Disclaimer: I do not own Smallville.
"Michael Mann's son," Jonathan Kent announced over coffee one morning, "has come out of the closet."
"Jeffrey?" Martha asked, wincing a little. "How are people taking it?"
"According to Mike, his wife has practically moved into the church and I think he's still in shock," Jonathan replied.
"I hope the kids at school don't give him too hard of a time," Martha said sympathetically. "Being different is never easy and kids can be so cruel. And small towns are often far less tolerant than, say, Metropolis."
Jonathan nodded. "I certainly never met someone that I knew was gay until I went to Metropolis."
"Does this…bother you?" Martha asked carefully.
Frowning, Jonathan shook his head. "It doesn't, actually, and I think that's actually what bothers me."
"What do you mean?" Martha asked him.
"It took Mike so long to spit it out that I was getting seriously concerned that he was going to tell us that his son was a meteor mutant," Jonathan explained. "And then he said that his son was just gay and I breathed a sigh of relief."
"Well, statistically speaking gay people are a lot less likely to go mad and attempt to kill someone than meteor mutants are," Martha pointed out.
"For him, though, this is pretty upsetting and I think that most people would at least sympathize with the fact that he's upset by this even if they don't agree but I couldn't even manage that," Jonathan said, sighing. "And that's not even the worst part."
"What is the worst part?" Martha asked curiously.
"At one point Mike said it was probably Lex Luthor's influence – you know the stories – and I found myself not believing that because Jeffrey's not really one of Clark's friends so I doubt Lex even knows him," Jonathan complained.
Martha hid a smile. "Well, I suppose there are some things in this town that he isn't responsible for. I'm sure Clark will be pleased to learn this."
Jonathan jerked. "Don't you dare tell him!"
"But I think that he'll be thrilled to know about your touching display of faith for his best friend," Martha said, sounding perfectly earnest but with a teasing glint in her eye.
"I don't think he's responsible for everything," Jonathan argued.
"Last week you thought the milk our cows produced tasted funny and chalked it up to Lex," Martha reminded him.
"The land never did fully recover from that toxic waste," Jonathan said stubbornly.
"I thought that we agreed that that was the work of a maniac from Lex's past trying to frame him," Martha said pointedly.
Jonathan shrugged. "That boy seems to have more than his fair share of maniacs from his past is all I'm saying. If he'd been more responsible than it never would have happened."
Martha just shook her head. "So why is this upsetting you so much? I would have thought that it's a good thing that you're being so nonjudgmental about this."
Jonathan sighed again. "I don't know, it's just…I used to be so normal, Martha. I was a farmer like my father was a farmer and like his father before him. The most exciting thing that ever happened to me was taking a few classes in the big city."
Martha rolled her eyes. "I lose out on the excitement scale to classes?"
"I was getting there," Jonathan assured her. "Then I met you and of course love is exciting but especially so with you because of your family. Then we moved here and I'd say we had a pretty normal existence. Until, of course…"
"The meteor shower," Martha supplied. "Everything changed that day, for everyone. We're some of the lucky ones. We didn't lose anything and we gained a son. Most people had a much different experience."
"You know, I don't even remember what I used to think about those sorts of perfectly ordinary issues," Jonathan remarked idly. "Somehow what someone else wants to do with their personal life or believe just became a lot less important afterwards."
"Well, that's hardly a surprise," Martha pointed out. "Our son is an alien and by the time we got the adoption all legalized and got people to accept Clark as our son he started to get his gifts. Now that he's old enough to really have the speed and strength under control, new gifts are manifesting."
"It's really a good thing those didn't happen sooner or there's no way we'd be able to hide it," Jonathan replied. He blinked. "And there it is again. This is perfectly normal coffee conversation with us."
"Everyone talks about their kids," Martha told him.
"Yeah, what their grades are like and if they're hanging out with the right crowd," Jonathan disagreed. "Not things like superpowers."
"Well I'm sure that if their child had superpowers then it would be only natural to talk about them," Martha reasoned. "And a lot of Clark's classmates have been developing superpowers lately. Granted, this tends to end with them dead or in Belle Reve but if it didn't…"
"And that's not normal," Jonathan said flatly.
"You can't expect someone who regularly deals with someone like Clark to be like people who have never had anything meteor-related happen to them," Martha claimed. "It's just a completely different starting point. Where is all this talk of being normal coming from, anyway?"
"I don't know," Jonathan admitted. "It occurred to me awhile back while hearing about yet another kid who had been infected by the meteors and gone on a killing spree before being sent away to Belle Reve that these regular mutant psychotic breaks or random maniacs showing up is really starting to get repetitive. All this chaos and violence is really starting to get tedious. There's just something wrong with that kind of thinking."
"I'm sure that people whose job it is to deal with those kinds of things get desensitized as well," Martha assured him.
"But that's just it, Martha; it isn't my job," Jonathan tried to explain. "I'm a farmer. I'm not supposed to have any more excitement than the animals acting up or an unexpected frost."
"You're also a resident in Smallville and the father of a teenager," Martha countered. "I think you sell yourself a little short."
"It seems like we never really had to deal with this before Lex moved to Smallville," Jonathan said innocently.
"That was a complete and utter coincidence," Martha insisted.
"Was it?" Jonathan asked rhetorically but didn't press the point. "If we were normal, our son wouldn't be best friends with a rich kid who lives in a castle and is six years older than him. And a Luthor."
"Lex is a very nice young man," Martha defended him. "And he and Clark are good for each other."
"He's dangerous," Jonathan said bluntly.
"He would never do anything to hurt Clark," Martha disagreed.
"Maybe not right now," Jonathan allowed. "Not intentionally, at any rate. But you know how things tend to spiral out of control with Lex."
"Clark can take care of himself," Martha replied.
"Not to mention what might happen should he ever discover Clark's secret," Jonathan said ominously.
"I don't think you have to worry about that anytime soon," Martha comforted him.
"God willing. You know, I was trying to figure out when, exactly, my sense of normal had become so warped," Jonathan continued. "At first I thought it was with the meteor shower when we took Clark in but I'm starting to wonder if maybe that wasn't it."
"The meteor shower was really when everyone in Smallville's definition of normal changed," Martha said, getting up to get another cup of coffee. "Maybe it took awhile for people to realize the extent of how much it changed but I think the day we decided to take it Clark was the day that things changed for us."
"But that's just it," Jonathan said, waving his hands for emphasis. "When a normal person discovers an alien child, are they really going to take it home and adopt it?"
"Clark is from a remarkably human-like race and we were desperate for a child," Martha replied.
"Still, it occurs to me that a normal person would probably contact the authorities or the newspaper or…or something. Pretty much anything but what we actually did do," Jonathan exclaimed.
"Second thoughts?" Martha asked rhetorically.
Jonathan didn't even deign to dignify that with a response. "So it seems like while adopting Clark definitely added to our abnormality, we had to be a bit odd in the first place to even consider it. There were plenty of orphans in Smallville alone after the meteor shower so it can't just be that."
"I was the one who really wanted to keep him from the start," Martha reminded him. "You only reluctantly went along with it when I told Ethan that he was ours."
Jonathan laughed incredulously. "Do you really think that I would have gone along with raising an alien child we'd just found as my own just because you told someone we were going to do that if I was really that against the idea?"
"True," Martha conceded. "So maybe our reaction might not have been the most typical. I think that normality is often overrated anyway. If we were normal then we might have just handed Clark over to the government-"
"Or the Luthors," Jonathan interrupted.
"Or the Luthors," Martha repeated, slightly exasperated. "The point is that someone would have held him captive and who knows what they would have done to him? Experiment on him? Make him a weapon? Outright kill him? We did the best we could and I think Smallville as a whole is better for it."
Jonathan smiled at that. "I guess we did, didn't we? And Clark is the best son that anyone could ever ask for. There aren't many sixteen-year-olds that I would trust half as much as I do Clark."
"I'm glad you feel that way," Martha said pleasantly, "because I've given permission for Clark to go up to Metropolis this weekend with Lex. They'll leave after Clark gets out of school Friday and be home sometime Sunday night."
Jonathan groaned and began to remember why he'd been so nostalgic about a normal life in the first place.