Banner By: Franica
‘When Bets Go Wrong’
Mia stood on the stool in front of the large pine tree, tinsel hanging from her arm as she used one hand to drape some across the branches in front of her. Bart stood at her side placing the multi-colored ornaments on the empty spots, taking his time spreading them out evenly.
“So you think I should put more money into the pot?” Mia sighed as she gave Bart a sideways glanced, before shrugging. She didn’t want to tell him what to do, because if he lost the bet, he’d probably blame her, but everyone coming to her was seriously starting to get annoying.
If he was anyone else she would have told him to double it. “I dunno, maybe you should just be satisfied with the amount of money you put in…you know?”
Bart frowned as he placed the last ornament on the tree and turned to face her. “But you said she’s been getting sick…and there’s moodiness…and a bunch of other things.”
Mia bit her bottom lip and nodded spreading the last of the tinsel on the tree as she spoke. “There is…I thought the bet closed today? Just leave it alone Bart you’re already in.”
He sighed. He and Mia were the only ones left decorating the tree. Everyone else was somewhere around the Kent farm doing their own thing. AC his wife Mera, Chloe, Oliver, Clark and Lois were all in the kitchen making sure Christmas dinner didn’t end up the same way Thanksgiving dinner had.
Apparently they felt there was strength in numbers. Victor and J’onn were outside in the cold playing basketball while Tess and Emil set the dining room table. Bart was still weary around the red head, but if Oliver and Chloe trusted her he supposed she couldn’t be that bad.
Something hard smacked into his head and fell on the floor. He blinked before glancing up at an amused looking Mia. “I called you like three times where was that head of yours?”
He grinned up at her and waggled his eyebrows as he spoke, “I was lost in thoughts of you gorgeous.”
Bart winked and she rolled her eyes pulling another ornament from the tree and tossing it at him playfully. He zipped out of the way before grabbing her hips and yanking her off the stool. Mia let out a startled yell as he tossed her over his shoulder. “Put me down!”
Bart chuckled and the commotion must have startled the adults in the kitchen because Lois, Oliver, and Chloe popped their heads into the living room to see what was going on. Mia caught sight of an upside down Oliver and she motioned her hands at him.
“Help me!” Oliver opened his mouth, but before he could say anything there was a gust of wind followed by a shouting teenager. He winced and turned towards Chloe and Lois who were grinning. The brunette shook her head as she made her way back into the kitchen.
“Are you sure those two aren’t together? Because they’ve been flirting shamelessly since you guys got here.” Chloe chuckled and Oliver dragged his feet behind her, pout on his lips as his wife rubbed a hand up and down his arm, voice amused. “Please don’t get him started…Bart and Mia are friends.”
Oliver nodded leaning against the counter crossing his arms over his chest as he spoke. “That’s right; friends and I refuse to accept them being anything else. Anyway how’s the stuffing coming?”
Clark glanced over his shoulder and glared at the blonde. “I don’t know, why don’t you come over here and find out…why are AC and I doing all the work?”
Oliver smirked and shrugged as his eyes followed Chloe who made her way back over to the cutting board.
“I made the green bean casserole…and I helped with the fish, plus I completely plan on tossing in the biscuits when it’s time…so really I’ve done more work than both of you put together. My culinary skills are exemplary.”
Chloe rolled her eyes at Oliver’s boasting and AC frowned. “Dude, we’ve been in this kitchen forever. Clark and I made the mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce and we’re working on the stuffing now…besides some of us haven’t had cooking lessons from all over the globe.”
Oliver pushed himself away from the counter and walked towards Chloe stopping behind her and slipping his arms around her waist, voice amused. “I resent that…I haven’t had cooking lesson’s from across the globe, just in three different countries, and they weren’t really lesson’s…”
AC snorted and Mera twisted a dishtowel snapping it at his rear end. He grunted and eyed his wife. “What’d you do that for?”
She ignored his question and turned to Lois and Chloe, “I think it’s about time we sent the men folk outside.”
Lois looked up and caught Chloe’s eyes. The blonde gave a short nod and Oliver arched an eyebrow as he leaned in his head down, voice soft while Lois and Mera ushered AC and Clark out of the kitchen. “What was that all about?”
She turned in his arms and smiled up at him before placing a quick kiss on his lips. “You guys are distracting us. Why don’t you head outside with Clark and AC…play some basketball with Victor and J’onn or something we’re pretty much done in here anyway thanks to you guys.”
Oliver eyed her suspiciously, but nodded. “Don’t think I don’t know that you’re up to something Sidekick, but I’m gonna let it go because it gets me out of more kitchen duty.” He cupped her cheek, leaned in and captured her lips. A minute later he pulled back brushed a piece of hair behind her ear and pressed a light kiss to her nose.
“Don’t burn down the kitchen.” He winked as he stepped away from her and headed towards the kitchen door. She glared at his back and rolled her eyes as she watched him disappear outside. Lois shut the door and waited a second before turning towards the girls. “Where is it?”
Chloe shifted wiping her hands on a towel motioned towards the fridge. “I hid it in the back of the fridge.” Lois grinned and walked passed Mera who arched an eyebrow at them as she folded her arms over her chest and glanced between the two women in front of her.
“Tell me again, why exactly we are hiding this from the guys?” Lois grunted as she pulled open the door and rummaged around in the fridge before a small ‘ah ha’ left her throat as she pulled out a large pan covered with foil.
Chloe walked over to the oven, turning the dials and preheating it as she spoke. “Because apparently they feel we’re not capable of making an edible meal, so we’re proving them wrong.”
Mera arched an eyebrow grin on her lips. “But, we didn't make that Turkey…or the Ham…”
Lois deposited the turkey in the open oven before turning and glaring at the women in front of her. “Yeah well, they don’t need to know that. Look we’ve gotta stick together, Martha was nice enough to send us the already seasoned food and a pie…don’t you want AC to think you can cook?”
Lois waved her hand around the kitchen, “Plus look around we made a whole bunch of edible stuff…” Mera shrugged not understanding why the holiday was so important anyway. “Arthur does not care if I can cook, but I’ll keep your secret anyway…”
Lois grinned and turned to Chloe who pursed her lips and spoke. “So I guess we’ve gotta put in the fish huh?” Mera made a face and Lois shouted ‘not it’ while Chloe sighed. It was going to be a long afternoon.
Tess set the last plate on the table before glancing to her left and watching Emil fold the last of the napkins. A light smile pulled at her lips. It was strange standing there in the Kent farm Christmas music playing through the house as the aroma of food wafted into the room.
It had been a long time since Tess celebrated Christmas, especially with a house full of people. Usually it was just her and a bottle of scotch topped off with a little self pity to end the evening, but not this year. This year she had friends…some might even call them a family of sorts and a man who she truly enjoyed spending time with.
It was strange how much could change in a year, she’d probably never admit it out loud, but it was nice to have people she could be herself around. The feel of a warm hand against her arm knocked her from her thoughts.
“You alright?” Her eyes met Emil’s concerned ones and she smirked and nodded. “Fine, I was just thinking this is all rather strange. I can’t remember the last time I actually celebrated Christmas.” Emil smiled. He knew that even though she occasionally mocked their small group Tess was happy to be a part of it.
“Well I’m sure it’s a welcome change,” Emil hesitated giving her a sheepish look, “did you happen to hear about the bet?” Tess laughed lightly, humor on her face.
“I have…It’s possible I even contributed to the pot…” She started to walk towards the living, Emil following behind her eyes wide.
“Really Tess you shouldn’t encourage the other team members to partake in such…frivolous antics…” He paused when she whirled around giving him a knowing look.
He cleared his throat and she crossed her arms over her chest making him swallow hard. “Is that so? Because I’m pretty sure you might have placed a little bet of your own…”
Emil flushed slightly as he stumbled over his words. “Well…everyone else seemed to be betting I couldn’t very well not place my money someone…”
She grinned and nodded, “Hmm of course not…” He opened his mouth to respond when Lois’s shrill voice carried through the room.
“Tess! Where are you? We need help, tell you little boyfriend to go play outside with the other idiots,” a loud clatter sounded, “damn it!” The red head winced and Emil sent a grin her way before backing away towards the front door and pointing towards the kitchen. “You have fun with that.”
She glared at him, voice a whisper, “Do not leave me here with them…Emil,” he waved and practically ran out the front door as she hissed softly, “…hey come back here!…” She let out a short sigh and pinched the bridge of her nose as another crash sounded from the kitchen and Chloe’s voice floated through the room as she told Lois to stop touching things. It was going to be a very long afternoon.
Oliver groaned as he plopped down on the couch next to Clark holding his stomach. “I think I’m going to explode.”
Clark nodded. “Me too…I don’t think I’ve ever eaten so much, not even when my Mom cooked Christmas dinner.”
Oliver nodded and smirked. “I’ve definitely never eaten this much…I’ve gotta say the girls out did themselves on this one…I guess we should have given them more credit huh?”
Clark laughed lightly, voice low. “I’ve gotta say I’m surprised the four of them didn’t burn down the kitchen.”
Oliver chuckled and a pillow wacked Clark in the head as Lois walked by glaring at her husband. “I heard that Smallville.” AC, Bart and Victor laughed and Clark glared in their direction. It was a little after seven at night and they were just finishing up dessert and gathering in the living room by the tree.
The fire place was going and surprisingly there hadn’t been any emergencies that Clark had to fly off and take care of which he was grateful for. Oliver watched the other man stretch out before his eyes drifted to the floor where Mia sat between Bart’s legs. He frowned slightly but before he could say anything he felt a small weight on his lap.
He glanced up and grinned. Chloe smiled as he slid an arm around her waist. He leaned forward pressing a kiss against her shoulder. “Mm I feel like I haven’t seen you all day.”
She rolled her eyes affectionately. “I sat next to you during dinner.”
He nodded his hands rubbing the small of her back, “Yeah, but we haven’t had any quality time in a while,” he waggled his eyebrows, “I miss my wife.” Chloe gave him a cheeky grin before cupping his cheek, dipping her head and placing a kiss on his lips.
Lois snorted as she walked by hot chocolate in hand, “Do you think you two can stop sucking face for a minute? Clark and I have an announcement to make.” Chloe broke away from Oliver and let out a sigh as she glanced at her cousin. The rest of the room grew quiet as Clark pushed himself off the couch and stood next Lois.
He smiled at his friends before exchanging a look with his wife. She gave him a nervous smile and he took her hands before looking back at their friends and teammates. “First Lois and I just wanted to thank everyone for coming and spending the holiday with us.”
Victor smiled from his seat next to J’onn as Did AC who was sharing a chair with Mera. Bart grinned as he spoke up, “We’re happy to be here amigo…” Everyone chuckled and Lois took a deep breath as she squeezed Clark’s hand lightly.
“The other thing we wanted to say is…well…” she bit her lower lip , glanced at Clark who motioned for her to continue, “where having a baby!” The room was silent for a minute before Chloe’s yell broke the silence and she was off Oliver’s lap in seconds pulling her cousin into a hug.
“Oh my god Lois! I can’t believe you didn’t tell me!” She laughed lightly hugging Chloe back as Victor, J’onn and AC stood to offer their congratulations.
They shook their friends hand as Lois pulled back from the blonde and shrugged. “We wanted to announce it while everyone was here. I almost told you like three separate times you don’t even know.”
Mia and Tess were the next ones giving Lois a hug and as Oliver grinned patting Clark on the back Bart stood frowning. “Damn it!” Everyone got quiet at his outburst turning in his direction.
Victor gave the younger man a confused look, “What’s your deal?”
Bart pouted. “I lost the bet!” Mia pursed her lips as the guys finally seemed to realize why he was so upset. J’onn sighed and shook his head as he shifted to the back of the room, a chorus of groans traveling around the room. Lois and Chloe frowned as they looked at each other and then there friends.
Lois arched an eyebrow, “What bet?”
Bart motioned toward her, Clark, Chloe and Oliver as he spoke. “We had a bet going to see which one of you would get pregnant first…you or Chloe. I bet on Chloe and Oliver. I mean have you seen them? They can’t keep their hands off each other.”
Lois glared and Chloe looked horrified as she glanced around the room, “Are you kidding? Are you all in on this?”
Victor had the decency to look guilty. “I might have bet on you guys too…”
AC scratched the back of his head and raised a hand. “Ditto dudes…”
Her mouth dropped open as Bart spoke. “We ALL bet on Chloe and Oliver. Great what a waste of money. Now what?”
J’onn cleared his throat and everyone turned their attention to him as he spoke. “Well that’s not actually accurate. There is one person who bet against them.”
Tess arched an eyebrow, “Who?” Lois’s eyes turned towards the red head, she should have known Tess would be involved too. She was about to open her mouth and tell their friends exactly where they could shove their bet when Mia stood, smirk on her lips and spoke.
“Me. I bet against Chloe and Oliver.” She walked over to J’onn and held out her hand.
He sighed and dug into his pocket giving her the wad of bills. “Nine hundred dollars is a lot of money for a teenager…” His voice trailed off and she nodded as she turned back around and spoke over her shoulder as she walked towards Oliver and Chloe. “No worries Martian man…”
Mia unfolded the bills and counted out half the money before holding it out to Oliver. “You’re cut.”
Oliver reached out and took the money from Mia before slipping it into his pocket as he nodded. “Nicely done.” AC, Victor, and Bart stood there mouth hanging open.
Tess shook her head not surprised as Chloe crossed her arms over her chest and glared at Oliver. “You knew they were betting on us?” Oliver shrugged, “I accidentally over heard Mia talking to Bart about it…come on Sidekick we just won four hundred and fifty bucks…you can’t possibly be mad…” He tossed an arm around her pulled her into his side.
She let out an exasperated sigh and shook her head. “I swear you’re horrible…”
He smirked and kissed the side of her head. “That’s one of the many reasons you love me.” He glanced at their friends, “It was nice doing business with you…”
They grumbled as Bart looked at Mia, while pouting. “I can’t believe you played me. You little cheat.”
She chuckled and poked him in the chest lightly as she walked towards the tree to turn the lights on. “Hey I told you not to throw in more money. Besides no one practices safer sex than Chloe and Oliver. I’m pretty sure he’s afraid that a mini him would turn his hair gray or something…”
Oliver let out an indignant noise as he frowned, “Hey…I take offense to that.” A smile broke out on Chloe’s face as everyone chuckled lightly. She took in the smiling faces around her and let out a content sigh. Oliver nudged her lightly and she glanced up at him. “Hmm?”
He gave her a strange look and spoke softly. “Why are you smiling over there?” She tilted her head to the side before looking back at the people around them. “Just thinking about how we survived our first year as a married couple…I mean here with are with our family and friends…did you ever think it would be like this?”
She turned back to him and hid face softened as he gazed down on her. Oliver cupped her cheek, voice quiet as he spoke. “No…this is better than anything I could have ever imagined.”
She beamed up at him and nodded. “Me too.”
He placed a kissed against her lips and mated their foreheads together. “I love you…”
She wrapped her arms around his waist. “I love you too.”