By Carolyn B. Schnall <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Submitted December 2000
Summary: Clark strikes upon the perfect way to give Lois more presents — they'll celebrate both Christmas and Hanukkah!
Lois, Clark, Perry and Jimmy all belong to DC Comics, Dec. 3rd Productions, TNT, Warner Brothers, etc. All the others are mine as is this story. No infringement on their rights is intended.
I borrowed part of an idea from Chris Reeve (fourth Sman movie), and I hope he won't mind. I think this may be the first Hanukkah fanfic ever, though I fervently hope it will not be the only one:) ***
Clark was walking through the newsroom, musing about what to give Lois for the upcoming holidays, when he passed the desk of his friend, Ben Goldfarb, a feature editor. On Ben's desk was an eye-catching graphic of a candelabrum in gold with blue and white candles burning merrily away. In the foreground was a toy, a top with Hebrew letters on it, and gold coins of different sizes from no particular country. In the background was a picture of a family enjoying a meal of fritters and another picture, this one of an ancient warrior. Despite the vivid colors and the interesting images, what caught Clark's attention was the face of the warrior. The man, dressed in a toga and bearing a large broad sword, resembled none other than Superman!
Clark resisted the temptation to remove his glasses to take a closer look. It was an undeniable resemblance. A slight, sinking feeling made itself known.
"Uh, Ben," Clark addressed his friend. "Who is that supposed to be?"
"He looks familiar."
"Oh, yes, well, I was trying to picture what a hero looks like and the only true hero I've seen up close is Superman."
Clark unexpectedly blushed, never completely ready to face the unabashed admiration meant for Superman. He turned his face away and picked up the picture so that Ben would not see his pink cheeks.
"Oh, Ben, isn't he supposed to have a beard? And more hair?"
"I guess you're right! I almost forgot."
As Ben got busy filling in the aforementioned beard, Clark read the copy that went with the graphic.
"Judah Maccabee was the hero of the Jewish holiday of Hanukkah. In the year 175 BCE, in the city of Modin, Syrian Greeks led by King Antiochus, tried to force the Hebrews to worship the way his own people did. Those who did were called Hellenists. However, the family of Mattathias Maccabee, especially the youngest son, Judah, led the army of the Hebrews against the men of Antiochus. Judah Maccabee and his army defeated the Syrian Greeks. The Temple in Jerusalem, which had been turned into a Syrian Greek temple, was cleansed and prepared for the evening service. The Hebrews found enough oil for the traditional Eternal Flame to burn for only one day, but a miracle occurred and it burned for eight days. From then on, the tradition of lighting a candle for each of eight nights, in a special candelabrum called a menorah, has endured. Families eat potato pancakes called 'latkes,' chocolate disguised as coins called 'gelt' and play a game with a top called a 'dreidle.'"
Clark was familiar with the story from the years of his world travels. He had visited Israel, learned Hebrew and had read the stories of the holidays of all the religions represented there.
"Here's the last paragraph, Clark," Ben said, offering him another page to read.
"Metropolian merchants are gearing up for an early gift giving season, since it is also traditional for observant families to exchange gifts with each other for each of the eight days. The Christmas and New Year holidays will follow directly and store owners are hoping for a record turnout."
Clark handed the copy back to Ben. "Sounds like a lot of fun. Almost as much fun as the twelve days of Christmas!"
Ben laughed and turned back to finish adding hair to the image of Judah Maccabee, who had ceased looking just like a certain super hero. As Clark walked towards Lois' desk, a thought struck him. If he gave Lois a gift for each of the eight days of Hanukkah and then gave her a gift for each of the twelve days of Christmas, he could give her a gift everyday for twenty days. Since there were nearly twenty items he had wanted to give her, it seemed to him that this plan would work out just right.
This thought registered as a satisfied, closed-lipped smile when he approached his wife's desk. Lois looked up at him with a questioning look and then she took in the smile.
"What are you thinking about?" she inquired coyly.
"Wouldn't you like to know?" he teased back, grabbing her hand and smoothing her sleeve back so he could plant a kiss on each knuckle.
"You know I would. It's what makes me a good reporter!"
"It's what makes you a great reporter! Not to mention a great partner." He went on kissing her, moving his lips to her wrist.
"Does this have something to do with what we are going to do tonight?"
"Tonight?" This question triggered another in his head and he flashed at Super-speed over to Ben's desk and back without anyone but Lois noticing. He now knew that the first night of Hanukkah was that very evening.
"Yes, we'll begin tonight. I've got to…" He touched his tie and moved away from her.
She had already turned back toward her desk and waved him away, "Later…"
Clark had already decided what he wanted to get Lois but the stores he needed to visit were all over town. He had a story to file by deadline and he knew he only had about an hour before he had to head back to the Daily Planet. He decided that Super-velocity was called for to head off Perry White's wrath and he whizzed around Metropolis, purchasing items and leaving cash in a dozen or so stores. At Super-speed he headed home and wrapped the gifts in blue and white or in green and red paper. As an added touch, he set up a menorah with candles in the dining room and hid most of the presents away. He made it back to work just in time to speed-type his latest story for the evening edition. Jimmy Olsen almost caught him using Super-powers but Clark slowed down just in time and before the keyboard started to smoke.
The satisfied smile had returned to his face by the time Lois finished filing her story for the day and she glanced over at him.
"Just what are you up to?"
"You will have to find out for yourself," he responded, completely ignoring her answering snort.
"Let's go home, Cryptic Boy."
"Hehe," he chuckled as he followed her up the ramp to the elevators. He held hands with her until the elevator arrived and he could tell she was disappointed that they would not be alone on the elevator. However, as they piled into her Jeep and closed the doors, she started badgering him with questions about his plans for the evening ahead. He refused to answer and just sat in the passenger seat with that same maddening smile plastered across his features.
Finally, they entered the townhouse together and Clark made sure he preceded Lois into the house. He lowered his glasses slightly so that he could use his heat vision to light two candles in the menorah on the dining room table. As Lois came further into the living room, Clark was rewarded with her look of wide-eyed wonder and a giggle as she took in the festive scene.
"Is that a menorah?"
"Uh-huh." He was really pleased.
"Is that a gift for me?"
"Uh-huh." Clark was thrilled that she was catching on.
"Is this for Hanukkah?" This last question carried the ring of puzzlement.
"Uh-huh." Clark stood with his hands in his pockets, enjoying himself.
She turned to face him, the expectant look on her face all too obvious.
"Open the gift," he urged, one hand coming out of a pocket to gesture toward the table.
"But I didn't get you anything…for Hanukkah."
"Lois, don't worry about it."
"But I didn't even know we celebrate Hanukkah!"
"It's okay, Lois, just open your gift."
Lois seemed stupefied by the pretty candles and remained motionless. Even Clark's Super-patience was tested.
"Lois!" he finally uttered in something akin to a growled whine.
She immediately launched herself forward and grabbed up the prettily wrapped package. She ripped off the ribbon, the paper, and the lid of the box they revealed.
"Ohhhhhhhh, Clark!" was her enthusiastic, surprised reaction.
She reached into the box and pulled out a gold tennis bracelet. She held it up until the gold caught the candlelight. She turned the jewelry so that it glittered in the dancing, golden lights. Finally, she moved to put it on.
Clark moved toward her and helped her with the catch. Then, grasping her hand, he repeated the knuckle kissing he had started in the newsroom. But Lois moved smoothly into his arms, hugging him gratefully, still silenced by surprise.
'This is a first,' Clark thought.
"Thank you so much," she murmured into his ear, holding on to him strongly.
Finally, they separated, and went into the kitchen to make dinner together. That night, Lois thanked him again in a most intimate way. ***
The next day, Lois was working on her story of the day, when a stiff wind passed by her. Moments later, she noticed that another brightly colored package had been dropped off on her keyboard. She glanced around for her husband, knowing it was from him, but he was nowhere to be seen. She ripped the wrapping off and read the note inside, which told her it was the second night of Hanukkah. In the box was one diamond post earring. She giggled, then pulled off the earrings she was wearing. She put the one earring in her right ear lobe and went on with her story. Later, when Clark came into the newsroom, she made sure he could see the right side of her head and he chuckled at her solution.
"When will I get the other earring?" she whispered, knowing he could hear her. He merely shrugged.
"No fair," she pouted. He responded by smiling one of his megawatt, toothy grins.
That night, there were three candles burning, the two for the two days and the one called the Shammus, which is traditionally used to light them.
Over dinner, they discussed the day and Lois announced her plans to learn a Hanukkah song. Clark assured her that he was sure she would sound great, remembering that time she had sung under cover as Lola Dane. But he was soon called away. There was trouble brewing in the Middle East. ***
On the third day, just when Lois was expecting the other earring, instead, there was a sterling silver pin in the shape of a typewriter. Lois had found it on top of her computer and she laughed out loud when she opened it. Unfortunately, Clark was busy being Superman, trying to calm both sides in the latest Middle-Eastern confrontation.
Lois came home by herself and lit the four candles. Then she pulled out the Christmas decorations and planned what gifts she could give Clark. As she did this, she listened to a tape designed to teach her Hebrew.
"'Cain' means 'yes,' 'lo' means 'no,'" it droned. ***
When the fourth day rolled around, so did the other earring, finally. Lois was really missing Clark. She had not even seen him, but the news from the Mediterranean was not good. The irony of celebrating all these holidays, which were celebrations of peace, while there was no peace, was not lost on Lois.
Meanwhile, Lois learned to dance the hora from videotape. ***
Early on the fifth day, Superman showed up in the newsroom. Clark felt a little self-conscious as he walked past Ben Goldfarb's desk, knowing his friend was studying the Super-hero's features. But he had no time to talk to Ben. He moved directly to Lois and scooped her up, announcing loudly that he would come back for Clark and that he was giving them both a scoop on the Mideast peace efforts.
Lois had all she could do not to look totally thrilled until they had cleared the newsroom windows. When they were finally flying in the open air, she giggled delightedly.
"Oh, I missed you so much! Thanks for the pin and the other earring."
"There's more where that came from."
"But I didn't get you anything yet."
"Lois, just having you in my life is enough for me."
"Ohhhh, Clark," she murmured, cuddling up to his neck as she had done the other night.
"I'd like to get the peace talks started and I think I'd just find it easier if you were closer by."
"And I get the scoop!" She did a version of the happy dance in his arms and his grip got stronger.
"Lois! I don't want to drop you!"
"Sorry," she pouted sheepishly.
When they got to Jerusalem, they checked into a hotel as Lois and Clark. Then Superman flew off to try to coax the leaders in the current conflict to come to the peace table. But before he left, he gave Lois a new gold watch. ***
The next day, Clark gave Lois a silk scarf for their sixth Hanukkah celebration. Lois tried to sing to him in Hebrew but ended up singing the Hanukkah song in English.
"Hanukkah, oh Hanukkah, come light the menorah, Let's have a party, we'll all dance the hora,"
At this point Lois stopped and demonstrated the dance for Clark, who was laughing out loud from the hotel room bed. She lost her place in the song but finally remembered the last part.
"and while we are dancing, the candles are burning low, one for each night, they shed a sweet light, to remind us of days long ago."
Clark grabbed her up in a hug. "That was great, honey."
"Well, so far, that is all I have given you for Hanukkah!"
"No, Lois, you give me all kinds of stuff you can't wrap up in a box."
His reverential tone elicited a tender embrace from her, which lasted a long time. Then Lois' mood changed.
"I never did find out why you suddenly started to celebrate this holiday. I thought you love Christmas."
"I do love Christmas. It just seemed to me that all the things I really love about Christmas are an important part of Hanukkah too."
"Well, from all that I read about it while you are away, you're right about that."
"Of course there were other reasons."
"You mean the two Jewish men who were the founders of the Clark and Kent clans?"
"Hehe," Clark chuckled. "Did my mother tell you that?"
"She sure did!" Lois was wearing a triumphant look.
"Well, there were eight other reasons."
"Yes, the eight gifts I get to give you for this holiday."
"Oh my, I owe you eight gifts, don't I?"
"No." Clark shook his head vociferously.
"No?" Lois' look had turned into a mixture of puzzlement and surprise.
"No, you will owe me twenty gifts, if you want to be technical."
"Twenty! Oh my goodness! How did that happen?"
"You just have to add the twelve days of Christmas!"
Lois laughed even though she looked like she was going to hit him. Instead, she happily surprised him with a rendering of "The Twelve Days of Christmas." Each time she sang "my true love," she squeezed his hand.
"And only a couple of days early," Clark remarked when he applauded her. He then stood, spun into his Super-costume, and gave her another hug before flying off to make another stab at the peace process. ***
Later that day, Lois was standing at the entrance to the Knesset, the Israeli seat of government, when she saw Superman approach, carrying both the major leaders of the current conflict. They did not look happy and when Superman put them down on solid ground, they turned and cursed at him in languages Lois did not understand, though she guessed that Superman did. She saw him shake his head and then was certain she heard him mutter under his breath,
"People! Earth people!" ***
Despite the difficulty Superman had in getting the Mideast leaders to the table, he did succeed in spearheading the peace process. On the seventh day of Hanukkah, all the parties were observed to be actually sitting around the table, trying to talk, at least, through interpreters.
Lois made sure to give Superman most of the credit when she filed her story with Perry White via e-mail to Jimmy Olsen.
By the time candles were being lit for the eighth and final time in the celebration of Hanukkah, a fragile peace had at last been reached.
On their way back to Metropolis, Lois thanked Clark for the gifts.
"What gifts?" he asked in surprise. "I was so tied up with the feuding parties, I never got to give you the last two Hanukkah gifts."
"Yes, you did, you gave me the scoop and then you gave me peace in the Middle East!"
Clark was so pleased, he stopped flying and switched to floating with Lois in his arms.
"And furthermore, I suggest you let me give you gifts for the twelve days of Christmas."
"That's a nice offer, but I still have a few things to give you."
"All in good time, my pretty," she responded in a voice Clark recognized as her Wicked Witch of the West impression from "The Wizard of Oz." She was always teasing him about being from Kansas even though he was really from Krypton.
"Well, how about this idea?" Clark was feeling bold. "I'll give you peace on Earth, maybe even in time for Christmas!"
He was wearing that closed-lipped, satisfied smile again. He felt on top of the world and he waited for Lois to react. Lois surprised him, however, with an extremely serious look.
"Well, Clark, that's a tall order. And we might run out of news to write about. I don't know…"
"You don't know?"
"Yeah, I don't know. I think you'll need more time."
"More time?" Clark was temporarily at a loss.
"Yes, I'll give you till New Year's!"
Clark's shocked laughter echoed mightily off the ocean they were floating above.
"It's a deal!"
She nuzzled his neck as he again turned towards Metropolis, flying toward their home and their fate, and what they hoped would be the fate of the world.