The Adventures Of Superboy: Don't Leave me
Lana paced in front of the Smallville county jail. She was waiting for Superboy to finish explaining the events of the latest battle between Lex Luthor, Metallo, and Dr. Odessa Vexman – Not to mention the jerk Donnie who tried to corrupt Smallville with his gambling dens. Superboy was going to personally fly Luthor, Odessa, and Metallo out himself while they remained locked down in the armored truck. He didn't want to risk any sort of break out or harm to the Capitol City authorities if they came to pick them up.
Superboy came outside and Lana hurried over. "What's going to happen to them now?" She asked.
"I'm taking full responsibility and I'll be flying them back to the maximum security prison in Capitol City. It will be faster."
"Oh, that's a relief." Lana bit her lip. "And Odessa, what she said about you and her…"
"None of it is true, Lana. She was just trying to make you angry. At one time she helped me apprehend some villains, but that's it."
"Were you attracted to her?"
Superboy blushed but didn't answer the question directly. "Lana, Odessa is an attractive woman, but she's always been on the wrong side of the law. She switched camps again when she realized she couldn't get what she wanted. "
Lana sighed. "You. She wanted you."
"Right. But the feeling wasn't mutual." His heart always belonged to someone else, and she was standing in front of him.
"Well, I guess I can go visit Clark and tell him what happened."
Superboy looked down. Clark Kent. Her best friend. He was the fall guy, the rebound for Lana's spurned affections. Superboy wanted to say those things, but couldn't. It wasn't her fault she was torn between him and Clark. They were the same person and Lana sensed it.
"Uh, no, wait, you can't."
"I thought I saw Clark at the bus depot when I flew into town. He may have left already."
Lana looked very disappointed, as if she wanted to say, 'without me?'
"Oh, then I guess he did what he had to do. But he still could have told me." She sighed. "It doesn't matter. I'm going back to my parent's house. Nobody's home though…as usual."
"Where are your parents?"
"Mom's in Paris giving lectures at The Louvre and dad is…" Lana swallowed hard. "I forgot, I think his last postcard said Spain or something. They'll probably meet up in Europe at some point." Lana looked at her boots saddened. "Then they'll argue over something stupid and decide to make up and go out for a friendly coffee and dinner. They never really ask about me or even invite me to join them on their trips."
She glanced at Superboy again with shining eyes. "That's okay, I'm not a child. I have my hands full in Capitol City. If they only knew the stuff that goes on with people like Luthor and Metallo. I don't tell them much. Why make them worry?"
Superboy sensed her deep hurt. He held her arm. "Why don't we go for a little flight? To talk."
"Really? Right now?"
Superboy glanced at the jailhouse and then smiled at her. "Yeah, why not? Let those goons sweat it out a bit."
Lana grinned. "Great."
Superboy gently put his left arm around her waist and she clutched his right hand. He felt the sudden chills that ran through her, but pretended not to notice. He couldn't hide his amusement.
"What is it, Superboy?"
"Nothing really. I was just thinking how long it's been since we had a flight like this."
"You've flown me places recently, but I think the last time we had a heart to heart flight was…" Lana cocked her head and then snapped her finger. "Oh, after Bizarro took off with Bizarro Lana from the warehouse."
Superboy gaped at her. "No! It couldn't have been that long. That was over a year ago."
Lana shrugged. "Well, that one was memorable. If you count the times you took me back to my apartment, like after you came back from being lost in the Everglades when you stopped that meteor. You never did tell me everything that happened."
Superboy cocked an eyebrow. He couldn't bring himself to mention Marissa and her son Jeremy, or the fact that he and Marissa shared a kiss. "I told you I lost my memory. Hey, you seem to forget two months ago when we left Adam Verrell's lair, or how about when I brought you out of that alien haunted basement? I guess you don't recall being transported to a space ship going 'West' to Alpha Centauri?"
Lana laughed. "Okay, okay, you win! I can't believe we're actually starting to have an argument over how many flights we've taken."
"We're not arguing. We're having a discussion." Superboy pointed out.
"Oh that's right. We never argue."
Superboy rose into the air and she maneuvered closer to him. He gazed at her. "Why should we argue? Where will it get us but hurt and angry towards each other?"
Lana wanted to refute him, but held her tongue. She wanted to tell him that if they could actually disagree on something, she would feel as if they were involved in a true relationship. Would he understand her reasoning? It was a little ridiculous to her even, and she knew he would see her warped logic and disapprove. Superboy wasn't dumb by any means. He was very insightful, and very mature.
"You're right as always. We shouldn't argue."
"Thank you, I…" Superboy stared at her and flew faster above the treetops. "Wait a minute. What was that, 'as always?' Was that sarcasm I just heard?"
"Wow, Superboy! You're pretty sharp." She noted glibly and kept her attention on the terrain as they swooped over farms. She waved toward the farmers below and they waved their hats back.
Superboy grumbled and shook his head. Lana cringed. She hated when he did that. It made her feel even more inferior than she already did in his presence. There was a minute of silence, but she knew her last comment had goaded him.
"Why are you trying to pick an argument with me now? What are you trying to prove, Lana?" He asked.
She almost laughed at him when she heard the strain in his voice. While she was known for her temper, she learned too well that Superboy had one also. He hated to waste time on trivialities and the foolish behavior of the mere mortals that irked him, even if he never complained. Despite his long suffering, she saw it in his body language. The way his pronounced jaw would tighten, and he would cross his arms. Or the one thing that got on her nerves, when he raised his brows and rolled his eyes with a knowing smirk. Right now he had done two and if he weren't holding her he would have those muscular arms planted across his chest defiantly.
"Me pick a fight? Why do you think I'm picking a fight? I'm not trying to prove anything!" Her voice rose steadily. "Didn't I just agree we shouldn't argue?"
"But you obviously don't agree."
"You're making a mountain out of molehills. No, you're making a mountain out of nothing!" She retorted. "Superboy, watch out for that windmill!" She shrieked and ducked her head against his shoulder.
Superboy hadn't been paying attention and he immediately soared higher, just barely missing the windmill's top. Lana's nails dug into his hands. She wanted to wrap her whole self around him to control her trembling, but she kept up a bold front and let him continue to glide her. Superboy drew her nearer protectively.
"Lana, is this because I didn't say anything to you back at the casino? What was I supposed to say right then and there? I had just stopped a desperate man from shooting a roomful of innocent people and killing himself. You grab me and drop this bombshell that you're going to stay in Smallville and expect me to have some kind of instant reaction."
Lana glared at him and he felt her grip loosen. Superboy in turn huddled her tighter. In her stubbornness she was liable to let go and fall from his arms. She wriggled to make more distance between them.
"Oh…oh, I see. You just don't care that I won't be coming back to Capitol City ever again. It doesn't bother you at all. I understand perfectly now. My house is down there."
"I know where it is." He muttered.
"You do? I don't think you ever saw it."
"Clark mentioned it to me. He said it has that ancient sundial out front that your father got from the Amazon rain forest."
"Oh yeah, that old thing. So, are you going to answer me? Oh wait, I forgot, you don't have any reaction to this."
"That's not true and you know it, Lana."
Superboy heaved a large sigh. The truth was out. As Clark Kent he had known for days that she planned to move back here and the mere thought of it ate him up inside. He chose instead to focus on capturing the trio of villains. With that high frequency machine Luthor concocted, and Metallo's kryptonite heart blasting on him, Superboy was forced to fly out of Capitol City lest he wanted his eardrums to burst and his brain to eventually implode from the concentrated pain.
He saw the intensity in her eyes, but the deeper he looked, the more he understood the real reasons she wanted to leave. Fear and longing. Lana Lang was the bait to practically every enemy he had. He lost count on how many times she nearly died. She always wanted to be around him, but there were only so many traumas she could take.
Superboy's flight came to an end and he lowered her onto the path before the house. Lana went up to the porch and plunked down on the swing with one leg up.
"Lana, I know what you want me to say, but if it is going to stand in the way of your happiness here, then I'm not going to tell you that if you leave it would…"
"Lana, it would change a lot of things between us."
Lana leaned forward eagerly, hoping he'd say what she longed for. No dice. She sat back glumly and chewed her inner cheeks frustrated. She refused to cry in front of him. Superboy came up the steps. He clutched her hand and seated himself beside her.
"Lana, I know what the real problem is. You want to leave because you're scared. You even said so…" Superboy wanted to kick himself. She had told those personal things to Clark Kent. It was getting harder and harder to keep his secret and play dual roles.
"I mean, you don't have to say anything. I know how you feel."
Lana laughed sharply. "How could you? Really, Superboy." Lana stood up. "You don't know how I feel. You don't know how any of us here feel. You're invulnerable! Bullets bounce off you, you can get struck and not feel pain. You shoot heat lasers from your eyes, you can fly, freeze things with a breath…and I'm not talking about the extraordinary villains or kryptonite or supernatural things that can make you weak. I mean you can do those things every day. You can walk down the street without looking both ways, trip without scraping your knee or jump off a cliff…"
Her point was slowly being lost on him as she rattled on. But he wanted to nip her feelings in the bud.
"In other words," He cut her off. "you're scared. You don't want to be a pawn any more because it could kill you and I understand that. I don't want you to be in that position either. But just because I don't feel physical pain on the average, doesn't mean I can't get scared either!" Superboy rose up and stood over her.
"Is that true?"
"I wouldn't lie to you. Would you like to know what scares me more than anything else?"
"The fact that I could lose you at any time. That one day I'll be halfway around the world and some maniac will come and hurt you or worse. Or maybe some alien or criminal mastermind decides to take his revenge. That's already happened countless times! it never ends for us! I know that."
"Think about that Lana. Since I can't feel the physical pain, where do you think I hurt most?" His tone softened.
Lana was struck to the heart. Guilt ripped through her for trying to hurt him in any way. Superboy still had a point to make and she paid close attention.
"But even still, we all live in this world and we all take chances every day of our lives. Whenever we step out the door and walk down the street there's a risk involved. You know better than anyone that I can be indisposed or vulnerable to things too. It's happened before. Look at those three in jail! I've bled before; I've fought beings with powers equal and greater to mine. I'm not above human emotion if that's what you're starting to think."
"No, no, never!" Lana stuttered. "I'm sorry."
Superboy clutched her shoulders. "It's okay, Lana. What I'm trying to say is, you can't let fear make you shrivel up and die. We all have to stand firm and face our fears at one point or another no matter where we are. Lana, you're the bravest woman I ever met, but everyone has their time when they want a change of scenery. It just has to be for the right reasons."
Lana stared at him, the adoration in her heart growing. Superboy thrust his arm out as if to show her the land. "If this is what you want most in life and you want to start over again here in Smallville, who am I to stop you? I always want the best for you Lana, always."
Lana sniffled. "Really?"
Superboy brushed his hand over her cheek. "Yes. Because I love you."
Lana pulled him into a tight hug. She put her arms around his neck and burrowed her face against his neck. "Then tell me, Superboy. Tell me you don't want me to stay here."
"Lana, please, don't leave me." He whispered, falling into a deep kiss.
Superboy finally pulled away. He caressed her face, neck and shoulders while she looked on in stunned awe. "I have to get those three back to the City before anything else happens."
He turned, but then peered at her again and smiled. "Will I see you again soon? Back at the house of weird?"
Lana broke her loving stupor with a wide grin. That was sometimes their nickname for the Bureau of Extra Normal Matters. Actually, she and Clark used it more. She playfully punched his shoulder. "I'll be in Capitol City in a few days. I just need to clear my head for a little while. Then I can resume being the damsel in distress."
Superboy chuckled. "I understand. And if you change your mind about staying in this old cornfield, I'll fly right back here and bring you home myself. First class, Air Superboy."
He tossed his body up and backwards with a wave and took off majestically into the clouds. Lana sank down on the porch steps watching his form shrink until he was no longer visible. She leaned over to pick up a small wildflower from the grass. She inhaled the scent and plucked at the petals with a sly smile.
"I'm counting on it…Clark."