~ Smallville, April 1989~
The green rocks glowed in the yellow sun, as if they had never seen such a brilliant light. In the centre a small spacecraft carrying a child with great power entered the atmosphere surrounded by the shards of extraterrestrial rock. The first meteors landed on the planet known as Earth a few moments before, the ship hit in the middle causing large tremors and then as the rest of the meteors fell the ship was engulfed in a ball of flames.
It was the largest shower that the state of Kansas had ever seen, possibly the worst that the United States had seen. No one ever connected the shower to the small boy that appeared in the Kent's arms the next week. Amidst so much tragedy it was almost a welcome change in the discussions that the once barren Martha had been blessed with a child. Even if he was not her own.
The Air force and NASA checked over the sites but the rocks gave off only low level radiation and were not of any real danger to human life so the people in the backwater town of Kansas were forgotten once more.
Jonathan and Martha Kent decided that they would hide their alien boy from the world for fear that he would be experimented on. The couple were almost certain after a few weeks that he was not part of some invasion force and that no matter what had happened he was most likely an innocent bystander in some intergalactic dispute. They wanted a child and their boy, whom they named Clark, deserved a chance at life.
They could not have known that he was not the only survivor of his planet's destruction or that others would follow.
Christian Cairns was new to Smallville. Joining the class in sophomore year when the others had already had a chance to make friends, was a daunting task, but one that he had to face. As if being the new kid was not enough, getting his high school diploma was not the only reason for him being in the school. Chris was also there to develop a friendship with the locals and discover what he could about the meteor strike. Chris had a vested interest in the meteor rocks, not just because they were the cause of all weirdness in Smallville, but because they came from his home world. Chris was one of a small group that had been sent out to look for any clues about why the meteors had struck earth and to see if the rumours of Jor El's experiments were true.
Chris was so deep in thought about the meteor rocks that he stumbled slightly in the corridor, swearing under his breath he looked up to meet the gaze of a good looking earth girl. The blonde choppy hair framed her face and she had a sympathetic smile as if she understood his position. Probably as one of the science club geeks or the future farmers of America she would be used to tripping over her own feet.
"Oh, sorry," she said as she held out the book he had dropped.
"No, it was my fault." Chris apologised. "I wasn't looking where I was going. I'm new around here, I should have been paying more attention."
"Welcome to Smallville," she smiled flirtatiously. "I'm Chloe Sullivan. I guess that means you'll be going to school here too. Are you a senior?"
"Hi, I'm Chris and no, actually, it's only my second year in High School." Chris replied noticing how she took in his 6' 1" frame and his build like a football player.
It was clear that she had thought he was too tall or built to be in that year. That was one thing that Christian could not help. They were all a little taller on Krypton, it was only natural for them to be over six feet. In fact a lot of people grew to what amounted to over 7 feet in earth measurements.
"Cool. Me too." Chloe said as her smile grew. "Maybe I could show you around."
"I'd like that."
//You're supposed to be scouting out potential landing sites for the meteors not potential dates//
"I'm sorry, I have to go." Chris said in reaction to the voice in his head.
Chloe nodded. Christian did not bother to reply in telepathy. He knew that they were watching him, and that he was supposed to be on the look out for anyone who knew about the meteors. He also had to keep up the pretence of being a normal human boy, sometimes he wondered if that was even possible.
Chloe watched Chris' muscular back as he retreated from her. Chloe was glad that he would be in her year, they needed some eye candy. Clark was alright but she was sick and tired of watching him chase around after Lana Lang, especially after the mess of the Spring Formal. After a summer living it up in the big city during her internship she was ready to move on. Maybe she would have more luck with this one. He was certainly a tall and handsome guy and she could do worse than him.
Clark trudged down the corridor, not really glad to be back at school. His summer had been a boring mix of hard work on the farm and missing most of his friends. He had seen a little of Pete, but the football player was going steady with one of the cheerleaders, and with Chloe and Lex both in Metropolis for the summer that only left Lana. To be honest he was so over her that it was not funny, the last thing that he wanted was to spend time with the self-absorbed fairy princess.
"Hey Clark." He heard a voice behind him, turning Clark saw Chloe, his best friend and the one girl that he could see himself with. Chloe found herself engulfed in a massive hug and was surprised to see that Clark had missed her that much. She was pretty sure that with Whitney out of the picture that the boy would have moved on to Lana. "WOW, guess you missed me."
"Yeah." Clark said as he put her down, a wide smile on his face. "No one else drags me out at 3am in the morning to search for mutants and weirdness."
Chloe laughed, it was good to be back but she could not help but notice the bags under Clark's eyes and the pain that he hid behind his smile.
"Clark, is everything okay?" She asked concerned. "You look a little tired."
"A few too many late nights and early mornings. You know what it's like." Clark replied, Chloe knew that he was not telling her the whole story but there was not much she could do about that.
Clark was glad that she accepted the lie, or at least that she did not push it anymore than she had. The truth was that he had experienced a lot of troubling dreams. A few about a strange presence that he could not see and some that bothered him even more about Lex. It was not that he was worried about Lex being in his dreams but it was what they were doing in those dreams that worried him. Where he had once had wet dreams about Lana, now they were of Lex, and he and the billionaire playboy were doing more than kissing. There was a lot of naked flesh too and he wondered how he would be able to keep his hands off the other man when he saw him next.
"Clark?" Chloe questioned, pulling her friend out of his deep thoughts. "You ready for class?"
"Sure." Clark responded distractedly.
"Hi Chloe," a third voice put in. Clark turned and saw a blonde boy, a few inches smaller than he was but built a little bigger. "Who's your friend?" He enquired, Chloe blushed a little and then stuttered a response.
"Hi Chris, this is Clark," she said. "he's my friend." She said, realising that she was pointing out the obvious but stressing the word friend because she did not want this one getting the wrong idea.
"Christian Cairns," Chris introduced himself, smiling he put out his hand.
"Clark Kent," he said shaking it. Clark pulled his hand back quickly, he had felt an electric shock of sorts coming from the other man and did not feel at all comfortable around him. The last time he had felt this was with the criminals that had broken into Lex's, then there had been meteor rocks involved, he wondered if Chris too had been exposed. "So, you new in town?" He asked suspiciously.
"Actually yeah. My family just moved in over at the old Barrett Farm." Chris said. "My father and brothers are looking at starting a business and it seemed like the ideal time to move."
Chris had run off his mouth, he knew that but there was something about the other young man, this Clark, that had triggered a fear based response in him. The shock was not something that he had experienced before with another human.
//Should I check him out?// Chris asked the people in his head.
//Don't worry about him, just concentrate on the mission.//
"...class?" Chloe asked. Chris realised that he had missed what she was saying because he was listening to the voices in his head.
"Sorry?" He asked, shaking his head slightly so that he could again focus on what she was saying. "I was miles away."
"I said 'Are you coming to class?'" Chloe said, her mind already ticking over the possibilities that there was more to Chris than met the eye. Maybe he had some power that could be explained by the meteor rocks, then again maybe it was just nerves.
"Sure." Chris said, allowing her to lead the way.
Clark paused a moment, taking the time to X-ray Chris' body, checking for some clue that he was different like he had seen in Tina. Clark was sure that he had heard a voice in his head, one that sounded all too familiar but he did not recognise it. Clark was not a mind reader after all. Although it was one of the few powers he did not have that he might have liked.
Chris' physiology was the same as anyone else so Clark at least knew that the other boy was not affected by the meteor rocks, at least not physically.
Lex smiled as he revved his engine one last time and pulled into the driveway of the expensive castle that he thought of as home. It was strange but the place that had once been his prison was now the only place that he wanted to be. His mother always said that it was not the walls that made a home but the people that you built it with and he wondered if that was what Smallville was for him.
After a summer of listening to his father list his weaknesses, Lex had finally screwed up once too often and was back in Smallville where he wanted to be. Lionel had not sold the plant and was glad of it now that he had somewhere to exile his wayward son. Not for the first time Lex was thankful that his father did not know him as well as he seemed to think he did. Lex had acted pleased with his return to Metropolis, telling many aides and friends that he hated Smallville life, it was those well placed comments that had gotten him a one way ticket back here. A ticket straight back into Clark Kent's life.
If nothing else he was here to watch his friend.
The castle was as he had left it, the workman that had fixed the damage from the storm had done a good job and it almost looked like the same place. Only a well trained eye could see that the beams were new and the cabinet a replica. Still, Lex was the only one who had every really cared for such idiosyncrasies of the castle and he was the one that would have to live with it, a few alterations did not make any difference to him, the important thing was that he was back in Smallville.
Lex allowed Enrique to take in the suitcases from the trunk of his sports car, he stopped only to take out the bag and briefcase that sat on his passenger seat. These were the important things that he wanted to carry himself, one was his paperwork for LuthorCorp and the other was a small gift that he had picked up for Clark, just a little something that had reminded him of the boy. He hoped that Jonathan would allow Clark to accept this one. The truth was that Lex wanted to bestow on Clark every gift that his wealth could afford, everything that the boy could ever need, but the only gift that mattered Lex knew he could never share with Clark because he could not give the boy his heart.
Clark watched with growing unease as Chloe got closer and closer to the boy that she called Chris. In the week since he had arrived at the school Christian Cairns had become one of the most popular guys in school. He was aiming for the honour role, a starting member of the football team and had asked to become part of the school paper, working as a cartoonist in the role that Justin had given up. If Clark had not known better he would have said that there was something too good to be true about Chris Cairns, the problem was that he could not figure out what it was. Clark would have questioned his jealousy if he were still interested in Chloe but he only had eyes for Lex these days and the man was not there.
It was a surprise therefore to see his mentor at the Talon that evening as he watched Chloe acting like a fool to impress Chris.
"Hello Clark." Lex said with a bright but even smile.
The older man had known that Clark would be here with his friends to discuss the first weeks of school, he had been by a few times only to be informed by Lana that he had missed Clark, this day he had finished up early in order to get a glimpse of his crush.
"Lex..." Clark replied, still wondering if this was a figment of his overactive imagination or if the billionaire was actually there. "You're here?"
"Well, it turns out that Lionel needs me in Smallville." Lex said, his usual playful smile on his face. "Metropolis never was big enough for two Luthors at the same time."
"I'm glad you're back." Clark responded kindly, mentally adding a 'I missed you.'
"It's good to be back." Lex said matching Clark's smile and in his own mind realising just how much it felt like he was home now that he was back in the presence of the light that was Clark Kent.
It was hardly a reunion worthy of mention except for the fact that the energy rushing between the pair was obvious. To everyone else it was just the reunification of a friendship but to an older man sitting at the bar it was clear that more was going on. He watched as Clark innocently flirted, almost unaware of what he was doing, and as the other man pursued Clark in his own way.
Lex Luthor was no match for him however and as soon as he was sure that Clark Kent was the man he wanted he would not let anyone get in his way.
Standing to make his move the older man saw Clark take a seat with Lex and knew that he had to intervene.
"It's Clark isn't it?" The man asked as he approached the table. Clark looked up, frowning as he tried to place the unfamiliar face. Lex was openly hostile to the man, not wanting anything to interrupt his already limited time with Clark.
"I'm Kai, I want to talk to you," the older man said brusquely as he had no time for niceties.
"May I ask what about?" Lex asked, making his presence felt. Kai looked him over, Lex must be about twenty one, as old as he would be in earth years. Kai knew all about this man and knew that he would do anything to get Clark, he had similar feelings for Clark and he had only just met him. There was a certain charm to Clark Kent that made him the type of person that you could not help but fall in love with but Kai would not allow Clark to fall for Lex.
//Should I tell him about the spaceship, Clark?//
"What?" Clark asked shocked, Lex looked at him with a puzzled expression on his face. Clark looked over his shoulder for a moment and then back to Kai.
//I'm in your head Clark. I know your thoughts.//
"We should talk." Kai stated aloud, mostly for the benefit of Lex.
Clark looked up at him dubiously and then nodded, he was shaken at the fact that this man knew his secrets. When Phelan had found out he had at least known that it was his mistake and Ryan had kept his secret, not only could this guy read his mind but he could obviously speak into it too. Clark wondered if this was some meteor madness or if Kai had his powers from elsewhere.
"Clark?" Lex asked, worried that there was something going on that he did not know about. He wondered how he had forgotten what it was like to live in Smallville, Metropolitan life was so straightforward and yet here there was always some question that remained unanswered. It troubled him that they usually involved Clark.
"It's okay, Lex," Clark stated with a nervous smile. "Kai and I are just going to talk."
Lex nodded but did not like this one bit, as soon as he had seen them leave he picked up his cell and made a call. He had learned not to trust Roger Nixon but another investigator might be able to get to the bottom of this. At least they might give him some answers as to who this man was that had Clark so spooked. He had once told Clark that he looked after his friends and he had meant it. If nothing else he would help because Clark was more than a friend.
Chloe Sullivan walked over to him with a boy on her arm, the boy wore a lettered jacket and Lex shook his head to clear the confusion. There was certainly a lot that he had missed.
Chris has seen his second leave the Talon with Clark and was trying to come up with a good excuse to follow them without alerting the already suspicious mind of Chloe Sullivan.
"Lex, this is Chris Cairns." Chloe said as she introduced him to the bald man.
Chris took in the obviously expensive suit that Lex wore and wondered if this was something that he should know about, especially when he had seen Clark sitting with him. Lex was a powerful man, Chris knew that much, but what he did not know much about was the relationship between Clark and Lex.
"It's a pleasure to meet you." Lex said, his eyes glazing as if he was meeting one of his fathers associates. Chris shook the proffered hand and was pleased to see that there was no shock from Lex as there had been from Clark, at least he had been right about their man.
"You too Mr. Luthor." Chris said. "I really ought to go Chloe, I've got chores at the farm."
Chloe looked at him oddly, he had just told her that he was going to get a fresh drink and now he was leaving.
"Okay. I'll see you tomorrow," she replied. Chris merely nodded and then left quickly.
"Nice friend you've got there." Lex commented about Chris' abrupt departure. Chloe shrugged, not sure what she was supposed to say and then thought of an excuse to leave.
Lex had only one thought on his mind and that was that he was missing the normality of Metropolis, at least there all he had to worry about was his father's wrath.
Chris had left so suddenly because of the conversation he was overhearing in his head, Kai was approaching Clark and it was not in a good way.
The pair had left the Talon and found a back alley, one that led off from the side of the coffee house and had the slight odour of stale bread and rotting rubbish. Clark was not too bothered by it but it seemed to affect Kai a little, Clark wondered if he could use this to his advantage.
"What is this about?" Clark demanded as soon as they were in the alley, he pushed Kai hard against one of the walls. Clark had never used his powers to harm someone before, Jonathan and Martha had given him a better set of values than that, but he was not about to let anyone else use his secret against him.
Kai laughed, pushing back just as hard so that Clark was now pinned to the opposite wall. Clark fought but found that he was held tight, this was a first for him. Somehow Kai had the same powers as him, if nothing else Kai's were better developed.
"We can play this game all afternoon or we can talk." Kai said humourlessly. Clark struggled once more, using all of the strength he could muster but it still was not enough. He slumped against the wall and gave in, his only hope was that Kai would not want him to use his powers for evil.
"What do you want?" Clark asked again, repeating his earlier question with more force. The words were ground through his gritted teeth as he began to lose the feeling in his arms where he was pinned to the wall.
"Simple. I want to know what you know where you're from and what you know about the meteors." Kai replied. Clark blanched as he realised that this guy truly did know everything. Then in hit Clark, why didn't he just read his mind.
"It's so much more fun this way." Kai said, it was not really an answer to anything but Clark knew that it was an answer to his thoughts. He swallowed, this was going to hurt.
"I don't know anything." Clark said, this was a half-truth, all he knew was that he was from another planet and that had only been a recent discovery.
"I don't believe you." Kai replied as he pressed Clark harder into the wall. If Clark had been a human the pressure would have crushed him, as it was he was feeling the pain of the force that Kai was exerting. Just as Clark was wondering if he was about to die and be proved wrong in his theory that nothing could kill him a third voice entered the equation. It was the first time since knowing him that Clark was glad to see Chris.
"At ease, soldier." Chris ordered, Kai turned slightly and then growled low in his voice, dropping Clark on the ground.
Clark's mind was in overdrive, if this was a soldier then it meant that the government knew about him and that he was in deep trouble. His parents had always driven home how important it was that he keep his identity a secret in case someone took him away to do tests, he didn't think until now that he had been that careless.
"I apologise," Chris said calmly. It took a moment for Clark to realise that the football player was talking to him.
"It's not your fault." Clark soothed.
Kai was standing further away but Clark was a little scared of moving for fear that he would get another pounding. Chris moved slightly forward.
"We need to talk, but I don't think this is the time or place."
"I'm not sure that he wants to talk to you," a fourth voice added and not for the first time Clark was thankful that Lex was back in Smallville.
The billionaire had come outside and heard voices, not much but enough to know that Clark was behind the building in an passageway that usually only derelicts and alley cats would populate.
Clark pushed his way through, ignoring Chris and Kai and heading to Lex.
"Did you want a lift home?" Lex asked. Clark could not find his voice but Lex took the silence as a yes, having seen the other men in the alley Lex was not surprised that Clark was scared into silence. Especially not after the last hazing he had received at the hands of the football team.
Clark was glad of the safety of Lex's speeding car, they drove away from the scene of his attack quickly and without word. Lex was a little worried for his friend but also understood the value of allowing Clark the time to offer the information freely before he asked.
"Can we just keep driving?" Clark asked as they neared the turning for the Kent farm. It was the first words that either man had spoken since Lex had started the engine.
"Sure." Lex replied.
Lex tried to keep his worry out of his voice in his answer. Clark obviously needed time to think, maybe time to talk. In truth it gave Lex a feeling of satisfaction that Clark felt comfortable enough to spend that time with him rather than locking himself away in his fortress of solitude.
"They weren't hurting me," Clark said, as if out of nowhere. "Not really anyway."
Lex remained silent knowing that this was not the last thing that Clark wanted to say.
"I can't get hurt. At least not physically. The trouble is that they know the truth. They know that I'm an alien."
To his credit Lex's only reaction was the slight swerve of the car, soon enough he was driving straight again and there was no other reaction. He remained silent, wondering if Clark would reveal anything else.
Clark was not really sure why he was telling Lex all of this, but it felt good to talk and as he told him the first part he realised that he wanted to share the whole thing while he was able. At least while Lex was driving the other man could not react violently, nor could he run away.
"I can do stuff, like run really fast and throw really far. I'm strong too." Clark said. "I'm sorry."
After the apology Clark was again silent.
"What for?" Lex asked, keeping his tone soft and inquisitive. Not wanting to push his friend but genuinely wondering what a good boy like Clark Kent had to apologise for.
"For the meteor shower, I came down in a ship and brought them all with me. I'm sorry I lied too, you did hit me with your car. It was then that I found out I wasn't normal." Clark said, he looked miserable, as if Lex was going to react badly and Lex wanted to kill whoever it was that had told Clark he wasn't real.
"Clark, I doubt that you meant for the meteors to fall and I can hardly ask you to apologise for saving my life," Lex said. "I'm also glad that you felt that you could tell me, I know what it is like to hold a secret that no one else knows."
"You don't hate me?" Clark asked, his voice full of awe as he said so.
"I could never hate you." Lex responded honestly. Clark beamed the million watt smile that Lex loved so much and he knew that he had said the right thing. "Do you want to tell me what those men in the alley wanted?"
Clark's face fell and Lex kicked himself for pushing too hard, but he had vowed to himself that he would help Clark and this seemed to be the way he could do it.
"They found out my secret," Clark said. "I think they are from the government and one of them can do the same stuff I can."
Lex frowned slightly, his mind already ticking over the favours he could call in to find out who they were and what agency they were from.
"We'll sort this out Clark," Lex promised earnestly and Clark's face changed slightly as if there was some hope now that he had not had before. Lex hoped he could live up to that expectation.
"If you've ruined this for us..." Chris said as he reamed Kai out. Kai hated the fact that his supposed brother was using this verbal tongue to speak to him, Chris knew that it annoyed Kai but they were on no longer on Krypton and as the saying said, when on earth...
"I had to know," Kai retorted. "I'm not about to listen to the word of some girl who says that this inferior being is Kal El, son of Jor El. For all we know he is just another one of the kids that was affected by the meteor rock."
"Cassandra was more than 'some girl', she was a gifted seer, if nothing else she was gifted with the foresight not to tell him who he was when he went to her. Whether you like it or not Clark Kent is the last surviving noble of the former colonies, we need him to rebuild the hierarchy." Chris said, his voice was low so that others would not hear them but his meaning was clear.
//I will not bow down to that infidel//
//He is your King//
Kai knew that the word was final, he could no more question the word of his superior than he could kill Kal El for his weakness. He had not passed the trials of leadership and just by his blood Kal El was given that right, it was not a fair system but it was one that had kept the peace for generations on their planet. It was not a way of life that they would abandon overnight.
Even Kai knew that he had to accept that.
//Thanks to your impatience we will have to move through with the plan more quickly// Chris declared.
//Should we not first investigate whether he is in fact Kal El?// Kai asked in response.
//Did you not recognise his strength?// Chris replied, and Kai had to admit that his boss was right. Clark had a powerful aura that he could feel from some distance away. He was a true leader, one that had been born to his role and not made.
//Kal El is King//
//All Hail the House of El// Chris replied, a small smile on his face. With one hurdle overcome all he had to do now was convince Clark that he was King. It couldn't be that hard, right?
Lex Luthor sighed as he read over the report on the Barrett Farm, there was nothing he could see wrong with the new owners of the property other than the fact that they had no real records at all. It was almost as if they had miraculously appeared from nowhere and decided to move to Smallville. In most other towns that would have probably been normal but living in the centre of Kansas weirdness he could not dismiss the discovery that these people had no pasts. They could be from any number of government agencies and Lex was not arrogant enough to think that his name would be able to persuade them to back off, not if they knew what they were really dealing with.
Lex wondered if intimidation would work but that too would be a mistake if he was dealing with the NSA or the CIA, they had the power to make even someone of his renown disappear.
So he was stuck. He had promised to help Clark but even his resources would be stretched if they were secret agents. So he sighed because he had hit a brick wall as big as the great wall of China.
Lex sighed. This was exactly like just after the accident when he had not known about Clark's powers and had been stuck on how the boy had survived.
It struck him. Clark. If these people were the same as Clark, or if they had the same powers then it was a logical conclusion that there was something that would tie them together.
Standing decisively Lex grabbed his keys from where he had thrown them down on his desk and headed out. There was one place that he could get the answers that Clark had not already given him. He just hoped that Martha was there to act as a buffer when he asked the questions that needed to be asked.
Jonathan was out in the yard working when he heard the revving engine of the Porsche engine that barrelled into his drive. There was only one person that was rich enough or pretentious enough to drive a sports car in Smallville and he was the one person that Jonathan loathed more than Lionel Luthor. As far as Jonathan was concerned the apple had not fallen far from the tree and it was the most rotten of the bunch.
"Mr. Kent." Lex greeted as he stepped out of his car.
Jonathan gave him credit for the fact that he could unfold himself with a grace that many other men his size would not have, but it was about all he would give him credit for.
"Lex." Jonathan said with a tone of warning. "Clark is at school."
"I know, sir. Actually it was you and Mrs. Kent that I came to speak with." Lex stated calmly. He willed his heart to stop pounding and wondered why he was so worried about this.
"I don't think you have anything that we want to hear." Jonathan replied sternly. Lex did not look away from the stare.
"Jonathan." A feminine voice admonished, only then did Lex look away and into the warm, smiling face of Martha Kent. "Please come in Lex, I've just finished backing some brownies for the Talon. Would you like one? Maybe with a cup of coffee?" She asked with a kind smile. "Jonathan was just about to take a break too, weren't you?"
The look in Mrs. Kent's eyes reminded Lex of one of the nannies who had looked after him as a child. He had been ill then and she had a no nonsense attitude that made him take his medicine without question. Lex wondered if Martha had learned the look in the same place or if it was one that all mothers had to learn. Lex's own mother had never been strict with him but then his father had more than made up for it.
"Well, are you coming?" Jonathan demanded. Lex realised that he had gotten lost in his thoughts and nodded, following Jonathan inside the house.
It was a quaint house, one that Lex could imagine on a show like Little House on the Prairie or the Waltons, although the few modern conveniences that it allowed would be slightly out of place. Lex took a seat at the table that Martha had pulled out for him and watched as Jonathan took a seat opposite him. Possibly under the pretence of continuing the staring contest that he had initiated outside.
"Well, you said you wanted to talk with us. So talk." Jonathan said gruffly, he had work to be doing and the last thing he needed was to be stuck inside listening to whatever this Luthor had to say. The last one had not said much better and had ruined two of his friends, Lex did not appear to be any different.
"What has Clark told you about the other day?" Lex enquired, keeping his question deliberately vague. It was the easiest way to get someone to tell you something that they had not meant to say.
"Which day in particular?" Jonathan asked. "Our son seems to spend an inordinate amount of time with you lately."
"The day before yesterday Clark was involved in an altercation outside the talon." Lex explained. "The boy involved, or at least one of them, is one of Clark's classmates. He lives out at the Barrett Farm. They know Clark's secret."
Jonathan's stormy face fell and Lex wondered if this man had ever played poker, he would not be very good at it. But as quickly as Jonathan's face had changed it returned to the anger.
"If you've..." he began, but Martha chose that moment to intervene, placing a restraining hand on her husband's shoulder.
"What secret, Lex?" Martha asked. Lex wondered if she was asking what he knew or what they knew. He had underestimated her, she used similar techniques to those that he might employ with a worker that was lying to him. Lex would not underestimate her again.
"About the ship that Clark came down in, and the fact that he is not human." Lex said. Jonathan did not react, but Lex could see the anger that bubbled under his skin.
"Lex..." Martha began. Lex silenced her with a raised hand.
"Please don't patronise me by telling me that you don't know what I mean. Clark told me as much himself and I've been in Smallville long enough to believe that everything is not quite as it seems." Lex said.
"So what do you want?" Martha asked.
"I want to help Clark. I know that you don't believe that Mr. Kent but your son saved my life and if I can I would like to return that favour."
"What do you want Luthor?" Jonathan asked, and Lex supposed that it was the only admission of thanks or anything else that he would get from the stubborn man.
"I need to know about Clark's past. Where you found him? Anything strange about the landing..."
"Why should we tell you anything?" Jonathan asked. "We could just go over there ourselves and ask them what they want."
"I know that you are not that nave, Mr. Kent. You must know that I have already had these people fully investigated. The only reason I am coming to you now is that I am perplexed as to where else to go." Lex explained. "The people that are blackmailing Clark have no records, no pasts, and have left no trace of where they came from or who they are. They are professionals and the only way I can think of working this puzzle out is starting at the beginning."
Martha took a seat, pouring the coffee that had now filtered through and handing out the cups.
"It all started during the storm..." Martha began. As they told the story none of them were aware of the young man that had stood outside the door.
Clark had heard all that had been said and listened in awe as the three people that he cared about most discussed him. Clark had learned his lesson with Sam Phelan that he could not put those he loved in danger. The only logical step was for him to go to these people and reason with them, find out what they wanted and give it to them. No matter what the cost. Clark would not risk losing his family again, even if it cost him his life.
The Barrett Farm was an old homestead that was on the outskirts of the town. It had been neglected for years and despite the fact that it was a long way out of the danger zone of the meteors the farm had been empty for a long while. Allegedly there had been a dispute over who would inherit the farm after the owner's death.
Clark could see the three occupants inside the house from his vantage point at the top of their drive. He assumed that if the man who had called himself Kai was in there then they would know he had arrived. Clark assumed that this man shared all of his abilities and that would include X-ray vision and Super hearing. Clark did not feel the need to hide his abilities and sped into the farm, he expected that he would at least have the element of surprise that he had turned up but when he sped into the farmhouse he was surprised to see three occupants, all male, sitting at the table drinking some blue liquid.
"Ah, Clark. Please, have a seat." Chris said with a smile "I was wondering when you would come inside."
"You knew I was outside?" Clark asked. He had known that Kai shared his powers but not Chris too. Clark was beginning to wonder if Lex was right and if they were more powerful than he first thought.
"Kai is more developed than you but not more powerful." Chris said, as if answering Clark's unasked question.
Clark remembered that this man could read his mind and then tried to stop thinking about anything else that might incriminate him. There was a laugh in the room as if they could sense this and Clark looked at the third man, much older than the other two and Clark frowned.
"I'm not a mind reader Clark, you're just wide open and projecting very loudly. Just relax and take a seat, you have my word that nothing will happen to you or yours." Chris said.
Clark looked at the fourth chair around the table, it completed the set and he felt something inside him as he sat in the chair.
"What do you want with me?" Clark demanded almost as soon as he had sat down. "Who are you?"
"There are many questions to answer Clark, more than you can even comprehend. What do you know of your origins?" Chris asked, Clark looked at the other two before he spoke, they didn't seem to have anything to say.
"My Mom and Dad adopted me." Clark said.
"Try again Clark. This time start the story with your spaceship." Chris said. Clark looked uncomfortable.
"Shouldn't I have a lawyer or something?" Clark asked. Again the old man laughed, this time it was more of a snort than a giggle.
"You are not bound by earth law." Chris said. "And we are not either. Nothing you say will be used against you. We are on your side."
"Is this where you start the good cop, bad cop routine?" Clark laughed, but it was uneasy and Chris realised that he was dealing with a frightened deer and not the fearless leader that they had expected.
"We are not police officers, Clark." Chris began.
He took out a small, flat object and placed it on the table. When he pressed it a holographic image appeared. Clark wanted to run his hand through the image but did not want to stop this demonstration. The image cleared into something that Clark recognised instantly. It was a star map, admittedly one in three dimensions, and with lines on that Clark did not recognise. But it mapped at least two constellations that Clark could not recognise.
"This is our home." Chris said. He moved his hand over the disc and the image changed again, this time it was a close up image of a planet that was surrounded by two suns. "It's called Krypton."
"I..." Clark said, he could almost picture the image in his head as if he had seen it before.
"It's your home too." Chris continued. "Your biological father was a man named Jor El, he was a great scientist, scholar and thinker of his time. He foretold the very destruction of our planet. Unfortunately no one believed him until it was too late. You were but a baby when he sent you away, destined for a planet that you could call home."
"You're aliens?" Clark asked. There was a slight look of disbelief on his face and Chris felt the need to roll his eyes. Of course that would be a very un-Kryptonian thing to do but he, like Clark, had spent a lot of his life on Earth.
"We are Kryptonians, Clark, just like you."
"And you expect me to believe this?" Clark asked.
"We have your powers, your thoughts, your heritage and you still do not believe us?" Kai said, speaking up for the first time. He sounded angry.
"Stand down Kai, he does not know our ways." Chris said. Kai obeyed him immediately and sat down, still glaring at Clark but not saying any more.
"Why did you listen to him?" Clark asked of Kai, before realising that it probably wasn't a good idea to bait him. Kai did not reply, instead he looked to Chris. Clark followed his view and Chris nodded to Kai as if agreeing to some unheard question.
"In Kryptonian culture there is a set of rules that were laid out by our forefathers. They tell us everything about the way we live and the way we serve, even down to the way we should dress and communicate." Chris said.
Clark wondered if he believed them or not but listened anyway, not wanting to discount this explanation of where he came from before he had heard them out completely.
"There is also a hierarchy on which our civilization is based. There are three levels of people, the workers, the warriors and the nobles. You can work up through the ranks or be demoted down them but most are born into one rank and remain that. Kai is a warrior, he was born a worker but has passed the tests of a warrior. He could not be a noble."
"And you're a noble?" Clark enquired.
"No. I am a scholar. We are outside the hierarchy, we deal with the laws and the principles of our society." Chris explained. "We also run the tests."
"So what does this have to do with me?" Clark asked. It was all well and good them saying this and if he was from this planet Krypton he wanted to know about it but he had a home here and friends that he could not leave behind.
"You were born into one of the noble families, Clark. You are a noble of Krypton." Chris said.
"So?" Clark asked belligerently. Again he did not see what this had to do with him or why they were threatening his life in Smallville.
"You don't belong here with these... these... inferiors." Kai said. "You're a lord of the High Council."
"Kai!" Chris admonished. Again the man was silent.
"Clark. After your father sent you away the planet was destroyed just as he said it would be. A few of us were not on the planet, I was part of a convoy of ships that were on their way back to the planet from a scouting mission in another galaxy. Our people have spent the last fifteen years trying to rebuild their life but there is no structure to the society. Fights break out easily and people have no one to look up to and no one to lead them."
Clark looked down at his hands, he had not known that his people were dead, in some ways that made a difference, part of him knew that his parents were among those that had lost their lives that day.
"A lot of the nobles were lost. Those that weren't died soon after, they were not used to the new ways of surviving." Chris said softly, as if he could feel Clark's pain. "In all honesty Clark, you are the last member of the noble classes left. The only one that can save our people."
Clark was silent. Chris obviously believed what he was saying, his emotion showed a little as he spoke. Clark wondered if this was some kind of elaborate scheme to get him to go with them, but he was not a nave child. Clark knew the ways of the world and was not about to be duped for a second time.
"And I'm supposed to believe this, without any proof other than your words and a few gadgets." He said, indicating the small disc that lay on the table, still projecting images of a galaxy far, far away.
"There is proof, but we will need the space ship to use it." Chris said. He handed Clark a disc that was similar to the one he had used. When he handed it to Clark, the young man tried to press it but no image appeared. "It is blank, but the information on the ship can be uploaded onto it."
"You could just be doing this to get me to lead you to where it is." Clark said. Realising too late that he had mentioned that there was a ship.
"It is in your storm cellar." Kai said. "Not the most secure of hiding places."
This time Chris did not admonish Kai, in fact the comment got a smile. Clark understood now that he was lost. He had come to face them ready to seek answers but this was not what he had expected, now that he had started the ball rolling he had nothing else to do but to go along with them.
"Okay." Clark said. "Do you... I mean..." Clark wondered how he was supposed to ask if they ran like he did.
//We can hear your thoughts.// Kai said impatiently. //We can fly or run to the destination in a few earth seconds.//
"Or we could take the car." Chris said. He took out a set of keys and headed out, not expecting any arguments.
"Wait. You can fly?" Clark exclaimed. The older man stood and followed Chris but did not speak. Chris laughed slightly.
"There is a lot more for you to learn of your culture." Chris said diplomatically. "Flying is part of that."
"Wow." Clark said as he thought about how cool it would be to fly. Chris shook his head and opened the doors of the station wagon he owned.
Somehow he knew that it was going to be a long day.
Back at the Kent farm Lex had heard the whole story of them finding Clark as a baby, of Martha's wish to have a child and the fact that they had faked Clark's adoption when they had found him. They had always known that he was different but not quite how different. The ship was a bit of a give away that he had come down in the shower but they had thought that maybe he was part of the space programme or some scientific conspiracy. It was only when he was not like other children that they knew for sure he was extra terrestrial.
Lex had eaten two of Martha's brownies, the first from politeness, the second because he could not get enough of the delicious treats. He had almost forgotten why he was there.
"So, now you know our secret what is it going to take for it to remain that way?" Jonathan asked, still wary of anyone that bore the name Luthor.
"Mr. Kent, I..."
He was interrupted by a loud bang coming from the direction of the barn. Jonathan stood and moved toward the noise, disappearing outside and only pausing long enough to reach for his shot gun.
"Stay here." Jonathan ordered. But Lex was a few paces behind him and when he saw the look on Martha's face he hastened his step so that he would be on the porch with Mr. Kent sooner than he otherwise would have been.
"Who are you and what are you doing on my...Clark?" Jonathan finished, his threat dying off into a question as he saw his son. Clark was closely flanked by two younger men, an older man stood to one side.
"Clark." Lex began, he knew these men, they were from the alley. "What are you doing?"
"Dad. This is Chris and Kai, they know." He said cryptically. After a moments silence Chris stepped forward.
"I am Christian of the House of Cairn, this is Kai." He said. "I bring you greetings, Jonathan of the House of Kent."
Lex who was used to dealing with secretaries of state and dignitaries of many nations did not recognise the formal greeting.
"Dad, they're like me." Clark said softly. As if willing his father to lower the shotgun and accept his greeting. "They say I'm like them. That I'm from a planet called Krypton."
Jonathan looked over to his son and saw the complete belief on his face. He didn't care who they were, he wanted to kill them for whatever they had used to brainwash his boy. Clark was innocent enough to believe their stories.
"Do they have proof of these claims?" Lex asked, ignoring Jonathan's grunt as he spoke. Lex directed his question to Clark and Clark was glad that Lex seemed to trust his judgement even when his father did not.
"They say there is something in the ship." Clark said.
"Well, what are we waiting for?" Lex asked as he headed out to Clark.
Jonathan pointed the gun, moving it from their intruders to Lex and causing the boy to pause. Before he could react the shot gun was wrenched from his grasp. At first he suspected one of the three men, he was surprised to see that it was his own son that had moved the gun from his reach.
"It's the only way, Dad," he told his father. Chris looked flustered, he shook his head as if to clear it but Clark wondered if he was communicating telepathically with the others, Clark tried to listen to it in his head and felt a force hit him as a wave of pain.
//Forgive them, My liege, they are used to communicating together.// Surprisingly it was Kai's voice that he heard. He wondered if he had underestimated the other man.
Kai moved to his side in a moment, taking the gun from Clark and then hurling it out into the field with a strength bigger than Clark had imagined. It was definitely further than he could throw.
"So. Are we going to see this or not?" Lex asked impatiently. Kai smiled as if he too had wanted to say something and had not been able to.
Without another word they headed to the barn and watched hesitantly as Clark uncovered the ship that had brought him to earth.
Lex watched carefully as the tarpaulin was moved back and showed off the ship that was underneath. He had not expected something so small, but then Clark had been a child so he supposed anything bigger would have been useless. It seemed strange that the now six foot young man had come to earth in the ship that was less than two foot long.
"The disc fits in at the side." Chris said encouragingly as Clark watched it dubiously. Clark took a few tentative steps and then slid the disc home.
They waited a few moments, and nothing happened.
"Did Bill Gates..." Lex began but quieted as a red light appeared from nowhere above the ship.
"I am Jor El, head of the House of El. If you are viewing this then you have once again been reunited with your family, or you have found the key to this vessel. Either way it is time that you learn your true heritage. You are Kal El, son of Jor El and daughter of Lara. You are the last hope for our dying race. And in you all that is Kryptonian will live on."
The image faded and the storm cellar was again bathed in the darkness, the only light from the single hanging bulb in the centre of the ceiling.
"It's true." Clark breathed.
//There is more// Kai said, this time earning him a glare from Chris.
"Don't." Clark demanded, not wanting him to admonish Kai again. The man may have threatened Clark but he was fighting for his people.
"As you wish." Chris said formally. Kai reached out for Clark and then shrank back. Clark did not know what he was doing at first but then he saw. Kai offered Clark a second small disc.
"A key." Kai said softly. Clark nodded and accepted it, placing it on top of the first disc and then pressing firmly. He did not question how he knew what to do, just did it as if it were natural.
"This is the second message for Kal El, Son of Jor El. If you have reached adulthood you will find a mate, a partner with whom you can share the burdens of your soul. I can only hope that a suitable one can be found on this green planet called earth."
The disc continued, retelling the story of why Clark had been 'abandoned' and a little more about Krypton. Most of it was what Chris had told Clark.
Clark waited until the clip had ended to speak.
"He said about a mate. Are we compatible with humans, I mean you're all men so..." Clark paused when he saw the look that passed over Kai's face.
"Clark, Krypton is a little different to Earth."
"So I won't find anyone?" Clark asked sadly. Chris fought a smile.
"No. In fact I think you already have. Clark, on Krypton women are merely entertainment, a few men choose to use women to carry their children but mostly it is sisters of the holy order. Lara your mother was one such woman. Usually men choose other men to have a relationship with, frankly some of our people find the earth custom of heterosexuality a little..."
"gross?" Kai offered. Chris was about to say something but then looked at Clark and the older Kryptonian and did not.
"You said I'd found my mate..." Clark said, wondering if it was Chloe.
Chris' eyes moved to Lex.
"I had thought that the pair of you were bonded." Chris said. "You went to his aid earlier and it is obvious that you share a bond."
"We're friends." Clark said.
//But you feel more// Chris pushed. //I see even now the thoughts in your head of how you want him// Clark blushed, he could not help it.
"What is this bonding?" Lex asked uneasily. "How is it initiated?"
Lex had remained silent throughout but now he wondered if he could have inadvertently triggered something in Clark without even knowing. Lex was astute enough to guess that there was more going on here than he had seen or heard and that meant something else. Ryan had been a mind reader and he had confused a lot of them, Lex wondered if they had the same talent.
"It is okay, neither one of you is to blame for this. Fate has written that you will be together. It is so."
"What are you talking about?" Jonathan demanded. "My son is not gay."
"With all due respect Mr. Kent, Clark is not your son." Chris put in, showing that there was little respect in his voice.
"I will not allow this...he's a... a..."
Clark and Lex supplied at the same time.
"It is written in the annals of time. And as you would so boldly put it on this planet, that which God hath joined let no man put asunder." Chris said with a wry smile.
As he spoke the words it dawned on the three men that had grown on earth just what this bonding meant. Lex and Clark were to all intents and purposes married, at least under Kryptonian law.
"What if he doesn't want me?" Clark asked. "I can't ask him to...to be with me, when he didn't know any of this. He didn't even know that I was an alien, let alone my feelings for him. Lex is my friend... nothing more."
"Well, there is no real ceremony to separate a bonded pair, but you could try to move on." Chris said uncertainly, the older Kryptonian frowned at this. "But I don't think it is going to be a problem."
Lex looked at the gathered men and knew that this was nor the time nor the place for him to tell Clark that he would like to be more than friends.
"You do???" Clark asked.
Lex looked wide eyed. He was pretty sure that after twenty one years on this earth he could tell what thoughts he had spoken aloud and which he had kept to himself.
"A bonded pair can share thoughts, emotions, memories. It really makes marriage a lot easier." Chris said. "Clark is opening himself to the thoughts now, he can hear them."
"I need time to think about this." Clark said as he felt the last nerve begin to fray. This was a lot to take in. Lex took a few steps after him but felt a strong hand on his arm.
"Leave him be." The voice said. Lex turned to see Kai. "It is a lot to be told of your entire destiny in one day. Perhaps you should take time to reflect on it too."
Lex nodded weakly, his own emotional roller coaster beginning to make him feel dizzy. His father had said that emotions would be his downfall, he wondered if this was just the beginning.
Without much else to do but wait Lex headed back to the castle. If he was going to have to pass the time while Clark made whatever decisions he had to he at least wanted a drink in his hand. If nothing else it would ease his mind about the fact that his friendship with Clark was over, no matter what they could not go back after this.
Lex wondered what Lionel would say to having a son-in-law. The thought shocked him.
The sooner he had that drink the better.
Clark had paced for two hours and still found no answers. After the first few minutes in his room he heard first one, then two cars drive away, they were gone and he was left with his thoughts. They did not seem to be getting any clearer.
The problem was that Clark was spoiled. Usually when he had a problem he would take it to Lex and the older man would give him options. This time it involved Lex. Clark stuck on that thought. It had not occurred to him before, this involved Lex, he could not make a decision without him.
Before he even knew what was going on Clark was half way to the castle. He needed Lex for this one and for once he hoped that the older man would not turn him away, because now that Lex knew how he felt, and he knew how Lex felt, they may not be friends.
Lex was sitting at his desk, a glass of whisky in his hand and a look of consternation on his face. Clark loved the way that the light through stained glass played across Lex's face, it painted it a dozen different colours and gave Lex the aura of being an angel. Clark wondered if he was. If as much as Clark was Lex's guardian angel that Lex was there to return the favour.
"I'm no angel," came a sardonic reply to Clark's unasked question. Lex looked up and Clark wondered if his eyes were always that sallow. Lex appeared ill and it did not suit him.
"You're my angel." Clark replied.
Lex wanted to laugh, but he felt empty of emotion. Finally he had reached the state that Lionel had wanted him in for so many years and Lex hated it.
"I thought you needed time to think this over, Clark." Lex said seriously. "You don't have to check up on me."
Clark wondered for a moment if Lex was going to fight him on this, not that Lex would win a physical fight between them, but in a battle of wills they would be easily matched.
"Lex, I know that I want you." Clark said, hoping that his bravery would be repaid. "I'm not sure about the rest of it but you... you are the one constant in all this madness that makes any sense."
Lex raised an eyebrow and seemed to think this over, as if going over Clark's words for any double meanings or trickery.
"I love you, Lex."
And there they were, the words that Lex had not heard since he was twelve. The words that he had hungered for since his mother's death and they were coming from the lips of the one man he wanted them from. Lex wasn't sure if he could make that final leap though, not when it felt as if he was leaping from a great height and wasn't sure if there was anywhere to land.
"I'll catch you, Lex." Clark said firmly. "I'll always catch you."
As he spoke the words Clark moved closer to Lex, sweeping him into an embrace and waiting until Lex relaxed into it before catching the older man's lips in a kiss.
A short distance away the eldest remaining Kryptonian smiled to himself. He had known that this bond was maturing, and now he knew that it was time. Kal El was returned to them and he would be able to take up his rightful place at the head of the High Council.
Back at the castle the two young men were settled on the couch, taking things slowly and feeling safe enough in their feelings that they did not need any overt shows of their love. The kiss had opened their hearts and minds and it was overwhelming as the wave of emotion passed between them.
"We should talk about this." Lex said, ever the scientist and scholar. Clark chuckled softly and kissed his lover.
//Bonding first. Decisions later.//
Lex smiled as he snuggled deeper into the arms of his lover. He had never been much of a cuddler, but it seemed right with Clark. As Clark began to tell him how much he was loved Lex realised that the words were not spoken aloud.
//Clark?// Lex tried experimentally.
//Shhh... Rest now// Clark said, and Lex found himself doing just that. Clark was right, the time for decisions came later. For now he was happy to just enjoy the embrace of his lover.
After a curt telephone call with his father and a brief discussion with his mother Clark was allowed to stay at the castle with Lex. Jonathan was quick to add that it would not become a regular occurrence but that under the circumstances he was willing to make an exception just this once.
Lex had laughed as he heard the words, it was not as if Clark was told that he was effectively the King of a race of people every day, still if it meant that he got his lover in his bed Lex was sure he could create a new race at least once a week. Or at least come up with some other catastrophe that would mean that Clark could be with him.
//No one can keep us apart.//
Lex knew that Clark meant that.
"I love you." Lex said audibly, wanting the words to be heard as well as felt. Clark obviously needed to hear them too as he pulled Lex to him, taking Lex up the stairs and into a bedroom. Clark didn't really care if it was Lex's bedroom or not, he just needed a bed to lay his lover out on.
Thankfully he had picked the right one. Lex wondered if through some part of his bond Clark would now instinctively know parts of his life. It was just one more thing about his strange lover that Lex wanted to investigate.
But as Clark's lips descended onto his all conscious thought left his mind. Instead Lex concentrated on the warm wetness that was now suckling on his neck. Life didn't get any better than this.
Lex woke to an unfamiliar feeling of warmth pressed against his back. He was cocooned in the warm embrace of his lover, feeling as if he could face anything that the world could throw at him and maybe a little more. This was the best way to wake up.
"Good Morning." Clark mused with a smile as he saw his lover waking up. Lex felt a gentle kiss on his shoulder and then turned so that he could kiss his lover properly.
"Morning." Lex returned as he stretched out and popped the muscles that had cramped from his night spent curled up in Clark's arms.
"Do we have to get up?" Clark asked with a smirk. In truth the last thing he wanted was to leave the warm confines of this bed to face the world outside.
"The sooner it is over, the sooner we can come back to bed." Lex reasoned, having heard some of what his lover had been thinking. Chris had been right about one thing yesterday, Clark was projecting a lot of his thoughts and feelings for anyone that was adept enough to pick them up. That was something that they would have to work on.
"I don't want to go." Clark whined, Lex laughed and then swatted his lover as he headed for the shower. "Ow."
"If you come with me, I'll kiss it better." Lex said as he entered the en-suite bathroom. Clark paused for a moment before following his lover and locking the door behind them.
They showered together quickly, not taking too much time to make out because they knew what the day held in store. There was time for sex afterwards but first they had to sort out the rest of their life.
After a few brief calls to those involved it was decided that they would all meet at the Barrett Farm in order to discuss the future, Chris was adamant that they do it on familiar territory because it had been founded as Land that was Kryptonian. Lex wasn't sure that he understood the logic but he was not about to argue with an alien that could kill him with one blow. Of course that did not bode well for his first fight with Clark, but he would cross that bridge when they came to it.
Clark and Lex were early for their meeting, they still had to wait for the Kent's to arrive. They had not meant to start anything but being a teenager Clark had been horny and kissing had led to petting before Lex could gain control. They were still seated in the front of Lex's Porsche a few minutes later when Jonathan Kent knocked on the window to get their attention.
Clark, at least, had the decency to blush.
They made their way inside, following Jonathan into the house that Clark had been in just the day before when this had all started. Clark was surprised to see that the dining room table had been extended so that there were now a larger number of seats around it and a small centrepiece that stood in the centre of the table.
The centrepiece looked like a small crystal, it was white in colour and looked like an enlarged ice crystal. Clark felt drawn to it, reaching for it instinctively and bringing a smile to Kai's face.
//It's a communicator// Kai's voice told Clark. //It will connect with your people but I would not use it until you are ready.//
"We should sit down." Lex said as he watched the others who stood around the table all eyeing each other with a great sense of foreboding.
"You're right." Chris said. "The sooner we start this the sooner it will be over. It is good to see that the pair of you are bonded."
Clark blushed slightly as he saw the storm that was brewing in his father's expression. He really did not want his parents to know about his sex life.
"I assure you Mr. Kent that there is nothing that you could have done to stop the bonding once it was set in motion. You should be glad that your son found such a match. On Krypton Lex would be rated as a high match and the House of Luthor recognised as a noble one." Chris continued.
"No Luthor is noble." Jonathan spoke without thinking. Clark had to give his lover credit, Lex did not flinch at the words.
"A noble house is not always righteous in their beliefs but they are justified." Chris said, quoting something that sounded like a saying or a quote. Lex wondered if he would be able to study whatever laws they were that he was spouting.
//Yes indeed, he chose well, not only a noble but a scholar.// Lex heard privately in his mind.
"Please, take a seat." Chris said, this time audibly for the sake of all in the room. "We are here to discuss the future of the Kryptonian race."
"You say that my son is your leader, but what do you expect he do?" Jonathan asked. "He's just a boy."
"Mr. Kent, Edward V was less than 15 when he took the throne, Tutankhaman the same." Lex reasoned. "And Clark was brought up with a good set of values by you and Mrs. Kent."
"He is also a man in Kryptonian law, or at least he is old enough to be recognised as one." Chris said. "As for what is expected of him, usually it would be expected that he take the throne and rule over his people. However the circumstances here are a little...precarious."
"In what way?" Lex asked, his lover seemingly still too shocked or worried to ask the questions that needed to be asked.
"Kal El has chosen a mate that is not compatible with a Kryptonian environment. We cannot ask him to walk away from his mate but we also cannot ask him to walk away from his people."
"What is he supposed to do?" Lex asked. He did not want to lose Clark and would do everything in his power to keep the boy at his side, he had just found him and he did not want to lose him now.
"That is a decision for Kal El to make." Chris said curtly.
"I want to stay here." Clark said. "My family is here, Lex is here, my life is here."
//As you wish, my liege.// Kai said, a slight bow the only indication to the Kents that he had agreed.
"That's it?" Lex asked amused by it. "He says he wants to stay and you don't fight him on it, don't challenge his decision at all."
"It will be hard for our people to adjust to life here but we will do so." Chris said.
"Wait? You're bringing an entire race of people to Earth, and you don't think that they will get noticed?" Jonathan Kent asked.
"There are a few who may not wish to travel but the others will integrate well." Chris said. "We are a small group, perhaps twenty in number."
"Twenty people, all with super strength and speed and you don't expect that you'll get found out?" Jonathan asked.
Martha had been silent throughout but even she seemed concerned by this.
"We have made arrangements for these people. They will slip into society as we have done, they shall not be noticed and if they are we can simply move them on again." Chris said. "We have already begun to build a company name and a history for ourselves."
Clark looked at the people that were gathered around the table and felt torn between these two groups, on the one hand he had the people that he loved and on the other those that he shared a heritage with.
"As you have been adopted by this planet we hope that we shall be too." Chris said softly. "It is as Fate has written it to be. This is our destiny."
Clark smiled. Destiny. That which had brought he and Lex together so that their friendship, and their love, could be the stuff of legends had brought his family back into his life.
He was Clark Kent, son of Jonathan and Martha and Lover of Lex.
He was Kal El, last noble son of Krypton and leader of his people.
He was happy.