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That's Not What I Meant!

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That's Not What I Meant!

Lex drew in a deep breath, looking around him. He had thought he'd known what fear was, facing down knives and bullets and enemies. He hadn't had a clue. This. This was true fear.

"It's okay, Honey, just say whatever it is you need to say," Martha said gently.

Sitting next to her, Jonathan let out a skeptical snort but didn't say anything. Just stared at Lex expectantly.

Lex licked his lips and wished for an extra dose of courage. "I..." He closed his eyes, then opened them again. "I would like your permission to..." He gulped, eyes darting to the shotgun on the wall in the family room. The shotgun wasn't the worst. "I'd like... " He paused again and the silence trickled through the room. He could feel the sweat under his arms also dripping, and his hands were damp. "I want to date Clark!" Lex blurted out finally.

The silence stretched, and Lex closed his eyes miserably. He continued with some of the elements of his original plan, now shot to heck. "Mr. and Mrs. Kent. I have a very high respect for your son, and for you, and I'd like your permission to go out with him."

After awhile, he opened his eyes. Neither of them were looking at him, instead they were looking at each other. Not saying anything out-loud, but Lex was sure there was communication there anyhow. Similar to what he and Clark had often. He wanted it like they had, for years and years and officially sanctioned and approved by the world.

Jonathan finally cleared his throat and turned to Lex. "You want... our permission?" Instead of skepticism, surprise was the main element in his voice.

"Well, yes," Lex answered, his heart beating. Nobody had made a move for the shotgun yet – that was a good sign, wasn't it? "Clark turned seventeen last week, and while we realize that's still young in our culture, in many other cultures, that's fully adult." He could tell by their eyes that his venture into history was losing them. He blundered ahead, "We... We'll wait if you want us to, but..." But it was hard and it was getting harder. He honestly didn't know if they could make another year. "Traditionally, when a boy asks for a girl, he would go to the girl's father, but Clark isn't a girl, and I thought..."

"You thought I'd be less likely to hit you if Martha was in the room too," Jonathan said dryly, filling in from where Lex had trailed off.

Lex flushed. That had, actually, been part of his reasoning. He glanced at Martha hopefully.

She was regarding him thoughtfully. "You keep saying 'we'. Does this mean you and Clark have already talked about it?"

"Well," Lex hesitated. Would it get Clark in trouble? Would it be better for him to take all the blame?

A rush of air, the door hitting the wall, and speculation was put aside as Clark stood there, his clothes wind-askew, and breathing hard. It would normally be a look that would have Lex thinking of other things, but with Clark's parents sitting across from him, Lex tried hard not to go there.

"Lex!" Clark cried. "Don't tell...!" He trailed off in horror as he looked at the tableau around the table.

Jonathan and Martha's eyebrows went up. "Don't tell us?" Jonathan drawled. "Don't tell us what, that you're already going behind our backs?" He leaned back in his chair and calmly watched his son.

Clark flushed and then looked accusingly at Lex.

Lex blinked. "You said you wanted an old-fashioned courtship," he reminded his boyfriend.

Clark dragged his hands through his hair, mussing it up even further. "I meant candy! And dates. Flowers, even. Not telling my parents about us!"

"Somehow, I like Lex's thoughts better than my son's." Martha's voice was an echo of her husband's, but also with humor laced through it.

"Oh god, we're so dead," Clark muttered, still glaring at Lex.

How was Lex supposed to know that Clark had meant that? Honestly, he already got the candy, in the form of chocolates as they were the only thing Clark would let Lex give him, and they couldn't possibly go on dates without the whole world knowing, let along Clark's parents. Well, unless he kidnapped Clark and took him to Canada. But he didn't think Clark would appreciate that either.

"You know, I think Lex is right."

All eyes turned to Martha.

She smiled. "Somebody coming about a daughter would go to the father. Therefore, I think it's only right that if Lex is coming about our son, that the decision rests with the mother."

Jonathan snorted and then laughed. He got up from his chair and leaned over to kiss Martha on the cheek. "Have fun, boys," he told them, then left the house.

Slightly baffled, Clark and Lex looked at each other without saying anything out loud.

"Sit down, Clark." Martha indicated the empty seat that Jonathan had just vacated. "Dating my son? Okay, since we already thought you were. However, now that it's out, there will be ground rules..."

.... ...