"I Can't Stand... to Fly"
Valentine Michel Smith
Summary: Clark isn't sure. About a few things.
Genre: Gen w/edges of het
Spoilers: SV4 Crusade, Gone
Notes: Inspired by Terminator back shot in SV4.01 because, damn, it was yummy.
Rating: PG13 (language)
The bed was the place he first noticed it. The dream felt so real, like he was in Lana's room, hovering above her. He wasn't really sure why he'd wound up there. The aerial view had been astounding, even if Smallville had little to offer in the way of scenery. He was happy mostly, soaring above the clouds, when he felt the urge to... He wanted to... share... the cool. Yeah, flying was cool, and Lana would think he was cool by extension. He drifted over her, paying no attention to the lace nightgown, arms folded, staring down, a small grin on his face. Then, she woke up, eyes squinted and accusatory. "It's all your fault, Clark."
Boom. Dream over. He woke with a start, mainly because he'd flopped on the bed and broken it. It was only then he realized at least part of the dream wasn't a dream at all. Clark Kent, Smallville freshman, could hover - if not soar into the heavens.
The caves activated more flying dreams, and when Lex found him in the middle of Route 8, he suspected he probably hadn't walked there. Kal-El confirmed Clark 's deepest fear - not only was he a freak by virtue of invulnerability, strength, x-ray vision, heat vision, ridiculously adaptable hearing and phenomenal speed - he could fly. Clark Kent held onto the last vestige of his humanity as Kal-El loosed it, proving Clark more alien than he imagined. No leisurely floating for the Alien Overlord in Training: Kal-El was turbo charged and not afraid to take to the skies to do what he had to do.
Clark stood staring at the Kawatche paintings. Kal-El activated an opening in the wall with a sequence that remained blurred in Clark's mind, as trapped within as Kal-El. He tugged at his jeans and shifted, his clothing and skin literally uncomfortable. Three months in the middle of who-knew-where, and he'd apparently managed to put on more than a few pounds. He pulled at his jeans, feeling their tightness as seams gripped his rear. It was bad enough the tee shirts were tighter - Jor-El must've had his son in the Kryptonian version of the gym non-stop. Clark closed a fist, curling his arm into a bicep. Yep, definitely pumped up. He turned back to the wall, hoping somehow time would diminish the effects of Jor-El's hand on his physique as well as his psyche. He tried once more to conjure the sequence to reveal the cave's newest secret. Nothing. He tugged at the jeans again as they crept up, this time, moving deeply and persistently into The Gorge. As much as he'd hate to do it, he would have to talk to his mom about buying some new clothes if he didn't drop the weight.
Clark smiled. With everything that'd happened, he was worried about his figure. Frustration crept into his features as Clark turned, walking straight into Lois.
"Lll-Lois? What're you doing here?"
"Admiring the scenery." Lois arched a well-groomed eyebrow. She circled, a thin smile edging over teeth. "Don't let me stop you, Smallville. Although, from where I'm standing, maybe we should rename the place."
Abruptly, Clark lowered his hand. In an act of absolute defiance and complete control, he crossed his arms over his chest. Nope, nothing to see here, lady. He could feel her eyes burning a hole in his... Wait. Who had heat vision here? "You could warn a guy." His tone was brusque. "Before..."
"You show up in a cave and -"
"Stare at his -"
"My -" Clark corrected.
Clark started to say something but chose instead to walk away.
"Call us even."
Clark whirled. "Excuse me? I don't ever recall checking out your -" Clark gestured. Badly.
"Ass. A. S. S. Three-letter word. Rolls off the tongue." Lois glided by him, and tugged playfully on a belt loop. "About my ass? To my knowledge, no." She paused, softening her voice as she spoke. "I'm talking about the graveyard." Lois spun. She did that - a lot. Clark was surprised she hadn't twisted herself into the ground. "I'm just glad grave, no body."
Clark felt the tension in his body evaporate. "Yeah. It's good to have Chloe back."
"It is, isn't it? So?"
"Where's the happy? I'm dancing here."
"Not literally. You can't really be that dumb, Clark. We should be celebrating. C'mon... Don't tell me ol' Not-a-Thing's holding you back."
Clark screwed up his face. Ol' Not-a-Thing? Where'd she come up with this stuff anyway? "Lana isn't what this's about."
Lois leaned against on the cave wall. At least she picked one without any drawings. She crossed one leg over the other. Given the amount of adjusting, the wall must've been really uncomfortable. Good. "Then what is it about? I came because Lana said you liked to spend time here." She looked around. "Graffitti? Tagger in your spare time, and I interrupted?"
Honestly, how had this woman not been smothered in her sleep? Clark bit his tongue and counted to ten very slowly. "Never mind."
He pushed past her, heading back into the sunlight.
What was the big deal about flying anyway? Clark stood beyond the barn, thinking "insubstantial." He'd decided most decidedly to maybe try to activate a hover. When nothing happened, he squatted. Kal-El had launched himself into the air from this position. Maybe if he pushed off -
Clark closed his eyes and prayed it wasn't Lois again.
"What're you doing?"
Lois. Again. Clark sighed quietly and stood. Thinking a bit more about it, he jumped, pulling his knees into his chest. Could've been risky, but given the apparent continued earthbound nature of one Clark J. Kent... "Football drills," he said as he bounced up and down, going no higher than a six foot three inch teen would. "I'm thinking about going out for the team."
"Oh," said Lois.
He kept jumping, hoping flight wouldn't pick this moment to switch on. If it could. Switch on. "What 'Oh'?"
"You don't believe me?" Clark stopped unexpectedly.
"Does it matter to me if I don't?"
Clark looked at her, this older, more annoying version of Chloe. "Actually, no, it really doesn't." He stalked away. And that was that.
Clark stood on the roof. Maybe flying was like swimming. Toss a body into the deep end and natural mechanisms kick in. There was logic to the thought process. He just hoped his mom and dad stayed gone long enough for him to conduct this latest experiment.
Clark leaned forward. He managed a forty-five degree angle without falling, although he hadn't a clue how he'd pulled it off. Too bad his body hadn't come with a manual. He continued leaning, making it almost to 90 degrees. He felt his feet slide from the roof, and for a moment, he swore he was suspended. Moments being notoriously short, Clark fell, hard and fast. He landed brutally in the dirt.
Not looking up, Clark recognized Lois's voice immediately. He had to give her this: the woman was talented. Clark spat dirt and turned his head. "What're you doing here?"
Lois tilted her chin and eyed the roof. "Did you just fall?"
Clark stood, dusting himself off. He followed her gaze. "From the roof? No."
"Where'd you fall from?"
"I didn't actually fall. More like tripped."
Lois looked at Clark's feet. "No surprises there. Unless you count the fact that it doesn't happen more often." She waved a wicker basket under Clark's nose. "I brought something for your mother. To thank her for the hospitality. And Pa Kent for not doing whatever farm folk do to sons caught with women in their absence."
"You didn't have to."
Lois rolled her eyes in a gesture Clark instantly recognized as The Silent D'uhhhhh. Apparently, in addition to ADD, Lois had space issues. She was standing much too close. "Nope. But if Chlo has such a high opinion of you, then I figure I owe it to myself to get to know you better."
Clark nodded, understanding completely. "Butter-up visit."
Lois glared. Clark made note: she gave good glare. Ok, so maybe he wasn't so much with the understanding. He waited for the explanation. She'd explain. She had to explain. She couldn't. Shut. Up.
"Good people are hard to come by in this world, Smallville. Chloe seems to think you're one of 'em."
"Oh," said Clark, his voice vaguely Lana-like. He considered. Lois hadn't pressed the issue regarding Kal-El's impetuous lift in the hospital. Maybe she wasn't as obnoxious and impulsive as he'd thought. He extended a hand. "Here. Let me carry -"
"Got it." Lois bounded ahead, waving the basket like Speed Freak Little Red Riding Hood.
Clark sighed, turning his gaze toward the roof. Whatever was keeping him earthbound was beginning to feel suspiciously like what was making him want to keep Lois at a distance. Apparently he'd have to wait for the day when all walls shifted.
"Lois! Wait up!" Clark called. "Maybe we can visit Chloe after you drop that off? My parents're out."
He could feel her smile even if she didn't turn around. "As long as I get to drive. I'm not convinced you're over the whole lighting-fried-my-brain-and-left-me-naked-thing."
Clark stood tall, but only just barely. "Fine. But do you know where we're going?"
"Nope, and that, Smallville, is half the fun."