Fandom: Smallville/Superman Returns/Legion of Superheroes crossover. Mostly set in the Smallville universe, with a few comics/toonverse touches.
Word Count: Part 8: 1, 955 words
Betas: van_el, mark_clark
Summary: Chloe, Clark and Lois encounter a strange visitor… from another dimension.
Author’s Note: Been on vacation! Here’s the finale! And the news that the Legion will be coming to Smallville in season 8 makes me freak out about writing this story in the first place… Back around Part 3, van_el actually wanted to make a wager on whether the Legion would show up next season – he wanted me to turn this into an epic fic if they showed up in TV canon. But I wouldn’t take that bet. Whew, saved! ;)
Previously: Part 1 || Part 2 || Part 3 || Part 4 || Part 5 || Part 6 || Part 7
Lois rocked her foot impatiently inside her heel. She and Chloe had only been back at the Planet for about thirty minutes – but it had taken them three hours to travel from the Fortress… to the caves in Smallville… back to Metropolis in Chloe’s car.
We should have just waited at that Ice Palace—Fortress thing—whatever… I mean, really, couldn’t Robot Boy have just returned Clark to the same moment in time that he’d left? Not to mention the fact that it would have taken Clark a matter of minutes to get them back here…
Lois started to watch the clock, even though she had been trying to avoid that all afternoon. Nearly quitting time. If they had waited, they would still be there now. Maybe freezing to death, too…
Why weren’t they back by now? Had something gone wrong? As the seconds ticked by, was she witnessing the end of her dimension as she knew it?
Lois dragged her eyes away, focusing instead on Chloe, who worked at her computer. She seemed unconcerned, except for biting the corner of her bottom lip the way she did when she was nervous.
Chloe had spent the drive filling Lois in on the last few years regarding Clark. It was amazing how much Clark and Chloe had managed to hide from all of them. And the drive had really helped her organize her thoughts on the whole thing. Intellectually, she understood all of their reasoning for keeping Clark’s background and powers secret… Personally, she thought it sucked.
Apparently, in Jason’s world, she was the one Clark trusted with this secret! And if she had been reading Querl and Imra’s comments correctly, his wasn’t the only world like that. What went wrong?
But then again, it made her a little nervous to consider a world like Jason’s. Sure, she’d be in the know… but then she’d also be married… to Clark! And mother… to Clark’s son! Hours after learning that information, Lois still wasn’t sure how she felt about it.
Granted, she and the farm boy might get along pretty well, there might have been a spark of chemistry there that one time with the lipstick… but he was just… he was too… hell, he was Smallville! She couldn’t deny that she was starting to view Clark in a different light, though…
A flash of light to the left startled her out of her thoughts, and drew her eyes. The light coalesced into the golden form of the Time Bubble. Finally!
It didn’t matter that the Bubble’s appearance in the middle of the Planet was causing shock and gasps of fear throughout the room – both she and Chloe leapt up from their chairs.
Imra stepped out of the Bubble first, her eyes glowing a strange shade of pink… but Lois zipped past her to tackle Clark in a hug, beating even Chloe to the punch. Clark oofed in surprise. His chest was hard as steel, but Lois didn’t care.
Lois suddenly realized what she had done and stepped back, awkwardly brushing her hair out of her face. “Welcome back, Smallville.” The Bubble vanished into thin air, leaving its occupants standing on the carpet of the bullpen.
Chloe threaded between them to hug Clark next. “Did everything go okay?”
Querl came around Clark’s other side, and both girls startled slightly. If he had seemed completely alien in the Fortress, he looked even more out of place here amidst the rows of office desks. “With Clark’s help, we were able to work together to defeat Mordru. The time stream has been restored in young Jason’s dimension.” He placed a robotic hand on Clark’s shoulder. “We were just in time.”
“Thank goodness,” Chloe sighed.
“Yeah,” Clark said, seeming to find his voice. He was staring strangely at Lois – she couldn’t really read the emotion behind his eyes. What had he seen in that other world to make him look at her that way?
Lois opened her mouth to ask, but Chloe spoke first. “Why is everyone frozen in place?”
Scanning the room herself, Lois noticed everyone’s eyes – except the five of them – were glowing the same odd pink as Imra’s. “That’s not shock… is it?”
Imra gestured around them calmly. “In their minds, these people see nothing out of the ordinary. It would be impractical to let them see us. When we leave, they’ll go back to normal, as if none of this happened.”
Querl nodded. “All Titanians can do this harmlessly.”
“She did the same thing back in Jason’s world,” Clark added.
She…? Lois frowned. As calm and benign as the girl appeared, the thought of a person, even a ‘superhero’ who could control minds was a bit disturbing. But Clark was seeming to accept it without a lot of fuss… “So…” she began, changing the subject. “What was it like there?”
“Did you get to meet the other Clark and Lois?” Chloe added with interest.
“Yes, I did.” Clark shrugged awkwardly. “It was… different. The other me is almost… larger than life. And people seem to love him there. And Lois…”
Lois held up her hands. “Wait! I don’t want to know!” Lois closed her eyes. “Just tell me one thing. Was she awesome?”
Lois opened one eye to see Clark’s smirk. “Of course she was. What do you think?” Turning to Chloe, he added, “And Chloe Sullivan was alive and well, though Lois hadn’t seen her in years.” That made Chloe grin.
“You are forgetting to tell them about the power you discovered, Clark.”
“Power?” Lois asked.
Chloe chimed in, “Did you finally…?”
“Well…” Suddenly, he was rising from the floor, hovering several inches from the ground.
“Whoa…” Lois managed.
“Oh, my God!” Chloe clapped her hands over her mouth in delight. Clark floated downward, blushing faintly.
Watching him easily display his superpowers in front of her, now that she’d had some time to think about everything, flipped a switch inside of Lois. This wasn’t just her flannel-wearing friend from Hicksville, USA. This was a person who she had known for four whole years without ever letting on that he could do all these amazing things. A person who had probably saved dozens of people – and maybe Lois herself – without taking any credit. What kind of person was he, really? The farm boy? Or this god-like alien? Lois suddenly wanted to know more. Much more. Starting with the people in front of her.
“So…” she said, turning toward the time travelers. “Now what? Are you going to have to leave… or can you answer some questions? It would be fascinating to know if there are disasters which might be prevent—”
“We must leave,” Querl cut in. “The longer we stay, the more likely that we will disturb the time stream here as well. Thus far the damage has been minimal.”
“Oh,” Clark said, seeming more disappointed than any of them. “Thank you for coming, then. And I’m sorry I didn’t listen earlier, when I had more time. I will try to remember everything you said.” He held out a hand to shake.
Querl took it, and held it fast, eyes widening in sorrow. “You’ve always been good about that.”
He shook Imra’s hand next, saying, “And thank you as well. I’ll never forget how you helped us.”
“Clark, thank you…” She smiled sadly, and lifted her hand to touch his cheek gently. “You don’t know what that means to me. It makes this so much harder…”
Clark’s eyes began to glow pink.
“Hey!” Lois pushed forward.
“What are you—?” Chloe gasped. Imra stunned them both with a look. With a touch of Imra’s gloved fingers to her own temples, Chloe’s eyes glowed eerily as well.
Lois found herself unable to move, unable to growl out a protest. Why are you doing this?! she raged inwardly.
I know this must rankle, Lois. But it is for the best. Imra’s voice rang in her mind, seeming to come from all directions.
Like hell it is! The three of us could do so much with this knowledge! We could be a team, righting the wrongs out there! Why would you take that away from us…!
Imra’s face grew even more sad. While this might be true, we cannot predict what kind of alteration might happen in your timeline. No, Lois… She took a small step closer, her magenta eyes shimmering in compassion. Clark must come into his destiny in his own time, and his own way. You must learn about Clark in kind, as well. The future shows this much, at least.
Why wait until the future… why waste any time!? This was ridiculous! Couldn’t she see that? Lois struggled mentally against her bonds to no avail. And why are you telling me all this, instead of Clark or Chloe!
Their lives will not be as greatly changed by ‘forgetting’ this day. I wished you to know why, if only for a few moments. Imra’s head tilted in thought. Tell me, Lois. Would you be as happy heading toward a future set on a fixed path? Or seeing a life filled with possibilities?
Imra didn’t let her answer… maybe she already knew… the world washed magenta and then went white.
Lois blinked and tilted back and forth on her heels. What in the world had she been thinking about just now? She’d been walking back to do something at her desk, and now she couldn’t remember what it was… Weird.
Lois lifted her eyes toward the clock. Still mid-afternoon. Plenty of time to figure it out before deadline…
“Uh…” a familiar voice sounded behind her, and she swiveled in alarm.
“Smallville! When’d you get here?”
“Just now. Coming by to… say hi…?”
“Hi.” He seemed as disconcerted as she was. It was going around or something. She called across the aisle. “Chloe! Did you know Clark was here?”
“No…” Chloe put a hand to her head, and then shook it. “Hi, Clark. You need help with something?”
“Not this time. Just in the neighborhood.”
Chloe smiled and began to type away at something on her computer again.
“Actually, Lois…” She looked up. Apparently he had remembered. “There’s something that you can help me with.”
He darted a glance back at Chloe. “I’ve been thinking about what you said a couple weeks ago. About how I shouldn’t stay on the farm? Start trying to make a difference?” He shifted to block Chloe’s view. “I know that Chloe got her job back when Lex left the paper… do you think there are any positions open?”
“There’s always something,” she said, a grin starting to spread across her face. “I knew you’d see it my way!” Lois pulled an application out of her files, where she’d been saving it. “Are… are you trying to hide it from Chloe or something?”
“Well… I wasn’t the best reporter on the Torch staff, you know? I don’t know what she would think about me working here…”
“Oh, she’ll be thrilled, you know that.” Lois whapped Clark on the arm with the application before handing it to him. “What changed your mind?”
“I don’t know… I just realized that if I really wanted to go where the action was…”
“Plus, you’re here so much, they probably already think you work here,” she teased.
He laughed, his smile lighting his face. There was a confidence, a sense of purpose she hadn’t noticed before. Was it just making this decision that had caused the change? It was… attractive. She pushed the thought aside to examine later.
“You know, somehow I have this feeling you’ll get hired.” And strangely, she really did. She stood, sticking out her palm. “Welcome to the Planet.”