A/N: In this final chapter, Clark is finally set free and a shocking but welcome visitor returns to Smallville. Please read and review! Thanks! :D

~o~o~

Chapter 8: Round 8

The Kent Farm:

After picking up the mail from the mailbox that contained a letter from his Mom, Clark checked up on things inside the house, when he heard a noise coming from outside. He looked out from the kitchen window and a mile down the drive he could see his father hammering on a fence that needed repair.

He was so stunned that he dropped his coffee cup, the liquid splashing over his hand. "This can't be happening." He looked again and his father was still there. He left the house and slowly started walking toward his father afraid that if he ran, he might disappear before his eyes, but his father was dead, wasn't he?

"Dad?" Clark whispered, eyes tearing up, still not quite believing his eyes.

.

Jonathan looked up from his chores and smiled at his son. "Hello son."

Clark burst into tears, he was so happy, and then he was in his father's arms. "You're alive?" He asked clutching his father close.

"No, son, I'm here because you needed to see me, and I wanted to see you too."

"But I don't understand."

"Walk with me son, I don't have much time."

So, they walked past the fence that needed repair, out past Shuster's Field, but then Jonathan stopped walking and faced his son, as he held tight to his shoulder. "Something very dark is coming. Clark, you have to be strong and don't look back at things that can't be changed." At his son's questioning look, Jonathan continued. "You know what I'm talking about son."

Clark bowed his head. "Yes, I know and I've accepted what happened that night."

"Because of Lois?"

Clark stared at his father surprised. "How did you know?"

"I felt it," Jonathan said and squeezed his shoulder. "I'm proud of you son, of all you've done and what you will do in the future."

"You know?"

"Yes, I saw you."

Clark smiled happy about that.

Jonathan's eyes roamed over his son's face. "I have to go now."

Clark steeled his heart against the coming pain, but this time he would have the chance to say goodbye.

As Clark bowed his head again, Jonathan kissed his dark head and held him close. "Goodbye, son."

"Goodbye, Dad. I love you."

Jonathan smiled. "I love you too, son."

Clark watched his father walk away and a moment later he disappeared.

~o~o~

Clark awoke from the dream with a start, disoriented for a moment his face wet with tears.

Lois awoke and could see Clark was upset about something. She thought he had whispered 'Dad,' and then she knew he must have been dreaming. "Clark, are you alright?"

He didn't answer her, but pulled her close in his arms. They laid there for several moments, each with their own thoughts. Lois held him close knowing words weren't necessary now, but just being there for him would be enough.

~o~o~

The next day at the Fortress of Solitude:

Clark was getting impatient as he waited for Jor-El's findings about the alien device he had found on Luthor. "Well, Father, what else did you find out about the device?"

"One moment, my son," Jor-El responded.

Clark began to pace, hoping for Chloe's sake he could bring her some good news about using the device to locate Tess and Oliver.

"Kal-El, I have the results now," Jor-El said.

As Jor-El continued to scan the device, Clark read the monitors and it was just as he had thought. The device was used to communicate with another dimension unknown to humans, but where had it come from and who made it? "But what does it mean Father?" He was at a loss as to how to use it.

Suddenly, a blinding light flowed from the device up into the sky, and after a few moments, there standing before him was his cousin Kara who immediately collapsed onto the ice, still wearing the same clothing as the last time Clark had seen her.

"Kara, how …?" Clark was stunned as he went to her and helped her to stand. "Are you alright, where did you come from?"

Kara was disoriented for a few moments, as she touched her forehead. "Kal-El?" She asked and then smiled at him, so happy to see him.

Clark was happy to see her too, as they hugged each other, realizing how much he had missed her and Kara felt the same way. "Can you tell me now where you've been and how you came to be here?" Kara still looked confused, so Clark picked her up and brought her to a spot where she could sit down for a moment. "Do you see that device on the console? It brought you here and I have no idea how you got here or how you materialized out of thin air."

"I'm not sure how, but I do remember that after I left you that night, Brainiac found me. He told me he knew where Kandor was and that he could help me. I knew I couldn't trust him, but he must have had blue kryptonite with him, because I was powerless to stop him, and then he transported me to another dimension, to a strange place called Apokolips. I've never seen anything like it I before. It was desolate, hot and terrifying, but there was someone there who I hoped never to see again.

"Wait a minute, did you say Brainiac, but I thought he was dead?"

"No Clark, he's alive."

Clark was finding this all unbelievable. "So, this person kept you prisoner in this other dimension. What was his name?"

"His name was … Darkseid."

"Darkseid? Who is he?" Could he be what his Dad had meant by something very dark? He wondered.

"He's a god, Clark, a monster, unbeatable, unforgiving, insane, and very, very powerful."

"Did you hear that father? I want to know everything there is to know about this Darkseid, and please locate Brainiac, right away."

"Yes, Kal-El," Jor-El responded.

"You must be exhausted, Kara," he stated as she appeared to be very weak. "Did your powers return once you arrived in this other dimension?"

"When I first arrived, no they didn't, but I had no way of knowing how to get home, so once my powers returned, they were useless, because Darkseid had the ability to invade my mind. It was horrible."

Clark held her close against his side and thought about what she had said. This Darkseid sounds like a formidable opponent, there must be some way to defeat him, and if Tess and Oliver are there, I will bring them home. "You're home now, Kara," he said, but he had a question for her.

"Did you see Oliver Queen or Tess Mercer while you were there?"

"No, but it is possible they were there, because there were other humans there working as slaves."

Clark was shocked by that statement, but he was determined to find out more about this 'Darkseid.' "Here, I'll take you home now."

Kara noticed his costume then. "Clark, what are you wearing?"

"It's my 'Superman' suit. Mom made it for me."

"Martha made it?" Kara looked him over and couldn't help smiling. "It's … bright. I like the family shield, but … "Superman?"

Clark smiled. "Lois thought up the name and it's growing on me. Are you ready? Here we go, hang on now," he said and picked her up and wrapped his cape around her.

As they lifted into the sky, Kara was shocked at this new Clark. "You can fly? When did this happen?"

"A lot has happened since you've been gone, Kara. I'll fill you in on all of it later," he smiled at her questioning look. "Father, I'll return in a little while for any information you can find about Darkseid and Brainiac."

"Kal-El, before you leave, there are a few things you should know about the device." Jor-El stated.

"What is it, Father?"

"I managed to lock onto Kara's location using the device, because the initial program was still activated. It is good she is here, Kal-El. You will need each other in the coming months. You must listen and learn from her. She can help you, my son."

Kara and Kal-El both understood. "We understand Father and thank you."

"Goodbye, Jor-El, and thank you," Kara said.

"Goodbye, Kara, goodbye Kal-El," Jor-El responded.

~o~o~

The Kent Farm, an hour later:

When Clark and Kara arrived at the farm, Lois and Chloe were there waiting for them. Clark carried her inside, but Kara had fallen asleep during their ride from the Fortress.

"How is she, Clark?" Lois whispered.

"She's exhausted, so I'll take her upstairs to Mom's room so she can rest. I'll be back downstairs in a few moments," he whispered to back.

Lois and Chloe nodded, both worried about Kara, where she had been all this time, and what had happened to her. Clark hadn't been too forthcoming over the phone.

A few minutes later after changing, Clark came back downstairs. "She'll sleep for a while because she's literally been through hell and back, but she's home now."

"Clark, so where has she been all this time?" Chloe asked concerned.

Clark sighed not knowing where to begin, because he knew it would be hard for Chloe to hear this.

Chloe could see he was hesitant to talk about it. "It's not good news," she stated.

"No, Chloe, it's not."

Lois took hold of Chloe's hand to steady her. "We're listening."

"Kara has been in another dimension for almost two years and she was there as a slave."

"Oh, my lord, how awful for her," Lois said.

"Are you telling us that Oliver and Tess could be in this … other dimension … as slaves?" Chloe asked horrified.

"I'm not sure, because Kara said she never saw them, but there were other humans there, so it is possible."

Chloe stood up and began to pace. "The device, it was the device that brought her back, wasn't it?"

"Yes, Chloe, the device activated with Jor-El's help, but …" Clark began, but Chloe interrupted him.

"We have to figure out how it works, so we can bring them back, Clark."

"Chloe, Jor-El was working on it when Kara just appeared before me out of nowhere. We can't risk it. We just have to be patient. Jor-El will figure it out."

"Did he say how long it would take?" Chloe was impatient for answers.

"No, Chloe, he didn't, but as soon as Jor-El figures it out, we'll go from there." Clark went to her then and took her by the shoulders. "I know this waiting is hard, but this is the first real clue we've had to where they could be. I have a feeling this is what we've been waiting for, just give it a little more time, but there was one other thing Kara said you should know."

"What is it, Clark?" Lois asked worried for their friends.

"Brainiac is alive."

Chloe gasped and Lois was also shocked, but also worried for Clark, too.

"Jor-El is working on locating him, but we will defeat him just like before. Don't worry, Chloe."

"Oh sure, I'm not worried," Chloe said but her eyes and her pounding heart defied that statement. She tried not to sound defeated and turned to Clark. "Can I stay here tonight? I'd like to be here in the morning when Kara wakes up. Maybe we could ask her a few questions about this … other dimension and about Brainiac."

"We'll see how she feels about that, but I don't want to push her, she's been through a lot."

"Of course Clark, but only if she's ready to talk. Thank you," she said and gave him a hug. "Well, I'm exhausted. Goodnight."

"Goodnight, Chloe," Lois said as she gave her a hug. "Get some rest."

Lois and Clark watched her go up to bed, and then they went into the kitchen, but Lois watched her fiancé for a moment. "There's something you're not telling us, isn't there?"

Clark sighed as he went about making some coffee. "I was thinking about my dream and what my Dad said to me."

"You never told me about the dream, and well, I didn't want to push if you weren't ready to talk about it. Are you ready now?"

"Sure, let's go sit down for a moment."

After getting their coffee, they both sat down and Clark pulled her close to his side and stroked her arm. "When the dream started, it didn't feel like a dream because I was at the farm, I checked the mail like always, and there was even a letter from Mom, but then after I entered the house, I heard a noise, and it sounded like a hammer pounding nails. I looked out the window and my father was there working on a fence, just like it was any other morning."

Lois pulled him close. "Go on."

"I couldn't believe my eyes, because I didn't know it was dream, I thought it was real, that he was alive again."

"Oh, Clark."

He shook his head getting choked up even now remembering the dream. "We held each other close for a moment, and then he told me he was not alive, but that he wanted to see me and he knew I needed to see him too."

"Oh, I see, was it about what happened that night?"

"Yes, it was, but not only that, he said that he felt it, that he knew that I had accepted what happened that night, and he also knew it was because of you, Lois."

Lois smiled and held him close. "What else did he say?"

"This was the part I was thinking about. He said that something very dark was coming and that I should be strong, and not look back at things that cannot be changed."

"What do you think he meant by that?"

"I think part of it was about that night, but the other part, the part about darkness coming, it could only mean one thing."

"What is it, tell me."

"Darkseid."

To be continued?

##

A/N: This story is not over, but I will withhold continuation of this story until after the final season starts, or when my Muse has more to say, but until then, bring on S10! I hope you enjoyed it, and thanks again to all my readers who reviewed and took this journey with me! Remember, reviews are love!