Fandom: Smallville/Superman Returns crossover. Mostly set in the Smallville universe, with a few comics/toonverse touches.
Word Count: Part 3: 1,993 words
Betas: van_el, mark_clark
Summary: Chloe, Clark and Lois encounter a strange visitor… from another dimension.
Previously: Part 1 || Part 2
Lois closed her mouth slowly, eyes centering on the boy, Jason, holding a filing cabinet over his head. What was he… a meteor freak? Her heart was suddenly pierced with sadness at the thought of this little kid having to deal with something like that…
“Hey, don’t you think you should maybe put that down?” she asked quietly, shutting the door behind her. Lois had no idea why Chloe and Clark were standing there nearly dumbstruck, but someone had to do something.
She took a couple of careful steps toward him. “Just set it down as slowly as you can. We don’t want you to get hurt.”
“No, I’m okay, Mo—Miss.” Jason lowered the cabinet to the floor as if it were no heavier than his bookbag. “I’ve lifted a lot more than that before.”
Lois reached his side as he stepped away, and knelt down in front of him. This was much bigger than a child who had lost track of his parents. “Kiddo, what’s really going on here?”
Something about the way she said that made Jason’s face light up. “Well—” he began, but his eyes fell on Clark behind her and he closed his mouth again.
Lois twisted around to look at Clark and her cousin. “You guys know what’s going on here?” A horrifying thought entered her mind. “Don’t tell me you’re writing a story—”
“No!” Clark and Jason blurted out as one.
“Geez, Lois, what kind of hack do you think I am?” Chloe exclaimed with annoyance, folding her arms across her chest.
“Hey!” Lois stood, holding her hands up in apology. “I thought you’d put your Wall of Weird days behind you, too. But you gotta admit this hiding-in-the-storage-room thing looks a little suspicious…”
Jason put a hand on her elbow. “They’re trying to help me… get home.”
“Home? I thought you were looking for your parents…? Has someone taken them…?” Her eyes narrowed. “Does Lex have anything to do with this?”
“Not this time,” Clark said.
“We think,” Chloe clarified.
Jason cut in next. “I know where my parents are.”
Chloe and Clark suddenly looked very nervous. Lois simply raised her eyebrows and waited.
“I just don’t know how to get back to them.”
Her friends deflated slightly, and Clark put a hand on Jason’s shoulder. “I promise you I’ll try to find a way.” Clark moved toward the door, and grasped the doorknob.
“But I still think I should go with you!” Jason cried out pleadingly, rushing to his side.
Clark frowned, and put a hand on his back, leading him over to the corner of the storage room. The two of them put their heads together and whispered so quietly that Lois couldn’t even tell who was talking. Did the kid have telepathy, too?
Watching them, Lois felt an odd sense of protectiveness. The poor boy seemed so lost and alone… and yet, at the same time, he had a strong sense of determination. Though Lois had never really gotten on well with kids, there was something about him that drew her to him. And it wasn’t just because he’d called her ‘Mom.’
Jason’s voice got stronger just then. “I still don’t understand. Why do I need to stay here?”
“It’s safer here, sweetie.” Chloe walked over to Jason and took his hand.
Lois was more confused than ever. She could feel the tension in the air, and she couldn’t stand it. “Look,” she said. “I don’t know what is going on here, but can’t we all help?”
“Yes!” Jason agreed loudly. At Clark’s stern look, he softened his tone. “Please… you can trust her. Don’t make the same mistake my dad did.”
Clark stood there for a moment, seemingly stunned. Then his lips compressed in resolve. “Fine.”
In the next moment she felt a gust of air as the door suddenly opened. Papers scattered everywhere in the sudden breeze. And Clark was nowhere to be seen.
Before Lois could even form a shocked exclamation, Clark was back in front of them, carrying a couple of heavy parkas. “You’re going to need a coat.”
As her eyes readjusted after the blinding light of the portal, Lois hugged her arms for warmth. But she forgot the cold as she got a better look around the place, all towering spires of crystal and vaulting space. “I’ve been here before…” She turned to look at Clark in shock. “This is your Fortress?”
“The one and only,” Chloe put in as she walked in behind her.
Clark only nodded sheepishly. Then he turned away from her and strode into the center of the open area. “Jor-El! We need your help!” he shouted, his voice echoing against the crystal. Jason trailed after him.
From the moment Clark had revealed his powers to her, Lois’ mind had been trying to wrap itself around all of this new information. Clark was an alien from the planet Krypton, his cousin Kara had been, too, though she was now trapped in some sort of dimensional prison out in space… He had all sorts of amazing abilities like super-speed, super-hearing, super-strength, X-ray vision – suddenly his presence at all of these strange events made so much more sense… Chloe had known about his secret for a couple of years now – and their secrecy also made a ton of sense now…
Even more shockingly, it seemed that Lois and Clark were married in some alternate universe, with Jason as their son – and the boy had inherited several of his father’s abilities. That explained the connection she had felt immediately for Jason as well.
In fact, Clark’s explanations made the last four years of her life fall into place. And even though she had so many more questions, they could wait until they got Jason home. Though she had no idea how they would do it… but Jason had insisted that Lois should come along.
What could she do to help? She could hardly form a coherent sentence after everything she had just learned.
“Jor-El! Are you here?” Clark called out again, startling Lois out of her thoughts. “Why isn’t he answering?”
“Maybe when the Fortress rebuilt itself, the AI got damaged?” Chloe suggested.
Lois shrugged, not really understanding what they were talking about, and noticed Jason standing over by a cluster of crystals almost as tall as he was. He gently pulled on a crystal in front of him, and slid it out. He then lifted it toward the top of the contraption.
At the last moment, Clark turned to see what Jason was up to. As the crystal slid into a slot near the top with a click, Clark cried, “Jason, what are you—?”
Suddenly, a huge floating hologram appeared above the console. A gray-haired man, human in appearance, spoke to Clark in a regal tone. “Kal-El, my son. I have waited long to speak to you this way. Have you decided it is time to begin your training?”
What training? Lois thought, but stayed silent.
“How did you—?” Clark looked at Jason in wonder – the boy simply smiled. He cleared his throat and faced the apparition. “I was actually hoping you could help us with a problem.”
“A problem concerning these humans you have brought with you?”
“Well… not everyone here is completely human. I’d like you to meet Jason.” Clark gestured toward the boy. “He’s half-Kryptonian… or at least he says he is. And I believe him.”
A magenta-colored light burst from the top of the console and traveled downward, bathing Jason in an eerie glow. “It appears he is correct, Kal-El. And he seems to share many of your genetic characteristics. Is he your son?” The voice, which had been quite cool and collected, was suddenly sounding perplexed.
Clark seemed to struggle as well. “Not exactly… he’s the son of… a me from another dimension… we think.”
There was a long pause while the head seemed to deliberate this information. Chloe came to stand beside Lois. She was obviously as enthralled with the hologram as Clark was, her face rapt with wonder. Only Jason seemed to take it all in stride, a hopeful nervousness in his stance.
“Kryptonian scientists had speculated that alternate dimensions might exist, but we were never able to find any tangible proof. But young Jason here seems to be exactly what he claims.”
“Are things always so different in alternate dimensions? Jason tells me his father is an actual superhero, with a costume and a cape.”
“On the contrary, we speculated that most things were very much the same. Only some of the details might be different – such as having children or not having them. Perhaps there are an infinite number of parallel Earths, each with a different version of you. In one perhaps, you are not only a superhero, but one who works as part of a larger team spanning galaxies. In another, you may have a mundane job that means as much or more to you as helping people with your gifts. Maybe there is a world where you were raised by your birth parents… or one where your adoptive parents are both still alive.”
Clark’s face took on a pained expression for a moment. “And having a family of my own?” Clark asked quietly.
Jor-El’s voice turned compassionate. “Your mother and I never believed it was possible… but perhaps even in this world, there is a way.”
Lois looked away – she couldn’t bear to meet Clark’s eyes if he turned toward her… just the thought of knowing their counterparts were in love in another universe brought back an uncomfortable reminder of the way Lois had “fallen” for Clark under the influence of that tainted red lipstick.
“You helped me before to travel to the past…” Clark spoke again, and Lois looked back at the conversation with surprise. “Can you find a way to send him back to his own dimension?”
“This is… difficult. A great deal of careful computation is involved. The slightest mistake in the calculations could prove fatal for young Jason… or worse.”
Jason’s face fell, his hands balling into fists. Lois' inertia was suddenly broken. She quickly walked over to where he stood, and put a consoling arm around his shoulders. “Don’t worry, kid,” she murmured. “They’ll figure it out, I’m sure.”
“How long would it take?” Clark persisted.
“If such a transfer is even possible, it might be as long as… several of your Earth months.”
“Nooo…” Jason buried his head in Lois’ side, and she wrapped her arms around him. Poor thing!
Suddenly a blinding white light appeared on the other side of the antechamber and everyone spun to face it. Clark was in front of all of them in a flash, arms outstretched to block them from harm. Obviously, this wasn’t something Jor-El was doing.
When the light died away, a golden sphere hovered before them. A portal opened in the side and two shadowy figures stepped through. The first was a young man, possibly a teenager, with blond hair… pupil-less violet eyes… and green skin. A pattern of three connected white circles was emblazoned across his forehead. His clothing was positively futuristic, black and maroon, with the same triple-circle pattern across the chest.
The second was a young woman with long blonde hair, magenta-colored eyes with matching spherical earrings. Her clothing was no less striking – white with magenta side panels.
Clark tensed, his fists coming up in a protective gesture.
“Not friends of yours, I take it,” Lois muttered. Clark didn’t respond, his attention completely on the intruders.
The young man stepped forward, raising a hand in greeting. “Do not be alarmed. We’re here to hel—” He stopped in confusion.
Their male visitor looked between each of them… Clark, Jason, Lois and Chloe… and then shared a significant look with his fellow traveler. “Uh oh, Imra. I think this is more complicated than I imagined.”
Next: Part 4