Dear Reader,

As we begin to embark on another journey together, I would like to take this time to offer some preparation instructions. First of all, note that there are many exit doors to the front and to the rear, so you are free to come and go as you please. (wink) It might be important to mention that this is a companion story to the other… not necessarily a 'sequel', per say. Consider Full Circle as one side of the coin. We are now looking at the other side.

That said, while many of the main ingredients are the same- many others, like pacing, style, and tempo- are not. For this to be an enjoyable experience for us all, you will need to have this in mind as we go forward. Also, as difficult as it might be, you will need to forget about Season 5. Unless there are specific allusions to events from the season, wipe it from your mind. And in doing so, I need you to go back to a point before the time you started to believe Lex Luthor had become evil incarnate.

It will be a challenge, but if you can do so, it will make the experience that much greater for all of us. As is the case when writing a story in a fandom, there are both blessings and curses. Blessed because we have established characters, and cursed because of the same. The strength of this story will be based on my ability to spin a tale true to the voice and personality of the characters, all while believably taking you in direction different from what you are familiar.

Thus, with that fair warning, I ask that you take a deep breath, clear your mind, and as always… enjoy the ride.


Lois marked the check boxes off with brisk strokes. She didn't know why you had to fill out these stupid medical history forms every single time you wanted to see a doctor for some drugs. Shaking her head as she slashed a line through the next box, she sighed. What…? Did they really think that she would have undergone major surgery since she was here last week for her allergy pills?

And to make matters worse, after you filled out the sheet, a nurse would come through and ask you the same questions. Usually, Lois wouldn't even deal with doctors when she was sick; she would just suck it up and drown herself with over the counter meds, but this new strain of flu was kicking her rear… and those damn allergies just made it worse.

She read the next question on the form and scoffed, ready to cross it off as she had done all the others.

"Pregnant," she laughed to herself. "Not unless it's divine intervent…" The chuckle died in her throat as a foggy memory flashed in front of her mind's eye.

She had no idea what it was, but it was heated and included skin. Hers and someone else's.

"Crap," she muttered. "Crap!" She jumped from the hard plastic chair and walked to the receptionist's desk, tearing the sheet from the clipboard as she went.

"I'm sorry. I've got to go," she told the startled man, dropping the board onto the counter.

Without waiting for a response, she spun on her heel and dashed out of the front doors.

Once inside her car, she leaned her head against the steering wheel and closed her eyes.

"This cannot be happening," she groaned, trying to remember the exact moment she had first started to feel sick. As she thought about it, she realized what she had blamed on her allergies last week might have been the start.

Last Saturday morning, she had woken up with a splitting headache and vertigo. It had been oddly similar to the hangovers she no longer experienced since she no longer drank herself silly. From what she recalled, she had closed the Talon for Mrs. Kent the night before and had planned on stopping by the library on campus before heading back to the farm.

The library was open until 2 am during the week before finals, and she hadn't wanted to bother the sleeping Kent household by camping out at the kitchen table. And trying to study in the same room that she slept… well, that was just a bad idea. Not remembering the library the next morning, Lois had assumed that she must have felt like she was coming down with something and gone straight home instead.

Now that she thought about it closely though, she couldn't remember how she got home. Hell, she couldn't remember anything between leaving the Talon that night and hugging the toilet bowl the next morning. She was just lucky that everyone else had been out of the house doing morning chores when her homage to the porcelain throne had taken place. Lois hated being sick. It was embarrassing to be vulnerable.

Straightening, she looked at her reflection in the rearview mirror. "Lane, what have you done this time?"

Neither she nor her counterpart on the other side of the looking glass had an answer, but both knew that they needed to find out, fast. She needed an Emergency Pregnancy Test.

And she needed it yesterday.

Glancing back toward the Smallville Medical Center, she momentarily considered heading into the pharmacy to buy a test but nixed the idea when she recalled that the girl who worked the counter was a regular at the Talon. This was one of those times when living in a small town made privacy impossible to have.

On top of that, Shelby had developed a fascination with the garbage in her room. She could imagine how that conversation would go. "Hey, Shelbs, what you got there?" she pantomimed, as she started the car and pulled out of the parking space. "Oh, don't worry about that, Mr. Kent. It's just a pregnancy test…" she answered, switching back to her own voice. "… And I am flipping out of my mind."

"Overreacting. It's just the flu, right?" She spied her reflection again. "Don't look at me like that. There's nothing to worry about. We're just covering all the angles… being thorough…"

Grasping the steering wheel tighter with both hands, she made a decision.

This called for a trip to the city.