Author: Kat Lee
Character/Pairing: CLex (Clark/Lex), Martha, mild Jonathan/Martha
Challenge/Prompt: fffc r18.16: Abide
Warning(s): Christian Themes, LGBTQ issues
Word Count: 2,221
Date Written: 29 August 2018
Disclaimer: All characters within belong to DC Comics, not the author, and are used without permission.
Martha Kent looked up as a young man slipped silently out of her church. He even managed to shut the big double doors without making a sound, reminding her that he was used to sneaking around and being utterly alone. She rose and quietly followed him. Her husband glanced up at her from his Bible, but she just looked back at him and gestured with her gloved hand for him to stay put. It wouldn’t do, Martha knew, for Jonathan to be in on this particular investigation.
She made her way down the long aisle as quietly and inconspicuously as she could, but it was only the young man in question who looked up at her in surprise when she joined him. “I’m sorry, Missus Kent,” Lex apologized, running a hand over his smooth dome, “but I couldn’t stay in there and abide that nonsense and lies for one more moment!”
“Nonsense and lies?” Martha repeated, blinking in the bright, morning sunlight.
Lex made a wild, flourishing gesture with his empty hand. “I believe in the Lord and Our Savior, Missus Kent! Don’t get me wrong! Mother taught me well about them both, and I have since found a great deal of historical proof to convince me to keep my belief. But I can not abide those who preach love and tolerance yet practice neither!”
“Lex,” Martha said as gently as she could, “a lot of people in this town were hurt by your father. It’s hard for them to forgive him, but that is what we, as Christians, are supposed to do. I know their distrust of you hurts, but -- “
He made another wild gesture as he turned his back on her. “It’s not even that,” he murmured.
A deep frown marred Martha’s lovely features. “Then what -- “ she started to ask, her hand reaching for his shoulder, but then she stopped. “Ohhh,” she commented instead, drawing the word out slowly.
Lex glanced back at her. “What?” he questioned. Then he saw the look in her eyes and swallowed hard with the realization that she somehow, inexplicably knew his deepest, darkest secret. Not wanting to see the mistrust with which everyone but she and her son already watched him, he turned quickly away from her.
“Lex,” Martha cajoled, “God accepts all His children and loves us just the way we are. Those emotions weren’t put in your heart by the Devil, no matter what anybody else tells you. Love comes only from God, and love can not happen without God’s blessing.”
Lex spun quickly around. “You’re telling me,” he asked dubiously, “that if I was to take your son to bed, you’d be okay with it?”
“Lex, son,” Martha responded, tilting her head so that she could look better up into his troubled face and he, in turn, could clearly see her eyes, “what do you take me for? Do you honestly think I don’t know what you and Clark have been doing behind that barn every afternoon after he’s swept through his chores? I’ve never seen that boy move so fast in my life!”
“You do realize they would take that as a sign that he’s a Hellspawn just as I am already marked for being?” he asked quietly.
Their eyes connected, and for just a moment, Martha thought he knew. Her breath caught. It wasn’t that she didn’t trust Lex, but the more people he knew her son’s secret, the easier it would be for someone to slip out and let it out. She had often feared that the Christians in this town would mistake her son’s alien abilities for dark magic or worse. She and Jonathan had been aware of how the outside world would treat Clark since the moment they found him. That was one of a million reasons why they had kept him, not that she had ever regretted it for even a second.
She told herself to calm down in the next moment. Lex didn’t know; he couldn’t know. Nobody had figured out her baby boy’s secrets except for the villains he’d had to stop, her husband, and herself. No one else knew; he was safe. Lex simply meant that they would condemn Clark for being gay.
She coughed as he blinked, beginning to think that perhaps even she did not know all the wonderful things of which her adopted son was capable. Had Clark not told him that his parents found him near his spaceship? He tried to remember, but he wasn’t about to risk telling his love’s mother a single thing Clark didn’t want her to know. If she didn’t know what he could do, there was a good reason for it, Lex thought, and he would keep Clark’s secrets forever, even from his parents.
“‘If a man also lie with mankind,’” Lex said quickly and crisply, one hand still on the Bible his mother had passed to him years ago when she’d still been alive and he’d only been a small boy, “‘as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.’ Leviticus 20:13.”
“You know your Bible well,” Martha observed with a somewhat smile, “or at least, you know the current copy of the Bible. Tell me, Lex, in all that research you did that led to convince you that the Bible is correct, how many times did you find that verses had been rewritten?”
Lex licked his lips. “The . . . Catholic Church has done so countless times,” he admitted, “but it has always been to bring a clearer telling of the original script.”
“Has it?” Martha asked, cocking an eyebrow at him. “Or has it simply been because the new changes were what the church wanted from their people at the time, not necessarily what God wants? ‘The woman shall not wear that which pertains to a man, neither shall a man put on a woman’s garment: for all that do so are abomination to the Lord, your God.’ Deuteronomy 22:5.”
Lex had turned away from her, but now he looked back again in surprise.
“‘Likewise,’” Martha continued, “‘also that women should adorn themselves in respectable apparel, with modesty and self-control, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly attire, but with what is proper for women who profess godliness - with good works.’ Timothy 1 2:9-10. ‘Do not let your adorning be external - the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear - but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious.’ Peter 1 3:3-4.”
“Open those doors, Lex,” Martha challenged him, “and show me even one woman who abides by those two scriptures. Every lady in there has on some of her best jewelry. They pride themselves on their hats, their dresses, and their fingernails. Even your mother and I wear pants,” Martha reminded him, “and my wedding ring is made of gold.” She held up her ringed hand, twisting her wrist so that a sunbeam flashed on the gold band. Again, she met Lex’s gaze with her own steady and uncondemning. “Do you think we’re going to Hell?” she asked him. “Do you think your mother is in Hell now?”
“I . . . “ Lex stammered, at first uncertain what to say. He had never expected to hear such words coming out of Martha Kent, let alone on the very steps of a church! At last, hanging his head, he answered, “No, not for wearing pants.” Slowly he looked back up at her. “You’re the best woman I’ve ever known, Missus Kent. In some ways, you’re better even than my own dear mother.”
“Thank you, Lex,” Martha said, stepping up to him, reaching out, and touching his forearm. “I know how much that means coming from you. Your mother was a good woman. I often wondered how she ended up with your father.”
Lex chuckled. “I sometimes wonder how you ended up with Mister Kent,” he admitted slyly.
“The heart wants what it wants,” Martha returned wisely, “but love is only created by God. If it comes from the heart, not your mind or your gut or that quiet, dark voice that sometimes whispers unbidden through your mind, then you can trust it comes from God. All things of love are of God. All things of hate and prejudice are of the Devil.” She glanced back at the doors behind them. “There is not a day that goes by that I do not pray for the souls in that church,” she admitted, whispering.
Lex looked at her once again in surprise. “And what of you, Missus Kent?” he asked quietly. “How would you feel if I one day asked your son to marry me?”
“You’d have my blessings,” she answered earnestly and with a smile, “but first let’s work on his father and get him to come around.”
Lex started to laugh but stopped when he realized she was serious. “Do you honestly think that’s possible?”
“Jonathan has always been set in his ways,” Martha replied, still smiling, “but one thing on which we’ve always agreed is that we want the best for our son. I believe, because God has chosen to make the two of you love each other, that you are that person.”
“Do you really?”
“I see how Clark lights up around you, Lex. He’s never happier than when he’s with you, my dear boy, and if he ever needed something -- “ She paused and chose her next words carefully, “If he ever needed protection or anything, I know you would stop at nothing to give it to him.”
Lex nodded. “On that, you have my word,” he said solemnly, offering her his hand.
She took his hand but then drew him into a hug. “God loves you,” she whispered into his ear, kissing his cheek, “and so do I.” Stepping back, both of her hands having found their way into his, she beamed up at him. “Now shall we return to the service?”
He hesitated only a moment before inclining his head into agreement with her. “Very well.”
“Just promise me one more thing,” she said as she led them back toward the big double doors.
“Anything,” he murmured quietly.
“That you will never again hear something that is supposed to have come from the Bible and take it at face value. If you do not agree with something you’ve read in its pages, research it until you find the original meaning. The original meaning of all three of those verses we just quoted are very different from the way they read today, and besides,” she concluded, opening the doors and dropping her voice to a hushed whisper that only he could hear, “a man can not lie with a man as he lies with a woman anyway. The methods are completely different.”
Lex’s eyes shot wide as his mouth dropped open in surprise. Martha grinned up at him, squeezed his head, and led him down the aisle. As she did so, she wondered which of her boys would one day be the bride. If Jonathan didn’t want to give them away to each other, then she would. She’d never stop supporting her boys or the love they shared just as she knew, in her wholesome heart, that all love, including and especially one as pure as theirs, came from God.
She chuckled as her mind flashed back onto the verses she’d used on Lex. As if she was going to Hell for wearing pants, indeed! Someone somewhere had a dark sense of humor, and although God had a sense of humor, she knew He wouldn’t find that funny in the least. One thing that the Bible preached all the way through along with love and redemption was that a person was not to condemn another. Yet, sadly, they continued to do so.
She glanced around at the other church-goers in Smallville as she sat between her boys. If they chose to treat her children with hatred and ignorance, they would one day have to answer to the All Mighty, but even before then, they’d be answering to her. She would not tolerate anyone abusing her children, and Lex had become nearly as much as hers as Clark was. Releasing Lex’s hand with one more, gentle squeeze, she reached over and took her husband’s.
He smiled down at her, and she knew he had no idea what she was thinking. She’d start with him first, and once she’d had his opinion changed and he was accepting of their boys, she’d move on to the rest of the town. Boy, she had her work cut out for her! But then when had she ever not? A woman of God’s, after all, had work wherever the Devil ran rampant, and he was always most present anywhere where there was hate. That would not be Smallville forever, however, for one day, she would fix this town. One day, both her boys would know they were accepted and loved despite their differences. Martha grinned, thinking of what a glorious day that would be, and settled down to listen to the Preacher’s sermon and await that day.