A/N: Hello! Okay, this is (probably-seriously-most likely) going to be a one shot. Simple and sweet. Fluffy! ...but a dark and sinister part of me may come back to this later to add one or two more things at most... :)
Disclaimer: I don't own Superman. I don't own Clark Kent or Lois Lane or Jason, either. I do, however, lay claim to the other characters in this chapter (Lucy, Chris and random old lady). :P
"So, I understand that you have a close relationship with my daughter."
The words sat there, hanging in the silence. It seemed completely off topic and out of the blue. But considering the situation, Chris couldn't say he hadn't seen it coming. Just not so unexpectedly.
"Yes," he replied slowly. It should have been obvious by now, considering the fact that he was there at all, meeting him for the first time. Sure, he had met the rest of his girlfriend's family at some point or another- but never once had he yet met Lucy's father. And now they wound up talking in private, right when Chris was ready to take the next step. He silently begged for strength, trying to think of how to broach the topic.
"How close, would you say?" the man asked of him abruptly, suspicion lurking in his eyes behind the thick frames of his glasses. His hard blue gaze seemed to scrutinize every inch of him, as though he could see straight through him- and Chris definitely felt the weight of it.
"Cl-close enough," he responded vaguely, sweat breaking out on his brow. The man's frown deepened, and Chris couldn't help but reflect that this could not possibly be the same Clark Kent everyone had told him about. Everyone- girlfriend's family included- always labeled him as "sweet" or "harmless," "clumsy" or "friendly." Not mean, or cruel, or hard. . . or capable of scaring the crap out of anybody. . . .
Not that Chris truly believed he was a mean person. If he was anything like Lucy, then he would have to be a kind, gentle person. After all, she had to have gotten it from somewhere, he joked silently to himself.
Finally, he managed to muster up enough courage to ask him what he had been waiting to ask for a long time.
"Listen, Mr. Kent. I'm sorry we haven't been able to meet previously- I've missed your company whenever I met Lois or Jason," though, he added mentally, it can hardly be considered my fault. You always seem to find an excuse to avoid me. . . "And I assure you that my intentions towards your daughter are only of the best nature. I'm looking forward to getting to know you even better as time goes on. But I must admit, I did come here tonight with an ulterior motive." God, could the man sit up any straighter? Chris's back was hurting just watching the transformation- Clark Kent was much taller and more well-built than he appeared, he suddenly realized, feeling quite small under the man's gaze. Chris took a deep breath before proceeding. "You see, Mr. Kent, I love your daughter. You can't possibly imagine how much I love her. And I know for a fact that she loves me, too. No matter what happens to us, I'll always be there for her. And I always want to be. A-and that's why, with your permission, s-sir, I would like to ask for her hand in marriage."
The glass Clark had been about to drink from slipped from his hands, shattering on the rug. Chris flinched in the slightest, but the man across from him did not move.
Clark Kent had always considered himself to be a good actor, but his shock could not be concealed from his features, now. Chris picked up on his concern easily, and moved quickly to quell his fears. "Look, I know this may seem rather fast to you, but I love her. We love each other. We've been together. . . dating, that is. . . for a little over a year now as it is. I promise you that I would never do anything to hurt her, and nothing I would ever do would be without your consent. Which is why I'm asking now, before I'm forced to take such a step without your blessing."
Clark recovered finally, running through every possible scenario in his mind in a matter of seconds. He released his breath, slowly, so as to not disturb the papers on the desk in his study. He avoided eye contact with the young man a little while longer, adjusting the pens on the desk, prolonging the inevitable, dreading the conversation. But truthfully, there was nothing left he could do. "Chris," he began slowly, "I think it's obvious enough that the two of you love each other. And while I would prefer it if I had gotten to know you better first. . . I see that this situation is really out of my control. So. . . if it means my daughter's happiness. . . I would be honored to have you as a part of our family."
The elation in the young man's face was blatantly obvious. "Thank you, sir!" Her jumped to his feet and grasped his soon-to-be father-in-law's hand in a warm, enthusiastic handshake. "Thank you. You have no idea how scared I was. For a moment there you looked at me like I was from another planet or something," he joked.
Clark stiffened involuntarily. This conversation wasn't finished just yet. Chris noticed the change in his features and released the man's hand, thinking maybe he had come on too strong, crossed a line somewhere. Maybe he should have kept it formal. . . .
"However," Clark added, dragging out the word. He watched the boy's face fall in horror and disappointment. "There's more to it than that. I hope you understand that if you ever hurt my daughter in any way, shape or form- you'll have a lot to answer for. And you'll be answering to more than just Clark Kent."
Chris nodded soberly. "Yes, sir. I would never hurt her- not in a million years- but your wife and son have already made that much clear to me."
Clark gave a small laugh. "I appreciate that, but I still wasn't refering to Lois or Jason- not that you shouldn't watch out for them, either." Clark stopped himself, shifting slightly in his seat, taking a moment to consider how he should proceed. His next few words were guarded in his tone. "You said you loved her. That you would no matter what."
"And I meant that," he stated firmly. "My love for Lucy will never change. Even if, heaven help us, something did ever separate us- I would love her from afar. I will love her to the death, no matter what happens, or where she went, where she's been- hell, even if she were an alien I would love her."
Clark flinched. "Well, that's reassuring," he replied slowly, wondering if the boy already knew- no. He wouldn't be joking this much about it if he knew the truth. "But all the same, this still needs to be said. Because I swear, if you hurt her, you will be answering to me, understand? And I cannot guarantee to be merciful. If you hurt my baby girl, I won't be the loving father, nor the mild-mannered reporter. Nor the caring supe. . ." his voice trailed off.
Chris appeared confused. "I don't quite understand. Then who. . . ?"
Clark sighed and removed his glasses, rubbing the bridge of his nose before returning to the task at hand. Looking up at his future son-in-law, Clark was greeted by three successive reactions: one, a blank stare; two, confusion; and the third was a look of absolute terror.
"Holy s-. . ." he let his voice trail off as he realized that the man before him would hear his cursing no matter how quietly he uttered it. Chris leaned back in his chair and practically fell over. Scrambling to gain stability once again, he found his eyes drawn to the face of the man, so well known and well loved- and now feared. Holy crap. Holy crap. He'd just asked Superman if he could marry his daughter. No, scratch that: Lucy, his girlfriend and hopeful fiancee, was Superman's daughter. No, wait- Superman even had a daughter? His mind was in a complete jumble, and Clark noted how pale the boy looked, suddenly wondering if he had gone a bit over-the-top.
"Wait, uh, please. . . don't. . . freak out," he rushed, suddenly worried that he might have scared the boy beyond repair. Clark put his glasses back on his face, to re-engage him with the familiar. Bad things usually seemed to happen when he revealed his identity to people. "Uh, look- I'm sorry. I didn't mean to shock you that much- but it's just kind of a father's duty to scare off a potential son-in-law. After all, you are going to marry my daughter."
Suddenly it struck Chris that Superman hadn't told him no.
Wait. . . "I'm sorry," he began. "Just give me a second to process all this. Sort it all out in my mind. I'm a little bit confused. So you're. . . Superman?" His voice reflected his disbelief.
"Yes," Clark spoke slowly in his best Superman voice.
"And you're Clark Kent?"
"And. . . Lucy really is your daughter? Biologically, I mean."
"Yes again," he added, leaving no room for doubt in the boy's mind.
"And does she. . . you know. . ." Chris finally settled on just making a swooping gesture with his hand, since verbalizing it seemed to difficult right now.
Clark nodded slower, not wanting to get into this without his daughter's permission. "Yeeeeesssssss. . . She has all my same abilities, but I'm afraid that's all I can really tell you. You'll have to talk to her more about this, when she decides she wants to. Actually, Lucy almost told you the truth a couple of months ago, but I asked her to hold off- at least until I met you, and could determine if you really loved her back. And, as fate would have it, I couldn't actually meet you before."
"Wait, so, all those times I came to meet you and the rest of your family, you weren't just avoiding me?" He gave a short laugh. "And here I thought you just hated me. I guess it makes sense now. I remember one time, Lucy grumbling about you going to jump off the roof of the Planet to avoid meeting me. I suppose you probably did- or rather, you flew off. For rescues and stuff."
Clark flushed in the slightest. He had faked an emergency that time, flying off when Lucy knew full well that nothing was happening. . . "Um, well, that time Lucy had legitimate reason to be mad. I was kind of avoiding you, then. But ever since then, I swear, it's all been Superman duties that kept me from this introduction. It's kind of a curse that my family life gets disrupted so often."
Chris frowned a bit, but managed to laugh. Suddenly a thought hit him. "Does she or Jason. . . Jason's your real son, too, right?" At Clark's slight nod, he continued. "Do they ever, you know, help you?"
"Discreetly," Clark acquiesced, not sure how much more this kid could handle in a day. "So far the public hasn't really picked up on much. In time, perhaps they will lead a life similar to mine- but it is their decision to do so. Just because they're my kids doesn't mean they have to become Superman. I've always thought-" Suddenly, Clark's head snapped up and he got a distant look in his eye, as if he were listening to something far off in the distance. "I'm sorry, Chris. I'm gonna have to go. I forgot to grab a file from. . . I mean, I gotta go help someone." A brief smile lightened his features at the realization. He didn't have to lie anymore.
Chris had a hard time connecting it for a moment. "Go? Go where?" he asked, slightly confused. Suddenly Clark Kent spun around and was gone, to be replaced by Superman- standing there in his iconic red and blue. The superhero gave him a brief nod before vanishing out the window.
"OH! Dad! Uh, mom said that she left something at work that she needs you to run by and-" Lucy burst into the room to be greeted by a gust of wind and a look of confusion on Chris's face. "Grab it," she finished, her eyes not leaving her boyfriend's expression. Slowly he stood up and approached her. That's when the genes from her mother's side kicked in and she began to babble, unable to stop her mouth from running.
"Oh, Chris, I'm so sorry. I've wanted to tell you for such a long time, but how do you break that sort of news to someone- "hi honey, i'm home, by the way, did i tell you my dad is Superman?" Besides, I wanted you to meet him first, before you walked in here with a predetermined mindset about him- I mean, you'd have never seen him for who he was if you already knew what he was, you know? And then, worse, what if you got angry with me for not telling you anyways or I did tell you and then you broke up with me because I'd lied to you and then that would be really bad because then you would have that knowledge and you'd be mad at me so all you'd have to do is spill the beans and then what would become of us and-"
He stopped her suddenly with a kiss, bringing his lips crashing against her own, pressing firmly against her mouth. At first she stiffened in shock, startled by his reaction, but gradually she relaxed and lost herself in the feeling. When he pulled away, however, there was no mistaking the confusion in her eyes. "Wait, what?"
He smiled and kissed her again. This time, however, she responded more properly, her lips taking in as much as she could of his mouth, tongue fighting to find a way in. Finally they separated, still standing close against one another.
"I love you," he whispered, his tone deep and amorous, sending shivers down her spine.
Another look of confusion furrowed her brow. "But. . . aren't you mad at me? I mean, I'm not complaining, really, but still. . ."
Chris smiled. "Maybe I should be. But with what just happened, there' no possible way I can be mad at you. Besides, I can't really blame you for keeping your father's secret. And I can't blame your father for wanting you to keep it a secret. If I were a father in his position, I can't say I'd have acted any differently. You wanna know what I find funny, though?"
She frowned, fearing the worst. "What?"
Her boyfriend's smirk turned into a wicked grin. "You have your mother's knack for talking and your father's set of lungs. I don't know how I survive you on a daily basis."
She swatted his arm lightly- considering her potential strength. "That's because you love me, you idiot." She smiled up at him.
His grin softened into a gentle, loving smile. "You're right. I do love you, don't I?" He paused slightly. "And if you'd let me finish up my conversation with your father earllier, or even if you walked in a minute beforehand, you would know exactly why I feel the way I do." Slowly, he slid down until he was on the floor, kneeling on one knee. Lucy gasped as he pulled a small ring box out of his suit pocket. Chris savored the look of surprise and happiness in her blue eyes, positive that it was reflected in his own eyes, as well. He swallowed before proceeding.
"Lucy Lane Kent- oh, god, I really hope your dad is out there somewhere watching or listening to this. . . Lucy Lane Superman-Kent," his eyes sparkled in kind with hers, "I knew from the first time I saw you that I liked you. After our first date, I knew I loved you. And every single second that we've shared since then, I knew that you were the woman I wanted to spend the rest of my life with. So please, would you find the kindness somewhere in your great big, super heart of yours, to spare me the agonizing pain of waiting and the torture of not knowing what your answer will be- I can't take anymore of it. Lucy, will you marry me?"
Lucy found herself speechless, breath caught in her throat for a brief moment. Her eyes welled up with tears and she broke into a huge smile. She leaned down and kissed him firmly, passionately.
Chris raised his eyebrow as she pulled back from the kiss, starting to feel acutely uncomfortable kneeling there. "Is that a yes?" he asked.
"Yes!" she shouted. "Yes, yes, yes, a million times yes! A billion times yes!" Lucy tried to keep from shaking as he slipped the engagement ring onto her finger. Finally Chris stood and pulled her in close to him. He leaned her down slightly in order to look into her eyes as he brought his lips against hers once more in a loving, passionate, soul-shattering kiss.
Finally he straightened them so that they didn't look like they were in the middle of a tango, and they parted, gasping slightly for breath. Lucy spoke first.
"By the way, just for future reference, Superman's last name. It's El. His name's Kal'El."
He couldn't help but laugh at that, the tension relieving between them, and at that point both Lois and Jason made their presence known in the room. Her mother smiled at them knowingly, and Jason shook his soon-to-be brother-in-law's hand firmly. Laughter burst out among them, and Clark could hear it even as he flew his last victim from the car wreck to the hospital. He chuckled slightly, shaking his head as a big grin spread across his face. A grin Superman never allowed himself.
The hurt older woman in his arms looked at him quizzically, reminding Clark slightly of his mother. "Er, Superman? What's so funny?"
"Hmm? Oh, er nothing, ma'am. My dau- er, my day's just going pretty good today."
The lady smiled knowingly, despite the pain in her leg. "I know that look, Superman. Don't worry. I understand," she responded sagely.
Clark gave her a thankful, almost sheepish smile as he set her down at the entrance to the hospital, briefly describing the injury to the medical staff there. The woman took his hand for a moment, and whispered her words. "I hope you enjoy your day. Make the most of it."
Clark's expression lightened a bit. "Don't worry ma'am, I will." And with that he left.
Chris turned the corner only to practically run headlong into Clark Kent, arm still wrapped around his fiancee. Fiancee. He loved that word. "Oh, uh, Mr. Kent," he held out his hand for a handshake.
Clark gave it a sparing glance- Chris noticing that the glasses were no longer disguising his features- and began to withdraw his hand slowly.
"You really do love each other, don't you?" he asked in his best Superman voice. Lois tried to refrain from laughing out loud at her husband.
Lucy rolled her eyes. "Of course we do, dad." She held out her hand to show him the rock resting on her finger. "You see?"
"Oh, I know. I heard everything," Clark could no longer hide his smile. And he had been trying so hard, too. He suddenly grasped Chris's hand and shook it warmly, enveloping him in a man-hug as he did so and patting him on the back. Chris's eyes widened in surprise at getting such a warm response from the man of steel. Especially considering the grilling he had just received at his hands a few minutes back.
Clark pulled back and gave the boy a warm smile. "Welcome to the family, Chris."
With this Chris broke into a wide grin. "Thank you, sir." He paused, wondering if he should ask this, but decided it would be alright. "But then. . . what was all that questioning for?"
Clark laughed. "Oh, come on. It's my job to scare the crap out of anyone that comes near my daughter. I told you that much."
"That, and the fact that he wanted to see if you would stand up for her," Jason added shaking his head with a smile. "For some reason, he gets a kick out of people trying to stand up to him when they don't know who they're dealing with."
They all laughed and Chris finally relaxed as they moved into the living room. Lucy whispered into his ear as they chatted. "See? I told you he was nothing but a big softie."
Chris grinned at the sour look that briefly crossed Superman's face as she spoke those words. Chris threw his arm around her waist and smiled, adding for his benefit. "Are you kidding me? Superman or no, Clark Kent scared the wits out of me."
A/N: Please review! Tell me if you liked the fluffiness factor! I wanna know what works for future reference.