Somebody to Love (SV,Clark/Lana,Adult) COMPLETE 2/17/11

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Re: Somebody to Love (SV, Clark/Lana, Adult) Ch20 (pg 3) 7/27

Postby Cardinal » Thu Jul 29, 2010 9:26 pm

Chapter 21

Trust


After Clark settled their bill, Lana stayed inside the diner while he went outside to flag down a taxi for them to share. Clark handed Lana into the cab and then followed her inside. They sat with their legs touching and, unlike the last time they shared a cab, there were no awkward glances or embarrassment. They had no trouble spending the entire ride staring into each other’s eyes and holding hands. By the time the cab reached Lana’s building, a light fingertip grip had become two palms pressed tightly together and their mouths had gone dry just from the wanting of each other.

This time, Clark wanted to escort Lana to her door, which was what she wanted, too. She led him past the doorman, across the lobby, and into the elevator. At this time of night, they were the only passengers in the elevator, so as soon as the doors closed, they began kissing.

Lana had pressed the button for the fifteenth floor, but when Clark saw how quickly the elevator was rising, he reached over and pressed the buttons for every floor from the fourth to the fourteenth to buy them some more time. Their questing lips and dancing tongues didn’t slow at all when the elevator doors opened on each floor, until they finally reached their destination.

Lana regretfully pulled back and said softly, “This is my floor.”

Clark led Lana out of her elevator and they walked side-by-side toward her apartment.

“Yeah. You need to be a few floors higher…like about fifty floors higher.”

I don’t know about that,” Lana replied laughingly. “I’d be nothing but a pile of mush if we kissed that long.”

“You say that like it’s a bad thing,” Clark teased.

“Oh, it wouldn’t be a bad thing. It’d just be too good for me to handle right now.” Lana looked for a way to explain what she meant. “It would be kind of like eating a super-rich dessert after not having had any sweets for a long time. When that happens to me, I like to eat the dessert bit by bit instead of all at once. See what I mean?”

“Yeah, I do,” Clark said. “You want to slow down a bit before making out becomes something more.”

“Mmm…maybe not slow down, but I’m not quite ready to go any farther. I want to make sure what we have is real first.”

“I can live with that, Lana. I’m not into casual sex either, but I want to reinforce what I said earlier. I feel something for you I haven’t felt in a long time.”

As they reached her door, Lana had her key out already and Clark leaned against the door frame as she unlocked the door. Lana opened the door and pushed it into her apartment and then turned back to Clark.

“Thanks for giving me a wonderful night, Clark. I met a lot of people that I need to know, and we…”

She didn’t know how to express the welter of emotions she had been feeling all night, but Clark pulled her in close for one last kiss that said everything, before he released her and said, “Yeah, and we…definitely, and we…”

Clark walked out of the building a few minutes later, and disappeared into a dark alley shortly thereafter. He was way too wound up to even attempt to sleep, so he put in several hours in the night skies of Metropolis to use up his excess energy.

Lana also had trouble sleeping, but she had no one she could call at that moment to spill out the events of the evening. She slept fitfully, until at 7:30 am, she decided she had waited long enough and called Rachel.

It was 8:30 am in Gotham City, and Rachel and Bruce were sharing some rare alone time in their massive mahogany-framed bed. Saturdays were always for personal time in their household, whether they were being intimate or just sharing a quiet meal together. Bruce had just climbed into bed after a long night as Batman and had snuggled in behind Rachel when he heard the distinctive tones of a cell phone.

That better not be mine, Bruce thought. Once he recognized the ring tone, he knew the call was for Rachel, but had no idea who it was. Rachel was still half asleep, so Bruce rolled out of bed and located her phone. A quick check of the caller ID let him know it was Lana.

It must be important for Lana to call us this early, Bruce thought. I guess it’s time to finish waking Rachel up.

Bruce shook Rachel awake and handed her the phone. She was bleary-eyed and confused until she read the caller ID. Seeing Lana’s name, Rachel sat up in bed and rubbed the sleep from her eyes before accepting the call.

“Hi, Lana! What’s up in Metropolis? How’d the first week on the job go?”

“Forget the job, Rachel,” Lana said excitedly. “I’m calling to talk about Clark Kent.”

That statement woke Rachel up completely. Realizing this was going to be girl talk instead of shop talk, Rachel shooed Bruce out of the room, telling him to go downstairs and have a decent breakfast or something.

Lana quickly detailed her relationship with Clark, starting off with seeing him on the subway Monday morning and barely stopping for breath until she finished her story at her front door last night.

Rachel was beside herself with glee. Lana Lang, the world-weary woman who could never find a man to suit her, was thoroughly besotted with Clark Kent. And from her conversation a few days ago with Clark, Rachel knew he had feelings for Lana, too. Rachel couldn’t imagine love happening to two more deserving people. If it happened, that is.

Clark was always afraid of letting anyone get close, and he had only recently told Rachel why. She knew Lana was in some danger at the present, which had to be driving Clark up the wall. Still, she liked the fact that Lana had already bulled her way past his stated intention to never fall for another woman. Now all he had to do is keep her from dying.

Bruce came back upstairs after a light breakfast and knocked on the heavy oak door to their bedroom to make sure he wasn’t interrupting something sensitive.

“Come in!” Rachel shouted. The door was so thick and so far away from the bed that anything less than a shout couldn’t be heard.

While Lana kept on chatting, Rachel put her hand over the mouthpiece and whispered that Clark and Lana were together. Bruce replied with a crude two-handed gesture to ask if they were intimate already. Rachel responded by trying to punch him on the shoulder, but he deftly rolled off of the bed and out of her reach, which caused her to throw a pillow at him.

Bruce grabbed his cell phone off the bedside table and went down the hall to his office, figuring he’d better call Clark and get his side of the story. He’d never been around Lana when she was infatuated with a guy, so he had no idea if she had a tendency to make things sound bigger and better than they really were or not. Clark was someone, on the other hand, that Bruce really knew how to read. He still remembered the way being with Lois had opened Clark up. It had been like he was a different man.

Bruce dialed, and after a long ring, he was about to be transferred to voice mail when a groggy Clark picked up the phone.

“Bruce?” Clark asked. He sounded somewhat confused. “Why are you calling me so early? In fact, what are you even doing up at this hour of the morning?”

“Hoping that your new girlfriend will shut up so I can get some sleep without resorting to using a guest room. Alfred hates it when he doesn’t know where I am.”

Bruce thought he could almost hear Clark’s smile when he referred to Lana as being Clark’s girlfriend, so they likely were an item. Good for them, Bruce thought. Here we’ve got ‘Emotionally Scarred’ dating ‘Never Been Kissed.’ I hope they each learn from the other. If so, this may just work out.

“Uhh…did I hear you say, girlfriend?”

“Yeah, you remember her. The petite brunette with adorable almond-shaped eyes and a killer smile? Apparently, she’s gotten over whatever interest she had had in ‘you know who.’”

“Really?”

“Really. Rachel says her talk is all about you.” The slight edge of excitement in Clark’s voice made Bruce smile, a smile that spilled over into his voice. “She’s been chewing Rachel’s ear off for quite some time, so it looks like you may have found a woman who wants the man and not…well, you know who I mean.”

Clark and Bruce both knew that mentioning the name Superman during an unsecured phone call was asking for trouble, but Clark knew exactly who Bruce was referring to. Knowing that not only was Lana interested in him, but that Superman didn’t appear to be in the picture was music to his ears. Even with Lois it had taken quite awhile for him to get her interest directed at him instead of Superman.

Bruce waited a few seconds and then pressed on.

“So, big guy, when’s the first date?”

Clark explained quickly that they’d already been out together twice, but that neither qualified as an official date. Bruce was enjoying Clark’s story until he was told about the bet with Lana. Bruce switched attitudes so fast that Clark wondered if he’d missed something.

“Let me explain something to you, Clark,” Bruce said. His tone of voice was that of a school teacher explaining a simple problem to a particularly dense student. It was a tone Clark wasn’t used to hearing directed at him. “Lana’s smart. Real smart. If you keep showing off for her, she’s gonna figure you out in no time.” Hearing no reply from Clark, Bruce went on. “The way I see it, you have two choices if you want to keep seeing her on a personal basis: either stop doing anything out of the ordinary, or go ahead and tell her the truth.”

Clark was unwilling to let her in all the way just yet, but he felt so comfortable with her that he sometimes couldn’t help making a slip.

“She’s got to win my absolute trust before I tell her that secret, Bruce.”

“Okay, but if you want to win her absolute trust, tell her before she figures it out.”

Once Bruce hung up the phone, he headed back to the bedroom, hoping that Lana had finished with his wife. Last night had been rough, and he needed some sleep. Thankfully, Rachel was out of bed and had an embroidered white silk robe on as she headed for the bathroom for her morning shower. When Bruce hopefully volunteered to join her in the shower, she just pointed at several of his more prominent bruises and directed him to bed.

“We’ve got plenty of time for that later. Right now, you need some sleep.”

Only slightly disappointed, Bruce changed the subject by asking about Lana.

“She’s giddy right now, Bruce. I just hope Clark doesn’t do something to bring her crashing back to Earth.”

Bruce quirked an eyebrow and asked, “What makes you think he might?”

“After you left the other night, Clark told me exactly what happened to Lois. He rather angrily announced he’d never fall for another woman, only to have that happen again.” Rachel stepped back over to Bruce. “I’m afraid that at the first manifestation of trouble, Clark will pull back from her like he’s been snake bitten.”

Bruce mulled that over a bit before reluctantly agreeing it could happen.

“Still, Rach, he has taken the first step forward. Give him a break.”

“Oh, all right.”

Rachel turned back to the bathroom, but Bruce asked her one more question. “She say anything else?”

“Yeah. For their first date, she has to cook a fancy meal for two at her place. Thing is, her belongings haven’t shown up yet, so she has to wait.”

“Still, waiting huh? What movers did she use?”

“United Van Lines.”

Bruce flipped open his phone and headed for the Metropolis phone book in his office. Let’s see if I can expedite the arrival of her stuff. Within thirty minutes, Bruce had a pledge from corporate management that Lana’s belongings would be delivered tomorrow afternoon even if they had to pay the crew triple-time to get it done.

There, Bruce thought, nothing like a little influence to get things done. His bruised body was aching in places he didn’t even remember having by the time Alfred found him in his office and frog-marched him to bed for some sleep. As his dutiful manservant closed the extra-heavy drapes, Bruce’s last thought before visiting slumber land was, I’ve helped those two out a bit, I hope they make use of it.
"In the Name of the King"
-----Winner, Round 15 - Favorite Lead Portrayal of Liz Parker
-----Winner, Round 15 - Best Use of a Supporting Character (Jeff Parker)
-----Winner, Round 15 - Best New Fic
-----Winner, Round 15 - Best Period Fanfiction

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Re: Somebody to Love (SV, Clark/Lana, Adult) Ch21 (pg 3) 7/29

Postby Cardinal » Mon Aug 02, 2010 9:12 pm

Chapter 22

Dream


Clark immediately returned to his bed for a couple more hours of sleep since he hadn’t come in from his late night patrol until after 5 am. His alarm clock was set for the crack of noon, which would give him plenty of time to get dressed and head over to the Planet to talk to Perry about reassigning his series of articles to someone else.

As soon as Clark’s head hit the pillow, he was asleep. And it didn’t take long for him to start dreaming. Most of his dreams tended to be confused jumbles of images. Things like showing up for work naked, or being back in school even though he knew he’d already graduated. The one thing he never dreamed about that so many other people do is flying. After all, why dream when you can do the real thing?

This time, however, his dream was clear. It looked like last night in Lana’s elevator, except he was seeing it as if he was an invisible third person in the elevator car. He and Lana were going at it, making out as frantically as was possible with both of them wearing bulky and restrictive overcoats. But unlike last night, the there was no fifteenth floor to stop at. The elevator just kept climbing as if it intended to fly them to the moon.

As the elevator kept climbing, so did the level of passion in the elevator. It wasn’t long before both of them had dumped their coats into a rumpled pile on the elevator floor. Clark’s suit jacket and tie were quick to join them. Two sets of hands were exploring everywhere, and soon, Clark slipped a hand under the hem of Lana’s cocktail dress and found a home on her upper thigh. Lana responded by lifting that leg and hooking it over Clark’s hip. She then used that leverage to raise her body upwards. Clark took the hint and placed his other hand under Lana’s butt and lifted her so their faces were level. Lana’s other leg then wrapped itself around Clark to complete her capture.

Clark’s hand that was holding Lana aloft was doing more than just supporting her, it was gently squeezing, shifting position, and squeezing again. In the meantime, the other hand began gently teasing her flesh as it made its way upward beneath the thin fabric of her dress. One side effect of his rising hand was that Lana’s dress was rising with it. As his hand reached the underside of her bra and began delicately tracing its seams, the bottom of her dress had reached her bra, too.

Lana hadn’t been idle while Clark’s hands were enjoying her body. While he had started at the bottom and worked his way up, Lana had started at the top. She had already rid her man of his inconvenient jacket and tie, and her next target was his lightly-starched white shirt. Trusting his hand and her legs to hold her in place, Lana devoted both hands to quickly and efficiently untucking his shirt and then unbuttoning it. Once that was accomplished, she pushed the shirt over Clark’s muscular shoulders and down his back, where it got hung up on his elbows. His undershirt quickly followed, and then Lana’s tiny hands explored Clark’s rippling muscles, front and back, causing him to break out in goose pimples.

Just as Clark’s hand began sliding Lana’s bra upward, so he could free her breasts, Lana’s leg unwrapped from around his body so her hands could reach his belt buckle. It looked to the observing Clark like she wanted to free something, too. Lana’s mouth finally pulled back from their near-constant lip lock, and said, “Hello, Metropolis, it’s noon sharp. If you’re just waking up, your Saturday is half over.”

Clark tried desperately to cling to sleep, but the incessant jabbering of the DJ on the clock radio at his bedside pulled him from the hottest dream he’d had in a very long time. Clark reached out with one arm and crushed the offending alarm clock to smithereens. As he looked up at the white stucco finish on his ceiling, Clark wanted nothing more than to return to sleep and finish that dream. He knew, however, that picking up that dream again was highly unlikely and, in any case, he had to eat, shower, and go into the office.

Noticing a sizeable lump under his bed sheet, Clark thought, Looks like I’ll need to make that a cold shower today.

Clark walked into his kitchen wearing nothing but plaid boxers, hoping that the outward sign of his physical distress would disappear quickly. He sliced two bagels in half and put the halves in his four-slice toaster.

While he was waiting for the bagels to toast, Clark reflexively turned on his stereo, including his black box and Digital Storage Device. He regretted it as soon as he did it, but then gritted his teeth and waited to see what the black box picked out of his mind. What came up was an old George Michael song called, “I Want Your Sex.”


Oh so much love
That you've never seen
Let's make love
Put your trust in me

Don't you listen when they told you
Because I love you
Let me hold you
Oh

I'm not your brother
I'm not your father
Oh will you ever change your mind
I'm a gentle lover with a heart of gold
But baby you've been so unkind, oh

Come on
I want your sex
Come on, I want your sex
That's right, all night
Oh, I want your sex
I want your.......sex

Sexy baby's
Sexy body
Keep me guessing
With a promise
I know we can come together
But the question is
Will we ever?

Sexy baby's
(Sexy baby's)
Sexy body
(Sexy body)
Keep me guessing

With a promise
I know we can come together
But the question is
Will we ever?

Together - you and me



Gaaah! Clark thought. It’s gotta just be the remnants of that dream. I hope that’s it anyway. Lana would slap me from here to next week if that song was what I’m thinking.

Clark slathered his bagel halves with cream cheese and an assortment of fruit preserves, washing down the whole mess with a glass of milk and then showering and dressing for work. Even though he was technically off today, he knew he’d have a better shot at dealing with Perry successfully if he dressed professionally, so he pulled on a blue suit, a pale blue shirt, a red tie with blue and yellow diagonal stripes, and black loafers. Clark pulled on his overcoat, which he could still envision piled on Lana's elevator floor, grabbed his briefcase, and headed for the Planet.
"In the Name of the King"
-----Winner, Round 15 - Favorite Lead Portrayal of Liz Parker
-----Winner, Round 15 - Best Use of a Supporting Character (Jeff Parker)
-----Winner, Round 15 - Best New Fic
-----Winner, Round 15 - Best Period Fanfiction

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Re: Somebody to Love (SV, Clark/Lana, Adult) Ch21 (pg 3) 7/29

Postby Cardinal » Mon Aug 02, 2010 9:16 pm

Chapter 23

The New Kid in Town


Clark breezed into the Planet not more than a half of an hour later, grateful for the lack of traffic both on the subway and in the business district on a Saturday. He hoped to make this quick so he could get in some daylight flying time. The only significant daylight appearances he’d made in the last week were his tension-filled flights following Lana to and from work.

Clark cheerily greeted the secretaries as he went by. They, in turn, wondered who that was and what had he done with the real Clark Kent, because the Clark they knew was unfailingly pleasant, but never cheerful.

Clark headed for his desk, greeting everyone he passed the same way as the secretaries. Like the secretaries, his co-workers noticed the new and improved Clark and wondered what had happened to him in the short time he had been at the D.A.’s office. The door to Perry’s office was open, so Clark dropped off his coat and briefcase at his desk and made a beeline to Perry’s door.

He knocked once and peered inside. Perry was on the phone chewing some poor soul out, but looked up and waved Clark into the office. Clark quietly closed the door behind him, something that was not lost on Perry. Since everyone on staff knew their boss didn’t care about people hearing him lace into someone, Perry assumed Clark had something to talk about that he wanted kept quiet.

Once off the phone, Perry directed his attention at Clark and asked, “What can I do for you, Kent?”

“I have a problem, Perry.”

“You do have that first article written and ready to be edited, don’t you?”

“Oh yeah,” Clark said, “it’s on a jump drive in my briefcase. I’ll download it and send it to you as soon as we’re done here.”

Perry settled back into his high-backed chair, folded his hands in front of him, and asked, “Okay, Kent, what’s the problem then?”

“I’ve got the first story written, but I can’t cover this story anymore.”

“Why the hell not? This was your idea in the first place.”

Clark really didn’t want to admit he’d been so unprofessional as to fall for his primary subject, but he hated lying even more, and didn’t see any other honest way to explain it. Just as he was wondering if he could call his mother and have claim to be ill so he could go home to Smallville, Perry’s impatience got the best of him.

“Well, Kent? Are you going to tell me today, or do you hope to bore me to death?”

“This is hard for me…” At least it was when I woke up. “…to talk about.”

“Damn it,” Perry replied, “I knew it. I knew covering this trial was going to be too much for you.”

“Excuse me?” Clark couldn’t believe what he was hearing. Clark was trying to confess to having gotten involved with his subject, and Perry was taking this in a whole new direction.

“The trial, Kent,” Perry said exasperatedly. “I know how much effort you put into getting most of the evidence that has Morgan Edge on trial and looking at a likely death sentence. I know that Ed Kinser was a close personal friend of yours.” Perry leaned forward, rested his elbows on his desk’s blotter, and said in a tender way, “Most importantly, Clark, I know you were dating Lois when they killed her.”

Seeing a caring, personal side of Perry was something new for Clark. It almost scared him to know that side of his boss existed.

Perry went on to say, “I knew you couldn’t be allowed to cover the trial itself because you were too closely involved, but I thought letting you do this personal interest series would keep you close to the story…and maybe help you get some closure.”

It’s sure helped me get something, Clark thought. I’ve got a real date for the first time since Lois. Clark realized something then. He didn’t know exactly when it had started, but he could now think of Lois without being overwhelmed by feelings of pain and loss. Those feelings had retreated and become nothing more than a dull ache in a distant corner of his mind. Maybe it’s because I now have something to look forward to, instead of just looking back.

“Don’t worry about turning in the article, Clark,” Perry said affably. “I’ll just kill the series.”

This was the part that Clark had feared the most, that he’d relieve Clark of having to write the stories by killing the entire series. A vision of Tom firing Lana whipped through Clark’s mind as he grasped at anything that would convince Perry to keep the articles coming.

“Don’t kill this because of me, Perry,” Clark pleaded. “This is a story that deserves to be told.”

Reverting back to the stone-cold editor that Clark was familiar with, Perry said, “This story is a fluff piece. Nothing more. I okayed it only to help you out. Now that you can’t write it, I’ve got no need for it.”

Their conversation was interrupted by a rapid knock at the door. Not waiting to be told to enter, the door was opened, and in popped a slightly-built, freckle-faced guy who looked to still be in high school, but was actually a recent college graduate named Jimmy Olsen.

“Hey, Chief!” Jimmy said, nearly shouting in his eagerness to be useful.

“What’s is it, Olsen?” Perry asked, a slight edge in his voice. “This had better be good or else you’re gonna find yourself shooting dog shows and ribbon-cutting ceremonies for the rest of your life.”

Jimmy gulped noticeably, his Adam’s apple bobbing in his throat. Clark was just thankful he was facing the other direction so he could hide his smile. Perry shot Clark a look that told him not to blow it, and then he said, “Weeeelllll, Olsen? What is it?”

“It’s not an ‘it’ sir. It’s a ‘her.’” Jimmy nervously fidgeted with his trademark bowtie and then continued. “The new reporter you hired just came in. She said she wasn’t supposed to start until Monday, but she wanted to come in early and get set up.”

“That way,” said a female voice from outside the doorway, “I can hit the ground running when I come in Monday morning.”

Edging her way past Jimmy and into the increasingly busy office was a short, voluptuous blonde woman who appeared to be in her early thirties. Clark rose from his chair reflexively and waited to be introduced. The woman strode confidently to Perry’s desk and held out her hand. Perry made no effort to rise to meet the woman, but he did shake her hand.

“Chloe Sullivan, Sir,” the blonde said. “I’m happy to finally be starting here at the Planet.”

“Sullivan. Oh yes, I remember now.” Perry flipped through an old-fashioned appointment book and said, “You weren’t supposed to make it here until Monday, Sullivan.”

“I know, Sir, but I wanted to come in early and get everything setup so that I don’t waste Monday on moving in and learning where everything is.”

Before Perry told Chloe to take a seat, he remembered to make introductions.

“Sullivan, this lummox to your left is named Clark Kent. Kent this, as you just heard, is Chloe Sullivan. The pest who brought you in here, Sullivan, is Jimmy Olsen.”

Chloe turned to Clark with her hand outstretched for another businesslike handshake and got her first good look at Clark. Under her breath, so that no one could hear it, Chloe murmured, “So there is a God.”

At the same time, Perry gestured to Jimmy who beat a hasty retreat and shut the door quietly behind him.

Clark and Chloe’s hands clasped and they shook, but her hand went limp as it was engulfed by his.

Clark’s smile was engaging as he said, “Hi, Miss Sullivan, welcome to the Daily Planet. Call me Clark.”

“Oh, hi!” Chloe said. “Thank you, Clark, please, call me Chloe.” He’s huge, and yet his handshake is perfect. Firm, without crushing my hand like the old man just did. And his skin! It feels so velvety soft. He must use more skin lotion than I do. That made Chloe wonder momentarily if Clark was gay, but she brushed that idea aside. God couldn’t be that cruel to womankind.

When Clark released Chloe’s hand, she distractedly found her seat and sat down, allowing Clark to do the same. Chloe’s eyes were on Perry, but her thoughts were solely on Clark. I know him by reputation, but I had no idea he was so frigging beautiful. Oh God, Sullivan, grow up. You’re crushing on a man who hasn’t said more than one sentence to you.

Still, Chloe was honest enough with herself to know when she was a goner. She knew Clark was a brilliant investigator and writer and she had just learned he was a also gentleman who was drop-dead gorgeous. That was more than enough for her as a start.

Perry was watching this byplay with barely concealed amusement and a little bit of irritation. He’d seen dozens of women react this way to Clark over the years. His first reason for hiring Sullivan to fill the most recent vacancy in the newsroom was that she was a well-respected professional. She had spent years as a foreign correspondent for the New York Times covering various hotspots around the globe. It didn’t matter where the story was: Afghanistan, Iraq, the Indonesian tsunami, the presidential elections in Venezuela, or the election of Pope Benedict XVI in Rome. Wherever the story was, Sullivan had been there and gotten stories. He had every hope she’d live up to that kind of reputation here in Metropolis.

The other reason for hiring her had been the hope that someone who had seen as much as she had would be immune to what Lois had used to refer to as ‘the Kent charm.’ It looked to him like that hope was dead on arrival. Yet another woman who will have to learn the hard way that Clark’s heart died with Lois, Perry thought. Time to get this meeting back on track.
"In the Name of the King"
-----Winner, Round 15 - Favorite Lead Portrayal of Liz Parker
-----Winner, Round 15 - Best Use of a Supporting Character (Jeff Parker)
-----Winner, Round 15 - Best New Fic
-----Winner, Round 15 - Best Period Fanfiction

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Re: Somebody to Love (SV, Clark/Lana, Adult) Ch22&23 (pg 3) 8/02

Postby Cardinal » Thu Aug 05, 2010 9:58 pm

Chapter 24

Kiss Like This


Perry cleared his throat, once, then twice, before Chloe noticed.

“Uhh…yes, Mr. White.”

“Call me Perry. Copy young Jimmy out there and call me ‘Chief’ only if you want to start working for The Inquistor.”

“Sure thing, Perry.” Chloe gathered her thoughts, trying to block out the economy-sized man-candy that was sitting next to her. “Do you have any stories for me to start research on? You know something like finding out who’s Superman, maybe a rumored political scandal, even large-scale corruption on some kind of public works project.”

“Looking to make a name for yourself quickly, Sullivan?”

“Well, yeah.”

“There’s only two ways you get a story like that around here,” Perry said. He held up one finger. “One is to prove yourself to me and to your co-workers. That takes time.” He held up a second finger. “The second way is to go out and get the story yourself.”

“But…but I’ve already proved myself. What do you think I’ve been doing for the past seven years? I’ve been all over the world and turned in great stories from wherever I’ve been.”

Dealing with the prima donna egos of top-flight reporters was a specialty of Perry’s; whenever he found a well-fed ego, he chopped it down to size. Clark could see what was coming, and while he didn’t want to dump on the new girl, he desperately needed to keep the ‘fluff’ series of articles alive, so he started making covert gestures to Perry. First, he’d point at himself, then at Chloe, in the hope that Perry would get the idea to assign the ‘fluff’ piece to Chloe to help her ‘get her feet wet.’ Perry saw the gestures and quickly divined their meaning, mostly because he was already thinking of the same idea himself.

“Tell you what, Sullivan,” Perry said, with that special twinkle in his eyes that tended to send veteran Daily Planet reporters into hiding. Chloe, however, was a Daily Planet newbie, so she thought he was being accommodating. “Kent here was just starting on what could be a very long series of articles on the upcoming trial of the purported head of Intergang, one Morgan Edge. Due to an unavoidable conflict, Kent can’t go through with the series. How would you like to take over?”

Chloe was beside herself with glee. This sounded to her like page one stuff all the way.

“I’d love to, Perry.”

Perry sat back as if he’d just completed a tough negotiation.

“Fine. Just fine.” Perry turned to Clark. “Okay, Kent, give Sullivan your notes and stuff and give her a tour of the Planet while you’re at it. Oh, and don’t forget to send me your article. I’ll edit it to indicate that Sullivan will be writing the actual series.”

Clark was grumbling about having to play tour guide, but balancing that against the fact that Perry had just saved the article series and possibly Lana’s job, he decided to keep quiet. Clark stood, and when Chloe stood, he followed her out of the room.

“Do you have a desk yet?” Clark asked.

“Yeah, one of the secretaries said I could have any of the open ones, so I chose one as close to Perry’s office as I could get.”

Clark knew that meant she was going to be close to him. Lois’ old desk was face to face with his, and it had been left exactly the way she left it, as a tribute to her, since no one in her family had ever come to claim her personal effects. The desk next to his, however, was open. Apparently, that was now Chloe’s desk. That was confirmed when he saw the large duffle bag sitting on the desktop.

As Chloe began sorting through the contents of her duffle bag and putting things away, Clark fired up his desktop PC and plugged in his jump drive to download his article. Once that was done, Clark stepped away from his desk for privacy and called Lana on her cell phone. When it kicked him over to voicemail, he left a message that got across the essentials: he was at the Planet and was off the hook as far as writing went. Plus, someone else had been assigned to write in his place. He then returned to his seat and waited politely for Chloe to finish unloading her duffle bag.

“Ready for your tour?” Clark asked.

Chloe flashed him a million-watt smile and said, “Wouldn’t miss it for the world.”

Lana had finally fallen into a restful sleep once she had been able to share her good fortune with someone who would appreciate what it meant to her. She woke up somewhere in the early afternoon, refusing to look at her bedside clock which would only serve to make her feel guilty about enjoying her day off the way she wanted to. Instead, she looked up at the ceiling and thought about something much more pleasant…Clark.

Finally, just thinking about Clark was no longer enough, she wanted to see him. Maybe they could have a really late lunch together. Lana made her way into the bathroom and decided to treat herself to the luxury of a long, hot bath. She ran a tub of hot water and dropped in a few bath beads. As the tub filled, Lana pinned up her hair, placed a bath towel on her towel rack, and undressed. Soon, she was luxuriating in the frothy heat of a bubble bath. Once again, Clark was in the forefront of her thoughts. Lana stayed in the tub until her bubbles went flat and the bathwater turned tepid.

After that, Lana took her time getting ready. She wasn’t going to be dressed to the nines like she was the night before, but this was still her guy she was getting ready for, so she wanted to look nice. She wished it was summer so she could wear a kicky little sundress, but the cold December air would stop that plan in it’s tracks even if she had all of her clothes here.

Soon, Lana was dressed in a thick roll-neck sweater and tight blue jeans. She decided to forego eating since she planned on eating with Clark. Her last task before leaving was to find Clark. They had exchanged phone numbers and e-mail addresses earlier in the week, but before calling, she checked her voicemail and found two messages waiting for her.

The first was from United Van Lines telling her they would arrive at her address between the hours of noon and 6 pm the next day to unload her belongings. Lana punched a fist into the air and smiled as she contemplated having her own things around her. The second message was from Clark and her smile grew bigger and her fist pump was more vigorous this time as she learned that Clark had pulled it off and saved the article series while getting himself excused from writing it.

That man of mine is getting some kind of kiss when I see him, Lana thought. She was just about bubbling over with excitement. She couldn’t remember the last time she had been this happy. Everything seemed to be going her way. Lana grabbed her wool coat and headed for the door. Once in the lobby, she was mindful of Clark’s suggestion that she not fall into a routine, and asked the doorman to get her a cab.

The drive was pleasant and the cabbie was quiet, leaving Lana to her thoughts. She had never been to the Daily Planet before, and took a moment to study its Art Deco styling before she scurried into the building’s lobby. Lana asked at the information desk and learned that Clark’s desk was on the 23rd floor. She was so anxious to see Clark that she almost flew to the elevator doors.

When she stepped out of the elevator on the 23rd floor, she was directed to Clark’s desk by the same secretaries that had wondered earlier about his chipper mood. The two secretaries exchanged glances and now wondered the same thing: was this woman the power behind Clark’s smile?

Clark and Chloe had just finished the tour and were standing together at their desks. Clark had just handed over his jump drive onto which he had just downloaded all of the relevant files, and was telling her about the true nature of her first assignment.

When Chloe learned that it was just a public interest fluff piece, she grimaced, but took it with good grace. I guess I’ve got to prove myself all over again, she thought. But it’s not Clark’s fault…and even if it was, who could possibly stay mad at those jade green eyes?

“Anything else I can do for you today, Chloe?” Clark asked. He was increasingly anxious to get away from her because she had been giving him weird vibes ever since their tour had started. He wasn’t able to place what didn’t feel right, but he wanted to get home so he could go see Lana.

“Yeah, Clark, just one more thing.” She gestured to him as if she wanted him to bend lower because she had a secret to tell him. Clark obliged her, and she wrapped both hands around the back of his neck and laid a powerful kiss right on his lips just as Lana walked around the corner.

Lana was horrified, at first not knowing who to blame. Then she saw Clark’s arms flailing around and finally grasping Chloe’s arms to pry them off of him. That focused Lana’s thoughts and directed her anger. She intended to make sure that blonde bimbo knew that Clark was spoken for.

As Lana marched down the long hallway, Clark was confused. He looked at Chloe and asked, “Why’d you do that?”

“Because I know you’ve been thinking about it all afternoon, and I thought we’d just get it out of the way and be friends.”

That made exactly zero sense to Clark, especially since he’d never even considered kissing her.

“I’m sorry if I gave you that impression Chloe, but I’m…”

“…already spoken for!!” Lana finished.

Clark turned in surprise and couldn’t stop the helpless smile that came over his face at the sight of Lana. She walked right up to him, and in one smooth motion, captured his lips with her own, fully intent on showing both this blonde and Clark what a real kiss was like.

Lana was definitely the aggressor this time, and Clark found he kind of liked this side of her. She didn’t let him go until she had explored every inch of his mouth and was desperate for a breath.

She turned to Chloe, got right in her face, and said, “That’s how you kiss my boyfriend! Go hard or go home!”

Clark was just recovering from Lana’s unexpected assault when he noticed what was going on. Chloe was trying to edge away from Lana, but Lana wasn’t allowing her to move off.

Oh God, Clark thought, just when we get things straightened out, this has to happen.

Clark took his life in his hands and stepped between the two women. Lana wanted to work her way around him, because she was still enraged that this bimbo had tried to take away the happiness she had just found. Clark, however, was impossibly strong and held her off until she settled down.

“Thank you, Lana,” Clark said. “Please, allow me to make the introductions.”

“I don’t want to know her,” Lana protested.

“I beg to differ,” Clark said patiently. “In this case, my dear, you really have no choice. Either meet her now, or meet her Monday morning when she comes to the D.A.’s office to start working with you and your team.”

“Oh.” Lana said. She looked like someone had just taken the wind from her sails. “Please tell me you’re lying, Clark.”

“Sorry, Lana. I don’t like lying and I’d hate to lie to you.” He pointed to Chloe and said, “Lana, this is Chloe Sullivan, the reporter who is taking my place starting Monday.”

“Chloe,” Clark said, “this ball of fire is Lana Lang, the Deputy District Attorney for Metropolis. She also has the dubious distinction of being my girlfriend.”
"In the Name of the King"
-----Winner, Round 15 - Favorite Lead Portrayal of Liz Parker
-----Winner, Round 15 - Best Use of a Supporting Character (Jeff Parker)
-----Winner, Round 15 - Best New Fic
-----Winner, Round 15 - Best Period Fanfiction

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Re: Somebody to Love (SV, Clark/Lana, Adult) Ch22&23 (pg 3) 8/02

Postby Cardinal » Thu Aug 05, 2010 10:04 pm

Chapter 25

Almuerzo


Clark glanced around the office and saw that this little contretemps had drawn a small crowd. That made him look in the direction of the door to Perry’s nearby office, where he saw what looked to be Perry’s retreating back. Oh great! Clark thought. So much for not having to tell Perry about Lana.

“Listen,” Clark said hurriedly, “I have to go straighten something out with Perry, you two ladies work things out between you. After all, you’ll be working together for the length of the trial.”

Clark suited his actions to his words and hurried off after Perry. The women had been eyeing each other like a pair of strange cats, but Clark’s well-intentioned comment got them both going.

“Thanks a lot, Clark,” Chloe mumbled. “We never would’ve known we were going to work together if you hadn’t told us.”

Chloe’s comment on top of Clark’s comment made Lana giggle and caused her to ask rhetorically, “Men can be masters of the obvious sometimes, can’t they?”

That broke the damn, with each woman trying to find a way to apologize for her actions. Chloe spoke first, mostly because Lana wasn’t quite sure just how much she should be apologizing for defending her man.

“I’m sorry, Lana,” Chloe said. She normally wasn’t very good at contrition, but in this case, she’d try. “I didn’t know Clark was taken, or else I never would’ve dreamed of pulling a stunt like that.” Then forced by her conscience to full disclosure, she reluctantly added, “I would’ve tried to steal him from you on the sly. But don’t worry, I saw that look he gave you just before you kissed him. He’s definitely yours.”

“Thanks, Chloe,” Lana said, as sweetly as she could manage. “That’s nice to hear…and I’m glad someone else can see the connection Clark and I have. It makes me feel more secure.”

Anybody can see the connection between you two, even Stevie Wonder. It’s that palpable.”

Knowing it was her turn now, Lana said, “I’m not going to apologize for defending my place with Clark, but I do feel I need to apologize for how aggressive I got with you after I kissed him. I’m sorry. I’m not usually like that.” Lana shrugged her shoulders. “I guess that man just brings out the tiger in me.”

“That’s okay, Lana. If Clark was my guy, I’d defend him tooth and nail, too.”

Meanwhile, Clark had walked inside Perry’s office and, for the second time today, closed the door. Perry looked up from his desk as Clark walked across the room like a man on death row going to the electric chair.

Once he reached the desk, Clark said, “I know you saw what just went on outside, Perry, and I can explain.”

“I’m sorry, Kent,” Perry replied, “but I didn’t see anything. I just got up to stretch my legs.”

“But I saw you at the door…”

“Kent, let me tell you this one more time, so you’ll get it through that thick farm boy skull of yours. I didn’t see anything, not one…damn…thing. Get me?”

“Uhh…yes sir,” Clark replied.

“Good! Now go on and get anything out of here before I have to not see it again.”

Clark couldn’t believe his good fortune as he made his way back out of Perry’s office. He stopped one last time at the door before leaving and looked back at Perry who was steadfastly ignoring him. Once Clark was gone, Perry relaxed and started thinking about what he had just seen.

Looks like Clark wasn’t stressed-out about the trial after all. He’s newly in love and still had the integrity to come in and give up the series, even though it would put him in close daily contact with his new girlfriend. And, unless I miss my guess, he was trying to admit that he’d fallen for Miss Lang when my imagination ran in another direction.

Perry slid his chair back and propped his feet on an open desk drawer. If there’s one boy that needs something to distract him now and then from his singular focus on work, it’s Clark. I just hope this Lana Lang is as sweet as she looks. Then he chuckled. Just don’t tell Sullivan that. I think she almost crapped herself when our new D.A. came after her…she did look awfully fierce. Sure do hope those girls can work with each other.

When Clark left Perry’s office, he was somewhat surprised to note that the ice between Lana and Chloe appeared to have thawed somewhat. He didn’t feel like he had the time to check into that right now, however, since he was taking Perry literally and getting Lana out of there right now. He hurried up behind Lana, grabbed one of her hands, and started off toward the elevator. He looked back over his shoulder and flashed Chloe a small smile before saying, “See ya later, Chloe.”

Chloe just feebly waved goodbye and cursed her luck. A smile like that should fall under the heading of cruel and unusual punishment for any girl that’s not dating Clark, she thought. I would fall for a guy that’s taken…but given the guy, who can blame me? Outside of Lana, I mean.

“What’s up, Clark? Why are we in such a hurry?”

“Perry’s decided, for whatever reason, to pretend he has no idea that I quit writing the series because I fell for you. He just told me, and I quote, ‘go on and get anything out of here before I have to not see it again.’”

Lana looked at Clark out of the corner of her eye and asked, “So, I’m anything, am I?”

“Oh I don’t know about that,” Clark replied. “I’ve only known you for six days and yet, with each passing minute, you’re looking more and more like everything to me.”

Anyone that passed them on their way to the elevator got an introduction, which slowed their progress to a crawl since nearly everyone in the newsroom had seen at least part of the Chloe-Lana showdown and wanted to meet the woman who had apparently stolen Clark’s heart. Clark was careful to not give any indication of Lana’s job, but most of his co-workers were up to speed and knew exactly who she was once Clark said her name.

Once they finally made it into the elevator, and the door closed behind them, Lana shook out her hand and said, “Dang. I shook so many hands in there that you’d think I was running for office.”

Clark suddenly realized he was alone with Lana in an elevator at the same time that she did. Lana’s blood was still up after her confrontation with Chloe which made her feel a bit frisky, so she kept sidling closer to Clark to take advantage of being alone. He, however, was remembering his ‘special’ dream from just a few hours earlier, so he kept edging away from her. A move made somewhat difficult by the fact that Lana had a firm grip on one of his hands and by the fact that they were in the enclosed space of an elevator.

Lana finally cornered him and ran both hands up his chest before taking hold of the lapels of his suit coat and pulling him down for a more leisurely kiss than the forceful one they had shared minutes earlier. Lana quickly noticed Clark wasn’t just playing hard to get, he was genuinely not into the kiss.

“What’s the matter?” Lana asked. “Do I have to kiss you like I’m attacking you all of the time now?”

“No, that’s not it.”

“Okay…what then?”

The elevator dinged and the door slid open. As Clark followed Lana out of the elevator and into the lobby, he said, “After what happened last night in the elevator, you said you weren’t ready to go any farther than that…and I respect that as I respect you.”

“Okay, I’m with you so far.”

“I remember what I was thinking, and feeling, in that elevator,” Clark said. “If you had wanted to go farther, I would have, no question about it.”

“But when I indicated we’d gone far enough, you stopped. You respected my boundaries. There was never a question in my mind that you would, so why did you shy away from me in the elevator just now?”

Clark stopped Lana just before the front door and pulled her to one side.

“Promise me you won’t laugh.”

“I’ll promise to try to not laugh, how about that?”

“Good enough.” Clark’s face reddened as he thought about what he might have to tell Lana just to satisfy her curiosity. “You are an incredible temptation to me to do more than just kiss. Even so, I think I would normally be able to handle the temptation, except…”

“Except…?” Lana prodded.

“Except I had a dream this morning. It involved me and you in your elevator, and we were doing a whole lot more than just kissing. With that image fresh in my mind, I wasn’t sure what might happen.”

Clark’s face had been red when he had started his explanation, but now he looked like he was about to explode. Lana was reddening herself. She knew she had pushed Clark for information farther than she should have, and now they were both paying the price. Lana reclaimed Clark’s hand and led him to the sidewalk where they started to walk.

“Come on,” she said. “The cold air ought to help you cool off some. Besides, I came over here in the first place to see you and find out if you wanted to have a very late lunch with me.”

“How could I possibly resist such a charming lunch companion?” Clark asked playfully.

“Good. I still don’t know too many restaurants, so where are we going?”

Clark wasn’t going to let Lana push all of the responsibility on him, so he asked her what kind of food she had a taste for. Lana allowed that she would really like some Mexican, and then she made sure he knew that meant authentic Mexican, not something like Taco Bell.

Clark nodded thoughtfully and directed Lana on a walk that took them the better part of half an hour. The weather was blustery and cold, but Lana was dressed warmly enough, especially since they were walking at a brisk pace. Neither one of them noticed how long it took because they were together.

At the end of their walk, Clark held the door for Lana and followed her inside to find a cozy but dimly lit restaurant that had no more than twenty tables. Clark wasn’t sure exactly how authentic Lana really wanted her Mexican food to be, but this place, Cielito Lindo by name, was his favorite and had always been authentic enough for him.

Lunch seemed to pass by too quickly, but they both ate a good-sized meal, despite Lana’s initial preference for a light lunch. They had both a plate of chips with salsa and a basket of sopapillas with honey for appetizers. Clark ordered a plate of enchiladas with a side of Spanish rice for his entrée, and Lana ordered a plate of tamales. When the food got there, they shared everything. When it came time for dessert, they each had a large slice of Flan.

Lana remembered Clark’s attempt at pie thievery the night before, so she encouraged him to eat his slice slower. Her stated reason was so he could enjoy the tastes of the custard and the caramel syrup, but really, she figured if she finished at the same time he did, her Flan would be safe. Clark saw right through Lana’s deception, but played along. Besides, she was right. Eating slower allowed him to savor each and every bite. On their way home in a cab, only one thing of note happened, Lana finally remembered to ask Clark for his help with her stuff tomorrow.

“Clark?” Lana asked. “Would you be able and willing to help me tomorrow?”

“Of course.” Clark replied automatically. Then he asked, “What with?”

“The movers are coming tomorrow sometime between noon and 6 pm.”

“Movers delivering on a Sunday?”

“Yeah,” Lana said, “that’s what I wondered, too. But that’s what the message said.”

“What time?”

“Come by at eleven. That way, we can get the rental furniture out of the way as much as possible. Then we can have ham sandwiches and lemonade for lunch and watch TV together until the movers show up.”

“Okay,” Clark said, “eleven o’clock it is. Just as long as you remember one thing.”

“What’s that?”

“The ham sandwiches and lemonade do not count as your ‘fancy meal.’”

They both laughed, and then Lana said, “Don’t worry, Clark. I think I can do better than that.”
"In the Name of the King"
-----Winner, Round 15 - Favorite Lead Portrayal of Liz Parker
-----Winner, Round 15 - Best Use of a Supporting Character (Jeff Parker)
-----Winner, Round 15 - Best New Fic
-----Winner, Round 15 - Best Period Fanfiction

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Re: Somebody to Love (SV, Clark/Lana, Adult) Ch24&25 (pg 3) 8/05

Postby Cardinal » Thu Aug 19, 2010 5:14 pm

Chapter 26

Moving Day


Clark spent the evening as Superman and got up early the next morning to put in a few more hours in the skies of Metropolis before his eleven o’clock meeting with Lana. Unlike work, where he had a reputation for being late, Clark was working hard to make sure Lana would grow to depend on him being on time. He knew there’d eventually come a time when Superman was needed at the same time he was supposed to be with Lana, but so far he’d been lucky.

He showed up at the door to her building five minutes before eleven. After the doorman buzzed Lana’s condo to make sure Clark was expected, he allowed Clark inside. He noticed with approval that the doorman kept a close watch on him until the elevator doors closed behind him. Knowing that the doormen kept track of the comings and goings of strangers made Clark feel just that little bit better about Lana’s security.

As Clark stepped to Lana’s door and prepared to knock he looked down at what he was wearing and silently cursed himself for putting on a blue t-shirt and red sweatpants. His lined windbreaker was also red.

Jeez, Clark thought, nothing like wearing Superman’s colors when I’m Clark Kent to make people wonder. Especially someone like Lana, around whom I’m supposed to be taking extra precautions. At least my shoes are white. Still, given what I’m holding in my hand, I bet she won’t pay too much attention to what colors I’m wearing.

The item he was holding was a big bouquet of irises. He remembered her telling him they were her favorite the other day and he wanted to surprise her. If this was a special occasion, he thought she might be expecting something, but not on moving day. Besides, Clark didn’t believe Lana should have to wait for a special occasion to get flowers.

Clark knocked twice, while holding the irises behind him, and had to wait less than five seconds for Lana to throw open the door and greet him with a warm smile, and a warmer kiss.

“Hi, Clark,” Lana said, “You’re right on time. Thanks again for helping me.”

“It’s my pleasure.”

Clark brought the irises out from behind his back and presented them to her.

Lana’s mouth dropped open in shock. “Are those for me?” she asked stupidly.

“Nope,” Clark replied facetiously, “I brought ‘em for your roommate.”

Lana finally recovered enough to take the vase from Clark, leaning in to give him another kiss. “Thank you, Clark. These are gorgeous.” She couldn’t help but bury her face in the bouquet and take a big sniff. “They smell so nice, too.”

As Lana went to place the bouquet on her kitchen counter, Clark got his first good look at her, and almost wished he hadn’t. Her hair was loosely knotted at the top of the back of her head, a practical style considering they were going to be working, but that wasn’t what had caught his eyes. The condo was nicely heated, so she was wearing something skimpy, just for him. Her outfit was a forest green spaghetti-strapped top and white shorts that just covered her behind.

What made it worse for Clark was that Lana appeared to be putting a little extra swing in her hips as she walked. He couldn’t have taken his eyes off of her butt at that moment for all the tea in China. Lana stopped suddenly and looked back over her shoulder, catching Clark in mid-stare. Her smile went from warm to devilish in a flash, as she knew she had caught him. Clark didn’t even know he’d been busted until Lana started to laugh.

So, Lana thought gleefully, I need to wear something a bit more provocative if I want to get you to stare a bit higher, huh? Looks like I succeeded. Hah! Don’t challenge me like that Clark, you’ll lose every time.

Clark’s face was quickly competing with his sweats and jacket for the title of ‘the reddest thing in the room,’ and after Lana placed the irises on her counter, she sashayed back over to him.

“Gotcha!” Lana said.

“That you did,” Clark replied ruefully. “Of course, you got me at the party, too.”

“Oh?”

“Yeah,” Clark admitted. “When you walked in wearing that red dress, I wanted to stare, but had no idea where to start.”

“Well, you’re being very sweet to come and help me, and bringing such wonderful flowers only makes me happier, soooo…” Lana winked at him and gave an impish grin, “…stare as much as you like.”

Clark didn’t need to be told twice, he’d be sure to take full advantage of Lana’s invitation. She took his windbreaker and moved to hang it up in her hall closet, once again giving her hips a little extra swing. Clark had no problem admiring the view this time; he thought having permission was great.

Lana pointed out that she already had a pitcher of lemonade chilled in the fridge just in case Clark got thirsty, and then they got underway. Lana had spent part of her morning organizing where things were going to go so that she and Clark could get things done more quickly. The hardest thing for them was that the rental company couldn’t come out to pick up her temporary furniture until tomorrow, so they’d have to pile the rental stuff in an out of the way location so the movers could bring her stuff in. Once the movers were done, they’d move the rental stuff again and place it all right by the door.

The only other challenge was tearing down the rental bed. It was king-sized, and the mattress was so huge that Lana wasn’t sure she could manage her half of it when they took it out of the room. Clark had the idea of leaning it at least partially against the wall, so she didn’t have to worry quite so much about keeping it upright and could then devote most of her strength to pushing.

The rest was cake, and by noon, they were in the kitchen making ham sandwiches with Swiss cheese and mayo on whole-wheat bread. True to her word, Lana had a two-quart pitcher of ice-cold lemonade waiting for them in the fridge.

Lana was sweating lightly by the time they were done, and was once again surprised to note that Clark’s skin showed no evidence of perspiration at all. She was beginning to wonder if he suffered from some kind of physical abnormality that prevented his sweat glands from working. Whatever the problem was, it didn’t appear to cause Clark any kind of distress.

At the same time, Clark noticed the sheen of Lana’s perspiration. But instead of looking unbecoming, Clark thought it gave her a radiant glow like the models in fitness magazines. To him, it seemed impossible she could ever make an ungraceful move, and even her sweat conspired to increase her beauty. He was amazed, no matter what Lana did, she seemed to be more beautiful each and every time he saw her.

Or maybe that’s just my growing attraction to her, Clark mused. Either way, I like it.

The only rental furniture that hadn’t been moved yet was the couch, TV, TV stand, and DVD player. Lana only had the two DVDs she had brought with her on the plane. They were The Notebook and Serendipity. Lana offered Clark his choice, or he could choose to watch something else on TV.

Well, they’re both chick flicks, Clark thought. So if I don’t want to watch either one, I risk her displeasure. I didn’t know watching a movie was going to turn into a relationship test.

Clark thought about what little he knew about each movie. In the end, he knew that Serendipity starred John Cusack and Kate Beckinsale, who were two of his favorite actors, so he chose that movie.

It wasn’t until the movie was underway that Clark noticed that the two leads were a tall, pale-skinned white guy with black hair and an impossibly beautiful slender brunette. Vaguely like Lana and me, Clark thought. Strangely cheered by that idea, Clark settled in to watch.

He had one arm draped lightly around Lana’s shoulders. She, in turn, was snuggled in close to his body, with her head resting against his shoulder. It was nearly two in the afternoon by the time the movie ended, and Lana was sprawled out on the couch, with her head resting on Clark’s lap and one of his hands absentmindedly stroking her hair.

“Sometimes people are just meant to be together,” Lana said as the credits rolled. She turned her head and looked straight up at Clark. “Do you believe in fate?”

Clark’s answer was quick and decisive. “No. If everything we did in life was fated, then why live in the first place? I believe I am in control of my destiny.” Clark thought a little bit more, and then asked, “Why? Do you believe in fate?”

“I didn’t use to, “ Lana said. “But recently, I’ve been wondering. Maybe our entire life isn’t fated to happen the way it does, but maybe certain important events are fated.”

In the context of the movie they had just watched, Clark had no trouble realizing what event she was likely referring to. “Like us meeting last Monday?”

“Could be.” I was really thinking more about the inevitability of us falling for each other if we met. Because I’m falling hard for you Clark Kent.

It wasn’t until nearly three o’clock before the movers showed up. Using the service elevator, and several dollies, the movers had Lana’s belongings into her apartment in short order and Lana had already labeled the boxes before the move to tell the men which room to stack them in.

The first thing they did was set up Lana’s bed. Clark was assembling the frame while Lana dug into her bedroom boxes to locate her sheets and blankets. By the time she had a complete set ready, Clark was lowering the box into position. Lana scurried over to help with the mattress itself, and then they made the bed.

After that, Lana pulled out a small notepad she had that contained rough sketches of her ideas for the layout of the rooms. Her dining table was large enough for four, and Clark set it up along with the chairs while she tried to decide which furniture layout she wanted to see first.

All told, it took three hours to complete everything Lana had in mind for the first night. She had seen everyone of her furniture layouts twice before finally deciding on a layout she had never even considered before. That had Clark snickering quietly, but not quietly enough. Lana still managed to hear him, which earned him a ‘look.’ Their last task for the evening had been to unload and put away Lana’s cookware, flatware, and dishes. All she had left to do was go through the many boxes of smaller items and clothing, and she preferred to do those things on her own.

As they sat at her dining table, downing some well-earned delivery pizza and washing it down with Diet Coke, the only cold drink Lana had in her fridge, Clark eyed the filled kitchen cabinets and asked the question that had been foremost on his mind ever since unloading the cookware. “When’s our date?”

“Depends on what night you’re free this week.”

“Pick a day and it's yours.”

“Tuesday sounds good to me then. Come by at seven, and if you know a good place in town to get wine, bring a couple of bottles of a good, strong red. We’re having beef.”

“Red wine, gotcha.”

Clark looked at his watch and saw that today was the nineteenth which would make Tuesday the twenty-first. Only four days before Christmas.

I wonder what Lana’s doing for Christmas, since I know she’s staying away from her loved ones for the duration of the trial, just in case.

Clark waited until he swallowed the bite he was working on and then asked, “Lana, what are your plans for Christmas?”

“I don’t know. I really haven’t even given it a thought. Between the move to Metropolis and starting a new job, I’ve been too busy to worry about it. But I don’t know too many people yet and my family is off limits for now, soooo, I guess I’m hoping to spend the holiday with you.”

“That’s what I was hoping for," Clark said, "but there’s one thing about spending Christmas with me that you need to know in advance.”

“What’s that?”

“I always go home to Smallville and spend Christmas with my mom. Would you mind coming along with me? I know it’s kind of early in our relationship to be meeting my mom, but she’s the only family I’ve got, and she means the world to me.”

Loves his mother, Lana thought, another good sign. “Clark, I would be honored to join you two.”
"In the Name of the King"
-----Winner, Round 15 - Favorite Lead Portrayal of Liz Parker
-----Winner, Round 15 - Best Use of a Supporting Character (Jeff Parker)
-----Winner, Round 15 - Best New Fic
-----Winner, Round 15 - Best Period Fanfiction

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Re: Somebody to Love (SV, Clark/Lana, Adult) Ch24&25 (pg 3) 8/05

Postby Cardinal » Thu Aug 19, 2010 5:27 pm

Chapter 27

Transition


It was nearly nine in the evening before a very reluctant Clark Kent made his way home. The cold weather was of no account to him, so he chose to walk the mile distance and use the time to call his mother to let her know about the addition to her Christmas guest list.

Unsurprisingly, he reached her at home where she was frantically baking for a Christmas party she was catering for the Smallville Chamber of Commerce the next day. Clark could just imagine her with her cell phone clipped to her belt, and her Bluetooth headset clipped to one ear as she pulled one tray of freshly-baked Christmas cookies out of the oven and slid in a another tray to be baked. His mom could multitask like no one he had ever known.

“Hi, Clark,” Martha said. She was surprised to hear from her son today since he had called to confirm their plans for Christmas just three days before. They had ended up talking for an hour about everyday stuff before he had finally hung up.

“Hi, Mom.”

“You sure sound chipper today.” Come to think of it, Clark sounded unusually happy the other night, too. “Whatever it is you’re on, I wish you’d send some of it to me. This holiday season has been so rough with overly demanding customers or customers who want a king’s feast on a pauper’s budget, that it’s been seriously draining my supply of Christmas cheer.”

“Then, I have just the thing,” Clark said. His smile at this moment was large, and growing. He knew how his mom would react to the news that he was bringing a girl home for Christmas; it should be the perfect pick-me-up for her.

“And what’s that, Son?”

“Changing our Christmas plans.”

Martha was silent for a couple of seconds. All Clark could hear were the whirrs and clanks of her Kitchen Aid mixer as she worked on something.

“Why would you do that at this late date?” she asked carefully. She normally wouldn’t have been bothered by Clark’s need to change things. As Superman, he had to do that all of the time. But she knew that ‘changing plans’ invariably meant ‘canceling plans.’ So this time, she was upset, because she had been counting on some time with her only child.

Despite Martha’s best efforts at hiding her distress, Clark knew she was upset just by hearing sound of her voice, so he rushed to reassure her.

“It’s not what you’re probably thinking.”

“Then what is it?”

“I’m not canceling our Christmas plans. I’m just bringing a guest with me.”

Martha’s mind was normally razor sharp when it came to picking up on any little clue about Clark’s love life. Tonight, however, she was so tired from long days in her catering business and so distracted by the project she was working on, that it took her all of two seconds to make the connection this time.

“A guest?” Martha asked. “Dare a mother hope this is a female guest?”

“Hope away, Mom.” Clark was proud to bring some small consolation to her life right now. Not only was she stressing over her catering business, but he thought she wasn’t fully aware of just how much she still missed Jonathan, especially during the Christmas season. Even though Clark knew he’d be in for some extended maternal attention because he was dating again, he judged it to be well worthwhile. “We’ll come in on Christmas Eve, and my guest can take my old room, while I sleep on the couch.”

“Okay, that won’t be a problem,” Then, getting to what she wanted to talk about, Martha said, “So, tell me about this girl. What’s her name? What’s she like?”

“No fair, Mom,” Clark replied. “I don’t want to start singing her praises, build up your expectations, and then have you get disappointed. Besides, the only thing she really knows about you is that you bake a mean apple pie.”

“Okay then, just tell me one thing about her. That’ll make things even.”

Clark rolled his eyes at his mother’s insistence on getting one little scrap of information, and then said, “Let’s see…she’s the new Deputy District Attorney here in Metropolis.”

“Wait a minute…where have I…noooooo! Her? The spitfire? You’re bringing her home for Christmas?”

Clark had known mentioning Lana’s job was a mistake as soon as the words were out of his mouth. He should have guessed his mother might have seen video clips of Lana’s Monday morning news conference by now.

“I haven’t seen anybody put you in your place like that in years.” Martha’s voice was filled with mirth. “Who knew that my shy and polite son had a thing for strong-minded women? Still, given who your last girlfriend was, I guess this shouldn’t be a shocker. You apparently need a woman who knows how to crack the whip now and then.”

That gave Clark a mental image of Lana that he could not shake; it involved overly dramatic makeup, long, arrow-straight hair with a black leather, chrome-studded biker hat on top, a skimpy black leather and chrome outfit for her torso, black fishnet stockings, and glossy, thigh-high black leather boots with stiletto heels. Completing the outfit was a carefully braided leather bullwhip. Accompanying this somewhat disturbing, but very erotic image, was the Devo song, “Whip It.”

“…Clark? Clark, are you still there?”

“Umm…oh yeah, Mom. Sorry. I was a little preoccupied for a minute there.”

Clark made a supreme effort and forced his mind to actively rejoin the conversation with his mother. He talked with her right until he stepped into the elevator in his building with a couple that he knew lived two floors below him. They said their goodbyes, and Clark pressed ‘end.’

Soon, the quick and quiet elevator deposited Clark on the twenty-seventh floor. A minute later, and Clark passed through the elaborate security on his front door and was inside. After hanging his red jacket in his hall closet, Clark stood and stared at his stereo setup for a full minute before passing it by. Normally, Jor-El’s admonition that the less Clark wanted to know what he was really thinking, the more he needed to know it, carried a lot of weight. Tonight, however, he didn’t need any high-tech assistance to know what he was thinking about.

Between the dominatrix Lana he had just imagined, and the little show she had been putting on all night in her green top and white shorts, Clark had a pretty good idea of what his thoughts were right now and who was going to be in his dreams later on tonight. Damn her, he thought, she’s turning me into a hormone-addled teenager. Forget that, I never had these kinds of thoughts when I was a teenager. Even Lois…

Clark’s thoughts stopped dead when he began to compare Lois and Lana. Somewhere in the back of his mind lived a small, scared voice that didn’t want him to make too many comparisons between the two women because the voice was afraid Lana would end up just like Lois. That small voice was nearly drowned out by the surging tide of Clark’s emotions, but it persevered, determined that Clark needed to remember the great pain that is the flipside of great passion.

Even though he was no longer assigned to cover Lana’s continuing preparations for the upcoming Morgan Edge trial, Clark still spent part of Monday in the Siegel Center. First, he had a one-on-one with Tom Bloch, explaining that he had an ‘unavoidable personal issue’ come up which would make it impossible for him to write the articles. Tom had looked rather unhappy until Clark explained that Perry had immediately assigned the series to a hot shot reporter who he had just hired away from the New York Times.

That was Chloe’s cue to come in and be introduced. Tom then took Chloe to the morning meeting and introduced her around, explaining that she would be taking over for Clark. All Clark had left was to wait for the meeting to end so he could show Chloe her spot in the library and turn over the few files he had left in there on ‘his‘ table.

His work done, Clark headed for Lana’s office. When Marie indicated that Lana wasn’t in at the moment, he reached into his briefcase and pulled out the only thing that was in there this morning: a single red rose hurriedly purchased from a local florist after Superman had followed Lana to work.

With a conspiratorial wink at Marie, Clark snuck into Lana’s office and placed the perfect, just opening flower crosswise on her desk’s blotter. Placed with the flower was a plain card from the florist’s counter. On the front of the card was a heart, hand-drawn by Clark in red ink. On the back he quickly added the words, ‘Lunch today? Call me,’ before heading out of the her office and back to the Planet.

Lana was a bit irritated when she finally made it to her office. While she was happy that Clark had successfully pulled off the switch from himself to Chloe, Lana wasn’t sure what kind of working relationship she was going to have with Chloe. Uncertainty was something she’d always tried to avoid in her line of work, and it was causing her a small amount of distress now. To add to that, she had just heard from Marie that Clark had left a while ago, claiming he needed to get back to the Planet. Lana stamped across the floor to her desk thinking irritated thoughts.

He didn’t even stay long enough to say ‘hi.’ I understand he might not want to throw our relationship in everyone’s face for a while yet, but what could he hurt by exchanging pleasantries with me?

It was then that she saw the rose.

“Oh.”

All bad thoughts about Clark were gone as quick as that. She knew no one else would have left that rose, and the front of the card he left said so much, without using any words at all. When she reflexively checked the back of the card, her smile grew even wider.

One thing I forgot, Lana thought, is that we’ll be able to have lunch whenever we want and snuggle as close to each other as we want. We don’t have to pretend our feelings don’t exist.

Lunch was simple. Lana had a Chicken Caesar Salad and iced tea, while Clark had steak fajitas and a Coke at a local pub. In between bites, Clark explained how his morning with Tom and Chloe went, and then told her that his mom was looking forward to meeting her.

“Really?”

“Oh yeah,” Clark said. “She saw the interview footage from last Monday. Once I told her that you were the new Deputy D.A., she decided I must have a thing for strong women.”

“Is that true?” she asked playfully.

“Almost,” Clark admitted.

“Where’d she go wrong?”

“Mom said ‘strong women.’ The truth is, I have ‘a thing’ for one strong woman…you.”
"In the Name of the King"
-----Winner, Round 15 - Favorite Lead Portrayal of Liz Parker
-----Winner, Round 15 - Best Use of a Supporting Character (Jeff Parker)
-----Winner, Round 15 - Best New Fic
-----Winner, Round 15 - Best Period Fanfiction

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Re: Somebody to Love (SV, Clark/Lana, Adult) Ch26&27 (pg 4) 8/19

Postby Cardinal » Sat Aug 21, 2010 11:07 am

Chapter 28

Preparations


Lana’s first thoughts after completing her waking up process with a stiff cup of nearly black coffee were about the date.

Today is the day, D-day in fact. The day that we have our first official date. Sure, we’ve been out together for lunches and a workout, have met at an office party, and have even spent an afternoon arranging my furniture, but this is the first occasion that’s for nothing but romantic reasons. No disguising it as anything else. It’s just me and him.

Lana was tingling with anticipation.

The only negative from her point of view was that she was mostly in charge of the date. That was something she wasn’t use to, especially on a first date. But then, this wasn’t the usual first date, either. Instead of just getting to know the guy, she thought she already had a pretty good handle on who Clark was. She just wanted to get to know him better.

Lana called Clark in the late morning and told him she wanted to change the time for their date to nine in the evening so she’d have time for the things she wanted to do. Clark had no problems with anything Lana chose to ask for. He figured the more comfortable she was, the better the date would go, plus, a late dinner would allow him some time to gather a few things of his own for the date.

When five o’clock rolled around, Lana was out of her office like a shot. Superman was waiting overhead, grateful that Lana was conscientious enough to have stayed until five sharp. He lived in fear of the day she decided to leave work early, which would force him to frantically hunt her down. As far as he knew, Lana hadn’t yet noticed him hovering high overhead on her trips to and from work, and his positioning made a continuance of that ignorance likely as she’d have to look straight up and slightly behind her to see him.

Lana grumbled on her way home because she didn’t know of any local grocery stores that offered delivery like her favorite store in Gotham City had. It normally didn’t matter to her since she liked carrying her purchases, but tonight was an exception. She knew she had four hours from the moment she left the office to work some culinary magic to impress Clark, and she didn’t want to waste any of it shopping for food. Still, she knew she’d have to make two separate trips because she wasn’t going to be able to carry that many bags that far all at one time.

At least I finally have my full wardrobe available, Lana thought. No last minute shopping for clothes this time.

Lana had decided on her menu the night before, and had made a shopping list which she had broken in two since the whole list was more than she could carry in one trip. On her way home from work, she would stop by a grocery store to get the things she needed for the entrée and the dessert. She was going to have to start them first because the entrée needed a lot of time to cook, and the dessert needed time to cool after baking. For the first time since moving in, Lana had reason to appreciate the foresight of the building’s designers for including a double oven in her condo.

Once her entrée and dessert were underway, Lana would then hurry back to the store to pick up the ingredients for the soup and the salad. After the dessert was out and cooling, Lana could begin the soup and then rush into her bedroom to begin getting herself ready. That was the plan anyway. Time would tell if she could make it work.

Superman was surprised at first when he saw Lana leave the subway one stop early, until he saw her head into a grocery store. That reminded him to pick up a couple of bottles of a decent red from his favorite wine store, called Oenophile’s Delight. It looked like a hole in the wall, but he knew it had the best selection of wines in the city. He followed Lana until she got home, and then he headed to Smallville, to pick up a few items for the date.

By the time Superman had returned from Smallville and was picking out his clothes for dinner, Lana was working on a rack of lamb for the main entrée. The primary flavors she added were garlic and mint; it was an old family recipe that she had only gotten to try once or twice before. No time like the present to break out the big guns, Lana thought. Once the lamb was in the oven, she turned to dessert.

For dessert, Lana knew Clark liked apple pie, but she wanted to see if he liked any other classic American desserts, so she was going to make a triple-chocolate cake. The cake itself would be a Duncan Hines Devil’s Food box mix with a thick chocolate sauce between the three layers of cake. The entire thing would then be covered with a layer of chocolate butter-cream frosting. But that was later, right now she needed to get the three cake pans filled with batter and into the oven. As soon as the third pan was in, Lana began picking out her clothes and laying them out neatly so she’d be ready when the time came.

Twenty-five minutes later, Lana had the cakes sitting in their pans on the counter to cool. She whipped off her apron and rushed back out to the store to buy the ingredients for the soup and salad. At the last minute, she remembered to go to the produce aisle and select an assortment of vegetables that she could lightly sauté in a pan to accompany the lamb.

Lana was starting to feel confident about the dinner as she stepped off of the elevator on her floor with this last set of groceries. She had plenty of time left and only had to make the thin, clear soup called a consommé, a salad, and grill some mixed veggies, which should leave her more than enough time to dress. Then, she’d assemble the cake and pull the lamb from the oven and be ready to go. “I can do this,” Lana said to herself.

Famous last words.

Trouble began almost immediately. The first thing Lana had to do upon getting to the kitchen was get the cake layers out of their pans and onto the racks. Problem was, Lana had forgotten to grease and then flour the cake pans. So when she tried to remove the individual layers, they stuck to the pans and broke into several pieces each.

Lana frowned, but persevered, thinking, Okay, it’s going to be a mess. At least it will still be delicious, and when I pair it with a couple of scoops of vanilla ice cream, Clark won’t even notice the mess.

The soup came out well, but it would have been hard to mess that up. Lana put that in the fridge to chill and started on the vegetables. She sliced up a number of different veggies and seasoned them before sautéing them in a large pan. She turned up the heat under the pan to raise its temperature quickly; once the butter had melted completely and started to shimmer with heat, she threw in the veggies. While the melted butter was working on the veggies, Lana set her dining table with her best tablecloth, dishes and flatware.

In the center of the table were two brass candlesticks that she wanted to outfit with long, snow-white tapers. Somehow, one of the candlesticks had been bent slightly during shipment and Lana was unable to make a candle fit into that holder. She pried and pushed, having forgotten all about the vegetables…until, that is, she smelled smoke and turned to see flames shooting up out of the vegetable pan.

NO!!!! Not the vegetables, too!

Lana left the candles alone and scurried back to the stove, where she picked up the lid to the burning pan and placed it on top of the pan and then turned off the heat. Starved of oxygen by the closed lid, the fire quickly went out. Lana then took the pan out on her chilly balcony to open the lid and let the smoke out without setting off the building’s smoke alarms.

That’s not the way I want to meet my neighbors, Lana thought.

The vegetables looked edible to her, they just happened to be blackened…a little bit. Maybe I can just pretend this is a Cajun-style dish. I mean, they blacken everything else. And if I sprinkle some cayenne pepper on the veggies, it might help hide the burnt taste. Lana didn’t really believe this, but she didn’t have enough time to rush back to the store for another load of cucumbers, zucchini and squash, so she was grasping at any idea that might work.

The way she’d messed up the cake and the veggies, Lana was leery about making the salad right away, so she headed to her bedroom to get ready. She knew the lamb should be ready about half an hour before Clark showed, so she’d wait until then to do the salad.

Lana got ready without mishap. After her shower, she brushed her hair out and then wrapped it in an elegant knot at the top of her neck. It was a simple hairstyle that she hoped came off looking sophisticated. As for clothes, Lana had chosen a lightly pleated black skirt that stopped just above her knees, black pumps that were a little too short to be considered high heels, and a crisp white blouse with slightly billowing sleeves because she wanted to look nice, but not formal, since this was just a private dinner in her home. Makeup came last, and as always, Lana’s application was tasteful and light.

As she finished up, she began wondering when the lamb was going to be done. She knew it was going to take three hours to cook properly, but the timer hadn’t gone off yet, so she guessed it just hadn’t been time yet.

All Lana had left to finish was assembling the cake and making the salad. She carefully placed the pieces of the first layer on her cake plate and pressed them as close together as she could. Then, before the pieces could spring apart, Lana spread a layer of chocolate sauce over the top. The chocolate sauce helped hold the pieces together long enough for her to begin arranging the pieces of the second layer. That layer also received a generous coating of chocolate sauce, and soon, the last layer of cake was put in place.

Lana stopped to take a breath, and then opened the can of chocolate frosting to begin covering the cake. When she was done, the cake was a slightly misshapen tower or chocolate, but considering how bad it had looked when it came out of the baking pans, she was pretty proud of the result.

A quick look at the clock showed Lana that she still had some time left, so she took the soup out of the fridge and carefully portioned out two bowls. Then she came back and started making the salad. She was using butter crunch lettuce, radicchio, baby carrots, and other assorted greens and she had some shredded mozzarella and a bottle of her favorite raspberry vinaigrette salad dressing to top it off.

Just as the salad was nearing completion, Lana noticed that the smells she had been noticing from the oven had changed markedly. It almost smells like the lamb is burning! She whipped around and checked the timer on the oven, only to have her heart sink when she saw that the timer had never been turned on. Lana shut off the oven, grabbed her oven mitts, and pulled the roasting pan out of the oven. For the second time tonight, she felt compelled to take a pan outside to make sure she didn’t set off the smoke alarm.

As Lana watched her extra-crispy rack of lamb issue it’s smoke into the freezing night air, she felt like crying. I wanted tonight to be perfect, she thought. Clark is always being perfect to me, and I wanted him to get to enjoy someone else being perfect. But I messed it up. Like always.

When the smoke had dissipated, Lana moved the lamb back inside to keep it from cooling too much and to see if any of it was salvageable. When she cut into it, the meat appeared to be nicely well-done. Problem was, she had been shooting for medium-rare.

Crap! Lana stomped her foot in anger, and reviewed what she had in the few minutes remaining before Clark showed up. I bet he’ll be right on time today, too, Lana moped. That will just make me feel worse. Let’s see…the soup is perfect. At least the dinner will start off right. The salad looks to be good too.

But then comes the pièce de résistance,
Lana thought sarcastically, extra-crispy rack of lamb with flame-charred mixed vegetables, a winning combination to be sure. And last, triple-chocolate cake…already conveniently broken into individual pieces. At least I can’t ruin the vanilla ice cream.

Lana finished making the salad and then went back to make one last check of her appearance. Pleased that one part of her night was turning out the way she wanted, Lana went back into the living room to watch TV while she waited for Clark.

Clark was crossing the lobby of Lana’s building at that very moment. In one hand, he held a large plastic grocery bag stuffed with things for after dinner. In the other hand, he held a smaller bag that contained two very nice bottles of red wine. Lana had told him she was planning on beef, but he had learned long ago that women could change their minds in no time at all, so he hoped the wine was still appropriate.

On the way up in the elevator, Clark realized the wine was warm. Checking to make sure there weren’t any security cameras in the elevator, Clark set the big bag on the floor and held the wine bag up to his mouth. He then breathed softly into the bag, chilling the two bottles of wine instantly. A couple of minutes later and Clark was at her door with both bags dangling from his left hand as he knocked with his right one.

Lana didn’t want to make it seem she was too eager, so she slowly counted to five before standing and slipping her shoes back on and heading over to the door to greet her guest.

“Hi, Clark,” Lana said as she stretched up for a kiss. No matter what had gone wrong for her this evening, seeing him made her smile.

“Hi, Lana, you look marvelous this evening,” Clark replied, as he leaned down to accept her welcoming kiss.

Clark then handed over the wine, but kept the other bag, not allowing Lana to see it’s contents. “That’s for later,” he insisted.

After placing one bottle in the fridge, Lana opened the other bottle to allow it to breathe a little bit before serving dinner. Then she came back to collect Clark’s coat and hang it up in her hall closet. Returning from the closet, Lana gave Clark a quick once over and saw that he had gone with a more relaxed look as well. He wore a sharp dark blue blazer over a light blue Oxford shirt, black-belted khaki Dockers, and what appeared to be basic black loafers.

“Now that I see you out of that coat, Clark,” Lana said, “I think you’re looking rather fine yourself.”

Clark’s finely-tuned senses allowed him to pick up on the scent of something having been burned, but he made sure to not take any outward notice. He already felt kind of bad for having maneuvered Lana into making this dinner for them, so he was determined to eat whatever she put in front of him, no matter what condition it was in.

Lana offered Clark a drink, which at this time would have to be either tap water, bottled water, skim milk, or their dinner wine. Lana knew she had a lot of shopping ahead of her to fill her food cabinets properly.

Clark thanked Lana for the offer, but turned down any drinks. After several minutes of small talk about how their days went, Lana led Clark over to the dining room and turned out the lights as they walked, so that by the time they were at the table, the dimmed overhead dining room light fixture was the only illumination. Lana pointed Clark to his seat and bent to light the candles. Once they were shining brightly, Lana headed for the kitchen to get the wine. This dinner wasn’t fancy enough to call for a different wine for each course, so the red would just have to do.

As she returned to the dining room, Lana doused the already dimmed overhead lights so that the only illumination was supplied by the two flickering candles at the center of the table. The instant Lana walked back into the dining room, Clark stood, took the wine bottle from her, and held her chair for her. Once she was comfortably seated, he filled her glass halfway, did the same for his, and then sat down.

They couldn’t know it, but at that moment, they were having nearly identical thoughts.

My God is she ever gorgeous tonight…

Oh my, he is so handsome in this candlelight…

…to think that a woman with her many qualities wants to spend her time with me is beyond believable…

…to know that Clark could spend time with almost any woman he chooses, as evidenced by my co-workers’ reactions, and yet he chooses to be with me is so incredible…

…she scares me. I’ve only known her for nine days and yet, I’m already thinking about the rest of our lives. It’s too early, but it’s true. Is she ‘the one?’

…I’ve always been self-sufficient. I haven’t even had a serious boyfriend since college, but Clark already makes me need him. I don’t like not being in control, but in this case, it feels so good. Could he be ‘the one?’


Clark finally broke their mutual silence, but not their mutual stare, as he raised his glass slightly to propose a toast.

“To tonight. May it be the start of something…wonderful.”

Lana raised her glass in response. “To tonight.”

As they sipped at the ruby liquid, their eyes never wavered from each other, as they thought about what tonight might hold for them.
"In the Name of the King"
-----Winner, Round 15 - Favorite Lead Portrayal of Liz Parker
-----Winner, Round 15 - Best Use of a Supporting Character (Jeff Parker)
-----Winner, Round 15 - Best New Fic
-----Winner, Round 15 - Best Period Fanfiction

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Re: Somebody to Love (SV, Clark/Lana, Adult) Ch 28 (pg 4) 8/21

Postby Cardinal » Fri Sep 10, 2010 9:31 pm

Chapter 29

What a Rack!


Clark found the cold soup to be delicious, and wasted no time in saying so.

Lana was gratified by his reaction. At least something came out the way I planned, she thought. She cautiously allowed herself to begin enjoying their dinner, even though she knew the entrée and its accompanying veggies would be a challenge.

Conversation was light, but then Lana started asking Clark a few questions about Smallville. She had been there once as a child, but that had been the day of the famous meteor shower. After Aunt Nell died that day, her parents had never taken her back to visit, even though both were Smallville natives.

“Clark? What’s Smallville like? I’ve been there once, but I was only three at the time and I don’t remember much.” Outside of a virtual hurricane of destruction anyway.

Surprised, Clark asked, “You’ve been to Smallville? Why? It’s not usual for a big-city girl to spend time in a small town like that.”

“My parents are both from Smallville. They’d decided to go back for the Homecoming festivities that year.”

“Wow.” Then Clark remembered one particular Homecoming and asked, “Umm…that wouldn’t happen to have been the year of the meteor shower, would it?”

“Yeah, how’d you know?”

“I didn’t, but it seemed to be a possibility, so I asked.” Clark set down his spoon and used his cloth napkin to dab at both corners of his mouth. “You must have been scared out of your mind. You could only have been three or four at the time, and to have been subjected to that…no wonder you never went back.”

“Well…it wasn’t just memories of the meteor shower that kept us away,” Lana said as she, too, set down her spoon. “My Aunt Nell died in the meteor shower. Mom and Dad have always maintained that they would have been the ones to die if Dad hadn’t run a red light on their way to come pick me up.”

Clark’s eyes narrowed, his eyebrows furrowed with concentration, and he unconsciously leaned forward, as he asked, “What happened?”

“I was staying with my aunt at her flower shop while my parents attended the Homecoming game. I remember being dressed like a fairy princess that day, complete with wings and wand, but I don’t remember much else.” Lana shrugged her shoulders. “But my folks said that after the game, they parked on the street across from the shop and came over to get me. Apparently, Mom wanted to change me into more reasonable clothes for the long car ride back to Metropolis, but she forgot my suitcase in the car. Aunt Nell volunteered to go out and get the suitcase. When she did, she and the car were hit by a hunk of the meteor.”

Clark listened in horror as he learned how yet another life had been ended prematurely because of his arrival on Earth. Somehow, this time felt worse because it was Lana’s family that had suffered the loss. He then revisited an old thought, wishing he had never come to Earth.

How many people do I have to save just to make up for all the people that died the day I came here? Clark wondered.

Lana could see that what she had just said had affected Clark in some way. When she mentioned what had happened to her barely remembered aunt, he had sat back suddenly with a distracted look in his eyes. Eyes which were no longer focused on her.

Conversation fell off as they finished their soup. Lana wanted to ask Clark if he remembered anything from that day, but she figured she’d have to settle for asking about what Smallville was like now. She definitely didn’t want to kill the mood by dragging out a possibly painful memory of his.

Clark was more than happy to get back to Lana‘s original question. “It’s a town of about forty-five to fifty thousand people these days. It’s defined by planting in the spring, baking heat in the summer, harvest in the fall, and blustery cold in the winter.

“Being a one-school town, high school sports are inordinately important. Smallville is renowned as a state power in football and girls’ basketball. We even won a state championship in football my senior year.”

Knowing Clark’s size, Lana figured he had to have played, so she asked if he played, just to give him a chance to brag a bit. She was also interested in just how much he would brag. It would be a good thing for her to know if he was modest, a braggart, or somewhere in between.

“Yeah, I played some, but winning was a team effort.”

Something in what Clark had just said didn’t quite ring true, and Lana wondered what it was. Maybe I can ‘innocently’ ask his mom about the state title when we visit for Christmas.

“Anyway,” Clark continued, “Smallville is what I’ve always referred to as ‘the world’s largest small town.’ Outsiders don’t have to spend five minutes in the town before they start expecting to see Sheriff Andy Taylor, Opie, Aunt Bea, and Deputy Barney Fife come walking by…it’s a very quiet and safe place to live.”

“Sounds like a great place to grow up,” Lana said.

“It was.”

After that, Lana stood to clear away the soup bowls, and Clark stood with her. She took both of their bowls, intending to come back for the soup tureen in a few seconds. Clark, however, took it upon himself to help out. He picked up the tureen and quietly followed Lana into the kitchen.

She set the bowls down with a clatter, picked up the salad bowl, and turned toward the dining room only to run smack into Clark. His soup tureen and her salad bowl collided, spilling their contents all over both of them.

Lana watched with dismay as the sudden mixture of soup and salad rained down all over the both of them. For her, this latest mishap was the final straw. Her lower lip began to quiver, and then she broke down crying.

Clark thought the mess was hilarious, but he fought to keep from cracking so much as a small smile, an effort made a lot easier when he saw Lana begin to tear up and cry. He was torn between wanting to pull her into his arms to comfort her and needing some kind of signal that she would welcome his attentions. Lana solved that little dilemma by falling, literally, into his arms.

Screw it, Clark thought as he pulled her in close and mashed the raspberry vinaigrette salad dressing and soup deeper into their clothes. Lana’s hurting…these are just clothes.

“It’s okay, Baby,” Clark murmured as she settled her head against his chest. “This spill is my fault. I shouldn’t have tried to help out without letting you know I was behind you. I’m sorry.”

Clark was more than happy just to hold Lana as she cried herself out. His blazer and the exposed part of his shirt were already sodden with parts of the first two courses, yet he swore he could feel where her tears were falling.

Lana made an effort to pull herself together to answer Clark’s attempt at claiming the blame. That was something she just couldn’t allow him to do. “Wha…what do you have to be sorry about? I’m the one who ran into you…and just wait until you see how I butchered the main course and dessert.”

“I bet they’re just fine.”

“No they’re not!” Lana sobbed. “I wanted to make a medium-rare rack of lamb, but it’s extra-crispy instead.” Before Clark could try to soothe her, Lana rolled on. “And that’s nothing compared to the poor vegetables.”

Clark knew he’d regret asking, but he took the bait, and asked, “What did you do to those poor, defenseless veggies?”

“I was trying to sauté them, but I caught them on fire instead.”

Clark came close to losing control when Lana said that. He was imagining towering flames shooting toward her stove’s vent hood. Only the prospect of a serious kitchen fire kept Clark from a serious case of the giggles.

“Lana? Dear?”

“Yes, Clark?” Lana replied, as she looked up at him with tear-stained eyes.

“Bring on the lamb…I happen to like well-done meat.”

“You’re kidding me.”

“Nope,” Clark said, as he shook his head. “I will admit to being a bit leery of the vegetables, but I’ll even give those a taste just to make sure you’re not exaggerating about The Great Vegetable Fire.”

Lana could see Clark was serious about wanting to eat the lamb and vegetables, but she felt honor-bound to try to talk him out of it one more time.

“Clark, the lamb and the vegetables are burnt.”

“Burnt is a matter of opinion.”

He’s serious, Lana thought. Okay…he’s asking for it.

“Okay, you win. But first, we both kind of need to change clothes.”

Lana pushed herself back out of Clark’s warm embrace and looked at the mess that had soaked through her white blouse and made it transparent in places. As soon as Clark noticed that, he averted his gaze and checked his own clothes.

Lana knew she’d need a whole new outfit, while Clark had been a bit lucky. His blazer and shirt were both messed up, but not much had hit his pants on the way to the floor. He thought he could just dab at those few spots with a damp cloth and still be able to wear them.

Clark headed for Lana’s utility room. There he found a dustpan and broom and he took these back to the kitchen where, after checking to make sure Lana had disappeared, he used a burst of superspeed to clean up the mess. Once done with that, Clark returned to the utility room to take off his blazer and shirt, leaving only a thin white t-shirt to cover his rippling muscles. He brushed the solids into her trash can and soaked the shirt in the sink to keep it from staining. He already knew his blazer was going to have to go to the dry cleaner.

Lana, meanwhile, was in her bedroom getting dressed after a very quick shower. She had thought about another skirt and blouse combination, but given the way the date had gone so far, she opted for a light sweater and jeans.

Her original skirt, like Clark’s blazer, was headed for the dry cleaner, but her blouse was headed for the same sink that his shirt was in. After taking a couple of minutes to retouch her makeup, Lana carried her sodden mess of a blouse out to the utility room to soak. Once there, two things caught her eyes, one of which also took her breath away.

She smiled to see that Clark was being practical, already having his shirt in the sink to soak. But what made her gasp was the unexpected sight of his broad back covered only with a thin, skin-tight t-shirt. Her first thought upon seeing that was Yum! followed quickly by, I wonder how I could get that shirt wet.

Clark turned toward Lana upon hearing her gasp, which didn’t do anything to alleviate her hormonal distress, since the front of him looked even more delectable than the back. When he flashed her one of his dazzling smiles and took the wet blouse from her to put it in the sink with his shirt, Lana almost swooned and fell.

Dear God in Heaven, Lana thought. That man should have to register that smile with the police as a dangerous weapon. I wonder if he has a license to use it in public.

“There, all done,” Clark said. “Now we can finish eating.”

Shaking her head to try to clear it of the thoughts she had just been having, Lana asked, “Are you sure about this?”

Clark’s stomach chose that very moment to let out an impatient grumble.

“I guess you are,” Lana snickered.

Clark offered to help bring out the lamb and the veggies, but Lana firmly pointed him to his seat and said, “Remember what happened the last time you tried to help?”

“Yeah.”

“Well, I do too, so I want you to stay right there. That way, I’ll know where you are and won’t trip over you.”

Clark smiled as he complied with Lana’s request. He stayed standing, however, until Lana came back with two plates. Hers had a couple of ribs from the rack of lamb, while his had two ribs plus a small helping of the infamous vegetables. After Lana placed the two plates on the table, Lana waited for Clark to come over to seat her. When he did, she grabbed his t-shirt by the collar and pulled him close for a thorough kissing.

Completely dazed, but utterly pleased, Clark asked, “What was that for?”

“You cleaned up my mess,” Lana said simply. “That means a lot to me.”

“Got anything else that needs cleaning?” Clark asked hopefully.

“Not yet,” Lana said as she grinned, “but I’ll keep you in mind.”

Clark returned her smile, seated her, and refilled the two wine glasses to the halfway point before he took his seat.

An honest appraisal of the food before him told Clark that Lana hadn’t been exaggerating much. The meat was somewhat crispy on the outside, and the vegetables did look like they had been blackened, but true to his thoughts when he first stepped inside her apartment tonight, Clark dug in, determined to do what he could to make Lana happy. She was cutting her lamb into increasingly small pieces before playing with it mindlessly as she watched Clark eat.

Clark found the meat inside the crispy crust to be well-done, and surprisingly delicious. The extra cooking time had intensified the flavors imparted by the garlic and mint, and the meat was still somewhat juicy. The vegetables were a bit difficult for him to eat, but he managed it with a few sips of wine to help ease their passage.

Lana was so shocked to see the gusto with which Clark attacked the lamb that she forgot herself and began eating the lamb, too. While she knew it wasn’t as good as it should have been, Lana found herself enjoying the lamb in spite of herself.

When Clark looked up and saw Lana smiling again, he felt warm inside. That smile was nothing compared to the one that graced her face minutes later when he asked for a second helping of the lamb. At that moment, he knew he’d eat any amount of overcooked food if it could put a smile like that on her face.

Soon, their conversation returned to normal, and they acted as if nothing unusual had happened. The only thing that made that difficult for Lana was when she looked anywhere other than at Clark’s eyes and was reminded that he was wearing that tight t-shirt.

Damn! she thought, that man of mine oughta be a model for Calvin Klein or Tommy Hilfiger or somebody like that. Then she had another thought that she liked even better. But he’s mine, all mine. No one but me gets to see him like this.

Lana was full of confidence when she finally went back to the kitchen to load up two plates with triple-chocolate cake and vanilla ice cream. The only bad thing about the cake was the slightly lumpy shape imparted by the variously-sized pieces of cake. She knew he’d never get to see that, because she was loading up the plates in the kitchen and then taking them out to the dining room.

As she thought, the cake was the hit of the evening. Clark’s eyes had gotten as large as saucers when he saw the large portion Lana had plated for him. He almost rushed seating her in his haste to get back to his chair. All Lana heard from Clark were soft groans of pleasure, as he couldn’t seem to eat the cake fast enough to satisfy himself. Lana had to admit that her adaptation of her grandma’s dessert recipe was delicious. So much so, that she felt compelled to join Clark in having a second piece.

Lana’s second piece was considerably smaller than Clark’s, but it was all she could handle. She was beginning to believe that Clark’s stomach was a bottomless pit, but he stopped after two slices also. After the two of them cleared the table, Lana suggested that they move to her couch while they started to digest the meal. She had been hoping for some serious snuggling on the couch, but Clark had a better idea. He walked over to the big bag he had brought over and picked it up.

“Are you finally gonna tell me what’s in there?” Lana asked.

“Even better,” Clark said, “I’m going to show you.”
"In the Name of the King"
-----Winner, Round 15 - Favorite Lead Portrayal of Liz Parker
-----Winner, Round 15 - Best Use of a Supporting Character (Jeff Parker)
-----Winner, Round 15 - Best New Fic
-----Winner, Round 15 - Best Period Fanfiction

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Cardinal
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Re: Somebody to Love (SV, Clark/Lana, Adult) Ch 29 (pg 4) 9/10

Postby Cardinal » Mon Nov 29, 2010 7:22 pm

Chapter 30

Necessary Knowledge


The bag was a thirty-nine gallon plastic trash bag. To Lana’s eyes, it looked to be full. She had no idea what could possibly be in there, so she’d been wondering about it ever since Clark had come in the door.

Clark didn’t have to reach far into the bag to come up with the first thing he pulled out which was a another bottle of wine, still a red, but different from the ones he had brought for the dinner. Along with the wine was a plastic grocery bag.

“What’s that?” Lana asked.

“It’s a bottle of wine,” Clark said. The tone of his voice was completely innocent, but the smile on his face and the way he winked at Lana let her know she was being teased.

She rolled her eyes, but couldn’t help a small smile of her own as she said, “No, Dummy, in the grocery bag.”

“Oh!” Clark said in mock surprise. “You mean this? It’s filled with secret ingredients.”

“Like…?”

Pretending to be shocked, Clark said, “Jeez, we’ve not even been dating for an entire week and you already want to know my secrets.”

“Be that way, see if I care,” Lana said archly. “But I’m guessing that those ‘secret ingredients’ are for mulled wine.”

“Oh…very good.”

Now it was Lana’s turn to tease.

“You aren’t trying to get me drunk so you can have your way with me, are you?” ‘Cause part of me would really like that right about now.

Clark was surprised by Lana’s question, but pleased that she could give it out just as good as she could take it.

“Never. At least, never as far as the ‘getting you drunk’ part goes.” Then leering lecherously at her, he added, “We’ll just have to see about the ‘having my way with you’ part.”

Turning back to the kitchen, Clark thought, Where the hell did that come from? Having my way with her? Who am I kidding? I have to talk to her about where I come from so she has enough information to choose to take that step with me. Anything else would be irresponsible. Jeez! What a moron I am!

Somewhat shaken by his initial hormonal reaction to Lana’s flirtatious teasing, Clark said, “Now, if you’d be so kind as to find a pot and a bottle opener for me to use, I can get started making this.”

Lana found a good-sized pan and handed it to Clark who had setup shop next to the stove. The bottle opener was already on the counter since she had used it to open the bottle they drank during dinner. That reminded Lana that there was still an unopened bottle in the fridge.

“Umm…Clark? Don’t you want to use the bottle in the fridge?”

“Nope. It’s the wrong kind of red wine for this. You can keep that other bottle.”

Clark poured the wine into the pan and began adding the other ingredients: two cinnamon sticks, one piece of candied ginger, six whole cloves, one cup of sugar, one-half cup of slivered almonds, and one-half cup of raisins. He then borrowed another tool to shave some zest from the outside of an orange until he had a tablespoon’s worth and then added it to the pot. The last ingredient was a cup of vodka, which he poured in just before turning on the burner. Lana watched interestedly the whole time, wanting to see how Clark made this traditional winter drink.

“How long are you going to heat it?”

“Until it just begins to simmer. It definitely shouldn’t be allowed to boil. Then I’ll pour it into the Thermos I have in the big bag and we can take it out on the balcony along with a couple of mugs.”

“Out to the balcony?” Lana looked back at the big bag and wondered what else was in there. “It’s below freezing out there by now, Clark. Why would you want to take me out there?”

“Of course it’s cold. How else was I supposed to get you to snuggle up close to me?”

“Ask, maybe?”

“You make it sound so easy. Just walk up and ask your girlfriend to makeo…uh, I mean cuddle on the couch.”

Lana stepped in close to Clark, resting both of her hands on one of his forearms.

“Mmm…” Lana said as she ostentatiously licked her lips. “I’m liking this plan better by the minute.”

Clark had seen Lana lick her lips, and the sight of those glistening kiss cushions was more than he could stand. Clark leaned down tentatively, almost as if he was in a trance, and lightly brushed Lana’s lips with his.

Unwilling to let it stop at that, Lana responded, swinging Clark around to face her fully, and then sliding her hands up his arms and behind his neck so she could pull him back down. Her kiss was anything but tentative, but it did start out softly, and that’s how they continued: soft and gentle…sweet and measured.

Clark wanted to sink his fingers into Lana’s thick hair, but was thwarted by her hair knot, so he felt around, deftly removed her hair pins and carefully unwound her knot, allowing her silken tresses to spill down her back. Lana didn’t have to worry about shaking her hair out, because Clark’s thick but nimble fingers were doing it for her, until her hair went from being a thick rope to being fanned out from shoulder to shoulder.

All evening, the things Clark had been doing for Lana had been piling up and making her feel more and more special. Little things like standing every time she came into the room and holding her chair for her…and bigger things like the way he ate everything she cooked. Lana couldn’t imagine a more special guy, and her feelings were finding an outlet in her kisses.

Now Lana’s hands got into the act, snaking their way up Clark’s neck and into his buttery soft waves of hair. Besides driving Clark crazy, the other major effect of Lana’s hands was to pull their mouths ever closer together, taking soft and sweet kisses and making them harder, deeper, and more passionate.

Lana’s escalating passion was having its effect on Clark. He was absorbing this emotional and sensual onslaught, and his only release was to reflect everything right back at her. His hands slid down Lana’s spine, one after the other, his fingertips dancing lightly over each and every knob. From Lana’s perspective, icy chills seemed to radiate from each of his hands and her skin quickly broke into a thick layer of goose flesh.

Clark’s roaming hands found their way down below Lana’s waist to her now denim-clad ass. He quickly found that his large hands were just the right size for her cheeks as he gave her a firm squeeze before grabbing on and lifting her up to set her down on the countertop.

Lana quickly locked her legs as far around Clark’s waist as she could possibly manage to keep herself from sliding around on the granite countertop, and then she took full advantage of her new eye-level position to renew her assault. As their tongues now danced with the parry, riposte, and lunge of the finest swordplay, Clark and Lana gave themselves over to their passion.

Lana’s hands had been roaming Clark’s t-shirt-clad chest ever since she landed on the countertop, but now they darted to the hem of the constricting white fabric and began to lift the shirt up and out of her way. Clark’s previous concern about propriety was long forgotten as he straightened his arms out in front of himself to help Lana with his shirt.

Next to go was Lana’s sweater. It was a light sweater, but still much too hot for what they were doing as far as she was concerned, and if Clark wasn’t going to do the honors, then she would just have to help herself. Thankfully for her, horny minds think alike, as his hands were already tugging gently at the bottom of her sweater, trying to free it from under her ass without damaging the fabric.

Just as he gave a slightly harder tug, Lana realized what the problem was and levered herself a smidgen into the air, causing Clark’s arms to flail wildly and knock over the now-empty wine bottle. They both heard it crash to the floor and shatter, and that crash made Clark look to the mulled wine just as it started to simmer. Remembering what he was supposed to be doing, Clark reluctantly disengaged himself from Lana to hurry over to shut off the burner and slide the pan to a cool burner.

I think I’d better cool my burners, too, before something happens that shouldn’t happen…yet.

It wasn’t the first time in Clark’s life that he’d had reason to dislike his Kryptonian origin, but it was surely the most inconvenient. There was the most beautiful creature he’d ever set eyes on, a woman he already had intense feelings for after knowing her for the grand total of eight days, a woman who was taking off her own sweater because he wasn’t doing it fast enough for her liking…and he had to turn her down.

Clark wanted to rail about the inequities of being an alien, but right now, as Lana flung her sweater onto a distant countertop, he had to stop her before she showed off anything more than her lacy bra.

As Clark stepped in front of Lana and took her hands in his, she reclaimed him by wrapping her legs around his waist once more.

He was thinking, How do I break this to her, without making it look like a rejection? I don’t want to damage our relationship, and I don’t want to make her feel I think she’s being too free with her sexuality, just as I don’t want to look like a prude.

Lana, on the other hand, just wanted to know the answer to that age-old question: boxers or briefs? And her hands were trying to wiggle loose from Clark’s so she could begin to find out, but Clark held on, and tugged on her hands ever so lightly to get her attention.

Lana looked up, with a question in her eyes, as Clark said, “I want this as much as you do, Lana. I want you more right now than I’ve ever wanted a woman in my life, but we can’t do this. Not now anyway.”

Stunned, Lana asked, “Why? If you feel…half as much as I do right now, we’d be in a race to see who could tear the other’s clothes off first.” As if to demonstrate what she meant, Lana made another effort to free her hands, but Clark wasn’t having it.

“What’s wrong?” Lana wailed. “Is it me? Don’t you like me? Aren’t I pretty enough for you?”

Oh, God! Clark thought. Please don’t let her fall apart on me now.

Clark released one of Lana’s hands so he could put a finger under her chin and raise her eyes to his.

“Lana? Dearest? I went way past ‘like’ days ago, and I’m fast approaching that other four-lettered L-word.” Looking carefully to make sure she was taking in what he was saying, Clark added, “And as for ‘not being pretty enough,’ that’s a bunch of crap. You’re the most staggering gorgeous woman I’ve ever met. No one, not even Lois, can hold a candle to you. Add to that the fact that you’re also incredibly cute, and you’re easily the most physically attractive woman I’ve ever seen.”

Clark paused for a moment as he was struck by the truth of his last statement. It’s true, Lana’s hotter than Lois…and she’s much cuter, too.

“All of that doesn’t even include my intellectual attraction to you. I love smart, tough, take charge women…women with the brains to create strong opinions, the verbal skill to explain them, and the confidence to defend them.

“You are the complete package to me. I’ve been waiting my whole life for someone like you…and I don’t mind telling you I sometimes wonder how I’ll manage to keep you.” Suddenly afraid he’d revealed too much, Clark moved to his conclusion. “The reason we can’t do this right now is me, not you. There are some things about me that you need to know before you can really make an informed decision about whether or not you want to take the step of making our relationship sexual.”

That statement sobered Lana instantly, and she asked hesitantly, “You’re not dying, are you?”

“No,” Clark said softly. “I also don’t have any STDs or any other communicable diseases.”

Whew! Lana thought. I should have thought of that before I tossed my brain aside tonight. Stupid, stupid, stupid, Lana! Think next time.

“As long as we’re trading information,” Lana replied, “I’m clean, too.”

“That’s nice to know,” Clark said as he smiled. He couldn’t get sick, and couldn’t even be a carrier of any diseases, so he had never even thought about whether or not Lana was clean.

“So…what’s your hangup? I don’t go around offering myself to just any man, you know.”

“I know you don’t. If I thought you were that kind of woman, we wouldn’t be here right now. I’m not that kind of guy, either. I’ve been with one woman in my entire life,” Clark admitted, “and she had to learn the same things about me that you have to learn.”

“Are you psychotic or something?”

“Nope. No mental illnesses of any kind.”

Lana gave him a look that screamed confusion and helplessness, and asked quietly, “What then?”
"In the Name of the King"
-----Winner, Round 15 - Favorite Lead Portrayal of Liz Parker
-----Winner, Round 15 - Best Use of a Supporting Character (Jeff Parker)
-----Winner, Round 15 - Best New Fic
-----Winner, Round 15 - Best Period Fanfiction


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