Title: The Christmas Party (1/1)
Pairings/Characters: Clark/Lex, Martha Kent, Jenson, Pete Ross, Lana Lang, Chloe Sullivan, Miranda Ashton
Genre: Challenge, Fluff, Holiday, Humor, Romance
Summary: Lex has a Christmas emergency! Clark comes to the rescue. ;)
Date Of Completion: December 1, 2011
Dates Of Posting: December 26, 2011 (Clexmas), January 16, 2012
Disclaimer: I don’t own ‘em, DC and Warner Brothers do, more’s the pity.
Word Count: 2399
Feedback welcome and appreciated.
Author’s Note: Written for the 2011 Clexmas Winter Holidays Gift Exchange for josephina_x. Pairing: Clark/Lex. Prompt: Clark is (forcibly?) enlisted to help with something Lex can't handle on his own. Also written for my 2011 DCU Fic/Art Silver-’N’-Gold Winter Holidays Challenge. Prompt: Silver ‘N’ Gold. ;) and for saavikam77’s 2011 DCU_Freeforall Winter Holidays Challenge. Prompts: No. 1: Holiday Party; No. 10: Santa Claus/Sleigh/Reindeer and No. 11: Candy Canes/Cookies.
“What is it, Lex?” Clark gripped the handset tightly, his heart pounding.
“Can you come over right away?”
“Sure. Hold on!” Clark hung up the phone. “Mom, I’m going over to the mansion.”
“All right, honey,” Martha said from the living room.
Clark put on boots, coat, hat and gloves. He wound a red scarf around his neck. He didn’t need any of it, of course, but showing up without outerwear when it was ten degrees outside would not be wise. He hopped into the truck and prayed that it would start. The engine turned over twice but caught and Clark was on his way.
There had been an edge of panic in Lex’s voice. Clark’s stomach clenched at the thought of Lex in danger.
The truck’s snow tires did a good job as Clark drove. He was careful, not wanting to get into an accident. He really wished that he could use his super-speed, but it was out of the question, of course.
He finally reached the Luthor castle. It was decorated with enormous wreaths on the door and windows, the red bows and elaborate fruits and berries colorful and perfectly-arranged.
Clark parked the truck and leaped out, running to the front door and ringing the bell. He waited impatiently until the door opened.
“Oh, Master Clark. So good to see you.”
“Hello, Jenson,” Clark said to the middle-aged butler.
Jenson smiled and said, “Master Lex is in the library.”
Clark removed his boots and outerwear, Jenson taking hold of them. Clark hurried down the hall toward the library and opened the doors. He stopped short.
Lex was sitting on the floor in the middle of dozens of toys, wrapping paper, bows, ribbons and shopping bags. Boxes were stacked by the couch and tilting dangerously.
“What is all this?”
Lex sighed. “Presents for the Metropolis Children’s Shelter.”
“That’s your big emergency?”
“It’s part of it,” Lex admitted sheepishly.
Clark carefully picked his way through the explosion of Christmas finery. He knelt next to Lex.
“What’s the rest of it?” Clark asked as he picked up the scissors and began cutting wrapping paper to fit a box containing a Muppet doll. “Cool, Beaker! He’s my favorite.”
“Somehow I was dragooned into throwing a Christmas party for the rugrats.” Lex rustled through some paper. “Dr. Bunson Honeydew is my favorite.”
Clark laughed at both pronouncements. “Is that all?”
Lex threw up his arms and a stray gold ribbon looped over his ear. “I don’t know anything about kids’ parties!”
Clark carefully did not show any sadness or pity in his expression. No man liked to be pitied, but especially Lex.
I know you don’t know anything about kids’ parties, Lex. I doubt that Lionel threw you any.
Instead of pity, Clark leaned over and kissed Lex on the nose. Startled, Lex looked at Clark with wide eyes and burst out laughing.
“Help me with these gifts, will you, and then maybe you can help me put together this party.”
“Why don’t you just hire someone to do it like you hired the professional decorators to decorate the mansion?” Clark picked up a box with a baby doll behind the cellophane. “Are there specific tags for these presents?”
“Um, yeah.” Lex fished around under some discarded wrapping paper. “Here’s the list.” He pointed to a red box. “The tags are in there.”
Clark opened the box and took out the tag that read, #9: 6-Yr-Old Girl. The list showed Betty, Baby Doll for No. 9. He wrapped the box and taped the tag to the box. He did the same for the Beaker doll. He thought that Lex had forgotten his question but should have known better. Lex never forgot anything.
“Somehow the Director got me to promise to put this together myself.”
“You can’t get out of it?”
“You don’t know Director Ashton.”
Clark grinned as he found a train set. He carefully wrapped it up and applied the right tag.
“So what kind of entertainment should I set up?” Lex asked and sighed as Clark leaned over and plucked the gold ribbon from around his ear.
“Santa Claus giving out presents should be a big hit.” Clark mischievously threw the ribbon up in the air and it fell to land in his hair, glittering against raven locks.
“All right. What kind of food should I serve?” Lex tried to concentrate on his question but a glittering Clark was hard to ignore.
“Oh, fun stuff.”
“Yeah, cookies and ice cream and good stuff like that.”
“Okay.” Clark could see Lex making a list in his head “They already have Christmas decorations up but I suppose we could add more.”
“I can help you pick those out. I’ll help you shop for the food, too.” Lex looked pained and Clark laughed. “Relax, Lex, shopping at the supermarket isn’t the end of the world. You might even enjoy it.” At Lex’s eyeroll, Clark laughed again.
With Clark’s help, Lex managed to make headway with the wrapping. As they wrapped they listened to Christmas carols after Clark turned on the radio and tuned in the local station, continuing their task in companionable silence. When they finished and started clearing away the bits and pieces of paper and ribbons, Jenson brought in a tray of Christmas cookies and buttermilk. Red and green sprinkles decorated the cookies shaped like stars and trees.
“Thank Cook for me,” Clark said with a brilliant smile.
“Of course, sir.” Jenson left the room.
“Hw do you always get to people? Cook adores you and Jenson highly approves of you.”
“I’m just a loveable guy,” grinned Clark as he ate a cookie.
“Oh, I know.” Lex leaned in for a kiss.
“Mmm, you taste even better than the cookie.”
“I hope so!”
They ate their cookies and drank their milk by a roaring fire in the hearth and Clark promised to take Lex shopping the next day.
“What’s wrong with specialty shops in Metropolis?” asked Lex as they entered the local Kroger’s Supermarket in Granville.
“You can use them but some of the stuff I’m thinking of is here. Grab a cart, will you, Lex?”
“What I do for love,” Lex grumbled while Clark cheerfully led the way through the automatic doors.
Inside was a bewildering array of food arranged in aisles and in more open sections. Fruit of all shapes, sizes and colors filled bins as Clark found bags of cranberries.
“Uh huh. We can use them for decorating the tree and to bake bread.”
“Clark, I can’t.”
“I’ll teach you. After all, I had a great one in Mom.”
Dubiously Lex pushed the cart behind Clark. The teenager looked over a selection of oranges. “We can slice these up and make cups of fruit for the kids so they’re not just getting on a sugar high. Let’s get white and red grapes, too.”
“Kids will like fruit better than cookies?” Lex asked skeptically.
“Believe it or not, some will. The trick is to offer sweet not sour fruit. As long as they can have cookies and candy they’ll be happy to get the fruit, too.”
As Clark looked over the selection of grapes, Lex noticed two middle-aged women looking at them and whispering to each other. Lex had the urge to pinch Clark’s butt.
Really give those hens something to cluck over.
He could read their disapproval. It amused him that they assumed that he and Clark were a couple. They were right about that but they weren’t open about it for a myriad of reasons.
“Cantaloupe. And honeydew melon.” Clark marched over to the bins and started squeezing the melons.
Lex trained his eyes on Clark’s buttocks. Perfectly round and firmly packed, they were works of perfection.
“Hmm, this one’s good.” Clark set a melon in the cart and squeezed another.
“I’d like to squeeze your melons,” Lex muttered.
“I said let me squeeze a melon.”
Somehow Lex survived the produce section as Clark rhapsodized about the freshness of the honeydew melons. “We’ll have to use frozen strawberries. There’s none here. Too out-of-season.”
“You’re the expert.”
“Okay, on to the bakery.”
“Lead on, farmboy.”
Clark flashed him a smile and Lex dutifully followed with the cart. It was a nice view, anyway.
In the bakery section Clark started piling boxes into the car.
“What are these?”
“Christmas cookies. The more sprinkled with sugar, the better.”
“Store-bought?” Lex sounded scandalized.
“These are good cookies, Lex.”
“You’ve eaten cookies not baked by your mother?”
Clark laughed. “Yes, I have. Mom doesn’t have time right now to bake dozens of cookies, so I figured we’d go this route. Okay, candy aisle next.”
Clark chose several different kinds of chocolates, putting several bags in the cart. “We’ll get punch and soda and that should do it.”
“Won’t they be bouncing off the walls with all this sugar?”
“Oh, they’ll be already bouncy. We’ll be rationing the sweets, anyway.”
“And how do we do that?” asked Lex archly.
“We keep the kids interested with games and presents.”
“So you say.”
Clark laughed again. “Don’t worry, Lex, we can ask Lana and Chloe if they’d like to help out. I’ll see if I can dragoon Pete, too.”
“All right, we can use all the help we can get.”
“We’ll be able to get more Christmas decorations at Mrs. Piezweski’s shop in town.”
“Never let it be said that I don’t patronize local businesses.”
When they reached the check-out line Clark started unloading the cart. Lex noticed the tabloids in the rack and sighed.
“What’s the matter, Lex?”
Clark saw the tabloid and the picture of Lex splashed across the front page. “Oh, c’mon, Lex, you must be used to these rags by now.”
Lex grimaced. “I suppose.”
“I know so.”
Clark packed away the purchases in paper bags and smiled at the teenage cashier as she announced the final tally. He waved his hand toward Lex. “He’ll take care of it.”
Impressed, the girl turned to Lex who shook his head fondly and paid the bill.
“C’mon, honey,” Clark smiled saucily as he pushed the cart toward the exit. The cashier giggled and Lex ruefully smiled as he followed Clark, smiling all the way.
The rec room of the Metropolis Children’s Home was gaily-decorated with garlands of silver and gold festooned from the ceiling and plastic cut-outs of Santa, Rudolph and his eight reindeer on the walls. A decorated Christmas tree was set in the corner with the gifts spread out underneath, more garlands making the tree sparkle.
Lex helped out with the games and noticed that while most of the kids ate the cookies and chocolates first, they happily polished off the fruit cups, too. Ice cream would be the last food served after they distributed the presents.
So far so good, Lex thought. The kids were having fun and the shelter staff and the Smallville contingent were helping keep things under control. Pete, Lana and Chloe were having fun.
Clark hadn’t stopped smiling since the party had started. He seemed to be everywhere at once, handing out food, supervising games, and assuring the children that everyone would get a present.
Lex had never loved Clark more. Putting together a kids’ Christmas party might not seem like a big thing, but to Lex, it had been foreign territory.
The sound of jingle bells filled the room as Lana shut the CD player off. The sudden cessation of Christmas carols allowed the bells to really shine.
”Ho, ho, ho!”
“Santa!” shrieked the children. They immediately surrounded the elderly gentleman in his fur-trimmed red suit.
Clark stood by the tree, a Santa hat on his head and a bell jangling from the end. Chloe joined him with a hat of her own.
“Ah, my helpers. All right, elves, let’s hand out the presents.”
Lex watched the ritual, impressed by the man playing Santa Claus. He certainly was projecting the jolly old elf.
Chloe was a natural, sparkling and jolly, and Clark could outshine even her. He loved the holiday and threw himself into it all the way.
Lex was proud of him as he watched Clark charm the children and not a few adults. He enjoyed watching the younger man’s genuine delight in all of the Christmas traditions.
Lionel had always scoffed at what he called cheap sentimentality. He pretended to observe the customs of the holiday, always making sure that the penthouse and LuthorCorp were decorated by professionals. Lex couldn’t remember ever decorating a tree as a family event. It had all been for show.
Clark was genuine and teaching Lex how to enjoy the simple things in life, the important, the real. Despite Clark’s secrets, he was as honest as he could be with Lex. The secrets…well, maybe someday Clark would trust him enough to tell him. Until then, there was the here and now.
This beautiful man loves me. I’d better enjoy it while I can.
“He’s a remarkable young man, isn’t he?”
Lex turned to see the director of the shelter next to him. A handsome woman around forty, she was stylishly-dressed in a dark-green dress with a gold scarf and Christmas tree brooch that sparkled with various jewels. Her chestnut hair was fashionably coiffed and her brown eyes were perceptive.
“Yes, he’s pretty special.”
Miranda Ashton smiled. “All of your Smallville friends seem like nice people.”
Lex was a bit startled that the kids from Smallville were considered his friends, but maybe Ms. Ashton was right. They were here, after all, but could just be doing Clark a favor.
“Well, Mr. Luthor, you’re a pretty lucky man with friends like that.” She moved off to talk with one of the volunteers from the shelter.
I really am lucky.
Lex smiled as Clark’s eyes shone as he handed a little boy his gift.
As the children delighted over their gifts and went to the table for ice cream, Clark found Lex by the doorway. Lex laughed as the bell at the end of Clark’s Santa hat jingled.
“How’s Santa’s elf?”
Clark grinned. “Feelin’ jolly. How about you?”
Lex took a fistful of Clark’s shirt and pulled him into the hall. He kissed him to the melodic sounds of children singing Jingle Bells while Clark’s hat bell jingled wildly as he enthusiastically returned the kiss.
“Merry Christmas, Lex.”
“Merry Christmas, Clark.”