Chapter 56 – The Finale

Smallville –The Kent Farm

At the insistence of Lana and Martha, Clark was still in bed the morning that his own wedding was supposed to take place. He'd told them a dozen times a day that he was just fine, but the two women still hovered over him.

While Lana was on the phone with Chloe, who had left the day after the fallout at Crater Lake, Clark called out to his mother.

Martha entered his room with a you're-not-talking-me-into-this stubborn expression. "What can I get you, sweetie?" she asked.

"A happy bride," Clark said, sitting up and throwing off his covers. He was fully dressed, shoes and all. "Now get to the airport, Mom. If you don't leave in the next hour, I'll have to fly both of you halfway across the country. You wouldn't want me to do that, now would you?"

"Clark," she said with a heavy fist on her hip. "We've already discussed this. We'll have the wedding next week."

"No, we're getting married today—on the anniversary of Lana's parents. And I'm going to be at my own wedding, and Lana will be at my side," he said, standing from the bed with a hearty bounce. "So if you refuse, then I won't think twice about throwing you over my shoulder and bringing you against your will."

Martha gave him one of her looks that said: You're every bit as stubborn as your father.

"I haven't even packed," she told him.

Clark was gone and back in a heartbeat, with a full suitcase in his hand. "There," he said, placing it at her feet. "You might want to make sure I got everything, and I've already put Lana's suitcases and my own bag in your truck, so you've just officially run out of excuses."

His super-speed was definitely lacking some umph, but he wasn't about to tell her that. It was the first time he'd used his powers in days, so the lag was understandable. He'd take a test flight before he trusted himself to be Lana's method of air transportation.

"All right," Martha conceded at last. "But why don't we call the airline and see if they have two extra seats so you can conserve your energy for healing."

"Mom, it's my wedding day," Clark said with a smile, and a building joy in him that was indescribable. "I have plenty of energy to spare! I could throw the Earth off its axis if I wanted to right now." He made a motion like he was going to jet off and give it a try.

"No!" Martha shouted, before she realized he was teasing. "Gosh, Clark, I swear sometimes . . . " she ended with an exasperated shake of her head. "Does Chloe know about this? Is she getting everything ready?"

Clark gave a happy nod. "I called her at six this morning—she loved that—and Lana's on the phone with her right now."

"And we never cancelled the other arrangements—thanks to your tenacity," Martha said with a roll of her eyes, "so I'll fly in as scheduled, complete my errands, and meet you at the . . . " She glanced over her shoulder, to where Lana was making her way up the stairs. "The secret location," she continued with a wink.

Clark could hardly wait to see the look on Lana's face when they arrived. He rubbed his hands in giddy anticipation, making Lana laugh at him.

"Slow down there, buddy," she said. "The honeymoon doesn't start for twelve more hours."

Martha's cheeks turned a bit pink. "That's my cue to exit," she said, spinning to leave the room with her pre-packed suitcase. "I'll see you soon."

Clark offered to carry out her suitcase when she was ready, then Lana wished her a safe flight. Martha gave them each smiles, then closed the bedroom door behind her.

Lana looked Clark over in his jeans and plaid button down. "Wow, you're handsome," she said. "Not that I've minded the shirtless theme you've had going on for the past few days, but . . . " Lana drew a long breath as she approached Clark and trailed her hands along his perfectly-toned arms. "We're really getting married today, aren't we?"

"Yep!" Clark answered with his unmistakable Kent grin.

He'd woken Lana up at six in the morning as well, eager to tell her that he was feeling a lot better, and definitely capable of flying to Jupiter if he had to. He was relieved when Lana shrieked—even at six A.M.—and threw her arms around him.

But now, she pursed her lips a bit. "Are you sure you're feeling up to this—and I'm not just talking physically, Clark."

He gave her a sturdy nod. "Yes, I'm absolutely, positively, one-hundred percent sure that Lex Luthor won't enter my mind for a single moment of our wedding or honeymoon," Clark said, giving Lana a little shock for so straight-forwardly guessing her thoughts. "You've taught me a lot of things, Lana, but when you sat beside me on that ledge and reminded me of who I really am—a hero who knows when to let go of a battle that I can't win—it changed me forever. Lex would've continued on a path that would've destroyed thousands of more lives, so how could I regret that he's gone?"

Clark also didn't regret that he'd missed Lex's funeral—which they heard was very quiet, and attended by very few. In the end, Lex wasn't nearly as popular as he thought he was, especially since he was no longer around to buy his friendships. As for Luthor Corp and Lex's millions, it was all being held against the pending lawsuits by countless cancer victims and their families who could've benefited from the stolen and hoarded research. This was just the beginning of the individuals who could claim damage against Luthor Corp, and its former chief. The money would run out before the lawsuits did.

Lana tipped her head with a gentle smile. "I'm glad that you've made peace with yourself, Clark, but you didn't 'let go.' Lex made that choice on his own, and I'm glad he did."

Clark took hold of Lana's arms and looked deep into her eyes. "Actually, I did let go . . . not with my hands, but with my heart." He released a heavy breath. "The part of Lex who used to be my closest friend was lost long ago, and I've spent too much of my effort trying to find him again. You were right, Lana: I can't save everyone, not if they don't want to be saved."

"And even if they do—" Lana started.

"I know, I also can't carry the weight of the world on my shoulders alone," Clark said. "That's why I've reconsidered this Justice League thing Oliver's been trying to talk me into. I'm finally ready to take on some partners."

Lana gave him a soft kiss. "Then it's perfect timing to take off some time," she said.

"Exactly," Clark agreed. "While I'm gone, they'll be keeping a good eye on Metropolis and other places I usually patrol. So I'm all yours, babe."

She gave his butt a firm slap. "You better believe it!"

Lana's heart thumped like a frantic bass drum as Clark flew toward their destination. She was once again wrapped up in his cape to protect her from the cold, blasting air. They were going much too fast to be on a joyride.

She'd tried to guess this "secret location" several times, but Clark wouldn't offer hints one way or another. She was glad though. The suspense added to her thrill right then.

By the end of the night, she would be Mrs. Clark Kent.

Night had always been a sacred time for Lana—a time of peace and reflection. She'd never been one to be afraid of the dark, but rather, embraced its stillness. Which was why she had been so happy when Clark told her that their wedding would take place at night.

Yes, it was so they could fly there and not be seen, but Clark had also said he'd considered her affection for the evening.

Clark was always so thoughtful, and Lana could already tell that he had put in an amazing amount of effort into the details. He'd been so cute and secretive about it that it made the occasion even more special for her.

Her wedding day . . . wow. It was a day that had always seemed so far away, almost like it was in the same category as a fairytale—too unbelievably wonderful to ever happen to her. And boy, was she ever marrying a prince. If Cinderella could only be half this lucky.

Even without Lana's parents to witness the most significant moment of her life, this would still be an enchanted night that would be forever etched into her memory.

Martha would be there—a wonderful mother-in-law if there ever was one—and Chloe . . . a best friend to both she and Clark. It had been quite a joke about what Chloe should wear to the wedding—she was both the best man, and the bridesmaid. She'd finally settled on donning a cherry chiffon gown, with a white rose boutonniere to accommodate her role as Clark's best "man." Lana couldn't wait to see her—she was sure to look stunning.

Lana hadn't invited her Aunt Nell. They'd had an unfortunate falling out over Lana's parents' will, and were still on shaky terms. Lana didn't regret her decision, though, she wanted this night to be all about those she loved most, and who loved her just as equally. And though she didn't have the slightest clue of where Clark was touching down at that very moment, her heart raced with anticipation and contentment.

She was happy . . . so very happy.

As soon as Lana felt her feet hit the ground—soft grass—she asked, "Can I look yet?" She was anxious to peel off the cape that was loosely draped over her head.

Clark laughed. "Hmm, well give me a second, I've got to turn on the lights."

But then it didn't seem like Clark was going anywhere, he just pivoted from one side to another. "There," he said at last. He took a deep breath. "You ready?"

Lana gave an excited nod, then Clark unwrapped her. She kept her eyes closed until she knew she'd have a perfect view of her surroundings.

It didn't take more than a blink to recognize one of her favorite places. But then she couldn't speak through the sobs of joy that overcame her, or the burning in her throat.

Clark stood behind Lana and wrapped his arms around her waist as she took in the luminous site—lanterns hanging on five-foot poles lit a winding path that led to the white chapel Lana had once pointed out to Clark the first time they came to visit Long Island together—where she'd grown up. The chapel itself glowed with magic, with a row of candles in each century-old window.

This was where Lana's parents had been married—this was where, as a child, she'd dreamed of marrying as well. As she grew into adulthood, she never imagined that her future fiancé would agree to come to a small town chapel for their nuptials, but then again, she never imagined that she could ever find someone as wonderful as Clark Kent.

"Clark," Lana whispered at last, through her streaming tears. "Clark . . . Clark . . . I love you."

He gave her a squeeze, and a soft kiss on her check. "I love you, too, sweetheart."

"This is literally breathtaking," she said, trying to truly gather enough air to speak.

Besides the lanterns and candles, the stars in the cobalt blue sky provided the only light. She felt as though heavenly angels graced their presence.

And perhaps they did.

"Can we invite my parents to the big event?" Lana asked.

"Of course," answered Clark, taking her hand and walking toward the path that led to the church, then around the back to the memorial lawn, where Lana's parents were at rest.

She'd had a feeling that they'd smile down on her tonight, but never could've guessed that she'd have an opportunity to smile back.

Until Lana had gone to Smallville with Clark, she'd never found another place that provided her more peace than this very grove of trees. Here, she felt the comforting companionship of her father and mother. Lana's wedding day was one that she'd always worried would be bittersweet, because she was sure to notice their absence more than any other time in her life. But Clark had solved the bitter part of those mixed feelings, and left nothing but sweet.

As they approached the headstone that read LANG, Lana crouched down to touch the soft petals of a fresh bouquet of roses. "Mom, Dad," she said, "I couldn't have dreamed of a more perfect night—I have the perfect dress, the perfect chapel, and the people I love most right beside me." She took Clark's hand and he crouched beside her. "And as if heaven hasn't smiled upon me enough, I'm about to marry the most handsome, amazing, man who's ever stepped foot on this Earth." Lana gave a little laugh. "As well as the moon and three other planets, but who's counting?"

Then Lana just lost it, crying like she never had before—tears of joy, of peace, of pure gratitude at how blessed she was to have such a wonderful life . . . and a future that held treasures she could not yet comprehend.

She looked up to the man who she felt was responsible for all of this. "Would you do the honors, please?"

Seeing that Lana couldn't speak another word, Clark helped her up to stand beside him, then grasped her hand. "Mr. and Mrs. Lang, would you please join us for the happiest day of your daughter's life—so far, that is?" Clark asked, then looked to Lana for approval. She gave a satisfied nod. "I promise you that this is just the beginning of a lifetime of happy days that I'll provide for your daughter. I may be a humble farm boy, but I . . . well . . . have a few tricks up my sleeve, which I know will keep Lana both entertained, and safe from harm. She's the love of my life, and she's . . . " Clark couldn't help himself, he gathered Lana against him and kissed her, " . . . extremely hot!" They both laughed, then Clark went on. "So thanks for raising a daughter who could—even at a whole hundred pounds—bring a man of steel to his knees in hopes of being worthy of her."

It took a while for Lana to gain her composure, holding onto Clark as tightly as she ever had. Then she looked up to him and said, "I'm ready to look like a princess."

Clark offered Lana a single rose from the bouquet resting at their feet. "You already do."

They walked back toward the path, with lantern light shimmering all around them—making their eyes sparkle like diamonds.

When they reached the front of the church, Martha and Chloe were there, dressed in their stunning gowns of red. The interior of the chapel took Lana's breath away once more—tiny votive candles floated in glass vases, hanging from poles just as the lanterns did outside. Perched on the top of each ornate bench post sat delicate nests of baby's breath, bursting with red and white roses. The rich green of the stems and leaves made the chapel spring to life, and look like a garden in summertime.

Martha told the couple where they could each find their dressing room, then Chloe and Lana flew off like twittering little birds.

It didn't take long, in her excitement, for Lana to be twirling in her wedding dress in front of a full-length mirror. Then she sat on a poofy velvet stool and Chloe arranged her hair—long and loose, with tendrils of soft curls framing her face.

The veil was positioned, the white shoes were slipped on, and the last bits of color were added to an already perfect face. And then there were the hugs—lots and lots of hugs. No tears were allowed, the two girls had promised. They didn't have time for makeup retouches.

Then the moment of all moments arrived.

Chloe had run off a few minutes earlier, leaving Lana in the small foyer that led to the chapel. She took a deep breath as the wedding march began to play, smiling at the thought of how they'd managed—or how Clark had managed—to arrange such a spectacular wedding ceremony with only Chloe and Martha to help.

She was certain it was Martha at the organ, but who would be performing the actual ceremony? Oh goodness, Lana thought with a smile. This could be the one detail Clark forgot.

But she was wrong.

When Chloe opened the double wooden doors leading into the chapel, Lana first noticed her handsome groom, in his perfectly-tailored suit—and with a hand that flew to his heart at the site of her—then her eyes shifted to a much older man standing on a step above Clark.

She squinted and shook her head in amazement. "Oh my, Clark did think of everything," she whispered to Chloe as she passed through the doors. The minister was the one she'd had as a child, the very one who had married her parents. He'd retired from his weekly services when Lana was quite young, but remained a tender memory in her heart.

As Lana walked the aisle, taking it slow since it wasn't all that long, she sensed the spirit of her beaming father beside her . . . she felt the eyes of her loving mother watching over her, and could almost count the tear drops rolling down her mother's soft as silk cheeks.

She was certain that Clark also felt his strong father at his side, proud of the man he had become.

Rose petals adorned Lana's path, just as they had once lined the stairs that led to the roof of Clark's apartment, the night he showed her who he truly was. Still, he was no more her superhero than he was before that stunning revelation. From the moment they met, he'd been the only man to ever enter her thoughts.

And here she was, reaching out for his hand to become his wife.

The goosebumps that Lana had hoped to hide with long sleeves warmed her skin. Clark probably would've noticed them himself, but was too focused on Lana's face.

"Gulp," he whispered, after all his other words failed to leave his mouth. His tears were flowing just as quickly as Lana's were. And neither were a bit embarrassed about that, not bothering with a single swipe of their hand.

The emotions weren't quieted in the slightest when the minister greeted Lana. "My heavens, Miss Lang, you look just as lovely as your mother did on her wedding day—precisely twenty-seven years ago."

The man's voice was exactly as she remembered it: soft and humble. And though his eyes were quite a bit more narrow from age, they still had that twinkle of wit she cherished.

"Thank you so very much for being here," Lana told him, grasping his weathered hands. "It means the world to me."

The minister gave her a gentle smile. "Perhaps you should return your hands to your fiancé before you wind up married to an old bag."

Lana laughed. "You haven't changed one bit," she said, following his command.

Clark took a deep breath and smiled. "Trust me, I'm the only one walking out of here with Lana."

"Splendid," said the minister. "Then let's begin."

Martha had now taken her seat on the front row with Chloe. The minister gave them each a nod. "Good evening, beloved friend and family member. We are gathered here to witness and celebrate the joining of Clark Joseph Kent and Lana Elizabeth Lang—two hearts that will now beat as one.

"Marriage is an unmatched adventure. It is the most intimate of relationships, and a joyous union of two people whose friendship has flowered into romance. Marriage takes trust, to know in your hearts that you want only the best for each other. It takes dedication, to always be there for one another, to learn and grow, even when times are difficult. And it takes faith, to go forward together without knowing what the future holds. Marriage is not a destination, but a journey—one that you should delight in taking together."

The minister looked to Lana. "I've never seen such a breathtaking bride," he said. Then he glanced to Clark. "Nor such an antsy groom . . . don't worry, the wedding is but a few minutes, the honeymoon—a lifetime."

He smiled at Clark's red cheeks, then went on. "So, with that, let's make things official!"

Clark and Lana both gave excited nods.

"Please face one another and join hands," the minister instructed.

The couple obeyed, gripping on to one another.

"Mr. Kent, if you will . . . "

Clark knew that as his cue to recite the vows he'd written himself. "Lana," he said, getting lost in her eyes, as if they were the only ones there. "I promise that these hands of mine will protect you, that my body will be your shield from danger, and that my heart will entirely belong to you. I will dedicate my entire soul to your happiness, and now offer my life as your own. I love you, babe, and will wake every morning with more gratitude than the day before—that you are by my side."

With the sniffles of Martha and Chloe in a chorus with her own, it took a while before Lana could begin her vows. "Clark, my eternal sweetheart," she finally began. "My arms will offer comfort and warmth when you need me more than you claim to, my shoulders will help bear the burdens that you no longer carry on your own, and my mind will allow me to trust what my heart tells me to fear. You are my friend, you are the only man I will ever love, and you are a hero to the world—but most of all, you are my dream come true. I love you with a passion that has possessed the whole of me, and I now offer you my unwavering companionship." She leaned a little closer and whispered, "And did I mention that I offer the rest of my body as well?"

Clark tried to hide his grin. "You'll have to explain that a little better later on."

"Goodness," the minister said with a cough. "I better get this over in a hurry!"

They exchanged rings with very little ado, then the minister closed with words that stunned all in the chapel. "When we love as we should, we see things in one another that no one else can see. We look beneath the surface, to the unique qualities which make our chosen one special, and realize that they are meant for only us. Never underestimate the power of true companionship. The strength of one may impress the world, but the courage of two can change it."

The minister then returned to his cheery voice and said, "It gives me great pleasure to announce that you are legally bound . . . I now pronounce you Husband and Wife. You may kiss . . . "

Since Mr. and Mrs. Kent were already doing so, the minister just waved them along . . . and along . . . and along.

He finally stepped off his stair and walked past them to a cheering Chloe and Martha. "Perhaps we should just sneak out the back door, they may be a while."

And he was right. The minister was long gone before Clark and Lana noticed that Martha and Chloe had already brought out the cake. Lana tossed her bouquet, which both bachelorettes scrambled to catch, then the newlyweds were picked up in a limo—trailing soda cans included—and taken to a quaint bed and breakfast that overlooked the Atlantic Ocean.

There, they shared a beautiful night together—starting with Clark finding a plaid garter that drove him just as crazy as planned.

And what happened after that, is simply none of our business.

----- ----- -----

Clark and Lana missed their flight the next afternoon. They missed it the following morning as well. Finally on day three, Clark x-rayed Lana's makeup bag that she'd been hiding from him and found the printed itinerary.

"What's in Orlando?" he asked, all innocent.

Lana beat him pretty good with pillows for ruining her surprise. "What do you mean, What's in Orlando? THE HAPPIEST PLACE ON EARTH!"

Clark couldn't help but yelp like a kid who's never been to Disney World—which he hadn't. He'd made a big enough fuss about it a couple of months ago that Lana knew this was the perfect place for their honeymoon.

And that's what finally got the couple to leave their honeymoon suite—their first one anyway.

Except for his slip-up with x-ray vision, Clark hadn't used his powers since he lit the lanterns for their wedding. He planned to be an absolutely regular guy over the next week—with all thoughts of superhero business put to the side. Unless it was an emergency.

Lana had agreed, and that's why they were flying to Florida the old-fashioned way—by jet.

Clark had instructed Lana to make flight arrangements out of JFK, which he said he'd get them to no matter how far away the wedding location was from there. He was thrilled with how well the wedding had gone—even better than he hoped, and ten times as well as any other event he'd ever tried to put together. He was still shocked that Lana trusted him to plan it in the first place.

Their first hour at Disney World was spent going over the map—Clark couldn't decide which ride he wanted to try first. He'd heard so much about this place all of his life, but was now glad that he'd put off the trip. It made it all the more magical to be sharing it with Lana.

Finally, Clark decided on Space Mountain. He laughed a little, feeling somewhat smug that the ride couldn't possibly compare to a real journey through space.

So after an hour wait, he buckled in as instructed, put his arms and hands inside the cart as told, and enjoyed the clang-clang noise of the rollercoaster taking he and his new bride up a steep climb . . . into pure darkness. By habit he almost turned on his x-ray vision, but stopped himself.

And then he screamed bloody murder!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

"You pansy!" Lana shouted as Clark carried on like a little girl. She laughed harder and harder and the rollercoaster went in and out of loops, and round and round sharp, unexpected turns.

Clark held onto Lana as tight as he could—as if she was the frightened one.

When they got off, Clark's face was red, and he was actually sweating!

Lana laughed, then suddenly looked concerned, as if there was hidden Kryptonite somewhere in the building. "Are you okay?"

Clark swallowed hard. "I, uhhhhhh, think so." He finally laughed at himself. "Oh my gosh, that thing was fast . . . and I couldn't see anything!"

"Duh!" Lana said. "That's kinda the point!"

"Well . . . well . . . I'm just used to having control over my speed, and what direction I fly, and . . . " Clark had a whole list of excuses that made Lana grin from ear to ear.

And after all that, all Clark wanted to do was get back on that very same rollercoaster. It took him two more times before he was able to relax enough to keep his eyes in their sockets.

They both had the time of their lives that day—the first of many they would spend at Disney World. But by seven or so, they were being a little too frisky for the comfort of the other patrons standing in line with them.

So weaving in and out of the crowds, they made their way to the exit as quickly as they could.

Whey they finally got to the shuttle stop for their hotel, they had to wait.

They waited . . . and waited . . . and waited some more . . . WHERE WAS THAT SHUTTLE?!?!?!

Their hands and lips were just not in the mood to behave—they'd behaved long enough!

"Clark," Lana said, sounding just as eager as he was. "Get us out of here."

He groaned, wanting to take her suggestion so bad. "But I promised that I wouldn't use my powers unless it was an emergency," he told her.

Lana gripped the front of his shirt with both hands. "This is an emergency!"

That was it . . . who was Clark to argue with his new bride? Before Lana's heart could thump another desperate beat, Clark scooped her up and super-sped back to their hotel room.

Now without being too intrusive, let's just say that Room 508 of Disney's Grand Floridian Hotel was definitely the Happiest Place on Earth—even with fogged windows.

The End

Thanks to everyone who has read this fic!! Your comments have always meant a lot to me. I doubt I'll be writing fanfiction again for a very long time, but if you're ever interested in beta reading one of my novels for me, contact me through the fanfiction message system.

Thanks again!!! May CLANA live FOREVER!!!!