Title: SMALL POTATOES (Nourishment 16)
Author: Janet F. Caires-Lesgold
Feedback to: jfc@freeshell.org
Archive: Mailing list archives only--others please ask permission!
Category: Vignette, Jonathan POV, post-ep for "Reaper"
Spoilers: Everything through "Reaper"
Rating: R for language and implications of m/m sexual interaction
Pairing: Clark/Lex established relationship
Summary: Jonathan considers what he's lost

DISCLAIMER: These characters do not belong to me. Smallville is the property of Alfred Gough, Miles Millar, Tollin-Robbins Productions, and Warner Bros. Television, and based upon characters originally created by Jerome Siegel and Joe Shuster. This story is just for the entertainment of my online friends and myself, not for any profit.

AUTHOR'S NOTES: This is a very late submission in the X-Files Title Challenge. The rest of "The Nourishment Series" can be found elsewhere on my webpage - Enjoy!

DEDICATION: For Tiff, who came to this party from the other one with me.

COPYRIGHT: (C) August 18, 2002, Janet F. Caires-Lesgold, jfc@freeshell.org

Please don't redistribute or alter this story in any way without the express permission of the author. Thank you very much.


Clark doesn't belong to me anymore.

Martha keeps telling me that he's no longer a little boy, that he's got to grow up and be his own man.

I know deep down that this is the way that the world has always worked--that little boys grow up and leave their fathers' houses to make their own lives. Of course, in Clark's case, he had already left home once before he had grown up at all, which is why he's here in the first place.

How hard must that have been to put a helpless baby into a ship and send it away to God knows where... Yeah, I wondered at one time or another if he had been sent away to protect the people who were left behind--if they didn't want him or were afraid of him. But I can't believe that that was why he came to us. Watching the fine boy he's become--wait, the fine man--I have to think that they sent him here to protect him, to let him find his own destiny free of whatever might have held him back out there...

I hope I've lived up to the hopes of Clark's birth parents, that I've taken the best care of their boy that I possibly could. I've taught him right from wrong, tried to protect him from danger, loved him like he was my own flesh and blood. It's just hard as hell to let him go, to set him free to find his own place in the world.

Clark is sort of a special case of a special case. Not only does he not know his real parents, but he doesn't quite know who or what he is, either, or what he is supposed to be. Hmph. Now that I say it that way, he sounds like every boy who ever grew up in America, or on Earth, or anywhere. Even if he can run like that, lift more than ten guys put together, and withstand some serious damage without being hurt, I guess he's not that different from any of us, really.

Look at him out there in the paddock where he used to practice his casting, playing with that sword that his good buddy, Lex Luthor, gave him. I mean, what sort of present is that? "Put yourself in his shoes, Jonathan," Martha said when he first brought it home. "Let him try other things, see other worlds a little..." I'll tell you what kind of present that is: it's a pretty damned cool one, from the coolest damned guy in town. How in the hell am I supposed to compete with that?

Maybe the guy meant it as a symbol of respect for the strong defender of the town. Maybe it's a token of esteem for being his saviour, not as pricey as a truck, and something I'd be less likely to make Clark return. Then again, maybe he meant something else, something dark and illicit, something I don't really want to think about right now.

What the hell does Lex Luthor want with my son, anyway? Wait... I know. I may not like it one little bit, but I know, and I don't think I can do a damned thing about it. Clark is a good-looking fellow--he could certainly have anyone out there that he really wanted. Why does it feel like a personal affront to me that the one he apparently really wants is Lex Luthor?

The man is certainly charming, and he drives hot little cars, and has more money than he knows what to do with--of course that would be attractive to a sixteen-year-old kid. That whole thing about bringing the Sharks here for the Fordmans--I know it was a very nice gesture, but was it a magnanimous kindness, or just a selfish ploy to make points for himself among the common folk? Maybe I'm just hard to win over, but it sometimes feels to me like he might be trying to use his charm and possessions as a lure to entice an innocent to his home so he can use him and throw him away, and the last thing I want is for that to happen to my son.

We used to laugh together. When he was little, we'd wander in the woods and search for toadstools or bird's nests, just enjoying each other's company. Now he's all grown up, and so damned somber all the time. Yeah, I know--he's a teenager, and teenagers are allowed to brood. Heck, I think it's a requirement these days! I don't even know what makes him happy, or what makes him laugh anymore, if anything does. Does Lex make him happy? Do they laugh together now? It breaks my heart that he can't even share that with me.

I wish I could talk to Clark about this. He knows I don't like Lex, and he gets defensive if I so much as mention his name, even about something entirely ordinary. I just want to give Clark the chance to prove to me that Lex really isn't just like his father--to convince me that I should be as open-minded and supportive about this relationship as I ought to be about anyone who is so important to him.

It really seemed that, while we were having our disagreement about this year's fishing trip, he wanted to share something he'd been keeping secret from me, like he wanted to come clean and tell me what's going on between them. I'm pretty sure his mother knows more than I do, even though I've more or less figured it out for myself. He's made her promise not to tell me, I can imagine. Does he distrust me that much? Is he afraid of what I'll say? Does he hate me because I don't like the guy he's sleeping with?

Okay, no--I don't want to know everything. I mean, what people do behind closed doors is their own damned business. But this is my son... Can't they both see that I still want to protect my little boy from danger? At least I hope for his sake that he's using some common sense and playing safely...

No father wants his son to be gay. But did he have to get involved with Lex? Why couldn't he stick with some of the nicer boys in his class at school? Maybe this all would be easier to accept if it were Whitney he was running off to see at all hours...

There will come a time when I know I just won't be able to protect him anymore, when he'll have to face the world on his own, or with his chosen companion by his side. Has he chosen Lex for his lifetime companion? I don't really know. What I do know is that Clark trusts Lex implicitly and completely. Maybe that's what scares me the most...

What the hell can I do now? Just keep loving him and trying to teach him right from wrong. Try to be there for him when his heart gets broken and he comes crying back home where he belongs. Pray that he doesn't get in bigger trouble than just having his heart broken.

Clark may still belong to me in name.

For the time being, though, I'm afraid his heart belongs to Lex Luthor.


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