Father of the Bride
By Denise (kdsch123)
Acknowledgments: WB and DC own all, except Lara Elizabeth and Jonathan Peter Kent. I made those two up all on my own. The only other disclaimer would be to read with tissues.
Summary: Clark's little girl is getting married. Chlark, Conara
Her hair, when she was born, was an odd shade that Martha Kent had called peach. When all that fuzzy stuff had fallen out, the first silky curls were coppery gold. Clark watched his daughter as she fussed with her glorious hair today, the blue of her shirt making her periwinkle eyes more blue. Clark looked at the beautiful white gown that hung on the back of the door, seeing it's reflection in the mirror his daughter was using. Her baptismal gown had been just as pure and white, trimmed in lace and pearl buttons, a gift from her grandpa Gabe, and Lara was a small, sleeping cherub that day. The cherub was now a full grown angel, and she spotted her father in the mirror and winked, waving a little. He smiled back and moved away, desperate to not seem desperate. Her friends laughed around her, daffodil-like in tender yellow and soft green. The older women, at the moment were elsewhere – Chloe was getting dressed, Lois at the church making sure that all was in readiness, Karen was in charge of making sure the guests arriving from far away were all organized, leaving Martha Kent to attend her only granddaughter on her wedding day. And Clark was, since the wheels were set in motion, a little at a loss. Clark made his way down the stairs he'd run down as a child himself, and walked into the kitchen, feeling old and not at all like a Superanything.
The fact that Lara was marrying a member of the JLA had been a concern, even though she and Conner Queen had been an item for years. She had stood by the young Queen heir when it seemed Oliver was dead, was a calm voice of reason in the strange days that followed when Oliver 'returned from the dead' and even let Conner go when it seemed that their lives were not meant to be shared. He'd been her first date, study date, broken date, prom date since they'd first laid eyes on each other. Clark remembered the moment, if not the exact day, and he smiled. They were about thirteen, the same age he and Chloe had been when they'd first met. Connor was completely overwhelmed. Two days earlier he'd been a boy who'd lost his only parent to cancer. Suddenly, he was the son of a founding member of the Justice League and face to face with the daughter of the most powerful being on the planet. It was Lara that had broken the ice for Connor, and later that day caused a huge rift in her own family when she calmly looked across the table at her uncle Conner and suggested that he used his Kryptonian name from now on, to avoid confusion, since she would be marrying Connor Queen one day.
Clark opened the refrigerator and took out the orange juice, filling a glass carefully. A car pulled up and Pete and Lana Ross's daughter, Courtney jumped out of the car, her dress slung over her shoulder. Lana Lang-Ross got out of the drivers side, shouting to her daughter to slow down, that they weren't that late. Clark smiled. The Lang-Ross brood had proven loyal and valuable friends for his twins, and Courtney would become a member of the family herself soon enough. Odd to think Lana's daughter would soon be his daughter in law. Courtney raced through the kitchen, dress flying behind her like yellow wings. The words, "Hi, Mr. Kent" and the scent of jasmine trailed behind her as her long legs took the stairs.
"She's always late. Even when she was born." Lana's soft voice said, and Clark turned. "You look awful, Clark. It's not a funeral, it's a wedding." She smiled, and came all the way into the kitchen. "I came to see if Chloe needed help."
"Up in our room. Where's Pete?" Clark asked, and Lana laughed.
"At the church, limbering up. He said he wanted to be ready to follow through if Pastor Gillespie's voice gave out." Lana's grin widened. "You're going to be okay, Clark."
"I know." Clark smiled, blushing a little. "Hard to accept. I'll be fine when Jonathan goes. I can't wait to start saving money on groceries, even though he stopped living with us years ago."
"Please." Lana scoffed, walking past Clark with a pat on the arm. "Come shopping with me and see what feeding five boys and one girl is like. Then we'll compare notes." She turned and pointed up. "Going to see Chloe. Be back later. Find something constructive to do. You'll feel better." Lana laughed and disappeared up the stairs. Clark went out on the porch and waited sipping his juice. The day was perfect, warm, but not too much so, with just enough of a breeze. Perfect. Just for Lara. The Queen men, including Roy Harper, were at the Smallville Inn, and that's where Jonathan and Conner Kent had gone. Chloe had encouraged Clark to go there too, wisely mentioning that the male company would be good for him, keep him from being broody, but Clark had refused, not wanting to be away from his daughter longer than he had to be. Unreasonable, when Lara had also moved away from home when she'd gone to college and then after, for medical school and her residency. Unlike Jonathan, her powers had developed later, and she barely used them. A life as a superhero did not appeal to Lara at all. She was a doctor, and a good one, a hero in her own right. Like her grandmother and namesake.
"I'm not a big fan of capes." Lara said, and Clark looked up. Mind reading had been her own unique gift, her mother's special intuition heightened by her Kryptonian genes. "And scrubs hide a multitude of sins." She came out onto the porch, still in jeans and the blue button down shirt and sat on the porch railing beside her father. Lara studied his face for a minute and waited.
"What's up, doc?" Clark asked, the phrase a joke between them long before the initials M.D. graced the end of her name.
"Aunt Lana said you didn't look good. I'm here in a strictly official capacity." She folded her arms and scanned him. "Hold still."
"That's cheating. And unethical." Clark protested, but Lara grabbed his arm and held him firmly.
"Shut up and take it, Dad. It's not like it hurts." She said, sounding like her mother.
"Nothing structurally wrong. So it's emotional." Lara sighed. "I always wanted to be a psychiatrist, but being psychic takes away so much of the mystery."
"What am I going to do when you are married? You and Connor won't get to come East often enough." Clark complained, and Lara nodded, a twinkle in her eye that Clark knew often preceded some witty retort. But instead, she smiled gently and rested her head on his shoulder.
"I'll miss you too, Dad. But really, it's not like you couldn't just FLY over when you wanted to. Give the kids at the hospital a treat. It's not like I can't make the trip to Smallville for pot roast on Wednesdays either. I've been flying for years."
"I know." Clark put his arm around his grown up daughter's shoulders. "I have something for you." He reached into his pocket and pulled out a black velvet jewelry box. "This is nowhere near as extravagant as anything the Queens will give you, but it's important to me that you have it." Lara took the box and opened it.
"Oh my." She gasped, taking the shining opalescent necklace out of the box. "Mom's necklace."
"The stone is from Krypton. She's going to give you Great Grandmother Sullivan's moonstone earrings later, too. Act surprised." Clark smiled, and Lara put the necklace on. The stone pulsed blue, red, yellow and then settled on a soft white, with gleams of purple and blue throughout. "But she and I wanted you to have the necklace now."
"Dad." Lara sighed, and she reached up to kiss him. "I need something from you, although it seems like a stupid thing to ask for after this." Clark looked down at his daughter with concern. "Oh, it's not bad! There is one Kryptonian thing I need that you didn't give me."
"What's that?" Clark asked, and Lara smiled up at him, making his stomach flop and his knees weak. No other woman in the world could do that to him. Even Chloe. Something about his little girl just made Clark turn to jelly.
"Your blessing." The blue white diamond on her left hand glinted in the sun, as Lara raised her palm in the air. "You can say it in English, though. And you can just think it. I'll know."
Clark felt tears sting his eyes and he laid his right palm against his daughter's left, his mind going back to every sunny day, every rainy afternoon, every scraped knee and every triumphant moment Lara had experienced since the day she was born.
He'd recited the blessing the first time he'd held her, the first day of school, the day she got her drivers license and the day she'd left for college. He thought the words, because his throat had firmly closed, and the sweet spray of freckles across her fine nose made the tears in his eyes flow down his cheeks.
"From my arms, the world awaits.
I give you wings, I am your roots.
You are my greatest blessing, my dearest hope.
And with all that I am, I ask all the blessings Life offers
To be granted to you, today, every day."
Lara looked up at Clark and smiled. "I love you, Daddy."
"I love you, too, Lara. Now, go…get ready so we can get you married." Clark said, wiping his eyes and then his daughters. "I like Connor. He's a nice guy."
"Yeah." Lara smiled. "I think I'll keep him around for awhile." She stood, just as Chloe appeared, a vision in deep blue.
"There you are. Lara Elizabeth Kent, do you even know what time it is?" Chloe said, coming all the way out on to the porch. "Your Aunt Lois just called. Guests are starting to arrive at the church."
"It's fine, Mom." Lara said casually. "Connor won't go anywhere. Not every male in the Queen Dynasty is as fickle as Ollie."
"He should." Chloe said to her daughter, but not harshly. "It would serve you right." Chloe smiled at Lara. "Come on. Once you're ready, we can go."
"Go on, Lara. I'll be here when you're ready." Clark said, and Lara nodded, dropping a kiss on her mothers cheek and going in.
"Everything okay?" Chloe asked, and Clark nodded.
"Oh, yeah. Just saying goodbye." Clark smiled. "You look beautiful, Mrs. Kent." He took Chloe's hand. "Our bride is going to have some pretty stiff competition today."
Chloe rolled her eyes. "Right. I'd better go back in. Your mother and Lana can't get all those girls moving the way I can." She grinned, a devilish glint in her eye. "They all still think of me as their Girl Scout Leader."
"Go for it." Clark kissed her forehead. "I'll be ready in a minute."
Chloe nodded. "Okay." She walked back to the screen door and smiled. "She's always going to be your girl, Clark. You know that,right?"
Clark smiled. "I hope so."
Later, after the ceremony, Clark sipped at the champagne he'd been handed and watched Lara and Connor dance their first dance as husband and wife. They made a truly striking couple, both tall, blonde and gorgeous, and both deeply in love with the other. Clark thought back to the days when he and Chloe had finally been in love at the same time, and how heady and perfect those days were. "I wish those never end for you, my darling." Clark thought, raising his glass toward his daughter. She looked over Connor's shoulder and smiled at him, blowing a kiss. In this light, her hair glowed like firelight, and Clark adored her. The music ended, and Lara glided over to him, taking the champagne glass from him and setting it on the table.
"Dance with me, Daddy." Lara said, towing Clark out to the dance floor. The song she'd chosen was a surprise, and Clark smiled. He had sung this to her and her brother many times over the course of their young lives and today, it served to remind him how much she loved him.
"You and me against the world,
Sometimes it feels like, you and me against the world.
When all the others turn their backs and walk away,
You can count on me, to stay….
The soft light played tricks on Clark's eyes, because Lara suddenly seemed like a little girl, her brother dancing with Chloe seemed so young that Clark wanted to put them in their feetie pajamas and send them to bed. He could see Bruce and Lois watching, Lois wiping tears from her eyes, and his mother, smiling with joy. Bart Allen grinned at them from the bar, winking at Lara, and Oliver Queen beamed with pride, watching his own son as Connor smiled at his beautiful bride.
"Wasn't it nice to be around,
Someone who was big and strong And looking out for you?..
You And me, against the world…
Sometimes it feels like you and me against the world…"
He looked down at Lara again, and she was all grown up, a beautiful live saving doctor in a big city hospital, dancing in a designer gown made just for her by her 'Auntie' Lana. She smiled, and Clark pulled her close, swinging her around as the music seemed to sweep them along the dance floor on it's own. Time could get away from him, because Clark easily remembered this girl jumping from the porch railing at the farm, wishing she could fly, gliding down the stairs at the Metropolis apartment in her purposefully dark green prom gown, and her excitement the day she graduated from medical school. A lifetime in such a short amount of time, and still more to go. Clark thought of his father, and how much Jonathan Kent would have loved to see his granddaughter just the way she was right now.
"And when one of us is gone…
And one of us is left to carry on….
Then remembering, we'll have to do,
Our memories of Love will get us through.
Think about the days of me and you.
You and me against the world."
"I love you, Daddy." Lara whispered into Clark's ear. "Forever and always."
"I love you too." He leaned down to rest his head against her glowing hair. "Forever and always."
He could always fly out to Seattle on Tuesdays for chili with the Queen family. What good were superpowers if you couldn't use them for such things from time to time? The music ended, and Clark hugged Lara, releasing her to Oliver, who had come to claim his dance with his new daughter in law.
"Hey, big boy." Chloe's voice was beside him. "Your son left me flat. Let's go." She pointed to the dance floor.
"If you don't mind, Chlo' I want to sit this one out." He gestured toward their daughter, laughing in the arms of her new father in law, Oliver's charm always a bullseye with Lara. "I just want to watch her."
Chloe smiled, tears in her eyes. "You know what? Me too." She laughed, wiping her face. "Isn't it crazy?"
"I think it's the way things are supposed to be." Clark smiled and put his arm around his wife.
"Yeah." Chloe smiled. 'Man of Steel Turns To Jell-o'. That's my headline for tomorrow." She teased, her smile just as full of snark and charm as ever. "World in Shock."
"Right." Clark laughed, and kissed her. "I dare you."
"Look at our girl." Chloe said, and Clark turned, to see Lara and Connor Queen kiss, amidt the tinkling of glasses and cheers. It was indeed the way things were supposed to be, and for once, Superman let tears of happiness flow in public.