A/N: Hello everyone and welcome to the start of Alternate Season 2. Sorry for taking so long to get this sequel off the ground. The first chapter is short, but future chapters will be longer. You can count on that. Enjoy! I know I should be dragged off somewhere and watch my laptop get destroyed before my very eyes for starting another fic, but I honestly can't help it. Really, I can't. Writing is my weakness.

Clark's eyes were barely open at all. Part of him wanted to give in and accept death. The other part refused to even consider such a thing and Clark tried with all his might to make his way back to the surface, but his injuries from fighting Rudy and the kryptonite Whitney tied around his neck weren't making things any easier for him.

Unbeknownst to Whitney Clark did have an expanded lung capacity, which allowed him to hold his breath for longer than most humans. Due to Rudy's powers, however, that time was cut down to size. Clark was unsure of how much time he had left before the lack of oxygen made him pass out.

A groan left Tess' mouth; the back of her head stinging like Hell. What hit her? She put her hand on one of the desks and pulled herself up. She opened her mouth and almost took in a mouthful of smoke. She coughed violently and covered her mouth to keep out any more of the stuff. She walked over to the door and kicked it off its hinges figuring the door knob would be hot as a result of the fire. She entered the hallway, which was now smoking as well.

"Clark! ?" She called out again hoping he would hear her, but received no answer. She pushed forward and bumped straight into Whitney.

"I thought I knocked you out," he said and swung at her face. Tess blocked it and restrained Whitney from behind.

"I don't know what's wrong with you, but this isn't the time for this," she said praying she wouldn't take in anymore smoke. "Have you seen Clark anywhere?" She asked keeping a firm hold on him.

"He's probably drowned by now," Whitney gave as his answer. Tess gasped and released Whitney; running as fast as she could to the gym. Whitney stumbled, but kept his footing.

"You'll never reach him in time!" He shouted after her and started to cough aggressively again. He continued to cough and felt extremely faint to the point where the room started to spin. He ended up sprawled across the floor out cold.

That's it. Clark was unable to hold on for any longer. He started to sink back to the bottom of the pool. He never pictured himself going out like this; drowning in the pool of his High School gym. As everything became blurry for Clark again, he caught sight of something red in the water coming towards him. Whatever it was Clark was suddenly on his way back up the surface and then being pulled out of the pool.

Something rough connected with his chest and then he spit out a lot of water and coughed for about 15 seconds. He finally recognized his rescuer as Tess. Even with a worried expression on her face Tess still look beautiful to Clark. Tess quickly undid the ropes that bound his hands and legs and pulled his head into her lap; lightly stroking his cheek.

The room was starting to fill up with smoke to, but not as bad as the rest of the building.

"Tess," Clark said weakly. "The necklace. You have to get it off me," he requested of her.

"Why?" Tess asked not understanding.

"Please, Tess," he begged of her. "It makes me sick," he revealed hoping she would save her questions for later. Tess moved her hands to the necklace then stopped and looked at Clark. Clark was going to ask her why when he felt her lips press against his.

At the same time she ripped the necklace off and tossed it someplace else while Clark lifted a hand and wrapped it around Tess' neck pulling her closer to him. Tess gave a small moan and ran her hands through Clark's wet hair; their tongues touching if only for a few seconds. The kiss was over in less than a minute, but Clark was left feeling even more breathless than before.

He locked eyes with Tess and the first thing he said was, "Why… why did you kiss me first?"

"Because I… I didn't think I'd have another chance to," she admitted. It was at that point Clark noticed that Tess was shivering badly.

She did just dive into the ice cold water, Clark thought. "I have to get you out of here," Clark said trying to push himself up.

"I've got you Clark," Tess said aiding him to his feet and supporting his weight. They started to head for the only exit, which was back in the hallway when two fire fighters rushed inside the pool area.

"Come on!" One of them yelled to the pair. The two of them aided Clark and Tess through the fire infested hallways, out of the burning school, and over to an ambulance.

"Clark! Tess! Are you guys alright! ?"Jimmy cried out seeing his two friends getting out of the school at last. They both nodded and Tess saw no trace of Lana or Chloe.

"Where are…?" She began to ask.

"Lana and Chloe. You aren't gonna believe this, but Lana was shot," Pete answered. He still couldn't believe it himself. It all happened so fast.

"What! ?" Tess shouted and started to cough again.

"It's a long story," Jimmy said getting into the ambulance along with Pete. "Chloe went with Lana's ambulance. We stayed to make sure you both got out. Chloe called and says Lana is ok for now and that the doctors are calling it a miracle."

Both Clark and Tess were shocked beyond all belief at how this night had ended. First the school catches fire, Rudy attacks and almost kills Clark, Whitney nearly finishes the job, and now they find out Lana's been shot. It was as if in addition to being a magnet for the weird and unexplained, Smallville also had a bad luck bull's eye painted on it.

The ambulance was about to start off for the hospital to check out Clark and Tess when Clark saw Whitney on a stretcher being loaded into another ambulance. Their stares locked with each other and though he was half conscious, Whitney's hand tightened into a ball.

Kent? How can he be alive? No one can hold their breath for that long. Then again he's not like everyone else. He's a freak; plain and simple and if drowning him doesn't work I'll have to find some other way to get rid of him, Whitney thought as the ambulance drove away.

A truck pulled up to a secluded cabin in the middle of the woods. The driver exited his truck and went inside discarding his sniper rifle that he used on Lana. Taped on his wall was a group of pictures of several people taken off the Smallville High Torch website. The shooter took down Lana's picture and picked up a black marker. Van McNulty smiled and drew a black X through her picture.

There's another one down,he thought not aware of Lana's fate.

To be continued…

A/N: Van McNulty was the guy that shot Clark with a Kryptonite bullet in Season 3's 'Extinction'. I was going to keep his identity a secret for a while longer, but I thought this would make a good cliffhanger ending for the chapter without putting anyone in mortal danger. That and if I kept his identity a secret it would be the fifth story I used that as a plot device and I just couldn't take that anymore.

I hope this chapter was ok. If not I'll gladly go back and change aspects of it. I had planned for Clark and Tess' kiss to last longer then I remembered they were in a building that was on fire.

If this chapter felt a little rushed rest assured that I will be taking my time with future updates to make sure they are the best they can be. I'll update this story in about a week once my finals are complete. See ya all soon!

P.S. Did Clark's dialogue with Tess at the pool remind you guys of anything? haha.