Title: Yes Lois, There is a Superman
Prompt: Santa Suit
Category: Superman Movieverse
Word Count: 3,314
Summary: Clark plays Santa. Need I say more?
Spoilers: Superman Returns
Author's Notes: I haven't written fan fic in ages, so it was a bit odd stepping back into the Superman world for this fic. But I couldn't let this go. I've been in all the Christmas challenges and I just couldn't say no to the idea of Clark dressing up as Santa. This is set in my AU, but if you've never read anything else by me, no worries. This is set shortly after Superman Returns. Lois is still with Richard. Sigh…
Many thanks to htbthomas for whipping up a quick beta read. And many thanks to all of you who have read my fan fiction over the years and cheered me on even when I wanted to quit. This year was a rocky one for me, but the very fact that I was able to write a fic like this is proof that we all can survive and move forward when we have the support and love of friends and family. I didn't mean to turn this into a speech, but I figured I might as well get it all out there while I can. So… thanks. Everyone. I hope you enjoy this one.
Men do a lot of crazy things for love. I knew this as truth because I've done my fair share of insane things in my life time. But this… what I was doing today… was quite possibly the most ridiculous thing I've ever done in the name of love.
It started when Donald Macalister pulled out from his usual position of playing Santa Claus at the annual Daily Planet Christmas party. Since no one was anxious to dress up in a funny suit and have kids climb all over them, Perry asked a few of his senior staff members to submit votes for who should play the big man in red. Lois, using her wicked powers of persuasion, convinced everyone involved that I would be the best choice.
"Just look at him!" she demanded. "He's tall, he wears glasses, and he's great with kids! Jason adores him!"
It was Richard who offered the obvious argument. "But he's… thin."
"So?" she sneered at him. "Like anyone is going to care."
"Uh, Lois," I chimed in, "shouldn't we find someone th- that none of the kids w- w- will recognize? That way we keep the magic more… you know… um… alive?"
"Think of it as your ultimate challenge, Clark. Pulling off the disguise of all disguises. Convincing dozens of people, well kids actually, that you are someone so much more famous than you really are."
I didn't have much of a reply to that.
"And Jason! Think of Jason. If there is no Santa at the party, he will be so disappointed."
"But he'll know it's me. Wouldn't that be more disappointing to him? Santa is real to him;" I argued.
"Oh please, he's six. Kids his age don't notice things like that," she mocked, not knowing just how observant Jason really was. "And if he does figures it out, you can tell him that you're just one of Santa's helpers. He'd be thrilled to find out you're in league with Santa."
Saying no to Lois was difficult enough, but when she threw Jason into the mix, it became a whole other ball game. I couldn't say no to them both.
And thus, I reluctantly became the main attraction at the Christmas Party. The suit was way too big for me, and the beard was itchy as all get out, but I did it because Lois was a force to be reckoned with and Jason needed a Santa.
The evening of the big shindig came and I arrived in my normal work attire. After about forty-five minutes, Perry signaled for me to get changed into the oversized red suit. I slipped into the break room and changed with super speed. It was at that moment that the real humiliation began.
My cell phone rang and from the caller ID I knew it was Lois. Her panicked voice greeted me without even a hello.
"I need you to do something for me," she said quickly. "Richard just pointed out that there are no treats that Jason can enjoy."
"What do you mean?"
"All the sweets are filled with sugar and wheat and crap that he shouldn't eat."
Even though Jason's health had begun to improve recently, Lois was still very overprotective of him. The health food kick was not something she was going to give up on any time soon.
"What do you what me to do about it?" I asked her.
"Go get him something."
I frowned. "I'm kind of… um… busy. You know that whole Santa thing?"
"Shit, I forgot about that."
"Can't Richard go?" I asked, scratching at my fake beard.
Her tongue clicked at me. "He could, but this is the first Christmas party in three years that both Richard and I have been able to come to with Jason. I don't want to be the one to break up his fun by darting out to grab him a snack."
Again I was faced with the ongoing dilemma of not being able to say no to Lois – especially when it came to Jason. She was developing a habit of asking me – Clark – to help out with Jason. And yet she asked very little of me – Superman – when it came to Jason. Thus, I found myself stepping in more and more frequently as Clark to "save the day" when it came to my son.
"Well, I suppose," I sighed, "but I don't have long. Perry wanted me in there in a few minutes."
"Shit," she swore again. Then something changed in her mood and I heard her inhale sharply before she said, "You know what, I just thought of someone else I can ask. Thanks anyway, Clark." And the phone went dead.
I looked down at the phone in puzzlement, slipped it into my pocket, and scratched my beard yet again.
Lois' voice was soft, but I was so tuned into her that I probably would have heard her even if I had been on the other side of the earth let alone in the break room.
"Superman? It's Lois? Can you hear me?"
I blinked in confusion. Did she expect me to answer her?
"What am I saying? Like he's going to answer you, Lois."
I chuckled at her and used my X-ray vision to find her in Richard's office, sitting at his desk with her back to the door, pretending to talk on the phone.
"I'm just going to assume you can hear me, okay? Because, I know you can hear me."
Good grief, but that woman had me wrapped around her finger… and she knew it.
"I'm at the Christmas party at work and there isn't anything Jason can eat. I know you're really busy and have hundreds of more important things to take care of, but could you possibly pick up something for him to eat and have it – I dunno – magically appear here? I could meet you up on the roof to get it?" She paused. "Please?"
I looked at her as her eyes darted up to the ceiling. There was hope on her face. Hope and faith and a complete trust that I would drop whatever it was I was doing and do this task for her – for our son.
"Okay," she smiled. "I'm going to be on the roof in ten minutes. If you're not there then I will make up some excuse to Jason about the food. No biggie. But it's Christmas and I want this to be fun for him, so please come." She closed her eyes. "Please."
That one word did so much to my heart. It put me in a real pickle, but I'd been in worse situations than being Clark stuck in a Santa suit while trying to be Superman. What good were super powers if I couldn't grab my own son a healthy snack? What kind of a Santa Claus would I make if I didn't come through for Lois?
Deciding not to change out of my current costume, I checked the clock, took a deep breath, and darted as fast as I could down the hall and around the corner to the stairs. A few seconds later and I was out on the street where I had to resume a normal pace. I headed across the street to the market, picked up a basket, and went down the aisle with all the organic snacks. I made my selections, but not before I was spotted by a little girl.
Now, I'm used to being stared at by strangers. It sort of comes with the territory when you have super powers and fly around the city in red and blue spandex. But usually those stares come with wide eyes and open mouths. It was a rare occurrence that someone, especially a child, looked me over with a mouth twisted in a grimace and brows furrowed in skepticism.
"Are you really Santa?" she asked suspiciously.
Taking this as my first opportunity to try to fool a child with my new secret identity, I said, "What do you think?"
"I think you're too skinny to be Santa."
"Well," I shrugged and pointed to the treats in my hand, "ever since Mrs. Claus switched to organic, the pounds have just fallen off!" I patted my stomach and, ignoring the stunned look on the child's face, I turned and walked to the checkout counter.
With a little more speed than humanly possible, I darted back to the Daily Planet before anyone else could question my identity. I was back in the building and heading for the roof in no time. It was at that point that I realized Lois had asked Superman to do this, and Superman wasn't the one playing Santa. She couldn't see me in this get up.
She wouldn't see me. I would leave the treats on the roof where she would find them and get myself back to the break room before anyone would even notice I was gone. Which was exactly what I did.
And just in the nick of time, too, for I had barely closed the door and taken a sigh of relief when the knock came signaling me that it was show time. I adjusted my belt and scratched at my beard one last time before exiting the room and heading down to my designated position. I sat down in the green, overstuffed chair and waited for the children to be told that Santa was waiting around the corner.
Squeals of delight were followed by the sound of tromping feet as a mass of happy faces headed my way. One my one I placed them on my knee and asked the routine questions of, "What would you like for Christmas?" and "Have you been good this year?" just as I was supposed to do. There were a few doubtful children who questioned my appearance, but the threat of not getting a gift a from Santa due to disbelief far outweighed the need for the truth at this point for most of them.
Then Jason's smiling face looked up into mine. I pulled him onto my lap and hugged him close. His grin broadened as he stared into my eyes.
"Have you been a good boy this year?" I asked.
He giggled. "Yes."
"And what is it that you would like me to bring you for Christmas?"
He giggled again and moved closer to whisper in my ear. "I know it's you, Mr. Clark."
I leaned back to look at him again before whispering in his ear. "I'm helping Santa out. He's kind of busy this time of year."
Jason nodded and whispered. "Of course you are. That's what Superman does. He helps people in need!"
"I won't tell anyone," he promised. "And I'd like a skateboard for Christmas."
"I'll make sure Santa knows," I said softly.
"Mom and Dad won't let me have one, so Santa is my only chance of getting one."
"I'm sure Santa will come through."
He slid off of my knee and was affectionately scooped up by Richard. I was grateful for the massive amount of fake hair hiding my expression so that no one would see the longing on my face as I watched the two of them disappear into the crowd. Another stolen moment with my son passed away as the next child climbed up on my lap.
After the last child had submitted their wish list and proclaimed their good deeds, I was allowed to return to the break room and change back into my Clark persona. I dressed at a normal pace, taking my time as I thought about the season and how much I was missing. Christmas was a time for family, and even though I looked forward to seeing my mother in a few days, I wished even more that Lois and Jason would be by my side as well.
A knock on the door broke my reverie. "You decent?" Lois asked as she cracked open the door.
"Um, yeah. Just about finished," I answered, fixing my tie and slipping on my suit coat.
"Good, 'cause I have no desire to see you naked," she joked as she stepped into the room and closed the door behind her. When she caught the surprised look on my face, she said, "No offense."
I cleared my throat as well as my mind of any mental images of actually being naked with Lois and replied, "None taken."
"Look, I just wanted to thank you. You were great tonight."
Seldom did Lois Lane ever compliment Clark Kent. "Thanks, Lois!" I grinned foolishly.
"Even if you weren't able to help me out with the snacks for Jason, you still were great."
Acting as if I didn't already know the answer to the question, I asked, "Did you um… were you able to g- g- get him something to eat?"
"Oh yeah. I ah… I had someone else take care of it." A beautiful smile that I knew wasn't meant for Clark wisped across her face.
"Well, that's good. I – I wouldn't want anything to spoil Jason's holiday."
"Nothing was spoiled. In fact, he knew it was you as Santa and he didn't mind at all!" she said triumphantly. "Just as I told you."
"Actually," I corrected, "you said that he wouldn't notice it was me."
She popped her hip. "It was a long shot, but I was hoping he'd be fooled. Still, you are kind of obvious, Clark. It takes more than just a fake beard and a funny costume to pull off a great disguise. It's a good thing Perry doesn't ask you to do much undercover work!"
I wet my lips and forced myself to nod in agreement. "Right, you're absolutely right."
"Clark," she chuckled and opened the door to leave. "I'm always right."
"Um, Lois?" I said. "You never said what you wanted for Christmas."
She shot me a look over her shoulder. "Thanks, but I know Santa isn't real."
"You never know," I pressed. "You won't know… until you ask."
"I want—" Her smile faded and her shoulders fell. "I want something that's impossible, and even if Santa were real he wouldn't be able to help."
"Oh," I sighed. "Well, if there is anything more I can do…" What I wouldn't have given to be able to read her mind and know exactly what it was she wanted.
"Thanks, Clark. Really. You were great tonight."
I followed her as she left the room and joined Richard and Jason. They gathered their coats and made their way to the elevator. I waited until I was certain that they had left the building before I headed out. A few of my co-workers thanked me for helping out, and a few of the kids looked at me curiously as I passed. Feeling left out of all the family merriment still going on around me, I made my excuses and left the party.
My first stop was the rooftop where I had left the goodies for Jason. I don't know why I went up there because I know Lois had found them, but I just wanted to make sure nothing had been left behind. To my surprise, I found a note from Lois placed in the exact spot where I had left the treats. It had a simple "thanks" written on it as well as an "XO" down in the corner.
My heart thudded in my chest at the implication. She hadn't said "Merry Christmas" or "See you later" or even "Lois." That little "XO" had meant "love."
I pushed off the ground and flew up into the air, simultaneously exchanging my Clark persona for that of Superman. I arrived at the house on Riverside Drive in time to watch Lois tuck Jason into bed and kiss him goodnight. Richard was on the phone in the den with his feet propped up on the coffee table. Lois went into her bedroom and began undressing. Reluctantly, but respectfully, I pulled my eyes away from her form and tuned in my hearing for a signal that she was finished.
What I heard instead was a gasp. "Superman?"
I turned my head to find her looking back at me from her window. With a smile, I waved at her. She returned the gesture and then signaled for me to wait. I watched as she quietly made her way down the stairs and out to the back deck to where I could join her.
"I didn't expect you to show up tonight," she said apologetically. "Do you want to say good night to Jason?"
"No, that's all right." I held up the paper she had left on the roof top. "I got your note."
She pushed her hair behind her ear and folded her arms in front of herself. "Oh, that. Well, it meant a lot to me that you would do that for Jason."
I took a step closer to her. "And what you wrote meant a lot to me."
"I just said thanks."
"That's not all you said."
Our eyes locked as they often did in unspoken understanding. The charge of desire that always lingered between us caused both of our hearts to race as we stared at each other.
"Do you believe in Santa Claus?" she asked.
"I believe… in the spirit of Christmas."
"Well, in the spirit of Christmas I wish that we could—"
"Lois," I stopped her.
"Please," she breathed. "Everyone else is getting what they want for Christmas. Shouldn't I get what I want, too?"
I contemplated telling her that I couldn't give her what she wanted. I should have reiterated the danger it put her in and how we could never be together. That's what I should have done. But I couldn't. Not at Christmas. Not when she was looking at me like she was. Not when she said please in that oh-so-seductive way of her. I always gave into her, and she knew it.
Closing the distance between us, I cupped her beautiful face in my hands and leaned in very close to her. Our noses brushed and I could feel her sweet breath against my mouth. I tilted her face ever so slightly and let my lips brush against her skin as I kissed her cheek. I let my lips linger against her skin longer than I should have. Then I felt her try to turn her head enough so that our lips could actually touch.
Taking that as the sign that we had gone too far, I pulled back just enough so that I could look into her eyes. My nose still brushed against hers, and I could still feel her breath against my skin. Very softly I whispered, "Merry Christmas, Lois."
"Merry Christmas," she murmured breathlessly.
Foolishly, I glanced down at her open mouth and wondered what it would feel like to kiss her right now. Her eyes slid closed and her chin tilted up in a nearly imperceptible amount. Her whole being, from her thudding heart to the swell of her breasts, invited me to kiss her.
A siren sounded in the distance.
And then, just as it always did, the moment passed. Lois opened her eyes and I took the necessary step backwards, putting a much needed distance between our bodies.
"I have to go," I said solemnly.
"Tell Jason I said Merry Christmas."
Later that night, after the thieves trying to rob a jewelry store had been caught, a fire had been put out, and a carjacking had been averted, I found myself in the sports section of one of those twenty- four hour department stores. I made my selection, paid the cashier, and traveled back to Riverside Drive. Come Christmas morning, Jason, and no doubt Lois and Richard, would maybe believe in Santa a little bit more when Jason opened his skateboard.