He gave flowers to her once, roses on the February 14th that followed the birth of their (her) son and didn't think to get them de-thorned, or maybe got caught up thinking it was part of their natural beauty, a metaphor for Lois herself, and who was careless enough to prick their fingers on flowers?
She did, and he remembers the thick drop welling up against the base of her thumb, the accusing look she turned on him before she popped it into her mouth and sucked the blood away.
This year he is careful when he doesn't have to be; lays a trail of petals from the door to the bedroom. He is scattering the last handful when Clark surprises him, sweeping him up into the concentration of his kiss and scattering the smell of crushed roses all around them. A cape pools around their feet and without wings, they take flight.
He is careful not to touch him more than skin and bone can support. While Richard sleeps, he skims a hand over the body that has given him so much pleasure, touching the surface, careful not to disturb. Planting a kiss on the throat's hollow he gathers the taste of him into a memory, swallowing it to last inside him, where he knows it cannot die. He leaves when the steady slow-thud of the heart and breath on his cheek tells him the man will not wake when he stirs up from the bed. Toward morning he curls up against him bringing the fresh-charged air of the first light's cloud with him, and an arm goes around him, pulling him close. He shuts his eyes but he cannot sleep.
"What is this?" Clark's disarming tone doesn't fool him and Richard flashes him a grin.
"I hope you weren't expecting flowers, Kent," he says, reaching his desk with coat flung over his shoulder, briefcase in one hand.
Clark's slow blink is the calculating one he recognizes as caught off guard, but rallying fast. "It's Valentine's Day."
"Very good," Richard says, raising his brows. "Top of the class."
"And these are tickets to the Magic Flute?"
Richard grins by way of answer, pleased with himself. He's been planning this for months and it's amazingly hard to slip something past Superman.
"Well, it's not chocolates or diamonds," Clark continues, sounding approving, "but it's definitely a Valentine's day gift. Richard, did you think about what this means?"
"Definitely," he replies in all seriousness. "A swanky night out, dinner at an uptown restaurant, magic with Mozart...I expect to get laid, Mr. Kent."
Clark doesn't laugh, which is either a good sign, agreement, or he's heard an emergency halfway around the world. Then he says, equally grave, "Well, so long as you know. I'll get you something on March 14th*, then."
Richard trails Clark to the elevator, brows canting in puzzlement, then he remembers because he has, after all, been a news correspondent in Japan. "Wait, I am NOT the girl!"
In the morning after, he wakes from the lightest of sleeps that he rarely needs but finds himself in after extreme exhaustion, exertion, or just plain happiness and he props a folded arm under his head. Richard is gone but he can hear water swirling down the drain, the individual velocity of each and every drop spattering over skin, and pulls back awareness when he gets lost in the steady swish and gurgle of blood pumping through veins. His brow creases and he doesn't have to listen hard to catch the next sound: Richard has a marvelous, clear, carrying voice.
One enterprising afternoon he maps every pulse point on Clark's body and the only surprise is that each one matches all the places where his own blood flutters just beneath the surface. Beneath him Clark shudders and groans and when their mouths meet again Richard shares the taste of sweat between them. The ripple-flex of Clark's stomach as he rises to meet him sends a zing through Richard sweeter than aphrodisiac or candy. Then Clark presses Richard to the mattress and takes his turn, takes his time, pinning Richard's thighs down with the power of arms flung over him until the glittering veil of sex descends.
It's a while before Richard opens his eyes again.
"How was it?" Clark asks with a hint of anxiety, and Richard rolls over and props himself on his elbow.
"Better than chocolate," Richard vows.