He watched her every movement carefully, her back to him as she stared off their balcony into the Metropolis skyline, the lights of the city seeming to shine brighter on this dark night. It had seemed like an eternity since she had spoken…an eternity since he had finally revealed all to her.
But in reality, it had been mere minutes.
"Say something," he pleads quietly.
She slowly turns to face him, and Clark notices her left thumb gently rubbing the diamond ring on her left ring finger. A habit she had developed since they had gotten engaged three months ago. He searches her eyes for some clue to how she's feeling. But, Lois was never one to be simple, and the maelstrom of emotions emanating from her beautiful eyes at this very moment were no different.
Shock. Relief. Confusion. Anger. Love.
"I…I don't know what to say."
"That's a first," he responds with a small smirk, desperately trying to lighten the mood he felt weighing them down. He's rewarded by the smallest hint of a smile tugging at the corner of her mouth. She takes a step toward him, signaling to him that she's ready to attack this head on. As she always did.
"I'm surprised…and yet, I'm not."
"What do you mean?"
"Look, any girl would be surprised to learn her fiancée is from another planet, and has all these amazing abilities, and is currently the world's biggest hero. But…"
She pauses, looking up at him, a small smile forming on her lovely lips.
"It feels like, on some level, I always knew."
Turning, she walks to the balcony, her eyes fixed on the large golden globe of the Daily Planet off in the distance.
"I always wondered, you know? How you were always there whenever I needed you. And always just in time. But I blew it off, because that's who you are Clark. You're the honorable, good guy who would help anyone who needed it. Even an annoying loudmouth like me," she says, throwing a slight smirk his way as he moves to stand next to her. "And then, so soon after you come back to Metropolis, this hero shows up. A hero coming to the aid of a world that sorely needs him. A hero who has come to my aid more times than I can count. And yet, there are no pictures of his face. Anywhere. Even Jimmy can't seem to get one, and if anybody could get Superman's face on film, it's Jimmy Olsen. Since I always seem to be down for the count when he rescues me, I've never caught his face either. All I ever see of him is a red and blue blur as he flies off. Without even a chance to thank him."
"As if that wasn't enough to get me on the trail," she says, catching Clark's knowing smile as she continues, "there was …something. The first time Superman rescued me."
"You were passed out."
"Yeah, but I was conscious enough to feel. And when Superman picked me up and held me in his arms, I had this…this feeling. It was like déjà vu. Like I'd been there before. And every time he would pick me up, every time he would rescue me, I'd feel it. It drove me crazy because I could never place it. That feeling..it was always nagging at my brain, but now…now it makes sense."
She turns to him, reaching out and gently grasping his hand.
"Whenever Superman held me, I felt completely safe. Like nothing could happen to me and I would be okay. Like I was home. And the only other person that makes me feel that way…is you."
With the tenderest of smiles that threatens to melt Lois' heart into a puddle, Clark reaches up with his free hand and brushes back a stray lock of hair that had fallen into her eyes. Eyes, he noticed, that had taken on "the look". He always teased her about that. She had this look when she was getting ready to dive in and ask the tough questions. That's what made her the incredible reporter she was.
"Why didn't you tell me before?"
He picks up on the slightest note of hurt in her voice.
"Were you afraid I wouldn't accept it? Wouldn't accept you?"
Clark shakes his head slightly, an immediate "No" falling from his lips.
He takes a deep breath, and roughly rubs his hand over his face, knowing he had to broach a subject he didn't really want to get into.
"I was afraid I'd lose you."
"Lose me? How?"
Lois' eyes widen, shocked by that name being brought up in the middle of this particular conversation.
"You were afraid you'd lose me to Oliver?" she responds, her confusion evident.
"Look, I wanted to tell you…so many times. But every time I would get ready to do it, I would remember what you said the night you broke up with Oliver. How you didn't know if you could be with someone with a destiny like his. How you were afraid to get left behind again. And the truth is Lois…there are times when I'm going to have to go, when I'm going to have to leave you. You didn't want to live with that with Oliver, how could I expect you to live with that with me?"
Lois looks at him thoughtfully, her eyes narrowing as they often did when she was considering what was being said to her. Finally, she shakes her head, a matter of fact look on her face.
"You're not Oliver."
"But I'm asking the same thing of you he would have asked."
"It's so not the same, Clark."
"Sure it is."
"It's not. First of all, I cared a lot about Oliver. I even loved him," she says, noticing Clark's brief reaction to that statement, and quickly moving ahead, "but it's nowhere near the love I have for you."
"But more importantly, you and Oliver are completely different people. Sure, you both want to save the world, but Ollie…," she pauses, trying to find the right words. "That was, and is, Ollie's life. I was always an afterthought to him. For Ollie, the next mission, the next crisis, that's the most important thing to him. And you know what, I don't begrudge him that. That's who he is and I decided I couldn't live with it. I wouldn't want to change who he is because who he is so important to the world."
"But it's different than you, Clark."
Lois leans back against the railing and smiles wryly, an almost direct contradiction to shiny tears in her eyes. "I don't know how to say this without sounding completely self centered. So I'm just gonna say it."
In a quiet voice, she continues.
"With Ollie, I always felt like he wanted to save the world in spite of me. With you, Clark…I feel like you want to save the world because of me."
They both stand silently for a moment, staring into each others' eyes, their hands still connected. Her words ringing in the air around them.
Finally, a grin forms on her lips. "Wow, that may have actually sounded more self centered than it did in my head."
Clark, still almost thunderstruck by her words, by their sheer accuracy, steps closer to her, gently squeezing her hand.
"It's not self centered," he says softly. "It's also the truth."
"This world…it's important to me. It's the only world I've known, as much as I've been trained to learn about my native planet. This world, it's my home."
"But I don't think I realized that, not completely anyway, until I fell in love with you," he pauses, gently wiping away the tear that had escaped and fled down her cheek. "Do you remember when I left?"
"When you told me you were going to travel the world? Yeah, I remember."
"In some ways, that was the hardest thing I ever had to do. But in other ways, it was the easiest decision I've ever made. I never wanted to leave you. The thought of being away from you…for who knew how long…it was one of the most painful feelings I've ever felt."
"I can relate," she responds quietly, remembering how devastated she had been when he'd gone, subconsciously knowing that she had to let him go, even if she wasn't sure why.
"But…the thought of losing this world, your world? Lois…that killed me. And I knew I had to go. I had to complete my training so that I could fulfill my destiny. My biological parents, they sent me here to save my life, but also to save this world. I just didn't realize how important this world was to me, until it became your world."
Lois smiled, new tears spilling over onto her cheeks.
"And that, is the difference between you and Oliver. The Green Arrow and Oliver Queen? They both belong to the world."
"Superman? He belongs to the world too. My world. But Clark Kent?" she says, her hand reaching up to gently stroke his cheek. "He belongs only to me."
Clark grasps the hand on his cheek in his own, and brings it to his lips, placing a soft kiss on the inside of her palm.
"And I know that Superman," she stops, a small chuckle escaping her lips, "I mean, you, are going to have to rush off and save the world. But I also know that when you've solved whatever crisis needs to be solved…you'll come home."
"I'm always home Lois. Because you're always with me. Even when I'm halfway around the world. I hear your heart beating, and I know you're safe, and you're with me, even when I can't be with you."
Lois looks momentarily stunned. "You hear my heart?" she asks, in an incredulous whisper.
Clark grins, and Lois almost busts out laughing at the cockiness of it. "Super hearing."
"No way. That? Is cool."
"Actually, sometimes it's really….loud."
She nods in understanding. "You hear everything. And that's how you know when you're needed."
"But it's also…comforting. I can check on the people I need to check on and make sure they're okay," he says, then gently places his hand over her heart, "and I can hear this. No matter where I am. And I'm home."
She places her hand over his, and reaches her other hand up into this thick, wavy dark hair, gently pulling him closer to her. As his lips touch hers, they both grin as they feel her heart speed up. He places a soft kiss on her lips, and rests his forehead against hers.
"That?" he says, his eyes still closed, his hand still feeling her quickly beating heart. "Is my favorite sound. I guess it's a good thing I'm so devastatingly handsome, I get to hear that quick heartbeat a lot."
Lois laughs, gently pushing him away. "Not short on the ego there, huh Smallville?"
He smiles in response, the smile that still managed to make her lose her equilibrium for a few seconds. Taking his hand from her heart with her hand snugly grasped in it, they walk inside. He pulls her down on their plush sofa, their bodies instantly finding their perfect fit with each other.
"So, you gonna tell me what else you can do?"
"I have a lot of questions!"
"And they can't wait?" he asks, leaning down and pressing his lips gently along her jawline.
She closes her eyes, the feel of his lips against her skin never failing to make her lose her train of thought. They pop open suddenly though when he stops, and she finds him staring intently into her eyes.
"Lois…you're sure about this?"
"Still marrying me?"
She reaches up and gently brushes his hair back from his face.
"There is nothing I want more in this world than to marry you Clark Kent."
"But you're not just marrying Clark Kent anymore," he says quietly. "So…is Lois Lane ready to marry Superman?"
Lois' face lights up in a mischevious smile.
"I think the better question is, is Superman ready to marry Lois Lane?"
And before he can answer with anything but his heart stopping smile, she pulls him into a mind blowing kiss.