Season 5, following my story "Here Without You," which followed two other stories and "Void"
Rating: Adult. If you're under eighteen, please go elsewhere now.
Disclaimer: These characters belong to the CW and DC Comics, not to me
I knew it wouldn't be long before the cops showed up, and I didn't wait around for them to arrive. I shot a significant look at Chloe, then ran home to Smallville and got changed. My bloody, slashed clothing would be kind of hard to explain, considering I was perfectly unscathed beneath it.
I could feel the afternoon sun pouring into me, recharging my cells. It was great to have my powers back, and running at superspeed felt awesome. When I got back less than a minute later, Chlo was already hard at work, removing the recordings from the security system before the cops got there and saw things they shouldn't. With her family looking on, I turned the recordings to ash. Lois stared at me, looking half impressed and half scared.
"Smallville," she said, "I'm starting to think it's a damn good thing you're on our side."
"Yeah," Chloe agreed. "He could take over the world if he wanted. Make us all his slaves."
"I don't need a planetful of slaves," I told her, grinning. "I have you to do my bidding, after all."
She stuck her tongue out at me. "And here I thought you were my slave."
That was more true than she could possibly imagine. I'd been Chlo's friend for a long time, and she'd always had me wrapped around her little finger, but now I knew I'd do anything for her. Anything at all. It was almost scary.
But then again, after watching her kick the shit out of Fine, I knew that went both ways. Just like the words of the bonding ceremony said, I trusted her to find me when I was lost, and to save me when I was in peril.
I trusted her to always be there for me.
"I sat in that artificial light for half an hour," Lois said. "Didn't make me superstrong. In fact, it didn't do anything but give me eyestrain."
We'd been questioned by the cops for over an hour, but now we were all seated in the Chinese restaurant we'd originally planned on, having an extremely late lunch. Or an early dinner. Either way, I figured it counted as two meals, so I was on my second plate of beef and broccoli, and thinking longingly about a third.
So I was hungry. So sue me. It had been a hard day, my metabolism had had a workout, and I hadn't even had breakfast. I was starving.
Because it was four o'clock in the afternoon, the restaurant was deserted except for us, so I wasn't worried about anyone overhearing us. Even so, I kept my voice low. "I don't think it's just a matter of yellow sunlight making Kryptonians strong and red sunlight making humans strong," I answered. "I think it had something to do with the way Chloe's EM field got altered when we bonded."
Lois winced. "Do we have to talk about the two of you bonding? I get these really bad visuals..."
Chloe looked amused by Lois' disgust. "It's like my electromagnetic field kind of changed to be more like his," she explained. "And maybe his changed to be more like mine, I don't know. But whatever the bonding did to me, it changed the way my EM field works. That didn't give me superpowers, because humans don't get supercharged by yellow sunlight the way Kryptonians do, but put me under red sunlight..."
"And you have SuperChloe," I finished.
"Which is cool, but totally useless..." she said.
"Considering Earth's sun isn't red."
"Could come in handy, though..."
"If we ever go to another solar system."
"Would the two of you quit finishing each other's sentences?" Lois scowled at us. "You're seriously starting to creep me out."
Gabe had been silent up till now, but he put his fork down on his plate. "I wondered if you could explain this lifebonding to me," he said. He was a small, unremarkable man, his round face surrounded by thinning gray hair, and his manner of speech was as diffident as his attitude. "What does it mean, exactly?"
I shrugged. "I wish I knew, sir. Unfortunately, I'm the last representative of my species, which means I have to figure things out as I go. All I know is, Chloe and I are stuck together."
"I'd kick you if I thought my toe would survive it," she muttered.
I hastily rephrased. "I mean, we can't leave each other. We don't have to live together, I know that much. So it's not like we have to get married tomorrow or anything. But we won't be able to get involved with anyone else. Ever."
Sam grinned. His hair was as gray as Gabe's, but he was far more intimidating. Even seated, he projected authority and strength. "Sounds like your people figured out how to make divorce obsolete, son."
"I'm not sure if my people had anything to do with it," I said honestly. "I think it's a biological thing, just part of who we are. I mean, I don't think it was genetically engineered or anything like that."
"Hard to say." Sam looked at me more seriously. "Can the two of you have children together?"
"Oh, God," Lois said. "Just the thought of a mini-Smallville terrifies me."
"I wasn't born with the ability to shoot fire out of my eyes," I told her. "All my abilities developed later."
"It's not that. It's the fear that the child will be genetically doomed to love flannel."
I narrowed my eyes at her, then looked back at Sam. "I don't know if we can have kids or not," I said honestly. "I wouldn't think it was likely, but the Kawatche people believe they were descended from a man who came from the sky, and they were definitely visited by Kryptonians at some point in their history. So I guess it's possible."
"I hope so," Gabe said. "I'd like to have grandchildren one day."
Just the thought of making babies with Chloe was enough to turn me on. I suddenly realized it had been over twelve hours since we'd made love. Way too long. I looked at her and raised an eyebrow.
Want to practice the baby-making thing?
She shook her head, looking exasperated. What, here? We're in a restaurant, Clark. Get your mind out of the gutter.
Hell. Oh, well, if I couldn't have sex, I'd have more food. I waved down the waiter and asked for another plate. Lois looked appalled.
"I guess one of your superpowers is the ability to eat like a pig and never gain any weight," she said as the waiter walked away.
"That has absolutely nothing to do with being an alien. I'm a growing boy."
"You should try the fish. Fish is supposed to be brain food. Maybe it would help you grow a brain."
Chloe ignored our bickering. "Speaking of children..." she said, twirling her fork uncomfortably between her fingers.
Gabe and Sam both looked at her questioningly. She hesitated, glancing at me, and I gave her a reassuring nod. Go ahead, talk to them about it.
"This might sound kind of crazy," she said, "but the guy who kidnapped us seemed to think I was actually Sam's daughter. That I was actually... Lois Lane."
Lois looked startled and dropped her fork onto her plate with a clatter. "Cuz," she said, "I think you took one too many blows to the head today."
"I'm serious." Chloe regarded her father across the table. "This is what I wanted to talk to you two about. Am I really your daughter, Dad?"
I noticed she'd left out the whole part about my meeting Lois-as-Chloe in another timeline. Well, that was probably smart. Sam and Gabe had had their credulity stretched about as far as they could take today. Asking them to believe in alternate realities might be a bit much.
Gabe frowned. "Of course you're my daughter, Chloe."
"Are you sure?" She leaned forward, every inch the intent reporter searching for answers. "Because a couple of things have happened lately that made me wonder if I'm who I think I am."
"I remember the day you were born," Gabe answered. "I remember holding you for the first time. I remember feeding you out of a bottle. Trust me, you're my daughter."
I looked at his open, guileless face, and I believed him. As far as Gabe knew, Chloe was his daughter, and always had been.
Which didn't explain the weird stuff that had happened in the other timeline, or the fact that Fine had referred to Chloe as Ms. Lane.
I looked at Sam carefully. With his years of military training and discipline, he was much harder to read, but I was pretty sure he was as surprised by Chloe's question as Gabe was. Although there was something in his eyes, a wariness, that made me wonder. And I noticed he didn't say anything at all.
"You've been hanging out in Freaksville too much," Lois said. "And having an alien for a boyfriend is making you paranoid. You're starting to imagine weirdness where there isn't any."
"Maybe." Chloe smiled. "Sorry, Dad. I had to ask."
Her wide smile said that she was totally reassured. I wasn't, because I vividly remembered meeting Lois-as-Chloe in the other timeline. There was a mystery here, but I wasn't quite sure how to solve it. Anyway, I wasn't going to worry about it right now. I could smell the next plate of broccoli and beef headed my way, and my mouth watered with anticipation.
The waiter placed my plate on the table in front of me, and I picked up my fork and started to vacuum it down. Chloe looked at me, wrinkling her nose.
You're going to explode, Clark.
I shrugged again, smiling. Just trying to keep my strength up for later.
The minute the dorm door closed behind Chloe, I grabbed her.
"Sheesh," she said, struggling, although not very hard. "You could at least let me put down my purse before you attack me."
"It's been hours," I said, burying my nose in her hair and inhaling her vanilla scent. After our late lunch, we'd gone over to Sam's house and talked for a while. Gabe had been kind enough to drop us off at Met U, and now Gabe and Lois were headed back to Smallville, leaving Chloe and me alone at last. "Almost a whole day."
"Oh, you poor deprived baby. You know, some people manage to live without having sex seven or eight times a day."
"That's because they're not Kryptonian." I swiped her purse and tossed it on the desk, then picked her up bodily and carried her across to the bed.
"Excuse me. Do I get any say in this?"
I lifted my head and looked at her, puzzled. "Don't you want to have sex?"
"Well..." She thought about it for a moment, then gave a rueful smile. "Yeah, actually, I do."
"Then quit arguing about it." I tossed her onto the bed, gently, and dropped down on top of her, pinning her. Her arms slipped around my shoulders.
"I'm glad my family knows about you," she said softly.
I nuzzled her neck. "I just hope Lois can keep her mouth shut."
"Clark, I know you and Lois don't always get along--"
"We don't ever get along."
"--but you know as well as I do that being tortured on the iron maiden couldn't pry your secret out of her. She won't talk."
I did know that. Lois had a lot of faults, but she was also loyal to the core, and I knew she'd protect my secret with her life. Not so much because of me, but because it was Chloe's secret, too.
"And Dad and Sam won't talk, either."
I was pretty sure she was right. I couldn't miss the happy tone of her voice as she said Dad, and I realized that as far as Chloe was concerned, the whole issue of who she was had been closed. At least for now. She believed Gabe. And the weird thing was, so did I. But what he said didn't match up with the evidence, so I couldn't help but think there was something more going on here, something that we didn't know yet.
It wasn't like Chloe to back away from a mystery, but I knew from personal experience that it was hard to face a revelation that might rock the foundations of your life, and make you realize you weren't the person you'd always thought you were.
I remembered when I was fifteen, and my dad first told me I was an alien. My response had been, You're kidding, right? And then I'd just supersped away from him, totally freaked out and upset. It had taken a while for me to come to terms with what seemed to be a crazy story.
And it was going to be even harder for Chloe, because we didn't have a clear-cut answer. All we had were questions.
But if I knew Chloe, sooner or later she'd be compelled to find answers to those questions.
Right now, though, I wasn't inclined to wonder about it. I had my soulmate in my arms, and what I wanted right now was sex. Lots and lots of sex.
I lowered my head and claimed her mouth in a long, hot, insistent kiss. I could feel the tingling sensation that occurred when our EM fields intersected for any length of time, and it felt even better than I'd remembered. I moaned softly into her mouth, rubbing against her, feeling like sparks were shooting over my skin.
When I raised my head, I could see that my hands were glowing again, and I guessed that the rest of me was too. But she didn't look freaked out. Just as she always had, she accepted my peculiarities without reservation. She touched my cheek, very gently.
"Turn out the lights," she said. "I want to see you glow in the dark."
I reached over and switched off the lamp. The sun had set while we were talking with her family, and it was pitch dark in the room. At least it ought to be, but I was glowing like a nightlight. "Better?"
"Better. That is really cool, Clark."
"Glad you approve." In the golden glow, I could see her face, and I grinned at her. "So do you think it'll help you find everything in the dark?"
She reached down and ran her her fingers down my stomach, and I groaned.
"Oh, yeah," she answered, a mischievous smile tilting her mouth. "I think this'll definitely come in handy."
"Chloe..." I gritted my teeth together.
Her smile got wider. "Let's see what else I can find."
I made an inarticulate, strangled sound. "Don't... stop."
"Don't worry," she said softly, kissing my cheek. "I don't ever intend to let you go."
Read the sequel, Ever the Same.