By coolgirl <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Submitted: December, 2007
Summary: The Kent family goes Christmas shopping and little Lauren chooses something just right for her. But why?
"Momma, I wanna go buy the Christmas tree, too!" quipped Lois and Clark's four year old daughter, Lauren, as she saw her parents get ready to do some last-minute Christmas shopping.
Lauren, sweetie, I'm not sure… it's cold outside…" Lois trailed off, looking at Clark for support.
"But I'm not feelin' cold," came her daughter's small disappointed voice.
"That's right, honey. She won't feel the cold," Clark assured his wife and crouched down to tie Lauren's untied shoe-lace. Let's take her, too."
"Yes… yes… let's take me too," Lauren repeated enthusiastically, "her spirits soaring as her father took her side. She lifted her arms to let him pick her up."
"I knew it! I knew she'd have you wrapped around her little finger ever since the day she was born," Lois muttered as she gave Clark a wry look, but then she ruined the effect by kissing her daughter's forehead and smiling at her. "Okay, sweetie. I guess you can come with us this time."
"Hey! What about me?" Clark pursed his lips and closed his eyes, as if waiting for Lois' kiss.
"Yes! Yes! Kiss Daddy!" Lauren clapped her hands. Her daddy really deserved a kiss because he was so good and he made Momma agree to let her go with them. As long as they didn't make it long and yucky, she guessed they could kiss.
Lois rolled her eyes as she saw her husband and daughter take sides against her.
"No kiss for you, Clark," she said, her eyes dancing mischievously with revenge and then she covered Lauren with an overcoat.
Clark let out a small whine like a wounded puppy dog that made Lauren giggle and hug Clark tightly. "You are the best daddy in the world! I'll kiss you if you want."
She kissed her daddy on his cheek and laughed happily as he jiggled her in his arms. Clark wrapped his arms around Lois and the three of them stepped out for Christmas shopping.
Three hours later, Lois fumbled with the lock as Clark carried three huge bags containing Christmas trinkets: jewels, stars, balloons and balls, hangings, glitters, tinsel and whatever else Lauren had pointed at.
Lois entered the house first and switched on the lights. Clark followed her pretending to lose his balance under the weight of the huge load he was carrying, eliciting another series of giggles from his daughter, who followed her parents dragging something else — a very small Christmas tree — behind her. The smallest Christmas tree that had been available in the shop!
"You wanna know what's the best thing that I love from all this we've bought?" Lauren asked Clark for the thousandth time, once he'd dumped his load on the sofa.
As Clark shook his head for the thousandth time, Lauren told him, her face glowing with delight, "It's *my* Christmas tree."
"*Your* Christmas tree?" Clark asked her, tweaking her nose and trying to look astonished.
"Yes! Mine," she pointed a finger at herself. You and Momma can take that big tree. I want my small tree for my room."
Clark laughed at his daughter's animated response and asked her, "Why did you want to buy *this* Christmas tree, poppet?"
He sat down on the sofa and pulled his daughter onto his lap.
"'cause it was so small. Like me! I'm small and my tree's small. Both of us are the same height. You wanna see?"
Lauren jumped off Clark's lap and rushed to drag the Christmas tree towards him. She lifted it up and balanced it beside her.
"See the height, Daddy!" she squealed.
Clark measured both their heights roughly placing his palm on her head and on top of the tree, and nodded. Yep, same height. But I like you more than the tree." He lifted his daughter up and swung her around before placing a kiss on her nose.
"And next year, when I grow big like you, I want a big Christmas tree like you," she told him and ran to her room dragging the tree behind her, eager to decorate it.
Did she really think she was gonna grow up like him by next year? Funny how his daughter's mind worked, a tree to match her size, eh? Clark shook his head with a soft smile and went into the kitchen to find his wife.
"Hi, honey. What are you making?" Clark asked as he stepped behind his wife and wrapped his arms around her.
"Hi there! And it's a Christmas cake!"
He gently nuzzled her neck and planted a surprise-kiss on her mouth as she turned her face sideways to look at him.
"I found out why she wanted the smallest tree," he whispered.
"I know. I heard it all," she whispered back.
"Why did you want me to find out why she wanted it?" he asked, cuddling her closer.
"Actually…" she hesitated, but then continued, "I was worried she was becoming like me. I always used to buy small lonely trees because I felt sorry for it. I was always lonely and used to think we could keep each other company — just me and *my* tree."
"I know," he said, planting a kiss on her hair. But you buy big trees now."
It was just a statement. But it was the truth, she realized. She did buy big trees now.
"Yes." She smiled softly. "I guess I'm happy now. I have you and I have Lauren."
"And Lauren's happy too," he assured her.
"I know. I didn't buy small trees because we were of the same height," she retorted, her mood brightening.
Lauren had bought the tree because it had amused her, Lois smiled to herself. Her daughter wasn't becoming like her. Lauren *was* happy. Really happy! How could she not be, with such a wonderful man as her father?
Lois' eyes misted with joy and she turned in her husband's arms to hug him.
"Probably she yearns for someone of her size," Clark said mischievously, hugging his wife closer, knowing that he had to tease her out of the dull mood.
"What do you mean?" Lois asked suspiciously, pulling back to look at his face.
"Maybe she wants a baby sister. I know I want one. Very badly," he said, his eyes gleaming, as he made use of the opportunity to reveal his heart's desire.
"You want a baby sister?" Lois teased, seeing the chance to pay him back for teasing her.
"Ah, no." He smiled sheepishly. I want another baby son or daughter," he said solemnly yet his eyes twinkled with suppressed amusement.
"Uh oh! You've to do better than that, Kent! That's doesn't sound like a request to me." She jabbed a finger on his chest.
"Please…" he begged, letting her know of his longing.
"Oh, noooooo," she said in a sing-song voice, shaking her head.
"Pretty please?" He pasted *that* puppy dog look on his face — the look that always made her want to give in to his wishes.
She looked up at his pursed lips and said softly, "Will you settle for a kiss, instead?"
Without waiting for his reply, she stood up on tip-toes and kissed him.
Yuck!" the small disgusted voice of their daughter floated towards them from the doorway.
Twelve months later, Lois gently tried to soothe the wailing three month old in her arms.
Clark had wanted another baby for the previous Christmas but it had taken her nine months to *make* his gift. And she'd loved every moment of it — well, maybe except the part when she'd gone into labor.
And so, she thought as she handed her noisy little bundle to her husband, he had succeeded in getting his Christmas present, after all, albeit a year later.
Shhh… sweet boy," Clark crooned to his son. If you stop crying Daddy will buy you a Christmas tree of your size."