Disclaimer: These characters belong to the CW and DC Comics, not to me.
The music is "Come Sail Away," by Styx.
I look to the sea, reflections in the waves spark my memory
Some happy, some sad
I think of childhood friends and the dreams we had
We live happily forever, so the story goes
But somehow we missed out on that pot of gold
But we'll try best that we can
To carry on
"Chloe." Clark struggled to his feet, feeling awkward and stupid. He brushed dirt off his jeans and shirt, then looked at her. "What are you doing here?"
She beamed up at him with the wide, happy smile that was so much a part of her. "I was told someone called the Planet's tip line with a UFO sighting. I came out here to check it out."
"I guess you found it," he said grumpily. The idea that he'd already been spotted, after only a few nights' practice, didn't make him happy. Working at developing this ability was important to him, and he wanted to practice it in peace, without constantly looking over his shoulder.
"Not unless you have running lights," she answered. "The UFO was described as large and round, with bright green lights around its edge."
He lifted an eyebrow. "I didn't see anything like that go past. I'd like to think I'd notice a flying saucer if it flew by."
"This was about an hour ago. Nine o'clock, more or less."
"I wasn't out that early. I only came out about fifteen minutes ago." He frowned. "There are UFO sightings all the time, Chlo. Most of them are just people seeing airplanes or shooting stars or whatever. Why'd you decide to check up on this one?"
"Because weird things do happen in Smallville," she said. "And since it was spotted near your mom's farm, I thought you might be involved somehow."
His eyebrows drew down, and she laughed softly. "I wouldn't write a story on you, Clark. I'd never do that, and you know it. I just figured that if you were up to something strange, you ought to be aware someone had noticed."
"I haven't been flying any UFOs around."
"No." She patted his shoulder, brushing more dirt off his shirt, and heat rushed through him at the light touch of her hand. He tried to ignore it. "You are a UFO."
He rolled his eyes. She went on, "The strange thing is, before I left the apartment I did a quick check of some boards where the bug-eyed-monster-and-flying-saucer set hang out. And worldwide, there have been quite a few sightings very similar to this one reported over the past week."
"Isn't that pretty normal? I mean, people like that read about something, and then they think they see it too. Right?"
"That could be the explanation. Most of these people aren't really reliable sources." She looked up at him, her mouth curving. "Some people are actually crazy enough to believe they've met aliens, believe it or not."
He laughed softly at her wry comment. She walked back toward the road, and he followed her, seeing that her little car was parked there. "Come on," she said. "Let's go for a little ride. We'll see if we can find that flying saucer."
"Yeah," he scoffed. "Because it's so likely to be parked out on the road for anyone to see."
"You never know." She flashed a brilliant grin. "Some aliens aren't all that bright."
He growled under his breath and got into the car. "I figured you'd be the one wanting a ride," he remarked, looking over at her as she started the car.
"Maybe once you have better control over it, I'll ask for one. But right now? No thanks. That fall looked pretty painful. It might not hurt you to hit the ground that way, but I don't think it'd be really good for me."
"No. I guess not." He studied her profile as she glanced at the side mirror and pulled out onto the deserted side road. Chloe was the only person in the world who could find him practicing a bizarre new power, like floating, and not freak out about it. Even his mother would make a big deal over it. Chloe just acted like it was expected. Ever since she learned his secret, she'd reacted to the strange and bizarre facts of his life with calm humor.
He remembered the way she'd helped him develop his superbreath, remembered her voice saying, Now huff and puff and blow this door down! And then, once he'd used his superbreath and blown a steel door right off its hinges, she'd remarked, Good thing you didn't have garlic today.
At the memory, an involuntary smile curved his lips. She glanced at him, and he looked away, embarrassed to be caught staring. He devoted himself to scanning the fields, but he didn't see any signs of extraterrestrial life-- well, outside this car, anyway. All he saw was what you usually saw in Smallville... a whole lot of corn.
They drove for a while longer in silence. At last he sighed. "I haven't seen any sort of weird green glow anywhere," he said. "I think maybe your tip saw an airplane or a blimp or something."
"Probably. Even in Smallville, Weird Capital of the World, it's usually something like that. But I figured it couldn't hurt to check."
"How come you didn't bring Jimmy?"
It was Friday night, so he figured she and Jimmy had been on a date. Or maybe just hanging around together at the apartment Chloe shared with her cousin Lois. He tried not to think too hard about what "just hanging around together" might entail.
Chloe didn't look at him, and in the light from the dashboard he saw her hands tighten on the steering wheel, saw her lips compress. "In case it was you doing something strange, I didn't want to get him involved. Anyway... Jimmy was busy tonight."
Trouble in paradise, he interpreted. He tried really hard to ignore the little quiver of hope that ran through him, because only a really lousy person would root for the breakup of a friend's relationship. Jimmy obviously made Chloe happy, so he should be pleased she'd found a guy she liked. And he was happy for her, honest. Really, really happy.
In that teeth-grinding kind of way.
"Come hang out with me at the farm, then," he said softly.
She glanced at him. "Okay," she agreed, and turned toward Kent Farm.
Moments later the car pulled up in front of the barn. They both got out and headed for the barn. But Clark hesitated.
"What's wrong with Shelby?"
The golden retriever had been sitting on the porch, barking furiously. Now he ran toward them, still barking. Clark frowned, worried. The old retriever wasn't the world's greatest watchdog, and he rarely barked unless something was really wrong.
He frowned at the house. His mom was gone for the weekend, but maybe someone had broken in. He used his x-ray vision and determined that the place was empty.
Shelby faced the cornfield and barked, more loudly than before, then his lips drew back in a very uncharacteristic snarl, exposing his teeth. Hair rose along his neck, creeping Clark out. He'd never seen the dog react so defensively.
"Someone's out in that field," he said.
"Let's go check it out," Chloe answered, walking toward the field with her usual fearlessness. He put out a hand to stop her.
"No, Chlo. I don't know who's out there, but the way Shelby's reacting, it might be a meteor freak or something. Whatever's out there might be dangerous. Stay here with Shelby."
"Yeah, because I'm so much safer with a geriatric golden retriever than with a superstrong alien." She rolled her eyes. "Come on, Clark. We're in this together, same as always. Let's go see what's out there."
He didn't like taking her into danger, but he had to reluctantly admit she was right-- she was probably safer with him. "Okay, come on," he said, and put an arm around her. Just to keep her safe.
They walked into the cornfield together.
Read Chapter 3 here.