By Aromassa <email@example.com>
Submitted: January 2008
Summary: Clark and Lois experience a very special Christmas miracle. A story written for the Christmas Ficathon 2007.
Author's Note: Inspired by a real Christmas miracle. This is part of the Christmas Ficathon of 2007. I have placed the requirements at the bottom of the story so that you can enjoy it rather than looking for the three things that I had to include. ^_^
"Mr Dane Skinner, 47, was arrested for theft yesterday at Washington Street Mall. Daily Planet reporter, Clark Kent, witnessed Skinner pocketing a young boy's matchbox car while dressed as Santa Claus." Lois Lane typed furiously at her desk, desperately trying to ignore the presence of her partner.
Unfortunately, he was sitting so close behind her that they were almost touching. Every time he breathed, she could feel the air tickling the back of her neck, sending not unpleasant chills coursing up and down her spine. To her utter amazement, she found that the mere proximity of the man was enough to increase the tempo of her heart.
The only reason that she didn't die of embarrassment right then and there was the fact that Clark didn't appear to have the slightest idea of what was happening. The wave of disappointment that followed that thought did nothing to dampen her arousal. She cursed herself inwardly. This was neither the time nor the place for such things and besides, this was Clark.
Clark was that quiet, unassuming man who had worked by her side almost every day for the last three months and had never shown any inclination of taking their friendship further. Not that she would. It was against the rules: no getting personally involved in a story, never letting anyone else get there first, and no sleeping with co-workers no matter how good a kisser they were.
He had demonstrated that ability all too clearly just the other week when they had gone undercover as newlyweds. If only that maid hadn't interrupted... Of course, Clark would never have kissed in the first place if the maid hadn't interrupted their little spy operation, but Lois couldn't help wishing that the maid had stopped to clean the other room before continuing into the bedroom.
"Lois?" a confused Clark whispered into her ear.
"Huh?" she responded stupidly, still too caught up in her own thoughts to really register what he was saying.
"Are you feeling okay?" he asked in concern, spinning her chair around so that he could see her face properly. Her eyes looked slightly glazed: always a sign that her thoughts had turned inward. She blinked and shook herself, bringing her eyes back into focus.
"Of course I'm okay," she said quickly. "Why wouldn't I be okay?" The false note in her voice almost made her wince and Clark raised his eyebrows, wondering how she could think that he could believe her.
"Because you stopped typing in the middle of a sentence and have spent the last few minutes staring into space," he answered in the tone he usually reserved for when he was stating the obvious. Of course, her increased body temperature and sudden heavy breathing were also a factor, but he couldn't very well tell her that.
"You're right," she admitted. "I was..." Lois paused, trying to come up with a good reason for why she stopped. Admitting to reliving that heart stopping kiss was out of the question. She had learnt the hard way that that kind of thing led to one night stands and stolen stories and lose of friendship. "...checking my grammar," she finished, hoping that Clark hadn't been observant enough to know that she never checked her own grammar and any rereading was done after the story was written.
"Well, you should take those commas out of the second sentence, for starters," he suggested, pointing at the offending punctuation. Lois rolled her eyes at herself and looked up at him in disgust. He was always editing her copy and she had just given him fuel for the fire. The smirk that he didn't bother to hide told her that he didn't believe her story but had decided to play along anyway.
"If you keep those commas, you're going to make it sound as though I am the one and only Daily Planet reporter, but if you take them out, I am just one of a group of Daily Planet reporters," Clark explained.
"Well, we can't have you ego tripping, can we?" she muttered, deleting the commas as she spoke.
"So what were you really thinking about?" he asked, persistently.
"I wonder what the Washington Street Mall is going to do now that they don't have a Santa Claus for the kids," she mused, avoiding the question and hoping he'd take it as her answer.
"Don't worry, Lois," Clark said with a smile. "I happen to know that they already have a replacement."
"I hope he's better than the last one," Lois stated distrustfully.
"Trust me," he said simply.
The next day, Clark called in sick. Lois was frankly shocked. He hadn't had a sick day since he started at the Planet and he had appeared just as healthy as ever the day before. She thought about it and realised that he had only been working at the Planet for three months; not long enough to tell how often a person got sick.
Despite that, Lois still thought the whole thing sounded fishy. She decided to go to the Mall after work just to see who this new Santa was. If he was doing what she thought he was doing without telling her about it first, he was going to get a piece of her mind. Actually becoming Santa would give their article a really personal touch and she would have done it herself had she been male.
With barely five minutes left until closing time, Lois entered the Washington Street Mall. She headed straight for Santa's House and tried to find a spot where she could get a good look at his face. The best spot ended up being behind the photographer. Unfortunately, Santa had been given lots of padding, a big white wig, a big white beard and moustache, and big hairy eyebrows.
The usual shape of his face was hidden under all that hair. She almost second guessed herself when she saw that he wasn't wearing glasses. But then he looked up to smile for the camera and saw her. His look immediately turned sheepish. There was no doubt about it: that man was none other than Clark Kent.
Lois stared at him. If Clark hadn't looked at her like that, she would never have recognised him. She headed towards the back of Santa's House, so that she could talk to him as soon as he finished playing Santa, but she was stopped by a security guard.
"I'm sorry, miss, but I can't let you in there: employees only," he said, blocking her way. Lois sighed and looked around, trying to think of other way to get in there. The crowd that she had shouldered her way through had disappeared and the last child to visit Santa was just getting her lollypop from one of the elves.
"Oh, you don't have to be sorry," Lois said to the guard, although her eyes were glued to the man in the Santa suit. She wanted answers and she didn't want to give him the chance to run out on her. "I'm just here to pick up my..."
Her words faltered when she saw one of the elves come over to speak to Clark. She was very pretty, very blonde, and looked to be a student in college, if not high school. The girl handed a small card out to Clark--it probably had her name, address, and phone number on it--and he took it.
"Ah, so you're Mrs Claus then," the guard said with a smirk. Lois turned towards the guard with eyes blazing. He swallowed convulsively, suddenly realising that he may have taken his life into his hands. "I'll just ... leave you to it," he said, beating a hasty retreat. She rolled her eyes at him and turned her attention back to Clark. Luckily, the elf had gone. Lucky for the elf, that is.
Clark was staring at the card with a concerned look on his face. Or was that squint because he was trying to read without his glasses? Lois marched over to him and stole the card right out of his hand.
"Lois..." he objected, reaching for the card. She slapped his hand away.
"Metropolis Children's Hospital?" she asked in puzzlement.
"Yeah," he said sadly. "There's a girl in there that's too sick to leave but wants to see Santa Claus." Lois knew she should feel sorry for the girl, but her overriding emotion was relief that the elf wasn't trying to start something with Clark.
"Poor kid," she said. "It must be tough to be sick over Christmas. I hope she gets better soon."
"Sarah has leukaemia, Lois," Clark sighed, looking away and trying to hold back his tears. "It's terminal. The doctors don't think she'll survive the holidays."
Lois's eyes widened and she forgot about the elf completely. She was overwhelmed with sorrow for the girl whose life had been cut so terribly short.
"Come on," she said softly, taking him by the hand. "I'll take you there."
Clark quietly peeked into the room through the half-closed door and saw little Sarah on the bed. The room was filled with what appeared to be her family; there was the Grandmother and the girl's brother he had met earlier that day. A woman whom he supposed was Sarah's mother stood by the bed, gently pushing Sarah's thin hair off her forehead. And another woman who he discovered later was Sarah's aunt, sat in a chair near the bed with a weary, sad look on her face. They were talking quietly, and Clark could sense the warmth and closeness of the family, and their love and concern for Sarah.
Taking a deep breath, and forcing a smile on his face, Clark entered the room, bellowing a hearty, "Ho, ho, ho!"
"Santa!" shrieked little Sarah weakly, as she tried to escape her bed to run to him, IV tubes in tact. Clark rushed to her side and gave her a warm hug. A child the tender age of 9 years old gazed up at him with wonder and excitement. Her skin was pale and her short tresses bore telltale bald patches from the effects of chemotherapy. But all he saw when he looked at her was a pair of huge, blue eyes. His heart melted, and he had to force himself to choke back tears. Though his eyes were riveted upon Sarah's face, he could hear the gasps and quiet sobbing of the women in the room. As he and Sarah began talking, the family crept quietly to the bedside one by one, squeezing Clark's shoulder or his hand gratefully, whispering "thank you" as they gazed sincerely at him with shining eyes.
Clark and Sarah talked and talked, and she told him excitedly all the toys she wanted for Christmas, assuring him she'd been a very good girl that year. As their time together dwindled, Clark felt led in his spirit to pray for Sarah, and asked permission from the girl's mother. She nodded in agreement and the entire family circled around Sarah's bed, holding hands. Clark looked intensely at Sarah and asked her if she believed in angels. "Oh, yes, Santa ... I do!" she exclaimed.
"Well, I'm going to ask that angels watch over you," he said. Laying one hand on the child's head, Clark closed his eyes and prayed. He asked that God touch little Sarah, and heal her body from this disease. He asked that angels minister to her, watch and keep her, and to give her family peace. And when he finished praying, still with eyes closed, he started singing softly, "Silent Night, Holy Night ... all is calm, all is bright." The family joined in singing, still holding hands, smiling at Sarah, and crying tears of hope, tears of joy for this moment, as Sarah beamed at them all.
When the song ended, Clark sat on the side of the bed again and held Sarah's frail, small hands in his own. "Now, Sarah," he said authoritatively, "you have a job to do, and that is to concentrate on getting well. I want you to have fun playing with your friends this summer, and I expect to see you at my house at Washington Street Mall this time next year!" He knew it was risky proclaiming that, to this little girl who had terminal cancer, but he *had* to. He had to give her the greatest gift he could--not promises of dolls or games or toys--but the gift of HOPE.
"Yes, Santa!" Sarah exclaimed, her eyes bright. He leaned down and kissed her on the forehead and left the room.
Out in the hall, the minute Clark's eyes met Lois's, a look passed between them and the two reporters wept unashamed. Sarah's mother and grandmother slipped out of the room quickly and rushed to Clark's side to thank him.
One year later, Santa Clark was again back on the set in Washington Street Mall. Perry had been so pleased with their article the year before that he had demanded a repeat performance. Several weeks went by and then one day a child came up to sit on Clark's lap. "Hi, Santa! Remember me?!"
"Of course, I do," Clark proclaimed, smiling down at her. After all, what kind of Santa Claus wouldn't remember every child he ever saw?
"You came to see me in the hospital last year!"
Clark's jaw dropped. Tears immediately sprang in his eyes, and he grabbed this little miracle and held her to his chest. "Sarah!" he exclaimed. He scarcely recognised her, for her hair was long and silky and her cheeks were rosy--much different from the little girl he had visited just a year before. He looked over and saw Sarah's mother and grandmother in the sidelines smiling and waving and wiping their eyes.
That was the best Christmas ever for Clark Kent. He had witnessed--and been blessed to be instrumental in bringing about--this miracle of hope. This precious little child was healed. Cancer free. Alive and well. He silently looked up to Heaven and humbly whispered, "Thank you, Father. 'Tis a very merry Christmas!"
My assignment: writing for JOJO_DA_CROW.
1. A Christmas miracle
2. WAFFY things
3. A kiss
Preferred season(s): First or second season.
1. Lois and Clark in a romantic relationship with anyone else
Other than that I'm not picky.