|Smallville The Crystal
Author: IolantheAlias PM
Lionel was healed after he switched bodies with Clark Kent now Clark dreams of what might have been if another person had access to the crystal.Rated: Fiction K - English - Angst/Tragedy - Clark K. & Jonathan K. - Words: 1,695 - Reviews: 6 - Favs: 4 - Follows: 1 - Published: 01-16-07 - Status: Complete - id: 3345690
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Clark Kent dreamed. He tossed and turned in his sleep. In the hazy, crazy logic of dreams, he both knew and did not know what would happen.
In his dream, he stood in prison. The acrid bite of tear gas filled the air; shouts and screams of rioting prisoners pounded at his ears. The fog obscured his vision of Lionel Luthor, lying on the ground, reaching out to him. Clark shrugged his shoulders, feeling vast relief at being back in his own body, no longer trapped in the aging, dying, weak body of Lionel Luthor.
Through the haze he saw a glint. The Kryptonian water crystal winked in the light. Turning away from Lionel, he went over to the crystal, reached down, grabbed it. Then he sped away, away from the chaos and fear and ugliness of the prison. He sped home, home to sanity, to love, to peace.
In his dream the scene shifted; suddenly he was at home. He clutched the water crystal in his hand. Somehow knowing, and not knowing what he had to do, he looked for his father. Clark found his father working in the barn. Small motes of dust and hay floated in a bright sunbeam. Jonathan did not know that Clark had come to the door and was watching Jonathan work. Jonathan stopped working, and rubbed his left arm, then sat down, breathing heavily. He looked up and saw Clark.
Alarm came into his eyes, and he stood up. He looked suspiciously at Clark.
"It's ok, it's me, Dad", Clark said gently. His father stared at him a moment more, trying to assess the truth of that statement. Then Jonathan relaxed. The tenseness ran out of his body, and Jonathan sat down on a hay bale. The relief left him weak in the knees.
In his dream, Clark found himself advancing towards his father. He smiled as he fingered the water crystal in his right hand. Not hesitating, he strode to Jonathan, and took Jonathan's right hand in his own. He clasped his left hand around their handshake.
Once again he felt the strange uprooting of his soul, the tearing out of a million tiny roots that held him to his body, the dizziness, the lightness. Once again, he felt his being, his essence, being taken into another vessel. That it was a voluntary exchange this time did not change the shock, the disquieting uneasiness. He felt the reattachment of tendrils to a body, fitting in once again, attached to the solidity of matter, his soul tied down once again.
He dropped his hands. He opened his eyes and looked at himself. His body staggered, and he steadied it. Clark looked into his own body's eyes and saw his father's soul. He guided his former body to a hay bale; they sat down together.
"What…what happened?" his father stammered. The Kryptonian crystal dropped from his hand to the barn floor.
Clark said nothing, holding his father's hand, noticing his own hand now was more wrinkled, with a light dusting of blond hair, and had split and cracked nails.
"Clark….?" His father said. He looked at Clark again, then down at himself. His eyes widened in surprise.
"I'm you, Dad, and you're me", Clark said. The words sounded so natural in the hazy dream. And, in the dream, his father accepted it.
"How? Why?" Jonathan asked, staring intently at Clark.
Clark pointed to the water crystal, coruscating in a beam of sunlight coming through the barn doors. "It's the transference crystal", he said, simply, the dream logic inevitable. He picked up the crystal and put it into his pocket. "Let's go show Mom."
In the dream, they walked together, in silence, to the house. Clark's back and legs ached; he felt bruised, as if he'd been thrown against a wall. He walked stiffly, with a little hunch. Jonathan, on the other hand, stood with straight shoulders, striding confidently and smoothly. He turned his head from side to side, looking at the farm buildings as if he'd never seen them before.
They came in at the back door. Martha was in the kitchen. Just as Jonathan had done before her, she looked at Clark's body, stiffened, and stood back a little. Then she saw Jonathan's body, at the other's side, and lost some of her defensiveness.
Jonathan gave a little smile, said "Honey." Martha looked at Clark, in Jonathan's body, and said anxiously, "Are you all right?" She walked past Jonathan, headed to Clark, and hugged him. Clark was embarrassed at the intimacy of the hug; he didn't hug back and tried to step out of her embrace.
"Jonathan? Jonathan, what's the matter?" Martha stepped back and studied Clark. Clark stood back and said, "Mom! That's Dad!" he pointed to his own body. Jonathan came up and took her hands in his own.
"It is me, sweetheart", he said tenderly. "Clark and I have switched bodies." Martha opened her mouth in surprise, said nothing. Jonathan hugged her, and this time it was her turn to stiffen and back away.
With dreamlike suddenness, Clark and his parents were sitting at the kitchen table. Clark knew, with the solidity of dream logic, that his parents had come to accept it. He talked to them.
"I don't know why I had to do this but I had to. We have to stay switched for 24 hours. That's what we have to do."
His parents looked at each other, frowning. Then Martha reached out her hand. Jonathan clasped it in his. Wordless communication passed between them.
"If that's what you feel, that's what we'll do", Jonathan said firmly. He got up. "Now it's time to do the chores." He smiled. "I can finally feel what it's like." He gestured to Clark, who got up, feeling a lot older and stiffer. "Let's go."
They walked out the door. In the dream, Clark began talking to his father, telling him how to trigger the abilities. "Just run!" he told his father, who took off running through the barnyard. As Clark had thought would happen, soon Jonathan blurred into invisibility as he slipped into super-speed. With a gust of air, he stopped next to Clark.
"Wow", was all he said. He went over to the tractor and lifted it up. A broad smile crossed his face. Clark smiled too, at his father's elation.
"Be careful", Clark said, too late, as his father bent the metal of the tractor setting it down. His father grimaced. "I see what you mean", Jonathan said.
They did the chores, had dinner, settled down for bed. In the dream, Clark slept.
The next morning, Clark pulled out the crystal. He and Jonathan looked at it. He said, "It's time." Jonathan came near him, a mixed expression of reluctance and determination on his face.
"Son…" Jonathan said. "Thank you."
Clark said nothing, but smiled, as once again he clasped their hands together, the crystal between. Once again, the feeling of souls uprooting, crossing. With almost a "thunk", Clark realized he was back in his own body.
He looked down at himself, then at his father, who was doing the same.
"I have to put this in the crystal table", he said.
"Go!" his father said, looking at his own hand as if he'd never seen it before, then looking up at Clark and smiling.
Clark sped off to the caves, and put the crystal in the table. Only one crystal to go. He raced back to the farm.
With a dreamlike leap, with a bewildering suddenness, he was at the Smallville Medical Center with his parents. His father was dressing.
"The doctors don't know what to make of my angiogram", he said, triumphantly. "It's a miracle. They don't know how my heart could be normal again after the heart attacks and the bypass – but it is."
Martha gave a sigh of relief. Clark sat, carefully doing nothing, as joy passed through him.
Clark tossed in his sleep as the dream continued. In the dream, later, he took Lana to the Fortress of Solitude, told her his secret, proposed to her. She accepted. His father was elected state senator. Clark held Lana close at the post-election party, and they finished the night together with a champagne toast.
His father gave away Lana at the wedding, Lana's father being long dead. Then Jonathan and Martha danced together at the wedding. At the second dance, Lana danced with Jonathan, Clark with his mother. Swaying in time together to the slow music, she said quietly to him, "Whatever it was you did, Clark, I'm glad."
"It was the crystal", he told her. "Being in my body allowed his body to heal."
Clark and Martha looked at Lana and Jonathan dancing together. The dance ended; they reclaimed their partners. Clark looked into Lana's eyes, seeing the love; looked at his parents, who were sharing a tender kiss, telling each other without words of the secrets of their twenty-five years of marriage.
Then Clark woke up. Torn out of the warmth and love of the dream, the dark silence of three a.m. mocked him. He listened, heard his mother's heartbeat, her sheets rustling as she tossed and turned in her empty bed, reaching for her husband who was no longer there to comfort her. Jonathan's absence leaves a dark void in his soul.
The bitterness of bad decisions, of missed opportunities, was ashes in his mouth. Clark stared at the ceiling, seeing events that might have occurred, things that might have been, happenings that might have occurred, now all vapor and dreams. He remembered his own actions had led him to this gray and leaden time, to this heart-aching place where his father was gone, his mother cried silently when she thought she was alone, his one-time fiancée now hating him. In the deep night of regrets, Clark Kent wept.