Title: Selective Memory
Authors: Sunrei (Sonia) & VisionGirl (Marcy)
Summary: The episode Blank takes a very different turn.
IMPORTANT: This is slightly AU in that Chloe knows about Clark's origins. Just imagine that she had confronted him after Alicia.
Marcy: Collaboration means different things to different people. For us it meant seeing how many ridiculous plot points we could get away with stringing together. The result? Well, a story we hope is somewhat humorous. Thanks to Sonia - I look forward to working with you on the sequel (Oh, right, and finishing this)
Sonia: I would like to say that this experience has been one hell of a ride. Marcy and I have laughed, cried, and fallen out of our chairs at times in the process of bringing this thing together. Both of us are self-proclaimed rebels and lone rangers, but the idea of working with Marcy was intriguing. Never having had a partner-in-crime before, I am thus spoiled. Final thought- if you don't laugh at our ability to be as ridiculous as possible… something is wrong with you. Enjoy
"Do you recognize anything? I mean the house, or the cows? The tractor… anything?"
Clark looked around blankly. It all looked nice; a place that was obviously well taken care of by the people who lived there, but none of it registered with him.
"Are you sure this is where I live?"
"Yeah… um, you spend most of your time over there," his tour guide replied, pointing to a building behind them and to her right.
Clark turned to see what she was pointing to. "In a barn?"
"Well, normal was never really your style, Clark."
That name again. He knew it was his, but it still felt odd… as if there was another name that he answered to.
"That was my attempt at humor. Sometimes I crash and burn. Sorry."
He knew that she… Chloe was her name… was feeling as nervous and awkward as he was. It was obvious that she was a friend of his. He briefly wondered if there was more to it but felt that it was probably too much to think about right now. Turning again to face the yellow farmhouse, Clark decided that it was time to open some of the doors to his hidden past.
He raised a hand to knock once they had climbed the steps of the porch.
"Clark, it's your house," Chloe told him. She couldn't help but be amused by the situation. Here Clark was, not remembering anything about himself, yet he was still Mr. Manners. It gave credit to the theory that personalities were ingrained in your genes.
That thought was somewhat refreshing. Maybe she would finally get a glimpse at the Clark Kent he kept to himself.
"Right," he answered grimly.
His expression sobered Chloe's mirth. She had to remember that he was feeling totally out of place here. When the front door flew past her head, she remembered that he really was out of place.
"I… it was… It was stuck," he stammered.
"Actually, I think it was locked." Chloe stepped past him and entered the house. This was quite a turn of the tables. She was going to have to explain his strangeness to him.
Clark stared at a picture on the refrigerator as Chloe moved deeper into the house calling for the people who were supposed to live there… his parents, she'd said. They looked like nice people. They were all smiling at least.
"What the hell happened to the door?"
He spun around and for the first time in as long as he could remember, which wasn't long, he smiled. "Lois," he mumbled under his breath.
He didn't know much of anything at that moment, but he recognized her. The girl standing in the doorway with the sandy brown hair was Lois… He frowned. There was a last name in there somewhere.
"The door?" she reiterated with slightly raised brows.
He blinked and realized that he had been staring. "You know, I tried to open it and then…"
"…and some freak wind came and blew it right off!" Chloe exclaimed, returning to the room just in time to cut off his explanation.
Clark looked at her oddly, wondering why she wasn't telling the truth. She had told him that the door was locked, and hadn't seemed alarmed by his ability to pull it off at the hinges. Something didn't add up.
"Right," Lois retorted, stepping through the open doorway.
Clark could tell that she didn't believe the explanation but she didn't question it any further. He figured that the relationship between the two girls must be pretty close for Lois to take Chloe's explanation at face value.
"Lois, do you know where the Kents are?" Chloe asked, moving the topic safely away from the door.
"They're in Metropolis for Mr. Kent's heart exam." Lois now turned a speculative look toward Clark. "Clark, you know that."
"Well, not really," Chloe started. It seemed to Clark that she was always explaining things. "See, Clark has amnesia and he's having trouble…"
"Again?" Lois asked, stepping closer with squinted eyes as she studied him. Her expression turned doubtful again. "I'm waiting for the punch line."
Again? Clark frowned. What did that mean?
"No punch line, Lois," Chloe said. "He can't remember anything."
"But I remember her," Clark inserted.
They both turned to him in astonishment. "You do?" "You do?"
"She lives here with me."
Chloe's head tilted. He said that with an extreme amount of confidence for a guy who hadn't even thought that he lived there a few minutes earlier. "How do you know that?"
Clark hesitated. "I don't know."
Lois looked from one to the other as if they both had lost their minds. "What's going on?" She'd had a long day and an amnesiac Clark was not helping. "What happened?"
"I found him in the alley behind the Talon right after your robbery-in-plain-sight incident. I think Clark's blank slate could be related."
Lois took a step back with a smirk. "So, what? We have a thief with memory repo?"
Chloe shrugged. Anything was possible in Smallville.
"I guess that could explain why I zoned out eight coffee orders before discovering that the till was empty."
"Yeah, well, I'm going to go back to the Talon and see what I can turn up. Somebody must have seen something."
"Pardon me if I don't join the Dr. Who quest just yet," Lois said. "I should probably start packing."
"Packing?" Clark asked alarmed. "Are you leaving?"
Chloe rolled her eyes. "My cousin is overly dramatic at times."
Ah, cousins. That explained that part of it.
"Yeah, well, try being left in charge of a fully functional coffee shop and manage to squander away the entire day's take. I call that justifiable panic."
Chloe gave her cousin a sympathetic look. "Come on, Clark."
"Actually, I'm going to stay with Lois," he announced. He could tell that she was really shaken by what had happened that day even though she was covering with humor and wanted to reassure her. "I'm sure my parents wouldn't kick my wife out of the house over something like that."
Both cousins' eyes grew wide and he saw finally the family resemblance. He replayed his comment in his head to see where he'd misspoken.
Chloe grabbed Lois's arm and started to pull toward the doorway. "Lois! Can I talk to you for a minute?" She flashed Clark a look. "Privately?"
As Chloe continued to drag her speechless cousin away from Clark, she blindly reached for the doorknob before realizing that it was no longer there. She flashed Clark a smile and pulled Lois outside and down the steps.
"Did you hear what he said?" Lois asked, snapping out of her stupor as they stepped to the ground.
"Yeah." Chloe placed her hands on Lois's arms. "He thinks you're his wife, which is a totally wrong yet highly amusing idea… But you can't correct him."
"Before I brought him home, we stopped by the Torch so I could do a little research on memory loss. I got hold of a specialist in Metropolis and he was really concerned with how Clark lost his memory because there was no head trauma involved."
"No head trauma," Lois repeated dryly. "I can fix that." She spun on her heel and turned to go back to the house.
Chloe grabbed her arm again. "Wait! The doctor said that his memory might start returning slowly and that it was best not to confuse him."
Lois gave her an incredulous look. "He can't possibly get more confused than this."
"Actually, he can. Without a knock to the head, the onslaught of amnesia means that some wires are crossed somewhere…"
Chloe ignored the interruption and continued, "And if you cross wires too much they might fry. The doctor suggested to slowly introduce Clark back into his life but to be careful not to refute any memories that he turns up on his own."
"Those are not memories, Chloe! Those aren't even fantasies!" God, I hope they aren't fantasies.
"I know, I know, but to him they are. Until we know how your coffee bandit was able to pull a mind swipe, I think we have to play it safe. We don't really don't know what we're dealing with here. You got zapped too, what if your reaction is just delayed? For all we know, messing with Clark's synapses right now could be detrimental."
Lois shrugged. "It could make him snap out of it," she offered half-heartedly.
Chloe's expressive eyes turned anxious. "Or it could make his current mental state permanent." Her brows inched nearer to her hairline. "You could spend the rest of your life as Lois Lane Kent."
Lois narrowed her eyes. "How long do you need?"
Chloe grinned. She could feel Lois's resolve crumbling. "A couple of hours - give or take."
Lois sighed heavily.
"Come on Lois, he may not remember who he is, but he's still Clark. What's the worse that could happen?"
Lois arched an eyebrow. "I hope we don't find out the answer to that." She gave her cousin a light shove. "Now, go. The quicker you solve this thing, the sooner he's back to being himself."
Chloe smiled in gratitude. "Thank you! I'll keep you posted." She paused as she walked to her car. "Don't forget, let him tell you what he remembers… not the other way around, okay?"
"Yeah, yeah," Lois acknowledged, waving her cousin off. "I got it. We'll be fine."
Lois watched as Chloe jumped into her VW bug and backed down the drive. Straightening her shoulders, she turned and started walking toward the house. She'd dealt with Amnesia Boy before and lived.
Piece of cake.
Clark rose from his seat when Lois returned through the gap in the wall where the door used to be. He met her halfway as she crossed the kitchen to him.
"I'm sorry. I made a mistake."
Lois visibly relaxed. This was going to be over sooner than she thought. "So you know you were wrong?" she questioned vaguely, keeping with her part to of the bargain by not offering new information.
He smiled and reached for her hand, holding it up so they both could see the empty spot where a ring would be. "I know we're not married," he replied sheepishly. He met her eyes and smiled softly. "At least, not yet."