By Kaytee Shultz (ILive4Dean@aol.com)
Summary: A Christmas story from Lois' perspective. Lois finishes her shopping and waits for Clark to arrive so that they can fly Superman Express to Smallville, where his extended family is converging.
Author's Note: This story was quit and started several times over the past few months. It had three different titles before finally being titled what I had originally titled it. I had four proofreaders, to whom I am grateful, who put up with my constant changings. Thank you Meredith, Jeff(ree), Darryl, and Kevin. I'd like to say Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all my online friends, which include the above listed and Craig, Leigh, Evelyn, Dan, Jenn, Jennifer, Jenny, Jenni, Linda, even KLV, and anybody else I don't yet know who shares this joy that is called Lois and Clark! Comments, criticisms and compliments are welcomed at ILive4Dean@aol.com! This is set three days till Christmas
"Merry Christmas, have a nice day!"
I repeated the sentiment back to the perky blond clerk behind the counter with much less enthusiasm, taking my Christmas shopping bags with me as I pushed and shoved my way out of the crowded mall.
It seems to me that everyone goes crazy from the day after Thanksgiving till the day after New Years. Everywhere I go, there's bows and tinsel and crystal globes with snowflakes in them. I just can't understand why grown people feel the need to act like children every year.
I walked down the street lined with blackened snow, stopping every now and then to readjust the shopping bags in my hands. I walked into the Daily Planet building, and shivered in the elevator as it lifted me slowly to the Newsroom.
When I got to my destination, I went down the ramp hurriedly, and was about to lose the grip the my bags in my left hand when they were taken from me by a strong hand.
"You'd better be warm, because I'm freezing and I need a hug," I said, walking to my desk. I set my remaining bag down on the desk and decided against taking off my scarf, my gloves, my coat, and my ear muffs off, saying, "You can't imagine how many people are at the mall right now. Thankfully, I got almost all my Christmas shopping done. There's only one person left on my list."
Clark Kent slid his arms around my waist, pulling me close. Mine went around his neck, and I smiled up at him. "Just what do you get for a guy who flies?"
He grinned back that devastatingly sexy smile, and pecked a tiny kiss on my lips. "Whatever you want to get me will be fine. But, you know, I have had my eye on a beautiful brunette. Maybe you could get her for me, gift-wrapped?" he teased.
Snuggling closer, I said, "Green paper or red?"
"How 'bout just a bow?"
"That could be arranged," I said and reached up on my tip-toes and kissed him.
A deep voice with a Southern accent said, "Don't you two ever get chapped lips?"
I started giggling against his lips, and we both abandoned the kiss, laughing. I turned to Perry White, the editor and chief of the Daily Planet, who tried to look as disapproving as possible. Both Clark and I knew he was just about as happy as we were that we're together.
"Hi, Perry," I said. "I know this is my day off, but I was out shopping and I wanted to stop in and see Clark before I brave the cold and go home."
He slung an arm over my shoulder and said, "Honey, did you remember the Elvis wrapping paper?"
I nodded, and said, "Yep. I think you're going to like my present."
"It's not checked suspenders, is it?"
Clark started laughing, and so did Perry, but personally, I did not see the humor.
"Well, now I'm going to go home and pack for tomorrow. Have a merry Christmas, Chief."
Clark walked with me to the elevator, and I pushed the button for the doors to open. He handed the bags back to me, said he'd knock on my window about eight, and kissed me lightly on the lips.
After getting home, I threw on jeans and old sweatshirt, and wiped off my makeup. I had just finished packing for our trip to Clark's parents in Smallville the next day.
I had barely laid out all the presents and the paper and tape and scissors and bows and tags when someone knocked on my door. "Come in!"
My psychic neighbor, Starr, came through the door, shutting it behind her. The black woman was wearing a weird outfit, and her crystal necklace. She sat down on the couch, beside the spot where I was leaning against on the floor.
"Hi, Starr. What did my mind reach out and tell you, now?" I asked.
"Oh, nothing much. Just that you hate wrapping presents," she said, taking the ribbon and scissors out of my hands and making the ribbon curl almost perfectly.
"You know, before I got involved with Clark, I had to wrap five presents. One for my mom, my dad, Lucy, my cable repairman, and my Secret Santa present. Now on top of those, I have to pick the perfect present not only for Clark, but his family as well." I told her, cutting paper to cover a book for my mom.
"Yeah, but Clark's worth it, right?" Starr asked with a grin.
"Uh-huh," I said, smiling.
We talked for awhile, then Starr left. I picked up the scraps of paper and threw them away, and put everything away. I had lain down, flipping through the channels, when I heard a soft tapping on my window. I got up, and unlocked the window and opened it, and Superman stepped in.
"Hi," he said, and shut the window and locked it. "Are you ready to go?"
"Let me go make sure everything is turned off or locked and then I'll be ready."
When I finished, I handed my suitcase to Clark. "How are we going to do this? You're hands will be full with the suitcases."
"Already thought of it. Ever heard of a piggyback ride? You'll put your arms around my neck and we'll fly that way." By the grin on his face, I knew he was pretty proud of himself for coming up with that one.
So we flew like that all the way to Smallville. When we got to the Kent's farm, I was surprised by how Christmas card-like it looked. It was almost-not-quite-just-about nightfall, where everything is an inky blue. The lights in the windows looked golden, and smoke was billowing up from the chimney. The white, powdery snow that stretched for as far as the eye could see (my eye anyway, Clark could probably see snow on the moon) was untouched by footprints.
The outside of the house was decorated simply by a nativity scene gently lit on the snow just in front of the porch on the left side. Just as I stepped on a squeaky stair, the door opened and Martha and Jonathan Kent came out and greeted us.
Jonathan and I hugged while Martha hugged her son, and then we switched partners. "You look good, Lois. Relaxed," Martha said, standing back from me with our both our hands together.
"Happy," Jonathan chimed in, in his gruff voice.
I smiled at my soon to be in-laws. "Thank you. I am, despite the madness of Metropolis at Christmas time."
"Are you two hungry?"
"When is Clark *not* hungry?" I asked, grinning.
Martha grinned back, and we walked inside together, with the men following behind.
Over dinner, Martha and I talked about Christmases past while Clark and Jonathan talked about the farm.
When dinner was over, the table cleared, we were sitting at the table eating pie and drinking coffee, Martha asked if we wanted to go to the Christmas fair in town with them.
"I think we'll stay here tonight, Mom," Clark told her.
"We'll go tomorrow night, okay?" I told her.
"Okay," she smiled. She looked at her watch, and looked at her husband. "Jonathan, we'd better go if we want to find a decent parking space."
Martha kissed me on the cheek and Clark on the forehead, and said, "We'll be back around eleven, okay?"
"Bye, Martha. Have fun," I said as the door shut behind them.
I took the last bite of pie and then looked at Clark. "Here, I'll go put these in the sink, and I'll meet you on the couch."
When I got back from the kitchen, I saw that Clark had gotten out a large quilt and had put more wood on the fire, making it warmer and brighter.
He was sitting in the corner of the couch, with one leg on the couch against the back and the other on the floor. He had the huge quilt around him, and he held it open for me. I smiled, lay down, and rested my head down on his chest just under his chin while he settled the quilt around us both. I looked over at the huge tree in the corner of the living room, that was decorated beautifully. The fire gave off warmth, as did Clark and the quilt. I was in heaven.
"So, are you beginning to like Christmas?" Clark asked quietly after awhile, a smile in his voice.
"It's not as bad as I thought."
He laughed, and I felt his large hands at my waist, sliding me up so that we could see each other. His laughter died away as he looked at me. Slowly, he reached up and laid his hand tenderly on the side of my face. The gesture was a very intimate one saved exclusively for me. Clark used that touch to give me support, to let me know that he's there and wasn't going to leave me, to comfort me, and to tell me without saying a word that he loves me, wants me, and needs me.
I looked down into his eyes, eyes that could see all the way to my soul, and reached my hand up to gently touch his face. I trailed my fingers lightly over his brow-line, down to his jaw, then I traced the outline of his lips with a fingertip. Slowly, I brought my head down, and touched my lips to his.
One of his hands came up to the back of my head and his fingers burrowed into my hair, pulling me deeper into the kiss, while the other one went to the small of my back and rubbed softly.
I pulled back a little, to catch my breath, and before I went back for more, I said, "Yes, Christmas definitely isn't the worst holiday…"
The next afternoon, I went outside looking for Clark, and found him out back, staring at the snow. Not being able to stop myself, I reached down for some snow and packed it into a hard snowball, reached back, and threw it at the back of Clark's head.
He stood still for a moment, and then slowly turned. "You know, of course," he said, reaching down for some snow of his own without taking his eyes off me, "that this means war."
He threw a snowball that hit me in the stomach. "You're dead, Kent!"
"Look who's talking!"
I hit him in the chest with a snowball, and he hit me on the shoulder. With every hit we got closer and closer until finally he reached out, put his arms around me, and said, "Truce! I can't take anymore!"
"Admit defeat and I'll stop," I told him, sliding my arms around his neck.
"Okay, okay. You win. Happy?" he laughed, dropping a light kiss on the tip of my nose.
"Yes," I told him.
He bent his head to mine and as we kissed, I lifted the neckline of his sweater and coat and dropped the snow that was in my other hand down his back, snow that was going to be a snowball.
I jumped away from him and ran, but soon I was tackled down into the snow under him. He put his forearms under my shoulders, raising them, and cradled my head in his hands. "That wasn't very nice," he said sternly, merriment sparkling in his eyes.
"What are you going to do about it?" I taunted.
He brought his lips down on mine, and kissed me like he hadn't seen me in years. His tongue tangled with mine, and when he pulled back and looked down at me, I said, "I'm not quite sure if I've learnt my lesson…"
"And to think that started out as an innocent snowball fight, " Martha called from the porch. "Come on, you two, time for lunch."
"I guess I'd better get up," he said, a trace of a grin on his face.
"I guess so," I replied, echoing his words from our 'almost-first-date'.
We got up, and walked hand-in-gloved-hand back to the house.
Around two, Martha and I started making dinner. Well, to tell the truth, she did most of it while I broke eggs and stirred things and tried to stay out of her way.
"So, who all is going to come tonight?" I asked.
"Just about all the Kents in Kansas. About ten or eleven adults and seven kids," she smiled.
"Don't worry, they don't bite," she smiled.
Clark's voice called out, saying, "They're he-re!"
"That must be them."
"All of them?" I asked.
"Yes, they travel in a pack," she smiled.
Like wolves, I thought, when I looked at all those kids fighting, pulling hair, crying, sticking their tongues out at each other and calling for their mothers.
Martha greeted everyone, and then went back to the kitchen to check on dinner.
Christmas Eve dinner was one of the most delicious meals I've ever had, almost as good as the food in Paris.
When everyone was finished, Clark and I cleaned everything up, and then came back to join the family. Everybody was getting bundled up, and Clark said to me, "We're going to the Smallville Christmas Fair in town. I'll go up and get our coats and things."
While Clark was upstairs, Jamie came up to me with a baby, and said, "Here, can you hold her while I use the restroom?"
She didn't really give me a choice, because she was putting the tiny baby bundled up in a few blankets in my arms as she said this.
I knew the baby was a girl, and I knew her name was Christa and that she was four months old, but I hadn't seen her up close. Up close, she was a beautiful child.
"Um, well, hi, Christa," I said awkwardly. It's not that I don't like children, babies. It's that they don't like me. But how could I help but smiling when she reached up and touched my face, gurgling happily?
"You're cute and you know it, dontcha?" I said, liking this child because she hadn't turned into a human siren. Everything I said she smiled and made happy noises at.
I heard footsteps on the stairs and stood up, looking up at Clark, smiling.
"I see you've met Christa. She seems to like you," he smiled back, resting one hand on my shoulder and poking Christa in the tummy with the other. She giggled and held on to his huge finger with her tiny hand.
"I know… Weird, isn't it?"
"Not really. You're going to be great with our kids," he said, then realizing what he said looked at me.
I thought about that a moment. "Well, they're bound to like me if they're my own kids. Hopefully."
His face lit up with a huge smile, and Christa cooed happily when Jamie took her from
"We'd better go, everybody's waiting," Jamie said, heading toward the door.
We had to ride in two different vans because their wasn't enough room for both of us in one van after Jamie and Christa got in the first.
When we got there, the fair was full of laughing happy people. You could smell cotton candy, popcorn, funnel cakes, and caramel apples in the air.
At the first food stand we found, everybody split up and agreed to meet back there around ten.
Clark put his arm around my shoulders, and I slipped my arm around his waist. We were stopped several times by people Clark knew from high school, people who were his parents' friends, and children who knew him.
I felt warm and happy each time he introduced me as his finacee, pride evident in his voice. Everyone seemed to like me, even most of the children.
Clark and I shared a caramel apple and a funnel cake as we walked around and looked at the different things the many booths had to offer. By the time we were supposed to meet back at the foodstand, I was stuffed and tired.
We managed to be in the same van on the ride back to the Kent's. I must have dozed on Clark's shoulder because the next thing I remember Clark was telling everyone goodnight for us and leading me upstairs.
"Where's our pajamas?" I asked. My sister, Lucy, had given us a pair of blue flannel pajamas for Christmas. She said the top was mine and the bottoms were Clark's. I thought it cheap of her at the time, but when we actually wore them to bed one night I thought different.
"Here, I'll get them," he said.
He opened a drawer and handed me the nightshirt, and turned to take off his own clothes, saying, "So, did you have fun?
"As a matter of fact, I did," I said, changing into the shirt that came to my mid-thigh. I opened the door, and went into the bathroom with my makeup bag, where I wiped off my makeup and brushed my teeth. I had left the door open, so Clark followed me in with his toothbrush and brushed his teeth.
"Remember the last time we did this? At the Lexor Hotel?" I asked.
He nodded, his mouth full.
"I was so clueless back then. Ugh! I didn't even want to say goodnight to you and now I'm *sleeping* with you!"
He had to spit quickly so he wouldn't spray the bathroom. He laughed so hard I thought he was going to cough up a lung or something.
"You know what I mean," I said, my cheeks and ears burning. It's not like we hadn't, but I didn't intend to mean it the way it came out.
"Yes, I *do*."
I shot him a glance in the mirror, rinsed my mouth, and left the room haughtily.
When he came into the room a minute later, I was under the covers and curled up, facing the wall.
He got in beside me, slid one arm under me and one arm over me, and then wrapped them both around my waist. He kissed my cheek and said in a teasing voice, "Goodnight, Lois."
I knew what he was doing and refused to answer him. He really knows how to mock me when he wants to.
Again I didn't reply.
"GGGoooooodddnnniiigggttt, LLLoooiiiss!" he sing- songed annoyingly.
I still didn't reply, and he started to move his arms away from me. I grabbed them and pulled then back around me. "Goodnight, Clark."
The next morning, I awoke warm and totally fuzzy, lying with my head against Clark's chest, his arm around my shoulders, my arm across his stomach, and our legs entangled together. I could hear his heart beat steadily under my ear, and I could feel the rhythmic rise and fall of his chest under my head.
Since he was obviously still asleep, I decided to just lie there and enjoy the feeling while it lasted. I snuggled closer to him and his body heat, and listened to him with one ear and to the farm waking up with the other.
It wasn't very long until a child broke into our room and ran to the bed, with her mother chasing after her, and shook Clark's arm and yelled, "Clark! Clark! Get up! It's Christmas!"
Clark mumbled something incoherent and opened his eyes. The child's mother came after her and said, "Meredith! Come here and leave them alone!"
Clark put on his glasses and sat up partway, bracing himself with his elbows. "It's okay, Jenn. She's just a tad excited," he said, and ruffed up her already ruffed up hair.
Jenn smiled, relieved, and took her daughter downstairs.
Through the now open door drifted the delicious aroma of eggs, bacon, ham, toast, and most importantly, coffee. "Good morning," I said, trying to roll over him and get to that coffee.
He wasn't having any of that. His hands grasped my waist and held me atop him as he fell back against the pillows.
"Good morning to you too!" he grinned, still not letting me go. The coffee was smelling stronger and even more tempting by the minute.
"What?" I asked, because he was staring up at me.
He lifted his head, kissed me, and said, "Nothing. D'you sleep well?"
"Yes, now I want coffee." I said bluntly.
"You want what?" he teased, lightly brushing his lips against mine.
"Ooohh. Clark or coffee. Coffee or Clark. Coffee…Clark…coffee…Clark," I said, while tilting my head left and right. Subtly, I brought my hands up to his chest and put my palms flat against him. Suddenly I pushed myself from him and said airily, "I can have you anytime. I want coffee *now*!"
He laughed, knowing I was teasing, and proceeded to unabashedly watch me as I got dressed, one arm tucked up behind his head and the other resting on his stomach.
I got dressed in a pair of snug blue jeans and one of Clark's sweatshirts, one that was huge, warm, and soft, and came halfway down my thighs. I found my slippers and put them on. After going into the bathroom to put on my makeup and brush my teeth, I returned to find Clark in the same position that I had left him in.
I shut the door behind me, put my hand on my hip and said, "Well? Are *you* going to get up? I am not going to go down there alone."
He got up, and I thought for a brief moment that he might be cold because all he was wearing was the blue pajama bottoms. I dismissed that idea quickly. He spun faster than my eye could follow and then stopped, fully dressed before me. I know my expression must have screamed "NO FAIR", because he chuckled and kissed the tip of my nose while taking my hand in his. Leading me downstairs, he said, "They don't bite, Lois."
I stuck my tongue out at him.
Christmas breakfast was a big deal at the Kent's. On the table were eggs, bacon, leftover ham, sausage, Canadian bacon, pancakes, French toast, maple syrup, steak, toast, rolls, orange juice, milk, and apple juice. Most importantly, I spotted… *coffee*.
"Merry Christmas!" Martha exclaimed and hugged Clark and me after setting down another plateful of food on the table.
We repeated the greeting back and sat down beside each other.
Everyone who had gone to the hotel in town had already shown up, and every adult looked like their child had woken them up at five in the morning. Their kids were anxiously waiting to tear into the presents.
Breakfast was great. I had about one of everything, and two cups of coffee. As soon as the kids saw that everyone was finished, they got up and ran into the living room. The adults had no choice other than to follow, laughing.
We settled ourselves on the couch, and Martha and Jonathan said that everyone was going to take turns, much to the disappointment of the kids.
Kids took their turns, then it went to Jenn and her husband, Jeff and his girlfriend, then to Kevin and his wife, a red haired woman who flirted outrageously. She reminded me somewhat of Cat, but the red-head obviously was tied down, something Cat would never allow herself to be.
"Clark, pick a present," his mother said.
Clark got up and naturally picked my gift.
He came back and started to slowly unwrap it, peeling the tape off the lumpy package. After a minute I saw that he was not going to speed up anytime soon. I said, "Clark, get *on* with it, already!"
He laughed and tore it open. Inside was a flannel shirt that was blue and black, his two best colors. He looked at me and smiled, kissing me briefly. "Thanks."
"Next!" someone yelled.
"Lois," Clark said. I was the only one left who hadn't opened anything yet, and I had two packages to open.
"That ones from us, Lois."
I opened their gift. It was a some sort of wooden painted thing. "Thank you. It's a bowl of fruit, right?"
Martha made a face and waved her hand.
"This one's from me," Clark said, handing me a box.
I tore into it anxiously.
It was a mug. A mug. It was just a red mug, nothing on it. Boy, I was touched.
"Uh, thanks, Clark." I said half-heartedly, kissing him on the cheek.
Everyone sort of looked at each other. Martha looked at her son disapprovingly.
While the kids played on the floor with their toys, women sprayed perfume on themselves, and men looked at wallets and bottles of cologne their kids had given them, I filled my mug with coffee.
The day went on, and the men watched a football game, as men seem apt to do on holidays. Meanwhile, the women talked and laughed in the kitchen while cooking dinner, which was also a big deal, and the kids played with their toys.
Around dusk, I snuck outside and stood on the porch. I had forgotten my coat but didn't feel like going inside to get it. Another Christmas had gone by, another year my parents weren't with me, another year I didn't receive my black Persian kitten.
But this was the first year Clark and I were together, the first year I'd spent Christmas with his family, the first time I'd really enjoyed myself at Christmas with people other than Clark.
The door opened behind me and I knew who it was without turning, because my entire body knows when Clark is near me. The door shut again, and I felt him settle my coat around my shoulders. "Hi."
"Hi," I returned, thinking, A mug. A mug! A mug that didn't even have anything written on it.
I turned around and looked up at him.
"Lois, I have something to give you. The mug was just something to give you in front of everybody else. This is what I really wanted to give you," he said. Then, from behind his back, he produced a tiny black Persian kitten with startling green eyes.
I took it from him, and held it close to my body. "Clark…I don't know what to say. Thank you!"
He smiled. "It's a girl. The guy I bought it from said her name is Spooky."
I laughed. "I can see why!"
The kitten, Spooky, nestled against me and fell asleep. She was just as soft as I'd always imagined, and she was beautiful.
"I love you, Clark."
He told me the same, and turned me to see the clouds that had been threatening to burst all day finally did. Thick, huge snowflakes swirled lazily around the farmhouse and I felt like I was in the center of some Bob Ross painting, with the happy little snowman, and the happy little tree, and the happy little house.
As we watched the snow fall all around, the kitten started to purr contentedly. "Thank you."
"For the kitten, for bringing me to Smallville, for giving me a great Christmas, and for loving me," I ended softly, barely above a whisper.
In my ear he whispered, "The last one is the easiest."
After a few minutes of watching the snow, Clark squeezed me gently and said, "Merry Christmas, Lois."
It felt like I had been wrapped up in the true spirit of Christmas, with the laughter floating from the house, the smell of freshly baked cookies in the air, and Clark's arms around me.
"Merry Christmas, Clark."
I still remember every detail of that first Christmas at the Kent's farmhouse six years ago. As I stand here on that very same porch in Kansas, I can still recall the feelings of fear and happiness and joy I've felt over the years. I still have the Spooky, and I also have the plain red mug.
I can smell the same smells I smelled years ago, hear the laughter, and smell the freshly baked cookies.
The door opened behind me, and my husband and my year and a half old baby came outside. I took my daughter from his arms and held her in front of me and grinned. Carrie Kent smiled and yawned. "She's tired," Clark said, resting a hand on my shoulder.
"I'll put her to bed after dinner. Where's Samantha?"
"Mom's got her. She's helping her bake cookies," Clark said with a smile in his voice.
"Eating the cookie dough, really, just like her father."
"Who do you think taught her?" he said.
I had Samantha a year after Clark and I were married, and I had Carrie almost two years ago.
Both his daughters are born to be Daddy's Girls. And there's another baby on the way. Clark wants another child, no matter what it is, but I want a boy, and I want to name him after Clark.
The due date is in February, and I feel like I'm about to pop as it is. Clark understands this, since he's been through it twice before. "How are you doing?"
"I'm doing okay. I'm just a little tired, that's all, and I'm waiting for dinner."
Just then Samantha came out and said, "Daddy, come help me and Gramma put stuff on the table. Momma, are you comin'?"
She came up to me and put her hand on my stomach like she always does, to see if the baby's kicking. "I guess he's asleep."
"I guess so." I smiled, running my fingers through her dark hair. She looked up at me, and it still surprised me how much she looked like I did at her age. She grinned, missing her front two teeth, and tugged on Clark's hand. "Gramma said *now*, Daddy!"
"I'm coming, I'm coming! Let me go put Carrie in her highchair, okay?"
Clark took Carrie from me, and took her inside. Samantha snuck her hand into mine and said, "Momma?"
"Yes, sweetie?" I said, looking down at her.
"Are you and Daddy gonna go flying tonight?"
I laughed. Every year I've not been pregnant Clark has taken me above the clouds. As a matter of fact, that's how Samantha herself happened.
"Nope, not this year. Momma's too big to do anything but waddle," I said.
Samantha laughed, and went inside. A moment later, Clark came back outside and told me a feast awaited. I held his hands a moment and smiled up at him.
"Are you sure we can't go flying?"
"I'm sorry, honey. I just don't think it's safe. You know that," he smiled sadly, knowing how much I've missed flying.
"Oh, well. Phooey. You'll just have to rub my tummy tonight." I said airily, waddling inside. Clark followed me in and shut the door.
Happy Holidays, everyone! -Kaytee