An Invisible Caress or Death

Disclaimer: I wish, I wish, I wish oh how I wish, but no matter what Smallville and its characters are not mine. I only play with them, torment Clark, and then send em all back home. SIGH.

Yep finally done, I am sorry that it has taken so long to get this update out but Real Life has a lot to answer for.

I hope that everyone has a great Christmas and a safe and happy holiday.

There will be a sequel I won't leave you hanging for too long I promise hehehe Watch out there will be evil-Lana for a while in the next one I am hoping to have ready to post in the very new year or earlier if possible.

Big thanks to everyone who sent me reviews, my thanks to you all and please forgive me for not getting back to you personally. Also big thanks to the lurkers who read for enjoyment I am so glad that you have enjoyed this story, and hope that you will enjoy my next one just as much.

CHAPTER 19 It's my party and I'll cry if I want too!

Clark opened his eyes slowly, his head thumped unmercifully but other than that it wasn't too bad. The bed felt soft under him, and familiar scents filled the air. Sitting up he glanced around the room feeling confused and disorientated but safe at the same time.

'Clark?' A gentle voice broke through his tumultuous thoughts, blinking furiously he looked up and stared at the most beautiful and loving pair of eyes he had seen in a long time.

'Mom?' He croaked and held a shaky hand up, 'Mom is it really you?'

'Oh Sweetheart we thought we were truly going to lose you this time.' Martha sat down on the bed next to Clark and wrapped her arm around his shoulders, 'you have lost so much weight Clark.'

'Mom what ... what happened?'

'What do you remember Clark?'

'Pain and tired so tired, th-that doctor in-injecting ... oh God Mom what did he do to me?'

'Who Sweetheart?'

'Lionel.' Clark breathed out, he could feel his chest clutching tightly around his heart, squeezing harder with each pulsating moment. He gasped and flailed for his mother's hand wanting an anchor to hold him tight, to keep his sanity from feeling.

'Clark you have to calm down and breath nice and slow.' Martha coached her son through another panic attack. Over the last week since he returned home, he had them frequently. Each a little worse than the one before, terrified that she was going to lose Clark all over again Martha cupped his face in her hands and made him make eye contact with her. 'Breath nice and slow Clark that's it.'

'M-Mom?' Clark felt the tremors sliding haphazardly through his body, his muscles contracting and releasing too quick for a pain-free response. 'Hurts Mom.'

'I know honey I just need you to breath, in and out, that's it close your eyes and just focus on your breathing, in and out.'

Finally, Clark felt the tremors ease and the tightness in his chest dissipate, 'th-thanks M-Mom.'

'Ah baby it's alright, just take it easy, you're getting better it's just going to take time.'

'Mom I-I remember someone holding ... yelling bout my heart?'

'The strain was enormous on your heart, we thought that we were going to lose you to a heart attack but then the sun came out from the storm clouds and as the rays hit you ... it was amazing Clark, I just wish that your father could've seen it.'

'I-I saw Dad.' Clark laid back down on the pillows and rolled onto his side, curling around his mother relishing in the close contact. 'I saw him Mom, I – I thought it was a dream.'

'He's watching over you Clark I know he is.'

'Kal-El came out didn't he?'

'Yes, yes he did but he saved your life by doing so.'

'I – I don't understand,' Clark felt so tired he could feel his eyes tugging closed, 'sleepy mom.'

'Sh Sweetheart go to sleep I'll be right here.' Martha ran her fingers through Clark's hair and waited for his breathing to even out and deepen as he slid into a peaceful deep sleep. 'Sleep, baby sleep.'

'Mrs Kent?' Chloe stood in the doorway, leaning against the walking frame she had to use to get around. 'What's wrong with Clark?'

'He's tired Chloe ... very tired.'

'Oh.' Chloe's face fell, 'Clark can't play now?'

'No but maybe later.' Martha smiled at the young woman, 'would you like to help me make him some cookies?'

'Oh yes please.' Chloe smiled brightly again showing a glimmer of her former self, of her vivacious personality. 'Chloe getting' betta?'

'You sure are Chloe.'

'Why so sad?'

'I'm not sad Chloe, just a little weary.'

'Lois comin' to play today?'

'Yeah I think so.' Martha extricated herself from Clark's arms and body and covered him with his doona and brushed a kiss on his forehead, 'sleep well Clark.'

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Lana sat in her car and stared up at the yellow farm house, the white picket fence, the lush garden and homeliness feel and it made her feel sick. She gave it all up for what she thought was love, truth and an openness she never had with Clark. But now, now she knew the real truth and saw her mistakes for what they were. An unreasonable need to hurt Clark.

'I am so sorry Clark.' She whispered starting the car to drive away Lana stopped when she saw Chloe waving madly at her from the front door.

'Lana!' Chloe yelled excitedly knowing she was acting like a kid again and not caring Chloe impatiently waited for her friend to come inside. 'Lana come on we made cookies.'

'Hey Chloe how you doing?'

'Mrs Kent said that I am doing really good.' Chloe beamed at her friend but then her smile faded and she cocked her head to the side, her eyes shadowed with confusion, 'sometimes I remember things Lana, some bad things ...'

'Hey, hey Chloe sh it's going to be alright I promise.' Martha said hugging the frightened girl tightly, 'how about you go and see if Clark's awake yet.'

'Okkies.' Chloe smiled brightly and hurried into the living room looking more like a four year old all of the time.

'How is she doing Mrs Kent?' Lana asked concern filling her voice.

'She is doing better, but like Clark's recovery it's going to be day by day.'

'Is he, I mean he is going to be alright isn't he?'

'Yes, yes he's much better still very weak and tired but after all he has been through...'

A burst of giggles followed by a deep familiar laugh interrupted their conversation making the two women want to find out what was going on.

They arrived in the living room to watch Clark and Chloe in a tickling contest on the couch, both of their normally pale faces showed signs of their exertion, both having pink cheeks and bright eyes.

'This is so good to see.' Martha said finally after quietly watching them for a few minutes.

'Hey Clark.' Lana said as a pang of jealousy ran through her.

'Hey Lana.' Clark smiled warmly at her, his bright green eyes clear and free of pain, he looked just like the Clark she had fallen in love with so long ago.

'It's so good to see you up and around like this Clark.' Lana smiled back the good mood infectious to anyone who came into the room.

'Much stronger thanks.' Clark said and then his smile faded and he looked at Lana with a serious stare, Martha saw the look and took Chloe's hand leading her towards the kitchen so Clark and Lana could talk in private.

'Clark I ah just wanted to make sure that you're fine, and – and well I wanted to apologise.'

'Apologise for what Lana?' Clark frowned slightly and then the realisation hit him, 'oh are you still free of the Red K?'

'Yes clear as crystal.' Lana tried to smile but failed miserably, perhaps she has been spending too much time with Lex and his surly moods.

'That's good, look ah Lana I'm sorry but Mom and Chloe are waiting for me,' Clark stood up and stretched, his smile returning as he looked down at her, 'it's great to see you Lana and well I hope that we can work things out to become friends again.'

'What about Lionel?'

'He won't be bothering me for quite a while.' Clark answered slowly, 'that much I know.'

'So what happens now?'

'Now I am going to help Chloe get back to the way she used to be and we'll see from there.'

'I meant what happens now with us Clark?'

'Lana I can't ... I need time to get my head around everything.' Clark's smile faltered and disappeared from his eyes for a quick second he looked gaunt and weak again until he shook his head and the flushed healthy face of Clark Kent appeared again. 'I need time.'

'Oh okay sure if that's what you really want.' Lana sniffed as she stepped closer to Clark and cupping his face in her petite hands she pulled him down to her level and gave him a light kiss. 'I'll be waiting for then Clark.'

'Thanks.' Clark blushed and extricated himself from Lana's grip, 'now I have some cookies waiting for me with Chloe and I can't keep her waiting.' He walked Lana to the door and waited until she climbed into her car before he closed it and leant against the wood, his heart painfully skipping through his chest cavity, bouncing on things he thought couldn't be there.

Lana sat in her car and wiped the tears away, she was no longer going to waste her tears on Clark again. Angrily she pulled the small vial from the glove box and stared at it intently, a malicious grin replacing her tears, she would get her own back. Against Lex, against Lionel and most of all against Clark.