Actions

Work Header

Alternate Season 1

Chapter Text

A/N: This is an old fanfic I posted on Fanfiction.net way back in 2009 where I attempted to make a sort of more serialized Season 1. Some episodes stay relatively the same while others have some big differences. I decided early on that any characters were fair game to appear in this story regardless of when they debuted in the show and other characters' stories will be subject to change depending on how it fits with the narrative. Anyway, hope you enjoy this first chapter. I'm starting off after Chloe's Wall of Weird introduction. Most of the pilot will be the same except for its antagonist and two other plot points.

"Um… Pete? Why are you all of a sudden freaking out about the whole scarecrow thing? I mean sure it's probably years of therapy waiting to happen, but you're acting like it'll be the death of you," Chloe said.

"You've never heard the story, Chloe?" Pete asked.

"What story?"

Pete looked around like he was about to reveal some sort of forbidden knowledge. "Ok you see back in 1989 this kid named Jeremy was selected as the scarecrow. Then the meteors came. Kid never had a chance. A meteor struck right in the middle of the cornfield and when he was finally found… well you get the idea." Clark couldn't listen to any more of this. He couldn't deal with the fact that he caused so much death and pain. He walked out of The Torch and outside of the school. Suddenly someone's hand roughly grabbed his shoulder.

"Chloe," Clark started, but was surprised to see Whitney.

"Congratulations, Clark. You're this year's scarecrow."

"Don't mess with me," Clark threatened.

"Come on," Whitney taunted pulling off his jacket.

Clark had enough of Whitney and went to punch him. Not enough to do any real damage, but enough to get his point across that he wanted to be alone. Whitney, however, lifted his hand effortlessly stopping Clark's punch. The ground shook from the punch's impact. "Well it looks like I'm not the only one with a few secrets." He said roughly shoving Clark. Clark hit the ground which shook slightly. Whitney super sped down to Clark and grabbed him by the neck line of his shirt.

"What's going on between you and Lana?" He asked angrily. Clark stretched out his hand to grab part of Whitney's shirt and wound up ripping part of it off. Clark's breath stopped when he saw what was on the exposed flesh. It was some sort of octagonal disk stuck to his chest. It looked familiar to him; like he had seen it someplace before.

"I asked you a question!" He shouted shaking Clark. Clark grabbed part of Whitney's shirt again, but Lana's necklace became exposed when he did. Clark immediately became weak and could no longer defend himself.


Whitney saw Clark looking at Lana's necklace and said, "You like her necklace? Good. Because that is as close as you'll ever get to her." He pulled of her necklace and wrapped it around Clark's neck. The pain increased in Clark as Whitney and his friends grabbed Clark and threw him into the back of a truck. He tried to get out, but Whitney held him down. "You might be strong Kent, but I'm stronger," he stated as they headed for the Smallville cornfield. Clark was stripped down to his boxer shorts and had an S painted on his chest.


Many hours later

Clark's breath was becoming increasingly ragged. The cold air was ripping against his flesh. He already lost the feeling in his arms and was losing what little feeling he had in his legs. His eyes opened when he heard a loud whooshing noise.

"How you holding up Kent?" Whitney asked with a smirk on his face.

"Ok Whitney. You've had your fun now let me down," Clark groaned.

"Fun's just beginning Clark."

"How did you get this way?" Clark questioned.

"Meteor Shower. Best day of my life. You see after the shower ended, my folks went out to see if anybody needed help near outskirts of town. I wandered into the cornfield and saw something odd glowing on the ground. My curiosity got the better of me and when I went to touch this thing, it attached itself to my chest. Doctors managed to get it off, but I decided to hang on to it. This little disk gave me all I could ask for, Clark. Awesome powers, a spot on the football team, and last but not least, Lana Lang's love. Seeing as you have a few powers of your own I'm surprised you haven't used them for your personal benefit."

Clark weakly glared at Whitney. "I'm not like you."

"Whatever," Whitney dismissed. "Love to stick around and chat, but it's almost time for the crowning of the Homecoming King and Queen."

"Whitney…you can't leave me here."

"Hey, it's tradition Kent. And besides now that my secret's out, I can't let you go and reveal it to the whole school now can I? I'll be back later to figure out how to deal with that." Whitney then left Clark to hang there.

Clark's head sunk back down as he felt his breathing grow faint. Whitney hopped the fence and was caught in someone's headlights. Lex Luthor stepped outside of his car, but when he blinked, Whitney vanished.

Lex went to inspect the situation when he heard a weak voice say, "Help me."

Lex grabbed a flashlight and entered the field and was shocked to see Clark strung up. "Clark? Oh jeez." He said untying him. "Who did this to you?"

"Doesn't matter," Clark responded as he fell down. The kryptonite necklace fell off his neck and its effects immediately wore off. Clark felt somewhat rejuvenated as he went to grab his clothes.

"Clark, you need see a doctor."

"I'll be ok."

"At least let me give you a ride," Lex offered, but Clark already left the field.


 

Smallville High

Clark sped into the gym where the dance was being held and spotted Whitney dancing with Lana. Clark felt his stomach tighten when he saw her kiss him. Clark shook his head remembering why he was there. He had to get that disk off of Whitney's chest. The song ended and Whitney kissed Lana one final time before walking off with her to the punch table.

"Hey Whitney. You haven't happened to have seen Clark anywhere around have you?" Lana asked as he poured her a drink.

"I'm sure he's hanging around somewhere," Whitney responded taking a sip of punch.

Lana's cell began to vibrate and she opened it up to read the message. She laughed slightly at the text. "What's up?" Whitney asked.

"Oh the usual High School drama. Apparently one of the cheerleader's boyfriends just broke up with her and the others are failing miserably to calm her down. She apparently locked herself in the bathroom."

"Wait. How would she be able to lock the bathroom door?"

"Janitor's always leaving the master keys lying around somewhere. I better go help before this gets worse," Lana answered.

"Don't be gone to long Lana. Remember there is still the last song."

"I'll be back before you know it, Whitney." And she took off towards the bathroom leaving Whitney alone at the punch bowl.

Clark took this moment and entered his super speed mode. Time slowed down to the point where nothing was moving, but him. If he had any luck he could grab the disk and be gone before Whitney realized anything. He was only a few feet away from Whitney when he spun around spotting Clark. Realizing he couldn't stop now Clark continued his run towards Whitney. Whitney threw a backhand punch at the approaching Clark, which he ducked under. Clark grabbed Whitney around the chest and sped them off to another section of the school. No one noticed how he disappeared from the gym.


Clark tossed Whitney to the floor as he exited his super speed. Whitney got up and dusted off his suit. "Back for round two, Kent?"

"I'm not here for a fight, Whitney. All I want is the disk."

"You want it? Then you're going to have to take it from me." Whitney dashed at Clark and pushed him against a wall. He threw his fist at Clark with all his strength. Clark caught his punch causing part of the room to shake. Clark tackled Whitney into a desk and ripped of the part of his shirt covering the disk. Whitney grabbed Clark's wrists and shoved him off. He then grabbed Clark and smashed his head through the window. Clark elbowed Whitney in the chest and slammed him back on the desk.

"Whitney, listen to me! You have to get that thing off! It's messing with your head!" Whitney forced Clark off him and the two dashed at each other.


Back in the gym

"Hey Chloe. Are you feeling ok?" Pete asked noticing her down look.

"I'm alright. It's just…"

"Let me guess. You still wish that Clark would've come."

"That obvious, huh? I guess I should've known he wouldn't with Lana coming here with Whitney."

"You don't have to be sad Chloe. I'm still here."

Chloe smiled at Pete's comment. He was always there to try to keep a smile on her face. The last song started to play and Pete held out his hand to Chloe, which she took. The two of them were about to head back onto the dance floor when the school violently shook.

"What the Hell was that?" Pete asked picking himself and Chloe off the floor.

"I don't know. Earthquake?" The school shook several more times and the entire gym began to evacuate.


"Pete, Chloe? Have either of you seen Whitney?" Lana asked as they stood outside.

"I thought he was with you," Pete said.

"Do you think he might still be inside?"

"Only one way to find out. Let's go check inside."

"Hold it right there!" A voice yelled stopping Chloe, Pete, and Lana running for the gym.

"Rudy?" Chloe asked recognizing the school's janitor Rudy Jones.

"There's no way you three are going in there with this quake going on," Rudy said.

"Rudy, Whitney's in there. He could be hurt," Lana said. Rudy saw the genuine concern in Lana's face and gave a sigh.

"Fine, but I'm coming with you," he stated and the others gave him a nod. Chloe was the most excited to be running back into the school as she really wanted to see if they were the work of a meteor freak. 


 

Clark spun out of the way of Whitney's punch, which connected with a file cabinet. 

Clark grabbed Whitney and kneed him in the chest. Whitney's face scrunched up in pain, but it was soon replaced by an angry look as he pulled out his fist punching Clark's mouth in the process. He could taste blood in his mouth. He'd never bled before. Whitney kicked Clark in the face causing him to spin around. Whitney lunged himself forward and put Clark into a choke hold.

He tried to pull him off, but Whitney just tightened his grip. He grabbed Whitney by the neck and with all his strength slammed him to the floor. Whitney recovered and used another kick on Clark sending him crashing into the teacher's desk. Whitney sped over to Clark, but Clark caught Whitney's punch and tossed him to the other side of the room. He crashed into several other desks crushing them on impact. He dragged himself up; his clothes all dirty.

"KENT!" He shouted with all his rage and charged him full speed. Clark charged him too. The resulting collision caused the school to shake again in addition to a burst of energy emitting from Whitney propelling him and Clark to the opposite sides of the classroom. Clark recovered first and stumbled over to Whitney, who lay unconscious on the floor. The disk was missing from his chest.

"Whitney!" He heard the voice of Lana call out. Whitney started to groan a little and Clark super sped away.

"Oh my God! Whitney!" Lana rushed down to his side with Chloe, Pete, and Rudy close behind.

"Whitney, what did this to you? Was it a meteor freak?" Chloe asked with a tad too much excitement in her voice.

"I… I don't remember. How did I get here?" Whitney responded. A disappointed look brandished Chloe's face.

Clark, in the adjacent classroom, let out a sigh of relief. He might not know where the disk landed, but at least his secret was still safe. Assuming Whitney's amnesia was genuine.

I'll have to come back to find the disk later, he thought and prayed no one else would find it in the meantime before taking off.  

As if fate had a sick sense of humor, Rudy felt the gust of wind from Clark sprinting away and walked back into the hallway to see what caused it. What he saw instead was the disk.

What have we here? Rudy thought and put the disk in his pocket.


Chloe's house

Chloe slumped into her chair as she waited for the pictures a friend of hers' took of the dance to upload to her computer. She couldn't help, but feel disappointed with the night's events. A meteor freak may have very well been at the dance, but thanks to the "all brawn, no brain" jock she may never know. The pictures came on screen and she began scrolling through them.

"What in the world?" She said as one of the pictures caught her attention. It was a picture of Whitney at the punch bowl, but something else caught her eye. She zoomed in on the picture and a thrilled smile appeared on her face.

To Be Continued...

Chapter Text

A/N: When I originally wrote this fic, I only used the plot of a handful of Season 1 episodes. I may add one or two episodes here on this site, if I can think of a way to incorporate them into the story without throwing off how the it originally went down.

Clark super sped back to the Kent farm in under a few seconds. He noticed that the lights weren't on and figured his parents were probably asleep. He slowly opened the back door and quietly started to sneak over to the stairs when the lights clicked on.

"Going somewhere?" His mom asked sitting at the kitchen table.

"Why don't you take a seat," Jonathan said pointing at the empty chair. Clark sighed and did as he was told.

"We haven't heard from you all day, Clark. We were beginning to get worried. We almost were about to call the police," Martha said.

"You want to tell us where you've been?" Jonathan asked his son.

"You know how Smallville High has that Scarecrow tradition?" Clark asked his parents.

"Yeah; it's been going on since I went there," Jonathan responded.

"Well I was selected," Clark honestly answered them.

"Hold on, son," Jonathan said. "Even if you were selected you could've cut yourself free no problem."

"I know. It's just that, you know how I always get sick whenever I'm around Lana's necklace?  Whitney was wearing it when he jumped me and he put it around my neck. If Lex hadn't found and untied me I'd still be stuck in that field," Clark revealed. 

"What was Lex Luthor doing out there?" Jonathan asked now curious.

"Well, the field is next to the Luthor Corp plant. He must've seen Whitney leaving the field and decided to check it out," Clark explained hoping they'd drop the subject before he had to reveal any more information.

"Is there anything else you haven't told us, Clark?" Jonathan asked him.

"No; nothing at all," Clark lied. The last thing he needed to do was to tell them that some octagon that looked familiar to him fell into the wrong hands and about the disastrous results that followed. Jonathan didn't look like he believed Clark, but he didn't push the matter. Taking his silence as a 'you can go' Clark got up and left.

Once Clark was safely out of earshot Jonathan said to Martha, "Do you get the feeling we didn't get the full story?"

"Yes, but let's look at it this way. What's the worst thing that could've possibly happened? It's Clark after all."


 

Smallville High – The Next day

Rudy Jones sat at one of the desks in one of them many classrooms absentmindedly spinning the octagonal disk on top of it. The symbols on it intrigued him and he thought about taking it to his second job at Luthor Corp., but disregarded that idea knowing no one would take the time to listen to a janitor.

"Rudy?"

"Mr. Kent," Rudy said grabbing and pocketing the disk before he could see him. "Is there something I can do for you?" He asked.

"No. This is where my first class is actually. What are you doing here?" Clark asked.

"Prolonging the task of cleaning up the mess in the science lab caused by that mini earth quake or whatever it was," he answered heading out the door.

Rudy always looks so depressed. Then again working two janitorial shifts at both a high school and the Luthor Corp. plant could do that to anyone, Clark thought.

His cell phone buzzed and he checked the text message he received.

Meet at the Torch after class. You aren't going to believe this!

- Chloe

"You got a message too, huh," Pete said from behind Clark.

"Hi Pete," Clark greeted.

"Where were you last night? You missed some pretty strange and entertaining stuff at the dance."

"Like what?" Clark asked feigning ignorance of the events he knows all too well.

"First, one of the cheerleaders stole Rudy's master keys and locked herself in the bathroom after her boyfriend dumped her. The other girls made a pathetic attempt to calm her down from what I heard. Sounds like it was hilarious. But the strangest thing though was that there was some kind of mini earth quake or something like that. I'm not sure. It was over after a few minutes. Chloe, Lana, Rudy, and I went inside to look for Whitney when we noticed he wasn't outside. We found the jock lying on the floor."

"How is he?" Clark asked hoping that he wasn't hurt from the fight.

"He has one, maybe two broken ribs, but he won't show that he's in pain. After all, he is the captain of the football team. Speaking of football I wonder what poor sucker the team chose to be the Scarecrow." Clark didn't respond to Pete's comment and just took his seat. He never wanted to be reminded of being the scarecrow ever again.

The rest of the day flew by faster than a speeding bullet. Clark exited his last class with the disk still on his mind. He was beginning to wonder if he should've told his parents about it now. After all he has no idea what even happened to the thing. Any one of his classmates could've taken it by now and for all he knows it could've attached itself to them. As he looked up he saw someone bump into a girl and made her drop all her books. The girl knelt down to pick them up and Clark jogged over to help her.

"Let me help you with those," Clark offered.

"Thanks," the girl responded.

They both reached for the last book and grabbed it at the same time. Clark and the girl looked up at each other and Clark was at a loss for words. She was probably the most beautiful girl Clark had ever seen. She was even prettier than Lana. Clark heard the girl laugh and he realized how stupid he must look staring at her. Clark cleared his throat and held out his hand.

"I'm Clark. Clark Kent." The girl took his hand and shook it.

"Nice to meet you. My name is Tess Mercer."

"I haven't seen you around school before," Clark said as they stood up.

"Just transferred here," Tess said to him. Clark was about to continue when his cell phone buzzed again and he saw Chloe left him a message asking him where he was.

"Well I have to be somewhere now. It was nice meeting you, Tess. Hope you like Smallville High. Maybe I'll see you around," Clark said to her and then ran off for the Torch.

Tess smiled. "I think I'm going to like it here."


 

"What took you so long?" Chloe asked Clark as he entered the Torch.

"Just helping out a new student," Clark answered as he took a seat next to Pete.

"You mean Tess Mercer?" Chloe asked him.

"Yeah; how did you know about her?"

"I met her first period. She seems nice, but we have more important matters to discuss. You guys are never going to believe this."

"What? Did the cheerleaders all die a fiery and slow death like you've always secretly wanted them to?" Pete jokingly asked.

"Very funny, Pete" she said with an eye roll. "Anyway, I've done it. I've actually done it."

"Done what?" Clark asked.

"Don't leave us in suspense," Pete added.

"I've got evidence of a meteor freak at this very school!" She exclaimed in quick excitement. Clark swallowed thickly. Was his identity blown?

"What evidence?" Pete asked. Chloe directed their view towards her computer where a picture of a blur was on her screen. "Chloe, you do realize that blur could be anything? It could be well… well…"

"Well what?" Chloe asked putting her hands on her hips.

"Well… anything but a bird or a plane at least," Pete said. "Who was using the camera that night anyway?"

"Sorry Pete. Protected source," Chloe told him.

"He's right, Chloe. You can't be certain that this was a meteor freak." Clark said to her.

"You got a better suggestion?"

"Um...no," Clark answered. "You aren't thinking of running this in the Torch are you though? I mean how are you going to run this by the principal?"

"I already did and you know what he said?" Clark felt very nervous now. "He said absolutely not." Clark silently thanked Principal Kwan in his mind. "However, he did say that if I managed to find better evidence, he'd be fine with me printing the story. That's what I'm going to do and you two are going to help me."

"I don't think the principal was being serious. He might've said that just to get you off his back about the story," Clark suggested.

"Well he made a grave mistake presenting me with a challenge," Chloe laughed putting her hands on Clark and Pete's shoulders. Clark laughed along with her while cursing his luck in his head. 

To Be Continued...

 

 

Chapter Text

Clark stood outside of Lana's door; lead box with her necklace tucked under his arm. Taking a deep breath he opened the box and pulled out the necklace. The feeling of it against his skin burned, but Clark fought back against the pain and hung the necklace on the door knob before knocking and super speeding away.

"Hello?" Lana asked stepping onto the porch.

She stopped when she saw her necklace. Whitney told her that he lost it somewhere in the corn field. She had been tempted to go into the field and find it, but it looks like someone found it for her. But who is the question? Clark came to mind, but if he did then why didn't he stay around to give it to her?

"Who's at the door, Lana?" Her Aunt Nell asked from inside the house as she reached for her necklace.

"No one, Aunt Nell," Lana called back. Her head turned, Lana didn't notice that her necklace started to glow as she reached for it. When Lana turned her head back to her necklace the glow had died out.


 

The Torch: a few days later

"Good morning, Chloe. How's it going?"

"Jimmy Olson. Just the guy I wanted to see," Chloe said as Jimmy slid into one of the chairs.

"Let me guess. You require my ace photography skills once again? Am I right?" Jimmy guessed.

“You are indeed correct. You remember those photos you took the night of homecoming?"

"Do I ever. Some of my best work I might say," Jimmy bragged eliciting a giggle from the budding reporter.

"Thank you Mr. Full of himself. Anyway this shot right here is what caught my attention the most.” Chloe showed him the picture with the Blur on it.

"Chloe, what's so special about an unidentifiable blur? If you think my pictures are lousy, you could just say so."

“Jimmy, this 'blur' is a meteor freak that can run super fast. We actually have one in our school!" Chloe exclaimed in excitement.

"Assuming this is true, what do you need me for?" He asked her.

"I'm going to find out who this person is if it's the last thing I do and you are going to help me do it," Chloe told him. "I have the story all typed out. I just need to get proof of the meteor freak's existence for dear old Principal Kwan and I can run the story.”

When is that man going to learn to never challenge Chloe to find out the truth? Jimmy thought.

"So do you know where to even begin the search for this guy?" Jimmy asked.

"I was figuring that maybe it could be one of the football players. With speed like that they could easily cheat their way onto the team," Chloe suggested as she got off her desk and walked into the hallway.

"Speaking of cheating," Jimmy began, running after her, "I heard some players on the team got busted for it."

“Yep, and I'm the one that wrote the story covering it."

"I can only wonder how hot headed Coach Arnold is going to react." Jimmy said.

"Maybe if he stares at the players hard enough, they'll all burst into flames," Chloe joked.


 

Coach Arnold had the guilty football players lined up on the field. Despite the fact that it was a rather cold morning, the Coach barely registered the temperature. He in fact felt hot as opposed to cold probably from his raging temper.

"Well, well, well. I've seen some pretty stupid things in my life, but this without a doubt takes the cake. Not only were you guys stupid enough to get caught cheating on that test, but one of you was even dumb enough to rat me out!" He shouted at all of them. Some of the players jumped a little as the field heated up from Coach Arnold's anger. "So who was it? Who told Principal Kwan that it was me that provided you with the answers to the test!" None of the players came forward. As a matter of fact some took a few steps away from him. "Well if that's how it's gonna be," the Coach started.

"Wait," one of the players said stepping forward.

"Trevor; should've known," the Coach grumbled. "The rest of you are free to go. Get out of my sight this instant," he ordered them. The players made no argument and raced off as fast as their feet would carry them. "You," the Coach growled turning to Trevor. "Who else did you tell about me?" He asked.

“N-no one.”

"Liar!" He shouted grabbing Trevor's arm. Trevor could feel his skin burning and fought his urge to scream. "Tell me who else you told or else I'll burn it off!" He threatened causing Trevor's arm to burn even more.

"Sullivan! Chloe Sullivan!" Trevor shouted and Coach Arnold relinquished his hold on Trevor's arm. Trevor lay on the ground feeling like his arm just went through a furnace.

"Sullivan; Of course she's the one you told,” Coach Arnold almost chuckled.

Guess I’ll have to take care of her, he thought.


 

Later in the day

Clark was the first to reach the lunchroom and was thus duty bound to locate a table for himself, Chloe, and Pete. It didn’t take him long to succeed at his task, but as he made his way over to the vacant table to save it for the rest of the trio, he spotted Tess sitting by herself. She was just sitting there absentmindedly eating her own lunch while everyone walked around her like she wasn’t there. Clark glanced back at his own table and then back over to Tess. Some people were talking to her, but then just took a couple of the seats at her table and walked off. Making up his mind in that instance, Clark brought his lunch over to where Tess sat; a nervous feeling strangely forming in the pit of his stomach.

Relax Clark, she’s just a girl no different than any of the others in this school, he thinks to himself as he steps in front of the table.

“Um, hi,” he greeted. “Is this seat taken?” Tess glanced up at Clark from her lunch and shook her head.

“No, you can have it if you need any more chairs for your table.”

“Oh, no! Not like that. I…was just wondering if you minded if I sat with you. You may not remember me, but I’m…”

“Trust me, I’d never forget a face like yours, Clark is it?”

“Mhm,” he says with a nervous smile.

“By all means, Clark, take a seat,” she offers. Clark smiles and nods and sits opposite her at the table. “Come on, you can sit beside me. I don’t bite,” she chuckles patting the chair next to her.

Clark gets up and does so without a second thought. He’s not sure what surprises him more. That he did so without thinking or that he’s managing to have a conversation with a girl at Smallville High that isn’t Lana or Chloe. It felt weird to say the least.

“So Clark, you always offer company to those who sit by themselves at lunch, or am I a special case?” Tess asks.

“I just thought back to our first meeting, if you could call it that, and how I said that maybe I’d see you around,” he replies.

“Well you’ve definitely seen me around now, and I have to say, I’m glad you did,” she said with a smile.

“You are? Um, uh, why?” He asks, but Tess laughs in response.

“Wow, I’ve known you for all of sixty seconds and I can already tell that relaxing isn’t your forte.”

“What gave me away?” Clark asks while mentally chastising himself for how he must’ve been sounding.

“The beads of sweat on your forehead for starters. What’s wrong? Don’t talk to attractive girls that often?”

“Um…”

“Relax, I’m kidding. You don’t have to answer that,” Tess laughs and Clark finds himself starting to laugh too without the nervousness accompanying it.

As the two of them continued to chat it up, Pete and Chloe watched them from the other end of the cafeteria.

“Am I insane or is Clark Kent chatting it up with a girl that’s not Lana?” Chloe asked.

“Nope, I’m seeing it too. Scientists said it couldn’t be done,” Pete joked and Chloe lightly hit his forehead for that remark.

“Hey, what was that for?” He asked rubbing the spot she hit.

“No reason,” Chloe jokes herself then reaches into her pocket for her wallet. “Twenty bucks says Clark spends the rest of lunch talking to her and doesn’t text to ask us where we are?”

“I’ll bet you thirty that he’ll make a fool of himself before lunch is over.”

“Deal,” Chloe says shaking Pete’s hand; a half hour later, she pocketed his 30 dollars and then the two of them tailed Clark as he left the cafeteria; both receiving text messages from him apologizing for not finding them during lunch.

“It’s alright, Clark,” Chloe said making Clark jump in surprise as she walked up beside him.

“We saw that your attention was otherwise occupied,” Pete revealed walking up on his other side.

“Were you two spying on me?” He asks.

“Spying is such an…ugly word,” Chloe dramatically stated.

“We prefer ‘observing to make sure you didn’t make a fool of yourself’. You did us proud even if I am out thirty bucks because of it,” Pete laughed and Clark gave them both an ‘are you kidding me look’.

“So what were you two talking about?” Chloe asked.

“Not much. Just about her being a new student and all.”

“Hey Chloe!” The trio heard someone call out and spotted Jimmy jogging over to meet them. “Sorry I couldn’t make it to lunch. Was in the Torch looking over the Homecoming photos again.”

“Not to be rude, but who are you?” Pete asked.

“Oh, I’m sorry. Names Olson. James Olson. Old friend of Chloe's.”

“Nice to meet you. I’m Clark Kent,” Clark said and shook his hand. Pete did the same.

“Wait a minute. James? Since when has it been James?” Chloe asked him.

"Well that is part of my name; James Bartholomew Olson."

"I thought your legal name was…"

"Chloe for the last time that's what my dad wanted to name me, but my mom won out in the end. Can we please stop talking about that?"

“Whatever,” Chloe dismisses. “James, is an old friend from a couple of summers back. He transferred here a few days ago and has been helping me try to figure out who the mysterious meteor infected student could be.”

"She thinks it's a member of the football team," Jimmy said.

"What makes you think that?" Clark asked.

"Hey Sullivan!" Chloe heard someone shout her name. She looked in the direction of the voice and saw a football soaring directly at her face. Clark stretched out his hand and caught the ball only an inch away from her face.

"Those are some amazing reflexes," Jimmy said to Clark.

"Yeah; amazing," Chloe said still a little shocked that Clark caught that ball with so little space between her face and it.

“Just lucky, I guess,” Clark said glancing back at the Football player that tossed the ball at Chloe.

He notices Lana is standing beside him, giving the guy a disapproving look, but giving Clark a smile when she noticed him. He gave a small wave to her and then tossed the ball back at the football player. He caught it, but the impact from the ball hitting him, while not large, was still enough to knock some of the wind out of the guy. Coach Arnold saw this and immediately approached Clark.

"Impressive throw, Kent. Technique could use a little work, but you've got a lot of power."

"Must've come from all those years of working on the farm," Clark said trying to dismiss the subject.

"Well why aren't you out on our field?" Coach Arnold asked stepping in Clark's path so he couldn't make a break for it.

"My dad needs me on the farm," Clark began.

"Your dad would be the last person I'd expect to not want you playing ball. He was a legend back in the day.”

"Thanks, but."

"Kent," he interrupted. "Do you really want to spend the rest of your days milking cows and bailing hay?"

"The team could really use the help at this point, Clark," Lana said. Clark took a few steps back to avoid the feeling from Lana's necklace. “Especially with some of the best players getting suspended and Whitney still recovering from what happened during Homecoming." Clark looked from the Coach to Lana and sighed. What's the worst that could happen?

"Ok. I'm in." Clark decided.

Upon telling this news to his parents, his dad was less than enthusiastic about it. He even went out to the practice field the following day to make sure Clark didn't hurt anyone. Following some prodding from his Coach to ignore his dad, Clark wound up using his powers to help himself out, but held back enough so as to not draw too much attention to himself. Jonathan left the field appearing disappointed, but while Clark felt bad for how he made his dad feel, part of him couldn’t help but feel just a little free for being able to use his abilities without anyone suspecting anything.

Following practice, Clark was the last to exit the locker room and he began to jog down to where a bonfire was being made on the field. Clark questioning in his head why they were making one in the first place though the most common answer he got was that it was an in-joke at the coach's hot temper. Clark wasn't going to argue with that.

"You weren't bad out on the field," he heard a familiar voice standing just outside the locker room say.

"Tess. What're you doing here?" Clark asked coming to a stop.

"Waiting for you to come out," she answered. "I wanted to talk with you some more. You’re kind of the only person that talks to me around here at the moment," she confessed with her head down a little.

"No one talks to you?” Clark asked in disbelief.

"Well people do… sort of. Most of the guys that talk to me are just interested in dating me and at least half the girls want me dead considering that most of those boys are their boyfriends," Tess said with a small laugh.

"Do you have a boyfriend?" Clark asked.

Why did I ask her that? It's none of my business, he thought.

"I had one, but I dumped him a week before I moved," Tess answered Clark. "He really didn’t take it well, and I probably should’ve been nervous given how he has a bit of a drinking problem plus an affinity for arrows, but that's all in the past now.”

“Well, if you want, I can introduce you to some of my friends," Clark offered. "They're nice people. I should warn you, however, that my friend Chloe is currently on the hunt for her next story and will drag anyone she knows along for the ride," Clark joked.

"Chloe Sullivan?" Tess asked.

"Yeah, I think she said she met you the same day I did," Clark recalled. 

"I ran into her on my first day here. She seemed nice. You and she are probably the closest thing I have to friends right now."

"I'd like to actually be your friend, Tess."

"I'd like to be yours too," Tess said facing Clark giving him a smile which he returned.

There wasn’t a single trace of the nervousness he experienced from yesterday present in their conversation.


 

"Clark couldn't be the meteor freak. Could he?" Chloe wondered pacing around the Torch. "I mean sure he caught the football at just the right time, but maybe that really was just luck on his part. But that throw of his had way more power behind it than it should have…”

As Chloe continued to ponder the situation, part of the Torch spontaneously caught fire. Chloe backed away from the flames, which were growing by the second. She ran to the window and opened it, but realized jumping wasn't an option. She spotted Clark and Tess just outside and called out to them.


 

"Did you hear something?" Tess asked Clark.

"Yeah, it sounded like Chloe."

"Clark!" Clark's head shot toward the school and saw Chloe screaming as the raging fire increased from behind her.

"I'll call 911!" Tess informed Clark pulling out her cell phone.

Realizing that they'd never make it in time, Clark sprinted towards the School. Once inside, he entered super speed mode, reached the Torch, and knocked open the door. As he raced inside, all the flames around Chloe suddenly died down.

"Clark!" Chloe shouted flinging herself into his arms; breathing heavily from her near death experience.

Man he got up her fast. A little too fast, she thought. What if Clark really was the one Jimmy got a picture of?

Chapter Text

A/N: In the original version of this story posted on fanfiction. net , the ending of the last chapter was how my coverage of Hothead ended since Tess and Clark striking up their friendship and Chloe becoming suspicious of Clark were the only important things I felt needed to be covered. I've decided to complete Hothead over here, however, to start filling in a few gaps from the original version of the story. Anyway, hope you enjoy this chapter.

"Um, well, I don't think it's as bad as it looks," Jimmy said as he, Chloe, Pete and Clark stood outside of the torched Torch the following day. Chloe gave Jimmy a half hearted glare and he took a step or two back from her before taking a few more pictures of the damage to the Torch.

"How does a room just spontaneously catch fire like this? It doesn't make any sense," Pete said.

"This is Smallville, remember? Nothing ever makes sense. Case in point, despite the raging fire, the Wall of Weird was somehow the only thing to not get burned. But beyond that, I have a theory about what happened."

"Don't tell me you think it's some kind of meteor freak," Pete sighed.

"Why not?"

"You've already got us trying to track down the alleged one from Homecoming, with no luck I might add," Jimmy answered as the group moved away from The Torch. "And even if there was one with pyro-kinetic powers, why would one they try burning down The Torch aside from having a flare for the ironic? No pun intended."

"You didn't see what I saw. It was like the fire was deliberately coming after me. And as for why someone would trying burning down the Torch, I can think of a few reasons," Chloe said watching Trevor collecting a few things from his locker. He notices her watching him and walks off in the opposite direction.

"What? You think Trevor is behind this?" Pete asked.

"No, but I wouldn't be surprised if one of the football players did try burning down The Torch because of the story I wrote about them."

"Hey Clark!" Someone called out to them. They looked over and spotted Tess shutting her locker and jogging over to meet them.

"Hi Tess," Clark greeted.

"We just keep running into each other don't we? I swear I'm not stalking you," she added getting a laugh out of Clark.

"Guys, this is Tess Mercer, a new student here," Clark introduced her to the group.

"We've kind of already met before," Chloe reminded him.

"Oh right," he recalled as Jimmy held out his hand.

"James Olsen," he introduced to a silent groan from Chloe and then Pete introduced himself too.

"We were just heading to lunch if you'd like to join us," Clark offered.

"I had planned on eating with the crushing silence of being alone for company, but I think I can cancel and join up with you all. If that's ok with your friends, that is."

"Of course. Any friend of Clark's is a friend of ours," Pete assured her with his friends nodding in agreement.


"So what brings you to Smallville?" Jimmy asked once they all settled down to eat.

"I used to live in Star City for a while, but then due to circumstances beyond my control, here I am," Tess answered.

"So how are you dealing with the downgrade that is this quiet little town?" Pete asked.

"Oh, it's not so bad. You've seen one big city you've seen them all, so I actually welcome the change in scenery."

"Hey, don't sell our town short, Pete. There's plenty of interesting stuff here if you know where to look," Chloe said.

"You mean all the supposedly weird stuff that's been happening since the meteor shower?" Tess asked.

"Yeah, how did you know about all that?" Chloe asked.

"I did a lot of reading about the town's history once I got settled in. It all sounds pretty preposterous if you ask me. Like something out of a comic book though I must admit, part of me thinks it would be kind of exciting to find out it's all real."

"Oh, it's real alright. In fact, I think there's a meteor freak in this very school."

"Yeah, and Chloe drafted us all into finding out who they are. Trust me, it's not as exciting as it sounds," Jimmy groaned and Chloe lightly smacked the side of his head.

As Jimmy rubbed the part she hit, Pete glanced to his right, chuckled, and turned back to Clark. "Lana at 2 o'clock, Clark," Pete warned.

Clark turned to where Pete was pointing and gulped when he saw her heading straight for their table. He braced himself for the pain her necklace might cause, but let out a mild sigh of relief upon noticing that Lana was not wearing it today.

"Hi Lana."

"Hi Clark. Hope you're all set for the big game today."

"Is he ever," Pete said before Clark could reply. "If I didn't know any better, I'd say it was like Hercules stepped out onto the field. Dude's unstoppable."

"Pete's exaggerating. I'm no different from any other player."

"Don't be so modest, Clark. You're gonna do great. I know it," Lana complimented then noticed Tess amongst the group. "I'm sorry, I don't think we've met before. I'm Lana. Lana Lang."

"Just transferred here. I'm Tess Mercer," she introduced once again.

"Would you like to eat with us?" Clark asked.

"Thanks, but the cheerleaders called an 'emergency' meeting in the gym, so I have to eat there. I'll see you all later at the game. Hope you like Smallville High, Tess." And then Lana headed off for the gym.

Once Lana left the cafeteria, Tess turned over to Clark. "Was I detecting something between the two of you?"

"What? No. We're just friends," Clark answered.

"Yeah, but Clark desperately hopes they could be something more than that. He's been in love with her since the first day they met," Pete clarified. "It's gotten really annoying to watch if you ask me."

"Hey!"

"Sorry Clark. Just telling it like it is."

"So what's stopping you from asking her out?" Tess asked.

"Lana's already spoken for. She's with 'big man on campus' and captain of the football team Whitney Fordman. He's been benched since he broke a few ribs during a mini-earthquake that struck during Homecoming and I think the football team's performance actually improved with him out of the picture."

Upon hearing Pete mention football, Chloe spotted Trevor eating by himself a few tables away from the rest of the football team merely glancing at his lunch with a glazed look in his eyes.

"Chloe?" Jimmy asked breaking her train of thought.

"Sorry, it's just that Trevor looks so depressed right now," she said pointing towards him.

"Maybe he realized that being good at sports means jack squat if you don't have the grades to back it up."

"Be serious, Jimmy. I think there's something wrong with him and I'm gonna find out what."

"Of course you are."

Chloe ignored Jimmy this time and looked to Clark. "I'm gonna talk to him after school. Would you come with me?"

"Why me?"

"You're good with people for one matter."

"Compliment appreciated, but I don't think I am."

"Seriously, enough with the modesty, Clark. You've got this aura around you that could make even The Grinch open up to you," Pete joked.

"Gotta say I agree with them and I've only known you for about a day," Jimmy added. Clark sighed and, figuring they weren't going to let this go, said, "Alright, alright."


Trevor sat down by his locker in the locker room and rolled up his shirt sleeve revealing a set of bandages over the spot the Coach burned into. Very carefully, he started to remove the bandages, wincing the entire time until they were completely off. He gave a small sigh at the sight of the burn mark still present and even looking almost worse than it did the day before.

"Trevor, you in here!" He heard Clark call out. Trevor tossed the bandages aside and rolled his shirt sleeve up to cover the burn mark.

"I'm over here, Kent," he called back, but gave an even bigger sigh when he saw Chloe tailing behind Clark. "What is she doing here?"

"We just want to talk," Chloe said.

"Yeah right. You reporter types never just want to talk."

"Trevor…"

"No, Sullivan! I never should have listened to you!" Trevor snapped.

"Chloe, what is he talking about?" Clark asked.

"After the team got busted and I wrote my story, Trevor came to me about Coach Arnold. He told me about the abuse he put them through just to 'toughen' them up and how he threatened to throw them off the team and not help them pass their classes if they told anyone."

"I wanted to make sure Coach Hothead went down with the rest of us, so I told Nancy Drew here that he supplied us with the test figuring she'd find someway to prove he did it. Instead she convinced me to go to Principal Kwan and tell him myself because, as Sullivan put it, it was the right thing to do."

"It was," Clark said.

"You would say that wouldn't you, Clark? Always such a boy scout. But when dealing with people like Coach Arnold, the right thing doesn't get you anywhere except hurt and I just put a big target on my back." As Trevor said this, Clark noticed Trevor's trembling arm.

"What happened to your arm?"

"Nothing you can help me with," Trevor said already turning to leave, but Clark stood in front of him.

"Please Trevor. If you truly didn't believe in doing the right thing, you wouldn't have gone to Principal Kwan in the first place. Don't give up on it now. Please, let us help you," Clark said gently. Trevor looked from his arm and then back to Clark's caring face. He swallowed, but then moved his shirt sleeve up to reveal the burn marks.

"Those marks. It looked like someone grabbed you," Chloe observed. "D-did Coach Arnold do this to you?"

"Yeah, but I don't know how. He just touched me and then it felt like my arm was being held against a furnace. If he finds out I blabbed to either of you, he's gonna fry me for it."

"Now we know why The Torch spontaneously caught fire. Coach Arnold must be trying to get rid of anyone outside of the team that knows about his involvement in the scandal," Chloe said and then realization dawned on her. "Oh crap. Principal Kwan."

"Do you know where he'd be right now?" Clark asked.

"I think he usually leaves school around this time," Chloe said, and Clark ran out the door to find him.


Principal Kwan was getting into his car almost as Chloe said that. He was unaware of Coach Arnold watching him from a distance as he put his keys in the ignition, fired up the engines and pulled out of the school parking lot. Clark came running out of the school less than 15 seconds later in time to see the Principal pulling away.

"Principal Kwan!" Clark called out, but he didn't hear him. As he pulled further away, Coach Arnold decided it was far enough, snapped his fingers, and Kwan's car engines caught fire.

"Oh my God!" He yelled out, but before he could do anything else, a fire started in the passengers seat and then the back seats as well. Finally his steering wheel spontaneously heated up to the point he couldn't hang on and his car went completely out of control and crashed into a ditch. Coach Arnold smiled to himself and walked off from his vantage point just missing Clark super speeding towards the wreckage.

Seeing Kwan was out cold from the crash, Clark grabbed the driver side door, yanked it off, and then pulled Kwan out of the flaming wreck, carrying him to safety just as the vehicle completely blew up.


"We're dead. We're so dead," Trevor panicked as he paced back and forth in the hospital waiting room.

"Trevor, calm down," Chloe said.

"No. You don't get it do you? Coach is gonna fry us when he finds out we helped Principal Kwan."

"Nothing's going to happen to us," Clark said.

"Wish I shared your optimism," Trevor replied wiping some sweat from her forehead.

"Excuse me," one of the doctors said approaching the group.

"Yes, how's Mr. Kwan?" Clark asked.

"He'll probably have to stay here for at least a week, but otherwise he'll be fine. He's quite lucky you were there to help him."

Yeah. Lucky, Chloe thought remembering how fast Clark got to her the night before.

"So what do we do now?" Chloe asked.

"You both stay here. I'm going back to find Coach Arnold."

"Are you insane? You saw what he can do. It's like I said, the right thing doesn't get you anywhere, but hurt."

"Then I'll get hurt," Clark declared and walked away from both Chloe and Trevor.


Coach Arnold sat relaxing in his sauna as the time for the biggest game in his career grew closer. He wasn't sure how Kent managed to rescue Kwan, but he'd deal with him once the game was over.

"Coach Arnold," he heard Clark say from just outside his sauna room.

"Kent, you should be suiting up and getting ready for the game. Biggest one of the year."

"Yeah, and you're not going to be part of it."

"Excuse me," Coach Arnold said beginning to stand up.

"I know what you did to Trevor, Chloe, and Principal Kwan. It stops now," Clark took a few steps towards the Coach, but suddenly felt weak, stumbled, and fell against the wall.

Oh no…meteor rocks, Clark thought spotting the rocks being used to heat up the sauna.

"What's wrong, Kent? Can't stand the heat!" Coach Arnold shouted and punched Clark in the gut. Clark groaned from the blow and then Coach Arnold grabbed Clark by his jacket and tossed him into bowl the meteor rocks were collected in knocking them over and onto the floor around Clark. "I'll deal with you later, Kent. Right now, I've got a game to win." Coach Arnold exited the sauna room, then shut and locked the door behind him.


Not too long afterwards, the game was in full swing with none of the spectators any the wiser about their favorite coach's true nature.

"Great game isn't it?" Lana asked taking a break from her cheers and sitting beside Pete.

"Kind of. We're doing way better than I thought we would, but I wish Clark was here to see it," Pete replied as Smallville High scored their third touchdown.

"Clark's not here?" They heard Jonathan Kent ask behind them.

"No, he never showed up. He's not with you?" Pete asked and Jonathan shook his head.

"Mr. Kent, sorry, but no parents allowed on the side," Coach Arnold said approaching Jonathan.

"I know. I'm just looking for my son."

"Yeah, you and me both. Must've gotten cold feet. I guess he didn't have what it takes after all," he criticized before returning to coach the game. Once his back turned, Jonathan could feel his cell phone start to ring and answered it.

"Chloe?"

"Mr. Kent, please tell me Clark is with you! I've been trying to reach him for the past 15 minutes."

"He's not. Is something wrong?"

"It's a long story involving Coach Arnold. Clark said he was going to speak to him about something important and I haven't heard from him since."

"He did, huh," Jonathan said glancing at Coach Arnold as the other man looked back at Jonathan. "I'm gonna have to call you back, Chloe," Jonathan said and hung up. "Pete, I'm gonna go check the locker room incase Clark maybe showed up." Jonathan then left for the locker room and Coach Arnold turned to the assistant coach.

"I'll be back in five," he told him.


"Clark! Clark are you in here!" Jonathan's voice broke through Clark's blurry mind and he half opened his eyes. "Clark!"

"Dad," he whispered.

He needed some way to get his attention and glanced at the meteor rocks. Sighing as he knew this would suck, Clark grabbed one of the rocks and, doing his best to ignore the searing pain in his hand, tossed it at the sauna door window, but missed. He groaned, grabbed another rock and tried again, hitting the window, but not doing enough damage.

"Clark!" Jonathan called out again, but as he rounded a corner Coach Arnold appeared and threw a punch at Jonathan, just missing his face.

"Where's my son!" Jonathan yelled, but Coach Arnold swung again hitting Jonathan in his stomach and swung another time hitting Jonathan's right eye knocking him into one of the lockers and out cold.

"Should've minded your own business," he said. He prepared to set Jonathan on fire when he heard someone sneaking up on him. He spun around and grabbed Trevor by the neck as the latter tried to hit him with a fire extinguisher. "Wow. I had no idea you were this stupid, Trevor," Coach Arnold said and started to burn into his neck.

"AHHHHHHH!" Trevor screamed.

"This is what you get for defying me!" Coach Arnold shouted when the sound of shattering glass caught his attention. He turned and spotted a meteor rock just outside of his sauna room.

Taking advantage of his loss of concentration, Trevor hit Coach Arnold over the back of his head with the fire extinguisher as hard as he could making him drop him. Coughing violently, Trevor made a run for it, but came to a stop as another meteor rock flew out of the sauna window. Looking inside he spotted Clark helpless inside. Coach Arnold let out a loud yell and suddenly part of the locker room caught fire.

"Damn it," Trevor whispered then took a step back, assumed a tackle position, rushed at the door and broke it down.

"Trevor," Clark groaned in pain. Trevor bent down and started to drag Clark to safety as the flames got closer.

"Going somewhere," Coach Arnold asked from behind Trevor and, with his hand heated up further than ever, threw a vicious punch across Trevor's face. He didn't even get a chance to register the blow as it knocked him unconscious. "I'd honestly feel bad if you had been a better player. Oh well."

"Don't. Touch him," he heard Clark threaten.

"Kent?" Coach Arnold looked back and saw Clark back on his feet as if he hadn't been locked in the sauna room all that time. "What the Hell?"

"I'm giving you one chance to give up," Clark started, but Coach Arnold grabbed Clark by the throat and poured as much heat into his hand as he couch. Clark grabbed Arnold's arm instead and tossed him into the next room. "You're gonna be ok, Trevor," Clark said picking him up then sped out of the locker room. When he sped back in, he spotted his father lying unconscious on the other side of the flames and super sped him to safety as well.

"Coach Arnold!" He shouted then casually stepped aside as the Coach tried to tackle him, crashing into the wall instead. He grabbed the Coach from behind and shoved him into another locker and then into the showers. "You've lost. Give up now." He ordered once more.

"NOOOOO!" Coach Arnold roared and a massive flame formed around Clark, consuming him, but Clark stepped through it like he was walking through water; nonchalantly putting out some of the flames on his jacket. Coach Arnold wouldn't give up and kept increasing the intensity in the flames until suddenly his own arms started catching fire, then his legs, and then his torso.

"Oh my God," Clark whispered. He sped to grab the fire extinguisher and used it on the Coach, but it was no use. The fire would not go out and completely consumed the hot headed individual from head to toe. Clark stood back as the Coach's flaming corpse dropped to the floor.


A short while later, the fire was put out curtesy of the fire department and Jonathan and Trevor were being taken to the hospital while the rest of the onlooking spectators started heading off due to the fire resulting in the game's postponement.

"You're gonna be alright, Trevor," Clark told him once more as he was being loaded into the ambulance sporting a nasty burn on the right side of his face and his throat. "And thanks for coming to back to help me. I would've been a goner if you hadn't." he added. Trevor weakly looked up and gave Clark a small thumbs up, which he returned before the ambulance drove off.

"Well, this chain of events is going to make for an interesting addition to the Wall of Weird," Chloe said joining Clark at his side. "Though with the lack of evidence of our pyromanic coach, I won't get a chance to write about it," she joked and Clark rolled his eyes.

"So what made Trevor come back for me?" He asked slightly changing the subject.

"There was some mild begging on my part, but when I reminded Trevor that you were sticking your neck out for him, he decided to go back. I tried to go with him, but he refused saying her already got me put in enough danger. I'd like to think that was your positive influence rubbing off on him."

"Thanks Chloe," Clark said with a smile.

"You're welcome. By the way, how did you manage to survive fighting Coach Arnold anyway?"

"Just luck. I was able to get out of range and he burned himself out trying to increase it," he partially lied.

Once again, luck is offered as the solution, Chloe thought, but decided what mattered most now was that lives had been saved. She'd go back into journalism mode later and wondered what she'd do if her suspicions turned out true.