Destiny

by awehla


Reposted due to formatting problems, now you can all read it without scrolling along (tres annoying) Enjoy!


Destiny

Clark and Lana smiled as they stepped out of the limo. It was Prom night, the
Prom, supposedly the best night of an American High school student's whole
school experience. And it had been pretty cool. The band had been awesome,
the food was surprisingly good, everyone was happy whether they had a date or
not and everyone had managed to let their hair down. Chloe had managed to get
a babysitter and Lex had showed up as he had promised.

Arm in arm Clark and Lana walked to the front of the Kent house and Lana turned
to kiss him. Clark stood there looking rather perplexed, though his speech
hardly betrayed him his facial expressions did. Lana's skin flushed from
embarrassment.

"I'm sorry", she said. "I forgot".

"It's OK Lana", Clark said softly. "It would be the perfect end to a perfect
evening".

"But it can't be - right?"

"We agreed this, going to the prom was just a friend thing". That and he could
not have imagined taking anyone else.

"Clark I know its just - ". Lana paused - what could she say?

"A lot has happened the past couple of years". Clark could not bring himself
to admit he was not sure he could kiss her, to start it all again because of
what she had done in the past. But there was also the fact he would soon be
leaving and that it would be unfair for both of them to start anything - again.
"But it's prom night - we should be having fun".

"Reminiscing over old times?"

"Looking to the future," Clark said. "Do you wanna come inside?"

Again Clark wanted to run away and again that made Lana even more determined to
get everything out in the open. Even now.

They entered the house through the kitchen door. Clark went for the fridge
which was full of plenty of fresh produce but not what he was after.

"I'll be back in a sec," he said and he whooshed down to the cellar and back up
again before Lana had even managed to draw breath. She was sure he had gotten
faster in the past year she had known. He held a bottle of Californian
wine.

"Won't your parents mind?" Lana asked and Clark blew on the bottle to cool the
red fruity liquid inside. Clark opened the bottle with a cork screw.

"Dad said we can have this - it's been in the cellar for a while," Clark said
as he poured Lana and himself a glass. "I think Lex bought it for them".
Clark handed Lana a glass and she took a sip. She grimaced at the taste. She
was not used to wine, usually she drank watered down beer at the occasional
high school party.

"Is it gross?" Clark asked and he took a sip from his glass. "I think I'd be
just as happy with coke". He gulped the rest of the glass down, took the
bottle and Lana followed him into the living room. They sat down on the
sofa.

"I suppose half the senior year will be drunk by now," Lana said. And trying
to lose their virginity.

"I think Lex and Chloe are going to John Mackey's party - his parents are away
for the week," Clark replied.

"I'd hate to be there in the morning to clean up".

"I'm not sure what Christian is up to though".

"I can imagine," Lana said smiling and Clark couldn't help blushing. Well it
was prom night - so many clichs sprang to mind. American Pie and such films
had a lot to answer for. "Clark I didn't come here to talk about our
friends".

"Lana I'm leaving soon, I don't want to drag up the past again".

"This is exactly why we should talk - about us," Lana said, she could feel her
heart pounding away. She wondered if Clark could tell - he could see through
her after all, literally. "You know how I feel about you".

"And it wouldn't be fair for either of us to start anything now".

"Then why go Clark? Why can't you stay?" Lana cried taking hold of Clarks arms.

"Lana," Clark began and he hesitated. "We were going to get together a year
ago remember - it didn't work".

"Come on Clark, what I found out about you - I needed to get used to it".

"And it's been over a year".

Clark poured himself a glass of wine.

Kalel

Clark looked around him and could feel himself growing nervous. He had not
heard that voice for nearly a year.

"Now," he said out loud.

Soon the time will come my son. Jorel's voice echoed inside his mind.

"Clark are you OK?" Lana asked. He looked a bit strange.

"It's nothing," Clark replied, obviously on edge. "Lana I think maybe you
should go to the party or something".

"We're not going to talk about this?" Lana cried and Clark shook his head. She
had tears in her eyes.

"Lana I didn't want to say this but you had your chance," Clark said and Lana
stormed out of the house through the front door and Clark could feel his hands
shaking. He did not mean to push her away, he never did.

The Previous Spring - Over a year ago

Mr Hansen opened the doors of the music room and around fifty students from
freshman to senior year piled in. Lana looked surprised to see Clark sat at
the piano.

"I wasn't expecting so many of you," Mr Hanson said sounding quite pleased. "I
hope you have all prepared a song from the list I put on the notice board".

"Clark what are you doing here?" Lana asked quietly as Pete was talking to a
young girl - Sarah Nixon.

"Mr Hansen asked me to play piano for the auditions," Clark replied a little
embarrassed. "He overheard me practicing and kind of roped me in to help. Tom
Bryant was going to do it but he's sick".

"Oh right".

"Right if you can all get in groups of five depending on which songs you've
prepared obviously," Mr Hansen cried. "I want a verse and a chorus from each
of you".

Mr Hansen listened to the groups and then began listening to individuals who
showed promise. Pete, the 6th or 7th student to sing did a competent rendition
of `Your Song' and then it was Lana's turn.

Clark played the introduction and Mr Hansen glared at him as he played a wrong
note. Lana was making him nervous.

Lana's hand shook as she held the piece of paper with the words on in her
hands. She didn't really need to look at it but wanted it there just in
case.

"You with the sad eyes don't be discouraged, you must realise," she sang in a
sweet and pleasant voice which croaked slightly on the first note. Her mouth
was so dry. Her voice grew stronger with her confidence. "I see your true
colours shining through, true colours that's why I love you, your true colours,
beautiful like a rainbow". After that last note everyone in the room applauded
and Lana beamed proudly.

"That was great Lana," Clark said and Mr Hansen looked unmoved. Lana sat down
and Christian Bienek, a student who had once lived in Smallville, went away for
a while and had come back, stepped up to the piano. Clark remembered him and
he had changed a lot, he still had dark hair and glasses but he now had a lip
piercing and wore black t-shirts with jeans pretty much all the time. A couple
of boys in football jackets were whispering and making comments as Christian
began to sing.

"We belong together and you know that I'm right". His voice was deep and
soulful. "How could you play with my heart? Why do you play with my
mind?"

Pete and the girl he had been speaking to earlier - Sarah, looked at each
other, their expressions conveying the fact they were both surprised and
impressed.

"When I can't sleep at night with out holding you tight". His voice did not
seem as if it belonged to him. It was as though his voice had been stolen from
a forty year old black blues singer. "Pain in my head oh I'd rather be dead,
spinning around and around oh so we've come to the end of the road".

Lana almost felt embarrassed. He had blown her pathetic attempt at singing
right out of the water.

"Good," Mr Hansen said. The only comment he had made so far throughout the
auditions. "I think we should start reading for specific parts now, let me
just get my stuff together". He began sorting through a big pile of papers he
had sat down on a table in the corner earlier, like quite a few music teachers
Mr Hansen was quite unorganised. Everyone in the room began talking amongst
themselves.

"You could be a professional man," Pete said and Clark nodded.

"I am - sort of" Christian replied. "I sing in a club in Grandville once a
fortnight or so - depending on how much homework I've got to do".

"Which club?" Pete asked.

"The Black Cat bar on the corner of third street".

"Isn't that-?"

"Yeh its a gay friendly bar," Christian said looking at Clark for a reaction.
The pair had been good friends when they were kids.

"Don't your parents mind?" Clark asked. "Singing in a club when you're
underage I mean?"

"I don't live with my parents".

"Oh so how come you came back to Smallville?"

"They sent me back here to live with my grandparents".

"Oh yeh they've taken over the Greer's old shop" Pete said, recalling something
he had heard around school earlier that week.

"Yeh except its more of a junk shop than an antique store now," Christian said
smiling. Clark could still here a hint of a British accent in Christian's
voice, he and his parents had moved to Smallville from England around the time
of the meteor shower. "I heard Tina Greer, the daughter, was like a shape
shifter or something".

"Well Smallville has only got weirder since you left" Pete said.

"Hey Clark," Lana said approaching the three boys tentatively. "I never knew
you could play piano".

Neither did he till he had found one of his mum's old piano books one night
when he could not sleep and had taught himself to play in two hours.

"I er, never knew you could sing," Clark replied.

"Right if Mr Bienek you can sing the part of Jesus, Mr Ross and Mr Mackey you
can do the part of Judas and Miss Lang, Miss Nixon the part of Mary Magdalene
please," Mr Hansen said.

The following Monday the cast list was on the notice board outside the music
room and Clark was kind of disappointed to see Tom's name next to where it said
Show Pianist. Christian came walking along at that point with Pete and Lana.

"Hey Clark man," Pete cried. "Let us in on the good news".

"You got the part," Clark said as he looked up at the list.

Judas Iscariot Pete Ross

"Cool," Pete said as he tapped the sheet on the board where his name was
displayed.

"And I get to be Jesus," Christian said. "Now that's something I thought I'd
never get to say".

"And I got understudy," Lana said, disappointment clear in her voice.

"You've still got a part," Clark said patting her on the shoulder.

"As the deformed girl". Pete laughed at this point.

"That's not what the part is called," Clark said smiling. "Anyway guys I'll be
back in a sec I just need to have a word with Mr Hansen".

Clark went into the music room leaving the others outside.

"Mr Hansen," Clark said.

"Mr Kent," he replied. "Thanks for helping out last week by the way".

"Thing is sir I'd still like to help out with the play".

"Well I thought you would be helping Miss Sullivan with reviews and such". He
packed a couple of things into his briefcase and did not look at Clark as he
did it.

"That won't be for another ten weeks on opening night," Clark said and Mr
Hansen tucked his briefcase under his arm and looked at Clark. "You can help
the art department I suppose and if Tom gets sick again we'll need a back
up".

"I can play in the band," Clark said.

"What else can you play?" Mr Hansen asked.

"Drums," Clark replied - it couldn't be that difficult to learn.

"We don't really need anyone else Mr Kent as I said speak to the art
department," Mr Hansen said and he began walking out of the room.

"Sir have I done something wrong?"

"It's nothing personal Clark but trouble seems to have a habit of following you
around and I can't afford to let anything ruin this play, I hope you
understand," Mr Hansen said and he left the room. Clark followed and his
friends were still stood outside.

"Guess what Clark, Christians invited us to one of his gigs tonight," Lana said.

"How are we going to get to Grandville?" Clark asked.

"Well I can drive us," Pete said.

"And you can bring your friends Chloe and Lex if you want," Christian said.
"That's of course if you'll all be comfortable".

"It should be fun," Lana said smiling excitedly.

Later that afternoon Chloe was in The Torch office typing away on her computer
as usual. Clark was sat opposite her typing out the cast list for the
play.

"I can't believe Mr Hansen blowing you off like that," Chloe said. "I mean you
can be a bit unreliable at times but you're there when it matters".

"See I don't really like having that kind of reputation," Clark replied. "It
makes me more determined to prove him wrong".

"What kind of things are the art department doing for the play, sets and
stuff?" Chloe asked.

"Yeh I spoke to Miss Lopez earlier and since I got an A in art she was quite
happy for me to help".

"Well that's good, I never knew you got an A in art".

"And you being a journalist". The pair heard a familiar voice emanating from
the doorway.

"Lex," Clark cried smiling. "I was trying to get hold of you".

"Yeh Pete just saw me in the halls going on about us all going to some gay bar
tonight - is there something you're not telling us Clark?"

"Actually its gay friendly which means its open to gay and straight people,"
Chloe replied in her usual slightly defensive tone when dealing with Lex. "And
we're going to see Clark's friend do a gig".

"Well I'll be there if you're going Chloe," Lex said smiling and she blushed.
"I'll see you all in there, I've got work to do". Lex left the office as soon
as he'd entered leaving Chloe's stomach doing somersaults.

"What did he mean he'll go if I'm going?" Chloe said.

"You know Lex," Clark replied. "He's always fooling around". Chloe frowned at
that comment, Lex never fooled around.

Back in the Present (Well future)

"Wahhh," the baby screamed as Clark gently rocked her up and down. He had
X-rayed Lillian three times and she seemed physically fine. Why had he agreed
to baby-sit? Well usually it was fun.

"Clark is she teething?" Martha cried as she walked into the room. She had
been trying to do some sewing in the kitchen with little success.

"Well it looks like there's a couple of teeth coming through," Clark said as he
X-rayed her again. "Chloe did leave this Zilactin stuff in the baby bag".

"Well I suggest you use it," Martha said. "You know I used to be a bit sad
Jonathan and I missed out on this stage of your development but now I can see
how it might have been a blessing".

Clark handed Lillian to Martha and went to get a washcloth, back in a split
second he sat down with the baby who began sucking on the cloth quite
happy.

"Well it says on the instructions to massage it into the gums but she seems
quite happy to just suck on it," Clark said smiling at his goddaughter. "I'm
gonna miss you". He kissed her on the cheek and looked up at Martha. "And you
mom".

"You'll get me started again," Martha said sitting down on the coffee table and
reaching for a Kleenex.

"I'm going to England mom it's not the other side of the - world," Clark said
as he looked at the front door distracted. "Chloe's at the door".

Martha went to answer it as Chloe was about to knock and Chloe entered the
living room smiling.

"I got all our stuff sorted for graduation tomorrow," she said excitedly. "And
how's my little girl, you know Lex was real pissed off I let you baby-sit".
Chloe took hold of Lillian who was still sucking on the wash cloth.

"I hope you explained to Lex that I want to spend as much time with Lillian as
I can before I go away," Clark said. "He could have come round here
anyway".

"He was going to," Chloe said cuddling her daughter to her newly ample chest.
Lex loved it, Chloe thought she looked like a slightly chunky exotic dancer.
"Then he remembered he had to work anyway".

"I'm glad you and Lex are working out," Martha said and Clark could detect a
hint of falseness from his mother. She had been fourth in line to beat Lex up
when he had gotten seventeen year old Chloe pregnant after Gabe, Clark and
Jonathan. "Anyway I have some work to do, I'll have those trousers you wanted
turned up done for you later this afternoon Chloe".

"Thanks Mrs Kent," Chloe said and Martha went back into the kitchen. "So how
is your Mom's new business going?"

"OK I guess," Clark said. "She's started doing design stuff now for this
underwear company in Metropolis".

"Remember you owe me a flight before you go," Chloe said.

"I haven't forgotten Chloe," Clark replied wondering how Chloe's thoughts had
turned from underwear to flight like that.

"You know I was thinking about when I first found out earlier today".

"What about it?" Clark asked.

"All of it, you flying me to the hospital - I was so glad you trusted me
Clark," Chloe said. "And after that whole Lionel wanting me to investigate you
thing".

"Well that happened a long time ago".

"And you had tried so hard to keep your secret and-"

"I wasn't going to let my secret stop me from helping a friend," Clark said.

"Total change of conversation but how are you and Lana at the moment?" Chloe
asked. "She said you don't want to get back with her".

"I'm going away, it wouldn't be fair".

"No I totally agree with you, and you've so moved on since then, she was with
that Jason guy for like ages".

"Thank Lex for getting me that work Visa," Clark said. "When I go to Australia
they have special agencies for travellers to get work but in England you should
really have the proper paperwork".

"You are so lucky," Chloe said, getting excited for her friend. "I mean screw
Journalism College; you'll get to learn everything about writing travelling
around the world".

"You're lucky too," Clark said stroking the top of Lillian's head gently.

"Do you think you'll be able to have kids Clark?" Chloe asked looking at her
first born in her arms, Clark stroking her head, it was a picture.

"Who knows?" Clark said getting embarrassed. "All the parts are there, they
seem to work".

"You look human, I don't see why you couldn't have kids, our DNA can't be that
different," Chloe said. "You'll find someone Clark, don't worry".

"I still feel like a kid sometimes".

"Well maybe after we graduate tomorrow they'll be some magnificent
transformation into adult hood," Chloe said and she looked down at Lillian.
"Then again I've already had that, see you tomorrow Clark". Chloe headed for
the door.

"Chloe, I'm having a goodbye dinner next week, will you come?" Clark asked.

"I wouldn't miss it for the world," Chloe said and Clark helped her carry the
baby bag to the car.

The Previous year

Ooh you're moving to fast and I don't think its right I'm not giving you my
love tonight.

A dance tune filled the club and crowds of people were dancing. Lex was stood
at the bar waiting for the others to show up. He could see Clark and Pete
pushing through the crowds to the bar area where Lex was stood. As Clark and
Pete moved out of the way Lex saw Chloe and Lana who had been walking behind
them. Lana was dressed in tight leather hipster trousers, a pink strapless
corset style top, her hair was scraped up in a high ponytail and she was
wearing bright pink lipstick and little black open toed shoes with very high
heels. Chloe was the real surprise though dressed in a short black skirt she
kept feeling she had to pull down, black shiny boots up to her knees and a low
cut dark red top, dark red lipstick and her hair was crimped and rather trashy
looking Lex thought.

"You both look so different," Lex said, his words slightly slurred. "I might
have to run away with one of you, Chloe". Lex picked Chloe up in his arms and
began running across the bar as Chloe screamed.

"Lex what has got into you?" she cried. "Put me down". Lex carried on running
around like an idiot Pete, Clark and Lana watching on rather puzzled at the
usual cool mans odd behaviour. Chloe managed to kick Lex in the groin area not
too hard and he dropped her on the floor.

"Nice underwear," Lex said as he helped Chloe up. Yet again another `non Lex'
comment.

"How much have you had to drink?" she asked. She didn't know whether she liked
drunk Lex.

"Not much," he replied. "Just five beers".

"Well if you're going to be so playful maybe you've had enough".

"I'm sorry Chloe, I don't know what came over me," Lex said his expression all
of sudden serious, he was out of breath too. "I want us to be friends".

"I thought we were already," Chloe said smiling. "Now get me a diet coke".

Lana went to the ladies room and Pete and Clark ordered drinks for the three of
them since Chloe and Lex had gone off together. Pete nudged Clark and nodded
his head towards a pretty red haired barmaid.

"She's hot, do you reckon she's gay?"

"I don't know Pete maybe I should X-ray her and find out," Clark quipped.

"You can do that?" Pete cried and Clark gave him a look as if to say `no Pete'.
"Oh".

"Anyway Pete I thought you liked Sarah".

"Nah she's just a friend, a very hot very sexy friend," Pete said and Clark
laughed as the club went silent for a moment.

"And now the man of the hour" a man stood on a platform towards the back of the
club announced. "It's Black Cat regular Christian Bienek".

"Very superstitious," Christian sang into the microphone as the band behind him
played. "The writings on the wall".

"Oh good I didn't miss the start," Lana said to Pete and Clark as she came back
over to the bar.

"Had a bit of trouble finding the bathroom?" Clark asked.

"No I was talking to Jason," Lana replied looking at Christian singing rather
than Clark.

"What is it with you two?" Clark asked. Jason Trebus had been in their class
for years and all of a sudden she and him were like best friends.

"We're friends," Lana replied. "Like you and me Clark".

Lex and Chloe walked back over to the trio.

"Your friend's very good Clark, how come I've never seen him before?" Lex said.

"Christian used to live in Smallville, he and his parents moved here to be with
his grandparents when he was three just before the meteor shower, they then
moved to Grandville when he was nine and now he's come back to Smallville to
live with his grandparents," Clark explained. "We were good friends".

"Could you tell he was a bit different when you were kids?" Chloe asked. "You
know that would suggest he was gay".

"Well he didn't have a secret desire to play with dolls or anything Chloe,"
Clark remarked, a bit defensive. "He was a regular kid -like me".

"Regular like you Clark," Lex said with a grin.

Christian finished his set after forty-five minutes, a mixture of Stevie
Wonder, Justin Timberlake, The Beatles, even a bit of `old blue eyes' and the
audience loved it as usual. He came to join the others for a dance, the music
of Outkast was followed by Daniel Beddingfield which was followed by a new band
called Mystique.

The way you move so scandalous

Lex, Pete and Christian were dancing with the girls and Clark was happy to
watch. They had all had the benefit of at least one drink, Clark had
discovered in Metropolis he could have a gallon of beer and not be effected in
the slightest.

"Come and dance Clark," Lana cried. Clark looked at her and could not help
feeling guilty, guilty that he wanted her so much. He had found out even his
own father had not been above feeling lustful, maybe that was the effect Earth
had had on Jorel but the fact is Clark was on Earth permanently, permanently
conflicted, permanently horny.

It's all about the two of us, a one night stand just aint enough

"I need some stimulation baby, a little conversation maybe," Chloe sang along
looking up at Lex. She had quite a knack for picking up the words to songs.
But boy she was drunk, there had obviously been some vodka in that coke. She
felt like she could take Lex round the back right now, up against the wall.
Her heels might make her just tall enough but then again Lex worked out, he
might be able to lift her up.

Clark was dancing awkwardly with Lana and he realised after half an hour or so
no one really cared what he looked like and neither should he.

"That guys checking you out," Lana said to Clark nodding at a black guy stood
in the corner and she began giggling.

"Lana according to you every guy is checking me out even the straight ones"
Clark said.

"They are," Christian remarked.

"Ooh my phones vibrating - it might be Jason," Lana cried and she ran out of
the club into the street.

"Lana," Clark cried.

"She'll be all right, the bouncers will keep an eye on her," Christian said.

Get off

Clark could hear Lana shouting outside and he whooshed out of the club.

"Where did Clark go?" Christian asked as he turned to see Clark had disappeared.

"He always does that," Lex replied, suspicion not present in his voice though
he felt it. "You get used to it".

"Get off her," Clark cried as a man struggled with Lana to take her bag.

"Stay out of this kid," he cried pointing a knife in Clark's direction. Clark
knocked the knife out of the guys hand and Lana turned and kneed him in the
balls.

"You bitch," he said and he ran off leaving Lana's bag and phone on the floor.
Clark helped her pick them up.

"Are you OK Lana?" Clark asked.

"It was Nell on the phone, she hasn't called me in like two weeks and she had
to call now and this happens," Lana replied getting tears in her eyes. The
vodka was getting to her.

"Lana no harm was done," Clark said and he laughed. "Except to that guy".

"What will I do Clark when you leave Smallville and I don't have you to save me
anymore?"

"Lana I'm not going anywhere," Clark said. "Shall I take you home?"

"Yeh I suppose we can get the next bus".

"I'll just text Pete and let him know".

For Clark and Lana the hour and a half bus ride back to Smallville was one of
the funnest parts of the evening. The alcohol had made Lana rather chatty and
funny and some of that rubbed off on Clark. For once they were not discussing
anything serious, nothing bad had happened and they could just enjoy being kids
on a night out.

Clark and Lana managed to get off the bus half way between the town and the
farm but by the time they got back to Lana's house it was one a.m. Clark
followed Lana up the stairs to her room as she kept putting her finger to her
mouth and shushing him. He wanted to make sure she got in her bed rather than
collapsing half way up the stairs. Lana opened the bedroom door.

"I don't think Chloe's back yet," she said as Clark followed her into the room.
Lana closed the door. Clark began nosing around the room looking at the
various posters on the wall, the pictures by the beds. Clark picked up a care
bear off of the bed and smiled.

"Whose is this?" he asked.

"That's `Love a Lot Bear'," Lana replied snatching it off him. "He's mine".

Clark tripped over Lana's slippers on the floor and fell back onto Lana's bed.

"Just what I've always wanted," Lana said chucking the bear on the floor.
"Clark Kent in my bedroom and on my bed"

"Lana," Clark said, embarrassed. "Maybe I should go".

"Clark not yet," Lana cried as she knelt at the end of the bed in front of
Clark. "I wanted to thank you again, you're always there for me".

"I thought I was always letting you down," Clark said as Lana's face moved
closer to his.

"I know you think I'm just drunk Clark but I still care about you," she said in
a soft voice.

"What about Jason?" Clark asked.

"It's not serious or anything," Lana replied. And that was good enough for
him. As Lana kissed Clark on the lips softly he pulled her down on top of him
and they began kissing passionately. Clark could feel his stomach doing
somersaults, it was as though their bodies could not be close enough, their
lips could not move fast enough and Lana still a bit drunk couldn't help biting
his mouth in the over excitement. But Clark did not mind, it was kinda sexy.
Lana opened her eyes and straddled across Clark realised all of a sudden there
was a distance between them and the bed. "Oh my God Clark".

Clark looked up and realised the ceiling was closer than before and felt like
he was about to throw up. This was his worst nightmare. He would not have
minded if his body had betrayed him like most teenage boys but this was not
most teenage boys, this was - awful. There was no way he could explain this
away - no way. Lana was not that drunk.

"Clark what the hells going on?"

"Lana it's OK it'll stop in a minute," Clark said quietly trying to shush the
girl up.

"You mean you're doing this?"

What else had she thought was going on? A ghost perhaps?

Clark closed his eyes and they fell back on the bed causing a large crash.

"What are you girls up to?" they heard Gabriel cry from down the hall.

Lana immediately jumped off Clark.

"What the hell happened there Clark? You said you'd never been effected by the
meteor rocks but well obviously-" Lana hissed.

"Look Lana I can explain," Clark cried. He was desperately upset but Lana was
caught up too much in her rant.

"You lied to me Clark and-"

Clark reached out for her hands.

"Don't touch me," she snapped.

"I didn't get effected by the meteor rocks I, I wasn't here during the meteor
shower in Smallville I mean," Clark began to explain.

"Keep away from me," Lana almost screamed, she was crying. Completely freaked
out.

A few moments before and Lex and Chloe were walking across the grass up to the
Sullivan house. Chloe was laughing and chatting away holding Lex's hand and
twirling around like a little girl. Lex loved to see her like this. The
hard-nosed journalist routine he knew was just a cover as was his cool rich guy
routine.

"I am going to be so sick tomorrow " Chloe said. "And guess what Lex we've got
a maths test too and I didn't study".

"A right little rebel Miss Sullivan," Lex replied.

"Kiss me Lex," Chloe said suddenly after a few moments silence.

"OK," Lex said smiling and he leant down and cupping her face in his hands
kissed her on the lips gently.

"You can do better than that," Chloe said and she began kissing him back
passionately. Despite her youthful clumsiness Lex was quite taken aback at
what had been bubbling up inside his blonde friend. His friend he was kissing
and he was loving it. They could only breath through their noses for so long
and when they looked up to catch a breath Chloe began laughing.

"What?" Lex said.

"You've got my whorish lipstick all over your face," Chloe replied smiling.
She handed him a tissue knowing he wouldn't want to wipe it all over his four
hundred dollar suit. "See you later Lex".

"Bye". Chloe let herself in the house, waved at Lex one more time and walked
quietly up to her room. She could hear her dad snoring like a power drill.

"Clark just get away from me," Lana cried and Chloe taking hold of her handbag
strap stormed into her room to find Clark sat on the bed and Lana cowering in
the corner crying hysterically.

"What?" Chloe cried. "Clark get away from her".

"Look Chloe this isn't what you think," Clark said in that insistent and honest
tone of his but Chloe wasn't buying it.

"Clark get out before my dad wakes up," Chloe said a surprising maturity and
calm taking over. Clark got up and left the room, left the house as Lana broke
down in Chloe's arms. She would not insist Clark was not a monster, that
nothing had happened because in her eyes at that moment he was the liar who had
been making out with her and floated them both up in the air. Clark said he
was not effected by the meteor rocks, so what else was he? He certainly wasn't
human. So much that had happened, Perry White thinking he had powers, being
able to beat up three guys and throw one onto a car, what the freak killer had
told her, the flashbacks to 1961, how he had zipped from one place to another
in an instant the night Adam was killed, what had happened with Lex's car - at
that moment so many incidences filled Lana's mind and she had to cry to stop
her brain exploding.

One thirty a.m. and Clark was back at the Kent farm, he had gone as fast as he
could. Martha and Jonathan hearing the door open came rushing down the stairs.
Where had he been till this hour?

Clark looked up at them with tears in his eyes but some how managed to stop
them flowing. Even though Jonathan had been a somewhat sensitive role model
for Clark but crying just was not a very Kent thing to do.

"Clark what happened?" Jonathan asked, trying his best not to sound accusatory.

"Lana knows," Clark replied as he closed the door. And what he had feared for
the past few years had happened, she did not understand.

"Knows what Clark?" Jonathan knew exactly what he meant.

"Maybe you should start from the beginning," Martha said as Clark followed his
parents into the sitting area. Martha and Jonathan sat down on the sofa and
Clark sat down in the armchair.

"We went to this club," he said. "This place in Grandville, to hear my friend
Christian do one of his gigs".

"Christian Bienek?" Martha cried raising an eyebrow. "I heard he was back in
Smallville, his parents sent him back here because of something that happened
between him and a male school teacher".

"Well it was a gay club," Clark said, a little taken aback by what his mother
had just said. He had never realised she could be such a gossip. "Lana went
outside the club to answer her phone and she nearly got mugged".

"But you used your powers to save her," Jonathan interjected.

"I wish". Clark swallowed hard. "Anyway I took Lana home on the bus and this
is so embarrassing, we were making out on her bed and-"

"What son?" Though his tone was considerate the loudness of it showed Clark he
was angry.

"Lana was on top of me and well, we ended up floating in the air, not for very
long. And we crashed back on the bed".

"Like when you've floated in your sleep a couple of times," Martha said.

"Yeh and well she just freaked out, wouldn't hear anything I wanted to say, she
just shouted at me".

"What did she say?"

"Just that I lied to her about me not being effected by the meteor rocks, I
said I hadn't been and she was shouting at me and crying, she was a bit
drunk".

"Maybe she won't remember," Jonathan said.

"Oh she'll remember, Chloe walked in and well - now she thinks I'm some kind of
date rapist".

"Chloe wouldn't think that about you," Martha said and she went over to Clark
and gave him a hug.

"Perhaps you should talk to Lana tomorrow and explain son - you'll have to tell
her the truth," Jonathan said.

The next day during morning recess Clark felt as though the whole school was
watching as he walked through the halls to his locker. Pete was waiting for
him.

"Clark man we have to talk," he said. "I can't believe what everyone is
saying".

Clark nodded and they went into an empty classroom.

"What are they saying Pete?"

"That you tried to get it with Lana and she said no and you got erm a bit
heavy, that you turned violent," Pete said nervously. "Some guys on the
football team were talking about it and I was like there was no way you'd do
anything like that and that Lana's just tripping".

"Thanks Pete".

"So what did happen?"

"It's kind of embarrassing," Clark said and he took a deep breath. "Basically
me and Lana were making out and I was floating in the air and we both were and
she started going crazy. She knows Pete".

"Then why has Lana been telling people you attacked her?"

"Well Chloe heard her screaming and she saw us - she thought I was trying to-"

"But Chloe wouldn't spread rumours, that's not her style".

"Maybe someone overheard Chloe and Lana, maybe Lana told Jason or one of her
other friends I don't know. I just need to talk to her and we can get this all
straightened out".

"Well we've got track next period maybe you can get her alone then".

"Good idea Pete".

"You know Lana's probably just mad that you lied to her Clark, it was a shock,
she'll calm down".

"Yeh you're probably right, I was supposed to be in love with her and I lied to
her".

"Well this isn't any ordinary lie," Pete said and the bell rang for next period.

"Shouldn't you be out on the field with the other students?"

Chloe jumped to hear Lex's voice behind her as she was sat at her computer in
the Torch office.

"Lex," she said flushing from embarrassment remembering his kiss from the night
before. She composed herself. "I told Mrs Peterson I was on my period".

"Not with that short skirt you were wearing last night," Lex remarked with a
grin.

"Well that was last night, this morning normal service has resumed," Chloe
replied. "Once I've got rid of this hangover". She took a sip of her coffee
which had gone cold and Lex handed her a fresh one from the Talon he had been
keeping behind his back.

"Not too full of regrets I hope," he said.

"Thanks," Chloe said taking a sip of the fresh coffee. "I wasn't myself. But
at least this time I was just drunk and not infected by some cave parasite or
weird flower".

"Chloe you have to relax sometimes".

"Do you Lex? Do you ever just veg out on the sofa watching crap on TV eating
popcorn?"

"If I had someone to veg out with maybe," Lex said. "How about it Chloe?"

"Is this your way of asking me on a sort of date?"

"Nothing sort of about it. I mean I could ask you to a fancy restaurant or the
opera instead if you like".

"No TV is fine," Chloe said, she could not quite believe what was happening.

"Just one other thing Chloe," Lex replied and he bent down to kiss her again.
She kissed him back less hungry than before. They were in her school. And
this time she knew it was going to happen again.

Lex walked back to the door.

"What time do you want me to come round?" Chloe asked.

"Seven OK, we can order pizza" Lex replied.

"OK". Lex smiled and just like that he was gone and so was Chloe.

Clark ran alongside Lana down the track. Mrs Peterson and Mr Grayling the
coaches were too busy chatting amongst themselves to notice the separate
classes had decided to merge into a co-ed one. Lana ran faster.

"I wouldn't bother Lana unless you've broken the sound barrier lately," Clark
cried.

"Anything else you want to tell me Clark while you're at it?" Lana retorted in
an annoyed tone.

"Lana I just want to talk to you and explain".

"I don't want to talk to you Clark, what happened last night, you scared me,"
Lana said and she stopped running. She was out of breath and Clark talking to
her only made it harder to breath.

"You don't have to talk to me Lana, just listen," Clark said and she nodded and
still out of breath she followed him under the bleachers and into the boiler
room. Some of the other kids watched confused.

"I didn't think Clark had done anything," one girl said. "Lana is just a
tease".

"Where did you guys hear that stuff from?" Pete asked.

"We heard it from Gill from the cheerleading squad".

Clark closed the door behind him.

"Leave it open," Lana said.

"I don't particularly want anyone hearing this Lana," Clark snapped. "I mean
what do you think I'm going to do?"

"Fine".

"Look Lana I'm not a meteor freak".

"You keep saying that but you floated up in mid air Clark, what other
explanation is there?"

"Lana I didn't want to lie to you but what I am it had to be kept a secret,"
Clark said.

"Just spit it out Clark".

"OK I'll just say it," Clark said and he swallowed hard and looked Lana right
in the eyes. "I'm not human".

"You must be human," Lana said, incredulously. "You look like a human, you
kiss like a human, you eat, you sleep, what was happening in your trousers last
night seemed pretty damn human to me".

"The reason my father sent me here, I guess its because I do look and seem
human but I'm not. I was born on the planet Krypton".

"Krypton?" Lana cried. This was just getting stupider. "Why aren't you living
there now? Why are you living with the Kent's?"

"The planet Krypton doesn't exist anymore," Clark said. "I'm the last one left,
my father sent me here to save my life because he couldn't save them".

"So you're biological parents are dead," Lana said and her anger dissipated for
a moment. "I'm sorry Clark".

"And you understand why I couldn't tell you?"

"Yeh I guess. How did you get here?"

"In a space ship"

"Can I see it?"

"I blew it up," Clark said. "Long story". Clark felt suddenly excited, more
relaxed, perhaps Lana would be cool with this.

"Wait a minute Clark when exactly did the spaceship land?" Lana asked, a
terrible thought had just entered her mind, it made her sick just to think
it.

"It was during the meteor shower".

"The meteor shower that killed my parents," Lana exclaimed loudly, her hands
shaking. "No wonder you didn't want to tell me".

"Come on Lana don't you think I've thought the same thing, that things would
have been so much better in Smallville if I hadn't come here," Clark cried but
Lana could not sympathise with him. All of a sudden Clark looked some how
different - like a monster.

"You're right Clark," she screamed. "There was a reason your race was dying,
why that planet exploded what good did it do for your father to send you
here?"

"How dare you question my father?" Clark snapped almost shouting, the anger
boiling up inside him.

"Well, maybe if he'd thought before he'd acted all of the bad things that have
happened in Smallville the past fourteen years could have been avoided," Lana
said, she paused for a moment and began speaking again in a softer voice. "So
that drifter Jo, that guy who looked like you - he was an alien, that was your
father".

"He sent me to Smallville because of how the Kent's helped him when he was on
the run. He knew Hiram Kent and his wife were expecting my dad, he knew there
would be good decent people here to take care of me".

"Why all this fuss over you? One life and for you all these people had to die,
all these kids who could have had normal lives were mutated". Lana's hands
were shaking. "I could have had a normal life Clark".

"I know you're mad but I was like two or three years old I couldn't control
what happened".

"But you could control the fact you lied to me for the past three years," Lana
said and she suddenly felt tired.

"Well don't you understand why I had to lie?" Clark asked, annoyed. "What I am
is like the biggest secret in the history of the world". Clark felt suddenly
stupid saying that but it was true and he would realise that one day.

"How can you be so arrogant?" Lana exclaimed angrily and she went to hit Clark
in the chest and he grabbed her wrist as lightly as he could. She looked up at
his face, he still looked the same, but the fact was he was a liar. And the
fact he was indirectly responsible for everything that had happened since the
meteor shower, the pain that caused her to hear that, to know that, was almost
crippling. They looked at each other just breathing for a moment. Clark let
go of Lana's wrist and she turned away from him. "I need time to digest this,
I'll make sure no one else at school thinks you, you know I-". Lana left the
boiler room and Clark had to stop himself lashing out, just because he was
angry did not mean the schools heating should be broken.

Clark left the boys changing room without waiting for Pete or Christian as he
would usually and the two boys looked at each other, Pete looked rather pensive
and Christian raised an eyebrow.

"Shouldn't we go after him?" Christian asked.

"You can man but aren't we supposed to be rehearsing?"

Christian shrugged his shoulders, did the Velcro up on his sneakers and
followed after Clark. He was still stood in the hall looking kind of lost.

"Are you all right Clark? Did you and Lana have another argument?"

"It doesn't matter".

"Clark nobody thinks you did anything to her, you're not that type of person".

"It's not about that," Clark said and he began walking, Christian followed.
"Well it is, she found out something about me".

"Well I can't imagine it was anything bad - this is you we're talking about,"
Christian said smiling as they walked towards the exit of the school grounds.
Clark found himself following Christian and not really paying much
attention.

"I'm not that same goody goody kid I was back when we were ten".

"I know, you ran away to Metropolis but you didn't do it to be bad, you were
upset."

"What do you know about it?"

"People were only too happy to fill me in about you Clark".

"And you were asking?"

"People just remember us being friends before I went to Grandville," Christian
said. "Anyway what did Lana find out that was so bad?"

"It's not exactly something bad - just different".

"Like being gay?"

"Well it is sort of," Clark replied thoughtfully. "Except `coming out' for me
would be a bit more difficult".

In half an hour Clark had followed Christian to the edge of a cornfield they
used to play in as children. Clark followed Christian through the long grass.

"I remember this place.." he said smiling and looking around.

"Clark this stuff with Lana.." Christian said a more serious demeanour over
coming him.

"..There used to be a fence here".

"..It hasn't got anything to do with when we were kids".

"Huh?"

"That fence that used to be here - it fell down -nearly fell on me - and you
-you were seven and you stopped it".

"You remember that huh?" Clark said, nervously. Who else was going to find
out? Too many people knew already.

"Don't look so worried Clark. I'm not going to tell anyone, the less I know
the better".

"Then why bring it up?" Clark asked, defensive and annoyed.

"I wanted you to know I remember, it was pretty weird this seven year old kid
lifting a massive fence but that's not what I remember most about you. You
were always a good friend and you still are now even though we hadn't spoken in
like seven years. I mean most straight guys freak if they find out one of
their friends is gay".

"It makes no difference to me".

"Maybe that's because I was straight with you about it. The power of secrets
Clark is that they're secret and they involve lying and the lying is usually
worse than the secret".

"I think that's why Lana is so pissed off, because I lied".

"But if it's an honourable lie Clark, sometimes secrets have to be secret for a
reason. The world isn't black and white, Lana should realise that".

"I guess," Clark said. "When did you get so wise?"

"You have to make a lot of mistakes Clark," Christian said looking out across
the field towards a small farmhouse. Some mistakes he had enjoyed more than
others.

Graduation Day 2005

"When you're weary, feeling small, when tears are in your eyes I will dry them
all," Christian sang. He was stood in front of the glee club who were stood in
five neat rows, Seniors in graduation robes, the younger students in smart
clothes.

"Mr Kent take your place," Coach whispered annoyed as he shoved Clark in the
direction of the glee club. Clark smiled at the boy next to him embarrassed as
he stood at the end of the row.

"Sail on silver girl sail on by," the choir sang.

Lex held Lillian in one arm as he held a state of the art video camera in the
other. Chloe afraid to watch signalled to her Dad to take hold of the baby and
Lex handed her to him.

"Clark has changed," Gabe Sullivan said to Martha. "He would have been too shy
to sing in public before".

"Well I guess no-one else can hear him in a group anyway," Martha replied
smiling. "I think he just wanted to help his teacher out, they were lacking
bass singers". Clark had always got good grades but he had really come into
his own in his senior year, becoming sub editor of The Torch and practically
running it single handed during the later stages of Chloe's pregnancy, joining
the glee club, the Student Arts and Student Volunteer committees and the swim
team. Martha and Jonathan believed swimming was probably the fairest sport
Clark could join in respect of his powers. Then there was the flying and the
fact Clark had decided all by himself to travel the world rather than go
straight to college.

The glee club finished their performance and there was a large applause from
the other students, staff, family and friends who had all come to take part in
the ceremony. `Bridge over troubled water' had been Christian's choice since
Clark had stated `You'll never walk alone' by Gerry and the Pacemakers would
make them sound like a British soccer crowd.

Lana stood at the front of the glee club felt pretty miserable. Clark had his
parents, Chloe had her father, Lex and the baby, Christian had his grandparents
and who did she have? Nel could not get away from her new job and Henry Small
was helping some cause in West Africa. She was alone again on what was
supposed to be this great day. Jason had turned up but she did not want him
here. What made it all worse was the fact Clark was still adamant he did not
want her anymore. They all sat down and it was time for the awards. Everyone
in the football team got a little medal, Clark got an award for coming first in
a recent swimming race, completely unfair Lana thought since he put no effort
in for that whatsoever, he also along with four other students got an
`outstanding contribution' award I suppose for all his contribution to the
school though his first three years had been pretty half arsed. Christian got
an award for being top in Physics and of course for music, though for him he
just opened his mouth and the sound came out. Lana had a lot to live up to
with her mother being valedictorian but though Lana had good enough grades to
get into college she had failed to excel. What made it worse was despite her
three months studying in Paris she had come second in the Art exhibition to
Halle Nichols. Though she never usually cared about that sort of thing today
it really mattered. Or did it? Was this bitterness due to the fact that
no-one was here for her yet again?

"And now to address the school, alumni and guests the class of 2005's
valedictorian Miss Chloe Sullivan," Principal Reynolds announced and the crowd
burst into rapturous applause as Chloe stepped up to the lectern. She flushed
embarrassed, her hands were shaking and she looked over at Lex and the baby and
her dad. After childbirth she could do anything.

"Thank you," she said. "First let me say I never once dreamed it would be me
stood here making this address today. I also know there were many of you who
tried to stop me because as most of you know I'm an unmarried mother. I want
to take this opportunity to say that none of us are perfect, perfection is not
what being Valedictorian is about. It's about honour, achievement, setting an
example and working your ass off". There was laughter. "We all have our flaws
but me having a child is not one of them, in fact being Valedictorian comes no
way close to being a mother. However we all want success and we all want
recognition and something like this is a big boost to the ego. To see how well
everyone has done today makes all the hard work worthwhile-".

Lex watched his girlfriend as Jonathan filmed the speech for him. Chloe was so
smart, so beautiful and wonderful and for once Lex felt he belonged. He
actually had everything he wanted now. He just hoped this time, as he patted
the ring in his pocket, Chloe would not say no.

"Lastly I would like to thank my father for all the fantastic support he has
shown me over the past year and well my whole life really, thank you everyone,"
Chloe said, she felt like crying but instead tried her best to smile. She did
not want to turn into some soppy mess like Gwyneth Paltrow or Halle Berry at
the Oscars. She would save that for her first Pulitzer prize.

As everyone went up to the podium to receive their scrolls Principal Reynolds
shook their hand and people's pictures were taken.

"Mr Kent," Principal Reynold's cried and he almost laughed in amazement. "You
know I'm not sure you want to know this but you came a pretty close second to
Miss Sullivan".

"Me?" Clark asked surprised.

"I suppose it came down to who had worked the hardest for the longest".

"I'm just glad I didn't have to make a speech". Principal Reynolds laughed at
this and the cameraman took their picture.

Lana was next and Clark waved to her as he went back to his seat.

Once everyone had received their scrolls the graduates threw their hats in the
air which proceeded to blow away in a huge gust of wind.

"Clark was that you?" Chloe asked quietly.

"Chloe no, we have to return those hats remember," Clark cried as everyone
began chasing after them.

Lana was laughing trying to get a hold of one when she was distracted by a
voice from the crowd.

"Lana," Henry cried and she ran towards him immediately.

"What, how did you get here?" Lana exclaimed.

"By plane like everyone else, I'm sorry I missed it Lana".

"You're here now Henry that's all that matters".

"Where's Nell?"
"She couldn't come," Lana said and Henry immediately felt even more guilty.
"I'm sorry Lana".
"Lana I got you your hat back," Clark said handing it to her. "Hello Mr
Small".

"Clark, hello," Henry said. "That's a hell of a lot of jewellery you've got
there". "Oh my awards yeh," Clark said embarrassed.

"Hey are you two coming?" Chloe cried. "Lex is inviting everyone back to the
mansion oh and Mr Small you're welcome too".

"Well if a Luthor is paying," Henry remarked and he, Clark and Lana followed
Chloe.

Clark and Chloe sat eating a large chocolate cake in Lex's kitchen. The room
was huge and almost like a restaurant kitchen in that respect. They had
decided to escape briefly from Christian's singing, Lex gushing about how
wonderful Chloe and the baby were and everyone telling Clark he was a `dark
horse'.

"Clark, what do you think you'll do with your powers? I mean you weren't
planning on hiding them forever I assume," Chloe said as she piled her fork up
with another mound of chocolate. She had to make up the extra calories for
breast feeding some how.

"Well I'd like to use them to help people".

"Which you kind of do already".

"Yeh but there are certain things I have to watch happen because if I used my
powers everyone would see".

"And what would be so bad if you told everyone anyway?"

"I could never have a normal life, remember Eric when he got my powers-"

"So that's what happened," Chloe cried excitedly. "How did that happen?"

"Well it was a mixture of lightning and Kryptonite".

"Maybe there's a way you could still use your powers and still just be a
regular person," Chloe said thoughtfully.

"Maybe".

"You know you did really well Clark".

"Says you Miss Valedictorian".

"I know I still can't believe it".

"You know I'm gonna miss you Chloe," Clark said taking hold of Chloe's hand.

"I'll miss you too Clark," Chloe said as Lex walked into the kitchen.

"Hey hands off my missus," he cried and Chloe a little pissed off by that
remark decided to ignore it as Clark took his hand away. Clark would think he
was just joking but since she had found out Clark's secret Lex not knowing what
really was going on was starting to suspect there was something between them.
He knew Clark would never do anything but Lex was just as jealous of any
possible feelings as well as actions.

"Anyway I better go and see Mom and Dad I haven't really spoken to them much,"
Clark said and he left the kitchen.

Chloe, full of cake still felt a need to do something now she and Lex were
alone. Reading her mind as she stood up he put his arms around her and kissed
her on the lips gently at first and then more passionately as he could hear
Chloe's breathing getting heavier. Her need for him was as much as it had
been, they had not been together much more than a year after all.

"You know it's been five months," Chloe said. "Much longer than the six weeks
the doctor said".

"What you want to do it right now, in the kitchen?" Lex asked, smiling.

"Well no but we could sneak upstairs," Chloe replied.

"So Clark what are you doing after graduation?" Felice asked, an irritating
blonde asked.

"I erm am going to England," Clark replied.

"Wow, are you going to College there?"

"I'm not sure I'm going to College, I just want to see some of the world, you
know see what's out there".

"That's nice," Felice said flicking back her hair as Lana approached. "Lana
did you know Clark's going to England?"

"Yeh I am aware," Lana remarked annoyed. "Clark can I have a word?"

"Yeh sure," Clark said.

"We were talking," Felice snapped, she sounded like a spoilt brat.

"And it was nice," Clark said as he followed Lana out onto the balcony.
Another couple were stood outside but after Clark blew some cold air in their
direction, they decided the wind was too cold and to go indoors.

"You look sad Lana," Clark said. "Are you OK?"

"I just think its starting to sink in, you know that's it for high school now
we've got to grow up and make lives for ourselves" Lana said, thoughtfully.

"Yeh I suppose the last time we'll all see each other is next week".

"Oh yeh you're going to cook for us," Lana said smiling.

"Don't look so sceptical, I can cook".

"You're not going to use that eye thing are you?" Lana asked sticking her hand
up in front of her eyes and waving.

"No Lana I figured I'd use regular pots and pans and an oven".

"I wish you didn't have to go".

"Well other people are leaving too," Clark said starting to feel guilty though
he knew he had no real reason to. He had to do what he wanted for once.
"Chloe and Lex are moving to Metropolis with the baby when Chloe starts her
journalism degree and Christian is going to New York-".

"Don't remind me".

"I thought you would have caught the travelling bug from going to Paris".

"Well it's not as easy as that Clark, I just got back the Talon and I don't
have any money to go to college," Lana said.

"What's Lex doing about the Talon?"

"Everything will be the same except he'll be in Metropolis," Lana said.
"Clark, why are you going to travel?"

"Lana I can fly I might as well use my ability and besides I want to learn
about the world, see places, experience other cultures, Lana this is going to
be the best experience of my life," Clark said and Lana's heart sank at his
enthusiasm. She had never seen him so excited, he had been going on about all
the stuff he was going to do for weeks. Stuff he was going to do without
her.

"Are you sure you're not running away from something?" Lana asked.

"You never give up do you?" Clark replied annoyed.

"What?"

"You're purposely manipulating this
conversation". Suddenly a loud high
pitched noise pierced through Clark's brain.

Kalel, the time has come

Clark placed his hands on his head and cried out in pain.

"Clark are you OK?"

"It's my father," he said.

"Jonathan?"

"No, it's Jorel," Clark said. "I have to go".

"Let me go with you".

"Lana knowing my father - Jorel - it's gonna be weird".

"Please Clark you shouldn't go alone," Lana insisted and Clark scooped her up
in his arms. "Oh no you're not flying me".

"We don't have time to argue," Clark said and looking behind them he began to
float up the side of the mansion, making sure to avoid any windows and then
began flying over the fields of Smallville. Lana was terrified and if Clark
was not invulnerable she would have bruised his arms very badly indeed she was
holding on so tight. She kept her eyes closed but could feel the air getting
colder.

The noise had stopped as Clark flew in the direction of the caves.

"Lana open your eyes," Clark said as they flew over the main street of the town.

"No".

"You're not going to get hurt".

"You used to be scared of heights".

"That's before I knew I could fly, open your eyes".

Lana slowly opened her eyes and seeing the street so far below her screamed and
closed them again, Clark laughed. She opened her eyes and saw that she
recognised the Talon.

"It looks so small from up here," she said. They landed at the mouth of the
caves a few minutes later and Lana followed Clark holding onto his arm, she
could not see much.

"Well," Clark said holding out his arms shouting at the brightly patterned
walls.

There was silence.

"Are you sure your father wanted you to come here?" Lana asked, frowning.

"That's what I felt, I heard his voice, a horrible noise, this has happened
before".

Except Kalel, this time, you are ready.

The Previous Spring..

"Hey," Chloe said as she walked into the Talon that evening. Lex was sat
reading the Smallville Ledger drinking a cup of tea. He had felt like
something different from coffee.

"Hi," Lex said. "How are you?"

"Fine," Chloe replied and she sat next to him and lowered her voice. She
noticed Lana at the counter and looking in their direction. "I just wanted to
make sure everything was OK, you know thought we could have the mandatory post
date talk".

"Really?" Lex asked looking up from his newspaper and into Chloe's face. She
was so gorgeous he wanted to kiss her right now. He could actually feel
himself getting hot, thankfully he never blushed not since he was a little boy.
If looking did this much to him well. "What does that involve then?"

"Oh the usual, we discuss whether we enjoyed ourselves and whether we want to
do it again".

"Well I say yes to both of those things," Lex said.

"Just one other thing, what do we tell people? I mean we can't can we? If the
press found out you were dating a high school student".

"Chloe you are the press".

"Very funny, I'm being serious Lex".

"No you're right it would be best to be discreet, we wouldn't want your father
finding out," Lex said. "I did fire him".

"And he'll get a new job soon".

"Firing aside Chloe I did spend two hours last night kissing his teenage
daughter".

"I'm just glad you shaved".

"I don't need to shave Chloe".

"Oh I thought it was just your hair, I mean head hair that you lost in the
meteor shower".

"No, I lost most of it".

"What like body hair - you have eyebrows though?" Chloe said, surprised and
wrinkling her face up in that cute way that she did.

"Well yeh I have eyebrows but there is other hair that is missing - at least
now it won't be a surprise," Lex said and Chloe could feel her stomach doing
summersaults. With her previous dates, she couldn't even call them boyfriends
as they would have had to last more than five minutes to be that, body hair and
nakedness had never really been an issue, sex had never been an issue. Now she
was seventeen and it looked like sex was about to be an issue, one she could
easily contemplate exploring - with Lex.

"It's not like I have anyone to compare you to - I mean," Chloe said the words
just falling out of her mouth and she blushed realising what she was implying.
"Did I just say that?"

"We'd have to talk about it sooner or later Chloe".

"We've only been on one date".

"Maybe we should go on a second".

"But we can't go anywhere if we're supposed to be keeping it a secret".

"We can go where nobody knows us," Lex replied smiling.

"You're going to Mexico," Lana exclaimed laughter in her voice. Was Chloe an
alien too or what now? Chloe began packing some essentials into a blue
rucksack. "How long are you going for?"

"Just for tonight, Lex is taking me to a restaurant".

"There are plenty of restaurants in Grandville or Edge City".

"But someone might see us there, Lex can fly us to Mexico in his jet in like a
few hours".

"When did you decide this?"

"Last night".

"So that's why you came straight home without going to the Torch, your dad
thinks you're sick," Lana said. "You and Lex? When did this all happen?"

"I've always had a bit of a crush on Lex, haven't you?"

"Not really - he's just my boss," Lana lied shaking her head in disbelief.
"Chloe are you crazy?"

"Lex are you crazy, I mean Chloe?" Clark exclaimed, amazed. He had popped
round for a game of pool and a chat and had been greeted with the site of Lex
packing a red rucksack.

"We're just going on a date Clark - nothing else".

"To Mexico?"

"Acapulco to be more specific, I know a great place there. I'm gonna do this
right this time Clark".

"But Chloe's still at school".

"You know Clark in less than a year Chloe is going to be 18 and no-one is going
to care how old we are, it's only six years difference".

"And you're just going to a restaurant, where are you going to stay?"

"We can sleep in the jet on the way home".

"Wow - you and Chloe," Clark said and he sat down on a burgundy leather chair
by the fireplace. "My two best friends".

"You can't tell anyone Clark, the minute anyone else knows about this it's
ruined".

"Don't worry Lex I won't tell anyone, just promise you won't hurt her, and be
honest," Clark said and a look of sadness swept over his face. "I wasn't
honest with Chloe about Lana and she was really hurt".

"Like I said Clark I wanna get this right". "Well good luck Lex," Clark said. "Is it OK if I hang around here? I don't
really feel like going home".

"Sure Clark, Lana troubles again?"

"Do I have any others these days?"

"Well it seems every week you've got some new problem Clark"

"Well yeh, there's always something happening in this town," Clark said.
"Can't wait till I leave".

"Well not yet I hope".

"Well not yet but eventually".

There was a knock at the door and one of Lex's staff bought Chloe into the
library.

"Clark," Chloe said surprised.

"Hey Chloe," Clark said smiling.

"We better go," Lex said. "See you later Clark".

"You guys have a great time," Clark said and Chloe smiled glad that Clark
seemed OK with this - unlike Lana.

"Bye Clark," Chloe said and she and Lex headed for the car outside which would
take them to the airfield and their second date.

It was late afternoon the next day and Clark was sawing into a piece of wood
with his hand. He had decided to take some wood from a fallen tree to make the
cross look more authentic but then remembered Christian had to hang off it so
he would have to sand it down pretty well. He could hear Pete singing in the
auditorium from the art room with his super hearing. Pete was pretty talented
and under Mr Hansen's direction he was getting better. It was amazing the
potential that was hidden inside people - he should know. Clark quickly picked
up a saw as he heard footsteps down the hall.

"Clark", Chloe said as she walked into the room.

"Hey Chloe," Clark said with a sheepish smile standing up and putting his saw
on the floor. He had just remembered that other than the brief moment he had
seen her last night the last time he had seen her was when he was in her
bedroom with Lana.

"Clark, Lana told me about the other night - I'm sorry I ever thought you would
get heavy with anyone let alone Lana".

"That's OK, Lana was upset and I was lying on her bed and well you just put two
and two together".

"Well you were always better at maths," Chloe said looking around the room.
The painted sets were almost finished and hung up to dry, other props were in
the process of being made, Clark had been busy. "Wow Clark - did you do all
this?"

"I had some help".

"These backdrops look great".

"Thanks".

"You know at the risk of sounding like a teacher Clark I always thought there
was more in than you let on, being modest is great but you could achieve a lot
more. If you put all that energy you spend moping about Lana into school -
" Chloe said and she paused for a moment. "Then you're always saving somebody
or helping someone out - you can do things to help yourself too".

"We're not all as ambitious as you Chloe".

"See I think you are Clark, you're as good a writer as me and -".

"Really?"

"Yes silly, you just let me boss you around".

"I kinda like it," Clark said smiling and Chloe gently hit him on the shoulder.
"Chloe - how was last night?"

"Ahh I did wonder when we'd get onto that".

"I just hope you had a good time".

"It was fantastic," Chloe said and she sighed.

"Hey I don't need to know any of the gory details," Clark said holding up his
hand briefly.

"Nothing like that happened Clark, we're gonna wait a while," Chloe said. "Do
you think that's lame?"

"No, that's cool, you have to be sure Chloe especially if it's your first
time," Clark replied. "Sorry I don't want to embarrass you-" "No you're
right, I've never, have you?"

"Me? No" Clark said almost too insistent.

"You know a lot of guys wouldn't admit it".

"Well I'm not a lot of guys," Clark said in a way that he knew he sounded like
a clich. He laughed and Chloe could see Clark was actually blushing but he
kept on talking. "My dad always said you have to be real comfortable with
someone to do something like that and trust them 100%, Mom used to say `if you
can't walk around naked in front of someone then you shouldn't be having sex
with them'".

"You're mom used to say that?"

"Yeh her and Dad have always been into that `open about sex' parenting deal".

Chloe picked up a wooden bowl, felt how smooth it was and then put it down
again.

"Clark, what did happen between you and Lana the other night?"

"Let's just say she saw the real me," Clark said, apparently glum.

"I would have thought that would be a good thing", Chloe replied quietly and
she turned towards the doorway and the pair could hear laughing in the hall.
"Someone sounds happy".

Lana and Jason appeared in the doorway giggling and Jason leant over to kiss
Lana. Noticing Clark and Chloe watching she pulled away.

"Hey guys," Jason said. "Wow look at all this cool stuff - did you do all this
Clark?"

Clark nodded and smiled, Jason was a nice guy, a nice guy who was holding
Lana's hand.

"This sort of thing comes naturally to Clark," Lana remarked, Clark was annoyed
at this, having super powers did not make you good at art and even if it did so
what?

"So are rehearsals finished for today?" Chloe asked, she could cut the tension
with a knife.

"Yeh, I'm taking Lana for a pizza," Jason said smiling. He reminded Chloe of
Whitney in some ways.

"Yeh it's not Mexico but I like it," Lana remarked glancing at Chloe.

Mexico? Jason thought. There was definitely something odd going on between
Lana and her friends he would do good to stay out of. They all stood silent
for a moment not looking at each other.

"Anyway we better go," Jason said and he and Lana carried on down the hall.

"Well that was awkward," Chloe said.

"Yeh I'm sorry".

"I suppose you and Lana will be friends again soon you always make up in the
end," Chloe said. "And this time next year none of this will matter".

(2005)

"What exactly am I ready for?" Clark shouted out at the wall and then realised
there was probably no need to shout.

"To face your destiny Kalel," the voice of Jorel replied.

"Kalel?" Lana asked, frowning.

"It was the name my biological parents gave me," Clark replied surprised he had
not told Lana that before. "I thought you had finished with me last
summer".

Lana looked around at the cave walls, nervously, where was the voice coming
from? This was all so weird and scary no wonder Clark was so affected by this
place.

"The girl should leave, this is your path to follow Kalel - alone".

"Maybe you should go Lana it's not safe in here".

"You don't have to listen to him Clark - he's dead," Lana remarked, annoyed.

"I know I don't have to listen but I want to, it can't hurt to listen".

"Ok Clark," she said and she nodded and made her way out of the cave Clark
surprised by the ease with which he had got to her leave.

"Why do I have to be alone?" Clark asked after Lana had left.

"You are young, you will not be alone forever but this journey is best
undertaken alone with no hindrances".

"What journey?"

"When you were with me before that was your preparation for what is to come.
You are now ready to leave Kalel, leave those behind who have shaped the man
you have become. To discover the third planet and its people. ".

"How do you interact with me as though you're still alive?" Clark asked.

"I am your fathers memory, a telepathic imprint, I react just as he would".

"So it's like you live forever".

"I live on in you as you will live on in your children".

"You know I've already decided to travel, you don't need to try and convince me
this time".

"I know you are having doubts".

"It's only because I'm not sure I want to leave Lana".

"And yet she causes you so much pain".

"Isn't that what real loves about?" Clark quipped.

"No, not at all. Not when there is no joy in return," Jorel replied quite
seriously and it made Clark think. Was Lana right for him?

"I always thought love was a human thing".

"But you discovered the relics I left from my time on Earth".

"Yeh, I learned you were in love once too".

"I was young. But even now I appreciate humanity. I would not have sent you
here if I did not believe in the compassion, nobility and potential in these
people. You will help them find the good in themselves Kalel".

"So if you want me to leave and I want to leave - what is this all about?"

"This is goodbye Kalel - it is time to face your future. And one warning - the
path will not be an easy one. You must keep your eyes open for those who will
try and stop you in your goals".

"You said you would be with me all the days of my life - I always remembered
that".

"And I will, I and your ancestors are with you in everything you do - remember
that. You do not need my guidance now but one day in the future if you need me
again I will be there for you - my son".

"Don't go," Clark cried out but there was nothing. Just the cave walls - the
map of Clark's destiny.

Lionel walked into the mansion library that morning to find Lex and Chloe
tidying up. Clark, his parents, Lana and Pete were also helping out in another
room in the house.

"There was a party and I wasn't invited why son I am offended," Lionel quipped
looking around at the mess. "Oh yes the class of 2005 graduated
yesterday".

"What are you doing here? I thought we agreed you were never to come back to
Smallville" Lex asked, annoyed.

"I came to see my granddaughter, is that a crime?"

"She's asleep," Chloe said.

"You should be lucky I would even show an interest in that bastard child,"
Lionel said looking at Lex and ignoring Chloe. "Especially after what you did
to me".

"What was that exactly?" Chloe snapped. "You tried to blackmail me because I
wouldn't find out stuff about Clark for you, fired my father, made Lex think he
was crazy, tried to kill me and my father and Lex and you're accusing Lex of
something".

"He's with you Miss Sullivan, that's enough of a betrayal regardless of the
fact you both let a dying man go to prison," Lionel replied. "She's only after
your money son, can't you see that? Either that or she thinks if she stays
with you I'll leave her alone"

"I still live with my father, Lex doesn't give me anything except for the baby
and I can take care of myself" Chloe said. "I'm not scared of you".

"Chloe maybe you should go and see to Lillian, me and my father need to discuss
this between the two of us," Lex said seriously. "I'll tell you everything
when we're done".

"OK," Chloe said and she left the room. Lex was surprised at how easily she
left, what he did not know was that she was planning on asking Clark to
eavesdrop for her.

"Are you OK son?" Jonathan asked as Clark swept the same spot on the floor for
the fiftieth time.

"I know it sounds dumb but its like I'm gonna miss him, a strange voice - he
wasn't really a person. He died like 18 years ago," Clark replied. "You know,
why are we wasting our time doing this?" Clark began whooshing around the room
tidying at superspeed and at this point Chloe entered the room. Clark finished
tidying and the room looked spotless.

"You mean we've been doing this for the past hour and you could have done the
whole house in like a minute?" she said smiling. Lana was annoyed as she
finished putting the cushions back on the sofa. She did not know what it was
but sometimes she hated Clark using his powers - she blamed them for keeping
them apart. It was because of them he had had any secrets in the first place.
That and it made him different to her - his powers were like an invisible
barrier sometimes she could not get her head around. What was more irritating
was that Chloe seemed fine with it - she liked his powers. "Clark can you
listen in on Lex and his Dad for me - I've been dismissed from the room?"

"Chloe I can't do that - it's not right".

"Clark you listen in on people all the time".

"Only when I need to".

"I'm sorry I just hate him being here," Chloe said. "I mean how can Lex talk
to him as though nothing has happened after everything he has done to all of
us?"

"None of us want him here Chloe but he is Lex's father," Jonathan remarked.
"Now I suppose we better get started on the gardens".

"This may be a hard concept for you to understand but Chloe loves me she
doesn't care about the money and she's not with me because she's scared of you"
Lex cried. "That's just a paranoid idea on your part, wouldn't it make more
sense for her to break up with me because of what you've done to us?"

"If it wasn't for your money she wouldn't be able to move to Metropolis".

"Moving to Metropolis is good for both of us".

"And all the while son she's making a fool of you".

"How's that?"

"You must have noticed what's going on between her and Clark Kent".

"Her and Clark have been friends for years, he's Lillian's Godfather".

"You haven't noticed the way they talk quietly and shut up when you walk in the
room, the way they look at each other," Lionel said.

"Unless you've been spying Dad how would you know? You haven't been around".

"On your orders son, so I've had to keep an eye on things, otherwise I'd have
no idea what's going on - like you seem to have no idea Lex".

"And what do I have no idea about exactly?"

"Clark Kent - like me you've had your suspicions for some time".

"Suspicions?"

Chloe noticed Clark had not being paying attention at all for the past few
minutes as she had been talking.

"Clark you said you weren't going to listen in on them".

"They're talking about me Chloe".

"What are they saying Clark?" Jonathan asked, the usual intenseness in his
voice that was always present when there was a possibility Clark was in
danger.

"Chloe and Clark are just friends, they've been friends for years, Clark's my
friend too," Clark relayed to the group in a monotone as he carried on
listening.

"What exactly is Lionel Luthor accusing us off?" Chloe exclaimed angrily.

"It's the secret Chloe," Lana said. "Now you know about Clark and Lex doesn't".

"So what?"

"Shhh you two," Clark hissed, angrily.

"I wasn't suggesting something as vulgar as Chloe having an affair with Clark
Lex, Clark would never do that. I was thinking perhaps something even worse.
Could it be possible that Chloe knows about Clark, what you've wanted to know
for the past four years? What nearly broke up your friendship with Clark for
good?" Lionel said. Lex could not tell whether Lionel really knew something or
not, Lionel was such a convincing liar perhaps he did not even know
himself.

"Chloe would have told me," Lex said, unable to hide the emotion from his voice
as well as his face.

"What if Clark told her not to?"

"Look Dad I don't know what this is about. What kind of test you're putting me
through, what kind of sick minded scheme, whether you just want Chloe and I
split up, I don't care - just get out".

"Even if I offered to tell you what it is about Clark Kent that has kept us all
baffled, in exchange for you not marrying Chloe Sullivan, would you turn it
down?"

Lex hesitated.

Chloe back in the other room waited for Clark to relay the answer.

"I haven't asked her to marry me yet, I was going to do it the other night
but.."

"Regardless, I make no secret of the fact I do not think she and that child are
good enough for my son".

"That child is my daughter".

"You didn't answer me Lex".

"Just get out," Lex said and Lionel shrugged his shoulders and made his way to
the doorway.

"I know you're trying to do the honourable thing Lex, but just because you get
some girl knocked up-"

Lex shook his head, it had been much more than that.

Chloe, her heart racing, looked along the chemist shelves. Ahh condoms. Right
next to the pregnancy tests, not exactly reassuring, she thought with a smile. OK ribbed ones, extra safe, extra sensitive, fruit flavoured, extra large, how
about just regular plain old condoms? Extra safe? Chloe picked up a box and
looked around to make sure she saw no-one she knew. She had thought about
going to a chemist out of Smallville but how sad would that have been? She was
perfectly legal and grown up enough to buy some dumb old condoms. And Lex
would be impressed she had come prepared and probably glad that after four
weeks she had finally come to the decision.

And she was ready. She had seen Lex naked, he had seen her naked, she had
touched him and everything and he had touched her. There was just one last
step to take and Chloe couldn't wait!

She turned round to walk to the cash desk and bumped right into Jonathan Kent.

"Hi Chloe," he said smiling and then looked down at the box of condoms in her
hand. She flushed bright red and he nearly did too. "I just came to get my
medicine".

"Look I won't embarrass you any longer Mr Kent, I'll just go and pay for these
and we'll say no more about - it," her voice trailed off at the end of the
sentence as she almost ran to the counter to pay. Jonathan wondered who the
lucky man was but also hoped to God Chloe knew what she was doing.

She paid for the condoms ignoring the funny looks from Mrs Fredericks and
smiling at Jonathan ran out of the chemist and into her car. No time like the
present.

"Chloe you're early," Lex said looking at his watch, it was six o'clock and
Chloe did not usually come round till about seven.

"Is that OK?" Chloe asked smiling closing the door behind her.

"No it's fine, did you want some dinner?"

"I thought we could eat afterwoulds," Chloe said throwing her bag down in the
hallway and she put her hands around his waist and they began to kiss
passionately in the hallway. The only sound was of their breath and their lips
moving.

"Let's go upstairs," Lex whispered and Chloe took the box of condoms out of her
bag and followed him up to the bedroom. "What are they?" Lex nodded to the
box of condoms in Chloe's hand.

"I thought I better come prepared, just in case we want to".

"Oh I want to," Lex said as he began to kiss Chloe again, she began undoing his
shirt that clumsy way she always did. "I love you".

"I love you too," Chloe replied her stomach leaping at the sexy way Lex always
said those three words to her as his shirt slipped onto the bed. She liked his
chest, it was completely smooth but not plastic looking like some gross body
builder, it was more masculine than that. Chloe took her jacket off and threw
it across the room hitting a lamp and Lex burst out laughing as Chloe flushed
embarrassed and he pushed her down onto the bed. Chloe could feel a longing, a
feeling, in her stomach, was it her womb? She wasn't sure but whatever it was
it made her want Lex inside her right at that minute. She was scared but she
didn't care. Chloe sat up and took her top off and grabbed Lex's crotch.

"There it is again," Chloe said. "Whenever I take my top off".

"It was hard before that," Lex replied taking off her pretty purple bra and he
began kissing her breasts, his kisses gradually going lower down her body. He
pulled her skirt up and pulled the matching purple French knickers down. Was
he going to go down on her again? Chloe thought. Last time she had nearly wet
herself from excitement, nearly came. The `nearly' had annoyed Lex but Chloe
had read enough sex columns to know that the female orgasm was more elusive
than the media would let you believe. She knew when she could let go she would
let go big style. Chloe took off her skirt and Lex began touching her. She
laid down so she could touch his penis at the same time. They began kissing
again and Chloe gasped as Lex dug two of his fingers inside her. Just fuck me
Lex, she thought. Should she say it? No he would probably keep on teasing her
till she was going to explode if she said that. He was sadistic in that
way.

Lex opened the box of condoms, took out one and Chloe grabbed it.

"Let me see," she said and she felt its rubbery material. "It's quite thin".

"Thankfully," Lex said and he put it on. Chloe could not look, ahhh! It was
going to be in her any minute now.

Lex lay on top of her and after a bit of fumbling about began to push it in
inside her.

"Ow," Chloe said.

"Are you OK?" Lex asked, concerned. He actually thought whether he had ever
made love to a virgin before and he was not sure he had. He thought how
important this would be for Chloe, he could not fuck it up. This was
serious.

"Carry on - it's got to go in there sometime," Chloe insisted. Lex pushed
harder and it stopped hurting, Chloe gasped as she felt him inside her. She
wasn't sure how but she knew how to move her body with his and she grabbed his
arse, wanting him as deep inside her as possible. Lex groaned and it was all
over. Chloe looked at the clock, after all that and from her coming to the
door to Lex coming, it had been about twenty minutes. They both breathed
deeply staring into each others eyes and Lex smiled embarrassed. He always
felt embarrassed after sex for the first few times anyway. Chloe smiled too
and Lex got up off of her slowly and carefully. In all the excitement when he
took off the condom and put it in the bin next to the bed he neglected to see a
tiny little tear in the top of it.

"I am starving," Chloe said sat up on the bed and she grabbed one of Lex's
bathrobes.

"Not getting dressed?" Lex asked.

"What's the point?" Chloe replied with a cheeky grin. "When my dinners gone
down, we're doing that again".

"Yes Mam," Lex said, stood to attention in more ways than one, Chloe thought.

"Hey Chloe," Clark cried and she turned away from her locker embarrassed.
Would Clark be able to tell? No of course not, it's not like he could see
inside her or something.

Chloe did look different, Clark thought. She was happy!

"Hi Clark". She wondered if Mr Kent had said anything about the condoms. "Hey
Christian". Christian walked up behind Clark and tapped him on the
shoulder.

"You look tired," Clark said and Chloe blushed.

"Do I?" she said nervously.

"Actually Chloe I meant Christian looks tired".

"Well Clark I would tell you why but I wouldn't want to warp your innocent
mind," Christian said smiling.

Courtney Bryant who was handing out leaflets in the halls approached Clark,
Chloe and Christian and handed them each a leaflet.

"Abstinence drive tomorrow night at 7, should be fun," she said smiling.

"You do know I'm the schools resident queer right?" Christian remarked in a
bitchy tone throwing the leaflet on the floor.

"Christian don't be like that," Clark said smiling sheepishly at Courtney.

"There's hope for everyone," Courtney said not letting Christians comment
effect her in the slightest. "You can always become a secondary virgin".

"We might come," Clark said picking Christian's leaflet up and Courtney smiled
and carried on her crusade.

"What did you tell her that for?" Christian asked.

"I'm not really going," Clark replied. "I just felt sorry for her".

"Abstinence is proving pretty popular lately," Chloe said thoughtfully.
"Though it's not for everyone, I couldn't imagine waiting till marriage".

"It might kind of nice to wait for the right person".

"The right person but not marriage, do you really wanna end up a 30-year-old
virgin Clark?" Christian remarked as if the idea was some how repugnant.
"Anyway are you two coming to the play rehearsals?"

"Might as well," Clark said. "Nothing better to do"

"I need to get the pre show comments so yeh sure," Chloe said. "Only three
weeks till curtain up".

"Can't wait," Christian said twirling around in the hall linking arms with
Clark and Chloe, Clark was laughing and bumped into Jason in the hall who was
with a jock wearing a football jacket.

"Sorry," Clark said.

"You should watch the company you keep Kent, you were starting to be cool, but
hanging about with gay boy here, people will start putting two and two
together," the jock said and he shoved Clark slightly.

"Just because Clark is comfortable enough with his sexuality to hang out with
Christian," Chloe said. "You guys strut around whacking each other on the back
and grunting, thinking you're real men, you wouldn't know a real man if he
punched you right in the face".

"Hey Jason, maybe that's why things didn't work out between Clark and Lana,
Clark wasn't quite man enough for her".

"Do you wanna fight or what?" Clark exclaimed angrily his face only an inch
from the jocks. Chloe had seen that Clark before, in Metropolis.

"Clark don't mate you could really hurt him," Christian said.

"See he calls him his mate".

"Well?" Clark cried standing with his legs apart and holding up his fists.

"Come on David," Jason said. "I'm supposed to be at play rehearsals".

"OK," David said. "Let's leave the gay and the psycho to it".

"Bye," Clark said waving his hand in a rather effeminate way and he noticed
Chloe looking at him rather disapprovingly. "I didn't mean any of that, I
wouldn't really have fought with them".

"Well you're kind of scary when you act like that Clark," Christian said.

"Well that's not the real me, it's just the only way to deal with people like
that".

"Come on guys, I think some of the costumes are being fitted today," Chloe
said.

Lana walked up the steps to the top of the loft where Clark was simultaneously
reading a book on astrophysics and one on earthquakes for his science project.
He had been unable to put the complicated book by Dr Swann down but had to do
his science homework and decided he could probably do both at the same time,
and he could. This boy, unlike others could definitely multitask.

"Hi Clark," Lana said smiling sheepishly.

"Lana," Clark said nervously and he stood up knocking all his books to the
ground. God, why was it she still had the power to make him feel like that
sometimes? Well it was different now. He had become relaxed and comfortable
in her company when she didn't know his secret and they had become friends, now
she knew his secret they would have to start all over again.

"You're parents were surprised to see me".

"Well we haven't really spoken for a month," Clark said tidying his books up.
"Look can I just finish these notes I was making for my Earth Quake
project?"

"I, OK," Lana said frowning. What was she supposed to do? Watch him while he
did his homework.

Clark sat back down and began whizzing through the book, Lana watched in
amazement, could his notes actually make sense writing that fast. After three
minutes Lana's eyes were hurting, Clark was moving faster than she could
follow. Another minute Clark closed his books, looked up at Lana and smiled.
She laughed nervously at the weirdo and sat down on a beanbag.

"Clark, I'm sorry I haven't spoken to you for a while, it's just I've needed
time to get used to you and well I was angry that you lied as well".

"I know but Lana you must understand that from your reaction, you can see why I
didn't tell you," Clark said and he moved his chair closer, leaned down and
took her hands. "But the feelings, they were always real, I did love you".

"Did?" Lana asked, she felt the warmth of his hands and was almost tempted to
kiss him again. But this Clark she wanted to kiss, he was an illusion. The
real Clark had weird scary powers - the real Clark wasn't even human. Even
more bitter tasting was the fact that the real Clark was indirectly responsible
for the death of her parents.

"I do love you Lana, I know you loved me too, I know you didn't know about my
secret but the powers, being an alien it's not who I am. Who I am is what I've
shown you every day since we've known each other," Clark said smiling and he
stood up and looked out of the loft window at the sunset. Lana noticed he
could look directly at the bright yellow and orange. "I'm Clark Kent. The
slightly geeky, slightly cool guy, who gets good grades at school, the guy
who's always late, the guy always helping out the old folks or saving someone
from a fire, the guy who's been in love with Lana Lang since he was eight years
old. Lana being the guy who can lift up a car or take a steel bullet, who can
see through things-"

"You can see through things," Lana said, tears forming in her eyes.

"They're like extra's, bonus features, the powers are what makes it able for me
to help people, I know I lied but I lied to protect you".

"What can you see in me Clark?" Lana asked.

"I can see you're heart is beating way too fast, you're stomach is churning,
you're mouth is as dry as a bone and you're skin - you're body is really
beautiful," Clark said and Lana began to shake as if she were about to cry.
Clark leaned forward and wiped away the tear. So close to her face he kissed
Lana gently on the lips. She kissed him back passionately and Clark got out of
his chair and lay on top of her kissing her. She could feel the warmth of his
arms around her as she placed her hands on his back. She could feel him
getting hard.

"Clark," Lana said suddenly. "You're heavy".

"Sorry," Clark said smiling.

"Look Clark I shouldn't have done that. I came to tell you Jason and I are
together now. I just wanted you to know that I won't tell anyone you're
secret. Maybe we can still be friends".

"Friends," Clark said in a sulky tone and Lana couldn't help but snigger.

"You sound like a four year old who isn't allowed any chocolate or
something,"she said.

"Nice to see you taking my feelings seriously as usual," Clark snapped.

"Clark I can forgive you but I can't be with you. It's too much".

Too much, too much bother? Too much hard work? Too much to ignore about one
person? Did Lana see Clark as having some kind of a disability in some
respects?

"You know you are too much Lana," Clark said. "You kiss me, like you really
mean it, like you really want me and then tell me you don't want me".

"I'm sorry Clark but I'm with Jason," Lana said.

"And I don't have to ask what he has that I don't," Clark said sitting back
down. "He's normal".

"Yes Clark if I'm honest," Lana said. "He's normal - Bye". Lana walked off
down the steps and Clark felt like crying, he felt like crying like a little
girl and one tear escaped before he leant on the table and buried his head in
his arms.

Back in 2005

"Can't explain the feelings that you're making me feel," Clark sang, or almost
shouted as the kitchen radio blasted out. "My hearts in overdrive and your
behind the steering wheel, touching me-eeeee, touching you-uuuuu, touching me
`cos I'm touching you". He was nodding his head up and down rather wildly and
chopping the mushrooms in time to the music as Lex came in through the kitchen
door. "I believe in a thing called love just listen to the rhythm of my
heart".

"Clark, Clark," he shouted and Clark immediately turned around embarrassed and
turned the radio down.

"Lex," he said and he looked down at the mushrooms and continued chopping them.

"You always surprise me Clark - you can sing falsetto as well now" Lex said.
Actually he thought Clark sounded awful, perfect ears and vocal chords didn't
necessarily mean you could sound like Justin Hawkins. Clark kind of shrugged
his shoulders as Lex looked around the tidy kitchen, Clark obviously cleaned up
as he went along. "What are you cooking? I don't see any meat".

"Christian is a vegetarian," Clark said.

"You and Christian are pretty close".

"He gives me space," Clark said sounding slightly annoyed looking at Lex his
eyes open quite wide. "We can just hang out without any issues".

"So you two aren't?"

"What?" Clark said and he laughed nervously. "No".

"I'm sorry Clark, I suppose now Chloe and I, and the baby I haven't had as much
time".

"I'll always be your friend Lex," Clark said looking at Lex and patting him on
the arm. "One day I'll hopefully be married with kids and I won't have as
much time for you either. It's what happens, people change, their
circumstances change".

"Like you're trip around the world".

"Exactly"

"Out of all the weird things about you Clark I never would have seen you as the
type to shed all responsibility and go off like that, I would have thought
you'd be off to college".

"I can still go to college," Clark said. "And what responsibilities Lex? I'm
18, no girlfriend". Yep he had no
responsibility, except for his
responsibility to humanity and to saving people, nope no responsibility at all
- except to the world.

"So what are you cooking tonight?"

"It's a surprise," Clark replied. "Whose baby sitting Lillian?"

"Chloe's father".

"Did you have anything in particular you wanted to see me about Lex? I'm kinda
busy".

"Just wondered if you'd heard from the newspaper in England I put you in touch
with".

"Yeh they said they can take me on as `unpaid work experience'," Clark said.
"I suppose I can work in a bar in the evenings or something, it'll only be over
the summer anyway".

"I warn you The Guardian has quite a reputation, even as `unpaid work
experience' you won't have an easy ride".

"I'm sure I'll be able to handle it".

"Any other plans for when you go overseas?"

"Only that I want to see everything," Clark said smiling.

"I'll see you later Clark".

"What's this?" Lana asked as Clark placed a few large bowls of curry and dishes
of rice on the table along with some onion bhaji, mushroom bhaji and sag
cream.

"Cool," Chloe said. "It's not too hot is it?"

"No, well this one on the end is," Clark said. "Go ahead and try".

"Italian garlic mushrooms for starters and now curry, what is this, an around
the world menu?" Lana asked.

"Well it's kind of appropriate since I am going around the world," Clark said.
"Lana isn't used to anything more exotic than hot sauce on her fries" Chloe
added smiling.

"I spent last summer in Europe," Lana snapped back.

"Come on ladies lets keep the claws in this evening," Lex remarked helping
himself to portion of the hot curry and he plonked it on the top of his saffron
rice. Christian smirked to himself as Lex tried to hide his discomfort at
eating the hot curry. Lex coolly reached for his glass of wine. It was
amazing how years of training could help hide the most simple biological
reactions such as those caused by spicy food in the mouth.

"So where are your parents tonight?" Lana asked Clark.

"They've gone to Metropolis, they're staying in some hotel".

"I hope me and Lex can be like them when we're older," Chloe said smiling.
"What still together?" Christian remarked, cynically.

"Aren't your parents still together?" Lex asked.

"Yeh they just don't want me around because I sleep with men - I doubt Clark's
parents would do that hey".

"My parents aren't perfect," Clark said. "And besides you're grandparents are
OK with it".

"My Gran thinks she knows everything because she's watched `Will and Grace' a
couple a times".

"Actually I meant I hoped we were still sleeping together at that age," Chloe
remarked and Lex looked up over his dinner and winked at her.

"Eww gross how do you know my parents are still - that is just," Clark remarked
disgust clearly present in his voice.

"Well your Mom was pregnant quite recently Clark". Chloe didn't know whether
she should mention it but it had been two years since the miscarriage and well
it was a fact. Ship or not that child had been Jonathan's as well as Martha's.

"I would have loved a brother or sister," Clark said. "That was a summer I'd
much rather forget and last summer too actually".

"And the summer before when there was the tornado wasn't much fun," Lana said.

"Actually my summer after freshman year was pretty cool that was when I went to
the Daily Planet for my internship," Chloe said.

"And my summer last year was cool I was in Paris," Lana added.

"Well," Chloe said smiling and holding up her glass of diet coke. "Here is to
a good summer for everyone wherever we are".

"Here here," Christian said as everyone clinked their glasses together.

"Well it won't be hard to top last summer since I was in the hospital," Chloe
said.

"I still think it's amazing you survived that explosion," Christian said. "How
did the baby survive?"

"A miracle I guess," Chloe said nervously trying to avoid looking at either
Clark or Lex. It had been a miracle, the miracle of a Junior doctor who had
stolen some of Clark's blood platelets from the experiments carried out earlier
that year and just happened to have enough to save Chloe's baby. "Anyway I'm
glad Lillian is here I wouldn't change her and what's happened for the world.
But I would say this, enjoy your freedom when you can - if you have the
choice".

Back in 2004

Chloe nervously stepped into Dr Mae's surgery and she asked her to sit down.

"Hi Chloe, what can I do for you today?" she asked.

"I'd like to go on the pill," Chloe replied. "I have a boyfriend and we really
care for each other and-"

"Sure Chloe, let me just take your blood pressure," Dr Mae said. "Just roll up your sleeve". Chloe took off her denim jacket and rolled up the sleeve of her
lime green long sleeved t-shirt. As the device closed in on her arm Chloe
could feel her heart racing. She hated doctors; she didn't know why they just
made her nervous. She had been in hospital a couple of times and thought she
would be used to it by now.

"That's fine". The doctor undid the Velcro and put the blood pressure taker
back on her desk. "Right let's weigh you now". Chloe stood on the scales.
The doctor used old fashioned ones Chloe couldn't see the reading on. "Chloe
when did you last have a period?" She stepped off the scales.

"Er about a month ago I think," Chloe replied smiling. "But mine aren't always
regular".

"That's perfectly normal for a girl your age, the pill can regularise your
periods in some cases anyway. Are you sexually active at the moment? Just
stand against the wall here - I need to measure your height". Chloe stood
against the wall.

"I've been sexually active for a couple of months," Chloe said. "We've been
using condoms".

"Well we better do a test just in case since you haven't had a period lately,"
Dr Mae said and noticing Chloe's worried face she smiled warmly at her. "I
wouldn't worry it's just routine".

Chloe took the test with her to the bathroom in the doctors and since she was
nervous anyway managed to pee quite easily. She took the wand back into the
doctor's room.

"Oh," Dr Mae said surprised. "Chloe according to this - you are pregnant".

"Oh no but I can't," Chloe said her stomach churning. That was it she was
gonna be sick. "You said the test was just routine".

"I'm sorry Chloe, lay down on the couch".

"What are you gonna do?"

"I just want to examine you, see how many weeks pregnant you are".

"No, no way," Chloe said, tears coming to her eyes, her hands were shaking and
she threw up in the waste paper bin. The doctor winced a bit and handed Chloe
a tissue when she was done.

"Chloe," she said. "You are pregnant, the best thing we can do is try and
decide what you're going to do about it".

That night during the first night of the school play all Chloe could think
about was how she was going to tell Lex, her friends and most importantly her
father.

2005

Clark was in the kitchen making drinks, he knocked together some fruit punch,
and could hear Christian murdering the piano in the other room. As soon as he
had seen it he screamed and began going through Martha's collection of sheet
music excitedly like a child. Lex, sat on the sofa had hung his head in
disbelief and turned his attention to the television. For those of normal
hearing Christian's bad playing was masked by his excellent singing voice but
to Clark every bad note stabbed his ears like a Kryptonite cotton bud in his
ear. Lex walked into the kitchen to find it spotlessly clean. Clark put the
jug of beautifully coloured punch and six glasses on a tray.

"Lex, hey," Clark said smiling.

"Your friend is murdering that piano".

"Don't worry Lex I've got something up my sleeve," Clark said. "Well something
in that drawer". Clark lifted the tray up and nodded towards one of the
kitchen drawers. Lex opened it and took out a videocassette.

"What's this?" Lex asked, suspicion in his voice.

"It's last years school production of Jesus Christ Superstar".

"Are you sure everyone wants to be reminded of that embarrassment?"

"Oh come on Lex this is the only time we ever just had fun without something
going wrong or me having to save someone".

"That was the day Chloe found out she was pregnant," Lex said thinking out
loud. "Oh and the following week my father was up in court for murder".

"Lex, have you still got that ring?" Clark asked ignoring Lex's negativity.

"Is that your way of saying when am I going to propose?"

"Well you've had the ring for like a week now".

"I don't know if I can face it if she says no again".

"Lex, Chloe only said no before because she thought you were only proposing
because she `got knocked up'," Clark said. "Her words not mine".

"And you wouldn't do the same?"

"I don't need a piece of paper to prove how I feel, if I love someone and they
love me and we want to be together and can be together that's all that
matters," Clark said. "But if you want to marry Chloe, ask her, ask her now".
Clark walked into the living area and Lex could hear him asking Chloe to go
into the kitchen.

"Lex," Chloe said entering the kitchen. "Clark said you needed to talk to me
about something, you don't have to leave do you? Or are you making excuses
because you don't want to hang out with my goofy friends".

"I don't think you're friends are goofy Chloe - they're my friends too," Lex
said. "I, well I needed to ask you something but I'm not sure the Kent's
kitchen is really the most romantic place".

"Romantic?"

"Chloe," Lex said fiddling around in his jacket pocket. "I've been carrying
this around for a week trying to find a way to ask you". He took the small
velvet box out of his jacket pocket and bent down on one knee thankful it
didn't crack and spoil the moment. Lex opened the box and looked right up into
Chloe's face. There were tears in her eyes and she grabbed a tea towel and
wiped her eyes. Just the sight of him, making a complete fool of himself,
being so non Lex in some respects made her want to ball.

"Chloe Sullivan will you marry me?" he asked. "Not because I `knocked you up'
or because we're moving to Metropolis together but because I love you".

"Of course I'll marry you," Chloe said still wiping her eyes with the tea
towel. "Get up and come here".

Lex got up off the floor and put the ring on Chloe's finger. It was a
sparkling emerald, Chloe looked at it
suspiciously.

"It's an emerald," Lex said. "Don't worry it wasn't too expensive, I know if
it was you'd want to sell it and buy something sensible like furniture". Chloe
knew he was lying but perhaps she deserved an expensive engagement ring, she
would only have one after all.

"I just thought it looked like meteor rock for a minute," Chloe said.

"Would that matter?"

"No," Chloe said laughing nervously.

"I thought an emerald would be something different".

"It's beautiful Lex," Chloe said and she went on tiptoe and kissed him on the
lips. "Let's tell everyone".

"Here comes Lana," Clark said laughing and they all pointed to the TV screen as
Lana dressed as a peasant playing the part of `Girl' was singing.

See my eyes I can hardly see, she sang on screen weakly but in tune.

Christian was laughing at Josh Turner who had played the part of `Boy' and fell
over.

"The football team gave him stick about that for that for weeks".

"Let's fast forward to Jason's bit," Lana said.

"You're bit hasn't finished yet," Clark said.

See my skin I'm a mass of blood

"Why would you want to see Jason's bit anyway?" Christian asked. "You guys
broke up".

"Yeh but he sneezed on Sarah in his bit".

"That was gross," Clark said.

"Oh no you're not watching that," Chloe said as she and Lex entered the room
and she flashed her right hand about.

"Wow," Lana cried.

"Lex just asked me to marry me," Chloe cried excitedly. "And I said yes".

"Congratulations," Clark said smiling and he and Lex exchanged knowing nods.

"What's that ring made out of?" Christian asked.

"It's an emerald," Chloe replied. "Isn't it beautiful?"

"Yeh it'll do a treat next St Patrick's day," Christian remarked in a mock
Irish accent and Lana ran over to Chloe and the two girls hugged. Then began
the mass hugs which Christian decided to stay out of.

"Oh look its Sarah's solo," Christian said, the video tape was still running.

"We can fast forward that," Lana said.

"You still bitter about her getting the part?"

"No," Lana said and she laughed. "Yes, does that make me a horrible person?"

"That play was so weird, there was like Clark's props and sets and Christian
and Pete's singing which were just brilliant and then there were so many stupid
disasters," Chloe said.

"Why did your music teacher pick that play anyway we did that when I was at
school?" Lex said.

"It was when `The Passion of the Christ' was popular," Christian explained.
"Mr Hansen thought he was being cool".

"Oh don't show Christian singing Gethsemane I'll cry again," Chloe cried.

"You only cried last time because you were pregnant," Christian said. "You
don't usually cry at girly crap".

"Well I just cried now, do marriage proposals count as girly crap?" Chloe said
and she poured herself a glass of punch. "Has this got vodka in it?" Clark
nodded. "I'll drink to that".

"And us getting engaged," Lex said.

"To Chloe and Lex," Clark cried raising a glass.

"To Chloe and Lex," everyone cried and Christian made a beeline for the piano
again.

"Christian give it a rest," Clark said and everyone cheered. "Let's put on a
CD". Clark put a CD in his parents CD player.

My baby don't mess around because she loves me so and I know fo shoo Outkast
began blasting out of the stereo and Chloe made a whooping sound and got on top
of the sofa. Clark laughed and then all of a sudden felt very sad, it was
surely the end of an era.

Lex heard a buzzing in his pocket, took out his mobile phone and saw a name he
recognised flashing on the display screen.

"Oh no," Chloe cried. "Don't answer it".

"I won't be more than a second OK," Lex insisted and he walked into the
kitchen. "Look I've just proposed to my girlfriend so make this quick".

"That's all right boss I just wanted to check on the arrangements for
tomorrow," a voice at the other end of the line said.

"My father is still in Smallville it shouldn't be too hard to find him".

"And how do you want me to?"

"I don't care how just make sure no-one else gets hurt - oh and try and make it
look like an accident," Lex said rubbing his brow in concentration.

"How do I do that?"

"I don't know cut the breaks on his car or something, I pay you to think of
these things".

"OK Boss will do," the voice said. "Oh and Boss - Congratulations".

"Say that to me again tomorrow when he's gone," Lex said seriously.

Clark made his way out of the Smallville Medical Centre after saying goodbye to
all the doctors and nurses who had been there for him, his friends and family
at so many disasters over the last four years. He made his way down the road,
the Smallville Medical Centre had been the last place on his list after
visiting the Old folks home, the Library, the Talon, the Ledger, the Teen
Crisis Hotline and Smallville High.

"You have been busy today Clark".

Clark turned around to see Lionel Luthor stood by one of his many flash cars.
What was he doing in the middle of a dirt road in the middle of nowhere
exactly?

"Get lost Luthor," Clark said and he turned to carry on walking.

"Now Clark that's not very respectful"

Clark turned again, walked up to Lionel and looked him right in the face.
Lionel seemed completely calm about being in the presence of someone who after
all could knock him out by simply flicking his little finger in his
forehead.

"People like you don't deserve respect".

"Now now I didn't come here to fight".

"And how did you know I was here exactly? Have you been following me?" Clark
asked, aggressively. "You know some people would have something to say about a
man your age following young men around".

"I would have thought you would be beyond such juvenile remarks".

"What do you want anyway?" Clark seemed to get more aggressive as Lionel
appeared more cool and disinterested.

"I heard your leaving Smallville".

"That's right I'm going on a trip, a long one, out of here".

"And you think that's a worthwhile use of your talents?"

"I want to be a writer, how can I write if I don't have anything to write
about? Not that's its any of your business".

"We both know Clark what has happened to you since birth and what will happen
to you in the future could most likely inspire an entire mythology," Lionel
said smiling and stroking his chin.

"I don't know what you mean," Clark said, his neck twinging slightly as it did
when he lied under pressure.
"And the lies continue. You don't have to lie to me Clark I know your secret.
Don't look so worried. I think this knowledge could be profitable for both of
us," Lionel said.

"And how's that exactly?"

"You do as I say and the people you love will be well looked after".

"You seriously think I would work for you!"

"I don't think you understand Clark, you've never had much money, I can change
that, you've never had many chances, I can give you those chances. In exchange
I would ask your completely loyalty to Luthor Corp and to me. With someone as
talented as yourself Clark - well its
unimaginable what I could do, what we
could do - we could rule the planet," at this Lionel did get excited and even
laughed a little. Clark wondered if Lionel was in his right mind. He was
suggesting he and Clark could join forces and do what? Rule the world
together. Well that certainly was not part of Jorel's plan. Even if Clark had
not figured out what Jorel meant he knew what it did not mean. Evil was never
part of his plan. "You're being quiet Clark".

"See ya later," Clark said and he began turning to walk away again.

"I told your father you were weak," Lionel shouted back. "A year ago when we
had that fight in the cave, you were born to greater things Clark - or should
that be Kalel".

Clark turned around and grabbed Lionel by the scruff of his jacket and pushed
him against the car.

"Where did you hear that name?"

"Dr Swann, don't worry he didn't betray you Clark, everything I have found out
this past year, well he tried to stop me".

Clark let go of Lionel shaking with anger. He was supposed to be making a
fresh start and this, this was happening now a few hours before lift off.

"I would never work or join forces with you," Clark snapped almost spitting in
Lionel's face. "You and people like you disgust me". Clark turned away and
looked across the horizon, the scrub land, he needed to calm down.

"And of course you," Lionel said reaching through his car window for a small
lead box. "Being from such a noble and strong race, you know better, you're so
much better than us".

Clark turned to see the green menace shining from the box in Lionel's hand and
could feel the familiar dread and nausea take over his whole being. He looked
to see his once pink hand covered in black veins and collapsed to the floor
immediately. The gravel was cutting into his hands and face and all he could
do was look up at Lionel's menacing face, his face quivering like he was a
little boy.

"I knew you were weak," Lionel said again.

"You keep saying that," Clark said softly. He would have thought he would have
built up a resistance to this damn stuff.

"Sorry am I boring you Clark? I gave you an opportunity but you are just like
your father Jonathan Kent - a sanctimonious, small minded bastard, spineless.
You would have been better off if you had never come to this planet, the last
son of Krypton a crumpled heap on the floor, no wonder they destroyed
themselves if you're the best example the wonderful Kryptonian race has to
offer!"

"Ahh," Clark shouted and he bashed Lionel in the legs and in pain Lionel
dropped the lead box and the Kryptonite fell across the dirt path. Clark stood
up and distanced himself from the green rock. Lionel sat on the floor rubbing
his sore legs.

"I wondered how long it would take me to get you really angry," he said. Clark
took a deep breath and blew the Kryptonite further away down the path. "Now
that's a new power I haven't seen".

"How did you know about any of my powers?" Clark asked.

"Let's just say when I was blind I saw a lot more than I ever did now that I
can see again," Lionel replied smiling and Clark began walking away. Lionel
stood up and ran up and shoved the boy. "Where are you going?"

"I'm going to do what I was going to do?"

"Running away are we Clark?" Lionel said. "I was right about you".

"I'll be back for you Luthor, when I'm ready," Clark replied quite seriously.
Lionel let go of Clark and began walking back to his car. "And technically
Luthor I'm not running". At that point Clark began to levitate off of the
floor and Lionel watched in utter amazement as Clark flew across the sky and
out of eyeshot.

"My God," he said and then he laughed, he laughed loudly like he had not
laughed in years.

Ten minutes later and Clark and Lex were sat on a leather couch in the Mansion
Library Lex completely oblivious to what had transpired between Clark and Lex's
father. Clark hugged Lillian tightly and then handed her back to Lex.. In
some ways Clark would miss the soft skinned little baby the most, she was the
only one who had never made him angry or upset.

"She's getting red hair - like you," Clark said and he smiled sheepishly.
"Well like you used to have".

"Yeh she's going to be beautiful," Lex replied placing Lillian in a basket that
was on the table his side of the couch.

"She is now".

"Yeh".

"Well I guess this is it Lex," Clark said softly and the two men stood up and
looked at each other, not quite sure what to say. "It's been interesting".

"Clark I got you something-"

"Lex you didn't have to,"

Lex took out a small well wrapped parcel and handed it to Clark.

"Open it".

"Thanks Lex," Clark said feeling guilty he hadn't bought Lex anything. Then
again what could he buy him? Clark took the wrapping off to reveal a black
leather box and opened it. Inside was a dark blue shiny fountain pen with a
huge silver nib which could seriously take someone's eye out. At the top of
the pen were engraved the letters CK. "Hey it looks like the Calvin Klein
design a bit".

"Yeh I never noticed that".

"Thanks Lex this is really cool".

"Well if you're going to be a writer you'll need one of those," Lex said
smiling.

"Yeh".

"Send us a postcard hey," Lex said as he and Clark hugged patting each other on
the back the way they always did. And Clark could not help but hold on extra
tight.

Lex had been like a brother despite the secrets. Clark had loved Lex and would
have done anything for him and Lex felt the same. Clark wondered why he and
Chloe had not told Lex his secret when she found out when Lillian was born.
Clark had after all had seen Lex's reaction to his secret before and he had
seemed happy. Lex had been happy because he wasn't mad, he was right that
there was something different about Clark and he was happy perhaps because
there were no longer any secrets between them. But that happiness was short
lived. Clark had to protect his secret from others, perhaps he had been a
coward, whatever it was Lex was returned to the asylum and that memory was
erased forever despite any attempts to resurrect it. Since Lex's time in the
asylum Clark had felt even more protective of Lex and had wanted to help him
even more than ever. At the same time though the doubt was there because of
Lionel. So it was, deception and love, and the two men stood there unable to
let go for nearly ten minutes.

Clark hugged each of his parents in turn.

"We'll miss you son," Jonathan said. "You make us proud".

"And take care of yourself," Martha added.

"Away from this place and all the Kryptonite he'll feel better than he has in
years," Chloe said smiling. Despite Chloe's words Martha felt almost sick from
nerves at the prospect of Clark flying, quite literally, out of their lives.
But Jonathan was right - they had to let him go.

Clark turned to hug Chloe.

"I am going to miss you so much," she said emotion clear in her voice. Her
eyes were filled with tears and a few escaped down her cheeks. Clark felt a
lump form in his throat.

"I'll be back to visit you know," he said struggling to get the words out and
Chloe held back a sob. Even if Clark could fly the world would be a bigger
distraction than he could ever imagine and Chloe knew she would not see him for
a long time. "And look after Lex".

"I will," Chloe said and Jonathan handed her a tissue as she and Clark moved
away from each other and she wiped her cheeks with it.

"Lana," Clark said to the young brunette stood further up the field. Clark had
picked a particularly poignant place to take off, the field the ship had landed
on fifteen years ago. Chloe, Martha and Jonathan stepped away to give the pair
space.

She was crying and it tore into him.

"Clark".

He took hold of her and pulled her against his chest, holding her tightly.

"I'll always love you," he said softly tears filling his eyes. "And I am so
sorry".

"What for?" Lana asked moving back to look into his face and the tears. "Clark
if you're this upset you don't have to go".

"Lana I have to".

"Why?"

"Because I need to see what's out there, I need to find something I can't find
staying here".

"But if we love each other," Lana said hope clear in her face.

"It would never work Lana"

"Why not?" Lana asked, sounding a little frustrated.

"I can never give you the normal life you always wanted".

"What if I don't want a normal life anymore?"

"I see it in your eyes Lana," Clark said wiping his eyes with his sleeve.
"Every time you see me use my powers you wish they weren't there".

"That's not true - I can put up with them - for you".

"I don't want you to put up with them, the powers, me being from Krypton it's
part of who I am I want you to do more than put up with that," Clark said,
seriously. The emotional strength in his whole person was apparent and Lana
knew that she would not change his mind about this. Though he could have
talked her out of going to Paris over a year ago, she could not talk him out of
this. Clark moved away from Lana and put his hand in his pocket and took out a
clear rock on a silver chain. "I got you something Lana".

"It's my necklace," Lana cried, overwhelmed as Clark handed it to her. "But it
was green before".

"I was in the storm cellar, someone had put it round my neck to try and kill
me, my space ship saved me - it turned the meteor rock clear. I could never
tell you before you found out the secret," Clark explained. "It reminded me of
Whitney".

"Oh Clark," Lana said putting the necklace on.

"Lana all Whitney wanted to do was make out with you and take you to the prom,"
Clark said and they both smiled. "Lana that's what you need when you're 16.
We were too young for all this".

"You can't be too young to fall in love".

"Falling in love was fine but all the trouble I caused for you Lana wasn't.
And all the pressure I put on you. I was hoping you would stop me feeling
something that no one person could ever stop me feeling".

"What?"

"Alone," Clark said looking down at the floor. "I thought you were my soul
mate, but I was scared and I kept pushing you away".

"But you don't have to be alone Clark".

"I know that now and I couldn't believe it before," Clark said. "But whatever
it is that will stop me feeling this way, like I'm lost, it's not here in
Smallville. I love you Lana but no matter what you say I know that you can
never love me truly for what I am only in spite of it".

Lana did not know what to say. Maybe because it was all true and there was
nothing left to say? The fact was if she could magic Clark's powers away and
make him human she would.

"Bye Clark," she said wiping her eyes with a crumpled up tissue from her jacket
pocket.

"Bye Lana," Clark said and he kissed her on the cheek. Feeling her cheek wet
and warm from his kiss Lana smiled.

"You were a good friend Clark," she said. "And I will miss that so much".

"Same here," Clark said smiling and they walked back over to where Chloe and
his parents were stood.

"Where's Christian?" Martha asked, suddenly realising the young man wasn't
there.

"We said goodbye earlier - he's in Grandville tonight".

"The winds picking up," Jonathan said as the cold wind whipped against their
faces.

"I better go," Clark cried and he hugged his parents one last time. "I'll call
you tomorrow".

"Goodbye son," Jonathan said tears coming to his eyes as Martha squeezed his
hand tightly

"Bye," Clark said and he picked up his bag and began to float above the ground.
Taking one last look at everyone he turned and flew through the air. Jonathan,
Martha, Chloe and Lana kept waving even after Clark had disappeared from
view.

"Right you guys I really need to get to The Ledger," Chloe said. "Lana me and
Lillian are staying with Lex tonight so let my Dad know".

"Yeh sure," Lana replied still looking up at the sky.

"See you later Chloe," Jonathan said as the young blonde made her way back to
her car.

"Lana did you want to come back to the farm with me and Jonathan for some
coffee?" Martha asked. "You can sample some of the super size cookies I've
baked for the Talon".

"I'd love to," Lana replied and the three of them made their way back to
Jonathan's truck.

Chloe left the Ledger building and as she was about to open her car door
noticed a familiar face stood by his car.

"Miss Sullivan," he said.

"What do you want?" Chloe asked, annoyed.

"You're the second person to show me such hostility today, what have I done to
deserve it I wonder," Lionel replied grimacing slightly. He could feel a
slight pain low in his abdomen.

"Second person?"

"Well you didn't think I was going to let Clark go - just like that". Lionel
smiled menacingly.

"Clark never mentioned seeing you".

"Well he had to fly - quite literally as I saw earlier"

"You know," Chloe said, putting her hand to her mouth shocked.

"And I was right about you knowing too I see. But I can see why you were so
reluctant to let Lex know. It's not just a case of super speed or his vast
strength anymore is it? His abilities are truly remarkable. You know as well
as I do Lex would do everything in his power to exploit that".

"Oh and you wouldn't".

"At least I admit it Chloe, I admit that I am not the most compassionate and
caring person in the world. But Lex is denying what he is, trying to repress
what he is inside".

"Lex is nothing like you. I didn't tell Lex because that was Clark's job and
he didn't want Lex to know. It's not an easy secret to keep".

"But why didn't Clark want Lex to know?"

"Look I shouldn't be discussing this with you, if the Kent's knew you knew
they'd be devastated," Chloe said. "Clark is gone now". Chloe opened the door
to her car.

"Argh," Lionel cried clutching his abdomen. "Don't go".

"You expect me to fall for that old routine," Chloe said scepticism clear in
her voice and Lionel collapsed to the floor.

"I think, I need the hospital" Lionel croaked clutching the pain as if his
insides would spill out of him at any moment.

Chloe stood for a split second, was he really ill? But he had gone into
remission. And then again he could be genuine.

Chloe closed the car door and dragged Lionel into the passenger seat of his own
car since he was closer to it and closed the door. Chloe got into the driving
seat and started the car.

"We're going to get you to the hospital," Chloe said. The Smallville Medical
Centre wasn't too far. Lionel did look awful and Chloe realised there was
blood soaking through his shirt. She started going faster towards the medical
centre and when she put her foot on the break repeatedly she realised something
which made her stomach churn and her heart began racing.

"Lionel," she said.

"What?" he groaned.

"The breaks aren't working," Chloe replied terror in her voice. She needed to
crash into something just to stop the car, maybe she could jump out but then
what would happen to Lionel? He was in no safe state to jump. She swerved the
car but misjudged in her anxiety and the car flew through a large glass wall at
the front of the medical centre, at this point Lionel lost consciousness and
Chloe began to panic even more. The glass shattered all over the car which
carried on through the centre people screaming and running out of its path.
Chloe managed to steer the car back outside and the car collided with a brick
wall. The windscreen shattered, the front of the car was crushed and so were
the two bodies inside. And that was it.

Clark flew across London oblivious to what had taken place back across the
other side of the Atlantic. And there it was - Big Ben. How cool it would be
to stand on a big clock he thought and he touched down on a ledge above the
clock face surrounded by large metal spikes. He listened to the inner workings
of the clock and looked over London feeling an immense sense of freedom as his
coat flapped in the wind.

He was away from Smallville and the Kryptonite and from all the meteor mutants.
He could just be normal now, he had a whole world to explore and learn about.
This so called inferior world that his father Jorel had sent him to, this
inferior world which had given him a chance of life and on which he would serve
an important purpose was there in front of him. The future was a blank slate
despite his destiny.

He could hear the noise of a nearby night club and felt the lure of the music
and human company. London was waiting and so was the rest of the world.



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