Madlenita: You're welcome!

Chromos the cookie thief: Clark destroyed the ring so that she can't come back;)

Ica013: ooo is right, Lol.

Quathis: Yeah it's really weird because each couple is going through very different issues from the others.

Madcloisfan, Jeremy Shane, Maggie: Thanks!


"You look nice."

"Nice" isn't the adjective that came to Clark's mind when he set eyes on Lois's dress, but it's an appropriate thing to say out loud. He can't very well tell her that he's having mixed feelings about the substantial amount of cleavage and her back that are exposed. On one hand, he really likes what he sees, on the other, he knows that other men will like it too, and he doesn't want to share.

Lois rolls her eyes and turns her back on Clark so that she can lock up. "Really, Smallville? That's the best you can do? If you're going to compliment a woman, compliment the woman. "You look nice" is something you say to your deaf grandma."

Clark just offers her a smile and a shoulder shrug when she turns back around. It's true. If he had a grandmother, he would tell her she looks nice, even if she didn't, just to be polite. But does Lois really expect him to tell her what he's thinking about how she looks? Because despite the fact that she's always teasing him for being so wholesome and boy scout-y his thoughts aren't exactly rated PG at the moment.

Lois raises her eye brows at him and places both hands on her hips.

Obviously, she really wants a different answer.

"You look beautiful, Lois," Clark says, opting for a PG version of his thoughts, before holding his hand out for her to take.

Okay, so she knows that she asked for this; but Lois honestly wasn't expecting to get it. She wasn't expecting him to look her in the eyes and tell her she looks beautiful with a straight face. She was expecting Clark to give her one of those annoyingly adorable exasperated looks he likes to give her, and then tell her to stop fooling around because they're going to be late.

That's what he should've done anyway. She'd know how to handle that. She'd tease him about never being able to get a girlfriend because he lacks simple gentleman-like etiquettes. He'd scoff at her and maybe even tell her she's not a real lady anyway if he's feeling brave enough. She'd tell him she can still be a lady and kick his ass – I mean, that's the norm. That's what Lois and Clark do.

But no, he's holding his hand out, smiling gently at her, and waiting for her to put her hand in his. What else can she do but put her hand in his?

As soon as Clark's fingers close over Lois's his hand, he bows slightly before kissing the back of her hand.

Her pulse quickens. Just like that. Over a silly little kiss on the hand.

Then he looks up at her and grins. God, that Smile...if she was a silly little girl she'd just swoon; but she's Lois Lane. So trying her best to ignore the abnormally loud pounding in her chest, she removes her hand from Clark's. Not so fast that it's obvious she's pulling away from him, but fast enough.

"Now, that's more like it," she tells him, a satisfied smile lifting the corners of her mouth. At least, that's the face she's trying to make.

Clark's grin widens and he places a hand on small of her very bare back, guiding her to the driver's seat of his truck.

Lois had been to focused on trying not to let the hand placed so gently, but firmly, at her back affect her that she didn't even notice she hadn't been taken to the passenger's side until he opened the door. She nearly gets in, then, noticing the steering wheel she turns around and gives Clark a questioning look.

"I figured you'd want to drive, even if this is my truck," he answers, never losing that sexy grin of his.

Oh no, no, no, no. Clark doesn't have a sexy grin!

Yes he does. And the grin isn't the only thing about him that's sexy. Remember when the towel almost dropped and -

Okay, okay, so he does. Just shut up, Lane.

Lois shakes her head, mentally getting rid of her internal argument, and determined not to let Clark catch her off guard, she narrows her eyes and says, "Who are you, and what have you done with Clark Kent?"

Clark laughs as if Lois told a good joke.

She didn't, and she wasn't joking. She really wants to know what's gotten into Clark. He's acting so strange tonight, scratch that, he's been acting weird for weeks. It's really throwing her off; and Lois Lane does not like being thrown off of anything.

"I'm right here, Lois," is Clark's answer for her.

Lois shakes her head. "Uh- uh. If you were the real Clark, me and you would be arguing about whose going to drive. And even though I always win, you never give in so quickly."

"Well, since I am the real me, please just get in the car Lois or we'll be late," Clark counters while tucking Lois in and shutting the door.

Lois shrugs. She can work with that. For someone who can never get anywhere on time, Clark's a real stickler for promptness. It makes no sense whatsoever, but neither does Clark.

Clark and Lois are in a good mood by the time the arrive at the gala, granted, Clark's still acting a little weird in Lois's book, but they had a lot to share and talk about. They were being more friendly, but a little more than friendly at the same time. Lois will never admit it, but it almost felt as if they were on a date or something. She even looped her arms through his when he presented it to her just before they entered the building.

It was after getting inside that the good natured atmosphere between them changed. She didn't know why at first, she could just feel Clark tense up. And when she looked into his face, she noticed that his teeth were clenched together. Then she looked around to see why and could see nothing wrong.

Seriously, the only familiar thing, people, she could see in their line of vision was Chloe. And she's with…it looks like…no, that's definitely Oliver.

Lois grins triumphantly. She knew there was something between those two. She just knew they were together no matter what Clark, the liar by omission, said. Damn, she's got intuition out the as- er behind.

Ugh, that's Clark's fault. Subconsciously, she's been substituting her big girl swear words for toddler babble. He's been on her really bad about her language lately, and though he can shove it up you know where, she has noticed that she's been affected by his constant lectures. But enough about her bad words becoming extinct, Lois is more interested in saying hello to her cousin and Oliver. She takes a step toward them, but Chloe gives her a small wave and walks away, arm and arm with Oliver. What makes it worse, Clark subtly pulls her in the opposite direction under the guise of getting her something to drink.

Normally, Lois does not allow herself to be steered in any direction by anyone, but she's been caught off guard…again. There's no doubt in her mind now that Chloe, or Oliver, or Chloe and Oliver together is what made Clark go tense; but why? What's happened? Chloe and Clark are BFFs; Oliver and Clark are cool, so why are they all avoiding each other? And what's more, Chloe knew Lois was going to be at the gala. She told her, twice. So why didn't Chloe tell Lois that she was going to be there too? What's with the secrecy between the two of them? They're cousins, more like sisters, plus they live together! Lois should've known Chloe was going to be here. They could've carpooled.

There's definitely something majorly wrong, and just as Lois is about to excuse herself so she can talk to Chloe about it, Clark excuses himself, telling her that he needs a private moment with Chloe and that he'll be right back.

No good thoughts as to why Clark needs to talk to Chloe make their way to Lois's mind. Because judging by the way everyone's acting, there's no doubt in Lois's mind that there's nothing good for Clark to talk to Chloe about.

Lois would like to think that this thing that's going on has something to do with the fact that Oliver and Chloe are together. It's really not that big of a deal, but knowing Clark, he'd be upset and make it into a big deal. Chloe dating Oliver before she and Jimmy are officially divorced; yeah, that's something Clark would have a problem with. Sure, it's really none of his darn business, but Clark's made a habit out of butting into other people's lives; telling them what's morally right and wrong. He's done it plenty of times with her, with Lana, and with just about everyone else he cares about; but Lois has a gut feeling that that's not what it is. It's something else, some other reason they're not on speaking terms.

Then there's this little voice in her head, a voice that obviously never wants her to be happy, and it's suggesting something truly absurd. It's saying that Clark's jealous. He doesn't want Chloe dating Oliver.

See? Absurd. Truly, truly, absurd. That thought only came to her for one reason and one reason only: insecurity. Which is no better really. In order to feel insecure, Lois has got to be feeling vulnerable as well. And if Lois is feeling vulnerable, that could only mean she's falling for the stupid farm boy.

Surprisingly, the thought doesn't surprise her. It's like she already knew, but she didn't know at the same time.

That's just great, just her freakin' luck. She's gone and feel for stupid Clark Kent.

She shakes her head, no longer in denial, but wishing she fell for someone else. There's just no way he could ever truly love her back. He's too….good; and she's so…so…so much of a Lane.

It'll never work.