression.

"Shut up. You were smelling like pig and pepper when I arrived." he shot back.

Lois shrugged. "But now that I took a shower I'm smelling good again. However, you'll always be a pig."

"Wow, Lois, I'm proud you think so highly of me."

She smiled. "You're welcome, Piggie."

"Oh no, is that a new nickname?" he asked, pretending to be scared, but Lois noticed he couldn't help but smile.

"You like it?"

"Actually, I do." She frowned. "It's kinda cute."

"Well, I guess there's no account for taste." she said, raising her eyebrows. "I'll keep it with 'Smallville' and 'Farmboy', though."

"What a relief," he rolled his eyes, still smiling.

That's how their friendship worked now: slight banter, bickering, arguing.

"You think I look like a pig?"

And weird questions, thought Lois.

"What?" she asked, confused.

"I mean, which animal do you think I look like?"

Lois frowned. What kind of question was that?

"I don't know." she answered.

"Oh, come on, tell me."

"Okay. You don't look like a pig, you look like a…" she watched him carefully. His gorgeous face, his blue eyes, his soft hair, his luscious lips---

Whoa, easy there, Lane.

Well, she wasn't blind. He WAS handsome, and he HAD luscio---pretty lips. There was no wrong with that, was it?

"Hmm… Lois?"

She woke up from her thoughts and realized she had been staring. He was a bit flushed. Lois smirked.

"Sorry. I was just trying to figure with which animal do you look like."

"And…?"

"You remind me of many animals. But one in particular."

Lois moved closer to him.

"And what would it be?" he asked, slowly, looking at her face, close to his.

Lois grinned.

"A poodle."

Clark threw a cushion on her.

"You know, always whining around." Lois finished, smirking.

"I'm always whining around?"

"No, not always." She pretended to be thoughtful. "Most of times you annoy me."

Lois laughed as the second cushion hit her.

"You think I always annoy you?"

She laughed even more. "Oh, quit it, Skippy. I'm just kidding. You're a very good friend, you know that. You're always here when people need you, and that's wonderful."

"So I am your friend, huh?"

"Yeah, I thought we had set this years ago. As long as you keep with your promise of not telling anyone about it."

Both smiled, and Clark raised his hand.

"I'll keep it." he said.

"So will I."

"Good." They smiled again. "But you know, you ARE annoying."

He raised his eyebrows.

"Hey! What's the point in being friends if you keep insulting me???" he asked.

"Sorry," she laughed. "It's just, you know, you are so amusing when you're pissed off."

Pause.

"Well, at least I'm not a college drop-out who just annoys everyone to feel better about herself."

Lois felt not the irritation now, but real anger, suddenly warming her interior, at his words. Who the hell did he think he was? One thing was teasing him, now, he couldn't say THAT!

"Hey!!! I didn't drop the university! The university dropped ME! And I do NOT annoy everyone to feel better about myself!!!" she replied angrily.

Clark laughed.

"Sorry. It's just, you know, you look kinda cute when you're angry."

Lois was ready to give another heated response when she heard his words. And they disarmed her.

Clark stopped smiling when he realized what he had just said.

"I'm sorry, I don't know why I said that, it's not like I mean it---" Lois raised her eyebrows. "I mean, of course I mean it, but I just---I mean---"

Lois felt a smile playing with her lips.

"It's okay." she said. Then, she stood up. "I should go now, it's late."

Clark stood up too. Lois made a move to go away, but she turned around again and leaned closer to him.

"And for your information…" she started, her eyes locked on his. Clark gulped as she invaded his space. "I'm always cute."

Moving away, she smirked as Clark watched her speechless.

When she was at the door, she turned around.

"Hey, how did you get here so fast, earlier?"

Lois saw Clark gulp.

"I… it's… um…" he started. "It's not easy to explain, Lois, I---"

Before he could finish, she smiled.

"Well, I guess THAT's the whole point on our friendship." she started. "You don't have to."

Clark was, once again, left speechless by Lois Lane.

She smiled at him and started to leave. For one last time that night, she turned around.

"By the way, you look very cute yourself, Kent."

She said it in a joking tone. But deep down, Lois knew she meant it.

She grinned.

Bickering, teasing, banter and the key-piece: flirting.

That's how their relationship worked now.

Lois widened her eyes.

No. Scratch that.

Friendship.

Whatever.

Chapter 2 – Blinded

"Now seriously, Clark, will you just admit you have already considered journalism?"

"Chloe…"

Chloe saw Clark roll his eyes. They were on the Daily Planet, engaged on that discussion for almost an hour already. And it wasn't the first time. She had been trying to convince him to join the journalism team for like a month.

She knew he thought it was annoying, but Chloe wouldn't let a talented reporter run away when she saw one.

"Come on, I mean, you wrote some decent stuff back there at The Torch, but writing is not quite your strong suit." she was saying.

"Gee, thanks."

"No, I mean, seriously, you have the gift to go out there and investigate! With your skills, can you imagine how fast you could get stories?!?"

"Chloe calm down…" She was getting too excited, and that wasn't good. It used to put him in trouble.

"So then you could come back here and Lois and I could---"

"Okay there, wait a second." He widened his eyes at the name he knew so well. "Lois? Is she working here and didn't tell me?"

Chloe smiled. "No. I've been trying to convince her to do journalism too."

Clark raised an eyebrow. "Apparently you have a plan in mind." he commented. Chloe shrugged.

"I've always been organized."

"Now listen, Chloe. If I do journalism, I'll do it on my own terms, because I like it, not because someone keeps pushing me into it---"

"So you do like it." Chloe gave him a smart smile. Clark put one hand on his own face.

"Oh, come on, Chlo, just give him a break." said another female voice, entering at the room. Clark put the hand on the table and raised his both eyebrows.

"That's got to be a day to stay in history." He turned to the woman that had just arrived. "Lois Lane stood up for me." He gave her a mocking smile, but she merely grinned.

"You'd be surprised, Farmboy."

Then, as usual, she punched him.

Clark grinned too, turning to the next computer and starting to fuss around the internet.

"So, how's my working-hard cousin?" she asked, hugging Chloe, who had stood up.

"I'm fine." she answered, smiling. "What are you doing here?"

"Oh, I'm here to meet Brian."

"Brian? Who's Brian?" asked Clark, looking at Lois through the top of the computer screen.

"A guy I met here a few days ago." started to explain Lois. "We talked a little and he asked me out. So I'm going out with him tonight."

"You don't even know him and you're already going out with him?" asked Clark.

Chloe looked quickly at Clark.

Stop it, you don't know what you're getting yourself into…

"He seemed to be a nice guy." justified Lois. "Is there a problem---"

"No, it's just you can't simply go out saying 'yes' to the first one who passes in front of you---"

Oh oh.

Chloe clenched her lips together, in worry.

Lois had narrowed her eyes.

"I am not like that."

Her voice was serenely dangerous. That was no good.

Clark was in trouble.

"I didn't say you were, I just said you have to be careful with the ones you pick---"

"I'm sorry, and your power over me to say that is…?" Lois interrupted him, coolly.

"None. I'm just your friend and I worry about you." he said.

Oh, Chloe was sure of that. But Lois hated when someone got into her personal life. Specially Clark.

Specially when he had pissed her off so many times before because of that.

"Oh, funny thing, you didn't seem worried about me when I blew up that oven a week ago!" argued Lois. Chloe restrained a laugh. She knew that it was not funny, but she couldn't help but snort when Clark told her the story.

"No? If I remember well, I saved you, and then asked if you were okay!"

"Oh, PLEASE, you were more worried about me blowing up the whole house than with me getting hurt!"

"I even called you the day after to ask if you hadn't exploded anything else!!!"

Chloe let slip a little chuckle. Both looked at her.

She looked from one to another.

"Sorry."

Clark and Lois stared each other and focused on their argument again.

"That was a JOKE from you!"

"Well, every joke has a true meaning behind it!!!"

"Um… am I interrupting something?" said another male voice.

Clark, Lois and Chloe turned to look to the man that had just entered. He was tall, not as tall as Clark, but still, taller than Chloe and Lois, and had the appearance of someone who worked out very often.

"Oh, hi, Brian, yes, you're interrupting, and thank you for that." said Lois. Clark shot her a bothered look.

"Um… Okay. Um… ready to go out, then?"

"Absolutely." said Lois, smiling at him. Mumbling a "Bye" to Chloe and not saying anything to Clark, Lois turned around and walked with Brian. They were almost crossing the door when Clark asked something. Something really strange.

"Hey, Lois? Do you want me to take care of your kid tonight?"

Lois turned around and looked at him as if he was insane.

Brian froze.

Chloe frowned, looking at Clark, confused.

Lois frowned too.

"Are you cra---"

"I mean, he's quite little with his five years old."

"You've got a kid?" Brian asked Lois. After giving Clark a 'you're-so-dead' look, she turned to Brian.

"Of course not, he's---"

"And he's depressed, you know, since he doesn't have a daddy." Clark kept going. "But hey, he might be happy if you tell him you're looking for one!"

Chloe opened her mouth when she realized what Clark was doing.

Brian quickly stepped away from Lois.

"I just remembered I have plans for tonight!" he said, quickly. Lois widened her eyes. "Sorry, Lois, we can, um, go another day. I mean, when you're not busy with your, um, son. Um, bye bye, I'll… I'll see you around. Or not."

He turned and rapidly left the press room. Lois kept watching him leave, with her back turned to Chloe and Clark.

Chloe was looking at her male friend, who was staring at Lois's back with an expression that mixed triumph with 'oh-no-I've-got-to-get-out-of-here'.

Lois slowly turned to Clark.

"What. The hell. Was that." she asked, her voice so low it gave Chloe the creeps.

"I was testing him." started Clark, trying to explain himself. "You know, to see if he had moral fiber, to, to accept a child, to see if, if he would be a good husband one day."

"I didn't even have ONE date with the guy and you already think I want to marry him?!"

Lois's voice was rising, and that was not safe.

Chloe could feel it coming.

10…

9…

8…

7…

6…

5…

4…

"No, I just wanted to make sure he was---"

3…

2…

1…

"YOU WERE TRYING TO RUIN MY DATE BY MAKING UP STORIES, THAT'S WHAT YOU WERE DOING!!!"

There it is., thought Chloe, scrunching her face.

"I wasn't---"

"WELL, CONGRATULATIONS, YOU DID A VERY GOOD JOB! YOU SCARED AWAY A NICE GUY---"

"He wasn't a nice guy!!! He kept saying 'um, um, um', he was all insecure---"

"OF COURSE HE WAS!!! YOU WERE YELLING AT ME!!!"

Clark raised an eyebrow in a very annoying way.

"Well, looks like I'm not the one who's yelling around here."

Lois breathed in deeply, joining her anger.

"Now you listen to me, Smallville---"

"Okay!!!" interrupted Chloe, with a too happy voice, as Clark crossed his arms and said "Shoot it,". "I have an idea! Why don't we just calm down and take a long and deep breath---"

"He ruined my date, Chlo!" complained Lois, furiously.

"I know he did," said Chloe, looking disapprovingly at Clark, who shrugged. "But please, stop yelling or you two will get me fired."

They turned away from each other, not without giving to the other a look filled with anger.

"Good." said Chloe, relieved. "Now here's what I suggest: since it's Saturday night and we don't have anything to do---"

"Not anymore." grumbled Lois.

"Hey---" started Clark, and Lois already turned to him to start over another row.

"Okay okay okay okay…" Chloe cut in, desperately. "Now, it's raining, dark and cold, so why don't we go to Lois's apartment and watch a DVD?"

"I don't want to watch a movie with him!"

"I don't want to watch a movie with her!"

"Whoa, you don't want to watch a movie with me?"

"YOU don't want to watch a movie with me!"

Chloe rolled her eyes and, again, fought against the laughter. Their bickering was so funny sometimes.

"So let's not want to watch a movie together watching a movie together. Okay?" asked Chloe.

Clark and Lois faced each other heatedly, in a silent agreement.

Chloe smiled. They'd do it for her.

"Fine."

"Fine."

She breathed out in relief. "Good."

"So, I'm off, I'll clean up the place a bit." said Lois, still grumpy.

"Great. It's six o'clock now, so we'll be there at eight, how does that sound?" asked Chloe.

"Breathtaking." mocked Lois, looking at Clark, who narrowed his eyes.

"You're so impertinent." he said.

"And YOU are so stupid! Next time I go out on a date, don't lose your time trying to get me out of it! Get yourself a date too! It has been more than two years since you broke up with Lana, it's about time, Farmboy, it's about time!" she shouted, storming out of the press room.

Clark sat down, annoyed.

Chloe watched him. She knew he had gone out on some dates, but it had never worked out. Chloe thought it was because going on dates wasn't really Clark's thing. He was the 'falling-in-love-then-date' kind of guy. However, watching him stare at the door that Lois had just closed, she was beginning to wonder if there wasn't another reason.

"She's right, you know." said Chloe.

"Oh, come on, not you too…" said Clark, upset.

"She is, Clark. Come on, you have to move on---"

"I have already, I'm not in love with Lana anymore, and it has been a long time." he said, matter-of-factly. Chloe nodded.

"I know. But what I mean is that you really have to start dating again."

"I tried!" he said, exasperated. "You know I tried! But what can I do if I just don't find any woman who… who I 'click' with?"

"'Click' with?" asked Chloe, trying not to laugh at the expression.

"Yeah, you know… the 'click'?"

"I know, I know," said Chloe, struggling to keep a straight face. "What kind of woman would you like?" she asked.

"I don't know… somebody who understood me, who… who didn't ask for any explanations, who stood up for me… a decided woman who knows what she wants, and goes for it, even… even if she doesn't think about the consequences sometimes, a woman who I know and who knows me, and that we just… 'click'."

Chloe widened her eyes a bit. It was such a… specific… description, that she was wondering if he didn't know who he wanted already.

Chloe was starting to have a clue.

"Clark, why did you do that with Brian?" she asked, all of a sudden.

He looked at her from his chair.

"I don't know." he said. When he saw Chloe's 'yeah-right' look, Clark kept talking. "No, seriously, I don't know. I just had this…" he frowned. "… bad feeling about the guy."

"About the guy or about…" Chloe didn't finish. She thought she wouldn't have to. She thought he would catch on. But when Clark looked up at her again with a confused expression and asked "What do you mean?", Chloe couldn't help but beam.

Oh my God, he has no idea.

"Nothing," she said quickly. "Uh, I'm just sorry you had this big fight with Lois."

"It's allright, I… Oh, it's not allright. Maybe I'll try to fix things tonight, when we watch the movie."

"You should. She was really upset, Clark, you know how she hates when you get in the way of her relationships."

"Yeah." he said, low. "I just… I don't know." Chloe tried not to smile. "I'll just fix it tonight."

"But you know, Clark, there's no use in apologizing and doing it again." started Chloe. "You have to solve the problem by its basis." He stood in silence. "Start dating again would be a solution."

"How? I don't seem to find the right person!" he blurted out. "The only four woman in my life are out of my reach. Mom is my mom. Lana couldn't accept that I didn't tell her every single thing about me. You are like a sister to me, and Lois… well, all I do is argue with Lois!" He hid his head in his hands.

"I don't know Clark. Maybe a woman like her is just what you need."

Clark shook his head. "But... I mean, could it really be a Lois Lane for me out there?"

Chloe grinned.

"You never know Clark. Maybe you'll find out your Lois Lane has been around all the time."

Clark looked up. Chloe was grinning knowingly.

She wasn't sure he got what she meant, but he would sure think about it.

"So, uh, about the movie night…?" he changed the subject so quickly it would match with his superspeed.

"Oh. Well, let's just go with my car, since you came here with your legs. There, we can order some pizza." said Chloe. "Does that sound good?"

"Breathtaking." Clark answered, mimicking Lois. Chloe laughed

If only he knew it really would be.

Chapter 3 – Click

Part 1

KNOCK. KNOCK.

"I'm coming!" yelled Lois, looking at the watch.

A quarter to eight. They were early.

KNOCK. KNOCK. KNOCK.

"I SAID I'M COMING!" Lois walked towards the door of her apartment above the Talon and opened it aggressively. "GOD, SMALLVILLE, CAN'T YOU JUST---" Lois froze. The pizza kid stood there, looking up at her with a truly frightened expression on his face.

Oops.

"I-I-I-brought the pizza that you ord-dered." the kid babbled, handing her two boxes.

"Oh." said Lois, grabbing them and checking if it was the ones she had requested for. For the young boy's sake, they were. She tried to smile sympathetically. "Thank you, kiddo. Here, your tip." She pushed one dollar from her pocked and handed to the kid, who looked at it with a revolted face.

"That's all?" he asked. Lois narrowed her eyes to the boy, whose expression quickly went back to the frightened one, mumbled a "Never mind, thank you so much," and hurried off.

Closing the door, Lois sighed. She had to work on that bad mood of hers.

KNOCK. KNOCK. KNOCK.

Or maybe not.

Walking towards the door again and opening it, she yelled "I HAVE ALREADY TOLD YOU I WON'T GIVE ANY MORE TIPS---" but once again, she stopped when she saw the scared faces of Clark Kent and Chloe Sullivan.

"Hey, there, cuz…" greeted Chloe, carefully. "Can we come in?"

"Oh, yeah, sure, I'm sorry, I though you were the pizza kid." explained Lois, letting them in and closing the door behind Clark.

"Who, by the way, we found running for his life through the Talon's back door." said Clark. "You can't be nice to people not even if they bring you food, can you?"

Lois looked at Clark, arming herself, while they walked towards the TV. "I was rude with him, first, because I thought it was you knocking at the first time. And second, because he wanted more tips than I would give. So I CAN be nice to people who bring me food."

"Be nice with me. I brought you cake for dessert." said Clark, smiling that Kent-smile that bothered Lois so much.

"Third: I'm nice to people who are not willing to scare my dates away." she said, coldly, grabbing the chocolate cake and putting it on the fridge and grabbing the two pizza boxes, heading to the living room.

Lois knew she wasn't as angry as before, but she was still upset. If it was a one-time thing, it would be okay. But it happened with every guy she dated. EVERY guy.

That's got to be a record.

Rolling her eyes, she turned her attention to Chloe.

"What movies did you bring?" Lois asked.

"The Ring II and Meet Joe Black." she explained, handing her the DVDs.

Lois smiled, looking at the covers. "I believe Smallville here picked Meet Joe Black."

Lois's smile grew wider as Chloe glanced at Clark who bit back on his molars and crossed his arms defensively, even though his cheeks were a little rosy.

"Hey, I heard very nice things about this movie." he said.

"It's old." argued Lois.

"It's nice." Clark replied.

"I didn't know you were into hot male protagonists." teased Lois.

"No, that's you. I'm into good movies." said Clark. Lois shook her head, forcing herself to stop the argument.

Hmph!

He was so idiot.

But she had heard nice things about that movie too. And, thinking better, Clark picking that movie was kind of adorable.

Lois frowned.

What? No, it wasn't adorable. It was stupid. He was stupid.

Anyway, The Ring was way better.

"Lo, are you okay?" asked Chloe, making Lois step out of her reverie.

"Yeah, yeah. I was just… never mind." she answered.

Lois thought she saw her cousing smile to her and Clark, but it might have been her impression.

"So, what movie do you guys want to watch first?" asked Clark.

"The Ring II." demanded Lois. He smirked.

"Okay, Meet Joe Black it is!"

A smiling Clark grabbed the respective DVD box as Lois opened her mouth in indignation, but Chloe grabbed his arm and hissed, only to him.

"Clark! Come on! Didn't you want to fix things?"

"Yes, but fixing things doesn't mean surrender to her will!" he hissed back.

"No, but it might help a lot!" she whispered, exasperated.

"Let me handle it, Chloe."

Lois watched their hisses, curious and irritated, at the same time. And then HE said LOIS was the one who tried to make everyone surrender to her will.

Chloe turned to her and gave a forced smile. Clark kept opening the movie box, ready to put it on the DVD.

Lois rolled up her sleeves and walked towards Clark, ready to kill.

"HEY. I think I said I want to watch The Ring." she said, coolly, stopping by his side, in front of the TV and the DVD.

"And I think I said I want to watch Meet Joe Black." he replied, turning to her.

"Oh yeah? I think you asked us which movie we wanted to watch first! And we want to watch The Ring!!!"

"Really? I don't remember Chloe answering the question."

"Hah! You're going down, Smallville. She'll obviously pick MY movie."

"Oh, the movie is yours, now? I think it belongs to the video store." he teased.

"You're a jerk."

"You're so bossy."

Both Clark and Lois turned to Chloe.

"So?" They asked at the same time.

Chloe looked from one to another.

"Hmm… sorry there, Lois, but… you see… you know I don't like horror movies that much…"

Lois opened her mouth. Her cousin was a cheater!!! No. He was a cheater. He was a dork. It was all his fault.

"You know what? FINE. Let's watch the damn romance movie. As fast as it's over, the better." she said, going to turn the light's off, getting back and plopping down the couch.

"It's a drama movie, actually." said Clark, after he put the DVD in and the movie started to play.

"Shut up, Smallville." demanded Lois.

Clark and Chloe sat down at the three-sits couch too, and Lois looked at Clark, by her left side, and turned to Chloe, on her right side, complaining. "I don't want to sit by HIM!"

"Shh, the movie has started." said Chloe, her eyes on the screen, picking a piece of pizza.

Lois, who had already eaten three pieces, let Clark pick the next one.

With the corner of her eye, Lois could see Clark staring at his piece.

"You know, I'm getting tired of pizza, already." he said, low, making an allusion to a week ago, when Lois had blown up Mrs. Kent oven and they had to order pizza as well.

She struggled not to smile. He didn't deserve it, did he? So she just said "Yeah, but it's everything we have, so chew it very well, enjoy it, and swallow."

Lois noticed Clark's smile fading away, and felt a gust of guilt.

You didn't do anything wrong., she told herself. He did it.

When the movie was in the middle, the pizzas had disappeared, only one last piece had survived.

"Chloe, you want it?" offered Clark, low. Lois felt something smash her heart when he offered her cousin, and not herself.

Lois frowned in confusion and shook her head, turning to Chloe. She was sleeping, her head resting on her right hand.

"I guess not." said Clark, who had also noticed she was asleep. He carefully turned to Lois. "Hum… you want it?"

A bit annoyed, Lois simply answered. "No."

"Are you sure? Because I don't mind---"

"No. You eat."

"Lois, you can eat---"

"You."

"You."

"You."

"YOU."

They faced each other exasperatingly. Lois stood up and headed for her room to grab a blanket to cover Chloe. By the time she got back at the dark living room, Lois watched Clark, who had a concentrated expression, completely focused on the movie, only the screen brightness lighting his features.

Ignoring the weird hop on her belly, Lois walked towards the couch and covered Chloe. Sitting down, her eyes laid down on the pizza box in the table between the TV and them. The last piece was still there.

She rolled her eyes.

Always the Boy Scout.

Lois reached over to snatch it, but what she grabbed was not a pizza. Apparently, Clark had reached over for the pizza too. And with a sudden shock of electricity, she felt his hand entwined with hers.

Still surprised by the strange electricity that had passed through them (them, because she could tell Clark had felt it too when he jumped just like her), Lois quickly removed her hand.

"Sorry." she muttered.

"It's okay." he mumbled back. "You can have it."

"I don't want it." Lois merely said, staring at the TV screen.

"Then why did you reach for it?" Clark asked.

"Why did YOU reach for it?" she replied, trying to diverge the subject from herself.

"Oh, for Heaven's sake, just eat it." whispered Clark, exasperated.

"YOU eat it!" she whispered back, with the same tone.

"No."

"Why?" she asked.

"I'm not hungry anymore."

Lois looked at him quickly. He seemed to be forcing himself to watch the movie.

Lois forced herself too.

About half an hour later, the movie was on its final minutes.

Chloe was still sleeping, Clark was still focused on the story and, to her own surprise, so was Lois. It was a well-developed story. The main character, Joe, was like a Guide to Death. And one hell of a guide. Brad Pitt sure wasn't someone who you avoid watching. Anyhow, he had to guide an old man, William Parrish, but he ends up falling in love with his daughter, Susan, and learning about life.

On the last minutes, when Joe said goodbye to Susan, and when Joe guides William to Death and they fade away, was so sad that Lois actually felt a burning in her nose and tears twinkling on her eyes.

No. No crying now.

Not in front of him.

She blinked several times, but they didn't go away.

Lois rolled her eyes. She turned to the other side, trying to wipe them away with the back of her hand. That was so stupid. She was just glad he hadn't noticed---

"Are you crying?"

Crap.

"No."

"Then why are you wiping the tears with the back of your hand?"

Lois rolled her eyes again.

Why the hell did he have to be so spotter?

"My eyes are itching." she merely answered, blinking again.

"I can see that, they are very red." noticed Clark, with a little smile.

Lois looked at him with a strange expression.

"What are you, a cat?" she said, at his ability to see her eyes in the dark.

"No. I'm just spotter."

"Hmph! I'm not crying." she claimed.

"Sure you're not." he said.

"Stop smiling!"

"Sorry." he said, still with a grin on his lips.

"You're still smiling!" she argued.

"Oh, come on, it's okay, it's a sad movie. I was almost crying myself."

"Yeah, but you're a butter."

Clark let slip a little laugh, that woke Chloe up.

"See? Now you woke her!" censored Lois.

Chloe looked at the TV screen, where the movie credits were rolling.

"Oh. I missed it." she said, yawning and stretching.

"Yeah, it was really good. Lois even cried." said Clark, smiling.

"Shut up!" She poked him on the arm. Clark pushed her a bit, enough to make her almost fall on top of Chloe.

"Hey!!!" she exclaimed, pulling herself together and pointing a finger to him.

Chloe raised her eyebrows.

"Did you guys fight during the whole movie?" she asked.

Lois looked at her. "Not the WHOLE movie."

"Well, good thing I wasn't awake to see." She smiled and stood up, yawning again. "Oh, you guys, I'm off. I'm really sleepy, and I have to work tomorrow. So," she kissed Lois and Clark on the cheek, and headed to the apartment door. "Enjoy the cake and the horror movie. See you two!"

Lois couldn't help but notice her cousin had said it all too fast, as if she wasn't letting them have time to ask her to stay. Well, it worked. When they blinked again, Chloe was out of there. And if they weren't so busy looking at each other strangely, they would notice she had left with a smart grin across her face.

----------

Part 2

"So…."

"Yeah."

Clark and Lois looked at each other. Chloe had just left, and they were alone, ready to watch a horror movie. Lois cleaned her throat.

"Okay. The Ring, then?" she asked.

"Sure, let me turn put the DVD on… the DVD." Lois nodded as Clark stood up, picked the other movie and opened the DVD, to put the movie in there. He was having a bit of difficulties, though. The DVD wouldn't enter.

"You want me to turn the lights on?" asked Lois.

"No, I'm good." answered Clark, still not having success. Lois tried to look at what he was doing. She smirked as she noticed the problem.

"You know, Smallville, we're supposed to take the other DVD out first."

Clark looked at her with an annoyed expression, and did what he was told. The movie started to play. Lois smirked even more.

"Was it that hard?" she teased.

"Oh, quit it, Lois, it was just a little mistake, besides, it's dark."

"Oh, weren't you the one who could see my eyes were red in the dark? Besides, I asked if you wanted to turn the lights on."

"Just… watch the damn movie. I'll grab the cake." said Clark.

She was incredibly annoying, he thought, while he walked to the kitchen. She could easily get on his nerves and drive him crazy. And yet he didn't know why he felt so comfortable around her, sometimes.

Or why the teasing and bickering – and flirting – between them had increased.

He opened the fridge and grabbed the cake, then closed it and picked some dishes, forks and a knife. With all that, he walked back to the living room, expecting to find Lois laughing her guts out at the thriller movie. She was, however, sitting at the couch holding her knees against her body, and with her eyes widened.

At the screen, images of the girl with long and black hair killing a guy.

"Lois?" called Clark. She jumped and looked at him. Immediately, Lois pulled herself together and sat straight, pretending to be absolutely fine with the movie.

"Hey, Smallville. Took you long enough. Give me that cake." she required, reaching for the dish with a piece of chocolate cake that Clark was handing her. Clark sat down by her side with a dish for himself, watching her. She was eating quickly with her eyes locked on the screen.

"Lois, if you keep eating that fast, you'll have a stomach ache right away." he warned.

"Oh, stop it, I'm fine." She finished the cake, after swallowing almost the entire piece, and pulled her legs up again.

After some moments of thriller – during which Lois nearly jumped out of the couch –, Clark asked "Lois? Are you allright?"

"I'm fine, Farmboy, don't nag me." she answered, without taking her eyes off the TV.

Clark tried not to smile. Lois hugging her knees and frowning at the screen was something Clark never thought he'd see. It was really sweet.

Shaking the thought away, he asked "Do you want the blanket?"

"Fine." she answered, and let him carefully cover her. After some seconds, when Lois apparently wasn't paying so much attention at the movie, she spoke again. "Why are you doing this?"

"Doing what?"

"Being so nice."

Clark faced her. She wasn't looking at him.

He smiled. "No reason."

"Yeah, right," said Lois, not believing him. "Let me just tell you something: if you're trying to make up for your little 'scare-dates-away' fit, you'll have to do much better than that to win my forgiveness." Clark's smile faded away, and Lois noticed. "Hah. Got ya', didn't I?"

They stood in silence, only watching the movie. In a particular frightening moment, Lois exclaimed "Oh God!", her hands grabbing his right arm.

Clark looked at her clumsily when she didn't take them away, not seeming to notice what she had just done.

After a few moments, Clark, still facing her, called "Hum… Lois?"

"What now, Smallville?" she asked, annoyed.

"Can I have my arm back?"

Lois looked at him confused, and then looked down at her hands, firmly holding Clark's arm. As if she had been electrocuted, she removed it.

"Eh, sorry." she apologized, tapping the place where her hands had just been.

"No problem." he said, smiling with the corner of his mouth.

"Nice biceps you had there, though."

Clark blushed. Lois laughed, but she meant it.

And about Clark? Without knowing exactly why, he was kind of hoping she hadn't taken her hands off.

When the girl in the movie, with her black long hair covering her face, started to walk towards the screen, Lois deliberately moved closer to Clark.

"Oh boy…" she said.

"Are you afraid, Lois?" he asked, smirking.

"Am not…" she said, with a weak voice, watching the girl. When she pulled a woman to inside the TV in the movie with a scream, Lois practically jumped on Clark, grabbing his arm again.

"Oh my God, you're terrified!" said Clark, laughing. Lois turned her head to the side, looking at Clark.

"Hey! That girl is evil!" she defended herself. "Besides, look at her, looks like she's always staring at you!" Lois shivered.

"Lois, you can't even see her face."

"Exactly! Who knows what goes on in there?"

"Lois, is just a movie."

"I know!" she said, with a high-pitched voice. "But the spirit of little girls always freak me out---OH GOD!" Lois buried her head on Clark's chest when the 'spirit of the little girl', Samara, started to climb up the pit.

Clark froze.

"Is she up there already?" she asked, with a stifled voice.

"No," he answered, a bit throaty, awkwardly putting one hand around Lois's shoulders. "No, she isn't."

They stood like that for a moment. Lois slowly looked with one eye at the screen. Samara was still there, calling "Mommy! Mommy!" with the most horrifying voice she had ever heard.

"Jeez, look at that freakin' girl! Don't you think that's scary?!?"

Clark gulped as he felt Lois's breath on his chest again.

"Petrifying."

At his word, Lois seemed to realize what she was doing. She raised her head a bit, looked at their position, and then looked up to a confused Clark. After a moment of staring contest, she said "Oh, I… I'll just. Yeah."

She pulled away trying not to look into his eyes.

Then, she looked at the screen.

"Do you mind if I just turn the damn thing off?" Lois asked, pointing to the screen.

"No, of course not." Clark answered, relieved when she broke the silence.

Lois walked towards the DVD and took it off, putting it on the right box.

"That's a relief." she said.

"Yeah."

With a certain gust of anxiety, Lois felt that astonishing tension between them, that had become quite familiar during the past few months.

No, no no no, go away., she told herself.

She could tell Clark had noticed too, because he was looking at her with a quite nervous look on his face.

"Huh… Lois?"

"What?" she asked, trying not to sound too shrill.

"I, uh… I just wanted to apologize for… hum… ruining your date." he said, uncomfortable.

Lois was sort of glad he hadn't said anything else. On the other hand, she was upset that he had apologized. Once again. Because she knew it wouldn't be the last time.

"Look, Smallville, don't even try. It's useless, allright? Every time you do this, you say you're sorry, and then, on my next date, you do it all over again."

"I know." said Clark, low.

"Then stop it!!!" said Lois. She was still a bit upset. But she also started to speak louder when she realized that the argument used to break the awkward tension. "Let me deal with it, I think I'm old enough to know what's good and what's bad---"

"I don't think you do when the dates you pick get you in trouble!" Clark had raised his head, and seemed ready to fight, just like her. Apparently, he had forgotten all about trying to fix things. "I always save you from your dates!" argued Clark. "So it's just a way of trying to prevent the worse to happen!"

"You don't have to save me!" Lois replied, with anger, feeling the will to break the tension fade away, and being replaced for the will to bicker.

"Oh no? And simply let you die on their hands?"

"So basically, you're saying I can't take care of myself?" Lois started to walk dangerously on Clark's direction, but that didn't seem to bother him.

"No! I'm saying there are people much stronger than you think you are, and that you can't deal with certain things!" Clark had started to walk towards Lois as well. And, unlike everyone else, that didn't intimidate her.

"I can deal with everything." she answered, raising her chin.

Clark stopped two feet away from Lois and just faced her, crossing his arms on his strong chest.

"Everything." she repeated, trying to convince herself.

Then, while shaking his head, Clark's serious face melted into a smile.

No. Not everything., she thought,

"What! Is not funny!" said Lois.

"Actually, it is."

"No, it's not, Clark. I'm serious." she said, even though her voice had softened a bit, at his smile. "You can't go out trying to stop me from getting hurt. I have to learn by myself, haven't I?"

"Yes. But unfortunately, there are things out there that we can't just expose ourselves to."

"We're supposed to take risks, aren't we?"

"Yes. But if we can get hurt, I'd rather not to take any risks." he said, seriously. Lois just faced him. She understood what he meant. Deep down, she kind of thought so too. However, something made her feel unsure if he was still talking about physical injuries. "And I couldn't let anything happen to you." Lois gulped, feeling a flutter on her stomach. She was a bit relieved when he added "Or anyone."

"Sounds like you, Farmboy." she stated, not being able to think about anything else to say. He smiled again, and this time, she smiled back.

"Well, I, uh, I should probably get going…" he said, picking up the DVDs and walking towards the door.

In a rush, without having the idea of why the hell she said it, Lois simply spilled out.

"Why don't you stay?"

Okay, where the hell did that come from?

The next thing she felt was an urge to hit herself on the wall.

Clark nearly dropped the DVDs.

"Wha-what?" he asked, his voice failing. Lois tried hard not to look at the ceiling.

"I mean, it's almost one o'clock in the morning, and it's dangerous to drive on the streets this late. Yeah." explained Lois, giving her best to sound as natural as she could.

"Lois, this is Smallville. If a mugger stopped my car, he'd probably ask politely for my cellphone." said Clark. Lois felt another urge, to hit him, this time.

"Smallville, work with me here. I'm trying to be well-mannered."

"Now, that does not sound like you." he teased, smiling a bit. Lois rolled her eyes.

She shouldn't have asked him to stay, what was she thinking? Frustration now took over her.

"You know what?" she started. "Never mind me for trying to be nice. Forget I even tried to show I care about you. Your safety, I mean." The will to hit herself came back. "Well, get the hell out of here and take the freaking DVDs with you."

Lois turned around, closing her eyes, angry for showing him a little bit of herself. How the hell he could cross her walls so easily?

"No, I, I'm sorry." he suddenly said. "You're--you're right, I probably shouldn't drive this late. I'll--I'll stay."

Lois stopped walking when the pizza and the chocolate cake started to dance on her stomach. She turned to him.

"Okay."

Lois went to her room and grabbed a pillow and another blanket. When she came back, she put them on the couch.

"Here you go."

Clark smirked. "Yeah, I should've seen that one coming. If I haven't the right to sleep in a bed not even in my house, why would I have it here?"

Lois raised one eyebrow, smirking herself.

"Oh, so you're saying you want to jump into my bed with me?"

Clark's sneer faded away quickly. "What? N-No, I didn't mean like that, I mean, I was just kidding, I---"

Lois raised her hands in defense. "Wow, relax, Smallville, I was kidding too." Clark breathed out in aid. "You seem relieved. Would it have been that bad?"

"Wha-no, of course not," Lois raised her both eyebrows. "I mean, I just---" Clark stopped talking and closed his eyes. He popped them open and pointed the couch. "I'll just---yeah."

Lois couldn't help but laugh. "You crack me up, Smallville." She tapped his shoulder. "G'night." And headed to her bed, smiling to herself.

----------

Lois was lying on her bed, eyes going through her dark room.

She couldn't sleep. She just couldn't sleep.

Correction: she had fallen asleep for fifteen minutes. But she had such a nightmare that she decided to stay wide awake.

No, it wasn't the guy in the red cape again. Although, after the dream she had, Lois wished she had dreamt with him.

Not with a certain someone that was on the other side of the door, sleeping on her couch.

Not when, on the dream, Lois simply looked through a glass door and he was there, waiting for her.

Not when, still on the dream, he had just grabbed her waist and kissed her.

Not when she had completely felt it, even if it had been just a dream.

Not when she had liked it.

A lot.

Not with Farmboy.

Farmboy.

Damn, that was ridiculous. She was awake, in the middle of the night, with a serious case of insomnia, just because of him.

And nothing had even happened.

Except on the dream, of course.

Whoa.

Not dream.

Nightmare.

She sighed, tired. Sure, they share of banter, bickering, arguing – and flirting – had increased during the last months. But that wasn't nothing, was it? And sure, there were some moments where the space between them was filled with tension. He was annoying and he could easily piss her off, but yeah, he was handsome, sweet and funny, and it was so nice being around him. Of course she had noticed it, she wasn't blind.

Or was she?

Was that enough to make her start dreami---having nightmares about him?

No, of course not.

That was probably because she was angry at him earlier, so the dream was just a way to… uh… unleash her anxieties. Probably.

Lois rolled her eyes.

Stop it, Lane.

She would just stand up and go to the kitchen, drink some warm milk, go back to bed and she'd sleep peacefully for the rest of the night, and forget about that stupid dream.

Yeah, that was it. That would solve it all.

Lois stood up and walked to her bedroom's door. When she put her hand on the door handle and opened it, she wished with all her strengths that Clark wasn't there waiting for her.

With a sigh of relief, she saw he wasn't. Lois walked quietly towards her kitchen, trying not to wake Clark. But it was useless. He was already awake, sitting on a chair on the kitchen, drinking a cup of warm milk himself.

"Hey," she greeted, hesitating a little, grabbing a cup for herself.

"Hey." he greeted back, a little surprised.

"What are you doing in my kitchen?" she asked.

"Drinking your milk." he replied, smiling strangely. Lois could tell it was something wrong with him. Like if he have had a disturbing dream himself.

Don't ever think about that., she told herself, as the thoughts of the dream came to her mind again.

"Couldn't sleep?" he asked. Lois shook her head, filling her cup with milk and warming it on the microwave. Clark smirked a little. "Had a bad dream about the little girl from the movie?"

I wish…

"No," she answered, a bit too sharply. "You? Had a sweet dream about Brad Pitt?"

"No." he answered, staring at his cup. "Not Brad Pitt."

Ignoring the strange sensation she felt, as if he was trying to tell her something, she replied "What a shame. He's hot." Clark laughed while he watched her drink a sip of her milk. "Wanna sit on the living room? If we stay here, your cake might be dead until the morning." she said, looking at the chocolate cake Clark's mother had made, on the table.

"Sure."

They stood up with their hot milks and walked to the living room.

"So," started Clark, as they sat on the couch. "Tell me about your dream. The guy in the red cape again?"

"No." said Lois, herself facing the cup now. "Not the guy in the red cape."

"Okay. So, what was it about?"

"I'm not going to tell you."

"Why not?" he asked, frowning.

"Because I never tell anyone about my dreams." she replied.

"I'm not anyone." he said. Lois raised her eyebrows. Clark smiled. "I'm Farmboy."

Lois laughed. "Never thought I'd hear you saying that." Pause. Lois breathed in deeply and said "Okay, here's the pact: you tell me yours, I'll tell you mine."

"Deal." grinned Clark. "Ladies first."

Lois narrowed her eyes. "How smart of you, Smallville. It happens that I'm not a lady."

"You're sure not."

"So you start."

Clark faced her for a long moment before start talking.

"Very well, then." he drank another sip of his very hot milk – that he had warmed again with his heat vision when Lois wasn't looking – and then looked at her. "I… Don't take me wrong, but I… uh…"

"Spill it, Smallville! It's not like it was about me, right?" she said, laughing a little bit.

Even though it was dark, Lois could see his cheeks reddening a bit.

"Actually, it was more about us."

Her stomach jumped.

"Us?" she asked, trying not to sound high-pitched for the second time that night.

"Yeah." He made a pause. "We were… uh… arguing, and then… well, you crossed this glass door, and then you turned around." Lois's stomach fell ten inches at every word he spoke. "I just stared at you, then you opened the door, and, and then I kind of kis---"

"Okay!" started Lois, not being able to control the shrill tone now. She had to do something to change the subject. However, she stood up too fast, and ended up spilling Clark's coffee on his own shirt, who jumped in surprise.

"Oh no!" she shouted. Lois could still see the steam coming out of the cup. His milk was too warm. "Oh my God, I'm sorry, I'm sorry, oh crap---" Having worked in a coffee shop before, Lois knew that spilling hot milk or hot coffee could cause burnings of first and, at the worst of the possibilities, second degree. "Damn it---oh!" But she also knew what to do. "Take your shirt off."

Clark widened his eyes. "What?"

"No time to play the puritan on me, Smallville, take your shirt off before I rip it out."

"I---"

"Oh, for Heaven's sake! Did the burning affect your brain too?"

"What burn---" But Clark immediately stopped talking when Lois walked closer to him and started to unbutton his shirt. "L-Lois---"

"Smallville, I'm just trying to help you here, so shut your mouth, I know what I'm doing." she said, looking up at him.

How many buttons did that shirt have, anyway?

Practical, Lois just ripped the whole thing.

"Lois---" said Clark, looking down at her face, close to his, as she took the shirt off through his shoulders.

"Wait right here!" she said, raising a hand for him to stay. Lois ran to the bathroom, where she grabbed a towel and soaked it on cold water. Then, in a movement that made Clark seriously consider the possibility of her having super-speed too, she was back.

Lois stood in front of him and, with one hand, pressed the cold towel against the supposedly burned spot, her other one resting on his chest. They stood like that for a moment.

Noticing how close they were, Lois kept looking down. She didn't want to stare at his torso, but, fortunately, she had the excuse of the burning. After a few more seconds, Lois removed the towel and looked at the spot. It was dark, but she could swear it wasn't red. Lois touched the spot, telling herself it was only to feel it there was something swollen.

"Does it hurt?" she asked, still not looking at him.

"Not anymore." he answered, low. She raised her head. He was looking at her.

Oh, crap.

They were quite close.

Closer than they had ever been.

Way to go, Lane.

It wasn't until they started to have problems to breathe that they realized they had been holding their breaths.

"Well, uh, if you feel better…" she said, making a move to pull away, but when she felt his hand placing on her back, followed by the weirdest somersault on her heart, she stopped.

Come on, you're stronger than him, just move away.

She couldn't. And he wasn't even impeding her.

Lois suddenly found out how many nerves there were on her spine.

The butterflies on her stomach were flying with no control. Clark and Lois faced each other for a second that seemed an eternity.

Until she looked from his eyes to his lips.

Oh no.

He did the same thing.

When their eyes met again, something extraordinary passed by them, something that they weren't expecting.

The thing that made them stay there, inches apart, feeling each other's heavy breaths, without moving forward or backward.

The whole living room seemed to be on fire.

By the way, the burning had been forgotten.

Joining forces from only God knows where, Lois put her both hands on Clark's chest and managed to get out of their "embrace".

"Um, I'll just go to sleep, uh, since you're not in pain, or anything." she said, fast. "Goodnight." And even faster, Lois managed to escape to her room, closing the door.

She leaned against it.

She shouldn't have asked him to stay.

She shouldn't have.

Damn, what the hell was she thinking?

Nothing, that's what she was thinking.

It had been stupid, a stupid idea.

Lois stood there, frozen, wondering why exactly it had been so excruciatingly hard to step away.

Lois groaned. She would never drink warm milk again.

Chapter 4 – Jealous

I was dreaming of the past,
And my heart was beating fast.
I began to loose control,
I didn't mean to hurt you,
I was feeling insecure,
I was shivering inside,
I'm just a jealous guy.

"So, how was the other movie last night?" asked Chloe. They were walking through the halls of the Daily Planet. It was morning, and Clark had just superspeeded from Lois's apartment.

"It was… pretty cool." said Clark, in the lack of anything else to say. Just this morning, he had woken up early. She was still sleeping when he left. He thought it was better this way, not any "thank you for letting me stay" or anything. No awkward tension. No towels on his chest.

Clark shivered a bit.

"Clark? Are you okay?" asked Chloe, frowning. He seemed to come back to the reality.

"Yeah, I… I'm fine."

Chloe was still frowning as they arrived on her press room.

"So tell me, what did you and Lois do after I left?" was asking Chloe. Then, when she sat down at her computer, she looked at Clark's chest and saw the ruined buttons. "What happened to your shirt?"

"Oh, it might have happened when Lois ripped it off, and---" Clark stopped when he realized what he had just said. Chloe raised her eyebrows.

"Okay, that was fast." she said, to herself, but Clark heard. He blushed a bit.

"No, no, it's not what you think, I… well, to summarize, we watched the movie, then we went so sleep. But we had… um… nightmares, and we woke up to drink some warm milk. I started to tell her my dream, then I guess she freaked out, because she stood up quickly and spilled the milk all over my shirt. Then, she started to, um… unbutton it, then I believe she got tired of it and just ripped it off, grabbing a wet towel and pressing it on where she thought I was burned."

"But you weren't." observed Chloe.

"No."

"And you still let her press it."

"Yes."

She smiled.

"Interesting."

They stood a few moments in silence, Clark begging with all his might for Chloe not to ask anything.

"What you dreamed about?" she suddenly asked, her eyes on the computer screen.

"Oh, nothing, you know…"

Chloe looked up at him. "It must have been something, Clark, to freak my cousin out."

"Ugh, fine. But don't keep asking questions about it. And don't think anything. And don't---"

"Just tell me, Clark."

He sighed. "'Kay. I dreamed about myself. And Lois." Chloe nodded. "In the dream, I kind of… kissed her." Chloe bit her lip, struggling with a smile. Clark rolled his eyes. "See? See? There you are with your… your… expressions!"

"Sorry, Clark." laughed Chloe. Another pause, during which Clark played the dream once again on his mind. "So, did you like it?"

"What?"

"The dream." She repeated. "Did you like it?"

"I… guess it wasn't that bad." he said, scowling.

"Well, can't blame her for freaking out." said Chloe, suddenly, looking thoughtfully to a spot on the table.

"What do you mean?" asked Clark, suddenly feeling his stomach hop. She faced him, seeming to think about where to start.

"Well, Clark---"

"Hey, 'cuz! I got to---" Lois had entered at the press room, but she stopped when she saw Clark. "Oh, there you are." she said, facing him. "I thought you had been kidnapped this morning."

"Yeah, um… I had things to do, I had to stop by the farm--"

"And then you're still wearing the same clothes." Noticed Lois, looking at him up and down, a thing that made him feel uncomfortable. "You know, Smallville, take a shower is good, once in a while.
Clark narrowed his eyes.

"What can I do? You used all the hot water when you stopped by our house last time." he teased. Lois smirked.

"At least I took a shower."

Clark didn't roll his eyes. He looked at her. She was quite… normal. Because she didn't seem normal last night.

However, she was acting as always, now.

He wondered how she could do it.

Well, if she could, he could too.

Right?

"Oh, you guys, I'm glad you two are here, I have to tell you something." said Chloe. Both Clark and Lois turned their gazes from each other and faced Chloe.

"What's up, 'cuz?"

"Well, next Friday, the Daily Planet will promote a party. And will be hell of a good one, you should have seen last year's. It was incredible. So I wanted to ask you two if you wanted to go."

"Party?" said Lois. She seemed to think about it.

"C'mon!" insisted Chloe.

Clark looked at her doubtfully.

"Oh, I don't know…"

"It will be fun!" she assured.

"What, the Daily Planet's party?" asked a male voice, joining them. They turned around to see a blonde guy, walking into the room. "Hey, Chloe!" greeted him. Chloe smiled.

"Everyone, this is Danny. He works in the economic section if the newspaper. Danny, this is Clark, and---"

"Hey, who's this stunning lady over here?" asked Danny, turning to Lois, who raised one eyebrow.

"This is my cousin." answered Chloe, when Lois offered her hand and said "Lois Lane.".

"Wait a second. Are you General Lane's oldest daughter?" asked Danny, curious. Lois frowned.

"Yeah. You know my father?" she asked, confused. Danny laughed.

"Of course!" he said. "And you know me! Come on! Danny Gilbert, remember? John and Molly Gilbert's son? You used to kick my ass when we were kids…?"

Clark leaned against Chloe's desk. He did not like the way that conversation was going. In his opinion, Danny was too confident and full of himself. And he definitely didn't like the way Lois's eyes lightened up with surprise when she remembered him, said "Oh my God" and they hugged.

"Well, look at you!" said Lois, laughing. "You've grown up, big boy!"

"So have you, big girl." he replied, laughing too. Then, he looked at his watch. "Oh, damn it! I have to go… but hey!" he looked at Lois. "We should meet someday, to catch up! I wanna hear everything about you! Will you be at the Daily Planet's party?"

"She doesn't know." Clark suddenly said, with his teeth gritted together. All the other three looked at him, Chloe with a 'please-don't' expression, Danny with a "WTF?" one and Lois's was absolutely 'if-you-start-with-that-again-I'll-kill-you'. Clark didn't seem to notice, though. He was too busy staring at Danny to care. He should have, though.

"Excuse me?" asked Danny, frowning.

"I said that she doesn't know if she's going to Daily Planet's party." Clark repeated, still gritting his teeth and leaning against the table.

"Oh boy…" murmured Chloe, worried.

"Well, you're going to excuse me, but I asked her." said Danny, coldly.

"And I answered."

"Smallville, quit it." warned Lois, in a low and dangerous tone.

"You know, it isn't polite to answer questions that weren't directed to you." observed Danny, not hearing what Lois had just said.

"Do you think I nto a beef. Pause. Look, Clark, she

doesn't, which means that she's probably not going---"

"Smallville, STOP!" Lois had raised her tone of voice. "I do NOT need your protection!" Clark stopped arguing with Danny and simply looked at her, annoyed. She turned to Danny, then. "Danny, you are so going to see me on Daily Planet's party."

Clark opened his mouth. Danny smiled.

"I thought so." He said. "Goodbye, Lois, I'll see you there. Goodbye, Chloe. Goodbye…" he stopped, trying to remember Clark's name. "You."

"Bye!" said Chloe and Lois at the same time. Clark didn't say anything, he just kept leaning against the table.

Just like the other day, Chloe clenched her face and started to count.

And it didn't take ten seconds, this time.

10…

9…

8…

"What the HELL was that? AGAIN???"

"It's not my fault if you ruin your own dates…" said Clark, shrugging, trying to look uninterested.

"HE WASN'T EVEN MY DATE! He's a friend from my childhood!" Lois growled in exasperation. "I don't ruin my own dates! You can't get tired of doing that for me!" Clark looked at her. She breathed hard, trying to calm herself down. "I thought you regret what you did the other day---you know what? I don't care. Doesn't matter. Just STOP BEING so insanely jealous of every guy that walks in front of me---"

"Hey, I'm not jealous of anybody!" Clark quickly exclaimed, defensively.

"Then WHY THE HELL DO YOU KEEP DOING THAT?"

He gulped. He really was bothered when he saw her with another guys. The reason? He wasn't quite sure, but he was beggining to wonder---

"You know what? Don't answer." said Lois, angry. " All I know is that he is an old friend, I AM going to that party, I will meet him, we will catch up, I'll have FUN and I don't wanna hear you going crazy about it. Got it???"

Lois walked out, angry, seeming to forget Chloe was there.

"Clark?" called Chloe. He didn't answer right away. "Clark?"

He sighed. "What…"

"Take your hands off my table, you're smashing it."

Clark quickly looked at her desk. It was true. It was cracked on the place where he had been leaning against with his hand.

"Oh, I… I'm sorry." he apologized.

"It's okay. I'll tell them it was already broken." said Chloe. But she shook her head. "Now, we've got to work in this jealousy of yours."

"I'm not---"

"Oh, come on, Clark, who are you kidding?" Now, Chloe was exasperated. "Trying to send away every guy that tries to go closer to Lois? Look, I understand, and it's okay. But if you're not going to make a move, you can't stop others from doing it."

"Wha-what move?" he asked, nervous.

Chloe rolled her eyes. Then, she looked at Clark sympathetically.

"I have to work Clark. Just… don't do this anymore, okay?" said Chloe. "You mean a lot to her, even though she'll never admit it out loud. And I know that she hates when you argue with her."

"No she doesn't! She loves to---"

"That's bickering. I mean, she hates when you do stuff like that and makes her angry at you." explained Chloe.

Clark was looking at her entirely confused. Chloe smiled, sitting at her chair and looking to her computer.

"You're the only one who can get through her walls." she suddenly said. "Use it to your own benefit."

On his way home, Clark's thoughts just seemed to be more and more confused.

He wasn't jealous of her. Was he?

No, of course not. He was just trying to keep her away from those stupid, idiot and fool jerks---

Okay, maybe he was a little jealous.

But it was okay, wasn't it? She was his friend, and jealous between friends is common.

Right?

Suddenly, he was angry.

Angry because he thought he felt something, last night. Because he definitely felt something everytime she had touched him, even if it had been an accident. Angry because he didn't have any idea of what it was.

Well, nothing, apparently., he thought, still upset. Or she wouldn't just go running to another guy's arms---

But she hadn't ran to another guy's arms. Danny was a friend. An old friend. You always want to meet old friends, right? God knew how he missed Pete when he left, and that it would be cool to see him now.

Yes. That's it., he thought. He is an old friend of hers, and she'll meet him to catch up.

However, even though he didn't know why, there was this part of Clark telling him that she had accepted to go to the party not only to meet Danny, have fun and all the other stuff.

But to tease him.

Chapter 5 – Denial & Doubts

We started as friends
But something happened inside me
Now I'm reading into everything
But there's no sign you hear the lightning, baby
You don't ever notice me turning on my charm
Or wonder why I'm always where you are

Night after night I hear myself say
Why can't this feeling just fade away
There's no one like you
You speak to my heart

"Mrs. Kent?"

"Lois! Hi!" said the older woman, turning around and making a sign for the younger one to come in.

Lois crossed the Kent's kitchen door, risking a glance at the oven that Mrs. Kent was using.

"So, I guess the other new oven is working right?" she asked, hesitantly. On the contrary of what she was thinking, Mrs. Kent laughed.

"Yes, dear, yes it is." Mrs. Kent, seeing that Lois still seemed uncertain, she added "Lois, I know you're feeling guilty and that you're thinking that I'm mad at you, but the truth is, I'm not." Lois raised her eyebrows, surprised, when Mrs. Kent looked at her with a worried expression on her face. "Clark told me it was quite an explosion. I'm just relieved nothing happened to you."

"Look, Mrs. Kent, I'm glad that you're not angry and everything… but even so, I came here to ask how much the new oven was, when you bought it."

Mrs. Kent smiled when she realized what Lois was doing.

"Oh, Lois. You don't have to pay for any of it, it was not your fault---"

"Of course it was! It was just when I put my hands on that thing that it started to go crazy!" she said.

"Actually, that was the first time the oven was used." explained Mrs. Kent. "It wasn't your fault, dear, it was a problem with it. I had bought it that morning. So I went to the store and they gave me another one." Lois still seemed to hesitate. Mrs. Kent smiled. "It's allright, dear. You don't owe anything."

Lois finally smiled. "Mrs. Kent, I don't know how you do it."

"Do what?"

"Be so nice all the time." said Lois, sitting down at a chair. "I swear, if it was my oven and some freakin' woman who can't cook for her life blew it up, I'd go all around kicking asses."

Mrs. Kent joined her at the table, laughing. "Well, if an oven-blew-up is all that it takes for you to come visit us, you should do it more often." Both women laughed. "So tell me," started Mrs. Kent. "What have you been doing that let you so busy you could not come visit us?"

"Well," started Lois. "I've been taking care of the Talon, you know, buying things, hiring and firing employees, trying to figure some, uh, stuff, out… I've also, um… been taking a few journalism classes."

"You have!" exclaimed Mrs. Kent, happy.

"Yeah. You're actually the first person I've ever told, so please, don't tell anyone, specially Chloe, or she'll go absolutely excited about it." asked Lois. She didn't quite know why she hadn't told anyone yet. Maybe she just didn't want to spoil anything. However, talking to Mrs. Kent… it was like talking to a mother. It made her so comfortable that she couldn't help but say it.

She was the nicest person Lois had ever met. And it made her a bit relieved that, around her, Lois could let her guard down a bit.

"Oh, Lois, that's wonderful news, I'm so glad!" said Mrs. Kent, happily. Lois smiled. "Clark has always said you had the thing to be a journalist."

Lois's smile faded at the name 'Clark'.

Walls were up again.

Mrs. Kent noticed her sudden change of expression.

"Lois? Is everything allright?" she asked.

"Yeah, yeah, sure." Lois answered, quickly. Too quickly.

"Lois, I know when you're not okay. Did something happen?" she insisted.

"I…" And when she least expected, she had stood up and was telling Mrs. Kent. "And I just can't stand it anymore! Every guy I've dated – and I mean EVERY one –, he somehow manages to blame him, or screw it all! He says he's protecting me, but come on, I can handle it on my own! I've always have! I don't know who the hell he think he is to keep getting on the way to my relationships! I'm telling you, the guy is obsessed! And I'm getting sick of it, so if he's not going to make a move, than---" She suddenly stopped.

Why did I just said that? Nobody is going to make ANY moves! God, Lane, you're losing it---

Her thoughts were interrupted by Mrs. Kent grin.

"I mean… a move to stop with all this… overprotective thing…" she tried to fix. But Mrs. Kent just kept grinning. "Don't do that."

"That what?"

"That… grin. You remind me of Clark. Looks like you can see all through me." said Lois, moving uncomfortable. Mrs. Kent's smile widened.

"I can't see through you, honey. But he sure can."

Lois sighed, exasperated. "Then WHY ON EARTH does he keep doing that?"

Martha's grin turned into a mysterious smile. "That, dear, you'll have to figure by yourself."

Lois sighed once more and started to leave by the kitchen's door.

"He's in the barn."

Mrs. Kent's voice made her stop and turn around. Smiling a bit, Lois waved a goodbye, and left.

As soon as she closed the door, she headed to her car instead of the barn. She knew that she wouldn't have the guts to go to the barn and talk to him. Wouldn't have the patience, more likely. Even confused, Lois was still upset at him for being so… protective.

Jealous.

Whatever.

When, a few days ago, he had scared the Brian guy away, Lois had tried to see it in a good perspective. If he had tried to get in the way of her relationships, it meant that he actually cared about her, and didn't want to see her get hurt.

What he didn't seem to see, though, is that everytime he did that, it hurt on her. She felt invaded. Exposed.

Scared.

Scared, because she deep down, she had a clue of why he was doing that. She just hadn't the guts to bring it up.

Neither had him, apparently.

"Lois?"

Oh, come on…

She turned around when she heard his voice. He had been working in the tractor. And even so, not a single drop of sweat on that strong chest---

Lois almost hit herself.

Shut. Up.

"Smallville." she merely said.

Silence.

Oh, boy, she hated that.

"Um, what are you doing here?" he asked, to break the silence.

"Came to visit your mom. Don't mind me. Keep up with the tractor-work. I was just leaving."

She turned around and headed to her car again.

"Wait."

She felt a shock when he held her arm. The same shock she had felt that movie-night.

"Lois, look---" he started. But she wouldn't even give him a chance on this one.

"Clark, if you're going to start to apologize again, don't waste your time. I know perfectly well that when you get the chance, you'll do it again. And again, and again." she said, tired, turning to face him.

"I'm, sorry, I just… I can't…"

"Help it?"

"Yeah." They faced each other for a second. "Lois, I really am sorry." he assured. Lois looked at him.

"You're sorry for scaring my dates away?" she asked, frostily.

"No." he answered. She raised her eyebrows. "I'm sorry for upsetting you."

Lois hated herself when she felt her anger melting. The darn Farmboy definitely had the power of words.

"I'm just tired of it, okay?" she said, even though her words were softened now. "Will you please hold your horses when some guy ask me out? You don't want me to end up alone and taking care of a bunch of cats, do you?"

Clark laughed. "No, of course not." he said. "Well, maybe not with a bunch of cats…" he teased. Lois punched him.

They stood in silence for a moment.

He had laughed. She had punched him.

She sighed, sort of relieved.

She felt the things were starting to get back to normal.

"Why did you do it?" she asked, all of a sudden.

Or maybe not.

"What?"

"Why did you do that with Brian and Danny? And every other guys that I dated?" She couldn't help herself, the words were slipping out of her mouth before she could control them.

He looked at her for a long time. She held the gaze.

"I don't know." he simply said, low.

And the gaze continued.

Lois was very aware that he hadn't loosened the grip on her arm. Also, very aware of the butterflies playing on her stomach.

She couldn't remember if when he had pulled her he had brought her that close, or if they had just gotten ther on their own.

And it made her feel an incredible will to ask another things.

To do something. Anything to break the tension that was almost insufferable.

"What's happening here…" mumbled Clark, low, scanning her face with his blue eyes.

"I have no idea..." answered Lois, even lower, giving him the same look.

There are questions that people are usually too afraid to ask.

God, why is my heart beating this fast?

And others people are just too afraid to answer.

Shit, he's your best friend, Lane, what the hell are you thinking?

Do you want to screw it all?

Step away from him.

NOW.

And she did.

Once again, she wondered why it was so hard, when they seemed to have some sort of magnetism pulling them closer.

"So. I'm gonna go." she said, letting go of his arm and, for the third time, heading to her car.

"Yeah." Clark answered. "Uh… Lois?"

Again, she turned.

"What?"

Please don't ask anything. Please, please, please, please…

"Um, there's the party tomorrow night…"

Shit.

Even worse.

"You're really going, then?" he asked.

"Yes, Clark. Yes I am. Are you?"

"Yes."

"So I guess we'll see each other in the ballroom of Metropolis Plaza Hotel."

"Yeah, I believe so."

"Good."

"Good."

"So, bye."

"Bye."

Lois turned around and, this time, reached her car. She opened the door and entered.

Clark watched her turn the car on.

Their eyes met for a moment. Until she smiled a bit with the corner of her mouth and left.

Clark smiled after her.

He didn't quite know what was going on, but he was beginning to like it.

----------------

From the kitchen's window, Mrs. Kent had watched the whole scene, amazed.

With a smile, she turned back to her new oven – that, by the way, worked perfectly well.

Her smile turned into a beam.

It seemed that both of them, deep down, were very aware of what was going on.

They were just too proud to admit it. And too hesitant to do something about it.

Chapter 6 – Party or Click

PART 1

"Chloe, give me the brown one."

"Lois, come on."

"On second though, hand me the purple one." Lois demanded. Chloe sighed.

It was Friday, and they were at Chloe's apartment at Metropolis, getting ready to the Daily Planet's party. Correction: Lois was getting ready for the party. Chloe was already dressed, with her hair done and her make-up completed. On the other hand, Lois was having a serious fit of irresolution.

"Lois, it's the sixth dress you try already." said Chloe, exasperated. "And honestly, this one looks great in you."

Lois shook her head, looking at herself in the mirror. "Who are you kidding? I look like some slut strawberry."

"Lois, it's a beautiful dress. All of them are," Chloe pointed to the other five on her bed. "You're just having an irresolution fit. So work it out soon, because you have to do your make up and your hair and it's already seven thirty."

"Oh, we've got plenty of time." affirmed Lois. "What time does the party start?"

"Eight."

Lois dropped the blue dress she was holding. "Crap." Chloe made an 'I told you so' face. "But I just don't know, isn't this low cut too… low?"

Chloe rolled her eyes. "As long as your duo is still covered, you're good to go." she said. Lois turned her gaze to the mirror again.

"Fine."

Lois quickly did her hair, and made her make up, while Chloe waited, sitting on her bed.

Lois went back to the mirror. "Don't I look a bit slut?"

"Stop trying to find flaws! There aren't any!" said Chloe, exasperated, even though she was trying not to laugh. It was funny to see Lois like that. "I've never seen you like this, 'cuz, what are you so nervous about?"

"Nothing…" she murmured, turning her back at the mirror and checking herself out. Chloe rolled her eyes again, barely containing a smile.

"Come on, Lois, I'm sure Clark will like it."

Lois nearly fell out of her heels. "What do you mean by that??"

"Um, sorry there, nothing." She looked at her watch. "Let's just go, you are stunning, and I am late."

They were late.

Clark looked at his watch. It was eight fifteen already. And they weren't there.

Oh, if they didn't come, Clark was going to strangle both of them. Specially Lois.

It was right then when he saw.

The music was playing strong and loud, and the colorful lights were all over the place. There was already a big crowd, but the ballroom was big. It was well decorated, with the Daily Planet's symbol in the dance floor, and as a little sculpture in all tables.

In spite of all that, the only thing he could see was wearing a beautiful red dress, had her hair done and the slightest hint of make up. Even so, the result was dazzling.

Lois walked towards him, by Chloe's side. They were talking about Lois's dress, which, apparently, wasn't pleasing her.

"Lois, I already told you, it's a beautiful dress---"

"I look like a slut, I shouldn't have come, I---" She suddenly shut her mouth. She had seen him. And he couldn't take his eyes off her.

"Oh, Clark! Thank God, you're the only one who can make Lois shut up." said Chloe. Clark smiled, still facing Lois, who rolled her eyes. "Will you please tell my cousin there's no reason for all the complaining about the red dress?"

Lois tried to avoid any sort of comment coming from him. "Honestly, Chloe, there's no need---"

"No, Lois, Chloe's right. It is, um, a beautiful dress, and it matches your brown hair, and it is, um, you know…" He looked her up and down. "… well-tightened in all the right places…" Clark said, embarrassed. Lois was a little embarrassed herself, yet she couldn't help but smirk at his attempts of complimenting her.

"Okay, I got it, Smallville, no need to slobber. Even though you're already doing it." she added, as she caught him staring. Clark looked at the other side, as Chloe watched them both with a wide smile on her face.

"You guys, I'm glad you came, and I'll be right back, I just need to tell my boss I'm here, okay?"

"'Kay," Clark and Lois said, together.

As Chloe left, Clark was still forcing himself not to look at her. Lois was doing the same thing, until she couldn't manage it.

Damn, does he look gorgeous on that tuxedo.

She shook her head.

You're not going to start with that again, are you, Lane?

Lois, then, looked at the other side, and she noticed there was a punch table right beside them. She turned her back at him to suit herself.

Lois could feel his eyes on her.

"I know I'm spectacular, Smallville, but seriously, there's no need to drool all over me."

Clark jumped and blushed a little. He could swear that woman had eyes on the back of her head.

"I'm not drooling all over you." he said, rosy, but a bit annoyed.

"No." Lois turned to him. She smiled. "Just checking me out."

Clark smirked. "Well, it's not my fault that you look so amazingly charming." he said, in a mocking tone. But he meant it with all his heart.

Maybe he'd let her know that as the night went by.

Chloe couldn't find her boss anywhere. She had to let him know she was there, otherwise, he would yell his life out of him at her, on Monday.

Chloe looked around the ballroom once again. But the person she found wasn't her boss. It was someone she didn't even know it was coming.

Lana was sitting in a table, looking quite thoughtful, facing a spot, a few meters behind Chloe.

"Hey," greeted Chloe, walking towards her. Lana seemed to wake up from her reveries, and looked up at her. "Hi," she said, smiling.

"I didn't know you were coming." said Chloe, sitting in front of her.

"Me neither. A friend asked me."

Chloe felt a bit guilty, since she hadn't invited her. She seemed a bit out of place.

"Are you okay?" Chloe asked.

"Yeah, it's just… Clark…" answered Lana, facing that same spot again. Chloe prepared herself to talk about Clark and Lana's old relationship. But Lana frowned, and said something unexpected. "You know how, with anyone that he dated, including us, he was never…"

"Entirely happy?" suggested Chloe. Lana nodded. Chloe turned her head, searching for the spot that Lana had been looking at. Until she found it. And it made her smile.

Clark and Lois.

They were simply talking, smiling, truly having a good time (thankfully, with no arguments). Lois had just let slip a snort, and she had punched Clark on the arm, both of them laughing their heads off, now.

Chloe turned back to Lana, who was with a half-smiling, half-intrigued expression on her face.

"What is it that they have, that make them just…" Lana stopped, without knowing how to finish.

"'Click'?" tried Chloe. Lana looked at her.

"It seems I'm not the only one who's been thinking about it." she stated. Again, Chloe just smiled. She turned to look to Clark and Lois again.

"I've noticed the spark between them a long time ago." she said. "Sometimes, when you're with them, it seems that the whole thing is just going to… blow up, or something."

"And yet, they don't seem to realize it." affirmed Lana, matter-of-factly.

"You know what, Lana? I think they do." replied Chloe, when Lois punched Clark a second time. She turned to Lana. "They were just too chicken to do something about it."

"Were?" asked Lana, curious. Chloe smirked.

"Yeah." she answered. "They were."

PART 2

"Come on, Smallville, you can't be that bad."

"I'm telling you Lois, I can't dance for my life."

Lois laughed. "I should have seen that coming. How is that a Farmboy who wears plaid would know how to dance?" she teased. Clark narrowed his eyes, even though he was smiling.

"Hey, I suck at the fast dances, but I'm pretty good at the slow ones."

Lois smirked. "Oh yeah? And how hard can that be? You just grab a woman's waist and move one step left and one step right."

"Do YOU know how to do that?" asked Clark, raising an eyebrow and crossing his arms. Lois laughed.

"If I know? Please! I have already took courses of dancing. And not only slow ones." She started to walk closer to him. "Also, I learned salsa…" She took one step closer. "… merengue…" Another one. "… mambo…" And another. "… bolero…" They were one foot apart. Lois lowered her voice. "Want to dance some tango, Smallville?"

She saw Clark gulp.

"I… l-last time I checked, 'Can You Feel It' wasn't a tango…" he said, loosening his tie, referring to the song playing. Lois stepped back, laughing.

"I taught you well, Kent. You don't surrender to any girl's tease." she said, even though a part of her was wishing that he had.

Clark gave her a half-smile. If only she knew how hard it had been.

"Where is Chloe, by the way? She seems to have vanished into this crowd---"

But Lois's sentence was stopped. Not by Clark or Chloe. Or anyone. By the song that started to play.

A slow song.

My friends say you're so into me
And that you need me desperately

Lois gulped and rolled her eyes at the same time, as Clark loosened his tie even more and cleaned his throat.

"Really?" she said, looking at the band playing. "Britney Spears? Don't they have anything better to play?"

"Probably not." said Clark. Lois looked at him. He had been staring at her.

Feeling a fluttering sensation on her belly, Lois, making a move to the punch table, said, "You know, I think I'm just gonna get some punch---"

"Lois?"

They say you say we're so complete
But I need to hear it straight from you
If you want me to believe it is true

The fluttering was even worse now. She looked back at him.

"What?"

Clark cleaned his throat again. "You know… I do owe you a dance…"

"Wha---" Then, she remembered. His prom.

She smiled a bit. "I thought you had forgotten about that. You know, since all that lightening might have fried your brain." she said, referring to the day they met.

Clark smiled too. He offered his hand. "Dance with me?"

They faced each other for a moment.

"Very well then, Smallville. But I warn you. If you ruin my feet, I'll manage to ruin yours, and you'll have to take care of me until the feet wrestling is removed."

Clark grinned. "I promise I'll take you to the hospital." he joked. Lois smiled too.

She took his hand, and squeezed it. Clark led her through the dance floor, trying to find a place where there weren't a lot of couples. Which was quite hard to find, because the place was crowded. They gave up, turning to each other simultaneously.

I've been waiting for so long it hurts
I wanna hear you say the words

Please

Clark's right hand slowly reached to her waist, causing her shivers, while the other hand took Lois's right one. Without taking their eyes off each other, they slowly moved from one side to another, according to the rhythm of the song.

Don't, don't let me be the last to know
Don't hold back, just let it go

"You're not so bad as a dancer, Smallville," said Lois, in a low voice.

"I told you I wasn't, didn't I?"

"But I didn't believe you." she answered. Clark looked deep into her eyes.

"You should."

I need to hear you say
You need me all the way
Oh, if you love me so
Don't let me be the last to know

"So, um…" started Clark. "When did you learn to dance all those dances you were telling me, before?"

Glad that he had broken the silence, Lois answered, "The General was called once, in Latin America. So we spent some time there. It was really nice, though. To learn new cultures." She made a thoughtful expression, that, before hitting himself mentally for thinking it, Clark found it adorable. "By the way, latin-americans are hot."

Clark rolled his eyes. "So are north-americans." he insisted, glaring at her.

"Quite full of herself, aren't ya', Kent?" she stated, raising an eyebrow.

"I didn't mean me. I meant… north-americans… in general…" he explained.

Lois smirked. "Fine, Smallville, you're the hottest guy I've ever met. Happy?"

Clark smirked too. "Did you just call me 'hot'?"

"Didn't you like it? Because I can always call you 'Skippy'."

"No, no, 'hot' will do it."

They both laughed for a moment, falling into silence seconds later.

Their eyes locked.

And Lois had never been more aware of the nerves on the spot where his hand was touching.

She didn't know if he was inspired by the music. But she shivered once again when his hand slipped from her waist to her back, pulling her closer to him.

He had felt her tremble.

"Are you cold?" he asked. Lois looked up to his eyes, inches away from her own.

"No." she answered.

Your body language says so much
Yeah, I feel it in the way you touch

Lois felt Clark slowly pull her against him. Lois surrendered, her head leaning on his neck, their entwined hands resting on his chest.

She sighed, worried.

She was… no, 'enjoying' wasn't the right word.

She was loving that. She really was.

And she couldn't help but feel tingles all over her body when he whispered in her ear.

"I wasn't joking when I said it wasn't my fault that you were looking so amazingly charming, earlier. You don't look only charming." She held her breath when she heard him swallow. "You look breathtaking."

In the comfort of his arms, Lois remembered their previous talk about dances. She was wrong. Slow dance was NOT just one step left and one step right.

In his arms, she felt safe. Happy. Warm.

So warm she almost yelled at him when he pulled her away a little. But the way he looked into her eyes immediately made the will to shout fade away.

But 'til you say the words it's not enough
C'mon and tell me you're in love

Please

They didn't know how long they kept staring at each other. It seemed an eternity. An eternity that quickly started to go by fast as he leaned in.

Her stomach did a somersault.

She would never complain about Britney Spears anymore.

I need to hear you say
You love me all the way

Lois's heart raced even more as she felt his hand, that was entwined with hers, slide through her right side, sending heat through all her body, stopping at her waist. Her hands were resting on his torso.

Lois could simply look up at his eyes, feeling a rush of emotions she was starting to be very aware of. She wanted to push him away. But at the same time, she was crazy to pull his face against hers and just kiss him like if there was no world tomorrow.

And I don't wanna wait another day

Clark's ran his hands until her lower back. She slipped her hands from his chest to his neck, stroking it.

And Clark made the final move.

I wanna feel the way you feel
C'mon

She didn't know what happened. She just remembered feeling a huge shock in every inch of her body and a flutter on her stomach, when their lips had brushed together.

But right then, she had stepped away.

Before he could kiss her.

"I… I'll just… I'm gonna get some punch…" Lois said, quickly walking away from him.

And Clark just stood there watching her go, surprised and hurt at the same time.

Don't, don't let me be the last to know

(Just let me be the one)
Don't hold back, just let it go
I need to hear you say
You need me all the way
So baby, if you love me

Don't let me be the last to know

PART 3

He walked out of the dance floor, disappointed, frustrated and angry.

Angry with himself, for making a move so quick, and angry at her, for stepping away.

Because, as unexpected as it was, he knew one thing: he wanted to kiss her. So much. And he thought she wanted too.

But she had ran away.

He felt a gust of anger.

She was the impulsive one. Damn, she had always been. Couldn't she let him be impulsive for once?

Except that it wasn't an impulse. It was something he had been feeling for a while now.

And that was freaking him out.

He knew she had been feeling it as well, it was impossible not to. That's why he couldn't understand why she had…

He stopped thinking as he laid eyes on something.

Not something.

Someone.

Someone Lois was, at the present moment, talking to.

He scrunched his fists.

Danny.

She wasn't laughing as he talked. She was looking at him very seriously. Then, she looked down and up at him again. He said something else and she smiled. Then, they hugged.

Clark felt his blood warming, a rush of different emotions taking him. Anger, sadness, disillusionment, frustration. Betrayal.

When they split up, he said something else that made Lois look at her side. And she saw Clark. And their gazes locked for a second, before Clark shoot her the most livid face he could make and walked away, looking for some fresh air.

He didn't even know where his feet were taking him. He stopped outside, at a beautiful balcony, under a starry night. But he couldn't find any of that beautiful. He could only think about Lois, walking away from him and running to Danny.

He breathed deeply, trying to calm himself down. He knew it wasn't quite like that. He was just angry.

Clark knew why she had ran away. It was risky, wasn't it? He had been feeling a will to run away too. But that moment had been so… magical… that he couldn't think about nothing else.

"Clark?"

Her voice interrupted his thoughts. He turned to her, angry.

"Oh, left Danny already?"

Lois felt her stomach fall down to her knees.

"Clark, listen---"

"What, you tell me stories of your childhood with Danny?"

Anger started to take over her too.

"Clark, don't you start with that again---"

"I admit at the first times, I had no point in being jealous, but don't you tell me there's no reason for it, now!!!" he hissed.

"So you admit you're jealous!"

"Of course I am! You were all over him, right after---"

"I was not---"

"Yes you were, come on! It's easy, isn't it? Run to other guys that don't mean as much to you as---"

"Stop with that! You're talking bullshit!" Lois had raised her voice. Clark, accepting her invitation, raised it too.

"Oh, apparently I hit anywhere, didn't I?"

"Will you just shut up and listen---"

"No! I wanna talk!"

"Oh, you wanna talk? Fine, let's talk, Clark! Why don't you tell me why the hell do you feel so bothered when you see me with another guys?!?"

"Because it looks like you know already!!" he replied.

"Just TELL ME!"

"No, Lois! YOU tell ME why did you run off to DANNY when we almost kissed back there on the dance floor!"

"I didn't RAN OFF to Danny! I was going to get some punch when I found him and we started to talk about---"

And they had started yelling.

"I DON'T CARE WHAT YOU WERE TALKING ABOUT!"

"YOU SHOULD! BECAUSE IT WAS ABOUT YOU!!!"

That made Clark stop talking. He simply faced her, as she talked.

"HE SAW I WAS DISTURBED, AND I DIDN'T WANT TO TELL HIM, BUT I DID, AND HE SAID HE HAD SEEN US DANCING, AND THAT HE HAD NOTICED HOW CLOSE WE WERE! AND THAT HE NOW UNDERSTOOD WHY YOU ACTED THE WAY YOU DID WITH HIM, THE OTHER DAY! HE ALSO TOLD ME TO SUCK MY FEAR UP, BECAUSE A THING LIKE THE ONE YOU AND I HAVE, WE DON'T FIND EVERYDAY! HE WISHED ME GOOD LUCK, HE HUGGED ME AND I SAW YOU! FROM THE LOOK ON YOUR FACE, I KNEW WHAT YOU WERE THINKING! THE WONG THING, AS ALWAYS! AND NOW I'M HERE, HAVING TO SAY ALL THE THINGS I DIDN'T WANT TO, BUT I NEED TO DO IT BECAUSE, LIKE ME, YOU'RE TOO AFRAID TO UNDERSTAND AND SAY OUT LOUD WHAT'S GOING ON!"

With eyes watering of anger, Lois turned around and slammed the glass door. Thankfully, it was really strong, otherwise, would be broken by now.

He was unbelievable. She wasn't planning to go and to talk to him. She only did because she saw the hurt on his eyes when he saw her talking to Danny. For Heaven's sake, they were talking.

Clark had almost kissed her, did he actually thought that she could think about anyone else?

She stopped when she realized: she couldn't.

Lois rolled her eyes and turned around. Through the glass door, she could see: he was there, looking at her.

She had a sudden feeling of Deja Vú.

And with a shock, she remembered.

The dreams.

Their eyes were locked into each other's as she opened the glass door

The whole scene seemed to play in fast motion. Before she could say anything, with the flutter playing with her stomach, Lois watched Clark take the steps that separated them and she felt his hands wrapping around her waist and pulling her closer.

Clark entangled his lips with hers, in a gentle, yet passionate, kiss. She was frozen for a fraction of second, but as he softly opened her lips with his, she threw it all to the hell and kissed him back.

It was like if their souls had glued together. Like if something inside them, something that they had been fighting against for a long time, was finally exploding.

And it was wonderful. The sweet taste of his lips made her feel dizzy. Her heart was beating so fast she thought it would jump out of her mouth. Her legs were trembling, and she only didn't fell down because she was holding his face with her hands. Otherwise, she would be on her knees right now.

When they felt an electricity that set their whole bodies on fire, Lois jumped apart quickly.

"Wh-what the hell was that?"

"I-I don't know."

Lois's heart was out of control. She bit her lip, both of them breathing heavily.

"I… I should go…"

"Lois, don't---"

"I gotta go---" she turned and started to walk quickly to the way out.

That should not have happened. That could not have happened…

When she arrived at the hall, outside the ballroom, she headed to the elevator. Lois heard steps behind her.

Please don't follow me…

"Stop running away!!!"

She turned around. "What?"

"I told you to stop running away." he repeated.

"I'm not running away---"

"Yes, you are!" he shouted, frustrated. "Lois, when we kissed---"

"Whoa! Slow down there, Don Juan! We? YOU kissed ME!"

"Excuse me, I think I recall you kissing me back! A lot!"

Lois could feel her cheeks blushing, but she still had the guts to respond. "Maybe you recall wrong! Who told you I wanted to kiss you?"

"Your eyes. When you opened that door."

Lois had opened her mouth, ready to reply again, but at his words, she shut it.

"I---It wasn't my… intention---" she tried to lie. But Clark knew her too well to believe.

"Come on, Lois…" he started, walking closer to her. "Don't do that."

"I'm not doing anything." she said, stepping back before she did anything else that would compromise her. "Goodbye, Clark."

And he stood there, watching her leave, with a feeling of loss on his heart.

Lois could feel his eyes on her. But she kept walking, with her eyes closed, holding her tears.

Crap. Crap crap crap crap.

All the way to the Talon, all that she could think about was him. His eyes. His lips.

His kiss.

Lois bit her own lip.

As soon as she got on her apartment, she closed the door and threw herself on her bed.

She was sorry to leave him there. She really was. A part of her didn't want to. But it was necessary, wasn't it?

Wasn't it?

Lois punched her own pillow, angry with herself.

Furious.

She knew she should have stopped him at the moment he kissed her. But she couldn't do it.

And that was freaking the hell out of her.

Chapter 7 – Decisions

Day after day
Time passed away
NowI just can't get you off my mind
Nobody knows, I hide it inside
I keep on searching but I can't find
The courage to show, to letting you know
I've never felt so much love before

Chloe sighed and looked at the watch. 8:30 in the evening. She had been typing during the whole afternoon and night.

It was Sunday, and the Daily Planet was empty, except for the cleaning team. Her boss had called her to write a quick article for Monday's newspaper. She was tired, but she knew she had to finish that article, or her boss would yell at her.

She had found him at the party, after she left Lana's table. She had talked to him, so he was a bit more relieved to see everyone that worked at the newspaper, including Chloe, were there.

However, she hadn't talked to Lois and Clark since Friday night. She was afraid something bad had happened, because Lois wouldn't return her calls, not even Clark. But it didn't make sense. Last time she saw them, was when she was sitting with Lana, and they were talking and laughing, seeming to enjoy themselves.

Chloe shook her head, focusing on her article, willing to think about her cousin and her best friend later.

When she had completely focused again, she heard footsteps. The press room's door opened, and Chloe saw her cousin walking through it.

"Lois!" exclaimed Chloe, standing up and hugging her. "I have been trying to call you since Friday night! What happened?"

"Nothing, I was just… tired from the, um, party."

Chloe frowned. She knew when her cousin was lying.

"Lois, you're not okay. Why don't you sit here with me and tell me what happened?" Chloe suggested.

"It's nothing, Chlo, I just… came here to… uh… I need your advice."

Chloe raised her eyebrows. That was new.

"I have this… friend… who's, well, kind of liking somebody." Lois began. And Chloe smiled. "So, um, this friend of mine is very confused, because this guy is also her friend, and, uh, she doesn't want to ruin their friendship, but she also can't stand to fight her feelings anymore." Chloe kept smiling. Lois made a weird face, uncomfortable. "What? Why are you looking at me like that?"

"A friend? Come on, Lois. I wasn't born yesterday."

"I---"

"It's okay. Lois, I'm your cousin, I love you, but I'm not blind, so you can be completely honest with me. Believe me, whatever you say, will not be a big surprise."

Lois widened her eyes. "Wh-what? Why?"

"Because can see what you've been hiding over the last months." said Chloe, smiling with the corner of her mouth. Lois opened her mouth to deny it, but the look on Chloe's face cracked her down.

Lois ran a hand through her face. "Okay. I…you're right, there's no friend. It's me." She sighed. "See, I think I might be… I think I…" She rolled her eyes. "Boy, is that hard to say it out loud… Look. The thing is… Clark and I have been friends for a long time."

"Uhum." Chloe agreed, trying not to smile. She was about to watch a fact to stay in history: Lois Lane would make a confession.

"And uh… well, our friendship have grown stronger. And I like it. Because, well, you know I don't trust easily in people. But I trust him."

"That's good." Chloe commented, encouraging her to go on.

"But… it's just that… it has been a while now that… I feel that our relationsh---friendship…" Lois quickly corrected herself. Chloe bit her lip to contain a grin. "Have been different."

"Lois? Before you say anything else, just listen: you and Clark, you have an... unique relationship. You can't stand each other, but at the same time, you understand each other perfectly, it's like if... like if one completes the other---"

"I know!!!" said Lois, exasperated. "I know, it's just, over the past few months, I have been feeling… a bunch of things, but… on the last weeks, these things kind of have been… taking over me."

"What kind of things?" asked Chloe.

"Just… things…"

"Lois…"

"No, seriously, it's nothing, it's just some---"

"Lois."

"Oh, fine!!" Lois gave in. "Maybe there's a part of me that might be… that might be slightly attracted to him!"

Chloe smiled. She knew it was more, but coming from Lois, that was a huge confession.

"Lois," she started. "You realize the chemistry between you two have been dangerously growing over the past months, right?"

"Yes."

"And you realize you're only lying to yourself and to everyone when you say it's just a slight attraction, don't you?"

Pause.

"Y-Yes."

"And your admit the sparks between you two also have been growing like crazy."

She sighed again. "Yes."

Another silence.

Chloe watched Lois. She had never seen her like that before: confused, afraid.

"Will you do something about it?" asked Chloe, watching her cousin, who seemed more scared than ever.

"I can't!" she said.

"Why not?"

"Because... they are... not just sparks anymore."

Chloe smiled. "I know." The two cousins stood in silence for a moment. "Lo, when you fall in lov---"

"WAIT! Who said I'm in love with him???" she said, her voice extremely high-pitched. "I didn't say that? You're saying that! I didn't!"

"Lois, come on, it's written all over your face. Anyone can read it."

"Even him?" she asked, after a moment, in a low voice.

"Yes, even him." Chloe answered. It was weird to see Lois that vulnerable. Chloe knew that was a side that her cousin only showed to her. And to Clark.

"Why did this have to happen?" Lois asked, tired. Chloe smiled.

"We're not able to pick who we fall in love with, Lois."

"Well, we should be! Now I may be risking the best friendship I've ever had for something that I don't even know if it's real!"

"Lois, have you ever been this confused or scared about a guy before? Have you ever felt anything so strong?"

"No!" she squeaked.

"So? Don't you think it's real enough? You came to me and talked about your feelings. What doesn't happen a lot in the Lane family." said Chloe. Lois sighed.

"I don't know what to do! I don't want to ruin our friendship, but---"

"Look, Lois, you have no choice. You have to make a decision." said Chloe, raising her eyebrows. Lois looked at her. "I just want you to know that whatever you decide to do, I will support you."

Lois smiled weakly. "Thanks, 'cuz."

"Just remember..." she started, smiling. "The best relationships are the ones that have friendship for its base."

Lois breathed hard and sat down, covering her face with her hands. "Goood, now I'm even more confused!!"

"Why don't you take the conversation to the next level?" Chloe suggested.

"Because... because I don't want to risk our friendship!"

"Then why don't you two go back to the 'only friends' state?"

"We can't!"

Chloe smiled. Now she was getting her where she wanted to. "And why not?"

"Because it's not enough anymore!"

Lois seemed shocked with herself for saying that. Chloe grinned.

"Well, well, cousin, I guess you got your answer." she said, kindly. Lois hid her face on her hands again.

"I'm losing it. I must be losing it."

"No you're not. You're just in love."

"I am NOT---" But Lois couldn't finish her sentence when she saw the 'don't even try' look on Chloe's face. She sighed again. "Why it wasn't so complicated when YOU had feelings for Clark?"

Chloe smiled. "Because he didn't feel the same for me."

Lois looked at her desperately.

Just some more sentences, come on, Sullivan, you can do it.

Chloe glanced at the watch on the Daily Planet's wall. 9:30 p.m.

She was awfully tired. But she was almost finishing it now. She would have finished it an hour ago, but Lois had come, after all. Not it hadn't worth it, to see her cousin swept off her feet by her best friend.

She grinned. Maybe they had talked, at the party. Maybe there had been some major awkward moments. Maybe Clark had finally told her why he felt so bothered when he saw her with other guys.

Because Lois wouldn't just crack like that. Something had happened.

She sighed when she typed the last word. She saved the file and turned the computer off, tired.

Finally.

She was looking forward for a cup of coffee. She would just relax---

She heard footsteps again.

This time, it was Clark that had walked through the press room's door.

"Hey, Clark." said Chloe, almost expecting for him. Actually, she should have seen that one coming.

"Hey, Chloe…" he greeted, distracted, sitting in a chair in front of hers. "What's up?"

"I'll ask you." said Chloe, even though she knew exactly what was going on. "You come to my press room at nine thirty and ask ME 'what's up'?"

He laughed nervously. "Yeah. Um… I'm sorry to interrupt you---"

"No, it's okay, I've just finished what I had to finish." Chloe said, leaning forward, her elbows on her knees. She raised an eyebrow. "So, spill it out."

Clark looked at her, a bit surprised.

"How do you know I came here to talk to you?"

"That's a bit obvious Clark, since there's no one here besides me."

He laughed nervously again. Suddenly, he got serious. "Look, Chloe, I… I think I screwed up with Lois. I mean… I think we screwed up."

"Why?"

"Well, we kind of… uh… had a… row… A… big… awkward… row." he said.

"Oh, so that's why I haven't heard from you two all weekend?"

"Probably, yeah."

They stood in silence for a moment. Chloe watched him, his expression looked a lot like Lois's confused one.

"Clark?" he looked at her. "What happened on the party?"

"What? The party?" Clark seemed taken aback. "Oh, nothing, you know, I… she… we… just…"

"What did you do?" Chloe asked, trying not to chuckle at Clark's babbling.

"Nothing, I---"

"Clark."

"Oh, allright." he gave up. "I might have... you know…" he gulped. "Kissed her."

Chloe raised her eyebrows so much that they almost hid under her blonde hair. "Kissed her." she repeated.

"A little, yeah."

Chloe's face suddenly seemed to soften. "Oh." They stood in silence for a second. She knew that something had happened. She just hadn't imagined that was something like that. Not only a conversation. They had actually kissed. Chloe liked the idea. "Okay, that's... that's... not much of a surprise, I guess, but... how... when... how?"

Clark sighed. "Well, we were at the party." he started, after taking a deep breath. "Then, well, after you left, we were talking, when a slow song started." He ignored Chloe's smirk and kept talking. "So I asked her to dance, and we did. Only we kind of…" His neck started to redden. "… got carried away by the whole thing. Then, well---"

Chloe nodded. "You kissed."

"Actually, no. We almost kissed. She… she pulled apart and told me she would get some punch…" Chloe made an understanding face. Clark continued. "Then, I went after her, and… I saw her talking with Danny."

"Oh no." Chloe let slip.

"Yeah… I was angry… but I shouldn't be, because… they were talking about me."

Chloe widened her eyes. His superhearing. "Clark! You didn't!!!"

He understood her sentence right away. "What? No! No, I wasn't peeking, if that's what you're thinking."

"Then how do you know that?" asked Chloe, frowning. Clark gulped.

"Because she told me so. Once she saw the look on my face when I saw her with Danny, she came after me." Clark stopped talking. Chloe's curiosity was increasing every second.

"And…?"

"And we… talked. Argued, actually. Well, to be honest, we were sort of yelling. We said things, she said… things, and… she stormed out, closing the door to the balcony, angry." He was looking fixedly to a spot in the floor, seeming to be hypnotized. "But she turned around. And I was looking at her. When… when she opened the door, I knew what I had to do. I just… I just walked towards her, I wasn't quite thinking, I held her and I simply… kissed her."

"Wow..." said Chloe, watching him carefully.

"What?" said Clark quickly, seeming to wake up from his reverie, looking at her. Chloe smiled a bit with the corner of her mouth.

"I've never seen you this lost or dreamy before."

He sighed again. "She kissed me back, Chloe." He said. "She really did. And it was... I felt... something."

"Something like...?"

"Something... really... REALLY strong. Like... I can't describe it, but she just pulled away, she walked out of the ballroom. I went after her, we kind of had another argument, and then… she ran away again."

Oh, Lois.

Chloe looked at Clark sympathetically. She could see the memory of Lois walking away still hurt him.

"And that bothers you." Chloe stated.

"Of course it does!" Clark said, frustrated. "Because whatever it was that I felt, I know she felt it too! I FELT that she could feet it."

"Well, you can't actually blame her for running away---" started Chloe, carefully.

"What do you mean by that?" he asked. "You know why she left?"

"That's exactly why she must have left, Clark. "Because what you felt, she felt it too." explained Chloe. "And she liked it."

"Then why on Earth---"

"Because that's how she works!" answered Chloe. "I've always been aware of the chemistry, the hot sparks, the meaningful looks that you two exchange. You've been aware of that too, don't try to deny it." she quickly added, when Clark opened his mouth to say something. "And... so has Lois." Clark frowned, not sure of where Chloe was trying to go. "I shouldn't be saying this, but I'm a reporter, and I have a necessity to expose the truth." She made a pause, ready to spill whatever it was she was going to spill. "For months she has been the best actress I'll ever know of, for months she has been acting like if nothing's going on. I've seen that. I've noticed the way your relationship has been growing. And not only as friends." Chloe smiled a bit. "Lois has always been a master in hiding her feelings. But as you probably know, every master has a weakness. And her weakness, Clark, is you." He gulped.

"I---" he started, unsure of what to say.

"She didn't want to go into it because she is scared. She has never felt anything so intense like this before. Lois is like an emotional militar fort. No one has never gotten in. Not even me. But you have." He gulped. "Can you blame her for being so scared? Clark, she has been looking for the right guy her entire life. Can you imagine her shock when she found out it was you all along?"

Clark felt something warm running through his veins. Not because Chloe's words made sense. All the things she had said about Lois, Clark had already figured out. But, as Lois, he had faked it. Chosed to ignore everything. Acted like nothing was going on.

Only he wasn't as good actor as Lois was. It was completely possible to see how he had been feeling.

"She was here before, you know?" Clark suddenly looked at Chloe, as she started to speak again. "Talking to me. Confused. Scared." she said. "Lois is afraid to throw a friendship of years through the window. She just doesn't want to lose you, that's why she's been running away." Chloe sighed. "You mean so much to her, Clark, you have no idea."

They stood in silence for a long time.

Lois and Clark had been friends for a long time. Chloe understood perfectly why they had been hesitating so much.

But they had to make a decision.

They were in the middle of a line. On one side, there was their friendship. Comfortable. Safe. On the other side, was something even more fantastic. Something unknown, a place they had never been before. Something so strong it hurts. Both of them.

They were definitely in the middle. They couldn't go back to the 'only friends' state. They had tasted a bit of Heaven, and Chloe knew they would never forget. But they were afraid to move to the 'relationship' mode. Because they didn't want to lose what they already had.

Complicated much?
That's love.

Clark's quick movement suddenly pulled Chloe out of her thoughts. He had stood up.

When he spoke, his voice was nervous. More nervous that she had ever heard. But his expression was decided. And happy to no end.

"Where is she?"

Chloe couldn't do anything but smile.

Chapter 8 – Answers

And once again I'm thinking about
Taking the easy way out
But if I let you go I will never know
What my life would be holding you close to me
Will I ever see you smiling back at me?
How will I know
If I let you go?

Lois was at the Kent's kitchen. Standing as far away from the Mrs. Kent oven as possible, after the accident a couple of weeks ago, she was staring at the cake Mrs. Kent had offered her, before going out to go to the market.

She couldn't eat it, though. She could only think about her conversation with Chloe. And, of course, about Clark.

Farmboy.

The same Farmboy that had always been consistently busy teasing her. The same Farmboy that could so easily get on her nerves. The Farmboy who had become her best friend. The Farmboy who could get through her walls, and see what really was inside of her, even when she didn't want it.

The same damn Farmboy who had stolen her heart away.

The guy who was driving her insane.

Lois hit her own forehead.

Crap.

No, there was no 'Crap'. She was, yes, falling for him. Even more, with each passing day. After that bloody party, the taste of his kiss it was all that she could think about.

And the worse: she was beginning to think that she liked it.

Lois sighed.

Chloe was right. She had to make a decision. THEY had to make a decision.

If they chose to be friends again, she was okay with it. She was, wasn't she?

She just wasn't sure if she could forget all about his lips and the sensations that his kiss caused her.

It was a poison. It was intoxicating, and she loved it.

And she wanted more.

Lois looked at her plate with cake again. She hadn't eaten anything since her early lunch. She should eat by now, even with all that butterflies playing on her stomach, when she remembered of their kiss.

Lois grabbed the fork and was about to grab a piece when someone knocked at the door.

She dropped the fork and rolled her eyes.

He was getting on her nerves again, and the worse: she was beginning to think that she liked it.

Lois stood up and walked towards the Kent's kitchen door, opening it.

The person standing there made her heart race as no one else could.

"Can I come in?"

In spite of her fast heartbeat, Lois laughed. "Smallville, it's your own house. I hardly think you have to ask for permission to come in."

He smiled a bit shyly; she couldn't help but think it was adorable. And, after that, Lois kicked herself mentally.

She closed the door as he entered. As Lois turned around, she met his eyes.

Oh, the butterflies…

"Hi." he said, uneasily.

"Hey." she answered, in the same way. After a moment, Lois said "Okay, that's a bit uncomfortable."

He laughed a little, looking down.

Nervously, but he laughed.

As he lifted his head and his eyes met hers again, he stopped laughing.

"Look, Lois, we need to talk."

"No, we don't."

"Lois."

"Look, Smallville, we… we kissed, okay? It's no… no b-big deal---"

"No big deal? Lois, I have already told you." said Clark, edgy. "Stop running away. I know that what I felt, you felt it too."

Lois sighed. He could see through her. He knew that she didn't mean what she had said. "It's just… I don't know what to do, see? I want us to be friends, but at the same time--"

"You want more." Clark completed.

"Exactly."

Silence.

"I can't stand this awkward thing going on between us." he said. Lois looked up at him. "We better solve this at once, otherwise, I'll go insane---"

"So will I!" replied Lois, so over sensitive that her voice was suddenly getting louder.

"Then tell me!!!" he asked.

"Tell you what?!" she shouted.

"YOU KNOW WHAT!!!"

"NO, I DON'T, CLARK, I DON'T!!!"

They stood in silence, their quick breaths filling the room, staring feverously into each other's eyes.

Why the hell didn't she just say it?

She wanted proofs that he felt the same? He had kissed her, for Heaven's sake! Wasn't that enough proof?

Lois growled. That wasn't going anywhere. She didn't know why the hell he had come anyway. Well, it was his house, after all, but even so. He shouldn't have come. He shouldn't.

She should take a ride. Yeah. A ride would be good.

She started to leave.

She would get her car keys and drive, maybe to Metropolis, anywhere away from him, where she could think and not be interrupted by those marvelous eyes---

"Wait."

He had placed his hand on her belly. He didn't force her or held it fiercely. His hand just stood there, softly, which was worse than anything else.

She was feeling tingles all over. And that was never a safe sign.

Damn.

When he spoke again, his voice was uneven, yet determined.

"Stay."

Something warm and jumpy played on her stomach.

"I---"

"Please…"

He turned her around so she could face him, his hand slipping from her belly to her waist, bringing her closer.

Her entire body was on fire. Her lips needed his, but she still didn't know if the best choice was running away or kissing him.

"Look, Clark, I---"

"Lois, I just wanted to---" Seeing that she was still looking down, he sighed. "Lois, will you please look up at me?"

She couldn't. Because she knew that if she did, her plan of ignoring the whole thing would go through the window.

What ended up happening as he raised her chin with his right hand.

"Hey…" he started. "Stop with that."

"Stop with what?" she said, trying not to lose herself on his blue eyes.

"Stop to pretend nothing has happened."

"I can't." she said, low. Didn't he understand?

"Why not?"

"Because… it's not that I think we're not worth it." Lois gulped. "Believe me, I think we do. But I'm just… not sure if we should really go into it." she answered. Clark stared at her, and Lois knew, at that moment, that he did understand. He knew. He had the same doubts that she had.

They were scared. Both of them. Scared because they had finally found the answers to the questions they had always been too afraid to ask.

"Lois, I understand. Do you think you're the only one confused around here?"

"It's not that, Clark!"

"Then what is it???"

"I've always known myself very well! But over the last months, I couldn't quite figure out what the hell is this that I'm feeling!"

"So you---"

"I feel something for you Clark, of course I do, or do you think that if I didn't I would still be here, frozen in your arms?" she said, exasperated.

"I…"

"Don't make me say what I'm not ready to say." she pleaded, low. Lois put both hands on Clark's chest and pulled herself away, slowly. "I'm sorry, I just… I'm confused, I..."

She turned away from him and walked towards the Kent's kitchen door.

She knew they were attracted to each other. The chemistry between them was explosive. That was undeniable. She knew that he felt the same.

But still, what she heard next made her feel weak. Giddy. Fluttering. Was something that made her turn around and lean against the wall, unable to keep her eyes off him. His voice was hoarse. But so soft and meaningful that made her legs tremble.

"I'm falling in love with you."

If it wasn't for his super-hearing, he would have never heard her.

"What?"

Clark walked towards her, taking a deep breath, ready to spill it all out.

"I'm falling in love with you. That's exactly what you heard. I'm falling in love with you, even more with each passing day. And you know what? I know you're confused, scared, freaked out and delighted at the same time, I know, I am too! But I am tired of this little game of back and forward. We've been hiding this for too long, I can't keep this inside anymore. When we kissed the other night, and yes, 'we', because you kissed me back, and you know it, I could feel how much you want me. I could see you felt the same… stunning thing I felt. I can see it now, in your eyes. I love you too, Lois, and I didn't kiss you on that party on Friday night because you were looking gorgeous. I did it because I wanted to. A lot. And I still do. So if you don't mind, I'm going to walk in your direction right now and kiss the hell out of you."

And before she could say anything back, he walked towards where she was. Before she could process the butterflies possibly giving a party themselves, inside her stomach, Clark kissed her. With hunger, desire. With passion.

But most of all, he kissed her with love.

She didn't know. Perhaps she had died and gone to Heaven, because that's certainly what it felt like.

She held his neck with her both hands, surrendering, kissing him back with the same eagerness, her legs trembling, her closed eyes seeing stars everytime he kissed her bottom lip, her stomach jumping happily whenever he tightened the grip on her waist.

And Lois melted in his arms.

When they broke apart, she couldn't have walked away, not even if she wanted to. Her legs seemed glued to the floor.

"Holy cow." it was all an amazed Lois could say as her knees trembled. She felt about to pass out.

"You okay?" Clark asked, still hoarse.

"Yeah, I just---that was---I am---Wow." she babbled, as he smiled.

And when her eyes met his, she knew. What he had said was true. And she had to make a decision about it.

She knew she felt the same. About that, there was no doubt. She just had chosen the easiest way out. Only she hadn't managed to stay out of it. And after tonight, she could affirm: it was impossible.

It was dangerous.

An unknown way.

Their friendship was being risked over this.

But… hadn't they managed to stay friends, even with all those feelings developing?

That was the beauty of their relationship, Lois could see it now. They were friends. Friends with a potential love-interest.

Friends who definitely knew how to kiss.

Her plan of ignoring the whole thing had officially blown up. Just like Mrs. Kent "old" oven.

Just being friends wasn't enough anymore.

It just wasn't.

He needed her.

She needed him.

He loved her.

And she---

Oh, Lane, will you stop with the whole pretending, you know you love him back.

Lois smiled.

Now THAT was enough.

She felt a few tears on her eyes. And before crying like a hosepipe, she simply said what she had to say.

"Oh, to the Hell with it."

Clark was still smiling when Lois cupped his face with her both hands and pulled his face to hers, kissing him.

Kissing him with hunger. With passion.

With love.

Kissing him like if there was no tomorrow.

Because they had a whole life to live. And all of their kisses would be like this. Even better.

She had never thought she'd say I love you to him.

But she did.

She even added a so much after the first three words.

And she loved it.

Like she loved him.

Like he loved her.

Their life together was only beginning. There were huge things waiting for them.

And Lois could barely wait.