Clark almost can’t believe it, when he looks at the calendar and notices what day it is.
Since moving to New Metropolis in June, he’s gone through so many things. Missions with the Gem Legion, finding out more about who and what he was, and where he came from… finding the closest thing he has to a family, other than his adoptive parents.
And, possibly most importantly that day, he’s fallen in love. Luckily, it’s with a person who loves him in return, even though he’s been through even more than Clark himself, and remains probably the strongest person Clark knows.
It’s clear, in his mind, that he has to do something for him. He’s going to show his appreciation for Peri in any way he can, honoring him for the brilliant and amazing Gem he really is.
…It’s only too bad that his skills with artwork aren’t the best in the world.
But as he finishes the drawing, and pulls the cake out of the oven, he hopes it’ll be enough.
“Peri? Hey, Peri, are you in there?”
Kara answers instead, from inside the barn.
“No, actually.” She says. “He was looking for you. He’s… probably at your house right now? I dunno.”
“Thanks.” Clark answers, tiredly. “Sorry we haven’t caught up, by the way. Are you spending Valentine’s Day with Lena?”
Kara’s eyes widen, and she falls off her hammock, getting stuck in it before pulling herself to her feet.
“Thanks for reminding me! Yeah, I am, a little bit later tonight so her parents don’t suspect anything. I just gotta wait for Kell to come back. But, you go have fun with Peri, okay?”
“Yeah. But not too much fun, obviously. Same for you and Lena.”
Kara blushes. “Whatever. See you later.”
“Later!” Clark says, and waves at her from the Warp Pad outside. She waves back, and a second later, he’s in the Gem Legion headquarters again.
He’s about to ask around for Peri one more time, but he finally spots the green Gem working on something in the corner. Tinkering with some tools, and his old limb enhancers.
“Peri? What are you doing?”
“Clark!” Peri exclaims. He coughs, and returns to his usual, more stoic demeanor. “I was wondering when you would come back.”
“Me too.” Clark answers. “I just got back from visiting Kara. She said you might be here.”
“Well, she should have told you to wait.”
“Because your gift isn’t done yet.”
Clark couldn’t be more surprised if he tried. “Gift?”
Clark smiles. He can’t believe Peri would get something for him, but then again, they have been such close friends since Clark first found him…
“Well, I have something for you, too.” Clark says. He sets the cake down on the table, and the card next to it. “Er- two things. I made them myself.”
Peri comes to the table to inspect them.
“They… look wonderful.” Peri says. He hugs Clark, and Clark thinks he feels Peri crying, but Peri wipes his tears away before he can confirm that.
“Yeah, I know you don’t usually eat, but I wanted to do something special for you, and that was the first thing that came to mind.”
“I appreciate it.” Peri answers. Clark takes out a knife and starts cutting into it, taking a larger piece for himself and giving a small one to Peri.
“If you want more, just say so.” Clark says.
Peri’s too busy eating to say anything else, but he at least nods in response.
After swallowing, he speaks up.
“I am afraid I will not be able to eat this whole cake, even over the course of multiple days.” He says. “And by then, it may not be good to eat anymore.”
“It’s fine, I’ll take it home and put it in the fridge.” Clark tells him, putting it back in its box. “So, I guess I should just go home and wait for my gift?”
Peri almost smiles, but remains serious.
“Yes. Exactly that.”
Clark nods, and does so.
He knows Peri’s arrived when he sees rocks being thrown at his window.
Clark opens it, and feels another hit him in the forehead- before Peri realizes he’s there.
“Oh! Hello, Clark!” Peri says. “I apologize for-“
“Yeah, I know.” Clark answers. “I’m going to come downstairs now, just meet me outside.”
Clark closes the window, and he can’t get to the bottom of the stairs soon enough.
Once he’s there, and outside, Peri’s waiting for him, wearing his old limb enhancers. Clark smiles, seeing him wearing them- he’s so much taller. Easier to kiss, if Peri wanted that.
“Well.” Peri starts. “You have been such a great help to me since I came back online, Clark Ruby Kent. I cannot thank you enough for opening my eyes to new possibilities- about the Earth, about the fact that I could forgive the Gem Legion for my imprisonment and even call them friends- and about standing up to the Gems that I once feared the most. These past few months have been so enlightening, and it is all because of you. My hero.”
“Y-you’re my hero too.” Clark stammers out, but Peri’s busying himself, detaching a round disk from one of his limb enhancers.
“Do you remember when you gave me that ‘tape recorder’, as you called it, to record my account of daily events in the barn that I moved into?” he asks suddenly. “The one that I used to apologize to the Howlite for my insensitivity?”
“This is basically a Gem version of that primi- that device from Earth.” He says. “Here- you activate it like this.”
Clark does, and it springs to life- there’s Peri, maybe even from earlier that day.
“Clark… I know Yellow Diamond may come back at any time.” The recording says. “And that’s not even to mention Yellow Agate, and Emerald, and- and others. But when they do come back, they intend on ending my existence once and for all. And before that happens, I just wanted you to know that… that I love you. Remember that, when you see me shattered.”
The recording switches off, and Clark tucks the device into his pocket, before picking Peri up, holding him in a tight embrace. Peri awkwardly reaches his enhanced arms around Clark, hugging him as well.
“Peri…” he says, close to tears. “I love you too.”
Clark kisses him, and though Peri doesn’t entirely understand why, he knows it feels right.