By Amanda Leach <A.Leach@uq.net.au>
Submitted January 1, 1998
Summary: A sentimental peek at Christmas-future with the Kent family.
Some of the characters in this story are borrowed otherwise are just my own creation. Any comments are appreciated.
"Clark, when are we going to put up the Christmas tree?" Lois asked.
"When you like," Clark answered.
"Can we get one from your parents' farm?" Lois inquired, hoping that her husband would give her a yes.
"Sure. Mum and Dad won't mind. That would be a wonderful idea!" Clark agreed.
Perry walked up to Lois and Clark.
"Lois, Clark. I want you to attend a carol by candlelight event tonight at the Metropolis Auditorium. I want you to write up a column about it. Hand it in tomorrow morning, ten o'clock sharp. Oh, and you can take Mark, Nathan and Amy along as well." Perry looked at his watch. "You might need to leave for home now. The show starts about six-thirty and ends at nine-thirty." Lois and Clark started grabbing their gear. "Have a nice time," Perry said. "I'll take care of that 'Mayor' story."
"See you, chief," Lois and Clark both said to Perry. The Editor of the Daily Planet watched his two reporters go to the elevator.
"I hope that Mark or Nathan of theirs won't get into mischief."
"The kids were as wonderful as Perry had always found, but they could get into mischief sometimes."
Clark did up his shirt buttons as he stepped out of the bathroom. Mark tugged on his father's trousers.
"Yes, Mark?" Clark asked. Mark held up a pair of shoes.
"Daddy, can you please undo the knot?" Mark asked.
"Sure, no problem," Clark replied. He took the shoes and undid both laces. He gave the shoes back to his son.
"Thanks, Daddy," Mark said happily.
"That's all right, Mark," Clark replied. Mark walked off. Clark started doing up his tie but was interrupted by Nathan walking up to him.
"Daddy? There's a hole in my shirt!" Clark had a look. It was a rather big hole.
"Go and change into another shirt. I'm sure you've got another suitable shirt to wear with your shorts." Nathan took off his shirt and gave it to his father. Clark turned to his bedroom. "I'll make sure this one gets patched." Nathan toddled off.
Amy came onto the scene.
"Daddy. I can't do up this button!" she exclaimed. Amy turned her back to Clark who did up the button.
"So, where's your mother?" Clark asked.
"Mummy's still in your bathroom. She's probably putting make up on," Amy replied.
"All right. Thanks," Clark said. "You can go downstairs and wait with Mark and Nathan while I get your mother away from the mirror." Amy smiled and went downstairs. Clark walked into the main bedroom. He folded and placed Nathan's shirt on the dresser. Clark knocked on the ensuite door.
"Who's there?" Lois questioned.
"It's me," Clark replied. Lois finished putting on her make up and opened the door. Clark whistled. Lois was wearing one of her nicest business outfits and her make up made her look gorgeous. Lois smiled. She quickly packed the make up away and stepped out of the bathroom. She and Clark gave each other a kiss.
"The kids are downstairs waiting," Clark stated. Lois nodded and walked downstairs with her husband.
Lois opened her car door. Clark jumped out and helped each of the kids out of the car. Lois finally finished attaching her steering wheel lock. She closed the door behind her.
Lois and Clark reached the entrance of the auditorium. They were stopped by a couple of policemen.
"Excuse me. Do you have an ID?" one of them asked.
"Yes, we do," Lois answered. She and Clark showed their press cards.
"Ms Lane and Mr Kent, you are allowed in," the officer said after taking a brief look at the press cards. Lois smiled and took hold of her daughter's hand while Clark took the two boys and they entered the building. They were all stopped and given a booklet each. Mark spotted candles on a table.
"Mum! Dad! Can we have some candles?" he asked.
"Are they allowed?" Clark asked the booklet hand outer.
"Sure. The candles are free. I'll just go and grab some for the kids," the man replied. He came back with medium sized candles. He handed one to each of Lois and Clark's kids.
"Thanks!" Mark said.
"Thank you," Nathan stated.
"Thank you very much, sir," Amy said. The three kids were excited already.
"What lovely polite little children you've got there," the man admitted.
"Thank you. They're a bit like their father," Lois said. Clark emitted a little smile. The volunteer laughed.
"I'm sure they are. They look like him too."
"We'd better get going. The concert will start very soon," Lois said. "Nice talking to you." She and Clark led the kids further into the auditorium.
Lois sighed. She put her notebook in her lap. They were about half way into the ceremony and she was now bored. This must be a worthy story to work on if Perry assigned us onto this, she thought. She looked at Clark, who was jotting down his part of the story at super speed. Lois wished that she could write fast like that. Just as if Clark had read Lois' mind, he handed her his notepad so she could read it. Lois handed Clark hers. Next to them, Mark waved his candle about. He stuck his finger into the flame. Nothing happened. He nudged Nathan, knowing that Amy should not try this for she was not invulnerable yet. He dipped his hand in the fire. Nathan copied. They both moved their finger up the candle to pick up the runny candle wax. Some older lads behind them were watching.
"Gee, look at those two kids. They're a bit witless," one said. The four friends watched Nathan and Mark Kent.
"How come they aren't burning themselves?" the shorter youth asked.
"Dunno. Probably got no feeling in their hands," the eldest one suggested.
"Their parents don't even know!" someone else whispered. Mark and Nathan continued to play with the fire. Clark turned to look at his two sons, who appeared to be playing with the fire on the candles. Clark immediately responded. He caught their attention and spoke softly to them.
"Could you please not mess around with the candles? If you do, I might have to confiscate them."
"Sure, Daddy," Mark and Nathan both quietly replied back.
"Thanks," Clark greatly appreciated, pleased to have stopped something that may have aroused suspicions. The four adolescents behind the Kents watched them. They drew their attention towards the two little youngsters once again. One who was called Mitchell, blew out Nathan's candle. Mark tapped Nathan and pointed to the boys behind them. Nathan took a look at them and then turned back to Mark. Just as he was about to light his candle with Mark's, Mark's candle went out. The two of them turned and just caught the boys behind them pulling magazines to their faces. Mark and Nathan both asked Amy if she could light their candles. She did and they once again became happy. The candles went out again. Mark and Nathan looked behind them. The juveniles were reading magazines, or looked like they were anyway. Mark made sure that they weren't looking. He looked around. He lowered his glasses.
Mitchell and his friends were smiling behind his magazine. Mitchell's smile was replaced by a look of horror. He dropped his magazine and grabbed his foot.
"Ouch!" he let out. Luckily his cries were muffled by the singers and the music. He pulled off his shoe and sock. He gripped his foot in pain while his friends watched in astonishment.
Clark turned around as he had heard someone making some noise behind him. He caught a glimpse of a red glow that had been on the boy's shoe. Clark looked at Mark. Mark caught sight of his father looking at him. Clark gave his son a 'come here' signal. Mark slowly got up watched by Nathan. Clark signalled for Mark to sit on his lap. Mark sat down uncomfortably. He blew out his candle and handed it to his father. Clark nodded.
"What made you do that?" he asked.
"Well, he blew mine and Nathan's candles out *twice*," Mark admitted.
"That doesn't mean you should just heat up his shoe," Clark pointed out.
"Dad. He and his friends were annoying me and Nathan."
"You still shouldn't do what you did. Don't take advantage of people. That's unfair. They don't have powers and they're vulnerable. Even if someone isn't nice, you should still treat them nicely. Use your powers for good things, not bad things," Clark told his son.
"But you do that sort of thing sometimes," Mark added.
"Yeah, I know. I shouldn't though. Superman sometimes needs to so he can get the criminals into line, but I don't use my heat vision fiercely. I make sure I know what amount of heat to use otherwise I could really hurt someone," Clark spoke. "Do you understand?"
"Yeah, Dad. I do understand," Mark answered.
"That's good." Clark smiled. "Do you want a hug?" Mark hugged his father. "We shouldn't be very long now. The show is almost finished," Clark told Mark. Mark went back to his seat. Clark looked at his wife. She grinned.
Lois walked past her husband, as she was on her way to the laundry.
"I called Perry. He says it's fine that we have a day off. I also rang the school." Clark nodded. "So … are we going to go and get a tree?" Lois asked as she walked towards Clark.
"If the kids want to," Clark answered.
"Yeah! That would be ace!" Mark replied. Lois and Clark turned to Mark and saw Nathan and Amy as well. They all had excitement in their eyes.
"This looks like a good tree," Jonathan said as they stopped by a tree. Clark, Jonathan, Mark, Nathan and Amy had all walked through the snow to another end of the farm to look for a Christmas tree while Lois and Martha stayed indoors.
"Do you like it?" Clark asked his children. They all nodded. "Okay Dad, I think we'll settle for this one." Amy looked up at the tree. It was miles bigger than her. "I'm sure this tree will fit in the house." Clark and Jonathan struck their axes against the bottom of the tree. Very soon, they had knocked the tree down.
Lois passed some Christmas decorations to each of her children. Amy, Nathan and Mark all placed the decorations on the parts of the tree that was within their reach. Lois put a decoration on and stepped back with her husband as they watched the three kids argue where to put the decorations on what branch. Once this was over, Lois and Clark placed the rest of the decorations on the top of the tree.
"Tinsel?" Lois questioned. Nathan, Mark and Amy started getting excited.
"I'll do the tinsel!" Mark exclaimed.
"I'll add the lights!" Nathan added.
"I'll put on the star!" Amy said dreamily. "Can you float us up, Daddy?"
"Sure," Clark answered. He picked up the tinsel and then Mark. "You might want to step back," he suggested. Lois pulled Nathan and Amy back a little. Clark floated up with Mark and they put the tinsel around the tree. Clark then floated Nathan up as they added the lights. Finally Amy was able to place the star on top of the tree. The whole Kent family then stood together as they watched the Christmas tree give off its lights.
Clark took his shirt off the coat hanger. He noticed that it had changed colour.
Clark looked over his shirt. The colour of the shirt had changed to a light pink colour. Clark called to his wife, who was brushing her teeth in the bathroom.
"Lois! What happened to this shirt?"
"Hrrrm, rrrrp!" Lois replied with her mouth full of toothpaste.
"I'm sorry, I can't understand what you're saying," Clark answered. Lois spat out the toothpaste and rinsed her mouth out with water. Lois stepped out of the bathroom. She saw Clark's shirt and the look on his face.
"Nice shirt, Clark," she complemented. "New taste?"
"What happened to this shirt? This is one of the most expensive shirts of mine!" Clark exclaimed.
"I washed it and so it should be clean," Lois confirmed.
"It *is* clean, but it's *pink*," Clark said.
"I don't know how it happened. I know I washed it though," Lois responded.
"Which detergent did you use?"
"Bio-Clean," Lois answered straight away. A thought reached Clark's mind.
"You didn't wash this with one of my capes, did you?" Clark appealed, knowing precisely what his wife had done.
"Well, I didn't know that the red would run," Lois pouted. She was not a regular washing machine user and had no idea what should be washed when and with. "Can't you fix it up with one of your powers?"
"Honey, not even a super power on earth can get this out!" Clark told his wife. "Well, now you know what to do with my cape when washing it."
"Wash it separately," Lois answered. "Now I know what to get you for Christmas!"
"You look pretty in pink today, Daddy," said Amy.
"Well, um … " Clark blushed and his face matched his shirt.
The whole Kent family mingled in the kitchen. This now of course, was Christmas Eve. The clock struck ten. Clark knew that their kids had better get into bed soon.
"Time for bed," Clark remarked. Mark, Nathan and Amy all groaned. "If you don't go now, Santa won't come. Don't worry, Grandma and Grandad will be here sometime tomorrow morning." Clark helped the young kids up the stairs. "Won't be long," he mouthed to Lois.
Clark came back down the staircase.
"I'm sure someone will come down tonight so I'd better get into the suit." Clark walked into the garage.
"The camera is due to switch on in two minutes," Lois told her husband. She quickly drank the three giant cups of orange juice her children had prepared for Santa. Boy, did they have a rough time deciding who would pour the drink. She ended up suggesting to them to just pour a cup each.
Lois gawked at Santa. Clark had stuffed cushions in the Santa costume and now looked like a jolly Santa. Lois started laughing. Boy, did her husband look great in the red and white costume.
"You look wonderful!" Lois admitted.
"Really? I thought that I looked a bit too bulky." Clark looked at his bulging stomach and grinned at Lois. "You had all of the juice?" He pretended to look hurt. "Lois, you might have to get upstairs. We don't want to ruin the surprise."
"All right." Lois smiled. She gave her husband a kiss. "The presents are in the under stairs cupboard." She walked up the stairs.
Clark opened the under stairs cupboard and brought out the huge sack full of presents. This year he was going to place the presents under the tree and in the stockings like an ordinary person would.
Clark slowly placed the presents in the stockings. No one had come down the stairs yet. Clark went to the tree and even more slowly planted the presents. There was a noise upstairs. Clark continued his job. He heard a gasp. He looked up and saw an overwhelmed Mark. Mark came down the stairs. Clark cleared his throat and put on a different voice.
"Hello, young lad. You must be Mark."
"Yes. How'd you know my name?" Mark's face was full of amazement. He was talking to Santa! Not one of his helpers that you usually see at the shops.
"Just like I know everyone else's!" Clark smiled.
"You're really Santa!?" Mark exclaimed. Clark had to think twice before speaking.
"Yes. I really am. Ho! Ho! You look like you've had it!" Clark commented.
Mark had looked really, really stunned.
"Can I have your autograph?" Mark shyly said.
"Why not!" Clark grabbed a notebook out of his pocket and signed it. He gave the piece of paper to Mark. "It's not like I get to give autographs much. The last time I did it was about fifty years ago." Mark gaped at the signature. Santa had really neat and creative writing.
"Thank you so much, Santa!" Mark was truly inspired. "You look bigger than I thought!" There was a little pause of embarrassment for Clark. Clark patted his cushion stomach.
"Well, I must have put on a bit of weight this year. I didn't realise I had. Maybe Mrs Claus gave me too many cookies." Clark laughed heartily.
"I heard that Mrs Claus makes nice cookies. Could you put some in my stocking next year?"
"You're just lucky. I have some right here." Santa opened up his sack and took out a bag of cookies which his mother had actually made. Mark opened it up.
"Caramel Apple!?" Mark exclaimed. "I *love* Caramel Apple!"
"It just so happens that I have a love for Caramel Apple too," Santa stated. Mark started munching on his favourite sweets. "Be careful. You don't want to spoil it for Christmas, do you?" Mark took another bite and put the rest of the cookie away in the bag.
"No way, Santa," he promised.
"I thought that I might warn you that if you want all of the Caramel Apple to yourself, that you had better keep them out of your mother's sight." Clark's hourly alarm went off on his watch. "This is the only time you'll get to see me in action. Next time I'll be zipping in and out of each home with this new invention one of my elves has made. Hey listen, Mark. I've got to put the rest of the presents underneath the tree. Perhaps you might like to go up to your bedroom window and watch me leave?"
"I'd love to!" Mark ran up the flight of steps. Clark finished arranging the presents and went out onto the roof.
Mark bounced into his room. Nathan woke up.
"What's with you in the middle of the night?" Nathan sat up in bed.
"Santa's here!" said an excited Mark. Nathan lit up at this.
"Yes and he said for me to look out of the window to watch him depart!" Mark ran to the window. Nathan followed. Mark opened the window. The cold air rushed into the room. "Hear that?" Mark put his head out.
"Reindeer bells?" questioned Nathan.
"Yep!" Mark pulled his head back in. Mark and Nathan both saw a sleigh fly away.
"Wow!" they both said in awe. Both brothers opened the sliding door and went onto the verandah.
"Ho! Ho! Merry Christmas!" said Santa.
Mark woke up. He realised that it was Christmas morning. He jumped out of bed and grabbed a half eaten Caramel Apple. Mark ran up and down the hallway shouting,
"Mum! Dad! Nathan! Amy! Wake up! It's Christmas!" Nathan and Amy ran out of their rooms while Lois and Clark walked out in their dressing gowns. Mark ran downstairs and out of the front door. Snow was everywhere. It had snowed overnight! He landed on the snow barefooted, but didn't care. He ran to the side fence and shouted out.
"Jason!" After a few seconds, Jason, one of Mark's best friends opened a window. "Merry Christmas!"
"Merry Christmas, Mark!" Jason called back just as happily.
"Guess what? I met Santa at our tree and got his autograph!"
… OF A WONDERFUL CHRISTMAS