Season 5, after "Void"
Disclaimer: These characters belong to the WB and DC comics, not to me
I woke up in darkness. I blinked and sat up, trying to take stock of the situation. I felt kind of weak, and my head ached slightly, but the pain wasn’t really bad, for which I was grateful. I guessed there was kryptonite nearby, but far enough away, or in small enough amounts, that I wasn’t in anything approaching agony.
I wasn’t sure where I was or how I’d gotten here. The last thing I remembered was superspeeding down the hall toward those heartbeats. Obviously I would have been better off going through a window and getting the hell out. But I figured whoever had trapped me had counted on my inability to let things go.
It annoyed me that my captor knew so much more about me than I knew about him. And I was aggravated because I still didn’t know jack. I’d gone to get more information and stupidly let myself be taken prisoner again.
If Chloe was here, she'd tell me I was a moron. And she'd be right.
As my eyes adjusted, I saw I was in a room. Four walls, no windows. I whacked my hand experimentally against one of the walls and confirmed what I’d expected, that the paint contained kryptonite. Experimental pokes confirmed that the floor and ceiling were painted, too, which explained my general feeling of malaise. I was exposed to a fairly large amount of kryptonite here, considering the small size of the room. There was a door, but it looked like it slid sideways into the wall like an elevator door, and it was painted too, so I was unlikely to be able to push it aside or break it open. I tried anyway, but it didn’t budge.
So I'd gotten free, only to be captured again, but in a slightly different trap. Why? I wondered. Had the first time just been a test? Was someone running me through a series of tests like a lab rat, to see how quickly I could figure out escape routes? Or had they just learned from their mistakes? I figured the latter was unlikely, since the paint was dry and there was no smell of paint in the air. I somehow didn’t think I’d been unconscious very long.
I was pretty sure this was a different building. I could hear the low hum of an air conditioning unit—something the other building had lacked. So they’d trapped me and taken me to a different location.
Because Chloe had managed to get help, and they’d had to run for it? Or for some other reason entirely?
I decided I was tired of standing around in a room that made my stomach hurt. It was boring and painful. “Hey!” I said loudly. “Anyone out there?”
“Hello, Kal.”The voice was still distorted, but now my superhearing picked up a sort of echo, the real voice as well as the speaker voice, and I realized what I should have realized to begin with—the boss of the operation had never been in the other building at all. Just his henchmen. The voice was quite some distance away, and I couldn’t place it, but it sounded kind of odd somehow.
“Look,” I said, trying not to sound as pissed as I felt, “I’d like to get out of here, if you don’t mind.”
A soft chuckle. “I’m sure you would.”
My temper flared. I don’t particularly like being laughed at even when I feel fine. When my head hurts is not the best time to play games with me. “Who the hell are you?”
A silence. Then the door slid aside, and someone came in. I instantly made for the door, only to stagger backward, closing my eyes against the sudden pain. Bright lights came up, and I opened my eyes and got my first good look at my captor.
She was absolutely the most gorgeous woman I’d ever laid eyes on. I felt my mouth drop open and I stood stunned, virtually unable to move. Whether I was stunned by simply looking at her, or because of the bracelet of green kryptonite beads she was wearing on her wrist, I’m not sure.
Oh, hell, I’m not being honest. It wasn’t the kryptonite. It was her.
“So,” she said. Her voice was low and husky, which was why I’d taken it for masculine when it was mechanically distorted. It was the kind of smoky voice you’d want whispering in your ear in bed, while you… Well. You get my drift. Her voice positively exuded sex. Just like the rest of her. “Remember me, Kal?”
I didn’t answer her, mostly because my brain had gone offline. I’ve seen lots of beautiful women—Smallville has more than its share—but this woman was simply beyond any of my wildest dreams. I mean, any supermodel would have killed to look like this. Her long, brilliant red hair fell to her waist, and her body had curves like a mountain highway. And her rack… whoa. It would have put Chloe’s cousin Lois to shame.
The minute the thought about Lois popped into my mind, I wanted to poke my eyes out with a sharp piece of kryptonite. Honest to God, I don’t check out her body. Ever. I try not to look at her at all, honestly, since Lois and I don’t get along too well. Even so, the truth is that Lois has a rack that walks into a room five minutes before she does. It’s really not the kind of thing anyone could fail to notice.
But the point I’m trying to make is that compared to this woman, Lois was totally flat-chested.
Yeah, I definitely remembered this woman, even three years later. She wasn’t the kind of woman any guy would be likely to forget. I yanked my jaw up off the floor and answered her question.
“I think I remember,” I said with careful disinterest. “We met in Metropolis, right? Atlantis?”
Atlantis was a club I’d hung out in quite a lot during my red K days in Metropolis. I’d picked up a lot of women, but never actually gotten very far with any of them—thank God for small favors, since most of them were the kind of women that the non-red-K me had less than no interest in. This one had picked me up.
“I was researching you for Morgan,” she said. The low purr of her voice sent shivers down my spine despite my best efforts to ignore it. “Trying to learn something about your abilities. And you seemed to find me… attractive.”
Attractive was one word for it. A totally inadequate word, however. Hell, stunningly beautiful wasn’t an adequate phrase to describe her. If there had been any woman who could have seduced me during my stay in Metropolis, this would have been the one. I may be dumb when it comes to women, but I’m not totally blind.
“And then your little blonde girlfriend, Miss Sullivan, showed up.”
I remembered. This woman had been running her hands all over me and we’d been in a major liplock. Suddenly Chloe had popped out of the crowd, yanked me away from this woman, and practically dragged me outside. Chloe had been pretty annoyed, as I recalled, calling me a male slut and some other not-too-flattering but probably accurate epithets. Of course, she’d had no way of knowing I was on red K, and let’s face it, I didn’t usually go around sticking my tongue down girls’ throats in Smallville. No wonder Chlo had been shocked.
“She’s not my girlfriend,” I said. “She wasn’t then, either.”
“You left me for her,” she answered, her voice venomous. “No man walks away from me.”
I blinked at her. Something about that statement made me think of Lex Luthor’s first wife, Desiree Atkins. “Are you from Smallville, by any chance?”
She lifted her eyebrows. “As a matter of fact, I am.”
I guessed that might explain part of the incredible attraction I felt to her. Desiree Atkins had been a teenager engaged in, shall we say, amorous pursuits when the first meteor shower hit, and as a result her pheromone levels had been elevated, making her irresistible to men. Although that hadn’t affected me, because I was the wrong species. I probed further. “How old were you when the first meteor shower hit?”
“Thirteen. I barely escaped being hit by one of the meteors.” A wry smile touched her lips. “I was totally unattractive. Flat-chested, scrawny, and pimpled.”
“I find that hard to believe.”
“Believe it. But it didn’t last. A week later, I looked like this.”
She’d obviously been in the process of hitting adolescence, and the meteor strike had somehow interfered in the process, turning her into a sex goddess almost overnight. She was incredibly gorgeous, and I imagined men fell at her feet everywhere she went. She might well have elevated pheromone levels, too, but those wouldn’t affect me, since I wasn’t human.
The way she looked, though… yeah, that affected me. Like I said before, I’m not blind.
“No man has ever walked away from me,” she said. “No man except you. And you’re going to pay for it.”
Hell hath no fury like a meteor freak scorned, I thought. Great. I’d turned my back on her, and once she’d taken over Edge’s operation, she’d studied me in order to come up with a way to use my abilities and get back at me at the same time. It all made sense, in a weirdly twisted sort of way.
“I’m sorry about that,” I said honestly. “It wasn’t personal. My friend was just trying to get me to go home.”
“You chose her over me.”
Geez, she really had a problem with that. Her voice positively dripped with venom, and I guessed she’d truly never had a man turn his back on her before.
I wasn't really sure why she cared so much, anyway. I guess I'm decent-looking, but I'm hardly on anyone's list of the top ten sexiest guys in America, either. But for whatever reason, she was well and truly ticked off. That’s par for the course for me—I seem to frequently infuriate women without the slightest intention of doing so.
What can I say? It’s a gift.
“So you’re telling me you’ve gone to all this trouble,” I said, “ for revenge… just because a sixteen-year-old walked away from you?”
“It’s not all about you, Kal. It’s about your friend Miss Sullivan, too. Do you remember what she said to me?"
I frowned, trying to focus on the distant past. I have an unusually good memory, but that doesn’t mean I remember everything ever said to me. And that summer was a long blur of raves and crimes. Even so, as I looked at the woman, the scene started to come back to me.
The nightclub was loud, filled with swaying bodies, smoke, and the smell of sweat. The redhead was all over me, one leg hooked around my knees, her hands up under my shirt. Suddenly a voice said incredulously, “Clark?”
The shock of hearing my real name—my human name—made me yank away from the redhead’s mouth. I looked around and saw Chloe standing there. Her hair was blonder and shorter than the last time I’d seen her, and she was dressed for clubhopping in a really sexy black dress. But her face was familiar, as familiar as the face I looked at in the mirror every morning.
I was so happy to see her I had to struggle to prevent myself from grabbing her, yanking her against me, and hugging her. Instead, I gave her a cool look of disdain.
“What the hell are you doing here?”
Her hazel eyes were wide with shock and distaste. “I’m with… friends.”
The deliberate emphasis on the last word, implying that we weren’t friends any more, slashed into me like a sword. I sneered at her, yanking the redhead against me more tightly. “So am I.”
Chloe shot a contemptuous look at the redhead. “Old enough to be your grandmother, isn’t she?”
The woman glared daggers at Chlo, and I shrugged. “I like older women. Anyway, I don’t think she’s even as old as my mother. Quite.”
Chloe caught me by the arm and yanked, saving me from the redhead, who looked like she wanted to kill me for my last crack. “Come on, Clark. We need to talk.”
I let myself be pulled away from the redhead.
“Chloe was a little upset,” I said now. “With me, not with you. She didn’t mean it. Neither did I.”
“No one treats me that way,” she snarled.
I looked at the anger flaring in her eyes. Too much anger for such a little thing, I thought, no matter how accustomed she was to the adulation of every male she encountered. “I’m not buying it.”
“I said, I’m not buying it. Yeah, I’ll admit that wasn’t the most tactful moment ever, for me or Chloe. But there is no way you’re going to convince me you set this whole revenge scenario up because a pair of teenagers dissed you three years ago. What’s your real story?”
She stared at me for a long moment. “You’re not quite as dumb as I thought, Kal.”
“Gee, thanks,” I said dryly.
“You want the truth? Fine. The truth is that the two of you caused Morgan’s death.”
I mulled that over for a second. I supposed it was true, in a matter of speaking. Morgan had tried to turn me over to Lionel Luthor for cash. I hadn't wanted to spend the rest of my life in a lab being drained of my blood, so I’d blown up the truck he had me imprisoned in. Lionel had interpreted this as an attempt on his life, and Morgan had had to go into hiding.
In the meantime, Chloe had done some digging and found that Morgan and Lionel had conspired together to kill Lionel’s parents. Morgan had agreed to testify against Lionel in order to keep himself out of prison. Eventually Morgan had been killed by Lex Luthor in a kind of freak occurrence. But you could probably argue none of it would have happened if Morgan hadn’t met me and Chloe.
Not that I was going to shed a lot of tears for Morgan Edge. But it looked like maybe the redhead had.
“So you and Morgan were…” I couldn’t quite bring myself to say lovers. Morgan had been pretty old, and the thought of him getting it on with this lovely woman kind of grossed me out.
“He was like a father to me!” she said angrily, pacing back and forth. I shrank back against the wall, trying to keep as far away from her kryptonite bracelet as possible. “He was all I had! And the two of you killed him!”
“Actually, Lex Luthor killed him.”
She spun and faced me. “But it was your fault!” she snapped, pointing an accusing finger at me. I gasped in pain at the nearness of the green K, staggered, and almost fell.
“Do you mind?” I said hoarsely.
“Not at all." She stalked toward me, closer and closer, until the stones in her bracelet pressed right up against my face. It felt like my skin was burning off. I went to my knees, shaking with pain and gritting my teeth to stop myself from whimpering like a kicked puppy.
After a moment or two she stepped away, her eyes filled with an icy satisfaction. “There’s a lot more pain in your future, Kal. For you... and your girlfriend.”
My head jerked up, and I struggled back to my feet. “Chloe got away.”
“I let her get away, you foolish boy. It was a matter of learning your strengths and weaknesses, Kal. Morgan always said, Know thy enemy. I wanted to assess your intelligence.” She smiled coldly. “Or in your case, the lack of it.”
“Truth hurts,” she drawled. “I also wanted to know more about your physical capabilities, as well as how much loyalty Miss Sullivan and you have for each other. I learned a great deal.”
“And then you let Chloe get away. Why?”
“She’ll be back, Kal. I’ve studied her enough to know that she’s not going to let you face this alone. She’s a very resourceful young woman, and there were plenty of clues to enable her to trace us to this building. I expect her within the next hour.”
A cold feeling of dread settled in my stomach. “She’ll come with the police this time,” I answered.
“Do you really think so? This is a respectable business in the best part of town, Kal, and the police won’t come barging into this building without a warrant. Doubtless she’ll convince them to issue one eventually, but do you think your Miss Sullivan will be willing to leave you in my clutches until a judge issues a warrant?”
I got colder. Chloe wouldn’t wait around for the cops when she thought I was being tortured. She’d barge right in again.
God, the two of us were a pair. Reckless… and dumb as dirt.
“Leave her alone,” I said softly. “Please. Do anything you want to me, but leave her alone.”
“Relax, Kal. I don’t intend to hurt her at all.” Her lovely lips turned up in a cruel smile. “But I think perhaps you will.”
“I’d never hurt Chloe. I don’t care what you do to me.”
“We’ll see,” she said. “It should be an intriguing experiment, at least.”
She stepped toward me again, stretching out her braceleted arm, and I fell back against the wall, closing my eyes. Suddenly I felt a sharp pain in my forearm. My eyes snapped open, and I looked down to find she’d shot me with some sort of dart. Ordinarily it would have bounced right off me, but under the influence of green K, my skin could be penetrated as easily as anyone else’s.
I yanked the dart out and dropped it to the floor. The veins in my forearm stood out, traced with red, for a moment, then the effect faded. I looked at her with horror.
“Red meteor dust," she said by way of explanation, turning and walking toward the door. "Straight into your bloodstream. It should last about four hours. If you’re a good boy, I’ll give you more later.” She smiled at me over her shoulder, and despite her beauty, that humorless flash of teeth wasn’t a pretty sight.
The door slid shut behind her, but I heard her last words just before it closed.
“Have a nice trip, Kal.”
I’ve been exposed to red kryptonite a few times, and it hasn’t done wonders for my personality. It makes me arrogant, selfish, and downright nasty. And the way it feels… well, I try not to think about that, because I never want to be tempted by the stuff again. But the truth is, it feels pretty damn good.
But wearing a red K ring was nothing, absolutely nothing, compared to having the substance injected right into my bloodstream.
OhGodohGodohGod. The rush was incredible. Heat surged through my veins, sweat broke out on my skin, and a feeling of pure ecstasy suffused me. I tried really hard to push it away, because the redhead’s words made me terribly afraid that she was going to throw Chloe in here with me when she arrived, and I didn’t want to hurt Chlo. At least, Clark Kent didn’t want to hurt her.
Kal-El really didn’t give a damn.
Kal was the guy who’d spent a summer robbing banks, stealing cars, and macking on strange women. Kal took what he wanted, using his abilities to harm people instead of helping them, and didn’t care who got hurt in the process.
Kal would hurt Chloe without a second thought.
I fell to my knees and fought as hard as I could against the red K, battling it with everything I had, trying to keep Kal-El at bay. I struggled to fill my mind with thoughts of my mom, Chloe, the farm. Smallville. Everything I loved.
But everything I'd ever cared about faded to insignificance against the fierce intensity of the rush.
Read Chapter 10 here.