Author's Notes: God, I hope this last chapter works. This story doesn't have the stereotypical happy ending that most shipper stories normally have, but I had to break out of the norm, you know. Let's hope it worked out respectively. And what's with the whip?
Act 6 of 6
It's been a couple of days since the incident on the highway. Clark had purposely made himself scarce in Smallville. He ended up spending his days in Metropolis with Chloe and telling her everything, but sadly, he chickened out in telling Lana anything at all.
"You could still salvage your relationship with Lana, Clark, if you would just tell her what really happened"
He shook his head. "It doesn't matter who I pretend to be anymore, I'll never escape who I really am"
Chloe smiled sadly for her friend.
"I'm sorry you feel that way." She picked up her bag and grabbed her coat, leaving Clark alone in Met-U's library. "I'll see you tomorrow?"
He nodded. "Yeah, sure"
"What do you want A.C.?" he asked across the empty room, of course, with his enhanced abilities, he knew for the last couple of minutes, he and Chloe weren't alone.
"Just wanted to swing by to see how super boy is doing." Clark let out a brief smile; Lois's knack for nicknames must clearly be rubbing off on him. Arthur continued. "I'm heading back south for a while. My dad really called me this time"
"No offense, A.C., but how did you find me?"
"Lois," he answered. "She called her cousin earlier and said she'd be in the library most of the evening. It was a 50/50 shot, and it wasn't really out of my way, I just wanted to say thanks for looking out for her"
Clark was unconvincing in his following reply. "Yeah. Right"
"I know you like her," Arthur said, getting right to the point. "It's kinda hard not to, you know. Whatever it is you're keeping from everyone – and I can tell that it's not just your powers – I'm not lying when I tell you that you don't have to hide it from her"
Clark knew he was right. He depended on Lois for a lot of things. Things he is just beginning to admit to. From the moment they met, she has never done anything to deliberately hurt him. Chastise him, yes. Annoy him, very. Get him to brood not as much; it's become a regular occurrence.
How could he have not noticed any of this before? It didn't matter now, she was with Arthur, and she looks happy.
Arthur began to exit when Clark asks, "How did you do it?"
He stopped and turned. "Do what?"
"Get through to Lois?" Clark paused. "It's no secret that she and I get along like oil and water. We're not exactly the best of friends, at least not in the way that I am with Chloe"
He smiled. "She's Lois. I would want to be more than just her friend," he said knowingly.
"Lucky you, then"
"I don't know what the future has in store for us, Kent. But don't give up, you'll find the one for you someday"
Arthur disappears out of the double doors, leaving Clark alone once again.
"Maybe I already have," he whispered to nobody.
Clark ran back to Smallville. He had his classes to attend to on top of the chores he needed to get finished. He couldn't ignore the town forever, there's too much about the place pulling him in.
"Hey Smallville," Lois greeted, stepping out of her SUV and walking towards Clark who just started stacking piles of hay.
"Lois," he greeted forcefully.
Clark couldn't help but see her differently now. Nervous. Stressed out. Lack of coherent sentencing during verbal output. She wasn't even wearing a necklace made of Kryptonite, so that made it even more serious.
"How are you?" She asked.
He nodded, avoiding eye contact. "I'm okay"
She opened her mouth ready to make a quip when she held it back in the last minute. "You've been ignoring me," she said, not making an attempt to even tip-toe around the circumstance. She just barreled right through without hesitation.
"I'm not ignoring you"
"You don't return my phone calls. You don't insult me. I don't catch you moping around in your fortress of brooding."
That got a chuckle out of him. "In my defense, you only called me once." He grabbed another stack of hay and piled it right on top of the other. He looked at her this time, removing his gloves. "And I don't mean to insult you"
"Don't try to be my knight in shining armor, if you could take my heat, I can certainly take yours. Need a hand?"
"No, but thanks"
He turned towards the barn and Lois followed him in-step.
"We're gonna have to talk about what happened soon or later, Smallville. All this awkward silences are well, awkward"
He sighed, turning to her. "What do you want me to say?"
"Will it matter?"
"I won't know till you say anything"
"You're not going to like what you're gonna hear," he warned her, hoping that she'll drop the subject.
"You let me decide that and we'll take it from there"
He wanted to groan in response, but he knew too that if he kept this bottled up inside, it's going to do more harm than good.
"He's fine, but you're changing the subject"
"Would it matter much if I told you I don't want to talk about it?"
Lois could be relentless when she wanted to be, he mused. "Fine." He stomped up the stairs leaving a trail of aggravation behind.
Lois smiled victoriously.
He moved to the couch, sitting on it. Elbows resting on knees, he played with his fingers. He looked like he was trying to straighten his thoughts. That was a notion Lois could live with, the last thing either of them wanted was a misunderstanding.
"You're different with him," he said softly that Lois barely heard him.
"Arthur," he said a little louder. "You're different with him"
She furrowed her brows, trying to comprehend his words. "I'm different with him?" she repeated.
For a moment, she didn't understand until she realized what he meant. "Oh." He nodded. "You mean – " He nodded some more. "But you and I are – " Now she was getting it. "Wait. No…"
"I warned you, didn't I"
"But we don't like each other like that"
He shrugged, and it annoyed her. "You're in love with Lana. Remember her? The love of your life? The girl you've had a crush on since you were like – " she waited for him to finish it.
He sighed first before answering. "I was young okay"
"See! There you go! Those feelings don't just change overnight, or in our case, over switched bodies"
"Except I've been falling out of love with her for a while now," he revealed.
Lois could swear she was hearing the wrong things.
"Me and Lana have been growing apart for a long time, and we're holding on to something that was never really there in the first place"
"I'm sorry, huh?" She emphasized again.
"Seeing you with A.C. brought out a lot of the problems I have with Lana," he admitted truthfully. "I can never feel comfortable telling her everything, and that's what I'm supposed to feel right, comfortable?" He stared into Lois's eyes pleadingly. "If I love her, why can't I go there?"
"I don't know how to answer that, Clark"
"Please, tell me"
"Honesty runs both ways. Maybe, and this is just a maybe, I don't pretend to be a psychiatrist in the matter but, perhaps there's something she isn't telling you either that's preventing you from trusting her completely"
He swallowed hard, afraid of an answer like that. "I think a part of me will love always love her, but I can't help feel that I haven't felt real love"
"Why do you look so hard?"
"Why don't you look at all?"
"Hey, since when did this become about me? We're talking about you, remember?"
"My feelings for you are changing, and I'm not going to pretend it's not happening. And I'm certainly not going to rationalize it like I know what it all means." He stood up, as he surprised her with his words. "I like you, Lois," he said, looking out into the falling horizon. "You can take that however you like, but that's how I feel"
She had nothing else to say. Not right now anyway.
"I'm gonna go"
"Arthur's lucky to have you," he said sincerely.
She smiled, albeit weakly. "Anybody would be lucky to have you," she returned, equally sincere. "And if Lana doesn't see that, then she never deserved you to begin with"
He watched her leave.
Clark was hanging out with Chloe on campus, Lana was spending the weekend with her Aunt Nell so there was little to worry about when Clark was there. They were still on non-speaking terms. She refused to hear Clark's explanation and he found himself not caring to tell her either way.
It spoke volumes about where they were in their relationship. Or lack thereof.
Chloe looked up from her text book and noticed Clark googling flower shops all over the country.
"Clark, what are you doing?"
With his eyes still on the screen, he says, "I'm trying to find all the known lilies they sell in the country."
"I can see that. But why are you doing it?"
He smiled to himself and answered vaguely. "It took me a while, but I've finally figured out what I wanted." He spun the chair around to meet Chloe's curious gaze.
"And what's that?" she asked.
Clark didn't answer, he simply smiled his response. Chloe has never seen him look so upbeat and happy. There were sparks in his eyes and no, it's not his heat vision she's referring to.
He turned back to the computer and closed the windows.
"I'll see you later, Chlo." Swoosh! He disappears in a blink of an eye.
Chloe's curiosity was running rampant and she quickly went on the computer to see where he had been.
She should've known.
Name: Lois Joanne Lane
Born: West Germany
Favorite Flower: Lilies
End Notes: You honestly don't think I was going to have Clark take this sitting down, did you?