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The Women of Smallville 10/?

Women of Smallville</a>
Fandom: Smallville
Genre: Historical fic/book/movie adaptation, AU
Pairing: Clark/Lois, Lex/Lana, Oliver/Chloe, Lucy/Jimmy
Rating: PG13 (at most)
Disclaimer: I don't own Smallville, or the characters, or even the novel this is based on. If I did, I'd be as filthy rich as Lex.
Feedback: Silly question
Cover by: ctbn60

Summary: The girls of Smallville grow up as sisters, adopted by the Kents in 1860s Kansas. Their lives become entertwined with the Luthors and their friends.

Previous



Chapter Ten: Faith

He was reading some poetry with Lucy the next afternoon when the door to the drawing room opened and Lois ran in. She was flushed, but her eyes were sparkling with joy. Lucy looked at her sister.

“Lana?”

“Her fever finally broke. She’s going to be all right.”

Clark smiled as the sisters danced giddily, almost jumping up and down in their excitement. He felt almost envious that he wasn’t part of this happy little tableau, but then Lois turned to him and pulled him into the dance.

“Thank you,” she said softly. “I don’t know what we would have done without you.”

Clark nodded. There was no point in false modesty, but he had only done what anyone else would have. Lana was not only the sister of the girl he loved, but she was also the girl Lex loved, even if there was no hope of Lex ever being able to win her hand.

As he continued to watch the two girls laugh happily, unable to contain their joy, he thought of the past year. So much had changed. Not too long ago, he had been content living in Marseilles with his mother and brother and Smallville was a town he could never have imagined being happy in.

Christmas was indeed going to be much better this year.

***

Lana continued to improve in health, although her complexion lacked the vitality it had had before her illness. Martha had told Lois that that would return in time. Meanwhile, when she wasn’t sleeping, Lois was reading to her from one of the many volumes Clark had let her borrow from the mansion’s library, or reading from her own stories.

Lois was reading from Dickens one afternoon, calling on all her dramatic experience to perform as many voices as she could. Lana giggled as Lois imitated a gruff male character.

“He sounds like Grandfather,” Lana told her.

Lois grinned at her. “He does indeed. When I read the character I picture him as I picture Grandfather.”

“You are so good at that. Who else can you imitate?”

Lois launched into an imitation of Lionel which had Lana holding her side as she tried not to laugh too hard.

“Ooh, don’t make me laugh,” she said.

“Lana ...”

“Lois, it’s all right. I will be all right. Even the doctor said so.”

“I know. I cannot help worrying though.”

“You’re my big sister.”

“I love you, Lana.”

“I love you too, Lois.”

The two girls clasped hands, making a silent promise to always be there for each other. No matter what.

Chloe and Lucy were kept busy making decorations for Christmas two days before the holiday. Lucy had found some red ribbon and was making bows to hang on the Christmas tree that Clark had cut down for them and placed in the parlour.

Lois helped Martha to make a Christmas cake rich in brandied fruit. They still had gifts to place under the tree, but that wouldn’t be done until after they had returned from mass at Christmas Eve.

It was a happy group that made its way to church for the mass. Lana was the only one missing as the doctor had warned them about exposing her to the cold weather. She didn’t mind as she was able to sit by the hearth and read and look after the family’s newest member. Clark had found a stray kitten hiding in the grounds and had decided to give it to the girls when he was unable to locate an owner. Since Lana had been so ill, she was given the honour of naming the kitten, which she had then dubbed Mr Tibbles.

Lois and the younger girls chattered happily as they walked along the slushy streets to the church. She glanced at the carriages passing by and saw one stop just a few yards away. The door opened and Clark stepped out, looking the dashing romantic hero.

“Ladies, will you allow me the pleasure of walking with you?”

“Of course,” Martha smiled.

Clark offered his arm to Martha, who took it with a laugh and Lois took his other arm. The group continued walking. Lois could see some of the town gossips watching as they walked together, whispering behind their hands. Really, she thought. Had they nothing better to do than gossip?

Clark sat with them in the row, next to Lois. She knew he didn’t really like church, but he went because his mother had taken both him and Lex to church. And she was very glad of that. If Clark and Lex had not gone the Christmas before to honour their mother’s memory, he might never have seen her.

She noticed him grimacing a little as the reverend gave his sermon. She smiled and nudged him. He looked down at her, grinning sheepishly. Lois reached out and took his hand, squeezing it. They kept their hands clasped for the rest of the service.

Despite the wintry weather, Christmas Day dawned bright and sunny. The girls quickly dressed the house, knowing Clark would be coming. Oliver and Bruce had also joined them for the holidays. Lionel, thankfully, had chosen to stay in Metropolis.

Lois went upstairs to help Lana dress for Christmas dinner. While she was mostly well, Lana was still fairly weak and needed some help. She had chosen to wear Lois’ old maroon gown which had been patched in the back with some fabric which closely resembled the gown in colour.
There were whispers from Chloe and Lucy as they went downstairs.

“The house looks beautiful,” Lana said, knowing how hard the girls had worked even that morning to decorate. Even the kitten had a ribbon tied around his neck, although he’d clearly tried to get it off. The ends appeared bedraggled.

Lana went to sit in one of the armchairs in the parlour, but Lucy jumped up.

“Don’t sit there, Lana,” she said.

“Sit here,” Bruce told her with a grin.

A curtain was pulled back to reveal a beautiful piano. Lana stared in shock.

“Oh my!” she exclaimed, going to sit on the piano stool and touching the black and white keys with a delicate hand.

“Play something,” Chloe told her.

Lana smiled and began to play Deck the Halls. Lois looked at Clark and he grinned down at her.

“Merry Christmas, Lois,” he said.

“Merry Christmas, Clark.”

But the festivities were not yet over. Just as they’d filled their stomachs full with Christmas dinner, with all the trimmings, they heard a sound of horses outside. Martha frowned at the others.

“Who could that be?” she asked.

Lois glanced at Clark and noticed a twinkle in his eye. As if he knew what was happening. Bruce walked outside for a moment, then came back in, followed by a sight that Lois had never expected to see. For walking tall, despite his exhaustion from the long journey, was Jonathan.
Martha gasped, her hand going to her mouth.

“Jonathan. Oh, Jonathan!”

Lex entered quietly behind, supporting the man as Martha flew into his arms.

“Martha,” he said softly, stroking her beautiful red hair.

“Uncle Jonathan,” Lucy cried, running over to him.

The tall blonde man sat in the big armchair, surrounded by three of his girls who were laughing and chattering.

“Oh, this is the best Christmas ever!” Chloe exclaimed. Lana grinned at her, then looked up at Jonathan.

“Lana, thank God you’re well,” he said.

Lois turned and looked at Clark.

“You knew about this!” she accused.

“Lex wanted it to be a surprise and swore me to secrecy.”

Lois went to Lex and took his hand. “Thank you,” she said. She leaned forward slightly and pressed a light kiss to his cheek.

“You’re welcome,” he whispered.

Jonathan was looking around.

“There’s someone missing. Where is my wild girl?”

Lois blushed and went to him. He studied her.

“Why, Lois, you’re so grown up. Look at you. Can this be the same girl I left more than a year ago?”

Lois found herself blushing even harder.

“We’re so glad you’re home,” she said, kneeling on the rug beside him. Jonathan ruffled her hair with a smile.

“I have missed my girls,” he said, “but now I see you have become little women. You have all grown so much.”

Lois’ eyes filled with tears. He had missed so much but none of that mattered. He was home.
Later that afternoon, Lois slipped away from the chatter between Chloe, Lucy and Jonathan. She went outside, leaning against the fence, looking out at the snow-covered fields. She felt arms snake around her waist.

“What are you doing out here?” Clark asked softly. “It’s freezing.”

“I know, I just ...”

“Felt a little overwhelmed?”

“A little,” she admitted. She turned in his arms. “Clark, thank you. I mean, I know that Lex arranged it, but ...”

“It’s all right,” he told her. “I would do anything for you, Lois. You know that. I love you.”

“I love you too,” she said.

“Then marry me.”

“You know I can’t. Not yet. Clark, I’m sorry, but you still have college and there’s so much more I want to do. You promised me you’d wait for me.”

“I did. And I will, Lois. But one day you will have to give in.”

Lois grinned to herself. He was certainly persistent.

There were voices coming from the barn. Lois frowned at Clark and walked over. She could hear Lana pleading with someone.

“I’m not like Lois or Chloe. I never had a castle in the air. All I want is to marry a good man, who loves me.”

“Lana, I do love you. You cannot imagine how it felt to learn that you were gravely ill. I wanted to return but I could not leave your father. I promised Martha.”

“I know, Lex,” she said tearfully. “But you still won’t ask him permission to court me.”

“You know I can’t. My father would never allow it.”

“Why? I don’t understand!”

“My father believes that love and emotions are a weakness in business. He prefers me to make a match with some girl with family money, the way he chose my mother. It would be a business match. I have tried to resist his efforts but I can no longer afford to do so. As soon as Clark enters Harvard I have no choice.”

“Lex, please!”

“Lana ...”

Lex’s voice wavered and Lois knew he was struggling to hold back his own emotions.

“Lana, I ... there’s something you should know. Your grandfather has already made a bargain with my father.”

“For what?”

“He has decided that you will make a good match for Clark.”

Clark gasped. Lois stared at him in horror. It was not that she thought Lana would be bad for him, but he didn’t love Lana and Lana didn’t love him.

Lex must have heard the gasp as he came out.

“Clark?”

“I won’t do it, Lex. I’m going to marry Lois.”

“Clark, I know how you feel. But Father has his mind made up and there is nothing we can do about it.”

“Yes there is,” Clark told him with a grim set to his jaw. “I could take Lois to the city now and find someone to marry us.”

“Uncle Jonathan would never approve,” Lana told him tearfully.

“But I don’t want to marry you,” he insisted.

Lana shook her head. “Clark, I love you like a brother, and I don’t want to marry you either. It has always been you and Lois. We could all see that.”

“Why would Mr Luthor and Grandfather Clark even think it?” Lois asked.

“This is a political match. Mr Clark has some influence in the seats of power and if Father wants some of that power, then he will do whatever it takes.”

“Are you saying this is Grandfather’s wish?” Lana asked.

“I’m afraid so, Lana,” Lex said unhappily.

“Well I won’t do it! It’s not fair that he does this. It’s not fair!”

Lois sighed, closing her eyes briefly. Grandfather Clark had always chosen Lana over the other girls. It was not Lana’s fault that she had been adopted first. Nor was it her fault that the man had chosen to ignore the sisters. Time and time again Lana had stormed off in anger when he had made his favouritism toward her fairly clear.

Lois put an arm around Lana to comfort her.

“We will find a way to change his mind,” she said softly.

But Lex shook his head.

“As long as my father is alive, he will never allow it.” He looked up at Jonathan who had come out to see what the fuss was about. “I have little doubt that he will come to Smallville to formally request you to allow Clark to court Lana and ask for her hand.”

Jonathan nodded. “Then I will refuse permission,” he said. “There will be no official courting of my girls until each one becomes of age. And Lana will not be of age for another year. That should give us enough time to change his mind.”

Clark seemed to brighten. “And since I will be in college the fall after next, we do not have to do what he says for another four years after that! A lot can change in that time.”

Lex nodded. “Yes it can.”


...Continued

Comments

( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
eternal_moonie
Mar. 28th, 2012 05:15 pm (UTC)
great chapter
phoenixnz
Mar. 28th, 2012 05:16 pm (UTC)
Thanks hon
jlvsclrk
Mar. 28th, 2012 08:51 pm (UTC)
I was so happy when Lana got better and then Jonathan showed up, but then the meddling oldsters poked their heads in to ruin the occasion. Grrr.
phoenixnz
Mar. 29th, 2012 05:17 am (UTC)
Lionel Luthor the party pooper :D
theclexfactor
Mar. 28th, 2012 09:28 pm (UTC)
Lois/Lana sister love FTW! Great chapter and YAY Jonathan's home!
phoenixnz
Mar. 29th, 2012 05:19 am (UTC)
Yep, it's so nice to imagine them this way instead of rivals for Clark's affection.
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )

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