Season 6, following my story "Wherever You Will Go"
Disclaimer: These characters belong to the CW and DC Comics, not to me.
Read Chapter 5 here.
Clark awakened to pain. He moaned, and managed to drag his eyes open despite the little needles of agony that seemed to be piercing relentlessly at his skin. He hurt everywhere.
Kryptonite, he thought, and a shudder of pain and fear ran through him. He'd always tried to avoid the stuff, but ever since Zod had used it to torture him, he loathed it. It scared the hell out of him, reduced him to quivering, irrational panic, made a coward out of him. He hated being that afraid, but he couldn't control his fear.
He lifted his head-- with difficulty, because it felt like his skull was weighted down with lead-- and found himself looking at the guy who'd held him at bay with a green-tipped arrow.
The man stood in the shadows of what appeared to be an old warehouse, but he still wore dark green leather from head to toe, although his very muscular arms were visible. He was holding a bow and arrow, and Clark noticed that the arrow was pointed straight at him, and that it was tipped with kryptonite.
He really didn't want to know what it would feel like if that thing went through him. He'd once been shot with a kryptonite bullet, and it was not an experience he cared to repeat.
He struggled to get up, but discovered that he was shackled to a metal chair, which had been shoved against a wall, and for some reason he couldn't break the shackles. His back was literally against the wall, and if the guy decided to shoot him, there was no way he could avoid the arrow. Sweat broke out on his skin.
"You know," he said, "I saved your life."
His voice was slurred and rough due to the proximity of the meteor rock. But the green arrow guy seemed to understand him. His teeth flashed in a feral smile, visible even in the shadows.
"Obviously that was a mistake on your part."
His mechanically altered voice was a low, dangerous rasp. Clark glared at him and narrowed his eyes, trying to look tough and angry, rather than scared enough to piss his pants.
"Obviously," he responded. "But if I'd known you were working for the government..."
"I told you before, I'm not working for the government." The arrow moved a bit closer, and Clark shut his eyes tightly in an involuntary fear reaction. "And neither are you. So what are you, then? One of Luthor's experiments, gone rogue? Or are you one of the mutants?"
Pain lit along Clark's nerve endings, and anger followed. "I thought everyone knew," he growled. "God knows Lex hasn't kept it a secret. I'm an alien."
The guy laughed, a deep laugh that held no trace of humor. "Yeah, right," he answered in a tone that suggested he was rolling his eyes behind the dark glasses. "You're one of the big bad guys who want to take over the planet. That's why you've been running around Metropolis helping people. We all know aliens are just big softies at heart."
Clark dropped his head back against the wall, opened his eyes, and looked at the other man. "I don't want to hurt anyone," he said, trying to keep his tone even, despite the fact that his emotions were swinging wildly from one end of the spectrum to the other. "I'm just here to help."
"Sure," the guy mocked. "You're one of those kinder, gentler aliens."
Clark sighed. "I'm serious."
The guy studied him for a long moment, then lifted the bow a bit.
"So am I," he answered, and let the arrow fly.
Chloe had always been a creature of technology. Now that the world had reverted to a more primitive standard of living, she missed an awful lot of things she'd once taken very much for granted. She missed her laptop. She missed espresso machines. She missed central air conditioning.
But right now, more than anything else, she missed her car.
She strode along the highway, grumbling under her breath. She'd been walking for an hour now, and not a single vehicle had passed. Gas and cars were becoming extremely difficult to come by, of course, but she'd expected to see at least one car by now.
Being out in the open like this, where anyone could see her face and identify her, made her extremely nervous. She'd hoped to find a ride quickly. She could have been most of the way to Metropolis by now. Instead she'd hardly made it two miles.
Could be worse, she told herself. At least the morning sickness has stopped.
Up until a couple of weeks ago, she'd been puking her guts out every morning. But that had finally abated, and now she felt gloriously, radiantly healthy. Despite that, she worried about her unborn baby all the time. Even though she hadn't asked to be impregnated, and even though she and Clark hadn't had a thing to do with its conception, it was nonetheless their child.
She worried most frequently about the lack of prenatal care. Pregnant women were supposed to get ultrasounds and take huge vitamins and see their doctors once a month. But when she'd articulated those concerns to Clark, he'd smiled reassuringly at her.
"Women were having babies long before ultrasounds, Chlo."
She knew that before modern medical care, women had lost an awful lot of those babies, too. But she decided it was best not to say so. There was nothing they could do about the lack of medical care. She was pregnant, and all she could do was take care of herself and the baby and hope that would be enough.
At any rate, walking didn't hurt her or the baby, and was probably good for them both. But she was getting hot and tired, and she wanted very much to get to Clark.
She reached out through their bond. To her relief, she discovered he was awake. Awake-- and scared.
And then his fear spiked, so intense that she cried out involuntarily.
Lex rolled over in bed, blinking against the morning light, and looked at the lovely, nude woman who stood at the window of his penthouse, staring out over the city.
"Mercy," he said groggily. "Come back to bed."
Mercy didn't respond, or look back at him. She was silent a long moment as she gazed over Metropolis. At last she spoke in her customary low whisper.
"I heard Clark was spotted again last night."
Lex sighed. Clark again. It always came down to Clark somehow.
They'd been lovers for a week now. Lex wasn't in love with Mercy, and he knew she wasn't in love with him, either. This was simply an alliance, a relationship based on sex and power and pleasure. Even so, he didn't care for the woman he was having sex with to think so much about another man, and a criminal at that.
Mercy was obsessed with Clark. She always had been. And at this point, he didn't know if she loved Clark or hated him. He doubted she knew.
He understood her preoccupation, because deep down, he shared the obsession with her. Nevertheless, the last thing he wanted to discuss with his lover was her ex. He spoke soothingly, hoping to get her back into his bed, where he could avail himself of all that lovely bare flesh.
"We'll capture him eventually, Mercy. Don't worry."
"And then what? Will he be executed?"
Lex hesitated a long moment.
"He will stand trial," he said at last, carefully. "But we both know he's guilty of helping Zod, and that he's an alien. So... yes. He will almost certainly be executed."
Mercy turned toward him, away from the window, and on her face he saw something he hadn't expected. A pleased smile, as bright as the morning sunlight.
"Good," she said.
Read Chapter 7 here.