Categories > TV > Smallville

A Mother's Touch

by Elizabeth_Goode 0 Reviews

After the events of the episode with the magnetic guy who asked Lana out in front of Clark, Martha Kent finds her son asleep on the couch.

Category: Smallville - Rating: PG - Genres: Angst - Characters: Clark Kent, Other - Warnings: [!] - Published: 2006/06/23 - Updated: 2006/06/23 - 1328 words

Martha Kent watched her son, sound asleep on the couch, his arms wrapped around one of the decorative pillows as though hugging it. In the dim light, his skin seemed paler than usual, especially next to his dark hair. She hadn't heard him come home, but knew that it had been well after midnight, because that was when she had gone to bed herself. She knew that something was wrong. He had been acting strangely ever since Lana had accepted a date with that other young man right in front of Clark.

When he had opted to talk about it with her, she had been surprised, but after thinking about it for a while, she found that it was not so surprising after all. Since his return from Metropolis, Clark had carefully followed all parental instructions to the letter, taking Jonathan's lecture about keeping secrets perhaps a bit too literally. It had nearly broken her heart to see how much he wanted to share his secret with Lana, but she still felt that she had been right to exercise parental veto rights to that.

Telling Pete had been different. Pete was reliable, solid. Pete could be trusted not to use Clark's secret against him in any way, and while Martha doubted that Lana would do something so heinous as to sell him out in any way, she did not know if she trusted the girl not to throw it back in Clark's face if she became upset with him. And, she did seem to be angry with Clark fairly often, especially lately. With a growing sense of concern for her son's well-being, Martha noticed that there was evidence of tear tracks on Clark's cheeks. Whatever had kept her son out so late had also brought him to tears.

Hesitantly, she reached out to brush a lock of dark hair away from his eyes. He really did need a haircut. When her fingertips brushed his cheek, he stirred slightly, and Martha smiled. For all of his strength and superhuman abilities, he was still Clark, and waking up was something he did slowly, unless forced.

Leaning close, she whispered, "Clark, wake up, sweetheart. It's after two, and you need to go to your bed."

Bleary eyes, still slightly red from tears, opened and stared confusedly at her. "Mom?"

"Shh, sweetie. You fell asleep downstairs on the couch, and you're still fully dressed. You should go to your own bed and get some rest."

"Okay."

He sat up and stretched, then stood and headed toward the stairs.

"Clark. Wait."

Martha sat on the couch, and when her son stopped and turned around to see her, she patted the cushion beside her to indicate that he should sit.

Obediently, he came back and sat, an expression of concern in his eyes. "Is everything all right?"

"Your father and I are both fine. He's asleep upstairs, and is none the wiser to the time you got home. It's you I'm worried about. Clark, you've been crying. Don't try to deny it, I'm your mother and I can tell. Did something happen with Lana tonight?"

He nodded.

"What happened? Did she say something to hurt you?"

"She aimed a gun at me, and she would have shot me."

Martha felt her heart come close to stilling within her chest. "Clark, have I ever told you how glad I am that you're bulletproof?"

At this, a sheepish grin lit his features, and he laughed softly, wrapping his arms around his mother in an unabashedly affectionate hug.

"Of course, she was under the influence of a meteor freak with magnetic powers at the time. Only in Smallville, huh?"

Martha returned her son's hug, then planted a kiss on his forehead, just like she used to when he was very small. "Only in Smallville. Listen, Clark. Your father is going to a livestock auction tomorrow and should be gone for most of the day. I was thinking that since I am your mother and as such am authorized to write things like excuse notes ... well, would you like to stay home tomorrow and help me go through all of our old photographs and scrapbooks? I think you need some recuperation time, and I know I could use your x-ray vision to warn me ahead of time if any of the boxes that have been in the attic have mice in them, dead or otherwise."

"Sounds great. Can I reserve the right to destroy the ones of me when I was two and three in the yard with nothing on but a diaper?"

"Absolutely not! Those pictures are precious!"

"Mom! The way my life is going lately, it's only a matter of time before Chloe gets mad at me again and they wind up on the front page of the Torch!"

"She wouldn't do that. How does she know about the pictures if you're so mortified by them?"

"Pete. Some best friend." Clark laughed good-naturedly, and Martha felt her heart lighten considerably. She would gladly write a note that was a complete fabrication to excuse him from school for a day if it could bring about such a drastic change in his demeanor.

"Mom?"

"Yes, Clark?"

"Will you make grilled cheese and tomato soup for lunch tomorrow?"

"If that's what you want. I'll even let you sleep in until eight. You know that's virtually unheard of on a farm. Now, you need to get up to bed. We've got a lot to do tomorrow."

Martha followed him up the stairs, making sure that he actually got to his room this time. When she was satisfied that he had indeed gone to bed, she slipped quietly back into bed, trying not to wake Jonathan, who would be rising in a couple of hours to work on the farm.

"Is he okay, Martha?"

Oops. She should have known that he would wake up when she left the bed. Snuggling up next to her husband, she kissed him softly. "He wasn't, but I think he will be. I told him he's staying home with me tomorrow while you're at the auction. He needs to recuperate from tonight, I think."

"Recuperate? What happened to him?" Jonathan started to sit up in the bed, but Martha pulled him back down.

"Another meteor freak. This one somehow was controlling Lana, and made her aim a gun at him."

Jonathan shuddered at the thought. It had not been so long ago that he knelt on the floor beside his son, trying to dig a glowing green bullet from his flesh. "Are you sure he's all right?"

Martha nodded. "He's probably already asleep. I told him I'd let him sleep in, and he asked me if I'd make grilled cheese and tomato soup for lunch, just like when he was little and stayed home with me all day. I've been meaning to do something like this since he came back from Metropolis. You know, to sort of reinforce a bond with him?"

"Sounds like it's just what he needed. I was actually considering writing him a note and taking him to the auction with me, and then taking him for ice cream. Kind of the same thing, I guess."

"You can have him this weekend. I called tomorrow."

"Are we having a custody battle right now?"

"Yes, but the good kind. I guess we must be doing something right. I'm proud of him, Jon."

"Me too, Martha. Me too."

In his room down the hallway, Clark smiled as he drifted off to sleep. Under normal circumstances, he would never use his powers to eavesdrop on his parents, but he hadn't really meant to, not at first. Hearing his parents candid conversation about him was the thing he had needed more than anything else. Concrete evidence that they cared about him and that the three months he had spent in Metropolis had not ruined their relationship. With a sigh of relief, he closed his eyes and slept.
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