Thanks to all my readers and reviewers. Here's the epilogue. Enjoy. :)
Lois had found the letter in Chloe's desk. She had given it to Clark the day after the funeral. But it had taken Clark two weeks and a trip back home to Smallville to work up the nerve to open it.
Clark stared at the piece of paper in his hands. He tried to comprehend what he had just read. But he couldn't quite wrap his mind around the words written on the sheet. Clark slowly stood and walked to the open door of the hay loft. He gazed out at the setting sun, the paper held loosely in his hand.
You are the best friend I have ever had.
You are the most honest, trusting, deserving man and I hope you can find happiness.
You are destined for great things, Clark. Don't ever doubt the impact you can have on people and their lives.
I have loved you since the moment I met you, and I will love you still, from wherever I may be.
The words of Chloe's letter echoed in Clark's mind, hurting him like no amount of Kryptonite ever had.
As the sun set beyond the edge of the horizon, Clark wiped a lone tear from his eye. He stood a moment longer, than turned and left. Chloe's death had to be for something. And Clark was determined to honor her.
Seven Years later…
Clark Kent walked down the streets of Metropolis, the high Spring winds blowing his loose, thick black hair into a ruffled mess. Clark adjusted the black framed glasses resting on the bridge of his nose as a gust of wind came up and whipped his jacket open, blowing his blue and red checkered tie over his shoulder. Ahead Clark caught sight of a woman on her knees, struggling to gather some loose papers that had obviously escaped her grip. Clark jogged a few steps, his black dress shoe landing on the last page just out of her reach. He leaned down, picking up the paper.
"Excuse me, I believe this is yours," Clark said loudly over the whipping wind.
The woman stood and turned, the wind blowing her hair over her head obscuring her face. Clark heard her curse under her breath as her free hand reached up and smoothed her wildly blowing hair out of her face.
"Thanks," she said quickly, snatching the paper from Clark's hand.
"You're welcome, Lois."
The woman paused, and looked closely at the man standing in front of her.
"Clark Kent," she said matter-of-factly, her eyes narrowing.
"It's been awhile. Seven years, right? I was beginning to think I would never see you again." Lois eyed him.
"You look different, nice glasses. They make you look smarter," she added sarcastically, staring at him, her eyes drilling right into him.
Clark couldn't tell if she was mad at him or not. He hadn't really said goodbye before he'd left. And he hadn't planned to be gone for so long. Things just worked out that way. He gave her a nervous smile.
"I'm sorry, Lois," he said pleading with his eyes that she wouldn't ask for an explanation.
Lois's eyes softened. "Clark, I understand, for the most part. You needed space; I just didn't think you'd need seven years of space. I kind of missed you, Smallville," Lois admitted, the hard edge leaving her voice.
Clark stared at her for a moment, and as she looked back at him, a slight smile played at her lips and Clark understood he was forgiven.
"So, uh, I'm on my way to meet with Perry, I'm hoping to get my job back," he explained.
"If not for these hurricane force winds, I'd be inside already. Come on," Lois turned on her heel, her hair blowing back behind her and whipping Clark in the face.
Across town, Lex Luthor, a candidate for State Governor, sat at his large mahogany desk, looking over the most recent polls. He had 79 of the vote but that wasn't enough. He wanted 100 of the vote.
Lex pressed the call button on his desk phone.
"Yes, Mr. Luthor?" an attractive tall blond in a very short skirt immediately stepped into the room.
"Get Jackson in here, now," he said coldly.
The blond nodded and quickly left the room.
It's time to take care of the competition, Lex thought calmly, for good.
Perry White had welcomed Clark back with open arms, and much to Lois's chagrin he assigned Clark to work with Lois on the city beat, as a team. Clark was amused at how Lois had tried to defend her rights to the beat as a lone reporter, but in the end Perry's infinite wisdom (and the fact that he was the boss) won out.
As Lois was leading Clark through the reorganized and remodeled offices of uThe Daily Planet/u, Clark suddenly paused as his super-hearing detected a man calling for help.
"Ah-sorry Lois, I think I left my coffee pot on," and with that, Clark was gone.
Suddenly, Lois found herself alone in the hallway. She shook her head in annoyance and made her way back to her desk.
The people on the streets of Metropolis that morning could agree on one thing about the site they witnessed. It was something they'd never seen before.
Something was flying, through the tall skyscrapers of Metropolis, at a speed so fast that if you blinked, you missed it. It was a blur of red, blue and yellow. And long after the aberration was gone, the people stared to the sky, in case it reappeared.
"Mommy, was that a bird?" a young child asked.
"Must've been some new experimental plane," a window washer twenty five stories up, said to himself.
"Was that a man?" Perry White whispered, slack jawed as the sight flew by his office window, his coffee cup falling to the floor and shattering to pieces.
Clark (as he had not yet given himself a true hero's name) flew to where the cries of help were emanating. He found himself in a spacious penthouse apartment, adjacent to the capital building.
As he made his soft landing on the top floor patio, he heard struggling and muffled cries from inside. Using his X-Ray vision, he saw three men, all with weapons leveled at a fourth person. One body lay motionless on the floor.
Clark nodded in confirmation to himself, and without hesitation he entered the apartment.
Two minutes later, the three men were safely secured, each with a metal rod binding them to the wall, and the man who had been the victim of the attack was safely standing with Clark. The person on the floor was alive, but knocked unconscious.
"The police are on their way," Clark said as he hung up the telephone. "Now tell me, who do you work for?"
The men glared at Clark with defiance. The one on the left finally spoke. "Even if we knew who ordered the hit, do you really think we would tell you?"
Clark stared at the three men with a slightly amused expression on his face. "Well, the police will be sure you three are taken care of."
"Sir, thank you for your assistance," the victimized man exclaimed, offering his hand to Clark.
"Glad I could be of service, sir," Clark answered back, grasping the man's hand.
"It's Jack Murphy, Governor," he added.
"And you are…?" Governor Murphy asked, his eyes finally taking in the amazing costume this man was wearing; blue spandex pants with red overshorts held up with a yellow belt, tall red boots, a red cape, and a huge red and yellow S/ on his chest.
"I'm a friend," Clark answered with a half smile, as he released the Governor's hand, and backed out of the room. Seconds later he was gone, and the Governor was left to wonder, that man is more than just a friend, I've never seen someone move so fast, and with so much strength. And he flies.
Across town, Lex Luthor slammed his fist against his desk. He stood up suddenly, his chair flying backwards. He took the phone receiver and threw it across the room.
Lex clenched his fists, as his angered breathing slowly returned to normal.
A new man in town, who wears blue spandex, Lex thought with a hint of a smile. A man who flies? And who has such strength he can bind three men to a wall with metal rods.
Lex dug his cell phone out of his jacket to make a call. It was time to find out who this mystery man was, and to devise a plan to keep him from interfering again.
Clark flew the skies of Metropolis, the wind whipping his red cape wildly, his hair magically not moving. He flew high above the city, through the clouds, a soft smile on his lips. No trouble below, no worries above. Clark allowed his mind to fly like his body was, above the hustle and bustle of the city streets below. His thoughts drifted towards Chloe, and he hoped he was honoring her in a way that would have made her proud.
Clark closed his eyes, allowing his body to just soar with the currents. He turned on his back, his arms out to his sides. Clark was never happier, nor more comfortable as when he was flying.
Suddenly, a cry for help brought him out of his flight of reverie. Clark made a sharp turn and dove for the city streets below.
Lois couldn't take her eyes off him. I'm in love, she thought. As she did, she quickly shook her head, as if to shake the feelings away. This is ridiculous, she thought. This man just saved you from certain death, and all you can think about are his blue eyes.
"Are you cold?" he asked her.
Lois quickly looked at him and shook her head again.Those blue eyes drilled into her, piercing her heart and soul.
His lips formed a slight smile as he flew them towards Lois's apartment. The night air was chilling, but Lois felt nothing but the strength of his arms holding her to him.
After he'd dropped her off and flown away, Lois remained on her balcony, staring at the space he'd formerly occupied.
"Lois Lane, get a grip," she said softly to herself, as she turned and started to enter her apartment. Suddenly she stopped. Turning, she looked over her shoulder towards the sky. A smile played on her lips. It had come to her. And tomorrow Lois Lane would become the oneto give aname to the new superhero in town.