Disclaimer: Smallville and all related elements, characters and indicia © Tollin-Robbins Productions and Warner Bros. Television, 2002. All Rights Reserved. All characters and situations—except those created by the author—are copyright Tollin-Robbins Productions and Warner Bros. Television. Superman created by Jerry Siegel and Joe Schuster.

Butterfly Kisses

CHAPTER ONE

The azure sky was clear as the late July sun baked the Kansas countryside. A lone female could be seen running; her long stride on well muscled legs, a testament too many miles ran, exhibited her enjoyment of the exercise. With each step she felt freer than she had in months.

It wasn't that she didn't enjoy running in Metropolis, but here she hadn't heard ant cat-calls or whistles. There were no lame pick-up lines. No pervs following her, enjoying the sight of her toned body. No one was fantasizing about getting sweaty with her. She had been seen while on this run – a few cows enjoying their cud, some birds occupying the phone lines, and the few fish that had witnessed her skinny-dipping in Crater Lake just before she started back.

Her legs, while toned and shapely, also bore the scars that her lifestyle seemed to provide; the abrasions on her knees were barely visible, there was a slight pucker from a bullet hole on her right thigh – as was a still pink tendril of a scar from a knife slash, and both ankles, as well as wrists, had nearly healed scars from being sadistically tied to a railroad track – cliché maybe, but almost lethal. Despite all this, she still kept at her job, thankful for an over-protective partner and a guardian alien – not that she would ever admit it.

When she reached the outer boundary fences of the Kent Farm, the soft sound of her footsteps were joined with familiar ones. She glanced at him as he pulled along side of her; there was joy and adoration on his mug while he ran beside her.

As the farm house came into view, he charged ahead to a gate post and lifted a leg…

"Good one, Shelby!" She called as she passed him, "Show that stick whose boss."

As she neared the farm house, she saw a familiar blue and red clad figure walk from the barn and start to leisurely fly towards Metropolis, only to stop in mid-air for a second and streak to the South.

When she stopped by her car, she made a mental note to ask Clark about why Superman had stopped. She then leaned forward and began stretching her tired muscles. Shelby caught up with her and sat nearby watching her with his tail wagging happily in the dust; she was glad that she had remembered to take her allergy medicine.

As she wrapped her arms around her legs, she heard Clark open the barn door and drop a load of planks.

She laughed to herself before she chastised him, "Quit looking at my ass, Smallville!"

"Lois? I didn't recognize the face."

"Hey!" She barked. 'Smallville's going down for that!' she thought angrily, "Plaid Boy, who else would be stretching at my car?"

"A repo-man… er, woman?"

"Keep it up and I'll repo your desk at the Planet!"

"Only Perry can do that."

"He owes me one."

"For what?"

She glared at him, "Taking one of his charity cases under my wing!"

His eyes narrowed, knowing that she was implying that he was the charity case. Then he was distracted by her standing up, placing a foot on her fender and straightening her leg. Gracefully, she leaned forward to touch her toes, and her shorts inched up distractingly high.

With a Herculean effort, he blinked and cleared his throat, "To what do I owe the pleasure of you interrupting my day off?"

"I wanted a run," she answered while changing legs, "without perverts leering at my body." Leaning forward, she didn't notice him turn away with a look of guilt on his face. "Is the house open? I want a shower."

"Of course, Lois, feel free, my house is always open to you." She took no notice of the sarcasm in his voice. "But I don't think that there will be hot water."

"No problem, Smallville. On a day like today a cool shower will be welcome."

"Then don't let me stop you."

"Clark?" she asked straightening up, "You know the geology around here pretty well don't you?"

"I suppose so; I took geology in high school and a couple of courses in college."

She pulled a rock out of her pocket and tossed it to him. He caught it and immediately stood taller.

"It looks like a ruby, but they aren't native to this area are they?"

TBC…