Fandom: Smallville/Superman Returns/Legion of Superheroes crossover. Mostly set in the Smallville universe, with a few comics/toonverse touches.
Word Count: Part 5: 1,955 words
Betas: van_el, mark_clark
Summary: Chloe, Clark and Lois encounter a strange visitor… from another dimension.
Author’s Note: Make sure to check out the above link to a summary of LoSH, if you are confused about Querl and Imra. And Happy Father’s Day!
Previously: Part 1 || Part 2 || Part 3 || Part 4
Clark heard Jason’s heart rate shoot up just before he cried out in fear. “No!”
“We won’t let that happen, Jason.” Clark immediately recognized the terror in the boy’s voice. The sound recalled the images of Jor-El and Jonathan to his mind – he couldn’t put Jason through the same devastating loss.
He turned to Querl. “I’m still not sure I can trust you, but I don’t seem to have a choice.”
“This is the right choice, Kal-El. I promise,” Imra said, reaching out her hands to both Clark and Jason. “Your trust is not misplaced.”
Clark immediately bent down to kneel in front of Jason. This wasn’t just his decision. “Hey, Jason, what do you think? Should we trust them?”
“You’re going, right?”
Jason looked up at Lois with concern. “Is M—Lois going, too?”
“Well, I—” Lois began, but Imra’s melodious voice cut in.
“I’m afraid she can’t go. Miss Sullivan must stay behind as well. Only the two of you…”
Querl added, “The time stream is already in considerable flux.”
“And there is limited space in the Time Bubble.” Imra indicated to the golden pod behind them.
“That, too,” Querl agreed.
This news made Jason frown. “I really want to get home…”
“I assure you that this is the way to do it,” Querl put in, but Jason kept his eyes locked on Clark’s.
Lois knelt on the other side of Jason. “Go with Clark. He’ll keep you safe.” Above Jason’s head, Lois flashed Clark a look that said, You’d better, or you’ll have to deal with me! “I’ll miss you, kiddo. It was great to meet you.”
Chloe came to stand behind him. “I’ll miss you, too. And Clark,” she went on, placing a hand on Clark’s shoulder. “Come back, okay?”
Lois’ face twisted in embarrassment. “Yeah, you’d better come back. Who else would I have left to pick on?” She grinned briefly in that tomboyish way she sometimes had, before scowling. “And you owe me a way more detailed explanation about all this when you get back, too.”
“I promise.” He grinned back. She was so mercurial.
To Chloe, he asked, “You remember how to get back through the portal to Smallville?” She nodded, staying silent.
He held out his palm to Jason. “Ready to go?”
Jason nodded and took his hand. Clark stood up. They walked toward their odd visitors, who shared a concerned glance before turning their attention back to Clark and Jason.
Clark stopped in place. “What?”
Querl opened his mouth, but then shook it decisively. “It’s not important now… and it can wait until I bring you back home.” He looked into Clark’s eyes earnestly, almost hopefully. “I promise to tell you then.”
Clark pressed his lips together. He was about to protest, but his vision blurred for a moment and he suddenly felt a wave of resolve. It’s more important to get Jason back, anyway. It’s not as if I haven’t kept my share of secrets, too. “All right. I’ll hold you to that.”
Querl smiled in relief. He tapped a sequence on his arm controller and the golden pod – the Time Bubble – opened a portal in the side. He gestured for everyone to precede him. Clark gripped Jason’s hand tighter and stepped inside.
The portal closed behind them and Clark looked around. There were a couple of seats floating over a metallic floor, with a holographic display of some sort hovering in the middle, not attached to anything visible. Querl walked over to the display to enter some commands. “This shouldn’t take long.” The walls suddenly shifted into a swirling vortex, and Clark fought a sudden queasiness. Jason had dropped his hand and was staring around him in wonder.
“So…” Clark started, trying to get his mind off of the walls, “you’re called the Legion of Superheroes, right? Why did only two of you come?”
“The ripple effect caused by the alteration to the timeline is disruptive and destructive – causing many different catastrophes to deal with. As a result, none of the other Legionnaires were free to travel in the Time Bubble with us,” Querl explained, not looking up from the display. “And with the timestream being hazardous to traverse – it would have been risky to send more, especially when they are needed now.”
“And we were uniquely suited to traveling to the source of the timeline disturbance,” Imra said serenely.
Jason broke from his trance. “Really?” he asked, clearly curious. “Querl is really good with computers… what is your power?” Clark turned toward her, just as curious.
At that moment, the swirling stopped. “We’re here,” Querl announced.
The doorway opened and Jason ran to look outside of the Bubble. He gasped. “We’re home!” Then he jumped out. They followed him as quickly as possible.
Clark looked around. They appeared to be in an office, nothing remarkable about it – a couple of framed pictures and newspaper articles on the wall. He had just determined that the articles were taken from the Daily Planet, when the Time Bubble vanished in a flash of light behind them.
“Are you sure this is the right place?”
“I think so…” Jason walked over to the door, and cracked open the doorway to peer out. A wide smile suddenly grew on his face. “Mom!” Jason rushed out into the next room.
It was too late to stop him, so Clark used his X-ray vision to keep track of him. The boy had made a beeline for a woman working at a desk halfway across the bullpen. She looked up toward Jason and Clark was struck speechless. The hair was different, there were a few more lines around her eyes and mouth, but it was distinctly… Lois.
She put her arms around Jason, kissing him on the top of the head. With his super-hearing, he overheard her say, “What’s up, Munchkin? Have a good nap?”
Querl and Imra walked calmly toward the doorway to follow Jason. “Wait!” Clark held up a hand in alarm. “You can’t just walk out there like that—!” Even if he’d never been to this reality, he doubted they would pass for the average person on the street.
“Don’t worry, Kal-El. It will be fine.” Imra smiled. “You were curious about my talents? Watch.”
She stopped just outside the door, and lifted her hands to her temples. Her eyes began to glow an eerie shade of magenta and waves of power seemed to roll from her. “You will not notice anything amiss. Go about your daily business.” Clark looked out across the bullpen, where everyone except Jason and Lois were frozen in place, their eyes glowing the same bizarre shade of pink. A moment later, she lowered her hands, and the trance was broken. Everyone moved about as they had before.
“You can control minds?” he asked, deeply troubled.
“Yes. But I assure you, it’s only for their protection. They were never meant to see us. If Mordru hadn’t interfered…”
By this time, Querl had walked past them. No one so much as blinked at the sight of a green-skinned young man with robotic arms. The three of them quietly made their way toward Lois and Jason.
Lois was still focused on Jason, stroking his hair back from his eyes. “I’m glad you’re happy to see me… but what brought on this…?” She trailed off when she realized that they had company.
Her eyes widened. “Holy—” She grasped Jason close to her. “Who the hell—?” Her eyes frantically traveled between Clark Querl, and Imra, and then back to Clark. “What happened to you? And why is no one else freaking out here?”
“It’s okay, Mom. They’re with us.”
Lois looked down in surprise. “With us?”
“Lois Lane.” Querl held out a hand to shake, which Lois ignored. “Allow us to introduce ourselves. My name is Querl Dox, and this is Imra Ardeen.”
“Nice to meet you,” Imra said. “I have placed a mental block on anyone observing us. They will ignore us almost completely.”
“We are travelers from the 31st century. We are here to—”
Lois didn’t let him finish. “Are you just going to stand there looking foolish, Clark? What the hell happened to you, and…” She dropped her voice to a bare whisper. “…where are your glasses?”
He blinked. He supposed he had been standing there looking flummoxed. This Lois was so much like his own Lois, but she had grown into a… force of nature… He tried to find his voice. “I’m not Clark. Well, not your Clark. He’s…”
“He’s on his way home!” Jason supplied, pointing at the television monitors.
On a live feed, the monitors showed a red-caped figure sailing through the air, one fist held straight in front of him. Below the video, the news crawl read, “Superman Returns from Successful Moon Mission.” A subtitle below added, “Space Program finally back on track?”
She hardly reacted to the knowledge that all of these newcomers knew about Clark’s dual identity. “If you’re not my Clark, what kind of Clark are you?”
“I think I can explain this, Ms. Lane,” Querl put in hastily. “This is a younger Clark Kent, from an alternate dimension. Your son, Jason, was sent to his dimension through a magic spell cast by the sorcerer Mordru. I brought both of them back here because we hope to stop the havoc Mordru will certainly wreak on this timeline.”
“That’s true, Mom. I was there. It was like here, but all different! And there was this lady named Chloe, too.”
“Chloe?” Lois asked, puzzled. “My cousin? I haven’t thought about her for years…”
Well, that answers that question… Chloe will be relieved to hear she exists here. “You two are pretty close in my world.”
“Is your husband due back soon? I think he should be here before I explain any further,” Querl asked diffidently. “Do you have a ‘signal watch’..?”
“A watch?” Lois snorted. “No. But just a minute.” She cleared her throat, but then spoke in a lowered voice. “Clark! You’d better get back to the Planet ASAP. We’ve got visitors.”
Lois looked back up at all of them. “Take a seat. He shouldn’t be long.” As they pulled chairs toward her desk, she regarded Clark with surprised appreciation. “Wow.”
“What?” Clark asked, highly uncomfortable under her gaze.
“It’s just…” She swallowed. “If my Clark had looked like you do back when we first met… I don’t think I would have ignored him for even one second…” She winked. Imra chuckled beside him.
Clark blushed. The Lois of the vision Jor-El had shown him had reacted almost the same way. Of course, his own Lois had first met him while he was stark naked… and she was hardly throwing herself at him.
Querl tried to help. “Well, you must admit that was the point – he needed to blend in to separate himself from his hero persona…”
“Lois?” A querulous shout came from the direction of the elevators. “What’s all this?”
Everyone turned to see a tall, awkward man in a brown suit clumsily making his way toward Lois’ desk. “Clark!”
The Older Clark got within five feet of him and then stopped. He ran his gaze over the three of them slowly, warily – Younger Clark guessed he was using his X-ray vision on them. When he finished, he ran a hand through his hair in confusion. “Well, I’ll be darned.”
He looked at Querl. “You’re clearly some sort of robotic alien.” Gesturing at Imra, he said, “And you’re surely human, though I’ve never seen eyes like that before…” And then he looked at Younger Clark. “And you…”
Younger Clark’s lips twitched in amusement. “Jor-El forgot to tell you about this possibility, too?”
Next: Part 6