But I Left a Nooote
Clark walked into the house dragging his rather large feet. He did not want to face either of his parents, because he knew that they were going to be upset with him. He figured that he would be on the receiving end of a stern lecture. Once in a while his parents grounded him, but for the most part they were pretty understanding. And if things got too bad, he would pull out the sad face and maybe even scare up a few tears.
He hated to be deceptive with his mom and dad, but the truth was that sometimes he just knew what he had to do. And even if it didn't make them happy, he still had to do it. Like this trip with Lana for example. He just couldn't have let her go alone- that was more important than anything else. And he had almost gotten a hold of one of the artifacts, so clearly his choice had been the right one. He would just make them understand that sometimes he knew what was best.
Taking a large breath he walked into the kitchen and smiled his mother's favorite smile, the wide one where you could actually see all of his teeth. He knew that he was grasping at straws here, but desperate times call for desperate measures and all. The smile froze on his face when he looked at his parent's faces. Boy they sure did look mad. "I know that going to Shanghai and only leaving you a note is grounds for a serious lecture, but I just had to go."
His dad stood up and walked to where he was standing. "Well Martha look who has come home."
Clark didn't think he had ever heard his dad speak in that tone of voice, and suddenly he didn't think the smile was gonna help. "Look Dad, I know that you're not happy with me right now
Jonathon stopped him in mid sentence, "Why, did you also have a son who left to go to China without a passport or money or even letting his parents know? Other than a brief three line note which was oddly devoid of any details. Did you also have a wife who has spent the better part of three days crying herself sick because her beloved boy might have stupidly put himself directly in harms way in another damn country?"
Clark swallowed hard and realized that if his dad continued to get angrier he wouldn't have to worry about faking the tears. He saw his dad take a deep breath and he pointed to the kitchen table. "Sit."
Clark really didn't care for his tone. "I'm not a dog, Dad."
He heard his mother gasp, and he thought maybe he shouldn't have said that exact thing. He used his super speed to sit down, but he did it defiantly. Jonathon walked to the table where both Martha and Clark now sat, and sat down himself. "You have been totally and completely disregarding what we tell you lately, and that will stop today."
Clark began to squirm under the intensity of his father's gaze. "Do you hear me son?"
Although Clark wanted to say yes, he knew that he couldn't, because that would mean that all the things he needed to do that they disagreed with would have to stop. Maybe he would try a different approach. "Well Dad, sometimes I need to do things my way. Like I know that you're still upset about China, but I did actually have one of the artifacts in my hand. So my going to China was sort of destined."
Clark heard his mother make a snorting sound and couldn't believe it. "What a huge load of crap that is Clark Jerome Kent. That makes it all right then, all the worry and danger and all of it? Nice try."
He looked at his mother with amazement. She was always on his side in these things. Heck, most of the time she would go to his dad and smooth things over for him. While he was still pondering this turn of events, he saw his dad reach for his mother's hand and hold it across the table and she nodded.
"We have tried our level best to deal with you and all the things that happen because of your special abilities" his dad began. Clark really didn't like the way this was heading, and began to think that maybe he wasn't going to get out of this without being grounded. Damn he had things planned for every night next week.
"As much as we love you though, we realize that now you're using your abilities to do what ever suits you like running off to Vegas to get married, getting on an airplane for China, the list just goes on and on."
Clark tried to defend himself. "Look Alicia used the red rock on me, you can't blame me for that. And when I went to China I left a note didn't I?"
He looked at his dad as he said this and noticed a vein pulsing on the side of his face, and knew from experience that this wasn't good. He felt his mother touch his arm. "Look at me Clark- the entire Alicia thing could have been prevented if you had just listened to your father and me and stayed away from her. But again you did what suited you and not what we knew was best."
Clark began to get somewhat worried, but he was pretty sure that he could save things again. He looked at his mother with his saddest face, and forced his eyes to fill with tears. "Mom I know it seems that way, but I really thought Alicia wouldn't hurt me. And technically she didn't hurt me."
His father slammed his palm down on the table. "Damn it Clark, this is exactly what I'm talking about. From now on there will be no discussion about certain things in this house. You will obey us, or you will suffer the consequences of not obeying."
Clark, still trying to salvage his week said, "Well since that's a new rule, I don't think it should apply to China. The next time I break the rule, then you can ground me."
Clark was surprised when his dad actually laughed at that. "Oh you're not going to be grounded for this Clark."
Clark exhaled a relief filled sigh, "Great Dad. I'm kinda tired now, and I think I'll go and get some sleep then."
As he walked past his father he felt him grab his upper arm, and he turned to look at his dad with surprise. "Just where do you think you're going Clark?"
Why was his dad acting so weird? "I told you, upstairs to get some sleep- didn't you hear me clearly?"
"I heard you very clearly, and while this discussion is finished, you and I still have one more little thing to take care of."
Clark turned a puzzled look in his mother's direction, and was surprised to see her stand up and walk towards the door. "Mom where are you going?"
When she turned, he saw tears in her eyes and felt a small surge of panic. Before he had a chance to think about that, his dad stood up and propelled him into the living room. He still couldn't get a grip on what his dad was doing. "Sit down son."
Again he really didn't care for the tone, but in the interest of keeping the peace he did it anyway. Jonathon walked over to the bookcase, and Clark saw the small metal box that held the meteor rock. "I'm going to open this box now, and I need you to honestly tell me how it affects you."
Clark felt his heart race and could not figure why his dad wanted to do this. "Why Dad? You know that stuff makes me feel sick and weak."
His dad turned to face him with a very stern and serious look on his face. "I just told you that from this point forward there will be consequences when you disregard the rules. Going off to China without talking to your mother or me first, and with no passport or money, was a terrible decision that could have ended very differently. So for that bad choice there is going to be punishment."
Clark still was very confused about all of this. "But you said I wasn't grounded. So I just figured
"Yeah well you figured you were off the hook, and guess what- you're not. I said that you weren't grounded, because that isn't a punishment that has worked too well with you in the past. I had something a little more hands on in mind this time. Three days is a long time to worry and think Clark, and I have come up with a punishment that I think will keep you focused on obeying the rules a little better."
Clark was beginning to become more and more worried. What exactly did his dad think he was gonna do anyway? And why did it involve the meteor rock? And why did his dad look so darn grim all of a sudden? "I am going to open this box, and you will tell me how you feel. I just want you to be slightly affected. And then you are going over my knee for a good old fashioned spanking."
For a moment Clark was sure that he had misunderstood his father. Did he just say that he was going to spank him? "Dad you can't be serious, you have never spanked me in my whole life."
His father still looked determined; "Maybe that's exactly the problem here Clark. I've been far too easy on you and that stops today."
Clark's mind was still reeling, and he actually had a horrified thought that his dad was serious. "But dad I'm seventeen years old!"
"Yes that's true, but your acting like an eight year old who's only concern is getting his own way, and the decisions that you are making on your own are the wrong ones."
Clark began to honestly panic, because he knew just how stubborn his dad could be once he made up his mind about something. He would try a different approach. "Look Dad, I understand just how upset you are about what I did, but honestly a spanking? It's not like your gonna hurt me or anything- it will probably hurt your hand worse than me."
His father nodded towards the coffee table where Clark was horrified to see his grandfather Kent's oak hairbrush. "I have been on the receiving end of that hairbrush son, and trust me it hurts plenty. That may have been why I never felt the urge to run off to China and leave your grandfather a note. We'll see how you feel about it after we're done here."
Clark didn't have to fake tears, and he wiped his face still sure that he could stop this. "Please Dad?"
"Nope, this is what your behavior has earned you, and this is what you are going to get."
With that, to Clark's horror, he opened the box and as always Clark felt a shudder go through him. His dad walked to where he sat and asked him how he felt. He tried to go for the sympathy vote. "Terrible I can barely stand it dad!"
He could tell that his dad wasn't all that impressed. In fact he did feel awful, but it was far away enough that it didn't overcome him. "Can you still stand and walk?"
Clark wanted to lie, but he knew that he didn't dare, so he nodded his head that he could. His father walked towards him and grasping his arm pulled him to a standing position. Clark wasn't sure what his dad had in mind, when he suddenly turned him sideways and landed a hard swat on the seat of his jeans. "Oww that hurt!"
Not being used to pain of any kind, Clark was impressed by how much that one little swat hurt. And that made him all the more worried about the situation. Before he had any more time to think about it, his dad sat down on the couch, reached up for Clark's arm, and used it to pull him over his knees. Most of his chest was actually resting on the couch, but his behind was unfortunately in the proper position. Clark would have been mortified about this, if he hadn't been so worried about the whole hairbrush thing. And he had the feeling that his dad was in no mood to go easy either.
He didn't have to wait long to find out as his father reached over and picked up the hairbrush. "We really don't need to discuss this anymore because you know why this is happening. Let's just get it done."
Clark kept telling himself it wouldn't be that bad, that it was just a spanking and how much could a little spanking hurt anyway? His dad brought the hairbrush down first on one side, and then the other and all of his previous thoughts went right out of the window.
It hurt so bad that Clark was having a hard time catching his breath, and he began crying hard right away. His dad continued to swat him with the brush, alternating side to side. He began to squirm to try and avoid the sting of the brush, but it didn't seem to be helping because his father had an iron grip across his waist. And because of the meteor rock, his strength was not great enough to overpower his dad, so he had no choice but to stay in that position getting his butt swatted until his dad was finished.
After a few more swats he was convinced that his dad wasn't ever going to stop, and through his sobs he began to apologize and beg him to stop. He was panicked to realize that even that didn't slow down the brush. He then began to promise never to disobey his dad again, and still the brush continued, and his butt felt as if there was an actual fire back there. Finally he just couldn't stand the pain the swats were producing or the knowledge that he must have really screwed up royally to bring his dad to this point. He just put his face down on the couch and sobbed.
He had never cried so hard in his life, and then he felt his dad rubbing his back and telling him that it was all over. For some reason this kindness made him feel worse. After all he had done, the manipulations, the sort of lies, the disregarding what his mom and dad wanted if it didn't suit his purposes, he was truly ashamed. He didn't think that he would ever be able to look at his dad in the eyes again. He felt his father pull him to a standing position, and then sit him back down on the couch.
He yelped when his butt hit the couch, and he felt his dad put an arm around his shoulders. He continued to cry and then told his dad once again that he was sorry, and he really was. Clark felt Jonathon lift his chin up so that they were eye to eye, and it was as hard as Clark had thought it would be. "This is done now and you are forgiven son. But if I have to do this again to keep you on the right path I will, understand?"
Clark nodded his head that he did. And the truth was that he knew that from now on things were going to be totally different in the Kent household. Because whatever it took, he wasn't about to be on the receiving end of that hairbrush ever again. It was humiliating and painful, and he realized that he was lucky that it hadn't happened before. But he believed in what his dad had just said, and knew without any doubt that if he didn't follow the rules it would happen again.
His father gave him one last hug and standing up, walked over to the box and closed the lid. Clark was so glad to have his powers back again, and for the sting to be gone. But the truth was that he still felt very much punished and very contrite. "Why don't you go out to the barn and find your mother and apologize now. She and I discussed what was going to happen when you came home, and I know that she's worried about you."
Clark did as he was asked. On his way to the barn Clark thought about a lot of things, but mostly he thought about how hard it was going to be to stop just running off and doing what ever he thought was right. He almost smiled at the thought that he had actually been worried about being grounded. And he thought about all the fights that he had fought and won in his life, and in the end he was totally defeated by one stubborn farmer and a hairbrush. He had been totally convinced of one thing life as he knew it was about to change.
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