Chronos: Future
by Creedog VanDrey

Category: Smallville
Genre: Supernatural, Romance
Rating: K+
Language: English
Summery: A post-Lexmas and a Godeerc the Mystic story. Clark accepts his destiny. Chloe embraces hers. Lex succumbs to his own.
Spoilers: Lexmas. But less and less so with each chapter. This one is practically an AU Futurefic.

A/N: This is it. This is the last chapter. While this had the potential to be a rather lengthy series, and I don't quite have the inspiration for more than these four chapters. I hope you have enjoyed these adventures so far, and hope you enjoyed what's to come. By the way, this chapter was originally titled "Destiny;" I thought "Future" was better.

Chapter 4: Future

January 18, 2013

Lionel Luthor sat in the silence of his office, looking at a security video on his laptop. One frame showed a blur outside his office. Another camera captured a similar blur, which changed into a man skidding across the carpet in his office, but as the camera was facing the desk, Lionel only saw from behind. A third camera recorded the weakened superhero crawling behind a file cabinet, but his face was in the shadow the entire time the second camera showed Lex and himself speaking. Suddenly the figure sped off.

Lionel rewound the video many times, slowing it down, trying to find that one instant when the hiding superhero came out of the shadows just before accelerating to inhuman speeds. It seemed to never come.

- - -

January 20, 2013

Chloe looked up from the newspaper into her living room, noting that the sofa bed, which was a mess of sheets two seconds ago, was now flawlessly made. Clark surveyed his work with a smile. Smirking, his roommate commented, "You do realize that I haven't even made my bed yet." She looked down at the newspaper again, opening up the Galaxy. With a perplexed look on her face, she commented, "You made the paper."

"That's nothing new," Clark responded, and half a second later, he was wearing jeans and a blue turtleneck in place of his flannel pajama set.

Chloe brushed the hair out of her face, caused by Clark's high-speed antics. "Yeah, but you don't usually grant interviews."

Clark adopted Chloe's perplexed look. "I don't." He walked over to the counter where Chloe stood, commenting, "Plus, if I ever did, there's only one reporter I would trust with my story." He pressed his forehead against Chloe's.

Chloe smiled and kissed him. "Or her cousin?" She pulled away and showed him the article: "A Chat with the Super-Man" by Lois Lane.

Lowering his eyebrows, his pupils became a blur. And an instant later, he stated, "That wasn't an interview. Lois almost got caught in the LuthorCorp building, trying to get proof that Lionel tried to assassinate you. She got herself in danger—it's genetic, I suppose." This earned him a pinch on the shoulder by Chloe. Not feeling any pain, he continued with a voice full of mock indignation, "So I had to swoop in to save the day. We had a little chat on the rooftop."

Chloe skimmed the article. "She calls you 'lonely' and… I'm getting the impression… did she flirt with you?"

Clark's face reddened, "Yeah." The change in Chloe's body language was well-hidden, but Clark's heightened senses pick up on it. "Chloe, I blew her off. The article even says so. C'mon, it's Lois."

"You said you weren't human."

Clark resigned. "I had to say something."

"But that you had nothing downstairs?"

"What?" Clark's face was nothing if not perplexed.

Chloe paused then started to laugh uncontrollably. "Oh, Clark… well, whatever lets me keep you all to myself."

Still clueless, Clark picked up the newspaper. "She's naming me the 'Super-Man'?" He cringed.

Chloe caught his expression. "Oh, it's not that creative. I'm sure it won't catch on."

- - -

"This is preposterous!" Chloe screeched.

Clark, sitting in a borrowed chair in front of Chloe's desk, rubbed his sensitive ears. Because it was no secret—to the entire city in fact—that Clark and Chloe were dating, Perry White was forced to split the two up. So he moved Clark closer to the window, three desks over from Chloe, facing opposite directions. While they were no longer allowed "in the field" together, Perry saw no problem with having them work on the same articles… it would be a crime to journalism in his eyes not to let them make the Daily Planet the best newspaper in America.

Perry had already started to look for a wedding present for the two, not because he was a hundred percent sure that they were heading that direction, nor because he thought Clark would propose anytime soon, but rather because he was horrible at buying gifts, so he thought he could get a head start. If not, he'd put it in his cabinet for emergencies: forgotten anniversaries, forgotten birthdays, forgotten births, forgotten praise… In fact, as he approached Chloe's desk, what kind of gift she would like was what was running through his head.

Exasperated, Chloe continued, "This Marshall Heath guy doesn't make a single point. It's all subversive. He uses pretty language and bad logic to undermine an ignorant public."

"Sorry, sweetcakes, but that's what the newspaper business is all about," Perry joked as he grabbed a secretary's chair. Or maybe it was an administrative assistant's; Perry didn't know the difference, or even if there was one; he enough to worry about—buying gifts, for example—without political correctness filling his worry jar.

Chloe smirked appreciatively. "It's just… I'm afraid this is going to hurt sales." She saw Perry start to adopt a look of sincere pretend concern, so she cut him off. "I'd hate to have it sully my name and have the Planet suffer." Perry then adopted the look of genuine concern.

"Listen, kid, don't you worry about this. I'll get someone in Arts & Styles to write a rebuke. I bet Cat Grant wouldn't do too bad of a job."

Chloe rolled her eyes and sighed. "Let me talk to her about it. She talented enough to do it right, but… she spends too much time in doing fashion bios, and well…" Chloe didn't finish. "Perry, we're purists; you know what I'm saying." And Perry truly did.

- - -

April 25, 2013

Chloe dropped Clark's hand to read the newspaper. While she felt she could spend the rest of her life just strolling down sidewalks hand-in-hand with Clark, she had other passions, one of them being the newspaper she held in her hand.

"'Superman Saves Reeve Orphanage From Fire'. You didn't even make the front page."

"I could care less. But Lois just had to make the connection that 'S' could stand for 'Superman.' It stood for Smallville."

Tilting her head back and forth lithely, she replied, unable to suppress a playful smile, "Which she calls you by the way. You are still with the secret identity program, right?"

"You're the one talking to the mild-mannered reporter as if he was Superman."

"This is Metropolis. No one pays attention to anyone else walking across the street. Just one question…" Chloe paused dramatically. "Which one's the secret identity?" She played it off as a joke, but her eyes betrayed her true intention.

Clark, who had quickly learned to read gestures since dating the expressive Chloe, paused before answered. With failing humor, he responded, "You're never gonna get over Lois beating you to the first Superman interview."

He hadn't answered her question. Sharply, she replied, "Never. Did you hear that Perry asked her for a piece of investigative work to see if she was cut out to 'work with her cousin'?" Her voice was still raw, but for the moment, she allowed the distraction.

Clark's voice became more upbeat. "Yeah, as I recall, she tried to break into LuthorCorp… again. And the 'Man of Steel' had to save her… again." With annoyance, he added, "Must she come up with a new nickname for me every time I save her?"

Chloe's face always betrayed her emotions, except to Clark, but now it seemed like even Clark was catching on. "That's Lois for ya, Smallville. So, who am I dating, the man or the secret identity?" She asked it flatly.

Clark took a while to formulate his words. "There's the reporter at the Daily Planet. And then there's Metropolis's resident superhero. No one knows that Clark Kent can move mountains. No one knows that Superman is the son of a produce farmer. Chloe, both are the secret identity."

Satisfied, Chloe's snark quotient tripled. "That would make such a good quote. Dammit if I can never use it. So, if both are secret identities, does anyone actually know you?"

"You," he answered immediately and with unquestionable sincerity. He let the word hang for a long time. "Mom and Dad. Pete." Chloe could only nod as she kept walking. Clark stopped and laced his fingers through Chloe's arms. "You're the best thing that ever happened to me, you know that?"

She spun to face him. "No, I'm not. But I try really hard."

- - -

April 26, 2013

The room with the metallic walls and the harsh overhead lighting gave the perfect monotone setting for the man in the black suit and the man in the white lab coat. Lex Luthor held the computer printout in his hand.

"EPA's gonna have my ass for this."

"I'm sorry, Mr. Luthor, we put in the best filters money could by, but you knew what the pH levels on these chemicals were."

Dropping the printout, Lex rested his hands on the raising overlooking a vat of bluish liquid. "Wanna tell me how the production of a chemical spray whose express purpose is to weaken structural stability and cause no adverse affect on biological organisms can create such toxic biproducts?"

From behind him, the man with a bowl cut of shiny black hair and thick glasses, replied, "I don't suppose you're looking for a yin-yang, balance-of-nature explanation, Mr. Luthor."

Lex smirked and he turned around, "Dr. Milo, you humor me. What kind of environmental effects are we looking at?"

Dr. Milo shrugged his shoulders. "The stream isn't a drinking water source. But this stuff'll kill anything in the water from here to Morley Lake. Not to mention if this stuff gets into the water table, you're looking at poisoning and killing hundreds of acres of forestland."

"Get a sample and send it to LuthorCorp Labs. See if they can get working on a neutralizer. I thought this meteor rock stuff wasn't toxic."

"It's volatile. Every time we try something new to it, it gives us new surprises. You of all people should know that."

Lex pursed his lips.

- - -

April 29, 2013

Clark's plan to stay fifty feet from Lex wasn't working out so well, seeing that he was flat on his back on the helicopter pad on top of LuthorCorp's Smallville plant, with the bald man choking him using the arm around which he wore the kryptonite-enhanced watch. Clark also planned on Chloe staying in the car where she was safe rather than ending up handcuffed to an antenna too far away to help, which was her current predicament.

Clark, even in his weakened state, was able to get a good punch in, which did nothing more than irritate Lex.

"Dammit, Superman, I was working on a solution! You didn't have to come in and wreck my waste disposal system! You've cost me millions!"

Through his teeth, Superman replied, "What about the city of Smallville? How much have you cost them? Have you looked around you?"

And looked Lex had. He saw the same devastation that Superman, the EPA agents, and most of Smallville had seen: sickly gray-green water with foam and fish floating on the surface, withered trees from the bank of the Elbow River to a quarter mile away, and the acid-ruined walls of the shut-down Smallville Dam.

Lex then noticed a softening in Clark's grimacing face, as if he were deep in thought. This quickly passed as an arm slowly rose. Lex quickly grabbed it with his kryptonite watch-laden arm and held it to the ground. "You know, you never do know when to quit, do you?" Lex's right fist collided with Superman's jaw, who retaliated by spitting Kryptonian blood in Lex's face.

Lex adjusted his legs to have better leverage. Superman was quickly weakening under the radiation of the watch, all the more ready for a good beating. Lex changed his battle plan when he felt something against his shin: a broken piece of piping, a relic from a few minutes earlier, one of Superman's missed punches.

"You know, you've been getting in my father's and my way for quite some time, for reasons I cannot fathom, which makes me think there are no reasons for your vigilante escapades." He lifted the jagged pipe. "I think it's about time we ended that right now, freak."

"NO!" Chloe screeched. Lex smirked at her infidelity. The woman was obviously in love with the superhero, despite her relationship with Clark. Clark would be heartbroken. Not unlike Lex was after Lana's death. How poetic. The end result of love is always the same: pain. Lex would have no more of that. "It's a pity, Superman, with your power, we could've rule the world. Too bad you've proven yourself unworthy."

Lex raised the pipe with his left hand, wanting the kryptonite to be near Superman's heart when the pipe plunged through it. It never got the chance, as Lex's wrist was bent back forcefully another piece of pipe struck it with great force. Lex found himself thrown to the ground by Pete Ross, who looked at him with steely eyes. Clutching his injured wrist, he asked, "What the hell? What are you…?"

With an almost evil smirk, Pete replied, "It's quite simple, Luthor, while Clark was distracting you, Chloe made a quick call to me." Lex tilted his head, to see Chloe with a cell phone in her hand. His mind replayed back the last few minutes. She had been struggling with her handcuffs quite loudly… an obvious ruse.

Something still didin't make sense to him. "But… it's only been…"

"Three, four minutes? Lex, don't you remember where this plant was built? On top of my family's farm! My dad's farmhouse is 100 yards from here. I was in town visiting. You know, I'm kind of lucky that you were going off on your little mad scientist tirade just now. I had plenty of time to sneak up here and grab a weapon. Which reminds me…" Pete abruptly butted the pipe into Lex's sternum. While the other man gasped for breath, Pete removed his crushed watch, tearing skin that got caught in the mangled metal, evoking a shriek from Lex. Pete threw it over the side of the building, where it landed in a pool of green liquid, created by the damaged outflow pipes of the building. The corrosive liquid quickly began to burn through the shiny steel.

Lex didn't dare get up, as he saw a healed Superman doing just that.

"You were right about one thing, Mr. Luthor," Superman said, adopting an impersonal tone, "we could have been partners. It seems your own greed has made you… what was your choice of words? Unworthy." The blue-suited superhero walked off, mindlessly snapping off Chloe's handcuffs with one hand. The two shared a tender moment that didn't escape Lex.

As Superman grabbed the two friends around their backs and flew off, Lex pulled out his own cell phone. Without touching a button, he stated, "Security" into it, letting the GPS tracker inside of it bring the men to him. Two minutes later, as the paramedics attended to his wounds, he noticed one of them went to clean the blood of his forehead. Knowing he hadn't hurt his forehead he stopped them, touching his sticky brow bone, and realizing the source of the blood. "Save it," he ordered. The paramedic nodded and placed a wiping of it on sterile gaze in a plastic bag and handing it to Lex, who eyed it like it were made of solid gold.

- - -

No sooner than the three landed safely in the Rosses' backyard was Clark redressed in his civvies.

"Thanks for the save, Pete," Clark said, hugging his friend.

"Anytime, bro. Just glad I was conveniently in town."

Chloe interjected, "I do have to admit, it was very deus ex machina of you."

Pete snorted a laugh. "Hey, just 'cause I'm a lawyer now doesn't mean I speak fluent Latin."

"I rescind the compliment. I'm just saying that we were really lucky you were in town. What else would we have done?"

Pete smiled. "C'mon, Chloe, you're a big girl. You'd have thought of something."

"Hope you're not flirting with me, Ross."

With a coy smirk, Pete replied, "You're kidding? You obviously have not met the new paralegal in my office. Plus, the fact your current boyfriend lifts airplanes for sport."

Clark smirked, "For sport? Watch how quickly I save the 797 you're on the next time it has major engine trouble."

"Point taken, Hercules. C'mon inside. My dad just got a promotion and he'd be glad to take us all out to dinner."

Clark started to follow, but Chloe grabbed his arm. She commented to her friend, "Give us a second. We'll be right in."

Pete smiled knowingly, winked, and ran inside.

Clark's eyes met Chloe as she stated, "You almost died up there, Clark."

Clark quickly countered, his voice as grave as hers, "And just what were you doing up there?"

"Saving your buns of steel."

"Chloe, what I do is dangerous."

"That's my point."

At a stalemate, they stopped and laughed humorously. Clark started, "This relationship's gonna kill us both. Literally and figuratively."

She took a step closer. "And if it doesn't?"

"We'll see what the future holds." His caressed her cheek as she pretended the gesture was corny.

- - -

Metropolis International Airport

December 19, 2015

Clark's arms were wrapped tightly around Chloe's shoulders. More nervous than he, she held tightly to his hands with her own, her chin resting on both sets. She tensed up in his arms as the door opened to Gate 42 and people started filing out. She began to tap her foot anxiously as the crowds of people walked out with an obliviousness that annoyed Chloe to no end. She gasped suddenly and pointed to a small Chinese woman with a baby in her arms. "Do you think it's her?" Chloe's breath was airy as she spoke to Clark.

With much more ease, Clark replied, "We'll find out soon enough if it's… it's…" He stopped mid-sentence, his eyes widening. His nervousness soon matched Chloe's and he began to shake. Chloe squeezed tighter, if only to remind him what would happen if he started shaking in superspeed.

The woman made eye contact with Clark and Chloe, giving them no more time to process the situation as she softly said to them, "Mr. and Mrs. Kent?"

Chloe fingered the ring on her right hand nervously as she nodded speechlessly.

The woman smiled wide, "Well, then, my name is Jane Xiao, from Shaohannah's Hope. And this sleepy bundle is Lana." The 18-month-old girl roused from her slumber and looked into Jane's eyes. Her black pigtails stuck straight out.

"Hey, xiao gui, I've got a surprise for you."

The girl shifted hurriedly in Jane's arms to look at Clark and Chloe, whose muscles seemed atrophied.

"Ma ma, ba ba?" she said cheerfully.

Jane nodded and stood Lana on the ground before Clark and Chloe, who immediately kneeled down, smiling and trying their best to breathe normally. Little Lana took a cautious step forward and grabbed a handful of Chloe's sweater in one and another handful of her hair in the other.

Chloe wrapped her hands around the little girl, picked her up, and tried to mouth several things before coming up with, "Hi."

Clark followed suit with a breathy "Hey."

Jane stepped forward and brushed back Lana's hair to whisper in the tiny girl's ear, "Remember the English I taught you?"

"Mommy," Lana proclaimed, and added, "Daddy." A tear fell down Chloe's cheek.

Lana's head was turning back and forth as Chloe carried her into the terminal, her eyes absorbing every detail of this alien world around her. While the Beijing Capital International Airport was a monument of smooth curves, the Metropolis airport was an edifice of sharp angles and straight lines. As Lana descended the escalator, one of her favorite things to do, she noticed a small group of people waving at her, or maybe it was her new mommy and daddy. At the bottom, Lana was at first caught in the middle of many hugs between her mommy and the new people who were waving at her before, but pretty soon her mommy tried her attention. Lana didn't want to a miss a moment.

"Lana, I'd like you to meet some people." Lana knew that her mommy didn't speak Mandarin, but she spoke very sweetly, so Lana forgave her, even though she was pronouncing her name with incorrect intonation. Lana watched as her mommy presented her to a man who was tall like her daddy, but had straw-colored hair and glasses. "This is your ye ye." Lana was very excited to meet the man she was pretty sure was her grandpa. Her mommy couldn't say Mandarin words right, but that's what ye ye meant. Lana was then presented to a woman who was about her mommy's height and had bright red hair, which was so interesting to Lana, she just had to grab some of it.

"Hey, sweetie," said the woman with the beautiful colored hair.

"Lana, this is your nai nai."

Grandma! Lana thought happily. Her hands were pried away from the coppery hair and she was introduced to a man who was shorter than her daddy and her ye ye, but still taller than her mommy and her nai nai. He had dark blond hair. "This," her mommy told her, "is your lao ye." Lana became very excited, because she was now meeting her other grandpa. How marvelous was this day!

Lana was then shown another woman. She had beautiful brown hair, which was obviously perfect for grabbing. What other purpose is there for hair? So, Lana grabbed it. Her mommy then said to her, "This is Lois. She's your, uh, well, I don't know what the word for her is, but you can call her Aunt Lois."

The brown-haired woman came close to Lana and whispered in her ear. "You make sure to tell your mommy and daddy that they're crazy if they think I'm going to babysit you, okay?" She pulled away and winked. Lana responded by pulling on her hair.

Most little girls think that their daddies are the strongest man in the world. As Lana was held by her daddy, she thought the same, and she was right.

- - -

Metropolis General Hospital

Lex Luthor sat patiently as Dr. Litvack removed the cast from his hand.

"Well, Lex, are you ready?"

Lex groaned and grimaced as he stared as his left hand; the skin was sickly green, and long scars marked his wrist and the lengths of his fingers. Crippled, wrinkled fingers, tipped with blackened fingernails, moved spastically. In a sudden movement, his hand clenched together into a fist. Lex looked amazed at the development. "You're a genius," Lex commented as he repeatedly clenched and unclenched his hand.

"Well, of course I am. But this was easily. Move around a few muscles, a few more metal implants."

Lex slipped on a black leather glove over his diseased hand.

As Lex stepped out of the doctor's office, he was surprised to find his father waiting for him, leaning on a cane.

"Dad, what are you doing here?"

"Well, Lex, you had an important medical procedure done today. I thought it was only proper."

Lex started to walk down the hallway, "Where was this sentiment the last three times I had surgery?"

"Lex, I make it when I can."

Lex showed off his clenching hand. "You don't seem impressed."

"Lex, the first thing you did after you came out of the womb was clench your hand."

Lex stopped and turned to face Lionel, "Well, Dad, maybe I've been reborn."

Lionel smiled sincerely. "So true, my son."

As they reached the end of the hallway, Lex waited to have his personal items returned. The first item he pulled out was a shiny silver ring. Slipping it on his left hand, over his glove, he tapped the top, where three flaps opened to reveal a translucent green stone. With the flick of his wrist, the lead-lined sterling silver panels closed into a metal hemisphere. Lionel watched his son's actions, subconsciously fingering the tip of his cane, which featured a sterling silver knob with three radial seams.

- - -

The soul of Lillian Luthor watched as the scene faded around hers. She grimaced as she looked over toward Godeerc.

"So, it appears no matter what I do, Alexander is destined to follow in his father's footsteps."

"I don't know the answer to that, Lillian. All I know is there are a lot of forces working against your son. Now, my job is to examine the future, the what-will-be and the what-could-be, and in my experience, nothing is impossible. Though, certain things seemed destined to happen."

"Clark and Chloe?"

"Sometimes it seems inevitable. Sometimes it seems impossible."

"Is it even worth fighting for my Alexander's soul?"

"It worth everything, Lillian. We're only destined to do what we did, not what we will do. Clark, Chloe, and many others never gave up on trying to save Lex. It would be a shame if you didn't."

Lillian knew time was an illusion, but in that moment Godeerc just ceased to exist beside her. So she waited, somehow knowing that another chance to speak with her son would come soon.

A/N: I hope you've enjoyed this story. I'm sorry that it's taken me so long to complete, but every once in a while, a story just drains me, and this story did. I usually don't ask for reviews, as it seems tacky to do so, but I've recently began to faithfully constructively criticize ever story I can get through, and I invite you to do the same.

By the way, Shaohannah's Hope is a real adoption foundation. "And whoever welcomes a little child like this in my name, welcomes me." Matthew 18:5. I invite you to check it out.

(Sonriso) - Hey, little Lana! My name's Sonriso and I'm your… what did you call it, Creedog? Oh, right, sha zi. Creedog says it describes me perfectly.

©2006 Godeerc VanDrey Enterprises, Inc. Created Saturday, June 29, 2006. Finished Monday, July 17, 2006.