This story follows on clots from the events in my stories Devils NightA Picture Tells' A Thousand Words & Achilles Heel.
Spoilers for Seasons 4 and 5 of Smallville.
Secrets and Lies
"Oh, don't get me wrong; I have nothing against the concept of fighting for 'Truth' and 'Justice'." Jon sat back in the over-stuffed armchair, taking a sip from the mug of steaming tea he held clasped between both hands, "I just take issue with the 'American Way' part. Try and remember that, while I may have been born in Metropolis and hold duel nationality, I spent for formative years living in London, and I've travailed a lot. You can't just impose your country's views on other people: it's too, imperialistic."
"And of cause England was never imperialistic?" Chloe countered with a smile, folding her legs up under her body and she relaxed in her own chair, enjoying the sunlight streaming in through the Talon's large windows.
"Touché, Miss Sullivan." Jon laughed, "I concede the point."
Chloe looked at the young man sitting opposite her; it had been two mouths since he'd saved her from the insane Benito Santini and Team Achilles, two mouths since she'd learned he was her son, come back in time to try and prevent the events that would one day lead to her death. And that was the downside: as much as she'd grown to like Jon as a friend, he was a constant reminder of her destiny, her own personal Sword of Damocles. But there she was, drinking tea and talking politics with the son she wasn't due to have for almost five years.
Her eyes flickered to the counter: Clark was talking to Lois about something or another while her cousin served. She wasn't sure just what they were saying, but she had a good idea about the general topic of conversation.
Jon was always polite around Clark, sometimes more than he needed to be, but he found it hard to be around his father. Chloe only knew a little about the history the two of them would one-day have, but she knew that Jon found it uncomfortable to see his father as a happy young man, compared to the hard, distant man he became. Chloe had asked who Clark had married after her own death, but Jon had remained strangely tight-lipped about it, saying something about something being best left unsaid.
"Okay, so 'Truth, Justice and the American Way' is out." Chloe smiled, trying to get back into the conversation, "What would you say is something with fighting for?"
"Relax, Smallville." Lois smiled as she refilled the empty coffee cup sitting on the counter top, "Chloe's not the kind to mess around, and I'm not saying that just because I'm her cousin."
"I trust Chloe implicitly." Clark looked at the strange pattern the cream made as he poured it into the coffee, "It's Jon I have my doubts over: there's something about him that just doesn't fit."
"What, the whole 007 thing?" Lois cocked her head to one side, "Look, so what if the files you dug up say he's some kind of secret-agent; you and Chloe have enough secrets of your own. And the guy did save your mom's life during that hold up. What's the big deal, anyway?"
"It's...complicated." Clark snatched a look over his shoulder just as Jon said something that had Chloe throw her head back and laugh, "There are things about him you don't know."
"Story of my life, since I came to this town." Lois sighed, "Look, I know enough to realise that the world isn't exactly as advertised, and one of these days Chloe is going to have to finally stop evading the topic and tell me everything. But until then, I'm sick and tired of only hearing half the story. I swear to god: you guys are worse than my dad!" with that she turned and walked down to the other end of the counter to see to a waiting customer.
"I see that Clark's managed to set Lois off again." Jon smiled as he watched everything reflected in a conveniently placed mirror, "He'll have to learn to control that temper of his."
"Thank you, but I like him just the way he is." Chloe smiled, looking across the coffee shop to gage just how pissed off her cousin was this time, "And Lois is Lois; always has been, and probably always will be."
"That would be telling." Jon put his now empty tea cup down and looked at his watch, "I'm afraid I can't stay any longer: there are a few things I want to look into, while I still have time, and if I'm right, now would be the best time to deal with one of them."
"You talk in riddles." Chloe commented, "Anything I should know about?"
"Only that Elijah is going to be very angry for a few days, so you might want to stay out of his way." Jon grabbed his jacked and headed for the door, "Try and stay out of trouble while I'm gone."
Making his way out onto the busy pavement, he headed out of town at a gentle pace, seemingly as at ease as any other pedestrian. Be appearances were deceiving, as he was aware of the person following him, although he made no attempt to lose them until he'd made his way to the small industrial park on the outside of town. Then and only then did he duck into an alleyway, using the layer of lead in the warehouse wall to hide as he stood waiting. Clark rounded the corner slowly, but even he couldn't avoid the hand that garbed him by the collar and threw him bodily into the opposite wall with enough force to crumple the brickwork.
"Good afternoon, Mr Kent. " Jon's voice was low and steady, "And to what do I owe this pleasure?"
"What were you talking to Chloe about?" Clark asked as he dusted himself down.
"Is that what this is about?" Jon rolled his eyes, "The politics and ethics of having meta-human powers, if you must know. If you're worried that I'm trying to get between you, then you have nothing to worry about: there isn't a woman on the planet who I'm less interested in as anything more than a friend than Chloe Sullivan."
"Why should I trust you?" Clark looked the other man in the eye.
"Why should I care if you trust me or not?" Jon asked, turning his back, "Not everything in life is as simply as right and wrong, Kal-El." he pushed away with his right foot and took to the air, "Try and think about that."
"Feel better?" Chloe stepped out of the shadows, "Or do you feel the need to test your manhood again?"
"What are you doing here?" Clark asked defensively.
"I saw that look on your face as Jon left the Talon; decided that I might need to intervene before things got out of hand." Chloe folded her arms, "The last thing any of use need is the two of you fighting in the middle of town; not even Elijah could cover that up."
"You don't trust me?"
"Why should I? You evidently don't trust me enough to believe me when I say that Jon Clarkson is not someone who's past you want to go digging into."
"What do you know that you're not telling me?"
"If I told you, everything would change." Chloe shock her head and turned away, "Call me, when you decide you can trust me."