He walked her home and they parted with an awkward hug. Tingling, he had to take a deep breath before he could make himself walk away from her doorstep. He shook himself briefly and raced down the path to his own house to see what had become of his mother, left alone with Lex.

"Mom?" He called once he was in the doorway.

"Clark?" Her voice was coming from upstairs. "I'm up here!"

He mounted the stairs and found Martha in his room, looking at a book of his baby pictures. "How'd it go?" he asked, sitting next to her on his bed.

She shrugged. "Lex asked some questions. He's very subtle for a boy his age! If I hadn't been alert, I wouldn't have noticed he was asking anything." She gave a half-smile. "And you? I saw you walk out with Lana…" she left it trailing.

It was Clark's turn to shrug. "She kissed me after dinner."

Martha's eyes widened. "Well, what did you do?"

"She asked me to leave. She showed up just now and apologized." He looked down. "Not that she had to."

His mother put an arm around him and squeezed. "Oh, Clark… I'm sure that must have been hard for you. I'm sorry."

Clark shook his head. "It's okay, Mom. She doesn't know how I feel, so I can't blame her for…" He left it open. For everything, he wanted to say. For killing me a little bit more every day. Suddenly he almost laughed. "You know, I've spent all this time trying to get closer to Lana," he said. "Every time I actually do, it seems like it's too close. Something always happens."

"This may seem impossible, but I know how you feel, honey," his mom said with a warm smile. "And who knows? Maybe things with Whitney will cool down."

"Maybe," he said. "Is that me in a bonnet?"

Martha looked down at the book and laughed. "Well, yes. Nell thought it would be cute…"

They talked for a while and looked at pictures. By the time his mother got up and went to bed, Clark had managed to forget some of what had happened that night. He changed and slid under the covers. As he pulled the blanket under his chin, something out of the window caught his eye-- the moon. The rip in the sky shone on the boy who was different, proclaiming that for better or worse, the real sky was gleaming through the cracks, and the cracks would only get bigger with time.