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10 - Destiny

Now Clark remembered why he appreciated a quiet day at home so much. It was nice to have a bit of peace. His world got chaotic at times and he needed moments of silence. Sundays were made for sleeping in, after all. Opening his eyes a little, he turned to gaze at his wife curled up beside him. Lois was still sound asleep and probably dreaming. He wondered if she was dreaming about him.

Clark Kent had never imagined that one day Lois Lane would be his entire world. Life was a funny thing, even at the best of times. As he settled back to watch his wife quietly and enjoy the moment, he thought, if this wasn't his destiny, he didn't want to know.


9 - Venice

"There's no other place I'd rather be, than right here beside you."

Her smile was almost blinding and certainly the most beautiful sight he'd ever seen. If he could spend the rest of his life making her smile, then Clark thought it would be a life well lived.

"Smooth, Smallville, very smooth. I'll bet you say that to all the girls," she teased, looking at him coyly.

He laughed, then moved close enough to draw her into a brief hug. "Only the ones named Lois Lane."

Grinning, Lois tilted her head up. "You said something earlier about dinner?"

Holding her close, Clark pretended to give it some thought. "I might have said something about Paris, I think."

"No, no, I believe you said something about Venice."

"Venice? I'm sure I meant Paris."

Swatting him playfully on the arm, Lois moved out of the embrace. "I'm in the mood for Italian. If we want to be back in order to get a descent night's sleep we should to leave now. You'd better go change."

He glanced down at himself. Right. Of course he had to change. It was funny how he forgot sometimes. "Good idea. Superman will arrive in approximately ten seconds to pick you up."

"Don't be late."

Lois watched as Clark disappeared into their bedroom to change. With a satisfactory smile, she put on her coat. They both knew full well that he'd take her to Venice. That fact wouldn't stop them from arguing about it on the way there, though.


8 - Home

Smallville felt more like home than any other place in the world. His parents still fussed over him every time he came to visit. When Lois accompanied him, they fussed over her as well.

The first thing Clark noticed as he walked in was that there was a new photo sitting on the mantle. It was a wedding photo of Lois and Clark smiling and looking adoringly into each other's eyes.

"I just got the photos developed," a voice said.

Clark turned to see his mother standing in the kitchen. He thought she was still as beautiful as ever.

Martha looked at her son kindly. "I told you there was someone out there for you."


7 - Comfort

The news splashed it across television screens around the world. Everywhere the breaking story was how a terrorist had shot an innocent boy and Superman had landed only fast enough to catch the boy already dead in his arms. Two minutes too late and now a child was dead.

Clark didn't say a thing. Not to the cameras, not to the journalists and not to Lois. He'd landed on their balcony, changed and immediately gone to the kitchen to start cooking dinner. He didn't even do it at super speed. In fact, it seemed as if he was being as deliberately slow as he could.

Lois stood silently in the doorway just watching him. His back was to her and he was chopping vegetables. No matter how many times they went through this, she never managed to find all the right words to say. How could she? How could you make something so horrible okay?

"Do you need a hand?" she asked, settling instead for small talk. Maybe he'd give her an opening.

"No."

Or not. Suddenly she felt completely drained. Round two: State the obvious. "I saw the news."

"Everybody's seen the news," he replied casually, as if the world wasn't falling apart around them.

"You don't want to talk about this, I know. You never want to talk but it always helps. Why do we have to go through this every time? I wish you would just open up to me."

His shoulders slumped slightly and he set the knife down. Clark took a moment to breathe and turned to face her. They were only six feet apart but it felt like they were standing on opposite sides of a canyon.

"What am I supposed to say?" he asked, almost challenging. "I don't know the words. A five year-old boy is dead because I didn't get to him in time."

Lois felt frustration welling up inside and her voice raised. "No, a five year-old boy is dead because some evil man shot him. This is not your fault."

"I feel like I didn't do enough."

He had visibly relaxed so Lois crossed the distance separating them and took his hands in her own, a small gesture of comfort. "You did what you could."


6 - Love

She couldn't get enough of looking down at her hand. There sitting on her finger was an engagement ring. Lois was sure anyone who looked at her could tell how happy she felt. Giddy, even. Now there was a strange concept. She almost laughed out loud.

Clark sat opposite her, engrossed in work. She was supposed to be working herself and instead all she could think about was this damn ring. That's it, she was nuts. No. She was in love with Clark Kent. That thought didn't scare her any more.


5 - Dream

He was kissing her. Lois Lane. Finally, literally, actually kissing her for real. It should have been a dream. He vaguely wondered if he was silently going mad and it was a dream, but his mind was just refusing to believe it. Then her hand sneaked around his waist and it felt too good for it not to be real. Clark cupped her cheek and let out a soft sigh. This was better than perfect and more incredible then any of the kisses they'd shared in his dreams.

Chloe would hate him, he thought. He didn't want to wonder what it would do to her if she found out he'd been kissing Lois and Lois had been kissing him back. The problem was Clark wasn't sure he cared. After all, how could this be wrong when it felt so right?


4 - Moment

It was funny how a simple, insignificant moment could have so much meaning.

Lois and Clark were at work and Clark was leaning down over Lois's shoulder to look at the computer screen. It was natural, normal and in no way unusual. They sometimes helped each other out with stories. She'd asked for his opinion and he was giving it. Then again, why did his opinion seem to matter to her at all?

There was something about this closeness - heads nearly touching, his hand resting lightly on her shoulder - that should have felt awkward. It wasn't, it felt good and Lois knew then that she was in big, big trouble.

One moment Clark was just some annoying, immature boy from Kansas she barely cared about knowing. Yet somehow, in a moment she obviously hadn't been quite aware of, he'd become her closet friend. He still irritated her to no end and his naiveté still amazed her at times. Clark drove her crazy, which was more than any other man had ever done.

"Lois, are you listening?"

She snapped back to reality with a frightening jolt. "Huh?"

Clark straightened and smiled slightly, obviously enjoying watching her squirm just a little. "You didn't hear a thing I said, did you?"

Looking up at him, Lois bristled, ready to attack, but then thought better of it. "Forget it," was all she said.

He looked at her questioningly. She stared right back.

In her mind all Lois could do was trample over any ideas that Clark was slowly becoming far more important to her than he should be. He was a friend, nothing more. There was no way she was going to fall for a small-town farm boy who still hand-wrote letters home to his parents instead of using email.


3 - Collision

It seemed no matter where he went Lois Lane managed to show up. First it was Smallville, now it was Metropolis. He was beginning to see a pattern.

Completely lost in thought, Clark had literally crashed into Lois. Papers went flying and only after mumbling a tirade of apologies did he realize who he was apologizing to.

"You know, I get the impression that you've never been all that good at avoiding a collision. It must be a talent by now," Lois quipped as she bent to gather her scattered papers.

"Hi. I'm really sorry, I didn't see you," Clark said, bending to help her. "Look, I'll… how about I buy you a coffee? We can catch up."

She paused a moment, folders clutched in her hands. Sighing, Lois checked her watch. "I have about an hour before my next class. The Metropolis Café is ten minutes walk away; it's the only place around here that serves a decent coffee. Your shout."

Clark still had a rocky relationship with destiny. The word seemed to rule his life. He was destined for this, destined for that. Well, he wasn't how he felt about destiny, but he wasn't ready to believe that this was it. So no, this was not destiny.

This was just a coincidence.


2 - Distance

"See you around, Smallville."

A strange feeling settled over Clark as he watched Lois walk away. In a short amount of time Lois Lane had gotten to him. Crawled under his skin or something. Clark wasn't even sure he liked that feeling, it bugged him that she managed to effect him at all. At times Lois made him want to scream and other times just her presence seemed calming.

The only thing that came to mind was that he might actually miss her. A feeling of emptiness began to creep over him as he stared into the distance. Clark couldn't explain it; he just didn't feel right. Until this moment, he didn't even know what 'right' felt like. Whatever 'right' was, this was his first inkling that Lois Lane had something to do with it.


1 - Need

Great. Lois hated him. Well, maybe 'hated' wasn't quite the right term. 'Disliked with a passion' might be more accurate. However you took it, they just weren't getting along.

He couldn't pinpoint exactly why that was, but he thought it might just be Lois. She made it almost impossible for him to bite back remarks to whatever she said. She provoked and pushed him until he could take no more.

Clark could never work out how she was going to react to anything. One minute she could be teasing or smiling... nice even. A moment later she could be blazing with anger. He'd offered her his help and she'd bitten his head off. Apparently she could handle herself and if he thought otherwise he would learn soon enough.

Fine, so she didn't need him. Well, Clark didn't need her either. For all he cared Lois could just go as far away from Smallville as possible and not come back. A part of him wished she'd never come in the first place. She'd completely shaken him up and he wondered if he'd ever be the same.


0 - Beginning

"The best ones always start that way."

Clark remembered Lana's words at the most inappropriate times. It was as if he was being taunted with them when all he wanted to do was ignore them.

Lois Lane had not impressed Clark Kent at all, but she did get his attention. Headstrong and fearless was a whole new experience. Lois was stuck up, rude, bossy and she talked a lot, which was fine, because there was no reason he would fall for her. No reason at all.