Season 6 (based on spoilers and my imagination) - based on "Lexmas"
Disclaimer: These characters belong to the CW and DC Comics, not to me
Eight years later
Clark swooped over a suburb of Metropolis, his crimson cape rippling behind him. The cold wind blew a light dusting of snowflakes into his face, but he hardly noticed. He'd been patrolling the skies most of the afternoon, and now he was headed home to celebrate Christmas Eve with his friends and family.
He paused in his headlong rush, however, at the sight of someone lurking at the back of a small brick ranch. Something about the guy's furtive movements caught his attention, setting off his mental alarms. He dropped a little lower and saw that the guy was trying to jimmy a window open with a crowbar.
He remembered his younger self's outrage at finding someone breaking into a house on Christmas Eve, and had to suppress a smile. He'd been pretty damn naive at that point. After all these years of battling criminals, the one thing he knew was they didn't take days off. And around Christmas, burglars could find all sorts of good loot in people's houses, conveniently boxed and ready to make off with. It was a busy time of year for him, unfortunately.
He dropped down behind the guy silently and watched for a moment. The window began to slide open, and the guy grunted in satisfaction.
"Lose your key?" Clark inquired politely.
The guy spun around, and his eyes went wide. "Superman."
Clark blinked as his inhumanly perfect memory identified the face. He'd met this guy before. Precisely eight years ago, in fact. "Let me guess," he said, taking a step forward, so he loomed ominously over the shorter man. "This isn't what it looks like."
The guy's face went slack with real horror, and Clark guessed the man had recognized him, too. That wasn't really surprising. Even though eight years had passed, he imagined most people would remember the face of someone they thought they'd murdered. "Jesus Christ," he mumbled. "I killed you, man. I killed you."
"Obviously you didn't do a real good job of it." Clark grinned, enjoying himself. Catching criminals gave him a real feeling of satisfaction, but this was something else again. He hated knowing someone had gotten away from him, and he'd been waiting to nail this guy's ass to the wall for eight years.
The guy stumbled backward until his back was pressed against the wall of the house. "I didn't know you were freaking Superman."
"If I hadn't been freaking Superman, I'd have been dead." Clark let his face get stern. "I've been looking for you. It's past time for you to pay for your crimes."
He caught the guy by his arms and lifted into the air with him. The guy struggled frantically, howling. "No! Don't kill me! Please. I'll do anything, just please don't kill me!"
It was all Clark could do not to roll his eyes. His modus operandi was well known by now, thanks to the articles that appeared about him almost every day in the Daily Planet, and he was pretty sure everyone knew Superman didn't kill bad guys, even when they might deserve it. Evidently this guy figured he was going to make an exception in his case because he was pissed off.
He opened his mouth to tell the guy that he wouldn't drop him, that he didn't go around killing people. But it occurred to him it wouldn't hurt the guy to have a little fear put into him. So he kept his mouth shut, kept the stern look on his face, and just kept flying toward the Metropolis PD.
The guy wailed and struggled all the way there, and Clark enjoyed his terror a whole lot more than he should have.
Well, he was only superhuman, after all.
"Don't forget the cookies this time."
"I've got the cookies, Chloe." Clark smiled at his wife and nodded toward the boxes on the counter. "I made them. I'm not likely to forget them."
His mother was still busy with her political career-- she was a U.S. senator now-- and she didn't have time for cookie baking. Between working as a reporter at the Daily Planet and moonlighting as a superhero, Clark didn't have a lot of extra time, either, but he was damned if he was going to let a Christmas go by without sugar cookies. So he'd gotten his mom's recipe and made about a gazillion of them.
"Reporter, superhero, and chef." Chloe chuckled. "You're a really amazing guy, Clark."
He did his best to look modest, although he was secretly very proud he'd managed to produce edible cookies. He'd spent two days working on the things. Although he'd scorched the first couple of batches, he'd eventually gotten the hang of it. They might not be quite as good as his mother's, but they were pretty darn good. "Baking cookies is a lot harder than flying," he answered.
She reached for the lid of one of the boxes, and he batted her hand away. "Forget it, Chlo. I didn't bake ten dozen cookies just so you could devour them all before we get them to the party."
She looked offended. "I have never eaten ten dozen cookies."
"But maybe two or three dozen. What happened to that big bag of Oreos we got yesterday?"
She shrugged, but her cheeks flushed slightly. "I'm eating for two."
"I'm starting to wonder how much of this is baby and how much of it is cookies." He patted the slight bulge of her stomach with affection. "Sometimes it seems like you're eating for twenty."
Her hand squeezed his, then slipped away and darted toward one of the boxes again. "Don't even think about touching my cookies," he said, more firmly. "You're like a horde of locusts right now, Chlo. Once you start, you don't stop till they're all gone."
"You're so mean," she whined.
"Once we get to the party, you can have all the cookies you want. But until then, don't touch."
"You'll be sorry." She scowled. "I'm going to get Lois to kick your ass."
He grinned and slid an arm around her waist, pulling her closer. His mother had called this morning with the surprising news that Lois and Ollie were in town. The two of them had taken up residence in Star City, battling evildoers there in the same way he took care of criminals in Metrpolis, and they didn't make it to Kansas very often. He was secretly looking forward to seeing Lois, even if he knew she'd irritate the hell out of him within two seconds of saying hello. In a weird way, he was kind of fond of Lois, although he'd never admit that in a million years.
And he was damned glad he hadn't wound up married to her.
He was very glad he'd managed to talk Chloe into marrying him. It had taken several years of pestering, wheedling, and outright bribery on his part, but he'd finally managed to convince her to move from living in sin to marriage. And he really liked being married to her.
After a year of marriage, he still thought she was the most beautiful woman on earth, and her pregnancy hadn't made her any less gorgeous as far as he was concerned. In fact, he thought she was prettier than ever. He ran his fingers through her long golden hair, and his body started to respond to her nearness.
He let go of her reluctantly, knowing they really didn't have time for that sort of thing right now. It was a long trip from Metropolis to Smallville when you had to travel the human way. "I guess I'd better get dressed."
"Okay," she said, shooting a hopeful glance at the cookies.
She was already dressed, looking gorgeous in a red silk dress that flowed loosely over her, concealing the bulge of her pregnancy. Clark sighed, knowing he was going to have to put on a suit. There had been a time when parties at the Kent Farm had been casual, but that had been before his mom became a politician. Now he had to look his best. Considering he spent his days in suits-- both the traditional kind and the spandex variety-- he really wished he could get away with jeans and a flannel shirt.
But his mom would kill him if he showed up wearing plaid.
He dropped a kiss on Chloe's mouth, then headed for the bedroom. "No cheating," he reminded her over his shoulder. "Remember who you're dealing with. I'll be watching."
She sighed melodramatically. "It's a pain having a husband who can see through walls."
"Oh, yeah, your life is a living hell." He uttered a soft laugh as he walked into the bedroom and began to strip out of the jeans and t-shirt he'd put on when he'd gotten home.
His life was good, he thought as he pulled on a charcoal gray suit. He was more convinced than ever he'd made the right choice eight years ago. Things weren't perfect-- he and Chloe had their share of fights, they both worked too hard, and last year she'd gotten shot while working on a story, coming so close to dying he'd been terrified. But despite the occasional problems, life was damn good, and he had very few complaints.
He buttoned up his white shirt, then walked over to the mirror and began to put on a tie Chloe had given him several years ago. It was bright red, with green Christmas trees all over it, and he loathed it with every fiber of his being, but he hadn't wanted to hurt her feelings by telling her so. He wore the thing every Christmas Eve, privately counting the seconds until he was able to take it off and hide it in a dark corner of the closet for the next year.
He started to knot the tie, then hesitated. Just for a second, he thought he saw a weathered face in the mirror, smiling at him over his shoulder. He recognized the blond hair and blue eyes instantly, and he turned instinctively, but there was no one there. And when he turned back to the mirror, the image of his father was gone.
Just my imagination, he decided, and finished knotting the tie.
But then again, maybe it wasn't his imagination. Who knew?
He stared intently into the mirror for a long moment, looking for Jonathan Kent with every aspect of his supervision, but he could see nothing but his own reflection looking back at him.
His reflection looked happy, he thought, seeing the cheerful expression on his own face. Even with the tie from Christmas hell knotted around his neck like a brightly colored noose, he looked damn happy. He was happy.
And he knew he wouldn't have wound up here, wouldn't have found his way to this particular destiny, without a little help from above.
He didn't know if that help could hear him, but he figured it couldn't hurt to try, so he smiled into the mirror.
"Thanks, Dad," he said softly.
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