He slept, a sleep so deep that only the rays of the sun woke him. He found her tucked into his side, one arm flung over his chest, as though she was shielding him from the world. She stayed over some nights and he still wasn't used to the deep joy he felt when he woke up to find her beside him.

As he brushed his teeth, he resolved to his reflection in the mirror to make that feeling - her presence - more permanent.

It was a busy news day at the Planet and it wasn't until lunchtime that he got around to talk to her properly. He wanted to visit his Mom next weekend but Lois had vetoed his plans on the grounds that she wanted to go too, and an out-of-town assignment meant she couldn't. A compromise was in order – they were both getting good at that, adjusting and changing little things to meet each other half way.

She was deep in conversation with someone on the phone, sipping her coffee and tapping away at her keyboard. He watched her work and marvelled, yet again, at how she really was a force of nature. She was everything he wanted and nothing he'd thought to ask for, and she was his.

In the same way that he was hers. Forever.

He was a forever kind of guy.

Lois set the phone down and, not looking at him, said, "Something on my face, Smallville?" He looked at her in surprise – he didn't realise she'd noticed him looking at her. "Uhhhh….no," was his rather lame reply. He hoped no-one in the office noticed his brain cells evaporating in a puff of smoke.

She tilted her head sideways to meet his eyes round the side of her computer screen and enquired, "What's the matter, Clark?" Her eyes sparkled, like amber in sunlight. "About my Mom…" he began. "….Going to see her, I mean. We could do it tomorrow instead of next weekend?" She rolled her eyes. "Well duh, Clark. Took you long enough to figure that out," was her sarcastic reply. "Sometimes I worry that there's really nothing in that thick skull of yours."

Pretending to be indignant, he picked up the nearest weapon – paperclips, really? - and threw one at her. She started laughing at his poor aim. Little did she know that it was deliberate, because even though he would never admit it to her, he loved the teasing and the sarcasm. It was them. It was what they did.

She laughed harder as he rained paperclips on her desk. Anyone could have walked in and yelled at him at this moment and he wouldn't have noticed. Reporters bustled round them, attention trained on whatever they were doing, ignoring both of them. It was just him and her.

He'd had enough of sitting here in the middle of the office and not being able to touch her, so he stood up and announced, "I'm out of paperclips. I need to get some more….from the supply room." Lois smiled, a slow smile that made his insides twist in anticipation as she said, "I think I should help you there, Clark. You know, just in case." He nodded in agreement, trying not to grin too widely and waited on her to get out of her seat. They went out of the office and down the corridor to the supply room, trying not to look at each other much.

He was first through the door and when she followed behind him, closing the door and locking it for good measure, he breathed an internal sigh of relief. Finally. He turned round to see her standing with her arms folded, studying him. He moved towards her and she took a couple of steps backwards. He took another step forward. Lois took another step backwards.

She smirked and his confusion disappeared. Cheating a bit (a lot) he had her pressed against the wall in a split second; she squeaked in surprise when she realised where she was. He stood in front of her, palms flat against the wall, an invisible wall between their bodies.

"This doesn't look like paperclips, Smallville."

"I know."

Her hand slid up his chest and over his shoulder before resting on the back of his neck.

"Better view, though," she murmured.

Their lips met, followed by a tangle of arms and twining of bodies and racing of hearts and soft moans of pleasure. Clark's remaining brain cells disappeared for good.

He'd ask her to move in with him later. She'd say yes and kiss him again.