Sometime in season 6
Disclaimer: These characters belong to the CW and DC Comics, not to me
"Whatever your destiny... for the true one in your life."
Years ago, Joseph Willowbrook had spoken the words with quiet dignity as he'd handed Clark Kent a piece of jewelry wrapped in a cloth. It was a turquoise and silver bracelet, its design identical to a picture on the cave wall in Smallville. The design on the wall was painted over the woman who was "Numan's" destiny.
Clark had fought against the truth for a long time, but he'd finally accepted that he was Numan, the man from the sky that the Kawatche people believed to be their savior, and the savior of the world. And when the cave wall had downloaded him with the language and knowledge of his people, he'd learned that the men of his own people had given women bracelets like these as a bonding ritual, not unlike the way humans exchanged wedding rings.
This bracelet had been passed down from generation to generation of the Kawatche, waiting hundreds of years for him to arrive on Earth, grow to manhood, and give it to the one woman who was his true destiny.
The bracelet had remained in a drawer, all but forgotten, since Joseph had given it to him. Now he unwrapped it, seeing that it was miraculously untarnished by the passage of years. It looked like sterling silver, but clearly it wasn't. He doubted that it was a metal found on Earth, although he certainly wasn't going to take it to a jeweler to have that hunch verified. It didn't really matter what the bracelet was made of, or what planet it had originated on.
It belonged to the woman who was his destiny. It belonged on her wrist.
He hesitated a moment longer, then pulled the bracelet from the drawer.
"This isn't a bad cake, Lo. It's almost edible."
Seated at the Kent's kitchen table, Chloe Sullivan took a bite of rum cake, grinning at her cousin. Standing behind her, Clark took a bite of his own cake and wrinkled his nose. In his opinion, "almost edible" was overstating the case by quite a bit. Lois Lane was an outstandingly terrible cook, but for some reason she'd gotten it into her head that she was the official baker of birthday cakes for their little circle of friends. She kept baking the damn things, despite their not-so-subtle hints that she should just buy them at the Metropolis Wal-Mart instead.
Lois smiled, apparently missing Clark's look of disgust. "Thanks, cuz. Happy birthday."
Chloe swallowed the bite of cake-- not without effort, Clark thought-- and looked around expectantly. "So can I open my presents now?"
"Go ahead." Lois pushed her own present forward first. "Open it. Go on, open it."
Lois sounded so much like a five-year-old that Clark rolled his eyes. But Chloe carefully unwrapped the present, and smiled widely. "Wow," she said, picking it up with care. It was a nice golden pen, engraved with Chloe's name, and Clark had to admit grudgingly that it was pretty. "Thanks, Lo."
"I figured you could use it to scribble notes when you can't get at your computer," Lois said.
Since Chloe was never without her Blackberry, an organizer, or some twenty-first century piece of electronic equipment, Clark doubted a pen would do her much good, but Chloe looked thrilled. "Thanks so much," she said, hugging her cousin.
She reached for the other package. Lois frowned. "Kinda small, isn't it, Smallville?"
Since it was hardly any smaller than her package had been, Clark bristled, but Chloe intervened before he could say something he'd regret. "Don't give him a hard time," she reproved. "I didn't give him anything at all last year for his birthday. Remember?"
She carefully tore open the package and opened the box, then hesitated and glanced up at him. He could tell she was surprised. He'd never given her jewelry before.
"I know you like bracelets," he said, shrugging. She wore them all the time, after all. "I just thought it was pretty."
"It's beautiful," she breathed, pulling it out of the box and putting it on her wrist. She held her arm up, turning it every which way and admiring the light glinting off the silvery metal. "Wow."
Lois struck a sour note, as usual. "Looks kind of old."
"It is," Clark admitted. "I think it's an antique."
Lois narrowed her eyes, as if to say, Figures you wouldn't get her something new. But Chloe smiled up at him, looking a little misty.
"Thanks, Clark. It's gorgeous."
"You're welcome," he answered, looking at her arm. The bracelet fit her wrist as if it had been made for her. As it had been, in a way.
Maybe it was crazy of him to just give it to her, without telling her how he felt. He'd never even thought of giving it to any of the other women he'd dated. But one day, a month or so ago, he'd looked down at Chloe and envisioned the bracelet on her wrist, and since then he hadn't been able to get the image out of his head. He'd almost felt a compulsion to give it to her.
He and Chloe had been friends for years, but over the course of the past year, he'd slowly come to realize she was a lot more than just a friend to him. She was the person he counted on, the person he confided his true feelings to, the only woman he could envision sharing in his destiny.
She'd recently broken up with another guy, and he hadn't yet told her that his feelings for her had changed. But as she gazed up at him, he began to suspect she probably had a pretty good idea how he felt already.
She was the true one, the woman he wanted to spend the rest of his life with. And one day, not too long from now, he'd tell her so. But right now, it was enough for him just to see the bracelet on her wrist. Because that was where it belonged. It was hers.
And whether she knew it or not, she was his.
"Happy birthday, Chlo," he said softly.