Title: A Kent Family Christmas
Pairing: Lex/Clark (preslash)
Summary: Five year old Clark bring home something unexpected.
A Kent Family Christmas
"Martha, have you seen Clark?"
Martha looked over at her husband. Her hand stilling as she was about to place an ornament on the Christmas tree. “I thought he was with you."
"He was. We were playing trucks when the phone rang. Mrs. Jenkins wants four apple pies for her Christmas party by the way and when I hung up Clark was gone. I looked all over. I thought he'd come in here with you."
Martha laid the ornament down. "No, he's not in here with me. We better find him," she said worriedly.
Clark had come into their lives quite suddenly in a fury of meteors and fire six months ago. A blessing to be sure for a childless couple desperately wanting a child.
Yet Clark wasn't exactly human. Not exactly from earth. The spaceship in their barn cellar attested to that. Where had Clark come from? Who was he? They didn't know or really care for they loved their adopted child with all their heart.
How could they not? Clark with his wide hazel eyes and abundant hair was a happy child. Always smiling and cheerful. Yet a child, who had yet to utter a single word. Despite their constant attempts to get him speaking. There were times they weren't even sure Clark understood what they were trying to get him to do.
Each and every day they tried. Each and every day, he happily looked at them uttering not a single word. Offering hugs and kisses instead. Frustrating to say the least, but the hugs and kisses were joyfully accepted anyway.
This was their first Christmas together and Clark, their son was missing.
"We've got to find him. This is the worst snowstorm in a decade. I just tried the phone its dead. We can't call for help. It's freezing out there. We've got to find our son," Martha said frantically.
Jonathan took his nearly hysterical wife into his arms. "Calm down, Martha. You know he doesn't react to the cold like we do. This is the same child that only last week went streaking thru the snow in his birthday suit."
"I know. I know. But he's still a baby. We've got to find him."
"We will. Don't worry."
They weren't sure of Clark's age. They estimated him to be five to six years of age. Going by human standards, but for all they knew Clark could still be an infant. Or for that matter, he could be a lot older than their estimated age for him. All that didn't matter. Their son was missing. The child of their heart if not their body was gone.
"Get your coat, Jonathan. We've got to find our son."
Just then they heard a rattling at the front door. Martha looked at Jonathan who looked back and they both looked at the door as it rattled once again. Jonathan reached it first. Flinging it open to find their son in his tiny pair of blue jeans and blue flannel shirt and black boots. The boots Jonathan had gone to great lengths to find. There on their porch stood Clark covered in a layer of snow cradling something carefully in his arms.
"Oh, look, Martha our son went out to get us a Christmas present." Jonathan choked back whatever else he was going to say. Stopped by the look his wife was giving him. "Sorry," he said contritely.
"Clark, where have you been? It must be ten below come inside. What have you got there?" She asked gently ushering her son inside.
Clark was carrying something wrapped in what Martha recognized as the afghan off the back of the living room couch. He remained silent, as always, offering the bundle to his father who grunted under the weight.
Jonathan laid it down carefully on the couch. Gentle, ever so carefully he uncovered it. Both elder Kent’s gasped in surprise.
"It's a little boy," Martha exclaimed, moving closer. "Clark, where did you find him?"
Clark pointed to the unconscious body, his eyes wide and pleading.
"Don't worry son. We'll help him," Jonathan told him softly. "God, he must have been in some kind of accident. Look at the bruises on his face."
A small, delicate body was revealed as the highly unsuitable clothing for such nasty weather was removed. What they found was a bald child covered in nasty, painful looking welts, dark bruises and bleeding scrapes.
Jonathan turned to his son. "Did you find anyone else, where you found this boy?" Silence. "Son, there are times like this one, where I really wish you could talk." He sighed heavily at the wide-eyed, silent look Clark was giving him. "Martha, bring the first aid kit, please. Let's get this little fellow patched up."
The worst of the scrapes and welts were taken care of. The pain of the tended wounds felt more through the Kents than the unconscious child. Who had not woken during the whole ordeal. What could a child this young have done to deserve such treatment?
"I wonder who he is? What his name is? And who hurt him?" Jonathan asked as he covered the bald child gently with the afghan Clark had used.
Both Martha and Jonathan turned startled eyes toward their son. "What, Clark?" Martha asked, stunned.
"His name is X?"
Clark nodded, solemnly. "X"
Jonathan went to kneel in front of his son. “Where did you find him, Clark?"
Clark nodded. "Felt here." He touched a tiny hand to his forehead.
"X, called you?"
"His father hurt him?"
Those beautiful hazel eyes filled with tears. "Hurt," he agreed sadly. "Clark, heard. Help."
Jonathan wiped the tears away gently. "You heard and went to help?"
Martha knelt next to her husband. "Where did you find him, Clark."
"City. Lights. Many people."
"Metropolis." Jonathan blue eye's wide with shock. "He went to Metropolis to help X. Thru six feet of snow and freezing temperatures and there's not a sign of frostbite on either of them. We can't keep him." Gesturing toward X. seeing and not liking the look his wife was giving the small boy on the couch.
"His father hits him. Clark said so. Why can't we keep him?"
"Martha, he's not some lost puppy. Homeless and alone. He belongs to someone."
"Mine," Clark told them, standing protectively over the still body.
"Mine. I found. I help. Mine."
"I know you found him, Clark. And that you helped, but you can't keep him. It's just not done."
Their once happy child's eyes filled with tears once again. "X, mine. Bad daddy hurt. No give back. X mine," he repeated, his lower lip coming out in a pout.
Jonathan tried to get his five year old son to understand. "Clark, you can't own another human being. X belongs to X. And I'm sure he has family."
The tears began to overflow. Jonathan made a tentative step toward him. "Clark... Stunned as his little boy backed away cringing.
"No touch. No let keep, X."
Jonathan turned toward his wife. "Martha, what are we going to do?" he asked his wife helplessly.
Martha wiped her own tears with the back of her hand. "I don't know, I just don't know."
They watched silently as their son carefully climbed on top of X. Wrapping his arms around the still form, he buried his head into the pale neck and began sobbing his little heart out.
X moaned softly. Not completely waking, yet understanding that someone desperately needed his comfort. His arms slowly, painfully came up to encircle the crying child pulling him close. Giving what he could.
"Martha, we've got to do something. Our child is heartbroken."
"Yes, but what? You already told him he couldn't keep X. I don't see why not. It's not as if Clark's asking for a whole lot." She said unreasonably.
"You know we can't," Jonathan said, eyes pleading for understanding. Getting his wife and child to give up this hurt little boy was going to be a real battle. A battle he really didn't want to get into. He wanted children in their lives as much as Martha did.
Martha sighed softly. "I know. If only wishing made it so."
"Especially for five year olds and some adults, too. If it did, we'd have a house full of children."
Clark finally worn out drifted into sleep. Every now and then his breath hitching. The boy underneath him quiet. Unaware of the turmoil his presence was causing in the Kent household.
Both boys slept through dinner. Not waking when Martha carefully picked Clark up off of X to carry him upstairs to bed. While Jonathan carried the other child.
Clark was so worn out he didn't protest when Martha changed him into his pajamas. The only sign of life he gave was to tightly wrap himself round the older boy once Jonathan laid him down next to him with a soft sigh.
Martha smiled wistfully. "Are you sure we can't keep him? They look so cute together."
"Martha!" Jonathan warned.
"Yes, I know. He belongs to someone else." She said closing the door on the two soundly sleeping boys.
The next morning Martha woke to the sounds of happy giggling coming from Clark's bedroom. She turned toward Jonathan. "Sounds like the boys are awake."
Jonathan smiled. "Sounds like it. Wanna go see what they’re up to?"
They entered Clark's room to find the two boys playing cars on the bed. Clark showing his new friend his favorite little, blue truck.
"Mommy. Daddy," Clark exclaimed happily. "X up."
"So we see," Jonathan replied as he walked toward the bed. "Hello, X."
The bald youngster looked at him shyly. "Hello, Sir," he whispered.
"How do you feel?"
"Better. Confused. What am I doing here?"
"Clark brought you here," Martha answered from the door.
"You did, Clark?"
Clark nodded sending hair cascading into his face. "I," he said solemnly. "X, call. Clark, help."
"Why did your father hit you, X," Jonathan asked softly.
X turned deathly pale. "He wasn't happy with my report card. He said a Luthor doesn't fail at anything," X looked up meeting Jonathan's eyes. "but I didn't fail. I got one B. All the rest of my grades were A's. He said that wasn't good enough. All my grades should have been A's. So he hit me and kept hitting me. It was only one B. I didn't fail…" his voice trailed off.
"No, son. You didn't fail," Jonathan told him, wanting to give comfort, but unsure if it would be accepted.
Clark had no such worries. Moving protectively closer to his new friend. "Bad daddy. Hit X," he said, his little arms going around X in comfort.
Suddenly something the older boy said penetrated. "Hold on a second. You're a Luthor? You’re Lionel Luthor's son?" Jonathan asked.
The boy nodded his bald head. "Yes, Sir."
Jonathan turned to his wife who'd gone to sit on the other side of the bed. "Martha, our son stole a Luthor. He stole the son of a billionaire."
Clark made a small sound of outrage. His little brows furrowing. "No stole. Clark, good boy," he said angrily.
They didn't dare laugh, yet all three were unable to hide their smile. "Yes, son. You’re a good boy," Jonathan told him. "a very good boy."
"Yes, Clark. Besides you didn't steal me, you borrowed."
Clark turned slightly to look up at his new friend. "X make fun Clark?" he asked, hurt clear in his voice.
X pushed Clark's hair off his forehead to lay a gentle kiss there. "No, baby. Never that. You helped Lex, I'm not real sure how and it really doesn't matter. I am grateful."
"Clark, good boy?"
"Oh, yes, baby. You’re a very good boy," Lex told him.
Clark smiled happily. "Good. Breakfast now?" he asked his mom hopefully.
"Breakfast now," Martha confirmed rising from the bed. "Do you need help dressing Clark?"
"Mommy, Clark big boy." She was told with offended dignity.
Martha smiled at her son. "Oooh, sorry. I forgot. Well I'm going down to make breakfast. If you need help ask Lex, okay?"
Clark had already jumped down from the bed and was rummaging thru his drawers. "Yes, Mommy."
Martha looked at her husband smiling proudly. "Our little boy's talking."
Jonathan returned the smile. "Yes, and talking pretty well considering. Lex, the clothes you had on has blood on them and aren't particularly warm, but we don't have anything your size. For now wear the same pants and I'll lend you a sweater of mine that shrunk. It'll be big, but you'll be warm."
"Thank you, sir," Lex replied absently as he watched Clark struggling with his boots.
"You know we haven't been properly introduced. I'm Jonathan Kent and my wife is Martha. Clark you already know. Come down when you’re ready."
Dropping off the sweater he was heading toward the stairs when he heard his son. "X, help. Shoes. No can do." In a voice filled with annoyance at his helplessness.
Clark took his job as Lex's protector very seriously. From where Lex should sit. To choosing the best pancakes for his friend. To making sure his Lex got the tallest glass of milk. The elder Kent’s watched their son's antics with amusement.
Lex took it all in stride, not wanting to offend his tiny savior. In the same token Lex made sure Clark ate his breakfast. Cutting up the pancakes and sausage into bite size bits just right for a small mouth. Even offering Clark a napkin to clean his milk mustache with. It was as if Lex had always been a part of them and that empty fourth chair had been made just for him.
"So, Lex, how old are you?" Jonathan asked.
"Well, looks like you’re going to have to spend Christmas with us. The phones are dead. We can't get a hold of anyone right now." Clark dropped his fork. "No, Clark. We talked about this."
"No. X stay," Clark insisted.
"No, son. Lex has a home. He can't stay here."
"X stay. Father hurt."
Clark's eyes began to fill with tears again. Jonathan sighed heavily. "I know his father hurt him. We'll make sure it doesn’t happen again."
"X, stay. No happen again."
"Please, Mr. Kent. Let me," Lex went to where Clark sat lifting him up briefly before settling him in his lap. "Listen, Clark. I can't stay. I have things to do. I have school and stuff. Do you understand?"
Clark shook his head. "No. X no like, Clark?" he asked in a tiny hurt voice.
Lex kissed the top of Clark's head. "I like Clark...a lot."
"Stay, then," Clark pleaded.
"You're one persistent little fellow aren't you?" Lex asked, with a small smile.
"No, Clark. Don't cry. Tell you what, I'll make you a deal. I'll stay with you for Christmas and then you let me go."
Lex looked over at the Kent's helplessly. What could he tell Clark? What could the Kents tell Clark to make this special little boy feel better? Mrs. Kent was openly crying and Mr. Kent wasn't far behind.
"Please, baby, don't be stubborn. You have to let me go."
Clark turned until he was kneeling in Lex's lap. His hazel eyes brimming with tears. "X, mine. Clark, no let go. Never. Ever."
Lex felt his own eyes fill. "Oh, sweetheart," he said, wrapping his arms around the sobbing little boy. Trying to give comfort, where none was to be had for any of them.
Lex, Martha and Jonathan came to the unspoken understanding not to speak about Lex eventually having to leave. Hoping by the time that came they'd have thought of a plan to make the parting easier for everyone especially Clark.
Clark had put thoughts of Lex's eventual departure out of his mind. Thoroughly and completely enjoying having Lex around. Not minding at all being the younger of the two. Loving the fact he had an older brother to love and cuddle to his heart's content.
Lex bloomed and grew under Clark's love seeking it like a child starved for affection of any type. He also sought Martha for attention hungrily as though her affection would be taken from him. Making them wonder about his mother. Yet they didn't want to question the hurt little boy.
One afternoon Martha called Lex to her as she sat in an overstuffed chair. She simply gathered him into her arms, cuddling him close. Lex rested his bald head against her breast, blue eyes closed as Martha rocked him gently, quietly humming to him.
As she looked down at him she knew without a shadow of a doubt Lex was hers. She already loved him as much as Clark. She kissed his bald head gently. She looked over at Jonathan with tears in her eyes. Knowing he'd understand what she was going through.
Of Jonathan, Lex was more wary. Unfairly in Jonathan's eyes, but no less understood. He'd been hurt by his father and Jonathan was a father figure. He'd watch Martha and Lex together longingly. Wanting Lex to come to him for attention and affection too. Of both he had plenty. It took Clark to bring them together. Clark watched their interaction with oddly enough, no jealousy. He seemed to want them to get to know and love each other.
On the third day Lex had been with them the wind and snow still howling loudly outside the house. Martha busy in her sewing room had left her three men to fend for themselves. Jonathan sat the kitchen table with the farm’s books looked up as Clark gently tugged Lex toward him.
"Daddy, X need hug."
Jonathan looked at Lex who stood in front of him quietly not saying a word. "Do you need a hug, Lex?"
Lex nodded shy. "If it's not to much trouble, Sir."
Jonathan gathered the thin boy to him. "It'll never be to much trouble, son," he told him, softly, rubbing Lex's back affectionately. "you can have as many hugs and kisses as you like." With that he laid a very wet kiss on Lex's bald head. Who promptly giggled. Jonathan looked over at Clark who was watching solemnly. "Do you need a hug, Clark?" he asked not wanting Clark to get jealous.
Clark shook his head. "No, daddy. X need." That said he sat himself at the table with one of his coloring books.
Jonathan smiled at Lex. "Do you want to help me with the books."
Lex climbed happily into Jonathan's lap. They spent two hours enjoying each other's company. Lex not really caring about the books. Simply enjoying the affection Jonathan lavished on him. Clark enjoying been with both of them as he colored in his coloring book giving them smiles now and then. After that Lex sought Jonathan as much as Martha for attention and love.
Jonathan and Martha watched with a mixture of sadness and joy the growing bond between the two boys. The sadness was also for themselves. They'd grown to love Lex. Who was a smart, quiet, contemplatively little boy. Lex sought and gave affection as willingly as Clark. Also just as generous of heart as Clark. The two boys couldn't have been more brothers if they had been born to the same parents.
Four days of being housebound due to the snow found Martha once again in her sewing room. And Jonathan once again at the kitchen table this time looking through a magazine. Lex was laying down in the living room and Clark was in his room.
Jonathan looked up watching as his son carefully make his way down the stairs carrying a book. He went to where Lex lay on the couch.
"X, read Clark?" He asked the bald boy.
"You want me to read to you?"
Clark nodded. "Read."
"Okay, come here." Clark mindful of Lex's injuries climbed carefully over Lex to tuck himself between the couch and Lex. "What have you got there? Oh, I remember this one. It's good."
Clark listened enraptured, as Lex weaved a tale of heroes, princess and magic contently sucking his thumb. His head resting trustingly on Lex's shoulder.
Lex stopped reading to watch Clark. "Does that thumb taste good?"
Clark released the wrinkly appendage. "Good," He lifted it to Lex. "share," He told him with a child's innocence.
Lex shook his head. "No, sweetheart. I'm fine."
"I share," Clark insisted, offering his thumb again.
"I know you will, but right now I don't really feel like sucking on a thumb. Thank you, though."
"'Kay, let know?"
"Yes, I'll let you know if I change my mind. Want to take a nap with me?"
Clark nuzzled deeper against Lex as the older boy pulled down an afghan from the back of the couch. He sighed as he put his arms around Clark. He'd never been given such unconditional love before. From all the Kent's. He was going to hate leaving. That was his last thought as he drifted off to the oddly calming noise of Clark sucking his thumb.
"Yes, son?" Jonathan asked, watching his little boy come toward him, rubbing his eyes.
Jonathan looked over to where Lex was still sleeping. "How do you know that?"
"Tummy go..." Clark scrunched his face. "grrr."
Jonathan smiled. "Yeah?"
Clark nodded, "Yup. Real loud."
'Well, maybe we should fix some lunch. What do you say, buddy? Wanna help?"
Clark nodded again. "Yup."
Jonathan had Clark strip lettuce. A relatively safe thing for a five year old to do, as he fixed the rest of the ham sandwiches. Father and son for the first time had a real conversation as they worked. Clark talking to his father about the book Lex had read to him and Jonathan asking questions.
"What are my boy's doing?" Martha asked walking into the kitchen.
"Hey, Clark. How's my boy?"
"Good. We make sandwiches 'cause X tummy go grrr."
"Oh, I guess it's a good thing then," She replied kissing her husband.
"Are you done?" Jonathan asked, kissing back.
Martha smiled. "Yes."
Just then Lex walked sleepily into the kitchen. "X, make sandwiches. Sit. Eat," Clark told him bossily.
Lex didn't seem to mind as he replied, "Okay." Sitting down.
Lunch was a jovial affair. Lex was never once made to feel as if he were an outsider. He contributed and was a part of this happy, loving family. Martha volunteered Clark to help with the clean up.
"Lex, stay. I need to talk to you. I've been putting it off, but there's no way around it," Jonathan said as Lex rose from the table.
"Sir?" Lex asked, knowing what the conversation was going to be about and regretting the need for it with his whole eight year old heart.
"The weather is starting to clear. The phones will be working soon. We need to talk about what we're going to do."
"I don't want to go back. I love it here with you, Clark and Mrs. Kent," Lex told him sadly.
"I know, son. We want you to stay with us, too. But that's not possible. We all know that."
"Lex, look at me," A pair of sad forlorn blue eyes looked up at him. "it's not that we don't want you here, we do. We'd love to have you be part of our family. But we could get into a lot of trouble keeping you here."
"I know. I'll do whatever you want."
"Lex, is there anyone else besides your father we can contact?"
Lex ran an finger over an imaginary seam on the table. "There's my grandfather, but I don't see him much."
"Can he help get you away from your father?"
"Yes, I guess so," the boy said reluctantly.
Jonathan pushed his chair away from the table slightly. "Come here, son," Opening his arm. Lex flew into them. "I'd give anything to have things different, Lex. I really would." He told him, rubbing the thin back comfortingly.
"I know, sir. So would I."
Lex was subdued the rest of the day. Clark watched him quietly, sensing his friend was sad. Hoping to make Lex feel better he offered more hugs and kisses than normal even for him.
Lex accepted them almost desperately knowing the happiness and contentment that had been his these last few day was about to end. By the end of the day he was feeling better. Not a whole lot, but some. What may have helped was when Clark bought him a plate of warm cookies telling him with a stern. "Eat. To skinny." Followed by a wet, sloppy kiss to his bald head.
Lex held the plate of cookies watching Clark leave the living room, not realizing he had a goofy grin on his face.
After dinner and before bed time as they'd been doing since Clark had *borrowed* Lex, they shared a bath. Tonight was no different. Clark shoved a yellow duck at Lex who shoved it back.
"What happen hair?" There was no ridicule in Clark's voice just simple curiosity.
Lex rubbed his bald head ruefully. "There was a meteor shower about six months ago. I was caught in it. And all my hair fell off." Martha who'd come in to leave clean towels made an odd choking noise. "Mrs. Kent, are you okay?"
"Y..yes, Lex. I’m fine . You boys don't stay in there to long."
Lex watched her go curiously, but his attention quickly diverted to Clark who was talking to him.
"Lucky X, no need shampoo. Shampoo hurt eyes."
Lex smiled. "Yes, that it does. Hey, we better get out. Here's a towel."
"Yes, Clark?” Lex asked, absently helping his little savior dry his hair.
"I bigger you. How come?"
"Yes, I bigger."
"What are you talking about?"
Clark waved his hand in front of Lex. Who looked down. "Oh, I don't know. Maybe it's because I'm skinny."
Clark looked at Lex, his face tilted sideways. "Yup. X skinny. Eat more," he commented with no malice. "X?"
"I luv you."
Lex gave Clark a brilliant smile. "I luv you, too."
"X belong Clark."
"X belong Clark." Clark touched Lex's bald head. "Here." Over his heart. "Here," Motioning expansively over Lex's body. "here."
"Yes. X mine. I take care. Always."
Lex helped the little boy with his pajamas, not responding to Clark's declaration. There was nothing he could say. He wasn't going to be able to stay. "Here, Lets get your socks on. I think if you hurry, there's still time for me to read to you," he said instead. Quickly changing into an old flannel shirt of Mr. Kent's he'd been using to sleep in.
Christmas Eve dawned cold, crisp and clear. At breakfast of blueberry pancakes and bacon the family of four talking about how they were going to celebrate Christmas. Suddenly the phone rang, startling them all.
"Phone," Jonathan said unnecessarily.
"Yes, shouldn't one of us answer it," Martha said quietly.
Jonathan rose from the table. "Yes, I guess."
"Hello, Mabel. Yes, it was quite a storm. No, no problems. We’re all fine. How about you and yours? Great. Yes, well thanks for calling." He looked over at Martha. "Mabel," He said. The three sitting at the table looked as if they were in shock. Especially Clark.
"Clark? Are you okay, son?"
Clark's eyes were wider than usual and he was very pale. "No, Daddy."
Jonathan sighed heavily. "I know, son. But, we know what we have to do."
"Keep, X?" Clark asked hopefully.
"I wish, son. I wish. Why don't you help Mommy with the dishes while Lex and I make a phone call."
Clark shook his head. "No, Daddy. No phone. No phone."
"Son, we have to. If we don't, we could get into a lot of trouble. We’re going to have a hard enough time explaining how Lex got here as it is. We have to do this."
"No, Daddy<" Clark pleaded plaintively.
Lex knelt next to Clark's chair. "I'll come and visit as often as I can. You won't even know I'm gone."
Clark frowned at Lex. "I know here," he said placing his hand over his heart. "I know, always."
Lex pulled Clark into his arms. "I know, but it's something we have to do."
Clark's eyes filled with tears. "No like. No like."
"I know, baby. I know. I don't like it either. Here go with Mommy, while Daddy and I make the call," he said handing the crying child to Martha.
"Mommy?" Clark asked as if pleading with her could stop what was about to happen.
Martha hugged him close. "Come on, lets clean up."
Clark had no choice he went.
To lighten the somber mood, they though letting Clark open one Christmas present would help cheer up one very sad little boy. He pushed it away.
"No want," he said crossing his arms over his chest.
Lex pushed the box back toward him. "Come on, Clark. Open it. You don't want to hurt Mommy and Daddy's feeling do you?"
"No," Clark said contritely, looking over at Jonathan and Martha eyes wide with regret and deep, deep sadness. "Sorry, Mommy, Daddy," He shook his head. "Clark, no want presents. Want X, stay."
They were saved from commenting by the sound of a helicopter landing in their front yard. "They're here," Jonathan said quietly.
All four watching from the front door as a man with shoulder length hair streaked with white got off the helicopter.
"Lex," he called out as he made his way toward them.
"F...father," Lex responded. Lionel would have taken his son into his arms if it hadn't been for Clark, who quickly stood between the two. Shielding him with his body.
"No, touch, X. Bad daddy. Bad daddy," He said a furious look on his little face.
Lionel looked at the little upstart in outrage. "Get away from my son. Or, I'll remove you myself."
Jonathan quickly moved in front of the two boys. "I'd like to see you try," he told him warningly.
Lionel looked confused for a moment. "What's going on here. Lex, come here, son."
Lex's arms came up over Clark's shoulders pulling the small boy to him. Needing him for strength as well as comfort. Things Clark was more than willing to give.
"No, father," he said, trembling visibly.
"Lex, come here," Lionel demanded angrily.
The trembling increased. Clark feeling it laid his hands over Lex's. "Bad daddy. Hit X. Bad. Bad," he said angrily.
Martha went to where to two boys were without saying a word wrapped her arms around Lex and Clark. A silently offering her support.
"Lionel," Suddenly a deep voice boomed.
Everyone turned toward it. A tall, broad shouldered man with the most startling green eyes walked toward them. Radiating authority and power. It seemed to ooze out of his pores.
Lionel seemed to visibly wilt. "I can explain everything." Not trying to deny Clark's claim.
The man's heavy brows furrowed. "What's to explain, Lionel. If Lex's small protector is right, you hit my grandchild. My only grandchild, by the way. Go to the helicopter. I'll deal with you later. Now!" He boomed when Lionel hesitated.
Uncaring of the expensive suit he was ruining, this tall imposing man knelt in the snow next to the four huddled protectively together. "Alexander," he said quietly.
"Grandfather," Lex answered, but didn't move away from behind Clark.
The man seemed to understand. His face softening. "Who might your little protector be?"
"I Clark. Who you?" Clark asked, clearly unafraid and willing to take on all comers who would dare hurt his friend.
"I'm Alexander Luthor, The First. I'm Lex's grandfather."
"Not good grandfather. No care X," Clark replied, disapproval clear in his hazel eyes.
"Clark," Martha gasped.
Lex's grandfather turned toward her when she was about to correct her son for his bad manners. "No he's right. I have been remiss in my care of my only grandchild. That will change. Is there someplace we can talk?"
"This coffee is very good and the pie is excellent," Alexander to told Martha.
"Why, thank you," She replied as she refilled his cup.
"Lex, come here," Alexander told his grandson. Clark sitting in his father's lap sat up straighter. Alexander noticed. "It's alright, Clark. I'm not going to hurt him. I just want to see what that sorry excuse of a son did to him." He hissed in anger when he got a good look at the fading yet still vibrant bruises still covering Lex. He gently ran a hand over Lex's bald head before pulling him into a tight hug.
"I'm so sorry, Lex," He said, voice filled with regret.
"I know you are grandfather. But you busy. I understand," Lex replied, burying his face in his grandfather’s coat.
"I shouldn't neglect my only grandson. Lionel will pay for this. I think dropping him in an active volcano would do very nicely wouldn't you agree, Lex."
"Grandfather," Lex said chided his grandfather quietly.
"Yes, your right. It might hurt the volcano," Alexander replied, kissing his grandson's bald head. "What am I going to do with you, Alexander?" he asked affectionately.
Green eyes turned toward Clark. "What, Clark?"
Clark scrambled off his father's lap hastily. He practically ran toward Lex's grandfather. "X, stay," His hazel eyes very wide and pleading.
"You want Lex to stay here?"
A little head bobbed up and down. "Yes, please," he said earnestly.
For the first time Lex's eyes held hope. "I really like it here, grandfather. The mansion is cold and unfeeling. Nobody pays any attention to me, not in the way that matters. It's warm here and I feel safe. The Kent’s love me and I love them."
Alexander looked over at the Kents who had their arms around each other watching quietly. He was a good judge of character, he'd always been. He knew instinctively they could give his grandson something he never could. A warm, loving place to grow and flourish in. Where all his needs would be met not by shoving money at it, but by love, caring and infinite understanding. Something money couldn't buy.
"Lex, you and Clark go find something to do while I talk to the Kents."
Jonathan eyed the wrecked living room. "Now this is what I call a true family Christmas."
Martha eyed her two little boys. One bald, blue-eyed, the other hazel eyed with a full head of hair. Sleeping peacefully cuddled together under the quilt she'd made for Lex. Made when she thought she was going to lose the second child of her heart. For him to remember them by.
"Yes. A true family Christmas," she replied contently. Sitting in the living room their arms around each other they watched their two sleeping sons.