Submitted: December 2001
Summary: Clark has a special mission to undertake in this Christmas vignette. Will it mean he may not make it home in time for Christmas?
"Lois you know I have to go," Clark said as he hugged her from the window.
Superman had to go to Krypton and save his people from war once again and this time he was leaving Lois with their 5- year-old child Lisa.
Lois cried into the "S" on Clark's chest and said, "I just don't understand it, and you saved them once before, isn't that enough? You have a daughter here, and it's a month before Christmas and what if you don't come back on Christmas?"
Clark wiped a tear from Lois' face and said, "Lois I will promise you that I will be back for Christmas and I'll be with you. Don't worry, honey."
With another kiss Clark flew out of their townhouse window.
*One Month Later*
The snow built up on the sidewalks of Metropolis like a blanket over a sleeping child. Lisa watched the snow fall from the Daily Planet window hoping to see a red, blue and yellow blur come through the sky. It was two days before Christmas and still Clark had not come home yet and Lois had a gut feeling he never would. Lois was busy calling people to see who was coming and in the back of her mind Lois was thinking, " The one Christmas my side of the family is coming under one room without lawyers, Clark is out saving a planet. Go figure."
Lois then noticed Lisa looking out the window; Lois walked up to Lisa and started to stare at the falling snow with her. Lisa held Lois' hand and said, "Mama, when is he coming back?" Lois said, "Soon, honey. Soon."
Then the elevator doors opened and out came a Santa who said joyfully, " HO! HO! HO!"
Lisa looked over her shoulder and frowned to see Santa and not Clark. Lois walked Lisa over to Santa who was really Perry. Perry hated playing Santa but for Lois he would do anything. Lisa sat on his lap and in a ' Santa Claus voice' he said, "So, Lisa, have you been a good girl?"
Lisa nodded yes and Perry then said, "So tell Santa what you want for Christmas."
Lisa rambled off a couple of names of toys and then whispered in Perry's ear, "And for my mommy I want you to bring my daddy back for her."
It killed Perry to hear Lisa say that knowing very well that Clark was out of reach even for him.
The Krypton flag went up on the battlefield. All the soldiers cheered. Krypton had won the battle with Pluto! Clark smiled and thought, "I can go home and finally see Lois and Lisa!"
Then what seemed to be a small child tapped Clark on the shoulder and then Clark saw it wasn't a small child but a small man. The man said, "Pardon me, Mr. Kent, but Mr. Claus would like to speak to you."
Clark scratched his head and said, "Sorry, pal, but I'm kind of busy. I'm going home and no guy is stopping me."
The small man then said, "Let me make this more clear, Mr. Kent. Santa CLAUS wants to speak to you."
Clark stopped walking and said, "I don't now what planet you're from but there is no Santa Claus. How did you get on the battle field anyway? I'm going home and no one like Santa Claus is going to stop me."
The small man said, "Mr. Kent, you don't understand. Mr. Claus is awfully ill and without him Christmas will be ruined for all the children on Earth."
Clark then said, "Ok, I'll say this one more time, I spent a month on this stupid rock fighting a stupid war. I'm sick of saving people I don't know. I just want to go home to my wife and children."
The small man shook his head and said, "I'm awfully sorry I have to do this, Mr. Kent." The small man shot a gun that wrapped Clark with a big red bow. Clark tried to break out of it but it was useless.
Then the small man led Clark to a big sled with eight reindeer on it. Clark couldn't believe his eyes. Could Santa be real? Or was this some mastermind trying to ruin his life?
The sled then led them to the North Pole where Clark saw a stable with many other reindeer in it. Then Clark saw a small house that looked like a gingerbread house, with the gumdrops as a walkway and graham crackers as the bricks. The small man led Clark inside and was greeted by a heavyset woman with white hair and wearing a red dress.
The woman said, "ED! Why did you do that? Mr. Kent, I'm so sorry, our elves some times get a little strange at times. I'm Mrs. Claus."
Mrs. Claus then untied Clark and she led him to Santa and Clark saw an old man in a red robe sitting in a chair as his feet sat in warm water. The man said, "Clark Jermome Kent, it's been years since I've seen you, please sit down."
Clark sat on a chair that was made out of liquorice, Clark then said, "I'm sorry but I have to say, 'Who the heck are you'? And why do you want me?"
The man laughed and said, "Why, Clark, I'm Santa. I need you because I'm sick; well I guess that's what you get for joining the polar bear club. I'm too sick to deliver the presents to the children and was hoping that you would help me for this one night."
Clark said, "I'm sorry to say this but I haven't seen my family in a month and would like to see them."
Santa then grabbed a snow globe and said, "Shake it and you will see them."
Clark shook the snow globe and before his eyes he saw Lois hanging the stockings and making the dinner and getting everything ready for when the company came. He also saw Lisa sitting in his lounge chair looking out the window. Santa then said, "Clark if you don't help all the children will be very upset and Lisa will be devastated."
Clark knew he couldn't let Santa down or the rest of the world so Clark said "Ok, Santa, I'll do it."
All of a sudden there were cheers from the elves from outside the door. Santa then started to show Clark around and showed him how to do everything.
Everyone was around the table and Ellen and Sam were yelling and Martha and Jonathan tried not to stare at the sad couple. Lois went into the kitchen and Martha followed. Lois collapsed into Martha's arms and said, "Martha, what am I going to do without Clark? That was the only thing Lisa wanted on her list."
Martha tried not to cry herself and said, "You know how Clark is, you think that all is lost and at the very last minute there he is."
Lois laughed and the phone rang. Lois said, "Hello?" The connection was kind of crummy but Lois heard a very familiar voice say, "Lois, honey?"
Lois started to cry again and said, "CLARK?"
Clark said, "Honey, I'm sorry but I called to say that I won't be there for Christmas, I'm kind of stuck helping…a friend."
Lois said strongly, "Clark Kent, that is the lamest excuses you have ever given me."
Clark laughed and Lois heard a small voice in the backround and Clark said, "Lois, I'm sorry I have to go, tell Lisa I love her. Bye, honey. Love you."
The line was dead, and again Lois' heart was dead. Lois didn't want to tell anyone that Clark had called, knowing that they would get upset and especially Lisa, who was still looking out at the snowy night.
Clark's heart sank when he hung up the phone and an elf said, "I'm sorry, Mr. Kent but we need help packing the sled and you have to pick the reindeer for the job."
Clark rolled his eyes and helped the elves pack the sleigh. Clark saw that there were several bags that were labeled by family. Clark then saw a red bag that a tag that said, "Kent."
Clark smiled at all the toys that Lisa would be getting this year. Clark then placed it in the sled and went to the stable to pick out the reindeer.
After Clark was done he walked back into the house and met up with Santa and Santa said, "Clark I want to show you what you will be wearing tomorrow night."
Clark looked confused and said, "I thought that I would put on my Superman suit."
Santa chuckled and said, "My dear boy what would the kids think if Superman took over Santa's job?"
Clark shrugged and they walked into a room were Mrs. Claus was and she handed Clark a red suit and hat. Clark went into another room and put the Santa suit on and a couple of minutes later Mrs. Claus said, "Clark, my dear boy, how does it fit?"
Clark said embarrassed, "Mrs. Claus this is a little big don't you think?"
Mrs. Claus laughed and said; "Don't worry, Clark, by tomorrow you'll fit in it."
Then a female elf came in and said, "Dinner is served."
Clark was walked to a large room were there were a couple of thousand of elves sitting around a long table made out of graham crackers and the tablecloth was white icing. Clark was seated and then trays of food were wheeled out. Clark was confronted by his favorite meal: a big roast with mashed potatoes, corn, homemade gravy.
Clark was so happy to see food again, on the battlefield there really wasn't any food and if there was it was cornbread and water and on occasion a fruit here and there. Santa stood up, raising his glass, and said, "My fellow elves, we have the greatest person in the world with us here tonight. Clark Kent or better known as Superman, he has agreed to led the sleigh for Christmas, so THREE CHEERS FOR CLARK! Say a few words, Clark."
It sounded like the overwhelming sound Clark got over the battlefield. Of people cheering. Clark stood up and said, "Well I just want to say…I'll do my best, Santa."
After dinner, Clark was led to a large room with a fireplace and a large king-size bed. Clark saw pajamas laid out on the bed and Clark smiled, thinking it had been 30 years since a person had put out his pajamas. Clark changed out of his clothes and sat in a chair made of gumdrops and looked out the window and was thinking of what Lois must be going through.
"ELLEN, I HONESTLY DON'T NOW WHAT YOUR PROBLEM IS!" Sam yelled across the table to his ex-wife.
Ellen scolded back, "I JUST THINK A HUSBAND SHOULD BE HERE WITH HIS FAMILY AND NOT SAVING A STUPID PLANET."
Lois, sunk in her chair, was horrified that Jonathan and Martha and her own Daughter, Lisa were watching this sad scene that had gone on so many times in Lois' life.
"THAT'S ENOUGH OUT OF THE BOTH OF YOU!" Jonathan said as he slapped the table. It startled everyone and Jonathan said, "Now I know that my son has been saving a planet and isn't here where he should be but that gives you no right to ruin your own daughter's dinner!"
Lois couldn't stand sitting in the room anymore so Lois scooped Lisa up and headed for Lisa's room. Lois got Lisa dressed for bed and put her to bed and Lisa said, "Mommy, do you think Santa is going to bring home daddy?"
Lois smiled and tried so hard not to cry and said, "I'm sure he will, sweetheart." Lois then walked out of the room and closed the door and started to cry, knowing her daughter's only present, only wish, hope, was to have her father back and now it would be crushed because Clark was off saving only god knew what.
Lois walked back in to the dinning room and everyone still hadn't said anything since Jonathan yelled. Lois then said, "Clark will come home, you'll see."
"Mr. Kent…Mr. Kent, breakfast is ready."
Clark groaned in protest and mumbled as he turned over. "One more minute, Lois."
The voice then said again, "Mr. Kent, come on you have a big day."
Clark woke up, ready to see Lois' face, but was disappointed to be woken up by an elf. Clark went to the bathroom to get dressed. When he noticed what he saw in the mirror:
"AHHHHHHHHH! WHAT HAPPENED TO ME, I'm…OLD!" Clark saw himself chubby, with a white beard and hair and he looked like Santa.
Mrs. Claus said, "I forgot to tell you that when you put the suit on it would change you into Santa, just so the children that may wake up won't know that it's actually Superman."
Clark said, "Well when do I change back?!"
Mrs. Claus said, "Oh you'll change to your slim self when you have deliver the last present of the night."
Clark sighed and walked out. There was a slight snicker among the elves and Clark barked, "What you looking at?" and they all scattered like tiny windup toys. Clark then met up with Santa to go over his route of the night.
Lisa skipped down the stairs and sang to herself, "Daddy is coming home, la la la, Daddy is coming home on Christmas night, la la la. Morning, mommy, are you excited that daddy is coming home?"
Lois said, "Oh, yes I am. But, honey, come here for a second." Lois lifted Lisa to her lap and said, "Honey you know last year when Santa couldn't get you that Superman doll?"
Lisa nodded yes and Lois went on,"Well there may be a chance that Santa can't bring…"
Lisa covered Lois' mouth and whispered "Santa will bring him home, he wouldn't cheat me out of my daddy and anyway, I didn't want that doll anyway."
Lisa then went into the living room and sat down with Jonathan and Ellen and Sam. Martha came to Lois and Lois said, "How do you explain to a 5-year-old child that her father isn't coming home for Christmas?"
Martha had no answer and she wished that Lois could be wrong but Martha herself had a gut feeling that Clark wasn't coming home.
Night fell and the North Pole got more hectic by the hour.
"Come on is everything in the sled?" Clark said as he attached the last reindeer and the last bag was set into place. Clark got into the sled and Santa said, "Now, Clark, you have until 12:00 so I wouldn't fool around."
Clark nodded and tugged on the sled and Clark was off to deliver the presents for the children of the world.
"Up to bed, missy, you don't want Santa to find you awake," Lois said as she stood in front of the TV. Lisa tried to see over Lois but it was an endless battle and Lisa wined, " Oh, mom, can I just stay up this one year so I can see daddy?"
Lois sighed and said, "Lisa, come on, you have to go to bed or he won't come."
Lisa rolled her eyes and walked to her room and Lois put Lisa to bed. "Night, Lisa."
Lois then went out to the living room again and poked at the fire and flicked off the TV and sat down on the couch and soaked in the silent sounds of the room. Lois then went for the bathroom closet where she'd hidden all of Lisa's Christmas presents. Lois started to wrap then up and placed them under the tree. Lois then noticed Lisa put out her Christmas present for Clark. Lois laughed to think that every year Clark got a tie from Lisa and every year Clark made a big deal saying, 'Oh, what a nice tie. My daughter gave me a tie…look how pretty it is. Thank you, honey.'
But Clark would never wear them because it would be a weird color like purple or polka dots on it or something and the ties always wound up at the bottom of Clark's sock drawer.
After Lois was done she went to bed.
Clark entered his fortieth house and thought to himself that he had a quarter of the world left.
Clark stuffed the stockings and laid out the presents and eyed the cookies that were laid out nicely for him with a small letter, ' for Santa.' Clark sat down and had started to munch on the cookies when he heard someone coming down the stairs. Clark quickly went up the chimney and went to the next house. Clark went down the chimney and found a small girl and her brother sleeping on the couch, Clark extra carefully stuffed the stockings and put out his presents.
As Clark was about to go up the chimney a small voice said, "Santa, you didn't eat your cookies."
Clark stopped and turned around and saw a young girl about Lisa's age looking over the couch. Clark knew he couldn't upset the small girl, so he took a cookie and ate it and left.
Clark finally got to Metropolis and came to the very last house, which was his town house. When Clark went down the chimney he fell onto the fire and thought to himself, "God, how does this guy not get killed every year with these stupid fires?"
Clark started to stuff the stockings and felt happy to be home. He looked around the room and saw that nothing really changed other than that the furniture had been moved to fit the tree. Clark started to put all the presents down and saw Lisa's present for him. Clark smiled, knowing it would be a silly tie. After the clock struck midnight Clark noticed that he changed back to his slim 'Superman body.'
"MOMMY, WAKE UP! SANTA CAME! WAKE UP!" Lisa squealed in delight. Lois put her robe on and walked down the stairs and saw the floor glowing with presents and knew that she hadn't put all those down under the tree and thought Sam, Ellen or Jonathan and Martha may have brought some things.
Everyone woke up and looked for their presents. Lisa ripped open the presents in a hurry and found a tall present for her and Lois. Lois helped Lisa open it and Clark popped out. Lois jumped back and Lisa dove into Clark's arms, sending them both to the ground.
"DADDY, YOU'RE HOME! SANTA KEPT HIS PROMISE! YOU'RE HOME!" Lisa squealed.
Lois was still shocked at what she had witnessed; her husband was home for Christmas. Lois helped Clark up and hugged him and said, "Oh, I'm so glad you're home."
Clark kissed Lois and Lois melted into Clark's arms so happy to kiss him again. Everyone greeted Clark and Clark opened Lisa's present and it was another tie that said, 'best dad in the world.' on it. Clark said, " Oh, honey, I love it. I'll wear it today."
All morning Lisa wouldn't let go of Clark and as Lisa sat at the table and ate her breakfast, Lisa said to Clark, "Daddy, you're the best present I ever had this year."
Clark hugged Lisa and said, "I'm glad to be home because you and your mother are the best present I have ever gotten."