Chapter 7: A Visitor from another Dimension
He looked at the strange man up and down.
"Who the hell are you?" Clark questioned with intensity.
"Mxyzptlk at your service, sir!" he replied quirkily.
Remembering last year's football game. "Wait a second - you're name's familiar. We've met - "
He waves a hand offhandedly. "Psst - that kid was a knock off." Pats his chest proudly. "I'm the real thing"
"What are you?" he asked curiously.
"Not from this dimension, I'll tell you that." Clark couldn't believe what he was hearing, or even, what he was seeing. This thing - person - being or whatever appeared out of nowhere. He was very small, like a midget. He kept disappearing and reappearing all over the place, he was afraid he'd step on him or something.
"Dimension?" Clark repeated skeptically.
"Yup. The 5th Dimension to be precise."
"What do you want?"
"That all depends on you, kid"
"Look, whatever you are - I don't have time for this." Clark needed to find Lois.
"Of course you do, Kal-El. Why'd you think I brought you here?"
Clark's eyes dart up in surprise. "How did - " he paused when he realized, "You brought me here?"
Clark's outburst didn't faze his company. "Neat trick, huh? I'm not much of a perfectionist. The idea behind it was good, the take off even better, but the landing needed some work." Mxyzptlk never intended to have young Clark Kent to wake up next to his future naked wife, but no one said it'd be perfect.
"What did you do to Lois?" He demanded an answer.
"Relax, she's safe. I got to hand it to you, though. Didn't expect you to cave that fast. But that wife of yours - Man, she's good. Her reputation ain't exaggerated. Anyway, she's fine. She wasn't suppose to know, you know - About who you are. But I forgive you, you're not exactly the sharpest tool in the shed... yet"
Clark looked on confused. "You're not making any sense"
"Genius rarely does. It took years after Gallileo's death for people to believe the world was round. Idiots!"
"What are you talking about?" Clark replied impatiently, overwhelmed by the sudden turn of events. This guy keeps talking in riddlelike sentences. Even with his super-speed, he's having difficulty keeping up.
Mxyzptlk gathered his best science-fiction imitation. "Patience, my young Padawan. Set you free, the truth will," he says. Man, this kid is dense, he thought amusingly to himself.
"Did Jor-El send you here?"
"Please! Daddy dearest is good, but NOT that good"
"I don't understand. How did you get me here then?"
"Enough question's Kal. Clark. Superman." He smirks. "Or do you prefer Smallville?"
"Don't call me that!" Lois is the only person who has ever called him that. The world can call him whatever they want, but some things should be left untouched. She was the only thing that makes sense to him right now.
"Which one? You've got several. Man of Steel. Clark Kent. Kal-El. Superman. Mild-mannered reporter. SMALLVILLE." Mxyzptlk is messing with his head and loving every minute of it.
"What do you want from me?" Clark is incredibly annoyed.
Mxyzptlk shrugs. "I don't know - What do you want?"
"Yeah, what do you want?"
Exhausted. "What does it matter?" he added. Falling to sit on chair that wasn't there a minute ago. This Mxyzptlk is sure doing a number on him.
"I just want to be left alone," he finally answered.
"Why are you doing this to me?"
"I'm hardly doing anything"
"You brought me to the future!" Clark reminded him.
"Only consciously," defended Mxyzptlk.
"Look - is it a crime to just want to be normal?"
"What's so good about normal? What has normalcy done for all the nut jobs in the world?"
"You don't understand"
"That's where your wrong, kid." Before Clark had a chance to ask him why, Mxyzptlk gripped his arm and they were transported back to reality. At least he thinks it was reality.
Looking around. "Where are we?"
"Where do you think?"
"Do you always answer a question with a question?"
"What do you think?"
Clark sighs. It's like talking to a parrot. A very magical parrot. He takes a moment once again to survey the area around him when it dawned on him exactly where he was. The farm. His mind had been so preoccupied, he barely even noticed. There seemed to have been a party.
"Home," he muttered.
"It depends on how you perceive home"
"What do you mean?"
Mxyzptlk eyes past him. "Take a look"
Clark turned, his sight focused on a familiar set of eyes.
"Beautiful, isn't she?" commented Mxyzptlk.
"What is this?" he questioned moving closer to her. "Can she see me?" Clark reached out to touch her. His question was answered when she walked straight through him completely unaware. Shocked. "What the - "
"Cool huh - gets 'em every time"
"What is this?"
"His past. Your future. I imagine it's a little confusing for you"
"More than a little." He couldn't look away. This was the Lois he knew in his time. Blue jeans. Well-fitted blouse with a jacket over it. Her hair tied up in that familiar pony tail. But there is always that unquestionable difference in her.
And then it happened again. A man stood by the porch. Tall and Dark-haired, and for the umpteenth time, he couldn't believe what he was seeing.
He was seeing himself.
Lois reached him and Clark scooped her up joyfully. Kissing her openly in front of a crowd that seemed transfixed at the scene as he was there watching it.
Mxyzptlk stands by him. "Some people live their whole lives wishing for the impossible. AND you have IT. You have it all and you don't even know it. A life. A job. A wife that loves you without question, without regret." His voice turns surprisingly serious. "Without fear."
"Why are you showing me this?"
"Because kid, it's to show you that the future is up to you. Happiness doesn't just happen, it is pursued. Made. To understand life is to live it - learn from it"
"Are you telling me that this is one possible future?" He didn't want it to be something that was possible. He wanted it to be tangible. He wanted it to be written in the stars. It had barely been more than several hours ago that he hated destiny. Now, this was a destiny he wanted.
"I can't answer that"
"Some things just can't be answered, kid"
Clark looks back, unable to take his eyes off her. Lois Lane. This experience had been the most amazing experience of his life. Even with the powers he held and with all the uncertainty that came with it, he felt at peace with her. They were even contemplating having children, an idea he, until now, believed could never happen.
Tears begin to form in his eyes and he spoke softly.
"The future that I see is the future I want."
"It's time for you to go"
"I don't want to leave"
Mxyzptlk takes one more look at his future wife. "Lois Lane. A name just as powerful as Superman. She is amazing."
"She is," Clark admitted lovingly. He swiped his tears from his eyes with his sleeve. He looks at Mxyzptlk sadly. "I'm not going to remember this, aren't I." It was said more as a statement of fact than a question.
Mxyzptlk didn't reply. Clark already knew the answer. He closed his eyes once more, the last image he saw was his future self and Lois Lane in an intimate embrace.
Eyes closed, the bright daylight above Smallville turned dark. Lighting appeared everywhere.
Opening his eyes, he sat up abruptly, sweat dripping down his temples. The dream looked - felt - sounded so real. Images of a future that was fastly fading.
He turned around at the sound of the voice. His dream became nothing more than a dream.
"I may have been a little passive-aggressive tonight." Lois Lane is never one for apologizing. "I'm sorry," she added genuinely.
Clark held back a smile he didn't realize he was trying to hold. He wondered momentarily where the reaction came from.
"It's okay, I understand. You don't need to apologize" he admitted to her, and in a way, he admitted to himself. This night, it felt like a beginning of some sort. "But thanks," he added with equal sincerity.
"I better get going. The rain won't probably let up anytime soon." She looked outside and saw the rain began pouring harder.
"Yeah." He watched her turn to leave. "Lois, wait!"
She stopped and turned back.
He didn't want her to leave, and he wondered to himself why. Wasn't she the same person she had argued with earlier this night. "I'm feeling kind of restless tonight and if I'm going to go through the night without any sleep, I'd appreciate the company"
She chuckled. "Never figured you to be an insomniac, Smallville. Usually takes me forever to wake you up"
"What do you say?" he grinned. Her being there felt soothing to him somehow.
She thought for a moment.
Clark suddenly felt happy.