New one shot here. Okay, so maybe I derived this from my old story Burdens and the Strength to Carry Them. The thing is, I deleted that one because really, I didn't see that story going anywhere significant. So, I decided to post this story the way I wanted to in the first place; as a one shot. Forgive me. Read on and enjoy.

DISCLAIMER: I don't own Smallville. But, I do have creative license.

The drive back to Smallville could be described in only one word: Uncomfortable. Clark gripped the steering wheel of his truck a little too tightly as he sat anxiously in the driver's seat. He caught himself glancing over at his fiancé for what seemed like the hundredth time since they left the restaurant back in Metropolis. She was reclining leisurely in the passenger's seat; her long legs stretched out in front of her, her head resting back against the seat, and her elbow propped up against the window with her fingers absently running through the locks of hair that was swept over her shoulder. He noticed the pensive look on her face as she stared out the windshield and even in this tension, he wanted nothing more than to pull the truck over and take her into the back seat.

"Lois?" Clark called out suddenly. She looked over at him. "Are you okay?"

"Yeah, I'm fine." she replied, turning her gaze back to the windshield.

"Well, I'm only asking because you're quiet…and that's never a good sign," he teased lightly, glancing over at her before focusing on the road again.

She chuckled. "Jeez, Smallville. Even I know when to shut up."

Clark snorted at that, earning a pointed look from Lois. "Are you sure you're alright? Because I sense something bothering you. If everything is okay, you would be grilling me about the fire I put out on the outskirts of town. I mean, you barely said anything during dinner, either."

"Oh, well, I couldn't get a word in edgewise during your conversation with the waitress who, by the way, never left our table side. She might as well have pulled up a chair and joined us," Lois retorted, barely noticing the edge in her voice.

"She wasn't there the entire time," he responded. "We were just having small talk."

Lois scoffed. "If that was small talk, then I don't want to know what a full fledged conversation with you is."

"Do I detect a hint of jealousy in your voice?" Clark taunted, a complacent smile tugging at his lips.

"How do you get jealous from feeling left out of a conversation? I mean come on, Smallville. I was pretty much stuck talking to myself. I'm sure I was getting looks from the people around us. You know, here's this woman supposedly on a date with her fiancé, but he's too busy flirting with the hot waitress," she said, making a face of pure distaste, her hands flailing as she talked.

"I thought you didn't care what people think?" he smiled.

"I don't," she replied vehemently, sitting straight up in her seat. "And that is not the point."

"You're right. The point is you thought the waitress was good looking. Which means she really got to you." He looked over at her and noticed she'd gone rigid. "If you're willing to admit she was hot, then you're so distraught over something that you couldn't find a fault about her."

"I hate how well you know me," she shook her head. She turned to look out of the passenger side window.

"So, what's going on, Lois?" he asked quietly. "Why are you so upset? I thought everything was going great."

"Everything was going great," she said, turning to look at him. "But then, she shows up. This petite brunette with her perfectly tanned skin, her brown eyes, her delicate-looking frame. I couldn't help but think she looked so much like-"

"Lana?" He looked at her.

Lois froze as her heart dropped into her stomach. A bitter smile appeared on her lips. "And the fact that you noticed it, too, just makes me realize that I was right. You were so involved in her that you didn't even notice I was there."

"Lois, that's not true," he started.

"Isn't it? I mean, isn't it obvious that I'm…" She couldn't bring herself to say it.

"That you're what?" he asked. "The second choice? Is that what you're going to say?" He began to get angry.

"How else am I suppose to look at it?" she shot back, her voice raising slightly. "Chloe told me that when Lana came back a few years ago when Chloe and Jimmy were getting married, you two got back together. Is that true?"

Clark took a deep breath. "Yes."

"Exactly my point," she said. They stopped at a red light. "No matter who's in your life, if Lana comes back, you'll run after her. You always do."

"I don't always run after her!" he retorted, feeling the anger rise inside of him.

"Are you kidding me, Smallville?" she laughed bitterly. "For as long as I've known you there is no one compared to her. She'll leave you down and brokenhearted, but you always take her back. I'm sure if she shows up now, you'll take this ring right off my finger and give it to her."

With that hanging between them, Lois unbuckled her seatbelt and jumped out of the car. "Lois!" Clark yelled after her. She kept walking, wanting to be as far from him as possible. He growled in frustration and pulled over to avoid leaving the truck in the middle of the road. Then, he climbed out and followed her. "Lois, where are you going?"

"Anywhere away from you," she hissed as she continued walking briskly through the streets. "Tell me, Clark. Why did she leave again? I'm sure you two would've been hitched by now. Oh, wait, let me guess. It had to do with your secret, didn't it? She wasn't strong enough to handle it and you needed someone who was. Is that the only reason you asked me to marry you?"

"Come on, that's not true and you know it!" He shouted behind her. Fed up with just following her, he super sped in front of her, causing her to stumble backwards. His arm wrapped around waist to steady her, but she pushed him away.

"Do I? Let's face it, Clark," she said, tears welling up in her eyes. "You're only with me because she's gone. Lana disappeared and I came back and you decided you didn't want to be alone."

"How can you say that?" he growled, grabbing her by her upper arms. "How can you think I would just use you like that? After everything we've been through? Is that really what you think of me?"

She shrugged his hands off. "Oh, don't get all noble! Clark, I get it. You don't want to be lonely. You need someone to help carry your burden. I always thought I was the one you needed…"

"Because you are!" He yelled, throwing his hands up in vexation. "God, Lois, if you don't know by now how much I love you, then I don't know what to do to prove it to you. I know it may look like Lana has me in a love death grip, but trust me, I'm over her. It took the last time seeing her to realize we could never make it work and I was fooling myself to think she was the one. But you," he took a few steps toward her. "You are the one, Lois. Since day one, I knew there was this deep connection between us, a special bond that I could never explain. I just tried to deny it because I didn't think I could fall in love with someone who got under my skin the way you do." Lois ruffled at that. She made a move to respond, but he clamped a hand over her mouth and wrapped his other arm around her waist, pulling her flush against him. "You never forget your first love. It's always with you. When I lost her, yes, I had a very hard time getting over her because I loved her so much. I eventually got over her because she wasn't the one for me. She didn't have that kind of hold on my heart the way I thought she did. But I swear, Lois, I swear that if I ever lost you, that would be the end of me. When you disappeared over a year ago, I went away. I couldn't be around my life if you weren't in it. Don't you understand? I love you and I can't imagine my life without you. I told you before," he looked deeply into her eyes. "I can't live in any world where you don't love me and I can't not love you."

Lois's eyes remained locked on his. As always, her heart swelled from the sweet words he spoke and the intense gaze he put on her. She could see he was telling the truth and the love he had for her came off of him in waves. Her body relaxed against him, but she remained silent. Clark looked at her expectantly, hoping she would show some sign that she forgave him. But nothing. She didn't say a word as she continued to stare at him. Slowly, he removed his hand from her mouth, waiting for her to say something.

"I want to go home now," she said quietly. She pulled out of his embrace.

Clark sighed and trailed after Lois back to the truck. She climbed in and he followed suit. They were on the road again and it was pin drop silent all the way to the farmhouse. Once they arrived, Lois went straight into the house without a word. If she was honest with herself, the silence was killing her. However, she just didn't know what to say to Clark. She believed him when he said he loved her and wanted no one but her, but something still didn't set right with her. She was trailing up the stairs when his hand gripped her wrist.

"Lois, what's going on?" he pleaded. She stopped on the stairs, but didn't turn around. "I'm at a loss here. I feel like this is driving a wedge between us and I don't know how to fix it. Please, just talk to me."

She let out a wavering breath before turning to face him, his hand still clasped around her wrist. "I know that you love me, Clark. I do. And I know you would never use me in any way. I just said all those things because I was angry at the fact that even after all this time, you're still thinking about Lana."

He shook his head vigorously. "No, Lois, I'm not. I only knew you would mention her when you were describing the waitress because I saw the way you looked at her during dinner. You had this certain look on your face tonight that I've only see once before…when Lana came back after the wedding or whenever her name is mentioned. I know the only time you feel vulnerable is when it comes to the people you love. I saw you were afraid and you put your guard up."

"Clark, I'm not sure how to believe that you won't dump me if she ever comes around again," she said, tears welling up in her eyes. "I know we've gotten so far since we first started dating, but I can't forget the way you risked everything for her again and again and again and-" Her ranting was cut short when Clark grabbed the back of her head and pulled her into a fiery kiss. His other arm encircled her waist and pulled her tightly against him, lifting her easily off the staircase. She returned kiss after kiss, wrapping her arms around his neck, until the need for oxygen was too much.

"That's what you do for the people you love," he whispered, resting his forehead against hers. "And I'd do it again and again and again for you. I'd give up my life entirely just to protect you. With Lana, I was holding onto something I knew wouldn't last and that's why I ran after her for all those years. With you, I don't have to hold onto us so tightly because I know you and I are meant to be. We will always be together, no matter what. I know our love can survive anything."

She cracked a small smile. "Even old flames you would have once died for?"

He chuckled and kissed her forehead, her eyes, her nose, and lastly her lips. "Even those. I love you, Lois Lane. Don't ever think my being with you has some kind of ulterior motive. You were never a second choice and you never will be. It's always been you."

Lois looked up into his eyes and a wide smile graced her lips. "I love you." She pulled him back for another heart clenching kiss. Clark squeezed her to him as he pushed her back against the wall, pressing his body to hers. She whimpered into his mouth as she felt his hands trail along her body. Her hands slid down his neck and to the ends of his sport coat to slip it off his shoulders.

Well, the night didn't go exactly as Clark had expected it to, but it sure as hell was going to end the way he planned it; lying entangled with the woman he loved beyond reason, feeling the sparks of passion never known to him before ignite the burning love that raced through his veins. And all of it was worth the head-spinning frustration that only Lois Lane could make him ache for.

Reviews are always welcome!