No Guarantees

by innusiq

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Written for the Smallville Looking back challenge. The challenge site URL is:

No Guarantees
By: Innsuiq

It had been a decade since Matha Kent had actively worried about her son the way any normal mother would. It wasn't that she never worried about Clark, because all mothers worried night and day about their children, but in the formative years of Clark's life, she didn't have the "normal" worries all the other mothers in Smallville had. She didn't have to worry about Clark catching the diseases normal children were susceptible to. She didn't have to worry about broken bones, bruised elbows or scraped knees. Her only main concern during Clark's childhood was keeping him safe from discovery. He was a strong and healthy child that no harm could come to. He was the perfect child for a mother who couldn't bear to lose him, but all that changed in the blink of an eye, or more precisely by a bolt of lightning.

Martha stood in the doorway of her son's room watching the boy turned young man sleeping peacefully. She didn't know what hour it was, only that is was late or rather early as the case may be, and that she couldn't sleep after the events of recent days. Her normally invulnerable son had been handed the answer to the one wish he had placed on numerous shooting stars over his youth. During a school fieldtrip, while attempting to save a fellow classmate, Clark had been struck by lightning, and with the help of a meteor rock, transferred all his alien powers to another. In that flash instant, Clark went from being a super being to average high school kid. He was normal for the first time in his life, and while the prospect of his short lived happiness was elating to Clark, during that time Martha Kent was terrified.

Her child that could never be harmed was made vulnerable, and even though it was for only a couple days, it was a few days too many in Martha's opinion. She had taken his invulnerability for granted. When faced with having a normal child, she didn't know how to not overly worry when the prospect of pain or injury was a possibility. Clark was still Clark, alien abilities or not, and he always put other's wellbeing before his own. He was always lending a helping hand whether he should or shouldn't, and always getting in the middle of confrontation that could be disastrous without his special abilities. Add a little guilt to the mix, and there was no stopping Clark from the danger he usually treaded.

When the school called informing them of the altercation between Clark and Eric Summers, Martha's heart dropped into her stomach. The school didn't inform her over the phone exactly what had transpired between the boys, but she knew whatever it was it had been bad enough if it resulted in her only child being sent to the hospital. Not only did the prospect of his injuries frighten her, but also the fact that Clark had never been to a doctor let alone a hospital once in his entire life and the questions that could arise due to his lack of medical records. She was not going to lose her son no matter what, and Jonathan's concern mirrored her own. It was the first time to her knowledge that Jonathan didn't abide the posted speed limit. Lex Luthor wasn't the only maniac in Smallville.

Clark's movements brought her attention back to the present, and she watched her son turn over from his back to his side. Back in the early days she wouldn't simply stand in the doorway watching, but would actually go in there and crawl into bed to cuddle with her small miracle for reassurance that it wasn't all a dream. Some nights he would wake up and they would enjoy a few more hours getting to know one another, and other nights she was content to watch Clark sleep, his even breaths calming her own pounding and disbelieving heart. She would like nothing better than to do that right now, but she knew better. Clark was 15 years old now, not the toddler he once was. To her he would always be her baby, but to him he was teetering on being a man. She would have to respect his space, and be content with watching.

Familiar arms wrapped around her waist, offering comfort, knowing her far too well.

"Martha, it's after three. Why don't you come to bed?" Jonathan whispered in a sleepy, gravely voice.

Martha sighed. "I just needed to see."

Jonathan placed a kiss on her neck, standing with her a few more minutes while they both watched their son continue sleeping.

There were many nights in the past when Jonathan came looking for her, finding his family cuddled together on the child's bed, and on each of those occasions, he joined them as well. Clark was more than a miracle to them, he was a blessing, and there wasn't a day that passed that they both didn't say their prayers of thanks for the gift they had been given.

"Where has the time gone?" Jonathan asked, giving Martha a hug. "Some days when I look at him, I still see the little boy wrapped in a blue blanket perched on your hip. What happened to him?"

Martha smiled at the memory of the day Clark found them.

"He's still there," Martha replied. "Just a little bigger."

Jonathan chuckled quietly, his breath tickling her neck.

"Just a little?"

She had to laugh at that too. Their son was over six feet tall now, at least twice his original height and still growing. He didn't look the young fifteen that all his other friends portrayed, but she could still see that little boy with the inquisitive eyes and a heart that shined brighter than the sun.

"Maybe a little more than a little," Martha amended.

They stood quietly a few minutes more, both contented with watching their son. They nearly lost him this time. How many people can be thrown across a parking lot the way he was, and survive with minor cuts and bruises (not minor in Martha's mind)? They were lucky this time. Martha didn't even want to think of a possible next time. If she ever lost Clark . . .

"Stop worrying," Jonathan said. "He's fine. As good, if not better than before."

She knew that was true. The moment Clark's powers were returned, he healed instantly. The cut above his eye was not even a scar now. The bruised ribs healed with no residual effects. He was in perfect heath. He was their perfect and invulnerable child once again, but for how long?

"I know," Martha agreed. "It's just . . . I don't know what I would have done . . ."

Jonathan turned Martha around and placed a gentle kiss on her lips to stop her words. He obviously had been thinking the same thing.

"Martha, he is fine. He will be fine. I can't promise you that this will never happen again, but not even a normal family gets a guarantee like that. If anything, we are lucky he is who he is. You can't worry about what ifs because they may never happen."

Her husband was wise, too wise, but she was grateful to have him as her rock.

"I know there are no guarantees, but I just got used to thinking there were," Martha explained. "We tried so hard to have a child, and now that we have one, now that we have Clark, I don't want to give him up -- ever."

Jonathan smiled. One arm remaining wrapped around her back, while the other hand cupped her cheek. "Martha, we are not going to lose him. You will never have to give him up."

"Promise?" Martha asked.

Jonathan kissed her forehead and pulled her into a tighter embrace.

"Yes, I promise, and I will do everything in my power to keep that promise."

Martha released a relieved sigh. It wasn't a guarantee, but it would have to do. It was a promise she had made herself a long time ago, and she trusted her husband to keep his promises.

"Come on," Jonathan nudged. "Let's go to bed."

Martha pulled away, nodded. "Just a minute."

She turned and walked into Clark's room. Leaning over the bed, she placed a kiss on Clark's exposed temple, and brushed her fingers through his dark locks of hair. He was just as breathtaking as the first time she laid eyes on him. She didn't think it was possible to love Clark more than life itself, but then again that was a lie. The day Clark entered her life, he didn't become a part of it, Clark became her life. Each day was lived to ensure his future, and she would sacrifice everything she had for him. They both would sacrifice everything for Clark. That is what a parent did.

Martha pulled the blue blanket up over Clark's shoulder and taking one last look, she turned to leave his room. Jonathan wrapped an arm around her shoulders, and led them to their bedroom. For the first time since Clark's powers were leeched from him, she could finally feel the ground stabilizing beneath her. No one said parenting was easy, then again no one had ever been the mother and father of an alien. Martha sent a silent prayer to the stars in thanks that they were the people chosen for the job. They couldn't love Clark any more if they tried, but she would bet her life that no one else could love him the way they did.

She settled in bed, cuddled up next to her husband, his arm protectively around her. There was no telling what the future held, but with Jonathan at her side Martha knew she could face anything thrown their way.


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