AN: Thanks to Hellacre for the title.
The Truth About Santa
"I finished my letter to Santa, Daddy," Five-year-old Kairos waved a crisp white paper at his father. He spent the last hour and five tossed papers in his wastebasket, thinking of what to say to Santa and what to ask for.
It was a big thing writing to Santa. Aside from his parents and his Godfather Bruce, Santa was the coolest person in the world. A big jolly man who delivered presents to all the good little boys and girls in the world. He also lived at the North Pole. Kairos thought it was strange how he had a home at the North Pole but never saw Santa. When he asked his parents about that, his Mommy always referred to his Daddy for the answer. Daddy said Santa Claus doesn't live in the same area in the Arctic as they do and Kairos accepted. Though he often wondered why his Daddy never showed him the area Santa lived in.
Clark took the letter from his son. "Well, let's see what you want."
"No, Daddy," Kairos stopped his father. "It's for Santa. Only he can read it. He is the one that's gonna bring me my gifts, isn't he, Daddy?"
"Yes, Kal," Diana, who was playing reading blocks with two-year-old Lyta, sardonically said to Clark, "Isn't Santa bringing Kairos his gifts?"
Clark frowned at his wife for a brief moment before turning his attention back to Kairos. "Yes, he is."
"What about Lyta?" Kairos asked of his baby sister. "She's been good. Should I write a letter for her since she can't write it herself?"
Diana chuckled but Clark knew it wasn't at the sweet innocence of Kairos but at Clark and how he will get himself out of this. "No, that's okay, son. Your mother and I will take care of that."
Clark looked away to avoid what he was certain was a reproving glare from Diana.
Kairos had his back to his mother and missed the deathly glare his Mommy sent to his Daddy. "Let's put the letter in the mailbox before the mailman comes."
"How about this?" Clark suggested. "I will personally give it to Santa."
Kairos' eyes lit up. "Really, Daddy?"
Clark's superior ears picked up Diana's 'Oh, brother,' but he ignored it. "Of course, Kairos."
Kairos hugged his father. "You're the best, Daddy!"
Clark returned the hug. Diana shook her head at her husband disappointed this was happening again.
"Are you the Grinch this year?" a silver haired Bruce Wayne teased Diana as the two shared hot cocoa at the kitchen table.
Diana was looking out the window watching Clark help Kairos and Lyta make a snowman in the fresh snow that fallen the night before. "No. I don't believe in lying to the children. Christmas is a wonderful season but the myth of Santa Claus riding around all night in a sleigh and reindeers and dropping off presents to the good children of the world is ridiculous. Why can't parents tell the children they are buying the gifts?"
"It's a harmless white lie, Diana."
"Harmless until the child learns he's been lied to by his parents."
Bruce chuckled as he took a drink of his cocoa. "The pressure of being the avatar of truth. You don't have to take the job so literally, Diana."
After being Batman for so many years, he should talk about taking a job so seriously! "And you have gotten soft. Of course you lied a lot when you had two identities. I'm sure you lied to Dick and Tim and would've lied about Santa, too, if they weren't too old to believe in him when you adopted them."
Childish screams outside made Bruce look out the window of the patio door as well. Kairos and Lyta were running around the backyard as they were chased by Clark who was covered in heavy patches of snow and carrying a snowball the size of Kairos over his head. Clark was just a big kid to Bruce. He was never going to change. "The children will understand why you lied when they get older."
"Perhaps, but I think it's wrong to lie to anyone as innocent as a child, especially over a mythical character. Children can handle many things adults think a child cannot handle. You only have to talk to them properly."
"Parents will have to lie to the children eventually." Bruce shrugged. "It's inevitable."
"Well, I won't do it," Diana said adamantly, "And I hope the children aren't hurt when they realize the truth."
Bruce finished his cup of hot cocoa. "As you once said, children are resilient."
Clark slid the patio door open and entered his home, holding Lyta in his arms and Kairos sitting on his shoulders.
"Had fun?" Diana poured a hot cup of cocoa and gave it to Kairos. Though the cold didn't bother him, Kairos loved a hot cup of cocoa after playing in the snow.
"The best!" Kairos sullenly added, "I just wish Daddy didn't have to go."
Lyta tried to wiggle out of Clark's arms and get to her Mommy so Clark made it easier by handing daughter to Mommy. "I'll be back tonight. Superman has a few jobs to do. I might miss dinner but I'll be here to tuck you in before Santa comes."
Kairos wrapped his arms around his Daddy's legs. "Thanks, Daddy!"
Clark missed dinner but he did make it home in time to put Kairos and Lyta to bed. Lyta was easiest to deal with since she didn't yet understand the holiday and was going to bed at her normal time. Kairos, on the other hand, knew what tomorrow was and couldn't sleep. So, after Clark tuck Kairos in, he had to read his son two stories to get him to calm down. It was a quarter til ten before Clark was able to leave Kairos' room.
Clark headed downstairs where he and Diana were going to wrap the children's gifts but stopped halfway as he remembered Diana voicing her disapproval of him lying to the children about Santa Claus. She argued with Clark about it every year since Kairos was born. Clark chalked it up to Diana not getting the Christmas spirit and fun myth of Santa Claus to her growing up on Themyscira with real magical creatures and learning about read Gods.
A light bulb went off in his head as he got an idea. Bruce would laugh at him and think he was going over the top but Bruce was no longer here. He had Christmas Eve dinner with his family and left afterwards to spend Christmas with Dick and his family.
Clark went to his bedroom closet and pulled a red storage box out. He wondered what Diana would say to this.
"You are impossible!" Diana laughed as Clark came down the stairs wearing a Santa Claus suit.
"You're the one that's so annoyed with the white lie I tell Kairos about Santa Claus. So, with me dressed as Santa as we wrap the gifts, it's not a lie."
Diana taped a bow on a wrapped gift for Lyta. "Whatever will ease your guilty conscious, my love."
"Ho! Ho! Ho!" Clark did his best impersonation of a Santa Claus laugh. "I'm not your love. I'm Santa Claus. As beautiful as you are, I have to tell you I am married to a lovely woman who doesn't mind living in below forty temperatures all year, afternoon sunsets, share a home with thousands of elves and don't mind picking up reindeer droppings."
Diana played his game. "You're not tempted by me in the slightest, Santa?"
Clark unrolled a sheet of wrapping paper. "No, ma'am."
"Not even if I tell you that I can swim in the Arctic waters around your home naked and I wouldn't mind a naked romp in the Arctic. Show the polar bears how it's done."
Clark dropped the wrapping paper and it unrolled on the floor. He cleared his throat, trying very hard to stay in character. "You know the polar bears don't appreciate that." He cut off a sheet of wrapping paper for Kairos' gift and wrapped up the unused paper.
"I have empathy with animals and they didn't care. It's nature to them. My husband didn't mind either."
"I talk to your husband sometimes. He told me it was your idea. That was very naughty of you. I thought you were a good woman."
"I am a good woman, Santa." Diana winked at Clark. "I'm just naughty when it comes to sex."
Clark dropped the wrapping paper again and it unrolled on the floor. Diana laughed. "Maybe you should give up wrapping the wrapping paper."
Clark left the paper on the floor and reached for the bicycle box for Kairos. "I think you are right."
"And picture me unwrapping you later."
Clark gripped the box tightly. If Diana kept teasing him like this, they would never get through wrapping gifts.
"You can have me over your red suit as my husband has me over his red cape."
Clark groaned softly as his lower body reacted to that vision. Diana giggled softly. She knew he was going to make her pay for that and she couldn't wait for when he did.
Diana placed the remaining Christmas wrappings and bows in a storage box. Picking up the box, she walked to the opened closet and placed it on the floor. "Well, everything is wrapped up. Let's go to bed." She closed the door and found Clark standing under the doorway. "Okay, Kal, you can take the Santa suit off. The gifts are wrapped up."
Clark pulled Diana to him. "Why don't you unwrap me? You said you were going to earlier."
"No, Santa. You're not my husband," Diana played Clark's game. "I only unwrap him. I was only teasing you."
Clark gestured upward, revealing they were under the mistletoe. "Well, you have to kiss me. It's tradition."
Diana smirked. He deliberately pulled her under it! "Well, I suppose one kiss can't hurt, Santa."
"And a little groping, too," Clark added as he covered his lips over Diana's and placed a hand on her bottom.
Not again! Kairos thought as he looked at the clock by his bed. He just couldn't sleep. He went to bed around ten but always woke up every half hour. He was so full of excitement he couldn't sleep. He couldn't wait until the next morning! It was Christmas! He couldn't wait to see the gifts Santa left for him. He hoped he got all he wanted. He was really good this year.
It was 11:45pm. Perhaps Santa came by already and dropped his gifts? He could see through things just like his Daddy. He could go down stairs and looked through the wrapped gifts to see if Santa brought him his gifts and then go back to bed.
"No, Santa. You're not my husband."
Mommy? Santa? Santa! He was here! He was downstairs. This was Kairos' chance to finally meet him!
Kairos jumped out of bed. He ran out of his room in a blur, down the stairs and stopped his tracks, shocked at what his young eyes were seeing.
Santa was kissing his mother!
Kairos turned and ran back up the stairs. His heart was racing and his mind filled with questions. Why was Santa kissing his Mommy? He was married to Mrs. Claus. Why was his Mommy letting him? Mommy was married to Daddy. Only Daddy kiss Mommy the way Santa was kissing her. Kairos didn't like it one bit. In fact, it made him angry. How dare Santa kiss his Mommy? Santa was doing a bad thing and Kairos wasn't going to let Santa get away with it!
Kairos looked at his hands. He was small but he was strong like his Mommy and Daddy. Why, he can pick up a car over his head. Surely, he had the strength to knock Santa away with his Mommy. Determined, Kairos left the room.
Santa was going down!
Kairos found Santa still kissing his Mommy. He saw Santa had a hand on Mommy's behind. Kairos saw Daddy doing that one morning while he was kissing Mommy. They didn't notice him and Mommy seemed to like it. Only Daddy supposed to do that! Kairos saw red!
"GET AWAY FROM MY MOMMY!"
Kairos saw Santa and his Mommy break away but that didn't stop the young boy. Kairos jumped in the air, hovering slightly and pound his fists against Santa's chest. "Get away from her, Santa! Only Daddy kisses Mommy! Not you! Leave my Mommy alone! I hate you, Santa!"
Clark grabbed Kairos's hands but the little boy used his legs to kick him. "Whoa! Whoa! Stop! It's okay, Kairos. It's me, Daddy." To prove it, Clark removed his white beard and hat.
Kairos stopped kicking when he saw it was his Daddy he was beating up and not Santa. "Daddy? But... I thought you were Santa. Why are you wearing Santa's clothes, Daddy?"
"Kairos," Diana said gently. "I think it's time you learn the truth about Santa Claus."
"Yes," Clark reluctantly agreed. He knew Diana was gonna tell him, 'I told you so' later but given Kairos' reaction to them right now, he needed to know the truth.
"What truth about Santa?" Kairos innocently asked.
Everyone settled on the sofa. Clark expected to have this talk with Kairos when he was ten, when he was old enough to handle it. Clark was ten when he learned the truth. He was disappointed because he thought with Santa existing he wouldn't feel so out of place with his powers because he was the only one that was gifted. Kairos didn't have that problem. He was dealing with his parents lied to him and something he believed in wasn't real.
"The truth is Santa Claus doesn't have a home in the North Pole, reindeers or a factory where elves makes toys for all the good children in the world." Clark sighed. "The truth is Santa Claus doesn't exist."
Kairos stared at his Daddy. "Santa Claus isn't real?"
"No, son, he's not."
"You lied then?" Kairos was hurt. "Why did you lie? I thought you said it was wrong to lie."
"It is, son," Clark sighed again. How to explain? He looked to Diana to help him out but he knew that wasn't happening. Diana was against lying about Santa in the first place. In her mind, he was getting what he deserved. "Except for extreme circumstances and this isn't one."
"So, if Santa doesn't bring me gifts, does that mean you and Mommy do?"
Five years old and very bright. Clark wasn't surprised. Kairos had Kryptonian and Amazonian genes running through him. He picked up on things a lot faster than kids his age.
"Yes. If you want to be mad, be mad at me. Your mother didn't want you believing Santa was bringing you gifts because it was lying."
For the first time in his young life, Kairos raised his voice at his father. "It was!"
"Yes, it was," Clark agreed, "but it wasn't all bad, was it? It was nice to think Santa was real, wasn't it?"
"Yes, but it's not fun knowing he's not real," Kairos said. "Or that you lied to me about him."
"I'm sorry, son," Clark apologized again. "I was expecting you to be older when you learned the truth. "
"Were you planning to lie to Lyta, too?" Kairos asked.
Clark disliked Kairos bringing up lying to Lyta even though he was when it concerned Santa. "Yes."
"You shouldn't. I don't want Lyta to feel the same way I do."
"Okay," Clark promised Kairos. "Lyta will know the gifts come from us. She won't think Santa gave it to her."
Diana wanted Kairos to learn the truth but not like this. Her heart went out to her son and her husband who was feeling miserable the truth about Santa came out this way. "How about I tuck you in?" Diana suggested to Kairos.
"That's okay." Kairos hopped off the sofa. "I'll go to bed by myself."
Clark and Diana sadly watched Kairos go up the stairs. "I'll talk to him," Diana told her husband.
Kairos was pulling the covers over him when his Mommy entered the room. "Kairos, I'd like to talk to you."
Kairos didn't say anything as he turned his back on his mother. Diana sat on the edge of Kairos' bed. "I know you're angry at your Daddy for lying to you but he didn't mean any harm about it. Santa Claus isn't real but what he represents is very real, especially in your Daddy and he likes to spread that around."
"How can that be?"
"Santa Claus represents love, happiness, goodwill to everyone and makes the impossible possible just like your Daddy."
Kairos rolled around to face his Mommy. "What do you mean?"
"When Daddy left today, he was making the impossible possible. Daddy doesn't interfere in human or natural events but on Christmas Eve, he does make sure the skies are clear so people can make it home to their families for Christmas. He visits orphanages and hospitals with gifts where children can feel a little better about Christmas. Lots of children around the world look forward to his visits. Daddy also brings loads of food to shelters so people can have a good meal on Christmas."
Kairos thought about that for a moment. He was aware enough to know he was blessed with a happy, healthy home, food and clean clothes every day and that many children weren't as lucky. "So, Daddy makes other people happy and not so lonely on Christmas? He makes their wishes come true?"
"In a way. Do you feel better?"
"A little. I think I understand. Daddy didn't have to lie about Santa but I think I understand why he did it." Kairos got out of bed.
"Where are you going?" Diana asked her son.
Kairos stopped at the door. "To tell Daddy I forgive him." Kairos went downstairs and found his Daddy sadly eating from the plate of cookies Kairos left out for Santa. "Daddy?"
Clark turned to his son, "Hi, son."
Kairos went to his Daddy, twiddling his fingers nervously, "Daddy, I forgive you. I know you didn't mean anything bad about lying about Santa." He held his arms open for a hug.
Clark quickly took it and embraced his son tightly. "I'm sorry, Kairos."
"I know. I love you, Daddy."
"I love you, too, son."
"It's past midnight, Daddy. That means it's Christmas." Kairos smiled mischievously at his Daddy. "Can I open my presents?"
"One and then to bed."
"Okay!" Kairos went for the largest gift under the tree but Clark gave him a smaller one.
From the doorway, Diana quietly watched father and son share in the gift opening. Clark looked over to his wife and mouthed 'I love you,'. Diana returned the gesture and went upstairs leaving father and son to enjoy their private moment.