Clark/Chloe, full cast
Season 5, "Reckoning"
Disclaimer: These characters belong to the CW and DC Comics, not to me.
"Congratulations, Mr. Kent."
Jonathan stood uneasily in the study at the Luthor mansion, shifting his weight from foot to foot, watching as Lex poured himself a brandy. Lex had given him a call and asked him to come out to the mansion, suggesting there was a matter they needed to discuss. Something in Lex's voice had made Jonathan very nervous, and he'd decided to take Lex up on the invitation.
Lois was going to be annoyed that he'd ducked out of his own photo op, but Jonathan figured he needed to know what Lex was up to, sooner rather than later. Because Lex was always up to something, and he wasn't the kind of man who'd take defeat well. And Jonathan preferred to have this discussion far away from his friends and family. On the off chance that Lex knew anything at all about Clark, Jonathan didn't want any knowledge he might have aired in front of half of Smallville.
So he'd walked right into the wolf's den, hoping for the best but steeling himself for the worst.
Lex turned around, holding a single glass, very obviously not offering Jonathan a drink. His cold gray eyes glittered with something dark and dangerous, something that made Jonathan extremely uncomfortable.
"Thank you, Lex," he answered at last, warily.
"I did my best to defeat you," Lex said, smiling. He walked over to his desk and sat down, placing his brandy on his desk. "My campaign managers and I worked very hard. But you somehow managed to beat me anyway, didn't you?"
"It was a good race." Jonathan uttered the polite platitudes that seemed appropriate, even though he was pretty sure Lex hadn't called him over here just to congratulate him. "A fair race."
"A fair race." Lex steepled his fingers and looked up at the older man. "A fair race... except for the fact that the voters didn't quite get every pertinent piece of information."
Jonathan's heart, which had been weak ever since his heart attack a year and a half before, began pounding heavily. "I think the voters learned everything they needed to know," he said, a little sharply. "And they made their choice."
"No." Lex picked up his brandy glass and stared into it, as if all the secrets of the universe could be found in the amber depths. "The truth is, Mr. Kent, I withheld information from the voters. I believed at the time it was the right thing to do, but now I find myself wondering if I might possibly have made a mistake."
Jonathan's heart pounded harder. Relax, he told himself. If Lex knew anything at all about Clark, he would have gone to the papers with it right away. He's just trying to scare you.
He spoke, and was relieved to hear that his voice was very steady. "Exactly what are you talking about, Lex?"
Lex finally lifted his gaze from the brandy glass. The dark, feral something in the depths of his eyes was more in evidence than ever. He looked at Jonathan with a cool smile.
"I'm talking about the fact that your son is an alien, Mr. Kent."
"I wouldn't have called you out here if it wasn't important," Lana said. Even in the darkness, Chloe could see the anxiety in her eyes. "I know tonight was a big deal for you and the Kents."
She'd asked Chloe to meet her out on Route 40, presumably so they could talk in private. The two of them stood on a dirt side road. They were close to the Luthor mansion, but little else. The night was quiet and still, and it was so cold that smoke drifted from their mouths as they spoke. Chloe was a little bewildered that Lana had called her way out here, but she shoved her cold hands deep into the pockets of her houndstooth coat and smiled reassuringly.
"It's okay. Don't worry about it. Just tell me what's wrong, Lana."
"It's just..." Lana started to pace. Her designer boots left tracks in the snow on the side of the road. "I guess I should have told you some of this earlier, Chloe. But you were so happy, and I didn't want to scare you. And I was afraid you wouldn't believe me. That you might think I was crazy, or paranoid."
Chloe's throat tightened. She swallowed so she could speak. "Whatever it is," she answered, "you can tell me, Lana. We've been friends for years. I know you're not crazy."
"Okay." Lana continued to pace nervously in the snow. "First of all, I have a confession to make. I've been working with Lex Luthor."
Chloe stiffened. She'd never trusted Lex, and she trusted him less now. Recently Lex had hired three meteor freaks to attack her and the Kents. She hadn't understood why at the time, but now she realized Lex had been trying to test Clark's abilities. The meteor freaks had come perilously close to killing them.
She was not at all pleased to learn that Lana was working with Lex, and she wondered exactly how much Lana had told him about Clark. She wondered if Lex knew Clark was an alien, and if that was the reason he'd set up the test with the meteor freaks to begin with.
She thought that probably wasn't the case, because it seemed likely that if Lex knew for sure what Clark was, it would have hit the papers by now. After all, Lex had been running for the state senate against Clark's father.
But then again, Lex Luthor tended to play very deep games.
"Lex is dangerous," she said, gently but firmly. "You shouldn't have anything to do with him, Lana."
"I had to. I didn't have any choice. When the meteor shower happened... a ship arrived with the meteors, Chloe. A spaceship."
Chloe stared at her, and her heart began to thud heavily. "I heard a rumor about that," she answered. "I figured it was just a typical UFO sighting, someone mistaking a meteor for a spaceship. I tried to track it down, because I was curious, but I couldn't find any eyewitnesses to confirm it."
"That's because they're all dead. All except me."
Chloe's heart pounded harder. "Are you telling me you saw a spaceship?"
"I didn't just see it. I saw it open. And I saw what came out of it."
Chloe stared at her. I do not want to hear this, she thought. She didn't like where this conversation was headed, didn't like its possible implications. But the investigative reporter in her wouldn't let her walk away from a witness who wanted to talk.
And as crazy as it all sounded, it clarified something that she'd been wondering about. Clark had said his ship arrived in the first meteor shower, so it had already occurred to her there might have been a ship concealed in the second shower, too.
"What came out of it, exactly?"
"Two creatures." Lana shuddered, and Chloe couldn't miss the revulsion on her face, despite the darkness.
"Creatures," she repeated. "Like bug-eyed monsters or something?"
"No. They looked human. But they had the exact same powers Clark does. And they used them to kill people, Chloe. A whole bunch of police officers came to Lander's Field-- and they killed all of them."
The journalist in Chloe pressed for details she wasn't sure she wanted. "How?"
"Heat vision." Lana shivered harder. "They just looked at them, and they... they all burst into flame." Her voice dropped to a whisper, and Chloe could hear the remembered horror in her voice. "They died screaming."
Chloe remembered Clark staring at the engagement ring, soldering it together just by looking at it, and an involuntary shiver went through her, too. She wondered if he could kill people just by looking at them, and the idea scared her. She trusted Clark, but she had the uncomfortable thought that such a formidable ability might be too much power for any one person to possess.
"I read about that in the Planet," she answered, trying to keep her voice steady. "Except the reason given in the article was a gas explosion, not aliens."
"It was aliens, Chloe. I swear. I saw them."
"I believe you," Chloe said, trying to soothe Lana, whose voice was getting higher and louder. She sounded like she was on the verge of hysterics, just talking about what she'd seen. It must have been a terribly traumatic event for her.
A day earlier, she wouldn't have believed Lana so readily. But now she was engaged to an alien.
It put a whole different spin on her world view, for sure.
"So they didn't kill you," she said at last. "Why?"
"I got knocked out of the way, into some tall grass." Lana trembled. "After they'd killed everyone else, they spotted me again, but I guess they thought I wasn't a threat, because one of them said I was... irrelevant."
So Lana hadn't been worth killing. Since she was always unarmed, that made sense. "And then what happened?" Chloe snapped her fingers. "Wait, I know. They went to the Smallville Medical Center, didn't they?"
Lana nodded. "I guess that was in the paper, too."
"Supposedly another gas explosion," Chloe said, shrugging. "I guess people attributed all the explosions to gas mains being damaged in the meteor shower. Although there were reports of someone assaulting a few people at the Medical Center. I guess that was your aliens."
"They're not my aliens." Lana sounded revolted.
"No. Of course not."
"The thing is..." Lana hesitated for a long moment, staring at Chloe as if to gauge her reaction. "They approached Lex, too. They wanted to know if he was an alien. They were looking for an alien, Chloe."
Chloe felt a wave of light-headedness pass over her. Suddenly it was a struggle to stay upright. "Clark, you mean."
The idea that Clark was somehow mixed up with aliens who killed without a second thought scared her. She remembered what Lois had said to her earlier in the day: I honestly don't think you can live without him. And I think he feels the same way about you. I doubt any secrets he might have could possibly change that.
And she'd answered without hesitating. You're right. Nothing will ever change that.
She hoped it was true. She hoped very much that there was nothing Lana could say that could change her feelings for Clark.
But deep down, part of her was beginning to wonder.
She shifted, a little irritably. "Look, Lana, when you called me, you said you needed my help."
"I do. I'm getting to it, Chloe. Just bear with me. The thing is, Clark never told me about any of this. I don't think he wanted me to know about it."
Chloe thought of how secretive Clark had always been, how he'd guarded his secret, even from her. He'd shared his secret with Lana, but apparently he'd hidden an awful lot even from her. And she had to wonder why.
She shook her head, trying to get rid of the thoughts that swirled there. Clark was one of the good guys, damn it.
Lex, now... Lex was a whole other story. If Clark had decided not to tell Lana all this, maybe his instincts had been right. Because if Lana was working with Lex, then Chloe wasn't so sure that Lana could be trusted with Clark's secrets. At the very least, it sounded like she'd kept a very big piece of information from Clark-- the fact that Lex had the spaceship.
And that meant that Lana wasn't totally on Clark's side. It looked like she had her own agenda.
Chloe had always been mildly envious of the closeness between Clark and Lana. She'd always believed they were the best of friends, who told each other everything. But it seemed there had been secrets and lies on both sides of the relationship.
She decided to probe for more information. "So how did you wind up working with Lex?"
"He found the ship, and took it to a warehouse. He couldn't figure out how to open it, and I'd seen it open, so he asked me to help him."
"Could the two of you get it open?"
"No." Lana shook her head. "And eventually it just disappeared. But the thing is, before it disappeared... something else came out of it."
A chill ran down Chloe's spine. "Another alien?"
Lana nodded shakily. "Another alien. Lex has been keeping tabs on him, as well as you can keep tabs on something that can move at the speed of sound. He disappeared when the spaceship did, but now he's back. And Lex says he contacted Clark this afternoon."
Chloe stiffened. "Clark didn't mention that to me."
"I'm not surprised. See, we think... we think the alien and Clark may be working together."
Chloe could hear the blood pounding in her ears. "To do what?"
"We don't know." Lana looked at her very seriously. "That's what we need you to figure out."
Read Chapter 7 here.