A/N: This one's for Ash. She asked for a seduction of Clark fic, and I had to comply. That said, I couldn't just make it straight-forward, could I? No sirree, what would be the fun in that!

I'm in the ficstravaganza this year, so I'll be working on these two things at the same time. So depending on how far I get behind in that, I may have to scramble to finish!

At any rate, this will be NC-17. If the title wasn't indication enough. and Ash...you asked me to tell you a story. And here it is! (Oh, and I promised to write an NC-17 if my Karma hit a certain point. Delayed I may be, but this still counts!)

Seducing the Man of Steel

Lois tilted her head back and felt the snowflakes slowly drifting from the sky hit her face. They were cold against her skin, but she didn't mind. She loved winter and, more than that, she loved Christmas. She always had, but this year, she had something particularly special to celebrate. This was the first Christmas she and Clark were going to spend together. As a couple. Just the two of them.

It had to be at least the millionth time she'd reminded herself of that little fact, but it never failed to thrill her. Part of her almost couldn't believe it, actually – she'd wanted him for so long but had never truly let herself hope for something more between them. But then he'd come to her and kissed her. He hadn't taken no for an answer when he suggested that the two of them should be a couple. After all this time, it seemed that he wanted her just as much as she wanted him. And being with him was even better than she'd imagined because it wasn't just a dream anymore. It was real.

But yet, even as she reminded herself that all of this was real, she glanced out of the corner of her eye at the man walking by her side. Snow dusted his thick black hair and the shoulders of his wool coat. He'd been admiring the giant Christmas tree in front of them, but just as she glanced over at him, she saw him turn to look at her, a smile on his face.

His hand slipped into hers, a small gesture she once would have shrugged off, considering herself far too independent for such a gesture, simple though it was. The thought of releasing his hand at this moment didn't even cross her mind, however. Instead, she slipped her fingers between his, comforted by the small moment of intimacy.

"You know," he said suddenly, clearing his throat in that way he sometimes did before he brought up what he thought might be a sensitive subject. As she turned to look at him fully, he continued, "We haven't talked about Christmas yet. I mean, what we're going to do for Christmas."

"No, we haven't," she agreed, the two of them turning together to walk down the street towards her new apartment in Metropolis. She'd lived in the city the year before for a brief period, but then she disappeared inexplicably for three weeks (a period of her life that she still didn't recall, no matter how hard she tried) and had been presumed dead. Her cousin Chloe had cleared out her apartment before the landlord could confiscate all of her things, and most of her possessions had been sitting in storage ever since. Even after her return, Lois didn't immediately return to the city, choosing instead to stay at the Talon and provide emotional support for Chloe, who was grieving from the death of her husband.

Several times over the past year, Lois had resolved to move into her own place, but every time, she'd talked herself out of it, telling herself that Chloe needed her. Eventually, however, it became apparent that her cousin no longer needed her for emotional support in the same way that she once had, and Lois's excuses ran out. So she'd gone back to apartment hunting, finally finding a "quaint" (which she discovered was apartment-hunting lingo for "small and in need of some repair") apartment close to the Daily Planet. The place wasn't much, there wasn't much space to maneuver, but Lois loved it because it was hers.

Silence had fallen between them as they walked down the street together, so Clark tried again, "So…do you have any plans for Christmas?"

The corners of her mouth quirked into a smile. "Is that an offer?"

He didn't look at her, but she saw him smile. "It could be. If I asked you to spend Christmas with me, would you?"

Her immediate desire was to give him a definitive yes, but she paused. "I don't know," she admitted honestly. "I'm not sure it's a good idea. We said we'd take it slow, remember? I want to spend Christmas with you, but is that going a little too fast? I mean, we haven't even technically had our first official date yet."

He looked at her in surprise. "What do you mean? We've had coffee and dinner…we had dinner tonight, remember?"

Lois laughed at what was such a typically 'Clark' statement. "I mean a formal date. You know, where we plan it more than twenty minutes in advance. Coffee doesn't count. For it to be an official first date, we have to plan it out. I've got to spend an hour in front of my closet, freaking out because I don't think I have a single thing to wear, and then you pick me up and we go out –"

"You know, we tried that," he reminded her, his tone lightly teasing. "Four hours ago, in fact. But then, before we could go on our date, you got a tip on a hot story that didn't end up being anything, and instead of going on our first official date, we broke six different laws by breaking into a lab downtown. Where, incidentally, we didn't find anything."

She wrinkled her nose. "We found something! We just…don't know what it is that we found." She frowned, remembering her thwarted investigation. She'd found some samples that looked like they might be promising, but she hadn't been able to get them out in one piece. If only that security guard hadn't jumped her, breaking the phials she'd secreted on her person during the struggle. Waving away both Clark's comment and her own regrets, she continued, "I'm still firmly convinced that there was something there, and I am going to find out what it was. And anyway, that's beside the point." She paused as she considered their conversation. "Or maybe it's not, but the point is that we haven't had our first official date yet, so I'm not sure we should go rushing into anything by spending Christmas together."

Not to be deterred by her logic, Clark plowed ahead. "Lois, we've known each other five years now," he pointed out. "You've spent Christmases with me before. We used to live together, remember?"

They had arrived outside of her apartment, so Lois stopped walking and waited for him to face her. The teasing note left her voice as she said earnestly, "I know that, Clark, but…this is different, you know? I mean…this is it. Our first Christmas as, you know…a couple. I just don't want to mess this up by going too fast."

"I know that, Lois," he said softly. "And I don't want to make you rush into anything you're not ready for. It's just…" Tugging on her hand, he pulled her closer and wrapped his arms around her waist. "Like you said, it's Christmas, and I want to spend it with you."

"Oh, Clark," she whispered, touched by his comment. Resting her palm on his chest, she asked softly, "Can I think about it?" He looked disappointed so she rushed to add, "I do want to spend Christmas with you. I do. I just –" She shrugged, a deceptively nonchalant gesture. "I told you, I've tried this relationship thing before and it's just blown up in my face. I don't know why. Maybe I do the same thing with relationships as I do with the rest of my life – I pull a Lois and jump in without checking the water level first and scare the guys away. I just don't want to do that with you. I want this to be different."

"It is different," he murmured. "And that you live your life so fearlessly is one of the things I love most about you. I'm not going anywhere, Lois."

"I want to believe that," she responded softly. "I just – I need time, okay?"

He still looked disappointed, but he nodded. "Okay. I told you I'll give you all the time you need, and I meant it. I don't mean to sound like I'm trying to rush you into anything. I just want to be with you."

"I know. I want to be with you too," she said. Then, needing to break the tension between them, she nodded towards her apartment building. "Well, I'm here. I'd ask you in, but…it's late." The hour wasn't the reason she wasn't inviting him in, and she suspected he knew it. The fact was, if she invited him in, she didn't trust herself not to ask him to stay. She'd asked him for time and he was giving it to her, but it was no easier for her to take things slowly with him than it was apparently easy for him to take his time with her.

"It's okay. I'll see you at work tomorrow." His gaze dropped to her lips, and he leaned towards her as though to kiss her. However, he caught himself before their lips made contact, and with her renewed request to take things slowly ringing in his ears, he simply tightened his arms around her for a moment before letting her go. "Good night, Lois."

"Night, Clark," she said softly in return, wondering if she should kiss him. It wasn't like they hadn't kissed before. Then again, with him this close to her, looking at her like he was, she wasn't sure she'd be able to stop with just one kiss.

But, really, how much harm could just one kiss do? God, she sucked at this whole 'taking it slow' thing. And it didn't help that taking it slow was the last thing a large part of her wanted to do. Her heart wanted to jump into the fray; her head told her to be more cautious. Or maybe it was the other way around, since it was her heart that she was worried about getting broken.

He was going to release her, so she fisted the lapels of his coat in her hands. "Wait!" she blurted. When he looked at her expectantly, she said, "Um…I was just thinking that this may not have been an official date, but…there's no reason why we couldn't…you know…" She grimaced at her own ineptitude. She was cool, calm and confident in absolutely every other aspect of her life, but when it came to romance, she always felt a little awkward. And Clark made her feel even more off-balance than she usually did.

He proved he really did understand her, though, because he wasn't put off by her inability to put her thoughts into words. Instead, he bowed his head and kissed her, a soft brush of his lips against hers. His lips were slightly parted, and she suspected he wanted to prolong the kiss, but he didn't. When he pulled away, he said in a husky voice, "If I do anything more than that, I won't want to stop. Night, Lois."

"Night, Clark," she said breathily, releasing him and turning back to her apartment. As she let herself through the main door, she glanced over her shoulder to see him still standing there, watching her. No doubt, he was waiting to make sure she made it in safely, as if she might find a way to get herself into trouble in the five feet between the sidewalk and her apartment building. Granted, if anyone could find a way to do such a thing, it would be her.

At another time, in another life, she might have teased him about his chivalry, but the truth was that she secretly was touched by his thoughtfulness. She'd never really had a guy watch over her like he tried to do…but, then again, she never before had wanted anyone to do such a thing. She used to think it would be a bit of an insult to be treated in such a fashion, as if she couldn't take care of herself. But when Clark did it, she didn't feel insulted. She felt touched.

A smile lingered on her lips as she let herself into her apartment, her mind full of thoughts of Clark. She knew she should be thinking about her story, planning her next step. But her thoughts kept drifting back to Clark. His sweetness. His caring. She was falling hard for him, and if she wasn't careful, she'd betray her emotions and he'd realize just how much of her heart he held.

Sighing, she climbed into bed and turned out her light. Tomorrow was another day, and perhaps she'd have some sort of epiphany in her sleep and awake knowing exactly the right way to handle all of the feelings – both good and bad – she struggled with when it came to Clark.

Clark strode briskly through the Planet's revolving doors, a smile on his lips and two mugs of coffee and a brown bag in his hands. Nodding to the security guard, he decided to forego the elevator and walked purposefully towards the stairs instead.

A couple of minutes later, he walked into the bullpen, his eyes automatically searching out Lois. She was sitting at her desk, her back to him. Sizing up the situation at a glance, he decided that she hadn't come to any conclusions about their story, because he could tell that she was resting her chin thoughtfully in her hand.

"Morning, Lois," he said warmly as he placed the coffee and the bag on her desk. "Got you some breakfast. They were out of maple doughnuts, so I got you a bearclaw instead."

As he spoke, Lois spun around in her chair and stared up at him. "Clark!" she cried as she jumped to her feet. "You're here!"

He opened his mouth to reply that of course he was here; he worked at the Planet with her, after all, and he'd told her that he would see her at work. But he never got the chance to say any of that, because before he could, Lois had grabbed his arm and yanked him rather unceremoniously towards the supply room.

As she propelled him through the door, she kicked it shut behind them. She grabbed the string for the blinds, snapping them closed before wrapping her arms around his neck and pulling him down for a kiss. "Mmm…," she murmured a moment later, her lips brushing lightly against his. "I've been wanting one of those. All day."

He chuckled as he tightened his arms around her, pulling her tight. "Is that so?" he asked. "If I'd known that, I would have come in earlier."

"You should have," she breathed, kissing him again. "But since you're here now, you want to make it up to me?" she asked, reaching for his tie. Giving the swath of silk a firm yank, she undid the knot and pulled off his tie, tossing it aside. Then she reached for the buttons of his shirt, slipping the top button through its hole.

"Woah! Wait a second, Lois," he said in surprise, grabbing her hands to still their motion. "What are you doing? Don't you think this is a bit fast? I thought we agreed last night to take it slow. You were pretty emphatic about it, actually. Did I miss something? Did something happen last night, after I left?"

"Uh huh," she agreed, and then, without warning, she pushed him down into the chair that was resting in front of the copier. Climbing into the chair on top of him, she straddled his lap and continued to unbutton his shirt. "Something definitely happened."

"Wh-what was that?" he stammered, surprised by her forcefulness. His shock didn't prevent him from bracing her hip with one hand as the other swept her hair back over her shoulder. After all, her change of mood was unexpected, but it wasn't like he hadn't pictured something very much like this in his head a hundred times over the past year.

She leaned down and sucked his lower lip into her mouth, scraping the sensitive skin gently with her teeth. "I decided to stop fighting how much I want you," she growled.