Lana watches as Clark's eyes glow red and an arrogant look appears on his face. "Now you were saying this was a mistake"

Clark grabs Lana and kisses her. He holds her wrist.

Lana feels pain on her wrist, Clark is squeezing it "Ow, Clark you're hurting me"

"Am I?" Clark leans into Lana's face and shouts "Now you know how I felt when you left me!" He tosses her aside and spins out of his suit and into his Superman outfit. What is he doing here wasting his time with her? As the red krytponite works its way through his system he decides he doesn't need to be here wasting his time on her, not after what she did to him. What he should do is take a day off. Yes that's it. He starts to head for the window.

"Clark where are you going?" Lana asks him.

Huh like she really cares he thinks to himself. The only one who really cares about him is Lois. "Away from you. I don't want you. I love Lois. Now grow up and accept it. Oh by the way my name is Kal. Now if you'll excuse me I have better places to be" With that Clark flies off with a sonic boom getting as far away from this place and from Lana as he can get.


Evening time and Lois and Chloe are still at the Planet. The news is dominated by Superman, not unusual except of his strange selfish behaviour. He's been seen all over the world and basically has been acting like a jerk. Jimmy is enhancing some pictures. Chloe is worried because she knows of only one thing that makes Clark act like this.

"Hey look at this" It was Jimmy.

Lois and Chloe walk over. Lois has been worried about Clark all day. He's been gone all day and she couldn't reach him and she certainly has no idea what has gotten into Superman. She has never seen him act this way, it's almost like he's on something. "Look at what Jimmy?" she asks.

"There" he points to Superman's hand.

Lois stares at it "Since when did Superman start wearing a ruby ring?"

Chloe is staring as well. That isn't a ruby ring she realises. Oh god where did he get that? And why would he put it on? She needs help. "I'm going to get some air" she tells Lois and Jimmy

Lois barely noticing as she studies the picture "Ok"

Chloe heads up to the roof "Kara! I need your help!" she shouts.

"What's up Chloe?"

Chloe jumps and turns round to find Kara standing there. "You're as bad as Clark"

"Sorry" Kara has a slight smirk.

"Anyway this is about Clark" Chloe informs her.

"I heard, what's up with him?" Kara asks because she hasn't been able to find out what has gotten into her cousin.

"Two words; Red Kryptonite"

Kara tenses up. She from first hand experience knows what that does. Chloe explained the ring.

Kara was very confused "Clark knows what it does, why would he put it on?"

"He didn't." Both look to the voice and see Lana has appeared on the roof. "I put it on him" she informs them.

Chloe looks at Lana with sheer disbelief at the sheer stupidity of the act she has committed. "You what!"

Kara actually has to restrain Chloe as she attempts to get to Lana. "Calm down Chloe". Kara looks Lana over and sees her bandaged wrist and points to it "Clark?"

Lana nods.

Kara calmer than Chloe is "Lana, surely you must have known how Clark would act once you put on that ring"

"I needed to know the truth, something Clark is not usually forthcoming with" Lana tries to explain.

Chloe now a bit calmer "What truth?"

"If he still loved me" Lana says practically in tears.

Even Chloe feels slightly sorry for her. "I take it he doesn't" she assumes.

Lana shakes her head. "No he said he loved Lois"

Kara looks at Chloe "If he loves Lois why isn't he here?"

"Who knows Kara. He isn't exactly rational when he wears that ring"

"So how do we get it off of him?" Kara asks knowing stopping Clark is no mean feat at the best of times.

Chloe thinks for a second "Kara, I'm going to need you to get something from my apartment"


A little later Clark is flying through Metropolis. He had decided to spend the day having some fun. Why hadn't he done this years ago? It was certainly better than having to listen to Perry order him about or pretend to be something he's not. But now he was back in Metropolis only one thought was in his red kryptonite befuddled mind. Lois.

He picks out her heartbeat. She's still at the Planet. That wouldn't do. He would have to get her to come have some fun with him. As he approaches the Planet he sees Chloe and Lana on the roof. What is she doing here? He lands "I told you I don't want you" he repeats.

Both Lana and Chloe jump at his sudden appearance. Chloe walks towards him "Superman you have to take the ring off" she pleads.

Clark was almost aghast. "You're siding with her against me." He points at Lana. "I thought you were my friend Chloe."

"I am your friend. That's why you have to give me the ring" Chloe pleads again hoping that maybe she can through to him though she doubts it.

Lana speaks up "Superman listen to her"

Clark has had enough of this. "No, I'm tired of listening to people. I'm tired of living the lie that has become my life. I'm sick of being ordered about and I am certainly fed up in helping all of you. Humanity." Clark says it with almost distain. "You've become dependant on me for all your little problems. Well no longer, from now on you're on your own." Clark begins to walk towards the stairs. They have distracted him long enough, kept him from what he truly wants. Lois. "And for the final time my name is Kal"

"Kal-El"

Clark looks behind him. "Leave me alone Kara"

Kara floats down onto the roof. "Kal-El give me the ring or I will take it from you" she states quite forcefully.

Clark is slightly amused at her boldness. "Will you indeed." Clark superspeeds towards Kara. He throws a rather obvious punch and Kara grabs his fist. What she hadn't noticed is that she had grabbed the hand wearing the ring. As soon as her skin touches the stone a red pulse shoots up her arm. Her eyes glow and in that moment of uncertainty Clark hits her sending her flying out of sight. He turns round to be greeted not by Chloe or Lana but by Lois. Clark smiles "Lois"

Lois had been waiting behind the door to the roof for Superman to be distracted before she snuck up on him. She had been downstairs working with Jimmy when Supergirl had appeared and explained to her about red kryptonite and the effect it had on both her and Superman. She had handed Lois a small box and told her the plan of distracting Superman. Lois didn't like what she had to do but they had to get that ring off. So here she is. Superman is walking towards her. "I'm sorry". She takes the box from behind her back and opens it.

Clark is walking over about to embrace the woman he loves when she takes out a box and opens it. Kryptonite. Clark instantly weakens. Lois walks towards him and he falls down. "Lois how could you betray me?" he asks through the pain. How could she do this to him?

Lois was hating herself. Chloe dashes past her and grabs Clark's hand so she can get the ring off. He resists. "Superman give me the ring"

"No. I'll get you for this betrayal Chloe" he tells her. How could they do this to him?

"Lois bring the kryptonite closer" Chloe tells her.

Lois reluctantly did so. She watches Superman groan in pain. Damn why did this rock have to exist?

Clark is now sufficiently weakened that Chloe manages to prize the ring off his finger. She stuffs it in her pocket to destroy later. "That's it. Lois close the box"

Lois does so and is relieved to see Superman recover. He gets to his feet. He can barely look her in the eye. "Thank you" he says and then he flies off.

Chloe stands up and sees Lois standing there with a pained expression. "Lois?"

"He said we betrayed him"

By now Kara has reappeared "Lois that was the ring talking. Trust me I know." She holds out her hand "The box"

Lois gives it back to her. Kara looks at Chloe. They exchange I'll take care of Lois if you'll take care of Clark looks. Kara nods and flies off. Chloe walks up to Lois "Come on I'll get Jimmy to take us home" They walk off to the stairs. No-one has noticed that Lana had left long ago.


Clark had flown straight home and is now sitting on his couch contemplating everything. Oh god what had he done this time? He had hurt Lana. Sure he was mad at her but he shouldn't hurt people. What was she thinking putting that ring on him?

"Clark?"

He looks round and sees Kara has come in. "I'm fine Kara"

She studies his guilt ridden face "Not buying it cousin"

What did she expect him to say? He had spent all day being a selfish jerk. It would take months to repair his reputation and oh god he accused Lois and Chloe of betraying him. Clark sighs. "Are you alright?" He had actually hit her.

Kara rubs her jaw "I'll live, even though my jaw is aching. I forget how strong you are"

"I'm sorry"

Kara walks up and sits down next to him. "Clark I know what that stuff does to us. I'm not mad at you but you may want to work in an apology to Lois"

Clark looks at her "What about Lois?"

"She took your accusation of betrayal to heart" Kara informs him.

What? Oh dear god. Clark puts his head in his hands. Kara puts her hand on his shoulder. "Clark, I know you feel guilt about what you do under the influence of red kryptonite but wallowing in it is not going to solve anything. Go and see Lois. Perhaps it's time to tell her the truth about who you are"

The truth? Is he really ready to tell Lois that? They just started dating. Clark thinks about it. "No Kara it's not the time. I need to know if Lois loves me for who I am first. Perhaps in a few months time. I need to know if what we have is real. After all our first date was a disaster, I would like to have at least one good date before I go into the fact I've been keeping this secret from her for over a decade. Superman will go and give an apology but everything else will have to wait." Clark then flies off.

Kara watches him leave. She can't help but notice he left before she could reply. She hated when he did this. Once he has decided on a course of action he often refuses to be shifted form it. Oh well she'll support him regardless, after all that's what family is for.


Back at Lois's apartment, she is once again into the ice-cream. She was suppose to be Superman's friend and she betrayed him. She used the one substance capable of killing him against him. Chloe had tried to convince her it was necessary but she refused to listen and Chloe had given up and gone home. She then hears knocking on her window. She walks over and pulls back the curtains. Superman? Lois opens the window.

Clark hovers outside Lois' window "Can I come in?"

"Sure"

Clark floats in and lowers himself to the floor. "I spoke to Supergirl"

"Uh huh"

"Lois I'm sorry for what I said and before you interrupt please let me finish. Using the kryptonite against me was not an act of betrayal but one of trust. Supergirl trusted you to use it to stop me and I would trust you to do the same."

Lois absorbs his words. He trusts her that much. Lois felt better, after all Superman doesn't lie. That left one question though "How did you get that ring in the first place?"

"I was betrayed by someone I use to consider a friend" he says as vaguely as possible without lying.

"Who?" The reporter in her had to know. What other friends does Superman have? Even after 2 years there is so much she doesn't know about him.

"I would prefer not to say." he tells her. He can't say without revealing the truth about himself.

"Sorry, I was just curious. You don't have to tell me" Lois tells him.

"Thank you Lois. I better go. Let you sleep" Clark floats out the window and turns around. "Good night Lois". He then flies off to resolve one last problem. Lana.

Lois puts her ice-cream away and goes to bed. She couldn't help thinking she had forgotten to do something. Oh crap she had forgotten to check up on Clark. She looks at the clock. Dammit, it's too late now. She would just have to deal with it in the morning.


Clark flew towards Lana's hotel. He found her packing up. "You're leaving"

Lana jumps. She had left quietly from the roof and decided it was best for everyone if she just left. She doesn't turn round to look at him "Yes. By the way your suit is on the couch"

"Lana look at me" Clark tells her.

Lana reluctantly turns around "You probably hate me"

"Lana I don't hate you. I'm a little mad sure but hate I reserve for Luthor"

"You really dislike Lex that much"

"He has tried to kill me 3 times this year so yeah I think hate covers it"

"I am sorry Clark. I know that probably doesn't make up for it"

"Why Lana? Why did you put that ring on me?"

She can't look at him "I wanted to know if you still loved me"

Clark really doesn't hate her. He feels pity for her really. "Lana I think you're hanging onto a memory of what we use to have. I think I was as well. That's why I came here today but when you kissed me I realised that I wanted to be kissing Lois. I will always be your friend Lana but..."

"I understand. It can't be more than that." Maybe he's right about that hanging onto a memory. Lana needs to think about it for a while. "I should still go. Chloe isn't exactly fond of me at the moment and it would be better if I thought about what you said alone"

"If you think that is best. As I said Lana we can still be friends and if you ever need anything just call the Daily Planet and ask for me."

"You work at the Planet?"

"You didn't know?" he asks somewhat surprised.

"No. How does no-one recognise you?"

"They just don't. After all how long did you see me as just the boy from next door?" he points out.

Lana had to admit he had a point.

"Well goodbye Lana" Clark goes and picks up his suit from the couch after all it is his favourite.

Lana didn't say anything as Clark flew off. Perhaps with time she can salvage her friendship with him but for now she needs to go away and think things through. She goes back to her packing.


The next morning at the Daily Planet Clark walks in and looks for Chloe. He hadn't had a chance to talk to her last night. As usual she's in early and he walks over, bumping into things as he goes. He gets to her desk and pushes his glasses up his nose "Morning Chloe. I never got a chance to apologise to you last night"

"Clark, stop. I learned to cope with your little outbursts years ago. It's fine. I'm fine" Chloe tells him. She knows how guilty he always feels after his red kryptonite rampages.

"I'm still sorry" he tells her.

"I know you are but Lois needs it more than me"

"I saw her last night and apologised." Clark looks around "She's not in yet?"

Chloe chuckles "Clark it's not even 9 yet. Lois is not a morning person"

Clark chuckles as well "Tell me about it. I can still remember all those times she stayed at the farm". A beat. "I also saw Lana last night"

"I hope you smacked her one". Chloe had certainly thought about it.

"No Chloe. Truthfully I felt sorry for her. She was hanging onto something we use to have"

"Use to? Does that mean you've figured out want you want?"

"Yes"

"You're not going to tell me are you?" Chloe deduces from his tone of voice.

"Nope" Clark with cheeky grin walks off to his desk.

Near 10 Lois finally gets in. Stupid alarm clock. She really has to buy another one. She sees Clark and debates whether to go see him. He asked for a few days to think things through but equally she was really worried about him yesterday. She decides to see him and walks up behind him "Morning Clark"

Clark turns around and smiles "Morning Lois"

Damn how can she never make him jump like he does to her. "Are you ok? You disappeared yesterday. I was worried."

"I'm fine Lois. I went to see Lana to you know sort things out"

"Oh What happened?" Lois bites her tongue. "I'm sorry that's nosy"

"No Lois that's just you. We talked and she.." Should he mention the kiss? Better not lie to her and it did help him decide.

Lois slightly worried "She?"

"She kissed me"

"She what! I'll kill her". Lois is furious. How dare she kiss Clark.

Clark stands up and grabs Lois's shoulders before she storms off. "Lois calm down"

Clark is holding her firmly. Wow is he strong. "Ok I'm calm. What happened after? Please say you slapped her"

"No Lois I didn't but it did help me decide what I want"

"Oh well then I hope you two will be very happy together"

Clark shakes his head. Why does she always assume the worse? "Lois listen to me carefully. I love you"

What did he say? Lois is trembling. He loves her? "Clark did you say..." She is cut off by Clark crushing his lips onto hers. Their mouths part and their tongues intermingle with each other. Lois has wrapped her arms around Clark without realising while Clark's hands are now on Lois' face stroking her cheeks. They break apart breathless. Lois' mind has turned to mush. That was unbelievable.

Clark is no better state. He just had to kiss her. She was standing there suddenly trembling and he just had to kiss her. She is just so beautiful and her lips are so soft and oh god he didn't use too much of his strength did he. He looks down and studies Lois. Thank goodness she's alright. He has got to remember to control that. She is standing there in a daze "Lois..."

Lois's senses come back to her "Uh huh"

"So do you want to try the date thing again?" he asks her.

Lois coughs "I'm not sure. Any other exs in town?"

"No. In fact Lana's gone"

"In that case yes and Clark..."

"Yes Lois"

"I love you too" Lois now kisses him. They are interrupted by Perry. "Lane! Kent! This a newspaper. Work out your personal issues on your time not mine"

Clark and Lois together "Sorry Chief"

"And don't call me Chief!" Perry goes back to his desk. He doesn't really understand what those two see in each other but as long as their happy he's secretly happy too.

Clark and Lois giggle. "So Ms Lane what will we do on our date?"

"Well Mr Kent I was thinking that we never did get to finish that movie night a few weeks back"

"That sounds like a great idea to me as long as you don't hog the popcorn" Clark teases.

"I do no such thing. You're the one who hogs the popcorn"

"I do not"

"Do so"

"Do not"

"Clark don't argue with me, you never win"

"I do so"

"Do not"

Clark kisses her "I love you"

"I love you too but you're still not winning this argument"

"You can't just let one go can you?"

Lois smiles "Nope. Now before Perry fires us we better get back to work"

"Perry won't fire us. We're too good. Every other paper in this country would hire us in a snap"

"Me maybe"

"Lois. I know where you're ticklish" Clark in a playful tone.

"You wouldn't dare!"

"Wouldn't I?" Clark raises an eyebrow.

"Clark Kent I am warning you"

By now Chloe has walked over "I hate to interrupt but you do know that everyone is staring at you"

Lois looks around and indeed almost everyone is looking at them. She shouts out "Don't you people have work to do!"

All the other people in the bullpen start disappearing off in fear of Lois' wrath.

"Problem solved" Lois then walks over to her desk. "Clark!"

"Yes Lois"

"My apartment 8 o'clock and I'll even let you choose the movie"

"Gee thanks Lois, that would be swell" Clark replies while he pushes his glasses back up his nose.

Lois can't help but smile. Good grief she even finds that endearing now.

Chloe looks at Clark and mouths "Swell?"

Clark just shrugs and goes back to work. Now what movie should he get?


Later that evening Lois and Clark are cuddled together on the couch actually sharing the popcorn. Lois notices how warm Clark feels and can't help shake the notion that she has felt it before. Clark is just enjoying the moment because he knows one day soon that he will have to tell Lois the truth about who he is and on that day she is going to be very mad at him. How does he tell her he's Superman? How? How? How?


Author's Note: How does he tell her? Or does Lois work it out herself? The answer will be in my follow up story The Truth Revealed.