Title: Clark's Sacrifice
Disclaimers: All characters are property of DC Comics and the WB.
He entered the apartment quietly, setting down his briefcase. He found his wife and daughter sleeping soundly on the couch in the living room. The little baby was curled up on her Mother's stomach.
This was a perfect opportunity for a picture, Clark Kent thought as he went over to the desk. As he reached for the camera, he knocked over a few pictures. He turned around quickly, worried he woke them up.
"Clark Kent," a sleep voice filtered up to his ears. "What in the world are you doing?"
He grinned sheepishly, the camera forgotten. "Sorry, Chloe," he said, walking over to her side and kissing her softly on the lips. "I didn't mean to wake you."
"It's all right," she replied.
Clark gave his daughter a peck on the cheek. "She looks so peaceful. Hard to believe she was a crying machine last night."
"Brianna stopped about 20 minutes after you left."
"Yeah," he said, looking down at his hands. "I'm sorry about that, sweetheart. It's just that..."
"Clark, this is who you are. We both agreed to this. You can't stop now. I will always understand and one day Brianna will too."
Clark nodded. Yes, they both had agreed to this, but being Superman was not an easy thing when he had a child to raise. How many moments was he going to miss because he had to save someone. Not that he didn't want to, but it was just so hard most days.
"I'm fine," he told her with a smile. "Let me take Brianna to her room."
A few minutes after he disappeared, the phone rang. "Hi, Martha! I was getting ready to start dinner. You're where? I can hardly pass up a home cooked meal, and neither can Clark. We'll see you soon."
"Who was that?" Clark asked.
"Your Mom. Apparently she and your Dad are pulling into the parking lot. They're bringing food!"
"Great! I--" Clark trailed off. Someone was calling for help. "Sweetheart, I gotta go."
She nodded, giving him a kissing. "Be careful, honey. I love you."
"I love you too," he replied, quickly transforming into Superman.
Clark had barely left the apartment when there was knock at the door. "Come on in," Chloe said, taking the casserole dish from Martha's hands.
"Where's my granddaughter?"
"Jonathan," Martha said, "Don't you think you should say hi to Chloe first?"
Chloe laughed. "It's all right. She's asleep in her room. You can go visit her if you'd like."
Martha shook her head. "Where's Clark?"
About 45 minutes later, Chloe glanced at the clock. "He should have been back by now."
"I'm sure he's fine, Chloe," Jonathan said. "Maybe he had to go a lot further than usual."
Before Chloe or Martha could respond, there was a thump on the balcony. "There he is now!" Martha said, heading over to the door. Her heart dropped to the floor when she saw him on his hands and knees, coughing up blood.
The others rushed to help Clark up. Martha went to get a washcloth to wipe away the blood. "Clark!" Chloe said. "What happened?"
She could see tears forming in his eyes and she knew that, not only had he been attacked, but he had been unable to save someone because of it. She had definitely seen that look before.
"It was a trap," Clark gasped out, feeling a little stronger. "Lionel Luthor set it up. She's dead because of him."
Jonathan could almost feel the blood boiling underneath his skin. Lex Luthor had crossed the line again. He told his Father about Clark after years of gaining his trust back and years of living in prison supposedly rehabilitating.
"Son, what exactly happened?" he asked again, noticing that Clark didn't fully answer his wife's question.
"The minute I arrived there, I began to feel weak. I fell to the ground and looked up. Lionel was standing there with an evil look on his face. I couldn't move as he ordered someone to shoot her."
Martha held her son's hand. "Her who, Clark? You knew her, didn't you?"
He nodded slowly. "It was Lana."
Lex sank into the sofa. Being released from prison had given him a new outlook on life. He still couldn't believe half the things he did to even warrant being arrested. Not only did he kidnap someone, but that someone was his best friend. He betrayed Clark. He was just lucky he was getting a second chance.
Lex wondered where Lana had gone off to. She told him she'd be at the apartment waiting for him. She had been the anchor to the outside world. Lex loved her. And now... Now he had a sinking feeling in the pit of his stomach.
His bad feeling had merit when he turned on the television. Lana Lang was murdered and Superman had been unable to save her. The superhero could not be reached for comment. Lex sank into the couch. Yeah, he wouldn't be reachable for comment either...
Just when Lex was about to fall asleep, there was a knock at the door. He turned off the television and peered through the peephole. Chloe Sullivan-Kent was not the person he was expecting to see.
She walked in the minute he opened the door. He could tell she was very upset. "Chloe, is Clark all right?"
Chloe grabbed him by the collar and shoved him against the wall. "Did you tell your Dad about Clark!" she exclaimed. Lex just stared at her in shock. "DID YOU?"
"No! Chloe, I swear!"
Her eyes widened and she let him go. "I-I'm sorry, Lex," she gasped out. "I--"
"It's all right. Tell me what happened," he said, leading her to the couch.
Chloe sat down with a sigh. "Your Dad set the whole thing up," Chloe began. "When Clark arrived, they were ready with Kryptonite. They forced him to watch them kill Lana."
"God. How's he doing?"
"He heals fast. Right now he's spending as much time with Brianna as he can, trying to keep his mind off of everything. Brianna is a lot like the Earth's sun to him."
Lex smiled. "I'm just glad he has people who care about him. Chloe, now that Lana's gone, I-- I don't know who I can turn to."
She hugged him. "Clark and I will always be there for you, Lex. Just call us if you need anything."
"Thanks, Chloe," he replied. "That means everything to me."
When Chloe arrived back at the apartment, Clark was playing with Brianna. Chloe looked towards the kitchen to see that Jonathan and Martha were finishing up the dishes. She sank onto the floor next to her family.
"How's Lex?" Clark asked.
"As well as can be expected. He was released from prison to find out that the only person he ever loved was dead. Clark, I don't think he purposely told his Father about you."
"What do you mean?" Jonathan wanted to know.
Chloe glanced up at her in laws. "Well, I think that when Lex was out of it at the hospital, he gave up that information. I'm pretty certain Lionel would want to know what secret his son was keeping and he knew Lex wouldn't tell him when he was coherent."
Martha nodded. "That makes sense."
Jonathan wasn't convinced. "I don't know about that. Lex was so determined to expose Clark and experiment on him."
"Dad, I thought we had talked about that. Lex realized what he was doing was wrong. He saved me from Vance!"
"Clark, I understand your feelings, son, but that doesn't make me trust Lex 100 percent."
Martha patted his shoulder. "Not even 75?"
"More like 50."
Brianna squealed and everyone's attention was turned back onto her. "Just like her Mother," Clark said with a grin.