As Clark sat down at his desk, he noticed a large envelope on his desk with his name written carefully on top in red and green crayon. He looked over at Lois's desk but found it empty, remembering that she had taken a few weeks off to celebrate Christmas with their son. It was his first Christmas back in Metropolis after being gone for five years and already it was painful. Clark opened the envelope and pulled out a piece of red manila paper decorated with little white paper snowflakes pasted all over. He opened it up finding more crayon writing.
My teature said to make a invitashon for my purformanse.
It is tonite at seven oklock at the really big hotel.
I don't want to be sad anymore Daddy and I want to have a happy Chrismas.
I hope you can come.
A huge smile spread across Clark's face and suddenly everything didn't seem so bleak. He knew about the benefit tonight because Superman was going to be there to start things out, but he had not known his own son would be there. Again he peered over at Lois's desk wondering if she knew Jason had invited him. She was still angry at him for revealing the truth about taking her memories of so long ago that night at the Fortress, and he had intended to leave after he made the speech, but now he had a chance to do something for his son and he would not mess this up.
Once again Lois found her little boy looking out through the thick curtains separating backstage from the front and wondered again who he was looking for. She knew Richard was going to be there along with Lucy and her husband and three kids, but something else was causing excitement. To be truthful it was good to see her little boy happy again. These past few months had been hard for him since the separation. "Jason, come on, we still need to fix the top of your tree."
Her little boy obeyed taking her hand as they walked over to one of the benches. "Jason, who are you looking for?"
"Just Aunt Lucy and Uncle Ron."
Lois frowned as she pulled the top of the tree over his head. "Are you sure?"
"Well, maybe someone else," he said as he kept his eyes on his hands.
Suddenly Lois knew who it was and tilted Jason's head up. "Did you invite Clark?" Her voice sounded panicked, almost angry, and Jason looked down about to cry. Quickly Lois pulled him into a hug. "I'm sorry, baby, I didn't mean to sound mad. I'm not angry with you."
"He's my other Daddy. Why are you so mean to him?"
There was not a way to explain to her five year old about what had gone on all those years ago. Lois knew Jason deserved to spend time with Clark, but that would mean admitting to herself that she still cared for him – and she just didn't know how to do that.
Before she could give him an answer, his teacher was calling for all of the children to have a dress rehearsal. Jason went with his class, seeming to forget what they had just been discussing, and Lois stood up, feeling that the room was suddenly too small.
The lobby of the Halldorf was a grand room and Lois could fit her entire apartment inside and still have space left over. As she stood in the middle of the room marveling at the huge tree, she thought about what her son had said. Jason, you deserve to know your father, you're right about that, but how are you going to handle things when he can't be there, when he has to be someplace else because someone needs him more? How fair is that to you, my sweet munchkin? As she thought about that, Lois shut her eyes.
A strong hand on her shoulder drew her away from her troubling thoughts and when she turned around she looked up into the face of the one man she had dreaded seeing. "I didn't know he invited you," she said, not sure where to begin. Lois hadn't spoken to Clark since that night a few nights after his first visit to see Jason.
"I don't want to cause you pain, Lois, but I think he expects me to be here. I've already missed enough of his life, and I promise to leave when the concert is over."
His voice was not that nervous, unsure voice of Clark Kent, it was the voice he used as Superman. He sounded sure of himself and somehow that gave her strength enough to be truthful. "I was so angry after you told me, I guess I haven't really thought about what Jason needs. He's very smart. I should have seen it a long time ago."
"That he was my son?" Clark asked gently.
Lois nodded feeling like a fool. When he tilted her head up she opened her eyes and gazed into his beautiful blue ones allowing herself to remember what it was like to gaze into them.
"I know I can't make up for what I missed while I was gone, nor is it fair for me to ask your forgiveness for what I did but I want to try again."
"Don't leave after his performance. I need to go," said Lois.
He let her go and for a moment Lois stood there wanting something but turned around fast and headed backstage to check on the munchkin and help out like she was supposed to.
When it was the right time, after Bruce Wayne made the introductions, Superman stepped up on stage, gazing out at the numerous citizens of Metropolis who had made their time to come to the benefit. There were not only parents and family there to support their children, but others who had come for the cause.
"My friends," he began, looking out at all of them. "I, too, want to extend my thanks for taking time to come here this evening. I am sorry I was away for so long and I have much to make up for." As he said that, Superman thought of his son and of Lois and paused before he continued. "This year Wayne Enterprises, along with this Hotel, are donating the proceeds of tonight's benefit toward helping two children's homes. Everyday, I hear the world crying out for help, and everyday I see the defeat of society in the number of children who are mistreated and abused. It happens in every city and around the world and no one seems to hear them. We need to change this, and I vow that I will do my part to help in whatever way I can. Tonight, Wayne Enterprises will pay dollar for dollar what you contribute and I hope this money will give hope to the children of Metropolis and Gotham. Let us not forget that we are all one people and that we need to help one another in such trying times. Thank you."
Everyone stood up, clapping their hands and after exiting out the backstage door, Superman made it to the front of the building changing into a tux without being seen. Clark Kent entered the auditorium just as Jason's class walked out on stage. From the back with his enhanced vision, he focused in on his little boy, hoping Jason knew he was there.
The children began to sing "O, Christmas Tree" and about that time Jason and another little boy began to make silly faces and turn around in circles. Clark couldn't help but smile and grinned when he heard Lois whisper, "Just wait until I get my hands on him." His heart warmed and again he felt the amazement of knowing that the silly face making, spinning tree was his son.
When they were drawing to a close, Clark hurried down the aisle using a touch of super-speed, and no one noticed them as they began to clap and hoot.
Backstage he found Lois sitting in a seat shaking her head. "He was only having fun," Clark said, glad they were for the moment alone. Everyone else was still up front and the trees still had more songs to sing.
"I know. Sometimes I have to remind myself that he's five and that I'm not going to be like my father."
As he sat down beside her, Clark noticed that she didn't move away and thought about hugging her but decided it was best not to.
"He's such an amazing little boy."
She smiled at him. "I'm glad you came, Clark." When she leaned against him, Clark moved his arm away and put it around her. "Does this mean you forgive me?"
"Hmm, almost, but I still need a little more time. I do want you to spend Christmas with us."
"What about Richard?"
"He's going to Albany to spend time with his parents. Jason knows he is and has been pretty upset. I guess I want to surprise him with you there. He gets up around six in the morning. We live back in my old building on the top floor – Apartment 912."
They pulled apart when the kids came backstage and Clark was standing beside the bench when Jason saw them.
"You came," he said as he ran to them.
Clark knelt down and hugged him. "Of course I did. Thank you for inviting me."
"Did you like the songs?"
Jason pulled away and Clark smiled as Lois lifted him up onto her lap. "I need to get going, you two."
"Bye, Daddy," said Jason softly.
Those words warmed his heart and Clark left feeling on top of the world. He hoped that they would be able to make a fresh start and hoped that Christmas would be a gift for them all to enjoy.
Authors Note: I would like to thank htbthomas for the beta on this story, so thank you. And Merry Christmas to all of you who have read all my stories, have a good one.