"You look happy," came the simple observation of the man sitting across from Clark. They were in a small café having a simple, friendly lunch.

Clark smiled, "It's Lois. She makes me happy. I'm going to ask her to marry me this evening."

The man raised his eyebrows at the news.

"What? You don't think Lois is right for me?" Clark asked, his smile disappearing.

"That's not it," he assured him. "Lois is a fine person and I've known her longer than I've known you. Her father was stationed in Gotham for a few months and it's next to impossible to live in the same city with Lois and not get to know her. I've only known you since I joined the Daily Planet Board, but I do know you're a fine person and you've become a good friend as well."

"So it's the idea of marriage in general you're against, Bruce?"

A small, conceding smile appeared, "It's okay for some people. You seem to be one of those people." He shook his hand. "Congratulations."

"I haven't asked her yet," he said, his smile reappearing.

"Are you aware that her father is in town?" Bruce asked.

"That's a small part of why I thought it would be a good idea to go ahead and propose. I don't know her father well, but he strikes me as the sort of father who would appreciate being asked for her hand."

"I would agree with that assessment, but I would also warn you that he isn't the type who is afraid to say no."

"I'm sure you're right, but I think it's important to start out right with your future in-laws. I just hope it helps improve his opinion of me because I don't think it's a very high one, or at the very least it's a neutral one."

"I have some business with General Lane. If you would like me to, I can keep him occupied for a little while to give you time to ask Lois. I assume you want to ask her first?"

"Of course," Clark agreed. "She would kill me if I didn't. And thank you."

sss

"You've really outdone yourself," Lois said, looking at the meal he had prepared for them in her apartment. Candles flickered in the center of the table. "What is the special occasion?"

"Does it have to be a special occasion?" he asked with a teasing smile, as he took her hands in his.

She smirked. "I know you have something up your sleeves when you whip out candles."

"I do actually."

He led her over to the couch. As soon as she was comfortably seated, he got down on one knee.

"Yes," Lois said with a smile and without hesitation.

"I haven't said anything yet."

She rolled her eyes, "It's pretty obvious that you're not getting on one knee because I'm a queen, but if it makes you happy, go ahead and ask."

He pulled out the red velvet box and opened it to reveal the glittering ring. "Lois Lane, will you marry me?"

She threw her arms around him after she let him slip it onto her finger. "Yes!"

They had a long, passionate kiss, and then they took some time just to enjoy being in each other's arms.

Lois broke the contented silence first. "I want to start our engagement off on the right foot. I have to confess something to you. For awhile, I was quite taken with the Blur, or have I told you that before? Anyway, it's in the past. I guess there is just something in that name that suggests mystery, the Blur. I suppose that was partly why I was taken with him."

"Lois, there is something I have to confess to you."

"Yes?"

"Well, you see, Lois," he began. He was unsure of how to tell her without making her angry. "There—"

Before he could tell her about his other identity, the front door opened and Lois' father came in, followed closely by Bruce.

"What is going on here?" General Lane demanded, spotting the ring on Lois' finger.

"May I talk to you in the other room, sir?" Clark asked in a courteous tone.

General Lane followed, but he didn't look particularly pleased. Clark came straight to the point after the door shut behind them. "I want your permission to marry your daughter."

"No," General Lane told him matter-of-factly.

TBC