by M. Edison
Title: O, Christmas Tree
Rating: strong PG-13
Keywords: romance, humor, shortfic, Christmasfic
Wearily, Chloe Sullivan, soon-to-be Kent, trudged the last few slushy, snowy steps to her door and unlocked it. She stepped inside, out of the snowy deluge - that seemed unable to decide whether it was going to be freezing rain or snow - and into the warmth of the building that housed the loft-styled apartment she shared with her fiance.
For an exhausted moment, she leaned back against it, staring balefully at her own dirt and snow-covered boots and wondered if she had the energy to even kick off the snow. The answer was a definite negative. With great determination she levered herself away from the door and locked it again before beginning her slow ascent to the loft.
As she neared the landing, the reporter smiled. Between the sounds of Christmas carols playing, and the delicious smell of Christmas cookies, fresh from Martha Kent's oven no doubt, she could tell Clark was home from work and had made a quick side trip to Smallville. Ah, the perks of a fiance who could move faster than light were many and, fortunately, the drawbacks few.
If Clark was home, there was food, and heat, and no snow falling and no editors yelling for the final copy of her story...
But more to the point...there was Clark. Yummy, cuddly, hopefully frisky, Clark. Clark who smelled way too good, felt way too good, sounded way too good, and did things to her that could easily more addictive than any narcotic.... Yeah, Clark was home.
Chloe's smile widened.
As if hearing her thoughts, the door to the loft swung open to reveal Clark, beaming widely at her. She took one look at the words on his apron and stepped forward and stood on her tiptoes to kiss him soundly. "Don't mind if I do." Was the explanation she mumbled against his mouth.
"Mmph." He answered, wrapping his arms about her waist - oven mitts and all - and pulling her flush against him. Their mouths dueled and Chloe felt her exhaustion melting away much like the snow on her boots.
Pulling back, she smiled up at him. "Honey, I'm home."
Clark grinned, that lop-sided, aw gosh, farm boy smile she adored, and kissed her forehead. "So I see. Do I get to ask what the welcome was for?"
Laughing, she poked his chest. "Just following instructions."
Reflexively, her fianc looked down at the `Kiss the Cook' apron he wore and his grin turned sheepish. He lifted his gaze and added, with a wicked glint in his eye, "If that's what it gets me, I'm having shirts printed up."
"With just that?" She teased, feeling a little evil. "Maybe you should try a series? Y'know, Kiss the Superhero? Kiss The Reporter? Kiss The Fantastic-In-Bed-Fiance?"
"That last one's a special boxer set." He deadpanned, lifting her out of her boots. "We'll leave those out here." He told her with a grin. "You wear them inside and Mom'll know."
"She's in Smallville." His fiancee pointed out logically.
"She's Mom." Clark insisted. "She'll know."
"True." The tiny blonde agreed, shrugging out of her winter's coat. Martha Kent always did have a way of knowing things that no one else knew or had noticed. She'd often wondered if her soon-to-be mother-in-law was the one with the superpowers and not Clark. Where Martha was eerily perceptive, her dear sweet, occasionally bumbling son was often quite the opposite.
Hanging up the coat, she laughed suddenly. "I wonder what people would think if they knew Metropolis's great protector likes to cook while wearing the stereotypical `Kiss the Cook' apron? With, no less, matching oven mitts."
Clark reflexively glanced down at his outfit then looked at Chloe, laughing. "They'd probably ask if he was still wearing the suit or not."
Padding into the bedroom, his fiancee gave an exaggerated snort. "Of course not, it's too busy decorating the bedroom floor." With a damaged cape in hand, she strode back out into the loft's main room. "Clark, I hate to sound like the totally harpy-like nagging girlfriend but how many times have I told you to put these things where they go?" She shook the red material for emphasis. "Someday, you're going to leave it lying in the middle of the bedroom floor, someone's going to take a wrong turn and go into our bedroom, looking for the bathroom or whatever, and they're going to go, `gee, what's Superman's cape doing in Clark and Chloe's bedroom...' and I'm betting even Lois would figure out what that meant." She fell silent then, stewing a little.
Looking up from the floor, Clark looked at her for a long moment then, when he saw the edges if her mouth playing at a smile, he let his do the same until finally both were laughing in near hysteria.
Still giggling, Chloe held up the cape. "What did this poor thing do to deserve being shredded?"
"Massive pileup on the 401 outside Toronto." He shrugged. "Truck fell on it." His face brightened considerably. "But, while I was up there," He moved to rest his hands on her shoulders, turning her to face the wall with the large, industrial windows which looked out onto the Metropolis skyline. Or, more accurately, he turned her to face one corner of that wall. "I swung by Nova Scotia on my way home. Got that."
A gasp of awe escaped his fiancee at the Christmas tree that stood proudly in said corner, waiting for her approval. "Clark, it's gorgeous!" Chloe was not lying. The tree looked, to her, to be better than the ones craft magazines used to display their homemade ornaments. "You actually went to Canada for a Christmas tree?"
"No," he teased. "I went to Canada for a huge car accident. But, I was up that way anyway. Most of the trees for sale on the lots are from there anyway. I thought we should get a fresh one. And, per the lady of the house's extreme dislike of untangling Christmas-lights, I already took care of it." He leaned over to plug the lights in. "It's ready and waiting for your decorative wonders."
"My decorative wonders?" She lifted a brow and tried to hide the grin trying to appear on her face. "What decorative wonders?"
"Nice try," Her fianc countered, walking to the closet. "But your Dad busted you."
"Dad?!" She turned in place and frowned at him. "How did my father get into this?"
"When I dropped by to pick up a box of Christmas ornaments he wanted you to have." Clark returned, carrying said box. "He said you'd been commandeering the decoration of the Christmas tree since you were a kid." His smile widened. "Said you were almost militant about it. All he was allowed to do was the lights and help with the branches you couldn't reach."
She took the box from him and mock-glared. "My father has to learn to keep stuff like that quiet, especially from a certain fianc who would love to tease me endlessly, as in until the end of time endlessly may I add, and I was not militant. I just really enjoyed Christmas."
"Not to mention made a very cute elf." Clark added casually, watching her take ornaments out of the box.
"WHAT?!" Chloe set down a snowflake covered ornament and gaped at him. "Excuse me, Mr. Kent...mind repeating that last sentence? I thought I heard you say I made a cute elf."
"You did." He insisted. "While I was there, your father showed me a few pictures from Christmases past." Reaching out, he pulled her into his arms and kissing her eagerly. "Still got that costume?" He murmured playfully when they parted. "I can think of a few uses for it."
"Looking for a partner?" She countered without hesitation. "Superman and Superelf?" Mischievously, she slid her hands along his collar and up into the hair at the back of his neck, her nails teasing at the skin, earning a delicious shiver in response. "Doesn't really have that superduo ring to it."
"Superman works alone." Clark responded with a grin. "But Clark definitely could use a partner." He tried his best leer, making her giggle. "Especially one of the bedroom variety."
"Well, on that front I think I can definitely help." Stretching up again, she thrilled at the feeling of his solid musculature pressing against her slender form and started to kiss him. To Clark's shock, she abruptly pulled away and turned back to the box of ornaments. "But, not until after we decorate this tree." Pausing, she pointed a finger at him. "And no superspeed tricks. We do this the good old-fashioned way."
"Killjoy." He accused with a grin, slipping his arms about her waist, his body flush against hers. " I had all kinds of plans."
"My, my, Mr. Kent," Chloe paused in her unwrapping of ornaments to look up with an amused smile. "I could make a joke about candy canes but it would probably make you turn redder than Rudolph's nose." Turning, she slid her hands up his chest, bringing their bodies into full contact. "Tell me, have you ever made love by the glow of Christmas tree light?"
Resting his hands at her lower back, Clark looked down into her hypnotic gaze, subconsciously leaning forward as if falling into them. "I would have to say, Ms. Sullivan, that it would definitely be a first for me."
Her smile turned predatory. "Good...you help me with the tree, and we'll give a whole new meaning to Happy Holidays."
"You," Her fianc accused with a chuckle. "are evil."
"Blame it on Lex. He's corrupted us both over the years." Chloe shrugged then pulled his head down to hers, kissing him deeply. "So, tree...then sex."
Taking the angel and floating up toward the top fo the tree, Clark grinned down at her. "You really are militant about Christmas."
"No," She corrected, putting several ornaments on the tree. "I just really enjoy Christmas and," She grinned up at him. "if you help me decorate this tree, you will too."
"You know, the last time I looked at a tree from this angle," Clark commented, tracing a lazy pattern on Chloe's bare shoulder. "I think I was ten."
She kissed his neck and snuggled closer. "It does look great. We did a good job."
"I don't know about you," He responded. "But I was highly motivated."
"Clark!" Chloe laughed, smacking his shoulder firmly. "You're supposed to be the innocent one. I'm the jaded, sarcastic one."
"Jaded, sarcastic, ticklish.." Rolling over, he ran one hand along her side and was rewarded by a muffled giggle. "Admit it, Chlo', you're a softie in snarky clothing."
"At the moment," The petite blonde pointed out. "I'm not in any clothing."
"A fact that is not lost on me," He agreed, lowering his mouth to hers for a kiss that alerted her to the beginning of round two. "Believe me, it is not lost on me."
"Nor is that," Chloe purred out, her body moving meaningfully against his. "Remind me to leave Santa extra cookies and milk this year."
"Why's that?" Her fianc murmured against the skin of chest.
She made an appreciative noise, her eyes sliding shut. "Oh, I don't know, maybe the fact I'm marrying you? Santa's been real good to me in the romance department and, this year, we get to finalize the deal...how many girls get to have a perfect Christmas wedding with the perfect guy?"
"Perfect?" Lifting his head, Clark grinned at her. "I'm perfect huh?"
"Well, when you don't throw your cape on the floor, actually remember to take out the trash, aren't late for one dinner date in a month...yeah, you're perfect." She grinned. "Oh, wait. You haven't done any of those this month. I take it back. You're not perfect." A laugh threatened to bubble to the surface when she saw the evil glint appear in Clark's eyes. "Don't you dare." She warned, pointing a stern finger at him. "Don't even..."
"Don't what?" He asked `innocently'. "This?" His hands found her sides and tickled mercilessly.
Predictably, Chloe squealed her protest but it did no good and she quickly cried uncle. "Ok, ok!" She managed breathlessly. "You're perfect! Perfect for me at least." She pulled him down into a kiss, her legs finding their way about his waist again. "See, you're even a perfect fit."
"Mmm..." Clark's mouth found the salty skin of her shoulder, his tongue teasing it before his teeth nipped at it.
"You tryin' to start something, Farmboy?" She asked with a hitch in her breathing.
"Round two hopefully." He whispered into her ear before sucking on the lobe.
"God I hope so." She sighed out.
Lying there, Clark doing the most wicked things to her body, Chloe remembered, and wholeheartedly understood, something her future mother-in-law had once said in reference to her own husband.
`God, I hope he marries me.'
The feel of her fianc's lips landing on hers, pulled her fully into the moment, a moan of pleasure sliding past her lips as they kissed deeply, advancing into yet another round of love-making next to their cheerfully decorated Christmas tree, the scent of pine filling their awareness, the soft glow of lights coloring their perception.
Just before Clark's ministrations swept her ability to think from her, Chloe disjointedly wondered when Christmas trees became aphrodisiacs then her world became Clark and she didn't really care. It just was.
Like everything else in their life...it just was.
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