A/N: This is a late Ficstravaganza gift for someone who didn't get theirs this year. This is also my first NC-17 fic, so be kind!

I own nothing. But I wish I did.

Fire and Ice: A Red K Christmas

"No, no, no, no, no!" Lois cried, all but jumping up and down in frustration, and Clark had to stifle an amused grin when he saw her stomp her foot as she turned to glare at him from under the auburn fringe of her bangs. "I hate you, you know," she growled irritably.

Clark couldn't hold back his laugh any longer. He'd known Lois for years, and while he knew that there were times when her temper could be a rare sight to behold – times when even the bravest of men were tempted to scurry for cover in the face of it – there were also moments such as this when she was almost irresistibly adorable. If he didn't think the odds were pretty good that she'd slug him for his trouble, he might have let himself get carried enough away in the moment to wrap her in his arms for a tight hug. Instead, he did the sane thing and limited his remarks to, "I do believe that's two points for me, Lane. And that means we're even."

With a heavy sigh, she grudgingly admitted, "Yeah, yeah. Relish the moment while it lasts, Smallville, because your ass is going down."

"If you say so!" he taunted her retreating back while she walked toward the blackboard that held their tally of points and added two long white lines under the column with "Clark" written in big bold letters, an "-ie" added at the end in Lois's smaller and more graceful writing. The score was now twelve to twelve, and that meant whoever took the next point won the game as well.

After she'd dropped the tiny nub of chalk back in its tray, Lois brushed off her hands and turned to smirk up at Clark. "You know, I think it's time for our last shot of the night," she declared and began to make her way through the throng of people toward the bar without waiting for Clark's response.

It was Christmas Eve, and neither Lois nor Clark had plans for the evening. Due to "unavoidable circumstances", the General had cancelled on his daughters at the last minute, leaving his eldest daughter to spend the holiday alone. Mrs. Kent had likewise been detained due to work, but Clark was to take a flight the next afternoon to spend the remainder of the holiday with her in Washington. Since the two of them had found themselves at loose ends for the evening, Lois had insisted that Clark accompany her for a night on the town – such as Smallville could provide, she'd amended with a wry smile.

Though Clark had resisted at first, in the end he'd caved in the face of her determination, which was why the two of them were spending Christmas Eve at a new bar on the outskirts of town. As bars went, Lois declared it merely "passable" and even Clark, who had very limited experience with bars in general, had to admit that it didn't seem to have much to recommend it – with the possible exception of one thing. In the far back corner of the bar, the owner had created two long lanes, dirt lightly dusting the center of the lanes and a chalkboard hanging on the wall to one side. Though Clark had been completely flummoxed by the area's purpose at first, Lois had laughed and declared it a bocce court.

It was a strange thing to find in a bar, but the game really wasn't that hard to learn, and it wasn't like the pair of them had anything better to do. So Lois had gone about the process of teaching Clark the rules, and then Clark had proceeded to do everything he could to wipe the floor with the competitive Ms. Lane. That he wasn't doing a half bad at the task explained her irritation with him for knocking all of her balls to the far end of the court and stealing her winning points.

When Lois returned to Clark's side, a shot glass filled with some mysterious red liquor in each hand, he gave her a shaky smile. "Here you go, Clark. The ninth and final reindeer. Rudolph," she said, thrusting one of the glasses into his hand. Disregarding his protests throughout the evening, Lois had decided that the two of them would take the bar up on its holiday challenge – they were to drink nine different shots, named after each of Santa's reindeer, that the bartender had concocted. Though neither Clark nor Lois had been able to identify any of the drinks, Lois, at least, had enjoyed the taste of each. She had declared Blitzen, with its minty aftertaste, her favorite so far, but Clark hadn't been a huge fan of any of them. He had joined Lois in the game because she insisted, but he'd never been much of a drinker. At least he didn't have to worry about getting drunk; alcohol didn't really affect him.

"Okay, Smallville. Drink up, and then we'll play the last set!" she said cheerfully as she lifted her shot glass in a silent toast.

"Lois, I don't think…" he began, but he didn't get a chance to finish his protest before she had throwing her head back and taken the shot in one gulp. When she arched her eyebrows expectantly at him, he sighed heavily and followed suit.

For the first time in the entire course of the evening, Clark felt strangely affected by what he was drinking. Power coursed through his veins, and he suddenly felt confident. Carefree. As if there was absolutely nothing in the world that he wanted that he couldn't have, if only he had the nerve to take it. And, for once, he didn't doubt even for a second that he had that nerve.

For a second, his eyes glowed red, but Lois didn't see it. She had already grabbed the empty glass out of her hand and had turned to replace it on the bar. Clark watched as she leaned against the bar and laughed at something the bartender was saying, and he felt the edges of his mouth curve up into a grin. She was incredibly sexy, in her skin-tight black skirt and her sparkling red top, and he wondered why he'd never noticed that before. Or, rather, why he'd noticed but always been too afraid to act on the observation.

Right now, however, he found himself feeling increasingly annoyed as he watched her talk with Steve the Bartender. What the hell was she doing wasting her time flirting with a guy like that when she could be over here doing the same thing to him? His jaw set in irritation, he began to swagger towards the bar to bring that very point up with the woman in question when she turned and looked at him, her eyes sparking with mirth. He heard her lighthearted laugh cut off abruptly as she met his eyes, and with a smirk, he tilted his head, silently inviting her to rejoin him.

When did Clark get to be so incredibly sexy? Lois wondered as she stared across the room at him. She was almost certain that she'd been completely unfazed by his appearance throughout the earlier course of the evening, though she had to have looked at him at least a million times. But now her heart was hammering in her chest as her eyes swept the length of his body, and she was suddenly finding it a little difficult to catch her breath. That naughty grin he was throwing her way wasn't helping matters, either, but she didn't take him up on his offer right away. For one thing, she wasn't entirely sure that her knees would be able to support her if she let go of the bar right now.

A moment later, Clark raised his eyebrows at her and threw her a look that made her suspect that he somehow knew exactly what she was thinking, and that somehow finally gave her the strength to do what she couldn't a moment before. Shoving away from the bar, her conversation with Steve promptly forgotten, she sashayed her way to her companion for the evening, and if she let her hips sway a bit more than her walk normally would have required, she didn't think she could be blamed for the added effort – certainly not when it evoked such a searing look from Clark.

Three more steps and she stood directly in front of him. It was with a bit of dismay that she realized that he looked even more irresistible up close, which didn't help the slight problem she had catching her breath. Suddenly nervous, she nibbled on the corner of her lower lip as she met his eyes, and she wondered if there was anything she could say at the moment that wouldn't make her sound like a blithering idiot. "I…" she began, before she trailed off. His eyes focused on her lips, Clark leaned almost imperceptibly toward her, and that somehow galvanized her into action. "I think it's time for our last set, isn't it?" she blurted as she scampered out of reach.

Clark didn't seem perturbed by her sudden flight back to the bocce court. Indeed, for possibly the first time since she'd known him, he didn't seem to have any particular problem taking charge of the situation. She was bending to pick up one of the large green balls when he walked up behind her; as she straightened, he wrapped his arms around her from behind, one hand splayed across her stomach to pull her tight against his body. "What do you say we make this game interesting?" he murmured softly in her ear, and she gulped.

Her mouth suddenly dry, Lois managed to croak, "Wh-what do you mean? You mean like…a wager on the outcome?" Part of her wanted to break out of his embrace; for the sake of her own sanity, she needed a little distance from him at the moment. He was entirely too overwhelming for her in her present state of mind, with her emotions so chaotic and impossible to define. She was feeling things that she'd never felt for Clark before – or never openly admitted feeling for him – and she didn't know where her carefully crafted façade of indifference had gone. She was afraid, however, that if this kept up much longer, Clark would catch on to her feelings, and that would be a disaster.

There was no way she could afford to let him know that she had never wanted anything in her life more than she wanted him at the moment.

"Exactly," he replied, his breath fanning softly against her cheek, and she shivered.

"Well, I…okay. What did you have in mind?" she asked, then let out a soft moan when she could have sworn that he ducked his head to lay a soft kiss on the side of her neck.

"Have I told you that you look amazing tonight?" he asked softly in an abrupt change of subject. She could swear she felt every nerve in her body tingle at the way the sound of his voice was almost a caress as he added, "Good enough to eat, actually."

She let out a little squeak at the incredibly erotic image that had his words had brought to mind, and he chuckled as he released her. As if he hadn't noticed anything strange about her reaction, he casually leaned down to pick up one of the four red balls and grinned over his shoulder at her as he casually juggled it. "What do you say we play…winner's choice. Whoever wins gets to pick the nature of the wager. No holds barred."

It was a bet she'd never consent to under normal circumstances, but in her present state of mind, she had absolutely no problem nodding her head in agreement. She couldn't imagine protesting at whatever Clark might ask of her, and the possibility of her getting to demand anything of him was just a little too tempting to ignore. Swallowing heavily, she tilted her head to the side and let her lips quirk up into a mischievous smile. "Sure thing, Smallville," she agreed teasingly. "I just hope you know what you're getting yourself into."

Perhaps her tiny stroke of defiance was a bad idea, she realized, as his gaze swept down her body like a caress and he threw her yet another incredibly sexy – if also remarkably cocky – grin. "I'm pretty sure I do," he confessed.

"Uh…good!" she retorted, caught off guard. Covering her momentary awkwardness, Lois brushed past him and eyed the small white ball in the center of the lane. She had to try to get her balls as close to that spot as possible; at the end of the game, whoever had the closest ball would win. Luckily, Lois had pretty good aim. Unluckily, she was suddenly finding Clark a little too distracting, and it was hard for her to concentrate.

Within five minutes, it was all over, and Lois walked a bit reluctantly toward the center of the court, though she was pretty sure she knew what she would find. It was incredibly close, her suspicions were confirmed. One of Clark's large red balls was barely an inch closer to its target than Lois's closest attempt, and that made him the winner. Turning very slowly on her heel, she rested one hand on her hip and declared, "Looks like you win, Smallville."

The grin he threw her made her weak in the knees, yet again. "I certainly do."

Clark could feel Lois's uncharacteristic preoccupation as he escorted her outside, and he found it oddly endearing. If she was half as distracted as he was – for even a fraction of the reason – then he could only imagine what was going through her mind at the moment. He considered pressing her for an explanation but decided to let it slide for a while; there was plenty of time to get answers out of her. They had all night.

"I really wish that cabbie would hurry," Lois griped as she clapped her hands together to try to get the blood flowing. "It's freezing out here!" She seemed nervous, and frowned as he watched her in silence as she began to pace back and forth. Yes, there was definitely something wrong.

Without even stopping to think about what he was about to do, Clark stepped forward and swept her into his arms. She let out a tiny squeak of surprise when she felt her weight shift, and she looked up at him with wide eyes. "Um…Smallville…not that I'm complaining necessarily, but…what are you doing?' she asked in confusion as his gaze shifted from her to the stars above.

With a satisfied grin, Clark looked back down at her and arched his eyebrows in challenge. "Do you trust me, Lois?"

He saw her take her lower lip between her teeth again in that adorable nervous gesture of hers, but after a moment, she released it and nodded. "I trust you," she admitted.

"There's something I want to show you." Then he looked back up at the sky and frowned in concentration. He'd been practicing this lately, but while he'd shown quite a bit of improvement, it still was far from second nature to him. After a moment, however, he felt his body lift off the ground in defiance to the laws of gravity, and though he wobbled a little bit as he adjusted to the sensation of no longer having terra firma beneath him, he let out an exultant cry and looked back down at the woman in his arms, eager to see her reaction.

At first, Lois merely looked confused. When she followed his gaze with her own and saw that the two of them were hovering above the ground, however, she yelped and clutched him tighter around the neck. "Clark," she said on a gasp. "I don't want to panic you or anything, but I think you should know that your…y-you're floating!"

Clark laughed again at her reaction. He couldn't remember the last time he'd felt happier as he pulled Lois even closer. For the first time in a very long time, he gloried in the abilities that made him so different from everyone around him. Uncharacteristically carefree, he reveled in the awe that gradually overtook the fear he saw in Lois's eyes, and he allowed himself to fly even higher into the air. "Watch this," he murmured, and though he had originally planned on taking her directly to the farm to finish what they'd started in the bar, he found himself heading towards town, instead. He wasn't ready to return to earth, just yet – not at the risk of having that look in her eyes fade.

For the next half hour, Clark flew with Lois in his arms, taking her over the slumbering town, over fields, dropping low to the ground so she could skim the water of Crater Lake with her fingertips as they travelled over its moonlit surface. It was a perfect evening, but even it had to end eventually, so when the cold got to be a little too much for Lois to bear, even wrapped in his arms, he took her back home.

"Clark, that was…incredible," she breathed as he descended into the farmhouse's front lawn. "How did you…?"

"I remembered how much you liked the last trip we took together," he said smugly, self-satisfied at having elicited such a reaction. Then, after a pause, he said a bit awkwardly, "Uh…I'm going to lower you to the ground gently now, okay? My landings are a little…er…I'm not very good at the landings yet."

Lois chuckled, but she didn't protest as he gently placed her back on her feet before attempting to do the same to himself. He didn't quite manage the latter, however, as he stumbled gracelessly as soon as his feet made contact, and he almost fell face-first to the ground, only catching himself at the last moment.

It was a little difficult for Lois to see the swaggering, overconfident man he'd been at the bar when he straightened and threw her a sheepish grin. "I guess I still need a little practice."

With a laugh, she linked her arm in his and walked with him up to the front door, eager to get in out of the cold. "Maybe just a little," she agreed, teasing him lightly. "By the way, I think all those blows to the head have made you a little senile, Sparky, because you've never taken me on a trip like that. I'm pretty sure I'd remember."

Clark almost contradicted her, but at the last moment, he thought about how the evening had ended and so he held his tongue. He was pretty sure that if he told Lois now that he had left her in favor of stealing Lex Luthor's fiancé from under his nose, she wouldn't appreciate it. She might even put an end to the evening and insist he take her home, which was something he really didn't want to do – particularly since, for the life of him, he couldn't imagine how could ever have been so stupid as to walk away from her the last time. Clearly, the hatred he now felt toward the man who had once been one of his best friends had driven him temporarily insane.

"My mistake," he replied, shrugging off the subject as he let her inside, where it was warm. Lois stripped off her hat and gloves, sticking them in her coat pocket before shrugging that off as well. She had just hung it on its hook when Clark stepped up behind her and wrapped his arms around her again. "Now, where were we?"

She caught her breath and leaned back against his chest as she lowered her hands to cover his own, hoping he wouldn't feel their tell-tale tremble. "What's gotten into you tonight, Clark?" she asked softly, though he could just as easily have asked her the same question, since heaven knew she didn't feel like her normal self tonight, either. Under normal circumstances, she'd never let Clark hold her in his arms, never let him kiss her. Of course, under normal circumstances, he'd never appeared to be all that tempted to do either, though tonight he did. And she not only let him do both those things to her – she wanted him to.

"What do you mean?" he asked, sounding a shade too innocent as he released her and walked into the living room.

Unwilling to let the subject go, she followed him. She wanted him to kiss her, to look at her like he wanted her, the way he had at the bar. She didn't want to do either, however, if it meant nothing to him – or, worse, if he was just looking for a temporary Lana replacement. "Well, it's a little strange, isn't it?" she demanded. "I mean, you've never even looked twice at me, and now all of a sudden, you want to kiss me? It's like you…"

"Just because I haven't said anything doesn't mean I've never noticed you," he interjected, sounding a little annoyed as he whirled to face her again. "Are you kidding? I may be too timid to do anything about it," he began, sounding derisive of his normal attitude, "but I'm not blind! Can you honestly believe that tonight is the first time I've ever thought about kissing you?"

"Then why haven't you done it before?" she challenged, crossing her arms over her chest and staring expectantly at him. She wanted answers, and for the first time, it seemed like Clark might be willing to give them.

He was clearly agitated by the question, because he ran a hand through his hair and looked away from her, his jaw clenched tight. Finally, he turned to look at her again, and his gaze was angry, defiant. It challenged her in return as he demanded, "Would you have let me? From the moment you came to town, you haven't exactly been afraid to let me know exactly what you think of me. I'm just Smallville to you. I'm the annoying bane of your existence. The King of All Things Dorky. You would probably have punched me if I ever tried to kiss you before…that is if you didn't laugh yourself silly instead. I'm not insane, Lois. Why would I have ever tried to see if I had a shot with you when I already know that I don't?"

She was shocked by his reply, not to mention a little hurt. Did he honestly think that was what she thought of him? Sure, their relationship had not had a very auspicious beginning, but he was one of her best friends now; how did he not know that? "But…you're wrong, Clark! Yeah, you and I don't always get along. Sometimes you annoy me, just like I know that I drive you crazy sometimes! And, no, you may not be the "coolest" guy I've ever met, but I like that there are things in your life that are more important to you than trying to figure out how to get into all of the newest clubs in Metropolis!"

"That still don't mean I've ever had a chance with you," he argued, still not willing to let the subject go. "I'm just 'Smallville' to you, like I…"

"Yeah," she interjected softly, taking a step closer to him. His voice trailed off as he watched her approach until she was finally standing directly in front of him. Lifting one hand, she caressed his cheek and explained. "You're Smallville to me. No, I may not have thought much of the place when I first showed up, but…it's kind of grown on me, and now I can't imagine living without it. It's the first place that ever made me feel like I belonged, the first place that ever felt like…" She faltered, her honesty making her feel too vulnerable to continue for a moment. Clark's expression didn't change, however. He was still gazing expectantly at her, but he didn't look put off by her confession. He wasn't laughing at her shyness. Bolstered by the look in his eyes, she continued, "Home. It's the first place that ever felt like home."

Taking a deep breath, she let her fingertips run down his neck to his shirt as she pondered whether or not to press him for an answer she wasn't entirely certain she wanted to hear. Finally, she figured that she'd already exposed so much; she might as well go for broke. "I care about you, Clark. But that being said…I don't want to do this if I'm not…I mean, if this isn't…I don't want to be here with you if you're thinking of Lana when you're with me."

Clark still felt floored by what she'd just confessed to him, and while he wasn't terribly surprised to find that she was concerned that there might be three people in the room at the moment, it wasn't a thought that he wanted her to continue to entertain. Perhaps it was time to prove to her that there was only one woman on his mind at the moment, only one woman that he wanted, and that was the one in front of him. "Hmmm…" Clark said as he stared thoughtfully at her. "Well, let's see."

Placing one hand gently on her hip, he exerted a little pressure until she had turned around to stand with her back to him. Very softly, before she could react, he rested his palms on her shoulders and gave them a quick squeeze before running them slowly down her arms. When his hands reached her elbows, he slid them off her arms and cupped her ribcage instead.

Even in his current daring mood – and even with the confession Lois had just made – he knew that the odds were about even that she would clobber him for what he was about to do. His best chance to avoid letting her hurt her hand in the attempt was to keep her unbalanced long enough for her to realize that she didn't want him to stop what he was doing.

Sliding his hands down to frame her hips, Clark closed the distance between Lois and himself and leaned down to brush his lips along the curve of his ear, the contact barely above that of the breath fanning across her cheek. To a certain degree, he had been trying to tease her, but it was he who was getting tormented by their current position. Her skin was so soft, and the light floral scent of her perfume was driving him out of his mind. He couldn't resist the urge to burrow his nose in her hair as he inhaled a deep breath, his eyes drifting shut so he could concentrate on committing this moment to memory. "Mmmmm…" he whispered. "You smell like Lois."

Then he placed a kiss on the sensitive part of her neck below the curve of her ear that he'd discovered the last time she'd let him hold her like this. With gentle hands, he brushed the spaghetti straps of the sparkly red top she wore off her shoulders. As he followed the path they had traveled with his mouth, he shifted his hands so that one was splayed across her stomach, pulling her tight against him. "You taste like Lois," he murmured softly before straightening abruptly and turning her gently in his arms so he could look into her face.

He could hear her ragged breathing, and he smiled against her mouth as he bent to brush a soft kiss against her lips. "And I've heard Lois whisper my name before. It sounded remarkably like that…though I don't think it sounded quite that breathless. But, overall, I'd say that I have a pretty good idea who's in my arms right now, and it's not Lana." He pulled away slightly and waited for her eyes to flutter open and her to look up at him. Before he did anything else, he wanted to be absolutely positive that she believed him when he said, "You and I are the only people in this room right now, Lois."

Either his words or something in his expression must have convinced her that she spoke the truth, because she leaned into his embrace and captured his lips with her own again. They might have stood there like that forever, but with every moment that passed, Clark found himself wanting the woman in his arms more and more. He had pulled her hard against his body; there wasn't an inch of space between them, but it wasn't nearly enough. She was driving him out of his mind. When he slid one under the soft fabric of her shirt to caress the silky skin of her back, he heard her moan softly in pleasure.

It was a good thing that he had learned to keep his powers under control through the years or the house would have been set on fire a hundred times over by now. When he couldn't take any more, he pulled away slightly. His voice was a little unshaky as he admitted, "I want you, Lois. But if you're not sure that you want to do this, then I should take you home right now, because I don't think I'll be able to stand doing so much later." It was the first time he'd ever asked for anything while under the influence of Red Kryptonite, but he couldn't just take what he wanted from Lois right now and even if he could, he wouldn't want to. He wanted her to stay with him tonight, but, more than that, he wanted her to want to do so.

"I'm not going anywhere," she murmured as she pulled his mouth back down to hers. Then, she felt him lift her into his arms and carry her upstairs. A few moments later, he set her gently back on her feet and she realized that he had taken her to his bedroom.

Lois let out a tiny moan of protest when Clark pulled away, but when she saw the mischievous grin on his face, she resisted the urge to grab hold of him and pull him closer to her. "You said you trust me, right?" he asked softly, and though she frowned in confusion at the abrupt change of topic, she nodded slowly her assent. "Then turn around. I think it's time you pay up on that bet you lost," he said, lightly teasing.

Though she wasn't entirely sure where this was going, she did as he'd directed, albeit a bit reluctantly. A shiver raced down her spine when he leaned down and murmured in her ear, "Don't move. I'll be back in a second." A faint breeze followed his remark, but before she'd even had time to fully exhale the sharp breath she'd drawn at the caress of his breath against her skin, he was back.

"What are you…?" she began, but he cut her off.

"Don't move," he said, placing his hand between her shoulder blades to halt her movement. She heard some movement, and then he stepped closer to her and breathed in her ear, "You ready?"

Before she could answer, she heard what sounded like cloth tearing. Though it was torture for her to remain still, she bit her lip and tried her best not to move. Surely Clark would make his intentions clear soon, wouldn't he? In a second, his purpose became all too clear, as a strip of cloth was lowered suddenly in front of her eyes, making it impossible for her to see. Before she had time to protest, Clark wrapped the blindfold around her eyes and tied it securely. Then he tucked her hair behind her ear with gentle fingers and asked again, his voice slightly teasing, "You still trust me, Lois? Because I need you to do exactly what I say, and if you refuse…I'll stop what I'm doing. And believe me when I say you'd hate that."

It was incredibly frustrating, not being able to see what was going on, but when Lois raised her hand to her blindfold, she felt Clark grab her gently by the wrist. "Relax, Lois," he said soothingly. "I'm not going to do anything you don't want me to do; I promise."

Biting her lip, Lois paused and let the war within rage for a moment. A large part of her had a difficult time letting go of control – something Clark no doubt knew, which was probably the point of the exercise. But there was another part of her that was frankly curious where he was planning on going with all this. And as long as he was willing to stop at any point if she asked him to, she supposed it wouldn't kill her to indulge her curiosity. "O-okay," she agreed in a nervous voice. Then, because she could only hold her tongue for so long, she demanded, "But what exactly are you doing?"

Clark chuckled as he looked at the woman in front of him with narrowed eyes. Somehow, he wasn't surprised that she was inclined to be argumentative. He'd never known her to be anything else. It had irritated him at first, but it was a trait he'd found increasingly appealing over the years until now, he sometimes riled her just for the fun of hearing her try to argue with him.

"Do you have any idea how many times I've wondered what it would be like to touch you?" he asked, answering her question with one of his own. He heard her sudden intake of breath and smiled. If only she knew how many mornings he'd awoken and tried to push his dreams from the night before out of his head, because he didn't want to admit that he'd dreamt of her. For years, he'd tried to hide his growing attraction, but as she stood before him now, he felt his skin heat up and had to admit that there was something between them. No matter how much he'd denied it, the truth was that he was drawn to her like a moth to a flame. Only he didn't intend on getting burned.

He was going to take the opportunity to show her what she did not him with that tiny little bikini she flaunted regularly and those sarcastic smiles she threw his way. Lois was a woman who liked being in control; she wasn't used to trusting anyone else, and maybe that was why he felt compelled to keep her a little uncertain for the moment, a little unsure of what was going on. He wanted to get her to trust him.

Very gently, he pulled her sexy red top over her head, making sure not to disturb the blindfold, and then he deftly unhooked the clasp of her bra. Then, pausing only to brush a light kiss on the back of her neck, he bent to grab something out of a cup on the floor and rolled it between his fingers for a minute. Moving to stand in front of her, he smiled in anticipation of what he had in store for her, though of course she couldn't see him. Tonight wouldn't be the first time he'd made love to someone, but it was the first time he planned on taking his time to explore his partner's body. He wanted to know what kinds of things – or what areas, when touched in a particular way – made Lois laugh and which made her scream for more. Even if it killed him, he planned on taking his time to discover all these things about Lois Lane, because he wondered if she sounded in real life the way she did in his fantasies when she sobbed with pleasure.

It was Lois, however, so he could only surprise her so much before she made him pay for the privilege. Watching her reaction very closely, he reached out with the object in his hand and brushed it lightly against her lips. It was an ice cube, and he could tell that the sudden cold shocked her, but before she could reiterate her demand to know exactly what it was he thought he was doing, he followed the light brush of the ice cube with the warmth of his mouth.

He brushed his lips gently across hers, following the curve of her lower lip with his tongue. Then he moved on, and everywhere he brushed with the ice cube, he followed with his mouth – sometimes immediately, sometimes after waiting a few seconds, and sometimes only after blowing a soft breath against her moist skin just to see her tremble as he kissed and licked the cold away. Down her chin and the long line of her neck to that little cleft at its base, and then he straightened and moved to stand behind her, pausing in his exploration only long enough to brush her hair over her shoulders.

Laying the ice cube on the base of her neck, he trailed it slowly down her spine, following with his tongue, until he reached the small of her back. He let his mouth linger there for a moment as he unzipped her skirt and felt it fall to the floor. She was almost naked, and he let his eyes rove over her body as he hooked his fingers into the line of her panties and slid them down her legs. Then, he bent to help her slip out of her high heeled boots and ran his hands up her thighs as he stood.

She was completely naked, standing almost in the center of the room, and he wrapped his hands around her waist and lifted her easily, carrying her a few steps closer to the wall. After bending to grab a new ice cube to replace the one that had almost melted away, he used his free hand to grab each of hers in turn and place it on the shelf in front of her that she couldn't see. "Hold on to that until I tell you to let go," he directed, his voice a deep rumble of desire.

Ducking to move between the confines of her arms, he picked up where he left off. Beginning at Lois's neck, he trailed the ice cube down her chest to follow the curve of her left breast. When he swirled it around her nipple, he felt as much as heard her quick intake of breath, but, then again, he was close enough to her to feel her every tremor.

Lois's breath was ragged as she fought for air, and Clark was exultant in the thought that he could elicit such a reaction from her. Dropping the hand with the ice cube to his side, he stopped his game for a moment and cupped her breast with his free hand, wanting to discover how she would react at his attentions. Bending, he followed the curve with his mouth; in every way he could think of, he laved attention on her breast and relished every breath, every gasp, and every moan she emitted as he did so.

Then came time to do likewise to her right breast, but Clark had to pause long enough to grab a new ice cube before he did. Somewhere along the way, he must have become distracted and dropped the one he'd been holding on the ground beside him, because when he kissed his way across her chest, he realized that both his hands were on her and that shouldn't have happened.

Smiling wryly at his own distraction, Clark grabbed another ice cube and tried to ignore the increasing throbbing in his groin. It was incredibly tempting of him to stop his game and carry her over to the bed instead, but there were so many areas of her body that he had yet to explore and he might never get such a chance again.

Swallowing heavily, Clark tried to ignore his discomfort as he paid the same attention to Lois's right breast as he had her left, and then he carried on. Down the line of her stomach, across the curve of her hips, to the sides of her body. Then he knelt back, shifting his weight, and then nudged her a little closer to him to ensure that she had sufficient balance. Very carefully, he wrapped his hand underneath her right thigh and lifted, not wanting to throw her off balance.

Clark hooked her leg over his shoulder and then paused, letting his breath fan across the curly thatch of hair before him. Sparing a glance up at her face, he stared intently at her features, loving ever play of emotion on her usually unflappable façade. "Remember to hold on to that shelf and don't let go," he said, though he didn't know who he was taunting more with that little directive – her, or him. On the one hand, he was willing to bet she wanted to touch him. On the other hand, if she did, he might not be able to resist the urge to finish this little game of his immediately, and he didn't want to do that.

She made a half-strangled sound and moaned something that might have been his name, and he chuckled. "You ready?" he asked as he trailed the remains of the last ice cube along her inner thigh, again following its path with his mouth. At the last second, however, he paused and glanced up at her with a wicked gleam in his eye that he knew she couldn't see but was willing to bet she'd hear when he asked, "What do you think, Lois? Should I continue?"

Lois growled, sorely tempted to let go of the shelf and grab on to him, but she didn't dare. For one thing, she didn't want him to stop, and for another, she wasn't sure if she'd try to get him to finish what he'd started if she grabbed on to him or strangle him for teasing her like this. "Oh, god, Clark, I…" she began, but a chill swept down her spine and she shivered. After what he'd done to her, every nerve in her body felt like it was on fire, and she didn't know if she was desperate for this delicious agony to stop or keep on going indefinitely. She gripped the shelf in her hands hard, trying not to fall over as her knees grew weak with every breath that fanned over her stomach, and though she heard some objects from the shelf fall to the floor and possibly break, she didn't give a damn.

She shivered and tried to move closer to him, but he moved with her, not giving her the release she craved but not giving her the space she would require to regain control of herself. Damn him, he wasn't going to stop teasing her until she answered his question, so she took a shaky breath and moaned, "D-don't stop." Then, because she had to try recover at least a little dignity, even if they both knew that her bravado was false, she snarled, "If you stop now, I may have to kill you."

Clark laughed, almost tempted to actually stop for a moment, just to see what she'd do. On the other hand, having her there in front of him, open and ready for him, was a temptation a better man than he was at the moment would be hard-pressed to pass up. "I love it when you sweet talk me," he teased and was rewarded with a deep throated growl. If he kept her waiting much longer, she really might try to kill him.

Though the ice cube was pretty much gone, his fingers were still cold and wet, so he slid them between her folds, stroking her gently. Lois gasped at the sudden coldness and her hips instinctually jerked away from him, but he'd braced her with his free hand so she couldn't go far. The last way he wanted to end this little game was for her to fall and hurt herself.

Then, as usual, before the cold could get too unbearable, he followed with his tongue, wrapping his hands around her hips to steady her as he caressed her with his mouth. Clark listened to the pattern of her breathing and the soft sounds she made and wondered if she had any idea how absolutely erotic those little moans were, waiting until she sounded like she was right on the edge.

And then he stopped.

Though she muttered a curse and a very graphic threat, he ran his hands soothingly along her body as he pulled away from her, withdrawing only far enough that he could run his mouth along the inside of his left thigh. He probably was treading dangerous ground, teasing her this way. If he knew Lois, she was going to want to get revenge. He could hardly wait.

When he heard her sob in frustration and arousal, he had to grit his teeth to fight back the temptation to stand and enter her right then and there. So close, he was so close. He couldn't cut things short now. What had started as a game had come to mean something more to him. He didn't just want to explore every inch of her body; he didn't just want to hear her cry out his name. The last time they'd been in a situation anywhere close to this, she'd forgotten it all by the next day. He didn't want that to happen again. He wanted to give her an evening she would never forget. She'd tormented him so much with her very presence, he wanted to return the favor so that every time she looked at him in the future, she'd think about this night. So he waited, and when it sounded like she'd calmed down a bit, backed away from that edge, he started the process all over again.

He tasted her with his mouth, stroked her with his tongue, listening to every cry she made. At this moment, he found every single thing about her intoxicating – the way she tasted, the feel of her skin under his hands, the sounds she made. Everything. Though, earlier in the evening, he had accepted the fact that this would likely be the only time he would be allowed to hold her like this, now he couldn't stand the thought so he pushed it away. This couldn't be the first and last time the two of them would be together. How could one night with Lois ever be enough?

Clark was so wrapped up in the moment that he almost forgot his purpose. She was so close; she was trembling – or maybe he was. Or maybe they both were. But it still wasn't quite right.

So, once again, just before he made her lose control, he backed off. For one thing, he loved teasing her almost more than he loved the way she reacted when he did. And for another, her knees had buckled so he was completely supporting her weight, and if he let himself get carried away, he was afraid he might actually drop her.

With a groan that was almost a curse, he withdrew and gently lowered her leg to the ground before rising quickly to his feet. Sweeping her into his arms, he lifted her weight easily and spun her around, chuckling at her ragged laugh as he carried her over to the bed. They had been in a similar situation once before, he remembered, but then he'd allowed jealousy and hatred to put a stop to the evening before it even had a chance to really begin. He was not going to make such a mistake again. He couldn't even really believe he'd ever been so stupid as to do such a thing the first time.

As he lowered her onto the mattress, he grabbed on to her hands and lifted them above her arms. He didn't know how many nights his imagination had tormented him by picturing how that first evening would have ended if things had continued just a little longer, but the incredibly erotic dreams had almost driven him mad. It was time to see if the reality was anywhere close to his imagination.

"Keep them there," he grunted, his breathing not any more even than that of the woman beneath him. Then he reached up and tore off her blindfold, tossing it aside. He wanted to see the look in her eyes when he made love to her, and when it was all over, he didn't want her to ever doubt who it was that had made her scream in ecstasy.

Slowly, he ran his hands down the underside of her arms. Though he'd planned on going back to what he'd been doing before he carried her over to the bed, having her that close was a temptation he couldn't ignore. Before he could find a way to stop and tell himself that this hadn't been part of the plan, he moved his hands to cup her face, sinking his fingers into her hair, and then he captured her mouth with his own. As he gently pulled her lower lip between his teeth, he dropped his hands to her breasts to rub the pads of his thumbs across her nipples.

When Lois arched against him, Clark shifted his weight so he could slide one hand beneath the small of her back as he lowered on top of her, pressing his weight against her. He was still fully clothed, the rough fabric of his jeans still between them, driving him insane as he ground against her. That definitely hadn't been part of the plan, since it took an incredible amount of willpower to keep from losing control right then and there, and he groaned into her ear. His voice was a harsh rasp as he demanded, "I know what you want, Metropolis…but I want you to tell me."

She gasped his name, but she didn't answer, so he lowered one hand and lifted her leg, wrapping it around his hip before curving his fingers inside her, stroking her slowly, teasingly. His breathing was ragged; with the way his body was reacting, one would think he was the one being teased. And maybe he was, since heaven knew he'd certainly been tormenting himself long enough.

"Tell me what you want," he demanded in a tone that might have been harsh if he could have managed to get enough oxygen in his lungs to speak properly. He ground against her again, scraping his teeth along the shell of her ear. "Tell me how." Again, his hips ground against hers. "Tell me exactly what you want me to do." He pressed himself against her again.

"C-Clark!" she cried out. "I c-can't…" She tried to speak but her breath was coming in sobs. "I need…I need…" She rolled her head back and forth, fighting the pressure that was building up inside of her so she could tell him what he wanted to hear, but the sensations were too much. She couldn't quite form the words.

"Do you want me to use my hands?" he asked as he inserted a finger inside her, ruthlessly pressing his advantage, not giving her any opportunity to gather her thoughts or regain control. "My mouth?" His breath was hot and ragged against her skin as he bent to suck gently on the sensitive spot at the curve of her neck. "Do you want me inside you?" he whispered against her skin as he bucked his hips against hers again. "Come on, Lois. Tell me."

Lois cried out in frustration. He knew what she wanted, but he wasn't doing a damn thing about it and wouldn't until she told him what that was. "Damn it, Clark!" she screamed, bucking her hips against him as she lowered her hands and clenched the shirt he was wearing in her fist. She was no longer willing to be passive in this little game of theirs; he'd pushed her too far. Buttons flew everywhere, as in a flurry of movement, Lois tried to tear his clothes off him. In her distraction, she didn't notice when he levitated off the bed to help her with his task, and it didn't take long until he was naked and on top of her again.

"I want you, Clark," she breathed in his ear as she wrapped her legs around his hips and held him tight against her. "I want you inside me."

It was all he needed to hear, and he reared back and stared into her face, his blue eyes blazing. "Look at me," he growled fiercely, his expression partially obscured by the unruly hair that fell down his forehead. Then, bracing his weight above her, he didn't release her gaze as he drove into her hard. If he hadn't been doing his damndest to turn her on for the past half hour or so, she might not have been ready for him, but as it was, she was wet and god knows she seemed willing.

Her name was an oath on his lips as he thrust into her again and again, trying to calm down, be gentle, take it slow. She wasn't having any of it, however, because every time he tried to lighten up, she bucked against him, driving him on, daring him to meet her thrust for thrust. They moved together, matching each other's movements, pushing each other father, until Clark didn't know who was in control anymore – her, or him. It didn't matter, and maybe neither of them was in control any longer.

He felt her teeth nip his shoulder, and he lifted his head again. He watched as she threw her head back, her eyes fluttering shut, and he grabbed her thigh to lift it higher against him, opening her wider. He was close; he was so close. But he couldn't give in just yet. "Look at me!" he demanded; he wanted her eyes to be on him when he sent her over the edge. "Don't you dare look away," he panted.

With his eyes locked on hers, he thrust into her again and watched as she came undone beneath him, screaming with pleasure as she came. When her inner walls convulsed around him, he mouthed a curse and followed her into oblivion, crying something that sounded suspiciously like her name as he poured himself into her.

The next morning came entirely too soon. Lois moaned in protest as the morning sun drilled through her closed eyelids and into her brain. She hated mornings. For once, however, she realized that the gradual process of regaining consciousness wasn't as unbearable as it normally was. Maybe it was the utterly mind-blowing erotic dream she'd had the night before that made her feel replete and happy, for once. Of course, that would probably go away as soon as she woke up, so she fought consciousness. No, she wasn't ready for the dream to end just yet.

As her mind began to replay the almost shamefully detailed dream from the night before, she burrowed deeper into the blankets, and her foot brushed against something solid and warm. That was more like it; clearly sleep hadn't finished with her yet, and she snuggled closer to that warmth as it wrapped itself around her.

"Mmmmm…Clark," she murmured happily, for the moment not willing to ponder the fact that the most erotic dream she'd ever had in her life had featured Clark Kent, of all people. Of course, it wasn't like he ever needed to know such a thing.

"Yes, Lois?" his voice sounded sleepy as it responded, as if he wasn't entirely awake yet either.

Lois's eyes sprang open. There was something entirely wrong with that voice. It hadn't come from her dreams; it was all too real. As were the arms wrapped around her and the breath against her neck and…oh, god, was that actually Clark snuggled up behind her.

With a shriek of dismay, Lois lurched to the side, ready to leap out of bed and make a break for it. As she threw the blanket off of her, however, she realized that she was stark naked, and she fumbled for the cotton sheet to throw it over her body again. What was she doing in Clark's bed? And why was she naked while she was doing it?

Clark's usual languid process of waking up in the morning was helped along considerably by Lois's scream, and he bolted upright, throwing a desperate look around him as he tried to regain his bearings. It took a moment, but he finally took notice of the woman cowering underneath the sheet in bed next to him, and he blurted in disbelief, "Lois?"

She was looking at him like he was the devil incarnate as she clutched the light fabric to her chest. "Clark," she returned acidly. "Do you want to tell me what the hell I'm doing here?

He speared a hand through his hair as he wracked his brain, but he wasn't able to give her an immediate answer. Things were still a little fuzzy, the events of the night before jumbled in his mind. One thing stuck out with almost painful clarity, and he felt himself flush at the thought of it. "I…uh…I don't know," he responded a bit stupidly as he tried to put his thoughts in order. He hadn't…he and Lois hadn't…they never would have…would they?

"Okay," she said, drawing the word out on a heavy sigh. This was definitely something they were going to have to address, but maybe now wasn't the best time to do it. She needed to be wearing a whole lot more clothes – and maybe have a drink or two under her belt – when and if she ever broached the subject. "I need you to get up and go into the other room for a few minutes while I…ah…get out of bed," she said curtly.

Clark moved to comply, but when he was just about to get out from under the sheet, he paused and threw her a pained look. "I…um…I can't do that." She glowered menacingly at him, so he explained lamely, "I'm…I'm not wearing any clothes."

Lois wanted to demand an explanation, but her brain all too readily supplied one for her. In vivid detail, she imagined Clark on top of her, driving into her. Her body started to heat at the thought, and though she ruthlessly suppressed the memory, she was struck by a sudden terrible fear. Was it possible that all of that hadn't just been a dream? She couldn't handle that thought right now. Through gritted teeth, she said, "Neither am I."

For a while, the two of them sat in silence, each perched on the far edge of the bed, a hair's breadth from toppling off. It was a bedroom Mexican Standoff. Finally, Lois spoke up. "Okay, here's what I think we should do. You get out of bed first and grab your clothes. Then go to the bathroom to change. While you're gone, I'll get dressed myself."

"Wait a minute!" he protested. "Why should I be the one to…uh…to go to the bathroom?"

She knew what he really wanted to ask – why he should be the one to expose himself to her – and so she responded, "Oh, don't be such a big baby! I've already seen Clark, Jr., remember?"

Setting his jaw obstinately, Clark retorted, "And I've seen…uh…" He waved his hand ineffectually at her body. Clearly, no pithy nicknames sprung immediately to mind. "you too, remember?"

"Clark, I don't…" Lois began to protest in indignation, but then a sound from the floor below caught their attention.

"Clark! Sweetie, are you home?" It was Mrs. Kent; the sound of the front door slamming indicated that she'd just arrived.

Her face gone suddenly pale, Lois turned to look at her bed partner. "What is she doing here? I thought you were going to fly out to visit her?" she asked incredulously.

He looked equally stricken as he replied, "I-I don't know."

And then, suddenly, they were galvanized into action. Lois and Clark both darted out of bed at the same time, their shame forgotten as they scrambled on the floor to gather their clothes. Apparently, they were united in the desire not to be caught in such a compromising situation by Mrs. Kent.

Lois had her panties in one hand but was still trying to find her blouse when she heard the creak of a footfall on the stairway. She tried to hold back her shriek of alarm when she realized that Mrs. Kent was coming upstairs to check on her son. Unless the older woman had been struck suddenly blind, there was no way she was going to mistake what she saw right before her eyes as soon as she threw open the bedroom door.

There! Her skirt! Lois fumbled as she tried to step into her underwear, which had become twisted at some point as it was being taken off of her and was not particularly helpful this morning. Lurching to the side, she almost fell, but Clark caught her before she could hit the ground. There was no more time; a footstep could be heard just outside the bedroom door.

Without any warning, he threw the sheet over her head and bundled her into his arms, ignoring her protests as he tossed her unceremoniously back onto the bed before jumping in after her and scrambling under the sheet. They were still wrestling with the uncooperative swath of fabric when Lois heard the bedroom door open and she looked at the woman in the entryway in mute horror.

"Clark, I know you wanted…Lois?" Martha asked incredulously as she gazed upon a tableau that would be incriminating, even without the clothes strewn across the floor. Clark and Lois were in bed together, and she was splayed across his obviously bare torso with his arms around her as he tried to cover her with the sheet. It was hardly less damning that her hair was mussed and her chest was heaving from her previous exertions.

Lois's gaze shot from Mrs. Kent to the man beneath her, but it was with a sinking stomach that she realized that neither party was able to help her out at the present. Martha still seemed to be too amazed to talk, and Clark looked like he'd swallowed his tongue.

At a loss as to what else to do, Lois tossed her hair over her shoulder and mustered her best smile. Then, with a small, resigned shrug at her bed partner, she turned her attention back to his mom. Figuring the entire situation was about as awkward as it was ever going to get, Lois spoke the first words that came to mind in an attempt to dig her way out of the hole in which she found herself. Meeting Clark's eyes, she offered him a shaky smile. "Uh…I was just…um…Merry Christmas?"