Rating: I believe that the rating for this would be strictly K. Even with the many mentions of drama throughout, nothing ever really happens that would make the rating go up. So yeah, it's just K. I mean, seriously, this is the safest thing I've ever written!
The main characters in this story are Clark Kent, (15) Martha, Jonathan and Lex Luthor, (23) and the main focus is basically Lex's relationship with the whole Kent family. However, even so, Chloe Sullivan and Lana Lang appear in the middle of the story, and because of their presence here, some fluffy Clana and Chlex moments manage to get mixed in! Considering that I always loved Chlex, and I liked Clana back in the early days, I simply couldn't resist! :D
None whatsoever. At worse, the only warning I could give is some very slight out of characterness for perhaps Lex and Jonathan. But, as you will see below, this takes place in my own personal canon, so some characters do indeed act differently than they normally would in the actual series~!
World: My Canon.
(Meaning that this is the same exact time line that my other story, Devotion, takes place in, and just like that, several things are changed from the actual series to fit my own needs.)
Word Count:
When I was finally done with editing, my word count was 7,107. One of my longer stories, considering that, as you will see below, this is very important in my Lex and Clark series~
All right, so the story behind this being written is actually a very interesting one.

You see, back when I was starting to come up with very basic ideas of Things Left Unsaid, (The third story in my four part Lex and Clark series, for people that are unaware~) I managed to run myself into a little snag. Somehow, when I started jotting down various ideas for different parts of the rather long project, I realized that I made Lex and the Kents rather affectionate towards each other. In fact, they were far more caring towards Lex than they were in Devotion, where their relationship seemed to still be a bit - strained and awkward at best.

Upon finding that out and knowing that, if my readers went into Things Left Unsaid and saw how close Lex was to Jonathan and Martha, without any true back story to it, they would be completely and utterly confused...I started piecing together a few ideas on how I could fix that silly problem...one of those ideas, was to do a Christmas story. This Christmas story. Considering that Christmas is one of my all-time favorite holidays, and people tend to make very sappy and cutesy stories during this time of the year I, too, wanted to do something very lighthearted.

Something very sweet and innocent that could help easily show the acceptance that the Kents, mostly Jonathan, gave Lex after the events of Devotion, helping bridge the gap between the first story and the third. And so, this little beast of a story was born! ;D And, as mentioned above, this is second part of a four story arc of Lex and Clark centric stories that I plan to do. So, without any further ado, please enjoy!

(C): Clark Kent/Superman and all other related characters belong to his actual creator, you know, that one totally awesome dude that isn't me. The amazing TV series Smallville doesn't belong to me either. Nope. Nope. Nope. I don't own Clark Kent, Lex Luthor, Jonathan or Martha, the Smallville series or ANY of the characters in this story! Seriously! I have nothing! I am an artistic hobo! Nothing at all is mine other than this very long and super crazy storyline! I'm not at ALL daring to claim ownership over anyone at all! They aren't mine, will never be mine, and you all should already be well aware of this fact. Nothing is mine and I only own this little fan fiction based around the amazing series! Please don't sue me or anything! ;~;

"Well, this is a surprise."

Lex Luthor said with a grin to the visitor that stood beside his drink counter, as he entered through the library doors and walked into the large room in his mansion in Smallville, one rather snowy afternoon on Christmas Eve. The young man turned his head around and flashed his own grin towards the Luthor as he watched him place his briefcase on a nearby chair and shrugged off his, now snow covered, black trench coat and walk over to him.

"What do you mean?" Clark Kent asked him, as Lex silently reached across the counter and pulled two bottles of water from the cooler, handing one to him as he twisted the cap off his own. "Are you surprised that I'm actually away from the farm during Christmas prepping - considering how I've been cooped up there for three days helping out my folks - or is it that you're surprised that, of all places I could have gone to, once I got away, I came here to your house?"

Lex took a drink of the mineral water and a small, playful smirk crossed his face.

"Actually," He said as he lowered his bottle back onto the glass, "I was going to say that I was surprised to see that you were waiting for me in my library, while wearing a Santa hat, but made some pretty good points."

When Clark heard his words, he slowly gazed upward and realized that he was, indeed, still wearing the Santa hat that his friend Chloe Sullivan had managed to convince him to put on while they were helping out his parents for the annual Christmas party later that evening.

Thinking back, he came to the conclusion that during his long drive to Lex's home in the cold weather, he more than likely believed that it would help keep him warm, and simply forgot to take it off when he reached the mansion. With a shake of his head and a quiet laugh, he reached up and plucked it from his head, stuffing it in the pocket of his jacket.

"Although, while we're on the subject," Lex began to say as he moved away from his friend and walked over and sat down at his desk, turning his chair around so he could address Clark at his side more easily. "Last I checked, wasn't today Christmas Eve? Also known as Clark Kent's busiest days of the year? Shouldn't you be back at home, half buried in a cookbook trying to figure out how to make the world's perfect fruitcake?"

Clark smiled, mildly amused at Lex's joke. "Actually, Lex, that's what I came over to talk to you about."

Lex gave him a strange look and raised his hand, stopping Clark from continuing. "In that case, let me stop you right there and make one thing perfectly clear. I do not bake, Kent." He said as he gave a rather hard frown, completely serious and completely misinterpreting Clark's words altogether.

When Lex's words fell, there was as short silence that filled the library, followed only by the muffled sounds of Clark almost choking on his water from laughter. Lex eyed him, confused, as he watched his friend try and control himself the best he possibly could. Clark leaned against the counter and placed a fist against his mouth, trying to calm his laughter. However, he was finding the task to be quite a challenge, considering the fresh mental images that had now flooded his mind due to Lex's mistake.

After a moment of snickers and giggles and Lex wondering if he was all right, Clark coughed and stood upright, nodding slightly to him and waving a hand. He turned back around and spoke with as much seriousness as he could have managed within that moment.

"No – No, Lex, I didn't mean it like that." He told his friend simply, trying to catch his breath. "The thing was…well, I'm sure you know that everyone is back at the farm, helping my parents set up for tonight, right?"

Lex leaned back in his chair, his hand underneath his chin and his arm resting on the side of his chair as he listened closely with focused eyes and briefly nodded, silently encouraging Clark to go on.

"Well, ah, Lana was there earlier, and trust me, she was a huge help," Clark said as Lex noticed with a smile that a sudden embarrassed flush had worked its way onto the boy's cheeks as he began to ramble, one that was Lex had come to realize was quite common whenever the young Kent talked about his schoolboy crush. He shook his head, hiding his smile behind his hand, and continued to listen.

"Except now, she went back home with Chloe to help her and her dad with their own decorations and ah, well, we're kinda left a bit short handed back at the farm. So, I was going to come over to ask you whether or not you wanted to help out, but…"

Lex looked up when he heard Clark's voice suddenly trail off, and saw how his eyes glanced carefully over the library, undecorated as it was, and had a feeling that he knew exactly where this conversation was heading.

"Clark?" Lex called out after a moment, trying to gain his friend's attention once again.

Clark jerked at his voice, snapping suddenly out of his thoughts and turned his head back around to Lex.

"Needless to say, I got a little…distracted." He told him with a disappointed frown.

"What's the matter, Clark? Shocked to see that my halls aren't decked with boughs of holly?"

"Well, yeah," Clark replied with a shrug of his shoulders, pointing over to Lex's fireplace. "I mean, I thought you would at least have a wreath or something."

An almost tickled grin appeared on Lex's face. "Well, Clark, I'm sorry to have to break this to you, but Christmas isn't really something that's celebrated within the Luthor family anymore."

Clark quickly whipped his head around when he finished speaking; a hurt look suddenly appearing on his face, and Lex had to press his lips together to force himself not to start laughing. Oh sometimes his friend was almost too innocent.

"…Are you serious?" Clark asked, shock filling his voice as his mouth hung agape.

"I'm afraid so." Lex said as he tilted his head to one side and shrugged. His voice then took on a more serious, quieter tone. "You have to understand, Clark, that decorating for the holidays kind of went out of style after my mother died."

Clark clamped his mouth shut and his surprised was quickly replaced with guilt. He suddenly regretted even bringing up the subject, not realizing that it could be a rather sore subject for his older friend. He moved forward, his eyebrows knotted upward and he tried to apologize.

"Lex, I'm sorry, I didn't mean –"

"No, Clark, it's all right. You didn't know," Lex spoke up, cutting his hasty apology off with a wave of his hand. His voice then trailed off as a distant look of longing slowly filled his eyes, and his mind had become fresh with memories of long before. "You see, Christmas was always my mother's favorite time of the year. She was almost as frantic about it was you are – Actually, now that I think about it, perhaps she was more frantic."

Lex chuckled, thinking back through the years, and Clark couldn't help but smile in return. But it wasn't even a half of a second later that Lex's smile faded and it was replaced with a frown.

"One of the things that I remember most about those times is that she would always try her hardest to make sure that my father and I had a good time, and more often than not - by some miracle - it would work," He told Clark, his green eyes turned to look away from his friend's face as he continued.

"But after she got sick, she couldn't really do as much as she used to, and my father managed to get even more distant. By the time she had…passed, he had altogether banished the holiday from the Luthor home."

Lex sat up in his seat, having sunk down as he explained himself, and looked up at Clark, waiting patiently for his reaction, and knowing that he probably would not take this sort of news that well. And, just as Lex had figured, Clark turned his head and merely looked him with a complete dismayed expression on his face. The sheer thought of not having celebrated Christmas in so long, or worse even, not being able spend it with your own family nearly chilled Clark to the bone.

And then, it was that a thought crossed his mind and he took his chance.

"Well, your dad is still gonna come by and visit you tomorrow, isn't he?" He asked Lex carefully, although in the back of his mind, the answer was already staring him grimly in the face. He knew that Lionel Luthor wasn't the easiest person to get close to, but maybe -

Lex sighed quietly to himself, knowing that Clark obviously meant well by his question, but some things, especially when it came to his father, just weren't that simple. The same hard frown he had worn minutes ago still clung tightly to the sides of his mouth as he locked eyes with his friend's.

"He's on a business trip in Europe, Clark. He won't be back until the twenty seventh."

Clark shut his eyes and let out a frustrated breath, berating himself over and over in his head, grumbling that he should have already been well aware that something like this would happen between Lex and his father. However, he opened his eyes and frowned, determined to try once again, hoping that Lex would at least give him some sort of good news.

"So, if that the case, what are you going to do for Christmas, then?"

"Most likely what I do each year. Watch the falling snow outside my window as I sit front of a fire, and then turn in early."

When Lex finished speaking, a rather loud noise echoed through the room, catching him completely guard, and forced him to look up with a start. He then saw that the noise had come from Clark himself, due to him slamming his bottle of water down on the glass surface of the drink counter.

Lex stared at Clark in confusion and was taken aback when he noticed that his young friend now seemed rather upset. In fact, the more Lex looked at him, the more it became clear that Clark seemed to be very upset.

"That isn't going to work, Lex!" Clark snapped angrily as he moved away the counter and came around to the front of his desk, placing both his hands on top of it and bending forward until he could easily look into his eye. "Christmas is supposed to be shared with the people you care about, and there's just no way that I'm going to let my best friend spend another Christmas by himself!"

Lex blinked at him, confusion still upon his face as he tried to make sense of Clark's sudden outburst. "…And just what, exactly, are you suggesting that I—?"

"You're going to spend Christmas at the farm with us!"

Lex's confusion slowly disappeared and changed into a form of astonishment; obviously touched that Clark wanted to do something like that for him. However, he quickly shut his feeling away and closed his eyes, shaking his head with a frown.

"Clark, that's very generous of you, and it means a lot, but — I wouldn't want to intrude upon your family—"

"You won't be intruding, Lex! My parents would love to have you." Clark said, quickly cutting him off before he could even try and convince him otherwise. He walked around the desk and placed both hands on Lex's wrists, forcefully pulling him up and out of his chair with a smile.

"Come on, now, let's get going!"

Lex, feeling rather strangely over Clark's enthusiasm towards this idea, tried to wrestle out of his — surprisingly tight — grip. "Clark, can't we talk about this?"

"I'm sorry, Lex, but there's really no room for debate. I already made my mind up." He said seriously, as he maneuvered around and placed his hands on Lex's shoulders, leading him out the double doors and into the halls.

"Clark, I honestly don't believe that this is all that fair – not getting my opinion on this insane idea of yours, and all…"

Clark chuckled slightly as he continued to push him past the various rooms in the mansion, and down through the almost maze like hallways.

"My utmost apologizes, Mr. Luthor," He said with a playful grin as he made Lex round the corner. "Maybe I'll ask for your opinion next time."

As both Kent and Luthor headed for the main doors together, Clark's grasp never once breaking away from Lex's slumped shoulders, the guards of the Luthor mansion all had rather bemused grins upon their faces, for they could clearly hear both men arguing with each other – Lex screaming loudly that he was being kidnapped by a crazed farm boy, hell-bent on making him have fun, and Clark cupping his hand over Lex's mouth and assuring him that he was going to have a good time, no matter what – as they walked through the ankle deep snow and to the farm boy's truck parked outside the front gate.

Clark slowly opened the door to the, now almost entirely quiet, Kent family home and stepped inside after both he and Lex had finally reached his home after the long drive. When Lex followed after him, and came in out of the cold, a familiar and almost nostalgic smell suddenly filled his senses, and someone managed to make his frustration towards Clark subside.

The fresh smell of pine flowing off of the Kent's Christmas tree was the very first thing he noticed, especially how it was one of the few scents he recalled from the Christmas's with his mother. And the second thing he became aware of was the faint smell of apple cider – and something else he couldn't quite place - from the Kent's kitchen and the soft sounds of Clark's mother, Martha Kent, humming softly as she stood over the oven.

Lex stopped in his tracks as he listened to her for a moment, memories of long before beginning to shift around in his mind once more, and allowing everything around him to become utterly silent. As the moment went on, he had become unaware that Clark had begun to go about taking off his jacket and hanging it on the nearby coat rack, and was now asking for Lex to do the same.

When Clark called out to him again, shaking one of his shoulders softly, Lex jumped slightly, startled by the touch. He slowly came back to the present and out of the past, and he looked up at his friend.

"That's a – that's an interesting scent coming from your kitchen, Clark," Lex murmured with a slight stutter as he handed him his trench coat, "What is your mother baking?"

Clark hung Lex's coat over the rack and turned his eyes towards the kitchen where he saw his mother moving over to his father's, Jonathan Kent, side who had just come in from the back door and gave him a tender kiss on the cheek. Clark couldn't resist smiling as he watched them.

"Well, what you smell is probably just the gingerbread cookies," He said as he turned back around with a rather embarrassed look on his face. "My mom completely goes overboard with making them for the party each year."

Lex returned Clark's smile with one of his own at the thought of the Kents family's various holiday traditions. They were so simple, so innocent, and much so like the family themselves that he couldn't help but be a bit amused by it all. After a moment of silence, Clark became aware of Martha calling his name from the kitchen and interrupted Lex's thoughts.

"Make yourself at home, and I'll be right back after I go tell my parents about what happened." He told his older friend as he quickly slipped down the hallway and disappeared into the other where his parents were waiting.

When Clark was out of sight, Lex began to wonder to himself just how the conversation between them would go, if, by some chance, Martha and Jonathan would actually agree to their son's foolish decision to invite a Luthor over for Christmas, or if they would refuse it completely.

He gave a shrug of his shoulders and groaned quietly when the latter thought entered his mind, and managed move away from where he could hear the Kent's talking to each other, into the brightly decorated living room, as he tried to think positively. He knew well enough that, ever since all the drama that had happened with William Barnes two months ago, that he had been gradually getting closer to, not only to Clark himself, but his parents as well.

In a way, they seemed to be far more understanding and more considerate to him than they ever were in the past, even Jonathan himself seemed to be much friendlier, and because of that, somewhere in the back of his mind, he clung to the faint hope that they would openly accept him into their home for the holidays.

Somewhere deep within, he truthfully wanted it to happen so dearly; he wanted them to say yes. So, that he could finally have another Christmas worth remembering. One that wasn't filled with bittersweet memories of his mother, or memories of his father turning away from him after she had passed on, but instead with a real family.

As Lex's thoughts continued to plague him, wondering if perhaps they were too selfish, he quickly turned his attention onto the Kent's Christmas tree and decided to instead dwell on that and not on the ifs or maybes of the remainder of the evening. His eyes surveyed the large tree and he pleasantly noted every small detail that Clark and his parents had carefully put into making sure that the tree shined with as much warmth and spirit as possible.

He reached out, gently touching one of the ornaments hanging from one of the branches with his hand, as he suddenly thought back, for the third time that night, to the Christmas's once shared with his mother as he continued to silently admire their tree.

The tree indeed held as much creativity and light as hers once did, and somehow, glancing out away from their tree and noticing all the lights, the ribbons, all the various decorations scattered throughout the room, and seeing how much effort they put into this time of the year, he knew quite well that his mother would have simply adored it here, and that managed to put a tender smile on his face.

As Lex continued to think to himself, he felt a hand come to rest on his shoulder and he slowly turned around, expecting Clark to be standing beside him. However, it was not his friend's large blue eyes that he came face to face with when he spun around; instead, it was the kind and caring eyes of Martha Kent that he saw.

She stood in front of him with a kind smile on her face and a large plate of gingerbread cookies – just as Clark had told him – in her hands. Almost as though it was instinct, Lex's face changed from one of focused seriousness, to that of a practiced charm he always seemed to have whenever he was around her.

He grinned at her kindly. "Hello, Mrs. Kent. I hope you don't mind, but I've just been so fascinated by your tree. You and your family did such an exceptional job on it; that I couldn't help but admire it."

Martha smiled, touched by Lex's ever thoughtful comments, and held her hand out to offer him one of the many cookies that were scattered on the plate.

"Thank you, Lex." She said sweetly.

Lex accepted the cookie and was about to say more, when he noticed Clark walking up to them with Jonathan following closely behind. A fresh prickle of nervousness swept through Lex's being, for he knew that Jonathan was coming to discuss with him about what Clark had done. However, rather it was positive or negative, he didn't quite know.

He turned to him, standing upright and taking a deep breath before he tried to look as serious as he possibly could manage, and extended his hand, addressing him with a strained smile.

"Mr. Kent," He said, and was pleasantly surprised when Jonathan took his hand and smiled back at him, kindness sparkling within his eyes.

"Lex, Clark told us about what he did for you, and I —" Jonathan began to say, but before he could get another word out in edgewise, Lex stepped backwards and crossed his arms, his eyes shut as he sighed deeply. If they were going to turn him down, he knew that they should at least hear his side of the argument first.

"…Mr. and Mrs. Kent, what Clark did was very kind, but I'll completely understand if you choose not to agree with his idea. I wouldn't want to be a bother to you during your family's most important time of the year," He said, dragging his words out and allowing them sink in, and after a moment had passed, he opened his eyes.

He stared out at the Kents, slowly taking note of each of the family's reactions towards his words, and then he saw Clark, just behind his mother, looking as though he had the most disappointed look out of them all. And although part of him felt bad for making his young friend upset like this, he felt as though that this was something that he had to do.

"If this is too much of an issue, just say the word, and I'll leave."

Martha was the first to act out of the group after Lex had finally finished speaking. She turned around, placed her plate of cookies on the table that rested behind the couch, and came forward and quickly wrapped an arm around his shoulder, bringing him close to her. Lex turned his head and looked to her, completely surprised by her actions.

"Clark also told us about how, up until now, you haven't had a real Christmas, and I absolutely refuse to see you spend this special time alone," She said to him seriously, tightening her grip on his arm in an almost protective way. "You know that you're always welcome here, sweetheart."

Lex blinked, and then a slow smile spread out over his face, emotion washing over him in waves of happiness as he wondered inwardly if it could truly be that simple, and if his fears were for nothing. He looked away from Martha and onto Jonathan and noticed that he, too, had a smile on his face, and with a slight nod of his head, he confirmed her words.

Lex let out a deep sigh of relief and stepped away from Martha, moving to stand near Clark, who was now leaning up against the wall, on the sidelines between both of his parents. Clark grinned down at his friend, almost in a mocking; 'I told you so' type of way, and Lex playfully gave him a shove.

"Thank you," He spoke genuinely, as he addressed both of Clark's parents once more, and then a thought suddenly entered his mind. "However, if I'm going to stay here, I want to at least pull my own weight and help you folks out. Clark ah, mentioned something about a Christmas party?"

Upon hearing his words, Jonathan and Martha both exchanged amused looks at the mere thought, but Clark stepped forward and wrapped an arm around Lex's shoulder, wanting to help out his case in any possible way.

"Hey, now, I wouldn't look so surprised!" He beamed with a large, rather silly, grin. "You both should be aware that our very own Mr. Luthor here makes one heck of a hot chocolate!"

Lex moved from Clark and reached out to shove at his overly cheerful, friend once again, when he swiftly jumped backwards, out of the way, and interrupted him, laughing slightly in amusement.

"Oh, c'mon Lex, I think that your hot chocolate would be a real hit at the party! You should teach my mom the Luthor Family secret recipe."

Lex began to chuckle, knowing that it was more than likely a complete lost cause trying to argue with the stubborn young Kent, and simply shook his head and raised his hands in surrender.

"All right, all right, Kent, you win..." He said with a roll of his eyes, and when he saw Clark's light up in pride, he turned to face Martha, bowing slightly and extending his hand to her, his own playful gleam now flickering anew in his eyes. "Mrs. Kent, if I may?"

Martha smiled once again at the young man's almost endlessly charming personality, and gently took his hand as they both walked to the kitchen together.

Three hours later, when the grandfather clock had struck eight, the Kent's home was nearly packed to the brim with guests from all around the community of Smallville. Many voices, some familiar and some brand new, and yet, all completely full of laughter and cheer, raged on inside the living room and various other parts of the small farm house as they gathered together, enjoying the almost overwhelming feelings of a true down home Christmas party.

Chloe Sullivan and Lana Lang were among some of the first faces to appear on the doorstep of the Kents, and Martha happily welcomed them when they did, offering them a friendly cup of apple cider to warm them up as they walked inside with a slight shiver, considering that the snow outside had steadily begun to pick up over the last hour. And it wasn't long afterward that the remaining guests appeared and had quickly scattered about, becoming distracted with their own things.

Some were chatting with close friends, some couldn't resist the temptations of the foods that the Kents had carefully prepared, and then there were some that found themselves far too wrapped up with the sights and sounds of the holiday spirit that they decided to find a comfortable seat beside the windows and watch the snow fall until the outside world was completely blanketed in white.

Lex and Clark, however, stood together at the kitchen island, both wearing Santa hats upon their heads – although, in the back of his mind, Lex still wasn't completely sure how they had managed to convinced him to put such a silly thing on – as they were lost in their own friendly conversation with each other, and handed out cups of Lex's hot chocolate and Martha's home baked cookies to guests whenever they got the chance.

As Lex poured Clark a fresh cup of hot chocolate, and a moment of calmness filled the kitchen, Lex took the opportunity to glance out and into the living room. His eyes bouncing from guest to guest, seeing if there was anyone in particular that he could easily recognize amidst the madness of the crowd.

It was only a moment later that his green gaze fell upon the face of the lovely Miss Lang, who had moved away from the groups, and instead stood in the middle of the hallway that connected the living room to the stairs. Upon closer examination, he noticed that not only was she was by herself, but she was completely unaware that she was standing directly underneath the Kent's mistletoe.

Lex then tore his eyes away, and looked up at Clark, who was now turned towards the kitchen window, sipping on his hot chocolate in complete silence as he watched the snow fall, lost within his own thoughts. A sly, almost devious smirk crossed his lips and he reached out and grabbed Clark by the shoulders, spinning him around.

Completely caught off guard by his older friend's rather sudden movements, Clark gave him a puzzled look and began to open his mouth to ask just what had gotten into him, when Lex, cut him off and snickered. He quickly turned Clark forward and pointed Lana out to him in the crowd.

Clark, not at all understanding where he was going with this, merely continued to stare at him in confusion until Lex carefully explained to him that, considering she seemed to be all alone, and that he could easily handle things in the kitchen by himself, he should go over and talk to her.

Lex kept his devious smirk in check, even as he watched Clark's expression slowly twist away from one that was once calm and collected to one that so utterly nervous, it was amazing that he could even think straight, let alone speak. Clark began to back away, probably believing that it would be best if he tried to make a break from whatever Lex had already planned out for him, but Lex reached out and grabbed him by the arm, telling him that by going over and spending time with Lana, it would make completely make her Christmas.

But even as Clark listened intensely to Lex's words, and realized just what a truly wonderful idea that really seemed to be, - and oh, how he longed to have a quiet moment with Lana all night – he only shook his head against them, a deep blush appearing on his cheeks as he tried to tell his friend that he just couldn't. That he was far too shy to bring himself to do that. Lex, however, only frowned and tightened his grip on Clark's arm and began to drag him from the kitchen and into the living room, all the while Clark frantically tried to get him to change his mind.

Lex turned his head around and simply told Clark that they were now even. He then walked ahead, and spoke up kindly to Lana, managing to gain her attention. She turned and looked at Lex with her own friendly smile upon her lips, but in the moment that Lex moved away from Lana's point of view and she saw Clark – who was in the process of looking at the floor, the guests, the tree, the ceiling, almost anything other than Lana herself - her smile widened and her brown eyes lit up.

Lex moved around Clark and gave him a gentle push with of his hands on his back, forcing the young boy to stand beside Lana. When he saw that they were both standing perfectly underneath the mistletoe, he backed away and loudly cleared his throat. They both turned their heads to him, their eyebrows raised in curiosity, however, Lex only grinned and simply pointed above them.

Both teenagers looked over them, and suddenly became aware of what Lex had meant in exactly the same moment, their cheeks turning a deep red as they quickly turned their heads away, completely flustered. Although, for Clark, his cheeks only went a shade darker, considering that his blush had not left his face since the moment Lex brought up his overly crazy idea. When his mind began to clear, he turned and glared at Lex, but it was the sound of Lana's sweet, nervous laughter that overruled his frustration for his friend playing matchmaker once again.

Clark turned his head back around and realized that Lana had begun to move away from him, almost as though her embarrassment about the whole situation had somehow won over her inner feelings for the mild-mannered farm boy, and she was trying to disappear into the crowds. Knowing that he would probably wouldn't have another chance like this present itself to him for a very long time, Clark's heart managed to act before his mind could, and he leaned forward and quickly pecked her on the cheek.

Lana stopped in her tracks when he realized what he had done, and turned towards him with a surprised look on her face, her lips parting slightly. Clark stumbled backwards, away from her as he started to ramble breathlessly that he was sorry, and that he shouldn't have acted so rashly. Lana, however, only shook her head and moved forward; leaning up on her heels and returned his cheek kiss with one of her own. Clark looked at her with his very own surprised expression, but it faded as quickly as it appeared and they both exchanged sweet, embarrassed smiles.

Lex watched from afar, raising a glass of cider - one that he had plucked from one of the end tables behind him – to their happiness and turned to walk back to the kitchen, perfectly content in knowing what he had managed to accomplish. But as he began to move away, his eyes fell upon the window nearest to the fireplace and noticed that Chloe stood beside it, her arms wrapped around herself as she watched Lana and Clark with an upset, almost hurt look on her face.

He frowned as he saw her turn away, and instead, focused her attention onto the falling snow outside and not on them. He sighed slightly, knowing that he couldn't exactly walk away from her, especially now that he knew that his own antics to help out Clark were the cause of her own personal discomfort…and so, because of that, he simply reached down to pick up a second cup of hot apple cider, and then slowly made his way over to her side near the window.

He carefully called out her name, hoping that he wouldn't completely take her by surprise, and he smiled softly when she turned towards him. Lex held out his hand and kindly offered her the second cup of cider, explaining that she seemed to be rather lonely near the window by herself, and he wondered if, perhaps, she would be at all interested in joining him by the fire until the guests had fully diminished for the night.

With a brief smile on her lips, Chloe gladly took the cup from his hand, and told him that she would be honored.

Deep into the night, long after the party had finally ended and the last of the Kent's guests had graciously thanked Martha and Jonathan for the wonderful party and then ventured out into the snow to their cars, a calming silence filled the Kent family home. The only sounds to be heard were the soft flickering of the ever dimming fire place and the comfortable, quiet conversations between the remaining members of the household as they went about putting things away.

Clark and Lex sat on the leather couch in front of the fire together, their legs crossed and their hands grasping steaming cups of hot chocolate as they sipped on their drinks, tired smiles on their faces as they began to clear their minds and finally relax after the busy night that they had shared. Clark lowered the cup from his lips and held it in front of him, turning to Lex on the other side of the couch and his smile widened.

"So, Lex," Clark said to him softly, addressing him for the first time in a few hours. "What did you think of your first real Christmas party?"

Lex, too, lowered his cup after hearing Clark's words and thought over his answer carefully, staring into the fire, silent for a moment. A smile touched crossed his lips when he managed to come to the perfect conclusion and he turned his head to look over at Clark.

"To be honest with you, Clark, it was nothing like I expected it to be," He quietly muttered out seriously, and when Clark gave him an odd look in response, his smile only grew and his voice took on a more cheerful tone.

"And yet, despite that, I've never been happier."

Clark smile returned and he brought his cup back to his lips as he continued to listen to Lex, completely pleased with himself that he had managed to allow his friend to feel the happiness that he felt each time he was with his parents. Clark turned his gaze away from Lex for a moment, and noticed that his father was coming down from the stairs with a camera in his hands. His eyes lit up brightly, knowing good and well what he was planning on doing.

As Clark watched his father walk into the kitchen and speak to his mother, he had become completely unaware that Lex had moved a bit closer to him and was currently in the process of thanking him – rather emotionally – for everything he had done. But instead of his mind actually registering a single word that fell from Lex's lips, Clark only held up a hand, cutting Lex off.

"Hey, Lex, hold that thought for just a second," Clark told him as he turned back around with a large grin. "My dad's grabbing my mom and he's coming over with the camera."

Lex, having went back to silently sipping on his hot chocolate after Clark had – thankfully – cut off his senseless and completely embarrassing ramblings choked on his drink when he heard Clark's words. He coughed loudly, slamming his mug down onto the coffee table as he rubbed his throat with his hand, struggling to regain control over himself. He stared up at Clark in the next moment, a nervous look in his eyes.

"…Please tell me that he's only going to be taking pictures of the tree and the surrounding decorations, and isn't actually going to take pictures of us."

Clark smiled apolitically. "I hate to tell you, Lex, but – he's actually coming over to do just that."

"Oh – Oh, crap…!" Lex grumbled out in annoyance, suddenly and desperately trying to hide himself behind Clark's shoulder and far away from Jonathan's camera lens. "I despise having my picture taken –!"

As Jonathan walked from the kitchen and into the living room, Martha at his side, and heard the rather loud compliments coming from Lex' towards what he had cleverly concocted, he allowed himself a small, and yet, utterly amused, grin. He moved forward to where Lex was sitting and spoke up, placing a hand on his shoulder and patting it affectionately.

"I'm sorry, Lex," He said as he moved around the boys and began to set up the camera in front of the fireplace, chuckling slightly as he did. "But I'm afraid that it wouldn't truly be Christmas until the Kent family takes their yearly photo together."

A dejected look suddenly crossed Lex's face. He glanced over at Clark and then back up at Jonathan as a frown appeared on his lips.

"Oh, I see…" He uttered out softly, his voice trailing off as he began to rise from his seat, his eyes half lidded and looking down at the floor. "Well, in that case, I'll make sure that I'm not in the way."

But before Lex could stand fully, Jonathan's hand came to rest on his shoulder once again, pushing him back into his place on the couch. Lex looked up at the older man in bewilderment, not completely understand and was about to speak out against it when Jonathan only grinned down at him.

"Lex, didn't you hear me?" He asked him in a gentle voice, one that he Lex wasn't sure that he had ever heard him use before. "I said that it was a family photo, and I don't think it would be very much of one unless every member of the family is actually in it, right?"

Lex's confusion suddenly turned to shock, not at all believing what he had just heard him say. He stared at Jonathan, his eyes wide as several emotions danced in them, as he wondered if perhaps he had indeed said what he just did to him or if, perhaps it was nothing more than a mere figment of his imagination. Something crafted from one of his deeply hidden desires, one that he wished to become a reality for as long as he could remember.

And, almost as if Jonathan could read his tangled up thoughts through only his expression alone, the elder Kent simply winked at Lex playfully, and turned his attention back towards his camera. Lex, still taken aback by the whole sudden situation, was about to stand and ask Jonathan if he truly meant it, when Martha's kind voice broke him from his thoughts.

"Come over here and sit next to me, honey." She said, as she tenderly took Lex's hand in her own, and moved him over to where she sat on the left side of the couch. Lex briefly turned his eyes away from Jonathan just long enough to turn his head towards Martha and give her a completely overwhelmed smile. Showing her the thanks that he was struggling to convey into the even simplest of words.

With a snap of his fingers, Jonathan spoke, drawing everyone's attention to him, "Well, everyone, I think that will do it!" He exclaimed as he set the timer on the camera and came back over to the couch, taking his seat next to Clark.

Clark turned his head from his father and looked over at Lex, who was still smiling up at his mother. He smiled to himself as he watched the various emotions continue to parade around on Lex's face, knowing that there could have been no greater gift that he could have given his closest friend. Lex, suddenly sensing Clark's gaze upon him, moved from Martha and locked green eyes with blue.

They both exchanged a gentle smile with each other, before turning back around to face the camera. Clark spoke then, using the most delighted voice that Lex had ever heard.

"Merry Christmas, Lex." He said to him, his smile never once leaving his lips.

Lex, still a bit dazed, only reached forward and wrapped an arm around his young friend, pulling him close.

"Merry Christmas, Clark." He replied, smirking playfully as he listened to Clark's laughter as the boy tried to wiggle out of the death grip that he had manage to get on him.

And in the very next instance, the flash of the camera went off.