Notes: The story was requested by chasethecat. The pairing requested was Clark/Whitney 
with the story prompt, "It's Christmas morning".

Disclaimer - Not mine, I couldn't afford the motor and household
insurance bills. I promise I'll scrub them down and give them back to 
DC comics, the WB and anyone else who does own a slice of them 
when I'm done with them.
Summary - Clark receives a gift he didn't even know he wanted.
Author's notes - Written for the Smallville Holiday Challenge, the 
story was requested by chasethecat. The pairing requested was 
Clark/Whitney with the story prompt, "It's Christmas morning".
A special vote of thanks to Barbara for betaing something that's not 
my normal pairing!


Surprise Present

Of all the holidays that
Clark celebrated with his family, Christmas was the one he loved the most. There was just something about the combination of decorations, food and exchanging presents that really seemed to resonate with him.

Maybe it was because his mom always enjoyed the preparations just as much as he did. She always went into a baking frenzy weeks before the day itself and the result was a wonderful array of cakes and pies. Some of those treats
Clark got to eat himself, while others were given as gifts or sold to neighbors and friends for their own celebrations.

This year, as always, the house had been decorated with plenty of garlands and wreaths; making those was another talent of his mother's. Then, a week earlier, his dad had come home with a huge tree which had been traded for a selection of his mom's pies.
Clark had been delighted and had spent an entire afternoon helping to decorate it to perfection.

All the preparations were in the past now, though. Christmas morning had come and gone in the blink of an eye, or so it seemed. The farm didn't take care of itself just because it was a holiday, so
Clark had been up at dawn as usual to help his father with all the regular chores. When they'd gone back into the house, red cheeked and laughing, they'd been greeted by his mom. She'd served them a hearty breakfast of pancakes, eggs and bacon that would certainly keep them going until their Christmas lunch was ready.

After the dishes from their meal had been cleared away, Clark and his parents had gathered around the tree to open their presents.
Clark loved to rip the paper from each brightly wrapped package, just like his dad did. Mom always laughed at his enthusiasm while taking her time, removing the tape with care and smoothing the creases from the glossy paper so that she could keep it for next time.

Eventually, all the gifts were unwrapped and
Clark's mother had chased him and his father out of the house while she got on with the next batch of cooking. As usual, she laughingly complained that they just got under her feet if they stayed around to help.

Clark was grateful for the brief moment of calm. He'd escaped to the barn and was sitting on the couch, simply enjoying the peace and quiet. The air was crisp with the winter chill, but Clark didn't really feel the cold. All the same, he was wearing the red sweater that his parents had bought him. The wool was soft and it felt good against his skin.

The sound of footsteps climbing up to the loft disturbed
Clark from his day-dreaming. Looking round he expected it to be Lex who had come to visit him, as he so often did, but it was a blond head that came into view, not a bald one.

"Hey, Whitney!"
Clark said, a smile curving his lips. "Merry Christmas!"

He and Whitney had grown a lot closer since Whitney's father had become ill and died.
Clark wasn't certain, but he had the feeling it was at least partly because he'd finally managed to convince Whitney that he had no intention of being anything but a friend to Lana. When Lana's relationship with Whitney had been strained, Clark had done everything he could to make sure they stayed together, regardless of his own feelings for Lana. 

Whatever the reason, his friendship with Whitney had definitely deepened in recent months and
Clark had finally managed to come to terms with Whitney's part in the scarecrow incident.

"Merry Christmas,
Clark," Whitney replied as he walked across and dropped down beside Clark on the couch. "Mom and I are spending Christmas with Lana and her aunt, but I wanted to stop by and give you something."

Clark's eyes widened as Whitney held out a neatly wrapped package to him. He took it hesitantly. "But - I didn't get anything for you."

"That's okay, I wasn't expecting anything in return." Whitney smiled in encouragement. "I just wanted to do something to thank you for all the support you gave me when my dad was sick. After the way I've treated you in the past I wouldn't have blamed you if you'd wanted nothing to do with me. Instead, you helped a lot and this is to show you just how much I appreciated that."

"Thank you,"
Clark said softly, feeling a slight blush heat his cheeks. He turned the present over in his hands once more and then, with a quick grin, ripped off the paper.

"I hope you like it," Whitney said, his voice just as quiet.

"It's great,"
Clark said with enthusiasm as he began to turn the pages of a lavishly illustrated book on astronomy. "Wow, thank you!"

Whitney nodded towards the telescope on the far side of the loft. "I knew you liked stargazing, so I thought you might."

"I don't know what to say."
Clark looked up at Whitney, his eyes shining with pleasure. He wasn't sure why Whitney's gesture meant so much to him, but it did. All the same, he felt bad for not having thought to buy a present for Whitney himself.

"Just say you like it and don't even think about apologizing for not getting me anything again," Whitney replied with a soft laugh. "Happy is a good look on you, Clark."

Clark felt himself flush once more, his lashes dipping to veil his eyes. "I really like it," he said simply. "Thank you."

He had no idea what made him move, but before
Clark's brain had a chance to catch up with his body he was leaning towards Whitney. One hand reached up to tangle in Whitney's smooth blond hair and then Clark was drawing him closer. It was a shock when their lips touched, but the hot flare in his belly told Clark that it was a good shock. It took him a few seconds before he began to wonder if Whitney felt the same way and then to register the sudden tension in his friend's body.

With a startled gasp and a quick flood of stammered apologies
Clark hurriedly pulled away. He didn't dare meet Whitney's eyes.

Clark had time to withdraw even further he felt big, warm hands slide along his jaw, framing his face. His head was firmly tilted back until he was staring right at Whitney... who didn't look in the slightest angry or disgusted. In fact, if Clark had to describe his expression he would have said he looked - hungry.

"Jesus, Clark," Whitney said, the breath exploding out of him in a rush. "You sure know how to take a guy by surprise."

"What? You - you're not mad at me?"
Clark asked in a small voice. He wasn't sure if he ought to move; he didn't really want to if it meant he'd lose that warm touch on his face.

"No, I'm not angry, but your timing sucks," Whitney said wryly. One of his hands moved up, smoothing across
Clark's hair.

"Because of Lana,"
Clark said with a sigh. "I'm sorry."

Whitney gave him a little shake. "Don't be sorry,
Clark, just... hold that thought. Things with Lana are pretty good right now. I don't want to screw that up." He let out a small huff of laughter. "Don't think I'm not tempted, though."

Clark's expression brightened. "I - you mean it?"

Whitney's thumb brushed roughly against
Clark's mouth. "Take a look in the mirror sometime, Clark," he said, his voice low and his breathing a little uneven. "Fuck, I have to go - before I do something we'll probably both regret."

Clark said again, the apology automatic.

"Don't do that," Whitney said, a trace of anger in his tone. "Don't even think of going on a guilt trip over this, do you hear me?" 

Clark hesitated, then nodded his agreement.

"Good," Whitney said, relief evident in his voice. "I really do have to go, though."

"Yeah, you don't want to be late for your dinner with Lana,"
Clark said miserably, and for once he wasn't sure who he was more jealous of. He was also feeling guilty, in spite of his agreement with Whitney. He really didn't want to screw things up between him and Lana now.

"Hey!" Whitney gave him another shake. "Don't let this spoil your Christmas,
Clark. I want you to enjoy the rest of the holiday." He flashed a quick smile. "I'll be thinking of you."

Clark looked up hopefully.

"Yeah," Whitney said firmly. Then he leaned in and pressed his lips against
Clark's in a slow, lazy kiss that was filled with promise.

Clark opened his mouth and let their tongues slide together in a brief, wet caress. It didn't last anything like long enough, but Clark knew that was for the best. He didn't resist when Whitney pulled away, licking his lips as they parted, hoarding the taste in his memory.

"Merry Christmas,
Clark," Whitney said as he got up and quickly headed for the stairs without looking back.

"You too,"
Clark replied a little numbly.

As the sound of Whitney's footsteps died away
Clark looked down at the book still clutched in his lap. He ghosted his fingers over the glossy cover and imagined that it was smooth, warm skin that he was touching instead.