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A Picture's Worth

Title: A Picture's Worth
Author: Kat Lee
Fandom: Smallville
Character/Pairing: CLex (Clark/Lex)
Rating: G/K
Challenge/Prompt: clexmas True Love Fest Day 2: Doodles
Warning(s): None
Word Count: 782
Date Written: 31 January 2017
Summary:
Disclaimer: All characters within belong to DC Comics, not the author, and are used without permission.





"What's that you're drawing?" Lex peers more closely at the picture the child is doodling on the floor of the waiting room to his office.

"Mister Luthor, I'm sorry. I -- "

"It's all right, Vanessa." Lex holds up a hand to stop his newest secretary as she rushes up to him and her child. "I do believe I've finished all appointments today."

"You -- You have." The woman gulps nervously. "But I, huh, I know you don't like having children around, and I told you I'd have a babysitter for when she gets off from school, and I do usually, but Ruth got sick and -- "

Lex's fingers arch, signaling Vanessa to hush as she finally does. "It's all right," he repeats again calmly. He's not known for his patience or toleration for any nonsense, but he can be a very patient man when he wants to withdraw an answer. "What's her name?"

"S-Sarah."

"Sarah," Lex repeats, his voice almost caressing her name as he leans in closer to the little, blonde girl on his floor, "what are you drawing?"

"It's a gift," she answers, still not looking up.

"That men in all the red and blue and with the S on his chest -- "

"That's Superman." The child giggles, and for the first time in his life where the person laughing at him isn't Clark, Lex feels no anger.

"And the other man," he asks gently, "standing beside him?" They're not holding hands, but their hands are touching.

The child looks up at him at last. "That's you, of course, Mister Luthor." She grins and giggles again. "Don't you recognize yourself?"

"I . . . It's just that not very many people would picture us standing together," he remarks softly.

Vanessa watches him closely, seeing a softer side of her employer slowly emerges, but Sarah sees nothing but a man she's already come to love. "Of course you're friends," she says. "You were there when Superman rescued Mommy and me. That's why you hired her to be your seck-- seckre-- seckretear-- "

"It's all right." Lex's smile grows as the child stumbles over the big word. "You're right, you know. Superman and I go back a long way, and he did ask me to help your mother and yourself."

"And you did," she says eagerly. "And we probably wouldn't have our home now if you didn't. Mommy had said we were going to have to move out and go back to live with Grandma and Grandpa, but we haven't had to move, so I know that's gotta be because of you and because of Superman, too. Those bad men would have hurt us bad if he hadn't showed up to help us."

"Sarah," Vanessa interrupts gently, "we shouldn't bore Mister Luthor with -- "

"She's not boring me," Lex interrupts.

"It's all right. I'm done any way." Sarah shrugs her little shoulders as she rolls over to a sitting position and holds the picture up toward Lex. When he makes move to accept it, she frowns. "It's done. It's for you. Don't you want it?"

The smile that fills Lex's face is the warmest expression any one who's ever worked for him has ever witnessed. "Thank you, Sarah. You're quite the artist." He admires the picture once more before reaching into his pocket and pulling out a crisp, twenty dollar bill. "Why don't you call it a night, Miss Jacobson, and take Sarah out for a treat?"

"Mister Luthor, I can't just -- "

"You can," he informs her, straightening and looking directly into her startled eyes. "In fact, I insist you do. There's a little ice cream shop on the corner of 23rd and Chance Avenue. They haven't quite made their rent for the last few months, and I've been considering procuring the establishment. I want you to survey it and tell me in the morning if you believe I could make a profit from it."

Knowing better than to argue with the richest man in the country, Vanessa swallows her pride, takes the money, and nods. "Yes, sir."

Lex nods, dismissing her, winks at her daughter, and strides on into his office. Shutting the door behind him, he walks to his open windows and looks once more at the picture before gazing up at the sky and wondering where his husband is and whose lives he's saving this time. Wherever Clark is, Lex knows where this picture of them standing together, smiling, and touching hands is going. It will adorn their refrigerator at home, something to which he never thought he would give any attention, and it will be the second most meaningful paper in their home, right after their marriage license.

The End

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