Pairings/Characters: Clark/Lex, Jonathan/Martha
Genres: Challenge, Fluff, Slice-Of-Life
Claim: For my 2011 clexmas Spring/Summer/Autumn Fling Bingo Card.
Pattern: Basic Bingo (Floating/A Straight Line/Horizontal)
Prompt Count: (4/5)
Summary: The Kents invite Lex to take part in a family celebration.
Date Of Completion: May 26, 2011
Date Of Posting: June 14, 2011
Disclaimer: I don’t own ‘em, DC and Warner Brothers do, more’s the pity.
Word Count: 1244
Feedback welcome and appreciated.
Author’s Note: Once again, food fic! ;)
Golden and sweet,
Just like the taste
“You’re inviting me?”
Lex’s genuine surprised puzzlement made Martha feel sad. For all his wealth and fame, he did not seem to have much experience with simple, heartfelt invitations.
“Yes, Lex. The first corn is in and we like to celebrate.”
Lex still looked hesitant but he managed a smile. “Does Mr. Kent join in this invitation?”
Martha laughed. “You don’t worry about Jonathan. Clark and I will take care of him.”
His smile grew wider. “All right, then. I’ll be here.”
“Come at 11:30. We eat at noon.”
Lex thanked her and got into his silver Porsche, driving down the gravel driveway with a flourish.
Martha went inside the house, entering the sunny kitchen. Jonathan was cutting up apples for the pie she intended to bake.
“So you invited him.”
Jonathan sighed. “Martha…”
Martha took out a wooden cutting board and the King Arthur flour. “Honey, Clark is friends with Lex. I know he’s a Luthor and all, but he’s been nothing but civil to us.” Jonathan harrumphed. “Besides, think of how it might tweak Lionel to see our boys as friends.”
Jonathan quirked a smile. “I guess Lex isn’t so bad.”
Lex arrived punctually at 11:30, bringing a box labeled Maria’s Bakery.
“Is that red velvet cake?” Martha asked.
“Yes, ma’am,” said Lex.
“I made apple pie, but we can have both. Gives us a choice.”
“Choices are always good.”
Martha smiled. “I’m glad you could come, Lex.”
“Thank you for inviting me.”
“Come on. You can help with the food.”
Lex obediently followed, Martha impressed by the quiet politeness of her son’s best friend.
She led Lex to the backyard where the picnic table was covered with a red-and-white checked tablecloth, paper plates held down by a paperweight from the last county fair. A pitcher of lemonade was set on the table in the shade of the ancient maple tree, the branches towering up to the sky.
“Come on in. We’re going to be bringing out the food soon.”
Jonathan looked up from his duties at the barbeque, the smell of cooking meat wafting on the air as he turned the hot dogs and hamburgers over on the grill.
“Hello, Mr. Kent.”
“Clark’s in the kitchen, dear,” said Martha to Lex.
He followed her inside, Clark turning at their entrance. He smiled brilliantly. “Hi, Lex.”
“Whoa, is that a Maria’s box I see?”
“It is,” Martha said with a smile. “Red velvet cake.”
“Oh, wow, thanks, Lex!”
“Ah, the way to a Kent man’s heart is through his stomach.” Martha’s green eyes twinkled.
“I’ll remember that,” said Lex with a twinkle of his own.
Clark was cutting up tomatoes and cucumbers. “Grab a knife, Lex. Plenty of veggies to slice.”
“Don’t forget the peppers, honey,” said Martha as she set the box on the counter. The kitchen smelled of fresh corn, a basket of ears set on the table.
Clark finished his batch of grape tomatoes and started shucking corn. Martha wrapped the ears in foil, bringing a plateful out to Jonathan.
“We’ll grill some and you can eat others plain. Both flavors are delicious.” Clark started a new batch of corn.
“I’ve never had grilled corn before.”
“You’re in for a real treat.”
Martha was at the screen door as Lex said, “I’ve never had corn-on-the-cob before, either.” She stopped with her hand on the door handle. She could see the shock in Clark’s eyes, though Lex was busy with his chopping and missed it.
“Well, like I said, you’re in for a treat,” Clark said smoothly, covering up his surprise.
Martha was saddened at the lack of simple pleasures in Lex’s life. She turned the handle.
“How’s the salad coming, boys?”
The soft glow of the kitchen was soothing, Martha proud of her domain, of the green hanging plants and the net of onions, the potted oregano plants on the windowsill, the blue gingham curtains and the colorful array of refrigerator magnets that created a hominess that welcomed everyone who came into this house.
Clark was positively sparkling, laughing and teasing Lex, who was enjoying himself. Lex was usually reserved but when with Clark, seemed to relax and have fun.
Martha asked Lex to toss the salad as Clark finished wrapping the ears of corn. She watched Lex’s precise movements as he chopped, scooped, and tossed the ingredients.
What must it been like to have been raised by Lionel after Lillian was gone? Alone, a vulnerable child in Lionel’s clutches?
Martha brought out the plate of corn to Jonathan. Well, they could give Lex a taste of family life.
Clark and Lex came outside with the salad and corn, and Martha went back in to get the buns. By the time she returned to the picnic table, the boys were seated and Jonathan was placing the plate of hot dogs and hamburgers on the table.
“We’ve got mustard, ketchup, sweet relish and corn relish for your condiments. Oh, and red onion slices, too,” Martha recited.
“Mom, where’s the pickles?”
“Oh, I forgot ‘em. I’ll go get them.” Martha started to get up.
“No need, Mom, I’ll get ‘em.” Clark smiled at Lex. “Lex likes lots of pickles.”
Lex laughed. “What can I say? I love pickles.”
“Clark does, too.” Martha took a sip of lemonade. “Something else you boys have in common.” She smiled at Lex’s startled expression. She was pleased that he was relaxed enough to joke. Clark came back with a jar of hamburger pickle slices.
“Thanks, Clark,” Lex said with a smile.
“I also cut up some beefsteak tomatoes,” Clark said, setting a plate down on the table.
“Mmm, good idea, honey,” Martha approved.
Lex happily added pickles and tomatoes to his hamburger already topped with chopped onions. He added corn relish and mustard and took a bite.
“Delicious,” he declared.
“Thanks, Lex,” said Jonathan. “Martha made the patties and I did the grilling, of course.”
“I use eggs and bread crumbs to mix in.” Martha put pickles on her own burger.
“This is better than Kobe beef,” Lex said.
“You mean those fancy burgers like in Metropolis?” asked, Clark.
“Aren’t they expensive?”
“About twenty-five to thirty dollars a pop.”
The Kents were surprised to hear such a high price for a hamburger. Lex chuckled.
Martha admitted to herself that she was a good maker of hamburgers and Jonathan a good barbeque chef. The tang of mustard and onions combined with the sweetness of the pickles and corn relish, with the added richness of ketchup.
Even better was her son enjoying his time with his friend, and Lex having a good time, too. Clark positively glowed with happiness.
Lex was happy. He tasted the hamburger with extra pickles, eating a hot dog next, his appetite ravenous. He ate a fresh ear of corn, then a grilled one, the taste like sunshine.
He nearly blushed at the notion. When had he left his world of cold, hard facts and entered the realm of fanciful prose?
When you met Clark.
It was so simple, really. Corn tasted like sunshine, and he wanted to taste Clark. Did he taste like sunshine, too?
Someday he intended to find out. For now, he was just enjoying a nice summer day with no agenda or suspicions, just happiness.
Clark smiled at him.