Have changed my mind (again), splitting the story back into two parts.
Epilogue: Truth and Reconciliation
"So," Sheriff Adams looked across the interview room table, "why don't you tell me what happened?"
"You already have my statement, along with Mrs Kent's and the video from the security camera." Jon looked back with electric blue eyes, "What more is there to say?"
"How about what someone with your background is doing in Smallville in the first place? We don't have many people with your sort of, credentials, pass through here."
"Then you saw my passport? Good; that should make things easier..."
"Diplomatic immunity or not, you're not leaving until I get some answers: what are you doing in my town?"
"I'm on holiday. I may have grown up in England and have British citizenship, but I was born in Metropolis. I had some leave due, so I decided to visit the old homeland."
"Are you playing with me?"
"I wouldn't dream. Look, Sheriff, I am here purely on personal business. My, occupation has nothing to do with it. So, unless you want to get yourself a lot of extra paperwork, I suggest you let me go."
"Very well, but I'll need you to stay in town, just encase our friend pleads innocent or something stupid like that." Adams leaned back in her chair, "That was a pretty gutsy thing you did; they guy could have killed you. He's wanted for two robberies in Metropolis, one of which left the victim in a wheelchair."
"I make my own luck." Jon stood, "I'll be at the motel if you need me."
"This will do." Clark looked out of the back of the Planetary SUV at the endless sea of fields, "We can walk from here."
"What ever you say, Mr Kent." The Driver nodded, pulling the car over to the side of the road and stopping.
Clark and Chloe stepped out into the early afternoon sunshine, and basked in its warmth. They stood at the side of the road and watched as the car turned round and headed back to Metropolis. The weight of everything that had transpired was momentarily lifted off their shoulders as they simply enjoyed the moment.
"Penny for your thoughts." Clark asked, noticing the far-off look in his girlfriend's eyes.
"Last of the big spenders." Chloe smiled, "I was just wondering if you're always going to be this tense after we make love."
"It was a big step to take..."
"Clark, we've been together just over a year now; very few people our age would wait so long before having sex. I know it's a big step, but it's only natural that we take it. We took more than the usual precautions; so on one can say that we were reckless."
"I'm just not sure how my folks are going to deal with it."
"You know you don't have to tell your parents everything, right? You are allowed to keep some things to yourself. I for one am in not great hurry to tell my father what we did last night, twice, and again this morning. As much as he's begrudgingly admitted I've grown up, he's a little worried that I'll turn into my mother."
"I hope not: I don't think I could cope with Jenny Sparks-Sullivan for a girlfriend."
"No worries there." Chloe linked her arm through Clark's, "We should make a start if we're going to get home before dark."
"We don't need to." Clark looked down the road; a dark shape was starting to take shape on the horizon, "Fancy taking a ride in a sports car?"
The unmistakable roar of a finely tuned engine drifted across the almost silent fields as the unmistakable outline of a Porsche, freshly waxed, came into view. A squeal of brakes announced its arrival in a cloud of dust as it skidded to a halt.
"Clark! Chloe!" Lex climbed out of the still purring car, "What happened? You never explained who you had to go to Metropolis."
"It was my fault." Chloe looked sheepish, "I had a bad turn and needed to see my specialist."
"I understand." Lex nodded with the understanding of one who likewise needed regular medical attention.
Chloe's 'Condition' had been Elijah's idea: by using the lightning strike that had activated her powers as an excuse, they had created the myth of an ongoing medical condition that couldn't be treated locally, and would go some way to explaining her sudden change in personality. By never going into any real detail, they had been able to keep the ruse going without incident.
"Well, let me give you a lift back to town." Lex pulled forward his seat, "Clark, you need to get home in a hurry: there was an attempted robbery at the talon yesterday."
"What!" Clark looked like he'd been punched in the gut, "Was anyone hurt? Is my mom ok?"
"She's fine." Lex reassured him, "A customer was able to disarm the robber before anyone goy hurt, and the Sheriff's men took him into custody."
"Come on Clark." Chloe climbed into the back seat of the sports car, "It's faster than walking."
"Mom!" Clark ran into the Talon, surprised to see his mother standing behind the counter with Lois, "Are you ok?"
"I'm fine, fine." Martha Kent smiled, "I think your father was more shaken than I was."
"What happened?" Chloe asked, "Lex said something about a hold up."
"A drifter, looking for a little easy money." Martha did her best to make light of what had happened, "A customer was able to stop him." She pointed at a table by the window, "There he is right now. Come on; I'll introduce you."
"You guys go ahead; I'll watch the till." Lois smiled, "And I need to talk to Chloe about something."
"Oh, ok." Chloe nodded as the other two walked away, "So; what's up?"
"So, how was last night?" Lois asked.
"Fine." Chloe nodded, a little confused, "We went out for dinner at a nice restaurant..."
"Cut the BS Chloe; you know what I'm talking about."
"I can honestly say I don't."
"Come on: I know that look in your eye."
"The 'I got lucky last night' look. I should know; I've seen it in the mirror often enough..."
"Oh my god!" Chloe clamed a hand over her mouth, "Do you think Mrs Kent saw it?"
"I think she's a little distracted right now, so she probably didn't notice. So, you and Smallville danced the horizontal tango?" Lois clasped her hands to her chest, "My little cousin is all grown up..."
"Knock it off will you!" Chloe swatted her, "Yes, ok; Clark and I made love."
"How was it?"
"The first time was kind of awkward, as we didn't really know what we were doing, but seemed to make even more special. The second time was better."
"You did it twice?" Lois blinked, then saw the way Chloe was blushing, "More than twice? So much for you not turning into your mother..."
"Oh, I am so not my mom!"
Clark was intrigued as to what Lois wanted to talk to Chloe about, but he had long ago promised her that he wouldn't listen in on her without good reason. Add to that, he was eager to meet the man who had apparently saved his mothers life.
"Excuse me, Jon." Marth stopped in front of a young man siting at a corner table.
"Mrs Kent." Jon looked up from his newspaper.
"Sorry to disturb you, but my son wanted to meet you." Martha stepped aside, "Clark, this is Jon Clarkson."
"I just wanted to say thanks for helping my mom the other night." Clark looked at the stranger: he looked slightly older than Clark was, but there was something familiar about him that he couldn't quite place.
"No problem; just glad I could help." Jon nodded, "I've never been one to stand aside at times of crisis."
Clark couldn't help but feel that Jon was studding him, trying to learn everything he could with just a glance. The feeling was slightly unpleasant, but there was still a nagging voice in the back of Clark's head that he should know the stranger. He momentarily activated his X-ray vision, checking for any traces of kryptonite, despite the fact that he couldn't sense any.
Jon appeared to be completely human, but there was something about the over-sized watch on his right arm that prevented Clark from getting a better look at it.
"Well, we'll let you get back to your paper." Martha smiled, noticing the strange vibe between her son and the newcomer who she owed her life to.
"Yeah." Clark nodded, "Chloe and I have something to sort out."
"Well, it was nice to meet you, Mr Kent." Jon smiled, but there was a look in his eyes that said that there was more to him then first seemed.
Clark walked back to the counter in time to see Chloe and Lois laugh at something, only to go unusually quite when he reached them.
"Hi." Chloe smiled as she slipped an arm through her boyfriends, "So, what's the hero like?"
"Complicated." Clark started to walk away, Chloe following on behind, "Can you run a background check on him?"
"Yeah, I can have my friend in the Sherifs office run his name..."
"I'm talking about a deeper background check than that."
"You want me to use the office computer?"
"If you don't mind: something tells me we're not going to find out much about him any other way."
"So, what are we doing now?"
"We're going to go talk to Jor-El."
Jon watched Clark and Chloe walk away, listening in on their conversation. He couldn't help but chuckle: he knew exactly what they find out about him from Planetary. He knew he'd traveled back further than originally planed, and he had to keep his head down, but his cover should hold long enough.
Only time would ultimately tell.
Finishing his coffee, he stood and followed them out the door.
The cave was dark, devoid of the bright, unearthly light that had filled it only days before. Clark opened the portal leading to the hidden inner chamber and walked up to the pedestal in the middle of the room.
"You care to explain yourself?" He asked the empty space around them, "I think you owe use that much at least."
"It was a test." Jor-El's voice came from out of nowhere, "I had to make sure that you could be trusted with what is to come."
"Why are you still testing me?" Clark asked, "You know I'm not going to become the conqueror you want me to be..."
"You are not the one I was testing." The shadowy outline of a man took shape, one hand outstretched, pointing at Chloe, "She was the one who was being tested."
"What?" Chloe blinked, "Why me?"
"It has become clear to me that Kal-El has chosen you to be his closest companion, his chosen mate." Jor-El explained, "There are many trials ahead of you, and I needed to know that the daughter of Jenny Sparks would stand beside my son, no matter what."
"You could have just asked..." Chloe looked a little stunned.
"What trials?" Clark asked, "What aren't you telling us?"
"All I can tell you is that you must recover the Stones of Power." Jor-El started to fade, "And you have passed the test."
"Well," Chloe blinked, "that was unusual."
"I don't like him playing with us like that." Clark shook his head, "Come on; we should go let your dad know you're home."
Jon held back in the shadows and waited for Clark and Chloe to disappear towards the Kent farm, before making his way down into the cave. The portal to the inner chamber slid open before him, and he stepped through.
"Hello, old man." He smiled as he stood before the pedestal, "We need to talk, you and I..."
(To be continued in another story at a later date)
markmark261: hope this explains everything ;)